The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge is 2015 Costa Book of the Year

This is only the second children’s book in the prize’s history to win Book of the Year – the first in 2001 was Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass

The Lie Tree, the author’s seventh novel, tells the story of Faith Sunderly whose family have shipped out from England to a remote island to escape scandal. When Faith’s father is found dead under mysterious circumstances, she is determined to untangle the truth from the lies. Searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree that feeds off whispered lies. It will take all Faith’s courage to discover the truth behind the curious events on the island of Vane, and what, or who, killed her beloved father.

Very many congratulations to Frances. I look forward to reading it very soon.


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Have you seen the ‘Light’ for National Poetry Day 2015?

How are you celebrating National Poetry Day this year? This year’s theme is LIGHT.

Search the web & you’ll come up with hundreds of events local and national.

I’ll be marking the day by finishing my ‘Wordsworth’ study, working on my own poem on the ‘light’ theme (maybe for my National Poetry Competition entry) and reading Poetry Notebook by Clive James – heartily recommended for anyone with an interest in the subject. As with all Clive James books you can hear that distinct voice that’s entertained us for decades. If I can make it, I’ll also be attending local events to mark the day.

Today would be a good day to wish Clive all the very best and a thousand thanks for giving us such pleasure.

Have a look at Poetry Day resources and check out the Poetry Society website for Poetry Day Live in London.

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National Poetry Competition 2015 – only a few weeks left

See more on the Poetry page

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Where have I been all this time?

After several weeks if not months of prevarication, I am, hopefully, getting it together.

Having attempted to struggle through a 6 week futurelearn course on ‘Reading Macondo’, which examines the work of Gabriel García Márquez’, I finally had to admit defeat this time round. Sadly, at least for those of us with only a smattering of any language other than English, the videos are all in Spanish. Even though the transcripts are bilingual it proved very hard work. Consequently I got too far behind.

I’m now in a more comfortable arena studying another furturelearn course ‘William Wordsworth: Poetry, People & Place’. This is proving no less fascinating than Macondo (which I will eventually return to). I heartily recommend anyone to look at the range of futurelearn courses – not restricted to literature by any means.

Now I’ve broken out of the mould I intend to continue this blog – at least weekly – without interruption!

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Back on track again!

After far too long an absence, due to an extended period of illness and hospitalisation, I’m delighted to say that I’m now back to the blog. Sadly I’ve missed many things – not least of which was the annual London Book Fair – but I promise to catch up with the most recent items next.

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