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I simply had to share this first piece of book business with any readers of Dog Eared out there. As you may know I recently read ‘A Life Discarded’, by Alexander Masters, and chatted here about how much I had enjoyed it yet also suffered the consequences for the hours of book bliss it provided. Just last week I was working at an event where Masters was interviewed about his new book and had the pleasure of meeting him, he is an absolute delight and had the whole audience enraptured. During the evening he did mention Stuart, the past subject of one of his books and one that means a lot to me, and strangely just at the mention of his name, listening to some of his story from the man who knew him so well, my eyes filled to the brim with tears. I did not anticipate that! Masters turned out to completely live up to his name and masterfully discussed the story of ‘A Life Discarded’ without giving away any real spoilers, a feat that I was not sure could be pulled off before the event itself. Anyway, the main reason I am writing about this evening…the image below! When the night was coming to a close I of course had to get him to bless my book with his autograph, but he kindly went one step further:

My book is all that more special now!

There is a lot more going on in my world of books over the next two weeks as well. I am hosting another book group and this time we are looking at ‘The Power of the Dog’ by Thomas Savage. My friend Emma read this and fell completely head over heals. Watching her devour it each day confirmed for me that I had to read it as soon as possible. Now way back when I headed up the book group looking at ‘Red Dust Road’ by Jackie Kay (read about it here if you wish) after looking at a number of choices it was actually chosen that we would all read ‘Power of the Dog’ next. I am currently part way through it, can I just say – WOW, what an eye watering opening! A full write up of the book and the nights discussion will appear next week.

The Power of the Dog £8.99 (Vintage)


Poetry group is in the diary this week. We are reading and discussing ‘The Man With Night Sweats’ by Thom Gunn. I have to confess I have not had as long as I usually like to read through this collection, I like to languish with a poem and let it sink in through my epidermis (well, if I think it is good and not going to cause a nasty reaction!) but I feel I have kind of grabbed this one and slap dashed through it as one would a bottle of sunscreen. Tomorrow night I shall try and pause for thought a little more and then I will report back the end of this week on that one, Stanza Bonanza is too much fun to miss!

The Man With Night Sweats by Thom Gunn £9.99 (Faber & Faber)

Then last but very much no means least something that I am very excited for but also pretty nervous about. On the 7th June I will be interviewing William Grill *takes a deep breath and attempts to push away public speaking fear*. I was introduced to his work with the absolutely stunning ‘Shackleton’s Journey’. I immediately wanted to buy this book for every single young reader I know as it is a treasure, beautiful illustrations tell the story of the journey to Antarctica in a way that will provide enough facts and detail for up and coming intrepid explorers out there but also will engage readers who cannot yet take in a dense amount of text giving reams of dates and loosing the magic of the story. As a piece of work it is a delight to behold, down to the last detail such as the materials used in publishing the story, there is quality in its every inch. This was backed up by the literary establishment when he was the youngest author in 50 years to win the prestigious Kate Greenaway medal. 

Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill £14.99 (Flying Eye Books)

His new book is another look at a fascinating time and place most likely little known to readers in the west. Illustrated in the absorbing familiar hand, but this time in earthy shades of ochre red, this retells the story originally set out in Ernest Thompson Seton’s ‘Lobo, The King of Currumpaw’. Taking us away to New Mexico as the era of the old west is beginning to die out, we watch as a man behind to track the leader of a notorious wolf pack, at a point in history when man had little respect for the animals in the wild. Based on true events this is another read that will not only broaden young readers horizons but have them marvelling at the possibilities adventure can bring. I will report back after the event and let you know any juicy titbits we get from the author himself! 

The Wolves of Currumpaw by William Grill £14.99 (Flying Eye Books)

I *think* that brings you up to date for the moment, give me a shout in the comments below with what you’re reading right now and if you have or are going to read any of the above.

As always, happy reading folks! 

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