Tag Archives: Non-Fiction

Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel

Are you my mother alison bechdelRating: ★★★☆☆

As an autobiographical sequel to Fun Home, Bechdel’s approach to analysing her relationship with her mother couldn’t be more different to how she examined the one with her father. If you have a problem with dry psychoanalysis, then you may struggle with Are You My Mother?

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Ask Graham by Graham Norton, and the reader with a bodice-ripping addiction

Ask Graham NortonRating: 3 stars

Bluntly telling it like it is as only gay comedian, chat show host and now agony uncle Graham Norton can, with wit and wisdom. Ask Graham is a collection of letters and responses from Norton’s column in the very middle class and conservative Daily Telegraph. If you’re looking for a gentle agony aunt who sensitively guides you to the solutions to life’s problems without judgement, turn back now. Not that he is ever mean to the genuinely vulnerable; he saves his mocking for the clearly stupid and those who’ve made diamond encrusted mountains out of simple, mundane molehills.

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7 Rules for Writing Non-Fiction

7 rules for writing non-fiction

Over the years I’ve come across a few common issues that can be easily rectified. Authors can’t always control every aspect of their work, but they can darn well try. Here are 7 ways in which non-fiction writers can help themselves to better sales.

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1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks Off by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson & James Harkin

1,227 QI Facts to Blow Your Socks Off by John LloydRating: 3 stars

I used to be a boghandler, that’s ‘bookseller’ in Danish. If there are enough diamonds in the world to give everyone a cupful, why are they so expensive? Did you know Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, married Oscar Wilde’s first girlfriend? There’s a joke in there somewhere, I know it.

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The Innovative Admin by Julie Perrine

The Innovative Admin Julie PerrineRating: 3 stars

Stuck in a rut? If your personal or professional life isn’t everything you want it to be, then read The Innovative Admin. The fact that Perrine’s book is aimed at secretaries and administrators doesn’t matter. Her advice is applicable to everyone, even if you’re unemployed. Ways to increase your productivity are included as well as a list of suggested websites and recommended reading is given for further inspiration to fuel your creativity, change your mindset and identify your strengths and weaknesses. A FREE action plan from the accompanying website summarizes the activities you can do to improve your life.

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Marguerite Patten’s Every Day Cook Book

Margeurite Patten's Every Day Cook Book Rating: 5 stars

I was really sad to hear Marguerite Patten had died ten days ago at the ripe old age of 99. She was the first celebrity chef, teaching British people how to eat a nutrient rich diet while making the most of their rations during World War Two, going on to have her own TV show in 1947. She wrote over 170 cookbooks which sold over 17 million copies worldwide. I last saw her on TV doing an interview on the BBC’s The One Show in 2007 when she would’ve been in her early 90s. Clearly she was a hardworking woman with a passion for food. Her love of butter and lard obviously did her no harm.

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The Non-fiction ‘Graphic Novel’ – is there a better term?

I’ve been reading quite a few graphic novels of late, for lack of a better phrase, not all of which were the fiction implied by the term ‘graphic novel’. No, Hyperbole and a Half, Fun Home: a family tragicomic, and Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? are memoirs.

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Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Roz ChastRating:  

As Chast’s parents aged, she recognised the need to care for them, and she did, until they died. Graphic novel memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? details her uncensored journey with humour and poignancy, examining her changing relationships with them along the way.

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Fun Home: a family tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home a tragicomic Alison BechdelRating: 

An erudite, self-aware feminist memoir, in graphic novel form, examining a lesbian’s childhood relationship with her parents – especially her closeted gay father. Fun Home is chock full of psychoanalysis, literary criticism and commentary on gender, sexuality and suicide. You may recognise the author’s name from her Bechdel Test, which ‘asks if a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man’ to indicate gender bias (Wikipedia).

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