The Librarian’s Cellar Book of the Week: The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

There is something for everyone between the pages of this much quoted book. Passionate tributes to his favourite writers, some of them his very good friends. Entertaining essays, keynote speeches, personal experiences (a rather sobering piece from 2014: So Many Ways to Die in Syria) and throughout, praise for comic books, illustrators, artists and some lovely references to family. For readers of classic horror, there are tributes that ought to make you want to revisit the likes of Poe and Stoker. In his introduction to a 2004 edition of Poe’s Selected Poems and Tales, Gaiman suggests, ‘Read the poems aloud. Read the stories aloud. Feel the way the words work in your mouth, the way the syllables bounce and roll and drive and repeat, or almost repeat’. And on Stoker’s Dracula, in an introduction to an annotated 2008 version by Leslie S. Klinger, Gaiman writes that ‘First you read it casually, and then, once you’ve put it away, you might find yourself, almost against your will, wondering about the things in the crevices of the novel, things hinted at, things implied.’ On writing, take this insightful thought from his introduction to a 2008 edition of James Thurber’s The 13 Clocks, ‘When I was a young writer, I liked to imagine that I was paying someone for every word I wrote, rather than being paid for it; it was a fine way to discipline myself only to use the words I needed.’ A mini masterclass right there! The View from the Cheap Seats in a wonderful gem, filled with perceptive thoughts and inspiration. Don’t pass it by!

 

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger. She is the author of the novel, LADY BETH and has written and directed the short film FRAMED (2018). She has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013).

In Celebration of Women In Horror Month – chatting with author Fiona Cooke Hogan

In celebration of WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH 2019, I am delighted to be featured by author, Fiona Cooke Hogan on her fabulous blog, UNUSUAL FICTION

Check out our chat HERE

 

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: Apple of My Eye by Claire Allan

Claire Allan’s latest novel is a quick and compelling read – for all the twisted reasons that you can imagine. Eli is a nurse working in a hospice. She is expecting her first child, feeling unwell and filled with doubts about her ability to love and care for her new baby. However, she has great support from work colleagues, a loving husband, and a very caring mother, so what could possibly go wrong? Everything, it seems as she begins to receive mysterious messages hinting that Martin, her husband, may be cheating on her. In her vulnerable state, and despite his vehement denials of any wrong-doing, Eli begins to doubt Martin… no spoilers here, but the sinister element of gaslighting takes this thriller to a chilling conclusion.

 

Published by Avon | 2019

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger. She is the author of the novel, LADY BETH and has written and directed the short film FRAMED (2018). She has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013).

 

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

Scott King investigates the disappearance of a seven-year-old child, Alfie Marsden, missing for over thirty years. His journey draws him into the realm of folk horror, dark superstitions and encounters with a myriad of strange and troubled souls. This was a difficult book to put down. Told in the format of alternating narrative and investigative radio recordings, a chilling story unfolds that will not fail to creep you out. Wesolowski’s tale solidifies the theory that human beings are far more frightening than anything supernatural, but evil is evil, so be warned!

Published by Orenda Books | 2019

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger. She is the author of the novel, LADY BETH and has written and directed the short film FRAMED (2018). She has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013).

The Librarians Cellar Book of the Week: Notes To Self by Emilie Pine

What a refreshing collection of essays! Written with such honesty on her very personal experiences of miscarriage and infertility, her relationship with her alcoholic father, Pine also gives us an insight into her experiences as a young teen, finding her way, breaking rules and boundaries – and learning the hard way who she really is. Her writing is unsentimental and thankfully, never apologetic, and her journey, like many unwritten women’s lives, is filled with a messy complexity that we can identify with. This is feminist writing that does not whack you over the head with how things should be, but instead, in relatable language, it conveys how things really are. Make sure you have plenty of time to sit and read before you open this book, you won’t want to stop turning the pages until you reach the very last one!

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger. She is the author of the novel, LADY BETH and has written and directed the short film FRAMED (2018). She has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013).

Write. It. Out.

It won’t last. That dull thud in your chest. The lump in your throat that keeps you silent. The sweaty palm thing won’t ever go away, but that’s okay. It’ll happen less and less. There’s a name for it, and you will call it. You remember everything. You are not weird. You are not a reject. You are not bad. You don’t know what you are. It takes time to understand, to channel it into something you can grasp. Something that is yours. But let me tell you, those floodgates will open wide, gushing wisdom and empathy into your blue, blue heart. And you will. Write. It. Out.

The Librarian’s Cellar Book of The Week: How to Be Invisible

‘A book of lyrics is a strange beast’, begins author David Mitchell in his introduction to Kate’s collection of lyrics, ‘How to Be Invisible’. This book is simply presented in a classic black cloth-bound edition that feels so good to hold, and even better to peer in amongst the pages. And for sure, it is a strange beast. With no definable arrangement, the words sans music take on a new life, and perhaps, new meaning. Keeping this collection by the bedside to choose a page at random is to rediscover Kate’s whimsical use of language and intriguing metaphor – like revisiting an old friend you haven’t seen for quite a while, yet picking up easily where you left off, an instant connection. ‘Oh let me have it, let me grab your soul away.’ One to be coveted.

 

How to be Invisible | Kate Bush | Faber & Faber Ltd | 2018

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Caroline E Farrell is a writer, filmmaker and blogger. She is the author of the novel, LADY BETH and has written and directed the short film FRAMED (2018). She has also written and co-produced the short films IN RIBBONS (2015) and ADAM (2013).