“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, then there is no use in reading it at all.” ~Oscar Wilde

I’m working my way – quite rapidly I might admit – through Dawn French’s brilliant little book ‘Oh Dear Silvia‘. I’m enchanted by French’s use of a multitude of beautiful, frustrating, wholesome characters! She’s not only a gifted actress and comedian, but a good story teller too. But of course, one would have guessed that really! She IS Dawn French, artsy and dramatic.

If you’re looking for that story that has it all – romance, drama, hate, human error, the crutches we use to survive, twists, faith, goodness and SO much more – then this book is amazing! It’s so easy to connect with some characters, hate others and want to jump into the story with them.

The trick of a good story teller, I find anyway – is to be able to keep their audience coming back for more. The idea that what’s on this page isn’t all there is, that you NEED to come back and find out the next bit because otherwise this first bit isn’t meaty enough anymore!

French does this. Fantastically, she makes you read one chapter and then another and oh, just one more! Two! Three! Damn – the hours have flown past! The insight into characters is great and you just want to get to know them a little more until the bucket is empty and their lives are spilled entirely out for all to see. That’s a good story – where there are no longer secrets between the reader and the characters. You’re entirely a part of the narrative. You’re there.

That’s a good book you could read again someday…


“Very few of us are what we seem…” -Agatha Christie

I absolutely LOVE Agatha Christie novels! Especially those that have either Poirot or Miss Marple as the lead detective in them. They’re so brilliantly written! I particularly adore the era in which they are set – the language used; the descriptions of characters and dress and settings. They’re fantastic stories! I mean – absolute drama over things that don’t have nearly as much of the same kind of importance or relevance today! Things like servants, family lineage, social status and profession. I find it all so incredibly interesting! And I love the excitement of the characters! How things like murder and theft are given their proper dues by the detective at hand, but it all still comes across as a glamorous time.

And Agatha herself led what would appear to be an intriguing life. Married to an archaeologist, travelling to many of the places she uses as settings in her crime novels at a time when travel took weeks and months, not hours like it does these days. The places she would have seen…! Agatha, her stories, her characters, her ideas and the era in which they live – it’s all brilliantly fascinating! And so thrilling – especially when the little regal Belgian detective that is Poirot is on the scene! He definitely is my favourite! But I think the best thing about her books, is her ability to make me exclaim out loud at the twist that comes at the end of the story! I was reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd the other day in my office and luckily no one else was there because I got to the end and started gasping and crying out at the characters because I couldn’t believe how it was all finishing up! What a huge twist! It was fantastic! She’s fantastic…if you haven’t, read some Christie!


“There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part.” ― Bram Stoker

There are some stories out there that tell tales my imagination couldn’t even begin to conjure! I love finding that random gem! Something in the titles catches me, or the author’s name or the genre it’s in.

Then there’s the classic gems that aren’t random at all. They’ve been around longer than my home city has! These are pure genius. They hold a magic that keeps readers like me coming back time and time again. They’re often the starting point for modern authors. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is this kind of original parent story.

I’m reading it at the moment – and as far as vampire novels are concerned, it’s the most well known original vampire story following on from the likes of Polidori’s The Vampyre. You can’t really beat the 1897 gothic story-telling that is Dracula.

The hunt…
The damsel in distress…
The ultimate overcoming of evil by good…

If you think about it, you can make a list as long as your arm of stories that find their roots in Dracula and books as far back as Der Vampir in 1748 by H.A Ossenfelder. For a vampire trying to populate the earth with his undead family, Count Dracula has done a fair job!

The obvious would be Twilight, closely followed by offspring like The Vampire Diaries, Blue Bloods, Vampire Academy and Little Dracula.

If you’re feeling like a bit of a classic gothic thriller – one that has blood and gore, love, teamwork and the well known mission of good vs. evil – then head back to basics and join me in Transylvania…


“Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” Ben Okri

Everybody has a story to tell. Everybody has something to say – whether they’re a writer or not.

But there is always something exhilarating about finding that one accomplished and published author that tells the story just that little bit better.

The mystery or thriller stories that have twists around every corner…soppy romance stories where we cry and want to hug all the characters…comedy – who doesn’t love a good laugh at characters that make us feel better about ourselves? Then there’s non-fiction – biographies, autobiographies and world event recounts. Often the endurance, the mateship and the determination in these true stories spur us on.

The moment I buy or get given a book is magical! I’m old fashioned, see – I like the smell of the paper and binding, the feel of the pages as I turn them, the different cover designs and the knowledge that a new world awaits me. I like anticipating the ability to escape with new friends, battle different enemies; travel to new places and visit different times.

A story, ‘kuwento‘, helps us to connect with each other and also discover more of who we are as individuals. Love it!