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Robert Dunbar: January Blues

Robert Dunbar: January Blues

Catherine Doyle, Nick Lake and Steve Watkins go under the microscope of Robert Dunbar in the Irish Times - Teen/YA getting the first treatment of the year.

Vendetta - Doyle’s debut - takes the prize of most interesting review:

Doyle skilfully prepares her readers for a narrative that blends thriller and romance, building tension in the former and accelerating the physical intensity of the latter.

“What emerges ultimately is a tale of two interlinking families, their misdemeanours, their secrets and lies and, above all, their conflicting loyalties and urge for revenge: the Montagues and the Capulets come to mind. The plot’s numerous twists and turns are sometimes predictable, sometimes unexpected, but, in gener”l, this is a novel that will keep its readers turning the pages.”

And most importantly, a welcome to the ranks of Irish writing:

“Irish young-adult literature has, in the person of Doyle, a welcome addition to its ranks.”

A mile wide, an inch deep.

A mile wide, an inch deep.

Ev Williams’ has the web made. This site is 9 next month - nine years of reader statistics and analytics, webs and flows (see what I did there?), conversations and opportunities.

Outside the usual posts of articles, news, links, books and movies I’ve set a new challenge. To post something real, every day - a photograph, a ticket, a conversation… whatever, something that isn’t set by a news agenda. That is seen, felt, read or heard first hand.

Roll on Monday.




(Pic taken in Fitzrovia … it’s a real place in London but it still sounds like a made up kingdom. “Have you met Elmer, Prince of Fitzrovia?”)




First books of 2015

First books of 2015

Ignoring the fact that it’s been well over six months since the last time I logged in (new city, new job and some INCREDIBLE projects to come over the next 18 months) …

Happy New Year!

First blood for the year … the genius Ali Smith’s Artful (adapted from four lectures), Cary Elwes light hearted As You Wish (every thing you need to know about being a dread pirate AND MORE) and the sequel to Sally Green’s Half Bad, Half Wild (and it’s good, better than book one and you have MUCH to look forward to.)

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And because it’s always easier to talk about the book you’re reading … just about to finish the unstoppable voice of Susin Nielsen:



In London? What is a boy to do?

In London? What is a boy to do?

What does a first week in London look like? THIS!

One EARLY flight on Sunday got me to Marylebone and the street fair… for lobster rolls, a fun fair, some pink gin and getting to see Nicola from Harpercollins.


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… followed VERY quickly by my first day at Scholastic:

Day one included mastering Barclay Bikes and realising that London is HUGE. Plus working at Scholastic… means Hunger Games swag!

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What happened next was EPIC. I mean, seriously… EPIC. After a crazy day in the office I snuck into a secret screening of The Fault In Our Stars, in a private cinema beneath a fancy hotel, to meet some of the cast, as well as Dan and Phil.




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Oh! And I did a little wandering on the way to the screening… and found this:

Wednesday started with some hipster coffee (it was a late night) and a lunch meeting at Byron in SoHo for some tasty, tasty burgers!

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I found Mornington Crescent too (HUZZAH!), just not sure I could do it on my own… the Citimapper App has become my BEST friend.

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And everyone in the Scholastic editorial team got busy:

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Thursday evening was my first Waterstones event (got to meet some awesome folks - including James Dawson, Kim Curran, Jim, Gemma, Belinda and MORE … but I have missed a name or three)



Friday started with a dino war in Scholastic towers… and now I’m on the hunt for desk dino of my own to be part of the team!

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… then came the weekend. TIME TO EXPLORE!

Made it to the British Library for the Comics Unmasked (more on that later) and then onto Gosh Comics, stroll through Chinatown, Hamleys and generally messing about (including another trip to Byron for a burger before catching X-Men: Days of Future Past again… because it’s THAT good.)

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Phew. Onto week two!