A person who publishes a book wilfully appears before the populace with his pants down

—Edna St. Vincent Millay

This is your typical triumph-over-adversity memoir seasoned with a sprinkling of self-help. It’s a quick and easy read for anyone interested in finding out more about dyslexia and how one person experienced it. The author points out that while there are 37 key characteristics of the disorder, they can occur in different combinations and strengths in each person, making it difficult to pick up in some cases (the author was 46 when she found out by accident). Vittles...

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This self-published website-supported book treads a familiar self-help path covering off on the topics of learning to love one’s self, forgiveness, positive affirmations and the like. While the subject matter doesn’t tend to change in these kinds of books, the structure and approach in imparting the information can vary greatly.

Just Like That! is lucidly written with a warm matter-of-fact tone which makes it approachable and easy to read. One of the attractive...

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‘Travelling is a constant process of trying to get away.’ And what travellers often discover in the end is that it is their very selves they are trying to escape. Felicity Castagna captures this concept beautifully in the characters moving through this collection (and yes, these stories are character-driven despite the impression the subtitle might give: the settings are a value-add, often feeling like characters in their own right). The fact that Castagna uses Asia, a...

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If I had to describe this book in a metaphorical way, I’d say it was a pleasant amble through antique and curio shops with pauses in between for trying out vigorous yoga positions.

Have you ever glanced below the ‘normal’ crossword you’re filling in to wonder what those mad clues could possibly mean? I couldn’t understand how people got into them. How does one learn? What are the rules? This book is your solution. Not only does Astle take you clue type by clue type (he...

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It would be an incomplete picture to review George Friedman’s The Next Decade without referring to its predecessor The Next 100 Years. For those who assume that the forecasts for the next decade are a mere subset or pilfering from the more extended work, they would be mistaken. Friedman puts it this way: ‘A century is about events. A decade is about people.’

Friedman deals with the science of geopolitics. Broadly, this involves the changing relationships between nation...

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According to the author, Byron ‘is our shadow. Our own dark secrets.’ Jameson certainly has plenty of her own dark secrets to share and she sorts through them as her pilgrimage progresses. The events of Byron’s short and dramatic life serve two purposes in this narrative: they provide the travel itinerary and points of physical interest, but they also serve to introduce topical themes by chapter that the author parallels with her own life experience. Jameson explores...

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Here is the ultimate guide for how (and how not) to approach agents and prospective publishers about your work. It may even save you from wasted effort and unnecessary rejections. You only get one shot with each one, after all.

I can imagine the proposal for this book now: ‘Estimated writers societies and groups x estimated membership…assume 15% purchase…guaranteed market of…’

Sound too technical for you? Well this book is full of harsh realities. Publishing is a...

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© 2012 Alicia Thompson
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