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The ‘(Literary) People I Would Like to Meet’ Tag

It’s time to make a post after such a long time being absent from the blog. I really thank my lovely bookish friend Eleni at Over The Place for creating this tag and tagging me to do it, too 🙂 So, without further ado, here are some of the (literary) people I would like to meet:

1. Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer

Two of my favourite people in the world. I love Neil Gaiman’s stories and immense talent and Amanda is such a sweet person and a musician that can truly articulate your deepest feelings and thoughts. They are both such fascinating individuals that it’s only natural for them to occupy a high place in my list of people I’d like to meet.

2. Margaret Atwood

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Now, I have technically seen Margaret Atwood up close when I attended a lecture she gave as a guest in the University of Athens in Greece (I had made a post about it which you can find here if you’re interested), but I didn’t have the opportunity to actually talk to her. Having both studied her work at Uni and read it out of personal interest, I can very positively say that she’s one of my favourite contemporary writers. Her writing is witty, as sharp as it should be and definitely engaging. She may look like one’s grandma, but she’s so much more than that.

3. David Crystal

David Crystal is one of my favourite linguists. I had read his book A Little Book of Language when I first entered uni and had started picking an interest on linguistics and issues surrounding language. The way he writes about language oozes with his passion for it, and therefore, he successfully manages to transfer some of this passion to his readers. He had actually come to Greece for a lecture, but I found out about it too late and couldn’t attend. He’s a person I really admire and I’d love to have the opportunity to meet him some time.

4. Enid Blyton

She’s my most cherished childhood author. I devoured her books as soon as I got my hands on them and I always craved for more. She kicked off my childish imagination like no other author had done before and her books were the beginning of my fascination with mystery novels. I know that meeting her now is impossible, but she will always have a special place in my heart.

5. Ogawa Yoko

Everyone who knows me even a little bit is well aware of my adoration for Japanese literature. Ogawa Yoko is one of the most interesting Japanese writers I have encountered so far. I haven’t read all of her books yet, but I admire how versatile she can be.

6. Kirsty Logan

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I usually have no opinion on authors I haven’t read myself, but after watching an interview of Kirsty Logan’s by the wonderful Choncey and after reading tons of loving comments and reviews about her latest book, The Gracekeepers, I’m definitely intrigued by her personality and creative spirit. She seems such a lovely lady and I would definitely love to sit with her for a cup of tea and talk about books and magic worlds.

There were many other people I considered adding to this list, and many others I haven’t really thought of yet. I tried to limit myself to currently living people for quite obvious reasons, but I couldn’t prevent myself from adding Enid Blyton – I hope you understand.

I now tag dublinbookworm, Cathy @ 746books, Aman and whoever else wants to do it of course! You can also leave a comment and tell me about the people you would like to meet there 🙂 I’d love to see your responses!

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Flash Reviews: Non-Fiction (24th May 2014)

Millions Like Us: Women’s Lives in the Second World War by Virginia Nicholson **** (2011)

‘Millions Like Us’ by Virginia Nicholson (Penguin)

1. I adore history, particularly that which deals with women, and Nicholson has presented her information so well in this book.  She states that she ‘wanted to find out not only what the did in the war, but what the war did to them and how it changed their subsequent lives and relationships’.
2. Nicholson has focused upon a wealth of women from so many different walks of life, merging history with biography, and bringing some fascinating characters to the forefront of her work.  We meet, through her words, famous diarists like Nella Last and Mollie Panter-Downes, the privileged in society, and novelists such as Nina Bawden and Barbara Cartland.
3. The chronological structure which Nicholson has adopted works so well, as did the sectioning of information into short chapters, all of which dealt with a different element of wartime life for women – from rationing to conscription.

Purchase from The Book Depository

 

In Flanders Fields: The Story of John McCrae, His Poem and The Poppy by Herwig Verleyen **** (1995)

‘In Flanders Fields’ by Herwig Verleyen (de Klaproos)

1. My Dad visited Ypres recently with my uncle, and purchased this lovely little book for me.  It was originally written in Flemish, and has been translated so carefully.
2. I am fascinated by John McCrae – he has been one of my favourite poets since I was about twelve – and I oddly knew very little about him.  Verleyen, as well as writing of his subject, sets out McCrae’s fascinating family history, and how the family came to settle in Canada, where John was born.
3. Verleyen writes with such clarity about McCrae’s use of poetry as an outlet for the horrors which he witnessed during the First World War, whilst he was stationed between Boezinge and Ypres.

Purchase from The Book Depository

 

Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling by David Crystal **** (2013)

‘Spell It Out’ by David Crystal (Profile Books)

1. I have never read a David Crystal book in its entirety, but I have read many passages and partial essays of his as part of my English Language module at University.  I thought that it was high time to purchase one of his books at the start of the year, and couldn’t resist this lovely hardback edition.  As I am something of a Grammar Nazi (yes, I have been called this many a time), Spell It Out looked right up my street.
2. Crystal has set out to show the peculiarities of spelling in the English language, and has written about how each came about over time.  The structure which he has adopted is chronological, starting with the Anglo Saxon monks who tasked themselves with writing down the English language, and how the flaws in their system were rectified over time.
3. The whole is very succinctly and skilfully written, and Crystal is such an engaging author.  I presume that this book would make spelling of interest to even the most reluctant learners.

Purchase from The Book Depository