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non-fiction Archives - Themself

Tag archives for non-fiction


How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe [Book Review]

How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems by Randall Munroe My rating: 5 of 5 stars How to explain how to: absurd scientific advice for common real-world problems is probably "don't try this at home!" How to is a follow on to What There's a fantastic set of well-researched out of the box suggestions for alternative solutions to things we've probably all done, wondered about, or will need to do sometime in our lives. How The science is very real, and plausible, and totally absurd. I laughed out loud a lot when reading How to. Another fab book from Randall Munroe, the genius behind xkcd. It's a perfect follow on to What I think my favourite set of advice was the chapter on moving house. It offered some advice on packing, and then on what you needed to…
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Lost Luggage

The Merstham Writers group challenged people to write about a place where they lost something. All the names have been changed, but this is a real story that actually happened. Lost Luggage I spent the summer of 2012 in the arrivals hall in Gatwick airport's South Terminal. I watched the flow and ebb of humanity. So many people, back from their holidays still in shorts and t-shirts into the dreary English rain. Others returning home from seeing loved ones, or coming in their own holidays, or for the Olympics. I met many of the Jamaican athletes when the Kingston flight came in, and the Georgians too when they connected from Berlin. Afternoons were quiet. There was an empty hour in the terminal just after lunch. I often sat on my high chair looking out at rows of tensa barriers. Their…
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new cover reveal for Themself

Firstly I would like to thank everyone that took time to give me feedback on the design of the new cover for Themself. In particular I'd like to name check Tom Mouat who first suggested a minimalist approach (as did a couple of others). This prompted me to spend some time looking at book covers in the bookshop at London Victoria train station. What I saw there was that nearly every non-fiction book (and a lot of the fiction) had a fairly minimalist cover. Bookshop visit I was sort of surprised by the number of books that have a block colour cover, large text for title & author, and nothing else. Although most of those also had a small illustration on the cover, usually about half the width and a third of the height. Those illustrations were simplified, not photo…
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Themself – now available on kindle

Today is publication day for my latest book Themself - Confessions of an open university creative writing student. As the sub-title suggests it is about my experience of studying creative writing with the OU. Although Themself goes further than that and includes the things I've learnt from my experience of writing, studying and self publishing. Themself - Confessions of an open university creative writing student You'll find some of the content in Themself here on the blog, but only about half of it. You'll also find that I've edited it since I first published it on the blog. Although I've tried hard to keep to the original character of the contemporary blog posts about how I was feeling. The bits I've updated are where I'm summarising what I've learnt. There is also a lot of new material. All of the stories and poems…
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What if? by Randall Munroe [Book Review]

What If? : Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is just fab. It made me laugh out loud several times. Also science, lots of lovely science with nice twists. Well I say nice, but really evil twists. That's what makes it funny and interesting. What if? by Randall Munroe English: Last panel of the xkcd webcomic "Philosophy". On the xkcd site, it displays with the tooltip "It's like the squirt bottle we use with the cat." (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Randall Munroe is best known for the xkcd comics (and if you haven't read them then you really must). 'What if?' comes from an offshoot of the popularity of xkcd. People have been sending Randall their 'what if?' questions and Randall has been off to do some research to answer…
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