The Velvet Fox and The Midnight Swan by Catherine Fisher

The Velvet Fox and The Midnight Swan are the final two books in Catherine Fisher’s Clockwork Crow trilogy. As with the first book, these both felt like a treat for my inner child. I devoured them on a train journey from North to South Wales, following a magical folklore-themed writing retreat. I was lucky enough…More

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

With Sorrow and Bliss, Meg Mason takes us on a journey of the impact undiagnosed mental illness can have. Martha, the main character, isn’t diagnosed until the age of 39. Her specific illness is never confirmed in the book, it’s only referred to as “_”, keeping the focus on the ripple effects rather than the…More

The Aerialists by Katie Munnik

Cardiff’s “Fine Art, Industrial and Maritime Exhibition”, or the “Great Exhibition” for short , was held in 1896. It was a six month extravaganza that attracted millions of visitors and numerous acts, including jungle scenes with exotic animals; “moving pictures” (a rare and new technology for the time); 9,000-seat concerts; and more. Amongst the exhibition’s attendees was…More

Atomic Habits by James Clear

I often find myself setting lofty goals and resolutions for “the start of next week”, “the start of the month”, or “New Year’s day”. I imagine myself waking up and being a brand new person, someone who is suddenly capable of sticking to all manner of brand new and super healthy routines. In Atomic Habits,…More

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

Billed as “the only book on screenwriting you’ll ever need”, Save the Cat’s main focus is on structure. Snyder outlines specific “beats” or plot points that should be followed in any script, and argues that every great movie has a storyline that follows these exact same beats. The title itself, “Save the Cat!”, refers to…More

The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman

I was lucky enough to work with a grief recovery specialist recently, an opportunity offered by my workplace. The Grief Recovery Handbook was the basis of our meetings, with my “home work” being to work through its chapters and exercises. These were some of my points I took from the handbook: Loss and grief come…More