In Margate by Lunchtime review and forthcoming books

May 27th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

9780992648534-front coverIn Margate by Lunchtime is reviewed by Jackie Biggs on A Writer’s Life:

At the beginning there is a conversation with a parakeet. “We are the ones chosen to light up these drab skies of yours, provide a flash of effervescence,” it says. Yes, that’s what this writer does, she brings light to the animation of the place, the vibrancy of all its levels, from the arrival of the flamingos, to Benjamin Zephaniah, to Turner and TS Eliot. Towards the end we have some words from The Wasteland:  “I can connect/Nothing with nothing.” But straightaway the narrative is decisive and tells us: “I think not.”

Many connections are made in this book, between the characters in the various narratives and the reader. In a direct statement toward the end of the collection, the narrative tells us to “think of this as a pointillist painting, these impressions of ordinary lives in a corner of England…” They are all connected and intertwined and they have an impact beyond that created by a group of impressions. It’s a hallmark of a great story collection that the individual stories stand alone, and stand out, yet the whole taken together has a depth of meaning that is greater than the sum of the parts.

This book had me turning pages, eager for the next story, the next chapter, the next new character, much as an exciting novel would. It creates images, feelings for a place and for people in a way that only the poetic imagination can.

You can read the full review here. Buy a copy of the book for £10 plus p&p: In Margate by Lunchtime

There are several new books forthcoming in June 2015. Poetry collections – Automatic Writing by John Brewster and Zygote Poems by Richard Thomas – and a debut collection of short stories by Emma Timpany, The Lost of Syros. Full details will be available soon.

A little further ahead, in the autumn, there will be a fantastic collection of poems by Gordon Meade with illustrations by Douglas Robertson, Les Animots: A Human Bestiary, and another book to add to our stable of non-fiction books, or Curious Things as we call them: The Hungry Writer by Lynne Rees. Lynne talks about her writing and food on SkyLightRain.

We were delighted to learn that Rose Cook’s ‘Poem for someone who is juggling her life’ appears in a new Bloodaxe anthology, Lifesaving Poems edited by Anthony Wilson. The poem is in Notes From a Bright Field, which you can buy for £8 from Cultured Llama.

Do It Yourself reviewed and a new edition of The Music of Business

May 27th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

book cover2Do It Yourself: A History of Music in Medway by Stephen H. Morris is reviewed by Dave Thompson in Goldmine: The Music Collector’s Magazine:

Local music scenes often offer far more to the locals than can ever be translated to a larger audience.  Even if you know for sure that such-and-such a band formed in a smelly pub on the waterfront; that this song references a certain store; and that lionizes a lady of local notoriety, unless you lived (or at least spent a lot of time) in the area as the sound was developing, that’s all it is – random pieces of knowledge.  Only the locals know the truth.

So thank you to Stephen Morris, author of Do It Yourself: A History of Music in Medway (Cultured Llama Press) for alchemizing a book that not only transports the reader to the area in question, but then assails him or her with all the background required to smell, taste and… well, whatever you want, really… all that is going on […]

Barely a musician is mentioned without Morris interviewing them for the book, and that’s a major plus.  But more important is the fact that a world that you’d otherwise have to piece together from countless old fanzine articles and oddments (and even then, only get half the story) is laid bare here.  Local clubs, faces and record stores are pieced into the tapestry.  Out of towners touring through.  All the disparate influences that build a musical universe are tracked down and teased into the text.

You can read the full piece here: ‘Book Review: Do It Yourself… Up To My Neck in the Muddy Medway Waters’

If you want to know how Stephen H. Morris came to write the book, he is interviewed by Daniel Nash on BRFM, which you can listen to here.

Buy the book from Cultured Llama for £15 plus p&p: Do It Yourself: A History of Music in Medway

9780993211911-front-cover-SMALLAnd if it’s music you’re after, with a good dose of common sense about the world of business, you’ll be wanting a copy of the second edition of The Music of Business by Peter Cook.

Peter is interviewed by Daniel Nash on BRFM, which you can listen to here.

Peter is launching his two recent books, Punk Rock People Management and The Music of Business on 9 June at Sun Pier Arts Centre in Chatham, where he will also be interviewing Richard Strange – musician and actor. The event is called An Accent Waiting to Happen. More details on our Events Page.

Go to the books’ pages to buy: Punk Rock People Management for £7.99 plus p&p’ The Music of Business for £12.99 plus p&p. Post and packing is free if you buy two or more of any of our books.

Praise for Short of Breath and As Long as it Takes

May 11th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Short of Breath Front Cover 031114Short of Breath by Vivien Jones is book of the month at the Poetry Kit. Here is what Jim Bennett has to say:

This collection of poems call on skills of observation and understanding that Vivien Jones has in abundance. The images are sharp the insights and juxtapositions outstanding and memorable. This is a collection of poems that once read will be returned to time and again.  The poems collected into short sequences and presented in sections, Layperson’s Science and Wood and the Making Process, are two of them, the others are to do with places, music and the changing world.  I am very pleased to recommend this collection. .

Outstanding poems for me – Short of Breath, Eating with Vickie and Peter, No Snow

Go to the book’s page to find out more, and order a copy for £8 plus p&p: Short of Breath

We don’t encourage people to buy our books from A**z*n, but sometimes a lovely review turns up on that very site, which helps to get our books noticed. As Long as it Takes by Maria C McCarthy received the praise of  ‘Book-Smith’, and here is some of their review:

The best test of any book for me is when it leaves you wanting more. You’re not done with the stories, you have unanswered questions about the characters. It’s not that you want the unsaid to be said, rather than that you want your imagination to be further tantalised by their lives. To keep guessing – and to be kept guessing – about what might happen to them, and which of those loose ends of the past might end up tying together.
As Long as It Takes passes this test easily for me. As each story carefully unfolds, you find yourself transported into it, almost until you feel as close enough to reach out and touch the characters. It takes a real skill to write a book of related stories that are all also complete in themselves. Each of the fourteen here is beautifully paced, each voice (whether in the first person or third – both are used, to great effect) is as strong as the next […] The pacing of the final story, ‘Combing out the Tangles’, brings you slowly to its poignant close without sentiment. But the closing of this book will leave you with a real sense of loss.

Go to the book’s page to order a copy for £10 plus p&p: As Long as it Takes

Buy any two or more books and postage and packaging is free.

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