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Guest Post: The Truth Behind the Cluck

Guest Post: The Truth Behind the Cluck

A guest blog by Jean Blakey.   A mountain of people have asked me about the meaning behind my children’s book Cluck Cluck Duck and a smattering have given me their interpretation of the book. I love that! I love that people are trying to read something into my cheeky little story about a duck who has lost his quack. If you are wondering what I’m talking about then read on. I am Jean Blakey, a friend of Iain Mansfield…

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The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas is available to order now

The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas is available to order now

My new book, The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas, is now available to order. A compendium of mind-bending and perplexing questions guaranteed to set your mind boggling. With twelve quizzes, each with its own theme, The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas is the perfect way for any quiz fan to while away the winter hours. Consisting of a compilation of my twelve Christmas Quizzes to date, it’s a great brainteaser for those Christmas times with family, as well as the perfect present…

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Two Charlies

Two Charlies

I recently reread Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. It’s fascinating that for two books that are so similar – same author, same series, same length, similar vocabulary levels and sentence structure – there are still several features of the latter  that make it a noticeable, if small, step up in difficulty. Most obviously, Chocolate Factory has 30 chapters while Elevator only has 20.  As the books are the same length, chapters in Elevator…

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Book Review: World Order by Henry Kissinger

Book Review: World Order by Henry Kissinger

‘Magisterial’ and ‘epic’ are all words that come to mind to describe Kissinger’s magnum opus, written in 2014 when he was 91. Certainly a book that begins a consideration of the modern international order with a detailed analysis of the Thirty Years War deserves that description – but what is more impressive, is that Kissinger then goes on to consider similar seminal moments in the history of other nations, including China, Russia, the US and the Islamic world. As the…

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Chesterton’s Poetry

Chesterton’s Poetry

Chesterton is one of my favourite authors; an author of which I’ll read almost anything he wrote, regardless of what it is. His writing catches you up with his wonderfully lyrical style, filled with memorable quotes, and even when you’re disagreeing with him, you can’t help but admire the majesty of his argument. He was tremendously prolific, writing “80 books, several hundred poems, some 200 short stories, 4000 essays, and several plays.” Some of the best known of his works…

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The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas: Preorders

The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas: Preorders

I’m collecting expressions of interest for pre-orders my forthcoming book, The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas. If I get sufficient interest, I’ll be able to arrange a bulk order which would bring the price down for everyone. If you think you’re likely to get one or more copies (Christmas presents!!!), please leave a comment here – or message me through the contact form below – to indicate this, as well as how many you might get if more than one. The…

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Announcing the Twelve Quizzes of Christmas!

Announcing the Twelve Quizzes of Christmas!

Every year for a dozen years I’ve produced a Christmas Quiz, with an increasing number of people doing it each year. My back catalogue and list of winners can be found here. This autumn I’ll be releasing The Twelve Quizzes of Christmas, a compilation of all twelve quizzes, available in paperback and ebook form from all good Amazon websites near you. An ideal coffee table or bathroom book – and the ideal Christmas present for anyone in your life who…

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How to make the good guys look bad…

How to make the good guys look bad…

  I’ve recently finished reading the Family D’Alembert series by E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith and Stephen Goldin, which could be summed up as a not-particularly-high-quality but nevertheless mildly enjoyable science-fiction adventure series, in which the galaxy’s elite team of super-agents are a brother-sister duo from the ‘Circus of the Galaxy’, whose acrobatic training allows them to overcome their foes. The books, as I say, are fairly entertaining light reading. The plot of each book essentially sees the main characters on a…

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Guest Post: “The Late Lord”: John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, and the formation of a historical reputation

Guest Post: “The Late Lord”: John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, and the formation of a historical reputation

This is a guest post by Dr. Jacqueline Reiter about her book, The Late Lord: the life of John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham (Pen and Sword, 2017). About 18 months ago I published my first biography, The Late Lord: the life of John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham. It’s rare to find a historical figure of any stature who hasn’t been “done” before,  but the 2nd Earl of Chatham is a special case. The more I researched him, the…

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Quarterly Book Round Up: July 2018

Quarterly Book Round Up: July 2018

The quarterly book review provides a non-exhaustive list of some of the books I read and enjoyed in the previous quarter. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer) I always feel mildly guilty reading Archer, given the perjury issues, but this was a hugely enjoyable book. It followed two people from very  different backgrounds, their rivalry and their rise to success, in this case in the United States in business between about 1910 and 1960. Archer’s gift, as in First Among Equals…

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