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Daily Scotland: Settling In

  The familiarity gained from last year's three-month stay in Scotland's shortened the re-acquaintance process with life here. It already feels familiar walking to the market to pick up simple things like milk and bread. There's a small shop, a mini-mart we'd call it in the States, five minutes away. The nearest supermarket's further than …

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March in Review: Much more reading, many more books. That’s more like it.

I had faith March wouldn't let me down, unlike my crappy January and February. Lie: I had no such faith, but told myself things could hardly go further south. And there were no Olympics, no television distracting me. The TV reverted to its usual function: background noise for napping and covering the surface of my …

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St Patrick’s Day Gift: interviews with three great Irish writers

    Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all! I do have a bit of genuine Irish in me, but the bulk of my heritage is English, Scottish and Dutch. What Irish I do have I magnify on March 17th, as one does. My daughter and I toured Ireland together back in 2014. She was finishing up a …

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Women’s Prize for Fiction Longlist 2018: the Debut Novelists

I'm still pretty amazed finding six of the longlisted novels for the Women's Prize for Fiction are debuts. Six of sixteen. That's a big chunk, nearly half. I can do math! These women are incredible, each one. I may normally quibble and grumble about first-time novelists snagging such a prestigious longlist nomination, but after reading …

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Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018: It’s Early Yet

  Welcome to the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction longlist, formerly Baileys Prize, formerly Orange Prize. Quite the crop this year, including six debut novels. Six! I've had the Longlist date on my calendar for weeks. I just got very busy and had no time to post before now.     I've read a grand …

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