Wednesday, 13 March 2013

In the Post Today

 THE TRUE SECRET OF WRITING by NATALIE GOLDBERG

BLURB: "Sit. Walk. Write. These are the barest bones of Natalie Goldberg's revolutionary writing and life practice, which she details in The True Secret of Writing, her first book on the silent intensives she has taught for over a decade in small groups in Taos, New Mexico. This is a whole new slant on writing since her perennial bestseller, Writing Down the Bones-and it's now available to everyone. With luminous reflections on the rich life of the mind and heart that writing awakens, Goldberg guides readers through their own personal or group retreat, illuminating the steps of sitting in silent open mind, walking anchored to the earth, and writing without criticism. Just as Goldberg cuts through her students' resistance with her no-nonsense instructions-"Shut up and write"-The True Secret of Writing cuts to the core of self-understanding and connecting with the world. The capstone to four decades of teaching, The True Secret of Writing is Goldberg's Zen boot camp, her legacy teaching. Its stories of her own students' breakthroughs and insights give moving testament to how brilliantly her unique, tough-love method works."

I've had this on order from Amazon since the middle of last year and I've been greatly looking forward to it. I first read Natalie Goldberg when I was doing my MA in Creative Writing in 1991 at Lancaster, and I kept going back to her book 'Writing Down the Bones'. In the later 90s I  discovered the sequel, 'Wild Mind', which was even richer and more personal. Then I didn't realise until last year that she'd written more and I needed to catch up. I loved her books on memoir and especially her book about teaching herself to paint. And so i've been really looking forward to this one - about the Zen boot camp. I love a bit of tough-minded hippy-dippy stuff.

And then I've been sent a Gothic horror by Quercus in proof, because they thought it'd be up my gaslit cobbled alley:



MAYHEM by SARAH PINBOROUGH

BLURB: "A new killer is stalking the streets of London’s East End. Though newspapers have dubbed him ‘the Torso Killer’, this murderer’s work is overshadowed by the hysteria surrounding Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel crimes.
The victims are women too, but their dismembered bodies, wrapped in rags and tied up with string, are pulled out of the Thames – and the heads are missing. The murderer likes to keep them.
Mayhem is a masterwork of narrative suspense: a supernatural thriller set in a shadowy, gaslit London, where monsters stalk the cobbled streets and hide in plain sight."

The blurb's not giving much away, apart from the generic coordinates - but I shall give it a spin anyhow, not having read anything by Sarah Pinborough before. I like the fact that she writes in a bunch of different genres all at the same time.

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