mittensA gratifying response to last week’s book offer. Some readers chimed in simply to say they already have all my books   –  go to the top of the class!  They should really get a special prize, and perhaps they will when I can think what it should be.  Books are now on the way to five of the most alacritous claimants. The sixth will be delivered personally to a reader who, it turns out, shops in the same branch of Tesco as I do. See, you just never know who that might be peering at the Best Before dates on all the milk cartons.  I was once in Sainsbury’s in Cambridge and was absolutely convinced that the man two ahead of me at the check-out was Robert Mugabe. It wasn’t.

It is freezing cold in Dublin but as I’ve failed to master the art of typing in mittens I’m doing a different kind of work today. There comes a point in the writing of a novel when you need to pause, take stock, and perhaps tinker with the proposed outline of the next few chapters. That moment has come and it coincides very neatly with my desire to huddle in the warmth of the kitchen and chew the top of my pen.

An interesting analysis on Goodreads this week on who reads what, sex-wise. Men are more likely to read male authors   –  perhaps they’re put off female authors by the fluffy pink jacket designs so often inflicted upon us. Women seem to be more open to trying authors who are new to them, and to reading books written by men. Without doing an actual count I estimate that 75 percent of the books I’ve read this year were (if their names are anything to go by) by male authors. I guess J K Rowling/Robert Galbraith is on to something. Again.

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