Book review: In Europe, Travels Through the Twentieth Century by Geert Mak

A well-thumbed copy of In Europe by Geert Mak

A well-thumbed copy of In Europe by Geert Mak

Europe is agitated and restless – it always has been.

In Europe, by the Dutch journalist and historian Geert Mak, gives a century of context to today’s anxieties. It looks at the hundred years before the millennium, and through this window reveals the troubled heart of today’s Europe.

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Book Review: The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante

The last of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels

The last of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels

This is a story about the dark places, and the fires, inside all of us.  It’s not new, it’s as old as Naples, but it’s told with the energy of possibility and through the eyes of women.

The Story of the Lost Child is the last book in a series of four – the Neapolitan novels.

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Planning and pitching non-fiction: 10 tips for beginners

Our host for the day in London

Our host for the day in London

I had the idea, I had the material, but I couldn’t see the shape … and I didn’t have a clue about what to do next with my fragile bubble of a plan. That was until last Saturday when my confusion switched suddenly to focus.

The ‘I-think-I-get-it’ moment was thanks to a Guardian masterclass programme on planning and pitching non-fiction.  There were 14 of us in the class, all adrift with various book ideas.  Our trainer was Jenny Rogers who has published seventy non-fiction books – here’s some of the advice she passed on.

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