9 Books on Labyrinths or Crumb Trails

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – a family move into a house to discover it is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint – a modern retelling of she who gave Theseus the secret of how to slay the minotaur and escape the labyrinth, and of […]

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Archetypes: The Trickster

In Jungian psychology, the Trickster resides at the intersection of the subconscious and conscious. The archetype is essential for the individuation of a person, allowing the unconscious to rise to the surface, and the baser instincts to aspire to the divine. He is the collective unconscious that desires change. The Trickster myth occurs widely across various cultures, […]

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Archetypes: The Guardian

In Jungian theory, The Hero must be challenged with new ways (of thinking and being) to develop and progress along the journey. There may be many challenges along the way, all of which are guarded by a gatekeeper, or guardian. This Guardian (also known as Threshold Guardian or Liminal Guardian) is an agent of transformation. […]

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Ten ways to expand your reading

As someone who reads in the region of 170-190 books a year, I often get asked where I find new reads. So, in no particular order I’ve put together a list of the different ways I discover books new to me. 1. Book reviews Newspapers, journals and magazines review books. The Guardian offers a weekly […]

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Archetypes: The Shadow

In Jungian psychology, The Shadow archetype (also known as the id) represents the unconscious repressed side of a personality, and is often associated with the dark side, in particular. The Shadow consists of all the emotions and behaviours an individual conceals from the world at large. Such emotions may be negative or otherwise. When hidden, […]

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Best Books of 2020

A year of hidden gems, modern classics, and fungi. Of gothic, dark and twisted tales, and South America in translation. Of memoirs and the natural world, sci-fi and high fantasy. I discovered two authors who have become firm favourites, and gave a couple of others a second chance. Most of all, in this year of […]

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Norse, Celtic & Germanic Myths, Folklore & Fairy Tales in Fiction

American Gods by Neil Gaiman Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together […]

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Children’s Collections of Myths & Legends

A brief selection of myths and legends for children. Tales of Long Ago (1965) Enid Blyton Tales of the Greek Heroes (1958) Roger Lancelyn Green. Puffin Classics Myths of the Norsemen (1970) Roger Lancelyn Green. Puffin Classics Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1981) Sharon Publications Arthurian Legends (1998) Marie Trevelyan Celtic Fairy Tales (1998) Joseph Jacobs

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Greek Myths in Fiction

Reworked, revisited, reimagined Greek myths in contemporary fiction. Beneath each book description, a short description of the original myth on which the book is based. Where different versions of the same myth exist, I’ve selected one, and list the other(s) under ‘See Also’. Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg The novel which became movie Angel Heart […]

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A Literary Lockdown

As we watched COVID-19 spread across the globe, few anticipated the impact the pandemic would have on the book world. This blog casts its eye over the good and the bad of the literary lockdown, and at how we have learnt to do things differently. Literary Festivals While many literary events cancelled completely, some notable […]

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Plant Hunters

Plant hunters have been responsible for expanding our scientific knowledge, as well as introducing novel species to Europe. Many of the garden plants with which we are familiar today, came to us as a result of the intrepid explorers who ventured to the farthest and most inhospitable reaches of the Earth. The exploits of these […]

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Lost & Waiting: the Wardian Case

The plants and ecoregions of the world are under threat from urbanization, deforestation, mining, landfill, fire, climate change, plus air, water, and soil pollution. Much fine non-fiction nature writing addresses these issues, but is it preaching to the converted? What of the people for whom these concerns are too factual, too serious, too much to […]

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