October is by far the best month of the year.

There’s #stoptober to stop smoking, #soberoctober raising money for Macmillan Cancer Research, not to mention my birthday.

I’ve also just discovered Books Are My Bag, a campaign celebrating brick and mortar bookshops. They’ve come up with the fairly catchy #bookadayuk meme for October – and I’ll be taking part.

For October 1st – a book to curl up in front of a fire with – I am going to go for one of my all-time favourites: The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.

What’s yours?

(Psst! Follow me on twitter @am_harte!)


Charity Anthology: Christmas Lites III

If you’re anything like me, you’ll already have 95% of your Christmas shopping done.

I know what you can spend that last 5% on.

For the third year running, Amy Eye (of The Eyes For Editing) has organised a Christmas Lites anthology.

As with previous years, all profits go to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

After spending an hour last night battling with the tree lights and fluffing some artificial branches, I can’t think of anything better than to curl up with a good book for a great cause.

Christmas Lites III anthology

Christmas Lites III The Christmas season is upon us yet again. Yes, my friends, it is a time of giving, loving, and sharing. Within these pages is a way you can help many people desperately in need of love, support, and goodness: the victims of domestic crime. By purchasing this anthology, you are sending every last dime made off this book to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The NCADV is an amazing charity that saves these people and lets them know there is still hope, still goodness, and still a reason to carry on.

Twenty-one authors have joined in this year, giving their time and their stories to these people – and to you. We all hope you enjoy our holiday tales captured in bite-size pieces. Whether you read this on the bus, before bed, or snuggled by the fire, please, do read – and share.

Grab your copy today:

7 Reasons Books Are Like Zombies

  1. Zombies love brains.
    So do books. In fact, books love brains so much that reading can make your brain activity increase, leading to wanting more books, leading to more braininess… Mmm, brains.

  2. Zombies shouldn’t be judged by their external appearance.
    Sure, they’re rotted and decaying, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have hearts. Just like books with crap covers. Don’t blame them.

  3. Zombies should be handled with care.
    Related to #2, zombies can fall apart, losing fingers and eyeballs. Do you want your book’s cover to fall off? To tear the pages? To fold the corners and (gasp!) bend the spine? Don’t do it where I can see you.

  4. Zombies are often more famous after death.
    Excluding zombie celebrities, most zombies are fairly average Joe’s during their human life. But posthumously… that’s another matter entirely. You didn’t think they’d written Pride & Prejudice & Zombies for the lulz, did you?

  5. There are various genres of zombie.
    There’s the classic slow-moving, dim-witted type. The falling-apart type. The I Am Legend wannabe-vampires type. Instant transformation vs long incubation. And in Hungry For You I even chucked in some swimming zombies and zombie swans. You name it, we got it.

  6. The good zombies are infectious.
    It wouldn’t be a good zombie story if only one man was susceptible. The best zombies spread like the PLAGUE. In fact they spread like bestselling books. First one guy’s reading it on the train, then all of a sudden everyone has a copy.

  7. Zombies decay… but last forever.
    One of the coolest things about zombies is their duality: undead, but dying. Books may fall apart, but their stories live on forever.

Can you think of another reason to add to the list?

The Last Question and A Pail of Air

A short and sweet blog today to point you to two excellent science fiction short stories: The Last Question by Isaac Asimov, and A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber.

1. A Pail of Air by Fritz Leiber

There is no atmosphere… bitter cold… only way you can breathe is to dig up a pail of liquid oxygen and heat it…

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the Earth has been dragged far from the sun’s orbit, this is one creepy little tale that nonetheless grabbed — and held! — my attention. Well, I say it’s creepy, but then it takes an unexpected twist. You’ll have to read it to find out.

Read it now.

2. The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Several trillion years of human history in the space of a short story…

Perhaps a little less immediately accessible, but a really interesting take on the creation of the universe.

Read it now.

What did you think of these stories?

Meme: A Day In Books

Stolen from Jessica of The Bookworm Chronicles.

The rules: Fill in the story with the titles of books you’ve read this year. No repeating allowed! It’s harder than it looks.

* * *

My Day In Books

I began the day catching fire, before breakfasting on freedom beer and admiring the mockingjay.

On my way to work I saw a game of thrones and walked by Wuthering Heights to avoid a clash of kings, making sure to stop at Dragonquest.

In the office, my boss said, “The dark enquiry,” and sent me to research arcane solutions.

At lunch with the Vanished Man, I noticed Cameo the Assassin in the dark road to Darjeeling greatly enjoying stories about things.

Then, on the journey home, I contemplated becoming a writer because I have one day and am drawn to the whispers of daemon.

Settling down for the evening in the chameleon’s shadow, I studied winter in Madrid by Crows and other stories before saying goodnight, darkness falls.

* * *

You know you want to have a go… Drop a link to your day in books in the comments!