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12 Books for Christmas

My gift to you for this festive season is a set of recommendations. Christmas reads I think you'll love. Sharp-eyed readers will see No. 7 is missing. That's because it's mine.

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Two countries separated by a common language

When I first started out as an author, I joined various critique sites to get feedback on how I could improve. It was a bruising but educational experience. One of things that frustrated me was the number of times people found ‘typos’ in my work, which weren’t typos at all, but the UK spelling of ‘traveller’, ‘dialogue’ or ‘theatre’.

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Snow Angel

Here in Switzerland, it’s Altwiebersommer (Old Ladies’ Summer). Colours are brighter, sunlight is golden and warm afternoons chase away the mists of morning. Apples ripen on the bough and wasps

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Nature: Respect

There's nothing quite like two weeks in Alaska to make you feel small. As in puny, insignificant, vulnerable and awed. The sheer scale of the 49th State takes your breath away

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“I mis-spoke.”

Should writers approach language as an untouchable set of rules, regarding idioms and phrases as sacrosanct? For me, the fabulous set of tools we are granted as English speakers is a gift. Our literature and conversation would be poorer without the creativity and inventiveness of those who stretch its elasticity.

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