The Red Gene
My second novel, ‘The Red Gene’, will be published by Urbane Publications in April. Already available for pre-order on Amazon.
“This fine historical novel traces the intergenerational legacies of the Spanish civil war through two groups of families, English and Spanish. At the narrative core is an English nurse who volunteered in the civil war, was caught in the violence of the Republican defeat and eventually returned to Britain. The parallel narrative follows three generations of Spanish families whose lives, unknowingly but irrevocably, were intertwined with Rose’s Spanish experiences. The author, an English writer and long- resident in Granada, effortlessly evokes the powerful ethos of the civil war and of life during the dictatorship and the post-Franco transition to democracy. Quite simply, this is an enthralling novel with real historical heft.” –Judith Keene, University of Sydney
Elemental: How the Periodic Table Can Now Explain (Nearly) Everything
(Taken from Amazon)
Tim James, the secondary-school science teacher we all wish we’d had, provides an accessible and wonderfully entertaining ‘biography of chemistry’ that uses stories to explain the positions and patterns of elements in the periodic table. Many popular science titles tend to tell the history of scientific developments, leaving the actual science largely unexplained; James, however, makes use of stories to explain the principles of chemistry within the table, showing its relevance to everyday life.
Quirkily illustrated and filled with humour, this is the perfect book for students wanting to learn chemistry or for parents wanting to help, but it is also for anyone who wants to understand how our world works at a fundamental level. The periodic table, that abstract and seemingly jumbled graphic, holds (nearly) all the answers.
Update - marriage, awards and publication
What was it for:
Hiranmayee Mishra sent the following message which was lovely to receive.
“Hi, a very warm wish from India. I left York in 2011. Since then not a single day passed when I didn’t remember my university, the city and my loving friends. I have just now written a novel based on my England life. Its now on stands and highly appreciated by the readers. We had a release event of the book in September. September is also our month of marriage and we celebrated our 25th marriage anniversary this time. The pic I am sharing is from our silver jubilee anniversary album.I am very excited to share that I have been awarded by IIE, USA an alumni award for working on issues related to transgenders.
Hope to read all yours stories.
'Learning to have Lost'
During September 2018 Oz was International Poet in Residence at the Poetry on the Move: Inhabiting Language Festival in Canberra, delivering workshops and taking part in panel discussions and academic sessions on prose poetry. While he was there, his new chapbook of prose poems, ‘Learning to have Lost,’ was published by the International Poetry studies Institute at the University of Canberra. It was the culmination of an exciting year in which Oz has read and given talks in the UK, Europe, and USA following the publication of his sixth full collection, ‘The House of Ghosts and Mirrors‘ (Valley Press) in 2017. Oz is currently co-editing an anthology of contemporary British prose poetry for publication in May 2019, and working towards a full collection of my own prose poetry early in 2020.
Ours is a restless age. At one extreme, 24/7 corporate culture and social media addiction leave many unable to literally and metaphorically switch off; at the other, millions are roaming continents in fear of their lives while looking for a safe place to rest. In Sleepless, poet Julia Deakin tirelessly questions how we have come to this exhausting impasse.
Her hard-hitting, wryly humorous and intensely humane collection probes our emotions, digs deep for grains of common sense and plumbs the depths of our conscience to ascertain how truly awake we are.
Deakin’s work has drawn consistent praise from nationally-renowned poets. ‘Crafted, tender poems, written with passion and purpose,’ said Simon Armitage of her first collection, Without a Dog (Graft, 2008). Anne Stevenson ‘read it straight through at a single sitting’ enjoying its ‘mature wit and wisdom’. ‘Real linguistic inventiveness’ said Ian McMillan. ‘Bold, irreverent and wickedly funny,’ said Alison Brackenbury of her Poetry Business Competition winner, The Half-Mile-High-Club.
MMU Professor of Poetry Michael Symmons Roberts appraised Eleven Wonders (http://www/graftpoetry.co.uk) as ‘Powerful, assured, elegant. Her formal skill and inventiveness make this a rich and eclectic collection. Those who, like me, have admired her individual poems in the past, will be struck by their cumulative strength and range.’
Of Sleepless, Gillian Clarke (National Poet of Wales 2008-2016) says: ‘From the first poem’s quiet lyricism to the final poem’s dazzling thirty sentences, these are witty, sometimes experimental, always musical, sharp-eyed, intelligent poems that ring in this reader’s mind. A fine collection.’
Deakin was born in Nuneaton and worked her way north to Yorkshire where she taught, married, did a Poetry MA and took up ice skating. A compelling reader, she has featured twice on Poetry Please and won numerous competitions – none of them for skating.
Oak Fish Island
Oliver Comins has published his first, long anticipated, full-length book of poetry called ‘Oak Fish Island.’ A selection of twentieth century work is included plus many previously uncollected poems written more recently.
Alexandra Southwood is missing. Her husband is beside himself, or at least he appears to be. She has vanished into thin air; the only traces left are her bloodied clothes by the riverside. It isn’t long before the police are searching for a body.
But we know that she is alive. That she is being kept somewhere far from her family. That perhaps this wife and mother wasn’t quite what she seemed . . .
Be warned: this isn’t another missing-woman thriller. This is something far more shocking . . .
Discover a wilder side to London with this guidebook of 25 walks in and around the capital’s green spaces and nature reserves. Covering both central and Greater London, they explore woods and forests, royal parks and heaths, canals and rivers. The walks range from 4 to 14 miles and take up to six hours to complete.
London is a city of 8 million people and 8 million trees, and its vast open spaces are home to 13,000 species of wildlife. This guide takes in all four corners including Epping Forest, Hampstead Heath, the World Heritage site of Kew Gardens and Wimbledon Common and showcases a greener, more gentle side to the city.
Using the rivers as a guide, the book is divided into four sections, and includes a wealth of information about the wildlife, history and conservation of each area. Each walk is illustrated with an OS map at a scale of 1:25,000, and includes a route description, public transport information and photos. There is also a handy route summary table.
How Much Brain Do We Really Need?
Your brain is shrinking. Does it matter?
How Much Brain Do We Really Need? challenges us to think differently about the brain. Rather than just concentrating on the many wonderful things it can do, this entertaining insight into the complexities and contradictions of the human brain asks whether in fact we can live satisfactorily without some of it.
The bad news is that our brains start to shrink from our mid-thirties. But the good news is that we still seem to generally muddle along and our brain is able to adapt in extraordinary ways when things going wrong.
Alexis Willett and Jennifer Barnett shed light on what the human brain can do – in both optimal and suboptimal conditions – and consider what it can manage without. Through fascinating facts and figures, case studies and hypothetical scenarios, expert interviews and scientific principles, they take us on a journey from the ancient mists of time to the far reaches of the future, via different species and lands.
Is brain training the key to healthy ageing? Do women really experience baby brain? Is our brain at its evolutionary peak or do we have an even more brilliant future to look forward to? We discover the answers to these questions and more.
The Making of a Salafi Muslim Woman: Paths to Conversion
The spread of Salafism―often referred to as Wahhabism―in the West has intrigued and alarmed observers since the attacks of 9/11. Many see it as a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that condones the subjugation of women and fuels Jihadist extremism. This view depicts Salafi women as the hapless victims of a fanatical version of Islam. Yet in Britain, growing numbers of educated women―often converts or from less conservative Muslim backgrounds―are actively choosing to embrace Salafism’s literalist beliefs and strict regulations, including heavy veiling, wifely obedience, and seclusion from non-related men. How do these young women reconcile such difficult demands with their desire for university education, fulfilling careers, and suitable husbands? How do their beliefs affect their love lives and other relationships? And why do they become Salafi in the first place?
Anabel Inge has gained unprecedented access to Salafi womens groups in the United Kingdom to provide the first in-depth account of their lives. Drawing on more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork in London, she examines why Salafism is attracting so many young Somalis, Afro-Caribbean converts, and others. But she also reveals the personal dilemmas they confront. This ground-breaking, lucid, and richly detailed book will be of vital interest to scholars, policy-makers, journalists, and general readers.
Holmes Volume 1 - Sherlock Holmes: Enigma, Detective, Boro Lad
Six short stories inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. What if Sherlock Holmes, with his dry wit and natural predilection for data, deduction and logic, had been born on Teesside and lived in present-day Middlesbrough?
This smart-arse Boro lad hides his talents under a bushel of misdirection, self-deprecation and good old Teesside sarcasm, served up with some rather coarse language.
With the assistance of his associate, Doctor John Watson, a psychologist he met during some court-ordered counselling sessions, Holmes wends his way through a string of adventures, baffling and entertaining as he goes, with many a three-pint problem solved over his favourite libation, a pint of Engineer’s Thumb in the Twisted Lip, before he staggers back to Flat 1B, 22 Baker Street, Middlesbrough.
The Historiography of Gladstone and Disraeli
The Historiography of Gladstone and Disraeli traces the often sharply differing perspectives historians have formed on key incidents in the careers of the two foremost politicians of the Victorian age – Gladstone and Disraeli. It follows the parallel careers of the two men, focusing on a series of contentious questions, ranging from why Disraeli opposed Corn Law repeal in 1846 and why Gladstone abandoned his High Tory politics for Peelism, to whether Disrsaeli was truly an imperialist and why Gladstone took up the cause of Irish Home Rule. By juxtaposing the contrasting interpretations of historians, the book illustrates how history is a continually evolving subject in which every generation poses new questions or reformulates answers to old ones – encouraging students to realize that history is an ongoing dialogue to which they are called upon to contribute.