Tom Gates quit his day job managing bands and took off on a worldwide adventure. He funded his way around the world writing freelance articles for various travel websites -- making his way through twelve countries in twelve months. Wayward is the amalgamation of those columns - a short and snappy book full of vignettes of travel adventures and people met on his wayward year away from the real world.
William Stoner, from an outsider’s perspective, has lived a dull and unfulfilled life. Growing up on a farm in Missouri hard work was engrained on every line on his parent’s face; despite only being in their early twenties when they had their son farm-life soon meant that their faces were hollow and their hair prematurely grey. He enrolled at the University of Missouri in the new agricultural course; at first he was fascinated by the magical properties of soil to which he was oblivious, but it was the compulsory course in English Literature which changed his life forever. As the tutor asks questions about Shakespearean sonnets he unwittingly awakens a lifelong love of literature in Stoner. Soon Stoner’s agricultural degree is an English one and memories of his farm-life are forgotten.
This may sound silly - but I could not have stumbled across this poem at a more fitting moment than when I did. I am at the stage in my life, close to finishing University, where lots of decisions are being made about my future. I've noticed there's a tendency amongst my fellow students (and myself) to watch what everyone else is doing...to see if we're doing enough...if we're doing the 'right' thing. All of these magical moments are being overlooked because we're far too busy watching one another. Sadly, I think that this can be the case for the rest of our lives if we're not careful, and this poem certainly put me in my place - something I couldn't be happier about. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Since 2009 Shaun Usher has been compiling what he describes as ‘correspondence deserving of a wider audience’ on his blog Letters of Note: a celebration of an outmoded method of communication in a modern way.
Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Abby Clements is the story of two childhood friends: Laurie and Rachel living polar opposite lives the women, now in their mid-thirties, are counting down the days to two very different Christmases.
Sure, the book lover in your life would probably love a new book for Christmas but if they're anything like me then they probably already have quite a large 'to-read' list already (buying / finding / borrowing books is never a problem when you have a borderline addiction!) But there are so many quirky gifts which book-lovers would swoon over; here are a few of my favourites. If you have any suggestions please pop a link in the comments - there is no such thing as too many ideas when it comes to buying gifts! ;)