Snippets from Tolkien to Charlie Hebdo to Favourite Opening Lines

A bit of a different blog post today, with links and snippets:


1. Tolkien’s scholarly translation of Beowulf is finally published, this very short article is for any fan of Tolkien or Beowulf, now you can be of both!  Read on… 







2. I remember when reading Michelle Houellebecq’s Whatever that this was a writer whose oeuvre I wanted to go through.  Since I read about his latest book released in French: Submission, I’ve been  looking forward to the English translation.

What struck me about the review is the prophetic vision Houellebecq had of France’s political future, that a far right extremist party would end up head to head in the elections against an Islamic party, only in this future the Islamic party wins and implements Sharia (I’m assuming this as satire, of course).  But what are the odds that on the day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the magazine had Houellebecq’s Submission satirised on its front cover…  Read on…   


Courtesy Library of Congress
Courtesy Library of Congress

3. Anyone who’s had a creative writing course or workshop is bound to recall something like this:  “Your opening first line has to grab and hook the reader immediately into the story.”   Well if you’re curious what famous writers consider to be their favourite opening line then Read on… (I’m afraid mine is like David Gilbert’s “Call me Ishmael”, and as he says, not wholly original but still…)   



Samir4. And finally, you can find my Top 5 reads of 2014 at the American Book Centre blog, with a few other noteworthy titles.  Mine is second from the top, Read on…

Samir Rawas Sarayji


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