All items: C.S. Lewis

James McConnachie looks back on the gender bifurcation of childhood reading - and reminds us not to underestimate the gender-transcending power of the empathetic imagination.

Mark McCrum leads us into the strange world of the ghost writer, whose perilous path encounters both too little and too much material, and where the famous subjects of ghost-written autobiographies can co-operate or not.

Style and form are all find and dandy, I'm sure they do wonders for my poor old brain, but sometimes I hanker after a good story. Luckily there are plenty of them about, and some happen to be beautifully written too.
Reading habits become part of our legacy. A family that reads together passes down a wonderful inheritance; words enveloped in love, and thus given meaning.
I still employ that childhood sweet-shop approach of chancing upon an author I like then consuming all her, or his, books one after another until they are gone.
Funny isn't it how you don't consider for a second that you can be a writer even though it's what you love doing the most? Well you can, and please don't take as long as I did to realise it.
As a sub-editor spending my days honing other people's articles, I came to understand that bad words were only the beginning of the writing process. Brilliance lay not in writing perfectly first time round but in having the patience and skill to rework.
I don't know exactly when I gave up pretensions to being a serious reader, but the crime and children's books scattered around my bed indicate my current diet; I justify them on the grounds that I write both.