All items: J.R.R. Tolkien

It is sometimes hard to distinguish between memorable books and inspiring books. I remember books for various reasons, often to do with characterisation and dialogue.

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.

I was a greedy reader but then I found that reading alone wasn't enough to fuel my writing, so I became something of a spy in the house of those I loved, and would keep an incriminating journal.
Choosing books indiscriminately by weight as much as content, I wanted to find books that were heavy enough to keep me going until my visit the following week and I didn't risk wasting my precious allocation of books on something slim.
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.
Could artificial intelligence and big data predict the bestsellers of the future, asks Brian Clegg. Or would these algorithmic dark arts lead only to cookie-cutter bland titles, instead of original fiction.
I don't mind admitting to reading it several times into my late teens. It seems strange now to think I read the Moomins alongside Lovecraft or Tolkien.
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