Words in Progress


Words in Progress

Thursdays I’m on the front desk with Miriam who has never read a book in her life, but has a 99.9% rating for library fine collection.

An elderly man approaches. Please let him ask about a book.

Man: I think I left my scarf in the library.

Miriam: You’ll need to describe it Sir.

Me: It’ll be one of those things you wrap around and around your neck. (Opens drawer.)

Miriam: (Hand on drawer.) He’s supposed to describe it first.

We are surrounded by a sea of words, a wide wondrous ocean of love and learning, and I am drowning in banality.

M J Lewis 2016

Love your library! I am lucky enough to have two wonderful libraries nearby where I can work, relax, socialise and READ. I also spend not-so-idle moments watching and listening.

Welcome all to Rochelle‘s Friday Flash Fiction bonanza, with a photo this week from Lucy Fridkin. (Please note the photo is copyright and should only be used in conjunction with Friday Fiction or with the photographer’s permission.) To sail away on a sea of fiction follow this link.

Reading in bed is…


Reading in bed is…

Helen Fielding reading Pride and Prejudice

Yummy! Sexy uniformed scoundrel vs. deeply feeling real man with hard exterior. Proposal, refusal, a letter; huge house, proposal, ah…(Plus lots of and lots of dancing!!!)

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy reading Bridget Jones’s Diary

Stimulating. Dashing scoundrel or man of oak with deep reserves, like English oak bookcase? No war – both survive. Bridget chooses one, chooses other. (Note to self: cut battles, have Natasha take up smoking? Find out: what are Christmas jumpers, big knickers?)

Jane Austen reading War and Peace

Bad for the eyes. Catch it later on the Drama Channel.

M J Lewis ©2016

Here is my entry to Friday Fiction. Thanks as always to our superb hard-working host Rochelle.


We’ve been treated to a BBC version of War and Peace here in the UK on Sunday nights (American actor Paul Dano fantastic as dithering idealist Pierre) and I’m clearly having withdrawal symptoms.

Enjoying Sandra Crook’s photo and running with the possibilities of time travel. Kind of, who would you invite to your dream bookclub: Helen Fielding (creator of Bridget Jones) for Pride and Prejudice; Tolstoy for Bridget Jones’s Diary and Jane Austen for everything else – except don’t forget to get out the best teacups and allow plenty of time to catch up with the gossip with Jane.

(And at the risk of this post rivaling War and Peace in its length, here is a further explanation for those bemused rather than amused.

The first part is Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones’s Diary, reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The second part is Leo Tolstoy reading Bridget Jones’s Diary,  which is loosely based on Pride and Prejudice. The third part is Jane Austen not reading War and Peace – and who can blame her  – by candlelight and written some fifty years after her death.

As an added treat watch out for the film version of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which stars Lily James who happened to play Natasha in the BBC version of War and Peace.

If you have been, thanks for reading. MJL)

What will you be reading?

summer solstice

What will you be reading this summer?

It had to be too good to be true! As August approaches the rain has set in here in the South of England.  Sad for the younger bucket-and-spade brigade, but for me reading in the garden can be replaced by reading on the sofa.

And here’s a round-up of what’s to hand.

The Leipzig Affair by Fiona Rintoul (also at wee press)

Sex and survival, love and betrayal – the political really is personal, and vice versa – in Germany before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A riveting dual narrative. I switched off the BBC book at bedtime version so I could read it and now I’m reading it for the second time. It’s written in English by a Scottish journalist and translator with an extensive knowledge of Germany. Would love to know if it rings true for any German readers out there. I loved it the first time and it’s standing up to a more thorough, more gently paced second reading.

Bertie Plays the Blues by Alexander McCall Smith

In another vein altogether, although also a Scottish author. I read on a short train journey to work and need quick twelve-minute fixes.  So for a bit of fun I’ll dip into one of McCall Smith’s many books – just depends what the second-hand shop has on offer. (Sorry Alexander, but you are doing a great public service. Does anyone know of a UK second-hand bookshop without an A. McCall Smith on the shelves?) A cast of entertaining characters, a slightly rickety plot (often involving art in some way) and the occasional cameo appearance by another author, e.g. Ian Rankin in the bath – what’s not to like? My daughter and I are fans of Freddie De la Hay (ex-sniffer dog and ex-vegetarian) from Corduroy Mansions in London and Bertie (lovely boy with a lovely but wet father and ghastly controlling mother) from Scotland Street in Edinburgh. Looking forward to a burst of Bertie this August.

I can highly recommend any of the Jackson Brody detective mysteries by Kate Atkinson – great rainy day, stay in bed reads.  And do buy the BBC covers – Jason Isaacs really is Jackson Brodie! The best cliff-hanger scene ever is somewhere in there – involving an expensive birthday car and a vicar. Might have to re-read the whole lot to find that scene again – that’s when I get back the ones I’ve lent out. (You know who you are!) In the meantime I’ll be re-reading (I like to get value for money) Life After Life by the same author.  A ridiculous premise – that the heroine lives again and again and gradually realises this – is carried off with amazing aplomb.  Essentially a wartime story, but one that poses the intriguing question, what would you do if you could live again, and again? Shoot Hitler maybe? And would that work? Contains the best (and possible only) joke concerning a pair of surgical scissors if you stick with it. Now if that’s not a recommendation…

Will actually be leaving the house at some stage to travel to France and before doing so will be loading up the Kindle and hoping to enjoy a few titles by fellow bloggers:

Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Please Say Kaddish for me by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields

HitList by K Rawson

Leave by Kurt Brindley

And finally I have a terrible guilty confession – yes, I have bought my own book (Dream Girl by Miranda Lewis) for the sheer fun of clicking a button and there it is! But I haven’t gone as far as reviewing it myself. At a mere 99p (that’s about 1p per 400 words!) it’s great value. Hope it can become part of your summer reading. If you do read it, let me know what you think, or leave a review on Amazon. (US Amazon link here.)

Here’s my second review:

An intriguing read, which held my interest from start to finish – Miranda has managed to intertwine two very different protagonists excellently – with all key questions answered at the end, whilst still leaving you wanting to know more… A fantastic summer read!

If you have been, thanks for reading. What are you reading this season?