August 13, 2017

I wrote a feature on our hunger for reading for The Independent in Ireland: 'A guide for hungry bibliophiles'.

Starting with the voracious literary appetites of Albert Camus, I discuss how we can eat well, so to speak.

Camus consumed words, and then digested their fantas...

August 7, 2017

There was a generous and elegant review of The Art of Reading in Bookanista this weekend: 'A biblical paradise', by Mika Provata-Carlone.

At the very end of the book, having offered us rare instruction into the art of reading, colourful admonition against its pitfalls a...

August 7, 2017

I recently had a great chat to Jeremy from Comics Watchtower about comics and general geekery. You can listen to the conversation here.

We begin with The Art of Reading, and my picture books, then learning to read with Asterix (and why I'm a better parent than my parent...

July 31, 2017

What does "virtue signalling" mean? And is it a helpful idea in conversation?

My latest essay for The New Philosopher discusses this popular concept.

Certain phrases are epitaphs for good debate. The conversation might continue, but in a deadened form: a petty spat, or s...

July 27, 2017

I recently had a piece on The Art of Reading in the UK's The Big Issue magazine: 'How to get into reading'.

What you are doing right now is astonishing: reading.

We often take it for granted, because the basic skills are gained so early. By the time we’re adults, the let...

July 25, 2017

 How do writers live?

We're familiar with festival performances or Hollywood tropes. But how do actual authors negotiate money, career, marriage, parenthood and identity?

A little while ago, Ruth Quibell and I spoke to a number of writers from Australia and abroad (chief...

July 18, 2017

Not long ago I wrote a short essay for Island magazine #145: 'Stupid Idiots'. It's on Australia's political slurs, and how maddeningly unambitious they are.

I'm suggesting we try harder to insult one another, starting with these two recommendations: 'stupid' and 'idio...

July 7, 2017

Long before I heard a clerk spelling out 'C-A-R-L M-A-R-K-S' in a Borders many years ago, I had my doubts about the big chain bookstores. When I'm seeking new spoils--from novels to philosophy, poetry to comics--I try to support independent bookshops.

But why?...

June 27, 2017

Dear bibliophiles of the UK: to celebrate Independent Bookshop Week (#IBW2017), The Art of Reading is now out in a limited signed and numbered edition. It's only available at independent bookshops, until the general release in August. 

The Art of Reading is not a '...

June 27, 2017

I recently collaborated with Audible Australia to record a new essay on the philosophy of love.

Prompted by recent (and sometimes absurd) debates about marriage equality, Audible have partnered with the Equality Campaign to record a free audiobook on love, romance, part...

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