Judging by some of the emails I get it seems that quite a few people visiting this site for the first time come away with the mistaken impression that its sole function is as the home of a book group. I thought I'd better set the record straight.
Cornflower Books is all about books and the wider world of books: writing, publishing, literary festivals and prizes, bookshops, libraries, our reading habits, and so on. It reflects my interests as a lifelong passionate reader whose aim is to spread the word about good writing and books worth reading. Happily, it has a large and loyal following of equally keen readers from many countries, and it functions as a source of recommendations, bookish news and comment, a place where good books of many types and vintages may be found and discussed. Yes, it is home to a book group, too, but that accounts for no more than two or three posts in a month; the rest of the time it's mostly concerned with what I happen to be reading.
Although I went to university to study English (with the vague idea that I might eventually work in publishing), my first year course took all the joy out of the reading of literature and so I ditched it in favour of a degree in Law, a subject I took to wholeheartedly. But the time devoted to legal training and fully-fledged practice has turned out to be well-spent in terms of what I do today; that honing of the analytical faculties and seeing through to the heart of the matter means that when I write about books now - feeling as though I've come full circle in a way - it's always with the aim of being as succinct as possible and getting, if I can, to the essence of the thing. Communication is key, with regular posts saying what I rate and why so that others may discover and enjoy those books for themselves, but I claim no knowledge or experience other than that which my years of writing and talking about books here, in print and on the air have given me.
I hope that all who stop by find this a warm and friendly place, and I do love to hear from readers whether it's by way of a comment or an email - the link to my address is over there on the right. If you're a publisher, publicist or writer wanting to send me a book, do by all means get in touch; a quick glance at a few posts or at the books I've read and written about (see the sidebars or look here for a pretty comprehensive list) should give you a fair idea of typical Cornflower material (there's the original site, too). You may have to wait a while for a reply as I am often inundated, but I do my best to respond, and I read as much of what I'm sent as I can, though these days that's only a small proportion of what comes in.
In whatever capacity you have come to this site, I hope you'll feel welcome and find something here to interest and engage you.