Monday, 22 February 2016

Books Unlocked: Snuff and Temperance

From the author
One piece of advice given to authors is to write about what they know. I am not sure I was aware of this when I created Snuff and Temperance. But I have somehow followed the suggestion anyway, consciously or otherwise. While Luton is my home town and I have lived and worked here for most of my life, it may not be the Luton that you, as a potential reader know. Even amongst fellow Lutonians, we may have shared the same space, time and oxygen but your town may look, feel and smell differently to mine. So this is not an attempt at a definitive description of living in this corner of Bedfordshire or an attempt to capture the ‘real’ Luton, whatever that may be. Rather, it is a set of fictions that I have put together over the years for my own entertainment and, hopefully if you have a read, yours too. 


Monday, 1 February 2016

6 Book Challenge - Luton Display

6 Book Challenge

The Couples - a review

The Couples by Forrest Dunbar reviewed by a member of staff

A clever piece of characterisation, if somewhat stereotypical. We are introduced to three sets of neighbours, two distinguished by their religion: Catholic and Jewish and the third main couple, Clifford and Christine.
We follow their lives through suburbia, Christine a psychiatrist, who has recovered from illness to recommence her home counselling, is neighbour, friend and counsellor to the other two women in the novel, Lydia a menopausal woman who is married to a stingy, unappreciative Jewish husband. Sarah, who is living with her devout Catholic boyfriend. For obvious reasons she feels neglected and unloved. Clifford and Christine, however have a successful loving relationship. They try their best to support and generate goodwill between the three sets of neighbours putting up with their nuances.
The farce unfurls and we are faced with some very comedic situations, relationships become tense and strained, with a smattering of infidelity. With an overall undertone of goodwill, I laughed out loud on several occasions!

A competent first attempt at comedy by someone so young. Three cheers for Forrest!

6 Book Challenge - The Couples

My name is Forrest Dunbar and I am currently studying English Literature on the Bedford Campus. Reading and writing has always been a main passion of mine, I could not visualise what a world would be like without fiction… Well I could, it would be unimaginatively boring and dull like the TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

In September, 2013, my siblings went back to school and suddenly (for a change), I had the house to myself. This was a blessing as it finally gave me a chance to write something. Firstly, I write in an unconventional way. I write about whatever enters my mind at that current time, if what I am writing seems interesting I pursue it but if I get bored quickly and I have no motivation to continue, I scrap the story and start again. When I started The Couples everything seemed to fall into place; the characters developed their own personalities, making the writing aspect for me enjoyable. When I got so far into the book that is when I stop and plan what lies ahead for the characters.
Nothing greatly inspired me for the characters; they just formed in my head. I have always been fascinated by relationships and extreme stereotypes; I particularly had great fun caricaturing the ridiculousness of extreme stereotypes, it makes good comedy.

I have future novels in mind that have inspired me from certain situations and events but there will be more to say once they materialise.

6 Book Challenge - Bedford Library Display

You can see that the display has suggestions on what to read for the 6 book challenge and a suggestions box for anything you always wanted to know about the library but didn't have the time to ask. Answers will be posted on next month's blog.

February - Books Unlocked

February's Books Unlocked theme is the 6 Book (reads) Challenge and celebration of National Libraries day Saturday 6 February.

6 Book Challenge: Can you read 6 books (outside Uni work) in one month? Bit of a tall order so how about 6 pieces of leisure reading ie books poems, blog, magazine... you define it let us know 6 things between 1 - 29 February.
email your challenge results to

National Libraries Day: Top crime writer Ann Cleeves and a host of writers and artists will join local library communities for a week of special activities to mark National Libraries Day, Saturday 6 February. Now in its fifth year, the annual celebration highlights the importance of libraries as vitally important public services which are loved by individuals and communities everywhere.

Ann is an award-winning crime writer and creator of hit TV series Shetland and Vera. Her GALAXY® Quick Reads, Too Good To Be True, will be published on 4 February and has been selected as one of the 2016 World Book Night titles. She said:

"Libraries matter. If we believe in equality of opportunity we must fight not just for the buildings but for the range of books inside and the skilled staff who can promote reading in all its forms. Not only do libraries encourage us to be more tolerant and better informed, they contribute enormously to the wealth of the nation.

"If you're not a member join on National Libraries Day. It's easy and it's free. If you are, go along and choose a title that you might not otherwise have picked. Share the excitement of everyone who's greedy for reading. Help us to celebrate this wonderful institution."