No apologies for not posting here for a while – I am engrossed in writing a new book for you – but I do want to share with you the inspiration that some recent reviews have given me.
Some authors claim not to read them. Whether they do or not, reviews are extremely important to an author’s work. For me, it is not the stars and ratings that matter – each reader’s response to a book is subjective and each is measuring something different. I value reviews because they reflect back to me how far my intentions in writing the book have been achieved. Of course, they must be honest reviews. Anything less is of no value to a writer.
The three reviewers featured here each found something slightly different in A Biography of Story, A Brief History of Humanity, but all of them confirm the level of engagement with the power of stories that I was aiming and hoping for. Because stories have played such a vital role in humanity’s cultural history, writing this book was a massive task. It was an exceptional project close to my heart, and I have decided to share with you these reviews that I found so affirming and uplifting. I have quoted extracts and given links to the reviewers’ websites to enable you to read the full reviews, and to browse the other writings of these prolific, well-read book-bloggers.
Read World Books [ @readworldbooks ]
“This is a unique book, and in a good way. It is an enthralling look at us, humanity and how we tell each other stories, and takes as its main character Story itself, giving her a presence that has been with us since the dawn of our species.”
What I liked:
This meticulously-researched book read very easily. The narrative just flowed, and the author did an excellent job making it seamless.
It is structured along a timeline, but also allows you to dip in for referencing (well-compiled index!), which I think will be the long-term appeal of the book.
Brings life to some of the historic figures (e.g. Rabelais, Gutenberg).
I found this book to be a joy to read. It is historical, and a lot of it will be familiar to anyone who is interested in history, but it gives a unique perspective, doesn’t drown the reader in dry or superfluous facts, and reinforces how important telling each other stories is …”
Lost in a Good Book [ @LizanneLloyd ]
“Dedicated, “to all who love Story whoever you are,” this book encompasses storytelling since communication began and covers most corners of the globe. Story is personified, weaving through History, influencing events, and what happens affects the nature of stories.
From early Creation stories of Africa and Australia, we move through legend, myth, saga and fable … Trish Nicholson gives us tantalising details of the lives of so many tellers of tales, but as she says, “Teasing out strands of the old storyteller’s lives is like following a thread through the Cretan labyrinth; the “Minotaur” we discover at the other end may turn out to be a goat rather than a bull.” …
My favourite chapter tells us about Marguerite, Queen of Navarre, the talented sister of the King of France. Her life was varied and eventful, surrounded by poets and writers …
“A Biography of Story” is no boring book of literary criticism, since the author is herself a storyteller. She narrates significant stories to her readers, highlighting the essential strands of each literary era so that the book can be dipped into, using the clear descriptive chapter summaries or the comprehensive index. But perhaps, like me, you would rather tart at the beginning and enjoy reading the entire delightful text.”
Put It In Writing [ @writeanne ]
“To be human is to tell stories. It’s in our human nature to make sense of our lives through the stories we tell ourselves and others. And it’s the development and variety of humanity’s stories that Trish Nicholson explores in her book. She travels from the earliest oral traditions to the crossroads that the digital age has now brought us to …
It ‘s a big ask for a book to live up to such a title but it most certainly does. Each chapter is a delight and there is no stuffy academic prose …
Every chapter has something to commend it but one of my favourites is the one on Sir Walter Scott. Yes, because this is a storyteller whose roots are close to home for me, but also because it’s so absorbing and interesting. And it’s a great example of one superb storyteller telling a great story about another.”
You can find more information on the background and contents of A Biography of Story… here.
And the book is available here.[Please note: A Biography of Story, A Brief History of Humanity was published as a special limited edition; there will be no reprint. If you leave it too long, you could be disappointed.]