Welcome to The Book Lovers’ Sanctuary
Thanks so much for finding the time to drop by here! My name is Michael and I am a father, a reader and writer, a teacher from Dorset in England.
The Book Lovers’ Sanctuary was a blog I set up just for my own personal interest in 2012 with very little idea of what to do with it!
Why did I create it? I love books. I love talking about them and over time this blog has become a place to make friends, to share stories and interests, to hang out and chat. And that is just so brilliant!
My Reading Journey
I cannot recall a time when I did not read, if I am honest and certainly by the time I reached the final years of primary school, I was voracious and perhaps a little obsessive in my reading. I have vivid memories of Stig of the Dump, The Hobbit and Roald Dahl from that time – and of Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree, Famous Five and Secret Seven before then. Books which I devoured but fear would be a little cringeworthy now! One memory that has stuck with me through my life – and isn’t that the magic of reading? – is of Robin Hood dying in bed, injured (possibly poisoned)…
By the time I reached Secondary School, Tolkien had become a minor obsession and The Lord of the Ringsand its various expansions filled a lot of time! The power of books to create whole worlds, detailed, steeped in history, mythology, religion was a revelation – universes unlike our own into which I could escape. And so a love of fantasy was born, a love which has never left me: David Eddings, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (I revisited the Dragonlance books recently, which was perhaps a mistake) flowed into Trudi Canavan and so many other worlds – and now into George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss and Frances Hardinge…
And from a love of fantasy, fairy tales and mythology and the classical canon beckoned me seductively into a the realm of Greek and Roman mythology – I have always loved the Greeks rather than the Roman versions: Heracles over Hercules any day! – and the classics. And thus it was natural to pick up English Literature at A-Level, falling in love with King Lear, Anthony and Cleopatra, T. S. Eliot and Emily Brontë and onto English at the University of Cambridge where it seemed I was expected to read everything! And loved it all!
And where has that left me today? Well after a brief foray into the law and a ten year stint as a barrister, I returned to English and took up teaching it. I continue to love reading and have managed the student book club at our school where it is a real privilege to see young people light up and connect over a love of books. My own reading continues apace and I try to keep up to date with the Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the CILIP Carnegie Medal, The T. S. Eliot and Forward Prizes for Poetry. I adore crime novels – with ambitions (perhaps vague nebulous hopes) of writing my own for NaNoWriMo – and fantasy and weird and speculative fiction, gothic and some of the best contemporary literary fiction around.
So, please do join me as we take the next step on this journey together.