David Gaughran does it again. How scammers are twisting the bestseller charts.



Last weekend, I tried three things I’d never done before.

I did not regret any of them. (More of that later.)

Your challenge this weekend , should you wish to accept it, is to try something new.

It’s a risky business, choosing what to read.

So what if I were to tell you we’ve hand-picked a dozen books we think you’ll like. And to prove our confidence, you can have them for free.

All of them or pick the ones you fancy. There’s something for everyone.



Adventure, historical fiction, short stories, drama, laughter, romance, mystery, heart-racers and heart-melters.

Strong women, passionate women, courageous women, clever women, mysterious women and smart women.
Best of all, you don’t actually have to be a woman to enjoy this opportunity.

Free Reads for Smart Women

Find out more about each exceptional book in this two-minute video:


As for my adventures?


I had a go at parkour (good fun but bruising), took an exam in Italian (passed by the seat of my pantaloni) and ate a persimmon (previously put off by the name Kaki fruit).

 This weekend, I shall be reading, eating Mexican food and deciding on a title for Book 6.
Have a great weekend!



I suppose the thing is, it’s hard to live a good life. It’s energetically demanding to keep negative emotions at bay, to remain open and inclusive, to feel ready to tackle difficult problems that have no simple solutions, to refrain from judging . Whereas it is so easy to fall into catastrophising, into resentment and […]

via The Self-Sabotage of the West — Tales from the Reading Room

We haven’t come a long way, we’ve come a short way.  If we hadn’t come a short way, no one would be calling us baby.  ~Elizabeth Janeway

Maybe it’s because I’m poorly, but I’m having a ‘What’s the point?’ day today.

A couple of months ago, amid some good-natured disagreement about the lyrics of Eminem, I asked if some kind of time slip had occurred and the 80s had never happened.

That feeling is back.

I recall fighting sexism and wearing the feminist tag with pride in 1985. Back then I thought that if we hadn’t exactly won the battle, we’d claimed some decent territory. And in the words of Yazz, The Only Way Is Up.

I may have erred on the optimistic side. In 2011, I have the distinct impression that sexism is IN again. Much like wearing fur. (Oooh, don’t get me started.) What next? Is slavery set for a comeback?

Didn’t we achieve something in the last twenty-five years in the field of gender equality? Or am I, like Bobby Ewing, emerging dripping and confused from a particularly colourful dream?

Firstly, this.


One of Catherine Hakim’s outlandish assertions, and they are legion, is that women have been prevented from “capitalising on their erotic potential” by Christianity, feminists and patriarchs. Now there’s a conspiracy theory I’d not heard before.

I came away with the reassuring message that if only I starve myself, get a manicure, whiten my teeth, maintain a fake tan and cut my tops as low as is decent, I too can marry a footballer.

Part of the problem is the acceptability of casual sexism disguised as irony. http://www.periscopepost.com/2011/09/topman-pulls-nice-new-girlfriend-what-breed-is-she-t-shirt-after-twitter-outrage/

Yes, Sir Philip Green will be doing without my hard-earned quids from now on (I can hear him sobbing all the way from Monaco), but the worst element is that his design team thinks this will appeal to today’s young Top Man. And I’ll bet they’ve done their research. My little sister, who now works with women escaping domestic violence, will be thrilled.

Finally (by which I mean this is the last link I’m going to share, a thousandfold more instances await the half-arsed surfer), a shining example of how to sell a woman’s book. (Women’s book, book by woman, book about being a woman – what’s the difference, guys?)


Even the author thought it typical of the shallow, frivolous covers of most “commercialwomensfiction” which is publisher-speak for chick-lit. The awful irony is that Courtney’s book attempts to expose the reduction of women to sexual caricatures and culture of misogny prevalent in ‘lads’ magazines. No wonder she’s saying Ta-ta to Rupert Murdoch and going back to self-publishing.

I have to go now. I need to apply some fake tan and find my Wonderbra.