Though it can often feel this way, and so it should as we grow as readers and indeed people, our favourite books, I think, are not the ones that we’re reading at the moment and love, but those that have shaped our reading and our lives. Here’s five books, in no particular order, that have stayed with me and shaped mine thus far:
Blood and Sand Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Within a Budding Grove Marcel Proust
The Trial Franz Kafka
Death in the Afternoon Ernest Hemingway
Moominpappa at Sea Tove Jansson
* * *
Here’s some picks by other Open Penners:
Anna Harvey (Executive Editor) picks The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
James King (Online Editor) picks The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Celebrate World Book Day by getting down to your local bookshop and buying yourself a book that, might, in time, shape your life.
Thanks to every that made it out to Hackney to celebrate ten issues of Open Pen. Onward we go.
A few things to look out for: Issue Eleven is coming up, and whilst you can submit to Open Pen at any time, if you want your submission to make it into contention for Issue Eleven, out at the end of March, you’ll need to get your submission to us by the 28th of February.
You’ll also notice that we now run a weekly column on this very site, with articles penned by a variety of writers, aspiring and established. To discuss a potential article with us, contact our web editor James King at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a look at some of the articles recently published to get an idea of our range in style.
The tube strike is off, which is god news for Thursday’s live event in Hackney. We’re excited about this event, it’s more action-packed with “unstuffy literary performances” (as one reviewer put it) than ever before. We’re celebrating ten issues after all. We’re greying around the brow, by print literary magazine standards.
As well as the usual readings, literary comedy, Beat Jazz, and live microfiction, we’ve also got a special five-minute play titled ‘Published’. In addition to the live content, there’s drinks available throughout the night, and all at an eye-wideningly-wateringly cheap price.
To give you all enough time to get down there, we’re opening the doors at 7:30pm, and the actual show won’t start till about 8pm. Should all be finished by about 10pm at the latest, which will give you enough time to get back. You can get a drink downstairs from about 7pm, early arrivals.
For information on the best way to get to the venue check out TFL or contact us at email@example.com and we’ll find a good route for you.
More details on the event here.
To celebrate ten issues of Open Pen, we’re holding another live event in Hackney at the Hackney United Services Club. Tickets for the event are now on sale. As ever, tickets will be available on the door for anyone wishing to pay cash. By that token, the bar does not accept card, so please bring cash if you plan on whistle-wetting.
Tickets are priced at £5. Doors open at 7pm. But you can grab a drink downstairs any time onward from 6:30pm.
The usual mix of live readings from new and exciting authors, live Beat Jazz from Canuck enthusiast Piers Pereira and ivory-tinkling Mark Smith, literary comedy in the form of Filthy Fiction, and a microfiction tournament will be complimented by a one-scene play, making Open Pen Live a truly diverse literary event that you won’t want to miss out on (unless you’re tired on the night, miserable, or racist against Canucks).
The event takes place on Thursday, 13th February, and with modest ticket pricing, live performances, and generous breaks for purchasing cheap drinks, it’ll make for a good Valentines date that isn’t too Valentinesy.
Check out photos from our last event in late 2013.
As always, you can contact us at info at open pen dot co dot uk should you have any questions.