Rooms of Their Own
Where Great Writers Write
by Alex Johnson
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Pub Date 19 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 02 Jun 2022
Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion, Frances Lincoln
The perennial question asked of all authors is, 'How do you write?'. What do they require of their room or desk? Do they have favourite pens, paper or typewriters? And have they found the perfect daily routine to channel their creativity? Crossing centuries, continents and genres, Alex Johnson has pooled 50 of the best writers and transports you to the heart of their writing rooms – from attics and studies to billiard rooms and bathtubs.
Discover the ins and outs of how each great writer penned their famous texts, and the routines and habits they perfected. Meet authors who rely on silence and seclusion and those who need people, music and whisky. Meet novelists who travel half-way across the world to a luxury writing retreat, and others who just need an empty shed at the bottom of the garden. Some are particular about pencils, inks, paper and typewriters, and some will scribble on anything – including the furniture. But whether they write in the library or in cars, under trees, private islands, hotel rooms or towers – each of these stories confirms that there is no 'best way' to write.
From James Baldwin, writing in the small hours of the morning in his Paris apartment, to DH Lawrence writing at the foot of a towering Ponderosa pine tree, to the Brontë sisters managing in a crowded co-working space, this book takes us into the lives of some of history's greatest ever writers, with each writing space illustrated in evocative watercolour by James Oses.
In looking at the working lives of our favourite authors, bibliophiles will be transported to other worlds, aspiring writers will find inspiration and literature fans will gain deeper insight into their most-loved authors.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 18 members
Clearly the title of this book plays homage to Virginia Woolf in the nicest possible way. Alex Johnson in this delightfully illustrated book shares stories about where writers like to go when they want to write. There are fifty writers included in this volume which can be dipped into according to one’s fancy. I looked first to some of my favorite authors and then moved on to others who were equally interesting.
Just a few of those included are Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Hardy Astrid Lindgren, Haruki Murakami, Sylvia Plath, Beatrix Potter and J.K. Rowling. Each author’s entry includes interesting facts and a most evocative illustration or two.
I adored spending time in these writers’ spaces and learning about how they made their choices. For example, Emily Dickinson embraced the “solitude” of her bedroom. She “pretended to lock the door” and noted that freedom was within. Conan Doyle had a very special writing set up made by a well known luggage manufacturer while Maya Angelou wrote in a hotel room.
This is a book that is perfect for bibliophiles. It would make a lovely gift.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Quarto publishing for this title. All opinions are my own.
This is such a fun read! Writers and readers will enjoy this book. I didn't expect the book to be this entertaining. I expected a serious read about writers but with the illustrations and the possible assumptions on each of these famous writers made a very enjoyable read.
Love the illustrations. Please don't take everything so seriously when you happen to read this book. If you are a writer, you will understand better what I mean to say here. But also, you will get to learn a lot more about the writers mentioned.
And I loved Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own a lot.
It's fun to read this compilation!
Thank you, Quarto Publishing Group White Lion, for the advance reading copy.
Rooms of Their Own by Alex Johnson looks at where and how various famous writers wrote, from writing in huts, cars, libraries or their bedroom masterpieces were created.
I will admit, I mainly read the stories to those authors I knew those included are Jane Austen, Maya Angelou, Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Hardy, Judith Kerr Haruki Murakami, Sylvia Plath, Beatrix Potter and J.K. Rowling. Out of the 50 author, poets and novelists included in the book I read 35.
I loved connecting with each author spending time in their space, learning interesting facts and how they made their choices.
It also includes information on typewriters, word count, ink and more.
From Colette being locked in her "prison" room with her husband telling her she couldn't leave until she produced results - to - D.H. Lawrence writing under trees being at one with nature.
"All the world's a desk." - Hilary Mantel
"Don't write for money. Write because you love to do something. If you write for money, you won't write anything worth reading." - Ray Bradbury
This book is a perfect gift for bibliophiles.
This is a really lovely book that tells us all about the preferred writing rituals of fifty well-known authors. It is the sort of book you can leave on your coffee table and pick up when you have five minutes, and become absorbed in the writing life of your favourite author. It has a nice balance of modern and traditional writers and is punctuated with fun, full-colour illustrations that bring a sense of light playfulness to the book.
This book would make a perfect gift for both writers and readers and it introduced me to several authors that I had not heard of before. It is full of interesting facts about each writer but more importantly, it made these great writers into real human beings - the portrait in Roald Dahl’s shed of his daughter who died aged seven; Colette’s habit of procrastinating and how she attempted to overcome it by being locked in a room for four hours to make her write; Emily Dickinson’s need for solitude; and I loved Margaret Mitchell’s envelopes! Many of the writers made efforts to create their own spaces in which to write. As a writer myself I felt a kinship with these authors as I realised that they struggled too, but they pushed through these struggles by ensuring they had the best conditions for them to write in. It has inspired me to take a good look at my own writing space!
I really recommend this book if you like to have a peek into the lives of other writers. There is much to be learned here. With thanks to Netgalley and Quarto-White Lion for providing an advance review copy. All opinions are my own.
A lovely read getting a peek into the rooms of these wonderful authors from Virginia Woolf to Emily Dickinson and more.The illustrations were beautifully done really enhanced each description of the authors personal rooms.A book I will be purchasing for myself and give as gifts .#netgalley #quartobooks
What a great book! It’s interesting and inspiring. I loved the whimsical and vibrant drawings in place of photographs. Some authors I was already familiar with, some I only met in these pages. This would make a great gift for any writer.
Rooms of Their Own
Where Great Writers Write
by Alex Johnson
Pub Date 19 Apr 2022
Quarto Publishing Group – White Lion, Frances Lincoln
Biographies & Memoirs
I am reviewing a copy of Rooms of Their Own through Quarto Publishing Group, White Lion and Netgalley:
How do you write? What is it you require from your room or desk? Do you have a favorite pen, typewriter? Did they find a routine, that fit their creativity perfectLy? These are the questions that were asked about writers, crossing centuries, genres and continents.
In Rooms of their own you will not only discover the unique spaces, habits and rituals in which famous writers created their most notable works, but you’ll also discover how each great writer penned their famous texts, and the routines and habits they perfected.
Meet authors who rely on silence and seclusion and those who need people, music and whisky. Meet novelists who travel half-way across the world to a luxury writing retreat, and others who just need an empty shed at the bottom of the garden. Some are particular about pencils, inks, paper and typewriters, and some will scribble on anything – including the furniture. But whether they write in the library or in cars, under trees, private islands, hotel rooms or towers – each of these stories confirms that there is no 'best way' to write.
In this book you’ll discover James Baldwin, writing in the small hours of the morning in his Paris apartment, to DH Lawrence writing at the foot of a towering Ponderosa pine tree, to the Brontë sisters managing in a crowded co-working space, this book takes us into the lives of some of history's greatest ever writers, with each writing space illustrated in evocative watercolour by James Oses.
If you’re looking for a quick peek into the ways which writers like Maya Angelou, and Ray Bradbury I highly recommend Rooms of Their Own.
Five out of five stars!
How a certain place could be completely yours in its essence and it could be beautiful because that could be a place to call home. This book talks about the places writers used to creat and their connection with them. Very poignant, interesting and soothing. I loved reading every pages of it.
ROOMS OF THEIR OWN: Where Great Writers Write - by Alex Johnson, illustrations by James Oses
I adored this book.
A charming, interesting, uplifting and enjoyable book discussing the rooms in which famous writers wrote.
The mini chapters are absolute delights to read. We enter the rooms of the Bronte Sisters, Hemingway, Doyle, Dickens, Agatha Christie, Chandler. The book uncovers the unique spaces, habits, hobbies and work rituals the writers had throughout their careers.
The text is fun, punchy, yet descriptive and informative. Beautiful illustrations are found amongst the pages to bring the descriptions even more to life. I was immediately inspired, interested, entertained and ready to pick up a notebook myself.
There’s something for every reader and every writer. A book you can pick up for a moment or engulf in one sitting.
Rooms of Their Own is for lovers of reading and writing and lovers of reading about writing .
Thank you to Netgallery and Quarto-White Lion Publishing for the digital copy.
I looked forward to indulging in the writing lives of so many featured authors. From preferred stances (lying down, standing up, sitting in an uncomfortable chair) to locations (she-sheds, boathouses, villas ad nondescript hotel rooms) Rooms of Their Own nourishes readers with many trivia facts, tidbits, and quotes from favorite authors.
**I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review
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