Mark Stolle

Manchester By The Book

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Whenever a book of poems comes into the shop, I read a poem from it before I put it on the shelves. So, I've read hundreds of poems from hundreds of books over the last 22 years.  And yet, I invariably will read the shortest poem in the book!

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When you are walking down to the beach on a sun-dappled gently breezy summer afternoon, you don't want Dostoevsky leaping onto your brain from behind a tree, dragging your soul out of your ear and into the bushes to give it a good kicking. Save that joy for the winter. During the cold bleak dark months the Russians novelists are the perfect guerillas I want creeping into my orbit to shove me into pondering the great Russian profundities and essences. 

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What is the Christmas Spirit?  The feeling of love and goodwill toward your fellow man - kindness, decency, mercy, forgiveness.  All those things and more.  Ideas and emotions that we don't dwell on too much during the year, but something about Christmastime brings these sentiments to the fore. How do you catch the Christmas Spirit?

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