Nagasaki at 70

The 9th of August marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. It killed a third of the population instantly, and the survivors, or hibakusha, would be affected by the life-altering medical conditions caused by the radiation for the rest of their lives. They were also marked with the stigma of their exposure to radiation, and fears of the consequences for their children.

Nagasaki follows the previously unknown stories of five survivors and their families, from 1945 to the present day. It captures the full range of pain, fear, bravery and compassion unleashed by the destruction of a city. Susan Southard has interviewed the hibakusha over many years and her intimate portraits of their lives show the consequences of nuclear war. Nagasaki tells the neglected story of life after nuclear war and will help shape public debate over one of the most controversial wartime acts in history. Nagasaki is the first study to be based on eye-witness accounts of Nagasaki in the style of John Hersey’s Hiroshima.

Praise for Nagasaki

“Susan Southard’s remarkable book… This is indeed a topical but enduringly relevant testament and one that should be read as widely as possible.” Jeremy Corbyn


“Our time to understand the survivors’ experience of nuclear war is running out. Only they can tell us what it was like and their lives are coming to an end.” New York Times


“Does for Nagasaki what John Hersey did for Hiroshima… Takes us beneath the mushroom cloud with harrowing, damning, eloquent intimacy.” John W. Dower, Pulitzer-winning author of Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of WWII


“It is the personal accounts that speak loudest.” The Economist


“Moving as an intimate chronicle of individual lives: like a good documentary film-maker, Southard allows her subjects, with all their attractive and quirky qualities, to speak for themselves.” Financial Times


“Provides the material and personal stories of one of the darkest days in human history… One of the definitive histories of the end of World War II. Essential.” Library Journal


Find Nagasaki here:



Modern Calligraphy

Modern Calligraphy is the trend of the summer. Writing in The Times, Fiona Wilson says: ‘In the past couple of years the art of modern calligraphy has exploded in the UK, with classes appearing across London and big brands from Mulberry to McDonald’s commissioning the work of young artists. The actress Meghan Markle, the girlfriend of Prince Harry, is doing it; before her career took off, she did calligraphy for Dolce & Gabbana and the wedding of the pop star Robin Thicke. “It’s super-lucrative,” she told Esquire.’

Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe is the book all of you wishing to take up modern calligraphy need.

Discover how to create your own unique script. Even though the art of calligraphy is centuries old, Molly Suber Thorpe is ready to teach anyone how to find their own unique style. All crafts, from knitting to making home decorations, have undergone a revival of popularity as they offer an escape from our increasingly digital world, as well as an opportunity to express your own creativity. Molly Suber Thorpe provides an accessible and comprehensive guide to getting started on your own calligraphic projects.

Crafts like Modern Calligraphy can sometimes be daunting, so here are some of the things users have said about the book:

‘The projects are quite nice, really inspiring and beautifully photographed and presented. I am quite pleased to have this book in my collection and believe I will come back to it when I have calligraphy projects in the future!’ – Amanda, Goodreads

‘I used this book as a guide for both the placecards and invitation envelopes at my wedding, and everything came out GORGEOUS. I was a complete novice to start, and went from never having held a calligraphy pen to very professional-looking placecards in the span of like 4 months.’ – Katie, Goodreads

‘I love this modern calligraphy trend and was so excited to find this book in which Ms. Thorpe generously tells you everything you need to know. I find myself trying it out on any little scrap of paper I can find. Nothing is safe! My organization bins are now all labeled in modern calligraphy.’ – Missy, Goodreads

Find Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe here:

Modern Calligraphy cover

Pride and 4th of July blog

It’s Independence Day in the US and there is no better reading than The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford by Ron Hansen. Ron Hansen was the first writer to approach the mythology of the West with the intent of rewriting history, to show the mixed motives and dubious intentions of heroes and outlaws alike. Drawing on contemporary records, newspapers and courtroom reports The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford creates a vivid, detailed description of the James gang and the America that created them, and builds a stunning portrait of one of the founding myths of the United States. Hansen re-creates the real West of the most famous outlaw of them all, Jesse James, and of his death at the hands of Robert Ford. Ford is drawn to Jesse, uncertain if he wants to serve or destroy him, or somehow become him.

Find The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford here:

Jesse James

It’s the Pride Parade this Saturday and to celebrate, we bring you City of Night by John Rechy. Acclaimed as one of the great novels of the twentieth-century City of Night created a new era in gay writing. Bold and inventive in its portrayal of an urban underworld of prostitution and its unflinching description of the hustling young man’s search for self-knowledge within the neon-lit world of America’s cities. Moving from El Paso to New York and New Orleans this is a classic account of life on the edge.

Find City of Night here:

City of Night cover