My 5 All Time Favourite Books

the hearing trumpet

1. The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington

This book is beautifully written. Leonora is famous for her work with the surrealist movement. Part of the reason i love this book, I must confess is because I’m such a fan of the woman behind the book.

The book follows one woman who is a little paranoid. We see her descend into full blown madness with Leonora’s own surreal twist. A must read for anyone who likes well written, slightly odd classic novels.

alice in wonderland

2. Alice’s Adventures in wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The thing I like about this book is that it is suggestively dark without ever being explicitly so. A much loved read for anyone who wants a trip to Wonderland.


3. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel spark

This book will have you howling with laughter. The impressionable young girls in the book are sure to resonate with all women. I love this book because Jean Brodie is one of my favourite heroines without ever even doing anything overtly brave.

the bell jar

4, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Another classic book depicting one woman’s fight against depression. I love the way Sylvia explains the way she sees the world. From the fascinating and bustling New York city social life she led to her time in psychiatric care, this novel never seems bitter, though she has lots of reason to be so and that is why I place it above similar books such as Prozac Nation and Girl, Interrupted.

cuckoo clock heart

The Boy With the Cuckoo Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu

This is a book that follows the Edward Scissorhands genre quite closely. It has some quite tender moments in it and is quite a page turner. Plus it can be read in the space of a few hours because it’s quite a short book.


6. The Fairytale Scripture by Katie Gaughan

Finally, I have included my very own book. The thing I love about my book is that it aims toget young people thinking critically and for themselves (and the stories not too bad either). If you like the books listed above then you may well enjoy this novel. I took a little bit of inspiration from all of my favourite books just as any good author should!

Thanks for reading.




Poetry can say so much…

I wrote a little poem for a new poetry book I am working on with the theme of mental health. The particular poem I am going to share with you is called ‘Mavis Meadows and her Time Travelling Humbug Jar’.

I hope you like it and I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!

mavis and jar 1 final



Whilst sat one day in vacant stare,

Our lady noticed on a chair,

Not teeth, nor glasses. Not cat, nor mug,

But a jar of only one humbug.


The memories conjured all bar one,

Of where this humbug appeared from,

She hobbled over with her frame,

When close enough the magic came.


And when she had a chance to blink,

She looked around and had to think,

The Eiffel tower stood in wonder!

Perhaps, she thought, I’ve made a blunder.


She lost herself at times, being alone,

And often wandered far from home,

For now, she thought, I shall enjoy,

The fruitful bounty of my joy!


To be in Paris was no game,

She’d line her pockets, fat on fame!

To do this she would need a friend,

A guide to help her reach the end,


Picasso spent time in these parts,

She’d always been fond of the arts.


She found him sat inside the Louvre,

All comfy, feet upon a pouffe,

“Mavis,” he said, “you grow in beauty,”

“To paint you is my final duty”

She smiled in a delightful way,

She didn’t know quite what to say,

Although a man can be a charmer,

She did not expect this to disarm her,


Her troubles seemed to melt away,

As she was sculpted out of clay,

Her heart took flight, the gifts he bought her,

For merely a pose with jugs of water,


A model’s life is nice for some,

But Mavis craved adventure to come,

And so she knew to pull the plug,

And reach out for her last humbug.


A regal entrance Mavis was given,

To meet Princess Diana, with whom she was smitten,

They chattered over afternoon tea,

And attended to matters, whatever they be,


They had openings and meetings and much in between,

Diana opened her eyes up to all the unseen,

They helped women, and children, and charities too,

There seemed so little time and yet so much to do.


Mavis found this new venture was best for the young,

As an elderly lady it did not suit her lungs,

So she struck out her hand to reach for her jar,

And with magic again she was taken afar.


Mavis was thrown in the centre of action,

To see all of the fighting bought her no satisfaction,

Dazed with the nightmare…she fled for her life!

To be rescued by Hector from the sweat and the strife.


He bathed her in oils, in jasmine and spices,

Indulged her in wine which was one of her vices,

They worshipped the Gods in the temple at dawn,

And when it was time for their vows to be sworn,

She thought how she could not commit to this way,

She loved watching the soaps on TV every day,

And so friends, she knew then just what she must do,

With a jar and one humbug she travelled on through.


A revolutionary life was waiting that day,

She was greeted most humbly by the man they called Che,

He spoke with such passion of how things would change,

No more working all day for low monetary gain,

She knew he was wrong and she thought it quite strange,

As she knew just too well that in her day and age,

There were sales made each day of his face, not too funny,

With the aim to make profit so rich people made money.


She gave up hope then, though he shone like a star,

And decided again to bridge time with her jar.


There was sinister fog as her body approached,

Mary Shelley and Byron in a gothic, black boat,

They chilled the air with tales of woe,

The static was electric, the barometer low,


The lightning struck!

Poor Mavis shook!


The parlour games, though filled with laughter,

Troubled her deeply for some time after,

She feared she’d turn into a beast!

Or have a heart attack at least.


So when they were distracted by ink and pen,

Dear Mavis saw her chance again,

She snuck and crept and to her glee,

The jar was waiting there for she.


A great escape she watched him make,

Houdini could make no mistake,

The crowd went wild as he bowed,

Leaving Mavis speechless, awed and wowed,


And when she asked him how and why?

He told her he would be her guide,

She became his student, a dynamic team,

Her false teeth smile, a bright white gleam,


And when her nerves were fried and frazzled,

A little bored and less bedazzled,

She searched and found her greener pasture,

A jar, one humbug and everything after.


How glamorous Norma Jean did seem,

She melted hearts, lit up the screen,

But when the lights went out at night,

The actress awoke in a terrible fright,


“Sweet Mavis” she said with a glint in her eye,

“The life I live makes me often cry,”

“It’s lonely and tiring, this being a star”

“Will you take me away? Can we travel real far?”


Mavis squeezed her hand and hugged her tightly,

They had been to a party or a gathering nightly,

She knew it was her time to go,

When Marilyn turned and told her so.


Boudicca was a fearsome queen,

The strongest woman Mavis had seen,

Her hair flowed red in a fiery path,

That scorned any man who dared to laugh,


Mavis knew in an instant that women had power,

And even in her final hour,

She did not dare say a wisp of a word,

To the woman with the flaming hair.


Her final meeting made her giggly,

When Elvis made his hips all wiggly,

His guitar strummed and women stuttered,

When faced with such a handsome strutter,


You were always on my mind was the song that was playing,

She fought the tears when she heard him saying,

That there was one person you never forget,

She muttered, frowned and gasped in regret,


For Mavis felt a pang of pain,

She remembered Doug and wept at his name,

Doug had left her all alone,

Her old house now never again would be home,


She closed her eyes and wished and hoped,

And darkness came and with it smoke,


Like the phoenix from the ashes, Doug was there by her side,

She held him close, she laughed, she cried,

And when she felt safe and secure,

She broke the last humbug in half, nothing more,


They smacked and slurped in sweet endeavour,

And began a new journey again…together.



By Katie Gaughan.