Sunday, November 30, 2008

If you only buy one book this Christmas make sure it's...

The Times Christmas Books Special

Michael Parkinson, Sheila Hancock, Roger Moore, Elaine Paige and Andrew Castle pick out some perfect reading for the festive period :

Michael Parkinson: A Most Wanted Man by John le Carré
"I marvel at le Carré's mastery of his craft. He is, in my view, our greatest living novelist, and here shows again that his imagination is as undimmed and his prose as precise and stylish as ever. I can think of no contemporary writer more deserving of occupying that special place reserved for national treasures."Parky: My Autobiography by Michael Parkinson, is published by Hodder & Stoughton, £20

Elaine Paige: The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
"The uncommon reader is the Queen, who Bennett has discovering the joy of books when her escaped corgis overrun a mobile library. Much of the breezy humour comes from the change that reading brings over someone as unique as the Queen and the panicked reaction of her courtiers. It is an extremely funny but also rather touching novella about the power of books to change one's view of the world."Memories by Elaine Paige is published by Oberon Books, £25

Read the rest at The Times online.


Unknown said...

I'll certainly be picking up Parky - I hope he finally gives the 'backstory' behind 'that' Meg Ryan interview. I've always loved his shows, and there doesn't seem to be anyone to replace him.

Sheila Hancock's previous autobiography (can't remember name) dealing with her marriage to John Thaw (I only picked it up through that connection because I'm a fan of Morse), was surprisingly good, un-put-downable in fact. And I don't read bios as a rule, mainly just fiction.

Although I've started my Christmas reading early with the second stunning collection of short stories by little known British writer, Tom Saunders. A collection called Roof Whirl Away. No other writer I've come across has such humanity and lyricism.

I'll have to put a review up on Amazon for it soon, and have put a request in for Christchurch library to pick it up.

Although speaking of books that changed me over the last twelve months, apart from Saunders, the other would have been Clive James essay collection, Cultural Amnesia, my Christmas present from last year. And this book reminded me how much I love the essay form, and how hard it is to find done well now.

Beattie's Book Blog said...

Yes Mark, he does talk about that Meg Ryan intervew, most interesting it is too.
With reagrd to the Tom Saunders title, what about reviewing it for this blog? It would be great to have a different voice.

Unknown said...

So you don't want to spill the beans on Meg Ryan and save me the purchase price :)

Re the Saunders, it's a deal. I've a very busy week, but will write a review next weekend: what should I do with it?