Americana (and The Act of Getting Over it), by Luke Healy (Nobrow, 2019)

A journal of an attempt to complete the Pacific Crest Trail, a hiking route through from Mexico to Canada. And an excellent thing it is too, detailing Healy’s fascination with the US and the Trail, and the challenges faced and friendships made on the route. Plenty to appreciate, not least the blend of simple illustrations and occasional prose sections. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Sentient, by Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Walter & Steve Wands (TKO Studios, 2019)

After an attempted insurrection, children of colonists-to-be must crew their vessel, supported only by their AI. Straightforward but effective deep space adventure, focusing on parenthood and grief as much as on SF action dramatics. Six issues anthologised here in a great-looking book.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide, by John Cleese (Hutchinson, 2020)

A brisk overview of creativity as a concept and as part of writing and related practices. Straightforward and accessible (if geared to Cleese fans and to folk who know who William Goldman is) but undeniably brief, scarcely stretching to anything approaching book length. Still, some useful insights and experiences are noted.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Organised Writer: How To Stay On Top Of All Your Projects And Never Miss A Deadline, by Antony Johnston (Bloomsbury, 2020)

A seasoned pro’s guide to structuring your writing life, to managing workload, and to tackling administration. A clear and detailed approach (with accompanying downloadable forms etc) that works both as a study of professional practice and as a practical how-to book. Even if you don’t put Johnston’s system into operation, there’s plenty of tips and ideas to support focus and direction.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists: A Graphic Novel, by Scarlett & Sophie Rickard (SelfMadeHero, 2020)

The working class lives of a team of decorators, and the impacts of capitalism upon them and their families. Hugely entertaining, detailed and effective graphic novelisation of the early 20th century socialist classic, and a fine book in its own right. Lots to appreciate in artistic and in adaptation terms, with the messages of the original coming through clear. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Made Men: The Story of GoodFellas, by Glenn Kenny (Hanover Square Press, 2020)

A history of the making and reception of Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film, itself based on Nicholas Pileggi’s book Wiseguy. A swaggering, exhaustive and detailed account of the movie, with new interviews accompanying archive material. A great book for anyone who’s a fan of the film and/or its director, and tons of fun in its own right. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Thoreau and Me, by Cédric Taling (SelfMadeHero, 2020)

A hipsterish artist is challenged by the ghost of Thoreau to make a return to living in harmony with nature. Walden for beginners, basically, and charmingly done. Some good connections are made between the early 19th and 21st centuries, and there’s a tongue-in-cheek approach taken throughout that gently critiques the protagonist.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England

Digging up Mother: A Love Story [AKA The Long Version of a Suicide Post-It Note: A Love Story], by Doug Stanhope (Da Capo Press, 2016)

The stand-up comic’s autobiography, focusing on his relationship with – and the death of – his mother. A million miles from the “dead dad” comedy trope of a few years back, this is a scabrous, honest, and funny account of Stanhope’s life, loves and borderline criminal experiences to date, and of the influence of his mum on his worldview. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England