Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life, by Hal Needham (Little, Brown, 2011).

The autobiography of the leading stuntman-turned-movie director. Packed full of anecdotes, this gung-ho version of events emphasises can-do attitude while giving plenty of insights into moviemaking and into what’s involved in executing high falls and car crashes. Lots of fun, even if you’re left wanting to know more about the stuff (and movies like Megaforce) that gets glossed over.

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

Field Notes: Walking the Territory, by Maxim Peter Griffin (Unbound, 2022)

A possible diary in images and words of a year in the East of Lincolnshire. Can’t say more than that – and this isn’t a review, ‘cos family – but if you’re familiar with Maxim Griffin’s work then this is the motherlode to date. If you haven’t, then this is your departure point. Get on it now before the inevitable Werner Herzog/Ben Wheatley/Johnny Nice bidding war begins. Onwards, as Maxim is wont to say.

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

Walking: One Step At A Time, by Erling Kagge [trans. Becky L Crook] (Penguin, 2019)

Philosophical musings on walking, drawing on both personal experiences (both poles and Everest included) and wider literature. Maybe a touch whimsical for some readers, but nevertheless a useful first-hand perspective about how and why walking is necessary for being both human and centred.

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

Paul At Home, by Michel Rabagliati [trans. Helge Dascher & Rob Aspinall] (Drawn & Quarterly, 2020)

A divorced graphic designer struggles with middle age. Charming, melancholy and well-observed quasi-autobiographical graphic novel, the most recent – to date – in the long-running Paul series. Plenty to appreciate both for newcomers and for those who are growing old alongside the protagonist.

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

Monologues of Shite, by Emily Cullen (no publisher indicated, 2022)

A young woman returns to her parental home for the first 2020 coronavirus lockdown. An excellent quirky little book, mostly documenting/diarising in graphic form her Dad’s rambles, both literal and linguistic. Lots of fun, and well-observed. A handy partner to Rachael Smith’s Quarantine Comix, taking a very different route through the same time. Recommended.

Not sure how widely available this is: I got my copy online from OK Comics.

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

The Hungry Years: Confessions of a Food Addict, by William Leith (Bloomsbury, 2006)

A shambolic writer investigates the diet industry while facing up to his own issues. Funny in places and well-written in confident journalese, this kinda autobiography is as 00s as it gets, dated in some respects (a reliance on James Frey), padded at times, but is good on self-loathing. The secret? Therapy: food and other substance issues are linked to unresolved psychological problems, per this account.

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

Strawberries To Pigs, by Michael Legge (Go Faster Stripe, 2021)

A collection of writings from the splenetic stand-up. And a pretty decent selection too. Mostly rejigged bits of bloggery, plus an extended short story (that feels a bit like padding in this context, to be fair). Plenty of fury, as fans might expect, and some strong writing to go along with that. A second volume would be something to look forward to.

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

Getting Away With It, by Steven Soderbergh (Faber and Faber, 1999)

Subtitled “The Further Adventures of the Luckiest Bastard You Ever Saw”, this balances a twelve-month journal of the film industry – there’s a lot here about Soderbergh juggling projects and writing-related procrastination – and a series of interviews with fellow film director Richard Lester. The book’ll make you want to go back and revisit Lester’s work: from the Goons to The Beatles to Superman via the best Musketeers movies. Recommended.

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

The Ten (Food) Commandments, by Jay Rayner (Penguin Books, 2016)

The food journalist and restaurant critic offers ten simple rules for the good food life. A mix of personal philosophy, common sense, accessible nutritional science, and autobiography with a few decent recipes thrown in to illustrate the points being made. All good stuff, and the pork, butter bean and chorizo stew offered is a belter.

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