The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold (Transworld, 2019)

Biographies of five women united by their links to an infamous series of killings. Enthralling corrective to a century-plus of sensationalist coverage dismissive of the victims. Some lapses into journalese and guesswork at times, but this is nevertheless an accessible, necessary and fascinating book rightly giving those murdered due to their lives.

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

Odeon Relics: Nineteen-Thirties Icons in the Twenty-First Century, by Philip Butler (Art Deco Magpie, 2019)

A photo-book of the surviving Art Deco cinemas originally built for the Odeon chain. A lovely bit of social history; each image is presented with a brief overview of the building in question’s life. Some continue as movie houses, others are bingo halls, are derelict, churches, shops, nightclubs. As the book indicates, fewer than half of the 140 built remain, and none of them are unchanged.

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

The Warrior Ethos, by Steven Pressfield (Black Irish Entertainment, 2011)

An overview of Spartan military and related philosophies. A clear and straightforward introduction, intended both as a primer for soldiers and to those addressing other conflict areas (creative struggles, etc). Useful and direct, not least if you appreciate the same author’s fiction and wider writings on creativity.

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

 

More Golden Rules Of Acting, by Andy Nyman (Nick Hern Books, 2019)

A follow-up to the 2012 first volume, giving an insider’s perspective on how to be an actor, in all that this entails. Useful insights for anyone linked with creative and gig-based working – not just boards-troublers – that might be summarised in three words: positivity, politeness, professionalism. Best read with Book 1, but a valuable reality check nevertheless.

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

An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris, by Georges Perec [trans. Marc Lowenthal] (Wakefield Press, 2010)

Three days of observations of the same Paris street. A mesmerising, poetic, futile and charming go at capturing everything that happens – more or less – in a single place over a short space of time. Makes you want to have a crack at the same thing yourself, which can only be a recommendation.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England. But if you like the idea of this book, then chances are that you’ll like Benches of Louth

With Child: Lee Child and the Readers of Jack Reacher, by Andy Martin (Polity Press, 2019)

A sequel/companion to Martin’s Reacher Said Nothing; a year with Lee Child in the aftermath of writing Make Me (documented in the first book). This time the emphasis is less on process than on the contexts of bestselling fiction: publicity, signings, readerships, filming, travel. As before (!), a unique insight into writing life, being funny, deft but erudite, and engaging throughout. Recommended.

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