Medallion Status, by John Hodgman (Viking/Penguin Random House, 2019)

Reflections on perceived dwindling fame and airline loyalty schemes. We don’t really have humourists in the UK; maybe we should. Anyway, this is a funny, melancholy and perceptive look at Hollywood and other places thanks to Hodgman’s temporary access to the outer parts of the inner sanctum.

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

 

Middlefield, by Ian Waites (Uniform Books, 2017)

A personal geography of a Lincolnshire housing estate. Photographs and text blend to offer a discussion of the uses made and lived experiences of post-war estate dwelling. Experiential rather than nostalgic, the book celebrates modernist planning, the egalitarianism of what might be seen as bland conformity, and the ways in which use reinscribes space. Lots to think about.

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

A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof, by Roger Clarke (Penguin Books, 2013)

A history of ghosts, hauntings, and on attempts to scientifically study the supernatural. Focusing on Britain, this fine book offers a primer on celebrated hauntings, on key figures such as Harry Price, and on the social and cultural studies aspects of ghostlore. Lots of fun.

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

 

First You Write a Sentence, by Joe Moran (Penguin Books, 2018)

A book about writing, focusing on the sentence as a unit of construction. Once you settle into it, this is a very useful little book – geared towards non-fiction rather than fiction writing, so bear that in mind – that’ll offer not only some hard-won advice but sneak in a little grammar teaching and learning in too.

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

Wasted Calories and Ruined Nights: A Journey Deeper into Dining Hell, by Jay Rayner (Guardian Faber, 2018)

A collection of restaurant reviews: Observer critic Jay Rayner’s bleakest dining experiences of the 2010s. Fun quick read, in which Rayner pursues his pet hates: the over-priced, the over-ambitious, the shoddy, the rude, the misbegotten. Punching up throughout with some verve. All he wants is decent grub at fair prices, after all.

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

The Hero, by Lee Child (TLS Books, 2019)

A writer‘s perspective on what the concept of the hero signifies to them. A smart, clear monograph on different aspects of what a hero might be, on the origins of the word and its meanings, and its relationships to thriller fiction. Hints of autobiography and writing philosophy, plus a love of words, meanings, and implications.

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.