by Darwin E. Coon (signed!)
While on a trip to the US we found ourselves in the fantastic city of San Francisco, where I was able to fulfil a lifelong ambition and visit America’s most notorious prison, Alcatraz. The prison has always held me spellbound – ever since I saw Clint Eastwood tuck that painted dummy head under the blanket! – and standing in San Francisco bay, looking across the water and seeing the legendary Alcatraz for the first time, I was truly awestruck. Read more
by Bill Bryson
Time for some non-fiction! I was one of the few kids in my class who actually enjoyed Shakespeare – I loved the eerie darkness of Macbeth (and I’ll never forget the young Keith Chegwin in Roman Polanski’s 1970s film version!) and the intrigue of Hamlet. As a big fan of Bill Bryson – still waiting for the next travel book! – this was a shoo-in for my reading list.
Bryson doesn’t fail to deliver in this hugely interesting and short book, written in his usual witty and readable style. Short, because surprisingly few facts are known about the Great Bard, not least the correct way to spell his name – the dramatist himself used several variations – or even what he looked like: of the three likenesses on which all others are based and by which we have come to recognise Shakespeare, two were produced by artists after his death and one may not even be Shakespeare at all!
by Donna Leon
I generally pick up a Donna Leon as a filler between books, while still digesting the book I’ve just finished and getting myself in the mood for the next one. The crime-solving adventures of Venice’s Commissario Guido Brunetti are an enjoyable if untaxing read and do the job nicely. Read more
by Tim Moore
Go on, admit it. Come May time and, whether you like it or not, you find yourself strangely drawn to the TV and hunker down for another evening of Eurocringe. And for those of us who grew up in the UK, Eurovision was for many years synonymous with Wogan’s wit, though sadly even he has become disillusioned by the corruptness of the politically-weighted voting and is no longer the ironic voice of Eurovision. Read more