So long, and thanks for the #bookadayuk

Major gratitude to Borough Press for starting hilarious, thought-provoking, sometimes controversial twitter-wide conversations about the books that we own, read, loathe and love. Whoever you are, person or people that dreamed #bookadayuk up: make yourselves known and I WILL buy you a drink!

For posterity, here’s my June 2014 #bookadayuk compiled:

  • Childhood favourite: Squeezing in a trilogy – The Deptford Mice trilogy is fave from childhood (Dark Portal, Crystal Prison, Final Reckoning)
  • Best bargain: Halls, Tunbridge Wells, 10p for a hilarious book about chocolate incl. the q. ‘Does it come in better colours than brown?’
  • Blue Cover: Snap! My is the great Tim Winton, too
  • Worst book by (former) favourite writer: Well, I was a Coupland fanatic until JPod came along. I haven’t read one of his since. It seems I had a sense of humour failure
  • Book that’s not mine: A whole shelf of other people’s books. For some, the moment has passed borrowed books
  • Always buy as a gift: I’ve bought and given ‘If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things’ by the wonderful more times than I can count
  • More than one copy: I have two of these – any tweeps this afternoon want my spare?
  • Reminds me of someone I love: Dad bought me ‘The Rebel Fairy’ acknowledging, all at once, my love of reading & the fact that my life wouldn’t be like his
  • From second-hand bookshop: Heard Gillian Slovo on a while back & found Red Dust at Oxfam same day. Finally gonna commit to reading it
  • Lied about: Well, there are a good few books I’d pretend I hadn’t read to keep up my street cred. Even the odd sentence-over-the-shoulder
  • Makes me laugh: Diary of a Nobody makes me laugh until the bed shakes! Great book for reading aloud | There was a very messy and unfortunate incident when I read About a Boy on a train with a cold, at the baguette/dead duck moment | Finally, the wonderful Adrian Mole is ever a source of laughter (RIP Sue Townsend) – beetroot sandwiches, grapes for sex… | Most recently, a prince among books by – this bit, solace for regular train-travellers commute
  • Old Favourite: My old favourite is The Color Purple. Have loved it for 20 years, and it was published the year I was born. Aah.
  • Best fictional Dad: The Testament of Jessie Lamb – portrays conflict between wanting children to be independent & wanting to protect at all costs
  • Can’t believe more people haven’t read: Can’t believe more people haven’t read Nick Walker – Blackbox or Helloland – both wickedly funny, exquisitely plotted
  • Future classic: Future classic: Wolf Hall. Precision plotting, deft character work, etching allure and danger in the mind – inescapable
  • Book bought on recommendation: Props to for spreading ‘s How to be a Woman around Nottingham and making BOSSES of us all | For a book I bought on recommendation, repeat gratitude to for Tell the Wolves I’m Home by
  • Haven’t stopped talking about: The book I haven’t stopped talking about since I read it in 2009 is How To Paint A Dead Man by Sarah Hall
  • Best cover: C by Tom McCarthy – the black hardback with the see through plastic dust jacket and all those white scribbles – is just gorgeous
  • Summer read: I had great fun arguing for this selection of with summer reads
  • Out of print: a shame, ‘cos who doesn’t want to know how to seduce the ‘gay divorcée’? cc seducercookbook
  • Made to read to school: Made to read at school (in full) Romeo & Juliet – have remained suspicious of love without common sense, and teenagers, since.
  • Hooked me in to reading: DBC Pierre’s Vernon God Little got me hooked into reading (&buying). Made me discover publishing/awards. My watershed moment!
  • Never finished: Haven’t finished Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty. It’s all waiting for Thatcher to turn up, but I don’t think she will
  • Should have sold more: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt should sell so much more. All the drama of a western, replete with humanity and humour
  • Fictional character wanted to be: Wanted to be the young detective in ‘s What Was Lost. Such skills, with a monkey assistant called Mickey to boot
  • Bought from fave indie bookshop: The is King of the Indies. Selected this gem for me: a book to savour & ruminate on flamethrowers
  • Have re-read the most: Sixth time round with Lord of the Rings since 2001. It’s a read aloud special in my household
  • Would save from a fire: Most books I could buy/beg/borrow/steal again, so I’d save my book journals. Priceless when memory fades book journal



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