A confession. I’m a slow reader. I don’t mean I read slowly, I mean I don’t get through as many books in a year as I used to. A tendency to drive everywhere negates any opportunity I once had to read on public transport, even when I was working. Being a full-time Daddy Cabs means I can grab the odd 45 minutes reading while sat in a car park waiting for my daughter to finish training. With four or five training sessions a week this year I’ve been able to get through more literature than previous years but that’s not saying much.
You would think that not working I would have more time to read but I always feel guilty for sitting reading in the middle of the day. I feel I’m supposed to be doing something else, something more important. This means I tend to read a lot at night, when I’ve gone to bed. But I usually go to bed when I’m tired and, by defintion, too tired to read. I try and make sure I get through a couple of chapters before being woken by a mighty tome falling on my face.
So here are the books I’ve read this year or am still reading. The “To Be Read” list gets longer every year and I’m ashamed to publish it for fear those who bought me books in recent years (and I mean years) will be offended. It’s not you, it’s me. Honestly.
“Going Off Alarming: The Autobiography Volume 2” by Danny Baker
Danny isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and for years he wasn’t mine other. He came across as some kind of cockney barra’ boy. I had him all wrong. His two books are a hoot. The translation of the first book into TV’s Cradle to Grave was inspiring. I just wish he’d stay away from TFI Friday. It does him no favours.
“The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81” by J.B. Morrison
Lovely gentle humour from Jim Bob (he of Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine fame) who has taken to using his Sunday name. Loved his Storage Stories too.
“Autobiography” by Morrissey
It was hard going at times but I got there. Didn’t bother buying List of the Lost.
“Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay: The Beginning of the Music Business” by Simon Napier-Bell
Interesting insight into the business side of the music, including the history of publishing. Loved it.
“Rock Stars Stole My Life!: A Big Bad Love Affair With Music” by Mark Ellen
Thanks to Phil for the loan of this. Mark’s one of those people I could listen to talk about music all day.
“Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys: A Memoir” by Viv Albertine
Had the pleasure of attending her Q&A with Ian Rankin during this year’s book festival, where anyone who was anyone from the 80s Edinburgh music scene seemed to be in attendance. This book is a rollercoaster ride of high emotions but I’m so glad I read it.
“Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down” by Nicey & Wifey
Everything you wanted to know about biscuits but were afraid to ask. Custard cream anyone?
“Just My Type” by Simon Garfield
I’ve always loved fonts. Some wonderful stories behind the origins of some of them.
“Rollaresque: The Rakish Progress of The Rolling Stones” By Simon Goddard
After Mozipedia and Ziggyology Simon has moved on to a picaresque reading of the story of the Stones. An absolute joy, with a beautiful cover.
“The Amateurs” by John Niven
“Single White Male” by John Niven
I finally caught up with Kill Your Friends last year and it was a natural move to work my way through John’s back catalogue. These two books touch on the world of golf and the film industry with the darkest of humour. Follow John on Twitter (@johnniven) for the sort of tennis commentary that would have Dan Maskell turning in his grave. I say!
Oh, what the hell. These are in the TO BE READ pile:
“For Who The Bell Tolls” by David Marsh
“How Music Works” by David Byrne
“Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop” by Bob Stanley
“There’s Only One Sauzee: When Le God Grace Easter Road” by Ted Brack
“Songs In The Key of Fife” by Vic Galloway
“Stone Free” by Andrew Loog-Oldham
“Two Girl, One on Each Knee: The Puzzling, Playful World of the Crossword” by Alan Connor
“Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped To Shape Modern Life” by David Cavanagh
“1966 The Year The Decade Exploded” by Jon Savage
These last two I got for Christmas this year.
New Year’s Resolution #1: Read More.