Someone who has been sleeping rough for years might read a book that suddenly gives him or her an idea for a way out of the circumstances they're faced with. They might read about a situation somewhere in the world and find their new passion through it. Or they might even decide that the words they've read are so inspiring, they want to get back on their feet so they can inspire people in their own way.
My book is a memoir about my life with intrusive sexual thoughts, and it's pretty hard to write about that stuff and not drop the M-bomb. Besides, titillation would never be a problem for a young man in my position, with my mental condition.
At the moment I am reading a new novel by a young British author, published by a small but reputable UK house. It is terrible. OK, perhaps I should qu...
When I was 18, I bought F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night under the assumption that Fitzgerald had derived his title from a song by an Essex based Brit-pop band. I came to the conclusion that the author, like me, was a fan of Blur.
You'd think a book would be the least dangerous thing you could send to your friend who's just begun their summer holiday. Nothing could be much safer, it might seem, than relaxing on a deckchair, in a peaceful garden or hotel poolside terrace, with a book and a cool drink. But this is Northern Ireland, and when we send parcels, we have to risk assess.