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.
First there was Chick Lit, then came Dog Lit. And I confess, Dog Lit has become my guilty pleasure. I read it all from memoirs about naughty Labradors to novels about Eskimos and their sled dogs.
Benjamin remembers some of the books he has collected over the years. He recalls ordering books from catalogues - which are essentially the Amazon of the first half of the twentieth century - and waiting eagerly for their arrival.