I have finally persuaded my Dad, Ray (81), to come out from behind his comments alter-ego of Anne O’Nemus to write a few lines on some of the books he’s been reading below.  There we are together on the right, back in the early 1960s.  He’s always read loads – thrillers, football books and showbiz biographies are all favourites. Being a veteran quiz-setter he also has a love of good reference books – something I definitely share.  Let me pass you over …

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Perhaps I should make it clear right from the start, I read for pleasure.  I’m not into analysing the characters and criticising the plot; as long as the book holds my attention, I’m happy.  That’s not to say that I would judge a book to be a good read, if in fact it was a load of rubbish!

So what am I reading now?  Well, it’s Bobby Charlton’s second volume of autobiography My England Years.    Is it a good read?   It’s passable given that it’s a recital of his time playing for England, but it’s been ‘co-written’ with a journalist who in my opinion has not written it in what I would consider to be the style which might be adopted by Bobby Charlton – too many long sentences with subjective clauses.  I must say that I find it to be a bit hard-going but I’m determined to finish it.

My read before that was the first Shardlake book Dissolution by C J Sansom.    It’s a historical detective story based on the fringes of the doings of Thomas Cromwell.    There’s lots of historical information in the book, ‘tweaked’ where necessary to fit the story and it’s a jolly good read with the culprit’s identity kept well hidden until the last few pages.     I have to confess that having been given rather a lot of book tokens for one of my birthdays, I bought Sansom’s Sovereign not knowing anything about the series of books which preceded it.   That one dealt more with Henry VIII’s progress and was equally readable.   I now have all the other Shardlake books which I’ve no doubt I shall enjoy immensely.    I wonder whether the culprit is always the most innocent-appearing  person in the book – we shall see.

My next read is likely to be Parky’s People, where I hope to meet up with all those wonderful interviewees I recall seeing in the 70’s and 80’s, (especially Shirley Temple whom I remember as being absolutely captivating!)

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Thank you Dad.

To buy any of these from Amazon.co.uk, click below:
My England Years: The Autobiography by Bobby Charlton
Dissolution (Shardlake) by C J Sansom
Parky’s People: The Interviews – 100 of the Best by Michael Parkinson