One problem with working in publishing is that it all-but destroys reading for pleasure. You spend eight hours a day either reading or editing, and the last thing you want to deal with when you get home and put your feet up is more words. Additionally, you are so attuned to either skim-reading (initial manuscripts) or quasi-proof-reading (stuff you’re actually publishing) that it’s very hard to find that middle ground, where you don’t skip half of a given page or re-read it a dozen times to see how you can reword it.
Anyway, I’ve belatedly just finished this (it was a Christmas present from my in-laws two Christmases ago) and I can heartily recommend it. (Interestingly, the author has chosen personally to respond to the one negative review on Amazon.)
On coffee breaks, meanwhile, we’re trying to understand the crisis in Europe, what it means for the UK, for publishing and for us. A weak Euro means a strong US dollar, apparently; we do now sell a reasonable quanity of books in the USA, so this might be a good thing for Monday Books. On the other hand, the US looks pretty like a basket case-in-waiting to me, stuck between wantologists and a pensions nightmare. If Greece leaves the Euro, maybe with a hybrid Nazi-Communist government, will that mean cheaper holidays for Britons (and more money to spend on reading), or will it mean the RAF airlifting people out of a burning Athens? The Euro might drop to 50% of its present value; will we all finally be able to afford the ski chalets of our dreams, or will it take the UK with it? (Can you buy shares in Bognor Regis?) If people don’t have the money to go out, will they stay in with a book instead? It’s all very confusing. In a very long list of things about economics that I don’t or can’t understand, do we actually have ‘austerity’ anyway, and how can it be ‘rejected’ by voters in Greece and France? Isn’t the opposite of austerity borrowing (and spending)? And if you reject austerity are you not going to struggle, eventually, to borrow? I’ve half a mind to announce that I’m rejecting the concept of paying my mortgage.
Inspector Gadget is leading the Tolploddle Martyrs* on a trip to London this week. I tend to support privatisation, if only because, in theory at least, incompetent firms can go bust, whereas incompetent council chiefs and MPs just increase your tax bills and end up getting to the baronetcy or the House of Lords; but privatising the police is bonkers. Read Wasting More Police Time for the reasons why, and follow this link to youtube to see what it’s really like in the custody block.
Results, apparently, would entail mass quantities of sexy women lining up to bone him and his ilk, regardless of the fact that they spend all of their time ranting and raving on a misogynistic website.
The 10 best cricket books; Mike Brearley’s Art of Captaincy should be in there, I think. Graham Gooch’s autobiography is well worth a read, too. Derek Randall’s isn’t, which is a shame as he was my boyhood hero. I also like not-Kevin Pietersen’s The Cricketer Diaries:
“WTF Belly. Where the hell is everyone?”
* That is a high quality pun.