Books 2012


It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet by James Herriot (1972)
I've never read these books, although I seem to recall my grandparents had most of them. Why I should have skipped them I don't know. For some reason, this tatty copy in the book exchange at work appealed. Enjoyable, snack-sized vignettes of country life.
Summer Of Love: The Making Of Sgt. Pepper by George Martin (1994)
Despite buying this book several years ago, this is the first time I have read it. A fascinating record of what happened, and no-one can doubt its veracity. Apart from the bits he can't remember, as he himself points out in the introduction! Very interesting.
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2003)
An excellent and understandably famous book. Although I'm not quite sure why it qualifies as a children's book. I won't be showing this to any of my kids until they're in their early teens.
The People's Music by Ian MacDonald (2003)
MacDonald's Revolution In The Head is definitive, but this collection of magazine articles is indulgent. Clearly a highly intelligent, widely-read, erudite and articulate man, MacDonald nevertheless consistently mistakes his own prejudices for objective truths and is a canonical example of a rock snob. There is much of interest here but too often MacDonald merely comes across as an overly verbose grumpy old man. The title piece is several thousand words long but could be summed up in five: "I don't like modern music."
Microserfs by Douglas Coupland (1995)
I first read this ages ago but now I actually work in software product development it makes more sense. (Not that where I work is like Microsoft or a start-up, really.) Very accurate about some details.
Thunder, Flush And Thomas Crapper: An Encycloopedia by Adam Hart-Davis (1997)
Amusing, mildly diverting and occasionally enlightening selection of snippets about toilets. Ideal for reading on the toilet. Although the fact that my copy is second-hand makes me wonder about how hygienic it is.
The Top Gear Story by Martin Roach (2011)
Ludicrously uncritical attempt to cash in on (new) Top Gear's success. Contains fleeting insights into the history, development and rationale behind the series but wastes too much space on simple recounting of old programmes. I'm not sure why I bothered or persevered, to be honest.
Reelin' In The Years by Mark Radcliffe (2011)
A characteristically witty and engaging book. The pop anorak in me likes the concept very much: a song for every year of your life, with added trivia. The reader in me finds the result a little fragmented.