One of the greatest joys of reading is to discover something that’s engaging but outside your comfort zone. Over the past few months I have come across a number of books that have inspired my own sense of imagination for future stories.
I started worth Charles Cumming’s “Box 88”, a tale of a secret spying agency which I had bought with a sense of reassurance its plot was similar to something I might have hatched – except Cumming provides a myriad of fine detail which makes this work of fiction completely authentic. My mantra is to believe good fiction writing provides an escape from the mundane and for a bit of entertaining fantasy, Kevin R McNally`s “Sons of Sol” chronicles the deep space oddessy of two Edinburgh graduates who have developed a space engine that opens up intergalactic space travel. Naturally their enterprise brings them into contact with new civilisations and an unscrupulous villain who holds them hostage for their knowledge. This read is ultimate sci-fi with a lashing of laughs which holds the readers’ attention. Definitely look out for this in your local bookshop – great fun!
More entertaining still is actor Brian Cox’s autobiography “Pulling the Rabbit Out of the Hat”. I’m not a great reader of this type of book, but few can deny this titan of TV and theatre hasn’t had a full and entertaining life from Dundee to Hollywood. Finally there is BBC Radio Five Live’s Nihal Arthanayke and his invitation to “Let’s Talk”. This book reminds us all that conversation is a valuable commodity and is under threat in the computer age. I like this because the subject is normally hidden in plain sight, and it is full of anecdotes that I have found myself reflecting on in quieter moments. All in all, here are four very different books offering unexpected moments of humour and irony. All are worth looking out for over the coming holiday period – that is if you have finished reading my own books – looks like Nihal is just getting started!