Monday, 10 December 2012

Must-Read Monday - 10th December


"Double acts don’t come any closer than the The Two Ronnies.

Messrs Barker and Corbett kept a nation laughing for two decades, and yet despite the rigorous work that went into writing, rehearsing and broadcasting almost a hundred episodes to millions of viewers each week, the pair never shared a cross word.

For the first time, Ronnie Corbett tells the story of the their rise from theatre, through The Frost Report and into their own legendary show, as well as how some of their greatest sketches, including Mastermind and Fork Handles, came into being.

This is the story of one of the great British institutions of the last thirty years, and a hilarious and moving look inside the working lives of two of our most-beloved comedians."

Steve Cole recommended this memoir to me, and I picked it up in town last week. It's been out for a few years - and it's Ronnie Corbett looking back on a long career with his comedy partner. I was having a christmassy wander about town, found this in Barnardo's, and next thing i knew, i was sitting in Nero's with a chai latte, completely transported to the early 1960s, where in a theatre bar where the author was working, the Two Ronnies met for the first time. It seems to be co-written / spruced up by David Nobbs and the writing has a sweet conversational breeziness to it. I *love* showbiz memoirs of the 60s and 70s.



"What happens when your happy ever after is suddenly and painfully taken away from you?
Elsie Maynard has a whole new life she never expected to have.
From inadvertently founding a choir like no other with former 80s rock star Woody Jensen, to daring to date again, Elsie steps out into an unknown future – a future that could include gorgeous designer Olly Hogarth, a man who seems intent on winning her heart. Overcoming problems, challenges and the occasional frustration – namely overconfident Torin Stewart who seems to be everywhere – Elsie believes she is making the most of her life.
But then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the last item on a very important List.
Can Elsie take the final step and lay her past to rest? Join Elsie as she battles to start again, with the help of a disastrous, newly-formed singing group and her father and sister armed with dating hopefuls."

I thoroughly enjoyed her first two, missed her third - and this one looks a bit wintry and Parisian. Sold.


"A brand-new collection of Sherlock Holmes stories from a variety of exciting voices in modern horror and steampunk, including James Lovegrove, Justin Richards, Paul Magrs, Guy Adams, Mark Hodder. Edited by respected anthologist George Mann, and including a story by Mann himself."

Not out till February, but i've got an advance e-copy because i'm in it (with my first ever Sherlock story!) I've been looking forward to reading this ever since i first heard it was happening.


"'It doesn't matter. I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.' Fifteen-year-old Morwenna lives in Wales with her twin sister and a mother who spins dark magic for ill. One day, Mori and her mother fight a powerful, magical battle that kills her sister and leaves Mori crippled. Devastated, Mori flees to her long-lost father in England. Adrift, outcast at boarding school, Mori retreats into the worlds she knows best: her magic and her books. She works a spell to meet kindred souls and continues to devour every fantasy and science fiction novel she can lay her hands on. But danger lurks... She knows her mother is looking for her and that when she finds her, there will be no escape."

I read about this on a round-up of 2012's best sf and fantasy that David Barnett did for the Independent, which is here. It sounds lovely - I really love books about *readers*.


  1. Going to have to grab George Mann's holmesian epistles .......... thx

  2. :( it's not out in the UK until Feb 2012 :(, then there seems to be a George Mann Holmes novel again in June 2013 as well

    1. yes, that's right! George is very busy on the Holmesian front next year!