· Emily Nemens is the Editor of The Paris Review. She just published her first novel, dedicated to her Dad (nice one Emily). It’s set just down the road from us in Salt River Fields, Scottsdale, Arizona. A bunch of old Lancaster Royal Grammar School mates and I went there for Spring Training a couple of years ago. Check out The Cactus League – it’s not just about baseball, it’s about the pain and beauty of any/every sport.
· Hollow in the Land is a ‘local’ book from my Lancashire birth-place. Beautiful, melancholy – James Clarke’s second novel is all about real flesh and blood characters and their journeys through childhood and middle age, through faded first-love to disillusionment – their voices dripping with a sense of place, time and class.
· GBH by Ted Lewis. Written in 1980 – 40 years ago. I missed it then. Ted was an ad-man, animator (Yellow Submarine) and a writer – including the iconic Get Carter (made famous by Michael Caine). A lost masterwork of British criminal noir in the 70’s.
· And two ludicrous escape/suspend belief tales of indestructible heroes; Mark Greaney’s The Gray Man (Court Gentry) returns for his 9th outing (after fighting a biological virus war last year – one year ahead of Covid-19) – this year it’s female trafficking – One Minute Out.
And Gregg Hurwitz’ Orphan X (Evan Smoak) is back for the 5th time – Into the Fire.
No Coronavirus conversations here. Taking a break, reading.