|I like to read stuff from a number of genres. In the field
of crime, it’s hard to find better out-and-out whodunits than those written by
the great Agatha Christie. It’s probably a bit unfashionable of me to admit to
being such a fan, but there’s a reason why she’s one of the best-selling
writers in history, you know! It will be no surprise if I tell you that I’m
also a big fan of Ellis Peters, who first brought fame to historical crime; I
also very much enjoy the Matthew Bartholomew chronicles, written by Susanna
Gregory and set in fourteenth-century Cambridge.
The depiction of the city is so vivid that you can almost smell it.
|| Looking at more general historical fiction, I’d never have
got started if I hadn’t read virtually everything written by Rosemary Sutcliff
when I was younger; amongst more recent authors, I find I just can’t put down
anything by Sharon Penman. If you’ve never read The Sunne in Splendour, go and get hold of a copy now …
|In other fiction, I like all sorts of classics (has anyone,
anywhere, ever been as witty as Jane Austen? Don’t just watch the TV
adaptations – read the books!) and various more modern things. I await eagerly
every new book by Christopher Brookmyre and put my life on hold until I’ve
finished it. Perhaps strangely (or not?) for a historical buff, I enjoy various
SF and fantasy as well. The late Douglas Adams certainly doesn’t need the likes
of me to tell everyone how fantastic his writing is, but I will anyway, and I
also admire David Eddings, mainly as his characters as just so real that you
feel they could be in the room, even though they’re miles away in a fantasy
No reading list would be complete without some non-fiction.
Well, anything that relates to the Middle Ages is great, though I must
particularly recommend anything by Matthew Strickland, Sean McGlynn or John Gillingham.
finally, in the field of cricket I’ll read pretty much anything, but I make a
beeline straight for anything by the prodigiously talented Gideon Haigh. And if
you’re sitting there thinking, “What? Cricket?” then you could do no better
than finding a copy of Young Wisden: A
New Fan’s Guide to Cricket by Tim de Lisle. It’s meant as an introduction
to the game for youngsters, but is really useful for newcomers to the game of
|If you're a more seasoned fan, check out Lawrence Booth's Cricket, Lovely Cricket? An Addict's Guide to the World's Most Exasperating Game - a laugh-out-loud read from one of the wittiest writers around.