IAN MCMILLAN'S BEST OF 2010
In the final gathering of the Radio 2 Book Club in 2010, we reflected upon the books of the year. Poet Ian McMillan (presenter of The Verb on Radio 3) joined Simon to discuss some of his favourites.
Here are Ian's personal picks complete with his comments.
C by Tom McCarthy, published by Jonathan Cape.
Man Booker Shortlisted Novel that was the most exciting Iíve read all year. Itís aboutRadio, about ideas, about World War One and the prose is absolutely astonishing at times.
The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell published by Profile Books.
Is this an amazing novel? Is there something very unusual about it? Is it a novel at all? This is a book written entirely in questions which, to start with, irritates the reader but after a while becomes incredibly poignant and moving, making us think about our lives.
This isnít a novel, itís a big fat quarterly magazine, but if youíre at all interested in new writing itís absolutely essential. It introduces writers who become famous in years to come and it takes a determinedly internationalist view of the written word. The current issue introduces 22 new novelists from Spain and South America, the previous issue looked at the history and the writing of Pakistan. Absolutely Fabulous, as they say!
Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists by Daniel Dorling published by The Policy Press
A dull title for a gripping book; Danny Dorling is that rare creature, an academic who writes in a human way and this book looks at consumption, waste, greed, elitism and justice in a way that makes you think really hard about yourself and others.
Promised Land: The Reinvention of Leeds United by Anthony Clavane published by Yellow Jersey Press.
This is the best sports book Iíve read all year which is difficult for me to say, as a Barnsley fan.. Anthony is a Leeds fan and a Daily Mirror journalist and this is a humane, witty and literate account of following Leeds through good years and bad, paralleling the fortunes of the city, of the Jewish community, and of Anthonyís development as a writer and a human being. And a Leeds fan!
A Brit Different by Emma Wood and Keith Didcock published by Punk Publishing. This book is full of joy and delight and glee and eccentricity. Itís an illustrated book of ridiculous British competitions, from The World Pea Shooting Championships in Cambridgeshire to The Mince Pie Eating Championship in Wookey, Somerset, via the Ossett World Coal Carrying ChampionshipsÖ
New And Collected Poems by Ruth Fainlight published by Bloodaxe
Ruth, who was married to Alan Sillitoe for many years, has been publishing poems since the 1960ís and itís fantastic to watch her development over decades. She writes beautifully about the moon, about travel, about love and ageing.
Cities by Elaine Feinstein published by Carcanet.
It is a look back at a life lived in cities throughout the world. Beautifully written, understated, but stays with you long after youíve put it down.
Schools Out edited by John Foster
Full of really great school poems for juniors.
Drivetime listeners also contributed their own recommendations by email, text and in the live online discussion with Ian. You can replay the whole of the live web chat with Ian by clicking the "Play" button below.
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