Also I aim to watch again the utterly superb Babylon Berlin. Don’t miss it.
Jean Ure: With the very recent death of my beloved husband I find that it is books which are my greatest solace and means of at least temporary escapism. But they have to be a certain type of book. Nothing to do with the here and now, which I feel would be too close to home for comfort. Likewise nothing too distant – which immediately excludes an old friend such as Mary Renault – nor anything futuristic. Nor anything too familiar – which excludes some of my all-time favourites such as Olivia Manning's two brilliant trilogies. In the past I have often fallen back on Trollope, but for the moment he has lost his appeal. Not quite sure why. Maybe because for the most part he concentrates all his efforts on his characters, with not enough distractions to buoy me up in my present state.
By chance I have come upon an author I am scarcely acquainted with: Barry Unsworth. I did read him once, long ago, but obviously at that time he made little impression. Now he has come to my aid most wonderfully. Tough, powerful, sufficiently removed from the present day - in-depth characters, much food for thought, plenty of distractions.
I started with Sacred Hunger, have now moved on to the sequel, and heaven be praised there are several more waiting for me. Which doesn’t stop me from panicking in advance: where do I go next? Any recommendations most gratefully received.
Michèle Roberts is a writer who takes you into the very heart of her characters and their stories. So I am immensely looking forward to reading Negative Capability, an account of how she copes with the rejection of her latest novel.
More George! published by The Hallamshire Press in 1994 is the story of George Cunningham growing up in Sheffield. George is a fabulous amateur illustrator. His beguiling pictures and vivid accounts of his life are enchanting. ‘Get a Good Rise – Join the R.A.F. Pay 3/- to 18/- a day.’ Such a lovely book.