When I do get a moment of spare time at home, one of my favourite things to do has always been to read. There’s just nothing quite as good as getting lost in one of your favourite books to relax – or remind yourself of good sporting occasions or times in the pub while we’re locked down.
To celebrate World Book Day 2020, I was asked by Labour for 5 book recommendations, that they could tweet out in a thread to show what our MPs have been busy reading when we’ve been locked down in our spare time.
Here’s my five:
Backlash : The Undeclared War Against Women by Susan Faludi
I first read this nearly thirty years ago in an era of widespread anti-feminist propaganda. Faludi expertly describes how the same cycle of progress in women’s rights is always followed by a backlash. I’m re-reading it now because we’re in that backlash stage of the cycle again. But Faludi always fortifies my determination with these words; “whatever new myths invented, penalties levied, opportunities rescinded or degradations imposed, no-one can ever take from women the justness of our cause.”
CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2020
I’m missing the pub and although virtual drinks with friends and family on zoom is fun, it’s just not the same. Beer always tastes better in the pub so I’ve started planning my post COVID visits to drink good beer I’m good places with good mates. I’ll be making up for lost time and helping pubs get back on their feet.
Maya Angelou : I know why the caged bird sings
The first volume of Angelou’s five volume autobiography is one of my favourite books extraordinary writing by an extraordinary woman who faced and overcame heartbreaking discrimination, sexual violence and poverty. I cry every time I read it.
I watch live cricket every season with my group of Labour supporting, cricket loving friends. Whilst there’s a heavy Glamorgan bias, we share the cricketing love across several counties and nations. Having spent more hours at cricket matches last year than I should probably admit to, I feel bereft without cricket so I’m rationing my Wisden reading to make it last the whole season. It’s a feast of good writing, happy memories, statistics and has a high nerd factor, but I love it. The skill, leadership and teamwork in cricket has taught me a lot. Cricket is about individuals, yes, but it’s also about the collective. The same as my politics.
John Cooper Clark : The Luckiest Man Alive
The Emperor of Punk hasn’t published any new poetry for decades so this is a treat. The nasal Salford drawl, don’t give a s**t attitude and growing old disgracefully make me love him even more. Let’s face it, who else can write such a brilliant poem about the seductiveness of a pie?