I recommend the novel Once by Morris Gleitzman. Well, I was going to. Then I read the sequel Then before I had a chance to put pen to paper / finger to keyboard and I would be doing Gleitzman and anyone reading this a great disservice if I didn’t recommend both. In fact, I’m tempted to provisionally recommend the further sequels After and Now as I can’t imagine that they’ll be anything less than superb.
I recommend Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. I viewed the film without having any of it spoiled for me and I’ve written this recommendation without reading any other responses to it (although I have seen some videos of John Boyega popping up at screenings and everyone seemed pretty happy to see him.) I think your enjoyment of the film may be ruined if you know what’s coming, and not just because all stories are best enjoyed unspoiled, because part of the joy of The Force Awakens was in the satisfying click as each character slotted into their role in the renewed cycle of Star Wars narrative. If you haven’t seen the film you should be aware that this post will be riddled with the spolieriest of spoilers.
I recommend stats – a trendy abbreviation of the word ‘statistics.’
I recommend season 2 of the podcast Serial. Today, accompanied by an email heralding the show’s return, episode 1 slipped onto my phone, made a modest ‘ping’ and quietly waited for me to drop everything and go for a podcast walk (walking or menial tasks are the best activities to undertake when podcast listening.)
I recommend the 2010 film Four Lions. It was directed by the reclusive comedy genius Chris Morris, who wrote it with Peep Show writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain.
This is another post in my ‘I always knew you would like this…’ series. Back in 2010, 16 year old me had a crack at articulating the brilliance of this perfectly pitched satire of jihadi terrorists. I wonder how I did?
I recommend the Russell Brand Radio Show and podcast in its various forms, and there have been a lot different iterations: 6 Music, BBC Radio 2, TalkSport, XFM, and Audioboom.
It feels appropriate at the end of this, my first week as a Reading Champion, to recommend the podcast Book Shambles. Despite being a champion of reading, there are still some books I haven’t read, so I defer to the recommendations of Robin Ince, Josie Long, and their guests.
I recommend Alan Partridge’s autobiography I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan.
Alan Gordon Partridge, Steve Coogan’s most famous character, tells the tale of his career as a sports reporter, radio DJ, and TV chat show presenter.