Literary catch-up

Have just read Margrave of the Marshes autobiography of the late great John Peel and in fact two-thirds biography as his wife Sheila had to take on the task of finishing this after his untimely death in October 2004.

This is a great read, Peel comes across on paper exactly as he did on Radio and TV, as a genuinely nice bloke, funny in word and deed, always self-deprecating, a dedicated fan of new music (and Liverpool football team) a great husband and father and most of all as human, with small failings and self-doubt, problems large and small, and someone who really enjoyed his life. He was never a celebrity in his head, heart or behaviour. A shy man but a loyal friend for those lucky enough to know him. He was exceptionally generous with his time (and often his money too) and he was professional, spending literally hours every day listening to music and compiling playlists for his show.

Even if you’re not already a fan of Peel, you might well enjoy this book. If you are a fan already you’ll love it, his voice comes through loud and clear particularly in the first third which he wrote himself.

Prior to this I read, in no particular order, Sharpes Havoc by Bernard Cornwell, Garden of Beasts by Jeffrey Deaver, Past Reason Hated by Peter Robinson, The Many Coloured Land by Julian May and Sharpes Rifles by Bernard Cornwell. There were more, but have to try to remember which ones since I wrote last…

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