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  • Writer's pictureChris Mads

Lockdown Library: My Reading List

The ongoing lockdown in the UK has given lots of us time to catch up on the things which we normally just do not make time for.

My house, for example, has never been this clean. S and I were supposed to have flown to Australia and Singapore for a three-week trip a week after the lockdown was imposed, so that means we had sorted out the shorts and flip flops, prepped the cases and planned out our holiday reading.

While the cases and shorts are back in storage, the reading has actually been pretty well used over the last three weeks. Here is what I have been getting through.

Prodigy: The Evil Earth, Mark Millar

This is the second release from Mark Millar’s Millarworld after it was bought out by Netflix. Millar is the man behind Kingsman: The Secret Service, Wanted and Kick-Ass. Much like those earlier offerings, Prodigy is on track to be turned into a series or film and in Edison Crane it has a hero who can run and run.

I’ll do a longer post on this in the near future, but if you like an escapist graphic novel which you can gorge yourself on then this is perfect.

The Case of the Gilded Fly & Swan Song, Edmund Crispin

A little while ago, S gave me a book about forgotten authors and while flicking through it I discovered Edmund Crispin. That is actually the nom de plume of composer Robert Bruce Montgomery, who wrote a series of novels and short stories between the 1940s and 1970s starring Gervase Fen. This wonderfully-named amateur detective is an infuriatingly and hilariously eccentric English professor at Oxford who spends much of his time solving the inordinately complicated murders which seem to take place in the city.

Packed full of descriptions which will be recognisable to anyone familiar with the city, these are a charming series of light and entertaining whodunnits.

Cigars, Nicholas Foulkes

Photo courtesy of Nick Foulkes' Instagram

This is actually next on my to-do list as my copy only just arrived. I adore Nick Foulkes’ writing for publications ranging from FT’s How To Spend It to GQ and The Rake (more on them in a moment). I can’t wait to get to grips with this book, which explores the history and story of tobacco and cigars – a subject which Foulkes, who was named Havana Man of the Year in 2007, is the ideal authority on.

The Dead Witness, Michael Sims

More detective novel goodness in this collection from Michael Sims, which traces detective stories back to their foundation with the likes of Edgar Allen Poe through Charles Dickens and E.W. Hornung, created of the master thief Raffles.

Intelligence for Dummies, Glenn O’Brien

Have you hung out with Andy Warhol, edited his Interview magazine, made a film about Jean-Michel Basquiat, sat at the heart of covering the punk era, been GQ’s Style Guy for many years and been named one of America’s most stylish men? No.

Has the late Glenn O-Brien? Yes. This collection of his columns and writings covers everything from art and music to style and politics and is the perfect way to lose yourself in the life of a man who lived the life many just dream of.

GQ & The Rake

Lockdown is made so much better by a good magazine and these are two of my favourites. Most of what you want or need to know about the world, lovingly laid out across beautiful glossy pages. Grab a cuppa and settle in.

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