Propellerhead – a book about microlight aircraft that is really heart-warming, human and has a ring of truth about it that keeps you from running out there and trying it yourself.
A Life Too Short – the biography of Robert Enke, a German goalkeeper who took his own life. Gives an insight into the stress of being a young man trying, and failing, to cope with success and self-doubt.
Low Life – a collection of columns for The Spectator, this traces the day to day life of a middle aged man who’s amounted to either not much, or quite a lot, depending on your view of the human condition.
Going to Sea in a Sieve – The first volume of Danny Baker’s autobiography, surprisingly likeable in the way that both Chris Evans and Piers Morgan also are in print. “Surprising” when you can’t stand any of these twats on TV, that is.
Rejoice, Rejoice – a great history of the Eighties for those of us who tried to misspend our youth in Thatcher’s decade.
Maggie & Me – Another entertaining account of growing up in the Eighties. The title is a bit misleading because Mrs T. doesn’t figure in this autobiography too much at all. She doesn’t need to either.
Comedy and Error – If you like the Fast Show, this is the autobiography of one of the lesser known stars of it. Worth reading for the chapter in which the author takes a holiday alone in Bali as a treat to himself and turns near suicidal during it. Simultaneously funny and disquieting.
Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea – A book that is more about the people than the place, and gives you a sense of how where you have the sheer luck of being born can dictate your life.
The Unwinding – A cracking overview of post-2008 financial crash America which looks at the collateral damage caused by The Masters of the Universe. Manages to be both patriotic and outraged over the absolute mess Wall Street unleashed on the American poor and lower middle classes.
Waking Up in Toy Town – An original autobiography that has a unique style and way of seeing the world that you wouldn’t otherwise imagine.
Whatever It Is, I Don’t Like It – A collection of columns Howard Jacobson has written for The Independent. A bit of a mixed bag, but the good opinion pieces in here are genuinely funny and worth reading the book to find.