Wow – I’m having a super reading month this month; this is the eleventh book I’ve finished and I’m galloping through another lovely Elizabeth Fair and should have that one done and dusted by the end of tomorrow. I haven’t had a huge amount of leisure time, as I’ve done a LOT of work this month, but I haven’t been watching much television at all, as there’s been nothing on that I’ve wanted to see (apart from a few documentaries, like the one set at Birmingham Central Mosque, the never-ending episodes of Only Connect from before Christmas and good old Big Bang Theory). So lots of early nights curled up with a book and the TBR is going to be looking good on Saturday!
Mark Mason – “Mail Obsession”
(10 September 2016 – outpost of The Works in Stirchley Co-op)
I can’t even remember why we went in Stirchley Co-op, but I do recall buying this book and a jigsaw puzzle of a map of London.
Apparently someone who is a serial writer of “quest” books (I think he’s travelled the length of Britain on buses, too), Mason sets out in this one to collect a quaint or interesting fact about each main postcode area in the UK (so we’re talking just the letters, no numbers). While he has memorable visits to many places and includes a lovely description of posting a letter as far as he can from home (to the Shetlands) and then taking it himself on the final part of its journey, and lavishes quite a lot of time on London’s postal museum, well, I might be wrong, but I don’t think he actually visits each postcode (even though the subtitle of the book is “A Journey Around Britain by Postcode”). The index obscures or confuses this a bit: it has an italicised entry for each postcode fact, but then doesn’t, for example, list Aberdeen as a city, while he does visit Aberdeen on the same page as the AB fact, but he has a fact for Birmingham and doesn’t seem to pop in there at all.
The facts are OK, although I did know a few of them, if not where they were precisely located. He’s an engaging companion and I liked the bits about his long-suffering wife, but there were a lot about football. An OK light read but not a re-read, and I can’t say fairer than that.
My next book is the story of a man carving a whole tree into things, bought in Penzance, a book on running with the Kenyans, Mark Ellen’s autobiography or a school story. Hm …