The Loneliest Jukebox

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Book clubbed to death

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
A while back I noted that the Book Club Association was sending out a special leaflet promoting the most ambulance-chasing list of publications it could get its hands on. My colleague Andrew Calcutt once wrote a great little book explaining the origins of this bibliographic niche (buy it here); I took the position that I wouldn't want to be part of any club that would have me as a member, and promptly left.

More recently I was cold-called by someone who noted from her files that I had a seven year-old daughter; would I like a free copy of the latest Jacqueline Wilson issue-athon? (This is before talk of human body parts in The Illustrated Mum had given the same seven year-old nightmares.) Go on then, I said.

Today the invoice for the postal charges arrived, but not the book itself. Also enclosed was a flyer for 'Amazing people ... incredible lives'. Books offered include Life, Interrupted (a memoir of obsession, compulsion, loneliness, alcoholism, music [!]), Just a Boy ('how the author's childhood was destroyed when his mother was murdered by the "Yorkshire Ripper"') and Ugly ('one little girl's determination to succeed, despite the systematic abuse visited on her by her mother').

Let's hope the World Cup turns out more cheerfully.

PS. Usually I would provide Amazon links to these books, in the hope that readers would buy them and my income would be supplemented accordingly. Given the grim subject matter I'll spare you this time, although you could visit my Amazon shop, where a permanent clearance sale of my used goods/impoverished cultural life is taking place. Knock yourself out, dear reader. It beats paying for self storage.


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