The best books of 2010
Shit My Dad Says, Nileism, Mr Chartwell and Hitch-22
Justin Halpern - Shit My Dad Says
Most often, the noises emanating from Twitter are akin to the pumpfire blurted from the groaning anus of Satan, but almost unbelievably, the odd gem is in there if you care to check. Occasionally, some forward-thinking publisher might save us that bother by throwing together a collection of tweets and this is exactly the story with Shit My Dad Says. The funniest book of the year is essentially the scatological espousings of Sam Halpern, cranky dad of US journo Justin. And now a TV show with William Shatner playing the potty-mouthed pop.
Allan Brown - Nileism: The Strange Course of the Blue Nile
The story of the Blue Nile is one of glacially-paced recording schedules, thwarted ambition and cult fandom. And it’s all there in Nileism, journalist and author Allan Brown’s insightful and addictive elegy.
Rebecca Hunt - Mr Chartwell
Winston Churchill’s depressive black dog comes magnificently to life in debutant Rebecca Hunt’s novel, Mr Chartwell, in which the gangly hound stalks both the iconic leader and a House of Commons clerk.
Fig Tree, October.
Christopher Hitchens - Hitch-22
Given that Christopher Hitchens’ days are now numbered, the release of this year’s memoir was certainly timely. A typically erudite and polemical read, you might not agree with every word, but you can only admire the guy’s style and wit.
Kevin MacNeil - A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde
One of the most down-the-line enjoyable fiction reads of the year, the Stornoway scribe’s A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde featured an aspiring thespian involved in a theatre production of the RLS classic while going slightly off the rails.