Recommended for summer. All year.

Casting about for a good read? See if there’s something you fancy in this list.

People are always asking what my favourite book is. I don’t have favourites. At least, today’s favourite may not be tomorrow’s favourite. It depends on my mood, on my diary, on the weather, who’s around, what’s for lunch and what deadlines are screaming. I don’t often go in for the current hot bestsellers: I’m mulish and like to choose for myself rather than letting publishers’ marketing departments choose for me. But all these are tried and tested – you can rely on every one of them to fill you full of good words and satisfaction. What’s to your taste… that I can’t guess. But let me know what you’ve already read, and if you choose something you’ve not read before, let me know what you think. Are your favourites here?

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What’s your favourite reference book?

 

Whether you’re writing fiction, non-fiction, articles or poetry, you need to know things. Be it the times of the trains on 5th February from Oxford to Montrose, the name of the first dog to go into space, or the statistics of the Headingley Ashes Test in 1981, writers need to do their research and be sure of their facts.

What reference books do you rely on?

Which book is your utter favourite? 

What can you recommend?

Writer's reference books [photo credit Abbs Pepper]

Want to write a cookery book?

John Minton's dust jacket for David's first book
John Minton’s dust jacket for David’s first book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Non-fiction books need good ideas just as much as fiction. Well, not quite, but you need to tell a story, nevertheless. Food lends itself to great storytelling – Elizabeth David revolutionised foodwriting in Britain, as Julia Child did in the USA. They wrote about far more than the recipes, as now all good food writers do.

Here’s an article in the Guardian, posted by Wendy Collinson on facebook, which will give you some clues about how to approach your food story.