SERVE TO WIN BY NOVAK DJOKOVIC
I first watched a young Novak Djokovic play at Queens just at the time when he and Andy Murray burst onto the tennis scene. At that time he was known as the joker in the pack, mimicking the other professionals – especially Rafael Nadal’s tics. Although obviously a fantastic talent Novak, or Nole as he is known to fans, reached semis and finals only to struggle, tire and sometimes even retire at the crucial moments in the match. Commentators said it was asthma, fellow players said he was unfit.
So what happened between that and the Serb becoming Number One in the world and widely considered to be one of the greatest players ever? This short book charts his story from the bombings throughout his childhood in Belgrade up to his successes of the present day. Much of the biography is spared and we cut to the chase of how he suddenly reached physical and mental excellence to climb above the dominant Federer and Nadal in the rankings.
So how did he do it? Simple, he changed the food he ate. Continue reading
THE PRESIDENT’S HAT BY ANTOINE LAURAIN
Antoine Laurain’s superbly translated novel is a charming fable to behold. An uplifting example of genuine storytelling that skips along at a lighthearted but fast pace from beginning to end.
The story is set in the heart of the 80s where we find accountant Daniel Mercer dining alone in a classy Parisian brasserie. Astonishingly, he is soon joined at the next table by the formidable President Francois Mitterrand. Daniel enjoys an unbelievable evening of eavesdropping and beams in the presence of France’s leader.
On leaving the restaurant, Mitterrand leaves his black felt hat behind. After only a moment’s consideration, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary night. The hat changes hands (and heads) when it is lost, found, left again and taken by the wrong person. Each of its temporary owners are stunned to find their lives changing remarkably as if the hat has taken on special powers of magic and destiny. Continue reading
- Tagged Antoine Laurain, Book review, Francois Hollande, Francois Mitterrand, French author, French fiction, French politics, Good books, Great books, Paris, The President's Hat, The Southsea Bookworm
AUTOBIOGRAPHY BY MORRISSEY
A lot has been said in the press about this book, mainly by the most boring of Morrissey naysayers. Lazy headlines and ignorant opinions filled papers and websites by nobody journalists who flicked through the 457 pages trying to find the “revelations,” This book is not about revelations, we know most of this stuff, it’s about the world through Moz’s eyes which often feels like the world through our own eyes which is why we remain true to him. Viva Moz!
Here are my personal highlights from the book published, very deservedly, as a Penguin Classic:
1. Birds abstain from song in post-war industrial Manchester, where the 1960s will not swing, and where the locals are the opposite of worldly (page 4)
2. Miss Redmond is ageing, and will never marry, and will die smelling of attics (page 10)
3. Every house has a face, and the eyes of 10 Trafalgar Square were already closed (page 34)
4. Nannie is gone to the world with a satisfied Embassy wheeze whistling in rhythm to the bedside clock, her night-light pointing the way to cough sweets, Holy water, milk of magnesia and Germolene – the vital accoutrements for anticipated midnight peril (page 34) Continue reading