Tuesday, 4 January 2011
Three nice things
Ian Jack, in mellow mood in his column in last Saturday’s Guardian, mentions some of the things about which in his column ‘recently I have been wrong’: ‘… Wrong to suggest the writer Gabriel Josipovici wouldn’t be easy to enjoy because he was a modernist, when I hadn’t in fact read very much Josipovici; his publishers then sent me his new novel, Only Joking, which I’m happy to say is short, witty and intensely enjoyable.’ Buy the book here.
There’s an interview with Fergus Allen and three poems by him in the new PN Review (197). The poems are all included in his new collection, Before Troy, published by CBe last October. Buy that book here.
You know the little picture of the crown (with, underneath, ‘By appointment to . . .’) that graces the packaging of an odd assortment of things? And that enables us to build up a picture of the Queen’s daily routine – what cereal she has for breakfast, where she has her robes dry-cleaned after an unfortunate spill? Well, the CBe books (the ones with brown covers) are printed down the road by Blissetts, and Gary Blissett first set up as a bookbinder, adding the printing and other bits along the way, and today there came an unexpected email: ‘I am delighted to inform you that Blissetts have been granted a Royal Warrant as Bookbinders to Her Majesty The Queen . . . We are the first Bookbinding company to be recognised in this way.’ (I do wonder, of course, what exactly she’s having bound. I’ll ask.)