John's Autumn Picks 2019

I'll list my non-book picks first, then some book picks.

JOHN'S AUTUMN PICK - ALBUM
Waylon Jennings, 'Honky-Tonk Heroes'

The voice of Waylon and the songwriting chops of Billie Joe Shaver make this an all-time melancholy country classic. Jennings' wrenching performance of 'Old Five and Dimers Like Me', especially, is the musical equivalent of the nights drawing in. But there's uproarious fun, too, as in the country stomp of 'Ain't No God in Mexico', bracing as an October thunderstorm.

JOHN'S AUTUMN PICK - TEA
Gnocchi and mushroom sauce

Mushrooms, white wine, bit of chicken stock, cream or creme fraiche, parmesan, over gnocchi. If you've any parsley in the fridge then chop a bit over it why not.

JOHN'S AUTUMN PICK - CRAFT
Knife-sharpening

There's a knife-sharpener on the back of our kitchen door which it would be good to get a bit of use out of. And of course it's good for the knives and makes them last a bit longer. Action item: investigate whether there's a knife-sharpening tutorial on Youtube.

JOHN'S AUTUMN PICK - SEA SHANTY / WORK SONG
'Spanish Ladies'

Lovely tune, lovely verses, lovely chorus. My favourite verse is the one that starts 'O the first land we made, was a point called the Deadman'.

JOHN'S AUTUMN PICK - SOME BOOKS

Finally, here are some books I'm looking forward to reading this autumn. A new collection from Mimi Khalvati; a new novel from John Le Carré; a book of abandoned English villages; two ghost stories from the new-to-me Celia Fremlin.

Afterwardness

Mimi Khalvati

From the publisher:

Prize-winning Iranian-born poet and celebrated founder of The Poetry School (London) explores her diverse culture in a series of brilliant ‘oriental sonnets.’

Agent Running in the Field

John le Carré

From the publisher:

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER ‘Le Carre delivers a tale for our times . . . a demonstration of the British spy thriller at its unputdownable best’ Robert McCrum, Observer ...

Ghostly Stories: Faber Stories

Celia Fremlin

From the publisher:

Yet when Linda gets engaged, Madge starts to feel an intangible peril gathering around the girl. ____ In each of these short, sharp stories, the long-neglected Celia Fremlin ...

Abandoned Villages

Stephen Fisk

From the publisher:

A lonely ruined church, mysterious bumps in a field, stone walls visible on the shoreline of a reservoir in high summer. All these are signs of settlements abandoned over the ...