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It’s lovely when you get a nice little surprise (or ‘pleasing’ as Lynne at DGR would call them). I’ve had a couple of good bookish ones this morning.

berkoffFirstly, I unpacked my acquisitions from the charity shop yesterday. I know I don’t need books, but my daughter was having her hair cut, and what was I to do? It was too distracting to sit and read in the hairdressers, so I went shopping.

Among the books I bought was this hardback: Steven Berkoff’s autobiography Free Association.

He is one of those fascinating actors equally at home on stage or screens big and small, and he’s one of the very best actors at playing baddies there is.  Although an East-end lad, he comes from Romanian stock, which explains a lot.

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He has been in Bond films, and a Matt Smith episode of Dr Who, but apart from his baddie role, I always primarily associate him with Kafka.  He adapted three of his novels for the stage, and I can vividly remember the 1987 TV film of Metamorphosis which had a young Tim Roth scuttling around the stage.

I will look forward to reading this book, and it was a lovely surprise when I opened the cover this morning to find that my £2.50 had got me a signed copy. OK, so my name’s not John, but Berkoff has touched this particular book, and I like that a lot.

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billy and meMy second nice surprise was that my daughter and I were discussing a book that my niece had recommended on our visit to Croydon earlier this week. Billy and Me is a chicklit romance by debut author Giovanna Fletcher. I said we’d look it up and get a copy if Juliet wanted it. Juliet squinted at the bookcase in front of her and said, ‘You’ve already got a copy!’. ‘Gosh,’ I replied when I realised that I’d received a copy from the publisher (thank you), so my daughter has added it to her pile as it is not really a book for me.

One thing you should know about Giovanna Fletcher though, which I didn’t realise until I read the blurb of this book, is apart from having been in TOWIE, she is married to Tom from McFly - and she is the girl to whom he sang his wedding speech in one of Youtube’s most watched clips. I was sceptical, but had watched it some weeks ago when I saw it mentioned in a magazine and I was nearly in tears by the end. It was so lovely (and of course Harry Judd is in it too) – so I shall encourage you to have an indulgent break to watch it for yourselves…

Have you had any nice little bookish surprises lately? Do share…

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To explore these books further on Amazon UK, please click below:
Free Association: Autobiography by Steven Berkoff, 1997, Faber paperback
Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher, Penguin paperback.

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