Two outstanding books I’ve read recently were Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity, which is among the finest novels I’ve ever read, not just for the storytelling, but the quality of writing. And the second, Stoner by John Williams, which is a very sad, poignant story.
I’ve watched a lot of sport in between writing sessions. The cricket hasn’t been wonderful, but in Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler I think we have two exciting prospects. I have been looking forward to the Six Nations – but what a ridiculous situation it’s come to, when half the team is injured before the competition has even begun.
I much enjoyed Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks is always watchable, but my performance of the year goes to Cate Blanchett’s remarkable tour de force in Blue Jasmine. I’ve just caught up with the Netflix production of House of Cards – Kevin Spacey is brilliant as the American equivalent of the Chief Whip.
Just before Christmas I saw Greg Doran’s Richard II at the Barbican, and thought it was among the best Shakespeare productions I’ve ever seen over a 30-year period. David Tennant and Oliver Ford Davies were exceptional. But is there a worse car park in Britain than the Barbican?
Jeffrey Archer’s ‘Four Warned’ is one of six new Galaxy Quick Reads available for £1 (quickreads.org.uk)