Fatty Batter, By Michael Simkins

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Michael Simkins's memoir tells of a fat boy who discovered, to his delight, that it's possible to play cricket pretty well without ever being able to call yourself healthy.

Overly fond of sweets, it wasn't long before he became addicted to the sport. Unfortunately, he also quickly discovered that the real pleasure to be had in playing cricket depends on who you are playing with – and that many cricket teams are full of childish, dull, reactionary half-wits.

Simkins's solution was to form his own team, the Harry Baldwin Occasionals, named after a Victorian cricketer who was the "perfect icon ... for every cricketer who has ever hitched his trousers up over his stomach in an effort to discover a waistline". In other words, an enclave for a very different kind of childish, dull reactionary.

Misogyny plays its part too, as anyone restrained enough to make their way through the whole of this book without stabbing it with a fork will find out. If you like stories about sweaty, middle-aged men revelling in their own inadequacies, you'll love this. A truly suburban effort.