Miles Kington: 'Dogblog: Sadie's Story' and other yuletide gems...

Blunkett's dog, Sadie, who was always convinced of OJ's guilt, argues her case very well, though she's a little hazy on statistics
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Why not give a book for Christmas? There are so many to choose from! In fact, there are far too many damned books to choose from, aren't there? So here to help you is our selection of some of this season's best.

How I Would Kill a Russian Secret Agent, by OJ Simpson (Pretzel Press, £15.99). Veteran murder suspect OJ Simpson spells out how he would go about tackling the task of eliminating someone who had got up President Putin's nose. Not for the faint-hearted.

The Speed Camera Photograph Yearbook, introduced by Jeremy Clarkson (Police Prestige Press, £15.99). Some of the best snaps of speeding cars of the past year, with some of the most amusing excuses offered in court to explain why the offender was driving so fast, such as "I was running out of petrol and had to get to the next garage as fast as possible", and "I was listening to Melvyn Bragg's 'In Our Time' on Radio 4, about the origins of alchemy, and the radio reception was getting faint, and I was desperate to restore it immediately".

Dogblog: Sadie's Story; the personal account of David Blunkett's life and times by his guide dog, ghost-written by Roy Hattersley (Bassett Books, £15.99). If you are still interested in David Blunkett's life story, this is the book for you. Sadie was the only witness to some of the most intimate scenes in Blunkett's life, and this is an unvarnished, unashamed account of what happened by the dog who was there, as imagined by the man who wrote Buster's Story.

Sadie says she was against the Iraq war and the introduction of ID cards right from the start, and was always convinced of OJ Simpson's guilt, and argues her case very well, though she is a little hazy on statistics.

Why Do All Books Cost £15.99? by Professor Irwin Sands (Query Press, £15.98). Every year there is a hot-selling book at Christmas time which has a question as a title, and brings you lots of little-known facts. It might ask whether anything eats wasps, or why penguins' feet don't freeze, but as long as it intrigues you long enough to get you to buy it and give it to someone else at Christmas, its purpose is achieved. This might be the one for this year.

Schott's Christmas Book by Ben Schott (Schott Books, £15.99). Some authors produce such regular Christmas books every year, like Michael Palin and Jeremy Clarkson, that after a while it matters little what is inside them, and this year Ben Schott's book is just called Schott's Christmas Book. It's full of lists.

Hello, There - It's Me Again! by Clive James (Synaesthesia Press, £15.99). This is the 17th volume of memoirs by the ubiquitous, irrepressible, twinkling Australian aesthete and man about moeurs. In it, somewhat unexpectedly, he spells out in detail how he would murder OJ Simpson if he got the chance.

Hello, There - It's Me Again, Too! by Bill Bryson (University of Des Moines Press, £15.99). Everyone in Britain thinks Bill Bryson has gone back to America to live there, whereas everyone in America is under the impression that he has since then returned to Britain. So where is he now? In this new book, Bryson throws no light on that particular mystery. Still, he does at least explain the scientific reasons for everything that happened in the USA during the 1950s.

Um, Excuse Me, But It's Me Again, Too, Actually by Alan Bennett (Offcut Press, £15.99). Alan Bennett has variously been described as the nearest we have today to the Queen Mother, the nearest we have to John Betjeman, and the nearest we have to a non-smoking David Hockney. Be that as it may, this is more stuff from him.

Throwing Andy Robinson to The Lions by OJ Simpson (Pretzel Press, £15.99). OJ Simpson, the former American football star, has written a surprisingly thoughtful work on what has gone wrong with England's rugby strategy in the past few seasons, how the team should be gradually rebuilt, and which particular players should be taken out and killed by him personally, and how he would do it.