June 4, 2018
Funny People don’t always have funny lives.
Tom Scott’s life has had lots of unfunny times but in his autobiography Drawn Out his stilettos sharp observations and dry wit make for very funny reading.
Although he writes of his gauge being on full self-pity later, there is no trace of that with the light and witty touch he applies to his impoverished childhood with his angry, alcoholic father.
In his book he recounts stories of people and events which changed New Zealand and the world as well as touching on his own deprived childhood, and his student days, career and family life.
As a political columnist and cartoonist he mixed with politicians, media and other people, including Sir Edmund Hillary and John Clarke, who made, or covered, the news from New Zealand and around the world.
He also claims the line New Zealanders going to Australia raise the IQ on both sides of the Tasman as his own and says it was taken by Rob Muldoon.
The front cover describes it as a seriously funny memoir. It is and I recommend it as a must-read for anyone interested in politics, history or life.
Drawn Out published by Allen & Unwin.
October 4, 2008
If you read only one book this year let it be The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.
Set in 1946, the correspondence between Juliet Ashton, her publisher and friends tells a heartwarming story of the Guernsey Islanders during World War II and its aftermath.
It is a beautifully written tale of life under occupation which made me sad, made me think, and made me smile.
I normally read quickly, but I savoured this because I was enjoying it so much I didn’t want it to end, and sadly it will be Mary Ann’s only book. Shortly after she submitted the manuscript to a publisher she became ill, she died before it was published and her niece, Annie Burrows did the editing for her.
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, published by Allen & Unwin, 2008.
TGLPPS reminded me of Appointment with Venice by Jerrard Tickell published by Hodder & Stoughton, 1951 which became one of my favourites after I found it on my parents’ bookshelf many years ago. My daughter and a niece also enjoyed it so it hasn’t dated. If you like one, I’m sure you’ll like the other.