WHAT BOOK would radio presenter and author Simon Mayo take to a desert island?
. . . Are you reading now?
All The Sinners Bleed by S. A. Cosby. This is probably my favourite book this year. Set in Charon County, Virginia, in the U.S., Titus Crown is Charon’s first black sheriff.
A year to the day after his election, a school teacher is shot by one of his former students. The student is then shot by Titus’s deputies. But this book isn’t about school shootings, it is much, much darker than that. As Titus investigates, he realises he is fighting a serial killer and the county’s bloody history. The American civil war, confederate statues and crazy church folk are all in his way.
You’ll be appalled of course, but Titus carries you through. I loved it.
. . . would you take to a desert island?
This of course is a trick question. If I took a favourite book, I would quickly tire of it. If I took an untried book, I might hate it after a chapter and what a waste that would be. So if I’m on this desert island for a long time, I would like a book I could turn to over and over again. So my only choice is to go for the Oxford Dictionary of Etymology. And not the concise version. When I am rescued, I can be the new host for Countdown.
English radio presenter and author Simon Mayo (pictured in May 2022) is currently reading All The Sinners Bleed by S. A. Cosby
. . . first gave you the reading bug?
That award goes to Willard Price’s Adventure series, starring teenagers Hal and Roger Hunt.
These two (probably very entitled) young chaps travel the world collecting a fabulous array of animals for their father’s zoo. No creature too dangerous, too exotic, or too endangered. While it is true that some of these stories may not have aged well, the thrill of a page-turning novel with danger, heroes and villains is a treasure to be valued.
. . .left you cold?
I really didn’t get on with Lord Of The Rings until the wonderful movies — then it all made sense. I was supposed to like it. But I didn’t. ‘It wins all the readers’ polls.’ Well, no one asked me. ‘It has trolls and dwarves and elves.’ But that’s exactly my point.
Thanks but no thanks J. R. R. Tolkien.
Tick Tock by Simon Mayo is out now in paperback (£8.99, Transworld).