Nathan Penlington’s top cultural picks
June 6, 2014, Article by Tom in Books
Band: I’m obsessed by the music of Jonathan Richman – his funny, melancholic, observational, wry and musically diverse songs are something I can’t get enough of.
Artist: I love the almost anonymous work of early circus and sideshow poster and banner artists. Their pre-photographic re-imagination of reality is glorious and close to my heart.
Film: Harold & Maude – a love story between two people fifty-nine years apart, full of heart, humour and hearses. Brothers of the Head is also a stunning film, which recounts how conjoined twin brothers become figureheads for the burgeoning punk scene.
Book: Obviously my favourite Choose Your Own Adventure – #21 Hyperspace by Edward Packard. I also collect anything that experiments with form and format, of which the very much underrated Woman’s World by Graham Rawle is clever in so many ways. Memoirs of a Sword Swallower by Daniel P. Mannix is an exceptional peak through the gap in the back of a sideshow tent, and Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay proves human folly is a constant throughout the ages.
Writer: I’m a huge fan of J G Ballard, Richard Brautigan, Rikki Ducornet, Edward Packard and Kurt Vonnegut.
Drink: I drink too much tea. Nothing fancy, straight, with milk. I should have kept a tally while writing The Boy in the Book, but I’ve learnt not to indulge all my obsessive tendencies. I also drink a lot of ginger beer, the best of which is definitely Bundaberg.
Place/holiday destination: I love London, and I have since I was a kid – I love the flow and change, the diversity and the constant surprise. My last enforced holiday was at Prendergast Caravan Park in south west Wales – a stunning coastline designed for imaginary adventures.
Team and sport: I have an intense disinterest in nearly all sports, apart from one, the greatest sport of all – darts. Every January I hold a nine-day World Darts Championship in miniature called Mini-Lakeside, it is an epic celebration of all that is great about darts – the food, the fancy dress, the drink and the maths. My favourite real life player without question is Tony ‘Silverback’ O’Shea, a lovable ambassador for the sport.
Food: I have an admission to make here. I eat Yorkshire Pudding at least four or five times a week. Something I eat much less often, but no less amazing, are battered chips. Ok, you can judge me now.
THE BOY IN THE BOOK IS OUT NOW!