We are living in J.G. Ballard’s world, that much is clear. So precise were Ballard’s not-so-future predictions that it is beyond cliché to link our current political, technological, architectural and even social states to the man’s writing. But, outside of his great 1970s social-dystopias and his morbid retail-park nightmares of the millennial period, Ballard’s shorter writing has just as much to say about our time as his more famous novels. This may be because we have moved on so very little from the period of Ballard’s most popular writing but it fails to lessen the effect of reading his work; forever inducing a look up from the page just to check that he’s not still about, somehow taking notes as the world beyond merges with his words. This feeling occurred for me most powerfully a few years back, not in front of a London high-rise or in the cavern underneath a motorway as is to be expected, but whilst visiting the ex-weapons testing facility of Orford Ness in Suffolk. Equally, it was not a novel of Ballard’s that had given rise to this feeling but a short story of his written in 1964; the strangely melancholic The Terminal Beach.
HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to five of our fantastic authors for making it into the final rounds of the Goodreads Choice Awards 2017!
We think they’re some of the best books of 2017, and it’s brilliant to see that you do too.
The authors are all different categories which is great news. This means you can vote for them all. Phew!
Notes, stories & 100 essential recipes for midwinter.
From the best-selling author of Eat, The Kitchen Diaries and Toast comes a new book featuring everything you need for the winter solstice.
An essential addition to every cook’s bookshelf, The Modern Cook’s Year will show you how to make the most of seasonal produce, using simple, hugely inventive flavours and ingredients.
This is your chance to win a signed copy of the book and, wait, there’s more…
In college, a professor introduced me to a long eighteenth-century poem by James Thomson called The Seasons. Tremendously influential in its time, it is a lyrical and expansive description of the countryside. There is an entire language here that attends to and celebrates the natural world, and reading it, the salient feature is how rare that is. This is a loss, because it’s probably good for a person, to feel for wild places and to see them clearly. We treat this appreciation as something that comes naturally, but like anything else, you’ve got to learn it.