Smell the coffee and stick your nose in a book

OK, if you drink coffee you read books. Costa coffee think so otherwise they wouldn’t be bothered to run a poll of Britain’s’ favourite authors” with Enid Blyton coming top of the pile. What market can they be aiming at? I thought you’d get arrested for reading Noddy while sipping a latte.

Still, Irish authors figure, just about:

11. C.S. Lewis (OK, more Magdalen College Oxford than Dundela Avenue Belfast, despite the tourist hype but what about Norn Irn as Narnia?

18. Maeve Binchy

Are we downhearted?
But stay! Costa AWARDS( a different thing altogether) are better known by their old name, the Whitbreads ( aaahh now he tells us)… The Irish interest in the awards has always been pretty strong. eg

2003 First novel Vernon Little, DBC Pierre ( don’t all rush)

1998 Best children’s book Skellig, David Almond ( at least there’s the name:check this out for a review)

Heaney, best poetry
1996 The Spirit Level
1987 The Haw Lantern

1994 Book of the Year Felicia’s Journey, William Trevor

I could have sworn Seamus Deane’s magical yet Lecky Road-rooted first novel Reading in the Dark had actually won the Whitbread but it was only ( only!) shortlisted and also for the Booker. But winning lots of others!

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

reasons to be cheerful