It's the time of year when the great and good get to nominate their books of the year in the more serious periodicals. Having never it on to any such list, I'm hugely excited by Dominic Sandbrook in the New Statesman, who names Tim Pears's Landed and Craig Brown's Lost Diaries, and adds:
'I also loved Alwyn Turner's splendid Rejoice! Rejoice! Britain in the 1980s, which not only re-creates the weird world of the Falklands war, the miners' strike, alternative comedy and the Filofax, but finds room for Mike Gatting, Zola Budd and To the Manor Born.'
Since I don't write for such august publications, I don't have the chance of reciprocation, but I would take the opportunity to say that Mr Sandbrook's State of Emergency is the only new book I've actually bought this year, which is as big a tribute as I can pay it. Normally I wait for books to turn up in charity shops, but I was keen to read his account of the Ted Heath years in Britain. And damn fine it is too.