Five Books on a Shelf

The premise is simple; pick five books on your shelf, take a snap, and write a sentence about each one. This month, 26 board member Alastair Creamer, shares a snapshot of his library.


Unless by Carol Shields

This is her best novel in our opinion but sadly her last, so it’s a muted pleasure (she could have written so much more), stripped down so the acts we feel compelled to take are laid alongside the bare bones of emotions they cause.


Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd

Persistence personified as I tried on three occasions to crack this novel before it finally gave way and welcomed me in, and now I’m hooked, a testament to the value of plugging away.


Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas

This will always be a multi-layered experience since the time I was in a gallery, lulled by Richard Burton’s crooning in the background, looking at Peter Blake’s paintings of the characters and being transported by the language through more senses than I knew I had.


Four Hedges by Clare Leighton

I came late to gardening and this is my bible – written in the 1930s about a windswept plot carved out of the Chiltern Hills where conditions are so tough it makes all my endeavours by comparison seem possible and pleasurable, and so I carry on digging.


The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa 

This was one of my Dad’s favourites and his well-thumbed copy is now mine, as is the favouritism, so I hold this connection very dearly as one of the tangible links between us, reignited every time I re-read it.


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