October recommendations

I know you know all about this freak of eighteenth literature – what I want to highlight is this particular version by UTTERLY MARVELLOUS fledgling publishers Visual Editions. If you do nothing else today check out their small but perfectly formed range of delightful visual books. Rarely have design and writing come together so well – very highly recommended. I can almost forgive the obligatory Will Self foreword. Roger Horberry


Of course it’s all very well producing a beautiful new edition of this quirky old book, but what exactly was Sterne on about? The fact is TLAOOTS,G is virtually unreadable – certainly to modern eyes (and I suspect eyes of every age – wasn’t that half the point?). Anyway, this graphic novel version is a quite brilliant visualisation of a story that passeth all understanding. Roger Horberry



Life by Keith Richards

At 600-plus pages, ‘Life’ is a bit of a doorstop, but it certainly didn’t lag. On the back cover, Keef archly informs us “Believe it or not, I haven’t forgotten any of it”, and to be fair, he’s very sharp on the early years, though fuzzier as time wears on. The book splits roughly into three: childhood, forming the band and success; the lost, drugged-out years; settling down, family life and Rolling Stones the brand.

The writing is credited to the man himself (with James Fox), and clearly there’s a lot of transcripted material in here, because you can really hear Keef speaking. What comes across is someone who’s hugely dedicated to what he does (at times the book gets deeply technical about guitar playing), and always wears his heart on his piratical sleeve. He’s surprisingly funny, open, self-deprecating and intelligent. And although he runs out of steam at the end (and starts dishing out recipes for bangers and mash), this is right up there with the best in the rock bio genre. Actually, you’d expect nothing less. Jim Davies


Stephen Fry’s Planet Word, BBC Two

No doubt most 26ers have been watching the avuncular Stephen Fry traipsing through the bowels and vowels of language. He does so here with his usual blend of erudition and humour, managing bringing potentially dull subject matter to life. It makes a change to have such brain-tickling fare showing on primetime TV — however, Planet Word is a slightly unsatisfying beast, which for the sake of keeping things light, doesn’t delve quite as deeply as it might. Jim Davies



The Clod Ensemble produce remarkable and haunting performances using theatre as a poetic medium – framing, magnifying and grappling with big themes through the observation of small everyday moments and brief encounters. For six weeks from 28 October to 10 December, Performing Medicine: The Anatomy Season explores the fertile and fascinating relationships between anatomy and performance at venues including Sadler’s Wells, Wellcome Collection and Whitechapel Gallery

ORLAN, Wendy Houstoun, Peggy Shaw, Quay Brothers, Christine Borland, Susan Standring and Roger Kneebone are among the artists, anatomists, medics and thinkers taking part in a series of provocative performances, conversations and workshops at venues throughout London. Tom Lynham


Byliner to discover new writers

I’m recommending a great site for discovering new writers called Byliner. I found it courtesy of a 26er on Twitter, and it’s an excellent way of seeing which writers are up and coming. Byliner trawls a wide variety of writing sources so we don’t have to. Martin Lee

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