Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Ionicus and the perfect summertime read

"THE CRICKETER'S BEDSIDE BOOK" is the perfect read for a SUMMER AFTERNOON OR EVENING.
Primarily because this 1966 collection of essays focuses solely on the summer sport for the rest of the English-speaking world.

Secondarily because it does what it infers in the title: It always puts me to sleep when I am reading it!

I picked up the book for £1 in a used bookshop in NOTTING HILL GATE on the final day of my New Year's trip to LONDON.

Although I perused the book then, I began reading it in earnest yesterday afternoon -- after listening to ENGLAND'S victory over BANGLADESH earlier in the day. (I might add that reading the book yesterday afternoon immediately triggered a lengthy nap.)

The stories are great, but so too are the illustrations by IONICUS.

Ionicus was the pen name of Joshua Armitage (1913-1998), a renowned English illustrator whose work appeared in more than 400 books, including the covers for a wide range of Penguin editions of P. G. Wodehouse.

These illustrations probably wouldn't appear in a modern book about cricket, but they lend an air of stately tradition to this 44-year-old collection.

On a summer afternoon or evening, it makes for perfect snoozing -- I mean, reading.

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