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Lost City

Book Reviews: March 2020

9 March 20 words: LeftLion

A few words about words...

And What Do They Call You
Nottingham Trent University MA Creative Writing Anthology

And What Do They Call You is an anthology of work by the cohort of Nottingham Trent’s MA Creative Writing course. While the entire collection is an exciting array of new work, there are some standout pieces, and all of the work demonstrates that these writers are committed to their craft.   

The individual works in this anthology have roots in the theme of naming and identity; in one story, a baby is found and adopted at Christmas, and subsequently questions their identity while growing up. The collection also contains many poems exploring the relationship between identity and time, specifically the changing relationship we have to our own identity as we get older. 

And What Do They Call You would suit any reader, from the avid read-it-in-one-go type to the sort who might read it more leisurely on holiday. It’s one that can be returned to time and time again, with each read promising to reveal a new and exciting gem that may have been missed the first time round. Kate Hewett

Jimmy Logan: The Life and Career of a Notts County Legend
David Fells
Moorleys Publishing

With the dark cloud that hangs over Meadow Lane following Notts County’s ignominious drop out of the Football League last season, it might seem hard to think of a time when the Magpies were flying high and winning the FA Cup.

But it did happen, albeit all the way back in 1894, and the man whose hat-trick gave County a 4-1 win over Bolton is the subject of a comprehensive book from David Fells. Charting his life and career from its beginnings in Scotland, through his incredible cup-winning success at Notts County, to his untimely, tragic death aged just 25 and the posthumous attempts to create a legacy to the footballing legend, The Life and Career of a Notts County Legend is definitive in its scope. 

Fells’ prose is clear and concise, and his attention-to-detail is remarkable. The sheer amount of research involved in creating a book of this depth, including endlessly interesting supporting photographs, should not be underestimated, and Fells has done a hugely impressive job in collating it together into an exhaustive, compelling narrative. 

Whether you’re a Notts County fan looking to remember better days, or have a passing interest in football in general, there’s something fascinating to be found within the pages of Fells’ well-crafted book about a man who, simply put, does not get the credit he deserves for his contribution to establish Notts County as a footballing presence. Ashley Carter

Nottingham: The Postcard Collection
Alan Spree
Amberley Books

If our Emily’s odyssey through postcards past on page 14 wasn’t enough to scratch your itch, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Alan Spree’s beautiful book, Nottingham: The Postcard Collection. Spree has collated an incredible collection of old postcards that takes the reader on a visual time-travelling journey through Nottingham from the late nineteenth century to the early fifties. 

While it’s fascinating to see how much has changed over the years, it’s equally as interesting to see what has remained the same. There’s something almost bizarre about seeing Nottingham’s iconic architectural landmarks, be they St. Peter’s Church, Palais de Danse (now PRYZM), Flying Horse Walk or the Council House in a completely different context. The bricks and mortar are the same as we’re used to seeing on a daily basis, but the surrounding buildings, people and clothes are completely different. 

The comprehensive collection of postcards is joined by a welcome array of supporting text providing titbits of information about the buildings, including when and by who they were built, and what purpose they served. Not only was it a thoroughly enjoyable read, but it also made me appreciate the architectural beauty of this city that I admittedly take for granted. The next time I’m walking around town, I might just spend a bit more time enjoying the buildings that were here long before I was born, and will most likely still be here after I’m gone. Jason Edgar


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