Richard Benson

Month: March, 2014

What prison book groups taught me about books

Perhaps you shouldn’t get too idealistic about prisoners’ interest in books. The first time I visited a prison to talk to a book club – it was one in West Yorkshire, in about 2008 – I asked the librarian what her most popular books were. “Ones about antiques, and true-life crime,” she said. “Especially Martina […]

Walter Parkin’s Great War Story in Esquire

The story about my grandfather Walter Parkin is published in this month’s Esquire magazine. An except is here.

Does Joan Didion have painter and decorator materials stored in her office?

With the warmer weather here, we are having the house exterior painted by a friend of my friend Swiss Cottage Kev, called Clive. Requiring a dry place to store his tools and materials, Clive suggests the shed, and so the bags of filler, dust sheets, brushes and knives gather at the far end of the […]