Following Stourton’s lead to a sane view of the world

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MOVING to a Borders town from Edinburgh, the addition of a new puppy to the family made us many new friends, and conversations over the dinner table were peppered with stories of four-legged friends and their owners.

Edward Stourton’s book Diary of a Dog Walker: Time Spent Following a Lead is a joy to read and his observations of his dog Kudu are witty and entertaining, sparking thoughts of recognition and smiles of shared experiences.

In the book, Stourton considers all things canine and along the way explores much bigger subjects with levity and a new sanity when viewed whilst walking the dog.

Larry Lamb is best known for his television roles as two very different fathers: Eastenders villain Archie Mitchell and lovable dad Michael Shipman in the hit comedy Gavin and Stacey.

In his autobiography, Mummy’s Boy, Lamb recalls his parents’ unhappy marriage and his irreparable relationship with his father. He vowed to have the relationship with his son George that he’d never been able to have with his own father.

The book is searingly honest, describing the effect his childhood had in later life, and hugely entertaining as he tells of making it as an actor. As he has shared the stage with acting greats, the book is brim full of onstage tales, and is a captivating read.

When I read a book I want to be immersed in it. I want to be there, in that time, in that place, in that story and this is just what is felt when reading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. Not only is this a historical novel but it is a love story, a thriller and a tale of culture clashes set in early 19th century feudal Japan. Jacob de Zoet, a Dutch trader, finds himself in a love forbidden by tradition, culture, politics and law. Beautifully written and enthralling, you will love it!

Linsey’s choices:

z Edward Stourton, Festival Marquee, Thursday, June 16 at 9pm. £13 (£11 concessions).

z Larry Lamb, Festival Marquee, Sunday, June 19 at 6pm. £13 (£11).

z David Mitchell, Harmony Marquee, Saturday, June 18 at 6.15pm. £9 (£7).