Firstly, I am not going anywhere near the arithmetic bit of the title for this latest post. I have never been good with numbers and I do not intend to start trying to improve that now.

The written word is much more me. The use of it, during lockdown, has become more prevalent. Since March, many have found the time to rediscover books again, either as a hobby or a living, or simply for entertainment. You remember, March, that time before the shutters came down, before the sky emptied and nature started to make inroads back to places it had dared not show its face in living memory.

The BBC ran a piece earlier this week stating that publishing houses and literary agents have been inundated with dystopian and Covid-19 linked novels from first time writers/authors. So, be it hobbies or potential career launches, titles are being penned to remind us of how we lived through the pandemic. Obviously there are twists and turns that move away from the real life drama of TV box set selection, I presume.

For those of you who kindly bought my second release: books, bits & bobs, you will be aware of my lockdown – pandemic style novella The Noise, snuggly fitted as it was in the pages of that short story collection. If not, then check it out on Amazon.

What books have you started to read during all of this? I can recommend The Order of The Day by Eric Vuillard and also The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker. If you like murder mystery and political satire and not in that order, these are both excellent. I’ve also read The Art of War by Sun Tzu, but do not get any ideas that cabin fever has struck, and I am planning on taking over the world.

How are you ordering titles? I have been using World of It sells reduced priced used books, and delivers them for free, with the money helping charities.

It is a not for profit company, although, I do always fear that term.

Either way, it is very good and very cheap.It would be remiss of me not mention checking out your local book shops. One thing we should all hope for is that independent traders, not the Trotters, have been receiving enough support during lockdown, and will continue to do so, to survive after it.Now back to the dystopian wave of novels and writings. Something that also pricked my interest in this area, was the post about EM.M Forster’s The Machine Stops.

As the article states, the short story, which deals with a situation remarkably similar to the current pandemic is not the authors normal domain. Forster is normally associated with Edwardian romances, but not in The Machine Stops.

It talks about isolation, avoiding human contact and well, to paraphrase the article, ‘if it had been written today it would be incredibly accurate and prescient, the fact that it was in 1909 – well’.

The title is available online to download free or order through the usual platforms.

Check out Entertainment and Arts section. The Machine Stops by Arts Editor Will Gompertz, Arts Editor.