Love Letter To Reading

Living in the gritty North of England in the 70s and 80s could be challenging.

Especially for those who loved reading but were not encouraged to do so as it was seen as “too posh’’ for the working class.

Rochdale author Mark Hodkinson tells a beautiful tale of his life back then, through his new book No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy.

Mark’s childhood in a traditional terraced house saw his family having only one book and his dad kept it on top of the wardrobe with other precious items, such as Mark’s cycling proficiency certificate.

The book takes you through Mark’s childhood from his experiences at school to his love of music and of course reading.

A beautifully poignant book, it tells how Mark battled against the family’s disinterest in reading and the lengths he went to in order to read.

This powerful read will have you turning the pages late into the night, it’s just so wonderfully written and gives a great insight into how hard it was to break the class system.

Mark has a lovely way with words and is obviously proud of his roots and his passion for books. He has left the days of nothing to read well behind and now has a collection of 3,500 titles to keep him entertained. A far cry from the days when he had just one!

An experienced writer, Mark is a well-known national newspaper columnist and has a handful of books already to his name. And Rochdale can’t be too bad, as he still lives there and owns his own publishing company Pomona Books.

The book as well as being a memoir, is a tribute to his grandfather who despite suffering from mental health, inspired Mark to be the man he is today.

But it’s more important message is that books are classless, and everyone should be encouraged to read.

No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy book cover

Publication date: 3rd February 2022
UK Price: £16.99
ISBN: 9781786899972
Format: 220 x 144 x 34 mm, hardback, portrait format
Pages: 368

No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy – Memoirs of a Working-Class Reader
By Mark Hodkinson
Published by Canongate Books Ltd

For more information and to purchase a copy of the book, please visit:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Images courtesy of Canongate Books

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