To Bed On Thursdays by Jenny Selby-Green
|To Bed On Thursdays by Jenny Selby-Green|
|Reviewer: Zoe Morris|
|Summary: A fascinating look into the life of a reporter for a local paper, this is an easy book full of fun stories to keep you reading.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 194||Date: November 2013|
|Publisher: Mosaique Press|
The advert asked for a young man, but seventeen year old Jenny Selby-Green applied anyway. She met all the other attributes, and the alternative would be having to take whatever job she was offered via the Labour Exchange, seeing as she’d already rejected the maximum of two offers under the 1950s Direction of Labour. And so, she became a journalist, or journalist of sorts anyway.
This is a brilliantly funny memoir of working in the world of local news, told through the eyes of a newcomer. From the local events calendar to the obituaries column to celebrity encounters, this is a perfect insight into both the running of a paper and the particulars of that era. Though I barely read news now unless online, I grew up reading the local paper (by ‘reading’ I mean looking for pictures of school events I might be in, or lists of exam results, either academic or dancing, that might include my name). And so, this was a world delightfully familiar to me, set as it is in a small town where the pages hot off the press are more likely to contain articles about skip hire or flower shows than an in-depth analysis of bankers’ bonuses or the intricacies of international flight paths.
I really enjoyed this book because it seemed such a personal, indulgent account. It helps that Jenny was the only girl on the staff, immediately giving her a unique perspective, but it was also seamlessly put together and read fluently. But then, you’d expect nothing less from a former journo. Though not my usual genre, this is a history book I wanted to read. It was full of funny anecdotes and insight and you really got a feel for the time it was set, from the reporters’ one shared bicycle to their all-hands-on-deck approach to assembling issues by hand when required. I especially liked the story of the commuter who forgot his shoes. I can’t imagine what that must have been like, but it made me feel a bit better about forgetting to take my work shoes to the gym yesterday and having to exit in suit and trainers.
Despite the difficulties she sometimes faced (conducting an interview with a corpse in the room, being swept up by a strange man lest she trip and fall during a power cut) you get the clear impression that she enjoyed her job, challenges and all. It certainly painted an appealing picture of life on a local paper some 60 years ago and it was lovely to be able to share in the reminiscing.
Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.
For more on this theme, see also There Is No Such Thing As A Free Press by Mick Hume and The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch by Michael Wolff .
You can read more book reviews or buy To Bed On Thursdays by Jenny Selby-Green at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy To Bed On Thursdays by Jenny Selby-Green at Amazon.com.
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