Nobbut A Lad - A Yorkshire Childhood
by Alan Titchmarsh
Hodder & Stoughton, HK$112
Readers who don't hail from the British Isles are excused for not having the faintest idea that Alan Titchmarsh is, as The Independent clarifies, 'Britain's favourite gardener'. Apparently, he tootles on a lot about flora and fauna, he did a big television documentary series about Britain, and actress Bette Davis walked out on him during a radio interview. He's from Yorkshire, which also claims television interviewer Michael Parkinson and cricket's Fred Trueman. Titchmarsh's last volume of autobiography, Trowel and Error, was a seller, although critics tended towards the 'Why are you telling me this?' question that one always wants to ask really boring people at parties. Nobbut a Lad - A Yorkshire Childhood is for those who like quaint. Since I'm neither British nor tolerant of boorishness, the judgment of The Sunday Times will have to suffice here: 'Cosiness pervades this volume of memoirs like carbon monoxide, and cynical metropolitan types may want to open a window ... This is a very sweet and crashingly harmless series of tales from the time before the world lost its innocence - all the more disarming because Mr T has never lost his.'