Lincoln Allison, essayist and retired academic. I normally have lots of books on the go, but the pick of the current crop is Mick Channon Jnr., How’s Your Dad? Embracing Failure in the Shadow of Success (Racing Post, 2016). Reasons for reading it: “Here, Dad, you’ll like this” plus I once included Mick Channon Snr., the main character of the book, in an article on alternative heroes because I admired his bloody-mindedness and determination and his success in two great sports, football and horse racing. Junior has failed, on his own account, at football and journalism and works for his “grumpy old bastard” of a dad at the stables. And I do like it because it’s honest, vigorous and unusual. It’s about how bloody professional sport is and about how a father-son relationship can work despite a massive incapacity on both sides to express emotion. It is the antidote to most sports books and strangely uplifting.
(Written for the What Are You Reading? column of Times Higher Education, 2017.)