Sunday 20 October 2019

John Corr: Reviewing books

On the 26th of September we kicked off our 2019-20 programme with John Corr talking about his experience of reviewing books, what got him into it and the people he has interviewed.

John was born in a small mining village in Durham and he had been encourgaed to read from a young age and therefore had become quite fluent before he even started school. He went to his village library, which was actually a church hall with trestle tables covered in books. It was here that he devoured everything that he could. After taking a job as a trainee sales projection engineer and not enjoying it, John decided to join the Merchant Navy.

It was when John was in the Army that he got involved in reviewing books, for a Soldier Magazine and most recently John has been reviewing books for military themed website, Army Rumour Service, which revels in the acronym ARRSE! John told us about some of the different books that he has had the pleasure to review, such as books on military history and politics. He was even asked to review Fifty Shades of Grey and turned it down because it was absolutely awful!

John has also been able to have to the chance to attend book festivals and interview some famous faces. He told us how he has interviewed Boris Johnson and Andy McNabb to name a few. He told us how he was inspired by something Andy said:

"No matter how poor your start in life, you can make something of yourself" - Andy McNabb

John went on to tell us how he reviews around 3 to 4 books a week and he doesn't watch TV as he spends a lot of his time reading books. He has two kindles and keeps one in the living room and one in the bedroom. He can always be found reading a book. 

We were absolutely delighted and extremely interested to have John speak to the Cambridge Library Group and we do hope he will be happy to come back and speak for us again.