"He breathed in air, he breathed out light / Charlie Parker was my delight". In respectful echo of Adrian Mitchell's appreciation of the legendary jazz musician, what strikes me most about Hannah Stone is her ability to make us look again at the most ordinary (and extraordinary) moments of our daily life. Gardening, hillside scrambles, relationships between adults (both as lovers and parent/child), self-assembly furniture, and above all history - whether walking through history or meandering through memory as friends die and parents grow old - Hannah is able to capture exactly her own impressions, at the same time as opening a space for the reader to fill in our own and riff on hers. This book would make a great present for people you know will enjoy sharing that quizzical, witty and utterly humane look at our world - and will give every reader, I guarantee, a new insight into the times we live in.
'Square Peg' - the stream of consciousness of a seen-it-all cathedral cat - is my favourite.