In Search of Robert Millar by Richard Moore


More cycling and this time it’s a biography of Robert Millar. Until very recently Millar was the best stage racing cyclist this country has ever produced. And even after the efforts of Wiggins he’s still the best climber we’ve ever had. His prime was a little before I started watching the tour but I still remember watching him race towards the end of his career. Thinking back to that time it was very different to now. He was pretty much a lone wolf. As the book makes out though that’s a position that suited him. I don’t think he would have done well in today’s Team Sky environment – far too regimented for him. It’s that loner mentality that’s lost Millar his place in the British cycling pantheon really. Which is a shame. However, his talent and tenacity shine throughout the book. And ultimately, like all good cyclists, he’ll be judged on his palmares – something I’m sure he’d prefer anyway.

Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin


First book out of the blocks was this biography of Samuel Pepys. Short of the fact he wrote a diary and once hid his parmesan cheese in his garden to escape the fire of London I didn’t know all that much about Pepys. I certainly hadn’t explored his actual writings. This biography was written by the same person who wrote a biography of Dickens that I read last year – which made me want to explore some of her other books. Overall I really enjoyed it – there was plenty of interesting information about his life and about the times in which he lived. Unlike some biographies I didn’t feel like the author was trying to push an agenda or make some tenuous link to current events. We’re off to a good start.