• David Mathews

Win a book a month for life

Nothing to lose, no cost to enter, but the tasty prospect of a free book a month for the rest of your life. That's the offer from the London independent bookshop Heywood Hill until 31 October. Simply nominate the book published in English since 1936 that has meant most to you, and into the draw you go, along with the great and good from the literary world.

Which book did I cite?

Beyond a Boundary, by C L R James. This book is personal, political and full of joy. It has heroes, a villain or two, plenty about cricket and inspired the struggle against discrimination.

I saw CLR James being interviewed on the BBC’s old ‘Tonight’ programme in the early 1960s. I was hugely taken with him. Shortly afterwards I won the Royal Commonwealth Society’s essay competition and included Beyond a Boundary in the books I requested as a prize. My prize was presented by Sir Hilary Blood, a retired eminent colonial administrator. I treasure his raised eyebrow as he presented me with the book almost as much as I value the book itself - my desert island reading if it came to it.

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