In the period 2015 to 2021, I published a series of four ebooks based on articles I wrote and posted on my website. The ebooks, generically titled Fingers to the Keyboard, FTTK, contained a random assortment of articles about anything that happened to have caught my attention: for example, the stupidity of politicians, the idiosyncrasies of English grammar, and an occasional pop at the British royal family.
With over 250 articles now written, I decided to restructure the four ebooks as a set of four FTTK paperbacks with the articles up-dated and re-grouped under relevant topic headings and in earliest-to-latest date order as follows.
FTTK, Book 1
One for the Road
FTTK Book 1 includes articles categorised as book reviews (Is Oliver Kamm right when he says ‘rules is rules’ is okay, and did Hilary Mantel deserve her two Man Booker awards?), Brexit (The bane of David Cameron and Theresa May’s political lives; read what happened when the Queen sacked the government and put members of the royal family in charge), computer and internet topics (Do you know your files from your folders and have you ever been pwned?), English grammar idiosyncrasies (Where are you on the Oxford comma—for or against?— and if ‘ruthless’ means without mercy or pity, what does ‘ruth’ mean?), humour-driven stories (Is visiting a barber’s the same as visiting a men’s urinal, and why apple and baked bean soup has its attractions?), and driving on motorways (Why are smart motorways a dumb idea?).
FTTK, Book 2
Politics and Current Affairs
TV Series Reviews
FTTK Book 2 starts with some poetic contributions from my granddaughters (Appreciate the evocative tones of ‘Autumn’ by Lottie, and be amazed at the international versatility of the French tooth fairy), followed by a motley assortment (a hotchpotch) of articles that defy simple categorisation (The Queen—topless, for example, and a straight-from-my-grandmother recipe for a genuine Cornish pasty), a number of opinion pieces on a variety of topics (Why do women buy lots of clothes—because they’re worth it?— and the pros and cons of breastfeeding in public), a collection of essays on politics and current affairs (Recent UK general elections and referendums; 2016/20 US presidential elections; Huawei—it’s all here, and more), and concludes with some reviews, some caustic some favourable, of several television shows (Relive the thrills and spills of Spartacus and Game of Thrones and tell me I’m wrong about Giri/Haji).
FTTK, Book 3
Life’s Rich Tapestry
FTTK Book 3 opens with reflections on the Covid-19 pandemic (The eerie fiction-to-fact prophecy of the 2011 film, Contagion, and the quadruple whammy of face masks on those of us who wear hearing aids), followed by another assortment of diverse articles (Life’s rich tapestry—the proliferation of household cleaning products, the perils of daily pill popping, revealing dresses in Egypt, and seductive lyrics in Cleveland, Ohio), the purity of mathematics (How to increase your chances of winning a car, not a goat; find out where the other £1 went, and get to grips with BODMAS), an abundance of movie reviews (I’m at odds with the critics about The Shining, Skyfall, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, and Joker), and some focussed one-off articles on singular subjects (The truth about product endorsements by celebrities, and introducing Smartphonolics Anonymous).
FTTK, Book 4
The British Royal Family
Walking for Pleasure
FTTK Book 4 contains articles highlighting problems associated with becoming hard of hearing (Why does all music sound distorted to me, and why don’t pixies wear hearing aids?), followed by an atheist’s view of religion (Try the Father Christmas test for the existence of God, and help me dissect the Pope’s Thought for the Day message), some sport commentaries (Read about how Andy Murray collected more clichés than points at Wimbledon, and an Australian’s rebuttal to the statement that cricket is boring), antiroyalist potshots at the UK’s royal family (Hatches, matches, and fatuous statements from the Queen), the pleasures of walking long-distance trails (End of the trail for me?) and, finally, online aids to writing (Discover the truth about Grammarly, and be horrified by the existence of essay-writing and text spinning services).
Each book contains a comprehensive index, and is liberally illustrated with an assortment of photographs, cartoons, screen grabs and other artistic creations. References, where needed, are either in-text or included as footnotes. As I collected, collated and corrected, so I added updates where relevant. You will find them mostly in footnotes identified as 2021 updates.
The four books each contain around 200 pages, printed in a full-colour 6” (15.24cm) x 9” (22.86cm) paperback format, and available from me at the author’s price of £10/book + p&p. Please email me (email@example.com) if you are interested to obtain one, or more, of the books.