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Books by Mark Mason

  • Mail Obsession

    Mark Mason

    Product Code: AVGZI
    Paperback
    'FASCINATING' Daily Mail 'FULL OF AMAZING FACTS' The QI Elves Each of the United Kingdom's 124 postcode areas has a story to tell, an unexpected nugget to dust off and treasure. Mark Mason has embarked on a tour of the country, immersing himself in Britain's history on a roundabout journey from AB to ZE. On the lookout for interesting place names and unusual monuments, along the way he discovers what the Queen keeps in her handbag, why the Jack Russell has a white coat and how Jimi Hendrix got confused by the M1. At the same time Mason paints an affectionate portrait of Britain in the 21st century, from aggressive seagulls in Blackpool to 'seasoned' drinkers in Surrey. And his travels offer the perfect opportunity to delve into the history of the Royal Mail, complete with pillar boxes, posties and Penny Reds - plus Oscar Wilde's unconventional method of posting a letter. A playful mix of fact, anecdote and overheard conversation, MAIL OBSESSION pays homage to Britain's wonderful past and its curious present.
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  • Question Time

    Mark Mason

    Product Code: BSIXU
    Paperback
    Which major UK retailer has the same name as Odysseus's dog in Greek mythology? In the original version of the Band Aid hit 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', who sang the opening line? Which is the only US state whose name can be typed on a single row of a QWERTY keyboard? Travel writer and quiz fan Mark Mason decided to combine two of his greatest loves by setting off on a tour of Britain's quizzes. From a pub quiz in Edinburgh to a charity quiz in Hampshire, from a corporate quiz in Birmingham to a journalists' quiz in Parliament, he finds answers aplenty while asking some questions of his own. Just what is it that attracts us to these tests of our knowledge? What are the ingredients of the perfect quiz question? And which is the only English city whose official name begins with H? The only travel book ever to discuss Winston Churchill's use of language and reveal Donald Duck's middle name, QUESTION TIME is an affectionate tribute to Britain and one of its most cherished institutions - the quiz. 'A must-have book for any quiz lover' THE TIMES
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  • Bluffer's Guide To Football

    Mark Mason

    Product Code: BSAOP
    Paperback
    Instantly acquire all the knowledge you need to pass as an expert in the world of football. Never again be found wanting when asked what Albert Camus said about the `beautiful' game, why a rotation system is not to be confused with a revolving door management policy, and why an impressive collection of trophies is no way to describe the perma-tanned WAGs in the directors' box. Bask in the admiration of your fellow football lovers as you pronounce confidently on the merits of English `pluck' over German `efficiency', and hold your own against the most insufferable of football know-it-alls. Above all, know how to avoid the game's myriad cliches, and never be tempted to say `Football's football; if that weren't the case then it wouldn't be the game that it is.'
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  • Move Along, Please

    Mark Mason

    Product Code: AHAHL
    Paperback
    At 10.41am on a Tuesday morning in September, Mark Mason boards the number 1A bus at Land's End in Cornwall. Forty-six buses and eleven days later he disembarks at John O'Groats in Scotland. Move Along Please is his account of that gruelling 1100-mile odyssey; a paint-by-bus-numbers portrait of Britain. Along the way he visits everywhere from the village where the internet enters Britain to the urban sprawl of Birmingham (inspiration for the Two Towers in Lord of the Rings). He samples staples of the British diet from curry to the deep-fried Mars Bar, and uncovers countless fascinating facts about his native land - did you know, for example, that Crewe Alexandra football club is named after the wife of Edward VII, that Loch Ness could hold the water from all the lakes in England and Wales, or that there is a village which rejoices in the name Tongue End? Set against the backdrop of 2000 years of history and with a full supporting cast drawn from that most unusual of species, the Great British Public, this is the unmissable story of a man rediscovering his nation in all its idiosyncratic glory.
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  • Walk the Lines

    Mark Mason

    Product Code: AEBKI
    Paperback
    The only way to truly discover a city, they say, is on foot. Taking this to extremes, Mark Mason sets out to walk the entire length of the London Underground - overground - passing every station on the way. In a story packed with historical trivia, personal musings and eavesdropped conversations, Mark learns how to get the best gossip in the City, where to find a pint at 7am, and why the Bank of England won't let you join the M11 northbound at Junction 5. He has an East End cup of tea with the Krays' official biographer, discovers what cabbies mean by 'on the cotton', and meets the Archers star who was the voice of 'Mind the Gap'. Over the course of several hundred miles, Mark contemplates London's contradictions as well as its charms. He gains insights into our fascination with maps and sees how walking changes our view of the world. Above all, in this love letter to a complicated friend, he celebrates the sights, sounds and soul of the greatest city on earth.
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