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Mark Hodkinson and Alastair McKay Books and Music Saved My Life

Mark Hodkinson and Alastair McKay Books and Music Saved My Life

Mark Hodkinson and Alastair McKay Books and Music Saved My Life

Aye Write

Book tickets

£11 (£10 ticket charge plus 10% booking fee)
Adult, Over 14s only. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
Book here

Dates and times

Sunday 15 May 2022
3:00PM - 4:00PM

A lot of people will identify with these touching and entertaining memoirs.

Mark Hodkinson grew up among the terrace houses of Rochdale in a house with just one book. His dad kept it on top of a wardrobe with other items of great worth - wedding photographs and Mark's National Cycling Proficiency certificate.

Today, Mark is an author, journalist and publisher. He still lives in Rochdale, but is now snugly ensconced (or is that buried?) in a 'book cave' surrounded by 3,500 titles - at the last count. No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy is his story of growing up a working-class lad during the 1970s and 1980s. It's about schools (bad), music (good) and the people (some mad, a few sane), and pre-eminently and profoundly the books and authors (some bad, mostly good) that led the way, and shaped his life. It's also about a family who just didn't see the point of reading, and a troubled grandad who, in his own way, taught Mark the power of stories.

Alastair McKay grew up in the fading Scottish seaside town of North Berwick in the 70s. The cinema and outdoor swimming pool were on the verge of closing, there were scary boys in the park, and excitement was scarce.

An exceptionally shy boy, Alastair gradually found his voice through the punk explosion: the ethos that 'anyone could do it' prompted him to start writing, largely because it was easier than talking. He also sang in a number of bands, one of which, The Commercials, made a record that was tipped by Sounds magazine to be ‘big in 1982'. It wasn't.

From these hesitant beginnings, he would go on to a successful career in journalism, and Alternatives to Valium: How Punk Rock Saved a Shy Boy’s Life tells his life story. Chaired by David Robinson


Venue Map


Mitchell Library

North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN