June Books 10) The Portadown News, by Newton Emerson
Newton Emerson's satirical online newsletter brightened up the early Noughties in Northern Irish politics (previously celebrated on this blog here, here and here). It irritated the heck out of some, to the point that the Andersonstown News, that bastion of free speech and unbiased enquiry, got him sacked from his job for updating his website at work. The book basically pulls together, somewhat edited, his articles from March 2001 to 2004, a period of political stagnation; it's all somewhat dated now, and his casual sexism was not even funny then, but his sæva indignatio at the sectarianism and hypocrisy of all sides in Northern Irish politics is still refreshing and justified. (Full disclosure: I was myself mildly and indirectly targeted by Emerson back in November 2003.) The book is a bit of a curio now but still has plenty of enjoyable moments.