Episode 1: Cooking the Books

Hosted by James McAnespy, with dramaturg and writer Emily De Dakis (@accidentalemily) in Bookfinders Belfast.

We look back on the pilot episode of Black Books, where Bernard is introduced as a disorganised fop who struggles with his tax return after his accountant becomes a fugitive from the law. Manny the stressed out desk jockey, who swallows The Little Book of Calm. And Fran, the flighty owner of Nifty Gifts, a shop that specialises in a lot of wank. We'll all been there, and we discuss our own difficulty with tear-inducing form-filling, door-to-door sales and Millwall FC.

In out Culture Wine and Life section, Emily has been reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present, an oral history of America since 1492 and James has been watching Black Sails, a pirate show which rises above it's station as one of the great TV shows of the era.

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