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Despite the struggle to make ends meet during the tough years of warfare in the 1940s and rationing persisting until the early 1950s, life could still be sweet. Especially if you were a young boy, playing football with your pals, saving up to go to the movies at the weekend, and being captivated by the latest escapade of Dick Barton on the radio. Chocolate might be scarce, and bananas would be a pipe dream, but you could still have fun. In an excellent social memoir from one of the UK's premier columnists over the past five decades, Hunter Davies captures this period beautifully. His memoir of growing up in post-war North of England from 1945 onwards, amid the immense damage wrought by the Second World War, and the dreariness of life on rationing, very little luxuries and an archaic educational system, should be one that will resonate with thousands of readers across Britain.

In the same vein as Robert Douglas's Night Song of the Last Tram - A Glasgow Childhood and Alan Johnson's This Boy, Hunter's memories of a hard life laced with glorious moments of colour and emotion will certainly strike a vein with his generation.

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