Play it Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible

by Alan Rusbridger

When Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger set himself the challenge of learning to play, in a year, one of the most difficult pieces for the piano, Chopin’s Ballade No 1, he had no idea that it would also be one of the most extraordinary periods for news.

‘Play it Again’ is his diary of Wikileaks, phone hacking, the press and the digital revolution, buying pianos, overseeing home improvements, giving concerts, meeting musicians, and all the time shoehorning piano practice into a 14 hour working day.

The book is daunting in size and at first appears dense and technical, but it soon becomes a fascinating and compelling read which appeals on many different levels. Escaping into Rusbridger’s life is as satisfying as any novel, or self-help tome. If he can make time and maintain discipline to master this piece of music, what is stopping the rest of us from achieving our own personal goals?