We've said it before but these days there's never a shortage of information available for anything and everything.

And this includes books, films, tv programmes - the blurbs and trailers are designed to tempt us in but often it feels that they give rather too much away. Or they overegg the pudding - how many times have we been told a book is 'hilarious' only to find, for us, it barely raises a smile?

But these are competitive times and the marketing and publicity teams need to earn their keep. 

I was interested, then, to read a recent interview with the actors/writers Steve Pemberton and Reece Smith, speaking ahead of the release of their latest and last series of dark, comedic dramas - an anthology of stories in 30 minute episodes, called 'Inside No 9'.

They're known for always wanting to experiment with form, content and genre to surprise and delight their audience - for example, there has been one entirely silent episode, one in iambic pentameter and an episode filmed from a doorbell camera.

The tv executives often took some persuading but ultimately they trusted the talent and vision of the duo and it has resulted in an award-winning concept.

As their success and renown grew, though, they had to be increasingly inventive to keep ahead of their viewers.

And they tried to keep each episode a secret, giving away little information before the screening. Part of the appeal was that people didn't know what to expect. These days that feels quite a novelty.

But Steve Pemberton says the most memorable and enjoyable films and shows for him over the years have been the ones where he's had no knowledge or expectation of what he was about to see. 'I think if I had read a synopsis or seen a trailer before it would have ruined it for me.'

Our book group meetings try to take us out of our comfort zone with our reading habits in exploring different genres, styles and authors. And I appreciate how many of you trust me month by month in choosing books which I hope surprise and delight (most of the time).

I hope, too, that the author events I organise or help host also bring a new or different perspective. Often it's speakers with whom we are less familiar that we gain most inspiration.

I certainly commend the book by Iwan Thomas (I'll be including my review next week). I would never have thought a sports biography would be my 'thing' but people are people and I think it's always fascinating to find out about different professions and lifestyles, and usually surprising to learn about the particular challenges and triumphs. I hope you'll join me in meeting him in a few weeks' time!

Thank you for reading.