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Jonathan Kay
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BC Book Club
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Book Club. Overdue as a thread.

Over Christmas a I read Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis (not to be confused with either Cecil Day-Lewis or C S Lewis who wasn't Cecil) and can recommend it strongly.

Recently, I have just finished Home Country by Richard Mabey (a scion of Berkhamsted) which again, I thoroughly enjoyed.

Stephen Hubbard

Democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty

Jonathan Kay
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Lisa Jardine has died. I'd start with "The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London".

The rediscovery of Hooke is one of the joys of the last few decades.

Jonathan

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Great idea, I shall come back to this thread when I'm short of ideas for reading.

I too enjoyed the Hooke book (although it was a while ago know) - it was surprising how influential he and his companions were. Most folks only know his because of his law concerning stretching materials, and as the unfortunate enemy of Newton (who destroyed all his portraits).

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Plenty of posts on the Film Club and Theatre Club, but the Book Club looks to have been a little neglected of late Biggrin

I've posted previously about Hadley Freeman, Life Moves Pretty Fast (but doesn't show up on searches on here).  Got it for a prezzie this morning, so will report back once I've read it.

Out with friends from teaching / academia the other night and When the Professor Got Stuck in the Snow was recommended -

Everybody at the Women’s Institute in the village of Upper Bottom is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a very special guest speaker: the world famous evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins.
But with a blizzard setting in, their visitor finds himself trapped in the nearby town of Market Horten, with no choice but to take lodgings with the local Anglican vicar.
Will the professor be able to abide by his motto – cordiality always – while surrounded by Christians? Will he ever reach Upper Bottom? And can his assistant, Smee, save the day?

For backwards compatibility, here is an older BC Book Club thread

Steve.
Proud poster of mindless drivel on BlatChat since 2006.  

Delbert
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Just started " Badawi " by Mohed Altrad 

a tale of a Syrian foundling 

 

Jonathan Kay
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Given:

Lingo

Gave:

The Cabaret of Plants
Evolution: The Whole Story

Still to give:

The Invention of Nature

Happy Christmas

Jonathan

 

Jonathan Kay
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For backwards compatibility, here is an older BC Book Club thread

I stand convicted of thread proliferation!

:-)

Jonathan

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Two recent books i enjoyed hugely- and with not dissimilar themes are William Boyd's  Sweet Caress and Sebastian Faulks' Where my heart used to beat . Both writers who are at the top of their game and both epic stories against the backdrop of the 20th Century.

 

And now re - reading Old Glory  - by one of my favourite writers Jonathan Raban ; his epic account of taking a small boat down the Mississippi. The river is the star but so are the  extraordinary people he encounters . I had just finished Paul Theroux' , a searingly honest account of the poverty and racism he encountered on several trips to the Southern States of USA. Raban's book was 1980 and Theroux' Deep South - Four Seasons on Back Roads this year  but things haven't improved . We went to the South in 2012 and it's extraordinary for me now reading about places like Clarksdale Mississippi , where we spent some time . .

Jonathan Kay
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Old Glory was very good. Must read that again. And the early Theroux, but then he went off. My father's favourite writer about other places was Peter Fleming, but I'd go for Eric Newby.

Have you read Life on the Mississippi? Highly recommended.

But next up in that genre is finishing Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. We crossed his route on our bike trip, and had an RLS evening soon after: one of my theatre groups put on a musical Jekyll. The guest speaker had written a new biography but didn't turn up.

Jonathan

PS: 

We went to the South in 2012 and it's extraordinary for me now reading about places like Clarksdale Mississippi , where we spent some time...

Yes, some very interesting cultures, and only represented in UK media by a few works and images. When we first took the children to the USA we chose to drive from New Orleans to Shreveport to Fort Worth rather than go to a big city or a theme park. Then walked and cycled and canoed in Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

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Long time since I read any Twain ; Re Theroux, his current book is the first travel work he has done which is essentially about the place and not the author. I have always admired his writing but his ego did tend to obscure the point. Raban is a far better - and very English - writer and if you haven't read stuff like Badland, Driving Home, Hunting Mr Heatbreak   and Passage to Juneau I highly recommend them - as good as modern travel writing on the USA(or anywhere else)can get.