Thursday, April 15, 2010

more books

Without a shadow of doubt, the last nine months or so have seen me read more books than at any other time in my life… which obviously says an awful lot about my past reading habits!
I’ve found the experience hugely pleasurable. Latest books include:
The Other Side of the Bridge (Mary Lawson): Set in Northern Ontario, it follows the lives of a handful of people from a remote town amid wilderness and farming land. It’s essentially a story of decency – and it’s beautifully told.
The Other Hand (Chris Cleave): The book cover says “Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens… The magic is in how it unfolds”. Pretty melodramatic perhaps (and somewhat over the top methinks!)? I’ll just say it’s about immigration, globalisation, political violence and personal accountability…. and I couldn’t put it down.
Letters Home (Fergal Keane): I’ve just re-read this. Keane is a real hero of mine and I find his writing style absolutely compelling. He writes with amazing economy and in such an evocative way. It’s a collection of essays: “from close to home”; “from a European war”; “from Ireland”; “from a drifting continent”; and “from elsewhere”. Just beautifully eloquent.
How to be Good (Nick Hornby): Hornby is one of my favourite authors… he’s clever and he makes me laugh! Actually, I have to say I was a little disappointed by this one – just too contrived for my liking, despite some wonderful dialogue and observations.
Dreams from My Father (Barack Obama): Despite the fact that Obama is another of my heroes, I’d resisted the temptation to buy a copy - on the basis that it would just be another opportunity for a politician to bang on about their own personal manifesto. However, Moira urged me to read it (and she NEVER reads autobiographies!). She was absolutely right… it’s quite brilliant – although, with our own impending General Election, I fear that it will just reinforce my scepticism about the quality of most of the key political players on this side of the pond! It was written in 1995 and tells of his childhood, his time spent as a “community organiser” in Chicago and, finally, his travels to Kenya. A truly wonderful, impressive book (and now he’s even more of a hero!).
PS: also great that the book includes a mention of the time he spent with our lovely friends Ewan+Mo Wilkinson (referred to as “Wilkerson” in the book!) during his stay in Kenya. How about that!!

1 comment:

Alice said...

REALLY?! How amazing! He must have been blessed!

Loving your reviews - need to make a list to take to the library. xxx