Friday, October 12, 2012

september/october books

More books:
Letters to my Grandchildren (Tony Benn): An encouraging book – idealistic and affectionate – comprising 39 letters to his grandchildren (together with a lovely postscript “The Daddy Shop” – an invented story of his). Even if you don’t altogether agree with his political views, you can’t help but appreciate his constant curiosity and zest for life. He seems to have been around forever and, when he eventually goes, he’s going to be much-missed.
On Bard Duty (Nicholas Day): Nick Day has been performing alongside our son-in-law Felix at the RSC for the past two years. This is essentially intended to be a short book that provides useful insights to young actors (especially those on the Shakespearian stage) plus extracts from his blog covering this year’s “Shipwreck Trilogy” of plays. It’s informative and entertaining and, at times, a little precious!
Crome Yellow (Aldous Huxley): Our latest book group book. I’m afraid I found it a little boring! It revolves about a small gathering of people at Crome manor house in 1922 and is essentially a philosophical novel about romance and sex – but that rather gives the impression that it be exciting (it isn’t!). Well written+observed and, at times, provides an interesting insight into the upper-/middle-class world of the 1920s. Very disappointing.   
Once in Europa (John Berger+Patricia MacDonald): This is the second in Berger’s “Into Their Labours” trilogy (my hardback copy – bought for just £2 instead of £20 - is also accompanied by Patricia MacDonald’s stunning photographs). It’s essentially a love story, set in a French alpine village, which celebrates life despite the shameful things we’re doing to the planet due to greed, exploitation, over-development, industrialisation and power. I found this short book really rather captivating.
Everyday God (Paula Gooder): I’ve been using Gooder’s commentaries as a daily focus for reflection. She reckons that “we need the ordinary in order to help us fully to encounter the extraordinary” and I wouldn’t argue with that. It’s a well-written, straightforward and encouraging book.

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