Monday, 10 July 2017

Monthly Muse – June

Managed to read 16 books in June, which were a pretty varied selection as you can see below:

It was a close call on the best but just nudging ahead was the classic Peregrine by J.A. Baker closely followed Walking the Nile by the adventurer Levison Wood. Others of note were the terrifying dystopian The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, Long Way Back about Charlie Boorman’s road to recovery after a very serious accident and Summer: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons, another wonderful collection edited by Melissa Harrison. I managed to read two of Little Tollers books this month, they are becoming one of my favourite publishers with their focus on the natural world and the landscape. First was On the Marshes, where Carol Donaldson tells the history of the North Kent marshes, interwoven with her own personal story after a relationship disintegrated. The second was Orison for a Curlew where Horatio Clare tracks the last sightings of the Slender Billed Curlew, a bird that is thought to be, but not categorically proved to be extinct.

I managed to read three more for my World from My Armchair Challenge, Why the Dutch are Different, the story of how Ben Coates ended up in the Netherlands by accident and never left. Glass Half Full is the third in the series of Caro Feely’s trials and tribulations of running a biodynamic vineyard in South Western France and the third was the first book by Levison Wood, Walking the Nile about his tough journey walking from the centre of Africa to the Mediterranean.

Possibly the strangest book in June was To Be a Machine. In this Mark O’Connell talks to those that are looking at using technology to enhance or improve or extend their lives. Equally odd, but in a very different was Jules Evans seeks the ecstatic experience in The Art of Losing Control, which made for interesting and occasionally disturbing reading.

Also of note was Dadland, the story of Keggie Carew’s father’s secret wartime actions and his slow descent into dementia. Also learnt about Ben Fogle’s passion for the Land Rover and Gary Fildes’ obsession with the night sky. Finished the month of with a brief fantasy interlude into a Britain of the last millennium with the story of revenge. A good month of reading, looking forward to July, but as we are having the kitchen done then might not get as much read!

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