READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 05 Jul 2019, 03:20

Wasn't one of the killers University fees?
I am enjoying Roy...... Good recommendation P!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 15 Jul 2019, 03:40

I took a break from Roy to read this week's PE and as usual it is full of dire inside news. The amount of finagling and insider dealings in politics, especially on special interest groups is staggering.
Apart from that I am still really enjoying Roy Hattersley, he is reminding me of a lot of politics I had forgotten. Reading these biographies and histories enables you to be a far more effective critic of current politics. Nothing he describes approaches the depths of what we see today apart from perhaps Eden and Suez......
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 18 Jul 2019, 05:15

I'm on the last chapter of Roy's 'Fifty years on'. It's a good fair account of the politics and is never polluted by personal rancour. I have enjoyed it, a good recommendation!
I've decided to re-read Norman Davies' 'God's Playground', his exhaustive two volume history of Poland. Essential reading if you want a feel for Northern European history.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 20 Jul 2019, 05:29

I've started on 'God's Playground'. Fascinating stuff second time round but it's a demanding read, you have to stay alert!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 22 Jul 2019, 04:12

GP is slow but rewarding. It struck me yesterday that I would not be able to concentrate enough without dead silence and a sleeping dog. This may be an indication of my limitations but it is definitely rewarding. I like second reads, you always get more out of the subject but it's going to be a long haul, there are more than 900 pages in the two volumes.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 23 Jul 2019, 03:25

P called in a gave me a couple of books yesterday. One is out takes from secret papers released under the Thirty Years Rule and I started it straight away. I realised that I didn't want to fight my way through 900 pages of Poland, after all I have read it once already and it is a form of masochism! I shall ditch that project and read Arthur Ransome again...... (Sorry Norman......)
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 24 Jul 2019, 05:50

GP is back on the shelf..... I am enjoying P's donations to the library and Arthur Ransome awaits.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Gloria » 25 Jul 2019, 07:21

Just finished Stacey Halls The Familiars, quick and easy read. Made more interesting by knowing the areas where it is set.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 26 Jul 2019, 03:32

PE arrived and that's been occupying my attention. Commemorative edition this week celebrating Christopher Booker. Well worth seeking out for the library!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 27 Jul 2019, 04:02

I set sail on the Baltic this morning with Arthur Ransome.... Looking forward to the trip. (Then I shall sail alone around the world with Joshua Slocum, the first of the lone helmsmen.)
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 29 Jul 2019, 04:10

I was a bit previous with my last post. I forgot that I hadn't finished the book that P gave me, 'Mrs Thatcher's Ironing Board'. I finished that yesterday and have decided to embark with Joshua Slocum sailing alone around the world. If you have never looked at this I urge you to try it. It's one of my all time favourites and is a riveting read.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 03 Aug 2019, 05:26

I finished Slocum yesterday and started on Racundra's First Cruise by Arthur Ransome, one of my all time favourites. If you should decide to try it the edition to go for is the version edited by Brian Hammett and published in 2003 by Fernhurst Books ISBN 1 898660 96 4. It has the full texts and contains a lot of supplementary information and pictures gleaned from many years of research. To give you an idea, you have 62 pages of extra information before you get into the text. Well worth seeking out.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 05 Aug 2019, 04:02

First Cruise is done and dusted, a lovely read. I can move on to Hammet's 'Third Cruise' now. This was never published until he did the literary detective work and stitched together Ransome's journal entries to get to the story. (Also published by Fernhurst)
Later a man called Adlard bought Racundra and sailed her writing a book called 'Close Hauled' about the experience. I have that as well to follow the Third cruise. Easy and enjoyable reading. Lovely.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 06 Aug 2019, 03:38

Into Adlard Coles today.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 10 Aug 2019, 05:38

I finished Close Hauled yesterday. A curiously unsatisfactory read in my view. I suspect it is because Coles is a typical uptight sexist middle class bloke from the 1920s. His attitudes to 'foreigners' is usually critical and disparaging. In consequence he spends a lot of time criticising people and nations....
I have the next candidate for daily reading out and waiting. I'm going to read Barrie Cunliffe's 'The extraordinary voyage of Pytheas the Greek' again. If you've never come across it I recommend you have a look. It could surprise you how far this man travelled over 2,000 years ago.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 14 Aug 2019, 05:01

P. I put the Laws book into David's hands yesterday.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 16 Aug 2019, 11:00

Following up on the yachting theme I've been reading I was attempting a book about single handed crossings of the Atlantic in very small boats. I'm afraid I reached my tolerance threshold for wet madmen so I ditched it and went back to Jack Drummond and his wife on English Food over the last 500 years.... It's years since I read it and it is just like a new book.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 19 Aug 2019, 03:41

I'm enjoying my five centuries of British Food and it's reminding me of a lot of key facts about nutrition that were first revealed in their entirety in this book when it was published in 1939. My copy is the 1954 revision so many of the later discoveries have been added by the editor who used to work with Jack Drummond at the old Ministry of Food.
Still worth reading 60 years later.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 28 Aug 2019, 06:51

Almost finished The Englishman's Food and I am in the 20th century now reading about the revolution in nutrition with the discovery of the role of Vitamins in diet. Surprisingly late, it was not having an impact before the 1930s.
This got me to thinking about my current conviction that the next major stride in fully understanding nutrition will be when the role of micro-nutrients in food grown on well farmed land under mixed farming systems is fully realised. The history of research into nutrition is littered with mistakes made by supposing that essential components of food could be isolated and used independently. Eventually it was found that the relationships between these natural elements on food that hadn't been processed was far more complex that they had suspected. I suspect that this same relationship will be discovered in natural food. There is also the interaction of humans with local food because of that elusive French concept we find in wine making, Terroir.
We know that natural locally grown food is better when it has the minimum of cooking and modification but as yet don't fully understand why.
Roll on better understanding!
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 31 Aug 2019, 04:16

Finished English Man's Food. It should be compulsory reading for the people who police our food today! I decided that the natural follow-up was to re-read James Fergusson's 'Vitamin Murders'.
This book addresses the death of Jack Drummond and his family in France in 1954, the 'Dominici Affair'. But also has the sub title 'Who Killed Healthy Eating in Britain'. It examines the deterioration in the quality of food due to the activities of the agrochemical industry since 1950. It's a cracking account and I recommend it. It has the downside that it will make you aware of the burden of toxic chemicals we all carry these days.
I am enjoying revisiting it and it is reminding me of many things I had forgotten.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 02 Sep 2019, 05:52

I've finished Fergusson. Still worth reading. I might go for Dorothy Hartley next. I love the way she describes historic cooking and we can learn much from her about cooking today.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 03 Sep 2019, 03:49

Plans have changed! I listened to Kevin Whately all last week reading 'The Offing' by Benjamin Myers on R4. I ordered a copy and it came yesterday. That's the next read.....
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 04 Sep 2019, 03:06

Offing was a good choice. It's a page turner and I recommend it. A real find and a nice change from my recent rather depressing reading about the deterioration of everyday food.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 07 Sep 2019, 03:57

Offing is going well, a good story well told.
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Re: READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Post by Stanley » 08 Sep 2019, 03:29

Finished The Offing. Lovely story well told. I recommend it to you all.
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