I’ve started borrowing books from our local library, it certainly makes you try different authors!
The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti; This is a beautifully written, gentle book about male relationships (lets face it, they’re very different to female relationships!!) between father and son and between friends and of course their relationship with mountains. It’s translated from Italian but seems to have lost nothing in the process, thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Girl who Climbed Everest by Bonita Norris; At 20 Bonita had never climbed a mountain, she went by chance to a talk about climbing Everest and it sparked a passion for mountaineering. Within two years she had become the youngest woman to climb the peak. This is her story, about her childhood and how she pushed herself, as it says on the back, its a story about not giving up, and finding the resilience to keep following our hearts even in our darkest hours. An inspiring read.
And now for something completely different…
Smoke Gets in your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty; At the age of 23 Caitlin started work as a mortician in a crematorium, this is a behind the scenes look at the ‘death industry’. It’s described on the back as hilarious, now I’m a nurse, we are known for our black sense of humour – my OH is sometimes shocked at the things my daughter and I will laugh at! I didn’t find it hilarious, but I did find it really, really interesting. Caitlin looks at peoples reactions to death, our rituals and those of other cultures, arguing that this taboo subject really needs to be brought back into the open, so we are no longer terrified and ignorant of death, reclaiming our mortality. A fascinating read.
At Home by Bill Bryson; This is described as a short history of private life. Bill lives in an old vicarage and he uses it to examine every morsel of everyday living, the history and stories behind each room in the house. I learnt lots of little facts, it’s full of ‘oh I didn’t know that’ moments! It’s not as funny as some of his books, but his gentle humour comes through. It’s the sort of book you can dip in and out of – I’ve read it over about 2 years!!
The British Oak by Archie Mills; This was a Christmas present, it’s a beautiful book. I love trees, this is all about the history and use of the oak tree, that iconic British emblem, from ship building to tanning. He describes over fifty famous oak trees in the country – there’s quite a lot which are named. It always amazes me to think about how old a tree is and the history it has seen, many of these are 800 to 1000 years old or more! A wonderful book for tree lovers!
Til The Cows Come Home by Philip Walling; I have to confess I didn’t quite get to the end of this one! It is very interesting, it just goes on a bit! He goes through every different breed, how it originated, what it was good for (beef or dairy). It was interesting reading about the different styles of husbandry, he describes both the good and the bad, from mass production to the open pasture. It did make me glad I bought my beef from a traditional butcher who could tell me which farm it grew up on if I asked! It’s an interesting read too about how government policies affect farmers and our choices so much, it just went on a bit too long – herd lists and the number of cows sired by a certain bull – I lost the plot a bit there!
The Moors by William Atkins; This is another one I didn’t quite get through! I like moorland, I’ve done a lot of walking across moorland, it sounded an interesting book! William starts off down south and visits each area of moorland, describing it’s history, folklore as well as his walk across it. Somehow I kept getting muddled as to whether he was describing past or present. I even tried skipping to an area I knew, the moors in Yorkshire, but I still struggled! I gave up when I realised I was about three weeks overdue taking it back to the library – luckily they don’t do fines anymore!!
So a bit of a mixed bag of books, both in subject and marks out of ten!