Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Currently Reading

Now that the launch is done it's back to the writing of book 5 and that means - research!

The Letters of the Younger Pliny
A prominent lawyer and administrator, Pliny (c. AD 61-113) was also a prolific letter-writer, who numbered among his correspondents such eminent figures as Tacitus, Suetonius and the Emperor Trajan, as well as a wide circle of friends and family. His lively and very personal letters address an astonishing range of topics, from a deeply moving account of his uncle's death in the eruption that engulfed Pompeii, to observations on the early Christians - 'a desperate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths' - from descriptions of everyday life in Rome, with its scandals and court cases, to Pliny's life in the country.

Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin
Roger Deakin's "Wildwood" is a much loved classic of nature writing. "Wildwood" is about the element wood, as it exists in nature, in our souls, in our culture and our lives. From the walnut tree at his Suffolk home, Roger Deakin embarks upon a quest that takes him through Britain, across Europe, to Central Asia and Australia, in search of what lies behind man's profound and enduring connection with wood and with trees. Meeting woodlanders of all kinds, he lives in shacks and cabins, travels in search of the wild apple groves of Kazakhstan, goes coppicing in Suffolk, swims beneath the walnut trees of the Haut-Languedoc, and hunts bush plums with Aboriginal women in the outback. Perfect for fans of Robert Macfarlane and Colin Tudge, Roger Deakin's unmatched exploration of our relationship with trees is autobiography, history, traveller's tale and incisive work in natural history. It will take you into the heart of the woods, where we go 'to grow, learn and change'. "Enthralling". (Will Self, "New Statesman"). "Extraordinary ...some of the finest naturalist writing for many years". ("Independent"). "Masterful, fascinating, excellent". ("Guardian"). "An excellent read - lyrical and literate and full of social and historical insights of all kinds". (Colin Tudge, "Financial Times"). "Enchanting, very funny, every page carries a fascinating nugget. Should serve to make us appreciate more keenly all that we have here on earth ...one of the greatest of all nature writers". (Craig Brown, "Mail on Sunday"). "Breathtaking, vividly written ...reading "Wildwood" is an elegiac experience". ("Sunday Times"). Roger Deakin, who died in August 2006, shortly after completing the manuscript for Wildwood, was a writer, broadcaster and film-maker with a particular interest in nature and the environment. He lived for many years in Suffolk, where he swam regularly in his moat, in the river Waveney and in the sea, in between travelling widely through the landscapes he writes about in "Wildwood"

Tales of the Country by Brian Viner
Brian Viner and his family had enjoyed much about their nice little middle-class patch of north London, but gradually realised they were suffering from a severe case of 'metropause' - the desire to swap the hassles of London life for the serenity of the countryside. After a long search they found the house of their dreams in rural Herefordshire. But is the quiet life all it's cracked up to be? More importantly, where does one go to get a decent cappuccino? 'A Year in Provence' with less sunshine but more laughs, "Tales Of The Country" is a wonderfully entertaining and heart-warming account of the Viners' adjustment from town to country. Full of anecdote and character, it is a superbly beguiling book about what is really important in life, and the joys and trials encountered along the road towards it.

6 comments:

Fade said...

I can't believe I've never read Pliny's letters. Does the Penguin edition have decent footnotes and a good translation flow? Because if so, I oughta go ahead and pick that up now.

Dr F said...

I've loved Pliny's letters since I read them for A level Latin. I still remember the thrill of discovering his eyewitness account of the Vesuvius eruption.

Unknown said...

Book 10 of his letters are the best. Those in 1-9 were written up for publication; 10 are just his anxious missives to Trajan - and the emperor's wearied responses - sent while on the job as governor in northern Turkey. They probably weren't much altered too much before being disseminated.

malaise said...

Just finished book 4. Very pleased and relieved there will be a book 5!

Sue Haines said...

I echo Malaise's comment - just finished 4.

Sue Haines said...

Book 4 done - waiting for the next one