Islander: A Journey Around Our Archipelago – Patrick Barkham

Islander - Patrick Barkham
Islander – Patrick Barkham

From emancipated Eigg to the tidal mudflats of Essex, Patrick Barkham visits 10 (?) different islands off the shores of the British mainland, exploring the history, geography, people, wildlife and present day culture on each.

In tandem, snippets of the life and islands of novelist Compton Mackenzie.

A great read.

Publisher page: Islander: A Journey Around Our Archipelago – Patrick Barkham

 

Alexandria – Lindsey Davis

Alexandria - Lindsey Davis
Alexandria – Lindsey Davis

Falco, Helena and big bump, together with smitten Albia and oblivious Aulus, travel to Alexandria for a taste of Egypt’s ancient culture.

As sightseeing meets scrolls in the Great Library, the holiday plan goes AWOL when the Librarian dies after dinner hosted by elusive Uncle Fulvius and his gentleman friend, Cassius.

Chocabloc of truisms.

Author page: Alexandria – Lindsey Davis

The Debatable Land – Graham Robb

The Debatable Land - Graham Robb
The Debatable Land – Graham Robb

Patchy.

I enjoyed the earlier chapters although the foreshadowing of The Big Reveal became a bit repetitive and the coverage of events in the Debatable Land under the Tudors and early Stewarts, as the borders between England and Scotland came more into focus, felt rather drawn out. The chapters on the Scottish Referendum and Brexit felt like articles tacked on at the end.

As for the big reveal? Well, I would have likes more insight into the competing theories as to the identity of legendary King Arthur, and the key maps that underlying the place name and Ptolemaic Map analysis needed to be larger scale and would have been better located in the relevant chapters – true for all the maps at the back of the paperback.

Publisher page: The Debatable Land – Graham Robb