History of Wolves – Emily Fridlund

History of Wolves - Emily Fridlund
History of Wolves – Emily Fridlund

Minnesota teen’s account of the summer she looked after a four year old boy, Paul, who dies of cerebral oedema, his Christian Scientist parents, in particular his scientist father Leo, refusing to seek medical help.

(And no, I didn’t read this in a matter of hours on 19 May – I’d almost finished it before heading up to Penrith on Friday and needed to take a longer read with me… hence When Breath Becomes Air.)

Publisher page: History of Wolves – Emily Fridlund

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi
When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

Thought provoking biography and exploration of many of life’s key themes – morality, duty, life, death – and, most of all, how to find meaning in life and how to live a meaningful life.

Paul Kalanithi is on the cusp of completing his training as a neurosurgeon when he discovers he has lung cancer. He is 37 years old and one of the best brain surgeons of his generation in the US, blending expert surgical skills with deep human empathy.

This book is his posthumously published memoir contemplating his career and his medical training, the importance and significance of his relationships with his family and friends, and how he copes with the choices he makes as a doctor / surgeon and then as a patient and a husband.

Finished on the train back from the LED Fundraising Weekend, tears flowing in spite of the public setting.

Publisher page: When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

How It All Began – Penelope Lively

How It All Began - Penelope LivelyA chance find on the Walton bookshelves, I suspect this was one of the books we inherited from Janet or John at the caravan. Just right for a blustery Bank Holiday Monday and ensuing working week.

We spend a few months in the company of multiple Londoners, born, bred and immigrant, whose lives are all affected by the random mugging of 77 year old Charlotte. An exploration of the butterfly effect and the characters that inhabit modern middle class London.

Author page: How It All Began – Penelope Lively

The Sweet Dove Died – Barbara Pym

The Sweet Dove Died - Barbara Pym
The Sweet Dove Died – Barbara Pym

Barbara Pym was a Kate Macdonald tip. A good one.

In The Sweet Dove Died, Pym strikes me as a more acerbic version of Tessa Hadley, Penelope Lively, Margaret Forster, with a period setting a generation or two earlier as Leonora, a lady of a certain age, dallies with two West London antiques dealers – handsome young James and his rather more portly but prosperous uncle Humphrey.

Publisher page: The Sweet Dove Died – Barbara Pym