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

 

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

Deep Sea and Foreign Going – Rose George

Deep Sea and Foreign Going - Rose George
Deep Sea and Foreign Going – Rose George

Container shipping.

Sounds boring, right?

Wrong!

Themed chapters, with a strong emphasis on the people involved – the captain and crew; the pirates and those who police them; the ports, the passage; flags of convenience and the consequences.

Super easy to read. Stuffed full of facts.

I shall watch the container ships offshore from Walton on the Naze in a more informed fashion – and all thanks to Phil Wang’s recommendation on Radio 4’s A Good Read!

Author webpage: Deep Sea and Foreign Going: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Brings You 90% of Everything – Rose George

Review: Deep Sea and Foreign Going by Rose George – Sukhdev Sandhu, The Guardian, 13 September 2013

Container ship departing Felixstowe
Container ship departing Felixstowe

Landmarks – Robert Macfarlane

Landmarks - Robert MacfarlaneSuperb writing on language, landscape and living on the land.

Lots of new words to use (well, to try and remember); lots of new books to read…

Looking forward to fuddling next time at Forty Acres, and to the accuracy of describing my Dolpo Expedition river crossing photos as “Crunching across the frozen mud and skim-ice to wade through the waters of the upper Barbung Khola”.

“Other places” isn’t really the right category/genre for this but it’s the closest I’ve got (other than “Too tricky to categorise” – so I’m going to tick that too….)

Publisher page: Landmarks – Robert Macfarlane