In a way, a good book to read on the way to Uncle John’s funeral, Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow explores absence and loss, with interviews and autobiography about the impact of mountain climbing on the other people in a high altitude climber’s life – partners, parents and children.
Quite a weighty tome – over 400 pages in paperback – looking at music’s love of the past; revering, recycling, repurposing musical styles and genres across the decades. Particularly fascinating when you get to chapters about times and tunes you remember.
Author’s website: Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to its Own Past – Simons Reynolds
Review: Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to its Own Past by Simon Reynolds – review: Does it matter that pop music is stuck in the same old groove?, Sukhdev Sandhu, The Observer’s, 29 May 2011
Excellent – easy and informative – book about some of the typefaces we see around us and use everyday; their origins, creators, design elements and (in)famous uses.
A Christmas present from Phil and the last of my holiday reads.
Author webpage: Just My Type: A Book About Fonts – Simon Garfield
Recommended by all and sundry as their ‘Book of the Year’ or ‘Best summer read’, I found this slight novel rather hard going – not impossibly so, but I struggled to see what all the fuss was about. That said, it provides plenty to ponder on – a man with no memory is (mistakenly it turns out, as you are told early on) identified as a Finn and transported home where he relearns his (assumed) mother tongue. As World War II’s eastern front edges closer towards Finland, he realises that his hard earned new identity is false and joins the Finnish troops on the doomed Karelian front.
Publisher’s page: New Finnish Grammar – Diego Marani (translated by Judith Landry)
New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani – review by Nicholas Lezard published in The Guardian, Thursday 26 May 2011