Polysyllabic Spree – Nick Hornby

A loan from Phil for the TGV/Eurostar home from Avignon, and greatly enjoyed. The book is a collection of Nick Hornby’s monthly musings on what he books he buys to read and why, and which books he actually gets round to reading and what he thinks of them. A bit like this really! He doesn’t go in too deep on the plot analysis or literary criticism fronts, which suited me fine. It was far more fascinating to read about why of the buying and reading.

Buy it: Amazon link

The Mapmakers: The Story of the Great Pioneers in Cartography – From Antiquity to the Space Age – John Noble Wilford

One I borrowed from Phil, having started it one weekend at his. An enjoyable combination of history and science, which, for the most part, avoids getting too techie. And I just skipped the bits which bored me.

Two gripes however. Firstly, for a book on maps and mapmaking, its illustrations are sadly lacking, and second, although the scope in the first half is worldwide, the second half is almost entirely US focused, talking about the mapping of the USA. Interesting reading, but the book doesn’t offer any comparable history of the mapping of, say, the USSR, or Austalia.

Buy it: Amazon link

The Nation’s Favourite – Simon Garfield

True Adventures of Radio 1

If you grew up listening to Radio 1 in the 80s then this tale of Radio 1 in the 90s is a must. Sagas of despotic jocks long gone and tales from along the rocky road to Zoe Ball via Chris Evans and Simon Mayo, with detours into pre-Home Truths Peel and the production teams behind the scenes.

An absolute Gem.

I borrowed this from Phil, and then ignored him for the next 48 hours until I’d finished it.

Buy it: Amazon Link

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex – Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht and Jennifer Worick

WLTM solvent Scottish 30something w GSOH and enthusiasm for voyages of discovery

Partly poking fun, partly providing helpful hints, this book is an enjoyable gem for those of us living in the modern age.

Illustrated with factual diagrams and covering such scenarios as