Restocking

A successful restocking of pre-loved books from the Dorking Oxfam bookshop, though I suspect that one of the books (The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes) was one I had previously donated – I have certainly read it!

A first visit to the Cake Rider Cafe was interesting and certainly deserves another visit. The owner was delightful as was the presentation of the drip coffee.

Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy – Serhii Plokhy

Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy is a magnificent examination of the World’s worst nuclear accident, covering the technicalities, the people involved and the politics of the old Soviet Union.

A history book that reads as easily as a good novel – I read it in a couple of days. Highly recommended.

The Tiger – John Vaillant

What a magnificent read The Tiger by John Vaillant is.

A long, detailed examination of everything to do with tigers in their natural habitat. But more than that it’s an investigation of tiger killings, the communities affected, life in the Soviet Union and animal conservation.

There’s so much in this book. I’ll probably read it again in future years. A great read.

Affliction – Russell Banks

What a great read this is! A violent, childhood-brutalised man, fumes in an American, snow-covered, rural town. Superb.

At the end of last year I read another of Russell Banks’s novels, Lost Memory of Skin, which I described as a fantastic novel about a young sex offender in America.

Clearly a writer I should read more of.

Face-Time – Erik Tarloff

What a terrific novel this is – I raced through it in a couple of days.
A first novel, written 20 years ago, it’s the story of a US president’s extra-marital affair involving a young couple working in the White House. It’s about power rather than politics and is an easy, well-written tale. Fabulous.
I’m on the lookout for his two later novels – I think I’ve tracked down one of them.

Fire and Fury – Michael Wolff

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff is a gob-smacking account of the shambles in the White House during the first year of the Trump presidency and of the unsuitability of Trump for the position of president. What a monster!

Highly recommended for anyone interested in American politics.

In Extremis – Tim Parks

In Extremis by Tim Parks is a wonderful novel. Centred around a dying mother and a son’s angst, it’s very, very funny.

My mum died just 3 months ago and the son’s indecision, his relationships with his mother and family, and dealing with death and funerals clearly resonated with me.

Religion and anal massage are also covered! A book to be read again.

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