"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Recent Reading

I seem to have read a lot of books, particularly non-fiction, since my last reading update probably due to the fact that the weather has been so awful and its not been worth going out unless you have to! I do hope everyone is safe and well and not affected by the floods.

I was inspired to try this book by someone on Twitter and when I saw it was about smuggling in Dorset I recommended it to my son. It really is a good read and we both enjoyed it. Although this particular kindle version was very poorly edited with parts of the bottom of the previous page constantly repeated at the top of the next!

I bought this book secondhand from Astley Farm Bookshop and if you are interested in churchyards, memorials and gravestones it is a fascinating book and I learnt a lot.

This is another book I was inspired to buy and read from conversations on Twitter. I am going through a phase of being fascinated by pilgrims, pilgrim badges and routes so I really enjoyed this book. It is full of information and photos and a good way to enjoy what you can see on pilgrim routes in parts of the country you may never visit. There is a route in the south west which looks particularly good. The book would also be a good buy if you were keen on walking one of the pilgrim routes.

Another secondhand buy this time from Books Revisited in Coleshill. I enjoyed this as much as the Bill Bryson book and again in parts it is amusing and full of interesing places seen and fascinating people the author met on the route. I very much doubt I will ever walk the whole of Offa's Dyke but I really would like to wander along a few sections of it.

I am still enjoying the Wesley Peterson books.

Visits to churches and some stately homes have made me want to learn more about heraldry because you see so many examples. Both of these books were secondhand buys and are actually meant for children but they form a good basic introduction. I doubt I will ever remember all the techical terms to describe coats of arms and shields or all the rules of heraldry but I am hoping I have learnt enough to enjoy more the heraldry I do see. I have one more book to read on the subject.

Someone mentioned this biography of Gilbert White to me recently. I have a feeling it was Caroline Gill?? but sadly I can't find the comment to be sure. I did say at the time I had the book but hadn't read it mainly because whenever I pick it up I can't make up my mind whether or not to re-read Gilbert White himself first. Anyway I was horrified to realise how many years I had had this book without reading it so rectified the matter! I thoroughly enjoyed it - you learn a lot about Gilbert White and his life and also his many friends with whom he corresponded, many of whom were also naturalists. Highly recommended.


Punk Birder said...

This year so far as been a total washout and i cannae remember the last day tbat it didnae rain. Nevertheless i got out yesterday and got caught in 3 heavy & prolonged hail showers. Roll on Spring, at least the rain will be warmer ;-)

Ragged Robin said...

Punk Birder - Thanks Dean and yes it has been an awful year weather wise. Glad you got out but sorry about the hail showers! As you say Roll on Spring!!!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I read yesterday that the Jet Stream is in what meteorologists call a Seven Day Cycle, so it's rinse and repeat. I hope you have plenty of good books set aside for it looks as if they might be needed.

Caroline Gill said...

Yes, RR, it was almost certainly me, as I bought the book recently with a birthday book token. I have just been finishing a Nan Shepherd book, so will probably read the Gilbert White one next. Keep an eye out for ladybirds coming out of their overwintering state: I saw some fabulous photos of varieties I have yet to see (and some more common ones) on someone's Fb page this week, all taken in a graveyard among the stones and bricks.

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thank you but oh dear! I don't think they can move our static caravan to the new location as the ground although not flooded is waterlogged :( I do have plenty of unread books though - both in piles, in a bookcase and on the kindle!! :)

Caroline Gill - Thank you. Oh good! I was pretty sure it was you. You will enjoy the White book I think :) I have a Nan Shepherd to read!!!! I really had ought to stop buying books until I have read the ones I have! Thanks so much for tip re:ladybirds. I will certainly keep an eye open especially in churchyards :)

Rosie said...

A great selection of books. I've been reading more too whilst it is still bad weather as it is impossible to do anything in the garden and I don't like walking in wind and heavy rain. I remember reading Moonfleet many years ago. We have Richard Mabey's book on Gilbert White on the book shelves I think we bought it after visiting his house in Hampshire we also visited Jane Austen's house on that visit too. I must follow your example and read it properly. Glad you are still enjoying the Wesley Peterson books. Let's hope that Spring isn't far away now:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much. I don't like going out either in wind and heavy rain! Moonfleet is I think a childrens' book but it is very good. I am so envious of your visits to Gilbert White's and Jane Austen's house - I would so love to go. The Mabey book on GW is very interesting. I listed the books on my Kindle recently that I have bought and not read and to be honest I was quite ashamed at the total. I really need to curb book buying habits. Then there is the pile of paperbacks new and secondhand to read. Not to mention some in the bookcases!!!!

Pam said...

I'm making an effort to read more non-fiction this year, I decided to do 20 for 2020 from Amanda's post earlier this year as a bit of motivation, I have so many on my to read pile including a Gilbert White one! It's been dreadful weather i've managed a couple of very short walks but that's all!

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks so much. One of my 20 of 2020, following Amanda's post, is to try 20 new authors. I tend to have two non-fiction on the go which I read earlier in the evening and then read a fiction for about an hour before bedtime. I've hardly been out this year! Did think of going somewhere yesterday afternoon as the sun came out but then I thought what is the point as everywhere will be sodden underfoot and that is if you can get past any flooded roads! The seemingly neverending rain for months and months is hugely depressing :(

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Have you tried "The Feather Thief" by Kirk Wallace Johnson? Highly recommended. I can't believe how many authors and wildlife artists use three names!

Amanda Peters said...

It might have been wet but you have managed to read some lovely books, having said that a few nice days would be nice.

Ragged Robin said...

David M Gascoigne - Thank you. No, I haven't tried "The Feather Thief" and I will certainly check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

Amanda Peters - Thank you - it is actually sunny here atm but heavy showers forecast each day every day for at least the next week!!! No end to it and you have to fill so sorry for those people affected by flooding :(