Have you discovered that one of your ancestors, or a house you are researching, features in a bundle of parchment title deeds? Are you feeling defeated by line after line of repetitive text reading ‘whereas’ this, ‘whereas’ that, ‘of the one part’, ‘of the other part’? Help is at hand!
9 November 2019 marks 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall that divided East and West Berlin. History behind the wall As the Second World War ended Germany's land was divided. The east of Berlin went to the Soviet Union and the west went to the United States of America and Great Britain.… Continue reading 30 year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall
On Wednesday 9th August 2017 come one, come all, come lovers of books! Let's celebrate one of our favourite days of the year - National Book Lover's Day! It falls on the ninth of every August and is filled with adventurous novels, newly discovered authors, and old favourites. So feel free to participate and spread… Continue reading National Book Lover’s Day
William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at nineteen to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature changes his life, and he never returns to work on his father's farm. Stoner becomes a teacher. He marries the wrong woman. His life is quiet, and after his death his colleagues remember him rarely. Yet with truthfulness, compassion and intense power, this novel uncovers a story of universal value. Stoner tells of the conflicts, defeats and victories of the human race that pass unrecorded by history, and reclaims the significance of an individual life. A reading experience like no other, itself a paean to the power of literature, it is a novel to be savoured.
Smashing through the Arctic Ocean with the crew of a Russian icebreaker, herding reindeer across the tundra with Lapps and shadowing the Trans-Alaskan pipeline with truckers, Sara Wheeler discovers a complex and ambiguous land belonging both to ancient myth and modern controversy. The Magnetic North is a spicy confection of history, science and reflection in which Wheeler meditates on the role of the Arctic: fragmented lands which fed imaginations long before the scientists and oilmen showed up (not to mention desperado explorers who ate their own shoes). The Magnetic North tells of all this, plus gulag ghosts, old and new Russia, colliding cultures and bioaccumulated toxins in polar bears.
About the book Leningrad, 1933. Loyalties, beliefs, love: all are about to be tested to the limit in one of the most crushing moments the world will ever know. Watching everything is Irina, who understands that simple loyalty to an individual may well be more powerful than blind loyalty to an idea. Reviewed by Denmead… Continue reading Ice road by Gillian Slovo
About the book Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the 14th century. This text sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking the reader to the Middle Ages, and showing everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses… Continue reading The Time traveller's guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
About the book In a prison cell in the US, a man stands trembling, naked, fearfully waiting to be shipped to Guantanamo Bay. How did it come to this? Burnt Shadows is an epic narrative of disasters evaded and confronted, loyalties offered and repaid, and loves rewarded and betrayed. Reviewed by Enjoying Books This was… Continue reading Burnt shadows by Kamila Shamsie
About the book Born in 1922, Mary Soames is the only surviving child of Winston and Clementine Churchill. Her memoir draws us into the almost surreal world where the ordinary details of family life proceed against a background of cataclysmic events. Reviewed by CC Readers This book was enjoyed by all the group. Everyone was… Continue reading A Daughter's tale by Mary Soames
The novel is set in 1847 against the backdrop of the Irish famine.