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books on my bedside table

Two Worlds, by David Daiches.  A birthday present from my mum and dad.  It tells a autobiographical tale of life in Edinburgh, growing up as the son of a Rabbi, in the dour Edinburgh between the wars torn between the two cultures. Fascinating.
original bliss, by A. L. Kennedy.  More Scottish writing that I just love (is this a symptom of homesickness I wonder!). Her first novel, Looking for the Possible Dance, was also brilliant.  I just love her to bits, again she tackles the great issues between men and women, and comes up with difficult, but ultimately satisfying  stories. 
"Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman!" Recently acquired from my friend Alister after a bizarre serious of events on a train from Vienna........ As it says on the blurb..............Winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965, Richard Feynman was also a man who fell, often jumped, into adventure - as artist, safe-cracker, practical joker and storyteller. He solved the mystery of liquid helium, was commissioned to paint a naked (female) toreador, explained physics to the likes of Einstein and Von Neumann, accompanied ballet on the bongo drums, and was judged mentally deficient by a US Army psychiatrist. Over a period of years, Feynman's conversations with his friend Ralph Leighton were first taped and then set down as they appear in this book, little changed from their spoken form, to give a self-portrait of a remarkable man.
"What's so amazing about Grace?" by Philip Yancey.  As an antidote to a Christians tendency to legalism, this is a fine book, worth rereading, it really makes you sit up and think.  Thanks to my friend Fiona who gave it to me.

books in my bathroom

Well, there is no where better to keep your short stories!
The Good Times, by James Kelman. As usual his writing is full of swearwords, but it does graphically depict the urban Scottish male, as he grapples with a world he never really understands, especially the women!  My other favourite Kelman novel is A Disaffection, same themes but the characterisation is superb, I see folk I know in every one, brilliant! (But again, there is too much swearing for the faint hearted).
And more A.L. Kennedy (of course) Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains.   Winner of the Scotsman Saltire First Book of the Year Award, the characters in these short stories are often alone and sometimes lonely as they ponder the mysteries of sex and death and the meaning of the city around them.

and on the coffee table

The State We're In, by Will Hutton. I'm rereading this book, it is a excellent book which makes economics understandable, especially on the human level.  it reaffirms the logic and worth of traditional Keynesian thinking, highlighting the damage the Thatcher years have done to our country.


Antarctic Oasis by Tim and Pauline Carr. I have been lucky enough to meet Tim and Pauline Carr when I visited South Georgia myself.  This books amazing photography tells the story of their 5 year stay on this almost deserted island.  Many years ago I had an Uncle who worked on a whaling station there, and it certainly is a place that it is very easy to fall in love with.  I took plenty of photographs when I was there myself, but none are as good as those in this lovingly crafted book.


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This page was last updated on 07/22/00 .

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.








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