The reading list that you've all been waiting for! The inevtiable summer slow down is upon us here at DR, the weather is warm and our thoughts turn to nourishing our minds with good books and finding a bit of inspiration and escapism amongst the pages. Here's what we (and our friends and collaborators) will be reading. We hope you find a little inspiration perhaps....
Becoming - Michelle Obama
‘The First Lady’, Michelle Obama describes as a job title without a job description and I don’t think there has been a more ‘hands-on’ First Lady than Obama. She took on the role of First Lady with real humility, class and humour and made it her own. The challenges that she faced not only as a young black woman from a poor background trying to get into an Ivy Leave College and then into law - but also the personal sacrifices she made to support Barack’s political climb really show what an incredibly resilient and selfless person she is. It’s an honest and open memoir highlighting the Obama’s exceptional moments at the White House but also exposing their difficulties during Barack’s presidency, especially trying to maintain some normality for their young family growing up in anything but a normal situation.
It’s a big old book, but if you’re a fan of the Obamas it’s an interesting and moving (which took me by surprise) read and a good distraction from current American political goings on.
Georgia in the Mountains of Poetry
I’ve just finished reading Georgia in the Mountains of Poetry by Peter Nasmyth. While I’m writing this from the seat of my bicycle high in the Andes, Georgia is a country I would very much like to explore on two wheels. Not just for the stunning scenery of the Caucasus, but also for the rich and varied history and culture of this dramatically interesting former-Soviet republic. Peter’s book written over many visits captures the essence of the country, its people and culture, and its troubled transition from Soviet rule. I hope to spend a little time there on two wheels before long.”
Leviathan Wakes - James SA Corey
I've been re-reading a lot of books at the moment. I've just finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice and now have started re-reading Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey, which is nothing like Pride and Prejudice because it contains lots of spaceships and peril. The book (and the 8 book series it is part of) has been adapted into a fantastic TV series called The Expanse, currently about to go into it's fourth season on Amazon Prime. Leviathan Wakes (and all the other books in the series) is probably up there with my favourite books of all time ever because it's fun and probably as plausible as sci-fi can be while still being ridiculous. I'm also reading 'Food in England' by Dorothy Hartley, which is an overview of traditional British food and cooking published in 1954. It's a fascinating look into our culinary (or lack of) past and highlights many traditions that have fallen by the wayside...
Step by Step - Simon Reeve
I seem to have a fair few books on the go at the moment including Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris and Think Small by Owain Service & Rory Gallagher. By far the most relaxing and enjoyable to read though is Step By Step by Simon Reeve. His accounts of travelling through Central Asia in particular, a part of the world I'm absolutely fascinated by, have me enthralled and wanting to see more of it following a trip to Uzbekistan last year. Perfect holiday reading.