Non-Fiction

Dethroning Mammon: Making Money Serve Grace

On Good Friday, a review of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2017It does not take long to see what matters most in our society: the bottom line is the proverbial dollar. Watch the news for more than a few minutes and you’ll discover it’s the economics that drives political decisions. Does it have to…

Night Trains by Andrew Martin

More than nostalgia for a quickly vanishing way of travelAndrew Martin’s Night Trains is a compelling piece of travel writing. Part documentary account of his own travels and – perhaps inevitably given its subject – part social history, this is not mere trainspotter fodder. All over Europe, sleeper trains are rapidly vanishing. While rail travel is…

Not only a ‘Shepherd’s Life’

James Rebanks’ ‘The Shepherd’s Life’ is much more than a conventional biography, challenging us to rethink our attitudes to the landWe spend a lower percentage of our incomes on food than ever but what we eat dominates the media, whether it be this year’s winner of The Great British Bake Off,  Tesco’s latest marketing rip…

A little dribble from Bryson

Cover of The Road to Little Dribbling

Bill Bryson’s latest round Britain book verges on the formulaic, but it has some pointed observationsBill Bryson has written some enjoyable books: Mother Tongue is an informed, witty introduction to the English language; Notes from a Small Island, some twenty years ago, was an amusing (if formulaic) homage to his adopted country of Britain. And he has…

Nature Obsessions…

A review of Otter Country by Miriam Darlington and Hare by Jim CrumleyMy fondness for nature writing does not abate. I put it down in part to the horrors of suburban existence – commuting, work, a feeling of disconnectedness with the land – and I’m certainly not alone: today’s nature writers are amongst the biggest…

Walking the Chilterns

Twenty minute blogging project – day four A Sunday evening of stillness and wood pigeons cooing, magpies skirting low over fields, raking the freshly turned soil. Flutters of sparrows, easily startled, gorge on seeds, while crickets chirp. Flies drone and the hedgerows speak of the coming autumn: ripening sloes, chestnuts swelling and the first turnings…