Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Two book recommendations

I'm just back from teaching in Oxford. The students there are so great and I always really enjoy my time there. Recently I have read two really good memoirs. One is called 'When A Crocodile Eats The Sun' by Peter Godwin. I met Peter when we were both speaking at the Words by the Water Festival in Keswick three or four years ago but it's only now that I've got around to reading his book. I thoroughly recommend it - it is beautifully written and totally absorbing. The portrait it paints of his parents is deeply moving - two extra-ordinarily brave, resilient and good humoured people. It really made me think that the generation who are now passing away were simply very much better people than we are now. I didn't want the book to end. It also told me so much about Zimbabwe which I could never have got from newspaper reports. Do read it. The other book I would recommend is 'Deny The Stars' by Jocelyn Hurdnall. It's a very different kind of book but again totally absorbing. The story it tells is shocking and moving and Jocelyn Hurdnall's writing is honest and direct. The book is a fitting tribute to her extra-ordinary son and also reveals the very real horror of what is happening in Palestine.

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