Reading Maze For Book Reviews

Reading for the Young & Old

Kinfolk

I was on holiday for a long weekend in Britain’s finest city (in my humble opinion at least), Edinburgh.

I love the place and happily wander around it in a dream like state.

I spend hours looking at things I have no intention of buying in the shops, just because of the state of mind the clam of Edinburgh induces in me.

It was in that state that I wandered into a shop I’d not seen before, called Anthropology.

It’s like a grown up version of Urban outfitters, which itself would be my favourite if I were in my teens, or early twenties. The fact that I’m way past its target age doesn’t stop me from popping in whenever I see a good one even now.

And in Anthropology I discovered Kinfolk.

Kinfolk is a magazine.

Kinfolk vol 8

Of sorts.

It’s that slightly bigger than A4 size of many mags.

It’s published regularly, albeit only four times a year.

But above every other point.

Kinfolk is beautiful.

It was with Kinfolk in mind that I started writing the last post about whether or not the book is dead.

And in fact I could just about cope without my regular and expensive deliveries of fine volumes, if I could just secure the flow of great magazines like this.

It’s simple.

It’s not a weighty and informative tome such as my also much loved Monocle.

But it’s about real life, with a sprinkling of fairy dust and the adept avoidance of the mundane.

I am going to write more about it in a few days as I can’t do it justice in a short post like this.

 

Five People You Meet In Heaven

If yo read Ian Macab then you probably won’t want to read Mitch Albom!

His best known book is Tuesdays With Morrie and this, The Five People You Meet In Heaven is of a similar nature. It looks at life and love and the influences people have on you, mostly influences that you don’t notice at the time, but which events bring home to you.

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The biggest influence on so many of us is our mother, and sure enough she is explored here, as well as the old man at the fairground and other characters.

It’s the sort of book that gets its claws into you and tugs away at your heart, leaving you thinking about the important relationships in your life, the ones that maybe you haven’t paid enough attention to, the ones that you ought to acknowledge.

Don’t be surprised if, having read this, you send a letter to someone you haven’t written to in years, to maybe say thank you to them, or to tell them you love them. I did.

It’s a shame that it’s influence on you wanes, but chances are it will carry on as a distant reminder of how it’s worth saying thank you a bit more often.

Notes From An Exhibition

Patrick Gale’s Notes From An Exhibition is something like his 12th novel, perhaps he has written even more.

Based, as the author is too, in west Cornwall spanning the decades of the artist’s life, her dedicated husband, the traumas of her muse, her inner demons, and the children she is incapable of bringing up, who in spite of her generally do well.

The story is taken along with notes from her various exhibitions, right up until her death and the beauty of her somewhat crushed husband. This book doesn’t exactly proceed A Perfectly Good Gentleman, but we meet lots of the former’s characters in the latter, perhaps just by coincidence, perhaps as part of the plot.

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Don’t rush this lovely book, take time to absorb the atmosphere, the awe and interaction with Dame Barbara Hepworth, the insistence on routine even when it utterly flies in the face of sense. The journeys in their old Morris Traveller, food, drink, lots of drink.

There is beauty here. Enjoy it.