I never realized how important reading was to me.  I always have three or four books on the go at once.  They are a useful source of entertainment and inspiration.  Here is what I am reading at the moment.


The Seizure of Power is a novel by Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz, which at first I thought was a work of non-fiction. It starts with the period of the second world war in Poland as the grip of the Nazis is slipping and the Red Army is pushing across the country. It’s second part deals with the period after the end of the war. The gripping story is told as a series of interrelated sketches.



Stolen Love Behaviour by John Stammers is a beautiful book of interesting, amusing and challenging poetry.




One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get an understanding of Behavioural Economics, an emerging field of study that deals with the way that people behave when making important decisions and why this differs from the more logical assumed approach. Behavioural Economics: A Very Short Introduction by Michelle Baddeley is not the first book that I have read on the subject, nor will it be the last, yet it is certainly one of the most helpful.



Cañas y barro by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez is another book I picked up at Barter Books in Alnwick.  Set in the rice paddies of Albufera de Valencia the story follows the hard and tragic lives of three generations of the Paloma family and their struggle to survive. Beautifully written and delightful to read.



I must have read some Biggles when I was a young lad though I don’t recall it. They are the kind of  books that a lad who went to the kind of school I went to would have been expected to read. Very dashing and daring. These are not the kind of books that I would normally read but to improve my Dutch I thought it would try something for a younger audience in the hope that the language is a little easier to pick up. I bought this from the fabulous Barter Books in Alnwick. If you have never been there then you are missing out. As for the book, my plan is not working that well so far. Early days.


MycountrySome books take for ever to get around to. I think I got this one several Christmases ago but in the dark evenings it is an escape to look at many of  the wonderful places there are to visit in England’s most northerly county. We are so lucky, in many ways to live here, with so much natural beauty and history to explore. There are loads of great ideas for when the days get longer and the weather hopefully gets a little warmer, even though it is in double figures today.  It is a signed copy no less.