What I'm reading
By Tony Blair
Love him or hate him, Tony Blair is an icon of our times. Unusually for an autobiography, A Journey is thematic in structure. Well-written and entertaining, this book leaves no stone unturned in its unapologetic analysis of New Labour. From serious debate of education policy through to his wry eye for detail when staying at Balmoral, this book puts Blair in a very human context.
The book I loved as a child
The Jennings Series
By Anthony Buckeridge
I was introduced to Jennings by my grandmother when I found some old Jennings books propping up plants in her greenhouse. Buckeridge's tales of two boys, Jennings and his more cautious companion Darbishire, in their prep boarding schools are time-enduring tales of a bygone age. The boys get themselves into all sorts of scrapes involving the stern Old Wilkie, the affable and ever-tolerant Mr Carter and the towering headmaster, wonderfully named as Mr MWB Pemberton-Oakes MA (Oxon). These lovely stories are a must for any youngster.
Read this before you die
The Dark Valley
By Piers Brendon
Piers Brendon's masterpiece on the 1930s merges beautifully written prose with outstanding historical scholarship. Mixing chronology with a country-by-country analysis, the author weaves a fascinating account of this crucial period, providing anecdotes and character sketches which bring every page to life. Brendon focuses on ordinary people as well as political elites, emphasising the impact of power-brokers' decisions on the masses.
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