I seem to have a lot of reviews to catch up with, so the AOB from the past few weeks gets a post all to itself.
Shadow of The Silk Road, Colin Thubron, read by Jonathan Keeble.
This is a scholarly, colourful account of Thubron’s journey along the Silk Road from China to Turkey. It is full of contemporary and historical detail and particularly interesting on the philosophy and superstitions of the different religions which are affecting the world today. As for the silks and trade … mouth-watering! Up there with the best travel writing.
The Silver Spoon, John Galsworthy, 1924, read by David Case.
This is the fifth novel in the Forsyte Saga, four more to go! See my full review here.
Fifth Business, Robertson Davies, read by Marc Veitor.
Another saga, first of the Deptford trilogy. Excellently read and well observed story of small town Canada set against travel and the rest of the world. Disturbingly strange story of magic and alienation. Very glad to have read it, not sure if I shall finish the trilogy.
Some Luck by Jane Smiley, 2014 beautifully read by Lorelei King.
An American saga, totally riveting and written with a wonderful sense of landscape and character set against local and world events. A real winner.
Watched on DVD
Gangsta Granny, adapted for the BBC from David Walliams’s book of the same name. Terrific story of an 11 year old boy and his old granny who may or may not have been an international jewel thief. I loved it…especially Joanna Lumley as the Queen. All the stars: Reece Buttery, Julia McKenzie, David Walliams, Miranda Hart, Rob Brydon, Robbie Williams and more. Great combination of funny, wise and sad. Should be compulsory viewing for all ages. More on Wikipedia.
Barber Institute of Fine Arts, The University of Birmingham held one of their quarterly Insight programmes on 11 July, 2025: The Modernist Face concentrating on portraits by Frank Dobson and Matthew Smith. These programmes are for people with VI and this one was particularly successful and interesting. I think the next will be in October and will be about myths and mythology in art. Check the link for more information.