I don’t seem to get through as many books in the holiday season (prolonged in Australia), as most people but I have recently finished ‘Damascus’ by Christos Tsiolkas. This book has had very favourable reviews and I can see why. It is well researched and written. It certainly gives a realistic and gritty insight into the beginnings of Christianity when no one really seemed to know what they should believe. My only problem is it is far too ‘yucky’ for me. There are only so many rotting bodies on crosses and pack raped virgins that I can take in one sitting, and I can assure you there is a lot of that sort of thing in this book. But if you can take it, then worth a read. I did make it to the end.

After that experience it was a great relief to read a book that had been loaned to me. ‘No Great Mischief’ by Allistair MacLeod. Published in 2001, so an old book. It is the story of descendants of a Scottish highland family who settle in Cape Breton. I had never heard of the book or its author. The story begins when the narrator visits his alcoholic brother and proceeds in a linear fashion but, always circling back to events in the past. Such is the skill of the author that I found I was never confused as to what was happening in what timeline. It is a beautifully written book with some dark themes but never oppressively so. I think that I can assure any of you that take the trouble to read it that you will enjoy it, and it will probably be the best book that you have never head of that you will ever read.

Nearly finished  David Attenborough, ‘A Life on Our Planet’. Well, what can you say? Many of us know the truth of everything he says. Maybe it should be compulsory reading for those who don’t. I just wish that I had the hope for the future that he claims to have.


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