Recommended Read- Summer 2014- Part 2
28th August 2014
As I Walked Out Through Spain in Search of Laurie Lee
One Man’s Journey Through Spain and Into the Troubled Soul of a Classic Writer
By P D Murphy
Published by SilverWood Books
The first person to have repeated Laurie Lee’s epic 1935 journey through Spain (as described in Lee’s book, ‘As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning’), Murphy’s account of his own journey (made in 2012) sheds new light on the writings and life of the revered English writer. Coinciding with the centenary of Laurie Lee’s birth, this is a book with broad appeal.
Fans of first class travel writing will revel in the glorious descriptions of the Spanish landscape, culture and people. A self-confessed Spanophile, Murphy makes an excellent guide, painting vivid pictures of his travels and providing an evocative commentary of his travels.
For Laurie Lee and literary lovers a portrait of the man, complete with feet of clay, is beautifully blended in to the mix.
And if human interest stories are your thing then there is a parallel story: In the summer of 2012, P D Murphy’s life was falling apart. Romantically and professionally things were not looking good. He needed to take dramatic action. A long walk seemed like a good place to start…
Almost 40 years earlier Murphy had chanced upon a copy of Laurie Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, Lee's classic account of his rite-of-passage journey, from his sleepy Cotswolds home to the adventure and romance of Spain in the year before the outbreak of Spain’s horrific civil war. Promising himself that he would undertake the Spanish journey he had failed to complete as a young man, Murphy “walks out” across Spain to retrace the footsteps of his literary hero, Laurie Lee. As well as challenging his physical endurance, it is also a journey that stretches to breaking point Murphy’s relationship with his literary hero Laurie Lee.
Compelling, fascinating and inspiring, wherever you’re holidaying this summer this book will certainly give you a delicious taste Spain – and much more besides.
Living With It
By Lizzie Enfield
Published by Myriad Editions
The third novel from Lizzie Enfield and arguably her best, Living With It is set during the MMR immunisation furore. Centring on two couples, after debating the pros and cons of having their children vaccinated against MMR it is with the best of intentions Isabel and Eric opt out. But morals and marital loyalties are tested to the limit when, as a direct consequence of their decision, a little girl is rendered completely deaf. Factor in a complicated relationship and this unusual story is guaranteed to grip.
With a real talent for dialogue and an elegant but accessible writing style, Enfield’s intelligent and hugely compelling novel boasts brilliantly drawn characters, spot-on observations of family life and the well-presented arguments from both sides. Highly recommended.
Luke’s Cookbook: 100 Classic Favourites
By Luke Thomas
Published by Michael Joseph
Becoming the youngest head chef in the UK at the tender age of just eighteen, Luke Thomas is certainly wise beyond his years when it comes to matters culinary.
Breathing new life into recipes that have stood the test of time, his reinventions are mercifully straightforward, using ingredients that are readily available – no traipsing off to the exclusive delicatessen in the next town that might or might not have what you’re after.
Spanning canapés and cocktails to ‘Sweet Shop Raiders’ and everything in between, other useful chapters cover store cupboard essentials, kitchen kit and even personal recommendations for restaurants, pubs and clubs.
Team Spirit especially loved the retro feasts – the sausage stew was immense! – but this is a terrific ‘all rounder’ of a cookery book that is suitable for all abilities.
Swimming Against the Tide: The Diary of an Essex Copper; 1953 – 1983
By George P Raven, former Superintendent Essex Police
Published by Mereo
Political football, often criticised and yet still widely recognised as one of the best in the world, the British Police Force is seldom out of the spotlight. Recounting a career that spanned thirty years, rising through the ranks to Detective Superintendent, George P Raven’s book is part memoir and part social commentary.
Telling of manhunts, murders, violent encounters and heart-rending tragedies, Raven has certainly seen it all. But in addition to the well-written accounts of crimes and punishments of yesteryear, his assessments of the state of the modern force makes for especially interesting reading. Now in his 80s the plain speaking former ‘Super’ has very definite ideas about why standards have slipped and what is required if the Force is to survive and remain effective in a world that faces increasing threats.
Fascinating, thought-provoking and insightful, Swimming Against the Tide is a compelling page-turner.
Posted by Vicky Edwards at 11:07am