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Showing posts from March, 2020

Book 12: Zoo Quest to Guiana by David Attenborough (thoughs and comparisons)

I came across a second-hand copy of this book in a charity shop in Kew, Richmond on a recent visit to England. (Was there a couple of weeks before the Covid-19 panic started). I love travelogues and one of my favourite authors of such stories is Gerald Durrell. I have nearly all of his travel books that he wrote about his various animal-collecting and, later, filming expeditions to odd corners of the globe, and as a matter of fact, one of my favourites is Three Singles to Adventure , about an animal-collecting expedition to Guiana which was made around the same time as the expedition Attenborough describes in this book. It was therefore interesting to read about Attenborough's adventures in the same country around the same time. It is, unfortunately perhaps, inevitable when one comes across two books about the same place and same kinds of activities written around the same time, to compare the two, especially when one of them is a favourite. I certainly found myself doing this

Reading in progress: The Once and Future king: The Sword in the Stone, by T.H. White (listening notes, ongoing)

When I came across the "Once and Future King" by T.H. White on Audible (read by Neville Jason, who does a fine job of it), I knew I had to buy it. I already owned a physical copy of the book, but I have found lately that it suits me better to listen to long books rather than to read them, because my hands want to be doing something other than holding a book while I read. This novel, which was originally published as a quadrology of short novels and later collected and revised into one long novel, is a retelling of part of the Arthurian legend and is considered to be one of the finest of the many re-imaginings of that legend. It was disappointing to discover that this is actually an edited version that seems, according to one review on, to be not just abridged but actually a bastard version comprised of both the original short novels and the revised one-volume edition. However, another reviewer kindly pointed out some of the missing passages and where to fi

Book 11: Calamity Jane by Roberta Beed Sollid (reading notes)

Like many other legends of the old West, Calamity Jane's legendary status makes her out to be a larger-than-life character, a shining heroine who lived as she pleased and enjoyed more freedom than most women of the era. Considering that she was already a legend in her own lifetime, surprisingly little seems to be known about her real life, which is eclipsed by her legend. I think I first became aware of the legend of Calamity Jane when I watched the 1953 movie starring Doris Day and Howard Keel as a kid, but what I remember best is the Lucky Luke comic about Luke's encounter with her. Both are, of course, purely fictional. I'm not sure I even realised she wasn't a fictional character at that point. I have a mild interest in all things Old West, and when I came across this book, which was, at the time of original publication, touted as the most accurate and exhaustively researched biography of Calamity Jane, I decided to shell out the money to buy it - which w