Category Archives: Books

My first and oldest love. Worlds beyond imagining await us…

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The Helmet of Horror

The Helmet of Horror by Victor Pelevin provides an intelligent, witty and very post-modern deconstruction of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. The book is written as the chat log of a number of characters who awake to find themselves trapped in a labyrinth with […]

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Weight

Weight by Jeanette Winterson is a retelling of the tale of Herakles (more commonly known by his Roman name, Hercules), and specifically the nth of his twelve tasks – temporarily relieving Atlas, doomed to forever carry the world on his shoulders, of his heavy burden. Winterson manages […]

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A Short History of Myth

A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong is the opening installment in Canongate’s Myths series, and is an excellent introduction to and contextualisation of what is to follow. Armstrong follows mankind’s myths from the earliest, hunter-gatherer societies through ancient civilisations right up to modern […]

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Myths Series

The world is full of myths – epic stories that hold fundamental truths and help us understand and navigate the world. They are found in every culture and on every continent. The mythology of our post-modern society, however, so easily gets caught up in its […]

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Civilization

Civilization is the latest offering from historian Niall Ferguson (of The Ascent of Money fame), and it tackles the ambitious task of finding out why it is that Western society is pre-eminent in the world today, and has been for the last 500 years or […]

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Colour

Colour by Victoria Finlay bears the apt subtitle Travels Through the Paintbox. Alternating between a personal journey and a historical account, Finlay tells the stories of different colours of paints, pigments and inks. Starting with simple ochre and its uses across the world, from Australia […]

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The Clan of the Cave Bear

I have known about The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel for as long as I can remember, and it has always intrigued me. Having finally read it, I can say it was well worth the wait. A prehistoric epic set in […]

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I Wonder

Marion Bantjes is easily my favourite designer, and it was with considerable excitement that I received her book, I Wonder. A collection of essays on a number of diverse topics, the book is interesting, thought-provoking and inspiring to read. More than this, however, it is […]

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I’m Off Then

Hape Kerkeling’s journal of his travels along the Camino de Santiago, I’m Off Then, was the first (and thusfar only) direct account I’ve read of the pilgrimage. A German comedian who takes life rather lightly, doesn’t enjoy excessive physical activity and is far from a […]

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Jigs & Reels

I read Joanne Harris’ Jigs & Reels for the first time a number of years back, and absolutely loved it. I was enthusiastic to read it again now, and enjoyed it even more the second time around. Jigs & Reels is a collection of Harris’ […]