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I’m about halfway through this unputdownable book:

a most alarming read! :dizzy_face:

What are other members reading at the moment? :open_book:

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thank you for mentioning this book @Inbar I think I will try and read it, having spent 5 years at a catholic boarding school (1969-74) all I can say is that, apart from books, the film “If” was horribly real in parts. I knew exactly how Jute felt in his appearance in the opening scene of the film.

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Perhaps don’t read it…? Sounds traumatic. His description of the mentality and attitudes are harrowing in parts - almost dream-like in their unreality, but not in a good way.

My nearest experience was being in the (Israeli) army for two years - a tough experience, especially in the beginning (I nearly went AWOL twice from the stress), but it’s still nothing compared to what he recounts! :grimacing:

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I went to see “If” the week after I left (boarding) school. My time away coincided exactly with @Andrew1990, at a different school.

My feeling was that the film was accurate in many ways, but was probably more like my school had been 10 or 15 years beforehand.

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I am ploughing my way, enjoyably, through CJ Sansom’s Matthew Shardlake series of novels. Set in the reign of bad King Harry 8th, the detective adventures of a lawyer with a curvature of the spine or ‘hunchback’ as his enemies like to call him.

I bought the whole lot for my mother who loved them and I am borrowing them one by one. Currently on number five Heartstone. The Mary Rose is doomed and I worry our hero might be on it at the wrong time (though as there are more books in the series I think he’ll be ok😉).

Excellent descriptions of that period in English history, conjuring up the sights and smells (most not good!) in very evocative language.

Sad Little Men sounds great @Inbar and shall try to hold of a copy.

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Might I be nosy and ask which one? I went to Ampleforth from 1968 or 9 (prep school) until about 1972 when I left to go to a 6th Form Army college. It was certainly still a little Tom Brown’s Schooldays their at that time.

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Mike, it was Belmont abbey in Herefordshire. Ghastly.

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Ah not one I’m familiar with. Ampleforth was bearable for its day but would be totally unacceptable today. The monitors/prefects were actually still allowed to dispense corporal punishment back then.

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Plowing the Dark by Richard Powers

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Finished ‘Sad Little Men’ - wow! What a journey… Highly recommended read for anyone interested in how we arrived at where we are in 2021 as a nation.

Powerful and shocking, yet makes perfect sense as a political and psychological analysis of the state of things.

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Just finished Paris by the Book, by Liam Callanan. Read for a reading group associated to our monthly wine group. Now what I thought but somehow strangely compelling in a inquisitive sort of way.

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The best book I read this summer was Joshua Cohen’s The Netanyahus - fiction and a great antidote to the real thing.

I’m currently reading Hotel Bolivia by Leo Spitzer which I came to having read the wonderful Nuestra America by Claudio Lomnitz.

Both are a bit niche I guess: highly personal accounts of Jewish journeys from Central Europe to Latin America in the mid 20th Century written by professional historians/anthropologists but I’m sure they will resonate more widely in our current immigrant century.

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Having been extremely moved (and educated!) by Richard Beard’s Sad Little Men, I decided to approach another memoir by him - The Day that Went Missing.

I’m approaching with trepidation, because the premise is very painful - the family’s emotional denial of the death of his younger brother from drowning. The counsellor in me nods with some understanding but the simple human in me is in a state of disbelief even after the first 24 pages…

Amazing prose, in any case.

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