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Read All About It

I’m about halfway through this unputdownable book:

a most alarming read! :dizzy_face:

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Mike, it was Belmont abbey in Herefordshire. Ghastly.


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.


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.


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.


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.