01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

Reading in Time of Corona (and beyond!)

I don’t usually consider home-confinement a punishment - I can become a sort of a recluse given half a chance, but this feels a bit different. Maybe because of its compulsory nature :thinking:

So, my escape, I suspect - will be to books. I thought it would be great to hear if people are reading more because of the situation, and if so - what. I’ve picked up some really good suggestions from members in the past, so always looking for a new recommendation!

At the moment I’m reading Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris, by Graham Robb, having been SO impressed with his The Discovery of France:

I’m also finishing The Invention of Tradition, which had created mini shock-waves for me, and made me look afresh at such things as Scottish Highland traditions, and the British monarchy. Highly recommended if you like that sort of social history:

The husband had just started Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker, which had been recommended by this Forum:

He’s already trying to change some habits due to it! I can’t wait to get my turn - though I need very little advice on how to sleep better, being a champion sleeper.

Would love to hear what other people in the community are reading at the moment - or even old favourites!

Over to you… :grinning: :green_book:


Being very much a non TV person and usually working from home anyway, my habits, reading and otherwise, have changed very little (other than quitting the skiing early). So I’m still reading a variety of SF, historical and mainstream books as normal.

Hah, I suspect they are saying that many of the so called Scottish traditions have been invented by the Victorians. Most of the whole clan tartans stuff is, I believe, a Victorian invention. Prior to that I suspect people wore whatever tartan pattern they fancied.


It is actually much more complex and fascinating as a result! According to the book: “Since the Scottish Highlanders were, in origin, merely Irishmen who crossed from one island to another, it is natural to suppose that originally their dress was the same as that of the Irish. And this indeed is what we find…” (p.19).

Turns out they used to wear a long Irish ‘robe’ with some variations amongst the higher/lower classes. The whole tartan and kilt dress is a much later invention, which had chiefly came about due to an English Quaker industrialist from Lancashire for reasons of convenience; the colours were to differentiate class, not clan… and so on and so forth.

The more you dig into it the more you realise what suckers we all are for the notion of an ‘old tradition’. Same goes for the next chapter called ‘The Hunt for the Welsh Past in the Romantic Period’.

Truly fascinating stuff! :smiley:

1 Like


1 Like

What they needed was a good, hard Brexit. :+1:


Not reading but I’m now hooked on all the back editions of R4’s ‘In Our Time’ that are available.


Oh, I love this series…! :heart_eyes:

1 Like

Don’t forget all of the region or grape guides we have online as well as some great videos :smiley:

1 Like

I did this recently, some of the early ones (truth, Wittgenstien, game theory) I found lovely. However I did rather overdose on them.

I am currently in Cornwall on holiday (rather an odd one due to the circs) and I found myself in need of a comfort read, I read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in a night or two and who should I see today but David Cornwell AKA John le Carre walking the cliffs. He congratulated me on the handsomeness of my terriers which made me warm to him considerably.

Had a lovely windowpane jacket on too…


Currently reading William Dalrymple’s “Anarchy” about the East India Company. Much derring-do but a bit heavy to hold. However I am writing as well as reading! See www.amazon.com/author/andrewbamji for further details (end of ad).

Keep well and keep drinking!

1 Like

Hello, what a great idea ! always nice to have new suggestions that prompt me to get out of my normal reading habits. One good way is via Podcasts e,g BBC Sounds - A Good Read. Or Spotify - You’re Booked.
In the spirit of trying new authors don’t be put off if you don’t like them all. One great new author is worth the risk of trying a couple that you don’t end up liking. And to keep the cost down borrow from your local library. In Hertfordshire you can search the catalogue for the whole county and for the grand sum of 75p they will ship a book to your local library for collection.
Recent finds:
Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck. A slice of German life told through the history of a Lake in Brandenberg.
Barbarian Days - A surfing Life by William Finnegan. Winner of 2016 Pulitzer for Biography. So how did an acknowledged surf bum become an author and Journalist at The New Yorker.
And if you want a great series check out Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunter detective novels.


Sounds right up my Strasse! I shall look out for it, thanks! :smiley: :+1:

You may want to go online with your library so you can get downloadable or audible versions

Thanks - good idea

1 Like

Reading this totally charming account of two 19th century ladies visiting the Medoc. Absolutely useless for factual study but a very engaging glimpse into the way things were (
Steamer up the Gironde to Pauillac etc).


Just started reading Wink Lorch’s Wines of the French Alps:

This is going to be a fun, if vicarious, ride through this beautiful part of France.

A glass of Mondeuse would go down a treat now… :wine_glass: :ok_hand:


Get even more local with a glass of Persan. Though I confess it never really floated my boat.

1 Like

I would love to try it - never found one in the UK. Or perhaps haven’t looked in the right places… I remember your reported attempts to like it, which - as you say, didn’t seem to work. At least you tried :grin:

This reminds me - nice to know that you’re currently ‘storing’ four of my Savoie wines!! Thanks for that! :smiley:

1 Like

Try here Inbar:


1 Like

Well what do you know?!! How did I miss this Persan?.. :thinking: I’ve purchased wine from Alpine Wines quite a few times now. Mind you, concentrated on their Swiss and Austrian wines more… thank you for the tip! :+1: