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Summertime and the reading is easy

I seem to be on a Kazuo Ishiguro bender; just finished ‘An artist of the floating world’. Just beautiful, like Taitinger Comtes 98. Mature, exquisite and defined by the space created within it. I may have just broken the pretentious gush-o-meter.

Dinner with Edward by Isobel Vincent is nice too, a bit foodie, a bit winey perhaps a bit too much confectioners sugar on it but a very soothing read.

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Just finished Amor Towles “A Gentleman in Moscow” which is delightful. Sample dialogue:
“Do you dance?”
“I have been known to scuff the parquet.”
Also incidentally provides an insight into the availability of top clarets in post-revolutionary Russia.


I have just spent the past month in South East Asia, where unfortunately/fortunately, I failed to sample the wines of Cambodia’s only vineyard. I did, however, read a number of books relevant to the region.

Whilst not necessarily sharing the same views as Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, his autobiography is superb and particularly pertinent to these sorry times. It would have been fascinating to hear what he would have had to say about some of our current leaders, were he still with us.



This is one of the most powerful books that I have ever read, covering one of the darkest periods of the twentieth century, the Cambodian genocide. The author played the lead role in the film ‘The Killing Fields’ and, in my opinion, his story is even more remarkable than that of Dith Pran, the real life individual, whom he portrayed in the aforementioned film.



Recently read a few good ones.
Bursting Bubbles by Robert Walters - really interesting take on grower champagne and champagne as a wine rather than a category of its own.
Wine and War: The French, the Nazis and France’s Greatest Treasure by Donald and Petie Kladstrup - the effect of WWII on French winemaking. Fascinating stories.
The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine - The story of the Jefferson bottles and their provenance.
And finally a frequently recommended one:
Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker - a really easy, funny read about a journalist who becomes a sommelier.


I’ve currently stepped so far out of my comfort zone I’ve gone over the horizon, but I confess I’m loving every page of Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. His terse laconic narrative voice fits the subject so perfectly and evocatively. It’s not my first McCarthy having previously read and loved The Road but, apart from his stylistic conceits (maybe that’s a little harsh), it could have been written by a completely different author.

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