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Review: Volume 35 - Second World War


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Paul Martin, presenter of the popular BBC2 "Flog It" series, has had the privilege of being allowed exceptional access to almost every town and city, where he has unlocked doors to reveal fascinating and unusual people, magnificent collections - many being seen in public for the first time - and quirky places. Paul's refreshingly informed perspective means it takes us beyond the tourist trail. At Highclere Castle, he didn't head straight for the Egyptian pyramid relics that have haunted the Caernarvon Earls but instead uncovered a beautiful wooden writing desk that had huge significance in European history and now lay ignored in the corner of a seldom-visited library. Recent discoveries have also included a brutal mouth harness designed to hold the tongues of gossiping Scots women; beautiful pewter bowls washed ashore from a shipwreck off the Scilly Isles, and a bizarre collection of commercial bakelite products including an indestructable coffin.

Title: Paul

Author: Paul

Publisher: S

Price: £

Bookshop: Amazon

Website: Travel Guide

Category: Travel Writing

The name John Muir has come to stand for the protection of wild land and wilderness in both America and Britain. Born in Dunbar in 1838, Muir is famed as a pioneer of American conservation and his passion, discipline and vision still inspire. Combining acute observation with a sense of inner discovery, Muir's writings of his summer in what would become the great national park of Yosemite in California's Sierra valley raise a close awareness of nature to a spiritual dimension. His journal provides a unique marriage of natural history, lyrical prose and amusing anecdote, retaining a freshness, intensity and brutal honesty which will amaze the modern reader.

Title: Paul

Author: Paul

Publisher: S

Price: £

Bookshop: Amazon

Website: Travel Guide

Category: Travel Writing

"In many ways I was like Alice," writes Alan Macfarlane on his first encounter with Japan, "that very assured and middle-class English girl, when she walked through the looking glass. I was full of certainty, confidence and unexamined assumptions about my categories. In this fascinating and endlessly surprising book he takes us with him on an exploration of every aspect of Japanese society from the most public to the most intimate.

Title: Paul

Author: Paul

Publisher: S

Price: £

Bookshop: Amazon

Website: Travel Guide

Category: Travel Writing

In the summer of 1989, John Williams donned a baseball cap and took off for the States to search out the mythical America of modern crime fiction - to find James Ellroy's LA, Elmore Leonard's sleazy South Beach of Miami, Sara Paretsky's Chicago, and many others on an unnerving tour of the American underbelly. The result was "Into the Badlands", a riveting collection of interviews that introduced a generation of crime fans to now legendary writers. In 2005, Williams returned to discover that much had changed in the intervening years, both in crime writing and in America as a whole. As Williams crosses America in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he finds himself in a profoundly uneasy country. Whether their territory is inner-city DC, like George Pelecanos, or the rural white poverty of the Ozark Hills, like Daniel Woodrell, the best crime writers today are sending despatches from the edge. John Williams brings their visions together to construct a powerful, personal portrait of America today. This book also contains interviews with James Lee Burke, James Ellroy, James Crumley, Sara Paretsky, Eugene Izzi, Elmore Leonard, George V. Higgins, Vicki Hendricks, Kem Nunn, Kinky Friedman, Daniel Woodrell, and George P. Pelecanos.

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