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Friday 17 May 2024

In the absence of van life, something completely different

All is well at Bag End, busy in the garden, busy with life, busy being retired. I may have finally got my head around this retirement lark, and started to take it a bit more seriously which means "allowing myself" the opportunity to sit and read all afternoon if I feel like it. Which is what happened yesterday and today. Favourite bloggers often share their latest read, and this is mine:




I do not currently read as much as I have done in past years, mainly because I am resolved to sleep more and put the light out a bit earlier at bedtime (hence the need to curl up in a comfortable chair in the garden for an entire afternoon) therefore this is not my "normal" fare, but if you were to only read one book this year, it should be this one. I have blitzed through it in two days because, whilst scrupilously researched and factual, it reads with the accessibility and pace of a good James Patterson thriller.

I am of an age to clearly remember the growth of CND in the 1970's and the (then radical) protests at at the Women's Peace Camp, Greenham Common. After reading Jacobsen's superb book I am of a mind that this is where the focus of Greenpeace, Greta Thunberg and all other activists should be.

Because "the only way to win is not to play" (War Games, 1983) and humans have learned nothing since that lovely film.

Proper book reviewers have written that in places this is a very disturbing book as the effects of a nuclear explosion on humans, animals, and the world as we know it are described in unflinching detail. In an age where it seems commonplace to become numb to endless death & destruction delivered in the form of a 24-hour news cycle, video games, films and so many other forms of "entertainment" perhaps this should be compulsory reading/listening until enough people sit up, pay attention and say "stop".

If that could happen then Jacobsen would deserve a Nobel, not a Pullitzer (and think how many roads / schools / hospitals could be funded with all the redirected money?)


And now, back to my usual easy-reading cozy mysteries where Jessica Fletcher meets Rosemary & Thyme accompanied by Mary Berry and far too many cookies!




15 comments:

  1. Thanks for that, I've added it to my Abebooks & Kobo wishlist. It sounds like a fascinating read.
    Good for you for taking time out to read, as someone reminded me on my blog once, we're human beings not human doings, it's not a crime to sit down and relax! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Vix, after a lifetime of analysing data I confess my usual books are the fiction equivalent of marshmallow fluff and I have generally forgotten the plot by the time I’m halfway through the first chapter in the next one. This book is not a comfortable read but one I will not forget in a hurry.

      I hope you enjoy it once it makes its way to the top of your pile.

      Delete
  2. If you want a light hearted view of the end of society, read Last one to the Party, by Bethany Clift, I loved every word.

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  3. After reading the sci fi/ historical going back to Mesolithic I might give your nuclear future a go.

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    Replies
    1. or not, as the library don't have a copy, and after reading more about it I reckon I'd be to terrified to finish it!

      Delete
    2. I did not find it terrifying, just incredibly sad that humans can come so far in such a relatively short period of time and demolish it all in little over an hour.

      Delete
  4. Not a book I will be reading, it's far too like my day job for it to be in any way relaxing. I'll stick with the wartime rationing fluff that I'm reading at the moment. :-)

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    Replies
    1. There's a lot to be said for 'mentally relaxing fluff' :-)

      Delete
  5. Interesting. My current (I mean, it's on the bedside table, but I haven't picked it up for several weeks) read is The Year of Living Danishly. X

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    Replies
    1. I tried The Year of Living Danishly a while back but could not get on with her writing style. Another on the DNF pile (which is not a pile but a bag destined for the charity shop 😉 ).

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  6. I stayed at Greenham
    Common in the summer between finishing my A levels and starting University . I went with one of the younger Nuns from the Catholic school I attended - she was astonishing , and her presence definitely had an impact on the military presence guarding the site . It was a great summer
    Enjoying reading your blog having just discovered you
    Siobhan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Siobhan. I am sure I have heard before (but I cannot remember where and when) how the presence of Nuns affected the men guarding Greenham. What incredible memories you're so lucky to have.

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  7. Not sure I am in the headspace to read about war but good to hear you enjoyed it.

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    Replies
    1. Perfect description Hena, thank you.
      I was in just the right 'headspace' to read this book when I came across it.

      Delete

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