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January 29th, 2010

Books!

The wonderful folks at Ardlingly College, where I spoke on Tuesday, gave me £80 in book tokens. As I will be leaving for the US on Saturday, not likely to be back in the UK until the fall, it was incumbent on me to spend these as fast as possible.

Thursday I was in Cambridge giving another talk. So Friday morning found me prowling bookstores. In no particular order...

Chesteron and Tolkein as Theologians: The Fantasy of the Real by Alison Milbank. The book intrigued me when I was last bookshopping but at £20 for a thin paperback I couldn't pull the trigger. Book tokens were invented for people like me and books like this.

The Cambridge Companion to The Beatles, edited by Kenneth Womack. A scholarly discussion... I saw this while visiting my editor at CUP, and as a CUP author I get a discount.

Churchill's Wizards: The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945, by Nicholas Rankin. The kind of pop history that I am a sucker for. Looks cheesy and fun.

The Accidental Sorcerer, by K. E. Mills. Good train/airplane reading.

Failure is Not an Option, by Gene Kranz. Wanted this for a while, picked it up in Heffer's and couldn't put it down.

The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome, by Roland Chambers. Was he a Bolshevik or a spy? This title has been quite controversial on The Arthur Ransome Society blog. Beside having fallen in love with Swallows and Amazons as a kid, I started reading up on Ransome in grad school. He was one of those almost impossible early 20th century English characters, the kind that no one would believe if you invented him.

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