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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler

Human Cycle

Human Cycle - Colin M. Turnbull I read this in college. Turnbull was an ethnographer who spent years living with Pygmy tribes in Africa, not as a disinterested observer, but as a friend and member of their communities. Turnbull was gay (although that isn't mentioned in this 1983 memoir/philosophical treatise) and growing up in 1930s and 40s Britain was a harsh and cold experience for him. He contrasts English parenting, schools & social norms to the warmth and caring of the tribes he lives with. While I don't think it was a balanced portrayal of either, I found it moving and compassionate and it supported my growing conviction that closeness with children is more important and effective than discipline and structure. Turnbull's long-time partner wasn't too happy that he wasn't mentioned in the book.