Archive for February, 2011

February 21, 2011

The Hammer and the Cross: Robert Ferguson

by Andy

Medieval European history: not for everyone, perhaps, but for those so inclined you can do a lot worse than this (as I have, too often, as testified by an ever-growing pile of never-to-be-finished doorstops). And because I liked it, and more importantly because I finished it (and also because it’s highly accessible but not dumbed down and exhaustive without being exhausting), I’m insisting on recommending it; if only because one day you too may feel the need to know more about the Vikings beyond a plethora of slightly misinformed nuggets.

February 21, 2011

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

by Suzanne

This account of what happened to a Syrian-American man and his family after Hurricane Katrina is a powerful indictment of Bush-era policies. Good Samaritan Abdulrahman Zeitoun has stayed on the city using his canoe to navigate the deeply flooded streets, rescuing survivors and feeding trapped dogs. When the National Guard arrive and arrest Zeitoun the nightmare that ensues is both devastating and brutal. The story will make you angry and leave you in disbelief  but you will be inspired by Zeitoun’s dignity and selflessness in the face on such a terrible turn of events.

February 11, 2011

Death in a cold climate

by Team Riverside

Dark and seedy Scandinavian crime thrills thrillers are by no means a new genre but there’s no denying they have enjoyed something of a resurgence on the bestseller lists since Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.  Of course there’s nothing new coming from that direction so instead, if the inkling for more remains, it might be worth reading some of these…

Jo Nesbo

Arnuldur Indridason

Yrsa Sigurdardottir

February 3, 2011

The Hare with the Amber Eyes

by Team Riverside

Edmund De Waal, £8.99

De Waal’s Costa Winning bestseller (Biography) traces the history of an inherited collection of netsuke in what was one of 2010’s most warmly received titles.