i always like to read a few books on holiday. this year i clearly didn't feel up to much initially as i began with two picture books/graphic novels.
the first in by will mcphail is delightful - it's reviewed here better than i can do it justice. it's the story of an illustrator, a man who struggles to connect with his feelings and be present and he is waking up to the world through friendship, grief, creating...
the second is putin's russia by darryl cunnigham. i am the sort of person who is interested in someone like putin's story but never motivated enough to read a big fat biography. so darryl cunningham is perfect for me. i am a big fan of his having read supercrash and billionaires. don't be deceived - just because they are graphic novel style does not mean they are pithy in any way. they are brilliantly researched. it was a scary but important read.
then i finally got onto a novel - middle class by kester brewin. kester is a teacher and this novel really gets inside the classroom. it's set in london and the middle class is neither the top or bottom class but the middle one. i don't know a lot about education at the moment so i can't comment on that. my hunch is it really captures the experience of teaching well but i think teachers had better be the judge of that. but it is a very moving story. both jenny and i were in tears at the end as it really builds pace and develops the lead teacher character so well. it made me feel real empathy for teachers who are at the frontline of so many things as so many other community provisions have fallen away in our culture. i have to say it also put me off teaching - that probably wasn't the point! but i am full of admiration for teachers who are there for young people, can be treated terribly at times, but really give so much. thank you teachers! but back to the point - it's a great read. i went to the book launch which was fun to catch up with kester who has self published this book, wanting to get it out quickly as it deals with the environment around covid and so forth. go get yourself a copy.
and the next book i will write about in another blog...
i realise this musing has very little to do with islay other than that i read the books there!