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N. J. R. Bartlett "Dr. B" (Norwich, Norfolk)

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The Island of the Colour-blind and Cycad Island
The Island of the Colour-blind and Cycad Island
by Oliver Sacks
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sacks Is On Top Form, 20 Jan 2010
As a scientist by training I am often disappointed at how narrowly scientists specialise in their subjects.

In contrast, Oliver Sacks is a breath of fresh air. "The Island of the Colour-Blind and Cycad Island" deals with a fascinating mixture of travel, medicine, human culture and botany and is all the better for it.

The book documents Sacks' visit to two separate Pacific island groups - the tiny atoll of Pingelap, where there is a high incidence of hereditary colour-blindness, and Guam, where many people are affected by a puzzling neurodegenerative paralysis. While he is there he observes the people, their culture and the plants and animals, showing empathy with his subjects and curiosity and wonderment at all he sees.

This is an entertainingly written and wise account of two little known parts of the world.

The Collected Stories Of Arthur C. Clarke (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
The Collected Stories Of Arthur C. Clarke (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Arthur C. Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I'd Forgotten How Good They Were, 20 Jan 2010
Years ago I read a collection of Arthur C. Clarke's short stories called "Of Time And Stars", which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The snow and ice at the end of last year reminded me of one of the stories, "The Forgotten Enemy", which is based in a snow and ice-bound London. So I searched for a book which included the story and found this collection.

This is a thick paperback (966 pages), absolutely packed with short stories. I rediscovered other old favourites, such as "The Reluctant Orchid" (a homage to H.G. Wells' short story "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid" but with a twist), "Hide-and-Seek" (how a sighting of a squirrel leads to a tale of set in space) and "All The Time In The World" (time can be slowed down so that art treasures can be stolen). I also found lots of stories I hadn't read.

I had forgotten how good these stories are. Considering that many were written in the late 1940s or early 1950s they are still fresh and thought-provoking.

I thoroughly recommend this book.

Old Low Light
Old Low Light
Price: £9.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't stop listening to this, 17 May 2008
This review is from: Old Low Light (Audio CD)
I only discovered Kathryn Williams' music earlier this year and was fortunate to see her and Neill MacColl in concert. Really like their album "Two" and bought "Old Low Light" on the strength of this, plus the excellent live rendition of "Little Black Numbers", the opening track, at the concert.

I now play this album very frequently, especially for "Little Black Numbers" and the fantastic "No One Takes You Home". "Wolf", "Mirrorball", "Tradition" and "Swimmer" are other outstanding tracks for me. Kathryn's voice is wonderfully breathy and the instrumentation is really interesting and fits the material well.

Kathryn's work deserves to be known much more widely.

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