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A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil Macgregor
5.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation, 8 Sep 2013
As a result of reading this book I recently drove to Wrexham in North Wales to view the Mold Cape, a Bronze Age artefact, originally discovered in nearby Bryn-yr-Ellyllon, Flintshire, in 1833. The cape was temporarily on loan from the British Museum in London, who had been responsible for reconstructing it from scraps.
A piece of very thin sheet gold beaten out of one small ingot, the craftsmanship with which it was constructed is exceptional. What is more, it is evidence of wealth, power and trading connections with the rest of Northern Europe in Wales 4,000 years ago and one of the objects considered in this History.
If I had not read the book, I might have missed out on an… Read more
Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvello&hellip by Mark Miodownik
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Hooked., 21 Aug 2013
I bought this book after pausing to read a review in an old copy of the Guardian I was using to line the chicken coop. Essentially grounded in the Arts, I remain curious about the world around me; and I had heard the author talk about stainless steel cutlery on popular science programme on the radio. He struck me as a natural communicator, so I gave it a shot: all those other materials around me I took for granted such as paper, concrete, plastic and glass were revealed in a new light. I was enthused and encouraged to regard objects not so much as "blobs of differently coloured matter" as "complex expressions of human needs and desires."
Why don't I taste my spoon when… Read more
The Presidentís Hat by Antoine Laurain
The Presidentís Hat by Antoine Laurain
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courage, Mon Brave!, 20 Aug 2013
France has moved on a lot since I was confined to the language lab, and this is a snapshot of the 80s, after my release. The author admits his return to this period was for reasons of nostalgia, but you don't have to be a Francophile to enjoy it for yourself. With a premise reminiscent of the plot of The Mask, the hat in the title changes the lives of all who wear it, giving them courage.
A mild-mannered accountant holds his own against a domineering colleague, impressing his boss and gaining promotion. A put-upon mistress finds the pluck to end her affair with the married man she never goes out with. A blocked perfumer, five years under psychoanalysis, dons the Homburg, dismisses… Read more