The Catholic Invasion

Sinners And Saints by Father Michael Seed was published by Metro Publishing. A Catholic priest tells anecdotes about well known and less well known people hovering around the perceived power center of the United Kingdom. Don't expect any earth shaking insights or a fount of wisdom from this book. But it is amusing enough to while away an hour or two.



Heroes Lacking Definition

The word hero conveys all kinds of images to us. When writing about heroes, you would expect that an author comes up with some sort of definition; it might even be a personal one. Lord Ashcroft wrote a book about heroes, and he didn't put a heroic effort into it. Special Forces Heroes is not that special and lacks in force. Heroically, though, I read it from beginning to end.


Warren Beatty Biography

Peter Biskind’s book Star, a biography of Warren Beatty, was published by Simon & Schuster. The author tries and abysmally fails to get Warren Beatty out of bed, but the book makes good reading for scandal mongers. If you ever wondered how to start your Hollywood career: It starts in the bed of a producer or director. It helps if you aren't choosy about the sex of your mentors; they will get you roles even when lacking in looks and acting talent.


Don't Speak Well of The Dead

If you ever wondered why celebrities tend to publish their invented biographies while alive, here’s one to read at all cost. The author manages to stay out of most cat fights, but the truth is hurting enough without the need to add slander. This is not how historian Hugh Trevor-Roper imagined to be remembered.



Language Barriers

Linguistics is a science that is at best a bit murky, at worst nationalistic and highly political; it can become a quagmire, too. The language barriers I mention in the title refer to the barriers put up by linguists on their own understanding of languages. A new book tries to get rid of a few 19th century hold-overs embedded in our minds.



Three Generations: The Forgotten Garden

Pan Books published The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. In it, she tells the stories of three women in search of their roots covering a hundred years of family history. While two of them were displaced by no choice of their own, the third is set upon her quest by her grandmother to solve a family mystery.


Roger Moore Biography

Roger Moore’s My Word Is My Bond was published by Michael O’Mara Books. I don’t know where Moore found his ghost-writer, but maybe it was his accountant. The book could qualify as an accountant’s joke anytime. It is probably the most boring biography that ever came into my hands.



Walnut Tree Farm

Notes From Walnut Tree Farm by Roger Deakin was published by Hamish-Hamilton. A book about change and sameness in country life, it is filled with observations of the wild and not so wild. If you are living in the city and hope for country life, this is an exercise in what you can expect. And if you live in the country, it might open your eyes to what is going on around you.


James Bond: Behind the Movies

The Man with The Golden Touch: How the Bond Movies Conquered the World by Sinclair McKay was published by Aurum. Is it a case of just one more writer jumping on the marketing train of James Bond movies and its bandwagon of licensed and unlicensed merchandise (or would that be a bondwagon)? Not quite for once.