Thursday, April 19, 2012


The family librarian – that’s my daughter who works at Newman University College, Birmingham – has  persuaded me to become Kindle convert! I haven't bought one of those little plastic things that appear sometimes on trains or in hospital waiting rooms . No I've downloaded the Kindle app so I can read the books on my laptop.

Started with the free ones like 'Winnie the Pooh' 'cos I like the pictures. Alice in Wonderland was another free one and Alice saw 'no point in a book which doesn’t have pictures or conversations.' Well now I'm now onto deeper adult stuff like 'Why does E=mc2' co authored by Prof Brian Cox - remember him from the telly? Fascinating book if you can cope with a little maths but no pictures – at least of the figurative kind – but at least Alice’s creator would have enjoyed the illustrations it contains. They are of the diagrammatic kind so you have to put your own visual interpretation on them.

So I’ve moved on to ‘The Wisdom of Birds’ by Tim Birkbeck. It’s a history of ornithology and it does have lots of coloured pictures. They are technically exciting but a bit wooden to modern eyes – they were after all mostly drawn from dead specimens. It’s surprising how ‘intelligent’ birds are in their own particular way.

Another free Kindle download was ‘Discourses on Art’ by Sir Joshua Reynolds. They are a series of lectures he gave to the ‘gentlemen’ of the Royal Academy of his day. I thought it ought to be compulsory reading for somebody claiming to be an artist.

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