Iâ€™m typing this one handed so Iâ€™m going to keep it short. RSI has forced me to prune my writing time to a minimum, but the glorious upside of this situation is that it has allowed me to maximise my reading time. So Iâ€™ve been wallowing in both ebooks and paper books, some good, some not so good. Maybe itâ€™s a numbers thing, ten average books for one outstanding book or something like that, because a few days ago I was rewarded with a book that had me swooning after reading the first few pages.
The Age of Wonder; How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes. The poems of Coleridge, Keats and Captain Cookâ€™s unsurpassed charting of the islands of Tahiti, Mary Shelley, the soul and dissection, sex, tattoos and Joseph Banks. Literature, metaphysics, scientific rivalries, love and crises of the soul, what an age to have been alive!
The first chapter and prologue alone had me stepping out into the world each morning with a renewed sense of awe at the simple fact of being alive and in this world. I love books that affect me this way. I suspect itâ€™s not hard to work that out given what Iâ€™ve written. The power of these stories, re-presented by Holmes with such freshness and originality, give me a badly needed shot of optimism to fight the bleak fears of the pessimistic prognosticators who predict that we are all doomed to a future full of Twitter novels, that long form narrative is dead and that weâ€™ll devolve into a species of bone heads with attention spans no longer than a TV commercial.
I love my ereader, but I came across this gem while browsing in a bricks and mortar bookshop – for me thatâ€™s the cherry on top of this delicious reading experience.
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