Monday, July 31, 2006

One book that will cater for all your needs.

Yet another summer week-end is in the books, and that means yet another summer review of The Week-End Book, this time from the Los Angeles Times:
Poetry, how to play bezique, various bird songs, knots, stars and "Dishes to Come Home To" are a few of the wonders in this gentle, good-looking volume, first published in June 1924. The book came into being when Bloomsbury writer David "Bunny" Garnett and friends found themselves burdended on an Italian walking tour by rucksacks heavy with books. "How wonderful, they thought, if they could pack just one book that would cater for all their needs," writes John Julius Norwich in his introduction. Beyond its beauty and whimsy, the book reveals the importance of leisure in middle- and upper-middle class British life between the world wars. These people knew how to play games, identify flora and fauna and, above all, read.
You can listen to an interview with John Julius Norwich on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered here.
--John Mark

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