feb-2017-tbrWhat a fantastic name this author has! In between doing things for my February Five challenge (I rowed 5k on a rowing machine at the gym today – great fun!) I have been really getting into the books I bought at Astley Book Farm in September. What a great trip that was – books and tea! As you’ll see below, one of them has proved a bit tricky, but this one was a fun and mostly interesting read, and I know someone I can pass it along to, too!

Halliday Sutherland – “Lapland Journey”

(3 September 2016, Astley Book Farm)

A 1938 book that is very much in the laconic and funny style of Eric Newby but, well, some people remain in print and some don’t, don’t they. And although I did enjoy this, I did get bogged down in some of the detail.

There was a lot to like. Best of all, rather than getting straight into the whole Lapland thing, the author spends the first 80 pages or so (once we’ve got past the medical examination of a saint’s relics, as one does – not for the fainthearted) devoting himself to gathering and sharing impressions of the lower part of Finland before travelling up to Lapland. That was very interesting, especially the points that were very much of their time, like talk of the looming war and discussion of the fact that there probably wouldn’t be 10% of the population who were Swedish-speaking for much longer (10% of the population of Finland is still Swedish-speaking. Ha!). There’s also much talk of the more recent to these times history of independence and civil war, which was good to read during Finland’s centennial this year.

The descriptions of the reindeer and reindeer trekking, and a rather uncomfortable fishing trip, were a hoot, although that detail did get a bit heavy and it would have been lightened by a few diagrams. But it’s a nice, well-meaning and positive book, with perhaps an expansiveness that would be lost were it to be published these days.

I’ve started Dave Haslam’s “Adventures on the Wheels of Steel” which is about the rise of the superstar DJ and promises to be interesting. However, whenever a club is mentioned, it SEEMS to be random as to whether it is inverted commas or not – Turnmills but ‘Gatecrasher’, The Hacienda but ‘Cream’. There’s no note and I can’t work it out; and not knowing but seeing it all the time is driving my editor’s brain a bit funny. ETA I’ve tweeted the author to ask. I would like to read it, so hope there IS a reason! ETA2 and there is. Inverted commas indicates a club night that can happen at any location; no inverted commas indicates a location. Fair play to Mr Haslam for getting straight back to me!