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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Tyler

Carry on Reading - A personal selection of mainly recently published books


Free - Coming of Age at the end of history by Lea Ypi. This memoir has received rave reviews and gives great insight into a country of which few know very much and even fewer have visited.

A Concise History of Albania by Fischer & Schmitt is timely published next month by CUP.

Another book dealing with the History of Northern Albania specifically, called Nobody's Kingdom by TJWinfrith, is a third volume on the country that was published to great reviews.


Always on the look out for good histories of pre colonial Africa may I recommend

Ancient Africa by Adam Muksawa. This has something of the text book about it as it groups paragraphs under useful headings. For those like me who know so little of this history, and want to know more, I found the approach in this book very helpful.

At the other end of history, Dipo Faloyin has published Africa is not a country. Unlike the above book this is not an academic book but rather a book where the author tries in various ways to show up the differences across the continent in the 21st century. Again a book that has enjoyed great reviews.


Michael Hunter in his book The Decline of Magic argues the opposite, suggesting that the widely held view that the Enlightenment did away with ideas of magic is simply incorrect. This is not a pot boiler about witchcraft but a very tightly reasoned argument.


Following the success of the book Travellers in The Third Reich, the author Julia Boyd has joined forces with Angelika Patel. Their book looks at how an ordinary German village and its inhabitants were changed by Nazism. It draws on recorded history and on oral testimony.

Hope one of the above may grab the attention of a few of you.

And now, as they say, for something completely different -

Woodsmoke and Sage by Amy Licence, sub titled The five senses 1485-1603: How the Tudors experienced the world. A book right up my street, and possibly up yours too? Who could resist a book whose first entry in the index is 'Against filthy writing and such delighting'!

Oh, how hypocritical were, and are, the English!

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