A selection of words and pictures to represent January’s reading:
a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.
Before he could rise to his feet, Baldwin spoke first. ‘Is there not a danger, my lord count, that Saladin will use this truce to strike at his Muslim enemies – the amirs of Aleppo and Mosul and the Assassins?’
Raymond looked surprised. ‘That is indeed a risk, my liege. But that is always true when truces are made. It is a sad truth that in times of peace, men continue to prepare for war.’
Henry will never abdicate. Nor will Marguerite. Nor will Richard be prepared to compromise. All Richard can hope for is to take up the position of Lord Protector again if Henry should slide into mental turmoil. But how is it possible to uncover such a rats’ nest of claim and counter-claim, then re-cover it, allowing it to linger and fester, the rats to grow in strength? A rats’ nest must be destroyed by a fierce ratter, for the good of all but the rats.
As long as science is a human activity, it will have human flaws. In this respect, perhaps the many mistakes of the Middle Ages can teach us some helpful humility, and motivate us to identify opportunities for improvement in our own day.
He knew that a man may live in close proximity to things he does not yet see correctly. What he must try to do is to be vigilant and attentive to all that surrounds him, in order to find the path he should follow.
“No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t tell a soul.”
“People who use that phrase are always the last to live up to it.”
One day, if you join polite society, you will certainly experience injustice, against which you must be forearmed. The best defence would no doubt be to match insult with insult, calumny with calumny, to fight injustice with injustice, but this way of dealing with iniquity is not within the scope of people like us. So when you are afflicted by it, withdraw and turn in upon yourself. Feed off the substance of your own soul and you will know happiness.
My mother always told me to value the beauty of nature. I remember us spending endless summer days on our hands and knees, studying plants in her garden, she explaining each flower in loving detail. I learned to appreciate the simple perfection of each bloom.
Rags of Time by Michael Ward (2019)
“If they condemn you as a sorcerer and burn you for it, then you are, for all practical purposes, a sorcerer, whether you began as one or not. Fear doesn’t need to make sense in order to have consequences.”
The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson (2019)
His heart flew upward like the hawk. He felt around him the seamlessness, the one-ness of the world, alive everywhere; only people with their different words for things, their different gods, broke it all to pieces.
The Soul Thief by Cecelia Holland (2002)
Mrs Hogan noticed the book I was carrying. ‘Black Beauty. One of my favourites. I’m glad to see you’re a keen reader. You can never have too many books or too much laughter in a house. Isn’t that right?’
The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor (2017)
I looked at my cousin and once again couldn’t believe that we shared the same genes.
‘If one person is missing, Marie, the world is lost.’
Ashes by Christopher de Vinck (2020)
Favourite books read in January:
The Land Beyond the Sea, The Manuscript Found in Saragossa and Rags of Time
Places visited in January:
The Holy Land, England, Borneo, Spain, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium
New authors read in January:
Seb Falk, Jan Potocki, Michael Ward, G. Willow Wilson, Christopher de Vinck
Have you read any of these books? What did you enjoy reading in January?