Monday, February 17, 2020

Books read in February 2020

1. Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind by Tom Holland  (Author)

A curate's egg. Some parts good as on crucifixion but it never seemed to me up to the claim of its title. Nether a history nor a proper thesis.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Books read January 2020

1. Siege by Jack Hight  (Author)

A good historical novel abut the 1453 fall of Constantinople to the Turks. A helpful historical notes tells you what is history and which parts are fiction.

2. Neither Bomb Nor Bullet: Benjamin Kwashi: Archbishop on the front line by Andrew Boyd (Author)

Having previously read the biography of wife, Gloria, this give a differentiations respective on the life of Ben Kwashi. A courageous man of peace and faith not afraid to speak the truth to authority. This is not a book for the faint hearted, especially the chapter on how his home was attacked in his absence and his wife brutally sexually assaulted. I do though question some of the history. AFAIK Vom, stared in 1922 was the first mission hospital in the north of Nigeria. I am surprised he does not recount Dt Miller establishing the first church at Zaria, the only one ever from converted Muslims. Also there is little mention of Christian work apart from the Anglicans, especially in Plateau State. Lacks an index.

3. The Ultimate Christmas Cracker by John Julius Norwich  (Author)

From 1969 until hid death in 2018 the author sent his friends an annual Christmas selection from his commonplace book. A curate's egg. The good and funny but some seem indifferent. Tastes vary.

4.Brewer's Famous Quotations by Nigel Rees (Author)

A unique addition to my many books of quotations. A limited selection of 5000 quotations and the stories behind them. What make this collection unique is the stories behind the quotes and also details on how they have subsequently been used or misused.

5.Was it Only Yesterday?: The Last Generation of Northern Nigeria's "Turawa" by A. Trevor Clark (Editor)

A fascination book for anyone interested in the history of Northern Nigeria under the British, to to be precise from around 1940 to 1966. I was there 1970 to 1982 so do take exception to the tile which should be 'The Last Generation of Northern Nigeria's governing "Turawa". In colonial Africa tare were three classes of expatriates. First class were government, second clad commercial. I was third class, missionary. The book is all about the first class with passing mention of he commercials and one chapter on missionaries. First class ended in the sixties. The other classes stayed longer. The stories of the handful of former public schoolboys who directly ruled millions on Nigerians are fascinating. But what is lacking is any real delineation of the country before the British came nor any critique of how indirect rule favoured the spread of Islam when Pax Britannica forbade Christian missions but allowed Islam to spread as never before. I am also surprise to fine no mention of Stanhope-White, nor hs books.