Holy Wars by James Brady (Hamish Hamilton £8.95). An excellent novel in that difficult arena where sex, money, power and above all religion mix. A more credible and unfantastic version of the Thorn Birds.
Helen of Burma by Helen Rodriguez (Collins £8.50). This is the astonishing autobiography of an extremely brave woman who was brought up in Burma where her father was the resident civil surgeon. Her early life was carefree and happy and she eventually became a nurse.
Then came the war. Her survival, still working as a nurse but always under the eyes of the Japanese, was a miracle of personal endurance. She tells it all in matter of fact fashion, but you can't put the book down.
A warm and — yes — intensely exciting volume that should help the reader to bear everyday crosses with a lighter
burden. GN Sassoon's Long Journey Edited by Paul Fussell (Faber and Faber £11.95). Professor Fussell has produced a hundred beautiful photographs for the text of this remarkable selection from the writing of that lovely man, and superb war poet, Siegfried Sassoon.
Text and photographs interrelate superbly, and all you need to have at hand are the Collected Poems to dip into from time to time.
A Colder Eye by Hugh Kenner (Allen Lane £14.95). The author is Professor of English Literature in Johns Hopkins, and this study of modern Irish writers is both erudite and anecdotal making it altogether vastly entertaining.
The chapter on Brian O'Nolan is brilliant; he thinks too highly of Austin Clarke, and not enough of Paddy Kavanagh, but all the time he is vastly entertaining and informative.
Everest, the Unclimbed Ridge by Chris Bonington and Charles Clarke (Hodder and Stoughton £10.95). What a magnificent .. story this is by Chris Bonington, at 48, Britain's leading climber, and Charles Clarke, 39,, consultant neurologist at Barts
Hospital, and veteran of seven Himalayan expeditions. The colour photographs are breathtaking. The end maps of the mountains frightening.
On the evening of May 17, 1982, Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker of the British Everest Team were last seen on the final stages of the assault on the summit when they disappeared, never to be seen again.
This is the personal story of those famous climbers and their comrades Chris Bonington and Char4es Clar.ke. Great adventure reading.
Discovering the National Trust by John M Parry (Macmillan £5.95). In association with the National Trust this book in the Macmillan Children's Books series gives an invaluable introduction to the work of the Trust, its properties and heritage.
The author travelled over 7,500 miles visiting Trust properties and illustrated his work with many excellent photographs and sketches.
Margaret Thatcher-by Russell. Lewis (Routledge, and Kegan. Paul £5.95). I read the last chapter first of this personal and political biography in order to decide whether the author's treatment of recent events merited reading the rest of the book. And there she was with never a hair out of place, never a moment's hesitation in making a decision and which was always bang-on, never the need it seems even to dust the mantelpiece. The Architecture of the Anglo Saxons. Eric Fernie (Bats ford £20). Architectural history should not just involve church buildings. Eric Fernie shows this in his work which concerns itself with domestic and military architecture as well as church edifices. It also shows that the period of the Anglo-Saxons was not so isolated from outside in fluences.
A Celebration of London, Walks around the Capital. Ian Norrie and Dorothy Bohm (Deutsch £10.95). It is only eight walks, and no doubt those daily newspapers which feature London walks could come up with the same programmes. They would be hard put to it though so effectively to combine fine sketch maps with generous illustrations with informative texts. The walks are either City or West End.
Fr Paul Sanders
Mr Bedford and the Muses by Gail Godwin (Heinemann £7.95). Short novel and four short stories by highly original young American writer. In the novel just such a young American woman (perhaps) comes to London and discovers some telling secrets about the American family with whom she lodges. Good observation of the small traits of character which tell so much. Accompanying stories are unorthodox, almost wierd, but compelling.
Portrait of Gower by Wyn ford Vaughan Thomas (Robert Hale
£8.95). That lyrical exponent of spoken English, Wynford Vaughan Thomas, was persuaded to put pen to paper in 1976 and to write about a part of his native Wales. It is good news that the publishers have decided to produce a new edition of this amusing and enjoyable book.
These Are Our Actors by Richard Findlate (Hamish Hamilton, Elm Tree Books £12.50). When this book was written the four great names of the Theatre who are the subject of this book were still alive — Peggy Ashcroft, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson. Alas, the last has since died.
All four were acting giants in the British Theatre for nearly half a century.
The Marsh Lions by Brian Jackman and Jonathan Scott (Papermac £7.95). A story about a pride of wild lions in Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve. It is also a tribute to this wonderful and very necessary game reserve; its ecology, its flora and fauna.
English Country Grandfather Clocks by Richard C R Barder (David and Charles £12.95). The traditional brass faced grandfather clock is the most popular clock for collectors. This book covers all country makers from 1660 till 1830. A very handy reference book giving information on date, origins etc. on any English brass dial country "Iongcase."