David Howe, author of Extraction to Extinction: Rethinking our Relationship with Earth's Natural Resources recommends a great set of books! Before jumping into the interview, please check out David's book:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
I’m not sure I have a favourite. There are so many I’ve read over the years that have inspired, excited, informed and given me pause for thought. But there is one that got me thinking about the human capacity to wonder and the need to understand, a capacity possessed by both scientists and artists. The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes explores the growth of the natural sciences during the Age of Romance. He weaves together the lives and achievements of Romantic scientists, artists and poets. The book certainly played a part in my own post-academic writing career.
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
Well, I’m now 75 years old and like many people of my age I’m beginning to think about life, what’s it all about and when the time comes, how to bow out contentedly. One of my favourite writers is Richard Holloway who has written a number of books about his own life, religion and loss of faith. One time Bishop of Edinburgh, he’s now in his 80s and I’ve loved reading Waiting for the Last Bus: reflections on Life and Death. It’s a wonderfully positive book, joyful and reassuring. In fact, memoirs and books about the meaning of life (!) are amongst my current favourites including those by Penelope Lively, Hilary Mantel, Karen Armstrong and Julian Baggini.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
Do you know, now I come to think about it, we didn’t have any books in our house when I was a young child. I used to get a comic once a week – the Beano I think, and maybe the Dandy from time to time. I vaguely remember reading Enid Blyton’s famous five books. But when I reached the age of eleven I joined the local public library and began to read voraciously.
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
Paper. I do have a kindle which I like to use when I’m travelling away from home for any length of time, but you can’t beat the feel, smell and look of a physical book.
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
Depends where I am. I live in Norwich and I love the Book Hive, followed closely by Jarrolds. I visit the Lake District several times a year and always pop into Sam Reads of Grasmere and Fred’s Bookshop in Ambleside. The Book Hive is small but beautifully formed and run by the very friendly, ever helpful and highly knowledgeable Henry and Joe. And they stock my books.
Many thanks to David for recommending a great set of books! Please don't forget to check out David's book Extraction to Extinction: Rethinking our Relationship with Earth's Natural Resources.
Image Copyrights: Saraband (Extraction To Extinction), HarperCollins Publishers (The Age of Wonder), Canongate Books Ltd (Waiting For The Last Bus), Hodder Children's Books (The Famous Five Collection).