Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

3 December

Book of the day

brutallondonBrutal London
Simon Phipps
(UK: September, 2016)

The raw concrete and imposing mass of Brutalist architecture is undeniably part of the fabric of London’s landscape – both visual and social – and part of our urban history. Momentum is now growing to celebrate, reclaim and preserve buildings which were once written off or allowed to decay.

This collection of unique and evocative photography by Simon Phipps casts the city in a new light. Arranged in order of inner London Borough, Brutal London takes in famous examples such as the Trellick Tower, the Brunswick Centre and the Alexandra Road Estate, as well as lesser known housing and municipal spaces. It serves as an introduction to buildings the reader may see every day, an invitation to look differently, a challenge to look up afresh, or to seek out celebrated Brutalism across the capital.

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Brutal London)

bm-partus-pressFacts of the day

3 December

1967 Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant in South Africa


The Icelandic language remains unchanged from the ancient Norse spoken at the time of the first settlement in the 9th century. This means that texts from 1000 years ago – and the original versions of the sagas and eddas – can still read with ease.


In the English carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, 364 gifts are mentioned.


G K Chesterton was once asked which book he’d like to have with him should he be stranded on a desert island. The author replied: ‘Thomas’s Guide to Practical Shipbuilding’.

Writers birthdays

1560 Jan Gruter  (The Netherlands)
1684 Ludvig Holberg (Norway [Denmark-Norway])
1800 France Prešeren (Slovenia [Austrian Empire])
1864 Herman Heijermans Jr (The Netherlands)
1897 Kate O’Brien (Ireland)
1908 Nigel Balchin (UK)
1921 Hans G Kresse (The Netherlands)
1924 Francisco Sionil José (The Philippines)
1931 Franz Josef Degenhardt (Germany)
1954 Grace Andreacchi (USA)

Jokes of the day

What’s the tallest building in the city?
The library, because it’s so many stories high!

Cartoon: Randy Glasbergen, Cartoons about books and reading

Quote of the day

Henry David Thoreau: ‘Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.’

Runes; green J