Reading Matters podcast info: 17th Jan’23


Penny Haw, author and journalist, has captured, splendidly, the defiant and colourful life of Britain’s first woman veterinary surgeon, Aleen Cust, in her book, ‘The Invincible Miss Cust’(Sourcebooks Landmark/Penguin).

Aleen was born in 1868 to an aristocratic English family, to whom the very thought of a woman working, let alone with ‘beasts,’ was appalling. They shunned and despised their daughter, their sister, and whilst Haw has fictionalized some characters, most of them are based on fact which the author has meticulously researched. Gripping, moving and poignant – I couldn’t put it down.

Vegetables have seldom been this delicious. In ‘Vegan Eat’ ( Hardie Grant/ Penguin Random House) by Shannon Martinez and Mo Wyse - the former uses her Spanish heritage, and reputation for top-notch vegan food at Smith & Daughters in Melbourne, as she shares seriously tasty recipes. Meat eaters will love it.

John Grisham is back with about his hundredth book ( only joking!) - in ‘The Boys from Biloxi’( Hodder&Stoughton/ Jonathan Ball). Two boys grow up together in the Mississippi’s Biloxi, sharing everything until in their teens they split, one becoming a lawyer, the other a nightlife criminal.

Close, emotional families, courtroom drama, death and destruction – Grisham has it all.

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