Friday, June 14, 2013

3 4 Friday - from tiny islands to outer space, in the past - and far into the future

If you haven't had a chance to take a look at our Mostly Books Father's Day Collection yet - Father's Day is this Sunday. But there's still time to 'buy Dad a real book' - so for today's 3 4 Friday #FridayReads we've another three titles that may just be right up Dad's street...

Anyone who has been watching Prof Ian Mortimer take viewers on a tour around the squalor, danger and unexpected inspiration that is Elizabethan England, then 'The Time-Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England' might just be the perfect gift. As Mortimer says "The past is a foreign country: this is your guidebook". It's a time when your life expectancy was in the early 30s, and the world was changing rapidly, due - as Francis Bacon put it - to "Printing, Gunpowder and the Compass". Everything you think you know about Elizabethan England is wrong...

There's plenty to see in modern-day Britain of course, and what better guide around the British Isles than 'Tiny Campsite' author and journalist Dixe Wills. In 'Tiny Islands' he travels and provides guides to 60 little self-contained 'worlds' just off our remarkable coast - or in lakes, rivers and lochs. Part travelogue, part memoir - this is travel writing at its inspirational best from an author passionate about getting us to appreciate our own country before jetting off to foreign climes.

The ultimate get-away of course might be outer space, and - as you are probably aware - one of the most exciting, groundbreaking, history-changing searches is currently underway to find the first Earth-like planet surrounding a nearby star. Such a discovery would have profound implications for how we see ourselves in the universe - but that discovery may have already been made.

In 'Mirror Earth', Michael Lemonick tells the story of Kepler, the space mission hunting for Earth-like worlds, and the story of the people who made it happen.

More Father's Day recommends here...and find out what happened when we talked books on BBC Radio Oxford on Monday...

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