26 recommends: June 2024

I have been reading “We Are All Birds of Uganda” by Hafsa Zayyan. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how a non-Ugandan is able to so deftly explore the nuances of: Ugandan colonization; racism; the nuances of the Indian-Ugandan and indigenous Ugandan experience across generations; the nuances of the Expulsion of Asians in Uganda and its devastating effect on both the Asian-Ugandan population and the indigenous Ugandan population; and the nuances of contemporary life in Kampala and London. I have 7 chapters to go and it’s kept me riveted the entire way through. Hafsa Zayyan has spoken about her experiences being Nigerian-Pakistani-British informing the book, but I’ve read a lot of books about Uganda by Non-Ugandans that lack the nuance she employed, so I’m grateful she did her due diligence. I would highly recommend it!

– Mugabi Byenkya


My recommendation would be Exploring Norfolk’s Deep History Coast by John A. Davies and David M.G. Waterhouse. A birthday present from my wife’s mother. The book explores Norfolk’s coast anti-clockwise, from the Suffolk border to the Wash, noting that there is a broad chronological logic to doing it so. Looming beyond Norfolk is Doggerland – the fertile plain between Britain and continental Europe that humans and vast herds of animals occupied until about 8500 years ago. The book is giving me ideas for several bike rides in today’s Norfolk, and several articles for East Anglia bylines.

– Aidan Baker


A reminder to all that Neil Gaiman is an excellent author and if you have one of his books on your list of books to read, now is the time to read it and if you don’t have one of his books to read, there’s plenty to choose from. An easy way to start is to read his (very) short story A Study in Emerald, which is a Sherlock Holmes story with a murder of an otherworldly being. A quick read that gets you into the urban fantasy mindset to want more Gaiman.

– Harry Ashton-Key


Ben Tallon is an eloquent designer based in Manchester. Glorious serendipity brought this piece by him to my inbox as I was contemplating the 26 Scrapbooks project.

– Lynda Relph-Knight


Back at the start of 2019 I still hadn’t discovered the wonders of Spotify, but I decided to listen to a song from every new iTunes release each week, and I came across a song called “The Seed” by Aurora. Five-and-a-bit years later and she has never slid from the top of my eclectic ‘most listened artists’ list. Her new album takes another step away from her early ethereal Nordic witchiness and is a fiery, folk-infused, soul-releasing delight – a plea to humanity to rediscover its heart.

Spotify: What Happened to the Heart?
CD: Aurora

– Max Parfitt

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