Astbury Church

 In Association with


The Rectors favourite reads:

Recommending books is impossible!  But here is a selection of some of the best reads (or re-reads) I've had since coming to Astbury:



Black holes & baby universes - Stephen Hawking.


Shorter, and more reader friendly than his great A brief history of time, which joins the Bible in being very widely owned but not always read! 0553406639



The way of a pilgrim - RM French


French's translation of the anonymous Russian Orthodox classic on the use of "the Jesus Prayer".  You won't learn so much about prayer but you'll read of a heart's hunger to pray. 0060630175

A time to keep silence - Patrick Leigh Fermor

A Time to Keep Silence

An agnostic journalist spends time in a monastery. 0719539633


 An Evergreen Classic!:

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens.


I've read it every Christmas for the last 30 years since I saw William Bramble (Steptoe & Son) play the definitive Scrooge at the Weston Playhouse when I was a child. 1862051305



Touching the void - Joe Simpson


Abandoned and injured on a remote Andean mountain, Joe Simpson describes his experience of being brought to the very edge of death. 0099771012

Into thin air - John Krakauer


Stories of survival and loss during Everest's worst storm - if you read it, be patient, the account has a slow beginning but a terrific climax. 0330353977


From the new Archbishop of Canterbury:

Writing in the dust - Rowan Williams


Rowan Williams was in New York on 9/11.  This short book emerged from the experience.  As well as profound reflections on the tragedy, it’s a marvellous insight into the mind of the Anglican Church's newest leader. 0340787198


The Greatest Briton?

Churchill - a life - Martin Gilbert


Well I voted for him!  There are loads of books on Churchill.  I am not claiming this is the best, but it is comprehensive, sympathetic, and Gilbert clearly knows his subject intimately.  The early pages are a bit of a chore, but things take off once the account reaches the mid-1930s. 0712667253


Pot Luck:

An evil cradling - Brian Keenan


The best book from those involved in the Lebanon hostage saga. 009999030X

The Great Divorce - CS Lewis 0006280560


            An under-rated Lewis classic; in my opinion one of his most perceptive.

Blood and belonging - Michael Ignatieff 0099389517



            If you want to understand the mentality of civil war, read this.




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