Sunday 14 December 1997
Naxos audio books feature appropriate music, and The Middle Way: The Story of Buddhism by Jinananda (3 CDs pounds 12.99) is punctuated by temple bells and bursts of chanting. It's thoughtful, subtle and wise, with readings by Anton Lesser and Heathcote Williams. In the same series is The History of Classical Music on 4 CDs, by Richard Fawkes and read by the mellifluous Robert Powell (Naxos pounds 14.99). The commentary is punctuated by musical examples - a brilliant idea.
In poetry, Seamus Heaney reads his wonderful Station Island sequence (Faber Penguin pounds 6.99) with a gently gobsmacked wonderment. Penguin Classics have brought out useful selections of the work of Christina Rossetti, Donne, Wordsworth and Shelley, read by a team of actors (eg Haydn Gwynne, Alex Jennings, Stella Gonet), each with a basic commentary (pounds 8.99). But the top poetry present has to be Paul Durcan reading his own sly, humorous, maudlin contemporary epic Christmas Day (Harvill pounds 7.99).
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Art Police investigate abuse sent to Paul Cummins over Tower of London installation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Liam Gallagher brands Kanye West 'utter s**t' during BRIT Awards performance
- 2 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 3 People who sleep more than eight hours are more likely to have a stroke, research shows
- 4 Kanye West climbs on table at Nando's to crowd chants of 'Yeezus' before Brit Awards 2015 performance of 'All Day'
- 5 New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Alien 5: Sigourney Weaver will reprise Ripley role in new movie, says director Neill Blomkamp
Madonna falls off stage at Brit Awards – and then nails her performance
Brits 2015: Pharrell Williams only non-white winner as music awards follow Oscars 'white wash'
The Reading & Leeds 2015 line-up if it only included bands with female members looks pretty sparse
Wolf Hall finale, review: Simply brilliant TV
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'