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Foresight - Christmas ahead

News

With Christmas fast approaching perhaps you might like to consider a few books to fill those civil engineering stockings. Happily, readers, these will not be the civil engineering stockings normally filled with the clammy, bunioned plates of size 12s that have been wandering around sites in gumboots all day long. What a terrible thought - let's move on.

Engineering the ancient world Lecturer in civil engineering history and author of Engineering The Pyramids, Dick Parry provides a fascinating and copiously illustrated account of ancient engineering. He also speculates on whether the Hanging Gardens of Babylon actually existed and what Silbury Hill was really meant to be.

Transport, the Romans, The Great Wall of China, water engineering and a handy postscript on building materials make for a great book that will appeal to more than just civil engineers - top stuff.

Foresight had a brief correspondence with the author and we'd like to report that he's also a very nice man indeed. No money has changed hands for the writing of this review. Well, not yet anyway.

£20 from Sutton Publishing www. suttonpublishing. co. uk ISBN 0-7509-3833-1 London terminil: past and past proposed Getting John 'blue sky thinking' Birt to look to the heavens for answers might be one way to solve problems but Vic Mitchell's way of doing it is in the detail.

As a result he has written a book that proposes a radical new plan to solve London's rail transport problems by creating a 'radial rail' network to serve eight major towns outside the capital. Whether you agree with him or not it's a bold plan that's thoroughly thought out. We need more like him - come the 2012 Olympics there's a fair chance some folk will still be tying the laces on their trainers when the starting pistol goes off.

Nice metaphor that, don't you think?

£13.95 from Middleton Press www. middletonpress.co. uk ISBN 1- 904474- 004

Life is for laughing Former senior partner at WA Fairhurst, Gordon Farquhar has put together a collection of humorous stories, letters, barmy guidelines and notices, poems and jokes to tickle our jaded senses. The witty tome is not just there to amuse - it's all in aid of a good cause with royalties going to the Strathcarron Hospice at Denny in Scotland. So there we are ladies and gentlemen, not only does he like a laugh but Gordon's doing his bit for charity. That makes him a jolly good egg in our book. Avail yourselves, readers.

£8.49 from Arima Publishing www. arimapublishing. com

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