I have a new favourite.
I was fortunate enough to be in London a couple of times lately, and for the first time made it to the British Museum. And needless to say, since then I have been going back for more.
The building in itself is inspired- and I cannot help but wonder if the ceiling did not inspire J.K Rowling as the ceiling in the Dining Hall in Hogwarts?
But there are sooooo many things there to admire and to make you think, and to make you want to learn more, I find myself just walking around and either smiling (except getting stuck behind large groups)(that walk slowly), or getting stressed over what to see. I know that there are sane people out there that decide on a part and are happy to see just that, but that has never been my style, so I have to admit that I was just a bit overwhelmed. The audioguide is amazing and a great help and I warmly recommend it even to those that have better memory than me and actually remember their history lessons, but if you are like me and like to take the collection home with you- there is a perfect book you can buy.
A history of the world in 100 objects is written by the Director of the BM, and produced by BBC Radio 4. Basically, it takes you on a journey from what I think are the oldest discovered stone tools, nearly two millions old- to a penny defaced by the Sufragattes and a credit card that is ok for use in the Muslim countries- the last object being a solar power driven lamp. Between the first and the last, there is 800 pages of our history, retold in a very accessible and interesting, to say the least, way. It is a book you can read from cover to cover, or take and enjoy an object at a time- what ever is your way. There are also the podcasts that you can get, and pages dedicated to this both on BBC and on BM pages. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/programme
I have so many thoughts and impressions from both the book and the British Museum, and may come back to some of the things I have seen, but that will come later:)