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Greg Hackett - Editorial Expert

An avid crime and thriller reader when younger Greg is now more interested in non-fiction and in particular books which explain the natural world and our relationship with it. You will also find the biographies of extraordinary people propping up his reading list which is unsurprising as his career has mostly been in live events where he has had the opportunity to hear many remarkable human stories in person. Most recently Greg has founded the London Mountain Film Festival which shares the inspiring experiences of remarkable people doing amazing things in incredible places. He is also a publisher of gifts for hill-walkers and an enthusiastic but challenged home-brewer.

Latest Reviews By Greg Hackett

1923
Ned Boulting’s Tour de France commentary is an institution for fans of the race and when Covid disrupted his annual gig, like many of us, he was vulnerable to any distraction from lockdown madness. In his case that came in the form of a two minute reel of Pathé news footage covering his beloved race at some point around one hundred years ago. On a tip-off he picked it up at an auction. He had no idea what he was buying, and certainly not where it would take him. In the pages of 1923, Ned goes on a ... View Full Review
The Highlands and Islands of Scotland
Anyone who has climbed Scotland’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, will have come across a ruin at the top of it. This old weather station is where Alistair Moffat chooses to begin this enormous journey through the geographical and cultural history of Scotland. It’s an appropriate spot, since climate has been such a defining factor in the shaping of this land. No where else in Great Britain has glacial activity so influenced the future, carving out great lochs and valleys, providing grand natural partitions between settlements in which clans grew and saints and outlaws roamed. The Highlands ... View Full Review
The Heart of the Woods
The opening chapter of The Heart of the Woods follows a father, son and grandson as they plant woodland on the border between Wales and England. The middle member of that family group is Wyl Menmuir who poignantly writes about their efforts to restore what was once there, and that which has so shaped our lives, our culture, our tools and even the ornaments in our homes. He describes how the ancient wildwood which covered so much of these islands is almost entirely gone, replaced by a patchwork of fields bordered by stone and hedgerow, but there are still woods ... View Full Review
From Biplanes to Fast Jets - A pilot’s life in the Royal Air Force 1942–1973
There is no doubt that war, despite its terrible consequences, is a source of great pride and nostalgia for those who survived it, but particularly those who served within it with such heroism. Ken Aedy was only 20 when the war ended but by then he had already flown Lancasters with Bomber Command and also assisted with humanitarian airlifts as action was winding up. He was a hero, although his son Mark who wrote the introduction to this book instead describes his father as an ordinary man who lived through an extraordinary time. But 57,000 of the 125,000 aircrew who served alongside Ken ... View Full Review
What Everyone Knows About Britain* (*Except The British)
A foreign correspondent for over two decades, Michael Peel has had plenty of time to reflect on how Britain's belief in its own myths, supposed core values and wartime nostalgia has guided it through the best and worst of times. But is it real? Of course belief can be one person's reality but to others it can appear fake and flimsy. In What Everyone Knows About Britain, Peel squints at our country's self image and finds comparisons across the globe. The results make for fascinating reading, and the British caricature is essentially debunked. This is unquestionably a political book, particularly ... View Full Review
No More Sh*t Managers
It’s just as well this book didn’t come out when I was a manager as I might well have got the boot. Or at least that’s what I thought when I first picked it up, but despite its provocative title, No More Sh*t Managers is more about turning ‘yerbuts’ into ‘can-dos’ than it is about breaking eggs to make omelettes. Jo Wright was herself a broken egg at one time, made redundant she was inspired to go on a journey and learn how organisations might unlock the potential of ... View Full Review
Enzo Ferrari
On picking up Enzo Ferrari: The Definitive Biography of an Icon you can't help but notice two things - first of all its vibrant red cover, and secondly the precision of the contents. Both of these things of course are hallmarks of Ferrari's racing cars, so I immediately knew the book was on brand and I was in for a good ride. Luca Dal Monte has done an impressive job in bringing this story to print in such detail, so much so you wonder how he has acquired all this knowledge, even as an automotive journalist who has worked within ... View Full Review
Save Me from the Waves
Jessica Hepburn's claim to be the only person to run the London Marathon, swim the English Channel, climb Everest and listen to the entire back catalogue of Desert Island Discs is incredible - especially when you consider there are over 3000 episodes. No doubt those other things are also difficult but 3000!.. that's a listening feat of 24,000 pieces of music which isn't that far off the number of vertical feet that Everest amounts to. In Save Me From The Waves Jessica weaves her way between her adventurous achievements, the songs and stories of her own life and moments of inspiration derived from ... View Full Review
Adventureholic
Neil Laughton fits the classic profile of the Great British Adventurer. He has a glint in his eye, he's up for anything, he's burned through his nine lives and his stories have an edge of eccentricity to them. What sets him apart though is his catalogue of adventures which have involved every continent by land, sea and air. He has genuinely 'done' the planet and lived life to the extreme. Adventureholic is a thrilling browser's delight. The chapter titles - 'Jungles', 'Deserts' 'The Arctic', 'Mountains', 'Flying Machines' etc, are enough to warn you you're in for a rollercoaster read. I ... View Full Review
Cook Out
Harrison Ward (aka Fell Foodie) has been on my radar for a while, building a large social following and sharing images and tasty treats from some of the most beautiful viewpoints in the country, specifically the Lake District. His life story is inspiring, and so is the idea behind this collection of recipes, but perhaps most remarkable of all is the depth and quality of this, his first cookbook. Here’s a few that got my mouth watering just at the thought - Chickpea, spinach and coconut curry; Yakitori chicken, Tuscan bean stew… and then there’s ... View Full Review
From Mohair Suits to Kinky Boots
The arrival of punk in the late seventies came at the point where a movement of self-expression was at fever pitch. In East London, Geoff Deane found himself at the centre of a maelstrom of cultural enlightenment, where a wide spectrum of musical influences were converging and made visible by outrageous haircuts and extravagant fashion.  This era threw up all kinds of talented characters who would become household names. In this memoir, it's clear that the difference with Geoff is he wasn't happy doing the same thing for very long, which is what made him one of the most ... View Full Review
Farts Aren't Invisible
Before testing the hypothesis in the title of this book, it's probably worth reading the opening chapter of Farts Aren't Invisible to get to the, er, bottom of it. Mick O'Hare is obsessed with the kind of quirky trivia that is probably too weird for most pub quizzes. In this book he tackles a number of different themes and then sets about busting myths associated with them, but after diving down those rabbit holes he resurfaces with lots of other factoids which are every bit as interesting. Don't be put off by the first chapter on 'Flatulence' because following that ... View Full Review