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Book thread: what are you reading?


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Some of my recent reads are:

1895 And All That by Tony Collins. Absolutely brilliant book, loads of stuff about the early years of RL that I didn't know. Makes me feel even more proud to be part of such a sport. 

The Corner by David Simon. Another great book, by the writer of The Wire about life in Baltimore. Interesting and tragic in equal measure and some really interesting arguments put forward about welfare.

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker - Very interesting, not only understanding the science behind sleeping but also the impact of not sleeping enough, and also how pervasive it is. 

How Democracies Die by Daniel Ziblatt and Steven Levitsky - Very good book, looking at the 4 indicators of autocratic behaviour, with a lot of references to Donald Trump. The book made some interesting arguments about how to reverse the slide to autocratic behaviour.

Evicted by Matthew Desmond. A look at the relationship between poverty and the people at the precarious edge of Milwaukee's low income housing market. I read the first 200 pages in a day which speaks volumes to how good a book it is! Worth reading more here - https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/07/evicted-poverty-and-profit-in-the-american-city-matthew-desmond-review

The only books I have read and not enjoyed recently are The Establishment by Owen Jones (which just seemed like a list of statistics to me) and Anti-Fragile by Nassim Talib (it should have been half the length it was). 

Currently on 43 books for the year! Next is Learning Curve, a look at student rugby league, by Dave Hadfield.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Currently three quarters of the way through Mark Kermode's newest book, How does it feel? This addresses his life in music and the various bands he was in over the years. I'm enjoying it a lot.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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Learning Curve was good, I particularly enjoyed the stories of the original student RL pioneers. Good to see Nottingham mentioned there too and even somebody I know! 

After that, I read Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhrigg. A really good summary of the science behind productivity and how our brains work, however, not much stuff that was new to me.

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh is brilliant. He's an enthnographer who while studying at the University of Chicago, found himself spending lots of time in one of the roughest projects in Chicago, with also some reference to the economics of a crack cocaine gang.

Currently reading The Science of Meditation by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson. A bit of a tough read but interesting enough for me to persevere with; good to know there is some science behind it! 

Just bought another 15 books so probably stocked up for a few months now...

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Finished the Mark Kermode book, and loved it.

Now a few chapters into a long overdue re-read of Redmond O'Hanlon's hilarious Into the Heart of Borneo.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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  • 2 months later...

Just finished Paul Theroux 'The Pillars of Hercules', and now cherry-picking a few favourite chapters from the Hunter S.Thompson compilation 'Fear & Loathing at Rolling Stone'.

Maybe I'll start Geoff Lee's new book next.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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On ‎9‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 1:52 PM, Futtocks said:

Currently three quarters of the way through Mark Kermode's newest book, How does it feel? This addresses his life in music and the various bands he was in over the years. I'm enjoying it a lot.

Mark Kermode is a tosser, who hates films, He is a 1990's numpty

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Just now, Bleep1673 said:

Mark Kermode is a tosser, who hates films

Hang on. You might not like him but that's obviously BS.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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4 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Hang on. You might not like him but that's obviously BS.

He is anti-American films. That's not a bad point, but he is almost right wing anti American, and he pushes European left wing, garbage like it is going to win millions of dollars, and mucho gracias awards because they are not paying him enough. If you watch his best & worst films of the last 10 years, the worst are all blockbuster American/Hollywood bile that have made $Millions, the ones he "Likes" are arty-farty Euro bull-S41t that no one has seen

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1 hour ago, Moose said:

Just bought a secondhand copy of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. I hadn't realised it was such a short book, only 121 pages.

Yeah, it sorta stays with you though ...

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Currently reading 'Cockney Reject' by Jeff (Stinky) Turner. Pretty hair raising stuff about the band and it's absolutely crazy violent early days. Having trouble putting it down at the moment, basically they were football hooligans in a band.

Absolutely uncompromising band and it's doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to figure out why a band who's roadie threatened to kick Steve Wright's head in on TOTP didn't quite get to the heights they might have done. I saw them very recently, still a great band.

 

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2 hours ago, Moose said:

Just bought a secondhand copy of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. I hadn't realised it was such a short book, only 121 pages.

I haven't read it since school and it has stuck in there but ripping it apart in school in such a way has fairly wrecked it for me as a re-read.  Is it still a core curriculum book at schools?

"When in deadly danger, when beset by doubt; run in little circles, wave your arms and shout"

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18 hours ago, ckn said:

I haven't read it since school and it has stuck in there but ripping it apart in school in such a way has fairly wrecked it for me as a re-read.  Is it still a core curriculum book at schools?

Both my sons did it for GCSE within the past 5 years, so yes. Unfortunately, secondary school english literature does have that effect on any book. (Although, to be fair, Lord of the Flies is absolute rubbish whether you did it at school or not.) Steinbeck did some really great work.

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5 hours ago, DavidM said:

I’ve got a book in my amazon wish list which has had its release date moved  to April 2020 .... under that it says ‘ expected to arrive after Christmas’

Technically it isn't wrong!

Just bought another 18 books as my Christmas gift to myself. I think I have a problem! 

Currently reading The Health Gap by Michael Marmot, which is a very interesting book about health inequalities and how improving healthcare isn't necessarily the most sensible option to improving life expectancy, especially as you move down the social classes. 

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The Pickwick Papers by Dickens....love it.........for some reason I've never read any of this stuff until a few mths ago I read my wife's copy of Great Expectations that had been gathering dust on the shelf for yrs. It was wittier and more impressive than I'd anticipated.... so I will no doubt be hunting down his entire back catalogue henceforth!

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41 minutes ago, Saint 1 said:

Currently reading The Health Gap by Michael Marmot, which is a very interesting book about health inequalities and how improving healthcare isn't necessarily the most sensible option to improving life expectancy, especially as you move down the social classes. 

If you don't know about him already, Anthony Warner has a blog that addresses this, as well as many other things. Oh, and there's some swearing: https://angry-chef.com/blog/heart-of-the-problem

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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