That was a month of changes for me. On the 1st of June I finished my job after being made redundant. I had been there 13 years and was a little emotional. They had been a great bunch of people (mostly) to work with. On Tuesday the 5th June, I had a second interview at another local company and was offered the position just be 6 pm that day. Had two weeks off and then started on the 18th. So far it seems to be going well.
In the two weeks that I had off, I didn’t get as much read as I had hoped, but I did go and see the lovely people at Eland and Elliot and Thompson, sorted three bookcases out and got all my natural history and landscape books together after being spread around the house. In the end, I did manage to read 17 books. All sorts of subjects and here they are:
William Collins had kindly sent me a copy of this to read. It was a true story about a girl growing up in a fairly dysfunctional family and who in the end put herself into care. She survived her childhood of precious little food and lots of books. It was an interesting read and the end part was quite powerful, but a lot of it felt surreal.
A nice coffee table book about just under 100 different fictional lands. Some really nice artwork in it but be aware that there are lots of spoilers.
Another war-torn country and another set of people displaced and persecuted. This time it is Iraq and Nadia Murad of the Yazidi community. ISIS took over her village, shot all the men and took a lot of the girls to be sex slaves. This is her story. Horrific and moving and a must read to see the way that the region has changed since the war there.
Eighty-two years ago around 200 men set off from the Tyneside town of Jarrow to march to London. The reason for this was to protest at the closure of Palmer’s shipyard that had affected everyone’s livelihoods in the town. This is Ian Maconie’s story as he follows the route in 2016 speaking to those he meets of the journey and seeing what is left of their legacy. Another great book from Maconie.
I love a good quiz, but the ones in here are another level up on the sort I can answer. Thankfully the answers are in the back.
If you’re bored of Suduko, then this might be the book for you. Bellos has been over to Japan and has returned bearing puzzles galore. There are tips on how to do them, a potted history and lots of examples for you to try that vary from the easy to the bloody difficult.
The British have for thousands of years have been inventing various ways of getting drunk. We have had fruit wines, Even the Romans had vineyards. We have made apples and pears into ciders and perry’s made all types of grains into beers. But for a real kick, you need a spirit. Bought over here by monks, once we had learnt what to do there was no stopping us and this book is about the various ways people have avoiding the tiresome effort of paying tax on it…
Lots of people love a pub crawl, but the one Pete Brown embarked on for this book was epic. 300 pubs in 27 cities across four continents. Sounds like a plan. Hilarious at times, this was a well-written eulogy to the magic created from malt, hops and water.
Hipsters. Love them or hate them they are not going anywhere soon. This parody brilliantly rips the piss out of hipster culture in London in such a clever way.
I really enjoyed the Hidden Life of Trees by this author, so when I received a copy of this I was really looking forward to it. Wohlleben does talk about the weather, but that only makes up around the first part of the book. The rest is in the same vein, but about all sorts of other subjects. interesting, but a little disappointing overall.
Smell is one of our least understood senses, but it is also one of the strongest, one smell can take you instantly back to childhood and a loved or hated food. This is a fascinating book that was prompted by the question from the author’s son, what does three o’clock in the morning smell like. Well worth reading.