My #reading: August 2016

The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work by Mats Alvesson, André Spicer “Our thesis in this book is that many organisations are caught in the stupidity paradox: they employ smart people who end up doing stupid things. This can produce good results in the short term, but can pave the way […]

My #reading: July 2016

Historians indeed hope that their books might entwine intimately with the lives of their readers and that their histories may sit on bedside tables ready to enter dreams. History – that unending dialogue between the present and the past – is essential to human consciousness. It is conducted as part of the daily business of […]

My #reading: June 2016

“This is to be a sort of diary or book of notes. When I have finished filling these pages, I shall burn them. But if they should happen to survive, lets hope they fall into the hands of some curiosity-driven chatterbox of a writer; what’s it to me? The world concerns me not at all, […]

My #reading: May 2016

Schopenhauer argued that the best books deserved two readings. The second allowed for finer, more reflective interpretations, as the beginning was read in light of the end and the whole work in a new mood.   Damon Young Last month was spent in the USA; my first visit. Travelling alone, on my study tour, there was […]

My #reading April 2016

Every day I work on the edit of my book. I slog away, shifting chunks of material and moving them back, eating my salad in a daze, wondering if the linking passages I’ve written are leading me up a garden path, or are sentimental, or violate some unarticulated moral and technical code I’ve signed up […]

My #reading: March 2016

“Academic writing was actually about hiding what you didn’t know. There was a language, a technique, and I had mastered it. In everything there were gaps which language could cover over as long as you had acquired the know-how. I had, for instance, never read Adorno, knew practically nothing about the Frankfurt School, just the […]

Some reflective thoughts about social reading…

We read to know we are not alone.   SOURCE I have recently purchased a new Kindle e-reader. You can click on that last link and read the specs but in short it has “Amazon’s 6″ Paperwhite display technology with E Ink Carta™ and built-in light, 300 ppi, optimised font technology, 16-level gray scale“. It is […]

My #reading: February 2016

“We are creatures made as much by art as by experience and what we read in books is the sum of both.”  Andy Miller “I wanted to possess all the books I had already read, as well as all those I had not – every book in the whole wide world, in other words.”  Andy Miller  Filmish: […]

Travelling in Japan: Books & Bookshops

“As in China, the Japanese literati were an unstable combination of two opposites – Confucian scholar and free-minded Taoist – so they tended to lean to one side or the other. Beian and Bosai represent the two poles. Beian was a strict moralist who refused to teach dubious people like geisha or Kabuki actors, and […]

December 2015: My Reading

“There are two motives for reading a book: One, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” Bertrand Russell I had the goal of writing a blog post each month this year and feel quietly pleased at keeping up the pace. I have made notes and lists, in all kinds of […]

A Baker’s Dozen: Most Enjoyable Reads of 2015

Reviewing the books I read or re-read in 2015, I decided to choose the thirteen I had derived the most pleasure as a reader. In other words, I reflected on how much satisfaction was felt sitting with the book – and why. If you have the patience, the following slideshow will countdown to the book […]

November 2015: My Reading

  This month I have made a conscious effort to finish a number of half-read books and finally investigate some that have been on my “to read” lists for years. Fiction Shaun Tan is another Western Australian who produces highly original, inspired words and images. Several of his books are truly wonderful. I have spent […]

Where do you get your books?

I haven’t analysed how much money I spend proportionally on hardcover, paperback, audio or ebooks each year but know it is not as predicted several years back. The truth is, I spend almost as much money on traditionally bound books as the other two combined rather than my expenditure slowing to a trickle, as expected. […]

August 2015: My Reading

The gull sees farthest who flies highest. Richard Bach As citizens of a free society, we have a duty to look critically at our world. But if we think we know what is wrong, we must act upon that knowledge. Tony Judt   I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at […]

July 2015: My Reading

Two weeks of holidays certainly provided time for more books this month than last. I continue to enjoy the pleasures of rereading and science fiction, as well as some light but thoughtful travel books and tomes exploring historical wisdom on how to live – and win elections! High Possibility Classrooms Dr Jane Hunter has written a […]

June 2015: My Reading

“…by writing about himself, Knausgaard has really written about them, that reading ‘My Struggle’ is like opening someone else’s diary and finding your own secrets.”                                                             […]

May 2015: My Reading

Certain books, though, like certain landscapes, stay with us even when we have left them, changing not just our weathers but our climates. Robert MacFarlane This is certainly true of Robert MacFarlane’s books. He is a perfect writer for me. His obsessions with authors, walking, literature, language, nature and landscape are just thrilling. That saying about reading […]

April 2015: My Reading

Italy A full two weeks of the April were spent in Italy – most of the trip was spent in Perugia, a town located in Umbria before having a few nights in Rome – and I tried to read appropriately for (and during) the experience. River of Shadows by Valerio Varesi is not my usual genre, […]

March 2015: My Reading

“Science fiction is a literature that belongs to all humankind.”  Liu Cixin March has been an exciting month of science fiction reading and some progress has been made finding novelists writing in languages other than English. The trick, of course, is to be lucky enough to find novels superbly rendered by their translators. A tip from […]

February 2015: My Reading

There’s been a good variety of books completed this month including graphic novels, historical fiction, essays, memoirs, biographies, contemporary fiction, revolutionary pamphlets and plenty of history. Christopher Hitchens and Thomas Paine Last month I consumed oodles of Orwell and re-read Hitchens’ evaluation of the author’s importance to contemporary literature and journalism. This has led to re-discovering […]

January 2015: My Reading

It is not a New Year’s resolution but I intend to write one blog post a month about what I’ve been reading. Usually I write a roundup of books enjoyed twice a year but these posts do not tend to say much in the sense of being reviews. They are more lists with a few […]

Charging Windmills: My Reading in 2014

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.” George R.R. Martin “I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print, the way you crawl through a fence, and go to sleep under that beautiful big green fig-tree.” Sylvia Plath “I don’t remember ever […]

Reading for pleasure?

Twice a year at this blog I reflect on books read. While drafting that soon to be published post, I started thinking about how children become avid readers and how significant adults in their lives assist construction of this identity. I suspect that peers play a large part in this process but the ground must […]

Reading (so far) in 2014

“An entire life spent reading would have fulfilled my every desire; I already knew that at the age of seven. The texture of the world is painful, inadequate; unalterable, or so it seems to me. Really, I believe that an entire life spent reading would have suited me best.”     Michel Houellebecq “I sink down […]