Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

Wow. That’s intriguing …

One of the more formative books (‘most formative? Hmpf, doesn’t sound right) I’ve ever read was an eye-opening (and subsequently controversial) tome called The Origins of English Individualism: the family, property and social transition by Henry McFarlane … The Origins of English Individualism is about the nature of English society during the five centuries leading […]

Hollow Man Matthew Hooton recites his creed

Featuring extensive quotes from National Party sources, Nicky Hager’s The Hollow Men: A study in the politics of deception exposed and excoriated a cynical, deceptive team of politicians, spin doctors, professional deceivers and behind-the-scenes, shadowy political donors seeking political influence and ‘policy for sale’ — some of whom, judging by results, are still very much […]

Engaging, rather than demonising

I respect and pay tribute to people whom engage with others with whom they disagree — and I try to do so myself.  I’m reading veteran BBC journo Peter Taylor’s book Talking to Terrorists. It’s very good, deeper than I expected, and insightful of the motivations of people involved in struggle. This is from the […]

Let me not into temptation

This book on LBJ’s succession to John F Kennedy after the assassination was an eye-opener. I’m reading Nixonland by Rick Perlstein at the same time, and I can perceive the seeds of LBJ’s and the Democrats’ destruction in the character traits and deep suspicion and disunity Steven Gillon highlights in his book. Certainly, the book […]

Leonard Cohen: A remarkable life. Indeed.

A dear friend gave me this terrific book for Christmas. I love and am inspired, challenged, chastened — simply moved by Leonard Cohen. (‘I know his melancholy is your joy, Peter, but can we change the music please?’ my beloved wife said to me once.) The book is a must-have for serious Cohen fans (and […]

A sharp foil is a wonderful thing

I am reading and SO enjoying Your Movie Sucks, a collection of reviews by Roger Ebert. My goodness, he’s got the skills. Wonderful. A review of the collection over at Blogcritics includes this line: Like most critics, these negative reviews are an outlet for the creative side of Ebert’s writing to shine. That’s well said.  Yes, […]

Good ideas, well expressed

I’m reading the fascinating and cleverly written book about the worldwide spread of the English language:  Globish by Robert McCrum. Gosh it’s a good read. I am learning a lot, and I’m really enjoying the care he takes with his writing. He uses long sentences (like wot I do) and carefully, sometimes exquisitely chosen words. […]

What a book!

Well. I’ve just spent much of the holiday weekend devouring this book: Race of a Lifetime: How Obama Won the White House (Mark Halperin and John Heilemann) The review extracts on the jacket promised me ‘Absolutely gripping’ and ‘Fantastically detailed …incendiary’ and ‘Sleazy, personal, intrusive, shocking — and compulsive.” All true. If you’re interested in […]

Exquisite writing…

“ There were those who considered themselves lucky and those who considered themselves unlucky. Those who put their loss behind them and those who would never be the same again. Those who prayed and those who cursed and resented. Those who stole and those who gave. Jokers and worriers, optimists and pessimists, opportunists with an […]