Sunday, 13 July 2014

My Week In Books 8.... 6 New Additions... 2 Finished... 2 Started...

Hi everyone, 
I've been lucky enough to add six new titles to my collection this week, thanks, once again to Elizabeth's Bookshops in Perth, who, in spite of a listed delivery time of 3 to 5 days, managed to deliver my books within 48 hours of purchasing them online! 

Once again apologies to my more local much-loved bookstores but I've simply not been able to get out and physically fossick this week. I have though restricted my online shopping to second-hand independent stores. 

All six titles are in Penguin and nothing costing more that $10! 
They are: My Friend Maigret by Georges Simenon; The African Queen by C.S. Forester; Decline Of The English Murder by George Orwell; A Murder Of Quality by John Le Carre; India: A Wounded Civilization by V.S. Naipaul and The Life And Times Of Horatio Hornblower by C. Northcote Parkinson. Can't wait to get into them!

Also this week I finished two books, one I'd jumped into for some light relief, Agatha Christie's The Labours of Hercules, a great little collection of Poirot stories to give me some respite from the much heavier (both physically and in terms of content..) The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker.

I won't spend time reviewing Labours here, my love for the Poirot stories is already very much on the record and I was not disappointed! I will, however take a few lines to tell you about Better Angels

I'll start by saying this is a big book, weighing in at over 1000 pages and, despite an excellent job on Steven Pinker's part to make the content readable and more importantly, understandable there were points where I found the going heavy.

This is not to say it's ever uninteresting, but Steven Pinker's argument here, that we are quite probably living in our species' most peaceful point in its history, is a big statement that requires a good deal of statistical analysis as well as, well thought through argument. Switching from history to psychology, statistical analysis to popular culture, this is an awe inspiring piece of writing. I would go so far as to say that it's the most interesting and important piece of non-fiction I've ever read. It's challenging in places, but ultimately convincing.

If you only read one non-fiction book this year, make it Steven Pinker's The Better Angels Of Our Nature!

And finally, two books finished means two books started! (The best bit about finishing a book is the period immediately after when I trawl through my library deciding what's next, so I've had double the fun this week!). The two new reads are:
 Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, a reread about thirty years on from the last time I read this classic piece of thrilling fiction set in my home town. 
Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forester, as I thought I'd earned a little bit of Napoleonic era escapism!

That's it for this week, happy reading!

Stevie at B.L.M.

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