Saturday, 10 March 2018

February Book Round Up

Another month, another few books.

Although I am not sticking to my 'one book a week on average' goal I am pleased with my effort. I’ve read a bit of a mixed bag this month and they were all hugely fascinating.

Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

This is a devastatingly beautiful war novel set across three periods of time in the 20th century. In 1910 Stephen Wraysford, a young Englishman, is sent to a factory in Amiens (France) by his employers. He stays at Mr Azaires, the factory owners house, and quickly falls in love with his wife Isabelle. The two start an affair that is doomed from the start. World War One breaks out in 1914 and Stephen ends up fighting on the front line. 

I believe this is my first war novel and I found it completely compelling from start to finish. Reading the scenes of war, from tunnelling down the mines to climbing over the top, humbled and grounded me. We all know the war happened and that it was truly terrible, but reading stories like this helps to gain more appreciation of what everyday life would have been like for the soldiers. And also how hard it was to transition back to everyday ‘normal’ life. I read this book on my commute and I was devastated every time I had to stop reading because I was at my stop.

The Time Machine, H G Wells

This is the first modern portrayal of time travel. A Victorian scientist creates a time machine and fast forwards to the year 802,701 AD. The world he knew has disappeared, replaced by a peaceful and serene world where suffering has come to an end. Or so he thought. The Eloi are a species descended from humans, they appear to live in a carefree manner with no fear, except for a fear of the dark.The scientist soon discovers there is another descendant of man, the Morlocks, who creep around in the dark. Unfortunately for the scientist his time machine has vanished, and it looks like it’’s the Morlocks who have taken it.

The book is simply written but delves into the future of mankind with depth. As he flies forward through time and sees the world changing before his eyes, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of how small our time on this planet really is. The book is small but leaves an impression. I thoroughly enjoyed it and did not want to put it down.

The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell dissects what causes epidemics in this fascinating book. He explores why small things can lead to a big epidemic, what exactly is it that makes them tip. The books uses several real world events to guide us through the topic, including Hush Puppies, Sesame Street and the American Revolution. He basically breaks it down into three concepts: the law of the few, the stickiness factor and the power of context.

After reading Blink, another Malcom Gladwell book, I was really excited to start this. All of the studies are so interesting, I feel like I’m back at university studying Psychology. Now all I need to do is take all my new found knowledge and turn my blog into an epidemic! A girl can hope.


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