I have been reading books everyday since I can remember. I LOVE books! I read books like people read newspapers.. (I read those too) Are books my escapism.. Quite possibly. As you maybe aware, I am currently unemployed. This means that between job searches and running my daily errands, I have an amount of free time that I’m not likely to see again. So I have been using this time to read books and continue to educate myself. I like to think that I am an ‘educated’ person. In the photo above, you can see my current reading list*. A heady mixture of social media analysis, consumer history, British cinema and analysis of the human mind. This is a list of books that are interesting to me. And hopefully for you too.
Barbara Vine; The Minotaur. this book is actually written by Ruth Rendell, the British publishing powerhouse who came to popularity through crime drama and her creation, Chief Inspector Wexford. With the tagline ‘There is madness in the family’. Discussing the taboo subject of mental illness and mental competence. I’m looking forward to this
Clay Shirky; Cognitive Surplus; With more free time on our hands then ever before, society has become dependent on technology. Because of this our ‘cognitive surplus’; the collective surfeit of time, intellect and energy at our disposal. So what have we filled our time with? Television, sitcoms and social media. This is a fascinating read from a leading academic with a writing style that endears him to his reader. Read this and look into the future.
Jon Ronson; The Psychopath test; A journey through the madness industry. Ronson, throughout the book asks himself and of course the reader, What is normal? I don’t know about you but I have asked myself about this many times. The book stemmed from the thought of “What if society wasn’t fundamentally rational, but was motivated by insanity?” Just this alone makes me want to read this.
Lindy Woodhead: Shopping, seduction and Mr Selfridge. Charts the story behind one of London’s most iconic department stores. Selfridges. Synonymous with its yellow bags, Selfridges opened in 1909 with the belief that shopping could be seductive and releasing ‘the showman of shopping’ on to the world stage. By 1947 Mr Selfridge died penniless and ousted from his revolutionary store under new management. Showcasing 20th century consumerism the author explores the rise and fall of a pioneer and his lasting impact on the department stores of today.
Matthew Sweet: Shepperton Babylon: Set against the famous studios at their height of Production, Shepperton Babylon gives the tantalising insights into the walls of the film studios. British cinema was the my subject of my dissertation back in 2010. I love British cinema and its something that I try to keep up with. British cinema is gritty but there is more to it then Guy Ritchie and James Bond. Back in the 20’s Society was class ridden and claustrophobic, In a word.. Boring. This celebrates the exciting gold rush era of lost geniuses and glamour. The lost and forgotten world of British cinema.
* The only book that is missing from this is David Hewson’s The Killing. Sarah Lund is finally here in the UK and I can’t wait.
If you have read these books before, please share your opinion.