Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Monthly reading guide (February 2011)

February reading guide.

Kazuo Ishiguro. The remains of the day and Nocturnes.
I did read “Remains” (very belatedly I know) but only one tale from Nocturnes.

Joyce Carol Oates. Black girl white girl and Sourland.
The former remained unread, and I only read one tale from the latter - Sourland.

Will Self. Cock and Bull.
This is about a woman with a cock, and a man with a c*nt. A very apt title. Enough said.

Scott Turow. Innocent.
The protagonists from an earlier Turow book "Presumed Innocent" are back pitting wits against each other, with Sabich again in the dock.

Salman Rushdie. Step across this line.
Great essays and writing mostly from Rushdie's years in hiding. This is my pick of the crop.

Allen Ginsberg and Eric Drooker. Illuminated poems.
Another book with pictures. Some graphic - and illuminating. Very.

Bill Bryson. Shakespeare. The Illustrated Edition.
I liked the pictures in this book. And I found out that there is really not much known about Shakespeare.

Alexis de Tocqueville. Democracy in America.
175 years on from the first publication of this book, the modern world still looks to the democratic system in America as a model. They should just look at all the popular people power movements going on around the world (especially in the Middle East now), and fashion their democratic political systems to suit.
People power was of course started in the Philippines. Not in Edsa but in Bontoc.
In the 1970s and 80s, an Igorot lady from Mainit, Ina Petra Macli-ing spearheaded the opposition to the Chico River Dams (project initiated by Marcos) " forging solidarity with Kalinga and Bontoc leaders to prevent the displacement of the Igorots." In the early 1980s, these women resorted to traditional indigenous beliefs by disrobing and baring their breasts "to curse, shame and drive the prospectors away" (it is taboo or bad luck to see mothers and grandmothers unclothed).
It is from this action that "people power" originated.
Did I write somewhere that you learn stuff only from this blog?

Man of steel.
This is not about Superman. This is about the biggest clown in Australian politics who somehow occupied the lodge for  11 years. He had the last laugh I suppose. At great cost to Australia.

Mungo MacCallum. The Man Who Laughs.
Some Australian history, laced with shenanigans, and a twist of humour.

Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. A Briefer History of Time.
From the authors of The Grand Design. This is a briefer version of “The brief history of time”. I do have the tendency to be redundant. I think I’ll fire myself.

David Suzuki. The Legacy.
A man with unquestionable credentials, and with a legacy to treasure is Suzook. He asks us to join together as a single species to respond to the problems we face. Read his books. He reinforces what we know: that change begins with each of us – with all of us, and to keep faith in the generosity, not of the affluent countries, but of mother earth.

Thomas Friedman. Hot Flat and Crowded.
Friedman argues that it is high time to face the challenge of global warming – with American leadership. Apparently others cannot meet the challenge or do not care. Apparently the country most afflicted with affluenza will lead us in a green revolution, to redemption. Friedman put forward some reasonable ways to save the Earth – act green. I can’t resist commenting on one of his “easy” ways: drive your hummer for only 5000 miles each year rather than 10,000 miles (8,000 kms rather than 16,000kms). What a wonderful suggestion.
A critic wrote about Friedman's "Green Fantasia." I'd read him (Bill McKibben) instead.

Here's more.
More crap fiction from Grisham, Deaver and Baldacci. You're better off with More Good News from David Suzuki and Holly Dressell or Brisbane - 150 stories from its first 150 years.

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