first as tragedy ,then as farce by Slavoj ZIZEK

Slavoj Zizek a Slovenian is one of the major thinkers on the left ,this is his most recent book .A collection of thoughts ideas and musing on the world and particularly the last decade ,how post 9/11 both sides of the political spectrum have had to reevaluate there positions a move away from Liberalism and on the other hand with the credit crunch and financial meltdown a move towards state socialism has been called for .Zizek brings in many different arguments for the changing face of the left reference both academic works and items for popular culture .Elsewhere globalism and ethical trading are discussed with the Starbucks model of trading .i feel this book will take a few readings over time to fully absorb all the information within its 156 pages .if you ve an interest in current affairs or politics this is a great book to read ,

On account of its all-pervasive ,ideology appears as its own opposite as non-ideaology. as the core of human identity underneath all the ideological labels .this is why Jonathan Littell’s outstanding les bienveillantes(the kindly ones) is so traumatic ,especially for germans :

Zizek on ideologies

 do you like philoshpy books ?

JERUSALEM BY PATRICK NEATE

 This is Neate’s fifth novel,and his most accomplished in my opinion ,a many head story that moves back forward in time and across the world ,a study in what we are as English people where we ve come from and where we re going .Neate is a wonderful storyteller seamlessly weaving the stories together like a master weaver ,interweaving the strands of the story ,Neate performing tales comes through as the founder of bookslam ,you can imagine section of this book being read aloud .

 The story itself is three tales from present and past set in England ,South aArica and a make-believe african state ,the two stories in africa are separate by a century the first set in Boer war following a solider involved ,the later story set in a African state similar to some of the dictatorship in the recent past and present-day ,it involves the imprisonment of an english man as he falls foul of the whims of said dictator ,i feel these show the changing view of how we perceive ourselves and the african perceive us now and then it shows how the our place in the world has changed .the third story follows Preston a entrepreneur a child of Thatcher and Blair an urban music fan and label owner like a modern-day Anthony h Wilson it follows his rise and shows what happens when you reach the top when he becomes embroiled in a scandal over the song Jerusalem .elsewhere we encounter the quaint side of english culture with bushy and morris men .

“what’s this ? Preston asked . I think its Jerusalem ,innit ? I know that i mean what is it ? who is it ? Errol checked his i-phone .He shrugged .geezer calls himself nobody . Preston leant forward and started to nod to the music as the vocal dissolved in to mc’s rhymes .he took off his sunglasses . he said track him down , would you ? Errol said sure ,tubbs

have you read Patrick Neate ,have you a favourite ?

do you like books with intertwined stories ?

 

B S Johnson The Unfortunates

  There are some wonderful books out there just by the way they look , from time to time like today i ll bring some pictures of them. this book is a great read if a little strange the book is divide in to 27 sections that can be read in any order except the first and last chapter .A great piece of post modernism ,i feel sad that Johnson is sometimes overlooked his work is difficult and challenge to read but reward the reader my addition is the 90’s reprint but there is a new version via new direction but hurry its a limited print run. Johnson was the subject of biography by the novelist Jonathan Coe called ,like a fiery elephant which i ve on the tbr pile

 

Have you read johnson what is your favourite book ?

 

A Winter Book by Tove Jansson

 A winter book is a collection of wintery themed book from the writer Tove Jansson ,perhaps best known for her moomin books for children although not a huge fan of the moomin books i did enjoy the cartoon series of the moomins .well the stories span a life time from childhood in finland to being a grown up ,letters  .The writing has been wonderfully translated from Swedish ,the stories are simple and powerful .you get a real feel for Jansson as a person .Out of the stories the ones that really gripped me where –

 The squirrel ,a wonderful short tale of a tame squirrel that ventures on to an island where the writer lives and brightens what is a quiet tranquil place with its liveliness and antics

correspondence ,a group of letters from a japanese person  to Tove ,the beauty of these is how it shows a writer can touch people all over the world how tales wrote in a small island in finland can travel and engross a reader in japan .This showed me why my around the world project matters to me as to be touch by voices round the world is one of the greatest joys of reading

One windless day in november, near sunrise,she saw a squirrel at the landing-place .It was sitting motionless near the water, scarcely visible in the half-light , but she knew it was a real live squirrel and she hadn’t seen a living thing in a long time .You can’t count gulls:they’re always leaving:they’re like the wind over waves and grass.

a quote from start of the squirrel by Tove Jansson ,a winter book is published by sort of books

B.I.P WEEK ONE

Hi there well I ll introduce my self to start with I m Stuart ,I live in north Derbyshire where I work supporting people with learing disabilities ,reading is my past time a way to get away from work ,last year I started Winston’s dad ,Winston being my dog .I hope to meet fellow bloggers via bip and improve my blog .

what i decide to do was ask people what they thought I could improve on the blog ,and on the whole three things came up so here are what they are and how i feel i ve improved them this week –

  1. appearance of winstonsdad ,to be truth I was never happy with my theme so did a try of different theme,s and choose one with two sidebars so I could have a side bar for images to brighten up winstonsdad .also upload a photo of books from around world challenge to make a custom header to the blog
  2. categories ,i thin out and made sure every post had both a category and tag now ,also add a category widget to the very top of sidebar .
  3. tweaks loads of little bits I did ,add a google meta key ,update blog roll ,add current and next read image boxes .

i hope these have improved winstonsdad feedback welcomed

book booty

          Every month at least i try to make it to our local book sale at the church hall ,now most of the books there don t interest me but there is always a few gems to be had and today was a really good day for them i came back today with six books for two-pound fifty which is a bargain in any ones books the six books are-

  1. Chekhov  a life in letters ,Chekhovs letters a nice folio society edition as well in great condition ,have a few letter collections a good insight in to a writer i always feel
  2. Foucault’s pendulum by Umberto Eco have had half an eye out for this since being recommend it by Rob at the fiction desk ,pleased I waited a nice hard back edition hope it is a good as Rob said it was
  3. fathers and sons by Ivan Turgenev another folio society book ,don’t know a lot about it other than William Trevor is a fan of Turgenev which is a good enough for me
  4. Wuthering heights by Emily Bronte ,have read this as a teenager ,mainly got it as it’s a everyman library book adding it to may small but growing collection of Everyman’s
  5. black dog by Ian McEwan didnt read this when it came out thought pick it up not read many McEwan’s and always like books with a connection however vague to dogs
  6. Saint Mayle by Anne Tyler ,Tyler has been recommend to me by bookrambler saw this one of two and like this one best by the synopsis on the back of the book

The belly of the atlantic by fatou diome

            As the african cup of nations drew to a close at the weekend this book from the around world challenge seemed just perfect .Set on a small Senegalese island of Niodior and france it follows ,what one may call the modern african dream of playing football in the rich european leagues .

          The story itself centres on the brother and sister Sallie and Madicke ,Sallie is struggling in france whilst her brother still in Niodior dreams of following her and becoming the next african star in europe .whilst he does so he is a school with his idealistic teacher/football coach Ndetare and in his village there is Moussa a broken man who did persue his dream by being picked up by a french club travelling to france to then find his dreams shatter end up in a poor job in france .Madicke seems oblivious to this as he watches the world cup unfolding on the tv entranced by the italien team and his hero maldini as they play the french in the final ,his dreams are heighten by Senegals great run in the world cup too . The book is wonderfully written and is gripping from start to finish ,as a football fan i loved it but feel any thats not would it is really about the struggle of life in modern africa and the immigrant experience in france .

The  golden goal ! screamed Garouwale in the midst of the uproar,imitating the commentator .”Henri Camara”!He’s scored again! It’s the gtolden goal !Senegal’s beaten Sweden! It’s there ticket to Osaka!The lion of Teranga are through to the quarterfinals of the world cup ! it’s unbelievable!

a quote from book as Madicke watches the world cup .

What is you favourite novel involving sport ?

Do you enjoy african fiction ?

pocket notebook mike thomas

the first think you notice is the cover of pocket notebook a wonderful retake on David Pelham beautiful clockwork orange cover from the seventies also combining the same font for the title as the film poster .the other think that struck me when reading the synopsis of the book was a connection to B S Johnson’s Christie Mallory double entry where the main character uses a double entry ledger to get even with the world.

 the story concerns Jacob (jake) smith a disgruntled angry armed response officer ,with his many habits and kinks from drugs ,dvds to a huge foot fetish .the story starts with jake and his feel officer frank partners in their job in armed response you soon discover that jake has a huge crush on Jess franks teenage daughter ,a mistake leads to a move back to uniform and a new partner the aptly named lap-dog a new keen young pc ,who jake immediately dislikes now on patrol jake starts to get involved with a teenage hooker called Lowri who’s boots Jakes loves .unable to stay in this position he ends up on suspension ,were he dress as an officer and wants to be an old style officer this leads to a thrilling climax .

      Thomas as a serving officer really captures the life of a modern day officer all paperwork and rules ,there are some subtile nods to burgess littered through the book from the use of droogs to use of dvds like burgess use of music in clockwork orange .Thomas brilliant catches the british underclass from doormen to hookers .the notebook entries are great as a barometer of Jakes mind as the story progresses .

lap-dog volunteered us to ops room before i could grab his drawf hand, stop his stumpy fingers transmitting, and now here i am in this hovel, stinking one-bedroom ground-floor council maisonette with its kitchen-stroke-dinner, its full of scummy water and festering dishes

a quote from pocket notebook by mike Thomas out 4thfeb on rbooks William Heinemann

which book do you think embodies modern britain ?

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