Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The Year in Books: May report

Not a great reading month for me.  I haven't finished my May read Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.  In fact I'm only half way through.  I'm quite enjoying it but somehow it hasn't gripped me the way The Universe versus Alex Woods did.  It's always hard to follow a really good book.  I'm also less likely to pick up a book if it is on the Kindle as this is.  Much prefer a real book as I tend to leave it around and pick it up at odd moments during the day, something I don't really do with a Kindle as it has less visual appeal, I suppose.  I'm going to finish the David Mitchell book but think I'll start my June read at the same time, as soon as I get it from the library.  It's Jeanette Winterson's Why be Happy when you can be Normal which sounds fascinating.  The title is something her mother said to her so I hope we are back to a novel like 'Oranges are not the Only Fruit' as I loved it but haven't been keen on some of Winterson's other books.

I've also been dipping into this non-fiction book The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters which I noticed is on best seller lists.  I heard him speak on the radio and he seemed interesting.  He's worked as a psychiatrist with the British Cycling team and claims to be able to help you understand and manage emotions and thoughts.  It's very interesting - the main idea is that we all have an inner chimp who is more powerful than our rational human side and that is why, for example, we are unable to resist cake despite attempting to diet. I'm enjoying it though, to be honest, I think the metaphor of the chimp is getting in the way of my understanding and now he's mixing metaphors talking of the 'Guiding Moon' and the 'Planet of Others' so I'm getting a bit confused. I think I'd prefer straight science but it might not have the same shelf appeal.


  1. I am still waiting for my son to bring "The universe versus Alex Wood" home from the school library. Teenagers. I didn't enjoy "Oranges are not the only fruit". Maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind, or maybe this would be a book to read in company, to talk about it? I used to read a popular science books exclusively (and listened to fiction) but I think I am quite saturated with too much information that I find difficult to process. Having said that, I have two such books on my pile just now, "The creative habit" by Twyla Tharp and "Tipping point" by Malcolm Gladwell. I look forward to the holidays for some guilt free reading time. I hope June is a better reading month for you. x

  2. My problem with the science books is that I give up on them after I grasp the main idea. I seem to need narrative to keep me going otherwise reading feels like homework. The creative Habit sounds interesting though. Will check it out.

  3. Thanks for joining in again.