This feels less like a strict history of gin and more like a serious of interesting stories told in chronological order, but it was still really fun to read. It’s also inspired me to do some gin-based activities sometime this year, as there are so many London gin distilleries.
This was a very fun and easy read. As you might have inferred from the title, Sh@dy Charac†ers is about typographical symbols. It plumbs the depths of history and hearsay to get to the bottom of how and why some of these symbols came into being.
I Dissent is a children’s book about the US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
This slim book contains two speeches by eminent classicist Mary Beard, focussing obviously on women and power. There are also some updates, including references to the MeToo movement and some contemporary issues.
Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge looks at a variety of issues in modern British culture. I think what makes it particularly effective is that it doesn’t try to cover everything, it doesn’t go into theory or the history of race relations (though it does highlight some of them).
Okay, this book was super stressful because it was largely about the impact of an idiot president can have on a country. It was also the third book in the Read Harder Challenge (book about journalism or book by a journalist). I loved it but bloody hell am I stressed and angry about the state of the world
I’m not sure I would have ever looked or found this book if it hadn’t been for the challenge. Dear Genius is a selection of letters to authors and other people from Ursula Nordstrom, head of the children’s book department for Harpers books from 1940-1973.
So what is this book all about? I kind of think of it as a catalogue of how not to design, followed by the better way to design things. It’s about human-centred design or prototyping, testing, getting feedback and iterating.
To call it well written would be an insult. It’s brilliant. It’s a compulsive read – which in other circumstances could be trying to other authors given the range of subjects covered, papers mentioned, people interviewed. The narrative is so beautifully crafted that its easily one of the most accessible and fascinating non-fiction books I’ve read in a long time.
Short holiday review of The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher.