I'm a singing songwriting postie living in Yorkshire. Sometimes I like to be challenged by a book, and sometimes I just want to lose myself.
As a European, I find it incomprehensible as to how the American public can justify allowing weapons to be a part of public life - but they do. Stephen King's take on the topic is honest and interesting. As a gun-owning liberal he manages to see beyond the hyperbole both sides of the battle hurl at each other, while grasping the reality of living in a society which is already drowning in more firearms than any army should ever need. An excellent and thought-provoking listen.
This is a beautiful little book wonderfully narrated by Kris Dyer. The author is challenging our liberal, secular, capitalist society to put our human needs back to the forefront, and to do this by taking the best of what religion has to offer. As an atheist he immediately renounces the need for a supernatural deity to guide our search for happiness but instead describes how the institutions and rituals of religion can show us how to interact with our fellow flawed human beings. Introducing ourselves to strangers, atoning for our misdemeanors and dealing with life's ups and downs are all abilities we have lost in our modern urban world, and religion gave us techniques to deal with. (I particularly enjoyed his idea of challenging how we have put the written word on a pedestal - and the lone intellect - whilst removing the need for emotive and concise public rhetoric so that ideas can be put into the reach of all people.) So overall an interesting and thought-provoking read with a mixture of the scholarly and personable.
An epic romp through the last 500 years, trying to explain why western civilisations somehow managed to turn the tables on the rest, which were apparently set to dominate at that time. Usual history books that cover this period (such as After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405) try to chart the clash and crash of empires, but here the author examines the processes that feed these incredibly complex 'organisms', and how the 6 "killer apps" he describes (science, medicine, work ethic, home ownership, rule of law and competition) gave the west the edge. I found his arguments and descriptions compelling as well as enjoyable and would thoroughly recommend this to lovers of history.
This is one of the best non fiction books I have read for a long time. I love the honesty of Jon Ronson as he explores the world of psychiatry. Gripping and thought provoking. If you have any interest in the mind and the human condition you should enjoy this. A great read.