NWR What are we Reading?

I read just the book for many winepagers over Christmas, you know, those who get upset at the misuse of language and grammar. I admit I have been known both to criticise, and far more often, to be a culprit.

It's Steven Pinker's "The Sense of Style", a Times Book of the Year. A really good book, though those who are turned off when the grammar police turn up may well find it too dry in places - although he continually points out occasions when high-handed authorities basically get it totally wrong, and it gets more entertaining as it progresses. Fascinating reading for those with a fascination for language.

Penguin p/b, £9.99 (UK), pub 2014.
 
Gallipoli: A Soldier's Story by Arthur Beechcroft. A short read by one of the men on the beach rather than a heavy historical tome.
 
Beard's history of Rome, SPQR. Very good, although I wish she could drop the habits of telling you what she plans to soon be telling you, and of declaring explicitly and frequently that she's not one to ignore the oppressed.
 
I read in three days over Christmas Brian Viner's book on the Everton side of 1977/78, Looking for the Toffees. Sheer pleasure for me as this was the season I watched them most before school sport got in the way.
 
In an effort to help a Dutchman explore English Literature, if "I love Hardy" (and he really does like Thomas Hardy's novels a lot), what else might he like?
John Steinbeck? - unless of course you mean English English (IYSWIM).

For myself, I'm currently just starting "Zero Degrees of Empathy" by Simon Baron-Cohen, and when done will read "Wickedness" by Mary Midgley. The first being on the neuroscience and the second on the moral philosophy of the same subject, Then I feel the call of something superficial and possibly even disreputable, though what I don't yet know - suggestions gratefully received.
 
A pop science book, 'Spooky Action at a Distance'. Surprisingly accessible and genuinely interesting.

I've been meaning to tackle Stoner for a long time: this might be just the trigger I need.
 
Ian, thanks re Steinbeck. I'm kind of thinking he wants English English. I was half wondering whether to suggest Trollope, though which one (by which I mean which "novel", not which Trollope, as I am certainly referring to Anthony)?

FWIW I have a friend who is waiting for a book to be published (I hope) on AT, and a while ago I picked up and read from his vast collection a little short story called "Why Frau Frohmann Raised Her Prices". It was exquisite, but very much of and about its time.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
Paul/everyone - I see Jancis has a new book out on 4 Feb, straight to p/b by the look of it. It's called "The 24 Hour Wine Expert" (I think).

Just received a review copy of this in the post today. Surprising in a way given the heavyweight that is JR, a slim paperback priced £4.99 and very much a primer. I can't put hand on heart to say there is anything particularly distinguished about it, and Simon Woods' 'I don't know much about wine...' possibly does it better in a more fun and engaging style (even though he fails to mention wine-pages as a resource and writes off all wine forums as being full of "show-offs" and "windbags" which I honestly think is unfair on this one :rolleyes:
 
Ian, thanks re Steinbeck. I'm kind of thinking he wants English English. I was half wondering whether to suggest Trollope, though which one (by which I mean which "novel", not which Trollope, as I am certainly referring to Anthony).

The Way We Live Now would be a good place to start. Though Trollope was a much happier man than Hardy and it comes across.
 
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