Each of these has a story behind it, of course:
(The links to book titles are Amazon affiliate links.)
The Story Of Paintings was shortlisted for an educational award recently. I wrote about that here: The 2018 Educational Writers Awards. I think art can be very inspiring to writers, as I wrote in this article: Being Inspired by Art.
THEM: Adventures with extremists. I came across this in a used book store called Skoob Books, a marvellous emporium that a fellow student on a writing course told me about. I’ll write about it in my books bulletin. I bought the book because I like Jon Ronson’s writing. I reviewed his book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed back in February 2017.
From a writer’s point of view, what’s interesting about Ronson is that he does seem to put himself in the firing line, literally. Let’s put it this way: I don’t think I would like to hang out with some of the characters features in this book, but I’m glad someone is brave enough to do so!
Capital Crimes. For a bit of light relief. It’s a book of short stories by various famous authors. The dastardly deeds all take place in London. The British LIbrary was selling 3 for the price of 2, so I thought: “Why not?”.
As a writer, I should like to read this book for several reasons. First, I need a bit of rest and relaxation, and a good murder mystery (or several murder mysteries) seems like a good way to address that. Secondly, I’ve become more interested in different kinds of fiction recently, and especially stories written a while ago. Thirdly, although I don’t think I intend to write a murder mystery, I’m interested to look at the techniques used by these authors to achieve their effects.
How to Read Donald Duck. This is a look at how Donald Duck is used to promote a particular view of the world. I find that rather interesting and intriguing, so I thought it must be worth a look.
This subject matter is not ostensibly what I’m likely to tackle as a writer. However, if there is some element of truth in the proposition that lovable cartoon characters are, in fact, promoting a particular agenda, that could tie in with articles I write, and books I review, about fake news.
James Baldwin. This is a new biography of him. When I received an email from the publishers asking me if I’d like a review copy, it was good timing because we’d just been reading some of Baldwin’s stuff in the aforementioned writing class. It is published in September 2019 by Pluto Press.
In the writing class, we looked at an extract from one of his works, and I have to say I didn’t much like it. I thought the sentences were too long and convoluted, and I wasn’t convinced by the argument he was putting forward. However, he did become an icon for black people, so I want to learn more about him and read more of his stuff. Here’s what the press release from Pluto Press says:
In the first biography of James Baldwin in over a decade, Bill Mullen celebrates the personal and political life of the great American writer who refused to shy away from the fire.
As a lifelong radical, anti-imperialist, black queer advocate, feminist and pro-Palestinian, the life and writing of James Baldwin (1924-1987) has been an inspiration to generations and his words continue to resonate through our culture at large. Mullen explores how Baldwin's life and work channel the long history of the African-American. Fighting towards what he hoped would be a post-racial society, Baldwin's philosophy was tragically ahead of its time.
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