Current Library Borrowings #3

11:02 am

Current library books: On Beauty (Umberto Eco), Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell), There But For The (Ali Smith), High-Rise (JG Ballard), Womansize (Kim Chernin), The Good Women of China (Xinran), and Once Upon a Time (Marina Warner)

It's a Sunday and I'm sitting in bed, fully dressed, cracking out some words for once. I look about fourteen again dressed in all black, except this time I have a Star Wars sweater and jeans that don't bag at the knees. I'm struggling a bit to blog at the moment. I have very few ideas and even less motivation to write, so this is an attempt to break through that wall with something simple.

I'll never tire of working in a library if it means constantly having fascinating books at my disposal. I've really been on a non-fiction kick recently so this collection is naturally non-fiction heavy. Here are some of the things I've picked up from work over the past few weeks:

Once Upon a Time by Marina Warner - A small non-fiction volume on the history of various fairy stories. This investigates their origins and the reuse of their themes over time. I'm really enjoying fairy tales and fantasy at the moment (I just finished reading The Princess Bride and am now halfway through Bitter Greens which is glorious) so this seems like some supplementary reading that needs to be done.

The Good Women of China by Xinran - Deng Xiaoping was a radio-station employee who found herself with the opportunity to host a call-in. What resulted was an oral history from women all over China, telling stories about their lives and breaking through the myths that surround their place in society.

Womansize by Kim Chernin - Any time I see something published by The Women's Press I feel a desperate urge to pick it up. I'm not sure if this is because so many of my dissertation books were distributed by them, or not. This book is a challenge on society's love for thin women and what sociopolitical ideologies this brings about.

High-Rise by JG Ballard - A break for fiction. Triggered by the release of Ben Wheatley's adaptation of this book, I picked up a copy deciding it was probably time now to read some Ballard. The 'High-Rise' is a segregated apartment block where citizens live on floor depending on their social standing. From what I can understand, this book shows the breakdown of this system and the inherent violence that resides within society when separated. 

There but For The by Ali Smith - Further fiction! I've enjoyed everything I've read by Ali Smith so I've snaffled away all of her books I could find in the library. This is but one of them. At a dinner party one of the guests locks them self in a room upstairs, and that's as much as I know. Knowing Smith, this will be a weird and convoluted journey.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - And we're back to non-fiction. I feel like I've been recommended every single Gladwell book in my lifetime, so here is me picking up my first one. I'm not sure what to expect, or even if I'll like it, but this is about why some people succeed and what makes them special. It will probably make me feel very underachieving. 

On Beauty by Umberto Eco - Honestly, I've already taken this back to the library because I found it so dull. I looked at half of the pictures and got caught up in the philosophy. This book did not have to be this big.

M x

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