Mike Finn - Audiobook Addict

Mike Finn - Audiobook Addict

My name is Mike Finn and I'm an Audiobook Addict.

I'm here to share my experience of the books I listen to.

Review
5 Stars
International Day of Tolerance Book - "The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr" by Francis Maynard - highly recommended
The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr - Frances Evelyn Maynard Greville Warwick

"The Seven Imperfect Rules Of Elvira Carr" is one of the best books I've read this year and is the best book I've read about how neuroatypical people make a place for themselves in the world.

 

The main joy of this book is that Elvira Carr, Ellie to her friends, is a wonderful person. Not a saint. Not perfect. But someone who is fully engaged with her own life. She's curious, honest to a fault, wants to help others and is capable of great joy. I fell in love with her immediately.

 

Elvira knows she isn't the same as everyone else. Her mother has told her this time and time again as she grew up and there have been "incidents" that reinforce Elvira's mother's view that Elvera's "condition" means she's not equipped to deal with the world.

Only when her mother is hospitalised does Elvira discover, at the age of twenty-seven, that her "condition" has a name and that she is not alone.

 

Elvira is neuroatypical. This means she perceives and thinks about things differently than neurotypical people. As she uses the internet to connect to others like herself, Ellie comes to understand that her "condition" is not an illness. She's perfectly capable, not just of looking after herself but of contributing more widely to her community. She has a job at an animal sanctuary. She helps provide old people at the nursing home with contact with small animals who lift their spirits.  She looks after her neighbour's young granddaughter.

 

Ellie's problems are caused by the often incomprehensible and contradictory expectations and behaviour of neurotypicals, some of whom she believes have the power to "send her away".

 

To help navigate the strange ways of the neurotypicals and to prevent her freedom to live an independent life being taken away from her, Elvira with the help of her neighbour develops seven rules. She writes the rules on a spreadsheet and then tests them against her experience, ticking boxes when she uses them, adding examples, guidelines and acceptance criteria to make these imperfect rules work better.

 

By telling the story entirely from Elivira's point of view, the author has produced something that is neither a saccharine cliché nor a disturbing freakshow.   The thing is that Elvira is much nicer than most people you'll meet. She has no malice. She's always honest. She gets angry and afraid, especially when she makes mistakes and misreads the neurotypicals, with there attachment to figures of speech and their habit or saying one thing and meaning another. She's also capable of joy so overwhelming that, when she's alone and neurotypicals can't see and send her away,  she has to run around the room with her arms out to let it flow through her.

 

Ellie faces a series of challenges in the book: her mother's incapacity, a mystery around her dead father and his frequent trips to Japan, conflicts with members of her neighbour's family, predatory males and lots and lots of NEW things that create stress.

Ellie's struggles and her limitations are ones we can all empathise with and perhaps share to some degree which means that her triumphs make us happy.

 

I found myself wondering how neurotypical I was and whether there was really any such thing. Putting the labels aside, I found myself wishing that I could meet Elvira and hoping that I would overcome some of my neurotypical habits for long enough really to see her.

 

"The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr" is beautifully written and perfectly narrated. I strongly recommend listening to the audiobook version. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear Charlie Sanderson bring Elvira to life.

 

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/361476302" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]

 

Reading progress update: I've read 21%.
Hogfather: Discworld, Book 20 - Random House Audiobooks, Terry Pratchett, Nigel Planer

The gap between story and reality demonstrated in one paragraph:

 

"It was a strange but demonstrable fact that the sacks of toys carried by the Hogfather, no matter what they really contained, always appeared to have sticking out of the top a teddy bear, a toy soldier in the kind of colourful uniform that would stand out in a disco, a drum and a red-and-white candy cane. The actual contents always turned out to be a bit garish and costing $5.99."

 

I find myself sighing with pleasure because I'm reading someone who is able to use long, complex sentences that sound in the ear, like a well-tuned guitar, even when not read aloud.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 9%.
Hogfather: Discworld, Book 20 - Random House Audiobooks, Terry Pratchett, Nigel Planer

"Education had been easy.

 

Learning things had been harder.

 

Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on."

With my education long behind me but my learning far from finished, this quote made me go - what a wise man Terry Pratchett was - then I thought about how quickly he'd have seen through my self-serving stance. 

 

The thing about reading Pratchett is that, while I might hope to be like Grimes or Ventinarri, I know that theirs are robes I can only wear when Pratchett helps me shrug into them.

Reading progress update: I've read 6%. - the Assassin's Guild reminds me of Eton
Hogfather: Discworld, Book 20 - Random House Audiobooks, Terry Pratchett, Nigel Planer

 

 

I've just started my re-read of "Hogfather" and I'm already asking myself how I can have left it so long* without re-reading it

 

         *(for context, I've only read it once... in 1998... is twenty years too long?)

 

 

 

I'm pleased but not surprised by  philosophical gems like opening with

 

"Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree.

 

But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spellings of words. Yet there is the constant desire to find some point in the twisting, knotting, ravelling nets of space-time on which a metaphorical finger may be put to indicate that here, here, is the point where it all began..."

 

Wonderful stuff, not least because it is at the beginning and because it uses the word ravelling in a sentence.

 

Or the dry wit of statements like:

 

"The only sticky bit had been the embarrassment when her employer had found out she was a duchess because, in Mrs Gaiter's book, which was a rather short book with big handwriting, the upper crust wasn't supposed to work."

 

What caught me by surprise was how much the Assassins' Guild reminded me of Eton. It started with Lord Downey's pride in the Guild he leads because it:

 

"practised the ultimate in democracy. You didn't need intelligence, social position, beauty or charm to hire it. You just needed money, which unlike the other stuff, was available to everyone. Except the poor, of course but there was no helping some people".

What really reminded me of the alma mater of English entitlement was this:

 

"...the Guild took young boys and gave them a splendid education and incidentally taught them how to kill, cleanly and dispassionately, for money and for the good of society, or at least that part of society that had money, and what other kind of society was there?"

 

In the current climate in England, this came off as gallows humour.

 

 

Review
5 Stars
"Magic Binds - Kate Daniels #9" by Ilona Andrews - highly recommended
Magic Binds -  Ilona Andrews

This series has rebooted with a vengeance. The game changed in "Magic Shifts" with Kate and Curran stabilising their relationship, leaving the Pack and building a new power base of Mercs and former pack members and with the conflict between Kate and Roland, her I-WILL-dominate-the-world father, now out in the open.

 

"Magic Binds" uses this new situation to put Kate under intense pressure and see what happens.

 

Her father is the first pressure source. Now that the confrontation between him and Kate is no longer covert, it has become much more intense,  partly because Kate is becoming more and more like her father. They are both powerful and territorial and seem incapable of not pushing one another. Being who they are, each "push" costs people their lives. Roland's public demonstrations of how ruthless, powerful and cruel he is are more than just vanity. They're designed to push/tempt Kate to retaliate in kind. The question as to whether Kate's true nature is to give herself up to her power and become more like her father is central to the tension of the story.

 

The second pressure source on Kate is the Oracle's visions. These are cleverly conceived not as prophecies but as images of pivotal points where Kate's decisions will change her future. That the pivot points all seem to lead to Kate choosing between Curran's death or the death of their as-yet-unborn son drives Kate's aggression but also makes her desperate to find a third way.

 

There's more to this book than a power puzzle to be solved with ingenious strategies. I was impressed by how well characters from earlier books are incorporated into the story in ways that develop them as people and also change the meanings of earlier events. It was fascinating to see the Pack from the outside again and to understand just how deeply the Order hates Kate and to see how Curran and Kate bind their new team together. Both Barabas and Christopher develop in surprising ways and the emergence of a previously unknown cult, built by Roland to assassinate Kate, is cleverly linked to earlier events as well as giving Kate a reality check.

 

There's some interesting and emotionally intense stuff going on between Kate, her adopted daughter and her recently deceased aunt (yeah - that takes some explaining but it works).

 

As always, Iona Andrews excels at both humour and at big battle scenes.  The book kicks off with an almost slapstick scene in which Curran and Kate ask her Priest of Death cousin to marry them and wit, banter and absurd juxtapositions provide light relief throughout. When the battle finally arrives it is bloody, emotionally charged and intense.

 

This is an extremely accomplished urban fantasy. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Review
3 Stars
Book for Door 7 Mawlid An-Nabi - "On Turpentine Lane" by Elinor Lipman
On Turpentine Lane - Elinor Lipman

 

"On Turpentine Lane" sat on my TBR pile for eighteen months. I bought it in a fit of enthusiasm after reading "Isabel's Bed".  I've looked at it a few times since then and gone, "I want to read that but not today." I finally picked up because it qualified as my book for Mawlid An-Nabi in the 24 Festive Tasks challenge,

 

It wasn't the kind of book I'd expected. It was a light, mildly amusing comedy of manners kind of book but I found myself struggling with it because I found it hard to empathise with a privileged white middle-class, university educated woman in her thirties who was so hapless.

 

Her haplessness was fundamental to the humour of the book so letting it irritate me was self-defeating. Her haplessness is quite plausible. She's conflict-averse, trusting, committed to her job and looking for a quiet life. I'd probably like her if I met her. Yet I find myself irritated by her inability to use the advantage she has, which says more about me than about Elinor Lipman's writing.

 

About a third of the way through the book, the lights went on - flashing LED lights - spelling out IT'S A ROMANCE, DUMMY.

 

That explains why the heroine is intelligent, well-educated, slightly bland and completely hapless - so she can come into her own by getting together with the right guy.

Suddenly, it was all clear. 

 

The contract with the reader is that the woman should be nice, maybe too nice for her own good when it comes to dealing with her self-absorbed, hippy-boy-man-at-41 boyfriend, so that the reader can root for her and hope she'll smell the coffee and find someone worthy of her.

 

I got distracted by the bullying sexism or her employer, the apparently dark history of the house she's recently bought and my underlying lack of empathy for a woman so used to be being loved and protected by her family that she lacks basic survival skills.

 

I felt like someone reading the start of a werewolf novel and wondering why the characters, who seem prone to physical aggression when resolving status-related conflicts, are stressing about how close the next full moon is.

 

Once I settled back and let the romance roll with the appropriate level of readerly collusion. with what the author is doing, I started to enjoy myself more.

 

"On Turpentine Lane" is an odd mix of ingredients that never quite come together convincingly. Crises are triggered around apparent financial improprieties at work, mysterious deaths in the heroines house and a mid-life crisis separation between her parents. These crises stand side by side like plates spinning on poles rather than building to anything. There is no character development to speak of but there is a slow, sometimes enjoyable slide towards happy-ever-afterdom.

 

I never did get to feel any empathy for the heroine but my reflex-animosity for her lessened as I understood her family dynamic.

 

"On Turpentine Lane" was well-executed entertainment that I'm now certain I'm not the target demographic for.

Reading progress update: I've read 34%. - finally - a Poirot book that feels polished and assured
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie

After some dissatisfaction with the much later "Third Girl", I decided to try an earlier Poirot to see what I'd been missing.

 

"The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd" seems to be the most highly recommended Agatha Christie book. It's also the fourth Hercule Poirot book, qualifying it for Door 13 Advent in the 24 Festive Tasks challenge.

 

I'm about a third of the way through and very pleased with this book. The writing is assured and confident. The narrator, a local doctor, is a good observer and makes a great foil for the rather odd little Belgian man who lives next door to him. The murder mystery is a sort of amped-up locked room mystery with a wide variety of possible villains and some peculiar plot twists, for example how the good doctor is first made aware of Ackroyd's death.

 

I think what I'm enjoying most is that, in this book, Agatha Christie has forgone the authorial voice and is telling the tale entirely through the eyes of the good doctor. I wonder if this is a deliberate allusion to Holmes and Watson. In any event, so far it has produced a clearer and more intimate view of what is going on as well as a fresh-pair-of-eyes assessment of Poirot.

Door 16 - Task 2 - Books about old people

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Task 2:  This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Find 3 books on your shelves with protagonists or other key characters who are -- or can reasonably be assumed to be -- 70 years or older.

 

 

 

 

the-secret-diary-of-hendrik-groen-83---coverThree_Things_About_Elsie_by_Joanna_Cannon-ScreenRes  9780008212193.jpg

 

Recently, I've started an "Old People" shelf on Good Reads. Any book where the main protagonists are over sixty qualifies (supernaturals with extended lifespans are excluded for cheating). It has sixteen books on it so far.

 

I've selected these three from it because I haven't read them yet and the protagonist are over seventy.

 

9780008212193.jpg

"The Leisure Seeker" is the name of the RV that an old white American middle-class married couple (one with dementia and one with cancer - cheerful isn't it?) escape their children in. It made into a film with Robert Sutherland and Helen Mirren in the leads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the-secret-diary-of-hendrik-groen-83---cover

 

"The Secret Diary of Hendrick Groen 83 1/4 Years Old" is a sort of mutation from "The Diary Of Adrien Mole" with a protagonist at the other end of the age spectrum. Hendrik writes an exposé of his life in an old people's home in Amsterdam.

 

 

 

 

 

Three_Things_About_Elsie_by_Joanna_Cannon-ScreenRes"Three Things About Elsie" is a book I only know two things about: my wife liked it and the publisher's summary sounds intriguing.

The Publisher's summary says:

"84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?"

 

 

 

  

Door 16 - Task 1 - Readers' Charters - two for you to choose between

angel

 

I was in two minds about how to approach this task - seriously or frivolously. I decided to he seriously frivolous and provide both viewpoints and leave you to choose between them.

 

angel.001

 

or

 

devil.001

 

Review
3 Stars
Book for Door 14 Hanukkah - "Binti Home" - love the writing - hate this publishing trend.
Binti: Home - Nnedi Okorafor

Let me start with a complaint so I can get it out of my system. I hate this emerging practice in Science Fiction to slice novels up into novellas and drip feed them to us.

I hated it with Murderbot and I hate it with Binti.

 

I was blown away by the first novella, "Binti" It deserved the Nebula and Hugo awards it won. It was a startlingly innovative novella about identity, about us and other, about fear and harmony, about how defining what it means to be alien also defines what it means to be human. "Binti" worked as a standalone, self-contained story.

 

It took two more years for "Binti Home" to reach us and, very disappointingly, it does not work as a self-contained novella. It's a sequel, so it can't be standalone but I did expect it to be self-contained. What I got is the second act in a three-act play.

 

It turns out it's a very good second act in what I'm sure will be an excellent novel but I wish the publishers had had the integrity to wait until the whole book was ready before publishing it. 

 

Ok, complaint over. 

 

There are lots of good things in this middle act of Binti's story.

 

It retains the freshness of the original novella. It doesn't reprise any of the previous action but carries straight on from where "Binti" finished.

 

It keeps the humour as well as the drama of the previous events and uses both to explore being alien. Here's what happens when Binti persuades Okuwu, an alien shaped like a massive jellyfish that moves through air rather than water an is always referred to as "it" to put cover its tentacles with  otjize, a mix of mud and oil that Himba women cover themselves with:

Covering them with so much otjize,Okwu told me, made it feel a little intoxicated.

 

“Everything is . . . happy,” it had said, sounding perplexed about this state.

 

“Good,” I said, grinning. “That way, you won’t be so grumpy when you meet everyone. Khoush like politeness and the Himba expect a sunny disposition.”

 

“ I will wash this off soon,” it said. “It’s not good to feel this pleased with life.”

"Binti Home" explores the issue of self and other from a new angle by following Binti's own physical and spiritual evolution from the Himba tribal girl she thought herself to be into something other and more than that.

 
When Binti returns home to restore her sense of identity as a Himba woman she is instead forced to confront the prejudices that shape her view of her homeworld and prevent her from seeing herself clearly. Binti's skill as a "harmonizer" is tested when she finds that it's her rapidly changing self that she needs to harmonize.
 

The tension builds. Revelations are made. Threats are introduced. Then the novella ends. Well, actually, it just stops.

 

So I'm going to stop as well. I have to go and read the third act, "The Night Masquerade", which I've just downloaded from the Kindle Store for the princely sum of £2.63.

24 Festive Tasks Update #5

task 5.001

 

I've completed three tasks since my last update. I know they only just fit within the bounds of the task descriptions but I enjoyed coming up with a sideways view when my own experience wasn't a direct fit.

 

dear santa.001Door 15 Task 1: My first ever letter to Santa let me fantasise about the books I'd most like to read, if only Santa could arrange to have them written.

 

 

 

 

 

Carpe DMs.001Door 11 Russian Mother's Day Task 3: Why I wear boots and "Carpe DMs" was fun and got me to look more deeply at a poet I'd heard of but not read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

People-prefer-not-taking-riskMiracle Blind? - Hanukkah task 1 is my atheistic take on miracles and cognitive bias - yeah, how's that for seasonal spirit?

 

 

 

 

 

I've completed two books, one excellent, the other entertaining:

 

On-Turpentine-Lane-600x906In the Bleak TP "On Turpentine Lane" was a light romance that was entertaining once I let myself accept it on its own terms and stopped looking for something deeper.

 

"In The Bleak Midwinter" was an excellent start to a crime series set in New York State and featuring a small town Police Chief and a newly appointed female Priest.

 

 

 

My Festive Bookshelf continues to blossom. I'll read these even if the challenge times out first.

 

books 5.001

 

I'm part way through three very different types of books at the moment:

 

The-Devil_s-Apprentice_l"The Devil's Apprentice" is the first book in a Young Adult series from Denmark that takes an original, dryly amusing look at Hell, the Devil and the nature of good and evil.

 

It's an easy, fun read that built around some challenging ideas. As it's the first in a series, it qualifies as my St Andrew's Day book.

 

 

 

 

51mG8MdFIJL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_"Home" is the second book of the Binti trilogy of novellas that tell the story of an African young woman who is a math genius and who becomes the first woman of her tribe to leave Earth.

 

The second novella tells of her return home after a series of traumatic events. As it's the second book in a series, it qualifies as my Hanukkah book.

 

 

 

519zOii-1RL._SL300_"Somewhere Inside Of Happy" starts with Maisie Brennan standing on a podium on the twentieth anniversary of the death of her son, trying to find the first breath that will help her start talking to a room full of strangers. As her talk begins we move back to Ireland on the first of January 1995 and watch as events unfold around Maisie and her family.

 

This is a beautifully written book that I'm sure will have as many tears as it has smiles. As it's mainly told from Maisie's point of view or that of her own mother, it qualifies as my Russian Mother's Day book.

Miracle Blind? - Hanukkah task 1

People-prefer-not-taking-risk

 

It wasn't until I tried to do the Hanukkah task on miracles that I realised how much I struggle with them.

 

I reviewed my life and found it to be miracle-free. Not one miracle.

 

To me, that suggested three possible conclusions:

  • miracles don't happen
  • miracles don't happen to me
  • my cognitive biases prevent me from seeing miracles when they happen.

So I reviewed my life again, looking for times when the most probable outcome of a set of events was my death but when I didn't die. 

 

I found two.

 

The first was getting caught in an undertow when swimming alone in the Atlantic off the coast of Donegal. No miracle involved. Faced with the choice of swim harder or die I discovered that I could swim much better than I'd ever realised.

 

The second was coming off my motorbike on a flyover in London in heavy traffic. My rear tyre blew. All I could do was control the fall so the bike slid ahead of me without any of me under it. I couldn't do anything about the two lanes of cars travelling at 50 mph on the wet road behind me.

 

I walked away without a scratch. Any miracle involved?

 

The lack of physical damage from sliding along the tarmac with the back of my head bouncing as I went was down to the quality of the gear I was wearing. My oversuit and helmet were trashed. My leathers were scuffed. I was fine. No miracle. That's how it's supposed to work.

 

The statistically improbable thing was that there was a police car immediately behind me when my tyre blew. They hit their lights and blocked other vehicles from running over me. Without that, it's much less likely that I'd have walked away.

 

I still see no miracle. I see a statistically highly improbable event that worked to my advantage.

 

Perhaps this is just me protecting my atheist belief system and filtering out the intervention of the Divine. Recognising such an intervention would shatter my beliefs. None of us seek to have our beliefs shattered. They're too heavily linked to our sense of self. So I could be just protecting myself from the truth.

 

But what about that highly statistically improbable event? Isn't that a secular definition of a miracle? Can't me living be called miraculous?

 

Nah. We're not very good at big numbers. To most us, a one in one million chance makes something very unlikely. In reality, in a city the size of London, many events that are that unlikely happen every day. We're just not good at taking that in. My own cognitive bias is to look at all the things that had to go right that day for me to walk away and go "What are the odds? It's a miracle!" 

 

It isn't.

 

The more I thought about risk, the more I realised that, in this entropic universe, where heat goes to cold and all order decays, the miracle wasn't that I didn't die that day but that I got through most days with no sense of threat to my life, even though the threats were there.

 

The only, secular, miracle I can find in my life is it's persistence, despite the odds.

"Lies Sleeping - Rivers of London / Peter Grant #7" by Ben Aaronovitch - highly recommended, especially as an audiobook
Lies Sleeping - Ben Aaronovitch

The Peter Grant series continues to be one of my most satisfying urban fantasy reads.

 

Peter's slightly off mainstream centre but ever so accurate view of the world is intoxicating, whether he's commenting on architectural faux pas, describing how rooms can be lies told by their inhabitants, critiquing the dynamics that result in police officers using terms like "pro-active, intelligence-led operations" or looking deeper into the history of London.

 

In this book, you can see that Peter has matured. He has people that he's responsible for, a stable relationship with a woman/goddess who rescued him from Fairyland and a firmer grasp of his own capabilities. Yet he's still driven by curiosity and deeply angered by the abuse of power. 

 

I liked that Peter isn't becoming some Doctor Strange figure, fighting the forces of darkness alone. He still sees himself as a policeman and it pleased me to see him working as part of a team with other officers from the Met. I liked the idea of needing PACE-compliant interview rooms for magical suspects and of having dozens of analysts combing data and putting actions into Holmes.

 

The plot is filled with threat, mystery and humour. It continues to have London itself as a character, with its past and present shaping the flow of events. These events also move the Leslie story arc forward in a decisive way and pull together things learned in earlier books.

 

I was particularly impressed with the new addition to the Folly. The story behind that made a bridge to earlier books and demonstrated Peter's growing maturity.

 

I loved meeting the talking foxes again. The dialogue with them made me smile.

 

The only thing that pushed me out of the story a little was the way that Nightingale kept getting sidelined by circumstance. I can see that this gave Peter the space to operate but it will be frustrating and not very credible if it continues.

 

I consumed this book in a couple of days and that was only because I made myself take a break and get some sleep rather than reading it in one gulp. It's a gift to the fans.

 

I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. His performance is superb.

 

I read "Lies Sleeping" as the "latest in a series" book for the Diwali door in 24 Festive Tasks.

Reading progress update: I've read 28%. - happy aliens who aren't happy about it.
Binti: Home - Nnedi Okorafor

One of the things I like about Binti is the exploration of what "Alien" really means and the discovery, along the way, of what "human" really means.

 

Binti is a young tribal woman whose tribe covers their skin with otjize,a mix of mud and oil that maintains their link to their land on Earth. 

 

Binti has persuaded Okwu, an alien shaped like a large Jelly Fish but moving through air rather than water and always referred to as "it", to put some on its tentacles. Here's how Binti describe Okwu's reaction:

 

Covering them with so much otjize, Okwu told me, made it feel a little intoxicated. 

 

“Everything is . . . happy,” it had said, sounding perplexed about this state. 

 

“Good,” I said, grinning. “That way, you won’t be so grumpy when you meet everyone. Khoush like politeness and the Himba expect a sunny disposition.”

 

“ I will wash this off soon,” it said. “It’s not good to feel this pleased with life.”

 

 

Okwu sounds like some of my French colleagues. Happiness is very nice as a temporary phenomenon, particularly when it arrives unexpectedly and without effort, but its meant to be transitory and pursuing it is pointless.

 

 

Off Topic Post: "Have Yourself A Brexit Little Christmas" by Brian Bilston - my song of rueful lament this Christmas

I've recently discovered Brian Bilston's poetry and now I can't get enough of it so, when I was told he'd written some Brexit poetry, I had to go and sample it.

 

There are several poems to choose from but one, in particular, stood out for me. Imagining Bing Crosby singing "Have Yourself A Brexit Little Christmas"was the poem I need to get me through a day when I'd listened to Theresa May, who has created a climate of hate, division and State-engineered poverty, calling for us to "Come together" for Brexit and then ground my teeth at Jeremy Corbyn promising Labour will bring a "Better Brexit" without any recognition that repudiating our responsibility for shaping fair labour laws across the EU and removing workers rights to freedom of movement is a crime against socialism, I needed gallows humour to get through the day.

 

So here it is. Sing it along with me. Pass it on to your friends. And encourage them all to go to Brian Bilston's site. There they'll read about how Brexit would treat Paddington Bear as well as finding a kindred spirit who recognises the true nature of the advocate of smug, educated, assholery: Jeremy Clarkson.

brexit christmas.001

 

Reading progress update: I've read 20%.
Binti: Home - Nnedi Okorafor

Like the Murderbot stories, Binti was released as a series of novellas, three, in this case, that really equal one novel.

 

I was blown away by the first one, "Binti" and immediately bought the sequel, "Binti Home".

 

I then stupidly let it languish in my TBR pile.

 

I've dug it out for the Hanuka Door of the 24 Festive Tasks challenge because it's the second book in a series.

 

I'm having to run hard to keep up at the beginning of the second novella and I now wish I'd read them back to back.

 

Still, so far the freshness of the original Binti novella is still present and I'm intrigued to see where Binti will go next.

currently reading

Progress: 21%
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