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Reading is not just for Christmas



My first issues with anxiety came whilst studying Shakespeare for my A levels…I couldn’tget past the first paragraph of any text, without going back and re-reading it, again and again. the same was trueof almost any fiction, so I became an avid reader of facts …encyclopaedias, Guinness Book of Records, Wisden…later wine lists and sport autobiographies…one positive was I became a reasonable pub quizzer…oops I did read a couple of Spike Milligan books butdont remember the titles…by the way I failed my A levels spectacularly.


I loved reading Murakami books, his storytelling is great. I have to say though that I would struggle if I had to recall the plot of most…

Also agree to


I agree about Murakami, I often feel it’s the journey not the destination that matters. In fact I found another book on top of my ‘to read’ pile:

Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe by Serhii Plokhy

Based on the first few pages it looks a fascinating read.


Grapes of Wrath;
Lord of The Flies;
Little Women;
Brave New World;

added to the read pile. Currently reading Philip Pullman His Dark Materials, read the first of the three books in the trilogy, and really enjoyed it.


I read the Pullman trilogy. Two great reads but I really didn’t like the last of the three.

Just finished Kate Atkinson’s Transcription, a good read and I enjoyed it much more than her last two (Life after Life and a God in Ruins) but I still thought her Jackson Brodie books were better.


I loved His Dark Materials! A fantasy, but with a real philosophical core. :heartbeat:


I found the first Dark Materials book good but the second one sufficiently poor that I didn’t continue. Philosophical maybe but I felt he was pushing his philosophy down my throat with a ramrod and had had quite enough by the end of the second book. Just me maybe.


That’s a fair criticism, Mike! I think quite a few people find this to be the case. It’s certainly not a crowd pleaser of a book, and the atheist manifesto (if that’s at all the right description) at the heart of it can feel as dogmatic as the religion it is trying to negate at times.

I guess it’s just my kind of dogma! :wink:


Yes I think you’re right, and don’t get me wrong I’m not religious myself, but I was uncomfortable with such a forceful presentation of his beliefs in a book largely addressed at teenagers.

I’ve certainly found a broad mix of people loving or hating it but they are mostly adults who can make up their own minds…


I take your point- but indoctrination of children with religion often starts much earlier… and some of it is pretty hellish.


Have to agree there; I was educated in a monastery boarding school from the age of 8!


Dilemma, 1984, Ulysses, or book 2 of Pullman. Any opinions?


Frankly, the likelihood that you ever finish Ulysses is miniscule. I did a degree in English Lit and it was a compulsory read. I would do anything for Joyce, but I won’t do that. An impossible book! You need a couple years away to read it and really make the most of it.

I’d say, stick with the Pullman, as you’re in the zone. But just my opinion, of course!!


My friend said Ulysses was impossible, however if I want to complete the challenge I have to read it. Thanks for input. :+1:


You’re a better man than many! I wouldn’t be surprised if only Mr and Mrs Joyce ever read it start to finish… :wink:


@Inbar and @MikeFranklin I read your comments with interest. The worst book I have read for ramming it’s opinion down my throat to the point of irritation was Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. His insufferably pompous style and air of superiority as an evolutionist as opposed to a theist almost made me want to become a believer in any faith! I don’t think that was his intention…


I couldn’t manage Ulysses. 1984 is fairly straightforward and the 2nd His Dark Materials was the one I most enjoyed.


This could be a whole thread in itself, @JayKay! :slight_smile:

I bought The God Delusion for my other half when we started going out. We’re both avowed atheists, but I never quite warmed to Dawkins, for the very reasons you describe. In a sense, I think he failed us atheists, by turning atheism into yet another dogma with which to hit people on the head.

It’s a shame he went down that route, as some of the things he had to say were valuable - and to me are still valuable and thought-provoking. Still, I don’t see religion (organised or otherwise) going away any time soon.


Shame really about The God Delusion (which I couldn’t be bothered with). The Selfish Gene and the Blind Watchmaker were excellent introductions to evolution. Both recommend


@Inbar… “I would do anything for Joyce, but I won’t do that.” Are you a Meatloaf fan, or am I just imagining it?