The latest one sentence summaries of the books I’ve read between the last round up in February 2020 and the end of April 2020.
Shoshana Zuboff “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism”: A very good investigation into, and explanation of how companies like Facebook and Google (and many others) are now tracking everything you do, and using that information to make money; it is very long, though.
Matt Haig “Notes on a Nervous Planet”: Given the current lockdown conditions, there has never been a better time to read Notes on a Nervous Planet which offers observations, tips and lessons for dealing with the modern world where we spend so much (read too much) time online.
Robert Bilott “Exposure”: Brilliant book of the film Dark Waters, based on the case against Dupont who knowingly poisoned the local waters in West Virginia, which highlights how hard it is to get justice when you’re up against the resources of a multi-national company that is hand in glove with the government and its agencies.
Carlo Rovelli “The Order of Time”: If you think you understand what time is, this book may change your mind, introducing a contemporary view of time that tackles issues arising from quantum theory and gravitational waves, all presented in a readable manner.
Tim Parks “Italian Neighbours”: There are few people who have captured the contemporary nature of Italy and the Italians as well as Tim Parks, whose writing manages to be amusing, insightful and engaging.
Hania Allen “The Family Business”: The latest in the Polish Detective series, in which DI Dania Gorska investigates a cold case that intersects with a live case, centring on one Dundee family, in particular.
Elizabeth Taylor “The Soul of Kindness”: Fantastic, easy to read book that captures the social mores of life in the 20th century in the UK, in the same way that Jane Austen did in her time.
Albert Camus “The Plague”: Although it was written as an allegory (with Fascism being The Plague), this excellent book has taken on a more literal meaning in recent years, first with SARS, and then again with the Coronavirus pandemic: scarily prescient in many places.
“Early Irish Myths and Sagas”: I read this to help understand some of WB Yeats’ poetry (an ongoing task), and it’s fascinating to learn some of the folklore of Ireland, in addition to gaining an understanding of how the legends have developed over time, and discover something more of the history of Ireland too.
Karen Solie “The Caiplie Caves”: This brilliant award-winning volume is part history, part philosophy, part contemporary, and all poetry; I read it in sections at Caiplie Caves on the Fife Coast during my daily exercise walks!