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      June Supporter Giveaway   06/01/2019

      For the June giveaway I chose the theme 'The Gift of Reading.' One that I think we can all appreciate! The winner will receive four books, including:     The Gifts of Reading by Robert MacFarlane - 'An essay on the joy of reading, for anyone who has ever loved a book.'   plus three little short but (hopefully) thought provoking reading gifts...   The Reckoning by Edith Wharton - 'Two moving stories of love, loss, desire and divorce, from one of the great chroniclers of nineteenth-century New York life.' Create Dangerously by Albert Camus - 'Camus argues passionately that the artist has a responsibility to challenge, provoke and speak up for those who cannot in this powerful speech, accompanied here by two others.' It Was Snowing Butterflies by Charles Darwin - 'A selection of Darwin's extraordinary adventures during the voyage of the Beagle.'    As always, supporting members will be entered automatically into the random draw at the end of the month. If you want to be entered into the draw but don't support yet, you can do so here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum   Good luck   

Angury

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  1. Angury's Reading & Writing Log 2019 Hola everyone. Welcome to my Reading & Writing Log for this year.As a reader I enjoy a variety of genres but you’ll find that my to-read list falls into three broad categories: Fiction, Medicine/Anthropology and Philosophy.My to-read list isn’t a list of every single book I want to read (which is several pages long) but just a list of books that are on my radar for the upcoming months. I also aim to post a review for every book I read this year. I invite you to offer your own thoughts on these novels or even suggest something new - my aim is to enter into stimulating discussions and look at the novels I read in a whole different light - your ideas are very much welcomed! I am also in the process of writing two 'novels,' more as a hobby than anything else. The Writing Log is an attempt to make me accountable and hopefully enjoy the process as well. Currently reading: The Overstory by Richard Powers Books Read in 2019January Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett (5/5) Writing at the Margin: Discourse between Anthropology and Medicine by Arthur Kleinman (4/5) The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (4/5) Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie (3/5) Milkman by Anna Burns (4/5) February Adam Bede by George Eliot (3/5) Wittgenstein: A Very Short Introduction by A.C. Grayling (4/5) A Very Short Introduction to Barthes by Jonathan Culler (4/5) Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Wittgenstein and the Tractatus by Michael Morris (3/5) Tractatus by Ludwig Wittgenstein (2/5) The Routledge Guidebook to Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations by Marie McGinn (5/5) Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein (4/5) Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction by Samir Okasha (5/5) March Sum: Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman (5/5) Selected Stories by Anton Chekhov (3/5) Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (5/5) The Color Purple by Alice Walker (2/5) Madame Zero by Sarah Hall (3/5) Collected Stories by Lydia Davis (4/5) Show Them A Good Time by Nicole Flattery (3/5) April Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam (4/5) A History of Capitalism according to the Jubillee Line by John O'Farrell (5/5) Dignity, Mental Health and Human Rights by Brendan Kelly (2/5) May Critical Thinking in Clinical Practice by Eileen Gambrill (4/5) Becoming by Michelle Obama (4/5) Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (3/5) The Razor’s Edge by W Somerset Maugham (3/5) Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin (4/5) June Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin (4/5) Show Your Work by Austin Kleon (4/5) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (4/5) Einsteins Dreams by Alan Lightman (2/5) Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed (3/5)
  2. Going Paperless

    Once again I am getting ready to move house; the third time in two years. Having packed and re-packed the same things, finding random pieces of paper under my bed and unopened notebooks lying in the corners, I've decided to [try and] go paperless. I recently bought the Notability app for my iPad and this started off my journey. I am now able to scan documents using just my phone or iPad, edit them online which includes writing on them with my Apple Pencil () and store everything that is important in my life on Google Drive where I know they won't become lost. Even better, I can take them with me everywhere just by carrying my phone. I started by scanning all my important documents on to Google Drive. Some of these are documents I need a paper copy of anyway but I'd rather have both. I then changed all my magazine subscriptions to online-only, and my bills to paperless (which most of them are anyway). I am currently studying a part-time LLM in Mental Health Law so I now upload all the books I need as eBooks - which again I can edit using my Apple Pencil (). I read all my lectures online and save them on my Google Drive. I've started reading almost all my books on my Kindle although do prefer to keep paper copies of my favourites as I like having a pretty bookshelf. Finally, I've turned to Google Calendar for my everyday life and this fantastic app called Notion for basically everything else; to-do list, recipes, finances, inspiration, books to-read etc. And now I feel so light. I never realise how many unread magazines and notebooks I have until I start to pack, but I hope this will help to keep all that hoarding at bay. I've also found it so, so much easier to keep everything online. Anyway, I wanted to hear other people's experiences. Are you guys paperless? Half and half? How do you organise your lives - diaries, calendars.. nothing?
  3. I found it very helpful actually. It took me about an hour to read, is written in a very simple style and offers examples to give you an idea of how to put the authors ideas into practice. I was very much in a rut when I started reading that book and it was exactly what I needed to get me started again. I think self-help books can be useful if you know what you're looking for and can put things into practice. I find it's very easy to sit and scroll through motivation posters without actually getting on and doing anything. Anyway, I'm quite surprised at the amount of books I've managed to read so far this year. I've been trying to make a habit of reading just before I go to bed and it seems to have helped. I am currently reading The overstory by Richard Powers. Not sure if you guys recognise the author but he is new to me and made me realise how many fantastic writers there are out there whose works have received multiple awards but are still not known to the general public. Richard Powers has indeed won multiple awards for his books and it seems he deserves them whole heartedly. I really like his writing style; it is imaginative and detailed without being too thorough. I am half way through The Overstory and have already bought two more of his books to read next: The Echo Maker and Orfeo. My writing is also picking up, thanks in part to Kleo's self-help book. I had quite an intense night shift last week and had to deal with a couple of dying patients. One of them really stayed with me so I decided to do a bit of creative writing practice: https://www.angury.co.uk/the-night-shift/ I am also currently writing an essay for an Essay Competition on the theme of Sexuality. I have decided to write mine on Paedophilia. I've only just gotten an idea of its structure so will spend the next few weeks (hopefully) writing. The deadline isn't until August though so I should be fine. Also, we have finally started to have some nice weather here in Devon - here comes the summer!
  4. Going Paperless

    Interesting replies. Do you guys read back on the things you have written in your notebooks? I found that my notebooks just stacked up in my room and were never read again. Whereas if I uploaded a document on my google drive with ideas for writing, I was more likely to check it on a regular basis.
  5. Black Mirror

    Has anyone seen the new season yet? I haven't had time unfortunately but very excited to finally sit down and binge watch.
  6. Black Mirror

    Black Mirror is a British TV series that examines the impact of technology on modern society. It is very dark and satirical, and every episode leaves you with a horrible feeling at the bottom of your stomach. Some of the episodes are not that far fetched, and that's what makes it so scary. The acting is fantastic, and the stories really grab you and hold you to your seat. The episodes have received critical acclaim which is why I decided to give them a go (I very rarely watch TV) and I cannot get the series out of my mind. The next series is beginning in October this year, and I just wanted to start this thread to see if there were any other fans waiting for the new episode to premier. I also find it interesting that Charlie Brooker (who created the show) chose the name Black Mirror as it describes how technology looks when we turn it off - TVs, iPhones, iPads, laptops etc. We are all really just staring into black mirrors. "If technology is a drug – and it does feel like a drug – then what, precisely, are the side effects? This area – between delight and discomfort – is where Black Mirror, my new drama series, is set. The 'black mirror' of the title is the one you'll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone." - Charlie Brooker https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/dec/01/charlie-brooker-dark-side-gadget-addiction-black-mirror
  7. Joanna Cannon has been popping up quite a lot on my social media recently. Would you recommend her novels? What is she like as a writer?
  8. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy Milkman. Interestingly I find stream of consciousness novels difficult to get on with as well but loved Milkman. What did you think of the overall plot and how the story dealt with The Troubles?
  9. This tome has quite a reputation, and one which I'm sure many of us have wanted to conquer. I imagine this book is on many people's to-read lists on this forum. I finally decided to give this a go a few weeks ago, as I had exams coming up, and when I revise I always try to find a nice novel to read alongside as a relaxing break. Tolstoy has a gift in creating complex characters. The entire story creates a beautiful arc of human life; from our desires of wealth and status to our internal agonies that we battle everyday. I always tried to avoid this novel because I assumed it would be far too dense for me. On the contrary, I think it is a story that anyone can read and relate to. Even though many of the characters reside within the aristocratic circle, we can all empathise with their hopes and their dreams, as they are dragged through their turmoils during such a chaotic time in Russian history. I liked the fact that the story was set in reality, yet was a story of fiction and creativity. Tolstoys essay in his Epilogue, and indeed his writings throughout the chapters left me with a lot of thoughts to dwell on: how much of an impact do our own actions and feelings have upon those around us, and ultimately on our society as a whole? Who is ultimately responsible for history? For all the battles, all the deaths, all the families torn apart and the lives taken so early? We are often quick to land judgement on the politicians of the day, but I think it would be a far more fruitful exercise to look within ourselves. I would love to hear other peoples thoughts; I think this is the type of book where readers can take away their own meaning based upon their unique life experiences. Also, I have just watched the recent (2016) BBC Adaptation of this novel, and I would highly recommend it. It is incredibly cinematic, with some beautiful locations shot and an incredible array of dresses and ballgowns, and ultimately I feel it stays true to the novel.
  10. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    What is it about that quote that stands out to you as unique? (Not arguing with you, just interested in your point of view!).
  11. Apologies, I didn't clarify the context. The article was for a question entitled "What is the purpose of children?" So I wasn't arguing against having children, I was talking/writing about their purpose in modern society, which from my PoV is to give meaning to our lives, but that meaning can come from a lot of different places and as more people receive these opportunities we have less children. That was the gist of the argument anyway. I have now added a new author to be favourites list - James Baldwin. Not sure if any of you guys have heard of/read his work, he seems to be quite well-known. I came across his book "Giovanni's Room' in Waterstones. To be honest the two main things that struck out were 1. How short it looked (I was travelling at the time) 2. The cover: How can that not attract your attention? I'm a sucker for book covers. Anyway, I read it during my train journey and was hooked. I've never had such a quick journey before. The writing is eloquent without being overly detailed and the characters are vivid. I found Baldwin was particularly good at iliciting emotions from the reader; despite such a short book you become very involved in the story. The novel is a tribute to the power of words imo. After this first date with Baldwin I picked up 'Go Tell it on the Mountain' which is one of his more popular books. Again, the writing is exquisite and I've underlined several sentences that are unique and create such a vivid image in your head. The plot reminds me of The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck and I can see why it's such a famous book. Anyway, I had initially moved on to 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' by Betty Smith which is a book that has been on my TBR list for a long, long time but then came across this: I don't read self-help books but one of the Youtubers who I follow recommended it. He said that it motivated him to go from being a typical university student to taking the leap and sharing his creative work online. I think this is a fear many people identify with, and despite the advantages of the Internet it is daunting to open your work to others. So I'm in between two books at the moment which is what I normally do anyway. I often have certain 'reading moods' - for example, I might have a day where I feel like reading a story and will turn to Smith's novel and other times where I feel like I can't concentrate on a plot and want to read something in non-fiction. Not everyone seems to read multiple books on the go though - would love to hear what other people do!
  12. As you've said, at the moment it would be better if we adopted/fostered children who have no family of their own rather than have children ourselves. I basically argue that the purpose of having children for (some) people is to have meaning in their lives and is a selfish act (which is not a bad thing!) but that you can find meaning in your life in other ways as well.
  13. Game of Thrones

    I thought the finale was magical. It tied together loose ends without making things appear dramatic; despite the end of the series it felt like the characters lives were just beginning. Lovely music, beautiful scenery and some nostalgia from the first series.
  14. Well my argument was mainly against having children so may be a bit unpopular. I just finished reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. I'm not one for autobiographies and even less enthusiastic about celebrities but I came across an interview with Michelle and became drawn in to what she was saying about life as a woman/ethnic minority/from a poor background and the constant question through life of "am I good enough?" This is exactly what her autobiography covers. It's not an advertisement of her glamorous life in the White House or her celeb friends - it's a very touching and personal book about what it means to grow up being loved and fighting the stereotypes from others and ourselves. I think a lot of us can empathise with her. My next to-read is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I actually have no idea what it's about - it just came up on my Instagram feed and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive so I thought I'd see what all the hassle was about.
  15. Black Mirror

    Who's excited?
  16. Game of Thrones

    Quite a lot of fans are annoyed about Jaime abandoning Brienne and returning to Cersei (as it's 'not in his character') and Cersei's death (I think they wanted something a bit more horrific for her). I actually really liked the fact that Jaime returned to Cersei. I feel like having him 'go to the good side' and completely change his path is so.. cliche? Cersei is one of my favourite characters in GoT; I think she is very complex and clever to have lived so long as a woman in that world. Arya though.. I feel she's too easy to like..
  17. Thanks vodkafan! I have just finished reading 'A History of Capitalism according to the Jubillee Line' by John O'Farrell. It's a short fiction novel that uses a story of being trapped in the london underground to explain the idea of capitalism. It's brilliantly written and hilarious. You can easily read it in a day and I would highly recommend it to anyone who just needs a bit of a laugh (and to learn a bit about capitalism as well). I've got my eyes on 'How we Think' by John Dewey which I might read next. I've got a few novels on my TBR which I've been wanting to read for a while so it's a bit of a balancing act deciding what to read next. On the other hand my writing is coming along nicely. I have just had another article accepted for publication in a journal which was a nice confidence-boost and am just finishing an article for a magazine which has an upcoming themed issue entitled 'What is the purpose of having children?' which made for some fun writing!
  18. Andrea's reading in 2019

    I haven't heard of those two books before - interesting reading your review. Which psychotherapy books have stood out for you?
  19. I decided to take a break from non-fiction and read some short novels. The first was Sum: Stories of the After Life by David Eagleman which was incredible. It is filled with 40 very quick and simple stories about what the afterlife might look like. The stories not only reflect the lateral thinking of Eagleman's mind but also make you pause about your own goals and dreams: would things really be better if you got everything you wanted? The book is a reflection of the type of stories I would love to be able to write; unique, creative and insightful. The second novel was just as good: Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. It tells the story of a man with the IQ of approx 60-70 who dreams of being smart. He undergoes a scientific experiment where his IQ progressively gets higher and higher. The novel is written via 'progress reports' which the protagonist writes himself. The writing style changes as his IQ becomes higher and higher; vocabulary, punctuation, grammar all change but so do his views on life and the people around him. It's actually a very sad novel but one that is told so beautifully. I have come across some fantastic books this year even though it's only March. My writing is also growing. I have written 8 articles in the past month, some of which I have submitted to magazines etc. I'm really enjoying myself and have got myself into a routine where I write everyday. My aim is for my writing is: 1. To get published in a magazine 2. To complete a short story Reading-wise, I am just about to start The Colors of Purple by Alice Walker and then possibly move on to some short stories to get some inspiration & delve into the genre a bit more. 
  20. I always recommend Lydia Davis for short stories. She is one of the most original writers out there and the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize. Shes' been described as 'the master of a literary form largely of her own invention.' Some of her stories are only a sentence or paragraph long - I have always been fascinated by Davis's ability to play with words. I don't think I've ever read a writer like her. You can find some of her short stories online if you want to get an idea of her style before diving in.
  21. I've just finished reading both the guidebooks to Wittgensteins Tractatus & Philosophical Investigations and the original works themselves. It was far easier that I expected it to be; the guidebooks were very clearly written and I don't think I would have been able to interpret the original works without them. They also offered stimulating discussion points which I've still been pondering. What struck me most about Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations is not so much the content but the way he goes about arguing his point. It's a different way of thinking i.e. understanding the meaning of a word based on how it is used and the idea of language games themselves. Particularly interesting is the link (or lack thereof) between language and our representation of the world. It certainly brings a different perspective on the idea of Newspeak from 1984. I have now started reading A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy of Science by Samir Okasha before moving onto Thomas Kuhn and Karl Poppers works. This all makes me feel rather intelligent..
  22. Thanks Hayley! I've just finished reading Wittgenstein's Tractatus with the help of two guidebooks: A Very Short Introduction to Wittgenstein By AC Grayling and a Companion Guide written by Michael Morris. Wittgenstein was a philosopher who wrote about the philosophy of language and how it relates to reality. It's a very interesting field of study and while I had read around the subject I felt too daunted to read the original works themselves. The Short Introduction & Companion Guide were fantastic though, and not only helped me to understand what Wittgenstein was actually saying, but also gave me an idea of how his works have affected the world today and continue to do so. There are a number of areas of philosophy which I have read around (a little) but have always felt too daunted to read the original works. This has now given me a bit of a boost. I've made a little collection of works which I now would like to finish by the end of this year: Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations alongside a Companion Guide (I will be reading this next). Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and Poppers three works: Realism & the Aim of Science, The Logic of Scientific Discovery and Conjectures and Refutations alongside the short introduction books of science. Idealism: A History of Philosophy & Routledge Guidebook to Berkley's Three Dialogues (with the original works) alongside the short introduction series to Berkley, Heidegger, Hegel & Schopenhauer. Barthe's Lovers' Discourse & On Fine Writing, Nabaokov's Lectures on Literature alongside a Companion Guide on Derrida's Deconstruction and the short introduction series on Critical Theory, Structuralism & Post-Structuralism & Hermeneutics. What an exciting year it's going to be..
  23. Hi Abir. Interesting list of books so far. What type of genres do you enjoy reading? I have to say, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favourite novels. I've read a couple of the others on your list but can't say I was a big fan otherwise.
  24. Oh dear. What made you disappointed with White Teeth? It's on my TBR. I have such started both the Tractatus by Wittgenstein and the Routledge Companion Guide at the same time to hopefully help me understand what I'm reading.
  25. new here!

    A PhD on Finnegan's Wake! That sounds like a great conversation starter. Do you find you're still able to enjoy reading works which you are also studying? (Just curious as I did very badly in English Literature!) Anyway, welcome to the forum - I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
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