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a book, film + chit chatty blog

Friday, 17 February 2017

Currently Reading

Think of this as less of a haul (seeing as I only bought one of these books) and more of an accumulation of books since January.

The following three, were sent to me by publishers:

Ideas are your only currency by Rod Judkins


The real currency of our time isn’t money. It’s ideas. You’re surrounded by ideas. Films, products, books, music, money, messages, services and everything in your culture began life as a vision in someone’s head. If you have ideas, you’re at the heart of things.

‘What abilities will someone need to succeed in 5, 10, or 15 year’s time?’ Rod Judkins asks himself this question when he devises projects for his students at University College London and Central Saint Martins. Universities used to teach students skills and then, out in the world, they applied them. But culture sped up. Soon, in the three years it took a student to reach the workplace, their skills were out of date. Now the pace of change is so fast, skills are of little use. To survive and prosper in our new culture, you need to think conceptually.

To be at home in the world of the future, you will need to be an adaptable, open minded, problem solver, communicator, inventor, artist and entertainer. For this reason, the exercises in this book are designed to encourage you to think beyond what is accepted and conventional. An Olympic athlete trains their body. A creative thinker has to exercise just as hard, but train their imagination. There are exercises in this book that will help you develop your ability to have ideas. 


This book is SUPER fun inside. It's got loads of weird creative activities - can't wait to do some of these.


Sockpuppet by Matthew Blakstad



Twitter. Facebook. Whatsapp. Google Maps. Every day you share everything about yourself - where you go, what you eat, what you buy, what you think - online. Sometimes you do it on purpose. Usually you do it without even realizing it. At the end of the day, everything from your shoe-size to your credit limit is out there. Your greatest joys, your darkest moments. Your deepest secrets.

If someone wants to know everything about you, all they have to do is look.

But what happens when someone starts spilling state secrets? For politician Bethany Lehrer and programmer Danielle Farr, that's not just an interesting thought-experiment. An online celebrity called sic_girl has started telling the world too much about Bethany and Dani, from their jobs and lives to their most intimate secrets. There's just one problem: sic_girl doesn't exist. She's an construct, a program used to test code. Now Dani and Bethany must race against the clock to find out who's controlling sic_girl and why... before she destroys the privacy of everyone in the UK.


Books for Living by Will Schalwbe



Why is it that we read? Is it to pass time? To learn something new? To escape from reality? For Will Schwalbe, reading is a way to entertain himself but also to make sense of the world, to become a better person, and to find the answers to the big (and small) questions about how to live his life. In this delightful celebration of reading, Schwalbe invites us along on his quest for books that speak to the specific challenges of living in our modern world, with all its noise and distractions. In each chapter, he discusses a particular book—what brought him to it (or vice versa), the people in his life he associates with it, and how it became a part of his understanding of himself in the world. These books span centuries and genres (from classic works of adult and children’s literature to contemporary thrillers and even cookbooks), and each one relates to the questions and concerns we all share. Throughout, Schwalbe focuses on the way certain books can help us honor those we’ve loved and lost, and also figure out how to live each day more fully. Rich with stories and recommendations, Books for Living is a treasure for everyone who loves books and loves to hear the answer to the question: “What are you reading?”

This book, was written for me. I love talking about books and these are the kind of questions I ask myself, friends and family so I'm so excited about this!

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson



A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Stevenson into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi





The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.

Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.


I'm not keen on slave narratives. I mean, what more could possibly be said on the matter? But, it fills me with PRIDE when yet another writer of colour brings out a book that is getting recognition. So I'm going to give it a go.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay



Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.


I can't believe I'm only now reading Bad Feminist but I have a whole other post on all my feels about this gem. 

I'm borrowing the following two comics from my brother: 

Aquaman Volume 1




The King of the Seven Seas Aquaman returns to his very own ongoing series for the first time in years at the hands of DC Entertainment Chief Creative Office Geoff Johns, who reteams with Green Lantern collaborator artist Ivan Reis! Between proving himself to a world that sees him as a joke, Aquaman and his bride Mera face off against a long buried terror from the depths of the ocean!

Before this week I hadn't read any Aquaman comics - ever. But because I wanted to prepare myself for Justice League, here was my required reading! I'm now beyond excited for the Aquaman stand-alone film and, actually more excited to see Mera on screen than anyone else. What a badass, she has no chill.

Batman: The Killing Joke
by Alan Moore


For the first time the Joker's origin is revealed in this tale of insanity and human perseverance. Looking to prove that any man can be pushed past his breaking point and go mad, the Joker attempts to drive Commissioner Gordon insane.

After shooting and permanently paralyzing his daughter Barbara (a.k.a. Batgirl), the Joker kidnaps the commissioner and attacks his mind in hopes of breaking the man.

But refusing to give up, Gordon maintains his sanity with the help of Batman in an effort to beset the madman.


The Joker's back story?! I'm reading this today and I can't wait. Also, how beautiful is the art:


Look: 


LOOK: 


The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla



How does it feel to be constantly regarded as a potential threat, strip-searched at every airport?

Or be told that, as an actress, the part you’re most fitted to play is ‘wife of a terrorist’? How does it feel to have words from your native language misused, misappropriated and used aggressively towards you? How does it feel to hear a child of colour say in a classroom that stories can only be about white people? How does it feel to go ‘home’ to India when your home is really London? What is it like to feel you always have to be an ambassador for your race? How does it feel to always tick ‘Other’?

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you, doesn’t truly accept you – however many generations you’ve been here – but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.

Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, editor Nikesh Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.


 I've got a whole post coming up on this but I urgee you to go and read this in the meantime. 

Binge by Tyler Oakley


Pop culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays written in the voice that’s earned him more than 10 million followers across social media.

This short blurb isn't doing this book any justice. Tyler is HILARIOUS and wise (I'm a fan but who knew?!) and insightful and inspirational and also really moving. One of the stand out essays is when Tyler listed his favourite Disney princes. Gold. 

The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma


In a Nigerian town in the mid 1990's, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family. Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family's destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions—economic, political, and religious—and the epic beauty of its own culture. With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation's masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.

I stopped reading after the second chapter unfortunately. This isn't my first attempt to read a book on the Man Booker shortlist but I just couldn't get into Obioma's writing style.

Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels


He shows how to slow down to pray, listen to God, respond to what we hear, practice the presence of God and overcome prayer barriers.

I want to turn to God more and pray more this year. This book I think is a good place to start!


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