Date Archives February 2011

“Next World Novella” by Matthias Politycki

I finished this 138-page novella in one evening and thoroughly enjoyed it. The book opens with Hinrich Schepp discovering the dead body of his wife Doro. She has been editing an old manuscript of his, a novel he started writing before they met and quickly abandoned. Through her scathing margin notes he discovers an entirely different side to her, and… Read More

“Chocolate Nations” by Orla Ryan

This is a comprehensive view of the chocolate industry, following the chain from African farmers to European consumers and explaining exactly why the cocoa farmers receive just 4% of the price of the average UK bar of milk chocolate.  It’s well written and well researched, mixing history with present-day politics to great effect, and illustrating it all with carefully chosen… Read More

Living like it’s 1972

Read an interesting article by George Marshall in the New Internationalist recently about cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, a seemingly impossible task until you realise that this would only mean returning to the levels of 1972. I was quite amazed when I read that. 1972 is not long ago. I don’t quite remember it myself, but I’m not far… Read More

“Incendiary” by Chris Cleave

A well-written, poignant look at terrorism, both cause and effect. [Warning: spoilers further down, don’t read on if you don’t want to know the ending] The effect comes first – a British woman suffers the loss of her husband and son when a suicide bomber kills a thousand people by detonating a bomb in the middle of the crowd at… Read More

“Making Inroads” by the Rowan Arts Project

I really enjoyed this free book put together by the Rowan Arts Project. It’s a series of interviews with people who live and work on the Holloway Road in north London, each one accompanied by a photograph. The stories are simple, just a few paragraphs each, but fascinating to read. Each person chooses an object to be photographed as well,… Read More