Thursday, 28 January 2010

This week I have been reading

Green is the new black – Tasmin Blanchard
I’ve flicked through this a few times in bookshops so when I saw it on the library shelf I decided it was time to read it all the way through. My opinions on it are mixed. I think it’s trying to appeal to a lot of different audiences. I related to a few bits, like where the author talks about lying on the floor drawing around herself to make a dress and wanting to get a new creations done as quickly as possible. I got a few new things out of it – mainly online stores that offer ‘green’ products. I wanted a bit more information about things like how long it takes knicker elastic to break down and what the alternatives might be. Also surprised there was no mention of Lush.

My thoughts on first seeing this book is that I probably wouldn’t get anything new out of it. I think they were pretty much correct. Good for those just starting to look at green living. The website/blog that goes with it is worth a look

Freakonomics – Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt
One of the things this book keeps going on about is the lack of unifying themes to Levitt’s work. This is made abundantly clear by the way the book leaps around from topic to topic. In general I like the way subject that seem unrelated are bought together. However it is a bit exhausting at times. This is quite a quick read so to have so many different things happening can get confusing. I also wanted to stop the author at times and ask for more information on a subject that he dashes past. I assume the topics covered where a result of information that Levitt had to work with which might be why there is an emphasis in certain areas. I didn’t feel quite as inspired as I did at the end of The Tipping Point, but this was definitely worth a look.

Wedlock: How Georgian Britain’s worse husband met his match – Wendy Moore
I’m only part of the way through this but finding it very moreish. The characters really come to life. Moore includes some excellent snippets. There’s the bit about the cottage industry that gossip was in Georgian England with informants being able to deliver their new directly to the printers. Makes Hello/Grazia/Etc sound a bit dull. Also thrilled to hear that Fox (a leader of the Whig party) was so indulged as a child that he was allowed to sit astride a joint of meat on the table at a dinner party. I’m going to order The Knifeman: blood, body snatching and the birth of modern surgery from the library at once.

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