General Reading / Book Thread for 2019

Finished We this morning. Was great / bleak.

What me read now? Not know!

Quite disappointed w parable of the sower by octavia butler. loved kindred and liliths brood by her but found this a bit plodding. not sure I’m that into post apocalyptic road trip as a genre

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I quite liked the american football bits! For me it isn’t a quarter as good as ANS, and reads as if written by an entirely different writer, but it was still very good fun and compulsively readable. I just asked my local bookshop to order it in - they can often get stuff before its official UK release date, it seems. Worth a try if you don’t want to wait a year!

The Gallows Pole is a superb read - magnificent and brutal, in all the right ways. Have you got to that scene yet? No need for spoilers, because if you have, you’ll know which bit I mean, and if you haven’t, I won’t spoil it.

You’ve convinced me to put The Gallows Pole on my To-Reads list. This cover is pure Scarfolk, isn’t it?



looks like the baddy from the stand tv show

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I have never seen that because TV adaptations of Stephen King’s work are always bad. (And because I don’t think The Stand is anywhere near his best work.)

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I’ve finished it now. There are two THAT scenes I can think of.

Read Grayson Perry’s the Descent of Man on holiday. Really thought-provoking stuff. The book did feel a bit short though. I was expecting another chapter and it just ended! (I was reading on a Kindle). Great book anyway.

Also have just started Neutral Buoyancy by Tim Ecott which is all about diving, something about which I know nothing. A really interesting, absorbing read so far. Really good descriptive writing as well

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Halfway through The Testaments, it is very easy to read and exciting/mortifying so far

What did you make of it?
I meant the fireplace scene, but you make a fair point.

I loved it might try some more stuff by the author.

Yes the fireplace scene was horrifying. But the Hartley humiliating James Broadbent by wanking him off in front of everybody scene was unexpected.

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Been reading “National Populism: The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy” makes some interesting points, about populism being linked to a broader distrust of political establishments, increasing distance from political figures and other concerns but imo, falls over a bit when trying to accurately characterize the ideology of modern populists and veers a bit too close to apologia when trying to distinguish all modern right-wing populists from historical fascist currents.

The guardian picks up on this quite well.

Isn’t that Matthew Goodwin’s MO these days? I mean he’s done some interesting analysis on ‘this sort of thing’ but he’s essentially David Goodhart but with more charts it seems. (By which I mean his starting point is to give the ‘cosmopolitan liberal elites’ a shinning above all else).

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Yeah aside from him eating pages from his book on television after getting the results of the general election wrong, which should have been a warning really, I didn’t really know much about him before I read the book.

Pretty much agree with your analysis, my other main issue is that neither he or Eatwell ever seem to examine their own biases some of which are incredibly reactionary (the part on immigration in particular) but are posed as dispassionate statistical reasoning.

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Sounds about right.

I read this book (after a recommendation on here actually!) which was genuinely very good:

From my experience of their observations on twitter - Rob Ford remains well worth a follow (perhaps the best politics data guy out there); Goodwin not at all. In fact I think they’ve fallen out after Ford took him to task publicly on his use of data (iirc).

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Worth heading to the bookies?


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I would guess that bookshops were issued shortlist stickers to put on books and someone just got the pack wrong… I’m fairly sure that the decision isn’t properly made until the evening of the awards. Still, could be worth a flutter.

Ha yeah, definitely a daft mistake but I do think Atwood has a good chance. Probably won’t get good odds though, she’s probably the favourite.