Books

How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb

At the moment I’m writing a novel. The protagonist is a teenage boy. His name is Anthony and he’s dealing with a lot of things in his life, one of which is the underlying current of societal expectations of masculinity. This isn’t exactly a huge theme in the book, but I think it’s probably an important part of any boy’s upbringing, so I want to get it right. I decided therefore to read some things about what it’s like to grow up male.

I am not, and nor have I ever been, male. However I have always empathised with expectations of masculinity. I’ve been the breadwinner in every household I’ve lived in since a young age, and I’ve been surrounded by people and situations that made showing any kind of emotion discouraged. Growing up, I felt pressured to swallow whatever I might have been feeling and essentially ‘man up and get on with it.’ Despite not knowing what it’s like to be a boy, therefore, I have perhaps an above-average level of empathy for the challenges brought on by society’s expectations of masculinity.

Enter Webb’s autobiography.

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Books

Empire of Things by Frank Trentman

I’ll start this review with the most obvious point: this book is Not Small. Weighing in at 862 pages, it is hardly a little light reading. It is also quite difficult to read on the train, being huge and a hardback.

For such a big book spanning such wide subject matter, however, it is surprisingly readable. I got through it in a few days, because I devour books the way other people devour pizza (I also devour pizza), and I found the writing style to be just right: not too dense, but also not patronising the reader.

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Academia, Books, Philosophy

2016 Reflections – Books (Non-Fiction)

2016 was seriously the best year I’ve had for books in ages. Despite it not being a great year for, well, pretty much everything else globally.

But in times like these, you grab what happiness you can get, right? So here are my favourite non-fiction books of 2016.

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Books

Three Novels And A Moranifesto

This blog has become very bookish lately. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Last week, three novels and a book by Caitlin Moran, who never disappoints.

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Books

Some thoughts on language

A few years ago, I read The Logical Syntax of Language by Carnap, which was an interesting read. In it, he discusses the uses and applications of language in day to day life, and also the more far-reaching consequences of how we use language in society.

Here are three quotes I found particularly interesting.

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Books

Book Haul: Novels and Economics

This week’s book haul features one good novel, one quite boring novel, and one book that made me want to punch the author in the face.

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