Books & Music

I’ve been darn busy of late, running North to Nottingham for friends and parties, East to London for book launches, gigs, conferences and catch-up and South to Brighton to see Anna and West to Devon and Cardiff. At the same time, I’m working options but more about that later. I’m waiting for a few things to come through so I’ll hold fire from here.

Before the below, I’d like to thank Tiara for the birthday present. It arrived this week, precisely one month late and is entirely appropriate. I’ll be reading that over the next few months. Thanks x 🙂

New Music

Feist – Metals – I like this album. She can play, sing and feel.

Talking Heads – Yeah its not new but I’m back into them.

Daniel Johnston – Crazy, mentally and musically, Johnston is hugely gifted, his lyrics and music should be grating but you keep listening.

Tom Waits – Bad Like Me – Its basically Tom all over.

M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – Huge as ever.

Class Actress – more modern electronica a la Cults. Good though.

Books Read

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver – They just made a film of it. Like the Stranger by Camus, modern people can understand the feelings of alienation and ambiguity.

Life is Elsewhere – Milan Kundera’s characters yet again love, get confused, hope for control and muse over life.

History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith – Gilbert Rist is one of the major names in development and is particularly critical of the structure within which it operates. This is his only book in English and its a very wry historical talk.

King Leopold’s Ghost is a detailed account of King Leopold’s take-over and exploitation of Congo at the end of the nineteenth century. Pretty shocking and brutal stuff. From an unclaimed territory to political mess it is now.

Promises Not Kept is another account of the West’s failure to fulfil its promises.

Africa Today: Culture, Economics, Religion and Security – a statistical and anthropological overview of modern Africa.

The Bottom Billion – Paul Collier is an Oxford economist explaining development failures through the traps of conflict, resources, aid and governance. Its fairly enlightening, to the degree I bought it though it does tend to take the situation as it is, a la Jeffrey Sachs, ignoring the structural systems of neo-liberalism.

See a pattern! 🙂

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