Another batch of holiday reading to share with you and yay! What better way to start my travels around Brittany than by finishing off a book about depression. Much better than my usual occasional leisure time forays into the realms of saucy chick-lit. Yet Sunbathing in the Rain with its subtitle 'A Cheerful Book about Depression' isn't the usual self help guide nor is it a story of woe. Nor was it is part and parcel of a busman's holiday read with a view of giving me inspiration for my own therapy practice.
It's written by an acclaimed Welsh poet, who is a woman whose attitude coincides with my own. Life events that might commonly be viewed as negative are best viewed as huge learning experiences and can be a force for positive change.
The Angry Islandis a take on things that are part and parcel of the English psyche by columist and critic AA Gill. Now I enjoy this guy's writing, as he's a funny and astute writer, and this book wasn't an exception. It contains many observations about my fellow countrymen and sometimes myself which I found true to form. I thought that the chapter on 'Voice' and the importance of accent really interesting when viewed from the perspective of someone with a hint of an Estuarine accent, which is heightened after return visits to my childhood town of Sarfend). What I didn't really understand is why AA Gill, who himself views himself as a Scot can produce such as prickly text and then accuse the English of inordinate levels of anger. Perhaps he has lived among us for too long.
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky is a novel that won the Bellwether Prize for Fiction in 2008. No, I hadn't heard of this award either but apparently it's awarded for a novel that promotes social change Although I'm not sure about the book's power to transform lives or behaviour it's an excellent read, well written with powerful characters and plot. Barbara Kingsolver, the author of the Poisonwood Bible, thinks so as well, and this cannot be rejected as faint praise.
Finally, I finished Superfreakonomics , a title that is currently pretty popular in the Amazon rankings. This might be viewed as suprisingly given its subject matter, a new take on economics. Like its prequel, Freakonomics, it's entertaining and weaves clever links between seemingly unrelated subject matter. I would urge those who might view it as being outside the norms of what they'd read to give it a go. After all, if like me you pop out to the library, it free!