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Miner Willy

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  1. 41. The Elephant in the Room by Jon Ronson. I wanted to read some more Ronson, and this sounded like a good topic, but I didn't realise it was so short then I bought it - it's basically a long article. It was enjoyable enough, and it was fascinating to learn that Alex Jones was one of the guys Ronson traveled with in Them, but otherwise many of the stories of Trump's accomplices are already pretty well documented, so not too much new here. Previously:
  2. 40. The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman. This has been on my Kindle for years and I've no recollection how or why it got there. I had some problems with some elements, but I did like the main character, and found it emotionally powerful, especially the final few chapters. Previously:
  3. Song of Achilles is £1.29 today. I loved it.
  4. 39. Saving Missy by Beth Morrey. I read this as I was basically being nosey, since we're somewhat friendly with the author (she's the mother of a kid in our daughter's school class). It's not a genre I'd normally go for (apparently it's termed 'uplit'), but then I thought that about Eleanor Oliphant, and I did really like that so thought I'd give it a try. It has some similarities in terms of covering recovery from loneliness, though this is also very much about ageing, support networks and parenthood. Oh, and dogs, which I have no interest in. There were parts I didn't love (it's very Islington/Stoke Newington, which isn't surprising as it's where we live; and the book is full of an endless line of unrealistically lovely and supportive characters), but overall I thought it was really quite enjoyable, and the author impressively conveys the main character's decisions and restrained emotions throughout. Previously:
  5. 38. The North Water by Ian McGuire. Had this on my Kindle for years and never really fancied it for some reason, so forced myself to start it and actually thought it was great. It's a simple story about a whaling trip, but moreso about the people on board and one memorably evil character. In that respect the study of human evil element has some similarities with Cormac McCarthy, though the writing style is very different. In its own way it is impressively written though, with a believable cast of flawed characters. Previously:
  6. Add on some contingency time for drying palms/hiding behind sofa etc.
  7. 37. Laurus by Eugene Vodoladzkin. Not sure that to say about this. It's essentially the story of a holy man/healer/monk/pilgrim in 15th century Russia, who essentially spends most of his life attempting to atone for perceived sin, but it has pretty broad scope and is at times surreal, funny and sad. There were parts I really enjoyed, but overall left feeling I didn't quite 'get' it. Previously:
  8. Never Let Me Go on offer today. I impulse bought The 1,000-year-old Boy - thought it might be something to try reading to my daughter when we're done with Harry Potter.
  9. As I recall it's very bleak in a sad, and slow, matter of fact sort of way.
  10. Stoner is 99p today. Probably not for everyone, but I thought it was really good.
  11. 36. So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. Raced through this in 24h (thanks, lockdown) and found it entertaining and thought provoking - and pretty scary too, I guess. It's the first Ronson I've read since reading Them years and years ago. I should probably try some others.
  12. And you can make the words bigger when you got old and blind.
  13. 35. Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. Fascinating story of the systematic murder of dozens of Osage native Americans in the 1920s. The brazenness and callousness of the perpetrators was pretty astonishing. I thought the final section, which follows a journalist trying to piece together the facts by following a 100-year cold trail, was especially interesting. Previously:
  14. I thought Touching the Void was brilliant. Slightly moot now, but I saw the play shortly before lockdown hit: it's a fantastically inventive and gripping adaptation of the story.
  15. 34. Smile of the Wolf by Tim Leach. This was recommended by a friend who runs a writing website, so I was expecting good things - and wasn't disappointed. Set in post-Viking era Iceland, it's a pretty simple story, but is powerful, bleak, sad and just wonderfully written. Previously:
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