Over the years I have read many books. Some have been as dull as dishwater and were a slug to get thourgh. Others have enthralled me, inspired me and entertained me, to the point where I would leave my friends early on a night out so that I could read a chapter before bed. I’m not reviewing books here but simply offering book suggestions that may interest you, and maybe inspire you to read more. For the record, I have read every book that I suggest.
Soldiers of Fear (Star Trek: The Next Generation #41; Invasion! #2) by Dean Wesley & Kristine Kathryn Rusch (1996)
100 years ago, a mysterious alien race known as the Furies, attempted to regain control of the Alpha Quadrant that they claim they were exiled from thousands of years ago. The Federation were able to repel the invasion neutralising the alien threat. However, the Furies are back! Although their ships and armoury are more advanced than before, their main weapon is the ability to project fear into the minds of their enemies. The crew of the USS Enterprise must conquer their innermost fears and darkest terrors that have been conjured up in their unconscious minds.
The Arts Good Study Guide by Ellie Chambers (1997)
Thinking of studying the arts and humanities? You could do a lot worse of than grabbing a copy of this book. It will help you develop study strategies that will assist your revision such as helping you to understand written, visual and aural texts, how to efficiently take notes, improve your writing skills while using evidence etc. Great for full and part-time students.
The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment by AJ Jacobs (2009)
AJ Jacobs has a habit of experimenting on himself. These experiments have included trying to read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica, and trying to live his life exactly as the Old Testament commands. Jacobs now embarks on a series of experiments to try and improve his own life, much to the chagrin of his long-suffering wife. One of these experiences include outsourcing his life, by hiring a team of people in India to deal with his emails. Another sees him follow his wife’s every whim. Massages and rom-coms ensue, as he attempts to see how this affects his marriage.
You will find yourself laughing, being engaged by interesting philosophies, and scratching your head at the insanity of it all.
Edible Seashore (River Cottage Handbook #5) by John Wright (2010)
Have you ever walked along the beach and wondered about the edibility of your surroundings? Have you ever fancied your hand at foraging for you food? Have you wondered how our ancestors may have survived without the convenience of supermarkets and indoor plumbing?
John Wright explores what the coast of the UK has to offer the food larder. From foraging ethics to avoiding the risk of food poisoning, Wright discusses edible vegetation and seafood found on our shores, how and when to harvest them, and how to cook them, whilst heeding seasonality and conservation statuses. I think you will be amazed at the edible food on our coastlines that we simply ignore because we have forgotten how to harvest and cook them.
Equal Rites (Discworld #3; witches #1) by Terry Pratchett (1987)
The wizard Drum Billet is dying. Before he sheds his mortal coil, he wishes to pass on his powers to the eighth son of an eighth son. In Discworld mythology, being the eighth son of an eighth son means that the child will become a wizard. Billet travels to where the child in question is to be born in order to pass on his staff to his successor. The only issue is that the eighth son, happens to be a girl.
Introducing one of Discworlds most loved characters, Granny Weatherwax, a notorious and feared witch. She takes it upon herself to escort the child, Esk, to Unseen University in Ankh-Morpork in order for her to get a wizard’s education and help her gain control over her magical powers. The issue is the general misogyny of the wizard’s council, and that female wizards are unheard of on the Discworld. Will Esk be able to reach her full potential without guidance from the Unseen University? Or does Granny Weatherwax have a plan to ensure she gets her rightful education?
The Letters of the Younger Pliny by Pliny the Younger (2003)
Translated, and with an introduction by Betty Radice, this collection of letters by Pliny the Younger (61CE-c.113CE), a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome, offers unique insights into Pliny’s relationships with eminent figures such as historians Tacitus and Suetonius, the Emperor Trajan, as well as communications with close friends and families. The topics discussed include an account of his uncle, Pliny the Elder’s, death during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79CE, his opinions on early Christianity, and scandals and court cases that were the make-up of daily life of the Roman Empire.
Only You Can Save Mankind (Johnny Maxwell #1) by Terry Pratchett (1992)
Johnny Maxwell loves the computer game Only You Can Save Mankind. One day whilst defending mankind from an alien invasion, he is about to open fire on an enemy spaceship when a message appears on the screen. The message reads We wish to talk. We surrender. Aliens aren’t supposed to surrender. They fight on until you destroy them all. Besides, its just a computer game…Isn’t it?
Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy #2) by Robin Hobb (1996)
Although Fitz survived his first mission as an assassin, the poison administered to him by his uncle, Prince Regal, has left him weak and prone to unpredictable seizures. He decides that he will not return to Buckkeep, and begin a life away from the Royal Court. However, he soon changes his mind after he receives a vision of the women he loves being attacked by the Red-Ship Raiders.
Molly, Fitz’s lover, has been left penniless after the death of her father. She is forced to go into service at Buckkeep Castle. When Fitz returns, he decides that it’s time he and Molly wed.
However, things aren’t straight forward. With Prince Verity using his psychic powers to ward of the Red-Ship Raiders, and the King being struck down with a mysterious illness, Fitz, reluctantly, must once more use his assassin skills. Battle, imprisonment, and possibly death are in his future once more.
The Lawrences by Nathanial Harris (1976)
Focussing on the family of the English poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, literary critic, and painter D.H. Lawrence, we see the hardships of the 19th century working class. Born in a small mining town in Nottinghamshire, the book highlights the fear of death at work and destitution of the family left behind, as well as life in general for working class children.
The Persians by Aeschylus (2004)
Persians is a Greek tragedy first performed in 472BCE. Set against the backdrop of the Persian invasion of Greece (c.479-480BCE), the play focuses on the consequences of the Persian Naval defeat at Salamis. The play begins in Susa, once a Persian capital, where Atossa, King Xerxes’ mother, is awaiting news of the battle.
Have you read any of these books? I would love to hear your opinion on them.
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