Wednesday, 9 December 2015

December reading

I have been procrastinating over this post. I am not sure why, I am always keen to share my reading here but I guess I spent more time sewing than reading and my mind is flooded with images of seam rippers and bobbins. As always when I write about my reading, I am joining Laura at Circle of Pine Tress for the December 'The Year in Books' linkup. 

I have been slow of the mark with my November read, 'Apple' by Michael Faber. This was a short story collection based on characters in Michael Faber's novel 'Crimson Petal and the White' set in Victorian England. I haven't read this novel and I don't think I am going to. I find it difficult to connect with this time in history. I did however enjoy the short stories and I am curious to find out how my book group liked it. I fear for some, one or the other story may be a little too explicit. 

I have listened to Robert Galbraith's new Cormoran Strike novel, 'Career of Evil'. This was a thoroughly enjoyable book, which kept me captivated for the entire 17 hours of audio time. I may have neglected my maternal duties a little. This book opens with the delivery of a severed woman's leg delivered to Robin, Cormoran Strike's assistant. The perpetrator is driven by revenge and hatred and by a need to destroy Cormoran's livelihood and Robin's live. I am not giving away more than that! If you decide to read it make sure the ironing is done and several dinners have been cooked and frozen!


I have read a fascinating non-fiction book by Giulia Enders. It is called 'Gut' and is - you may guess it - about the gut, or more precisely, the gastrointestinal tract from entrance to exit. It also touches upon the gut microbiome, which is always fascinating. Well, if you are like me it is. I have quite a history of reading both popular science books and hardcore scientific publications on microbes of all kinds and I am never bored by the critters. The book is well written. If you happen to be a gastroenterologist, or are otherwise medically trained, this will be light reading, if you are an interested lay person, the science is explained lightly without an overly patronising touch. Giulia Enders has a witty germanic sense of humour, which I really like. Despite this book dealing with a serious subject, I had to laugh out loud now and again. You'll know how to relax on the loo after you read the book. Toilet humour at its best.


I am continuing my exploration of the microbial world with another book that has the microbiome at its heart. It is called 'Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues' by Martin Blaser. I remember lectures about antibiotic resistance back in the 90s. It was a worry then and it is an even bigger and more threatening problem now. I'll tell you more about the book when I finish. 





For December, I am reading 'The Fall: 'Tales from the Apocalypse' edited by Matt Sinclair. This is an anthology of short stories that explore different visions of the apocalypse. Nature has been rather apocalyptic lately, stormy, windy and very very wet. I like to be prepared for all eventualities.

What have you been reading? Anything I should add to my Christmas wish list? 

It is the middle of the afternoon, the wind is blowing down the chimney and the Scots pine in my neighbours' garden is demonstrating extreme flexibility. Time to put the kettle on I think and sink into an armchair with a steaming cup of coffee. Maybe with a dash of Baileys. It is that time of year. Have a lovely evening!

14 comments:

  1. The antibiotics book sounds really interesting, just up my street. I'm still reading the second Cormoran Strike book, although I haven't read the first, the library just happened to have the second one. And I've got loads of other things in the pile. I'm almost embarrassed to go to the library at the moment, we seem to have so many books out between us. I sneaked a load back today, so I'll probably be in trouble later. CJ xx

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  2. I have been wondering is I should read the new Robert Galbraith and you are the second person to recommend it so I will add to my list. It was reading your last blog for November that made me think to listen to audio books..thankyou for that idea...happy reading. Barbara

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  3. My reading had taken a nose dive this month and if I'm honest last month too with all the preparations for Christmas. But I am fascinated by the antibiotics book. It's a huge worry. Must admit to thinking 'delicious' when you mentioned baileys in coffee, I've not done that before... Sneaks off to the drinks cabinet...

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  4. I really want to read The Gut! That sounds fascinating. I've really enjoyed reading previously about gut flora development in infants as part of the immune system development. Thank you for the recommendation!

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  5. Baileys with coffee is the perfect antidote to a blustery day.
    'The Gut' sounds like great reading; I do have a real interest in nutrition and the digestion, having suffered from IBS and a (thankfully quite mild) gluten intolerance. As for antibiotics, I do try and avoid them as much as possible although I ended up taking them earlier in the year for a recurring chest infection which would not go away.
    I'm currently reading 'Moll Flanders'. It's a very old copy (1947) picked up from some secondhand shop or other. It's looking quite promising but the pages are incredibly thin and the print very small so it could well be a long read!
    S x

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  6. Loved the new Cormoran Strike book, each one gets better and I wish she'd write quicker.

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  7. For various reasons I find antibiotic resistance a real concern. It is already difficult to "cure" some things with antibiotics and this can cause great suffering. I do wish that people wouldn't request them when they are not needed. I hope that you keep enjoying your reading! xx

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  8. Hey Christina,
    I enjoyed the third Cormoran Strike book too. I've been flitting from one book to the other without settling on anything. Must be the time of year.
    Leanne x

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  9. Thanks for the book reviews, Christina. I've heard the Missing Microbes author interviewed on CBC Radio. It was a very interesting segment. I enjoyed listening to the first 2 Cormoran Strike books and was going to download the third. But then I read some of the Amazon reviews and they sounded quite mixed. After reading that you liked it I think I'll go ahead and give it a try.

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  10. The gut looks interesting and that last one - tales from the apocalypse. I've been reading The road less travelled by M. Scott Peck and a book about nature writing. I've not read any fiction for ages and I think I'm getting withdrawal symptoms. I'm dreaming of curling up with book, beside the Christmas lights, with a coffee and a dash of baileys in my new Christmas mug. Sounds like heaven :)

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  11. Oh I am so interested in the over use of antibiotics, I feel I'm offered them far too readily. It is definitely the Baileys and coffee season - enjoy! Have a lovely weekend xx

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  12. I just finished that book Career of Evil, I read this one but listened to the previous two on audiobook. I liked them both ways. Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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  13. Hmm it seems that I'd really like this one "The Fall: Tales from the Apocalypse". I like such stories. They make me feeling more extreme or what. Actually a few days ago I just began Reading Londons' "Scarlet plague". That should be very interesting.

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  14. Catching up with all my blog reading at last. You have been in a rather apocalytic frame of mind Christina, with all these reads! I agree so much about the antibiotics, and shiver at the thought of the freedom with which some countries make them available over the counter, by-passing the GP prescription altogether. This is such a pressing problem and I worry when I look ahead to the time when our children and grandchildren are facing surgery or common bacterial infections without recourse to readily available, effective anti biotics. Scarey. Interesting to read your comments about your book group not liking some of the more explicit stories in your book. I sometimes wince when reading a book group choice, imagining that some of the girls will not like what they are reading. All part of the fun of being in a book group though! X

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