Books, the paper variety – most recent bests

I listen to a lot of audio books in the car and this is how I consume the majority of books these days. However, I do also physically read paper versions (I have yet to indulge in an eReader).

I have been keeping a record of what I have tackled in respect of paper books in recent years, and I assign a mark out of five to each one. A few have a mark of ‘5’ (that is, they are the most entertaining in my view), and here they are:

George Galloway I’m Not the Only One
John O’Farrell Things can only get better : Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter 1979 – 1997
Martin Linton edited by Mary Georghiou Labour’s Road to electoral reform – What’s wrong with first-past-the-post?
Tony Fletcher Dear Boy : The Life Of Keith Moon

Here are those that I have given a ‘4’ to (and thus are very close to the most entertaining category):

A. C. Grayling The Meaning of Things – Applying Philosophy to Life
Billy Bragg The Progressive Patriot
Douglas Palmer Fossil Revolution : The finds that changed our view of the past
Edited by Fred Grindrod and Mark Rusling Stopping the Far Right : How progressive politics can tackle political extremism
Edvard Radzinsky Stalin
Jeremy Paxman The Political Animal
John Kennedy Toole A Confederacy of Dunces
John Ketwig … and a hard rain fell : A GI’s true story of the War in Vietnam
John O’Farrell Global Village Idiot
Lynsey Hanley Estates : An Intimate History
Nick Cohen Pretty Straight Guys
Paul Foot The Vote : How It was Won and How It was Undermined
Rius Marx for Beginners
Simon Sebag Montefiore Jerusalem The Biography
Tony Benn Free at Last! : Diaries 1991 – 2001

Obviously I try to avoid bad books. However, sometimes it is unavoidable. Here are those that get the lowest mark:

G. K. Tull & P. McG. Bulwer Britain and the World in the nineteenth century
John M. Steane The Archaeology Of Power
Samuel P. Huntington The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

9 Responses to Books, the paper variety – most recent bests

  1. GraySergeant says:

    Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations get the lowest mark?
    What was wrong with the book? (I admit it could go on a bit about certain case studies I wasn’t particularly interested). You might disagree with his theory but can you think of a better explanation/prediction of the international system in the post cold war age?

  2. rayandsue says:

    Gray sergeant:
    in answer to your above post In a nutshell, No you can’t think of a better explanation,

    There are of course a few other books ( not mentioned ) that are coming very VERY close to being proven to have been written by people with extraordinary foresight!

  3. GraySergeant says:

    Well of course its not a comprehensive explanation, it has a limited focus like all theories. But I think increasing tension between civilizations across the world and within states after the cold war e.g ethnic wars have been a prominent feature of the world since the early 1990s.. There are some issues other scholars explain better there are things he perhaps got wrong… I don’t necessarily agree with his analyse fully or with some of his solutions. I still though think its a thought provoking book that is well worth reading.

  4. I found it dull and struggled to read much of it. Still, there is no accounting for taste. Being ill-educated I like a simple read.

  5. GraySergeant says:

    fair point its quite a dry book …

  6. Wait to you see my favourite audiobooks ….

  7. rayandsue says:

    Can’t wait for the Audiobooks, can’t wait to see the ‘ spin’ put on them by Julian, Anyone unable to see the vision displayed by Simon P Huntingdon must surely be doing so because it ‘ gets in the way of their deeply set views’

    It only takes a cursory look around recent events in Africa, Europe, the USA and the Middle East to spot the signs of religious unrest, The seeds are already sown. And some have already been harvested with great sadness,
    Lest someone misunderstands me,
    I am making my points ‘ entirely on the visionary aspects of the book in question’ and not on ‘who is to blame’ for what is taking shape across the world.

  8. rayandsue says:

    Noting that Tony Benn wrote a book! Re: Julian’s book choice,

    In the 1970s I used to converse with him and was on first name terms, We disagreed a lot on some issues. ( it was in the days of Enoch Powell).

    What strikes me as mystifying is that. When we were not throwing bricks and bottles at each other in Brick lane or Lewisham we would sometimes have a friendly chat with ‘ the other side’
    Only to find that ‘ they too had similar misgivings to us on the subject of Immigration,

    Their argument though was. That. Immigration was only a part of a much bigger picture that
    Needed addressing, I wonder if those guys still feel today in 2013 that Immigration is only a small part of a much bigger problem? …..Rayandsue

  9. Pingback: Books – my top of the audio pops | Julian's musings

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