Tuesday, 31 July 2018

July Books

It's been quite a slow month of reading for me. I think the thought of holding up a book for more than an hour in the heat we've been having was just too much to bear. Nonetheless, I've thoroughly enjoyed and been truly interested by the book that I've read throughout July. Two non fiction texts and a novel I couldn't believe I hadn't read years ago. Here's what I read in July.

The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr

This is one of those books that I think everyone should read. We all know who Martin Luther King Jr was and we all know a little bit about what he did for the civil rights movement; but I think it's important that we know the extent to which he went to for his cause, a cause that was essential and that he fought long and hard for. It was interesting to learn that he just kind of fell into the civil rights movement. People liked him, they trusted him, and they thought that he was someone they could feel safe to march with, without fighting a physical battle. I loved finding out how passionate his wife was about the cause, and how she was willing to raise their four children largely without him, because she knew he was doing something very important for those children's future. His life is an entirely inspiring one and I think it's wonderful that his autobiography was fully pieced together after his untimely death. I don't think anyone could have fully comprehended how he must have felt throughout that time, with this book. An amazing insight into the life of a monumental historical figure.

The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

From a book that I think everyone should read, to one which everyone seems to have already read. How did I miss Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy growing up?! This would have been right up my alley growing up, but I know I had a tendency to want to read more 'grown up' books, which looking back I doubt I understood much of. I actually remember seeing the Golden Compass film when I was younger though, which is based on The Northern Lights. I think the film definitely oversimplified the book, and perhaps gave it the wrong target audience, focusing on a younger crowd. There are some really interesting ideas in here, with the church fighting to suppress and essentially stick to what they know, whilst a few try to discover another world and how to get there. It was such an exciting read; I loved how all the different characters from various lifestyles and backgrounds came together for a cause they found important. I cannot wait to read the next book, which will definitely be on my August books list.

Countdown by Alan Weisman

Despite how much I enjoyed and was interested by the other texts I read this month, this one was the climax. This is a non fiction book about population. Naturally this means it looks at the growing issue of overpopulation, population control, and the effect that population is having on the planet. I'm a bit of a serious tree hugger, so this book felt really important to me. I've had an interest in environmental/ecological literature for some time now; I actually wrote on the topic for my dissertation at uni. I think if everyone read this book they would understand why I feel the way I do about the human race: it is a problem. We've populated the planet excessively and now we're running into trouble with the amount of food we can produce versus the amount of people it has to feed. There are some great ideas in this book, yet they don't come across as forceful at all. It's more a presentation of the facts, combined with various beliefs around the world, and how if we looked at those beliefs from different angles, we might not be in the debacle we are now in. Population is due to increase to 9.5 billion by 2050. If that happens, it's all going tits up. I would 100% recommend reading this book and educating yourself on the population issue. If you read the book and take on some of the ideas it has to offer, there's a chance that we'll start to reduce overpopulation and not reach the dreaded number we're heading to, at the expense of so many other species.

Until next time.

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