Home > Kev's Blog > 21-May-2013 Recent books read

21-May-2013 Recent books read

Tuesday 21 May 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

This year has been a weird year for reading books – I haven’t read as many as I was away for 4 weeks, and since January I have been getting the Guardian Weekly which takes a while to read, and I have also been reading the guardian app offline on the train each day.

Anyway the books I have been reading, and finished are as follows :

The Life & Times of Bhakta Jim [link]

Amazon says : “In the last years of the 1970’s I was involved with the Hare Krishna movement. If for some reason you weren’t, this is the book that will tell you what you missed. After leaving the movement I wrote a memoir about it which I put in a box in my closet and mostly forgot. The Life And Times Of Bhakta Jim is based on that old manuscript, with new commentary that tries to look back on those days with understanding and humour. If you ever wondered what Eat, Pray, Love would be like if it was written by a man be advised that this is NOT THAT BOOK.

I loved this book. I am not involved with the Hare Krishnas but have an element where I am very interested in them. I mainly bought it for the picture on the covers!

What the most successful people do before breakfast [link]

I was a bit disappointed by this book, one of the first that I had bought from the Kindle store (for about $2). It was quite short and to be honest – a bit obvious. Mornings, if you get up before the family, are a great time to do sport, reading or writing etc. mmm obvious. However it was a good wake up call.

Running Beyond the Marathon by Grahak Cunningham [link]

It’s called running beyond the marathon but it’s really about Grahak’s 3 or 4 attempts at the 3100 mile race in New York. A great book by a great (West Australian) bloke. It really makes me want to do that run!!

Mother Teresa by Navin Chawla [link]

I bought this book in Calcutta. I am not a Christian and so doubted if I’d be interested but it’s really a great read. There is a lot of bad press about Mother Teresa but in context she has done the world a massive favour. She is (or was) what she was and I truly believe she is the best she could be.

The Progressive Patriot by Billy Bragg [link]

Amazon says “What does it mean to be English? What does it mean to be British? Does the rise in popularity of the St. George’s flag represent a new beginning or symbolize the return of the far right? Is the Union Jack too soaked in the blood of empire to be the emblem of a modern multicultural state? In a country in which everyone is born under two flags, what does it mean to be a patriot? In 2006, Billy Bragg saw his home town become the front line in the debate over who does and does not belong in 21st century Britain—an apparent reaction to the July 2005 terror attacks on London, when four British citizens from the immigrant community killed 52 innocent people and injured many more. This book is an urgent, eloquent and passionate response to these events. Reflecting on his family history and revisiting the music that inspired him, Billy Bragg pits his own values against those of traditional Britishness in a search for a sense of belonging that is accessible to all and in so doing, offers positive hope to a nation no longer sure of its own identity.

I think that Billy Bragg is a diamond geezer, and have an interest in immigrant communities (I myself am a first generation immigrant!!) so I thought it would be a good book, Halfway through I felt it was just twaddle, meandering around all over the place – a bit of history, a bit of Billy’s politics and a bit auto-biographical, however by the finish I had changed my mind and think it was well-written and it all linked up to make a good read. OK I am probably biased.

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