Monday, 25 May 2009

Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff

This is a hugely-powerful book, the sort which leaves you feeling as if you have been punched in the stomach. It's a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions but one which admits of the possibility of redemption too. You'll be thinking about this for days after you have finished reading it. Emotionally, it's not an easy read but it is worth it. The best books can immerse you completely in a world you knew nothing about before. In this case it is the present-day lives of the Maori. The author doesn't shrink from attributing blame wherever he thinks it is deserved, and apparently the book was controversial.

The Tipping Point is another book well worth reading. It uses the principles of the spread of disease epidemics, and translates them into sociological and psychological terms. Why and how do street fashions spread into the mainstream? What techniques do successful marketers use? Who are connectors and mavens and why are they so important? This is all explained in a fascinating and easy to read book. It almost tempts you to try to start your own epidemic - if only some of the social components weren't so hard to come by.

Finally I enjoyed another Falco mystery, with the Roman detective this time finding himself reluctantly back in Britain (cold, damp and full of ginger natives, according to him). Plenty of bodies and the welcome return of Larius the teenage nephew, now all grown up into a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed bundle of hormones. Hilarious!

Day 227; Book 220 (eek!)

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