I’m a bit all over the place this week with my books. After finishing Before I Die on Monday, I started The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, a rather alarming non-fiction book with the power to turn me positively socialist. Describing how there are groups of men in power (and trying not to be sexist here, I’m sure there are a few nasty women to), who hang round waiting for natural / man made disasters to occur and for the populace in the effected area to go into shock, they then use this period of shock to implement policies that would have otherwise met resistance in more peaceful, calm times. For example, after Hurricane Katrina the majority of the schools in New Orleans were changed to a more capitalist system. I am currently in the middle of a rather unpleasant chapter about shock on a more personal scale, the use of torture.
I also received in the post this week Salmon Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence, I want to try and read at least some of the Booker longlist and as The Enchantress of Florence (from what I’ve read) is widely tipped to be the favourite, I thought I’d read that first. I’ve only managed a page (propped open with my pestle and mortar in the kitchen whilst cooking tea one night) but the opening page has the most beautiful description of a golden lake, so if the first page is anything to go by I think I’ll enjoy this book. I will definitely be reading this next week.
Today’s read (during a very busy day) though was on the subject of Charles I: A Life of Religion, War and Treason by Christopher Hibbert, one of my books for my work-in-progress. Hibbert is an incredibly readable history writer, with the book reading more like a splendidly detailed novel. So far I’ve read about Charles’ younger years and his father’s courts, I loved the descriptions of King James’ drunken court masques, a particular topic of interest for me. Currently Charles has raced across Europe in disguise in an attempt to woe a Spanish princess, no where near the particular era I’m interested in but excellent background and great fun to read.