UK Reading

Secrets and Lives

Caragh Little | Posted 01.09.2014 | UK
Caragh Little

It takes courage, someone commented to me once, to send your observations out into the ether of the blog. Anyone could read it, whether they know you in 'real life' or not, and judge you or criticize you or think you're very strange. Almost worse, perhaps, nobody will read it at all...

The Ramifications of Disliking a Shakespeare Play

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 30.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

I was paradoxically condemned to be both pretentious and a philistine. I was both too smart and too dumb. I was, ultimately, just plain old wrong. My family's condemnations were, much like A Midsummer Night's Dream, rather bland and confusing.

'Tis Pity She's a Whore: Judging a Book by its Cover

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 19.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

I have read quite a few well-known, critically acclaimed plays yet none of them were quite as entertaining - or indeed shocking - as 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. Ford explores an extremely provocative subject matter - essentially, the morality of incest - in a sort of lively, almost playful, fashion.

Common Sense Politics in The Grapes of Wrath

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 13.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck supports collective ownership: 'If this tractor were ours it would be good - not mine, but ours. If our tractor turned the long furrows of our land, it would be good. Not my land, but ours.'

The Absurd Death of Albert Camus

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 06.08.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ioan Marc Jones

On the 4th of January, 1960, at the age of forty six, Camus had planned to take a train back to Paris after a Christmas holiday with his wife and kids. At the last minute, Camus changed his mind and decided to travel instead with his publisher Michel Gallimard. During the journey, Gallimard's car slipped off the icy roads and smashed into a tree, immediately killing Camus.

Drenthe Treats Reading Fans To Fifa Tournament... At His House

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 04.08.2014 | UK Sport

Roystone Drenthe's career has taken him from Real Madrid to Reading, via Everton but the Dutchman hasn't let his decline affect his generosity, as he ...

Extreme and Dangerous

Caragh Little | Posted 28.07.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Caragh Little

You'd think a book would be the least dangerous thing you could send to your friend who's just begun their summer holiday. Nothing could be much safer, it might seem, than relaxing on a deckchair, in a peaceful garden or hotel poolside terrace, with a book and a cool drink. But this is Northern Ireland, and when we send parcels, we have to risk assess.

Walter Benjamin and How I Learnt to Love My Library

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 23.07.2014 | UK
Ioan Marc Jones

Benjamin remembers some of the books he has collected over the years. He recalls ordering books from catalogues - which are essentially the Amazon of the first half of the twentieth century - and waiting eagerly for their arrival.

Seven Years Later... The Night Harry Potter Ended

Ryan Love | Posted 21.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
Ryan Love

Here we are, seven years on from the publication of the final Harry Potter book. In its first 24 hours Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows went on to sell over 15 million copies. An astonishing figure that followed the hype, secrecy and excitement surrounding the publication of JK Rowling's final piece of an intricate seven-book journey.

AI and EG: Why You Shouldn't Believe the Reports on Eugene Goostman

Thom James | Posted 10.08.2014 | UK Tech
Thom James

Most articles that have been written in the past few days have referred to Eugene Goostman as a "supercomputer", or a highly complex form of AI that we have never seen before. Something that will truly advance technology. Something that essentially, is smarter than a human being. They are wrong.

Is it Worth Reading Thomas Piketty?

Ioan Marc Jones | Posted 30.07.2014 | UK
Ioan Marc Jones

Now that the panic has subsided somewhat, I find myself asking whether Piketty's book, for an average-Joe like me, was worth reading. Hopefully, by explaining my personal experience reading Piketty, I will help other intellectually-curious, non-economist types decide whether it's worth all the effort.

Six Reasons Not To Read 'Six Reasons...' Articles

Megan Brownrigg | Posted 16.07.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Megan Brownrigg

Buzzfeed and bloggers aren't stupid, they all know that the most clickable content currently exists in the format of 25 Reasons It's Great To Have No Direction In Life or 8 Ways To Find The Hottest Guy Ever. I'm as guilty as anyone for clicking on 9 Reasons It's Ok Not To Be 5'9" and it's countdown counterparts, but here's 6 reasons we should go cold turkey, even for a day...

Brilliant #ThisBook Campaign Highlights Books By Women - What's Your Favourite?

PA/The Huffington Post UK | Posted 19.05.2014 | UK Lifestyle

A project to highlight the books written by women has received the support of high profile women such as Jennifer Saunders and Susanna Reid, who have ...

What the Doctor Can Teach Us About Terms and Conditions

Neil Taylor | Posted 15.07.2014 | UK
Neil Taylor

Like all sane people, I try to draw all my life lessons from Doctor Who. In an episode last year, the Eighth Doctor (that'll be Paul McGann) is told ...

Library as Church, Bookshelf as Altar: Why I Gave Up Praying, and Carried on Reading

Kester Brewin | Posted 08.07.2014 | UK
Kester Brewin

Around 18 months ago my best friend died of cancer. He was early 40s, and left a wife and twins. Like me 'the son of a preacher man,' we'd collaborated together on projects exploring the outer edges of what our faith was becoming.

Why It's Important to Discover What You DON'T Know You Want Online

Dan Franklin | Posted 07.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
Dan Franklin

When it comes to the cultural choices we make: the films and plays we see, the gigs we attend, the exhibitions we visit, the books we read, no-one really knows what they want. That's what can make cultural life rich and surprising.

Free Comic Book Day 2014

Olly MacNamee | Posted 01.07.2014 | UK Entertainment
Olly MacNamee

In many shops it has become more than just the giving away of comics in the hope that some newbie will be back the following week and become a collector. It has become a day for the family too; my eight-year-old daughter may even be looking forward to it more than me.

Women Writers Are Getting a Raw Deal

Sara Sheridan | Posted 25.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
Sara Sheridan

Female writers earn averagely only 77.5% of what their male counterparts earn. That's taking into account the bestselling efforts of the likes of JK Rowling. I'm an historical novelist and given that over 80% of fiction is bought by women I found that statistic particularly surprising.

An Ode to Children's Books

Sara Sheridan | Posted 16.06.2014 | UK Entertainment
Sara Sheridan

In reading to my daughter when she was younger it became apparent that modern children's writing differs from the classics of my own childhood. Heidi and the Secret Garden might propel me back to the comforts of childhood, but for her fiction from the pre-TV era grated because the prose felt too descriptive.

It's (Not) Just a Load of Fairy Stories

David Knowles | Posted 01.06.2014 | UK Universities & Education
David Knowles

Caution seems to be the perfect watchword for all to bear in mind when approaching the Hebrew Bible. Yet caution, and its cousin attentiveness, are qualities in short supply in the modern world. The biblical texts are not easy to read or understand. But they are worth engaging with - and that will be the subject of my next blog.

11 Reasons Why You Are Reading This

Steph Weller | Posted 03.06.2014 | UK
Steph Weller

If I pick up my phone to use it for its original purpose - to actually ring someone, the temptation is to just have a peek at my newsfeeds. I then get sidetracked and find myself scrolling through '14 of the Most Hilarious Mullet Hairstyles, Ever', but why?

Oculus, Virtual Reality and Why Books Must Win the Battle for Our Eyesight

Kester Brewin | Posted 27.05.2014 | UK Tech
Kester Brewin

The joke, if your head has been in a bucket the last few days, centres on Facebook's purchase of Oculus VR - a virtual reality start-up that, even though it has yet to release a single product, found itself bought for billions of dollars.

Connected Women

Serpil Timuray | Posted 17.05.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Serpil Timuray

Right now, millions of women around the world cannot read. They are unable to read to their children, help them with their school work, read public transport information or understand the words written on a medicine bottle.

Funding a Future Generation: Is Global Education on the Right Track?

Kat Pugh | Posted 04.05.2014 | UK
Kat Pugh

n a Western society, words are everywhere. Adverts on the tube, bus on billboards. There are words on our mobile phones, we can get apps which tell us the latest news, which tells us what is trending and which celebrity is pregnant, has been arrested or has overdosed...

I Signed Away My Possessions Because I Couldn't Read

Wafaa Mohamad Ramadan | Posted 29.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Wafaa Mohamad Ramadan

My first husband married me when I was 12 years old. We travelled to Jordan to live together. He took a little girl with him who didn't know anything about life... I signed a paper I couldn't read because I wanted to make him happy - or maybe I didn't want to endure his anger. He started to treat me very badly. I was abused. We were eventually divorced.