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{Wrap up} Books I read in April, including L’Origine by Milgrom, and Hello World by Fry

30 Apr
{Wrap up} Books I read in April, including L’Origine by Milgrom, and Hello World by Fry

April has been a quiet month for reading: in total I’ve read only seven books!

It’s also been the hardest month of unemployment since COVID/ lockdown 1.0 began, and I am barely limping on. I miss London, and my family there so much that I wake up having dreamt of wandering around there with them. Hopefully the worst of the homesickness and missing folks has passed (foolish optimism, sustain me!) and I will be back to reading lots, getting back to work, and seeing loved ones soon.

Hilariously I rediscovered the Classics Club (with 3 months to go until my original time slot expired) this month. Instead of trying and probably failing to cram in 50 classics in 3 months, I sent a message politely asking them whether they could update my challenge time-frame so that I could officially restart from 0.

Now on to this month’s reading wrap up!

Hello World – Hannah Fry

A jargon-free, and incisive introduction to some of the many ways in which machines, data, and algorithms are increasingly used in the world around us. The impact of some of these technologies was examined in areas as diverse as cars, the Arts, and the legal system. I found Fry’s analyses of what makes algorithms “good” and “bad” to be insightful.

Click here for the review.


Teach Yourself Mothercraft – Sister Mary Martin

I acquired a collection of Teach Yourself books from (another) 99p eBay sale a few years ago. I realised that it was possibly time to try a few that weren’t language courses. This one was incredibly practical and reassuring. It was published in 1950 and has a gloriously reassuring and practical tone that is so often present in books from that era.

Obviously I have no idea as to how much child-rearing guides differ today, but this one was a good starting point.


Unfilled Graves – Ah Cheng

The stories were surprising, and at times challenging for someone who has no knowledge of Chinese literature, and almost no idea of Chinese culture. That said, I very much enjoyed it, even if I was not sure of the author’s intentions at times.

Click here for the review.


L’Origine – Lilianne Milgrom

Love any two of: historical fiction, art history, memoirs, French culture, women in art, women in the Arts, and humour? Then you will love this book. A paragraph doesn’t do justice to this genre buster.

Click here for the review.


The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Beauty – American Duchess

A short and informative guide.

The prevalence of tallow in a lot of the recipes has put me off trying many of the suggestions. No matter how badly I want to make pink hair pomade, I’m going to have to give it a pass for now. Instead I’ll keep my eye out for some information on how to make veggie-/ vegan-friendly alternatives and try them at a later date.


In Search of Hua Ma – John Pasden

This book was incredibly useful for a Mandarin beginner to work through. The vocabulary it drew on comprised of 150 characters, and while it does not have the pizzazz of Ham and Green Eggs, it certainly has the engaging narrative and even a plot twist that made me feel like a proud child who has read their first book. (Yes, this is my Mandarin level).

I found a few more ways to use this book as a resource, which benefitted my language skills. I will post a review of this book within the next week.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2021 in Books

 

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