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Currently reading

The Lonely Sea: Collected Short Stories
Alistair MacLean
Her Benny
Silas K. Hocking
Vedere din Parfumerie
Silvia Kerim
Mysticism and Logic (Western Philosophy)
Bertrand Russell
The Analects of Confucious
Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
William James
Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Unsettling, Witty Answers to Questions You Never Thought You Wanted to Ask
New Scientists Books Staff, New Scientist
Mutual Aid
Pyotr Kropotkin
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
Olivia Fraser, William Dalrymple
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Notes from a Small Island

Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson Predictably, practically useless as a metric for tourism in England. Bill is in such familiar territory that he unfurls his self-centred self in full, spending whole pages describing the organizational skills of his favorite hotel and insulting anonymous people who crossed him 20 years ago. Still exceptionally written, funny and accidentally informative at times.

Two examples of of great insightful humour:

1) He spends a paragraph describing how the English would make perfect communists, loving to queue, not complaining, etc.

2) He describes how a Chinatown begins with a huge Chinese arch and quickly gives up.

Bill, this is your first book I stopped cold. I admit that central Edinburgh can be an empty pretentious place, but you seem to blow into every British city, insult the fat people at McDonalds for eating in front of you and then blow out again. Edinburgh doesn't have more to offer than that? Stay away from travel books please. It's remarkable that I simply abandoned your tour of American small towns, leaving it under The Magus in my hotel room. No matter how strongly I'd love to see Americans ridiculed with style, you might just end up making them sound bullied somehow.