Reading Plan: August 2012

2 comments

Chavs by Owen Jones book cover
It might have taken a mini rush at the end of the month, but I managed to get out pretty much all the reviews I had hoped to in July - phew, mission complete. I've been laid up for a few weeks with a poorly knee, and whilst this has meant I've not been up to sitting at a computer and crunching out my thoughts in review form too much, it does mean I've got some serious reading done. So if I can find the time to get writing in August it could be a good month for reviews.

My book of the month for August is going to be Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class. This is young Oxford graduate Owen Jones's passionate polemic in defence of the working class; an examination of their treatment at the hands of the media and politicians. I've been wanting to read this for a long time - before it was even published in fact, and so I'm glad to finally be getting round to it.

The one review that I didn't quite get round to last month was The Information by Martin Amis - having read this during my layoff I'm looking good for a review this month, although it always takes me a while to unpick Amis's work!

One of the small pleasures that has cheered me up during my recuperation has been watching YouTube videos of the rather wonderful Christopher Hitchens ripping into sloppy thinking and ignorance all over the place - I absolutely love his unbending and exacting standards and his unapologetic defence of them. I wanted to get hold of Arguably, a collection of his essays, but library stock didn't quite fit in with my plans, so I'll be reading God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything instead. I assume the title is self-explanatory enough that I can forego any form of summary.

Finally, I wanted something light to read while resting up so I'll also write something up about How to be Good by Nick Hornby - perhaps not his best known title but an interesting look at what happens when a scoffing middle class husband has an attack of conscience and becomes astoundingly 'good', and how his 'conventionally good' wife copes with the dramatic shift.

Ok, those are the reviews I plan to put out during August - as ever, if time allows I might throw in a few extras as well. So what is everyone else reading over the summer? I might not have a beach holiday planned, but I'd love some suggestions for the top summer reads in the comments below (anyone who mentions a certain saucy trilogy will be excommunicated).

Notable Posts from April 
Review: Mr g by Alan Lightman
Review: Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Review: Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

2 comments:

Heather said...

I'm sorry to read about your knee--I hope it's feeling all better soon.

You've chosen some good books for August. I hadn't heard of Chavs, but now I really want to read it. I also have an intellectual crush on Christopher Hitchens, and I have Arguably and God is Not Great on my TBR pile. I really need to get to them soon.

Matthew (The Bibliofreak) said...

Many thanks Heahter - it's on the mend, slowly. :)

There was quite a bit in the media about Chavs last year, and the author Owen Jones pops up on tv every now and then - look out for him, he's the one who looks about 12 years old.

Ha, I think I might have a bit of a crush on Hitch myself - a sad loss to all who enjoyed him.