3 Books 3 Points: September 2020
September is here and I’ve got some more book reviews for you! I spent a wonderful month reading lots of lovely things throughout August. You can keep up with what I’m currently reading on my Goodreads! I managed to pop into the uni library to borrow my first read now it has reopened, which was great. I’ve also borrowed some audiobooks via the Libby library app which I’ve loved listening to whilst working. I’ve not managed to fit everything I’ve read in this month’s post but it’s all listed on my Goodreads profile. Also I used my dictation software for this post, so apologies for any hideous typos – I’ve had a check through so hopefully it’s okay… I’m trying to get used to it 😉
I started to put some ratings out of 5 at the end of each review this month. Just trying it out! All three books this month were fab, so some high scores here.
I’d love to hear your book recommendations this month, too – what have you been reading?
Anyway, without further ado, here is this months 3 books, 3 points!
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
-I Contain Multitudes is an exploration of the microbes within us and around us. A pertinent read considering the current situation, and a really informative one, too. I was slightly worried that the language would be a bit inaccessible, but I was pleasantly surprised – the book is very readable, despite the amount of information it contains.
-Ed Yong discusses the millions of tiny microbes and bacteria that live in us, on us and around us. He discusses the benefit that these bacteria bring to us and also the harm that they can cause. I was really interested to learn about the bacteria that live in our guts. I’m familiar with probiotics as I’m sure many others are – but after reading this book I’m aware that it’s not as easy as simply popping a probiotic tablet or drink each day. Diet, lifestyle and genetics all play a part in the types of bacteria that make their homes in our gut.
-It was also fascinating to learn about the overuse of antibacterial cleaning products in our homes. I suppose it’s hard to learn about this at the moment with the current pandemic, where we’re required to sanitise our hands and surfaces multiple times a day with both antibacterial and antiviral products – but the book covers just how the use of these products is affecting the natural balance of bacteria in our homes. For example, using an antibacterial cleaner on the toilet destroys all the good bacteria as well as the bad. This means that some of the first bacteria to recolonise that surface are faecal bacteria. I’m sure that antibacterial cleaning products have their place, but it’s really good to be aware of just how their everyday use can affect our health.
I really enjoyed this book. I felt like I learnt a lot, and although it’s not the quickest read, I definitely recommend it if it’s something that interests you. 4/5
When We Cease To Understand The World by Benjamin Labatut**
-How do I even describe this book? It’s like falling into a black hole, into the minds of those who pushed the boundaries of reality. It’s both an exploration of the limits of genius and at the same time a commentary on what happens when those limits are broken. Fact becomes fiction and the rules and lines are blurred increasingly as we progress through the book.
-When We Cease To Understand The World begins with an essay, mostly factual, concerning hydrogen cyanide, its development and use during the war. From here we follow an interwoven series of stories riding along with the world’s greatest thinkers – physicists, mathematicians and scientists as they push the limits of knowledge and discovery. The stories are based in fact but as the book progresses, like in quantum theory, the rules start to break down. Fact becomes fiction.
-The book explores what it’s like to be at the very peak of your field and what happens to the mind when your days are spent pushing the edges of knowledge. Breakdown, transcendence and the dissolution of limits. I can’t really describe the genre – it’s fact meets fiction meets something else entirely… Safe to say, I loved this book. It’s just so different. I can see myself reading it over and over, with a little time in between to let it settle in my brain. 5/5
Purple People by Kate Bulpitt**
-Purple People is a dystopian novel set in the UK in the near future where people who have been caught committing a crime are turned purple as punishment.
-I was really drawn to the description of this book. I was unsure how the novel would turn out, whether it would be serious or more of a light-hearted read. I was pleased to find satire and a hilarious cast of characters. I found myself giggling even though the narrative is a close parallel of current events here in the UK, although with a very dystopian spin on them. The book is set in the near future where a well-meaning Prime Minister launches a new initiative to tackle crime. Overnight people start turning purple… the problem is nobody really knows how…
-Journalist Eve heads back to the UK from New York to investigate the purple people and just what is going on behind the scenes. The book follows her experience as she attempts to find out how people are caught committing crimes and just how their skin is turned purple. There are British idioms aplenty and some really well thought out characters who will seem familiar to UK readers.
Purple People is a great read for a bit of escapism and abstract social commentary. Very enjoyable! 4/5
You can find the previous edition of 3 Books 3 Points here!
** I am a member of NetGalley, where I received this review copy for free in exchange for an honest review.
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