Books & Lit
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On my Reading List

A selection from Waterstones’ New & Coming Soon Titles, 25 Feb 2013

Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain de Botton

Here’s the thing: According to my official papers, I’m “Christian Orthodox”. In reality I’m more of an agnostic theist (and probably an apathetic one at that). I am offended by and despise how religion (and some “all-mighty, benevolent” God) always seems to be the excuse behind the most disgraceful atrocities of human history and I will probably forever be hard pushed to pick up (and spend any serious amount of time on) most books on the subject. Despite (or because of) all that, I am intrigued by this book – which claims to  “pick and choose from the thousands of years of advice assembled by the world’s great religions to get practical insights on art, community, love, friendship, work, life and death” and propose ways in which to gracefully and spiritually  navigate our lives.

Office Politics: How to Thrive in a World of Lying, Backstabbing and Dirty Tricks by Oliver James

From one end of the spectrum to the other and from the religious to the down & dirty, everyday “practical” this book looks like another one worth picking up. I’ve always been quiet & friendly at work. I’ve always kept to myself, played “nice” and avoided engaging in office politics, plotting and gossip. Throughout it all I have steadfastly thought (as I do with all my relationships) that people would appreciate that. As it turns out, most (if not all) of them never really do. In fact, it looks like “nice” is automatically translated into “idiot pushover”, with all that entails :$ I’m a big fan of staying true to your values and who you are –and don’t really plan on changing or turning into a bitch to succeed. I do however hope that this book will give me more of an insight into how most of my colleagues think –thus helping me in preparing a better “line of defense» and avoiding pitfalls in future.

Kurt Vonnegut: Letters by Kurt Vonnegut

I have never read anything by Kurt Vonnegut – which makes me feel slightly ashamed since he is considered to be one the most original writers in American fiction. Bumping into “Letters” on the Waterstones’ “Coming Soon/ Pre-Order” list made me think that the best way to ease myself into his work would be by first getting to know him -and the way he thought- on a more personal level. And, what better way to do that than by delving into this collection of private letters – ranging from “the letter the twenty-two-year old Vonnegut wrote home immediately upon being freed from the German POW camp to wry dispatches from Vonnegut’s years as a struggling writer to a letter to the CEO of Eagle Shirtmakers with a crackpot scheme to manufacture “atomic” bow ties, angry letters of protest to local school boards that tried to ban his work & letters to his children including advice like ‘Don’t let anybody tell you that smoking and boozing are bad for you. Here I am fifty-five years old, and I never felt better in my life’.”.

Running like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

Being a girl who recently took up running in an effort to get into shape and who is currently preparing for her second ever 5K (first one being back in Nov.2012), I feel this title appeals to me on a very personal level. Sounds like it will be an absolute delight to read and will probably come with a wealth of quite helpful – if maybe, unintended- information. Looking forward to this and, literally, counting down the (37) days to its expected publication.

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