A collection of my favourite reads, watches and listens of the last week (August 3rd-9th, 2020).
Some of these are new, some are from many moons ago. But they all interested me for one reason or another and did so enough to make me want to recommend them to you.
Before I just link to loads of others I like, save the link to this first one and when you’ve got time to make a cup of tea and sit on the sofa or in the garden, read it. It’s long but worth every word. GQ: The Great Buenos Aires Bank Heist
Bloomberg: Barilla Pasta’s Turnaround From Homophobia to National Pride
The Economist: Why do we work so hard?
Pressenza: Finland ends homelessness and provides shelter for all in need
Newsbreak: ‘Hey Jude’ at 50: Celebrating the Beatles’ Most Open-Hearted Masterpiece
The Athletic: The Richarlison you don’t know
Teaching Little Fang – Mark Swallow
Recommended to me by my Mum who read it when it first came out in the early 1990s.
Here’s the short internet description: “Circumcision, fire-crackers, jellied dog and sparrow hunts, this is the life in a Chinese provincial city. Little Fang struts through it all, sure that he is on his way up and out of this city. But when a scholarship comes up for grabs, Fang froths with new excitement. This is a first novel.”
It’s a brilliant book with characters that you care for and a storyline with real rhythm and pace. Little Fang is a 20-year-old Chinese kid in a small provincial city not so far from Peking but far enough to mean it’s a very different world. His grandfather is an endearing erratic nutter whose life has coincided with Chinese’s darkest days at the hands of Mao. As the plot develops so too do the subtleties of Chinese culture which explain grandfather’s erratic nature.
I studied Modern Chinese history for a term at university last year. This was the perfect book to carry on that interest. But it’s also the perfect book to understand China. Published in 1990, its conclusion is related to Tiananmen Square and the parallels with today are sickening.
Wind of Change | About the song by The Scorpions, Wind of Change that is a massive hit in Eastern Europe. And the idea that it might have been written by the CIA. Brilliant story, brilliantly produced. Raced through it.