If you've been keeping up with the Archdruid's blog, this material will be very familiar. Even for dedicated readers, I can recommend this book as the...moreIf you've been keeping up with the Archdruid's blog, this material will be very familiar. Even for dedicated readers, I can recommend this book as the blog covers so many threads (especially in the comments discussion) that the individual books present the material in a focused, footnoted, and refined way that the blog is not able to do.
This book covers the deindustrialisation of American (and by extension most first world countries') society and introduces a calm, nuanced and comprehensive set of consequences, possibilities and potentials that flow on from the decreasing availability of cheap and highly effective fuel sources.
The first time I was introduced to this material, I was still in shock and anger at the basics of the predicament we're in, and the second time I re-read it I was in a different but still conflicted place. On this third reading of the material (the first of it in book form) I find a new take, a fresh inspiration.
In short, this book will help you to understand the predicament, and then work through the seven stages of grief and into acceptance and action - if that's where you'd like to go. Lots of people seem to want to stay in denial, but I doubt they'd be attracted to this title anyway.
I enjoy the prose style, the gentle humour that pervades this work, and the willingness to give a citation for everything from oil usage figures to the history of druidry!
I promised myself I wouldn't go giving out five star reviews and yet here we are. This book has earnt five full, glorious, golden, heartfelt stars for...moreI promised myself I wouldn't go giving out five star reviews and yet here we are. This book has earnt five full, glorious, golden, heartfelt stars for a small set of intertwined stories told in distinctive, un-pretentious voices that create a thread from heart to heart. If pressed, I would say that this book is most about finding kindness and understanding within oneself in situations that are hurtful, mean-spirited, unfair and relentless. One o the most inspiring things for me was how loving and spirited the key women remained in a dangerous world.
This popular book provides a vehicle for people who may not have ever considered life from someone else's point of view to walk a mile in their shoes. I acknowledge that it is fiction (based on true life) and not a historical document. In that context I think it works well to bring the reader into different lives and experience events from a range of perspectives. Like all books and films, it can only do so much, but what it does set out to do, it does admirably. Like all very popular books and films it will be criticised for not being ‘more’ or different or stronger in a theme. I enjoyed it a great deal (to the point of staying up into the middle of the night to finish it) despite how many heartbreaking things happened in it and I feel confident recommending it broadly. A great read.
Read it for yourself - it will start conversations.(less)
A little book for a long path. Best to start with the Druidry handbook for the basic daily practises of meditation and for the extended version of Ogh...moreA little book for a long path. Best to start with the Druidry handbook for the basic daily practises of meditation and for the extended version of Ogham.(less)
Somehow, much to my detriment; I have gone through life so far having only read one novel by Connie Willis, her clever and snappy 1998 work "Bellwethe...moreSomehow, much to my detriment; I have gone through life so far having only read one novel by Connie Willis, her clever and snappy 1998 work "Bellwether". I enjoyed so much about that book that I wish I had made more of an effort to find her other works at that time.
Connie Willis shows again in this novel that she is thoughtfuland loving and great at building characters and worlds you slip right into. She takes an idea from science and brings it into a recognisable world, then explores the ramifications and that is what she has done with "Blackout". A word of warning (and this should be on the cover of every edition) this is *not* a standalone book - it is part of a double act along with "All Clear". I got caught out and only had the one on hand a situation that I urge you to avoid.
I don't want to say too much as effectively I'm in the middle and I don't know how any of this turns out, but it is a time travel story and together they won the 2010 Hugo award for best novel. If that's not enough to tempt you, I'm afraid you're in the wrong genre. :-) (less)
If you enjoyed this book then consider reading "The Wind-uo Girl" by the same author.
Expect to see more books and films with a theme dealing with the...moreIf you enjoyed this book then consider reading "The Wind-uo Girl" by the same author.
Expect to see more books and films with a theme dealing with the impacts of an energy-restricted future. Those people who spend time looking forward and imagining what kinds of futures are possible will be increasingly grappling with this theme. What I like about this author is that it is not entirely miserable! A tough win when you start considering the grief that needs to be dealt with in thinking through all of the implications.
I enjoyed the young-adult persepective on the world, and the classic "boy-meets girl - whole world changes, some things don't change" format is nice and comforting while you deal with the tough and relentless world they live in.(less)
I enjoyed the layers of this novel. The imagery, the locality, the issues and people all worked well to create a snapshot of contemporary Sydney. Some...moreI enjoyed the layers of this novel. The imagery, the locality, the issues and people all worked well to create a snapshot of contemporary Sydney. Sometimes reading a novel is an escape, but sometimes it is more like an unexpected insight into a part of yourself - and that's what I got from this novel - a way of reflecting on my 10 years living in Sydney and grappling with the class, property, harbour, wealth, beauty and meanness of the place.
I would recommend this book widely, but expect that your personal mileage may vary. (less)