The Rise of Islamic State – Patrick Cockburn
Waiting for a train at London’s Waterloo station, I found myself inside Foyle’s, drawn instinctively as any bibliophile awaiting a train generally is found to be. Patrick Cockburn, quoted by the likes of Chomsky et al, seems unfaltering in his ability to make me rethink my position on dauntingly serious subjects, and so to see a book about ISIS written by him was irresistible.
The following were bought from the beautiful Daunt Books, in Marylebone.
No One Left To Lie To – Christopher Hitchens
I’ve been writing a post about Hitchens for a while now, I finished his Letters to a Young Contrarian several weeks ago but haven’t found all the words in the right order to do him and the book justice. He was cutting in his life and in what he published, ruthless and sometimes wrong, but always superb in his writing, and his style in general, and so with Hilary Clinton now preparing her candidacy for the Presidential bid, it seems only right to read this. I’ve seen from many essayists that the dark, manipulative side to the Clintons is something to be feared, especially when in power, and so this may well turn out to be a book I shout about over the next year.
The Atheist’s Mass – Honore de Balzac
Balzac is a name to me, I am ashamed to say, and nothing else. Though with only a name, there is mystery and so I chose this tiny volume for that very reason. The title offers a sort of irony that I enjoy. I make no secret of the fact that a passion of mine is the philosophical, the scientific and the literary interplay between faith and atheism, and in the form of these new pocket size Penguin Classics, it felt only right to delve a little deeper and further away from what is familiar.