In case you’d like to find out more about the book, I wrote a little piece about why I wrote it and what it’s all about here.
You can purchase CONFLICTED, in whichever format you desire, from these UK and US providers (or via your preferred independent bookshop):
In the UK….
In the US…
Thank you and happy reading.
How Nutrition Science Went Wrong
Robert Lustig is a paediatric endocrinologist at the University of California who specialises in the treatment of childhood obesity. A 90-minute talk he gave in 2009, titled Sugar: The Bitter Truth, has now been viewed more than six million times on YouTube. In it, Lustig argues forcefully that fructose, a form of sugar ubiquitous in modern diets, is a “poison” culpable for America’s obesity epidemic.
A year or so before the video was posted, Lustig gave a similar talk to a conference of biochemists in Adelaide, Australia. Afterwards, a scientist in the audience approached him…
2. It’s the end of 2020, the kid is 78 years old and is widely regarded as having made more great songs than anyone else alive. He is releasing a new album, McCartney III, his second in two years (the last one, 2019’s Egypt Station, hit number one on the Billboard chart). McCartney III completes a trilogy, spanning 50 years — yes, McCartney has been an ex-Beatle for half a century — of entirely self-produced, self-performed albums, all made in the first year of a decade. The first, McCartney, was made in the aftershock of splitting from The Beatles, in…
For a slightly incomplete but annotated version of this, see my Twitter thread.
Rings of Saturn, W.G Sebald
The Cello Suites, Eric Siblin
Handel In London, Jane Glover,
Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth, Gitta Sereny,
The Shortest History of Europe
The Saturday Caller, Georges Simenon
The Sleepwalkers, Arthur Koestler
Science and Government, C.P. Snow
One Nation Under a Groove: Motown and American Culture, Gerald Early
Quack This Way: David Foster Wallace and Bryan Garner Talk Language and Writing
Believe In People: The Essential Karel Čapek.
The Driver’s Seat, Muriel Spark
Isaac Newton, James Gleick
What I Talk About When…
An unreliable reading memoir
The Knowledge Illusion, Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach. Cognitive scientists explain why everyone knows a lot less than they think. Good and chastening intro to the topic.
Dreaming The Beatles, Rob Sheffield. Free-wheeling and uneven but overall really good with many brilliant, perceptive insights.
The Shortest History of Germany, James Hawes. Excellent. I want to read it again. Lucidly written.
Finite and Infinite Games, James Carse. Rather too gnomic for me but the essential concept is a powerful one.
Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith. The octopus as an alien intelligence. …
Fire me out of Christmas like a bullet from a gun
Blast me out of Christmas on a rocket to the sun
Pull me out of Christmas with a giant stage hook
Smuggle me out of Christmas in the pages of a book
A-choo me out of Christmas like a droplet from a sneeze
Roll me out of Christmas like a round of English cheese
Sneak me out of Christmas through a secret backdoor
Write me out of Christmas at the end of season 4
Ship me out of Christmas, I think the coast is clear
Get me out of Christmas until Christmas time next year.
I’m not very systematic about how or what I read, though I suppose this is a step towards that. Last year I left at least a couple of books I really enjoyed off the list by accident, so there may be one or two I’ve missed this time too. We’ll never know.
Latecomers, Anita Brookner. A novel rooted in European history in a way that’s quite unusual for British authors. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Look At Me, which I read last year, but I admired it. Happy to read my way through the rest of Brookner.
Reading is hard when you’re encumbered by children and Twitter. I was quite proud of having got through 20+ books in 2017 until I discovered that Sarah Ditum had matched that by June. Anyway here’s my paltry list, in order of reading:
Wonderland, Steven Johnson. Maybe the best book yet from one of my favourite authors, delights and discoveries on every page and a whole new theory of human progress to boot.
The Lonely City, Olivia Laing. Powerful, elegant writing on loneliness and art. It taught me how to appreciate Hopper and Warhol at a much deeper level. …
Christopher Nolan’s epic is that rare thing, a blockbuster that doesn’t feature superheroes. I wanted to see it quite early in its run before my experience of it was skewed by the chatter but nonetheless I think I suffered from overly high expectations.
As often happens with films/books/programmes that get universally and hyperbolically acclaimed as Total Bloody Masterpieces I came away a bit disappointed, which isn’t really fair on the film/whatever itself, but then I might not have made the effort to see it otherwise.
For me Dunkirk was like a modernist skyscraper. I greatly admired it as an achievement…
In proto-democratic Athens, there was a square called the Agora where citizens gathered after dinner to talk politics and ideas. A marketplace that was also a civic space, the Agora was where the social business of the city got done. News, ideas and gossip were exchanged. Philosophers like Socrates expounded arguments, each one preceded by a shout of THREAD into the night air.
OK I made the last bit up, but the point is this: Twitter is meant to be the global Agora. Its former CEO, Dick Costolo, said so in a speech he gave in 2012. The Agora, he…