Strikes: they are not always the solution

© My Hourglass

Lately there have been a lot of strikes going on around Europe, mostly related to the austerity measures that are being implemented to help pull us out of the recession. They have been given a lot of coverage by media, and of course we cannot help but feel sorry for our Greek neighbours. However, whether strikes are good for society or not remains to be seen.  Read more of this post

The world in 2011: the events

By Emma Brooks

As 2011 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on what events have marked the year and what it will be remembered for. It has been eventful in more ways than one, marked with the usual natural disasters, political upheavals, scandals and economic woes. Here are but a few of the events that marked 2011. Read more of this post

The Artist film review

By Emma Brooks

I don’t go regularly to the cinema, but I do go more than once or twice a year if that’s much to go by. Films seen this year at the cinema include X-Men First Class, The King’s Speech and Black Swan amongst others. But really, the film that caught my attention the most this year is The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius. Read more of this post

Pacifying favelas, is it possible?

By Emma Brooks

Lately there has been a lot of noise about how Rio is cleaning up its favelas ahead of the Olympic Games and the World Cup that it will be hosting in 2016 and 2014 respectively. I do recall reading once that this was supposedly not to do with either of these sporting events and simply an effort to try and improve the way of life in favelas, but let’s put this niggling thought aside and assume that the World Cup and the Olympics have indeed been the catalysts of the “favela clean-up”. Read more of this post

The future of books

By Emma Brooks

At the dinner table the other evening, the conversation suddenly turned to the future of books. The person next to me seemed to think that books would soon be completely obsolete, along with all other forms of written press. Of course, it is obvious that the widespread use of internet, smart phones and items like the iPad have definitely changed the approach people have to written press. Nowadays, instead of buying a newspaper at your local newsagent, you will simply have the latest app on your phone or tablet, or be reading the online version which contains all the same information and can’t be so easily forgotten on a bus. With the internet, news can get around the world much much faster, and be directly viewed by millions of people simultaneously, rather than having to wait for the 8 o’clock news or the next version of the paper. Stories are updated as and when they come in. Read more of this post

The Rotter’s Club by Jonathan Coe book review

By Emma Brooks

Having really enjoyed two of Jonathan Coe’s previous books, I decided to try another of his, and possibly the most well-known too. This is how I ended up owning and reading The Rotter’s Club. I will briefly repeat the part about the author here, considering as my last book review of What a Carve Up was quite a while ago. Read more of this post

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese book review

By Emma Brooks

You will probably know by now that I am always on the lookout for a new book. Luckily for me, I have a flatmate who regularly brings back books that sit on our bookshelf in the living room, and that I end up reading before she does. When she came back with this latest book, she said she had been told that it was amazing and that we wouldn’t be able to stop reading it. She couldn’t have been more right! Read more of this post

Last day of a condemned man by Victor Hugo

By Emma Brooks

I recently decided to get back into reading more French books, and thought that it would be good to start with the classics. Originally looking for Les Misérables, I happened upon Last Day of a Condemned Man, which quite frankly looked much more friendly for a fresh start that the huge book of Les Misérables. So I picked it off the shelf and decided to start with a slightly tamer ambition than planned. Read more of this post

Jacques Chirac trial: more symbolic than meaningful?

By Emma Brooks

On Monday 5th September, former French President Jacques Chirac was set to face a trial based on accusations of corruption during his time as mayor of Paris. As this article is written, the trial has started but without the presence of the accused, as it would seem that his mental health is not at its best. Read more of this post

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel – book review

By Emma Brooks

About the author:

Yann Martel is a Canadian author, best known for “The Life of Pi” which won the Man Booker Prize in 2002. He grew up in various different countries across the world, including Mexico, France, Costa Rica and Canda, as well as visiting India on his travels. He finally decided to settle in Canada, where he still lives today. From 2007 – 2011 he undertook a curious project called “What is Stephen Harper reading”, where he decided to send the Prime Minister of Canada a book every two weeks, accompanied by a letter from Yann Martel himself. Read more of this post

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