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Thank you to our contributors this time around – Khanyie, Michael, Bethany, Katherine, Jenny, and Steve. 

We had a broad and ranging discussion about how there are often stories within stories that offer nuance and alternative interpretations, that can and perhaps should challenge our predetermined, often primed view of events or people. We questioned if Joseph Stalin was really evil or did he have some good ideas, was Winston Churchill a hero or a villain?

Often our perception is influenced by the narrative we are fed, whether that’s a Western Democratic analysis of communism or a male dominated, upper class historical narrative justifying colonialism. In this chat, we even touched on English Cricket who have had a damming report into a lack of diversity inclusivity and clear institutional racism and elitism in the sport, quoted as saying “We want cricket to be the most inclusive sport”. Perhaps presenting the competitive language that is the antithesis of being inclusive in their aims.


Reading 🕮

If you want to have your perhaps comfy foundations of truth rattled a little, here are some links for you to follow 👇

The Theory of Everything Else: A Voyage into the World of Weird by Dan Schreiber 

How Not To Be Wrong: The Art of Changing Your Mind by James O’Brien 

Time’s Monster: History, Conscience and Britain’s Empire by Priya Satia 

Fake History: Ten Great Lies and How They Shaped the World by Otto English 


Poetic, Gritty, Beautiful 

Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart 

There are some of the words used to describe Dounglas Stuart’s book Young Mungo, as well as his previous work Shuggy Bain. Literary heaven following the life of a Protestant boy who falls in love with a Catholic boy in a chaotic, neglectful and sectarian world. A potent view of childhood anxiety. Illustrated by this passage “There were rows of teeth marks on the windowsill, perfect little half-moons of anxiety”. 


Some Escapism 

Eve of Man by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher 

How do you choose between love and the future of humanity? That is the scenario for Eve, the last girl on Earth. A book by Giovanna and Tom Fletcher, who may know from both children’s and other literary works, or in Tom’s case best known for being in McFly.

Children of Men directed by Alfonso Cuarón, written by Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J Sexton David Arata 

A film in a similar vein to Eve of Man. In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have somehow become infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea. Starring Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor. 

How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie 

Perhaps you need to warn other members of your family that you are feeling a little in need of some extra care and attention…. “I have killed several people (some brutally, others calmly) and yet I currently languish in jail for a murder I did not commit….. After all, almost nobody else in the world can possibly understand how someone, by the tender age of 28, can have calmly killed six members of her family. And then happily got on with the rest of her life, never to regret a thing.” Described as a wickedly dark romp about class, family, love… and murder. You can also listen for free here.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus 

A chemist in the 60s who was not allowed to be a dentist and goes on to become a TV presenter. Laugh out loud funny.  

Who I Am by Melanie C

Behind the scenes of The Spice Girls and so much more. This book examines, the glass ceilings of misogyny that they smashed through, pressures of image and eating disorders and siblings who only know you as a superstar. It’s a real all-round read.  

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier 

A classic tale of murder, mystery and passion in the wilds of Bomin moor.  


Listen 🎧

Evil Genius Podcast with Russell Kane 

The Mystery Hour with James O’Brien 

Curiosity and curios 

Crowd Science: A BBC World Service podcast 

The show seeks to provide the real evidence to answer listeners curious questions about the world. Such as What are the chances of finding alien life?

As far as we have got so far is something like this. There are 2 trillion galaxies of which our galaxy, the Milky Way, is one. In the Milky Way, there are 20 billion stars with an estimate of 10 billion planets that are orbiting in habitable zones around these stars.  Then consider how many actually develop life, that is complex and could communicate…..well there is still only one planet known like that. 

There are loads of episodes about anything and everything so find a question that intrigues you. It lasts about 30 minutes, so good for a walk! 


Join us again soon for some more recommendations!