Winter purchases - Sans Pareil

Winter purchases


And by that, I mean books. There is nothing better than reading, all cosied up with a hot drink, when it’s cold and wet outside. I’m not a natural hoarder – I have no problems throwing out lip glosses I don’t use, old letters from friends, even CDs I no longer listen to – but all that goes out the window (ha ha) when it comes to books (and clothes, but that’s another story). I own so many that it’s going to be near impossible for me to move houses, ever. On that note, I am a proud owner of three new ones, listed in the order I’ll probably read.

1. Don’t Look Now and Other Stories (by Daphne du Maurier).

I’ve wanted to read this for ages (ever since I read an article about a movie which was based on the ‘Don’t Look Now’ story) but my attempt to hunt it down using the local library network was pitiful at best, hence the purchase. Here is a brief synopsis: “Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Don’t Look Now’ was published in 1971 and became a haunting film in 1973. It describes a young couple who travel to Venice to try and escape the pain of their daughter’s death. Instead of laying their ghosts to rest, however, they find themselves caught up in an increasingly strange and violent events, in a brilliant meditation on loss, fear and fate.”
Have no idea what the other stories are about…
2. Island (by Aldous Huxley).

I caught up with a friend this week and one of the topics that came up was ‘Brave New World’ which is probably Huxley’s most famous work. We both loved it, and then he recommended I read this. It’s said to be the companion novel to Brave New World, juxtaposing its utopian storyline to New World’s dystopian society.

3. The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty (by Simon Baron-Cohen).

Just as well I’m studying psychology, books like these fascinate me (with the exception of those so-called ‘popsychology’ books – e.g. Malcolm Gladwell). Simon Baron-Cohen is pretty much the leading expert in the world on autism (and his cousin is Sacha Baron-Cohen of the Borat fame), so I’m hoping I’ll love this. Brief synopsis: “A pathbreaking autism researcher explores why some people lack empathy and what the absence means for our psychological understanding of evil.”

If you’re ever thinking about buying a book, get it from the Book Depository – cheap (compared to retail prices in NZ bookstores) AND free shipping. You literally do not have to leave the house this winter! xH.



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