In Miniature

Simon Garfield’s latest book examines the world of miniature items, from villages and railways to slave ships and crime scenes. He meets lots of passionate people and talks about miniatures throughout history. I made the mistake of listening to this via audiobook and I would have loved to have seen photos of some of the miniature items described.

It didn’t feel like it had an overall point about miniature items, despite the subtitle of the book. He mentions a few times how we examine things more closely when miniaturised, but mostly it felt a like a jolly ramble through various small things the author quite likes.

Talking to My Daughter About the Economy

When his daughter asked him why inequality exists, the ex-finance minister of Greece wrote this book to explain the basics of the economy. It’s important to have a grasp of what the news means when it talks about the economy and this was a great introduction. It covers the history of money and capitalism, and has plenty of literary and pop-culture examples.

Empire of Booze

This was a Christmas gift from a few years ago and I don’t know why I put off reading it, it was a fascinating look at the history of certain alcoholic drinks as influenced by Britain (for good or bad). I learn so many interesting facts! I would definitely recommend to anyone with an interest in how alcohol is made (rather than just an interest in drinking it).

Each section has drinking notes at the end to give you some suggestions on what to look for if you want to try some of the mentioned drinks.

This Is Going To Hurt

Adam Kay’s book is an eye-opening look into the world of NHS junior doctors. I knew they were overworked but Adam’s account shines a light on just how much. It’s funny, tragic and terrifying in equal measures. I’m glad this is getting read widely, although I’d suggest not reading it if you’re pregnant as most of his experience was in obstetrics.