Welcome to the first ‘what I read’ of 2017. The month’s books explore happiness, death and change.
The Little Book of Hygge
Meik Wiking, Penguin Life 2016
The concept of being happier with our immediate surroundings is a warm one, and the inclusion of food recipes is a nice touch. The early chapters, however, seem a little jumbled, and affordability of the recommended activities is open to question. At these points, the tone of the book risks coming off as smug. But it all comes from good intentions.
In the Midst of Life
Jennifer Worth, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2011
The fourth book in the Call the Midwife series invites you to take part in a moral debate: should death always be prevented? The author’s opinion seems clear until the climax, where things become a little shaky. The appendix is so expansive it requires its own sitting, but it’s a relevant and generous offering from Jennifer Worth. Life, on the whole, is a welcome edition to the series, which introduces new themes and asks the reader to understand the ethics behind some difficult medical choices.
The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell, Abacus 2001
From increasing shoe sales to decreasing crime rates, there’s a lone factor – a ‘tipping point’ – that decides if something is going to be successful, apparently. It’s nice hearing about the success stories behind brands, like Airwalk and Sesame Street. But the so-called ‘tipping points’ can happen so fast they sometimes get stepped over, which can leave you wandering how a thing goes from struggling point A to star-studded point B.