I’ve picked up some books again. For easily a year I’ve been reading to a purpose, rather than just … reading.

I think there are two reasons for this. I now tend to work on the train, which is where I used to do a lot of my reading. I also think it’s partly because the boys are more likely to read to themselves than they used to. I used to easily read to them three, four books a day. Tiny books. Oliver Jeffers or Octonauts rather than a Roald Dahl, but it was all reading.

My brain was used to reading. So it was natural to pick something up to read myself.

Without that same amount of reading with the boys, down to maybe just a bedtime story, I just stopped reading for myself – unless I had to.

Then a few weeks ago we started reading longer form stuff at bedtime.

I decided they needed some Pratchett, so started reading Truckers with the boys. Truckers is great. Getting all excited and confused and intrigued by The Thing. Pondering the big questions about The Outside, perceptions of reality, the nonsense of religion. What fun.

The wee lad declared it “a bit Roahl Dahl-ey – but funnier”. Nothing wrong with that!


With summer coming up I did my usual ‘head to amazon and grab some pop-sci / pop-biz’ material on the false assumption that I’ll have some free time with which to read while on holiday. I’ve switched to reading on the train for a week – so I’m actually reading books again.

It’s ages since I wrote which books I was reading. So…

Misfit Economy

This is an odd one. I’m about three quarters through, and while it’s full of interesting bits and pieces, the writing is dull. Really dull. Almost as dull as this blog post. The stuff about pirates is fun, but could have fitted in a fraction of the words. I’ll finish it because the examples are interesting, I just wish it was more coherent. Quite annoying – as I think it’s a properly interesting idea.

How Not to be Wrong: The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life

This one is more like it. Fun to read, reasonably challenging early on. Makes you think, rather than telling you what you should think. It even has doodly graphs. I love a doodly graph. I can tell it’s a good book already, because I keep putting it down to write notes about something else that came to mind.

I was okay at maths at school, but hit a pretty vertical wall at Uni when we started working with matrix stuff. So it’s satisfying to revisit some of that territory and feel better equipped to think problems through.

Thanks in large part, I’m sure, to Numberphile:

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