Sunday, 6 September 2015

In Review, New books with a Notts connection

Recent reads with a Notts connection. My thoughts on the following:

The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis (the author lives in Nottingham)

The Zoo by Jamie Mollart (the author is a member of the Nottingham Writers' Studio)

He Wants by Alison Moore (the author is a member of the NWS)

The Astronaut, The Cake and Tomorrow by Matt Sisson (the author lives in Nottingham)

Have you read These Seven Nottingham writers? by John Harvey, Megan Taylor, Brick, Paula Rawsthorne, Alison Moore, Shreya Sen Handley, Alan Sillitoe

Poetry from Notts and Beyond by Lee James Blunt (the author lives in Notts)

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The Astronaut, The Cake and Tomorrow

The times they are a-changin'; the news split between mass displacement and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn. Who could have predicted such things? Well, Notts author Matt Sisson could. In his 2014 book The Astronaut, the Cake and Tomorrow Sisson highlighted the need for a new ‘fairer’ political system and predicted mass migration.

***** A must reread
Were it not for its East Midlands Book Award nomination I’d probably not have come across this brilliant book. The curious title and illustrated cover suggest a light, quirky read, but the author’s passion soon bursts from the pages, making for a compelling appraisal of the state of the planet, with answers for the future.

Capitalism and war have contributed to a failing economy and are destroying our planet. The Earth’s resources are being overconsumed, posing serious threats to our future and our policymakers are answering only to the wealthy that call the shots. We have a responsibility to act and West Bridgford’s Matt Sisson shows us how in his debut book. Many of the changes needed (a move away from austerity and towards a bottom up - as opposed to our top down - politics) were proposed by the Green Party, of which Sisson is a member, before the last election. He even stood for election as an MP (he lost to Nicky Morgan). But now, it seems that Labour, if Corbyn wins, could be singing a similar tune.  

The economic and environmental challenges we are faced with are tackled by Sisson with facts and quotes accompanying some imaginative ideas on how we might progress. With the help of over twenty illustrations by Matthew Kay, Sisson examines our financial systems, growing inequality and society in general, proving that radical change is needed if we’re to live within the Earth’s sustainable limits. Could the answer be with the meaning of life itself?

Radical or common sense, you decide. It's certainly an important and interesting read, accessibly told. I wonder if Jeremy Corbyn has read it.