Thinking Allowed - Including musings by Daan Spijer.

Archive for December, 2015

Book Reviews

December 18, 2015

Cold Faith

Tags: , , , ,

cold_faith_cover_200pxCold Faith
Shaune Lafferty Webb
Hague Publishing  2015
ISBN: 9780992543723
221 pp

It seems that a large selection of the books offered to YA readers continue to be post-apocalyptic. Why is this? Are authors trying to prepare young people for ‘real’ life or are there other, deeper meanings in all this?

Having young people be heroes has always been possible in a ‘normal’, though somewhat fanciful world: series such as The Secret Seven and Swallows and Amazons. In these, Enid Blyton still had functioning adults in the background, even if they did not form part of the adventures. The more modern offerings appear to paint worlds in which the adults have lost the plot and the young people have taken it upon themselves or are charged with the responsibility to find solutions. This is the case in The Hunger Games, the Divergent trilogy, the Matched trilogy and even in the Harry Potter series. At least Harry Potter and his friends receive training in survival skills from some of the adults around. (more…)

From the Kitchen

December 17, 2015

From the Kitchen #174


We are all different, unless you are the old bearded man in the crowd in Life of Brian who insisted he was the only one who was not an individual.  None of us is identical to any other person – get used to it.

The problem we face is the result of chimeras: we are, it seems, wired to grouping people and then treating all members of a particular group as identical and to believing them to be fundamentally different from members of every other group, including our group.  And then we start to fear the other and that fear leads to unhelpful, even destructive, behaviour.  Next, we notice that some members of our group are not the same as us and they have to be re‑grouped.  Take that to its logical conclusion and each of us will belong to a group of one.  Funny that! (more…)

From the Kitchen

December 1, 2015

From the Kitchen #173


They come onto the train and look around.  She leads the way to a group of empty seats and sits down.  He sits opposite her.  They’re silent as the train takes off.  Both have their legs leaning to the left so that their knees don’t touch.  She is holding her bag on her lap with both arms.  He is clutching a book.

She looks through the windows at the back fences streaming past, the colourful graffito tags indecipherable.  He starts reading his book: Life of Pi.

They both wear school uniforms, from different schools.  He looks to be three years older than she.  She turns to him.  “That was a cool film.”  “Yeah, but the book’s better.”

I wonder about their relationship.  Casual?  Romantic?  Just met? (more…)