Artemis

For my birthday, my wife gave me a very nice pair of shorts, which should last me a long time, and a copy of Andy Weir’s second novel, Artemis, which I read over the course of two days and hence hasn’t lasted me very long. So on average, well, averages turn out to be an unhelpful way to construe gratitude.
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Sharkys, Bagan

Last night I looked online for somewhere to go out for dinner in Bagan. There was nothing apart from a recommendation to smoke shisha at a backpacker hostel, or a KTV joint 45 minutes’drive away. Thanks, internet.

We walked down the main street, and went past the umbrella factory, past a few dimly lit restaurants without much appeal, and were on the verge of turning around and relying on the minibar, when we came across Sharkys.
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The Perfect Distance


The Perfect Distance is a book describing the careers of Sebastian Coe (Conversative Lord, adviser to Nike and the IOC, and therefore more-than-slightly dubious, under some interpretations) and Steve Ovett, a shaggier-looking chap who was naturally talented and not whittled into a formidable middle distance runner by a obsessive father. (Not that Peter Coe doesn’t come from a long line of fathers who seem to be doing horrible things to ensure the success of their progeny (Tiger Woods’ dad, anyone?).

It’s also written by Pat Butcher, who as well as being the Financial Times’ sports writer, was the name of the pub landlady in East Enders, which really messed with my head while I was reading the book.
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Deskbound


Deskbound is a book about how terrible it is to spend your day sitting, and how you can remedy that if you’re stuck in a sedentary occupation (like mine – principally sitting at a desk typing at a keyboard). I’m reading it on my phone’s Kindle app, which feels slightly hypocritical if not just plain reckless, as one of the factors it suggests as a problem is how people read on their smartphones too much.
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Orphan X

Of the three books we purchased last Friday on the way to Hong Kong, Orphan X was most clearly an airport novel. Big enough to last for a long flight, but devoid of any taxing detail or subtext to grapple with when you’re on holiday. It didn’t disappoint, which is to say it was disappointing, and I was disappointed at myself for reading it.
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The Four


I read several books this weekend, one of them The Four by Scott Galloway. Scott Galloway is a professor at NYU Stern Business School, and also makes entertaining videos on Youtube where he explains the world of Silicon Valley through the medium of wearing a wig and miming to Adele. No, really. That’s how I first came to know of him, prompted to look at a dissection of Apple/Google/Amazon/Facebook by a colleague.
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