A Long Way Gone: The True Story of a Child Soldier by Ishmael Beah. Autobiography of a former child soldier in Sierra Leone. Apparently it was a bestseller in the US: haven't seen much about it here.
Pretty powerful stuff, written in an accessible style. However, I have some niggling doubts about the authenticity of some of the detail. For instance, it seems a bit of a coincidence that after being separated from his parents for months, that they should be attacked by rebels just hours before he was to enter their new village; and that his very first patrol should have a dramatic firefight. Could be just the fallability of memory over timing though.
The sections where he discussed readapting to civilian life feel pretty authentic though. Worth a look.
What I'm Reading 2
How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson. Don't think I need any particular help in this, but even at the top of your game there's always room for improvement.
Hodgkinson is one of the founders of the Idler magazine, and presents a systematic guide to the Idler lifestyle. Loosely stuctured around the hours of the day, it gives gentle advice on how best to idle in each situation.
Hodgkinson also rounds up selections of the advice of great Idlers and writers on Idling, from Lao Tzu to Jerome K. Jerome. Also has some interesting items: suggests that even notorious anti-Idler Thomas Edison, while boasting of his four hours sleep per night, enjoyed two three-hour naps per day to make it up.
Well worth a look, if you can be bothered.
Dropped in at the British Museum, but only for the smaller exhibitions. The splendour of Isfahan has a couple of nice items spilled over from the big Shah Abbas thing: very small though, in the little closet off the Coins room.
Also saw the superb The Intimate Portrait exhibition upstairs. Pastels, sketches and miniature portraits from 1730 to 1830. Really excellent: the portraits are much more charmingly informal than the oils from that period. Also some real cuties there too. And it's free. Check out the highlights.
Video. BSG/DS9 credit mashup.
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