The Muslim Revolt by Roger Hardy. Short book by a BBC correspondent on the various responses of the Muslim world to imperialism and modernity. It's split into chapters based on various countries the author has visited, but also has historical information too.
Pretty informative, though as ever the complicated web of influences and schisms is easier to forget than to learn. I'll try to keep remembering the distinctions between Salafism, Wahabism and Qutbism
Has some interesting stuff on how the Muslim Brotherhood was affected by repression within the Islamic world. Makes a good point that if the West had paid more attention to the collapse in post-Soviet Afghan, the rise of modern fundamentalism might have been very different. Published in 2010, there's nothing here about Islamic State.
Worthwhile because the author eschews easy generalisations and solutions, but nothing here is particularly startling.
What I'm Reading 2
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Good YA fantasy novel about a man remembering supernatural events from his childhood as he returns home. Has some good depictions of childhood, especially the odd mixture of unreasonable confidence and unreasoning terror at a mysterious world.
What I'm Watching
Saw Ex Machina. Science fiction thriller about an IT peon summoned to a CEO's home where he encounters an android. Thought this was truly excellent: tense, thoughtful, with interesting ideas and some great performances. Well worth seeing.
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