Monday, 29 March 2010
Sunday Salon: A Day Late
I know, my bad. My Twitter feed has been clogged up for the past couple of weekends with numerous Sunday Salon updates. Each week I've thought 'I really must sit down and write a post.' Hence why this one is a day late.
My reading tastes seem to be swinging towards non-fiction at the moment. My bedtime book is currently a biography called The Bolter, written by her great-granddaughter, whose husband is the Shadow Chancellor. Not the most taxing read but it does prove the theory that real life can be more exciting than fiction. Idina Sackville was married, and divorced, five times between 1918 and 1945. Scandalous for those times, heck even scandalous for this day and age. Osborne did make an interesting point that the perception of affairs changed in the early twentieth century. In the Edwardian era, having affairs was a way of married life for the upper classes. As long as no-one got pregnant or wanted a divorce, all was hunky dory (in theory) and become something everyone knew about but didn't talk about. Once divorce laws became looser and went on the increase, affairs became more public. Hence more scandal.
Idina seems to have trumped them all. She emigrated to Africa with her second husband and set up home in Kenya. Her parties become known as "orgy hotspots" and romantic entanglements ahoy! I'm halfway through the book, on husband no. 4 (I think...) and the story is becoming more about the author's grandfather, Idina's child from her first marriage. Not sure where that's going to go but I shall keep you posted.
I finished No Logo which was my bus book for most of February. I thought it was about time I got around to reading this book about the power of the branded world we live in. As much as I hate to admit it, buying ethically can be very difficult for the ordinary consumer to do. People do appear to be shunning brands for cheaper retail shops such as Primark but, in turn, this creates a market for cheap labour to produce clothes. In the age of a recession, ethics can be an entity that goes out the window very quickly. Klein's prediction of a short term contract and freelancer job market seems to have hit in some industries. Not sure where that's going to leave us.
Currently, archives are seeing something of a 're-branding' in the UK with moves to encompass libraries, archives and other areas as 'information management' and break down barriers of job titles. This has caused bristling in some areas and I don't think this change is particularly welcome. Yes, working together with libraries but not interchanging archive and library work without good reason. Lots of archive money is being sucked out by the Olympic Games hoover which has lead to a decline in jobs. Most jobs advertised are for short term jobs, average pay with lots of uprooting. So I read Klein's 'No Jobs' part with some bitter pessimism. Apologies for the tangent.
My current commute read is The Search which is about the rise of the search engines. It's hard to believe but, in the early days of the Interwebs, people didn't think search portals were going to make any money. Hard to believe in this so-called Google era. This book is not necessarily about the foundation of Google but about the change in how business can be conducted on the web. Some information is slightly outdated. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is treated very cautiously rather than a staple of on-line marketing.
So yes, a very weird switch to non-fiction over the past month. It hasn't been intentionally. Fiction is still a major love judging by my piles of books everywhere. Study leave has started for this semester so my reading intake could go up. In lieu of doing any revision of course.