Category: Non-Fiction

Tim Peake – Ask An Astronaut [REVIEW]

Title: Ask an Astronaut

Author: Tim Peake

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 252

Rating: 3.5/5

This book is both weird and interesting, and I’ll tell you for why. It has a lot of cool stuff about space in it, but it’s also just a list of questions and answers.

Because of that, even though I felt as though I learned a lot about space and the International Space Station, it also felt as though I was reading a bunch of Quora posts. Tim Peake knows his stuff, and the book was pretty well edited so that at least the questions flowed from one to the next, but it was still, y’know. Perhaps not as engaging as it could have been.

But then, Peake isn’t a writer. This is technically his second book, but the first one was just a bunch of photos and this one is just a list of questions with their answers. It was interesting to learn those responses, of course, but I feel as though there would have been better ways for the information to have been presented.

Anyway, this is the kind of book that’s worth reading if you can pick it up cheap from a charity shop, like I did. I can’t imagine wanting to pay full price for it though, and even with it going cheap, it was just okay. I’m not sure if there’s an audio book version of it but that might be a bit better.

Learn more about Ask an Astronaut.

Angela Saini – The Patriarchs [REVIEW]

Title: The Patriarchs

Author: Angela Saini

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 256

Rating: 5/5

I’ve read a couple of Angela Saini books by now, and you could definitely say that I’m a fan. She’s a very talented writer and a skilled researcher, as well as a citizen of the world who walks around with her eyes open.

Because of that, she’s able to write challenging but necessary books like this one. The core theme here is that of patriarchy, and the way that people think about it. In particular, Saini looks at the biases that have led historians and anthropologists to assume that patriarchies are the natural order of things.

Saini covers all sorts of societies from throughout history and introduces us to matriarchies and even societies in which gender doesn’t seem to have been considered at all. They just got on with things.

I like to think of myself as a feminist, but even feminists have been guilty of patriarchal thinking. But as Saini points out, people often point to patriarchies as being inevitable because that’s the way it’s always been. In other words, they use argument by appeal to tradition. But tradition is just peer pressure from dead people.

Ultimately, The Patriarchs does for the patriarchy what The God Delusion does for religion, and that can only be a good thing. It’s the kind of book that everyone should read, whatever their gender or ethnicity. It’s a book that could help to shape our society for the better.

Learn more about The Patriarchs.