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Naked Reading 2023

This is a series of self portraits chronicling my reading activities. Born out of an older series, I decided to renew it in 2023 with the intent to capture every book I read. 

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The Sleeper Awakes

A curious dystopia by one of the pioneers of sci-fi, H.G. Wells. Full of intriguingly remarkable foresight at how the future might play out, including highly prescient ideas on urbanism, energy, transport, inequalities and the systems of exploitation that go with them. A book full of vision and commentary that applies equally for its Victorian origins, the world of today, and the future it envisions. An engaging read, sadly let down by an uncomfortable climax built on notions on race that haven't stood the test of time. Check out my full review on my book review blog.

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Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View

This collection of short stories are all set around the events of the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Forty stories in all, some told in quite quirky ways, expand on the events of the film, or merely see them play out in the background of other goings-on. For my part, I found the stories that featured familiar Star Wars characters that weren't A New Hope fun, not least of all my very favourite Star Wars character Doctor Aphra (from the comics). Exploring what it means to become one with the force (ie a force ghost) gave some great new insight into how the Star Wars universe works. While most movingly two tragic stories of motherhood really added some emotional weight to the collection. Built on obvious nostalgia for a much-loved film, this book delivered a very satisfying new layer to a story many of us know so very well. Check out my full review on my book review blog.

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Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats

This political and cultural history by Maya Goodfellow outlines the UK’s attitude and policy in regard to immigration. It does so via numerous case studies of decades of increasingly cruel immigration policies, and demonstrates how the current hateful Conservative government politics are built on the back of numerous governments reaching to immigration as a political weapon. Something they are able to do thanks to our failure as a nation to understand the reality of race and immigration or our colonial history. A great overview of the history, politics and cultural background of the subject. Check out my full review on my book review blog.

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Star Trek: Coda - Oblivion's Gate

The first book I finished in 2023 was the final book in the Star Trek: Coda trilogy, Oblivion's Gate, by David Mack. This was an insanely huge Star Trek crossover that served as the finale for two-decades of Star Trek novels stories, which were shunted into an alternate timeline thanks to the newest Star Trek TV series establishing a new "prime" timeline. As the end of a whole bunch of long-running interconnected series it was a sorrowful farewell, especially as it was such a conclusive end to that particular narrative. But it also had some really exciting highs, including being a sequel of sorts to my favourite Star Trek movie, First Contact, and returning to the novel's rather utopian version of the mirror universe. Check out my full review on my book review blog.

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