Planet Slop Book Club #2: Protest!, Plum, The Jewish Joke, David Bowie Made Me Gay, Creating Freedom

By Planet Slop
Thu 21 December, 2017

News From Nowhere have returned with some more recommendations to cosy up with over the holidays.

In the first edition of the Planet Slop Book Club (read here) News From Nowhere directed us to some truly fantastic reads, with us at Planet Slop ticking off both John Higgs’ infinitely interesting Watling Street as well as Under My Thumb in the time that has past.

Now with a mix of cosy days in and a few lengthy train journeys ahead of us we’ve been back to bug them for more new tips capable of seeing us into the new year, and maybe even inspire a gift or two.

Protest! Stories of Resistance
edited by Ra Page
(£14.99, Comma Press, ISBN 9781905583737)

For a nation that brought the world Chartism, the Suffragettes, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and so many other grassroots social movements, Britain rarely celebrates its long, great tradition of people power.

In this evocative collection, twenty authors have assembled to re-imagine key moments of British protest, from the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 to the anti-Iraq War demo of 2003. Written in close consultation with historians, sociologists and eyewitnesses, these stories follow fictional characters caught up in real-life struggles, offering a streetlevel perspective on the noble art of resistance.

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by Hollie McNish
(£9.99, Picador, ISBN 9781509815760 )

Hollie McNish has thrilled and entranced audiences the length and breadth of the UK with her compelling and powerful performances. Plum, is a wise, sometimes rude and piercingly candid account of her memories from childhood to attempted adulthood.

This is a book about growing up, about flesh, fruit, friendships, work and play – a salute to a life in which we are always growing, stumbling, falling, changing and discovering new selves to add to our own messy store.

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The Jewish Joke: An essay with examples (less essay, more examples)
by Devorah Baum
(£9.99,Profile Books, ISBN 9781781255230)

The Jewish joke is as old as Abraham, and like the Jews themselves it has wandered over the world, learned countless new languages, worked with a range of different materials, been performed in front of some pretty hostile crowds, but still retained its own distinctive identity.

So what is it that animates the Jewish joke? Why are Jews so often thought of as ‘funny’? And how old can a joke get? The Jewish Joke is a brilliant – and very funny – riff on Jewish jokes, about what marks them apart from other jokes, why they are important to Jewish identity and how they work.

Ranging from self-deprecation to anti-Semitism, politics to sex, it looks at the past of Jewish joking and asks whether the Jewish joke has a future.

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David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT music
by Darryl W. Bullock
(£18.99, Bloomsbury, ISBN 9780715651926)

From the birth of jazz in the red-light district of New Orleans, through the rock ‘n’ roll years, Swinging Sixties and all-singing and all-dancing disco days of the ’70s, to modern pop, electronica and reggae – the LGBT community has played a crucial role in modern music.

Through exclusive new interviews and contemporary reports, Bullock pulls back the curtain on the colourful legacy that has shaped our musical and cultural landscape, revealing the inspiring and often heart-breaking stories of both internationally renowned LGBT artists and numerous lesser-known names that have driven the revolution from all corners of the globe.

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Creating Freedom: Power, Control and the Fight for Our Future
by Raoul Martinez
(£10.99, Canongate, ISBN 9781782111887)

The ideal of freedom is at the heart of our political and economic system. It is foundational to our sense of justice, our way of life, our conception of what it is to be human. But are we free in the way that we think we are?

In Creating Freedom, Raoul Martinez brings together a torrent of mind-expanding ideas, facts and arguments to dismantle sacred myths central to our society – myths about free will, free markets, free media and free elections. From the lottery of our birth to the consent-manufacturing influence of concentrated wealth and power, this far-reaching manifesto lifts the veil on the mechanisms of control that pervade our lives. It reveals that we are far less free than we like to think, yet it also shows that freedom is something we can create together, and that our very survival may depend on us doing so.

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