12 December 2021 · 19:12
Downing Street has been in the news quite a bit this week, so it seems to be quite while I read Number 10: The Geography of Power on Downing Street by Jack Brown recently. Brown was the researcher at the first residence ever in 10th place and his book examines how the role of the Prime Minister and the architecture of one of the world famous inscriptions influenced each other. Originally built in the 1980s, a significant restoration was made in the early 1960s and much of the book focuses on the way prime ministers lived and worked in it in the second half of the 20th century. Security reasons apparently prevent clear diagrams of the inside of Downing Street to accompany the text, which is a bit unfortunate. However, Brown’s analysis of how the iconic residence radiates soft power to its critics and its strengths and weaknesses as a modern office and living space offers a compelling argument that consecutive prime ministers have influenced the building as much as the building shaped their way of working.
The Spider Woman by Lady Hale It is a memoir of the former Supreme Court president and one of England’s top justices. The book’s title comes from the £ 12 pin she wore when she read the Supreme Court ruling that parliamentary approval in September 2019 was illegal, and reached wider public attention only at the end of a long and respectable career. After her childhood in North Yorkshire, Hale graduated from -Girton College, Cambridge in 1966, and held a position in the Bar Association and then two decades at the Academy in Manchester. , Was a justice lord in 2004, then vice president of the Supreme Court in 2013. And finally its president in 2017. This is a memoir about Hale’s incredible career path. There are no details about her personal life – her divorce from her first husband is dealt with in one sentence – but it is clear from the way she describes the fascinating cases in which she was involved that she has a brilliant legal mind and her prose clarity prevents these passages from drying out too much. I expect The Spider Woman to be the most appreciated by potential law students, but here too everyone is inspired. Thank you so much to Vintage Books for sending me a copy through NetGalley.
Magpie by Elizabeth Day It’s a psychological thriller that tells the story of children’s illustrator Marissa who meets Jake online. It is not long before they start living together and expecting a baby. However, Marissa has experienced trauma in the past and becomes deeply disturbed following unexpected visits from Jake Annabelle’s mother and the behavior of their tenant Kate, who does not seem to understand the appropriate boundaries while she lives with them. The novel has a big twist in the middle that parallels those in the middle of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and ‘Fingersmith’ by Sarah Waters in that it forces the reader to re-evaluate everything he has just read through completely new eyes. While it is difficult to discuss this in detail without spoilers, but it will definitely attack the nerve in one way or another, and I think it is done wisely overall. Daye experiences abortions and IVF treatment in real life, and the issues related to fertility and mental health in this chilling home noir are explored in a thoughtful and influential way.