Five Books Newsletter 11

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Five Books Newsletter

Dear Five Books reader,

In our new interview this week, veteran mathematics teacher Alf Coles shared his views (  on how the subject can be taught differently and more successfully.

Below our book choices for this week, selected from our library of interviews.

Have a lovely weekend!


This Week's Books

Tolstoy on Chechnya: “No one spoke of hatred of the Russians. The feeling experienced by all the Chechens, from the youngest to the oldest, was stronger than hate… the desire to exterminate them – like the desire to exterminate rats, poisonous spiders, or wolves – was as natural an instinct as that of self-preservation.”

Vanora Bennett on Chechnya (

"One of the reasons that I like Sarah Hrdy’s work so much is that she makes the point that it actually isn’t as natural as we think for mothers to be at home in the suburbs with their babies."

Alison Gopnik on Children and their Minds (

"This is the best history of the greatest minds in science alive at the time, or maybe ever, and how they were brought together to build this bomb. I hope humanity can come together again in the same way but with a more positive goal."

Tom Clarke on Being Inspired by Science (

"In Down and Out in Paris and London Orwell showed that empathy could become an extreme sport and the guideline for the art of living....He was trying to experience how other people lived, to get a taste of their lives. By doing so, he discovered that empathy isn’t something that makes you good but something that is good for you."

Roman Krznaric on The Art of Living (

"I think this is the best gardening book ever written. It’s perfect."

Monty Don on Favourite Gardening Books (

"One phrase which I liked particularly is Jane Austen's humorous boast in a letter, 'I write only for fame.'"

Lyndall Gordon on Biographies (

Quote of the Week

"There are very few bookshops which have a “peace” section... A lot of our history has been written from the perspective of war, and the moment you start looking at it from the perspective of peace, you get very different answers."
John Gittings on Peace (

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