Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Under 2000 Goodreads Ratings

Hello and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday post! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s theme was really hard: Top Ten Books with Under 2000 Goodreads Ratings. It turns out, I don’t read many books that don’t have at least 10,000 ratings. Those that I’ve found that do have under 2000 ratings are mainly linguistics related, which at first I found surprising but I guess it really isn’t. If you study linguistics, or want to study it, or are just interested in language, this list is for you! Plus a sneaky travel book.

  1. Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes - Daniel Everett

This was the book that got me into linguistics. Daniel Everett is a linguist who went as a missionary to live with the Pirahã tribe in the Amazon. He writes about his observations of the Pirahã language as he learns it; the language doesn’t have a number system as we know it, for example, and instead of using left/right/forward/back they use north/east/south/west and their position to the river to tell directions. Most interestingly, the Pirahã language makes Everett consider his own Christian beliefs, and actually ends up abandoning them. For anyone who likes linguistics or anthropology this is a must read!

  1. Language: The Cultural Tool - Daniel Everett

Years after reading Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes, Everett published a new book. You’ve probably heard of Noam Chomsky and his Universal Grammar theory - this book aims to support another theory. Almost everyone I knew who was involved in linguistics at the time was a Chomsky-supporter, so naturally I devoured any book that went against them, so that I could try and form my own ideas about where language comes from and why and how.

  1. The Language Myth

In a similar vein to Language: The Cultural Tool, The Language Myth sets out to disprove Universal Grammar. Evans, like me, really dislikes Steven Pinker - a renowned Chomsky and Universal Grammar supporter - and she presents her points in a clear and concise way. However, this book is slightly more academic than the two mentioned above, and can be a bit hard-going at times.

  1. Lingo: A Language-Spotter’s Guide to Europe - Gaston Dorren

Language nerds rejoice! A fellow language nerd has written a book about the languages of Europe and given his hilarious judgement and comments on them - he also took classes in many of the languages he talks about. Insights include how “mind-boggling” Welsh can be, how French has a mother-fixation, and how chaotic the Slovak case system is. This book isn’t a scientific linguistics book, and it is easy to pick up and just read a chapter at a time. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is addicted to completing Duolingo language trees.

  1. Tropic of Capricorn - Simon Reeve

Me and my boyfriend LOVE dear Simon. You may have seen him on TV in his Tropic of Cancer/Caribbean series - this book is the accompaniment to his Tropic of Capricorn trip, and deals with a wide variety of issues that are affecting the area at the moment. Issues such as HIV, pollution, gem mining, poaching, relocating of peoples. The list goes on. And on top of all of that, he describes the places he visits so vividly and so beautifully, that you feel like you’re already there with him.

After thoroughly checking my Goodreads, I found a bonus book!

  1. Moranifesto - Caitlin Moran

This was one of the first books I wrote about for this blog - you can find the review here. Ever since reading How to Be a Woman, I have been a massive fan of Moran, and luckily this new found love came just as Moranifesto was published. Moranifesto is a collection of all of Moran’s columns and other pieces of writing that have been put into book form. Topics covered vary wildy, from Moran’s obsession with Get Lucky by Daft Punk, to a more serious letter to her daughter and other teenage girls. I will happily shove this book in the face of anyone who doesn’t speak for a couple of minutes, but you should definitely read this if you’re already a fan of Moran and fancy crying with both laughter and the relief of finally having been understood.

If you have a Top Ten Tuesday post, please share it with me in the comments below so that I can drop by!
Love to you all,

Zoe