3. United Ireland: Why Unification is Inevitable and How It will Come About by Kevin Meagher
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1. The Holocaust by Laurence Rees
2. Cathedrals of Steam by Christian Wolmar
Another from the "UK is so over, bro" genre that's been blooming in recent years. This one goes into quite some detail about various models Irish unification could take. As his focus is on the present and likely future, Meagher's coverage of the history and how we got here this part skims over a lot, and sometimes makes points that attracted my curiosity but doesn't develop them as to do so would interrupt the narrative and argument but gave me lots to think about however. His main argument is that it would probably be an economical benefit to the Six Counties regardless of the final settlement and as Brexit moves trade from east-west to north-south these deepening connections will lead to increased political co-operation no matter much the Unionists might want it to be otherwise. 4. The Brilliant Abyss by Helen Scales
Eye-opening book at about the deep sea. The first half is about the variety of life found in the depths (Hadal Zone is my new favourite term), and Scales's descriptions are so evocative you don't really mind the lack of illustrations other than a few colour plates. The second half covers human exploitation of the abyss, climate change, and how damaging moves to open up this space to deep sea mining will be. After the sheer sense of adventure and wonder in the first half, I was left feeling pretty depressed by the end. But it's a part of our planet that sadly doesn't get much attention and I'm glad I had my eyes opened to this strange world. 5. You Don't Want to Know by James Felton
A collection of grotesque stories from history and biology, with a high level of scatology , premature deaths, and sexual misadventures. Most of the tales I've heard before as it's ground that things like QI
and golden era Cracked.com
have trod many times, but Felton's retelling of them is enjoyable and each story doesn't outstay its welcome. It's clearly designed for dipping into when you're otherwise engaged.