User Profile

Nick Barlow

Joined 10 months ago

I read a lot, and try to keep things varied and am always interested in broadening my outlook through something new. Currently writing a memoir about walking, mental health, and grief. Can be found elsewhere on the fediverse talking about things other than books at and

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Nick Barlow's books

Currently Reading

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2023 Reading Goal

81% complete! Nick Barlow has read 53 of 65 books.

Sins of My Father (2023, Orion Publishing Group, Limited) 4 stars

Raw and compelling memoir

4 stars

A really interesting story of how Lily's father left her family when she was just six so he could join the Bhagwan's movement and focus on himself. An exploration of the effects this abandonment and her father's later behaviour had on her as his life fell apart in different parts of the world.

Dissolution of the Monasteries (2022, Yale University Press) 4 stars

Almost everything you could want to know about the subject

4 stars

An absolute doorstopper of a book, packed with information, covering every aspect of the dissolution in quite forensic detail, illustrating a lot of the stories around the dissolution and showing what a massive social upheaval England went through during the later years of Henry VIII's reign. Maybe too detailed if you want just a brief overview of the period, but Clark has obviously done a lot of research to draw out all these facts and stories and brought them together in one volume.

Spain: The Root and the Flower (Paperback, 1985, University of California Press) 3 stars

Sometimes interesting, sometimes frustrating

3 stars

I found the middle sections of this the most interesting where Crow talks about the rise and fall of Imperial Spain and the art and literature that came from that era. The rest of it has some interesting moments but all filtered through a very dated perspective of assuming "the Spanish people" are homogenous s a group of peasants without agency who just wander around in the background of history. Particularly annoying when he reaches the twentieth century, where the section on the Civil War is just anti-communist axe-grinding, then the section on post-Franco Spain has a "how dare these people want to live modern lives" attitude to it.

Concrete Volume 1 (Paperback, 2005, Dark Horse) 4 stars

Nostalgic rediscovery

4 stars

I'd read some issues of Concrete back in the 90s and then thought about it again recently. Luckily, this volume was in my local library and was an interesting rediscovery of a very different age, both in the world Concrete exists in and the perception of comics and portrayal of superheroics. It's a very gently kind of story-telling, focused much more on the character than his exploits and adventures and trying to grapple with the idea of what it would be like to be transformed in that way.

Vaxxers (Paperback) 4 stars

Heavy on science, but worth reading

4 stars

This account of the development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine combines science and recent history, showing how the team came together to put out a Covid vaccine in such a short time. There's a lot of science in this and it's interesting to see just how casually they describe things that would have seemed miraculous just a couple of decades ago, like the way they manipulate DNA. The book could have been two or three times longer explaining a lot of the intricacies of this, but as it is, it's a fascinating tight read, the pace of it echoing the pace of the creation process.