98 episodes

Emphasis is on the learnings and pragmatic takeaways that can be applied to your everyday life. 2 to 3 uploads every week!

Mere Mortals Book Reviews Kyrin Down & Juan Granados

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

Emphasis is on the learnings and pragmatic takeaways that can be applied to your everyday life. 2 to 3 uploads every week!

    The Grapes Of Wrath (John Steinbeck) - Book Review

    The Grapes Of Wrath (John Steinbeck) - Book Review

    Want a book that can entertain you, tear you up and make you think deeply all at the same time? 'The Grapes Of Wrath' by John Steinbeck is one the classic works of the 20th century. It describes the migration of the fictional Joad family during the Dust Bowl era as they seek a better future in California. Unfortunately their tale is one of woe and suffering. They face intense discrimination, a dearth of jobs and abject poverty in their quest. The underlying rage and frustration seeps out through this book, which won the Pulitzer Prize and was a primary reason for the Steinbeck's winning of the Nobel Prize for Literature.


    I summarised the book as follows. "This book really hits home hard. It is entertaining, emotive and impactful all in one fell swoop. Steinbeck creates complex characters that aren't tropes within this huge historical context of mass migration and movement of time, space and lives. Truly deserving of high praise and was duly recognised during its own time and even to this day. Superb in every way."


    As always, I hope you have a fantastic day wherever you are in the world. Kyrin out!


    Timeline:

    (0:00) - Intro & Synopsis

    (3:37) - Poverty & Suffering: The linked chains of despair

    (7:47) - Discrimination: Unjustified distinctions on 'whatever'

    (10:15) - Personal Observations

    (13:08) - Summary


    Connect with Mere Mortals:

    Website: https://www.meremortalspodcast.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meremortalspodcast/

    • 14 min
    On Writing (Stephen King) - Book Review

    On Writing (Stephen King) - Book Review

    What does one of the most successful writers of all time have to say about perfecting the craft? 'On Writing' by Stephen King is part memoir/part advice of what he has learned from 52 years of living. The memoir focuses mostly upon his early childhood leading up to the publication of his first book 'Carrie', as well as his near death experience in the writing of this book. His advice reflects his humorous personality and contains some very direct tips (keep it short/minimise adverbs/read & write lots!) and indirect musings (tell the truth/story above all else/care about the language).


    I summarised the book as follows. "This book didn't bore me, and that is not an insult at all. I am not particularly interested in the writing process or King's style of books but found myself fully engaged with his reflections and ashamed that I have only read one of his books. Reading this book makes you want to be a writer. Would recommend for aspiring writers (obviously) but also for anyone who has a love for language."


    As always, I hope you have a fantastic day wherever you are in the world. Kyrin out!


    Timeline:

    (0:00) - Intro & Synopsis

    (1:37) - Memoir & Accident

    (3:48) - On Writing

    (6:45) - Personal Observations

    (8:35) - Summary


    Connect with Mere Mortals:

    Website: https://www.meremortalspodcast.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meremortalspodcast/

    • 10 min
    Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson) - Book Review

    Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson) - Book Review

    This time around, I got to indulge myself by reading 'Treasure Island' by Robert Louis Stevenson. Treasure Island, originally named The Sea Cook: A Story for Boys, is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers, buried gold, pirates and mutiny."

    I summarised the book as follows, "A delightful read, that had me enthralled just a few pages in. 7/10"

    As always, I hope you have a fantastic day wherever you are in the world. Juan out!

    Timeline:
    (0:00) - Intro & Synopsis
    (1:25) - Robert Louis Stevenson
    (2:00) - What is Treasure Island
    (5:30) - Themes of the book
    (11:00) - Personal Observations
    (12:30) - Summary

    Connect with Mere Mortals:
    Website: https://www.meremortalspodcast.com/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meremortalspodcast/

    • 13 min
    Crome Yellow (Aldous Huxley) - Book Review

    Crome Yellow (Aldous Huxley) - Book Review

    Did you know that the seeds of 'Brave New World' were coming through in the authors head at least a decade before it was published? 'Crome Yellow' by Aldous Huxley is a satirical novel poking fun of the English 'gentry' and their associates. It is set in Crome Manor in the green heart of England and is told from a 3rd person omniscient narrator. The book is silly in its presentation of the eccentric characters but ironically contains some deep themes despite the comical façade.


    I summarised the book as follows. "There is absolutely no plot to speak of so the book relies on its wonderful characters to act as the driving force. They are totally outlandish but also entirely believable at the same time. It's mildly thought provoking in places but is definitely a light short read. Worth checking out if you want to see the origins of Huxley's more famous book 'Brave New World'."


    As always, I hope you have a fantastic day wherever you are in the world. Kyrin out!


    Timeline:

    (0:00) - Intro & Synopsis

    (2:45) - Satire: Not necessarily always mean-spirited

    (4:27) - Irony: Not always humorous

    (7:49) - Personal Observations

    (8:09) - Summary


    Connect with Mere Mortals:

    Website: https://www.meremortalspodcast.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meremortalspodcast/

    • 9 min
    The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath) - Book Review

    The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath) - Book Review

    What is it like to be in a place so dark that you see no possibility of escape? 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath is a semi-autographical novel published in 1963 just before her death by suicide. It tells the tale of Esther Rosenberg (aka Sylvia) and her struggles with mental health that eventually lead to her being institutionalised. Exposed in this book are how depression was treated before the time of readily available antidepressants as well as how expectations (both externally from society and internally from ourselves) can damage us and lead to a breakdown.


    I summarised the book as follows. "There's no way around it, this is a depressing book. It details the descent of a typical happy young girls into hopelessness and madness. It's an expose of what a truly dark place looks/feels like but is certainly not pleasant to read about. What makes this story so sad is that it almost seems like Sylvia wrote this book as a form of self-therapy, a light at the end of the tunnel, which unfortunately she never got to see."


    As always, I hope you have a fantastic day wherever you are in the world. Kyrin/Juan out!


    Timeline:

    (0:00) - Intro & Synopsis

    (2:44) - Depression: Trapped under the bell jar

    (4:48) - Expectations: The belief of what 'should' happen

    (7:10) - Personal Observations

    (9:29) - Summary


    Connect with Mere Mortals:

    Website: https://www.meremortalspodcast.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meremortalspodcast/

    • 10 min
    False Alarm (Bjorn Lomborg) - Book Review

    False Alarm (Bjorn Lomborg) - Book Review

    Are we headed for imminent extinction due to climate change or is it all just a false alarm? 'False Alarm' by Bjorn Lomborg is a book designed to dampen the fear and hyperbole surrounding the methods of dealing with a changing environment. The book has 5 sections addressing why alarmism is wrong, what the full story says, how NOT to fix the problem, 3-4 simple workable solutions and a final conclusion with notes supporting his interpretation.


    I summarised the book as follows. "I'm a fan of the call to use more rationality and to proceed with moderate action in non-emergency situations. I found the book compelling and easy to understand, much more so than 'Cool It' by the same author. He was reasonable in his presentation of science/facts and wasn't focused on attacking the 'other side' of the debate, simply just trying to make the world a better place."


    As always, I hope you have a fantastic day wherever you are in the world. Kyrin out!


    Timeline:

    (0:00) - Intro & Synopsis

    (2:56) - Alarmism: Fear makes us do stupid things

    (4:51) - Climate Change: Effective and ineffective solutions

    (10:14) - Personal Observations

    (12:23) - Summary


    Connect with Mere Mortals:

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meremortalspodcast/

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Sixty-niner ,

Check here first

I love reading. But there are only so many hours in the day, and I can't read everything that has ever been published. MM is doing a great job of reviewing the books which are actually worth reading.

shaun_coop ,

Practical and entertatining.

Hats off to the Mere Mortals, taking the time to review some great books and share concepts within them, providing key takeaways and doing it while being entertaining.

Caught My Ear Podcast ,

Diverse and Insightful!

Great stuff from Mere Mortals with this book review podcast series. They touch on a real wide array of books and give some excellent insight and takeaways. Definitely one to get stuck into even if you aren’t a huge bibliophile

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