The Books We’re Reading In Coronavirus Self Isolation

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Thanks to the rapid spread of coronavirus we’ve all found ourselves primarily confined to our homes. Without places to go out time, there’s a lot more time to catch up on the shame pile of books that are stacking up on our shelves – both in real life and digitally.

This is what some of us in the Gizmodo office are planning on reading.


Tegan Jones – Gizmodo Editor

Salt, Water, Flour, Yeast by Ken Forkish

After reading Sourdough by Robin Sloane over Christmas I became obsessed with making my own. I bought a 27-year-old starter and now every weekend I bake delicious fresh bread. And it was all thanks to to Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish. I’m still making my way through the various recipes.

In Flour Water Salt Yeast, author Ken Forkish demonstrates that high-quality artisan bread and pizza is within the reach of any home baker. Whether it’s a basic straight dough, dough made with a pre-ferment, or a complex levain, each of Forkish’s impeccable recipes yields exceptional results. Tips on creating and adapting bread baking schedules that fit in reader’s day-to-day lives-enabling them to bake the breads they love in the time they have available-make Flour Water Salt Yeast an indispensable resource for bakers, be they novices or serious enthusiasts.

Hardcover: $54.69


Ferment by Holly Davis

But it doesn’t stop there. My starter obsession has now escalated into fermentation , which is good timing considering how hard and expensive it is to get groceries right now.

While I have successfully made kimchi, sauerkraut and carrot kraut so far, I want to learn more. So I just picked up Ferment by Holly Davis. It has everything from fermented vegetables to vinegar, bread, cheese and wine making.

I’m coming out the other side of self isolation ready to start a low key cult in Tasmania.

Celebrated the world over for their health benefits and dynamic flavors, cultured and fermented foods are seeing and revival and are becoming everyday meal mainstays. In this extensive collection, fermentation pioneer Holly Davis shares more than 120 recipes for familiar–and lesser-known–cultured foods, including yogurt, pickles, kimchi, umeboshi, scrumpy, and more.

Paperback: $34.48


Matt Hopkins – Senior Native Content Manager

Watch by Keith Buckley

I really wanna read Keith Buckley’s latest book, Watch, but I haven’t ordered it yet.

When John Harvey’s watch stops working on the morning of February 3rd, 1987, he has an epiphany. It occurs to him that every personal trauma he is trying to forget has had one thing in common: they all occurred at some point on the face of that very watch. The loss of his job, the death of his child, Zola’s suicide, all contained right there in that tiny circle of finite numbers. So he smashes the watch. Problem solved.

But when John steps out the door to make his daily trek to the local bar as a man newly freed from the tyrannies of time, he is met by a snowstorm that renders him completely blind, and a walk that should have taken just a few minutes begins to feel like years. Because as John Harvey wanders alone through the snow with no sun nor sign to guide him, the twenty-eight year old misanthrope is confronted by the vivid manifestation of every ghost he has devoted his lonely life to avoiding.

Paperback: $23.53


Jess Holmes – Videographer

Glory on the Vine – Joni Mitchell

I really want to read Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings by Joni Mitchell – just purely because now I have the time to play the songs while reading the lyrics and poems

In 1971, as her album Blue topped music charts around the world, Joni Mitchell created a dazzling and unforgettable holiday gift for her closest friends. Morning Glory on the Vine was an exquisite selection of Joni’s handwritten lyrics and poems, accompanied by more than thirty full-colour illustrations, paintings and watercolours. The book was hand-produced in Los Angeles and limited to one hundred signed and numbered copies. Copies of the book have rarely been seen in the past half-century.

Now, in conjunction with Joni’s 75th birthday celebrations, Morning Glory on the Vine: Early Songs and Drawings, will be made publicly available for the first time. This edition contains the book’s complete original content, plus a new introduction written by Joni and a number of her additional paintings

Hardcover: $37.75


Leah Willams – Gizmodo Journalist and Producer

Warlock Holmes: The Hell-Hound of The Baskervilles by G.S. Denning

It’s a story about Sherlock Holmes, but he’s a wizard and hangs around with demons and vampires. It’s shit and I love it a lot.

The game’s afoot once more as Holmes and Watson face off against Moriarty’s gang, the Pinkertons, flesh-eating horses, a parliament of imps, boredom, Surrey, a disappointing butler demon, a succubus, a wicked lord, an overly-Canadian lord, a tricycle-fight to the death and the dreaded Pumpcrow. Oh, and a hell hound, one assumes.

Paperback: $21.13


Alex Bruce-Smith – PTV Acting Editor

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind because like five different people have now recommended to me.

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

My name is Kvothe.
You may have heard of me

Paperback: $16.50


Jack Colquhoun – Strategy & Response Manager

Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight

I just read Shoe Dog: A Memoir By The Creator of NIKE. Really charming and well written, with some really cool brand strategy in there.

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike’s annual sales top $30 billion. In an age of start-ups, Nike is the ne plus ultra of all start-ups, and the swoosh has become a revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols in the world today.

Paperback: $14.66.


Sarah Basford – Gizmodo and Lifehacker Journalist

Party Animals – Samantha Maiden

I’m a sucker for Australian politics so this one’s been on my list since it was released. I still remember the shock my friends and I were in as we settled in for ABC’s Election Night results (we’re the true definition of geeks). Very keen to read what Maiden has to write about it.

Secrets, lies, lawyers and covert recordings. If you thought the 2019 election was just about a death tax that didn’t exist, you’re in for a surprise.

From the dark arts of the dirt units to the role of billionaire Clive Palmer, this is the untold story of an election debacle.
The Labor Party was the unbeatable favourite to win the 2019 election right up until the polls closed and voters delivered the surprise verdict.

If the results staggered pundits, they also shocked Bill Shorten and his frontbench, who had spent the final weeks of the campaign carefully planning for their first days in office.

Party Animals uncovers the secret history of a Labor fiasco, the untold story behind Scott Morrison’s miracle.

Paperback: $24.


The Arsonist – Chloe Hooper

This one looks at the man who lit two fires in Victoria — what we now know as Black Saturday — which resulted in the deaths of nearly two hundred people. I really like Hooper’s The Tall Man so I suspect this will be a great read too.

On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn’t know.

The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. It is also the story of fire in this country, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species – understanding its abuse will define our future.

Paperback: $21.90.


War On Peace – Ronan Farrow

I have to admit, I also haven’t read Catch and Kill but both books are on my urgent to-read lists.

In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth – Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His first-hand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.

Hardcover: $40.43.


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