/ What are you reading?

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Tall Clare - on 01 Jul 2012
Hello all,

Yes, once again, it's the tried, tested and trusted 'what are you reading' thread.

So - what are you reading?

In a slightly uncharacteristic moment of 'getting in there first', I'd like to recommend 'Fiva' by Gordon Stainforth of these here parts. I finished reading it last week whilst on holiday, and felt utterly wrung out and a bit emotional by the end, which I hadn't been expecting at all - as if I'd lived through the epic alongside him and his brother. It feels as if he's nailed his experience completely, right down to the public schoolboy terminology, the all-consuming preoccupation with one's pain, the mindless songs and sayings that haunt us at all the wrong moments.

I think it's very easy to develop a picture of people through their forum postings, and prior to this some of my more significant encounters with Gordon have left me feeling that I was a bantamweight sparring with a heavyweight. His book evens out this perception - it reminds us that we're all human, and we can all screw up, and we can all be terrified. Not all of us are prepared to admit to it though...

So yes, that's my big recommendation. I'll blether on about Kathleen Jamie's sublime 'Sightlines' later.

You?
Padraig on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
It is pretty intense!! Think I read it in "almost" one go! I'm currently reading.. "Harrington on Hold'em -Expert Strategy for No limit Touraments, Volume I: Strategic Play"
Well, YOU did ask! ;-)
alj - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just googled that and added to my 'wish list'. At the moment I'm NOT reading 50 shades of grey OR Room - but feeling myself inevitably succumbing.

Rereading old books at the mo - nothing of mention - so hoping this thread brings some inspiration.
Mooncat - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just started The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, it's about vampires so can't really go wrong, so far so good anyway.
Milesy - on 01 Jul 2012
A fictional work on the English Civil War: The Bleeding Land by Giles Kristian.
Bulls Crack - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:


Pure by Andrew Miller

And listening to Vaughan Williams Orchestral pieces

does that make me middle-weight?
Tall Clare - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Haha! Would be interested in your thoughts on Pure - I read it a couple of months ago and was slightly disappointed, in a way I can't quite explain.
climb the peak - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: 17 equations that changed the world, good, if a little mathsy
Ben Sharp - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Fiva is sitting on my bookshelf at the moment and looking forward to reading it, glad to hear it lives up to the positive reviews I've heard previously.
puppythedog on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: I've just finished Contact by Carl Sagan. I could not recommend this book enough. It was a good example of a book that makes you feel that life is getting in the way of reading time.

The subject matter is first contact with an alien race and the implications for humanity.
peterd - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just read 'The Secret River' by Kate Grenville, about yearnings and racism in early colonial Australia. Highly evocative of a time and place far removed from our own, but with some familiar undertones.

Sarah G on 01 Jul 2012
Blimey, nothing so clever or high-minded for me! It's brain-dead literature for me- currently re-reading some Dick Francis.
Sx
Mooncat - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just ordered Fiva from Amazon, it'd better be good.
eglwyseg-andy - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: The Perfectionist, A life & death in Haute Cuisine.

Just started it but i know the ending which is a strange feeling.

I will read Fiva next, it is on an ever increasing shelf of books to read in my bedroom.
Dave C on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: I now have a complete bookcase just for the stuff I haven't read yet - the count is somewhere around 70 I think.
In true 'attention-deficit-disorder' style, I've got 6 books on the go at different times and places:
Postwar - Tony Judt
Arguably - Christopher Hitchens
State-by-State - A book of essays about all the individual states of the USA. This is a fabulous find!
Byzantium, The Apogee - John Julius Norwich
The Great Sea - David Abulafia
The Dutch Republic, It's Rise, Greatness & Fall - Jonathan Israel

BelleVedere on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
>
>
> So yes, that's my big recommendation. I'll blether on about Kathleen Jamie's sublime 'Sightlines' later.
>
>

ooo i love her - havn't got this one yet

me - just finished American Gods

About to start another climbing autobiography. Working my way through Ambleside library's fine mountaineering collection, so far Jerry Moffat's Revelations has been my fave.

Tall Clare - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave C:

I hardly dare say this, but I'm reading 'Edgelands' by Paul Farley and Michael Symonds Roberts and 'Sea Room' by Adam Nicholson at the moment... and then I think that's pretty much it. I might finally be at the end of my backlog, give or take five or so books. I can start buying again!

We're off up to Northumberland for a triathlon later in the month (apparently) so I can pay my first visit to Barter Books. Mmm...
joan cooper - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: a book from the past The Water People by Joe Simpson. I thought it very powerful,fascinating descriptions of India and Nepal The accompanying characters were very real and you really experienced the struggles on the mountains. Just what you would expect from such an experienced author
stonemaster - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: The Anglers Guide to Coarse Fishing by Bill Howes...:)
Wonko The Sane - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Think like a bird by Alex Kimble, he's a military pilot. flying light aircraft. It's a great book. In telling the stories he manages to make it sound like a chat in the pub, quite intimate and open..... and he also gives a lot of good information aout flying in with the mix.

The other thing I'm reading is the Lunar Excursion Module handbook. Written by Grumman. Very informative.

I've a couple of other trash books on the go too which I'll get around to finishing when my bathroom is complete.
graeme jackson - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Snuff - Terry Pratchett - bought half price in wh smiths last week. Just reread all the discworld books and had a few chuckles along the way. Snuff is a lot darker.
Clarence - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

The Empty Mirror by Janwillem van de Wetering about a Dutch beatnik in a Japanese Zen monastery. This is a foreigner adapting to the east book much like Robert Twigger's Angry White Pyjamas.

For giggles I am re-reading Robert Rankin's Brentford Triangle "trilogy" (about 7 parts and counting). Pooley and Omalley are particularly engaging comic characters although the price of a pint of large (from the early 80s) seems a world away now.
toad - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Clarence: Wotchamate! The first 3 Brentford books are enormously funny (I have a battered omnibus edition)but I always thought Rankin struggled to come up with anything as funny afterwards. I've been waiting for my local to put on a Cowboy Night ever since

I'm currently reading Mark Radcliffe Thank you for the Days, which is really lovely (the right word, I think). His description of himself as a 50 yr old fanboy with Wilco Johnson is brilliant.
dale1968 - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: george rr martin; A storm of swords, steel and snow, third book, and also watching it on dvd
tony on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

About half way through Alan Warner's new "The Deadman's Pedal". So far, it's not very good.
Ava Adore - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Sarah G:

Also raising hand wrt lightweight lit - something (title escapes me) by James Patterson.

Which Dick Francis, Sarah? They are frequently on my re-read list :-)
Bulls Crack - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
>
> Haha! Would be interested in your thoughts on Pure - I read it a couple of months ago and was slightly disappointed, in a way I can't quite explain.

I'll let you know!
hokkyokusei - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just finished "Wheels out of Gear" which was meant to be a history of the 2-Tone record label. Unfortunately it seemed to go for breadth rather than depth, and dragged in all kind of stuff that was only tangentially related. Disappointing, and I can't recommend it really even to fans of 2-Tone! It probably didn't help that my previous read was "Original Rude Boy" a sort of biography of Neville Staple, toaster from The Specials which allowed me to spot several inaccuracies in "Wheels out of Gear".

Fiva sounds really good and I could do with something gripping to read - must get myself a copy.

In reply to Dave C:
>I now have a complete bookcase just for the stuff I haven't read yet - the count is somewhere around 70 I think.

I have a similar problem. Also, many of the books I bought several years ago and now they don't look that appealing.

In reply to Wonk The Sane:
>The other thing I'm reading is the Lunar Excursion Module handbook. >Written by Grumman. Very informative.

I fancy reading that myself. I've actually been in the building where they built the LEMs on Long Island. It's the offices for a cable TV company now.

Wonko The Sane - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to hokkyokusei:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
>
>
> In reply to Wonk The Sane:
> >The other thing I'm reading is the Lunar Excursion Module handbook. >Written by Grumman. Very informative.
>
> I fancy reading that myself. I've actually been in the building where they built the LEMs on Long Island. It's the offices for a cable TV company now.

I think it's so sad..... some of the crap we preserve.... but not the place where the first space ship to carry men to another planetary body was built!!

It should be a museum. The LM was a remarkable piece of kit given the employed technology.
anonymouse - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
The Hunger Games - surprisingly satisfying.
ads.ukclimbing.com
PebblePusher - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

"Genghis Kahn" by John Man. Interesting read, although a bit geeky!
colina - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: five go to smugglers top .cracking book
thomm - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
I think your post has just sold Mr Stainforth about 50 copies...
I'm reading 'Two years before the mast' by R H Dana, a harvard student who spent two years as a merchant seaman in the early 1800s. Quite some gap year!
markez on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: I like threads such as this, so thankyou to everyone sharing their current reads.

I'm reading Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon. I see it described as a "future history" in the SF genre. I'm enjoying it, and there is a lot to absorb as it's quite rich in concepts. But I'm not particularly well, so I'm missing a bit from it and I'm going through it very slowly.

Published around 1930, it runs its future history for millions of years. It must have been a fantastic read at the time; and for me, it still is now. It's scope goes far enough that the history missed from 1930 to present doesn't detract.

Also: I've got the Preacher graphic novels I'm going through as I get them reserved through the library. Very, very good easy reading, and it continues in the same vain as it starts, so it's easy enough to see if you like it or not.
hokkyokusei - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:

> I think it's so sad..... some of the crap we preserve.... but not the place where the first space ship to carry men to another planetary body was built!!
>

I sort of agree, but to be honest it is a very anonymous concrete building!

> It should be a museum. The LM was a remarkable piece of kit given the employed technology.

I've seen one of the (I think two) remaining real LEMs at Kennedy Space Centre. I think the other is on display on Long Island somewhere.


hokkyokusei - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to markez:

> I'm reading Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon. I see it described as a "future history" in the SF genre. I'm enjoying it, and there is a lot to absorb as it's quite rich in concepts. But I'm not particularly well, so I'm missing a bit from it and I'm going through it very slowly.
>
> Published around 1930, it runs its future history for millions of years. It must have been a fantastic read at the time; and for me, it still is now. It's scope goes far enough that the history missed from 1930 to present doesn't detract.

I've read that, and enjoyed it. I also have his "Star Maker", but although I've started it several times, I've failed to make much headway.
Wonko The Sane - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to hokkyokusei:
> (In reply to Wonko The Sane)
>
> [...]
>
> I sort of agree, but to be honest it is a very anonymous concrete building!
>

I know it's silly and impractical..... it's just that I feel all emotional about it *sob*
I kind of meant with the machinery intact, and bits of LEM lying around. Not just the building itself.

Would love to see a real LEM. Would love to fly one too!!!


> [...]
>
> I've seen one of the (I think two) remaining real LEMs at Kennedy Space Centre. I think the other is on display on Long Island somewhere.

pneame on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. An interesting blend of WWII Enigma stuff and modern internet infrastructure. All with a dry, witty style - about 1/5 through so far and enjoying it immensely.

Also, like others, read "Fiva" a couple of weeks ago. Possibly the most "sweaty palms" climbing book I've read because I could so easily identify with Gordon Stainforth and his brother. Reminiscent of "Touching the Void", but I never felt "that could be me" with the latter.
markez on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to pneame: Just had a look up to bookshelf in the vain hope I could find Cryptonomicon up there... ( no )oh well I saw a big fat Hyperion book by Dan Simmons instead ( sigh - I've not tried it, it's just that it's a 746 pg omnibus ). I fancy tackling Snow Crash by Stephenson at some time in the future; and if I like that, Cryptonomicon.
wilkie14c - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: A Stephen king - from a Buick 8. Early thoughts? It's a time machine....
Goucho on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Finigans Wake by Joyce - third attempt, but I'm determined to reach the end this time.
pneame on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to markez:
Snow Crash is excellent
Hyperion - addicting, but not so good. Terror, on the other hand - outstanding.
goosebump - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

A clockwork orange. But Im about to put it down because the language style is yes original and very atmospheric but ultimately, doing my head in. Life is short, books are many.

I read Pure a little while ago too, and like you was a bit disappointed at the end.

I am now after a romping good action (Fiva?) or crime something or beach book (One day?). And also sightlines :)
Wonko The Sane - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to goosebump:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> A clockwork orange. But Im about to put it down because the language style is yes original and very atmospheric but ultimately, doing my head in. Life is short, books are many.
>
>

If you think that language is hard.... try the Iain M Banks Feersum Endjinn.

It's written from the point of view of Bascule, a chap who has a writing impediment........ He's dyslexic and it's written as though he's writing the story.

You get used to it and it's quite funny. But then the little bastard meets someone who has a speech impediment. So he's typing the words of a person with a speech impediment in his dyslexic style.

It just really tickled me because it utterly took the piss.
risby - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to goosebump:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> A clockwork orange. But Im about to put it down because the language style is yes original and very atmospheric but ultimately, doing my head in. Life is short, books are many.

Life may be short but A Clockwork Orange is the shortest book I've ever read and I enjoyed trying to remember the Russian-esque words.
David Peters - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Yeah yeah yeah, you're not fooling anyone, you're all reading 'Fifty Shades of Grey' .... but only on kindles ;-)
goosebump - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:

Ha! Ive read it and enjoyed that one :) I normally like books that are told in dialect or a true voice - Trainspotting or True History of the Kelly Gang for example. But for some reason all this viddying of each horrowshow other is just proving annoying.
markez on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to goosebump: I see you've got a few replies already on A Clockwork Orange. I can't remember the book being difficult and I could of sworn the penguin edition I read had a Nadsat dictionary - but just looked on shelf and no... did I really read without ? Anyway there are short Nadsat dictionaries online to help ! Fantastic book, glad I read this one - but if I were to buy again, I'd look for an edition with a Nadsat dictionary in it.

*Nadsat is the name of the invented slang in the book.
Carless - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Barrow's Boys - very excellent so far

Here's a review off Amazon that I'd agree with

A rip-roaring ride through a vast number of expeditions both grand-scale and shoe-string with leaders who were variously, brave, intelligent, corrupt, bigotted, opportunistic and plain incompetent. Fleming never hesitates to find the fun and the ridiculous in it all, but neither does he gloss over the horror, agonies and reckless stupidity that were all integral parts of (particularly British) explorations in the Regency and early Victorian periods. Compelling and brilliant and not in the least bit stuffy.
clochette - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Just finished The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. To my surprise it had me rivetted from start to finish. Can't recommend it highly enough.
In reply to Tall Clare: Crime & Punishment. I'm hoping it's going to be similar to Engleby by Sebastian Faulks.
Clint86 - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Schumacker in the 21st century.
Gordonbp - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Foundations Edge - Isaac Azimov. IMHO the "Foundation" saga is one of the best visions of Sci-Fi/Futuristic writing ever!. Also Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Wonko The Sane - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordonbp:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> Foundations Edge - Isaac Azimov. IMHO the "Foundation" saga is one of the best visions of Sci-Fi/Futuristic writing ever!. Also Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

I would agree........ it really inspired me as a younger bloke to look for patterns to things. Odd as that sounds.


I think it would make an excellent billion dollar budget film. Crudely written, but the ideas are simply fantastic.
hokkyokusei - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:
> (In reply to goosebump)
> [...]
>
> If you think that language is hard.... try the Iain M Banks Feersum Endjinn.
>
> It's written from the point of view of Bascule, a chap who has a writing impediment........

Really? I tried to.read this years ago and assumed it was colloquial glaswegian!
Gordonbp - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:

> If you think that language is hard....

Ulysses, James Joyce?
Sean Kelly - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Carless:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> Barrow's Boys - very excellent so far
Echo that. An excellent read as is his Chasing Dragons.
ayuplass - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
I'm reading 1Q84 by murakami (still). He's my favourite author so I love all of his stuff by default. This one took a while to get going, probably cos it's a trilogy but I've already had several :0 moments. So maybe not the best one to start out with (try Nowegian Wood or Kafka On The Shore) but a cracking read if you like his style
Tall Clare - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to ayuplass:

I loved Norwegian Wood but hated A Wind-up Bird Chronicle, and since then have only dipped in and out of his stuff.
ayuplass - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
Wind up bird isn't a 'fun' read but you should try Kafka on the shore if you liked NW.
John_Hat - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Alastair Reynolds - Olympos
Gibson - Neuromancer

Not sold on either at present. Olympos is great space opera, but too complicated for its own good and Neuromancer hasn't worked out where it is going. Great conceptually, just a pity about the writing, characterisation and plot...
Fly Fifer - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Separation Barrier. For Fun. -By Mark Thomas.

Well observed and very funny.

FF

John_Hat - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Fly Fifer:

Yes, I went to Mr Thomas' lecture tour on the same book - very good and, as you say, very funny.
Tim Chappell - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

What am I reading? Right now? OK, I'm reading:



Aeschylus, Agamemnon + various translations and commentaries on same, because I'm doing a translation of it myself

Plato, Republic Book X (don't know as I've read it right through in Greek before; nearly finished)

Augustine, Confessiones (just finished it, so good I started again)

Dante, L'Inferno (I keep getting distracted from this so I'm going very slowly, but I always come back eventually)

Marcel Proust, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu

Emmanuel Levinas, Totalite' et Infini (what a masterpiece-- the most underrated French philosopher of all in my view)

Carlo Levi, Cristo Si E' Fermato a Eboli

Patrick Leigh Fermor, Roumeli (light relief)

Probably a few other things as well, depending on which room/ mood I'm in, but those are the main ones I'm attending to right now :-)

Fly Fifer - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to John_Hat:

I saw his Glasgow show of the same title. Brilliant.

A clear departure from his early staunch left wing material. This show seemed to point out the utter hopelessness of the situation, from both sides, and leave the audience to make up the politics. The book does the same and is a great read.
LastBoyScout on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Wilbur Smith - Assegai
Brad Meltzer - The Book of Lies

Neither are really lighting me up as a damn good read :-(
JamButty - on 02 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: coming to the end of Needfull Things by Stephen King. Pretty good but hard to follow the characters mid book.
Wonko The Sane - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> What am I reading? Right now? OK, I'm reading:
>
>
>
> Aeschylus, Agamemnon + various translations and commentaries on same, because I'm doing a translation of it myself
>
> Plato, Republic Book X (don't know as I've read it right through in Greek before; nearly finished)
>
> Augustine, Confessiones (just finished it, so good I started again)
>
> Dante, L'Inferno (I keep getting distracted from this so I'm going very slowly, but I always come back eventually)
>
> Marcel Proust, A La Recherche du Temps Perdu
>
> Emmanuel Levinas, Totalite' et Infini (what a masterpiece-- the most underrated French philosopher of all in my view)
>
> Carlo Levi, Cristo Si E' Fermato a Eboli
>
> Patrick Leigh Fermor, Roumeli (light relief)
>
> Probably a few other things as well, depending on which room/ mood I'm in, but those are the main ones I'm attending to right now :-)

You're such a liar.
I happen to know you're reading John Grisham, The Firm and the Katie Price autobiography. And a Catherine Cookson novel at bedtime.
Tim Chappell - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:

No, I gave up on the Katie Price autobiography. Too many long words, too many complicated ideas. My brains fried :-)
verygneiss - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Fiction: I'm currently on On the Road, by Jack Kerouac. I've really been digging (heh) Kerouac's prose recently, it's a perfect accompaniment to a long journey. His writing is free-flowing, yet not formless, so I find it very easy to read quickly. The Dharma Bums is another great Kerouac book, and features a lot of his experiences of hiking in California.

Non fiction: I got a copy of Neil McGregor's A History of the World in 100 Objects from the library, and it's proved fascinating. Material culture is inseparable from humanity, and this book documents it just as well as the accompanying radio documentaries (aired a few months ago on Radio 4).

I'm also going through Plato's Republic in dribs and drabs.

Coming up: Everything You Need (A.L. Kennedy), Doctor Zhivago (Boris Pasternak), and Nicht Neues Im Western (Erich Maria Remarque).
Wonko The Sane - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to verygneiss:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>

>
> Non fiction: I got a copy of Neil McGregor's A History of the World in 100 Objects from the library, and it's proved fascinating. Material culture is inseparable from humanity, and this book documents it just as well as the accompanying radio documentaries (aired a few months ago on Radio 4).
>
I downloaded all 100 podcasts for this. It's brilliant.

verygneiss - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:

I know, Radio 4's history and science is (in my opinion) some of the Beeb's finest output. There was also a series dealing with the history of Russia which was absolutely huge in scope and length, as befits such a fascinating country.

The two hours of politician baiting in the morning is quite a good giggle too.

horsefeathers on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It's terrible but I can't put it away!
Doug on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Le lièvre de Patagonie by Claude Lanzmann, although I nearly gave up as the first part seems to have murders or executions on every page and is quite depressing (its his experience in the French resistance). Now midway & its mostly about life with Simone de Beauvoir & much easier.

Plus the usual pile of work related stuff
tjoliver - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just started reading The Worst Journey in the World by Cherry-Garrard. Really looking forward to it; it's meant to be an absolute classic... it already stands out as having one of my favourite opening lines of a book:

"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised."
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>

> Aeschylus, Agamemnon + various translations and commentaries on same, because I'm doing a translation of it myself
>

Cheating tw*t!
morbh - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home which I thoroughly recommend. It's a multi-stranded crime-thriller, with interesting characters & a nicely worked sense of place, that draws you in & snares you.
pneame on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to tjoliver:
And "A member of Campbell's party tells me that the trenches at Ypres were a comparative picnic"
Read it during a rather damp couple of weeks camping in Argentiere.

Quite cheered me up!
anthony henry - on 03 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just finished reading Town Mouse and Country Mouse by Jan Brett. My initial thoughts were it was possibly going to be a bit heavy for my usual holiday reading, but without giving too much away, it really was edge of the seat stuff. Brett's descriptive use of language and her ability to chop and change the pace from rural life to city and back again had my head spinning and left me wanting more
GrendeI on 04 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Just finished Arabian Sands and although a suberb book it took me quite a while to get into.

Thoroughly enjoyable though and highly educational, though I fear much of what is described in the book exists no longer.
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Thrilled to see that Joe Simpson's just given Fiva a huge thumbs up on Twitter:

Joe Simpson @TouchingTheVoid
FIVA by Gordon Stainforth -Wonderful, nostalgic, gripping, classic epic yarn with great humour deserves to win many many awards - read it :)

It is hard to describe just how exciting it is for an author to receive an accolade like this from a peer of this stature. The 'word of mouth' with Fiva seems to be gathering momentum slowly but surely, day by day.
cfer - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: I have just been given the Conn Iggulden, Emperor series and I must say they are fab!! I cant put them down and will start on the Genghis ones straight after
jimmy6978 on 06 Jul 2012 - 95.149.171.190 whois?
In reply to Tall Clare:
A song of ice and fire - the full set
They looked an awful lot thinner on whsmiths website :/
Tall Clare - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

You don't get away that lightly Gordon - you haven't told us what you're reading!
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

A v heavy philosophy book, 'Norms of Nature' by Paul Sheldon Davies - deeply flawed. Actually, just finished it and have now returned to: 'More than Matter' by Keith Ward. Better, but still problematic.

Historical: 'Of Flight and Flyers' by Major Oliver Stewart
Gradually re-reading The Pickwick Papers
The Fry Chronicles - a bit disappointing.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver. Enjoying this.
Mooncat - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

No Calvin and Hobbes?
anonymouse - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Raymond Carver. Enjoying this.

The originals or the pre-edit rerelease?

I'm re-reading (different translation) some Chekhov short stories with Raymond Carver quote on the back - "the best writer of short stories ever" or somesuch.
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to anonymouse:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> The originals or the pre-edit rerelease?

?? Presumably a re-release. Vintage paperback 2009.
>
> I'm re-reading (different translation) some Chekhov short stories with Raymond Carver quote on the back - "the best writer of short stories ever" or somesuch.

Interesting. I think I've got som Chekhov short stories somewhere. Must take another look.

anonymouse - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> ?? Presumably a re-release. Vintage paperback 2009.

Whaddaya mean ?? His stories were re-released with great fanfare last year in their original form, as he wrote them. The originally published versions owed much to his editors ruthless editing.

> Interesting. I think I've got som Chekhov short stories somewhere. Must take another look.

Chekhov is a master. But Russian. I love his stories.
Gordon Stainforth - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to anonymouse:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> Whaddaya mean ?? His stories were re-released with great fanfare last year in their original form, as he wrote them. The originally published versions owed much to his editors ruthless editing.

Sorry, didn't know that. (Notes inside my version say its based on first American edition, 1981)

ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to anonymouse:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> [...]
>
> Whaddaya mean ?? His stories were re-released with great fanfare last year in their original form, as he wrote them. The originally published versions owed much to his editors ruthless editing.
>
> [...]
>
> Chekhov is a master. But Russian. I love his stories.

Read a rather bizarre short story of his the other day called "Sleepy". Quite disturbing...
stujamo - on 12 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Re-reading "Hell's Angels" by HST
Tom V - on 12 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
"Elegy for April" by Benjamin Black, a.k.a John Banville. This is the third in his Quirke series. It elevates him above William Boyd, in my estimation, and he is now nipping at the heels of Joseph O'Connor.
Owen W-G - on 12 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

HG Wells, Short History of the World

Nicely anacronistic and quaintly racist.
BedRock - on 12 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked The Middle East Revolts by John Bradley.
Interesting reading.
collywob - on 12 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Strangely, I've actually read every single book on here. Every one. Quite a few of them twice. Sigh....

La Shamster on 12 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Off to France for 5 days to see Le Tour and taking On The Road by Kerouac for a 2nd read before the film is launched!
fizz - on 12 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just finished 'The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher' which was unputdownable - factual version of the country house murder story with the UK's first detective - ACE

Attempting 'Paradise Lost' (on a course) but while it's shockingly good when you're in it, tis devillishlyhard to pick up of an evening

Hunting for this week's 'Heat', untraceable in my corner shop .. would like to think I spend my time on great lit but actually I have no shame
MJ - on 12 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

'69 Shades of Pink'. Bit like '50 Shades of Grey', but a lot more graphic...
Bulls Crack - on 24 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
>
> Haha! Would be interested in your thoughts on Pure - I read it a couple of months ago and was slightly disappointed, in a way I can't quite explain.

I liked it, I was wondering if there would be a more explicit role for Barratt in the forthcoming events but the way it left it was quite subtle with his character's transformation and the churchyards being god metaphors for the coming upheavals.
Only a hill - on 24 Jul 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:
I found Pure very atmospheric and immersive, with a lot of hidden meaning and mystery ... but I felt the characters lacked something. Originally I gave it four stars but on reflection I might knock it back to three.
Bulls Crack - on 24 Jul 2012
In reply to Only a hill:

I'm sticking with 4 stars - it's a snapshot of a time in way so perhaps depth of characterisation wasn't critical outside the metaphorical roles they play?
Tom Last - on 25 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Finally finished Beside the Ocean of Time by George Mackay Brown, preferred it by far to Greenvoe - it really is very very good.

Now started Silver by Andrew Motion, so just a little bit different. So far seems excellent.
scattercat - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
Seem to be re-reading books...
Julian May "The many coloured land"
Adam Nicholson "Sea Room"

I've got to say, Sea Room is an excellent insight into the life and times of The Shiant Isles by someone who was fortunate to have owned them.
fosnchops - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: 50 shades of grey anyone? Haha. I haven't read them and I probably won't bother either. But they did make a friend of mine go off on a most epic hour and a half rant! And I played devils advocate. I think his biggest gripe about the books was the fact that they cheapened, in his view, a hobby that is usually undertaken by those of a certain acedemic level. But my arguement was that surely it would lead to better things and getting the general public exposed to correctly punctuated sentences and correctly spelled words has got to be a good thing. I'm sure you can discuss this, or not at your leisure.

I'm reading an awesome book by Raymond Khoury, "The sanctuary".
Bulls Crack - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:

Which books are you talking about?!
fosnchops - on 29 Jul 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack: you've got to be pulling my leg.... :)

But Incase you're not... http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifty_Shades_of_Grey

My friend, who has written a couple of books himself, was
also annoyed how better authors are struggling to get published. That Mr James is making an easy buck and the general public are just falling into the trap.
Steve Perry - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

I've just read 'Panzer Leader' by Heiz Guderian, it gives a great insight into Hitlers mental state as the war turned for Germany, plus what could of been if said author had led the Eastern Front.
stonemaster - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to fosnchops:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack) That Mr James ....

Thought it was Ms James? Not that one has read it...:)

stonemaster - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: On to Martin Moran's Alps 4000 now...:)
NeilMac - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to thomm:
I think your post has just sold Mr Stainforth about 50 copies...

51

One-click ordering on Amazon will be the ruin of me!
Dominion - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Have just re-read Graham Greene's Our Man in Havana yet again, one of the truly great comic and gentle "spy" stories of all time.

Then started the 6th book in the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trilogy, And Another Thing... (by Eoin Colfer)

I'm also working my way through the complete Sherlock Holmes on kindle on my android phone, The Valley of Fear being the current "book" in the collection.


And lots of guitar tab, as well, although that's reading of a different kind... Enter Sandman, Johhny Be Good, and Crosstown Traffic!

;-)
stonemaster - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Dominion:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)

> And lots of guitar tab, as well, although that's reading of a different kind... Enter Sandman, Johhny Be Good, and Crosstown Traffic!
>
> Top choice, sir. Good luck.

fosnchops - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to stonemaster:

>>Thought it was Ms James? Not that one has read it...:)

Fallen foul to predictive text again :(
Enty - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

I'm reading How I won The Yellow Jumper by Ned Boulting. It's not very good.

I've read almost every cycling book going and this got left on the shelf the other week.

Last week finished Millar's Riding Through The Dark - excellent, best cycling bio I've read.

E
In reply to Steve Perry:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
> I've just read 'Panzer Leader' by Heiz Guderian, it gives a great insight into Hitlers mental state as the war turned for Germany, plus what could of been if said author had led the Eastern Front.

I would be interested to know his conclusions.
Bulls Crack - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Monsignor Quixote Graham green - well written as always and reminiscent of Giovanni Guraschi's don Camillo stories
sleavesley on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Half man half bike by William Fotheringham. Bio of Eddy Mercx, quite a good read.
Got Reg Harris to read next by Robert Dineen.

On a somewhat cycling theme, but it makes a change from pathology and orthopaedic text books that I have to read for the most part. (On holiday now).
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

I, Claudius by Robert Graves and it is excellent.
John Lewis - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Finally found the time to finish the Isacson bio on Steve Jobs, and got back to something pleasurable to read, Sebastian Faulks "Fools Alphabet".
Toby S - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Dominion:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
>
> Then started the 6th book in the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy trilogy, And Another Thing... (by Eoin Colfer)
>
How are you finding it? I've not read it yet, it's been on my 'must read' list for a while.
Toby S - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

I was in the middle of reading 'Bad Blood: The Secret Life of the Tour de France ' by Jeremy Whittle but my Kindle packed in while I was in the middle of it! Fortunately Amazon are replacing it for free so I'll get back to it later this week. So far it seems pretty good, nothing especially new in regards to doping in it, although his encounters with Lance Armstrong are alternately moving and worrying. Armstrong's control freakery is impressive in a scary kind of way.

Steve Perry - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Submit to Gravity: They're conclusions you make yourself from reading it.
zukator - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare: Just finished Karl Marlantes "Matterhorn". Not what you may think it's about! Worth reading if you're interested in the period.
Currently reading "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss - not usually into fantasy, but it's well written and holding me,so far.
Mooncat - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

Starting Fiva by Gordon Stainforth later and as usual Selwyns Employment Law in preparation for a couple of upcoming tribunals.
Tall Clare - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to zukator:
> (In reply to Tall Clare) Just finished Karl Marlantes "Matterhorn". Not what you may think it's about! Worth reading if you're interested in the period.

My boyfriend read it last year and thought it was brilliant. I, meanwhile, was being difficult and reading about the Rwandan genocide ('We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families' by Philip Gourevitch). Life's a riot at Chateau Tall Clare...
Dr.S at work - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
struggling towards the end of don quioxte
biped - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

'The French', by Theodore Zeldin, again.

Not that long finished 'At the Loch of the Green Corrie' by Andrew Greig, which I would urge everyone to read.
simon c on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:

On the first page of 'Bring up the Bodies' - Hilary Mantell, enjoyed Wolf Hall immensely so have high hopes for this one.
Dominion - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Toby S:

> How are you finding it? I've not read it yet, it's been on my 'must read' list for a while.

It's not too bad, I'm only about half way through now, it's not quite (for obvious reasons) Douglas Adams, but it's a reasonable attempt at it, and it does tie up some plot loopholes that were left after Mostly Harmless.



I'm assuming it didn't do to well on publication though, as I got a US First Edition hardback for £1 in the local Pound Shop. And it had a label on it suggesting it had been on Special Offer for $4.97, and not the $25 on the inside of the jacket.

Sees to be quite cheap on Amazon at the moment, and I'd have happily paid those prices for it.
medomjones - on 31 Jul 2012
alan carr - easyway to stop smoking (it has worked)
Milesy - on 31 Jul 2012
Steven Pressfield - Gates Of Fire (again)
Only a hill - on 04 Aug 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
Currently reading: Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens. I really seem to be on Dickens groove at the moment ... have a mission to read everything he's written at some point in the next few years, and having polished off David Copperfield, The Old Curiosity Shop, Oliver Twist, and A Tale of Two Cities over the last year I'm slowly getting there ...

The last book I completed was Far Horizons by Kate Hewitt. Not enormously impressed. I think I was expecting more than it really claims to be.
Dominion - on 04 Aug 2012
In reply to medomjones:

> alan carr - easyway to stop smoking (it has worked)

That's a book?

The easy way for me was:

A) Just stop right there and then
B) Make sure you say "No" to everyone who offers you a cigarette


Maybe I should publish that method...

anonymouse - on 04 Aug 2012
In reply to Tall Clare:
I've just finished reading Dark Room by Steve Mosby. It's what you get if you crash the Old Testament into Taleb's Fooled by Randomness so hard that the New Testament ends up looking like a really dark joke, then cramming the whole lot into a crime novel about a man who kills people with a hammer. It also has a weirdly beautiful scene involving the making of a candle. I'm a bit bereft now that it's finished.

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