/ What are you reading?
I'm wading through A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz, which I'd describe as a witty Australian adventure/coming-of-age novel, but I'm starting to wonder whether there's just too darn much of it.
I'm reading Kongur: China's Elusive Summit, by Chris Bonington. I picked up for £3 in the Shelter bookshop in Stockbridge in Edinburgh. To be honest, the book's not his finest - bit too much angst from Bonington, too much 'can't really be arsed' from Al Rouse, too much 'everyone else is crap' from Pete Boardman and the usual epics and bad weather.
However, I was excited to read at the weekend that there's a new Jim Crace novel out, which I may have to get soon. Similarly, Dave Eggers has a new novel which I like the sound of.
On that note, I've got an old Neal Stephenson - Zodiac- on the go in the loo. Undemanding and more than a little silly.
I just finished 'Man's Search for Meaning' by Viktor Frankl. It wasn't something I was especially interested in but it was a gift. Half of it is about the author's experiences in concentration camps and the other half a brief overview of his logotherapy theory.
Not sure what to read next. Something more cheery. Nothing in the reading pile looks very inspiring at present. The problem with buying more books than I can read is that by the time I get around to reading them I don't fancy them any more :(
> Not sure what to read next. Something more cheery. Nothing in the reading pile looks very inspiring at present. The problem with buying more books than I can read is that by the time I get around to reading them I don't fancy them any more :(
I've started stockpiling again and I'm having the same problem...
> I'm wading through A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz, which I'd describe as a witty Australian adventure/coming-of-age novel, but I'm starting to wonder whether there's just too darn much of it.
My wife gave me that for christmas a year or two ago and I really enjoyed it. This year she gave me Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon - now *that* there is too darn much of!
On book 4 of Robert Jordan's wheel of time at the moment (working through them at one every 4-6 days at the moment; I intend to be back at work full time before I get through all 14!)
Last week I took a break and read Consider Phlebas (Iain M. Banks). Wouldn't have chosen to read 'space opera' but it was so beautifully written it drew me in. May read more of them if I fancy something completely different again.
I'm reading Sean O'Brien's 'The Silence Room' collection - short stories set in a kind of mythologised Tyneside and covering a range of themes and genres using language that veers from high-flown academic to urban slang. Smart, often violent and funny too, although not always successful. Well worth reading.
Rereading Augustine's Confessions. Stuck 230 pages in to A' la recherche du temps perdu. On Canto XII of Il Purgatorio. 30 pages in to a biography of Frank Thompson by Peter Conradi. 200 lines in to Aeschylus' Choephoroi, whihc I'm writing a translation of. Plus work reading...
Tollesbury Time Forever by Stuart Ayris. It's wonderfully weird!
John Wyndham 'The Midiych Cuckoos'.
Got halfway into it only to realise I have already read it!
I'm reading K2 by Ed Viesturs. I'd like to try a Himalayan mountain but I'm wondering whether there are more good bits to an attempt than bad / really hard. I guess in time that I will find out but I'm under no illusions about it. And of course until you've tried you won't know how you will cope with the altitude.....
I've just finished Afghansty by Sir Rodric Braithwaite. It's a really interesting and dispassionate take on the Russians in Afghan, and it tells it from a "realpolitik" perspective.
I am going to buy a copy for Irena and see what she thinks of it, as a Russian army brat (Kasazkh)
On an almost completely unrelated note, you've reminded me I've got The File by Timothy Garton Ash heading in my direction from Amazon - about his time as a journalist in Berlin during the cold war, and then returning 30 years later to find out who told the Stasi everything about him. Or something like that.
Sounds an interesting book - let me know what you think of it - I have a fascination for all things Eastern Bloc. too many Ted Allbeury and John Morpurgo as a kid
The other book I just finished was Anatole Kaletsky Capitalism 4.0 which is a really interesting take on the crash and what the future may hold. It's an accessible read and he is good at presenting economic theory in context of politics, both domestic and overseas.
1,227 QI facts to blow your socks off........................
eg Ostriches can be trained to herd sheep.
Just finished 'guns, germs and steel' by jared diamond. Not read many popular science-type books recently, but this one really made me think about the human race, how and why we developed as we did etc. Would strongly recommend to a broad audience (though it gets repetitive and over-detailed for the lay reader in a few places).
I didn't enjoy it--got about a fifth of the way through before giving up.
'Dog Days, Raven Nights' by John and Colleen Marzluff. Not bad at all for non-fiction.
I have pre-ordered Dan Browns new book for some light reading as it comes out just after my exams have finished.
Still have a stock pile of climbing and cycling books to read as well.
Just finished reading An Unexpected Light by Jason Elliot, about travelling in Afghanistan in the 90's, brilliant in so many ways.
The Last Bachelor by Jay McInerney which is a touch too glib for me, even if he does reintroduce Corrine, Washington and Russell. Next on my list is either Circus Of Ghosts by Barbara Ewing or The Bishop's Man by Linden Macintyre
> I didn't enjoy it--got about a fifth of the way through before giving up.
A pity, because I found it immensely entertaining, and very clever. I just loved the very special dry sense of humour.
> Just finished reading An Unexpected Light by Jason Elliot, about travelling in Afghanistan in the 90's, brilliant in so many ways.
Just googled that, looks really interesting. One to look for when I get through the WoT I think. Have you read Three cups of tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin?
Between a Rock and a Hard Place - aka - 127 Hours by Aron Ralston.
The man's a walking disaster and the book is quite boring.
Oo, I read that and really enjoyed it when I was undertaking the far less heroic task of the coast to coast walk a few years ago.
Ooo, I haven't read that - I do like a bit of McInerney.
Not long finished 'Racing through the dark' by David Millar, which I recommend. Next up is 'Sex lies and handlebar tape', the biography of Jacques Anquetil, (first 5 times Tour winner and legendary shagger).
I have a long train journey from London to Fort William next week (Yay), and I've got a copy of George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia set aside for the journey. I'm looking forward to that more than the climbing, which will probably be painful and embarassing.
> A pity, because I found it immensely entertaining, and very clever. I just loved the very special dry sense of humour.
I just didn't get the humour I'm afraid--and I found the book very superficial. It's a shame because I had heard such good things about it!
The Kindle forum I'm a member of had 100 Year Old man as its featured book this month, and opinion seems to be split 50/40, with half of the reviewers hating the book and half raving about it ... a Marmite book, I suppose.
Or 50/50 rather...
In a very strange way, I found it quite profound, actually. You'll be heartened to hear that my (twin) brother didn't get it either - the interesting thing is that although we are identical twins our sense of humour has always been slightly different. I think mine has always been blacker, drier, more ironic.
Just about to finish "Fiva". Darn good yarn.
Not sure what's next...
I've just finished that and loved it. It's a really lovely book!
I'm reading Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel after finishing Wolf Hall not that long ago. I'm not normally a historical fiction fan but they got such rave reviews that I thought I'd see what the fuss was about and I'm actually really enjoying them.
Just finishing '100 year old man', and have really enjoyed it. It's an incredibly silly book, and wonderful for it.
TC: I read 'Fraction of the Whole' a couple of years ago, and remember taking ages over it. Seem to remember it dragging in the middle then getting really good again at the end. Another book that benefits from embracing the silliness of it.
The Seven Ages of Paris - Alistair Horne. A very readable and entertaining history of the city.
Santorini - Walter Friedrich. An excellent book on the history and mythology of the volcanic complex around this Greek island.
The Revenge of Geography - Robert Kaplan. Interesting book on the influence of geography on geo-politics.
Just My Type, A BOok about FOnts - Simon Garfield. One of the most enjoyable light-reading non-fiction books I've read in years. Thoroughly recommend it.
Sound advice ! :)
As used on the famous Nelson Mandela by Mark Thomas . A brave , sometimes funny , often disturbing open & frank look into the arms industry .
Freedom Climbers by Bernadette McDonald .
Scotland Yards cocaine connection by Andrew Jennings , Vyv Simson & Paul Lashmar . Three award winning journalists dig deep into corruption at the yard .
Very disappointing really, althoughh he comes across as a nice enough bloke it won't have won him many new fans. Hard to remember what a good interpreter of Dylan, folk and blues he used to be.
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