/ What are you reading?

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Tall Clare - on 20 Feb 2013
On a cheerier note (let's see if this one can progress without any slanging matches...), what are you reading at the moment?

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.
tony on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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.
toad - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: I'm finally getting round to Robert McFarlane - the Old Ways. Got it for Christmas, but it needs proper attention.
On that note, I've got an old Neal Stephenson - Zodiac- on the go in the loo. Undemanding and more than a little silly.
hokkyokusei - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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 :(

Tall Clare - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to hokkyokusei:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
>
>
>
> 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...
taine - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

>
> 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!
freerangecat - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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.
Bob Kemp - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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.
Tim Chappell - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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...
Only a hill - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
Tollesbury Time Forever by Stuart Ayris. It's wonderfully weird!
paulcarey - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

John Wyndham 'The Midiych Cuckoos'.

Got halfway into it only to realise I have already read it!
fawlty on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: Steinbeck & Capa - A Russian Journal.
BigHairyIan - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: I've just read Dead Simple. Don't bother! Still reading Half a Yellow Sun, it is good, but slow...
Pero - on 20 Feb 2013
"Lincoln" by Gore Vidal, as an alternative to going to see Spielberg's take on the man.
I like climbing - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
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.....
Pero - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to I like climbing: Maybe best not to start with K2!
John Rushby - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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)
Tall Clare - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to John Rushby:

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.
John Rushby - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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.
coinneach - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

1,227 QI facts to blow your socks off........................

eg Ostriches can be trained to herd sheep.


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Mountain Llama on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: halfway thru boardman tasker omnibus, xmas pressy from my mum!
thomm - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
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).
Big Z on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared. It's a Swedish comedy and definitely worth a read!
Milesy - on 20 Feb 2013
"Summit Fever" (again). Some climbing lit helps with the winter climbing motivation.
Only a hill - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Big Z:
> (In reply to Tall Clare) The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared. It's a Swedish comedy and definitely worth a read!

I didn't enjoy it--got about a fifth of the way through before giving up.
Bimble on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

'Dog Days, Raven Nights' by John and Colleen Marzluff. Not bad at all for non-fiction.
sleavesley on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: pathophysiology books along with the odd physics book here and there.
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.
gringo number 1 - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
Just finished reading An Unexpected Light by Jason Elliot, about travelling in Afghanistan in the 90's, brilliant in so many ways.
omerta on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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
John2 - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: I'm half way through the complete works of Raymond Chandler, having recently read Tom Williams' biography of him. I'm enjoying them, but I think a change is called for before reading the next half.
Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to Big Z)
> [...]
>
> 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.

freerangecat - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to gringo number 1:
> (In reply to Tall Clare)
> 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?
Tom Last - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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.
Tall Clare - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to gringo number 1:

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.
Tall Clare - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to omerta:

Ooo, I haven't read that - I do like a bit of McInerney.
biped - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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).
flat eric - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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.
Only a hill - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Only a hill)
> [...]
>
> 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.
Only a hill - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
Or 50/50 rather...
Doug on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill: 'L'Armée furieuse' by Fred Vargas, plus assorted work related books & reports. And have just finished 'And the land lays still' by James Robertson which I thought was one of best books I've read for a while
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Gordon Stainforth - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill:

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.
JLS on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

Just about to finish "Fiva". Darn good yarn.

Not sure what's next...
climbingpixie - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Big Z:

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.
steev on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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.
Dave C on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:
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.
I like climbing - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Pero:
> (In reply to I like climbing) Maybe best not to start with K2!

Sound advice ! :)
LaMentalist on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare:

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 .

Rob Exile Ward on 21 Feb 2013
In reply to Tall Clare: I've just finished Rod Stewart's autbiography. He doesn't appear to be someone who's ever been over-burdened with angst.

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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