What are you reading now?

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Tanglefist
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Tanglefist »

thenorthwind wrote: Thu Jan 25, 2024 10:53 pm Right now, The Works of Robert Burns, because. But I'm currently re-reading Rory Stewart's The Places In Between , having first read it probably 15 years ago, with no idea who he was or would become. Quite shocking how little I remember of it, but made it more enjoyable to re-read! Recommended.
Stewart quotes from 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' by Eric Newby in that book, which I highly recommend - not just an insight in Afghanistan but also the world in the 1950's.

But I'd also recommend Stewart's follow-up about his time essentially running a couple of regions under the coalition authority in Iraq. It's very different, but fascinating nonetheless, as long as you don't mind depressing endings.

I'm reading 'The Burning Shores: Inside the Battle for the New Libya' by Frederick Wehrey. Really good so far.
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voodoo_simon
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by voodoo_simon »

Audio books for me (but I do a lot of driving…)

First up
Leo Houlding - Closer to the edge
Actually quite interesting, especially how he got into the sport and how his parents let him try a career as a climber. Actually go to say his book was quite the motivator to get out and spend time in the mountains

Next up
Ranulph Fiennes - Mad bad and dangerous to know
Admired his activities for a while but thought it was quite a boring book, very basic in the text and didn’t really explain much about his expeditions. Felt very much like ‘what I did on my holiday’. Oh well!

Lastly
Levison Wood - Walking the Americas
Half way through and I’m enjoying it. Watched some of his shows (I thought all of them but haven’t seen this one!) and saw him touring, so probably biased but I’m enjoying this so far :-bd
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thenorthwind
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by thenorthwind »

faustus wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 10:08 am Isn't Chris Townsend a long time tester/writer in TGO magazine?
That's the one. Though I've never bought TGO.
faustus wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 10:08 am Rebecca Solnit
Can't work out why the name is familiar - not read any of her books, but probably should.
Tanglefist wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 12:51 pm Stewart quotes from 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' by Eric Newby in that book, which I highly recommend - not just an insight in Afghanistan but also the world in the 1950's.
Another classic of travel writing. I have it somewhere - another one I've read, know I enjoyed, but couldn't tell you a single detail from. Maybe time to re-read too. I've clearly reached the point in my life where I don't need to buy any more books, I can just go round and round the ones I already own.
Tanglefist wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 12:51 pm But I'd also recommend Stewart's follow-up about his time essentially running a couple of regions under the coalition authority in Iraq. It's very different, but fascinating nonetheless, as long as you don't mind depressing endings.
Wasn't aware of that. Noted, cheers.
voodoo_simon wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 8:42 pm Ranulph Fiennes - Mad bad and dangerous to know
My impression was the same. Very much "here's all the exciting stuff I've done, be impressed by it" and little depth.
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AndreR
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by AndreR »

[/quote]

Stewart quotes from 'A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush' by Eric Newby in that book, which I highly recommend - not just an insight in Afghanistan but also the world in the 1950's.

[/quote]

Really enjoyed Eric Newby, The last Grain Race was my fave and really enjoyed A Short Walk too.
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godivatrailrider
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by godivatrailrider »

faustus wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 10:08 am
Orwell's Roses by Rebecca Solnit. Been on my list for a while and finally found it in my local shop. I love Solnit's clarity and wisdom.
Very enjoyable book.
I've just bought 'Coming up for Air' to continue my Orwell journey, as well as receiving Wifedom by Anna Funder about Orwell's wife Eileen, which looks excellent!
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gecko76
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by gecko76 »

Newby was there to climb Mir Samir (19880 feet) with his Diplomatic Service buddy Hugh Carless (who only died in 2011). On the way out they met with Wilfred Thesiger who declared them to be a couple of pansies for using sleeping mats.
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AndreR
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by AndreR »

gecko76 wrote: Tue Jan 30, 2024 7:59 pm Newby was there to climb Mir Samir (19880 feet) with his Diplomatic Service buddy Hugh Carless (who only died in 2011). On the way out they met with Wilfred Thesiger who declared them to be a couple of pansies for using sleeping mats.
:lol:
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godivatrailrider
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by godivatrailrider »

Finished book 5 of the Wess'har series ... just one to go.

This morning I consumed the gorgeous Foster - Claire Keegan ... a short story and easily doable in a sitting. Loved it.

And I'm now trying my first Graham Greene ... thought I'd start with The End of The Affair
Tanglefist
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Tanglefist »

gecko76 wrote: Tue Jan 30, 2024 7:59 pm Newby was there to climb Mir Samir (19880 feet) with his Diplomatic Service buddy Hugh Carless (who only died in 2011). On the way out they met with Wilfred Thesiger who declared them to be a couple of pansies for using sleeping mats.
That bit stuck with me. I still struggle to picture a 1950s inflatable mat.
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godivatrailrider
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by godivatrailrider »

Currently Wifedom ... about Orwell's invisible wife Eileen ...

Next - Goth - Lol Tolhurst hopefully an interesting read. I wasn't really into Goth, but loved The Sisters of Mercy., but it was the scene I moved about in.
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faustus
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by faustus »

I'm guilty of reading multiple books at once, so as well as the others mentioned, i've just started reading Alisdair Gray's 'Poor Things', based on reading a bit about the film release. So far it's a really interesting take/homage to the Frankenstein theme. It's also got an interesting structure in that it deploys some peritextual trickery a bit like Lolita. Obscuring its artifice with textual formalities that are themselves part of the fiction. :ugeek:
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Boab
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Boab »

Having finished reading:
  • Dark Rye and Honey Cake: Festival Baking from the Heart of the Low Countries by Regula Ysewijn
  • World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing - Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed by James Hoffmann
  • Agency by William Gibson
  • The Devil's Cup by Stewart Lee Allen
Now onto:
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thenorthwind
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by thenorthwind »

Boab wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:45 am Having finished reading:
  • Dark Rye and Honey Cake: Festival Baking from the Heart of the Low Countries by Regula Ysewijn
  • World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing - Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed by James Hoffmann
  • Agency by William Gibson
  • The Devil's Cup by Stewart Lee Allen
Now onto:
Interested to hear what you make of the coffee books. I've flicked through The World Atlas of Coffee in a couple of (clearly the better sort of :wink: ) coffee shops, and it was interesting, but perhaps not enough for me to go and seek out a copy. I like the sound of the other two though.
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PaulB2
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by PaulB2 »

Finally got round to starting A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge - I've been meaning to read this for years but never quite got round to it.
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Blackhound
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Blackhound »

On my Kindle I am reading Claire Keegan's 'Antartica' and on paper I have just started The Great Divide by Tim Voors. He walked the CDT a couple of years ago. Enjoying it so far.
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godivatrailrider
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by godivatrailrider »

Blackhound wrote: Wed Feb 14, 2024 6:20 pm On my Kindle I am reading Claire Keegan's 'Antartica' and on paper I have just started The Great Divide by Tim Voors. He walked the CDT a couple of years ago. Enjoying it so far.
I just read Claire Keegan's "Foster" .... :shock: Oh it's perfect takes an hour or so to read the 88 pages but it's just brilliant.
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godivatrailrider
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by godivatrailrider »

Having finished the very disappointing 'Goth - a history" I'm now on the interesting "The Silent Hills of Shropshire" by Malcolm Saville, it's definitely making me want to go and explore the Long Mynd much more! I hardly ever ride there.
boxelder
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by boxelder »

Currently Wifedom ... about Orwell's invisible wife Eileen ..
How was it?

'The Lighthouse of Stalingrad' by Iain MacGregor- a fairly concise and readable account of the Battle for the city, based on many witness accounts and released war records. The numbers are mind boggling and it lays bare the mindset of both dictators at the time.
Next is 'Cuddy' by Benjamin Myers - "...legend of Northern England's past and present from the seeds of historical truth and strange mythology"
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AndreR
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by AndreR »

godivatrailrider wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 10:14 am Having finished the very disappointing 'Goth - a history" I'm now on the interesting "The Silent Hills of Shropshire" by Malcolm Saville, it's definitely making me want to go and explore the Long Mynd much more! I hardly ever ride there.
I don't live near the Long Mynd but have been over it a few times by bike and on foot, it's a lovely place. Reading Riding Out by Simon Parker but struggling to get into it and not able to find the flow of the narrative at the moment. :???:
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godivatrailrider
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by godivatrailrider »

boxelder wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 10:44 am
Currently Wifedom ... about Orwell's invisible wife Eileen ..
How was it?
Assassinatory.

Orwell was patently a complex man with significant issues, and I for one don't think he was without massive flaws in his character and behaviour towards women.
But Funder does a cracking job of highlighting them all and possibly exaggerating them. We'll never know.
Her suggestion that he essentially plagiarized Eileen for 1984 seem absurd. She wrote a short, somewhat dystopian poem called "End of the Century,1984", it's in the notes of the book, it has nothing to do with Orwells book. I think he changed the name of the to "1984" after Eileen's death, more as a homage to her than anything else.
It does cover some interesting stuff, but it's Funder putting her lilt on everything making Eileen the centre of relationship, and Eric just a bastard. He probably was but who knows.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by boxelder »

godivatrailrider wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 11:35 am
boxelder wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 10:44 am
Currently Wifedom ... about Orwell's invisible wife Eileen ..
How was it?
Assassinatory.

Orwell was patently a complex man with significant issues, and I for one don't think he was without massive flaws in his character and behaviour towards women.
But Funder does a cracking job of highlighting them all and possibly exaggerating them. We'll never know.
Her suggestion that he essentially plagiarized Eileen for 1984 seem absurd. She wrote a short, somewhat dystopian poem called "End of the Century,1984", it's in the notes of the book, it has nothing to do with Orwells book. I think he changed the name of the to "1984" after Eileen's death, more as a homage to her than anything else.
It does cover some interesting stuff, but it's Funder putting her lilt on everything making Eileen the centre of relationship, and Eric just a bastard. He probably was but who knows.
Thanks, I'll not bother looking out for it then. With the first couple of decades he had, he was never going to be 'normal chirpy chappy' was he.
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godivatrailrider
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by godivatrailrider »

AndreR wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 10:54 am
godivatrailrider wrote: Thu Feb 15, 2024 10:14 am Having finished the very disappointing 'Goth - a history" I'm now on the interesting "The Silent Hills of Shropshire" by Malcolm Saville, it's definitely making me want to go and explore the Long Mynd much more! I hardly ever ride there.
I don't live near the Long Mynd but have been over it a few times by bike and on foot, it's a lovely place. Reading Riding Out by Simon Parker but struggling to get into it and not able to find the flow of the narrative at the moment. :???:
I can ride to Marshbrook , the very southern end of the Mynd in about 10 miles. Better still get the train to Church Stretton.
Must do it much more.
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Blackhound
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Blackhound »

@Godivatrailrider (I can't sort out the quote thing) . I read 'Foster' on a ferry 18 months ago and watched the film 'The Quiet Girl' based on the book last year. Excellent writer, I also read 'Small Things Like These' on the same trip, that has just been filmed with Cillian Murphy in the lead. Not many smiles in that book either.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Boab »

thenorthwind wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 1:38 pm Interested to hear what you make of the coffee books. I've flicked through The World Atlas of Coffee in a couple of (clearly the better sort of :wink: ) coffee shops, and it was interesting, but perhaps not enough for me to go and seek out a copy. I like the sound of the other two though.
I'm glad I read The Devil's Cup by Stewart Lee Allen before I read Black Gold : The Dark History of Coffee by Antony Wild. It was in that "idiot abroad" kind of travelogue style, and covers all the relevant myths about how coffee got from one place to another. Black Gold does a very good job of busting all those myths, which is why I'd strongly recommend reading it second. Some of it feels a little dated, as it was written before the speciality coffee boom really took hold, but he doesn't hold back when discussing the lasting effects of colonialism, or the likes of Starbucks et al.

I was a touch disappointed by Terroir: Coffee from Seed to Harvest by Jem Challender, especially given the cost. I had a similar issue with Hoffmann's The World Atlas of Coffee if I'm being honest, as it also left me a tad disappointed; I felt that I got more from his How to make the best coffee at home book. Terroir looks fantastic and has a solid bibliography, a lot of research obviously went into it. I'm not sure it was what I was expecting, which is probably my problem, rather than its.

Now onto reading The Physics of Filter Coffee by Jonathan Gagné and am trying to talk myself out of buying a Niche Duo... 🫣
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thenorthwind
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Re: What are you reading now?

Post by thenorthwind »

Boab wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2024 7:13 pm
thenorthwind wrote: Thu Feb 08, 2024 1:38 pm Interested to hear what you make of the coffee books. I've flicked through The World Atlas of Coffee in a couple of (clearly the better sort of :wink: ) coffee shops, and it was interesting, but perhaps not enough for me to go and seek out a copy. I like the sound of the other two though.
I'm glad I read The Devil's Cup by Stewart Lee Allen before I read Black Gold : The Dark History of Coffee by Antony Wild. It was in that "idiot abroad" kind of travelogue style, and covers all the relevant myths about how coffee got from one place to another. Black Gold does a very good job of busting all those myths, which is why I'd strongly recommend reading it second. Some of it feels a little dated, as it was written before the speciality coffee boom really took hold, but he doesn't hold back when discussing the lasting effects of colonialism, or the likes of Starbucks et al.

I was a touch disappointed by Terroir: Coffee from Seed to Harvest by Jem Challender, especially given the cost. I had a similar issue with Hoffmann's The World Atlas of Coffee if I'm being honest, as it also left me a tad disappointed; I felt that I got more from his How to make the best coffee at home book. Terroir looks fantastic and has a solid bibliography, a lot of research obviously went into it. I'm not sure it was what I was expecting, which is probably my problem, rather than its.

Now onto reading The Physics of Filter Coffee by Jonathan Gagné and am trying to talk myself out of buying a Niche Duo... 🫣
Thanks for that! I'll add the first two to my list and not bother with the others, and stick to flicking through them in specialty coffee shops, which is definitely a more cost-effective way to read, right...
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