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What are you reading now?

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default Re: What are you reading now?

Post by Dandelion on 5th July 2014, 1:17 pm

Just reading a good murder to get me through to the end of term...

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Post by Chilli-head on 27th January 2015, 11:28 am

I wasn't going to mention this one, which my BIL chose for me for christmas, as it is a bit of an oddity. But as we were talking about walking and frostbite in the tea room ...

I have never been terribly troubled by appearing a tad eccentric, but sometimes it is nice when you find a  context in which you feel, for a little while at least, quite normal.  Attending the Bodger's ball is a bit like that, as is reading this book: Microadventures, by Alastair Humphreys. He describes himself as an adventurer, author and motivational speaker.  Some might add "bit of a nut" !

His thrust seems to be injecting a sense of adventure into life, not by going on far flung explorations, but by discovering more nearby adventure, often found by making largely spurious journeys on foot, by bike or packraft.  Or combinations thereof.  He is a fan of making use of what he calls the 5 to 9 - the hours left as your own outside of work.  This might involve striking out from your desk, on foot armed with a backpack and bivvy bag, to spent the night sleeping wild on a hill somewhere to return by train to the office for work the next day.  All sorts of other escapes from the norm are covered in is book (and most of them on the website, by the look of it, if you want a flavour).  Many involve wild camping, some involve campfire cookery.  Most involve a child-like sense of adventure and fun that grown ups somehow seem to forget about, and perhaps we should thank him for reminding us.

All makes my walks to work on a frosty morning look a bit tame really.

One final thing, from Alastair's blog:


My advice on how to turn your adventures into a career distills down to these few points, written in decreasing order of importance:

  1:  Do good stuff. (Without this, you have nothing)
  2:  Repeat Step 1
  3:  Work out your USP (unique, original, fresh, different, useful, but not a gimmick)
  4:  Generate great content
  5:  Repeat Step 4
  6:  Focus on substance over style
  7: Tell people about it

Seems to me this applies to a lot of things. Running an internet forum, perhaps ?
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default Re: What are you reading now?

Post by freebird on 27th January 2015, 11:59 am

Chilli-head wrote:
His thrust seems to be injecting a sense of adventure into life, not by going on far flung explorations, but by discovering more nearby adventure....

Oh I like this! Have you noticed the prevailing trend for 'bucket lists'? There always seems to be the implication that unless you freefall from a hot air balloon over the Andes, you're not living life to the full. They seem to completely ignore the intense pleasure and joy that can be found in your own backyard, and in looking at things with new eyes.

I would be muchly interested to read that book CH.

I mentioned a while back a novel by John Hart called The Last Child. I have now read his three other titles, and while I was about it, discovered John Grisham who writes 'legal thrillers'. Just finished his very first novel 'A Time To Kill' which was made into a film apparently. Anyway, the book was absolutely brilliant.
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Post by Dandelion on 27th January 2015, 7:40 pm

freebird wrote:
Oh I like this! Have you noticed the prevailing trend for 'bucket lists'? There always seems to be the implication that unless you freefall from a hot air balloon over the Andes, you're not living life to the full. They seem to completely ignore the intense pleasure and joy that can be found in your own backyard, and in looking at things with new eyes.


I read a thoughtful article somewhere which was also talking about the push to visit '50 cities before you die' etc - the author said that his parents had lived in the same rural location in the States all this life, and had travelled little, but they knew almost every leaf and stone in that valley. The writer talked about the value of knowing a location as well as that, in contrast with the mad dash to visit 'the world' and tick all the boxes.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 28th January 2015, 11:57 am

I probably wouldn't need to go far from home for my bucket list - I would like to see hares boxing and red squirrels on our own land.  I crossed 2 off a couple of years ago when we had a very brief trip to Scotland to scatter FIL's ashes & saw an Osprey fishing (actually, it was Lady 'the' osprey) and salmon leaping up a waterfall.

FB - I read The Last Child on your recommendation but haven't read anything else by that author.  We are also big readers of John Grisham especially Mr P.  One of his I particularly liked was The Painted House, the only one I have read that is not based round a legal theme.  If you like a bit of a page turner you could try Lynwood Barclay (I've read Trust Your Eyes and A Tap On The Window)

I do despair of ever finding really memorable books - I tend to default to Steinbeck but then find I can't read anything else for several weeks after
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Post by freebird on 28th January 2015, 12:34 pm

Ploshkin wrote:
FB - I read The Last Child on your recommendation but haven't read anything else by that author.  
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, Ploshkin. I've read 7 or 8 of Grisham's books now. One thing I really like about them is they are completely unpredictable. And thanks for the author recommendation - I'll look out for his books on my next visit to the library.
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Post by Jaded Green on 28th January 2015, 5:57 pm

I liked The Painted House and to my surprise, find i like John Grisham's legal books too and have read a few.

Not come across John Hart.

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Post by freebird on 28th January 2015, 7:19 pm

Funny you said 'to my surprise' JG. I hadn't ever thought they would be something I would like, either.

I think my copy of The Last Child is destined to travel. If you would like to read it and can't get hold of it easily, I could put my copy in the post to you.
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Post by Dandelion on 28th January 2015, 9:32 pm

Hmmm, I'll have to try John Grisham on all those recommendations!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 29th July 2015, 9:28 pm

Has anybody else come across The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? I'm about 2/3 of the way through it, and it is quite simply a joy. It's on loan from the library, but I can see me buying my own copy as I will want to read it again.
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Post by Dandelion on 29th July 2015, 10:51 pm

It sounds very intriguing!! Can you tell us a bit more about it?

I'm nearing the end of 'The Girl on the Train', loaned to me by an English teacher from school. It's an interesting read, but I must confess that I don't actually like any of the characters (but I still want to find out what happens!). People say that you either love it or hate it, but I think I'm somewhere in the middle...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 30th July 2015, 8:37 am

The book takes the form of correspondence. Set in 1946 the main correspondent is a woman writer, already successful (ish) but at a loss to know what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from a man in Guernsey who now owns a book that once belonged to her. He writes because he wants to be put in touch with a London bookseller, as there are no books of the sort in Guernsey.

And so begins a correspondence with him, and then with others who belong to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, under which guise we (and she) learns of the impact of the German occupation of Guernsey in WWII.

I finished reading it last night. Had intended to read a couple of chapters in bed before sleep, but a bombshell dropped. NOOOO! I cried, and did literally cry. No chance of sleep after that, so went in the spare room so as not to disturb the man and finished reading it. It's funny and sad and joyous and quirky and I love it.
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Post by Dandelion on 30th July 2015, 8:13 pm

Sounds great - thanks for recommending it

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by FloBear on 30th July 2015, 8:19 pm

I like the sound of that too, Freebird.
Am having a re-read of some Jane Austen at the mo. And a watch of JA as I ordered a couple of DVDs.
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Post by freebird on 18th June 2017, 5:26 pm

freebird wrote:Has anybody else come across The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? I'm about 2/3 of the way through it, and it is quite simply a joy. It's on loan from the library, but I can see me buying my own copy as I will want to read it again.

I recently had to steward at an art exhibition, but had taken nothing to alleviate the boredom. Luckily there was a 2nd hand book shop close by, so I went in to choose something. Came away with To Serve Them All My Days by RF Delderfield (now finished and enjoyed) and...... The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society! Just £1 each. Reading it all over again with as much joy and sorrow as first time around. Soooo pleased to have my own copy.
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Post by Dandelion on 18th June 2017, 7:41 pm

Result!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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