What are you reading at the moment?

Digimonkey

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The first new 'proper' book I have had in some time. My reading has mostly been confined to the Kindle recently - mostly for financial reasons. Which is fine - but it isn't the same as holding a book in your hands. This was a gift from friends who stayed the night to break their journey from Bournemouth to Skye on Thursday. An anthology of nature writing on Britain and Ireland - I like this sort of format - you can pick it up and put it down as you fancy. A few of the authors I have read already, some you would expect in such a volume: Robert Macfarlane, Roger Deakin, Nan Shepherd, Laurie Lee, George Monbiot and Gavin Maxwell. To name but a few. Some though, I've never heard of. The first piece I chose was by the poet John Clare (late 18th - mid 19th C.) an account of his 100 mile journey home to Northhamptonshire on foot after absconding from a psychiatric hospital in Epping Forest. I was aware of his importance as a poet - I'm not good with that form of literature, but never read him; I had no idea he had written any prose. At the time, much like most of his life, he was suffering from florid mental health problems and this really comes across; it is a very affecting piece. Nature and the journey were an attempt at self-medication for him. As I say, affecting. I look forward to what other jewels this book has between the covers. Yours - I.

@Blademonkey @Scotshave
 
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The first new 'proper' book I have had in some time. My reading has mostly been confined to the Kindle recently - mostly for financial reasons. Which is fine - but it isn't the same as holding a book in your hands. This was a gift from friends who stayed the night to break their journey from Bournemouth to Skye on Thursday. An anthology of nature writing on Britain and Ireland - I like this sort of format - you can pick it up and put it down as you fancy. A few of the authors I have read already, some you would expect in such a volume: Robert Macfarlane, Roger Deakin, Nan Shepherd, Laurie Lee, George Monbiot and Gavin Maxwell. To name but a few. Some though, I've never heard of. The first piece I chose was by the poet John Clare (late 18th - mid 19th C.) an account of his 100 mile journey home to Northhamptonshire on foot after absconding from a psychiatric hospital in Epping Forest. I was aware of his importance as a poet - I'm not good with that form of literature, but never read him; I had no idea he had written any prose. At the time, much like most of his life, he was suffering from florid mental health problems and this really comes across; it is a very affecting piece. Nature and the journey were an attempt at self-medication for him. As I say, affecting. I look forward to what other jewels this book has between the covers. Yours - I.

@Blademonkey @Scotshave
I can feel a purchase coming on, sounds like it will be an interesting read, thanks for the shout.

Paul.
 

Scotshave

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The first new 'proper' book I have had in some time. My reading has mostly been confined to the Kindle recently - mostly for financial reasons. Which is fine - but it isn't the same as holding a book in your hands. This was a gift from friends who stayed the night to break their journey from Bournemouth to Skye on Thursday. An anthology of nature writing on Britain and Ireland - I like this sort of format - you can pick it up and put it down as you fancy. A few of the authors I have read already, some you would expect in such a volume: Robert Macfarlane, Roger Deakin, Nan Shepherd, Laurie Lee, George Monbiot and Gavin Maxwell. To name but a few. Some though, I've never heard of. The first piece I chose was by the poet John Clare (late 18th - mid 19th C.) an account of his 100 mile journey home to Northhamptonshire on foot after absconding from a psychiatric hospital in Epping Forest. I was aware of his importance as a poet - I'm not good with that form of literature, but never read him; I had no idea he had written any prose. At the time, much like most of his life, he was suffering from florid mental health problems and this really comes across; it is a very affecting piece. Nature and the journey were an attempt at self-medication for him. As I say, affecting. I look forward to what other jewels this book has between the covers. Yours - I.

@Blademonkey @Scotshave
Looks excellent. I like Robert Macfarlane; although I found Underland a bit dense. Landmarks and (especially) The Old Ways are very good.
 

Digimonkey

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Looks excellent. I like Robert Macfarlane; although I found Underland a bit dense. Landmarks and (especially) The Old Ways are very good.
I'd agree with you, Underland in places lacked the fluency of his earlier stuff. Too much information in too few words, that being said, when it is good it is jaw-dropping good. The fungal networks in forests, for instance, and the final chapter about the nuclear waste storage facility in Scandinavia were stand out for me. I was most disappointed by his treatment of parietal art - I was really looking forward to what insights he might offer into a subject that has long fascinated me. There really weren't any unfortunately. He remains though, one of my favourite authors. I.
 
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I am back in full "switch off by the firepit with a beer and an easy read" mode currently. Picked up Robert Harris' V2 as I enjoyed the early books like Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel etc. However this was totally formulaic - take a bit of previous successes , find a slightly differnet angle and mail it off to the publisher. Lazy at best :(

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