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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #11
    Finished ‘how to teach quantum physics to your dog’ over the summer holiday. Awesome and v informative...

  2. #12
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    The only thing I've got time to read is The Riot Act to my 12 year old son!
    Visibility good except in Hill Fog

  3. #13
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    I read a lot of books about people's medical careers. David Nott's War Doctor stands head and shoulders above anything else I have read in this genre.
    Last edited by Mike T; 27-11-2019 at 09:08 AM.

  4. #14
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    Currently I am halfway through Victoria Glendinning's biography of Sir Stamford Raffles, which I originally bought as a present for my wife, who is Singaporean.

    Despite my literary signature on this forum, I don't actually read much fiction. Indeed, after reading through a book of Borges' short stories, although I found a marvellous quote which seemed rather appropriate to my own character, I got the feeling that I had probably missed the point of most of stories (I'm still baffled by The garden of forking paths). Actually, I seem to have a history of missing the point. I was about 14 when I read Animal Farm: it was a really good story, but it never occurred to me that it had anything to do with the failure of Soviet communism or anything else political. And I remember at primary school that our teacher read The lion, the witch and the wardrobe to us, but it wasn't until many years later that I discovered that it had anything to do with Christianity.

    On running books: I have enjoyed both Richard Askwith's and Steve Chilton's books, despite their very different styles.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  5. #15
    Master noel's Avatar
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    I hadn't heard the allegory bit about the lion, witch and wardrobe - TBH I was never much of a fan. So I get the bit about the lion dying. Is that the extent of it, or is the whole book allegorical? What's Turkish delight?
    No longer "resting"

  6. #16
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Noel, you have to get to the last book to get the full christianity allegory.

  7. #17
    Master Jez Hellewell's Avatar
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    Outrunning The Demons by Phil Hewitt “Lives Transformed Through Running”. Really good. Individual stories touching upon: depression & anxiety, trauma, bereavement, addiction etc.

  8. #18
    Senior Member DangerMouse's Avatar
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    This is great! Thank you everyone for all your contributions - lots to process here and I won't comment on them al, but they are all very much appreciated and there's many new avenues to explore

    My first degree was in literature and funnily enough one question I answered was about the Christian allegory in the Narnia books, for sure there are strong correlations, but there's so much more and I prefer to think of these books as a celebration of all the really old stories.

    anthonykay, I don't think it's that important to understand everything, in fact Borges' The garden of forking paths could be said to be all about how things can have many meanings and that it is impossible to see them all. So in some way, you understood it perfectly. I think it is much more important to feel as though you are taken on a journey and most importantly that you enjoy it. Like anything, meaning and historical reference in literature can be learned, I certainly did. When I started studying I was very much like yourself and these things never occurred to me either, and it's only thanks to the wonderful teachers who showed me how to see these things that I now see much more. Like all worthwhile endeavours, the more you understand the more you realise how much you don't know.

    Curiously, one of the strongest references in The garden of forking paths is to the work of James Joyce, who did spend many years writing an infinite circular novel, Finnegans Wake, that starts mid-sentence and ends with the beginning of that same sentence. You don't get the complete sentence until you have read the entire thing. It's a wonderful book. Homage to the entire literary cannon, replete with meaning, written in over 80 languages all mixed up together, it was deemed to be complex enough to keep the critics busy for 100 years, but that claim is now looking to be quite modest. Definitely not an easy read, but for those curious enough to try it, my recommendation is to read it out loud - every time I do this I end up laughing. Here's an excerpt read by the man himself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8kFqiv8Vww

    For something with a similar vibe but much more accessible, try Under Milk Wood, here's the full audio, it's an hour and a half, but well worth it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJtzOD3KbLM

    I love the idea of running books being inspirational, and am especially interested in the transformation stories. That makes total sense.

  9. #19
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    Curiously, one of the strongest references in The garden of forking paths is to the work of James Joyce, who did spend many years writing an infinite circular novel, Finnegans Wake, that starts mid-sentence and ends with the beginning of that same sentence. You don't get the complete sentence until you have read the entire thing. It's a wonderful book. Homage to the entire literary cannon, replete with meaning, written in over 80 languages all mixed up together, it was deemed to be complex enough to keep the critics busy for 100 years, but that claim is now looking to be quite modest. Definitely not an easy read, but for those curious enough to try it, my recommendation is to read it out loud - every time I do this I end up laughing. Here's an excerpt read by the man himself:

    I've had Finnegan's Wake in the 'to read' pile for a couple of years, but have never had the fortitude to start it.Read Ulysses and really enjoyed it. On holiday soon, so may get stuck in.

  10. #20
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    I believe Tolkien disliked the Narnia books because the Christian allegory was too obvious.

    On running,I would put Mike Cudahy's 'wild trails to far horizons' top of my list.

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