NWR What are we reading thread?

Rereading Nicholas Crane’s “The Making of the British Landscape”, 500+pp but excellent writing and a narrative worth investigation.

Before that the “Silo” book, not at all a cookbook but a manifesto for their (well, McMasters’s) zéro waste philosophy.

Rather short on new books (yearning wine and music literature).
 
From Come Like Shadows
''Ridiculous foreigners'' said Canteloupe as they all walked down the path. ''All they need is to be told. The trouble is no one's told them for so long that most people have forgotten how''.
''It's considered wicked to tell them,'' Detterling said slyly. ''It degrades them, you see.''
''Degrades them? A superstitious Greek peasant and a couple of bent Yankees? Who the hell cares,'' said Canteloupe ''about degrading a shower of shit like that?''
'' They were ... very frightening,'' said Fielding.
'' That's because there was no one there to put them in their place. Of course people can be frightening,'' Canteloupe said, ''if you let them get out of hand. It's happening everywhere : students, coons, labourers, all getting out of hand because no one dares to tell them and put them in their place.''
'' They don't want to listen,'' said Somerset.
'' They've never wanted to listen, but they always have if they were handled right. You just have to bounce them into it, that's what. Frighten them,'' said Canteloupe, '' before they can frighten you.''
 
I was just thinking the other day that it must be time for a new Carl hiaasen book and this thread made me loom him up and joyfully there is one. An American author with a clear political agenda which he presents in a brilliantly funny satirical way. It’s bonkers but it’s brilliant
 
Rereading Nicholas Crane’s “The Making of the British Landscape”, 500+pp but excellent writing and a narrative worth investigation.

He used to write for me sometimes when I was editing the Royal Geographical Society's magazine. His copy was always wonderful - I used to just stop and re-read sentences for the pleasure of it while I was editing his stuff (not something I did very often). Sadly, he eventually became too popular and thus too busy to write for us.

If you're looking for music literature (although you may well have read it already as it has been out for a long time), I loved "Our Band Could be Your Life" by Michael Azerrad.
 
Just finished Patrick Leigh Fermor's The Violins Of Saint Jacques, which took far longer to read than such a short book should have because I loathed it. Adolescent melodrama.

I've ordered Simon Raven's Alms For Oblivion and added Amis's Lucky Jim, never having read either. Hopefully they'll cheer me through the remainder of Troyat's Tolstoy. It's brilliant, but discovering the sort of fellow Tolstoy was is thoroughly depressing.
 
Impressive that you persevered. Your assessment seems spot on to me.
I agree. As a callow youth I enjoyed “Paddy’s” travel pair, and to be honest enjoyed his final instalment when it finally appeared. Equally, Roumeli and especially Mani (this is my favourite part of Greece, love it).

I do have a thankfully secondhand copy of Violins and it is undoubtedly in a different class, a greatly inferior one.

As a man he had a number of talents...writer, philanderer, classical scholar (unlike the fake one), and indeed as a writer of fiction, for that is what much of his “autobiographical” writing was. Ironic that the other great master of autobiographical fiction, Bruce Chatwin, spent a lot of time with PLF and his wife (on the edge of the Mani as it happens).

PLF also had an exemplary war record and his escapade in capturing the German Commander on Crete is enjoyably told in Ill Met By Moonlight by W Stanley Moss (later made into a film...wasn’t PLF played by Kirk Douglas?).
 
I agree. As a callow youth I enjoyed “Paddy’s” travel pair, and to be honest enjoyed his final instalment when it finally appeared. Equally, Roumeli and especially Mani (this is my favourite part of Greece, love it).

I do have a thankfully secondhand copy of Violins and it is undoubtedly in a different class, a greatly inferior one.

As a man he had a number of talents...writer, philanderer, classical scholar (unlike the fake one), and indeed as a writer of fiction, for that is what much of his “autobiographical” writing was. Ironic that the other great master of autobiographical fiction, Bruce Chatwin, spent a lot of time with PLF and his wife (on the edge of the Mani as it happens).

PLF also had an exemplary war record and his escapade in capturing the German Commander on Crete is enjoyably told in Ill Met By Moonlight by W Stanley Moss (later made into a film...wasn’t PLF played by Kirk Douglas?).
I enjoyed his "Mani", refrained from visiting him while there, came home, saw a woman I knew at the next party I went to who explained that she had just shown up at PLF's and been invited in for lunch without so much as a harrassment suit. Mind you she was remarkably beautiful.
 
Just finished something fun, particularly for me as a bridge player: The Cardturner by Louis Sacher. Now am into something more serious: The Commanding Heights, Daniel Yergin's book which, while somewhat dated now (published in 1998), is still shockingly on target.
 
Tom,

I don't know if you use the Goodreads sight. It is to literature what Cellartracker is to wine :).

Anyway, there are two highly-rated books called Earthly Powers.

Which did you read please?

All the best,
Alex R.

Earthly Powers
by
Anthony Burgess

4.15 avg rating — 2,698 ratings — published 1980 — 7 editions

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Earthly Powers
by
David Anderson (Goodreads Author)

4.59 avg rating — 76 ratings — published 2014 — 6 editions
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Tom Cannavan

Administrator
Hi Alex, its the Burgess epic. The only new copy I could find was published by Vintage books and it is a pretty poor edition - it's a long book at almost 700 pages, with tiny print (and not the clearest print either in this edition), so if you find another version I'd avoid the Vintage edition. I actually had 2 attempts at starting the book, put off by the print the first time round.
 
Thank you for the recommendation of Earthly Powers, i'm not sure why it passed me by when I read a lot more than i do now, but it was a very entertaining lockdown read. The print is small, so i guess it might be better on a kindle.
 
Last week I finished and enjoyed The Bridge Over The Drina by Ivo Andric which describes the fictional history of a small Bosnian town from the 1600's until the outbreak of World War 1. The author uses the building of a bridge over the river and its place in the community subsequently as the center of events that unfold over time. I have also read Bosnian Chronicle, an exquisite book by the same author which similarly deals with one of the themes of The Bridge Over The Drina, the waining power of the Ottoman Empire and the eastward growth of western influence. I followed this with a light snack of Olen Steinhauer's Victory Square (Steinhauer is one of my favourite crime/thriller writers) and yesterday started Franz Werfel's The Forty Days Of Musa Dagh, a novel about the Armenian Genocide.
 
Currently reading Rip It Up And Start Again, Simon Reynolds’ history of post-punk. Lucid, perceptive and fascinating stuff, but every time he compares things then to his “now” (he was writing in 2005), I’m struck by how in turn, it’s as unrecognisable as 1978-84 is.
 
Currently reading Rip It Up And Start Again, Simon Reynolds’ history of post-punk. Lucid, perceptive and fascinating stuff, but every time he compares things then to his “now” (he was writing in 2005), I’m struck by how in turn, it’s as unrecognisable as 1978-84 is.
As I often see quoted in musical terms (but can't think of anything from 1914) we're now as distant from Sgt Peppers as they were from the start of WW1. Do it with Heartbreak Hotel and it's the founding of Liverpool FC. :eek::eek::eek:
 
Currently reading Rip It Up And Start Again, Simon Reynolds’ history of post-punk. Lucid, perceptive and fascinating stuff, but every time he compares things then to his “now” (he was writing in 2005), I’m struck by how in turn, it’s as unrecognisable as 1978-84 is.
I have been thinking of reading this ever since I re-read England's Dreaming (Jon Savage) at the beginning of Lockdown. Mind you, I'm about to order a couple of books (A New Day Yesterday and Strawberry Bricks Guide) on a genre which we are not allowed to mention here.

I see that David Hepworth has a new book out, Oversexed, Over Paid and Over There. I've bought his previous books but I'm wondering whether he's sort of hammering away at the same theme from merely different angles?
 
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