Books!

Yes, BOOKS!

I’ve finished a few more books since I last posted, and it’s been a while since I posted, so here’s some more books I’ve finished recently, and the ones I’ve started:

The Count of Monte Cristo took me a while to finish, but I did finally get through it. Once I got back to reading it after reading The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo and Born to Run, I realized that I was right at the beginning of the climax, so I got through the rest pretty quickly (compared to the middle third of the book).

After that I started (and finished) Senna vs Prost, which is a well-rounded account of the infamous battle of egos between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the 80’s and early 90’s. I’d just seen the Senna documentary so I was really primed to learn more about it and read from the people who were heavily involved with the entire drama.

Then I read A Game of Thrones, after getting into the HBO series quite a lot. They don’t remove a lot of characters but do introduce at least one new character for some reason (Rosie(?) the prostitute). It was good to see that other than that the TV series follows the chapters in the book very faithfully.

I was pretty jazzed up to find out what happened next so I went right into the sequel, A Clash of Kings. A friend of mine thinks A Game of Thrones was very depressing and boring with all the political intrigue, but I think it’s fascinating.

I read both A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings (as well as The Count of Monte Cristo) on my e-reader (a Sony PRS-505…yes I know it’s old but it works great!) – which is great to be able to say without people going OMG WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT IS AN E…READER?!?!?! because the Kindle seems be to what everyone and their mother has, at least amongst business travellers these days.

Anyway, the e-reader worked perfectly on my recent trip to the States (more on that soon! lots of pictures!) because it was light weight, the batteries lasted all 2.5 weeks, took up no space in my carry-on bag and even though I didn’t read all 500-or-however-many-books that are on there, I was able to easily…well, read. The coolest thing was resizing the text at night when I was tired so I had massive huge text to make it easier to read, then resizing it smaller the next day to read while I wasn’t so tired. Pretty cool!

Anyway, I think those are all the books I’ve finished since May, it sounds about right. There might be one book I missed, which is why I wanted to make this post before I forgot any more! If I remember what that one book might be after unpacking (more about that soon, too) I’ll add it to my next self-congratulatory ‘completed books’ post.

So the next books I’ve started on already are How to Brew, 3rd Edition, and Into Thin Air. These are, respectively, because I want to try home brewing after having some in Indiana and visiting a micro-brewery, and because the 1996 Everest season disaster story has been widely regarded as a pretty damn good read.

Finished some books finally!

OK, so in keeping with my 101 goals thing, I’ve actually finished some books in the past couple of months. I’m starting to think 101 books in 1001 days, averaging a book every week and a half or so, is a bit ambitious considering the other stuff I want to do as well in the same time.

I started the 1001 day thing having recently started The Count of Monte Cristo, and as I was reading it I was going slower and slower because it was taking a while and it was a VERY slow burn. I’ve seen the latest movie adaptation (with Jim Caviezel – who I’ve met!) a few times and I hate to admit that I was hoping the book would be as action-packed as the movie, but of course it isn’t and that really affected my enthusiasm for the book. I mean, it’s good and all, it shows a snapshot of 19th century Parisian foppery, but all the scheming and stuff was moving along slowly and I had to pick up another book or two to get me going again.

So to get me rolling again I read a book that had recently been gifted to me as part of the Reddit book exchange, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. I’d been wanting to read this one for a while, and while overall I could nitpick one or two minor plot points, it’s a very good murder mystery and I definitely recommend it to anyone curious. Although I feel for the author’s ex-partner (the author, Stieg Larsson, is dead and his ex-girlfriend of many years has been trying to fight Larsson’s family for control of the book and movie series), it’s hard to avoid reading this book. I look forward to reading the follow-up books.

After that, I read another book I’d received via Reddit, this time from last year’s Secret Santa exchange, and dived into Born to Run, which really kick-started the mainstream acceptance of minimalist and ‘barefoot’ running shoes, and got ultramarathons (foot races of 50 miles and more) in the public eye. It’s written by a runner and magazine journalist who travelled to Mexico in search of an elusive trail runner who’d integrated with a local tribe famous for their running feats (not feets, feats) and extreme long-distance races. It’s very interesting if you’re into running or stories of physical endurance, but it’s not a manual on how to get into barefoot running or ultramarathons like I thought it might be. Not that I was disappointed, it’s good overall without the details of how to get into that type of racing.

The third book I’ve started since is quite thick and another gift from the Reddit book exchange, and it’s another slow burner but very interesting so far. This latest book is Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and it’s set in early 1800’s England and centered around the country’s last remaining practicing magician. I haven’t gone too far into yet, like I said it’s a thick book and I’m still in the exposition part of the story but it’s grabbed me so far. I’ve read that the second half is extremely good so I’m looking forward to it.