My Life in Books

7 03 2011

As it is World Book Day, and the BBC’s year of books I have attempted to do what they are doing on BBC2’s My Life in Books (great programme, shame that it has Anne Robinson on it).  I have read classics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Non-fiction, Biography but these are probably my favourites.  Here we go with 5 books that have shaped my reading.

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett

I must have read this book first when I was about 12, when I was attracted by the book on the cover, the colourful cheery picture of a Skeleton in a Straw hat.  I know that I read a lot, but this is the first book that I can remember that has stuck with me.  The tale centres around the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death, going on holiday.  Death is character WHO TALKS LIKE THIS and wants to discover about being human.  It is a fantastic book about being happy with what you are.  I must have read this about 5 times, and is probably still my favourite Terry Pratchett book.

High Fidelity By Nick Hornby 

The story of Rob, the owner of a failing 2nd hand record store, the breakdown of his relationship to Laura and his searching for a reason why.  Reading this I had a strange sensation that the book was running in Parallel with my life.  I had recently broken up with somebody, whose name was L**a, I had a large record collection the same as Rob and also have a penchant for Top 5 lists.  It is a great story of a nice guy who falls on hard times and wins back his love. 

Europe on A Shoestring by Lonely Planet

Probably the most used book that I own, I bought it years ago when planning a trip around Europe in a campervan.  It is tatty and dog eared, but as usual from a Lonely Planet guide it has loads of great advice.  Since I have owned it, the book has been my first reference book for all of my trips abroad.  I love the Lonely Planet Series, and have loads of them that are all well thumbed through, and mostly used in their specific countries.  The only problem is the maps in them, which are not generally detailed enough to be of any use, but I love the book anyway.

It’s Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong

The Cyclist Lance Armstrong is a man that polarises opinion in sporting circles, you either love him or you loathe him.  I am well established in the former actergory.  This is a man who was a young World Champion, Testicular Cancer survivor and 7 time Tour De France winner…in that order.  This book charts his early life in Texas, through his early years in the professional Peloton, cancer diagnosis and subsequent all clear and then the triumph of the first Tour De France win.  For those of you not into cycling, the Tour De France is the ultimate test of Sporting Endurance.  21 days of racing over an average of 2500km, over mountains that some cars struggle to drive over.  I have the utmost respect for this man and his story, and find the book quite inspirtational (although not inspirational enough to get out on my bike more).   

1984 by George Orwell

I love this book, it is a very dark story of a Dystopian future, controlled by Big Brother, where people are told what to think.  Winston Smith, the main character dreams of another way and finds love and release among the proles.  This was one of the books that I had to read during my GCSE year, and unlike most of the others, it is one that I will go back to and read again. 

There you go, 5 books that I love and will read over and over again.  What they say about me I wouldn’t like to say, but I like the the feelings of hope and optimism that are in them.

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British Sea Power @ Wedgewood Rooms

1 03 2011

Right, I know its been a long time again, but never mind.  Last Friday I went to see British Sea Power at the Wedgewood Rooms.  The tickets were a Christmas present from my sister so it was good to finally get the use out of them. 

I have liked the band since their 2002 album The Decline of British Sea Power, when they really sounded like David Bowie.  Now their sound has matured alot and they have turned into a really excellent live band.  I saw them a couple of years ago at The End of The Road festival in Dorset and have wanted to see them again for a while.  They played brilliantly for nearly 2 hours, and didn’t disappoint.

Sorry its a bit quick, but better this than nothing.