Books - what are you reading just now?

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Just finished a couple.

Arundhati Roy The God of Small Things Beautifully written and very moving - a story based in Kerala south India with the caste system, norms, boundaries and religious beliefs at it's core - quite a complex read as the narrative jumps back and forward in the life of the main character(s). Recommended to anyone with an interest in India.

As that took a while I needed a bit of quick light relief...so the 158 pages of... John Wyndham Chocky

Though televised as a children's series of the early 80s - the book isn't really just a children's book. Written in 1968 it is interesting in how it relates to climate change; renewable energy, and sustainability.

Next up is Nevil Shute Beyond the Black Stump
 

Tongo

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A book called Frozen in Time by Steven Scragg which is about the European Cup Winners Cup. Tis a cracking read if you like Football when it was a sport rather than a business. Some great and obscure teams included.

Have also got the follow up, Where the Cool Kids Hung Out, which is about the heydays of the UEFA Cup.
 
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Enjoying Beyond the Black Stump by Nevil Shute - based around sheep stations in northern Western Australia. Written contemporaneously with when it was published in 1956, the depictions in it of how the Aboriginal community was considered and treated back then is very thought provoking - and although I knew a bit about how it was, I still find it shocking (present day sensibilities...)

So notwithstanding 65yrs separating then and now, though things have improved a great deal for that community - where it has come from was such a very low point my admittedly rather superficial observations of the Aboriginal lot gained over 9wks last year spent travelling in Australia suggests there may still be a way to go. But where it was in 1955...

Being Australian did Shute write with a 'this is how it is' eye - or with a 'this is how it is - however...' I don't know.
 
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Hobbit

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Enjoying Beyond the Black Stump by Nevil Shute - based around sheep stations in northern Western Australia. Written contemporaneously with when it was published in 1956, the depictions in it of how the Aboriginal community was considered and treated back then is very thought provoking - and although I knew a bit about how it was, I still find it shocking (present day sensibilities...)

So notwithstanding 65yrs separating then and now, though things have improved a great deal for that community - where it has come from was such a very low point my admittedly rather superficial observations of the Aboriginal lot gained over 9wks last year spent travelling in Australia suggests there may still be a way to go. But where it was in 1955...

Being Australian did Shute write with a 'this is how it is' eye - or with a 'this is how it is - however...' I don't know.
Shute was English.

One of my favourites is Trustee from the Toolroom. Requiem for a Wren is another good read. A bit old in style, harking back to a very different time but I like them because of that.
 

JamesR

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About to start Call for the Dead, by John Le Carre.

JLC is easily my favourite author - Perfect Spy, the Karla trilogy, The Russia House etc, are all brilliant novels
 
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Shute was English.

One of my favourites is Trustee from the Toolroom. Requiem for a Wren is another good read. A bit old in style, harking back to a very different time but I like them because of that.
Indeed - my mistake from him living his final years in Australia. really enjoyed Beyond the Black Stump

In the end Shute managed, IMO successfully, to compare Northwest USA attitudes and culture of the 1950s with that of Northern West Australia outback. Thought provoking and though of it's time I find it had resonance today - none of us are perfect and we need to look to ourselves; to try and understand 'the other', before we point and criticise.

I do like Shute's writing. Straightforward, simply written, but with well drawn characters and evocative settings. I have a 13-strong bundle of his books on my bookshelf that I was given by a friend who downsized and got rid of most of her books - and Requiem for a Wren is there.
 
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Read Dava Sobel's short and accessible account of the race to accurately determine longitude at sea. Excellent little book - easy to read and has told me all I probably need to know about John Harrison and his H1-H5 timepieces, and various Astronomer Royals of the 18th Century :)

Now for something completely different. It's probably going to be the rather mammoth 'Parade's End' by Ford Maddox Ford - been on my bookshelf for ages - time to take it down I think.

But as it's a 'big read' I think I'll also do some short reads at the same time, starting with Wind in the Willows - recently picked up from my local Oxfam and just one of these books I've never read but think I know - but I probably don't.
 
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Foxholer

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Enjoying Beyond the Black Stump by Nevil Shute - based around sheep stations in northern Western Australia. Written contemporaneously with when it was published in 1956, the depictions in it of how the Aboriginal community was considered and treated back then is very thought provoking - and although I knew a bit about how it was, I still find it shocking (present day sensibilities...)

So notwithstanding 65yrs separating then and now, though things have improved a great deal for that community - where it has come from was such a very low point my admittedly rather superficial observations of the Aboriginal lot gained over 9wks last year spent travelling in Australia suggests there may still be a way to go. But where it was in 1955...

Being Australian did Shute write with a 'this is how it is' eye - or with a 'this is how it is - however...' I don't know.
I don't believe Australia will ever be a single 'integrated' nation as the 2 cultures (and cultural values) are so far apart/different - unlike what (I believe) has happened in NZ where both Maori and Pakeha are 'integrated and distinct'. It's like trying to integrate 2 different types of animals.
My late brother spent some time in Darwin (Northern Territory) and was horrified by both the attitude of Whites to Aborigines in that area and the apparent (cultural) misuse of facilities facilities provided to 'help' Aborigines. There have been some successes, especially in the sporting arena - Evonne Goolagong (elegance personified) probably being the most obvious - but there were some 'cultural' issues in her career too! Australian Rules is another sport where there has been a relatively high participation.

'Beyond the Black Stump' and 'A Town Called Alice' were class set books at High School and Banjo Paterson poetry was also studied - along with some Kiwi authors too. .
 
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I don't believe Australia will ever be a single 'integrated' nation as the 2 cultures (and cultural values) are so far apart/different - unlike what (I believe) has happened in NZ where both Maori and Pakeha are 'integrated and distinct'. It's like trying to integrate 2 different types of animals.
My late brother spent some time in Darwin (Northern Territory) and was horrified by both the attitude of Whites to Aborigines in that area and the apparent (cultural) misuse of facilities facilities provided to 'help' Aborigines. There have been some successes, especially in the sporting arena - Evonne Goolagong (elegance personified) probably being the most obvious - but there were some 'cultural' issues in her career too! Australian Rules is another sport where there has been a relatively high participation.

'Beyond the Black Stump' and 'A Town Called Alice' were class set books at High School and Banjo Paterson poetry was also studied - along with some Kiwi authors too. .
Yes - we could see that things were not great in Darwin....and a local lady very sympathetic to the Aboriginal community situation/plight and who showed us around the city explained the situation. But we could see it for ourselves in Coober Pedy and on the streets of Alice Springs - sad. And as you said so very different from our experience of the Maori in NZ. When we visited Waitangi and asked about the attitude of Paheka to Maori as it seemed that the Paheka community was proud of the distinct Maori community and it's cultures - our Maori guide pointed out that it's not perfect, but that they were a lot better off than the Aboriginal communities in Australia - as we subsequently witnessed.
 
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Crazyface

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We don't know what we're doing - Adrian Chiles. All about following WBA for a season.

VERY FUNNY !!!!!!! If you are a football fan and know what that entails.
 
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