Monday, 5 July 2010

A good book

One of the problems with spending my days reading student work, documents, academic papers etc. is that by the time my head hits the pillow I am too tired and brain dead to do anything other than listen to the radio as I drift off to sleep or at best, do an easy Sudoku puzzle (on my tiredest of days I can't even do the simple ones). I used to like reading, but these activities are not condusive to sitting down with a good book. This is something I hope to rectify when I start my new life away from full time academic life. Occasionally however I find a book that breaks through my tiredness and inertia and I read it to the end. The other week I picked up an old copy of Tom Simpson's 'Touching the Void' from a shelf at work. Tom and his climbing partner were caught out in an accident whilst climbing in South America and, in what is now a well known incident, Tom's partner eventually had to cut the rope that was holding Tom precariously above a crevasse and leave him to what he was certain was his death. Tom survived and the book is really an incredibly powerful account of his survival. I'm not to into the climbing details but the book got my attention and I can recommend it. (Don't bother with the film, it doesn't come close to the actual words.)

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