[Some of the items in this post were gifted for review*]
Unless you live under a rock, it can’t have escaped your notice that we are, alas, still in the middle of a global pandemic and have, until recently also been in another lockdown. As the evenings have drawn in I’ve found myself exercising during the day time, meaning I have more time to flick through a book most nights. As such, I’ve managed to get through quite a few, and I thought I’d share my current reads. Some of which would make perfect Christmas presents!
The Beaches of Wales – Alistair Hare*
I was so excited to be sent this book recently. I bought a paddleboard this year and so one of the things I’ve really enjoyed is planning some little adventures for the rest of this year and, of course, next year! I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the mountains of Wales, but very little time at the coast, with the exception of Anglesey, Llanddwyn Island and the Gower Peninsula. To note, of course, is that Wales is surrounded by beaches on three sides, so there will be something for everyone! This book lists every beach in Wales, along with their OS grid reference, which way the beach is facing (very handy for planning) and also the facilities at each location, along with photos and a short description of each. This would be the perfect Christmas gift for your coastal walker, dog walker, wild swimmer, kayaker or paddleboarder.
Am I Overthinking This?
This. Book. Is. Perfect… I am such an over-thinker and this handles it in the best way ever. It’s not a serious book, but it has plenty of scenarios we have *all* considered. One for the overthinker in your life! 🙂
To Live – Élisabeth Revol*
I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone, whether you are a mountaineer or not. This book written by Élisabeth Revol talks about her 2018 summit of Nanga Parbat “The Killer Mountain” with her climbing partner Tomasz Mackiewicz and serves as a tribute to him. It’s the ninth highest peak in the world, standing at 8126m, and Élisabeth and Tomek completed the second winter ascent of the mountain, Élisabeth becoming the first woman to summit Nanga Parbat in winter. Unfortunately, as they reached the summit Tomek was struck by blindness. Fellow mountaineers flew in from K2 to help them and this book talks about her memories, her terror, her immense pain and the heartbreak of having survived, alone.
How Spies Think – David Omand
A slightly heavier read but not heavy enough that anyone would find it boring, this book by David Omand, the former Director of GCHQ is one for any Christmas list. This book supposedly shows how the big decisions in your life will be easier to make when you apply the same frameworks used by British intelligence. Do I agree? I’m not sure, I don’t work for British intelligence, but all of the tips are able to be applied to most walks of life, personal or professional. As well as this, the examples Omand uses to explain these processes (the Falklands for example) give some fascinating insight into decision making and analysis.
Star Wars: X-Wing – Rogue Squadon – Michael A. Stackpole
I am a HUGE Star Wars fan and make no secret of this, but until this year had never read any of the books properly. I was recommended The Thrawn Trilogy and I was obsessed, so when the same person recommended this as “Star Wars x Top Gun” I knew I had to read it. I started it earlier this week and have already almost finished it… Take from that what you will.
I’ve always been one for reading but recently I’ve been mostly on naval history or politics, so it has been great to really mix it up a bit. Now I can buy even more books…
What have you been reading recently?