Hendrik Morkel

author, minimalist, rōnin
Aug 30, 2011

August saw me returning to the average of three books per month quota I usually reach. In July I was hoping to start reading also during the day an hour, but somehow I am not able to really do this - emails, Netcycling, working, blogging has me glued to the screen too much. Lets hope I can change this and start this one-hour-reading habit.

Books read August 2011

Remote Exposure was a very quick read, really, and the outdoors related book I "consumed" this month. Being complacent and satisfied with the status quo is something I learned early in life and university to avoid. It pays to stay hungry for more knowledge, to try and push your own boundaries, and go new paths. This also does apply to my outdoor photography, and remote exposure was the book that helped me to focus, inspire and gain new insights into outdoor photography. The author, Alexandre Buisse, is a young French man, a climber, who lived in Copenhagen and has been travelling quite a bit. He doesn't deal with basics - so if aperture, shutter speed and ISO are new to you, then you might want to read up on them a bit before getting this book. If you're already a bit more advanced, then I am sure you will find his insights into weather protection, his workflow, exposure tips and a lot more very useful, and it will help you to refine your own photography, and practice new ways to capture the outdoors.

It has been, gasp, seven months since I read the last Pratchett! That needed to be improved. The Wee Free Man arrived within a week or two after ordering from Amazon (the books are half the price than at the local book store, and free shipping for orders over 25€), and I immediately started to dive into the adventure of Tiffany Aching and the Nac Mac Feegles. Set on the Chalk, which sounds like a lovely area, Tiffany stumbles into an adventure after her small brother is abducted by the Fairy Queen into the Fairy-Dreamland. Unexpected help comes from the Nac Mac Feegles, "Fairies" which are about 16 cm high but pack a punch, love a good fight and some booze. Tiffany finds out that she is a witch, and inherited the skills from her late Grandmother, and sets out to rescue her brother. In the Fairy-Dreamland she also encounters the son of the Baron; who helps her out a bit, though finally she helps him escape. Entertaining from cover to cover, I estimate a good week of evening bedtime reading.

A Hat Full Of Sky is the second part of the Tiffany Aching series. While you can read the book without having read The Wee Free Man, I think it makes for a nicer experience to read them as Pratchett intended them. After Tiffany rescued her brother and the son of the Baron, she sets off to learn witchcraft. Young witches learn about the craft by going into an apprenticeship with an older witch, and Tiffany leaves the Chalk and moves to the mountains to learn from Miss Level. She gets to know other young witches, and also finds out that witchcraft is less magic and more tedious work which no-one else does. As Tiffany is a particularly powerful witch, she attracts the attention of a hiver, a sort of ghost which occupies your conscious. The Nac Mac Feegles are also again there (Tiffany being their wee big hag and a former kelda she is under constant surveillance from the Nac Mac Feegles), Mistress Weatherwax, the best witch of the mountains, and a few other nice characters make this a very good read.

Disclaimer: I will be retiring to the Bahamas if you buy one of the books via the Amazon link above, because the riches it pours over me makes Bill Gates look like a poor wretch.