Reading books in 2023

Even though it’s a autobiography I’m gonna hide some detail behind spoilers cos I would love it if someone else read it like I did without knowing what would happen next.

My introduction to Jeb was this video about 11 years ago, then I followed him on social media and saw him sharing segments of writing from it over the last couple of years which was why I asked for the book at xmas.

Turns out his childhood was pretty mad as well as his adult life leading to him doing the wingsuit thing.

A babysitter once got him shiftface drunk when he was quite young. Other than that one incident he’s never done drugs or drank alcohol. I assumed his refusal to use painkillers and his desire to do possibly the most dangerous sport might be related to a drug problem. But apparently not.

The bit I got to last night was

He’d been doing some BASE jumps in Europe after a planned trip to jump of Angel Falls fell through. So after a few weeks him and another BASE jumper end up travelling to Venezuela without a plan and paying a private plane to go to Angel Falls, pretending they’re normal tourists. They ask him to fly quite high up claiming that they want to get some good video footage. Then the give the pilot $100, he asks what they’re doing, looks behind him and sees Jeb open the door and jump out. The other guy follows. Then they’ve landed in the jungle at the top of the mountain that Angels Falls come off so have to try and find their way to the top of the falls in order to jump off, then trek through the jungle to get home. They should’ve died, not cos it was dangerous to do the jumps (tho it was), but because they were totally unprepared for being in the jungle. Like they only had 1 toblerone between them and they ended up being on their own for about 3 days. During which they had to jump off Angel Falls.

I know there’s various bits coming up later like a really bad injury or two, his refusal to use painkillers and the detail behind that video that I first saw and other things.

After every chapter so far I’ve thought “nah this can’t get more mad” and it has.

But surely nothing will top that bit I read last night!

Anyway I’ll try to restrain from rambling about all the interesting things I find in books in here from now on…

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if the full book sounds like a lot here’s an article from the author

I only read non-fiction too :sunglasses: sadly I just get absolutely nothing out of novels - can never remember who any of the characters are or what’s happened and find all the “describing” annoying. much prefer a nice - often slightly depressing/bleak - bit of non-fiction.

I read that Sports Gene book a while ago and really enjoyed it. was that high jumper the guy who basically just had a really rigid achilles tendon or something? find it fascinating that people could have this unbelievable gift for a fairly niche sport and may not ever realise it.

very well remembered!

yeah he had a very long tendon that was also very rigid, he was contrasted with a relatively short Swedish guy who won gold at the 2004 olympics who had just practised so much that his far shorter tendon become extremely effective at the same job

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I really enjoyed Keigo Higashino’s Malice. It’s more a Whydunnit than a Whodunnit but it has lots of twists and turns and I found it a real page turner. I think @nicholasurfe read it and enjoyed it too the last time I recommended it.

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Yeah I remember watching a big documentary on base jumpers maybe 10 years or so back. Just wild stuff. Might read the book sometime.

I have a book on diving in my non fiction to-reads list but it’s not an ebook and I’ve yet to source a physical copy.

Read Our Share of Night this week… Was great.

Barker and a somewhat similar bit to Tell Me I’m Worthless

Going to have a reread of My Work is Not Yet Done by Ligotti today to keep up the vibe.

oops i spent more money

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Was struggling to get into a book for ages so put it aside and read Earthlings by Sayaka Murata in a few hours

Enjoyably chaotic book


Finally got round to reading Hummingbird Salamander, was a good page turner but didn’t connect to it like the Southern Reach trilogy or Borne.

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Yeah this was a big disappointment to me because I love both those series. He’s working on a 4th Southern Reach now which I have high hopes for.

If you’re after something in a similar mold I reccomend Amatka by Karin Tidbeck and Our Wives Under The Sea by Julia Armfield which I have just finished and loved.

Yep very excited by that, has there been any other updates other than the tweet from last year?

Nice one thanks, had added Amatka to the list and this bumps Our Wives Under the Sea up the to read list which I think I added from other comments in this thread from last year.

Does anyone have any bath reading lighting solutions? Don’t like having the big light on, and candles don’t really do enough to make reading enjoyable - but it’s so nice to zone out in there getting toasty for half an hour finishing off a few chapters …

Just one of these should do you:

Picked it up from a charity shop, and it did the trick perfectly when there was no big light in the bathroom. ‘Mighty Bright’ if you want the exact model of this one, but imagine there’s loads of them around.

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Does it open wide enough to clip on a thin shelf or soemthing? Rather than just directly on the book

It does. Probably goes a bit wider than I’ve shown, but easily a thin shelf:



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Our daughter has one (different brand) which she attaches to her bed frame. It’s led and rechargeable through usb. Think it was £8 on amazon

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Yes, I very much enjoyed this book. A definite “book a 7 hour slot and read the whole thing” kind of book.

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The Kindle paperwhite is waterproof and has the back light you can adjust to be a warm yellow, FWIW.