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Member: rubicon528

CollectionsYour library (2,328), Wishlist (125), Currently reading (7), To read (653), Read but unowned (17), All collections (2,467)

Reviews1 review

TagsFiction (678), (429), Non-fiction (392), Politics (156), Gardening (152), SF (122), Autobiography (106), Crime Fiction (96), Fantasy (91), WW2 (84) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations2 recommendations

About meI enjoy reading and looking for books - it's the only type of shopping I enthuse about. I enjoy regular walking,and the outdoors in general.

About my libraryQuite a mix of books that reflect my varied interests and tastes. Still plenty more to explore, and collect.

Listed are all books that I own, apart from those on the wish list tag and book group reads.

Groups25 Books in 2011, Anarchism, Baker Street and Beyond, BBC (Radio) 7 Listeners, BBC Radio 4 Listeners, Bikes and Bicycles, Cycles, Cyclists and Bikers, Biographies, Memoirs and Autobiographies, British & Irish Crime Fiction, Brits, Cover Design Junkiesshow all groups

Favorite authorsDouglas Adams, Boris Akunin, Lindsay Ashford, Iain M. Banks, Ray Bradbury, Bernard Cornwell, Jasper Fforde, C. S. Forester, Robert Harris, Alexander Kent, D. H. Lawrence, Laurie Lee, Alistair MacLean, Ethel Mannin, Roger McGough, Spike Milligan, George Monbiot, Chris Moon, Farley Mowat, Jeremy Narby, Malcolm Pryce, J. K. Rowling, William Shakespeare, Bob Shaw, Rupert Sheldrake, John Simpson, J. R. R. Tolkien, Sarah Waters, Paul Watson, John Wyndham (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresOxfam Bookshop Birmingham, Waterstones Birmingham High Street, Waterstones Birmingham New Street

Favorite librariesKings Norton Library, Trinity College Library, Dublin

Real nameGed

LocationBirmingham UK

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/rubicon528 (profile)
/catalog/rubicon528 (library)

Member sinceJul 13, 2008

Currently readingRural Rides (Penguin Classics) by William Cobbett
Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth by Steven Best
Reiki Meditations for Beginners by Lawrence Ellyard
The Mind-Made Prison: Radical Self Help and Personal Transformation by Mateo Tabatabai
Othello (York Notes Advanced) by William Shakespeare
show all (7)

Leave a comment


Hi Ged,
I am responding to a 2010 note from you. What Group are you referring to? Have you read
Reiki Nurse yet? I have been doing Reiki at my small, rural hospital for the past two years,
and also in a larger hospital an hour away. I have four classes left, to complete my
MS in Holistic Health, and am enjoying them very much. Am currently reading "Spontaneous Healing"
by Andrew Weil MD, and enjoying it VERY much. Hope life is going well for you.

2010- note from Ged to Alison:
Hi Alison, I look forward to reading Reiki Nurse, though I have so many books on the 'to read' pile at the moment. Would be good to have your comments about books and therapies on the Group.
Hope your studies are going well.
Oh yes. They have an odd meeting schedule, and meet in the Slade Road Methodist Church.

I do not, however, know if there is a Swiss branch of the Birmingham Railway Society.

(I can talk, after all, I am Secretary of the Austrian Railway Group, though we're not big enough for Branches, and at a push you could get all of us in one room, if it was big enough. The German Railway Society has regional groups, though despite their size they seem to struggle a bit with effectiveness...)

(There do not appear to be British railway societies abroad, despite the German habit of forming clubs at the drop of a hat [you may have heard the saying: when two Germans meet, they shake hands; when three Germans meet, they form a club]. Another casualty of British insularity, which people forget cuts both ways.)
We missed Stephen Hunt, too. I was giving a talk to the Birmimgham branch of the Swiss Railway Society. The BSFG will be wondering what's happened to us!
No, just hit "P" in my trawl across my shelves! We didn't get to see him last time at BSFG as it clashed with a concert I'd booked six months before; but we saw him last time he came to BSFG. Looking forward to seeing Graham Joyce again this coming month; we go back a long way...
Sorry for being so late in answering.

Discount books are the way to go. I used to have a few authors that I considered Hardcover authors, ie that I'd buy their books immediately they were published. No longer.... Haven't bought a full priced book this year, and don't see that changing soon.

Quantum Thief was very good. I seem to have lost my copy of Embassytown, will have to wait till I see it in a charity shop to finish it... I do like Mieville's work, loved the that "The City and The City" played with my mind.
Happy New Year, Happy New Name!

Shame about the lack of striding, this getting old business takes no prisoners, eh?

So far this year I've managed not to buy any new, full price books, but the charity shops and remainder shops have done well from me.

Happy New Year! Ged.

How did the garden grow?

In my mind I'll still see you jumping the stiles - it's a happy thought for me that brings up good country imagery.

Hope the year is a good one for you.

All the best,

PS I'd already done the 100 book challenge but had slowed down on book ready as we were very busy on the farm. It's been a bumper season with an amazing amount of rain.

Thanks for your message, and a Happy new Year to you too!

All being well, we should be at BSFG meetings this year, though we normally give the AGM a miss (too much pressure to volunteer for jobs, with time that neither of us have), or the BSFG/University Quiz night [Feb].

The AGM does have the attraction of seeing Roger auction books, but when you've seen that at a convention once or twice, you know what to expect - and he gets a bit peeved when people come to watch him auction instead of actually buying books! But Roger is an accomplished and entertaining auctioneer, and I've only ever seen one person as good as him. Bob Shaw once bet Roger that he couldn't sell five copies of the Japanese editions of Frank Sinatra's biography at Novacon, and Roger not only sold all five, but got more for the last copy than he did the first!
As we are both vegetarians, I was prompted to hop over to your profile and I noticed that, in your library, you have Irvin Yalom's When Nietzsche Wept; I also have this and the movie DVD. Have you read his Existential Psychotherapy? We also apparently share 21 books.
Naren Jackson
I know...Have you ever read Sixpence House by Paul Collins. It is all about the town. Fantastic book. Hoping to get there someday.
No Robert Rankin. I've a feeling I might have read something of his when I was a teenager, but maybe not. He's not really grabbed my attention as an adult. How do you rate him?

I really have no idea how many books I read in a year! And do we count books that I've consulted, researched in or dipped into as "read"?
Well, I suspect I've beat the 25 already....
Hi Ged,

Happy New Year to you also.
Hope this year brings you a bumper crop.
Keep us posted on the allotment.
All the best ,

Gav & Lisa.
Hi again Ged,

That's great news about your allotment - you must be very excited about it.
I use a kind of weird hybrid system of my own and bits of everyone else's - whatever I find works. I've taken a lot from Permaculture (I was on a similar research track when Mollison & Holmgren came out with Permaculture 1). I also research some of the older English gardeners - W.E Shewell-Cooper and John Seymour being my faves there. See if you can get an old copy of Adam the gardener by Max Davidson too. The best American Author is Eliot Coleman.

I try not to step on my beds and avoid digging if I can - but I still do if there are tree roots near (otherwise you get very stunted crops). This shouldn't be the case in an allotment. I think you'll find you get the most food volume from time honoured organic methods. Why don't you divide up your plot and experiment with different methods? This will show you what works well in your area first hand. Look closely at John Seymour's bed arrangement in "The Self-sufficient gardener". It is simple and it works.

Near the house we grow salad greens and herbs (mostly permaculture methods). Further away we grow row crops (John Seymour, Eliot Coleman). Then it goes semi-wild (and I turn to Masunoba Fukuoka's Natural Farming). Health-wise you can't beat fresh greens but to really feed you you need row crops - potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips & turnips (peel them).

I'd try and get newspaper down, lots of manure on in winter and then cover it with a thick layer of straw. This would save you a lot of digging. Then when you've killed most of the weeds by excluding light you can go back to a more normal row crop situation but put wider paths in. Narrow paths are a right pain and you only put them in if you're either short on space or like digging to keep warm.

I'm lucky, my grandfather taught me the basics of gardening 40 years ago, so I had a bit of a head start on a lot of people. You can't beat asking a good gardener over there for some tips (not all their secrets mind). Most gardeners are happy to boast about their successes.

Just take it slow. Don't panic, nature moves at an amazing rate and you can only do what you can do. One bit at a time.

I am on facebook but don't check it very often.

Hope you have a great time in the patch and reap the rewards.

All the best,
Hi Ged,

Rain - whats that? We've had about a third our normal amount for this time of year. I planted a lot less this year so we wont have to water it - but planting less means eating less so thats not really good. On the plus side more fruit trees are coming to bear so we should get more of that but less veg.
Now I wish I'd planted more nut trees too.

Shame about the apples in peoples backyard - we get it here too. I guess its more food for the birds this year.

Did you see Food Inc? It gave me tears in my eyes. Definitely worth a look.

All the best
Gav & Lisa
Hi again,

Fresh runner beans - yum. Haven't got mine in yet, bit early here. Had the second cutting of the asparagus though and the first purple-podded Dutch peas.

We've got about 2 acres of blackberries over the creek. Last year we had some French helpers staying with us and had blackberry pie and icecream, delicious. Of course, the Dept of Agriculture here says its a declared weed and we have to remove it! We are removing it - one berry at a time. Thinking of sending them a picture of the pie.

All the best,
Dear Stilestrider,
I haven't finished reading Reiki Nurse, but it has some good chapters. I liked the chapter: Master's Thesis, Nursing is an Energy Exchange. I don't believe she gets into Reiki until page 90; previous to that she's talking about her nursing career. I like: The Everything Reiki Book, by Phylameana Lila Désy. Sincerely, Alison Bell
Dear Stilestrider: Thank you for your suggestion to join the Complimentary Therapies group. I have joined.
1) Tick the box under the 'reviews' box to share existing reviews with FB. You'll need to re-save them to get the review to be ported over.

2) Go into your Profile, Account settings, sites/apps and tick the box to make sharing reviews with FB the default.

I do find that it's a bit hit-and-miss; there appear to be daily posting limits on FB and I know that there have been some coding issues and the app seems to fall over from time to time. I tend to keep FB open on another tab in my browser (Firefox) so that I can check that reviews have gone over when I've re-saved them. They normally go over instantly; when they don't, I stop posting reviews and go and do something else.
Not quite; I've never found a way to bookmark my library to say "I'm up to here" (I'm working through editing collections) and the only way I could think of on the spur of the moment was to put in a one-star rating. It comes off when I start my next editing session. Doubtless you and thousands of others will now point me at some feature or other and I shall say "Doh!"...
So how did your education about Existentialism turn out?
Hi there,

Good to hear from you. Hope its not too chilly. Well, the summer is nearly over here (thankfully). We had no rain for four months and finally the heavens have just opened. We had some helpers staying with us from France and they seemed keen to get away from the snow there. We found this site called Help exchange where travellers help do some farm work in return for food and board. So far we've been booked out. Its been really worthwhile for us and I think the helpers have had a great time to boot!

Didn't get a huge amount of veggies in the ground last spring and have paid for it with a smaller than usual harvest (on the other hand we had more fruit and helpers to pick and preserve it). We were busy starting another shop. Not a bookshop this time - and op shop.

Haven't moved to Tassie yet. We decided to stay for a few years and see some more of our dreams through. One day, maybe.

Hope all is well there. I bet you are itching to get out of the house and into the garden. Spring is so beautiful.
So who's just been to 'The Works' in Birmingham? I toyed with 'Thew Hornet's Sting' but eventually came away with 'The Red Princess' instead...
Dear Stilestrider, I see that you have many books on nature and wildlife. The title, the Private Life of
the Rabbit, caught my attention. I like to snowshoe up the small mountains where I live. I often go alone,
and soak up nature, in the solitude. I see you have a few EMT books. I am a nurse at a small rural hospital.
I see you have some alternative/holistic type books, such as, Conscious Healing: Visualisations to Boost Your Immune System. I'm studying to become a holistic certified nurse. I wish you happy holidays, if you
are celebrating. I see you live in the UK, I'm in the USA. Thanks for your friend request, which I accepted. Sincerely, Alison

No worry about the delay in replying, no big thing.

I quite agree with your comment about `internal politics`, but I think the Ramblers current situation goes a bit beyond that, with offices closing and staff being either laid off or taking cuts in pay. I`ve seen it said that the RA HQ might move from London, but not sure if that`s a spoof announcement or not.

I`ve been quite surprised that so many RA members don`t know anything about it, we`ve been kept informed through area newsletters and the like.

Anyway, that`s all what it is. We`ve had terrible weather here too, though I did get out a bit earlier today, took our youngster out to Shipley Country Park, then to the former Shipley Woodside Colliery. Enjoyed myself, but quite a cold day.

We did have a family trip out to Brinsley, in D H Lawrence country, where the restored 19th century headstocks from the pit have been put back in place. We took a couple of photos which turned out OK, you can see them at if you like that sort of thing.

Anyway, better go,

Best Wishes,

The Three Wishes

I caught me a Leprechaun,
And you know what that means!
I got me three big wishes,
And I wanted so many things.
I wanted silver and I wanted gold,
And riches beyond my place,
And castles all in clover,
And love and a beautious face.

"So what it be, your wish number one?"
Asked the Leprechaun all in green.
"I wish I might have beauty,
The most bewitching ever seen,"

"Done" said the little green Leprechaun,
All with the wave of his hand.
"And I wish," I said, "to have riches,
The greatest in this land."

With a flourish and a flutter they did appear,
Great beauty and my gold,
And then I wished for a lover fair,
All that my heart could hold.

Bedazzeled I was when I saw him there,
My knight in armored bob.
"Thank you Leprechaun," I gushed with glee,
"You've done a most splendid job."

But the Leprechaun stood near me,
Seeming unanxious to leave.
I'm glad you know your mind lass,
So many waste wishes you see."

So enraptured I was with my bounty
That I hardly noticed when
That wee little, green little Leprechaun
Began chattering away again.

"Tis a bonnie day, is it not, my lass?
Don't you wish, lass, it would bid
To stay like this all year long?"
And I replied ... I did.

The little Trickster laughed with mirth,
And then my face did fall.
"The rules be, lass, if a fourth wish you make,
Then you lose them all!"

- Mark Shapiro -
Just got back from a holiday in Yorks - excellent scenery but, with a toddler in tow, didn`t get much walking in.

Have you been following current controversies within the Ramblers ? Personally, I normally make it a rule to spend as little time as possible on the internal affairs of any organisation I`m in, but in this case I could well make an exception.

I do think it`s bad when staff lose thir jobs, apparently due entirely to the Cheif Exec`s mismanagement but the man at the top stays in post.

Would be interested to know what you think of it.


We went on holiday to have a look but we didn't move there. It is very nice though - the prices had dropped a little here due to the "downturn" so we didn't fancy losing at least a hundred thousand. We even had the for-sale sign painted up but just couldn't put it out. Also we have some things we still want to do here - both on the farm and business-wise in the South-west.

Say g'day when you see him from us
Aha! I know him - Hicky! They came and visited us a few months ago in Balingup at our temporary bookshop when we were looking at moving to Tassie. He's a close friend of a Joe & Glennys Taylor, also good friends of ours who live around the corner from us.

It's a very small world!
Thanks for your message, always good to hear from a fellow Rambler. Where do you do your walking ? I`m quite lucky as, although I live just off a town centre (we live in Heanor in the Amber Valley area, just on the Notts/Derbyshire border), I`ve got good walks available without travelling first. The best-known walking areas round here being the Great Northern Basin (junction of the Cromford, Erewash and Nottingham Canals) and the area around Shipley Country Park.

Most of the country parks and nature reserves around here are former pits.

The Rambler`s group I walk with is the Nottingham group, they tend to walk in a variety of areas, South Notts/Leics, Derbys, even some within the city boundary.

Anyway, better go. thanks again for getting in touch.

It was very,very difficult to decide which books to sell and we definitely sold a few we shouldn't have.
It's amazing how things come back to you though. We did buy some back off the bookshop we started. OK - it might sound strange but it was still worthwhile (we hadn't priced them too highly).

Did your brother convert his van into a mobile bookshop?
Thankfully we don't have a TV or we'd probably collect more books not less (maybe we wouldn't read as many).
I used to have most of the original star trek series (the old black ones) but sold them to a collector when I bought the block in Balingup in '97. I sold off 200 good books for $50 - ouch! Then when we were going to move to Tassie we got rid of about 4000 books. Oh well, we made more room in the house to collect more.
Thanks for giving me a heads up! I didn't realize I was putting the comments in the wrong column. God Bless!

He was a great and humble man.

Your brother went at the best time, I think, not so hot! Hope he enjoyed himself.

If you're ever over this way look us up.
Thanks friend

Tho' I fear I'll find little happiness this week. Up in Perth for the funeral of an uncle of mine , Dr Dick Reid,a great man, an inspiration.

So, even rampant op-shopping and book-buying missions seem to be making little difference to my melancholy mood.

Hope alls well there
What are you reading now and what do you think about existentialism? To be honest I enjoy the psychology better than the philosophy, because while former talks about finding meaning and purpose in life and latter talks about the lack of meaning and purpose in life.
I never get weary of watching and reading the Morse series,although is is a bit of a chore entering the DVD's manually I must say. I've still got to enter about 12 more,to complete the set. Personally my favourite episode is 'The Death of the Self',but of course everyone has their own favourite. Any opinions on 'Lewis'?
Implied spaces is on my wishlist, just doesn't get to the top of the pile but your hint might just help it, nothing wrong with curiosity. I might start scots in space as a new tag here. John Barnes' Thousand Cultures series features a culture called Caledon IIRC, and I'll have to go back and read some of Ken MacLeod's stuff to jog my memory. Maybe Charles Stross' Accelerando too. IMB seems to have missed a trick here. Who knows what will be in Transition though, I'll start that once I've finished the latest Steve Stirling book

Could even mention Star Trek, even though he seemed to have an Irish accent.
I sometimes get to that exhibition, but not on a regular basis. As with all these things, there's one on almost every weekend; and when you dabble in as many pies as I do, if I went to everything within reasonable travelling distance, I'd never have any time spare for house, girlfriend, LT, reading, photography, work, etc. etc. etc.!

Thanks for the friends invite!

I note you're in the West Midlands, not a million miles from me; and that amongst other things, you have an interest in the Red Cross. You may be interested to know that one of my colleagues in the Sutton Coldfield Model Makers' Society has specialised in Red Cross aircraft. We keep upsetting him by finding new photographs of subjects he hasn't modelled yet...!

I suspect that he will be displaying his Red Cross collection at our show at Sutton Town Hall on 20th September. If you make it along, seek me out and introduce yourself - all the Sutton Modellers guys know who I am (they ought to, I'm Chairman this year!)
Thank you for the friend request! It appears we have quite a few interests in common. If you're ever in the neighborhood, we should make a date to do a bit of book shopping and hiking!
I'ts been a decidedly warm winter here but think it might get a tad frosty soon as the skies clear. I thought it rained all the time over there anyway!

You know, those snails and slugs are our friends - great for clearing the plants you don't want (I hesitate to call them weeds as they're really friends too). I guess it's all in how we perceive it.

I've got some more John Seymours to put on somewhere. Possibly my favourite author.

All the best
Hi Stilesrider, Thanks for adding me as a friend! Your library looks really interesting and eclectic- nice to find others with the Malcolm Pryce Aberystwyth books. I was lucky enough to live in Aber for a while a few years ago and they always make me feel nostalgic. I see you have the new Jasper Fforde which I'm really looking forward to. Happy Reading, L
Hi there,

I did have 'The Chinese Art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan' by Chee Soo but sold it recently as we were contemplating moving to Tasmania (thinking it would be easy to replace). I will, of course, replace it (although we've decided to stay for a while). I learnt some of the form from a local lady who studied with a teacher from Esperance, WA who studied the Lee style in the UK.

Hope to take it up again,
Youv'e got some great books ,by the way!
thanks 4 the comment. why tag? most is in my head. it is safer there!

Thank you! I'm very proud of it!

However, it's such a *big* library of books, that if I went back and started adding tags, I wouldn't have time to read any of them. (Or catalogue any new ones!)
Cheers, and ta to you too! I've been having a very enjoyable browse-around in your collection. See we share an enthusiasm for the usual suspects Fraser/Forester/Cornwell/O'Brian, etc. :)

[It especially tickles me that you have 'A Key to the Woodlice of Britain and Ireland'. Quite apart from this seeming delightfully quirky in itself, I do Napoleonic re-enactment, and my Charleville musket is named Cloporte (French for 'woodlouse'). Long story. ;) ]
G'day to you,

A very interesting and eclectic collection you have there. Good gardening collection - I've got my eye on some of those! Where is your brother, Perth?
I am honoured to be included in your list of interesting libraries.
Yes, I am very hard to please! Comes with being old and cranky, I reckon. Still, if I give something four stars, it's a fair bet it's worth reading!

I mainly read history rather than fiction these days ... the stories are usually better.

As for alternate/alternative ... um, it was a typo. I've corrected it.
Actually, you're probably right about the home is best philosophy. Some of the tea that gets served up out and about is pretty vile. If I'm feeling like treating myself, though I do indulge in a visit to Hudsons in town where at least they use leaf tea.
Welcome to the tea group. We must live very close to each other. What are your favourite tea places? I'm always on the look out for somewhere new where I can indulge one of favourite hobbies?
Awesome. I'll have to listen to it. Thanks.

I'm looking forward to Azincourt as well. I'll either read that one after the Saxon Chronicles, or I'll read his Arthurian series.

Always nice to find other fans of Cornwell. He is my favorite author at the moment. I'm currently finishing up the Saxon Chronicles. Still have Lords of the North and Sword Song to read. What's your favorite series by Cornwell?

And of course, you have to love Tolkien.

Hi Stilestrider,
Thanks for the Friends invite - on here less often than I would like, and have yet to upgrade to a paid account so I can get all my books on here - ho hum. Busy old life isn't it?
Hi, welcome to LT and thanks for adding me to your "Interesting Libraries" list. I hope you enjoy the site as much as I do!
Hi, welcome to LibraryThing, and thanks for the "Interesting Libraries" linkage.

- Bob
Hi Stilestrider

Fixed those tags thanks, much easier to see and fix the duplicates with the new tag page. I'm afraid I'm not getting as much outdoor enjoyment as I used to, too much time spent working. Still doing lots of reading though.

Thanks and no I've not read Hickman, although it is on my very looooooong to-be-read list.
Howdy, Stilestrider,

Thanks for finding my library to be of interest. We appear to share a liking for Bernard Cornwell and Boris Akunin, of the books I've actually read. We also share lots of Flashman and Forester books, but I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. Besides Patrick O'Brian, my other nautical favorite is Dewey Lambdin's Alan Lewrie series, at least the first 6-8 books. The series has been described by some as Flashman on the high seas, though I gather the Lewrie character is a bit more brave than "Flashy." Anyway, it's pretty fun stuff, I think.

Take it easy,

Hi Stilestrider
Thanks for the friends invite. Am stunned and amazed that you have managed to catalogue 861 books since the 13th!! See we have Jasper Fforde & JK Rowling as faves and also lots of gardening books. Welcome to LibraryThing - thoroughly agree with Devenish (who has one of the most interesting libraries I've found here)that it's a great site but beware, it's totally addictive!
Hello Stilestrider,
Many thanks for adding me to your 'Interesting Libraries'. I am always pleased when someone does this as it shows that I must be doing something right with the way I am putting my collection together.
I see that you are from Birmingham and list the two Waterstones there as your favorite Bookshops (I know them well) Most of my buying is done in Cambridge at Heffers,albeit I do use Waterstones occasionally.
I also see that you have just joined,so let me welcome you to (what I think is) a really wonderful site.If you would like any help with any of the features,or indeed anything book orientated at all,please do not hesitate to let me know.
All the best.
Hello Stilestrider, in reply to your question about the book "Unterrichtsbuch für die weiblichen Hilfskräfte der deutschen Frauenvereine vom Roten Kreuz" I just checked your library. As I see it, you have added it correctly. All the best, Uwe
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