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What I’ve been reading this week, 19 October 2018

Alex Roddie
Alex Roddie
2 min read

Plenty of links for you this week: what National Parks are for, the Skye Trail, camping in the Alps, weariness at the pace of technological change, broken MacBook keyboards, and more…


I am currently reading Polar Eskimo by Alex Hibbert, and Ilium by Dan Simmons (had this on the go for a while).

Outdoors and photography

The true purpose of a National Park – the Lake District is not a theme park.

The Skye Trail – Trip Report & Backpacking Guide – this is an excellent guide to hiking the Skye Trail by Cam Honan, author of the new book The Hidden Tracks.

Camping on the GR5 Trail through the French Alps – Chris Townsend shares some of his camps along the GR5. Camping in the Alps can be a subtle art, thanks to the cattle (as Chris discovered) and the sometimes onerous rules, but it’s hard to argue against the quality of the landscapes once you get high enough.

Wild Light: Scotland’s Mountain Landscape – this wonderful-looking new book was published yesterday.

Therm-A-Rest NeoAir UberLite review – Hendrik Morkel reviews an incredibly light inflatable mattress for ultralight backpacking.

Sierra Nevada Photography Trek 2019 – David Lintern has launched an exciting project: a photo trek in the Spanish Sierra Nevada.

Everest: It’s Not About the Summit book tour – Pinnacle Editorial client Ellis J. Stewart hosts an event at Plas y Brenin. I edited this book; it’s a good’un!


The Joy of Books – this is simply lovely.

Entanglement and social media reform

I am working on a new blog on the study of the Entanglement, and will be spinning off this section of my reading list soon. It’s less relevant to my core subjects and I appreciate that many of my readers are not interested in it. If you are interested, please let me know!

The Google Pixel 3 is a very good phone. But maybe phones have gone too far – this is the best phone review I have ever read. “I don’t recall exactly when my phone became such a festival of stress and psychological trauma, but here we are.”

Tech’s high speed, and my low tide – Riccardo Mori echoes the thoughts of many long-term tech enthusiasts when he lists his reasons for finding tech exhausting and disappointing these days. I’m with him all the way on this. Tech is not in a good place right now.

The new and improved MacBook keyboards have the same old problems – I find this unsurprising. At this point Apple is just milking Mac fans for all they’re worth (and I say this as a dyed-in-the-wool Mac user since the 1990s).

In macOS Mojave, Reduce Transparency has broken logic and terrible design – see above. I always use macOS with Reduced Transparency (I can’t stand the fake translucent glass effect). Fortunately I always use a neutral grey desktop, but anyway, nonsense like this is why I leave it six months until I upgrade to a new version of macOS.


Alex Roddie

Happiest on a mountain. Writer, story-wrangler, digital and film photographer. Editor of Sidetracked magazine (I make the words come out good).


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