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Miner Willy

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Everything posted by Miner Willy

  1. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, I saw some of the semi and FAA was great. I've always liked his game and he's definitely one of the most complete of the younger guys. I just didn't agree with the suggestion he's miles ahead of Tsitsipas at this point, especially on clay. He very well may have more upside long term, but I'm not even sure there's a strong argument that he's on a par right now, despite some really impressive performances. I mean, I definitely don't want to appear to be a Tsitsipas fanboy or anything, but the reality is he's about a thousand points ahead of FAA in the race so far this year. I think it's a fascinating French coming. I'm not so convinced that Djokovic is quite back to his best yet, and while I hope Nadal is going to be ok, it's not looking great. I think there are a bunch of guys - Rublev probably needs to be added to those above - who are in with a shout if Nadal and Djokovic aren't at their best.
  2. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I really like Auger Aliassime and think he probably has a bigger future overall, but I don't agree with that assessment of their respective games right now. On clay especially, Tsitsipas is well established as a pretty consistent force. Not up there with Nadal and Djokovic certainly, but probably a more likely winner at RG than anyone else - other than Alcaraz given his recent form.
  3. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, I love Alcaraz. Definitely the most exciting young player in ages. He already looks close to a complete player, and it feels inevitable that he'll win multiple slams, which I don't think has been the case for any other young players coming through in recent memory. The French will be very interesting and I expect him to make a big run, but obviously Nadal and Djokovic are just coming back, and Madrid has always played different to the other clay tournaments. I'd love to see Alcaraz win it, but realistically if he's close to fully fit then I would still have Rafa as by far the favourite at RG. But yeah, all in on team Alcaraz. If he had a one handed backhand then he'd basically be my new tennis idol.
  4. 21. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Decided it was time to read the Dust books, but realised I couldn't remember very much at all about the original trilogy. Very much enjoying it all over again. 20. Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North. This was OK, but I didn't think it was as nearly interesting as Harry August. 19. Spike: The Virus vs. the People by Jeremy Farrar. Predictably depressing and frustrating, but I did 'enjoy' the excoriating account of the Government's response to Covid. 18. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Bleak but impressive account the history and current state of mass incarceration in America. 17. Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe. Amazing book about the Sackler family who were responsible for - and profited hugely from - the opioid crisis. Astonishing how devoid of humanity they were. Previously:
  5. Update from March: 16. The Brave Athlete by Simon Marshall & Lesley Paterson A sort of self help book for athletes. I’m no athlete, but I do play tennis competitively and am interested in sports psychology. I didn’t find this particularly insightful as I've already read up on some of the psychology they reference, and just found the authors' writing style really annoying. They're nowhere near as amusing as they seem to think they are, and on Audible they read it themselves (which I rarely think works, unless your name is Jon Ronson) which added to my issues here. 15. Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu I didn’t love this. It has the same flaws as the Three Body Problem books (namely, characters and dialogue), but without that series’ mindblowingly brilliant concepts. I was surprised to learn this was written after TBP – it felt like a much less impressive piece of work. 14. Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwarfare by Andy Greenberg Fascinating and scary discussion of a topic I knew little about. Also interesting to read this at the moment, as much of the story relates to Russian aggression towards Ukraine. 13. The Chysalids by John Wyndham Really enjoyable story with an unexpected but cohesive explanation/payoff. Makes me feel I should revisit Day of the Triffids. 12. The Border by Don Winslow Still don't think I like these books as much as others do, but I did think this was the best of the trilogy. It did a good job of outlining the connection between the drugs cartels and US business & politics and I didn’t find the writing quite as annoyingly try hard macho as the others. 11. Inverted World by Christopher Priest Loved the world and set-up on this, but the reveal felt rushed and a bit disappointing. It slightly diminished the overall experience for me.
  6. Thanks. I bought Lonely Castle and Notes from a Burning Age too, and was considering the Troubles one for the same reason. Bought The Future We Choose as well now..
  7. Which six, @Stopharage? Big recommendation on Senlin Ascends from me - I loved it. The other books in the series also good, but the first was the best.
  8. Posting this here because of the Station Eleven love in this thread: I just saw that Emily St John Mandel has a new book out in April. It's called Sea of Tranquility.
  9. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, shocking, but seems well thought out when you read the comments. She'll be sorely missed, but best of luck to her.
  10. Update for February: 10. The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel. I loved this series. Cromwell is such a great character, and brilliantly written. Really powerful ending, perfectly handled. 9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I loved the character of Atticus, especially seen through the eyes of Scout - it really captures the sense of kids feeling that their parents are full of knowledge and wisdown etc. 8. Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss. Can't remember when or why I bought this, but I thought it was pretty good. 7. The Cartel by Don Winslow. I don't know about this series. I've enjoyed both books so far (The Power of the Dog was first), but there's little insight that I haven't encountered in the non-fiction that I've read on the drugs cartels, and I struggle with the macho style writing - it feels really forced at times, like it's written by a teenager trying to sound cool. Also, Art Keller the 60-year old DEA agent who fucks everyone up and gets the hot doctor to replace his previous hot wife (pretty much every woman in this series is beautiful). I dunno, maybe it's just me as the series seems to be highly acclaimed, but it just feels a bit trashy, which is at odds with such a horrible/serious topic. Previously:
  11. Some good stuff if you can be bothered to sift through the usual piles of dross in today's £3 sale. Would highly recommend The Windrush Betrayal.
  12. That sounds interesting. I didn't like the movies very much, but nothing wrong with the music. I actually listened to all three books recently and thought the Rob Inglis narration was a really good fit. It's quite old school, but felt right to me, as I basically spent my teens reading Tolkien on repeat.
  13. What about the other qntm book, Ra - has anyone here read that?
  14. I've read Pattern Recognition and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - I assume they might qualify as cyberpunk (?), but if so then they didn't prepare me for this. The first half made me feel a bit old and out of touch - which I fear I am these days! I'll go back to it - feel I missed out and owe it a second reading.
  15. Read some crackers in January... 6. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Brilliant follow-up to Wolf Hall. I've immediately moved on to the monster final book in the trilogy. Mantel is such a great writer, and Cromwell a fantastic character. I'm loving it. 5. The New Climate War by Michael E Mann. I think this is the best book I've read on the topic - fascinating insight into the tactics of climate inactivists, and it actually left me with some hope (indeed, the author goes to great lengths to explain why climate 'doomism' is actually a) misplaced and b) counterproductive). This also overlapped in some interesting ways with the excellent Dark Money by Jane Mayer. 4. Death's End by Cixin Liu. Final book in the Three Body Problem trilogy. I've posted on this elsewhere, but to repeat: all three books were excellent, but for me The Dark Forest was the pick. 3. The Children of Men by PD James. Seen the film years ago, but couldn't remember anything about it. I really enjoyed this. 2. Neuromancer by William Gibson. I've never read anything remotely like this, and to be honest I found the first half frequently confusing. I kind of felt like I needed to have read some other books in the genre to give me the right grounding to absorb it - or else just maybe have read it when I was 20 years younger! I know it's revered on here, so I think it's one I will revisit to enjoy properly now that I have a better handle on what was actually happening. 1. The Sleeping Beauties: And Other Stories of Mystery Illness by Suzanne O'Sullivan. An exploriation of psychosomatic disorders and episodes of mass hysteria. I thought this was a brilliant book on a fascinating topic. A great start the year.
  16. Funnily enough I'm near the end of The Cartel after having it on my Kindle for ages. It's decent enough, but I'm not a huge fan of the writing style.
  17. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I had to get on a train at 2-0 Medvedev. Didn't see any way Nadal would even get a set at that point. Gutted to have missed this.
  18. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, on the men's side at least this has been a brilliant slam - so many great matches. He's a million miles from the sort of players I usually like, but I can't help but love Medvedev - even his ridiculously ugly but effective forehand. I thought Tsitsipas played a very smart first two sets, but you always felt that Medvedev would grind him down in the end. I make Medvedev the favourite on Sunday, but not an overly strong one. Nadal has done so well to get this far, and you can never write him off. You just know he's going to play brilliantly and Medvedev will have to go through it to win. I can't see him blowing Nadal away in straight sets like he did with Djokovic at the US. BTW, I loved the snippets of Nadal's press conference that I saw earlier. Journos asking him about going for 21, and Nadal typically focused and humble, basically saying that winning a slam is the pinnacle; for him it's about having the chance to lift the trophy, not the number. I'll support Medvedev, but even as a huge Fed fan I would be happy seeing Nadal win here - the guy's incredible. (And he's not Djokovic).
  19. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Well, Rafa sowed that up too quickly for me to even see a point. We probably shouldn't be surprised by anything these guys do these days, but still: reaching the final here is a fantastic achievement. It's looking like a mouthwatering semi and final, whoever gets there.
  20. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I only saw the final set, but that was pretty good. Not sure it was better than Berrettini Vs Monfils though. Yeah, definitely feel like Medvedev has that internal belief. He doesn't look like he feels he should lose to these guys, even if he gets down. I assume he goes to no.1 if he wins here, and he's looking like the best player in the world, on hard courts anyway. Looking forward to Nadal Vs Berrettini tomorrow. I generally don't like the chances of any right hander with a less strong backhand side when playing against Rafa, but he does have that serve, and Nadal may not be 100%. Could be an interesting one.
  21. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Gah, shame, but that was such a good match.
  22. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Awesome. I'm all in on Team Monfils now.
  23. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    I only saw the final set, which was after it had all blown over. I really enjoyed the final set - Nadal got out of jail on that volley off the net cord. Loving Berrettin vs. Monfils. Both guys playing brilliantly, and some insane rallies. Would love to see Monfils win this, but Berrettini's serve is just monstrous.
  24. Miner Willy

    Tennis

    Yeah, Medvedev absolutely the favourite, but it's very much open. Any of those guys could come through the top half - you have to say that includes Monfils, who I think is still to drop a set, and arguably the player of the tournament so far.
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