Another fine year for writing

January 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

In about a month and a half this blog will be celebrating its 1st anniversary. I think I’ve certainly gotten the hang of things over the last 10 months. Here’s what’s in store for 2016. « Read the rest of this entry »


Staying on Top

January 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

I had long been exasperated by the lack of a good source of current affairs on my reading list. With the astronomical figures some newspapers charge for a subscription and the limitations on number of free, quality articles available on the net, my grip on what was happening in the world was slipping. No más, no más. I was strolling through Schiphol this Christmas, waiting for a connecting flight, when the double issue of The Economist sitting on a newstand caught my eye. One look at the cover and it’s list of articles was enough to make me fork out the exorbitant €7.50. Perched on a stool with a view of the crowds milling below I opened my copy. By page five I knew I had to get a subscription. And I have.

What do you get at €2.75 a week? Quality journalism covering a wide range of topics.

2015 in books

January 8, 2016 § Leave a comment

9644 pages read. A pretty good year for reading.


November 13, 2015 § Leave a comment

Thought I’d do a review of the books that I bought from just to help those of you planning on buying from them. Since I only ordered second-hand books I’ll stick to reviewing them and not the selection of new books that they also offer. « Read the rest of this entry »

All hail, Macbeth!

November 12, 2015 § Leave a comment


“Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.”

There is perhaps no more timely occasion to re-read Macbeth whilst currently reading a book on Mugabe and having recently finished a biography of Stalin and two works by Solzhenitsyn. The Scottish warlord remains the prototype for those lusting for power yet in certain regards he differs vastly from them.

More in my upcoming review of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy.

Image: “Macbeth, Banquo and the witches on the heath” by Henry Fuseli [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The Return of Philip Marlowe

October 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

After having ploughed my way through memoirs, biographies, and one volume accounts of battles I felt the need to settle down with something that didn’t take up too much mental capacity. And so I opted for the wisecracking, private dick Marlowe.

Lines such as these put a leer on my face:

From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.

I decided I could lose nothing by the soft approach. If that didn’t produce for me—and I didn’t think it would—nature could take its course and we could bust up the furniture.

A Russian Odyssey

October 19, 2015 § Leave a comment

My journey through Russia ends here. Here’s what I picked up on my travels. « Read the rest of this entry »

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