Tai Pan Book Review : The Founding of Hong Kong as described by J. Clavell

Tai Pan Book Review Another month, another country. Another Readathon. Although my readathon page has suffered from quiet drought, behind the scenes many readathons did, in fact, occur, keeping as always good company: en route to Zanzibar, while exploring Spanish gems, and most recently: en route to Hong Kong. I had not read James Clavell’s … More Tai Pan Book Review : The Founding of Hong Kong as described by J. Clavell

Personal Ramblings: Review of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

What a great companion to my Timekeepers readathon!

These two books could easily be drinking buddies!
Timekeepers as the elderly, elegantly intelligent hardcover

And TSAoNGaF (yes, I acronym-ed it) as the young, impetuous e-book, tricking you with swear words into a much deeper conversation.

Caution: swear words ahead. Turn back if you’re a pansy. … More Personal Ramblings: Review of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Readathon to the End of the World: Timekeepers

I stumbled across Timekeepers in a bookshop at Gatwick airport quite a few months back and I bought it to complement my non-fiction mini collection.

While I had browsed through it a bit, I decided that Timekeepers was a definite keeper for my in-flight readathon to the edge of the world.

And it seemed only fitting to choose this book for my New Zealand readathon. To spend some time with Time, as I counted down my 24 hours & 12 time zones for the longest flight in the world.

While I was, of course, moaning about the length of travel & my soon to be stiff legs and sore buttocks, I couldn’t resist feeling a bit like a fraud. … More Readathon to the End of the World: Timekeepers

Readathon-ing towards South Africa: Tales of the Metric System

Like I said before. The rules of choosing books for my readathon are pretty fluid – mainly it’s :

Author is from said country &/or
Action is set in said country
Other than that, the sky is the limit ;). So when I came across Imraan Coovadia’s book in a Goodreads thread I chose it because of the title, really.

Well, of course, I read the details and got an idea what it’s about, and I did see that the book was featured in the nota bene of the WorldLiteratureToday magazine. But I didn’t imagine it will be so skillfully written. … More Readathon-ing towards South Africa: Tales of the Metric System

Prisoners of Geography – Maps that Matter (Part 2)

The Middle of What? East of Where?

The Middle East had few country borders, after the first world war.

The area was subdivided and governed according to ethnicity and religion, but there were no real attempts to create nation states.

Then the Europeans came.

Because they had done such a “great” job in Africa, and they were used to draw lines on maps: again, these were lines that did not exist in reality, and their sudden existence created some of the most artificial borders in the world.
An attempt is unfortunately now made to redraw them in blood..

The so called Middle East is home to the largest continuous sand desert in the world , an area the size of France.

I learned a bit about how Islam has been separated in Sunni and Shia since year 633, which created huge doctrinal disputes that continue to this day.. and hit all the more close to home.

The radicals from IS which murdered people and captured territory, also seized on an area important in the internet age: psychological space

They became generation jackass jihadi….. … More Prisoners of Geography – Maps that Matter (Part 2)

Readathon-ing towards South Africa

With only one week to go until we’re up & away to South Africa, plans are in motion to build my Kindle and Paper Fortress for my in-flight readathon.

After all, we’re talking about 15 hours of flight time – and that’s just to get there!

However, and learning from past mistakes, I’m only packing 2 South African books on this readathon. (I’ve always got extra up my sleeve, anyway..)

Drum-rolls.. Here they are: … More Readathon-ing towards South Africa

Prisoners of Geography – Maps that Matter (Part 1)

In a world where journalistic skills are hard to come by, and fake news are just too ingrained in our information consumption, Tim Marshall’s book Prisoners of Geography is such a fresh breath of clean air!

I did end up pulling an all nighter on this book, but went as far as midway, with 5 maps and a wealth of information making me a better informed global citizen.

So here’s me passing it forward to you.

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need To Know about Geopolitics … More Prisoners of Geography – Maps that Matter (Part 1)

Flash Readathon: Prisoners of Geography

I went to London on a morning flight and, with absolutely no mood to chat, as I sat there in my middle seat between a Brit coming from a Spanish pub crawl and a Canadian family flying back  after vacationing in Barcelona… guess what?
Turned out chatting was a much better idea. Because Canadians are just that friendly. 🙂

More Flash Readathon: Prisoners of Geography

A Basque Mini-Readathon

Finding some real Basque literature before my Bilbao mini-readathon was a tough challenge!

Most books I managed to find were available in Spanish, but close to impossible to find in English.

And no wonder!
Euskera outnumbers Icelandic when it comes to speakers of the language, and it’s by far more encountered than, say, Kaixana or Taushiro (yes, I googled rarest languages on earth).

However, it is only spoken by ~700.000 people. Which is a real shame, for apparently there is some seriously exquisite and original literature made in Basque.

Read more..
More A Basque Mini-Readathon

A Bali Readathon #3: Snowing in Bali

Here’s my 3rd and last book review from the Bali readathon, which I actually finished after getting back, but I’m sure it still counts.

Snowing in Bali is a very well written book and a fantastic first hand account of the drug landscape in Bali.

The stories in the book are those of seemingly regular people, who were drawn into the whirlwind, glamorous, scary and dangerous life of drugs, their rise and fall and current predicament… … More A Bali Readathon #3: Snowing in Bali