Category Archives: Books

William Somerset Maugham in a Box

I read a lot, but, with few exceptions, I feel no urge to maintain physical possession of books after having read them. Quite the contrary, I find them put to much better use if I pass them on as gifts, … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Canada, Photography | Tagged | 5 Comments

Random Thoughts (24)

Good news: the days are getting longer. Unless you live in the Southern hemisphere, then you are doomed to darkness. And unless you live on the equator, in which case you are missing out on something fabulous. My sister asked … Continue reading

Posted in Austria, Books, Brazil, Canada, Economics, Germany, Iran, Language, Politics, Religion, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Travel, UK, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi

I had long been too snobbish to read graphic novels. Cartoons like Tintin or Calvin & Hobbes are great, but when it comes to serious subjects, I prefer prose. Also, I read a lot on trains or in restaurants and … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Iran | Tagged | 10 Comments

A Walk around Tbilisi

Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Artikels. Each year for my birthday, I like to explore a new country, preferably alone. In July 2017, I treated myself to a trip to the Caucasus (and ended up celebrating my 42nd birthday with the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Georgia, History, Islam, Military, Photography, Religion, Travel, World War II | Tagged , , , | 52 Comments

Brexit Poetry

Everybody knows the line “no man is an island”, but nobody knows that when John Donne wrote Devotions upon Emergent Occasions in 1624, he actually warned of Brexit. No man is an island, Entire of itself. Each is a piece … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Iran, Politics, UK | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

“The Great Railway Bazaar” by Paul Theroux

In 1973, Paul Theroux was a novelist and out of ideas when he came across my blog and got the inspiration for a trip around the world by train. From the UK, he set out to Istanbul, of course, and … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Travel | Tagged , | 7 Comments

“Fear” by Bob Woodward

I am generally not a big fan of reading books on contemporary subjects, because books get better with a few years of hindsight. But for Bob Woodward’s book about the Trump presidency, Fear, I made an exception. Of all the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Military, Politics, USA | Tagged | 4 Comments

“The Pastures of Heaven” by John Steinbeck

As if I had known how beautiful it would be in Venta Micena, Andalusia, I brought a book about a similarly beautiful valley to read during my stay: The Pastures of Heaven┬áby John Steinbeck. In this early work, first published … Continue reading

Posted in Andalusia, Books, Photography, Spain, USA | 13 Comments

Random Thoughts (23)

Sure, World War II had some bad sides to it. But at least it got the Oktoberfest suspended between 1939 and 1945. Many times as I entered Israel, I was questioned thoroughly about the origin of my last name by … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Books, Economics, Germany, History, Israel, Maps, Romania, Terrorism, UK, World War II | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

“Munich” by Robert Harris

Robert Harris, an experienced writer of historical thrillers, has taken on the Munich Agreement of 1938, in which Germany and the United Kingdom agreed that Germany could annex parts of Czechoslovakia. At the time, people believed that such a concession, … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Czech Republic, Germany, History, UK, World War II | Tagged , , | 4 Comments