Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
ZINVOLLE VOLZINNEN - RENÉ GUDE | PHIILOSOPHY BOOKS
'Filosofie is de moeder van de overlegcultuur'
'Als je maar een beetje zin houdt in dingen, dan wordt dat de zin van je leven'
'Het leven is aangenamer als je redelijk bent'
'Filosofie is gezond verstand in avondkleding'
'Streef naar ruimdenkendheid'
THE LAST NIGHT OF THE EARTH POEMS by CHARLES BUKOWSKI | BOOKS POETRY
a lot of
or even to
'The Last Night of the Earth Poems', by Charles Bukowski.
The edition I have is an Ecco edition (2002), noting that it was previously published by Black Sparrow Press (copyright 1992).
I am a great fan of Mr Bukowski's poems (not so much his novels). Adore his wry humor and ranting.
While he seems to write about 'down and out', I quite distill hope from it; there seems to be a message in the poetry that however dark and daunting the day, just by swinging your legs out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other, life does go on!
Besides the gruff note, the poetry often exudes great warmth and above all: HUMOUR!
Bukowski’s enormous body of work refuses to go away and continues to sell tens of thousands of books each year. 'The Last Night of the Earth Poems' is the last book of poetry that Bukowski published during his lifetime, though.
This review expresses the feeling of the book much better than I ever can:
THE CREATIVE ACTwikipedia.org _ Charles_Bukowski
for the broken egg on the floor
for the 5th of july
for the fish in the tank
for the cat on the fence
not for fame
not for money
you've got to keep chopping
as you get older
the glamour recedes
it's easier when you're young
anybody can rise to the
heights now and then
the buzzword is
anything that keeps it
this life dancing in front of
CBEAUTIFUL YOU by THE WAIFS | MUSIC FOLK CD
In 2005 I took holidays in Australia and while driving caught a catchy tune on the radio, which made me buy the CD 'A Brief History...': this is how I got to know, and like, The Waifs.
Had not come across them for a long time, until recently, which made me buy 'Beautiful You', a 2015 release.
I also bought 'Up All Night', a successful 2003 album.
The Waifs are an Australian folk rock band formed in 1992 by sisters Vikki Thorn (harmonica, guitar, vocals) and Donna Simpson (guitar, vocals) as well as Josh Cunningham (guitar, vocals). Their tour and recording band includes Ben Franz (bass) and David Ross Macdonald (drums).
While the band originates from Australia, some live or have lived in the US after their music caught on.
Now, in a little under 20 years since their self-titled debut made good on the countless hours and miles spent touring, The Waifs have grown from an interesting and rootsy trio to being one of Australia's most feted bands. 'Beautiful You' is their 7th album.
en.wikipedia.org _ The_Waifs
DJANGO AND JIMMIE by WILLIE NELSON & MERLE HAGGARD | MUSIC AMERICANA COUNTRY CD
THE HILLS OF TUSCANY by FERENC MÁTÉ | BOOKS TRAVEL ITALY
We go back in time. Candace and Ferenc Máté move by end-1980s from New York to Tuscany, in Italy; they don't have a child yet then.
PARTNERS IN CRIME | TV-SERIES
David Walliams and Jessica Raine play a married couple, Tommy and 'Tuppence' Beresford. She is a somewhat naïve lover of crime mysteries, and plunges her more conservative husband Tommy in adventures of crime fighting. Their son gets little mention, though his fate is threatened by the conspiring criminals.
SERENISSIMA, VENICE IN WINTER by FRANK VAN RIPER & JUDITH GOODMAN | PHOTOBOOK
On a recent visit to Venice, Italy (see my travel pages) I bought two photo books on Venice (bought a 3rd one, but on a different subject). 'Serenissima' has the photography I like so much, the other one is dicussed further below on this page, rather more a historic document.
While my visit was during the summer, the cooling water making the july heat quite bearable, this book made me long for a visit during winter: complete with mists and puddles, umbrellas, brace the chill of the lagoon winter and ride gondolas in the rain!
gvrphoto.com Goodman & van Riper Photography
THE ROSE OF ROSCREA by TOM RUSSELL | MUSIC AMERICANA CD
Tom Russell is a man of many talents: a novelist, criminologist, artist and singer-songwriter with an earthy, gutsy voice.
THE RUFFIAN'S MISFORTUNE by RAY WYLIE HUBBARD | MUSIC AMERICANA CD
This veteran singer/songwriter mixes gritty country rock and swamp blues, though 'mixing' suggests a peaceful household activity, while the gravelly, growl-sounding voice of Mr Hubbard suggests a more sinister tale...
Ten compact tracks, with two songs dedicated to blues legends: 'Mr. Musselwhite’s Blues' and the thumping 'Jessie Mae', named after Ms. Hemphill.
This is Hubbard’s 4th album since 2006 which, for someone who didn’t have a release during an eight year stretch, is prolific.
I recall a leg injury preventing me to attend a gig he was doing in Edinburgh,UK some years ago and very much regret he doesn't intend to cross the Atlantic or so it seems; I'll keep an eye out though, would love to attend a live gig and see Ray Wylie Hubbard performing!
www.americansongwriter.com/2015: 'ruffians-misfortune' by Hal Horowitz https://en.wikipedia.org:_Ray_Wylie_Hubbard
GRAFTEKEN by ARNALDUR INDRIDASON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
About 2 months ago I noticed an advertisement in a Dutch magazine, listing a series of Arnaldur Indriðason books; the advertisement was no doubt meant for people going on holidays: stocking up on their book supply, but for me it meant an opportunity to obtain and read a few of Mr Indridason's crime novels which I had not found before.
Sigurður Óli had appeared in the first 'Erlendur' novel, this time we learn a little more about Erlendur's other assistent, Elinborg. Also about Erlendur's estranged kids.
This second book sees less 'development' of Erlendur's character, except that he is a sober living person, set in his ways and holds true to traditional values; this is illustrated in discussions he has with Sigurður Óli and his daughter, Eva Lind. He also meets with a suspect in person, without back up, and they decide to trust each other. Erlendur's superior's seem non-existent.
'Grafteken' (EN: 'Silent Kill') is the book where Óli meets a woman, Bergpóra, with whom he starts a relation with; she will later become his wife.
Indridason traditionally mixes a theme of modern society in his plot: industrialists who put their economic interests over human factors. In more than one way there is disillusion in that respect woven into the story.
'Grafteken' was written before the banks darkened our world, which led to the global financial crisis. Erlendur warns about the greed of a few and is critical about prevailing 'modern achievements': as if Arnaldur Indriðason saw what was coming and tried to warn us.
THE TEAM | CRIME DRAMA (DVD BOX)
STUDIO SEX by LIZA MARKLUND | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
'Studio Zes' is the Dutch translation for the English title 'Studio Sex'; sex means six in Swedish. The title refers to a nightclub who uses the same name as a popular radio news program.
Eva Elisabeth 'Liza' Marklund (b.09Sep1962) is a Swedish journalist and crime writer. She was born in Pålmark near Piteå, Norrbotten.
The Annika Bengtzon series consists of eleven books, at the time of writing. The framework of the Annika Bengtzon series is crime reporter Annika's hectic life, at a bustling tabloid called Kvällspressen in Stockholm, Sweden.
Studio Sex reads like the first novel in the Annika Bengtzon series, though reference is made to a local newspaper she desperately does not want to return to; Annika wants to make it in the Big City.
Despite the fact that that this sort of books makes you long for the unravelling of the plot, this is also a book that is a pleasure to read and makes you regret you've come to the last pages.
DEAD BEAT by VAL McDERMID
Val McDermid (b. 04 June 1955) is a Scottish crime writer.
McDermid comes from Kirkcaldy, Fife, and was educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford.
After graduation she became a journalist and worked briefly as a dramatist. Her first success as a novelist, 'Report for Murder: The First Lindsay Gordon Mystery' occurred in 1987.
McDermid's works fall into three series: Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, and the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series. Her characters include a journalist, Lindsay Gordon; a private investigator, Kate Brannigan; and a clinical psychologist, Tony Hill.
I remember the Tony Hill series from tv, Wire in the Blood.
'Dead Beat' is the first novel written by McDermid I have read; a number of titles by her were mentioned in the annual VN Detective- & Thriller year review. I picked up 'Dead Beat' somewhere along the way, a secondhand copy.
Kate Brannigan series:
Dead Beat (1992)
Kick Back (1993)
Crack Down (1994)
Clean Break (1995)
Blue Genes (1996)
Star Struck (1998)
I quite liked 'Dead Beat', it is written in an entertaining and easy to read style. I have a few more lying about, by Val McDermid, and am looking forward to reading them.
en.wikipedia.org _ Val_McDermid
MAANDAGSKINDEREN by ARNALDUR INDRIDASON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
Arnaldur Indridason has been in my personal top 3 of crime authors for a number of years.
This is his first novel with Inspector Erlendur (full name Erlendur Sveinsson) in the leading role. Only recently I managed to get my hands on this book, the Dutch version.
Erlendur's character is still unrefined, but the basics are there; Sigurður Óli is his collegue, and there is mention too of Elínborg, but she does not play a role in this book.
Maandagskinderen was translated into Dutch by Willemien Werkman.
Daniel commits suicide by jumping from a window in the psychiatric ward he was committed to. His brother Palmi is puzzled by Danni's last words, though he knew Danni had suicidal tendencies.
At the same time an old man is murdered by fire. He was a retired teacher and it appears Halldor was Danni's schoolteacher; all the youths in Danni's class had learning deficiencies and displayed unruly behavior.
Halldor visited Daniel shortly before they both died. What did they speak about? There is a rumor of paedophilia connected to Halldor. The cod-liver oil pills Halldor distributed to his class were not an innocent health supplement, it seems.
Besides the police, there is another party involved, searching for tapes Halldor has threatened them with. Did they kill Halldor?
This book 'Maandagskinderen' was a good read, the plot sees an unexpected end and it felt good to have finally read the start, the beginning of the Erlendur series.
These are as yet the Inspector Erlendur titles-
Indridason also deviated from the Inspector Erlendur (regular) series, with a number of books on others in the Reykjavik police force:
And there are a number of stand alone novels by Arnaldur Indriðason:
A COLD HEART by JONATHAN KELLERMAN | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
TRAVEL | HEALTH
Frequent travel, both the business perks as well as holiday travel to exotic destinations, are overrated. Damaging even. According to this study by Scott Cohen (Uni of Surrey):
'Researchers from the University of Surrey and Lund University (Sweden) investigated how frequent, long-distance travel is represented in mass and social media. They found that the images portrayed do not take into account the damaging side effects of frequent travel such as jet-lag, deep vein thrombosis, radiation exposure, stress, loneliness and distance from community and family networks.'
ROADSIDE AMERICA by JOHN MARGOLIES | TASSCHEN PHOTOBOOK
DEVENTER BOOKMARKET 2015 | BOOKS SECONDHAND
Spent a thorougly splendid day at the yearly Deventer Bookmarket yesterday.
ITALIAANSE STREKEN - BAS MESTERS | BOOKS WORLD
"When God created Italy, he was shocked by the beauty of his creation. He feared the rest of the world might become jealous! So that is when he decided to put the Italian people in Italy, in order to even things out".
This book was published this year and we know from the media that Italy is in 'dire straights', the greatest crisis since W.W.II, both economically as well as morally.
We find that Italy has a functioning society in spite of its gridlock by an ineffectual government and legislative bodies. There is a black and grey market for products and jobs. One needs favors from people linked to others who can provide jobs, money, business opportunities. In turn this will lead to debts and other favors.
Berlusconi, Beppo Grillo, Matteo Renzi, Roberto Saviano ('Gomorra') are duscussed, their ideals, their effects. The Church, Brusels/EU, the police force, government, schools, maffia, lies & opportunities, hope & despair for the young generation...
Thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Italiaanse Streken', a peak in the Italian soul!
INSPECTOR MARTIN BECK | TV CRIME DRAMA DVDBOX
I've read the books by
Sjöwall and Wahlöö, I've seen the previous series on Inspector Martin Beck, so I was looking forward to see these next episodes!
Martin Beck is a fictional Swedish police detective, who is the main character in series of 10 novels by Sjöwall and Wahlöö, collectively titled The Story of a Crime.
Both Martin Beck as well as his assistant,
Gunvald Larsson (an equally delightful role played by Mikael Persbrandt) have grown older; both struggle with rules and modern police regulations seemingly impeding their investigation: shouldn't all efforts be directed in catching the criminals? Their attitude is offset against the new, very modern chief of police (always glancing at his mobile phone) Klas Fredén (a sympathetic role by Jonas Karlsson).
It is a brilliant series that leave most crime series way behind in top quality and entertainment.
THE CODE | CRIME FICTION DVD
In the remote outback, near an isolated small town (staion?) called Lindara a car crashes on a truck. Two Aboriginal youngsters are seriously wounded, but nobody seeks help. One of these youngsters is found dead, while the other one survives with a serious trauma; was he guilty of her death?
There is a scandal made public involving a politician. Journalist Ed Banks is fed the story, unaware this is a plot to make sure the Lindara incident does not surface in the media. But someone seems to have made an effort to make him also aware something happened in Lindara.
9 DRAGONS by MICHAEL CONNELLY | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
Michael Connelly is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller.
This is a book featuring Harry Bosch and only a very modest appearance by Micky Haller. '9 Dragons' was published in 2009 and is the first novel I've read by Michael Connelly (having 'gone off' American novelists for a number of years, only picked it up again last year or so).
Nine Dragons is the 14th novel in the Harry Bosch series.
Many of my crime fiction purchases are inspired by the'Vrij Nederland' yearly reviews; Connely is not listed on any of the 5-star publications of recent years, nor of any 4-star reviews I jotted down. So I cannot explain why I picked up this secondhand book and though it wasn't bad, it certainly was entertaining.
THE LEGACY (ARVINGERNE) | TV DRAMA
Time for some 'Scandi Noir' again! Except this is not about murder or police investigations, this is about an inheritance; but no less gripping ...
The Legacy (Danish: Arvingerne, literally 'the heirs') is a Danish television drama created by Maya Ilsøe and produced by DR.
We see how a famous artist dies of a hear condition, unexpectedly. Her daughter (Trine Dyrholm as Gro Grønnegaard) has always been in the business of marketing her mother's art, her world is art galleries and she is well known and respected. She has a relation with a married man, Robert Eliassen (a role played by Norwegian actor Trond Espen Seim, whom we know of the Varg Veum series); he who owns a gallery.
BROADCHURCH, SEASON 2 | TV SERIES, CRIME FICTION
Recently watched the series 2 of Broadchurch. Always a bit tricky for a follow up, will it be as fresh, as compelling? Well, I thought these series perhaps contained even more drama than the first series, never felt 'stale'.
The location (Wikipedia has a lot written on the location) was again on the coast of Dorset, what is called the 'Jurassic Coast', though we see that Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) found it best to move to Devon to become a uniformed Police Constable (PC) with Devon and Cornwall Police ( a job she hates); her 13-year-old Tom lives with her sister.
Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant), invalided from Wessex Police at the end of Series 1 because of a heart problem, is now a Training Officer and awaiting an operation. His classes are uninspired, he is not in the right place.
The Sandbrook Case, which simmered in the background in Series 1 (having led to his transfer to Broadchurch in the first place), becomes part of the plot in Broadchurch Series 2. But the trial of Ellie Miller's husband, after initial admission of guilt now claiming to be innocent, is the 2nd plot.
We find that Alec Hardy has put a woman, Claire, in his own protection plan; she is in hiding of her husband Lee, who was put on trial in the Sandbrook Case and she was the crucial witness. But Lee roams Broadchurch, trying to find her.
There is drama around Alec Hardy, for his heart condition but again meeting up with his ex/ wife, Detective Sergeant Tess Henchard (Lucy Cohu). She remains employed with the South Mercia Constabulary, the same force that investigated the Sandbrook Case.
CALLE E CANALI IN VENEZIA | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOK
SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN by DONNA LEON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
A recent trip to Venice,Italy made me pick this book from a pile waiting to be read. I've obviously read the Dutch publication, 'Kinderspel', rather than the English title.
This is the 16th title written by Donna Leon and I have read glowing reports of her consistency in her writing. And indeed, her character Commissario Guido Brunetti is starting to grow on me. I have not by far read all 16 books but will have a look out for a few more titles I have been missing.
During my trip to Venice, overflowing by tourists as described in Leon's books, I have come across some of the peculiarities of Italian society. Leon, an American, has lived in Italy only since the 80s, but she seems completely Italian in the cold, resigned clarity of her view and in the apparent ability, which she shares with her principal characters, to enjoy daily existence and love her city while in bleak despair about the government, the future and life in general.
In Suffer the Little Children she's even harder on the Carabinieri, who stomp into private homes and carry babies off to orphanages. But their moral outrage is committed in pursuit of a serious crime, since the baby in this story was illegally adopted.
I have borrowed from the following source, for its eloquence rather than the facts:
THE COMPLAINTS by IAN RANKIN | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
It is probably the writing that does it, because Malcolm Fox does not has the edge Rebus has. The two men have little in common except integrity and a dogged determination to get the job done. Inspector Malcolm Fox is teetotal in a hard-drinking world (with a bit of a history there), a cop who wears unfashionable braces without embarrassment because they are the most effective way of holding up his trousers, who is described by a boss as "a bear of a man", slow but steady.
Fox works in the Complaints & Conduct department of the force, colloquially known as 'The Complaints", in the section dedicated to the sniffing out of the most serious offences – racism and corruption. He accepts that his work comes with an unpleasant status in the police force: that of a pariah to other colleagues.
Fox has just finished a case which will bring feared and respected Glen Heaton to trial.
Meanwhile the plot thickens when an entrepeneur kills himself. Or so it would seem. Vince Faulkner was connected to him. The crime scene extends beyond Edinburgh, leads indicate involvement from Aberdeen and Dundee.
There is little support for Fox and Breck, esspecially when they are suspended from duties. But Breck's girlfriend Annabel, who is also in the police force puts her career on the line for them. And they call in a few favours here and there, which leads to the support of an investigative journalist.
Rankin has the plot set mainly in Edinburgh, which helps to paint the canvas; now it is in the grasp of the recession with half-built tower blocks soar against a winter sky, shopfronts are shuttered. The poor and vulnerable suffer most, but there are powerful people who have exploited the greedy years of huge profits and are now facing financial disaster. This is part of the intricate plot.
Rankin is a master at what, for me, is one of the important aspects of a crime novel: the integration of setting, plot, characters and a theme which, for Rankin, is the moral dimension never far from his writing.
Parts of this review were learned from: