Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw

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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) ¬Bishop George Berkeley

Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo

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 or Amazon.




Bruno Engler, photography

Bruno Engler, photography

Bruno Engler, photography

Bruno Engler, photography

Bruno Engler, photography

I came across this photobook while browsing in the 'Book Lover's'  bookstore in North Vancouver.
While I love the photography in general, this book also contained of places and areas recent travel had brought me to, e.g. Bow Lake and Num-Ti-Jah Lodge built by Jimmy Simpson.

Bruno Engler was born on 04Dec1915 in Lugano, Switzerland.
He came to Canada from Switzerland in 1939 and spent 60 years in the Rockies as a photographer, mountain guide, ski instructor and cinematographer.
He is known for his work on Days of Heaven (1978), Lost and Found (1979) and Ghostkeeper (1981).
His stunning black and white photos capture the magnificence and grandeur of the Canadian alpine landscape from the smallest plant to the highest peak.

Bruno Engler is a recipient of the Alberta Achievement Award for Excellence, the Premier Cup for Photography and Mountaineering, the 1987 Rose Award and the 1986 Summit of Excellence Award, which is the highest honor that the mountain community can bestow upon its peers for contributions to mountain culture.
He died on 23Mar2001 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada.



Anne Holt, Offline (review)

It has been many years since I had read another book by Anne Holt, titled '1222'. The main protagonistwas Hanne Wilhelmsen I remember, though it must have been over 10 years ago since I read that book (published in 2007).
In 2015 and 2016 'Offline' and 'In Dust and Ashes' were published, #9 and #10 in the series featuring Hanne Wilhelmsen. I had not realized Holt had written so many books featuring the same police investigator. Perhaps that is why Wilhelmsen gets so little character development in 'Offline'.

Holt's 2015 novel 'Offline' is about a terrorist attack on an Islamic cultural center by a group of extreme Norwegian nationalists. And how investigations and media focus on Islamic terrorists.
Though Holt has been named one of the most successful crime novelists in Norway (had her books published in 25 countries according to Wikipedia), she is rarely rated among the international top crime writers in my country. None of the Hanne Wilhelmsen series anyway.

So, when bombs go off at the Islamic Cooperation Council’s headquarters in Oslo, detective Hanne Wilhelmsen is on the case. Well, in her wheelchair at home she has been reduced to investigating cold cases as an independent investigator outside the police organisation, she becomes focussed on actual events and ultimately sees a cold case involving a racial motivated missing person (murder?) connect with the present time.

Wilhelmesen is approached by her friend Billy T., who fears his own son may be linked to the bombings. Here I found details lacking , perhaps by not having read earlier books (there are no Wilhelmsen novels published between '1222' and 'Offline'). Billy T. is an empty character in this book.
Much more character development is given to Hanne's nerdy assistent, who (literally) does all the legwork and comes up with most of the revelations.
Modern policing methods are unable to find links of communication or profile for the alleged terririst group; the title offers a clue.

In spite of the many loose ends concerning the main characters, the book was an entertaining, easy to read crime novel.




Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, crime fiction novel

I was so pleased to come across this new Jackson Brodie book, as I so enjoyed Kate Atkinson's previous books about her protagonist in the novels 'Case Histories', 'One Good Turn', 'When Will There Be Good News' and 'Started Early, Took My Dog'. In fact I could not switch to her other novels (I did not even finish her 'Life After Life') and turned away from her books. But in 'Big Sky' I was again able to enjoy her wry prose, quite wonderful!

It’s nearly a decade since Kate Atkinson’s morose and melancholy private detective Jackson Brodie last appeared in print. I did so enjoy Jason Isaacs role in the BBC tv-series 'Case Histories', but a follow up novel was long overdue I think (Atkinson won awards with books written by her afterwards, on different subjects).
Atkinson adresses in 'Big Sky' a very contemporary theme: the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and children.
Ten years since we left Brodie, we meet again while he lives in his native Yorkshire. His solitary existence has been interrupted by the arrival of his 13-year-old son, Nathan, for the summer holidays. His mother, actress Sylvia, rather prefers other partners than renewing intimate relations with Jackson.

Brodie Investigations mainly does "dog-work for solicitors - debt tracing, surveillance and so on".
Jackson's age is left deliberately sketchy, but it is obvious he's getting on a bit, but rather content in a broody way with a quieter life. He used to go for long runs, these days he's opts more often just walking his aging dog.

'Big Sky' is not a straightforward crime novel, Atkinson's writing is bigger than just another whodunnit novel.
After several chapters and meeting the different characters in play, Brodie is hired by Crystal Holroyd, the surgically enhanced wife of a dodgy local businessman, who believes she is being followed.
Crystal has built walls around her past and recreated her new profile; she's quite capable of dealing with some hefty challenges herself and thinks Brodie is shit as a detective..
She has a son who is both young as well as old for his age. And she has a husband who has friends and all but one are involved in a shady deal, trafficking. Vince is a golf-friend, not a 'friend friend'; he is depressed for being layed off (lost the company car) and is also disgarded by his wife, loosing his house (and dog) in a divorce settlement and, last but not least, Vince's wife is killed, savagely murdered with a golfclub. Brodie saves him from a cliff when he was about to jump..

Old secrets and new lies intersect this wonderfully entertaining novel and I hope we've not seen the last of Jackson Brodie!





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Created: 15-OCT-2019