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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.
AMSTERDAM 1900, PHOTOS BY OLIE, BREITNER, EILER & CONTEMPORIES
In the centre of town buildings were raised that determined the skyline and surrounding area, such as the Central Railway Station and 'Beurs van Berlage'. The industry and harbours grew rapidly, but at the same time the old town, its infrastructure, houses and living conditions deteriotated.
WOMAN WITH BIRTHMARK by HÅKAN NESSER | BOOKS CRIME FICTION NOVEL
Håkan Nesser (b. 21Feb1950) is a Swedish author and teacher who has written a number of successful novels, mostly but not only, crime fiction.
I first came across the Inspector Van Veeteren series on tv and only after that I started reading the novels. This book was among the films, as well as plus another 8 films of 90 minutes (I have 2 dvd boxsets). Sven Wollter played the role of Inspector Van Vleeteren (Wikipedia, he is 87 now).
I probably bought this paperback in 2010 while travelling in Sweden and Norway (the sticker says 138 - Swedish Krona or Norwegian Krone, not sure), so it is obvious that the Håkan Nesser novels are not on the very top of my list. While very well written in my opinion, quite entertaining, they lack pace and a certain amount of suspense.
Last year I read 'Borkmann's Point' and this time I pulled 'Woman with Birthmark', Nesser's 4th Van Veeteren novel (first published 1996), from the bookshelf.
The book opens with the funeral of a woman at which there is a lone mourner - her daughter. The daughter regards her own life as over (although she is only 29); she vows terminal revenge on those she considers responsible for her mother's sad life and lonely death, and sets out on her grim purpose.
After this brief mysterious opening, the story shifts to one Ryszard Malik, who finds himself at the receiving end of unsettling phone calls which only feature some music, each time the same song. Then one night he is killed in his house, shot with two shots in the chest and two more in the crotch.
While, as stated, I find the book lacking suspense, I am not keen on the imaginative place names. E.g. the police unit is based in Maardam; other place names are Styckergränd, Deijkstraa, Zwille. These names are obviously derived from Scandinavian, Dutch and German origin, but I would rather see them in the same country even if they are fake names. This is of course very subjective.
Håkan Nesser has written 10 Van Veeteren novels and I think I have a few still waiting to be read and in due course I will, for in spite of my somewhat unspirited account the books are easy to read and quite entertaining.
He has also written at least 5 Inspector Barbarotti novels, of which I am not sure if any of these were translated into English or Dutch, I haven't yet come across them. Mr Nesser has also written a considerable number of other novels see for a list the Wikipedia link below).
STAAT VAN NEDERLAND by BAS HEIJNE | JOURNALISM PHILOSOPHY WORLD
Developments in Dutch society is not much different from international changes in society: the populist vote seems to be winning terrain and brought Donald J. Trump to surpreme power. We have to fear a similar result in the Netherlands and other European countries, e.g. France.
ZILVEREN CAMERA 2016 | PHOTOJOURNALISM PRIZEWINNERS
Today I visited the Fotomuseum in Hilversum, for the prize winners of the Canon Zilveren Camera competition, a photography competition for news photography in various categories.
The #1 Silver Camera prize went to Cigdem Yuksel, for her series of Syrian refugee kids who cannot go to school in Turkey for they have to make money to help their families and these kids are forced to work 12-hour shifts six days a week. Dickensian days have returned in Turkey...
NEW DEAL PHOTOGRAPHY, USA 1935 - 1943 | PHOTOGRAPHY REPORTING
I came recently upon this delightful publication by Taschen. It is modest in size, only 15x20cm, but not in number of pages (600) and the wealth of images published in it.
Initially created as the Resettlement Administration (RA) in 1935 as part of 'the New Deal' in the United States, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) was an effort during the Depression to combat American rural poverty.
The photography in this book is simply fabulous and at the back of the book is a brief biography of the photographers depicted.
MAIGRET | ITV CRIME TV SERIES
I stumbled, while channel zapping, on this series, Maigret, and since it had just started I stayed on that channel. It took me a few minutes to recognize Rowan Atkinson as Inspector Maigret and he quite won me over!
Pipe clamped in his jaws, raincoat draped nonchalantly over his shoulders, Rowan Atkinson takes to cleaning up the infested streets of Paris. He does so in a stirling performance and so much different than his Mr Bean chracater (of whom I soon tired).
The opening frame of Maigret Sets a Trap is filled by one of the Notre Dame's gargoyles gazing over panoramic Paris from its lofty position.
In fact, the action was shot entirely in Budapest!
More Maigret films are in the pipeline and Atkinson seems keen continuing in the role.Which is an excellent outlook!
NORSKOV | DVD CRIME DRAMA FICTION
Police investigator Tom Noack returns home, after 20 years, to Norskov; his task is to clean up the town's drug crime, but quickly becomes personally involved. He reunites with his buddies Martin (also his brother-in-law) and Casper.
When Tom happens on the trail of a major smuggling operation, Tom is torn between his professional and his personal commitments.
Tom Noack is a somewhat different leading character in Norskov, compared to other crime drama series. He isn't arrogant, agressive nor is he a loner. He is introvert, honest and studious.
Everything was filmed on location, as the budget would not allow to build a policestation, ice hockey stadium, city hall nor of course an entire industrial harbor with cranes and other huge installations.
Ten episodes of 45 minutes with plenty of drama and evolving storylines, written by Dunja Gry Jensen with roles by Thomas Levin (Tom), Claus Riis Østergaard (Martin), Jacob Ulrik Lohmann (Bondy) and Anne Sofie Espersen (Jackie; she also had a role in Borgen and The Killing 2) and Mathias Käki Jørgensen (Oliver).
TELL NO ONE by HARLAN COBEN | BOOKS CRIME FICTION NOVEL
This is not a Myron Bolitar novel.
Will lives and works in New Jersey, but his job with a firm giving shelter to streetkids does not seem to take much of his time for there is not a singele reference of him doing a working day.
The Ghost has made a career as a hired killer and he seems implicated in the killing of Will's sweetheart, Julie Miller. Actually Will had stopped seeing Julie when she was murdered but as the story develops Julie, John 'the Ghost' Asselta and Ken seems to have been involved in crime.
I have several objections to this novel. First Coben takes great pain in making Will a moaning cry-baby: he is sooooo in love with Sheila, then heart broken, easily afraid of threats made to him and without the help of Squares wouldn't know where to start looking for Sheila.
SOVIET GHOSTS by REBECCA LITCHFIELD | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS URBEX
Photographer Rebecca Litchfield captures many abandoned location's, which were either part of the Soviet Union or occupied satellite states during this period of history, including forgotten towns, factories, prisons, schools, monuments, hospitals, theatres, military complexes, asylums & death camps across the former communist states.
I gather Rebecca Litchfield has become Rebecca Bathory since publishing this book.
www.rebeccabathoryblog.com with links to her stunning Urbex photos; check it out!
MET DE FOTOGRAAF OP REIS - ELWIN HENDRIKSE, ANNA KRUYSWIJK | PHOTOBOOKS
During her years of exploring in Africa she lost her mother and aunt as well as a servant.
The turbulent times in Sudetenland shortly before the Second World War, the unknow China and Russia in the 1950s as well as many locations in mysterious Latin-America.
The Nationaal Archief (Dutch National Archives) is the ‘national memory’ of the Netherlands. The Archive holds 125 kilometres of documents, photos and maps both from the central government, as well as from organizations and persons of national importance (past and present).
Donald J TRUMP'S INAUGURATION 20JAN2017 | POLITICS MEDIA SATIRE
THE SANDHAMN MURDERS, SERIES 2 | DVD CRIME FICTION
Sandhamn (EN= 'Sand Harbour') is a small settlement in the central-peripheral part of the Stockholm Archipelago in central-eastern Sweden, approximately 50 km (30 mi) east of Stockholm.
It has been popular for pleasure boating since the late 19th century. It is known for its tavern, its clubhouse, and its harbour.
While the settlement only has a hundred permanent inhabitants, the number of residents increases to 2-3,000 during the summer. Sandhamn receives an additional 100,000 visitors annually.
Mikael Blomkvist, a central character in the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson has a cabin in Sandhamn. In the books comprising the Millennium Trilogy, he uses the cabin as a place to relax and write.
This crime drama series The Sandhamn Murders are shot on location and based on books by Viveca Sten.
This Series 2 comprise 6 episodes of 45 minutes, 2 murder mysteries.
The 2 stories in this Series 2 are about a serial killer targeting a military group and a murder victim on the island during Midsummer night.
So again plenty of drama and crime solving, but on a very humane scale and not so black ('Scandi Noir') as many other Scandinavian thrillers (e.g. The Killing or The Bridge), so very pleasant to watch.
GREG TROOPER R.I.P. | MUSICIAN SINGERSONGWRITER
Greg Trooper performing in Aalsmeer, in 2012
SNOECKS 2017 | BOOKS PHOTOGRAPHY LITERATURE PHOTOJOURNALISM
I thought the 2017 edition of Snoecks of excellent value, with a wide range of subjects, very well balanced selection of photography and other articles, short stories, recommended literature published in 2016 and of course, the closing pages, authors who passed away in 2016.
Besides two short stories (by Helen Simpson and Thomas Pierce) there are articles on a variety of subjects: Albino's (in Africa a particular hardship), painted pigeons in Spain, the legacy of Mammoths in Siberia, high sensitivity for chemicals (above photo of a man who worked with chemicals and over the years his nose 'disappeared', his employer withheld health warnings), a report from Xinjiang, the river Rhine and about the Global Seed Vault on Svalbard / Spitsbergen).
Art by Mu Pan and archtecture by Kengo Kuma. Humor by Clo'e Floirat.
Photography by Jenny Boot, Henk van Renbergen, Tomas Dezso, Ben Skinner, Bruno Barbey, Thierry Bouët, Oliver Rath, Søren Rønholt, Alain Laboile, Sol Neelman, Kirill Golovchenko, Katarina Belkina, Christian Saint, Marie Cécile Thijs, Lois Greenfield, Richard Egli, Marco Grob and George Pitts.
Illustrated reports of the Everglades, using robots on safari and scenes from the deep sea.
Thoroughly enjoyed browing this edition over the past few weeks!
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by RUTH RENDELL | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
Shortly before WWII, a young man murders his wife and his wife's lover; he cuts off the couple's hands and buries them, in a cookie jar, in tunnels that the local children play in. The story is about those kids, 70 years later, when those hands are discovered and brought to the police.
But those hands bring that group of people together again that once played in the tunnels, which they had dubbed 'qanats'. Memories are shared, friendships renewed and there is even a new love affair when a man leaves his wife and falls in love al over with his first love. With the girl that lived next door to the murderer.
In all her golden career as a crime writer, Ruth Rendell has always produced solid, well-crafted narratives of suburban life. I particularly liked those 'her' Inspector Wexford whodunnits.
"The Girl" of the title is Daphne, also once a member of an Essex children's gang that played in tunnels which actually were digs for foundations of a disrupted building project, stopped because of the onslaught of the Second World War.
I had to get used to this novel but soon started to enjoy it. That book published after this one (published in 2014), 'Dark Corners', is I believe her last one; she died in 2015.
AMSTERDAM LIGHTFESTIVAL - WATERCOLOURS CANAL TOUR | ART
THE GREAT PLAGUE by EVELYN LORD | BOOKS HISTORY
The Great Plague - a people's history (Yale University Press, 2014)
Lord’s fascinating reconstruction of life during plague times presents the personal experiences of a wide range of individuals, from historical notables Samuel Pepys and Isaac Newton to common folk who tilled the land and ran the shops.
The Black Death as it later became known was first seen in England in July 1348, when a ship carrying infected sailors docked at Melcombe Regis in Dorset. By April 1349 the plague was in Cambridge. But by 1350 plague deaths ceased, and the country breathed a collective sigh of relief.
In Cambridge work started on three new colleges to train men for priesthood and replace those who had died in the plague. Bishop Bateman of Norwich founded Trinity Hall and completed Gonville Hall, and in 1352 Corpus Christi College was founded by the town’s gilds and their patron John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.
When plague appeared in the town, the university suspended lectures and sent the students away. Stourbridge Fair, held on the outskirts of Cambridge and vital for the town's businesses, was cancelled by royal proclamation; also all entertainment was banned and the social and economic life of the town was severely disrupted.
By researching records of deaths in the parish registers, baptisms and burials, records on trade, books available from the Colleges and corporation on leases and taxes, etc the raw data became available to the author. Diaries of people such as Samuel Pepys and Isaac Newton were consulted too, of course.
Evelyn Lord is Emeritus Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge. Her previous books include The Hellfire Clubs (Yale, 2008), The Knights Templar in Britain (2001) and The Stuart Secret Army (2004).
LES HALLES by ROBERT DOISNEAU | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS
Les Halles de Paris, usually simply Les Halles (The Halls), was Paris's central fresh food market.
Les Halles was the traditional central market of Paris. In 1183, King Philippe II Auguste enlarged the marketplace in Paris and built a shelter for the merchants, who came from all over to sell their wares.
Robert Doisneau (b.14April1912 – d.01Apr1994) was a French photographer.
THE SCENT OF A DREAM by SEBASTIAO SALGADO | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS
I came across the exhibition a few years ago in Venice,Italy and bought the book; unfortunately they only had the edition in Italian but the images speak for themselves and the index in the back of the book are not hard to understand when one is looking for the location.
Started in 2002, when Sebastião Salgado and Illy met, Scent of a dream (subtitled Travels in the World of Coffee) is a photographic journey through coffee growing countries: the greatest artistic reference ever produced on the coffee world.
Salgado celebrates the daily lives of those on the plantations and the beauty of the terroir from which the precious bean is grown and harvested.
Very, very impressive.
AMSTERDAM LIGHT FESTIVAL 2016
TESTAMENT VAN DE PERS by KLAAS SALVERDA | BOOKS PRINTED MEDIA PRESS
'Testament of the (printed) Press' would be the translation of the Dutch title, Testament van de Pers, by Klaas Salverda.
Klaas Salverda (b.1960) started on his 16th with the regional press in Friesland and completed studies at the University of Amsterdam, on politics and mass communications. Hij also completed studies on professional journalistic ethics.
As a matter of routine he started collecting relevant and/or remarkable newspaper clippings and other articles. A selection of his archive, spanning some 40 years, have found a way by selection and subject into this book (published in 2016 with funding from Bijzondere Journalistieke Projecten).
Chapters include The Manufacturers of the News, Countries & States: Europe, Countries & States: Outside Europe, Politics & Government, The Old Netherlands, The New Century, The Demise of Religion, Upon Conclusion & Epilogue.