From number9dream to The Bone Clocks

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Since I read the book Number9dream I am a fan of David Mitchell. His latest publication called The Bone Clocks┬áis another fantastic realistic journey throughout his universe. For all fans of his creations I recommend Kathryn Schulz semi-interview at Vulture. In particular have a look at the chart she has included in her blog post: An overview of characters re-appearing throughout David Mitchell’s novels. Reading through the comment sections there were two more characters mentioned that have been removed from final edit (they were included in the galley version). Now I have to decide whether to return to one of the earlier books and re-read sections of them or wait for the next book.

Revisiting the days of Bruce Lee – Macau Antigo

Historic photo of Macau in 1975 showing the Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho or Macau-Taipa Bridge (inaugurated 1974) as well as Hotel Lisboa. Photo credit to Macau Antigo Blog

Historic photo of Macau in 1975 showing the Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho or
Macau-Taipa Bridge (inaugurated 1974) as well as Hotel Lisboa. Photo credit to Macau Antigo Blog

Living in Macau one is amazed of the constant development, building and expansion of Casinos in Macau, Taipa and Cotai. The blog Macau Antigo is presenting Macau from a historical perspective, showing old photos, newspaper articles and other relevant impressions from the past. Started in 2008 there are well over 1000 posts and as reported by the Macau Daily Times, there are over 20000 visitors per month. Impressive for a history project!

Finished “Frankenstein”

As time goes by and as the list of books you ever wanted to read is shortening, one starts to turn to the latest bestsellers only to get disappointed, by often meaningless or poorly researched books. In German literature, most so called “newcomers” on the hot topic lists are B-rated translations on unknown American authors, with certain exceptions. Written in original German language, most newly released books fail to catch my attention, either as they circle around the darker parts of German history and, in endless repetition, try to tell an old story in a new way, or because they try to capture the “modern German youth”, the feeling of those living in Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, wherever, trying to figure out their life. Unfortunately these ideas, topics and feelings are totally loosing my interest, as their mindset is not the same as mine. I miss the globalization, the true interaction between religion, society, history and cultures, that a present-day globetrotter needs.

So even higher my disappointment that most English language newcomers, bestsellers, new releases and hot topic books are also failing on precisely these accounts. They do feature a more “international mindset”, however still fail to address the necessary interdependencies that I so much love to learn about.

What else is there than to pass time by reading one good old Penguin Classics book, such as “Dracula” or, recently, “Frankenstein”. Classic English literature of its best, for a reasonable amount of money.

Three Cups of Tea

Just finished reading the amazing story of Greg Mortenson and his mission in Pakistan in the book “Three Cups of Tea”. Failed ascent on K2, Greg was brought to a rural and remote village, promising one day to return and build these villagers a school. Ten Years later more than 50 schools have been built by the Institute formed by him and Dr. Jean Hoerni.

What an amazing effort this man has done to enable thousands of young poor Pakistani to receive primary education and enable girls and boys to attend higher education schools, seeding a plant of knowledge in a country forgotting by most of the world.

I pay my respects and recommend everybody to not only visit Greg Mortenson’s website, but also check out his Pennies For Peace initiative and the Central Asia Institute.

Finished reading The Terror

Just finished reading a very interesting book called “The Terror” (Amazon) by Dan Simmons. It topiced the failed Franklin Expedition on search for the North-West-Passage in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada.

Standing out as a historical fiction book, The Terror displays a large amount of historical correctness and stars Francis Cozier as the book’s hero, alongside John Franklin.

Despite the historical events, Dan Simmons edited a supernatural force into the story, relying heavily on Inuit mythology. Whoever is interested in that should definitely swap across the later chapters.

A good summer or winter nights read.

Introducing Nick Brandt

Nick Brandt is a photographer concentrating on animal and wildlife photography having started in East Africa. His photographs can be found in his book “On this Earth” or at selected galleries worldwide. The example photos in this post are displayed with kind permission of both the Young Gallery and Nick Brandt.

Seeing his photos, as discovered via stumbleupon, their sharpness and choice of detail fascinated me, as they not just focus on everything but on the essential part of the photograph.

As the Daily Telegraph (UK) has said:

“His approach is the antithesis of conventional wildlife photography and moves his work into the arena of fine art. . . . shows you how animal pictures should be taken.” – Press Info

Check out the samples below: