Sobre mi biblioteca
Most of my recent books are e-books since my wife had become increasingly unhappy with the amount of space my books were consuming.

Most of my books are in English but with a few in German.
Sobre mí
I am in American based in Munich and have become increasingly interested in European history. When I studied European history in school in the US, it was all about how European history influenced US history. I am now reading history from a new perspective since I am reading to learn how history influenced Munich's history. Another thing I enjoy about reading history here in Munich, is that it is possible to visit the sites where so many things took place.
Lately, I have been reading a lot of books about walking and pilgrimages since I have taken up the hobby of multi-day hikes along historical paths here in Europe.

Finally, I am very interested in the history of technology, particularly ICT technology, and how the promises of this technology have and have not helped actual productivity.

Ubicación
Munich
Actualmente leyendo
Listas favoritas
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                    [brt_text] => This is the first book in the mystery series by Singapore author Ovidia Yu.  It features a wonderful character, Su Lin, who comes from a Chinese family and has a limp from polio. Set in colonial Singapore, Su Lin becomes a nanny in the home of the Singapore governor just after the previous nanny is found dead in mysterious circumstances.  

The mysteries in this series are good but what makes them really enjoyable is the depiction of the diverse ethnic groups in Singapore and how they are brought to life by the author.  It is also paints a critical portrait of the British in Singapore.
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                    [brt_text] => This is another in the Su Lin mystery series and this one is set in Singapore just as Hiroshima has been bombed and the Japanese occupation is coming to an end.  Su Lin is a delightful character who interacts with all of Singapore's diverse cultures.  The book also provides insight into the final days of WW II in the Pacific.
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                    [brt_text] => Who would have thought that a book about sand could be so interesting and informative.  Vince Beiser brings a journalist's writing skills to this story of this essential commodity.  By the end of the book, you will have learned about the wide varieties of sand and why the right kinds of sand are growing more and more scarce.  The book provides insight into the specific challenges of sand in places ranging from Broward County Florida to Dubai.
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                    [brt_text] => An entertaining and intriguing mystery set in Singapore during the Japanese occupation.  The characters are interesting and illustrate the various nationalities and cultures in Singapore.  Some background in Singaporean history is useful prior to reading the novel.
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                    [brt_text] => Noted TV critic David Bianculli had written this book some 50 years ago and finally got it published last year in time to give copies to his grandkids for Christmas.  Described as An Alphabet Wordplay Book, it's wordplay will hook kids on words.  The illustrations are also wonderful.
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                    [brt_text] => This is a gripping novel set in the months before Singapore falls to the Japanese. It focuses mostly on members of the expat community but, unlike the typical expat novel, the expats are revealed to be pretty awful people and exploiters of the native rubber growers.
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                    [brt_text] => This is a useful survey of kingdoms that were once prominent that have since "vanished" or have become very diminished.  Most interesting has been the story of the ancient roots of Prussia and the history of what is now Ukraine, Belorussia, Poland and Lithuanian. Most history books describe history from the point of view of the political entities that replaced these kingdoms so reading history from the perspective of those who vanished is eye-opening.
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                    [brt_text] => A Czech classic about the military equivalent of Bartelby the Scrivener
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                    [brt_text] => This very readable history of Singapore provides a comprehensive history of the development of the city-state as well as a nice overview of the maritime industry and the trade routes that Singapore depends upon.  The depiction is overwhelming positive with critical comments reserved for the very end of the book.
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                    [brt_text] => This is a wonderful novel telling the story of a Ukrainian bee keeper living in the grey zone between the Russian and Ukrainian forces soon after the 2014 invasion by Russia.  Everyone has deserted his village except for one old grumpy guy who supports the Russians.  Because the bombs make his bees nervous, he decides to take them on a trip outside the grey zone.  This is a perfect novel for anyone interested in understanding the current situation in Ukraine.  It is also a perfect book for someone who just wants to read a good novel.
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                    [brt_text] => This play is even more relevant for our times since it is a parable for how normal political parties can allow themselves to be taken over by extremists.  It reminded me of the play Little Murders.
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                    [brt_text] => This edition of Gogol's classic satire includes both volume one and the surviving fragments of volume two.  It also includes a very useful set of footnotes to provide background on the Russian/Ukrainian words and customs.  

The story itself is wonderfully readable and full of richly developed entertaining characters.  I found volume two more interesting than volume one and was sad to learn that only fragments survive of the second volume.
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                    [brt_text] => This fascinating biography of the journalist Gareth Jones is well worth reading for anyone interested in the background to WW II and the current war in Ukraine.  This is not an academic biography.  Instead, the biography was written by relatives of Gareth Jones and includes lots of family snapshots.  Gareth Jones was a great writer and the book includes generous excerpts from his weekly letters home. Also, Jones met with a lot of historical personalities and faithfully recorded their views on world events.
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                    [brt_text] => This book provides important new perspectives on WW II, the Holocaust, the history of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.  It helps understand the current war in Ukraine.  What the book provides is a catalog of the horrific mass killings of Hitler and Stalin in Poland, Ukraine and Belarus.  This catalog of brutality is deeply unsettling but serves to deepen understanding about what really happened and what actually happened to whom.  

The Afterward of the 2nd edition is also a valuable discussion of the nature and importance of history. It includes a strong criticism of the recent laws in Florida prohibiting the teaching of Critical Race Theory by noting that Hitler's policies towards the Jews were strongly influenced by the Jim Crow Laws in the USA.  

The book is very well written and also includes several useful maps which are even readable in the e-book edition.
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                    [brt_text] => A woman staying in a hunting lodge at the foot of an Austrian mountain wakes up to find that an invisible wall has gone up around her mountain and that every living creature on the other side of the wall is dead.  Although this may sound like the beginning of a science fiction work, the wall is only a literary device to allow the author to put her heroine in an existential situation of total solitude.  The book follows here for 2+ years as she adapts to her situation with her only company being a dog, a cat and a cow.  

The book is about so many things:  nature, solitude, womanhood, the relationships between animals and mankind, and so much more.   The descriptions of nature are wonderful while the story unfolds at a slow pace.  The story stayed with me long after I finished reading and I found it all unsettling.
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