Category Archives: Books

“1493” by Charles C. Mann

1493 refers to the year after Christopher Columbus “discovered” America and as the second part of the title suggests, the book describes how Europe’s discovery of the Americas revolutionized trade, ecology and life on earth. That sounds like an enormous … Continue reading

Posted in Books, China, Economics, Environment, Europe, Health, History, Maps, Military, Politics, Technology, Travel, UK, USA | Tagged | 3 Comments

When to Smoke (and when not to)

Around 1774, the former Chinese provincial governor Lu Yao provided a set of smoking rules in his book Yan Pu (Smoking Manual). In great detail he addressed the question of when to smoke (and when not to): Do smoke: after … Continue reading

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I am on the cover of a book.

Well, not me personally, but one of my photos. No, not a photo of myself, a photo I took. Maybe you remember this photo from my report on Europos Parkas, an outdoor museum hidden deep in a forest in Lithuania? … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Lithuania, Media, Philosophy, Photography | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Not only in James Bond

Some people still believe that James Bond books and films are fiction. How naive. I have just read Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre, the true story of a British operation during World War II, in which a dead body was … Continue reading

Posted in Books, France, History, James Bond, UK, World War II | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Video Blog: Robinson Crusoe

Sometimes, when I am stranded on a new island and I am walking along the beach for hours to see if there is anyone else who is still alive or if I can find some food, I feel like Robinson … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Films, Italy, Life, Sardinia, Travel | Tagged | Leave a comment

These books don’t fit together

On my trip through Albania, I saw some small bookshops in the parks which sold what looked like second-hand books. Most of them were in Albanian, and the only English titles were often textbooks or encyclopedias. Very old ones, usually. The … Continue reading

Posted in Albania, Books, Travel | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Vagabond

One of the best things about my childhood was that I always had enough books to read. My heroes were never the princes or princesses, sorcerers or knights, firemen or astronauts. Nor was I impressed by cowboys, bandits or sheriffs. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Education, Life, Philosophy, Travel | Tagged , , | 10 Comments