Category Archives: Books

Why I don’t play the Lottery

Because it’s a Soviet scam, a Communist charade: In the novel Twelve Chairs, Ilja Ilf and Evgeny Petrov provide a very good description of the Soviet Union organizing steamship tours, accompanied by orchestras and dance groups, whose goal it was to … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Economics, History, Lithuania, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Breakfast Table

Every day the internet gets congested because millions of people upload photos of their breakfast: freshly pressed orange juice or coffee in which the chocolate powder forms a satanic sign. A healthy muesli or a swordfish filet. Eggs and bacon. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Food, Photography | Tagged , | 5 Comments

“The Life of Pie”

In my house, The Life of Pie is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”, as Thomas Hobbes would have put it. Well, this was definitely better than the film which had no pie in it at all.

Posted in Philosophy, Photography, Books, Films, Food | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Giving Presents

I don’t receive many presents. But then I give presents even less. Maybe it’s better that way. Receiving or giving presents can be a sad occasion. I remember the times when I was browsing book stores for hours, pondering what … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Economics, Life, Philosophy | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Cigars are good for your Health

“You can’t smoke in here! This is a hospital” the nurse snapped at me, although I hadn’t even lit the cigar. “And?” I asked. “You don’t seem to have read ‘The Magic Mountain’?” The gruff reply “We have a strict anti-smoking … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Health, Writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Sports Day

Today, I shall attempt to run the half marathon from Danilovgrad to Podgorica. That is in Montenegro. Yes, both of these cities are (a half marathon is not that long). I am reminded of a passage in Ismail Kadare’s book The Fall of … Continue reading

Posted in Albania, Books, Montenegro, Sports, Travel | Tagged | 2 Comments

“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