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The Complete Novels of George Orwell
George Orwell
Ein perfekter Freund: Roman
Martin Suter
The Brothers Karamazov
Konstantin Mochulski, Andrew R. MacAndrew, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
Steve Coll

Grote kabouter Wesley boek

Grote kabouter Wesley boek - Jonas Geirnaert Best goed, in z'n genre :-)

The Pen is Mightier

The Pen is Mightier - Andy C.F. Crawford Waw, I wasn't expecting this at all. [b:The Pen is Mightier|25437500|The Pen is Mightier|Andy C.F. Crawford|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1430139692s/25437500.jpg|44690750] really captured my attention and at times I found I couldn't put it down.

Being a GRRM fan myself and waiting eagerly for the continuation of the Ice and Fire series, I found this book by Crawford a nice 'snack' in between, you can say. The story obviously spurs from the author's own respect for Martin. You could almost categorise this as Ice and Fire fan fiction, if you ask me. No direct links are laid of course.

By constantly switching between his real and fictional world, Crawford kind of managed to make me care even more about fantasy creations, at least while reading the book. The difficult to make relationship between the author Paul and The Great Chronicler was deftly done.

The only thing perhaps annoying me was the immense amount of swearing in the real-world parts of the book. That the protagonist Sed and his buddy Carl swear a lot is understandable from their age and background, but after a while every single character in the real world started swearing every other sentence.

After finishing this story, I'm finding myself looking forward reading the next thing Crawford gets out of his pen.

What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe This is `Nerd Royalty', that's for sure.

Being a long time fan of the online XKCD series, receiving this book from Munroe as a gift really made my day. I starting reading a few of the answers, and ended up reading most of the book in one go. Perhaps that's not how this book was meant to be read... :-)

I think [b:What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions|25023914|What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions|Randall Munroe|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-a91bf249278a81aabab721ef782c4a74.png|40714465] is a wonderful book for physics and math teachers who are looking to spice up their courses. It could be a great resource for inspiring and fun exercises.

The level of science used in this book is not of a particularly high level, so I believe it can be read by almost anyone. At least anyone interested in the covered material, so perhaps not really anyone. :-)

One point of critique I do have is that Munroe seems to be (involuntarily?) pretty US-centric which shows in various of his answers. It seems to be written for the American public (even though he uses SI units from time to time).

Edge of Eternity

Edge of Eternity - Ken Follett The last book of the Century Trilogy is not a let down. It also isn't the grand magnificent closure I was perhaps hoping it to be.

I was thrilled to see that many of the characters introduced in the first book were still alive (and somehow kicking) in this book, since somehow these were still the most interesting to me. However, I found the third generation to be almost equally interesting including characters with great depth.

As always, the historical background is magnificently interlaced with the fictional foreground and I found good balance between the two (which was not the case in [b:Winter of the World|16008171|Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)|Ken Follett|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347648308s/16008171.jpg|18116611]).

Even though the book spans just over a 1000 pages, I still found it a bit rushed at some points. Perhaps because it covers three decades, where the first two only did one.

I'm not disappointed I read it and I think overall the Century Trilogy is an amazing feat for an author to accomplish. On top of that, it's very enjoyable to read and never boring.


De vergeetput. Opgroeien in de bijzondere jeugdzorg. Getuigenissen, feiten en cijfers.

De vergeetput. Opgroeien in de bijzondere jeugdzorg. Getuigenissen, feiten en cijfers. - Lorin Parys Must read voor iedereen geïnteresseerd in het welzijn van onze kinderen die het het moeilijkst hebben.

Meest opvallende quote: `moest Vlaanderen een moeder zijn, zou ze veroordeeld worden voor verwaarlozing van haar kinderen'.

Straffe verhalen, duidelijk met passie en kennis van zaken geschreven.

Sommige stukken waren te cijfermatig om vlot te lezen, maar zijn dan weer super als naslagwerk(je).


Murder in the Mews

Murder in the Mews - Agatha Christie I was rather surprised, if not disappointed, to learn only after I started reading Murder in the Mews, that this book in the Poirot series in fact consists out of four totally independent stories. Even for Agatha Christie I would say that four mysteries in less than 350 pages is a bit of a stretch.

All four of them were - of course - very nice and again unique examples of Christies' endless wittiness, but I would rather have enjoyed them wrapped in longer stories.

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence - Daniel Goleman The title of this book holds a great promise and is well chosen to tease first generation of full-time smartphone users. Then, being written by [a:Daniel Goleman|829|Daniel Goleman|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1232135370p2/829.jpg] makes one want to read it even more, am I wrong?

However, the book fails to deliver on its promise in may ways. First of all, there just doesn't seem to be any focus in the book itself. Every chapter just reads as another collection of random thoughts on anything remotely to do with attention, focus, empathy or leadership. Mixed with some shallow neuroscience.

Then, many parts just looked too much like cheap rants against smartphones, computer games or even social media as a whole.

Even though I made some notes and probably will retain some of the learnings from this book, as a whole I wouldn't recommend it.


2666 - Roberto Bolaño, Natasha Wimmer ``An oasis of horror in a desert of boredom.'' -- Baudelaire

If there was ever a book impossible to write a review about, it must be Bolaño's 2666. Having just finished the book, I have the urge rating it with five stars. The last 100 pages were really amazing.

However, I also remember the utter boredom I felt while ploughing through the Part about the Crimes. I sometimes had to drag myself towards the next page, often wondering why I was wasting my time on seemingly random sentences about random people doing essentially nothing. I was travelling at the time; if I would have had another book with me, I'm not sure I would have continued with 2666...

If you're really into literature, and looking for a masterpiece of language and epicness, but don't mind the lack of a compelling story in a book, then 2666 is definitely something for you. Don't expect a conventional novel however. This is a beautiful piece of art not to be toyed with.

I guess you'll rate it with either 1 or 5 stars. I'm sticking with 4, because of the middle part which I *hated*, even though I feel like I want to reread the whole book...

Room For Love

Room For Love - ILYA Picked it up almost accidentally in a book shop and was drawn in pretty quickly by the cover. The story didn't let me down and after finishing I felt like reading it again immediately, looking for more where there definitely is more... Recommended read, contains stuff to think about.

The Beating of His Wings (Left Hand of God Trilogy 3)

The Beating of His Wings (Left Hand of God Trilogy 3) - Paul  Hoffman Being the last book of the 'Left Hand of God'-trilogy, I was furiously hoping it would be as good as the first one and not let me down as the second one did.

It turned out to be somewhere in between. There is individual cruelty, along with massive battles, we get to see much more of Thomas Cale and the know-it-all writing style of Hoffman was really very pleasing again.

I'm still amazed by the first book and would recommend that to anyone (who's into this genre), but the trilogy as a whole is perhaps a little too disappointing to my taste.

The Gospel of Loki

The Gospel of Loki - Joanne Harris Really fun read for in between. The Gospel of Loki serves as a nice take on the most important Norse myths and tells you the stories of Asgard and the Nine Worlds from an interesting point of view.

At school I studied the Greek mythology most, and only tangentially got to know about the Norse mythology through living in Norway and reading the Thorgal fantasy comics and Tolkien's work. This gospel presented a nice update on some of the most famous stories and characters.

Fun and interesting read, but don't expect any fully detailed mythological stories or thrilling passages.

Long Walk to Freedom

Long Walk to Freedom - Nelson Mandela Just finished reading Long Walk to Freedom in preparation to a holiday in South-Africa.

How to review an epic work like this one?

After finishing reading about Mandela's struggle which was his life, I can only humbly assess what I think of this book as a medium to tell his story, for his life's story as such is to be rated by everyone with 6 stars out of 5 -- simply amazing.

The book however, was a bit too long for my liking and from time to time a bit too factual. Less a biography than a history textbook, if you know what I mean.

On the other hand, there were many passages which kept me glued to the pages too, but there could have been more.

Nevertheless, a recommended read if you're looking for exemplary inspiration on perseverance or on an interesting view on the recent history of South-Africa.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable - Patrick Lencioni This Leadership Fable is really very good. I read it on a single plane travel, but it created a lasting impact on me nevertheless. It really very simply and gently provides you with insights in teamwork applicable in your work and personal life.

The structure of a fable (95% of the book) and the theory and exercises behind the model (5% of the book) seemed a bit strange to me at first, but it does work really well.

I truly believe that not finance, not strategy, not technology, but teamwork is the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.

Zag: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands

Zag: The #1 Strategy of High-Performance Brands - Marty Neumeier You cannot rate a business book the same way as a work of fiction. Yet, I think 4 stars are appropriate for this book. It's different, more to the point and more engaging to read than other business books, even other marketing books.

You'll finish it in only a few hours and definitely get something useful out of it if you're a business owner or working in a brand marketing department.


1Q84 - Haruki Murakami I so much wanted to rate this trilogy with 5 stars. Yet, parts of the third book disappointed me so terribly much I even stopped reading for a while to stare at the room wondering if I really just read what I read. Was there another author at work here? Did the translator do a terrible job on this section?

EDIT: I knew it! I just learnt that the third book was translated by another translator than the first two books. Strange how an impact this has had on my enjoying of the story...

Don't get me wrong. The story is absolutely wonderful and amazingly written. The only minor negative point, which I have read in several reviews, is the overly repetition of certain elements, like the books aren't meant to be read in a short span of time.

In the third book however, Murakami gets so clumsy at times (I can't find a better word than `clumsy') in weaving the stories of the two main characters together. In one chapter he even, for a single page in this 1300 page novel, changes the narrative point of view to the omniscient one! He then continues to struggle with the timelines of the characters' stories only barely keeping things together in a readable fashion. That was really a put-down to me.

Finally, the book seems to be heading for an anti-climax for a long time, but in the very end, I was kind of happy with the way things worked out after all.

Anyway, overall I must say I enjoyed these books very much. The first two books certainly hold one of the greatest stories I have ever read. So original, such compelling characters, such intricate mystery... absolutely amazing. Recommended for al fantasy lovers who are looking for something without dragons and elves. :-)

Orphan of Islam

Orphan of Islam - Alexander Khan I didn't like Orphan of Islam at all. How it can be compared to [b:The Kite Runner|77203|The Kite Runner|Khaled Hosseini|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1394898159s/77203.jpg|3295919] is beyond me.

Orphan of Islam is simply a list of things happening to a child who has no idea what is going on, takes no decisions about anything and has zero impact on his life whatsoever (except at one point near the end).

All the characters are one-dimensional, and there's absolutely nobody to relate yourself to since the book entirely lacks any emotion or goal.

The account of the nation of Pakistan in the book seems to be a single minded attempt to highlight the worst of the worst aspects of it. If your only idea about life in Pakistan is this book (and perhaps some Western media) you will see it as a torturous, Midieval desert inhabited solely by uneducated, overly religious savages. Moreover, the description of the Pakistani immigrant population in England is one of a terrible group of extremists (which is dangerous and demagoguish, if you ask me).

Having lived and worked in Pakistan on and off the past eight years, I cannot stress hard enough that there's a whole other story to be told too.

Overall, the book is not worth your time. The image painted of islam and Pakistan is a terrible one and the story in itself is not compelling.