Archive for May, 2012


Currently Reading: The sun over Breda

By Arturo Perez-Reverte.

This is the third in the series, the first being set in Madrid. This is set in Netherlands during war time between the Spanish-Austrian empire and the heretic Dutch, English and French. Like the previous two novels, the setting of early 1600’s Spain and Europe makes an exciting background for an adventure tale. In the previous two books we got entangled with the royal courts and the Spanish church and the Inquisition. Sun over Breda is a lesson in life for Spanish soldiers in Flanders during war with insights into diet, lice and combat.


England V West Indies

Just spent a great two days at the cricket at Lords – Day 2 & 3 of the England V West Indies test match. Weather was a bit cool for cricket but we saw some great play. We missed Chanderpaul in the first innings but got to see some form on Day 3. And Strauss got a great century with Trott also playing some great shots. And by end of Day 4 its getting very exciting. England 1-1 with Strauss not able to live up to his first innings century. Depending on weather, tomorrow is bound to be interesting.


Currently reading: 69


This is my first book by Ryu Murakami and is in line with this year’s goal of reading more Japanese authors. Ryu is apparently famous for Audition which has been turned into a movie of the thriller/horror genre. 69, although I am only part way through, is apparently autobiographical and is about a teenager in 1969 Japan – so far its witty and entertaining. I have a copy of Miso Soup ready to read later this year as well. In Amazon it looked like many people who bought 69 or other books by Ryu also purchased Out or Real World by Natsuo Kirino – I have read and enjoyed both of these and enjoyed them. As well as Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino.


Just read: A Nervous Splendor – Vienna 1888/1889

(Source: Amazon

A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888/1889

Federic Morton is an Austrian-American who writes, as the title suggests, about what it was like in Vienna from the period 1888- mid 1889 encompassing the death of Crown Prince Rudolf and ending with the birth of Adolf Hitler. At this time Gustav Klimt, Sigmund Freud, Johannes Brahms, Johann Strauss and other greats were residing in Vienna at the time. We also get to know others a bit more such as Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, Theodor Herzl, etc who I don’t know much about at all, if at all.

The book also gives a few glimpses of the international/European political scene which would have been heavily impacting on the Crown Prince in the months leading up to his suicide. Its not a historical overview of events at that time but we do get enough for some context to Vienna and its mood. The main focus is on the individuals and their personal angsts and fears about their careers and their livelihoods, which is very interesting.

May 2012
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