Monthly Archives: December 2012

Mister Pip

As Mr. Watts turned around to face us, the book open at the graveyard scene, Daniel stuck up his hand.

‘Yes, Daniel?’ said Mr. Watts.

‘What’s it like to be white?’

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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Books, Quotes


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Selling board games for charity (3)

This is simply a final reminder before the year end.

Funds raised so far – EUR65

The games (all in english) being sold are:

(I am only looking for buyers living in Cyprus, preferably Nicosia, and the prices (which are non-negotiable) don’t include any shipping costs.)

1. Power Grid (EUR25) – Very good condition, played 2-3 times.

2. Dominion (EUR35) – box is damaged, cards in excellent condition.

3. Here I Stand (EUR40) – Like new, never been played. Cards are sleeved.

4. Forbidden Island (EUR10) – Like new.

5. Castle Ravenloft (EUR40) – Very good condition. Cards are sleeved.

6. Carcassonne: Inns & Cathedrals (EUR5) – Very good condition (expansion)

7. Carcassonne: Traders & Builders (EUR5) – Very good condition (expansion)

8. Carcassonne (base game) (EUR15) – Good condition. This can only be purchased together with the above two expansions.

9. Bohnanza (EUR15) – Like new.


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Brideshead Revisited

“There is proverbially a mystery among most men of new wealth, how they made their first ten thousand; it is the qualities they showed then, before they became bullies, when every man was someone to be placated, when only hope sustained them and they could count on nothing from the world but what could be charmed from it, that make them; if they survive their triumph, successful with women.”

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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Books, Quotes


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The joy of gift giving

Christmas presents shopping done. I always try and get everything by the end of November. Most of the shopping i do online but also some locally.

I know we are supposed to be austere when it comes to spending but i can’t help it. I enjoy buying presents. It’s also remarkable what you can buy even on a very tight budget, with great presents ranging from EUR5-EUR15.

I love the gifting process. I spend hours thinking of the right present to give to the right person as i try to visualize how the person will react to it. Not so much at the time the present is actually unwrapped but how it is treated and enjoyed days, weeks and even years after that.

Of course there are times when the gift is not a success. A book which is never read. A board game that is never played. But this makes me even more determined to get it right next time. A gift should ideally be representative of the giver and something which the recipient truly appreciates.

I experiment every now and then with gifts which may open people’s eyes or open doors to new experiences. Presents that they would never have bought for themselves. But if it’s not happening then i am not insulted or anything. I don’t take myself that seriously. It just means that the gift was wrong and there are so many other options to try next.

The giving of presents should of course aim to make people happier. Even just for those few minutes. Ultimately though, it forces us to get a better understanding of the people we are giving the presents to. What their interests and hobbies are. To listen to their desires and needs all year round. I’d like to believe that’s what they mean by “it’s the thought that counts” .

Merry Christmas!

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Posted by on December 25, 2012 in Antidote


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Books in 2013

Following last week’s book stats eye opening exercise i have made the following mini resolutions for the year 2013:

  • Read more female writers (>30%)
  • Read more international writers (>30%)
  • Choose a book with friend, read it at approximately the same pace and discuss it on a regular basis. A mini-book club.
  • Listen to at least 3-5 audiobooks.
  • Ask at least one friend to choose a book for me to read. Preferably something outside my comfort zone.
  • Re-read at least 1 book

Is anyone else setting some reading resolutions for 2013?


Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Antidote, Books


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Books in 2012

2012 been an excellent year for books even when compared to 2011 which was a very good year. I’ve been fortunate to read quite a few magnificent books, mostly fiction. Some i would even consider for my personal lifetime top 10 list. I have also managed to re-read two books which was a wonderful experience and it’s something I’d like to do more often.

I registered to Goodreads along with some friends who are also bookworms and it has encouraged me to read even more and also find out about books i would not have noticed otherwise.

My hope and wish for 2013 is to read the same book at the same as a friend of mine and exchange views during the course of our reading.

Must read

  • The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes – How i loved this book. I read it while listening to the audiobook and it was magical. It will make you question how you see your past, present and future.
  • The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope – Again, similarly to The Sense of an Ending, this book blew me away. The writing is magnificent and different from what i am used to. One of the best books i’ve ever read.
  • When Nietzsche Wept, by Irvin D.Yalom (re-read) – I first read this in the summer of 2003 and it had a tremendous impact on me. It was with trepidation that i decided to start re-reading it as i was afraid of being disappointed the second time. But it was even more powerful this time and helped me through a hard time, for a second time in my life.

These two books below are my must read non-fiction books of 2012. Both are short but what they lack in length they make up for it with the spirit in which they were written. Two truly inspirational books.

The final two books are not in the same league as the ones above, but they were so entertaining while i read them that i decided to include them in the must read section.

Highly recommended

  • The Black Dahlia, by James Ellroy
  • American Tabloid, by James Ellroy
  • Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
  • Operation Mincemeat, by Ben Macintyre
  • The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rules, by Richard Mcgregor
  • With The Old Breed, by Eugene B. Sledge
  • Fermat’s Last Theorem, by Simon Singh


  • Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World, by Haruki Murakami
  • Snowdrops, by A.D. Miller
  • A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin
  • Black Dogs, by Ian McEwan
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
  • Burnt Shadows, by Kamila Shamsie

Not recommended

  • How to be good, by Nick Hornby (audiobook)
  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  • How we decide, by Jonah Lehrer (re-read – audiobook)
  • What the dog saw, by Malcolm Gladwell


  • The Venus Fix, by M.J. Rose
  • Battle Royale, by Koushun Takami
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Books



Burnt Shadows

“He missed women, though he’d hardly ever thought of them as being a significant presence in his life.”

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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Books, Quotes


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