Monthly Archives: January 2018

Books in 2016

What a glorious year it was. One of the best i can remember in every way. In terms of quality, quantity and variety.

I really have to start with Elena Ferrante’s books which have been added to my all time favourite books. A masterpiece book series.

Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up had a profound effect on me which helped me de-clutter my life significantly. It’s a book i keep going back to and read a chapter here and there.

I also managed to re-read a book which once again met my very high expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Two remarkable books on the Congo, King Leopold’s Ghost and Dancing in the Glory of Monsters.

The Signature of all Things was probably the surprise of the year. I picked it up after reading James Harris’ “review“. Alma Whittaker was a wonderful character.

The complete list of books read below.



The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo

King Leopold’s Ghost, by Adam Hoschild

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa, by Jason Stearns


Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West, by Hampton Sides

Breaking Rockefeller: The Incredible Story of the Ambitious Rivals Who Toppled an Empire, by Peter B. Doran


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy, by Irvin D. Yalom



To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (this was a re-read)

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Story of The Lost Child, by Elena Ferrante

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, by Elena Ferrante

The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante


A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

The Gift of Rain, by Tan Twan Eng

The Big Nowhere, by James Ellroy

The Ace of Skulls, by Chris Wooding


Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome, by Robert Harris


The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai


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Posted by on January 29, 2018 in Books


Books in 2017

This is my first post about books in almost 2.5 years. I never did write a review of books i read for 2016 and for 2015 i wrote something in August detailing the year up until then. My intention was to just cover 2017 but after seeing how great a year 2016 was it would be a shame to not write a post about that year too.

Let’s get back to 2017 though. Now that i’ve written all the books down i can see what has always felt to have been a very poor year. Maybe mediocre is a better word for it. I had a craving for thrillers and unfortunately most of my picks proved to be quite forgettable.

The exceptions (highlighted below in bold) were Luke McCallin’s Gregor Reinhart Trilogy and A Delicate Truth by John Le Carre.

Another thing that catches the eye is that i only read 1 non-fiction book. I am not sure why to be honest.

Finally at the end of this year i wanted to read books that my eldest niece (almost 10 years old) is reading. I started with The Witches by Roald Dahl which was disappointing but followed it up last week with the brilliant Matilda. I feel children books will be a theme for me this year.


Dollars and Sense: How we Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter, by Dan Ariely


The Divided City, by Luke McCallin

The Pale House, by Luke McCallin

The Man from Berlin, by Luke McCallin

Sashenka, by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Girl Who Wasn’t There, by Ferdinach von Schirach

Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

Bad Blood, by Brian McGilloway

My Name is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout

A Delicate Truth, by John Le Carre

The Collini Case, by Ferdinach von Schirach

The Witches, by Roald Dahl

Empire State, by Adam Christopher




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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Books


Board games – 4th Quarter 2017 review

Total plays: 111 (155 in 2016, 129 in 2015, 90 in 2014, 70 in 2013)

Distinct games35 (57 in 2016, 52 in 2015, 39 in 2014, 44 in 2013)

New-to-me games14 (31 in 2016, 24 in 2015, 14 in 2014, 26 in 2013)

Ten+ times: 1  (3 in 2016, 2 in 2015, 0 in 2014, 0 in 2013)

Spirit Island

Five+ Times: 2 (5 in 2016, 3 in 2015, 3 in 2014, 2 in 2013)

Strike, Die Fiesen 7


Acquired: 3

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2, Winner’s Circle, Mintworks (this was a present)

I bought 1 game that broke my resolution and i am very happy with this. 

Removed: 32

Too many to add. The collection cull will continue in 2018. 

Owned:  182 (211)

I think my target is around 100-125 games at the moment.

Unplayed: 37 (67)

Best New to me: 

Ethnos, Die Fiesen 7 and Defenders of the Last Stand


New 10s:  N/A

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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in Uncategorized