A couple of years ago I stranded about half-way into Ulysses. It did not click. One of the greatest novels ever written, but I had little use for it. So I put it aside for another time. Recently I came across a rather insightful video (highly recommended) about Joyce and his work, and all of a sudden a lot of things clicked! But not to rush into it too fast,… Read More »Giacomo Joyce – James Joyce
Tommy Wieringa is of course famous for his novel Joe Speedboot. A tremendous novel, where Wieringa demonstrates heaps of writers’ finesse. This book — the Death of Murat Idrissi — is no different. Even though this is a short and easy read, it touches on a lot of subjects and themes and has the Tommy Wieringa flair all over it. He is a master is describing brooding situations, internal struggles… Read More »The Death of Murat Idrissi – Tommy Wieringa
Last weekend I built a personal ToDo app. Partly as an excuse to mess around a bit with all this ‘new and hip’ Web 2.0 technology (jQuery and Bootstrap) 🙈 But mostly because I needed one, and I couldn’t find a decent one. Decent? Decent in my opinion would be: Self hosted Self contained Use a plain text file Mobile friendly Able to track / see DONE items And Gid… Read More »Gid – Get it done!
I recently switched RSS providers and I could only extract my saved posts as a list of URLs. So I thought I’d add these to a bookmark folder in Chrome. However, Chrome bookmark import only accepts a specifically formatted .html file. So if you have a file with all your urls, name this file ‘url.txt’ and run this script to create a .html file that you can import in Chrome… Read More »Create a Chrome bookmark html file to import list of URLs
I am a Douglas Coupland fan. And I think his debut Generation X still holds up as one of his best novels. I probably read it for the first time over ten years ago. And I have since then read several other Coupland novels. (I also reviewed jPod extensively in 2007 on my Dutch blog). So I am quite familiar with his unique style, which is a large part of… Read More »Generation X – Douglas Coupland
Martin Luther King Jr. was only 39 years (and 2 months and 19 days) old when he was murdered. Thirty-nine. I never realised this — until I am 39 myself now. When he died he had already received a Nobel prize and over 100 honorary degrees from all over the world, but more importantly, he had changed America forever. Much has been written about MLK and by MLK. And it… Read More »The Trumpet of Conscience – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
David Foster Wallace could write. And not just write, he could really write extraordinarily well. In related news: water is wet. Wallace’s writing struck me as an epiphany, a beacon of light, a clear and unmistakable differentiator between merely good writing and exceptional writing. I have known about DFW for some time now, and I have seen his famous commencement speech several times. It strongly resonates with me. As some… Read More »A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again – David Foster Wallace
PSA: the MySQL utf8 character set is not real Unicode utf8. Instead use utf8mb4. So you landed here because some parts of your website are garbled. And this happened after a server or website migration. You exported your database and imported this export or dump on the new server. And now your posts look like this: When they should look like this: These are screenshots from this website. This website… Read More »About WordPress, emojis, MySQL and latin1, utf8 and utf8mb4 character sets
I finished this book in one sitting. Partly because Zonneveld has a pleasant writing style. But also because the rather recent story of a hugely talented and (very) young cyclist who early on in his career got involved with dope and raced towards destruction is fascinating. It’s the (auto)biography of Thomas Dekker but it is just as much the biography of the cycling world in the early 2000s. And this… Read More »Thomas Dekker: The Descent (Mijn Gevecht) – Thijs Zonneveld
Slaughterhouse Five is a well-known classic. And I had been wanting to read it for quite some time now, and now that I finally did, I must say it was absolutely not what I expected. In a good way. The book is a sort of autobiographical non-chronological story about the bombing of Dresden, but it is also about time travel, space travel and aliens and different thoughts on philosophy. So… Read More »Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Matthias M.R. Declercq pulled of two remarkable things. Not only did he manage to find this extraordinary story about friendship, ambition and sacrifice, he was also able to write it down in exceptional fashion. The events described in ‘The Fall’ (‘De Val’) are real, but the book is not necessarily a biography. The story revolves around a group of five Belgian riders (flandriens) who are pretty well known in the… Read More »The Fall (De Val) – Matthias M.R. Declercq
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker is one of the most profound books I have ever read. It has directly impacted my attitude towards sleep and subsequently altered my behaviour. Books that change your behaviour are rare and this is one of them. You should read it. We all know that sleep is important. But Walker dissects study, after study, after study to describe how important sleep exactly is, and… Read More »Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker