January 6th, 2020


My tweets


August 2004 books

I spent most of August 2004 on holiday, but this was also the moment that I set my long-laid plans to join the cabinet of one of the new members of the European Commission in motion. (Those plans failed.) I also set up and publicised my Interactive Language Quiz, based on the instructions from a McDonald's toy. While on holiday we published reports on Macedonia and Georgia, and I had an op-ed on the Macedonian local government reform plans (rather a good one, if I say so myself). Once I got back to work, my new intern, K, a Slovenian, arrived. The month ended with me doing an RTÉ interview on the tenth anniversary of the IRA ceasefire with Albert Reynolds and John Hume - sadly, Hume was already showing his illness. (I saw him in person in Brussels a few days later in early September and drew the same conclusion.)

Cute picture: young F, recently turned 5, trying his hand at archery.

I took advantage of the holiday to read 18 books.

Non-fiction: 4 (YTD 30)
The Political Animal, by Jeremy Paxman
The Revolution of America, by Guillaume Thomas François Raynal
Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World, by Niall Ferguson
Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson

Non-genre: 4 (YTD 11)
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Don Quixote (part 1), by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The Accusers, by Lindsey Davies
Scandal Takes a Holiday, by Lindsey Davies

Scripts: 1 (YTD 1)
Hard To Swallow, by John Dowie, illustrated by Hunt Emerson

Poetry: 1 (YTD 1)
Lucky Dip, by Ruth Ainsworth

SF: 8 (YTD 49)
The Year of Our War, by Steph Swainston
Felaheen, by John Courtenay Grimwood
Beyond Infinity, by Gregory Benford
After the King: Stories in Honour of J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Martin H. Greenberg and Jane Yolen
Way Station, by Clifford D. Simak
The Demolished Man, by Alfred P. Bester
Year's Best SF 21, ed. Gardner Dozois
The Dream Millennium, by James White

5,200 pages (YTD 32,100)
5/18 by women (YTD 24/96)
none by PoC (YTD 1/96)

Links above to my reviews, two of three links below to Amazon.

Lots of good books this month, but I'm picking out two quirky ones that stick in my mind: the Abbé Raynal's penetrating analysis of the newly founded United States, which you can get for free here, and Jon Courtenay Grimwood's Felaheen, which you can get here. Least favourite book of the month: tremendously disappointed by Lindsay Davis' The Accusers; all of her other books that I have read are much better.