Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

November 2006 books

As previously mentioned, we started the month with a half-term break at my sister's in Burgundy. Cluny is a remarkable town with a ruined abbey which dominates the urban landscape.

I moved my personal website to - I should start updating it a bit more often... I also visited London for orientation with the new job, and drove to the depths of the Ardennes for my last Crisis Group retreat. We got reports out on Serbia, Kosovo and Georgia, as my time with the organisation wound down.

The month ended dramatically. I had a work trip to Berlin which included, rather unusually, a meeting in the Defence Ministry (normally I end up farther east, between the Bundestag/Kanzleramt and foreign ministry). On my way out I asked the silver-haired colonel who I was meeting about the building's history. He told me that it had originally been the headquarters of the German Navy from 1911, and was then the territorial army headquarters; and then became the centre of resistance to Hitler within the armed forces, in particular under Claus von Stauffenberg. "So after 20 July 1944, von Stauffenberg was shot in one of the courtyards," indicating which one with a nod.

That wasn't the really dramatic part. The really dramatic part was after I landed back in Brussels on an early morning flight and started driving the family car to the office. As I went through the Montgomery tunnel, I felt a sudden KCHUNK, and the car coasted to a halt on the uphill stretch. Phone calls to Touring, long wait while traffic pooled around me in one of the prime choke-points of Brussels suburbia, finally the Touring guy arrived and towed me to a nearby layby, more long wait while he fiddled with the distributor cap before shaking his head in bafflement and calling a pickup truck, more long wait for the pickup truck, which then couldn't find the garage, probably because its driver was too busy talking to his girlfriend on his mobile phone to look for it properly, and eventually walked from the garage to my office with all my luggage from Berlin. The garage looked at the car for a few days and then confirmed that fixing it would cost more than we had paid for it, so since then I have largely commuted to Brussels by public transport.

In my office, my Macedonian intern E was doing handover to her successor, Belgian S. E now works for the European Commission, a few blocks from my current workplace, at least in normal times. S now lives in Geneva, where he married a Quebecoise; their children's French must be very interesting to hear. Here's a picture of the three of us at a conference in the European Parliament where I was speaking that week, E on the left, S on the right and me sitting down. (And a bearded chap, who I don't recognise, talking to us.)

I managed to read 27 books in November 2006, more than half of which were short Doctor Who books, mostly by Ian Marter.

November 2006 books

Non-fiction 9 (YTD 62)
The Breaking of Nations: Order and Chaos in the Twenty-First Century, by Robert Cooper
A Bachelor's London: Memories of the Day before Yesterday, 1889-1914, by Frederic Whyte
An International Relations Debacle: The UN Secretary-General's Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus 1999-2004, by Claire Palley (did not finish)
Disaccord on Cyprus: The UN Plan and after, by Clement Dodd
Everything is about Cyprus, by Hasan Erçakica

Skeletons on the Zahara, by Dean King
Western Sahara: The Roots of a Desert War, by Tony Hodges
Endgame in the Western Sahara, by Toby Shelley
Western Sahara: Anatomy of a Stalemate, by Erik Jensen

SF 3 (YTD 65)
Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2006 edition, edited by Rich Horton
Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2006 edition, edited by Rich Horton

A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin

Doctor Who 14 (YTD 26)
The Clockwise Man, by Justin Richards
The Monsters Inside, by Stephen Cole

Doctor Who and the Ark in Space, by Ian Marter
Doctor Who and the Sontaran Experiment, by Ian Marter
Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation, by Ian Marter
Doctor Who and the Enemy of the World, by Ian Marter
Doctor Who - Earthshock, by Ian Marter
Doctor Who - The Dominators, by Ian Marter
Doctor Who - The Invasion, by Ian Marter
Harry Sullivan's War, by Ian Marter
Doctor Who - The Reign of Terror, by Ian Marter
Doctor Who - The Rescue, by Ian Marter

Evolution, by John Peel
The Stealers of Dreams, by Steve Lyons

Comics 1 (2006 total 6)
Preacher: Until the End of the World, by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

6,000 pages (YTD 54,200)
1/27 (YTD 30/187) by a woman
None (YTD 8/187) by PoC

Robert Cooper's The Breaking of Nations was the best of these; you can get it here. Close behind is Skeletons on the Zahara, a tale of shipwrecked sailors sold into slavery; you can get it here. Claire Palley's book on Cyprus is awful, but you can get it here. (I didn't pay for it - a friend had been gifted a copy and passed it on to me.)

Tags: bookblog 2006, bookblog nostalgia

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