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and other reading material

Reading is something I really enjoy. A goal in life for me is to constantly broaden my horizon and enlarge my understanding and knowledge of the world around me. I therefore regularly take time to read books and magazines. Another goal of mine is to eventually get a house large enough that I can set a large room aside as a library. I don't have time to read everything I would like to, and I therefore try to be very selective. I always find it interesting to discover what books other people are reading. Well, this is a view into books that I have most recently read, with brief comments or reviews if you like.




The English Patient Michael Ondaatje The film is good, the book is terrific! While the film primarily deals with "the english patient" himself, the book covers the life of all four people involved in the story and how a brief moment in time unites them.
James Herriot Graham Lord A biography about "the worlds most famous vet". I read several Herriot books as a teenager, so this biography was of interest to me. While I liked getting to know the person Herriot a bit more, I didn't think the biography was that great.
Pride and prejudice Jane Austen I loved reading this book. I had not expected a book from this period to be as downright funny as this story is. I've become a great fan of Jane Austen and now have almost all her books in my bookshelf.
Los Alamos Joseph Kanon A murder mystery taking place where they designed the atomic bomb during W.W.II. A good  though not fantastic read.
Airframe Michael Crichton An aeroplane has an accident, and an internal investigation team of the plane manufacturer tries to work out what happened. Great story!
Nyrup Danish book about the current Danish prime minister. I don't feel I know the guy that much better from having read this. Not investigative enough to my liking.
Man Without a Face : The Autobiography of Communism's Greatest Spymaster Markus Wolf The former spymaster of East Germany defends his side of the story. Well, he doesn't actually defend everything he did. He does accept that some things were not right in East German society. And he does express remorse at some of the things his work achieved. Maybe I'm naive, but I accepted a lot of what he says in this book.
Starman, the truth behind the legend of Yuri Gagarin Jamie Doran & Piers Bizony I liked this book. It isn't about soviet society as such, but one of the major things I got out of it was an even fuller appreciation at how utterly stupid and brain dead communism as practised in the Soviet republics was.
Rainbow Six Tom Clancy A real Tom Clancy book. Not one of those actually written by somebody else that he sticks his name on. Better than "Executive orders", but not as good as the earlier books. Good enough that I would recommend it to previous Clancy readers though. If you are new to Clancy, read his earlier books first, and not just to get the chronology right. This one doesn't feature Jack Ryan as the main person, but rather Clark and Chavez, the CIA field agents.
Emma Jane Austen Almost as funny as "Pride and Prejudice", which is my favourite Austen book. The intrigues are great fun to read and quite humorous.
Only the paranoid survive Andrew Grove I'm not a fan of reading business related books by people that are suddenly in fashion, and I would consider Grove to be in fashion at the moment. I was however interested in learning more about the person, and the book turned out to be very interesting, telling not only about his business strategies at Intel, but also relates some of Intels history and how crisis were handled.
Chasing the beast One persons experiences in the british army during WW2. I'm in no way a war fanatic, but it does fascinate me what people who experienced the second world war have to tell about it. This book in no way glorifies war, there isn't really very much fighting in it, I enjoyed it.
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen Another great Jane Austen book. It took me a little while to get caught up in the story, but after that I really enjoyed it. If I were to rank the Austen books I have read so far, this must be #3. This should in no way detract from this particular book though. I rate all of the Austen books I have read so far very highly.
Daisy Miller Henry James A fun and easy read with a surprising ending.

As stated above, I don't have time to read everything, but over the years I have found the following magazines so stimulating that I now subscribe to them.
National Geographic, my parents had a subscription when I was a kid. 10 years ago I took out my own subscription. My kids have taken over the sense of awe I felt as a kid when reading it.
Scientific American, no real history behind this. I've known the Scientific American and as a teenager read it at libraries for many years. I finally decided I wanted its kind of input on a regular basis.
Byte, the only computer magazine that I've ever found worth buying for any longer period of time. I bought my first issue of Byte in 1981. While all other computer magazines cover existing, buyable equipment, Byte always covered technologies and equipment that may or may not be available for some years as well as current technology. Unfortunately Byte was sold in 1998 and has re-appeared as a web-only e-zine. As an e-zine it is not bad, but it is nowhere near to what the paper version was. Jerry Pournelle, one of the former writers for Byte has more on that story (as well as other things).
The Economist. Out of all the news journals available, I find this one to be the most interesting and thought provoking.

Any comments to my comments? E-mail Bjorn Graabek.
I have started to include links to the Amazon bookstore in the vain hope that somebody will actually buy the books so I can get a referral fee. Well, seriously, I love books and the Amazon bookstore is a great way of getting them.

 If you live in Europe (and especially in the UK) you may want to access the UK Amazon website instead of the american one I have linked to above...

Last updated: 19. May 2000