Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type coming to a bookstore near you


SO I was enthralled to hear that Tom Hanks was coming to London to sign his new book Uncommon Type: Some Stories (416p, William Heinemann, £16.99) on 2 November 2017 at the event at Waterstones. Uncommon Type is a collection of seventeen wonderful short stories and I can’t wait to get hold of a copy. Note to self: best decision ever was to move to London. No-one important ever comes to Denmark. He’s also appearing at Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival, in collaboration with Penguin Live in Tom Hanks in conversation: Uncommon Type on 1 November 2017, though tickets have long sold out. I’m sad I did not manage to get one. I’ve already ordered a signed copy online from Waterstones, but to get a chance to meet Tom Hanks in person for another signed copy, well is not one that I intend to miss. And what’s more he collects typewriters.

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Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

– W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

Hay Festival from 21 – 31 May 2015

Hay2015-coverHAY FESTIVAL 21–31 MAY 2015: I would really love to go if I could afford it. This and The London Book Fair at Olympia are both what’s been on my mind for years. I guess booking flights tickets, hotel and all that wouldn’t come cheap. So it’s definitely something I need to save for in addition to all that book buying from Folio! One day though I will. This sounds like the perfect place for me! I love the poster. Don’t know who designed the poster but would love to have a higher resolution image.

If you’re so lucky to be in London, then remember to book your tickets early on

Hay Festival—“Hay Festival brings together the best writers and readers to share stories and ideas. At Hay you can enjoy great writers and thinkers from around the world and discover new ideas in the arts and sciences, politics and history. Among the star writers speaking this year are Vikram Seth, Elif Shafak, Meera Syal, Asne Seierstad, Yuval Noah Harari, Azar Nafisi and Helen Macdonald. The festival celebrates the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta by inviting writers and thinkers to examine ‘what we would like’ in the fields of law, education, warfare, democracy and equality – and inviting Haymakers to pitch some demands for a new charter.”


Penguin’s Little Black Classics

pengion-little-black-classics I’ve just gone ahead and ordered these wonderfully small black books from Bookdepository at great price. They retail for £0.80 / 8 DKK a piece but I managed to find a limited complete set containing all 80 for £53 / 554 DKK delivered. You won’t find this complete set easily. I fell upon it while reading the Guardian. They were offering this set for a discount through the Guardian Bookshop. With the ISBN in hand I set to browse to see where I could find it cheap with delivery to Denmark.

Here are the titles included in the set:

1. Boccaccio Mrs Rosie and the Priest
2. Gerard Manley Hopkins As Kingfishers Catch Fire
3. The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue
4. Thomas de Quincey On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts
5. Friedrich Nietzsche Aphorisms on Love and Hate
6. John Ruskin Traffic
7. Pu Songling Wailing Ghosts
8. Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal
9. Three Tang Dynasty Poets
10. Walt Whitman Alone on the Beach at Night
11. Kenko A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees
12. Baltasar Gracian How to Use Your Enemies
13. John Keats The Eve of St Agnes
14. Thomas Hardy Woman Much Missed
15. Guy de Maupassant Femme Fatale
16. Marco Polo Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls
17. Suetonius Caligula
18. Apollonius of Rhodes Jason and Medea
19. Robert Louis Stevenson Olalla
20. Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx The Communist Manifesto
21. Petronius Trimalchio’s Feast
22. Johann Peter Hebel How a Ghastly Story Was Brought to Light by a Common or Garden Butcher’s Dog
23. Hans Christian Andersen The Tinder Box
24. Rudyard Kipling The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows
25. Dante Circles of Hell
26. Henry Mayhew Of Street Piemen
27. Hafez The nightingales Are Drunk
28. Geoffrey Chaucer The Wife of Bath
29. Michel de Montaigne How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing
30. Thomas Nashe The Terrors of the Night
31. Edgar Allan Poe The Tell-Tale Heart
32. Mary Kingsley A Hippo Banquet
33. Jane Austen The Beautifull Cassandra
34. Anton Chekhov Gooseberries
35. Samuel Taylor Coleridge Well, They Are Gone, and Here Must I Remain
36. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Sketchy, Doubtful, Incomplete Jottings
37. Charles Dickens The Great Winglebury Duel
38. Herman Melville The Maldive Shark
39. Elizabeth Gaskell The Old Nurse’s Story
40. Nikolai Leskov The Steel Flea
41. Honore de Balzac The Atheist’s Mass
42. Charlotte Perkins Gilman The Yellow Wall-Paper
43. CP Cavafy Remember, Body…
44. Fyodor Dostoevsky The Meek One
45. Gustave Flaubert A Simple Heart
46. Nikolai Gogol The Nose
47. Samuel Pepys The Great Fire of London
48. Edith Wharton The Reckoning
49. Henry James The Figure in the Carpet
50. Wilfred Owen Anthem for Doomed Youth
51. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart My Dearest Father
52. Plato Socrates’ Defence
53. Christina Rossetti Goblin Market
54. Sindbad the Sailor
55. Sophocles Antigone
56. Ryūnosuke Akutagawa The Life of a Stupid Man
57. Leo Tolstoy How Much Land Does a Man Need?
58. Giorgio Vasari Leonardo da Vinci
59. Oscar Wilde Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
60. Shen Fu The Old Man of the Moon
61. Aesop The Dolphins, the Whales and the Gudgeon
62. Matsuo Bashō Lips Too Chilled
63. Emily Bronte The Night Is Darkening Round Me
64. Joseph Conrad To-morrow
65. Richard Hakluyt The Voyage of Sir Francis Drake Around the Whole Globe
66. Kate Chopin A Pair of Silk Stockings
67. Charles Darwin It Was Snowing Butterflies
68. Brothers Grimm The Robber Bridegroom
69. Catullus I Hate and I Love
70. Homer Circe and the Cyclops
71. DH Lawrence Il Duro
72. Katherine Mansfield Miss Brill
73. Ovid The Fall of Icarus
74. Sappho Come Close
75. Ivan Turgenev Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands
76. Virgil O Cruel Alexis
77. HG Wells A Slip under the Microscope
78. Herodotus The Madness of Cambyses
79. Speaking of Śiva
80. The Dhammapada

My new B&O BeoSound Ouverture

ouverture_8 BeoSound Ouverture was manufactured between 1994 – 2003. Designed by David Lewis it replaced the Beocenter 2500 in 1994 and comprised a CD player and cassette recorder, Stereo FM and AM radio with connections for Power Link and (later) MasterLink. This product was born with two names: BeoSound Ouverture in Europe and BeoSound 4000 for the rest of the world. My second Bang and Olufsen product is the BeoSound Ouverture (the first was B&O BeoCenter 1 that I blogged about earlier). The Ouverture is really a beauty and they are dead cheap second hand. The one I acquired is black and not purple unfortunately. I also managed to find a B&O CD stand that was specifically made for the BeoSound  Ouverture/2500/3000/3200 and it works very well to hide my CD collection. Not sure what the official name of the stand is. It’s the same one in the picture above but in grey.

8d71-e8d8-4d3d-8dad-e6f493838eb6 ouverture_7 I’m so happy that everyone’s gone over to digital streaming, Spotify, Wimp and all that; it suits me fine. I don’t really care for streaming; it’s because you don’t really own the music you’re playing – you pay to lease it and when you cancel your subscription, your collection and albums that you’ve meticulously used hours to find, favourite and save gets wiped out in seconds. And what’s the point of streaming over the internet – the bitrate is much lower compared to a physical CD. Like books and physical things there is something wonderful about CDs, to takes things slow, browse your CD collection, contemplate, choose, open, insert and press play. I don’t have any speakers yet. I’m still looking on acquiring a second hand set of Beolab 6000 speakers but they’re expensive and I’m waiting for the right price. A cheap price that is! But everything is slowly gathering pace.

My new Bang & Olufsen BeoCenter 1


About a month ago, I became the happy owner of a 32″ BeoCenter 1 television; my first B&O product. And yes, for those who are familiar with the BeoCenter 1 – it’s not a flatscreen but a CRT television.

Designed by David Lewis and manufactured between 2000 – 2006, the BeoCenter 1 combines a state-of-the-art TV, a superior-quality DVD player and an intelligent FM radio in one product, and lets you control everything with a single, easy-to-use remote control – the Beo 1.


BeoCenter 1 is truly a beauty in itself with a timeless design. I love its built-in DVD player and motorised stand that turns the TV sideways, when you turn it on or off for optimal viewing position. It’s elegant and unmistakably B&O in that it’s only B&O that could’ve have designed such a remarkable television. It makes its presence known, while astonishingly remaining discreet. The Beo 1 remote control is a beautiful piece of shiny metal architecture, made from one piece of aluminium, well before Apple thought of making unibody Macs, and if you look closely, you can with certainty acknowledge where the Apple remote got its design from.


You might ask yourself why I’ve gone ahead to acquire a CRT television when technology has progressed on to the world of ever-increasing acronyms, in the like of Full HD, Ultra HD, Blu-ray, SMART tv, etc.

Well, the answer to that is that I’m not into that world of having the newest technology. I don’t care on spending X amount on an expensive television, only to be aware that in 6 months it’s already obsolete – and a part of yester-year’s tech. I’m patient and if you’ve been following my blog, you would already know that I’m a reader. Remember 720p – ‘ready HD’ televisions that came out only to be useless after 1080p? I’m also dismayed by the fact that owners of DAB radios have to throw their expensive radios out because they can’t be used when the signal turns over to DAB+. It’s not backward compatible.

It seems that you need to keep spending money, money and money all the time to keep up. A smart marketing move nonetheless. But I’m old-school, retro or whatever you call it. I keep my money tightly strapped to my body. And if I do spend it has to be something special and designer, well worth the price. I love Scandinavian design and that doesn’t mean IKEA! I’m not a first-mover but more of a careful observer, waiting for the right moment to adjust and invest.


BeoCenter 1 is still useful today and far from obsolete. DVD’s are dead cheap or free and the BeoCenter 1 is perfect for DVD playback. With its descreet design, it’s perfect for the bedroom, the kids room or the beach house. The powerful active speakers provide astonishing sound experience and the picture quality is impressive for DVD. It’s really a joy to watch a film on it and it serves my purpose. Many of the films that I watch are from the pre-HD era, i.e., from the 80’s: Indiana Jones, Top Gun, Goonies, The Breakfast Club, ET, Starwars, WarGames, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Dead Poets Society and my favourite Back to the Future, to name a few. And whatever you can call it, you can’t make them HD by reissuing them as Bluray!