Literature references and annotations by Dick Grune, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last update: Wed Dec 13 14:12:50 2017.
These references and annotations were originally intended
for personal use and are presented here only in the hope
that they may be useful to others.
There is no claim to completeness or even correctness.
Each annotation represents my understanding of the text
at the moment I wrote the annotation.
No guarantees given; comments and content criticism welcome.
"A Thousand Miles to Freedom -- My Escape from North Korea",
St. Martin's Griffin,
"Nothing to Envy -- Real Lives in North Korea",
The author extensively interviewed six North Koreans from Cheongjin, a Pacific
industrial coastal city, four women
and two men of various ages, who each in their own way had made it to South
Korea. The book follows a time line from about 1975 to 2009, telling the story
of each person in each time segment, with ample descriptions of life in the
simple and completely government-controlled 1970s and 1980s, during the
famine years of the 1990s, when the sea was blocked and all arable land was
exhausted, and the (meager) possibilities of the 2000s. All defections went
through Musan on the Chinese border (75 km), and several went from there in
secrecy to Mongolia (another 600 km), where the government would send them on
to South Korea. The title of the book comes from a North Korean propaganda
slogan "We have nothing to envy in the world!" (Sesang-e bureom eopseora =
in-the-world a-thing-to-envy note-that-there-is-not) (pg. 12)
Jang Jin-Sung [Jang Jinseong],
In his mid-twenties the author is a famous poet in North-Korea and the
youngest Admitted (someone who has spent time with Dear Leader).
But his meeting with a less than holy Kim Jong-Il and the famine he sees when
he travels to his home town to boast of this meeting cause him to reconsider
his values in life.
Then two blunders, one by the author and one by his friend, force his hand,
and they both have to flee.
They bluff their way to the North-Korean-Chinese border, where they cross the
Tuman river into China.
After having been betrayed and helped by many people, the author arrives at
the South-Korean embassy in Beijing where he is given papers as a South-Korean
Remarkably, neither the author nor his friend ever voiced regret over the
blunders that forced them to flee and put their lives in danger.
The book consists of chapters describing his adventures, from his meeting with
Kim Jomg-Il to his settling in South-Korea, interspersed with chapters about
the situation in North-Korea, in the famine years of his escape and later.
The last chapter is called "The Future of North-Korea", in which the author
explains that North-Korea is impervious to outside influence and that change
must come from within.
The Korean text on the cover means: "To the General -- Ten Million Years".
Colonel Pill-ki Chung,
"War & Friendship",
"Poorly Made in China",
An Insider's Account of the China Production Game,
Partly humorous, partly sour account of the author's work as a
Chinese-speaking facilitator between large American retailers and their Chinese
The Chinese are characterized as operating by one single concern: middle-long
term profit; in this they are helped by the virtual absence of commerce laws
The game goes as follows: the first (large) order of the American retailer R
is filled perfectly and very cheaply, at zero profit to the factory.
Once R has established himself at home at that price level, the
quality goes down and the price goes up, both very slowly, thus producing a
profit for the Chinese factory F; finding a new supplier would take several
months, and leave R without supplies for that period.
This continues, with lots of shenanigans, for several years.
After several years the relationship breaks down, and the retailer finds a new
factory; then the old factory F, still in possession of all the techniques
and equipment to produce the product of R, continues to do so, possibly with
a different label, and sell it to second- and third-world countries, where
authenticity is not too carefully checked.
It is illustrative of the China Production Game that the author is still
welcome in China, because he still brings in new customers.
Marcus Henderson Wilder,
"Naive & Abroad: Israel & Palestine",
Vehemently argumentative collection of about 250 one-liners on the subject.
I checked about 20 of the most striking ones against the Wikipedia and some
other Internet sites, and found almost all of them essentially confirmed,
including the ones on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and "Die Spinne",
but excluding the author's equating Palestinians to Philistines.
"Het seksuele systeem",
Den Haag, the Neth.,
"Een lange weg",
Life and loves of A.B., frequenter of spas in the 1930s;
courier, aid of Wallenberg and nurse in Budapest in WWII;
lady of the manor in India;
housewife in Switzerland;
wife of a KLM director.
"Ik lieg de waarheid",
in Dutch: I lie the Truth,
"De first lady van Georgië",
in Dutch: S.R., First Lady of Georgia,
Diary-like commented account of her life from the moment she met Mikhail
Saakashvili (1993) until the moment she became First Lady of Georgia (2003).
"Guns, Germs, and Steel -- The Fates of Human Societies",
On the jacket flap a newspaper is quoted saying basically that this book is so
complex that it cannot be summarized. So I'll try anyhow.
The discrepancies in the levels of health, wealth, and civilization between
nations are often explained by citing proximate causes: corruption, stupidity,
(Any phenomenon is the result of a chain of cause and result; the causes
nearest to the phenomenon are the "proximate" causes, the ones at the beginning
of the chain are "ultimate" causes.)
The author concentrates on ultimate causes.
To start a civilization out of hunting-gathering, one needs two things:
1. biology: a good number of domesticable plants and animals;
2. geography: adjacent terrain where the same plants and animals can thrive,
to extend the civilization into.
Mesopotamia had 9 to 12 domesticable plants and 3 to 4 domesticable animals;
Middle-America had 2 domesticable plants and 1 domesticable animal;
the rest of the world had hardly anything.
This is why civilization arose first in Mesopotamia and much later in
Mesopotamia is in the middle of a (horizontally) wide continent, where plant
and animal could spread to zones with the same climate;
Middle-America is in the middle of a (vertically) tall continent, where plant
and animal could not spread to zones with the same climate.
The book fills in the details; there is relatively little guns, germs, and
steel in this book.
"Enschede verleden tijd",
in Dutch: Enschede Past Tense,
"Je gaat het pas zien als je het doorhebt -- Over Cruijff en leiderschap",
"Dylan Dog -- Quando la citt\`a dorma",
cartoon in Italian,
"Liber Amicorum for Jaco de Bakker",
Aug. 30, 2002,
"Liber Amicorum for Reind P. van de Riet",
"The Soul of a New Machine",
Back Bay Books,
"Route 66 Map Series",
Ghost Town Press,
pp. 8 maps.
"The Rotenberg Collection",
Benedikt Taschen Verlag,
"La grotte pour 25 centimes! -- Chauvet à Vallon-Pont-d'Arc",
in French: The 25 cents Grotto,
Philip Toshio Sudo,
"Zen en de kunst van het computergebruik",
"Totaal onbekwaam maar met de juiste houding",
"A Dynamic and Quick Intellect",
Liber Amicorum for Paul Vitány,
"Ethics for Beginners",
Juan Antonio Ramirez,
"Arte preistorica e primitiva",
"Remarques sur les activités commerciales des pays Burusho de 1761 à nos jours -- fiction et realité",
in Circulation des monnaies, des marchandises et des biens,
Res Orientales, Vol. V,
"Geen flauwe kul",
"The Bedford Handbook for Writers",
Bedford Books, St. Martin's Press,
"Liber Amicorum for Lambert Meertens",
Adrie M. Roding,
"De bevrijding van Enschede / The Liberation of Enschede",
in Dutch and English,
Van de Berg,
Enschede was liberated (April 1, 1945) by English, Welsh and Scots
troops, not by Canadians, as some sources have it.
The Canadians passed Enschede on the West.
Leonard de Vries,
"Zo puur is de natuur -- Naturisme toen en nu",
in Dutch: So Pure is Nature -- Nudism then and now,
"Echte katten scherpen zelf hun nagels",
in Dutch: Bicylce Care,
"Puzzelen met de kubus",
in Dutch: Cube Games -- 92 Classic Games,
"Nieuw leerboek van het boekhouden 1 & 2, + uitwerkingen",
"The Quest for Wilhelm Reich",
St. Albans, Herts,
"The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa",
[ CC.01888.o: GW 0710 Vol. 01-06 TER INZAGE ]
from German: Der Würfel,
"Notes on Rubik's Magic Cube",
Leonard de Vries,
"Ha dokter, Ho dokter",
Weird and crazy medicin from centuries gone by.
"Life in Ancient Rome",
Hamlyn Picture Histories,
in Dutch: Mastering Rubik's Cube,
"Kendo -- De weg van het zwaard",
"Kat in de stad",
Ruth Beebe Hill,
Life among the Lakhota / Dakota.
Considered outrageous and contemptible by same, I read.
"Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics",
"Inwieweit können bestimmte Marktformen ein inflationsforderndes Element sein?: eine theoretische Untersuchung",
1977, c 1976,
[ ED.02050.- AANWEZIG ]
in Dutch: Art of Ropework,
Cook book for hitches, knots, splices, and sail sowing, explained with
"Go for Beginners",
R. Perceval Maxwell,
"How to Use the Chinese Abacus",
Cyrus L. Day,
"Steken, splitsen en knopen",
in Dutch: Hitches, splices and knots,
Instructions for 86 knots etc., with 30 pages of good photographs.
"The Scottish Tartans",
Johnston and Bacon,
Edinburgh and London,
"Waar lag het paradijs",
from German: Wo lag das Paradis?,
R. Zomer KJzn,
"laat het zó drukken",
in Dutch: printing the way it should be,
Charming explanation of the more classy printing process, with the
booklet itself as an example.
"Twente in beeld",
Four pages of introduction and 50 photographs of rural Twente.
Leonard de Vries,
"De Jongens van de Hobbyclub",
DE Bezige Bij,
Account of a year (1936-1937) in the life of the pupils of a Middle School in
Amsterdam, who, inspired by teachers, organize a Hobby Club (radio, ham,
photography, film), with a lot of lively descriptions and quite some romance,
but actually an instruction sheet in narrative form for setting up such clubs.
The author succeeded; one year after publication already about 70 hobby clubs
had been founded.
Joh. H. Been,
La Rivière & Voorhoeve,
Jeannine de Jong - Snijder van Wissekerke,
"Rendeltjes Vertelselboek -- Vertellingen voor het vierde kwartaal",
An a-story-a-day book to read to young children, created in war-time
"Pears' Shilling Cyclopædia",
"The Diary of a Cotswold Foxhunting Lady 1905-1910",
Short jotted down notes of six seasons of fox hunting, by themselves
interesting but dry-as-dust, made much more palatable by many, many amusing
drawings by the author's daughter Susan Boone.
Full of fox-hunting jargon.
It shows that fox-hunting was quite a dangerous affair, with several falls
reported every months, and one broken wrist, one broken shoulder and one death
from a broken back in those six years.
Edgar Allen Poe,
"The Unparalleled Adventure of one Hans Phaall",
Rotterdam, the Neth.,
1835, reprint 2001,