Miscellaneous Topics

Literature references and annotations by Dick Grune, dick@dickgrune.com. 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.

* Eunsun Wood, "A Thousand Miles to Freedom -- My Escape from North Korea", St. Martin's Griffin, New York, July 2016, pp. 228.

* Barbara Demick, "Nothing to Envy -- Real Lives in North Korea", Granta, 2014, pp. 320.
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], "Dear Leader", Rider, London, 2014, pp. 326.
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 citizen. 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", Mille, Seoul, 2012, pp. 344.

* Paul Midler, "Poorly Made in China", An Insider's Account of the China Production Game, John Wiley, 2009,2011, pp. 235.
Partly humorous, partly sour account of the author's work as a Chinese-speaking facilitator between large American retailers and their Chinese suppliers. 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 in China.
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", !Universe, New York, 2009, pp. 59.
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.

* Dik Brummel, "Het seksuele systeem", NVSH, Den Haag, the Neth., 2008, pp. 126.

* Marcel Möring, "Een lange weg", VU Uitgeverij, Amsterdam, 2008, pp. 66.

* Judith Koelemeijer, "Anna Boom", Atlas, 2008, pp. 240.
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.

* S. Carmiggelt, "Ik lieg de waarheid", in Dutch: I lie the Truth, Rainbow Essentials, Amsterdam, 2007, pp. 319.

* Sandra Roelofs, "De first lady van Georgië", in Dutch: S.R., First Lady of Georgia, Archipel, Amsterdam, 2005, pp. 274.

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).

* Jared Diamond, "Guns, Germs, and Steel -- The Fates of Human Societies", Norton, 2005, pp. 518.
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, etc. (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 Middle-America. 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.

* T. Wiegman, "Enschede verleden tijd", in Dutch: Enschede Past Tense, de Slegte, Enschede, 2005, pp. 120.

* Pieter Winsemius, "Je gaat het pas zien als je het doorhebt -- Over Cruijff en leiderschap", Balans, 2004, pp. 223.

* Tiziano Sclavi, "Dylan Dog -- Quando la citt\`a dorma", cartoon in Italian, Mondadori, 2003/1989, pp. 486.

* "Liber Amicorum for Jaco de Bakker", CWI, Amsterdam, Aug. 30, 2002, pp. 226.

* "Liber Amicorum for Reind P. van de Riet", Mathematisch Centrum, Amsterdam, 2000, pp. 140.

* Tracy Kidder, "The Soul of a New Machine", Back Bay Books, 2000, pp. 320.

* Jerry McClanahan, Jim Ross, "Route 66 Map Series", Ghost Town Press, Arcadia, OK., ~2000, pp. 8 maps.

* "The Rotenberg Collection", Benedikt Taschen Verlag, Köln, 1999, pp. 767.

* Pierre Peschier, "La grotte pour 25 centimes! -- Chauvet à Vallon-Pont-d'Arc", in French: The 25 cents Grotto, E&R, Valence, 1999, pp. 143.

* Judy Ridgeway, "Kaas", Librero, Hedel, 1999, pp. 224.

* Philip Toshio Sudo, "Zen en de kunst van het computergebruik", Zen Computer, De Kern, 1999, pp. 216.

* Scott Adams, "Totaal onbekwaam maar met de juiste houding", Dilbert, Deltas, 1999, pp. ~24.

* "Kattenspul", Sackville W., Houten, 1999, pp. 96.

* "A Dynamic and Quick Intellect", Liber Amicorum for Paul Vitány, CWI, Amsterdam, 1996, pp. 135.

* Dave Robinson, Chris Garratt, "Ethics for Beginners", Icon Books, Cambridge, UK, 1996, pp. 175.

* Juan Antonio Ramirez, "Arte preistorica e primitiva", in Italian, Fenice 2000, Milano, 1994, pp. 95.

* Anne Frémont, "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, 1993, pp. 179-186.

* Hans Kreuzen, "Geen flauwe kul", Elmar, Rijswijk, 1993, pp. 112.

* Diana Hacker, "The Bedford Handbook for Writers", Bedford Books, St. Martin's Press, Boston, 1992, pp. 689.

* "Liber Amicorum for Lambert Meertens", CWI, Amsterdam, 1991, pp. 117.

* Adrie M. Roding, "De bevrijding van Enschede / The Liberation of Enschede", in Dutch and English, Van de Berg, Enschede, 1990, pp. 239.
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, Ankh-Hermes, 1987, pp. 160.

* Teun Jouwstra, et al., "Wooldrikshoekschool 1895-1985", Enschede, 1985, pp. ~60.

* Mort Gerberg, "Echte katten scherpen zelf hun nagels", Loeb, Amsterdam, 1983, pp. 104.

* "Fietsverzorging", in Dutch: Bicylce Care, stichting fiets!, Amsterdam, 1982, pp. 256.

* Don Taylor, Leanne Rylands, "Puzzelen met de kubus", in Dutch: Cube Games -- 92 Classic Games, Brecht, Amsterdam, 1981, pp. 63.

* Bouwhof, Lagerwerff, Krediet, Hoogheid, "Nieuw leerboek van het boekhouden 1 & 2, + uitwerkingen", Wolters-Noordhoff, 1981, pp. ~220.

* Colin Wilson, "The Quest for Wilhelm Reich", Granada, St. Albans, Herts, pp. ???. 1981,

* "The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa", New Delhi, Munshiram Manoharlal, 1981-1982,
[ CC.01888.o: GW 0710[12] Vol. 01-06 TER INZAGE ]

* Josef Trajber, "De toverdobbelsteen", from German: Der Würfel, Helmond, Helmond, 1981, pp. 144.

* David Singmaster, "Notes on Rubik's Magic Cube", Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1981, pp. 60+10.

* Leonard de Vries, "Ha dokter, Ho dokter", de Haan, Haarlem, 1980, pp. 176.
Weird and crazy medicin from centuries gone by.

* Pierre Miquel, "Life in Ancient Rome", Hamlyn Picture Histories, Hamlyn, London, 1980, pp. 64.

* Don Taylor, "De puzzelkubus", in Dutch: Mastering Rubik's Cube, Brecht, Amsterdam, 1980, pp. 31.

* J.J. Bruins, "Kendo -- De weg van het zwaard", J.F. Duwaer, Amsterdam, ~1980, pp. 28.

* Jack Jacobs, Jan Soer, "Kat in de stad", Spectrum, Utrecht, 1979, pp. 208.

* Ruth Beebe Hill, "Hanta Yo", Warner Books, New York, 1979, pp. 834.
Life among the Lakhota / Dakota. Considered outrageous and contemptible by same, I read.

* Supreme Soviet, "Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics", Novosti Press, Moscow, 1977, pp. 124.

* Christel Grune, "Inwieweit können bestimmte Marktformen ein inflationsforderndes Element sein?: eine theoretische Untersuchung", Munster, 1977, c 1976, pp. 247. Thesis,
[ ED.02050.- AANWEZIG ]

* Bell, "Discovering Mah-Jong", Shire, Aylesbury, Bucks., 1976, pp. 48.

* J.H. Coolhaas, "Schiemanswerk", in Dutch: Art of Ropework, ANWB, den Haag, 1974, pp. 215.
Cook book for hitches, knots, splices, and sail sowing, explained with hand drawings.

* Kaoru Iwamoto, "Go for Beginners", Penguin Books, 1972, pp. 144.

* R. Perceval Maxwell, "How to Use the Chinese Abacus", Elliott, Watford, Herts., 1971, pp. 28.

* Cyrus L. Day, "Steken, splitsen en knopen", in Dutch: Hitches, splices and knots, Hollandia, Baarn, 1967, pp. 78.
Instructions for 86 knots etc., with 30 pages of good photographs.

* "The Scottish Tartans", Johnston and Bacon, Edinburgh and London, 1963, pp. 112.

* Richard Henning, "Waar lag het paradijs", from German: Wo lag das Paradis?, Meulenhoff, 1959, pp. 192.

* R. Zomer KJzn, "laat het zó drukken", in Dutch: printing the way it should be, Succes, Den Haag, ~1948, pp. 46.
Charming explanation of the more classy printing process, with the booklet itself as an example.

* W.H. Dingeldein, "Twente in beeld", Drukkerij Insulinde, Hengelo, ~1948, pp. 4+50.
Four pages of introduction and 50 photographs of rural Twente.

* Leonard de Vries, "De Jongens van de Hobbyclub", DE Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 1947, pp. 361.
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, "Vogeltje Grijp", La Rivière & Voorhoeve, Zwolle, 1945, pp. 120.

* Jeannine de Jong - Snijder van Wissekerke, "Rendeltjes Vertelselboek -- Vertellingen voor het vierde kwartaal", Opbouw, Amsterdam, 1944, pp. ~140.
An a-story-a-day book to read to young children, created in war-time Holland.

* Pears, "Pears' Shilling Cyclopædia", Pears, London, ~1913, pp. 1070.

* Frances Witts, "The Diary of a Cotswold Foxhunting Lady 1905-1910", Amberley, Stroud, UK, 1910, 2008, pp.   200.
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", Sea Urchins, Rotterdam, the Neth., 1835, reprint 2001, pp. 83.