Guus Bosman

software engineering manager


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Books & literature

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A proud father

While I was preparing dinner yesterday, Nora was sitting at the living room table. She was tired after her gymnastics, and sucking her thumb and being quiet. Then I noticed she was actually reading a book.

This is the first time she read a book all by herself, without reading it aloud to someone else. A huge milestone, and I'm very proud.

We're about halfway the Dutch course Veilig Leren Lezen and she's making good progress. Clearly she's now at a point where she can read things truly by herself. Awesome.

The book was Pim en de vis, in the botjes series, and she finished it later in the evening.

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White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class

Similar to the People's History of the United States -- but not as interesting. White Trash just wasn't written very well and could have been half it's size.

In particular all the detailed descriptions of films and novels do not add to the book. They seem to be fairly randomly selected.

English
Nancy Isenberg
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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

This was ultimately a disappointing book. The first chapters were interesting enough, and it good to see the timeline of human development, but after the initial good start there was very little new information in the book.

It rehashes stories and anecdotes from Guns Germs and Steel, 1491 and similar books, without adding much original content.

I had hoped that this would be a nice introduction to Homo Deus, Yuval Harari's new book, but now I'm not so sure that I want to read that.

English
Yuval Harari
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Makkelijk leven

Entertaining read by the author of Het Diner. Both books share similarities, though this is just a short novelle. Interesting turn at the end.

Joost and Ankie gave us this book.

Herman Koch
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Understanding Trumpism

Books that help understand Trump's surprising win.

Sources:

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Hillbilly Elegy

I read in the New York Times about "6 books for the Trump era", and I thought it would be good to get a larger perspective on Trump's election win.

The first of these, Hillbilly Elegy, is a gripping memoir of a man who grew up in Kentucky and Ohio, in a dysfunctional family. He describes his live and that of the people around him, and how there is a feeling of despair, of "our choices don't matter" that holds people back from succeeding.

English
J.D. Vance
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The Embarrassment of Riches

Simon Schama

I've had Simon Schama's masterpiece about the Dutch Golden Age on the bookshelf for a while now, it was a birthday gift.

Very interesting to read about everyday live in the 17th century, about children, households etc.

The last few chapters were the most interesting.

0-394-51075-5
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English
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Tonio

This is a book written by a father after he lost his 21-year old son.

Dutch
A. F. Th. van der Heijden
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Pastorale 1943

I've never been disappointed by Vestdijk, and this was another great book. It's one of his best-known works; I had never read it. Loved the descriptions of rural Holland, as well as the trips to the city.

Dutch
Simon Vestdijk
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books

Reading Pol

Nora started reading books all by herself. She likes the series "Pol" -- books I used to read when I was little.

Nora doesn't actually read the text yet but enjoys watching the pictures.

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