Tag Archives: Books

136. 2014 In (Book) Review…

136. 2014 In (Book) Review…

Blimey, writing a book takes time. Who knew?

It is the first week of March, 2015, and only now am I getting around to analysing the stats of my 2014 in books, with most of my spare time nowadays being dedicated to writing my tales of travel and trouble. (Copies of the book will be available for sale shortly, in case anyone is interested!)

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 11.11.10

My final tally for 2014?

229 books bought, 143 read:

a net annual LG (or Literature Gap, a measurement I have just invented), of 86.

As far as this book blog went, it had a fairly impressive 6,800 views, (impressive given that, with all my travels and sports writing, this has essentially been downgraded from a weekly blog to a monthly one…at best…), and featured 358 photos. Apparently, I also usually post on a Monday.


My most viewed blog was what i was reading in October… 2013!! I like to think it was the insightful reviews of David Foster Wallace and Italo Calvino that brought you there, but knowing the internet, it was probably the photo of Hitler-cat.


Still, it made me happy that my third most popular release this year was my centennial effort, my interview with the wonderful Nick Hornby.


The blog had viewers from 111 different countries! I’m not even sure i can name that many countries! The USA took top spot, then then the UK and Portugal, which makes sense given my travels, living locations, and friendships.


My new year’s blogging resolutions include: to add to my Top 10 blogs, for both authors and books…10 is a ridiculously small number anyway!

This being my third year of blogging, I could go back to my reviews of 2012 and 2013 and calculate some averages: I buy an average of 235 books each year, and manage to read almost 160 of them. And before you ask, no, I you can’t have my life: I’m using it.

Keep dropping by for monthly updates as I make my way further into the world of the writer, and feel free to subscribe to make sure you never miss one of these irregular posts again!


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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in BOOKS


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130. Benfica to Brazil: the book of the year…

130. Benfica to Brazil: the book of the year…

After decades of writing for fun and the sheer love of it, I have finally decided to write a real book, which you can buy and hold in your hands and read with your eyes and keep on your bookshelves, (or in your e-book readers, if that tickles your fancy).

Yes, finally it’s your chance to patronise me!

(Not like that.)

Today, I launched a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign to raise the money to print and distribute the book I have been working on all of 2014: ‘Benfica to Brazil.’

It is the story of my adventures this year, following Portuguese team Benfica across Europe, and ending up in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, my third in a row.


If you love sports, travel, history, culture, comedy, or just good writing, please check out the project, pledge towards the book, and share with friends!


Now go buy my book!!!


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Posted by on November 8, 2014 in BOOKS


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101. Books by weight…

101. Books by weight…

Pois Café, Lisboa, Portugal

Thanks to a tip-off from a fellow tour guide, I was introduced to this cozy café in the ancient Alfama district of Portugal, where we met on a Thursday evening to enjoy a jazz evening, (and some wine and over-priced tea, it turned out). The staff were friendly, the sofas looked comfortable, (they were all taken, so we ended up on stools), but you can probably guess what got my attention: the walls were covered with books.

Not in a wall-paper sense, (although I recently visited the José Saramago museum, where the walls are indeed covered with his books, each area of the museum dedicated to a different work and featuring dozens of copies of that book in different languages). In Pois Café there were simply shelves around the entire circumference of the place jam supporting hundreds of books in various languages.

Novel wallpaper in the Casa-Museu José Saramago, Lisboa

Novel wallpaper in the Casa-Museu José Saramago, Lisboa

Did they exchange books? They did, at a very generous exchange rate of one-for-one. But even more excitingly they sold them.

They sold them by weight.

Selling things which aren’t food by weight has struck me as a fantastic idea ever since I first encountered it in second hand clothes shops in the south of France. This was the first time I’d seen books offered in this way, and it sent a shiver of amusement down my spine, (no pun intended).

I didn’t actually buy any of the three books I wanted to read after my lap of the café, (a beginner’s guide to Beatrice-and-VirgilClaude Lévi-Strauss, a Yann Martel novel which isn’t ‘Life Of Pi‘ and an Ayn Rand sampler), choosing instead to hide them in the darker corners and to go back over the next few days to read them whilst sipping wine, (and chewing on the free goldfish crackers they cunningly give you with them: it’s not coincidence that you can’t spell ‘crackers’ without ‘crack,’ and I was soon so addicted to the nibbles that I was ordering the wine solely for the side dish).

At €5 per kilo, I wonder what my stash of bound paper at home would be worth…


Posted by on January 29, 2014 in BOOKS


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