Klementinum library, Prague

The Klementinum is included in every list of beautiful libraries of the world. It was one my must see things in Prague.

I love their collection of historic globes, some from the late 1600s. This gallery itself dates back to 1772 and the books are still shelved as they were then.

Here is kept the most valuable book in Bohemia – an ancient illustrated Codex from about 1085. When I asked the guide conceded that the one we could see was a copy. The original is there in an environmentally controlled vault.

Ticket price is about $13. It includes the Baroque library hall, Meridian hall and city views from the Astronomical tower.

Every tourist visits the Prague astronomical clock, first installed 1410. This facility was one of the important research centres of astronomy.

First surprise, climbing rickety old stairs 68 meters.

Next — you only get a sneak peak at the library gallery. Those are all rare and original books from Jesuit history. No can touch.

The highlight was getting up for town vistas in clear weather.

More photos.


Stuttgart Library

The Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart is the public library of the city of Stuttgart. In 2013, it received the national award as Library of the Year.

You’ve seen it on those lists of World’s most beautiful libraries.

TripAdvisor has it ranked #2 of 181 things to do in Stuttgart! I wouldn’t go that far. But it is free. And gorgeous.

As if Apple designed a library. Minimalist and white.

Strike – BBC TV seasons 2 & 3

  1. Book 1 – The Cuckoo’s Calling
  2. Book 2 – The Silkworm
  3. Book 3 – Career of Evil

JK Rowling has written 4 books so far featuring one-legged detective Cormoran Strike and his (now) partner Robin Ellacott.

Season 2 of Strike is The Silkworm.

The TV series sticks closely to the books. Excellent.

Watch the Silkworm trailer on Daily Motion.

Season 3 of Strike is Career of Evil, the best of the three, I’d say.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on Facebook.

Season 4 is anticipated for 2020.

The Four by Scott Galloway

Four American companies have totally changed our lives.


I use all four non-stop. Fantastic innovation.

Needless to say, there are downsides. Google no longer uses the mantra “don’t be evil”. They dropped it in 2018.

Scott Galloway has replaced Leo Laporte as my main tech guru. I just finished his book …

The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google (2017)

It’s great, but you can get a good summary by reading Galloway’s article in Esquire:

Silicon Valley’s Tax-Avoiding, Job-Killing, Soul-Sucking Machine (2018)

My brother’s NEW books

The big news is that Randy McCharles switched genres from Fantasy to Murder Mystery.

First up in his new series is a short story:

Murder on the Mall
Introducing Peter Galloway, Private Investigator

His first full Peter Galloway novel is Murder in Wood Buffalo. It’s only available on Kindle and Kobo. He’s self-publishing. Less hassle for him. Lower cost for readers.

It’s easy readying. Galloway is a likeable character. Funny. Looking for love.

He quit the Calgary police department because he couldn’t stomach murder. Now a private investigator — he’s called in to lead a murder investigation in Fort McMurray.

The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz

Book 6 is a disappointment: Too much Blomkvist. Not enough Salander.

The newest installment in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series.

Lisbeth Salander—the fierce, unstoppable girl with the dragon tattoo—is determined to finally face the gravest threat in her life, her twin sister, Camilla. While Camilla lives, no one—including journalist Mikael Blomkvist—will be safe.

The other major plot thread involves intrigue on Mount Everest. I felt that storyline was poorly done. A hodgepodge of true stories from the mountain.

For one thing, the author refers to Freak Street in Kathmandu which hasn’t really been a thing since the 1970s. I assume he’s done his Nepal research on Wikipedia.


Click PLAY or watch a ‘book trailer’ on YouTube.

The Moon and Sixpence by Maugham

The Moon and Sixpence is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham first published in April 15th, 1919.

It is told in episodic form by a first-person narrator, in a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character Charles Strickland, a middle-aged English stockbroker, who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist.

The story is in part based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin.

I’ve long been a fan of Maugham who became the leading British author of his day by mocking traditional old, rich, white Brit literature starting with his first famous novel, Liza of Lambeth (1897).

Maugham is an excellent writer, of course. Very cynical with insights into the worst of humankind.

Strickland is the worst. All he cares about is art. Nothing else matters.

This is a great book which you won’t soon forget.