2018 in Review

How was 2018? On the whole, not too bad. We didn’t do a big holiday on account of having bought a house last year, but managed to squeeze in a couple of smaller trips. The Missus graduated. Boy Wonder did as well. Thing went along nicely, with me not being hospitalized all year. My Firefox add-on got a few updates and bug fixes, so all in all — pretty good, and that’s fine with me.

On to my media diet.

The List of Books I’ve Read This Year

  1. Neil Gaiman — The Graveyard Book (2018-12-05—2018-12-15)
  2. Stephen King — Elevation (2018-11-30—2018-12-03)
  3. Neil Gaiman — The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2018-10-23—2018-12-03)
  4. Haruki Murakami — Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (2018-10-08—2018-11-30)
  5. Luc Standaert — Ellen Foley: Stop Right There! (2018-10-05)
  6. John Green — Turtles All the Way Down (2018-09-20—2018-10-23)
  7. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett — Good Omens (2018-08-28—2018-10-04)
  8. John Green — The Fault in Our Stars (2018-08-15—2018-09-20)
  9. Funny Horror, edited by Alex Shvartsman (2018-08-15—2018-08-28)
  10. Stephen King — Laurie (2018-08-13)
  11. George Saunders — Lincoln in the Bardo (2018-08-01—2018-08-12)
  12. Angie Thomas — The Hate U Give (2018-07-27—2018-07-31)
  13. Funny Science Fiction, edited by Alex Shvartsman (2018-07-16—2018-07-26)
  14. Funny Fantasy, edited by Alex Shvartsman (2018-07-06—2018-07-16)
  15. John Green and David Levithan — Will Grayson, Will Grayson (2018-06-29—2018-08-15)
  16. Mark Dunn — Ibid: A Life (2018-06-13—2018-07-05)
  17. Richard Bachman — The Regulators (2018-05-22—2018-06-12)
  18. John Green — Paper Towns (2018-05-xx—2018-06-28)
  19. Stephen King — Desperation (2018-04-24—2018-05-21)
  20. John Green — An Abundance of Katherines (2018-04-10—2018-05-xx)
  21. Stephen King & Owen King — Sleeping Beauties (2018-03-31—2018-04-23)
  22. John Green — Looking for Alaska (2018-03-19—2018-04-09)
  23. Neil Gaiman / Lorenzo Mattotti — Hansel & Gretel (2018-03-15—2018-03-18)
  24. Neil Gaiman (et al) — The Sandman Overture (2018-02-25—2018-03-15)
  25. Hugo Claus — Het verdriet van België (2018-02-09—2018-04-29)
  26. Joe Hill — Strange Weather: Four Short Stories (2018-01-22—2017-02-08)
  27. Philip Pullman — The Book of Dust, Volume One: La Belle Sauvage (2018-01-15—2018-01-21)
  28. Paul van Loon — Dolfje Weerwolfje
    • Dolfje, niet bijten (2018-01-10)
    • Het nachtmerrieneefje (2018-01-10)
    • Weerwolvenbos (2018-01-09—2018-01-10)
    • Zilvertand (2018-01-08)
  29. Dominee Gremdaat — Wijst de weg naar een prettige overgang (2018-01-04—2018-01-06)
  30. Dominee Gremdaat — Kent u die uitdrukking? De beste preken van dominee Gremdaat. (2018-01-03)
  31. Neil Gaiman — The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Non-fiction (2017-12-07—2018-01-02)
  32. Neil Gaiman (et al) — The Sandman (Volumes 1-10) (2017-10-04—2018-02-24)

This year, I finished 35 books. Favorites include Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage, Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, and Angie Thomas’s The Hate You Give. Het verdriet van België and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World didn’t do much for me.

Fourteen books on the list I have read before. In some cases, well over 10 years ago. It was interesting to see how the changes in my life since then have changed my interpretation, and sometimes, appreciation of these books.

For completeness’ sake, I am about halfway through both Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World and Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle.

The List of Performances I’ve Seen This Year

  1. — Jim Steinman’s “Bat Out of Hell” – Das Musical mit den Welthits von Meat Loaf, Stage Metronom Theater am Centro, Oberhausen, Germany
  2. Daniël Lohues, “Elektrisch” + Marlene Bakker, Patronaat, Haarlem
  3. a balladeer, FLUOR Cafe, Amersfoort
  4. Symfonieorkest Koninklijk Conservatorium & Codarts, conducted by Thomas Goff & Ivan Hut, with Karen Su (violin), TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht
    • Sergei PROKOFIEV — Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34bis
    • Sergei PROKOFIEV — Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19
    • Sergei PROKOFIEV — Scythian Suite, Op. 20
  5. Daniël Lohues, “Vlier”, Koninklijke Schouwburg, Den Haag
  6. Shirma Rouse, Amersfoort Jazz
  7. Like a Bat Out of Hell: The ‘The Rock and Roll Dreams’ Concert, Hedon, Zwolle
  8. Record Store Day: Wende, Velvet Amersfoort
  9. Klein Kunst Koor: Crossing Borders, Lutherse Kerk, Gluren bij de buren Amersfoort
  10. Like a Bat Out of Hell: The ‘The Rock and Roll Dreams’ Concert, FLUOR, Amersfoort

This year, I saw one more show than in 2017. My favorite is quite clear: Bat Out of Hell — Das Musical is every bit as good as the English version. Both Daniël Lohues shows were excellent, and a balladeer is always great.

The List of Places Where I’ve Spent the Night This Year

And still: no hospital. As I said, we didn’t have a big holiday, but the trips to Maastricht and Antwerp were especially nice.

The List of Museums and Other Attractions I’ve Visited This Year

  1. — Fries Museum, Leeuwarden (Rembrandt & Saskia: Liefde in de Gouden Eeuw)
  2. — Kattenkabinet, Amsterdam
  3. — Paleis op de Dam, Amsterdam
  4. — Teylersmuseum, Haarlem (Leonardo da Vinci)
  5. — Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort (A Balancing Act)
  6. — Fluweelengrot & Kasteelruïne Valkenburg
  7. — Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal, Plantin-Moretusmuseum, Rubenshuis, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Snijders&Rockoxhuis, ZOO Antwerpen
  8. Dierenpark Amersfoort

The List of Movies I’ve Seen in Cinemas

  1. Mortal Engines (****)
  2. Sneak Preview: Anna and the Apocalypse (***)
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (****)
  4. A Star is Born (***)
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody (****)
  6. Sneak Preview: Robin Hood (***)
  7. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (****)
  8. Bad Times at the El Royale (***)
  9. Sneak Preview: Mile 22 (*)
  10. Walt Disney’s Robin Hood (****)
  11. Sneak Preview: A Simple Favor (****)
  12. Sneak Preview: Catacombe (***)
  13. Sneak Preview: Papillion (****)
  14. The Spy Who Dumped Me (***)
  15. Sneak Preview: Searching (****)
  16. The Darkest Minds (**)
  17. Sneak Preview: BlacKkKlansman (*****)
  18. Incredibles 2 (***)
  19. Jurassic World 2: The Lost Kingdom (***)

Sometime this year, we got a pass to the local cinema. Pay to see two movies a month, and get the rest for free. Which means that going to a sneak preview (where you don’t know what you’re going to see until the movie starts) is less of a big deal, so we did that a lot. The first sneak we saw, BlacKkKlansman, was easily the most impressive movie I’ve seen this year. A lot of others were very good as well (four stars), or quite entertaining silver-screen fluff (***).

What I’ve Done from My List of 100 Things

  1. #31: Have an (accidental) month-long blogging streak.
  2. #67: Read books from my list of 40 books to read before my 40th birthday before my 40th birthday:
    1. Hugo Claus — Het verdriet van België
    2. Mark Dunn — Ibid: A Life
  3. #8: Contribute to an open-source project.

That month-long blogging streak was an attempt to force me to write more, which then of course didn’t happen. As I am about to turn 39 in two weeks, I have little over a year left for the final three and a half books on that list. With both Paradise Lost and The Odyssey left, I have some serious reading to do.

So, that’s it. Stay safe, and please tune in next year for more.