I shall not try to summarise 2017 (thank God, I hear you cry): every journalist on earth is doing that.
Instead, I have chosen my favourite ten posts, out of the 47 I published in 2017. Which is your favourite? Let me know. And feel free to re-post this on Facebook or to “like” it – if you do.
A novelty this year was my Picture Quiz – not including this picture from Cuba. Spot the Che Guevara tattoo
It wasn’t easy choosing a shortlist. I’ve left out many favourites, including my account of how, aged 8, I used to electrocute myself regularly with my girlfriend Barbara in Wonder Woman and Wartime Moral Confusion; or my recent review of The Last Jedi 3/10: the galaxy’s most shagged-out designers?
So here’s my top 10, in chronological order:
- 19 January: The Simpsons – existential, circular fantasy 9/10. One of my most-clicked blogs. Would we want to live in a world where no-one grows old, where “everything fits together and no-one gets hurt”?
- 21 February: Nine questions about the Alan Clark Diaries: 0/10? Or 10/10? My attempt to make sense of the life of the creepy but charismatic (sound familiar?) politician Alan Clark, who observed amongst other things: “Obituary pages nearly always cause satisfaction – if not Schadenfreude.”
- 20 March: Definitive: Chuck Berry’s 7 greatest tracks (with clips). My tribute to the Shakespeare of Rock’n’Roll, inspired by others’ inadequate lists. What is No.1? Take a look.
- 31 March: Vienna Cafe Reviews. The launch of my cafe review page – the most popular of 2017. See why at the link.
- 17 June: Happiness and small victories. A rather personal blog about things that make me happy. Features air-punching and bicycles.
- 8 July: How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide. The beginning of my “slow burn infatuation” with this terrific comic writer.
- 2 September: Central European melancholy 10/10. Why melancholy matters; and why we should celebrate the fact that we are alive, knowing we and our loved ones will inevitably die.
- 28 October: The Americans. The colourful prologue to the story of my 1979 solo hitch-hiking trip around 27 US states in seven weeks.
- 4 November: A new Hotel Story: The Three Heads. “The Three Heads” takes my total of short “Hotel Stories” to seven. I’m proud of them. They’re available on Amazon (“Hotel Stories: The Complete Collection“) or you can read excerpts on this blog.
- 2 December: “Blood Summit” now available! Read Chapter 3. The biggest writing news of the year for me: publication of my Berlin thriller “Blood Summit”. And a plea for help with publicising the book – all assistance gratefully received.
I would be delighted to know which of my blogs this year you liked best. Nominations not on the list are welcome.
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