My publications this year and my favorite books and comics of 2017

2017 wasn't as productive as 2016 for me no new books or comics but there was my first chapter for a book by Oxford University Press on one of the topics I have written on before - Environmental Security. I have also published three papers on SDG targets, sustainable finance, and multi-stakeholder partnerships. I have started to write occasionally for Inter Press Service News Service. Perhaps my most read article is the one on Wonder Woman should STILL be a UN AMbassador.

Dodds, F. (2017) Emergence of Environment as a Security Imperative in The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science Oxford, Oxford University Press

Dodds, F. (2017) Sustainable Finance:  Private sector contribution to financing the Sustainable Development Goals, Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development
Dodds, F. (2017) Suggestions for how to approach SDG targets that fall between 2020 and 2025, Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development
Hemmati, M and Dodds, F. (2017) Principles and Practices of Multistakeholder Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Dodds, F. (2017) Wonder Woman Should STILL be a UN Ambassador Inter Press Service News Service
Dodds, F. (2017) The End of UN Habitat? Inter Press Service News Service
Dodds, F. (2017) Accelerating the Synergetic Implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda, Urbanet
Dodds, F. (2017) Forty-Five Years Since Stockholm, Twenty-Five Years Since the Earth Summit and Five Years Since Rio+20, Inter Press Service News Service
Dodds, F. (2017) Felix Dodds on Young Liberals and the Green Guard 35 years later, Green Liberal Democrat, Challenge Magazine

This year I’ve had some long trips and so have listened to a number of books which I can recommend some published this year some earlier. 

Non-Fiction my top 5 are
It is a revealing new portrait of Robert F. Kennedy that gets closer to the man than any book before, by bestselling author Chris Matthews, an esteemed Kennedy expert and anchor of MSNBC’s Hardball. Bobby turned down the chance to be an officer, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions. This is a very good book and shows how Bobby is such a contrast with the politicians of today.
Written by the journalist Michael Booth who has lived among the Scandinavians for more than 10 years, and he has grown increasingly frustrated with the rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. This is a fun book and gives a real insight into the five Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success, and, most intriguing of all, what they think of one another.
It addresses why are the Danes so happy, despite having the highest taxes? Do the Finns really have the best education system? Are the Icelanders as feral as they sometimes appear? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastic oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes?
In The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Michael Booth explains who the Scandinavians are, how they differ and why, and what their quirks and foibles are; and he explores why these societies have become so successful and models for the world. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterized by suffocating parochialism, and populated by extremists of various shades. They may very well be almost nearly perfect, but it isn't easy being Scandinavian. I once asked a Dane working at the EU what the difference was between Swedes and Danes. He said the Swedes are the Asian of the Nordic countries in attitude and the Danes the Mediterranean in disposition and Norway was a mistake!! Anyway, it’s a fun book.
I read this book in the summer before the eight women who have made claims of inappropriate behavior.
The book was an attempt to tell his story from an SNL writer to the Senator for Minnesota which it does very well. I found the stories from his time in SNL and how some of his friends surcomed to drugs or alcohol a compelling story that I am sure is reflected in the industry in many places. In some ways these were the most interesting stories in the book. It's also a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.
“The biases the media has are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They're about getting ratings, about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover.”
I found this a fascinating book in light that the Republican Party grass-roots have clearly rebelled from the Republican Party of the Bush’s. They represent a more nationalistic alt right party that should scare all of us. Could it be that the Bush Presidencies will be looked back as the last Republicans?
I don’t agree with much of the policies of the Bush’s but I do recognize their commitment to serve.  It reminded me of what John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961. “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You". With this President its more like what can ‘I’ get out of being President. The latest tax bill being a classic example of where property developers benefit from it. There is lovely story in the book about how Bill Clinton became frinds with both of them. Less so Hilary – though that might in part be because they expected Jeb to stand against her in 2016. In the end the Republican Party rejected the Bush view of the Republican party and the former Presidents rejected the Republican candidate President Bush 41 voted for Hilary Clinton and Bush 43 wrote in someone else’s name as opposed to voting for Trump.  
I wasn’t sure about reading this book but in the end I did and I did find it interesting and perhaps made me a little bit more warm to Hilary than I was before I started. The problem with the book for me is that it is 4 years too early in publishing terms. To do justice and to see where the aftermath of the election takes the inquiry into Trump the book needed time to have perspective. I understand the need to download and putting everything into a book is possibly a great idea I just would have waited to publish. Saying that I can recommend the book for giving an insight into what was her motivation for standing. Something she had problems articulating during the campaign.

Fiction my top five are 
So I am a Science Fiction geek – love the books so my top five recommendations are as follows
It was a sad day when Castle was cancelled but at least there was one more book in the series. Nikki Heat and Derrick Storm, New York Times best-selling author Richard Castle's most enduring and beloved characters, team up for the first time to save Nikki's mother, Cynthia, who has been in hiding (and presumed dead) for 17 years. Standing in their way is a nefarious group of Chinese businessmen known as the Shanghai Seven, who have the resources - and ruthlessness - to stop them. Loved it!
This is a not-quite epic science fiction adventure about a down-on-his luck galactic pilot caught in a cross-galaxy struggle for survival! But it’s a lot of fun.
Space travel just isn't what it used to be. With the invention of Quantum Teleportation, space heroes aren't needed anymore. When one particularly unlucky ex-adventurer masquerades as famous pilot and hate figure Jacques McKeown, he's sucked into an ever-deepening corporate and political intrigue. Between space pirates, adorable deadly creatures, and a missing fortune in royalties, saving the universe was never this difficult! He has another fun book called Jam which explores how Strawberry Jam nearly takes over the world. We were prepared for an earthquake. We had a flood plan in place. We could even have dealt with zombies. Probably. But no one expected the end to be quite so...sticky...or strawberry scented.
I loved the film Inkheart with Brendon Foster I hadn’t realized that it was only the first of three books. I caught up with the other two books in the series this year and enjoyed them very much. For those who have not ready Inhert just imagine it were possible to bring the characters from a book to life. Not like when you listen to an audiobook with such enchantment that the characters seem to jump off the pages and into your bedroom but for real. Imagine they could actually climb out of the pages and into our world. Then, imagine if those characters brought their world into ours. This is the story of young Meggie, who lives a quiet life alone with her father Mo, a bookbinder, until one cruel night when Mo reads aloud from Inkheart and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Somehow, Meggie and Mo must learn to harness the magic that conjured this nightmare. Somehow, they must change the course of the story that has changed their lives forever. This is Inkheart, a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too. But the story is threatening to evolve in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.
Ever since the extraordinary events of ink-spell, when the enchanted book ink-heart drew Meggie and her father, mo, into its chapters, life in the ink-world has been more tragic than magical. The fire-eater dust-finger is dead, having sacrificed is life for his apprentice fraid's and now, under the rule of the evil adderhead, the fairy-tale land is in bloody chaos, its characters far beyond the control of Fenoglio, their author. Even Elinor, left behind in the real world, believes her family to be lost between the covers of a book. Facing the threat of eternal winter, mo inks a dangerous deal with death itself. There yet remains a faint hope of changing the cursed story if only he can fill its pages fast enough. Ink-death the captivating final tale in the in-heart trilogy.
This is the first part of a trilogy the other two books are What the Hell Did I just Read and This book is full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch it. STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me. The important thing is this: The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do. I'm sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this was my fault.
If you like science fiction space opera then this could be the books for you there are loads of them. The characters are fun after being court-martialed by the Space Legion for ordering the strafing of a treaty-signing ceremony, multimillionaire Willard Phule receives his punishment: He must command the misfit Omega Company on Haskin's Planet, a mining settlement on the edge of settled space. At his duty station, he leverages his personal money and a knack for managing people to get the company to come together as a unit. Phule convinces the governor to leave the contract for an honorary duty up for competition between the Space Legionnaires and the Regular Army. The Army sends some of their most elite troops to take part in the competition, but Phule's company operates with their own unique tactics....

Top Five comics of the year
Last December saw my first comic published as part of Comics Uniting Nations with PCI Media and UNICEF - Santa's Green Christmas: Father Christmas battles Climate Change. No new comic this year though i am mulling over a possiblle one next year. 
The best comic of the year for me is Batman Elmer Fudd Special. DC and Hanna and Barbera imagine a number of their characters getting together and some of the comics are just great.  In this one after a chance meeting with billionaire Bruce Wayne, Elmer Fudd's obsession quickly escalates into stalking Batman through the dark alleys and high-class social settings of Gotham City. Welcome to Bat Season! And the bonus Looney Tunes backup story features DC characters written by Tom King and artwork by Lee Wakes.
Batman 32 and following issues
At last, Batman asks Catwoman to marry him! The present Batman series is one of the best in the comic work written by Tom King and ion this case the art is by Mikel Janin. It represents a really impressive rebirth of Batman as DC recognized last year that the 52 series wasn’t working. The reimagining of Batman and the bringing of a Superman married to Lois Lane with a son Jon are great examples of why DC is in the ascendancy in the comics even if they aren’t yet in the films.
Another one of the cross overs which DC did with Hanna Barbera characters this one puts together Martin Manhunter who has been airbrushed out of the Justice League founders and replaced by Cyborg. Here he is brilliant as Marvin the Martian wants to destroy earth and feels Martian has gone soft. Written by Frank Barbiere and Steve Orlando and art by Jerome Moore and Aaron Lopresti
To celebrate what would have been the King’s 100th birthday, DC announced a twelve issue limited series, with a variety of renowned creators taking the “Kamandi Challenge.” Essentially each creative team writes a Kamandi story, then leaves an impossible cliffhanger for the next creative team to try and solve. It’s a really fun process and look inside the craft of excellent writers and artists like Neal Adams, Walt Simonson, and Marguerite Bennett (among many others).
The only marvel comic I buy at the moment is not the Peter Parker Spiderman but the Miles Morales one. Invented by Brian Michael Bendis who has just signed on exclusively for DC comics. Bendis was Marvel through and through and so now most of the ebst talenet has moved to DC. The art for Spiderman has been by Nico Leon and the story very strong and fun – just as the early Spiderman used to be with Peter Parker.  


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