Books

Snow Crash

The time came to re-read Snow Crash. I had first read Neal Stephenson’s seminal science fiction novel when it came out in 1992, and then again at the end of the millennium, which seemed appropriate. Now, to celebrate its 25th… Read More ›

PhDeath: The Puzzler Murders

How could I resist? Word puzzles, a murder at NYU, some math, a dash of ancient Greek, political intrigue, faculty politics, philosophy, social commentary, and even Will Shortz… obviously irresistible. So I didn’t resist it. The result of all these… Read More ›

4 3 2 1

As soon as I first heard about it, I knew that I had to read Paul Auster’s apparently semi-autobiographical novel 4 3 2 1: not only did the author grow up as a secular Jew from suburban Essex County, New Jersey,… Read More ›

Too Like the Lightning

It’s definitely necessary to avoid spoilers on this one. Ada Palmer’s dark novel, Too Like the Lightning, is partly fantasy, mostly science fiction, and completely fascinating. Oh, did I mention philosophy? It’s clearly a work of philosophy as well. And sociology/anthropology. And a… Read More ›

Station Eleven

Is Station Eleven a post-apocalyptic survival novel? Well, yes, in a way. Is it science fiction? Well, yes, in a way. But it’s not really either of these. In a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards, Canadian author Emily St. John Mandel has… Read More ›

My Stroke of Insight

What a promising book! My Stroke of Insight is an initially interesting but ultimately irritating work of non-fiction by Jill Bolte Taylor; I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by the author herself. The promise is that Dr. Taylor, a brain scientist… Read More ›

Dark Matter

“Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist.” Right? This definition, as I’m sure you know ☺, is the opening sentence of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, a great work that I read at least twice, beginning back in college and then again… Read More ›

Introverted teachers

INTJ … What’s wrong with being an introvert? Nothing, of course. Nothing, that is, unless you buy into the dominant American value: extraversion good, introversion bad. I wasn’t even conscious that that was an American value until I had already been… Read More ›