Greek to Me

The best book of the year! Yes, I know that the year is only half over, but I’m still going to nominate Mary Norris’s Greek to Me as the best book of the year. Equal parts travelogue, memoir, mythology, and… Read More ›

Machines Like Me

What? Ian McEwan writes science fiction? News to me, but I had to give this book a chance. It’s Ian McEwan, after all. Machines Like Me falls into the alternative-history subgenre, in which the author postulates that one or more… Read More ›


Read and enjoy this book! Don’t argue: just do it. You’ll learn a lot and will have fun along the way. As the subtitle to Babel — Around the World in Twenty Languages — suggests, Dutch linguist Gaston Dorren takes us… Read More ›

Doing Justice

We all know that justice is blind. “And deaf and dumb,” many a commentator has added. But what is justice, and how do we ensure that it is done? Please don’t get your knowledge of our justice system from television! Read Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s… Read More ›

Computer Lib

What? A popular book about computers was published in 1974? “How is that even possible????” you ask. Computer Lib, by Ted Nelson, was indeed published in 1974, way before the World Wide Web, and it is undeniably and explicitly a popular… Read More ›

Tolkien, the movie

The new biopic, Tolkien, was clearly written for me. But you’ll enjoy it too. What, you may wonder, do I mean by claiming that it was written for me? Of course that is not literally true: the film-makers don’t know… Read More ›

The Odd Clauses

As you know, the President of the United States takes an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” And of course our current president does that faithfully — right? — but not everyone is familiar with… Read More ›