Books

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 ›

Playing with Fire

You probably think of Tess Gerritsen as the competent author of interesting genre novels featuring Rizzoli and Isles. Usually, after all, that’s exactly what she is. But Playing with Fire is something very different: part serious mainstream literature, part historical fiction, part… Read More ›

Old medicine

As you can see, the cover page of this book looks old enough — 151 years old, to be precise. But you’ll notice that the title refers to “Early England” and the sub-sub-title refers to “before the Norman conquest,” so… Read More ›