After years of work by many people, we’ve finally published my mother’s memoirs. “My Short Century” by Lorna Arnold is now available from Lulu. A Kindle version is on the way, and both of them should show up on Amazon quite soon.Read More Just published: "My Short Century" by Lorna Arnold
Here’s my Amazon review of Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One”: Simple Wonderful (five stars) The 80s were an interesting decade: the first personal computers, the first video games (in arcades and in the home), the first music videos, and a string of wonderful movies that brought together teenage angst, over-the-top technology, exuberant fantasy, and epic…Read More Review: Ready Player One
I just received my copy of Iain M. Banks’ “Surface Detail” from Amazon. A new Culture novel. 626 pages. Mmmmm!Read More I'm going to be a bit distracted for the next few days…
David Chalmers just blogged that his collection of papers, The Character of Consciousness, has finally been published. It first showed up on Amazon back in 2007, and my email inbox includes a slightly testy exchange with David about the ever-changing publication date. Never mind. My copy should be here on Wednesday, and I’m looking forward…Read More The Character of Consciousness is (finally) here
Back in April I reviewed Christopher Hitchens’ memoir, “Hitch 22”. In my remarks, I focussed on the literary style and the content of the work, without offering any opinions about the positions which Hitchens has endorsed. Regular readers of my blog will know that I generally agree with him on the topic of religion, and…Read More Hitchens and skepticism
Here’s my review at Amazon.com of the new novel by Iain M. Banks, Transition: Insidiously exquisite, ultimately essential (5 stars) I’ve always loved Iain M. Banks’ science fiction novels, especially his “Culture” books with their huge sentient spaceships and breathtaking worlds. The Player of Games is a particular favourite. And Ive also enjoyed what I…Read More Iain M. Banks: Transition
I just posted my review of Christopher Hitchens’ new book “Hitch 22” over at Amazon.com. This is what I wrote: Must read. No excuses. Let’s get the most important bit out of the way first. You ought to read this book. If you love good, insightful, literate, compelling writing then you must read it. You…Read More "Hitch 22"
Before my last overseas trip, I loaded Simon Schama’s book “The American Future” onto my Kindle. I enjoyed it immensely: a witty ramble across the history and geography of the United States, neatly linked to the momentous political events of late 2008. Highly recommended. Soon afterwards, Kate got it out of the library, and she…Read More Schama on America – read the book, skip the TV series
Here’s my latest Amazon review, for “Bozo Sapiens” by Michael Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan: Explaining ourselves Why are humans the way they are? Why do we make such stupid (and obvious) mistakes all the time? Why are we so bad at estimating probability? Why do we fall for scams? As the Kaplans ask, “Is it…Read More "Bozo Sapiens"
I’ve just finished reading the latest collection of Edge essays: What Have You Changed Your Mind About? Here’s my Amazon review: Of course it’s mixed… isn’t that the point? Most non-fiction books are written to advance a thesis; to present a conclusion, a theory which explains the facts. When you realize that you’ve got something…Read More What Have You Changed Your Mind About?