300 Arguments – Sarah Manguso

Think of this as a short book composed entirely of what I hoped would be a long book’s quotable passages

That’s one of the “arguments”, which neatly describes the book. It’s easy to review a book like this: all I have to do is quote a few of the aphorisms.

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The Stanley Parable

This is the best computer game ever. And it’s much more than just a game. The Stanley Parable is a unique and brilliant game which is not a game. No guns, fast cars or abstract puzzles: the entire game is … Continue reading

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A Children’s Bible – Lydia Millet

One of the blurbs describe this as a “funny dystopia” and I can see why, though I feel that would be a misleading way to describe the book. The setup is not dystopian – it seems to be the present … Continue reading

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The Gift of the Gab – David Crystal

This is a pretty good guide to effective public speaking – its centrepiece is a very detailed analysis of Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech from 2008. Actually I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would – … Continue reading

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War and Peace — Leo Tolstoy

The War is Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812, which disrupts the Peace of Russian high society in Moscow, Petersburg and various country estates. We follow several aristocratic families as the war begins, gets worse, turns around and finally ends. … Continue reading

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The Anomaly – Hervé Le Tellier

This speculative fiction is set in the present day just as we know it now. One day, an inexplicable and apparently impossible event happens; this novel is about how this affects the people involved, but also governments, media and everyone … Continue reading

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The Situation is Hopeless, But Not Serious – Paul Watzlawick

The situation is hopeless – but not serious. I just love this phrase. It does seem true to me that it applies to many situations in life, big and small. Sometimes yes, the situation you are faced with is hopeless. … Continue reading

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Cat in a box IN A BOX #inception…

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When they go “yo”, we go “hi”.

When they go “yo”, we go “hi”.

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How Free Are You? — Ted Honderich

Science tells us that determinism (or near-determinism) is very likely to be true. Yet we feel as if we have free will. How can these be reconciled? Continue reading

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