The Pink Jumpsuit – Emma Neale

This is a collection of evocative, affecting, poetic, imaginative short stories. (Extremely short: microfiction, I think it’s called.) Some are slices of life, some are magical, some are funny, but they are all beautiful and satisfying to read. Continue reading

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Reservoir 13 — Jon McGregor

This wonderful novel opens on New Year’s Day, and a girl has gone missing: the whole village has turned out to search for her. It seems that we are in for a missing person mystery, or possibly a whodunit. As … Continue reading

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The Flame of Reason — Christer Sturmark

This is quite a well-argued and eminently reasonable defence of atheism. It’s much more measured and even-handed than the likes of Christopher Hitchens or even Richard Dawkins. It may still be preaching to the choir, but at least it’s a … Continue reading

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Reality+ — David Chalmers

Reality+ is a compendium of half-baked speculation: part science fiction, part wishful techno-utopianism. The whole book is based on one very contentious, if not indefensible, premise: that it is possible for a simulated consciousness to actually be conscious. Continue reading

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The Imaginary Museum — Ben Eastham

This is an essential essay on contemporary art. The author takes us on a tour through a fictional contemporary art museum containing real artworks. He talks a bit about the works, offering insights that allow us to appreciate them more. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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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Mystery & Manners – Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Conner was a 20th-century American writer who* I discovered through a cryptic reference in the computer game The Trolley Problem. This book is a posthumous compilation of her non-fiction writing, including some lectures she gave about writing (one of … 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 Trolley Problem

The Trolley Problem is a famous ethical dilemma asking whether we should cause something bad to happen in order to prevent something worse. If a runaway trolley is about to run over 5 people, is it morally right to divert … Continue reading

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