Review: The New York Times Book of the Dead

The biggest book I’ve ever read (quite literally) except for encyclopedias. It is massive tome – 600+ pages in fine print on a foot-long page. But do not be daunted by the scale of things. If you set aside 15 minutes or so during your break to read the obituaries in random order (obviously you… Read More »

Review: Understanding Imperial China

I listened to the audio version of this course and it was a bit hard to follow at times because the narrator’s pronunciation of certain Chinese names is way off (I don’t blame him) and I had to guess who he is referring to, based on my prior understanding of Chinese history. Every subsequent occurrence… Read More »

Review: The Conspiracy Against the Human Race

I have not read Thomas Ligotti’s horror stories. Maybe I should. While I cannot determine if his flair for horror writing translates well to his philosophical musings, the dark pessimism that permeates this book is so strong that it will leave casual readers feeling depressed long after they have finished reading it.

Review: Autopilot: The Art & Science of Doing Nothing

A lot of scientific and historical facts are explained in this book, which makes it a bit boring to read, a fact not helped by the extremely dry writing style. My brain went autopilot and skipped many paragraphs. There’s nothing smart about how the author tries to stitch together too many concepts and topics in… Read More »

Review: Milk the Pigeon

The writing style and chapter format are typical of books in this genre, like the liberal use of crude language in a vain attempt to sound “brutally honest” instead of relying on genuine insights to do so. Assumptions, generalisations, stereotyping, and sweeping statements are also liberally sprinkled throughout the book. The tone is presumptuous and… Read More »