Category Archives: Book Notes

Jonathan Gottschall: THE STORYTELLING ANIMAL: How Stories Make Us Human

Here’s a nonfiction book from 2012 that I just read this past month. It’s one of three or four books I have (another is called HOUSTON, WE HAVE A NARRATIVE: WHY SCIENCE NEEDS STORY) that are about the idea of … Continue reading

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Frederik Pohl, THE GOLD AT THE STARBOW’S END (1972)

This is a nice companion book to Pohl’s novel GATEWAY, because one of the five stories here is a prelude that novel. That story and three of the others were all published in various magazines in 1972; the fifth was … Continue reading

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Frederik Pohl: GATEWAY (1977)

[expanded 24jun20 5pm] I need to catch up on book notes. I’m not a fast reader, and am busy with other things throughout the week, reading perhaps 3 hours a day at best, but still get through about 2 books … Continue reading

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Rutger Bregman’s Ten Rules to Live By

I do love lists, especially of principles, and a new one comes with a book called HUMANKIND: A HOPEFUL HISTORY, by Rutger Bregman, whose previous book was the provocative UTOPIA FOR REALISTS (which discussed, among other things, the idea of … Continue reading

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Silverberg, DYING INSIDE (1972)

This is Silverberg’s most highly-regarded novel, and one of his most unusual. It was published in 1972, near the end of a period during which Silverberg wrote one or two critically acclaimed novels a year, from roughly 1967 to 1976. … Continue reading

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Heinlein’s First: For Us, the Living

Almost on a lark, I picked up the first novel by Robert A. Heinlein a few days ago, and read it through. It’s a fascinating book on several levels. First, it’s Heinlein first novel in that it’s the first one … Continue reading

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More Standard SF Furniture: Robert Silverberg’s The 13th Immortal

As I said in my previous post, I suspended reading for some weeks once the coronavirus lockdown began, in mid-March; things were too unsettled and uncertain to allow for the indulgence of sitting down and turning inward into a book. … Continue reading

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John Allen Paulos, IRRELIGION (2008)

John Allen Paulos, Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don’t Add Up.  Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Hill and Wang, 2008. John Allen Paulos is a professor of mathematics who’s become, over the past three decades, well-known as … Continue reading

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Sam Harris, THE END OF FAITH (2004)

Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Norton, 2004. In the 2000s, in the aftermath of 9/11, several well-known intellectuals wrote books examining the bases and legitimacy of religion in general. Four of them—Sam … Continue reading

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Daniel Gilbert, STUMBLING ON HAPPINESS (2006)

The author is a Harvard psychologist, recently familiar for several TV commercials he’s done for Prudential, which typically depict him in a public park doing surveys of groups of people. (https://www.ispot.tv/topic/expert/k7f/daniel-gilbert). This seems to be the only book the author … Continue reading

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