Category Archives: Book Notes

Heinlein’s STARMAN JONES (1953)

Starman Jones is the 7th of 14 novels that Heinlein published from 1947 to 1963, at annual intervals except for a four-year gap between the last two, that were called “juveniles” at the time — that is, designed for younger … Continue reading

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Robert Sheckley, MINDSWAP (1966)

Robert Sheckley was a science fiction writer who debuted in the early 1950s, right about the time Philip K. Dick that did. They were both prolific short story writers through the ’50s, each publishing several stories a year, in the … Continue reading

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PKD: The Man in the High Castle

I am going to begin posting relatively *brief* comments about books I’ve read lately, to keep up with what I’ve been reading. My extensive book summaries with comments take a long time to set up; by waiting to post anything … Continue reading

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How to Read a Book

I posted this on Fb last night, perhaps a bit intemperately and incompletely, upon publication of this book yesterday, Sept. 28th.

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Shankar Vedantam: USEFUL DELUSIONS (2021)

Here’s a book I read recently, just a week or so after returning from the hospital in late June, and which I’ve skimmed again in the past week to take notes and write up this summary. It’s one of two … Continue reading

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Michael Strevens: THE KNOWLEDGE MACHINE (2020)

Here’s a book I read a few weeks ago while in the hospital (so my notes on it are sketchier than usual). It was published last October, though I didn’t buy it until February. When I picked it up to … Continue reading

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L&C: The New Yorker on Cults and Narratives

As if I had cued it with yesterday’s post about Why People Believe, particularly the final item by David Brooks, as well as the last of my four new provisional conclusions, the new issue of The New Yorker has a … Continue reading

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Lewis Thomas’ THE YOUNGEST SCIENCE

Subtitled “Notes of a Medicine-Watcher,” this is a 1983 collection of essays in an autobiographical structure by the author of three acclaimed books of essays, beginning with THE LIVES OF A CELL. (I reviewed the third one here). The startling … Continue reading

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L&C: Steven Pinker on Steven Johnson

Sometimes a good book review can save you the trouble of reading the book itself — or propel you into reading a book you might otherwise pass over.

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Dole & Asimov’s PLANETS FOR MAN

Stephen H. Dole and Isaac Asimov, PLANETS FOR MAN (Random House, 1964) Here’s an older book co-written by Isaac Asimov, based on a RAND study by Stephen H. Dole, called PLANETS FOR MAN, from 1964. It’s about consolidating available knowledge … Continue reading

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