You Are Either Ignorant or Inept, Until You’re Not

Please, I hope you don’t take the subject the wrong way. I’m using the royal “you.” In The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande believes we fail to achieve complex goals in life for two primary reasons: The first is ignorance – we may err because science has given us only a partial understanding of the world and how it works. There …

Book Review – Shibumi by Trevanian

Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. Shibumi is a meta-spy novel originally published in 1979, written by an author known only as Trevanian (later identified as Rodney William Whitaker). What exactly is a meta-spy novel? Think Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories, but with bucko literary flair and an anti-hero plot gone wild. Throughout Shibumi, Trevanian has poured glass …

Book Review – The Beardless Warriors by Richard Matheson

“How do you beat your enemy unless you fire your weapon at him? You fire and you advance–hell, that’s combat, that’s it.” It’s December, 1944, and within the span of twenty days, an eighteen-year-old boy turns from green combat replacement into battle-hardened veteran. The things he sees, the actions in which he engages, forever change Private Everett Hackermeyer. The young …

Book Review – Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan

So this is the end of my relationship novel. Due to its self-aware writing style, Occasional Soulmates might be called a metanovel. Immediately, this may turn off some readers, but for me, it’s one of the reasons I love Kevin Brennan. He’s an author that can take traditional tropes and make them interesting again. Dr. Rachel Phelan is a single, …

Book Review – 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

That’s what the world is, after all; an endless battle of contrasting memories. I don’t mind usurping another reviewer’s thoughts when they strike a chord, so I’ll shamelessly steal the idea that this is Murakami’s marathon novel. The man writes and runs, so at 1,157 pages, 1Q84 appears to be a fusion of the two. Running a marathon takes endurance, …

Book Review – The Well-Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

When you gather data, you become informed. When you read, you develop wisdom. With The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer gracefully takes up the torch long held by Mortimer J. Adler, and becomes the modern advocate for purposeful reading. She gives us her own interpretation of what it means to “read well” and, thankfully, holds our hand a little more …

Book Review – Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

“Tigana, let my memory of you be like a blade in my soul.” Have you ever ripped through the first half of a book only to find yourself slowing down toward the end? Not because you’ve lost interest, but because you know the story will end and you’re afraid you know how it’s going to end and you fret for the characters you’ve grown to …

Book Review – Zero by J.S. Collyer

“A little faith wouldn’t go amiss, Commander.” Disclosure: I received an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this novel directly from the author. Zero is the debut novel from author J.S. Collyer and the first in a series of what promises to be a restless, back-of-your-skull-pinned-to-the-seat ride for classical science fiction aficionados. If you’re looking for hard sci-fi, look elsewhere. Zero is more Star Wars than 2001: A Space Odyssey. …

Weekly Recap – June 20th, 2014

I have a rather large barrel filled with excuses for my blogging absence, but I’m keeping them there since I have no use for an empty barrel. I will say I’ve made some progress on Wolf’s Tail thanks to a $50 bet. Said bet requires me to write at least 250 words a day over one month and to check in with Lift …