Category: Non fiction reviews

A review of Physics on the Fringe Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything by Margaret Wertheim

As with the work that Wertheim has done through her Institute for Figuring, Physics on the Fringe affirms that there is room in this world for knowledge seekers of all kinds, along the broadest of spectrums. Wisdom can evolve and present itself in many ways – through empirical, mathematically sound, proven processes, and through hands-on aesthetically rich intuitive processes.

A review of Engagement from Scratch by Danny Iny

Overall, Engagement From Scratch is a powerful, thought-provoking book, easy to read and full of powerful and immediately applicable information. It’s relevant to anyone who wants to use the Internet to market their work. Though the book isn’t specifically geared to writers, all bloggers are writers of one sort or another and most of the contributors have written books, so the ideas are very relevant to authors of any genre.

A review of Fit, Fifty, and Fired Up by Nigel Marsh

That so many men (and some women) live lives of servitude and never stop to think about who they are or what they might want to really achieve in the short space that we have is a modern tragedy. Marsh gently and humorously makes this obvious, and in the changes he’s created in his own life, sets a trend that others can easily follow.

A review of James Joyce: A Life by Edna O’Brien

Though O’Brien’s Joyce is a flawed character indeed, often abusing others with a self-confidence that borders on narcissism, he remains both fascinating, and oddly likeable. For those of us, like O’Brien, who are deeply in Joyce’s literary debt for what he’s created, who can’t imagine the world of literature without the linguistic play his writing has allowed, this is a joyful book, full of fun, interest and great imagination. I suspect that Joyce himself would have approved.

A review of Charles Dickens: A Life by Jane Smiley

The biography is drawn around Dickens’ novels, which become the timeline for his life. This makes for fascinating reading, coupling literary criticism with a deep analysis of the relationship between life and art. In particular, the book explores the maturation of Dickens’ vision and maps the development of his work to the events in his life, attempting to find answers to the question of who Dickens was, through the material he left us.

A review of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn

She interviewed volunteers and experts, and got to it. It pays to be a food writer, with chef friends in restaurants all over Seattle. Lessons opened with a taste test to demonstrate how the variety within one category of food. Every taste test was a revelation. The most expensive canned tomatoes were not the Best in Show. Salt substitute really is a subsitute, and a poor one. The real lesson: Trust your tastes.