Tag: nonfiction

A review of Future Perfect by Robyn Williams

With a hefty dose of humour, the reader is encouraged to consider the impact of what we do today on how the future might look. While the book isn’t didactic, and is often jocular, Williams makes it clear that whether or not the human race survives, and in what shape, is something that we have to imagine and work towards.

A review of The Happiest Days of Our Lives by Wil Wheaton

I’ve been reading his blog for so long now that calling him Wheaton, or Mr. Wheaton is just as odd as trying to call my junior high teachers by their first names now that I’ve grown. From that standpoint, The Happiest Days of Our Lives reads for me less as an autobiography than as stories being swapped over beers by a couple of old friends remembering the Good Old Days.

A review of You Can’t Win by Jack Black

To sum up: this is a memorable book and was an influential one too, for the Beats especially (“on the road” is a phrase that recurs throughout; Kerouac seems to have palmed it from here). It is that rare thing: a cult book that lives up to its reputation. Its take-home message: the world is a tool for self-discovery; not at all bad for an autobiography.

A review of The PK Man by Jeffrey Mishlove

The question remains, is the mind of the agent for psychokinesis creating these events, or merely becoming receptive to their existence? In this way the book is about the unexplored nature and potential of human consciousness, and how it might exist, co-exist and interact with physical matter.

A review of The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross

He has an engaging readiness to gossip. His portraits, largely unfriendly, of Nicholas Nabokov and Theodor Adorno are skilful and have a hint of venom. In other contexts, he is equally gifted at bringing to life the relations, often troubled, of the musical giants of the past century. He presents many incidents that explain much about the musical developments of the period. Some of these are far from edifying – and often all the more amusing for that.

A review of The Court Poetry of Chaucer by James Dempsey

With the original easily available, the reader can with only slight adjustment connect to the original. If Dempsey’s version is a crutch, it is a comfortable and useful one. The versification is consistent and its occasional use of phrases with a modern topical allusions is amusing, a kind of sly wit that Chaucer would appreciate.