Category Archives: Book Review

ICYMI No. 4: Books to read before university

This week’s Times Higher Education has a nice cover feature listing books recommended by various scholars to students preparing for university. More particularly, as the author of the piece, Matthew Reisz, explained to me in an email, “We are asking … Continue reading

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Review: Heart of the Original

Steve Aylett’s short book on originality, creativity and individuality may conform externally to the rectilinear format of most other books but is otherwise highly elliptical. I found it maddening. Heart of the Original – Alan Moore loved it.  It has … Continue reading

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Review: The Many Worlds of Albie Bright

After publishing my round-up of the books I’d read in 2015, the author Christopher Edge got in touch via twitter to offer a review copy of his new book, The Many Worlds of Albie Bright. It’s a short novel for … Continue reading

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Henry Gee’s top ten reads of 2015

At the tail end of 2015 I reviewed the 23 books that had entertained and enlightened me over the course of the year. My friend Henry Gee, formerly of this parish, managed nearly twice that number. In a guest post full of his … Continue reading

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Being mortal and being Crick

Two more book reviews from my reading list for this year. On several occasions while reading Being Mortal, surgeon Atul Gawande’s book about end-of-life care, I could feel a lump swelling in my throat and tears behind my eyes pressing … Continue reading

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The biologist who left me out in the cold

Two weeks, two books. In Unweaving the Rainbow Richard Dawkins takes issue with the poets. He argues that the poetry revealed deep within Nature by scientific investigation is more wondrous than the musings of those who make do with superficial … Continue reading

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All That Is, by James Salter

In 2013 I was captured, captivated by the spare prose of James Salter’s The Hunters, a story of the tense competition between US fighter pilots in the Korean War. All That Is is similarly spare, and like The Hunters quite a masculine … Continue reading

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Open access and the humanities

At the end of 2013 and 2014 I wrote blog posts on Occam’s Corner (over at the Guardian) to list and briefly review the books I read in each of those years. I want to develop this practice into a good habit … Continue reading

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Popular neuroscience book suggestions

Neuroscience isn’t really my thing, so when my teenage daughter came asking for suggestions of a good popular book on the subject I took to Twitter. Several people kindly made suggestions, while others asked to be notified of the outcome … Continue reading

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Losing my virginity and the Café Scientifique Reading List

Last night I lost my virginity. To be precise, I lost my Café Scientifique virginity because I gave a talk about science in a café in Portsmouth at the kind invitation of local organiser Maricar Jagger. It was a really … Continue reading

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The Hunters

I had never heard of James Salter till I read a profile of him in the Observer a couple of weeks ago, on the occasion of the publication of his latest book, his first in a long time. Salter is … Continue reading

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Booked

Everyone of a certain pretension likes to think they have a book inside them. I know I do. But I’ve looked and I can’t find it. Maybe it’s in there somewhere but at too early a stage of germination to … Continue reading

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