Tag: essay

A review of Nothing to Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes

That the book remains elegant, moving, upbeat, erudite, lucid, and calm throughout the morass is due to Barnes’ great skill as a writer. Nothing To Be Frightened Of is, as one would expect from Julian Barnes, a tightly written, and ultimately affirmative piece of work that takes the reader on a journey that ends in exactly the place you’d expect. Black humour notwithstanding, it’s one of those books that will enrich your life, at least while you’ve still got it.

A review of Science as a Spiritual Practice by Imants Baruss

So there is little account of the ethical dimensions of a spiritual life, nor of the fact that spiritual yearning can arise out of a dissatisfaction with contemporary modes of living, despair or indeed grief, ‘so often the source of our spirit’s growth’ (Rilke). Rather than, say, through a sense that science’s materialist world-view is inadequate.

A review of Why Evolution Is True by Jerry A. Coyne

The marsupials trekked from the tip of South America (when South America formed a part of the unified continent Gondwana) to the connected landmass that became Australia. There they became the dominant form of animal life in country that had drifted away from their original home. This is a beautiful example of “We have the fossils – you lose.”

A review of Writers on the Job, Tales of the Non-Writing Life edited by Thomas E. Kennedy and Walter Cummins

This seems to be a recurring theme for these American writers. In a culture obsessed with money, that judges people’s worth, and even godliness, on their income and possessions, how can a serious writer survive psychologically and continue to produce while knowing those around them often perceive them to be layabouts and losers who should get ‘a proper job’?

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.

New Stereotypes: Carroll & Graf’s Freedom in this Village

The book assumes that race and homosexuality (blackness and gayness) are real categories, and draws part of its authority from the social and historical importance these subjects have been given by many people through the years, but the idea of race is as suspect as the idea of strict sexual orientations. Skin is not a significant emblem of existential being (despite hundreds of years of western racialism, and the 1930s Negritude movement in Africa, France, Haiti, and Martinique, and the 1960s/70s black arts movement in the United States).