Tag: essay

A review of Now What: A Philosophy of Freedom and Equality by Michael Lydon

The book is entirely empirical, encouraging readers to conduct regular and direct (that is, immediately experiential) experiments in order to prove the tenets, and then to live by its dictates. Because the book is almost childlike in its optimism, inclusiveness and warmth, it functions as a kind of self-help guide to living an authentic and happy life

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 The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending is a beautifully crafted exploration of a character arc that happens too late to affect change. The motion from clever smugness to painful self-awareness is flawless. The absolute control of Barnes’ prose coupled with the philosophical power of his meditations has resulted in a book that’s as dense and powerful as it is readable.

A review of Brain Cuttings by Carl Zimmer

Zimmer conducts us through a world that possesses many of the qualities of fantasy. For example, we keep track of time, more or less through the medium spiny neurons eavesdropping on the cortex. This could easily be the subject of a ballet by Merce Cunningham and John Cage.

A review of The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction By Dean Young

Throughout, there’s a lot of luminous polemic, a slue of terrific poems (Man Ray’s ‘Untitled’ was a new one on me), a bevy of insights about art and poetry. If you are looking for a classy thought-provoking rant, if you want something to stir and shake you up and perhaps inspire you to start writing poems (if you don’t already) then The Art of Recklessness is prescribed.

A review of On the Smell of An Oily Rag by Ouyang Yu

Ouyang Yu is a poet who works the gap between languages, looking closely at our linguistic assumptions, etymologies, and correspondences. His latest book is a nonfiction created in a pen-notes style (biji xiashuo) inspired by ancient Chinese fiction.