This is one of those books you either love or hate.
It’s full title, On Walking:…and Stalking Sebald implies you will be following Phil Smith as he follows in the footsteps of the German author, W.G. Sebald, on a walking tour in Suffolk.
But the book is much more than a travelogue of the author’s trip. It incorporates a mix of poetry, philosophy, and reflections on walking. It is an entertaining, frustrating and challenging read. And is illustrated with photographs that both illuminate and mirror the scatological (in the urban-dictionary sense) nature of the writing. Continue reading On Walking, by Phil Smith
In this book, Michael Shermer describes the way our brains function and how this leads us to construct beliefs.
Shermer starts by recounting the experiences of three people with strong beliefs. He then takes the reader through some neurological and psychological research findings.
The basic premise Shermer presents is that our brains are ‘programmed’ to find patterns and to make sense of our perceptions, Continue reading The Believing Brain, by Michael Shermer
Moonwalking with Einstein: the art and science of remembering everything
Joshua Foer opens the book with a teaser. He is a young journalist attending the USA Memory Championship in 2006. But he is not there as a journalist, he is there as a contestant. Continue reading Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer
The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession
This book is based, loosely, around the Florida orchid thief, John Laroche. Susan Orlean is a journalist who hears about his story and attempts to discover why he has become so obsessed with these flowers, and one in particular, the Ghost Orchid. Laroche is a fascinating and complex character. Susan Orlean is both attracted and repelled by this man and her description of him is amazing in its detail and ruthless in its honesty. Continue reading The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean