Latest Reviews

January 28, 2021

 

'After Kilimanjaro' is a novel that I wouldn't have imagined I would review, but I am. In fact it is a book I wouldn't have imagined I would have read, but I did.

 

I have never read a Harlequin romance, but I have taken a course on how to write one and this novel, with some unusual variants, seems like it could be one.

 

January 5, 2021

 

 

The reader is soon disabused of the idea that 'The Fate of Food: What we'll Eat in a Bigger Hotter, Smarter World' by Amanda Little is about the pros and cons of different menus.

 

In fact it is indirectly about food and really about modern hi-tech agriculture and the twists and turns it could take going forward.

 

The looming pressure effecting it is climate change, particularly heat and disrupted water supply.

 

July 15, 2020

 

 

Many years ago in one of my university courses, the professor prefaced his presentation of an essay with, “I am a retailer of knowledge. This writer is a primary producer of knowledge.”

 

I am not certain, but I think it was an essay by the political economist Joseph Schumpter. By about the sixth read through, I had tamed the piece to a 'difficult read'. Before that it was mostly opaque, with ideas I hadn't encountered and words I hadn't seen used in that context.

 

March 10, 2020

 

This book urges readers to beware, but not despair about the threats, dangers and complexities that accompany the rewards of the expanding opportunities of pervasive data.

 

Then the author proceeds to go though the history of reasons to despair and then some suggestions for how the dangers may be mitigated.

 

Although two authors are credited for the book, the entirety is in the voice of Smith, a lawyer by training and the president of Microsoft.

 

October 19, 2019

Reviewed September 2019

 

'The Claws of the Panda:Beijing's Campaign of Influence and Intimidation in Canada” by veteran journalist Jonathan Manthorpe is a call to beware of the machinations of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to advance its interests and reputation in this country.

 

Manthorpe, with much experience in China, makes clear his target is the CCP and not China, the Chinese, Chinese immigrants or Chinese Canadians.

 

October 7, 2019

 

 

'The Future is Asian' by Parag Khanna is a comprehensive book reflecting the size and complexity of Asia and how inclusive he is in portraying it. The Arctic, Israel, Japan and Australia/New Zealand are on the margins of Khanna's Asia.

 

I would put this book in the top half dozen of the best in the last 100 I have read. Without excusing 'bad behaviour in western eyes' the author tries, and succeeds to a large extent, to explain it, and the characters involved, in an illuminating way.

 

April 22, 2019

 

 

'Deer Hunting with Jesus' is an evocative title and highlights two of a half dozen values held by the poor U.S. white underclass, whose voting patterns confound most liberals.

 

December 8, 2015

With a embossed colour cover and glossy pages, this volume has the look and feel of a textbook. The impression is further reinforced with a compartmentalized layout, large colour photos and the use of technical descriptions and terminology.

 

August 7, 2013

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-rich and Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland, 2012

 

With no background on this book, I had been expecting a Naomi Klein-type of visceral rant against wealth and the wealthy. And the latter part of the title “and fall of everyone else” does nothing to dispel this boding.

 

October 1, 2008


‘The Prehistory of the Mind:the Cognitive origins of Art Religion and Science’ by Steven Mithen deals with the evolution of the human mind from the common ancestor with the apes six million years ago to the most modern humans who appeared sometime between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago.

 

 

 

The author is a British archaeologist.