Nightfall doesn’t come abruptly

I was just rereading Nightfall, the novel-length expansion of a 1941 Asimov short story. I liked the book moderately well when I first read it, but on this reading, the story failed to distract me enough to suspend disbelief and two points started bothering me. First of all, they ignore all possible positions other than […]

Disposing local

The single paragraph in Garbage Land: On the Trail of Trash that most annoyed me was this one: According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, which made exhaustive studies of consumers’ environmental impacts, the things that make the biggest differenc to planetary health are transportation, housing, and meat eating. It isn’t worth it, they said, […]

Why people are weird

Amazon’s free Super Saver shipping has got to be their most clever sales tactic ever. But I’m glad for it because otherwise I probably would never have ordered Pamie’s second book, Why Moms Are Weird. I loved Why Girls Are Weird. I even wrote to Pamie about it (something I hardly ever do, but I’d […]

When More is Less

Back at the beginning of this blog’s existence I wrote some about Barry Schwarz’s book The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less. Recently I’ve thought that maybe he should have written a bit more about when more is less. He does devote some space to the subject of how meaningless some of our choices […]

Judging Reader

There’s been some kerfuffle around lately after an NYT article on “literary deal-breakers” — that is, what books, or lack of, would make you run away from a date or relationship? Two of the websites I read have a thread devoted to this. Some of the conversation has inspired interesting thoughts about people’s attitude to […]

Why Less is More

One of the books I got for Christmas is The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. It’s an interesting book, which helped illuminate for me some of the struggles I’ve had, mostly since returning from Scotland, when I left school and entered the “real world”. One of the problems I had when I got […]