Category Archives: book reviews

Matthew sent me his book

After many weeks in transit from England (the book apparently went by seamail instead of airmail), I received a copy of Matthew’s new book. The condition of my reading it for him, to see if I could produce a blurb, was that he send me a copy of the British edition with a cat drawn in […]

What we’re reading during lockdown

Here’s a thread to acquaint us all with what we’re reading to pass the interminable hours of quarantine. Indeed, since I can’t go out, except for walks, my routine is to watch the evening news on NBC, make dinner (garnished with a decent glass or two of wine) and then become recumbent and read until […]

Five laudatory reviews of Matthew’s book

Matthew’s new book about the history of research on the brain is now out in both the UK and the US (Amazon links provided). I read it in advance and blurbed it; it’s very good. I’m not alone in my opinion, as the first five reviews that I know of all praise the book unstintingly. […]

Books to read during confinement

Many of us are whiling away the viral hours by reading; I read at least three hours per evening and have a large enough stock of books to see me through a few weeks. I thought it would be useful for us to recommend readings for each other. I’ve read several books recommended by readers, […]

Bret Stephens on Woody Allen’s new book, and Hachette’s cancellation of it

I’ve posted twice on the story of the publisher Hachette canceling publication of Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing (see here and here). In short, Hachette was committed to publishing the book, but then Hachette author Ronan Farrow protested, on the grounds that he believed Allen had molested his step-sister Dylan Farrow when she was […]

Douglas Murray’s new book on social justice warriorism and identity politics

Douglas Murray is only 40 years old, but has already established himself as a neoconservative intellectual and author.  Because of his political views—he’s anti-immigration, a critic of Islam, and a supporter of Brexit—he’s despised by many on the British and American Left, although his SJW credibility is marginally increased because he’s also gay.  I haven’t […]

The case of Malcolm Gladwell vs. Jerry Sandusky

In January of 2018 I wrote a post about whether Penn State’s assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was guilty of child abuse. In 2012 Sandusky was, as you may remember, convicted of 45 counts of sexually abusing eight young boys. His prison sentence was 30-60 years, and, since he was born in 1944, this was […]

Malcolm Gladwell and other authors who make big errors in their books

When I started writing books for the general public (“trade books”, as they call them), I was surprised to find out that I alone was responsible for the accuracy of their content. While publishers do have their legal departments vet books that may violate laws against libel, or cause other legal troubles, publishers have neither […]

What are we reading?

Well, I don’t know what you’re reading, and whether you like it, but that’s what this post is for. In fact, a lot of the books I’ve read, and a few I’m reading now, have come from readers’ comments on posts like this. I usually read only one book at a time, and have been […]

More mishigas about free will, this time in the TLS

The Times Literary Supplement, which I used to write for, doesn’t often make its articles free online, but this one was (click on screenshot below to see it). And it’s about free will: a review of three books on the topic (The Limits of Free Will: Selected essays by Paul Russell, Aspects of Agency: Decisions, […]