One Plus One Equals Three review

While this little paperback doesn’t really warrant the title ‘masterclass’, it’s an entertaining and inspiring collection of anecdotes. I doubt any of the examples are directly applicable in most cases, but the bigger message is, and it’s a great way to live by. Trott’s teachings are a powerful anti-sound against the increased jargon, complexity and […]

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Ball Lightning review

What a journey Liu Cixin takes us on. Ball Lightning is science fiction without the spaceships or time travel, but at a more abstract, magical and even philosophical level. The character of the book are vastly different from each other, unconventional in their own ways. Chen, the narrator of the book, is obsessed and unravels […]

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Folding Beijing review

Folding Beijing is a simple story, yet it carries incredible depth by combing Chinese conventions within a futuristic scenario alongside a powerful message. Quarrels are made in an apartment flat, baijiu is served in a state of surveillance, chow mein alternates with autonomous cars, and a girl has to choose between romance and money. It’s […]

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Anna and the King of Siam review

Each virtue carries a vice, and in case of ‘Anna and the King’ it’s the extreme amount of detail. Margaret Landon describes Bangkok of the late 19th century through the eyes of an unlikely English teacher. The widow Anna Leonowens arrives in Bangkok with her son, and observes it with both admiration and disgust, as […]

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12 Rules for Life review

It’s a controversial book due to Peterson’s public appearances, but the book itself is rather tame in its content (although often dramatic in its tone). It has obvious parts (listen to others, don’t blame other people, toughen up, be honest, take risks, do meaningful things, enjoy life)— it has great and inspirational parts — entertaining […]

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A Geek in China review

There is nothing geeky about this book. Sure, it describes China in very broad strokes — which may suit total newcomers (Did you know China is the most populous nation on earth?). Christensen’s book comes across as a selection of Wikipedia pages, bundled in a bright softcover with stock photography. And it doesn’t get better […]

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Ender in Exile review

’Ender in Exile’ is a bridge between ’Ender’s Game’ and ‘Speaker of the Dead’, and it tidies up loose ends from other novels, most notably those from the Shadow Series. Orson Scott Card’s view on life shows (“Dear reader: marry and have kids!”), and the pacing feels somewhat off with the middle of the book […]

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Thinking Fast and Slow review

Reading Thinking, Fast and Slow is a humbling experience, as Daniel Kahneman shows we’re not the pinnacles of reasons who we think we are. Kahneman describes how our intuition is prone to many cognitive errors and thus often wrong. He does so through talking about the two systems of our brain; one being fast, intuitive, […]

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Hoe lang nog zwijgen review

In ‘Hoe lang nog zwijgen’ Fidan Ekiz talks about the topic of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries (such Turkey), and the issues that come together with their civil integration into the Dutch society. Ekiz is critical towards both natives and immigrants — and pleads to find ‘the radical middle’. It’s a good message, but Fidan still […]

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This is the Story of a Happy Marriage review

Patchett’s writing is impeccable (and enviable). Her work of fiction, Commonwealth, took such a grip on me that it’s no surprise her non-fiction is of the same quality. She’s notices depth in the mundane, whether writing about grandmother, marriage, school, or her dog — and adds her warmth along the way. When she projects herself […]

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