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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Ready Player One Review

My formative teenage years coincided mostly in the 2000s, and feverishly playing World of Warcraft, Fable and Diablo — so even though I didn’t get most of the references to the Eighties, I totally understood and felt what they stand for. Ready Player One is a fantastic mixture of nostalgia and sci-fi, aptly labelled by […]

Read More

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck review

It’s entertaining and at times insightful, but this is hobbyist-psychology at best. What gives it away is Manson’s generalisation of all Russians; how they’re blunt and not trying to be nice, and how that proves they’re more trustworthy then American citizens — or the plethora of random anecdotes followed by “That’s basically how our brains work” […]

Read More