Een glimlach uit het Oosten review

Libbrecht starts as a jovial old man, not too serious with modern life and its many quicks, but gradually pulls the book into other territories. Some gathered paragraphs: “I carry within me the whole past of the earth. I’m the product of everything that has preceded me, and in fact of the entire cosmos. However, […]

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Heart of Darkness review

“If you were man enough you would admit to yourself that there was in you just the faintest trace of a response to the terrible frankness of that noise, a dim suspicion of there being a meaning in which you—you so remote from the night of the first ages—could comprehend. And why not? The mind […]

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Burning the Days review

Maybe Salter just lucked into being a great writer — but more likely it’s the inevitable result of someone who graduated from a military academy, flew fighter planes in the Korean War, dined with celebrities in Europe, and one who had the desire to write it all down. Salter was probably an even better conversationalist, […]

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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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