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Review: Gabor Maté’s “Scattered Minds”

Anyone who turns their attention to the world of modern psychotherapy will quickly start finding references to Gabor Maté all over the place. He has made a special contribution to how mental health professionals approach trauma, addiction, and––as his book Scattered Minds demonstrates––attention deficit disorder (ADD). Like many others before me, I was excited to explore Maté’s [...]

Review: Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Klara and the Sun”

Lots of writers use science fiction as an imaginary playground for suggesting ways that artificial intelligence might reshape human experience and civilization. Few, however, are ambitious enough to devote an entire novel to exploring the internal, conscious perspective of an AI living in a human-dominated world. For this alone, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun deserves our [...]

Review: Andy Weir’s “Project Hail Mary”

I belong to the tiny fraction of science fiction enthusiasts who didn’t read Andy Weir’s phenomenally-successful breakout novel, The Martian. For whatever reason, it just didn’t appeal to me, although I enjoyed the film adaptation. But when my wife, friends, and favorite podcasters started gushing about Project Hail Mary, I decided it was time to send myself rocketing into Weir’s geeky [...]

Review: Jim Robbins’s “A Symphony in the Brain”

While exploring my new career goal of entering the mental health profession, I recently met a LCSW in my community who offers neurofeedback as a supplement to other therapeutic services. Eager to share her enthusiasm for this technique, she generously gifted me a copy of Jim Robbins’s A Symphony in the Brain. My honest first impression was [...]

Review of David Whyte’s “Consolations”

Consolations are words, strung together utterances, that explore experience but allow the essential mystery of existence to remain hidden. They come to us, through air, through ink, offering an embrace just comforting enough to help us bear the painful and frightful realization that we are alone, so starkly alone, that the words dancing through our [...]

Review: Barbara Kingsolver’s “Prodigal Summer”

This was an odd moment for me to finally get around to reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer, which has been waiting on my bookshelf for ages. Bursting with energy and appreciation for all living things, the book reminds me that I am not a farmer, that I am not a naturalist––not in the true sense of those words, anyway. It [...]

Review: Toby Ord’s “The Precipice”

My best friend regularly refers to Toby Ord‘s The Precipice as “the most persuasive and impactful book I’ve ever read.” This attitude evoked a lot of eye-rolling and protestation on my part, but I eventually gave in when he was kind enough to buy me a copy. Now that I’ve read it, I’m happy to admit that [...]

Review: Matt Haig’s “The Midnight Library”

Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library is a whimsical yet heavy journey into the ultra-trendy land of multiverse narratives. The protagonist is Nora Seed, a bedraggled Brit who decides to take her own life after her personal shitcake of bad luck gets iced by a particularly lousy day. Instead of fading to black, Nora finds herself in a [...]

Review: Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal”

I have spent the last two months going through the approval process to volunteer at my local hospice center. As a supplement to the excellent training I’ve received, I thought Atul Gawande‘s Being Mortal would be a useful companion as I learn to support dying people and their loved ones. As a surgeon, public health expert, and accomplished [...]

Review: David McCullough’s “Truman”

“The past has always interested me for use in the present.” So wrote the aging Harry S. Truman in a 1954 letter to Dean Acheson, his former Secretary of State and dear friend. This observation is reason enough to investigate Truman’s life, a life that still echoes in our modern age. But the reason I picked [...]