Blog Archives

Non-fiction Review: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

We are on the threshold of both heaven and hell, moving nervously between the gateway of one and the anteroom of the other. History has still not decided where we will end up, and a string of coincidences might yet

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

When a first chapter persuades me I’m wrong about something, I know reading the book was a good decision. In the case of I Contain Multitudes, that first chapter debunked a ‘fact’ I’ve used in lectures: that the human body

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: Chasing the Devil by Tim Butcher

If it wasn’t the least promising expedition into uncharted territory ever attempted, it must have been close. In 1934, a sickly-looking Englishman light-heartedly asked his socialite cousin to join him on an expedition to Liberia, which was one of the

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction review: Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

Like any good scientist, Ben Goldacre starts with his hypothesis: Medicine is broken: the plane flies but it crashes much more often than it needs to. The rest of the book is a meticulously researched and eloquently argued support of

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf

Long before I knew who he was, Alexander von Humboldt had exercised a major influence over me. I first encountered his name in an undergraduate oceanography lecture, when I learned about the Humboldt current that flows northward along the Pacific

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: The Pigeon Tunnel by John Le Carré

I discovered John Le Carré in Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market. I picked out a battered paperback Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy from a tiny used book stall. It looked as though it had been round Southeast Asia in a few backpacks, but

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: Wikileaks by David Leigh and Luke Harding

If his commanding officers had listened to Specialist Bradley Manning (as he still was at the time Wikileaks was published), it would never have happened. When he first arrived at Contingency Operating Station Hammer in Iraq, he reported the poor

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: The Snowden Files by Luke Harding

This book should be subtitled The Paranoia Manual. But is it paranoia if they really are listening to every word? As you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t reasonably familiar with the internet superstate, you’ll already have heard of

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: Headhunters by Ben Shepherd

In April 1898, Alfred Haddon led his expedition off the Duke of Westminster steamer on to Thursday Island, in the Torres Straits archipelago between Australia and New Guinea. They carried the latest tools for assessing psychology and perception, and the

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Non-fiction Review: The Trigger by Tim Butcher

Sarajevo, 28th June 1914: a bullet passed through the jugular vein of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the empire of Austria-Hungary. A second bullet struck his wife, Duchess Sophie of Hoehnberg. She fell into his lap. He

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book review: non-fiction, Wednesday Pontification
Follow Cockburn's Eclectics on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 460 other followers

Goodreads