Hugh McGuire

publishing, technology, media, philosophy, a bit of politics.

Category: review

Bookreview: Prince of Marshes

Prince of Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq book by Rory Stewart Rory Stewart is a multilingual (among others: Farsi, Arabic) young Scottish diplomat, and adventurer. He quit his job in the foreign service (postings in Jakarta, Iran and elsewhere) in his mid-twenties, to walk across Afghanistan (he wrote a book […]

bookreview: This is your Brain on Music

This Is Your Brain on Music product book by daniel levitin What a fantastic book. Introduced by music theory for dummies (what, exactly, are harmony, pitch, rhythm, timbre, major and minor keys, etc etc … I vaguely knew, but couldn’t have told you. I still don’t quite know, but it was all explained wonderfully well […]

Bookreview: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash product Book by Neal Stephenson Written in 1992, Snow Crash is a cyberpunk visionary work, presaging Second Life and other online multiplayer games, among other things. The plot: pizza delivery man, hacker, amateur swordsman, freelance intel gatherer and Metaverse legend Hiro Protagonist stumbles on a virus – a binary image that looks like […]

52 Books – Q1 Progress Report

I’m trying to read 52 books in 2007, a book a week. I’ve still got a little cushion, but I’m slowing down. Been lucky, with lots of good books. Here’s a list, with a one-line review, link to more detailed review. Starred books are particularly good. 52 Books in 2007 – Q1 Results *A Clockwork […]

BookReview: Crazy about Lili

Crazy about Lili product Book by William Weintraub A light fluffy fantasy about a young McGill student and would-be writer in late-1940s Montreal, who strikes up a friendship and potential romance with the infamous Lili L’Amour, the great Texas-born, Montreal striptease artiste. L’Amour is based on Lili St. Cyr, the burlesque icon, and many other […]

BookReview: America at the Crossroads

America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy product Book by Francis Fukayama It’s a relief to read at least one (semi) mea culpa from a leading cheerleader for the policies that lead to War in Iraq, and the catastrophe that has been the Bush presidency. Francis Fukayama is the famous writer of […]

BookReview: A Complicated Kindness

A Complicated Kindness product Book by Miriam Toews Wonderful book about a young girl growing up in a Mennonite town in Manitoba. Who knew Menonnite teens smoked pot and had sex and were so funny? Sad, hilarious, excellent. Finely-wrought study of how social constraints can slowly tear people apart. Good to see more CanLit shaking […]

BookReview: Wealth of Networks

The Wealth of Networks product Book by Yochai Benkler A comprehensive and exhaustive book about the open movement (free software, wikipedia, blogging, flickr, creative commons, crowdsourcing etc) of which LibriVox is an enthusiastic member. Not for the faint-hearted, this book is dense, big and academic in approach, but refreshingly rigourous, with significant attention paid to […]

Bookreview: Slow Man

Slow Man product Book by J. M. Coetzee J. M. Coetzee writes the way writing ought to be written. He is spare and economical, and his writing has a moral force for my money unequalled in contemporary writing in English. Slow Man is something of a departure for the usual realist Coetzee, something of a […]

BookReview: Next Episode

Next Episode product book by Hubert Aquin This is the second Aquin book I’ve read, both in English (for shame), and both left me with the same sense of wonderment at the confused brilliance from which they eminated. Next Episode is a slim book about (“about” seems such an imprecise preposition to attach to this […]