That Guy Knows Everything

Did you ever wonder what it's like to know everything? Or at least to know enough to fake it? There are a few books out there which give you a glimpse of the world of ultimate knowledge. In The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking has apparently grown so smart he can claim on the first page […]

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How to Pretend to Be Real

Did you ever want to pretend you existed in a different time and place? Honestly, I haven't, which is why I'm interested in reading about people who are. There are a great many people out there who love putting on costumes and living anywhere else but here and now. All Shall Be Well; and All […]

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The Private Lives of Pundits

What is it like to live your life convincing people that your petty opinions are worth something? Luckily for us, it's easy to find out, because pundits love talking about themselves. There are a bunch of memoirs out there about what they do and how they think. One fun exercise is to read Bill O'Reilly's […]

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Modern Art

I don't get art. I'm not even sure that I know what I like, which is all the more reason for me to mess around with art books and see if I can learn something. The Success and Failure of Picasso had a bit of controversy when it came out, probably because it suggested that the […]

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It’s Electric

If you're bothering to read this, you're reading it on a computer, and if you're using a computer, you probably take electricity for granted. Unless you've come across some faulty wiring or jammed a fork into a live toaster, you probably need to be reminded how terrifying electricity can be. For centuries, it has been […]

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Read by the Author

I'm a big fan of audiobooks. They keep my brain from turning to mush when I'm trying to get stuff done, and some of my favorites are read by the author. Even if a professional speaker could have done a technically better job, there's a certain charm to a book when it's read by the […]

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What’s Wrong With Us?

What's Wrong With Us?

It used to be that the mass of men led lives of quiet desperation. Now we can't shut up about it. Every op-ed columnist has another idea as to what's wrong with us and a million suggestions about how to fix it. Naturally, there are plenty of books on the subject. Alone Together is in the grand tradition […]

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They Shall Know Us By Our Movies

They Shall Know Us By Our Movies

What do your movie preferences say about you? Or your era? Or your politics? Or whatever? There are plenty of critics with answers to those questions, and they've written countless books transforming movies into symbols for their respective times and cultures. Pictures at A Revolution focuses on the five Best Picture contenders of 1967: The Graduate, Guess […]

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I Writes Batter Then Yoo: Books to Improve Your English

Finnegans Wake, p.1

As any good narcissist will tell you, without a proper command of language, it's extremely difficult to prove how much better you are than everybody else. All it takes is one misspelling, one poor pronunciation or even just one dull sentence, and within a matter of seconds, you're an average schlub again, waiting in line […]

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Adventure!

Adventure

People get restless. They want to shake the dust off their shoes, go to exotic places, talk to different people and do different things. They also like to hurt themselves trying to climb stuff. Personally, I'm fine just reading about it, but if you're the adventurous type, maybe these books will inspire you. Hidden Cities chronicles […]

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