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Review – “Never let me go” Ishiguro, Kazuo

Ishiguro’s methodical and systematic unraveling of a character’s inner life typically leaves readers either enthralled or exasperated (and readers at my book club exhibited both reactions in equal measure!) I definitely fall into the former, and revel in the “peeling-the-onion” mystery of his best work (the butler in “Remains of the Day”; the painter in … Continue reading

How to hack your cravings

Hack Your Brain to Use Cravings to Your Advantage Cravings are not a good thing. In fact, the triggering of the stress response means we usually feel uncomfortable when a craving comes on. Because of that, we don’t want to overuse a lot of these methods, but you can create temporary triggers that can help … Continue reading

Review – “The heart and the fist” Eric Greitens

Greitens has lead an extraordinary life: martial artist in China, mentor to children in war-torn Bosnia, amateur boxer, Rhodes scholar, Oxford Ph.D., Navy SEAL. Unfortunately, in this uneven memoir, the compelling life lessons he has learned from his experiences around the world get lost in the mix of personal and professional anecdotes he sprinkles liberally … Continue reading

Seinfeld’s guide to productivity – don’t break the chain!

Excellent way to end procrastination and become more productive: – Choose just THREE tasks you wish to achieve – Set MINIMUM goals you wish to accomplish each day – Have a DAILY calendar that you can see at all times – Make sure you CROSS OFF your goals as you accomplish them – Don’t break … Continue reading

Review: Dance, Dance, Dance – Haruki Murakami

Probably the most accessible of Murakami’s psychedelic metafiction (the only surreal character – the recurrent Sheepman – occurs right at the start of the novel). The rest comprises a murder-mystery centered around a lonely journalist and a precocious thirteen year-old and effortlessly spans time (the eighties) and space (the Pacific between Japan and Hawaii). Combining … Continue reading

Review: Transmission – Hari Kunzru

A witty and clever novel combining Seattle high-technology, London’s marketing/PR industry and Bollywood, Transmission is a hilarious meditation on the connected world we live in today. A lonely Indian programmer working for a large software company unwittingly unleashes a computer virus based on his love for a Bollywood actress. In parallel, a vacuous young PR … Continue reading

The ten greatest speeches of all time

Martin Luther King – “I Have a Dream” 1. I have a Dream – Martin Luther King Jr. August 28, 1963; Washington D.C. “I Have a Dream” is one of the most popular speeches in the history, delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. … Continue reading

The Equation that caused the stock market collapse

From The Guardian, (Sunday February 12th) It was the holy grail of investors. The Black-Scholes equation, brainchild of economists Fischer Black and Myron Scholes, provided a rational way to price a financial contract when it still had time to run. It was like buying or selling a bet on a horse, halfway through the race. It … Continue reading

William Safire on Grammar

William Safire (the author of the New York Times Magazine column “On Language”) 1. Remember to never split an infinitive.2. The passive voice should never be used.3. Do not put statements in the negative form.4. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.5. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.6. If you reread your work, you … Continue reading

Flavorpill’s List of Top Ten Classics of Postmodern Fiction

The Recognitions, William Gaddis Organized like a triptych, this book, whose many shifting scenes and characters are concerned with fallacy, mistaken identity, and forgeries — an extreme of the Holden Caulfield syndrome, as it were. Characters lose their names and gain others, dialogue may float unattributed, allusions abound. Gaddis famously said, ”I do ask something of … Continue reading