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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Guy Gavriel Kay: Tigana

I read Tigana ten years ago, and mostly liked it a lot. It’s a one-volume novel set in sort of a fantasy (i.e., there’s magic) medieval Italy. The writing is good and the plot is interesting. That said, I liked it less this time around, and this reread pretty much did away with my enthusiasm […]

Brad Leithauser: Hence

I picked this up probably a decade ago, because it was a novel about computer chess with some promising blurbs, but never got around to it until now. It was written in 1989, 8 years before Deep Blue beat Kasparov, and takes place in 1993, at which point the fictional best computer chess program in […]

Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene

After reading Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale, I was all excited to read about some more specific topics in evolutionary theory. His The Selfish Gene was the obvious next step. The fundamental idea is a great one, although of course less revolutionary now than I guess it was in the 1970s when it was published: rather […]

Chess/music synaesthesia

What is even weirder than me having a sense of synaesthesia linking musical key signatures and chess openings is the fact that I never consciously realized that this was kind of a weird thing until today. Actually, calling it synaesthesia may be overstating it; it’s not like music springs into my head as I play […]

Stephen King: It

I can’t handle scary movies at all, but for some reason scary books are generally fine. This is the third Stephen King novel I’ve read, after The Shining and The Stand, which seems to cover most people’s top two King novels in some permutation. It is immense, at 1100 pages, although that works out to […]