Library shelves with books - header for Read Harder Challenge 2018

Read Harder 2018

I made a resolution to read more last year, and 2017 ended with a respectable 36 books tallied. Not bad for a year spent in the intellectual doldrums. (That isn’t drama, either; the worst and longest of my depressive episodes had me vegetating on the couch, staring blankly as episodes Read more…

Notes from “The Guns of August”

Here’s my first book for this year’s Read Harder Challenge! I first started reading The Guns of August two years ago. “Started,” because work quickly caught up with me, leading to a slow abandonment of the book around the halfway point. That was a shame, since this is–despite the heft and subject Read more…

2017 Read Harder Challenge

I read around 30 books last year, many of them during the later months when work became less hectic. The final 2016 list is front-loaded with a lot of science fiction before turning into a pretty scattershot collection of titles. Since I am one of those corny cheeseballs who theme Read more…

What’s the word?

From Peter Hessler’s Oracle Bones, which I also mentioned over here and which I’m still reading: “Peoples of color” sounded awkward if translated literally, so I used the standard Chinese term for minorities: shaoshu minzu. Of course, that was just as odd in English: “small-number ethnic groups.” Perhaps somewhere in the world there was a Read more…

On law, or how we view it

I’ve been reading Peter Hessler’s Oracle Bones, a nonfiction work that’s part-memoir, part-journalism, part-travel writing about Hessler’s years in China. One of the more intriguing sections I’ve recently finished dealt with the government’s crackdown on Falun Gong, a health system-cum-religion that gained millions of believers in the 1990s. Many of these adherents had Read more…