About this blog

Welcome to my blog.  As you can see if you wander around, it is mainly book reviews, mainly of non-fiction books.  As it happens, I read a lot of fiction: mainly speculative fiction of various sorts (from “hard” science fiction to complete fantasy).  But, unsurprisingly, such works do not normally intellectually engage me to the extent non-fiction does.  (Besides, reviewing non-fiction rarely involves worrying about spoilers.)

There will also be the odd review of films (mainly documentaries) and the odd post on a given subject: typically from a classical liberal (roughly what Americans call "libertarian") perspective.  But, mainly, this blog will be book reviews.  Usually, the reviews and other posts have originally appeared on my livejournal, but have been polished up, or even re-cast, and reposted here.  My aim is to post once a day, typically having “queued them up” in advance. Sometimes I do sequences of book reviews on the same or related topics, to help explore a topic in more depth. 

The subjects will vary because I have wide interests and reading habits.  There will be quite a lot of medieval history, which I read not only because I just enjoy history (and always have) but because I teach it and it is also a hobby.  Books on religious topics will also be covered, not because I am religious (I am not particularly) but because it is so important to understanding history and human society.  Quite a few books on Islam will be reviewed, due to Islam’s relevance both to medieval history and to current events.  There will be reviews of books on Buddhism, particularly Buddhist psychology, since I have found the latter personally helpful.

There will be reviews of books on issues to do with same-sex orientation, an area of interest because I am and because there has been a burgeoning of scholarship in recent years.  (Prof. William A Percy has a website that makes much of that accessible.)  There will be reviews of books on military history, since that is where my love of history started.  There will be books on psychology and self-help, since I have read quite a few of them over the years, trying to understand things in me and my own life.  But also books on economic history, economics—including the economics of bondage, slavery and forced labour—the odd memoir, books on politics …

Indeed, there will be reviews of books on any damn thing that takes my fancy.  I am particularly grateful to Keith Windschuttle, as editor of Quadrant, for giving me this opportunity.

(I edit my posts to make the meanings clearer, correct spelling errors and grammatical infelicities.   Updates which involve changes in meaning or sense will be indicated.)

I hope you enjoy my offerings.

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