One thing becomes clear after reading these three books: Although it may be necessary to treat inequality as an economic problem, it is not sufficient. The U.S. as a country needs to ask, and answer, some basic questions—Who gets to set the rules? What values should they reflect? What’s fair? What do we owe to one another?—and reshape our society accordingly.
There’s an irony in seeing such an old-fashioned technology as the notebook so widely celebrated online. But in another sense, bullet journal pages seem like a natural fit for the aspirational lifestyle motifs of social media. Looking at perfectly planned, beautifully penned bullet journal pages online quickly gives rise to the fundamental pair of emotions that Instagram seems to have been designed to elicit: “Why doesn’t my life look like that?” and “Maybe, with the right pen, and the right notebook, and the right handwriting, and the right stickers—maybe, my life could look like that!”
In nature writing, it’s not uncommon for “the ever-changing dividing line between the animal and the human,” or something similarly abstract, to be a central theme throughout a book, or at least something that critics and reviewers like to write about. To say that 20th century English writer J.A. Baker wanted to be a bird is neither metaphorical nor hyperbolic. He quite literally wanted to be a peregrine falcon.
Yes, “brief” is right: 10 pages per lesson, and the typeface is large. There are also some space-filling illustrations. Yet the subject matter of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is immense: the very nature of the universe, from the sub-atomic scale to space and time.
There’s a long list of reasons that Alice Adams’s debut novel, “Invincible Summer,” shouldn’t work. But it clicks anyhow. Ms. Adams has managed to combine a hoary premise, a familiar plot, readable to iffy prose and pigeonhole-ready characters and spin their story into a heart tugger with seemingly honest appeal. This amazing feat doesn’t rival those of the Large Hadron Collider, which plays a cameo role in “Invincible Summer.” But it’s close.
Philosophy is a remarkably un-diverse discipline. Compared with other scholars who read, interpret and assign texts, philosophers in the United States typically choose a much higher percentage of their sources (often, 100 per cent) from Europe and countries settled by Europeans. Philosophy teachers, too, look homogeneous: 86 per cent of new PhD researchers in philosophy are white, and 72 per cent are male. In the whole country, only about 30 African-American women work as philosophy professors.