2007-03-25

Poor Things

This is supposed to be a note on some of the other books that I've been reading, but I can't get my mind off 'A Man in Full' (see my last post). The problem with philosophies is that they never seem to be able to encompass everything. It's the equivalent of Godel's incompleteness theorem in maths. I think this is linked to the problem of heirarchies of knowledge. That's why I think Wikipedia has it right in not having a heirarchy of articles in its URL structure. All articles are at the same level. In the same way, David Deutsch says that theories such as quantum mechanics, epistemology, the theory of computation and the theory of evolution don't have a heirarchy, each one can be seen as emergent from the others.

Anyway, Alasdair Grey is another author I've been meaning to read for ages, ever since I heard about Janine. I was given Poor Things by a friend, and her judgement was excellent as it is a brilliantly written book. It also raised lots of philosophical questions, but don't get me started. I recommend the book.

My aunt gave me Vanilla by Tim Ecott. This book is clearly based on painstaking research, and gives an exhaustive history of vanilla. The history is leavened by anecdotes of his travels on the trail of the plant. In fact, if I was his publisher I'd suggest it would be really interesting to focus on the anecdote part of his writing for his next book.

The first Bridget Jones book was awesome. The title of the next book 'The Edge of Reason' led me to think that it might be about her losing her mind. It isn't. It is very funny. I remember Helen Fielding's photo from the first Bridget Jones book, and she looks completely different in the dust jacket photo on this book. Incidentally, the author photo of A Man in Full shows Tom Wolfe in a sort of southern gent outfit.

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