The best books I read in 2021 – Part 2: Non-fiction

“Surprise” and “convention” engender one another, like a bracelet or a ring, with no beginning or end. Who can exhaust their variations?The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, translated by Michael Nylan Every year I write about the books I read in the last 12 months. This year I’m posting my top three favourite reads…… Continue reading The best books I read in 2021 – Part 2: Non-fiction

Being clever: “How’s that working out for you?”

How’s that going? Being smart? Two of the books I’ve been reading this week – Thinking In Systems and Wolf Hall – connected in a surprising way. Let’s start with the thoughts of a furious Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall, confronted by the tactical success one of his enemies: Christ, he thinks, by my age I ought…… Continue reading Being clever: “How’s that working out for you?”

Fooled by stories: Antonym No. 6

The below article is cross–posted from Antonym, my weekly newsletter. A cold, gold sunset reflected in the windows of the closed–for–COVID The Concorde2 nightclub on Brighton seafront. “Do you enjoy cautionary tales? Shilly–shallying children eaten by wolves, that stuff?”“Alice, I am gone on them,” Blossom breathes.— The Paragon Hotel, by Lyndsay Faye Dear Reader Word of…… Continue reading Fooled by stories: Antonym No. 6

Antony No.3: Sick Bern

This is a newsletter cross–posted from my Substack newsletter. That’s hope I know he can be beaten. Because he’s a fanatic — and a fanatic is always hiding a secret doubt. – George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, by John Le Carré Dear Reader  Happy New New Year.  The first three weeks of 2021 were 2020 in…… Continue reading Antony No.3: Sick Bern