Why I quit go and started chess

Most people in the western world have never heard of go, or if they have, they only found it later in life after first playing chess. I’ve played go steadily for about 5 years and got into it before I ever played chess online even once. Recently though, I have shifted almost exclusively to chess. …

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The books I read in 2018: the good, the best, and the rest

This year I continued my exploration of the literary. I read 34 books, the same as last year (missing my goal of 40 by a fair amount) and only two of those could be called genre. Of those 34, most were brilliant, some extremely so, and very few were bland or uninteresting. I don't think …

Eva Cassidy, high above the chimney tops

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rd8VktT8xY I don't usually write about music, but this song and Eva's story have never let go of me.  I remember the first time I heard this song, I was looking for a version of the Judy Garland classic that was better produced than all the originals I'd been able to find. But any new …

Translating poetry: how can meaning be preserved?

I'm so enamored with Sebald that I got a book of his poetry, Across the Land and the Water (from the library, just in case it turns out I'm not a poetry kind of guy.) I've not read much of any poetry, by anyone,  but Sebald's writing is just so damn poetic anyway, I figured …

How to recover confidence…

Have you ever read something so good, so skillfully subtle and thoughtful and emotional and striking and shocking and beautiful, something that pulled at your mind and heart so softly and strongly that you wonder how it can possibly exist? That makes you wonder if it even does exist in this same, perfect way for …

Dead Souls: more shitty rich people

I read Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol recently, and found it quite agreeable, as the narrator would say. The story features an enigmatic land owner named Chichikov, who, at the beginning of the story is a stranger in town who everyone finds intriguing. He travels around to all the landowners in the area, and attempts …

Too many books

I keep buying them. There will be a sale on kindle, or I'll buy one book thinking I'm going to read it next, then get another one instead... many reasons. But it's led to me having more than a dozen books waiting in line to be read. If only I could read faster! But if …