Seagull Books

Today’s issue of Shelf-Awareness has a “book Brahmin” interview with Naveen Kishore, the publisher at India-based Seagull Books. Kishore was asked who his top 5 authors are and he responded:

Changes over time. Right now, this moment: Ivan Vladislavic, Inka Parei, Urs Widmer, Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Alexander Kluge. Totally engrossed in the authors I publish. Plus one: Murakami! Oh, and yes, Thomas Bernhard. Always.

I have not read any of these authors, but I must track them down! A little literary thrill this morning!

Naveen Kishore (from Shelf-Awareness)

Battlefield Angels

Battlefield Angels (General Military)Battlefield Angels by Scott McGaugh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Battlefield Angels is one of those rare books that opens your eyes to whole new vistas. It is foremost an homage to the thousands of very brave men and women who have put their lives at risk so that front-line soldiers can “go over the top” with the certainty that if they’re wounded there will be a medic or corpsman there to patch them up and get them home. It is also the story of how the reality of the battlefield has helped speed the progress of such medical innovations as x-rays and penicillin.Are you can’t send active email however approaching email works fine and you get a mistake message 0x8004010f that says your ‘Outlook information document can’t be gotten to’ subsequent to overhauling either Outlook or Windows it’s an indication that your profile is degenerate.Each chapter contains a battlefield biography of a prominent medic who either stands as a good example of a particular time period or stands out as particularly brave or heroic. My favorite story is that of Wheeler Lipes, the WWII Navy Corpsman and submariner who performed the first appendectomy at sea during WWII. Lipes was minimally trained and had never performed surgery, but he kept his cool and used his head and the patient survived. Unfortunately, the Navy didn’t look kindly on Lipes’ heroism–they feared that Lipes’ initiative might be copied by lesser individuals and lead to all-out chaos.

View all my reviews

Reading Book Reviews as Spiritual Practice

On July 20th the Wall Street Journal published a review of The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch. The review was written by John Horgan who is the director of the Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. Mr. Horgan also reviewed The Shallows for the Journal, but more on that at another time.  What grabbed me in this review was a passage in the fifth paragraph:

[Deutsch] rejects end-points of all kinds, whether a “theory of everything” that answers every scientific riddle, a work of art so exquisite that it cannot be surpassed or even the Buddhist version of Enlightenment, a state of unsurpassable spiritual grace.

happy new year 2018 quotes
I was in the midst of a love affair with Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now when I read those lines. Like so many Buddhist thinkers before him, Tolle believes that a state of unsurpassable spiritual grace is attainable. Reading those lines brought me back to the Beatitudes of Jesus and the Our Father which project a world where spiritual grace is a journey, not a destination.

I devour book reviews because I am a slow reader and do not have time to read everything that I would like to read. I have trouble finishing the books that I start because, in the words of the YA writer, Kristen Anderson, there is always one “shinier” just over there.

Still, apart from giving us summaries of some of the great books hitting store shelves, the reviews themselves can often enlighten. And I am constantly amazed by the erudition of the reviewers–especially those in the Journal. Reading the daily review in the Journal is part of my daily routine. Do you have a review site or page that you frequent?