Works Featured

Below are brief descriptions of the works from which I’ve published quotes, arranged by author. You can click any title to see all of the quotes from that source, or click the name of an author for all quotes by that writer. If you happen upon a page with no search results, keep an eye out for new posts coming up; I update this page as I schedule posts, so sometimes an entry appears here before its quotes go live.

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Adams, Ansel : The Camera.

An instructive guidebook on photography and equipment, by someone who knew what he was talking about, and had the portfolio to prove it. (B&N)

Adams, Ansel : Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs.

“Each of Adams’s 40 photographs presented here is accompanied by an engaging narrative that explores the technical and aesthetic problems presented by the subject and includes reminiscences of the places and people involved.” (B&N)

Adams, Douglas : Mostly Harmless.

The fifth novel in Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. …That is correct. (wikipedia)

Adams, Douglas : The Salmon of Doubt.

“This bittersweet collection comprises letters, fragments of ideas for books, films and TV, ruminations on a diverse array of subjects and a good bit of a final unfinished novel.” (Publishers Weekly, via Amazon)

Andersen, Hans Christian : Fairy Tales.

A collection of Andersen’s classic fairy tales (“The Little Mermaid,” “The Ugly Duckling,” etc.), which were originally published between 1835 and 1872. (wikipedia)

Aristotle : Poetics (and On Poets).

An explication and defense of literary arts, especially tragedies; “the earliest surviving work of dramatic theory and the first extant philosophical treatise to focus on literary theory.” (wikipedia)

Baudelaire, Charles : Les fleurs du mal.

A provocative and often dark poetic work that got Baudelaire prosecuted for an ‘affront to public decency’ and six of its poems banned. I quoted from the essays in the back of the Larousse edition (which, sadly, is not bilingual, so I consulted fleursdumal.org for translations of the poems themselves). (wikipedia)

Bierce, Ambrose : The Devil’s Dictionary.

“A satirical book published in 1911. It offers reinterpretations of terms in the English language, lampooning cant and political doublespeak.” (wikipedia)

Cain, Susan : Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

“Cain argues how modern Western culture undervalues the traits and capabilities of introverted people, leading to ‘a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness.'” (wikipedia)

Camus, Albert : Les Justes.

“The play is based on the true story of a group of Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries who assassinated the Grand Duke Sergei Romanov in 1905, and explores the moral issues associated with murder and terrorism.” (wikipedia)

Darwin, Charles : The Descent of Man.

In the Origin of Species, Darwin briefly claimed that the theory of evolution would shed light on the history of the human race. Descent is his treatise on the subject. (barnes & noble)

Dawkins, Richard : The God Delusion.

“Dawkins is frequently dismissed as a bully, but he is only putting theological doctrines to the same kind of scrutiny that any scientific theory must withstand. No one who has witnessed the merciless dissection of a new paper in physics would describe the atmosphere as overly polite.” (Amazon)

Dawkins, Richard : The Selfish Gene.

“Suppose, instead of thinking about organisms using genes to reproduce themselves, as we had since Mendel’s work was rediscovered, we turn it around and imagine that ‘our’ genes build and maintain us in order to make more genes. That simple reversal seems to answer many puzzlers which had stumped scientists for years, and we haven’t thought of evolution in the same way since.” (Amazon)

Dennett, Dan and Douglas Hofstadter : The Mind’s I.

“This book is an exploration of the human mind and soul, ranging from early philosophical and fictional musings on a subject that could seemingly only be examined in the realm of thought, to works from the 20th century where the nature of the self became a viable topic for scientific study.” (wikipedia) (Also, there’s space robot sci-fi.)

Deterding, Sebastian : “What your designs say about you.”

A TEDx talk well worth the watch: “Designer Sebastian Deterding shows how our visions of morality and what the good life is are reflected in the design of objects around us.” (TED)

Dewey, John : How We Think.

“Dewey examines what separates thinking, a basic human faculty we take for granted, from thinking well, what it takes to train ourselves into mastering the art of thinking, and how we can channel our natural curiosity in a productive way when confronted with an overflow of information.” (Brain Pickings)

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan : The Complete Sherlock Holmes.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes comprises four novels and fifty-six short stories revolving around the world’s most popular and influential fictional detective—the eccentric, arrogant, and ingenious Sherlock Holmes.” (B&N: Vol. I | Vol. II)

Dubner, Stephen and Steven Levitt : Freakonomics.

“A collection of ‘economic’ articles written by Levitt, an expert who has already gained a reputation for applying economic theory to diverse subjects not usually covered by ‘traditional’ economists.” (wikipedia)

Ericsson, Anders and Robert Pool : Peak.

An exposition with anecdotes of his work on “deliberate practice.” It repeats itself (verbatim) at points, and barring the parts about mental representations, you’d do as well or better to read his 1986 paper instead. (goodreads link)

Fforde, Jasper : The Eyre Affair.

Fforde’s first published novel, which “takes place in alternative 1985, where literary detective Thursday Next pursues a master criminal through the world of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.” (wikipedia)

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