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Full title Kafka on the Shore [permalink]
Original title 海辺のカフカ
Transliterated title Umibe no Kafuka
Language English
Authors Haruki Murakami (author) and Philip Gabriel (translator)
Publisher Vintage Books
Category Novel
Publication year 2006
Original publication year 2005
ISBN 978-1-4000-7927-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 467
Images Back of Kafka on the Shore.Spine of Kafka on the Shore.Front of Kafka on the Shore.
Full title The Man in the High Castle [permalink]
Language English
Author Philip K. Dick (author)
Publisher Vintage Books
Categories Alternate history and science fiction
Publication year 1992
Original publication year 1962
ISBN 0-679-74067-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 259

The Axis powers of Japan and Germany win WWII and divide the world among themselves. The story follows a small number of characters in this alternate history. The title comes from a fictitious novel called The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, written by Hawthorne Abendsen. Grasshopper is about an alternate history (from the novel's point of view) where the Allied forces won WWII. Being a heretical notion, Abendsen perpetuates a myth that he lives in a fortified house (castle); hence the title.


It was a riveting read, but I was left wondering what the point of the novel was.

Images Back of The Man in the High Castle.Spine of The Man in the High Castle.Front of The Man in the High Castle.
Full title Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life [permalink]
Language English
Author Stephen Jay Gould (author)
Publisher Vintage Books
Categories Religion and science
Publication year 2002
Original publication year 1999
ISBN 978-0-099-28452-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 241

This is the book in which Gould lays out in full detail his concept of NOMA, Non-Overlapping Magisteria, the idea that science and religion are masters over different (and mutually incommunicable) realms. It's an attempt to reconcile the recent intellectual hostilities between scientists and people of faith by appealing to NOMA, saying that there doesn't have to be a conflict.


I'm not sure if this book is winning me over to Gould's way of thinking, but it's extremely well written, interesting, and full of siren arguments and pretty poetry. I can definitely recommend it if you're interested in the history of the conflict between science and religion.

Images Back of Rocks of Ages.Spine of Rocks of Ages.Front of Rocks of Ages.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  1. The Problem Stated
    • Preamble
    • A Tale of Two Thomases
    • The Fate of Two Fathers
  2. The Problem Resolved in Principle
    • NOMA Defined and Defended
    • NOMA Illustrated
    • Coda and Segue
  3. Historical Reasons for Conflict
    • The Contingent Basis for Intensity
    • Columbus and the Flat Earth: An Example of the Fallacy of Warfare Between Science and Religion
    • Defending NOMA from Both Sides Now: The Struggle Against Modern Creationism
  4. Psychological Reasons for Conflict
    • Can Nature Nurture Our Hopes?
    • Nature's Cold Bath and Darwin's Defense of NOMA
    • The Two False Paths of Irenics
Full title The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts [permalink]
Language English
Author Maxine Hong Kingston (author)
Publisher Vintage Books
Category Memoir
Publication year 1989
Original publication year 1975
ISBN 978-0-679-72188-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 209

This book is part-novel and part-autobiography, interspersed with Chinese folktales. It describes life for a Chinese-American woman living in California.


The style of the narration (with fantastic tales woven seamlessly into the main autobiography) was at first a little confusing, but one soon gets used to it, and then the book becomes a delight to read. I can definitely recommend it, though I prefer the more traditional form of autobiographical writing.

Images Back of The Woman Warrior.Spine of The Woman Warrior.Front of The Woman Warrior.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • No Name Woman
  • White Tigers
  • Shaman
  • At the Western Palace
  • A Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe

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