book reviews

Book Reviews

184419Anarchy in the UK

G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Proverbs and paradoxes abound in Chesterton’s 1908 thriller about revolution, surveillance, and control. Gabriel Syme is recruited by Scotland Yard to become a member of a secret anti-anarchist division. Lucian Gregory is an anarchist poet. Their meeting and subsequent discussion about the meaning of poetry leads Syme to question Gregory’s commitment to true anarchy. Insulted by the charge, Gregory invites Syme to a meeting of the local chapter of the European Anarchist Council. What follows can best be described as a series of revelations as to the true identities of the Council members. False identity, mistrust, and covert surveillance all play a part in the demise of the Council.

I enjoyed this short novel. The plot was well paced with unexpected developments. Chesterton’s commentary on the pessimistic Edwardian worldview of the times was light-handed, and ultimately optimistic. In the present atmosphere of massive institutional surveillance, a glimmer of optimism is very welcome indeed.

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G. K. Chesterton:


Title: Robot Buildi514wiMOtNFL._SX413_BO1,204,203,200_ng for Beginners, Second Edition

Author: David Cook
Publisher: Apress
Publish Date: 2010
ISBN: 978-1430227489

It’s never too early to start that robot army you’ve always wanted. David Cook’s Robot Building for Beginners will get you started. The book first gives you essential information on safety, components, tools, and soldering techniques. You then begin the adventure of building your own robot. You can either purchase the kit designed to go with the book or buy the individual components. The author takes you step-by-step, explaining what to do and why. Pictures, tables, and charts are included to make sure you are never lost. I especially like the inclusion of electronic fundamentals, ensuring that you’re not just blindly following directions. The author is funny and engaging. He makes you want to keep reading and building long past your bedtime. When you’re done, you will not only have something to impress your friends and family, you’ll have an abundance of knowledge and few new skills. This book will continue to be a reference long after you’ve finished your robot.

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Checkout David Cook’s website:

Another good book for beginners is:
Title: Robot Builders Bonanza
Author: Gordon McComb and Myke Predko
Publisher: McGraw Hill
Publish Date: 2011
ISBN: 978-0071750363