Monday, February 11, 2013

I brew philosophical coffee (and other reviews)

Coffee berries, Bali
A few miscellaneous reviews of Philosophy in the Garden:

- James Tierney, in the Newtown Review of Books, compares me (favourably) to a barista:
Young avoids the relentless aphorisms of de Botton with a style that is often pleasingly colloquial. He sweeps up any potential clodhoppers and makes them dance; ideas are presented clearly and with a pace that makes the concepts within fizz and pop. 
Philosophy in the Garden is not a book written for philosophers; it is too broadly charming and brisk for that. What it is, however, is a thoughtful invitation to a wide readership to drink from a philosophical cup.
- Zoe Nikakis, in Voice, notes my accessible prose, but also the book's physical beauty:
The way in which Dr Young engages the reader in difficult and complex material by making it accessible through careful management of tone and text is evident from the book’s first sentences: “Aristotle had a reputation as a dandy. According to ancient biographer Diogenes Laërtius, the father of scientific philosophy lisped fashionably, and was known for his schmick wardrobe and bling.”
Illustrator Dan Keating furthers this method of engaging the reader, creating charming portraits of the featured writers and images of flowers to accompany each chapter which match the writing’s tone and the overall feel of the book: one gets the sense the illustrator and writer worked closely together to achieve such a cohesive whole.  
-  Mary Ann Elliott, in the Toowoomba Chronicle (22/12, p.12), notes my moments of whimsy:
[Young's] delightful book focuses on philosophers, authors and their often intimate relationships with their gardens. [...] Young's book is elegantly written, with an endearingly whimsical touch.
(Photo: jmhullot)

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