Review: Net of Magic: Wonders and Deceptions in India

Net of Magic: Wonders and Deceptions in India
Net of Magic: Wonders and Deceptions in India by Lee A. Siegel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s hard to even describe this book about Indian street and stage magicians, but I sure did like it. It’s part history, part fiction, part travelogue and wholly fascinating.

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Review: Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It

Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It
Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It by Jennifer Michael Hecht
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A short history of the arguments against suicide with a focus on the often over-looked secular arguments offered by various thinkers. Hecht is concerned that the dispute between the religious opposition to suicide in any form and those who believe in the right to end the terrible suffering of a terminal illness is casting the secularists as pro-suicide in general. In fact, there is a long (thousands of years) history of secular arguments against suicide as Hecht ably shows. She follows up with her own contribution in that vein.

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