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Ladino: A Half-Forgotten Language

Last week I read an article about Sephardic Jews who were getting Portuguese passports because of Brexit.  It was a fascinating bit of news that reminded me of something I had written years ago. In 1996 I received a fellowship to study Ladino, a mix of 15th Century Spanish mixed with Hebrew.  My travels took […]

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Anti-depressants and suicide

My mother took her life five years ago after struggling with depression and taking anti-depressants.   She jumped from a fifth story rooftop. I knew that she wanted to kill herself, but I did not think it would happen that way. Recently, a friend of mine’s mother took her life after struggling with depression and taking […]

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Friendships in the age of social media

This week I deleted my Facebook account. There are many reasons for leaving Facebook. It is a corporation where the service is free, but the user is the product. Facebook sells the attention of users to advertisers all over the world, and Facebook knows almost everything about their lives, their families and their friends. It […]

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Books from 2016

In 2016 I read 40 books, which is the lowest number in the last few years.  It is probably a good thing.  A few years ago, I read over 90 books in the year, and much of my year was spent enjoying good books.  There is more to life than reading, and as a friend […]

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Books from 2015

In 2015 I read 49 books.  They were varied, and some were of personal hobbies and interests and not worth writing about here.  However, the more universally interesting ones that I think almost anyone can enjoy are presented below. Structures by J.E. Gordon — Elon Musk recommended this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m […]

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My favorite jazz

Recently I put together a playlist with my favorite jazz. I arranged almost all the tracks chronologically from Jelly Roll Morton and Fats Waller to Wynton Marsalis. It is about five hours of the best jazz of the past 100 years. Here is a link to the playlist on Spotify. I hope you enjoy it. […]

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Letter to my nephews

You can learn a lot from books, but many things can only be learned the hard way by living, suffering and enjoying life. A year and a half ago, I was in a plane with very bad turbulence, and I worried that if the plane went down, many of the lessons I’ve learned in life […]

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Carta a mis sobrinos (Letter to my nephews in Spanish)

Puedes aprender mucho leyendo libros, pero hay cosas que solo se aprenden a traves de la experiencia, viviendo, sufriendo y disfrutando de la vida. Hace un año y medio, yo estaba viajando en avión y atravesamos una turbulencia muy mala. Me preocupó que si el avión se estrellaba, muchas de las lecciones que he aprendido […]

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Books from 2014

Books from 2014 Last year I wrote an update on the books I had read. At first I wrote a paragraph review of all of them, but due to criticisms that were entirely correct, I’ve cut it down to my top books.  (My goal for next year is to read more literature and less non-fiction […]

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Books I read in 2013

Books I Read in 2013 In 2013 I downloaded the Kindle app for my iPhone. It changed my life. Now I can read on the Tube, on trains, on planes, and when I’m waiting for people to arrive at a meeting. I almost don’t mind when flights are delayed or when people don’t turn up. […]

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