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Time travel

Pick up a favorite childhood book. Look through its pages. Does it bring back memories?

I recently read through one, a Tintin comic. Pictures and expressions of the Belgian reporter took me back to my bed three decades ago, where I lay curled up reading one story after another.

Memories are the only time travel we may ever know, and an old book is my favorite vehicle.


The perfect move

My hands are clasped below my chin. My eyes rest on a board of squares.
The Black knight sweeps in imaginary arcs. I extend a finger to position him near White’s castle. “Check,” I say and my opponent sighs.

Whispers and murmurs pass through the crowd.

The 14-year-old boy opposite me tips his king.

I extend my hand for a shake, then walk away. Our only connection, the last four hours spent locked in battle.


The Art of Nonfiction

On several mornings of April 2019, I hit the play button on my Audible app and backed out of my driveway. What was I listening to? The Art of Nonfiction by Ayn Rand.

Based on a series of her lectures, this book covers the key structural and thematic aspects of a good article. As I turned onto the Stone Mountain highway, a nugget of her wisdom hit my ears. As I passed an exit, I learned about how to separate the creative and editing steps.

As I walked into office that week, fresh from listening to this book, my mind was conditioned to be articulate and to the point. A perfect start to my day.

A monumental effort

In 1913, an English man named Harold Murray completed an extraordinary undertaking. He published the mammoth ‘A History of Chess.’ Tracing the growth of the game through the centuries, across languages and continents, Murray created what is regarded by many as the most comprehensive overview of the origin of chess.

Yet, not everything is known…

When this thick book arrived at my doorstep on a winter afternoon, I carried it off to my study.

The thought that occurred to me that day has never left me…