Good Reads

April 13, 2018 11:22 AM The Week Bureau


Knowledge is Power, The Philosopher’s Flight and Goodbye, Vitamin

Knowledge is Power by John Henry

 Price: Rs 638

Francis Bacon – a leading figure in the history of science – never made a major discovery, provided a lasting explanation of any physical phenomena or revealed any hidden laws of nature. How then can he rank as he does alongside Newton? Bacon was the first major thinker to describe how science should be done, and to explain why. Scientific knowledge should not be gathered for its own sake but for practical benefit to mankind. And Bacon promoted experimentation, coming to outline and define the rigorous procedures of the ‘scientific method’ that today from the very bedrock of modern scientific progress. John Henry gives a dramatic account of the background to Bacon’s innovations and the sometimes unconventional sources for his ideas. Why was he was so concerned to revolutionize the attitude to scientific knowledge – and why do his ideas for reform still resonate today? 

The Philosopher’s Flight by Tom Miller 

Price: Rs 880

18-year-old Robert Weekes is a practitioner of empirical philosophy—an arcane, female-dominated branch of science used to summon the wind, shape clouds of smoke, heal the injured, and even fly. Though he dreams of fighting in the Great War as the first male in the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service—a team of flying medics—Robert is resigned to mixing batches of philosophical chemicals and keeping the books for the family business in rural Montana, where his mother, a former soldier and vigilante, aids the locals. When a deadly accident puts his philosophical abilities to the test, Robert rises to the occasion and wins a scholarship to study at Radcliffe College, an all-women’s school. At Radcliffe, Robert hones his skills and strives to win the respect of his classmates, a host of formidable, unruly women. This reimagining of American history is a beautifully composed coming-of-age tale for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Knong 
Price: Rs 880


Ruth is 30 and her life is falling apart: she and her fiancé are moving house, but he’s moving out to live with another woman; her career is going nowhere; and then she learns that her father, a history professor beloved by his students, has Alzheimer’s. At Christmas, her mother begs her to stay on and help. Goodbye, Vitamin is the wry, beautifully observed story of a woman at a crossroads, as Ruth and her friends attempt to shore up her father’s career; she and her mother obsess over the ambiguous health benefits – in the absence of a cure – of dried jellyfish supplements and vitamin pills; and they all try to forge a new relationship with the brilliant, childlike, irascible man her father has become. Khong’s first novel sneaks up on you – just like life, illness and heartbreak. A million small, human and often deeply funny details gather force to tell a tale that is ultimately, incredibly poignant.

Leave A Comment