About this item

'What you are doing right now is, cosmically speaking, against the odds.' As young children, we are taught to read, but soon go on to forget just how miraculous a process it is, this turning of scratches and dots into understanding, unease and inspiration. Perhaps we need to stop and remember, stop and learn again how to read better. Damon Young shows us how to do exactly this, walking alongside some of the greatest readers who light a path for us -- Borges, Plato, Woolf. Young reads passionately, selectively, surprisingly -- from superhero noir to speculative realism, from Heidegger to Heinlein -- and shows his reader how cultivating their inner critic can expand their own lives as well as the lives of those on the pages of the books they love.

About the Author

Damon Young

I'm an Australian philosopher, author and columnist.

I'm the author or editor of seven books, including five adult nonfiction and two children's books.

I'm an Honorary Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, and Founding Faculty at the School of Life, Melbourne.

In 2013 I was awarded the AAP's Media Prize for my work in public philosophy.

I live in Melbourne's eastern suburbs with my wife, son and daughter.

Nonfiction Books

My new book, for UK Pan Macmillan's School of Life series, is How to Think About Exercise. It's out now in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, India. Other territories may follow.

My last book was Philosophy in the Garden, described by The Australian as "fluent and stylish and never marred by cliches or cliched thinking." The UK edition, Voltaire's Vine and Other Philosophies, will be published in April 2014 by Rider, an imprint of Random House. Editions will follow in Holland (Ten Have) , Turkey (Can) and other territories soon.

My first book was Distraction, published in Australia, the US and UK. The UK's Financial Times called it "lucid and optimistic". It's also published in Mexico, in Spanish.

I'm also the editor, with Graham Priest, of Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness. My next book with Graham, Philosophy and the Martial Arts: Engagement, will be out in 2014 with Routledge.

Nonfiction Books

My first children's picture book, My Nanna is a Ninja, will be published by UQP in March 2014. My second will follow in 2015. Both are illustrated by Peter Carnavas.

Opinion, Features and Reviews

I've published opinion, features and reviews for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Australian Literary Review, Herald-Sun and BBC. I'm a regular columnist for the ABC and Canberra Times. My work is published in The Best Australian Science Writing 2013.

I've also written poetry and fiction for Overland and Meanjin magazines.

Radio and Television

I regularly comment on radio, including a monthly spot as a 'Modern Dilemmas' panelist on Radio National's 'Life Matters'. I was a regular guest on 'Mornings' with Alan Brough on ABC 774, 'philosopher-in-residence' on 'Afternoons' with James Valentine on ABC Sydney 702, and 'sports philosopher' with Francis Leach on SEN 1116. I've also spoken on television: ABC's 'The Drum' and 'Hack' and Channel 7's 'Sunrise'.

Academic Background

I have a PhD in Philosophy, after a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Literature. I am an Honourary Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, where I was a Research Fellow in Aesthetics from 2005-2007.

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