Patrick Lam

Thoughts and travels of Patrick Lam

Review: On Cold Iron by Dan Levert

About the history of engineering: the Canadian Iron Ring Ceremony and the Quebec Bridge disaster.

Review: The Last Front Line by Brendan O'Dwyer

How the sausage is made: Brendan O’Dwyer writes about building the Paparoa Great Walk on NZ’s West Coast.

Book review: Wellington's Railways: Colonial Steam to Matangi, by David Parsons

David Parsons. Wellington’s Railways: Colonial Steam to Matangi. 2010. This book is certainly not lacking in detail. It covers the early development of Wellington region rail (different parts of New Zealand, and I guess many other countries, were quite isolated 150 years ago) until 1920; refinements from 1920 to 1970; and the changes from 1970 to 2010. Wellington rail did manage to mostly hang on through the global Reagan-Thatcher neoliberal era.

Review: Flight of the Huia by Kerry-Jayne Wilson

A review of a 2004 book about NZ ecology, ecosystems, and species endemic to NZ.

Book review: Before the Dawn by Tōson Shimazaki

A review of the Great Japanese Novel, which describes the life of village chief Aoyama Hanzō along a main highway through the opening of Japan to the world and the Meiji Restoration. Kind of the anti-It’s-a-Wonderful-World as he realizes that his efforts didn’t bear much fruit.