Hi! I’m Nick Chesterley, and Subtle Illumination is about trying to read and learn from the words of the wise, hopefully gaining some wisdom of our own. The focus is on what we can learn from a given book, though I’ll briefly discuss content and provide my own thoughts on the book.

My reading tends to center around economics, history, psychology, and more broadly human nature and human society, but I dabble widely. All I can really promise is a fairly whimsical wander around various books I think are interesting – hopefully you’ll think the same!

I’ll aim to post around one review a week, normally on Sunday, life/schedule permitting.

The title, if you’re interested, is both a quote from the Tao Te Ching (36.2) and a reference to the medieval art of of illuminating manuscripts: they served to accentuate and supplement the text around them, and hopefully this blog too will provide some measure of illumination.


Two things. FIrst, sometimes I get advance reader copies of books, in exchange for a review. The copies are given purely for a review, and so I’ll be posting my thoughts whether good or bad, but I’ll also mention when this is the case at the bottom of the post, for full transparency.

Second, you’ll notice that I include Amazon links at the bottom of most of my reviews. I’m part of the Amazon Affiliates program, and so if you click on one of my links and buy something, it costs you the same but I get a small commission. The idea is to roughly cover my cost of hosting the website, but only when you would have bought the books anyway, and it means you and I both don’t have to suffer any aesthetically inconvenient ads.


While writing book reviews I will sometimes publish excerpts from the work of others. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch as the copyright holder if you have concerns over something I have posted, and I will do my best to accommodate them.

The content of the site represents purely the opinion of the author, and so may be subject to errors or omissions for which the author cannot be held liable.

6 thoughts on “About

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    I believe this website holds some rattling excellent info for everyone. “To be able to be caught up into the world of thought — that is being educated.” by Edith Hamilton.

    1. Nick Post author

      Thanks, and great quote! I’ve always liked “A room without books is like a body without a soul” – Cicero.

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  4. Bennie

    Superb bllg you have here but I was wanting too know if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I’d really love to be a part oof community where I can get opinions from
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    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Manny thanks!

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