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Thread: Captain's (Reading) Log: Stardate 2013.01-.365

  1. #76
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    The Prophecy by S J Parris. 7/10

    The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. 6/10

    The Suppliant Women by Aeschylus 7/10

    The Persians by Aeschylus. 7/10

    The Widows Secret by Brian Thompson. 7/10 (Book club choice)

    Prometheus Bound. by Aeschylus

    The Lost World. by Arthur Conan Doyle. 7/10

    King John. By Shakespeare

    The Voyage Out. By Virginia Woolf.

    Posthomerica by Quintus of Smyrna. 7/10

    Engleby. by Sebastian Faulks. 8/10

    Penny Falls. By Mark Bastable. 8/10

    Interesting and well written. A very unusual story of brotherly relationships and obligations. At his best when he makes us laugh.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 05-19-2013 at 08:51 AM.
    ay up

  2. #77
    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    Fashion Beast - Alan Moore
    Frankenstein - Mary Shelly (again, but this is the first time I picked up on the idea that Frankenstein is gay so it was a new experience for me)
    Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Samuel Taylor Coleridge (I shot the albatross!)
    Manfred - Lord Byron
    Some Wordsworth
    The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - William Blake
    Songs of Innocence and Experience - William Blake
    Rape of the Lock - Alexander Pope
    Goblin Market - Christina Rossetti
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________

    The entire A Song of Ice and Fire series again. I think I have a problem.
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. That Cheshire, he's a solid cat.

    “Excuse me sir,” Alice enquires, “could you tell me which road to take?”
    Wisely the cat asks, “Where are you going?”
    Somewhat dismayed, Alice responds, “Oh, I don’t know where I’m going sir.”
    “Well,” replied the cat, “if you don’t know where you are going, it really doesn’t matter which road you take.”
    Last edited by JuniperWoolf; 05-14-2013 at 07:12 PM.
    __________________
    "Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal."
    -Pi


  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lykren View Post
    3. Of Human Bondage is one of those books that improves after you've read it, when you start reflecting on how it moved you. Even though his prose style wasn't especially beautiful, the characters were sincerely drawn.

    4. A Passage to India was a very interesting book, and slightly better written than Of Human Bondage. I enjoyed hearing about Mrs. Moore's perspective on the events. I think the mystical overtones he gives in his presentation of her are somehow the key to this novel. If there is such a thing as a key to a novel.

    5. Ivanhoe felt like a typical adventure book, which doesn't really interest me, and I didn't care for the writing. At all.

    6. Henry VI, I, II, and III were much more exciting than Ivanhoe!

    7. King John is not one of my favorite history plays, and neither is

    8. Henry V. Too bad Falstaff had to die!

    9. Cymbeline was an interesting play with some beautiful passages, but I found myself slightly irritated by the wandering plot. Not my favorite of the Romances.
    10. Coriolanus is my least-favorite Shakespeare.

    11. Julius Caesar wasn't extremely interesting. I don't actually remember much of it, though. I guess that's not a positive sign, really.

    12. Romeo and Juliet was fantastic, much better than what I remembered from my freshman year reading. But if I need romance, I'd rather read Austen.

    13. The Oresteia didn't get much a reaction from me one or the way or the other. I suppose it was intriguing, had some lovely language in it. I suspect a second pass later on might do the trick.

    14. The Theban plays were better, I felt. Oedipus the King really took irony to the max, and Antigone was great. Oedipus the Colonus was a little confusing for me though.

    15. Medea was the best of the Greek lot. She's really a three-dimensional character.

    16. Lysistrata. Didn't like my translation much. Other than that, funny.

    and, currently reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.

  4. #79
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    The Prophecy by S J Parris. 7/10

    The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. 6/10

    The Suppliant Women by Aeschylus 7/10

    The Persians by Aeschylus. 7/10

    The Widows Secret by Brian Thompson. 7/10 (Book club choice)

    Prometheus Bound. by Aeschylus

    The Lost World. by Arthur Conan Doyle. 7/10

    King John. By Shakespeare

    The Voyage Out. By Virginia Woolf.

    Posthomerica by Quintus of Smyrna. 7/10

    Engleby. by Sebastian Faulks. 8/10

    Penny Falls. By Mark Bastable. 8/10

    Interesting and well written. A very unusual story of brotherly relationships and obligations. At his best when he makes us laugh

    The Epic of Gilgamesh 7/10

    The Sixth Science Fiction Megapack:
    25 Classic and Modern Science Fiction Stories.
    Arthur C. Clarke, Nancy Kress, George Zebrowski, Neal Asher, Pamela Sargent, Philip K. Dick, Mary A. Turzillo, C.M. Kornbluth, Samuel R. Delany

    A couple of stories I'd read before, a couple of good ones and some that weren't up to much .6/10
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 06-11-2013 at 07:35 AM.
    ay up

  5. #80
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spartk
    Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    In the Red Room by Paul Bowles (short story) That man can write the most disconcerting, yet fascinating stuff.
    Shooting an Elephant George Orwell If this man had written the phone book I would read it. My favorites were "How the Poor Die" and "Such, Such Were the Joys," and "A Hanging," followed by "The Prevention of Literature," "Charles Dickens," "Politics v. Literature: An Examination of Gulliver's Travels," "Some Thoughts on the Common Toad," "Reflections on Gandhi." I would hope it goes without saying that of course I love "Shooting an Elephant" and "Politics and the English Language." The former is on of my very favorite essays ever.
    Lost Paradise Cees Nooteboom This is a short novel, but one I keep returning to in my thoughts. I recommend it.
    Last edited by qimissung; 06-28-2013 at 11:53 PM.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  6. #81
    I read, therefore I am
    Join Date
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    Posts
    89
    January
    The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde 12/24/12 - 01/02/13 ***
    The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick 1/02 - 1/03 *** ½
    Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 1/03 - 1/07 *** ½
    Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 1/07 - 1/10 ***
    Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 1/10 - 1/13 *** ½
    Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 1/13 - 1/14 ***
    Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion 1/22 - 1/24 ****
    Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris 1/24 - 1/27 ****
    Room by Emma Donoghue 1/28 - 1/29 **

    February
    Lust for Life by Irving Stone 1/29 - 2/6 **
    Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin 2/6 - 2/22 ****
    Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini 2/23 - 2/26 ***

    March
    The Further Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Greg Matthews 2/26 - 3/2 ****
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote 3/2 - 3/6 ****
    World's End by T.C. Boyle 3/6 - 3/12 ****
    Summerland by Michael Chabon 3/12 - 3/15 ****
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 3/18 - 3/20 ****
    John Adams by David McCullough 3/21 - 3/30 ****

    April
    Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon 4/3 - 4/9 ** 1/2
    The Angel Experiment by James Patterson 4/9 - 4/12 ** 1/2
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 4/12 - 4/17 *****
    A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony 4/17 - 4/24 **
    Son of Danse Macabre by Bryce Wilson 4/24 - 4/27 *****
    Looking for Alaska by John Green 4/27 - 4/29 **

    May
    Duma Key by Stephen King 4/29 - 5/9 **
    Inferno by Dan Brown 5/22 - 5/27 ***
    The Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard 5/27 - 5/30 ****

    June
    Black Swan Green by David Mitchell 5/30 - 6/5 ***
    A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin 6/6 - 6/18 *****
    The Detective by Jonathan L. Howard 6/18 - 6/22 *** 1/2
    The Fear Institute by Jonathan L. Howard 6/23 - 6/28 ****
    Last edited by Bibliophile79; 06-28-2013 at 02:06 AM.

  7. #82
    Liberate Babyguile's Avatar
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    I'm not going to rate books, but if I feel compelled to make comments on them I will do so.

    1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
    I thought the sentimental melodrama of the third part was a chore to read, but found everything before that to be exceptional.

    2. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
    Unintelligent analyses from someone with a very juvenile sense of the world. Generalisations heaped upon generalisations. No suprise as dumb books sell big. She is arrogant enough to cast aspersions on feminist academics in the introduction, before commencing four hundred pages of crass ranting. A large part of her analytic strategy is to judge the value of all female activity on whether men do them too, underlined at the end of the book when she declares, 'I just want to be one of the guys, but with really good hair'. As for the comedy, her main technique was to use hyperbolic similes that had the sophistication of a child. I might have found some passages funny had I read the book, but listening to it in audio format made it seem like a bad stand-up routine.

    3. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
    My impression is that Dickens had a lot he wanted to say in this novel and, at only 288 pages, he had a very short amount of time in which to say it. The result was that the characters were placed efficiently into appropriate archetpyes, but they were not given the time to be fleshed out. David Copperfield shows how well he could write characters. Logic is telling me I should stick to reading his longer books if I want a really engaging plot and cast of characters.

    4. Delusions of Gender: the Real Science Behind Sex Difference by Cordelia Fine
    In some passages, this book blew my mind and challenged my perceptions in the extreme, and I'm a feminist. Logically, everyone should read this book; even the best of us has a level of subconscious sexism within, and this book makes the reader confront theirs head-on. Scientific thoroughness may be interpreted as repetitiveness by some readers, as she painstakingly tests her arguments from all possible angles, often guiding us to the same conclusions multiple times within a chapter. For me, an unwanted effect of this book is to disempower the individual. For instance, she exposes the futility of gender-neutral parenting, and it's very disheartening to read. Yet she concludes happily that, unbelievably (scarcasm), genes are not defining, and hormones are not gospel! I blame the whole mess on capitalism.

    5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    I liked the first part more than the long middle section. The conflicts with his family, the struggle for indentity in school, the clash of faiths, and colonialism are all very current themes. The middle section was, to me, an overwritten, tiresome slog. We know Pi survives because he wrote the account; there is no tension or suspense. Instead, Yann asks us to finish his book under the assumption that we, as readers, are unenlightened atheists who need to reach the end of his book to find hope and faith in our cold, rational lives. Yann Martel is one of those religious people who cannot tolerate or understand people who have no faith. It's a childrens's book. One good thing it would do is flush out all the anthropomorphic mush filling kids' heads as a result of too much children's television.

    6. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

    7. And Justice for Some by Wendy Murphy

    8. Written on the Skin: An Australian Forensic Casebook by Liz Porter
    'Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
    And so shall starve with feeding.'
    Volumnia in Coriolanus

  8. #83
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    The Damned United by David Peace - A football novel based upon real people and events in the football league in 1970s England written in a stream of consciousness style with intercut flashbacks.

    Snuff Terry Pratchett - Commander Vimes brings Goblin equality to the country.

    Pure - An engineer from Normandy is commissioned by a French Minister to dig out and remove the bones and bodies that have built up and begun affecting the air in the cemetery of Les Innocents in 18th century Paris. (The site of modern day Les Halles).

    Life and Fate by Vassily Grossmann. Grossman's epic, banned after it was written, has been compared to Tolstoy's War and Peace. I would agree that the novel, which spans the months during and after the fight for Stalingrad in WW2, is a brilliant depiction the life of soldiers, commisars, civilians, old Bolsheviks, Nazi commanders, prisoners and scientists. It details the lives, loves, characters, thoughts, flaws and pressures of living under Stalin's regime.

    No Country For Old Men by Cormac Mcarthy. A bleak, violent but philosophical novel that challenges the effectiveness of the cowboy/ American icon of the self sufficient, capable and honourable man. The psychopath Chigurh survives the course of the novel with his bleak, nihilistic belief in predestination.

    All The Pretty Horses by Cormac Mcarthy. Not as bleak as No Country, or Blood Meridian, but full of brilliant landscape evocations of Mexico with a ripping story. I've never ridden a horse, and I am unlikely to, (though you might be fooled into thinking I had with my bandy legs), but I enjoyed this almost mystical celebration of horses and their relation to people.

    Eon by Greg Bear Interesting sci fi with good ideas and a story that keeps you engrossed to the end.

    A Man Without Breath by Philip Kerr Bernie Gunther - ex Berlin detective co-opted as an investigator into an organisation of judges looking into war crimes - is called upon to uncover and present the mass grave at Katyn Woods near Smolensk as a Soviet Russian war crime in order to boost Nazi standing abroad. Great plot, instructive historical context and ripping thriller. I really enjoyed this one.

  9. #84
    Liberate Babyguile's Avatar
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    I'm not going to rate books, but if I feel compelled to make comments on them I will do so.

    1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
    I thought the sentimental melodrama of the third part was a chore to read, but found everything before that to be exceptional.

    2. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
    Unintelligent analyses from someone with a very juvenile sense of the world. Generalisations heaped upon generalisations. No suprise as dumb books sell big. She is arrogant enough to cast aspersions on feminist academics in the introduction, before commencing four hundred pages of crass ranting. A large part of her analytic strategy is to judge the value of all female activity on whether men do them too, underlined at the end of the book when she declares, 'I just want to be one of the guys, but with really good hair'. As for the comedy, her main technique was to use hyperbolic similes that had the sophistication of a child. I might have found some passages funny had I read the book, but listening to it in audio format made it seem like a bad stand-up routine.

    3. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
    My impression is that Dickens had a lot he wanted to say in this novel and, at only 288 pages, he had a very short amount of time in which to say it. The result was that the characters were placed efficiently into appropriate archetpyes, but they were not given the time to be fleshed out. David Copperfield shows how well he could write characters. Logic is telling me I should stick to reading his longer books if I want a really engaging plot and cast of characters.

    4. Delusions of Gender: the Real Science Behind Sex Difference by Cordelia Fine
    In some passages, this book blew my mind and challenged my perceptions in the extreme, and I'm a feminist. Logically, everyone should read this book; even the best of us has a level of subconscious sexism within, and this book makes the reader confront theirs head-on. Scientific thoroughness may be interpreted as repetitiveness by some readers, as she painstakingly tests her arguments from all possible angles, often guiding us to the same conclusions multiple times within a chapter. For me, an unwanted effect of this book is to disempower the individual. For instance, she exposes the futility of gender-neutral parenting, and it's very disheartening to read. Yet she concludes happily that, unbelievably (scarcasm), genes are not defining, and hormones are not gospel! I blame the whole mess on capitalism.

    5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    I liked the first part more than the long middle section. The conflicts with his family, the struggle for indentity in school, the clash of faiths, and colonialism are all very current themes. The middle section was, to me, an overwritten, tiresome slog. We know Pi survives because he wrote the account; there is no tension or suspense. Instead, Yann asks us to finish his book under the assumption that we, as readers, are unenlightened atheists who need to reach the end of his book to find hope and faith in our cold, rational lives. Yann Martel is one of those religious people who cannot tolerate or understand people who have no faith. It's a childrens's book. One good thing it would do is flush out all the anthropomorphic mush filling kids' heads as a result of too much children's television.

    6. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

    7. And Justice for Some by Wendy Murphy

    8. Written on the Skin: An Australian Forensic Casebook by Liz Porter

    9. And Then the Darkness by Sue Williams
    Last edited by Babyguile; 06-12-2013 at 07:21 AM.
    'Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
    And so shall starve with feeding.'
    Volumnia in Coriolanus

  10. #85
    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    Fashion Beast - Alan Moore
    Frankenstein - Mary Shelly (again, but this is the first time I picked up on the idea that Frankenstein is gay so it was a new experience for me)
    Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Samuel Taylor Coleridge (I shot the albatross!)
    Manfred - Lord Byron
    Some Wordsworth
    The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - William Blake
    Songs of Innocence and Experience - William Blake
    Rape of the Lock - Alexander Pope
    Goblin Market - Christina Rossetti
    A Song of Ice and Fire - G.R.R.M.
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
    ____________________________________________
    Bluebeard - Charles Perrault: love the gore, hate the morals.
    A Perfect, Gentle Knight - Kit Pearson: I read it for a Canadian lit class. Like most Canadian lit it was like a drink of lukewarm water.
    The Magician - W. Somerset Maugham: this one was shockingly relevant to my interests, and I liked it immensely.
    __________________
    "Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal."
    -Pi


  11. #86
    Liberate Babyguile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    England
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    I'm not going to rate books, but if I feel compelled to make comments on them I will do so.

    1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
    I thought the sentimental melodrama of the third part was a chore to read, but found everything before that to be exceptional.

    2. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
    Unintelligent analyses from someone with a very juvenile sense of the world. Generalisations heaped upon generalisations. No suprise as dumb books sell big. She is arrogant enough to cast aspersions on feminist academics in the introduction, before commencing four hundred pages of crass ranting. A large part of her analytic strategy is to judge the value of all female activity on whether men do them too, underlined at the end of the book when she declares, 'I just want to be one of the guys, but with really good hair'. As for the comedy, her main technique was to use hyperbolic similes that had the sophistication of a child. I might have found some passages funny had I read the book, but listening to it in audio format made it seem like a bad stand-up routine.

    3. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
    My impression is that Dickens had a lot he wanted to say in this novel and, at only 288 pages, he had a very short amount of time in which to say it. The result was that the characters were placed efficiently into appropriate archetpyes, but they were not given the time to be fleshed out. David Copperfield shows how well he could write characters. Logic is telling me I should stick to reading his longer books if I want a really engaging plot and cast of characters.

    4. Delusions of Gender: the Real Science Behind Sex Difference by Cordelia Fine
    In some passages, this book blew my mind and challenged my perceptions in the extreme, and I'm a feminist. Logically, everyone should read this book; even the best of us has a level of subconscious sexism within, and this book makes the reader confront theirs head-on. Scientific thoroughness may be interpreted as repetitiveness by some readers, as she painstakingly tests her arguments from all possible angles, often guiding us to the same conclusions multiple times within a chapter. For me, an unwanted effect of this book is to disempower the individual. For instance, she exposes the futility of gender-neutral parenting, and it's very disheartening to read. Yet she concludes happily that, unbelievably (scarcasm), genes are not defining, and hormones are not gospel! I blame the whole mess on capitalism.

    5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    I liked the first part more than the long middle section. The conflicts with his family, the struggle for indentity in school, the clash of faiths, and colonialism are all very current themes. The middle section was, to me, an overwritten, tiresome slog. We know Pi survives because he wrote the account; there is no tension or suspense. Instead, Yann asks us to finish his book under the assumption that we, as readers, are unenlightened atheists who need to reach the end of his book to find hope and faith in our cold, rational lives. Yann Martel is one of those religious people who cannot tolerate or understand people who have no faith. It's a childrens's book. One good thing it would do is flush out all the anthropomorphic mush filling kids' heads as a result of too much children's television.

    6. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

    7. And Justice for Some by Wendy Murphy

    8. Written on the Skin: An Australian Forensic Casebook by Liz Porter

    9. And Then the Darkness by Sue Williams

    10. Inside Their Minds: Australian Criminals by Rochelle Jackson
    'Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
    And so shall starve with feeding.'
    Volumnia in Coriolanus

  12. #87
    Registered User Desolation's Avatar
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    Portland, OR
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    1. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare (7/10)
    2. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (8/10)
    3. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (10/10)
    4. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare (8/10)
    5. Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (9/10)
    6. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon (8/10)
    7. Othello by William Shakespeare (10/10)
    8. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (not as good as I remember it, but 8/10 for the memories)
    9. The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac (7/10)
    10. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac (9/10)
    11. The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien (9/10)
    12. Underworld by Don DeLillo (10/10)

  13. #88
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    The Prophecy by S J Parris. 7/10

    The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. 6/10

    The Suppliant Women by Aeschylus 7/10

    The Persians by Aeschylus. 7/10

    The Widows Secret by Brian Thompson. 7/10 (Book club choice)

    Prometheus Bound. by Aeschylus

    The Lost World. by Arthur Conan Doyle. 7/10

    King John. By Shakespeare

    The Voyage Out. By Virginia Woolf.

    Posthomerica by Quintus of Smyrna. 7/10

    Engleby. by Sebastian Faulks. 8/10

    Penny Falls. By Mark Bastable. 8/10

    Interesting and well written. A very unusual story of brotherly relationships and obligations. At his best when he makes us laugh

    The Epic of Gilgamesh 7/10

    The Sixth Science Fiction Megapack:
    25 Classic and Modern Science Fiction Stories.
    Arthur C. Clarke, Nancy Kress, George Zebrowski, Neal Asher, Pamela Sargent, Philip K. Dick, Mary A. Turzillo, C.M. Kornbluth, Samuel R. Delany

    A couple of stories I'd read before, a couple of good ones and some that weren't up to much .6/10
    Paths of Glory. By Jeffrey Archer.

    The semi-fictional story of George Mallory, Mountaineer and Hero of the British Empire. It should've been really good, but it wasn't. I suspect a factual biography of this remarkable man would be more exciting and interesting. 6.5/10
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 07-10-2013 at 03:16 AM.
    ay up

  14. #89
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spartk
    Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    In the Red Room by Paul Bowles (short story) That man can write the most disconcerting, yet fascinating stuff.
    Shooting an Elephant George Orwell If this man had written the phone book I would read it. My favorites were "How the Poor Die" and "Such, Such Were the Joys," and "A Hanging," followed by "The Prevention of Literature," "Charles Dickens," "Politics v. Literature: An Examination of Gulliver's Travels," "Some Thoughts on the Common Toad," "Reflections on Gandhi." I would hope it goes without saying that of course I love "Shooting an Elephant" and "Politics and the English Language." The former is on of my very favorite essays ever.
    Lost Paradise Cees Nooteboom This is a short novel, but one I keep returning to in my thoughts. I recommend it.
    I Hunt Killers Barry Lyga A YA novel about a young man whose father is a notorious serial killer. Basically a fairly light read, but it nevertheless ponders what values of our parents we choose to keep and how we are shaped by them-and how sometimes we fight that when the parenting has been really, really bad.
    Divergent Veronica Roth Another YA book, this one about a dystopian society set sometime in the future.
    Code Orange Caroline B. Cooney Yet another YA novel. This one boasts an extremely likable protagonist, an easy-going high school kid whose suddenly faced with his own mortality and danger to his beloved New York City.
    Last edited by qimissung; 08-28-2013 at 01:25 AM.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  15. #90
    Liberate Babyguile's Avatar
    Join Date
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    I'm not going to rate books, but if I feel compelled to make comments on them I will do so.

    1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
    I thought the sentimental melodrama of the third part was a chore to read, but found everything before that to be exceptional.

    2. How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
    Unintelligent analyses from someone with a very juvenile sense of the world. Generalisations heaped upon generalisations. No suprise as dumb books sell big. She is arrogant enough to cast aspersions on feminist academics in the introduction, before commencing four hundred pages of crass ranting. A large part of her analytic strategy is to judge the value of all female activity on whether men do them too, underlined at the end of the book when she declares, 'I just want to be one of the guys, but with really good hair'. As for the comedy, her main technique was to use hyperbolic similes that had the sophistication of a child. I might have found some passages funny had I read the book, but listening to it in audio format made it seem like a bad stand-up routine.

    3. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
    My impression is that Dickens had a lot he wanted to say in this novel and, at only 288 pages, he had a very short amount of time in which to say it. The result was that the characters were placed efficiently into appropriate archetpyes, but they were not given the time to be fleshed out. David Copperfield shows how well he could write characters. Logic is telling me I should stick to reading his longer books if I want a really engaging plot and cast of characters.

    4. Delusions of Gender: the Real Science Behind Sex Difference by Cordelia Fine
    In some passages, this book blew my mind and challenged my perceptions in the extreme, and I'm a feminist. Logically, everyone should read this book; even the best of us has a level of subconscious sexism within, and this book makes the reader confront theirs head-on. Scientific thoroughness may be interpreted as repetitiveness by some readers, as she painstakingly tests her arguments from all possible angles, often guiding us to the same conclusions multiple times within a chapter. For me, an unwanted effect of this book is to disempower the individual. For instance, she exposes the futility of gender-neutral parenting, and it's very disheartening to read. Yet she concludes happily that, unbelievably (scarcasm), genes are not defining, and hormones are not gospel! I blame the whole mess on capitalism.

    5. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    I liked the first part more than the long middle section. The conflicts with his family, the struggle for indentity in school, the clash of faiths, and colonialism are all very current themes. The middle section was, to me, an overwritten, tiresome slog. We know Pi survives because he wrote the account; there is no tension or suspense. Instead, Yann asks us to finish his book under the assumption that we, as readers, are unenlightened atheists who need to reach the end of his book to find hope and faith in our cold, rational lives. Yann Martel is one of those religious people who cannot tolerate or understand people who have no faith. It's a childrens's book. One good thing it would do is flush out all the anthropomorphic mush filling kids' heads as a result of too much children's television.

    6. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

    7. And Justice for Some by Wendy Murphy

    8. Written on the Skin: An Australian Forensic Casebook by Liz Porter

    9. And Then the Darkness by Sue Williams

    10. Inside Their Minds: Australian Criminals by Rochelle Jackson

    11. Beyond Bad: the Life and Crimes of Katherine Knight, Australia's Hannibal by Sandra Lee
    'Anger's my meat; I sup upon myself,
    And so shall starve with feeding.'
    Volumnia in Coriolanus

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