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2/20/2009 - The Joy of Reading: 210 Favorite Books, Plays, Poems, Essays, Etc. The Joy of Reading: 210 Favorite Books, Plays, Poems, Essays, Etc. by Charles Van Doren

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I like Charles Van Doren -- read how to read a book and history of knowledge and owning the Great books of the western world as well as his work with adler on the great treasury of western thought has been part and parcel to my quest of self-education.

This book is heavy on the great works - also in the GBWW - and some of the short stories are in Gateway to great books. I expect it to take most of my life but I will eventually read all these works.

I do find myself to enjoy reading about reading and about books . I love books , and not just to read them. I add to the joy of reading by organizing my large library of books , I trade them , sell them , share them with friends , I use on-line resources such as bookmooch , and bookcrossing to trade and give books away and track their lives. I used to sell books on amazon , more for fun than profit. I love purchasing books , tag sales , used book stores and yes.. I still support authors by spending on new books via Amazon or at the local borders or B&N -

Read this book to understand the joy of reading , but feel free to learn for yourself the joy of BOOKS !!!!

View all my reviews.


A Case of Need A Case of Need by Michael Crichton

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Michael Crichton , a favorite author of mine`s , first book. I have read some favorable amazon reviews but must differ from them. I gave it a 3 rating so I liked it as the book kept my interest and I enjoyed the medical knowledge (or future knowledge when I look up a half-dozen items) it contained. But , the drama of his later books are clearly superior , and I think it is obvious that this is a weaker precursor of greater things to come. Some touted the plot twists , or the writing , or the conclusion as wonderful writing. I didn`t think the plots twisted enough , I thought too many threads were left dangling in the end , and the writing was just solid , not engrossing.
That being said , it is still a worthy quick read , that does pose the moral questions of abortion and a glimpse of the social mind 40 yrs ago.

View all my reviews.


World Without End World Without End by Ken Follett

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read pillars only about 3 years ago so It wasn`t 18 yrs later waiting for the sequel for me.

But , It was an unbelievably good book. THis book, like its predecessor has moments of extreme uncomfortability due to the lieable characters` trials and tribulations and heartwrenching episodes and consequences.
Follet has a tendency to show the truly ugly side of humanity and have that ugliness inflicted upon the morally incorruptable characters that you have come to love. The result is some tossing of the book across the room on occassion but thats telling of the author`s ability to develop his characters.




Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars --- November 9th , 2008
I gave it a 4 for an economics book which is saying something , but this is not equivalent to a 4 for ....say ....an ANNE Rice novel. But as an economics book , this easily digestible primer , is not only informative but mildly amusing. The author explains the theories and tenets of economics without boring you to tears. I believe I have more of a complete understanding of economics as some of the blanks in my comprehension of this subject has been filled.
I recall one of my first book adventure capitalist as a fun economics book that tauted free trade , but this book truly explains why it works.

View all my reviews.

1/2/08 - Read - The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus - by Christopher Marlowe

A classic , in the form of a play. If you read this make sure the book has footnotes at the bottom as there are references and word-use in this book that won`t make sense to the modern reader without help. -

The quick and dirty synopsis of Doctor Faustis is that its about an overreaching man who sold his soul to the devil for worldly gain.

12/23 - Audio books - you may find at your library - The Great Courses - visit their site at http://www.teach12.com/ -- they also have dvd courses.

12/17/07 - Next - by Micheal Crichton -

A typical Crichton book delivered in a non-typical way. Reading an MC book usually means reading about a general scientific or medical topic , exploring it , watching the theme expand to the point of absurdity ; thus demonstrating the dangers , or underlining his take on the topic.

The topic of choice in this book is genome research , testing , and patenting as well as a range of other issues surrounding genetics.

The non-typical structure of this book was intentional , he modeled the structure after the genome itself, incorporating fragments of popular culture, and writing a series of stories that sometimes interconnected, and sometimes didn't. Some may like this style and some may not , I liked the book , though admit , I did lose track of some characters. In any event , its definitely a worthy read and will cause you to do some personal research on the topic upon completion of this book.


12/11/07 - Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities -

"It was the best of times , It was the worst of times "

Set in the time of the french revolution , this wonderfully written novel describes the brutality of both the French and English aristocrats in their acts of oppression upon the peasants. The revolution , Dickens believes is the only natural result , is described with bloody detail of the despicable acts of the peasants upon the aristocrats. Dickens sympathizes with the poor and downtrodden , yet equally denounces the horrific actions of both.

""Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious licence and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit [...]."

Deep throaty movie announcer voice The Bastille, La Guillotine , Two men in love with the same woman , 2 men brought back from death , thanks to one woman. da de - da de deah...... Read it.


12/1/07 I have recently started listinening to modern scholar - odyssey of the west thru the great books. They are college - level lectures that guide you thru the great books.

See the course outline - HERE

May`s Book of the Month

Finally came out as a movie , but YOU Have to read the book. This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. You will actually laugh out loud. I cannot provide a review because I do not claim to fully understand this book. Read it yourself and let me know


April Book of the Month

Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident.

Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible.

He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever he the same...


March Book of the Month

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Set in 12th-century England, the narrative concerns the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge. The ambitions of three men merge, conflict and collide through 40 years of social and political upheaval as internal church politics affect the progress of the cathedral and the fortunes of the protagonists. "Follett has written a novel that entertains, instructs and satisfies on a grand scale," judged PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

See The spoiler review and thoughts of Pillars of the earth By Kevin Beary

2/4/05 - The Kasualkafes Book of the month for February

Product Description:

Discover a time of ritual and sacrifice...A land steeped in blood and glory...A family of brothers whose deadly rivalries and glorious ambitionswill forever mark the world.In this rousing epic, Bernard Cornwell has created the Most compelling and powerful human drama of its kind since Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth and Edward Rutherford's Sarum.

  Read the Spoiler Review and Contemplations of Stonehenge
by Kevin Beary


Want to read Great Books , visit the hidden page on my site to learn about the great books of the western world and to get lists of great books. type in /greatbooks.htm after the name of my website

See more book reviews including DaVinci Code

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