Definitely a very interesting and thought provoking read, I found myself feeling both surprised and saddened that this was written almost 40 years ago...moreDefinitely a very interesting and thought provoking read, I found myself feeling both surprised and saddened that this was written almost 40 years ago and we're still dealing with the same kind of problems, only made worse. This is a philosophy book more than it is a gardening book, but it is because of the philosophy and the way of life it promotes that you could ever think of make the type of cultivation it proposes happen. Perhaps the measures that we would need to take to change our way of life would be too extreme. But if we can begin to change, to give up all this unnecessary desires and step out of the rat race, maybe we can be happier. (less)
This book is quite the game changer if you, like me, had a very traditional understanding of gardening and what a garden should look like. As a design...moreThis book is quite the game changer if you, like me, had a very traditional understanding of gardening and what a garden should look like. As a designer, it completely changed my way of seeing landscaping and what a landscape should look like and work like. This book teaches the basics of permaculture in a practical, non preachy way. It helps you design a forest garden, gives you the bases to work with large scale gardens and small scale gardens -though the actual small scale gardens could use more information, I'm sure there's other books on small spaces. What's important is that once you understand the principles -the major one can be summed up in: nature is doing fine without you, maybe you should let her do her thing- the garden looks like a completely different canvas. It's not 'how can it look good?' but 'what is missing in this ecosystem?'. Why wasn't I thinking about gardens as ecosystems?
This is definitely part of what is missing in our designers, landscapers and architects education. Until we ask ourselves, what is nature doing and how can I emulate it, we're going to keep hitting the same walls, investing time, energy and resources in our gardens and houses and cities, and we're gonna keep trying to invent solutions for problems we created ourselves.
Not my favorite PKD book, though still an interesting exploration of an alternate history universe where Nazi Germany and Japan won the war. The chara...moreNot my favorite PKD book, though still an interesting exploration of an alternate history universe where Nazi Germany and Japan won the war. The characters are all a bit annoying, though, it's hard to like them in a 'I wish we were friends' kind of way, but you still feel pretty bad for them when the shit hits the fan, so they aren't entirely assholes either. The pace and structure of the book is strange, as there's a sort of japanization of English that is used thoroughly and it's hard to fall in sync with it.
The end is a bit abrupt and confusing, though I've mused much about it -which in itself indicated this is a good book to me, bad books I don't give a second thought to- and I think it breaks the fourth wall and the book actually ends when the characters realize they aren't real, but characters in a book. Maybe I read the ending wrong, but I like the meta realization and how they last three characters take that knowledge, so I'm sticking with it. (less)
Err, I don't even know what to say about this book. For starters, I didn't know this wasn't the first book of the saga, so clearly I kind of just jump...moreErr, I don't even know what to say about this book. For starters, I didn't know this wasn't the first book of the saga, so clearly I kind of just jumped in the Courtney's party and was a bit confused. Second, I did not foresee the amount of smut this book runs with. Not bad smut, really, just, woah, caught me by surprise the first few super raunchy scenes. There was one swash buckling battle followed by some raunch for the first hundred pages or so.
The characters were pretty shallow as far as characters go and our young hero not necessarily very charming -though we are induces to believe that he is, he kind of doesn't charm much out of you. I liked Aboli, his free man african king friend/caretaker. He wasn't more fleshed out that anyone else but I liked him anyway.
So.. it was entertaining, and there was a lot of adventure, though it was a bit of slow reading because no character truly caught me so I didn't really feel like reading it. Was on the verge of dropping it a couple of times but I went on and in the end I can say I enjoyed it. Weird politics and raunch and battles and all. It was.. a book indeed. (less)
I felt like Contact is a book that tries to hard to be a story. I really enjoyed the way it made radio astronomy more approachable and closer to the r...moreI felt like Contact is a book that tries to hard to be a story. I really enjoyed the way it made radio astronomy more approachable and closer to the reader by adding the human factor. The politics were, I suppose, a product of it's time (not that we're that much further along in that regard) but I feel like it dragged a bit in that aspect. The religious aspect of the book, I felt, was timid. Having an agnostic as a point of view is bound to be infuriating for atheists and religious people alike, there is no real commitment to an agnostic. Now, we can read that as scientific prudence, but if you have been to either side of the religious argument this aspect is only going to grate on you. There is very little middle ground in the theoretical field, so in the book's situation, where it's so much less theoretical, I found it hard to sympathize with that posture. The spiritual experience, the contact itself, was perhaps less sci-fi than I expected, and I felt that 2001: Space Odyssey did a better job of it. In the end I felt like the book had a lot in common with Space Odyssey but that did it less well. (less)