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Disclaimer: I hate Ibsen.

Tedious. Please. No one make me read this again. Please. Please.

How could someone make such a juicy soap-opera-type story so...more
Oct 03, 2010
Oct 02, 2010
Sermons of St. Alphonsus: For All the Sundays of the Year
If you would like all of your illusions to be utterly demolished, read this. They are painful to lose, but not nearly as painful as to keep. These are...more
Aug 12, 2013
Jul 18, 2013
Ninety-Five Theses
My thoughts on this are far too extensive for a review. But briefly, let me just say that Luther here is logical, rational, and correct mostly. As I r...more
Apr 05, 2010
Apr 05, 2010
The Craft of Fiction
If you're a wannabe novelist like I am, you've come to the wrong place for advice. Lubbock was a critic known for getting a little too excited about H...more
Mar 24, 2011
Mar 20, 2011
The Complete Short Stories Of Marcel Proust
Uneven, but evidence, no less, of genius. I can't believe he finished this by the time he was 21. I certainly wasn't writing like this then--I still c...more
Apr 26, 2011
Mar 24, 2011
The World's Last Night: And Other Essays
Lewis' essays are indispensable.

He repeats himself, of course, since he is not writing for such a collection, but writing occasional prose, usually i...more
Jul 2012
Jun 18, 2012
On Becoming a Novelist
I try not to read this kind of book, but I end up getting copies of them for free, which is for me an unanswerable argument.

I feel bad saying this, b...more
Feb 19, 2013
Feb 18, 2013
Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne
As with the rest of Keats, wonderful energy and intensity with a hint of madness. The letters form, at once, both an epistolary novella that is quite...more
Feb 27, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
The Moviegoer
Disappointingly plotless. Supposedly a Catholic existentialist novel (three of my favorite things) set in New Orleans at Mardi Gras, but really a bloa...more
Jul 23, 2013
Jun 18, 2013
I only read this because everybody said it was so good. Maybe I ruined it by having sky-high expectations. Nevertheless, this book is painfully overwr...more
Mar 02, 2009
Feb 21, 2009
The Lesson of the Master
Only a Master could have written something like this. And to think this is considered only one of James' minor works. Astonishing.

This may only be of...more
Oct 09, 2010
Sep 03, 2010
The Apology of Aristides on Behalf of the Christians
Fascinating. The testimony of St. Aristides of Athens before the Emperor Hadrian. Very much like that of St. Justin before Emperor Marcus Aurelius, bu...more
Feb 04, 2013
Feb 04, 2013
Eugene Pickering
Good, not great. James contrasts two young men: the narrator, a man of action [a Fortinbras, a Laertes], of worldly experience; and Eugene Pickering,...more
Oct 10, 2010
Sep 03, 2010
Think Like a Champion: An Informal Education In Business and Life
Given to me for Christmas by someone who loves me very much, so it hurts me to say that it is complete drivel. This person expected, like I did, that...more
Jan 2014
Dec 29, 2013
Thor's Angels
An engrossing, dramatic retelling of the barbarian invasions of Rome, Rome's fall, and its aftermath. Pretty addictive.
Apr 2014
Mar 27, 2014
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folger Shakespeare Library)
Read it in one evening. Lots of fun. Fluid, readable.

"Love is blind." We can create that trope of everyday speech to a 25 year old William Shakespear...more
Aug 20, 2010
Aug 15, 2010
The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary
Ambrose Bierce -- proper noun. Hilarious American scoundrel. Also wrote things, namely The Devil's Dictionary, a work the form of which obviously free...more
Oct 16, 2011
Sep 24, 2011
The Counterlife
Garbage. Mostly chatter, commentary. There are a few pages in Judea that are alive, but the rest are rubbish. Roth is always prone to tell rather than...more
Mar 03, 2014
Jan 23, 2014
Henry VIII
Decent. Not much of a plot, as "what it's about" jumps around from (1) Wolsey's conflict with the nobility, especially Buckingham; to (2) Henry's desi...more
Nov 22, 2010
Oct 15, 2010
Mother Teresa
"My power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:9)

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not...more
Mar 09, 2014
Jan 29, 2014
Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied & Survived Saddam Hussein
My boss got me this book for my birthday, and when your boss gets you a book for your birthday, you read it.

But to my disappointment, the title isn't...more
Jul 03, 2013
Jun 18, 2013
Can't We Make Moral Judgements?
There is, I think, a certain writing style popular, in my view, among contemporary British philosophers, if you think about it, one in which many word...more
Nov 09, 2011
Oct 30, 2011
A masterpiece. More people should read it instead of just reading the back of the book.
Jan 2005
Dec 15, 2008
Gave up on page 160. I just couldn't stand the prose style anymore. Worse than that, however, were the case studies--the people, all hideous narcissis...more
Jul 18, 2010
Jul 09, 2010
The Art of Dying Well
Since death could occur at any minute, it is necessary to be ready to die at any minute. And since, no matter what you do in life, all come to the sam...more
Jul 18, 2013
Jul 18, 2013
Twelfth Night
So good. Probably Shakespeare's best comedy. Lots of feminist/Jungian stuff going on--Viola can do what the boys can do even better than they can. Als...more
May 08, 2010
Apr 21, 2010
On Liberty and Utilitarianism
I am not a utilitarian, but Mill is clever, and beneath his boringboringboring wordy prose is a powerful argument. I hesitate to give this five stars...more
Jul 16, 2011
Jun 04, 2011
Maxims of the Saints
Found out about this through a cool site to which I'd gone I think in search of Ossian (I'd just been reading some Goethe)....more
Jun 22, 2011
Jun 22, 2011
Moses and Monotheism
All but useless as a historical work, but highly entertaining as a work of fiction. The work is made up of three essays in four sections/parts:

1. “Mos...more
Apr 10, 2013
Feb 26, 2013
The Stranger
I felt bad about not having read this. I'm glad I took a night and read the whole thing straight through. It's masterfully written, especially Part On...more
Jan 10, 2009
Jan 07, 2009