I found Galileo's Daughter to be both slow and fascinating. Or rather, it lead me to several fascinating thoughts, mostly more about the time period t...moreI found Galileo's Daughter to be both slow and fascinating. Or rather, it lead me to several fascinating thoughts, mostly more about the time period than the actual book/story, and mostly rage-filled. Everything I have to say is more about the time period described in the book than about the book itself.
The book itself: not a page-turner.
Let me just be strait and say: I'm really glad that it is 2010 and not 1610.
I'm really grateful that I live in the US and not a church-state. And I really really am motivated to continue supporting the separation of church and state in every single aspect of life.
I am thankful for freedom of speech. Thankful that writers and scientists and thinkers are not censored by a church.
I am thankful that it is no longer deemed acceptable (and celebrated even by the writer of this book) to imprison pre-teens in convents where they will be forced to live in abject poverty, endure malnourishment, perform unlimited manual labor, Catholicism, imprisonment and alternating celibacy/sexual abuse by priests for the rest of their lives!
I am shocked by the gall of someone who would imprison his daughters and then ask those daughters to do his damn laundry and manage his household and feel compassionate that he's on house arrest on his estate with plenty to eat and visitors and servants. And that his daughter did those things happily.
I don't understand the concept of doing someone's penance for them.
I don't understand the concept of respecting a church/organization that refuses to acknowledge the obvious just because it disagrees with something someone said once.
I don't understand the concept of being kicked out of believing something. In fact, this idea of religion as something you can be kicked out of is a huge and interesting concept.
I don't understand the concept of taking the Bible as fact.
I am horrified by the plague.
I do not and will not believe that church officials are particularly religious/good/spiritual...
What on earth were they teaching in universities before the understandings of physics that Galileo introduced. They even had complicated degree programs and credit requirements and all that stuff we have now... But they taught engineering without the concept of gravity, and medicine without the concepts of germs and with the nonsense of astrology! Makes you wonder what kind of bogus we're teaching each other these days.
I am amazed that anyone lived to be 70 years old when they were treating major diseases with candied oranges.(less)
I especially was interested in President Carter's discussions about fundamentalism, in religion and in politics. He...moreI like Jimmy Carter. Even more now.
I especially was interested in President Carter's discussions about fundamentalism, in religion and in politics. He defines fundamentalism in a way I'd not through of it before, but seemed dead on to me. He says that fundamentalism is the idea that we're right, and chosen and everyone else is wrong and therefor un-chosen and therefore disposable. Also that it gives power to leaders instead of to people, which leads to abuses of power. These are exactly the qualities of so many vocal religious groups that make me hostile to religion in general. Sometimes I forget that there are other kinds of religiosity. It's really rare to hear a public figure, especially a Christian public figure, standing up to the idea that some churches and church leaders have taken a selfish and corrupt path. I was preparing myself to really disagree with President Carter for the religious chapters, and I did disagree with him, especially when he talked about missionary work. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed what he had to say. He really shows that it is possible to separate religion and politics without being disloyal to your strongly held beliefs.
I was also so refreshed to hear him talk about religion in politics in a way that promotes peace, environmentalism and kindness, things that the most vocal religious political groups condemn. I want to give this book to all my Christian relatives who seem believe that Jesus wants them to starve the poor and bomb the middle east and all that other evilness.
I "read" this as an audio book, and I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have got through the book format. The second half or so got a big dull, but listening I could just tune out a bit without giving up entirely.(less)
If Thoreau were alive today, • He’d carry a sign that says “Keep the government out of my Medicare!” • He’d be Tim Ferris. • He’d live in a custom-built...moreIf Thoreau were alive today, • He’d carry a sign that says “Keep the government out of my Medicare!” • He’d be Tim Ferris. • He’d live in a custom-built trailer and call it a “tiny house”.
If Thoreau were alive 2,000 years ago, he’d be Jesus. • What the H is he rambling on about? What do Egyptians have to do with this? • Let me tell you the only acceptable way to bake bread. • Wise, and quotable quip... Worship me, please. • Did he just say that black slaves had it easier than free white men? Really? I can’t even.(less)
Did someone steal all the interesting White City pages from my library copy? I feel like I read a different book than all these glowing reviews.
The m...moreDid someone steal all the interesting White City pages from my library copy? I feel like I read a different book than all these glowing reviews.
The murderer chapters were page turning enough to get me into the first half of the book. I could bother with the White City to get to the next juicy chapter. But the fun parts eventually shrunk to few and far between and I had trouble finishing. Then the murder story came back, but from the perspective of a detective and without any clear sense of time line to keep things understandable. By the end it was a chore to finish.(less)
Two stars doesn't seem like enough for a book so fascinating and educational. My knowledge of WWII POWs and the Pacific theater in general has grown e...moreTwo stars doesn't seem like enough for a book so fascinating and educational. My knowledge of WWII POWs and the Pacific theater in general has grown exponentially. But two stars is all I can give because I really really did not enjoy reading Unbroken.
The tragedy and the violence were just too much for delicate little me. I had nightmares. I was crying nearly every time I picked up the book. The whole thing is brutally heartbreaking.
I couldn't help but be reminded of all the stories in the news the last few years about Americans torturing prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba. Until those thoughts surfaced, I was able to leave the story in the 1940s and assure myself that it was over. But really, no.
And then came Billy Graham and I lost faith in anything Hillenbrand had to say. I don't believe for a second that PTSD can be cured by listening to two Billy Graham sermons. I absolutely do not believe it. Dismissing serious mental illness as curable through magic is disgusting and harmful. Yes, Zamperini got better, and yes, his religious practices and therapies may have had something to do with that. But he was not cured in an instant. Someone is lying, or exaggerating, or misremembering (and as a Christian motivational speaker and missionary, it's clear that he has a motive for exaggerating all religious claims).
The whole religion thing threw a wrench into how I believed the rest of the book. I started to question things that I'd taken to be true previously. For example, the conditions in the POW camps are horrific, absolutely horrific, I have no doubt on that. But the way they're described we're lead to imagine that maybe 1 in 10 prisoners could possibly survive. Then at the end the author reveals that 2/3 lived! Impossible. Either the conditions were exaggerated or the death rate is under reported.(less)
I feel mislead by the subtitle and by some other reviews. I want to give it one star because it wasn't at all what I expected or hoped for. But it was...moreI feel mislead by the subtitle and by some other reviews. I want to give it one star because it wasn't at all what I expected or hoped for. But it wasn't that bad, just misnamed and over hyped.
This is a history of the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon with a minor lens toward race and slavery and even less about Dumas.
You know what Alexandre Dumas did that Edmond Dantes didn't do? Lead a cavalry for his entire adult life and more than half of his book. Bring servants and a goat and money into jail with him where he got to talk to his fellow prisoners.
I liked Crazy Salad. Some people call it outdated. I call it history. I did skip one chapter because nothing bores me like Watergate.
Scribble Scribble...moreI liked Crazy Salad. Some people call it outdated. I call it history. I did skip one chapter because nothing bores me like Watergate.
Scribble Scribble on the other hand, that is outdated. If all the Watergate stuff wasn't boring enough, the rest is about infighting and minor scandals among reporters. Minor scandals and infighting don't age well.(less)