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Primitive Mythology (The Masks of God, #1)
I wish I could like Campbell's Masks of God series more than I do. I keep having the same experience -- I pick one up and read 15 pages that are magni...more
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Jul 19, 2009
The Jargon Of Authenticity
I have a special affection for this book, which cogently diagnoses a phenomenon with which I am all-too-familiar, living as I do in Northern Californi...more
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Jan 20, 2010
The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā
In my opinion, Nagarjuna is the greatest philosopher who has ever lived, and this is his magnum opus. In a series of reductio ad absurdum-like analyse...more
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Jan 22, 2009
The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge
I can't help but think the main reason this book remains in currency is because it is widely regarded as the locus classicus for a definition and anal...more
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Oct 09, 2011
Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human
When I read a book, I like to do the author the courtesy of taking it seriously in the terms in which it's presented. So when Grant Morrison offers a...more
Feb 09, 2012
Nov 15, 2011
The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day
This is a beautiful book - a large-format facsimile reproduction of the Papyrus of Ani in large color images with translation of the hieroglyphs benea...more
Aug 30, 2009
Aug 24, 2009
Verses from the Center: A Buddhist Vision of the Sublime
There is much about Stephen Batchelor's new translation of Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika which is extremely useful, although the work is also highl...more
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Jan 03, 2010
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
I wish I could recommend this book, as the topic is an interesting and important one, but I can't. It's simply not well written or organized.

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Sep 24, 2010
The Saga of the Volsungs
Medieval Icelandic literature is highly variable in quality and comprehensibility, but the Volsung Saga is a masterpiece of the genre, and here it is...more
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Nov 24, 2010
The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven
Charles Rosen is one of the great musicologists of the twentieth century and in The Classical Style he does a marvelous job characterizing the classic...more
May 14, 2009
Mar 20, 2009
The Origin of the Young God: Kalidasa's Kumarasambhava
Kalidasa was a poet of the golden age of Sanskrit verse who deserves comparison with Homer and Shakespeare. His vibrant and expressive gifts are of th...more
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Sep 14, 2012
The Divided West
In The Divided West, Habermas writes as a European intellectual staking out a path forward in the post-9/11 world, not in the technical language of hi...more
Oct 08, 2010
Aug 13, 2010
Social Justice in Islam
I don't know what to say about Qutb's book, really, except I suppose it was interesting to encounter a form of social criticism that is based in a fra...more
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Jan 18, 2014
Michelangelo: The Vatican Frescoes
Before making a purchase, I carefully compared several books on the Sistine Chapel, because what's the point of buying a book on the Chapel that doesn...more
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Oct 11, 2011
Y Gododdin: Britain's Oldest Heroic Poem
Y Gododdin constitutes the oldest extant collection of Welsh verse of note. Attributed to Aneirin, it is a collection of elegiac verses memorializing...more
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Dec 28, 2013
The Yoga-Sutra of Patañjali: A New Translation and Commentary
Georg Feuerstein is in love with his words. How else to explain his needlessly flashy translation that renders perfectly well known Sanskrit terms suc...more
May 2010
Apr 26, 2010
The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk's Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt
"The Sixth Grandfather" offers an annotated presentation of the raw transcripts of the testimony of the Lakota medicine man Black Elk to the poet and...more
Dec 20, 2012
Dec 13, 2012
Solomon attempts to do the impossible in this book -- to get inside the unconscious minds of the Mozarts on the basis of historical documents and lett...more
Mar 28, 2009
Mar 20, 2009
Plato's Parmenides
This in-depth study should dispel the misguided belief that Plato's "Parmenides" is an exercise in spinning aporiae, or intellectual puzzles. Scolinco...more
Dec 06, 2011
Nov 27, 2011
Carson is like a centaur without the horse. She has such a prodigious command of style and form that one is tempted to overlook the lack of passion. A...more
Aug 13, 2010
Jul 11, 2010
The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
Scott's book is an entertaining and readable overview of the culture of Gothic cathedral building in Europe, particularly France and England. A sociol...more
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Oct 10, 2011
In the Forest of Faded Wisdom: 104 Poems by Gendun Chopel, a Bilingual Edition
I'm not entirely sure why scholars continue to translate volumes of Tibetan poetry. Still less do I understand why I keep reading them, although in th...more
Apr 27, 2010
Apr 19, 2010
Not finished, just leaving a few notes for my eventual review.

Remes book could be clearer. She lays out the structure of Plotinus' hierarchy of being...more
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Jan 11, 2011
The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
This ambitious, thrilling guide to notational music in the twentieth century admirably succeeds in its many goals. Alex Ross, recent recipient of a Ma...more
May 2009
Mar 31, 2009
Hathor Rising: The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt
I like this book and find it an enjoyable read, but the author has a very tough thesis to work with. Roberts wants to show a continuity and evolution...more
Sep 10, 2009
Aug 28, 2009
The Forge and the Crucible: The Origins and Structure of Alchemy
Is it too much to ask for a book to be properly named? Gah.

Sure, this book treats alchemy, for around 40% of its length, but in its totality it's con...more
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Nov 08, 2009
The Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension
Along with "The Mythic Image" this is the Campbell book I'd recommend to newbies, more than "Hero with a Thousand Faces" and much more than "The Masks...more
Aug 16, 2009
Aug 15, 2009
The Name of the Rose
Eco's masterful novel is many things: a study of High Medieval Europe, a murder mystery, and a nested critique of scriptural literalism and inductive...more
Jan 13, 2011
Dec 20, 2010
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
This useful book contains some key insights, but they are excessively watered down by Taleb's self-indulgent and too-clever-by-half yarn spinning.

Oct 25, 2009
Oct 01, 2009
The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk
Georges Dreyfus is a scholar of truly prodigious learning. In this book he reflects on his unique experience studying in various Ge-luk-ba monastic ed...more
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Jan 03, 2010
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