The chapter on visiting teaching and the last chapter were very inspiring. I plan on reading them again, especially when I need motivation to serve in...moreThe chapter on visiting teaching and the last chapter were very inspiring. I plan on reading them again, especially when I need motivation to serve in my callings!(less)
I liked some of what Ayn Rand wrote, but I think that the ending is too strongly selfish. There is too much of a “this extreme” or “that extreme” appr...moreI liked some of what Ayn Rand wrote, but I think that the ending is too strongly selfish. There is too much of a “this extreme” or “that extreme” approach. That may not be what the author is advocating, but from what I’ve read about her, that really is what she supports. I think that people should be true to themselves in ways that are healthy for the group that they belong to. I know that there are many benefits that come from belonging to a group that make our lives so much more meaningful and beautiful than if we didn’t have them. We can’t let ourselves get entirely caught up in our own concerns, but neither can we lose our identity in belonging strictly to a group. I think that there is more balance to this issue than Ayn Rand allows for.(less)
Wow! I had no idea that Common Sense was so interesting! There were some points of logic that I didn't quite agree with, but for the most part I liked...moreWow! I had no idea that Common Sense was so interesting! There were some points of logic that I didn't quite agree with, but for the most part I liked what Paine said. What I didn't like was that he tries to present his ideas as purely common sense and that every person who can reason will agree with him; however, I found that he included quite a bit of rhetoric that was purely emotional. I think he was much more biased than he gave himself credit for.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the pamphlet:
p. 18 “’Tis not the affair of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings now.” I like that Paine says that they were deciding not just for themselves but for their posterity.
p. 22 “As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully.”
p. 24 “The present wither is worth an age if rightly employed, but if lost or neglected, the whole continent will partake of the misfortune; and there is no punishment which that man will not deserve, be he who, or what, or where he will, that may be the means of sacrificing a season so precious and useful.”
p. 29 “If there is any true cause of fear respecting independence, it is because no plan is yet laid down.”
p. 31 “But where say some is the King of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doeth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed threon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING.”
p. 37 “We are not the little people now, which we were sixty years ago; at that time we might have trusted our property in the streets, or fields rather; and slept securely without locks or bolts to our doors or windows. The case now is altered, and our methods of defence, ought to improve with our increase of property.”
p. 40 “Youth is the seed time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals. It might be difficult, if not impossible, to form the Continent into one government half a century hence.”
p. 41 “As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensible duty of all government, to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith.”(less)
Meh. It was okay. I listened to it while I was doing work around the house, so it kept me entertained with normally boring stuff. But I think that if...moreMeh. It was okay. I listened to it while I was doing work around the house, so it kept me entertained with normally boring stuff. But I think that if I'd been reading it I might have just stopped.(less)
**spoiler alert** Wow! This book was interesting and thought-provoking. I wouldn't really recommend it to just anyone, because of the sexual content,...more**spoiler alert** Wow! This book was interesting and thought-provoking. I wouldn't really recommend it to just anyone, because of the sexual content, even though it's mild. But it is an interesting dystopia that got me thinking about the role of work and pleasure in my life.
I started out reading a copy checked out from the library, then finished it by listening to an audiobook version. I don't know if I would have made it all the way through if I hadn't been listening to it, since I thought the beginning wasn't very catchy.
But once John comes back to the Brave New World from the reservation, the moral message (which I had seen already) took an interesting twist and I wanted to see what would happen. I honestly didn't expect it to end with the two rebellious but "civilized" men being happily sent off to an island where there are more like them and John killing himself. I expected the violence to be done to him by the controlling government. However, Huxley's dystopian society is so civilized that they couldn't kill anyone. They just drove him to kill himself by their absolute lack of feeling.
And I really believe that when we drown ourselves with pleasure (which is not necessarily happiness) we are really cutting ourselves off from feelings and our abilities to deal with negative feelings. People do this all the time with addictions to all kinds of substances and behaviors, but to have it systematically done by a government and have most people in the society completely satisfied is a truly scary thing to read about in a book.
A new favorite quote: “No, of course it isn’t necessary. But some kinds of baseness are nobly undergone. I’d like to undergo something nobly.” This is so true. Sometimes we want to go through something humiliating in order to show that we are the kind of person who can do it. Or to show that we are willing to do it for someone we love. True nobility comes from doing what's right even when it's difficult because of the good that will come from it.(less)
It was a cute little book. It wasn't really that well-written, but it was Louisa May Alcott's first novel, written when she was 17, and never publishe...moreIt was a cute little book. It wasn't really that well-written, but it was Louisa May Alcott's first novel, written when she was 17, and never published during her lifetime. So I was expecting it to not be as good as her other works.(less)
I have started reading El Libro de Mormon (The Book of Mormon in Spanish) several times since I started learning Spanish in high school. But I never m...moreI have started reading El Libro de Mormon (The Book of Mormon in Spanish) several times since I started learning Spanish in high school. But I never made it past 2 Nefi. I just finished it, and I am so glad that I did. I can tell that my abilities in Spanish have really improbved, and I have enjoyed the new perspective on familiar verses that I get from reading them in Spanish. I definitely plan on reading it again.(less)
This was another gritty novel written by Steinbeck. And I really had a hard time seeing much of a point to this novel. He describes the lives of paisa...moreThis was another gritty novel written by Steinbeck. And I really had a hard time seeing much of a point to this novel. He describes the lives of paisanos on Tortilla Flat, near Monterey, California. So much of the time they are merely looking for food and for ways to get wine, and it is hard to see the characters develop or change at all. I think it was good to read once, but I don't think that I'll read it again.(less)