Everyone should read this book. I know parts of it feel like a bad science lecture, and being the recepient of hundreds of bad science lectures over tEveryone should read this book. I know parts of it feel like a bad science lecture, and being the recepient of hundreds of bad science lectures over the years I understand, but this book will make you look at things you have taken for granted for years in an entirely new light. It will force you to rethink a lot....more
Wow. I wasn't sure about this book even halfway through it (it's a relatively short book so that was only 75-100 pages into it) but then it just seemeWow. I wasn't sure about this book even halfway through it (it's a relatively short book so that was only 75-100 pages into it) but then it just seemed like something clicked and I decided this book was amazing. I really enjoyed it. It felt like being inside Kundera's head. It seemed like he was just having fun but it definitely worked....more
A good friend of mine and I were both laid off while I was reading this book. Sometimes, timing is everything.
So, on the one hand, this book kind of sA good friend of mine and I were both laid off while I was reading this book. Sometimes, timing is everything.
So, on the one hand, this book kind of scares me. Obama doesn't hold anything back when describing the state of modern politics in the US. Republicans have been scaring people into voting for them for years, and it's all completely false, but it scares people into voting for them. Not to be mean, but my coworker who's very republican isn't the sharpest tool in the shed and he thinks the world will end almost everyday so I can easily understand how he can be scared into voting republican, but I have family back in Iowa who are smart who are still easily scared into voting Republican. Statistics prove how false the Republicans claims are. Most of my family back in Iowa are afraid Obama will take their guns away. Obama's been the senator for Illinois. He's not worried about hunters with guns. He's worried about gangs in the cities with guns. He's worried about automatic weapons. Do you need an automatic weapon to kill a deer? With the state of the economy and foreign affairs, I'm guessing those are higher priorities than taking guns away from hunters, but the GOP has convinced people that Obama will take their guns away. People started buying guns like there was a fire sale for the first few weeks after Obama was elected. Republicans claim that Democrats spend way too much money, yet at the end of Clinton's presidency, we had a budget surplus, and at the end of Bush's presidency, we had deepened the deficit into new, frightening levels, over $30,000 per person in the United States. Per person, every man, woman, and child, $30,000. Tax cuts for the rich are the same as spending. Obama talked to Warren Buffett, the 2nd richest man in the world, and Buffett complained about Bush's tax cuts because he didn't believe in them. Republicans use pro-life as a motto to get people to vote for them. People will often voted based on one issue without looking at any other issue, much like pro-choice vs pro-life. Yet, statistics show that there are more abortions performed when a Republican is in the White House because when people have more money, they make better choices, and when a democrat is in office, everyone below the top 1% money-wise, has more money.
On the other hand, it gives me a lot of hope (audacious, I know) that Obama is now in the White house as I'm reading this. Obama asks not to vilify Bush. I'm convinced that would be easier for him because he's met Bush. I'm sure Bush is a likeable enough guy in person, but all I have to go on here are his policies, the war in Iraq, the drastic state of foreign policy, the disastrous economy that makes me nervous every pay day because my firm has already laid off 30% of our people and almost every architect friend of mine in Chicago has already been laid off. So it's more difficult for me not to vilify Bush. Of course, I think we can thank Bush for putting a Democrat in the White House and filling both the Senate and the House with Democrats....more
Non-fiction books should use this book as an example of scope. It was incredibly detailed and looked at every aspect and character involved in the firNon-fiction books should use this book as an example of scope. It was incredibly detailed and looked at every aspect and character involved in the first month of World War I. I read Looming Tower several months ago and it had the same level of scope. Most history books should be this involved.
It took me longer to read than it should've because I picked up my copy at a thrift store. It was originally printed in the 60's so the paper was getting brittle. The book had to stop travelling with me when the proportion of tape versus cover on the book started going too far towards the tape side....more
I find it amazing how Sean Andrew Greer can write an entire book based on the premise and the promise of a single, beginning sentence. He did it withI find it amazing how Sean Andrew Greer can write an entire book based on the premise and the promise of a single, beginning sentence. He did it with the Confessions of Max Tivoli and he did it again with this book. It's too bad more people haven't read him because I would compare him to Kundera in the ways he can explore the relationships between people, almost dissecting them at times. He is definitely one of the top contemporary authors....more
So let me start with a few of the reasons why I shouldn't have liked this book. -I usually prefer contemporary fiction. -The Americans are, for the mostSo let me start with a few of the reasons why I shouldn't have liked this book. -I usually prefer contemporary fiction. -The Americans are, for the most part, sad, sad characters. Eliot is obsessed with society and culture to the detriment of love and emotion. Isabel wouldn't marry Larry because he would never be rich, and she was disappointed when she inherited some Picassos and Matisses because they wouldn't match her modern decor. Gray was somewhat single minded about work. -The level of detail used to describe the three main cities, Chicago, Paris, and London, went a long way to prove that Maugham spent very little time in Chicago, which is, of course, his loss. -Two people told me how good it was. Even though I highly respect the literary opinions of both, (both are over-qualified booksellers, both read as much as I do, and neither has uttered the sentence, 'the da vinci code was the most greatest book I have ever read') whenever someone recommends a book to me it's usually a precursor to that book being crap. I guess I have strange tastes and I generally don't like people telling me what to read. Now that I've gotten through all that I can say, as you've probably guess by my 5 star rating, that I really enjoyed this book. Larry was an incredible character, who's life I was, for the most part, quite jealous of. Maugham disected love, relationships, and emotions. He dealt with tremendous ideas of religion and good/evil. And he did so in a believable way which is rare when an author deals with such immense, important themes. It was kind of a cheat to include himself as a character. He came off as extrememly sensitive to some of the smallest character flaws, but when you create the characters yourself, it makes it easier. All in all, this was a tremendous read which I would recommend to just about everyone, unless of course your favorite book is the da vince code....more
Ok... I liked it. I really did, hence the 5 stars. I'm kinda surprised because several people told me to read it and that's usually a good indicator tOk... I liked it. I really did, hence the 5 stars. I'm kinda surprised because several people told me to read it and that's usually a good indicator that I won't like it. I guess I just have abnormal tastes. Anyways, it was really good, one of the most complete stories I have ever read, at turns happy, at others disturbing. I would think about reading it again sometime if it wasn't 650 pages....more
I gave this book 5 stars because it's a debut novel, it's about Chicago, and it hit a little close to home. I'm an architect and almost every architecI gave this book 5 stars because it's a debut novel, it's about Chicago, and it hit a little close to home. I'm an architect and almost every architecture firm in the country is talking about layoffs because of the economy.
I've heard this from just about everybody and I'll say it as well... This book wasn't what I thought it would be but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It was really good. For a book about office life, it was damn near perfect. I loved the 'we' of the book. They way it told the story from the group's perspective just like my friends from work and I would. I also enjoyed the Catch-22ness of it. Memory doesn't work in perfect chronological order, it works via association, like the stories in this book are told. I also enjoyed the Chicago references. It was a great book....more
Understand, it's been over a decade since I read Dark Knight Returns so I probably need to read it again to give my memory a boost, but Death by DesigUnderstand, it's been over a decade since I read Dark Knight Returns so I probably need to read it again to give my memory a boost, but Death by Design is my new favorite Batman graphic novel. A lot of that is, admittedly, based on my background. I remember first seeing it and having a horrible time deciding if it was worth it or not. The art is distinctive to say the least. It's all done with pencil, no ink, and very sparsely colored. The first time I picked it up, I decided I didn't like the art and decided not to get it, but it kept nagging me, kept coming up. The more I looked into it the more interested I became. I'm still not entirely sold on the art but I think it goes very well with the story. The author thanks an architect friend at the end for his help with the story. I think the book could've been much better if the artist would've had the chance to look at some very good architectural renderings and incorporated a few elements into his style. He's already trying something very different, he just needed to go a little bit further.
Artwork aside, I really enjoyed the book. It's a great story, mixing elements of architecture, design, and history into a film noir style. Naming the genius architect Kem Roomhaus was definitely a step too far but I'm not going to fault them for it. I understand it. Everyone interested in graphic novels and any of the finer arts should absolutely check it out....more