This book reads quite well and there are some interesting bits about Ethiopia scattered throughout. It was a fairly entertaining read, enough so thatThis book reads quite well and there are some interesting bits about Ethiopia scattered throughout. It was a fairly entertaining read, enough so that I did not put it down even though I was sorely tempted to because of how arrogant and sad the author seemed to me.
I was expecting that someone who really wanted to discover such a historical site(s) would do plenty of scholarly research beforehand and that the whole thing would read a bit more legitimate than it did. He admits to not doing much research beforehand and the whole trip kind of feels like he's just winging it which amounts to a sugary travel account and not a devoted quest rooted in scholarship. In fact, the books he does quote from and seems most inspired by are the fictional ones and he seems to be so overtaken with seeing the sites from those books in person that he is convinced they must be where the mines are. Seriously? That is his evidence? The guy seemed a savvy traveler but otherwise just a sad little rich spoiled rich kid and try as I might, I could not shake the outline of him as a pampered brat who just happens to have enough cash to thrown around so that he can play in the world as if it is his own private sandbox and style himself as an Indiana Jones wannabe on his own book jacket.
The whole thing seems a lot more about him convincing everyone in the book and us that he is indeed a certain kind of Adventurer than him searching for that which strikes his passion. Far from being an adventurer that one would look up to though, he is rude and selfish to his traveling companions time and time again throughout the narrative to the point where he pretty much flat out ignores the medical needs of his faithful friend and spends loads of money on his own equipment without even bothering about his companion who cannot fend for himself. He insists on paying for a bigger than necessary mule "entourage," lies about his horsemanship abilities, and goes out of his way to try and impress them and gain their respect by pretending not to eat while he is shoving his face with food he has hidden all the while…honestly though, who cares this much about appearances on a quest such as this? For a cause that seemed so important to him and a cause for which he went through so much for, it strikes me as quite shallow and silly that so much of the book is devoted to him showing off and playing the petulant child who makes so many absurd demands of his fellow travelers while insulting what they hold dearest at the same time.
I love this series of books headed up by the one and only Mary Beard. I started with the one on the Parthenon as part of my senior art history thesisI love this series of books headed up by the one and only Mary Beard. I started with the one on the Parthenon as part of my senior art history thesis in college and found it a valuable resource as well as an entertaining and witty read....an almost impossible combination in the field.
I enjoyed it so much that I decided to read this one after all these years and was not disappointed. Whether it be the Parthenon, Mycenea, the Alhambra, or Westminster Abbey, this series takes 200 pages or so to dish out the entire chronological history site by site and also touching upon its cultural relevance, archeological significance, and socio-political meanings in an intelligent, scholarly, but brilliantly witty way.
I highly recommend this book and the rest in the series as a must-read for historians, archaeologists, and art historians, but also as a wonderful gateway book for those visiting the sites and wanting to explore more than just the top-layer....more
Prior to a couple of years ago, i had not even heard of it or knew of any Tolkien writings other than those on middle earth. This is an incredible colPrior to a couple of years ago, i had not even heard of it or knew of any Tolkien writings other than those on middle earth. This is an incredible collection of letters which Tolkien wrote to his children each year in the guise of Father Christmas and his various helpers, most notably the North Polar Bear. Many of the original letters and beautiful drawings have been reproduced here, not just printed out. Also, this particular publication includes many previously unpublished bits and is chock full of Tolkien's doodles. His story of Father Christmas is indeed a good one that you'll want to follow through letters but perhaps my favorite aspect is how Tolkien himself speaks to his children through the lines and what we are able to glean about their family life and the changes the world is going through during the time in which the letters are written.
This book is fast becoming a favorite in our house as an annual christmas tradition and i hope that someday we will read it aloud to our own children each year....more
Begun Christmas 2008—Finished Spring 2010 It has taken me FOREVER to read this book. Granted, while i had it open, i did start and finish several otherBegun Christmas 2008—Finished Spring 2010 It has taken me FOREVER to read this book. Granted, while i had it open, i did start and finish several other books which is quite unlike me. It is a good book, in fact, most of it is quite excellent, but for some reason it just did not capture my imagination the way i thought it would, the way i wanted it too and so i was tempted and came back and forth to it over the period of about a year. I'm stubborn though and insist on finishing books even when i don't love them. This book does have a clear and beautiful style, a plot which held all the elements of what promised to be a great read, and a passionate look at art history and religion (both subjects that I usually can't pull myself away from), but I barely managed to slog through it. In short: The love story...it just didn't spark. The murder plot...way too drawn out...the art history entwined with religious theology was interesting and well written but the conversation seemed disconnected throughout the book and the connections back to the pace of actual events languid.
A Turkish friend of mine learned i was reading this and agreed that it although the book holds a lot of promise, it didn't work for her in the original language either (which i thought might be the cause of my not connecting with the text). She did however suggest trying some of his previous works and that reading them would give me a full appreciation for why he won the Nobel Prize in literature. ...more
Having been written in retrospect, this book has a slightly different feel to it I believe, as compared to the rest of the series. None the less enjoyHaving been written in retrospect, this book has a slightly different feel to it I believe, as compared to the rest of the series. None the less enjoyable to read, but perhaps a bit more ominous.
Lewis takes the reader back to the very dawn of Narnia to follow Diggory and Polly as they venture into the Wood between the Worlds. We are given insight into the background of characters and plot lines to come later in the series which makes for great reading as you try to connect the dots and unwind the mysterious history of the land of Narnia....more
I've eaten at restaurants where the food was $60 a plate, diners and dives, plasticky chain places, and trendy neighborhood cafes. But wherever I go aI've eaten at restaurants where the food was $60 a plate, diners and dives, plasticky chain places, and trendy neighborhood cafes. But wherever I go and whatever I eat, nothing hits the spot like a Zingerman's sandwhich ("new" pickle on the side please).
this book is on my christmas list/eventually i've got to break down and buy this book list. My mom has a torn and tattered copy, but now that I've moved away, i'm realizing it's a gourmet cooking staple I've really got to get for myself. Years ago, we were always heading down to ann arbor for my sister's surgeries at the university hospital there. Going to Zingerman's was always a big treat on these days and made the whole experience a lot less scary.
Back then it seemed like only a little community knew about the wonders which lay beyond the doors at Zingerman's deli. You could still walk in and not be trampled by a bajillion indie college kids spending their trust funds on italian vinegar and fresh challah bread. Now Zingerman's label is on everything that goes out their door and they've grown a following who know that this little deli tucked away in Michigan is like Ali Baba's cave for foodies. The hordes of people might be a bit chaotic, but in the end I'm glad so many people have come to support such a great place....more
a resourcful, practical, and insightful book to learn about nutrition--not dieting!!! it's back to basics healthy eating with a motivated and modern va resourcful, practical, and insightful book to learn about nutrition--not dieting!!! it's back to basics healthy eating with a motivated and modern viewpoint.
i love this book a lot more than her other book which I also read, "you are what you eat."
Beginning with a thorough introduction to personal health and nutrition by way of what we put into our bodies, this book lists--from a to zed--many common maladies and illnesses, from the common cold, to depression, pregnancy, and cancer. While some aren't exactly practically implemented (adding seaweed to all kind of dishes, ick), most of the suggestions are very useful and can be applied/customized to each individual's needs.
For each listing, McKeith provides a brief overview of the condition, causes (including nutrition/lifestyle), and then an action plan which lists different foods, beverages, herbs, and supplements to add or remove from one's diet, according to the problem. Many listings also include extra tips about lifestyle and meal planning....more