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Arguably: Selected Essays
Clinching my teeth to resist the eponymous pun, I have to say that Arguably is the best and most satisfying set of essays I've ever read. I wish I had ...more
Oct 10, 2012
Sep 04, 2012
The Apocalypse of Our Time, and Other Writings
Rozanov was not a great writer but he is a readable one, if for no other reason than as a literary link in Russian history. He was often accused of po ...more
Sep 06, 2013
Jul 31, 2013
100 Words Almost Everyone Mispronounces
I was pleasantly surprised by this book's attention to detail – not only defining each word and listing alternate pronunciations, but summarizing etym ...more
Jun 20, 2009
Jun 15, 2009
Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals/On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns
This is my small taste of Kant to determine whether to move forward in his texts. Grounding is a sort of intro to his Metaphysics of Morals, and is co ...more
Jul 09, 2012
May 30, 2012
Selected Stories
I feel somewhat ashamed that I've just now gotten around to reading our beloved Chekhov. What's remarkable about this gifted writer is his nonliterary ...more
Aug 23, 2010
Jul 11, 2010
In 1997, I took a World Drama course. The curriculum in my fundamental Baptist school treated the 50s as the present, ignoring everything after as inc ...more
Aug 24, 2010
Jul 11, 2010
Heart of a Dog
Though not as good as The Master and Margarita, this novella shows Bulgakov's talent for allegory nonetheless. Character parallels which are so distin ...more
Dec 29, 2010
Nov 14, 2010
If you're not a fan of brooding, introspective, soul-searching novels, you'll want to steer clear of this one. As Philip Roth explains in his intro to ...more
Jan 17, 2012
Mar 06, 2011
The Prisoner and The Fugitive (In Search of Lost Time, Volume 5)
Suave mari magno is an expression mentioned several times in the series. It refers to a passage by Lucretius noting the joy one feels standing on the ...more
Nov 14, 2011
Sep 20, 2011
Finnegans Wake
First of all, I have to admit that I read this aloud and at a steady pace, and I won't brag that I understood it fully. I'd like to go back to it when ...more
Jul 13, 2013
May 31, 2012
Incredible Tales: Saki Short Stories
Saki has been recommended to me many times by friends. His stories could be considered short short fiction, as most of them range from 3 to 5 pages. H ...more
Dec 06, 2010
Nov 14, 2010
What Maisie Knew
What Maisie Knew holds a place in James' progression of child characters from The Turn of the Screw to Daisy Miller. I have to agree with most critics ...more
Mar 13, 2011
Nov 14, 2010
The Illustrated Man
Taking into account that most of the stories were written around 1950, I have to respect Bradbury's vision. It's not so much his imaginative invention ...more
Jun 26, 2008
May 12, 2008
Long Day's Journey into Night
I had the opportunity to read this in World Drama class years ago, but I admit shamefully that I skimmed it. Now, knowing the autobiographical context ...more
Jan 22, 2012
Jul 11, 2010
Dostoevsky: Child and Man in His Works
I'm interested in any unique study on Dostoevsky, and a book specifically on the child angle excited me. This is a well-researched text by a qualified ...more
Feb 11, 2011
Jul 11, 2010
A Confederacy of Dunces
I'm glad I read this again. It always makes me laugh. Ignatius is such an original character. Where most characters of his type, the chronically over- ...more
Jan 2003
Mar 03, 2008
I've always been fascinated with The Matrix films, because the philosophy or theory behind it is essentially strong and applicable, not in reality of ...more
May 30, 2013
Mar 04, 2013
The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
Stunned. I've never read a book so packed with new revelations and well-researched, referenced ideas. The text moves at breakneck speed, elucidating e ...more
Jul 23, 2010
Feb 15, 2010
Finding Time Again (In Search of Lost Time #6)
The remarkable thing about the series, looking back, is that Proust embeds his memory into the reader so comprehensively. You find yourself rememberin ...more
Dec 07, 2011
Sep 20, 2011
How to Read a Word
Though the title seems presumptuous, I was excited to hear of this book by a lexicographer from the staff at Oxford. I expected myriad allusions to th ...more
Dec 12, 2010
Dec 06, 2010
Fahrenheit 451
Genre fiction intimidates me a little because there is so much, often written so hurriedly. Luckily, over time the classics come drifting up to the su ...more
Jul 24, 2013
Feb 27, 2012
A Writer's Diary, Volume One, 1873-1876
It's tough to review this book. It's like describing a busy day to someone briefly, when there were a dozen good and bad events – you usually just say ...more
Apr 30, 2010
Mar 24, 2009
Short Friday and Other Stories
The stories of Singer remind me most of Gogol in cast and setting, with somewhat Dostoevskian characters populating them. The consistent theme in this ...more
Dec 24, 2011
Jul 11, 2010
Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
Tough to read, tough to review. Proust writes in a remarkably fluid style, even filtered through English, though of course I know nothing of the origi ...more
Jul 28, 2011
Feb 28, 2011
The Garden of Eden
Really pleasantly surprised by this one, though I loathe incomplete works. This wraps up reasonably well, only leaving a few questions unanswered, but ...more
Jul 06, 2012
Jul 11, 2010
The Eternal Husband and Other Stories
A Nasty Anecdote, also known as An Unpleasant Predicament along with every other possible translation of the words, is not as pristine of plot as D's ...more
Mar 04, 2010
Mar 04, 2009
Seize the Day
I'm reading Saul Bellow backwards. I should've read Augie March, then Seize the Day, then Herzog. Instead I read Herzog first, the tale of a man at ro ...more
Nov 22, 2012
May 31, 2012
A Room of One's Own
This has been suggested to me by several friends, men and women, so I'm not surprised to find it so well written. Woolf, in following her own advice t ...more
Mar 22, 2011
Aug 22, 2010
To The Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf's ability to take on characters from start to finish, birth to death, has always been cause for admiration. My first experience of this ...more
Apr 08, 2012
Aug 22, 2010
Justine, Philosophy In the Bedroom and Other Writings
This was a difficult book to read. The biographical information and his correspondence are interesting, but this fiction of his is ridiculous. I've ra ...more
Jun 29, 2012
Nov 18, 2010