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A Blight of Mages
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Apr 22, 2014 01:53PM

Dead Bad Things: ...
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Apr 18, 2014 02:51PM

Mammoth Book Of S...
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Ben Babcock rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Profession by Isaac Asimov
by Isaac Asimov
read in April, 2014
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If I didn’t know that Profession is an Isaac Asimov story, I would be inclined to say that it resembles very much an Isaac Asimov story. It is a textbook example of the kind of basic, fundamental social science fiction that Asimov made so popular and...more
"Suddenly I’m seeing a button to “follow reviews” on my friends’ reviews. Maybe I’m just not observant and it’s been there for a while, but it seems co...more "
Lunch by Megan Elias
" “Never ‘just lunch,’ this midday meal globally is a nexus of municipal politics, cultural adventure, and assimilation both into and out of dominant national foodways.” (Cultural histories do make silly, overblown statements.) Yet it cannot be deni... " Read more of this review »
"Anirudh wrote: "While some parts of it were brilliant I had difficulty with the funds and lute thing. :-)"

This part of fantasy books like The Name of...more
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A Blight of Mages
A Blight of Mages
by Karen Miller
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Ben Babcock rated a book 1 of 5 stars
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
The Art of Thinking Clearly
by Rolf Dobelli
read in April, 2014
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This book is the dead tree equivalent of a BuzzFeed post. Its title could be “I Got 99 Cognitive Biases But a Psychology Degree Ain’t One.” Or maybe not.

Rolf Dobelli enumerates 99 thinking errors, or cognitive biases, in The Art of Thinking Clearly,...more
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
" Despite my initial thoughts I wound up reading book two of the Mistborn much sooner than I anticipated. As with the first book, it was a unique experience.

The book invoked in me opposite feelings while I read. At times when I was feeling excited... " Read more of this review »
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A Blight of Mages by Karen Miller
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Collected Stories by W. Somerset Maugham
Collected Stories
by W. Somerset Maugham
read in April, 2014
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This is a hefty and imposing volume, heavy yet also compact in dimensions and in print. Thirty-one stories make up the Collected Stories of W. Somerset Maugham, as selected for this immaculate Everyman’s Library edition that I scored for free from my...more
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Dead Bad Things by Gary McMahon
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More of Ben's books…
Guy Haley
“No, but if I were an illegal, experimental replicant hiding the truth of an international conspiracy I would try and put myself out of the way of those investigating it, wouldn't you? I don't think hiding under a bed will be very successful. But, if you've any better idea of what the deadly robot assassin is up to, please feel free to act upon it.”
Guy Haley, Reality 36

Thomas Hardy
“This night the woman of his belittling deprecations was thinking how great and good her husband was. But over them both there hung a deeper shade than the shade which Angel Clare perceived, namely, the shade of his own limitations. With all his attempted independence of judgment this advanced and well-meaning young man, a sample product of the last five-and-twenty years, was yet the slave to custom and conventionality when surprised back into his early teachings. No prophet had told him, and he was not prophet enough to tell himself, that essentially this young wife of his was as deserving of the praise of King Lemuel as any other woman endowed with the same dislike of evil, her moral value having to be reckoned not by achievement but by tendency. Moreover, the figure near at hand suffers on such occasions, because it shows up its sorriness without shade; while vague figures afar off are honoured, in that their distance makes artistic virtues of their stains. In considering what Tess was not, he overlooked what she was, and forgot that the defective can be more than the entire.”
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Nick Harkaway
“Mercer,” Polly says, “we are now going to hug. As a group. The experience will be very un-English. It will be good for you. Do not speak, at all, especially not in an attempt to diffuse the emotional intensity of the situation.”

They hug, somewhat awkwardly, but with great feeling.

“Well,” Mercer says, after a moment, “that was certainly—”

“I will hit you with a shovel,” Polly Cradle murmurs.”
Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker
tags: humour

Margaret Atwood
“She did understand, or at least she understood that she was supposed to understand. She understood, and said nothing about it, and prayed for the power to forgive, and did forgive. But he can't have found living with her forgiveness all that easy. Breakfast in a haze of forgiveness: coffee with forgiveness, porridge with forgiveness, forgiveness on the buttered toast. He would have been helpless against it, for how can you repudiate something that is never spoken? She resented, too, the nurse, or the many nurses, who had attended my father in the various hospitals. She wished him to owe his recovery to her alone—to her care, to her tireless devotion. That is the other side of selflessness: its tyranny.”
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

Nick Harkaway
“I do not know, at this point, whether Joshua Joseph Spork is the man of my life. He could be. I have given it considerable thought. The jury is still out. The issue between you and me is that you wish to deprive me of the opportunity to find out. Joe Spork is not yours to give or to withhold from me, Mr. Cummerbund. He is mine, until I decide otherwise. You have caused him grief, sullied his name, and you have hurt him. If anyone is going to make him weep, or lie about him, or even do bad things to him, it is me.”
Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker

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2012 Reading Challenge
Ben Babcock
Ben Babcock has completed his goal of reading 120 books for the 2012 Reading Challenge!
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2013 Reading Challenge
Ben Babcock
Ben Babcock has completed his goal of reading 140 books for the 2013 Reading Challenge!
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