Tony
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Tony

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Conversations of Socrates by Xenophon
Conversations of Socrates
by Xenophon
read in May, 2016
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CONVERSATIONS OF SOCRATES. Xenophon. ****.
Back in my school days, we read excerpts from Plato related to Socrates. Since we were being trained as scientists, we weren’t exposed to alternative literature about the great philosopher. When I discovered
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Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes
Look Who's Back
by Timur Vermes
read in May, 2016
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LOOK WHO’S BACK. (2012; U.S. 2015). Timur Vermes. ***1/2.
This was a huge best-seller in Germany when it was first published. The premise is that Hitler reappears during the modern day, awakening from some sort of sleep. It’s the German equivalent of
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The Lawless Roads by Graham Greene
The Lawless Roads
by Graham Greene
read in May, 2016
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THE LAWLESS ROADS. (1939). Graham Greene. ***.
Graham Greene was given an assignment in the late 1930s to travel to Mexico and report on the state of the Catholic Church and its relationship to the government of President Calles. It was not clear who
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The Perpetual Orgy by Mario Vargas Llosa
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THE PERTETUAL ORGY. (1975; Eng. Trans. 1986). Mario Vargas Llosa. ***.
The author provides a deep analysis of Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary,” and ultimately explains why this is his nomination for the perfect novel. If this wouldn’t qualify as a doctoral
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In Ruins by Christopher Woodward
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IN RUINS: A Journey Through History, Art, and Literature. (2001). Christopher Woodward. ****.
From the jacket: “In this enchanting meditation on ruins, Christopher Woodward takes us on a thousand year journey from the plains of Troy to the monuments o
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The Houdini Specter by Daniel Stashower
The Houdini Specter
by Daniel Stashower
read in April, 2016
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THE HOUDINI SPECTER. (2012). Daniel Stashower. ***1/2.
In this adventure of the Great Houdini, he pits his skills as a magician against a man who claims to have supernatural powers. In real life, Houdini spent much of his time debunking such spiritual
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The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth
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THE RADETZKY MARCH. (1932). Joseph Roth. ****.
This novel was essentially a family saga that spanned three generations, from 1859 to 1916. It focused on the Trotta family, whose first character was responsible for saving the life of the Kaiser during
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It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis
It Can't Happen Here
by Sinclair Lewis
read in April, 2016
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IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE. (1935). Sinclair Lewis. ***1/2.
A novel of alternative history by Lewis that burst onto the scene set between the two World Wars. The timing was perfect. It was a sample story, but with far-reaching effects. From the jacket: “’It
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The Village of Stepanchikovo by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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THE VILLAGE OF STEPANCHIKOVO and its inhabitants. (1859). Fyodor Dostoyevsky. ****.
Yes…this is the Dostoyevsky we all know and love. This is a novel of his that I hadn’t even heard of before, and couldn’t resist buying it off the sale shelf. It is a
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Tarr by Wyndham Lewis
Tarr
by Wyndham Lewis
read in April, 2016
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TARR. (1918). Wyndham Lewis. *1/2.
This was a new author for me. It turns out that the author was famous for his contributions to a variety of art movements as well as being a prolific writer – though of unusually obscure works. From the jacket: “Set
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