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Ensiform is now friends with Selim
Ensiform rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Crispin by Avi
Crispin: The Cross of Lead
by Avi
read in August, 2013
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Winner of the 2003 Newbery, this historical novel is set in England, 1377. Crispin, an orphan peasant, is told by his village priest that there is a secret regarding his birth. But after stumbling upon the cruel village steward making a secret plan i...more
Ensiform rated a book 3 of 5 stars
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
The Power and the Glory
by Graham Greene
read in July, 1999
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A nameless priest is on the run in an intolerant Communist Mexican state where religion has been outlawed. He is a bit of a drinker and has even fathered a child, yet he doesn’t think of renouncing his faith. He’s not exactly a hero – he is aware the...more
Ensiform rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Shepherds of the Night by Jorge Amado
Shepherds of the Night
by Jorge Amado
read in March, 2000
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Translated by Harriet de Onís

Three interconnected stories of the gamblers, prostitutes and layabouts of Bahia, Brazil – of Colonel Martim’s marriage, of the christening of Negro Massu’s child, and of the invasion of Cat Wood by the hoi polloi. At tur...more
"Oh, is it? No, I guess I wrote that from memory and got it wrong. Thanks. "
Ensiform rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Discourse on the Origin of Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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translated by Lester Crocker.

Although this treatise contains many good points, and some advanced ideas on democratic government, I found its argument empty. Even given that Rousseau’s construction of the “natural world,” of early, “savage” man is a c...more
"David, thanks for your comment. Yes, it was a popular idea, and I understand that it was used as a sort of intellectual exercise, but I thought Rousse...more "
Ensiform rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway
by Virginia Woolf
read in November, 2010
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The titular character, Clarissa, a middle-aged woman who has settled into a comfortable marriage with wealthy, affable Richard Dalloway, is planning a party. Before and during the party, two friends from her past visit her, her ex-lover Peter Walsh a...more
Ensiform rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell
Up in the Old Hotel
by Joseph Mitchell
read in August, 2007
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A collection of pieces, mostly factual but with a few fiction stories thrown in, that originally appeared in the New Yorker during the 1940s and ‘50s. Most of these stories focus on the strange and larger than life characters who populated New York i...more
Meaty by Samantha Irby
"Rating: 3.5* of five

I reviewed this collection of essays for The Small Press Book Review. It's by a blogger called Samantha Irby, a Person of Size whose blog is called Bitches Gotta Eat.

I wasn't sure about these essays until I hit the one on diets..." Read more of this review »
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George Carlin
“Now, there's one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain't going to do any good; you're just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it's not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There's a nice campaign slogan for somebody: 'The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.”
George Carlin

Sándor Márai
“Do you also believe that what gives our lives their meaning is the passion that suddenly invades us heart, soul, and body, and burns in us forever, no matter what else happens in our lives? And that if we have experienced this much, then perhaps we haven’t lived in vain? Is passion so deep and terrible and magnificent and inhuman? Is it indeed about desiring any one person, or is it about desiring desire itself? That is the question. Or perhaps, is it indeed about desiring a particular person, a single, mysterious other, once and for always, no matter whether that person is good or bad, and the intensity of our feelings bears no relation to that individual’s qualities or behavior?”
Sándor Márai, Embers

Aldous Huxley
“Indeed, a faint hypnopædic prejudice in favour of size was universal. Hence the laughter of the women to whom he made proposals, the practical joking of his equals among the men. The mockery made him feel an outsider; and feeling an outsider he behaved like one, which increased the prejudice against him and intensified the contempt and hostility aroused by his physical defects. Which in turn increased his sense of being alien and alone. A chronic fear of being slighted made him avoid his equals, made him stand, where his inferiors were concerned, self-consciously on his dignity.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Saul Bellow
“External life being so mighty, the instruments so huge and terrible, the performances so great, the thoughts so great and threatening, you produce a someone who can exist before it. You invent a man who can stand before the terrible appearances. This way he can't get justice and he can't give justice, but he can live. And this is what mere humanity always does. It's made up of these inventors or artists, millions and millions of them, each in his own way trying to recruit other people to play a supporting role and sustain him in his make-believe... That's the struggle of humanity, to recruit others to your version of what's real.”
Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March

Doris Lessing
“Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.”
Doris Lessing

2013 (Select)
1 chapters   —   updated Jan 05, 2013 05:57PM
Description: A resolution.
22454 Historical Fictionistas — 6729 members — last activity 1 minute ago
Welcome to Historical Fictionistas! We want to experience all different kinds of HF with all different kinds of people. The more diverse, the better....more
27193 Bright Young Things — 925 members — last activity 1 hour, 2 min ago
...the perfect place for you to discuss your favourite authors from the early 20th Century. In the years from 1900 to 1945 the world of literature wen...more
43976 The Novella Club — 566 members — last activity Oct 21, 2014 07:36PM
A book group devoted to reading and discussing novellas (one a month). Definition of NOVELLA 1) plural novelle : a story with a compact and pointed plot...more
25350 THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB — 7138 members — last activity 18 minutes ago
ALL GENRE COMMUNITY OF BOOK LOVERS-Perfect for those interested in good books of any genre, film and lively discussion!-(300 PLUS DISCUSSION TOPICS)fr...more
37567 The Readers Review: Literature from 1800 to 1910 — 1879 members — last activity 1 hour, 52 min ago
This is a group for discerning readers looking to discover, explore, and critically discuss some of the World’s literature, with a primary emphasis on...more
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyMadame Bovary by Gustave FlaubertWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
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