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Literature & Book Reviews Explore Germanic literature from the earliest known examples through the medieval, Renaissance, romantic, Victorian, and modern eras.

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Old Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012   #1831
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One book I just finished was "You Are Here: A Portable History of the Universe" by Christopher Potter. It's basically modern science from astrophysics to quantum physics and their relation to evolution and neuroscience in a nutshell. I actually really liked it because I've been so out of the loop with these topics.



http://www.amazon.com/You-Are-Here-P.../dp/0061137863

Another I just finished was Philosophy in the Boudoir by the Marquis De Sade. It is basically typical French Enlightenment-era aristocrat paganism, sexuality, reasoning and atheism. It's really brutal, perverted and disturbing so I would not recommend it...

I'm currently reading The Book of English Magic thanks to a recommendation on this forum and a few H.P. Lovecraft books (Dexter Ward and Mountains of Madness).
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Old Saturday, April 7th, 2012   #1832
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Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans - author unknown
Parzival and Titurel - Wolfram von Eschenbach
Sun and Steel - Yukio Mishima
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Old Saturday, April 7th, 2012   #1833
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Old Monday, April 9th, 2012   #1834
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I'll be starting The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tomorrow!
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Old Tuesday, April 10th, 2012   #1835
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This book is basically a 150 page logic puzzle. A delivery man meets a strange and supposedly all-knowing character. The whole book is just the conversation they have upon meeting but it deals with everything from quantum mechanics to God to consciousness and it does it very well. The trick is that the author wrote in some logical fallacies that the reader is supposed to try to figure out. There's no answer key or anything, it's just a "thought experiment" like the title says. It's a very serious/heavy book that is really meant to be discussed. I like it a whole lot and think it will end up being one of my favorites.
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Old Wednesday, April 11th, 2012   #1836
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I'm in philosopher hermit mode lately so I've checked out a million books from the library. Among them is "The Blind Watchmaker" (I don't deny the possibility of God or meaning, I just like to hear the realistic and natural explanation of things), "The Golden Bough" again (the tribal customs are fascinating to me), "The Gay Science" and other basic writings of Nietzsche, some books by C. G. Jung and a little kid's book called "Genetic Engineering" by Tina Kafka.
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Old Thursday, April 12th, 2012   #1837
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Yesterday I read a book called "Slekt og invidid" published in 1944, with Sigurd Saxlund as one of three authors.

This book is about biology and physical anthropology.

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Old Tuesday, April 17th, 2012   #1838
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Old Friday, May 4th, 2012   #1839
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Started this one yesterday, have about 20 pages left:



Quote:
I was somewhat taken aback by the style of this novel at first. After reading a few dozen pages, however, I could clearly see why this book is considered classic military science fiction. This is a fascinating contrast to Starship Troopers.

Haldeman's style is terse and effective, seasoned with a sly sense of humor throughout. The protagonist, William Mandella, is a likeable military everyman with whom a reader readily identifies. The battle scenes are particularly well done, allowing a reader to easily follow the action without the confusion that would plague a less skillful account.

The Forever War is notable for its exploration of the temporal effects of faster than light travel, i.e., Mandella's tours of duty last hundreds of years on earth, while for him, only a few years pass. Mandella goes forth to battle, having no idea what type of home will await him in the unlikely event that he survives. Eventually, Mandella is rendered a human anachronism, a veteran in command of troops he can barely understand.

The parallels with Vietnam were mostly lost on me, as I'm too young to relate, but the theme of coming home to a world one no longer recognizes is more than ably developed. Another theme that gets a lot of play is that of the unintended consequences of social engineering as Earth's society "evolves." Some of the changes to Earth that Mandella witnesses are disturbing, many are humorous, and the final chapter is extremely unusual and thought-provoking.

More than just a cold military fantasy, The Forever War has a surprising emotional impact as well. Best of all, Haldeman makes his points with subtlety and humor, not by nailing them into your skull. A terrific read that I would recommend to anyone without hesitation.
Really hard to put down this book. Can highly recommend this and the aforementioned Starship Troppers (Nothing like those lousy movie adaptations!)
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Old Friday, May 4th, 2012   #1840
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