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review 2017-11-16 17:26
Socrates in the City by Eric Metaxas
Socrates in the City: Conversations on "Life, God, and Other Small Topics" - Eric Metaxas

A series of talks on 'life, God, and other small topics,' this book is the thinking person's alternative to pop psychology and prosperity gospel (that will seem much more clever and applicable if you listen to the book).

 

Based upon other reviews, I can see that listening to the audio version of this book is much more enjoyable than reading the paperback. That makes sense, since the audiobook is a recording of the Socrates in the City events with different lecturers taking on a variety of topics before opening up the session to Q&A.

 

Listening to this made me think and added several new books to my TBR. Definitely worth a listen.

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quote 2017-11-16 17:13
[Gertrude Stein] thinks Fitzgerald will be read when many of his well known contemporaries are forgotten.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City - Matthew Desmond

After hearing for the last few years that it took a WWII book program to bring The Great Gatsby into fashion, I think it's pretty awesome that Stein saw Fitzgerald's brilliance back in 1933. 

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review 2017-11-15 19:06
Daughter of the Burning City - Amanda Foody

Gorgeously creepy and original carnival descriptive writing in the vein of The Night Circus.

 

This is the book for everyone who read Caraval and pleaded for more world building. I didn't connect as much as I wanted to with the cast and plot until the final third of the book, but the twists were great and unexpected. Contemporary representation of diverse races, abilities and sexual expressions complicated by the way most of the cast is somehow the same as/born from the MC . . . ? Anyways, as far as age rating, there is violence, I don't remember much swearing, references to prostitution and some kissing, but nothing explicit so it should be fine for younger teens. 

Lush, creative and eerily imaginative storytelling. I didn't connect with it as well as I wanted to, but I could see there being hordes of rabid fans; do yourself a favour and check it out!

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review 2017-11-09 19:44
DNF @ 20%
City of Dark Magic - Magnus Flyte

I can't finish this. Only 20% in and I'm not only confused, I'm bored and mildly baffled at Sarah's character. I'm not a prude, but the sheer amount of sexual tension/acts in the first part of this book really threw me off. I'm just done.

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review 2017-11-03 21:16
The consolidated metropolis
Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 - Mike Wallace

In 1999, the first book of a projected three-volume history of New York City was published, Entitled Gotham, it covered the history of the city from is beginnings as a Dutch colony to the 1898 consolidation that merged the city with east Bronx, Brooklyn, western Queens County, and Staten Island, and won its authors, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace, a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for their labors.

 

It has taken eighteen years for the second volume to be published, yet the result is well worth that wait. Picking up where the last volume left off, Wallace (who is now soldiering forward solo in his efforts) describes the development of the city in all its particulars, covering its many economic, social, political, and cultural aspects. Though diverse in its scope, much of it is united by a common thread of consolidation, which in many respects was only just beginning. Consolidation was a popular concept of the age, with economic combinations emerging in American industry that dwarfed what had come before. Much of this was possible thanks to the financing provided by Wall Street, which served as the beating heart of the new, ever-more nationalized economy.

 

Consolidation was also important at the local level, as the city’s leaders now sought to turn the political achievement into a practical reality. To that end, they created a common infrastructure that tied it more closely together, which they did in a vast construction boom that created many of the institutions and arteries upon which the city relies today. Their efforts were emulated by others, as groups from Broadway to the criminal underworld embraced the benefits of combination. Yet not everyone was accommodated in the process, and Wallace’s book chronicles the many disputes that characterized an often painful growth of Gotham into the global metropolis it became by the end of the First World War.

 

Comprehensive and engaging, Wallace’s book is a worthy follow-up to its award-winning predecessor. Though its size is daunting, the division of the material into subject chapters makes it easily digestible, while Wallace’s ability to use the stories of individual New Yorkers to tell the larger history of the city makes it enjoyable reading. In Wallace the city has found a worthy chronicler, and with the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, and another world war looming, it is to be hoped that readers will not have as long to wait for the next volume.

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