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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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text 2017-04-30 19:51
Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 372 pages.
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

Gradually he realized that the Tube map was a handy fiction that made life easier but bore no resemblance to the reality of the shape of the city above. It was like belonging to a political party, he thought once, proudly, and then, having tried to explain the resemblance between the Tube map and politics, at a party, to a cluster of bewildered strangers, he had decided in the future to leave political comment to others.


Living in a city with a subway, I know IT IS much like that, lol. I did not expect this to fit the Monorail square this neatly too.


He continued, slowly, by a process of osmosis and white knowledge (which is like white noise, only more useful), to comprehend the city, a process that accelerated when he realized that the actual City of London itself was no bigger than a square mile


This is really what coming to live into a big city felt like.

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review 2017-01-22 21:03
On the Run by Alice Goffman
On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City - Alice Goffman

A very engaging ethnography - as a college student, the author moved to the inner city and spent her time hanging out with a group of young black men often on the run from the law. The book is a good look into how heavy policing affects all aspects of individual and community life. And the author is a good storyteller so it makes for engaging reading. Since she writes about one social network it's hard to tell how representative this is, and I think the criticism that the author herself got in too deep is probably valid. She also contradicts herself a few times. Still, it is worth reading.

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text 2016-01-21 06:54
Holy Bag of Books Batman! (TBR Thursday, January 21, Part 1)
The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London - Judith Flanders
The Counterfeit Heiress - Tasha Alexander
The Cat Sitter's Nine Lives: A Mystery - Blaize Clement,John Clement
Miss Dimple Picks a Peck of Trouble - Mignon F. Ballard
Miss Dimple Rallies to the Cause - Mignon F. Ballard
An Inquiry Into Love and Death - Simone St. James
Austenland - Shannon Hale
Horologicon - Mark Forsyth
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Lexicon of Life Hacks for the Modern Lady Geek - Sam Maggs
Marked Fur Murder (A Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Mystery) - Dixie Lyle

So I came home to find this waiting for me on Tuesday:


My bookoutlet.com order arrived!  From the USA via Belgium if the bag and tag are to be believed.  In addition to the new-to-me goodies listed above, I got three more: 2 Illona Andrews books I've read but don't own (Magic Bites and Magic Bleeds), and an upgrade from ebook to hardback of Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs.


None of the books were more than $3 each, which is good, because there's no way I could afford the shipping costs otherwise - especially with the side jaunt to Belgium it took.  



Is anything better than coming home to a load of new books just waiting for you?  Well, yes, there are a few things better, but precious few. 

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text 2016-01-02 19:29
2015 Roundup
We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals - Gillian Gill
Dawn of the Belle Epoque: The Paris of Monet, Zola, Bernhardt, Eiffel, Debussy, Clemenceau, and Their Friends - Mary McAuliffe
The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London - Judith Flanders
Uprooted - Naomi Novik
The Martian - Andy Weir
Embers - Sándor Márai,Carol Brown Janeway
The Rhetoric of Death - Judith Rock
Murder as a Fine Art - David Morrell
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman
The Alchemist's Daughter - Mary Lawrence

Well, I had a good reading year in 2015 - I beat my original goal of 75 in October, and finished with 95 or so books read.  And most of them were good reads, some very good indeed. 


Best books I read this year: We Two, a joint biography of Victoria and Albert, by Gillian Gill; Dawn of the Belle Epoque, a cultural history of Paris, 1870-1900, by Mary McAuliffe; The Victorian City, a study of Dickens' London, by Judith Flanders; Uprooted, an Eastern European fantasy novel by Naomi Novik; and The Martian, by Andy Weir.


Weirdest reads: Embers, by Sandor Marai.  (Beautiful writing, but a strange, strange "plot.")  The Awakening of Miss Prim, by Natalia Fenollera. 


Best author discovery: Judith Rock, who writes historical mysteries set in the Paris of Louis XIV.  Her detective is a Jesuit priest, whose duties are teaching rhetoric and ballet to the aristocratic sons of France.  There are only four volumes that I know of in the series; the first is The Rhetoric of Death.


Weakest reads: Murder as a Fine Art, by David Morrell.  (The main character is well developed; unfortunately no one else is, and the plot is highly melodramatic.)  The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman.  (Too many plot elements stuffed, with none done full justice, into one short novel.)  The Alchemist's Daughter, by Mary Lawrence.  (A historical mystery with ahistorical tea, and a heroine I didn't either like or care about.)  Medium Dead, by Alexandra Gladstone.  (Victorian lady doctor, whom all including Queen Victoria accept, and her boyfriend, the earl whose hobby is breaking and entering combined with lock-picking, I just couldn't buy.)


But all in all, a very good year!  I hope 2016 is as good.

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