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review 2017-06-05 05:56
Scott Pilgrim Vol 6
Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour - Bryan Lee O'Malley

I only remember reading this series once but apparently I reread it two years ago? Huh. I related to the characters a lot more on this reread. I'm not sure what that says about me.


I think every time I read the series I think I'll never read it again but here I am on my second reread so never say never. It's a light series. Very easy to read. Definitely not perfect, but O'Malley is only getting better as he writes, so that's good.

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review 2017-02-23 00:00
The Pilgrim's Progress
The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan Bunyan leaves nothing to the imagination. All the characters that "Christian" meet on his journey to the Celestial Kingdom are named so you know who they are (Mr. Atheist, Piety, Faith,...., and towns are named Destruction, Vanity Faire and so on). It is an easy book to read and follow.

"Man is the measure of all things" is a formulation for humanism. Bunyan strives to take people out of the equation. We must outsource our authentic selves (he says). Truth lies outside ourselves and we can never know who we really are and what we should believe unless we have faith from a set of core principles which came from a book, revelation and tradition (he says).

I love the Enlightenment and this is a perfect book for why I love it so much. We would have never had gotten away from Bunyan's world view of "character" and "sincerity" which are formed from outside of ourselves and into "personality" and "authenticity" which comes from within us by not rejecting Bunyan and his comic book characterization of the world. Funny thing is I still see this kind of thought popping up in mega best sellers such as the "Shack", a really vile book which I was unfortunately reading as I was reading this book. Yuck. I've got to stop reading these Christian books. They will start to make me brain dead. (Though, I am currently reading 800 pages of the selected writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and absolutely love it. Good logical arguments never go wasted on me! and this book ain't that).

Once again, it's really easy for me to make the obvious modern political reference from this book. Republicans would absolutely love Bunyan. Character and sincerity in their world view is always the responsibility of the individual. Bi-polar people or the 47% lazy moochers (those who pay no income tax, just ask Paul Ryan or Rush Limbaugh for clarification) are each to blame for their situation. Time and chance play no role. In their world, who we are is always blamed on the person themselves and nothing else. God can judge because he gave 'free will' according to them and since God is not really judging they will judge for Him in His stead. Trump (and his white supremacist aides) are the most judgemental people in the country. Patriotism is code for blaming others.

Bunyan's encounter with Mr. Atheist illustrates a problem with his presentation. For the life of me, I have no idea why he thinks Christian won the encounter. Faith doesn't keep Mr. Lion away. Actions, time and chance do. I would like this book much more if I hadn't read part two which he wrote after this book had been a mega best seller in its time period. His dogmatism just comes thru too much. I just can't start something without completing it, but would strongly recommend only reading the first half of the book for those who don't have my completion obsession.
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review 2016-11-04 22:40
The Pilgrim of Hate (Brother Cadfael #10)
The Pilgrim of Hate - Ellis Peters

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. blogspot.wordpress.com by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: The Pilgrim of Hate

Series: Brother Cadfael

Author: Ellis Peters

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 270

Format: Kindle digital edition









The bones of St. Winifred are being brought out to display and for a miracle to happen. Pilgrims flock to the Abbey. Some true pilgrims, some scofflaws and others with very mixed motives. Cadfael is still feeling guilty about burying Winifred back in Wales and wants a sign that he did right.

While this is all going on, the war for the Kingdom continues. London is far away but what happens there ripples out to the rest of the land. A murder there affects a whole group of Pilgrims at the abbey, whether they know it or not.



My Thoughts:


Been about 2 months since my last Cadfael read. That seems to be a good space. Any sooner and I'd start champing at the bit with these.


This story had as much historical action as the previous book. Empress Maude makes the classic blunder of not sucking up to those in power and they spurn her attempt at  becoming Queen. So the war between her and Stephen continues. Which is just the backdrop for everything happening at the abbey.


Cadfael is all doubt'y until his son shows up and then it is all rainbows and ponies and a sign that Winifred approves his decision. Cadfael, while having given up the life that he led before, certainly doesn't seem in the least repentant for ANY of it. I know that the religious and theological isn't the main purview of this series, but still, I'd like that aspect touched on a bit more, even if it "is" Catholicism ;-)


The one thing that really bugged me however was all the references to previous stories. I don't remember individuals from the other books and so to have them mentioned was just an annoyance. I don't keep that kind of detail in my head for more than about 2 days, then *delete*, it is gone to make room for the next book I'm reading. Which is why reviews of books that I have finished over a week ago tend to be quite a bit sparser than ones done immediately after reading.


Finally, I am really liking these MysteriousPress.com covers. While they don't have the Priest'y vibe of the earlier ones, I am very much drawn to the whole colored cover thing. It works for me.



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review 2016-10-25 02:20
Marvel's Doctor Strange Prelude (2016) #1 (of 2) - Will Pilgrim,Jorge Fornes

Not a great introduction to the MCU Dr. Strange, which is especially odd as Marvel is normally good at fleshing out all their characters.   Given that these are the main characters in this comic - although no Strange quite yet - it's also noticeable.   I didn't care what happened to the heroes or villains in this, which made it a bit of a slog.   


It did, however, set up the world that Strange lives in, and that was nice to see.   Not great, certainly not up to Marvel's standards, but not awful either.   

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review 2016-03-04 17:34
Fun intro to Civil War - and also not an adequate intro
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War Prelude Infinite Comic #1 - Will Corona Pilgrim

The thing is this ties into Bucky Barnes, but Civil War is - or should be - about more than one man.   See, the original Civl War - comic book, not real thing - was about how far we go to protect people and how much heroes have a right to a private life.   


Not that I liked the Civil War crossover all that much.   I tried rereading some recently and still did not like it all that much.   That being said, it was trying to be big and show how contentious ideas and fracturing of the heroes due to different ideals could end up.   It was big and serious.   It was big.   As much as I love so many Marvel characters, it was bigger than everyone one of them.   It was bigger than my love for each separate character put together.    And I applauded it for being about that, for trying even if it didn't really interest me. 


Which is why a comic like this that focuses solely on Bucky and Cap's search for his old friend worries me.   It's why, as awesome as the previews look, the cinematic Civil War worries me.  I get what they're trying to do it, and how they're trying to personalize it, and make the struggle more relatable.  I just think it might be a big mistake.   (They couldn't do this, at least not with Bucky, in the comic book version, but Bucky has more history.   And I think it's smart that if they have to do it, they do it for Cap and Bucky.)


That being said, this was an enjoyable story if I could manage to forget why this is a bad idea.  I was reminded just enough, and then again at the end where they say this is going to be continued in the movie, that I couldn't quite enjoy it as much as I'd wanted to when I purchased this.  (I bought some Infinite comics because I remembered how much I liked them.)


It was a valiant try, Marvel, I will give you that.   If it weren't leading up to Civil War, I suspect this would have been a four or four and a half star read.   I salute the effort, but you've still got me worried about this movie, maybe more so than before.   (Especially since the original event was all about spectacle and all the heroes choosing a side.  Your sadly small cast in comparison?   Does not bode well for the movie either.   I do hope I love your movie, but I've yet to see anything to convince me that I will.)


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