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review 2017-06-21 08:46
Even the title is layered
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

I feel like I read a book twice as long as this was, not because it was heavy or difficult, but because it was so tightly woven. There were layers of meaning, and so much that could be inferred, and for such short pages, many characters get well fleshed out. No line is wasted. There is this... English brevity, I guess, that makes me recall the meandering tone of "Passage to India". Says something about what must characterize each people in Forster's mind, huh?

It is also a quiet way to depict a fast and turbulent romance, which feels weird in a "still waters run deep" kind of way. There is this three-way war going, between mind, heart and manners (or is it pride?, self-image? calcified indecision?), it is evident when you get to the lying chapters, and the weather tends to illustrate it, but before then, before Lucy looses her temper at Miss Bartlet at the beginning of them out of revelatory fright, it's all so sedate. On the outside; Lucy's facing the exterior gets a companion chapter on "The disaster within". She's running from love: it is scary, exiting, something unknown, and unrecognized, and social mores don't help her in disentangling from the muddle.

On the side, we get some awesome darts thrown into time old hypocrisy, such as how emancipated women are perceived or "accepted"; how men think women think about men; people abroad; obligation as it pertains to favors out of honesty (Emerson) or self-serving humbleness (Charlotte); and bunch of stuff I either posted already, or have marked down and can't speedily condense here. In case the main course wasn't enough.

Seriously, this guy had a way with words.

 

Note: I have to get another copy. Mine was abysmally translated. I turned to a digital version in original English after 20 pages or so. If you read in Spanish, avoid translator Marta Pessarrodona. She's a menace and a beast. Word confusions (she translated kitten instead of kite, for example), wrong conjugations (translated "would have" as present simple), change of punctuation, which changes pace drastically and unnecessarily (specifically, Cecil's entrance is most egregious), change of meaning of whole paragraphs (to the point of reading as the opposite). And it ts only what I caught just searching for the paragraphs I wanted to mark down as memorable while reading the digital copy! Much of this I could not understand of someone supposedly getting paid. It would have been more difficult to invent as she did.

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review 2017-05-31 01:20
Review: Scientific Secrets for Self Control (The Great Courses)
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control - Professor C. Nathan DeWall

Quick review for a quick read. This isn't the first "Great Courses" audiobook I've listened to, but it was one of the ones I was most disappointed by. A shame because the topic is very fascinating in terms of how self-control is regulated by the brain. It touches on several topics with support from several studies: brain injury and how it affects self control, mental energy and fatigue, dietary influences in brain energy, making decisions, how fatigue factors into difficult topics, self control and finances, etc. I found that I wasn't really the biggest fan of the audio lecturer. His dictation didn't feel immersive/enthusiastic about the topic and the transitions between topics weren't as smooth from lecture to lecture as I would've hoped. I did have a few takeaways for the knowledge base and topics this series of lecture covered, but not enough for the time and energy that it took for me to move through this audio course (which was well over 3 hours).

Overall score: 2/5 stars.

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review 2017-05-03 03:56
Kitten Coloring, A realistic picture reference book for adults by Jasmine Taylor
Kitten Coloring: A Realistic Picture Ref... Kitten Coloring: A Realistic Picture Reference Book for Adults - Jasmine Taylor Kitten Coloring, A realistic picture reference book for adults by Jasmine Taylor is a book of photographs of kittens. It is designed to accompany the paperback version of this book. There are links for some of the photos that can be printed. I gave it three stars. I received a complimentary Kindle copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review. Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Kitten-Coloring-Realistic-Picture-Reference-ebook/dp/B06XSZSRMF
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review 2017-04-20 19:12
*pleased sigh*
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly

How could I have neglected this book so long! I have found me a new all time favourite. You have no idea how lucky you are that most of the time I was too entertained to post. I have saved quotes at the rate of one-a-chapter, and I was trying to be conservative.

 

I read, and I kept researching things mentioned, from taxonomy to music or history, and having a blast through-out. I couldn't stop laughing, even during the turkey debacle (there was something inherently funny in that tragedy of childhood).

 

“Why do you want a donkey?” said Harry.
“Because I don’t think people eat donkeys. Do they?”

 

The thought that I have to get my mom to read this poped continously too. Mom is a school librarian, and has a project going where she narrates to the kids in a bi-weekly basis. Lending is at an all-time hight since it started. They discuss a lot of what she reads them in a free way, and they come up with the most interesting questions and observations. They also end up researching a lot on their own, (or plain finish the book in a weekend) since there's no obligation *snickers*. Now imagine what this book could spawn. I pestered her on the phone the whole morning (whenever I surfaced from the pages, that is).

 

There are some narrow anachronisms in general, and I reckon there must be more in particular for the region, since the author apologises in the note at the end. But really? Like one can place every bit acuratedly on ones own timeline. And no child is that aware of herself and her place in the world (hell, most adults aren't that awere of themselves), but while many observations might be too clearly worded, they still ring true to some memories of childhood impressions. Children instincts are an uncanny thing.

 

So, is it imperfect? I really couldn't tell you, since after reading six glorious months on the life of this child, my only true complain is that I wanted more when I got to the end. More pages, more time with her, more of and for her future.

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review 2017-04-12 03:59
Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers
Authorisms: Words Wrought by Writers - Paul Dickson

Another glossary type reference, but without the narrative hook that made  Roger, Sausage & Whippet so very engrossing.

 

This one is all about words coined, or first used by, authors.  Shakespeare of course, although he doesn't have the showing you'd expect.  A lot of words we take for granted today as being newish, but were actually coined over 100 years ago.  (Jane Austen was the first to use base ball in a literary work.  Google, while not more than 100 years old, has actually been found in a collection of stories published in 1942 - used as a verb, btw - and long before Sergey Brin and Larry Page were born.)

 

The author is a neologist himself, something that is made quite clear by his unapologetic promotion of words he's claimed credit for.  By the end remarks, it seemed to me that it was very important to him that his name live on in connection with language.  It's good to have goals, I guess. 

 

Some of my favourite words from the collection:

 

Alogotransiphobia: fear of being caught on public transportation with nothing to read. (Created by George V. Higgins in 1992)

 

Bibliobibuli: drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion. (Created by H.L. Menken)

 

Page 99 Test: Ford Maddox Ford recommended that readers not judge a book by its first few pages, instead recommending that readers "open the book to page ninety-nine and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you."  Carried forth on the website page99test.com.

 

 

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