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review 2018-09-30 05:52
Catch
I Think I Love You - Lauren Layne

This is book #5, on the Oxford series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and enjoy this amazing series, I recommend reading this in order.

 

Brit and Hunter are best friends.  They work together, and he is her boss, technically.  They make a great team.  So he is the ideal man to ask why everyone friend zones her instead of wants to date her seriously.

 

Hunter has recently noticed Brit as a woman and more than a friend.  Her asking him to teach her seduction is apparently working too well.  Now he has to figure out how to help his best friend without hurting her and their friendship on the way.

 

This was a great end to an incredible series!  I love this author, and all her works.  Always worth reading.  This book was a great fast pace, with some serious humor and side order of heat.  I absolutely adored reading about this couple falling in love.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2018-09-23 05:55
Lyra's Oxford
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman,John Lawrence

When I'm not reading HDM, sometimes I'll wonder if these little companion books are necessary. And then I reread HDM, find myself desperate for more of Lyra and her world and decide, yes, they absolutely are. Now give us the green book already, Philip Pullman.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-04 17:20
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas by Jules Verne
The Extraordinary Journeys: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Oxford World's Classics) - Jules Verne

TITLE: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas

 

AUTHOR: Jules Verne

 

TRANSLATOR: William Butcher

 

EDITION: Oxford World's Classics

 

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2009 (reissue)

 

FORMAT: Paperback

 

ISBN-13: 9780199539277

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Description:

"French naturalist Dr Aronnax embarks on an expedition to hunt down a sea monster, only to discover instead the Nautilus, a remarkable submarine built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together Nemo and Aronnax explore the underwater marvels, undergo a transcendent experience amongst the ruins of Atlantis, and plant a black flag at the South Pole. But Nemo's mission is one of revenge—and his methods coldly efficient.

This new and unabridged translation by the father of Verne studies brilliantly conveys the novel's varying tones and range. This edition also presents important manuscript discoveries, together with previously unpublished information on Verne's artistic and scientific reference.
"

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Review:

 

When a giant sea creatures starts sinking ships, Dr Aronnax (a marine biologist), his unflappable manservant Conceil, and hot tempered harpooner Ned Land, are invited to join the hunting parting in an attempt to catch it.  Well, things don't go as planned and they end up as the unwilling (sort of) guests of Captain Nemo. Thus commences the fascinating, fast paced, exciting, and at at times, terrifying adventures under the seas (with the occassional land expedition interrupted by cannibals) inside the Nautilus (which is in itself absolutely fascinating).  I love that Verne included such things as an underwater passage between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, Atlantis, pearl fishing, shark hunting, a journey to the South Pole, giant squid and a host of other wierd and wonderful experiences. The relationship between Captain Nemo and Dr Aronnax is particularly fascinating, as is the development of the relationships between the unwilling guests.  Conceil is at times amusing, even though he doesn't intend to be.  Dr Aronnax is a marine biologist so every organism he comes across gets mentioned and classified, along with an encyclopedia worth of facts.  This might annoy some readers, but they can just be skimmed over those bits, though they will miss out on the ocean panarama described.  

 

This is another Jules Verne novel that got butchered and abridged in translation.  This new unabridged translation by William Butcher aims to be faithful to the original French novel and makes use of both manuscripts Verne produced while working on this novel.  I found this translation to be well done, with the narrative flowing smoothly.  The book includes relevant notes, which are of great help when Verne refers to scholars, ships captains, local politics and other goodies.  This edition also has in interesting introduction which discusses certain aspects of the book, what Verne intended with this novel from letters to his publisher, the bits his publisher insisted he change (he was worried about offending the Russians), amongst others.  The extra information adds additional depth to the story and I'm pleased it was included.

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-08-29 15:40
The Major Works of Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics) - Anselm of Canterbury

Throughout the Middle Ages priests and theologians pondered the great questions about the Christian faith and this is a compilation one of the major thinkers of the time. The Major Works of Anselm of Canterbury brings together all of the important works—and some fragments of miscellaneous writing—of this Doctor of the Church on numerous issues to make sense of his faith.

 

Containing 11 works, this volume explores such questions as relating to the Christian faith.  However except for Anselm’s first major work, “Monologian” in which he sets out to prove God exists through reason than faith, almost everything in this book is either bordering on heretical or barely comprehensible at best.  Such works as “De Grammatico”, “The Truth, and “Free Will” quickly make no sense in their dialogue form while “On the Fall of the Devil” appears to indicate that God created evil which is frankly should have resulted in a one-way ticket bonfire for Anselm.  Anselm’s attempt to better articulate his thoughts of the “Monologian” in the “Proslogion” were a disaster of incomprehensibility.  The three works “On the Incarnation of the Word”, “Why God Became Man”, and “On the Virgin Conception and Original Sin” were insightful in a few spots though exposed the fallacy of original sin even though Anselm might have thought he had validate it.  The two other major pieces were so disappointing that it is best not to mention them by name.

 

After reading St. Augustine’s City of God, I hoped for a clear understanding of medieval theological thought in this book as well.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, in fact even though “Monologian” was tougher than I expected I wasn’t discouraged but as I continued reading it became harder to read.  On top of that, the rise of so many unbiblical theological statements that Anselm “proves” through reason then “backs up” through scripture was getting hard to take.  In fact, the worst part of “Monologian” was Anselm attempting to prove the immortality of the soul and failing completely.  The only other positive thing I can say, except for my general liking of “Monologian”, is that any notes of the text were put in the footers and not in the back of the book like other Oxford World’s Classics editions I read have done.

 

The Major Works contains serious theological and philosophical works by Anselm of Canterbury that the honest reader will find barely comprehensible and at times almost heretical.  Do not waste your time with this book unless you are a very serious scholar.

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review 2018-08-22 11:29
Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Oxford World's Classics) - William Butcher,Jules Verne

TITLE:  Journey to the Centre of the Earth

 

AUTHOR:  Jules Verne

 

TRANSLATOR:  William Butcher

 

EDITION:  Oxford World's Classics

 

DATE OF PUBLICATION:  2008 (reissue)

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  9780199538072

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Description:

 

"Now available in a new translation, this classic of nineteenth century French literature has been consistently praised for its style and its vision of the world. Professor Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel travel across Iceland, and then down through an extinct crater toward a sunless sea where they enter a living past and are confronted with the origins of man. Exploring the prehistory of the globe, this novel can also be read as a psychological quest, for the journey itself is as important as arrival or discovery. Verne's distinctive combination of realism and Romanticism has marked figures as diverse as Sartre and Tournier, Mark Twain and Conan Doyle."

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Journey to the Centre of the Earth is an exciting adventure story that is well plotted and fast paced with interesting characters.  This book revolves around the (sometimes nail-biting) subterreanean adventures of the excitable Professor Lidenbrock (who reminds me of the overly-energetic Alexander von Humboldt), his nephew Axel, and eventually the frightfully competent Icelander Hans.  The wonderously fantastical prehistoric and geological settings are beautifully described.  The story is fantastic, but neither full-out fantasy or science-fiction.  Everything described by Jules Verne in the book in terms of geology and natural history reflects the state of scientific knowledge at the time of writing (1864) - except (of course) the fantastical bits. 

 

From a variety of comments on the internet, apparently the previous English translations of this book have been butchered with insertions, omissions, name changes and clunky writing.  This new translation by William Butcher aims to be faithful to the original French novel.  I found this translation to be well done, with the narrative flowing smoothly.  It didn't read like a translation at all.  The book includes notes where relevant.  This edition also has in interesting introduction which discusses certain aspects of the book, as well as important aspects of Jules Verne's life.

 

 

 

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