Showing posts from June, 2017

Last Day of a Condemned Man

Journey to the End

By Victor Hugo
Translated By Christopher Moncrieff
France, 1829
Romaticism, Philosophical

Main Attractions

1. Resonating, Haunting details
2. Very Quotable Lines
3. Short & Powerful Narrative
4. Progression of Thoughts
5. Intro to Death Penalty Issue 
6. Hugo's a Death Penalty Abolitionist
7. His Crime Remains Unknown
8. Entices the Reader to Reflect
9. We Empathize with Him
10. Dark Humour & Surprises


Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Ghost Pepper BBQ Ribs
The thoughts of this man are so real.  For each reader, some parts could seem more raw than others and have a longer lasting impression.  The descriptions are chiseled like a master craftsman.  Some phrases could be haunting and memorable and I think that’s the real power of this book.  It’s short and not a word is wasted.  It’s easy to read, but difficult to forget.  The shortness is a powerful reminder of how fleeting life is.    

Why Visit Here

It’s a very short yet seemingly real portrayal of a man’s final …

The World's Writing Systems

A Serious Overview W/ Samples

By Peter T. Daniels & William Bright
Published by Oxford University Press

Table of Contents

1. Detailed Accounts   
2. Grammatology, Decipherment
3. Near Eastern, East Asian, European Writing Systems
4. South Asian, South East Asian, Middle Eastern Writing Systems
5. Invented Scripts 
6. Use, Adaptation & Sociolinguists 
7. Secondary Notation, Imprinting & Printing
8. How Scripts & Cultural Development Influenced Each Other
9. Spread & Cultural Impact
10. Linguistic Breakdown, IPA Charts, Change of Letters, Current Issues   

Cuisine & Delicacies

Ranked as: Roasted Chicken Dinner
This book is the first of its kind and is only available because of a newly created software program that makes it possible for the various contributors to share their final text with each other.  Outside of the specialized Linguistic material, it’s very easy to read and understand.  It could replace some mainstream books on this topic.  The bulk of it is specia…

Western Philosophy

A New History

By Anthony Kenny
Published by Oxford University Press

Table of Contents

1.  Overview of Western Philosophy
2.  Ancient Philosophy  
3.  Medieval Philosophy 
4.  Rise of Modern Philosophy 
5.  Philosophy in the Modern World
6.  Introduces Key Thinkers & Works
7.  Explains Context & Influence
8.  Summarizes Key Thought & Works
9.  Accessible & Readable
10.  Updated, Comprehensive Introduction 

Cuisine & Delicacies

Ranked as: Roasted Chicken Dinner
It begins with the roots of the Ancient Greek thinkers and moves through a variety of thinkers right up until works published before 1975.  It’s the author’s personal choice to include philosophers up to this point.  

In the introduction, Kenny states that writing this book from one author’s point of view, can give a more generalized ‘aerial view’ of this far reaching history where specialists may explore some aspects in slightly greater detail.  Kenny acknowledges that he lacks the specialized knowledge in some area…

Dead Souls

A Baffling Masterpiece

By Nikolai Gogol
Translated By Bernard Guilbert Guerney
Russian, 1842
Historical Fiction, Existential, Satiric, Dark Comedy

Main Attractions

1.  Unpredictable events  
2.  Laugh out loud dialogue
3.  Dark humour 
4.  In Depth Portrait of Rural Russia
5.  Raises Many Interesting Questions
6.  Quirky Cast of Characters
7.  Explains so Many Cultural Norms
8.  Touches on Russian Language
9.  Baffling Ending.. But a Good One.
10.  An Unfinished Masterpiece

Video Postcard

Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Lasagna or Hearty Casserole
This book has more in common with Crime & Punishment than with We.  Meaning that it’s more saucy and thought provoking than it is mysterious and baffling.  Don’t get me wrong, this book has more than it’s share of baffling, confusing content.  But there is just so much good stuff to chew on!  I’m still pondering and chuckling at that chess scene!  I’m left with more stuff to happily mull over than with unanswered questions.    

Why Visit Here

Gogol is on…


Calculated, Haunting World

By Yevgeny Zamyatin
Translated By Gregory Zilboorg
Russian, 1924
Philosophy, Dystopian

Main Attractions

1.  Unique Dystopian    
2.  Unreliable Narrator
3.  Told in Record Form
4.  Inspired Many Classics
5.  Chiseled Word Choice
6.  Memorable Story
7.  Highly Re-Readable
8.  Some Confusing Facts
9.  Smuggled from the USSR
10.  Interesting Publishing History


Cuisine & Delicacies
Ranked as: Mystery Meat
I have to class this one in a similar light as The Librarian.  Some moods or storytelling methods are reminiscent of each other.  They both left me puzzled at the end.  We is told in a diary or record form.  So a lot of information is left out because the narrator just doesn’t have all of the information.  The result is, he can only tell us part of the story.  It makes me wonder what is truly happening and I doubt that he makes the right choices.  This lack of information makes the story seem more real life or maybe the narrator suffers from some delusions?  Overall,…