Before they were classics….

I came across this today while on the interwebs. It’s 15 scathing early reviews for books that are considered classics today, including Lolita, Brave New World, and The Catcher in the Rye. Check them out here: http://www.flavorwire.com/335428/15-scathing-early-reviews-of-classic-novels?all=1

Also, just want to mention that I recently read Lolita and it was amazing. Nabokov draws you in and almost makes you feel sorry for Humbert Humbert. If you haven’t read it, you should.

Book Review: The Facts, by Philip Roth

The Facts is the autobiography of novelist Philip Roth.  If you’ve never read Roth, you should.  He’s famous for writing semi-autobiographical novels that are outrageously candid and extremely funny.  He has an ease and confidence about writing that allows him to create people and places that are simply aliveso alive, in fact,  that readers are often left wondering where fiction ends and reality begins. In The Facts, Roth attempts to lay out the real facts of his life as he seems them. But, as the book’s last chapter underscores, autobiography can never reveal the truth as candidly or interestingly as fiction can. Continue reading

The Religion of Benjamin Franklin

Lost month I read Walter Isaacson’s amazing biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.  I enjoyed that book so much that I went out and bought a copy Franklin’s own Autobiography, which is even better.  In addition to reading about Franklin’s life in his own words, the Autobiography provides fascinating insights into Franklin’s religion.  Today, many people would have you believe that the Founders were a group of super-powered politicians-slash-evangelical-Christians, but Franklin’s own words prove that false, like this statement: “My indiscrete disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror by good people as an infidel or atheist.”  Just imagine a modern politician saying that! Continue reading

Bad Blogger’s Repost: The Pyramid, by Ismail Kadare

This week I am furiously analyzing data and revising study’s for peer-review and publication.  I don’t have time to tell you about the books I’ve read recently (although it’s been a string a good ones), so I’m reposting this review of a book I read last year and really enjoyed, The Pyramid by Ismail Kadare.  As I wrote last year, this is basically one of best novels you’ve never read, written by one of the best novelists you’ve never heard of.  And it’s short and sweet, too.  If you get a chance, comb through a book store for this novel or look for it on paperbackswap.  Claire will keep up the posting while I’m gone to MBL.  — Kelly
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Book Review: The Swiss Family Robinson

So, I recently read The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss. This book is old school, like 1812. I got it when the local Borders was going out of business, mostly because I grew up loving the Disney movie based on the book. My little sister and I used to watch the movie all the time, consuming frozen grapes as our snack of choice. Somehow that was the snack we deemed necessary for the movie. Anyway, let’s just say the book is very different than the movie. Continue reading

Ben Franklin: Awesome

I’m stuck this week with yet another round of revisions on my last dissertation chapter, so more posts about science and books will have to wait.  I doubt too many of you are disappointed, but I do want to share one quick thing.  I am currently reading Walter Issacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin.  Not only is it highly entertaining, it reminds me that Franklin is undoubtedly the Founding Father of Badassery. Continue reading