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Book Reviews - General

Discussion in 'Book Lovers' started by Iravati, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. Endlesshope

    Endlesshope Platinum IL'ite

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    Reviews by Iravati , how awesome to have found you here , again !
    Nordic Mythology and Sagas of Icelanders are on my list -having read your review will skip Nordic mythology ,
    Chris hemsworth and marvel might have ruined this for me .
    Does Iravati also delve into mystery
     
  2. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Norse mythology is playful in their interpretation of the poopy mistletoe, how it killed Baldur (a.k.a Balder). But no Neil Gaiman for it. I am sure there are better mythological storytellers. You can check out Myths and Monsters on Netflix for Achaean, Slavic, Celtic, Norse retelling. I loved the series.

    In my interviews, I am usually asked: what are you good at? I say: nothing. Give me a day, I can talk about anything. That pretension has always worked.

    You have any book in mind? We both can whisk away to Brú na Bóinne (older than Stonehenge) and read the book in our spare time while probing for mysterious portals. Remember, our destination is the other side of the outer ring of the galaxy, we will crack the Khul Ja hex soon.
     
  3. Endlesshope

    Endlesshope Platinum IL'ite

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    Okay so half my day went by trailing Brú na Bóinne and ended up at all the other ancient portals . Crack the hex we will , we should totally have a hitchhiker’s club here at IL and visit the portals one at a time .

    In my limited exploration I have these may be mysteries on my list :
    1. Rebecca By Daphne Maurier
    2. The Peripheral by William Gibson
    3. A wizard of earth sea

    Enjoyed reading and will be reading more by these authors
    1. Devotion of suspect X & Journey under midnight sun - keigo higashino
    2 . Name of rose , Foucault pendulum - umberto Echo
     
  4. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    I am doing an uncredited course on “Irish Politics”, hence all that Bru na excitement. It featured in the course. St Patrick driving away snakes in a land with no snakes is something we must take up separately once we have exhausted our hitchhiker’s trail. May be it’s not a snake but a hafgufa.

    The Peripheral is 400+ pages. That will burnt out my flickering neurons. A wizard of earthsea is 200+ pages. The review is promising and the book is of ideal length. I will go for it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  5. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Books this week:


    When Breath Becomes Air (By Paul Kalanithi)

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    Best line in the book: If the unexamined life was not worth living, was the unlived life worth examining?

    The Story of Mankind (By Hendrik Willem van Loon)

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    Before Bill Bryson's "short history of nearly everything", there was "story of mankind" by Hendrik Loon. Nice chap. Easy read. Children's book with adult's intelligence. How did I come across this guy? Saw his name in an article, when I looked him up in wiki:

    Van Loon had a remarkable command of the English language, and the 1946 and other editions of "Roget's International Thesaurus" are dedicated "To the memory of Hendrik Willem Van Loon who month after month, year after year, sent additions and changes for this edition".


    How could I not read such a fascinating man?

    The Compatibility Gene (Daniel M Davis)

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    Woaw! I slept on SM's The Gene for weeks, that 600+ pages tower. I gave up after 300 odd pages. SM is elaborate and lyrical and scientific and everything in the book. No wonder it is 600+ pages with such defining traits.

    Last night I came across Daniel Davis. I read the reviews of his The Compatibility Gene on Amazon. Everyone emphasised how flowing his speech was in the book. The book was short-listed for the Society of Biology Book Award 2014 and long-listed for the Royal Society Winton prize for science books 2014. More than the awards, the readers acclamation over his writing style won me.

    I downloaded in kindle and started reading. Three parts. Ten chapters. 221 pages. Before long, I was onto Part II for I didn't realise how swift Part I was.

    Kafka, then Peter Medawar, Sushruta, Cosmas and Damian, Humphrey Davy, back to Medawar and his three and half page seminal paper in 1953 in Nature (yes, the same year that Watson and Crick exploded from another front), Billingham, Brent, Ray Owen, back to Medawar, Gorer, Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Black Death, Pasteur, Koch, Neils Jerne, David Talmage, Nossal, Mr Tonegawa, Jacques Miller, skin grafts, kidney transplants, heart transplants, Landsteiner, back to Medawar. Part II and Part III were equally engaging if not more.

    The book is one of the best reads of the year. With anecdotes and humanistic narratives of the families and entwined prejudices and suspicions and triumphs in immunology.

    Why such books with distant science? Because there are unheard sidenotes in every heroic narrative.

    "Along with Christiaan Barnard and Washkansky there was a third hero to this medical first –Edward Darvall, the father who gave permission for his daughter’s heart to be used in the experiment. Washkansky had been waiting for a suitable donor for three weeks when an ambulance arrived with Denise Darvall, a twenty-five-year-old girl who had just been run over by a drunk driver after getting out from her family car to buy a cake. Her mother had also been hit and she was already dead. Denise arrived in hospital with a broken leg, pelvis and skull, and severe brain damage –but an uninjured heart. Unimaginably distraught, her father was asked to decide whether or not Barnard could take his daughter’s heart. He spent four minutes weighing his choices. He remembered how his daughter was always giving away things to other people. So surely, he thought to himself, she would have said yes."
     
  6. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Letters to the Lady Upstairs: Marcel Proust

    There are books that are meant to be read but never to be purchased. If an absent-minded reader leaves the book in the railway carriage, you quietly pick up and scan. This is one such book! Be pretentious when someone asks: Have you read Marcel Proust? You say: Oh yeh. But you don't further reveal details that it was not Remembrance of Things Past. You mumble something about "madeleine" and change the topic. You didn't lie because you still read the giant of literature, The Marcel Proust, only that you read his letters to his upstairs neighbour in the building 101 Boulevard Haussmann.

    Madame Marie Williams, the wife of the dentist Charles Williams, and Proust strike an unusual correspondence in 1910s amidst the raging war and the terrorising, and noisy, works in the building. Proust continually reminds through his correspondence with his upstairs lady to reduce the noise level of her domestic work and flooring work and: "I have learned that the Doctor is leaving Paris the day after tomorrow and can imagine all that this implies for tomorrow concerning the ‘nailing’ of crates. Would it be possible either to nail the crates this evening, or else not to nail them tomorrow until starting at 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon (if my attack ends earlier I would hasten to let you know)."

    Easy and amusing read centred on niceties, flowers, ruminations, cultural depredations, and NOISE. Not much to say. Just acquainted with the delicate mannerism and affectation of Proust. Remembrance of Letters Past!

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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  7. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    No time for review essays. Later.

    Books finished

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  8. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    Books underway

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    Last night I read Somerset Maugham's short story: "Verger", loved it. Downloaded his short story collection.

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  9. Iravati

    Iravati Platinum IL'ite

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    One, No one and One Hundred Thousand

    Books adapt you. But few books reshape you and this is one such book with the preface

    "If you would like to have an idea of how it is that others see you, so as no longer to have to marvel at the judgments which others pass upon your personality, learn to reflect like the hero of this novel." -- Luigi Pirandello

    I stumbled on the hero's madness in an article and casually downloaded the book to skim. Incidentally, the easy-flowing translated text was so riveting that I ended up reading from start to end. Astonishing! Beautiful! I am usually sparse on praise but this book, which was written by none other than Mr Pirandello who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934, deserves unsparing accolades.

    The book is tantamount to ten self-help and best-seller books on identity crisis and self-doubts that one may succumb to in the course of life. The verbal play in the text is delightful! Hellishly witty and uplifting book on the unseemly madness we pretend to observe only in others but never in us.

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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  10. shravs3

    shravs3 Finest Post Winner

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