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282Mikado

282Mikado

Joined February 2020

“You know you‘ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” – Paul Sweeney
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The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
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282Mikado
Jane Eyre | Charlotte Bront
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Pickpick

This is the first book I reviewed on Litsy two years ago; and with this reread I love it even more. No one writes or speaks like this anymore. The story is captivating, the details pure, the dialog priceless. This is an all-time favorite. I know I will read it again.

Dostoyes I loved that about it too - just the way she wrote and the characters spoke. It transported me to another time and place! 3d
Pip2 I am about 3/4 through the novel and it has resemblances of differing books I have read in the past. The eloquence of the dialogue within certain impoverished scenes, reminds me sometimes of Hugo, or when I am transcended to a more pastoral scene I feel like Hardy‘s hand is penning the page. Or during the scene of quaint but sophisticated and humble enjoyment I am transported to Howard‘s End. This is a must read for anyone. #Dostoyes 3d
3 likes2 comments
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282Mikado
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Pickpick

A compelling read with many intriguing characters, both good and evil. As with many Dickens novels the author tends to become a bit verbose, but don't give these wanderings short shrift or you may miss some telling satire or other profound offerings. Classic Dickens. Very good.

4 likes1 stack add
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282Mikado
The Caine Mutiny | Herman Wouk
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Pickpick

I enjoyed the movie, but it pales significantly to the book. Wouk truly captured the essence of Navy life. the preparation, separation, comradery, fear, loneliness, the good, the bad. I even felt the longing I had so many times at sea waiting for the announcement “Mail Call“, and the disappointment when a longed for letter or package hadn't arrived yet. The Mutiny in and of itself was worth reading, but these pages hold so much more.

5 likes1 stack add
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282Mikado
A Farewell to Arms | Ernest Hemingway
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Pickpick

Was the storyline not so compelling this review would be at best “So-So“. Had the author's name not been on the cover I would have thought this written by a fourth grader. I even found myself at times reading it in that elementary cadence. That being said, I did enjoy the theme very much.

Pip2 I wasn‘t a huge fan of the Sun also Rises but really did love the serene artistry of The Old Man and the Sea. A book of the power of solitude and ego that bring with it a result of humble magnanimity. I know that a Farewell to Arms is on my list of books to read, maybe he wrote this one when he was a little tipsy… 🥴 3mo
Rachel.Rencher I agree with you. I know he's a well respected writer but I struggle to immerse myself in his writing. 3mo
10 likes2 comments
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282Mikado
The Spy | Clive Cussler, Justin Scott
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this book a good deal. Interesting historical plot based on the development of the super dreadnaughts near the turn of the last century. A typical Cussler fun read in between more serious titles. There were enough typos to make me question the editing and be a distraction.

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282Mikado
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Pickpick

If you love the sea, tall ships, or have a desire to learn more about them then this is the book for you. The introduction, first few chapters, and concluding chapter are by far the best read. The rest is merely a journal of a seaman on a merchantman in the 1800‘s. The rigorous monotony of his daily life and the hardships he was forced to endure.

282Mikado Indeed Dana‘s concluding chapter tells us this, hoping to dissuade the young men of his age from their perceived romantic notions of a life at sea. The concluding chapter also defines how that life at sea can be made better, and in truth, how everyone‘s life can be made better through a relationship with God. Not a book for everyone, but a good book for those of us who love the sea. (edited) 4mo
Pip2 I would have to say perceived is sometimes an accurate word describing life at sea. One really doesn‘t know the good, bad, and the ugly until they have truly experienced sea faring life. From my experience A relationship with God will always be helpful for someone in a difficult or even a positive marker in there life and that relationship is only further developed in my experience with acts that are consciously made to bring you closer to God. 4mo
3 likes2 comments
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282Mikado
Spartan Gold | Clive Cussler
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Pickpick

I liked this book very much. A good historical back story, plenty of intrigue and suspense and main characters that play well off each other. I like to read Clive Cussler in between more serious reads and this book satisfied my itch quite well. I can see me continuing this series in the near future. Sam and Remi have found their place right up there with Isaac Bell as my favorite Cussler characters.

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282Mikado
Poland | James A. Michener
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Pickpick

Started this while sick with COVID/Pneumonia and found it interesting, but not compelling. As I got better so did the book. This is a great history of the Polish nation and its people. Often called upon to aid and even save Europe, they were all too often unable to save themselves. I will likely read this again when not suffering some ailment to pull it down.

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282Mikado
The Source of Magic | Piers Anthony
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Mehso-so

Not as enjoyable as A Spell For Chameleon. The book was saved (in my mind) by the ethical struggle Bink went through as he decided whether or not to free X(A/N)th. Outside of that nothing really had me eagerly turning the pages. Just another fantasy.

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282Mikado
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Pickpick

The books are good. They would most likely have been better if I was a member of the target audience (a child); for whom they were definitely written. I read them because my daughter had and I wanted to share that with her. My favorite, The Horse and His Boy, was her least favorite...; go figure. You can see Lewis' faith intermingled throughout the stories. Good moral reads, and spiritual too if you let the author take you there.

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282Mikado
Mere Christianity | C. S. Lewis
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Pickpick

Mere Christianity. The title explains the book. No fluff. No exaggerations. No recruitment. Just Mere Christianity. Good read.

Dostoyes CS Lewis at his finest 11mo
282Mikado @Dostoyes It inspired me to read “The Chronicles of Narnia“. Well, that and one of my daughters is currently about 1/2 way through. I am 6 chapters into “The Magician's Nephew“ and am enjoying it quite a bit. I am adding “The Screwtape Letters“ to my list as well. 10mo
Dostoyes @282Mikado such a great series. If you‘re enjoying CS Lewis, you may also enjoy another of his collection of essays “God in the Dock”. Tucked in between his usual thoughtfulness is a hilarious essay about Christmas. 10mo
282Mikado @Dostoyes Thanks! Stacked. 10mo
3 likes4 comments
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282Mikado
For Whom the Bell Tolls | Ernest Hemingway
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Pickpick

Overall a good read. Set during the Spanish Civil War of the ‘30s, of which I had little knowledge, it also places the reader behind the guerrilla lines where I also seldom find myself. A very fitting title, whose verse is finely interwoven throughout the pages.

Pip2 I have this book on my shelf but have not read it yet. I read the Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea. The 2nd was an excellent book, the Sun Also Rises was ok but not my favorite book, just ok. 11mo
6 likes1 stack add1 comment
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282Mikado
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Pickpick

Another great read by M.J. Lee. This was especially good in that he blended in a detailed snapshot of a specific time in the life of Charles Dickens; one of my favorite authors. I love genealogical mysteries, and M. J. Lee is a master of the craft.

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282Mikado
Little Dorrit | Charles Dickens
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Pickpick

The first 3rd had me thinking this would be my favorite Dickens novel. The middle made me wonder if I should see it through, but the last 3rd redeemed the whole. I guess my interest ebbed and flowed with the involvement of my favorite characters (Amy and Arthur). The last 3rd really pulled it all together nicely.

EllisBell You echo my own experience EXACTLY 12mo
4 likes1 stack add1 comment
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282Mikado
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Pickpick

I first read this series over thirty years ago and remember thoroughly enjoying them; although I had forgotten most of the storyline. Rereading this has done nothing but increase my appreciation. Piers Anthony weaves a wonderfully magical tale infused with significant moral principles and life lessons. I look forward to reading the rest of the series, as I did so many years ago.

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282Mikado
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Pickpick

A good, well written suspense novel. The ending, while quite possible, I found a bit improbable; but I am just picking nits. This was a fun read.

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282Mikado
Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
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Mehso-so

Meh. I struggled getting through this one. It was okay, but nothing really stood out. No one character to really latch on to. Just some unfortunate traveler that never learned from his mishaps that perhaps a life of sea travel may not necessarily be for him. Part IV, where he lived with the Houyhnhnms was the most enjoyable, but only because it served to reinforce that throughout the ages man has not changed. I'm glad this book is over.

4 likes1 stack add
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282Mikado
Selected Stories of O. Henry | O. Henry, Victoria Blake
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Pickpick

Each of these short stories are a joy to read. They are witty, insightful and usually leave you guessing as to how each will end. O. Henry‘s utilization of the English vocabulary was a pleasant respite from the banal conversation we are subjected to on a daily basis. An absolute treasure. Now off to Gulliver‘s Travels.

2 likes2 stack adds
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282Mikado
Poseidon's Arrow | Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler
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Pickpick

Typical Clive Cussler fare. Extreme amounts of daring-do, characters (good guys) with unlimited amounts of stamina and strength, and plenty of last minute save-the-day events. Realistic? Absolutely not! But with a decent plot, well researched technology and a little bit of history thrown in, it was just what I needed after my last, much more serious, read. Personally I like the Isaac Bell stories better than Dirk Pitt.

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282Mikado
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Pickpick

Thoroughly researched, meticulously referenced and expertly written. Thomas Sowell discredits so many of the myths and misconceptions prevalent today through an honest account of true history.

“To be relevant to our times, history must not be controlled by our times. Its integrity as a record of the past is what allows us to draw lessons from it.” p. 289

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282Mikado
Villette | Charlotte Bront
Pickpick

I enjoyed Villette, but not nearly as much as Jane Eyre: some of the story sparkled, but it was not nearly as intriguing. At times, to me, she was a tad too verbose and there were some significant sections of dialog that were written entirely in French. Not knowing the language this was a bit frustrating. I was also a bit disappointed in how the book ended. Still, I did enjoy the book overall, and could see Lucy Snowe as being a very good friend.

Sparklemn I wasn‘t a fan of Jane Eyre - #unpopular - but I have high hopes for Villette. 1y
13 likes1 stack add1 comment
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282Mikado
Cards on the Table (Poirot) | Agatha Christie
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Another enjoyable Agatha Christie mystery. I started reading AC over 40 years ago and her stories never fail to amuse “the little grey cells”. I‘m sure this will not be my last; but for now, off to Villette!

Dostoyes Look forward to your review of Villette! 2y
3 likes1 comment
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282Mikado
Grapes of Wrath | John Steinbeck
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Pickpick

Steinbeck nails the true nature of man in this book; the good, the bad and the ugly. In this regard the Grapes of Wrath is a great read and definite classic. But the constant use of bad language in the dialog, especially taking the Lord‘s name in vain, made it difficult for me to read at times. Bad language does nothing to enhance a story and the older I get, the less I can tolerate it. Here it reduced a great book to merely good.

4 likes1 stack add
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282Mikado
The Red Pony | John Steinbeck
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Pickpick

Four short stories in one, revolving around a young boy becoming a man; and the price of that advancement is dear. Very thought provoking; but then, that is John Steinbeck.

5 likes1 stack add
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282Mikado
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Pickpick

I love this series. They are great little mystery stories set on the stage of an accurately detailed early 20th century England. The banter between the main characters, Lady Hardcastle and Flo, is sometimes laugh out loud funny. This was not the best of the 6, but was quite enjoyable just the same. Not very long, I find these stories a fun and relaxing interlude between more serious reads.

4 likes1 stack add
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282Mikado
Tortilla Flat | John Steinbeck
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Mehso-so

Had a rough start given my antipathy toward those who can but won‘t responsibly take care of themselves, but Steinbeck pulled me in. Many reviews site racism and sexism, and I can see where you can go there, but I didn‘t. To me it was a story of people. There are Tortilla Flats across the globe, populated by all races, none better or worse than the others. Overall this book was enjoyable. Don‘t set your sights too high & you won‘t be disappointed.

2 likes1 stack add
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282Mikado
Uncle Tom's Cabin (Original) | Harriet Beecher Stowe
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Pickpick

What a powerful read. This book should be required reading in High School. I only wish I had read it sooner. Time after time I had to pause to reread so many excerpts that just fully gripped my heart and soul; many of which I had to share with my wife. This will by no means be the last time I read Uncle Tom's Cabin.

TheBookHippie My son read it last year in year 6 (6th grade) it was required, however he is at a classical school.. it‘s been banned here in our public schools a long long time...sigh. 2y
282Mikado @TheBookHippie This is a sad testament wrt the public schools of America. 😢 2y
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
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282Mikado
Emma | Jane Austen
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Panpan

After 6 chapters I had to bail. Not enough substance here to keep my interest. Time to move on to something more meaningful.

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282Mikado
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Mehso-so

The court case at the end saved this story. I found this book to be very predictable with no characters that I could really latch on to, whether for good or evil. Everyone seemed to be a supporting character with no one stepping up to be a star until Pudd'nhead takes on that final case. It is a short story (139 pages) and an easy read. Entertaining, but far from exceptional.

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282Mikado
The Secret Garden | Frances Hodgson Burnett
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Pickpick

What a pleasant surprise. I read this because my daughter did and I wanted to be a part of her enjoyment. I never expected to be so drawn in and made a part of the story. This is a truly wonderful story from page one through to the last word. There is indeed magic within these pages.

Pip2 Yeah. I will be reading this next. Great review without giving anything away! 2y
5 likes1 comment
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282Mikado
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Pickpick

The review by “The Guardian“ at the top of the page pretty much says it all. This is a great read for any history buff and serves to dispel the many myths surrounding the Templars and their so called status as “God's Holy Warriors“ (when juxtaposed along side the Bible). I will likely read this again some day in the future. A very good read.

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282Mikado
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Pickpick

A must read for any Navy buff. It details wonderfully how our fledgling Navy forged out onto the high seas without getting so deep into the weeds that the reader runs aground. Well researched, well written, highly educational, and most enjoyable. I will likely read this again sometime in the future.

Pip2 Nice touch with the naval cap. It looks like an interesting read. One that I may engage in later. 2y
282Mikado That's my alma mater.
2y
1 like2 comments
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282Mikado
Howards End | E.M. Forster
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Mehso-so

While an entertaining read, I found it hard to identify with any one character. Meg began to stimulate my interest, but by then the book was 90% gone and I was left wanting. The Social arguments I was led to expect made but cameo appearances and were gone; leaving us with dialog and events that, while amusing, failed to develop a substantive argument for or against anything. Not a bad read, but far from exceptional.

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282Mikado
Jane Eyre | Charlotte Brontee
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Pickpick

What a wonderful read! Charlotte Bronte's elevated use of the English language brings the reader's heart, mind and soul right into the story with her. She captures the essence of Jane's emotions and subsequent actions and allows the reader to experience them as if they were his/her own. This is a book I could easily read again and again.

Pip2 I confess I own Jane Eyre but have not read it yet. It‘s on my to read pile this year. I have watched the 2006 BBC golden globe nominee version which was very good. I have Amazon Prime which is loaded with British and old classic TV/movie adaptations of classic literature works. Some good, some not so good. It‘s loaded with Dickens works as well. I receive it at a discount due to the edu address on my email for work. 2y
282Mikado We have Amazon Prime as well. I'll have to look more diligently for these things. Thanks! 2y
13 likes2 comments