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mobill76

mobill76

Joined August 2021

I live off the grid in a woodlot in southern Kentucky with my bookshelf and an iPad full of eBooks. http://www.goodreads.com/mobill76
review
mobill76
Blindness | Jos Saramago
Bailedbailed

I read till the misused punctuation became to much of an obstacle, it didn't make me feel blind, felt like I was grading papers and someone was on their way to a rewrite, if you want to make me feel blind maybe don't tell how the rooms are painted and furnished, I can hear just fine, I often close my eyes when I'm eavesdropping so I can concentrate, no quotes, no periods just destroy my ability to get inside your book and listen to your story.

review
mobill76
The Abolition of Man | C. S. Lewis
Panpan

No. I'm a huge (205 lb) C.S. Lewis fan, but this was nonsense based on a misunderstanding of 'feeling' and 'thinking'. Lewis throws up his hands and cries that man is doomed if we can discover no absolutes through our 'objectivity'. Sorry, my friend, we are by nature subjective and our man-made absolutes are too.

quote
mobill76

A feeling people often have about religion but are usually too polite to express, is that it is for failures..
It is possible to disparage the experience of such people: to be understanding but in the end dismissive on such grounds that if everything was going well for them they would have no need. The matter can, however, be looked at very differently..
As Monica furlong said, we can realize how petty and superficial our lives have been.

quote
mobill76

""...as a result of an argument with the ghost of my great grand-father. No sooner had I got there that my former self, the one that operated on my brain, popped into my head and said 'Go see Zarniwoop'...
"Mr. Beeblebrox, sir," said the insect in awed wonder, "you are so weird you should be in movies."
"Yeah," said Zaphod patting the thing on a glittering pink wing, "and you, baby, should be in real life.""

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quote
mobill76
About a Boy | Nick Hornby

"'How can it not be possible to tell someone they've got your name wrong?'
'Because...' Will knew that sometimes it was not possible through personal experience. One of his neighbors opposite... called him Bill - always had done and presumably always would, right up untill the day he died. It actually irritated Will, who was not, he felt, by any stretch of the imagination, a Bill. Bill wouldn't smoke spliffs and listen to Nirvana."

3 likes1 stack add
quote
mobill76
About a Boy | Nick Hornby

"He was nearly shouting now. He was certainly angry. They had been talking for less than three minutes, yet he was beginning to feel as though this telephone conversation was going to be his life's work; that once every few hours he would put the receiver down to eat and sleep and go to the toilet, and the rest of the time Fiona would be telling him one thing and then it's opposite over and over again."

review
mobill76
Panpan

Unreadable. There's so much commentary that the bible is sometimes hard to find. It's the same prosperity gospel spin-doctoring over and over again. I started just numbering the recurring themes: Thoughtcrime (your thoughts are bad and you should change them like underwear), Fear of fear (fear is something to be afraid of), I'm talking and I can't shut up (we should be listening to God's Word instead of our own commentary), and Prosperity gospel.

quote
mobill76

"Everyone seemed glad summer was over. Spring is sweet, the baby season; summer is the teenage season - too much energy, too much growth and beauty and heat and late nights, none of them what they are cracked up to be. Fall is the older season, a more seasoned season. The weather surrounds you instead of beating down on you. Clouds bobble across the sky, and there are fresh winds, and misty salmon sunrises, and then cool blue skies."

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quote
mobill76

"Neshama got up and told a second story. It was about her late husband, and a pool he would hike to, where there was a single whiskery fish swimming around. Neshama stripped her story down to it's essence, because only essence speaks to desperate people."

quote
mobill76

"Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life - it has given me ME. It has provided time and experience and failures and triumphs and time-tested friends who have helped me step into the shape that was waiting for me. I fit into me now. I have an organic life, finally, not necessarily the one people imagined for me, or tried to get me to have. I have the life I longed for."

blurb
mobill76
The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien

""Thank goodness!" said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco jar."

That was worth it. They just don't write 'em like that any more. It has the marvel of a modern fantasy with the relish of life of a victorian novel. Dragons and elves and tobacco and tea. I think it may even be better than LOTR. I don't want everything explained from the beginning of time. Bilbo's corner of the world feels a lot like MY corner of the world.

10 likes1 stack add
blurb
mobill76
The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien

I am NOT reading this again. It's just the overture to a more epic struggle. I know everything happening in Middle Earth while the dwarves trudge through Eriador. I could anchor a Middle Earth news desk. I'm too old to keep reading the same books over and over. I've got to move on. I've got things to read and my time is short. I'm tossing this. I'll just read the first page.. "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit." [hooked again]

blurb
mobill76

I don't consider Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to be fiction. But it could've been and it wouldn't have mattered. It just rocked my world. The whole Quality thing. The concept of actually thinking in a different way. Even Pirsig's narrative of how that concept was rediscovered by a post shock-therapy motorcycle rider on a cross-country trip with his estranged son.

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blurb
mobill76
Contact | Carl Sagan

Readers of the book will not find the same sympathy for faith that was exhibited in the movie. It's a good story. Sagan's writing shows a definite ivory tower disconnection with what passes for believable social situations. If you didn't enjoy the movie, you may be interested in the atheistic theme presented in the book. If you did enjoy the movie, you should read the book to hear what Sagan was really trying to say.

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blurb
mobill76

No one has ever walked the fine line between poetry and prose any better. The similarities I have with the hero are now painful reminders that fictional characters don't have to age but I do and I have. But there is still a hope suggested by Bradbury that the memories of my own life can be pressed and bottled, to be enjoyed again when they've been forgotten as my own Dandelion Wine.

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blurb
mobill76

Mixing poetry and science fiction wasn't such a bad idea. It's this book and Fahrenheit 451 that solidified Bradbury's reputation as a sci-fi author. He really didn't write that much of it. What he wrote, he wrote well, though. Modern exploration has long since made the Martian Chronicles rather implausible. But it's still a beautiful read.

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blurb
mobill76

Besides the blood and excess, what kept me reading was the intelligence and heart in the work. The tone is raw and cynical but it isn't without occasional touches of poetry and sentimentalism. The author never stayed in one mode long enough to get tiresome. I don't know if I was convinced by the litany of the names and places or if I just sympathized with a good writer. His heart's in the right place. I hope it's still beating somewhere.

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blurb
mobill76

This book is a total vindication for everyone who sits in the back pew listening to their weekly dose of bullshit and keeps thinking, "That can't be right!"

I absolutely disagree with him on most of his theological positions. But, this book is clever, cool, and full of "Hell, yeah!" moments.

It's about time Faith was heretical again. Velvet Elvis is proof that there's still a "scatrd few" out there who are looking for a better place.

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blurb
mobill76

I love the highly technial man-made achievements and I love the completely unspoiled "nature of nature". Using computers, we are better able to sythesize and understand the structure and appearance of natural things. This book added to my appreciation of nature by showing me the level of computation required to simulate it and it added to my appreciation of science by tying it to the emotional response that I feel when I see beauty in nature.

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blurb
mobill76

It has some history but it doesn't get bogged down by trying to stay chronological or include every historical detail. It sort of "whets the appetite" for studying math beyond the textbook.

It's good. It was fun. It just didn't grab me. I think I wanted more detail. I felt like it was little too popularized or "dumbed down". And yet, I didn't feel it was "sparkly" enough to appeal to students.

Entertaining but not practical for classroom use.

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blurb
mobill76
Farewell Summer | Ray Bradbury

It's really Bradbury. It's really not Dandelion Wine. Nothing ever is.

2 likes2 stack adds
quote
mobill76

"You still don't understand, do you?" says my shadow, wearily resting it's head. "If I run away and leave you behind, your life here would be sheer misery... Shadows that don't die here can only leave behind incomplete deaths. You'd live out all eternity in the embrace of what's left of your mind. In the Woods. Those with undead shadows are driven out of Town to wander through the woods forever and ever, possessed by their thoughts..."

1 like1 stack add
blurb
mobill76

Your paycheck may/may not justify humiliating and overworking yourself on a daily basis until your slighted boss trusts you again. But if you do get promoted, she gives you the opposite advice that she just gave you as an employee. Now you have to earn your employees respect and loyalty, give credit where credit is due, and make sure your employees are motivated - the very things that you had no right to expect in the employee advice section.

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blurb
mobill76
Some Ether: Poems | Nick Flynn

It's like watching surgery. If you want life and death, it's here. If you want pain and suffering, it's here. Flynn's a fine poet. There are some great images. He has this really soft touch that just doesn't prepare me for his cuts - the drugs, the sex. It feels like watching accidents on the tv news. I like my poetry a little more analytical. I found about half these poems to be genuinely memorable images. The rest of them just made me wince.

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blurb
mobill76
Bikeman: An Epic Poem | Thomas Flynn

I thought that this would be a difficult subject to write a poem about. I was right.

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blurb
mobill76

The book is, in fact, an expansion of a classic 4th of July "News from Lake Wobegon" where the Statue of Liberty in the parade wore nothing underneath her robe. Clint Bunsen's dilemma is a classic. Does he bite the bullet for the rest of his miserable wasted life? Or does he grasp the life preserver thrown to him by a younger woman and head west for a glorious final inning? This is typical Lake Wobegon in every way. Maybe the best yet.

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blurb
mobill76

It's an amazing blend of geological, biological, and social history. It's concise and well-paced. It is an absolutely gripping story as Flannery relates the rise and fall of species and climates with such epic sweep that you feel like God watching it happen. Nothing like it. Stephen Gould would've been proud. If you only read one natural history book in your lifetime - this is the best summary you could choose

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blurb
mobill76

This is exactly what's missing from textbooks. Oh yeah, you get little blurbs about Descartes and Pascal but this is the whole story. We enforce the study of the corpus without any recognition that mathematics is an epic human achievement.
It gets pretty advanced. What we teach in high school was understood by the 18th century so maybe half the book is kinda wasted.
A good read if your mathematically inclined. Indespensible if you teach the stuff.

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blurb
mobill76
Feynman's Lost Lecture: The Motion of Planets Around the Sun | Richard Phillips Feynman, David L. Goodstein, Judith R. Goodstein


It''s not a bad lecture and it comes with a story about how it was reconstructed. So, it's another labor of love for a man who makes us proud to be human.

It's approximately the same level of material that's in Six Easy Pieces. I think I would've liked it better if I'd heard it before SEP. As it is, it was a lot of money for "just one more lecture".

Get it if you're considering getting SEP. It's a taste of what you're getting yourself into.

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blurb
mobill76

I thought maybe if I read physics in historical order - starting with Einstein - I would be able to see how the paradoxes arose from solutions to other problems.

Well, this was as far as I got.

I understand the concept of the uncertainty principle in that measuring a particle necessarily affects it. I was hoping to explore the roots of the "observer effect" by seeing what else might have been implied by Heisenberg in his own explanation.

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blurb
mobill76


He's very passionate about people with imagination. He roots out the brilliance in all arts like a pig after truffles.

It's good stuff. He appreciates the past heights of our culture but it doesn't sour him that they are so far behind us. His voice still shines with enthusiasm for life.The joy is not in the finding. The joy is in the hope that the fantastic is still out there, waiting for you to arrive.

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blurb
mobill76

Shocking, like a horror movie. it's the punishment of Gulag Archipelago rolled into one punch to the stomach. The images are stark and stay with you for the rest of your life. Read this and take nothing for granted again.

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blurb
mobill76

The character limit on blurbs is 451 characters? That's outstanding!
Although I d read plenty of Bradbury, I d never come across a copy of Fahrenheit 451 until my junior year of high school. I was told in a journalism class that it had once been banned. That was the age at which I read Bradbury s critique of American society. I took it as gospel. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. I stopped watching TV.

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