Welcome to Book Reviews by Non-Descript. All reviews are the opinion of the author who either likes the book or not, and will tell you exactly why.
Books on the To-Read Shelf:
-Call Me the Breeze, Patrick McCabe
Nightstand Books, books I read over time by chapter / short story / poem:Great American Short Stories from Hawthorne to Hemingway
A History of Private Life: Revelations of the Medieval World, Georges Duby
The Wonders of Solitude, Dale SalwakRecommend a Book!
27. The Historian, Elizabeth Kostova
26. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
25. Diaries of a Young Poet, Rainier Maria Rilke
24. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
23. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
22. The Pugilist at Rest, Thom Jones
21. The Scarlet Pimpernel, Baroness Orczy
20. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
19. Going Solo, Roald Dahl
18. Boy, Roald Dahl
17. Danny, the Champion of the World, Roald Dahl
16. James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
15. A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
14. What the Butler Saw, Joe Orton
13. The Last of the Celts, Marcus Tanner
12. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
11. Hard Landing, Thomas Petzinger
10. Children of God, Mary Doria Russell
9.The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell
8. The Odyssey, Fitzgerald translation
7. The Clerkenwell Tales, Peter Ackroyd
6. Angels in America: Perestroika, Tony Kushner
5. Rappaccini's Daughter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
4. Nightwood, Djuna Barnes
3. The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, Joshua Braff
Don't read this book: If you're offended by foul language, talk of pubescent penile-wonder, or hold your Judaism so sacrosanct that irreverence raises your blood pressure, avoid The Unthinkable Thoughts.
Final thought:Loved it!
2. The Call of the Wild, Jack London
There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living, this excstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive. This ecstasy, this forgetfulness of living, comes to the artist, caught up and out of himself in a sheet of flame; it comes to the soldier, war-mad on a stricken field and refusing quarter; and it came to Buck, leading the pack, sounding the old wolf-cry, straining after the food that was alive and that fled swiftly before him through the moonlight . . . He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars and over the face of dead matter that did not move.
Don't read this book: If the word frontier doesn't quicken your blood or you believe the only acceptable animals as characters were the ones in Aesop's fables, then you won't enjoy The Call of the Wild.
Final thought: This was the first Jack London I've read, having long taken the stance that books about animals could not be interesting. Call of the Wild was so beautiful and compelling that I'm picking up White Fang soon.
Published: 1865Read this book:For cultural literacy?
Don't read this book:If you dislike children's fancy and plays on words and language, or plain adult-perspective silliness like this:
"Of course it is," said the Duchess, who seemed ready to agree to everything that Alice said: "there's a large mustard-mine near here. And the moral of that is-- 'The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.'""Oh, I know!" exclaimed Alice, who had not attended to this last remark. "It's a vegetable. It doesn't look like one, but it is.""I quite agree with you," said the Duchess; "and the moral of that is --'Be what you would seem to be' -- or, if you'd like it put more simply --'Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'""I think I should understand that better," Alice said very politely, "if I had it written down: but I ca'n't quite follow it as you say it."Final thought: I'm patching the holes of my childhood. Struck by how much grown-up there is in Alice: Who knew?