July 17th, 2010

Book Review: Candide by Voltaire

In my recent move i had to dispossess myself of my large book collection and one of the books I couldn't bear to part with was a copy of some of Voltaire's writings.  Of the books I have remaining (probably about 2% of my former library) this was the first one I wanted to read.  I had read Candide when I was in college, not for any class, jus 'cause (I'm weird that way) and I remember not really getting it.  On the second reading however I kind of get it now.  For anybody who has not read it, it is the story of a young man (and you can't really think of him as anything but a young man because of the innocence he shows throughout) and his misfortunes.  And all the time while people are stealing from him, raping the woman he loves, killing his friends, etc., he keeps this fervent belief that he lives in "the best of all possible worlds".  The style is picaresque satire and Voltaire takes shots at religion, governments, and philosophies.  I have always enjoyed Voltaire and am glad I kept this book.
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I need to read a book that is mind bending, any suggestions?
I am rather tired of Mr. Chuck Palahniuk (sorry), so he is off the list.

I would like to read something Inception (yes, the movie) esque.
However, I do not want Mr. Jonathon Safran Foer's way of breaking your heart.

Know any?


Review: Sea by Heidi R. Kling

Title: Sea
Author: Heidi R. Kling
Page Count: 323 pages
Summary: (from Goodreads) "Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.

And Sea’s real adventure begins."

(Full review here!)

What to read next?

I'm about half way done with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (for the third time) and I'm trying to decide what to read next. So I'm sitting here looking at my bookshelf debating whether or not to start something new, re-read some of the others, or head to the library with the ridiculously long list of books that I've put together from reviews/recommendations per this site.

I'm leaning towards reading something new that I already have because some of these books I've had for YEARS and I've never touched them. Here's a list of what I've got waiting on the shelves.

Tamora Pierce - The Immortals, Song of the Lioness, Tricksters, Protector of the Small
Dan Brown - The Da Vinci Code
Frank Beddor - The Looking Glass Wars
Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn
Bram Stoker - Dracula
Robert Louis Stevenson - Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and other strange tales
Geroge RR Martin - A 
Song of Ice and Fire series

Opinions on where to start would be most helpful. Thanks in advance. :)


Does anyone have any recommendations for any books that are set in Quebec? They can be in English or French. Doesn't matter the genre, I suppose.

Thank you!
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Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

The book starts off in a very Gaiman scene, he introduces the character Richard Mayhew as a man who takes London for granted. He is a perfectly ordinary man. He has a controlling fiance, who drags him everywhere. She believes he has potential, but really he is just ordinary.
He has a boring office job.

Until he sees a girl face down in the mud, obviously hurt while on the way to a dinner with Jessica to meet a very important man. The girl's name is Door, and she is a very important person. She is part of a family who have the ability to open doors, create doors, find doors. Prior to the beginning of the story all of her family was murdered.
Richard unfortunately finds his life turned upside down. Turns out he is part of London Above or well was until he helped Door. Once Door leaves him, he finds out that no one notices him. A couple even moves into his apartment while he is in it.
Angry, he follows Door's path into London Below. He soon embarks on a journey with Door, a battered marquis, and the Hunter to revenge Door's family. In order to do this they have to reach the angel Islington, or at least that is what they think.

It is a story of angels, and of unlikely heroes.

Gaiman made sure to keep this story fast. It does not lag in dialogue or action. It is a pleasant story, filled with the beautiful imagery Gaiman always has. He does do his usual jumping from different characters for a chapter, which can be disconcerting if you are not quite used to that style.
All in all, I was impressed. I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed (dare I say it) American Gods.
Pick it up from your local library folks.