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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The World of Somerset Maugham; An Anthology by Klaus W. Jonas

The Favorite Short Stories of H. G. Wells. by H. G. Wells

The Myth of Human Races by Alain F. Corcos

Thunderball by Ian Fleming

Theodore Dreiser (Modern Literature Monographs) by James Lundquist

Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir by Gore Vidal

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Member: danielx

CollectionsRead (2,613), Currently reading (15), Maugham library (93), Your library (2,856), Not finished (191), Not read (2), Signed (17), To read (5), reference (39), All collections (2,856)

Reviews495 reviews

Tagsfiction (1,274), history (401), biography (285), children's fiction (242), US history (227), evolution (205), humor (190), history of science (167), short stories (166), US politics (143) — see all tags

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About meBipedal primate with the physiology of a large tropical mammal; species origins, Africa; interests, varied.



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About my libraryMy online listings are a virtual library of books that I've read, most of which reside in my home library. A minority are books I've not finished. Outside of fiction (and I love the classics!), areas of special interest include evolutionary biology and the history of science. However, I also like to read world history, politics, and biography.

Books are rated within their genres (since to do otherwise would be to compare everything to William Shakespeare and Charles Darwin). Listed dates usually indicate date of publication of the original work.


My Library at LibraryThing



GroupsB times 4, Bug Collectors, Combiners!, Evolution, Evolve!, friends of Maugham, Hardboiled / Noir Crime Fiction, History at 30,000 feet: The Big Picture, Name that Book, Spam Fighters!

Favorite authorsPeter J. Bowler, E. Janet Browne, Vincent Bugliosi, James M. Cain, Robert A. Caro, Raymond Chandler, Noam Chomsky, Joseph Conrad, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Jared Diamond, Charles Dickens, Will Durant, E. M. Forster, Nicci French, Rebecca Goldstein, Stephen Jay Gould, Bill Griffith, Ernst Haeckel, Dashiell Hammett, Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Henry Huxley, James Hynes, Robert G. Ingersoll, Ian Kershaw, Paul Krugman, Gary Larson, Sinclair Lewis, W. Somerset Maugham, Ernst Mayr, Ian McEwan, George Orwell, Marge Piercy, Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Mary Roach, Bertrand Russell, John Steinbeck, Booth Tarkington, Trevanian, Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut, Alfred Russel Wallace, H. G. Wells, Edward O. Wilson, Tom Wolfe, Carl Zimmer (Shared favorites)

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Real namedanielx

Locationearth

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/danielx (profile)
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Member sinceOct 12, 2007

Currently readingThe Rough Guide to Evolution (Rough Guide Science/Phenomena) by Mark Pallen
Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral by David Dobbs
A Reason for Everything: Natural Selection and the English Imagination by Marek Kohn
Sharks & Rays (Nature Company Guides) by Kevin Deacon
The Darwin Experience: The Story of the Man and His Theory of Evolution by John van Wyhe
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Comments

Hello to a bipedal primate from another bipedal primate :)
Just wanted to say thank you for your review of Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. My copy is unbelievably grubby from residing in the kitchen for 20+ years, and I was going to get rid of it. (Plus, I almost never look in it, either)

Now, I'm not so sure what I will do with it.
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Impressive sense of perspective!

Hedge seems to be very space-minded. Perhaps with his help we could finally perfect orbital refuelling and conquer the Solar System.
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or perhaps 36 inches more.
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That means Hedge needs only about 38 inches more? Surely this can be arranged!
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poor short hedge...
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The Godfather Don Maughamone! :-)
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It's on the left if you are swimming downstream, and on the south with reference to the north pole. Hedge prefers the Left Bank, since that is where artists and other creative sorts traditionally gathered. It's also right near one of the best and most famous used bookstores in the world.
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"Was She Saint or Devil". Terrific! :-)
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Rare opportunity to appreciate Hedge's exquisite profile. Am just curious, are these banks politically orientated?
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Looks like Hedge killing a dragon? I still can't figure out the symbolic significance of the fiery part, but it's quite clear where the myth of St. George originated from.
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Hedge becomes a work of art - and not before time!
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Very nice. I haven't seen that one.
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It must be "Christmas Holiday". Stranger in Paris, indeed!
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This one absolutely rocks! Were it not for this discreet title in the brackets, I would never guess it.
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This may well be my favourite book cover. Ever!
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Very! Tarzan and Jane caught in an awkward moment!
Hi, I do in fact own and use a curio cabinet. As you, I primarily use it to store my natural history collection. I've been collecting oddities from nature since childhood, and I still feel that childlike bliss when I find a new fossil or piece of bone to add to my collection. I collect minerals, fossils, bones, taxidermied animals and insects. I also have a small herbarium.

http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/en/node128
The Augsburg cabinet is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful curiosity cabinets around, still in perfect condition after nearly 400 years. I like the idea of filling these cabinets with all things known to man, a theater of the world or “theatrum mundi”; sort of a universal museum collection exhibited in a very limited space…

PS. Use the link above to take the virtuel tour through this amazing cabinet!

Best regards!
Thanks for adding me to your list of "Interesting Libraries".
I see we share a common interest regarding the history of science. History (in a broad sense) is something that fuels my mind. The past sometimes seems more appealing than the present, although I still believe we live in the "best of all possible worlds"...

Continue to have a great day!
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also known as the Pharaoh Hedgenose
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This monument must have been erected during the fabulously successful reign of the pharaoh known as Hedge II, or Hedge the Great.
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Gorgeous! :-)

George Hedgington?
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Is this your hedgehog at The Louvre? When I showed my sister the picture I took of the Venus de Milo she said, "Why would anyone want to look at a broken statue?" Hedge is a very well traveled furry friend.
Personal.
Happy New Year!

Hello Dan,

Wishing you and Hedge a great 2012

Ruth
I read your review of Of Human Bondage after I posted my "review" today, which review consisted of excerpts from my 1950 diary. In view of the fact that you have read the book several times, and I see have recently added Maugham books to your libray I thought you might be interested in my reaction when I read Of Human Bondage over sixty years ago, as callow 21 year old kid
http://www.slate.com/id/2304235/
http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/index.php
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Hej hej Hedge,

Looks like you have been on your travels again and making interesting new friends.

Ruth x
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I see NASA is ready to lauch the SPACE HEDGE program. That's great! The spacesuit certainly suits Hedge to perfection. He may well be first Earth citizen to walk on Mars, or to live on the Moon perhaps.
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Looks like a tough read. :-)

danielx--- Hello!

It's taken me quite a while to get back to you, re: your kind invitation to join the "Friends Of Maugham" group. I do appreciate the invitation, as I've been, as time has permitted, following out the threads of discussion on the "FOM" site, so obviously I'm interested in what folk who are fond of Maugham have to say about his various works, and about what other folk have had to say about Maugham himself.

However, I really do have quite limited time to spend on even Mr. Maugham

(I'm nearly finished with yet another re-read of "The Summing Up", a book I of his I particularly enjoy.),

and I'm very much NOT given to joining groups, even of folk with whom I share strong common interests. This is not because I'm un-social, or anti-social, it's because of my advanced age & other commitments, which, in my estimation, preclude my being able to participate in such a group with anything other than the decidedly occasional, rare comment.

And, frankly, Daniel, with folk such as you & "Waldstein", who have read so much more of Maugham than have I, and who have read him so attentively & with such a fine, informed, & nuanced appreciation of his work, I think it unlikely that I'd be able to say, in any discussion of Maugham's work, anything other than, "Oh, yes, I agree!"

However, Daniel, if it's permissible to post a comment (a hypothetical comment, at present, for I can at present add only, "Read More Of Maugham") on the "FOM" site, I'd be willing to do that, if something comes to mind which I think is pertinent, and has not yet been said.

As you may have gathered from glancing at my LT profile, and my collections, I read mostly non-fiction, and have in my library perhaps nine works of non-fiction, for every one book of fiction, poetry, or plays, out of any given ten books I own.

Of course, when I do read fiction, it might well be a Maugham short story, or a re-read of one of his novels, but that is subject to other, more local influences at work in my personal situation, which, as I've mentioned, presently has a number of "non-literary" calls upon my finite energy & attention.

So, Daniel, I regretfully decline your invitation, and I hope this post clarifies for you why I do so. Of course, this will not prevent my exchanging posts with you, should a pertinent topic or insight about ANY book I read come to mind!

All The Best, to you, the "Friends Of Maugham", in your literary & non-literary adventures, Daniel!

Thanks again for the invitation.

---Steve "j.a.lesen"
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Doing some admittedly not altogether accurate and probably underestimating calculations, this is still a stupendous ammonite. Marvellously preserved, too. It does transport one in those unimaginably ancient times when these strange creatures must have ruled the seas.
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The Nature's imagination never ceases to astonish me.

Hedge seems to be on very good terms with this beautiful chameleon (if I'm not mistaken about the species).
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Now that's a terrific photo! And a little terrifying in its dimensions as well. Sometimes I wonder if I don't suffer from agoraphobia.
Sorry, I have sometimes used the review section to cut and paste a concise paragraph from someone else's review & tweak it. I have meant it for my use only, (to jog my memory later) and didn't realize it could be seen . A little embarrassed but will correct. Thanks for the comments. RBoone
Bipedal primate aka Danielx and wherever on earth you may be -- keep up the great work on your reviews, they're excellent!
Greets:

I just wanted to take a second and thank you for helping to try to keep the reviews here at LT clean. Seems like of the top 50 reviewers here, 35 or so are abusers. I've noticed your comments on their user pages. It's a pity that staff here takes review abuse so lightly.

Thanks again for trying.
-drmike
Thank you for very thoughtful review of Mumu!
Hello

I’m not sure this will come out alright in english but I’ll try.

I read the story again this weekend (but in Portuguese – a very bad translation). As I see it, this is a story of ageing and solitude, for one side, and an exercise on the politics of male interaction (socially but most of all sexually), on the other.

Clearly the young man is a hustler, trying to get some old rich man to pay him the bills. Mr Royal, the old man, wants company from a young attractive male. I don’t think the young man faked a seizure. He really had an epileptic seizure. And this changed the tone of their relationship. In the last chapter, after their encounter and after the anti-climatic seizure, Mr. Royal watches from afar, as the hustler tries to get a new john.

The Three Stratagems may refer to the three chapters of the story, as they capture different ‘balances’ in their relationship, but in which people never say what they want, it's always a kind of game, where the implicit is more important than the explicit.

We should remember that this was written somewhere in the fifties, when homosexuality was well in the closet, something that people did, but never talked about it. Mr. Royal is a respectable widower that comes to the beach trying to fulfil his more secret desires. The beach is a place where these people come to trade, hustlers and their johns. Remember the other couple in chapter 2, one of them is also a hustler.

I’m not sure all this makes a lot of sense. But anyway, here are my two-cents.

Cheers,
miguel
Hi Dan,

thanks for the information about the book, it is always useful to know the different publishing details as it is so easy to buy the same book twice without realizing it!

Cheers,

Ruth
Hi Dan,

Is Hedge considering an even more substantial trip?

Best wishes,

Ruth.

p.s. I think that I must be the visitor to your site from Sweden.
Hi Dan,

ooooh what an interesting couple of questions, these have definitely been causing some discussion in the Brompton-Charlesworth household!

re: Somerset Maugham, I would say more of an 'awe' sound. I kept saying the name to myself and it sounded different each time(!). I looked it up on Google and Wikipedia (that fountain of knowledge) and they also suggested 'Mawm'.

But now to the Charles Darwin discussion. Where to begin? Firstly, what a fabulous website. I had great fun listening to different accents, especially those from where I grew up (Nottingham). However, I digress! I listened to the accent that you had located as close to Darwin's birthplace and don't think that this is probably anything like Darwin's accent. The man who was recorded was a farm labourer and therefore of a completely different class and social background to Darwin. I know that you referenced some comments about Darwin's 'strong midlands' accent but this was apparently made by Southerners/Londoners ...what can I say.... Southerners/Londoners ALWAYS seem to think that anyone north of Watford has an incredibly strong regional accent... It is a shame that the website had only recorded (or seemed to have recorded) only one social class of person, as a range would have been interesting to show the differences of sounds across the classes even within one geographical location.

I did see that article about Americans only recognizing two English accents. I experienced this when I visited America and people kept asking me if I was from Australia?? Mind you, what did amaze me was that in Chicago, many people couldn't understand my English accent at all. It was a very surreal experience.
To be fair to you guys across the pond, accents from across the world seem only to be recognizable to the locals. For example, Australians and New Zealanders sound very different to each other but pretty similar to many of us. However, the WORST example of getting accents wrong goes to me... once at a conference I asked a delegate what part of America they were from only to be told that they were from.....Canada! I apologized profusely and quickly slunk away...

Hope this make some sense.

Cheers, Ruth
Re the Henry James quote: I think Hitchens included this story to illustrate how his friend Isaiah Berlin was full of good stories about famous and interesting people, because he met so many of them. An this case, he met two great men - James and Churchill - at the same time, and he wanted to share a telling antidote about them both.

It IS a somewhat difficult story to follow, but my interpretation is the opposite of yours. James was very very old then, and Churchill, while still young, had already distinguished himself as a war hero. Apparently, Churchill hadn't yet acquired much wisdom by then; he was so full of himself he didn't even know (or didn't care) that he had snubbed a great author.

James MIGHT have been being coy and indirectly denigrating the younger man (for his arrogance). But I think he was simply observing the wide disparity of talent among humans. Churchill truly had been born with great gifts (not to mention wealth). My favorite part is "It rather bucks one up." Instead of being jealous of another man's glory (as I have certainly been guilty of), James was energized by it. Which, of course, is the wiser more mature attitude, by far. It's the kind of thing young people usually just don't get.

Plus I think James was also reassuring his friends that, far from being crushed by Churchill's arrogance, he just enjoyed the encounter for what it was.

I know very little about James' personality. But from this story it sounds as though he had attained some impressive wisdom at the end of his life.
Thanks, Danielx, for your correction to the Henry James quote in my Hitch22 review. You are right. The quote (which I still love) makes little sense without the word "with." You helped me see another typo too.

So you have an interest in evolutionary biology. The best book I've read recently on this topic was "What Darwin Saw" by Rosalyn Schanzer. It's a kids book, but I've recommended it to several adult friends. It's mostly about Darwin's 1831 trip on the HMS Beagle, and how it profoundly affected his view of life's origins (not to mention his view of religion). I hate to sound ignorant, but I have to admit that I never really "got" what was so ground-breaking about Darwin's findings until I read this book. There are great illustrations throughout, but there's one that really made an impression on me. It showed how similar the human hand is to paws, wings, and just about every other mammalian appendages from the first living creatures on earth until now. I remember looking at that illustration and thinking to myself, "If those creationist nuts saw this, how could they NOT be persuaded the evolution theory is correct?" A naive assumption, I know.

I haven't read the Gerry Spence book on your list, but I had the opportunity to meet him a few times when I was a newspaper in Wyoming. A very fascinating, and colorful, guy.
Hello Daniel,

Although it is not a phrase I'd actually heard (read) myself, I would say that you are correct. 'Swop' sounds like a variety of 'swelp' or s'elp' and reminds me of the oath said in the dock or witness box in English courts...I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth 'so help me God', although this is often said very fast/stylized hence 'Swelp me Gawd'. 'Swop me bob' therefore does indeed sound like an oath. I had a look at one of the chapters that the phrase comes from and the context appears to back this up.

Hope this helps.

send my best wishes to Hedge!

Ruth
Thank you danielx. You have an interesting library too and among other things, I loved your review of "Of Human Bondage".
Your hedgehog is terribly cute, and does seem to be quite the hog of the world. ;)
Hi Dan,

thank you for your suggestions and do please say thank you to your friend Craig for me.

Cheers,

Ruth
Hi Dan,

I am currently trying to find characters in fiction who are naturalists / or at least keen on the natural world (e.g. insect/butterfly collectors etc etc) Do you know of any?

Cheers,

Ruth
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