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Member: philosojerk

CollectionsYour library (1,169), Dani's Books (909), Derrick's Books (237), Shared Books (8), Currently reading (14), To Read - Non-Fiction (82), To Read - Fiction - Standalone (111), To Read - Fiction - Series - Complete (40), To Read - Fiction - Series - Incomplete (41), Location: Home Office (531), Location: Dining Room (230), Location: Upstairs Hallway (234), Location: Bedroom (58), Location: Kitchen (16), Location: Dani's Office (78), Location: Loaned to Someone (2), Missing (11), Library Books (18), To Sell - Amazon Marketplace (5), Read but unowned (59), All collections (1,230)

Reviews206 reviews

Tagsfiction (433), philosophy (340), political philosophy (171), ethics (160), fantasy (138), science fiction (116), 20th century (97), classic literature (80), 1001 (62), anthology (58) — see all tags

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Recommendations5 recommendations

About my libraryYou can find my favorite fiction tagged as "pure genius." I also have a WikiThing page, which was never more than a work in progress, but which fell to the wayside at some point when I was writing my doctoral thesis.

My library doesn't reflect all the books I've read, nor even necessarily all the ones I've enjoyed. I went through a home fire several years back, which means I lost quite a few of the books I loved dearly. Some have been replaced, but most have been left missing because I'm usually more interested in reading something new than in rehashing an old fave. With the exception of a very few books tagged as "lent to..." or in the collection "read but unowned," any book that is listed in my catalog is physically present in my home.

My rating system corresponds to letter grades - 5 = A, 4 = B, 3 = C, 2 = D, and 1 = F. In other words, 1's & 2's were really bad (and consequently, not many of them remain in my library for very long); 3's were average; 4's and 5's I really enjoyed.

GroupsBoard for Extreme Thing Advances, Bug Collectors, Early Reviewers, Ethical Theory, FantasyFans, Happy Heathens, Libertarian Cooking, Malazan, Philosophy and Theory, Reading Globallyshow all groups

Favorite authorsCharles Dickens, Ralph Ellison, Steven Erikson, William Faulkner, Ursula K. Le Guin, Hermann Hesse, John Stuart Mill, Vladimir Nabokov, Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato, Thomas Winfried Menko Pogge, Kim Stanley Robinson, Salman Rushdie, Geoff Ryman, Amartya Sen, John Steinbeck, J. R. R. Tolkien (Shared favorites)

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameDani

LocationPittsburgh, PA

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/philosojerk (profile)
/catalog/philosojerk (library)

Member sinceMar 17, 2007

Currently readingDavid Hume: Moral and Political Theorist by Russell Hardin
The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Kate Pickett
Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Book 1) by Anne Bishop
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
show all (14)

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Comments

Hi. Yes, I wasn't quite sure how rude to be about a major European writer and intellectual giant like Eco, but I decided he could take the pressure!
Hi, Dani! Nope, I don't think you'll miss anything by reading Stonewielder after The Crippled God. (Consensus seems to be that you should read DoD/TCG back-to-back anyway. In the Tor.com reread we did SW first, with DoD/TCG forthcoming.) I think that the only other book (so far) that SW has any impact on is ICE's Blood and Bone.
Hello and thanks for the comment on my review of Purgatory. My wife and I didn't want to be known as the Double D's so when that started we convinced people we were the Two D's.

Darin
Dani:

Where are you now? Are you on Facebook?

Skipper
Science is method developed to discover and verify true relations in the material universe. With science, one can gradually trust that relations one perceives or discovers approximate true relations, as in cause and effect relations, difference relations, equivalence relations, and so on. The people have identified values of sorts that contribute to the success of science. These values include accurate and complete description, openness to disproof, a lack of deference to claims of authority, and valuing cumulative consistency, accurate prediction or control of phenomena, and the challenge of disputation. These values make it work, but at the same time ther are a bit antisocial in effect. I think there can be practical value in applying science to problems in social interaction, society, and even the act of doing science in social contexts, but I do not see the value of generalizing science as a "way of knowing" as in postmodern hallucinatory discourse. It is a way of finding and comparing and the most direct way to truth that we have invented.
i was pleased to read the wonderful review you wrote about Tomas Eloy martinez' PURGATORY. he is one of my most favorite authors. i am sure you would like The Peron Novel and THe tango Singer.

i look forward to following your journey through books.
When a philosojerk gets something out of your snark, you know you're living life right. Cheers, pal:)
It's possible that the distinction between "epic fantasy" and "high fantasy" exists solely in my head. I define "high fantasy" by the world the characters live in, and "epic fantasy" by the story that takes place within that world. TNOTW is no doubt high fantasy. But "epic" to me implies a hero's quest or journey, covering a large scope, considering the definition of epic (from dictionary.com):
"1. noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: Homer's Iliad is an epic poem.
2.
resembling or suggesting such poetry: an epic novel on the founding of the country.
3.
heroic; majestic; impressively great: the epic events of the war.
4.
of unusually great size or extent: a crime wave of epic proportions."

Considering nearly all of Name of the Wind takes place over a couple years while Kvothe is at the University, there's really nothing majestic, impressively great, or of unusually great size or extent in it. So I don't consider it an "epic fantasy." But again, this is a distinction that I make, but most of the literary world does not. I should probably have elaborated on that in my review, but the review was long enough as it is :-)

Also, kind of disappointing if nothing happens in book 2 either. But considering I'm already about 1/3 of the way into book 2, I'll probably go ahead and finish the series anyway, hoping that book 3 has a HUGE payoff.

Thanks for the comment!

philosojerk--- Hello! As you currently are reading Catharine MacKinnon's "Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues", you might also enjoy essays by Dorothy Sayers, from about sixty years ago, collected under the title "Are Women Human?", which was the title of an address Sayers gave . . . (and to which question she answers a resounding & witty "Yes!") . . . of course you may be familiar with this book already, but, if not, the seven LT reviews will give you a fair notion of what other readers have found in Sayers' collection. Enjoy! All The Best, ---"j.a.lesen"
Hello again. I finished Memories of Ice a few weeks ago, but didn't get around to reviewing it till today. Hmm...unfortunately, I can't say I liked it as much as Deadhouse and Gardens. It began to be very tough going for me at the end of the book, when everyone and their brother is transforming into some god or other, or some god's henchman or other, and I just had trouble following what the hell was going on. Hopefully that stuff will get cleared up at some point in the future. I think I need a break, though; reading the series almost exclusively for several months (yeah, slow reader) kind of drove me crazy and I think some things about Memories really annoyed me that I would've let slip if I hadn't already consumed 1600 pages of similar material in a relatively short period.
Yeah, I was talking about the cover with the whirlwind (I figure the warriors are Coltaine, Bult, & co., since I Coltaine had long black hair, and Bult was bald, if I'm not mistaken). There's something very No Limit Records about it, with the snarling dogs:

(http://www.amazon.com/These-Wicked-Streets-Skull-Duggery/dp/B00000C0A3)
(http://www.amazon.com/Game-Be-Sold-Not-Told/dp/B000008UKN/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=music&...)

I haven't read any of the ancillary material -- that stuff seems to be a lot harder to find, and I try to be as cheap as possible in my book-buying habits (but I broke down and ordered a full set of used trade paperbacks of the main series because some of those weren't available locally either). I picked up one of the Esslemont books and thumbed through it, and could quickly grasp why those are regarded as inferior. If, though, when I finish the series (next Christmas?), I find I just haven't had enough Malazan Empire, I'll seek those out.

If you've finished Memories of Ice four times, it must hit SOME nerve with you, I suppose? I'm liking it OK so far. I've cringed just a little at a few super-cheesy passages, like the dialogue between the gods in the very beginning ("I curse with you with earth and fire...I curse you with water and wind..." Yeah, I'm making that up, I know, but there was something a little Power Rangers about the loftiness of those speeches). I'm finding I just have to forgive Erikson for certain things like that, like some stilted dialogue (hard to write natural-sounding dialogue when you're trying to cram as much information into every conversation as Erikson does) and a certain stretched-thin quality to the narrative (again, just too much stuff to cover to take a more leisurely pace). The overall experience is fun enough to overlook the small faults in his writing. I hope I continue feeling that way -- I don't want to get stranded in the middle of the series (I do drop books in the middle a lot if I'm not feeling them).

Thanks for replying! I'll give you an update when I finish Memories of Ice.
Hey, I finished Deadhouse Gates and I'd be interested to know your thoughts on my review. I'm sure my views on the characters and whatnot are completely underdeveloped, since I still have 4/5 of the series left to read (yeah, I'm going all the way); maybe you can get some amusement from snickering at what I've yet to find out. I'm trying hard not to spoil myself. You said Deadhouse was one of your favorites of the series; I think I might have liked Gardens a bit better (guess I have something for the very-Sephiroth-like Anomander Rake, and Deadhouse's ending is such a downer), but I enjoyed Deadhouse greatly too. OK, later!

Jeremy
I enjoyed your Blood Meridian review. You'll find that Blood Meridian is closer to the way McCarthy usually is than The Road, although I love both. If I had to choose between the two McCarthys, though, I'd guess I'd the choose the McCarthy of Blood Meridian, because even though both works have extremely bleak things to say about human nature, Blood Meridian is humorous in a way that The Road is not (I don't know, I just find some of the scenes of the gang interacting with normal townspeople hilarious...am I a total weirdo for thinking this book is funny?), and the absolute craziness/how-did-he-think-of-THAT?-factor of some of the metaphors is something that The Road lacks. Whereas The Road is the thoughtfully considered work of a genius author looking to put his magnum opus down, Blood Meridian is the crazed utterings of a howling, genius madman. Not to put down The Road, though; it impacted me emotionally in a way no other McCarthy ever has. Great as Blood Meridian is, it IS a purely intellectual exercise. Anyway, I enjoyed your review! Thanks for your thoughts!

Jeremy
Hi Philosojerk,

Thanks for your thoughts on Democracy In America. I started writing up book thoughts on another site and decided to transfer them here where there are more readers. Thank you for the similar book recs. I appreciate hearing from somebody that has read thos kind of books and can point me in the right direction.
Thanks again,

Eric
Thanks for your Name of the Wind review! I have it and you've made me eager to read it. But I think I'll wait till the third one's out... like Inigo Montoya, "I hate waiting." :D Thanks!
Not sure I understood your circumstances. I am desperately in need of some adjuncts. If you don't have work, please consider moving to San Antonio for some temporary work. We have ten courses that are TBA with respect to their instructors for fall.

I can't offer a full-time position. But I need five people to work ten courses.

I'll say something more personal tomorrow.

Best of luck on your defense!!!

Skipper
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