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SweetbriarPoet's-75 in 2012

75 Books Challenge for 2012

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1SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Jan 21, 2012, 12:04am Top



I dedicate my first list of books this year to my three animals (boyfriend not included): Our doggie, Huckleberry Finn, and our two kitties Wybie (the one with the white paws), and the little runt, Fritz.




I always try these challenges, and never keep up with them, but this is the year! I'm going to read 75 books this year and they are going to be amazing!

So I have two goals within this one goal. The first is to brush up on all the anthropological theory books that I skipped while I was in college and graduate school. Yes, I read snippets here and there, but this time I'm going for the whole text. At the same time, I want to start reading all the books I've been saving for that "later date." The ones I thought would be more applicable to me in the future, you know? Everyone has those types of reads. But I am realizing: this is the future!

I'm going to list out each month of reads. Because we are already into January a little bit, I will only list six here. Wish me luck!

1. Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic Among the Azande by E.E. Evans-Pritchard
2. America: The Book by Jon Stewart
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
4. Daisy Miller by Henry James
5. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
6. Under the Black Flag by Erik Christian Haugaard

If you guys have any suggestions or just want to chat let me know! I am always up to talk about books.

Check out my three 12 in 12 Challenges here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/131024

The 12 in 12 Months Challenge




The 12 Recipe in 12 Months




The 12 Books in 12 Categories for 12 Months




2maggie1944
Jan 6, 2012, 6:36pm Top

That is an interesting list. I'll star your thread and perhaps I'll have an idea for you down the line a ways.

3SweetbriarPoet
Jan 6, 2012, 7:56pm Top

Great! Thank you maggie! I have so many books already planned out...just hope I can stick to the list.

4alcottacre
Jan 7, 2012, 12:16am Top

Welcome to the group, Taryn! You have some ambitious reading goals. Best of luck with them.

5drneutron
Jan 7, 2012, 3:09pm Top

Definitely a nice list!

6SweetbriarPoet
Jan 12, 2012, 8:51pm Top

Thanks everyone! As I complete them, I'll put up a little synopsis...I see that most people are doing that. I don't know if I'll be able to complete my goals; but I'll definitely try!

7SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Jan 15, 2012, 6:44pm Top



1. Witchcraft Oracles, and the Magic Among the Azande by E.E. Evans-Pritchard

Evans-Pritchard is well known in the anthropological world as one of the most coherent theoretical writers of all time. His style of fieldwork, largely influenced by Malinowski, is so detailed and precise yet also incredibly interesting to read. His descriptions of oracular addresses and witches are all described as an Azande would describe them: Evans-Pritchard not only records observations, but takes on the persona of the people he is observing. Yet, he still understands the nuances and problems with "becoming" part of the ethnographic study.

In the appendices of this book he talks solely about the art of ethnographic fieldwork. He states, "I found it useful if I wanted to understand how and why Africans are doing certain things to do them myself...But clearly one has to recognize that there is a certain pretence in such attempts at participation, and people do not always appreciate them. One enters into another culture and withdraws from it at the same time...One becomes, at least temporarily, a sort of double marginal man, alienated from both worlds.(emphasis added)"

It is this theoretical concept which makes Evans-Pritchard one of the greatest anthropologists to grace the field. For his time he was relatively objective, yet saw the problem with objectivity (something modern anthropologists are still grappling with: is attempted objectivity at all productive since bias is always manifest?). He grappled with important theoretical questions, all-the-while having a crazy experiences in the field: For example, not only did he participate as a fighter in African tribal wars, he also lost all of his ethnographic fieldwork TWICE! The first time, he actually burnt it himself during WWII, afraid that Italians would find it and use it for their own purposes. Afterwards, he rewrote all his notes from memory, and had them returned home on a ship--but the ship sank! I suggest reading more about him: he was an incredibly complex man with a razor sharp mind.

8SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 8:59pm Top



2. America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart

America the book is freakin' hilarious. No, seriously, hilarious. Yes, it points out some failings in democracy and the particular problems with Re...ehem....I mean, partisanship, but this book is also a great testament to the free speech, free media, and the unrestricted access to information by which these jokes were able to circulate. I think that Jon Stewart is a very intelligent man, and, although this satire might offend some, to me, this book is not about the flaws in the system, but the social problems we all must face as human beings living together on this planet. I recommend this read to all of those who want to learn (unfactual) information about presidential nicknames, the real duties of cabinet members, and what hijinks democratic nations will be up to in the future.

9SweetbriarPoet
Jan 19, 2012, 5:34pm Top



3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This book has a beautiful cadence. All of the language is descriptive, tragic, comedic, and an allusion to a cyclical past. The characters are rich and lively; their stories collide together to form one history that culminates and expands like a rolling snowball. Even though there is not much dialogue, the characters become incredibly real. The story is about a town and its founders and their progeny, their stories as the town transforms through stages of quiet, flourishing business, rain, drought, and towards its ultimate destruction. This novel was rightly awarded the Nobel Prize, and I am interested in anything Marquez has offered the world of literature.

10lkernagh
Jan 19, 2012, 8:44pm Top

I have One Hundred Years of Solitude on my TBR pile. Can't remember if I have that one put aside for a group read later this year or not but your review does encourage me to look forward to reading this one.

11SweetbriarPoet
Jan 19, 2012, 8:47pm Top



Daisy Miller by Henry James

A very short, sweet book with themes common to Henry James' work. Although this is one of his better-known stories, I find it a little less interesting than that of The Tragic Muse. Perhaps because it is a short story, James tried to make it more transparent. There is some lovely symbolism and a wonderful description of setting in Rome, but the story is short and told from the point of view from a man who has no significant character structure. Henry James is a master of the written word, but his other works are more intense, more ambiguous, and therefore more rewarding than this work.

12SweetbriarPoet
Jan 19, 2012, 8:48pm Top

It was such an amazing book. I read it in two days!

13dk_phoenix
Jan 20, 2012, 9:25am Top

The Evans-Pritchard study sounds fascinating. I'm going to keep an eye out for it!

14SweetbriarPoet
Jan 20, 2012, 9:35pm Top

It's some amazing ethnography.....and an easier one to read at that. (Compared to other earlier ones like Malinowski).

15SweetbriarPoet
Jan 20, 2012, 9:36pm Top



The Tao of Pooh is a very accurate way to describe Taoism. It is simple and lighthearted, and Pooh is the perfect character to pull off how a pleasant life can be found in the smallest of things and the broadest of environments. In fact, this small book is perfect for anyone interested in the religion; without the detail and deep analysis of an academic, this book flourishes in its relation to an everyday Taoist. It is elegant in its relation to childhood and the wisdom that comes with reverting back to childlike happiness.

16SweetbriarPoet
Jan 20, 2012, 9:54pm Top

Bump: Cute animal pic added-shazam!

17SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 9:05pm Top

Currently reading Under the Black Flag which is my last book for January! So I needed to come up with a new list for February (or whenever I finish this amazing read). Here are six more on the way:

But first, since every list gets a dedicatory picture:



To Turkey, a country full of bright flowers and great friends: I had some of the best times of my life here. Especially dedicated to Gamze, who bought me oysters with rice in them. (Taken on the train to Istanbul)

And since I have anointed this blessed list of books, now I can name them!

7. Tess of D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
8. Richard II by Shakespeare
9. Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
11. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
12. Owls Aren't Wise and Bats Aren't Blind by Warner Shedd

18alcottacre
Jan 21, 2012, 7:40am Top

#17: I love the picture! Thanks for sharing it, Taryn.

19SweetbriarPoet
Jan 21, 2012, 12:04pm Top

Thank you alcottacre! I decided I should dedicate my lists to something....I dunno, it makes it a little more fun and I can share some pictures I have of people/places/things I love. Maybe it will give me good luck in getting to 75!

20SweetbriarPoet
Jan 21, 2012, 6:04pm Top

Updated! February's list....as long as my community library cooperates (they don't have a...large...selection).

21gennyt
Jan 24, 2012, 1:52pm Top

I like the idea of dedicating lists, and that's an amazing photo - those sunflowers leap out the picture at you!

That's some good reading you've got line up - at least the three that I know (Austen, Hardy and Shakespeare).

22SweetbriarPoet
Jan 24, 2012, 7:47pm Top

Thanks gennyt! I thought it might be more fun for people reading my thread if I had some photos or stories, etc instead of just one long list and then me patting myself on the back (go me!) ;)

23LovingLit
Jan 26, 2012, 10:32pm Top

>9 SweetbriarPoet: im planning on reading that this year also. Am fearing it might be hard going, but not according to your review.

24SweetbriarPoet
Jan 27, 2012, 12:46pm Top

Trust me, it might look long, but it flies by real fast. It was great!

25SweetbriarPoet
Jan 29, 2012, 4:01pm Top



Under the Black Flag by Erik Christian Haugaard

I have to admit I was not as happy with this book as I expected to be. Sure there a few good stories in here, and some amazing facts, but the real problem is Haugaard's writing. It was dry, and as an anthropologist, I can tell he is more of a museum-based historian than a writer. He concentrates so hard on names that he forgets the real, inspired ways someone can tell a story while it still maintains its truth. Once or twice, I was a bit taken aback by his entreaty to women and how he formulates his arguments. The chapters were not grouped into clearly defined or interesting categories. Also, why hardly any Blackbeard? Wasn't he one of the first one to start pirate myths?

Sure it was all right. I could read it. But I wouldn't go back here for a good look at facts of pirates.

26SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Feb 5, 2012, 1:54pm Top

Finished my first book for February!



Tess of D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite writers, and he did not disappoint with this, his most well-known novel. My favorite characteristic of his books are his flawed characters: not one person goes unpunished by Providence or Fate or their own actions. In the way of his characters, he is much like Shakespeare: no one has to have a singular purpose, yet, somehow, by the end of the novel, everyone has fitted into their place. Hardy does not find solace in the lighter side of things. Especially in this novel, he satirizes the idea of a just religion, or the idea that love appropriates certain actions. The ending result with Tess might be a tad more morbid than his other works; which is why I give this four stars out of five, considering I will never like anything better than The Return of the Native.

He is an amazing writer, with a knack for complicated themes that makes his work just as poignant as it would have been in the 19th century. I recommend this book to those out there who are looking for a writer who personifies the transition into modernity.

27The_Hibernator
Feb 5, 2012, 7:12pm Top

I loved Tess of the D'Urbervilles too. Hardy is a fantastic writer.

28maggie1944
Feb 5, 2012, 7:42pm Top

I really should do some re-reading of Hardy. I remember loving reading his books when I was considerably younger, I bet I'll like them even more now.

29SweetbriarPoet
Feb 5, 2012, 9:35pm Top

#27 and 28....The Return of the Native is my absolute favorite. I don't know why, but I find it more romantic, even than this one.

30SweetbriarPoet
Feb 16, 2012, 9:28pm Top



Richard II by Shakespeare

When I was in high school, I always thought Shakespeare was over-hyped. I read and reread, without understanding WHY someone could be so popular for so long; how could he have changed the world with simple, short plays? But in college, I had a professor who opened my eyes to how truly amazing Shakespeare was as an artist. He basically invented a metaphorical language that captured irony, pun, tragedy, and comedy in almost-flawless storytelling. Richard II, though not my favorite of his plays, is still amazing in the way it captures both political and social fears of the time. I suggest that anyone who is reading Shakespeare for the first time should look up as much history as they can. It is amazing the things you will learn about figurative language and the political force of Shakespeare's plays. Genius.

31SweetbriarPoet
Feb 19, 2012, 7:10pm Top



Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott

Sin in the Second City was an amazing read, especially if you have ever visited the great city of Chicago. Deliciously decadent with details, Abbott's book makes non-fiction seem like the most interesting of fictional worlds. The insight into both the Levee district and those opposed to vice gives accurate perspectives from almost all involved in the red light district. Familiar names cropped up throughout the entire book, and new historical characters, like the Everleigh sisters, could create a lasting impression on any reader. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and almost want to buy my copy that I borrowed from the library.

32SweetbriarPoet
Feb 19, 2012, 7:19pm Top



Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I understand why women find this book romantic. I understand why Austen was one of the great writers of her time, and still is popular today among many literary circles (and those also not as literary). However, I refuse to give this book above three stars. The characters, while believable and sometimes affectionately witty, are petty and trifling, and the only real person I found a connection with in the book is Mr. Bennett. The poor man has to hear about marriage and money all day, every day, and then everyone wonders why he is so sarcastic and eccentric. To be completely honest, I prefer other women writers, who have a bit more substance in their plots, a little more depth to their characters, and those who write a little less happy and convenient endings.

33carlym
Feb 19, 2012, 7:26pm Top

Sin in the Second City looks great. Your animals are so cute!

34SweetbriarPoet
Feb 19, 2012, 7:48pm Top

Thank you carlym! I went from having no one in my house to having three animals (and a boyfriend who is basically another pet ;) )! It was a huge change, but they make my life so much more entertaining.

35SweetbriarPoet
Mar 15, 2012, 8:34pm Top



The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles are a perfect example of good sci-fi writing. Not only are the characters interesting and diverse, but the very definitions of right and wrong, reality and fantasy become skewed and interlocking. I especially enjoyed how the first stories when martians were still visible, physical beings, and then they slowly morph into an idea and a philosophy which must be adopted to survive. The Martian Chronicles are classic science fiction for a reason. Ray Bradbury has always been a genius.

36SweetbriarPoet
Mar 15, 2012, 8:41pm Top



Owls Aren't Wise and Bats Aren't Blind by Warner Shedd

I think Warner Shedd has charisma and intelligence mixed with something most of us don't have: experience. As a writer, he is funny and down-home, and, you can tell, just good natured. However, I didn't find many common myths in this book. The two on the cover were really the only ones I had ever stumbled across; the others in his book I had never once imagined or heard anyone express. Shedd is certainly a naturalist in his own right. I enjoyed the things I learned from this book.

He gets two and half stars because his writing was unsatisfactory in either a commercial or academic sense. Facts were not grouped in a way that made sense to me, and his anecdotes, while sweet and mildly entertaining, offered no real insight into why animals act the way they do.

I liked this book for what it was, nothing more, nothing less.

37SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Mar 24, 2012, 5:10pm Top



I am dedicating this month's books to the ECU Pirate because I recently discovered that I was accepted into the graduate program for Anthropology here. I am incredibly excited, because this means new adventures, a new town, and a new phase in my career. It is especially exciting because I truly doubted I would make it into graduate school for the past year, but I worked hard in hopes that it would pay off. And it did! Thank you, Pirate- watch over my books this month.

March Books
13. A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare
14. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
15. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
16. Einstein for Beginners by Joseph Schwartz
17. Therapy for the Sane by Lou Marinoff
18. A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
19. Dune by Frank Herbert


**Disclaimer** I don't know if I will be able to make this happen this month because I am behind, but I will assuredly try!

38SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Mar 15, 2012, 9:02pm Top



A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare

I have a system: always read Shakespeare along with something else. It doesn't matter what book it is- fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, romance....you will always see allusions to Shakespeare's genius in the other book. A Midsummer Night's Dream is, perhaps, the most prolific of Shakespeare's work, and I am amazed that it has taken me until now to read it. I really, truly loved it. The descriptions are amazing, and the play-within-the-play, profound. I won't ruin the magic with my snotty little review. Just read it.

39dk_phoenix
Mar 16, 2012, 9:37am Top

Aww, that's too bad about the Owls Aren't Wise book. Looks like it could have been really interesting and clever... how disappointing!

40SweetbriarPoet
Mar 16, 2012, 11:07am Top

I am really picky about science books. I would suggest reading the first chapter and seeing if you like it. It might have just been me- I seriously hadn't heard any of those myths before

41LovingLit
Mar 17, 2012, 2:37am Top

Congratulations on getting in to your graduate programme.

Love your high-brow reading so far :)

42SweetbriarPoet
Mar 18, 2012, 6:44pm Top

Thanks for commenting, Iread! I never thought of this reading as high-brow, but as I look over the lists, I guess I am focusing a lot on the classics. I have to admit, they have always been my favorite. But look for the science, science fiction, fantasy, mathematics, and history books too! I want to spread out and try new things as I go through this list.

43SweetbriarPoet
Mar 21, 2012, 9:16pm Top



Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

I don't think I want to continue this series. Although I like the idea and the way the story began, all of the philosophical moments felt contrived. I thought it would have been much more successful if the story was just told, and the audience left to draw their own conclusions from the actions. Instead, the main character becomes flat and whiny, almost someone I didn't care about one way or the other. Although this might have been the point of indifference in the book, I doubt that Rice was wanting to take it so far. I had hoped I would love the storytelling- but, for me, it was too apparent, too in-your-face with the good versus evil tidbits. Lacking in depth.

44dk_phoenix
Mar 22, 2012, 7:45am Top

...sounds like one that doesn't exactly stand the test of time! Or at least, only does so because of the fame brought on by the film. And her other books. Though now I wonder, were her books selling well before Tom Cruise & Brad Pitt, or did they only take off after the film's success?

45SweetbriarPoet
Mar 22, 2012, 4:23pm Top

Not sure dk...all I know is that I expected something soooo much better! Disappointing...

46SweetbriarPoet
Mar 24, 2012, 5:10pm Top

**Updated my March books a little bit. Changed Adrienne Rich to Joseph Schwartz b/c I want to take more time with poetry- more time than I currently have right now.

47SweetbriarPoet
Apr 9, 2012, 7:46pm Top



This book starts off a bit slow with the explanations, but towards the end I found myself incredibly interested in how Einstein's early life affected his accomplishments. Although brief, this book is great for an overview of the theory of relativity and it's context within a historical and theoretical framework. Check it out, for sure.

48SweetbriarPoet
Apr 9, 2012, 7:53pm Top



Well-written and exciting! Although The Count of Monte Cristo took me longer to read than any of Dumas' other books, it was engaging and the variety of characters were genius. Even though the story is about revenge and justice, so many other philosophical questions are touched on. I found myself completely taken with Madame Danglers, even though she plays a minor (and strange) role in the book. She seems to have almost as much history as any of the other main characters, yet somehow avoids the tragic end so many of the others cannot escape.

I gave the book four starts only because I still love The Three Musketeers the most.

49SweetbriarPoet
Apr 12, 2012, 8:55pm Top



As a person who has suffered with acute anxiety for a long time, I know what it's like to want to have a quick-fix solution. When I was younger, I thought psychology was the only way to look inward. I have been through many different psychologists, and none have really given me insight into life's questions. I am twenty-four years old; about a year ago, I found out how philosophy could change my life when I met my boyfriend, a practicing Buddhist. He helped me understand that I had to do the work myself, even if I was going to be aided by medication (Philosophy is amazing for spiritual growth. But medicine is something that has definitely helped my journey. I experimented off and on the medication, and realized that illogical thoughts and feelings could not be helped with only one method.)

Lou Marinoff's book reinforces the mantras of loving the self and others as family. He reinforces the importance of delving into the self, and only becoming attached to things in a positive way. He says get rid of expectations, find peace within each moment, and learn what works best for you, to be happy, as a human being. Most importantly, remember that everyone else is an individual human being too.

It's interesting how hard these things are to do. They take practice. I find myself messing up every day. But I do think they are something to aspire to.

Like every philosopher, there are some things in the book I disagree with. I disagree with his view on gender relationships and I think his approach at disengaging with technology is outdated. However, the overall points he is trying to make in those sections, I agree with. I agree that we should try to establish a relationship with nature, separate from technology- and that the world is much better as a holistic place.

I would suggest this book to anyone who is trying to discover their own personal philosophy. It takes hard work, and doesn't happen overnight.

It's an adventure.

50SweetbriarPoet
Apr 12, 2012, 8:59pm Top



Well-written dialogue, and a speedy read. I find it cliche because I have been usurped by classic literature with the same theme (or even more modern literature such as Revolutionary Road.) But, I am sure it was great for its era. I find the main characters a bit dull- though something really intrigues me about the Doctor. A classic for everyone to read.

51SweetbriarPoet
Edited: May 4, 2012, 9:39am Top



I dedicate my April books to Charles Ofdensen, who, let's face it, is the hottest cartoon character to ever walk the planet: and perhaps the most badass. Firstly, who else can be with Dethklock 24/7 without dying (except for that one time he "died")? Who else can fight as well as they manage money? And who could have gotten me through those 3 a.m. television marathons during college in which there was nothing good on, but I still had papers to write? Only you, Charles. Only you.

April Books
20. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
21. The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
22. Basic Writings of Existentialism by Gordon Marino
23. Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert

52SweetbriarPoet
Apr 14, 2012, 9:12am Top

**Still on March books- it ain't looking good for 75**

53SweetbriarPoet
Apr 14, 2012, 8:00pm Top

A Book Survey I Found on the Internet

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Trade paperback. I rarely buy books completely new, so sometimes it's just whatever I get. All of the books I have in my "collection" like signed copies, first editions, etc. tend to be hardback.

Amazon or brick and mortar? Depends. If I'm traveling, it's wonderful to have ebooks because I don't have to worry about losing them. But if I'm at home, and I have time, I like real pages.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Barnes and Noble, for sure. It has that smell.

Bookmark or dogear? I hate bookmarks! You lose them or they make the pages all wonky. I usually just memorize the page I'm on. Less responsibility.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? The books that aren't on my floor or stacked in my closet are organized by subject.

Keep, throw away, or sell? Keep! Or lend to friends.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? I don't usually buy books with dust jackets...

Read with dust jacket or remove it? Probably remove it.

Short story or novel? Both! TC Boyle is amazing, as is Alice Munro. If it's a numbers game, though, I read more novels.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? Again, both. I love those anthologies "The Best"- have a bunch of those, they never get old. But I also do love collections because you get a real sense of the author's style and progression as a storyteller.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Anything that's not Twilight.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? I usually get tired around the end of chapters, so I usually push on to a good stopping point.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"? "Once upon a time" definitely. It's actually a legitimate beginning to fairy tales and folk stories. "Dark and stormy night" is just....bullshit.

Buy or Borrow? Whatever is cheapest.

New or used? See above answer.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? Browsing and recommendation. I usually go to the bookstore, looking for stuff for school, and coming back with about thirty more books than planned.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? As long as the cliffhanger isn't cliche, I'd say either.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Whenever the mood hits me.

Stand-alone or series? I'm more of a stand-alone girl. But there are some really great series out there, so I'll keep an eye out.

Favorite series? Harry Potter, of course. The Golden Compass series. Children's series seem to have the best stories, don't they?

Favorite children's book? I grew up with Roald Dahl. I won't ever forget how his books inspired me.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? Usually anthropology books. Social science stuff that I love.

Favorite books read last year? White Teeth by Zadie Smith was amazing, The Devil in the White City, The Historian...lots of good stuff.

Favorite books of all time? The Brothers Karamazov is my ultimate favorite. Blind Assassin, Sophie's World, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Satanic Verses...too many to name.

Least favorite book you finished last year? Charming Billy...sucked. Wayyyy overrated.

What are you reading right now? Dune by Frank Herbert. It's amazing.

What are you reading next? Basic Writings on Existentialism. I'm trying to come up with my own personal philosophy.

54SweetbriarPoet
May 2, 2012, 9:49pm Top



This is probably my new favorite sci-fi series. The world and language is so intricate and different from anything I have ever read. The characters are integral to the plot in a way that is not cliche, yet still touching, and there is a perfect mix of philosophy and action within the book. I can't wait to continue the series!

55SweetbriarPoet
May 2, 2012, 9:52pm Top



I liked The Time Machine. I think it is a perfect classic sci-fi read, especially for those new to the genre, or those who want to know how the genre began. The existentialist themes in the book were probably very important during the time the book was written, but it does leave a desire for more description of the new world and the technology. However, the read is short, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to fly through some sci-fi.

56SweetbriarPoet
May 2, 2012, 9:58pm Top



Books that make you take a look at what society is truly doing behind the scenes always make me nervous. I'm not proud to admit it, but, even though I read a lot of sociology, politics, and history, there are some things which inherently make me cringe.

Food culture is one of them. (Americans don't have roots in one overall food culture, and I've always known this. Still, I don't like to hear it considering eating and cooking are two of my favorite pasttimes.)

This book is truly important. It might not change your perspective about what you are eating, but it will inform you of the consequences of each decision. I didn't find the book preachy or overdone; I found it stimulating. However, the section on industrial agriculture made me wonder how things got so bad politically. I mean, I guess I know how they did.

I just hope that Michael Pollan is right...maybe we are moving in a more transparent direction, in which we start understanding our relationship with nature is extremely complex. Maybe we will admit our ignorance and move towards an more sustainable and healthy future.

57dk_phoenix
May 2, 2012, 10:33pm Top

The Dune series is one I keep meaning to start, but I haven't got around to it. I've also heard that many of the sequels are not entirely worthwhile... but that Dune itself is a masterpiece. I think it's probably telling that people are still creating stories and films and so forth from Herbert's universe -- something about it touches people.

58SweetbriarPoet
May 4, 2012, 9:39am Top

Dune was absolutely amazing! I am reading the second one now, Dune Messiah. I also heard that the sequels were not great, but I don't mind as long as I know some of the characters. I definitely think it is worth the while to see the series through to the end.

59SweetbriarPoet
Edited: May 4, 2012, 9:41am Top

**Changed Thinking for a Change to Dune Messiah because the introduction of the the first did not sit well with me. I don't like the way the author describes success- I find it narrow-minded and completely centered around capitalistic wealth (I should have known that from the title, but I was hoping he might have something to say about the value of creativity.) I didn't find it meaningful enough to continue.

***May books up soon

60SweetbriarPoet
May 6, 2012, 9:53am Top



A tidy little sequel that doesn't answer many questions about the original, but does cast the characters in a new, unexpected light. Although the story is supposed to create an aura around new, divine leaders, the book actually does the opposite by making them seem more human.

61SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Jun 28, 2012, 9:43pm Top


I dedicate my May and June books to my orange nail polish. It seems silly but here is a story.

During my horrible stint in PR , my equally horrible supervisor was a slave to her magazines. She judged everyone around her by the latest fashions, she wore clothing made for teenagers, she made friends based on how much money they made or whether they could further her social status. She usually hated me- my outspokeness. But once this month, she decided I was worthy of her praise.

She said to me "Look at you being hip with your orange nail polish. It's the 'in' color this year!" I couldn't respond then but I will respond now: "I have been wearing orange nail polish since I was twelve years old and wear it because I like it. I wear it because I love bright colors. I wear it because orange has always been my favorite color, even when people like you thought it was 'out'. In fact, nail color doesn't mean shit. Fashion doesn't mean shit. Going through life buying your friendships is like drinking vodka to quench your thirst. I hope to whatever gods are out there that I am never like you- forty years old and clinging to my youth as if the only thing that matters in this world is what other people think of me. Mean to me behind my back to impress others, but nice to my face to seem cool. Your poor, poor children. I hope their father teaches them the things that are truly meaningful in life. By the way, I fucking quit."

Well, I did say that last part. But not until later.


May/June

24. Russian Fairy Tales by Aleksandr Afanasev
25. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
26. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
27. Beowulf by Anonymous
28. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco


62maggie1944
Jun 17, 2012, 3:14pm Top

That is a great orange!

63SweetbriarPoet
Jun 17, 2012, 3:23pm Top



These fairy tales were amazing! They remind me of my travels through Eastern Europe, where many of the characters are similar. Baba Yaga, the princesses of gold, silver, and gems, the underdogs turning into heroes and kings. Maybe I'm biased because I love any kind of folklore, but these were especially great: they are funny, strange, beautiful, and they exhibit some of the same archetypes and themes throughout. I will definitely keep these in my mind as I continue reading and writing.

64SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Jun 17, 2012, 8:13pm Top



These stories were easy to read- the language flows wonderfully and the settings are both beautiful and stark. I am not usually a fan of stories that were obviously written in the nineties- there are usually distinct themes which were modern then and seemed a bit played out now such as living with terminal illnesses, love affairs that end in both love and hatred, etc. But Munro is definitely a testament to good short story writing. She has a particular style which is easy to read and creates beautiful imagery. I will continue to explore her other stories and find themes that agree with my personal preferences more.

65SweetbriarPoet
Jun 28, 2012, 9:44pm Top

Thank you! :)

66VioletBramble
Jun 30, 2012, 12:04am Top

All caught up on your thread. I haven't written anything on your thread before, but I've been lurking and reading.
Great orange nail polish. My herbal medicine teacher would say that wearing orange is great for your immune system.

67thornton37814
Jun 30, 2012, 9:16am Top

I need to see if I can find some orange nail polish before football season! The closest I could find last year was a melon color.

68SweetbriarPoet
Jul 11, 2012, 10:01am Top

Thank you Violet! I love lurkers :)

Thornton...go to target....really bright orange nail polish for about 2 dollars. You have to put on two coats to keep it from chipping, but it's worth it for such a bright color.

Thanks for reading everyone!

69SweetbriarPoet
Jul 11, 2012, 10:04am Top



I am surprised at the ending of this book. I never thought I would get around to reading the series, but I finally saw the book at the library and had to pick it up. The writing was much better than I expected- the characters were more well-rounded and the plot was creative. Of course, because it is a YA book, there are a couple of cons: too much focus on romance, etc. But the ending! I mean, not because of what actually happens, but because of what doesn't happen. SPOILER- is no one going to try to get rid of the Hunger Games? I need to keep reading the series, I suppose, to find out.

70SweetbriarPoet
Jul 11, 2012, 10:06am Top



Wooooo! This took me forever to read! Two words: Sartre rocks.

71SweetbriarPoet
Jul 11, 2012, 10:09am Top



A beautiful poem. I have been meaning to read this for years- and thought it would require a deeper understanding of Old English to really capture the essence of the poem. If you are worried about this, I suggest reading Seamus Heaney's translation. He is such an amazing poet (my absolute favorite) and his knowledge of Old English means you get a meaningful translation which really allows you to just enjoy the story.

72SweetbriarPoet
Edited: Aug 2, 2012, 2:16pm Top




I am dedicating my July books to quitting smoking.

July Books

29. The Cider House Rules by John Irving
30. A Series of Unfortunate Events: Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

73maggie1944
Jul 11, 2012, 3:52pm Top

Sending you very good luck, lots of courage, infinite patience and the love of your family, friends, colleagues, and LT buddies to strengthen your resolve to quit smoking. Remember the tobacco industry does nothing to make it easy for you to quit. They are zombies and they want you to join them...... quit the zombies!

74SweetbriarPoet
Jul 14, 2012, 2:41pm Top

Thank you! I have not smoked in over five months; July is my month to celebrate the fact.

75SweetbriarPoet
Jul 14, 2012, 2:42pm Top



I didn't really have any preconceived notions about this novel, but in the end, it read more like a Sherlock Holmes novel than I expected. Although I think the writing was eloquent, the plot points were forced: I knew who the murderer was, what the means of killing was before halfway through. I understand I have to read this in the context of its time to appreciate it. It was good, but not my favorite classic.

76maggie1944
Jul 15, 2012, 9:13am Top

Congratulations on having escaped the demon nicotine! I have not smoked now for many a year but I still remember the quitting of it to be the hardest thing I have ever, ever done. I am totally convinced the cigarette manufacturing processes include substances which create the physical dependency. I believe if I smoked one cigarette today it would be very hard not to start smoking compulsively all over again! So, one cigarette is too many and a billion would never be enough!

Horray for you!!

77SweetbriarPoet
Jul 15, 2012, 10:32am Top

Thank you :) Less time smoking is more time reading!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2012

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