Thursday, July 2, 2015

Books Read in June

June was another busy month for reading.

The Fourth Part of the World, Toby Lester - Very interesting book.  Highly recommended.  This book details how the Europeans found out about the other parts of the world.  It serves as a history of map making for the Western world.  If you've ever been interested in the Age of Exploration, this is a must read.
The Call of Cthulhu, by HP Lovecraft - I've never read any of the Cthulhu mythos before.  Very interesting stuff.  The idea of 'knowledge that man should not know' horrifies me.  But it's a fascinating horror.  Hard to look away from.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein - A reread of one of my favorites.  This involves a futuristic revolution by a penal colony on the moon.  There are echoes of the American revolution but I love this book because of the questions that it asks.  Early on, a professor asks 'what is moral when done by a group of people that would be immoral if done by one'.  I've pondered this for twenty some years and I still don't have a good answer.
Thomas Paine's 'Rights of Man' by Christopher Hitchens - This is part of a series about 'Books that Changed the World'.  Hitchens writes of the history of Paine and the influence that Paine's writing had on both the American and French revolutions.  Good stuff and I wish that Paine was covered in the Great Books list.
Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas by himself - Fredrick Douglas was an escaped slave who wrote about his experiences under the whip.  Some horrifying stuff and this was highly influential on the abolitionists of the day.  Full of insights.  A very necessary history of the systematic awfulness of slavery.  Wish I'd read it earlier in my life.

All in all, a very good month of reading, even beside the Great Books.  If you're looking for something to read, I'd say that any one of these five will be rewarding.

Short stories:
You Go Where it Takes You by Balingrud - good
My First Love by Nadir - excellent
Alas, Babylon by Fitzgerald - very good
Master and Man by Tolstoy - very good

This brings me to 26 read through June.  Right on target.  These deserve a more full treatment but I'd be kidding myself if I thought that I would find time to write more about these stories each month.  


  1. I'm reading through Life and Times of Frederick Douglass right now. At first I was a little confused about his Narrative and this current read, but they are separate, obviously. I've read the Narrative some time ago, but Life and Times is also well worth the read. It is much more in depth of his life than the Narrative, and goes into greater detail of the events leading up to the War, and I suppose afterward, but I am not to that point.

    1. That's definitely on my 'to read' list.