Thursday, March 31, 2016

Books Read in March

I just realized that I completely missed doing one of these for February.  And now I can't remember what I read that month.  Well, one book, but I'm sure I read more than that.  Oh well! 
  • The BFG, by Roald Dahl - This was new to me.  (I read this in February at the insistence of my daughter.  We read 'The Little Prince' together and I read this as part of a deal.  Both books have movies coming out and we wanted to be prepared.)  The BFG is a Big Friendly Giant.  He is part of a society of giants, but he is the most humane of them all.  This book is a critique at human societies pitched towards children, especially in respect to war.  Very good, very creative and I enjoyed it.
  • The Just City, by Jo Walton - I really enjoyed this one.  The premise is that the goddess Athena has plucked people from all over time and space to recreate Plato's 'Republic'.  They do this as faithfully as they can.  They even purchase slave children so they can free them and raise them by the described methods of Plato's work.  After some years have passed, Athena brings Socrates to live in the city and, well, he does his own special thing.  Highly recommended.
  • Hyperion, by Dan Simmons - A reread for me, but I barely remembered anything.  This is a science fiction work set some centuries in the future.  It centers on a group of pilgrims on a journey to beg wishes from a killing entity known as the Shrike.  Each pilgrim tells their story, much like in Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales'.  Each story has its own style and the whole adds up to a very good mystery.
  • The Fall of Hyperion, by Dan Simmons - The sequel to 'Hyperion'.  This was new to me.  The first book simply ends with every loose end, well, still loose.  This book did an excellent job of tying everything up, which isn't always true with 'mystery' style books.  Not as good as the first one, because the individual stories are so much more compelling, but still worth reading.
I think that's it.  I've been very busy with the actual Great Books books.  As I write this, I've completed 13 of the 59 pieces that I have left.  (I had envisioned this as a three year project, but now I'm thinking that two years is a definite possibility.)  I've also finished 17 different plays by Shakespeare since the beginning of the year.  Barring some catastrophe [knocks on wood], I should finish all 38 with time to spare. 
One casualty that I've had is the short story project.  It never really came together on my end and I've been more interested in other things.  I feel a little bit bad about this, but not overwhelmingly so.  It's a worthy project and I'm sure I'll return to it.  Just not in 2016.

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