Sunday, March 31, 2019
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Friday, March 29, 2019
Baba-jan taught us to find al-Qutb, the star that never moves, at the end of the handle of the water ladle. He told us that al-Qutb means “hub,” like the hub of a wheel, and the other stars move around it. He knelt by my side and told me to make a fist, and then point the second knuckle at the star.
“As long as you know the stars, you will never be lost,” he said. The Koran says that Allah gave us the stars to be our guides. “Everything depends on the stars. From them you can tell time and distance and you can find your way home.”
(from Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples)
7*/10. The full review is here.
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Monday, March 25, 2019
Bradley Warren said, “You’re late. We’ve had to wait.” Mr. Personality.
“Why don’t we cancel this meeting and schedule another to begin in ten minutes? Then I can be early.”
Bradley Warren said, “I’m not paying you for jokes.”
“I threw those in for free.”
(from Stalking The Angel by Robert Crais)
8½*/10. The complete review is here.
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Friday, March 22, 2019
Dalinar frowned more deeply. “What?”
Wit scratched his face. “Have you ever heard the term, Dalinar?”
“Ado … what?”
“Nothing,” Wit said. He seemed preoccupied., unlike his usual self. “Nonsense. Balderdash. Piggldygrak. Isn’t it odd that gibberish words are often the sounds of other words, cut up and dismembered, then stitched into something like them – yet wholly unlike them at the same time?”
“I wonder if you could do that to a man. Pull him apart, emotion by emotion, bit by bit, bloody chunk by bloody chunk. Then combine them back together again into something else, like a Dysian Aimian. If you do put a man together like that, Dalinar, be sure to name him Gibberish, after me. Or perhaps Gibletfish.”
(from The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson)
9*/10. The complete review is here.
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Monday, March 18, 2019
John Updike's rules for literary criticism (as in "book reviews") :
1. Try to understand what the author wished to do, and do not blame him for not achieving what he did not attempt.
2. Give enough direct quotation—at least one extended passage—of the book's prose so the review's reader can form his own impression, can get his own taste.
3. Confirm your description of the book with quotation from the book, if only phrase-long, rather than proceeding by fuzzy précis.
4. Go easy on plot summary, and do not give away the ending.
5. If the book is judged deficient, cite a successful example along the same lines, from the author's œuvre or elsewhere. Try to understand the failure. Sure it's his and not yours?
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Thursday, March 14, 2019
“You’ve got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists.”
(from The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton)
5½*/10. The complete review is here.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Monday, March 11, 2019
It is claimed there are 27 figures of speech in this picture, and I've seen at least one list with that many on it. Things like "cat got your tongue", and so forth. Have fun finding all 27.
When you give up, the "all 27" list is in the comments for this post.
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Saturday, March 09, 2019
Friday, March 08, 2019
“Greetings, travelers!” exclaimed the male half of the pair, as they approached. “Tell me, have you thought about-“
“No,” said Rex.
The two stopped in front of us and the young man laughed politely. “You didn’t let me finish,” he said. “Have you thought-“
“No,” said Rex again. “I haven’t. Whatever it is, the meaning of life, where I’ll go after death, whether robots have souls, I can pretty much guarantee you I haven’t thought about it.”
The pair laughed nervously.
“He’s not lying,” I said. “Rex doesn’t have an introspective bone in his body. He’s all surface.”
(from Aye, Robot, by Robert Kroese)
7½*/10. The full review is here.
Thursday, March 07, 2019
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Tuesday, March 05, 2019
Monday, March 04, 2019
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Saturday, March 02, 2019
She closed her eyes … just for a blink, but then didn’t open them – it felt so good. It was okay, though, since it couldn’t be possible for her to sleep on her toes. She hoped she was right, anyway. She could feel her body swaying, but now it felt dangerous. Whenever closing her eyes felt this good, sleep was never far behind. So were the night terrors.
(from Liandra and the Dream Reader by Belart Wright)
7*/10. The complete review is here.