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Joined 7 months ago

i read a lot of science fiction but also a lot of other random stuff. libraries are good. i also like the little free variety of library, used bookstores, & the high seas. he/him

my fake and arbitrary rating system: - 5 stars: good. i recommend it - 4 stars: fine, but not entirely my cup of tea - 3 stars: not good, but with some redeeming qualities that might make it worth reading - 2 stars: bad, with a few redeeming qualities - 1 star: horrible


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Metamorphosis and Other Stories (2008, Penguin Classics) 4 stars

This collection of new translations brings together the small proportion of Kafka's works that he …

good collection of kafka's work

4 stars

kafka's storytelling is a bit inscrutable to me. it's realistic in the sense that things just happen for a while without there being an apparent point or conclusion, but also of course it frequently contains fantastical elements. still I enjoyed reading it if only for the writing—which was effective at eliciting emotion, if not conveying it—and not for the social mores.

some of the stories I enjoyed most were "The Men Running Past", "In The Penal Colony", & "A Report to an Academy"

The History of White People (2011, W W Norton Company, W. W. Norton & Company) 4 stars

Samuel F. B. Morse, father of the American telegraph, and Lyman Beecher, Yale-educated Presbyterian minister and father of the novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, published slashing denunciations of Catholicicism. Morse's work carried windy titles: Foreign Conspiracy against the Liberties of the United States and Imminent Dangers to the Free Institutions of the United States through Foreign Immigration and the Present State of the Naturalization Laws, by an American. In it Morse evokes “the great truth, clearly and unanswerably proved,” that the Catholic monarchies of Europe, especially Austria and its allies the Jesuits, were sending “shiploads of Roman Catholic emigrants, and for the sole purpose of converting us to the religion of Popery.” Beecher’s Plea for the West accused Europeans of trying to subvert the Protestant virtues of American democracy, also by flooding the country with Catholics. In Beecher’s view it was tragic that poor Catholics could vote and hold office just like white men. In New York City and many another northeastern city, bourgeois voices joined those of Morse and Beecher in deploring “the very scum and dregs of Human nature” and the “low Irishmen” who decided election outcomes.

The History of White People by  (Page 135)

those immigrants are coming in droves to alter the outcome of our elections, etc., etc.

The History of White People (2011, W W Norton Company, W. W. Norton & Company) 4 stars

Until 1821 New York denied citizenship to Catholics unless they renounced allegiance to the pope in all matters, political or religious. In Massachusetts, all persons, Catholic and Protestant alike, were taxed to support state-sponsored Protestant churches until 1833. New Jersey's constitution contained anti-Catholic provisions until 1844.

The History of White People by  (Page 133)

Wolf in White Van (2014, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 4 stars

he can in fact write prose as good as his lyrics

5 stars

i am somewhere between the ages of Sean-as-he-is-now and Sean-as-he-was-then & i relate to them both, in different ways. I don't think John Darnielle ever forgot what it was like to be a teenager.

Definite CW for suicide.

Romeo and/or Juliet (2016, Penguin Publishing Group) 5 stars

A choose-your-own-path adaptation of Shakespeare's classic imagines riotous "what if" scenarios, inviting readers to explore …

it's a lot of fun!

5 stars

i always liked the "choose your own adventure" (a phrase that is studiously avoided) books when I was a kid, so this takes me back! i certainly didn't finish this book in the sense of reading every page & there's certainly more I could have read & maybe I'll borrow it from the library sometime again. i love how Ryan North filled in corners of the original setting—generally in absurd ways; but it is very fulfilling to peel back the curtain & discover for example what Rosaline's deal is.