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Never Read Passively

Currently reading

The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers
Ayn Rand, Tore Boeckmann, Leonard Peikoff
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
David Mitchell
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Edward Gibbon, Daniel J. Boorstin, Gian Battista Piranesi, Hans-Friedrich Mueller
Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Perfect Wrong Note - Learning to Trust Your Musical Self
William Westney
The Prince
Niccolò Machiavelli
The Varieties of Religious Experience
William James
Twenty Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy
G. Lee Bowie, Robert C. Solomon


Frankenstein - Mary Shelley I thought Frankenstein was a pretty good story. It was sort of scary, and had some good semi-morbid explorations of loneliness and depravity. The creature though, just didn't seem consistent, even for a monster. One moment he's lofty and moral, the next he's burning down houses and murdering in cold blood. Victor Frankenstein, "Frankenstein's" creator, was whiny and full of excuses and wasn't much of a man. His line is always that of the "how entirely I am innocent" victim. Everything seemed to take him by surprise and there were a few too many convenient coincidences. The descriptions are full and haunting; the dialog, on the other hand, reminded me of the dialog in The Odyssey. Everything anyone said seemed to be only to give advice or to moralize. It was repetitive, always explicit rather than subtle, overly formal and often trite. In The Odyssey that style was charming and poetic, in Frankenstein and her dad was William Godwin, both major literary forces. Still, when I compare her with myself at age 18, the humble product of the Jacksonville, FL public education system whose main skills barely extended beyond a darwinistic struggle for survival and whose mental faculties had scarcely contemplated the higher arts versus her, a talented observer of the world and of humanity, better read than I am even now, and possessed of a creative mind that has sent chills down millions of spines, I have to give her the mad props she deserves.