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I was obsessed with Dorothy Parker in high school. I read her caustic quotes over and over. I devoured her poetry. I begged to do a presentation on her in English class (I was assigned William Carlos Williams, and I thought to myself that the girl who got Parker did NOT do her justice). When I finally got my hands on a copy of What New Hell Is This? I was ecstatic. I finally got to learn more about this amazing person!What I found out, though, was that Dorothy Parker was not as amazing as some of her quotes. In fact, she was kind of n’t believe me? Read What New Hell Is This? Marion Meade’s detailed biography tells the story of a woman who ridiculed her husband when he showed up to her Algonquin Round Table luncheons, claimed men were useless while still drawing all her self-worth from her relationships, always had to be the center of attention, and derided homosexuals even though she was mates with many.But there’s more to Dorothy Parker than that. She also lost her mother at a very young age and believed for years that she ill-wished her stepmother to death. She was one of the first women to write for Vanity Fair and was instrumental in establishing the tone of The Fresh Yorker. She was a passionate winner of racial equality and left most of her estate to Martin Luther King, Jr. upon her ade’s biography is a meaty book, but it does a amazing job of establishing who Parker was both as a writer and a person. I don’t always have fun reading biographies, since they tend to be very massive on detail and academic in tone, but Meade’s writing was always as peppery as her topic. I did search that the book dragged in sections, but when you’re writing about someone’s whole life, I suppose that can happen. I recommend this book to anyone who thinks they know anything about Dorothy Parker. Whether they’re surprised or not, I think they’ll have fun it.
I have enjoyed this book thoroughly. I knew OF Dorothy Parker but I didn't know much about her life. This book has provided a thorough acc of her story. If anything, it may in fact be a small too detailed for my interest in the subject, in the sense that it also relates stories pertaining to some members of Dorothy's social circle, regardless of the fact that some of those info had nothing to do with ntrastingly, there's also a amazing of info with which the author assumes we are familiar (movies, plays, publications, etc.). Thankfully, we now have the Internet at our fingertips because I have had to look up a few things along the method to follow the narrative or understand some of the remarks or inferrences.Other than that, it is a bit slow to start but hang in there; it's a very good, well-written book.
You can almost smell the atmosphere around the Algonquin Round Table. Dorothy Parker has written so much, yet I search she is somewhat overlooked by high school literature teachers. Why? Well, a life based on excessive drinking, excessive liasons, and suicide attempts would tend to be factors. Still, she is a model writer and thinker for young adults of both genders. Using words to gut her foes and take pot shots at life, remains an art form that I fear will be eroded in this age of twittering and texting. Dorothy Parker knew the power of language, the power of thinking, and admired those who could give as well as they took it. Her contemporaries are likewise, people who should not be is single biography is the essence of Parker's like. It is a wonderful, quick read, holding one's interest. If you're student of The Marx Brothers, Alexander Woolcott, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ring Lardner, Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman, and the rest, you must read this book. I gave it five stars, but it should be a constellation.
This is a beautifully written book and I've highlighted more passages than usual. The book mines Parker's life soup to nuts; the chapters are chronological and cover several years at a time. Hard to imagine a more thorough look at this awesome woman. But I give it four stars simply because for me the middle feels weighty and overwrought----how a lot of times does one need to read about fantastical NYC parties and Mrs. Parker's boozy binges that stem from her not good self-esteem? Yet, in this way, I felt that the author has given insight into what it meant to be Dorothy Parker----a life of high society, intense and complex friendships, passionate and volatile love, difficult and inspired sessions of creativity, loneliness, and non-stop revelry that wasn't always that l that said, the author thoroughly records the origins and circumstances that bred her pitch-perfect wisecracks. Always, they came from within without a moment's notice, her sharp mind ever at work even when altered by drink or depression. This book doesn't settle for what created her famous and well known, it explores her poetry, reviews, short stories, novels, film scripts, and even her private notes and telegrams. Her writing and wit survive her era, still new and apt. It’s hard to overstate her popularity and influence in her time, and a small puzzling as to why she hasn’t continued to attract a wider audience. Had it been around in her day she surely would have won a MacArthur's Genius Grant and while she might have accepted it, in need of cash, she certainly would have disparaged their selection----a la Groucho’s “I can’t join a country club that would have me for a member”----and then found a method to mock the whole institution just to underline her unworthiness. Such was Dorothy Parker: in desperate need of love and attention, genius enough to have earned it, but doubting intentions when it was ill, do not be turned away from reading this strong book---even if you have to take a rest at the hard parts---she occupied a part of American literary history that no one has since filled. If you are unsure, begin with her obituary in the Fresh York Times, which appeared on page one and continued on an entire inside page---a distinction reserved for few.
I did not have fun this book as much as I thought I would. In fact, from the middle on, it became more depressing with every page. This is not because of the writing, which was perfect and polished to the sheen of Waterford crystal. But Dorothy Parker's life was such a tragedy despite her talent, that the death stage was a welcome relief. The globe is a funnier put because of her wit, but a better put without her shamelessly abusing her mates and notoriety.
The phrase "exhaustively researched" has never applied more to a book I've read than it does to Marion Meade's splendid biography "Dorothy Parker: What New Hell Is This?"Mrs. Parker had a career spanning five decades. She wrote short stories, plays, movies, essays, battle correspondence, book and drama criticism, and more. She was especially popular for her light verse, which she sold like angry when this commodity was s. Parker was also depressed and alcoholic for most of her adult life. She was a founding member of the popular Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers, critics, wits, and actors that was to writing genius what Los Alamos was to scientific genius. On the surface, it was a bunch of mates and colleagues who met everyday for lunch in Fresh York's Algonquin Hotel, but in reality, it was a collection of some of the 20th Century's sharpest minds, all of them imbibing liberally, and zinging one another with insults. It was a means for them to hone their minds, preparing them for their future jobs and successes.Often, when people think of Dorothy Parker, that's what comes to mind: "Oh, she was that vicious small woman in the Algonquin Round Table." She was, indeed, sharp-tongued and often vicious. That was just one part of her story, though, and that's where this book shines, in broadening our view of Dorothy Parker to contain the rest of her sad, fascinating life."Dorothy Parker: What New Hell Is This?", of course, with Dorothy's childhood, how she lost her mother as a child, then had a contentious relationship with her stepmother. We follow her as she moves into a hasty, pre-war marriage to Mr. Parker, and how she inches her method toward a career as a a lot of ways, the early to mid 20th Century was a high-water tag for writers. Few people had radios in their homes, and TV broadcasting was years away. The films were popular, but to entertain and inform themselves, people read. Fresh York Town had multiple newspapers competing with one another; there were magazines publishing fiction, poetry, and art--basically, a bunch of "New Yorker" type magazines, though written to entertain even "housewives in Dubuque" (as a Vanity Fair editor described their scope).From its first issue, "The Fresh Yorker" was designed to be a sophisticated magazine that didn't even test to reach the housewives in Dubuque--it was designed for a slick, intellectual Fresh York set. Mrs. Parker and her mates epitomized that set. They met for long lunches at the Algonquin, did whatever their jobs needed of them, then it was off to the theater, and afterwards touring the bars (and speakeasies, once Prohibition kicked-in). This was prime time for Mrs. all amazing things end, so did The Round Table group go their separate spite her stellar reputation as a writer, Mrs Parker hated to write. She was filled with anxiety, agonizing over every sentence and paragraph. When she did write, she was brilliant. Her short stories and verse ended up in the largest magazines; her criticism for different magazines was sharp and pulled no punches.But Mrs. Parker was never truly happy. She was married three times, twice to the same man. Neither of those relationships brought her happiness, nor did the countless other men she bedded in her life. She traveled, spending long stretches in Europe, rubbing elbows with Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Books of her verse and stories were large successes, but there were always woes. There never seemed to be enough money. She spent it as quick as she earned Meade has surely examined every molecule of Dorothy Parker info on this planet. She has dug deeper than most biographers do, and I think she gets more inside her subject's head. Though I laughed numerous times at Mrs. Parker's wit, this book, in toto, is not a satisfied book. To show a satisfied biography would be disingenuous, an egregious disservice to the life Dorothy Parker e lived fully, too. She created it to lavish parties, but she also walked with protesters in the Sacco and Vanzetti uprisings. She visited Spain during the revolution, and worked stateside to raise and supplies for Spain's impoverished, who were caught in the middle with nothing. She was investigated by the FBI and the HUAC for her political views and pro-union activities in ne of this created her happy. She was depressed, and she drank too much. She got to a point where nearly all of her mates had died. Fitzgerald died at 41; Mrs Parker created it to 73.Her story is fascinating, and Marion Meade does an awesome job presenting this story seamlessly. So a lot of biographies skip over large gaps in their subjects' lives. With Dorothy Parker, one of the most compelling lifelong struggles is how she'll her bills from success to success. Her successes were many; the story of how (and why) they came to be is often surprising--because she required the rothy Parker's body of work speaks for itself. Nearly 50 years after her death, her works are still in print, her wit and skill still celebrated.What I took away from this biography was a fresh appreciation for Mrs. Parker as a wordsmith. Even more, though, I felt a pall of sadness. Her life--for all its highs--never broke through her ennui. Ms Meade's biography so perfectly captures Dorothy Parker's pervasive sadness, that I couldn't support picking up a small myself--sadness along with deep admiration, both for Mrs. Parker's achievements, and for Marion Meade's.Highly Recommended
Well written and researched biography. I never knew much about Dorothy Parker, but from the descriptions in the book, I'm glad. It saddens me that someone with such amazing talent could totally throw away her life, choose to be obnoxious, and place on such airs. Imagine what she could have accomplished if she had changed her focus. Too poor putting on airs was such a prerequisite for that literary crowd. I imagine there is still much of that going on ill, this was a masterful description of the era that Dorothy Parker lived in. I enjoyed learning about the culture and lifestyle. I just want I could have come away from the book liking Dorothy Parker as a person. But I can't.
An interesting, incisive and informative biography. If you're interested at all in Dorothy Parker, this book is a must read. An in depth and unbiased account. Ms. Meade portrays all aspects of Dorothy's hero (good, bad, witty, etc.) in such a method that the reader is at times understanding, sympathetic and, yes, frustrated by the waste of such talent. Not good Dottie was a very unhappy soul, her literary output stunted to a noticeable degree because of her unhappiness and alcoholism. I read "The Portable Dorothy Parker" shortly before reading the biography which I would recommend doing. It definitely helps the reading experience if you understand the references to certain short stories which are mentioned throughout.
The author thoroughly researched Dorothy Parker's life and this biography is a comprehensive presentation of a remarkable, notorious woman. Candid and objective, Meade reveals the best and the worst of a complicated woman loved my some and hated by others. Dorothy's wit was often wicked though the comedic nuances softened what might otherwise be considered mean spiritedness. I found myself alternative liking and not liking her, and that beautiful much sums up Parker's affect on people. Her put in the globe of literature is firmly established. Her legacy lives on. Her imperfections, though, were many, but certainly no one can say she was not interesting. Meade captures the reality of that truth.
The book is well written and quite good. But if you are a Dorothy Parker fan, think hard before reading it. The first half is wonderful, and full of the glamour, misery, and craziness that one might expect based on her writing. I want I'd not read the second half. We all grow up. While melodrama, alcoholism, instability, and erractic romances are beautiful and fascinating when one is young, beautiful, and successful, they are less so later in life. I am not criticizing Parker, nor the author, who I believe does an excellent, well researched job. But, in hindsight, I think I would have preferred to live with my fantasy Parker.
I was not familiar with this Italian author prior to reading this unbelievable collection of short stories. Even the titles are whimsical, imaginative and fun. He was a gifted and careful writer and sorry to learn he died in 2012. Apparently he was drawn to both Portugal and Italy, and that is apparent in this dozens of the first story, The Reversal Game, he mentions author's name repeatedly, "I wanted to inform you of a fresh translation of Fernando Pessoa" as a contact code when in true life, he was the translator from Portuguese to e paperback book from Archipelago Books is compact and attractive.
A collection of seminal essays, yes, but perhaps overly broad and unfocused. Falls apart when trying to acc for the latest couple of decades as it's too timid to venture far beyond commercial design and the sphere of advertising. A really superficial engagement with the contemporary digital reality.
This book is perfect. I am using it as the needed text for a senior-level course in theory. It's not too big, not too small, complete without redundancy and edited in such a method that discussions fairly jump from the text. Thank you, Helen Armstrong.
Well written, as is everything of Christopher Hitchens, although some points may be over emphasised. This may be because I accepted the argument of a point before it was made. The book is not just for the unbeliever it is very much for the questioning believer, if such a person exists. The breadth of the references and the depth to which they are examined is awesome and very satisfying. Of course it is possible to be left in doubt on some matters but it is likely that other work by Christopher Hitchens can resolve these problems. Books by Dawkins and Harris will be perfect companions to this and the author's other publications.
I enjoyed Hitchens' book God is Not Amazing tremendously. While this volume includes some lovely material, it also is loaded with essays and excerpts that are rather less compelling. I created it all the method through the volume, but in truth was not engaged with much of it. I kept thinking, while I was reading it, that this book needs a brutal editor. However, the grand historical sweep covered in the book is worth reflecting on.
I received a fine hardcover of this book for my birthday, and soon picked up the Kindle ver as well. Not that I don't love fine-smelling, attractive hardcover books, but if you are of a sort that likes to read while standing in lines, walking in parks, lying in bed with the lights out, or eating messy finger meal and turning pages with the touch of a knuckle, and like to tag memorable phrases for future reference without spoiling a paper copy, then a Kindle ver is a must. This is one of a number of books I consider valuable enough to earn a put on both my shelf and my iman's writing is a pleasure to read as usual, touching on a lot of subjects. Much of "The View from the Cheap Seats" is either reviews of, or introductions to, Gaiman's favorite books, music, films, and other sorts of art. While I liked all of the articles (music kind of went over my head since I'm not familiar with a lot of of Gaiman's favorite musical artists) I particularly enjoyed those articles discussing ere may be people out here who can finish "The View from the Cheap Seats" without going out online and immediately picking up some of the recommended literature. If so, they're created of sterner items than I am. I already have several of the books Gaiman discusses, but I'm now in the middle of "The King of Elfland's Daughter," with a couple of other fresh books waiting in line.
This is a collection of Neil Gaiman's nonfiction which gives amazing insight into his thinking and writing. It's a amazing book, and the answers to the standard questions above do not give this read its due because it isn't a novel, it's a collection of Gaiman's nonfiction thoughts, speeches and writings. Since he gave up journalism in favor of an independent writing career which has catapulted him to the top of his trade, it is a must read for all Gaiman fans and aspiring writers, even those already published. A amazing read for young people who aspire to a writing career.
To paraphrase the author, this book includes some things Neil Gaiman loves, cares about, and believes. It’s a collection of speeches, articles, introductions, and essays on a dozens of subjects ranging from light-hearted to serious. There’s something in here for every kind of Gaiman fan, whether you love his Sandman comics, his fantasy/sci-fi novels, his Dr. Who episodes, or all of the above. There are also pieces decrying the suppression of speech and the civil battle that has displaced millions of Syrians. Gaiman’s popular “Make Amazing Art” commencement speech is in here, too. Overall, Gaiman is articulate and enticing in whatever he writes about, and above all, this is a book for one of the pieces near the beginning, a speech called “Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming,” Gaiman sets the tone when he says (one of my most favorite quotes in the book), “I’m going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most necessary things one can do.” He admits that, in making such a powerful plea for the importance of reading, “I’m biased as a writer. But,” he emphasizes, “I am much, much more biased as a reader.”The View from the Cheap Seats shows his bias in spades. Truly, Gaiman is a reader’s writer: it seems you can’t wander through more than a few pages without tripping over another author or book he’s recommending wholeheartedly. But that is his intention: “I hope that, somewhere in here,” he says, “I will talk about a creator or their work—a book, perhaps, or even a movie or a piece of music—that will intrigue you.” If you wish to know which writers and artists influenced Gaiman, then and now, he’ll tell you in this book. My TBR has certainly grown from his a lot of enticing ever, The View from the Cheap Seats is more than a catalogue of books and works of art that have influenced Gaiman; it’s also a tribute to the a lot of people who have touched his life. One of the things I love about being a Neil Gaiman fan is discovering with delight that he has a private connection to other artists I admire. It’s like tracing a family lineage. I actually discovered Neil Gaiman in a roundabout method through Terry Pratchett. Years ago, I started reading Pratchett’s Discworld series and then found out that the two writers had co-authored a book called Amazing Omens. Although I started delving into Gaiman’s other work first before finally reading Amazing Omens years later, it thrilled me to no end knowing that two of my favorite fantasy writers not only knew each other but were also longtime mates and had written a book together. I remember, too, my excitement when I first discovered the friendship between Tori Amos and Neil Gaiman. I used to wonder who was this Neil she kept mentioning in her songs, and now I smile every time I hear the mentions, like it’s a unique fan club secret. As a late-bloomer sci-fi fan, I’ve just started delving into Ray Bradbury, and I was satisfied to learn that Gaiman befriended Bradbury in his later years. The View from the Cheap Seats contains Gaiman’s tributes to all of these artists and a lot of more, including, of course, his wife, the multi-talented, larger-than-life Amanda Palmer. So if you admire some of Gaiman’s friends, as I do, reading this book is like reading about a reunion of sorts: you start to see family resemblances between Gaiman and the people he cares Gaiman explains, “Literature does not occur in a vacuum. It cannot be a monologue. It has to be a conversation, and fresh people, fresh readers, need to be brought into the conversation too.” With The View from the Cheap Seats, Gaiman’s inviting you and me to be part of the conversation.P.S. The titular essay, “The View from the Cheap Seats,” is one of my favorites. I love how Gaiman can take an extraordinary situation like going to the Oscars and describe his experience of it in a method that makes him very human and relatable to the reader. I nodded and smiled throughout, thinking, “Oh, yes, if I ever went to the Oscars, that’s how I’d feel, too.”
Well this was unbelievable and boring and inspiring and tedious all at various times. I'd read a lot of parts before, so it's a mixed bag. It was one of those Kindle that I can never pass up (until recently when I installed the library extension and forced myself to use the darn thing finally.) I'm going to obtain through them! So 1 down, who knows how a lot of to il Gaiman (whose name I always misspell) is always charming, smart, interesting and wise. I did obtain more added to my TBR shelf from him, and I enjoyed the beginning of the book and the end of the book much more than the middle - where he picks authors and discusses them. It's funny, since I just -- like a week or two ago -- adored his introduction to Fahrenheit 451 on a reread. It was critical to me being able to obtain around some problems I had with the book and actually brought me much more joy on that read. Yet, on reading the same words here, it felt dull and flat. It's a book introduction, and it works best with the book. This happens to a lot of of the introductions - especially if I hadn't read the book or wasn't familiar with the work in question. (Actually, I have started reading introductions twice: once before and once I've finished, because they always mean more to me after the book.)I loved his writing on music, but that's because we have extremely related taste in music, so I had some idea of what he was typing, some investment already. (In fact, I first learned of Gaiman via melody circles long before I ever delved into his books.) Much as I adore Stephen King's writing, I don't know him as a person, so warm talks about private life don't do much for me. Though I now know Terry Pratchett loved chocolate, I would have appreciated more about his work that I could relate to (instead of, because there was obviously a lot about Pratchett.) This may also be an idiosyncratic private tic. I've recently been aware that I care far less about a celebrity's private life than a lot of other ere are some really unbelievable bits in this book, and like any book of introductions, essays, speeches and other items collected over a lifetime of work, some less unbelievable bits. Nothing is bad, and it's practical to skip things unless you have a touch of OCD like me and would feel like you "cheated."This one is worth a read, probably more like a box of chocolates than as a cover-to-cover endeavor. Pick one, savor it, then place the box away for another time. I've got a few more of these books on my Kindle from Gaiman, so I'll know better in future.
The book is a unbelievable compilation of the best atheist and non-theist literature spanning a period of over two millennia. In all this, I found the essay by Penn Jillette, beginning on p. 349, to be the most apposite as I have lived the experience he wit, p. 350. “…my imaginary mate means more to me than anything you can ever say or do.”I once had a spouse say to me that God came first, not me; that time spent with God was a higher priority in all things in put of time spent with me. What this meant in practice is that Bible study came first and was a higher priority than the emotional, psychological or even physical needs of the spouse. I found that there was no appeal to reason or emotion that I could make, nothing that I could say or do, to overcome being place in a permanent second-rate metaphysical position to a fictional being by no less than a spouse to whom I had devoted the best years of my life. This is no less than brainwashing used to overturn normal human empathy, compassion and the relationship ethic for devotion to a mistaken and misguided belief in a fictional entity. If one spouse is second to God in the mind of the other spouse, the human relationship is greatly diminished. The second-rate spouse will never be able to compete with God in the mind of infected spouse. The second put is so distant as to render the lesser spouse out of sight and out of is fictional entity has true power in the globe of causality. It is an entity, a creature from the primitive mind, so powerful as to be impervious to human reason and emotion, a malevolent, fictional yet strong entity after all. This nicely, not for me, proves the title of Christoph Hitchens’ earlier book, ‘god is not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything’ My experience shows the height of religious arrogance where religious indoctrination replaces human relationship ethics and empathy and ruins a life. What better evidence of this can be found than in the very fact that it divides spouses?The problem is that religion of any kind believers tools to with the contradictions of daily life but in reality turns believers into compulsive neurotics that internalize the contradictions rather than confronting them. By dividing the world, not just spouses, into believers and nonbelievers, they become, not self-fulfilled, but rather, self-alienated.
"The Portable Atheist": what a unbelievable read! It challenges, it amuses but, most of all, it has no time for the sheer and utter nonsense that is religion. And here, religion means all religions and not certain select ristopher Hitchens has compiled a thought provoking grab bag of readings from across the ages and across the planet. He begins with Lucretius and Thomas Hobbes and finishes with Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In between, the reader is confronted by Tag Twain, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins. There are a lot of sections that I enjoyed. For example, consider the following:Mark Twain: "There was never yet a case of suffering or sorrow which God could not relieve. Does He sin, then?"Elizabeth Anderson: "To a mainstream Christian, Jew or Muslim, nothing is more obvious than that founders and prophets of other religions...are either frauds or delusional". In other words, the faithful can readily see the flaws of other faiths but never the flaws of their own.Ibn Warraq: "It is very odd that when God decides to manifest Himself, He does so only to one individual. Why can He not reveal Himself to the masses in a football stadium during the final of the Globe Cup". God sounds a bit like a UFO that is only seen by a hillbilly in the ere are a lot of more quotes but I think the reader gets the flavour. This is a book to be enjoyed by the rational and despised by the irrational and their thought police. I recommend it wholeheartedly. However, if you ever doubt the stupidity of religion just test the Sam Harris line that replaces the word God with Zeus. This shows up religion for the ridiculous farce that it is.
Picked this up at the library, drawn by the authors name and my previous, absolute love of his other writings, but after my two weeks were up at the library, and I had only got through 100 pages (slowly reading and savoring each article and chapter), I downloaded the kindle ver for further consumption. I am reading this slower than almost any other Gaiman book I've ever picked up, primarily because after he lauds and applauds a particular author or genre, I pause to pick up the suggested reading and have to wait until I've finished the book until this pick it up again.I don't read comics at all, and have never attempted to navigate graphic comics either, but learned some interesting things about those pioneering artists and authors. It's even created me think I should convert a few of my own short stories into comics as well.If you have read his far into the review, I'll Gaiman's own prologue advice, if a chapter isn't interesting, skip it. Not every chapter needs to be read, I've skipped over a handful myself, only scanning briefly in case some lucious oyster stands out and catches my eye.
Unbelievable work. I found myself hearing each one of these in Neil's voice, especially the speeches - this is the very essence of Neil Gaiman. I've been a large fan of his fiction for years ever since my dad introduced me to Sandman, then Coraline, when I was young, and fell in love again after discovering Amazing Omens and American Gods. A freelance artist myself, I snapped up the book ver of Create Amazing Art as soon as I found out it was available. Recently I've been trying to obtain my hands on all of his work that I can find, and this was definitely a amazing pick. Pure Gaiman as I said and at turns nostalgic, delightful, charming, foreboding, informative, thoughtful, funny, and so much more. Definitely recommend.
I only discovered Christopher Hitchens about 1yr ago, but since that time I have been reading his works with enthusiasm. This book is not his writings of course, but a collection of writings that he finds necessary for non-believers. Thus, how could I turn down the tip of such a journalist.I gave the book 4 stars based purely on the fact that individuals interested in discussing such subjects as religion, belief/non-belief, should, [email protected]#$%!chens suggests, be somewhat versed in the more historical writings. However, from the standpoint of reading, I found this book very challenging. I have 2 advanced degress in biology/medicine, and I'm not ashamed to say that I had to read a lot of of the passages 2 or 3x to really obtain an understanding of what the author was trying to say. I mention the degrees not as evidence of intelligence, only to establish that I have fun academic pursuits.....and this book would qualify as just that! If the subject of belief/non-belief is a passion/pursuit of yours, then this book would be valuable; however, if you are looking for some light reading in the evening, this may not be the best choice.
"The Portable Atheist" by Christopher Hitchens is as thick and massive as some [email protected]#$%!&chens obviously avoided giving entirely the wrong impression by calling his book "The Portable Atheist Bible," although when I saw and felt the heft of it, "Bible" is what came to my mind. Perhaps far in the future, some readers, students, and followers might want to see chapter and verse, or page and line numbers in his compilation.His "Contents" lets one search any of the 47 authors he excerpts. His "Index" is rather extensive but could use greater depth of detail within selections. I would have liked the type font to be at least 10 point, but then we're talking a really mammoth e 48th author is actually Hitchens himself. His "Introduction" is well worth the entire book, as are his brief introductions to all the pieces. Hitchens is an outstanding intellect, and has applied himself to the whole library of relevant thinkers. No one book could contain them all.Hitchens' brilliance and erudition create us hope that his illness can be overcome, and his voice and notice continue for a lot of e selections in "The Portable Atheist" cover the usual primary points:God created no holy books, tablets, or l holy books were created by man.God was never a man. No man was ever a e earth, the universe, is some 13 billion years old, not 6,000 years old.Miracles, so-called, are not any metaphysical agency operating outside the laws of nature;they are only as yet l man's issues are solved only by mutual cooperation and not divine ere is no eternal life. When a man dies, his existence is simply ere is no heaven or ernal punishment would not fit the crime or failings of man's finite therefore need not fear the earth, sun, and our galaxy are not the center of the universe,so neither is man the center of private attention of any infinite being.
I read this compilation some years ago when I was battling cancer. I had become a nonbeliever long before, but this set of writings and essays helped me clarify my thinking on the matter. Even better, it gave me confidence to admit how I had felt about religion for years to others and gave me ammunition to debate believers more easily. I am glad that Hitch took on the task or choosing and editing this compendium. Obviously, some of the essays are better than others, but the whole is better than the sum of the parts for me.
Atheism is a relatively fresh state of mind for me, and so far it's all good! On nearly a weekly basis fears, superstitions, anger, hopelessness, confusion, absurdity, senselessness and more fall away from me like ice sheets from a glacier. "The Portable Atheist" is helping to hasten that process and repair the cruel and vile scars of lifelong fundamentalist christianity with a fresh meaning, a fresh outlook, a sense of satisfied well being, an actual (god forbid!) enjoyment of life! I'd read another of Hitchens' books, "God is not Great," which so impressed me it created me eager to explore which thinkers and realists he had included in his anthology "for the Nonbeliever." The book is a banquet. Just browsing through the Table of Contents, seeing who is featured, makes one eager to turn to that page and read their rationales and opinions. Most of the writing, much of it by some of my favorite authors, has been related to discovering a diamond in the mud. I've been so overwhelmed and excited to realize that a lot of literary giants were also nonbelievers, and backed their beliefs with firm, impeccably logical, startlingly rational, highly intelligent, iron-clad arguments for their mindset. And the pattern that emerges from a collection of writing about a lot of religions, which are different, yet share so a lot of of the same hateful, negative, mind-numbing qualities, is a true eye-opener, a safety net for those who may think that because their own religion sucks, another might be better. Perhaps my favorite entry is by an Elizabeth Anderson, whose chapter so succinctly and masterfully calls into question much of what I was taught throughout my life, then liberally peppers her insights with biblical citations, chapters and verses, using the very methods of the "diabolical" dispensers of "gods word" to negate and undercut the pathetic preaching of the devout. In my opinion, this book would be a major asset to any class in religion, forcing people to confront and justify the contradictions and absurdities of their religious beliefs. Furthermore, it would be just as effective for people like myself, searchers for truth and believers in science and the potential of mankind when unfettered by Bronze Age mythology.
When I first saw Neil Gaiman in person, he was saying this: "The next time someone tells you about comics as the hot investment item of the nineties, do me a favor, and tell them about the tulips."This was the end of his 1993 speech to a room full of comic owners and sellers who were experiencing an unprecedented boom in their business - comics were as they never had before, and were seen as amazing investments. Neil's speech was about tulips, and about amazing comics, and about history and economy. But mostly, it was about was a warning: Don't obtain complacent with the current scenario. We've seen this sort of thing before, and it didn't end well. Focus on amazing comics, the comics you love, and the future will be the brighter for it. "Remember what it is you're people," he implored. It was a strangely controversial speech, and was not well-received by a lot of of those in attendance.I thought it was brilliant. As an introduction to Neil Gaiman the man, beyond the visionary author behind Sandman, it's hard to imagine a better method to come to understand how he views the globe around him. Neil was charming and witty and humble, but also strangely wise. He brought an obscure historical analogy about tulips, as described in a century-old book about famous delusions, into a room full of people enjoying their success in a modern medium, and he warned them of what the tulips had to say about the comics industry. For those listening, he created his point perfectly. For those listening, he was an inspiration to do better. Sadly, not everyone was e text of Neil's 1993 speech is reprinted in 'The View from the Cheap Seats.' It's one of a lot of such speeches, introductions, articles, and musings you'll search in these pages, and here's the thing: they're all like that. All are written with wit and with wisdom, in a voice that is related to the one you hear in Neil's fictions, but more distinctly him. There's a natural humility and warmth that exudes each piece, and with each one, you learn a small more about the things he's seen, what he loves, and who he is. Like that 1993 speech, each piece reveals an aspect of the man behind the fiction - these pieces read like a conversation, the amazing kind of conversation that keeps you up until the grey hours of the morning because you don't wish it to end.We see his love of literature, of course, and obtain a sense of the authors who shaped him as a writer and as a reader. We hear about people he's known and people he's worked with. We experience the change of a deeply British author who moves to midwestern America. We see his love of melody and musicians, movies and filmmakers, art and artists, and comic books. Of course, comic books.Often in these small glimpses of his mind and heart, Neil is unabashedly enthusiastic. He gets to expound upon and explain why he loves the tales of Lord Dunsany, the comics of Will Eisner, the experience of working with Charles Vess. And these are delightful to read. But there is also the strange melancholy of Neil in attendance at the Oscars, on the first anniversary of the death of his father, and the barely-contained rage versus the impending death of old friends. For their insight into Gaiman the man, and their insights into our own brief lives, these pieces are no less valuable than the jubilant ones.If you're already a fan of Neil Gaiman, there's a amazing possibility you've seen (or heard) some of these pieces already, as I had. As this collection spans over 25 years of material, there's an even better possibility that you'll search something new, something you'd never even known about, that will surprise and delight you. Opening these pages is a small like meeting Neil for the first time, over and over again, and that is an experience not to be missed.25 years ago, I was fortunate to meet Neil in person, on the same night he gave his speech, and to have a few mins to talk to him. I remember that he was wearing sunglasses, even though we were indoors, and that he smiled. I don't remember what either of us said, but I remember that he seemed kind, and more than a small surprised at all the attention he was getting. I hope I told him how much I appreciated his work on Sandman, and how much I enjoyed and was inspired by the speech he shared with us.But, just in case I failed to do so: Neil, you were brilliant. I won't forget about the tulips.
I found The View From the Cheap Seats to be quite engaging and entertaining to read. I quite like the method Neil Gaiman writes nonfiction (more than what I have read so far of his fiction, I'm surprised to say). I have fun the points he makes and his humor and wit in making his points. If I ever have the possibility I would love to hear him speak sometime, just to have fun the audience's reactions -- provided I could unrivet my attention enough to message said audience.
What an absolute treasure trove of essential writings for those steeped in nonbelief! From Lucretius to Ibn Warraq with historical luminaries like Spinoza, Russell, Darwin, Freud, and even Lovecraft sandwiched between, this tome is definitive in it's selections, all-encompassing in it's scope, and just downright entertaining as well. The fact that Hitchens not only does the general book introduction but also the private intros to every piece makes it all the more relevant and worthwhile. Do your questioning mind a large favor and add it to your private library!
A amazing reference for any Atheist. Especially useful for those of us who are outspoken and would like to have resources and points to touch on when speaking to those in our families and social circles who have questions, or more often than not, arguments to our choice to leave faith behind e size isn't exactly portable, but the knowledge sticks with you!
I am a lifelong fan of Neil Gaiman and read everything he writes repeatedly. Sadly, I cannot say the same about this. Though it's an interesting premise and I love the method Gaiman thinks and writes, the topic matter of a lot of of these stories, speeches and snippets just weren't interesting to me. I found myself skipping over passages because I wasn't familiar with the source material that he was talking about. As much as a fan of his as I am, (and I once stood in a thunderstorm where lighting [email protected]#$%!&ing the parking lot of the comic book shop he was appearing at, just to obtain an autograph) I just didn't search this book compelling enough to hold me interested.
I highly recommend that you obtain or listen to the audiobook ver of this book, or at least have both. I read about half of this book and listened to the other half. I enjoyed hearing Neil read his own words, they came to life in a method that they didn't when I simply read them. There were a lot of pieces of writing in this book that I didn't understand much about, but the ones where I knew what he was talking about were very fun to listen to. I discovered more books to read (when will my TBR ever end?) thanks to Neil's recommendations and I think it is an admirable thing of him to recommend artist and authors who perhaps don't obtain the amount of that they should. His words are strong and carry deep meaning, his personality somehow seeps slowly through the words and onto the pages, and this book leaves a lasting impression.
This is the sort of compilation that I search frustrating to review. I adore this music, and think that this is an outstanding package, but I don't know enough about these sub-genres of African melody (in this case, Benga, as well as some Rumba) to properly describe it all or place it in context. But if you've heard other African-themed compilations from the Soundway label, you can rest assured that this one is also brimming with lively tunes, remastered with care, and is accompanied by an extremely informative noted in the sub-title to the CD, these recordings are East African in origin, so it's not entirely composed of artists from Kenya. Tanzania and Zambia, for example, are also represented. I'm more familiar with the sounds of West Africa and South Africa, but the melody on here doesn't sound radically various from a lot of the West African items I've heard from the 1970s. Part of the reason for that, as explained in the CD booklet, is that, like the musicians in West Africa, "Kenyan musicians were tuned into international sounds and all the styles around them." So yes, you hear a dozens of influnces in these songs, ranging from "Franco-esque guitar riffs and an outstanding horn section" on a track by Orchestra Super Volcano, to "a powerful American bluesy-soul influence" on a track by The Lulus Band."For listeners like me, that didn't know much about Kenyan music, the CD booklet is a amazing source of information. The essay by Doug Paterson gives you a amazing overview of Benga and the other styles included on this collection, plus there is a short bio of the recording artist on each track, and it contains the language the song was sung in, the (approximate) recording date, and info on the original label that released it. Lots of cool old images too.Once again, Soundway has done an outstanding job in compiling musical treasures from the 1970s (although there are also 3 tracks in this collection from the early to mid '80s). A "must" for anyone who enjoys Afro-beat or other African musical styles from that era.
Kids of the Dragon includes 3 Vietnamese folktales. 'How the Tiger Got its Stripes,' 'The Man in the Moon,' and ‘The Legend of the Monsoon Rains.' This is a well written book, that not only re-tells these Vietnamese folktales, but also contains unbelievable facts similar to each story. The illustrations in the book are colourful and beautifully drawn.
This is Soundway's first look at African melody not originating from their usual stomping ground in West Africa. This release consists of singles created for the local Nairobi shop primarily in the 1970's and it follows the standard set by the Nigeria Unique series in that it uncovers material mostly overlooked by previous reissues from Kenya. Nearly all of the Kenyan reissues available focus on the Kenyan variant of Congolese Rumba often created by expatriot Congolese musicians (e.g. Super Mazembe). Also available to a lesser extent is Benga, a purely Kenyan style. Stern's collection of D.O. Misiani's music, The King Of History: Classic 1970s Benga Beats From Kenya, is a highly recommended taste of Benga from one of its undway gives us 32 tracks that cover a wide spectrum of styles and, better still, includes hybrids of these styles. There are plenty of the usual funky, dance songs that you would rightly expect in a Soundway collection, but a lot of of the highlights go beyond their usual focus. Some of the best tracks are ones that incoporate local styles. Mwendwa (Disc 2 Track 9) is a sublimely attractive track which contains a female chorus and melody that mixes reggae with local styles. Sina Raha (Disc 1 Track 9) and Kajo Golo Weka (Disc 1 Track 16) also provide modern takes on local styles. Sweet Sweet Mbombo (Disc 1 Track 14), starts as a rumba but the sebene becomes something else entirely with a shuffling rhythm providing the back drop for some nice saxophone work. If my memeory serves me correctly, the latter three of these tracks, and only these three, appeared on a since-removed African melody mix by Miles Claret on the Soundway website a couple of years ago. Samples of this collection, not available here, are available on the Soundway site: soundwayrecords dot is a fascinating collection that features all kind of styles, partly because not all of the musicians originate from Kenya. Super Volcano and Afro 70 (three tracks) are Tanzanian bands that relocated to Kenya. Band leaders Peter Tsotsi Juma and Nashil Pichen are Zambians. Additionally, Nitarudia (Disc 1 Track 8), another stand out track is by Congolese musician Verkys and his Congolese band Orchestra Veve Star and was released on his Congolese label, Editions Veve (VV230). Its inclusion would seem to be based on its lyrics in English and Swahili (at least that's what the linear notes tell us: the label of the disc itself says Lingala but English is definitely there), which pledge to return to a girl in Nairobi. Although the song is in a rumba format, the second half is an extended sax solo over a funky beat. Not Congolese nor Kenyan, it's a amazing fit with the other songs on this collection which for the most part aren't completely rumba nor completely benga either. It's a stew of modern and local influences well worth checking out.
I just bought this album a couple of hours ago, but I'm still stuck on the first half of the first CD. The songs are that good, so I hold repeating them. Most of the tracks are funky in the Afro-beat mode, but they sound rawer, dare I say more tribal, with a sparser sound that brings the drums and bass into focus. The remastering is excellent, resulting in perfect sound quality. A amazing sound system with a massive bottom will do this collection maximum justice.
For a hardcover book of folk tales, it would have been better to keep more than three stories. (Yes, read the description carefully, it's only three stories!) The artwork is fine as is the re-telling of the tales, but there it seems very much geared to an anglo audience and is beautiful "whitewashed." Not a amazing value considering what one receives.
I am really in the beginning stages of learning about the culture of Vietnam. My husband and I are in the process of adopting our second child, from Vietnam, (we have a 2 yo adopted from China already) and I am trying to obtain my hands on books on Vietnamese culture. I think this was a terrific book to as an intro to this rich culture, the traditional stories and how the traditions that stem from them remain an active part of modern Vietnamese culture. If you are trying to learn more about Vietnamese culture, I think this is a terrific book to begin with.
"Kenya Special" is a two-disc collection of melody from Kenya from the 1970s and early 1980s (mostly from the 1970s). Congratulations must be extended to Soundway Melody for coming up with this collection of mostly rare and unavailable songs and making them available for discovery (or rediscovery).This is a brilliant collection, 32 songs and nearly two and a half hours of music. The songs were all produced and released in Kenya, mostly by Kenyan artists, but with singers and musicians who relocated to Kenya from Zambia, Tanzania and Congo(Zaire) also featuring. There is a wide mix of styles and influences, with benga and rumba foremost, but a lot of other styles ere is not a single song on either CD that I don't like, and most of them I love. "Kenya Special" has been a amazing search for me, as I am keen on discovering Kenyan melody from the past. However, I would strongly recommend this to anyone with an interest in African melody from previous decades as this album includes an innovative and distinctive blend of styles resulting in a unbelievable collection of music. It would have been amazing to be in Nairobi in the 1970s hearing these artists live, but "Kenya Special" is the next best thing.
I often fear ordering compilations, but in this case..what a deal!A amazing piece of packaging..from the box to the liner notes to the actual Cd's...someone took pride in producing thisand it is as far from "disposable" as you can en there is the music...a amazing cross section of lively beats, from Afro-beat to more esoteric it!
I love the art and the android game concept, but things seem to spiral out of control too quickly in this game. Some of the responses you can choose are just too vague and have extremely negative consequences. Play this android game with a bit of caution, some of the story endings are very dark and depressing.
Challenging and fun!! I love reading people and figuring things out! I'd give it ten stars if I could!! My daughter beat it quicker then me. I'm having problem with one character. I do [email protected]#$%! had explanation of integrity.. But I've already been looking for more android games like this. When will u have more!?
I haven't tried any of the recipes yet. I was largely disappointed by the zero images of the dishes. This seems like a cookbook from the 50s. There is nothing wrong with that if that is what you're looking for. I was not. I'm born and raised in Hawaii, so hopefully the recipes will make-up for the lack of pictures. There was no mac salad or beef stew recipe either... or meat jun or chicken katsu. Very disappointing.
Tough but Amazing game! I finished this android game after a lot of tries! Now trying to complete all hero parts! It would be amazing if Dorothy's story for a particular hero continues(in the positive part) even after the hero integration is full(instead of lowering integrity of character)!
The story is about a young girl befriending a guy and his pals. I think author’s notice is that the guys can create the amazing mates for the girls and enrich their lives in a method that the other girls and boys rarely do. I agree with the notice but I did not search anything original or moving in the story. I listened to audio book and I liked narrator’s (who is also an author) relaxed and soothing voice. It is a slow moving story where nothing much is event and all potential emotional dramas are smoothed down. But it is engaging enough for listening to it for half an hour. People with more reflective personalities may like this book more than I did.
This android game tastefully and sensitively handles the topic matter, and delivers on the emotional premise very well. I feel like this story would be fascinating from a classic visual novel point of view, but the android game itself was special and interesting. At times is was quite difficult to take my intended path, even following a guide. However, this also led to an awesome sense of helplessness that really enhanced the experience. Gretel's expressions are delightfully scary as well!
Never have there been a android game that treated the multifacets of the Dissociative Identity Disorder with such delicate care. The author has thoroughly and profoundly handled the different scenarios that a person with split personality may have often encountered after having been aware of the conditions. Though this assumption may simplify the situation when compared with unaware DID patients, there remain complicated dissociation triggered by private perception and traumas. The scenarios presented in the android game can't be said to be exact, but they captured the more commonly observed cases in the records. The answers and responses may pose surprising, but reasonable challenge to the player, who assumes the role of a counsellor. I myself was stuck and barely created it to the satisfied ending, but it was nearly impossible for me to predict the effects of my answers albeit trials and errors. Besides such phenomenal and thought-provoking writing, attractive arts and easy video test all added to the success of this title. Truly thank you, Onaemo Studio for bringing this unbelievable android game to life! I hope it could be translated into more languages to raise more public awareness on its themes. I, myself, would volunteer to translate this android game into Vietnamese, if the developers give their consent.
We need to talk. If you are suffering from mental illness or know someone who does, DO NOT play unless you have a really thick skin. There are too a lot of triggers. I like the android game because it's various from anything else I've seen. It plays like Lifeline but it's a small scary too, for the reason I mentioned. Very psychological, method more than Lifeline. Be prepared.
It's a amazing experience, though I'm sure this android game is not for everyone. I wonder if the dev had related problems as Dorothy, because I think he/she captures these feelings rather well. I liked the music, but the graphics/UI could have been a bit prettier (doesn't really matter after all).
An Atheist Stranger in a Strange Religious Land: Selected Writings from the Bible Belt by Herb Silverman“An Atheist Stranger in a Strange Religious Land” is an irreverent an intellectually satisfying collection of essays on a wide range of secular humanist topics. Founder of the Secular Coalition for America and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston, Herb Silverman provides the readers with golden nuggets of wisdom. This provocative 264-page book includes thirty-one essays that cover the gamut of subjects from atheism to women.Positives:1. Herb Silverman is a gifted author, he writes with clarity and a keen sense of humor.2. A amazing idea for a book, a collection of essays from a secular humanist in the thick of the Bible belt.3. A amazing collection of essays that cover a number of fascinating topics.4. A quote fest, “Monotheists disbelieve in all but one god; atheists just take that one step further.”5. Immersed between all the humor there are a lot of deep and provocative thoughts. “For centuries, those who valued sacred land over human life have perpetrated Mideast turf wars.”6. Key words are clearly defined. “Morality should be based on how our actions affect others, not on what we believe an imaginary deity expects of us.” “Secular humanists do not accept moral authority based on the supernatural. Our humanist ethics come from critical reasoning, and we try our moral principles by their consequences.”7. The book is full of Uncle Herb’s wisdom. “We should judge our candidates on their political positions, not on their professed religious beliefs.”8. Discusses matters of faith, “It is better to do amazing than to have faith.”9. Interesting facts. “A group of slavery-supporting Bible believers disagreed with the liberal antislavery attitudes and activities of other Baptists and left the church over this issue. They organized their own sect at an 1845 Convention, and are now known as Southern Baptists.”10. The misdeeds of Catholics. “Covering up the Watergate break-in is mild compared to covering up crimes involving minors. For years, bishops have not only covered up such evidence, but also transferred to other parishes some priests who raped and abused trusting children. Pope Benedict XVI has refused to discipline any bishops or ask them to resign, perhaps because these steps might ultimately require the pope to ask for his own resignation.”11. Discusses the Secular Coalition for America. “In 2002, CCR evolved into the Secular Coalition for America. Instead of a loose confederation, it became a formal organization with an activist mission: to increase the visibility of and respectability for nontheistic viewpoints, and to protect and strengthen the secular hero of our government.”12. Sound tip on how to behave during debates and discussions.13. A quote fest. Weinberg’s popular quote and worth repeating. “With or without religion, amazing people will do amazing things and poor people will do poor things. But for amazing people to do poor things—that takes religion.”14. A recurring theme, the hurt that religion does. “I don’t care what ludicrous beliefs people have except when those beliefs cause hurt to innocent people.”15. Free speech. “Blasphemy has small to do with what you say, and lots to do with whether others feel so insulted that they wish you silenced and punished.”16. Patriotism. “No kid should go to school each day and have the class declare that she and her family are less patriotic than God-believers.” “Criticizing our country and working to eliminate faults is definitely patriotic—a lot more so than reciting pledges and prayers or waving flags.”17. Majority vs minority. “It is when we wear our majority hats that we need to be most mindful of how we treat others.”18. Evangelical Christians. “There’s another reason a lot of evangelical Christians strongly help the land of Israel, perhaps more than most Jews. In a word, it’s “rapture.””19. Debunks religious claims with facts. “There is no historical or archaeological evidence that Moses existed, that Israelites were slaves in Egypt, or that they wandered in the desert for 40 years.”20. Religion and politics. “Religion is inherently divisive. Prayer at government functions promotes the idea that decisions are guided by a higher power rather than by thoughtful deliberations.” “First Commandment (thou shalt have no other gods) conflicts with our First Amendment, which guarantees the right to worship one, many, or no gods. You won’t search democracy in the Bible, but you will search the divine right of kings. You won’t search treating women as equals or condemnation of slavery, but you will search punishment for blasphemy.”21. An essay on sound bites. “Light travels faster than sound, which is why some people appear bright until they speak.”22. Experiences with South Carolina’s laws, a recurring theme. “I was stunned when a white gunman murdered nine innocent black people gathered at the historic Emanuel AME Church, three blocks from where I live.”Negatives:1. Doesn’t take advantage of electronic technology. In short, no links to notes.2. No formal separate bibliography.3. No visual supplementary summary, the keen sense of humor pushes this book of essays to five stars. This is a witty and funny collection of essays covering a wide range of subjects of interest written by a secular humanist. I love Herb Silverman’s irreverent sense of humor and his social critique is dead on. The kind of guy you would love to sit down and shoot the breeze with. An perfect book, I highly recommend it!Further suggestions: “Faith Vs Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible” by Jerry A. Coyne”, “Undeniable” by Bill Nye, “God and the Multiverse” by Victor J. Stenger, “Science and Religion” by Daniel C. Dennett, “Why People Believe Weird Things” by Michael Shermer, “Atheism for Dummies” by Dale McGowan, “The Soul Fallacy” by Julien Musolino, “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things That @#$% Off the Godless” by Greta Christina, “A Manual for Creating Atheists” by Peter Boghosian, “God Is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, “The God Virus” by Darrel Ray, “Moral Combat” by Sikivu Hutchinson, “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “Nonbeliever Nation” by David Niose, “Freethinkers” by Susan Jacoby, “Nailed” by David Fitzgerald, and “Think” by Guy P. Harrison.
Author Herb Silverman has the wit to take a serious subject—the gulf between religion and atheism—and treat it with warm amazing humor. You will have fun this book whether you are looking for a philosophical tour-de-force or a prolonged series of chuckles.
Herb Silverman has sliced up years of commentary written for the Washington Post, HuffPost and other outlets and rearranged excerpts by topic. This has resulted in an amusingly readable jab at those who would erase the wall between church and state in the United States. Silverman takes on topics from vaccination to feminism, from prayer in schools to presidential politics, and his views with grace and humor.(His Jewish jokes alone are worth the of admission—coming from a godless Jew who incidentally is part of the majority of that faith in this country.)But well beyond funny, Silverman is a religious (as well as a mathematical) scholar, and his observations about the history of this country, and the broader history of the mid-east religions is as amazing an introduction to the dominant monotheistic faiths that rule our globe as any famous work might offer. As he notes (and documents) atheists know a lot more about the Bible and other religious tracts than most believers. Any religionist who dares to debate Herb has got his work chop out for him.
Herb Silverman has written probably the best book on atheism ever. He is kind, funny, briliant,observant, and persuasive. He is a teacher, an activist, a pleasant storyteller, and a real atheistyou will love. He doesn't care if you come to his method of thinking. He still respects you, but hewants to create sure you don't test to mesh church and state. Silverman wants equal treatment forthose who think or act harmlessly and differently.Of the a lot of things I learned from his geniuswriting is the reason you can't divide by zero, explained in two lines.His table of contents alone is worth the of the book. His writing is clear, logical, and generousto even his enemies.
Perhaps it was because I read it bits at a time over a couple of months? Or I read it bits at a time because it was poorly organized and redundant? It had some amazing information, but I had a hard time getting into it. I have read other works by Silverman I thought were better.
A kind, gentle, bright fellow exposes much of the silliness of received knowledge (aka, religion), in a quiet, clear, nonabrasive, remarkably rational and, at times. laugh-out-loud fashion. He wears his non-theism proudly, but not in a high-handed manner, unlike so a lot of of the rabid religionists.
I am about 60 pages into this book, and I am enjoying the characters and connections to history immensely. Suddenly I am blindsided by the revelation that this story is going to contain an LGBTQIA storyline as well. This is a complicated but true problem in the lives of young people. I believe I have a responsibility to support my students navigate the problem and to play a role in guiding them toward a right response to the people they may encounter. I appreciate that the author has handled the subject very well and appropriately in the story. In my opinion this would be a book I would wish to use in teaching about civil rights for all people. However, this was not a book I purchased to teach to my class. This was a book I picked up to place on my general reading shelf because it won a Coretta Scott King Award, and because all the descriptions I found of it described it as a mystery with connection to the civil rights movement in the early to mid 20th century. I had no clue I was purchasing a book with the LGBTQIA problem woven into it. I cannot put a book with such a charged subject included in it that children would read without the benefit of an adult to tutorial them through it. I realize this opinion may not be popular. I like the book. I search merit in the method the themes are presented and handled in the plot. I do not like that this book is marketed as something various than what it is. If it is going to contain themes regarding human sexuality and gender identity, and it is marketed to 10-12 year olds please give teachers and parents the full info so that we can choose well. I am not in able to add this book to my general collection. I will hold it for possible use later or if the right student/family enters my classroom. I felt the descriptions of this book intentionally left out information. I felt tricked in a sense. There would not have been a spoiler result to share at least a tip that the rights talked about would go beyond those of African Americans. I should not have to read every customer review to search out the key info to support me create an informed purchase.
The Parker Inheritance is is an wonderful tale of friendship and history with a dash of mystery. Bookbugs Candice and Brandon act like true children with true child challenges: discrimination, divorce, bullying and LGBTQ+ questioning. But though there are a lot of Huge Globe Themes, the story is filled with fun and the best kind of summer e historical flashbacks are just as enjoyable to read. This book never talks down to children and should be read by all ages.
31/2 stars from me. This book is a dual timeline story. The past timeline is FANTASTIC. It's the reason I kept reading. The show timeline however was much less engaging and felt somewhat forced to this reader - as though an MG present-tense storyline was invented only to tell a past tense YA+ story.