Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Who I Am

by Pete Townshend

My friend Dave introduced me to many concepts back in high school. One was the concept of going to the library and reading up on an entertainer or show that you enjoy. Another was the band The Who. So I dedicate this review of Pete Townshend's biography (which I, of course, borrowed from the library) to Dave.

Who I Am is the autobiography of Pete Townshend, guitarist and principal songwriter for The Who. It was enjoyable to read, as many such life stories are. What struck me most was not the quality of the book but the revelation of my preconceptions as I read it. My connection with Pete Townshend has always been his work with The Who. Even his solo albums, to me, were just a side interest--a hobby as opposed to his real calling. Of course, for Pete Townshend, the Who was just one part of his life and his career as an artist. His autobiography is filled with so many other things that he felt and experienced. So I got a bit of a mini "culture shock" as I read about his marriage, his writing, his musical interests and the breadth of his work. It removed the image of Pete Townshend the rock idol in my mind and replaced it with the image of Pete Townshend the human being.

Check it out!
LibraryThing link

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beezus and Ramona

by Beverly Cleary

I don't review every book I read--some small tomes I'll just run through to kill time, or sate my curiosity, and then never give them a second thought. This was going to be one of those books, until I laughed out loud. What had happened was that I was killing time in my daughter's second grade classroom. (She's a teacher, by the way, not a student.) I noticed this book in the classroom library, and since I had fond memories of reading Ramona the Pest when I was a kid, I figured I'd read a bit of this instead of the book I had in my backpack. Anyway, Beezus and Ramona is about Beezus Quimby, a nine year old girl in 1950s Oregon, and the troubles she has with her four year old sister Ramona. At first I enjoyed reading a book written in the 1950s--a different world in many ways. Soon enough, my enjoyment was garnished with chuckles over Ramona's antics. She is the chaos bringer, the one who manages to see and act in the world in a way that is different from the average person and who is quite disconcerting to those, like Beezus, who expect a certain order to their lives. Anyway, a few chapters in I got to the laugh out loud joke--an incident which revealed to me that not only is Ms. Cleary able to write about crazy shenanigans, but she has a clever wit in her tool kit as well. So from that point, I knew that I wanted to finish reading the book (easily done) and tell you all to check it out.

LibraryThing link

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Friday, May 19, 2017

The Brothers Karamazov

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I've enjoyed many authors from the 19th Century. It's good to shift gears, to read at a different pace, and to experience a different world that those authors offer. Over the years, I've enjoyed authors from America, England and France. One thing I hadn't tackled, however, is any of the 19th Century authors from Russia. I'd heard that the classic Russian authors have a dense, dark style all their own and was slightly hesitant to just grab a volume and start reading. But eventually I put trepidation aside and decided to tackle some Dostoevsky.

I can't really say that I found The Brothers Karamazov to be dense. But I did get a sense that I missed a lot of content as I tried to tune my brain to the flow of the narrative. It's the tale of the three sons of Fyodor Karamazov, a cantankerous old man who managed to amass a tidy estate and raise a dysfunctional family. The book revolves around the brothers and their relationships with their father, each other, and their friends and neighbors. Like I said, I think I missed a lot that Mr. Dostoevsky was trying to say, but I found it an interesting tale. I especially like his musings on God and religion, which are woven throughout the narrative. I'll definitely have to check it out again in the future to see if a second reading would let me delve deeper.

LibraryThing link

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Friday, April 07, 2017

Silence

by Shūsaku Endō

(I'll resist the temptation to leave this post blank.)

If you haven't figured it out yet, I write these reviews by the seat of my pants. Oh, now and then I might put some contemplation into what I write, but mostly I just sit down and write out whatever jokes or feelings come to mind. Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't spend time staring at an empty screen, thinking of what to write. It just means that I usually don't craft my posts to be more than a diary entry. Anyway, that's a long intro to explain my current dilemma. You see, when reading this book, the descriptive word that popped in my head was "beautiful". Not quite the best choice for a novel about religious persecution, torture and death in 17th Century Japan. Yet Mr. Endō tells a tale of suffering that is not gratuitous or hopeless. It evoked the concept of Christ suffering with His followers instead of simply rescuing or abandoning them. It's not a concept I've had to experience in real life, yet it rang true with what I've read from those who had. Anyway, this one has truly earned its status as a classic.

 I had  to put it on my shelf.
LibraryThing link

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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Speaking of Jesus

by Carl Medearis

first read in April of 2012.

Just had to check it out again.
LibraryThing link

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Friday, March 31, 2017

The Silver Chair

by C.S. Lewis

First read in September of 2002.

on my shelf
LibraryThing link

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Friday, March 24, 2017

The Horse and His Boy

by C.S. Lewis

First read in the Winter of 2002.

Also on my shelf
LibraryThing link

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