Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The introduction to this book has a great quote: "...Stevenson's story is more known about than actually known..." This was certainly true for me, and ever since enjoying The League of Extra-ordinary Gentlemen, I had a desire to change that. I finally managed to snag a copy of the tale and read it. As you probably know, it's the tale of a Doctor Henry Jekyll, who concocts a potion that transforms him into Mr. Edward Hyde, an amoral man without restraint. Or perhaps you can say that the potion releases Hyde from the restraint that is Henry Jekyll. At this point I'm supposed to say that it's a classic tale of suppressed desire and social façades--a masterpiece for all times. Or something like that. The truth is, while I enjoyed reading the story, I wasn't overly impressed. Like most people, I imagine, I share Dr. Jekyll's struggle with the darker part of my soul. But it seems that the better solution is just to fess up and ask the good Lord for forgiveness rather than try to cover it up or seek ways to secretly indulge it. Of course, if Dr. Jekyll had done that, it would have made for an even shorter tale. Ah, well....

Check it out.
LibraryThing link


Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Nitpicker's Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

by Phil Farrand

Ah, what to write? I could muse for quite awhile on my reading of this tome, were I so inclined. I could compare it to the original book in the series. I could expound upon my feelings towards Star Trek: Deep Space Nine--how I found myself becoming more disinclined to watch the series again as I read nit after nit being described in the book. Or I might hold forth on how my tastes and standards have changed in the years since I faithfully watched the series. But, hey, I don't have that much time these days. I will say that while this Nitpicker's Guide seems a tad less amusing than its predecessors, it's still an enjoyable, light-hearted read. Definitely something for a Trekker to enjoy.

Go ahead, check it out. You know you want to.
LibraryThing link

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Zachary Taylor

by Holman Hamilton

Subtitled "Soldier in the White House", this book is a look at Taylor's election and short term as President of the United States. It is very much a book of politics, dissecting the political world surrounding the 1848 election. If you're ever tempted to think that America has gone downhill and that our elected officials in times past we're of nobler stock than our current politico's, this book will show that it wasn't the case. Mr. Hamilton shows how Whig politics and Taylor's fame from the Mexican-American war combined to bring him to the White House. He then goes on to document the how Taylor's administration fared both with the issues of the day and the men who were squabbling over them. Also on view is an apparent shift during the controversies of 1850 as both the Democrat and Whig parties began to split along Northern and Southern lines. The book was surprisingly comfortable to read, despite the fact that it was written in 1951 and used a number of words that I really should have looked up. It's very pro-Taylor, of course, but that's about the only thing I can say that comes close to being a complaint.

Check it out!
LibraryThing link

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