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.: books --> bookshelf --> 2001



the life and opinions of tristam shandy lawrence sterne
in many ways a literary version of the tortoise and achilles; a light-hearted exploration of the psychology of obsession; an expansive inquiry and illustration of the elasticity and limitations of the written word.


{ the unpleasantness at the bellona club } dorothy sayers
delightful, as all of the wimsey novels are. naturally, the blossoming romance at the very end gave me special pleasure.
(-) enigma robert harris
interesting start, but disappointing. I thought the solution to the mystery was particularly muddy.


{ the design of everyday things } donald norman
if you design anything, you should read this book. the classic on user-centered design. while interesting and filled with wonderful anecdotes and examples, the book was drier than I expected, and I found it somewhat slow reading as a result. still, I recommend it without reservation.


chop wood, carry water rick fields, et al
very dated and very new-age, leaning to the buddhist perspective. still, a nice springboard for examining the spiritual aspect of various slices of your life.


making journals by hand : 20 creative projects for keeping your thoughts jason thompson
is not at all what I thought it was going to be. it has in it a few artistic techniques that I may like to try, but it's mainly a book of pictures of journals, a few artistic techniques, and lots and lots of filler. not worth the money, unless you're especially struck by the illustrations. thompson is one of the owners of rag& bone bindery, and this book appears to be intended as an advertisement for their goods rather than a serious instructional text.
bookworks : books, memory and photo albums, journals, and diaries made by hand sue doggett
on the other hand, is just what I had hoped it would be, with instructions for making books and lots of photographs of artist's books for inspiration.
{ the discoverers } daniel boorstin
really fascinating, boorstin focuses on the people and ideas that have changed the shape of the world. it's eye opening to realise how many amateurs have made significant contributions to the sciences. if you use this as bedtime reading it may take a really long time to finish it.
{ introducing semiotics } paul cobley and litza jansz
look, this is an excellent book. I keep starting to re-read it in the hopes that I'll be able to master some concepts that are difficult for me and for reasons that are all my own fault, I never get all the way through. but if you're interested in semiotics, this is an excellent primer.


culture jam kalle lasn
kalle lasn created adbusters after he tried to sell one of his issue ads to a television station and they refused to buy. his book is an attempt to 'uncool' media-created american culture and to foment a revolution, one that he will lead. like a recovering alcoholic, lasn accepts into his tribe only those who choose to eschew corporate culture as a form of protest. what about those of us who never had a drinking problem in the first place? culture jam is filled with plenty that will set you thinking, but overall it's an inch thick and a mile wide, lots of assertions and no real evidence. read it as a jumping-off point for your own inquiry into our media-driven culture.


humphrey clinker tobias smollett
very pleasant, a good bedtime book if you enjoy 18th century epistolary novels.
a quaker book of wisdom robert lawrence smith
another good bedtime book. much less interesting than I had hoped it would be. the chapters on education, business, and the last chapter, ten life lessons were, I think, the best chapters.


unnatural death dorothy sayers
a good read (naturally) with a particularly peculiar ending
(-) jane austen: a life claire tomalin
this is a terrible biography. choose another. faced with almost no primary material about jane austen's life, the author openly imagines events and then refers back to these extrapolations as fact, building on them as she describes JA's life. on one occasion she writes four pages about a neighboring young woman's life and background and then informs the reader that she should have been a friend of JA's, but for an unknown reason, she was not. it goes on like this. I'm not the biggest reader of biographies, but this one strikes me as just sloppy work. never mind her extremely annoying use of the word 'you', with which she projected interpretations I rarely shared from introduced facts.


{ the blind assassin } margaret atwood
winner of the 2000 booker prize, really, really beautiful. I keep thinking about the characters and the story.
the pilates body brooke siler
a wonderful primer on pilates matwork; with the beginning mat workout tape, you have all you need.
wabi-sabi: for artists, designers, poets & philosophers leonard koren
a puzzling little book which hints at but never fully explains the elusive aesthetic of wabi-sabi (and that may, in some way, be part of the point.) perhaps a book of photos, with explanation of what makes a thing wabi-sabi would be a better primer. still, I'm glad I read it.
{ the fellowship of the ring } jrr tolkien
much more of a page-turner than I had remembered. in fact, my entire memory of the lord of the rings was that it was excruciatingly long with vast sections describing the scenery, and then someone would sing a song. I remembered wrong. with the exception of 'elrond's council' the first volume is scary, suspenseful, and moves right along.

{ }= highly recommended
(-) = not recommended

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