lately i’ve been thinking i need to read more history/philosphy though. i’m not very educated in world politics, etc. it’s time to get more familiar. 12 months ago
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French lessons: A Memoir
’”Ah mon Dieu Qu’esc-ce que se passe? Mais quel est ce bruit?”
I love to hear Madame Holmgren get upset, in French.”
“There was no inch of unknown territory; even the history of visits to the town over the centuries had been recorded. You had to think about France like a cubist, in overlapping layers.”
“I’ve been willing to overlook in French culture what I wouldn’t accept in my own, for the privilege of living in translation.”
This well-written memoir appealed to the francophile in me. With vivid descriptions and passages in French, this book is about the author’s love affair with language and French in particular. She writes with a passion for words, their power to affect through sound, rhythm, nuance, and emotion as well as the culture and history that shapes the worlds we create and inhabit by and through language. Eventually, the author also confronts some terrible events in French history – this is conveyed in part by her study of the complex relationship between Céline, a celebrated French writer (and anti-Semitic polemicist) and Hindus, a Jewish intellectual who befriended and corresponded with Céline. (The author is the daughter of a Jewish lawyer who prosecuted Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg.) She explores her own intellectual development and evolution from student to professor through her experiences and research of literature, philology, fascism, and philosophy. 12 months ago
Brother One Cell: An American Coming of Age in South Korea’s Prisons
by Cullen Thomas
Sincere account of Cullin’s 3 & 1/2 year ordeal as a prisoner in South Korea. Interesting insights into culture, ‘criminals’, and just growing up. I really loved this book. It was very thoughtful and quite well-written. 15 months ago
A Sense of the World:
How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler – Jason Roberts
Imagine it’s 1822 and you want to travel the world. Maps are merely guesses, there are no airplanes (that’s okay, you prefer to walk) your budget is extremely limited, and you’re BLIND. But you go anyway – from England, through Europe, Russia, Siberia, Africa, and beyond – all the while recording your adventures with your own writing invention. That is just a glimpse of what this book has to offer. This biography of James Holman is beautifully written and researched, including some interesting drawings that show Holman during his travels. He also appeared to be a gracious guest & visitor –like a seasoned anthropologist, as he encountered various people & cultures.
He wasn’t born blind, btw, he only became blind around age 25, after a series of mysterious illnesses during and after his stint with the Royal Navy which he joined at the tender age of 12. (His naval experience is an adventure in and of itself.) Also, descriptions of ghastly medical practices, along with the way blind people were treated in general (um, very badly) are just part of this remarkable biography of a life in the 19th century. 17 months ago
I love reading for pleasure. But I love learning about things I love….for example the newest book, Outliers. Super interesting. Keep this in mind. :) 19 months ago