Tag Archives: simmons

Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology RevolutionOur Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution by Francis Fukuyama
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This 2001 book offers very practical and utilitarian approach to biotechnology and what it means to be human in regards to human nature and human dignity. Fukuyama brings in information from philosophers, scientists, Darwinists and a host of arguments that suggest we are in a posthuman age, trying to define who we are, yet unable to reach a true consensus. A fascinating read.

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Countess Kate by Charlotte Mary Yonge

Countess KateCountess Kate by Charlotte Mary Yonge
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While clearly this is an instruction book for proper young ladies ways to God and good behavior, it is also a pretty good story. I actually enjoyed the plot and I enjoyed Kate as a character. The book did not feel particularly preach-y until the end. I would definitely have some things to say about the author’s treatment and interpretations of childhood and women, but I think that as it is a product of its time, that discussions should prove to be rather engaging.

Not at all a bad read if you come across a copy, though it is out of print/POD.

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Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat

The Children of the New ForestThe Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As my first real foray into Victorian Children’s Literature, I was pleasantly surprised to find this novel quite enjoyable despite its didacticism. Granted, the instructions on how to catch wild cattle, and put potato skins on burns will be helpful if ever the apocalypse happens.

I did find the plot quite engaging, though the characters were quite difficult to differentiate until about half way through.

And the ending…the last 10 pages covers about 7 years, throwing in details to wrap up the story and play match-maker. While it was engaging, it is also clearly a product of its time (considering the treatment of women and Pablo, the heathen gypsy).

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Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-GlassAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tenniel’s illustrations really shed light on Carroll’s work, especially in combination with “Pleasures Taken: performances of sexuality and loss in Victorian photographs”. Carroll’s demand on Tenniel’s pen and ink work and his demand for perfection, reflects his artistic obsession with the girl body. This reread has brought the nonsense of this novel to my awareness. While the cult status of this novel seems deserved because of its precedent in the genre. It has given modern fiction a basis for expansion, because on its own it is episodic and somewhat didactic.

I find that movie adaptations tend to play up the Queen’s role and downplay the Victorian nonsense, which is crucial to the actual success of the novel. Alice’s wordplay, her half-learned knowledge and the use of puns throughout are part of the reason for its cult following.

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Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Wildefire (Wildefire #1)Wildefire by Karsten Knight
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A suspenseful, fun and surprising read! While there were many many layers of plot and back story that sometime made reading feel cluttered, Karsten was able to create a story that was unexpected; while initially appearing to be in a specific “Boarding school fantasy” subgenre, “Wildefire” consistently subverted my expectations. Ash’s character development was interesting, though I found some of the other characters less dynamic than I wanted (namely Eve), I was still hooked. I truly look forward to reading his future work.

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“Prime Baby” by Gene Luen Yang

Prime BabyPrime Baby by Gene Luen Yang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a weird little graphic novel.

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Death by Paper

THIS PAPER IS KILLING MY BRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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