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Full title The Alchemist [permalink]
Original title Alquimista, O
Language English
Authors Paulo Coelho (author) and Alan R. Clarke (translator)
Publisher HarperCollins
Category Novel
Publication year 1999
Original publication year 1988
ISBN 0-7225-3293-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 177

An allegorical story of a boy who follows his dreams and heart and eventually discovers his true self and finds his treasure.


I found it a little too naive to be entertaining, but it's a cute story nonetheless.

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Full title The Art of War [permalink]
Original title Sūn Zǐ Bīng Fǎ
Language English
Authors Sun Tzu (author) and James Clavell (foreword)
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton
Categories Classic and warfare
Publication year 2005
Original publication year 1981
ISBN 0-340-27604-5 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Online version Link
Pages 102

The Art of War is a classic treatise on war (and tactics in war) and covers topics such as the real purpose of war, different types of ground, how to treat your soldiers, and the use of spies.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword
  • I Laying Plans
  • II Waging War
  • III Attack by Stratagem
  • IV Tactical Dispositions
  • V Energy
  • VI Weak Points and Strong
  • VII Manœuvring
  • VIII Variation of Tactics
  • IX The Army on the March
  • X Terrain
  • XI The Nine Situations
  • XII The Attack by Fire
  • XIII The Use of Spies
Full title Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: Dikt i utvalg [permalink]
Translated title Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: Selected Poems
Language Norwegian
Authors Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (author), Olav Christopher Jenssen (illustrator) and Knut Ødegård (foreword)
Publisher Den Norske Bokklubben
Categories Anthology and poetry
Publication year 1979
ISBN 82-525-0295-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 124
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Full title Cosmic View: The Universe in Forty Jumps [permalink]
Language English
Authors Kees Boeke (author), Els de Bouter (illustrator) and Arthur H. Compton (introduction)
Publisher John Day Company
Categories Children's and science
Publication year 1957
ISBN 0381980162 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Online version Link
Pages 48

Cosmic View is the inspiration for the 1977 IBM short video Powers of Ten. It's a pretty short book written for children (though it's very interesting for adults as well) about the relative sizes of things in the universe. The book differs a bit from the video, mainly in that it explores each scale at more depth.

The book starts out showing a girl in Holland, zooming outwards, each time by a factor of ten, 25 times (so that the scale ends up being 1:1025). Each image is accompanied by a bit of explanatory text. Halfway through, the book then zooms inwards, ending at a scale of 1012:1, about the size of an atomic nucleus.


I found the book pretty fascinating, if a bit short and not as detailed as I'd wished it to be. However, I can't hold that against it as it's really a children's book. I can heartily recommend it.

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Full title Cradle [permalink]
Language English
Authors Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee
Publisher Orbit Books
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 1989
Original publication year 1988
ISBN 0-7088-4318-2 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 374

This novel primarily follows three people: Carol Dawson, a journalist for the Miami Herald; Nick Williams, a diver, adventurer, and boat owner; and his partner, Troy Williams. Carol, interested in a curious incident of a beached whale and a rumour about a submerged Navy missile, decides to enlist the help of Nick and Troy.


Unfortunately, this novel isn't so much science fiction as thriller and drama, which was a little disappointing. It would make a good movie I think, but as a novel the story isn't driven forward as it should, there is too much characterization (without meaning), and the ending fell absolutely flat for me. You can safely skip this one.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Endangered Species
  • Thursday
  • Cycle 447
  • Friday
  • Assembly and Test
  • Saturday
  • Repatriation
  • Sunday
Full title Dangerous Visions [permalink]
Language English
Authors Harlan Ellison (editor), Diane Dillon (illustrator), Leo Dillon (illustrator), Isaac Asimov (foreword), Brian W. Aldiss, Carol Emshwiller, Damon Knight, David R. Bunch, Frederik Pohl, Fritz Leiber, Henry Slesar, Howard Rodman, J. G. Ballard, James Cross, Joe L. Hensley, John Brunner, John Sladek, Jonathan Brand, Keith Laumer, Kris Neville, Larry Eisenberg, Larry Niven, Lester del Rey, Miriam Allen deFord, Norman Spinrad, Philip José Farmer, Philip K. Dick, Poul Anderson, R. A. Lafferty, Robert Bloch, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, Samuel R. Delany, Sonya Dorman and Theodore Sturgeon
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1975
Pages 544

An anthology with short stories which each presents a "dangerous vision" (although I would call them "visions for thought").


These thirty-two stories are all excellent in their own ways, but some stand out as superbly excellent. They are Shall the Dust Praise Thee?, Evensong, The Malley System, Carcinoma Angels, and A Toy For Juliette. Go buy this book.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword 1: The Second Revolution
    Isaac Asimov
  • Foreword 2: Harlan and I
    Isaac Asimov
  • Introduction: Thirty-Two Soothsayers
    Harlan Ellison
  • EVENSONG Lester del Rey
  • FLIES Robert Silverberg
  • RIDERS OF THE PURPLE WAGE Philip José Farmer
  • THE MALLEY SYSTEM Miriam Allen deFord
  • A TOY FOR JULIETTE Robert Bloch
  • THE JIGSAW MAN Larry Niven
  • LORD RANDY, MY SON Joe L. Hensley
  • EUTOPIA Poul Anderson
  • "A Pair of Bunch"
  • THE ESCAPING David R. Bunch
  • THE DOLL-HOUSE Jame Cross
  • SEX AND/OR MR. MORRISON Carol Emschwiller
  • ERSATZ Henry Slesar
  • GO, GO, Go, SAID THE BIRD Sonya Dorman
  • THE HAPPY BREED John T. Sladek
  • ENCOUNTER WITH A HICK Jonathan Brand
  • JUDAS John Brunner
  • CARCINOMA ANGELS Norman Spinrad
  • AUTO-DA-FÉ Roger Zelazny
  • AYE, AND GOMORRAH... Samyel R. Delany
Full title The Dawkins Delusion?: Atheist fundamentalism and the denial of the divine [permalink]
Language English
Authors Alister McGrath (author) and Joanna Collicutt McGrath (co-author)
Publisher SPCK
Category Religion
Publication year 2007
ISBN 978-0-281-05927-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 78

A review, synopsis, and a criticism of Dawkins' The God Delusion, The Dawkins Delustion? examines the issues raised there.


The book is pretty well presented, but unfortunately it was very boring and lacks substance. It really could be shortened down to an essay. The main message from the book is that Dawkins' book doesn't take enough into account, and that his criticism of religion is unfounded.

Images Back of The Dawkins Delusion?.Spine of The Dawkins Delusion?.Front of The Dawkins Delusion?.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  1. Deluded about God?
  2. Has science disproved God?
  3. What are the origins of religion?
  4. Is religion evil?
  • Notes
  • For further reading
Full title Discoveries [permalink]
Language English
Authors Alan Lothian (introduction), Arthur C. Clarke, Bob Shaw, Greg Bear, Ian McDonald, Ian Watson, Mike McQuay, Paul J. McAuley, Robert Holdstock and Tricia Sullivan
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1995
ISBN 0-575-06258-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 190

I can't remember where I got this book, but I reckon it's pretty rare to come across as it's not normally sold, but was given away free with the October 1995 issue of BBC Focus. It's an anthology of short science fiction stories from budding British authors.


A few of the stories fell flat, but some are good (I really enjoyed Blood Music). If you happen to come across it, you might want to buy it, if only for its rarity.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • Prison Dreams
    Paul J. McAuley
  • Blood Music
    Greg Bear
  • The Charisma Trees
    Robert Holdstock
  • Dark Night in Toyland
    Bob Shaw
  • Virtually Lucid Lucy
    Ian Watson
  • Morpheus
    Tricia Sullivan
  • Winning
    Ian McDonald
  • extract from Richter 10
    Arthur C. Clarke and Mike McQuay
Full title Diseases from Space [permalink]
Language English
Authors Chandra Wickramasinghe (author) and Fred Hoyle (author)
Publisher Sphere Books
Categories Astronomy, biology and science
Publication year 1981
Original publication year 1979
Pages 241
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Full title Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems [permalink]
Language English
Authors Edgar Allan Poe (author), Aubrey Beardsley (illustrator), Édouard Manet (illustrator), Gustave Doré (illustrator), Harry Clarke (illustrator) and John Tenniel (illustrator)
Publisher CRW Publishing
Categories Anthology, novel and short stories
Publication year 2008
Original publication year 2006
ISBN 978-1904919773 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 374

This is a collection of Poe's works. It's a big and beautifully-bound book, with illustrations for all the stories and poems.


If you've never read anything by Edgar Allan Poe before, you're in for a major treat. I can highly recommend some stories: The Pit and the Pendulum (about a man being kept captive during the Spanish Inquisition), The Gold Bug (about a man discovering an ancient treasure map), The Premature Burial (about exactly what the title says), The Cask of Amontillado (about a drunk man meeting a horrifying death), The Tell-Tale Heart (about a murderer who hallucinates his victim's heart beat), and Shadow — A Parable (about whispers in the night, not to spoil it). I can heartily recommend this book, or any other Poe collection, for that matter.

Images Back flap of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.Back of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.Spine of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.Front of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.Front flap of Edgar Allan Poe Collected Stories and Poems.
Structure [Toggle visibility]

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

  • The Gold Bug
  • The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
  • MS Found in a Bottle
  • A Descent into the Maelström
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The Mystery of Marie Rogêt
  • The Purloined Letter
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • The Premature Burial
  • The Black Cat
  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • The Cask of Amontillado
  • The Oval Portrait
  • The Oblong Box
  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • Ligeia
  • Loss of Breath
  • Shadow — A Parable
  • Silence — A Fable
  • The Man of the Crows
  • Some Words with a Mummy

Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque

  • Metzengerstein
  • The Visionary (The Assignation)
  • Morella
  • King Pest
  • The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall
  • Berenice
  • Mystification
  • How to Write a Blackwood Article
  • A Predicament
  • The Man that was Used Up
  • William Wilson
  • Eleonara
  • The Island of the Fay
  • The Balloon Hoax
  • The System of Dr Tarr and Professor Fether
  • Mesmeric Revelation
  • A Tale of the Ragged Mountains
  • The Spectacle
  • The Imp of the Perverse
  • The Sphinx
  • The Domain of Arnheim or the Landscape Garden
  • Von Kempelen and His Discovery
  • X-ing a Paragraph


  • The Raven
  • The Valley of Unrest
  • Bridal Ballad
  • The Sleeper
  • The Coliseum
  • Lenore
  • Hymn
  • Israfel
  • Dream-Land
  • To Zante
  • The City in the Sea
  • To One in Paradise
  • Eulalie
  • To F—S S. O—D
  • To F—
  • Silence
  • The Conquerer Worm
  • The Haunted Palace
  • Scenes from "Politian"
Later Poems
  • The Bells
  • To M. L. S.—
  • To— ("Not long ago, the writer of these lines")
  • An Enigma
  • To Helen
  • A Valentine
  • For Annie
  • To My Mother
  • Eldorado
  • Annabel Lee
  • Ulalume
Poems Written in Youth
  • Tamerlane
  • Sonnet — To Science
  • Al Aaraaf
  • Romance
  • Song
  • Dreams
  • Spirits of the Dead
  • Evening Star
  • A Dream within a Dream
  • Stanzas
  • A Dream
  • 'The Happiest Day, The Happiest Hour'
  • The Lake
  • To— ("The bowers whereat, in dreams, I see")
  • To the River
  • To— ("I heed not that my earthly lot")
  • Fairyland
  • To Helen
  • Alone
Poems Now First Collected
  • Spiritual Song
  • Elizabeth
  • From an Album
  • To Sarah
  • The Great Man
  • Gratitude To—
  • An Enigma
  • Impromptu
Additional Poems Attributed to Poe
  • Song of Triumph
  • Latin Hymn
  • The Skeleton-Hand
  • The Magician
  • Translation: Hymn to Aristogeiton and Harmodius
  • The Mammoth Squash
  • Oh, Tempora! Oh, Mores!
Full title Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales [permalink]
Language English
Authors Groff Conklin (editor), Isaac Asimov (editor), A. E. van Vogt, Alan Bloch, Alan E. Nourse, Alan Nelson, Albert Hernhuter, Anthony Boucher, Arthur C. Clarke, Arthur Feldman, Arthur Porges, Avro Manhattan, C. M. Kornbluth, Cleve Cartmill, Damon Knight, David Grinnell, Edward G. Robles, Edward Grendon, Eric Frank Russell, Evelyn E. Smith, Frank M. Robinson, Fredric Brown, Fritz Leiber, H. B. Hickey, Howard Schoenfeld, Idris Seabright, Jack Finney, James Causey, James H. Schmitz, John D. MacDonald, John Lewis, John P. McKnight, Karen Anderson, Lion Miller, Mack Reynolds, Marion Gross, Mildred Clingerman, Peter Cartur, Poul Anderson, Ralph Williams, Robert A. Heinlein, Robert Sheckley, Roger Dee, S. Fowler Wright, Stuart Friedman, T. P. Caravan, Theodore Sturgeon, W. Hilton-Young, Walt Sheldon, Will Stanton, William Tenn and Winston K. Marks
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1963
ISBN 0-684-84296-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 287

Fifty short-short stories from fifty different authors are collected here.


Almost all of the stories are truly excellent, and I have transcribed some of the best ones and put them on my Short Stories page (Men Are Different, Texas Week, The Haunted Space Suit, and Counter Charm). Go there for a sample before you buy the book. (You will buy it, remember.)

Images Back of Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales.Spine of Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales.Front of Fifty Short Science Fiction Tales.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Prelude: Ballade of an Artificial Satellite — Poul Anderson
  • The Fun They Had — Isaac Asimov
  • Men Are Different — Alan Block
  • The Ambassadors — Anthony Boucher
  • The Weapon — Fredric Brown
  • Random Sample — T. P. Caravan
  • Oscar — Cleve Cartmill
  • The Mist — Peter Cartur
  • Teething Ring — James Causey
  • The Haunted Space Suit — Arthur C. Clarke
  • Stair Trick — Mildred Clingerman
  • Unwelcome Tenant — Roger Dee
  • The Mathematicians — Arthur Feldman
  • The Third Level — Jack Finney
  • Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! — Stuart Friedman
  • The Figure — Edward Grendon
  • The Rag Thing — David Grinnell
  • The Good Provider — Marion Gross
  • Columbus Was a Dope — Robert A. Heinlein
  • Texas Week — Albert Hernhuter
  • Hilda — H. B. Hickey
  • The Choice — W. Hilton-Young
  • Not with a Bang — Damon Knight
  • The Altar at Midnight — C. M. Kornbluth
  • A Bad Day for Sales — Fritz Leiber
  • Who's Cribbing? — Jack Lewis
  • Spectator Sport — John D. MacDonald
  • The Cricket Ball — Avro Manhattan
  • Double-Take — Winston K. Marks
  • Prolog — John P. McKnight
  • The Available Data on the Worp Reaction — Lion Miller
  • Narapoia — Alan Nelson
  • Tiger by the Tail — Alan E. Nourse
  • Counter Charm — Peter Phillips
  • The Fly — Arthur Porges
  • The Business, As Usual — Mack Reynolds
  • Two Weeks in August — Frank M. Robinson
  • See? — Edward G. Robles, Jr.
  • Appointment at Noon — Eric Frank Russell
  • We Don't Want Any Trouble — James H. Schmitz
  • Built Down Logically — Howard Schoenfeld
  • An Egg a Month from All Over — Idris Seabright
  • The Perfect Woman — Robert Sheckley
  • The Hunters — Walt Sheldon
  • The Martian and the Magician — Evelyn E. Smith
  • Barney — Will Stanton
  • Talent — Theodore Sturgeon
  • Project Hush — William Tenn
  • The Great Judge — A. E. Van Vogt
  • Emergency Landing — Ralph Williams
  • Obviously Suicide — S. Fowler Wright
  • Postlude: Six Haiku — Karen Anderson
Full title Frankenstein [permalink]
Alternative title or, The Modern Prometheus
Language English
Authors Mary Shelley (author) and Margaret Brantley (supplemental)
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Categories Gothic and novel
Publisher series Enriched Classic
Publication year 2009
Original publication year 1818
ISBN 978-0-7434-8758-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 323

An explorer of the North Pole picks up a weary and battered Victor Frankenstein. Victor is on the run from his creation, who is trying to kill him. The captain of the ship listens to Frankenstein's story (which makes up the meat of the novel).


What struck me about the novel was how mild-mannered, eloquent, and initially innocent Frankenstein's so-called monster is. The monster spends a good chunk of the novel in the forest, trying to make a living, and he meets a family living in a forest cabin.

This novel is a classic, and extremely well-written. I heartily recommend it. If you're not versed in Victorian English I recommend that you get a version with notes to explain language usage. Otherwise, a lot of things won't make sense.

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Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • Chronology of Mary Shelley's Life and Work
  • Historical Context of Frankenstein


  • Notes
  • Interpretive Notes
  • Questions for Discussion
  • Suggestions for the Interested Reader
Full title Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything [permalink]
Language English
Authors Stephen J. Dubner (author) and Steven D. Levitt (author)
Categories Science and statistics
Publication year 2005
Pages 336

This is a book about applying statistics to unconventional problems and seeing where that leads you. For instance, the book argues that Roe v. Wade was a more contributing factor to the recent drop in crime rates in the US than any other. The explanation? The people who are most inclined to become criminals (children of poor single-parent blacks) simply aren't there when, had they been born, they would have begun their criminal careers.

Full title Fyrsten [permalink]
Original title Il Principe
Translated title The Prince
Language Norwegian
Authors Niccolò Machiavelli (author) and Trond Berg Eriksen (translator)
Publisher Kagge Forlag
Categories Classic and warfare
Publication year 2007
Original publication year 1532
ISBN 978-82-489-0659-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Online version Link
Pages 150

The Prince is the book which made the term "Machiavellian" enter language as meaning someone willing to ignore morality in favor of keeping power. The book is divided into many chapters, each dealing with a different aspect of keeping a prince in power.


As I'm not a prince nor a real student of history, it didn't really speak to me, but it was an interesting read if only for the historical perspective.

Full title The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? [permalink]
Language English
Authors Leon Lederman (author) and Dick Teresi (co-author)
Publisher Mariner Books
Categories Physics and science
Publication year 2006
Original publication year 1993
ISBN 978-0-618-71168-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 434

Details the history of physics from Thales in antiquity up to the present.


The title of the book refers to the Higgs boson, a particle now (at the time of writing, September 2009) being sought by the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) particle accelerator in Geneva. The book does a good job of explaining particle physics, and it's funny, too. The book is a little out-dated in that it refers to the now-cancelled SSC (Superconducting Super Collider) accelerator. There are some very entertaining passages in the book where Leon talks physics with an imaginary Democritus (Democritus of Abdera was the first Greek to suggest that the world was made of atoms), which I immensely enjoyed.

I heartily recommend this book if you want to learn a little bit of particle physics.

Images Back of The God Particle.Spine of The God Particle.Front of The God Particle.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Preface
  • Dramatis Personae
  • 1 The Invisible Soccer Ball
  • 2 The First Particle Physicist
  • Interlude A: A Tale of Two Cities
  • 3 Looking for the Atom: The Mechanics
  • 4 Still Looking for the Atom: Chemists and Electricians
  • 5 The Naked Atom
  • Interlude B: The Dancing Moo-Shu Masters
  • 6 Accelerators: They Smash Atoms, Don't They?
  • Interlude C: How We Violated Parity in a Weekend ... and Discovered God
  • 7 A-tom!
  • 8 The God Particle at Last
  • 9 Inner Space, Outer Space, and the Time Before Time
  • Acknowledgments
  • A Note on History and Sources
  • Index
Full title Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch [permalink]
Language English
Authors Neil Gaiman (author) and Terry Pratchett (author)
Publisher Ace Books
Categories Fantasy and humor
ISBN 0-441-00325-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]

A demon and an angel, Crowley and Aziraphale, having become good friends on Earth, decide to postpone the end of the world by keeping a close eye on the Antichrist, making sure he doesn't make a choice between good and evil.

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Full title The Grand Design [permalink]
Language English
Authors Leonard Mlodinow (author) and Stephen Hawking (author)
Publisher Bantam Books
Categories Astronomy, physics and science
Publication year 2010
ISBN 978-0-593-05829-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 200

The Grand Design is a book about how the universe can come from nothing. It explores and explains M-theory and speculates about the elusive Theory of Everything.

"One can't prove that God doesn't exist, but science makes God unnecessary."

Images Back flap of The Grand Design.Back of The Grand Design.Spine of The Grand Design.Front of The Grand Design.Front flap of The Grand Design.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  1. The Mystery of Being
  2. The Rule of Law
  3. What Is Reality?
  4. Alternative Histories
  5. The Theory of Everything
  6. Choosing Our Universe
  7. The Apparent Miracle
  8. The Grand Design
  • Glossary
  • Acknowledgements
  • Index
Full title The Great Gatsby [permalink]
Language English
Authors Francis Scott Fitzgerald (author) and Matthew J. Bruccoli (supplemental)
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Category Novel
Publication year 1995
Original publication year 1925
ISBN 0-684-80152-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 221
Images Back of The Great Gatsby.Spine of The Great Gatsby.Front of The Great Gatsby.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Preface
  • [9 unnamed chapters]
  • The Text of The Great Gatsby
  • Publisher's Afterword
  • Explanatory Notes
  • Further Reading
  • Publisher's Note About the Author
  • A Brief Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald
Full title The Great Scientists: From Euclid to Stephen Hawking [permalink]
Language English
Authors John Farndon (author), Alex Woolf (co-author), Anne Rooney (co-author) and Liz Gogerly (co-author)
Publisher Eagle Editions
Categories History and science
Publication year 2006
ISBN 978-1-84193-300-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 158

A book about scientists from Euclid, Archimedes, and Ptolemy to Faraday, Darwin, and Hawking, and the science they invented or practiced.

Images Back flap of The Great Scientists.Back of The Great Scientists.Spine of The Great Scientists.Front of The Great Scientists.Front flap of The Great Scientists.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • The Ancients
    • Euclid
    • Archimedes
    • Hipparchus & Claudius Ptolemy
  • The Middle Ages
    • The Medieval Arab Scientists
  • The Renaissance
    • Leonardo da Vinci
    • Nicolas Copernicus
    • Andreas Vesalius
    • Galileo Galilei
  • The Seventeenth Century
    • Christiaan Huygens
    • Anton van Leeuwenhoek
    • Robert Hooke
    • Sir Isaac Newton
  • The Eighteenth Century
    • Carolus Linnaeus
    • James Hutton
    • Antoine Lavoisier
    • John Dalton
  • The Nineteenth Century
    • Michael Faraday
    • Charles Babbage
    • Charles Darwin
    • Louis Pasteur
    • Gregor Mendel
    • Dmitri Mendeleyev
    • James Clerk Maxwell
  • The Twentieth Century
    • Max Planck
    • Marie Curie
    • Ernest Rutherford
    • Albert Einstein
    • Alfred Wegener
    • Niels Bohr
    • Edwin Hubble
    • Werner Heisenberg
    • Linus Pauling
    • The DNA Team: Francis Crick, James Watson, and Rosalind Franklin
    • Stephen Hawking
  • Index
Full title Gulliver's Travels [permalink]
Alternative title Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships
Language English
Authors Jonathan Swift (author) and Robert DeMaria (introduction)
Publisher Penguin Books
Categories Fantasy, novel, satire and travel
Publication year 2003
Original publication year 1726
ISBN 978-0-14-143949-5 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 306
Images Back of Gulliver's Travels.Spine of Gulliver's Travels.Front of Gulliver's Travels.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Plates
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Further Reading
  • A Note on the Text

Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver

  • Advertisement
  • A Letter from Capt. Gulliver to his Cousing Sympson
  • The Publisher to the Reader
  • The Contents
  • Part I: A Voyage to Lilliput
  • Part II: A Voyage to Brobdingnag
  • Part III: A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib and Japan
  • Part IV: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms
  • Notes
  • Textual Notes
Full title The Human Body: Its Structure and Operation [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and Anthony Ravielli (illustrator)
Publisher Signet Books
Categories Biology and science
Publication year 1963
ISBN 978-0451617743 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 309

Goes through the human body, from head to torso, muscles to blood, skin to genitalia, explaining in good detail how it all works.


As always, it's written in clear prose, and is easily accessible. If you have a moderate interest in human anatomy, this is the book for you.

Images Back of The Human Body.Spine of The Human Body.Front of The Human Body.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • 1 Our Place
    • Distinctions
    • The Phyla
    • The Development of Phyla
    • The Chordates
    • The Vertebrates
  • 2 Our Head and Torso
    • The Vertebral Column
    • The Vertebrae and Ribs
    • The Skull
    • The Teeth
  • 3 Our Limbs and Joints
    • The Arms
    • The Legs
    • Cells
    • Bone Structure
    • Tooth Structure
    • Bone Movement
  • 4 Our Muscles
    • Living Motion
    • Muscle Contraction
    • Striated Muscle
    • Tendons
    • Muscles in Action
    • Some Individual Muscles
  • 5 Our Lungs
    • The Entrance of Oxygen
    • The Nose and Throat
    • The Voice
    • The Bronchial Tree
    • Breathing
  • 6 Our Heart and Arteries
    • The Inner Fluid
    • The Circulation
    • The Heartbeat
    • Blood Pressure
  • 7 Our Blood
    • The Liquid Tissue
    • The Erythrocyte
    • Anemia
    • Leukocytes and Thrombocytes
    • Lymph
  • 8 Our Intestines
    • Food
    • The Mouth
    • The Stomach
    • The Pancreas and Liver
    • Absorption
    • The Colon
  • 9 Our Kidneys
    • Carbon Dioxide and Water
    • The Excretory System
    • Urine
  • 10 Our Skin
    • Scales and Epidermis
    • Perspiration
    • Hair
  • 11 Our Genitals
    • Reproduction
    • The Egg
    • The Placenta
    • The Human Female
    • The Human Male
  • Postscript: Our Longevity
  • Index
Full title The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits [permalink]
Language English
Authors Lewis Carroll (author) and Mervyn Peake (illustrator)
Publisher Lighthouse Books
Categories Nonsense and poetry
Publication year 1948
Original publication year 1876
Pages 46

A group of people (a Bellman, a Boots, a Bonnet-maker, a Barrister, a Broker, a Billiard-marker, a Banker, a Butcher, a Baker, and a Beaver) leave on a ship to hunt the eponymous snark, a strange creature which, if it is of the Boojum type, will make you vanish and never be seen from again!


A very short, humorous, and entertaining absurd poem; the helmsman's brought a blank map (much easier to read, you see), the Baker forgets his name and luggage, the captain gives contradictory navigation orders, etc. Some words are just made up, like Snark, Boojum, and fromious. The general feel of the poem is of playful punning and light-hearted rhymes. I definitely recommend it, though since it's so short, there's not much to say about it.

Images Back of The Hunting of the Snark.Spine of The Hunting of the Snark.Front of The Hunting of the Snark.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Preface
  • Fit the First: The Landing
  • Fit the Second: The Bellman's Speech
  • Fit the Third: The Baker's Tale
  • Fit the Fourth: The Hunting
  • Fit the Fifth: The Beaver's Lesson
  • Fit the Sixth: The Barrister's Dream
  • Fit the Seventh: The Banker's Fate
  • Fit the Eigth: The Vanishing
Full title The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha [permalink]
Original title El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha
Language English
Authors Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (author) and John Ormsby (translator)
Publisher [e-book: Project Gutenberg]
Categories Novel, parody and satire
Publication year 2004
Original publication year 1605

Part 1

Alonso Quixano is a hidalgo (noble-born gentleman) from La Mancha who spends his time devouring popular romance novels (romance novels back then meant books of chivalry, unlike today). The novel opens with his becoming so obsessed with them that he starts deluding himself into thinking he's a knight-errant, a vagrant knight in shining armor slaying dragons, rescuing princesses, righting wrongs, helping the helpless, and, of course, fighting giants disguised as windmills.

Despite his being well-spoken, and in every sense rational, about this one point of being an old-fashioned knight he is stark raving mad; Don Quixote manages to rationalize (explain away) all his delusions, most of the time relying on a malevolent sage intent on enchanting everything from windmills (giants) to inns (castles) to a barber's water basin (the Helmet of Mambrino).

Very quickly (and later in the novel, often) Don Quixote gets into trouble. He is round and about seeking adventure when he comes upon some traders who are making fun of his beloved Dulcinea del Toboso. Not taking that lightly he engages them in combat, and is soundly beaten. A humble farmer from Quixote's home town, Sancho Panza, takes care of him and after being promised an island to rule over once they are done adventuring, Panza joins Quixote as his trusted squire, always being the sense to Quixote's nonsense.

This is an exceedingly funny novel. There are some scattered bits of seriousness here and there (even a novella quoted — or rather told by one of the characters — mostly in its entirety, taking up three chapters) but whenever Don Quixote re-enters the scene, expect hilarity to ensue.

Part 2



Part 1


Part 2


Full title Jerome Bixby's Man from Earth [permalink]
Language English
Authors Jerome Bixby (author) and Richard Schenkman (writer)
Publisher Samuel French
Category Play
Publication year 2008
ISBN 978-0-573-66334-5 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 68
Images Back of Jerome Bixby's Man from Earth.Front of Jerome Bixby's Man from Earth.
Full title Kafka on the Shore [permalink]
Original title 海辺のカフカ
Transliterated title Umibe no Kafuka
Language English
Authors Haruki Murakami (author) and Philip Gabriel (translator)
Publisher Vintage Books
Category Novel
Publication year 2006
Original publication year 2005
ISBN 978-1-4000-7927-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 467
Images Back of Kafka on the Shore.Spine of Kafka on the Shore.Front of Kafka on the Shore.
Full title Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future [permalink]
Language English
Authors Olaf Stapledon (author), Gregory Benford (foreword) and Doris Lessing (afterword)
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publisher series SF Masterworks
Publication year 1999
Original publication year 1930
ISBN 978-1-85798-806-2 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 312
Images Back of Last and First Men.Spine of Last and First Men.Front of Last and First Men.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword by Gregory Benford
  • Preface
  • Introduction by One of the Last Men

Chapter I: Balkan Europe

  1. The European War and AFter
  2. The Anglo-French War
  3. Europe after the Anglo-French War
  4. The Russo-German War

Chapter II: Europe's Downfall

  1. Europe and America
  2. The Origins of a Mystery
  3. Europe Murdered

Chapter III: America and China

  1. The Rivals
  2. The Conflict
  3. On an Island in the Pacific

Chapter IV: An Americanized Planet

  1. The Foundation of the First World State
  2. The Dominance of Science
  3. Material Achievement
  4. The Culture of the First World State
  5. Downfall

Chapter V: The Fall of the First Men

  1. The First Dark Age
  2. The Rise of Patagonia
  3. The Cult of Youth
  4. The Catastrophe

Chapter VI: Transition

  1. The First Men at Bay
  2. The Second Dark Age

Chapter VII: The Rise of the Second Men

  1. The Appearance of a New Species
  2. The Intercourse of Three Species
  3. The Zenith of the Second Men

Chapter VIII: The Martians

  1. The First Martian Invasion
  2. Life on Mars
  3. The Martian Mind
  4. Delusions of the Martians

Chapter IX: Earth and Mars

  1. The Second Men at Bay
  2. The Ruin of Two Worlds
  3. The Third Dark Age

Chapter X: The Third Men in the Wilderness

  1. The Third Human Species
  2. Digressions of the Third Men
  3. The Vital Art
  4. Conflicting Policies

Chapter XI: Man Remakes Himself

  1. The First of the Great Brains
  2. The Tragedy of the Fourth Men
  3. The Fifth Men
  4. The Culture of the Fifth Men

Chapter XII: The Last Terrestrials

  1. The Cult of Evanescence
  2. Exploration of Time
  3. Voyaging in Space
  4. Preparing a New World

Chapter XIII: Humanity on Venus

  1. Taking Root Again
  2. The Flying Men
  3. A Minor Astronomical Event

Chapter XIV: Neptune

  1. Bird's-Eye View
  2. Da Capo
  3. Slow Conquest

Chapter XV: The Last Men

  1. Introduction to the Last Human Species
  2. Childhood and Maturity
  3. A Racial Awakening
  4. Cosmology

Chapter XVI: The Last of Man

  1. Sentence of Death
  2. Behaviour of the Condemned
  3. Epilogue
  • Afterword by Doris Lessing
  • Time Scales
Full title Livingstone: Oppdageren — Forskeren — Misjonæren [permalink]
Original title Livingstone, Trail Blazer for God
Language Norwegian
Authors Leslie Morrill (author) and Madge Morrill (author)
Category Biography
Publication year 1972
Original publication year 1959
ISBN 82-7007-004-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 224

A biography of David Livingstone, written as part novel, part history.


The book gives a good account of the life of Livingstone, from his early years in Scotland to his arrival in Cape Town, South Africa, and his subsequent journey across Africa. However, the book I read is a Norwegian translation of the original, and it's evident that the translator made a poor job of it (never mind the simple spelling errors; if you're bilingual like me and read this book, you'll see that a lot of passages look like direct translations, instead of having been adapted to the language). The most damning part of the translation job is the way "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" is rendered. The accepted translation to Norwegian is "Dr. Livingstone, formoder jeg?". This book renders it "Dr. Livingstone, hvis jeg ikke tar feil?" which means "Dr. Livingstone, if I'm not mistaken?"

I might get my hands on the original English version, but until then, the only point on which I can recommend the book is that it's a nice, concise history of the man's life.

Images Back of Livingstone.Spine of Livingstone.Front of Livingstone.
Full title Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth [permalink]
Language English
Authors Apostolos Doxiadis (author), Christos H. Papadimitriou (author), Alecos Papadatos (illustrator) and Annie Di Donna (illustrator)
Publisher Bloomsbury
Categories Graphic novel and logic
Publication year 2009
ISBN 978-1-59691-452-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 347

A (very fictionalized) account, in comic form, of the life of Bertrand Russell. The book opens with one of the authors explicitly breaking the fourth wall, talking to the reader, and explaining the purpose of the work. The rest of the book follows an old Russell as he's giving a lecture in 1939, three days after Hitler's invasion of Poland, about his journey from childhood to established mathematician. It's this journey that forms the meat of the book.


I really enjoyed this work, but not particularly being a fan of graphic novels, I don't know about the quality. In any event, if you want to learn about the life of Bertrand Russell, the history of logic, and something about the tortured lives of the early logicians (excluding the Greeks, of course), and you don't want to read a text book, this one's for you.

And besides, how often do you see a comic book with a bibliography?

Images Back flap of Logicomix.Back of Logicomix.Spine of Logicomix.Front of Logicomix.Front flap of Logicomix.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Overture
  • 1. Pembroke Lodge
  • 2. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • 3. Wanderjahre
  • 4. Paradoxes
  • Entracte
  • 5. Logico-Philosophical Wars
  • 6. Incompleteness
  • Finale
  • Notebook
  • Bibliography
Full title Lord of the Flies [permalink]
Language English
Authors William Golding (author), Ian Gregor (supplemental) and Mark Kinkead-Weekes (supplemental)
Publisher Faber and Faber
Category Novel
Publication year 2004
Original publication year 1954
ISBN 978-0-571-05686-6 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 288

A cautionary novel about the consequences of letting children run their own society without adult supervision. A plane crashes on a deserted island, and the batch of school boys are left to fend for themselves. The title is a reference to Beelzebub, which is a Hebrew word meaning "lord of the flies" (it's a Philistine god worshiped at Ekron, and is mentioned in the Bible, in 2 Kings 1:2-3), but it's also a reference to a literal lord of flies, namely a pig's head on a stick (it attracts so many flies, you see, that the children start calling it by that title). The novel chronicles how the children conceive of and develop their society.

Images Back of Lord of the Flies.Spine of Lord of the Flies.Front of Lord of the Flies.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Sound of the Shell
  • 2. Fire on the Mountain
  • 3. Huts on the Beach
  • 4. Painted Faces and Long Hair
  • 5. Beast from Water
  • 6. Beast from Air
  • 7. Shadows and Tall Trees
  • 8. Gift for the Darkness
  • 9. A View to a Death
  • 10. The Shell and the Glasses
  • 11. Castle Rock
  • 12. Cry of the Hunters
  • "Fable"
  • Notes
Full title Lying [permalink]
Language English
Authors Annaka Harris (editor) and Sam Harris (author)
Categories Essay, philosophy and psychology
Publication year 2011
Original publication year 2011
Pages 66

Lying is a very short book about the implications and morality of lying. In short, Harris argues (successfully, in my opinion) that one should never lie, even about the smallest things, if what you're trying to do is build good relationships with people. He even goes into border cases, such as a wife asking her husband if she looks good in a dress (one can answer the sub-text of a question, not necessarily the literal meaning of it) and someone hiding a Jew when a Nazi comes a-knockin' on the door (in that case, you're not really trying to build a lasting relationship with the person).


Sam Harris is a really talented writer, and reading his material is never boring. This book is no exception, and the fact that it's as short as it is, is a point in its favor. It's the perfect length when all you're doing is making an argument, not laying out in detail a theory. (I wish more writers would be similarly inspired to brevity.)

Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • What Is a Lie?
  • The Mirror of Honesty
  • Two Types of Lies
  • White Lies
  • Trust
  • Faint Praise
  • Secrets
  • Lies in Extremis
  • Mental Accounting
  • Integrity
  • Big Lies
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgments
Full title The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True [permalink]
Language English
Authors Richard Dawkins (author) and Dave McKean (illustrator)
Categories Children's and science
Publication year 2011
Images Back flap of The Magic of Reality.Back of The Magic of Reality.Spine of The Magic of Reality.Front of The Magic of Reality.Front flap of The Magic of Reality.
Full title Mortality [permalink]
Language English
Authors Christopher Hitchens (author), Graydon Carter (foreword) and Carol Blue (afterword)
Publisher Twelve
Categories Anthology, autobiography, essay and memoir
Publication year 2012
ISBN 978-1-4555-2347-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 104

Mortality is a very short collection of essays that Hitchens wrote for Vanity Fair about his diagnosis of and living with oesophageal cancer. There are forays into other topics, but the essays mainly concern his living with cancer and all that that implies.

"To the dumb question 'Why me?' the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply: Why not?"


It's a very short book, but the essays are interesting. If you're familiar with Hitchens' output, then you know what to expect.

Images Back of Mortality.Spine of Mortality.Front of Mortality.
Full title Nightfall [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and Robert Silverberg (co-author)
Publisher Pan Books
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 1991
Original publication year 1990
ISBN 0-330-32096-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 352

Follows the planet Kalgash, a planet with perpetual daylight due to having six suns, through a devastating astronomical event that only occurs every 2049 years (termed a Year of Godliness by the book's religious fanatics, the Apostles of Flame). The Apostles of Flame propagate the idea that on a precise day (Theptar the 19th, as it happens), there will be total Darkness, everyone will go mad, and the Stars will shoot fires from the skies, all as a vengeance from the gods for the wicked and sinful ways of the planet's inhabitants. A band of scientists, initially opposed to the Apostles' ideas, eventually realize, through new evidence (archaeological and astronomical), that some of what the Apostles propagate is true. Unfortunately, the population at large believes neither the Apostles nor the scientists.


Nightfall was originally a short story and people generally prefer the short story version because the book just draws it out. I will have to read the short story before I can draw a proper verdict, but I'll tentatively say, "read this book."

Images Back of Nightfall.Spine of Nightfall.Front of Nightfall.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • To The Reader
  • One: Twilight
  • Two: Nightfall
  • Three: Daybreak
Full title Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest [permalink]
Language English
Authors Olaf Stapledon (author) and Adam Roberts (introduction)
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publisher series SF Masterworks
Publication year 2012
Original publication year 1935
ISBN 978-0-575-07224-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 208

John Wainwright is born several months late, a seemingly normal child who, it's quickly discovered, is anything but. His mental powers are off the charts, and he learns at a tremendous rate. As a consequence of all this accelerated mentation, his physical body's maturation is severely hampered such that by age 16 he looks like a ten-year-old.

As John learns quickly, he very soon becomes bored with whatever object is holding his attention. For instance, he soon tires of language:

It had ceased to be a new art, and had become merely a useful means of communication, to be extended and refined only as new spheres of experience came within his ken and demanded expression.

The novel follows him throughout his life, narrated by a free-lance journalist friend of his. The book proposes to be published long after the events contained in it. In fact, the end of the novel is flatly stated in the first chapter (but not to worry, I won't spoil it; I'll let Stapledon do that).

Much of the novel is spent ruminating on what it means to be superhuman (they call themselves supernormals and Homo superior). From our narrator's perspective, many of Odd John's actions seem flat out amoral, and even though John can't properly explain the situation to the narrator (for the simple reason that John's logic is superior to his), one nevertheless is left with a feeling that maybe John is right.


I immensely enjoyed this novel. It's really interesting to follow John through his life, and Stapledon does a wonderful job of conveying the various parts of John's life to us, through a sympathetic and competent narrator. I have only one complaint: The latter parts of the book are about John's voyages around the world to find fellow-supernormals to populate and keep his Colony running. I wish this part comprised more of the book, as I think those chapters were the most interesting. Nevertheless, I can thoroughly recommend it!

Images Back of Odd John.Spine of Odd John.Front of Odd John.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • I John and the Author
  • II The First Phase
  • III Enfant Terrible
  • IV John and his Elders
  • V Thought and Action
  • VI Many Inventions
  • VII Financial Ventures
  • VIII Scandalous Adolescence
  • IX Methods of a Young Anthropologist
  • X The World's Plight
  • XI Strange Encounters
  • XII John in the Wilderness
  • XIII John Seeks his Kind
  • XIV Engineering Problems
  • XV Jacqueline
  • XVI Adlan
  • XVII Ng-Gunko and Lo
  • XVIII The Skid's First Voyage
  • XIX The Colony is Founded
  • XX The Colony in Being
  • XXI The Beginning of the End
  • XXII The End
Full title Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar...: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes [permalink]
Language English
Authors Daniel Klein and Thomas Cathcart
Publisher Penguin Books
Categories Humor and philosophy
Publication year 2008
Original publication year 2007
ISBN 978-0-14-311387-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 215

The book is divided into ten chapters, each dealing with a different area of philosophy. The chapters explain concepts concerning each area, interspersed with banter and jokes.


As many people have observed, a session of jokes can often illuminate a subject more than hours of discussion can, and this book is an example of that. The book is essentially a string of jokes with banter to connect them and explain the concepts introduced in the jokes. The explanations themselves are light-hearted and full of puns. An example of a joke illustrating the difference between what philosophers call essential and accidental attributes:

"Why is an elephant big, hairy, and wrinkled?"

"Because if he was small, white, and round, he'd be an aspirin."

And another on skepticism and the scientific method (or inductive reasoning, if you will):

A scientist and his wife are out for a drive in the country. The wife says, "Oh look! Those sheep have been shorn."

"Yes," says the scientist. "On this side."

In the section on the philosophy of religion are also jokes, of course, and I found this Jewish one pretty funny:

Two women are sitting on a bench. After a while the first woman says, "Oy!"

The second woman replies, "Oy!"

The first woman says, "All right, enough about the children."

And a final one, on the relativity of time:

A snail was mugged by two turtles. When the police asked him what happened, he said, "I don't know. It all happened so fast."

Go read it if you've got time to kill.

Images Back of Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar....Spine of Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar....Front of Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar....
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Philogaggin: An Introduction
  • I. Metaphysics
  • II. Logic
  • III. Epistemology
  • IV. Ethics
  • V. Philosophy of Religion
  • VI. Existentialism
  • VII. Philosophy of Language
  • VIII. Social and Political Philosophy
  • IX. Relativity
  • X. Meta-Philosophy
  • Summa Time: A Conclusion
  • Final Exam
  • Great Moments in the History of Philosophy
  • Glossary
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Index
Full title QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter [permalink]
Language English
Authors Richard Feynman (author), Leonard Mautner (foreword) and Ralph Leighton (preface)
Publisher Penguin Books
Categories Physics and science
Publication year 1990
Original publication year 1985
ISBN 978-0-140-12505-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 158
Images Back of QED.Spine of QED.Front of QED.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword by Leonard Mautner
  • Preface by Ralph Leighton
  • Acknowledgment
  1. Introduction
  2. Photons: Particles of Light
  3. Electrons and Their Interactions
  4. Loose Ends
  • Index
Full title The Reason-Driven Life: What Am I Here on Earth For? [permalink]
Language English
Authors Robert M. Price (author) and Julia Sweeney (foreword)
Publisher Prometheus Books
Categories Bible, philosophy, religion and skepticism
Publication year 2006
ISBN 978-1-59102-476-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 363

The Reason-Driven Life is written as a response and critique of Rick Warren's similarly-titled book, The Purpose-Driven Life. It's structured in much the same way as Warren's book, with 40 chapters meant to be read over 40 days. At the end of each chapter is a Point to Ponder, a Quote to Remember, and a Question to Consider. It's written mainly for Christians who have actually read Warren's book, which I'm not and which I haven't.


It's a somewhat interesting read in that Price is a Bible scholar and really knows his stuff, however the book is meant for someone with a different mentality than my own. So I had to imagine I was a fundamentalist Christian for most of the book. The tone of the book is very respectful, though forceful and to-the-point (all this to say that it's a very personal and honest book). I imagine a wavering intelligent (fundamentalist) Christian would really enjoy it, and maybe even be deconverted by it. Go for it if you're curious, but if you're like me (skeptical and non-religious by nature) you can safely skip it! There are other, better, Price books.

Images Back flap of The Reason-Driven Life.Back of The Reason-Driven Life.Spine of The Reason-Driven Life.Front of The Reason-Driven Life.Front flap of The Reason-Driven Life.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  1. It Is about You
  2. You Are a Work of Art
  3. One-Track Mind?
  4. Sons of Dust
  5. My View Is God's View
  6. No Changes Are Permanent, but Change Is
  7. The Mystery of Everything
  8. God: Planned for Our Pleasure
  9. What Makes Me Sick
  10. The Achilles' Heel of Worship
  11. Becoming Imaginary Friends with God
  12. Providence and Superstition
  13. Worship That Creates God
  14. I Can't Get No Sanctification
  15. Joining the Sect
  16. The Greatest of These
  17. A Place to Conform
  18. Heretics Anonymous
  19. Price's Ten Commandments
  20. Healing Religious Divisions
  21. Damage Control
  22. The Character of Christ
  23. When Is a Religion Not a Religion?
  24. This Paper Idol
  25. Jesus with a Jackhammer
  26. Satan's Sunday School
  27. Temp Job
  28. Jerusalem Wasn't Built in a Day
  29. Service Industry
  30. Cut Out the Holy Ghost Noise!
  31. Cogs for Christ
  32. Being Who You Are
  33. How Twisted Texts Scream
  34. Meetings with Unremarkable Men
  35. Was Is Peace/Freedom Is Slavery/Weakness Is Strength
  36. Made into Missionaries
  37. Fabricating Your Life Message
  38. The Hidden Agenda of Witnessing
  39. Juggling Your Life
  40. Not without Reason
  • Bibliography
Full title Revolt on Alpha C [permalink]
Language English
Authors Robert Silverberg (author) and William Meyerriecks (illustrator)
Publisher Scholastic Book
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 1959
Original publication year 1955
ISBN 0-590-05435-X [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 118

Larry Stark, a Space Patrol Academy cadet on board the Carden, is completing his post-graduate space cruise (required to become an officer), a trip to Alpha Centauri's colonized fourth planet. Unknown to him and his crew, the planet is under revolt, and Stark is required to make some hard choices about where his loyalties lie.


It was a very pleasant read; the book is definitely a page-turner, but the ending is rather sudden. I'd like to read more of what happens after the end.

A quote:

Larry caught glimpses of the great beasts living below—living without any suspicion that the planet was no longer theirs, that its possession was being contested by two groups of absurd pygmies from another star.

Images Back of Revolt on Alpha C.Spine of Revolt on Alpha C.Front of Revolt on Alpha C.
Full title River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life [permalink]
Language English
Authors Richard Dawkins (author) and Lalla Ward (illustrator)
Publisher Basic Books
Categories Biology and science
Publication year 1995
ISBN 978-0-465-06990-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 161

This is only partly a book about evolution. In the last chapter (The Replication Bomb) Dawkins speculates on ten thresholds that life goes through on its way to interstellar emigration. (The analogy is to a supernova. Just as a star can go supernova, a planet might explode with life.)

The book also goes through some very neat experiments on bees and the evolution of a bee dance that codes for location of food.

Images Back of River Out of Eden.Spine of River Out of Eden.Front of River Out of Eden.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Preface
  • 1 The Digital River
  • 2 All Africa and Her Progenies
  • 3 Do Good by Stealth
  • 4 God's Utility Function
  • 5 The Replication Bomb
  • Bibliography and Further Reading
  • Index
Full title Robot Dreams [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and Ralph McQuarrie (illustrator)
Publisher Ace Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2004
Original publication year 1986
ISBN 0-441-01183-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 333
Images Back of Robot Dreams.Spine of Robot Dreams.Front of Robot Dreams.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • Little Lost Robot
  • Robot Dreams
  • "Breeds There a Man...?"
  • Hostess
  • Sally
  • Strikebreaker
  • The Machine That Won the War
  • Eyes Do More Than See
  • The Martian Way
  • Franchise
  • Jokester
  • The Last Question
  • Does a Bee Care?
  • Light Verse
  • The Feeling of Power
  • Spell My Name With an S
  • The Ugly Little Boy
  • The Billiard Ball
  • True Love
  • The Last Answer
  • Lest We Remember
Full title Robot Visions [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and Ralph McQuarrie (illustrator)
Publisher Roc Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 1991
Original publication year 1990
ISBN 0-451-45064-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 482

This is an anthology of a few stories that are (perhaps paradoxically) not found in The Complete Robot, and a few essays about robots and computers in general.

Images Back of Robot Visions.Spine of Robot Visions.Front of Robot Visions.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction: The Robot Chronicles


  • Robot Visions
  • Too Bad!
  • Robbie
  • Reason
  • Liar!
  • Runaround
  • Evidence
  • Little Lost Robot
  • The Evitable Conflict
  • Feminine Intuition
  • The Bicentennial Man
  • Someday
  • Think!
  • Segregationist
  • Mirror Image
  • Lenny
  • Galley Slave
  • Christmas Without Rodney


  • Robots I Have Known
  • The New Teachers
  • Whatever You Wish
  • The Friends We Make
  • Our Intelligent Tools
  • The Laws of Robotics
  • Future Fantastic
  • The Machine and the Robot
  • The New Profession
  • The Robot As Enemy?
  • Intelligences Together
  • My Robots
  • The Laws of Humanics
  • Cybernetic Organism
  • The Sense of Humor
  • Robots in Combination
Full title The Satanic Bible [permalink]
Language English
Authors Anton Szandor LaVey (author) and Peter H. Gilmore (introduction)
Publisher Avon Books
Category Religion
Publication year 1969
ISBN 0-380-01539-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 272
Images Back of The Satanic Bible.Spine of The Satanic Bible.Front of The Satanic Bible.
Structure [Toggle visibility]

The Enlightenment

  • I Wanted!: God—Dead or Alive
  • II The God You SAVE May be Yourself
  • III Some Evidence of a New Satanic Age
  • IV Hell, the Devil, and How to Sell Your Soul
  • V Love and Hate
  • VI Satanic Sex
  • VII Not all Vampires Suck Blood
  • VIII Indulgence... NOT Compulsion
  • IX On the Choice of a Human Sacrifice
  • X Life After Death Through Fulfillment of the Ego
  • XI Religious Holidays
  • XII The Black Mass

The Master of the Earth

  • I Theory and Practice of Satanic Magic: (Definition and Purpose of Lesser and Greater Magic)
  • II The Three Types of Satanic Ritual
  • III The Ritual, or "Intellectual Decompression," Chamber
  • IV The Ingredients Used in the Performance of Satanic Magic:
    • A. Desire
    • B. Timing
    • C. Imagery
    • D. Direction
    • E. The Balance Factor
  • V The Satanic Ritual:
    • A. Some Notes Which are to be Observed Before Beginning Ritual
    • B. The Thirteen Steps
    • C. Devices Used in Satanic Ritual

The Raging Sea

  • I Invocation to Satan
  • II The Infernal Names
  • III Invocation Employed Towards the Conjuration of Lust
  • IV Invocation Employed Towards the Conjuration of Destruction
  • V Invocation Employed Towards the Conjuration of Compassion
  • VI The Enochian Keys (The nineteen Keys will be listed here in chronological order)
Full title The Sex Revolts: Gender, Rebellion and Rock'N'Roll [permalink]
Language English
Authors Joy Press (author) and Simon Reynolds (author)
Publisher Harvard University Press
Categories History and music
Publication year 1995
Original publication year 1994
ISBN 0-674-80272-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 410

Details the history of rock'n'roll from the perspective of gender and sex, and tracks musical trends from the beginning of rock'n'roll until the present.


A good work with lots of wit and detail. I'm not that interested in the history of music (I just listen to it), so perhaps this book will be more interesting for someone whose interests lie in that direction.

Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction

part 1: rebel misogynies

  • 1 Angry Young Men: Precursors and Prototypes for Rock Rebellion
    Rebel Without A CauseLook Back In Anger•Jack Kerouac•Timothy Leary•Ken Kesey•Rolling Stones•
  • 2 She's Hit: Songs of Fear and Loathing
    •Rolling Stones•John's Children•Garage Punk•Led Zeppelin•Roxy Music•Tim Rose•Nick Cave•River's Edge
  • 3 Careers in Misogyny: The Stranglers and Malcolm McLaren
  • 4 Born to Run: Wanderlust, Wilderness and the Cult of Speed
    •The Doors•Rolling Stones•PiL•Gang of Four•Morrissey•Bob Dylan•Bruce Springsteen•Tom Petty•Iggy Pop•Lynyrd Skynyrd•Easy Rider•Neil Young•Kraftwerk•Hardcore Techno•
  • 5 Brothers in Arms: Combat Rock and Other Stories for Boys
    •The Clash•Thin Lizzy•Manic Street Preachers•Public Enemy•U2•
  • 6 Flirting With the Void: Abjection in Rock
    •The Stooges•Sex Pistols•Throbbing Gristle•Birthday Party•Scratch Acid•Grindcore•Alice in Chains•Nirvana•Henry Rollins•Devo•
  • 7 Wargasm: Metal and Machine Music
    •Futurists•Kraftwerk•Techno•Motorhead•Iggy Pop•Radio Birdman•David Bowie•Led Zeppelin•Young Gods•
  • 8 I Am the King: Delusions of Grandeur from Jim Morrison to Gangsta Rap
    •Jim Morrison•Sex Pistols•Guns N'Roses•Nick Cave•Lou Reed•Jane's Addiction•Eldridge Cleaver•LL Cool J•Miles Davis•Sly Stone•Gansta Rap•
  • 9 My Way: The Cult of the Psychopath
    •The White Negro•Jim Morrison•Charles Manson•Sid Vicious•Big Black•Slacker•Apocalypse Culture•

part 2: into the mystic

  • 1 From Rebellion to Grace: The Psychedelic Mother's Boy
  • 2 Back to Eden: Innocence, Indolence and Pastoralism
    •Mod•Marc Bolan•Incredible String Band•The Byrds•West Coast Psychedelia•Van Morrison•Pink Floyd•Dreampop•Rave•Ambient House•The Orb•Dub Reggae•Ultramarine•
  • 3 Starsailing: Cosmic Rock
    •John Cage•John Coltrane•The Byrds•Jimi Hendrix•Tim Buckley•Pink Floyd•
  • 4 Flow Motion: Can, Eno and Oceanic Rock
    •Can•Brian Eno•Robert Wyatt•Miles Davis•A.R. Kane•
  • 5 Soft Boys: Nostalgia, Incest and Zen Apathy
    •Jimi Hendrix•Morrissey•John Lennon•Elvis•My Bloody Valentine•

part 3: lift up your skirt and speak

  • 1 Double Allegiances: The Herstory of Rock
  • 2 One of the Boys: Female Machisma
    •Patti Smith•Chrissie Hynde•Kate Bush•PJ Harvey•Suzi Quatro•Joan Jett•Heart•Kim Gordon•L7•
  • 3 Open Your Heart: Confession and Catharsis from Janis Joplin to Courtney Love
    •Sinead O'Connor•Suzanne Vega•Joni Mitchell•Liz Phair•Lydia Lunch•Babes in Toyland•Tori Amos•Janis Joplin•Bessie Smith•
  • 4 Woman Unbound: Hysterics, Witches and Mystics
    •Lydia Lunch•Diamanda Galas•Stevie Nicks•Kate Bush•Siouxsie•Sandy Denny•Cocteau Twins•
  • 5 Who's That Girl?: Masquerade and Mastery
    •X-Ray Spex•Siouxsie•Grace Jones•Donna Summer•Annie Lennox•Joan Armatrading•Janet Jackson•Queen Latifah•Salt-n-Pepa•Grace Slick•Nico•
  • 6 Un-typical Girls: Post-Punk Demystification
    •The Slits•The Raincoats•The Au Pairs•Delta 5•Bush Tetras•
  • 7 What a Drag: Post-feminism and Pop
    •Altered Images•Madonna•Paris Is Burning
  • 8 There's a Riot Going On: Grrrls Against Boy-Rock
    •Riot Grrrl•Bikini Kill•Huggy Bear•
  • 9 Body's In Trouble
    •Mary Margaret O'Hara•Suzanne Vega•Hugo Largo•PJ Harvey•Throwing Muses•Babes In Toyland•Siouxsie•Hole•Lunachicks•
  • 10 Adventures Close to Home: Domesticity's Tender Trap
    •Kate Bush•Lunachicks•Throwing Muses•Siouxsie•Marianne Faithfull•The Slits•
  • 11 All Fluxed Up: Rebels Against Structure
    •Patti Smith•Joni Mitchell•Rickie Lee Jones•The Raincoats•Throwing Muses•Mary Margaret O'Hara•Dead Can Dance•Bjork•Diamanda Galas•Yoko Ono•
  • Afterword
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Full title A Short History of Nearly Everything [permalink]
Language English
Authors Bill Bryson (author) and Neil Gower (illustrator)
Publisher Black Swan
Category Science
Publication year 2004
Original publication year 2003
ISBN 978-0-552-15174-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 687
Images Back of A Short History of Nearly Everything.Spine of A Short History of Nearly Everything.Front of A Short History of Nearly Everything.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction

I: Lost in the Cosmos

  • 1 How to Build a Universe
  • 2 Welcome to the Solar System
  • 3 The Reverend Evans's Universe

II: The Size of the Earth

  • 4 The Measure of Things
  • 5 The Stone-Breakers
  • 6 Science Red in Tooth and Claw
  • 7 Elemental Matters

III: A New Age Dawns

  • 8 Einstein's Universe
  • 9 The Mighty Atom
  • 10 Getting the Lead Out
  • 11 Muster Mark's Quarks
  • 12 The Earth Moves

IV: Dangerous Planet

  • 13 Bang!
  • 14 The Fire Below
  • 15 Dangerous Beauty

V: Life Itself

  • 16 Lonely Planet
  • 17 Into the Troposphere
  • 18 The Bounding Main
  • 19 The Rise of Life
  • 20 Small World
  • 21 Life Goes On
  • 22 Goodbye to All That
  • 23 The Richness of Being
  • 24 Cells
  • 25 Darwin's Singular Notion
  • 26 The Stuff of Life

VI: The Road to Us

  • 27 Ice Time
  • 28 The Mysterious Biped
  • 29 The Restless Ape
  • 30 Goodbye
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Full title Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord [permalink]
Language English
Authors Olaf Stapledon (author) and Graham Sleight (introduction)
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publisher series SF Masterworks
Publication year 2010
Original publication year 1944
ISBN 978-0-575-09942-5 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Online version Link
Pages 194
Images Back of Sirius.Spine of Sirius.Front of Sirius.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  1. First Meeting
  2. The Making of Sirius
  3. Infancy
  4. Youth
  5. Sheep-Dog Apprentice
  6. Birth-Pangs of A Personality
  7. Wolf Sirius
  8. Sirius At Cambridge
  9. Sirius And Religion
  10. Experiences in London
  11. Man As Tyrant
  12. Farmer Sirius
  13. The Effects of War
  14. Tan-Y-Voel
  15. Strange Triangle
  16. Plaxy Constripted
  17. Outlaw
Full title Sphereland: A Fantasy About Curved Spaces and an Expanding Universe [permalink]
Language English
Authors Dionys Burger (author) and Cornelie J. Rheinboldt (translator)
Publisher Thomas Y. Crowell Company
Categories Mathematics and science fiction
Publication year 1968
Original publication year 1965
Pages 205

Somewhat of a sequel to Flatland, Sphereland continues in the same vein, explaining three dimensions to two-dimensional creatures. The pace and mode of writing is pretty similar to the original, and I very much liked that. The novel things that Sphereland does is two-dimensional space exploration and explaining a curved line to a one-dimensional being (and thus setting up the explanation for why two-dimensional beings would have problems understanding a plane curved into a sphere, and by extension how three-dimensional beings would have trouble understanding how to curve a sphere around a hyper-sphere).

Images Back of Sphereland.Spine of Sphereland.Front of Sphereland.
Structure [Toggle visibility]

A Look at FLATLAND A Fantasy About the Fourth Dimension by A. Square

  • 1 Flatland and Its Inhabitants
  • 2 Dream Vision of Lineland
  • 3 The Visit of the Sphere
  • 4 To the Land of Three Dimensions
  • 5 Dishonored

SPHERELAND A Fantasy About Curved Spaces and and Expanding Universe by A. Hexagon

  • PART I The Straight World
    • 1 Changed Times
    • 2 Easing of Class Consciousness
    • 3 Explorers' Trips
    • 4 The Trees, the Wildlife, and the Sea
    • 5 The Trip Around the World
    • 6 The Earth Is Round
    • 7 New Year's Eve
    • 8 The Sphere Reformed
  • PART II Congruence and Symmetry
    • 9 Pedigrees and Mongrels
    • 10 Little Red Riding Shoe
    • 11 A Magic Trick
    • 12 Vision of Lineland
    • 13 The Vertato Case
    • 14 Experiments in Spaceland
  • PART III Curved Worlds
    • 15 A Rumor
    • 16 The Visit
    • 17 Amazing Results
    • 18 An Impossible Problem
    • 19 Strange Triangles
    • 20 The Faculty
    • 21 Vision of Circleland
    • 22 Revelations by the Sphere
    • 23 Problems
    • 24 The Shortest Way
  • PART IV Expanding Worlds
    • 25 Distant Views
    • 26 Telemetry
    • 27 Increasing Distances
    • 28 Hunting for the Cause
    • 29 Expanding Circleland
    • 30 Expanding Sphereland
    • 31 Miracles in Spaceland
    • 32 Misunderstood
  • Index
Full title Sputnik Sweetheart [permalink]
Original title スプートニクの恋人
Transliterated title Supūtoniku no Koibito
Language English
Authors Haruki Murakami (author) and Philip Gabriel (translator)
Publisher Wings Books
Category Novel
Publication year 2002
Original publication year 1999
ISBN 978-0-099-44847-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 229

The story follows an unnamed narrator (simply called K.), a timid schoolteacher who is madly (and unrequitedly) in love with Sumire, an aspiring writer whose life tends to be topsy-turvy until she falls in love with a Korean woman, Miu, who is 17 years her senior. Miu is in the wine business, and as Miu gives Sumire a job in her company, they end up spending a lot of time together.


This book is an enigma to me. I have to admit, I don't really understand the point of it, but nevertheless it made for very interesting reading. The pacing is good, the characters are well-developed, and the dialog is excellent. If you want an enjoyable "Huh?"-experience, I can heartily recommend it.

Images Back of Sputnik Sweetheart.Spine of Sputnik Sweetheart.Front of Sputnik Sweetheart.
Full title Tilslørt. Avslørt: Et oppgjør med norsk naivisme [permalink]
Translated title Veiled. Revealed: A Settlement with Norwegian Naiveté
Language Norwegian
Authors Hege Storhaug (author) and Solveig Lid Ball (illustrator)
Publisher Kagge Forlag
Categories Politics and religion
Publication year 2007
ISBN 978-82-489-0740-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 178
Images Back flap of Tilslørt. Avslørt.Back of Tilslørt. Avslørt.Spine of Tilslørt. Avslørt.Front of Tilslørt. Avslørt.Front flap of Tilslørt. Avslørt.
Full title Time Gate [permalink]
Language English
Authors Gregory Benford (author), Pat Murphy (author), Poul Anderson (author), Robert Sheckley (author) and Robert Silverberg (author)
Publisher Baen Publishing Enterprises
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 1989
ISBN 0-671-69850-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 277

It's the future, and simulating near-perfect replicas of people in software is routine. At first it's used for entertainment, simulating historical figures from the past, but it isn't long before things get interesting...

Each chapter is written by a different author, and deals with two famous persons from the past: Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another is about Francisco Pizarro and Socrates, The Resurrection Machine about Cicero and Bakunin, Statesmen about Friedrich Hohenzollern and Machiavelli, The Rose and the Scalpel about Joan of Arc and Voltaire (who, without spoiling too much, have a Great Debate), and finally How I Spent My Summer Vacation is about Queen Victoria and some unknown girl (to say more would spoil).

Almost all of the book is about the interactions between the historical figured themselves, and the interplay between them and their creators.


A pretty interesting read. It's not every day you get to see Socrates trick one of the Spanish Conquistadors into one of his famous dialogues! The idea of the book is interesting, but I think the book would be even better if it were written by a single author. In fact, its multiple authorship detracts from the quality, I feel, but it's nevertheless worth a read.

Images Back of Time Gate.Spine of Time Gate.Front of Time Gate.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another, Robert Silverberg
  • The Resurrection Machine, Robert Sheckley
  • Statesmen, Poul Anderson
  • The Rose and the Scalpel, Gregory Benford
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Pat Murphy
Full title Utopia: Concerning the Best Condition of the Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia — A Truly Golden Little Book, No Less Beneficial than Entertaining [permalink]
Original title Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia
Language English
Authors Thomas More (author) and Stephen Duncombe (introduction)
Publisher [self-published]
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 2010
Original publication year 1516
Online version Link
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Discourses of Raphael Hythloday, of the Best State of a Commonwealth
  • Chapter 2: Of Their Towns, Particularly of Amaurot
  • Chapter 3: Of Their Magistrates
  • Chapter 4: Of Their Trades, and Manner of Life
  • Chapter 5: Of Their Traffic
  • Chapter 6: Of the Travelling of the Utopians
  • Chapter 7: Of Their Slaves, and of Their Marriages
  • Chapter 8: Of Their Military Discipline
  • Chapter 9: Of the Religions of the Utopians
Full title What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty [permalink]
Language English
Authors John Brockman (editor) and Ian McEwan (foreword)
Publisher Pocket Books
Categories Anthology and essay
Publication year 2005
ISBN 978-1-4165-2261-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 266

This book is a collection of very small essays by a bunch of leading scientists, philosophers, writers, and intellectuals on the title question. The topics range from artificial intelligence to consciousness to epistemology (and a lot in between).


This was an immensely satisfying read. You get a lot of perspective just reading the speculations of these people. I highly recommend this book!

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Full title Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time [permalink]
Language English
Authors Michael Shermer (author) and Stephen Jay Gould (foreword)
Publisher W. H. Freeman and Company
Categories Philosophy, science and skepticism
Publication year 1997
ISBN 0-7167-3387-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 306
Images Back flap of Why People Believe Weird Things.Back of Why People Believe Weird Things.Spine of Why People Believe Weird Things.Front of Why People Believe Weird Things.Front flap of Why People Believe Weird Things.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword: The Positive Power of Skepticism by Stephen Jay Gould
  • Introduction to the Paperback Edition: Magical Mystery Tour: The Whys and Wherefores of Weird Things
  • Prologue: Next on Oprah

Part 1: Science and Skepticism

  • 1. I Am Therefore I Think: A Skeptic's Manifesto
  • 2. The Most Precious Thing We Have: The Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience
  • 3. How Thinking Goes Wrong: Twenty-five Fallacies That Lead Us to Believe Weird Things

Part 2: Pseudoscience and Superstition

  • 4. Deviations: The Normal, the Paranormal, and Edgar Cayce
  • 5. Through the Invisible: Near-Death Experiences and the Quest for Immortality
  • 6. Abducted!: Encounters with Aliens
  • 7. Epidemics of Accusations: Medieval and Modern Witch Crazes
  • 8. The Unlikeliest Cult: Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and the Cult of Personality

Part 3: Evolution and Creationism

  • 9. In the Beginning: An Evening with Duane T. Gush
  • 10. Confronting Creationists: Twenty-five Creationist Arguments, Twenty-five Evolutionist Answers
  • 11. Science Defended, Science Defined: Evolution and Creationism at the Supreme Court

Part 4: History and Pseudohistory

  • 12. Doing Donahue: History, Censorship, and Free Speech
  • 13. Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened, and Why Do They Say It?: An Overview of a Movement
  • 14. How We Know the Holocaust Happened: Debunking the Deniers
  • 15. Pigeonholes and Continuums: An African-Greek-German-American Looks at Race

Part 5: Hope Springs Eternal

  • 16. Dr. Tipler Meets Dr. Pangloss: Can Science Find the Best of All Possible Worlds?
  • 17. Why Do People Believe Weird Things?
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Full title Words from the Myths [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and William Barss (illustrator)
Publisher Signet Books
Category Language
Publication year 1969
Original publication year 1961
ISBN 978-0451166869 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 134

The book explains Greek mythology and its relationship to the English language in the form of its words ('chaos', 'cosmos', 'gigantic', 'atlas', 'ocean', 'Europe', 'cereal', 'phobia', 'demon', 'martial', 'vulcano', 'jovial', 'music', 'hygiene', 'siren', 'hubris', 'nemesis'). Asimov describes a lot of Greek mythology in-depth, but primarily for the purpose of explaining the origins and meanings of those words (and many others). He covers the titans, the Olympians, monsters, heroes and the siege of Troy.

Images Back of Words from the Myths.Spine of Words from the Myths.Front of Words from the Myths.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • 1 The Beginning
  • 2 The Titans
  • 3 The Olympians
  • 4 The Children of Zeus
  • 5 Demigods and Monsters
  • 6 Tales of Men
  • 7 The Heroes
  • 8 The Siege of Troy
  • Epilogue
  • General Index
  • Mythological Index
Full title Words in Genesis [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and William Barss (illustrator)
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Categories History, religion and science
Publication year 1962
Pages 233

Asimov explains, as the book is titled, the words in Genesis, the first book of the Bible.


This is actually more than simply a list and explanation of the words used in Genesis. It goes into great detail into important verses in Genesis, explaining the history behind the verses as well as the etymologies of the words used (Asimov was Jewish by descent and spoke Yiddish, which helps). There are even appendices with maps of the relevant areas of the time, and genealogies of antediluvian (pre-Flood) and postdiluvian patriarchs.

Images Back flap of Words in Genesis.Back of Words in Genesis.Spine of Words in Genesis.Front of Words in Genesis.Front flap of Words in Genesis.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Author's Note
  • Introduction — The Bible
  • 1 In the Beginning
  • 2 The Garden of Eden
  • 3 The Descendants of Adam
  • 4 The Flood
  • 5 Abraham
  • 6 Isaac
  • 7 Jacob
  • 8 Joseph
  • Appendices
  • Index
Full title Zima Blue and Other Stories [permalink]
Language English
Authors Alastair Reynolds (author) and Paul J. McAuley (introduction)
Publisher Victor Gollancz Ltd
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2010
ISBN 978-0-575-08455-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 455

A short story (and novella-length) anthology from Alastair Reynolds.

The Real Story is about a journalist's quest to unravel the real story behind the first Mars landing.

Beyond the Aquila Rift is about what it means to be lost. Really lost.

Enola is about a little nomad girl's affinity for a machine (and mutatis mutandis for the machine), and what that implies.

Signal to Noise and Cardiff Afterlife are two connected stories about what happens when you make contact with parallel universes.

The next three stories, Hideaway, Minla's Flowers, and Merlin's Gun, are the longest in the anthology and form a chronological trilogy (despite being written out of order). The first one is about a so-called swallowship (huge spaceship) on the run from an alien enemy known as the Huskers. The other two are a continuation of the first, but I won't say anything about them except that all three concern the same protagonist, Merlin, and his quest for his Gun.

Angels of Ashes is a weird piece about religion and statistics (ehr, more or less)

Spirey and the Queen is about a faux war over a planetary accretion disk.

Understanding Space and Time is about one man's quest to, well, understand space and time.

Digital to Analogue is a conspiracy/thriller tale set on Earth in the nineties, and is the least science fictional (not to mention the least space operatic) one in the collection, and is about a memetic virus spreading through the club scene.

Everlasting is about the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum physics. Specifically, one man's (pretty weird) take on it.

And finally, the eponymous Zima Blue is about a pretty eccentric and long-lived artist's quest to connect with his roots.


I enjoyed almost all the stories in this collection, and before I praise this collection any further, I have to get it out of the way: Angels of Ashes and Digital to Analogue fell entirely flat for me! The ones that stood out, however, more than made up for it. In particular I immensely enjoyed the Merlin trilogy (Hideaway, Minla's Flowers, and Merlin's Gun). They are truly epic in scale, and brilliantly captures the sense of the lone ranger on a quest. Understanding Space and Time, another wonderful story, is also epic, but in its own way. I hope I'm not spoiling anything by saying that it reminded me of Asimov's The Last Question, both in form and content. (Read them both and you'll understand.) The last two items, Everlasting and Zima Blue, also had me hooked, the former for its weird speculations (and the experimental testing of said speculation...), the latter for its musings on time and memory, and the sympathy you get for the protagonist, the eccentric artist Zima.

All in all, if you enjoy pointed SF vignettes or space opera novellas, go buy this book!

Images Back of Zima Blue and Other Stories.Spine of Zima Blue and Other Stories.Front of Zima Blue and Other Stories.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction by Paul J. McAuley
  • The Real Story
  • Beyond the Aquila Rift
  • Enola
  • Signal to Noise
  • Cardiff Afterlife
  • Hideaway
  • Minla's Flowers
  • Merlin's Gun
  • Angels of Ashes
  • Spirey and the Queen
  • Understanding Space and Time
  • Digital to Analogue
  • Everlasting
  • Zima Blue
Full title The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Two [permalink]
Language English
Authors George Mann (editor), Brenda Cooper, Chris Roberson, Dan Abnett, David Louis Edelman, Dominic Green, Eric Brown, Karl Schroeder, Kay Kenyon, Mary Robinette Kowal, Michael Moorcock, Neal Asher, Paul Di Filippo, Peter Watts and Robert Reed
Publisher Solaris Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2008
ISBN 978-1-84416-542-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 413
Images Back of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction.Spine of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction.Front of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction (George Mann)
  • iCity (Paul Di Filippo)
  • The Space Crawl Blues (Kay Kenyon)
  • The Line of Dichotomy (Chris Roberson)
  • Fifty Dinosaurs (Robert Reed)
  • Mason's Rats: Black Rat (Neal Asher)
  • Blood Bonds (Brenda Cooper)
  • The Eyes of God (Peter Watts)
  • Sunworld (Eric Brown)
  • Evil Robot Monkey (Mary Robinette Kowal)
  • Shining Armor (Dominic Green)
  • Book, Theatre, and Wheel (Karl Schroeder)
  • Mathralon (David Louis Edelman)
  • Mason's Rats: Autotractor (Neal Asher)
  • Modem Times (Michael Moorcock)
  • Point of Contact (Dan Abnett)
Full title Before the Golden Age Volume 1: A Science Fiction Anthology of the 1930s [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (editor), Charles R. Tanner, Clifford D. Simak, Edmond Hamilton, Jack Williamson, Neil R. Jones, P. Schuyler Miller and Sterner St. Paul Meek (Pseudonym: Capt. S. P. Meek)
Categories Anthology and science fiction
Series Before the Golden Age (1/3)
Publication year 1975
ISBN 0-8600-78035 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 381
Images Back of Before the Golden Age Volume 1.Spine of Before the Golden Age Volume 1.Front of Before the Golden Age Volume 1.
Full title Before the Golden Age Volume Two: A Science Fiction Anthology of the 1930s [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (editor), Charles R. Tanner, Jack Williamson and Laurence Manning
Publisher Orbit Books
Categories Anthology and science fiction
Series Before the Golden Age (2/3)
Publication year 1975
ISBN 0-8600-78248 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 224
Images Back of Before the Golden Age Volume Two.Spine of Before the Golden Age Volume Two.Front of Before the Golden Age Volume Two.
Full title Before the Golden Age Volume Three: A Science Fiction Anthology of the 1930s [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (editor), Edmond Hamilton, Henry Hasse, John D. Clark, John W. Campbell, Jr., Leslie Frances Stone, Murray Leinster, Nat Schachner and Ross Louis Rocklin (Pseudonym: Ross Rocklynne)
Publisher Orbit Books
Categories Anthology and science fiction
Series Before the Golden Age (3/3)
Publication year 1978
Original publication year 1975
ISBN 0-8600-78620 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 400
Images Back of Before the Golden Age Volume Three.Spine of Before the Golden Age Volume Three.Front of Before the Golden Age Volume Three.
Full title Biomega 1 [permalink]
Original title バイオメガ
Transliterated title Baiomega
Language English
Authors Andrew McKeon (editor), Mike Montesa (editor), John Werry (translator) and Tsutomu Nihei (creator)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Cyberpunk, horror, manga and science fiction
Series Biomega (1/6)
Publication year 2011
Original publication year 2004
ISBN 978-1-4215-3184-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 218

First book in the series. Introduces Zoichi Kanoe, an agent of Tao Heavy Industries, and Fuyu Kanoe, his AI sidekick.


I immensely enjoyed this. High-paced action, check. Good story, check. SF background, check.

Images Back of Biomega 1.Spine of Biomega 1.Front of Biomega 1.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • #01
  • #02
  • #03
  • #04
  • #05
  • #06
  • #07
  • #08
  • #09
  • #10
Full title Biomega 2 [permalink]
Original title バイオメガ
Transliterated title Baiomega
Language English
Authors Andrew McKeon (editor), Mike Montesa (editor), John Werry (translator) and Tsutomu Nihei (creator)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Cyberpunk, horror, manga and science fiction
Series Biomega (2/6)
Publication year 2010
Original publication year 2004
ISBN 978-1-4215-3185-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 216
Images Back of Biomega 2.Spine of Biomega 2.Front of Biomega 2.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • #11
  • #12
  • #13
  • #14
  • #15
  • #16
  • #17
Full title Biomega 3 [permalink]
Original title バイオメガ
Transliterated title Baiomega
Language English
Authors Andrew McKeon (editor), Mike Montesa (editor), John Werry (translator) and Tsutomu Nihei (creator)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Cyberpunk, horror, manga and science fiction
Series Biomega (3/6)
Publication year 2010
Original publication year 2004
ISBN 978-1-4215-3186-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 210
Images Back of Biomega 3.Spine of Biomega 3.Front of Biomega 3.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • #18
  • #19
  • #20
  • #21
  • #22
  • #23
  • #24
Full title Biomega 4 [permalink]
Original title バイオメガ
Transliterated title Baiomega
Language English
Authors Andrew McKeon (editor), Mike Montesa (editor), John Werry (translator) and Tsutomu Nihei (creator)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Cyberpunk, horror, manga and science fiction
Series Biomega (4/6)
Publication year 2010
Original publication year 2004
ISBN 978-1-4215-3187-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 188
Images Back of Biomega 4.Spine of Biomega 4.Front of Biomega 4.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • #25
  • #26
  • #27
  • #28
  • #29
  • #30
Full title Biomega 5 [permalink]
Original title バイオメガ
Transliterated title Baiomega
Language English
Authors Andrew McKeon (editor), Mike Montesa (editor), John Werry (translator) and Tsutomu Nihei (creator)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Cyberpunk, horror, manga and science fiction
Series Biomega (5/6)
Publication year 2011
Original publication year 2004
ISBN 978-1-4215-3188-5 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 196
Images Back of Biomega 5.Spine of Biomega 5.Front of Biomega 5.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • #31
  • #32
  • #33
  • #34
  • #35
  • #36
Full title Biomega 6 [permalink]
Original title バイオメガ
Transliterated title Baiomega
Language English
Authors Andrew McKeon (editor), Mike Montesa (editor), John Werry (translator) and Tsutomu Nihei (creator)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Cyberpunk, horror, manga and science fiction
Series Biomega (6/6)
Publication year 2011
Original publication year 2004
ISBN 978-1-4215-3277-6 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 197
Images Back of Biomega 6.Spine of Biomega 6.Front of Biomega 6.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • #37
  • #38
  • #39
  • #40
  • #41
  • #42
Full title Black Lagoon 001 [permalink]
Original title ブラック・ラグーン
Transliterated title Burakku Ragūn
Language English
Authors Mike Montesa (editor), Dan Kanemitsu (translator), Rei Hiroe (creator) and John Hunt (letterer)
Publisher VIZ Media
Category Manga
Series Black Lagoon (1/9)
Publication year 2008
Original publication year 2003
ISBN 978-1-4215-1382-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 208
Images Back of Black Lagoon 001.Spine of Black Lagoon 001.Front of Black Lagoon 001.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Chapter 0: Black Lagoon
  • Chapter 1: Ring-Ding Ship Chase
  • Chapter 2: Rasta Blasta - Part I
  • Chapter 3: Rasta Blasta - Part II
  • Chapter 4: Rasta Blasta - Part III
  • Black Lagoon: The High School Episode
Full title Black Lagoon 002 [permalink]
Original title ブラック・ラグーン
Transliterated title Burakku Ragūn
Language English
Authors Mike Montesa (editor), Dan Kanemitsu (translator), Rei Hiroe (creator) and John Hunt (letterer)
Publisher VIZ Media
Category Manga
Series Black Lagoon (2/9)
Publication year 2008
Original publication year 2003
ISBN 978-1-4215-1891-6 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 202
Images Back of Black Lagoon 002.Spine of Black Lagoon 002.Front of Black Lagoon 002.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Chapter 05: Die Rückkehr des Adlers - Part I
  • Chapter 06: Die Rückkehr des Adlers - Part II
  • Chapter 07: Die Rückkehr des Adlers - Part III
  • Chapter 08: Die Rückkehr des Adlers - Part IV
  • Chapter 09: Calm Down Two Men - Part I
  • Chapter 10: Calm Down Two Men - Part II
  • Chapter 11: Bloodsport Fairy Tale - Part I
  • Chapter 12: Bloodsport Fairy Tale - Part II
  • Black Lagoon: The Magical Girl Episode
Full title Black Lagoon 003 [permalink]
Original title ブラック・ラグーン
Transliterated title Burakku Ragūn
Language English
Authors Mike Montesa (editor), Dan Kanemitsu (translator), Rei Hiroe (creator) and John Hunt (letterer)
Publisher VIZ Media
Category Manga
Series Black Lagoon (3/9)
Publication year 2008
Original publication year 2004
ISBN 978-1-4215-1892-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 195
Images Back of Black Lagoon 003.Spine of Black Lagoon 003.Front of Black Lagoon 003.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Chapter 13: Bloodsport Fairy Tale - Pt. III
  • Chapter 14: Bloodsport Fairy Tale - Pt. IV
  • Chapter 15: Bloodsport Fairy Tale - Pt. V
  • Chapter 16: Goat, Jihad, Rock'n'Roll Pt. I
  • Chapter 17: Goat, Jihad, Rock'n'Roll Pt. II
  • Chapter 18: Goat, Jihad, Rock'n'Roll Pt. III
  • Chapter 19: Goat, Jihad, Rock'n'Roll Pt. IV
  • Chapter 20: Goat, Jihad, Rock'n'Roll Pt. V
  • Black Lagoon: The Melancholy of Balalaika
Full title Full Metal Panic! 01 [permalink]
Original title フルメタル·パニック!
Transliterated title Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Shouji Gatou (author) and Retsu Tateo (illustrator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Manga and mecha
Series Full Metal Panic (1/8)
Publication year 2003
ISBN 1-4139-0001-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 162
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! 01.Spine of Full Metal Panic! 01.Front of Full Metal Panic! 01.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • MISSION: 01 The transfer student is a dangerous soldier!?
  • MISSION: 02 Categorical imperative! Protect Kaname's secret!
  • MISSION: 03 My first assignment...vs. a bunch of assassins!?
  • MISSION: 04 Bread and Bullets
  • MISSION: 05 Sinister Stirrings
  • MISSION: 06 Kaname's Cross—Jindai High hanging by a thread!
  • MISSION: 07 An afternoon Misunderstanding
Full title Full Metal Panic! 02 [permalink]
Original title フルメタル·パニック!
Transliterated title Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Shouji Gatou (author) and Retsu Tateo (illustrator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Manga and mecha
Series Full Metal Panic (2/8)
Publication year 2003
ISBN 1-4139-0006-2 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 194
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! 02.Spine of Full Metal Panic! 02.Front of Full Metal Panic! 02.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • MISSION: 08 The Gloomy School Trip
  • MISSION: 09 Cries from the Abyss
  • MISSION: 10 Commence Operation
  • MISSION: 11 The Long, Dark Night
  • MISSION: 12 Eyes in the Heavens
  • MISSION: 13 When Feelings Are Conveyed
  • MISSION: 14 The Great Escape
Full title Full Metal Panic! 03 [permalink]
Original title フルメタル·パニック!
Transliterated title Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Shouji Gatou (author) and Retsu Tateo (illustrator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Manga and mecha
Series Full Metal Panic (3/8)
Publication year 2004
ISBN 1-4139-0007-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 166
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! 03.Spine of Full Metal Panic! 03.Front of Full Metal Panic! 03.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • MISSION: 15 Suspicion, confusion and aggravation at the basketball tournament?!
  • MISSION: 16 A mystery? Just who is this exchange student?!
  • MISSION: 17 Together under on roof?!
  • MISSION: 18 The miracle animal mission!!
  • MISSION: 19 Holidays are for romance?!
  • MISSION: 20 I ain't afraid of no ghost! Deserted island search team!!
Full title Full Metal Panic! 04 [permalink]
Original title フルメタル·パニック!
Transliterated title Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Shouji Gatou (author) and Retsu Tateo (illustrator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Manga and mecha
Series Full Metal Panic (4/8)
Publication year 2004
ISBN 1-4139-0039-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 156
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! 04.Spine of Full Metal Panic! 04.Front of Full Metal Panic! 04.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • MISSION: 21 So many memories! Sosuke, completely defeated?! (Part 1)
  • MISSION: 22 So many memories! Sosuke, completely defeated?! (Part 2)
  • MISSION: 23 Surprise! Who are you?!
  • MISSION: 24 Nothing to counter the captain's tears?!
  • MISSION: 25 Sosuke's decision
  • MISSION: 26 Sosuke, please be safe!
Full title Full Metal Panic! 05 [permalink]
Original title フルメタル·パニック!
Transliterated title Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Shouji Gatou (author) and Retsu Tateo (illustrator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Manga and mecha
Series Full Metal Panic (5/8)
Publication year 2004
ISBN 1-4139-0051-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 160
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! 05.Spine of Full Metal Panic! 05.Front of Full Metal Panic! 05.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • MISSION: 27 Rescue the two pretty girls!
  • MISSION: 28 A place for Takuma
  • MISSION: 29 Last wish
  • MISSION: 30 At the end of the battle
  • MISSION: 31 Sweet memories
  • MISSION: 32 The long road to the vacation house
  • Special Project: Taiwan Manga Exclusive Report
Full title Full Metal Panic! 06 [permalink]
Original title フルメタル·パニック!
Transliterated title Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Shouji Gatou (author) and Retsu Tateo (illustrator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Manga and mecha
Series Full Metal Panic (6/8)
Publication year 2004
ISBN 1-4139-0198-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 162
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! 06.Spine of Full Metal Panic! 06.Front of Full Metal Panic! 06.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • MISSION: 33 The "Art" of War
  • MISSION: 34 Food is Heavenly, but Making it is Hell
  • MISSION: 35 Battlefield Christmas?!
  • MISSION: 36 Sosuke, New Years and New Views
  • MISSION: 37 The Classics Notes Caper
  • MISSION: 38 A Mysterious Message, a Mercenary in a Mess
  • MISSION: 39 Special Ordinary Days
Full title Full Metal Panic! 07 [permalink]
Original title フルメタル·パニック!
Transliterated title Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Shouji Gatou (author) and Retsu Tateo (illustrator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Manga and mecha
Series Full Metal Panic (7/8)
Publication year 2005
ISBN 1-4139-0200-6 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 162
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! 07.Spine of Full Metal Panic! 07.Front of Full Metal Panic! 07.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • MISSION: 40 Beware of Mouse Burglars!
  • MISSION: 41 Sergeant Sosuke's Secret Pleasure?!
  • MISSION: 42 We Are Water Guys!
  • MISSION: 43 This Is How You Negotiate?!
  • MISSION: 44 Freaked Out In Fantasy Fetish?!
  • MISSION: 45 Her Grandpa Is A First Lieutenant?!
  • EXTRA MISSION What Comes From Acting Brave
Full title Full Metal Panic! 08 [permalink]
Original title フルメタル·パニック!
Transliterated title Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Shouji Gatou (author) and Retsu Tateo (illustrator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Manga and mecha
Series Full Metal Panic (8/8)
Publication year 2005
ISBN 1-4139-0322-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 162
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! 08.Spine of Full Metal Panic! 08.Front of Full Metal Panic! 08.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • MISSION: 46 An Invitation to Summer—Kaname's Fateful Feeling?!
  • MISSION: 47 Party de Danaan!
  • MISSION: 48 Pressures and Promises
  • MISSION: 49 The Demon that Lurks on the Battlefield
  • MISSION: 50 The Arbalest in Error
  • MISSION: 51 A World in Which I Don't Belong
Full title Full Metal Panic! Overload! 1 [permalink]
Original title いきなり! フルメタル・パニック!
Transliterated title Ikinari! Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Tomohiro Nagai (illustrator) and Shouji Gatou (creator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Humor and manga
Series Full Metal Panic Overload (1/2)
Publication year 2005
ISBN 1-4139-0315-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 186
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! Overload! 1.Spine of Full Metal Panic! Overload! 1.Front of Full Metal Panic! Overload! 1.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
Full title Full Metal Panic! Overload! 2 [permalink]
Original title いきなり! フルメタル・パニック!
Transliterated title Ikinari! Furumetaru Panikku!
Language English
Authors Tomohiro Nagai (illustrator) and Shouji Gatou (creator)
Publisher ADV
Categories Humor and manga
Series Full Metal Panic Overload (2/2)
Publication year 2005
ISBN 1-4139-0326-6 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 176
Images Back of Full Metal Panic! Overload! 2.Spine of Full Metal Panic! Overload! 2.Front of Full Metal Panic! Overload! 2.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
Full title H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus Vol. 2: Dagon and Other Macabre Tales [permalink]
Language English
Authors H. P. Lovecraft (author) and August Derleth (introduction)
Publisher Voyager
Categories Anthology, horror and short stories
Series H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus (2/3)
Publication year 2000
Original publication year 1965
ISBN 978-0-586-06324-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 512

This collection contains a bunch of short stories, as well as a very interesting essay by August Derleth called Supernatural Horror in Literature. Also in there are some stories under the heading Early Tales and four really small stories under Fragments, stories not really completed (and therefore not that interesting).

Most of the stories are first-person accounts of some horrible fate befalling the protagonist (such as Dagon, The Temple, and Imprisoned with the Pharaohs) while a few are third-person narratives over a span of time (like The Doom that came to Sarnath, The Cats of Ulthar, and The Quest of Iranon).


This collection represents my first foray into Lovecraft's literature (except for The Call of Cthulhu, which I read ages ago). As I'm not really well read in horror literature, I don't know how it stacks up against other authors, but I know I like it! Lovecraft has a very peculiar way of writing, and virtually every story manages to draw you in and keep your attention throughout. Also, most of the stories have a twist at the end that's not always easy to predict, which makes them all the more enjoyable.

This collection, as opposed to the first and third in this series, is a little bit special in that there are a lot of stories, so if you don't have that much time to read, this book is excellent. The stories are short and almost all are engaging and very fun to read.

Images Back of H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus Vol. 2.Spine of H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus Vol. 2.Front of H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus Vol. 2.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction, by August Derleth
  • Dagon
  • The Tomb
  • Polaris
  • Beyond the Wall of Sleep
  • The Doom that came to Sarnath
  • The White Ship
  • Arthur Jermyn
  • The Cats of Ulthar
  • Celephais
  • From Beyond
  • The Temple
  • The Tree
  • The Moon-bog
  • The Nameless City
  • The Other Gods
  • The Quest of Iranon
  • Herbert West - Reanimator
  • The Hound
  • Hypnos
  • The Festival
  • The Unnamable
  • Imprisoned with the Pharaohs
  • He
  • The Horror at Red Hook
  • The Strange High House in the Mist
  • In the Walls of Eryx
  • The Evil Clergyman

Early Tales

  • The Beast in the Cave
  • The Alchemist
  • Poetry and the Gods
  • The Street
  • The Transition of Juan Romero


  • Azathoth
  • The Descendant
  • The Book
  • The Thing in the Moonlight
  • Supernatural Horror in Literature
Full title Rama II [permalink]
Language English
Authors Arthur C. Clarke (author) and Gentry Lee (co-author)
Publisher Bantam Books
Categories Novel and science fiction
Series Rama (2/4)
Publication year 1990
Original publication year 1989
ISBN 0-553-28658-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 466

Seventy years after the first book, a second Rama spacecraft enters our solar system, and an expedition is again sent to rendezvous with it. They board it as easily as the first crew boarded the first spacecraft, but they soon discover a few differences between the two craft.


This book (and the subsequent ones) contains a lot character development, as they are written primarily by Lee. In this one, it doesn't seem to be going anywhere, but it takes off eventually, really.

Images Back of Rama II.Spine of Rama II.Front of Rama II.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Rama Revisited
  • 1 Rama Returns
  • 2 Test and Training
  • 3 Crew Conference
  • 4 The Great Chaos
  • 5 After the Crash
  • 6 La Signora Sabatini
  • 7 Public Relations
  • 8 Biometry
  • 9 Diastolic Irregularity
  • 10 The Cosmonaut and the Pope
  • 11 St Michael of Siena
  • 12 Ramans and Romans
  • 13 Happy New Year
  • 14 Good-bye, Henry
  • 15 Encounter
  • 16 Rama Rama Burning Bright
  • 17 Death of a Soldier
  • 18 Postmortem
  • 19 Rite of Passage
  • 20 Blessed Slumber
  • 21 Pandora's Cube
  • 22 Dawn
  • 23 Nightfall
  • 24 Sounds in the Darkness
  • 25 A Friend in Need
  • 26 Second Sortie
  • 27 To Catch a Biot
  • 28 Extrapolation
  • 29 The Hunt
  • 30 Postmortem II
  • 31 Orvieto Prodigy
  • 32 New York Explorer
  • 33 Missing Person
  • 34 Strange Companions
  • 35 Into the Pit
  • 36 Impact Course
  • 37 Marooned
  • 38 Visitors
  • 39 Waters of Wisdom
  • 40 Alien Invitation
  • 41 A Friend Indeed
  • 42 Two Explorers
  • 43 Exobiological Psychology
  • 44 Another Lair
  • 45 Nikki
  • 46 The Better Part of Valor
  • 47 Progressive Matrices
  • 48 Welcome Earthlings
  • 49 Interaction
  • 50 Hope Springs Eternal
  • 51 Escape Harness
  • 52 Flight 302
  • 53 Trinity
  • 54 Once a Hero
  • 55 The Voice of Michael
  • 56 An Answered Prayer
  • 57 Three's Company
  • 58 Hobson's Choice
  • 59 Dream of Destiny
  • 60 Return to Rama
  • 61 Endangered Spacecraft
  • 62 The Final Hour
  • Acknowledgments
Full title The Garden of Rama [permalink]
Language English
Authors Arthur C. Clarke (author) and Gentry Lee (co-author)
Publisher Bantam Books
Categories Novel and science fiction
Series Rama (3/4)
Publication year 1992
Original publication year 1991
ISBN 0-553-29817-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 518
Images Back of The Garden of Rama.Spine of The Garden of Rama.Front of The Garden of Rama.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Acknowledgments
  • Nicole's Journal
  • At the Node
  • Rendezvous at Mars
  • Epithalamion
  • The Trial
Full title Rama Revealed: The Ultimate Encounter [permalink]
Language English
Authors Arthur C. Clarke (author) and Gentry Lee (co-author)
Publisher Bantam Books
Categories Novel and science fiction
Series Rama (4/4)
Publication year 1995
Original publication year 1994
ISBN 0-553-56947-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 602
Images Back of Rama Revealed.Spine of Rama Revealed.Front of Rama Revealed.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Acknowledgments
  • Prologue
  • Escape
  • The Rainbow Connection
  • The Emerald City
  • War in Rama
  • Return to the Node
Full title Uzumaki Volume 1: Spiral into Horror [permalink]
Original title うずまき
Translated title Spiral
Language English
Authors Gary Leach (editor), Yuji Oniki (translator), Junji Ito (creator) and Susan Daigle-Leach (letterer)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Horror and manga
Series Uzumaki (1/3)
Publication year 2011
Original publication year 1998
ISBN 978-1-4215-1389-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 202
Images Back of Uzumaki Volume 1.Spine of Uzumaki Volume 1.Front of Uzumaki Volume 1.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Chapter 1: The Spiral Obsession Part 1
  • Chapter 2: The Spiral Obsession Part 2
  • Chapter 3: The Scar
  • Chapter 4: The Firing Effect
  • Chapter 5: Twisted Souls
  • Chapter 6: Medusa
  • Afterword
Full title Uzumaki Volume 2: Spiral into Horror [permalink]
Original title うずまき
Translated title Spiral
Language English
Authors Gary Leach (editor), Yuji Oniki (translator), Junji Ito (creator) and Susan Daigle-Leach (letterer)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Horror and manga
Series Uzumaki (2/3)
Publication year 2010
Original publication year 1999
ISBN 978-1-4215-1390-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 197
Images Back of Uzumaki Volume 2.Spine of Uzumaki Volume 2.Front of Uzumaki Volume 2.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Chapter 7: Jack-in-the-Box
  • Chapter 8: Snail People
  • Chapter 9: The Black Lighthouse
  • Chapter 10: Mosquitoes
  • Chapter 11: The Umbilical Cord
  • Chapter 12: The Storm
  • Afterword
Full title Uzumaki Volume 3: Spiral into Horror [permalink]
Original title うずまき
Translated title Spiral
Language English
Authors Gary Leach (editor), Yuji Oniki (translator), Junji Ito (creator) and Susan Daigle-Leach (letterer)
Publisher VIZ Media
Categories Horror and manga
Series Uzumaki (3/3)
Publication year 2012
Original publication year 1998
ISBN 978-1-4215-1391-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 253
Images Back of Uzumaki Volume 3.Spine of Uzumaki Volume 3.Front of Uzumaki Volume 3.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Chapter 13.The House
  • Chapter 14.Butterfly
  • Chapter 15.Chaos
  • Chapter 16.Erosion
  • Chapter 17.Escape
  • Chapter 18.Labyrinth
  • Chapter 19.Completion
  • Lost chapter: Galaxies
  • Afterword

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