I had little to no clue what the book, Ishmael, was going to entail when I started it. Even after reading the entirety of the book I still have a very difficult to describing it. It opens with a man looking for a teacher to help him understand how to save the world. After answering an ad in the newspaper he finds himself in an almost bare room with his teacher, a gorilla. The gorilla is named Ishmael. The rest of the book is their lessons and conversations together. The novel tries to explain how and why the human race and the earth got to where it is now. One way Ishmael tries to explain is asking the narrator to tell him how the universe was created. When describing how the planet was created, people usually start with the big bang and describe how evolution got to us. Ishmael says this is one of the human races biggest downfalls. We end the story with the evolution of us. We tell the story thinking that we are the end result and prize of evolution. Ishmael tells the narrator that thinking that the earth is here for us and nothing else is a dangerous mistake. If we continue to treat the earth like it is ours we will fall. Ishmael uses many metaphors and hypotheticals that really switched on a lot of lights for me. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interesting in philosophy, history, and our environment. This has been an important book to me and I hope more people will read it.
In my Environmental Science class we have been reading the book, The Omnivores Dilemma. This book describes our nations obsession with food. He mentions the irony of a people being fascinated with what they put in their bodies and at the same time not know where their food comes from. The author, Michael Pollen, follows the line our food takes to get from the farm to us. This is very enlightening and I definitely recommend this book. He also discusses how we got this far. It all really started with the end of WWII when people moved to the suburbs. As the people left, livestock started to be moved to small and densely packed pastures. This is what created today's mono-culture. With all this extra space that the cows left, corn and other crops were being planted and harvested with a surplus that we didn't imagine. With this surplus of grain we began to feed it to our livestock even though these animals have not evolved to eat corn. Cows in their natural state do not eat grain. They eat grass. Usually in a small to medium sized pastoral farm there is a closed ecological loop that is self sustaining. You grow plants and you feed the plants to the livestock and you use their waste to fertilize the plants. With the industrialization of our food, we have created two open ended systems that only end in waste. Anyway, I got carried away with this subject but honestly I think everyone should read this book. Its amazing how much we don't think about what we put into our bodies. We cannot expect to be healthy when the animals we eat are also unhealthy.
In No Particular Order
1. Finish the Time Machine
2. The Invisible Man
3. 1984 by George Orwell
4. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
5. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
6. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
7. Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman
8. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
9. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
10. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
11. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
12. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García
13. The Shining by Stephen King
14.Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
There are a lot more but I lost my original list. Hopefully I can get to most of these.
Again, I have not made a very big dent in the novel yet. I have started reading the Time Traveler's memories of his travels. I love the way Wells writes. Its is extremely vivid and imaginative. Wells was way ahead of his time. I could definitely see people reading this in the 1890s and freaking out. I have Gotten to the point in the book where the Time Traveler makes contact with the little beautiful men. I feel like I know what these men look like from his descriptions but I really want to see somebodies elses interpritation of the people and scenery. Hopefully the 1960 movie version will be some what close to the novel.
I have a long history if reading half of H. G. Wells's books. I have chosen this time to go back and reread Wells's great books ALL THE WAY THROUGH. I have started with The Time Machine. I was hooked in the first chapter with the Time Traveler's explanation of how time travel is possible. With discussions of the fourth dimension, I first thought I might be lost in the theoretical science of the dimension that I, personally cannot get any sort of grasp on, but H. G. Wells's writing is quite easy to understand. In the third chapter the Time Traveler escorts varies men of intelligence and rank to the cigar room to tell them the story of his eight day adventure through time. The narrator is merely a man in the audience of the Time Traveler's stories. I really enjoy this perspective. I am not very far in the novel but I enjoy it thus far.
The Devil's Teeth is a nonfiction novel following a Time Inc. editor and a small group of scientists studying the great white sharks of the Farralones Islands. The Farralones Islands is a cluster of islands off the coast of California inhabited by marauding great whites, hoards of seals, and a total of 5 scientists. The narrator, Susan Casey, just had her first encounter with the sharks. She described them gliding like submarines and as curious as cocker spaniels. I really enjoy reading about marine biology and Casey's writing is perfect for people like me who are dull yet inquisitive. I cannot wait to keep reading this! Its refreshing to read nonfiction. Its fun to joy the journey and not have to wait for some great reveal at the end. Sometimes a book only's redeeming quality is the reveal but this Casey's information and writing carries you along so there is no need for some big twist.
Ok so basically this whole post is going to be spoilers.(show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler) (show spoiler)
The main character is ALSO Tyler Durden!! Ok to be honest I already knew this ending but the twist was still amazing to read. I still am not finished with the book. I have chosen to savor it. In the novel the main character/ Tyler often brings up the image of stalking a deer around a tree covered 30 Rockefeller in the new world that their anarchy would create. I love that so much, just the image of it is so fulfilling for some odd reason. Going back to what the earth once was, on top of the old worlds metal carcass. I love this book but I will never look at soap the same way again.
The first rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club. I thought that would be a cool way to start this even though by talking about it I am breaking the first rule of fight club. I saw the movie before I started reading the book which is not always a smart way to do things but it's such a great book it doesn't even matter. Even though I have nothing in common with any of the main characters, I still find my self relating to them in some primal anarchist way. This isn't your mothers book club novel but if you are into the human experience of hitting rock bottom in a bad ass way then this is for you!
I am re-reading the two part series, Maus. I am almost finished with the first graphic novel. Explaining exactly what these novel are, is difficult. Basically a man is telling his fathers stories from WWII but all the Jewish people are mice, all the Nazis are cats, the Polish people are pigs and the Americans are dogs. I honestly love these books. There are a lot of WWII and Holocaust books, and rightfully so, but its both refreshing and interesting to hear and see these stories in a completely different format. The painfully stereotypical main character, Vladek, tells his stories to his son, Art. To see these stories played out by mice and cats might seem playful and silly at first but seeing these characters as animals gives the story an odd reality. I have a couple more pages left and excited to get to the next one. I highly recommend these books.