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Added by PulpRoman on 1 Jan 2020 07:39
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Book Diary 2020

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People who added this item 304 Average listal rating (171 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Duino Elegies - Rainer Maria Rilke

How I will cherish you then, you grief-torn nights! Had I only received you, inconsolable sisters, on more abject knees, only buried myself with more abandon in your loosened hair. How we waste our afflictions! We study them, stare out beyond them into bleak continuance, hoping to glimpse some end. Whereas they're really our wintering foliage, our dark greens of meaning, one of the seasons of the clandestine year -- ; not only a season --: they're site, settlement, shelter, soil, abode.

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels' hierarchies? and even if one of them pressed me against his heart: I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so, because it serenely disdains to destroy us. Every angel is terrible.

Look: the trees exist; the houses we dwell in stand there stalwartly. Only we pass by it all, like a rush of air. And everything conspires to keep quiet about us, half out of shame perhaps, half out of some secret hope.

For our part, when we feel, we evaporate; ah, we breathe ourselves out and away; with each new heartfire we give off a fainter scent. True, someone may tell us: you're in my blood, this room, Spring itself is filled with you . . . To what end? He can't hold us, we vanish within him and around him.
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People who added this item 63 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
Ubik - Philip K. Dick
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Mrs. Warren's Profession - George Bernard Shaw
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People who added this item 184 Average listal rating (93 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Neuromancer - William Gibson_II
Big meh, made even worse for all the hype. Just terribly written with poor characters and mostly confusing.
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Lady Windermere's Fan - Oscar Wilde
Ah, nowadays we are all of us so hard up, that the only pleasant things to pay are compliments. They’re the only things we can pay.

Oh, nowadays so many conceited people go about Society pretending to be good, that I think it shows rather a sweet and modest disposition to pretend to be bad. Besides, there is this to be said. If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously. If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t. Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.

You don’t know what it is to fall into the pit, to be despised, mocked, abandoned, sneered at—to be an outcast! to find the door shut against one, to have to creep in by hideous byways, afraid every moment lest the mask should be stripped from one’s face, and all the while to hear the laughter, the horrible laughter of the world, a thing more tragic than all the tears the world has ever shed. You don’t know what it is. One pays for one’s sin, and then one pays again, and all one’s life one pays.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0

You can always tell an old soldier by the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes. The young ones carry pistols and cartridges; the old ones, grub.

Comedic and light satire, how lovely.
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People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
Letters to a Young Poet - Rainer Maria Rilke

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.
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People who added this item 191 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
So, in the interests of survival, they trained themselves to be agreeing machines instead of thinking machines. All their minds had to do was to discover what other people were thinking, and then they thought that, too.

The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.

People took such awful chances with chemicals and their bodies because they wanted the quality of their lives to improve. They lived in ugly places where there were only ugly things to do. They didn't own doodley-squat, so they couldn't improve their surroundings. so they did their best to make their insides beautiful instead.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Steppenwolf - Herman Hesse
No, I am sure he has not taken his life. He is still alive, and somewhere wearily goes up and down the stairs of strange houses, stares somewhere at clean-scoured parquet floors and carefully tended araucarias, sits for days in libraries and nights in taverns, or lying on a hired sofa, listens to the world beneath his window and the hum of human life from which he knows that he is excluded. But he has not killed himself, for a glimmer of belief still tells him that he is to drink this frightful suffering in his heart to the dregs, and that it is of this suffering he must die. I think
of him often.

There was never a man with a deeper and more passionate craving for independence than he. In his youth when he was poor and had difficulty in earning his bread, he preferred to go hungry and in torn clothes rather than endanger his narrow limit of independence. He never sold himself for money or an easy life or to women or to those in power; and had thrown away a hundred times what in the world's eyes was his advantage and happiness in order to safeguard his liberty. No prospect was more hateful and distasteful to him than that he should have to go to an office and conform to daily and yearly routine and obey others. He hated all kinds of offices, governmental or commercial, as he hated death, and his worst nightmare was confinement in barracks.

The lives of these infinitely numerous persons make no claim to the tragic; but they live under an evil star in a quite considerable affliction; and in this hell their talents ripen and bear fruit. The few who break free seek their reward in the unconditioned and go down in splendor. They wear the thorn crown and their number is small. The others, however, who remain in the fold and from whose talents the bourgeoisie reaps much gain, have a third kingdom left open to them, an imaginary and yet a sovereign world, humor. The lone wolves who know no peace, these victims of unceasing pain to whom the urge for tragedy has been denied and who can never break through the starry space, who feel themselves summoned thither and yet cannot survive in its atmosphere—for them is reserved, provided suffering has made their spirits tough and elastic enough, a way of reconcilement and an escape into humor.

Two-thirds of my countrymen read this kind of newspaper, read things written in this tone every morning and every night, are every day worked up and admonished and incited, and robbed of their peace of mind and better feelings by them, and the end and aim of it all is to have the war over again, the next war that draws nearer and nearer, and it will be a good deal more horrible than the last.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

I didn't really have a lot of expectation going into this one, I'll say the quality fluctuates because just when it's supposed to be getting good it falls flat and is encumbered by a lot of exposition and dull satire, like (and yes here comes the bad analogy)when you're just about to climax and your partner says stop, let's talk about our feelings and you're just there waiting for the good times to get going again but it never does, the vibe is dead! Catherine the heroine, is quite a interesting character, a bit sturdy of mind, the opposite of the gal from Persuasion that I can't remember right now. Anyway, this book was a drudge to get through.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Altered Carbon - Richard K. Morgan

The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice.

Reality is so flexible these days, it’s hard to tell who’s disconnected from it and who isn’t. You might even say it’s a pointless distinction.

The personal, as everyone’s so fucking fond of saying, is political. So if some idiot politician, some power player, tries to execute policies that harm you or those you care about, take it personally. Get angry. The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here – it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft-. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide from under it with a wink and a grin. If you want justice, you will have to claw it from them. Make it personal. Do as much damage as you can. Get your message across. That way, you stand a better chance of being taken seriously next time. Of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous marks the difference - the only difference in their eyes - between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people they liquidate. And time and again they cream your liquidation, your displacement, your torture and brutal execution with the ultimate insult that it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life and that it’s nothing personal. Well, fuck them. Make it personal.

If you like futuristic hard-boiled cop books then this is for you. Overall satisfying but I suppose for me I think more could have been done with the idea. A thing that ruined it a bit for me was the unnecessary amount of curse words used, like angsty teenager I'm going to make this and that character curse a lot so that they seem tough kind of levels.
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in moments of crisis, people are willing to hand over a great deal of power to anyone who claims to have a magic cure—whether the crisis is a financial meltdown or, as the Bush administration would later show, a terrorist attack.

When it comes to paying contractors, the sky is the limit; when it comes to financing the basic functions of the state, the coffers are empty.

What we have been living for three decades is frontier capitalism, with the frontier constantly shifting location from crisis to crisis, moving on as soon as the law catches up.

Like Russia's gangsterism and Bush's cronyism, contemporary Iraq is a creation of the fifty-year crusade to privatize the world. Rather than being disowned by its creators, it deserves to be seen as the purest incarnation yet of the ideology that gave it birth.

During the Cold War, widespread alcoholism was always seen in the West as evidence that life under Communism was so dismal that Russians needed large quantities of vodka to get through the day. Under capitalism, however, Russians drinks more than twice as much alcohol as they used to - and they are reaching for harder painkillers as well.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
A Hunger Artist - Franz Kafka
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Lady Susan - Jane Austen

My dear Alicia, of what a mistake were you guilty in marrying a man of his age! Just old enough to be formal, ungovernable, and to have the gout; too old to be agreeable, too young to die.

There is exquisite pleasure in subduing an insolent spirit, in making a person pre-determined to dislike, acknowledge one's superiority.

I am tired of submitting my will to the caprices of others—of resigning my own judgement in deference to those to whom I owe no duty, and for whom I feel no respect.
Reread. I just love this book. Jane Austen is a great writer. Pride and Prejudice is a fabulous book but once you’ve read it, you’ve covered most of Austen’s oeuvre as most of them follow the along the same theme. This is a complete opposite. Lady Susan is an ‘immoral woman’(...oh you saucy little ankle showing vixen!) and I absolutely love it.
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Double Indemnity - James M. Cain
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0

Love, when you get fear in it, it's not love any more. It's hate.

She looked like the great grandmother of every whore in the world. The devil got his money's worth that night.
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People who added this item 206 Average listal rating (103 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Cat's Cradle: A Novel - Kurt Vonnegut

Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.

“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.
And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely.
"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.
"Certainly," said man.
"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God.
And He went away.”

Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.

The Fourteenth Book is entitled, "What can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?" It doesn't take long to read The Fourteenth Book. It consists of one word and a period.
This is it: "Nothing.”
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Winter Dreams / Sogni d'inverno - F. Scott Fitzgerald
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
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Misery begets equality. Women have this in common with the angels,--suffering humanity belongs to them.

In all situations women have more cause for suffering than men, and they suffer more. Man has strength and the power of exercising it; he acts, moves, thinks, occupies himself; he looks ahead, and sees consolation in the future. It was thus with Charles. But the woman stays at home; she is always face to face with the grief from which nothing distracts her; she goes down to the depths of the abyss which yawns before her, measures it, and often fills it with her tears and prayers. Thus did Eugenie. She initiated herself into her destiny. To feel, to love, to suffer, to devote herself,--is not this the sum of woman's life? Eugenie was to be in all things a woman, except in the one thing that consoles for all.

This thought casts a terrible light upon our present epoch in which, far more than at any former period, money sways the laws and politics and morals. Institutions, books, men, and dogmas, all conspire to undermine belief in a future life,--a belief upon which the social edifice has rested for eighteen hundred years. The grave, as a means of transition, is little feared in our day. The future, which once opened to us beyond the requiems, has now been imported into the present. To obtain /per fas et nefas/ a terrestrial paradise of luxury and earthly enjoyment, to harden the heart and macerate the body for the sake of fleeting possessions, as the martyrs once suffered all things to reach eternal joys, this is now the universal thought-a thought written everywhere, even in the very laws which ask of the legislator, "What do you pay?" instead of asking him, "What do you think?" When this doctrine has passed down from the bourgeoisie to the populace, where will this country be?
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People who added this item 42 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
We - Yevgeny Zamyatin
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
No One Writes to the Colonel - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Sarrasine - Honoré de Balzac

In no other country, perhaps, is Vespasian’s maxim more thoroughly understood. Here gold pieces, even when stained with blood or mud, betray nothing, and represent everything. Provided that good society knows the amount of your fortune, you are classed among those figures which equal yours, and no one asks to see your credentials, because everybody knows how little they cost. In a city where social problems are solved by algebraic equations, adventurers have many chances in their favor.
First time reading Balzac and I'm quite intrigued. Powerful authorship.
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People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
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People who added this item 196 Average listal rating (102 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
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People who added this item 648 Average listal rating (492 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

My fourth time reading and it gets better with age. The language is so beautiful and tragic. It just stirs up the emotions in so many glorious ways, it truly is a Great American Novel. Actually got inspired to read it again from the book below.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0

So the fact that I’m me and no one else is one of my greatest assets. Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but the world is made up of all kinds of people. Other people have their own value to live by, and the same holds true with me.

The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can't be learned at school.

Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusions of a person about to lose consciousness.

I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void. But as you might expect, an occasional thought will slip into this void. People’s minds can’t be a complete blank. Human beings’ emotions are not strong or consistent enough to sustain a vacuum. What I mean is, the kinds of thoughts and ideas that invade my emotions as I run remain subordinate to that void.
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People who added this item 456 Average listal rating (276 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
The Stranger - Albert Camus

After that, everything seemed to happen so fast, so deliberately, so naturally that I don't remember any of it anymore. Except for one thing: as we entered the village, the nurse spoke to me. She had a remarkable voice which didn't go with her face at all, a melodious, quavering voice. She said, "If you go slowly, you risk getting sunstroke. But if you go too fast, you work up a sweat and then catch a chill inside the church." She was right. There was no way out.

I wanted to smoke a cigarette at the window, but the air was getting colder and I felt a little chilled. I shut my windows, and as I was coming back I glanced at the mirror and saw a corner of my table with my alcohol lamp next to some pieces of bread. It occurred to me that anyway one more Sunday was over, that Maman was buried now, that I was going back to work, and that, really, nothing had changed.
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People who added this item 146 Average listal rating (69 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

Consumed the months of June and July. 19th century Keeping up with the Kardashians, not so asinine but no lie.
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People who added this item 42 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Shawshank Redemption - Stephen King

If this was some kind of fairy story, I'd tell you that Andy fought the good fight until they left him alone. I wish I could say that, but I can't. Prison is no fairy-tale world.

In spite of the problems he was having, he was going on with his life. There are thousands who don't or won't or can't, and plenty of them aren't in prison, either. And I noticed that although his face looked as if a twister had happened to it, his hands were still neat and clean, the nails well-kept.

There are others here like me, others who remember Andy. We're glad he's gone, but a little sad, too. Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
It was only later when he saw how so many Kenyans could proudly defend their slavery that he understood his mother’s reaction.

You have a great heart. It is people like you who ought to have been the first to taste the fruits of Independence. But now, whom do we see riding in long cars and changing them daily as if motor cars were clothes? It is those who did not take part in the Movement, the same who ran to the shelter of schools and universities and administration. And even some who were outright traitors and collaborators.

Our fathers fought bravely. But do you know the biggest weapon unleashed by the enemy against them? It was not the Maxim gun. It was division among them. Why? Because a people united in faith are stronger than the bomb. They shall not tremble or run away before the sword. Then instead the enemy shall flee. These are not words of a mad man. Not words, not even miracles could make Pharaoh let the Children of Israel go.

‘You think we don’t fear death? We do. My legs almost refused to move when Robson called out to me. Each minute, I waited for a bullet to enter my heart. I’ve seen men piss on themselves and others laugh with madness at the prospect of a fight. And the animal groan of dying men is a terrible sound to hear. But a few shall die that the many shall live. That’s what crucifixion means today. Else we deserve to be slaves, cursed to carry water and hew wood for the whiteman for ever and ever. Choose between freedom and slavery and it is fitting that a man should grab at freedom and die for it.

Then he started thinking. The amount of steak the dog ate could have fed a whole family. The amount of money spent on the dog was more than the total wages of ten Kenyans. The dog had its own room in the house, with a bed and sheets and blankets! And what about the woman? She had no husband, no children, no extended family. Yet her big house could easily have sheltered many families. How could all this be? Why should he live in a shack while this woman and her dog lived in such opulence and luxury? He became restless.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Alex Haley,Malcolm X

Hence I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand up under the weight.

This was my first lesson about gambling: if you see somebody winning all the time, he isn't gambling, he's cheating. Later on in life, if I were continuously losing in any gambling situation, I would watch very closely.
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You hear it in every political speech, “vote for me, we’ll get the dream back.” They all reiterate it in similar words—you even hear it from people who are destroying the dream, whether they know it or not. But the “dream” has to be sustained, otherwise how are you going to get people in the richest, most powerful country in world history, with extraordinary advantages, to face the reality that they see around them?

The Republicans have moved so far toward a dedication to the wealthy and the corporate sector that they can-not hope to get votes on their actual programs, and have turned to mobilizing sectors of the population that have always been there, but not as an organized coalitional political force: evangelicals, nativists, racists, and the victims of the forms of globalization designed to set working people around the world in competition with one another while protecting the privileged.

We’re human beings, we’re not automatons. You work at your job but you don’t stop being a human being. Being a human being means benefiting from rich cultural traditions—not just our own traditions, but many others—and becoming not just skilled, but also wise. Somebody who can think—think creatively, think independently, explore, inquire—and contribute to society. If you don’t have that, you might as well be replaced by a robot. I think that simply can’t be ignored if we want to have a society that’s worth living in.”

I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.
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Looks like what drives me crazy
Don’t have no effect on you –
But I’m gonna keep on at it
Till it drives you crazy, too.

As Befits a Man
I don’t mind dying –
But I’d hate to die all alone!
I want a dozen pretty women
To holler, cry and moan.

I don’t mind dying –
But I want my funeral to be fine:
A row of long tall mamas
Fainting, fanning and crying.

I want a fish-tail hearse
And sixteen fish-tail cars,
A big brass band
And a whole truck load of flowers.

When they let me down,
Down into the clay,
I want the women to holler:
Please don’t take him away!
Don’t take daddy away!

Final Curve
When you turn the corner
And you run into yourself
Then you know that you have turned
All the corners that are left.

Here in the edge of hell
Stands Harlem-
Remembering the old lies,
The old kicks in the back,
The Old, Be patient,
they told us before.

Sure, we remember.
Now, when the man at
the corner store
Says sugar's gone up
another two cents
And bread one,
And there's a new tax on
cigarettes -
We remember the job
we never had,
Never could get,
And can't have now
Because we're colored.

So we stand here
On the edge of hell
In Harlem
And look out on the
And wonder
What we're gonna do
In the face of
What we remember.

Madam and the Rent Man
The rent man knocked.
He said, Howdy-do?
I said, What
Can I do for you?
He said, You know
Your rent is due.

I said, Listen,
Before I'd pay
I'd go to Hades
And rot away!

The sink is broke,
The water don't run,
And you ain't done a thing
You promised to've done.

Back window's cracked,
Kitchen floor squeaks,
There's rats in the cellar,
And the attic leaks.

He said, Madam,
It's not up to me.
I'm just the agent,
Don't you see?

I said, Naturally,
You pass the buck.
If it's money you want
You're out of luck.

He said, Madam,
I ain't pleased!
I said, Neither am I.
So we agrees!

A great read, so many poems I could put above.
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People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0
The Great Divorce - C. S. Lewis
It's scarcity that enables a society to exist.

Will you come with me to the mountains? It will hurt at first, until your feet are hardened. Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows. But will you come?"

"Friend, I am not suggesting at all. You see, I know now. Let us be frank. Our opinions were not honestly come by. We simply found ourselves in contact with a certain current of ideas and plunged into it because it seemed modern and successful. At College, you know, we just started automatically writing the kind of essays that got good marks and saying the kind of things that won applause. When, in our whole lives, did we honestly face, in solitude, the one question on which all turned: whether after all the Supernatural might not in fact occur? When did we put up one moment's real resistance to the loss of our faith?

Of course. Having allowed oneself to drift, unresisting, unpraying, accepting every half-conscious solicitation from our desires, we reached a point where we no longer believed the Faith. Just in the same way, a jealous man, drifting and unresisting, reaches a point at which he believes lies about
his best friend: a drunkard reaches a point at which (for the moment) he actually believes that another glass will do him no harm. The beliefs are sincere in the sense that they do occur as psychological events in the man's mind. If that's what you mean by sincerity they are sincere, and so were ours. But errors which are sincere in that sense are not innocent.

Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say 'Let me but have this and I'll take the consequences': little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man's past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man's past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say, 'We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,' and the Lost, 'We were always in Hell.' And both will speak truly."

Has some brilliant moments and a few dull ones, would recommend.
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A bit of a tough read, most of it is written from an anthropological basis and the rest can be withered down to the fantastic. Hurston is a good writer, which helped in allowing me to finish but most of it was a trudge. (Almost two weeks) If you’re interested in Haiti and Jamaica in the 30’s this is a decent book;yet, being from the latter the book does have the tone of an outsider trying to make sense of these Caribbean countries. More racial and overtly feminist than her most popular There Eyes Were Watching God, in the market place of ideas (Yes, I’m on a Chomsky binge bih) this can be seen as a progression or regression, I’ll go with the latter which produced not a few groans on my part.
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Case by case, we find that conformity is the easy way, and the path to privilege and prestige; dissidence carries personal costs that may be severe, even in a society that lacks such means of control as death squads, psychiatric prisons, or extermination camps. The very structure of the media is designed to induce conformity to established doctrine. In a three-minute stretch between commercials, or in seven hundred words, it is impossible to present unfamiliar thoughts or surprising conclusions with the argument and evidence required to afford them some credibility. Regurgitation of welcome pieties faces no such problem.

Hypocrisy, Milton wrote, is “the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone.” To ensure that “neither Man nor Angel can discern” the evil is, nonetheless, a demanding vocation. Pascal had discussed it a few years earlier while recording “how the casuists reconcile the contrarieties between their opinions and the decisions of the popes, the councils, and the Scripture.” “One of the methods in which we reconcile these contradictions,” his casuist interlocutor explains, “is by the interpretation of some phrase.” Thus, if the Gospel says, “Give alms of your superfluity,” and the task is “to discharge the wealthiest from the obligation of alms-giving,” “the matter is easily put to rights by giving such an interpretation to the word superfluity that it will seldom or never happen that any one is troubled with such an article.” Learned scholars demonstrate that “what men of the world lay up to improve their circumstances, or those of their relatives, cannot be termed superfluity; and accordingly, such a thing as superfluity is seldom to be found among men of the world, not even excepting kings”—nowadays, we call it tax reform. We may, then, adhere faithfully to the preachings of the Gospel that “the rich are bound to give alms of their superfluity,… [though] it will seldom or never happen to be obligatory in practice.” “There you see the utility of interpretations,” he concludes.
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People who added this item 106 Average listal rating (65 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Sorrows of Young Werther - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Now and then the fable of the horse recurs to me. Weary of liberty, he suffered himself to be saddled and bridled, and was ridden to death for his pains.

My days are as happy as those reserved by God for his elect; and, whatever be my fate hereafter, I can never say that I have not tasted joy,—the purest joy of life.

Nature has formed nothing that does not consume itself, and every object near it: so that, surrounded by earth and air, and all the active powers, I wander on my way with aching heart; and the universe is to me a fearful monster, for ever devouring its own offspring.

Such, Wilhelm, is our fate. I do not murmur at it: the flowers of life are but visionary. How many pass away, and leave no trace behind—how few yield any fruit—and the fruit itself, how rarely does it ripen! And yet there are flowers enough! and is it not strange, my friend, that we should suffer the little that does really ripen, to rot, decay, and perish unenjoyed? Farewell! This is a glorious summer. I often climb into the trees in Charlotte's orchard, and shake down the pears that hang on the highest branches. She stands below, and catches them as they fall.
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Oh God, if I'm anything by a clinical name, I'm a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.

There see, to me at least a dozen answers to these questions, and all of them, however dimly valid enough. I think though, that I can dispense with them, and just reiterate that the year was 1942, that I was twenty-three, newly drafted, newly advised in the efficacy if keeping close to the herd-and, above all, I felt lonely. One simply jumped into loaded cars, as I see it, and stayed seated in them.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
The Cossacks - L.N. Tolstoy

Another one.
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People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0

I'm on a run of bad and underwhelming books. April truly is the cruelest month.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Poems 1817 - John Keats

To Hope
When by my solitary hearth I sit,
And hateful thoughts enwrap my soul in gloom;
When no fair dreams before my "mind's eye" flit,
And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!

Whene'er I wander, at the fall of night,
Where woven boughs shut out the moon's bright ray,
Should sad Despondency my musings fright,
And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away,
Peep with the moonbeams through the leafy roof,
And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof!

Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart;
When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart:
Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright,
And fright him as the morning frightens night!

Whene'er the fate of those I hold most dear
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow,
O bright-eyed Hope, my morbidfancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow:
Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!

Should e'er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair;
O let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air!
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!

In the long vista of the years to roll,
Let me not see our country's honour fade:
O let me see our land retain her soul,
Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom's shade.
From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed---
Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!

Let me not see the patriot's high bequest,
Great Liberty! how great in plain attire!
With the base purple of a court oppress'd,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire:
But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings
That fill the skies with silver glitterings!

And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud;
Brightening the half veil'd face of heaven afar:
So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud,
Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed,
Waving thy silver pinions o'er my head!
PulpRoman's rating:
People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
The Fall - Albert Camus
I have a good, hearty laugh and an energetic handshake, and those are trump cards.

Something must happen—and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen, even loveless slavery, even war or death. Hurray then for funerals!

But it’s not easy, for friendship is absent-minded or at least unavailing. It is incapable of achieving what it wants. Maybe, after all, it doesn’t want it enough? Maybe we don’t love life enough? Have you noticed that death alone awakens our feelings? How we love the friends who have just left us? How we admire those of our teachers who have ceased to speak, their mouths filled with earth!

That’s the way man is, cher monsieur. He has two faces: he can’t love without self-love. Notice your neighbors if perchance a death takes place in the building. They were asleep in their little routine and suddenly, for example, the concierge dies. At once they awake, bestir themselves, get the details,commiserate. A newly dead man and the show begins at last. They need tragedy, don’t you know; it’s their little transcendence, their apéritif.

To tell the truth, the contrary would have been surprising. You think you are dying to punish your wife and actually you are freeing her. It’s better not to see that. Besides the fact that you might hear the reasons they give for your action. As far as I am concerned, I can hear them now: “He killed himself because he couldn’t bear ...” Ah, cher ami, how poor in invention men are!
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I hate being stuck in a bad book, even if it's just twenty pages left, it might as well be a thousand...

13.10.20 - How the hell did I manage to read so much this year?! I got a kindle last Christmas, a retiring lit teacher was giving away tons of books, you’ve never seen a fight until you’ve seen bibliophiles fighting over and then peacefully trading books. It’s 2020 I was physically unable to watch as much movies as I would have wanted, c'est la vie mon ami.

Lately I’ve just been tossing bad books. I can’t be bothered to waste my time reading dull crap. If it’s not worthwhile in an hour, it’s not worthwhile.

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Bibliophilia (84 lists)
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