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Nov. 14th, 2009

Książki, books

literaturechic

Polish way. A thousand-year history of the Poles and their culture

Name of Book: Własną drogą. Osobliwe dzieje Polaków i ich kultury (original title: The Polish Way)
Author: Adam Zamoyski
Genre:
Culture, history
What group of people you would recommend this book to: interested in Polish culture and history - beginners' level
Blurb: This illustrated history, from the tenth century to the present day, tells of Poland's achievement as a European nation: a subject that has occupied historians far less than the woes that have beset her people. It places Poland's history firmly within the European context, paying special attention to developments that had repercussions beyond the boundaries of the country. It reminds us that Poland was one of the first countries in Europe to enshrine a measure of personal liberty in law, that it was second only to Iceland in evolving a parliament, that the Renaissance manifested itself much more strongly in Polish culture than in that of its neighbours, that Poland enjoyed religious peace while others were divided into the murderous factions of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, that its victories over Teutonic Knights, Tatars and Turks, and effortless conquest of Moscow, won it a reputation for a century and more as the most formidable military force in Europe, and that its constitution of 3 May 1791 lit a brief beacon for the liberal world, while sealing its own doom. This book demonstrates the continuity underlying the apparently discontinuous history of the Polish people, and reveals much in Poland's past that must be grasped for any understanding of what is happening in the country today - in parliamentary politics form the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries, in the religious issues that have dominated public life, in Polish literature, art and architecture. The 170 colour and monochrome publications, most of them published here for the first time outside Poland, provide a striking record of Polish attitudes and tastes, and illuminate that curious mixture of Eastern and Western influence which make up Polish culture.
Your review: The book people who start their adventure with Polish history and culture.
Rating (out of 10): 8

Nov. 11th, 2009

Książki, books

literaturechic

(no subject)


Name of Book:
The Tommyknockers
Author: Stephen King
Genre:
Horror
What group of people you would recommend this book to: horror lovers and Stephen King's fans
Blurb: Writer Bobbi Anderson becomes obsessed with digging up something she's found buried in the woods near her home. With the help of her friend, Jim Gardener, she uncovers an alien spaceship. Though exposure to the Tommyknockers who piloted the alien craft has detrimental effects on residents' health, the people of Haven develop a talent for creating innovative devices under its increasingly malignant influence.
Your review: I thought it would be more scary as it's Stephen King's book. But Insomnia, Carrie and Shining were more scary for me. After those three books I had bad dreams, but after Tommyknockers nothing happened.
Rating (out of 10): 7

May. 8th, 2008

dreamlily

(no subject)

You like reading, but do you also like writing? If so, pop on over to a new community.  fairytalemuse 

Apr. 13th, 2008

dreamlily

The Queens Fool

 Name of Book: The Queens Fooll
Author: Philippa Gregory
Genre: Set in the 1500s based on truth
What group of people you would recommend this book to:  Probably adult

Blurb:
This particular book revolves around a young lady called Hannah.  She is a Jew admist a country where this religion is despised.  Whilst hiding who she really is, she finds herself begged a fool for the Queen of England.  She is a seer rather than a fool, and has the 'sight', a gift which on very rare occassions allows her to see the truth of a matter.  It tells of the background story of the Fight for the throne between Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth (who is Anne Boleyns daughter), running along side Hannah the Fool story of her religion, her betrothal to a boy she hardly knows, and finding her own person a world where women have very few choices
Your Review: I enjoyed this book becuase it is part of the Tudor Series written by Philippa Gregory (for other reviews of these series check out my userinfo page) although I didn't find this one AS good as the others.  The Other Boleyn girl is my favourite - this one seemed just a little out of place, yet interestingall the same
Rating: (out of 10) 7

Dec. 28th, 2007

edifice rex

ed_rex

Uplifting: David Brin's Startide Rising and The Uplift War

Review: Startide Rising and The Uplift War, by David Brin


Published in 1983 and 1987, respectively, I stumbled across these novels in an omnibus edition entitled Earthclan, while seeking a mouse for my computer at a local Sally Ann. I have read some of Brin's short fiction over the years and was aware that he has been a very big name in "the New Space Opera" for a long time, but had somehow missed reading any of his novels. Judging by these two, Brin's Uplift are excellent examples of many of the strengths, along with a few of the weaknesses, of the galaxy-spanning, big-picture SF that arguably began with Olaf Stapleton's Last and First Men.

These books, which are in fact the second and third of (so far) six novels set in the same universe, are set several hundred years in the future. Humanity (or "mankind", the term Brin mostly uses, along with a self-conscious explanation for the sexist term; I wonder whether, after a further 20 years of feminism, he still does) has reached the stars in "slowships" (sub-light speed starships), only to discover that there is not only life beyond our solar system, but that our galaxy, along with four of our galactic neighbours, is positively teeming with life. Humanity has, in fact, encountered a three billion year-old civilization encompassing almost uncounted species, all of which - with the exception of "Man" "himself" - were "uplifted" by an earlier civilization. In galactic legend, only one civilization, the Progenitors, had reached the stars without the aid of another. read moreCollapse )
Cross-posted to _bookish, bookreview_lj, books, mere_review, review_o_rama, sf_book_reviews, you_review and (of course) to my own journal.

Jul. 20th, 2007

books

maryweasley

One step behind

Name of Book: One step behind
Author: Henning Mankell
Genre: mystery story
What group of people you would recommend this book to: everyone who love mystery stories with an officer (policeman) as a main character.
Blurb: Three friends for fun plays in wood planned earlier masquarade. They don't know someone observes them. After 2 months the police finds their bodies, each with a bullet in head. Also one of co-workers of commissar Wallender dies. Is there something connecting those two cases. Wallender traces the murderer, but he is always one step behind....
Your Review: Good mystery story by Henning Mankell, Swedish writer. Tension is right in right places. One step behind is one of books with Kurt Wallender as a main character. The policeman is a human with feelings, but he tries to do his work well. Perfect reading for summer.
Rating: (out of 10) 10!!!!

Jun. 28th, 2007

books

maryweasley

Art Objects and 9/11 commission report

Name of Book: Art Objects
Author: Jeannette Winterson
Genre: philosophy of literature
What group of people you would recommend this book to:
Blurb:
My thoughts about Art Objects and 9/11 Commision Report
Your Review: All is in post behind the link
Rating: (out of 10) 4

Jun. 27th, 2007

Writing

maryweasley

Hungarian Patient

Name of Book: The Hungarian Patient
Author: Andras Veer
Genre: Fictionalised biography
What group of people you would recommend this book to: interested history and the "real life" stories
Blurb: A story of last Hungarian POW, who spent over 50 years in Russian hospital for mentally ill people despite the fact he was healthy, just didn't want to learn Russian.
Your Review:  Very good book showing the reality of Soviet and Russian hospitals for mentally ill and how the stay there for long time can influence one's life. Andras Toma, who for nearly 60 years was hidding under the name of Endre Irsai, was Hungarian POW caught by Russians in 1944. He spent about 2 years in gulag. Then he was moved to a hospital for mentally ill mainly cause he didn't learn Russian despite the stay in gulag and was a little bit aggresive.
Rating: (out of 10) 8

Jun. 25th, 2007

tealightglow

Damaged - Best book I've read in a LONG time.

Name of Book: Damaged
Author: Cathy Glass
Genre: True Story
What group of people you would recommend this book to:  Any age from about 16 upwards
Blurb: A deeply moving story of how one foster carer's profound patience and love unlocked a little girls darkest most painful secrets
Your Review: This is possibly one of the best books I have read.  It is told from the perspective of a single mother who is also a foster carer.  She takes on a young 8 year old girl called Jodie who has the mentality of a 4 year old.  It is discovered that she had been abused since she was 8 months old (both sexually and psychologically) by her parents and others that she trusted.  The story tells of how Jodie shut herself down from the world so she couldn't feel anything, and her coping mechanisms, and also of how the foster mother coped with all of this.  It is truly an amazing account.
Rating: (out of 10 ) 10

Jun. 17th, 2007

Writing

maryweasley

Rising '44

Name of Book: Rising '44. The Battle for Warsaw
Author: Norman Davies
Genre: Non fiction, history
What group of people you would recommend this book to:  everyone interested in history
Blurb: Book written by British historian with passion for Poland and its history
Your Review: Book telling story about one of the most heroic and tragic episodes of World War II without pompous words.
Rating: (out of 10) 9,5

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