Monday, March 29, 2010

Needs Editing

5,000 Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen is actually a very quick, enjoyable read. I agree with its overall sentiments; nevertheless, it has some structural and grammatical issues. Skoussen's ideas are not fully formed out, the piece lacks flow, and it is in dire need of some editorial tidying. Its issues detract from what is a really strong survey piece. How can things go to press with errors like the use of "it's" where the author means "its" etc.? Overall, it's a good survey of American Constitutional History.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bauhaus

From Bauhaus to Our House by Tom Wolfe

Loved it--an essay about navel gazing and what happens when groups of people navel-gaze and gather together to prove which one of them is more perfect at navel-gazing. Wolfe critiques modern architecture, but it isn't just about the negative effects of the Bauhaus style as much as the dangerousness of a group of people who attempt to rid themselves of pesky intellectual and moreover, ideological, competition. You don't have to hate modern or post modern architecture to like the book, but it probably doesn't hurt if you are a bit of an iconoclast.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Thank you Spring!

We are having some really nice weather after a terribly long, cold winter. It's not been warm of enough for me to actually start seedlings, but it's been warm enough for me to start planning spring plantings and thinking off all things that need to be done in preparation for Spring and Summer.

I might even be able to sit outside and read later today!

On the topic of reads, I enjoyed Unnatural Fire by Fidelis Morgan but it wasn't nearly as good as it's sequel The Rival Queens. I read them in the wrong order, finding the first disappointing in comparison to the second book. The situations in the first weren't nearly as memorable and the characters were not nearly as engaging as both were in the second piece. I'm glad I read the second one first or I might not have gotten to the second, better one.

The characters were not realistically foolish. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but the story was too much like the common comedy of manners. The characters were just too dense. Furthermore, with the exception of a character named Betty I had no connection with the characters. In other words, when they inevitably die their deaths result in nothing more than a dull thud. The apparent villains are not attractive and are gravely flawed. The place and voice of the story were lacking the same delicious quality that the second book had. It wasn't easy to laugh with the story, nor were the descriptions of period London as well wrought. I'm only tempted to keep it because I'm rather fond of the author's second book.