Tag Archives: review

Review: The Quintessential Porcine History of Philosophy and Religion

The Quintessential Porcine History of Philosophy and ReligionThe Quintessential Porcine History of Philosophy and Religion by James Taylor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A funny, winsome summary of the various philosophies and religious theories throughout history. Each is summarized in a sentence or two and imagined with cartoon pigs. Some are very clever, some are okay. It’s a fun bathroom read.

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Review: The Walking Dead, Book Two

The Walking Dead, Book TwoThe Walking Dead, Book Two by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m really enjoying this series, although I know it’s still early. You should be forewarned that there is foul language and adult situations, but it’s probably to be expected in a post-apocalyptic zombie-filled world.

Book Two continues the Sheriff Rick Grimes story. It continues to delve into questions about what it means to be human in a world where the institutions of humanity have ceased to exist. Will the gang become more like their zombie counterparts, or will they grow further apart and more human themselves? These are the kinds of questions this book (and the television series) seeks to answer.

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Review: The Walking Dead, Book Three

The Walking Dead, Book ThreeThe Walking Dead, Book Three by Robert Kirkman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not much to say about the series so far that I haven’t already said in the previous two reviews. I do think the characters, especially Rick Grimes, are types of the ideal man in the same way that Achilles or Odysseus or Hamlet or Dante are. There’s something to Rick’s character that should draw us further in to the story. How is he behaving in a way that we should imitate? How is he behaving in a way that we should eschew? What would be the proper way to behave in such situations? If we can learn to live rightly, via our imagination, in a post-apocalyptic world, then certainly we can learn to live rightly in our own world.

I’m drawn to this series, and I’m surprised by that in light of this being a graphic novel.

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Review: Inheritance

InheritanceInheritance by Christopher Paolini

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the others. I will say, though, that this book still had many of the same things I’ve criticized in the earlier books, namely, over-explanation and over-description of the world he’s created.

That said, Paolini has created an exciting, magical, and imaginative world. And I really enjoyed the way he ended the battle for Alagaesia. The ending came far sooner than I expected, though. He wrote a rather lengthy conclusion describing what happened in Alagaesia after the battle ended. I am glad I pushed through to this last book; it is worth reading.

I’m not sure the Inheritance tetralogy will ever be lumped in with The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings. But, it probably will be a book series that young kids will read for a long time.

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Review: Brisingr

BrisingrBrisingr by Christopher Paolini

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not sure how to rate this book or any of the books in this series, to be honest. I really do enjoy the story, and I appreciate the homage to so many archetypes and ideas from the stories I love.

I do, however, find the books difficult to get through. Paolini over describes just about everything. It feels like he doesn’t trust the imaginations or the intellects of his readers. He seems bent on connecting every dot for his readers, and the lack of subtlety is frustrating.

That said, the story is a good one, and I enjoy being able to discuss the story with both of my boys who have read and enjoyed them.

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Review: A Little History of the World

A Little History of the WorldA Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book. This is how history should be told. The history of the world, from Creation to World War II, is told a series of stories. The author doesn’t shy away from telling history as he understands it. This is especially true when he gets to the history he lived through. Yet, in the final chapter of the book, he goes back and corrects things that he later felt like he misunderstood at the time of living through it.

The book is written for younger children, maybe 9-11, but I read it aloud to my older children (13 and 16) and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.

If you have younger children, this is a great book to read to them each morning as part of your homeschool. The chapters are brief, and there are only forty of them, so you can get through the whole thing in about two months’ time. It is actually a part of a larger series of books, the “A Little History…” series, so you can move on from this one to the one on science or art. That is what I am planning to do with my children.

Although…honestly…my kids are just an excuse for me to read these books.

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