60 in 60

60 in 60: #33 – Voltaire’s Miracles and Idolatry (Penguin’s Great Ideas)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 21st, 2009 • 60 in 60

voltaire

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

Miracles and Idolatry
by Voltaire (1694 to 1778)

Memorable Line
“I have spoken of love. It is hard to pass from people who embrace each other to people who eat each other. ”

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60 in 60: #32 – Sir Thomas Browne’s Urne-Burial

Jeff VanderMeer • January 19th, 2009 • 60 in 60

browne

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

Urne-Burial
by Sir Thomas Browne (1605 to 1682)

Memorable Line
“Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us. A small fire sufficeth for life, great flames seemed too little after death, while men vainly affected precious pyres, and to burn like Sardanapalus; but the wisedom of funerall Laws found the folly of prodigall blazes, and reduced undoing fires unto the rule of sober obsequies, wherein few could be so mean as not to provide wood, pitch, a mourner, and an Urne.”

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60 in 60: #31 – Thomas Hobbes’ Of Man (Penguin’s Great Ideas)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 18th, 2009 • 60 in 60

hobbes

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

Of Man
by Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Memorable Line
“There be beasts, that at a year old observe more, and pursue that which is for their good, more prudently, than a child can do at ten.”

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60 in 60: Weeks Four and Five in Review

Jeff VanderMeer • January 18th, 2009 • 60 in 60

Up on the Amazon book blog, I’ve got my latest summary, with rankings, of my reading over the last couple of weeks–only nine books since it doesn’t include this weekend, and the first week was half a week, given the break between sets.

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60 in 60: #30 – Francis Bacon’s Of Empire (Penguin’s Great Ideas)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 17th, 2009 • 60 in 60

bacon

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

Of Empire
by Francis Bacon (1561-1626

Memorable Line
1. “Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man’s nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. For as for the first wrong, it doth but offend the law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law out of office.”

2. “An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is a shrewd thing in an orchard or garden. And certainly men that are great lovers of themselves waste the public.”

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60 in 60: #29 – Baldesar Castioglione’s How to Achieve True Greatness (Penguin’s Great Ideas)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 16th, 2009 • 60 in 60

castiglione

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

How to Achieve True Greatness
by Baldesar Castiglione (1478-1529)

Memorable Line
“But if [love grows] then in the knowledge that he has been captured the courtier should determine to eschew all the ugliness of vulgar passion and guided by reason set forth on the path of divine love. Then first he must reflect that the body in which beauty shines is not the source from which it springs, and on the contrary that beauty, being incorporeal and, as we have said, a ray of the supernatural, loses much of its nobility when fused with base and corruptible matter: for the more perfect it is, the less matter it contains, and it is most perfect when completely separated from matter.”

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60 in 60: #28 – Christine de Pizan’s The City of Ladies (Penguin’s Great Ideas)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 15th, 2009 • 60 in 60

pizan

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

The City of Ladies
by Christine de Pizan

Memorable Line
“My dear friend, as you yourself know, there are so many wives who lead a wretched existence bound in marriage to a brutish husband who makes them suffer greater penance than if they were enslaved by Saracens. Oh God, how many fine and decent women have been viciously beaten for no good reason, heaped with insults, obscenities and curses, and subjected to all manner of burdens and indignities, without uttering even a murmur of protest. Not to mention all of those wives who are laden down with lots of tiny mouths to feed and lie starving to death in penury whilst their husbands are either out visiting places of depravity or living it up in town or in taverns.”

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60 in 60: #27 – Marco Polo’s Travels in the Lands of Kubilai Khan (Penguin’s Great Ideas)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 14th, 2009 • 60 in 60

polo

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

Travels in the Land of Kubilai Khan
by Marco Polo

Memorable Line
“The reason for killing the bearded men was that the Cathayans are naturally beardless, whereas the Tartars, Saracens, and Christians wear beards.”

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60 in 60: #26 – Revelation and the Book of Job (Penguin’s Great Ideas)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 13th, 2009 • 60 in 60

revelation

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

Revelation and the Book of Job
by ??

Memorable Line
“And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee; for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”

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60 in 60: #25 – Cicero’s An Attack on An Enemy of Freedom (Penguin’s Great Ideas)

Jeff VanderMeer • January 12th, 2009 • 60 in 60

cicero

This blog post is part of my ongoing “60 Books in 60 Days” encounter with the Penguin Great Ideas series–the Guardian’s book site of the week and mentioned on the Penguin blog. (Their latest post comments on the first 20.) From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning. For more on this beautifully designed series, visit Penguin’s page about the books.

An Attack on an Enemy of Freedom
by Cicero (106-43 BC)

Memorable Line
“Senators, after the deeds that I have done, death actually seems to me desirable. Two things only I pray for. One, that in dying I may leave the Roman people free—the immortal gods could grant me no greater gift. My other prayer is this: that no man’s fortunes may fail to correspond with his services to our country!”

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