Tag Archives: Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert by Timothy O’Reilly

Frank HerbertFrank Herbert by Timothy O’Reilly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I came across a quote attributed to Frank Herbert and I tried to find the source to validate it before sharing – I don’t like to consciously perpetuate misinformation. The research led me to this book, which I’m surprised I hadn’t read yet. Well, not too surprised…I have read a lot of other books since its publication, quite a few from O’Reilly’s publishing house. A large part of this is devoted to analysis of Herbert’s most famous work, Dune, of course, but O’Reilly also looks at his first novel and others with similar depth of analysis. O’Reilly says in his Preface,

To my mind, the most fundamental judgment to be made about a novel is not as a work of art built to abstract standards, but as an act of communication. What does it say to the reader? How does it touch him?
[…]
One criticism that I have made of Herbert throughout this book is that he walks a narrow line between entertainment and didacticism. In his best work, such as Dune, the story itself is the message; the concepts are so completely a part of the imaginative world he has created that the issue of didacticism never arises. Ideas are there to be found by the thoughtful reader, but one never stumbles over them.

No stumbling on my part, at least with that novel. Continue reading

My 2014 Reading List – Summer

Goodreads goal for 2014:   100 books (again).

So far, I’m WAY ahead of the pace with 86 – Goodreads says that’s 12 ahead of schedule.

Recap: The way I’ve been recounting my book readings the past couple of years means overly long posts (100+ books with comments?). For 2014, I’ve decided to break up the year into quarters. Here’s my first three month summary of the 23 books I read,  and my second quarter list numbering 31books. Below I list 32 more for the third quarter/summer.

For some reason, this year I’m picking books that are quite long – again, what’s up with that?  George Martin’s catastrophe was monstrously long for little value added, and Hostadter’s GEB, while long (and dense), was the opposite.

For the third quarter:

  • 17 nonfiction
  • 15 fiction – more of a balance this quarter
  • I’ve rated 2 more as five-star (you-really-should-read-this) on Goodreads – and another was fiction!
  • I gave 0 books a one-star rating (not-only-no-but-really-no)…but a couple came really close..
  • As before, I’ve linked all of my Goodreads reviews (even if only one line) to each title in case anyone is interested in what I thought beyond the commentary below. The review page links back to the Goodreads main page for the book.

Continue reading

My 2014 Reading List – Second Quarter

Goodreads goal for 2014:

100 books (again). So far, I’m ahead of the pace with 54.

Recap: The way I’ve been recounting my book readings the past couple of years means overly long posts (100+ books with comments?). For 2014, I’ve decided to break up the year into quarters. My first three month summary of the 23 books I read tallied 23 books. Below I list 31 more.

A few more of the books I read these three months were quite long – what’s up with that? Wallace’s Infinite Jest, Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science might pad the pages read stats, but the ROI was dismal.

For the second quarter:

  • 22 nonfiction
  • 9 fiction – fewer of these are attracting me…curious trend
  • I’ve rated 4 as five-star (you-really-should-read-this) on Goodreads – and one was fiction!
  • I gave 1 book a one-star rating (not-only-no-but-really-no)…the first of the year.
  • I’ve linked all of my Goodreads reviews (even if only one line) to each title in case anyone is interested in what I thought beyond the commentary below. The review page links back to the Goodreads main page for the book.

Continue reading