Reviews by Rob Reader

Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great

by Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbards series \"Journeys to the Homes of the Great\" is something I have come upon only recently and I must thank the Muse of e-books for this unexpected gift as I approach my dotage. I of course knew the name Elbert Hubbard for his founding of the Roycroft community in the late 19th century. His work with furniture changed the face of home decoration when it introduced Arts and Crafts product to the American scene.

I was completely ignorant of the fact that Hubbard produced an extensive series of relatively short and well written biographies concerning the most famous men in western thought and history. This volume which deals with philosophers may be the best of his books. His biographic sketches of Socrates, Aristotle, Kant and Thoreau are priceless. True he leaves out a great deal however as these sketches average under 40 pages each I believe he achieves much in the format adopted.

Of all the biographic sketches in this volume only the one concerning Spencer leaves anything to criticize. Perhaps even that may be explained by my aversion to reading Spencer in grad school eons ago rather than Hubbards work.

I give the book 4 stars and urge you to read the series as I am now doing. Thank you Manybooks for your much appreciated efforts.

Reviewed on 2013.08.10

An Inland Voyage

by Robert Louis Stevenson

This is Stevensons first book and a very worthwhile read. Stevenson and his friend Walter Simpson, known as Cigarette in the book take a leisurely canoe trip through Belgium and France in 1876. Obviously much of the pleasure is in their comment upon the sights and people they meet in their journey. Apparently the canoe was of a kind unknown on the continent as several people are curious about it whilst others find it suspicious. In one case an entire French village came out to see the odd craft. The pleasure in the book is in the slow pace, measured writing and use of language which give an almost dreamlike sense to parts of the book.

Not great literature but an interesting read. I recommend with 3 stars.

Reviewed on 2013.05.29

Hall of Mirrors

by Fredric Brown

Assuredly not great literature. No real character development, no actual dialogue whatsoever, nothing genuinely descriptive or insightful. Yet it is one of the few truly original short stories in this genre. A well done and interesting short story that is worth the few minutes required to read it.

I recommend with four stars.

Reviewed on 2013.05.22

An Outline of Occult Science

by Rudolph Steiner

I have never been able to make any sense out of Steiner or his social philosophy. His book on the occult is equally nonsensical. There is however a very significant part of Steiners work which I believe is a must read for anyone and everyone interested in nature, ecology and the functionality of society. I speak of his book and many lectures on bees. The common honeybee very properly fascinated the social reformer in Steiner. Considering what has happened to bee colonies throughout the world in the last decade his writings on bee society and the "protocol of love" which he imagines he finds in that society are truly fascinating. His work in this area is both interesting and informative and I highly recommend it to the reader.

Unfortunately the bee related works are not as yet available on ManyBooks however they may be found in many public and university libraries

Reviewed on 2013.05.18

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