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mei’s book reviews

This story was first published in 1880, the original titel is: 'L'Inondation'. This free Kindle version has 315 locations (=app. 30 pages) and can be read in half an hour or so. This story has 5 short chapters, the book has an active table of contents.

The story is told from the perspective of a 70-year old farmer. He is happy, well-to-do, proud of what he has accomplished in life, surrounded by family. He and his family have dinner together, but then it starts to rain. The river near to the farm breaks its bank and the flood starts. First the animals are swept away, then the servants. He and the members of his family try to stay alive by fleeing to the attick first and as the water keeps rising to the roof. But the water keeps on getting higher and then the members of his family are swept away, one after the other. The fear, anguish and desparation are described it such a way that it touches you. This is not a happy story, but is is so wellwritten and touching that I do recommend reading it (but not as a bedtimestory, this story is so tragic that you probably won't be able to fall asleep for awhile).

Emile Zola (1840-1902) was a French author who is known for his naturalistic style.
08/01/2012
This entertaining short story of 31 pages in print or 431 locations on a Kindle tells the story of Miss Dawkins, who is travelling throught Egypt. She is the 'unprotected female' from the title because she is travelling on her own. She is not not alone most of the time, she joins other travellers. In this story she joins a British family, Mr. and Mrs. Damer and their three children, the Frenchman Mr. Delabordeau and the American Mr. Jefferson Ingram. As they travel along the reader starts to wonder whether the unprotected female needs protecting or whether her fellow travellers need to be protected from her.

This story has some hilarious scenes that everyone who has ever travelled to exotic destinations will recognise: the haggling over prizes, the tips, the uncomfortable journeys and the fellow-travellers who really should have stayed at home, where they have all the comforts they so long for during this trip. This is an entertaining story that can be read well within an hour. I did enjoy reading it. The character of Mrs. Dawkins is interesting and, as I have already said, there are some really funny bits in it.

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) was one of the most important writers of Great Brittain in the Victorian Age. This story was first published in Cassell's Illustrated Family Paper on the 6th of October 1860. This Kindle version is the 1864 Chapman & Hall "Tales of all Countries" edition.
08/01/2012
The printed editions have pictures, which this Kindle edition and other e-book versions do not have. It can easily be read in one evening.

This book takes you back to the city of Bombay (nowadays officially called 'Mumbai'), 100 years ago. The first 19 stories in this book were first published as a series of essays in the 'Times of India', the 20th story was added in the second edition, this story was first published in the 'Bombay Gazette'. These stories show you a lot about social life and customs of Bombay in the early 1900's; it tells about religious practices of the many different religions in town, the culture practices, and places that the author visited. In describing his observations the author gives a lot of background information. There are also a few stories about real people from Bombay and some myths in this book. It is wellwritten and interesting, I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in India or in history.

It was written by Stephen Meredith Edwardes, who had worked as a a Government official in Bombay. Edwardes died at the age of 54 on the 1st of January 1927.

Contents of this book:

I. The Spirit of Chandrabai
II. Bombay Scenes
III. Shadows of Night
IV. The Birthplace of Shivaji
V. The Story of Imtiazan
VI. The Bombay Mohurrum
VII. The Possession of Afiza
VIII. A Kasumba Den
IX. The Ganesh Caves
X. A Bhandari Mystery
XI. Scenes in Bombay
XII. Citizens of Bombay
XIII. The Sidis of Bombay
XIV. A Konkan Legend
XV. Nur Jan
XVI. Governor and Koli
XVII. The Tribe Errant
XVIII. The Pandu-Lena Caves
XIX. Fateh Muhammad
XX. The Tilak Riots

07/30/2012
This edition is the translation from the Chinese with introduction and critical notes by Lionel Giles, at the time Assistant in the Department of Oriental Printed Books and MSS in the British Museum. This translation is probably the best one available -even though it is not the most recent translation- this edition has the added value of the introduction and notes by Lionel Giles.

This standard work about the strategy of warfare was written by the Chinese general Sun Tzu (aka Sunzi and Sun Wu) in around 500 BC. It is believed to be the oldest military treatise in the world. The principles taught in this book can also be used in other situations than warfare; this book gives tips on how to outsmart others. This book is an interesting read and will certainly give you a few tips on how to be a better strategist. If you are interested in 'Art of War' by Sun Tzu than I would recommend trying to get this version of it. I do recommend this book to everybody, and not just to people who are interested in military strategy.

07/24/2012
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) had studied theology (which he didn't finish) and philology (the study of language in written historical scources); he became a professor of philology at the university of Basel in 1869, but had to resign in 1879 due to ill health. Nietzsche collapsed in 1889, causing him to become mentally ill, and needed to be cared for until his death in 1900. It has been thought that his collapse was caused by syphilis, but this diagnosis is no longer believed to be correct. The cause of his illness is not known.

In this work Nietzsche critises old philosophers and some of their views on 'free will', knowledge, truth, etc. He felt that the philosophers in the past had not been critical enough about morality, accepting the Chistian views on this theme without questioning those views. Nietzsche tells in this book what qualities philosophers should have, he believed philosophers should move on, into the area 'beyond good and evil'.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in modern philosophy, this book will make you think about some of your ideas about good and bad. You don't have to agree with him to gain new insight from this book. Nietzsche was a great writer, his works are written in a lively way. For Nietzsche rhetoric was more important than logic. This book was written in the 19th century, so the language is a bit dated.

The work consists of 296 numbered sections and the poem 'Aus hohen Bergen'. The sections are organized into nine parts, the contents of this book:

Inhalt

Vorrede
1. Hauptstück: Von den Vorurtheilen der Philosophen.
2. Hauptstück: Der freie Geist.
3. Hauptstück: Das religiöse Wesen.
4. Hauptstück: Sprüche und Zwischenspiele.
5. Hauptstück: Zur Naturgeschichte der Moral.
6. Hauptstück: Wir Gelehrten.
7. Hauptstück: Unsere Tugenden.
8. Hauptstück: Völker und Vaterländer.
9. Hauptstück: Was ist vornehm?
Aus hohen Bergen. Nachgesang.

07/23/2012
In this work Nietzsche critises old philosophers and some of their views on 'free will', knowledge, truth, etc. He felt that the philosophers in the past had not been critical enough about morality, accepting the Chistian views on this theme without questioning those views. Nietzsche tells in this book what qualities philosophers should have, he believed philosophers should move on, into the area 'beyond good and evil'.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in modern philosophy, this book will make you think about some of your ideas about good and bad. You don't have to agree with him to gain new insight from this book. Nietzsche was a great writer, his works are written in a lively way. For Nietzsche rhetoric was more important than logic. This book was translated in the 19th century, so the language is a bit dated.

The work consists of 296 numbered sections and the poem "From High Mountains". The sections are organized into nine parts, the contents of this book:

PREFACE
BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL

CHAPTER I: PREJUDICES OF PHILOSOPHERS
CHAPTER II: THE FREE SPIRIT
CHAPTER III: THE RELIGIOUS MOOD
CHAPTER IV: APOPHTHEGMS AND INTERLUDES
CHAPTER V: THE NATURAL HISTORY OF MORALS
CHAPTER VI: WE SCHOLARS
CHAPTER VII: OUR VIRTUES
CHAPTER VIII: PEOPLES AND COUNTRIES
CHAPTER IX: WHAT IS NOBLE?

FROM THE HEIGHTS (POEM TRANSLATED BY L.A. MAGNUS)

07/23/2012
The subject of this book is interesting, that's why I downloaded it, but this book is not worth your time. It is not wellwritten and it is very difficult to understand: it is written in the English of the mid-18th century -which makes it a bit more difficult than a more modern book- but the real problem is that a lot of the words used in this book are completely obsolete and incomprehensable.
07/23/2012
In this story Wilbur sees a woman dressed in a gray cloak leave his wife Lydia's room. They don't know the woman and had not let her in. So who is she? How did she get into the room? Why did she come? She can't have been a ghost, or can she? Wilbur wants to know and decides to solve this mystery.

This is a short mystery, with a good plot, wellwritten and fast paced, it is a nice read. Recommended, perfect for when you have to wait for a train or the like.
07/22/2012
In this story Mr. Abbot witnesses that a ring is stolen from his very beautiful neighbour Miss Calhoun, who is very destressed about it. So he promisses to get it back for her. Miss Calhoun warns him that it will be very dangerous for him. She tells him where he can find the ring: on the hand of a bronze hand in a doctor's office. Mr. Abbot goes on his way to get the ring, and this is when his adventures start. On his quest he will meet some mysterious women, one very ugly one, and some very dangerous men. This is a wellwritten mystery with a unexpected plot, well worth your time.
07/22/2012
In this story the 'I', Mr. Gryce of the New York policeforce, tells about the mystery of the 3 rich men who all drowned in mysterious circumstances. Gryce feels that there is something fishy about these death, but at first he has no clues at all. Then one day a young men walks into the policestation with a very important clue, and Gryce is given the job to follow this up. The rest of the story is about what Gryce finds out, I don't want to spoil the story so the only other thing I say in this review is that during his investigations he almost gets killed himself.

This story can easily be read in half an hour, it is wellwritten and has a nice pace, the reason I give only 3 stars is that I found it all a bit improbable, but it's a good story for when you have some time to kill (waiting at the doctor's or the like).
07/22/2012