Works Featured

Below are brief descriptions of the works from which I’ve published quotes, arranged by author. You can click any title to see all of the quotes from that source, or click the name of an author for all quotes by that writer. If you happen upon a page with no search results, keep an eye out for new posts coming up; I update this page as I schedule posts, so sometimes an entry appears here before its quotes go live.

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Sagan, Carl : The Demon-Haunted World.

“Intended to explain the scientific method to laypeople, and to encourage people to learn critical or skeptical thinking. It explains methods to help distinguish between … valid science, and … pseudoscience.” (wikipedia) (but here, the Amazon description is much less stuffy)

Sagan, Carl : The Dragons of Eden.

“A Pulitzer prize winning 1977 book by Carl Sagan. In it, he combines the fields of anthropology, evolutionary biology, psychology, and computer science to give a perspective of how human intelligence evolved.” (wikipedia)

Sagan, Carl : Pale Blue Dot.

“Sagan mixes philosophy about the human place in the universe with a description of the current knowledge about the Solar System. He also details a human vision for the future.” (wikipedia)

Sagan, Carl and Ann Druyan : Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.

“Cosmos, the widely acclaimed book and television series by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, was about where we are in the vastness of space and time. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is an exploration of who we are. How were we shaped by life’s adventure on this planet, by a mysterious past that we are only just beginning to piece together?” (goodreads)

Shelley, Mary : Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.

The show Penny Dreadful made me curious about some of its pro-/antagonists, Frankenstein’s creature among them; the vague cartoonish impression I had acquired of the monster gave me no idea how intelligent and literate he was. This one begs to be discussed, argued over. (goodreads entry)

Smith, Adam : An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

“[T]he magnum opus of the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith. …offers one of the world’s first collected descriptions of what builds nations’ wealth and is today a fundamental work in classical economics.” (wikipedia)

Strunk Jr., William, and E. B. White : The Elements of Style.

“Though there are other books on the market that delve more deeply into matters of grammar and style, this is the best single source for anyone who desires a pithy, lively guide to the essentials of effective writing.” (barnes & noble)

Teale, Edmund Way : Circle of the Seasons.

“Shares the author’s daily observations of nature over the course of a year, and includes explanations of natural phenomena.” (Google books)

Thomas, Lewis : Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony.

A collection of essays that ‘address such topics as “The Attic of the Brain,” “Falsity and Failure,” “Altruism,” and the effects of the federal government’s virtual abandonment of support for basic scientific research will have on medicine and science.’ (goodreads)

Tolkien, J.R.R. : The Hobbit, or There and Back Again.

Wizards and dwarves and elves (and goblins and trolls and spiders and a dragon), oh my! (Not to mention hobbits, who really would rather be back at home in front of a hot kettle with a full belly and some snacks and pipe-weed at hand.) ()

Tolkien, J.R.R. : Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

If you need a summary here, you make me sad. Go. Read. (This volume runs from the long-expected party to the breaking of the fellowship at Parth Galen under Amon Hen.) (here’s the wiki)

Tolkien, J.R.R. : Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

This volume has one book split among the viewpoints of the hobbits and the hunters, and the other is wholly Frodo and Sam’s storyline. Runs from Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn’s orc-hunt to the (start of the) race to Gondor after Helm’s Deep, and from the mazelike Emyn Muil through the encounter with Shelob. (here’s the wiki)

Tolkien, J.R.R. : Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Begins with the three paths to Gondor in one book, and Sam’s rescue of Frodo in the other, ending three or four different times as the threads are tied back together. (here’s the wiki)

Tolstoy, Leo : War and Peace.

‘Tolstoy said War and Peace is “not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle”.’ …what it is, is long, and occasionally interesting (usually, I find, when it gets philosophical). (wiki)

Tolstoy, Leo : What Is Art?

“An essay by Leo Tolstoy in which he argues against numerous aesthetic theories which define art in terms of the good, truth, and especially beauty.” (wikipedia)

Tufte, Edward : The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

“…the fundamentals of graphic design in a book that has come to be considered a classic. Scientific American described this seminal work as ‘original, beautifully presented, sharp and learned…a work of art.'” (B&N)

unknown and Snorri Sturluson : The Elder Eddas…; and the Younger Eddas….

“an unnamed collection of Old Norse poems,… consist[ing] primarily of text from the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript known as the Codex Regius … arguably the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends.” (Elder Eddas wiki)

My copy (from Project Gutenberg) contains only the second section of the Prose Edda, the “deluding of Gylfi” – “Gylfaginning deals with the creation and destruction of the world of the Nordic gods, and many other aspects of Norse mythology.” (Prose Eddas wiki)

various authors : National Geographic.

History, geography, society, science, and gorgeous photography. (National Geographic)

Vienne, Veronique : The Art of Doing Nothing.

“Much more than merely a book about nothing, this is a concentrated guide to cultivating a sense of serenity.” (amazon)

Voltaire : “Micromégas.”

“A short story written in the 18th century by the French philosopher and satirist Voltaire. It is a significant development in the history of literature because it originates ideas which helped create the genre of science fiction.” (wikipedia)

Wilde, Oscar : The Picture of Dorian Gray

“The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, ‘a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.'” (goodreads)

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