Author Archives: smellincoffee

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.

Classics Club Run I: Final List

The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. Danny Jackson (12/4/2016) The Aeneid, Virgil (2/20/2019) The Histories, Herodotus (10/3/2019) The Conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar (2/05/2019) The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I, Edward Gibbon (09/02/2019) One Thousand and One … Continue reading

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Wisdom Wednesday: The Great Tradition

This week features a quote from Will Durant, whose epic Story of Civilization, partially co-written with his wife, was a masterful review of western history — surveying literature, politics, philosophy, etc — from Mesopotamia to Napoleon. This particular quote comes … Continue reading

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The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov© 1879 Fyodor Dostoevsky, trans. 1992 Pevear & Volkonsky840 pages Fathers and teachers, I ask myself: “What is hell?” And I answer thus: “The suffering of being no longer able to love.” The Brothers Karamazov has the unusual … Continue reading

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Classics Club….FINALE!

Yesterday, I finished The Brothers Karamazov, and, with that last page, completed  the Classics Club challenge.   I began the challenge in September 2015, and pecked away until late  2018, when I realized I had two years left and over half … Continue reading

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The Coddling of the American Mind

The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure© 2018 Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt352 pages There was a time when I was a youthful idealist, full of love and … Continue reading

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Firefly: Ghost Machine

Firefly: Ghost Machine© 2020 James Lovegrove336 pages Mal Reynolds didn’t survive the Independence War by not trusting his gut. It was that same gut that told him to back away from this latest job of Badger’s. The item may have … Continue reading

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Wisdom Wednesday: Live not by Lies

From The Brothers Karamazov, an early chapter in which the brothers and their father receive advice from an Elder at the monastery:   “Above all, above everything else — do not lie.” “About Diderot, you mean?” “No, not exactly about … Continue reading

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Star Trek TNG: Takedown © 2015 John Jackson Miller 369 pages “Captain, permission to speak freely? You’re a good egg.” “…I’m not sure how to respond to that.” I spotted this title at a surplus-goods store a few years back, … Continue reading

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An Elegant Defense

An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System © 2019  Matt Ritchel 488 pages Back in January, long before the pandemic was on my mind (or anyone else’s outside of China),  I watched a charming and educational … Continue reading

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Scaling Mount Doom: August 2020

At the end of July I hit on an idea for reconciling my growing TBR Pile of Doom with my  intractable hunger for more books:  for every four TBR books I read, I’d allow myself to buy one book.  In … Continue reading

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