Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Call of the WildThe Call of the Wild by Jack London

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jack London, who was a fervent follower of Darwinism, contextualized Darwinism as portrayed in Buck’s survival in the wild with his resourcefulness and stamina that enabled him to survive and become a leader of his pack. Also, as Darwin paid a note on the atavism of a dog going feral from being domesticated once he lost contact with human, Buck became unleashed by the death of Thornton, the embodiment of humanness. This book is London’s manifesto of Darwinian atavism and evolutionary theory.

Sister Wendy’s Book of Muses by Wendy Beckett

Sister Wendy's Book of MusesSister Wendy’s Book of Muses by Wendy Beckett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you are a lover of Greek mythology and also a fan of sister Wendy’s delightful world of art appreciation, the content of this book will endear it to you: each of the Nine Muses is shown in a beautiful ceramic figurine with a description of the accordant muse. These Nine Muses are: Kalliope (Calliope), epic poetry; Kleio (Clio), history; Ourania (Urania), astronomy; Thaleia (Thalia), comedy; Melpomene, tragedy; Polymnia (Polyhymnia), religious hymns; Erato, erotic poetry; Euterpe, lyric poetry; and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), choral song and dance. Through the Nine Muses, we seek inspiration from outside to invoke our artistic spheres from within. The gem of this book of Muses is sister Wendy’s insightful narrative of the names and attributes of the Muses in the context of regarding the realm of human intellect and arts. This is a very lovely book filled with beautiful photos of the Muses and the author’s personal reflections on human nature and creativity.

Adventures of American Girl in Victorian London by Elizabeth L. Banks

Adventures of an American Girl in Victorian LondonAdventures of an American Girl in Victorian London by Elizabeth L. Banks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If this book had been written in an armchair perspective of a priggish journalist who would only report by hearsay or with cavalier attitude toward working class, then I would not have even bothered to pick it up in the first place. What attracted me to this book was an excerpt bespeaking the author’s telltale recounting of the story as an ambitious, enterprising journalist who dared to work undercover as a domestic maid and a laundry worker in Victorian London during which the social conditions of the working class, not to speak of women’s social positions, plummeted to a dismal low as the rise and the prosperity of the bourgeoisie was skyrocketed especially in London. Although Ms. Bank’s motivation of writing this book arose from her achievement of journalistic ambition, her candor, analytical mind, and diligence should be esteemed highly in the discourse of her artless recounting of working experience. In fact, this book itself is a valuable historical and anthropological record of social conditions and cultural aspects of the 19th century London., guiding readers to her veni, vidi vici adventure thereof.

The Mini-Atlas of Dog Breeds by Andrew De Prisco

Title: The Mini-Atlas of Dog BreedsTitle: The Mini-Atlas of Dog Breeds by Andrew De Prisco

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has become one of my most treasured belongings. It encompasses not only the information on each different breed of dogs in the world but also the origins and the historical backgrounds thereof with adorable photos. Also, this mini atlas of dogs has taught me about 10 groups of the canine, such as Sight Hounds, Mastiffs, Nordic Dogs, Guns Hounds, Flock Hounds, Herding Hounds, Toys, Terriers, Scent Hounds, and Pariahs. Although it was published in the 1990s, it will not prevent you from being acquainted with the world of the canine with the extensive provision of the knowledge on dog breeds, not to speak of the excellent writing style that is at once so elegant and amusing.

My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen

My Life in Dog YearsMy Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reading this book is like listening to Mr. Paulsen’s tale of wondrous dogs he has encountered in his life: His colloquial English writing style is all the more realistic and straightforwardly addressed to readers’ hearts, leaving strong imprints in their minds without elaborate metaphor. Mr. Paulsen introduces his readers to the dogs that have provided his life with compassion, loyalty, faithfulness, and joy, the virtues which only humans are thought to be endowed with. Take Ike, the black Lab who appeared out of the blue to console the author’s lonely heart and become a good friend; and Josh, an incredibly smart and remarkably faithful Border Collie, who was not only a good herding dog but also a loyal friend. I would dare say that these wonder dogs were his saving grace that helped him to find his calling as a fine American writer.