Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

November 14, 2012

Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton

Filed under: Philosophy — Randolph @ 7:45 pm

Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton

Bill CLinton makes the case for a “right-sized” government. Our government has jobs to do that require certain resources and costs, and that too much or too little will adversely affect it. He discusses waste that comes from resource mismanagement and people playing politics.

The book looks at government over the past few years, with a few glances into the past. He keeps returns to attack the small government movement, but he is not always partisan in his attacks nor in his praise. He always returns briefly to the subject of jobs on each issue he addresses.

The last chapter addresses changes he believes would move our country forward.

The book is interesting, but either won’t provide a lot of new information or the reader won’t be ready to accept it. I can’t say I’d recommend it to many people.

November 2, 2012

Tales from the Perilous Realm by J. R. R. Tolkien

Filed under: Fantasy — Randolph @ 8:29 pm

Tales from the Perilous Realm by J. R. R. Tolkien

This is a collection of short stories, and performed in a radio play format. The play format really helps the story along, I enjoy having the various voices and occasional environmental sounds. There are four stories:
* Farmer Giles of Ham
* Smith of Wootton Major
* Leaf by Niggle
* The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

All the stories are fantasy, but only the Tom Bombadil story has any noticeable relationship to Middle Earth as we recognize it. A

Farmer Giles of Ham is an interesting twist on the dragon hunter story. Farmer Giles is a reluctant dragon hunter, having shot (but not even injured) a giant while using a blunderbus, he is pulled into the role of dragon hunter due to some twists on rumors of his giant encounter, and not being able to admit his own fears. He and his talking dog face danger and adventure in this story that is amusing and enjoyable.

Smith of Wootton Major tells the story of a young boy who eats a silver star that was enchanted by fairies. This story seemed long and a bit pointless to me.

Leaf by Niggle is a story of an artist in a world that doesn’t value art. It has its own twist, but isn’t entirely unique nor very involving.

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is the highlight of the collection. I think it was expanded from the Lord of the Rings, or perhaps I don’t remember the original stories very well. The actor reading the part of Tom Bombadil did a very good job, his voice has energy and a lightness that really portrayed the character as I imagined him. This story alone is worth getting the collection.

Overall, I would suggest people skip the middle stories. The first one is worth hearing, but the Adventures of Tom Bombadil is worth acquiring the collection. I rate the collection well because of this story. Go listen to it!

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