K.C. and Michelle Woolf

Family blog

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

I've always liked Jane Austen books. But whenever I read them I always thought to myself, "you know what would make this book better? Less silly girls and more gratuitous violence." Seth Grahame-Smith has finally, 2 centuries later, helped Miss Austin get this formula right. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies follows the same story line as Pride and Prejudice, except a plague of undead brain eaters are a scourge on early 19th century England. The Bennet sisters are not only concerned with balls, gentlemen callers and marriage prospects, but also in the marshal arts, to better rid the English countryside of "unmentionables" (zombies). The Zombies make this otherwise boring book about romantic misunderstandings much easier to read. Like when Mr Bingley's dinner party is ruined when zombies devore his household staff before they can serve desert. Or when Lady Catherine's confrontation of Elizabeth Bennet about her rumored engagement to Mr. Darcy turns into Kung fu vs. Ninjutsu death match. Highly recommended for those who like a little culture but still enjoy a good Bruce Lee movie.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Book Review - Wuthering Heights

I’m starting to realize that chick books - by chicks and for chicks - haven’t changed much in the last 150 years. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, once again reminds me of a book I read in college called How to Be the Jerk Women Love. I guess I’ll never understand the emotional masochism found in the literature of the Y-chromosome deficient. Stephanie Meyer hasn’t got anything on the Bronte sisters as far as that goes.


Books I Can Remember that I’ve Read (In no particular order)

I'm only counting text books if I read the entire thing.
I'm counting books that I read more than half of but stopped because I couldn't stomach it (Lolita) or hated (Moby Dick). I'm not counting books that are mostly pictures (The Cat in the Hat) although they are still some of my favorite books. I'm counting books twice if I read them in English and in Spanish. Also, I have not counted all the Bathroom Readers, mostly because I'm ashamed of how much time I spend on the pot. I've read almost all of them though.

***** - I really liked
**** - I liked
*** - OK
** - I didn’t like
* - It sucked.

1. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald****
2. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce**
3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen****
4. Walden - Henry David Thoreau**
5. Claudius the God - Robert Graves*****
6. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez***
7. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess****
8. As I Lay Dying -William Faulkner***
9. Animal Farm - George Orwell****
10. The Book of Mormon - Written by the Hand of Mormon. Translated by Joseph Smith Jr.*****
11. The Holy Bible - King James Version*****
12. The Doctrine and Covenants - Joseph Smith, others****
13. The Pearl of Great Price - Moses, Abraham, Joseph Smith****
14. Travels with Charley (In Search of America) - John Steinbeck****
15. A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket***
16. A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Reptile Room - Lemony Snicket***
17. A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Wide Window - Lemony Snicket***
18. Les Liaisons Dagereuses - Pierre Choderlos de Laclos****
19. Tom Sawyer Abroad - Samuel Clemens***
20. The Monkey Wrench Gang - Edward Abbey****
21. The Hero With a Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell***
22. The Faith of a Scientist - Henry Eyring****
23. The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell****
24. What are People For - Wendell Berry***
25. The Miracle of Forgiveness - Spencer W. Kimball****
26. The Greatest Salesman in the World - Og Mandino***
27. 1984 - George Orwell****
28. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Samuel Clemens*****
29. On the Road - Jack Keroac****
30. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens****
31. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller****
32. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra****
33. Uncle Tom’s Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe***
34. Deliverance - James Dickey****
35. The Best of Edward Abbey***
36. Rosaura a las Diez - Marco Denevi****
37. Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow****
38. Tom Sawyer Detective - Samuel Clemens***
39. The Iliad -Homer****
40. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkein*****
41. Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky***
42. The Double - Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky***
43. The Trial -Franz Kafka***
44. Moby Dick - Herman Melville**
45. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison***
46. Principles of Surgery Companion Handbook - Schartz, Shires, Spencer*
47. Standing for Something - Gordon B. Hinckley***
48. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis*****
49. The Sound and the Fury -William Faulkner**
50. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck****
51. Slaughter House-Five - Kurt Vonnegut****
52. Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald****
53. Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry**
54. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer -Samuel Clemens*****
55. Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler*****
56. The Call of the Wild - Jack London****
57. Kim - Rudyard Kipling***
58. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens****
59. Howards End - E.M. Forster****
60. Sons and Lovers - D.H. Lawrence***
61. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad***
62. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance -Robert M. Pirsig****
63. The Stranger - Albus Camus****
64. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf***
65. The Lonely Men - Louis L’Amour***
66. Sacred Clowns - Tony Hillerman***
67. The Covenant - James A. Michener****
68. Prentice Alvin - Orson Scott Card****
69. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy -Douglas Adams****
70. The Quick and the Dead - Louis L’Amour***
71. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee*****
72. The Gift of the Jews - Thomas Cahill****
73. The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis****
74. The Christ Commission - Og Mandin****
75. Ender’s Game -Orson Scott Card*****
76. People of Darkness - Tony Hillerman****
77. The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis****
78. The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis****
79. Memory of Earth - Orson Scott Card***
80. The Odyssey - Homer****
81. The Source - James A. Michener*****
82. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger****
83. How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time - Naura Hayden**
84. A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway****
85. The Changed Man - Orson Scott Card****
86. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl****
87. El Milagro del Perdon -Spencer W. Kimball****
88. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley****
89. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder - LeGrand Richards****
90. A Treasury of Classical Mythology - A.R. Hope Moncrieff****
91. The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien****
92. Pure Drivel - Steve Martin***
93. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens****
94. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens****
95. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone - J.K. Rowling*****
96. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling*****
97. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban -J.K. Rowling*****
98. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -J.K. Rowling*****
99. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling*****
100. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling*****
101. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling*****
102. The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis*****
103. The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis*****
104. Out of the Silent Planet - C.S. Lewis****
105. Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis*****
106. The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis*****
107. Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis****
108. That Hideous Strength - C.S. Lewis****
109. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway***
110. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov**
111. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley****
112. I Claudius - Robert Graves*****
113. Anthem - Ann Rand***
114. Lord of the Flies - William Golding****
115. As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner***
116. The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad***
117. Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein****
118. A Room With a View - E.M. Forster****
119. Lord Jim - Joseph Conrad***
120. Citizen of the Galaxy - Robert Heinlein****
121. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesley****
122. Tunnel in the Sky - Robert Heinlein****
123. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum****
124. Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card****
125. Xenocide - Orson Scott Card****
126. Songmaster - Orson Scott Card**
127. Saints - Orson Scott Card****
128. Red Prophet - Orson Scott Card****
129. Cruel Shoes - Steve Martin***
130. The Great Brain - John Dennis Fitzgerald****
131. Me and My Little Brain - John Dennis Fitzgerald****
132. Jesus the Christ - James Talmage*****
133. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas****
134. Dracula - Bram Stoker****
135. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown***
136. Angels and Demons - Dan Brown****
137. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Gregory Maguire****
138. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator - Roald Dahl**
139. How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill***
140. Fundamentals of Family Medicine - Robert B. Taylor***
141. Medical Physiology - Rodney A Rhoades and George A Tanner**
142. D'aulaires Book of Greek Myths - Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aurlaire****
143. El Libro De Mormon - Un Relato Escrito por la Mano de Mormon. Traducido de las Planchas por Jose Smith, Hijo*****
144. Generation X - Douglas Coupland***
145. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe****
146. Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice****
147. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde****
148. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen****
149. History of the English-Speaking Peoples - Winston Churchhill****
150. A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking - Barbara Bates**
151. Complete History of the World - Richard Overy****
152. The American Religion - Harold Bloom***
153. The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck****
154. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote****
155. A Rumor of War - Philip Caputo****
156. Religion in the New World - Richard E. Wentz***
157. The Moon Is Down - John Steinbeck****
158. The Pearl - John Steinbeck****
159. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck****
160. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - John le Carré****
161. The Education of Little Tree - Forrest Carter*****
162. The Chosen - Chaim Potok****
163. The Work and the Glory, Pilar of Fire - Gerald N. Lund*****
164. The Work and the Glory, Like a Fire if Burning - Gerald N. Lund*****
165. The Work and the Glory, Truth will Prevail - Gerald N. Lund*****
166. The Work and the Glory, Thy Gold Refine - Gerald N. Lund*****
167. The Work and the Glory, A Season of Joy - Gerald N. Lund*****
168. Stepen King On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King***
169. Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris****
170. Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited, The Evidence for Ancient Origins - Edited by Noel B. Reynolds. **** (March '08)
171. The Millionaire Next Door - Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko****
172. Naked Ape : A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal - Desmond Morris****
173. Johnny Tremain - Esther Forbes****
174. Mormons and Masons, Setting the Record Straight - Gilbert W. Scharffs* (March '08)
175. San Manuel Bueno, mártir - Miguel de Unamuno****
176. Critiquing the Critics of Joseph Smith - Hartt Wixom**** (March '08)
177. Mormon Country - Wallace Stegner****
178. The House of God - Samuel Shem**
179. The Way of All Flesh - Samuel Butler****(March '08)
180. The Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean M. Auel**** (April '08)
181. Religions of the World - A Latter-day Saint View - Spencer J. Palmer, Rober R. Keller, Dong Sull Choi, James A. Toronto****
182. Julius Caesar - William Shakespear****
183. Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare****
184. Hamlet - William Shakespeare****
185. Macbeth - William Shakespeare****
186. One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions - Stephen W. Gibson*** (May '08)
187. Jay's Journal - Beatrice Sparks**
188. Blueprints in Obstetrics and Gynecology - Tamara L. Callahan, Aaron B Caughey and Linda J Heffner***
189. Clinical Microbiology Made Rediculously Simple - Mark Galdwin and Bill Trattler****
190. Prescription for the Boards USMLE Step 2 - Radhika Breaden, Charyl Denenberg, Kate Feibusch, Stephen Gomperts***
191. The Instant Exam Review for the USMLE Step 3 - Joel s. Goldberg**
192. Appleton & Lang's Review of Pediatrics - Martin I. Lorin**
193. Pathology - Arthur S. Schneider and Philip A Szanto**
194. Internal Medicine - Edward D. Frohlich**
195. The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers - J.R.R. Tolkien****
196. The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien****
198. The Mountain Meadows Massacre - Juanita Brooks****
198. A Thief of Time - Tony Hillerman****
199. Naked Pictures of Famous People - Jon Stewart**
200. La Casa de Bernarda Alba - Federico García Lorca***
201. Why Things Are and Why Things Aren't - Joel Achenbach****
202. Why Things Are - Joel Achenbach****
203. Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? And Other Imponderables - David Feldman****
204. First Aid for the Family Medicine Boards - Tao Le, Christine Dehlendorf, Michael Mendoza, and Cynthria Ohata**** (May '08)
205. Why Don't Cat's Like to Swim - David Feldman****
206. The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer**** (June '08)
207. Encounters with the Archdruid - John McPhee***
208. Desert Solitaire - Edward Abby***
209. Family Medicine Board Review - Robert L. Bratton, MD**** (July '08)
210. View of the Hebrews - Ethan Smith** (August '08)
211. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle****
212. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens****
213. The Book of Mormon and DNA Resarch - Edited by Daniel C. Petersen**** (Sept '08)
214. The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis**** (Sept '08)
215. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson**** (Sept '08)
216. The Great Angel - A Study of Israel's Second God - Margaret Barker**** (Sept '08)
217. The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne**** (Sept,08)
218. The Scarlett Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne**** (Oct, '08)
219. Twilight - Stephanie Meyer** (Oct, '08)
220. Sophie's Choice - William Styron*** (Nov, '08)
221. Revolt of 2100 - Robert Heinlein****
222. Farnham's Freehold - Robert Heinlein****
223. Between Planets - Robert Heinlein****
224. The Giver - Lois Lowry****(Nov, '08)
225. History of Joseph Smith by His Mother Lucy Mack Smith****
226. Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein** (Nov, '08)
227. Joseph Smith - Rough Stone Rolling - Richard Lyman Bushman**** (Dec, '08)
228. The Work and the Glory - Praise to the Man - Gerald N. Lund**** (Dec, '08)
229. Tinkling Cymbals and Sounding Brass - The Art of Telling Tales about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young - Hugh Nibley****(Dec, '08)
230. The Happy Prince and Other Tales - Oscar Wilde***(Dec, '08)
231. The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling****(Dec, '08)
232. A High Wind in Jamaica - Richard Hughes*** (Dec, '08)
233. Celsus on the True Doctrine - A Discourse Against the Christians - translated by R. Joseph Hoffmann**** (Jan, '09)
234. Brigham Young: American Moses - Leonard J. Arrington**** (Jan, '09)
235. Atlas Shrugged - Ann Rand***** (Jan, '09)
236. Sophie's World - Jostein Gaarder*** (Feb, '09)
237. Silas Marner - George Eliot**** (Feb, '09)
238. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte*** (Feb, '09)
239. Mormonism and Early Christianity - Hugh Nibley**** (March, '09)
240. Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens*** (March, '09)
241. The Abolition of Man - C.S. Lewis*** (April, '09)
242. The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx** (April '09)
243. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky**** (April '09)
244. Till We Have Faces - C.S. Lewis**** (April '09)
245. Return from Tomorrow - George Ritchie and Elizebeth Sherrill***
246. President Kimball Speaks Out - Spencer W. Kimball***
247. The World's Last Night and Other Essays - C.S. Lewis**** (April '09)
248. Everything's Eventual - Stephen King****
249. Dubliners - James Joyce**** (April '09)
250. Capitalism and Freedom Milton Friedman**** (May '09)
251. Texas - James Michener***
252. Massacre at Mountain Meadows - Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley Jr. and Geln M Leonard**** (May '09)
253. Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein****
254. Hawaii - A Novel - James Michener*** (June '09)
255. Billy Budd - Herman Melville***
256. Tales of the South Pacific - James Michener***
257. Nicholas Nickleby - Charles Dickens*** (June '09)
258. The Last Kingdom - Bernard Cornwell**** (July '09)
259. For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway *** (August '09)
260. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury **** (August '09)
261. The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan*** (Sept '09)
262. Stonehenge - Bernard Cornwell*** (Sept '09)
263. Leap of Faith: Confronting the Origins of the Book of Mormon - Bob Bennett**** (Sept '09)
264. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer** (Sept '09)
265. Shaken Faith Syndrome - Michael R. Ash**** (October '09)
266. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers**** (October '09)
267. Lehi in the Desert - Hugh Nibley**** (October '09)
268. The World of the Jaredites - Hugh Nibley**** (October '09)
269. There Were Jaredites - Hugh Nibley *** (November '09)
270. How to be the Jerk Women Love - F.J. Shark**
271. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte*** (November '09)
272. The Story of England - Christopher Hibbert****

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lehi in the Desert, The World of the Jaredites, and There were Jaredites

I read Hugh Nibley's 3 in 1 book Lehi in the Desert, The World of the Jaredites, There Were Jaredites last month. The first one, Lehi in the Desert, was the best. Nibley makes it clear that only someone who had intimate knowledge of the Arabian Peninsula (knowledge no westerner had until the early 20th century) could have written the part of the Book of Mormon that took place in the Old World. If Joseph Smith did write it, he hit bull's eyes with so many lucky guesses it is bind blowing. As Nibley says at the conclusion of this book: "Who wrote the Book of Mormon? It would have been quite as impossible for the most learned man alive in 1930 to have written the book as it was for Joseph Smith. And whoever would account for the Book of Mormon by any theory suggested so far -- save one -- must completely rule out the first forty pages." And in my experience, that is exactly what critics of the Book of Mormon do - ignore the first 40 pages.

The other two books, The World of the Jaredites and There were Jaredites were harder to get through, and seems to have been written more for academic in ancient history, religion and mythology. Although much of it went over my head, reading it made me realize that perhaps no one has studied the Book of Ether in more depth and with more insight than Hugh Nibley, certainly not the critics of the Book of Mormon. If Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Ether as an after thought, as Fawn Brodie suggests, he certainly did his homework to follow the Epic Milieu perfectly, something no one in the 19th century knew about.