天仙 x小仙女 x 倫敦熊的後花園
2009年利物浦大學國際學生大使台灣代表。
2010年利物浦大學國際校友大使台灣代表。
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目前分類:【書籍】書籍評論 Books (31)

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blog.jpg  生活茶 張光文博士著

自古至今,中華文化裡就少不了「茶」。相信身在台灣,對很多人來說「茶」是日常生活中不可缺少的要素。就連天仙熱愛的英國文化也是跟茶少不了關係。但是天仙到底對茶瞭解多少?其實跟大部分的人一樣,我瞭解的並不多。

前一陣子在部落格中看到一則留言。那是一則活動的邀約。邀約者挑了我數年前為「小熊維尼的道」這本書寫的心得文章留言。這個活動是要我讀一本與茶相關的書籍。我思考了很久,猶豫該不該參加。畢竟自己的中文能力有限。畢竟今年讀過得中文書,除了友情捧場的兩本以外就沒了!。但接受邀約一方面也是為了自我挑戰一番。

書寄來後,翻開就傻眼了:好多國字(廢話!)此時此刻的心情,應該跟各位看到原文書差不多心情。當時因為正處忙碌期間。雖然時間是有,只是因為內文用字太深,講得也都是我不太熟悉的領域,所以需要播出有足夠精神可以看懂他的時間才能夠下手(後面寫到內容的時候你們就會知道為什麼我看的那麼吃力了!)。

好不容易看完後發現這心得還真不好起筆!因為我不太會寫與現實相反地文。我身邊友人也常說,看我的文章最有「feel」的都是那種我最用「心」寫的。而我最用心寫的,一定是最誠真的!但缺點就是,要用「心」就得靠靈感。靈感不來,怎麼寫都寫不出來。

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小熊維尼的道已經讀完好一陣子,卻遲遲未寫出一篇書評的原因其實就是因為我一直在想這篇該用英文寫,還是用中文?

用英文寫的原因,還不就是因為希望保持所有在這裡的評論都以英文書寫的方式呈現。再者,書是讀原文的,當然書評也理所當然應該由英文書寫。

但書中談論到的是中國道家思想。許多書中提到的經典名句就是出自於中文。以中文呈現本書書評或許可以增加自己對道家思想的認知。

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  • 這是一篇加密文章,請輸入密碼
  • 密碼提示:To be or not to be,
  • 請輸入密碼:
  • 這是一篇加密文章,請輸入密碼
  • 密碼提示:Author of Paradise Lost
  • 請輸入密碼:

Barkun, Michael, A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 2003)

Despite being preoccupied with all the assessments that are expected to be handed in this Friday, I simply cannot revert to my accademic work until I point out a couple of points that seems to bother my mind since I had put down the book. 

I was extremely excited to have found the book, thinking that a book which devotes a whole section on David Icke must be worth reading.  I was disappointed and not at the same time.  The truth is, I am unable to find a precise word to describe this book, or rather, how I felt about the book.  Seeing how it is published by a university press, I was well aware, even before I began reading it, that it would be an interesting reading.  If it was capable of infiltrating the core of conspiracy culture, and agree or make sense of any of the extant conspiracy theories, I would be extrememly satisfied by it.  As it turns out, it is merely an analysis of certain esoteric theories that have fortunately been leaked into the mainstream.

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**Title of the book is underlined because the italics function doesn't seem to work.

December
Jones, Earnest, A Psycho-Analytic Study of Hamet (London, Vienna: Reprinted from Essays in Applied Psycho-Analysis, no.5., 1992)
Thompson, Ann and Neil Taylor, William Shakespeare: Hamlet, 2nd Ed. (Plymouth: Northcote House, 2005)

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Toxicity Questionnaire*
中毒程度測驗*

Tally up the YES's to these questions.

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Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln shocked the world by their collaboration of the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which inspired Dan Brown’s international bestseller, the Da Vinci Code.  The book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail was extremely carefully researched and well organized.  However, without the rudimentary knowledge on the background of Christianity, the Crusades, and/or the Kights Templar, one may easily find themselves lost in the labyrinth of excess information. 


Two of the collaborators, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, published another book many years later, which I personally found easier to absorb.   The Elixir and the Stone is a book that captures the true essence of the Renaissance spirit.  It touches upon a whole variety of subjects which means any reader is bound to be able to relate to a few of the subjects mentioned. 

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"I've come to realize that what I am best at is not Tai Chi, and it is not chess.  What I am best at is the art of learning."

This opening is a quote from the author of the book 'The Art of Learning", Josh Waitzkin.  He is an eight-time National Chess Champion in his youth and has now accumulated twenty-one National Championship titles, several World Championship titles in martial arts. 

It may seem easy for someone like Josh to say almost anything he wants.  He was a child chess prodigy, and a Tai Chi World Champion.  With this kind of accomplishment, you could basically write a book about anything, and make big bucks off it.  However, Josh Waitzkin does not over glorify his accomplishments, quite on the contrary, he shares with us the story of his failures in life and how he has used that to accomplish higher goals, greater achievements.

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The way in which I have arrived at the reading of Paulo Coelho's The Witch of Portebello is just as magical and mystical as the essence of the book itself.  It is the perfect book to read following The Elixir and the Stone, a book discussing magic and magi of the world.  Coelho has already been an inspiration through his other works, The Alchemist and The Pilgrim.  This is yet another inspirational work about a mysterious woman who have come to be known as a witch.  Just as things generally are in life, the truth remains unknown and obscure even till the very end.  Only a few, in fact, only one or two people, will come to a clear understanding of the presence of supernatural forces and how they influence the world. 


A reader may find themselves a bit lost during the beginning chapters due to the way the novel is constructed.  The narration is told through the first person, but not in the sense a reader is mostly likely to be acquainted with.  It is rather suitable in the sense that the different narratives, told from the points of view of people who knew, or were acquainted with our protagonist, Athena because it emphasizes her mysteriousness.  Since the narratives were scripts from interviews made after the death of Athena, the different narratives are like pieces of a puzzle, whose wholesome image can only be seen at the very end, when the last piece is fitted unto the puzzle.

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Whether you are a dilettante, or a scholar-to-be, the basics of the history is an unavoidable route to a more elevated level of understanding English literature.  However, different books on the history of English literature suite different purposes.  This article sets out to share the three different books I have encountered as so it might provide a guideline for those of you in search of one suitable for your own reading.

無論是非本科系或是本科系生,想要進一步了解英國文學,文學史是必經之路。不過市面上所販賣的英國文學史,不一定每一本都是和自己。本文章分享的是我接觸到的三本英國文學史。有適合非本科系生的,有適合大學本科系生的,也有適合想要專攻文學碩士學位的版本。提供給大家作為參考。

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[Spoiler Warning: This article contains plot and ending description!]

Those of you who deem this novel as merely the average romance fiction, I am setting out to prove you wrong.  The fact that the title includes the word ‘girl’ should not diminish the importance of the historical aspect surrounding the romance.  Although, I must admit that even I held a little prejudice against it before I began reading it, by the time I got through the first quarter of the book I could not help being completely mesmerized by the intriguing plot, moreover, the authenticity of the historical references that is replete throughout the novel. 

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A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

Originally named 'The Surgeon of Crowthorne: A Tale of Murder, Madness and the Love of Words', this is  one wonderfully, well-researched piece of work.  It celebrates the birth of the magnificent Oxford English Dictionary (OED)and promulgates an acknowledgment of an extremely intelligent man who had collaborated with lexicographers throughout the process of its making from an asylum. 

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Move back in time, to when I was still an ignorant teenager, Thoreau was nothing but ‘the crazy dude that went off to live in solitude by some pond’.  It is probably not difficult for people of that age group to think this.   After all, adolescence is all about friends and group fun.  Therefore, I did not scoff at myself for ever thinking of Thoreau as ‘crazy’.  The process of mental and spiritual maturity is extremely interesting.  Now, life in Walden seems to me the ideal life that I would actually attempt to pursue.


American literature had always had less of an attraction to me than English literature.  They are newer and thus often contain less profound and inspiring material.  Yet, Thoreau had not only proved himself a worthy writer, and poet, but embraced the essence of the Romantic spirit thus making him the most inspiring romantic writer from the New World.

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 [Warning: Contain very inconvenient truths.

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Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code had perhaps shocked the world, Christians and non-Christians alike, with its fictitious plot surrounding the hypothesis that not only did Jesus once live, he got married and left a bloodline.  Dan Brown's novel could not have existed without Holy Blood Holy Grail.


Michael Baigent and co-authors Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln are three meticulous researchers that had put together pieces of a puzzle together in a book to share their findings to the world.  Holy Blood and Holy Grail is a history book.  It is well researched and contains extremely intricate details that support their hypothesis.  Jesus was a man.  He got married.  He had a son.  The woman he probably married was Mary Magdalene.  It is most likely that he had never been crucified.

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For those of you who are interested in the novel, but can't seem to find the time to read it:

You can now listen to the reading of the original novel by Richard Matheson.

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I own a copy of John Milton’s Paradise Lost with a preface written by the author of the trilogy His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman.  At the time of purchase, and even by the time I had gotten hold of my box set of the trilogy, I had not made the connection between the two works.  What had drawn me into reading the trilogy initially was my inclination towards getting myself familiarized with the plot, the story, the themes, and the characters before watching a film adaptation.  After completing the reading of His Dark Materials, I realized I had gotten more than what I had anticipated for.

The copy of Paradise Lost I had bought upon me an excruciating reading experience.  I could only look at the words, but not comprehend them.  It was not until I got myself an annotated Norton edition of Paradise Lost did I begin to appreciate the masterpiece a little more.  John Milton is one of the greatest English poets.  His Paradise Lost had inspired many, such as Blake and Wordsworth, just to name a few.  The masterpiece continues to inspire other contemporary artists.  Philip Pullman is one of those contemporary artists that have been inspired by this extraordinary work.  The title of the trilogy had been taken directly out of Milton’s words:

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被問到自己有沒有黃金羅盤,Philip Pullman*怎麼說?



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基本上只要是小說改編的電影,我對那部電影的興趣就會大增。如果是我有興趣的小說,我會盡量在看電影之前把小說啃一啃。

I've always had a higher interest in movies that were adapted from novels or other works of literature.  If I happen to be interested in the original literary work, I'd always try to read it prior to watching the film version.

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