Exploring the undiscovered country, one book at a time.
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin,  #1) - Patrick O'Brian Master and Commander has got to be one of the better books I've read in quite some time. The narration just sucked me in, and the story was phenomenal! I can't believe it took me this long to actually pick up this book from my bookcase and read it. The characters are strong and the action is great!

My only complaint about the book is that being unfamiliar with ship/naval terms, I had to look those up quite a bit, but aside from that, I tried not to let it get me down. Definitely a great naval story, and I also see the beginnings of a great friendship between Aubrey and Maturin. I can't wait to read the second book!
Decision Points - George W. Bush I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I began reading this book. I was pleasantly surprised to see how open President Bush was with the issues he addressed in Decision Points. I was especially shocked with how forthcoming he was about the decision to go through with enhanced interrogation techniques.

While I definitely didn't agree with everything President Bush did during his Administration, I've come to respect the President more for the more important decision he discussed here. I'm now a bit more aware of all the divering viewpoints, and how stressful each of these decisions are. The content of this book definitely surprised me and I think most others, no matter your political viewpoints, will garner a better understanding of President Bush's approach to solving problems, and the context in which he made those decisions.
A Companion to Marx's Capital - David Harvey I found this book to be invaluable during my reading of Capital, Volume I. I don't think I would've understood Capital, Volume I nearly as much without having this book to read alongside. While the video lectures were useful, I found reading this book to be easier. I definitely recommend this book for anyone that's thinking of tackling Marx's first volume of Capital.
Don Quixote - Carole Slade, Carol Slade, Tobias Smollett, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Wow! After more than a month reading it, I have finally finished Don Quixote. I found it to be very amusing. There were some parts where it was slow, but for the most part, I enjoyed reading about Don Quixote's adventures. I found the book to be very humorous, and it's definitely the foundation of today's novels. It's also a good clean novel, as far as I'm concerned.

Don Quixote is clearly mad, and that's what makes this novel tick, in my opinion. He definitely has an ego, and that's where Sancho Panza plays a role, and brings a bit of realism to Don Quixote's world, when he's not being an enabler. A highly entertaining book that I would definitely recommend to friends!
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck I found the story to be ok. However, while I understand the social and cultural arguments Steinbeck has clearly made in The Grapes of Wrath, I really don't find myself agreeing to muh with them. That's why I found this book to be more of a radical viewpoint on how the world should be in a collective sense, and not to rely on oneself.
Ivanhoe - Gillen D'Arcy Wood, Walter Scott Ivanhoe is a pretty decent read. It started out slow, and the medieval English took some getting used to, but once I got into it, I really started enjoying it. This story is definitely one of what chivalry is and is not. Ivanhoe, even though he is absent throughout most of the book, is portrayed as the most chivalrous, and Prince John and his cronies are not. What really took me by surprise was some of the cultural prejudices in this story, in particular toward Isaac and his daughter Rebecca because of their religion. Understandable given the time period the story takes place, but nevertheless, surprised to see so clearly in a book published in the 19th century. I definitely recommend this book to those interested in stories of medievalism and especially the legend of Robin Hood.
The Federalist - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, Robert A. Ferguson What a fantastic journey! I'm quite disappointed that I wasn't required to read any of these papers in high school, as well as not having the opportunity to read it any while in college. I definitely was able to see exactly what the founding fathers' intentions were in the development of our constitution. Definitely a must read for everyone to understand why we have the rights we have today.

I also highly recommend that anyone who wants to read The Federalist, that they read Common Sense by Thomas Paine first.
Common Sense and Other Writings - Thomas Paine I really enjoyed reading this book. I see why now the pamphlet was called Common Sense. The content makes so much sense; however, I do not think that is the best or most important writing in this version. That designation rests with The Rights of Man. I definitely feel that was Paine was getting across there is definitely relevant in today's political climate. I was also impressed with Agrarian Justice, for the time period, it was a revolutionary argument for modern day social security. I'm definitely glad I read this book and I highly recommend it to everyone.