Category Archives: 2020 Selections

Masterpieces Selected by Tacoma Retired Men’s Book Club

“I would like to pose a question to all the members of The Tacoma Retired Men’s Book Club: would you please name at least one book that you’ve read that you consider a masterpiece? Do you consider any of the … Continue reading

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Bickerton’s Niche Theory of Human Language Origins

Derek Bickerton, Adam’s Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans, 2009. All page numbers in this commentary come from the Kindle edition. Just-So Stories As he admits at several locations in the book, Bickerton’s theory of language origins … Continue reading

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Underland

Our December book selection comes from member David Gilmour, Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane. Norton, 2019.

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Salient Quotes from Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf and other works

“You are here in a school for humour, you are here to learn to laugh. All true humour begins when a man ceases to take himself too serously.” (Pablo to Haller in Steppenwolf.) In the following quotations from Hesse’s writings, … Continue reading

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Steppenwolf Redux: “Eat Your Heart Out!”

A Fantasy Interpretation of Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf. “Never a madman Yet never far From ludic laughter A stand-up tragedian I’d still absurdly ask the ultimate Of art and poetry Only the absolute need apply” (Lawrence Ferlinghetti) After my escape from … Continue reading

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Adam’s Tongue by Derek Bickerton

At our November meeting we will discuss a selection recommended by Jim Clifford, Derek Bickerton, Adam’s Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans, Hill and Wang; 1st Edition (March 17, 2009).

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Addendum: Some Notes on Glendon Swarthout’s Western Novel, The Homesman, Using Some Comparisons with Charles Portis’ True Grit.

References to The Homesman by Glendon Swarthout (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988) References to True Grit by Charles Portis (New York: Simon and Schuster, c1968) “We pant to see our country and its rule far reaching … what has … Continue reading

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Introduction to Mama’s Last Hug

At our October meeting we will be discussing a book selected by me, Frans de Waal, Mama’s Last Hug:  Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves, 2018. Mama’s Last Hug is about emotions. It engages our emotions along … Continue reading

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“Well Done, Mr. Portis! But Is It a Masterpiece?”

A Commentary on Charles Portis’s True Grit [complete with spoilers]. Page references attributed to True Grit: a Novel by Charles Portis (New York: Simon and Schuster, c1968) Actual men such as Robert Rogers, Daniel Boone, John Sevier, and David Crocket, … Continue reading

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Burk Perspective On Liberty

Burk sent in the following commentary via email and I am posting it for him here: ——————————————————————— “On Liberty”  By John Stuart Mill – September 2020 To fellow members of the Tacoma Retired Men’s Book Club: I have just plowed … Continue reading

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