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41. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide
42. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
43. Grimm's Fairy Stories
44. War and Peace
45. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
46. Slow Ride: A Rough Riders story
47. The Legends of King Arthur and
48. Common Sense
49. Reaper
50. How to Speak and Write Correctly
51. Crush
52. The Paradise War: Book One in
53. Sh*t My Dad Says
54. Unwrapping Christmas
55. Holiday Bound
56. The Count of Monte Cristo
57. The Odyssey
58. Dead or Alive
59. The Pursuit of Pleasure
60. Oliver Twist

41. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
by Timothy Ferriss
list price: $27.00 -- our price: $13.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 030746363X
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Sales Rank: 8
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Thinner, bigger, faster, stronger... which 150 pages will you read?

Is it possible to:
Reach your genetic potential in 6 months?
Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours?
Lose more fat than a marathoner by bingeing?
Indeed, and much more. This is not just another diet and fitness book.

The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, fixated on one life-changing question:

For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results?

Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women.

From the gym to the bedroom, it’s all here, and it all works.

YOU WILL LEARN (in less than 30 minutes each):
How to lose those last 5-10 pounds (or 100+ pounds) with odd combinations of food and safe chemical cocktails.

* How to prevent fat gain while bingeing (X-mas, holidays, weekends)
* How to increase fat-loss 300% with a few bags of ice
* How Tim gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, without steroids, and in four hours of total gym time
* How to sleep 2 hours per day and feel fully rested
* How to produce 15-minute female orgasms
* How to triple testosterone and double sperm count
* How to go from running 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers in 12 weeks
* How to reverse “permanent” injuries
* How to add 150+ pounds to your lifts in 6 months
* How to pay for a beach vacation with one hospital visit
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  There are more than 50 topics covered, all with real-world experiments, many including more than 200 test subjects.

You don't need better genetics or more discipline. You need immediate results that compel you to continue.

That’s exactly what The 4-Hour Body delivers.
... Read more

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42. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
Kindle Edition
list price: $14.95
Asin: B0015DROBO
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 6
Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson's The Girlwith the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financialintrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

HarrietVanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty yearsago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hiresMikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction,to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander.Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars This Swedish bestseller deserves to be a blockbuster here too.
A 24-year-old computer hacker sporting an assortment of tattoos and body piercings and afflicted with Asperger Syndrome or something of the like has been under state guardianship in her native Sweden since she was thirteen. She supports herself by doing deep background investigations for Dragan Armansky, who, in turn, worries the anorexic-looking Lisbeth Salander is "the perfect victim for anyone who wished her ill." Salander may look fourteen and stubbornly shun social norms, but she possesses the inner strength of a determined survivor. She sees more than her word processor page in black and white and despises the users and abusers of this world. She won't hesitate to exact her own unique brand of retribution against small-potatoes bullies, sick predators, and corrupt magnates alike.

Financial journalist Carl Mikael Blomkvist has just been convicted of libeling a financier and is facing a fine and three months in jail. Blomkvist, after a Salander-completed background check, is summoned to a meeting with semi-retired industrialist Henrik Vanger whose far-flung but shrinking corporate empire is wholly family owned. Vanger has brooded for 36 years about the fate of his great niece, Harriet. Blomkvist is expected to live for a year on the island where many Vanger family members still reside and where Harriet was last seen. Under the cover story that he is writing a family history, Blomkvist is to investigate which family member might have done away with the teenager.

So, the stage is set. The reader easily guesses early that somehow Blomkvist and Salander will pool their talents to probe the Vanger mystery. However,Swede Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is no humdrum, formulaic whodunit. It is fascinating and very difficult to put down. Nor is it without some really suspenseful and chillingly ugly scenes....

The issue most saturating The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is that of shocking sexual violence primarily against women but not excluding men. Salander and Blomkvist both confront prima facie evidence of such crimes. Larsson's other major constituent elements are corporate malfeasance that threatens complete collapse of stock markets and anarchistic distrust of officialdom to the point of endorsing (at least, almost) vigilantism. He also deals with racism as he spins a complex web from strands of real and imagined history concerning mid-twentieth century Vanger affiliations with Sweden's fascist groups.

But Larsson's carefully calibrated tale is more than a grisly, cynical world view of his country and the modern world at large. At its core, it is an fascinating character study of a young woman who easily masters computer code but for whom human interaction is almost always more trouble than it is worth, of an investigative reporter who chooses a path of less resistance than Salander but whose humanity reaches out to many including her, and of peripheral characters -- such as Armansky -- who need more of their story told.

Fortunately, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in English translation will be followed by two more in the Millennium series: The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Air Castle that Blew Up. I can't wait. Larsson also made a 200-page start on a fourth book, but sadly he succumbed to a heart attack in 2004 and his father decided the unfinished work will remain unpublished.

I recommend this international bestseller to all who eagerly sift new books for challenging intellectual crime thrillers, who luxuriate in immersing themselves in the ambience of a compellingly created world and memorable characters, who soak up financial and investigative minutiae as well as computer hacking tidbits, and who want to share Larsson's crusade against violence and racism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book of the Year

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a masterwork of fine craftsmanhip. When I reached the final page I was disappointed that there was no more to read. I did not want the story to end. The characters are too intriguing for this to be the end. Apparently this was the first novel in a trilogy by the brillant writer, Stieg Larsson, who unfortunately died in 2004: the book contains a tribute to him and his career. I cannot wait to read the sequels scheduled for release in the USA in 2009.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an international best seller and is set in Sweden. It takes a little effort to get accustomed to all the Swedish names and places but then the story moves with lightening speed. There are two key plots happening simultaneously. In one, a Swedish financial investigative journalist publishes a libelous attack about a powerful industrialist and is sentenced to jail, fined a ruinous sum, and has his career torn to shreds. Another industrialist, Vanger, hires the journalist to investigate the 36 year old disappearnace of his then 14 year old grand niece. There has been no trace of her in all these years and she is assumed dead. Yet, every year on his birthday, he receives a mysterious gift of a pressed flower, mimicking a gift his missing grandniece used to give him when she lived there. Vanger, an old man, is tormented by the flower gifts, and wants one more chance to find out what happened to her and who killed her. What the journalist uncovers about the Vanger family's hitherto unknown secrets and connections to the Nazis, will have you hanging on the edge of your seat.

The book is titled after yet another character, Lisabeth Salander, a societal outcast and social ward of the State, uncivilized without any desire to obey societal norms, and replete with piercings, tattoos, and a goth/biker appearance. In short, at first glance a totally undesirable and unsympathetic person. She is a researcher with a corporate security firm and ends up working with the journalist. In truth, she is a survivor of abuse in all forms with low self esteem, and an inablity to trust. She is a genius with Asberger's Syndrome, a form of autism, who sees patterns in things ordinary mortals miss and uses incredible computer hacking skills to accomplish her goals. She is fascinating: ruthless and tough to a fault, yet internally vulnerable, struggling to comprehend her own feelings. She has an appeal that draws you to her, rooting for her, and wanting to understand her. Lisabeth is unforgettable, unlike most characters that populate mystery thrillers. There is such depth here.

The book is a thriller on many levels: The story about the Vanger family itself, the journalist's crusade to redeem his reputation, Lisabeth's vendettas and development, and of course, the truth about what actually happened to the missing Vanger heiresss. This is a superb novel and impossible to put down. Utterly stunning. Probably the year's best book. SUMMER 2009: SEE MY REVIEW OF THE SEQUEL, "THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE", ANOTHER OUTSTANDING BOOK.
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43. Grimm's Fairy Stories
by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JML1QG
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Great stories
This is a wounderful fairytale book. Well known stories in their orignal contex. I didn't find anything wrong with the formatting.

5-0 out of 5 stars unabridged brilliance
Because these stories are unabridged, they offer an oppoutunity to explore masterful storytelling at its best. Like many free Kindle books, the formatting leaves something to be desired. Many youngsters today will have difficulty staying with these lengthy tales, but if you caress the stories as you present them they will help lay the same foundations for children today as they have done for many generations. Better for a long car ride then bedtime stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars it is wonderful
this book is first i thought this book is only about faries like ruby the red fairy summer the holiday fairy......things like that.but no it is not.all the stories has happy ending which i like.i like all kinds of story like this.go get one yourself Read more

44. War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy
Kindle Edition

Asin: B002RKRUPE
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars The Eye of God
Ever since I was a teen (I'm 51) I tried reading War and Peace. The furthest I ever got was something like Page 80. Six summers ago, I thought, what the heck, give it another shot. After Page 100 or so, the book picked up steam, and I was absolutely awed as I've seldom been by all the great books I've read in my life. That's what I want to share with potential readers of this great book. Stick with it. It's like a trickling stream that grows and grows from many tributaries into a grand wide raging river. It's got everything in it, as if it were written by God. Tolstoy saw everything. There are so many, many unforgettable scenes in it. My favorite two are the costume party at the country estate (pure magic!) and the great wolf-hunting scene in which the wolf actually takes on a personality under the all-knowing skill of Tolstoy's great pen. In just a line or two, Tolstoy could actually get inside the "soul" of even an animal! I can only imagine how great this book is in the original Russian. After War and Peace, I devoured Anna Karenina, which is in many ways an even greater book. I'd recommend people read War and Peace with Cliff's Notes, as I did, because you get a sense of the historical background and it helps you from getting the hundreds of characters mixed up. War and Peace is more than a novel. It's an Everest of creation. Please stick with it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant novel, superb translation, nicely bound
"War and Peace," by Leo Tolstoy, � 2007,
translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Alfred A. Knopf, publisher

This review is broken down into two segments, a Descriptive Summary and an Evaluative Summary. If you're already very familiar with the story of "War and Peace," you may wish to skip directly to the latter facet of my review which is essentially the critique of this particular volume.


In 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Austria to expand his European empire. Russia, being an ally of Austria, stood with their brethren against the infamous Emperor. Napoleon prevailed and a treaty was ultimately signed at Tilsit. In 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia, again in an effort to expand his empire. The end result of this tragic war was that Napoleon's army of about 600,000 soldiers was reduced to roughly 60,000 men as the defamed Emperor raced from Moscow (which he had taken), back across the frozen Russian tundra in his carriage (leaving his troops behind to fend for themselves) for Paris. That encapsulizes the military aspect of this work.

But the more intricate story involves both the activities and the peccadillos of, primarily, three Russian families of nobility: The Rostovs, the Bolkonskys, and the Bezukovs. The continual thorn of "The Antichrist," Napoleon, really just provides the wallpaper for this story of romance, riches, desolation, love, jealousy, hatred, retribution, joy, naiivety, stupidity and so much more. Tolstoy has woven an incredibly intricate web that interconnects these noble families, the wars, and the common Russian people to a degree that would seem incomprehensible to achieve - but Tolstoy perseveres with superb clarity and great insight to the human psyche. His characters are timeless and the reader who has any social experience whatever will immediately connect with them all.

"War and Peace" is a fictional, lengthy novel, based upon historical fact.

In his Epilogue, Tolstoy yields us a shrewd dissertation on the behavior of large organizations, much of it by way of analogy. It's actually an oblique, often sarcastic, commentary on the lunacy of government activities and the madness of their wars.


I feel compelled at the outset to offer a brief paragraph in response to certain reviews which I've seen listed here on Amazon. In regard to "ungrammatical" and "poor syntax" instances, it is prominently and clearly stated in Pevear's/Volokhonsky's introduction that a primary objective of this translation (paraphrasing) is to empower the reader with a real sense of Tolstoy's writing style - and that goal they achieved quite nicely; however, this caveat hardly rendered the work ungrammatical in any sense whatever. To the contrary, I found this rendering to read notably more fluidly than the renowned Maude edition, (which I have read twice), and much easier to initially digest (syntax) than the works, of say, William Faulkner or John O'Hara, both of whom also employed a unique, but brilliant writing style. As I didn't see any actual citations of poor grammar in the instant reviews I'll close my case regarding this topic on that particular note.

Here are some particularly positive points of this translation of "War and Peace":

1. Here we have a smooth and fluid read. Tolstoy's style yields some repetition but never redundancy - he does this in a clever manner and the translators have shrewdly served it up. We have not seen this before in prior translations.

2. This translation allows the reader to think for himself/herself. One of the best examples is actually discussed in the introduction: (P/V) "The school children in their chairs drove to Moscow." Another translation has it this way: "The School children played in their chairs as if they were driving to Moscow." See what I mean?

3. The names of the principals are conveyed more appropriately, "Andrei" instead of "Andrew," "Marya" instead of "Mary".

4. The language is more modern and the syntax less stilted than previous translations.

5. I felt, in a real sense, "the soul" of each of the principals, as well as that of Tolstoy himself, which I had not previously experienced. This is especially true in regard to characters Pierre Bezukov and Andrei Bolkonsky.

6. Two percent of the book's text was written in French and it is maintained that way, with a clear English translation in respective footnotes on the very pages in which the French passages appear. This makes for very convenient reading.

7. Brief endnotes exist where appropriate and the translators did not go overboard with lengthy passages which can be distracting in other versions of the work. They give you what you need to know to pursue these topics further, on your own, if you wish.

8. There is a fine map of The Battle of Borodino grounds (page 856) which is really about all one needs in order to understand the primary battle details (Borodino) within this work.

9. The character descriptions/identifications at the front of the book are spot-on and the Introduction adequately prepares the English reader to understand such Russian nuances as "patronymic" names.

10. Just past the endnotes, you'll find a very informative "Historical Index" which lists all the actual primary officers, European leaders, and nobility mentioned in "War and Peace".

11. This volume is nicely bound (sturdy red cardboard binding) with an equally high-quality, attractive dust cover. It will look nice on your bookshelf, either with or without the dustcover.

I have few criticisms of this tremendous work and of the appurtenant translation, but here they are:

1. I chuckled aloud when I read Pevear's and Volokhonsky's attempt to mimic the speech (dialogue) of the very likable character, Denisov - it wasn't very good. Denisov was clearly tongue-tied. The translators, for the most part, inserted a "gh" where I would have inserted a "w" (in regard to pronouncing "Rs and Ls"). I got the general feeling that neither of the translators had ever actually encountered a person plagued with this somewhat tragic speech impediment! To counter this gaff, as I read along where Denisov was engaged in dialogue, I simply mentally inserted my own "Ws" wherever I came across the egregious "GHs".

2. I encountered VERY FEW typographical errors, those occurring on pages 3, 355, and 484, respectively. I've already reported them directly to the publisher for correction in subsequent editions.

3. There is one error that will befuddle many readers. It's in regard to Pierre's numerology on page 665. If you add up the numbers as stated in the book, it adds up to 661, and not 666 (The Biblical Mark of the Beast), as the manuscript states. This caveat is noted in the Maude translation of "War and Peace" but not in this one. To correct the problem, one has to account for the implied letter "e" in "l'(e)empereur Napol�on," which has a numerical value of 5, making the formula work correctly, totaling 666 as stated in the manuscript. It's complicated... you'll probably have to read a page or two and work it out for yourself to grasp the problem. In any case, the P/V translation needs either a footnote or an endnote.

4. I encountered one strange incongruity which was initially a little disturbing to me and which appears on page 687. In the second to the last paragraph, it says, "...instead of Mademoiselle Bourienne, the boy Petrushka read to him..." In the Maude translation of "War and Peace," it reads, "...instead of Mademoiselle Bourienne -- a serf-boy read to him."

Now THAT is a significant difference in that it sounds like either Pevear and Volokhonsky actually added a character to Tolstoy's masterpiece, or, Maude ignored one! I could think of only two legitimate reasons for how this might ethically occur:

a. the two translations were derived from different source documents, one mentioning Petrushka, the other not, or,

b. the publisher may have made an "intentional error" that would likely not be noticed by anyone in an effort to enable the documentation of an unauthorized publication of copyrighted text by unscrupulous publishers at a later date.

In any case, I'm really curious about this and would love to hear the reason for the difference in translations. In the end, of course, actually adding a character would go far beyond the ethical purview of a translator (as would ignoring/omitting one).

To finalize, the newly published (10-07) Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of "War and Peace" is nothing short of superb. It clearly transcends the previous translations of Garnett and Maude. If you plan to read Tolstoy's masterpiece for the first time, this is the translation that you want.

02-29-'08 REVISION/EDIT: "Some comments about the 2005 BRIGGS and other translations"

I just received (02-28-'08) my new BRIGGS translation (Viking/Penguin) yesterday and it has a lovely binding, "sewn". Of course, it was originally priced at $40 bucks, ($56 Canadian) (!!!), initially way more pricey than the P/V translation. But now it's a steal because you can get a brand new copy for under $15 or pick up a very good used one for $10 here on Amazon, (mine was supposed to be used, at $10, but it looked brand new to me).

I would speculate that the Briggs translation was somewhat financially doomed at the outset, (hence, the heavily discounted 2008 price), just BECAUSE folks anticipated the near arrival of the P/V translation which came out just a year following Briggs' "War and Peace," in addition to the negative impacts of the latter's initial $40 price tag.

I just got started on Briggs last night and, so far, I'm VERY pleased with the smooth, modern-language translation, (but absent of any anachronistic/modern "buzzwords"), and, I'm even more copasetic with the book's straightforward layout. The main text is nicely supplemented with 5 or 6 detailed maps, a list of principals (both fictional and non-fictional), and 2 commentaries, all at the rear of the text. There is NO introduction by the translator and it's a direct read -- rendered entirely in English with almost no footnotes to bother with. There are historically-oriented endnotes but, as they are at the finale of the work, I find them useful and yet not distracting. The book is almost exactly the same size and weight as the P/V translation, with a beautiful white cover and dust jacket.

The few early complaints I hear on Briggs is that he "British-izes" the dialogue, using words like "mate" as soldiers address one another... so it's not written in "American" English. This fact, too, probably doomed him a bit in pecuniary terms, at least in the USA. But that is a very small caveat and I don't personally mind it at all. As Briggs pointed out in his commentary (paraphrasing), he had to choose an English dialect to translate it TO and, since he himself was English, that is the vernacular which he chose to utilize. Makes sense to me.

Briggs' credentials are well up to par as a former Professor of Russian at the University of Birmingham, (Edgbaston, 26,000 students), coupled with the fact that he has previously translated many other literary works from their original Russian language.

In any case, I'll do a full review when I've finished this alternative "War and Peace" English translation.

In addition to the Pevear/Volokhonsky (2007) and Briggs (2005) translations, "War and Peace" has also been translated by the following people: Clara Ball, (1886, from a French translation source document by "Une Russe," an unknown woman); N.H. Dole, (1889); Leo Weiner, (1904); Constance Garnett, (1904); Louise and Aylmer Maude, (1923... the Maudes, who lived in Russia, had actually consulted with Tolstoy himself during their work on the project); Rosemary Edmonds, (1957, updated version, 1978), and; Ann Dunnigan, (1968, which is lauded as "...a sound American version").


5-0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best books ever written
I first tried to read War and Peace in High School. A teacher, who had carried the book all through the Pacific campaign in WWII recommended it as a book that had changed his life. I tried three times and couldn't get past a few hundred pages because of the numerous characters - each with multiple names. The fourth time I stuck with it and was rewarded with a reading experience that has seldom been equaled. Since that time I have reread the book every two or three years, so I must have been through it 15 or more times, and each time I find things I haven't noticed before.

This is such a grand book in terms of number of characters in all levels of Russian society, historical scope, period detail, philosophical implications, romance, drama, tragedy, action etc, etc, etc. There is just no way to enumerate all that is appealing about Tolstoy's masterpiece. The main characters are as humanly complex and interesting as real people. I feel that I know them like friends. The plot(s) are involving and get more tight and interconnected as the book progresses, so that there is a great satisfaction as various threads come together, and never with the jarring coincidences that propel a typical Dickins novel.

If I had to pick only one novel that I would ever be able to read again, it would have to be War and Peace. There is so much of interest going on in this book that it would be hard to wear it out in a lifetime.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life.
Over the 4-week period it took me to read "War and Peace", I was asked several times by friends and co-workers who saw me with the book why it was so long. At first, I really didn't have a good answer although I felt I knew why. Having finished it, I would tell them that its length is due to its being a very thorough novel covering almost every aspect of life in general. This could be said about several books obviously, but in "War and Peace", Tolstoy covers human life more thoroughly than, although maybe not as well as, any other book I've encountered.

"War and Peace" lets us follow along in the daily lives of several land-owning class characters from early 19th Century Russia. The Bolkonsky and Rostov families comprise most of these figures, but their friends and acquaintances take up nearly as much of the focus of Tolstoy's classic novel. These characters cover a wide range of personalities from the devoutly religious Maria Bolkonsky and her close and conflicted friend Natasha Rostov to the independent Pierre Bezuhov and his miserable wife Helene Kuragin. Tolstoy is able to go in and out of his creations' lives with simplicity and without exaggeration, whether its in relating the most common moments of their daily lives or the climaxes of their earthly existences. The range of emotions, feelings, and actions that Tolstoy is able to relate is easily done through his genius in setting the story in the midst of Russia's War of 1812 (the history of which he knew very well), one of the worst in its long history. It's through such a life-shattering event that people can be seen everywhere from their best to their very worst, and Tolstoy, through a compelling story line and the novel's famous length, displays the entire spectrum.

I still love Dostoevsky's writing more, mostly because of the difference in the conclusions his characters come to in their cathartic moments, but "War and Peace" gave me a much greater respect for Tolstoy than I had previously held (having read Anna Karenina, among others). I definitely recommend taking the time to read this classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging rendition
I have tried to read different translations of War and Peace, including Garnett's and Edmonds'. One thing that has always annoyed me - especially with Garnett's translation - is the tendency to use Western or Roman Catholic terms whenever something related to Christianity is involved (Edmonds does not make this mistake). Instead of using the language of Orthodoxy, we often get "holy images," attended Mass," the Virgin Mary," etc, instead of "icon," "attended Liturgy," or "the Theotokos." While invisible to most readers, to Orthodox ears it is grating. The Pevears get this right by avoiding Western terminology in speaking about things religious. And, as other reviewers have noted, it is nice to see the French broken out. As far as the quality of the language, it doesn't seem any less awkward than other translations I have read. Garnett may have turned a phrase with a bit more flare but at the expense of making Tolstoy sound like Tolstoy and more like a Victorian. I agree, too, that this version would have been nice had it been published as a three volume set. You can't really tote it around to read at work or on the bus.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Translation Available
"War and Peace" is one of those mammoth behemoths of a novel that everyone aspires to read and few manage to finish. This is a shame, because its reputation as the Ultimate Big Massive Tome has, unfortunately, obscured the fact that it tells a very gripping story and is infinitely rewarding and re-readable.

I'm in a position to say this because I've read this book anywhere from half-a-dozen to a dozen times (to be honest I've lost count). For many years I would read one of Tolstoy's big novels every year, alternating between "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina." Along the way I've read three of the four major translations of the book multiple times.

The four translations, in order of appearance, are:

1) Constance Garnett
2) Louise and Alymer Maude
3) Rosemary Edmonds
4) Ann Dunnigan

Of these four translations, I would recommend either Edmonds or Dunnigan. Here's why. The Garnett and Maude translations date from the first three decades of the 20th Century. Edmonds' translation was originally published in 1957, and Dunnigan's in 1968 (for some reason, no one has tried to come up with a new translation of "War and Peace" in the past 35 years). The definitive (to date) Russian text of the novel was published in the early 1960s: Edmonds revised her translation in 1978 to take into account the new version.

In general, unless you're reading an older translation, not for the sake of its putative author but for the translator (which is the only reason to read, for example, the Urquhart-Motteux Rabelais or Chapman's Homer), you're almost always better off sticking with a modern translation. And that's the case with "War and Peace." It's either Edmonds or Dunnigan.

It's a close call. You really won't go wrong with either one of them. If I prefer Dunnigan, it's because Edmonds' translation is a wee bit too English for my taste. Having Russian peasants sound like Cockneys just doesn't work for me.

Can you really read such a lengthy book? Keep in mind that it's not all that long -- it's only around 800,000 words and both Proust and Gibbon are much longer. Plus, when you get past all of Tolstoy's interpolated essays on History (which you can easily skip the first time around, although they are interesting), what you're left with is a stirring story about a few Russian families struggling for survival during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Tolstoy put into the book thinly veiled versions of his parents and relatives (and they are very thinly veiled -- the Volkonskys become the Bolkonskys), and there are quite a few inside jokes that will go sailing over your head the first time you read it.

(I'll only give away one -- when Princess Maria sticks her head out of her room while the Little Princess is about to give birth to Prince Andrei's son, she sees some servants carrying a leather sofa into the Little Princess's room. Tolstoy never says anything else about it, and never explains it. The fact is that Tolstoy himself was born on a leather sofa, and he insisted that his wife give birth to all of his many children on the same sofa.)

So don't be afraid of this very long novel, which Henry James once unwisely referred to as a "loose baggy monster." In fact it is nothing of the sort. It takes quite a few readings of "War and Peace" before you realize how brilliantly structured it is -- how something that seems at first glance as natural and casual as water flowing downstream is really meticulously and artfully plotted.

I hope I've talked you into at least taking a crack at this book. Unlike Proust, who has to be read incredibly slowly if you're going to get anything at all from him, "War and Peace" can be taken at a gallop. And its a lot of fun -- not at all the grim heavy tome it's made out to be.

So what are you waiting for?

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, It's Worth the Trouble
Although my blind urge to read the Great Classics has (thankfully) faded somewhat over the years in favor of reading whatever I damn please, I finally decided it was time to give War and Peace a try. After all, how can anyone who enjoys novels resist the lure of "the greatest novel of all time"? And Tolstoy himself was an unusually interesting man -- not a screwed-up genius but one who seemed to eventually figure it all out. It took me maybe a hundred pages to get into the rhythm of the book and figure out who all those characters with multisyllabic Russian names were. After that, it was totally engrossing and surprisingly easy reading. There's no point giving you a book report on what happens -- you're supposed to read it yourself -- but I do disagree with some of the other reviewers who didn't care for the sections describing Tolstoy's philosophy of history. I found those sections (a very small proportion of the book) fascinating, albeit a change of pace. This is part of what makes the book great. War and Peace is not just a story of what happens to a bunch of made-up people, but a major work of art expressing the wisdom of a great man.

5-0 out of 5 stars The latest in a very rewarding trend
This excellent new translation continues the trend to retranslate the monuments of fiction. From Magic Mountain to Man without Qualities, from Don Quixote to Madame Bovary, this movement proves again that great art is timeless, but interpretaion changes. In this way translation can be likened to the way two conductors can approach say, Mozart. It is still Mozart. It is always Mozart. But these are two interpretations.

Further, just as Mozart sounds better on a state of the art stereo system (or at concert), the binding, layout, and paper selection can enhance the reading experience. In this case Viking has done a superb job. The paper even smells great!

There is, finally, amother interpretation: that of age, and experience. I first read all of these books in my 'teens and 'twenties. I loved them then, but what did I know of life, or art? I am now sixty. The new translations give me an excuse, really a mandate, to reread them, and I am better for it.

You will be too. Spending an evening with this marvelous translation of War and Peace is vastly more rewarding than reading anything on the bestseller lists, or, dare I say it, watching American Idol.

As for me, I will wrap up Tolstoy this week, and move to book two of In Search of Lost Time (new translation.) Maybe I will finish Proust before I am seventy!

Note to Amazon: perhaps you could develop a section on your web site for these new translations, so we know what is available and what is coming. Read more

45. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
by Washington Irving
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JQUJHO
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise
Have you ever heard of the Headless Horseman? Have you ever heard the stories about him and how he attacks people in the woods? Have you ever wondered whether or not the story is real?

Find out for yourself by reading Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I enjoyed reading this book and i think anyone who has a liking for mysterious legends and superstitions should read this book beacause of the interesting legend the town believes in. There are few characters to keep track of and the story is not hard to follow. The book is long but the reading goes quickly.

The story is set in the late 18th century in a town in New York called Sleepy Hollow. The town believes in a legend of a headless horseman who rides through the woods at night anf attacks people. The main character is a man named Ichabod Crane who is a schoolteacher from Connecticut. He moves to Sleepy Hollow in search of work and ends up going from home to home working as a tutor. One of his students is 18 year old Katrina Van Tassel who comes from a wealthy family. Ichabod gets the idea that he will try to marry Katrina in order to obtain the family's wealth. However, Katrina's boyrfriend Abraham "Brom Bones" Brut has other plans for Ichabod. As the tension rises, Ichabod continues trying to win Katrina until a breathtaking surprise appearance by the town's legend creates as mysterious an ending as they come.

The book has many strengths and few weaknesses. The author manages to create a mood in the book that keeps you always on th edge of your seat waiting for the legend of the Headless Horseman to come into play. The story is simple and easy to follow but is still very interesting. The characters are developed well and have personalities that you can understand and relate to. One such character is Brom Bones who is easily seen as an arrogant egotist. The only weakness of the book was one based on my personal opinion. The end of the story leaves too much to be concluded for my liking.

All in all, this book was a great story. The author wrote the characters in such a way that you had definite feelings towards each one of them. Also, the story line was definitely not without surprise. But if you want to discover what surprises I am talking about then I suggest you read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE FIRST HALLOWEEN?
Like Rip Van Winkle, this tale is set in Dutch New York State in a real place called Tarry Town. The colonists farm and gossip, play tricks, have ambitions and court young ladies--in an area steeped in macabre superstition. Ichabod crane, a lanky and susceptible schoolmaster from Connecticut, vies with local hothead, Brom Bones, for the affection (and lush estates) of desirable Katrina Van Tassel.

But the sleepy region's ghostly lore and grisly legends are used for more than mere fireside entertainment. Will we ever know the truth of the shattered pumpkin by the bridge? Each one must fill in the fate of the ambitious pedagogue as seems best, for Washington Irving leaves it to the reader to decide.

Once the US ambassador to Spain, Irving traveled widely and collected the folklore of the countries he visited nearly 150 years ago. "Yet his characters are as fresh and vital today as when they first appeared in print." One edition of his stories includes: Rip Van Wwinkle, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, plus two lesser-known works: The Spectre Bridegroom (set in Germany) and The Moor's Legacy (set in Spain's Alhambra). Few authors can match his rich vocabulary and detailed narrative. Our American literary and folkloric heritage are indebted to Irving's style and imagination. What were Halloween without the Headless Horseman hounding poor Ichabod Crane through the spooky woods?

5-0 out of 5 stars A Folk Artist's Reconception Of America's Classic
Will Moses' illustrated retelling of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow rivals Arthur Rackham's near century-old version as the best edition of the book ever published. The Rackham version, with its moody, archetypal illustrations, has the slight edge, as it contains Irving's full original text in addition to Rackham's spectacular artwork.

However, Moses's simplification of the narrative is masterfully executed, and the colorful, playful, and numerous paintings which adorn the book have a warm period charm of genuine Americana. Moses portrays the Hudson River Valley as a lush expansive valley not unlike the Garden of Eden on the first day of creation. Happy farmers, their wives and children, cows, geese, ducks and pigs frolic together amid fields of wheat and corn; galleons approach dramatically from the river; and the Catskill Mountains, sun, and sky suggested an infinite panorama and endless horizon full of promise.

The story tells us that the Dutch colonists were a superstitious lot, and that the Sleepy Hollow region itself was or seemed to be under a spell of some kind. The farmers and their wives suspected witchcraft; strange music was heard in the air; visions were seen; and the inhabitants themselves lived their lives in a kind of continuous dreamy revery. These tales and superstitions give rise to the legend of the headless horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian soldier who lost his head to a canon ball in the war, and now nightly prowling the region in search of it. Moses' nocturnal landscapes of the swamps, hills and the Old Dutch Cemetery under a bright harvest moon are particularly effective. Significantly, these stark, haunted landscapes do not violate the spirit of the book, but enrich its sense of wonder.

Moses' Ichabod is a cheerful but somewhat hapless fellow, confident and foolish in equal parts. His Katrina is a strong but innocent blond beauty, and a friend to children. Brom Bones is an appropriately square-shouldered, square-jawed hooligan, rowdy and full of mischief, if not absolute spite.

Anyone familiar with the tale knows that it is not a horror story but a folktale, a fireside spook story, and a `legend' as Irving, writing here as Diedrich Knickerbocker, himself called it. This edition of the book is appropriate for children but is equally suitable for adults. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where The Pocantico Winds Its Wizard Stream
The original 1928 Arthur Rackham edition of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (first published in 1819) was one of the most beautifully illustrated versions of the tale ever produced. This Books Of Wonder facsimile of that edition is certainly the finest available today, though folk artist Will Moses' bright retelling runs a close second. Rackham's watercolors for this American classic are very much in keeping with his earlier work, which had established him as the greatest British illustrator of his era.

Where much of Irving's tale is painted in the warm autumn hues, Rackham choose to portray Sleep Hollow as not only a place of overwhelming haunts and visions, but as a region existing in a state of permanent, moody twilight. His Sleep Hollow seems perpetually in crepuscular shadow: the last pure rays of the sun have just vanished from the earth, and darkness, though it has not fallen yet, is falling quickly. In the artist's eye, Irving's fireside tale appears to take place not in glorious mid-October, but in storm-swept late November. The illustrator's anthropomorphic and archetypal Sleepy Hollow also magnifies elements of Irving's romantic landscape over and above the necessities of the text. While witches, ghosts, and visions are discussed in the story, Rackham depicts the trees, houses, and countryside of the region as teeming with every kind of fairy, goblin, dryad, and witch, as if calmly revealing to the eyes of man the always coexistent if invisible supernatural life of the Hudson River Valley. His painting of Major Andre's Tree, for example, depicts a traditional European fairytale witch and her black cat familiar walking along the road beneath Andre's tree as if they had every right to be there. It is mankind that is the anxious, insecure, and mortally temporary interloper into this vaster mystical world. Rackham's trees are trees but also fairies, his fairies are fairies but also witches, his witches are human in form but also trees, and the birds resting in the trees, while birds, are sometimes partially fairies. All of these creatures confidently, humorously, and mischievously observe mankind, which, when not perpetually scurrying home to safety, gathers together in nervous groups to share tidings, portents, and spook tales.

Irving's remarkably poetic and nuanced prose is in every way worthy of the man who bears the honor of being America's first great writer. Interestingly, the tale is partially a study in contrasts: schoolteacher Ichabod Crane and his rival, the rabble - rousing Brom Bones, though obvious opposites, each also contain elements of the other. Ichabod, though he lives largely in his thoughts and dreams, has a very definite physical side: he plays boisterously outdoors with the town children, and, at the fatal party at the story's end, commands the dance floor in a way that delights and astonishes the other guests. And Brom, who is a great horseman and a fearless fighter, is also known throughout the region for his cleverness in shrewdly achieving his own ends. Ichabod is an ugly, eccentric "scarecrow" of a man, while Brom is "broad - shouldered and double - jointed," with a "Herculean frame and great powers of limb." Brom, unlike the ultimately solitary Ichabod, is a well - established alpha male with "three or four boon companions who regard him as their model," and who comprise his "gang." On the other hand, Ichabod, when not surrounded by his boy students, spends his time gossiping and sharing ghost stories around midnight fires with elderly Dutch women. Ichabod and Brom both court the lovely Katrina Van Tassel in their own fashion, not only because she is a model of feminine beauty and charm, but because each covets her family's wealth and bountiful farmland.

It's no accident that the "dominant" specter of Sleepy Hollow, who is "commander - in - chief of all the powers of the air," is a headless horseman, while Ichabod is a respected teacher and storyteller, a "man of letters" and a "pedagogue." The fearsome, massively - built Headless Horseman, who may or may not be Brom in disguise, is all torso and limbs, while Ichabod is one of the few, if not the only, inhabitant of the hollow who earns his living by his intellect - by his head. Thus they make symbolically perfect, if unequal, opponents. With his real or illusory ties to the supernatural, the headless horseman, who is believed to ride the wind and to appear and disappear in bursts of fire, is a malevolent force of nature. If of supernatural origin, then he does indeed command "the nightmare, with her whole ninefold," and all the other spirits of the air; but if merely human, then he still commands Brom's raw, "Herculean" power, and is physically far more than a match for Ichabod. Clearly, Irving was making a statement of sorts. Brom's earthy cleverness and steely masculinity triumph in the end, while Ichabod's misapplied intelligence, more often than not, leads him towards, and not away from, superstition, anxiety, and hysteria - ridden imagining. Brom's quiet confidence in his prowess is genuine, but the talkative Ichabod's confidence is only a smug self - deception out of which his boastfulness and foolish behavior are born.

This edition is a happy marriage of two masters of their form, and contains the unabridged text. Travelers may be particularly interested in the Rackham watercolor captioned "Reciting for their amusement all the epitaphs on the tombstones," which portrays Ichabod and three Dutch maidens standing in the Old Dutch Churchyard on an overcast afternoon. The illustration is remarkable, because, 75 years after it was completed, those visiting the churchyard today, which is now a national landmark, can stand in exactly the same spot and see how incredibly accurate the artist's representation of the burial ground was, and how little the beautiful site has changed, in mood and detail, over the years. As Irving wrote, "Time, which changes all things, is slow in its operations on a Dutchman's dwelling." And thereabouts.

5-0 out of 5 stars The beginnings of American literature, on the Kindle!
Sleepy Hollow. The name sends chills down my spine. I never really had an interest in the legend until the new movie. Now I love it. I read this book in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning. Loved it! It's short, descriptive, and exciting all at once. Advice for those who do read it: don't do it late at night like me. You won't be able to sleep! Read more

46. Slow Ride: A Rough Riders story
by Lorelei James
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.99
Asin: B004AYDJM8
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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A Rough Riders free read.

Keely McKay Donohue is enduring the longest wedding reception of her life: her own. The only saving grace is that Jack Donohue is finally hers. Usually her hunky man gives her everything she wants, so why is her groom denying her the one thing she wants right now?

Jack thought his secretive wait-for-the-honeymoon plan was romantic, until he realizes he’s only put Keely in a fighting mood. If he wants to get back on his temperamental bride’s good side, he’d better find a way to sweep his cowgirl off her boots…fast.

... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Short and Sweet
This short story was an unexpected treat. If you're a fan of Rough Riders then you will love this. I think Ms James did a wonderful job taking us into the beginning of Keeley and Jack's life together. If you haven't read any of the series then try this. I'm sure it will make you curious to learn more about the McKay clan. My favorite book was Cowgirl Up and Ride, so I really enjoyed reading more about those characters in this story too. Lorelei can you give us some more of this? Loved it!

5-0 out of 5 stars SO GOOD I WOULDA PAID FOR IT!!
Keely has always been my favorite female character...What a treat to be able to read more about her wedding and Jack's plans for their honeymoon.

Slow Ride is funny, definitely SEXY and emotional...yes I cried while reading it. I also fell in LOVE with Jack all over again =)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better and Better
Keely & Jack are 2 of my favorite characters in the McKay Family series. I was so happy to get a glimpse into their wedding. This story gives a taste of Lorelei James writing. Hot, funny and the family scenes are spot on.

The scene where Carson dances with his daughter, Keely, was both touching and telling. His wild-child only daughter has grown up into a beautiful, smart woman.

If you are not familiar with this series, try this will be hooked

5-0 out of 5 stars A Rough Rider Taste
Slow Ride is only supposed to be a taste of what the entire Rough Riders series is all about. It gives us another glimpse of the wonderful relationship between Jack and Keely that began in All Jacked Up. This is a treat for the Rough Rider fans! To get the full effect of the Rough Riders, read the series from book 1, Long Hard Ride, before dismissing this short tease!

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved It
Ive enjoyed the entire series. This book is no exception.....
Cant wait till the next book :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Just a little bit more...
What is there not to love about Keely and Jack? The answer nothing. Slow Ride is just a little bit more of one of the two most beloved Lorelei characters. And the fact that it was free just goes to show you how awesome Lorelei is. This is a great transition book between All Jacked up and Cowgirls don't cry. Which if you haven't read, you can't fairly judge this book. That goes the same for the rest of the Rough Riders books which happens to be just as awesome.


5-0 out of 5 stars A free treat for fans and an intro for the unintiated!
Slow Ride: A Rough Riders story Keely and Jack have different ideas about when their honeymoon should start. Keely wants it to begin now but Jack has another plan! This tells you about the couple and I think leaves you wanting more of their story. Which I think is the job of a free read! If you love hot cowboys, strong women, a family to root for and lots of good sex that is a part of the story, then the Rough Rider series is for you! If not, enjoy the free read that Lorelei states in the beginning takes place between the end of book 8, All Jacked Up All Jacked Up: Rough Riders, Book 8and book 10, Cowgirls Don't Cry.Cowgirls Don't Cry: Rough Riders, Book 10

5-0 out of 5 stars Charming Short Story
What a nice surprise! Author Lorelei James gives us another look at life between wild child Keely and her now husband Jack. Readers looking for a free read to get them involved with her Rough Riders series may find the story a bit confusing as it really should be read, at the very least in conjunction, with All Jacked Up - HOWEVER - If this is your first foray into James's novels, don't judge! Her Rough Riders series is one of the best erotic western romance series out there. I can't recommend it enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Slow Ride
I was curious to know what would happen at Jack and Keely's wedding reception
and I was not disappointed! I was really touched by this short story, I laughed and cried.
Author Lorelei James Knows how to write a great story! Rough Riders has to be my all time favourite Series!!

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47. The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights
by Sir James Knowles
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JMLBT8
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Great Formatting
I have given up on the free Amazon classics. I have decided that paying a couple dollars is well worth the money for Kindle books. Not that the content is any different but the formatting is unbearable in the free books.

So far this book is quite enjoyable. I will update my review when I have finished reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic
Classic King Arthur stories, with all the smiteth-ing and destresseth damsels one might wish.

A bit of a slow read due to the older writing style and inclusion of every name of every knight present at every battle, but the book contained everything from Merlin's predictions to the Quest for the Holy Grail to Arthur being bore off to Avalon, although it lacked the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Camelot
The story of Arthur and his court has fascinated me for 40 years, I'll read anything to do with the story, Merlin, dragons, love triangles, you get it all! Read more

48. Common Sense
by Thomas Paine
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B002RKRQEY
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Uncommon Sense
Common Sense is one of the greatest articles of argumentation ever written. Paine was the finest pamphleteer of his age and was able to turn the discontents of the colonists and, especially, the intellectual leaders of the revolutionary movement into arguments that were easily understood by ordinary colonials and which inspired them to rally to the cause of independence.

I first read Common Sense more than fifty years ago and remember well being impressed with Paine's ability to carry arguments and to anticipate those of his opponents before his tract even hit the street. Over the course of my lifetime, I was inspired by the author and became a pamphleteer of sorts myself. I always told my colleagues that I wanted to become a poor man's Tom Paine. But after reading the piece once again, I realize that almost all who aspire to follow in his footsteps, if not fill his shoes, are doomed to become but very poor copies of the original.

Other reviewers have noted the fluidity of his writing; it reads as simply, directly and forcefully today as it must have nearly a quarter of a millennium ago. Obviously, one did not have to be a great reader to be swayed by the force of Paine's words or to be inspired to the side of those wishing to throw off the English yoke.

I was struck by echoes of Paine in many great American speeches that were running through my mind as I read. A number of quotes from Robert F. Kennedy seemed to have been directly inspired by Common Sense, and I hastily looked them up and offer these two for your consideration:

"It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task."

"All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity."

The Declaration of Independence itself is a direct offspring of this great tract. Jefferson and the others charged with developing the document were well aware of Paine and had the opportunity to evaluate his words and to use his methods in creating our declaration, and this takes nothing away from their genius.

This is a document that can be read in short order, and it is free at the Kindle Store. How can you say no to giving it a try?

5-0 out of 5 stars more than history
I read the other reviews and while I agree with them, I must add that this book is more than history. I remember reading Paine's critique of the English government being "so exceedingly complex" that when a problem developed, politicians would fight for years deciding whose fault it was. Finally, when they would try to solve the problem, everyone had a different solution. I thought I was reading an editorial from USNews. I was amazed that many problems that incited the colonies to revolt are now present in our new government. Read this as more than great history. Read it as political science, and public commentary.

5-0 out of 5 stars The First Ever American Best-seller
Over two hundred years after its initial publication, Thomas Paine's `Common Sense' is one of the most influential pamphlets ever written in the English language. Along with Jefferson's Declaration of Independence (1776), Harriet Beecher Stowe's `Uncle Tom's Cabin' (1851-1852), and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (1863), Paine's `Common Sense' can claim to be one of the first works to have instantly captured and then so permanently held the national imagination. `Common Sense', fiercely surpassed colonial newspaper circulations of the time by reaching a record breaking figure of 120,000 - 150,000 copies solely in its first year eventually culminating in a fifth of the adult American population to have either read Common Sense or to have had it read to them during the course of the Revolution. Paine can profess to have had the first ever American best-seller.

`Common Sense' addresses a people that were divided over the question of independence and in it Paine strongly attacks the virtue of a connection with England and presents an emphatic argument for immediate separation. Paine incorporated both a secular and religious argument for independence, thus freeing himself of any erroneous description that he was a Lockean liberal in the Hartzian mold and that Common Sense was simply a bourgeois manifesto. Paine was very much an original thinker among the Enlightenment philosophers and his unparalleled prescription for a new form of government, a united American Republic, and the manner in which it should be conducted were central to the American political vision that emerged during and immediately after the revolution.

[Part of the above review is taken from; "Common Sense?" by Alexander Rayden. Copyright 2006, All Rights Reserved]

5-0 out of 5 stars Relevant over 300 years later
This is a GREAT book. Memorable. It gives one a great understanding of how the founders of the US Constitution were thinking.

After reading this, I realized that the US has come almost full circle, back to a monarchy, a Congress that does not respond honestly but by money and the millions of "religious monarchists" who want to make all the laws for everyone else.

Read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless evaluation of the human prospective
I read this in print many years ago, and forgot much of the content. The observations are timeless, and to the point, they apply directly to our own government and world governments today. It is scary to realize how much more fluent the author and his prospective early American readers were, than I am. The written words are beautiful, and convey deeper and more colorful meaning then any of the 20th century treatises I have read.

5-0 out of 5 stars "The birth-day of a new world is at hand. . ."
Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," first published in 1776, is one of the essential classics of United States literature. In the book, Paine lays the philosophical groundwork for American independence.

Paine's writing style is still compelling after more than two centuries: he is fiery but logical, and bitingly witty. The book is full of great quotable passages.

In the book Paine sharply criticizes the institution of monarchy, especially the hereditary kind. He argues in favor of American independence from England, and proposes some principles for the government of such an independent state. He advocates "the free exercise of religion" and discusses in some detail issues of national defense.

It is remarkable how relevant Paine's comments remain, and how engaging his writing style is. His remarkable personality animates every page. The spirit of Thomas Paine is, in my opinion, at the core of what is best about the United States, and this book is part of the heritage of every U.S. citizen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Every American Should Read "Common Sense"
Thomas Paine's January 1776 pamphlet, "Common Sense," is one of those documents of American culture which goes all too frequently neglected these days. Paine's insistent call for independence from Great Britain in the winter before the Second Continental Congress was instrumental in mobilizing public opinion and popular support for political and economic freedom. Economics and social values form the basis of Paine's critique of the British presence in the American colonies, and he never loses sight of either his purpose or his rationale throughout the course of his argument. "Common Sense" follows a logical schematic - from a general philosophical explication of human government, to a critique of the current state of British government, to an analysis of the American situation particularly, and even includes a general plan for an independent American government following independence. "Common Sense" is remarkable for Paine's diagnosis of the American situation, Paine having been only 14 months in the colonies when it was published, and for its eloquence and exhortative value.

Paine begins by outlining human nature as he sees it. In a fascinating inversion of Thomas Hobbes, he notes that monarchy at the present time creates a situation wherein government is as effective as it would be if there were no government at all. The nearly anarchic state of nature defies the logical purpose of government. Paine says that people form societies naturally, and form governments only because human morality is not perfect. The end of government is to protect the right to property and religious freedom. Paine favours a representative democracy wherein there is frequent turn-over, and where the common interests of the people are consulted and catered to. Finally, he argues for the rule and sovereignty of law against the arbitrary and absurd rule of kings and men.

He contrasts this with the British model, in which government seems only to serve the interests of the King and the aristocracy. Taxation, as a primary example, allows hereditary rulers, who are inherently removed from the interests of the industrious people they govern, to live off their subjects without contributing anything of substance to the society or the polis. Paine insists that the province of government is not to regulate the lives of the citizens; instead, it must create and protect an arena where free competition in the marketplace will allow people to pursue their own best interests. With a minimum of government, civil society, Paine believes, can administer itself. In one of his most clever lines, Paine says that if an American government can only see to the protection of its own economy and exports, it will flourish "and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe".

The impetus for "Common Sense" is the current of thought that suggested reconciliation with Britain is preferable to independence. In an American public sphere anxious about its relationship to Britain, Paine provides encouragement to debate and discussion with all the subtlety of a street-corner millennarian. Citing the inevitability of a split between the colonies and Britain, and emphasizing that the legacy of America is at stake in the choices of the present moment, Paine calls the drive to independence "the cause of all mankind". In persuasive and urgent, nearly prophetic language, Paine makes a case for the political, economic, and historical implications of American independence.

Of course, "Common Sense" is not without its problems. Paine's discussion of natural and artificial distinctions within society and government is problematic at its intersections with gender and race. Paine's strange thematic of government and prostitution reflects 18th century gender standards; and he never seems comfortable with the issues of African slavery in America or the 'problem' of Native Americans. In this context, it is easy to see, in Paine's assessment of whether independence should be pursued now or later, a prefigurement of the political and economic bases of the American Civil War. Isaac Kramnick's extensive and exhaustive introduction to this Penguin Classics edition of "Common Sense," though nearly 30 years old, sets Paine's achievement in firm and understandable contexts of its philosophical, historical, and biographical origins. An excellent edition of a work that every American, if not everyone, owes it to themselves to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rationale for a Revolution
Writing a review for this book is a lot like writing a review for The Constitution. It seems as though there are not enough words to describe the majesty of the document.

Many of the founding fathers lacked the educational training that contemporary politicains have received. With that fact in mind, Common Sense is even more potent. Thomas Paine sought to make his fellow colonists join in rebelling against the King and the British. His argument is based in the relative absurdity of being ruled by a king whose power is gained only because of the status of his parents. Even the first king in succession probably only gained his power by being the most brutal ruffian in his gang of conquerers. For those who suggest that the relationship with Britain need not be changed because "it is not broke, so don't fix it", he uses a child that nurses too long from his mother as a metaphor. Paine continues his writing with other choice prose to rationalize independence.

Paine's words were a biting commentary against the King. Even today, these words maintain their potency. No America should live without reading this book which was the reasoning for our break from Britain.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Gem From Thomas Paine
In his usual clarity and tact, Paine makes a rational and reasoned case for independence. It is said that Common Sense was THE catalyst for uniting the colonies to fight against Great Britain. After reading it, I can understand why. A short but very powerful book. Definitely worth the read. Read more

49. Reaper
by Rachel Vincent
Kindle Edition
list price: $2.99
Asin: B004AYD50E
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him--and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.

Suddenly Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between....

An ebook exclusive Soul Screamers series novella.

... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars reaper
this book was extreemlyy ahhhmazzing. not only does it have real life connections but it also has great mystery and an outook on life . FIVE STARS.
ONLY thing i would change is having nash talk to tod as a ghost and see what nash would say .

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
(Spoilers May Lie Here):

Tod is an extremely elusive character in the original Soul Screamers books, you never know what he's doing, why he's doing it, or how he got there. This novella answers SOME of those questions.

It portrayed Tod's sarcastic humor in a way that helped me not ball my eyeballs out when Tod dies. Instead of balling my eyeballs out I got a fresh dose of funny after every eye watering. And believe me your eyes WILL water when reading this book.

Tod acts as if he's not a good guy because of what he did, but I am 100% positive that he is and this just makes me want him and Kaylee (the main character in the Soul Screamers series) together even more!!!

I have to give this short story a 5/5 because of it's complete brilliance!
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50. How to Speak and Write Correctly
by Joseph Devlin
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000SN6IO6
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Mildly old fashioned but concise and to the point guide to english
This seems to be a pretty comprehensive guide to English grammar which is to the point. There are plenty of useful examples and it covers common mistakes as well as how to write and speak clearly.

Best of all it's free. What's not to like?

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical, Precise and Concise Grammar Book
This little book at under 150 pages is practical and precise.

If you've forgotten your grammar lessons, it begins by explaining the rudimentary parts of speech: noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, adverb.

Then it move on to the sentence. What makes a sentence a sentence and not a clause; and just what is the difference between a clause and a phrase. Do you know!? I do now! Joseph Devlin tells us, "Apart from their grammatical construction there can be no fixed rules for the formation of sentences. The best plan is to follow the best authors and these masters of language will guide you safely along the way."

The essential paragraph allows you to contain all the thoughts on a single idea in one area and then blessedly separate it from the next bit of writing. "A solid page of printed matter is distasteful to the reader, it taxes the eye and tends towards the weariness of monotony..."

There is a chapter devoted to figurative language: simile, metaphor, personification, allegory, synecdoche, metonymy, hyperbole... Really essential components to make writing interesting.

Then Devlin delves into puncutation.

You get the idea, a concise book that covers a truck load of good grammar taught well.

5-0 out of 5 stars A bit dated but still pretty helpful and useful!
It's been probably over 20 years since I've had anything resembling a lesson on grammar or proper sentence construction, so I looked at this and thought, hey, a free book - why not?

The book shows a bit on the age - proper use of the word "thou," for example (however, I think we should bring it back.) However I did find it useful to read and review to make sure I didn't make the same mistakes for the last 20 years, and thus, feel like an idiot.

The best part is that the book's free, which makes it go from "I'd never buy this" to a "must have," even if it's for quick reference.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Hard Cover
Very Slick Looking Book - Perfect Condition and Glossy Looking - Looking forward to reading it :) Read more

51. Crush
by Alan Jacobson
Kindle Edition
list price: $7.99
Asin: B002RBWF2G
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Fresh off the most challenging case of her career, The 7th Victim heroine and renowned FBI profiler Karen Vail returns in an explosive thriller set against the backdrop of California’s wine country. Hoping to find solace from the demons that haunt her, Vail makes her first trip to the Napa Valley. But shortly after arriving, a victim is found in the deepest reaches of an exclusive wine cave, the work of an extraordinarily unpredictable serial killer. From the outset, Vail is frustrated by her inability to profile the offender—until she realizes why: the Behavioral Analysis Unit has not previously encountered a killer like him. As Vail and the task force work around the clock to identify and locate him, they’re caught in a web knotted with secretive organizations, a decades-long feud between prominent wine families, and widespread corruption that leads Vail to wonder whom, if anyone, she can trust. Meanwhile, as the victim count rises, Vail can't shake the gnawing sense that something isn't right. With the killer’s actions threatening the Napa Valley’s multi-billion dollar industry, the stakes have never been greater, and the race to find the killer never more urgent. And through it all, a surprise lurks…one that Karen Vail never sees coming. Meticulously researched during years of work with the FBI profiling unit and extensive interviews with wine industry professionals, bestselling author Alan Jacobson delivers a high-velocity thriller featuring the kind of edge-of-your-seat ending that inspired Nelson DeMille to call him "a hell of a writer." ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Crush was good, but it doesnt end.. You have to buy next book for the finish. Not that great.n
I wish I would have purchased it at 0.00, but it's a good book, however, the ploy is to entice you to read Velocity, which I didn't care for and didn't like the price. You have to read it because it is the 2nd part of this book. I thought the 7th victim was really great, but I don't like to be forced to buy a new book to read what happens in the book I was reading. So Free is a great price but just keep in mind if you want to finish the "book" you will have to read velocity which is 17.00 hardcover and 13.00 on kindle.
Next time author please just finish the book and let your readers decide if they want to read another. And, yes I did see your video.. Still don't agree. There was so much fluff in the 3rd book it could have easily been the end of Crush.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crush...the Killer in Napa

Length:: 1:10 Mins

I just finished reading "Crush" by Alan Jacobson and have recorded a short video about my experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blood is Flowing in Wine Country
After the runaway success of Jacobson's first Karen Veil novel, The 7th Victim, our impressive FBI profiler is back in the fantastic follow-up, Crush. While the pressure may be on Jacobson to make his second Karen Veil Mystery be just as good as his first, in my opinion, Crush is better. Jacobson is now comfortable in writing Veil and lets her explore her boundaries and limits, coupled with having the agent be in a foreign place.

At the start of the book, Veil is on vacation in the beautiful wine country of Napa and Sonoma counties. After the stress, pressure, and near-death experiences of The 7th Victim, Veil can certainly use the break, and has been so ordered by her ASAC. But as Veil and her boyfriend, Detective Robby Hernandez, are about to enjoy a very expensive wine tour, they are told it's been canceled and they'll receive full refunds. Veil's curiosity gets the better of her and she soon finds that a dead body is the culprit. Her profiling skills automatically kick into gear as she strategically maneuvers herself onto the task force, leaving Hernandez by the wayside. But this is who she is.

Now on the Napa County Major Crimes Task Force, Veil teams up with Investigator Roxxann Dixon, as soon more bodies are discovered each with telltale signs of the "Crush Killer." Then the killer begins contacting Veil, threatening not just her life but that of her son, if she doesn't do exactly what he says. But the wine industry is an important part of the nation's economy, and the political issue of whether to release the details to the press creates more enemies for Veil. Ultimately, it will be up to her to manage and keep the task force together, and catch this Crush Killer before he gets to anyone else.

Jacobson has not only written a full-throttle thriller that will keep readers hooked to the very end, but also educates them in the niceties of wine tasting and drinking, as well as some of the different kinds of wines offered by our wine country; not to mention the number of real locations used the in the book. Crush is a story that will have you entranced, causing your mouth to dry up in a craving for that tasty red liquid; and after finishing the book you'll feel the urge to check out Napa and Sonoma counties to see if they really are as beautiful as Crush says they are. ||Check out Episode 19 of BookBanter featuring a recent interview with Alan Jacobson. [...]

Reviewed by Alex C. Telander

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully crafter thriller !!
I have been a reader of thrillers for many years. My favorites have been Nelson DeMille, Robert Ludlum, and Robert Forsyth. Alan Jacobson is my new favorite. After reading The 7th Victim, I could not wait for Mr. Jacobson's next book. Not only was Crush a wonderful and riveting book, but the fact that it takes place in the beautiful Napa Valley provided additional intrigue. I rarely read a book in a couple of sittings, but I could just not put this one down. I am so impressed with the level of research Mr. Jacobson does when writing a book. I was definitely rewarded with Crush, not only with a wonderfully crafted thriller, but with the opportunity to increase my understanding of the wine industry, computer technology, and of course profiling.

5-0 out of 5 stars An awesome read that won't disappoint!
I'm not going to give you a readers digest version of what this book is about because you can read that above and in most of the reviews below. I'd more like to review the author and his storytelling ability; and also the 1st question I ask someone who is suggesting I read a book. Not if the storyline is good or the characters unique; but can the author tell a story in a way that will make me "honestly" stay up all night because I can't bare to wait another day for it's conclusion. Is the author someone worth losing sleep over? In this case I have to say YES!!!

I've had the pleasure of meeting the author; Alan Jacobson and I have to tell you he is as genuine a person as he is a creative storyteller. I read his first Karen Vail novel "The 7th Victim" and was impressed that an author had invested so much time doing research before penning a book. The only comparison I could think of was Dan Brown, and I immediately found myself comparing Alan to him. Then I read "Crush" (which I just started and finished last night) and found he had surpassed any other author in research and stands alone in his field....or in this case "vineyard". To me the sign of a great author is not only to weave a whodunit but to make the reader feel like they are actually at the location the story is taking place. The ability to make the reader feel like they are part of the story. Alan possesses these rare abilities and is able to incorporate them all in "Crush". Too many times I've read suspense novels where it was too easy to figure out who the villain was, but I defy anyone to figure out who it is in "Crush". "Crush" was a thrilling ride from the very fist page and a ride that I was sad came to an end at 3:45am this morning.

I think the greatest compliment I could give Alan Jacobson would be to compare his writing ability to the author "I" feel is the greatest story teller of all time...Pat Conroy. Although they don't write the same kind of books, they both have the ability to draw you in, make you laugh, bite your nails, lose some sleep, and above all...captivate.

BRAVO!!!! Read more

52. The Paradise War: Book One in The Song of Albion Trilogy
by Stephen R. Lawhead
Kindle Edition
list price: $15.99
Asin: B003DS6OMO
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Sales Rank: 379
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

A Thomas Nelson Kindle book. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Completely engrossing and completely sensory story!
Although I am a voracious reader, I rarely read fantasy...I suppose because I am tired of being dragged into "created worlds" that rarely seem to be believeable or worthy of the time involved in figuring them out. This series of books (and I will tell you right now, like previous reviewers, GET THEM ALL, you will want to start Book II the MINUTE you finish the first!) is completely engrossing. I knew nothing of Celtic history or legends, but this author wove the threads of "real" legends and lore into his "otherworld" so completely and so perfectly you never question the reality of it all!! And to be perfectly honest, right up to the LAST sentence of the LAST book, he had me hooked. I am ashamed to say I put off more than one chore/responsiblity to get in ONE MORE CHAPTER before falling asleep at night!! (haha) It is rare that literature of this caliber comes along anymore and I for one cannot wait to read everything else Stephen Lawhead has written or will write in the future!! He has a true gift! Do yourself a favor and curl up with a set of books and a story that is completely sensory and real!!! ENJOY!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise!
As an avid fantasy reader, I was reluctant to try this trilogy because Lawhead is not one of the best known fantasy writers. My husband bought me the book because Lawhead is a Christian and he thought I should try it.

I was very pleasantly surprised! The writing is excellent. The story is interesting, meaningful, and epic in scope while still progressing rapidly enough to finish in three books.

It contains all of the elements I look for in a fantasy: vivid description, many interesting and well-developed characters, problems to solve, quests, romance, war, tension, intrigue, and a happy ending.

I couldn't be happier.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
You know, I've just read the new Harry Potter. And a couple of other books that I'm not proud of. And I really had nothing to say about any of them, one way or the other. But I wanted to write something about this book. Gosh, ITS SO GOOD! Thats that!
I was so impressed and pleased to have stumbled upon this book.
I just happened to pick it up; I read one of Lawhead's others before and remembered that other reviewers had said that other book wasn't one of his best. So I decided to try it and apparently found his best. Geez.
The ideas that it has, they're so savory. Could it be that the fairy world is just a go around the cairn away?
His logic, argument, writing style, magic, whatever it was, had me convinced that there truly is another world out there. And it is beautiful. Imagine that world----that world with out our modern conveniences---the most profound perhaps, imagine that world with out our modern sound. We are always bombarded with it.
That first part of the book is there to convince us that there is another mysterious realm. Its a fast pace to get there, too.
Simon, the main characters friend, is an intriguing enigmatic fellow. We think we know him so well until the last of the story.
The next part of the book is gaining acceptance and appreciation of that other realm.
And the last part is fighting to keep it whole and sound. It seems an uphill battle---can't wait to find out in Book 2.
You can not die and not have read this! I couldn't believe this book hadn't won any awards---if I had one to give, I would. Perhaps this review will suffice.
On to Book 2! The Silver Hand! Oh, and if you go to Stephen Lawheads official website, you can get a pronounciation guide to all our favorite characters! Yay!

5-0 out of 5 stars Takes You All the Way There (and Back Again)
I seem to be reading Lawhead rather in reverse, since I'd never heard of him before reading his latest novel, Hood. Then I started in on this Song of Albion trilogy,(having found the whole trilogy in the earlier Zondervan Press edition) and realized it doesn't matter where you start with him, his stories are timeless. This is a "can't miss it" for the Celtophile, as it details an adventure to the Celtic Otherworld, which is also called Faerie. He has done impeccable research into the Celtic myths and the totality of his vision in weaving all this into a fascinating novel is nothing short of astonishing. Even if you don't have any background in the Celtic past and myths this would be a gripping tale. The pacing just never flagged. In summation, it was totally wonder-full.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic Celtic fantasy
In a trilogy that lies along the spectrum of two other British-born trilogies--Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and C.S.Lewis' "Space Trilogy"--this is a fantasy that will be hard to put down. I took a few weeks to read the first volume, a week to read the next, and a few days for the third. The inner logic pulls you forward while the events continually surprise. There is here the beauty of Ireland (though in a more primal form), the heroism of the Celtic warriors, the subtlety of kingship derived from the people, the tenderness of friendship and romance. Though one need not be familiar with Celtic lore to appreciate these books, those who have done some study in it will it come to life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Give 'em ten stars!!!
The Song of Albion trilogy are some of the best books I have ever read!! They deserve 10 stars! I read fiction critically, paying attention not only to the quality of plot, but also quality of writing and, most importantly, development of characters. Stephen Lawhead's books in general, and this trilogy in particular, satisfy me in every detail. The plots are original and very well researched, and the writing is excellent, with inspiring but not over-used metaphors and subtle alliteration. The characterization is excellent! I could not believe when reading some of these reviews that the reviewer had read the same books that I did. I can truly say that I have never read books in which the characters are better developed than in these. These books deserve to be compared with Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, which are my all-time favorite books!

Read these books if you like, as I do: Celtic mythology; high fantasy; believable fictional characters; writing that is at once both poetic and gritty; anything written by Tolkien; well-written fantasy with Christian values...I could go on, actually--let's just say READ THESE BOOKS.

For those people who thought that the Celtic mythology setting of these books was not accurate and rather forced, I beg to disagree. Having studied Celtic mythology informally quite a lot for the past couple of years, I happen to know that these books are VERY well researched. The more that I learn about Celtic mythology, the more I am impressed by the accuracy of the Song of Albion setting. You will have learned more than you know, as you will find if these books inspire you to look further into this fascinating genre of mythology! And the Otherworld setting is, to me, very believable. I could almost believe it is real. It was a mysterious experience to visit a full-sized model of Stonehenge at sunset, during the time-between-times.

Another great thing about these books is that musicians Jeff Johnson and Brian Dunning have written music to go with them. I originally heard of these books through this music. I have all the "Songs from Albion" CDs and highly recommend them, especially if you like contemporary Celtic-style music that is original composition, with a touch of New Age, rock, and medieval styles.

That is my review of the series. About this book in particular--I do not need to go over the plot since that has already been done here, and I would not want to ruin it for you anyway. This is my second favorite of the three books. It is a great start to the series. Don't be discouraged if it doesn't seem very "fantasy-ish" at the beginning. And don't get it without getting the second one. You will not want to wait. The best thing about this book as far as author's style is the wonderfully character development using the first person. I enjoy writing myself for pleasure (and am preparing to publish my first short story), and I know how difficult it is to develop a character's personality gradually over a book written in the first person from that person's point of view! Stephen Lawhead has done it with a master's touch.

Well, I'm done raving now. READ THESE BOOKS!!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars I Screamed
Getting lost in Albion is a rare treat. This is the first (and only) book I have read as an adult that made me feel as if I had managed to step into a realm far more beautiful then anything that could be known in this.
This is a book that engages on many levels with a story that can be read as simple mind candy or with a careful disection of symbols, either way the story only disappoints in that it must end.

In fact, I was so engrossed in the story I did not realize the pages were running out! The shock of such an abrupt ending literally made me scream at Mr. Lawhead for leaving me hanging until I could get the next two books (which I read within two days of recieving them).

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53. Sh*t My Dad Says
by Justin Halpern
list price: $15.99 -- our price: $6.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0061992704
Publisher: It Books
Sales Rank: 9
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is "like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair," has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:

"That woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won't screw you. Don't do it for them."

"Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started fucking."

"The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two."

More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern's philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes. An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny's, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns' kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice.

... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars A father and son's love knows no boundaries. Four letter words yes, boundaries no.
Reading Justin Halpern's book brought back memories of my own father's words of wisdom. Although my father (a southern gentleman by birth) was somewhat more prudent in his use of curse words and references to sex, he never hesitated in telling his children (or anyone else for that matter) exactly what was on his mind. I remember when I introduced him to my first really serious girlfriend, a young woman who was more than a foot shorter than myself. He took me aside and said, "What's the matter, didn't they have one in your size?" However, when we later announced our engagement he was the first to congratulate us and brought out the bottle of Cold Duck that he was saving for such an occasion.

When the author was 28 years old he was suddenly dumped by his girlfriend and needed a place to live when he made the decision to move back in with his mother and his then retired father. Working from his new "home" as a writer for Maxim Magazine gave him the time (an awful lot of time according to the author) to see his father through new, adult eyes. The terror that he had felt in his youth due to his father's "bluntness" began to be replaced by admiration for the only person that he had ever known who really spoke his mind without self-censorship. It was only then that he began to see the wisdom in his father's tersely worded observations and began posting them on his Twitter page with the same title as this book.

Because Mr. Halpern Sr. has the gift of being able to "swear with great expertise" I can't quote many of them on Amazon, but here are a few of my favorite PG rated quips:

He was a good dog. Your brother is pretty broken up about it, so go easy on him. He had a nice last moment with Brownie before the vet tossed him in the garbage.

What happened? Did somebody punch you in the face?!... The what? The air is dry? Do me a favor and tell people you got punched in the face.

You worry too much. Eat some bacon... What? No, I got no idea if it'll make you feel better, I just made too much bacon.

If it's not bourbon or sweatpants, it's going in the garbage... No, don't get creative. Now is not a creative time. Now is a bourbon and sweatpants time.

I'm not sure you can call that roughing it son... Well, for one, there was a (EXPLETIVE) minivan parked forty feet from your sleeping bags.

I just want silence... Jesus, it doesn't mean I don't like you. It just means right now, I like silence more.

If you grew up with a Ward Cleaver type of father (or wish that you did) you may find Mr. Halpern's way of expressing himself to be crude, unfeeling, or even uncaring. Far from it. The author augments the pithy quotes (some recent, other's from his childhood) with brief essays that gives the reader a little more of the back story of this unique father-and-son relationship. Is it ideal? I have learned that, for me at least, the best way to judge someone's parenting is by the adult it produces. Justin Halpern's book reads to me as a love letter to a father that always tells it like it is and who made you who you are.

My father passed away at age 87 in 2008. At his wake (we are Irish after all so alcohol was involved) his former co-workers, friends and family paid tribute to him by telling our own little stories and quotes from a man who could be described as both taciturn and brutally honest. The recollections from my three brothers, my sons and myself included stories and things that my dad said that to the outside observer might have also seemed acerbic or even caustic, but to us it was the way that he showed us that he cared

This book is not for those addicted to a PC idea of what a father should be or for those who are easily offended by real life conversation. But if you, like me, value frank and seemingly brutal honesty (especially from someone who brought you into this world) this book will delight you as much as it has me. I only wish that I could give this to my dad for Father's Day. He would have laughed his (BLEEP) off!

5-0 out of 5 stars Political Correctness Quotient = Zero
To echo what others have said this book is hilarious. It's also sweet and touching. Justin's dad is a gruff Vietnam vet, retired research doctor who is honest to a fault. He's someone who knows himself and has the courage and a burning need to speak his mind. He also loves his family to distraction. Justin's dad is Jewish and his mom a quiet, loving Catholic and though their child rearing approaches seem as different as their religions they make a good parenting team.

Here are a few quotes which are NOT the funniest in the book but one's that are relatively lacking in four letter words:

On Getting an Internship at Quentin Tarantino's Production Company:

"That is one ugly son of a `gun'.....Oh, yeah, no congratulations. If you see him, try not to stare at his face if you've eaten anything."

After Justin moves out"

"You just barge in and take whatever you want, whenever you want it. It's like you're the ********* SS I'm living in ******* Nazi Germany...."

At the End of the Day, at Least You a Have a Family:

"So, there you go. Your mother thinks you're handsome. This should be an exciting day for you."

On a hypothesized life of crime:

"You always got us. We're family. We ain't going anywhere. Unless you go on a ******* killing spree or something."

"I would still love you Justy. I would just want to know why you did it," my mom said earnestly.

All these quotes can seem a bit over the top when you read them out of context but they never come across as glib or hate filled.....just honest. Justin was the youngest of three sons and the last chapter of the book is the story of one of Justin's love affairs gone awry and his dad comforting by telling the story of his first wife's life and death. The best thing about this book, besides the humor of course, is the emotional honestly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great worthwhile read
I opened this book last night, and didn't put it down until I read it through. A quick, easy read, this book is gut bustingly funny...and it's not just a bunch of hilarious quotes, it's also a good, heartfelt story with family values and moral components intertwined. The language is very raw, so if you are offended by any or all of the entire curse word dictionary, this book may not be for you.

I found it refreshing that there is someone out there who is all about being completely honest and transparent, and doesn't beat around the bush, especially in society's current state, where everything offends someone somewhere.

Must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars I laughed to hard that I was afraid I wouldn't be allowed on my flight.
I picked this book because it came up as a recommendation and recently someone had mentioned the blog wwhich had inspired this book.

This was a really quick, funny, and touching read. Initially I thought this was just going to be about the outrageous things the author's father spouted, but it became the portrait of a wise. loving dad who seems unable to speak without referencing defecation in some way. When you read the book you really get the idea that the author is learning from his dad, who is admittedly a little rough around the edges, how to be a decent human being. Mr. Halpern doesn't sound like Ward Cleaver, but he values honesty and fair play, and he loves his family, and this is abundantly clear in what a likable person the author seems to be. I think it's also a deft touch that the author lets his fathers words, and the stories surrounding those words, tell the tale without underlining The Point, like some sort of Wonder Years voice over.

Not every word the senior Halpern utters is politically correct, which is part of the humor, and he obviously embarrassed his son on occasion, but this book seems like a loving tribute to a guy who clearly loves his son even while calling him a dummy. (Believe it or not.)The author's father might not be a model parent by the standards of parenting books, but underneath the abrasiveness is the type of parent that raises kids who know they're loved and supported.

I truly laughed out loud at least a dozen times, most of them while waiting to board a plane. I was a little concerned they might think I'd spent too much time at the airport bar, but I was having a hard time holding back the most obvious sign of my enjoyment. The title says it all about the language contained inside though, and much of the humor comes from a quite colorful vocabulary. Remember Ralphie in A Christmas Story saying his father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay? That!

Please note this is a pretty quick read with the print version being 176 pages as I'm aware this might figure into whether or not a potential reader might find it worth the current cost. I thought this was a great read, but folks on a budget or who have a set price might want to wait.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funniest book I've read in a long time
I'm sure a most people feel this way, but I think the reason this book is so funny to me is because I can hear all of the quotes coming out of my Dad's mouth as I read them. Justin's story telling method is quick and to the point, which keeps the book all the more engaging and interesting. Typically a book like this would be something you'd read every once in a while... I found myself reading it non-stop and then going back for more when I was done with a "chapter". Great book, perfect light reading, and hopefully not the last we hear from Justin's Dad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dad Stories are the BEST
I loved this book. I heard my old man and my grandpa in some of the quotes. I am happy to see that so far all of the reveiws are 5 stars - I am sure there will be a poor review sooner or later, but you can ignore those.
My dad never used language quite as salty as Justin's dad, but his point was the same. My dad did not say I love you on a regular basis, however, he would show up at your house ready to build a shed, pour a sidewalk, install a patio, or build a deck at 6am ready to roll and wondering what the hell you were doing since you weren't already half done. Which would not have been any good anyway since you would have been doing it wrong. THAT is how a DAD shows love - a Father can only say I love you.
When I get together with friends, my dad always comes up as a topic of conversation. Stories about my dad are always popular and always end in laughter. This is a book full of dad stories and I am happy to say they are every bit as good (and some quite a bit better than) stories I tell about my dad.
If you don't think this book is funny and heartwarming, I truly feel sorry for you - you have missed out in life. Justin's dad is not mean, he just tells it like it is. The truth is rarely pretty, and life is not rated G.
This book is not just random quotes, it has several short, easy to read chapters that tell you a bit about life in the Halpern home and how Dr. Halpern shaped the boys' lives. Each chapter ends with a dozen or so hilarious quotes from Justin's dad.
I bought one for my dad and one for my wife's dad - this is a can't miss Father's Day gift - provided of course, your Father is also a DAD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!!
If you like the quotes (and who doesn't???) then you will LOVE this book. There are even more gems from Sam, some of the best yet, plus stories that provide context and touching moments, as well as more hilarity. I seriously couldn't put it down and I will definitely be giving at as a gift all year...

5-0 out of 5 stars Funniest Book I ever read
Hysterical. I tried reading it on the subway and I was laughing so hard I was afraid people were going to think I was crazy (Justin's father is thinking "why do you care what other people think, Weenie?").

Justin is a funny guy and his father is so unbelievably blunt, he is hard to believe. The best part though, was as the book went on, you realized how much of a good guy Sam Halpern is and how much he loved his son and family.

A story of fatherhood from a man's man perspective. Read more

54. Unwrapping Christmas
by Lori Copeland
Kindle Edition
list price: $14.99
Asin: B000SHDD40
Publisher: Zondervan
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

It's that time of year again, and with excitement and high expectations, Rose has planned the perfect Christmas for her family and friends. But when she feels them drifting away during a time that should celebrate togetherness, Rose is forced to slow down in the most unexpected way. In this whimsical, uplifting story, she discovers the true meaning of giving. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars It's the most stressful time of the year
The Christmas season has come and Rose is busy, busy, busy with preparations for the holidays. She's worn out from doing all sorts of stuff for the church, cooking meals for sick friends, volunteering in the thrift shop, taking on prayer requests, etc etc. She doesn't have time for anything else including cooking dinner for her own family. Everyone else is getting grumpy and Rose is beginning to feel worn out. The Christmas season is starting to look not so jolly after all, but isn't a Christian supposed to put others first before themselves?

Ok so I know the Christmas season isn't for another 2 and a half months. But Sam's club already has Christmas trees and lights up! So what better way to get into this mood that this short novella from Lori Copeland. It's really a modern day holiday version of the story of Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus from the Bible. Christians today seem to think that they need to sacrifice their own needs and wants to make everyone else happy. I've seen many Christian families torn apart because they will go out and do things for others but not for their own children. Many pastor's and missionary spouses and kids suffer because of this type of attitude. This book showed that while there is a time to help others for the glory of God, you should also be careful of not trying to do things to make your own self look good. Know your limit and do not let false guilt take over you. The story is written really well and I enjoyed the characters and getting to know their busy hectic lives. It was funny at how Rose tried to figure all the different meals as she didn't have time to cook, who knew kids could get tired of pizza? I also liked learning more about the Advent with the tidbits at the beginning of each chapter. The only downside about this book is now I can't wait for Christmas to come. Even though this book is short, you will get a LOT out of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story!
I read this book in one sitting. It is the story of one who wants to help everyone and truly cannot say "no" to anyone. She takes on so much that her family never sees her and her health suffers. It's a message that needs to be spread: Know your limitations and don't allow your family to be left behind. A wonderful Christmas story!

5-0 out of 5 stars Slow down and enjoy Christmas with family
It's short, sweet and packs a powerful punch. Lori reveals through her main character, Rose, what loving one another looks like. Rose is challenged by another verse "Be still and know I am God." She is rarely still long enough to know God is God - too busy. Sound familiar? Another verse "Rest in His assurance." Rest? Who has time for that? Things women struggle with daily. Lori reveals God's love in action through Rose. This book will gently remind you in practical ways, how to love one another & rest in God's assurance at Christmas and always.

Before some chapters begin, Lori weaves the meaning of Advent, explains the symbols and what they represent. The treat at the end of the story is the Bergman's holiday traditional recipes talked about in the story.

Lastly, a powerful letter written by Karen Hancock titled Jesus Didn't Hurry. This letter sums up the message of Unwrapping Christmas. A must read.

Nora St. Laurent
Book Club ServantLeader

5-0 out of 5 stars A Nuanced Story
What I really like about Unwrapping Christmas is that it is a nuanced story. It makes its points subtly. It doesn't just make the point "Service is good" but goes on to add: "Service is good, but make sure that in serving others you don't do it in such a zealous, all consuming manner that you do a disservice to yourself or those you love most. This is a story about priorities. It is well written and should be read more than once.

I also highly recommend Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices--an excellent story about the impact of small acts of kindness. Read more

55. Holiday Bound
by Beth Kery
Kindle Edition
list price: $4.50
Asin: B002ZFGJV2
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Sales Rank: 225
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The Oedipal Complex has never been so sexy…

Alex Carradine can’t believe his father wants to come and visit his ski resort. Could it be that after so many stormy years, “slick Mitch” Carradine wants to offer an olive branch? Maybe the old man is mellowing, settling down with the new lover he’s bringing along.

Then Alex realizes the acid truth. This is no warm family visit. His father’s new conquest is none other than the woman of Alex’s sexual fantasies, meant only to dangle tauntingly in front of his face. At least an unexpected blizzard has frozen his father out of the picture entirely.

Angeline Kastakis was looking forward to taking the next step in her relationship with Mitch. Too late, she realizes she’s been led into a familial battle zone. Now it’s Christmas and she’s marooned in a blizzard with an insolent, gorgeous hunk of man whose blazing blue eyes tell her loud and clear he wants her in his bed. Preferably tied to it with a bow.

There’s no escape in sight. But as Alex stirs her secret longing to be mastered by a man, escape is the last thing on her mind…

Warning: This book contains scenes of sensual submission hot enough to make you sweat in a blizzard.

... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet sexy christmas story

Well done short erotic love story. How would you liked to be trapped in a cozy log cabin during Christmas with the man of your dreams? And it's a free download, well worth getting. Read more

56. The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas pre
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B002RKSV9S
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the best book ever
This book is an example of perfect fiction writing. Its length is 5 times the average book and it still was not long enough! The story, the characters, the settings and the emotions enthralled me for days. I could not put it down. I was living the book as it took me to France, the mediterranean, Italy and every home, cave and mode of transportation detailed in exemplary fashion by Dumas. Without giving away the intrigue... This book is the story of a wronged young sailor and follows his life as he is imprisoned due to the actions of 3 jealous men. He lives in prison for an extended period of time, meeting a man who gives him hope and a life beyond his dreams. He escapes the horrid dungeon and seeks revenge on the 3 men who took away everything he ever hoped for. This book is amazing, it will not disappoint anyone. I cannot believe I did not read it before. Thank you Kindle for allowing me the pleasure of reading this book for free, however, it is worth paying for and sharing with anyone who loves to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the effort. Great read
Having just bought a Kindle, I decided to read some of the classics, since I can get them for free thanks to Kindle. I saw the Count of Monte Cristo movie some time ago and decided to give this a shot. The beginning middle and end of the book are fabulous. I had to push through at about 70% through the book though. I even watched the movie after reading this. The author does a great job detailing the agony of the Count's revenge, where in the movie its one nice little trap set that does not really show how the Count made the others suffer. It was a great read, and had me thinking in old English all week.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I'll admit up front - I'm only 15% of the way through the book. But so far, I love it. It's got plenty of intrigue and suspense to keep me very interested. I have no doubt I'll love the remaining 85%. Also, I'm 90% sure that this is the unabridged version. I took this Kindle version to a bookstore and compared it to an unabridged hard copy of the book, and they line up very similarly. From what I can tell, the unabridged versions have 117 chapters, compared to about 71 chapters in the abridged version. A hard copy unabridged version will have roughly 1200 pages, compared to about 600 pages for the abridged. For what it's worth, this Kindle version has 19,069 "locations." All in all, a great read so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars Favorite book; but is this abridged??
I love the Count of Monte Cristo, but I'm about a quarter of the way through and I feel like little pieces are being left out of the story from what I remember it to be. My memory could be wrong, so can anyone confirm if this is the unabridged version. Guess you can't beat the price though.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dumas is truly a master at his craft
I have been going through the classics with my new Kindle. I made Monte Cristo one of the first on my list and I am not disappointed. Dumas has a way of telling a story, crafting it to make it weave a fabric of a story where all meshes together psychologically and suspensively. Dumas is a great observer of people and how they live and act and react to different situations and stresses.
Excellent book.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is my gold standard for comparing to other books. I grade movies and books by how much I think about them or their characters after the fact. I find myself coming back to certain scenes in this book often even though it has been over a year since I read it. Adventure, suspense, a touch of romance and history all make it a comprehensive event. I found myself looking up locations on Google Earth because they were described in such vivid deatil I wanted to see where they were. Without giving too much away - "Revenge is sweet".

5-0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorites
I downloaded this book a long while ago because it was free and a well-known classic. The length of it put me off for a while but I am very glad I took the plunge and read it. What I loved most was the Count's inteligence and insight into human nature to the point where he knew exactly how each of his victims would react to his plot against them. It is very long but has become one of my favorites!

If you have watched the movie and thought it was just OK you definitely need to read the book because it a whole lot better!

5-0 out of 5 stars alexandre dumas never fails!
this book is one of my favorites. once you get to the action, you simply cant put it down. it is filled with something for everyone: betrayal, action, murder, romance, and even a little mystery.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Kindle makes it so easy
I have read the Count of Monte Cristo about 4 times and have seen it on TV numerous times starting with Tyrone Powers as the leading man. I have never found it more exciting or more fun then I am with my Kindle. A great piece of literature made fun to read again and again. Read more

57. The Odyssey
by Homer, Alexander Pope
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JQU9VA
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Free Good Translation-4 in a Half Stars
I too like some of the reviewers was close to removing this free edition from my Kindle as I began to wonder when The Odyssey would begin. It starts at 8 % or location 413 on the third Kindle type size. The first 8% is a biography of Homer and a critique of Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's The Odyssey. I found the biography interesting and The Odyssey itself is a great Greek epic. A linked table of contents would have been nice and a page break between the foreword and the start of the actual work would have been appreciated. So I take off a star for that. With Kindle's bookmarking, highlighting, note adding feature, and search feature you can quickly find and go anywhere though from your Kindle menu so the point becomes mute. Then I add a half star back for it was free anyways.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great translation
This is a wonderful translation of Homer's classic story of Odysseus and his return home. It was a nice read. Read more

58. Dead or Alive
by Tom Clancy
Kindle Edition
list price: $28.95
Asin: B00466ISKS
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Sales Rank: 7
Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

For years, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his colleagues at the Campus have waged an unofficial and highly effective campaign against the terrorists who threaten western civilization. The most dangerous of these is the Emir. This sadistic killer has masterminded the most vicious attacks on the west and has eluded capture by the world's law enforcement agencies. Now the Campus is on his trail. Joined by their latest recruits, John Clark and Ding Chavez, Jack Ryan, Jr. and his cousins, Dominick and Brian Caruso, are determined to catch the Emir and they will bring him in...dead or alive. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome Back Jack!
Dead or Alive is missing the edge of modern thrillers like Gods of Ruin or similar, but it is a welcome return from one of the world's best authors. There's a lot of catching up to do for Clancy and for readers who hadn't read his books since the Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan was president?). But, while Dead or Alive brings back many of the characters from previous books (Ding Chavez, John Clark, and Ryan's son), it is a safe stand alone book (though who doesn't know about these characters from Clancy's earlier works?).

The plot is pretty straightforward: Jack Jr.'s The Campus intelligence group finally gets the go-ahead to track down "The Emir" who is basically a fictional representation of Osama bin Laden. What the reader gets is a personal account of the mission to take out The Emir--a mission which no doubt has parallels in modern intelligence/warfare. Like all Clancy novels, there is material in here about special-ops experience that you wouldn't get from even the best news sources. No doubt much of the material is thanks to the co-author of this book, Grant Blackwood, a former Navy guy.

Clancy doesn't really bring into the fray the moral questions that arise with such stories--I think people would love this--but the insight and the action are good enough to make this a gripping, entertaining book. Any Clancy fan will enjoy it and anyone who likes to read military-thrillers will find this to be a quintessential addition to their library.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE MAN IS BACK! GREAT READ!
Okay, seven years is a long time to wait, and while I wish it hadn't taken this long, I have to say DEAD OR ALIVE is worth it. Yeah, I was a bit wary when I saw a co-author (Grant Blackwood) listed on the cover, but my worries were quickly blown away by the story. How much is Clancy and how much is Blackwood I don't know, but DEAD OR ALIVE is the kind of TC book I've been hoping for: Big plot, great characters, tons of action, and the good guys besting the bad guys in the end. It's got a little less of a military component, but plenty of intel/espionage/covert ops stuff -- enough that you really feel like you're following Jack Ryan Jr. John Clark and the others as they hunt down the world's most wanted terrorist.

For those of you who are worried that Mr. Clancy lost his mojo or a co-authored Ryan-verse book can't be as good because it's got a co-author, think again. DEAD OR ALIVE rocks!

Good to have you back, Tom.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Been a Decade but TOM CLANCY IS BACK, and this is AS GOOD AS IT GETS!!!! Five Stars

With Clancy it's simple, you either love what he does or you don't, and if you are fan, then it's been a long time, about ten years since he has been on the Best Seller list, but once again that is where he is headed. Clancy is the master of his genre because he takes the time to learn technical aspects of what he is writing about. This means when you read Clancy you are reading the real thing. Facts are checked, scenarios are discussed with technical aspects, and nothing is left to chance or done offhandedly.

When he talks weapons, he goes into the detail that a munitions dealer would deal with. In this novel we see operators using a Knights Armament M110 Sniper System. He tells you it's the best because he has done the homework. It is facts like this that the master storyteller weaves into the tapestry of his books that many readers including myself find fascinating.

I am not going to discuss the plot in detail because that's why we read the book. Here's what you need to know. This is a big blot book which is what most of Clancy's books represent. In this case, Jack Ryan is a retired President of the United States. His son Jack Junior is running a secret independent anti-terrorist agency that his father the President started.

It is called The Campus, and it has been successful for years going after the bad guys. The current President seems to be weak on terrorism and is more concerned with guaranteeing the legal rights of the bad guys than protecting the country. You are already seeing the subplots develop.

Clancy puts us in the thick of it. We as readers are in the game. When Delta Force operators and Rangers go into the caves of Afghanistan we are with them. We breathe the odors; we hear the sounds, and we feel the tension. We find ourselves silencing our own voices because we don't want the good guys to be caught, and that is classic Clancy.

In this book there is evil in the world, and in DEAD or ALIVE, an evil man in the world is at lodge. He has wreaked havoc on the Western world. We call him the Emir, and his objective is to deal a devastating terrorist blow to the United States. The book takes you around the world while Ryan Junior, and his father's old hands John Clark and Ding Chavez join Ryan along with Brian and Dominic Caruso with Mary Foley.

It's a race for time, and for America. Will the good guys win, and where is the Emir? Is he in a cave 8,000 miles away or is he right here among us? You will have to read the book to find out and oh what an ending.

Why I Love Clancy and you will too?

Please allow me to give you a feel why Clancy is the absolute best writer in his fiction segment. It is his incessant ability to weave odd important facts into his stories, and to weave reality into the fabric of the plot:

* His description of the computer setup at the National Security Agency is without equal.

* There are 125,000 cranes in the world and currently Dubai has 30,000 of them currently building and rebuilding the city. Who knows things like this?

* Plans do not survive the first contact with the enemy.

* Laziness has consequences. If you are a sentry, if you pause, if you hesitate, if you light up a cigarette, you are DEAD.

* You don't have to like it; you just have to do it.

* The FBI Urban Tactical Training Facility is preeminent in the world. They are the best of the best. See why in the book.


This is a great read, all 848 pages of it. You start the book and you can't put it down, and in the end isn't that why we read Clancy. We just keep going until we are finished, and when we are finished we are ready for more. That is why 10 years is too long to wait for a Clancy novel. Read it today and see for yourself, and thank you for reading this review.

Richard C. Stoyeck

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59. The Pursuit of Pleasure
by Elizabeth Essex
Kindle Edition
list price: $11.20
Asin: B003VWC1OW
Publisher: Kensington Books
Sales Rank: 410
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Never Say "Never" To Passion...

Lizzie Paxton's dream in life is to be a widow--if only she could skip the wedding and the husband. When her childhood friend Captain James Marlowe proposes a marriage in name only, she accepts, knowing she'll have the independence she craves once he sets sail. Though James is the only man Lizzie trusts, she doesn't trust the scintillating desire he evokes in her.

James knows he shouldn't get involved with anyone, especially with his uncertain future. But he just can't help himself when he overhears Lizzie's declaration. Though he's promised her a marriage of convenience, he wastes no time in seducing her and taking her over the precipice of desire. Yet not even his beautiful wife can deter him from his cause.

But when Lizzie discovers her husband has deceived her, James must choose between devotion to duty and loyalty to the woman he cannot live without...

"Intrigue, sensuality and romance collide."--Jenna Petersen

"Elizabeth Essex's The Pursuit Of Pleasure is elegant, evocative, and absolutely dangerous to a good night's sleep."--Courtney MilanWhen not re-reading Jane Austen, sipping tea or mucking about her garden, Elizabeth Essex can be found at her computer, making up stories about people who live far more interesting lives than she.

It wasn't always so.Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classical Studies and Art History and then earned her MA from Texas A&M University in Nautical Archaeology, also known as the archaeology of shipwrecks.While Elizabeth loved the adventurous life of a working archaeologist, after writing and reading all those dry, dusty reports on ship construction, she would daydream about how lovely it would have been if only someone had fallen in love on just one of those ships.And so now she writes stories about just that.

Elizabeth lives in Texas with her family. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful late Georgian romance
In 1794 in Dartmouth, England Lizzie Paxton drolly chatting to another woman says being a widow would be ideal for the freedom granted to a woman however she also insists the first step to achieve this independent status will never happen to her as she will never marry. Her long time friend Captain James Marlowe overhears her feelings about marriage and astutely concludes her need for independence and his goal is to avoid a marriage entanglement fit nicely together. He offers her a marriage of convenience; she accepts.

Although he knows he should not, James seduces delectable Lizzie. Soon after that passionate tryst, he leaves. A few days later, she learns her wish is true that she has become a widow. However, the Ton assume Lizzie killed her new husband; placing her spouse in an untenable spot between his loyalty to his beloved wife and his loyalty to his beloved England.

The Pursuit of Pleasure is a wonderful late Georgian romance due to the strong likable lead characters. Lizzie is terrific as an intelligent witty individual while James is a dashing hero. Readers will enjoy this engaging historical as patriotic James is trapped in a nasty situation as duty and love war inside his soul.

Harriet Klausner
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60. Oliver Twist
by Charles Dickens
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JQUT8S
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more


5-0 out of 5 stars Thieves, Murderers and all of their Ilk
This book surprised me, not by the quality of its writing, which one can expect from Charles Dickens, but by the violent, lusty primal quality of the story. This is no dry musty tome, but a vital novel that arouses both passion and intellect. A literal page turner, I found myself having more than one sleepless night when I just couldn't put it down.

Inside are some of the major characters in the realm of fiction; Fagin and his gang of child thieves, including the Artful Dodger. Nancy, the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold. Master Charles Bates (was this a pun even then?) Bad Bill Sikes, who shows the darker edge to all of this dangerous fun, and the innocent, pure Oliver Twist, who is the very definition of nature over nurture.

A great book, and one that I am glad to have finally read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Page-Turner
A novel of this size can be daunting for the reader. "If I start this book, I'm going to have to spend the next month finishing it". That's what I thought anyway. But in Oliver Twist I sailed through the pages. It's rare that a classic, and I have read many of them, becomes a page-turner but this one did. Maybe I was lucky in not having seen the film versions prior to the reading of the book because I desperately wanted to find out what happened to Oliver and the multitude of other brilliantly written characters who inhabit the pages of Dickens' classic.

The plot is simple. A boy escapes his orphan home to live in London with a group of thieves and pickpockets. He's saved from this depraved life by a kindly, lonely old gentleman. But the villains, Bill Sykes and especially Fagin, fear that the boy may rat them out and so they kidnap him back. Can Oliver make it back to the life he deserves?

Oliver's story is not a very originally one, but it is enlivened by some of the greatest characters I've ever seen written. My personal favourites and there are many, are Noah Claypole who becomes a principle player and a very funny one at that, near the book's conclusion; and Mr. Brownlow, who's catchphrase "I'll eat my own head" had me bursting into laughter.

The book is diminished by its excessive sentimentality at the conclusion. Its female characters, apart from the courageous Nancy, are written in a golden light so as to become fantasies rather than the gloriously dirty reality of their male counterparts. A sub-plot between Mary and her boyfriend is ridiculously excessive.

Against these weaknesses, the book is a triumph of character. Often memorably played on screen, the two villains have become more famous than the title character, who is slightly simpering. Fagin is deliciously smarmy and Sykes is evil incarnate. They get their comuppance in justifiably brutal fashion. Dickens like most of us was a sucker for a happy ending.

5-0 out of 5 stars Forsaken child
The creative novel Oliver Twist, written by Charles Dickens in 1838, defines a classic of all times. This intense story reflects a young boy's life in London with no family or place to go. Oliver's mother dies while giving birth to her son in the beginning of the book. Oliver's father remains unknown. Throughout the book the reader sees constant struggles. Oliver is befriended by Fagin and his company. Fagin, along with the Artful Dodger, invite Oliver to stay with them and become a thief. During one of Oliver's pick pocketing adventures; he is caught by Mr. Brownlow. Instead of reprimanding the young lad, Mr. Brownlow decides to raise him. Oliver desperately searches for the answer to his past while trying to stay alive on the streets of London. Ironically, Mr. Brownlow is Oliver's grandfather. A dominate theme of Oliver Twist examines the importance of family. Oliver's early years taught him to fend for himself and he suffers from never experiencing a loving and nurturing childhood. The setting of the book plays a powerful role as the story unfolds. Dickens describes the setting of London and all the places that Oliver stays very descriptively. "The street was very narrow and muddy, and the air was impregnated with filthy odor. The walls and ceiling of the room were perfectly black with age and dirt..." (page. 56). Dickens explains the facilities that were available to poor Oliver and makes them sound unbearable. He does an excellent job making the setting come alive and allows the reader to plight. I would recommend all readers at some point in life to delve into this classic. I found Oliver Twist very moving and towards the end hoping only the best for poor Oliver.

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this book!
I picked this book up at my local library for a book report. Since I am 14, I didn't expect to really enjoy this book, but I had heard so much about it so I decided to read it. Once I had read the book, I was surprised at how much I liked it! I could not put this book down. There were numerous occasions where I kept wondering what would happen next. I was surprised by the murder. I guess I kind of saw it coming though since Sikes seems as if he has it in him. The trials Oliver goes through in this book really make you think. I was disappointed by Mr. Bumble. He treated Oliver as if he weren't human. All in all, I enjoyed the characters. I give 5 stars to Dickens for writing this novel. He has made me an admirer of his books. Now I truly know why he is such a great author. Everyone should experience this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Charles Dickens' Best Novel
This is my favorite novel by Charles Dickens. The book hooks you in and is a fascinating page turner from beginning to end. It has loads of adventure, mystery, and drama. It also has a lot of melodrama which reminds me of the old silent movies. Dickens writes about the villainous characters with a great deal of sarcasm, often calling them "philosophers." He describes the good characters in angelic terms. I was surprised to read a very virulent description of the Jew Fagin. It reminded me of Nazi propaganda. I got the impression that Fagin's business associates, the merchants who sold the stolen merchandise, were also Jews. This book thoroughly goes over the phenomena of how badly lower class people are treated in their lives. They are constantly abused, verbally and physically, by authority figures. I really wonder what it is about poverty that makes people treat each other so abusively and inhumanely. Some people say Dickens' books are flawed. That doesn't matter whatsoever. The important thing is that Dickens was the greatest storyteller of the 19th century.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping Classic Literature.
I always wanted to read this book--and any other Dickens--after being subjected to the musical featuring child stars Mark Lester and the late Jack Wild. It is with great sarcasm that, though I love the musical, to find that the novel differs greatly is such a surprise. I will also admit that this is the first Dickens novel I have ever read, and find it interesting to note that children have never had easy lives since the beginning of man's origins up until now. We just hear more about it these days.

The amazing cruelty with which orphans have been treated through history is depicted here with a verbal imagery which the reader will not soon forget, and the cast of supporting characters keeps one fascinated due to the human characteristics Dickens gives them. How a largely bland, yet sympathetic little boy stays true to the purest of righteous virtues seems far fetched at times given his treatment at the workhouse and being constantly surrounded by thieves and murderers like Fagin, Sikes, the Artful Dodger, and Master (All he does is laugh) Bates (I won't even elaborate on that name, but snickered quite a bit at it). Most children would have succumbed to their surroundings long before 12, but Dickens seems to be going for nature verses nurture here, pointing out that people can rise above their environment, and I cannot argue. Most people know someone who came from awful circumstances, only to become the opposite of all the negativity they've been surrounded with. So then, maybe there are street walkers like Nancy--the true hero of this story--who have hearts of gold as well, and there are wealthy people who are the antithesis of everything you have ever heard like the man who comes to adopt Oliver.

Dickens makes one thing very clear in Oliver Twist: right makes might, and if you hold on long enough goodness can indeed win the day, no matter how hard life gets sometimes. He also stresses that, among the many paths in life one chooses, the virtues of goodness and honesty are the best roads to take in the end. A classic worth reading more than once.

5-0 out of 5 stars Never expected it to be funny!
I wuz robbed! Back in high school I had an English teacher who hated Charles Dickens. He found him dull, boring, wordy, and complained of Dickens' endless descriptions, formulated story telling, length of his books, and endings that were easy to predict. In his class, we focused on Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, among others. We were never assigned Dickens or expected to read him. And I generally respected the opinions of this teacher, so I refrained from the work of Dickens. Now, many decades later, I read in Stephen King's "On Writing" that "Oliver Twist" was one of the books he had read in the past three years that he thoroughly enjoyed. So, as we are about the same age, I decided to give it a try. Was my teacher dead wrong! Yes, the book is long, but it certainly isn't boring. Who knew that Dickens had a terrific sense of humor? And as the sarcastic narrator of this tale, he is laugh-out-loud funny. Yes, the book follows a pretty strict formula. But Dickens admits in the telling that he is following the popular style of the day: A chapter of anguish followed by a chapter of relief. Repeat. And each chapter ends with a cliffhanger. But we must remember that Dickens' books first appeared as magazine serializations. And yes, there is a ton of descriptive text, but so well written that I found it interesting. Also, I did know early on how the book was going to end. However, not knowing how Oliver was going to get to that end made the book compelling to read. There are terrific characters within, exciting plot twists, and to top it all, Dickens surprising humor. Now I'm anxious to read more Dickens. I should have started years ago. By the way, in the Penguin Classics version, there is a long Introduction, but writer Philip Horne had the courtesy to warn new readers not to read it because of the "spoilers" that are included. Also, Horne presents almost 100 pages of notes at the end of the book. Don't let that scare you off. I never had to refer to them. Read more

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