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101. The Einstein Theory of Relativity
102. The Phantom of the Opera
$52.15
103. Harry Potter Paperback Box Set
104. A Gift of Grace: A Novel
$12.48
105. The Help
106. Blood of the Wicked
107. The Merry Adventures of Robin
108. The Life of Buddha and Its Lessons
109. The Time Machine
110. Cooking from China's Fujian Province:
$4.78
111. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself
112. Room: A Novel
113. The Case for Christmas: A Journalist
114. Familiar Quotations
115. How to Drink
116. Word Morph Volume 1: transform
117. Old Havana Cookbook: Cuban Recipes
118. Relentless (Dominion Trilogy #1)
119. Worth Dying For: A Reacher Novel
$10.99
120. The Book of Awakening: Having

101. The Einstein Theory of Relativity
by H.A. Lorentz
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JML3IW
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

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Entry-Point Reading
This very short book is sort of an abstract on Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Whether you're familiar, and especially if you are, about Physics and Nature's Laws of Motion, Gravity, etc...this is a worthwhile read for getting to know Einstein's theory as written by a friend physicist. It describes Einstein's theory and quashes your curiosity on the subject matter.

Short and concise, I picked up a few concepts that I was not truly aware of since grade school or high school...when I was actually enrolled in a science class. For instance, I always thought space is enveloped in a vacuum...meaning no air or nothing at all. It was not after reading this book that I was made re-aware of the gas ether as "light's medium"...or what the upper atmosphere consists of, hence the word ethereal (`not of this world).

Read further and you actually grasp the essence of the theory, said in the simplest possible way from a physicist's point of view. Right now though, I'd like to read more on the subject matter at hand...or perhaps more on Einstein himself. This is just good entry-point reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Introduction That Has Stood the Test of Time
Albert Einstein is rightly considered one of the greatest scientists of all time, and his two theories of relativity - special and general - are the crowning glory of his scientific oeuvre. They have fundamentally reshaped our thinking of the most fundamental concepts - space, time and matter. These two theories have also withstood the test of time, and a century after they had been formulated they are still almost entirely used in their original formulations.

H. A. Lorentz was a distinguished physicist in his own right, and one of Einstein's closest scientific and personal friends. The special kind of the coordinate transformations that characterize the special relativity have been named after him, and he is one of the first people to whom Einstein described his general theory of relativity. In that regard he is certainly one of the foremost early authorities on the subject.

This short book primarily deals with the general theory of relativity. It was written shortly after one of the most startling predictions of the general relativity - the deflection of light by the sun - was confirmed by the British astronomer Eddington. The public was immensely fascinated by this incredible phenomenon, and there was a need for an accessible and informative explanation of general relativity. Unfortunately, even though general relativity is an incredibly "beautiful" theory in its own right, the mathematical apparatus required for its full understanding is formidable. This short introduction completely sidesteps all mathematical language and presents the subject in terms of the most fundamental concepts.

It is quite remarkable that a short popular book like this one has withstood the test of time. As a college physics professor who works with general relativity I could not think of much that I would add or subtract from this book. However, this is a rather short book and if a reader would like a bit more information on the subject that is still at the level of general reader I would strongly recommend Relativity A Very Short Introduction.

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome Read
You know, It's kind of hard to start in it, but it is with out a doubt one of the most important reads a person can do, and once you get into it, it gets more and more interesting as you go. Kind of like my book;Stupid In Montana As America Read more


102. The Phantom of the Opera
by Gaston Leroux
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JQU51O
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.6 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. Translation of Fantome de l'Opera. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Translation
French is a beautiful and romantic language and English translations of the Phantom of the Opera haven't always come through quite as beautifully and often times they sound military. This translation flows very well. I was very surprised when I found it. I had read about three or four versions of the book in English from different translators when I stumbled onto this one by accident at the local library. I prefer books in hardcover and searched for this translation in that format but was not able to find it. Now, I have only one classic French book in paperback. This is really the best translation of this book. It flows easily although not as perfectly as the French does. Who knew Bantam could pull this off successfully?

5-0 out of 5 stars An absorbing, haunting love story that was not meant to be.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the simplicity of language and the direct truth of human needs. Erik was physically deformed and sickly. Mostly, he was unloved and cast out from society; he was bigger than just the Opera Ghost. He was society's shame -- a shame they felt that should be hidden and not acknowledged (either out of fear or because of it... you choose). That lack of positive acknowledgement is what makes this book so sad and frustrating. He had love to give, but it was not wanted; he was deemed a creature of horror. But it was really the general attitude of society that was the horror -- not him. The book really echoes the truth that it is what is on the inside that matters, for that is what lasts the longest, and that people should be more open-minded to the mental and physical flaws that either God or Nature or both created. Erik is a symbol not of darkness and the gothic motif, but of light and life and living. If anyone liked this book, they should read Susan Kay's Phantom; it is a good precursor to Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing!
I started reading The Phantom of the Opera last night and finished this afternoon. Having seen the recently-released film first, then having followed up by listening to a recording of Webber's famous musical adaptation, I was curious to read the text that had inspired the film and the music I enjoyed so much. The book was an absolute page-turner.

Erik's character is among the most simultaneously compelling and horrifying ones I've read. I love the way Leroux does not treat him as a mere boogie-man, but gives the readers multiple insights to a complex personality. I found myself amused at the Phantom's practical jokes and ingenuity (such as the banknote affair and Carlotta's unfortunate croaking performance), horrified at his vengeance, impressed by his mastery over the secrets of the opera house, and softened by his slavish love for Christine. Should I be repulsed by his evil deeds and dark past or moved to pity? Erik's character is truly one larger than life.

Raoul's character was really my only disappointment. I could not bring myself to like or empathize with him at all and liked Christine less for returning his love. He came across as a spoiled brat who had never been denied anything in his life and cannot comprehend why Christine doesn't throw herself at him whenever he snaps his fingers. He insults Christine cruelly in fits of jealousy and is scarcely less obsessive than the Phantom, but in a sniveling, childish manner. I also hated his refusal consider the Phantom's plight as described by Christine, never allowing pity to soften his desire to kill Erik out of pure jealousy (and he does, indeed, take a gunshot at him when given the chance). It is obvious that the Phantom could have killed Raoul in a heartbeat once within the opera house, but he displays amazing self-restraint when it comes to his rival, especially given his seemingly super-human capabilities.

I would recommend this book to anyone, "Phans" and those with no prior exposure to the story. Perhaps it is not top-notch literature, but a very entertaining book nonetheless. It is an intriguing read with incredible characters, a book difficult to put down and a story difficult to forget!

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth re-reading.
This story comes off as a pretty typical penny-dreadful sort of tale at first glance, but there are subtle themes that are not apparent on the first read. I won't bore with details, but it is an unusually rich, human story despite the somewhat fantastical setting and the exaggerations inherent in the character of Erik.

Speaking of Erik (that's "The Phantom" to those of you who don't know), he's one of the best villians I've encountered in a while, right up there with Darth Vader. he is capable of extreme wickedness, but is still sympathetic, and those are always the villians that you remember. While Andrew Lloyd Webber did a fair job of adapting this tale to the stage and eventually film, much changed in the process, particularly Erik. He is not so slick in this book as he is in the musical, and definitely a bit more crazy, but I actually prefer Leroux's original to the derivative. The 2004 film did not quite do justice to this complex story and those who have only seen the film and no other form of the Phantom story ought to do themselves a favor and read the book.

In reference to the specific edition I purchased, the Greg Hildebrandt illustrated one, it is not, as has been mentioned in some reviews above (probably due to the fact that Amazon has made an unholy mess by crossing reviews from the umpteen different versions of this book), an abridged version. There are distilled children's editions out there, one by Peter Neumeyer, and another in the Illustrated Classics series but this isn't a children's edition despite the illustrations. This is, as far as I can tell (at least by comparing it to the free Gutenberg Project version) a complete translation of the original French text. I bought this edition specifically for the illustrations, which I enjoy, but some people do not care for the Hildebrandt style. If you like this artist, though, it is worth having for the pictures alone.

5-0 out of 5 stars More than Just a Book
When I read Phantom of the Opera, I had already seen the Play in New York and the rescent movie, co-directed by Webber. I had high expectations of the Phantom; the story had already incurred tears of pain and suffering, and I suppose I expected more.
I don't particularly like Leroux's writing style, but there is more - much more! - to the story than that, much more to the story than the catacombs under an Opera house, wonderful singers, distorted genius and Persian policeman. This is Leroux's 'Heart of Darkness.' :)

(A note: the book offers much more (a scorpion or a grasshopper) than the movie, but both are good and, for once, the movie follows the book quite closely, until the last chapter. (I retrive them from this fate, for they could never have done it the way it was written.) I thought it was a nice touch from Webber to add the scene from Don Juan Triumphant, although I don't think that there is anything that could describe that music. "His Don Juan Triumphant seemed to me at first one long, awful, magnificent sob. But, little by little, it expressed every emotion, every suffering of which mankind is capable." I didn't feel this in The Point of No Return, but the idea of performing Eric's opera is wonderful.)

Epitaph to the Phantom, aka Eric, O.G. and The Angel of Music
"Poor, unhappy Erik! Shall we pity him? Shall we curse him? He asked only to be "some one," like everybody else. But he was too ugly! And he had to hide his genius or use it to play tricks with, when, with an ordinary face, he would have been one of the most distinguished of mankind! He had a heart that could have held the empire of the world; and, in the end, he had to content himself with a cellar." (From 'The Phantom of the Opera')

5-0 out of 5 stars This is one of the all-time-best books I have EVER read!
Raoul knew the was something fishy about a voice behind Christine's dressing room door, especialy when he went inside her dressing room right after she left and there was no one there, but he didn't expect that it could be a Phantom. The Phantom lives under the opera, for he fears others seeing his deformed face, but he falls in love with one Christine Daae after giving her singing lessons, which hightens her status at the opera. Yet, Raoul is in love with the prima dona as well; Christine has a choice. You will not be able to put this book, which describes everything in large detail, down one second, as you follow the gripping tale of "The Phantom of the Opera". Leroux brings out his characters' personalities in a such a way that the whole story is believeable. This book could make a GREAT movie if they stayed close to the book, so that means that you ought to read this VERY VERY good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVELY LOVE STORY!
Just what my sixteen year old, love sick heart needed! This story met all standards that I held for it! Not only did it give insight to Andrew Lloyd Weber's miraculous production of The Phantom of the Opera, but it made me love the characters and want to read more! Unfortunatley, all good things come to an end, as does this book, (and A very tear jerking one I might add) I shared this book with my relatives, friends, and family and they have all come to my same conclusion: This is an EXCELLENT BOOK!! Buy one, read it, and I guarantee you'll fall in love with it! It makes you want to jump up, hop on a plane, go to the Paris Opera House, and look for Erik! (I tried...don't get caught breaking rules!) Great story and have happy reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Often times mentioning "The Phantom of the Opera" ellicits snickers from theatre purists who see the musical as a somewhat ridiculously overblown slightly stupid story which all seems too far fetched to be taken seriously. I confess, I first fell in love with the story when I saw Andrew Lloyd Webber's rendition of the show (which I've seen about five times now) - a show which I now realize that if taken by itself, tends to be a somewhat ridiculously overblown slightly stupid story which seems too far fetched to be taken seriously. The original book changes everything.

Not only does the book contain the story of Erik, the Opera Ghost, but it also includes some of Leroux's own research into the story which he claims as true. Not only does he make this somewhat extrodinary claim to the truth of the story, but he in rather fine detail shows how there was really nothing supernatural at all about the story: even the seeming supernatural elements all have simple solutions: many of which Leroux himself found the 'keys' to while doing research for the book.

The book blows the musical away. Like sand-blasting a soup craker. But before I say more I will say that the musical picks up on many of the important parts of the book: that is to say, I would recommend reading the book and getting to know the story well, because then even though the musical only picks up on many of the important parts and not all, you'll know the rest of the story: and suddenly the musical won't be a somewhat ridiculously overblown slightly stupid story which seems too far fetched to be taken seriously - it's actually very believable.

Admittedly, it would have been far too difficult to make the entire story into a musical: but let me whet your appetite for the fuller details of this incredible love story by touching on a few of the most important difference between the book and the musical.

1. One of the most important characters from the book is gone from the musical. The very mysterious character called simply "The Persian" is not only Erik's one confidant in the book, but he also serves as a link between Erik and other people involved in the Opera. In the musical, Madam Giry represents both her role in the book, and The Persian. (I.e., in the musical, Madam Giry leads Raoul down to Erik's home under the Opera House: in the book, it's actually The Persian who does).

2. There is yet another character, simply called "A Shade" who also appears breifly in the book...a brief part, but actually quite dark.

3. Erik's brilliance as a ventriloquist is lost in the musical but fully explained and examined in the book

4. The most intriging part of the book, Erik's six-mirrored 'tourture chamber' - a major part of the story and a powerful demonstration of Erik's brilliance as a fearsome foe is completely missing from the musical.

This is easily my favourite book that I've ever read, and I recommend it to people all the time. Read it and enjoy it!
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103. Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)
by J.K. Rowling
Paperback
list price: $86.93 -- our price: $52.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0545162076
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Sales Rank: 31
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Now for the first time ever, J.K. Rowling’s seven bestselling Harry Potter books are available in a stunning paperback boxed set! The Harry Potter series has been hailed as “one for the ages” by Stephen King and “a spellbinding saga’ by USA Today. And most recently, The New York Times called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the “fastest selling book in history.” This is the ultimate Harry Potter collection for Harry Potter fans of all ages!
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing
There's no question that the contents of the books inside this so-called chest are of the highest order. The entire Harry Potter epic was ingenious, brilliant, engaging, and encouraged hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of young readers to read when they might have rather played with their Xbox.

But this is about the packaging, and the packaging is just horrid.

I wasn't expecting something that was as heavy and substantial as, say, a pirate's chest, but I certainly was hoping that the box was more sturdy than a few flaps of cardboard rather cheaply assembled, and easily DISassembled.

I bought this so that I would have a full set of unread hardcovers with the original artwork, for the sake of posterity. In one of the worst marketing decisions I've seen regarding the Harry Potter series, the publishers thought it would be a good idea to include the extras (decals and whatnot - things I'm not interested in) shrink wrapped with the books. To get at them, you have to tear the shrink wrap, and thus compromise the books over time (a long period of time, and admittedly not much would be compromised).

Also, the clasp on the box was cheap plastic. Horrible. I almost broke it when undoing it. Is a metal clasp too much to ask for? Apparently it is.

I'm not completely dissatisfied with the purchase, because the books are phenomenal. I would have purchased a compilation of all seven books at some point, but I wish I had waited until they offered such a product without the sadly and unfortunately shoddy "chest". When I bought this product, I absolutely, 100% was buying the packaging, and the packaging was dismal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great series. Great set.
These are great books, and definitely worth having for the collector. This is not a review of the books, but a review of the price. You are getting ripped off if you pay over $200 for these books. You can buy this exact set on amazon.co.uk which is the british version of amazon for 120 pounds plus shipping (which at the exchange rate today is equal to $176 plus shipping). So please look at the amazon.co.uk website like i did and save yourself a whole lot of money. Buyer Beware of sellers like this trying to con you into thinking they are giving you a deal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful set.
First off let me start by saying DO NOT buy from these sellers, they are con artists trying to make a quick buck. You can buy this same set from Amazon.co.uk and even with expedited shipping it is less than half of this price.

Now on to the books themselves; They are extremely beautiful books. Cloth bound with gilt edges and ribbon bookmarks. The books seem very sturdy and have nice pages, they aren't as thick as the pages on the american editions, but are not by any means cheap.

The only real differences between these editions and the american editions are the covers and just a few words that are slightly changed here and there, also these editions do not have chapter art work.

I would recommend these books to any die hard Harry potter fans and collectors, not everyone will appreciate them. Overall I love them and am very glad that I purchased them 5 star value for sure!! Read more


104. A Gift of Grace: A Novel
by Amy Clipston
Kindle Edition
list price: $10.99
Asin: B0023ZLOUA
Publisher: Zondervan
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Rebecca Kauffman's tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her 'English' sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessica's rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gift of Grace
Rebecca is an Amish wife who's been told she cannot have children. When her sister Grace dies, she leaves Rebecca her two teenage girls giving her the chance to finally be a mother. It sounded intriguing to me and rightfully so. The book had a lot of potential, a great plot and characters, just poor execution in my opinion. The entire first half was great, Clipston developed not only each character fully but also developed the relationships between the characters. She posed realistic conflicts between the "English" girls and the Amish community and made you sympethic to both sides.

One of the biggest conflicts throughout the book is between Jessica (the oldest daughter) and Rebecca's husband Daniel. Jessica is set on not conforming to Amish culture, and Daniel is trying to following the rules of his religion and expects anyone living under his own roof to do the same. Try telling a 16-year old girl that she can't use her IPOD and that instead of shorts and a tank stop she has to wear a full length frock. Anyone can see a conflict, but the conflict that had me the most intrigued was actually the one between husband and wife. Rebecca finally stood up to Daniel when he told her the girls should leave, and it almost tore her marriage apart. And the book goes on with each side holding their own views and not budging.

So up until there the book was exciting and enjoyable. My problem with the book came in the final few chapters Clipston resolved, or didn't resolve the conflict. You think the author is going to work out some type of compromise between characters as a resolution, but she doesn't. Rebecca has to give in and Jessica and Daniel both get their ways. I feel like the author takes the easy way out alongside her characters by not developing a better resolution. I felt like she built up this great conflict and then got tired of it so she just decided to let everyone have their own way. So a book with a lot of promise never reached its potential only because of the ending. I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book and would still recommend it to anyone that enjoys fiction dealing with family relationships, Amish, and/or motherhood.

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful read
I think that Amy Clipston has captured the struggles of the Amish verses the English lifestyle perfectly. How do you go from having all the luxuries of the modern world and go to living in the past? You get to see the struggles from both sides as Rebecca tries to welcome her nieces, who don't even know her, into her life and treat them as if they were her own. I only hope that the next book continues where this one left off. There are many things that I wish to have answered and can hardly wait for the next book. I just wish authors could write as fast as I can read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book to Share
I live in Wichita, Kansas and our state fair is held each year in Hutchinson, Kansas. To visit the fair we travel through the town of Yoder, Kansas. I've looked at the Amish houses, bought their bread and wondered about their lives. What interests me in their lives is how the reconcile themselves with the modern world. This book is an insightful and very easy to read look at their lives. I truly enjoyed the look into their lives and find that I have a new appreciation for their desire for simplicity in life. As the mother of a 17 year old girl, I found myself relating to the dilemma that Grace's daughters found themselves in. The author did a fantastic job describing the characters reactions and emotions.

I eagerly await the publication of your next book. The book is making it's way around my family and I know my 95 year old grandmother will even enjoy reading it. In reading the book you learn about some Amish recipes. It is wonderful that the author has included some of them. I haven't tried the recipes yet but I certainly plan too!
Outstanding book! Read more


105. The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
Hardcover
list price: $24.95 -- our price: $12.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0399155341
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
Sales Rank: 18
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book in Years! An Instant Classic!

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
The Help is about a young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interested in the plight of the black ladies' maids that every family has working for them. She writes their stories about mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks of working in white families' homes, all just before the Civil Rights revolution. That is the story in a nutshell - but it is so much more than just stories.

This is the best book I have read in years! I can't recommend it enough! It is fabulous and I think they will make a movie out of it. I would compare it to the writings of Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, Truman Capote and even Margaret Mitchell. The story grabs you and doesn't let you go. You can smell the melted tar on the Mississippi roads, the toil in the cotton fields, the grits burning on the stove. The theme is the indomitable will of human beings to survive against all odds - because of the color of their skin. It is a heart-wrenching account and you will never fondly remember the times of the Jim Crow laws (if you ever did). The pure, down and out bitchery of the white ladies who become dissatisfied with their maids and proceed to ruin their lives is portrayed vividly. The desperation of the maids' circumstances is truly touching. I have laughed and cried my way through this book and plan to re-read it. I highly recommend this book because it is going to be talked about as the best book of the year.

5-0 out of 5 stars A New Classic for America

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
A new classic has been born. Kathryn Sockett's "The Help" will live in hearts and minds, be taught in schools, be cherished by readers. The three women who form its core, idealistic Skeeter, loving Aibileen, and sarcastic, sassy Minny, narrate their chapters each in a voice that is distinctive as Minny's caramel cake no one else in Jackson, Mississippi, can duplicate.

These stories of the black maids working for white women in the state of Mississippi of the 60s have an insiders' view of child-rearing, Junior League benefits, town gossip, and race relations.

Hilly is the town's white Queen Bee with an antebellum attitude towards race. She hopes to lead her minions into the latter part of the century with the "enlightened" view of making sure every home in Jackson, Mississippi, has a separate toilet for the help. Her crusade is, she says, based on clear hygienic criteria, which will save both blacks and whites from heinous diseases.

Despite the fact that the maids prepare the food, care for the children, and clean every part of every home, privy to every secret, many of the white women look at their black maids as an alien race. There are more enlightened views, especially those of Skeeter, a white, single woman with a college degree, who aspires to more than earning her MRS. Skeeter begins collecting the maids' stories. And the maids themselves find the issue of race humiliating, infuriating, life-controlling. Race sows bitter seeds in the dignity of women who feel they have no choices except to follow their mamas into the white women's kitchens and laundries. Aibilene says, "I just want things to be better for the kids." Their hopes lie in education and improvement, change someday for their children.

There is real danger for the maids sharing their stories as well as danger for Skeeter herself. The death of Medgar Evers touches the women deeply, making them question their work and a decision to forge ahead, hoping their book can be published anonymously and yet not recognized by the very white women they know to the last deviled egg and crack in a dining room table.

The relationships between the maids and the white children, the maids and some kind employers, including "white trash" Cecilia Foot, illuminate the strange history of the South. The love Aibileen shows for Mae Mobley matches the love Skeeter felt as a white child from her maid-nanny Constantine.

There is never a dull moment in this long book. It is compulsively readable while teaching strong truths about the way the United States evolved from a shameful undercurrent of persistent racism to the hopes and dreams of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Ultimately, will the next generations children learn (and be taught) that skin color is nothing more than a wrapping for the person who lives within?

5-0 out of 5 stars a treasure of a book
I was lucky enough to come across an advanced reader copy of this book. Set in Mississippi during the civil rights movement, the story is narrated by the three principal characters...Minny and Aibileen, two black maids, and Miss Skeeter, a young, white woman newly graduated from college. The characters are wonderfully developed, as are the historical background and setting. As each character took her turn at narrating, she became my favorite character until the next one took over again.I was torn between not being able to put the book down and not wanting it to end.

5-0 out of 5 stars I can't say enough good things about this book

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
I loved this book. The characters were so real they seemed like friends. The voices were so true it was hard to believe they were fictional. When I came to the end I was sad that it was over and I knew that the story and its message would stick with me for a long time. This is a book about love and suffering, hatred and faith, fear and courage. It is about women of strength and dignity who carry on and manage to care about others despite an unjust system. It is a beautiful book, unforgettable in many ways. It is touching, thought-provoking, humorous and compelling. It is one of the best books I've read on race relations in the 1960s Deep South. It is gentle, yet powerful, moving without being melodramatic, and most of all, realistic in every detail. I can't recommend it highly enough.

PARENTS AND TEACHERS: Mild, infrequent swearing, painful race issues/gross injustice, oblique/slang references to sex, references to domestic violence, a graphic miscarriage scene, and one short scene in which a crazy white man exposes himself to a maid and her employer.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give more than five!!
I LOVED this book. I mean I LOVED this book. I could not put it down, and when I had to, I was thinking about the characters and could not wait until I had time to read again.
I grew up in the South in the 60's and my whole neighborhood had housekeepers or "Help". We had someone who worked for us, we called her Nursey, and she was my friend, and my caretaker. After my parents got divorced, she was my rock. This is way to personal, but my stepmother was a witch, and when I think what Nursey had to put up with to stay with me and my sisters, to help take care of us, I just don't know how to express it. She did not leave because of us kids. This book gave me so much to think about and brought up so many feelings, so many good, and so so many not so good.
I'm grateful when I think about the last conversation I had with Nursey before she died, I was married already, living out of town, and I talked to her on the phone. I was able to tell her I loved her and to say thanks for everything she did for me. Was it enough, did it matter? Who knows, but I'm glad it was said.
This is such a beautifully written book, so absorbing..and I don't know how else to describe it. But I do want to say thanks to Ms. Stockett for this wonderful book, that even though I closed it the other day, I cannot quit thinking about.
By the way, I read this on Kindle, and I have decided to buy a hardback copy as well to put on my bookshelves with all my other favorites. I find it hard to believe this is her debut work, I look forward to whatever else Ms. Stockett has to offer us, she is a wonderful storyteller.

5-0 out of 5 stars Will Be a Favorite of Mine for Years to Come
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett is a simply amazing debut novel that hooked me from the first chapter. It is sure to be one of my favorites for 2009.

The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960s. It is a story about the lives of black maids and the white women who employ them. It is also a story filled with hope, about (3) remarkable women set in difficult times. The voices are perfect pitch and even though the story deals with a serious topic, there is much humor for the reader to enjoy, and lessons to be learned by all.

We meet Eugenia Phelan (AKA ...Skeeter) who just graduated from Ole Miss College. Skeeter is back home living with her parents and she is bored with her friends. Her dream is to become a writer, and to move to New York City, but for now she is stuck in Jackson writing for the Junior League's Newsletter. Her mother, however, has other dreams for Skeeter: to find her a rich husband from a good Southern family. Skeeter is tall, a bit socially awkward, but she is very sensitive. Realizing how badly the black maids "The Help" are being treated by their white employers, she comes up with an idea to interview and write about the black maids in Jackson, and their relationships with their white employers. This is a dangerous project that must be kept secret, but one that has the potential of changing the lives of so many people. To Skeeter it is worth the risk, and it just may be her ticket out of Jackson and off to New York City if she succeeds. Abilene and Minny are the focus of the interviews although many more maids agree to participate.

Abilene is a 50 something black maid. She has endured many hardships including the death of her son in a tragic accident. Despite this she remains kind, sweet and dedicated to raising the children of her employers. Although she endures much discrimination, she tries not to judge people, and to remain loyal and kind to her employer, their family and their friends.

Minny is another black maid who has had many jobs. She is angry and bitter and she finds it hard to keep quiet about some of the discrimination she has seen. Minny cannot seem to follow her mother's advice: (7) rules which she preached to her, and that can pretty much can be summed up by saying "keep your mouth shut when it comes to white folks business".

I don't want to say too much more, but to say that this is one of those books that will make you sad when you have turned the final page. The characters and story will live on in your memory long after you've finished this book. I found myself putting sticky notes throughout so I could reread certain parts.

I found it interesting that this story in part was inspired by the author's own life growing up in Mississippi. Her family had a black maid named Demetrie. The maid died when the author was 16, and she never got to ask her how she felt about being black and working for a white family in Mississippi.

This book is highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Book Deserves 10 Stars

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
Way back in the late 1950s, I stayed with a friend and her family in the South for two weeks. Being an early riser, I found the only other person up and about was the maid. So I sat and talked to her while she ironed or did other chores. After a couple days, I was asked by the mother of my friend to please not talk to the maid. I don't remember what reason was given, but even all these years later I remember the shame: The shame for not knowing The Rules and, at some level, the shame for these people I was staying with because I knew somehow it was wrong. I also don't remember the maid's name, but I remember vividly that she always stood and walked like her feet hurt dreadfully. Their maid could be any one of the women in The Help.

Kathryn Stockett has written an absolutely amazing book. I don't have enough superlatives to describe it. The story itself is compellingly readable and the dialogue of the African American maids is spot on. The author has a beautiful ability to tell the stories of the maids without being condescending or sensationalizing the events described. When Miss Hilly strongly suggested that Miss Elizabeth build a separate bathroom for Miss Elizabeth's maid, Aibileen, I could feel once again the shame I felt as a young teenager. I laughed and I cried along with the characters and felt like I was actually walking those blistering, hot streets of Jackson, Mississippi. I could not read this book fast enough and was terribly sad when I finished it--the signs of a great book. I can hardly wait until Ms. Stockett publishes her next book.
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106. Blood of the Wicked
by Leighton Gage
Kindle Edition
list price: $13.00
Asin: B001E0KW62
Publisher: Soho Crime
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Blood of the Wicked manages to pack a huge amount into a spare three hundred pages; power politics, petty violence, sexual scandal, saintly courage, staggering poverty and obscene wealth. A book that makes you care about its large cast of characters, even when you know that they are going to die—frequently horribly. This is a novel as rich and complex as Brazil itself, with villains who make you want to spit, and heroes whose goodness is heartbreaking.”—Rebecca Pawel, Edgar Award-winning author of Death of a Nationalist

In the remote Brazilian town of Cascatas do Pontal, where landless peasants are confronting the owners of vast estates, the bishop arrives by helicopter to consecrate a new church and is assassinated.

Mario Silva, chief inspector for criminal matters of the federal police of Brazil, is dispatched to the interior to find the killer. The pope himself has called Brazil’s president; the pressure is on Silva to perform. Assisted by his nephew, Hector Costa, also a federal policeman, Silva must battle the state police and a corrupt judiciary as well as criminals who prey on street kids, the warring factions of the Landless League, the big landowners, and the church itself, in order to solve the initial murder and several brutal killings that follow. Justice is hard to come by. An old priest, a secret liberation theologist, finally metes it out. Here is a Brazil that tourists never encounter.

Leighton Gage is married to a Brazilian woman and spends part of each year in Santana do Parnaiba, Brazil, and the rest of the year in Florida and Belgium. This is his first novel.

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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It is very rare indeed when I feel the Amazon peer review system has guided me to a book I don't enjoy as much as the other reviewers. This unfortunately is one of them.
First off, it isn't a mystery. You'll know who the villain is just a few pages in. Second, the background of Silva, the federal policemen investigating the crimes, was overly melodramatic and contrived. Indeed the whole book is melodramatic and predictable. The only surprise is the continued brutality, which admittedly may be a part of Brazilian land disputes, but here only helps in tallying up the number of innocent victims. The overall tone is preachy and in only a couple of instances admits that the solutions to Brazil's land problems lie in some sort of compromise. The rest of the book is full of brave landless peasants fighting against evil landowners and corrupt cops with only the help from their friends, the equally brave Vatican defying Liberation Theology spouting priests (there are evil priests here too). I don't want to ascribe any politics to Leighton Gage, since I don't know much about him, but if the next book also has an overtly social reformist tone it'll be a disappointment as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating but violent Brazilian police procedural
In a classic sh*t rolls down hill, the Pope calls the Brazilian president twice; in turn the president pressures the Director of the Brazilian Federal Police Nelson Sampaio to resolve the matter ASAP; in turn Nelson orders Chief Inspector Mario Silva to uncover the identity of the person who assassinated Bishop Dom Felipe Antunes at a church mass in front of a crowd at Cascatas. Mario understands he is to drop everything else and personally handle the investigation in the remote town and capture the felon yesterday.

Silva travels immediately to Cascatas only to find angry townsfolk as the affluent landowners and the reform minded Landless Workers' League are in a brawl over sharing the wealth. Each side's leaders demand Silva investigates a local case that has raised tensions to a point that hostilities seem imminent if he wants any cooperation on the Bishop homicide. The son of a local landowner, Orlando Muniz Junior vanished without a trace. His father and his allies believe the league abducted and probably killed him. The League believes the lad is on holiday.

Silva is a fascinating character as he has enough personal issues and a difficult case without getting involved in the local tsunami, but cannot keep out of it as more kidnappings and murders occur. He makes little progress on either investigation and what he does learn like the church is involved in protecting its own when pedophile accusations surface make him wonder if the Bishop's death is related. Although extremely violent as the title is not false advertising, fans who have a strong stomach for gore will enjoy this Brazilian police procedural.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful story of frontier justice south of the equator
In a carefully crafted mystery-thriller debut Blood of the Wicked, Leighton Gage reveals a little- seen side of Brazil. This is not a beach book of tanned and toned bodies moving to a languid bossa nova rhythm along the sandy shores of Rio de Janeiro. Nor is it an Amazon adventure. This story takes place in the pantal of the southeastern region. It is a gristly tale of greed, torture, murder, and of personal and institutional corruption in a country where one percent of the population owns half of the arable land, and where much of the peasantry is condemned to a life of involuntary servitude.

The story reveals the region to be a breeding ground for strife and Gage loses no time throwing us into the fray. Enter Dom Filipe Antunes, Bishop of Preidente Vargas, descending by helicopter on the town of Cascatas do Pantal to bestow blessings on the new church of Nossa Senhora dos Milagres. The bishop is greeted by a ring of townspeople, a crescent of banners of the Landless Worker's League and a posting of State Police. The delegation of local officials approaches at an annoyingly slow pace and a bullet from a high-powered rifle finds the bishop's heart as he stands alone.

Who did it? Was it landless workers upset that Christianity was not being practiced on its most fundamental level? Or was it wealthy landowners looking for another excuse to persecute the land-reform agitators?

Enter the institutions. The Vatican is upset. Powers in Brasilia demand a politically balanced solution. The job falls on the shoulders of protagonist Mario Silva, Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters of the Federal Police of Brazil.

Mario Silva knows a lot about criminal activity in Brazil -- urban variety, anyway. In the book's early pages we learn how his father was murdered by robber after making a fatal mistake -- stopping for a red light. We also learn how Mario Silva found the robber and exacted justice, urban Brazilian style. Subjects of Silva's investigation included pawn brokers, street kids, hoodlems and policemen who supplement their income by shaking them down. Silva's action did not involve arresting his father's murderer and bringing him to trial. However, distinctive feature's of the robber's tatoo and the uniqueness of the stolen object made Silva absolutely certain that he had gotten and dispatched the right man.

Investigating the murder of the Bishop in provincial city of Cascatas do Pantal, Silva is not able to take such decisive action. He is hamstrung by bureaucracy, blocked by the uncooperative Colonel of the State Police, and is hampered by people's fear to speak. As Silva investigates systematically we learn many interesting facts the way. We learn about the "Theology of Liberation" which was once advocated by rural priests and has now found the disfavor of the Church hierarchy. We learn of the vast fazendas (rhymes with haciendas), some as large as Connecticut. We learn that the constitutional allows for seizure and purchase of unused portions of these large holdings by populist movements. We also learn that the legal process is complicated and that the judges are for sale.

In Blood of the Wicked, Lieghton Gage serves up a strong brew of horror story, police procedural, slasher novel and whodunit. It would defy classification were it not a true and never- ending story. It is the story of a land war and frontier justice, south of the equator. A landowner has his overseer nail a protesting peasant to a tree. A group of hooded vigilantes rousts the landowner from bed, butchers his overseer in front of his eyes, then carts the landowner off to be buried alive at the top of a hill. We learn that the commandant State Police is not just a bureaucratic short-timer, but is one of the bad guys. The priests, we learn, come in several flavors besides Jesuit and Franciscan. Escalating violence gets way ahead of Chief Inspector Silva's procedural investigation of the initial crime. The struggle becomes a combination of range war and Mafia turf fight with many players lending a hand. When the dust settles, justice is served, but mainly because Silva the only honest man left standing and because national TV cameras are poised to broadcast the story.

The "ripped from the headlines" quality of Blood of the Wicked is the result of the author's wide experience with the Brazil, which includes marriage and frequent visits to the country.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're not faint of heart, Blood of the Wicked satisfies on many levels
First Line: Something took the helicopter and shook it like a jackal worrying a carcass.

Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Federal Police is called upon to travel to remote Cascatas to investigate the assassination of a bishop. When he arrives, he finds himself in a veritable vipers' nest of crime and corruption: the bishop's assassination, the disappearance of a wealthy landowner's son, the continuing conflict between the landowners and the Landless Workers League, the deaths of homeless street children, drugs... the list seems endless. With Colonel Ferraz of the State Police in Cascatas firmly against Silva, will the inspector be able to solve any of the crimes in this remote area of Brazil?

I was bowled over by this book. First and foremost, what impressed me was how thoroughly Gage immersed me in modern Brazil. Until picking up Blood of the Wicked, the books I'd read about this country centered on a bit of colonial history, and lots of Amazonian exploration. In reading about present-day Brazil, I became acquainted with favelas (shantytowns), with the fact that dead street children are referred to as "hams", with the age-old struggle between the Haves and the Have Nots, and with a degree of police corruption that made me ill.

Although the book is excellent armchair travel, it had to be coupled with believable characters and a strong story line to get this sort of reaction from me. Chief Inspector Mario Silva is a man of principle. As a young man facing total police disinterest in finding the men responsible for the deaths of his parents, Silva took the investigation-- and the law-- into his own hands. This serves a dual purpose. The reader does become unsure of Silva's reactions and methods in Cascatas, but there is also the belief that he will fight for justice in the face of any amount of corruption.

Another character stands head and shoulders above all others: State Police Colonel Ferraz. He literally became a man I loved to hate, and I couldn't wait to see what Silva had in store for him.

Blood of the Wicked can be very brutal-- murder, torture, the corruption of absolute power, the desperation of poverty-- but the depiction of the country and the dedication of Chief Inspector Mario Silva kept me mesmerized to the final page.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
Blood of the Wicked

I started reading this book on a whim because my kids are finally asleep and I wanted to relax with a good book. It was a great choice. This book keeps me on my seat. I don't know much about Brazil, and this book introduce me to a Brazil beyond bikini-clad bodies. I find the tidbits about Brazil very entertaining.

This is a crime book, and it's written well. Sure the body count is high, but it's part of the story. Some innocents die; that's real-life too. A book should entertain, and this book does it very well.

I hope it makes it to the movies. I got the same excitement reading this book as I did reading Hostage by Robert Crais. It's got that same can't-peel-my-eyes-off-the-pages quality. Read more


107. The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
by Howard Pyle
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JMKWWA
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.3 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

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars No Illustrations in (Most) Kindle Editions
It pains me that people are reading this without the illustrations. (Referring to Kindle edition).

Howard Pyle was the first person in the modern era to collect all the Robin Hood ballads that had come down from the midieval era and put them into a modern format, structured as stories and so forth. Essentially every version of Robin Hood in the past century has drawn on Howard Pyle's Robin Hood as its major source, and reading this book is the best way to understand why the minor characters in (for example) Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves" are named things like "Will Scarlet" or "Much the Miller's Son."

I was given this book to read as a child, and it was and still is one of my all-time favorites (although I always avoided reading the final chapter, which Pyle even warns his readers they may want to do). The elevated, pseudo-elizabethan style even helped me later on -- when I got to Shakespeare in school, the language was easy for me, because I'd been reading Howard Pyle since I was eight.

The problem with this ebook version is that it doesn't contain the illustrations, though. And that's simply unforgivable. Howard Pyle is today better known as an illustrator than as a writer. He was the art teacher who taught people like Arthur Rackham and N.C. Wyeth. His illustrations are immensely rich and detailed, and as full of period accuracy and background research as his writing was. It's an unforgivable shame to miss them.

Versions of this book can be found online free with illustrations. Don't bother with this version, as it doesn't have them. Reading this book without the illustrations is like taking an oscar-winning film and just listening to the sound with the screen blacked out. You can do it, but why?

EDIT: There are now many Kindle versions of this book, all cross-linked so they share reviews. Currently at least, none of the free versions have illustrations; the 99-cent version marked "illustrated" does appear to have most of them, but severely cropped, without many of Pyle's marginalia and scrollwork.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Amount Of Fun!
Oh how I loved this book! I wasn't too sure about it at the onset, but after a couple of chapters, I fell in love with the language and the silliness of the characters. It was like reading an intellectual comic book... I didn't feel like I was slumming and my time was well spent. I'd love to reread it (and I never do that) just to savor every sentence.

It's amazing how contemporary Robin Hood is. The merry men are just a bunch of slackers (Robin included) who just want to drink ale and give somebody a good beating. It's the best non-violent violent book that you can find LOL...

5-0 out of 5 stars timeless strory for a reason
This is another book we like to make available whenever the grandkids come around. Mythical hero or not, Robin Hood embodies all that is good and puts it to action. The time in which he flourished was a difficult time for anyone to make a difference, and yet his story lives on from gereration to generation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, The
I watched the newest movie of Robin Hood. Superb! This book is not like the movie. I highly recommend this book. Read more


108. The Life of Buddha and Its Lessons
by Henry Steel Olcott
Kindle Edition
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000SN6IY6
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 3.0 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

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Glad it was free
There are three parts to this book. The part that I completely agree, the part that I disagree and the part I did not really understand. The part I agreed with is terrific and I wish our federal government and California state would read and follow. This is the part on personal responsibility. Read more


109. The Time Machine
by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
Kindle Edition (2009-10-04)
list price: $1.99
Asin: B002RKTH14
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.1 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

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic
It goes without saying that this book is a science fiction classic in every sense of the word and that H.G. Wells was a founding father of the genre. This book proves that science fiction does not necessarily need to be heavily technical but does need to deal with grand themes such as the nature of society; man's hopes, dreams, and fears; and the very humanity of man. Wells does not go to great lengths in describing the time machine nor how it works. He lays the foundation of the story in science and then proceeds with his somewhat moralistic and certainly socially conscious story. This makes his writing much more enjoyable than that of a Jules Verne, who liked to fill up pages with scientific and highly technical nomenclature. One of the more striking aspects of the novel is Wells' treatment of the actual experience of time travel--moving in time is not like opening and walking through a door. There are physical and emotional aspects of the time travel process--in fact, some of the most descriptive passages in the book are those describing what the Time Traveler experiences and sees during his time shifts.

Basically, Wells is posing the question of What will man be like in the distant future? His answer is quite unlike any kind of scenario that modern readers, schooled on Star Wars, Star Trek, and the like, would come up with. He gives birth to a simple and tragic society made up of the Eloi and the Morlocks. In contrasting these two groups, he offers a critique of sorts of men in his own time. Clearly, he is worried about the gap between the rich and the poor widening in his own world and is warning his readers of the dangers posed by such a growing rift. It is most interesting to see how the Time Traveler's views of the future change over the course of his stay there. At first, he basically thinks that the Morlocks, stuck underground, have been forced to do all the work of man while the Eloi on the surface play and dance around in perpetual leisure. Later, he realizes that the truth is more complicated than that. The whole book seems to be a warning against scientific omniscience and communal living. The future human society that the Time Traveler finds is supposedly ideal--free of disease, wars, discrimination, intensive labor, poverty, etc. However, the great works of man have been lost--architectural, scientific, philosophical, literary, etc.--and human beings have basically become children, each one dressing, looking, and acting the same. The time traveler opines that the loss of conflict and change that came in the wake of society's elimination of health, political, and social issues served to stagnate mankind. Without conflict, there is no achievement, and mankind atrophies both mentally and physically.

This basic message of the novel is more than applicable today. While it is paramount that we continue to research and discover new scientific facts about ourselves and the world, we must not come to view science as a religion that can ultimately recreate the earth as an immense garden of Eden. Knowledge itself is far less important than the healthy pursuit of that knowledge. Man's greatness lies in his ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Speaking only for myself, I think this novel points out the dangerousness of Communism and points to the importance of individualism--if you engineer a society in which every person is "the same" and "equal," then you have doomed that society.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest books I've ever read--get this edition!
When I tried reading this book as a child many, many years ago, some of the "big" words and allusions made it hard going, and I never completed it then. Finally, about fifteen years ago I did read it through, but still was missing something. Then, a few weeks ago, I got this edition, after having enjoyed the Penguin edition of "The War of the Worlds" with its annotations and map. Well, the annotations in this edition (about four pages worth as endnotes) of "The Time Machine" cleared away whatever fuzz remained, and I was completely overcome by the greatness of the book, great from whatever way I looked at it: plot, speculation, characters, "sense of wonder", even throw away humor were all topnotch. I couldn't believe what I'd been missing. A few days later, I read another editon of the book that didn't have notes, and had no trouble following that version. I plan to reread the book again shortly. So if you've had difficulty reading "The Time Machine" for some of the reasons mentioned above, get this version pronto and find out what a true classic is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Past and present masterpiece
This is the little number that started it all. For the English-speaking world (some translations of Verne possibly aside), science fiction begins with the four brief, brilliant novels published by H G Wells in the 1890s. The War of the Worlds is a still-unsurpassed alien invasion story; The Invisible Man one of the first world-dominating mad scientist tales; and The Island of Dr Moreau a splendidly misanthropic story of artificial evolution and genetic modification. But The Time Machine came first, launching Wells' career in literature; and, after just over a century, there still isn't anything nearly like it. A Victorian inventor travels to the year 802701, where the class divisions of Wells' day have evolved two distinct human races: the helpless, childlike and luxurious Eloi and the monstrous, mechanically adept and subterranean Morlocks. Predictably, the film version turned them into the usual Good Guys and Bad Guys, though it's still worth seeing, particularly for its conception of the Time Machine itself - a splendid piece of Victorian gadgetry. The book, despite its sociological-satirical premise, is rather more complex in its treatment of the opposed races, and the Time Traveller's voyage ends, not with them, but still further in the future, with images of a dead sun and a dark earth populated only by scuttling, indefinite shadows. As in the other three novels, too, the premise of the story is carefully worked out and clearly explained - a discipline largely beyond science fiction today, in which time travel, invading aliens or whatever are simply taken for granted as convenient genre props and automatic thought-nullifiers. After more than a century, The Time Machine is still waiting for the rest of us to catch up.

5-0 out of 5 stars I saw the Rod Taylor movie first. The book difference was a surprise.
An unnamed time traveler sees the future of man (802,701 A.D.) and then the inevitable future of the world. He tells his tale in detail.

I grew up on the Rod Taylor /George Pal movie. When I started the book I expected it to be slightly different with a tad more complexity as with most book/movie relationships. I was surprised to find the reason for the breakup of species (Morlock and Eloi) was class Vs atomic (in later movie versions it was political). I could live with that but to find that some little pink thing replaced Yvette Mimieux was too munch.

After al the surprises we can look at the story as unique in its time, first published in 1895, yet the message is timeless. The writing and timing could not have been better. And the ending was certainly appropriate for the world that he describes. Possibly if the story were written today the species division would be based on eugenics.

The Time Machine Starring: Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux

Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human L

5-0 out of 5 stars A Concise Sampling of Wells' Remarkable Vision
First published in 1895, THE TIME MACHINE was Wells' first novel--and it immediately established him at the forefront of writers of his era. And although Wells would go onto a very long and distinguished career that included some one hundred published books, THE TIME MACHINE remains one of his most popular novels to this day.

The story has been famous for over one hundred years. The narrator, identified only as "The Time Traveler," has created a machine capable of moving through time. He boards the machine and rushes headlong into the future--where he finds himself in the strangely utopian society of the "Eloi." But unbeknownst to the time traveler, that society is built on the back of a much darker one, the underground world of the "Morlock," who supply the Eloi's every need in order to harvest them like cattle.

Wells was an extremely didactic writer, a social reformer whose thoughts inform virtually everything he wrote. In many respects THE TIME MACHINE is the perfect example of this, drawing the reader in through an exciting story that Wells turns into a social parable. Born under the rigid class system of Victorian England, Wells had quite a lot to say about the benefits and evils of such a social system, and his thoughts on the subject are extremely clear here--as are his thoughts about the then-new theory of natural selection. The result is an elegant but often fearsome portrait of how class systems and natural selection might combine to create a uniquely horrific civilization.

Wells would return to these themes again and again, perhaps most obviously in THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU and THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON--both excellent novels in their own right. But if you are new to Wells, THE TIME MACHINE is an excellent beginning, for it offers a sampling of his mind in remarkably concise fashion. Strongly recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer

5-0 out of 5 stars A review of THE TIME MACHINE
The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells is an unconventional book, which is both intriguing and entertaining. When I read the book I expected a short novel about various insignificant complications of time travel, but was given a tale full of theories and speculations about the evolution of human beings.

In The Time Machine the time traveler is recounting his adventure into the unknown that we call the future. Thousands of years in the future he discovers that the human race has evolved into two different kinds, the Morlocks and the Eloi. The Morlocks are nocturnal creatures who live underground and surface during the night, only to prey on the defenseless Eloi. The Eloi, once living comfortably as the ruling race, have degenerated into a simple group of beings that live life effortlessly and without substance. The time traveler describes his interactions with the Morlocks and the Eloi in a thought-provoking manner, creating a highly enjoyable novel.

The Time Machine suggests many controversial ideas such as the extreme degeneration of the human race. Not only is it interesting to learn Wells' theories, but his writing caused me to create some of my own thoughts about the possibility of evolution. The open ending to the book also leaves a story for the mind to explore. Facts are not forced upon the reader, but rather he is left to make his own assumptions of the ending of the book. The story is left somewhat unfinished, yet it comes to adequate closure, so that the reader does not feel a lack of conclusion in the novel.

I was thoroughly impressed by the concise yet engaging writing by Wells, and believe that this classic would be a necessity in the personal library of any fan of good literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars A magnificent allegory.
This is Wells' (1866-1946) first novel. It is a social allegory in which the unnamed hero travels to the year 802701 and finds an Earth completely altered. It appears initially to be a form of utopia but the Traveler soon discovers that this is far from true. Society has two classes. The Morlocks, subterreanean workers, are beings evolved from man that have sunk to depravity and who prey on the decadent Eloi. The Eloi are completely useless beings, totally dependent on the Morlocks. Wells is suggesting a world in which the two main classes of Britain of the 1890s have degraded into Morlocks and Eloi. The world of 802701 is the end result of unrestrained and unchecked class struggles and isolation. The upper class has degraded to uselessness and the lower class has become buried by their labor and degenerate into darkness. The term "Morlock" is derived from the Biblical word "Molech," the epithet of a deity to whom children were offered as sacrifices. "Eloi" comes from the Hebrew for "my God" and is associated with an important phrase in the Bible (a rendering of the first verse of Psalm 22 is "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani" ["My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me"], a phrase heard again in Mark 15:34). Thus, both terms are appropriate descriptions of the two classes. Are the Eloi forsaken? Or, will the Traveler return to help them? Although this is probably the first novel containing a time machine, it is not the first time traveling novel. Both Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1889) and Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" (1843) precede it. In de Grainville's "The Last Man" (1805), a Frenchman views future events through a mirror; he doesn't actually travel through time. Finally, to the reviewer of Jan. 24, 1999, from New York, there is a reason why the Traveler remains unnamed! Can you see it? Read more


110. Cooking from China's Fujian Province: One of China's Eight Great Cuisines
by Jacqueline M. Newman
Kindle Edition
list price: $29.95
Asin: B0028K36P6
Publisher: Hippocrene Books
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

Fujian, a province in southeastern China, boasts a distinct culinary tradition that enjoys a thousand-year-old recorded history but is barely known in the Western world. This collection of 200 easy-to-follow, authentic recipes provides the perfect introduction to this unique cuisine.

Fujianese cuisine makes marvelous use of the foods and herbs found in the region's mountains, flatlands, and on the coast. The staples rice, wheat, and sweet potatoes are featured in these sweet-and-pungent-flavored dishes. Buddha Jumping the Wall, a famous specialty, is made with shark's fin, scallops, chicken, mushrooms, yams, scallions, and much more. Popular Fujianese dishes such as Crossing Bridge Noodles, New Year Money Bags, and Steamed Sea Cucumber Pockets are highlighted.

Also included are fascinating cultural and historical notes, handy glossaries of equipment and ingredients, and suggested menus for everyday meals and holidays. Eight pages of color photographs bring the foods of Fujian to life! ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars A great free cookbook
This was listed in Kindle's Top 100 free, so I got it. What a delight.
1. The recipes look delicious, and seem easy to follow, even to a non-shef as myself.
2. The formatting is gorgeous. For a Kindle book with lots of tables for recipes, this is one of the best layouts I've seen.

There do not seem to be any pictures in this free version, but it's well worth a look.

5-0 out of 5 stars Two hundred authentic recipes from the Fujian province
Fujian is a province in southeastern China and home to a distinctive culinary tradition that goes back a thousand years in the recorded history of the country. In "Cooking From China's Fujian Province", Jacqueline M. Newman (editor-in-chief of 'Flavor and Fortune', the only food magazine in the U.S. dedicated specifically to Chinese cuisine) has compiled two hundred authentic recipes from the Fujian province. Along with the recipes themselves, "Cooking From China's Fujian Province" also features cultural and historical notes, glossaries of equipment and ingredients, suggested menus, and eight pages of color photographs showcasing the culinary beauty of selected dishes. From Pork and Spinach Dumplings; Firecracker Shrimp with Litchi; Duck and Taro in Oyster Sauce; and Meatballs with Crab Meat; to Bean Curd Rice Rolls; Stuffed Sweet Potato Pancakes; Chicken Soup with Pear; and Razor Clams with Black Bean Sauce, "Cooking From China's Fujian Province" is an impressive culinary collection and enthusiastically recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook shelves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cooking From China's Fujian Province
I got the book because it was written by a cousin,and I wanted my sons to have it. I have since bought one for myself and have read it twice. It is well written and extremely informative.If you are serious about chinese cooking and I mean authentic Chinese , then this book is a must in your collection. Read more


111. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book
by Jeff Kinney
Hardcover
list price: $10.95 -- our price: $4.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0810979772
Publisher: Amulet Books
Sales Rank: 30
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Now every kid can write like a Wimpy Kid!

 

An exciting companion to the bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

 

“First of all, let me get something straight: This is a journal, not a diary.”

 

This innovative interactive journal based on Greg Heffley’s own “diary” lets kids express themselves in an exciting new way. In Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book, kids will be asked: What was the best dream you ever had? The worst thing you ever ate? The best secret you ever heard? The most trouble you ever got in for something that wasn’t even your fault to begin with? This Do-It-Yourself Book features art throughout, along with ruled and blank pages for readers to create their own stories, keep their own diaries, and record their favorites and least faves. Includes a bonus full-color comics section featuring the collected cartoons of Greg Heffley and his best friend, Rowley.

 

Includes
16 pages of full-color comics!

 

 “Move over, Harry Potter. . . . There’s a new set of titles dominating the bestseller list for kids’ chapter books, and there’s nothing ‘fantasy’ about these.”—Andrea Yeats on NPR’s All Things Considered

 

“Perfectly pitched wit and believably self-centered hero . . .”—The New York Times

 

“Charming and hilarious from the get-go. . . . [Kinney has] an uncanny eye for the depredations and triumphs of middle school life.” —The Boston Globe

 

“The writing is sharp, and the artwork, though deceptively simple, is both entertaining and expressive . . . adding comic punch to these funny-because-they’re-true scenes . . .” —Bookpage

 

“Perfect for someone about to go to middle school, perfect for parents to help ease their child into this new phase. . . . Kinney has done a wonderful service for preteens by talking about all those awful, embarrassing, and good moments.” —The San Diego Union Tribune

 

F&P level: T
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars They love it!
I have a kindergartener and a third grader who are gung ho over "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book." My 8 year-old son, who never enjoyed writing, is writing every day in his own diary. The kids fought over it until my kindergartener went out and bought her own.

I asked my son what was so special about this diary. He said it asks him questions. I looked and half the book is filled with pages prompting things like "Five things nobody knows about you because they never bothered to ask" or "The worst nightmare you ever had." There are 16 pages of full color Zoo-Wee Mama comics followed by lined blank pages for the children to write freely.

This Do-It-Yourself Book is a hit. My kids have shown their books to all their friends and I've seen other kids toting them around, as well. It inspired my children to go on and buy their own private locked diaries after having gone through this one. If you have a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" fan, this book is sure to delight.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Recovering Wimpy Kid
I am 42 years old and bought this book, not for one of my kids, but for me! I am 42 years old and am almost COMPLETELY FINISHED with MY Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do It Yourself Book INCLUDING the journal portion in the back. I was a cartoonist as a kid, I am now a recovering wimpy kid, and I am an avid journaler, so this book rates very high in my world. And my kids love to pick it up and see what new thing Dad came up with. It has inspired their creativity and my 7 year old is dying for her own copy. Set the example, parents, do your own Do It Yourself Book and be your kids' hero! Loved the first two books before it, by the way. RECOVERING WIMPY KIDS UNITE!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally!
We finally found the perfect series for our 10 year old son. This book is so disarming that he is doing creative writing and doesn't even know it! This is what learning should be for a 10 year old! This book follows the "Diary" series and allows kids to finish cartoons, write future predictions, and answer questions that every 10 year old boy wants to answer. Highly recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mike's review
Fantastic book. My two youngest kids - my son and daughter, respectively - loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do it Yourself book. It actually was for my son, but my daughter kept stealing it from him and writing her own things in it, thus creating arguments (typical for those two anyway). Now they both want more Wimpy Kid books from the series and she wants her own Do It Yourself book. I now have ideas for useful birthday and Christmas presents that's not another toy and motivates them to put their day and thoughts in written words and do so creatively. THANK YOU Jeff Kinney. As a longtime sportswriter, I feel writing, especially a journal or diary, is very important at every age. :)

Mike Boyd
Ste. Genevieve, Mo.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it
my grandchildren loved this . They have devoted much time to trying to complete it.Much better than video games or tv.It requires some reading and thought and I certainly don't feel guilty about using it as a babysitter.Can't wait for them to read it five or ten years from now

5-0 out of 5 stars My daughter loves this DIY book!!
My daughter is a huge Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan, so when she found out that there was a DIY book, she couldn't wait to get one! She received this for her birthday, and has been writing in it ever since! It's filled with plenty of parts that kids can fill in themselves, in addition to the usual comics-type pictures and such. Overall, very pleased with this book, and my daughter is as well! Would make a great gift for any Diary of a Wimpy Kid fan. :)

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
I bought the whole set of the Wimpy kid and my son loved them, he thought they were very funny and finished reading this book in one seating ...... It was very easy to read !

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for creative kids
My 8-year old creative son loves this book. It provides a great methodology for him to express himself in a creative way that he would not have thought of on his own. The book accomplishes this by having the child answer questions, draw pictures, create stories, and draw & write cartoons. My son is a second grader, and I think this is the minimum grade level for this book due to the book's content and the required writing skills.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!
This extention of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series is absolutely BRILLIANT and I want to personally thank Jeff Kinney and if it wasn't his own idea, whoever in his life or at the publishing house came up with the concept of a journal tie in with the series.

One of the reasons the the Wimpy Kid series is so popular, besides the first person kid narration and boy appeal stories, is the mix of visuals (cartoons/doodles) that make the book easy and appealing to a young reader. It also provides visual imagery that kids who may have low reading comprehension have difficulty processing on their own. I also like that it's a series of vignettes that tie into an overarching plot. This is also more palatable to a young reader. Now take that concept and turn it into a way for a young child to dabble in journaling and self expression and you've got a marvelous tool for teaching and life experience.

My oldest son (turning 9) has autism. He loves the Wimpy Kid series and I'm guessing it's because of the reasons described above. The Do-It-Yourself version has sparked his interest in self expression and given him tools to help develop his skills in written expression. The check lists, fill in the blanks, fill in the bubble comics make it fun and provide a structure in an area that is difficult for him. The blank journal at the back gives him space to dabble in writing whatever he feels. It's personalized and fun AND a great educational experience. I highly recommend this series and if your child takes to the series, get them this Do-It-Yourself kit. Read more


112. Room: A Novel
by Emma Donoghue
Kindle Edition (2010-08-27)
list price: $11.99
Asin: B003YFIUW8
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Sales Rank: 13
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Read in Years - WOW

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
I was a fan of Emma Donoghue since reading Slammerkin many years ago.

I started this book this morning and just put it down. I was glad it was a holiday and I had nowhere to go! I just couldn't stop going back to it until it was finished.

I was hooked upon reading the first paragraph, 'Today I'm five. I was four last night going to sleep in Wardrobe, but when I wake up in Bed in the dark I'm changed to five, abracadabra. Before that I was three, then two, then one, then zero. "Was I minus numbers?"'

And the story of Jack and Ma begins. The entire story is told from the perspective of Jack, a just-turned five-year-old who is living in Room with his Ma. The only thing Jack has known is Ma and Room. His day is spent utilizing the few things they have, the songs and stories his Ma remembers and the five picture books he's had read to him over and over.

Imagine being a parent living in an 11 x 11 foot room for years, trying to survive while keeping your baby growing, safe and entertained. Imagine Jack, a child who has only ever known Ma (and the late night visits from 'Old Nick' who he only sees from his vantage point in a wardrobe). Life is good for him since he knows nothing else. Empty egg shells become a snake when threaded together, empty toilet rolls become a maze when taped together, Phys Ed is sometimes Track which goes around Bed from Wardrobe to Lamp.

For Jack, his days were filled with 'thousands of things to do'; for his mom, her days were filled with the knowledge of what was outside of Room before her captivity.

Two different perspectives, two ways of looking at life.

Donoghue has done an amazing job of letting us think like a isolated, innocent boy whose life is turned upside down when he learns that Outside of Room is a big world. Up until his 5th birthday, his world was balanced, controlled and he missed nothing since he didn't know of anything else. Everything beyond the room was Outer Space. Once he was told that the there was so much more out there, fear of the unknown crept into his world.

What a wonderful job of creating their little world, of letting us into how Ma's imagination taught Jack, kept him safe, and kept him entertained. If you have children and have ever had to wait in a doctor's office or somewhere else for a few hours, it is sometimes an exhausting job of coming up with games to play to pass the time. Imagine that feat everyday, all day for years.

I had such respect for Ma as she taught Jack about so many things in a world he didn't know. Her imagination for passing the time with games using so few resources was incredible. Her love of Jack so deep and primal it made me hug my kids many more times today than usual.

And just when you think that escaping is the best thing for them, imagine what it feels like to a boy who has only known Room.

This was a fantastic story, imaginative, creative, unique and beautifully written. I never tired of reading from Jack's perspective.
I was reminded of what the world could look like from the perspective of a small child. It makes a parent want to be more kind with their words, more respectful of what their child's needs are, and more understanding when things seem confusing.

And if you think this is really contrived and just not possible, just google the name Josef Fritzl - a real life horror far greater than Room.

A wonderful book from an already favorite author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend!

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
"Room" the new novel by Emma Donoghue, is, in a word, riveting. I've never read anything quite like it. There is a part near the middle where I absolutely COULDN'T, WOULDN'T stop reading, it was that intense. It's a pleasure to give this unique novel a five-star rating.

The story is told by 5 year old Jack, who is one of the most adorable, horrifying, precocious, interesting, pathetic and heartbreaking child narrators I've ever read. To see the world, even one as skewed and unreliable as Jack's, is to have one's eyes opened in a new way. Jacks discovery of the world awakens our own understanding.

Jack and his "Ma" live in Room. Most of the things in the room have their noun for their names. For example, the chair is Chair and the bed is Bed. In Room there is Wardrobe where Jack sleeps when "Old Nick" visits Ma at night. I'm guessing that Donoghue got some of her ideas from several recent true abduction cases and built this fascinating and horrific scenario from them.

The sense of dread builds exponentially as Jack reports on his daily life in Room. The reader, who is smarter than a 5 year old, begins to understand the gravity of the situation. The suspense builds beautifully and the pages keep turning. Donoghue masterfully creates a sense of horrible dread as well as any vintage Stephen King!

She also builds a story of familial love and support that alternately both breaks and warms the reader's heart. When the scene shifts, what happens "After" is as interesting, suspenseful and touching as what happened in Room.

I'm intentionally leaving out as many plot points as I can because part of the enjoyment of this story is wondering what will happen next to Jack and Ma.

I highly recommend this unique novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Room Is Just A Room--Unless It's The World

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
A unique and challenging experience, Emma Donoghue's "Room" may be one of the biggest surprises I've had all year. Told in the language of a five year old boy with an extremely limited world view, my initial reaction to "Room" was not entirely positive. Within the first few pages, I was worried that the tone and cadence of this "child-speak" might be too precious, too constructed. But a funny thing happened rather early on as more of the story unfolded--I quit reacting to the novel intellectually and started to be affected viscerally and emotionally. I knew little of the plot in advance, so as the mysteries unraveled I became more and more invested. I am NOT a particularly sensitive reader (people would definitely describe me as unsentimental!), but halfway though "Room"--I was literally weeping.

The less you know about "Room" going into it--the better. So, for my part, I'm going to only lay out the basic premise. The protagonist Jack, in his five years of life, has never been outside of this one room. It is his entire existence, everything he knows. He and his mother have constructed a daily and weekly regimen to maintain as much normalcy as possible within the confines of their situation. A mystery as well as a thriller, a tribute to the human spirit, an ode to mother love, a character study--"Room" taps into any number of subjects quite successfully.

There are so many powerful sequences within "Room." Jack is such a fascinating and believably frustrating lead. When you don't know what the world has to offer, how can you miss it? The unknown and the unknowable play such a huge role in Jack's life, is there a way to relinquish everything you know for the chance of something better? There is a real dignity to Jack and his mother. As they confront their demons, real and imaginary, their journey is both harrowing and heartfelt. I won't soon forget this emotionally exhausting experience. Emma Donoghue has crafted, easily, one of my favorite books of the year--one that will stick with me for quite some time!

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading this book will change the way you look at the world
I heard a piece on NPR about "Room" yesterday, so I used my magic Amazon Prime and received the book this morning. I just finished it. I am writing this review now because I am trying to capture how different I feel after having read this book. I feel like I am somewhere else, things look very different to me. Much like Jack when he returns to Room and it is no longer familiar to him. Using Jack's voice, Donoghue makes it not so hard to understand how something so horrific could become normal and safe to someone. Everything is about context. There are some mixed reviews on this book. Regardless of how you feel after you read this book, you will feel something. That is pretty spectacular in itself. Read more


113. The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger
by Lee Strobel
Kindle Edition
list price: $2.99
Asin: B000SI9ON8
Publisher: Zondervan
Sales Rank: 573
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

Who was in the manger that first Christmas morning?Some say he would become a great moral leader. Others, a social critic. Still others view Jesus as a profound philosopher, a rabbi, a feminist, a prophet, and more. Many are convinced he was the divine Son of God. Who was he---really? And how can you know for sure?Consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy, Lee Strobel searches out the true identity of the child in the manger. Join him as he asks the tough, pointed questions you'd expect from an award-winning legal journalist. If Jesus really was God in the flesh, then there ought to be credible evidence, includingEyewitness Evidence---Can the biographies of Jesus be trusted?Scientific Evidence---What does archaeology reveal?Profile Evidence---Did Jesus fulfill the attributes of God?Fingerprint Evidence---Did Jesus uniquely match the identity of the Messiah?The Case for Christmas invites you to consider why Christmas matters in the first place. Somewhere beyond the traditions of the holiday lies the truth. It may be more compelling than you've realized. Weigh the facts . . . and decide for yourself. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars The identity of the Christ child
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (10/07)

Lee Strobel, award-winning author, journalist and investigative reporter, has written "The Case for Christmas." Stroble presents a logical case to help the reader determine for themselves if the babe in the manger, Jesus, was the person He claimed to be, Son of Man, Son of God, and very God Himself.

From the first paragraph of the introduction to the last paragraph of the conclusion, Strobel's writing is compelling, intellectually challenging, thought-provoking, and convincing. Using eyewitness accounts, archaeological confirmation, and profile evidence Strobel helps the reader to arrive at a conclusion, their own personal verdict.

Stroble's own journey to discover the reality of Christmas led him to seek counsel. He used his experience as an investigative reporter and the tools of his trade in his to find answers. Strobel presents the results of interviews with leading scholars in areas of biographical evidence, and scientific evidence.

In presenting his case Stroble presented fingerprint evidence to answer the hard question, "Did Jesus, Jesus alone, match the identity of the promised Messiah." I personally found this chapter on fingerprint evidence insightful. The fulfilling of Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah gave authenticity to Gospel accounts of Jesus as the Messiah.

Strobel also presented profile evidence to see if Jesus fulfilled the attributes of God. The incarnation, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, eternality, and immutability all fit in the sketch and are found in the Christmas child. Reflecting on these attributes as a devotional reading offers a rich and rewarding experience.

The book is designed especially for the Christmas and Advent Season. Strobel gives a strong presentation of the Christmas message for anyone seeking understanding of the tenets of the Christian faith, and for thought provoking reflection and mediation for the Christian.

The format and design of this compact, attractive, book - "The Case for Christmas" -- make it an excellent gift for those family members, friends, agnostics, or atheists, who are seeking answers to finding answers in their pursuit for finding personal meaning to the reality of the Christian message of Christmas.

5-0 out of 5 stars reccomendation
if you're going to buy this, you might as well buy the Case for Christ instead. It has ALL the content in this book and Case for Easter and then some. Much more bank for your buck

5-0 out of 5 stars The Evidential Case-Maker Provides a Christmas Gift
The Case for Christmas is a darling little book that weaves a solid apologetic throughout its charming writing style. Strobel, as a former investigative reporter (was an atheist at the time), examines the material in the Gospel of Luke regarding the birth of Christ.

Employing rigorous probing into the text and history, Strobel discovers that the birth reports of Jesus in the Bible are accurate, startling, and compelling from an evidentialist's standpoint.

This Christmas book makes for a wonder-filled Christmas for the reader and an excellent Christmas gift to the saved and especially the unsaved (be sure to have them open it a few days before the 25th so that they can enjoy the truth is furnishes during the whole season).

By Mike A Robinson author of God Does Exist! and other Christian books.
The Necessary Existence of God: The Proof of Christianity Through Presuppositional Apologetics Read more


114. Familiar Quotations
by Various
Kindle Edition (2009-10-04)
list price: $1.99
Asin: B002RKSMHO
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 3.3 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

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Well indexed; 166 sources
This is a wonderful collection of quotes from 166 different sources. If you begin with [Go to..]Cover, or page backwards from the preface you will find two working alphabetical indices. One index finds quotes by the author (Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Lord Byron, etc., etc.--166 of them). You can click on the name of the author and see all the quotes by him. The other alphabetical index is by the quote. It gives you the number of the quote where you can click to read the whole quote. All very entertaining and easy to navigate. Read more


115. How to Drink
by Victoria Moore
Kindle Edition (2009-05-04)
list price: $18.99
Asin: B00332GP3S
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

In the past few decades, many of us have become sophisticated about food, but we have not given the same attention to what we drink. In How to Drink, Victoria Moore aims to redress the balance, by showing how to drink well throughout the seasons and at all times of day.

She explains how to make the most delicious coffee and juices; how to choose wine that complements your food; and how to make cocktails for every occasion--whether to serve a garden barbecue, as a cold weather aperitif, or just to unwind with at the end of the day.

Here are recipes for mint juleps in the spring, sloe gin in the autumn, hot buttered rum in the winter, and year-round showstoppers including the world's best gin and tonic. Moore is also an impassioned advocate of unfairly maligned drinks such as sherry, Campari and saki, and gives fascinating historical background on different spirits as well as invaluable advice on creating your home bar.

How to Drink is a hugely readable, browseable and authoritative handbook, whose aim is to inform, entertain and crucially, make sure you can find the right drink at the right time.

"It doesn't need to be either difficult or expensive to drink as well as you eat, it just requires a little care..."

"A splendid book. Victoria Moore is quite right--it's not how much you drink but how you drink." --Fergus Henderson, chef and co-owner, St. Johns Restaurant

"I loved How to Drink. For the first time in years I have broken open a bottle of vodka for a Bloody Mary, remembered how much better mulled cider is than mulled wine, drawn a fresh kettle for tea..." --Joanna Weinberg, author of How to Feed Your Friends with Relish

"Anyone who loves their food should heed this unmatchable tutorial in the art of enjoying drink; Victoria Moore succinctly puts every sip in lively context, banishing the guilt from the pleasure of it all." --Rose Prince, author of The New English Kitchen ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Cheers
Nice little book for my Kindle. Lots to learn and very good hints and tip. This is a subject of which I have only a smattering of knowledge, I should say. So as an occasional drinker, I am finding this read useful. Good to pickup right before the holidays!

Just had to add, after spending some more time with this little gem, it's really worth a read. Very well written and evocative. Heck, it even drove me to Amazon to hunt for a certain tea!

5-0 out of 5 stars Effervescent and Engaging
This is a must read. The writing is lovely, lively, and engaging. I am blown away by her knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject. It's infectious: like the other reader, I was inspired to search for a delicious tea online, as well as brew myself a pot of my own. The ingredient lists are short and simple, with readily available ingredients (with the exception of the author's reliance on blood oranges. Maybe they are more popular in England?) The recipes are vibrant, elegant, and interesting. She has a great recipe for chile hot chocolate that is so simple and delicious, it is worth reading the book alone. As you can tell by my attempts at a glowing review, I truly loved this book, and would highly recommend it. Read more


116. Word Morph Volume 1: transform the starting word one letter at a time until you spell the ending word (Word Puzzles Optimized for Kindle) (Mobi Games)
by Leonid Braginsky
Kindle Edition (2009-12-16)
list price: $0.99
Asin: B00312NM90
Publisher: MobileReference
Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

How do you make a flip from a flop? Obviously, by changing the i to an o. This is how you play Word Morph. At each step, you can change one letter to form a new word. The task is to transform the starting word one letter at a time until you spell the ending word.

For example, here is a puzzle:

east
----
----
west

You can get from east to west like this:

east
past
pest
west

Often puzzles have more than one solution. In the east to west example, you could also do:

east
last
lest
west

or

east
vast
vest
west

Sometimes the sequences are quite long. For example, here is one way to get from teach to learn:

teach
peach
peace
place
plane
plans
plays
slays
stays
stars
sears
years
yearn
learn

Each puzzle comes with one to three solutions. For most solutions a hint is available.

The puzzles are divided into several difficulty levels, from Novice to Expert, based on the length of the solution.

Multiple volumes of Word Morph puzzles are available: search “mobi word morph”.

Enjoy the game!

 

NEW!!! MOBI GAMES: INTERACTIVE SUDOKU IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR YOUR KINDLE. TRY VOLUME 1 FOR JUST 1 CENT. SEARCH: MOBI SUDOKU 1

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117. Old Havana Cookbook: Cuban Recipes in Spanish and English (Bilingual Cookbooks)
Kindle Edition (1999-12-01)
list price: $14.95
Asin: B00275EE62
Publisher: Hippocrene Books
Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Havana is one of the oldest and most picturesque cities of the western hemisphere. It was a popular winter destination for North American tourists in the 1950s, and this cookbook recaptures the spirit of Old Havana-- Habana la vieja-- and its celebrated culinary traditions. Cuban cuisine, though derived from its mother country, Spain, has been modified and refined by locally available foods like pork, rice, corn, beans and sugar, and the requirements of a tropical climate. Fine Gulf Stream fish, crabs and lobsters, and an almost infinite variety of vegetables and luscious tropical fruits also have their places on the traditional Cuban table. This cookbook includes over 50 recipes, each in Spanish with side-by-side English translation-- all of them classic Cuban fare and old Havana specialties adapted for the North American kitchen. Among the recipes included are: Ajiaco (famous Cuban Stew), Boiled Pargo with Avocado Sauce, Lobster Havanaise, Tamal en Cazuela (Soft Tamal), Quimbombo (okra), Picadillo, Roast Suckling Pig, and Boniatillo (Sweet Potato Dulce), along with a whole chapter on famous Cuban cocktails and beverages. ... Read more

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118. Relentless (Dominion Trilogy #1)
by Robin Parrish
Kindle Edition (2006-07-01)
list price: $13.99
Asin: B003F77BU2
Publisher: Bethany House
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Grant Borrows' life has just taken a drastic left turn. There's another man in the world wearing his face and living his life. What's more, the man he sees in the mirror is a stranger.

Somehow, he's been Shifted -- his whole life fundamentally altered, in the space of a single breath. But the changes don't stop at skin-level. Inexplicably, he's able to affect objects around him by simply thinking about them. And as he soon learns, he's become the central figure in a vast web of intrigue that stretches from an underground global conspiracy to a prophecy dating back over seven thousand years, that tells of his coming. Enemies and allies find him at every turn, but one thing they all learn very quickly is that you don't want to push Grant Borrows too far...

Can destiny be undone?

The players are ready. The game is in motion. And the pace is Relentless.

In the allegorical tradition of Tolkien and Lewis comes a powerful new myth for a new generation. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Debut Novel
Collin Boyd's life is unremarkable--his job, his apartment, even his clothes. But everything changes when he switches bodies with Grant Borrows. In one terrifying moment his entire identity vanishes, and he has no idea how or when it happened. All Collin knows is that when he stepped off the LA Metro bus, he became a new man. Now his name is Grant Borrows, a man with an entirely different physique, lifestyle, and bank account. And someone is trying to kill him and those he loves.

Running for his life, Grant rescues his sister, Julie, but she doesn't recognize him. When he finally convinces her he really is her brother, together they begin a quest for answers. Just who is Grant Borrows? How is he able, when provoked, to manipulate objects with his mind? And why won't the strange gold ring he's wearing come off?

It's only when Grant and Julie discover others who've experienced the same "Shift" that Grant experienced, that the puzzle pieces start dropping into place. Those Shifted have several things in common. They all wear rings like Grant's, and they all have unique abilities. From photographic memories, mathematical prowess, to the ability to convince others they're seeing things. But the real question for Grant is: why has this happened to any of them? And could Grant really be the one called the Bringer, prophesied about some 7,000 years ago?

Robin Parrish has been compared to Ted Dekker, and I can see the similarities. They both know how to create vivid and imaginative plots. Both can hook readers on page one and never release them until the last paragraph. But frankly, I enjoyed Parrish's writing style even better than Dekker's. Where Dekker often seems to thrive on shock value and how far he can push the envelope of violence, Parrish shows a little more restraint, which I appreciated. There's just enough backstory woven in that we understand and care for the characters, but not so much that it bogs anything down. Grant Borrows is the type of guy you want to root for, and his villains you want to hate. But then again, looks can be deceiving as to who's a villain after all...

Bending genres, Relentless' speculative, almost sci-fi plotline is reminiscent of The Fantastic Four movie, but it could also be classified a thriller. As many Infuze readers know, the story upon which this book is based originally appeared at Infuze as a serialized novel called Prodigy. The finished product does sometimes have a serialized feel as practically every other chapter ends with a twist, which makes for fun reading indeed. And although it might seem slightly muddy in the middle when Grant tries to grasp the reality of what's happening to him, perhaps this was an intentional way to mirror Grant's uncertainty.

There's a reason why this novel is titled Relentless. With each page I found myself sucked deeper into the vortex of Relentless' F5 tornada pace, never knowing for sure what was around the bend. This is blockbuster movie material, folks. And lucky for us it's also Book I of a trilogy. Laden with adventure and intrigue, you're sure to be begging Robin Parrish for the second installment, due next summer.

--Reviewed by C.J. Darlington for Infuze magazine

5-0 out of 5 stars You Won't Want to Put Down This Fantasy Thriller
On that particular rainy morning, Collin Boyd was walking down a rainy street on his way to work and sees himself across the street. We're talking the same clothes, same briefcase, everything. As Collin runs to catch up with himself, he catches his reflection in the mirror and sees...a complete stranger staring back.

As he stares at the new him, a woman appears and warns him and he is now part of something huge. He must figure out who are his friends and who are his enemies because there is an assassin after him. And with that warning, she vanishes.

Thrust into a world he hardly knows, the now named Grant Borrows must figure out what is happening to him and how to control the powers he suddenly seems to have. Because the answers hold the key to a long ago prophecy that he just might fulfill. If he can stay alive long enough, that is.

I've had this book since it came out, but only picked it up recently. I wish I had picked it up sooner. I was hooked on page one. And just when I got one answer or Grant survived one problem, two more took their place. As a result, I had a very hard time putting it down. The characters were interesting. And the multiple view points added to the story.

This is a fantasy novel of sorts. While most of the action involves fantasy, it takes place to real humans in modern day Los Angeles. I certainly enjoyed the aspect of watching the action take place in a world I knew. And there is a conspiracy behind things that I have a feeling will become much bigger in future books.

The only weakness is the writing. It was obviously a first novel, and at times it could have used a tad more polish. But it was still highly readable. I certainly flew through the pages.

I can hardly wait to get my hands on the next two books in the series and see where Grant's path truly lies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Birth and death? This COULD get interesting!
So, is there is mystery behind all the 4 star reviews for this? Probably not, because this did indeed end on a cliff hanger, and I'm ready for a lot more of Robin Parrish! So, I've seen the 4 star reviews, and at least one of them is fair. Maybe one with less might come off a bit jealous, but hey! I loved it! And I really don't buy the talk about this being like Star Wars. X-Men I never really got into, (I actually HATED X-Men) so that means I actually got to read this with an OPEN MIND!!

What the heck would YOU think if you wondered off the local bus, and saw yourself standing across the street? HUH? Well, Grant Borrows will answer that question for us. He's been given quite the unusual gift, and he uses it quite well. He knows how to fight too. Lots of fists and kicks and blood in this. But that's not exactly the main idea here. Go take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, "WHO AM I?" If you can grasp that concept, you just might get the idea. And while Grant certainly has his enemies, he also has his allies, some he might not have a clue about.

Fans of Ted Dekker shouldn't be let down by this. I didn't know what to expect going into it, but I really enjoyed it! Robin Parrish has stepped into a most unusual octagon, and when the referee commands, "LET'S GET IT ON!!!" Oh believe me, it is on! If you listen closely, you might here the sounds of both birth and death. You listening? Oh yeah, this could get quite interesting! Robin Parrish is indeed RELENTLESS, charging on at a FEARLESS pace!! Read more


119. Worth Dying For: A Reacher Novel
by Lee Child
Kindle Edition (2010-10-12)
list price: $28.00
Asin: B003EY7IWC
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Sales Rank: 25
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

“Jack Reacher is the coolest continuing series character now on offer.”—Stephen King, in Entertainment Weekly
 

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child follows the electrifying 61 Hours with his latest Reacher thriller—a story that hits the ground running and then accelerates all the way to a colossal showdown.

There’s deadly trouble in the corn country of Nebraska . . . and Jack Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of the Duncans, a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing child, already decades-old, that Reacher can’t let go.

The Duncans want Reacher gone—and it’s not just past secrets they’re trying to hide. They’re awaiting a secret shipment that’s already late—and they have the kind of customers no one can afford to annoy. For as dangerous as the Duncans are, they’re just the bottom of a criminal food chain stretching halfway around the world.

For Reacher, it would have made much more sense to keep on going, to put some distance between himself and the hard-core trouble that’s bearing down on him.

For Reacher, that was also impossible.

Worth Dying For is the kind of explosive thriller only Lee Child could write and only Jack Reacher could survive—a heart-racing page-turner no suspense fan will want to miss.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Jack's back
Who'd have thought it? Jack Reacher survived an explosion that can be seen from space. Read this in a few hours. Usual Reacher, breaks bones with scientific accuracy and speed. Utterly ruthless and barely a suggestion of sarcasm. Can't help thinking that if I was that good, I'd be sarcastic as hell. The Vegas villains seemed to be portrayed as if they were in a Cohen Brothers film. Stylish but stupid and incompetent. It made their outcomes fairly assured from the moment they were introduced. The ending tells us that the East Coast may be an eventful journey and personally I want to be on board. Jack Reacher is a character for our times. I've passed some time trying to work out who would play him on the big screen and the problem is there really isn't anyone who comes close. Russell Crowe? Too short and getting too old for the series (of films), but has the look. Making of the film would be fairly inexpensive as the action is real world, well, real Reacher world. Keep em' coming

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly Ruthless Jack Reacher - Great Fun!
Great fun!

Not only is this good vintage-style Jack Reacher, it is among the stronger books of this excellent series. The writing is tight, the pacing is excellent, the characters are fleshed out and believable. The cascade of events leading to the inevitable transition to violence happens in a measured, gripping, and believable fashion.

Some of Lee Child's books stand out more than others. This is true for any prolific writer. "Worth dying For" is among the best of the Jack Reacher novels. Familiar readers will likely recapture the thrill and suspense that drew them into Mr. Child's works in the first place. New ones will be in for a unique treat.

Jack Reacher, as a character, displays refreshing ruthlessness in this book. Mr. Child's uniquely practical lessons in the application of violence are both informative and entertaining.

Finally, the underlying mystery of the situation unfolds in a creeping, and creepy, progression. The clues add up, the circumstances evolve, and readers will likely suspect the truth bit by bit, right alongside the protagonist.

Read this book when you have some time - it is a page turner that will keep you up late.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book worth reading far into the night
Lee Child's 15th Jack Reacher book is a milestone of sorts. A nominal sequel to 61 HOURS, which was published in May, it picks up shortly after the earlier novel. Reacher is a bit banged up as the result of his escape from what seemed to be a certain demise at the conclusion of 61 HOURS (in WORTH DYING FOR, he explains how he managed to remain intact), but his residual stiffness and limitations serve as a reminder that he is neither invincible nor invulnerable. He certainly possesses a skill set that makes it difficult to remember that he might have a few weaknesses. Nonetheless, Reacher retains enough to triumph against overwhelming odds here, utilizing his considerable mental and physical abilities to right some extremely horrific wrongs.

WORTH DYING FOR finds Reacher dropped off in the middle of a nowhere called Nebraska, with little around him but a deserted motel. A series of events puts him crossways with the Duncan family, who for a couple of generations have run the local farming community as their own little fiefdom, utilizing a combination of terror and economics. They handle all the trucking of the surrounding farmers' goods to market, and no one dares to use an alternative transport system. As far as they're concerned, it's either their way or the highway. The Duncans also traffic in other goods, and Reacher's arrival is both the fly in the ointment of their latest shipment and a convenient excuse when the delivery to their customers in the south is unexpectedly delayed.

Reacher soon finds himself to be the target of some very big and dangerous people, including the Duncans' de facto security force, which consists of some alumni of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, and enforcers representing different links in the sales chain, of which the Duncans are merely the first step. Reacher has few places to hide; his area has a whole lot of nothing, and the Duncans have most of the folks around there too terrified to help him. There are a couple of exceptions, however, including a woman victimized in the worst way by the Duncans several years before. Reacher would be just as happy to move on to where he was heading to begin with --- Virginia, for a rendezvous that may or may not happen --- but winds up staying, in part because of a mysterious tragedy that screams for resolution.

And thus we come to the strongest parts of the book. Reacher's combat skills consistently offer triumphs against his adversaries, but it's the mystery --- and Reacher's resolution of it --- at the core of these novels that makes the series worth reading. Here this process proceeds along two tracks --- one in which Reacher slowly unravels a horrific series of events in the Nebraskan cornfields, the other in which he takes the forces rallied against him and points them at each other. The result may or may not be the best Reacher book to date, but it certainly is his most satisfying.

I'm not sure what Lee Child has against the Nebraska Cornhuskers --- that his choice for a group of strong-backed and weak-minded associates would be best served by, say, alumni of the University of Michigan --- but regardless of your football loyalties, you'll find WORTH DYING FOR worth reading far into the night.

--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Reacher
I admit that I'm terribly biased towards Jack Reacher. I love this character. This book is typical of the early books. The crime at the center of the book is very obvious from the beginning, but it doesn't detract from the pacing. I liked the "professionals" and thought those characters added something new to the story. I would rate it four stars, but it earns an extra star for fair pricing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Reacher story.
So glad that Reacher didn't end up dead after 61 hours. Even knowing that Lee Child was writing another Reacher novel didn't give me confidence that our hero was gone, since he has written other books that were prequels to the series.

The action was tight and not too predictable. He is one of the few authors that 1) I purchase his book as soon as it comes out and 2) I can't always anticipate what the character will do. I love that!

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120. The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
by Mark Nepo
Paperback (2000-05-01)
list price: $18.95 -- our price: $10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1573241172
Publisher: Conari Press
Sales Rank: 51
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Cancer survivor, poet, and philosopher Mark Nepo has consciously allowed life to move through him. The Book of Awakening is the result of his journey of the soul and will inspire others to embark on their own.

Nepo speaks of spirit and friendship, urging readers to stay vital and in love with this life, no matter the hardships. Encompassing many traditions and voices, Nepo's words offer insight on pain, wonder, and love. Each entry is accompanied by an exercise that will surprise and delight the reader in its mind-waking ability. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Learning who I am
I start every morning with an inspiration from this book. I take the time I need to reflect on the daily passage and have found it to be a way of learning about the real person I am. I have been searching for inner peace for so long , this book has helped me to meditate on the important things to make my life and my inner self more complete and at peace. I love this book and want to give everyone I know a copy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Editorial Review
There are very few books in this world which elicit the question `Why have I such an array of books on this subject when this one would suffice?' The entry of Mark Nepo's Book of Awakening into my life not only presented this question but also initiated an immediate removal of the other six inspirational books waiting in a tumbled line by my bed, making space in my overcrowded life for the simplicity of one source of wisdom.

The Book of Awakening, which is beautifully produced by Conari Press, is in the form of a daybook, having an entry of wisdom for every day of the year. This allows us to take a dip into this vast ocean of insight every day or to dive in at random when the spirit moves us. Each page of wisdom is followed by a short and profound meditation on the topic at hand which helps put the reading into the context of one's own life, and is suggested in such a way that even the meditation-shy could be enticed to participate.

In his introduction, Mark describes his book as `a companion and a soul-friend'. I agree that this book can act as a soul friend, which is a different relationship than is possible with most wisdom books. And that is quite a gift to give to yourself or a friend. The key reason for the possibility of this almost human relationship with the book is, I believe, to be found in the divinely human writing style of the author.

Mark is born a poet whose eyes perceive the divine patterning within the everyday experiences of life. He has crafted the art of painting that depth so that others may begin to see into and beyond the mundane. Each new entry seems to invite a deeper friendship of the soul as Mark lays himself bare in his truly personal stories of struggle and revelation. He interweaves his own perception with gems of collected treasures from many spiritual traditions, giving us access to his own spiritual advisers in their many forms.

--- Carmella B'Hahn, Sufi Journal, London

5-0 out of 5 stars A Daybook with poetry, inspiration and much more!
Mark Nepo's day book is a wonderful way to remember the importance of enjoying the details that make life a mystery and a gift. The book includes inspirational quotes, beautiful poetry, points for mediationsand heart-warming glimpes of life. Although each day's entry is meant to be savored, I gobbled them all up and now will go back to holding them close to my life one day at a time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful offering.
To be honest, this book caught my eye first because of its beautiful cover of the Lotus. I opened the book read a passage
and felt deeply moved almost to tears. This is a beautifully orchestrated book. Its daily reflections, passages and quotes
are soul food for our journey. This book is definitely a work
of love. You can feel the intent put forth and given to the reader by the author. What a blessed contribution it is. The foreward by Wayne Mueller sums this stellar gem up perfectly.
A difinite addition to your collection, if not the only book you will ever need and keep close to your heart, spirit and soul.
Dear Mark Nepo,
You have written a book that has moved me so, there are
no words to describe it. I thank you for sharing your beautiful offering. I am so happy to have come across it just in a time
when I was so ready and open to its messages.
Blessings,
Christine/Toronto, Ont. Canada

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Daily Contemplation Book
Written by a poet and teacher, this book is organized by date, with 1-2 page offerings for each day of the year. Beautifully written, each entry begins with a quote from another poet, saint (practically every spiritual tradition is represented), or other literary work, followed by the author's musings and a set of questions to contemplate that day. Some random samples: "August 1: The Pain of Becoming - We do ourselves a great disservice by judging where we are in comparison to some final destination." "April 10: At Home in Our Skin - The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin."

5-0 out of 5 stars Mark Nepo's Book of Awakenings
This is a wonderful daily reader - a great way to start the day - sometimes I just pick up the book and randomly pick a reading. Truly inspiring stuff - it's like a yoga class for your mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars timeless
A beautiful gift for yourself or a loved one. Dated daily essays to ponder along with daily exercises to strengthen those spiritual muscles. I'm admittedly a biased huge fan of Mark's writing. I've never bought a daybook before and didn't realise that's what this was when I purchased it. If I'd known I might have missed out on a treasure. It is structured with dates but there is no year so this book can be read and re-read year after year and I'm sure each read will reveal another level of wisdom. If you're on the fence about making this purchase, I'm sure you won't be sorry if you decide yes, and there's no reason to wait until the beginning of a year to buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep, courageous, vivid, tender, honest, treasured
In every reading I find extraordinary insights I underline and carry with me. I actually am purchasing a copy for my desk at work. It is definitely a gift giver. So many of the daily meditation books I've purchased are disappointing, or I've gotten used to something kind of nice or merely reflective. Nepo takes me to an edge I've wanted to see time after time. I leave his readings better for the experience, eager to share.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good book for the grieving woman
I am a life coach for widows.
I suggest to all my clients that they purchase this amazing book. It gently, lovingly and firmly reminds us each day of who we are and that in order to emerge, we need to accept that where we are is where we are supposed to be. Even if it is messy. I am so grateful for this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Devotional Read
I have found this book to be a beautiful daily devotional. It is rich
with poetic philosophy and heart opening passages that take you deep
within yourself. The guided meditations allow you to expand around the
everyday circumstances that life graces us with, and allows you to go
to the depths of your own heart and knowing you are better than you were before. This read is a portal into the self thatis conscious and aware of the inner workings behind every perceived problem and lifts you to the higher ground of expansion. It is a delight to read it daily and lift myself out of limiting beliefs into other perspectives that free me of conditioned responses. Read more


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