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141. Irresistible Forces
142. His Lady Mistress
$14.95
143. An Object of Beauty: A Novel
$23.00
144. The Essential New York Times Cookbook:
145. American Assassin
146. Conspiracy in Kiev (Russian Trilogy,
147. Run Like a Mother: How to Get
148. Darcys & the Bingleys
$13.97
149. Pinheads and Patriots: Where You
150. The Velveteen Rabbit
151. Quiet As They Come (Free Story
$19.25
152. Colonel Roosevelt
$39.50
153. Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy
154. Moby Dick, or, the whale
$6.58
155. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last
156. The Perfect Christmas
157. Silent Screams
158. Jackson Jones, Book 1: The Tale
159. A Journey to the Centre of the
160. The Wicked House of Rohan

141. Irresistible Forces
by Brenda Jackson
Kindle Edition (2009-01-30)
list price: $5.99
Asin: B001R4GNU4
Publisher: Kimani Press
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

An offer he couldn't refuse... One week of mind-blowing sex on a beautiful Caribbean island. Of all the business proposals financial tycoon Dominic Saxon has heard, Taylor Steele's is definitely the most tempting. All Taylor wants in return is for Dominic to father her baby. No strings, no commitments…just a mutually satisfying arrangement. Make that very satisfying. For a man with no intention of marrying again, it sounds ideal.

Taylor wants a baby, not a relationship. And sexy, intelligent Dominic seems like a man with perfect genes. Turns out, Dominic has perfect everything. Their “procreation vacation” is a whirlwind of sensual ecstasy. But when it's over, will either of them be able to say goodbye?

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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars An astoundingly bad book
Even as a freebie the book's too expensive. Those are hours you'll never get back people.

The plotting is stupid, the writing is excruciating, the dialogue ridiculous. There wasn't a single good part to the book, well, except maybe the part when I realized that I didn't have to finish it about half way thru. There was no gun at my head. I could just put it down and remove it from my Kindle. That part? That part was awesome.

5-0 out of 5 stars HOT!!!
Downloaded the free version for the kindle,Tylor wanted a baby, but not a husband. Dominic wanted a baby but not a wife. When Taylor suggested to Dominic that they have a baby that they would share. They go to on a romantic week to a island and have none stop sex. This book has a lot of sex scene's in the living room, bathroom, bedroom and on a boat. they just could not keep away from each other.
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142. His Lady Mistress
by Elizabeth Rolls
Kindle Edition (2009-01-30)
list price: $5.50
Asin: B001R4GNSG
Publisher: Harlequin
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

DOWNTRODDEN SERVANT OR GRACIOUS LADY?

When Max, Earl Blakehurst, meets Verity he sees a downtrodden servant. He doesn’t recognize her as the daughter of a colonel under whom he used to serve, the girl he’d once helped years before. The life Verity’s now living is untenable. So he proposes a shocking solution--he will set her up as his mistress.

It’s only once that Verity’s finally agreed, once Max is beginning to lose his heart to her, that he discovers her true identity. Max is taken aback; he would never have suggested this lady become his mistress. Now, to avoid scandal, they’ll have to marry!

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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars well written, strong characters
I stayed up way too late finishing this -- I just had to get to the happily-ever-after ending because I was so caught up in the romance between the main characters. It's true that there is a very long string of misunderstandings but this seemed within character and time period. Nothing too surprising happens as the plot is pretty standard romance fare but being well written, it was very satisfying.

I also love that this was free for kindle as I would never have read it otherwise and now am eager to buy more of Ms. Rolls' books. Read more


143. An Object of Beauty: A Novel
by Steve Martin
Hardcover (2010-11-23)
list price: $26.99 -- our price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0446573647
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Sales Rank: 42
Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars The Manhattan Art Scene: Tom Wolfe Redux
The actor and comedian Steve Martin has written a novel, AN OBJECT OF BEAUTY, that captures the contemporary art scene in all its sordid, devastating brilliance.

Once a generation, it seems, the art world comes under a scathing literary attack of satire that puts artists, collectors, dealers and art institutions in their proper place. Tom Wolfe did in 1975 in his savage satirical essay, "The Painted Word," to wit:

"Each new movement, each new ism in Modern Art was a declaration by the artists that they had a new way of seeing, which the rest of the world (read: the bourgeoisie) couldn't comprehend," wrote Wolfe. "'We understand!' said the culturati, thereby separating themselves also from the herd. But what inna namea Christ were the artists seeing? This was where theory came in. A hundred years before Art Theory had merely been something that enriched one's conversation in matters of Culture. Now it was an absolute necessity. It was no longer background music, it was an essential hormone in the mating ritual."

Compared to Wolfe, Martin at least has the courtesy to cloak his satirical criticism in fiction. His satire is kinder, gentler than Wolfe's outright attack on the fickle nature of modern art. That said, Martin's breezy but riveting contemporary tale of the art world is no less vital than Wolfe's harsh style. There is a lot of uncomfortable truth on the nature of art in both books.

Martin is a serious art collector and he clearly knows the world of art - as he should after spending millions of dollars on acquiring art. His knowledge of the art world is on display throughout this nuanced book.

The plot lines in AN OBJECT OF BEAUTY are, penetrating. There are sub plots that add continuity to the tapestry that Martin is trying to weave, but like the art world he is describing the book is transient. One art movement rises while another falls - all on the whims of dealers and collector. Artists (once they have conceived and created their art) have little to do with the process

The book tells the story of Lacey Yeager. In the beginning she is young, beautiful and only dimly aware of the art when she wins an entry-level a job at Sotheby's. But Lacey is also smart, and she uses her wile and her beauty to advance quickly in the Manhattan art world. The story of Lacey's rise in the art market is reported and told by a writer for the Art News, Daniel Chester French Franks, an astute observer who once (and only once) shared Lacey's bed during their long friendship.

Like Wolfe, Martin (through the narrator Daniel Franks) makes some astute observations on the state of American art:

On the vagaries of the value of a work of art: "The lure in art collecting and its financial rewards, not counting for a moment its aesthetic, cultural and intellectual rewards, is like the trust in paper money: it makes no sense when you really think about it. New artistic images are so vulnerable to opinion that it wouldn't take much more than a whim for a small group of collectors to decide that a contemporary artist was not so wonderful anymore, was so last year."

On the collapse of the art market following the 2009 financial crisis: "Art as an aesthetic principle was supported by thousands of years of discernment and psychic rewards, but art as a commodity was held up by air. The loss of confidence that affected banks and financial instruments was not affecting cherubs, cupids and flattened popes. The objects hadn't changed: what was there before was there after. But a vacancy was created with the clamoring crowds deserted and retrenched."

Readers familiar with the modern world of art will, no doubt, have fun identifying the models for the major players in this excellent novel. Barton Talley is a bulwark of integrity in the fickle Manhattan art world. He becomes Lacey's mentor (for a time), and instructs her in the intricate tactics and strategies in the art market. Talley runs an elegant gallery in a townhouse on East 78th street. In fact, there is a similar gallery in that location, run by an equally powerful contemporary dealer who deals in the masterpieces of the day (the reader will have to make that connection on his or her own).

Martin keeps his book topical. He takes us through the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 (just as Lacey mounts a major, hopefully lucrative exhibition), and he uses the 2008-09 financial crises to demonstrate just how fragile the art market can be. There are also cameo appearances in Martin's book by such well known glitterati as mega-dealer Larry Gagosian and Peter Schjeldahl, the art critic for the New Yorker magazine.

Finally (and importantly) like Wolfe in "The Painted Word," Martin incorporates reproductions of modern art into the narrative. These are exquisite reproductions that illustrate key junctures of the story of Lacey Yeager's rise in the intensely provocative Manhattan art scene. Martin has written and produced a very good book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it!
I almost did not buy this book,because of 3 star review by some people.I should know better and trust Steve Martin instead.Great book,If you don't read it,your loss!

5-0 out of 5 stars A nice surprise.
I hadn't read any of Steve Martin's work before, but it had good reviews so I downloaded it. It was an easy read/entertaining. I have alway thought that it took intelligence to have the insight necessary to be a good comedian and this book confims that. It is well written, had well developed characters and the author seems to have a keen understanding of human behavior.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth two reads
Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty is one of the few novels that I'll read a second time and enjoy it more for knowing what's in store. The story is first a knowledgeable and believable look into the art world, showing both the beauty of that world and the byzantine machinations underlying it. The lead character, Lacy Yeager is, for a while at least, the supreme navigator in that environment.
Lacy is no angel. She jokes early on that she's thinking of getting a dog that's near death because "it's less of a commitment." But the life force and wit of this character are the real drivers of this novel. And, personally, I'd love to see her back in a sequel.
The writing is smart and funny throughout with memorable lines like: "mannequins in the store windows were like saluting soldiers as they strolled in their enchanted state of opulent seduction." If you are a reader whose idea of excitement is a car chase and a shoot out you should pass on this novel. Martin's plotting is both complex and subtle. But the climax and resolution are well worth the wait.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Read
I have a fair amount of familiarity with the art world, but I think Martin makes it understandable for anyone so we can drop into the reality presented in this book. The photos of the art are a must. I couldn't put it down. There were moments of the zany side of Martin in here, but mostly it is an intelligent read, a unique and interesting treasure of a book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Gatsby in Art Speak
For a book about surface-appreciation and the nature of beauty, this book's jacket-designers knew the cover would be judged. First of all, using canvas as the book cover is a brilliant idea. The print of oilpaint-like quality is a delight. Moving into the novel, the aesthetic appeal continues. Martin's prose is clear both when he is speaking literally and figuratively. His similes and allusive turns of phrase give the novel striking textures in what could otherwise be a not-so-striking read. He weaves subtlety into the surface elements by stretching our imaginations like canvas across the frame.

To increase the license for such figurative speech, he makes his narrator an art writer, Daniel, who, as the Independent notices, functions much as Nick Carraway does in The Great Gatsby. Daniel is the witness who, like Carraway, steps over the line once or twice but for the most part provides a line, if only by doing so. Both men remind us there is a line.

When we think of the main characters of Great Gatsby we think of Gatsby and Daisy. Similarly, the focal point in The Object of Beauty appears to be Lacey Yeager. But in both works, the narrator is the one controlling the information. Seemingly innocuous and apparent instruments of narrative, the narrators in both works bring their own baggage with them to the story. In a novel about objectifying beauty, the Daniel undergoes a similar transformation as Lacey, learning the value of slow time in love, breaking below the surface distractions of desire, thereby embodying the narrator in the narrative and making him the embodiment of novel's theme.


Similarities between this book and Gatsby reach beyond narration. Martin indulges his own Fitzgeraldian bifocals to witness both the elegance and the grotesqueness of the New York scenes. In the sympathetic character of Patrice, we see the genuine lover of art. One of his many counterparts, Mr. Alberg, comments "Collector is too kind a word for me. I'm a shopper." Then the latter tells, and tells again, a tale about a Joseph Beuys' "felt suit," the reader feels much the same as when reading of cruel Tom Buchanan's mistress' blood dripping over a fashion magazine in the hot, second chapter hotel room. Martin's eye roams the aesthetic spectrum, counterpointing artworld stimulus (much of it beautiful) with artworld behavior (much of it not).

Lacey embodies Daisy and James Gatz both. As he showed us with Shopgirl, Martin studies psychology and personality. Lacey is a narcissist to the nth degree, as Daniel shows us. But of course could Daniel be missing a part of the story, leaving it for the reader to tell? This is where Martin's ability to create and captivate really comes into play. We all know girls like Lacey, have been destroyed by them. We also make excuses for them, which is something that Daniel does not do. She is compared to money much in the same way that Daisy is. Daniel doesn't comment on any of Lacey's inner life because, like money, she has none. But both Daisy and Lacey have stories shaping them from within. The absence of Lacey's story makes the reader as susceptible as the book's other characters to the too-quick evaluation of "an object of beauty."

The Great Gatsby would not have its thrust and balance without the fireworks-less pairing of Nick and Jordan. Martin builds a figure into Object of Beauty. "We could talk for months," says Daniel of his relationship (details witheld). He describes his love interest as being the only person with a normal upbringing, which renders her impervious to Lacey's "full courtship press" of the art world at the moment when it really matters. This slow-and-steady approach to love mirrors the low-key attention of the true collector, rather than the minute-makers who create fame out of novelty.

The "series of successful gestures" which Nick Carraway sees in Gatsby's life is also evident in Lacey's. And in both stories, there comes a point at which things fly out of our control, regardless of the perfection of our gestures. Had it not been for the hit-and-run in Gatsby or the sub-prime loan crisis on Wall Street, our narrators would have different stories to tell, stories of unhindered rises from reality into dreamworlds. The setting of Martin's book makes the reading strangely less intimate than that of Gatsby. If Fitzgerald's novel was prophetic, Martin's is deeply reflective, exploring the great WTF all economies still feel the effects of, and even going so far as to stitch a narrative, however at once literary and economic, into a chaos. What redeems Gatsby is the truth: that it was never as beautiful as he thought it was. But in Object of Beauty, even in a world fallen to pieces in so many ways, beauty is indeed a redemptive constant, and while the word itself might get dropped from our vocabularies in service to some fashions, Martin asserts it does and always will exist. We just have to be broken from time to time in order to recognize it and allow it all the way in, if only in order to find again a line within ourselves we don't allow ourselves to cross, ever again.






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144. The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century
by Amanda Hesser
Hardcover (2010-10-25)
list price: $40.00 -- our price: $23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0393061035
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 40
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

All the best recipes from 150 years of distinguishedfood journalism-a volume to take its place inAmerica's kitchens alongside Mastering the Art ofFrench Cooking and How to Cook Everything.Amanda Hesser, the well-known New York Times food columnist, brings her signature voice and expertise to this compendium of influential and delicious recipes from chefs, home cooks, and food writers. Devoted Times subscribers will find the many treasured recipes they have cooked for years—Plum Torte, David Eyre's Pancake, Pamela Sherrid's Summer Pasta—as well as favorites from the early Craig Claiborne New York Times Cookbook and a host of other classics—from 1940s Caesar salad and 1960s flourless chocolate cake to today's fava bean salad and no-knead bread.

Hesser has cooked and updated every one of the 1,000-plus recipes here. Her chapter introductions showcase the history of American cooking, and her witty and fascinating headnotes share what makes each recipe special.The Essential New York Times Cookbook is for people who grew up in the kitchen with Claiborne, for curious cooks who want to serve a nineteenth-century raspberry granita to their friends, and for the new cook who needs a book that explains everything from how to roll out dough to how to slow-roast fish-a volume that will serve as a lifelong companion.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Dishes, Priceless Cookbook
This is the type of cookbook I call an armchair cookbook because it can be just as easily enjoyed by simply reading through it as it can be trying out the recipes in the kitchen.

If you were impressed when Julie Powell spent a year of her life trying every one of Julia Child's French recipes, you will be astounded by Amanda Hesser's six-year Herculean task of evaluating and writing about 150 years of New York Times recipes. There's an immense satisfaction that comes from reading thru these recipes, kind of like being a guest invited into Hesser's test kitchen and watching the culinary drama unfold without having to do any of the work or shoulder any of the responsibility.

Clear a space on your cookbook library shelf for The Essential New York Times Cookbook -- this heavy tome is a must-have for anyone who loves reading about food as well as getting creative with it!

5-0 out of 5 stars My new favorite!
I was reading another book but set it aside when this arrived in the mail, and haven't been back to it yet. I'm not the sort of person who would read a cookbook, but this is more like a cool encyclopedia of best of the New York Times recipes over the past 150 years, interspersed with interesting historical information, hints from testing, cooking notes, and some reader comments/memories. The author's voice is full of warmth, wit, and sharp, bright intelligence. Her personable approach (as opposed to taking the form of a disengaged editor) conveys care about this momentous project and it is precisely what makes the book really shine. And it's fun to see a recipe that I had clipped from the Times years and years ago, right there in the book--it kind of underscores how great it is! (Plus it may include a footnote that offers a small change that will make it turn out even better!) The 1,400-plus recipes were selected judiciously, sound absolutely wonderful, and cover a huge territory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read. Recipes you know and love plus more
First, for anyone who loves to read a good cookbook, this is wonderful gift. The background provided with the recipes and the tone in which it is given are a real pleasure. Second, for anyone who loves food and making it, this book is a treasure. There are recipes here that i know well from years of devoted clipping and, later, printing from the NY Times but I am also discovering many new ones that sound just great. A thousand recipes, most of them interesting and all with at least the original publication date or some extra tidbit of information! In addition, you can learn about how our tastes have evolved and what a family might eat in the 19th century. When my copy arrived, I was reading a decent novel. Since then I have been happily perusing my new cookbook with the novel all but forgotten. And, oh yeah, occasionally I cook something yummy.

5-0 out of 5 stars modern and historic at the same time
I just received my book today, and I'll admit that I've been watching for it since first hearing about the project a few years ago. I love old recipes, and I'm enjoying the historic aspects of this collection. It is quite interesting to see the dates on each recipe. The author's comments and introductions strike the right tone by being warm, down to earth, and helpful. I know I will want to cook lots and lots of the recipes in the book, both the old dishes and the new. Already I've identified the "Salted Caramels" as a perfect completment to after-dinner coffee on Thanksgiving. Now, if only I could decide on a historic punch to start the Thanksgiving holiday...

5-0 out of 5 stars Best cookbook to come out in years - 5 stars plus!
I've had this cookbook for two weeks now. Although I loved reading it, I wanted to wait to write a review until after I'd actually cooked from it. In the past two weeks, I've made over a dozen recipes from the book: plum torte (twice), blueberry muffins, fennel stew, cumin carrots, roast salmon, root vegetable stew with dumplings, watermelon tomato salad, warm butter lettuce salad, a chicken stew with olives, and more. They are uniformly terrific recipes - clearly written, well-tested, challenging enough to be fun, but easy enough to prepare after a busy workday - for foods that I actually want to eat. I've recommended this book to everyone I know who likes to cook. This is going to be an instant classic. I'm sure it will be the go-to cookbook for both everyday and special occasion meals, much the same as The Joy of Cooking and The Silver Palate have been.
In addition to the recipes, it contains a great introduction, interesting comments throughout, suggested accompanying dishes, extensive menus, etc. This is the best $22 you'll ever spend!

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that inspires me to cook!
Just received my copy yesterday and it's amazing. There are so many recipes, historical recipes such as the Purple Plum Torte, that I would have never known about without this book. The book looks liken an encyclopedia, reads like one, and feels like one. It's a great gift for anyone who loves food.

What I liked:
1. I love reading cookbooks and there's more than enough recipes to flip through, read about, and drool over. The author includes a short summary with most recipes detailing her selection process, the recipe's history, and NYT reader's comments. She really took the time to make sure each recipe had a story and identity.
3. It's a collection of recipes printed within the last 150 years so the author has included many historic recipes. It's really different from all of the other cookbooks I own and includes recipes I've never heard of from regions around the world.
4. The book includes recipes at all degrees of difficulty. Everyone will be able to find something they can make.

Cons:
The only thing I didn't like was that it doesn't have any photos or illustrations (Except for section covers and introduction). But being concious of the book's size, I know why they didn't include any.

UPDATE:
I've made several recipes in the book now, all successful. I find myself referencing this book whenever I crave a dish; 80% of the time, I find one or more recipes that match.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Cookbook, Excellent Recipes and Well Authored
I made a few of these recipes when Ms Hesser posted them in her column in the NYTimes. I had success with a couple of them, so I thought I'd try the cookbook. I've had it for two or three weeks now, and it's been even better than I had hoped.

My mom, a home-ec major in the 50's, can just sit and read cookbooks. I always thought that was among her more endearing but characteristically baffling oddities, until I got this cookbook for myself. Now I see the attraction. I've never had a cookbook before where just flipping through the pages I stumble across so many recipes I'm eager to try. Ms Hesser's engaging but concise commentary and personal cooking notes keep it from getting too dry and make it an easy read.

Not only did Ms Hesser compile a cornucopia of delicious and interesting recipes, but she tested them and updated them to make them approachable to the average modern cook. I've made at least a half dozen of these recipes already and I've had great success with almost all. (Ok, my Bordeaux jelly - like a Jello shooter with red wine - didn't really set. But it was my first time making gelatin. And it was tasty anyway.) Some of these recipes have been so good, I'm adding them to my regular rotation.

My only regret is that by rating this so high, my friends might find out about it and know the secret to the recent up-tick in the quality and variety of my cooking. Oh well, Ms Hesser deserves the high score.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love the commentary...
I love the commentary for nearly every recipe. The difficulty of the recipes varies widely, so that even the novice cook can find something to prepare. The book was created to look at all the years of published food writing in the New York Times. The Times started in 1851, and there are a number of recipes and stories about that time as well as through the years. The recipes inside the chapters are in chronological order, with a list of recipes by category in the beginning of each section, so you can easily find what you are looking for. There are also suggestions of other recipes that would compliment the recipe you are considering making. I found the instructions clear and the stories fun... they gave another element to planning a meal. I would highly recommend this book.
Charli Vogt
[...]

5-0 out of 5 stars High Marks!
We have a fairly large cookbook library which includes the James Claiborne edition of this book (pretty much falling apart from use). Not sure what to expect from this book but felt it was worth for it's reputation in the past and we weren't disappointed & are sure this one will also become tattered in due time. Instructions are very clear, although there are no photos - you really can't include photos in a book that is over 900 pages!! One of the very nice features is the suggested menu pairings after each recipe. This cookbook would serve newlyweds as well as those with lots of experience in the kitchen. Read more


145. American Assassin
by Vince Flynn
Kindle Edition (2010-10-01)
list price: $27.99
Asin: B003UV8T9A
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 32
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Follow Mitch Rapp, as he takes on his first, explosive counterterrorism assignment. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Mitch Rapp the early years
I have read a few reviews about this book and wholeheartedly agree. The content is so so for a Mitch Rapp book and the publisher should be ashamed for putting out basically a Kindle version that is basically a first draft. The constant mis spellings and malapropisms become overwhelming. Here's the deal. The publisher, Atria, is charging basically the same price for the Kindle and Hardcover versions and making an exorbitant profit on the Kindle version as there are no distribution, sales or return costs, yet they give us a crap version that is very irritating to read. And you wonder why the publishers cry and whine about the "new publishing model" that is killing their profits. They need to wake up and give us a better product to justify their outrageous profits. They should be ashamed of this shoddy version.

5-0 out of 5 stars It all starts here...
Ever wondered what it would be like to witness the beginnings of an F-5 tornado? Or a category 5 hurricane? Ever wondered how a Megalodon looks at birth? Beautiful destruction. A controlled chaotic force of nature. Mitch Rapp. What could have been the catalyst that helped create one of America's deadliest assassins? After eleven years and equal as many books, Vince gives us one hell of a definitive look into Mitch's past. And it's so good it's like watching... (insert the favorite thing you would like to see) here. Throughout his previous books we get bits and pieces of how Mitch was "created", but not in one ecstasy induced adrenalin shot like this. Early on Rapp has to put up with verses. Rapp vs. Victor. Rapp vs. Hurley. Rapp vs. Lewis. And finally Rapp vs. the world.

Before you start reading one of the best books of 2010, Vince writes that he's been waiting to tell this story for fifteen years. And it shows; on every damn page. Vince had fun with this one y'all. From Kennedy's so called clandestine operation to scope out Mitch, to Mitch's first run in with Hurley, to watching Mitch go through the toughest training this side of Parris Island. In the summer. Wearing wool. With Satan. With an abscessed tooth. With nothing to eat but jawbreakers. However, what makes Mitch so special is that he is that extremely special freak of nature who is equipped to go toe-to-toe with Satan in the heat and humidity of the deep South.

Most of us have skills suited to our job. People that love math steer toward accounting. People that love writing become authors. People that love figuring things out become engineers. People that love dishing pain become dentists. But in all these professions you don't need to have "over the top" talent. You don't need to be a prodigy. Study hard, practice, take out enough student loans to choke King Kong, graduate, interview, and get a job is the normal path. Not with Mitch. These cowardly terrorist were created and in order to balance yin and yang, the universe created Mitch. He is the Assassin prodigy, and he's on our side.

Giotto drew the perfect circle. In 1991 the Andrea Gail was caught in the perfect storm. Zoe Saldana has the perfect body. Hillary Clinton is the perfect bitch. Popcorn is the perfect snack. Rootbeer is the perfect drink. Mitch Rapp is the perfect weapon to decimate the chickenhearted harbingers of "peace". Vince is the perfect author to bring about such a character. When I recommend this book I'm not sure where to tell people to start reading. In series order or publication order? It's actually really nice to see how Mitch started but I also got a kick out of hearing about Hurley. His parents must have given that name because it rhymes with `surly'. As you read, certain things start to fall in place from his previous novels and the storyline. So I guess it will be just preference as to where people will start. I, for one, am glad that I previously read Vince's other books because it was nice to have that foreground to understand the background.

Mitch is one bad (shut-yo-mouth), I'm just talking `bout Rapp. Ya' damn right! `American Assassin' keeps with the thriller as only Mr. Flynn can create and like I said earlier, this will easily fit in your "best books of 2010".

5-0 out of 5 stars Maybe the best one yet!
I am a big fan of Vince Flynn and Mitch Rapp but this latest book was very disappointing. Although the story was less interesting than previous books in this series, the biggest disappointment was the numerous mistakes -- misspelled words, omitted words, repeated words and incorrect character identification. I have read all of the Mitch Rapp books, but I have never read one with so many errors and dropped or duplicated words. Another disappointment was how jumbled and disjointed the story seemed to be, as if the author was rushed and wasn't really paying attention. The reader deserves higher quality workmanship and preparation.
Did the author or any of the editorial staff even glance through the book? Some of the mistakes were so blatant that a glance would have done it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Might makes right
`American Assassin' presents the beginnings of Mitch Rapp and the groundwork of his career. Mitch Rapp begins his adventures with the CIA in this book, and learns, quickly, of course the tricks and hazards of the trade, both in the training grounds of Virginia, in Europe and the middle east. As usual the story is filled with action. At times the standard hopping back and forth in the time line from past to present, of training, and the mission and in the torture chambers of Beirut can lead to some confusion, even wondering at times who it is that has been captured.

Vince Flynn knows the people and style, the philosophy of his characters. He communicates their thoughts and actions so well that the reader feels as if he knows the men and women who populate his books. He also interjects their `insider phrases' so that it lends credence to the work; whether you know who/what a snake eater is, since there is no explanation - it still fits in the story line, but lends realism to those familiar with military slang.

Flynn does a credible job of explaining how a loose cannon like Mitch Rapp becomes an established, usable agent. But still there is no one who writes modern day thrillers like Vince Flynn. Probably the worst thing about his new novels is that I wind up reading until 3 am in the morning, since it is hard to put them down. Read more


146. Conspiracy in Kiev (Russian Trilogy, Book1)
by Noel Hynd
Kindle Edition (2008-12-30)
list price: $14.99
Asin: B001N97XWU
Publisher: Zondervan
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

A shrewd investigator and an expert marksman, Special Agent Alexandra LaDuca can handle any case the FBI gives her. Or can she?While on loan from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Alex is tapped to accompany a Secret Service team during an American Presidential visit to Ukraine. Her assignment: to keep personal watch over Yuri Federov, the most charming and most notorious gangster in the region.Against her better judgment---and fighting a feeling that she's being manipulated---she leaves for Ukraine. But there are more parts to this dangerous mission than anyone suspects, and connecting the dots takes Alex across three continents and through some life-altering discoveries about herself, her work, her faith, and her future.Conspiracy in Kiev---from the first double-cross to the stunning final pages---is the kind of solid, fast-paced espionage thriller only Noel Hynd can write. For those who have never read Noel Hynd, this first book in The Russian Trilogy is the perfect place to start. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprising Best Read of the Year

This is probably one of my surprising reads of the year. I had been a bit wary of this book because it was an unfamiliar author and I'm usually not a big fan of books that take place in Eastern European countries. However as soon as I started reading the book, I was hooked in completely. Alex is a character that I absolutely adored from the beginning. She's the type of heroine that you want to be, and that you like very much. She's strong, yet you can see her weaknesses. I really enjoyed all the historical facts that were presented in this book. As a historian, I appreciated how the author used real history and didn't create events to make the story better. It's interesting how real life events can be just as interesting (or even better) in comparison to fictional tales. Some readers might find these bits boring, as the history of Ukraine and the former Soviet Union are told in details but they are relevant to the plot of the story and shouldn't really be skimmed over. The story is extremely well researched and I actually felt like I had traveled to Europe along with Alex. With so much going on in the book, one would think the storyline would be hard to follow. However it's not and it makes for a very fast paced read. One other thing I really liked is that even though the author is male and writes as a first person female, Alex acts like a rational woman and does not fall into cliched stereotypes. I personally enjoyed the downplay of romance in this book.

There is quite a bit of violence in this book. The story is very action packed and many characters do die. In fact, it seemed that there was someone that died in almost every chapter. Characters also do drink socially throughout the story. This book felt very realistic in the way situations were handled. Events that take place in this book could pretty much be ripped from headline news. To be honest, I don't consider this book Christian fiction at all. It may be by published by a Christian publisher, but the story doesn't really project anything preachy. Alex does grow stronger in her faith but it is not a main focus point. In fact I would just consider this book to be a good international suspense thriller. By far and away this was one of the best suspense books I've read all year. Tight storyline, thrilling action sequences, an engaging heroine and a page turning read make this one of my favorite reads of the year. VERY HIGHLY recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Conspiracies Abound as the Body Count Mounts
Well, I was certainly surprised at what I could get for nothing, zip, free from Amazon for my Kindle. That's the way the book came to be downloaded. This and another of Hynd's books, Midnight in Madrid also fell into my Kindle.

So, Conspiracy in Kiev begins with a bang. As the body count mounts, the central character Alexandra LaDuca, an agent with the Treasury Department finds herself pretty much all over - Kiev, Venezuela, New York, Paris.

While she's globe trotting and shooting her way out of house and home, there's a sub plot in Rome. Goodness, I thought, how does it all come together?

And to Noel Hynd's credit he does finally bring it all together.

I think any test of a book, especially fiction and a thriller shoot 'em up is, "Did the book entertain me"? Well, it did.

However this is perhaps the first that religion, and Christianity was central. I say that because it was central to Alex.

I've read other books where religion is central also, as The Name of the Rose which takes place in an Italian Monastery in, I believe the 15th or 16th Cent. Monks all over the place. Recently finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson in which a serial killer uses biblical quotations from Leviticus. Or the Gabriel Alon series, two books I think center on the Vatican and the Pope.

Still, for some reason the Alex's religiosity did seem to jar when I began encountering it. In the books previously mentioned religion/God seems to be part of the plot.

In Conspiracy it seems to be a character, as I mentioned, it is Alex's character.

Something else that struck me, only because of my age and my memory for a particular movie: There is an exchange between Alex and her new best friend, Ben (note; I'm not giving any of the story away) who is a veteran of the Iraq war and who has a leg prosthesis. Ben describes how he puts the prosthesis on his leg. That rocked me because I recalled a scene from the 1946 Movie, The Best Years of Our Lives,in which Harold Russell a veteran of the WWII who lost both arms describes how he has to put his prostheses on to Teresa Wright who is in love with him.

Anyway, I wouldn't let a little thing like Christianity stand in the way of a good read.

So, Conspiracy in Kiev (by the way, my mother's family left Ukraine in the first decade of the 20th Century) gets the coveted 5 stars because it my simple criteria for fiction. It entertained me.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced, exciting read
This is Noel Hynd's first book with Christian publisher Zondervan, although he has a significant back-list of books in the general market.

Special Agent Alex DaLuca of the US Treasury is assigned to follow up the business dealings of Yuri Federov, a notorious but charming Ukrainian gangster. Accompanying a US Secret Service team (that includes her fiance) on a presidential visit the Ukraine is the start of a well-written, fast-paced adventure that utilises all Alex's skills and stretches her faith.

This book is well-researched and well-written, and I look forward to reading more of Hynd's releases for Zondervan. This is the first of a trilogy - the second is "Murder in Madrid".

My copy of this book had an advertisement for "The Enemy Within" at the back. Please note, "The Enemy Within" was not written for the CBA (Christian) market, and has some "colourful" content that would not be approved by a CBA publisher.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I have Read in a LOOONG time!
This review is actually made by Sarah Gilbertson, I am using my husbands account. :)

I just finished this book yesterday. I have to say it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to put the book down (I know people always say that but this time it's true!). The ending was so fabulous I actually shrieked "THIS IS SO COOL!", it just made you THAT much more excited to read the second book Midnight in Madrid. Noel Hynd KNOWS how to write characters, they are so intricate and different and REAL; it makes the whole thing so much more satisfying to read and so much more fun.
One thing I must point out about the protagonist is that she is so supremely believable, she's so real and so three dimensional you really feel like you know her. Plus the fact that she's size 10 not size 3 (and yes I have to point that out because I am a girl and I am sick of people writing characters who are size 3, I don't have anything against size 3 girls AT ALL but you must admit there are a lot more of them around in media than size 10 which is actually the average.) and she has a size 9 shoe! The story is perfectly paced and all in all just one of the most fantastic books I've ever read. Another thing I loved about this book was how much we got to travel with the main character (Alex). We get to go to some amazing places, and I felt like I was there with her every time.
I definitely would recommend this to everyone I know, and most especially I would recommend it to YOU, the person reading this right now! (That was very reading rainbow I realize...but I am willing to sound corny if it will get you to read this. :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Noel Hynd's books never better!!!!
Conspiracy in Kiev, marks Noel Hynd venture into christian fiction a hugh success.
This book is written in such a way that keeps the reader wanting
to get to the next page.The characters are well developed and the plot is slowly unfolded so as to provide suprises through
out the book.The twist and turns keep coming and coming.You will find very quick that it is fast paced,well written,and
long hours of research have gone into this spy novel. The action will satisfy action fans, but it is the backdrop that provide's the crux of this book, along with the great characters whom are not cardboard, but seem to be real people right out of the spy world.This book is so engrossing it will leave midnight readers with buzzing brains. This book
rates right along with his other bestsellers such as [Flowers from Berlin]
There are two more coming in this series. Run to the book store and get this one , you will not be disappointed!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Conspiracy in Kiev
I bought a Kindle at the end of 2009. Conspiracy in Kiev, which is book one of the Russian Trilogy, was provided as a free book for a limited time. I have been downloading many of the Kindle free books and have discovered many new authors. Noel Hynd has become one of my favorite authors. His books on Kindle are very reasonably priced and a good investment because I will read the whole trilogy again. I have to admit that I read pretty fast because I was dying to know what was going to happen! I'd like to read it again more slowly to appreciate the details. His work is easy to read and exciting. I liked the characters and the way things were described. Also, it was easy to follow as it flowed well unlike some books that I just get frustrated reading because it jumps all over and I get confused.

5-0 out of 5 stars Three Jewels in a Row
This trilogy has three fine novels complete in themselves and are entertaining reads; but the three together are greater than the sum of each by itself. Actually, I read the middle novel, Midnight in Madrid, first--didn't know any better. Then the first novel, Conspiracy in Kiev (for me, the prequel.) Finally, the Countdown in Kiev. It works just fine.

Some reviewers objected to the Christianity in these novels. But, Alex's Christianity is a fat thread in the complex personality of a main protagonist. These are not Christian novels as I read them. So please don't let the Christian thingy be off-putting. As with most ethical systems it proves to be a help and a hindrance in the character's response to her situations. it is just a real part of who she is.

She? Would I send a woman out as the pointy-end of a project? I'm old school--not sure that I would. Here it works. (I was sure that she would get bagged and tagged several times.) Read the novels and see if it works for you.

The characters are well crafted and very interesting. The bad guys are not one-dimensional or dirt-bags. They are competent, cosmopolitan, and scary. Approach with caution.

And Noel Hynd, thank you for the great reads and for publishing on Kindle.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spymaster Masters Me Again
I was a little nervous reading this book. I'd really enjoyed Midnight in Madrid (another in this trilogy), but that was my first Kindle read, and I didn't know then that these books are published by a Christian publishing house. Starting this one, I was afraid my positive impression might have been contaminated by first-timeism (I liked reading on the Kindle) and I have to assume that Christian publishing would prove to be, you know, programmatic and rule-based and therefore shallow.

This book has two parts, and part one had me completely. A good spy novel, for me, has to lead the reader to the same spot as the protagonist, wondering whom to trust, what's real, and if she's actually working for the good guys. Hynd's writing does that for me in (sorry) Spades. He is utterly convincing with his takes on the world's actual ambiguity, which he backs up with utterly reliable and detailed rich descriptions of the situations where our hero, Alex, finds herself. Including all the historical and political background you might need to leave what you thought you knew - for the purposes of the story - well and far behind.

Hynd's world is a complex place, full of spy v. spy, cynicism on the part of the 'good' guys, themselves doing illegal and nasty thing; and good hearts at the core of 'bad' guys, who have nothing good at all in their brutish resumes. You give him a pass for making Alex impossibly attractive and talented and dedicated. It makes it conceivable that she could actually be that clear-eyed about what she's up against. She's been hit on, competed against, cheated, and uses what she's got in a world where she's utterly alone and without family. She looks good because she has to, and makes a triumph of it.

I almost gave it up in the second half though, where the complexity of a world where America is not very certainly good, starts to break down. You sense flags waving, missionary certainty regaining an upper hand, and you remember that this is just a page turner where the ugly people are bad, and the pretty people good. As though all it might take is prayer and determination and style to move from one side to the other.

The second half presents a billionaire in flat relief, who's doing good by virtue of spending money on spreading God's word to indigenous people, sure along with stuff they wouldn't need without having had their world upset by that same impulse in the first place. The protagonist shrinks, in this reader's estimation, by her apparently unthinking willingness to abide by her judgments of people's hearts, regardless of the harm they wreak by their actions and by their omissions, or how they throw around their money and power.

And then, in the most blatant of possible heavy handed, programmatic and didactic moves (surely worthy of a Christian author writing Christian books), the prayerful Alex gets saved by a medallion of the cross, given her by a pure hearted and surprisingly talented child. Oh please! I thought this was a reader's book, written by a writer.

Most spy novels don't afford the reader tears, remaining focused instead on the adrenaline and mind games. This one does, again in part one, which is both surprising and a good clue to what sets the work apart. So, I'm cutting the author some slack, and here's why: the reader actually gets a chance to rise a bit above the book's protagonist. We can't be anywhere near so beautiful, so multi-lingual and muli-talented, and only James Bond himself could be so good a shot. Never mind that we would do something other than make lots of money doing missionary work to console ourselves for our pain and loss. Our choices are not so, well, lavish.

But we do understand, by the author's own recounting, just exactly where she was lead astray by her own gullibility in service to a flag and to a missionary cause whose principals were never, in any way, willing to take the risks that she did on their behalf. Unless for vanity.

The author shows how the carnage directly results, in reality, from these disingenuous self-serving moves, and reminds the reader of the Church's missionary atrocities in the name of evangelism across the centuries. You don't know where the author stands (I'm giving him back his writer's stripes), but you're pretty sure, as reader, that you're not going to be so gullible as Alex was. You're pretty sure that you're real and she's not. Which is a nice thing to be reminded of, by a book that draws you in so completely.

Then theres the matter of prayer. The stimulus-response of God's hand in apparent "answer" to prayer was so heavy handed that you have to assume it to be an announcement on the part of the author that he's not God, even in relation to the book. It's a reminder to the reader that it is just a book, and that in real life the miracles are never quite so obvious. What choice did the author have? Read more


147. Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving--and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity
by Sarah Bowen Shea, Dimity McDowell
Kindle Edition (2010-03-23)
list price: $14.99
Asin: B003D3N2AQ
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

In Run Like a Mother, authors Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea offer both inspirational advice and practical strategies to help multitasking women make running part of their busy lives.

McDowell and Shea understand the various external and internal forces in everyday life that can unintentionally keep a wife--mother--working woman from lacing up her shoes and going for a run. Because the authors are multihyphenates themselves, Run Like a Mother is driven by their own running expertise and real-world experience in ensuring that running is part of their lives.

More than a book, Run Like a Mother is essentially a down-to-earth, encouraging conversation with the reader on all things running, with the overall goal of strengthening a woman's inner athlete.

Of course, real achievement is a healthy mix of inspiration and perspiration, which is why the authors have grounded Run Like a Mother in a host of practical tips on shoes, training, racing, nutrition, and injuries, all designed to help women balance running with their professional and personal lives. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring read to make you lace up the shoes
I bought this book with a lot of hope and some trepidation. I'm a lapsed runner, and my last serious race dates back to the postpartum year after my first child was born, when I was eager to show myself I still had my athletic mojo. I just had my fifth child, and ordered this book to help me get inspired again. The authors' voices are real, thankfully, and the essays are honest and accessible. The training tips are great, because they're rooted in an understanding all the things mom use as excuses NOT to run. But what got me really lacing up my shoes again was the page full of short quotes by women saying how they feel after running. Powerful. Competent. Strong. Optimistic. It was like a quadruple dose of any of those herbal mood-boosters hocked by health magazines!

5-0 out of 5 stars So relatable, it's sick!
Since finding this book (and blog! and tweets!), I have been completely entertained and inspired and able to connect with a whole new community of runner-mamas.

This book is so utterly relatable, it is sick! Even as a newbie runner! The moments of "O-M-G! That is EXACTLY how I feel" were countless, as a mom, spouse, runner, wannabe writer and overall multi-tasking-life balancer.

The book inspired me, me made me laugh out loud causing my fellow commuter train riders to stop and stare (As soon as I would snort, I would hold up the book so everyone would get a peek...long enough for them to write down the title and and go buy it themselves!)

This is my go-to book for prezzies for my runner mama friends and has saved the day with some much needed inspiration after the oh-let-it-be-over ugly runs.

I savored every chapter like a rich ooey-gooey chocolately dessert and was thrilled to find more even more witty (and oh so true!) writing online through the blog runlikeamotherbook.com.

Seriously, check it out, you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm not a mother, but could still relate
I bought this book after hearing about it from several people. As my title says, I'm not a mother, but I could relate to most of the book.

I found the writing very easy to follow--as if it were a conversation--and refreshing. I laughed out loud at some things and it gave me that little "umph" to get back to my running. I felt like I got to know Dimity and Sarah, just by following along in their journeys.

I would definitely recommend this to others.

5-0 out of 5 stars For Female Athletes Everywhere
Run Like a Mother feels like one of those conversations you have with a friend on a long run. It's a book that all female athletes can relate to, regardless of motherhood status or running experience. However, for those of us who both run marathons and mother small children, it's an especially relatable book. At times it's part memoir--telling of Sarah's and Dimity's journeys as runners and marathoners (including a few race reports!), and other times it's more like a helpful training manual--giving advice on running gear, nutrition, and staging a post-pregnancy comeback. You won't find a 16-week marathon training plan in here, but you'll emerge from this book knowing what worked and didn't work for Sarah and Dimity as they trained. As a running coach, I liked the technical talk about running 8 X 400 meters and other training-specific tidbits. But as a mother and a fellow female athlete, I think I most enjoyed the deeply personal revelations about body image, weight, marriage, and mothering. I loved the personal essay format. By the end of the book, you'll feel like you have two new friends: Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and laugh out loud entertaining
I'm a mother of two and a fairly competitive runner (with myself). I love this book. The writers are honest and get right down to what is real. And this is what makes some of the excerpts laugh out loud funny. I so relate! But likewise, it is very honest about how difficult it is to run and be a strong runner while balancing kids and family. I read it an excerpt at night night for inspiration for the next day. It sounds corny, but I do. After having D, I know how hard it is to keep the fitness up. So many days I'd rather sit and hold the baby and be at home. But running makes me feel real, at peace and clean. I know this, but I also need the push. The pull, at times, is strong to stay home with the "kidlets." So thanks gals!

Clothing tips, stories about racing, training, just everyday runs and how to pull yourself out of bed to get out on the road. Pregnancy and running, recovering from giving birth and beginning to run again and all that is involved in that. Right on and inspirational! The quotes and facts from regular runners make me feel part of a great club of women who push each other and support one another in our every day struggles to make the run happen. Totally inspiring. Sarah and Dimity know runners! And I totally feel a closer bond to all the mommy runners out there. I'm going to buy this book for all my mommy running friends.

I just bought the book for my friend who is off to Boston in a week and am giving it to so she can indulge on her plane ride there. She has two kids, 5 and 3 and worked her butt off to get to Boston.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
I purchased this book when I was training to walk/run my first half marathon in my life. As I am not a runner per se I was skeptical about how much this book would pertain to me. I was pleasantly suprised. The book is well written and truly is a must read for anyone who is a ruuner or thinking about becoming a runner. The book is entertaining, informative and fun. It also would make a great gift for a runner in your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Run Like A Mother Will Give You The Strength For Motherhood
I love running. I especially love running as a mom. It is my "me" time, my recharge time and one of the few things that is just for me. I so enjoyed every bit of this book from the humor to the tips. I love any book that inspires moms to take care of themselves and to realize that they can run, will love to run and deserve to run!

Thank you Sarah and Dimity for giving a shout out to Stroller Strides!

5-0 out of 5 stars Read like a runner
A friend of mine recommended this book to me as a new runner, and she was right! It's motivational and informative. I read part of it while on an airplane and it was all I could do not to run up and down the aisle! A great read for all running mothers!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for lady runners
This one's for the ladies. The ones who like to move and move fast. It's called Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. It all started with two women who had just had children, trying to get back into running shape. They decided to pitch an article to Runner's World about their journey. That whole experience with them trying to balance family, work, and running lead them to write this book.

There is a lot of great advice in here for runners of all ages, but it is geared toward time crunched mothers who have to consider their families in their decisions. They give advice on nutrition, racing, finding motivation, and managing children and husbands. Their insight is both humorous and helpful. This is a great read for women athletes who can relate to the authors' experiences and find inspiration in their successes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute greatness
This book was absolutely wonderful. I have really enjoyed reading it and saddened by finishing the final chapter. The words of Sarah and Dimty really stayed with me - during runs, during my wanting to not run. I am buying this as gifts for all my running mother friends. I laughed out loud and found myself saying "thank you" for touching on all subjects that us mothers want to ask, but are afraid to. Loved it!!!! Read more


148. Darcys & the Bingleys
by Marsha Altman
Kindle Edition
list price: $9.99
Asin: B001POX6XS
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Sales Rank: 6087
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

A Tale of Two Gentlemen-s Marriages to Two Most Devoted SistersThree days before their double wedding, Charles Bingley is desperate to have a word with his dear friend Fitzwilliam Darcy, seeking advice of a most delicate nature. Bingley is shocked when Darcy gives him a copy of The Kama Sutra-but it does tell him everything he needs to know.Eventually, of course, Jane finds this remarkable volume and in utmost secrecy shows it to her dear sister Elizabeth, who goes searching for a copy in the Pemberley library-By turns hilarious and sweet, The Darcys & the Bingleys follows the two couples and the cast of characters surrounding them. Miss Caroline Bingley, it turns out, has such good reasons for being the way she is that the reader can-t help but hold her in charity. Delightfully, she makes a most eligible match, and in spite of Darcy-s abhorrence of being asked for advice, he and Bingley have a most enduring and adventure-prone friendship. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious sequel!
I found this sequel to be laugh-out-loud funny and a wonderful take on the friendship between Darcy and Bingley. It starts with Bingley coming to Darcy for advice about his upcoming wedding night. Darcy, being the reticent man that he is, refuses to talk about "it" but agrees that he will help his friend...cue Kama Sutra book! It continues to explore how Darcy's and Bingley's friendship came to be in the first place and how it grew to what it is now, full of hilarious male competitiveness. We get to watch how these couples adjust to married life and then parenthood with the arrival of their children.

When Bingley comes to Darcy yet again for more advice when Caroline has a suitor that the "find-the-good-in-everyone" Bingley has a problem with, he asks for his friend's advice yet again. This time Darcy and Bingley set off to do a little investigating about the suitor with a new found wealth and things may not be as we think they are. (With a little help from Elizabeth and Mr Bennet.) We also get a little peek into the mind of Caroline Bingley that, believe it or not, is not as bad as we'd like her to be. There are new characters introduced in the second half of the story, but they only add to the dynamics of this wonderfully suspenseful, funny tale.

Ms. Altman's writing is witty, hilarious and right on the mark with where I'd imagine Darcy and Bingley's friendship to be. Darcy is always known for his reserve around a large group of people and especially strangers, but we get to that side of him that he only shows to his wife, Elizabeth and his closest friend, Bingley, and it's that side that we all fall in love with. A definite must for any P&P fan!

5-0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Variation ever!!!
LOVED this book beginning to end!!! I laughed I cried & I laughed some more!! Absolutely perfect book! Especially loved how Darcy & Bingleys relationship was - they are close friends, & pick on each other etc.. it was so fun!
Ya gotta read it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice sequel to Pride and Prejudice
This book is a continuation of one of my favorite novels, Pride and Prejudice. No pressure there, right? But this book delivers and I enjoyed it immensely. The sequel stays true to the characterizations in the Austen novel and it is nice to see where the Darcys and the Bingleys ended up after marrying.

This book has romance, action and mystery. It is written in a style that would make Austen proud. It is very well done. Read more


149. Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama
by Bill O'Reilly
Hardcover (2010-09-01)
list price: $27.99 -- our price: $13.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0061950718
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 47
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

When Bill O'Reilly interviewed then-Senator Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential elections, the two had a lively debate about the nation's future.

Since that time, America has changed rapidly—some would even say seismically. And many believe these shifts are doing more than just rocking the political and social climate; they're rocking the American core.

What are these changes? Who, in addition to President Obama, have been the biggest forces behind them? What exactly do they mean for you, the everyday American citizen? How are they affecting your money, health, safety, freedom, and standing in this nation? Which are Pinheaded moves and which are truly Patriotic? In his latest spirited book, O'Reilly prompts further debate with the President and the American people on the current state of the union.

After five consecutive, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is megabestsellers, you can count on Bill to offer blunt and constructive political commentary. And as he did in his popular memoir, he offers some introspection too, looking back at his own actions and those of past Pinheads and Patriots who have inspired a code of conduct for such taxing times.

As always, O'Reilly is fair, balanced, and uncompromisingly tough when guarding the American way. Only Pinheads would fail to fight for what they love most about this country or to embrace some measure of change to make it better. The rest of us Patriots will read this book to discover the difference between the two.

... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars O'Reilly Pens another Best Seller and why not!!!
Having read most of the preceding reviews, I find that the ones with which I agree state how much the writer loved Bold Fresh compared to Mr. O'Reilly's newest book. We have ALL of his books and have enjoyed them all - except for this latest one. I have a copy on my Kindle and read parts of it but find my interest is not held as with all Mr. O's other books. My favorite by FAR is Bold Fresh and that seems to be the case with MANY of his other readers also. Read more


150. The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams Bianco
Kindle Edition (2004-03-01)
list price: $0.00
Asin: B000JML684
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Editorial Review

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

Reviews ... Read more


151. Quiet As They Come (Free Story for Kindle)
by Angie Chau
Kindle Edition (2010-10-01)
list price: $0.99
Asin: B0045U9VVA
Publisher: Ig Publishing
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Download the title story FREE for a limited time. Quiet As They Come is a beautiful and at times brutal portrait of a people caught between two cultures. Set in San Francisco from the 1980s to the present day, this debut collection explores the lives of several families of Vietnamese immigrants as they struggle to adjust to life in their new country, often haunted by the memories and customs of their old lives in Vietnam. While some are able to survive and assimilate, others are crushed by the promise of the "American Dream." No matter their fate, you will never be able to forget the people you meet in thisremarkable collection.

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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Great short story... ready for the book!
I read this in the middle of the night, having absolutely no idea what to expect from this author or how 'long' her 'short story' would be. I was quickly drawn in by Chau's in depth characters and intense subject matter. I appreciate that her writing is descriptively frank without being offensive. She quickly made me like her Vietnamese family and I was disappointed that there was not more text to explain to me how the core characters survive in American culture. I will be looking for more to enjoy from Angie Chau in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars great short story
a short story. very interesting from beginning to end. the author is an excellent writer, very descriptive. i felt like i was there. i was disappointed that the story ended so soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars I want to read more!
I downloaded the Kindle version, which is two stories from the collection. They were wonderfully written, with three-dimensional characters. I want to read more!

5-0 out of 5 stars Chau doesn't disappoint
This was my first introduction to Angie Chau and I hope the relationship doesn't end. Chau has managed to woo me in just a few pages. I won't go into what the story is about; you can read that in the description or another review. I will say that Chau has managed to intrigued me enough to read the whole novel. It isn't available for the Kindle, but I still love flipping real pages. If this was a first date it would end with a proposal.

5-0 out of 5 stars good story
I thought this was the first chapter in a book. I would have kept reading if there was more!

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving short story
I really enjoyed this story. It was easy to get lost in the lives of the characters. The cultural detail seemed authentic and the story flowed effortlessly. It is an excellent piece of writing. I will definitely look into reading the whole book. Read more


152. Colonel Roosevelt
by Edmund Morris
Hardcover (2010-11-23)
list price: $35.00 -- our price: $19.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0375504877
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 44
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Of all our great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is the only one whose greatness increased out of office. When he toured Europe in 1910 as plain “Colonel Roosevelt,” he was hailed as the most famous man in the world. Crowned heads vied to put him up in their palaces. “If I see another king,” he joked, “I think I shall bite him.”

Had TR won his historic “Bull Moose” campaign in 1912 (when he outpolled the sitting president, William Howard Taft), he might have averted World War I, so great was his international influence. Had he not died in 1919, at the early age of sixty, he would unquestionably have been reelected to a third term in the White House and completed the work he began in 1901 of establishing the United States as a model democracy, militarily strong and socially just.

This biography by Edmund Morris, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex, is itself the completion of a trilogy sure to stand as definitive. Packed with more adventure, variety, drama, humor, and tragedy than a big novel, yet documented down to the smallest fact, it recounts the last decade of perhaps the most amazing life in American history. What other president has written forty books, hunted lions, founded a third political party, survived an assassin’s bullet, and explored an unknown river longer than the Rhine?

Colonel Roosevelt begins with a prologue recounting what TR called his “journey into the Pleistocene”—a yearlong safari through East Africa, collecting specimens for the Smithsonian. Some readers will be repulsed by TR’s bloodlust, which this book does not prettify, yet there can be no denying that the Colonel passionately loved and understood every living thing that came his way: The text is rich in quotations from his marvelous nature writing.

Although TR intended to remain out of politics when he returned home in 1910, a fateful decision that spring drew him back into public life. By the end of the summer, in his famous “New Nationalism” speech, he was the guiding spirit of the Progressive movement, which inspired much of the social agenda of the future New Deal. (TR’s fifth cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt acknowledged that debt, adding that the Colonel “was the greatest man I ever knew.”)

Then follows a detailed account of TR’s reluctant yet almost successful campaign for the White House in 1912. But unlike other biographers, Edmund Morris does not treat TR mainly as a politician. This volume gives as much consideration to TR’s literary achievements and epic expedition to Brazil in 1913–1914 as to his fatherhood of six astonishingly different children, his spiritual and aesthetic beliefs, and his eager embrace of other cultures—from Arab and Magyar to German and American Indian. It is impossible to read Colonel Roosevelt and not be awed by the man’s universality. The Colonel himself remarked, “I have enjoyed life as much as any nine men I know.”

Morris does not hesitate, however, to show how pathologically TR turned upon those who inherited the power he craved—the hapless Taft, the adroit Woodrow Wilson. When Wilson declined to bring the United States into World War I in 1915 and 1916, the Colonel blasted him with some of the worst abuse ever uttered by a former chief executive. Yet even Wilson had to admit that behind the Rooseveltian will to rule lay a winning idealism and decency. “He is just like a big boy—there is a sweetness about him that you can’t resist.” That makes the story of TR’s last year, when the “boy” in him died, all the sadder in the telling: the conclusion of a life of Aristotelian grandeur.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars A Comet in Decline

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
If you've read the first two volumes in Edmund Morris' landmark biography of Theodore Roosevelt (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex) you've been waiting for this one. The scholarship is every bit as detailed, the narrative every bit as well-drawn, but I nevertheless found myself enjoying this volume slightly less than the two preceding ones, if only because it describes sadder events, and Morris did such a masterful job of taking us through Roosevelt's Rise and Rule that his necessary decline seems even more poignant in comparison.

This book does contain detailed, authoritative accounts of some of the most dramatic events in Theodore Roosevelt's life -- the assassination attempt he followed with the announcement "Ladies and gentlemen, I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose[,]" and a ninety-minute speech, given with blood spreading slowly across his waistcoat; his hunting safari in Africa; his near-death experiences mapping the then-unexplored River of Doubt in Brazil (now named the "Rio Roosevelt" in his honor). If, like me, you followed reading Morris' prior volumes with Roosevelt's own autobiographical works -- the Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt,Through the Brazilian Wilderness, and/or African Game Trails -- reading this will give you the details Roosevelt himself chose to leave out, and show you the viewpoints of Rooselvelt's friends, enemies, and family as well.

So, all in all, if you've read the first two volumes, and especially if you've gone beyond them, this one's a necessary read. The problem with it is that, of necessity, this volume is tragedy, not comedy; this last section of Roosevelt's life was a comet in decline, overextended, his powers past their peak or locked into futile struggles that his native pride and will found impossible to decline. The same genius is still there -- both in Roosevelt himself and in Morris' biography -- but it's hard to read of Teddy's doomed-from-inception 1912 presidential campaign, of his near-quixotic determination to map the Brazilian wilderness as an aging man in his fifties, or of his relentless push for a war that we know will kill his youngest son, without feeling an inevitable sadness that caused me to put this book down on more than one occasion.

The comet is still afire here, both in Morris's writing and in Theodore's life; but we know that at the end of this volume, it will go out, and Morris has done such a good job of creating sympathy, affection, and admiration for his subject that there's an inevitable melancholy suffusing this concluding volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars Edmund Morris saved the best for last

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
This book covers the last decade of Theodore Roosevelt's life, completing the trilogy begun with The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (birth to winning the Presidency) and Theodore Rex (White House years). Roosevelt wrote so many books, articles and speeches, and was written about so often by contemporaries, that Morris is almost an editor rather than a researcher or analyst--about 20% of the pages are devoted to notes. Yet the books never turn into recitations of facts, all three are exciting and readable, with the feel of novels rather than historical accounts. They are peppered with vivid descriptions and aphoristic phrasing.

Compared to the first two books in the series, Morris seems to have gained in confidence, or perhaps the sources from this period allow more definitive conclusions. There are fewer qualifications and stronger color in the writing. The other major difference is Roosevelt's position during this time allowed him to participate in world affairs and anything else that interested him, without any restrictions of public office. The first book is the most adventurous, but Roosevelt was not a major global or even national player. The second book is a little less fun to read due to the necessity of describing details of politics and administration. Only in Colonel Roosevelt does his mature personality shine through without cloud.

There isn't much more to say. This is among the greatest popular biographies ever written, about one of history's most exciting characters. I definitely recommend reading the three books in order, but if you will only read one, I think this is the best choice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bully!

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
What else can one say after completing the third and final volume in Edmund Morris's magisterial trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt. As Morris notes in his epilogue he started this series back in 1979 when Roosevelt was still suffering from the often scathing biographies by liberal academes who tended to view Roosevelt as a bully, a tyrant, a misanthrope and worse. This despite the praise heaped upon him by his "fifth cousin" Franklin Roosevelt, who essentially modeled his political career after TR.

This book covers the Bull Moose's final ten years. Far from being a "comet in decline," Roosevelt kept up a pace that would leave much younger men exhausted and gasping for airs. He didn't seem to lose a moment of his life, pushing himself hard and fast through 60 years of his strenuous life, until finally his grizzled body could take it no longer, quietly passing away in "The House on the Hill" on a cold January evening in 1919, which Morris poignantly recalls in the closing chapter.

Through the course of the narrative we are treated to Roosevelt's Africa Expedition, funded by Andrew Carnegie, his grand tour of Europe that followed, his break from the Republican Party and the formation of the short-lived Progressive Party that seemed would tarnish his reputation among Republicans forever, his journey Through the Brazilian Wilderness and finally his infamous battles with Woodrow Wilson over American neutrality in the great war that would cost the life of perhaps his dearest son, Quentin.

Morris captures the fervor of Roosevelt's commitment but also his many inconsistencies, not least of all in his unbridled frustration with Taft and Wilson, who he felt were turning back his prized progressive reforms and dragging their feet when it came to hot button foreign issues. Morris notes that Roosevelt was never a true Progressive, but rather one with a small "p" who dearly hoped to keep progressive reform a part of the Republican plank. Failing to do so he launched his own campaign in 1912, but after that sought reconciliation between the "regular" and "progressive" Republicans. His biggest concern were effete Democrats like Wilson, who he felt were co-opting progressive reform without offering any substance to them.

His ultimate disillusion was the way Wilson dragged out American neutrality long after the Lusitania and other passenger ships and freighters were sunk by German U-boats. Roosevelt's constant attacks on Wilson, through his editorials in The Outlook and Metropolitan journals, no doubt had a grueling impact on the Democratic administration, but as Morris noted the public mood was with Wilson, which Roosevelt eventually came to realize, having grown increasingly disappointed with "hyphenated Americans."

This book completes Morris's compelling trilogy which I see will soon be available in a box set. If you haven't read the first two books, I would suggest the trilogy bundle as it offers perhaps the most complete portrait of Theodore Roosevelt other than Roosevelt's own accounts.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Final Act of One of the Great American Lives

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
And now, at last, the third and final act of one of the greatest accounts of one of the most remarkable lives in American history.

"Colonel Roosevelt" brings to a close Edmund Morris' trilogy on the life of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, prolific author, naturalist, cowboy, husband and father. It picks up where the story left off at the end of volume two--Roosevelt's departure from the presidency in March 1909 and closes with his death in January 1919. The last decade of Roosevelt's life was often marked by loss, both personal and professional, but it was a dramatic and momentous one nevertheless, and receives full justice in Morris' masterful hands.

It's all here: the triumphant African safari of 1909-10; the rift with his handpicked successor, William Howard Taft; the unsuccessful attempt to wrest the 1912 Republican nomination from Taft; the stand at Armageddon and the birth of the Progressive Party; the assassination attempt in Milwaukee, when TR insisted on delivering a speech despite the bullet in his chest; the shadows that darkened Europe and Roosevelt's increasingly militant stance for preparedness; the wounding of his sons and death of one of them in battle; and finally, death in his 60th year.

What emerges more strongly in these pages than in the second volume, "Theodore Rex," is a vivid portrait of Roosevelt's inner life--the ongoing struggle between the man of repose and the man of action, between the philosopher and the warrior, between the party regular and the reformer. It's been more than 30 years since the appearance of volume one, and almost a decade since volume two hit the shelves. In this case, it was truly worth the wait. Morris has given us the definitive portrait of TR, one likely to stand for a generation or more.--William C. Hall

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive Biography of TR's Post Presidential Years - Brilliantly Written!!!!


Without question, Edmund Wilson has now become the definitive modern biographer of BIGGER than Life Theodore Roosevelt. If you have read either of Morris' previous two biographies, you have come to expect a certain level of scholarship and readability. This third volume does not disappoint. Contrary to what many believe, it is my opinion that this volume can stand alone. Although it would be better for you to read the author's other works, you don't have to. For those of us who do not wish to read thousands of pages on TR's life, you will find a most enjoyable literary experience with this book alone.


In ancient Athens it was the nature of their culture not to write obituaries upon the death of a famous person. The question was simply asked, did this person live their live with vigor, with gravitas? If the answer was yes, then this was a life worth living, worth emulating. We can answer affirmatively by reading Morris that TR lived such a life. Roosevelt probably crammed and jammed a lifetime of living into any one of his adult decades. It would be said of him, as it is said of Earnest Hemingway, that he was a man's man.


Having said that, I welcomed this last work of the Morris trilogy on one our most gifted Presidents. I would also urge you to look up TR's speech; it is not the critic who counts, but the man who is in the arena. This is also known as the Man who is in the Arena speech. You will then be able to more fully understand Roosevelt's thinking on how to live a useful life, and it will help you better understand what Morris is saying.


The book is organized into two parts, and they are chronological in nature. Part I is the period 1910 to 1913, while Part II is from 1914 to Roosevelt's death in 1919 at the very young age for him of 60. I am reminded of Robert Kennedy's (RFK) last campaign in 1968 when I read this book. RFK use to quote George Bernard Shaw at the end of each of his speeches. One of the oft quoted lines he used was, "Some men see things as they are, and ask why? I see things that never were and ask why not?"


Edmund Morris puts out a number of why not's to us in this book that reads like an adventure. Had TR become President again in 1912 instead of Woodrow Wilson, many historians believe World War I might have been averted. TR had that much clout. Also, had he not died in 1919, he almost certainly would have taken the nomination from both General Wood and Warren Harding, and how different life and history would have been had Roosevelt won again in 1920. Could FDR have been elected in 1932, had TR won in 1920?


This book is dedicated to facts, and there are footnotes to back up everything that Morris is saying with 553 pages of the 784 plus pages devoted to narrative. The book is also longer than it seems because the font used is Sabon set in a very small type, perhaps size 10 which necessitated the use of reading classes in my case, and the book is deckle edged, which I like. Just beware of the font size, if you have any vision problems at all.


Here are some particulars which I loved about this latest Morris work:


* TR's yearlong safari in East Africa is fascinating. From his thoughts to how he hunted, setting the stage for the hunt, what hunting meant to him, the necessity of the outdoor life, its influence on his political leanings, it's all here.


* As he approached the end of his life, his feeling and reflections about how America had changed since his first years as President, what he called his glory days, but he had not changed.


* Was he a bully, a warmonger, did he stage his own events to make himself look better - you decide?


* After becoming and serving as President, the rest of his life, he wanted to be known as Colonel Roosevelt, which is why the book is appropriately titled.


* It is only in reading through Theodore's life, that you realize how much Franklin Roosevelt owed to Teddy for his own political existence, and success. In many ways FDR's New Deal was modeled after TR's thoughts, actions, and programs. Morris spells it out.


* Keep in mind, this is not a happy book, and certainly much less happy than the previous two books Morris has written about Roosevelt. This is attributable to many of the events in this book being tragic, including the death of one son, and the injury of another which leads to a more interesting thought.


I could not help but realize that men like TR, and many others, did nothing to shield their own children from taking responsibility to serve their country in war. TR's children served and sustained injuries, and in one case death as a result. How many politicians in the present day have done everything they could not to serve, but to make it seem as though they served? This includes Presidents, Senators and Governors. People like TR are different than what we see today.


SUMMARY


In summary, Morris is dealing with one of the giants of American history, so there is much in the way of excitement and adventure for Morris to draw from. The prose is very vivid, and Morris does not disappoint. You may not finish this book without having to put it aside for a while, because there is much sadness in the last ten years of our President's life.


Any man deemed to be great, must go through peaks and valleys, and in the case of TR both the valleys and the peaks were extremes. I gladly give this book five stars, and thank you for reading this review. You will love this book.


Richard C. Stoyeck

5-0 out of 5 stars A stellar conclusion to a great work
I read volume one 16 June 1979, volume two on 22 Apr 2002, and did not know if I would live long enough to read the final volume. I am glad I did, since I enjoyed reading it the most of all. I am no especial fan of TR, a man with many flaws, but reading this book was totally rewarding, with seldom a dry or uninteresting page. I don't se how it could have been better done, and I finished it with great enthusiasm. The only error I noted is that on page 484 he calls John Sharp Williams "a Mssouri Democrat"! He was of course a Mississippi Democrat, amd in future printings of course that error will be corrected. We can all be grateful that the author has completed so magnificently his great work.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most interesting man in America

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
One of the most amazing things about Theodore Roosevelt is that no matter how many biographies I read of "the most interesting man in America," I still learn something new about him. Colonel Roosevelt is Edmund Morris' final installment in his Roosevelt trilogy (his first two books were The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex - both also highly recommended). Like its predecessors, Colonel Roosevelt is very sympathetic towards its subject, but not hesitant about confronting the truth when necessary. These three books represent the best written, most in-depth biography of TR and will probably be regarded as the definitive addition for quite some time. Unlike other recent accounts of TR's post-presidential life, such as Patricia O'Toole's When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt After the White House, Colonel Roosevelt covers every part of this time period comprehensively, from big events like the African safari to TR's race for chairmanship of the New York Republican Party in 1910 (something often skipped by other biographies). I do wish Morris had added more of his voice and analysis into the book. I think it would have been helpful to hear more of the debate about TR's decisions, particularly why he lost the 1912 race (Lewis Gould provides several interesting explanations in Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics (American Presidential Elections)). As it stands, Colonel Roosevelt stands as a recitation of the facts, with relatively little controversy. Still, this is a fitting tribute to a great man. Read more

153. Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Deluxe Boxed Set: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Plus On Stieg Larsson
by Stieg Larsson
Hardcover (2010-11-26)
list price: $99.00 -- our price: $39.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0307595579
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 25
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Readers all across America are talking about Stieg Larsson’s #1 best-selling trilogy—The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest—which has more than 12 million copies in print. 

Now, just in time for the holidays: a deluxe, slip-cased set of the three hardcover novels—each unjacketed, bound in full cloth and uniquely stamped, with maps and individual full-color endpapers—as well as On Stieg Larsson, a previously unpublished collection of essays about and correspondence with the author.

The perfect collectible for the Stieg Larsson fan and the ideal gift for those who have yet to meet his heroine, Lisbeth Salander, “one of the most fascinating characters in modern genre fiction” (San Francisco Chronicle).

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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars really, this is the perfect gift
I got into the "Millenium Trilogy" kind of late, so having this boxset was perfect for catching up on Stieg Larsson's literary phenomenon. I enjoyed the characters(how can you NOT love Lisbeth Salander?!), and the plot was intriguing and challenging too.

Now, on to the 'deluxe boxed set' itself. The three books(plus one collection of essays,etc.) are housed in a sturdy cardboard case. The case itself is very well made and over the glossy black color there are three golden symbols(a dragon, a hornet, and a fire). You have to see the boxset in person to appreciate how cool it looks.

The books themselves are different from the previous hardcover releases. First of all, the dust jacket covers are gone now. Instead you get them in clothbound form, with cool designs stamped in red(book 1), black(book 2), and dark blue(book 3). It all looks very cool, and I honestly prefer it over the previous releases. The books have the uneven 'deckle' edges, even the fourth volume.

So, if you have all previous hardcovers, there might not be enough here to 'upgrade' your collection. But if all you have are the softcover books(or even if you're an uninitiated newbie to Stieg Larsson's work and haven't read a single word of the "Millenium Trilogy"), then this box set is the thing to get.

5-0 out of 5 stars The girl in the bloody thriller
Authors who are only published posthumously rarely get the attention they deserve, or any attention at all. Fortunately, such is not the case with the late Stieg Larsson's bestselling Millennium trilogy -- it starts off slow, and soon winds itself into a tight knot of tautly-written thriller and mystery elements. It's raw, bleak, intensely disturbing noir.

In "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," take-no-prisoners journalist Mikael Blomkvist has just lost his reputation, his savings and his freedom (hello, jail sentence!) after a nasty libel suit from an executive named Wennerstr�m.

Then he's unexpectedly contacted by aged industrialist Henrik Vanger, to discover what happened to the guy's grandniece. He's offering evidence on Wennerstr�m, so Mikael has no choice but to accept -- and as he investigates the sinister Vanger family, he joins forces with Lisbeth Salander, an eccentric, abused computer hacker. And as Mikael unearths the clues to Harriet's disappearance, he also finds some skeletons long kept buried.

"The Girl Who Played With Fire" finds Mikael investigating sex trafficking in his own country, and young girls who are sold into it. Unknown to him, Lisbeth is keeping very close tabs on his work -- especially since she was abused as a child, and now plots revenge on the sex traffickers. But when she's accused of murder and ends up on the run, Mikael must discover what lies at the core of these crimes...

"The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest" takes place directly after the second book. Lisbeth has been shot in the head, her malevolent dad Zalachenko is in the same hospital, and some nasty government forces want her locked away, as she was as a child. Her only hope lies in Mikael, who must unravel a government conspiracy formed around the young hacker...

Finally, "On Stieg Larsson" is a solid accompaniment to this trilogy -- it's a nonfiction book that compiles four essays about him along with his email exchanges with his editor. Reading his own viewpoints on his characters and books really shines a spotlight on different facets of their stories, and why he wrote them the way he did.

Larsson's books are a unique blend of old and new -- he takes the usual mystery/thriller tropes (locked room mystery, government conspiracies) and enfolds it in a ruthless, blistering look at modern Swedish society and sexual aggression. It's a dark, dangerous, unfair world where the truth is quashed, powerful forces conspire against individuals, and women are treated horribly -- usually shown via the eccentric, punky "girl with the dragon tattoo."

His prose is rather bleak and often quite gritty, and a certain brand of understated passion shines through -- the kind that feels the need to express itself even though it takes place in fiction. And while most of the first book focuses in Mikael, in the second and third Larssen's style splits in half -- one half is the more staid, ordinary perspective of Mikael and others, and the other half is the wild nihilism of Lisbeth ("If death was the black emptiness from which she had just woken up, then death was nothing to worry about. She would hardly notice the difference").

Mikael and Salander make an intriguing odd couple. He starts world-weary and demoralized that he seems to care about nothing, but regains his passion for the truth; the only downside is that he's a bit Marty Stuish, since all women seem to adore him. And Salander is a mass of hurts and quirks -- she's a vibrant, wild genius who lashes out at those who hurt women, and has been constantly tortured by those around her since childhood (even as an adult, she's forced to have a legal guardian).

Take your average thriller/mysteries, smother them in disillusioned, morally-bankrupt noir... and you'll have something like the Millennium Trilogy. A hard read, but worth the journey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful slipcased set for collectors and fans of good crime fiction
I'm a great fan of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy and already own his works in hardcover. When I saw this set though, I knew I had to have it because I'm also a collector of books, and this set seemed worth having with all the special features.

The set consists of four books in a beautiful slip-case. The four books are The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and On Stieg Larsson. The three novels are cloth bound (no dust jacket) and have beautiful, unique engravings on each. There are also unique features such as maps and full-color endpapers. The book titled On Stieg Larsson consists of essays which have never been published before as well as correspondence with Larsson who died in 2004.

Just a note: There is another collector's set which is not to be confused with this. The publisher is Maclehose Press, London (2010). It is a more expensive edition than this (also contains 4 volumes), and the major difference between this set and the other set is that the other set has a poster of 16 different dustjackets of the trilogy published around the world. Each book in the other slipcased set has gilt titles on the spine, and a gilt dragon on the front boards. I knew of this set because my friend (an avid fan of Larsson's works) owns it (purchased online).

However, I decided to purchase this set instead as the other set is much more expensive. I think this set, for the price, offers good value for collectors and fans of great crime fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
super fast shipping, the package was all that I expected and more. If you are a Stieg Larsson fan, you must get this bundle. I already own the 3 books but this neat and beautifully bound set is amazing! Plus, it comes with a bonus book with email/notes between Stieg and his editor. Some pretty interesting stuff.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Stieg Larsson Triolgy
I have the audio version and love it now I want the DVD set and have asked for it for Christmas. I am sorry that we will not be lucky enough to read any future novels by this absolutely great Author. Stieg Larsson was a fine author and quickly became a favorite.
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154. Moby Dick, or, the whale
by Herman Melville
Kindle Edition (2009-10-04)
list price: $1.99
Asin: B002RKRU9A
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Moby Dick - Kindle Edition
A classic. Who am I to criticize a literary great? The Kindle certainly helps - the dictionary is invaluable when reading a book written in "olde english" - being able to look up words I'd not seen before, while in the flow of reading, was invaluable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent. And it worked on my iTouch.
Having spent my teens and twenties with a paperback in my hip pocket, I'm still amazed that I can carry hundreds of books--big books if I want to--on the iTouch in my front pocket--I didn't have the problem with clipped words. That said, I feel that Moby Dick is a book that was waiting for me to read it. I didn't know how funny many parts of it are; for me, it was not a slog through a thick tome, but an adventure shared with others who have also read it. It stands the test of time and is very readable. Has it been waiting for you to read it? Now's the time.

(P.S. The iTouch Kindle app is also good for middle-of-the-night reading without waking my wife.)

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best books, ever!
read this in school, and was the only person in the class who actually enjoyed it! Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer: A Novel (P.S.)came across my desk as an adult. it was interesting, but not as good as ahab stalking the great white whale!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hubris and Whales
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RKRU9A/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_img

Saying that Moby Dick is about whales is like saying the Old Testament is about keeping kosher. Whales are a very tiny amount of a complex whole.

First, it is about obsession. We think first of Ahab's obsession about killing the whale, but careful study of the book shows that there are many obsessions present. Contained within the obsession is that kind of hubris which challenges gods to do their worst.

Second, it is about piety and impiety, about religious belief and sacrilegious beliefs--beliefs plural, because there are idolaters aboard the ship.

But most important, it is about human beings. Everybody is distinguishable from everybody else, unlike many novels in which it is virtually impossible to tell who has what relationship with whom. It is realism of the American, Andrew Jackson, line, not of the European line.

Deconstructionists say that there is at least a hint of homosexuality in the book. They may be right; certainly Queequeg's calling Ishmael his wife is such a suggestion, even though there is no evidence that even Queequeg, much less Ishmael, ever acted upon such a suggestion. However, temporary homosexual activity even among normally heterosexual men is known to be, if not common, certainly not unheard of in any situation in which a group of males are isolated together, without access of any kind to women. A whaling ship, which might not touch land for two or three years, certainly was such an environment.

I cringe when I hear it described as an adventure novel. It is not one, and the abridged editions which remove all of Ishmael's comments which seem extraneous to the book should be burned and replaced with unabridged editions. Those "irrelevancies" are part of the heart and core of the book.

My husband, when at UCLA, was told by friends that Moby Dick was an extremely difficult book, so he decided, for the only time in his life, to buy Cliff Notes. Halfway through the Cliff Notes he decided that Moby Dick was the best novel ever written in any language. He threw away the Cliff Notes and settled down with the book. At the beginning, before the celebrated line "Call me Ishmael," there is a long series of quotations about whales, none of which are really about whales. He is of the opinion that you could remove whales from the book and still have a good novel, but you could not remove Ahab.

Hollywood has made at least two movies about Moby Dick. Both are good movies, but it is clear that the screenwriters did not grok the book.

I recommend this novel not to children, not to undergrads, not even to graduate students unless they are willing and able to take the time to study Moby Dick, using their own contexts as well as the context in which the author was working, to attempt to get a whole on some of the meanings of the text. This assumes that the reader understands that in so complex a novel, and there are few novels more complex, there is not one right meaning. There are multiple meanings which interweave themselves inextricably, while other meanings seem to grow up not from context or subtext but from intertextuality, particularly intertextuality the Bible and specifically the Old Testament.

This is not an easy novel. But it is one worth reading by a reader willing to put in the work necessary to comprehend it in part, realizing that comprehending it in toto is impossible for anyone. Read more


155. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
by Jeff Kinney
Hardcover (2009-01-01)
list price: $13.95 -- our price: $6.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0810970686
Publisher: Amulet Books
Sales Rank: 55
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The highly anticipated third book in the critically acclaimed and bestselling series takes the art of being wimpy to a whole new level.

 

Let’s face it: Greg Heffley will never change his wimpy ways. Somebody just needs to explain that to Greg’s father. You see, Frank Heffley actually thinks he can get his son to toughen up, and he enlists Greg in organized sports and other “manly” endeavors. Of course, Greg is able to easily sidestep his father’s efforts to change him. But when Greg’s dad threatens to send him to military academy, Greg realizes he has to shape up . . . or get shipped out.

 

Greg and his family and friends, who make the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books a must-read for middle school readers, are back and at their best in this hilarious new installment of the series, which is sure to please current fans while attracting new ones.

 

Publishers Weekly-1/19/2009:

The third book in this genre-busting series is certain to enlarge Kinney’s presence on the bestseller lists, where the previous titles have taken up residence for the past two years. Kinney’s spot-on humor and winning formula of deadpan text set against cartoons are back in full force. This time, Greg starts off on New Year’s Day (he resolves to “help other people improve,” telling his mother, “I think you should work on chewing your potato chips more quietly”) and ends with summer vacation. As he fends off his father’s attempts to make him more of a man (the threat of military school looms), Greg’s hapless adventures include handing out anonymous valentines expressing his true feelings (“Dear James, You smell”), attempting to impress his classmate Holly and single-handedly wrecking his soccer team’s perfect season. Kinney allows himself some insider humor as well, with Greg noting the “racket” children’s book authors have going. “All you have to do is make up a character with a snappy name, and then make sure the character learns a lesson at the end of the book.” Greg, self-centered as ever, may be the exception proving that rule. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)
 
F&P level: T
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156. The Perfect Christmas
by Debbie Macomber
Kindle Edition (2009-09-18)
list price: $15.25
Asin: B002PKBLJM
Publisher: Mira
Sales Rank: 17
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

What would make your Christmas perfect? For Cassie Beaumont, it's meetingher perfect match. Cassie, at thirty-three, wants a husband and kids, and sofar, nothing's worked. Not blind dates, not the Internet and certainly notleaving love to chance.

What's left? A professional matchmaker. He's Simon Dodson, and he's verychoosy about the clients he takes on. Cassie finds Simon a difficult, acerbicknow-it-all, and she's astonished when he accepts her as a client.

Claiming he has her perfect mate in mind, Simon assigns her three tasks tocomplete before she meets him. Three tasks that are all about Christmas: being acharity bell ringer, dressing up as Santa's elf at a children's party andpreparing a traditional turkey dinner for her neighbors (whom she happens todislike). Despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie does it all and she'sfinally ready to meet her match. But just like the perfect Christmas gift, heturns out to be a wonderful surprise!

... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Charming Christmas Treat!!!!
The Perfect Christmas by Debbie Macomber

This season's offering from the Queen of Christmas cheer hands up a knockout punch, not just in story, but with the absolutely wonderful front and back cover. A cover, especially with a Christmas novel, is what captivates me into reading a book, and then the author has to really sell her story to capture me totally and this one did in spades.

Cassie Beaumont, a very successful chemist, is looking for a husband for Christmas, but he needs to be perfect. Her best friend Angie, who suggests she go see this matchmaker, Simon Dodson, who is demanding, stodgy, know-it-all, who says he has the perfect match for her. He gives her three tasks to do during the Christmas season, the first giving her the assignment of being a Bell Ringer at a mall. What she learns there surprises her. Her second task is to be an elf helping Santa at another mall and the comedic results prove to be startling, if not embarrasing. Her third and final task are to fix the perfect Christmas dinner with all the trimmings singlehandedly. She has to invite her neighbors, who she dislikes and the end results surprise her. If you're looking for The perfect Christmas novel to cozy up in a chair with, this is it!!!!

Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.


Mira Books
Pub. Date: September 2009
240pp
Available in eBook$9.99

More Formats Online Price
Hardcover - Large Print - Large Print $34.95
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157. Silent Screams
by C.E. Lawrence
Kindle Edition (2009-11-12)
list price: $5.59
Asin: B002VGSXAU
Publisher: Pinnacle Books
Sales Rank: 208
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

A Deranged Killer's Twisted Urges

In the streets of New York City, the Slasher chooses his victim--and makes his move. As he wraps his fingers around the girl's pretty throat, his power increases. As he carves into her skin, his words become flesh. As he arranges her lifeless body in a loving tableau, his fantasies demand new, more violent sacrifices...

A Profiler's Cunning Plan

At first, NYPD detectives suspect a jealous boyfriend. But criminal profiler Lee Campbell senses something darker, even ritualistic, about the murder. More chilling, he's convinced he's witnessing the genesis of a full-blown serial killer. But time is running out. A new victim has been chosen. Campbell must search the most terrifying recesses of the human mind--and his own past--before the screaming starts again...

C.E. Lawrence is the byline of a New York-based suspense writer, performer, and prize-winning playwright whose previous books have been praised as "lively. . ." (Publishers Weekly); "constantly absorbing. . ." (starred Kirkus Review); and "superbly crafted prose" (Boston Herald). ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Warning - many "fake" reviews are posted for this book
I saw all these wonderful glowing reviews for this rather pedestrian, paint-by-numbers book and I thought something smelled fishy so sure enough, when I looked closer at the "reviewers" it turns out that more than 3/4 of them appear to have been identities created solely for the purpose of writing a review for this book - feel free to check for yourself. To my eye, they are obvious fakes. I wasn't going to bother posting a review on this book because I thought it was pretty lousy and all the characters were overly typecast, but it made me mad to see all these bogus reviews so I decided to post to warn others!

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly unnerving!
"Silent Screams" puts writers like Michael Connolly to shame ... it is SO much better! Understand, you must want to read novels about serial killers, which is normally not my choice. But I've read Connolly and Dennis Lehane because I've been both an Edgar and Nero Award judge for many, many years .. and C. E. Lawrence's "Silent Screams" far surpasses everything I've read till now. Its protagonist, supposedly NYC's first police department criminal profiler, is both likable and deeply sympathetic. Even the killer, y clept, enlists a certain amount of reader sympathy or, at least, understanding ... but when the mystery and the suspense seem ready to climax, the author gives the reader a shakeup so perfectly logical that one declares -- albeit sheepishly -- "Of course!!!"

"Silent Screams" is the work of a writer with true skill in plotting and characterization. If this kind of harrowing experience is "your thing," get hold of it immediately!!!

Marvin Kaye
[...]

5-0 out of 5 stars omg!!!
Totally cannot stop turning the pages. Beautiful detail, sense of place, rich characterizations. The suspense is understated and pervasive. The feeling of a breakthrough seems to wait around each NYC corner. I'm getting copies for everyone in my family. Best mystery I've read in years. Who is this C. E. Lawrence?

5-0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner
Very well done thriller. I enjoyed the twist at the end. Never saw it coming. I highly recommend and I look forward to the book she is working on that will come out in 2010. Read more


158. Jackson Jones, Book 1: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish
by Jenn Kelly
Kindle Edition (2010-08-06)
list price: $12.99
Asin: B003YFJ71G
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

When family reunion day arrives, Jackson, a lonely ten-and-a-half-year-old boy, is loathe to share his room with Great Aunt Harriet. She's a hundred and twelve years old, talks unintelligibly out of her toothless mouth, and has very, very, very big hair. But when he falls into her piles of hair during the night, Jackson encounters a world he'd never dreamed existed. In this magical fantasy complemented by zany illustrations, Jackson meets a host of extraordinary characters and finds that his life, far from being average and uneventful, is being written by the great Author, in whom all stories find their meaning. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Christian Fantasy For Children
When the publisher contacted me and offered me a review copy of Jackson Jones, I was curious. I can't remember working with Zondervan in the past, and I haven't reviewed very much christian fiction, as I've found it to be a wasteland with very few gems, and I prefer to read books I'll enjoy. However, I'd been spending time purging books in the school library and had been wondering how the genre of children's christian literature had changed since my childhood, and I am predisposed to liking fantasy with slightly nerdy protagonists, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, the book only served to reinforce my frustrations.

Stylistically, this book is distinguished by it's peculiar narrator. As a literary device, an intrusive narrator who addresses readers directly can be a boost to some novels, when used sparingly and with great judiciousness, e.g. the famous line from Jane Eyre, "Reader, I married him." In Jackson Jones, the narrator addresses the reader incessantly. She informs the reader that she is going to take a bathroom break and suggests he do the same, as holding your bladder for a long time is unhealthy. Suspense is attempted by inserting an extra chapter that says "I'm so mean." Large words are used, and then parenthetically defined with examples and commentary.

As a parent, a former teacher, a lover of children and literature for children, I find myself firmly in the camp that believes that children respond best to literature that treats readers with dignity and respect. C.S. Lewis famously wrote in an essay about writing for children "We must meet children as equals in that area of our nature where we are their equals... The child as reader is neither to be patronized nor idolized: we talk to him as man to man." I rarely felt like the narrator could be connecting with eight to eleven-year-old children.

That lack of connection was disappointing, because the story itself was interesting in many ways. The characters, setting, and back story all had good potential. But like most of the christian literature I've encountered, the christian elements were rather heavy handed.

Theologically, I found the message mixed. The idea that God is the author of all of our stories and that he is weaving them all together into one great story is one that I not only believe, but share with my children. However, the book falls into the common western evangelical error that the things we think are most important in our lives (job, where we live, etc.) are most important to God. We can chose the wrong thing, and thus find ourselves wandering away from the story God has for us. In reality, I think the Bible consistently shows that God's story for us has less to do with whether we are concert pianists or businessmen and much more to do with how we live our lives. Do we love our neighbors well? Are we taking care of those in need? Do our lives reflect the values we say we believe? How has the gospel changed us?

There are some great meditations about our identity in Christ in this book. But the idea that we can make a mistake about where we go to college or what career to pursue creates a culture of paralyzing fear that we will miss God's will for our lives that is very real to 21st century North Americans and this may fuel that fire.

In the end, Jackson Jones is a fun story, and I don't think it's dangerous or absolute twaddle. I just hoped for something better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Seriously Silly
This was a fabulously silly book with a very serious message. The joyful narrative allows the reader to enter the silliness with all the seriousness that a truly silly tale requires! I found the main character very relatable (having been a bit dorky myself), and absolutely adored the supporting characters, especially Meeka, the heartwarming, slightly off-kilter tour guide! Children of all ages will enjoy the humour, and the quirky interjections of the writer. I loved it so much I wanted to devour it all in one sitting, but found that within the story, the truths being presented required more reflection and thought. Reluctantly, I put it down a couple of times and have been deeply impacted as a result. It is a fun and easy read, and with all the quirky characters would be an absolute joy to read aloud with all the different voices. No matter who you are, this book will provoke thought and challenge your understanding of who you think you are. Go get it for all the kids in your life, and the adults who are cool enough to be kids at heart!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fun, Silly Book for Boys that Moms will LOVE!
Bed-time reading: it is a highlight of our day for the boys... and for me. Each night before lights out, the boys and I curl up together to read chapter books, picture books, comic books, magazines, whatever they are in the mood for on a given night. Over the past few weeks, we've been reading a newly published book: Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish by Jenn Kelly, illustrated by Ariane Elsammak, and we've laughed, and smiled, and read well past our usual cut-off time on many a night!

Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish is the story of ten-year-old Jackson Jones, a young boy who is struggling to fit in at a new school after his family's recent move far away from all that was familiar to him: his home; his friends; and his very large, very involved extended family. It is the story of a boy's search for his identity, for his "story."

Jackson is a quiet boy, a loner, a book worm, an aspiring author, a young man unsure of himself, his choices, and his future... until the day he falls into Great Aunt Harriet's hair. Yes, that's right. He falls into Great Aunt Harriet's GIANT hair and finds a whole new world, a world with elves, keys, doors, and ok, you knew it had to be coming, right?... a stinky fish.

The author is the mother of a young boy, and after reading this book, both of my boys are convinced that she must be one wild, crazy, and FUN mom! And, I am prone to agree! Jackson Jones: the Tale of a Boy, and Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish is written so that the reader feels that he is sitting down with the author and listening to her tell a story. There are interruptions as the author commiserates with the reader about having to put the book down after the cliff-hanger ending the previous chapter; congratulates readers alternating turns with their parents on lucking out in drawing a short chapter to read; and prepares the reader for an important chapter, an integral event, or a surprising turn in the story. There are breaks when the author stops to define a "sixth grade" vocabulary word or encourages the reader to use his imagination, to visualize, and to dream. And there are is laugh after laugh as Jackson meets a host of interesting characters in Great Aunt Harriet's world!

Jackson Jones: the Tale of a Boy, and Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish was as fun for me to read to the boys as it was for them to listen. We couldn't help but laugh at the story, the author, and the hilarious titles of the 78 chapters... my favorite: Chapter 15 In Which There are Too Many Books (as if That's Possible), or maybe Chapter 16 In Which There is Frustration, Annoyance, Irritation and Exasperation. The boys' favorite: hmmm... that's hard, maybe: Chapter 7 In Which the Book Really Begins... they thought reading 6 chapters before the book "really begins" was just over-the-top funny!

For all of its hilarity, this book also relays an important, though not heavy-handed, message to young boys... and girls, the message that each of them is created by "the Author;" each of them has a story to write, a life to live. It reassures children that although they will not be masters at everything they attempt, they each have strengths individual to them and it is their duty to develop these strengths and to use them to make a difference in their lives and the lives of those around them. In the end, quiet, uncertain, loner Jackson learns that he holds the key to making a difference in both his own life, and in the lives of those he loves, including Great Aunt Harriet!

I received this book from ZonderKidz. in exchange for my honest review. The thoughts printed in this review are entirely my own.

5-0 out of 5 stars my nine year old read it quickly and loved the imagination of the author
my daughter started this book yesterday and finished it on the plane home from Hawaii. she loved the author's imagination.

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC READ
I got my son this book for a plane ride...he did NOT put it down once in the whole plane trip...he has NOT stopped reading it! He's 7 and has LOVED this one!! I picked it up, just to see what he was into, and its SO wonderfully written! Imaginative, funny and honestly delightful!

ENJOY! Read more


159. A Journey to the Centre of the Earth
by Jules Verne
Kindle Edition (2009-10-04)
list price: $0.00
Asin: B002RKRMSY
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars The science has aged hard, but it's still a good story
This kindle edition is based on the 1871 translation which slightly abridged and altered Verne's original (for example, the Professor is here named Hardwigg, rather than the original's Lidenbrock, and his niece is here named Gretchen rather than Grauben). That's probably the most generally known English translation (it's the one I read obsessively as a child), and it's still a great read, but sticklers for textual accuracy might want to do a little more searching.

As to the novel itself, while unquestionably one of Verne's masterpieces in terms of story, it's probably the one that's aged the hardest of all Verne's works, and almost all of the science in this text has been exploded, modified, or simply changed by the intervening hundred and fifty-odd years of scientific development. Because Verne was in part intending this book to be a source of scientific education, the characters spend a lot of time talking about geology, archaeology, etc., to each other, and since most of that's outdated now, modern readers may want to skip over the more scientific chunks of the book and simply read it as an exploration tale.

From that perspective, the most interesting thing about this book might be that it's arguably the progenitor of the "Lost Prehistoric World" genre, and readers who want more in that vein might want to look up later books that focused more squarely on modern-explorers-in-dinosaur-country stories, such as Arthur Conan Doyle's _The Lost World_, or Edgar Rice Burrough's novel _The Land that Time Forgot_ or his _Pellucidar_ series (explicitly set in the hollow interior of the globe).

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic from father of Science Fiction
"In 1864 Jules Verne published 'Journey to the Center of the Earth,' the charming narrative of the adventures of a party of three, led by a German professor of mineralogy - the irascible mad-scientist type - who have lowered themselves into an extinct volcanic crater."

This is a classic novel by Jules Verne. In the story, Professor Hardwigg and his nephew Harry discover an ancient parchment by an alchemist named Arne Saknussemm. They travel to Iceland and climb an extinct volcano called Sneffels. With them is the Icelandic hunter Hans. They journey into the center of the earth, in which Harry gets lost. They come upon and ocean and cross it. While they are on the sea they witness a battle of ancient sea monsters. Eventually they are thrown out of a volcano on Stromboli, an island in Italy. This was a wonderful book, but sometimes it went into great detail.
This is a must read!

(For the movie fans I must add that the movie follows only about 65% of the book narrative. And even though it is good, it will not give you the full story.)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you are thinking Arlene Dahl, you will be shocked.
I grew up on the James Mason movie, "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1959), so it was quite a shocker to read the book. You could imagine to my dismay the absents of quite a few characters and the center of the story is Germany not Scotland.

Now for avid readers you could care less about old movies, I can truthfully say that this is one of Jules Verne's best stories and well told.

What you will find more interesting and fun about this tale is the characters and their interaction. One of my favorite parts is when Harry who did not want to go to the center of the earth with his uncle, Professor Hardwigg; he turned to his affianced, Gretchen, and was planning on her to stop him. Her answer is shockingly disappointing to him.

"While there is life there is hope. I beg to assert, Henry, that as long as man's heart beats, as long as man's flesh quivers, I do not allow that being gifted with thought and will can allow himself to despair"

Be prepared as the bulk of the book is really a geological journey back through time and forward again painfully spelled out by Harry whom is the first person narrator.

The Kindle version does not have actual picture of the runes in chapter 1. Moreover, a tad off on pronunciations. Other than that, it is more than worth obtaining along with a hard copy for your library.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

5-0 out of 5 stars A great pick
This fantastical story will have your mind swimming. It is a great read for the learned.

5-0 out of 5 stars cool book
I read this book a couple of years ago and I liked it. Though it starts off a little slow, it presented a good story. Read more


160. The Wicked House of Rohan
by Anne Stuart
Kindle Edition (2010-06-22)
list price: $2.99
Asin: B003SX15L4
Publisher: Mira
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

A fallen woman. A most wicked plan for redemption.

Venice, 1740.

Desperate, starving, Kathleen Strong makes her way to a job interview that promises a chance at proper employment...and maybe a bite to eat. Accused of "gross immorality," she's adrift after being dismissed from her governess position, despite being entirely innocent.

That innocence is precisely what a mysterious group of debauched aristocrats finds so alluring about Miss Strong. When they propose a scandalous offer that she can't refuse...she can't refuse. But if the darkly gallant Alistair Rohan, a gentleman involved in all manner of wicked deeds himself, has anything to say about it, Kathleen can escape her disrepute in another way.

Of course, the escape route looks very similar to the group's illicit proposition itself...

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