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$9.94
161. Catching Fire (The Second Book
162. Other Mr. Darcy
163. Money Girl's Smart Moves to Deal
164. Divanomics
165. The Hunger Games
$17.99
166. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet,
167. Fine Filipino Food
168. The Emperor's Tomb
169. Dancing in the Moonlight
$14.99
170. The Emperor of All Maladies: A
171. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll
$10.99
172. I Remember Nothing: and Other
$21.94
173. Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics
$16.59
174. Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time)
$15.36
175. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday
176. Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity,
177. 25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This
$6.49
178. The Art of Racing in the Rain:
$5.62
179. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete
$6.64
180. Dog Days (Diary of a Wimpy Kid,

161. Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
by Suzanne Collins
Hardcover (2009-09-01)
list price: $17.99 -- our price: $9.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0439023491
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Sales Rank: 60
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. ... Read more

Reviews ... Read more


162. Other Mr. Darcy
by Monica Fairview
Kindle Edition
list price: $9.99
Asin: B00348UN4I
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Sales Rank: 6394
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Did you know that Mr. Darcy had an American cousin?!In this highly original Pride and Prejudice sequel by British author Monica Fairview, Caroline Bingley is our heroine. Caroline is sincerely broken-hearted when Mr. Darcy marries Lizzy Bennet— that is, until she meets his charming and sympathetic American cousin...Mr. Robert Darcy is as charming as Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is proud, and he is stunned to find the beautiful Caroline weeping at his cousin's wedding. Such depth of love, he thinks, is rare and precious. For him, it's nearly love at first sight. But these British can be so haughty and off-putting. How can he let the young lady, who was understandably mortified to be discovered in such a vulnerable moment, know how much he feels for and sympathizes with her? ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Caroline Bingley Transformed Before Out Very Eyes
Whatever became of Caroline Bingley? After her dreams of being Mistress of Pemberley were dashed, how did she recover? Did she rebound quickly after her disappointment of losing Mr. Darcy or was her heart deeply broken?

At the end of "Pride and Prejudice" the future looks a little bleak and uncertain for Caroline Bingley. She has just lost the man she spent years pursuing to an unsophisticated and unconnected country maiden, she has the unfashionable Bennet family as in-laws, and to top it all off, she is approaching an age where she will soon be labeled a "spinster." Does this arouse any sympathy or compassion in you for "bad girl" Caroline Bingley? If not, then reading Monica Fairfiew's new novel, "The Other Mr. Darcy," will surely do the trick!

Can there be another Mr. Darcy??? No, definitely not, but Fitzwilliam Darcy does have an American cousin who shares the same last name. However, beyond the same name and some attractive physical attributes, Robert Darcy shares little in common with his English cousin. In contrast with the reserved and proud Fitzwilliam Darcy, Robert is more open, charming, and amiable. He does not concern himself with social proprieties and gentlemanly etiquette. In addition, he is delightfully flirtatious and provoking!

On the day of the Darcy's and the Bingley's wedding, Robert unintentionally witnessed Caroline Bingley's humiliating and unladylike display of emotion. When Caroline discovers she was observed, she chastises him for invading her privacy and takes small comfort in the fact that she may never see him again. However, Robert Darcy appears in her life ten months later, informing the Bingleys that Elizabeth Darcy is unwell and entreating them to travel to Pemberley. Jane and Charles depart immediately for Pemberley, leaving Robert behind to convey Caroline and Louisa Hurst in a couple of days. Caroline soon finds herself in numerous complications and moments of perturbation because of this disagreeable and ungoverned man...

Ms. Fairview has brilliantly and plausibly transformed Caroline Bingley before our very eyes. It turns out that Caroline is not the detestable snob we thought she was. Ms. Fairview creatively provides an explanation for Caroline's behavior and character. Furthermore, she capably answers questions such as: Why did Caroline fawn and flatter Mr. Darcy? What was it about Mr. Darcy that attracted Caroline the most? Who instilled the importance of being a proper lady in her?

I simply loved how one of my favorite has antagonists has become a likable and admirable protagonist! I took great pleasure in delving deeper into Caroline's psyche and I loved witnessing her moments of introspection and realization. In addition, I enjoyed the sparks and tension created between Caroline and Robert, it seems the course of true love will never run smooth for the Darcy men!

In short, "The Other Mr. Darcy" by Monica Fairview was simply fantastic! Ms. Fairview wrote an endearing and beautiful tale that will banish your dislike of Caroline Bingley. I only hope that Ms. Fairview continues to write more stories in this vein and spotlight other minor characters as cleverly and gracefully as she did Caroline Bingley.

Austenesque Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Elegant
Caroline Bingley is overwhelmed and heartbroken over the marriage of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. But soon, at a very awkward moment, a mysterious gentleman enters her life--Mr. Darcy's cousin from America. Tension immediately develops between the two as Caroline shows contempt for her American acquaintance. Although, Robert Darcy falls in love with Caroline, their worlds are very different and far apart.

This book is so elegantly written, the reader will think they are reading Jane Austen. I knew from the very beginning this was going to be an excellent book. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down.

5-0 out of 5 stars Characters straight from P&P
I'll keep this simple. I was given this book, I dived into it, neglected my family, and totally loved it! If you've seen the Colin Firth version of P&P, you'll see all of the characters in this book.

In this sequel Caroline Bingley is the main character as she develops a relationship with Mr. Darcy's American cousin from Boston, as they go through a typical Austen-like series of spats, mis-understandings, teasing and tears. But along with Caroline, the auther incorporates all of the other personages: the entire Bennet family (you can just hear Mrs Bennet!), Colonial Fitzwilliam, Jane and Charles Bingley, and even the now-widowed sister Louisa. And lest we forget, the evil Mr. Wickham plays a role, although a silent one. And all are completely 'in character'. The only difference I feel is that Caroline is better looking in this book, and not quite as haughty, but otherwise the author has transported them from one story to another.


Do youself a favour; if you love Austen....read this sequel. It's the best! Read more


163. Money Girl's Smart Moves to Deal with Your Debt
by Laura D. Adams
Kindle Edition (2010-11-29)
list price: $0.99
Asin: B004DNW5XK
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews ... Read more


164. Divanomics
by Michelle Mckinney Hammond
Kindle Edition (2010-01-04)
list price: $10.99
Asin: B003N2QFT2
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Once upon a time, Michelle McKinney Hammond’s lifestyle centered around the finer things in life—designer clothes, five-star restaurants, and bag after bag of high-end nonessentials. Then one day, like many people, Michelle awoke to find herself on the losing end of a most unwelcome and unexpected financial downturn. In response, she quickly went from “spoiled” to “fabulously frugal,” and with courage and a sense of humor, she made the necessary adjustments in her life.
Now, Hammond, a self-proclaimed DIVA (Divine Inspiration for Victorious Attitude), shares what she learned about her own spending, desires, and needs and how she adjusted to life during an unpredictable economy. Divanomics is filled with money-saving tips on fashion, beauty, home decor, entertaining, diet, housing, and more.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars A Diva joins the struggling middle class
The subtitle of this latest book by Michelle McKinney Hammond is "How to Still be Fabulous When You're Broke" and she is pretty fabulous. But girlfriend, I have mixed feelings about this book.

Michelle McKinney Hammond has written an overview of how to live large on a small budget. She gives some sound advice: shop at discount stores, separate your wants from your needs, clip coupons, don't buy more than you can afford. She encourages women to focus on their relationship with God over their relationship with credit cards.

More autobiography than advice, some of her tips are definitely big city, single gal: make dinner out of cocktail hour snacks in hotel lobbies. This won't work for the mom schlepping it out in the suburbs. Never having had the lifestyle Ms. Hammond once enjoyed, I found my self thinking "I already knew that" through most of the book.

However, she has an incredibly warm and engaging style that makes me want to read more of her writing or hear her speak at a conference. I'd recommend this book for Divas whose fortunes have fallen with the stock market. For the rest of us middle class folks, I say "Girlfriend, we're way ahead of you."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun to Read
Michelle McKinney Hammond is a best-selling author of more than thirty books. She was also a co-host of the television program, Aspiring Women. In her latest book, Divanomics, she describes her personal financial trials and how she learned to get back on track. She writes from a Christian perspective, using humor, good-natured fun, and has a modern, hip tone. I don't normally like "hip" but she does it so well, I actually smiled often as I read. There is so much to glean from this book. Her own financial difficulties are actually fun to read. I mean, who wouldn't want to read about how much money she spent and how the upper-class have to deal with accountants to handle their money? Frankly, it was entertaining.

The book is extremely well done. At the end of each chapter, you'll find advice, questions, and suggestions to help you get a grip on your own finances. Her focus on God is inspiring and I enjoyed this book very much.

*I received this book from Tyndale House for Review purposes.*

5-0 out of 5 stars Diva-lite-ful!
"Divanomics: How to Still Be Fabulous When You're Broke" surprised me, in a most rewarding way!

I expected a standard "how to." Instead I found pages of lively narrative, soul-searching questions, and practical, easy-to-implement advice.

I expected a "diva" attitude (you know, the "waah-I-can't-eat-at-$1000-a-plate-functions any more".) What I found in Divanomics is a realistic point-of-view that speaks to all women, and most enjoyably, a lot of frugal living steeped with spirituality.

Overall, this is a great guide for the newly frugal or for those looking to develop a more faith-based resource to help you cope with the stark realities of today's economy.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Who knew being fabulous on a budget could be SO...fabulous!
DIVA's every where shout hallelujah!

Divanomics is just the book you've been praying for.
Relevant, real, transparent and inspiring,
Divanomics will help you shed the shame
you may be carrying along with debt.

Regardless of your financial situation,
Hammond will remind you
that you are not alone while taking you on a soul
journey to freedom, fearlessness
and fabulousness all in the blink
of a MAC mascared eye.

You can be fabulous when you're
broke - Divanomics will show you how.

Grab your copy today!

Marina Woods, GoodGirlBookClubOnline
The #1 Destination for Today's Aspiring Woman
Read more


165. The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Kindle Edition (2009-09-01)
list price: $14.99
Asin: B002MQYOFW
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 24
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling The Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging. Brutal, but engaging!

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
Wow. I was barely able to put this book down for a second after the first few pages got me completely hooked. Suzanne Collins narrative here has an immediacy to it that, when combined with the very dramatic life-or-death plot, is incredibly compelling. It's entertaining, and incredibly disturbing all at once. If this was merely a good read, I would have given it 4 stars, but they say great art leaves you changed after you experience it... and this book definitely did that. Suzanne Collins has, with one amazing work, propelled herself onto my top shelf.

Parents, caveat emptor! The storyline is brutal. Even though the writing is geared for young adults, the main characters are teenagers, there's very little physical romance, and the actual violence would probably count as PG-13 nowadays... it's probably one of the most terrifying books I've read in a very long time! Right up there with George R.R. Martin, if not more so. Remember what we learned from Jaws: you don't actually need to SEE the shark in order for it to be terrifying. Sometimes not seeing the shark is even worse.

The story is basically about a teenager who is forced to compete in a 24-man-enter-1-man-leaves event. I don't want to spoil it by saying any more, but if you liked The Running Man, you'll definitely like this. And if you're young enough that you don't remember The Running Man, nor did you get the Thunderdome reference, then I'm just way too old. But take an old fogey's advice and read this book.

Amazon, when can I preorder book 2???

5-0 out of 5 stars The Hunger Games - Definitely worth reading!

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
It took me a while to get to this book because I never saw it out of my two daughters' hands. They devoured it! Once I read it, I understood. This is the second book I have reviewed this month that had a powerful female protagonist (other being 'Graceling').

I found the book to be well written with a fantastic pacing. Their is violence in there, but not so over the top as to be distracting. Intimate scenes are sparingly written so as not to be too embarassing (something I greatly appreciated as a dad!!) The rage against the system theme is prevalent enough to notice, but not as overbearing as say.... Ayn Rand or Terry Pratchett.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for kids from 12 up. The ending leads me to believe that this will be a series. I imagine I will be pre-ordering as soon as it's available. Congratulation Ms. Collins!!

All the best,

Jay

5-0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down.
The 74th Annual Hunger Games are soon to begin. The Hunger Games are a fight to the death. In the new country of Panem, in the ruins of North America, each year as punishment for a rebellion and as a control mechanism, the Capitol forces each of the 12 provinces to draw names of a male and female tribute. The tributes are drawn from all people between the ages of 12 and 18. They receive training, are assessed by the game masters and then the betting begins. The games will be televised and are required viewing for the whole nation.

The draws are not exactly even though. You can choose to enter your name extra times, for yourself and for family members to receive a terse, a grain and oil supplement from the government. Thus enters our heroine Katniss Everdeen. She is entered this year 20 times as she is 16 and taken the terse every year, for herself, her sister and her mother. Her close friend Gale has his name in 42 times, but this is the last year he is eligible. Then Katniss has the worst fear hit - her younger sister Prim (short for Primrose) is drawn with her 1st and only ballot. Katniss then does the unthinkable; she volunteers to take Prim's place.

Katniss Everdeen knows that she has at least some chance of survival in the games. She has been secretly hunting in the woods and feeding her family since her father died years earlier. She hunts and gathers what she can with her friend and hunting partner Gale, in the woods beyond the fenced border of District 12. Yet even so, most believe she has just given up her life for her sisters.

Katniss and Peeta Mellark are the tributes from District 12 for the 74th annual hunger games. As they travel to the capitol they have two mentors - Haymitch Abernathy the only surviving Hunger Games winner from the district and Effie Trinket the Capitol's representative in the district. They will each in their own way try to help them to survive both the Capitol, to win favor with the citizens who can sponsor them in the games, and then the games themselves.

This book is very well written, the scenes sharp and crisp, the world believable and detailed. The characters become real as you read. You reach the end and are left hungry for more, which is what you will get as this is book one in a trilogy. The only drawback in my opinion is the lack of a map. I keep hoping for a map of Panem, with the 12 districts, the mysterious destroyed 13th district and the wilderness area's between them. Maybe it is just a guy thing, but I wanted a map. In this book Twenty-four are forced to enter the game zone but only the winner survives. You get a sample online. You can read chapter 1 online but it will only whet your appetite for more. There is also a video trailer for the book you can find online. This is a great Sci-fi book and would make an excellent movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Chilling, Compelling, Best of 2008
When Katniss Everdeen finds herself a contestant in the annual Hunger Games, she considers herself a goner. Out of 24 teenaged contestants chosen from the 12 districts of Panem, only 1 will emerge victorious. The rest will be slaughtered. By each other. And the entire event will be televised from the Capitol for the entire nation to watch.

If you had described the basic plot of the Hunger Games to me and told me that it was going to be THE book to read in 2008, I probably would have raised an eyebrow. Futuristic? And dystopian? AND gladiatorial? Despite the seemingly disparate elements, Suzanne Collins somehow managed to hit upon the perfect combination in this thrilling story about a girl who lives in a nation obsessed with violence and reality television. There is action, romance, deception, humans hunting humans (Most Dangerous Game, anyone?) surgically altered stylists (reminiscent of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies), genetically enhanced mutants, a cruel totalitarian government, and a unspoken mandatory creed to treat the entire event as if it were a holiday.

I read Hunger Games from start to finish in a day while I was supposed to be studying for finals. I meant to read a chapter or two and then go back to work, but I just could not put it down. Hunger Games is the kind of book that continues to haunt you days and weeks after you've turned the final page. I absolutely recommend it to everyone, with the one caveat that it does feature brutal violence between children and is perhaps not for the faint of heart. The next book can't come fast enough! In the mean time, I'm going to go learn how to shoot a bow, you never know when you're going to need to know how!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hungry for the next book!!
I read this book upon the recommendation of Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series of books even though this isn't the kind of book I typically would seek out at the library. THANK YOU MS. MEYER! The Hunger Games had me engrossed from the first page. I was very intrigued with the characters, especially Katniss, however, the development of all the characters was impressive. The complexity of each character was described so well that there really weren't any that I didn't love and hate at the same time.

The story itself is scary...to think that such a concept could be born and carried out is unsettling, but, unfortuantely believable. I'm not a person who likes blood and gore and this book is sometimes violent and gory, however, not to the point that I was too grossed out to read on. The romance added just enough additional struggle to keep me addicted.

I would classify The Hunger Games writing as excellent. As you read you can easily visualize the characters and what's taking place. I am sooooo looking forward to the second book. Read more


166. Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
by Eric Metaxas
Hardcover (2010-04-20)
list price: $29.99 -- our price: $17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1595551387
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Sales Rank: 68
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of Amazing Grace, a groundbreaking biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century, the man who stood up to Hitler.

A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism.

After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double-agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Fuhrer, and was hanged in Flossenberg concentration camp at age 39. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the 20th century.

Bonhoeffer presents a profoundly orthodox Christian theologian whose faith led him to boldly confront the greatest evil of the 20th century, and uncovers never-before-revealed facts, including the story of his passionate romance.

... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography
On the morning of April 9, 1945, German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed at Flossenburg concentration camp. The camp doctor, H. Fischer-Hullstrung, later remembered:

[Just before the execution] "I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer kneeling on the floor, praying fervently to God...so certain that God heard his prayer...I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God."

Others testified that, up to his last day, the 39 year old Bonhoeffer remained cheerful. He knew what he had to do, was reconciled to God's will, and was able to climb the steps to the gallows "brave and composed."

Who was this man who died so bravely--who Hitler himself, from his bunker beneath Berlin just three weeks before his suicide, ordered to be "destroyed?" He's the subject of best-selling author Eric Metaxas's new biography, "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy."

Shortly after his conversion in 1988, Metaxas read Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship and learned the story of the young man who, "because of his Christian faith stood up to the Nazis and ultimately gave his life." From then on, he was determined to tell the story to others. And tell it he has.

Metaxas takes readers, in 592 pages, through Bonhoeffer's entire life, from his parent's courtship to his memorial service. No corner of the subject's life is left unexplored. Through the author's use of Bonhoeffer's personal letters to family and friends, earlier biographies, interviews with those who knew Bonhoeffer, and other thorough research, readers get a comprehensive and balanced look into one of recent history's greatest theologians.

Appropriately, Metaxas emphasizes Bonhoeffer's theology and how it played out in his life. In contrast to "cheap grace," Bonhoeffer believed that true grace influences all aspects of a Christian's life. Christianity is more than formal religion, and it requires believers to be willing to sacrifice everything to God. Christianity is also more than legalistic morality. Ethics, according to Bonhoeffer, can't be reduced to a set of rules. These beliefs are what led this humble and devout follower of Christ to be involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler.

How Christianity and assassination plots can be reconciled is hard for many to fathom--especially those who have lived only in peace and safety. We must consider Bonhoeffer in the context of his life, his country, and the war that he had no choice but to be a part of. Ethics, once so clear, become unclear. Do we lie to the Nazis, or do we give them information that leads to the deaths of innocents? Do we obey our nation's laws, or do we defy them by leading Jews into safety? Do we fight in Hitler's army, or do we refuse, knowing that we will be beheaded and leave our family destitute? These are some of the questions Bonhoeffer faced.

But readers can sympathize with Bonhoeffer. Metaxas masterfully puts us in his world. We celebrate with him in his family's parlor. We study with him in his illegal seminary. We watch with him as his world unravels. And we see him agonize over decisions, decisions that are not so clear, and decisions that he often had to make without the support of others.

Metaxas's "Bonhoeffer" will be one of the best books of the year. I've learned, as expected, much about the life of a great and inspiring Christian. But I've also learned about the world, sin and evil, what it really means to be a Christian, and what it really means to live. There are a few books that, years after I have read them, I realize have had a great influence on me. This will be one of them. You can't go wrong with this book; I give it my highest recommendation.

I received a free review copy of this book through the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze program.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review: Bonhoeffer
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of my favorite theologians and one of the most influential theologians on my life and calling to the ministry. So when I saw this book being offered by Thomas Nelson, I had to jump on it, and I'm glad I did.

Like many seminarians, I was introduced to Bonhoeffer through The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together. But I really didn't know a lot about the person. There was a little bit of background information in my copy of The Cost of Discipleship, but that was it. This book changes all of that.

From his early childhood to his arrest and subsequent martyrdom for his involvement in the conspiracy against Hitler, Metaxas draws from the letters of Bonhoeffer as well as his family to write this biography. Metaxas weaves the brilliant story that is the life and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the man who stood and preached for what he believed. When the church in Germany failed to stand up to Hitler, Bonhoeffer did. This is his life. Through Bonhoeffer's life and death, we really do see the cost of discipleship.

This book is a must have for all students of Bonhoeffer.

I give this book 5 our of 5 stars.

Disclaimer:

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this book - It will not disappoint!
I first learned of the impending publication of Eric Metaxas' book Bonhoeffer in 2009. Having read his stellar biography of William Wilberforce (Amazing Grace) in 2007, I knew I'd certainly enjoy this one. The wait did not disappoint.
Mr. Metaxas once again combines his wit and intelligence to recreate the life of one of God's servants, this time Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Not knowing much about Bonhoeffer before cracking open the book, I immediately felt drawn to him through Mr. Metaxas' writing, intimate and personal without being hokey or homespun. Bonhoeffer's story is one that is translatable to any time, any country, any person who feels called to stand for uncompromised righteousness. The narrative of Bonhoeffer's life is completed with sparkling commentary on politics in early twentieth century Germany. Metaxas clearly devoted untold hours researching the life of Bonhoeffer. One little known story - that of Bonhoeffer's relationship with his fiancee Maria - is told in full.
Brilliantly combined in the narrative are excerpts from Bonhoeffer's personal letters to friends and family. Metaxas uses these letters to vividly outline the essence of Bonheoffer - in his own words. One sees his devotion to family and the importance his played in his life, his fervent devotion to the Bible as the accurate and complete Word of God, and his unwavering faith and obedience in spite of the call to suffer and, ultimately, die for the cause of Christ.
Learning about Bonhoeffer's life has only made me curious to read his work. I have a feeling I'll soon be devouring every book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer I can find. And I'm waiting patiently for Eric Metaxas' next biography. He's sure to not disappoint.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Biography of a Courageous Pastor

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote those words in The Cost of Discipleship, which was first published in 1937. Eight years later, on April 9, 1945, he answered Christ's bidding and was executed by the Nazis at the Flossenburg concentration camp for conspiring to assassinate Adolf Hitler the previous year. Bonhoeffer's last words, appropriate to a Christian facing death, were hopeful. "This is the end...For me the beginning of life."

In Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas sets out to narrate Bonhoeffer's life for a new generation of Christians, who are unacquainted with the 1967 biography written by Eberhard Bethge, Bonhoeffer's closest friend. Metaxas is the author of Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery (2007), which was subsequently turned into a movie. His biography of Bonhoeffer is well written, well paced, and very insightful, especially regarding the theological, spiritual, and ethical evolution Bonhoeffer experienced in his conflict with the Nazis, which consumed the latter third of his short life.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was one of eight children born to Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer, and the youngest of five boys. He was the scion of illustrious families on both his paternal and maternal sides. His father Karl's ancestors included prominent politicians and scientists. Karl himself was chair of the department of psychology at the University of Berlin--in effect, the leading psychologist of Germany. His mother Paula's family included military leaders and theologians, including her grandfather, the prominent liberal church historian Karl August von Hase, and her father Karl Alfred, the erstwhile chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Bonhoeffer followed in the footsteps of his von Hase ancestors, studying at Tubingen before achieving a double doctorate in theology at Berlin. Following his studies in Berlin, Bonhoeffer did a year of postgraduate work at Union Theological Seminary of New York, where he attended and taught Sunday school at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, then under the able leadership of Dr. Adam Clayton Powell Sr. Bonhoeffer was unimpressed by Union's scholarship, but his involvement with Abyssinian gave him a deep love for "Negro spirituals" and important insights into how segregation damages both minorities and the majorities who oppress them.

Adolf Hitler and the Nazis came to power in 1933, when Bonhoeffer was just 27 years old. From the get-go, the Nazis attempted to subvert and control every traditional institution in Germany, including the German Evangelical (or Lutheran) Church. This attempted subversion drew Bonhoeffer into the opposition to Hitler that would eventually cost him his life. The struggle would also radicalize him in numerous ways. He increasingly realized that being a good German and being a good Christian were not coterminous. He increasingly began to practice a free-church ecclesiology in the midst of a state-church nation. And he increasingly realized that passivity in the face of evil was complicity with evil.

Most of Bonhoeffer's work in the 1930s and 40s was professorial and pastoral. He helped found the Confessing Church, which was formed to oppose the Nazification of the state church. He helped found and lead the Confessing Church's underground seminary at Finkenwalde. And throughout this time, he wrote what have become classics in theology and spiritual formation: Life Together, The Cost of Discipleship, and Ethics (which he completed toward the end of his life).

But all along, he was drawn increasingly into the conspiracy against Hitler. Bonhoeffer's social class and family were deeply involved in this struggle. His older brother and two brothers-in-law were also executed for their involvement in the conspiracy against Hitler. Interestingly, they undertook this conspiracy from within the government and military, not outside of it. At one point, when Bonhoeffer was about to be drafted into the Army, his family friends arranged for him to work for the Abwehr, or Military Intelligence. To many of his Confessing Church comrades, it appeared that Bonhoeffer had sold out. In reality, this position saved Bonhoeffer from military service and allowed him to continue pastoral work under the guise of doing assignments for the Abwehr.

On July 20, 1944, General Claus von Stauffenberg placed an explosive device under a table at a meeting with Hitler. The explosion killed several people, although Hitler lived, scathed but otherwise unharmed. Bonhoeffer was already in prison, although his role in this conspiracy wouldn't become known for some time. Indeed, at one point, his uncle, General Paul von Hase, was able to get him special accommodations in the military prison just outside of Berlin. With the failure of Stauffenberg's bomb, however, the plot unraveled. Several thousand people were arrested, often because they were family members of conspirators, and several hundred were executed. The conspirators were aristocrats, military leaders, and civil servants--the traditional leaders of pre-war Germany. Why had they tolerated Hitler for so long? They had been working against him from the beginning, Metaxas makes clear, but Hitler's foreign policy and military successes made him very popular, and thus very difficult to work against.

Bonhoeffer had seen this difficulty nearly from the beginning. In a sense, he was a prophet who foresaw where Hitler's regime would lead Germany, and counseled more radical action than conservative German's traditional leaders--religious, military, or civil--could tolerate, until of course it was still late. He, and they, paid for their dereliction with their lives.

If I have made much of Bonhoeffer's involvement with the plot against Hitler, it is only because this is the most well-known thing about him. But Metaxas reveals the layers of theology, spirituality, politics, and commitment that characterized Bonhoeffer's life. His biography is well written and highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Bonhoeffer" by Eric Metaxas
"He was quite clear in his convictions, and for all that he was so young and unassuming, he saw truth and spoke it out with absolute freedom and without fear." These were the words of Bishop George Bell at the memorial service for Dietrich Bonhoeffer. They capture the true essence of who Bonhoeffer was and what we, as those who follow in his trail aspire to become.

In his Book "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Marty, Prophet, Spy" Eric Mataxas has laid before us the formation, conflicts, relationships, burdens and passions of one of the greatest theological voices of the past century. While you read the pages you picture yourself in the esteemed halls of the German aristocracy and academia. You are transported to lecture halls, pulpits, private studies and the Bavarian Alps. While reading this account of the life of a man who faced conflicting feelings and passions from every side it is impossible not to feel that somehow you now know him and the breadth and depth of his passion for God.

Mataxas paints a wonderful picture of the family background, early childhood influences and cultural zeitgeist of Bonhoeffer. The imagery, attention to detail and theology woven throughout the pages brings to life a man whose absolute zeal for God was never watered down theology or rhetoric, but was personal and resolute.

One of the greatest gifts of "Bonhoeffer" is the inclusion of personal correspondence, texts of sermons and lectures and diary entries. It gives a behind the scenes feel to what the man himself was experiencing and how his inner devotion drove his life's work. As any nation marches toward war, it is reasonable to assume that a nationalistic pride would rise to the surface. Along with his German bearing and position, Bonhoeffer also was torn between the desire for a Christian Germany and the reality of Germany in the hands of a madman.

This book is a precious gift for anyone who has read Dietrich Bonhoeffer's writings. It paints for us a deeper picture of a pastor, theologian, academic and patriot that has not before been appreciated. Eric Metaxas has once again written an epic biography of a man who has helped shape history and a man who far too few know. While the size of this book is daunting, the reward is well worth the time invested. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for everyone who love God and for everyone who wonders how that love of God can be reconciled with the love of their country.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Biography on Bonhoeffer Yet!
I discovered Dietrich Bonhoeffer about 18 years ago as a result of Steven Curtis Chapman's album, "For the Sake of the Call". He mentioned in the liner notes that he had been inspired to write the songs on this project as a result of having read Bonhoeffer's "The Cost of Discipleship". I knew I had to read it, and after having done just that, I became forever a follower/reader of all things Bonhoeffer.

With that being said, when I requested a copy of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, I didn't realize what an incredible reading experience I was about to have. I have read much about Bonhoeffer over the years, as well as most of what he wrote, but I have never read such an interesting, engaging account of his life. I have even read Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eberhard Bethge, who was one of Bonhoeffer's closest friends as well as member of the family by marriage...but, Metaxas' account is, by far, the best I have ever read.

He shows the history of Germany as a culture; academically, scientifically and theologically. He shows the reader how Germany was ripe for the ascent of a monster like Adolph Hitler as a result of World War I. The German people were disenchanted, disheartened and nationally emasculated by their defeat, so when a man making the promises of a Fatherland restored to it's pre-Kaiser glory came to light, they ravenously accepted him. This was the Germany in which Bonhoeffer came of age, both physically and theologically.

Metaxas brings to light letters, interviews and people in Bonhoeffer's life that I had never seen, or heard of, before. The passion that developed within the heart of the young Lutheran pastor and scholar is almost tangible as you read his efforts to hold the Church accountable in Hitler's Germany. The boldness that developed in his mind and heart only intensified as the times grew more and more difficult for the Church, and for him personally. The prophetic tenor that came from the voice and pen of this young man should never be forgotten, and thanks to Eric Metaxas, the information will always be available for the next generation of the brave and the bold within Christendom to learn from.

I HIGHLY recommend this book for the Bonhoeffer "fan" as well as the 20th Century history student. Metaxas presents the information with vivid detail and puts the necessary spiritual emphasis where needed. Read it, digest it and recommend it...but never give it away. This is a book that should be read and re-read if for no other reason than to remind us that God has always raised up men to speak the truth no matter the consequences.

I am a member of the Nelson Book Review Blogger program.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bonhoeffer
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas is principally an exhaustive biography of the iconic Christian pastor who dared stand against the Third Reich- even unto death. But Bonhoeffer is also much more than a biography of a man. In detailing Bonhoeffer's life, Metaxas gives the reader a window into the events and worldview that led to the rise of Hitler and the willingness of the German people to follow him until it was too late.

We are also allowed glimpses into Bonhoeffer's own heart through journal entries and letters to family, personal friends and his fiance. To read the doubts and wonderings of a man who ultimately trusted God and acted in accordance with His plan was, for me, inspiring. For example, as he sailed away from his homeland in May of 1939 to America in order to avoid putting the Confessing Church in the crosshairs of the Nazis by refusing to serve if drafted, he penned these words to his friend and confidant Bethge, clearly wishing He had heard definitively from God about his decision: "If only the doubts about my course had been overcome." He goes on in the letter, "So too one day we shall see quite clearly into the depths of the divine heart...and see a name: Jesus Christ." Bonhoeffer was, like I am, a human being whose heart at times was unsure but who was willing to take God at His word. If he could not see clearly now, he was sure he would see in eternity! Is this not the Christian walk? Paul spoke similarly in 1 Corinthians 13:12, "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." Yes, Bonhoeffer was great and he was also just a man in need of God's constant grace and guidance.

In Bonhoeffer, Metaxas also whets the reader's appetite for further study of Bonhoeffer's teachings and theology. We learn how the ordinands in the Confessing Church were instructed not only in doctrine but discipled into lives of devotion to Christ through the practices of Scripture memorization and meditation, confession one to another, and prayer- all practices that Bonhoeffer instituted at the outlawed seminaries he oversaw. We hear how he uses orthodox theology to wrestle with (and help others do the same) the monstrous situation in which they found themselves. Metaxas does a splendid job describing Bonhoeffer's wrestling with the idea of truth, for example, as he retells the process by which Bonhoeffer rejects the "easy religious legalism of never telling a lie" and enters into a deception that "stemmed not from a cavalier attitude toward the truth, but from a respect for the truth that was (so) deep." I really enjoyed Metaxas' forays into Bonhoeffer's teachings and writings. I was challenged to think deeper about God and His ways than I have done in the past. I am eager to read some of Bonhoeffer's original works such as Life Together and Discipleship.

The final chapters of Bonhoeffer are fast moving and full of detail and intrigue about the Resistance movement within Germany, of which Bonhoeffer was a major player. Bonhoeffer's engagement to Maria von Wedemeyer and their relationship is also explored in these chapters. As I read their love letters to one another, another book went on my list for future reading. The details around Bonhoeffer's arrest, imprisonment and eventual murder lend the reader more insight into just who this man was. The final chapter of Bonhoeffer is aptly entitled "On the Road to Freedom." Metaxas explains, "We know that Bonhoeffer thought of death as the last station on the road to freedom." As a pastor in London years before his execution by the Nazi's Bonhoeffer had himself preached in a sermon, "No one has yet believed in God and the kingdom of God, no one has yet heard about the realm of the resurrected and not been homesick from that hour, waiting and looking forward joyfully to being released from bodily existence."

As I stated at the beginning, Bonhoeffer is an exhaustive biography and it did take me quite some time to finish it. It was always interesting and well written. I am so glad I persevered because it has truly expanded my view of God and enriched my walk with Him. I highly recommend you take the time to read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enthralling and Inspiring
Eric Metaxas has done for Dietrich Bonhoeffer what David McCullough did for John Adams. This book is enthralling and inspiring, and it provides the context to better understand Bonhoeffer and his views. I started reading "Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy -- A Righteous Gentile Versus the Third Reich" this week and have not been able to put it down.

Metaxas takes us on an engaging, chronological journey through Bonhoeffer's life. And what an exciting and meaningful life it was. Metaxas' portrait reveals a bright, athletic Dietrich Bonhoeffer who loved life, was curious, open-minded, generous and courageous.

Bonhoeffer had a passion for seeking God's will through studying Scripture and prayer but also through exploring the world to make sense of it. He was learned in art, music and literature. He persevered in seeking God and once he felt God's will for his life was revealed to him, he acted upon it.

Time and again I was surprised reading Metaxas' accounts of the events and interactions that shaped Bonhoeffer's character. For example, while attending Union Theological Seminary in New York City during the 1930s, Bonhoeffer, a bespectacled, patrician German, regularly attended an African-American church in Harlem where he discovered spiritual depth and powerful worship. He loved African-American spirituals. He experienced and persevered through some periods of depression. He believed the world idolized success and felt faithfulness to God's will is what counted most irrespective of the outcome. I won't say more for fear of spoiling it for you. Suffice it to say, by the time I reached the account of the concentration camp doctor who witnessed Bonhoeffer's final moments of life and his execution, I admired this man and was inspired by his tremendous faith.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a new hero for me, thanks to Metaxas' book. To be honest, it has shaken me up, and inspired and challenged me to examine my faith and life. Many thanks to Eric Metaxas for the remarkable job he has done bringing this extraordinary man's story and legacy to life in a way that applies to each and every one of us today.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Biography
I have been fond of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer ever since I first read The Cost of Discipleship. I had heard bits and pieces of his life story, and I knew of his involvement in the conspiracy against Hitler in the 1940's.

But a new biography gives us a broader picture of his life and thought. Eric Metaxas shows us Bonhoeffer as a theologian of action. Bonhoeffer was not interested in theology for theology's sake. He was determined to boldly act upon his faith, which during the Nazi era led him into ethical quandaries demanding difficult decisions.

Some have debated whether Bonhoeffer was solidly evangelical or more of a Barthian neo-orthodox thinker. Metaxas' book describes Bonhoeffer as the former, though he would have shared Barth's disgust at the vapid liberalism in American mainline churches.

This book ably combines a look at Bonhoeffer the theologian and Bonhoeffer the man. We are treated to portions of his letters from more than twenty years of correspondence. We are also given a glimpse into his theology through extensive quotes from his writing. I can't recommend this biography highly enough. It's a gem that will undoubtedly make my top ten book list of 2010. Read more


167. Fine Filipino Food
by Karen Hulene Bartell
Kindle Edition (2003-06-30)
list price: $14.95
Asin: B002JVXWNA
Publisher: Hippocrene Books
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Created from recipes collected during the author’stravels to this country at the crossroads of the Pacific Ocean and theSouth China and Sulu seas, FINE FILIPINO FOOD is a testament to a richmix of cultures. Chinese traders introduced stir-frying anddeep-frying cooking techniques, as well as noodles and soy products;Malaysian spice traders brought seasonings from the Spice Islands andintroduced that delectable appetizer, satay; Spanish colonizationbrought Spanish cuisine: Adobo (a pickling sauce made from olive oil,vinegar, garlic, oregano, paprika, thyme, bay leaf, and salt),arguably the best-known Filipino dish, is a by-product of both Spanishand Chinese influence. Finally, the American influence left thelegacies of speed and convenience.

Enjoy this blend of cuisines with its 19 cooking methods, such asstir-frying, deep-frying, grilling on skewers, sautéing in coconutmilk, marinating in vinegar and spices, broiling over live charcoal,wrapping in banana leaves, and steaming. Fine Filipino Food features205 recipes, a glossary of ingredients, a guide to ingredientsubstitutions, and an extensive resource guide, which allow all homecooks to perfectly recreate these tantalizing dishes. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Each classic dish is accompanied by a small history
There are surprisingly few cookbooks covering Filipino food on the market and new titles are few and far between, which would make the appearance of this guide an unusual event in and of itself - but its attention to recipes gathered during the author's travels to the Philippines makes Fine Filipino Food exceptional even in its genre. Each classic dish is accompanied by a small history of its origins, plus a variety of variations on the theme. Thus you have classics such as Adobo which go beyond the usual Chicken Adobo to include such dishes as Cinnamon-Garlic Beef Adobo and Lumpias which include Pork and Shrimp with Lemongrass and Garlic Shrimp and Bamboo Egg Rolls. Dishes are easy to make too - no color photos, but this doesn't need them. Read more


168. The Emperor's Tomb
by Steve Berry
Kindle Edition (2010-11-10)
list price: $26.00
Asin: B003F3PLYO
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 16
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The tomb of China’s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though it’s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why?
 

That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address. Logging on, he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand: Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe. The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about, since Cassiopeia has left nothing with him. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date—one that offers up astounding historical revelations, pits him against a ruthless ancient brotherhood, and sends him from Denmark to Belgium to Vietnam then on to China, a vast and mysterious land where danger lurks at every turn.


From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Does not disappoint!

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
Steve Berry is one of my favorite popular authors, so I was delighted to be chosen to review The Emperor's Tomb (Cotton Malone). Steve writes for the pick-the-book-up-on-the-way-to-the-plane, mass market audience and he turns out a book a year. Nonetheless, he does historical fiction with real flare and a pretty high degree of accuracy. Steve seems to particularly enjoy archeological/artistic mysteries (The Amber Room: A Novel, The Romanov Prophecy: A Novel ) and The Emperor's Tomb is no exception. The tomb, of course, is the famous and as yet unexplored tomb of Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of China, the site of the discovery of legions of terra cotta warriors. While some might see the thrust of Emperor's Tomb as political, they miss the real scientific argument he poses for our consideration. Oil. You'll be surprised. Pick this one up - definitely worth a read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cotton Malone in China
Once again Cotton Malone is traveling the world in an attempt to help his friends and, in addition, help save the world from getting into the clutches of another would-be dictator.

This time the action centers on China, although there are stops in several other places along the way. It seems that the Chinese have discovered that oil is infinite, the result of natural phenomena rather than the "fossil fuel" we have all been taught to believe that it is. Once the prospective hardliners in the Chinese government learn of this, they plot to take control of the government and lead the "new China" into aggressive action against the world and greatly expand their territory.

The tomb of the first Chinese Emperor, the one with the terra-cotta soldiers, plays an important part in this story line, as does the re-emergence of a coterie of eunuchs who make up the cadre of the new hardliners. There is plenty of action, as Cotton and his friends try to thwart the threat of this new dictatorship in conjunction with a "moderate" Chinese potential leader. Some old friends appear in this book, along with some old enemies.

Mr. Berry never lets the action flag, and the reader tends to be exhausted at the end of almost every chapter. As in the James Bond series, the reader knows that, in the end, everything will turn out all right and Cotton will be victorious. That sure knowledge does not necessarily detract from the readability of the book, as it's always interesting to see how Cotton Malone gets out of the most difficult situation. As Mr. Berry releases a new book every year, we Cotton Malone fans only have to wait another 12 months for the next installment of these adventures. May the time pass quickly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Thriller of a Book!!

Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
This is the first Steve Berry Cotton Malone book, however it's definitely not my last! This book is one of those fast paced books with short "sub-chapters" where a lot of different things happen. And if you're a reader of the Cotton Malone character themed books, you are at a bit of an advantage as some of the people from previous books are here, however brief descriptions of these people are given. And understand you do not have to of read previous Steve Berry books to understand this book. It's not like a part ## of a series.

This book does a real good job at looking into Chinas history and all the advances it had over the world. But then they all disappeared. Where did they go? Then add in a mysterious web address delivered to Malone, and when he logged in, it linked to a live link of a very important person from his past being tortured. Then a conversation with the captor starts. Both of these things are linked somehow, along with more going on. But for the integrity of the book, I'm not going to spoil anything.

As I wrote previously, these small (what I call sub-chapters) or smaller chapters inside a large chapter, take you from Europe, to various places in China. Slowly everything comes together linking up.

This is one of those books that will have you loose track of time while reading it. A real good book. I can easily see this being made into a movie. And as we all know, books are almost always better than the movie! Read more

169. Dancing in the Moonlight
by RaeAnne Thayne
Kindle Edition (2009-01-30)
list price: $4.99
Asin: B001R4GNTU
Publisher: Silhouette
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Lieutenant Magdalena Cruz had comehome…And though all she wanted was to be alone, infuriatingly handsome Dr. Jake Dalton—of the enemy Daltons—wouldn't cooperate. And she needed him to, because the walls around her heart were dangerously close to crumbling every time he came near.…

Jake had spent most of his life trying to get closer to Maggie, with little to show for it. But she was the woman he'd always wanted, and no injury in the world could change that. Now if only he could convince her that the woman who stood before him was beautiful,desirable, whole…and meant to be his.…

... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book.
I have nothing but great things to say about this book. The storyline is outstanding and very inspirational. Once you read this book you ll view love in a more meaningful light. I ll recommend this work to any and every that wants to better understand life s positives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I enjoyed this book. It dealt with the serious issues facing injured vets and provided a sweet love story. I liked both the hero and in this case "female-hero". I'm interested in reading more books by this author. Thanks Harliquin for a great free book-happy 60th anniversary!

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't let the corny title fool you.
Since the title of this book is pretty corny I didn't expect much. However, this story turned out to be special - I'm not sure exactly what it is - maybe the protagonists and their intriguing backgrounds, the way the author develops them and their romantic relationship. . . Their relationship is expertly intwined with the main conflict: she's a recent amputee, he's a doctor, and the background story from their childhood really gives life to the story. The coming to terms with the bad blood between their families is an impetus to... actually i won't spoil it for you.

While I've done a lot of reading, I haven't come across a story that has intrigued me so deeply in a long time. The characters are easy to identify with, and I really feel that this element makes the book extremely special. I've never written about a book before, but I felt compelled to write this review because I loved this book so much.

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved it
This was my first Kindle download & I am hooked! This is a wonderful story of strength, love, honor & romance.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm still thinking about it months later....
Dancing in the Moonight was a Kindle Freebie I downloaded "just because". Unexpectedly, I enjoyed the book very much. I still find myself thinking about the story months after reading it. It's a very romantic story that addresses a situation that unfortunately too many people have to deal with. I felt the author was very respectful of the nature of such a life changing injury.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved IT
Im a person who dont normally read romance but this book was a great read. It was absolutly heart breaking Read more


170. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Hardcover (2010-11-16)
list price: $30.00 -- our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1439107955
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 50
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years. The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out “war against cancer.” The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist. From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee’s own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive—and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars OFF THE CHARTS
You remember the scene in the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"? From the top of the bluff looking into the distance at dusk, Butch sees the lights of the pursuing posse which doesn't stop tracking them even at night and says "How many are following us? They're beginning to get on my nerves. Who are those guys?" In the same threatening way cancers have been dogging human beings since the dawn of time, and although we now know quite a lot about cancer we still don't really know "who are those guys" or how to shake them. And they sure are "beginning to get on our nerves" as Butch said. Almost one out of four of us will eventually wrestle with cancer -- the defining illness of our generation -- and lose our lives in the process. Until it catches up with us most of us will try to ignore this fact, just as when we were very young children alone in our bedroom trying to go to sleep at night we tried to ignore the monster that we sometimes feared might be lurking in our bedroom closet.

Enter oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee who almost parentally takes us by the hand to give us the courage to open with him the door to that dark and foreboding closet in order to see what is really lurking inside. Since eventually most of us are going to have to wrestle with this monster anyway -- either as a victim or as a loved one of a victim -- looking intelligently and closely into that dark closet does diminish fear and enhance wise perspective. And on this incredible journey into the depths of that darkness, what an absolutely marvelous guide is this modern day Virgil called Siddharta Mukherjee as he leads us on this long and often harrowing journey through the swarth that cancer has cut through mankind throughout time.

Mukherjee is a veritable kaleidoscope. Turn his writing one way and you experience him as an exciting writer of page-turning detective stories or mystery stories; turn him another and he's a highly effective communicator of cellular biology; turn him a third and you get superb science writing; turn him a fourth and he has the grandeur and broad sweep of an excellent historian. It's hard to believe that this one book, combining all of these appealing characteristics, is the work of just one man. And underlying it all is his sterling medical training and credentials which have been enumerated often elsewhere.

The book itself is a tour de force. It is the first book of such extraordinary scope regarding cancer. Its architectural structure brings to mind Melville's Moby Dick and how effectively and artfully Melville braided together the three strands of his great classic: a grand adventure story, the technology of whaling, and a treatise of humanity and philosophy. Equally effectively does Mukherjee weave together all the various facets of this iconic disease throughout history, from describing cancer from the patient's perspective, to viewing the never ending battles of physicians and medical researchers with cancer over the centuries, to examining the mysteries of the cellular nature of cancer itself and what really goes on in there, to the pro and con impact of this never ending plague on the spirit of the individual human and on our race as a whole, to peering into a crystal ball for a glance of cancer's and our future together. While doing all of this the alchemy of Mukherjee's writing continually turns science into poetry and poetry into science.

Simply put, it is so good, and so incandescently clear and lucid, and so powerful, and so engrossing, and so easily consumed that you will not lay it down without someone or circumstances forcing you to.

Had I read this book in my teens I would have found my life's career. I can only imagine that while you are reading this book, somewhere there will be some very young teenage girl or boy who will also be reading it at the same time you are, and who will become totally hooked by this book just as you will be, and who will go on to make a career in cancer research, a career that might provide the breakthrough that humanity has been searching and hoping for all of these many centuries. Thus although you will never know it, you will have "been there" at the initial motivation of that person and thus indirectly present at the earliest genesis of the eventual great idea.

This book has THAT potential. It is THAT good.

Kenneth E. MacWilliams

5-0 out of 5 stars The Burden, The Mass, Onkos
In the United States one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer in their lifetime. Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee, a medical oncologist, has written a definitive history of cancer. It may be one of the best medical books I have read. Complex but simple in terms of understanding. A timeline of a disease and those who waged the wars. In 1600 BC the first case of probable breast cancer was documented. In the thousands of years since, the Greek word, 'onkos', meaning mass or burden, has become the disease of our time. Cancer. The title of the book, is "a quote from a 19Th century physician" Dr Mukherjee had found inscribed in a library book that "cancer is the emperor of all maladies, the king of our terrors".

As a health care professional and as a woman who is six years post breast cancer, Cancer has played a big part in my life. I used to walk by the Oncology clinic, and quicken my pace. I used to give chemotherapy to my patients, before it was discovered that the chemo was so toxic that it needed to be made under sterile conditions and given by professionals who specialized in Oncology. Dr Mukherjee, wisely discusses cancer in the context of patients, those of us who suffer. After all it is because of the patients, the people who have gone before us, who have contracted some form of cancer, they are the base of this science.

Dr Mukherjee started his immersion in cancer medicine at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He relates the beginning of the study of ALL, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, by Dr Sidney Farber in 1947. Dr Farber, a pathologist at the time decided to change his focus and start caring for patients. He was given a medication to trial for ALL, and though most of his patients died, some survived to remission. This opened his world and with the help of Mary Lasker, and Charles E Dana, philanthropists, they opened one of the first clinics that specialized in cancer care and research, The Dana Farber Cancer Center. Dr Mukherjee gives us the timeline of ALL and lymphomas and the medications that turned into chemotherapy. The development of specific care for blood cancers and the emergence of AIDS and patient activism. He discusses the surgery for breast cancer. It was thought that the more radical the surgery the better the outcomes. We now know that lumpectomies have an excellent outcome. But, women before me had a radical removal of breast, chest tissue, lymph nodes and sometimes ribs. The lesson learned is that breast cancer is very curable now and all those men and women, the patients who suffered, gave us the answers and cancer care has moved on.

The onslaught of chemotherapies changed the face of cancer, and the 1970's served us well. In 1986 the first outcomes of cancer care were measured. Tobacco emerged as an addiction and soon lung cancer was a leading cause of death. Presidential Commissions ensued, politics entered the world of cancer, the war against cancer and the war against smoking. The Pap smear was developed, and prevention came to the fore. The two sides of cancer, the researchers and the physicians at the bedside, who often thought never the twain shall meet, recognized the importance of research to bedside.

The story of the boy 'Jimmy' from New Sweden, Maine, became the face of childhood cancer. The Jimmy Fund, a Boston Red Sox charity in Boston, is still going strong today. 'Jimmy' opened the door to the public for the need for money and research, and care for those with cancer. We follow Dr Mukherjee with one of his first patients, Carla, from her diagnosis through her treatment. He has given a face to cancer. We all know someone with cancer, those who survived and those who did not. Cancer prevention is now the wave of the future.

"Cancer is and may always be part of the burden we carry with us," says Dr Mukherjee. He has now written a "biography of cancer" for us, those without special medical knowledge. However, he does go astray in some discussions such as genetics. I have an excellent medical background, and found I was floundering at times. As I discovered,and Dr. Mukherjee agrees, our patients are our heroes. They/we withstand the horrors of cancer, and the horrific, sometimes deadly treatments. The stories of his patients make us weep, and the complex decision making about their care make him the most caring of physicians.

The 'quest for the cure' is the basis of all science and research, and Dr Mukherjee has written a superb tome in language that we can all attempt to understand. The biography of Cancer. Cancer may always be with us,Dr Mukherjee hopes that we outwit this devil and survive.


Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-13-10

Jimmy Fund of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The (MA) (Images of America)

Early Detection: Women, Cancer, and Awareness Campaigns in the Twentieth-Century United States

5-0 out of 5 stars The Everyman Book of Cancer
The brilliance of this book is the effortlessness with which the author draws the reader into the world of cancer and keeps him there as a tourist or witness. Dr. Mukherjee's engaging style, precision of prose and overwhelming compassion imbue this work with an energy that carries the reader along a ride like none other.

Whether the reader is a basic scientist or sociologist, a patient or healthcare provider, a philosopher or philanderer, this book will appeal, entertain and educate.

A remarkable achievement.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Cancer was an all-consuming presence in our lives."
Siddhartha Mukherjee's monumental "The Emperor of All Maladies" meticulously outlines the trajectory of cancer (derived from the Greek word "karkinos," meaning crab) over thousands of years, starting in ancient Egypt. In 2010, seven million people around the world will die of cancer. Many have experienced the horrors of this disease through personal experience. The author provides us with a global view of this "shape-shifting entity [that is] imbued with such metaphorical and political potency that it is often described as the definitive plague of our generation."

In "The Emperor of All Maladies," we meet a variety of patients, doctors, scientists, and activists. We also hear the voices of such iconic figures as Susan Sontag, author of "Illness as Metaphor," and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose "Cancer Ward" is a desolate and isolating "medical gulag." Cancer is such a complex subject that it can only be understood by examining it in all of its facets: through myths, the anguish of its victims, and the untiring efforts of its adversaries, both past and present, some of whom were well-meaning but horribly misguided. Mukherjee says in his author's note that he has made an effort to be "simple but not simplistic." In this he has succeeded.

Ancient physicians thought that such invisible forces as "miasmas" and "bad humors" caused cancers. Many years of experimentation, studies of human anatomy, laboratory work, and clinical trials have shown cancer to be a "pathology of excess" that originates from the uncontrolled growth of a single cell. Cancer is "unleashed by mutations--changes in DNA that specifically affect genes that incite unlimited cell growth." What treatment to use--surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches--is rarely an easy decision. Equally significant are the efforts of public health officials, who seek to reduce cancer's mortality through early detection (mammography and colonoscopy, among others, are screening methods in use today). In addition, cancer may be prevented by encouraging people to avoid environmental carcinogens such as cigarette smoke.

This elegant and heartrending narrative is far more than a biography of a terrible malady. It is also a story of paternalism, arrogance, and false hope, as well as inventiveness, determination, and inspiration. We meet Sidney Farber, who pioneered a chemotherapeutic approach to leukemia in children during the 1940's and helped launch "the Jimmy Fund"; William Halstead who, in the nineteenth century, disfigured women with radical mastectomies that, in many cases, were not curative; Paul Ehrlich, who discovered a "magic bullet" to combat syphilis from a derivative of chemical dyes; Mary Lasker, a powerful businesswoman and socialite who zealously raised money and political awareness in what would become a national war on cancer; and George Papanicolaou, a Greek cytologist, whose Pap smear "changed the spectrum of cervical cancer." Mukherjee constantly moves back and forth in time, showing how the past and the present are closely interconnected.

Throughout the book, Dr. Mukherjee's keeps returning to one of his patients, thirty-six year old Carla Long. In 2004, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the white blood cells. Carla would have a long road ahead of her, one filled with pain, fear, and uncertainty. We look to the future with cautious optimism that even greater progress will be made in our never-ending battle against a treacherous and multi-pronged enemy. Mukherjee is a brilliant oncologist, gifted writer, scrupulous researcher, and spellbinding storyteller. "The Emperor of All Maladies" is a riveting, thought-provoking, and enlightening work that deserves to become an instant classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars All In favor say "Aye"
There seems little left to say so I'll take a different tack, look to another facet of this book and its author.

Today I heard Dr. Mukherjee interviewed on the Terry Gross show (Fresh Air - NPR), where the topic, the book, was biased in favor of the author ... and a wonderful treat it was. While I am interested in cancer and progress toward cure, the fascinating aspect of today's experience was the man himself. In all the interviews of all the interviewers I've listened in on - mostly literary in nature - I've never heard a more articulate responder than Mukherjee. He's a poet. His choice of words slice in toward meaning like the scalpel itself. He avoids vagueness and ambiguity, courts acuracy and precsion like no one I've heard. He is a treat just to listen to, never mind his insights into the disease, it's history and possible future.

I ordered this book today in order to get more of his artistry but I wouldn't discourage those seeking the phycician's prowess - that is there too. If I should be in that 25% that ends up with cancer, I would hope Dr. Mukherjee would be there to consult with me and console.

5-0 out of 5 stars As magentic as a biography can be
As a work of scholarship, this book is just tremendous. Mukherjee traces the history of our understanding of cancer from 2500 BC to present-day. He writes of political battles for public attention, incredible wiles in the biology of the disease, and schisms among the researchers sent to conquer it. All major developments are present and sourced in sixty pages of footnotes. From this grand historical scope, Mukherjee has crafted a tight and coherent narrative that I found very difficult to put down. I'm aware of no lay-account of cancer with anything approaching the level of depth present here. This book is one-of-a-kind.

Like anything so vast, it isn't quite perfect. Certain structural changes would benefit fluency, though they've no impact on my unqualified recommendation.

* More humanizing characteristics and quotations. Smaller researchers, and occasionally even key players, are summed by little more than what they've accomplished. There are perhaps a hundred contributors that Mukherjee covers, but with exception to a handful that have had tens of pages devoted to them or some peculiar eccentricity, they're interchangeable and unmemorable.

* A more even balance between discovery and those stricken by cancer. Mukherjee is at his best when he's describing the struggles of his own patients. These stories are touching, personal, and an intensely interesting ground-level foil to the bird's eye view of much of the book. The retrospective of cancer discovery is so vast and detailed that these rare moments where the story reverts to the present can feel like an oasis.

Roughly half of The Emperor is comprised of five and ten-page vignettes where Mukherjee poses a question ("If XY, then could XYZ ... ?") and resolves it with the travails of a researcher ("Person Q, a scientist at H, noticed ..."). These accounts are often gripping, especially as advances accelerate in the mid-1980s, but sets of four or five in a series are enough to cause my attention to drift.

* A different ending. In the final chapters, Mukherjee suggests he'd originally intended to conclude with the death of a particular patient. By serendipity, that patient was still living in late 2009. Given the great strides in cancer survival and the sense he conveys that genetics may well provide the magic bullets that so occupied the fantasies of early researchers, concluding on a high note would have been within the spirit of the book. Instead, Mukherjee describes another patient that did in fact die. This person was not previously introduced. She was a better fit for the narrative, but including her account for that purpose didn't strike the right tone to me.

Structure aside, I'd like to have seen Mukherjee become more of a prognosticator in later chapters. I was reeling at the sheer mass of information on display by the last page, but I also felt as if I'd accumulated a great depth of trivia with little binding glue to the present. There probably aren't a hundred people alive in a better position than the author to comment on the state of cancer research, to predict, or to theorize in new directions. But these insights are spare.

These points aside, if you've even a tangential interest in cancer or biology, Mukherjee's opus remains a must-read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spectacular insight into the most feared of all diseases
This is a spectacular book. I read 100 books a year and this is definitely in the top 10. It is very, very well written and, in some ways, it is like a mystery. The way the book is written, we follow the stream of research and clinical medical treatment over 150 years. It's like feeling around in the dark for a bomb that we know will go off. It is simultaneously horrifying and compelling. I am a doctor and think I am compassionate towards my patients. This book increased my compassion 10X. What surprised me the most was the politics involved in attempting to cure a disease that potentially affects everyone. Surgeons want to cut and oncologists want to drug. They each have their turf and don't want to give it up. The fact that 50% of all men and 33% of all women will get some form of cancer before they die is a very sobering one. The section on the evilness of the tobacco industry was particularly illuminating. I can't put the book down and will truly be sad when it is finished.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic insight into the science behind medical research
Great book, I will read it again. I love learning and understanding the thought processes, errors and vast achievements of all aspects of scientific research, particularly medicine. This book does not disappoint. The author leans somewhat heavily on his thesaurus, be prepared to dig around in the dictionary. However, great history and insight into the scientific method. A fascinating peek into the mind of a scientist and a clinician. Must read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The New Standard for Cancer Stories
It is difficult to even imagine the stacks of reports, articles, notes and interviews that Dr. Mukherjee processed to produce this fabulous book. Each page explains, in very readable prose, complex, arcane subjects. For anyone looking for reason to hope that their cancer is curable, this book is trove of stories of lives saved and changed by the work of cancer researchers.
This book will be referenced in other works for a long time. Read more


171. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Kindle Edition (2009-10-04)
list price: $1.99
Asin: B002RKSCA6
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Some Points to Consider
Since I am a contributor to this volume, I will not offer a "review" in a conventional sense, but I will offer a list of contents, which this website otherwise does not offer. As there are a number of competing paperback editions of Stevenson's novella and the text of the story is essentially the same (allowing for minor editorial variants), readers should consider the issue of what else besides the main text they will be getting for their money, and this edition is unusually rich in supplementary features, so that the original story makes up only 55 of its 222 pages.

In addition to the text of Stevenson's "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," with explanatory notes by the editor, this volume also contains:

A preface by the editor, a "textual appendix" about textual variants in the manuscripts, a map of 19th century London marking places mentioned in the story, a timeline of the major events in the life of author Robert Louis Stevenson, and a bibliography. Plus...

An excerpt from a biography about Stevenson by Graham Balfour about the circumstances of the story's authorship...

A brief excerpt from Stevenson's "A Chapter on Dreams," which discusses the influence of his dreams on the story...

12 letters by Stevenson that discuss aspects of the "Dr. Jekyll" story...

10 contemporary reviews and comments about "Dr. Jekyll" that show how the story was originally received...

Another horror-oriented short story by Stevenson entitled "Markheim"...

A brief non-fiction piece by Stevenson, "How I Came to be such a student of our Penny Press," together with some examples of 19th century book advertising...

Three essays about the literary context of "Dr. Jekyll": Karl Miller, "The Modern Double": Jenni Calder, "Stevenson's Scottish Devil Tales"; and Judith Halberstam, "An Introduction to Gothic Monstrosity"...

Four essays about the scientific context of Stevenson's story: Stephen Jay Gould, "Post-Darwinist Theories of the Ape Within"; Frederic W. H. Myers, "Multiple Personality"; Norman Kerr, "Abject Slaves to the Narcotic"; John Addington Symonds, "This Aberrant Inclination in Myself"...

Two essays about the socio-historical context of Stevenson's story: Judith R. Walkowitz, "London in the 1880s"; and Walter Houghton, "Hypocrisy"...

Three essays and a filmography about theatrical and film adaptations of "Dr. Jekyll": C. Alex Pinkston, Jr., "The Stage Premiere of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"; Charles King, "Themes and Variations" (about film); Scott Allen Nollen, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Paramount, 1931)"; and Katherine Linehan, "A Checklist of Major Performance Adaptations"...

And five additional critical essays: G. K. Chesterton, "The Real Stab of the Story"; Vladimir Nabokov, "The Phenomenon of Style"; Peter K. Garrett, "Instabilities of Meaning, Morality, and Narration"; Patrick Brantlinger, "An Unconscious Allegory about the Masses and Mass Literacy"; and Katherine Linehan, "Sex, Secrecy and Self-Alienation in Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".

For sheer range of commentary, I do not think that you could point to a comparable volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do You Know the True Story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde??
+++++

I have seen many movie versions of this classic. So, I made the assumption that I knew the true story. Then I read this book. Was my assumption ever wrong!!!

This particular book (published by Signet Classics in Sept. 2003) of less than 150 pages has five parts:

(1) Opening Pages. They include a brief biography of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 to 1894). (Takes up 4% of the book.)
(2) Introductory Essay. This was written by the late, famous Russian author Vladimir Nabokov. (Takes up 20%.)
(3) The Actual Story. Its original title is "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1886). (Takes up 65%.)
(4) Afterword to the Story. It is written by a modern writer. (Takes up 8%.)
(5) Selected Bibliography. Outlines great works by and about R.L. Stevenson. (Takes up 3%.)

The introductory essay was an actual lecture Nabokov gave when he was associate professor at Cornell University from 1948 to 1959. It gives a thorough, detailed analysis of this "seldom read" classic.

The afterword consists of a shorter analysis of this classic by the modern writer Dan Chaon. I felt that this afterword provided valuable insight regarding the story of Jekyll and Hyde.

Chaon sums up the entire story: "The structure of ['Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'] follows a path as indirect and elusive as its multiple narrative voices. With its obliquely recorded incidents, its eyewitness accounts and sealed confessions, it resembles...a [police detective's] casebook--a collection of gathered clues, fragments, through which the clever detective may be able to...project a complete narrative. Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of this novel [of ten chapters] is that, in fact, there's so much left here for [the reader] to fill in, so many scenes that [the reader] can only imagine. Such a structure creates fertile ground for allegory [a story with symbolic meaning] hunters, and there are indeed many convincing interpretations of this novel...The puzzle-like structure of the novel [which only has eight major male characters] creates a kind of Rorechach test, open to various interpretations." (A Rorechach test is where a person interprets inkblot designs.)

The inspiration of this short novel is said to have come from a dream (or, perhaps more accurately, a nightmare) Stevenson had. His actual writing is amazing and skillful in all chapters. The writing especially of the last two chapters, chapters nine and ten, stood out for me. Here, for example, is his actual description of what happened when somebody observed someone using Dr. Jekyll's concoction: "He put the glass to his lips and drank at one gulp. A cry followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held on, staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; as I looked there came, I thought, a change--he seemed to swell--his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt and alter--and the next moment, I had sprung to my feet and leaped back against the wall, my arm raised to shield me...[and] my mind submerged in terror."

Finally, the cover of this particular book is interesting. It shows the shadow of a man in a top hat behind a window shade. This can be taken to represent Hyde who is a shadowy character.

In conclusion, this particular book has it all: an introduction by a late, well-known author, an intriguing mystery/horror story by a late, famous nineteenth century author, and an afterword by a gifted, modern writer. Be sure to read this book to learn the true story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!!!

+++++

5-0 out of 5 stars The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde
We all know the term "Jekyl & Hyde" but I suspect many, like me, have never actually read the story. It was a surprising pleasure and I was able to try out the dictionary function on my Kindle several times (words no longer used in modern day writing).

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine edition for scholars, students and the general reader
This is another first-rate critical edition from Norton. The text is cleanly printed with careful and accurate annotations. Both the critical and the backgrounds and contexts essays are well chosen. Sections on performance adaptations on stage and screen and on literary, scientific and sociohistorical contexts are particularly useful.One of the best critical essays is the editor's own. A detailed Stevenson chronology and an accurate selected bibliography conclude the volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars Narrative Technique
Stevenson created Utterson to narrate the story. But large sections of it are composed of Lanyon's letter to Utterson and Henry Jekyll's diary. The advantage of this is that it allows Stevenson to prolong the readers' suspense. In a way, Utterson, Enfield, and, for a time, Lanyon, are in the same position as the readers: observers trying to understand the mystery surrounding Henry Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Stevenson allies readers with Utterson and Enfield. Then, after we learn Lanyon knows Jekyll's secret, we, like Utterson, read his letter eagerly. Lanyon's narrative reveals the secret that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person. But, because Lanyon is also an observer, his narrative cannot tell us anything about Jekyll's motive. We need Jekyll's own account for that.

Thus, the narrative method Stevenson chooses prolongs our suspense. Gradually revealing information about Jekyll just heightens our desire to know the full story. By the time we get to Jekyll's story, we are at a fever pitch. I doubt Stevenson could have kept the pace of suspense had he used third-person point of view, and he certainly wouldn't have been able to do it using Jekyll as a first-person narrator. The drive of Utterson's limited point of view matches our own.

Stevenson's reliance on a limited first-person point of view also contributes to the story's theme. Perhaps Stevenson uses Utterson, Enfield, and our own ignorance of Jekyll's actions as a metaphor for human ignorance generally. In his narrative, Jekyll repeatedly refers to his life as the result of one choice among many choices he could have made. He creates Hyde to experience life and the other aspects of his personality denied by that choice. Jekyll argues that the choice he has made in selecting one life over another is discriminatory and limiting. It excludes other forms of knowledge and experience.

Maybe Stevenson hoped to gain reader sympathy for Dr. Jekyll by associating our ignorance and desire to understand the Jekyll/Hyde mystery with Jekyll's desire to know more of the life he sacrificed to play the role of a respected doctor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thrilling mystery at its best!
Jekyll and Hyde is a chilling psychological thriller by Robert Louis Stevenson that immediatly pulls you in and keeps you intrigued. It's almost like a love story between a man's good side and his evil side. Jekyll is a mild mannered physician with a good heart and good intentions, whereas Hyde is an evil monster with a heart of stone and intentions of committing cruel, savage, animal like murders. Dr. Henry Jekyll first turned into Hyde when he consumed a drink he made himself in his laboratory, and changes back to Jekyll with another. It all seems to be working for him...until one day when he takes an overdose of his Hyde potion and can't change back to his normal form. This book taught me that there is an untamed animal hiding inside each and every one of us just waiting to break out, like when we get angry or just go crazy. This book was terrific, and I'm sure that I will read many other Robert Louis Stevenson books.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Mr. Hyde inside us
Henry Jekyll is a renowned scientist and a respected man. But lately, his behavior has become strange, reclusive and mysterious. So his friend Utterson tries to find out what he's up to. In the meantime, terrible and strange things are happening by night in the streets of London. As the tale unfolds, we discover Jekyll's dangerous games with his own psyche. He discovers a drug that reveals his evil side, without any moral restraint, and gradually loses control of the drug. The narrative technique of Stevenson in this short masterpiece is simply perfect; its philosophical stand is frightening; its moral implications are relevant; and the construction of the story superb.

The onion-layer style serves very well its mission to reveal every event in a semi-slow but tense pace. The environment is insuperable: the dark, wet and gas-lighted streets of London, where Mr. Hyde's steps resonate frighteningly. The ending is horrifying and very well written and, overall, this is a gem of a book. It should be best read in loneliness, in the dark. It is much more than a simple horror novel, because it says something very real and very terrible: without moral restraints, our deeper self can be unbearably evil. It's true. Read more


172. I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections
by Nora Ephron
Hardcover (2010-11-09)
list price: $22.95 -- our price: $10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0307595609
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 72
Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten.

Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Love Story”) and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life (“The D Word”); lists “Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again” (“There is no explaining the stock market but people try”; “You can never know the truth of anyone’s marriage, including your own”; “Cary Grant was Jewish”; “Men cheat”); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box (“The Six Stages of E-Mail”); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking . . . but rarely acknowledging.

Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true—and could have come only from Nora Ephron—I Remember Nothing is pure joy.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I loved Nora Ephron's "I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections". It is a book of musings - some serious, some funny, all interesting. I especially appreciate the way it was written making you feel like you're sitting across from a friend chatting over a cup of coffee. It is a short book but one that definitely hit the spot.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Remember Nora and everything else.
I know Nora Ephron's writing well, I've been a fan for decades. She and I have grown up together, cried together, gotten divorced and remarried together and laughed together. Finding even a kernel of new writing from her is like bumping into an old friend. When I buy a book by Ms. Ephron I know what I'm getting, it's exactly what I what I'm looking for, and I love the way she says whats on her mind. I've found that she and I are similar in many ways and I'm sure that the rest of her book buying public feels the same. I want to listen to my dear old friend before I fall asleep some nights and sometimes we have a chat in the afternoon or over lunch (I imagine). The mere passage of time produces life lessons. I'm always happy to hear about the stories that have carried us from our past to our present Mostly that stuff is the boring crap that bogs down most writers... but that's the best part of Nora Ephron's writing...... the telling of the story. That's what makes her great and her books worth waiting for. I get to swap stories with my dear old (imaginary) best friend.
I loved it. And want more.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I have been forgetting things for years."
Sixty-nine year old Nora Ephron is philosophical, caustic, and occasionally hilarious in her latest book of concise and pointed essays, "I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections." "The past is slipping away and the present is a constant affront. I can't possibly keep up," says Ephron. Although she is a famous screenwriter, director, and playwright, in some ways Nora is Everywoman, someone who shares the same concerns as the rest of us. For instance, she feels cornered when a person accosts her whom she does not recognize, but who obviously recognizes her. She bemoans these signs of aging: friends becoming ill and dying, one's contemporaries obsessing over their MRIs and CAT scans, and taking "so many pills in the morning you don't have room for breakfast."

The author looks back at her career with mixed feelings. The chapter on her love affair with journalism is one of the best in the collection. She recalls the entrenched sexism back in the early sixties when, upon graduating from Wellesley, she could get a job at Newsweek only as a "mail girl" at fifty-five dollars a week. Readers will relish the author's juicy anecdotes about the days when telex machines spewed out dispatches; the media covered up scandals instead of reveling in them; and, as a novice reporter at the Post, she learned her craft from a group of nurturing and talented editors.

"I Remember Nothing" is a paean to New York, "the most exciting, magical, fraught-with-possibility place that you could ever live." It is also a poignant exploration of the power of parents to damage their children, the fragility of marriage, the pain of creating a flop, and the challenges of adjusting to a world in which almost everyone is infatuated with technology. Ephron is by turns proud and self-deprecating, saucy and thoughtful, nostalgic and regretful. She gets it that life is complicated and none of us will ever figure it out completely; we might as well do the best we can with what we have. She includes recipes for living well as well as recipes that you can prepare in your kitchen, and concludes with a list of things that she will miss after she is dead. Leave it to Nora Ephron to put her husband, kids, and waffles on the same list.

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173. Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes
by Stephen Sondheim
Hardcover (2010-10-26)
list price: $39.95 -- our price: $21.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0679439072
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 46
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Stephen Sondheim has won seven Tonys, an Academy Award, seven Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize and the Kennedy Center Honors. His career has spanned more than half a century, his lyrics have become synonymous with musical theater and popular culture, and in Finishing the Hat—titled after perhaps his most autobiographical song, from Sunday in the Park with George—Sondheim has not only collected his lyrics for the first time, he is giving readers a rare personal look into his life as well as his remarkable productions.

Along with the lyrics for all of his musicals from 1954 to 1981—including West Side Story, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd—Sondheim treats us to never-before-published songs from each show, songs that were cut or discarded before seeing the light of day. He discusses his relationship with his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, and his collaborations with extraordinary talents such as Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Ethel Merman, Richard Rodgers, Angela Lansbury, Harold Prince and a panoply of others. The anecdotes—filled with history, pointed observations and intimate details—transport us back to a time when theater was a major pillar of American culture. Best of all, Sondheim appraises his work and dissects his lyrics, as well as those of others, offering unparalleled insights into songwriting that will be studied by fans and aspiring songwriters for years to come.

Accompanying Sondheim’s sparkling writing are behind-the-scenes photographs from each production, along with handwritten music and lyrics from the songwriter’s personal collection.

Penetrating and surprising, poignant, funny and sometimes provocative, Finishing the Hat is not only an informative look at the art and craft of lyric writing, it is a history of the theater that belongs on the same literary shelf as Moss Hart’s Act One and Arthur Miller’s Timebends. It is also a book that will leave you humming the final bars of Merrily We Roll Along, while eagerly anticipating the next volume, which begins with the opening lines of Sunday in the Park with George.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Culture vultures, prepare to feast!
If you are lucky, you will discover artists whose work speaks to you in a very profound way. For me, it's the paintings of Henri Matisse, the novels of John Irving, the musicals of Stephen Sondheim. I'm an unabashed fan.

Mr. Sondheim's new coffee table book, Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes, is a gift to us all. Before you even start reading the text, flip through it and you'll see that this is a gorgeous book. It is chock full of photographs--more than 200--many of them full page blowups. There are pictures and artwork from the productions, candid photos from Mr. Sondheim's personal collection, and images of his hand-written notes, lyrics, and sheet music. This book is richly and beautifully illustrated. The only small disappointment is that all images are black and white, but it is truly a minor complaint.

Once you've feasted your eyes, dive into the text. Almost immediately, you'll see that Mr. Sondheim has written his book with the care and precision with which he writes his songs. There's a slight formality to the tone (with the laying down of copious rules along the way), but at the same time, it's a very candid look at his work, his collaborators, his predecessors, and his life. For musicians or composers, there is much substantive information on his process. And for theater buffs like me, this book is a treasure! Mr. Sondheim's contributions are the apotheosis of musical theater. The shows recounted are theatrical history. Sadly, I'm too young to have seen the original productions of any of these 13 shows, but now I've heard about the drama behind the scenes of Merrily We Roll Along straight from the horse's mouth. I know his two regrets from West Side Story, what he really thinks of theater critics, how he wanted to plot A Little Night Music, and the influence of Hammerstein's Allegro on his career. The truth is, there is just so much packed into this book, it is simply impossible to even begin to summarize the contents.

This book is specifically dedicated to Mr. Sondheim's lyrics, and what a joy it was to sing, er... I mean, read my way through them. To give you an idea of how comprehensive Finishing the Hat is, every lyric of every song from the original production of Follies is included. Nine songs cut from the show are included, along with the reasons behind the changes. A revised lyric for a later London production is included. And altered versions of "I'm Still Here" (for Barbara Streisand and for the film Postcards from the Edge) are included. And always Mr. Sondheim's thoughts, observations, and occasional criticisms are shared, often through the use of extensive footnotes.

The book ends at Merrily, 423 pages in, with a provocative statement and the word INTERMISSION. This is indeed the intermission between the volumes of Mr. Sondheim's collected lyrics/memoir, the second of which will encompass the remainder of his storied career. I can only hope the second book is well into its production. As excited as I was to get my hands on this book, it is truly more than I could have hoped for. In the end, it's a fitting testament to an immense talent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable
I have sat, transfixed, for the previous 2 1/2 days reading this book from cover to cover. Every line is a gem, a brilliant insight to be savored and reflected upon. If you have ever wanted direct access to the mind of one of art's greatest creators, this is it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A "Must-Have" Book
This is an incredible book to add to your theater collection. Mr. Sondheim really makes you think about the process and understand (just a little in my case) how much work, thought, genius, etc. it takes to produce his shows. It is like taking a master class in your comfy chair.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sondheim Rocks
A must-have for the Sondheim fan. However, the print is small and faint, and it is not a physically easy read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Gift/Great Personal Purchase
I must confess to being a life-long Sondheim fan - but this is truly an enjoyable and informative book about someone that I deeply admire. Bought it for a gift - want one for myself now.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Bow for Mr. Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim Will probably forever be regarded as the finest lyricist the musical stage has known - with apologies to librettist W. S. Gilbert or Gilbert and Sullivan fame. He has always taken on stories that encourage - no, force - the audience to relate to his ideas, whether that be in the early stages of his career with the magnum opus West Side Story or with the subsequent Gypsy!, Pacific Overtures, Follies, Sundays in the Park with George, Company, Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, etc. But while most everyone knows the lyrics to his large number of hits, few of us know the secrets or gossip or the lyricists real feelings about each of his ventures - until now.

This book is a very well written compendium of the lyrics (in every phase of their being), notes, ideas, misjudgments, and personal responses to the shows and the people involved with them. Sondheim is brilliant, not only at what he has done for a living, but also as a thinker and philosopher and pundit. Reading this book, as opposed to scanning this book, opens windows of insight into the career and the personality of one of America's treasures. There is so much to enjoy about this book that it will take several readings to absorb it all. It is a welcome addition to the libraries of all those who care about the stage musicals that are one of the few 'unique offerings' of this country to the world of music. Grady Harp, December 10

5-0 out of 5 stars Provocative, insightful, instructive, humorous.
He is the master of lyric writing, and he conducts a Master Class in the art for all of us who are interested and enchanted by this craft. He analyzes and overanalyzes himself, and combines it with critiques of other great lyricists. You may agree or disagree with his opinions, but his instructive and self assured manner gives you great insight into this most difficult art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just a small aside to add to the other reviews
How could I add anything to the previous reviews? It is all true: the book is brilliant, funny, witty, (funny and witty are not the same things, of course) controversial (if you're a fan of musicals from before 1950), insightful, delightfully opinionated, original...all the things the others have been saying. Listen to them (us)and you will be rewarded handsomely with a magnificent read. And if you already love Sondheim (as I do and millions of others do) you will probably read it more than once, first to just absorb as much as you can as you devour it in a few sittings, then again to discover God in the details. And I agree, the type could probably have been better. So, just as a small suggestion, if you're having trouble reading it, stop complaining, go out and spend a dollar and buy a magnifying glass. A small price to pay for the enjoyment you'll receive. Just a suggestion, mind you.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Rigor of Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim brings the same sense of rigor in his evaluation of his own work and that of his peers as he does to his musical creations. His passion reveals itself through his meticulou craftsmanship. His care in writing Finishing The Hat leaves the reader feeling as energized and refreshed as one feels after hearing his music and lyrics. It will be a wonderful text to refer to and reflect upon during repeated readings. Read more


174. Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time)
by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
Hardcover (2010-11-02)
list price: $29.99 -- our price: $16.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0765325942
Publisher: Tor Books
Sales Rank: 67
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One’s prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight.

The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age.

Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel’aran’rhiod and find a way--at long last--to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever.

Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways--the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn--have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men’s lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.

This penultimate novel of Robert Jordan’s #1 New York Times bestselling series--the second of three based on materials he left behind when he died in 2007--brings dramatic and compelling developments to many threads in the Pattern. The end draws near.

Dovie’andi se tovya sagain. It’s time to toss the dice.

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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars The 'Two Towers" of the Wheel of Time series
If you've been waiting on this series to *finish* for as long as I have, this book is for you.

It's the next-to final volume in Robert Jordan's twenty-years-in-the-making Wheel of Time series, not the ending itself, but -- well, I'll explain below. If you're familiar with the series at all, you know that Jordan passed away before he could finish writing the final volumes, and you know that Brandon Sanderson, an expert writer in his own right, has been brought on to finish the final three books -- The Gathering Storm, released last year, this volume, Towers of Midnight, and a final volume, _A Memory of Light_, which seems likely to be released around March 2012.

Of those three volumes, this is the "Two Towers" equivalent: there's a heck of a lot of action and movement, but ultimately, this book is about things *finally* falling into position for the final confrontations -- if The Gathering Storm put the key in the ignition, this one turns it, and now all that's left is to watch the last volume put the pedal to the metal. There's a real sense throughout the book that the many, many characters and plots are all locking into place, falling towards their final intersections.

Sanderson's writing is excellent, and in some ways significantly improved since the last volume. Due to the nature of the coauthorship (Jordan wrote some sections of the last three books before he died, and Sanderson is completing the rest from Jordan's extensive outlines and notes), it's hard to know precisely how much we're seeing here of Brandon Sanderson's work and how much of Jordan's, but Sanderson does appear to have a few minor "tells" (chiefly, a tendency towards more modern diction and phrasing), and from those I'll venture a guess that this volume has significantly more of Sanderson's writing in it than Jordan's. That's no criticism, though, as Sanderson's an excellent writer in his own right; the most important thing is the story and the characters, and those Sanderson carries through clear as day. Whatever problems Sanderson might have had adapting to Jordan's voice, he's clearly been working on them, and his work has clearly paid off. He's still not pitch-perfect, and there are definitely still moments where you're reminded of the transfer, but overall there's a vast improvement, even in characters he seemed to "hiccup" on in Gathering Storm (such as Matrim Cauthon). The result is that every point-of-view character, at least, speaks clearly with a voice that's recognizably *their own*, the voices we've known for all the twenty-odd years some of us have been following this series.

I'll avoid detailed plot summaries for fear of spoilers, apart from noting that the book focuses primarily on Perrin and Mat's storylines, overlapping much of the timeline in Gathering Storm and extending past it slightly, with significant further development for Rand, Galad, Gawyn, Egwene, and Elayne as well (in approximately that order, proportionally). Perrin especially gets a lot of development, and if you've ever thought anything like "Perrin used to be my favorite character, but. . . " you'll probably be very happy about the turn he takes in this volume.

The pacing is torrential, to the point that I read most of the book quite literally pacing around the room, too hooked to sit either myself or the book down. It does pay a price for that -- the action moves *so* quickly that at times some of the fine detail work is lost, some side-plots feel a little rushed through and some characters feel a little peripheral -- but it's probably a price worth paying at this point in the series.

The main defining trait of this volume, though, is that as I read it, I had the same sense of cascading finality that I get when I've almost solved a particularly nasty crossword puzzle or rubik's cube: the sense that after all that struggle and effort, *everything* is *finally* falling into place. At the end, it's pretty clear that all the dominoes are in line, the horses are at their starting gates, the match is poised above the fuse; all that's left is the flick, the home stretch, the final explosion. I'm looking forward to it. It's a feeling I've been waiting twenty-odd years for, and, well, to give in to understatement, it's pretty cool. If you've followed this series like I have, if you've been waiting for it too, you'll like this volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars Among the Best of the Series
Team Sanderson/Jordan knock another one out of the park with the penultimate volume of the Wheel of Time series. While The Gathering Storm was a wonderful book, I can see Sanderson's growth as a writer in Towers of Midnight. He's taken a lot of hard material and turned it into something that I can just almost pretend that Jordan wrote himself.

The biggest difference from Jordan's own books is that in ToM the pacing is break-neck.

If you're a fan of the series, you'll find moments to laugh and moments to cry and moments of extreme and wonderful emotion. I hate to sound cliched, but for those of us who have grown up with these characters, we start seeing some of the scenes that we've been waiting for for many years.

In my opinion, few other writers living could've pulled off so elegantly what Sanderson has accomplished in Towers of Midnight. Bravo! Onto Tarmon Gai'don!

5-0 out of 5 stars Towers of Midnight - Fantasy Book Critic's Review
(From my review at [...])

After more than 20 years, the Wheel of Time is drawing to a close. The Last Battle looms on the horizon, but as of the last page of 2009's The Gathering Storm, there was still much to do. As impressed as I was with The Gathering Storm, I admit I closed the book and wondered how in the Light the late Robert Jordan's successor, Brandon Sanderson, could suitably conclude all the dangling storylines in only two more books. Fortunately, Towers of Midnight, the penultimate book in the series, is further evidence that Robert Jordan's opus was left in capable hands.

The Gathering Storm was occasionally riddled with exposition, a means of reminding readers where characters stood in their respective adventures since the release of the previous Wheel of Time book, Knife of Dreams, in 2005. Such reminders were necessary, seeing as four years separated Knife of Dreams and The Gathering Storm. Towers of Midnight, released only 13 months after The Gathering Storm, has no such recaps to wade through. Consequently, the pace Sanderson sets in Towers of Midnight is, by and large, appropriately quick and infused with adrenaline.

Aside from some slight slowdown approximately three-quarters through, there is always something happening. Battles are fought, relationships--romantic and otherwise--are explored, and perhaps most importantly, plot threads that began way back in the first four books come to a close, and beautifully. Towers of Midnight very much has a "full circle" kind of feel. As characters move toward resolving their personal plights, dozens of allusions to The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, and The Shadow Rising are made, not only reminding readers of the origins of threads in Robert Jordan's Pattern, but why the characters featured in Towers of Midnight have become so beloved by readers over the last two decades. As character thought back on events, I recalled those circumstances right along with them, which served up a warm dose of nostalgia that instilled the desire to reread the series yet again.

What characters am I referring to? The vast majority. Rand, Mat, Perrin, Thom, Egwene, Nynaeve, Lan, Gawyn, Galad, Faile, Birgitte, Min, Aviendha, Tuon, Cadsuane, Morgase, a few Forsaken, various Aes Sedai and Asha'man... Burn me, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a Wheel of Time book with a more generous spread of characters--and that list only includes characters whose points-of-view are directly explored. Each character receives as much attention as is needed to move things forward, so don't worry that the large volume of plots weaved throughout Towers of Midnight results in any one story or character getting shafted.

The advancements each character makes in Towers of Midnight is by far the most exciting element of the story. Rand, having conquered the darkness inside him, makes moves to right the many wrongs born of his self-imposed emotional numbness. Egwene may be the Amyrlin Seat, but the White Tower is still suffering a schism due to her predecessor's mad machinations that pitted Ajah against Ajah, as well as fear over the encroaching Seanchan. Mat and Perrin, only occasionally mentioned in The Gathering Storm in order to move them into position like stones on a stones board, are given much larger roles in Towers of Midnight. Perrin makes strides to come to grips with leadership and his inner wolf, while Mat, who many fans felt was not quite himself in Brandon Sanderson's hands, steals the show at several intervals with his trademark blend of wit, action, and the Dark One's own bloody luck.

Although I enjoyed spending time with all of my favorite characters, there were two segments of Towers of Midnight that especially stood out. The first is an emotional reunion between two characters that has been a long time coming. The second comes when one character finally voices a question I've asked myself countless times since reading the first book: do Aes Sedai really serve the world, or do they only purport to serve others while serving themselves? As much as I like many Aes Sedai characters in the series, they have all too often come across as bullies, using magic to bend others to their will in order to see their own schemes bear fruit, the rest of the world be damned. The fact that these questions are (finally) voiced, and voiced by a significant character, will hopefully bring about a change in the way the women of the White Tower view themselves and others. Such a change likely won't be seen by readers, given that only one book remains in the series. But I would be satisfied with Aes Sedai (especially their Amyrlin) resolving to analyze and adjust their attitudes as the characters continue to exist in their world long after readers have read the final page of the final book.

If Towers of Midnight has any failing, it is that some storylines are wrapped up quick as a blink, which may leave some readers with whiplash. This very problem also occurred infrequently in The Gathering Storm, such as when the wife of one character murdered one of the series' main antagonists--one who had risen to power over the course of approximately nine books, only to die in little more than three pages. However, the sheer magnitude of plot that had to be resolved over the final three books in the series dictated that some stories would simply have to end more abruptly than others. In this writer's opinion, Sanderson was prudent in determining which loose ends to tie up posthaste, and which to draw out to appropriate and satisfying lengths.

With its emphasis on character development, exciting pace, and large cast of characters, Towers of Midnight is the Wheel of Time book fans have been waiting for since The Shadow Rising. The amount of ground covered in a single novel is staggering, and if Towers of Midnight is any indication as to what awaits us in the forthcoming A Memory of Light, the end, while bittersweet, is sure to be incredible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Despite my hesitance, Brandon Sanderson has not disappointed.
Despite my hesitance, Brandon Sanderson has not disappointed on this new installment to the Wheel of Time series. Some may fear that the characters personalities are being twisted, while others worry about Mr. Sanderson not being competent enough. If the 12th book didn't convince you that he was able to take on the load, this one sure will.

While Matt didn't quite strike me as the same, the changes in his personality are small, it comes with the change in writing style. Mr. Sanderson has started tying the loose plots up rather well and I am almost regretting reading it so soon after it came out.

Now I, and many other, have to wait a whole year for the final installment! How is that fair?

I can only grip the edge of my seat tighter and wait with baited breath for the final book. Onto the Final Battle!

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it but somehow expected more.
*May contain some vague spoilers*

I really liked this book though somehow it left me a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, a lot happens and there is some amazing moments that had me boggling and/or laughing like Perrin stopping balefire with his hand. Perrin's arc in this book is really well done and he completely grows into the shoes he put on in the last book.

I think the majority of my disappointment stems from how quickly Mat's quest to save Moiraine was finally resolved. I was expecting a lot more time spent with the snakes and foxes kinda like how much time Rand spent in the alternate world while hunting for the Horn. In reality, it was all done in a day which left me wanting more.

And to all the retards giving this a 1 star because of no Kindle version, grow up. I was also disappointed about this but only a few minutes of research will tell you that this is due to a request from RJ's wife. It's not TOR's or Amazon's fault. If you want to complain write an e-mail to RJ's wife, don't come here and drag down the rating of an awesome book that you haven't even read.

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175. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
by Michael Lewis
Hardcover (2010-03-15)
list price: $27.95 -- our price: $15.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0393072231
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 30
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The #1 New York Times bestseller: a brilliant account—character-rich and darkly humorous—of how the U.S. economy was driven over the cliff.When the crash of the U. S. stock market became public knowledge in the fall of 2008, it was already old news. The real crash, the silent crash, had taken place over the previous year, in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine, and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower- and middle-class Americans who can’t pay their debts. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking.

The crucial question is this: Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages?Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his #1 best-selling Liar’s Poker. Who got it right? he asks. Who saw the real estate market for the black hole it would become, and eventually made billions of dollars from that perception? And what qualities of character made those few persist when their peers and colleagues dismissed them as Chicken Littles? Out of this handful of unlikely—really unlikely—heroes, Lewis fashions a story as compelling and unusual as any of his earlier bestsellers, proving yet again that he is the finest and funniest chronicler of our times.
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Reviews ... Read more


176. Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages
by Leland Gregory
Kindle Edition (2007-05-01)
list price: $9.99
Asin: B002TZ3D2G
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Sales Rank: 324
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

If it would shock you to learn that Benjamin Franklin didn't discover electricity, you'll appreciate this take on hundreds of historical legends and debacles. Historians and humorists alike may be surprised to learn that:

Samuel Prescott made the famous horseback ride into Concord, not Paul Revere. As a member of Parliament, Isaac Newton spoke only once. He asked for an open window. On April 24, 1898, Spain declared war on the U.S., thus starting the Spanish-American War. The U.S. declared war the very next day, but not wanting to be outdone, had the date on the declaration changed from April 25 to April 21.With these and many other stories, leading humorist Leland Gregory once again highlights both the strange and the funny side of humankind. ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Light reading on a weighty topic!
I really enjoy trivia and I really enjoy history so it was nice to see them combined in a really funny collection. This is a collection of entertaining short, historical tales flavored with pieces of trivia and stupid acts through the ages. Leland Gregory has also peppered these narratives with "punny" jokes that are sure to make you crack a smile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun Read
This is a fun book. The entries are one page little-known facts and anecdotes from history. I found the entries to be from slightly interesting to Wow! Plus, there are several laughs thrown in along the way. The one page entries made this perfect bedtime reading for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars totally worth it impulse buy
I purchased this at my local Borders Books. Unintentionally. They had it up at the register, and being a history fanatic, and a fan of all things trivialesque & stupid, I impulsively purchased the book. I'm so glad I did. As another reviewer said, the book is full of everything from, "Oh, really?" to "OH WOW!" and very 'punny' jokes.

Totally worth the money. I'm glad it was on display, or otherwise I may have never known of it's existence. Read more


177. 25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever
by Ace Collins
Kindle Edition (2009-09-15)
list price: $15.99
Asin: B002UM5BOQ
Publisher: Zondervan
Sales Rank: 8588
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Christmas should be the most anticipated day of the year. But many people dread the shopping, financial strain, and extra activities they have to sandwich between the layers of their already too-busy lives.Bestselling author Ace Collins is the perfect guide to help them navigate the stress of the holidays. As he shares twenty-six easy ways to revamp Christmas expectations, readers will relax, refuel, and readjust their attitude toward the season. Each upbeat chapter contains easy to apply ideas for taking a fresh look at a holiday tradition or task and making it positive and meaningful. Through a blend of historical stories, scriptural truths, and contemporary anecdotes, Collins creates a recipe for holiday happiness. He adeptly shows how to keep the joy of the season from derailing and helps readers rediscover Christmas as it was meant to be---holy, peaceful, and purposeful.A glorious Christmas is attainable with Collins' timely wisdom and advice. Partly devotional, partly practical, and always thoughtful, Collins' book will help readers make this their best Christmas ever! ... Read more

Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Shallow and scattered
I have a tension with Christmas. I absolutely love it, and yet sometimes feel like we're missing the point. Tradition is not bad, but even well-intentioned and meaningful traditions can also become idols.

So, when I received 25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever to review, I was skeptical but hoping for the best. The book is written in short chapters that are intended to be read one at a time from December 1st through the 25th. This is not a devotional, but rather a light "reflective reading" book from a Christian perspective.

I have to say, as I began reading this little book my hopes were lifting. I really enjoyed reading Ace Collins' accounts of the historical "Good King Wenceslas" [I never knew he was a real person!], the church's historical observance of advent, the way Christian missionaries in years long ago used mistletoe and evergreen trees to share the gospel, the roots of some of our most beloved Christmas carols, and Martin Luther being the first to add candles to the Christmas tree to symbolize Jesus as the Light of the World. Collins' historical tidbits really did add a new layer of understanding and appreciation to Christmas traditions for me. I also appreciated the emphasis he rightly placed on giving and generosity, and that we should be seeking to emulate the love and heart of Christ.

BUT. I found Collins' approach to refocusing on the meaning of the season to be shallow and scattered. His approach to lessening stress during the holidays seems to be "do more and be happy about it." I felt like my hand was being slapped [albeit jovially] for not being a person who typically sends Christmas cards - and in fact, that I should be picking out individual cards that reflect the tastes of each friend and family member I send them to. I should pick out more gifts more thoughtfully. I should put up more lights more carefully. I should bake more cookies and give them away. I should take more pictures. Oh, and if I'm finding myself too rushed I should slow down and ride my bike. If I feel stressed about these things I should hum a Christmas carol and "turn my frown upside down."

No matter how meaningful the roots of our Christmas traditions, I still contend that those very traditions can become idols that can overtake our focus on Christ. They aren't bad - Christmas cards, lights, decorations, music, shopping, baking... all are enjoyable and fun and can create lovely memories. But perhaps instead of doing more and feeling guilty about not embracing a Clever-family Christmas, we should consider doing less. Perhaps we need to free ourselves a bit from the guilt of all of the "must-do" items on our agendas this time of year that really don't matter in the lens of eternity.

In short, if you're looking for a light and mildly interesting read about Christmas traditions, this might be what you're looking for. Just please take it with a grain of salt and banish the guilt of feeling that you must do more.

Consider learning about traditions, carefully choose what you will do, and do less... with more purpose. :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, my BEST Christmas Ever
I packed this book to take on a business trip with me mid November. As I sat in my hotel room with no distractions I opened the book and instantly became thankful it had been written. The hotel I was staying in was already decked for Christmas as well as the shopping malls I had visited earlier in the day. That bothered me a bit until I read the first few pages and learned that during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevels asked folks to shop and mail their gifts early to ensure loved ones overseas received their packages. I thought of all of our soldiers and sailors serving right now during wartime and became filled with emotions of thankfulness to them.

I am a Christian. I go to church each Sunday. Our church recognizes Advent each Christmas. I never understood the real meaning of Advent until I read this book.

The history of the Christmas Tree, Mistle toe, etc have all been revealed to me now.

Most important of all though is how this book has given me the desire to serve others, share my joy with others, give of myself in ways I never thought of all in the Spirit of Christmas, the True Spirit in Which Christmas was intended. Please read this book. It will change your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pull this book out each year!
Not too long ago I read a few fiction books by Ace Collins {Farraday Road and Swope's Ridge} and got completely hooked on his fiction. Enough that I am anxiously waiting for the conclusion of the trilogy.

For the Christmas season, Ace Collins has released a new book that focuses on ways to put the JOY back in Christmas: 25 Days, 26 Ways To Make This Your Best Christmas Ever. Each of the twenty-six chapters in the book shares ideas for looking at holiday traditions, frustrations, and expectations and making Christmas what it should be ~ a time of peace and focus on Christ.

I've been reading the book daily and love the insights and perspective that Collins offers. It's been a great encouragement and way to refocus my perspective each morning. At the end of each chapter there is a little `shortcut' that provides an idea on how you can apply the topic of the day. Chapters cover topics on the meaning of old Christmas carols, the significance behind the Magi's gifts to Jesus, Advent, and preserving the holidays. The daily readings are quick and a great start to my morning quiet time. This is one book that I will be keeping handy each Christmas season for a reminder on the important things in life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the Christmas Season Again
This book really reiterated to me what I had already decided this year, that this season was not going to be packed with too much to do each day, but instead December would be a lovely time to enjoy with family. So far, on this 9th day of December, the season has been lovely. My entire Christmas shopping is done and Christmas cards have been sent. We have taken time already to go to the huge light display in Lexington, eat peppermint ice cream, read a story for Advent each day, and enjoy a special Christmas movie each night.

Ace Collins, the author, takes each of the 25 days of Christmas and focuses on a seasonal topic. Day 3 was a look at what "Merry" in Merry Christmas and God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen means. I will not give it away here, but you may be surprised at the meaning. At chapter's end, Mr. Collins gives A Shortcut to the Season with an idea on how the reader can make the reading come alive. For example, he suggests figuring up how much it would cost to give to your true love today the 12 gifts of The Twelve Days of Christmas. My oldest boy will love that. My father always said his tree was decorated on Christmas Eve, which I always found strange. Now I know this was typical in the 40s and earlier. Early Christmas shopping did not begin unto World War II. So why do we kill ourselves trying to rush around so now? We need to get back to the joy of the season. Read more


178. The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel
by Garth Stein
Paperback (2009-06-01)
list price: $14.99 -- our price: $6.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0061537969
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 52
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope—a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it

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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Characters you care about, a story that grabs you -- maybe more dogs should write novels
I have finally found a new novel I can stand to read.

To my great astonishment, it's told by a dog. (I'm not a pet-lover).

It contains many insights about car racing. (I have no interest in car racing, and I look askance at sports analogies.)

And the author has described it as "Jonathan Livingston Seagull' for dogs." (That book is tied with 'The Giving Tree' as my Least Favorite Ever.)

So what do I find to praise?

The concept: "When a dog is finished living his lifetimes as a dog, his next incarnation will be as a man." Not all dogs. Only those who are ready. Enzo, a shepherd-poodle-terrier mix, is ready.

Enzo has spent years watching daytime TV, mostly documentaries and the Weather Channel (It's "not about weather, it is about the world"). And because Denny Swift, his owner, is a mechanic who's training to race cars, he and Enzo watch countless hours of race footage. So Enzo knows about the world beyond the Swift home near Seattle.

The situation is equally appealing: Enzo is old, facing death. While he has learned from racing movies to forget the past and live in the moment, this is his time to remember. And he can remember objectively --- as a dog, his senses are sharper, his emotions less complicated. With the clarity of a Buddha, Enzo can see. And he can listen: "I never interrupt, I never deflect the conversation with a comment of my own." So he's quite the knowing narrator.

And then the story: a happy family, brimming with good feeling and ambitious dreams. Denny loves Enzo like a son. Denny loves his wife Eve, who works for a big retail company that "provided us with money and health insurance." And Denny lives for Zoe, their daughter. Then Enzo smells something bad happening in Eve --- the dog is always the first to know --- and you start to brace yourself. But not enough, not nearly enough. Bad things happen to good people in this novel, and then worse things, and soon you are so angry, so hurt, so tear-stained and concerned that you do not think for one second to step back and say, hey, wait, this is just a story! A shaggy dog story, at that!

It works out. This is fiction, of course it works out. Not without cost to the characters and the reader. But the payoff is considerable --- a story that commands you to keep going, ideas that are a lot smarter than the treacle Garth Stein could have served up.

"How difficult it must be to be a person." Enzo nails that. "To live every day as if it had been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live." Who wouldn't? "Racing is about discipline and intelligence, not about who has the heavier foot. The one who drives smart will always win in the end." And there's more --- yeah, this could be summer reading in progressive high schools some day.

Or you could take a refresher course now in learning how to race in the rain.

Why wait?

5-0 out of 5 stars A dog's eye view of humanity
I might secretly be a dog person, or maybe subconsciously ... but if you were to ask me I would tell you I'm not a dog person. Oh, but how I loved Enzo.

On the eve of his death, Enzo (a dog) tells what amounts to his master's life story. Stein's attention to detail was amazing - the book read like it was written by somebody who took the time to stop and think "what would a dog feel/do in this situation?" As a result, Enzo is memorable and lovable. He's at once a crotchety old man, and an innocent youth. He's wise, he's naive, and he is devoted.

I'm not going to lie to you, this book is very sad. But it is also laugh out loud funny at times, and filled with love, devotion, philosophy and hopefulness.

It's a beautiful book and definitely one of my favorites of the year.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wrenching and inspiring
I picked The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein simply because, being a dog lover and seeing the dog on the cover, I couldn't resist. It was one of those moments, as a reader, you'll remember for a while. What a wonderful book.

Enzo, the narrator, is a dog and Enzo wants nothing more than to be a man. Here is the only aspect of the book I might doubt. Anyone who is aware of "man's" human nature knows that dogs, as a creature, are much nobler. To become a man might not be an upward move. Nuff said there.

Enzo is part of a happy family, Denny, the racer; Denny's wife Eve, and his daughter Zoe. Life is good. But then Eve develops cancer and decides to remove herself to her parents home along with Zoe. In the end, the parents of Eve decide to challenge Denny for custody to Zoe and do so in a manner that isn't befitting grandparents.

This book will tear at you in so many ways and on so many levels. Without giving too much away let me just say that I haven't felt compelled to tear up so often by a book in a long time. Reading The Art of Racing in the Rain is like sitting through Old Yeller as a young boy and not crying. But don't let me scare you off. The Art of Racing is a book you've got to read, especially if you love dogs (or animals in general). With a wonderful storyline and characters you become attached to this book is cathartic.

Garth Stein is to be congratulated on writing a book that is sure to become a classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Novel with Tremendous Heart

Length:: 9:53 Mins

This morning, my wife and I learned that our son has been diagnosed with speech delay. He is our first child, and we've never been through something like this before. It is easily one of the most difficult days of my life.

This evening, after we put him to bed, I settled into the last 100 pages of Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain. The story concerns one family's near total collapse as seen through the eyes of the family dog, Enzo. It is filled with more emotion than any other novel I have read recently, and it shines with wit, humor, and poignancy.

Narrated by Enzo the dog, we are brought into the home of the Swifts -- Denny, Eve, and Zoe -- as Denny works to realize his dream to become a race car driver. Soon though, we learn that Eve has cancer and is going to die. Denny, who possesses tremendous compassion, patience, and selflessness, gives up his dream to race cars in order to take care of Eve in her final months.

But Garth Stein ratchets the emotional screws tighter, and Eve chooses to leave Denny and live with her parents in her final months. To make matters worse, she takes Zoe with her, and Denny is left alone with Enzo.

Just when Denny's situation can't get any worse, it does. His in-laws inform him that they're going to file for custody of his daughter, and they intend to fight him brutally in court to do so.

It would be wrong to give too much of the second half of this novel away, but let me just say this: if this novel doesn't make you cry, you should have someone check your heart to see if it's still beating.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is easily one of the most human and compassionate novels I've read in a long time. Harper Executive Editor Jennifer Barth compares it to Charlotte's Web, an appropriate choice for a lot of reasons. If I had to draw a comparison, I'd pick Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men... by virtue of the fact that both novels are short, poignant, sad, funny, and ultimately brilliant. And both stories are models of grace under pressure.

Congratulations to everyone at Harper and to the folks at Folio Literary Management for bringing this novel to publication. And congratulations most of all to Garth Stein.

This is an outstanding novel, and I highly recommend it.

Stacey Cochran
Author of CLAWS: A Suspense Novel

5-0 out of 5 stars BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Since I am a young teenager, you might think it doesn't mean much for me to say that this is the best book ever. But I've read a pretty good amount of books for someone my age. When I read this book, I felt a connection with it that I haven't felt with any other book. It made me feel the pain, the happiness, the sadness, and the humor in the characters lives. I cried at two points in the book because of the way the author was able describe it. It wasn't that it was sad, it was just that it was told in such a beautiful and truthful way. Obviously, you might say that a dog could not think like a human, so how could it be truthful. But this book is not about what real dogs think. It's about spiritual and emotional truths. Doesn't anyone remember Charlotte's Web? Enzo says, "My intent, here, is to tell our story in a dramatically truthful way. While the facts may be less than accurate, please understand that the emotion is true. The intent is true. And, dramatically speaking, intention is everything."

Because I'm 12, I did have to discuss the book with my parents. I needed to ask questions about the custody battle and Eve's sickness. I recommend this book to anyone who is open to the ideas of creating your own life and not being a victim. Anyone who thinks this book has anything to do with bad luck (I've seen some of the reviews) is really missing the message. There is nothing random. As Enzo says, we are all extensions of everything. Where you focus your energy is what happens in your life. What happens in the end is what has to happen. It is the only true ending that fits the whole buildup of where Denny and Enzo placed their energy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Darned near perfect read
I stopped at Starbucks on my way to jury duty, for coffee and something sweet to get me through. I saw this book and, being a dog lover, the cover caught my eye. I read the flyleaf and had to have it. This is as close to a perfect story as I've read in a long time. Yes, the narrator is a dog who is wiser than most of us; yes, Denny is a zen-type race car driver (and I'm bored silly by the entire "sport" of car racing); yes, all sorts of bad luck is heaped upon Denny. With all that I was caught up in the story and believed every word as true and in the very realest sense it is. I've recommended it to all my friends and I recommend it to you too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful novel that you'll never forget.
This novel is now on my top ten favorite books list. It has a unique narrative voice, that makes this novel both singular as well as inventive, standing apart from the onslaught of new releases readers face each year. With themes that many people can empathize with balanced with the racing metaphor, which I thought would never work coming from a non-racing background yet ultimately will add to the experience to any reader. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A book every dog parent needs to read
I laughed and cried while reading this book. Rooted for Enzo and his family throughout the read. This is such a great book, told with humor and humanity and I highly recommend this to any pet parent who loves their pets and just knows your buddy is more human than most humans. Definitely recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Novel
I would call this a perfect novel for the following reasons.
1. The unique choice of narrator (the dog) which, once you get over the gimmick, is handled with grace and aplomb and not at all off-putting
2. The language is delicious, without a word too many or too few. The author understates the action just enough that his words are each filled with poignancy and gravitas
3. The plot, which winds through several permutations, each unexpected but perfectly believable
4. The characters, all of whom are well-written and three-dimensional
5. The message, which is one of patience, balance, loyalty and unconditional love

I read this book in one sitting, unable to take a break once I started. There were several moments where it moved me to tears, and the last few chapters had me weeping openly. The experience was cathartic and immensely rewarding.... and that, I contend, is perfection. Read more


179. The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
by Max Brooks
Paperback (2003-09-16)
list price: $13.95 -- our price: $5.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 1400049628
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 48
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

The Zombie Survival Guide is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now.Fully illustrated and exhaustively comprehensive, this book covers everything you need to know, including how to understand zombie physiology and behavior, the most effective defense tactics and weaponry, ways to outfit your home for a long siege, and how to survive and adapt in any territory or terrain.

Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack

1. Organize before they rise!
2. They feel no fear, why should you?
3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
4. Blades don’t need reloading.
5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
9. No place is safe, only safer.
10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

Don’t be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset—life. This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it. The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead. It is a book that can save your life.
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Being safe means being prepared!
This excellent guide will prepare you as well as any book can. The realities of an outbreak of the Solanum-infected is something that will test your physical and psychological limits. However--and with apologies to Mr. Brooks for using this space to editorialize--the only way we can fully prepare, is for the government to finally make the recorded incidents available for public scrutiny and analysis.

I know from bitter experience how ill-prepared local, state, and federal authorities are to deal with these outbreaks. It is only a matter of time before containment and cover-up are shown-up for the pathetic band-aid type responses they are; and we have a full-scale infestation that will have to be dealt with by the clueless.

The incident I experienced wasn't covered in the book, which is very surprising, considering how recent it was, the number of people involved, and the fact that it resulted in the death--among many others--of a former Cosby kid. At least a few of Mr. Brook's sources would surely have know about the events in and around Black Creek, Wisconsin in October of 1998.

My involvement began when I was pulled off the site of my security supervisor position at a nearby Department of Energy facility to support a county SWAT team dealing with a "civil disturbance". This type of order was unheard of, yet me and a few others with sniper training had to respond. This isn't the place for a long narrative, yet I need to give some sort of public account. Screw my security oath; I also took an oath to protect the United States from enemies foreign and domestic, and the only way to do that, I'm convinced, is to reveal the truth.

Long story as short as possible: a charter flight out of Canada went down in the dense woods surrounding the unincorporated town of Black Creek, and we were given vague instructions to set up a perimeter around that locus and stop, by whatever means necessary, anyone attempting to leave the area. We all thought it was a training exercise and were joking around when the first of "them" lurched out of the woods. You can guess what happened. Our perimeter soon became an inner perimeter as we ourselves were hemmed in, engaged in the fight of our lives. 18 horrifying and surreal hours later, huddled in an abandoned grist mill, the remains of our group were rescued by troops from Fort McCoy. The incident was covered up. Civilians as well as law enforcement and military personnel were threatened into silence, and I can only assume the press was as well. I am aware of some attempts at lawsuits still going on, but I think those are doomed to fail.

Had we had even a fraction of the knowledge contained in this guide--or even knew the nature of the enemy we battled--we would have fared so much better, and many good people would still be alive.

The advice in the book is solid, although I have a few thoughts of my own based on my experiences: I don't agree that edged weapons are superior to bludgeons. Blades will stick, splatter infected blood all over, and pose a greater risk to any of your allies in close proximity. You don't want the distraction of crawling around a dimly-lit floor, looking for your buddy's ear, accidently hacked off while you flailed at a horde of creatures. (True story.) Also, If you have the time in advance, use low-grain rounds in your firearms if you're planning on using them indoors. In an enclosed space, the muzzle-flash and noise from rounds like those in a magnum will leave you disoriented and numb after just a short time, severely limiting your combat effectiveness. Finally, wear pathogen-resistant boots. You won't believe the amount of blood that pools at your feet while defending a static position from a major onslaught.

Mentally toughen up. I realize that advice is a bit non-specific. I really don't have a solid indicator of what will make someone react better than others in those terrifying situations. Combat veterans panicked, with fatal consequences, while an intrepid band of Cub Scouts--clearly camped out at the wrong place at the wrong time--performed admirably.

Your Uncle Sam IS making small steps toward training its first responders, albeit secretively and obtusely. For example, see the 2005 copy of the FEMA Small Unit Managers Manual, 109-A. They mention "Transient Anomalous Social Disturbances". A roundabout and halfway approach to some sort of level of preparedness. And a close examination of the Department of Homeland Security charter will reveal small clues to a weak effort at defense against the undead. But, bottom line, it is the informed citizenry that will make the difference when the Solanum hits the fan. Get this book and get busy. Read more


180. Dog Days (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 4)
by Jeff Kinney
Hardcover (2009-10-12)
list price: $13.95 -- our price: $6.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Isbn: 0810983915
Publisher: Amulet Books
Sales Rank: 80
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.
 
Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.”
 
Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything? 

F&P level: T
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Reviews

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Instant Favorite with Son!
My son loves this series so of course I pre-ordered this book for him. It just arrived today and boy did he gush when I surprised him with it after school. I even got a hug and an "I love you!" before he disappeared with it for the remainder of the evening. He's about halfway through with it already and stopped himself so he would have more to enjoy tomorrow. He rereads them all anyways. I also flipped through it before he came home and chuckled at the parts, the boy reminds me of my own and is probably why he loves this series so much. It is very relatable to kids without being a bad influence. I love the humor and that it keeps my son reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars Not only fun
First of all the whole series of Wimpy Kid books deserves its success. My kids love the books and I also read all of them myself. I think it is a great series of books not only for the children but for their parents as well. And if you pay some attention to the reading you will actually realize that the books are also in a way educational. Greg is actually a very smart kid and the simple drawings are just perfect for demonstrating humour. Another kid's series that I like for that educational aspect is Why Some Cats are Rascals, Book 2 .

5-0 out of 5 stars dog days
I think Dog Days is the best wimpy kid book yet. It is also a hilarious book. I love how it follows the story so well. There is a lot of unexpected parts in this book. It had an outstanding ending. I had waited one month for this book to come out. I think it was "totally" worth the wait. There aren't any new characters, but it does have a lot more of Rowley for people who like Rowley. I hope the people who buy this love it. (Review by George, Age 10)

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful book
Diary of a wimpy kid really amazes me. It's about a person named Greg who has to survive middle school. Now, he's in summer vacation.
I think the summer vacation theme is a good idea in this series, so readers can take a little break from the school theme. The first few pages are basically explanation of Greg's summer vacation. After that, the funny parts come. Overall, this book is great.
My tip in reading this book is that you don't read too much of it in one day. That way, you can hold the suspense of the story for the next day.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is da bomb
I think this book was the best book i have ever read in my entire life! One of the reasons why i love this boom so much is because it is outrageously funny. I have read all of the book series that are out and i definitely think this one is the funniest, humors, children book i have read. If you are in the 3rd grade up to 6th grade this is the best book you will have ever read in your life. Ever since I have read the first sentence of the first book of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney has been my favorite author, and i thought Dave Pilkey was hilarious.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rankings of the books and the funny moments in the book
I really like your books. You have a great sense of humor and are good at doing cartoons. The minute I got the 3rd book I just started laughing meaning I really liked the book. So I thought the books were so great that I chose to put them in rankings:
1.#3
2.#4
3.#2
4.#1
I also have the movie that I got in the summertime and Have the movie novel and the Do-It-Yourself book.
I am so happy about the books and the type of books they are.
The only items left by you that I so want is the movie soundtrack, book #5 The Ugly Truth. Thank you so much for writing these books. More books by you I would really like. But if you can do that.
The last thing I am going to tell is that I have also gotten into the Big Nate series. The 5th book sounds so RAD. Please write more books. Read more


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