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    Good News Bible: Today's English Version
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 October, 1993)
    list price: $19.99
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    Reviews (12)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Read the KJV please.
    This bible is not the true GOD'S Word. It has been changed too much. I believe that the KJV is the true Bible. God died for our sins. He shed his blood so that we might have everlasting life - but, ONLY if we belive. This bible is written to make you feel good about yourself. All we are sinners destined for hell and damnation. God was not brought into this world just to make us feel good about ourselves but to make us feel a need to repent from our sin. We cannot get to heaven in eternity unless we believe in the LORD JESUS CHRIST.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good translation
    I think this Bible version is better than the NIV (New International Version). It also seems to be fairly accurate even along with the King James Version. I disagree with some of the reviewers who gave this version only one star and criticism. The King James is far from perfect as well. I use both the Good News Bible and the King James in my Bible devotional time. Translation is a difficult task (I know, I've studied languages in college). So any work that is an attempt to help bring the Gospel to someone deserves at least some credit.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Evil.
    This book has caused more misery than all the wars ever. Anybody who believes in it deserves to burn eternally in the hell they have created with their metaphysical mumbo-jumbo ... Read more

    Isbn: 0840712677
    Sales Rank: 738648
    Subjects:  1. Bibles    2. Bibles - Basic English    3. Bibles - Today's English    4. Religion   

    The Complete Works of Shakespeare (4th Edition)
    by William Shakespeare, David Bevington
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 January, 1997)
    list price: $95.00
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    Reviews (22)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare Complete
    This is truly a great book.Not only does it contain all of Shakespeare's works but it also has an enormous amount of information.There's a little bit on his life and a bit more about the theater during his time. There are also some great drawings in the beginning of the book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Almost the best complete Shakespeare Collection
    If you can't afford the Oxford Edition of Shakespeare's complete works than this is the next best edition you can find.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Complete Bard
    Bevington's Complete Works of Shakespeare is a priceless source for the writings of history's greatest author.All of the plays, sonnets and poems are contained, plus extensive commentary.An invaluable treasure for actors, producers, students, scholars, writers, and anyone else interested in Shakespeare.The Bard's canon is presented in an easily read format.Highly recommeded. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0321012542
    Sales Rank: 264366
    Subjects:  1. Drama    2. English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh    3. General    4. Literature - Classics / Criticism    5. Literature: Classics    6. Shakespeare    7. Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616   

    Mark Twain: Four Complete Novels
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (23 March, 1993)
    list price: $11.99 -- our price: $9.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great collection
    What a great book to have when you want to have some of Twain's finest stories.This should be a must-have for any reader's library.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The adventures of tom sawyer
    The Adventures of Tom SawyerAllison Snow
    Tom Sawyer was always getting into trouble. He'd do anything form pretending he was dead to tricking his little cousin with his pet tarantula. Overall Tom could be a great kid, but Tom just wanted to be himself. Mark Twain wrote this wonderful book. This book is exiting and will take readers to another world. I will tell you one of Tom's adventures to get a good look on Tom's personality. Tom was a troublemaker and loved it.

    Tom could be a great kid that is, when he wanted to. I think that his middle name should be trouble. He is a very odd little boy ill tell you that. One night Tom ran away while bribing his little cousin not to scream for Aunt Petunia. Tom shoved a rag in his mouth and set his tarantula jar on his stomach. He snuck out and went towards the woods while picking up friends on the way there. While he was running he tripped over a log and fell in the creek. Tom started to drown. Huck came to the rescue as he pulled Tom out of the water and gave him CPR.Tom coughed up water and looked to se who saved him. Unfortunately Huck hid behind a tree. Tom vision started to clear up on the walk back home.

    Once Tom snuck back trough his window he went down stair for breakfast. While sitting down at the table Tom swats a newspaper down on the table. "What's for breakfast," he said. Aunt Petunia pulls out the jar with the spider in it and smacks it down on his place mat. Tom knew she was mad. As normal, Tom was in trouble, again

    4-0 out of 5 stars Trickster of the Town
    Tom's adventures were exciting because he does a lot of things he shouldn't do.For instance, he gets lost in a cave with his girlfriend Becky and risks his life for her.He tricks his Aunt Polly into forgiving him and so he ends up not getting the punishment he deserves.Tom witnesses a terrible murder with one of his best friends, Huckleberry Finn.I think this book is one of the most frightening, mysterious and exciting books I've ever read. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0517092891
    Sales Rank: 17763
    Subjects:  1. Bargain Books    2. Classics    3. Sale Adult - Literature - Classics & Contemporary    4. Fiction / Classics   


    The Catcher in the Rye
    by J.D. Salinger
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (16 July, 1951)
    list price: $25.95 -- our price: $16.35
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    Editorial Review

    Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,

    "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."

    His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation. ... Read more

    Reviews (2543)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Catcher in the Rye
    The Catcher in the Rye follows a teenage boy who is searching for understanding. Holden wants to find someone, anyone who will relate to him only to find himself annoyed by the phoniness of the world. The adolescence that was stolen from him by the death of the brother he idolized, forces Holden to realize he only wishes to be able to preserve the innocence of the world. Wishing he could become the "catcher in the rye" and save children from growing up. Although I cannot really relate to the character, I can relate to being frustrated with the trivialness of the world. I would recommend this book to any high school students that have yet to find themselves. It is a quick read and gives insight to growing up and finding your true self.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Forget Phony Books
    The Catcher in the Rye, -by J. D. Salinger
    I am glad I finally read The Catcher in the Rye.Everyone always talked about it, how great it was, and now I can really appreciate it.J. D. Salinger really understands what teens are thinking, because I could definitely relate with this book.The experiences and thoughts remain the same over all the years since it was first published (1951) to the present.
    The main character, Holden, is a confused teen-aged boy that everyone can relate to.He tries to put on a big tough guy attitude but he is really just a good guy.He loves his sister Phoebe and his parents, no matter how much he disagrees with them.He is against all the evils in the world, tries to rub out all the "f*** you" signs and helps little kids put on their skates.
    He is passed from one boarding school to another, just trying to fit in.He is smart, but doesn't get good grades.He makes a few friends here and there, but just finds people to be too phony. He also has to watch out for perverty guys and womanizing creeps like his old roommate, Stradlater.
    He spends his Christmas break being an adult, sleeping in hotels and hanging out in bars.This only helps him to discover that this is not happiness and decides to leave it all.In every kids fantasy he dreams of moving away to a peaceful cabin in the middle of nowhere, away from all the jerk taxi drivers.It takes the innocence and stubborn love of his sister Phoebe to convince him to stay.
    This is an excellent book that I recommend reading a.s.a.p..I regret not reading it earlier and this is a "must" book to read before graduating from high school.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Pointless
    After reading this novel, I wonder what possesed me to finish it.The point of the story was virtually nonexistent.Salinger's supposedly great work is boring and unintelligent.Anyone who has a highly opinionated friend or sibling has already lived this story to some extent.If you are looking for a deep or meaningful novel, I suggest reading Brave New World, Walden Two, or anything by Chuck Palahniuk or Geroge Orwell instead. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0316769533
    Subjects:  1. Caulfield, Holden (Fictitious    2. Caulfield, Holden (Fictitious character)    3. Classics    4. Fiction    5. Literature - Classics / Criticism    6. Literature: Classics    7. New York (N.Y.)    8. Runaway teenagers    9. Teenage boys    10. Fiction / Classics   


    The Great Gatsby
    by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1995)
    list price: $12.95
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    Editorial Review

    In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings."Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--"Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

    It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem. ... Read more

    Reviews (931)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Teenager's Review
    Now, at the age of 15, I am reading this book, The Great Gatsby. I was not forced into reading this novel, but coaxed into reading it by my older sister. After the completion of the book it took a few days of pondering before I could make a clear knowledge of it's contents. I enjoyed reading it, staying up until three or four o' clock in the morning on schoolnights just to find out what happens. I am proud to say that this is one of my top ten favorite books which also includes:

    5-0 out of 5 stars Count your lucky stars
    Gadzooks! This is one fine little book.No, it's not long, but the tale is tight and well told and quite unlike anything else in American literature.Only a few books come to mind with regards to the "knock me out" kind.McCrae's "Children's Corner" is one such book, as is Steinbeck's "East of Eden."Other than that, there aren't a great deal.But "Gatsby" is at the top of the heap and probably will be for the next hundred years.There have been two movies made of this book (that I know of), and both are excellent.Don't be put off if you HAD to read this in school.Try it out again as it really IS a classic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A rich story
    "The Great Gatsby" is one of the most exquisite books I have ever read to date that deals with most if not all aspects of love and the challenges of life. There is so much to learn especially for us in this modern world where so many people use the word "love" without really knowing what it truly means. The author is so descriptive that I sometimes felt as if I was in the story. He made it easy for readers to penetrate the souls of the characters and relate to their lives.

    The character development is prodigious, while prose is outstanding. I felt as much for Gatsby as I have for any other character. He had always had high aspirations, but his dreams were taken away from him by the fact the he had to fight a war, and he could never be the same again. Gatsby's ambition is to have his former love, who is now married to an unfaithful husband, a quest that saw outstanding twist and turns in the story to make it the great read we have heard so much about. This book is truly inspirational for everyone irrespective of race, gender, age or occupation.Recommended stories are DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, THE USURPER AND OTHERS, THE SCARLET LETTER, WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, in the sense that they go to add to this rich theme. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0684801523
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fiction    3. First loves    4. General    5. Literary    6. Literature - Classics / Criticism    7. Long Island (N.Y.)    8. Rich people    9. Traffic accidents    10. Fiction / General   

    Gone with the Wind
    by Margaret Mitchell
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 August, 1993)
    list price: $7.99 -- our price: $7.99
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    Editorial Review

    Sometimes only remembered for the epic motion picture and "Frankly ... I don't give a damn," Gone with the Wind was initially a compelling and entertaining novel. It was the sweeping story of tangled passions and the rare courage of a group of people in Atlanta during the time of Civil War that brought those cinematic scenes to life. The reason the movie became so popular was the strength of its characters--Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley Wilkes--all created here by the deft hand of Margaret Mitchell, in this, her first novel. ... Read more

    Reviews (591)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for All
    Scarlett O'Hara is born to an Irish father and Southern belle mother in 1840's Georgia.Pampered all her life, Scarlett pursues the love of Ashley Wilkes, only to be rebuffed.Wounded, she seeks to hurt him by marrying his fiance's brother, Charles Hamilton.When Charles dies in a military camp, Scarlett moves to Atlanta to live with Ashley's wife, Melanie, who doesn't know that Scarlett loves her husband.

    Rhett Butler, a dashing scoundrel, meets Scarlett for the first time just as she has revealed her love for Ashley.Knowing that a 'true lady' would never have done such a thing, Rhett recognizes the scoundrel in Scarlett and is immediately attracted to her.Throughout his exploits as a blockade runner, he pursues Scarlett while she pines fruitlessly for Ashley.

    Set against the swirling backdrop of the Civil War, Gone With the Wind is meticulously researched and exceedingly well written.Descriptions of upper class, white, Southern life are fascinating, and the plot is, of course, wildly compelling.Will Ashley leave his wife for Scarlett?Will Rhett reveal his love for Scarlett?Will Scarlett return Rhett's love?How do they survive the great toll the Civil War takes on their lives?A classic page-turner.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Work of ArtIn Words!
    Margaret Mitchell may have only written one book, but she well deserved the awards she won and the praises bestowed upon her.I have read this book twice and was taken aback both times by her colorful yet brutally honest account of the Civil War, mixed with her artful and often humorous accounts of emotion and the social expectations of the period.This book is truly an "objet d'art", a wonderfully sculpted work, that is ageless and timeless.It takes one's breath away with its mix of humor and brutality; its insight of human behavior, propriety, pride, vanity, and patriotism.This book, and the part of her soul (a great part, I may add), will never die.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gone with the Wind book review
    "Gone with the Wind" - Book Review
    This is a story of love, of loss, and of courage. Margaret Mitchell created an amazing story, romance saga of love and the most sentimental portrait of the Civil War. "Gone with the Wind" in my opinion is deserving of a five-star rating, because it is by far the greatest story ever written. Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" is the story of Scarlett O'Hara, a spoiled southern beautiful woman, whose life is suddenly caught up in the turmoil of the American Civil War. Through her fights during the war and the six years of Reconstruction that follow, author showed her life pass through three husbands and three children. Within this background, we observe Scarlett's conflict against external and internal conflicts, her losses, gains, and hopes. Author described bright vivid characters and relationship between people, but she did not attach great importance to some problem, such as slavery; the book is very interesting and I certainly would recommend it to just about anyone.
    "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell is a war novel, a historical romance, a comedy of manners, a bitter lamentation, a cry of the heart, and a long, cold-hearted look at the character of this one lovely woman. It is undoubtedly the classic novel of Civil War. The major characteristic that enables it to achieve its seriousness also criticizes Scarlett O'Hara to a life of unrequited love and dooms her potential for happiness with Rhett Butler. Mitchell created the character, Scarlett, wonderfully. She had spunk, determination, intelligence, and selfishness-traits that made her personality interesting. If Scarlett needs something bad enough, she will not hesitate to throw away proper social conduct or her own personal goals. She does what ever she needs to get her by. Then there is Rhett. He is this attractive man who is no gentleman. He brought a little bit of light into the dark parts of the book. He seems to be just a rude, ill-behaved man at first, but later his character is deep and full of emotion and feelings. Margaret Mitchell created a bond and passion between these two characters. It was a wonderful romance, with love and anger-a sort of bittersweet romance. Although Scarlett is a strong and independent woman, most people can relate to her because she makes mistakes like a normal human. This book examines different types of strength. Whether it is Mammy's honorable courage and dignity, or Rhett's keen level-headedness, or Melanie's Christian devotion to people, each person has his or her own root from which they draw their strength.
    The perspective is strength because it permits the author to vividly portray the destruction of Southern society better than any battlefield-centered novel could. Unfortunately, it also leaves the author, and therefore Scarlet as well, incapable of understanding the male characters. They are merely personalities that fade in-and-out of the background to shape the narrative. While they are characters that can stand up off the page and cast a shadow, there is no tone or timbre in their images. Some author's descriptions of the reconstruction are degraded. For example, blacks were only happy being slaves. Big Sam says he had enough of freedom and wants to go back to Tara. He even states doubtfully that while in the north whites wanted him to sit at the table like he was their equal, but he could not do it because he is not the equal to whites. At one point Mitchell is describing how the southern whites hate the Yankees so much because the Yankees have money and food and power and they do not, yet she does not have any sense of irony to see that the whites are in the position that they put the slaves in for centuries.
    If someone loves historical fiction with a little romance, this book is perfect for their. The writing is superb, and the plot is dramatic and sad, but it includes enough of Scarlett's triumphs of strength that sets it apart from all other books. Scarlett O'Hara is the perfect Southern belle who is incredible to read about. How she attracts men with her charm and little helpless acts is unbelievable. She is used to having slaves serve her and she treats them with little or no respect until she needs them. One cannot stop thinking about how much they would hate Scarlet if she was real, but they are not able to stop feeling sorry for her and they want to help her to realize how stupid she is. This is a must read for any person who loves classic literature.
    "Gone with the Wind" is really one of the world's most well written romance novels. Set in the backdrop of the American Civil War in the eighteen century, it tells the story of the people who fought for survival during the War and the Reconstruction Period through sheer shrewd wits and cunning business methods. Margaret Mitchell is an absolute talent. She was nowhere close to the cheap romance writer many had portrayed her to be- she was a realist. She was actually writing about how human spirit and determination, how it can be applied to help one over such obstacles. Mitchell's book broke sales records. Within a year of publication, 1,383,000 copies had been sold. Today, sales stand at over 21,000,000.In 1937 "Gone with the Wind" was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

    ... Read more

    Isbn: 0446365386
    Subjects:  1. 1861-1865, Civil War    2. Civil War, 1861-1865    3. Classics    4. Fiction    5. Georgia    6. Historical - General    7. History    8. Literature - Classics / Criticism    9. Literature: Classics    10. United States    11. Fiction / Historical   


    Paradise Lost (Penguin Classics)
    by John Milton, John Leonard
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (05 September, 2000)
    list price: $10.00 -- our price: $10.00
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    Reviews (12)

    5-0 out of 5 stars See the fall from Hell's perspective
    In 1667, blind, thought to be at the end of his life, Milton composed one of the greatest epics in the English language. Much debated, much imitated, there no epics yet written that have equaled Paradise Lost. Milton wrote in blank verse (poetry without rhyme)that continues to amaze readers with his grasp of what the English language could do; only Shakespeare had a keener grasp.

    Divided in to twelve books, Paradise Lost starts off showing us a vision of hell quite different of Dante's in that Hell is described not so much a place but an environment one's self creates.("The mind is its own place, and in itself/ Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.)Throughout the first four books we see the fall, Heaven, Hell, all through Satan's perspective. The last eight books are centered on the parents of mankind Adam and Eve. Reader may find their own intentions and philosophies on life brought to the surface in reading this book; look to finding which side one sympathizes with: Heaven, Hell, or Adam and Eve? Milton shows his genius in getting each side's thought processes to the forefront. I remember in book X relating with Adam and Eve in their debate following the fall.

    Readers may find the language difficult, but if they have prepared themselves by reading a little of Shakespeare and a little of John Donne, it will be considerably easier. Don't allow the language to daunt you, it's worth it!

    As to which edition to buy, you have two options: if you're poor, (like me) you'll probably want to go with the Penguin edition; it has good notes, and the introduction is okay. If you have a bit more cash on you go with the Norton Critical Edition edited by Scott Elledge; it has excellent notes, and includes a wide body of analysis on Milton by many different authors.

    It's been a long time since I have come across a book that speaks to me so deeply. I will probably read this several more times. I recommend this to all readers that have the courage to plunge headlong into seventeenth century prose.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Heaven and Hell
    It is impossible to rate a classic like this.This epic poem about the Garden of Eden spans everything from the Creation of the world to the war in Heaven to Satan's fall into Hell, and also touches on the entire history of Israel.The poem is absolutely beautiful, and Adam and Eve are presented in such a way as to seem truly innocent before the fall and prone to sin after the fall (though they are also much wiser).Everything, from Satan's temptation to Adam and Eve being consumed by lust immediately after eating the fruit, is portrayed in a very remarkable and real way.

    This work is supremely enlightening, especially for Christian readers.Milton retains a touch of Classical mythology, yet integrates it in such a way as to fit into the Christian story.With this poem, Milton successfully equated himself with such masters of the epic as Homer and Virgil (which was his aim, as declared in book one).I cannot praise this epic or its sublime effect enough , so I will content myself by saying that this is one poem that everyone should read, for both its scholarly and its religious value.

    "The Mind is its own place, and in itself
    Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n" (book 1, 254-255)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Milton clearly ate from the Tree of Knowledge.
    I came to this work by Milton as a literary layman: I know next to nothing about the art of literature. I am also an atheist, to the core, yet this work, based entirely on Christianity, has much appeal for me. I think I can safely say that I've never come across so many convincing descriptions and arguments about various aspects of human nature, and they are arguments expressed in sometimes achingly beautiful verse.
    Nevertheless, I found this book very difficult; my memory (needed for long sentences) and my understanding were probably stretched to the limit. You've to be constantly on your mental toes, which is the reader's shortcoming, not the author's, it needn't be said. But it was entirely worth it, both for what I believe is my increased understanding or appreciation of some aspects of human nature, and for those moments when certain thoughts were expressed in certain ways.
    There is also an hilarious moment in this book between Satan and various Angels he is waging war against.
    I shall make a point of reading this book 3 or 4 more times in my life, and I think I shall enjoy it more each time. But you should know that it is very intellectual. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140424261
    Sales Rank: 282399
    Subjects:  1. Ancient, Classical & Medieval    2. English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh    3. Fall of man    4. Literature: Classics    5. Poetry    6. Adam    7. Eve    8. Works by individual poets: 16th to 18th centuries   


    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
    by Jared Diamond
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (April, 1999)
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $11.53
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    Editorial Review

    Explaining what William McNeill called The Rise of the West has become the central problem in the study of global history. In Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond presents the biologist's answer: geography, demography, and ecological happenstance. Diamond evenhandedly reviews human history on every continent since the Ice Age at a rate that emphasizes only the broadest movements of peoples and ideas. Yet his survey is binocular: one eye has the rather distant vision of the evolutionary biologist, while the other eye--and his heart--belongs to the people of New Guinea, where he has done field work for more than 30 years. ... Read more

    Reviews (699)

    5-0 out of 5 stars There is no master race
    The western colonising pioneers have left a legacy of racial bias to their descendants. Wherever white folk have taken civilisation to the savage native populations the indigenous peoples have suffered destruction of their own cultures (which were invisible to the colonizers or regarded as proof of the natives' savagery)and racial vilification. The superiority of western culture, as perceived by Europeans, has been taken as proof of the superiority of Europeans themselves and the inferiority of the colonised peoples. Surely, the arguement goes, if they had been as intelligent, hard-working, creative or favored by God as the Europeans, they would have developed advanced cultures as the Europeans have done.
    Diamond's book is a brilliant riposte to that racist arguement. He shows how domesticatible plants and animals were the key factor in the development of farming allowing the abandonment of a hunter and gatherer existence. He shows that the so-called inferior cultures lacked those resources. He shows that the development of farming allowed specialisation in production, the development of an army and resistence to disease through close contact with farm animals which are the ultimate source of most human infections. He shows that colonising forces were able to subdue indigenous populations by infecting them and carving them up with their superior weapons.
    Once again science demonstrates the folly of racial supremacy theory. Good on you, Jared!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Guns, Germs and Steel
    An interesting book, which tries to explain the emergence of western civilization as the dominant culture in our times. Revealing though it is; it failed to explain a lot that defied the views postulated. A great read though. Collapse, Disciples of Fortune, The Third Chimpanzee are other interesting books to read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A highly informative book with an intersting title ...
    Sometimes back I read "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" by Jared Diamond. No doubt a fantastic book which deserves five stars ... It talks about how the environmental factors contributed towards the evolution of humans.

    Some of the questions he tries to answer ...

    1. Why some Hunter-gatherers in some places moved on to farming and others did not?.

    (The author suggests that when cost-benefit analysis is done, in some cases hunting-gathering was better(for example ... it takes time to plant and grow the plants) and other cases it was not.The author emphasizes that the benefits of planned farming were enormous ... it enabled humans to grow more food in per square unit of an area. This in turn enabled population growth.)

    2. Why only some plants/vegetables were domesticated?

    3. Why the Eurasians were more successful in plant domestication (b'cos of their latitudinal layout) whereas not that successful in African/American continent (due to to longitudinal layout)?

    4. How plant domestication lead to Trade?

    5. How reading/writing/languages got propagated all around the world?

    The book has wealth and wealth of information backed up with real evidence pointing towards facts. Highly, highly enlightening book ...

    -Sachin ... Read more

    Isbn: 0393317552
    Subjects:  1. Anthropology - General    2. Archaeology / Anthropology    3. Civilization    4. Ethnology    5. History    6. Human Geography    7. Life Sciences - Evolution    8. Social Science    9. Social evolution    10. Sociology    11. Evolution    12. Sociology, Social Studies    13. World history    14. Reading Group Guide   


    Harry Potter Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3)
    by J. K. Rowling
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 January, 2002)
    list price: $21.97
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    Editorial Review

    Young wizard-in-training Harry Potter has had his hands full during hisfirst three years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As if studyingspells and pleasing professors isn't enough, Harry has heard evil voices in thewalls, rescued petrified students, fended off convicts escaped from magicians'prison, and played elaborate and grueling games of Quidditch. Between schoolsessions, he summers with the horrendous Dursleys, who seem to want nothing morethan to crush our hero's spirit. Only time will tell how Harry will manage thecertain dangers and escapades in store for him over the next few years.

    The first three titles--in paperback--of J.K. Rowling's phenomenally popularseries are now available in a handy boxed set, perfect for the legions ofchildren whose big brothers and sisters have made off with their copies. Theseadventures are surely on the road to becoming classics; don't wait to collectthem! The set includes HarryPotter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber ofSecrets, and Harry Potterand the Prisoner of Azkaban. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more


    • Box set
    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars What else can be said?
    These books have been picked apart by critics, who are dying to find out why they are such a phenomenal success. There have been books written about these books, and blockbuster movies made from them. Why? Is it the panoply of mythologically derived characters? Is it the old-fashioned English boarding school setting? Is it J.K. Rowling's witty and depricating writing style?

    Or is it magic?

    5-0 out of 5 stars its GREAT!!!!
    i think that Harry Potter set really influences people and that reading ability and helps you enter a new world of adventure. Both intense and somewhat humorous, Harry Potter captured the hearts of adults and chilren. This site personally ASSURES you for the BESt quality of any new coming books with a Great Low price. For any readers out that, I say BUY IT!!!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Binding will not hold up to hard use
    My two children have already worn out a set of hardback Harry Potter books, so I don't know why I thought a paperback set would survive any better.Maybe I thought since they had read the others at least three times each that this set wouldn't get the same wear.I was wrong.My children (and husband) keep reading these books over and over.And the books are starting to fall apart.When they wear this set out, I'll get the best hardback set I can find! If your set won't get this kind of wear, it is a fine set. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0439324661
    Subjects:  1. Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Fantasy    2. Children: Grades 4-6    3. Humorous Stories    4. Juvenile Fiction    5. School & Education    6. Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic   

    Of Mice and Men (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)
    by John Steinbeck
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1993)
    list price: $8.00 -- our price: $7.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (997)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Short But Great American Masterpiece
    The story starts with George and Lennie running away from their previous town of occupation, where Lennie, in his childlike manner, wants to touch a girl's red dress but doesn't let go, resulting in shouts of rape, mass chaos, and the pair of them getting chased out of town (you don't learn all this immediately, though.) They find work at a nearby ranch, which is where most of the story takes place.

    One of the things that immediately stuck out to me about this book is Steinbeck's writing style. Heavily focused on dialogue, the overall terseness and efficient use of words is only interrupted occasionally when Steinbeck describes a new scene, where he goes into great detail. Otherwise, all you see on paper is exactly what you need to understand the story; this prevents it from dragging too much, and it allows the story to progress more quickly without spending forever on the same topic. This results in a natural flow of events that won't leave you reading the same thing re-stated 10 times; as a result, you'll want to read more because you know good things are always around the turn of the page. To almost put it in a blatantly simple manner, this reads like a very complex bedtime story.

    Probably the thing that sticks out most to me is the incredibly well portrayed characters. Steinbeck takes a very Hemingway-like approach in both quantity and quality of characters; he keeps the book very condensed in terms of plots, sub-plots, complex characters, etc ...(it's barely 100 pages), which means you won't be scratching your head after every chapter going, "What on earth just happened?" It's a testament to his writing style that each character is so individually portrayed in a span of barely 100 pages, yet I didn't feel like anything was missing; I could visualize every one of the characters in real life. He does an excellent job of fleshing out the characters simply through what they say, not having to rely on superfluous dialogue or extraneous details to get their personalities across.

    Finally, the ending of Of Mice and Men is very powerful. It illustrates a theme that must have been particularly prevalent in them minds of most people during the Great Depression: "When do we draw the line on tolerance and do what has to be done?" Although the entire book is impressive in its lucidity, the ending is particularly impressive because it brings extreme tragedy to the novel without a change in style; it's perfectly believable, yet not something you really want to believe. Part of it is due to the memorable characters (I assure you you won't forget Lennie after the ending of the book), part of it is just Steinbeck's genius. Pick up a copy of this classic book! Another novel I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Steinbeck, but very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Of Mice And Men
    I thought that is book was very good. It was mostly about friendship between two friends name lennie and George. Lennie is the retarded one and George takes care of him. Cause lennie mom and dad die when he was a little boy. They both have a dream to own there own land. There dreams very come true because George shots lennie. If George didn't shot lennie then the police would kill him because he hurt a girl in the weeds. Weeds is the name of the town that they use to live. But they had to move because what lennie had done to the girl. Now they work on the ranch. Lennie can't talk that well but he is strong like a bull. George is the smart one he takes care of lennie. George gets mad lennie cause George buys lennie a puppy but lennie is so strong that when he pets the puppy they puppy dies. At the end of the book George shot lennie for lennie good. There dreams never came true.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Student on "Of Mice and Men"
    The book "Of Mice and Men" was about two men that had been chased out of their old town. They are sent out to find a new job so they can fulfill their dream of having their own land. When something goes wrong at the ranch, Lennie must hide out until George comes back to get him.Lennie ends up killing the bosses' sons' wife which leads to an unforgettable twist that will shock you. I really enjoyed the book. The only thing I didn't like was there were a few boring parts that described the scenery but there's a reason for that. this book if for young adults because of the Aurthors writting style. I like this book because it makes you think and you have to remember everything you read. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140177396
    Sales Rank: 357
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fiction    3. Literature - Classics / Criticism    4. Literature: Classics   


    The Old Man and The Sea
    by Ernest Hemingway
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (05 May, 1995)
    list price: $10.00 -- our price: $8.00
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    Editorial Review

    Here, for a change, is a fish tale that actually does honor to theauthor. In fact The Old Man and the Sea revived Ernest Hemingway's career, which was foundering under the weight of such postwar stinkers as Across the River and into the Trees. It also led directly to his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1954 (an award Hemingway gladly accepted, despite his earlier observation that "no son of a bitch that ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterwards"). A half century later, it's still easy to see why. This tale of an aged Cuban fisherman going head-to-head (or hand-to-fin) with a magnificent marlin encapsulates Hemingway's favorite motifs of physical and moral challenge. Yet Santiago is too old and infirm to partake of the gun-toting machismo that disfigured much of the author's later work: "The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords." Hemingway's style, too, reverts to those superb snapshots of perception that won him his initial fame:

    Just before it was dark, as they passed a great island of Sargasso weed that heaved and swung in the light sea as though the ocean were making love with something under a yellow blanket, his small line was taken by a dolphin. He saw it first when it jumped in the air, true gold in the last of the sun and bending and flapping wildly in the air.
    If a younger Hemingway had written this novella, Santiago most likely would have towed the enormous fish back to port and posed for a triumphal photograph--just as the author delighted in doing, circa 1935. Instead his prize gets devoured by a school of sharks. Returning with little more than a skeleton, he takes to his bed and, in the very last line, cements his identification with his creator: "The old man was dreaming about the lions." Perhaps there's some allegory of art and experience floating around in there somewhere--but The Old Man and the Sea was, in any case, the last great catch of Hemingway's career. --James Marcus ... Read more
    Reviews (605)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Old Man and The Sea
    The Old Man and the Sea was a good book and it took place in a tropical island, which was Cuba. It had a good story line and interesting storyline but easy to follow if you paid close attention to what was going on with the old man. The book was about an old man and his problems in life. The sharks stood for the problem, the old man stood for the people, and the marlin stood for the goal in life but it was also about the old man catching a marlin on a little wooden boat with a hand line in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. I think it could have not had a better ending.

    I recommend that you read this book if you are interested in adventure and fishing. I give this book a 5 star rating

    3-0 out of 5 stars I don't know, I thought it was boring!
    Well, I have never read a book by Hemingway before, although I have heard quite a lot about him, so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I ended up with was a pretty obvious and boring story about, (big surprise) and old man and the sea.

    A fisherman named Santiago (though his name is mentioned only about 3 times) has had 84 days of bad luck. He hasn't caught anything and the boy who helps him has had to leave because he needed a more profitable job. So Santiago decides to fish out deeper than he usually does. He hooks a really big fish, which begins pulling him out to sea.

    It keeps pulling him for 2 days before they finally battle it out, and Santiago kills the fish. He manages to lash it to his little boat and begins rowing for shore. However, before he gets very far, sharks start coming to feed on the carcass of the fish. Santiago fights them off for a while, but eventually nothing is left of the fish but a skeleton. He makes it back to land in the middle of the night and crawls home to bed, bruised, battered and defeated. The next day the boy takes care of him and the rest of the town marvels at the gigantic skeleton. At the end, nothing really changed.

    So the story (and this is a 117 page book) has very little to it. I didn't like the writing at all. It was too spare, it reminded me of the fish's skeleton AFTER the sharks ate it! Instead of describing stuff, he'd just state it blankly and without any emotion or eloquence. Instead of describing how or why the boy loved the man, he just says " The boy loved the old man." How interesting is that? This was a short and easy read, but it totally bored me. It was a struggle to finish it.

    I think he was trying to prove a point about how desperate and determined the old man was, and how even though he succeeded, it all came to nothing. Three days later, after his big adventure, nothing had changed at all. However, this book didn't reach me at all. Too bad, I had hoped I would enjoy it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not too shabby
    I'm not the biggest Hemingway fan in the world, but I like this book. I first read it in high school, just like millions of kids still do every year. The Old Man and the Sea is an American classic, and for some pretty good reasons. It signified the author's return to greatness, it shows an old man who is full of both resolve and wry humor, and lastly it is a moving story told in very simple, straightforward language.

    I can appreciate what this novella is about. You take a guy down on his luck and send him on a journey of unearthly demands. How does he react? Santiago could have given up and quit any time he wanted - before or after his catch - so it is interesting to see what drives a man onward. Hemingway thought that Santiago's qualities were what was important in a man; he makes a good case for them here. Compassion, perserverance and a sense of order to life all come into play. Santiago respects the fish, and that is what makes this story most memorable.

    I don't know whether this was symbolic of Hemingway's own struggle with the literary critics of his time, nor do I think that this is his best . But I think the Old Man and the Sea should be read...in all ages. Perhaps it is fitting that a book like this is told in such simple language. Like the ocean itself, great things lurk just below the surface for those who wish to look. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0684801221
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Cuba    3. Fiction    4. Fishers    5. Literary    6. Literature - Classics / Criticism    7. Male friendship    8. Older men    9. Sea & Ocean    10. Fiction / Literary   


    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Perennial Classics)
    by Muriel Spark
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 February, 1999)
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $10.36
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    Reviews (59)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Read
    This is an excellent short book about a domineering spinster teacher, named Jean Brodie, who in the 1930's in Edinburgh, Scotland, gathered six girls into the Brodie Set, looking to make them the creme de le creme.

    The best part of this story though is the style Muriel Spark writes with. Juxtaposing time in between paragraphs, lettinginformation and nuance about Jean Brodie, her girls, her loves, opinions, style and difficulties, trickle out lightly before revealing the truth of the matter, Spark is in full control.

    There is a psychology to her creation of the Brodie Set, the girl with Insight, the girl with Instinct, the Dumb girl, the girl known for her Anger, the Actress, the Athletic girl, all lead by Miss Jean Brodie, who never fails to remind them all, and herself, that she is "in her prime." And by this, her ideas, passions and dreams are revealed, to and onto the girls, to tragic, shameful and interesting conclusions.

    This is a classic book, for many reasons. The style of story telling, a wonderfully rounded lead character, whose strength and focus inspire and shape young minds, and a reflective quality that looks on with wonder at the past, and the actions of those who lived through it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting as long as you have interest in the subject
    Miss Jean Brodie is a spinster and a teacher who can teach anything to her students. But she is a peculiar teacher. She doesn't care spending her class times with mathematics, history, English and all other regular subjects. She prefers to explore life, to teach her set of students --the chosen ones-- how to deal with life, love, friends and have good manners. Of course she will have problems with the school administration.

    This is a summary of Muriel Spark's most important novel, "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" in a nutshell. And however the book is really short, it has a wide range of subject and characters. The writer explores not only the life of her heroine but also the existence of a couple of her students. Part of the characters is very human and part is rather archetypical. It would top notch if the author could have transformed all of them in human beings. However it turns out not to be a problem, since the narrative is quite entertaining and an interesting portray of a time.

    The best creation is, of course, Miss Jean Brodie. She sounds stereotypical some time, some times a little naïve, but never uninteresting. She has advices for everything: "speech is silver, but silence is golden", a window can be opened more than six inches, it would be too vulgar; and so it goes. While for her girls they are quite important, for the readers they can be rather amusing. It is impossible to one not the wonder weather those advices are for real or some far fetched thoughts from Miss Brodie's mind.

    Using the style of anticipation, early in the narrative we learn things that will only happen many years later, like the fact that one girl will betray Miss Brodie, and that another one will become a Sister. This device may put off some readers due to the fact it cuts short the surprise in the narrative.

    However much I liked Miss Brodie and her adventures, I've never felt really connected to the book. There was always something missing to make me sink in the narrative and in the lives of the characters. Maybe a lack of emotion --most of it read a little to superficial to me--, or the theme --this may be a novel that have more connection with girls. But, I still recommend "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie". It is a fast an interesting read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 'There were legions of her kind'
    By now I'm sure that Miss Jean Brodie and her prime are better known from the film than from the original novel. The film, and the absolutely wonderful stage production that preceded it in London with Vanessa Redgrave as the first Brodie, caught one side, the caricature side, of Muriel Spark's immortal creation, but the story is a more complex matter altogether, short though the book is.

    Any story by Muriel Spark is complex up to a point - her way of thinking is devious and unstraightforward and her characters tend to inhabit the moral and motivational lowlands. Insofar as they seem like real people at all rather than clever animations, her attitude towards them is usually ambivalent. Indeed it's almost fair to say that she makes her feelings for her own creations clearest, and expresses them most strongly, when those feelings consist most of repugnance, as with Patrick Seton and Father Socket in The Bachelors. Nevertheless she always seems to distance herself successfully from their general squalor through her quick wits and the dazzling speed at which she keeps rearranging the scenery.

    This book has a lot of the familiar Spark `feel' to it, but it's a bit different in some ways too. It's short, but it doesn't come across to me as a lightweight effort like The Abbess of Crewe. The cast of characters is not as large as in The Bachelors or The Ballad of Peckham Rye, but it's large enough. What makes it simpler is that it consists largely of a group of juveniles on the one hand, and on the other it is absolutely dominated by one single outsize personality, maybe the nearest to a true heroine or hero that Spark ever allowed herself. Jean Brodie is a silly woman but not a mean or corrupt one and that, in a novel by Muriel Spark, is quite something not to be. Another thing that may have softened the author's stance is that the setting is not London or the east side of Manhattan or Crewe or any other foreign clime, but her own native Edinburgh. I don't suppose she is trying to conceal her affection for it (although being who she is she doesn't indulge it either), or if she is she has failed at that. I can recognise the kinds of people and the kinds of attitude through a similar if not identical background, and it has brought out a most unusual candour in the author. At the start of chapter 3 there is a very straightforward account of the kind of Edinburgh spinster that Jean Brodie exemplifies. Spark typically springs it on us who it was that `betrayed' Miss Brodie, but once she has done so she takes us through the person's thought-processes with a most untypical clarity. The book shuttles backwards and forwards through time-frames, but this time with a sheer naturalness that conceals the cleverness of it. There is even a rare glimpse into the author's fascination with Catholicism when she discusses Miss Brodie's semi-ecumenical religious interests. Above all the typical spurts of sarcasm and ridicule are more often funny than bitchy, not the other way round as is more usual from her.

    A taste for Muriel Spark is a bit of a mini-religion itself. This book might make her a few converts. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0060931736
    Sales Rank: 6816
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fiction    3. Girls    4. Literary    5. Literature - Classics / Criticism    6. Scotland    7. Spark, Muriel - Prose & Criticism    8. Teacher-student relationships    9. Women teachers    10. Fiction / Literary    11. Reading Group Guide   


    Cracking the GRE Psychology, 5th Edition
    by LAURICE PEARSON, The Princeton Review
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (17 August, 1999)
    list price: $18.00
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best psych resource!
    this is the perfect book!it was the only one i used and found it to be very helpful.i think i did well on my exam and i owe to this book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is all you need!
    I ended up cramming for the GRE Psych test for 2 weeks (instead of the recommended 6 weeks).I only bought Princeton Review's study guide and I pretty much just made sure I knew the info reviewed in it.They divide the info into sections (Memory, Evolutionary, Social, etc.) and gave anywhere from 2-10 pages of information you should know for the test about that particular section.I didn't even look at my intro psych text, or any of my second/third year course textbooks.Well, the study guide must have been worth it, because I got a 700 on the GRE Psych, and other than a few questions on the test, the book prepared you for them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 670 after only two days of review!!!
    I took the Psychology GREs after being out of school for 2 years.I planned and planned for it, and bought about 4 review books.Time went by, work stayed busy, and I never found time to study.Finally, 2 days before the test, I took a couple of vacation days from work and just crammed.

    I started my review with the Barron's; that book was way too long, given my time frame.I started using the Princeton Review book after about half a day, and it was much better.

    Come test day, I would estimate that this book provided me with at least 90% of the information I needed.Therefore, you might miss a couple of the really detailed questions if you only study from this book, but you will be able to get a more than respectable score - I got a 670 after two days of studying, and I think I could have done even better with a third day available to review this book.

    By all means, if you have the time, use additional sources to get as much material down as possible, but if your time is limited and you only have time for one book, go with this one!! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0375753982
    Sales Rank: 403191
    Subjects:  1. Education & Training    2. Examinations    3. GRE (Graduate Record Examination)    4. Graduate Record Examination    5. Psychology    6. Psychology (General)    7. Study Aids    8. Study Guides    9. Study Aids / GRE (Graduate Record Examination)   

    Cartoon History of the Universe 1 (Cartoon History of the Universe)
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (10 September, 1997)
    list price: $21.95 -- our price: $14.93
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    One of the beautiful things about comics is that it is possibly the best medium for combining education and entertainment. No one knows this better than Larry Gonick, whose Cartoon History series spans many subjects.Whether you are a fan of history, comics, or Gonick's books, The Cartoon History of the Universe I is a great place to start. Part I contains volumes 1 to 7, from the Big Bang to Alexander the Great. ... Read more

    Reviews (43)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great History Book
    I use this book and the others of the series with my real hard heads in my classroom, who don't think history isn't interesting or useful. So far I am batting in the 700's.
    I am so grateful that Mr Gonick produced such a wonderful book and hope that he keeps up the grand work!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun and accessible but also packs a of lot of real history.
    I had originally bought this book for use in my waiting room. However, some of the sexual humor and the irreverant approach to religious figures meant that it was a "stay at home" book. (Don't tell the IRS)

    Now that the book is in its proper place, I should add that I enjoyed it immensely and went on to buy Volumes 2 and 3. (not on my office account though)The book starts with evolution of the earth and its creatures. The pictures were well done and the humor makes the factual material easier to remember.

    The bulk of the book deals with the history of the human race. The author does not confine himself to European civilization. Two of my children read all three volumes, and I did not have to hassle them to do it. How often does this happen with other history texts? I am hoping to use their interest in some of the historical topics to encourage them to read other books. Each section of the Cartoon History contains a reference section for those who desire further reading.

    Ideally this book should be a companion to serious textbooks on history. However, there are a lot of people who are unwilling and unable to absorb material from textbooks or lectures. People who are visual learners may be able to remember the pictures and the humor when they have trouble remembering college lecutres or long passages of text. I have recommended this and some other of the author's books to individuals who were having trouble with basic college classes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Laugh-out-loud history with social commentary
    You have to love this cartoon history with a decidedly feminist perspective and a thorough treatment of the Bible--about as warped as Monty Python but still accurate.This is where I got the genesis of my screenplay "Pericles," from the pages on Aspasia and Pericles: "What could an ambitious woman do in those days?She could associate with powerful men...Aspasia met Pericles...BWOWM" (schwing) ... Read more

    Isbn: 0385265204
    Subjects:  1. Caricatures and cartoons    2. Cartoons and caricatures    3. Comics & Cartoons    4. Graphic Satire And Humor    5. History - General History    6. History: World    7. Reference    8. World history    9. Humor / Cartoons   


    Cartoon History of the United States
    by Larry Gonick
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (14 August, 1991)
    list price: $17.95 -- our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (17)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Where has the U.S gone?
    I have not read The Cartoon History of the United States.What I am writing about is my reaction to one of the reviews. "I know of two little girls (ages 8 and 9) who are reading through these in their spare time FOR FUN!".This took me by surprise. It sounds like somebody reading a book for fun was an urban legend.Born and living abroad, I always thought that the U.S shown in movies was fake.I now realize you really don't read anything, watch more T.V. than spend time outside, and think South Americans live in trees.One reviewer of this book wrote that he felt a little bit dirty after finishing it.That is how you should feel if your children don't read.And don't get me wrong, I was for the Iraq war and strong American foreign policy.I just hope our (for I am an American) future leaders can read more than just a cartoon history for fun and feel proud. Just one more thing.I think that every well meaning, Democratic American should read Emerson's Self Reliance.It might teach you something.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not a history
    Perhaps it is just too ambitious to squeeze 400 years of U.S. history into 380 pages of cartoons.

    Although I found Larry Gonick's "Cartoon Guide to Physics" both educational and entertaining, I was more than just a bit disappointed in this book.(Of course, I knew so little of physics that I'm not really sure how accurate he was.I do know a bit more about history, particularly U.S. history, and I am convinced he is both inaccurate and biased.)

    Gonick refers to himself as a historian in several places in the text, but shows many lapses in good, historical thinking.For one thing, he suffers from present-mindedness and parochialism of view.Good historians try to understand the thinking of whatever time and place they are writing.

    I'm a comics fan, and I know that the medium has to be tightly scripted.Pictures really do need to convey a thousand words, and text can be nowhere near that length.The creator chooses carefully what goes in and what gets left out.The point I'm trying to make is that while I was disappointed in what material was "in" the book, and particularly what was "left out," I realize that this work was a difficult task and there's no way any creator could please everybody.

    That said, there are still major shortcomings in this book as history, even as infotainment.

    Gonick makes no attempt to hide his biases, but bias is hardly commendable.While members of all political parties (including those historical parties that no longer exist) are ridiculed and caricatured (not all undeservedly), it is apparent that one modern political party is especially lambasted.Southerners, which are caricatured as a group--no individuals here--are made to look especially bad.

    The author grew up in the 1960s and still lives there.Every excess of that era is glamorized.Communism and socialism (throughout the scope of U.S. history) are glamorized.And just like the nightly news, the negative is given prominence over the positive.Multiculturalism is good; e pluribus unum, bad.

    Far from giving the reader a feeling of pride in his country, one finishes the book feeling a bit dirty.Of course, I wouldn't consider a book a good history just because it was filled with jingoistic patriotism and portrayed the U.S. as a utopian society where everyone lived happily ever after.Such a book would lack balance.This book lacks balance.

    I recommend that this book not be used in schools as children and teenagers lack the faculties to see its bias as most adults may do.

    1-0 out of 5 stars far below his standards.
    Mr Gonick set the bar very high with his 'Cartoon History of the Universe'.This book is terrible by comparison. The art work is primitive at best, and his biased perception of American history borders on the comical. Unfortunately, that is the funniest part of the book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0062730983
    Sales Rank: 31505
    Subjects:  1. Cartoons and caricatures    2. Comic books, strips, etc    3. Comics & Cartoons    4. General    5. History    6. History - General History    7. History: American    8. Humor (Young Adult)    9. United States    10. United States - General    11. Study Aids / General   


    The Rise of Modern China
    by Immanuel Chung-Yueh Hsu
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 November, 1999)
    list price: $57.00 -- our price: $57.00
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic history book on modern Chinese history
    It is quite a long book but well worth it!This book begins with the Ch'ing dynasty and traces the course of China's history up through Deng's reforms.China's history is particulary difficult because it requires drawing on the events of so many other countries.A historian of this subject must be able to survey the histories of these countries in order to relate them to events in China.The author does an amazing job of delivering a solid history that is a good read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Still a definitive work after three decades
    Now in it's sixth edition, this work bt C.Y. Hsu is still one of the most popular textbooks on this subject in universities across the country. Within its 1000+ pages the book covers the period from the beginning of the Ching dynasty (1644) to 1998. I believe that what separates this book from others on this subject is that instead of focusing primarily on geography, chronology, and names, it attempts to provide a glimpse of the personalities and motivations of the many important figures that emerged during this period. The chapters concerning the years between the decline of the Ching at the turn of the 19th century and the establishment of the PRC in 1949 are extremely well done, and convey a great deal of information about important players of that age such as Sun Yat Sen, Mao, and Chiang Kai Shek. It is a well-researched, well-written book, and a pleasure to read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive
    Whether you are studying Chinese history or you're simply interested in China, this book is essential for every library. It is both consumately researched and artfully written.

    Asian history doesn't get any betterthan this! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0195125045
    Sales Rank: 83483
    Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Asia - China    3. China    4. Far East    5. History    6. History - General History    7. History: World    8. Modern - General    9. Qing dynasty, 1644-1912    10. Asian / Middle Eastern history: c 1500 to c 1900    11. Asian / Middle Eastern history: from c 1900 -    12. Modern period, c 1500 onwards   


    Cracking the AP U.S. Government and Politics, 2002-2003 Edition (Princeton Review)
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (29 January, 2002)
    list price: $18.00 -- our price: $18.00
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars the best!
    this was such a helpful book. the practice test is a must- because you will find VERY similar questions on the AP exam.I dont think i would have been ready for the exam without the book.it tells you exactly what you need to know and how to use it.This book is flawless.If you're taking the AP US government you need to buy this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Test Prep
    The Princeton Review for Government and Politics was an excellent book--well worth the price.I got a great score on the exam from all the review I did using this study guide--in fact, quite a few of the exam questions were ones that I had done before in this study guide.It provides an excellent layout, and an easy way to find exactly what you're looking for.I took seven AP exams in high school, and used four different test prep companies--always stick with Princeton Review, the layout and explanations are so much easier to understand, and I actually scored higher on the exams where I used the Princeton Review books.Just a point of advice, don't waste your time with the "Peterson's" AP review books, I have never bought anything so worthless, their explanations confused me more than before I used them, not to mention that quite a few specific subject areas were never even covered to any depth, leading me to believe that those areas were not as "important" in the grand scheme of the AP exams--man I was wrong.Always stick to Princeton Review, they havn't steered me wrong yet, I'm getting their MCAT review book next.

    5-0 out of 5 stars thorough & concise--exactly what a study guide should be!
    As with most The Princeton Review study guides, 'Cracking the AP US Government Exam' begins with a very informative 20-30 pages simply about the exam itself: topics breakdown, percentage covered on the exam, performance range for specific scores, multiple choice strategies, free-response essay breakdown, etc. Unlike other publishers, this informative briefing on the test is especially particular to Princeton Review study guides, and extremely helpful. More than 80 pages cover the details and general concepts of the subject material of the AP US Government course. Concise and well organized presentation of a large amount of material is a remarkable talent of The Princeton Review. A thorough and active reading (highlighting, underlining) of the review one week in advance should prepare the competent student very well. Displeased with my class textbook, I never read an entire chapter (or took notes) but felt very confident after completing the study guide and practicing with copies of former AP exams. One minor drawback is a lack of review questions at the end of each chapter, yet the practice exams are almost exactly identical to former AP exams I received from my teacher. In addition, thorough explanations for each question and free response section make the practice exams great learning and review exercises. One note: If you are particularly interested in purchasing a study guide for the practice exams, my experience as a very study-guide-dependent-honors-student has led me to the conclusion that The Princeton Review and Kaplan create the most representative practice exams for AP, SAT II, and SAT exams. In that respect, I do NOT recommend: Barrons, Petersons, Teach Yourself, etc. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0375762302
    Sales Rank: 340923
    Subjects:  1. Advanced Placement    2. Advanced placement programs (Education)    3. Civics & Citizenship    4. Examinations    5. Examinations, questions, etc    6. Government - U.S. Government    7. Politics and government    8. Study Aids    9. Study Guides    10. United States    11. Study Aids / Advanced Placement   


    PR Culturescope : Princeton Review Guide to an Informed Mind (Princeton Review Series)
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (31 October, 1995)
    list price: $20.00
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Information
    This book really offers you everything you should know, but might not.It's a liberal arts education in one bound edition.I highly recommend it-- especially in the off chance that you happen to participate in quiz bowl/jeopardy-like competitions. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0679753672
    Sales Rank: 399143
    Subjects:  1. Handbooks, vade-mecums, etc    2. Intellectual Life (General)    3. Miscellanea    4. Personal & Practical Guides    5. Reference    6. United States   

    Word Smart: Building an Educated Vocabulary
    by Adam Robinson, Princeton Review
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (07 August, 2001)
    list price: $12.00 -- our price: $9.60
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    Reviews (40)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great for Long-term Preparation for Standardized Tests
    I used this book to help prepare for the evil verbal portions of the SAT at least three years ago. And did it pay off (although I have forgotten a lot of those words out of a lack of usage and practice).

    Here was the study plan (cycle):
    15 days: Study 10 NEW words a day, review those that you already know. Make a sentence, make another one. Make sure that you know how to use it (You can build from what the author has already included). Be creative; the craziest sentences help you remember better.
    16th day: Review all studied words from last 15 days. Basically what I did was read through all the words at least 3 times. It takes about an hour.
    17th day: Self-quiz. Sort of like covering the meaning, looking at the word, figuring out if I can remember what it meant and use it in a sentence. Go back and re-study those words I did not remember.
    At least once every two months: Review every word from day one; not just those from the last 15 days. I did this separately of the 16th-17th day from the above cycle.

    Overall, if you're preparing for standardized tests, and you have something like a year to prepare, then definitely this can work out (You can also check out Word Smart II by the same company). It can give you mastery over the vocabulary long enough to last through the SAT. Whether or not you retain that knowledge afterwards depends on how much you use the vocabulary.

    On a side note, an even better way to remember the vocabulary is by incorporating them into papers for school. DO be sure you know what you're talking about, though...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have For Test-Takers
    This book is essential for anyone taking the SAT/GRE/GMAT/LSAT.I'm currently studying for the Law School Admissions Test, and this book has saved me from misunderstanding entire paragraphs before.There is no worse feeling come test day than coming upon a pivotal sentence and then not knowing what it means because you're drawing a blank on the meaning of the verb.

    Even in day to day affairs, like watching the news or reading for pleasure, the words contained in Word Smart and Word Smart II have helped in my understanding of various issues.Clearly, if you want to participate in the "educated" community that (barely) exists in America, then Word Smart and Word Smart II are essential reading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Effective
    Very good book for International students preparing for TOEFL/GMAT/GRE
    I used when I was taking my GMAT. I knew about 25% of the words that it had such as prolific or excentric but there were some good ones that I still remember such as vociferous and verdant. I found it very helpful to use during short periods of time when I would have a few minutes between meetings or in the public transportation on the way home. Generally, a very pleasant book. It has good white paper and each words has a full page. Remebering was easy too, but forgetting was not hard. Sometimes I caught myself that I would remember the picture but would not remember the definition. In any case, this is a much faster way to learn words than mere memorizing. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0375762183
    Sales Rank: 3728
    Subjects:  1. Alphabet    2. General    3. Scholastic Aptitude Test    4. Study Aids    5. Study Guides    6. Vocabulary    7. Study Aids / General   


    A Tale of Two Cities
    by Charles Dickens
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Mass Market Paperback (01 May, 1997)
    list price: $4.95 -- our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (345)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites ever!!
    I love this book, I have read it at least five times, but I have to accept that I read it in spanish, but I don't care I still think that it is great.
    The lead character is so complex and at the same time so obscure that when I read first I did not know that he was the leading man but I loved him anyway, he is the ultimate antiheroe.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 56 year old Joan of Arc fanticraves for Tale of Two Cities
    "It was the best of times.It was the worst of times."
    It was the worst of times because of the rampart evil in France.
    It was the best of times because it allowed the human spirit to overcome the oppression of a valley of tears and achieve self-sacrificing virtue to a heroic degree. Mr. Lorry goes to Paris at great risk to himself because he is loyal to his firm. Lucie is loyal to Charles Darnay.Charles renounces his great wealth because it is right to do so, and returns to Paris to try to save his old servant. Dr.Manette goes into the chaotic mobsof Paris streets to try to save Charles.But most of all,Sydney Carton, the depressed drunk from who we expect nothing,is the greatest hero of all.

    This book is about good and evil, and the human spirit's conquest of its own weakness. Sydney Carton's situation is that of every man. "I know this now.Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Some people believe in little or nothing, yet they give their lives to that little or nothing."--Joan of Arc.

    We give our lives to what we believe by the way we live it.It is not optional.We must give our lives to something.Sydney Carton redeemed himself by his sacrifice for a noble end.

    5-0 out of 5 stars wow!
    I read A Tale of Two Cities for school recently, and I have yet to regret it. This beautiful tale is writtin in a language that causes you to think and figure things out. As soon as you figure out how to understand it, it paints both a beautiful and terrible picture of the time of the French Revolution. A Tale of Two Cities has everything that makes a good book: love, sacrifice, sadness, anger, revenge,suspense(sp?),and a great ending. I definitly intend on reading more books by Dickens. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0451526562
    Sales Rank: 1144
    Subjects:  1. 1789-1799, Revolution    2. Classics    3. Fiction    4. France    5. History    6. Literature - Classics / Criticism    7. Literature: Classics    8. Revolution, 1789-1799   


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