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    The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
    by Wendell Berry
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 March, 1996)
    list price: $13.95 -- our price: $11.16
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    Editorial Review

    The mid-20th-century environmental crisis that led to important protective legislation in the 1970s, is, to poet/farmer Wendell Berry's mind, also a crisis of character, agriculture, and culture. Because Americans are divorced from the land, they mistreat it; because they are divorced from each other, they mistreat those around them. Berry, writing in a prophetic mode, argues that if Americans are to heal the environmental wounds their land has suffered, they will also need to create more meaningful work, sustain happier and healthier lives, and return to what conservatives call "family values." The Unsettling of America is a quarter century old now, but most of its arguments remain current. ... Read more

    Reviews (14)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Discovering a buried treasure
    I grew up in Clarksville, TN, on the border with Guthrie, KY.Up the road not too far is Port Royal, KY, where one of the greatest living Americans still resides.He has lived there as long as I have been alive, and I am now over 30, but I had never heard of Wendell Berry until I had passed my thirtieth year.Were it not for the incomparable radio program "Unwelcome Guests", I may never have heard of him.It is a testament to the failure of our economy, education system, and culture, and it is why no thinking American doubts we are nearing a tragic and historic collapse; we are sliding fast down a snow-packed slope like a child on a greased sled.Our only short-term destiny is to smack into a tree.

    "The Unsettling of America" is nearly as old as I am, and it is as alive and timely as the day it was written.Probably even more so, since its remedies are the salves for our national malady, and they need an even more urgent prescription and application today than they did 30 years ago.Berry not only succinctly and brilliantly describes how we lost our small farmers, he astutely ties that loss to the loss of culture, belonging, responsibility, community, and character we all feel and mourn in our modern lives, even if we don't understand or fully comprehend that empty feeling. It is, after all, called agri-CULTURE because the land is tied intimately with culture, and to convert agriculture into agribusiness is to divorce people from nature, from a responsibility towards nature, and from an understanding of her cycles and patterns, without which, we are incomplete; it is to convert all of us from nurturers into usurpers and exploiters, as Berry explains throughout.

    So, this is not just a book about the loss of the small farmer.It is a book about our loss of liberty, independence, personal satisfaction, wealth, pride, mystery, and community. The way Berry weds these losses together throughout the book is a completely compelling.Berry's clean, beautiful, crystal clear prose moves deliberately, with a purposeful trajectory, and it effortlessly maintains a palpable weight of authority that can only be derived from real wisdom.He is a voice at once profoundly conservative and astutely liberal, or, in short, a real prophetic voice.

    "The Unsettling of America" is indeed wise, and it was indeed prophetic. The dangerous excesses he foresaw 30 years ago have come to pass in ever accelerating fashion.His remedies absolutely essential for the preservation of America, and for that matter, the world.Everyone should read this book and read Wendell Berry in general.Should we carry on our culture after we smack that tree (we might, after all, break our necks), Wendell Berry will be remembered when Polk, Buchanan, Clinton, and Bush are long, long forgotten, or so we should all hope.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As Usual, Wonderful Writing of Real Truth
    Wendell Berry's writings have to be the most to-the-point, profound and real about life in rural America, how it used to be, how it might still be, but how often it is not.'The Unsettling of America' encapsulates this all with a strong and real writing style and which tells the truth about our current way of living.

    I would recommend this book to all readers, country and city dwellers alike, as it is so telling and exposing of the mess we have made of our landscape, the reasons why, and how we mightactually return it to being more vibrant and real.

    I would also recommend reading "Against the Machine" by Nicols Fox, recently published, which goes into more detail about the destruction of people's lives by the 'machinery' of the system in which we live, and how we might stop this also.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wendell tells it like it is.Truth or Consequences
    Just simply blowed away by negative reviews of this book. I grew up on a small farm when you could still make a living there. Our rural community was much closer, neighborly, trusting, and thick with the smells, sounds and sights of country living. I left home at 18 traveling the world in our military and ran from that "work ethic and way of life" on the farm. Lived in some of this worlds largest cities discovering first hand all the reasons why country livingwas "paradise on earth."
    Oh, I've heard all the urban preachers and their reasons why they love the city. I lived it!!!!!
    Is there any wonder why higher income people are moving into rural america! Land prices are thru the roof, they come here with their city mind, mouth and motivations. Why? Because they want a view and try to escape all those negative things in the city. Not to mention raise their kids in a small coummunity in hopes of everyone and everything turning out ok. They don't understand farming communities, our culture, our history nor our way of life.
    Ah! We are free! But wait, they come here and destroy our pastoral settings and fill the land with strip malls, fast food joints, quick marts and infrastructure that makes it "country no more."
    If any farmer holds out in this "developers dream of a jauggernaut" these new "country folk" start raising cain about the country sights, smell and sounds and want the farmer gone.
    Wendell is right on in this book. Oh sure there are bits and pieces of his opinion that rub some liberal wrong. But hey I'm sure a few conservatives cried foul too.
    Open up your mind and heart. Look at the facts. Can you trust corporate america? Big brother? Individual selfishness and greed? A bank director and his real estate developer friend once told me that they had joined forces with our county commissioners and planning commission community and preach their "farming is dead lets split up the land and develope the farms" gospel. If they build people will come! Hmm, sounds like a movie I once saw. They are building and people are coming.
    Reality of wendell's book tells it like it is. There has been a movement (I like the word conspiracy better but that will alienate a few) to industrialize american agriculture since 1940's. The corporate machine and its disciples have forclosed on many family farms, driven off the "inefficient", destroyed many lives, all in the name of progress!!!!!!
    It is all about just a select few industrial size farmers doing business as corporations, corporate chemical company profits off corporate farmers, college/universities gifted $$$millions of dollars to report and publish thru sound science (you don't believe that do you?) the wonderful benefits of more food with less land, by less farmers and healthier for you. And oh yes, our environment will be cleaner because splicing plant genes with chemical compounds and breeding new GMO (genetically modified organisms)foods means the farmer uses less chemicals (is that what the chemical company wants to do, put itself out of business for the sake of humanity? -- remember a portion of your 401k is tied to that companies performance and if they don't do well, neither will you) Roundup Ready Corn/beans/cotton/wheat is here. Spray roundup on your lawn and it does what? Dies!! Put a teaspoon of pure roundup in your coffee each morning and stir, how long before you may come up with cancer or some other ailment? No! Corporate America and our Universities have managed to fill our food pipeline with RR products for years and you consume a portion of it everytime you dine. Just a few steady PPM on a weekly basis, you'll be fine and live to a ripe old age?
    Thanks Wendell for preaching the TRUTH!!!!!! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0871568772
    Subjects:  1. Agricultural Economics    2. Agricultural History    3. Agriculture    4. Agriculture - General    5. Economic aspects    6. Essays    7. Literature - Classics / Criticism    8. Social aspects    9. Sociology    10. Sociology - General    11. Technology    12. United States   


    The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry
    by Wendell Berry, Norman Wirzba, Edited, Introduced by Norman Wirzba
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (16 April, 2002)
    list price: $26.00
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Savor the wisdom in this book and then take action
    For me the central theme of this book can be illustrated in this quote. " I don't think it is appreciated how much of an outdoor book the Bible is."Berry is a deeply religious man who lives his religion every moment in his deep, deep connections to the land, to all animals, to community,to the growing of food, and to the world as an organic entity.

    As wonderful as it is to have Poet Laureates, I wish we also had Philosopher Laureates and that Wendell Berry had that forum.His thoughts are important for the national consciousness.

    "The other kind of freedom is the freedom to take care of ourselves and of each other.The freedom of affluence opposes and contradicts the freedom of community life."

    Berry advocates watching government closely, nationally but particularly locally.When it comes time to protest, he calls for facts and good arguments, not just slogans and buttons.
    "I would rather go before the governement with two people who have a competent understanding of an issue, and who therefore deserve a hearing, than with two thousand who are vaguely dissatisfied."

    These essays span several decades but the ideas are more relevant today than when they were written.The trends and programs, such as GATT and the loss of topsoil and the rise of megafarms, are as bad as he feared but time has proven them even more destructive.

    "Restraint - for us, now - above all:the ability to accept and live within limits; to resist changes that are merely novel or fashionable; to resist greed and pride; to resist the temptation to 'solve' problems by ignoring them, accepting them as 'tradeoffs', or bequesthing them to posterity.A good solution, then, must be in harmony with good character, cultural value, and moral law."

    2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but frustrating
    While I agree with a lot of what Berry has to say, I found his approach off-putting, in a way that I think will ruin his message for many readers.

    Berry supports a simpler lifestyle, and his ideas are much like Thoreau's as described during his experience in "Walden". He says that simplifying will bring us back to nature and a healthier way of living. I agree with many aspects of what he has to say, although I quibble with him on several points - but that's a matter of personal opinion and not a problem with the book. But Berry takes a fairly hard-nosed, holier-than-thou approach to explaining the virtues of the lifestyle he supports, and this grows tiresome after reading the book for more than a short while.

    Berry is also very long-winded. His writing style is somewhat overblown and very difficult to get through. This book and perhaps this author are probably best read in small doses, whether you like him or not.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Notes From a Native
    Cover to cover this book encompasses twenty-one powerful essays spanning as many years, from "The Unsettling of America" (1977) to "The Whole Horse" (1999). It is basically the backdoor into the house of Berry's thought, the best way to familiarize oneself with his writings without buying all his books. In fact, to date, it is the only such compilation currently available.

    For me personally, reading Berry is a kind of sacrament taken with the utmost reverence and joy. Like the bark of an ancient redwood tree, the essays are imbued with scent and deep, earthly texture. This language serves the underlying themes well -- themes of love, work, earth and health. Indeed, many of the essays set out explicitly to reestablish the hidden connections between body and soul, individual and community; the former necessarily connected with the land that created and sustains us. Like hymns to one's sense of place, one reads Berry and is transported back home.

    "I came to see myself growing out of the earth like the other animals and plants. I saw my body and my daily motions as brief coherences and articulations of the energy of place, which would fall back into it like leaves in the autumn."

    Full of common sense, prophetic visions, poetic beauty and cogent analyses of America's cultural crises, these essays will retain their relevance and charm for generations if not millennia to come. At present, I can think of no single author better suited to guide us through these troubled times. Humble, illuminating, honest and profound -- this is one thinker not to be overlooked by anyone concerned with our fate as species and the fate of the planet as a whole. Definitely one of the most important, soul-satisfying books I have ever read. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1582431469
    Sales Rank: 423963
    Subjects:  1. Agricultural Economics    2. Agriculture    3. Agriculture - General    4. American - General    5. Economic aspects    6. Essays    7. Literary Criticism    8. Literature - Classics / Criticism    9. Rural Sociology    10. Social aspects    11. Sociology - Rural    12. Technology    13. United States   

    Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community : Eight Essays
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (13 September, 1994)
    list price: $12.00 -- our price: $9.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best...
    ...thinkers I was exposed to in high school while researching for an essay report. His well-balanced thoughts on various agrarian and community-based themes are the most eloquent I have found from a single writer. His words and rationales spring from the land and argue pursuasively for more restraint for the betterment of the world by the human animal. The most compelling living philospher I know of is Wendell Berry. I recommend all of his written works.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One to read slowly and thoughtfully
    This highly stimulating collection of Berry's essays contains some of the most important things Berry has written.The essay "Christianity and the Survival of Creation" is one of the most insightful and important theological statements of our day.It is in everyone's best interest towork to see that the organized churches take Berry's essay to heart.Ofcourse, the book is also notable for the beauty of Berry's writing -- notcoincidental, since he argues here and elsewhere for a recovery of the ideaof work as sacred and for beauty as a measure of "rightlivelihood."

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of those "if you don't read any other book this year...
    If you're a content postmodern, don't read this book.It will leave you unsettled.The title essay from Berry's book is worth the price of the whole book.If you were to read only one book this coming year to guideboth your thinking and your behavior (aside from the Bible which undergirdsBerry's thinking), this would be a great choice.If the following snippetfrom the title essay resonates with your spirit, you'll want to pick thisone up.

    "If you destroy the ideal of the "gentle man" and removefrom men all expectations of courtesy and consideration toward women andchildren, you have prepared the way for an epidemic of rape and abuse.Ifyou depreciate the sanctity and solemnity of marriage, not just as a bondbetween two people, but as a bond between those two people and theirforebears, their children, and their neighbors, then you have prepared theway for an epidemic of divorce, child neglect, community ruin, andloneliness.If you destroy the economies of household and community, thenyou destroy the bonds of mutual usefulness and practical dependence withoutwhich the other bonds will not hold."

    Why is it that we have ourbest thinkers like Berry running old family farms, and our worst thinkersrunning our national government?Sigh. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0679756515
    Sales Rank: 24598
    Subjects:  1. Anthropology - Cultural    2. Government - U.S. Government    3. Politics - Current Events    4. Politics/International Relations    5. Sociology - General    6. Current Events / American   


    A Walk in the Woods : Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official Guides to the Appalachian Trail)
    by Bill Bryson
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (04 May, 1999)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Bill Bryson has made a living out of traveling and then writing about it. In The Lost Continent he re-created the road trips of his childhood; in Neither Here nor There he retraced the route he followed as a young backpacker traversing Europe. When this American transplant to Britain decided to return home, he made a farewell walking tour of the British countryside and produced Notes from a Small Island. Once back on American soil and safely settled in New Hampshire, Bryson once again hears the siren call of the open road--only this time it's a trail. The Appalachian Trail, to be exact. In A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson tackles what is, for him, an entirely new subject: the American wilderness. Accompanied only by his old college buddy Stephen Katz, Bryson starts out one March morning in north Georgia, intending to walk the entire 2,100 miles to trail's end atop Maine's Mount Katahdin.

    If nothing else, A Walk in the Woods is proof positive that the journey is the destination. As Bryson and Katz haul their out-of-shape, middle-aged butts over hill and dale, the reader is treated to both a very funny personal memoir and a delightful chronicle of the trail, the people who created it, and the places it passes through. Whether you plan to make a trip like this one yourself one day or only care to read about it, A Walk in the Woods is a great way to spend an afternoon. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

    Reviews (809)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Very uneven and sometimes preachy
    This not a bad book. Sections of it are quite enjoyable, in fact, but an uneven writing style and lapses into preachiness (even when appropriate) keep it from being a better book. I don't mind some commentary about the absurdity of things, but it comes a bit too often in a book supposedly about walking the Appalachian Trail.

    There is some profanity, more annoying due to its sudden use after some time without it than the fact that it's there at all. It's almost like Bryson thought, "Hey, I haven't been crude in a few pages so let me throw in a couple of pertinent words."

    Overall, I wouldn't recommend this as a book to purchase - check your local library for a copy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Funny and enlightening
    My Dad handed me this little book, grinned and said, "Read this." The grin told me that there was no way to refuse his order. I'm an outdoors guy all the way but I've seen a fair share of passing winters and have collected a bunch of pounds that I would love to "walk off along the trail" like Mr. Katz. I also know that it isn't as easy as it sounds. I laughed to the point of tears when Katz explained that nearly the entire contents of his backback had been "flung" during the first day of strenuous hiking. Endeavors that may have once been a light hearted flight of fancy can be pretty rough after 20 or so years of TV and microwave popcorn. I suppose that's when I saw the wonderful introspection of Bryson's writing start to creep in. He doesn't just start pounding you in the head with sweeping pronouncements about what is wrong with things. No, this brilliant fellow makes you laugh your head off at personal ego and withering human fraility and THEN he starts making you think about the bigger picture. By the time these guys were slogging through the Hundred Mile Wilderness in Maine, I wanted to leap off the couch with mosquito netting and huge cans of OFF! to help them. I loved the humor Bryson puffed out of this book and I also got caught up in the future and the bizzare bureacratic politics of maintaining the AT for those who wish to experience it. I hope it manages to survive intact until I can drag my grinning father out to witness at least a portion of it for a little "Walk in the Woods". Thanks Dad, this book meant a lot to me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Intelligent & Funny
    I love Bryson's wry self-depricating humor, his perspecacious wit, and amazing ability to bring me into his experience. This is a great summer read. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0767902521
    Subjects:  1. Appalachian Trail    2. Description and travel    3. Essays & Travelogues    4. Natural history    5. Travel    6. Travel - United States    7. United States - General    8. United States - Northeast - General    9. United States - South - East South Central (General)    10. Travel / United States / General   


    The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
    by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (25 February, 1997)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Carl Sagan muses on the current state of scientific thought, whichoffers him marvelous opportunities to entertain us with his own childhoodexperiences, the newspaper morgues, UFO stories,and the assorted flotsam and jetsam of pseudoscience.Along the way he debunks alien abduction, faith-healing, and channeling; refutes the arguments that science destroys spirituality, and provides a "baloney detection kit" for thinking through political, social, religious, and other issues. ... Read more

    Reviews (320)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Clarity and reason
    I have just finished reading this book and could not put it down. Dr Sagan has a brilliant way of explaining the complex issues that surround human superstitious behavior in a way that is both entertaining and informative. This book is simply magnificant, a triumph of crear thinking that humanity should be thankful for.

    Everyone should read this book. It should be studied in schools, it should be placed in hotel rooms in place of the bible.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Candle in the Dark
    This is a simply wonderful book. In the introduction, Carl Sagan recounts a conversation he had with a cab driver, whom he calls "William F. Buckley." "Mr. Buckley" is interested in things like the lost continent of Atlantis, UFO abductions, and other "pseudosciences" instead of real science.

    The book is a series of essays that seek to debunk some of these pseudosciences (UFO abductions, the Face on Mars, and faith healing, to name a few) and explain why people seem drawn to such things. In so doing, Dr. Sagan also explains how the scientific method is used to advance humanity's knowledge, and why science is the best (and only) way to understand the world around us. He explains how scientists must be both extremely imaginative and extremely skeptical, how scientific discovery always contains some uncertainty, and how even scientific mistakes can help advance knowledge.

    There's a particularly interesting essay called "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection," in which Dr. Sagan presents the "Baloney Detection Kit." The Baloney Detection Kit includes several tools that can be used to help winnow out the truth (Dr. Sagan uses these to ask pointed questions about J. Z. Knight, the channeler of "Ramtha"), and also lists many logical fallacies.

    The essays convey Dr. Sagan's awe and wonder at the natural world and his dedication to science, but are never cruel, dismissive, or condescending to the "Mr. Buckleys" of the world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a must-read
    I read this 7 or 8 years ago.It's gotta be one of the best books I've ever read.I have never misplaced my copy of it.

    I would be hard-pressed to remember specifics about any other book I read so long ago, but Sagan's style (and his choice of examples) is so lucid that to this day I can recall many of his examples.

    I still dip into it from time to time to reread various hilarious or engrossing sections (e.g., "Carlos to appear in Australia, the discussion of how Lourdes water is actually harmful for you, the face in Mars, the crop circles, the primer on fallacies, etc.).

    I have also discovered that I am not alone in thinking this book should be required reading for American high school students.

    A sublime effort. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0345409469
    Subjects:  1. Controversial Knowledge    2. General    3. Literacy    4. Methodology    5. Philosophy & Social Aspects    6. Popular works    7. Science    8. Science/Mathematics    9. Study and teaching    10. Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects   


    How to Solve It
    by G. Polya
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 November, 1971)
    list price: $18.95
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    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A delightful and satisfying classic
    Are you like a dog with a bone when you're working on a brain teaser? After pages of scribbles, do you get a big grin on your face when you turn to the answers and say: "I'm right!" Then this book is for you.

    And if you're not yet a die-hard problem-solver? You should step right up, too. You may get hooked.

    G. Polya's book is based on the fact that, if we study how someone does something successfully, we can learn to do it successfully as well. How To Solve It is an application of 'heuristics' to solving problems.

    There are certain mental operations useful in solving problems, any sorts of problems. Polya (who was an eminent mathematician and former Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University) describes and illustrates the most usual and useful of these operations, in a way that is irresistible and eye-opening.

    These useful mental operations are organized according to when they come into play during the four steps to solving a problem. 1. You have to understand the problem. (Not as easy as it sounds.) 2. Find the connection between the data given and the unknown. Conceive the idea of a plan for the solution. 3. Carry out the plan. 4. Examine the solution obtained.

    If you take some time and try to solve the problems selected to illustrate each mental operation, you will be well-rewarded. You will likely discover something surprising about your own problem-solving methods, and improve them in the process. You will definitely discover many new ideas and techniques to add to your arsenal.

    For example, a first impulse when confronted with a problem is often to try to 'swallow it whole' -- to try to meet all of the conditions of the problem at once. G. Polya suggests keeping only part of the condition, and dropping the other part. This can lead you straight to a solution you might otherwise have completely missed.

    His techniques help you to stand back and get to the heart of the problem, rather than getting lost in it.

    Something else I liked very much about his book is his encouragement to guess, or to reason 'plausibly.' While the final proof must be strictly logical, "Anything is right that leads to the right idea." Problem-solving has every right to be fun, as well as purposeful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy it!
    The issue is that solving problems is not made interesting and fulfilling experience.

    This book beautifully explains the process of problem-solving. It starts from simple problems, lays down the fundamentals and leads to more complex problems.

    One of the gems is the simple formula:
    1. Understand the problem
    2. Devise a plan (seeing how various items connect
    3. Carry out the plan
    4. Look back at the completed solution, review and discuss it.

    It is also a good reference to teach kids how to approach problems.

    Buy it and it will be a very handy reference.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful to my programming work
    Polya prescribes different forms to approaching a problem through some guide questions that a solver should ask ("Is there a related problem"). The exposition is quite short, majority of the book is devoted to a glossary of heuristic terms which prove very helpful. Polya uses common problems in high school geometry to demonstrate his point which make it easily understandable.

    I'm glad I have discovered an excellent book on problem solving which would prove indispensable in my programming career. Other programming books mainly demonstrate features of an OS or a computer language but this book goes into the heart of the computer science which is problem solving. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0691023565
    Sales Rank: 118626
    Subjects:  1. Advanced    2. Examinations, questions, etc    3. History & Philosophy    4. Mathematics    5. Problems, exercises, etc    6. Science/Mathematics    7. Study and teaching    8. Mathematics / Advanced   

    Calculus With Analytic Geometry, Seventh Edition
    by Ron Larson
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 January, 2002)
    list price: $151.16 -- our price: $151.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (19)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book of it's kind.
    Every concept and example is explained with just the right amount of words and visual aids.The author has talent. The talent is his ability to pass the relevant information straight to the center of your brain, and the ability to bind the whole subject together.

    In comparison, Stewart's Calculus book is just a compilation of information.With each new edition, Stewart adds more footnotes and side notes.The footnotes and side notes really only serve as a bandage to prevent the information of his book from falling apart.

    While Larson is presenting us with a complete and beautiful product, Stewart is scrambling to keep his product at par.

    Larson's book is the best all purpose high school and undergraduate book of it's kind.The website of the book is great and holds interesting additional information.

    Some cons.The book is big heavy and expensive.Some key precalculus reviews are missing in the main book, however, they are available on the book's website.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Calculus Book
    This is the best Calculus book, or for that matter, one of the best text books I have ever studied. I transfered colleges and have had the opportunity to see other Calc books. This book (with the solution manual) explains the problems thoroghly and each problem section starts with the very easy, and the gradually moves into the challenging. It also works in real world applications to make your study of the subject much more interesting. I give the book an A+.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Refer to other editions 0618141804
    Checkout the 7th edition without a CD.Slightly different listing.Copied below....
    * Hardcover: 182 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 11.25 x 1.75 x 9.00
    * Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company; 7th edition (July 1, 2001)
    * ASIN: 0618141804
    * In-Print Editions: Hardcover (7th Bk&Cdr) | Paperback (4th) | All Editions
    * Average Customer Review: Based on 16 reviews. Write a review.
    * Amazon.com Sales Rank: 857,204
    (Publishers and authors: improve your sales) ... Read more

    Isbn: 0618239723
    Sales Rank: 2588
    Subjects:  1. Calculus    2. Geometry - Analytic    3. Mathematics    4. Science/Mathematics   


    by David Sedaris
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1998)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $10.17
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    Editorial Review

    Hip radio comedy fans and theater folks who belong to the cult of Obie-winning playwright/performer David Sedaris must kill to get this book. These would be fans of the scaldingly snide Sedaris's hilariously described personal misadventures like The Santaland Diaries (a monologue about his work as an elf to a department store Santa) seen off-Broadway in 1997. In a series of similarly textured essays, Sedaris takes us along on his catastrophic detours through a nudist colony, a fruit-packing plant, his own childhood, and a dozen more of the world's little purgatories. ... Read more

    Reviews (347)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Ouch!
    I love David Sedaris.I wish I was as good a writer as David Sedaris. His work should be taught in college-level writing classes.All hail King David.That being said, Naked was a little harsh for me.I loved it and I laughed out loud, but there was plenty to make me squirm, too.Not that the underbelly of society shouldn't be funny, mind you.I'm just a little too sensitive for some of the "naked" reality of Sedaris' life.It's not a criticism of the book - I'd gladly hand over another $14.95 directly to the author as a reward for being so entertaining.It's just a comment that I haven't noticed as I scrolled through some of the reviews.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud
    Sedaris makes me laugh out loud with stories you have to share with anyone who will listen.I've read all of his books (except Hercules) and this one and Me Talk Pretty are hilarious!

    4-0 out of 5 stars funny
    this was my first introduction to this guy and i love him! i wish i could be that prosaic about my own family! listen to the audio, laugh out loud, scare your co-workers, FUNNY! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0316777730
    Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Biography    3. Biography & Autobiography    4. Biography/Autobiography    5. Form - Essays    6. General    7. Humor    8. Humorists    9. Humorists, American    10. Sedaris, David    11. Biography & Autobiography / General   


    Me Talk Pretty One Day
    by David Sedaris
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (01 June, 2001)
    list price: $29.98 -- our price: $18.89
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    Editorial Review

    David Sedaris became a star autobiographer on public radio, onstage in New York, and on bestseller lists, mostly on the strength of "SantaLand Diaries," a scathing, hilarious account of his stint as a Christmas elf at Macy's. (It's in two separate collections, both worth owning, Barrel Fever and the Christmas-themed Holidays on Ice.) Sedaris's caustic gift has not deserted him in his fourth book, which mines poignant comedy from his peculiar childhood in North Carolina, his bizarre career path, and his move with his lover to France. Though his anarchic inclination to digress is his glory, Sedaris does have a theme in these reminiscences: the inability of humans to communicate. The title is his rendition in transliterated English of how he and his fellow students of French in Paris mangle the Gallic language. In the essay "Jesus Shaves," he and his classmates from many nations try to convey the concept of Easter to a Moroccan Muslim. "It is a party for the little boy of God," says one. "Then he be die one day on two... morsels of... lumber," says another. Sedaris muses on the disputes between his Protestant mother and his father, a Greek Orthodox guy whose Easter fell on a different day. Other essays explicate his deep kinship with his eccentric mom and absurd alienation from his IBM-exec dad: "To me, the greatest mystery of science continues to be that a man could father six children who shared absolutely none of his interests."

    Every glimpse we get of Sedaris's family and acquaintances delivers laughs and insights. He thwarts his North Carolina speech therapist ("for whom the word pen had two syllables") by cleverly avoiding all words with s sounds, which reveal the lisp she sought to correct. His midget guitar teacher, Mister Mancini, is unaware that Sedaris doesn't share his obsession with breasts, and sings "Light My Fire" all wrong--"as if he were a Webelo scout demanding a match." As a remarkably unqualified teacher at the Art Institute of Chicago, Sedaris had his class watch soap operas and assign "guessays" on what would happen in the next day's episode.

    It all adds up to the most distinctively skewed autobiography since Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia. The only possible reason not to read this book is if you'd rather hear the author's intrinsically funny speaking voice narrating his story. In that case, get Me Talk Pretty One Day on audio. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

    Reviews (596)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just Hilarious
    Like Richard Perez -- author of The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition -- David Sedaris doesn't know the meaning of normal. With essay topics ranging from his experience as a methamphetamine addicted performance artist, to his food-hording, Great Dane enamored father, and his false efforts at learning French, Sedaris never fails to hit the hilarious mark. Sure, some of the stories are offensive, but, hey, life can be offensive sometimes.

    In any given situation, the reader can expect Sedaris to always say or do the unexpected. In one essay, titled "Picka Pocketoni" a pair of fashion challenged American tourists on the Paris Metro wrongly assume that Sedaris is a local pickpocket, and a stinky, non-English speaking one at that. As they discuss their opinions in increasingly shrill English, Sedaris savors the moment, wondering how best to take advantage. In similar situation I could see myself dying of embarrassment, but not Sedaris. He revels in the opportunity to be seen as quick and dangerous. In fact, he seems encouraged that someone might mistake him for a well coordinated foreign rogue capable of who knows what kind of mischief.

    Amongst Sedaris' various ramblings on insomnia induced fantasies some inevitable political humor creeps in. One fantasy, titled "I've Got a Secret" begins: "I'm a pretty, slightly chubby White House intern whose had a brief affair with the President." But then Sedaris makes a 180 shift and "our heroine" becomes known as a brave stoic unwilling to capitalize on her unfortunate circumstances. Then after the press coverage dies down, she writes a best-selling novel under an assumed name and gets down to her life's work: sleeping with professional football players.

    Sedaris takes unprecedented pride his refusal to learn any useful French - despite six summer visits and a two-year stay. The book includes several essays devoted this topic. During his second summer in Normandy, Sedaris devotes himself to learning 10 new words per day, in a faux effort to expand his two-word vocabulary of "ashtray" and "bottleneck".

    The list includes: "exorcism, facial swelling, death penalty, slaughterhouse, sea monster and witch doctor." In a later story, Sedaris has taken to amusing himself while walking around Paris listening to a pocket medical guide with French-English translations for visiting doctors. His fondest hope is that he'll have to opportunity to try out his new conversational French at some cocktail party in the future:

    "That's me at the glittering party, refilling my champagne glass and turning to my host to ask if he's noticed any unusual discharge."

    And that pretty much says it all, n'est pas? Don't miss this great book! Two other wonderful books I'd like to recommend include The Losers' Club (Complete Restored Edition) by Richard Perez, and Naked by David Sedaris -- both funny and entertaining.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Off kilter humor for nearly anyone
    I was in a college course for Education majors about Sociocultural studies in education.A classmate read the short story entitled "Jesus Shaves" from Sedaris' book.The whole class was in stitches.This particular piece is about Sedaris' struggles in an American school in Paris where the students (all from differing cultures) are struggling with the concept of Christianity.I thought this story was absolutely hilarious and was on a mission to purchase the book for myself and read the rest of Sedaris' anecdotes.

    Upon actually procuring the book, I learned that the theme of the book is sort of an autobiographical sketch of Sedaris' own trials and tribulations in life, starting with his problems in primary school (talking about his lisp) and extending into his adulthood (with situations dealing with his sexuality).

    The book is wrought with humor, some more off color than others... for instance "Big Boy" is an entire story about a piece of excrement.Don't let this scare you away, though.Weaved into each of Sedaris' tales is a lesson to be learned, though presented in a comical manner.

    After having my mom read "Jesus Shaves" she confronted me with the usual, "What did you take from this?," and gave me insight to a more morally based meaning of Sedaris' retoric.Thinking back, all of his tales in this book have a deeper, more serious message that we all can learn from, and appreciate.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, Fun, Fun
    Sedaris makes me laugh out loud with stories you have to share with anyone who will listen.I've read all of his books (except Hercules) and this one and Naked are hilarious! ... Read more

    Isbn: 1586210661
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Nonfiction (Unabridged)    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Audiobooks    4. Form - Essays    5. General    6. Humor    7. Humor / Essays   


    A New Kind of Science
    by Stephen Wolfram
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (14 May, 2002)
    list price: $44.95 -- our price: $44.95
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    Editorial Review

    Physics and computer science genius Stephen Wolfram, whose Mathematica computer language launched a multimillion-dollar company, now sets his sights on a more daunting goal: understanding the universe. Wolfram lets the world see his work in A New Kind of Science, a gorgeous, 1,280-page tome more than a decade in the making. With patience, insight, and self-confidence to spare, Wolfram outlines a fundamental new way of modeling complex systems.

    On the frontier of complexity science since he was a boy, Wolfram is achampion of cellular automata--256 "programs" governed by simplenonmathematical rules. He points out that even the most complexequations fail to accurately model biological systems, but the simplestcellular automata can produce results straight out of nature--treebranches, stream eddies, and leopard spots, for instance. The graphicsin A New Kind of Science show striking resemblance to thepatterns we see in nature every day.

    Wolfram wrote the book in a distinct style meant to make it easy to read, even for nontechies; a basic familiarity with logic is helpful butnot essential. Readers will find themselves swept away by the elegantsimplicity of Wolfram's ideas and the accidental artistry of thecellular automaton models. Whether or not Wolfram's revolutionultimately gives us the keys to the universe, his new science isabsolutely awe-inspiring. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

    Reviews (318)

    1-0 out of 5 stars An Old Kind of Pattern Recogntion aka Imagination
    Stephen Wolfram argues that simple programs can generate complex and interesting behavior. True enough. But this only shows the human brain has a remarkable ability to find patterns, even where none exist. Patterns of movement are illusions based on the eye's limitations. A real-time eye wouldn't see movement-it's based on latency of the eye; there is no movement on the screen.

    Want to find an even simpler generation of a complex pattern? Flick a leaky fountain pen over a piece of paper, fold the paper on itself, and open it back up. You will find a pattern of astonishing complexity from the simple flick of your wrist. You might find and ponder patterns of profound significance, but the complexity lies within your mind, not in the pattern on the paper. The ink blots tell you nothing about the nature of the universe, nor do they portend a new kind of science.

    Alternately, just lie on your back in a meadow on a summer day and watch the clouds go by. A few simple rules generate these clouds: condense into droplets at a certain temperature and relative humidity, freeze into crystals at another level. You'll see pigs and lions, pirates and lords, portraits and landscapes of astonishing complexity and even beauty. You might even find some insight into your own psyche. But you will find no insight into the world we live in, and you won't find insight in A New Kind of Science either.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and deep
    A New Kind of Science is a great book.

    I will be honest and humble in that much of the book was over my head.But Stephen Wolfram has started a tremendous interest in his ideas, which can lead to great things.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Plagiarizing whom?
    Is Wolfram really just re-publishing old ideas without proper reference to the sources? Some reviewers try to argue that he did NOT simply plagiarize Konrad Zuse's book of 1969 because Wolfram's book does NOT really say the universe is a cellular automaton. In fact, in Chapter 9 (Section 9) he writes "At first it may seem bizarre, but ... the universe might work not like a CA but like a mobile automaton or Turing machine."

    But then he plagiarized Jurgen Schmidhuber who published and analyzed this very idea 5 years prior to Wolfram in his well-known paper "A Computer Scientist's View of Life, the Universe, and Everything" (1997, easy to locate on the web).

    Zuse's truly radical proposal, however, was that the universe is computable at all. It does not matter much whether the computer is a universal CA or Turing machine. It is well-known that one can emulate the latter on the former, and vice versa.

    Some claim that at least Wolfram's so-called core idea is new: "... how many other scientists search through billions of register machines to discover interesting, complex behavior? This new kind of science is all about enumerating the *very simplest* computational systems and analyzing their behavior without biases towards any existing scientific tradition. This kind of research is simply not done in computer science, mathematics, physics, or the vague field of complexity theory."

    But of course systematic search among all possible programs is standard practice in certain areas of computer science and machine learning. Starting in 1995, Schmidhuber published a whole string of papers where he is systematically searching billions of programs, ordered by simplicity in the theoretically optimal sense of Leonid Levin (1973, apparently totally unknown to Wolfram), until he finds a program that computes an output with certain desired properties. And his 1997 article points out that this approach is the fastest way (save for a constant) of generating all possible universes with all possible computable physical laws. This yields not only the shortest but also the asymptotically fastest description of our own universe, provided the latter is computable at all.

    [...] ... Read more

    Isbn: 1579550088
    Subjects:  1. Cellular automata    2. Computational complexity    3. Data Modeling & Design    4. Electronic data processing    5. General    6. Mathematical Analysis    7. Mathematical models    8. Mathematics    9. Research & Methodology    10. Science    11. Science / General    12. Science/Mathematics   


    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (15 May, 2001)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
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    Editorial Review

    Everything about Tool's fourth album is an experience, starting with the packaging, which consists of liner credits printed on a translucent plastic sleeve over the CD and a booklet that layers anatomical representations atop one another--the first page pictures musculature and blood vessels; the next, bones; the third, internal organs; and so on. It's worth describing the packaging of Lateralus because it says much about the astonishing music within. Maynard James Keenan and company understand the expectations riding on this much-anticipated release and they've delivered the goods! While it remains in the Tool tradition of trance-inducing progressive metal, Lateralus is tighter, clearer, crisper, and all around a notch above their admirable previous releases. Aenima was marred by muddy production and a certain predictability. Undertow had a cleaner sound but wasn't as confident or adventurous. With Lateralus, Tool have raised an already lofty bar still higher by coming up with a collection that kicks major ass. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

    Reviews (1541)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums and bands in the 90s
    Tool would have to be Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd in our year. More like Pink Floyd by the videos. You never see Tool in their videos or even pictures which is makes Tool so cool and mysterious. Maryand did way better in Tool then APC though cause nowadays you see pictures of the band, but Maryand will always have the Robert Plant in him, and many of Tool fans will never forget the talent he had and still does. Tool will always be one of my fav bands ever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hold On......
    This cd has got to be one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Tool is the Led Zeppelin of our time. The songs are so well done. The music has excellent guitar work and some of the best drumming i have heard from any modern band. If you even remotly like rock music this is a must have. The songs are rather long but thats the best part. when you listen to the music you dont want it to end. recommend this CD over almost any modern rock CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ugh!
    Himo Pöhönen, you are the biggest "tool" on the net. All you do is write asinine reviews reflecting your worthless hypocritical pseudo-christian beliefs. Maybe if you weren't such a loser and blinded by your so-called "faith" you could take some of that negative energy and direct it toward something positive-although judging by your 20 or so pages of nonsensical reviews you will be content to jerk yourself to sleep every night for the rest of your pathetic life. 1500+ reviews of this album still yields 4.5 stars (which really should be 5 stars) despite your attempt to make a difference in swaying someone's decision away from buying this album.Kill yourself now. Someone else needs the oxygen you're wasting.

    Now that's out of the way- I can't say anything that countless people have said before- this album is an experience from the artwork to the many sounds and transitions this album has in store for you from the minute you press play.Every listen you will notice something different even after hearing it time and time again. The lyrics are deeply rooted in Maynard's world which are an adventure to decipher.I've owned this album for many years and still enjoy the occasional listen.I don't believe that you need to be some sort of intellectual to enjoy Tool's music- but give it a chance...you might be surprised.

    This album DESERVES 5 stars. ... Read more

    Asin: B00005B36H
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Metal    2. Heavy Metal    3. Pop    4. Rock   


    The Grapes of Wrath: John Steinbeck Centennial Edition (1902-2002)
    by John Steinbeck
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (03 January, 2002)
    list price: $15.00 -- our price: $10.20
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    Editorial Review

    When The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, America, still recovering from the Great Depression, came face to face with itself in a startling, lyrical way. John Steinbeck gathered the country's recent shames and devastations--the Hoovervilles, the desperate, dirty children, the dissolution of kin, the oppressive labor conditions--in the Joad family. Then he set them down on a westward-running road, local dialect and all, for the world to acknowledge. For this marvel of observation and perception, he won the Pulitzer in 1940.

    The prize must have come, at least in part, because alongside the povertyand dispossession, Steinbeck chronicled the Joads' refusal, even inability, to let go of their faltering but unmistakable hold on human dignity. Witnessing their degeneration from Oklahoma farmers to a diminished band of migrant workers is nothing short of crushing. The Joads lose family members to death and cowardice as they go, and are challenged by everything fromweather to the authorities to the California locals themselves. As TomJoad puts it: "They're a-workin' away at our spirits. They're a tryin' tomake us cringe an' crawl like a whipped bitch. They tryin' to break us. Why,Jesus Christ, Ma, they comes a time when the on'y way a fella can keep hisdecency is by takin' a sock at a cop. They're workin' on ourdecency."

    The point, though, is that decency remains intact, if somewhatbattle-scarred, and this, as much as the depression and the plight of the"Okies," is a part of American history. When the California of their dreamsproves to be less than edenic, Ma tells Tom: "You got to have patience.Why, Tom--us people will go on livin' when all them people is gone. Why,Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we'rethe people--we go on." It's almost as ifshe's talking about the very novel she inhabits, for Steinbeck's characters,more than most literary creations, do go on. They continue, now as much asever, to illuminate and humanize an era for generations of readers who,thankfully, have no experiential point of reference for understanding thedepression. The book's final, haunting image of Rose of Sharon--Rosasharn,as they call her--the eldest Joad daughter, forcing the milk intended forher stillborn baby onto a starving stranger, is a lesson on the grandestscale. "'You got to,'" she says, simply. And so do we all. --Melanie Rehak ... Read more

    Reviews (515)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece

    If you are looking for slick plots, witty humour, or fast paced action, don't bother looking here.Steinbeck trancends society's 2 minute attention span to deliver a work so thought provoking, so fundamentally touching and heart-wrenching, that the reader cannot help but ponder its effect long after having put it down.

    The novel follows the dust bowl migration of the Great Depression, alternating between the desolate struggle of a migrant family - the Joads - and more broad depictions of a people forced to the threshold of human tolerance and survival.

    The language is especially brilliant.As one less than ecstatic reviewer exclaimed,"this book was about dirt, poor people and dirt."Exactly, and one could not craft a more beautiful picture out of such material.The imagery is wonderfully crafted to perpetuate exactly what Steinbeck wanted: gloom, anger, and a paradoxical will to keep faith and move on.

    "Our people are good people; our people are kind people.Pray God some day kind people won't all be poor.Pray God some day a kid can eat.And assosiations of owners knew that some day the praying would stop.And there's the end."

    2-0 out of 5 stars Unable to See the Forest for the Trees
    While Steinbeck does, in the end, manage to convey an image of a portion of America during the Great Depression, it was an image confused by wordiness. The chapters describing the family where extremely slow moving, with dialogue and descriptions that would go on for pages, but which did not have any real point in the context of the story, and, perhaps more importantly given one of the main purposes of this novel, was not necessary to give the reader a "feel" of the times.This overabundance of irrelevent information detracts from the story, in that it makes it difficult for the reader to fully submerse his-/herself in the story and, in the end, obscures the portrait of America at this time, as the reader is given so many details, that they begin to run over each other. Essentially it is a portrait that is completely lacking a frame, and this lack of a frame- or a context for all of the details, leads to a very confused image and story.

    I did not loathe the entire book, and even enjoyed some of the intermediate chapters describing the country as a whole (I particularly liked the one about the used car dealership), as I felt that these were well written, and the most concise.Furthermore, the symbolism was rather good, but again, overdone, as was Steinbeck's use of naturalism.

    However, the main plot line, the Joads' migration, was overly convuluted and, after the umptenth tragic mishap, left me utterly apathetic to the fate of the family or their plight, especially since there seemed to be a tendency to "kill off" or otherwise subject the characters to tragic fates before they had been developed to the point that I actually cared what happened to them-- that they became more than just characters in a book (with the sole exception of Casey).When I reached the end of the book, I found myself asking-- "what was the point?" Steinbeck dragged this family through the depths of hell, and yet it was done in such a clinical fashion that it lacked the human and emotional essence needed to make it be for a point, or even just that no one should have to suffer so pointlessly.One acknowledges that (hopefully) already on a logical level, but this book failed to invest it with any kind of emotional level, despite the seven page conversations.Having read "Of Mice and Men," I know that Steinbeck can do better.I was decidedly NOT apathetic to the fate of Lennie and George.Even with allowances made for the different purposes of the stories, I cannot give a great deal of credit to a story seems pointless (except maybe post-modernism :-)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A tribute to the human spirit
    The story unfolded with a vivid depiction of the state of Oklahoma land. Weather was scorchingly hot and dry, land was parched and harvests were unsatisfactory. To the Joad family, their livelihood, well-being, families, and happiness - in short, their everything - all hinge on the cultivation of that piece of land. However, they were forced to move west in search of money and food when their land was taken over by the bank, symbolized by the tractor. The early chapters of the book hence gave a poignant portrayal of the encroachment of capitalism on a largely agrarian society and the resulting clash between workers and owners of the land. As the families moved westwards they encountered various problems, such as lack of food, low wages, floods, torrential rains and unreasonable policeman. Yet they did not give up.

    John Steinbeck ended the story with finesse (I shan't elaborate on this here, lest it spoils your reading experience), further reaffirming the central message of the book - the triumph of human dignity, determination and perseverance. The story did not end with the Joad family making big money, transforming themselves from rags to riches. The writer chose to end it in a more subtle way, leaving room for readers to imagine. `Grapes of Wrath' also paid tribute to motherhood, as Tom Joad's mother rose to become the figure of authority in the family, giving support and charting the direction forward for the family in the later part of the book.

    I like the way John Steinbeck incorporated detached, short and sweet third person narratives into the story, giving it a fuller and more complete touch. I also fancy the dialogues, and the interplay between the imagery of the environment/weather and the development of the storyline. In all, I enjoyed reading `grapes of wrath'. A very apt metaphoric title indeed, for anger was brewing in the hearts and minds of the migrant family who helped pick the grapes that were in abundance in the orchards, but yet did not get to eat them.

    P/s: Frankly, if not for the American names, dialogues, and locations, I would have thought that the story could have also happened in Communist China in the early 1900s. Is the writer trying to mock at capitalism gone wrong? Do segments of the story not sound like a reversal of the American ideals of freedom, liberty and equality? A reflection of the state of American society after the great depression?? ... Read more

    Isbn: 0142000663
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Depressions    3. Fiction    4. Labor camps    5. Literary    6. Literature - Classics / Criticism    7. Migrant agricultural laborers    8. Rural families   


    Clerks (Collector's Edition)
    Director: Kevin Smith
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    DVD (26 February, 2002)
    list price: $19.99 -- our price: $14.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Editorial Review

    Before Kevin Smith became a Hollywood darling with Chasing Amy, a film he wrote and directed, he made this $27,000 comedy about real-life experiences working for chump change at a New Jersey convenience store. A rude, foul-mouthed collection of anecdotes about the responsibilities that go with being on the wrong side of the till, the film is also a relationship story that takes some hilarious turns once the lovers start revealing their sexual histories to one another. In the best tradition of first-time, ultra-low budget independent films, Smith uses Clerks as an audition piece, demonstrating that he not only can handle two-character comedy but also has an eye for action--as proven in a smoothly handled rooftop hockey scene. Smith himself appears as a silent figure who hangs out on the fringes of the store's property. --Tom Keogh ... Read more


    • Color
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    Reviews (404)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kevin Smith's first film, and is considered to be his best!
    The movie is about these two guys, Dante and Randall, that work at these dead end retail stores, and the movie pretty much films what they do throughout the day. In addition to that, however, Dante is trying to get back with his old high school sweet heart, but Dante is dating someone else. Despite a few irrelevant scenes and excessive foul language for this film, the movie is actually hilarious. The film takes you on some epic questions we all go through during relationships and life while entertaining you with comedy. One moment, the film will have you laughing at some of Randall's antics throughout the film while saddened at Dante's huge catastrophic mistake. Overall, "Clerks" is definitely one of the most original and witty comedies to ever grace the big screen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My life as a clerk to the "T"
    As someone who spent most of his younger years working in a convenience store, I must say that Kevin Smith hits home with this one!Some of the situations that happen in this movie were true to life for me.Definitely a funny movie and one of my all time favorites!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great antidote to overblown pretention
    Basically Kevin Smith made two crappy films (Mallrats,Dogma),two good (Jay&Silent Bob,Chasing Amy),and one great film,Clerks.This film is my most seen of all time.It blends uniquely lowbrow and highbrow theories with a nuance of 5:00AM-3:00AM shift at a convenience store, easily the most anyone has done with a 27,000 budget,and creates the funniest film of the last twenty years.This 3-disc collection is great also,with a booklet of the hisory of Clerks and the original cut,along with the cut scene,hard to find Clerks short The Flying Car,Snowball Effect documentary of Clerks and Mae Day student film by Kevin Smith. ... Read more

    Asin: B00000IQC8
    Subjects:  1. Feature Film-comedy   


    To Kill a Mockingbird
    by Harper Lee
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Mass Market Paperback (11 October, 1988)
    list price: $6.99 -- our price: $6.29
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    Editorial Review

    "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.... When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out."

    Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.

    Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout's first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children's consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout's hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really see them." By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to be reread often. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

    Reviews (1395)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read...
    This epic novel is one of the best that I've read.This story has to do with the contraversial issues of racism.Taking place in the days where african-americans really didn't get respect,it is precise in every detail,and gives the reader a front row seat at the events that happen.Harper Lee is a critically acclaimed novelist,and this book gave her a place in the world of literature forever.

    -Great Book! Recommended!!!!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Classic! Read it at least once!
    To Kill A Mockingbird is a powerful masterpiece at it's best. This classic tale was brought to life by Harper Lee in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and later became an Academy Award-Winning film. There are over 15 million copies in print with translations in forty languages. The story takes place in Alabama during the Depression, in the early 1900's. It is about a young girl, her brother Jem, and their lawyer father Atticus, who must teach his children the value of every human being, regardless of race. It is a life lesson that is taught not only to the characters in this book, but the reader as well. Harper Lee does a marvelous job allowing the reader to actually live the hatred, love, suspense and determination of this family to stand up for what they believe in. It is a test for them because in the days that To Kill A Mockingbird takes place, race issues were just coming to life, and the true lesson was yet to be learned.

    The storyline is about a young girl, Scout, who is at the age of curiosity. She wants to learn about everything, and looks to her older brother Jem to help her learn the ways of life. It is about a father that is forced to raise his children alone, after losing his wife. Through many hardships, this family learns about respect, love, personal growth, and most importantly they learn life lessons. "You never really know a man till you walk a mile in his shoes", says Atticus, who is defending an innocent black man, who is being charged for the rape of a white girl. In the end the real truth comes out, to no avail. The story is also about friendship, found in Dill, a boy that brings excitement to these two young characters. The three quickly become friends and they explore, play, learn, and love one another.

    The story is based on Scout Finch, Jem, Dill, Atticus Finch, and many others who bring this book to life. The Radleys, who live next door to the Finches, are a strange and curious family to say the least. Through determination, they all quickly learn the Radleys aren't as strange as they would appear. There is Aunt Alexandra, who is very much against everything that Atticus believes in, she moves in with her brother and tempers flare. The neighbor, Miss Stephanie Crawford nurtures the children and aides them in ways only a woman can, since they lack a mother figure. Culprina, the black housemaid who has been helping Atticus raise his children, also guides this family into a world of understanding. Through all the characters, you find a perfect puzzle, that without just one piece, it would crumble.

    The meaning of this book really touches on all the problems that are still very real in this world today. It is a true life lesson for the reader, young and old alike. I don't believe anyone can read this classic and not walk away with something truly special....Love For All.

    Also recommended: THE LOSERS' CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez

    5-0 out of 5 stars To kill a Mockingbird or to kill man's freedom -great book!
    The book "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee is much more educational than any government school.The title comes from a comment in the book about how it is not a sin to kill bluejays, as they are vicious vandals and pests, but it is a sin to kill a mockingbird, as a mockingbird only sings for us.All of you who have been physically attacked by bluejays (as I have) raise your hands. All the hands show that the title's subject is clearly true.

    The "Mockingbird" analogy in the book is to the defendant falsely accused of rape.

    Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman.

    Readers can make comparisons with real life trials such as "An American rape: A true account of the Giles-Johnson case" by A. Robert Smith and read the book or view the documentary about "The Scottsboro Boys" -six sets of trials for nine defendents... all young black men wrongly accused of raping two white women while "riding the rails" through the deep south during the Depression.

    The book explores the themes of racism, violence and doing what is right.There is even a setting in a government school in which the class discusses Hitler and the analogy is made to his persecution of people based on race or religion.

    At the time set in the book, the government in the USA had taken over most schools and the government mandated segregation by law, institutionalized racism, and taught racism as official policy and did so even after the defeat of Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers' Party and well beyond, even into the 1970's.

    Every day students would attend segregated government schools and chant the pledge of allegiance using the original straight-armed salute.The USA's pledge of allegiance was the origin of Hitler's salute, as discovered by the historian Rex Curry (the book "The pledge of Allegiance and the Bellamys).The salute was not from ancient Rome.

    In 1892, Francis Bellamy began the pledge of allegiance with a military salute for the phrase "I pledge allegiance" and then the rest of the pledge was chanted with the arm outstretched toward the flag. The military salute became the Nazi salute. The hand was supposed to be turned upward for the main gesture, however it changed in time to the Nazi-style because of casual extension of the initial military salute straight toward the flag. Even when the palm was turned upward, people would see the relationship to the later Nazi-Sozi salute, and the USA's salute changed to the hand-over-the-heart.

    When Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, his neighbors attended segregated government schools where they saluted the flag with the Nazi salute.

    As under Nazism, children in the USA (including Jehovah's Witnesses and blacks and the Jewish and others) attended government schools where segregation was imposed by law, where racism was taught as official policy, and where they were required by law to perform the Nazi salute and robotically chant a pledge to a flag. If they refused, then they were persecuted and expelled from government schools and had to use the many better alternatives. There were also acts of physical violence.

    Jehovah's Witnesses were among the first people to publicly fight the government and its pledge ritual in the USA, during the same time that they fought it in Nazi Germany. They eventually achieved total victory over Nazi socialism. They achieved only partial victory over similar socialism in the USA. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forced to perform the pledge. Laws still make teachers lead children in robotic chants of the socialist's pledge daily, on cue from the government. Jehovah's Witnesses and other children in government schools must watch the ritual performed by others.

    Francis Bellamy put flags in every school to promote a government takeover of education for widespread nationalization and socialism, and Bellamy was a self-proclaimed national socialist who advocated "military socialism" for three decades before Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party.

    Edward and Francis Bellamy were cousins and were national socialists who idolized the military and wanted to nationalize the entire US economy, including all schools. It was a philosophy that led to the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) where millions were murdered (62 million by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 35 million by the Peoples' Republic of China, 21 million by the National Socialist German Workers' Party) in the worst slaughter in history. That is why the Bellamys are known as America's Nazis. All Holocaust Museums could expand four-fold with Wholecaust Museums.

    Many people forget that "Nazi" means "National Socialist German Workers' Party," and one reason people forget is because the word "Nazi" is overused by the writers who never say the actual name of the horrid party. A good mnemonic device is that the sick socialist swastika represented two overlapping "S" letters for "socialism" under the National Socialist German Workers' Party, as exposed in the book "Swastika Secrets."

    The Bellamys wanted the government to takeover everything and impose the military's "efficiency," as he said. It is the origin of the modern military-socialist complex.They wanted government schools to ape the military. Government schools were intended to create an "industrial army" (another Bellamy phrase, and the word "army" was not metaphorical) and to help nationalize everything else.

    Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated the Nazi-style salute by law, flags in every classroom, and daily robotic chanting of the pledge of allegiance in military formation like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state.

    After the government's segregation ended, socialism's legacy caused more police-state racism of forced busing that destroyed communities and neighborhoods and deepened hostilities.

    Francis Bellamy wanted a flag over every school because he wanted to nationalize and militarize everything, including all schools, and eliminate all of the better alternatives.

    At the height of Nazi power, the USA's government deliberately stepped onto the same path with national numbering imposed in 1935 with the social security system. The federal government was growing massively and attempting to nationalize the economy in many ways. The US Supreme Court struck down much of the new legislation as unconstitutional until the craven FDR pressured the Court into the "switch in time that socialized nine."

    After the USA entered WWII, the pledge gesture was altered and explicit school segregation by government ended. The Government's schools still exist, the federal flag brands government schools, and government's teachers must chant the pledge daily. Students are kept ignorant of the pledge's original salute and history. That is why the pledge still exists.

    The USA also continued its Nazi numbering (social security from 1935) and its robotic pledge, with no stopping.

    Overall, the book was very revealing and educational and worth the time to review. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0446310786
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fathers and daughters    3. Fiction    4. Girls    5. Legal    6. Literature - Classics / Criticism    7. Literature: Classics    8. Race relations    9. Trials (Rape)    10. Fiction / Classics   


    Interpreter of Maladies
    by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1999)
    list price: $13.00 -- our price: $10.40
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    Editorial Review

    Mr. Kapasi, the protagonist of Jhumpa Lahiri's title story, wouldcertainly have his work cut out for him if he were forced to interpret the maladies of all the characters in this eloquent debut collection. Take, for example, Shoba and Shukumar, the young couple in "A Temporary Matter" whose marriage is crumbling in the wake of a stillborn child. Or Miranda in "Sexy," who is involved in a hopeless affair with a married man. But Mr. Kapasi has problems enough of his own; in addition to his regular job working as an interpreter for a doctor who does not speak his patients' language, he also drives tourists to local sites of interest. His fare on this particular day is Mr. and Mrs. Das--first-generation Americans of Indian descent--and their children. During the course of the afternoon, Mr. Kapasi becomes enamored of Mrs. Das and then becomes her unwilling confidant when she reads too much into his profession. "I told you because of your talents," she informs him after divulging a startling secret.

    I'm tired of feeling so terrible all the time. Eight years, Mr. Kapasi, I've been in pain eight years. I was hoping you could help me feel better; say the right thing. Suggest some kind of remedy.
    Of course, Mr. Kapasi has no cure for what ails Mrs. Das--or himself. Lahiri's subtle, bittersweet ending is characteristic of the collection as a whole. Some of these nine tales are set in India, others in the United States, and most concern characters of Indian heritage. Yet the situations Lahiri's people face, from unhappy marriages to civil war, transcend ethnicity. As the narrator of the last story, "The Third and Final Continent," comments: "There are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept."In that single line Jhumpa Lahiri sums up a universal experience, one that applies to all who have grown up, left home, fallen in or out of love, and, above all, experienced what it means to be a foreigner, even within one's own family. --Alix Wilber ... Read more
    Reviews (382)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The story of Calcutta and it's people
    The short stories in this book take you on an adventure into the lives of wonderful characters. This is a good book to read to gain some understanding into the Indian culture and customs. Stories are told by different characters with different points of view about America, native customs, and people.

    I enjoyed the stories (although I didn't like certain endings). I recommend this book to everyone, especially in this difficult time between America and Middle Eastern countries.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Style with little intention
    Jhumpa Lahiri is an able author.I am not one to shun the New Yorker, and Lahiri's short stories in the magazine are good when digested in intervals.

    The Interpreter of Maladies was a sushi buffet, an overload of intricate tastes that resulted in a bland stomach ache.Lahiri's style is repetitive.One may notice that she repeatedly makes references to food and smell.Granted, such senses may evoke the strongest emotion, but Lahiri seems to lack a creative newness that is required in compilations such as this.

    I am South Asian, and many of the character types are quite accurate.Lahiri fails, though, to stretch beyond a set of emotions (though they are deep): loneliness, confusion, isolation.Lahiri has taken the structure of typical "immigrant" stories and has molded them into Indian technicalities.If one substitutes Gefilte in for curry, the compilation changes shape.

    Lahiri is a good author, but I would recommend you read her stories straight from the source: The New Yorker.Some good writers, who I will note merely for the fact that they are Indian, are: Salman Rushdie and Aditi Roy (sp).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Make it a Must-Read
    Jhumpa Lahiri, whose book I stumbled upon by chance, and bought with some doubt in my mind (I have found many short-stories to be quite boring, or lacking in some other way), even if it was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2000, as indicated on the cover, is a showcase for the power of the short story. The individual narratives are quite varied, but share in common three elements that make Lahiri's collection a treasure to behold: They all center around the lives of Indians, whether living in India itself, or abroad. They all share the same subtlety, realism and attention to detail, with a tinge of the enchanted. The language of the narratives is wonderfully crafted, and varies to suit the tone of each. If I were to write any more about this collection, I would be revealing little details that I would readers would discover for themselves. Let me just say this: Even if like myself you are prejudiced towards short stories, and prefer to read through heavy doorstoppers, this collection will enchant you. It features some of the best writing I have seen published for a long time, and each individual story holds enough truth, character description and detail, to form the basis of a film. I would thus thoroughly recommend this collection of intelligent, wonderfully written stories to anybody who likes to open a book and forget about his or her surroundings, even if only for a few hours. But try it for yourself! Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Jhumpa Lahiri, 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. ... Read more

    Isbn: 039592720X
    Subjects:  1. East Indian Americans    2. Fiction    3. Fiction - General    4. Literary    5. Popular American Fiction    6. Short Stories (single author)    7. Short stories    8. Fiction / Short Stories (single author)   


    An Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning : Numbers, Sets and Functions
    by Peter J. Eccles
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (11 December, 1997)
    list price: $36.71 -- our price: $36.71
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very well written book
    I have a mathematics degree. Like most math majors, I struggled with proofs all through college. This book really has help me understand the art of writing proofs. The book is very well written and easy to read. This is just an awesome book!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Now I know how beautiful proofs can be
    This book provides a nice introduction to mathematical reasoning and proofs. My intention on purchasing this book was to learn how to perform mathematical proofs. I believe it has achieved that purpose. The text is easy to follow and the author presents the work clearly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just buy this
    I needed a book that covered fundamental background information behind mathematical proof techniques for an undergraduate univeristy level linear algebra class.

    With this book, I was able to truly learn and understand the major concepts behind mathematical logic and proof. This text brings a whole new meaning to teaching the reader about being precise; and I mean the author does an extremely terrific job of doing just that. Wow!

    Seriously, the focus here is on content so you won't find any sexy graphs or anything. The content is so good that I often felt that just by reading it I was propelled into a quasi- pseudo-lecture meeting.

    After following this text, I can say that I now appreciate the act of being precise to the point that is required for mathematical proof. If you want to extend the knowledge of your 'white board' then just buy this thing. I am so glad I did.

    BTW, I only needed the content from the first five chapters, I can't say much about the rest of the text. However, taking an inductive approach, I must assume that the other chapters are also very excellent. Yess, see it worked! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0521597188
    Sales Rank: 150687
    Subjects:  1. Logic    2. Mathematics    3. Number Systems    4. Number Theory    5. Proof theory    6. Science/Mathematics    7. Set Theory    8. Mathematical foundations    9. Mathematics / General   


    Home Economics
    by Wendell Berry
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1987)
    list price: $13.00 -- our price: $10.40
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    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Still great!
    I have been a fan of Wendell Berry since my undergraduate days.I own many of his collected essays, as they are worth returning to again and again.At his best, Berry is one of the most thoughtful and challenging writers in America today--whether writing literary criticism, social criticism, poetry, or fiction.

    This collection of essays is not Berry's very best.But Berry at his worst would still be worth reading (and I can't say that I've ever read anything by him that I could even call "moderately bad").If you wish to go beneath the surfact events and problems in America to their root causes, Berry will take you there.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good though not his best...
    I have read (and continue to re-read) several of WB's books. i enjoyed The Irish Journal tremendously and would be interested in any additional travel writing that this man may have to offer. The other essays are well-written though sometimes ringing a little off compared to the rock solid writing of some of his other essay material. Also, The reviewer who chastised WB for a lack of economic knowledge should understand that WB is not speaking in the manner of Keynes or Galbraith but in a manner closer to home...i.e. the title.

    1-0 out of 5 stars An naive book from an ill-informed man
    Mr. Berry brings us a book about economics.It appears from the book that Mr. Berry has studied no economics--even at the introductory, 101, level.Avoid this book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0865472750
    Sales Rank: 86782
    Subjects:  1. American Essays    2. Essays    3. Literature - Classics / Criticism    4. Nature/Ecology    5. Nature / Essays   


    What Are People For?
    by Wendell Berry
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 April, 1990)
    list price: $13.00 -- our price: $10.40
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Berry's best essays...
    I loved this book and especially the essay on writers and region. A true advocate for the community and individual people, the land and country. Interesting stuff and really fascinating to read. I have to admit, Berry's older essays are much better than his newer stuff. If one is looking for other good Berry essays, Art of the Commonplace is a great source of some of Berry's best stuff.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Remember the partridge
    Certainly Wendell Berry is a writer who helps us decipher our wings from our weights.We Americans need that as our things so weigh us down that we forget to try our wings.In quoting Blake, "No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings,"he reminds us of the myth of Daedalus and Icarus.Daedalus the craftsman could use his craft to fashion waxen wings to help his son escape murderous pursuit but could not protect Icarus from the consequences of his own poor judgement.Daedalus himself was guilty of poor judgement when he pushed from a high tower his nephew whose invention surpassed his own.Fortunately a goddess intervened and before impact the nephew was transformed into an humble creature, the low-flying, bush-roosting partridge.
    Our model here, the partridge, knows his limits.Knowledge and technology help us but do not help us infinitely.Our judgement in using technology may be flawed but it is not the fault of technology.Afterall, our bare hands were ill-used before there were axes to blame.Berry warns that our damages make us pestilent and that culture provides apology but seems to forget his own tenet that culture arises from community and our communal spirit, including our joys and our sorrows.
    As humble servants and caretakers of what we are graced with, we stand in awe of earth and sky.When we yoke ourselves withthe weight of the damage we have done we are being mindful. But if we confine our spirit with scruples we will never soar.And we are nothing if not flocking creatures magnificent in full formation stroking the air for all we are worth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good argument for a return to our roots
    Berry is a highly-respected environmental writer who advocates a move back to smaller communities more closely tied to the land. This is a collection of his essays. They are good, although I enjoyed his book Sex, Economy, Freedom, & Community better because it was more of a cohesive unit. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0865474370
    Sales Rank: 122237
    Subjects:  1. American - General    2. Literature - Classics / Criticism    3. Nature / Essays   


    by Kurt Cobain
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (04 November, 2002)
    list price: $29.95 -- our price: $19.77
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    Reviews (156)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
    Kurt Cobain's journal is a book you just dont wanna put down. It tells everything in Kurt's mind, It is wroth reading once you pick it up you cant put it back down its that good. Many people never knew who Kurt really was, but this book showed who he was, Knowing that he wrote it. It has some of his song lyrics also, and video ideas. you want a book worth reading you have to read this if you love Nirvana or reading on a daily base.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great book...
    Kurt Cobain journals were one of those books you just can't put down.It is not one of those books that kept you on the edge of your seat; it's just that you are so memorized with this person's life you almost feel like a stalker.At first it was kind of weird reading his personal thoughts but when I got into it, It was really interesting and intriguing.

    In my opinion, the journals of Kurt Cobain were a fine example of classic writings, doodles and sketches.He expresses himself as just a man trying to live out the so called `'American dream'' of being a punk rocker.At the same time he tries to make his band unlike any other sounding band. For instance, His band Nirvana meant heaven or a high state of freedom.They later became known as `'redefined the nineties. Cobain also has some notes he wrote to fellow rockers that have been posted in there, which just shows you hot tight the community was.When you live in a small town like that, everyone knows each other and everyone is kind of `'in there own world''.

    There is a debate going on about these journals.People are saying it is wrong to be reading the journals and that they should stay private.Others believe that Courtney love edited the journals for publicity.The journals were just ways Cobain tried to express himself in ways that no one could ever understand.He talks about seeing the world behind his own eyes.He also touches on drugs and writes a lot of songs and letters to the record company's.

    Kurt Cobain also did a lot of comic drawings, most of them were random things like and alien, verses satin.There is one comic that I thought was very interesting because I think it was about his parents.He made it seem like life was so much better when his parents were together and now he is almost dying inside.Most of the songs in his journals have not even been revised or ever played by nirvana, Cobain just wanted to get his feelings out on paper.Cobain was always one to think big, even though the band might not have been big, he had a video, t-shirts and everything already set up to buy when they `'hit it big''. If you like Nirvana, or Kurt Cobain, I would definitely recommend this book to you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kurt is God
    I read this book and couldnt even believe the genius that was Kurt, and what a loss he is, still. I wish Courtney had allowed more access to what was published. It seems edited. But Kurt is so great. He could have done anything he wanted! This is the centrepiece in my Cobain collection.
    Journals #2, Please^-^ ... Read more

    Isbn: 1573222321
    Sales Rank: 28791
    Subjects:  1. 1967-1994    2. Biography & Autobiography    3. Biography / Autobiography    4. Biography/Autobiography    5. Cobain, Kurt,    6. Composers & Musicians - Rock    7. Diaries    8. Entertainment & Performing Arts - General    9. Musicians    10. Rock musicians    11. United States    12. Cobain, Kurt   


    Citizen Ruth
    Director: Alexander Payne
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    DVD (01 March, 2005)
    list price: $14.99 -- our price: $13.49
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    Editorial Review

    An uneven script is the flaw of this social satire set in America's heartland. It deals with an unrepentant junkie, played with unexpected finesse by Laura Dern. Pregnant for the umpteenth time and informed by a judge he may overlook felony charges if she aborts the pregnancy, the stoned Ruth Stoops is claimed as a dazed spokesperson by both sides of the controversial abortion issue. This has a lot to say about the abuse and influence of the media The black, black humor is subtle and intelligent and quite often works in the hands of the strong supporting cast. However, the script occasionally lurches into depressing territory, throwing off the balance. Still, this raises interesting issues and Dern's performance is very powerful. Ruth is flawed and prickly, but Dern brings her to life by imbuing her with interesting personality tics. --Rochelle O'Gorman ... Read more


    • Color
    • Closed-captioned
    Reviews (25)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good satire tackling the tough topic of abortion
    Abortion is always a difficult topic to tackle, because its two extreme sides - pro-life and pro-choice - have a "you're either with us or against us and there's no in-between" mentality. Alexander Payne's Citizen Ruth is a political satire that does not take a stand on either side of the fence, instead choosing to remain neutral and expose the absurdities of each side.

    Ruth Stoops (Laura Dern) is the very definition of troubled: an unemployed, drug-addled drifter with four children who were all taken away from her because she can't seem to get her life together. She's picked up for huffing and finds out that she's pregnant again, and the judge wants to impose a harsher sentence on her for endangering the fetus. This becomes a big news story, and soon Ruth finds herself being tugged at from both sides of the abortion issue.

    Ruth is taken in first by the pro-life Norm and Gail Stoney, played by Mary Kay Place and Kurtwood Smith, whose intention it is to convince Ruth to have the baby. They want to help her get her life together, and offer her the guest room in their modest house as refuge from the sea of reporters that want the scoop on Ruth's story. All Ruth wants is to be left alone and to keep her life private. Oh, but she also wants to get high all the time to escape her life.

    After Ruth has some difficulty with the Stoneys, another member of the pro-life commmitte, Diane Siegler (Swoosie Kurtz), takes Ruth in, and reveals that she is actually an undercover agent for the pro-choice force. The tug of war then kicks off in earnest, with the pro-lifers offering a large cash reward to Ruth for having the baby, and the pro-choicers attempting to match it. All the while, neither side really seems to care much about Ruth at all; they're more concerned with their own agendas.

    Now, nothing I have said here indicates that this is actually a comedy, but there are several laugh-out-loud moments. However, director/co-writer Alexander Payne, in this, his first film, and his later films, never attempts to design scenarios simply to make the audience laugh. He's more concerned with exposing situations, and if comedy results, then so be it. In my opinion, it's a great way of doing comedy: make the laughs come from putting characters in situations that they would avoid if they could, but circumstances rule that there is no alternative.

    It's kind of difficult to universally recommend a movie like Citizen Ruth, because of the subject matter. A lot of people will say that abortion is not something you should joke about, and I absolutely agree with them. However, if you can see past the subject of abortion and instead consider this film as a study in herd mentality, I think it can be rewarding.

    4-0 out of 5 stars funny and serious look at a woman's right to choose
    Ruth Stoops is a bad mother.A drug addict, she has already given birth to four children and has been deemed unfit to parent them.When she's arrested for inhaling, she's told she's pregnant and the judge charges her with felony endangerment of a fetus.She's encouraged by a court employee to get an abortion.

    From this point, Ruth bounces back and forth among the extremists in the abortion debate, first living with adamant pro-lifers, then finding shelter in a pro-choice refuge.While all the issues center around her, she is essentially a pawn in a larger war.This raises the important issue of who the victims really are in the abortion war.The humor comes from the extreme character sketchs of activists on either side of the debate as well as Ruth's unpredictable personality.

    I didn't give it five stars because some of the situations were a bit over-the-top and more importantly, the critical issue of whether a woman can be held liable for damage to something still inside her body was raised but never developed.

    Definitely a fun watch that will both make you laugh and think.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, but unclear.
    Black comedy at its best. The 1996 film "Citizen Ruth" literally (and blatantly) pokes fun at the ongoing abortion debate, a subject which, in reality, isn't all that funny. Still, it draws enough laughs from its audiences to last them awhile.

    Performances are all top-rate. Laura Dern is off the wall as the unbearable Ruth, and although one wants to physically harm her before the end of the film, she still keeps what it takes to keep the viewer interested throughout. Kurtwood Smith and Mary Kay Place turn in hilarity as the devout pro-lifers, as do Swoosie Kurtz and Kelly Preston on the other side of the fence. Watch for great cameos by Burt Reynolds and Hitchcock-veteran Tippi Hedren as, respectively, a creepily baby-loving televangelist and a staunchly serious women's rights activist.

    The film does hilariously criticize both sides of the abortion debate, by portraying all the pro-lifers as big-haired, small-minded, "praise the lord"-shouting faux evangelists, as it portrays all the pro-choice characters as being homosexual, moon-worshipping (literally), mediagenic feminazis.

    However, the film DOES has a slant, which is possibly its only flaw. The only character that doesn't reach to extremes and wants what really is best for Ruth is the pro-choice activists' bodyguard Harlan (played by the convincing M. C. Gainey), who, in all honesty, just believes in "human rights and personal freedom." Also, in the end, Ruth does essentially make her own choice, even if it is a bit skewed. Furthermore, the pro-life side is slammed much harder and more frequently than the pro-choice side. Director Alexander Payne should have made his statement more clear (that we as human beings should care for other human beings rather than just principles and issues), by picking a side of the fence to sit on rather than beating around the bush. However, the point is taken in the end, and it's entertaining along the way, on whichever side of the fence you happen to be. ... Read more

    Asin: B00007K028
    Subjects:  1. Feature Film-comedy   


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