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1. The Warmth of Other Suns: The
2. The Art of War
3. Sun Stand Still: What Happens
4. A Thousand Splendid Suns
5. The Sun Also Rises
6. Black Sun: A Thriller
7. Jewels of the Sun: The Gallaghers
8. Half of a Yellow Sun
9. A Raisin in the Sun
10. When a Crocodile Eats the Sun:
11. Under the Tuscan Sun
12. The Art of War
13. Linda Goodman's Sun Signs
14. Staring at the Sun: Overcoming
15. East of the Sun: A Novel
16. The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Deluxe
17. The Art Of War: The Oldest Military
18. The Little Soul and the Sun: A
19. The Shadow of the Sun
20. Copper Sun

1. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
by Isabel Wilkerson
Hardcover: 640 Pages (2010-09-07)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$13.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679444327
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Migration Stories
Although I didn't participate in the Great Migration and didn't have anything like the harrowing experiences described, I did migrate across country to better myself, so I can relate as a fellow migrant, but that's about it. It is difficult to even imagine what it must have been like to move all the way across what was to them a hostile land.

Growing up, I had very little interaction with black people because our town was segregated, so I knew very little of black culture. This great book helped me learn about all of these things that were, in essence, mysteries to me.

I heartily recommend this book to everyone, black, white, or any color because I firmly believe that the road to acceptance and understanding of other races is in getting to know the people of other races as people just like me. The personal stories in this book did this for me. I'm sure that they can do it for you, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars putting things in perspective
the shattering of misconceptions is at the heart of isabel wilkerson's book.question most people familiar with the great migration and they'll probably tell you about jacob lawrence's series of paintings, richard wright's 12 Million Black Voices, and the period of reconstruction and sharecroppers after the civil war and before world war I.for a long time the great migration has been perceived as black citizens leaving the southduring the years of the first world war, drawn away by the jobs to be had for the war effort in the north, and pushed by the dying of king cotton.both are contributing factors, but neither is as insistent as the flight from jim crow practices, an exodus that wilkerson argues gained steam in 1915 and extended into the early 1970s.

what an eye opener, when wilkerson reports that the first race riot involvingblacks as active participants did not occur until 1943, when a swell of outrage swept both black and white mobs, separately, fighting against their own countrymen.whereas race riots against black populations by incensed white populations, as early as the late 19th century, were so prevalent in the south that the riots wilkerson describes do not even include the riots against black populations mentioned by authors like ntozake shange and ifa bayeza in their novel Some Sing, Some Cry, ishmael reed's book of essays, Mixing it Up, or in web du bois' Darkwater.along with the riots springing up, often unpredictably, were the lynchings wilkerson describes in detail from historical documents as heinous forms of torture, which when coupled with the riots created a landscape of terror for southern blacks.in fact, isabel wilkerson provides a more realistic picture of white american terrorist organizations than did the authors of Freakonomics, who, in comparing white american terrorist organizations with realtors, elevated the disparities of arguing apples and oranges to, easily, arguing apples and orantuguans.freaky, indeed.

wilkerson structured her story through the stories of three persons, from different southern states, in three different decades, beginning in 1937, 1945, and as late as 1953, each one of the protagonists reaching the north, the midwest, and the west, and achieving some degree of success, as well as loss, attributing to their character and hard work, while showing how the horrors and terrors practiced by a segment of society against their own citizens were rationalized by skin color, that character, intelligence, age, even of children, served as no plea for compassion and mercy.she doesn't hesitate to discuss the antagonisms blacks visit upon each other as they struggle in their new homes to earn a living and raise a family.

in the tradition of capote and mailer, she's chosen the tools of a novelist to chronicle actual events as narrative journalism collected from oral histories.here she writes: `A railing divided the stairs onto the train, one side of the railing for white passengers, the other side for colored, so the soles of their shoes would not touch the same stair.He boarded on the colored side of the railing, a final reminder from the place of his birth of the absurdity of the world he was leaving. / He was getting out alive.'

but the utmost service wilkerson's book provides is in a new perspective, paradigmic in scope, by which events in the history of black people born in the united states can be perceived,calling for a re-reading also of black literature and the books of serious fiction that have grown dusty on library shelves, novels like william melvin kelley's A Different Drummer, about the disappearance of the black population of a southern town and john edgar wideman's The Lynchers, of idea ofrevenge carried out as a historical symbolic act.

isabel wilkerson, with The Warmth of Other Suns, has provided a guide for the making of many things new.

5-0 out of 5 stars An extremely important work
This book is truly worthy of the designation 'magnum opus', and in my opinion is one of the most important works of the decade. I will not summarize the book because it's been done in detail in a manner better than I could, so this review will just be my impressions.

Isabel Wilkerson has meticulously researched the subject of the Great Migration. The level of detail in this work is impressive as she walks us through the decades from the early 1900's to the present day, and it also accounts for the great length of the book. She is able to capture each era of the Great Migration from the point of view of what is was like for those who moved north as well as for those who stayed in the south, focusing on three main characters who migrated via very different literal and figurative paths. Each of these individuals provides a unique emotional window through which to view the struggles faced by African-Americans both before they leave the south and after they arrive in the north.

There are a lot of revolutionary but well-documented ideas in this book that will turn much of the conventional wisdom about the Great Migration on its head. For anyone who wants to have a greater understanding of African-American culture, and for any student of American history, this book is a must-read. In particular, the book really brings home how recently 'emancipation' really occurred. We as Americans are still in the very beginning of the era of African-Americans being free. There is a lot of history still to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read
Isabel Wilkerson (The author) was very meticulous in her research on the subject matter: a 'sub-radar' massive migration of Afro-Americans from the South to the North and West of the U.S., between the end of WWI and the mid-seventies. Her writing style and the way she tells the story keeps you riveted to the book. I could hardly put it down! Actually, it is more like three parallel stories about three individuals who took three different physical pathways out of the South. Two of these corresponded to then existing passenger railway lines: Florida to New York/New Jersey and Mississippi to Chicago. The third journey was by car from Lousiana to California. Be advised, I am not talking about a travelogue but the escape from oppression, semi-indentured labor, racism, the KKK and persistent poverty.

This book is right up there with Alex Haley's 'Roots' or Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka's, 'You must set forth at dawn.' Hopefully, one day this book will be the basis of a movie.

Miss Wilkerson: I don't think you will ever be able to write a better book. I do believe you are one of the greatest minds in the U.S.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
To get to the point, this is a compelling story written in equally compelling prose. I could scarcely put it down, and read it straight through (with only essential interruptions) while on a cruise ship with every conceivable amenity at hand. It is that hard to put down. Beware that some parts are not for those with weak stomachs. Lynching is beyond repulsive, as was the whole Jim Crow system, and the author does not write in euphemisms. ... Read more

2. The Art of War
by Sun Tzu
Paperback: 58 Pages (2010-10-15)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$7.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1452820562
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Unabridged and complete version of Sun Tzu's THE ART OF WAR. Heritage Cross Classcics produces high-quality classics in their original form.WHAT IS THE ART OF WAR?The Art of War is one of the oldest and most successful books on strategy. It has had an influence on Eastern thinking, business tactics, and beyond. Sun Tzu suggested the importance of positioning in strategy and that position is affected both by the environment and the opinions of the leaders in that environment. He believed that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through an established list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment, but in a changing environment, competing plans collide, creating unexpected situations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (72)

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful abridged version
As with any ancient text, translation matters greatly. Fortunately, this version isn't fraught with errors and mistranslations, at times, common in free ebooks. The content needs no praise or introduction as it remains an influential and widely applicable text. A recommended read.

1-0 out of 5 stars poor layout - poorly edited
Fortunately, I only tried the sample on my Kindle. Would have been a 100% loss since the text seems to be hardly edited and incomplete.

The layout on the Kindle is terrible.

Dont't buy this. Shame on Amazon for trying to sell such a flawed product!

I'd rather go for a free and complete edition by Project Gutenberg. Or look for a different edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic strategy text - bit clumsy in places but hugely relevant for business and the corporate world today
I agree that the translation can be a bit clumsy in places but if you overlook that you can fiind some real gems inside this unusual little book.

I love the relevance of so many of the concepts and every time I flick through I find a new lesson or a new way to apply the same lessons in a different context. "Only fight your battles after the victory has been won." Loving' it.

5-0 out of 5 stars classic
what a classic piece!i ordered this through my kindle for $0, so, the price was perfect!honestly, i can not comment on the quality of the translation.i assume that it is accurate.i found that it was a fast read, until i stopped and thought about what he was saying.the author's comments often coincided with the places where i felt the need to stop and reflect.this was superb and it is a book that i intend to re-read.while i prefer peace to war, the content herein can be applied to even peaceful efforts.i highly recommend this book for every cadet in the academies and junior officers.everybody else with an interest in the strategies and tactics of competitive engagement also would benefit from reading this.i give this a solid "A".

5-0 out of 5 stars Great insight
I've always wanted to read this book, and when I saw it for free I just had to go for it. It's not the smoothest read, but the principles throughout this book can be used in battle, sports or business. Download it and see if you can't apply some of what's in here to your own life. ... Read more

3. Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible
by Steven Furtick
Paperback: 224 Pages (2010-09-21)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$5.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1601423225
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
If you're not DARING TO BELIEVE GOD for the impossible,
some of the BEST PARTS of your Christian Life.

"This book is not a Snuggie. The words on these pages will not go down like Ambien. I’m not writing to calm or coddle you. With God’s help, I intend to incite a riot in your mind. Trip your breakers and turn out the lights in your favorite hiding places of insecurity and fear. Then flip the switch back on so that God’s truth can illuminate the divine destiny that may have been lying dormant inside you for years. 
   In short, I’m out to activate your audacious faith. To inspire you to ask God for the impossible. And in the process, to reconnect you with your God-sized purpose and potential."
    —STEVEN FURTICK, from Sun Stand Still

“Steven Furtick challenges all of us—from the missionary in the third world to the family in the suburbs—to believe God for the impossible and begin living a life of faith beyond the ordinary.”
—ANDY STANLEY, senior pastor, North Point Community Church

“I don’t know anyone better positioned to challenge you to rise above mundane living and embrace faith-filled audacity than Steven Furtick.”
   —CRAIG GROESCHEL, senior pastor, LifeChurch.tv

“For too long Christians have embraced a miniscule vision of faith.… Steven Furtick reminds us that the God who accomplished the impossible through the great heroes of faith still desires to do the same through us today.”
   —JENTEZEN FRANKLIN, senior pastor, Free Chapel

“This book will show you that your hopes and expectations are truly just the beginning of what God can do.” 
   —ED YOUNG, senior pastor, Fellowship Church
... Read more

Customer Reviews (108)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!!!
I have heard Steven preach, and so I expected his book to be good.I didn't expect it to be AWESOME!And that is what it is.I love his style of writing, his confidence and his motivation are communicated in his words.He could write about garbage and I would read it.This book is an amazing step forward for the cause of Christ and I highly recommend it to every one who wants to pray those bold audacious faith prayers that only God can answer.I am reading it again but this time taking notes!

4-0 out of 5 stars Faith
This book is about faith.Perhaps it is not written for the seasoned Christian.For those starting out in the faith, it will point you in the right direction.

The basis of this book is about asking God for anything, regardless of how big, strange, exotic the request.Now, that is an important point.Many of us are praying watered-down prayers.However, Furtick gives little time to explaining that God does not always say "yes".Sometimes, it is like He is not even listening.Seasoned Christians understand this.Baby Christians need to be taught this.That is where this book fails.Maybe Furtick can remedy this situation by writing a second book addressing this challenge to faith.

With all the theological points aside, the book is written very well.It reads quickly.There is no deep theological subjects that weight it down.This is a START to understanding faith in God.Notice I said "START".A true understanding of faith will have to go a little further.Pastor Furtick, write the second book, please.

5-0 out of 5 stars Asking outrageously
Everyone knows that the earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours, and the natural order of the universe does not bend itself to suit our wishes, so it was outrageous for Joshua to ask God to make the sun stand still to give the Israelites enough time to press home a victory in the war against the Amorites. But Steven Furtick urges us to make similarly outrageous requests of God in this book.

Steve's own experience of moving to an unfamiliar city to start a new church and praying for God to bring the increase is a modern-day story of how God does change the natural order of the universe to answer bold prayers and make the impossible happen. Audacious faith that God honours is based on discovering God's vision for your life, not on manipulating God for your own purposes or entering a gifted and talented program for the spiritually elite.

The book tackles in an inspiring way one of the central paradoxes of the Christian faith: salvation cannot be achieved by doing anything because it is a free gift to anyone who has faith, but you never really experience faith unless you step out to do something that would be impossible to achieve without God. The book is easy to understand and fun to read, and I recommend it to anyone who is willing to embrace adventure.

3-0 out of 5 stars Up and Down -- a Mixed Review
You expect to read mixed reviews for things--books, movies, restaurants. You don't often see them in the same review. But I find myself with mixed thoughts after having read Steven Furtick's new book Sun Stand Still.

Steven Furtick is the founding pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is young. He is hip. He is everything that an up-and-coming pastor would want to be. What does he have that gets the attention of book publishers, and turns the head of readers? A good line and a noticeable presence. Elevation has grown to more than 6,000 attenders in three locations in four years--that's noticeable. The first few pages of the book reveal several catchy, creative lines for the memory of the reader.

Basing his premise on the story of Joshua's prayer mid-battle for the day not to end until the Israelites have completely defeated the enemy (see Joshua 10 for the full story), Furtick builds an argument for strong faith-filled prayer. The book is inspiring to the point of excitement. It is a reminder that we are to exercise extreme faith in our daily living, and daily prayer in our faithful living.

On the upside, the author speaks to a new, younger audience who may not be impressed with the age-old preacher filled with sweat and rage as he shouted the message to this new audience's grandparents. Furtick opens scriptures to inspire Christians to build into their faith a God-sized desire.

Several things were not so exciting about the book though. First of all, the need for the author to create a dictionary to define his terminology: audacious faith; Sun Stand Still prayer; Page 23 vision, and the like. Also, the "Page 23 vision" itself is based on Jim Cymbala's Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire rather than Christ. And especially, the tendency for the teaching to come across as a magic mantra which will cause the person praying to accomplish great things for God (though, the author spends several pages trying to avoid just this misunderstanding).

Did I enjoy the book? Were good ideas developed? Yes, of course. Is this a book I would recommend? I'm not convinced that it would be a helpful read. For this reason, I give it only two and one-half out of five reading glasses.

--Benjamin Potter, October 26, 2010

5-0 out of 5 stars Sun Stand Still
Incredible book that will change the way you look at God and the way you pray. It is not only a story of a mighty work of God in Pastor Steven Furtick'slife & at Elevation Church but it will also challenge you personally. You will be challenged to pray prayers that are "God sized" in your own life and expect HIM to do what only God can do in you and through you. Well worth your investment of of time and resources.

Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible ... Read more

4. A Thousand Splendid Suns
by Khaled Hosseini
Paperback: 432 Pages (2008-11-25)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159448385X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
After more than 189 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list for The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel that confirms his place as one of the most important literary writers today.

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible loveAmazon.com Review
It's difficult to imagine a harder first act to follow than The Kite Runner: a debut novel by an unknown writer about a country many readers knew little about that has gone on to have over four million copies in print worldwide. But when preview copies of Khaled Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, started circulating at Amazon.com, readers reacted with a unanimous enthusiasm that few of us could remember seeing before. As special as The Kite Runner was, those readers said, A Thousand Splendid Suns is more so, bringing Hosseini's compassionate storytelling and his sense of personal and national tragedy to a tale of two women that is weighted equally with despair and grave hope.

We wanted to spread the word on the book as widely, and as soon, as we could. See below for an exclusive excerpt from A Thousand Splendid Suns and early reviews of the book from some of our top customer reviewers.--The Editors

An Exclusive Excerpt from A Thousand Splendid Suns

We have arranged with the publisher to make an exclusive excerpt of A Thousand Splendid Suns available on Amazon.com. Click here to read a scene from the novel. It's not the opening scene, but rather one from a crucial moment later in the book when Mariam, one of the novel's two main characters, steps into a new role.

Early Buzz from Amazon.com Top Reviewers

We queried our top 100 customer reviewers as of March 6, 2007, and asked them to read A Thousand Splendid Suns and share their thoughts. We've included these early reviews below in the order they were received. For the sake of space, we've only included a brief excerpt of each reviewer's response, but each review is available for reading in its entirety by clicking the "Read the review" link.

Joanna Daneman: "His style is deceptively simple and clear, the characters drawn deftly and swiftly, his themes elemental and huge. This is a brilliant writer and I look forward to more of his work." Read Joanna Daneman's review

Seth J. Frantzman: "Khaled Hosseini has done it again with 'A Thousand Splendid Sons', presenting a new, dashing and dark tale of two generations of women trapped in a loveless marriage, bracketed by great events." Read Seth J. Frantzman's review

Donald Mitchell: "Khaled Hosseini has succeeded in capturing many important historical and contemporary themes in a way that will make your heart ache again and again. Why will your reaction be so strong? It’s because you’ll identify closely with the suffering of almost all the characters, a reaction that’s very rare to a modern novel." Read Donald Mitchell's review

Lawrance M. Bernabo: "All things considered, following up on a successful first novel is probably harder than coming up with the original effort and Hosseini could have rested on his laurels in the manner of Harper Lee, but as "A Thousand Splendid Suns" amply proves, this native of Kabul has more stories to tell about the land of Afghanistan." Read Lawrance M. Bernabo's review

Amanda Richards: "There are parts of this book that will have grown men surreptitiously blotting the tears that are on the verge of overflowing their ducts, and by the time you get to the middle, you won’t be able to put it down. Hosseini's simple but richly descriptive prose makes for an engrossing read, and in my opinion, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is among the best I have ever read. This is definitely not one to be missed." Read Amanda Richards's review

N. Durham: "All that being said, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is a bit more enjoyable than Hosseini’s previous "The Kite Runner", and once again he manages to give we readers another glimpse of a world that we know little about but frequently condemn and discard. However, if you were one of the many that for some reason absolutely loved "The Kite Runner", chances are that you'll love this as well." Read N. Durham's review

John Kwok: "Khaled Hosseini's "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is a genuine instant literary classic, and one destined to be remembered as one of 2007's best novels. It should be compared favorably to such legendary Russian novels like "War and Peace" and "Doctor Zhivago"." Read John Kwok's review

Thomas Duff: "Normally I'm more of an action-adventure type reader when it comes to novels and recreational reading. But I was given the chance to read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner), so I decided to try something out of my normal genre. I am *so* glad I did. This is a stunning and moving novel of life and love in Afghanistan over a 30 year period." Read Thomas Duff's review

Charles Ashbacher: "This book manages to simultaneously capture the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years and how women are treated in conservative Islamic societies.... In many ways it is a sad book, your heart goes out to these two women in their hopeless struggle to have a decent life with a brutal man in an unforgiving, intolerant society." Read Charles Ashbacher's review

W. Boudville: "Hosseini presents a piognant view into the recent tortured decades of the Afghan experience. From the 1970s, under a king, to the Soviet takeover, to the years of resistance. And then the rise and fall of the Taliban. An American reader will recognise many of the main political events. But to many Americans, Afghanistan and its peoples and religion remain an opaque and troubling mystery." Read W. Boudville's review

Mark Baker: "I tend to read plot heavy books, so this character study was a definite change of pace for me. I found the first half slow going at times, mainly because I knew where the story was going. Once I got into the second half, things really picked up. The ending was very bittersweet. I couldn't think of a better way to end it." Read Mark Baker's review

Grady Harp: "Hosseini takes us behind those walls for forty some years of Afghanistan's bloody history and while he does not spare us any of the descriptions of the terror that continues to besiege that country, he does offer us a story that speaks so tenderly about the fragile beauty of love and devotion and lasting impression people make on people." Read Grady Harp's review

Robert P. Beveridge: "When I was actively reading it, the pages kept turning, and more than once I found myself foregoing food or sleep temporarily to get in just one more chapter. When I had put it down, however, I felt no particular compulsion to pick it back up again. It's a good book, and a relatively well-written one, but it's not a great book. Enjoyable without leaving a lasting impression." Read Robert P. Beveridge's review

B. Marold: "While the events in Afghanistan and the wider world create a familiar framework for the stories of these two women, it is nothing more than a framework. The warp and weft of everyday life, and the interaction of the two women and their close relatives is the heartbeat of the story." Read B. Marold's review

Daniel Jolley: "Khaled Hosseini has written a majestic, sweeping, emotionally powerful story that provides the reader with a most telling window into Afghan society over the past thirty-odd years. It's also a moving story of friendship and sacrifice, giving Western readers a rare glimpse into the suffering and mistreatment of Afghan women that began long before the Taliban came to power." Read Daniel Jolley's review

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1616)

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth reading
This book exceeded my expectations.I bought it because I belong to a book club in my neighborhood, and this was the choice.I have always enjoyed mystery books, so this was a departure from my usual selections.However, I am very glad I had the opportunity to read it.Although I began the book by hoping I could get through it in time, I finished wanting more.The author is a terrific writer.Although there was a lot of detail to the story -- which I don't usually care for -- this detail added a great deal.I learned a lot from reading this fictional but factual story, and I do recommend it highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!
This is the first book that I had read by Khaled Hosseini. I was introduced to this book in a book club. I found this fictional book very interesting about the past and present life in Afghanistan. Even though the book was fictional, it captured the real life experiences that some Afghanistan women experience. This book focuses on the life of two young girls growing up with the struggles of life through adulthood. The book continued to surprise me with every turn of the page. It was very detailed in developing the emotions and characteristics of the characters within the story. This book can increase your interest and thoughts about the Middle-Eastern culture. A thousand Splendid Suns is definitely a MUST READ!

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Thousand Splendid Suns
While the first few chapters of Khaled Hosseini's second book are slow (like cranking up the first hill on a rollercoaster), you'll soon love the ride as you dive into main character Mariam's story. Confusion will strike when suddenly you are ripped away from Mariam to meet a second set of characters. Not to worry - you're simply pulling the next hill. Hosseini doesn't disappoint and the ride continues at a breakneck speed. The end of the book is like plunging into a mysterious tunnel - you won't see what's happening next!

Hosseini's story, while fiction, intertwines realistic elements with relatable characters, plenty of emotion and several surprises. It's worth chugging through the first few chapters to enjoy an all-around decent novel.

4-0 out of 5 stars So Well Written, It is at Times Disturbing
You must have a strong stomach and heart to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. The scenes of physical and verbal abuse and pure torment are extremely bothersome, especially for anyone with children. In this story, you will learn much about polygynous husbands, domesticated women forced to marry older men, and the burden put on women who do not bear males-- even worse, who do not bear children at all.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a must read. It will definitely spark your interest in Middle-Eastern culture, its practices, its wars, its triumphs, and its current endeavors.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love, Friendship, and Hope
I have no idea why I waited so long to read this book. I have a tendency to avoid things that are too popular at a time, as this book did. But now, a few years later, after reading this, I can appreciate why it was so popular.

The book is about two women in Afghanistan who lead different lives until they met. Not only do we see the devastations war has wrought in the country, but we also see into the lives of those who suffered through it all. The people who were lucky to survive but at the same time losing all those they cared for. The friendship these two women develop is nothing short of amazing. It reminds me that while not everything in this life can have a happy ending, that there is always hope, and we as humans have the strength to live through the hardest adversities life can throw at us.

Hosseini's writing is simple, yet very catching. The end of the book definitely made me shed tears and sniffles. It was hard not to cry as I read this book. After I read the book, I felt like my emotions have been drained dry. I'd love to read this book again, but I don't think I can even muster enough strength to read this again. But maybe, sometime in the future, I will pick this up again, and enjoy it as thoroughly as I did this time around. ... Read more

5. The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway
Paperback: 251 Pages (2006-10-17)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743297334
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth centuryAmazon.com Review
The Sun Also Rises first appeared in 1926, and yet it'sas fresh and clean and fine as it ever was, maybe finer. Hemingway'sfamously plain declarative sentences linger in the mind like poetry:"Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater anda tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy's. She startedall that." His cast of thirtysomething dissolute expatriates--Brettand her drunken fiancé, Mike Campbell, the unhappy PrincetonJewish boxer Robert Cohn, the sardonic novelist Bill Gorton--are asfamiliar as the "cool crowd" we all once knew. No wonder thisquintessential lost-generation novel has inspired several generationsof imitators, in style as well as lifestyle.

Jake Barnes, Hemingway's narrator with a mysterious war wound that hasleft him sexually incapable, is the heart and soul of the book. Brett,the beautiful, doomed English woman he adores, provides the glamour ofnatural chic and sexual unattainability. Alcohol and post-World War Ianomie fuel the plot: weary of drinking and dancing in Pariscafés, the expatriate gang decamps for the Spanish town ofPamplona for the "wonderful nightmare" of a week-long fiesta. Brett,with fiancé and ex-lover Cohn in tow, breaks hearts all arounduntil she falls, briefly, for the handsome teenage bullfighter PedroRomero. "My God! he's a lovely boy," she tells Jake. "And how I wouldlove to see him get into those clothes. He must use a shoe-horn." Whereupon the party disbands.

But what's most shocking about the book is its lean, adjective-freestyle. The Sun Also Rises is Hemingway's masterpiece--one ofthem, anyway--and no matter how many times you've read it or how youfeel about the manners and morals of the characters, you won't be ableto resist its spell. This is a classic that really does live up to itsreputation. --David Laskin ... Read more

Customer Reviews (542)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sun Also Rises: Book Review
Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises is a book that everyone should read. In it, Hemingway focuses on the concept of love but in a very unique way. Hemingway uses his characters to portray love as a scary thing. He strongly supports his notions regarding love throughout the book.

The book takes place in Paris and Spain. A group of friends travel to a small Spanish town for a fishing trip and to participate in the annual grand fiesta. The group consists of four men and one women. The women, named Brett, had some interesting ideas towards relationships. She creates conflict between the men and even between some newly found Spanish friends. It appears Brett creates conflict to avoid getting close to people. The drinking is endless, creating even more conflict between friends. Many relationships are ruined in a period of only a few days.

The book is told from the first person perspective of a well off American writer named Jake, who lives and works in Paris. Hemingway uses Jake to tell the story of how some people lived during the early 1900's. I think Hemingway wrote this book to give a good, entertaining look into the lives of Europeans in the early 1900's. I also think something in his own life gave him the idea to write this book. He spent a portion of his life living in Paris; his experiences there could have contributed to the portrayal of events in The Sun Also Rises.

Hemingway's style of writing through the dialogue of his characters makes this book suitable for all teens and adults. Hemingway never overstates conversation. There is a purpose in every word he writes, and it sounds like you could actually be talking to the character. Hemingway's idea of love was intriguing in that he describes it as complicated and unforgiving. In the future, this Hemingway presentation of love could change my opinions of other characters in other books.

I would highly recommend this book to others for several reasons. First, I think everyone needs to read Hemingway to experience his unique writing style. It is brilliantly simple. Second, the ideas presented regarding love are intriguing. For example, Hemingway focuses on fear of love and suggests people don't always end up with their true love. Hemingway's portrayal of people's fear of relationships may help explain some reasons for divorce. For example, fi people tend to avoid the most meaningful relationships, the "lesser" relationships may be more likely to end in failure. Third, this book remains contemporary. Everyone who reads this book can find a connection to themselves or a family member. Indeed, Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises focuses on the many layered connections of his characters--I think those connections made this book easier and more fun to read.-By Hannah Hunsaker

2-0 out of 5 stars Expected Better from Hemingway
Not such a great book.Boring, characters not well developed.Plot not so great.I expected much more from Hemingway.Much better book by Hemingway is, "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
The Sun Also Risesis a fascinating novel. I can't believe I hadn't read it years earlier. The protagonist, Jake Barnes, is a tragic hero of sorts. He was wounded in WW1 and his injuries rendered him impotent.His injury deeply affected his psyche, and he is insecure about his masculinity as a result. The love of Jake's life is the beautiful Lady Brett Ashley, who cared for him during the war when he was wounded. She is a shallow woman, who cares for Jake, but will not commit to him because sex is very important to her. Instead Lady Brett spends her time with a variety of men. Jake, on the other hand, spends much of his time in Paris with his buddies, each drinking in cafes and wasting their lives.

The activities that Jake and his buddies engaged in were really quite sad.They seemed like they never grew up, but instead their behavior was reflective of their wish to forget the horrors of the war.They wandered rather aimlessly, a highlight being the fiesta and bullfights in Pamplona where the group engages in more drinking, dancing and debauchery.

This book was originally published in 1926, and its strength is definitely the style in which it was written. Hemingway's writing is sharp and insightful, and you feel every detail: the sight, sounds, the place. The characters, although flawed were sympathetic. I loved how he got into the psyche of the characters, helping the reader feel what their life was like, and why they made some of the decisions they did.I thought it was rather ironic that the title, "The Sun Also Rises", which to me symbolizes a new dawn, a new day, really had no significance for Jake and the other characters in this novel. Rather they never moved on with their lives, stuck in time, as a result of the past. Hemingway seemed to truly understand the struggles and challenges that life handed his characters, and for that matter -- each of us. Some individuals are made stronger by adversity, but others are not. In the end though,we rarely get everything we want in life-- do we?

A Brilliant novel - Don't Miss It!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway
I never really read much Hemmingway. Sure, Old Man And The Sea (Scribner Classics), my Dad had it lying around when I was a kid. A month long vacation traveling through Spain seemed like a perfect opportunity to get started.

It's a great description of "the expat life" and the Basque country was not so very different when I first traveled there in the early nineties. When I was last there in 2007 it had fast forwarded into what seemed like the 1980s. Shame.

Two very memorable characters in Jake Barnes and Brett Ashley, forever battling the wound that will never heal. They and their motley crew have "a wonderful nightmare" at the Pamplona fiesta. I'm not going to give away the plot here but my thinking is that all of the male characters (Cohn, Bill and Mike) represent different aspects of Jake's personality that he is either suppressing (Cohn and Mike) or aspiring to (Bill). Even the great Pedro Romero - Pedro loving and Pedro fighting both bulls and men seems to represent Jake's not so subconscious. That doesn't give away the story line but see if you don't agree after reading.

The Pamplona fiesta is mostly foreign turistas and creeps now. If you would still like to see a more authentic fiesta complete with bullfighting (though no "bull-running") try Ronda in September. Ronda is the birthplace of both bullfighting and Pedro Romero and is also featured in Hemmingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls (Paperback). People travel from all over southern Spain for the fiesta. The point though, is that they are Spanish not skipping classes at Penn State.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pointless

After reading the first couple of chapters of boring conversations I was still waiting for something interesting to develop. But there was nothing, so I started skipping pages, finally skipping to the end. This book is rated as one of the finest novels ever, but I don't see that at all. It is a total bore. ... Read more

6. Black Sun: A Thriller
by Graham Brown
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2010-08-31)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553592424
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In the heart of the Amazon, NRI operative Danielle Laidlaw makes an incredible discovery: a translucent Mayan stone generating massive waves of energy while counting down toward the infamous apocalyptic date: December 21, 2012. And somewhere, there are three more just like it.

What power will be unleashed if all four stones come together? Who created them—and who has them now? Using a cryptic Mayan map and a prophecy that points to the end of the world, Danielle and her team race toward answers. But one staggering question remains: Were these artifacts meant to save us—or to destroy us once and for all? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Science Fiction Thriller That Seems Like It Could Really Happen!
For those readers who only read a couple of Sci-Fi novels a year, this should be one of them. It combines the action of a James Bond Earth-bound action thriller with the mystery of Dec. 21st, 2012 and whether that date will prove to be the end of the world as predicted by some Mayan Calendar mythology.
In this story, a strange, glowing, oval shaped stone has been unearthed in an ancient Mayan ruin and it is admitting electro-magnetic pulse signals on a regular basis that scientists realize is a count down to Dec. 21, 2012. The action in this film involves the finders of this first strange stone searching, racing to locate three other similar stones before the count down reaches zero and the legends and predictions of the ancient Mayan legends come to pass.
The Russians, Chinese and a Chinese Billionaire who thinks the stones will give him eternal life are also looking for the glowing stones. Naturally, things get pretty dicey and interesting. There are some rather fascinating, maybe even original scientific theories included in this tome, but they are explained in such a way as to not lose the reader.
The book includes the usual assumptions that various departments of all governments are competing with each other for more power. In this book it is the CIA verses the even more secret NRI--National Research Institute "a strange hybrid of an organization, often considered a science-based version of the CIA." The NRI has discovered and kept secret the discovery of the powerful ancient stone with strange powers. The President is aware of the mysterious discovery, but not the CIA. The CIA suspects that they are out of the loop and don't like it one bit.
This thriller contains very little political theory, but Ivan Saravich, an ex-KGB agent who is a freelance Russian agent in this story made a couple of observations gleaned from his work that are worth mentioning. "Saravich had come to the conclusion that any form of government would inevitably evolve into extensions of the elite. It was a natural progression; those who wanted power gathered it unto themselves. Those who craved equality lacked the ambition, ego, or selfishness to match up. And so the change.... With that in mind, he took to capitalism far more easily then he'd expected, even if he spent most his time working freelance for the same people who once gave him a government check."
"He was wealthier now, enough to retire five times over if he wanted, but he felt no desire to do so. As a widower with no children, no friends, and few outside interests, he saw little point in it. To him this was the curse of capitalism: Work was rewarding in a way few other things could be, and so it diminished everything else in its wake."
This page-turner is written in short chapters that allow the reader to keep reading at odd moments. It contains some interesting scientific theories that readers are unlikely to have come across elsewhere. It also contains most of the information that is known for certain about the events predicted for the end of the Mayan Calendar on Dec. 21, 2012. The belief that it will be the end of the world is only one of several possible explanations put forth in Mayan history. The reader will also get an up close and personal primer on the behavior of Hammerhead Sharks. This is nice escapism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable journey!
Graham Brown has produced another engaging thriller.I look forward to more from the author.I may have enjoyed the first book a bit more but I still recommend this one as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mayans and divers and scares--oh my!
I'm just going to put this out there--I loved Graham Brown's debut novel.In my review of that book, I basically concluded with, "I want more."And I was very fortunate, because not only was the follow up, Black Sun, released a mere seven months later; it's basically the second half of the story begun in Black Rain.(And it's not that you can't read them both as stand alone novels, but I certainly think you'll get far more from reading them sequentially.)

So, Black Rain had a complete arc and came to a satisfying conclusion, but it was fairly obvious that the story would continue.In fact, it picks up two years later in Black Sun.Four of the surviving characters from Black Rain are back, and eventually they are united in a quest that involves the Mayan prophesy regarding December 21, 2012 and the fate of the world.Sigh.

Oh, sorry, did I sigh aloud?Just what we need, yet another 2012 thriller.(Do these things expire once that date passes?)Anyway, suffice it to say, despite the goodwill Mr. Brown had banked with his debut, I wasn't too enthused about the concept.I'll say this for him--he actually went somewhere quite interesting and different with it.

In Black Rain, I was delighted with Brown's use of exotic locations, ancient puzzles, and cutting-edge science.All of the above are back, and this time he adds a whole lot of sharks to the mix!(Oh, Mr. Brown, I think I love you.)Add sharks to any thriller and that's a winning recipe right there.As it happens, I'm kind of an expert on all things shark- and dive-related, and Brown does a reasonably good job with the material.Just when I'd think I was going to catch him writing something completely implausible, he'd add a little something or explain something that fixed it.He made his larger-than-life tale just plausible enough every step of the way.Nowhere was this more important than in dealing with the science in the book.There's a fair amount, from marine biology to astronomy, geology, and some really snazzy physics.I'm not an expert on all of those subjects, but I know enough to know when I smell a rat.Time and time again Brown sold it.He made me believe the science, and the science is the backbone of the story.

As mentioned above, we're dealing with characters we already know, but I'm honestly not sure if that's a plus or minus here.I think Mr. Brown used that familiarity as a short cut to character development.Picking back up with this cast after just a few months, it took a surprisingly long time to get a feel for who they were again.And I can't really say that I learned much more about them, or that their individual arcs moved forward very significantly.Of the antagonists, there were three different men of three different nationalities, and the primary baddie was just a bit too Bond villain for me.(Someone get a white Persian for Mr. Kang!)Fortunately, the other two were more believable in their motivations and their flaws.Finally, there was one especially interesting new character introduced latish in the book, and I was frustrated not to learn more about him.But the way the novel ends leaves me hopeful that we may see him again.

The story begun in Black Rain is now completely and satisfyingly resolved.But the door has been left wide open for further adventures with at least some of these NRI operatives.While I don't believe that this second novel was quite as strong as his debut, I had a rollicking good time reading it.Mr. Brown is writing science/adventure thrillers at a level head and shoulders above most of the field.I'm definitely on board for further adventures!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very well researched
This book I thought was exciting, and the areas is covered technically that I am familiar with were well done. This is an author who's books I will continue to purchase so long as they are this well done.

4-0 out of 5 stars A perfect companion to Black Rain
In the spirit of Dan Brown and and Michael Crichton, Graham Brown delivers a well-paced, soft science based thriller. Black Rain is the better of the two books, as that plot took some serious shifts that kept me guessing. Black Sun completes the storyline, and does so with precision. Looking forward Graham's next! ... Read more

7. Jewels of the Sun: The Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy (Irish Trilogy, Book 1)
by Nora Roberts
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (1999-11-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0515126772
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Return to the lush green hills of Ireland, where love is touched by magic--and where the Gallagher siblings explore the depths of their fiery hearts.Amazon.com Review
In the small village of Ardmore, Ireland, Gallagher's pub isthe center of the lively seaside community and the home of threepassionate siblings: Aidan, Shawn, and Darcy. As a world traveler anda barkeep, the eldest brother Aidan has just about seen and heard itall, but when a quiet professor from Chicago enters his tavern, he isinstantly intrigued--and certain that there is more to Jude Murraythan what meets the eye.

Jude has returned to her grandmother's ancestral home to sort out herthoughts, know her heart, and "find Jude F. Murray in six months or less."After a life of deliberate security, Jude finds herself recovering from afailed marriage and a disappointing career. With the pretense of a researchexpedition, Jude leaves her life in Chicago and moves into the charminghouse on top of the faerie hill. Surrounded by the awesome scenery andrelieved by the simplicity of life, Jude excuses her visions of ghosts andfaeries as signs of her mental recovery.

But the inhabitants of Ardmore, and Aidan Gallagher in particular, don'tdismiss these apparitions with such convenient logic, and Jude learns tolisten more carefully to the messages in the world. As Aidan andJude draw closer to each other, Jude struggles to discover, balance, anddefine the complex parts of her soul.

In the character of Jude Murray, Nora Roberts has created asophisticated woman whose internal development from skittish recluseto confident lover is realistic and convincing. Carefully avoiding the"good man is a solution to all problems" plot, Roberts lets Jude andAidan interact and develop individually, as well as together as acouple. While this modern tone is refreshing, it feels a bit at oddswith the supernatural, faerie themes. As this is the first in a seriesabout the Gallagher siblings and the faerie legend, perhaps thesethematic contradictions will sort themselves out in the subsequentnovels. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien ... Read more

Customer Reviews (286)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Irish story
you can tell Nora loves Ireland. Besides the storyline which was a page turner, the description and welcoming of Ireland was wonderful. Made you want to take a trip to Ireland and be welcomed.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my faves!
'Jewels of the Sun' and 'Tears of the Moon' (books 1 and 2 of the Gallagher series) are among my favorite NR books. They are both full of characters I wish I knew and places I'd love to visit. I finished the books feeling that I'd lived a short time in an Irish village!

The relationship between Jude and Aidan is complex enough to be interesting, but not so angst-ridden as to be tedious. I could identify with Jude in the process of recreating herself, and I liked seeing the impact of it in the way she viewed herself and on her evolving relationship with Aidan. I also liked the little bit of magic thrown in! The character development seemed very well done. I felt like I knew the main characters well and really liked them. But there were also great secondary characters that I became attached to. Really fun book! It's on my keeper shelf!

3-0 out of 5 stars Lighter Fare
I know Nora Roberts is a widely read author - probably because her style is simple and straightforward.Before I read Jewels of the Sun, I had read a couple of books by Frank Delaney - a much deeper, more interesting author.So by comparison, this Roberts book pales.

A couple of things stand out:Jude, the lead character, lives in a house with a ghost and seems unfazed by it - even when she first discovers it.And then the ghost appears a few times in the story, but has no interaction with Jude.Conversely, Jude has several encounters with another tortured spirit, who says he is using Jude, but we never know why.

Aside from a few things left unconcluded, the book was fun reading about an Irish family that could have lived anytime and anywhere in Ireland.

2-0 out of 5 stars Cheesy
I'd read several stories by Nora Roberts before I came across this book and considering the amount of good reviews it had gotten I was expecting something amazing. But my goodness was I mistaken. I couldn't finish it and finally gave up around chapter 15.

I pushed myself to read as much of it as I could but I couldn't take it seriously. It was just one irish cliche after another and I wouldn't be surprised to hear if a few leprechauns popped up later in the story . There seemed to be endless paragraphs describing the misty green hills and the red haired freckled faced women of the village. And don't get me started on the dialogue. It was so corny that I would cringe when I'd read it.

I didn't enjoy Roberts' take on life in Ireland and I'll be staying well clear of any other books set in the Emerald Isle !

5-0 out of 5 stars Simple yet ...
Absolutely stunning work. I have seldom been more engrossed in such a beautiful and real story. I would love to fimd myself a character within this world. ... Read more

8. Half of a Yellow Sun
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Paperback: 560 Pages (2007-09-04)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400095204
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (90)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fictional account of a forgotten war
This is quite a book and the last 100 pages or so, are a rough ride.The book is based, largely I believe, on real life characters and follows each of them through the war/massacre/mass starvation that became known as either the Nigerian Civil War, or the lost war for Biafran Independence in the years 1967-1970.What I liked about this book is that the characters are well developed and flawed; therefore, they are believable and you feel empathy for them, even when they actdestructively.

The writer's prose is simple and straightforward.It is not overly descriptive or flowery.So, in many ways, she is purposely a better story teller than she is a story writer.But that's okay.This is a page turner and a humane telling of a conflict lost to the blind ambitions of the Big Powers and the ego-maniacs that rule the world.The author does not spare her scorn for the Brits and the Americans and their cynical backing of a corrupt Nigerian government.

In the end, I felt her main message was a simple yet profound message.No one wins in war. Even, the so called "winners" sacrifice their humanity and their ideals.So, in a strange way it made me reflect on America's present wars.

In the end, does anyone really win?

I don't give five star ratings unless a book is one of the best I've read in the past several years; but this book comes close.It's easily a 4. Okay, let's give it a 4.5.It's a perfect selection for a book club as much discussion could be made of the various characters and what they represent.But if you buy this book, stick with it for the first, fairly slow, 100 pages as it does build up a story foundation as it progresses to its relatively sad ending.

I highly recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid Historical Fiction
Adichie's writing flows smoothly and carefully over this story, shaping the narrative into a digestible package when it threatens to become a jagged sentimental war story. For those who care about history and the way we are constantly forgetting and airbrushing major events out of our collective memory, this is a welcome novel that brings to life the terrible Biafran conflict of the 1960s. At a time when the tragedies of colonialism and its last monstrous offspring, Apartheid, are being forgotten, this reminds us that even stable successes like Nigeria have a dark past. And that any nation can at any time be ripped apart by the foul bigoted eddies circulating among its peoples.

While only cursorily mentioned in this novel, the Biafran conflict that serves as the engine of this book saw the beginning of the doctrine of humanitarian interventionalism with the subsequent formation of the Nobel-prize winning group MSF (Doctors Without Borders). And as of 2010, the foreign minister of no less country than France is a physician who was one of those initial activists in Biafra. So, we can see that those terrible events still affect us today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read
I love this book and this author.I lost it on the train when I was 20 pages from the end and had to buy another copy.This is one for the library.It is historical, engaging and gripping.The characters are very colorful and endearing, each in its own way.I also read Purple Hibiscus which I enjoyed just as much though it was very different.Highly recommend both.

4-0 out of 5 stars An important book
A friend lent me this book, and once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.The plot circles around the Biafran War, a civil war in Nigeria.But even more, the plot circles around a set of compelling and complex characters.What is especially interesting is the points of view that Adichie chooses to tell the story through: a daughter of wealthy Nigerians, her "houseboy", and a white writer trying to write about Nigerian art and culture.I'm now reading another of this author's books set in Nigeria -- Purple Hibiscus.And I'll definitely look for her other books once I'm done this one.--Michelle

4-0 out of 5 stars Get in on the Ground Floor Now, so you can say you were reading this talent 'back in the day' when she wins the Nobel Prize
I was inspired to read "Half of a Yellow Sun" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche after listening to the author interviewed at the BBC World Book Club.She was a charming young interlocutor.The subject matter is big-- love and loss in war-torn Biafra, civil war with Nigeria in the late 1960s--and she handles her material with grace, insight, and aplomb.

It occurs to me that in the last year I've read at least two other excellent books which could fall under the general framework of 'love and war':Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks, and Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier.The framework 'love and war' is a distortion, because at their roots their not about war, or even, necessarily, love, though these elements suggest easy characterizations.

Half of a Yellow Sun involves an ensemble of characters, and the war tests their relationships.At some point, this could risk descending into soap opera.At its broadest, this novel is 'about' colonialism, ethnic allegiance, class, race, moral responsibility, amidst the complications of love and conflict.The book is at its best when most particular, most vivid, both in physical description (Ugwu senses "the acridness of hot metal" even though he can't see the bullet), or emotional."It was a tiny moment, brief and fleeting, but Olanna noticed how scrupulously they avoided any contact, any touch of skin as if they were united by a common knowledge so monumental that they were determined not to be united by anything else."

Now is the time to get in on the ground floor of this remarkable talent, so you can say you were reading her 'back in the day' when she accepts the Nobel Prize. ... Read more

9. A Raisin in the Sun
by Lorraine Hansberry
Mass Market Paperback: 160 Pages (2004-11-29)
list price: US$7.00 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679755330
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
When it was first produced in 1959, A Raisin in the Sun was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for that season and hailed as a watershed in American drama. A pioneering work by an African-American playwright, the play was a radically new representation of black life. "A play that changed American theater forever."--The New York Times. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (143)

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Bad Service
I ordered my book on 1-19-10 and it is now 2-21-10, I have yet to receive my book. I ordered 2 other books form different places (Thank God) and I received those books within the same week. I am so disappointed with the situation. Every time I contact there website someone sends me a message with more excuses. Hopefully if you do decide to work with this company, your experience will be better then mine.

4-0 out of 5 stars A story of reversion and redemption
This story was one of the most fascinating plays I have ever read. In particular, whenever I watch old re-runs of "Good Times" I always think of Walter, and the Younger Family, living happily, albeit not necessarily comfortably in the "ghetto."
I definitely recommend watching these old re-runs to get a feel for the play. One has to piece together the references, allusions and collage-like nature of the material and situate the works historically and critically so that their difficulty is translated into effective meaning and feeling.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Raisin in the Sun
An excellent transaction.The item was delivered much faster than anticipated and was in excellent condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Play for our Times
Lorraine Hansberry's dramatic play, A Raisin in the Sun, is about the life of an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the years following the Second World War. Lena Younger (Mama) is the head of the family that includes her married son Walter Lee, his wife, Ruth, their young son, Travis and Walter's younger sister, Beneatha, who is a college student. The family is struggling to support itself. Walter Lee works as a chauffer, and Ruth and even Mama work to bring in enough money. They leave in a run-down apartment and even have to share the bathroom with other tenants.

Lena's husband has died and she is about to get an insurance check for $10,000, a lot of money for those times. Everyone in the family has a dream for a better life. Walter Lee wants to buy a liquor store, Mama wants to have a house with a garden, Beneatha wants to become a doctor and Ruth just wants everyone to be happy and content. The check arrives and the drama plays out against a backdrop of racial prejudice.

This play was the first drama featuring an African-American theme to play on Broadway. It has been highly acclaimed ever since. It shows basically decent people struggling against life's difficulties. It is particularly relevant now, given the recent election of an African-American (not co-incidentally from Chicago) as president of the United States. For that reason I give it five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!
I loved this book! I saw the movie, but the book goes into much more detail. It's amazing how you don't recognize the littlest things but they make such a big difference. ... Read more

10. When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa
by Peter Godwin
Paperback: 341 Pages (2008-04-10)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316018716
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Hailed by reviewers as "powerful,""haunting" and "a tour de force of personal journalism,"When A Crocodile Eats the Sun is the unforgettable story of one man's struggle to discover his past and come to terms with his present. Award winning author and journalist Peter Godwin writes with pathos and intimacy about Zimbabwe's spiral into chaos and, along with it, his family's steady collapse. This dramatic memoir is a searing portrait of unspeakable tragedy and exile, but it is also vivid proof of the profound strength of the human spirit and the enduring power of love.

"In the tradition of Rian Malan and Philip Gourevitch, a deeply moving book about the unknowability of an Africa at once thrilling and grotesque. In elegant, elegiac prose, Godwin describes his father's illness and death in Zimbabwe against the backdrop of Mugabe's descent into tyranny. His parent's waning and the country's deterioration are entwined so that personal and political tragedy become inseparable, each more profound for the presence of the other" -- Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

"A fascinating, heartbreaking, deeply illuminating memoir that has the shape and feel of a superb novel." -Kurt Anderson, author of Heydey ... Read more

Customer Reviews (70)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning review of life in post colonial Africa
Mr Godwin's recitation of life in post colonial Africa allows for much greater understanding of the present situation in Zimbabwe.

4-0 out of 5 stars Makes me appreciate my own homeland
I found this book to be well written and thought provoking. The aging and declining health of the author's parents provides the setting for a look at the declining fortunes of his native country, Zimbabwe. The author does not pretend that Zimbabwe was ideal under colonial rule but it would be difficult to make a case that either black or white Africans are benefitting from the corrupt and despotic rule of Robert Mugabe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
I loved this book.I read a review in the paper recommending it, but bought it half-heartedly knowing that I rarely enjoy books that professional reviewers recommend.I am really glad I gave it a try. This was a heartbreaking story of both a family and a country.Even though it was published in 2004 (6 years ago) it is still relevant.In fact, characters from the story are in the news today.The beginning of the story is a bit like reading a magazine article - but in the end, I was so absorbed,I felt like I was mourning the loss of my own family member. I will definitely pass this along to all my friends and also track down Mr. Godwin's prior book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
The history and events surrounding the rise to power of Mugabe and Zimbabwe's race and economic troubles are reflected in this memoir which is entertaining, educational, compelling, and just a plain old good read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Eye Opener
When our book club agreed on this book for our next selection, I thought, 'Oh great, another heart-rendering sob story about all the tragedies that have been visited upon Africa'. Boy, was I wrong. As I progressed into the book more and more facts about what truely has happened - at least in Zimbabwe and the countries in Southern Africa - over the past two decades - began to make that history quite clear. One of the facts that came out was that if development had been left to the ordinary person - white farmer - black worker - that Zimbabwe probably would be developing into the great country it looked like it would years ago. But, somehow, black, greedy, utterly violent egomaniacs took over with the result being a total disaster for this country. If you really are interested in what is happening in Africa read this book. It will open your mind.
... Read more

11. Under the Tuscan Sun
by Frances Mayes
Paperback: 304 Pages (1997-09-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$2.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767900383
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Now in paperback, the #1 San Francisco Chronicle bestseller that is an enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany, in the spirit of Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence.

Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people. In Under the Tuscan Sun, she brings the lyrical voice of a poet, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life and to feast at her table.Amazon.com Review
In this memoir of her buying, renovating, and living in an abandonedvilla in Tuscany, Frances Mayes reveals the sensual pleasure she found livingin rural Italy, and the generous spirit she brought with her. She revels inthe sunlight and the color, the long view of her valley, the warm homeyarchitecture, the languor of the slow paced days, the vigor of working hergarden, and the intimacy of her dealings with the locals. Cooking, gardening,tiling and painting are never chores, but skills to be learned, arts to bepracticed, and above all to be enjoyed. At the same time Mayes brings aliterary and intellectual mind to bear on the experience, adding depth tothis account of her enticing rural idyll. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (467)

2-0 out of 5 stars could not even finish, no plot
I had hoped that I would read the book and quench my thirst to visit Italy. All I was left with was the feeling that I am glad there will be no remodeling in my near future. I didn't know it was possible to describe something so mundane and boring. I was dying for something to happen.

1-0 out of 5 stars disappointing
I had to come to Amazon to see what others thought of this book. I borrowed it from my local library; they have little displays and this one said "Love Eat, Pray, Love? Try these," or something similar. I returned it without finishing. Under The Tuscan Sun is a great movie, and one I happen to personally own. Frances Mayes comes across as materialistic, shallow and over-privileged. Someone else wrote "Martha Stewart does Tucany," and that sounds about right. In this case, I highly prefer the book--it's a story of redemption when Frances serendipitously purchase the villa to overcome the tragedy of her divorce. In the book, Frances jets back and forth with her new husband. In the case of Eat, Pray, Love, Liz Gilbert's having money didn't seem to matter, since the book was focused on spirituality and inner truth. This book was more about renovations. I guess it might be okay if that's what you're looking to read, otherwise it might make you a bit queasy. I did enjoy Frances writing, for a little while, but I waited for substance that never materialized.

3-0 out of 5 stars Okay, but Nothing Like the Movie
I saw the movie for this and loved it, so thought I would try the book.Wow.Completely different story than the movie, and I must say, one I did not like.Very colorful descriptions of her life in Italy, but got enough of that in just the first few chapters.Had to force myself to finish it; it was fun reading all the different recipes, even if I probably won't ever make them.:)

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth reading and feeling
It is a good book for leisure, relax you from you current job, give you a hope

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the book
This was a re-read, and I loved it again. I know there's plenty here who don't think much of this book, but it totally appeals to my utterly romantic notions of running away to live in Europe someday....sigh.... ;-) Haven't been to Italy yet, but this book *was* largely responsible for my subsequenttrips to France, Spain, and Turkey. And my list (TBV list - "to bevisited" - tee hee) has been growing ever since.
... Read more

12. The Art of War
by Sun Tzu
Paperback: 197 Pages (1971-09-15)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$4.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195014766
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Written in China over two thousand years ago, Sun Tzu's The Art of War provides the first known attempt to formulate a rational basis for the planning and conduct of military operations. These wise, aphoristic essays contain principles acted upon by such twentieth-century Chinese generals as Mao Tse Tung. Samuel Griffith offers a much-needed translation of this classic which makes it even more relevant to the modern world. Including an explanatory introduction and selected commentaries on the work, this edition makes Sun Tzu's timeless classic extremely accessible to students of Chinese history and culture, as well as to anyone interested in the highly volatile military and political issues in present-day China. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (139)

1-0 out of 5 stars the english language he griffith uses is a barrier
the average person who can speak perfect english wont understand many dictionary words he uses to translate the art of war. unless you understand rocket science words, check out thomas cleary's version.

5-0 out of 5 stars Timeless Advice
William Shakespeare and Sun Tzu lived many centuries ago.Yet, for us, they are as fresh and new as modern writers.Their common thread is that of universality.The former imbued his characters with the emotions of Everyman; human characteristics that remain constant throughout the ages.The latter, a Chinese warrior general, understood the mind of his men, but more importantly, the mind of his enemy.

Sun Tzu's approach to leading his army and conquering the enemy is valuable for us, too.His tactics can be used in the business world, in family dynamics, in social settings, in schools, etc.

As you read, think of any circumstances you would like to improve.For example, at work you have someone who is competing with you for a promotion.Your opponent has many strengths, but...
"So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak,"
- Sun Tzu.

Take Sun Tzu's advice.Use your ability to highlight your opponent's weaknesses.If you do that, s/he won't be the 'stand-out' candidate any longer.

Picture a social setting in which a bully or taunting person has the upper hand.Sun Tzu said, ""To capture the enemy's entire army is better than to destroy it; to take intact a regiment, a company, or a squad is better than to destroy them. For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the supreme of excellence. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence."Find a way to cultivate a friendship.It will be better and easier than bringing down the individual.What's more, you will be seen by others as being superior.

I would put Sun Tzu and his wisdom against any modern advice writer of our times.

5-0 out of 5 stars the art of war
Well written and organized book.Not a strict translation but a narration of original work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good book
I like the clear language of the actual book. Although it is short, I recommend it be read various times.

5-0 out of 5 stars The gold standard
I've read at least one other translation of this work and the Samuel B. Griffith translation is much preferred. By comparison his language is elegant, almost bordering on poetry compared to the dry prose of another writer's newer translation. Yet, the content is clear, never being compromised in favor of style.

There are almost 300 reviews of this text, so there's no need to repeat what's already been said. If you're looking to own a copy of this classic I'd strongly recommend not just this book, but this particular translation as well.

... Read more

13. Linda Goodman's Sun Signs
by Linda Goodman
Mass Market Paperback: 512 Pages (1985-01-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553278827
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Find out what's really happening in your life and the lives of those around you. Is he really unstable beneath that placid exterior? Is she marrying you for your money alone? When should you give a wayward spouse the benefit of the doubt? How can you adjust your inner moods to your best advantage, knowing when to push and when to pull back, when to speak up and when to shut up? What is the best time to ask your boss for that raise, your girl for her heart and hand, your brother-in-law for a loan? Learn all this and much, much more from the world-famous astrologer who has helped millions divine their way to happiness, love, and profit by studying the sun signs. Amaze your friends and yourself with your insight into their most hidden characteristics. Be the best that you can possibly be with -- Sun Signs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (98)

5-0 out of 5 stars I give away at least 2 every year!
Ever heard the phrase "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear"? And so it has been my experience. This book fell into my lap 10 years ago and I was at a loss of understanding and as I calmly flipped through the pages to read, light bulbs were going off left and right. It was a spiritual encounter of the thrid kind! I was enamoured of Linda's writing style and her keen observant eye of human nature! She is immensly readable and light-hearted, while deeply penetrating and thoughtful - in the one same sentence! As important as this book is, it cannot go without her masterpeice "Love Signs". If you've ever read Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", this was the "call to adventure" and the "boon" that I came back from my adventure with. And like he also says, The hero must cross a "threshold" into the "temple". Enlightenment is only veiled by "lack of desire", which is why one may enter a temple a hundred times and never be enlightened. Only when he desires it is the barrier broken and the path clear before him.
I gift this particular book to everyone who desires it, because after all the specific Astrology I have and continue to read, Linda is the best ambassador and introduction to one just beginning in earnest.
Socrates says "all learning is remembering" and I believe this to be undoubtedtly to be true. The gift of Astrology is that the more, we learn about our signs, birthchart and nature, the less we are prey to our unconscious reactionary tendencies and we operate with consciousness as a natural state of being. If you are reading this far, get the book, it will change your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wife is into it
Bought it for the Wife.She has at least one other Linda Goodman astrology book.She likes these.

5-0 out of 5 stars Linda Goodman's Sun Signs
Linda is always so right on about the sun signs.Gives you a lot of insite if you want info on another person or yourself.I have always appreciated her books and would always recomend them to anyone looking for good Astrological information.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Basic Book for Astrology
I read this when I was a 18 years old, amazed at how accurate it was, but also amazed at how USEFUL it is.While it's never 100% accurate, it is filled with insights into your own sign and the sign of others that is just too useful.Reading it again at the age of 40 I was even MORE impressed.I highly recommend this book, for it's usefulness, humor, and entertainment.You won't be sorry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Linda Goodman Sun Signs
There were some problems with the shipping of the item and I didn't receive it on time.However, when I did I was pleased with the book. Very considerate seller.Would use again. ... Read more

14. Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death
by Irvin D. Yalom
Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-04-20)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470401818
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Written in Irv Yalom’s inimitable story-telling style, Staring at the Sun is a profoundly encouraging approach to the universal issue of mortality. In this magisterial opus, capping a lifetime of work and personal experience, Dr. Yalom helps us recognize that the fear of death is at the heart of much of our anxiety. Such recognition is often catalyzed by an “awakening experience”—a dream, or loss (the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job or home), illness, trauma, or aging.

Once we confront our own mortality, Dr. Yalom writes, we are inspired to rearrange our priorities, communicate more deeply with those we love, appreciate more keenly the beauty of life, and increase our willingness to take the risks necessary for personal fulfillment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (106)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Read
Another beautifully written book by Yalom.Staring at the Sun is a great book for anyone -- those overtly struggling with death anxiety and those who are not.Yalom draws from philosophical, psychological, and literay scholars to provide an insightful work on confronting our fear of death.He writes with clairty and warmth, describing vivid examples from his clients as well as a touching memoir of his own experience with death anxiety.Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Staring at the Sun
This was an excellent opportunity to look at dealing with the fear of death.It expanded my perspective and offered me tools to use in working with hospice clients as well as friends.It affirms and reminds the reader of values worth cultivating in our culture. I recommend it for anyone interested or working in the fields of health care, psychology, social work, or medicine.

3-0 out of 5 stars Death Anxiety: The Ultimate and Most Mysterious Confrontation
I have always been a Yalom fan.To write intelligent literary fiction, one must understand the human heart.That means a solid grounding in psychology, and Yalom writes soundly on the subject, even when the work is fiction, as was his world famous bestseller, "When Nietzsche Wept.""Love's Executioner" was a poignant glimpse into the wounded psyche of those who cannot love and the importance of the therapist in perceiving the essence of the patient and devising an appropriate therapy.In "Staring at the Sun" Yalom reminds us how important human intimacy is for the care of the soul and consequently how significant is the psychological preparation for death.Yalom argues eloquently and intelligently for people to read on the subject and to be open to the great thinkers of the past whose insights paved the way for our acceptance of the inevitability of death. The idea of death arouses fear and anxiety all of one's life, but in the intelligent seeker it is also capable of arousing a desire to lead life with meaning and human connection.In the end, death isolates us, Yalom points out, but the fear of it also inspires us to be human and thereby connected to the fabric of struggling humanity by contributing to the "rippling effect" that survives us after our bodies lie six feet under.In the end, it is our commitment to our fellow man through virtuous actions that benefits others and defines us as people, seekers, and those who in the end will surrender their mortal coil with equanimity, and as the famous poet Bryant, claimed, "lie down to peaceful dreams."

Firmly grounded in the study of philosophy, psychology and classical literature, Yalom cites numerous writers in an earnest attempt to relieve man's death anxiety.Yalom claims one experiences the fear of death in various stages of the life span; it waxes and wanes but it is always present, driving the fearful man to deny its reality or seek out diversions, obsessions or self-destructive behaviors to alleviate it.Because the anxiety is always beneath the surface of man's awareness, he needs to confront the fear head on by a study of what will make his own life meaningful by the time that fateful moment arrives.Man seeks various goals on his life journey such as materiality, power, fame, money, but it is only human companionship that really matters in the end.Thus, as man awaits his own death, all that will ameliorate his suffering, his terrible isolation, is the satisfaction of having lived a meaningful life.This means that his "rippling effect" will be acts that served his fellow man - those of his intimate circle as well as those in his sphere in general.In example after example, Yalom points out the despair of the unfulfilled person dying without a meaningful sense of accomplishment : Tolstoy's dying Ivan Ilych, for example -- a nasty bureaucrat whose awareness of his empty life arouses at the very end a sense of compassion for all of humanity.For Ilych as for so many, the moment of recognition comes late but still it is mystical and grandiose, a testament to the sacredness of personal awareness and man's destiny in general.It is not for man to covet his possessions, whether material or of a psychological nature, such as generosity, for example.Man is made to share his gifts, no matter what they are.It is his sharing of his insights and his humanity that matter most.That is why Yalom reveres the philosopher, Epicurus, for example.

Epicurus argued that the attainment of tranquility in the face of death was man's purpose, and it was the philosopher's responsibility to alleviate man's misery on that score by providing him the guideposts to overcome the "omnipresent fear of death" that interfered with his enjoyment of life.For Yalom as a psychiatrist, the task is the same.He argues that anxiety about death waxes and wanes during a person's lifetime, being suppressed at age six, but it is during adolescence and old age that the fear surfaces and is the "mother of all religions."Death does "itch," claims Yalom, at 75 an aging man and one frequently afflicted with death anxiety himself.He argues that facing the idea can be "ennobling" even though "each man faces death in his own way." For many death anxiety is the "background music" of their lives; for others the awareness is "unruly"; it is "louder" and more insistent, "tending to erupt at three in the morning, leaving one gasping at the specter of death." Some are haunted by a particular fantasy or as the Czech novelist Milan Kundera claims, "What terrifies most about death is not the loss of the future but the loss of the past."Yalom notes that death anxiety is often "hidden behind other symptoms, and it is identified only by exploration, even "excavation."Implicit in Yalom is the idea that man must open himself up to these fears; only by confronting them beneath the veneer of submersion can he begin to live without personality traits that obscure the meaning of life.

Cicero, for example, reminded us that learning to die well was as important as learning to live well.Augustine confirmed this when he claimed "it is only in the face of death that a man's self is born."A perfect example of this truth is the transformation of Pierre's personality in "War and Peace" when he views the results of human suffering and the imminence of his own death by a firing squad.Like Ilych's transformation, Pierre leads the rest of his life with a renewed sense of purpose and the capacity to love rather than fulfill his tendency toward self-gratification.In fact, it is man's propensity to forget the inevitability of death or deny its existence that constitutes a "forgetting" equivalent to death itself, an emotional numbness or robotic living.Man should knowingly acknowledge the inevitability of death to overcome the self-destructive actions that remove him from enjoying life on a deeper level.Like Socrates, as do all wise men, Yalom argues for the examined life, not the unexamined one.Man is reflective by nature, and the philosophers of antiquity can illuminate all seekers of wisdom.

In this vein, as Heidegger argued, man lives two existences: the everyday mode and the ontological mode.The former concerns the petty cares of existence, what Plato would define as the world of appearances; the ontological mode refers to man's higher leanings toward authenticity, responsibility and appreciation of the sheer miracle of being.Whereas Ilych dies badly because he lived badly, he still experiences compassion for the first time in his life.Thus, although belatedly, Ilych does experience the rewards of the ontological mode and rejects his petty life of preoccupation with prestige, appearance, and money. He realizes, as Yalom notes, that shielding himself from death shielded him from life as well.This is part of the mystery of death, its significance being so profound and central to living life at its fullest that to deny its simple truth is to squander life.This is the "awakening experience" inspired by death anxiety, and according to Yalom it is the kind of regret no man wants to experience, thus the need for confronting one's death anxiety by living a meaningful life of human connection and intimacy.

To counter death anxiety, Yalom suggests, as did Epicurus, that people hold in mind "strong, pleasant memories" to buoy them against fear.This mitigates man's natural avoidance of confronting the subject of death, depicted in his pursuits of the vanities, such as wealth, power and honors.Although Yalom is not a person of faith, he believes that ideas can forge acceptance of death and a corresponding tranquility.He suggests an "Epicurean mortality of the soul" whereby the dying can no longer perceive and thus have no ego with which to regret or experience fear.Man simply experiences the "ultimate nothingness of death."Yalom further cautions that since human life, like nature, is transient, man should be able to accept his own ephemerality.After all, man leaves behind something of himself after he dies.His efforts "ripple" in others.So, "love your fate," Yalom urges, these words from Nietzsche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra."The reviewer would argue, "love your creation."For that is what we do: we create our lives.Indeed our lives are our most profound creations.In living, we make the decision as to whether to live in "everyday" or "ontological" mode.As Schopenhauer so wisely noted, "man's good conscience is what matters most."Such is the choice that man makes, its meaning and substance far more significant than his other worldly achievements.In this, Yalom agrees with his mentor, Rollo May.As May and others point out, connection with others, mainly human intimacy, is what defines our meaning, our "rippling effect" on others, but it is also the antidote to death anxiety, even if dying is ultimately lonely, no matter what the circumstances.

Finally what Yalom delineates most and what matters to so many is how one achieves human intimacy.He wisely points out that the key to intimacy is self-disclosure.Those who hide behind words or obsessions avoid life at their peril.Relationships develop from incremental attempts at self-disclosure -- not something for the egoist or the actor or the one who wants to control himself and others.Self-disclosure renders one vulnerable and is a step only the intrepid are willing to take.In the end, it is the bulwark against death anxiety because it results in connectedness and a subsequent lack of regret on the death bed.Thus, in connectedness, the human experiences tranquility found in the two states of non-being, "before death" and "after death."So we should ask, what is there to fear?Go for it, and live out your fate, as Nietzche advised.For some of us, other than Yalom, this advice would translate into "live your life for the glory of [your] god."In Yalom's case, he exhorts us to a more Confucian approach: live life virtuously so that death is not a preoccupation and there are no regrets.

The book is simply written, draws upon the intellects of a vast range of important talent, and is instructive in ways that matter.Unfortunately, it is too encumbered by "case studies" and repetition of previous works and in some instances embodies an excessive use of examples.Sometimes the points are too obvious, stepping into the bounds of pop psychology and culture, but nevertheless the book addresses what should be concerns of all people: what life is really about, why it matters, and why most of us covet and hold onto it through the vicissitudes of the journey.Yalom engages his readers intellectually; he is a virtuoso man in that sense. Read him to understand that last step toward self-realization.

Marjorie Meyerle
Colorado Writer
Author of "Bread of Shame"

5-0 out of 5 stars A life saver
Magnificent work, by a long standing creative writer, psychiatrist, and teacher.

A must for anyone in their latter years who think and/or may becontinplating end of life issues.

Not depressing, but rather up lifting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, thoughtful, compassionate.
A brilliant exploration of the issues that surround the fear of death, author Irvin Yalom weaves personal narratives, philosophy, pyschological technique and coping mechanisms together in a highly readable and thought provoking volume.

Yalom notes that the terror of death is essentially "hardwired" into us and can be at best moderated, never entirely dismissed. Yet, this hopeful work encourages us to celebrate life and to avoid squandering it out of fear of the inevitable end.

I put off reading this book for many months because I found the whole prospect so depressing. That was a mistake, and, I am sure, a symptom of my own death anxiety. Don't make the same mistake. If you are reading this, the only possible reason you have to not buy this book is because you have discovered a superior alternative. Unlikely. Get it.

Highly recommended. ... Read more

15. East of the Sun: A Novel
by Julia Gregson
Paperback: 608 Pages (2009-06-02)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439101124
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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As the Kaisar-i-Hind weighs anchor for Bombay in the autumn of 1928, its passengers ponder their fate in a distant land. They are part of the "Fishing Fleet" -- the name given to the legions of Englishwomen who sail to India each year in search of husbands, heedless of the life that awaits them. The inexperienced chaperone Viva Holloway has been entrusted to watch over three unsettling charges. There's Rose, as beautiful as she is naïve, who plans to marry a cavalry officer she has met a mere handful of times. Her bridesmaid, Victoria, is hell-bent on losing her virginity en route before finding a husband of her own. And shadowing them all is the malevolent presence of a disturbed schoolboy named Guy Glover.

From the parties of the wealthy Bombay socialites to the poverty of Tamarind Street, from the sooty streets of London to the genteel conversation of the Bombay Yacht Club, East of the Sun is graced with lavish detail and a penetrating sensitivity -- historical fiction at its greatest. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (73)

3-0 out of 5 stars This Book Promised and Promised but Failed to Deliver
While I found this book an enjoyable read, well-written and in places, quite engrossing, overall I was left unsatisfied - like being shown a magnificent, tantalizing dessert only to be served a small portion. It has well-drawn characters and some excellent descriptions, and a few interesting insights into the last years of British Raj India. However, at 586 pages, it just whet my appetite and left me thirsty for more. Many of the descriptions sounded contemporary as if taken from "Slumdog Millionaire" or "Born into Brothels", with the same smells, sounds, sights, while the tumultuous events of that period were either played down or left more in the background.

Other failings were little or no closure to such stories as Guy Glover's (convenient -pack him off back to England) or what happened to Viva's kidnapper - did he just give up and go away? The book contained only a couple of truly exciting incidents in a country where excitement was everyday fare. In a postscript interview, the author explains why she decided to scrap a lot of her research as her heroines wouldn't have been involved. She might have done better by scrapping some of the endless ponderings of each one and/or showing them at a later date, how and when they were affected by the conflicts occurring in India at the time. Or maybe she should have set the date in the 1930's rather than the 1920's so that they definitely would have been affected by outside events.

5-0 out of 5 stars speaks to the feminine soul
The three central characters in Gregson's _East of the Sun_ will become dear to you by the novel's end. Each one represents a central struggle of a young woman: the tension between a professional calling and a calling to love; the transformation from independent young woman to a wife and mother intertwined with husband and child; the desire to find your own path when a parent has their own ideas about your future. As such, this trio speaks to the heart of female readers. Also, the love relationships in this book are very realistic: there is no "Love at first sight" or "Happily ever after" simplicity in this book. Both romantic relationships and those between friends are built on real admiration and affection, not mere infatuation, and they grow over time.

2-0 out of 5 stars In all honesty, I was too bored to finish it
I could not get into this novel. I found it to be slow and predictable, and couldn't get past the first 50 pages.I have not yet finished it, and I've had it over a year.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Historical Colonial Fiction
I discovered this book in the bargain box of a bookstore and bought it on a whim because I liked how the first page read.It turned out to be one of the best books I've read in the past year for its genre (romance, historical fiction, bit of intrigue).The storyline is light, it falls into the realm of historical fiction quite neatly, but the characters are all very well drawn, the three plot lines following Rose, Tor, and Viva are all original and distinct.Julia Gregson has an excellent sense of character, as well as plot.She does not follow typically established modes of historical fiction (heaving bosoms, broodingly perfect men, knights errant) but has flawed and interesting characters, who are believable, unique, and troubled.None of the heroes fit into the strapping, strong-jawed, morally perfect category that historical fiction is flooded with, nor were the heroines trite by any means.They were all distinct, peeling off from the page as if they were truly alive and not characters of fiction.

The story begins with Viva, an aspiring authoress in post-war 1920s England who is enlisting as a chaperone for three young people traveling to India, at this point under a slowly crumbling English colonial rule.Viva is in her late twenties and had spent her youth in India, now she is returning to pick up her long-dead parents' old belongings.The two young women she is hired to escort are Rose and Tor.Rose, beautiful yet reserved, became engaged to an soldier after a brief courtship during his stay in England.Rose is now traveling to India for their wedding with the companionship of her best friend, Tor - one of the slew of women angling for husbands among the English stationed in India.Viva's third charge is a young man expelled from boarding school and returning to his parents; a young man who seriously complicates Viva's life.Most of the novel takes place in India among the British who have taken up life in the colony: the soldiers and the fabulously wealthy and exploitative businessmen, as well as in the streets of India where Viva takes up work caring for children at a British orphanage for local children.Gregson does an excellent job of moving among the three women, and they did not meld together in personalities but maintained their voices.

Gregson, furthermore, did an excellent job of bringing in the history of the time period, using touches like slang, mentions of name brands for food, face cream, offhand descriptions that shape the believability of daily life.She also kept one eye to the political and social troubles of India, not ignoring the strife that was occurring in India - though, neither, exactly delving into it.But with a cast of characters whose lives would not have been wholly absorbed with the troubles in India, Gregson handles the politics as realistically as a light historical genre piece could.

An all around excellent and satisfying book.I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, with romance, mystery, and a dash of Indian culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book.Couldn't put it down.
I read this book on a coast to coast flight.It was wonderful.I was hooked right from page one.Excellent writing, engaging characters, vivid settings, well told story on so many levels.I only hope all her other books are as good.Highly recommend this one. ... Read more

16. The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Deluxe Hardcover Edition
by Sun Tzu
Hardcover: 260 Pages (2009-06-22)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$19.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1934255165
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This collectible edition of "The Art of War" presents Sun Tzu's timeless instructions regarding military strategy and managing conflict in two complete versions.

A modern introduction, tracing the origins of "The Art of War" and its historical and cultural importance, firmly grounds the reader in the context with which this oldest of military treatises has survived the ages, as well as contemporary examples of its continued use.

The first part contains "The Art of War" in English, without notes or commentary. This allows the reader to understand the teachings of Sun Tzu, without the distraction of footnotes or excessive comments. This newly revised translation is succinct and very easy to read.

The second part contains the complete annotated translation by Lionel Giles, along with his definitive critical commentary and supplemental information from a broad range of sources. Written during the Victorian era, Giles' 1910 "Introduction" has also been included, containing the legend of Sun Tzu and The Army of Concubines.

Although written in the 6th century BCE, the teachings of Sun Tzu are still found today in the martial arts, legal doctrine, military schools, management seminars and pervasively throughout popular culture.

Excerpt from The Art of War by Sun Tzu - Deluxe Hardcover Edition
© Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Sun Tzu said: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.

By holding out advantages to him, he can cause the enemy to approach of his own accord; or, by inflicting damage, he can make it impossible for the enemy to draw near.

If the enemy is taking his ease, he can harass him; if well supplied with food, he can starve him out; if quietly encamped, he can force him to move. Appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.

An army may march great distances without distress, if it marches through country where the enemy is not.

You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.

Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Art of War
So far, I am enjoying this book. It has things inside I never would have considered. Yet so much of this makes perfect sense. Would recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Warring States period Warring States Period 475-221 BCE is a history of constant warfare, of alliances and counter-alliances
The Warring States period Warring States Period 475-221 BCE is a history of constant warfare, of alliances and counter-alliances, and of treaties made and broken.The nature of warfare evolved during the period.During the Warring States period, political stability was impossible to gain by adventurous military action.With the advent of swelling ranks of soldiers, protracted sieges, and an ever increasing drain on state treasuries, warfare became a serious matter for study.

Thus, the opening remark of "The Art Of War" states--without exaggeration--war had become the most serious business of the state, the key to survival or ruin. The author of this and other pithy aphorisms on how to successfully fight a war was Sun Tzu.Sun Tzu scholars place his writing "The Art of War" in the Warring States Period, based on the descriptions of warfare in the text. The book has received great exposure in the west starting in the eighteenth century after being translated by a French missionary.It has been reported that Napoleon studied the text and effectively put many of its teachings to good use.For the past 2,000 years, it has been the most important military treatise in all of Asia, even known by name with the common people.Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese military figures have studied it and employed its concepts to good effect.This is especially evident in the military tactics of 20th century revolutionaries like Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh.

The book is comprised of 13 chapters.The thesis of Sun's work is one should employ an army after a thorough analysis mandated by careful planning and the formulation of an overall strategy before embarking on a campaign.Sun emphasizes rational self-control, influenced by Daoist teachings throughout the book.

Chap 1-Laying Plans
18. All warfare is based on deception. 19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Chap 6-Weak Points And Strong
8. Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.

The best translation is the Samuel B. Griffith edition

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most important military books in history
The Warring States period Warring States Period 475-221 BCE is a history of constant warfare, of alliances and counter-alliances, and of treaties made and broken.The nature of warfare evolved during the period.During the Warring States period, political stability was impossible to gain by adventurous military action.With the advent of swelling ranks of soldiers, protracted sieges, and an ever increasing drain on state treasuries, warfare became a serious matter for study.

Thus, the opening remark of "The Art Of War" states--without exaggeration--war had become the most serious business of the state, the key to survival or ruin. The author of this and other pithy aphorisms on how to successfully fight a war was Sun Tzu.Sun Tzu scholars place his writing "The Art of War" in the Warring States Period, based on the descriptions of warfare in the text. The book has received great exposure in the west starting in the eighteenth century after being translated by a French missionary.It has been reported that Napoleon studied the text and effectively put many of its teachings to good use.For the past 2,000 years, it has been the most important military treatise in all of Asia, even known by name with the common people.Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese military figures have studied it and employed its concepts to good effect.This is especially evident in the military tactics of 20th century revolutionaries like Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh.

The book is comprised of 13 chapters.The thesis of Sun's work is one should employ an army after a thorough analysis mandated by careful planning and the formulation of an overall strategy before embarking on a campaign.Sun emphasizes rational self-control, influenced by Daoist teachings throughout the book.

Chap 1-Laying Plans
18. All warfare is based on deception. 19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Chap 6-Weak Points And Strong
8. Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.

The best translation is the Samuel B. Griffith edition

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most important military books in history
The Warring States period Warring States Period 475-221 BCE is a history of constant warfare, of alliances and counter-alliances, and of treaties made and broken.The nature of warfare evolved during the period.During the Warring States period, political stability was impossible to gain by adventurous military action.With the advent of swelling ranks of soldiers, protracted sieges, and an ever increasing drain on state treasuries, warfare became a serious matter for study.

Thus, the opening remark of "The Art Of War" states--without exaggeration--war had become the most serious business of the state, the key to survival or ruin. The author of this and other pithy aphorisms on how to successfully fight a war was Sun Tzu.Sun Tzu scholars place his writing "The Art of War" in the Warring States Period, based on the descriptions of warfare in the text. The book has received great exposure in the west starting in the eighteenth century after being translated by a French missionary.It has been reported that Napoleon studied the text and effectively put many of its teachings to good use.For the past 2,000 years, it has been the most important military treatise in all of Asia, even known by name with the common people.Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese military figures have studied it and employed its concepts to good effect.This is especially evident in the military tactics of 20th century revolutionaries like Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh.

The book is comprised of 13 chapters.The thesis of Sun's work is one should employ an army after a thorough analysis mandated by careful planning and the formulation of an overall strategy before embarking on a campaign.Sun emphasizes rational self-control, influenced by Daoist teachings throughout the book.

Chap 1-Laying Plans
18. All warfare is based on deception. 19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

Chap 6-Weak Points And Strong
8. Hence that general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.

The best translation is the Samuel B. Griffith edition

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Pleased!
Who would of thought that war could have such a precise, simplified and honorable step-by-step instruction manual?And that it was written in the 6th century BCE? Sun Tzu's recipe for strategies and engagements is easy to read, with numbered instructions, for just about every war-like situation.And, as the editor points out in the Modern Introduction, these instructions can easily be transferable to the boardroom, sales techniques, athletic endeavors and the like.
I highly recommend "The Art of War", especially for anyone who is interested in the history and the controversy surrounding this man, Sun Tzu and the ancient art of war.The commentary and analysis portion of the book is quite detailed and serves well in taking the reader beyond the simple instructions Sun Tzu describes.I enjoyed it!
... Read more

17. The Art Of War: The Oldest Military Treatise In The World (1910)
by Sun Tzu
 Paperback: 262 Pages (2010-09-10)
list price: US$22.36 -- used & new: US$22.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1163900842
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This scarce antiquarian book is a selection from Kessinger Publishing's Legacy Reprint Series. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment to protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature. Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard-to-find books with something of interest for everyone! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (145)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good read
I really enjoyed reading this little book. It seems more like a manuscript than a real text book. Maybe that's how Sun Tzu intended the book to read like.

The only thing I did not like from this book is that there is no annotations whatsoever. Overall though it is a good read and I think it can help people in many situations in life (business, relationships, job, etc)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on strategy
The Art Of War is the best book of war strategy I have ever found. Each of the 13 Chapters describe one aspect of war strategy in a clear way. Even if this book as 2400 years, it is still even more relevant today as strategy it is applied to other sectors like business and sport (Sun Tzu For Success: How to Use the Art of War to Master Challenges and Accomplish the Important Goals in Your Life).
This very is a clear translation without any commentary. While commentaries help to explain the views of Sun Tzu, I prefer this version because it is so clear and easy to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars A little Klunky
The book is probably not as smoothly produced / edited as other versions of The Art of War.Compare the presentation of a couple of versions before settling on the one that suits you best.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Essence of Art of War
This edition is the stripped-down basics only.No commentary, no historical background, just the basic text of Sun Tzu's Art of War.I have a commentary version that is 4x thicker.Love this one for easy carrying and quick review.

3-0 out of 5 stars Management skills
The Art of war is an unique book which deals withmanagement skill development tools. The techniques explained in the book are universal and applicable in all times and situations.
... Read more

18. The Little Soul and the Sun: A Children's Parable Adapted from Conversations With God
by Neale Donald Walsch
Hardcover: 32 Pages (1998-04-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$9.54
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1571740872
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The Little Soul and the Sun is a simple and powerful story that brings children a very profound truth: there is not absolute good or bad--that underneath all that happens in the world, all that we call "good" and all that we call "bad," is love. Your child will discover a God that she or he can love, because God is love, as are all the Little Souls who are a part of God. And perhaps parents, too, will rediscover who they really are.Amazon.com Review
Neale Donald Walsch's Conversationswith God series has enjoyed boundless success, making his dialoguewith God accessible to a worldwide audience of adults. The LittleSoul and the Sun distills the essential message of theConversations with God books and sews it into a story that evenchildren can identify with. Frank Riccio's poignant illustrations arethe perfect companion to Walsch's parable of a little soul whodiscovers that it is "the light" but still wants to know how it"feels" to be the light. This proves to be a problem, as God creatednothing else but the light. God's solution, with the help of anothersoul, is to surround the little soul with darkness, so that it canfeel what being the light is like. This deceptively simple tale ofself-discovery carries such a profound message that adults as well aschildren will read it over and over, each time learning a little moreabout who we really are and why we are here on earth. --BrianPatterson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (78)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gods book for children
This is a priceless book that I will share with all my family members. Written in the language of God for children it truly makes you grateful for writers like Neale Donald Walsch.

5-0 out of 5 stars The little Soul and the Sun
A wonderful story to share with your children! I bought this book to help my oldest son to see why there is evel when we thust wants to see and feel good. And I truly belive it helped! My son was hurting because he now en then had evel thougts. And I tryed to explain him that if he was evel he would like those thougts, and not like him go said and worried. He is the kindest moust loving kid you can think of and that was the reasen I bought him this book to let him see!

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving Story
My daughter first told me about this little book, and I ordered a copy for myself. Its impact was immediate- a story of a little angel who symbolizes truth and humanity. "Out of the mouths of babes..."

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book
This book appears to be for children, but targets the adult heart in search of understanding... It is beautifully written, and the message is truly profound.Each reader will apply the ending to a personal event... at least it has to everyone whom I've given a copy.You will love it...

5-0 out of 5 stars Quick and Quality service
When I recieved this used book in the mail, I excpected to look used.It was in tip top connection. I truly appreciate Amazon.z service. I have always had quick and profesional service from them.Thank you each one that was responsible. Have a Fabulous Day! ... Read more

19. The Shadow of the Sun
by Ryszard Kapuscinski
Paperback: 325 Pages (2002-04-09)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$9.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679779078
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In 1957, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa to witness the beginning of the end of colonial rule as the first African correspondent of Poland's state newspaper.From the early days of independence in Ghana to the ongoing ethnic genocide in Rwanda, Kapuscinski has crisscrossed vast distances pursuing the swift, and often violent, events that followed liberation. Kapuscinski hitchhikes with caravans, wanders the Sahara with nomads, and lives in the poverty-stricken slums of Nigeria.He wrestles a king cobra to the death and suffers through a bout of malaria.
What emerges is an extraordinary depiction of Africa--not as a group of nations or geographic locations--but as a vibrant and frequently joyous montage of peoples, cultures, and encounters.Kapuscinski's trenchant observations, wry analysis and overwhelming humanity paint a remarkable portrait of the continent and its people.His unorthodox approach and profound respect for the people he meets challenge conventional understandings of the modern problems faced by Africa at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

Amazon.com Review
When Africa makes international news, it is usually because war hasbroken out or some bizarre natural disaster has taken a large number oflives. Westerners are appallingly ignorant of Africa otherwise, a conditionthat the great Polish journalist and writer Ryszard Kapuœciñski helpsremedy with this book based on observations gathered over more than four decades.

Kapuœciñski first went to Africa in 1957, a time pregnant withpossibilities as one country after another declared independence from theEuropean colonial powers. Those powers, he writes, had "crammed theapproximately ten thousand kingdoms, federations, and stateless butindependent tribal associations that existed on this continent in themiddle of the nineteenth century within the borders of barely fortycolonies." When independence came, old interethnic rivalries, longsuppressed, bubbled up to the surface, and the continent was consumed inlittle wars of obscure origin, from caste-based massacres in Rwanda andideological conflicts in Ethiopia to hit-and-run skirmishes among Tuaregsand Bantus on the edge of the Sahara. With independence, too, came thewarlords, whose power across the continent derives from the control offood, water, and other life-and-death resources, and whose struggles amongone another fuel the continent's seemingly endless civil wars. When thewarlords "decide that everything worthy of plunder has been extracted,"Kapuœciñski writes, wearily, they call a peace conference and are rewardedwith credits and loans from the First World, which makes them richer andmore powerful than ever, "because you can get significantly more from theWorld Bank than from your own starving kinsmen."

Constantly surprising and eye-opening, Kapuœciñski's book teaches us muchabout contemporary events and recent history in Africa. It is also furtherevidence for why he is considered to be one of the best journalists at worktoday. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars Shadow of the Sun
My only scant claim to direct knowledge of Africa is a few weeks spent in Kenya where despite my best efforts, I spent more time with the zebras than the people. Nonetheless, I was so overwhelmed with impressions, that it was hard to keep my exhausted eyes open. My experience was predictably not as dark as he portrays. I have the sense that what prompted Kapuscinsky to choose these tales from what must be a much broader experience is primarily that these are the best stories... though I don't think he would have selected them, had he felt that they were misrepresentative of his experience. I enjoyed the philosophical observations he mixed in and thought it was a very good read. Nonetheless, you feel the distance -- you feel he speaks as an outsider in a way that, for example, Obama (despite his lesser experience of Africa) did not. I am still curious to hear what the Africans feel about it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Disturbing Portrait of Sub-Sahara Africa
The journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski provides three broad types of reporting in THE SHADOW OF THE SUN. In general, these examine civil and social dysfunction in sub-Sahara Africa, the mentality of Africans living in this region, and the overwhelming effects of their inhospitable climate.

Certainly, the great subject of SHADOW is dysfunction. Here, the types of this dysfunction, as well as their associated causes and effects, are depressingly familiar. In no particular order, these include greedy and unscrupulous elites, failed traditions and social structures, frequent coup d'états, ethnic hatreds, warlords, the legacies of slavery and colonialism, the paradox of international relief efforts, impoverished internal refugees, child soldiers with automatic weapons, and gargantuan urban areas without industry or jobs.

Kapuscinski's treatment of dysfunction is highly skillful. Primarily what he does is to write about dysfunction in a particular country at a particular time, often attaching a malaise or tragedy to a news story he covered in his thirty years of journalism in Africa. The effect is that these well-known problems are vitalized by Kapuscinski's direct encounters with them. Through his journalism, you are there to witness first-hand the effects of cupidity by the elites, brutality, or widespread joblessness. It's first-rate work.

Kapuscinski's second theme is the mentality of the people in sub-Sahara Africa. In this case, there's much to learn from Kapuscinski as he discusses the spiritual and communal traditions in this region. But the issue he implicitly raises in these discussions is: Do these traditions enable Africans to cope with modern life? Overwhelmingly, his answer is an unambiguous NO.

Kapuscinski's third theme is the heat. In writing about Somalia, for example, he observes: "These are the hottest places on earth... Daytime hours ... are a hell almost impossible to bear. All around, everything is burning... even the wind is ablaze... [in this] people grow still, silence descends, a lifeless overwhelming quiet." Likewise, a visit to a Mauritanian village elicits: "It was noon. In all the dwellings... lay silent, inert people. Their faces were bathed in sweat. The village was like a submarine at the bottom on the ocean; it was there, but it emitted no signals, soundless, motionless."The heat affects everything.

Kapuscinski does provide one upbeat chapter. This describes opportunistic entrepreneurship in the town of Onitsha (Nigeria), where men pull trucks from a sinkhole that is on the road to a huge open-air market. Nonetheless, the content of this book is mostly depressing. Malnourished people, he points out, protect themselves from the heat with their lassitude, since a person "...toiling, would grow weaker still and in exhaustion easily succumb to... tropical diseases. Life here is a struggle, an endlessly repeated effort to tilt in one's favor the fragile, flimsy, and shaky balance between survival and extinction."


5-0 out of 5 stars The challenges are immense
Ryszard Kapuaeciñski brushes a perfect picture of Africa's history, its present situation and mentality and the enormous challenges ahead.

Colonial period
The colonial penetration of Africa began in the 15th century and lasted 500 years. The colonial trade consisted principally of the export of slaves (15 to 30 million over a period of 3 centuries). This slave trade was in the hands of white men, helped by African and Arab partners, and was justified by the ideology that a black man was not human. It left Africa depopulated and ruined, and the rest of its population with a stigma of `inferior people'. This is one of the reasons why Africans do not accept easily criticism. They consider it as a form of racism or discrimination.

During WW II, the Western allies recruited African soldiers, who, after being sent home, formed or joined national independent movements.
When after a long and mostly brutal battle African countries gained independence, the white bureaucracy was taken over by a black one, thereby creating instantaneously a new ruling class.
The euphoria of the first years of independence was quickly followed by disenchantment. The hatred of the masses was now directed against their own elites, who ruled through rigged elections, corruption and outright murder of the opposition leaders. Moreover, during the Cold War the conflict between the superpowers was also transplanted on African soil.

Between the elites and the masses stood the army, which exploited the tribal and ethnic conflicts (the borders of the African countries were designed by Western political and financial interests). First, it presented itself as the champions of the humiliated, but after the coups d'état and the civil wars warlords could grab power and began to steal also from the poor.
The civil wars were fought by children soldiers, who could easily be recruited as their parents were dead and they were left alone and hungry in the streets.

Together with the internecine wars, poverty and hunger drew the masses to the towns as they were looking for more safety and a better chance to survive. It created the problem of hyper urbanization. But the immigrants didn't find employment, housing or schools (even pencils). They became totally rootless with no identity papers, no money and no address.
The author remarks astutely that Africa cannot survive without an educated middle class, but its intelligentsia lives outside its borders.

This book contains excellent analyses of the historical events in Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, Zanzibar, Liberia and Ethiopia. There are also in depth portraits of Idi Amin, Charles Taylor or Mengistu Mariam.
It is a must read for all African scholars and for all those who want to understand the world we live in.

5-0 out of 5 stars fascinating, can't put it down
I absolutely loved this book.He has gone where very few have gone before.I learned so much about Africa while at the same time enjoyed hearing about his experiences.A great mix of personal stories, African history and social/political commentary. Cannot recomment it enough...

4-0 out of 5 stars Varied memoires of veteran Africa hand
This book covers almost thirty stories from Africa by the legendary Polish correspondent and writer starting when he first arrived on the continent in 1958 almost until his death in 2007. He was around during the defining moments when many of the countries gained their independence and through the numerous coups and upheavals that ensued. Some of the most interesting stories include the ones when during the 1963 revolution in Zanzibar he first struggles to get to--and then off--the island ('Zanzibar') and when he describes the 1966 coup in Nigeria ('The Anatomy of a Coup d'Etat'). I also very much appreciated the more straightforward history pieces, like the masterful 'A Lecture on Rwanda' and 'The Cooling Hell' which combines travel notes to Liberia with an expose on the depressing history of the country. Also, many of the essays that recount his own experiences in Africa, especially in the early years are very insightful. The reason why I have dropped one star from my rating is that I found some of his musings on African cultural issues to be somewhat tedious. His descriptions of the life in the villages, the animistic tenets and so forth tend to be verbose and too flowery for my taste. I also found his frequent use of rhetorical questionsquite annoying at times. Nevertheless, this is a book definitely worth reading for anyone interested in Africa. ... Read more

20. Copper Sun
by Sharon M. Draper
Paperback: 336 Pages (2008-01-01)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$4.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416953485
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Stolen from her village, sold to the highest bidder,
fifteen-year-old Amari has only one thing left of her own -- hope.

Amari's life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village and brutally murder her entire family, Amari finds herself dragged away to a slave ship headed to the Carolinas, where she is bought by a plantation owner and given to his son as a birthday present.

Survival seems all that Amari can hope for. But then an act of unimaginable cruelty provides her with an opportunity to escape, and with an indentured servant named Polly she flees to Fort Mose, Florida, in search of sanctuary at the Spanish colony. Can the illusive dream of freedom sustain Amari and Polly on their arduous journey, fraught with hardship and danger? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sunrise
Amari, 15 and her younger brother Kwasi enjoy their life in a rural village in Africa.Members of the Ewe tribe, Amari and her family describe the fruits, meats and drum culture that is part of their lives in Africa in 1738.

Amari has been betrothed to Besa, a member of a neighboring tribal village.Kwasi enjoys poking good natured fun at Amari for having a crush and being delighted with her impending match.

The lives of the Africans changes the day the "pale faced strangers" with "skin the color of goat's milk" arrive.Amari, fascinated by people who look so different from any she has ever known is all too eager to spread the word about the villagers.Her father, a kind man welcomes the newcomers with a specially prepared meal and a special drum introduction.Amari and Kwasi help their mother prepare the food.Kwasi especially loves darting about in the forest and climbing trees to gather fruits.

Amari's father, a gifted weaver and story teller regales the newcomers with stories of tribal history.Drum music and dancing ensue and Amari is impressed with her father's facility for langugage.

Drum beats are repaced by gunshots; several of the newcomers shoot the villagers.Several Ashanti members signal to the newcomers to make their move and claim people for slaves.Amari is the only surviving member of her family.She flees into the woods, only to be captured and led in a slave chain.The slave march takes several days.

Once the party reaches the coast, Amari sees the ocean for the very first time.That view is short lived as she and the rest of the captives are forced into a locked hut until a slave ship arrives.Once the ship arrives, the surviving members of that Trail of Tears are boarded below decks, wedged into shelf-like bunks.No provisions are made for hygiene and people are forced to lie in their own waste and body fluids.

Hunger and thirst are constant; the women are forced to spend the nights with the sailors who degrade them.One kind sailor named Bill teaches Amari some English words; only he does not subject her to torture and abuse.Afi, a kind motherly woman takes Amari under her wing and praises her for her strength, her survival spirit.

Once on board in South Carolina, the slaves are placed on the auction block and sold.A cruel man named Mr. Derby buys Amari for his son as a 16th birthday present.The boy, overfed with a sense of entitlement is rude and unpleasant to all, especially his stepmother, a kind woman who does not support slavery.

Survival is a daily challenge on the Derby Rice Plantation.Polly, an indentured Anglo-American girl Amari's age becomes an ally as well as Teenie, a kind kitchen slave and her son Tidbit, 4.These 4 form a bond and daily learn the rules of the new land so as to survive.

They get their chance to prove their mettle and readers will hange on to every page to see what decisions they make.An excellent historical novel, readers learn about Ft. Mose, in what is now St. Augustine, Florida and the history behind the place.Readers are drawn to the abolitionists and learn about the atrocities committed on slaves.

Sharon Draper is a genius and a gifted story teller.She is the granddaughter of a freed slave and so, this story comes from her heart.She even includes a list of resources that she used to help her in her research and the result is this stellar masterpiece of a book.I highly recommend this for all families and schools.Amari's story is really everybody's story.It is about the holocaust of the antebellum (pre Civil War) years and about the resiliency of the human spirit and that good people DO make a difference.

Please read this.You will be glad you did.

*Note:Sculptor Eddie Dixon made many statues depicting the Afro-Seminoles, who later sought asylum in Mexico.Many Afro-Seminole unions took place in Ft. Moze.

4-0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed Copper Sun!
Copper Sun was the second of three Sharon Draper novels that I read for a Young Adult Literature class that I am taking. I liked the story. If I hadn't read so many books that were just like it, then I would probably love the story. From the very beginning of Copper Sun, I felt that it was formulaic and very similar to books that I have read before it, such as Obi, or the History of Three-Fingered Jack, Roots, or Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. As a result of that observation, I continued to read the novel cautiously. I was surprised to see that Sharon Draper went her own way with this story and focused on themes of feminism, motherhood, and faith against seemingly insurmountable odds. I would definitely use this novel as a fictional accompaniment to lessons on slavery and the Middle Passage with an older group of students.

5-0 out of 5 stars Copper Sun
I read the book, Copper Sun, and enjoyed it very much. I thought it was well worded and interesting. There were some brutal and disgusting parts, but overall it was extremely good. At times, it would get slightly boring; but, then when you least expected it, something very suspenseful would happen. I liked all of the characters, and I thought the roles they played in the book really helped bring the story to life! Often when I was reading this book, I would find myself trying to talk to the characters because I would get so into it. It was a very sad book. I thought the story helped portray the titles meaning. It was a well suited title. It made me realize how awful slaves lived back then. As much as I loved the book, I was a little disappointed in the ending. The part that had to do with the copper sun was fine. But, I would have liked to know what happened with Amari and her baby, Tidbit, Polly and especially Clay. I thought we were cut a little short with the way it closed. For the most part, I really enjoyed this novel and would love to read another one by this author. ADS

5-0 out of 5 stars NSA
"Copper Sun" was full of historical and realistic action. It has a lot of describing words and is a very detailing book. This book is very realistic. The main character goos through a lot of adventures. This book has a little too much action, so that's why I recommend it for 5th grade and up. It also has some advanced words.

2-0 out of 5 stars GOOD QUALITY....DIDNT LIKE BOOK.
The book came flawless. like new. it was shipped on time and everything. i didnt like the book itself but other than that the quality of this shipment was great. ... Read more

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