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1. Films Directed by Griffin Dunne
3. A Simple Plan (Abridged)
5. Marketing Principles and Best
6. Marketing: Best Practices
7. Caucasus: Mountain Men and Holy
8. Marketing Principles and Best
9. Adictos al amor.(TT: Addicted
10. Adictos al amor.(TT: Addicted
11. Hechizo de amor.(TT: Love spell.):
12. The Eye of the Tiger/ Hungry as
13. Garcia's Heart: A Novel (Thomas
14. The Existential Pleasures of Engineering
15. A Much Married Man (Thomas Dunne
16. True Grace: The Life and Times
17. American Roulette: How I Turned
18. The New Health Care System:Everything
19. Clawing at the Limits of Cool:
20. The Road to Cooperstown: A Father,

1. Films Directed by Griffin Dunne (Study Guide): Practical Magic, the Accidental Husband, Addicted to Love, Fierce People, Lisa Picard Is Famous
Paperback: 30 Pages (2010-10-21)
list price: US$14.14 -- used & new: US$14.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 115701979X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is nonfiction commentary.Chapters: Practical Magic, the Accidental Husband, Addicted to Love, Fierce People, Lisa Picard Is Famous. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 29. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Practical Magic is a 1998 American family-fantasy film directed by Griffin Dunne and starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman as witches who carry on a family legacy of witchcraft and tragedy. The film is based on a book of the same name by Alice Hoffman. The original music score was composed by Alan Silvestri. The Craft has been passed down through generations to the Owens women. The story concerns sisters Frances (Stockard Channing) and Jet (Dianne Wiest), and their orphaned nieces Gillian (Kidman) and Sally (Bullock). The Owens family is cursed: if an Owens woman finds true love with a man, he will die tragically, as was the case with the father of Gillian and Sally, whose death also brought on their mother's death "from a broken heart." The girls move in with Frances and Jet and the townspeople treat the family as outsiders, for they fear the women are witches. As a child, Sally casts a true love spell to protect her. She dreams up a series of odd traits for the man of her dreams, confident no real man could ever be like the man in her spell, preventing her from ever falling in love. The sisters grow up, and Gillian runs away as she is impatient with small town life. Packing her bags and leaving at night, they cast a binding oath to each other using blood from both of their hands and then mixing the bloods by clasping hands. Sally becomes lonely without Gillian. Her aunts cast a spell that helps Sally fall in love with a man named Michael. Sally marries him and has two daughters, Kylie (Evan Rachel Wood) and Antonia (Alexandra Artrip). When Michael falls victim to the curse and d...http://booksllc.net/?id=89445 ... Read more

by Colin; Dunne, John; Griffin, Beth; Levine, Ted M.; Russell, Robin; and, Weiss, Arlene Dunne
 Hardcover: Pages (1978-01-01)

Asin: B000YBEWAE
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3. A Simple Plan (Abridged)
by Scott Smith
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1998-12-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$7.49
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Asin: 0671043315
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Sometimes good people do evil things.

Hank Mitchell thought he lived an ordinary, ordered life. Happily expecting their first child, Hank and his wife Sarah were headed for their next modest step up the ladder, comfortably nurturing a nest egg in a suburban community near the tiny Ohio crossroads where Hank and his brother Jacob were raised.

But on one chilly afternoon, Hank, his brother, and Jacob's unsavory pal Lou, make a discovery that offers a chance for a life filled with riches beyond their wildest dreams. And in a fateful moment, Hank lays a plan to claim that life...and the horrific crumbling of his ordered world begins....

"Electrifying," raved Kirkus Reviews. "Astonishingly adept...ingeniously plotted...worthy of comparison to Stephen King at his best," cheered Publishers Weekly. In this mesmerizing recording, you'll hear what all the excitement is about, as Scott Smith's pulse-pounding tale takes you on a nightmarish journey to the blackest depths of evil that you will never forget. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (262)

4-0 out of 5 stars Crime and Punishment, the American Way
Here is a pretty gripping story of the modern world's standards after the fall of Christianity.
"If there is no God, everything is permitted".

Probably not a masterpiece, but stays with you after you put down a book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect book
A SIMPLE PLAN is one of those perfect books that makes me stomp my heel and wish to hell I had written something so good.It's a take on the old "Treasure of Sierra Madre" setup, but it's so well done, the characters so well drawn, the twists so surprising, it will stay with you for a long after you've finished it.I read it when it first came out, and I still remember it--the true sign of a good book.Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ha!!
All I can write is "Ha!!!!". How this one guy can completely SCREW up his objective is downright hysterical. The movie did this book NO justice, but the book itself was a super fun, super easy read. Not a page turner, but one you WILL not regret.

4-0 out of 5 stars Things Rarely Go According to Any Plan.
'A Simple Plan' makes you rethink the proverbial question what would you do if you found a duffle bag full of money? The young men in this novel thought after they found the windfall had it all figured out. Hide it. Wait for the thaw in late spring if there is any mention of money on the plane, burn it or the option all involved are hoping for; divide it equally if no one comes forward after the plane is inevitably discovered. Well, then like a Greek Tragedy the chorus sings out warnings that this is not such a good idea. Even the wife of one of the main characters says no at first and then is encouraging the plan and ultimately the persons involved fall to hubris and greed; becoming in essence monsters, trying to justify their actions as necessary and normal 'in this situation'. Oh, How the mighty do fall. How many people must die in the name of greed? Even 'good' people down on their luck are corrupted by the evils of money.

The story while farfetched stands as a warning of the power money has over our lives, because we gave it that power. Would it be worthnearly killing someone over then finishing them off, then killing witnesses or other people in connection to the previous murders and killing in self defense, murders in the act of covering up another crime; where does it all end?

I have not seen the movie, in fact until I started this review was not aware there was a movie.

Though it is not important I feel I must ask, does the author know Stephen King? Rarely does King give an author not one, but two great similar reviews in a row.

5-0 out of 5 stars extremely depressing but a can't miss book
Twists and turns and believable characters, actually for some reason I find the parts with Jacob and his dog to be the saddest.This is a disturbing tale of greed and the shocking reality of the mundane quality of evil. Unlike the people who wrote negative reviews, I could almost see myself in Hank and it's frightening.Maybe that's why there are negative reviews: it disturbs people that a violent path can be led out of fear and greed, rather than a conscious desire to do evil. I'm blown away by this book-the author is wise beyond his years and has a natural story-teller's ability.He doesn't pen this story with the idea of sympathising with the protaganist, rather its almost like a morality play showing people how one selfish action can result in so much suffering. Truly a pertinent tale for our time. ... Read more

by Griffin, Dir Dunne
 Paperback: Pages (1997-01-01)

Asin: B001S4I3Q0
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5. Marketing Principles and Best Practices (with Access Certificate, Xtra!, and InfoTrac)
by K. Douglas Hoffman, Michael R. Czinkota, Peter R. Dickson, Patrick Dunne, Abbie Griffin
Hardcover: 640 Pages (2004-01-05)
list price: US$233.95 -- used & new: US$11.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0324200447
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Voice of the Expert!Marketing Principles and Best Practices, 3e combines the expertise of the best teachers and most accomplished scholars in marketing.These experts have collaborated in writing a leading-edge, contemporary principles of marketing textbook.Each chapter explains and illustrates the best practices from every facet of marketing and is written by an authority in that field. ... Read more

6. Marketing: Best Practices
by K. Douglas Hoffman, Michael R. Czinkota, Peter R. Dickson, Patrick Dunne, Abbie Griffin
Hardcover: 650 Pages (2002-07-09)
list price: US$201.95 -- used & new: US$2.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0030349990
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Seventeen experts, one voice!The premise behind Marketing: Best Practices is simple yet effective: combine the expertise of the best and brightest in marketing. The second edition continues the tradition of highlighting the best practices from every facet of marketing.Each chapter is written by an authority in their field of marketing, all of whom are highly regarded for both academic and professional achievements.This unique collaboration results in one of the most cutting-edge texts to hit the principles market in years.Dr. Doug Hoffman, in addition to his chapter on Services Marketing, served as managing editor to ensure a focused and streamlined presentation throughout the book.Without losing the distinct flavor of each contributing author, every chapter is consistent in both format and pedagogy.The writing style is uniform and targeted for the undergraduate level.Cutting-edge topics drive the Opening Vignettes, and the copy maintains a lively, energetic tone.The end result is a solid mix of passion, insight, and firsthand experience not typically found in more traditional "Principles of Marketing" textbooks. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Disorganized and loosely written
This book is so concentrated on harnessing the knowledge of 17 marketing experts that they forgot to hire an expert writer to make it easy to understand for the student. They talk around many definitions without clearly defining the object of study. Case studies are haphazzardly thrown at the reader and important concepts are vaguely described and with uneccessary complexity. I hope next time they write a book one of their experts is a writer. I feel like I am back in World Literature reading something from the Middle Ages only this time I can't go on the internet for an interpretation.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very loosely written and unorganized
This book promises to bring to us the best and the brightest in marketing by drawing on the knowledge of 17 experts. Unfortunately, they have proven a law in economics known as the law of diminishing returns. As additional units of a variable resource (marketing experts) are applied to a fixed resource (this book),at some point, the returns that can be attributed to the variable resource will decline. This is precisely what has happened. This book is written in a haphazzard format throwing definitions and case studies at the student in a loosely written hard to understand format. Many of the definitions seem to talk around the object of study instead of clearly defining it. I have talked with many students and they all have the same sentiments. Before you rate my review, I suggest that you read one chapter from this book and you will find that I have been very kind towards the author/authors. I would prefer to read a marketing text book from just 1 marketing expert that knows how to write a textbook. This is marketing not world literature. I am an A business student and I shouldn't need to struggle to understand the concepts in this book. The best example I can think of would be the chapter on consumer behavior. VALS is glazed over with little insight on the value of this highly reputed psychographic study. Check out the section on alternative evaluation in the same chapter. Compensatory and noncompensatory models of consumer alternative evaluation are quickly thrown out to the reader with a few vague examples. Even after taking calculus I am amazed at the complexity with which these authors present a simple subject like marketing. You are probably purchasing this book because it is required reading for your marketing class. There must have been some kickbacks somewhere to push this book. Next time they write a marketing book I hope that one of their experts is a writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of two worlds
This book combines the knowledge of excellent scholars of marketing in a clear and structured format which is accessible toundergraduates. In addition, the cases and other teaching materials provide excellent support.

2-0 out of 5 stars Just Another Graduate Marketing Book
This book is no better than any of the other graduate level marketing books that are available.You might think that since this book has 15 authors it might have something that books with only 3 authors lacks.But,if you thought this you'd be wrong.This book offers nothing new and itsextremely high price makes it even less appealing. ... Read more

7. Caucasus: Mountain Men and Holy Wars
by Nicholas Griffin
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2003-03-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$19.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312308531
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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When the Russians bombed the capital of Muslim Chechnya in 2000, a city with almost ahalf million people was left with barely a single building intact.Rarely since Dresden and Stalingrad has the world witnessed such destruction.

The Caucasus is a jagged land. With Turkey to the west, Iran to the south, and Russia to the north, the Caucasus is trapped between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. If it didn't already possess the highest mountain range in Europe, the political pressure exerted from all sides would have forced the land to crack and rise.Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Peter the Great, Hitler, and Stalin all claimed to have conquered the region, leaving it a rich, but bloody history.A borderland between Christian and Muslim worlds, the Caucasus is the front line of a fascinating and formidable clash of cultures: Russia versus the predominantly Muslim mountains.

Award-winning writer Nicholas Griffin travels to the mountains of the Caucasus to find the root of today’s conflict.Mapping the rise of Islam through myth, history, and politics, this travelogue centers on the story of Imam Shamil, the greatest Muslim warrior of the nineteenth century, who led a forty-year campaign against the invading Russians.Griffin follows Imam’s legacy into the war-torn present and finds his namesake, the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, continuing his struggle.

Enthralling and fiercely beautiful, Caucasus lifts the lid on a little known but crucially important area of world.With approximately 100 billion barrels of crude oil in the Caspian Sea combined with an Islamic religious interest, it is an unfortunate guarantee that the tragedies that have haunted these jagged mountains in the past will show no sign of abating in the near future.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Caucasus:Holy Men and Mountain Wars
Excellent book for individuals who are interested in the neighborhood but have not travelled thru. The reader gets the feeling of being "there". What I like about the book is alot of info.in a concise, small book manner. I never knew how the area is THE world troublespot surrounded by the three religions, oil and three powerful nations. Hope this review helps

3-0 out of 5 stars Oprah meets John Gunther in mountain man country
Causasus provides insight to an important but rarely visited part of Europe: the mountain region between the Caspian and Black seas. While it is part travelogue, the story of four very different men as they share cars, houses and hotels on this trip, most of the book comprises a synthesis of literary and historical references to the region strung over a framework comprising the life of a particular terrorist/freedom fighter/brigand who resisted the incursion of the Russian empire in the 1800s. Both elements are interesting, but both feel like narrow glimpses into the past and present of a region which is notorious for its very fine scale ethnic and linguistic diversity. So it is hard to gain a sense of the extent to which the text provides information as opposed to anecdote. Inevitably, both also include personal comments (Tolstoy's gambling; the author's aggravation with another member of the party) which pad the book while not adding to the book's insights into the region. It is somewhat like Oprah meets John Gunther. Nevetheless, I enjoyed reading the book, and as indicated at the outset of this review - there aren't many books about this region to choose from.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent history and travel piece
Griffin's account of his travels through the Caucusus Mountains succeeds on two levels:first, as an historical document on the life and times of the holy warrior, Shamil, who fought for more than 30 years against the Russian and Cossacks during the mid 19th century; second, as a fascinating and, at times, funny account of his travels in 1999 through a very dangerous region of our world:Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the Chechen border.Griffin hits home the point of how difficult it is to truly "win" in this region, an area that is accustomed to fighting across the generations.As America is learning in Afghanistan, the fighting never truly stops.So, too, with the Caucusus.Fighting is, seemingly, within the DNA of many residents within this region.Griffin paints a fascinating portrait of Shamil who, throughout his life, miraculously escaped numerous near-captures by the Russians.The end of the book focuses on the "lion in winter," so to speak, as Shamil lives out his final years as a "guest" of the tsar.The historical chapters within this book are separated by Griffin's current-day travels with an interesting gang of characters, the most unusual -- and seemingly dangerous -- one being his translator Ilya.Ilya is not only dangerous with his drunken exploits, but with his poor translations, as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dazedly Seeking Shamil
OK, so Nicholas Griffin's got a knack for writing.You can't fault him on his skills: he vividly traces the life of the famous (to some) Caucasus mountain warrior leader, Shamil, who held off the Russians for over three decades in the nineteenth century.He weaves in the lives of various Russians and others (including a French woman captive) who knew him or had to deal with him, shows how the Russians consistently misjudged their ability to capture or kill him and bring the resistance of the Muslim mountaineers of the north Caucasus to a halt.In their misguided tactics, the Russians wasted the lives of thousands of their own men, and killed huge numbers of Chechen, Avar, and Lezgin villagers (not to mention a host of other, smaller peoples) to almost no avail.Shamil was able to unite the usually-fractured tribes of the region under the banner of Islam, though he was not above murdering dissenters.Griffin has brought the amazing, violent story of the long anti-Russian resistance to Western readers again, albeit with a fair measure of mythology and little background information for those "few readers" who aren't up on Caucasian ethnography.

But that's not all.He set off with four companions on a very dazed, unorganized trip around the Caucasus region with minimal preparation and planning.His skillful writing contrasts almost hilariously with the group's utter inability to get along or even to know what to do next.The "interpreter" can hardly speak English and is plastered out of his mind most of the time.Nobody seems to know anything about the customs or languages of the people they meet (and need to survive).They drink vodka, bicker, and fight, and even take up using boxing gloves against each other to the great amusement of some lower-depths locals.Becoming drunken clowns hardly is the way to learn about history or culture, no matter how "untouristy" it may seem to the participants.And, though Shamil came from Dagestan, and many of his supporters came from Chechnya, and many famous battles occurred in those two places, the group failed to get across the border into Russia at all.They did spend a fair bit of time in Armenia, though, where nobody had even heard of Shamil.They didn't seem to be able to figure out why not.Nice going, boys.

So, it's a grab bag.But, I do admit, a well-written grab bag which I enjoyed a lot.The parallels between Shamil the Imam's war against Russia and the two Chechen wars since 1994, the last of which is still sputtering on, are clear.Quite a few errors that I (a non-expert) could pick up.I wonder what the experts would say.On page 129, he's got Shamil at the wrong age.He says Armenian is the oldest alphabet.It's not---google Bishop Mashtots and see.He writes "Arzrum" instead of the international "Erzurum".On page 188, he talks of the railways carrying the Chechen exiles south from Grozny in 1944---uh, that would be east or north.On page 224---he mentions Basayev's attack on Chechnya in 1994.It was Dagestan, no?These may be pedantic quibbles, but they also may indicate that the editing, like the trip itself, was a bit chaotic and ill-considered.But if you get this book, you will enjoy it anyhow.

2-0 out of 5 stars Amateur
The author falls into the usual mistake of Caucasus writers: he believes in the mythology of the noble mountain warrior. His search for the fantoms of Imam Shamil is pretty shallow and amateur. The reader would probably want to go for real fiction instead and buy Leslie Blanch's Sabres of Paradise. For those who want something serious (more than the boring ride of a young hype journalist in a decrepit Zhigouli across the Caucasus) go for Yo'av Karny's Highlanders. ... Read more

8. Marketing Principles and Best Practices (Transparencies)
by K. Douglas Hoffman, Michael R. Czinkota, Peter R. Dickson, Patrick Dunne, Abbie Griffin, Michael D. Hutt, Balaji C. Krishnan, Robert F. Lusch, Ilkka A. Ronkainen, Jagdish N. Sheth
 Ring-bound: Pages (2005)
-- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0324221436
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9. Adictos al amor.(TT: Addicted to Love): An article from: Proceso
by Javier Betancourt
 Digital: 3 Pages (1997-09-14)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$5.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00097PL0S
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Product Description
This digital document is an article from Proceso, published by CISA Comunicacion e Informacion, S.A. de C.V. on September 14, 1997. The length of the article is 824 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: Adictos al amor.(TT: Addicted to Love)
Author: Javier Betancourt
Publication: Proceso (Magazine/Journal)
Date: September 14, 1997
Publisher: CISA Comunicacion e Informacion, S.A. de C.V.
Issue: n1089Page: p69(3)

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10. Adictos al amor.(TT: Addicted to Love): An article from: Epoca
by Pedro Crespo
 Digital: 3 Pages (1997-07-28)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$5.95
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Asin: B00097Q48Q
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Product Description
This digital document is an article from Epoca, published by Difusora de Informacion Periodica, S.A. (DINPESA) on July 28, 1997. The length of the article is 789 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: Adictos al amor.(TT: Addicted to Love)
Author: Pedro Crespo
Publication: Epoca (Magazine/Journal)
Date: July 28, 1997
Publisher: Difusora de Informacion Periodica, S.A. (DINPESA)
Issue: n648Page: p68(2)

Distributed by Thomson Gale ... Read more

11. Hechizo de amor.(TT: Love spell.): An article from: Siempre!
 Digital: 2 Pages (1999-01-14)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$5.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00098RKYM
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Product Description
This digital document is an article from Siempre!, published by Edicional Siempre on January 14, 1999. The length of the article is 563 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: Hechizo de amor.(TT: Love spell.)
Publication: Siempre! (Refereed)
Date: January 14, 1999
Publisher: Edicional Siempre
Volume: 45Issue: 2378Page: 81(1)

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12. The Eye of the Tiger/ Hungry as the Sea (Thomas Dunne Books)
by Wilbur Smith
Paperback: 720 Pages (2005-10-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$36.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312355661
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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The deep. The deadly. The damned...

For a thousand years, an unimaginable treasure has rested on the bottom of the Indian Ocean, hidden by swift blue currents, guarded by deadly coral reefs, and even deadlier school of man-eating great white sharks. Harry Fletcher, a former soldier turned fisherman, is now being pulled into a murderous mystery by men willing to kill and a beautiful woman willing to lie for what rests far beneath the sea. Now, Harry has no choice but to enter full bore into an international battle to raise an extraordinary object from the deep. Because possessing this treasure isn't just about getting rich--it's about staying alive...
Wilbur Smith sets his vividly realistic novels on the razor's edge between human courage and nature's wrath. In Hungry As The Sea, this master storyteller takes us to the frigid South Atlantic, where one man fights for his life-- and for redemption.

Nicholas Berg is steaming out of Cape Town aboard the salvage tug Warlock. Once Berg ruled an ocean-going empire. Now, his future has come down to a powerful boat and a daring rescue mission. One of his former ships is being lashed against the cliffs of Cape Alarm, surrounded by deadly icebergs and survivors clinging to their boats. Berg has gambled everything on reaching the Golden Adventurer before a competitor and a violent storm-- to win a fortune in salvage fees. But if Nick Berg succeeds, and climbs back into the international shipping game, that's when the real danger will begin...

From the power of a relentless ocean to the hunger of men to survive upon her, this is a towering novel of adventure, love and the daring of the human soul.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Kindle needs to withdraw this book
Definitely DO NOT order this book. The formatting problems are not minor and Kindle should withdraw this title and fix it. At one point it completely forwarded to the middle of the second book. Elsewhere you enter conversations in progress and a page or so later the parties THEN greet each other. This happens at each point where the large headings appear at the "beginning" of chapters.

I am close to giving up and expect Kindle to give me a credit for this book. One of the problems I can see with the Kindle is how difficult it is to know whether paragraphs are out of order. This is a killer flaw on an otherwise great product. Amazon, you better be paying attention... how many other titles have this same problem?

5-0 out of 5 stars eye of the tiger
another great saga by the master of adventure sagas.based in historical fact and laced with heroic characters, smith's tale is tall enough to enthrall yet realistic enough to enrapture.

2-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Only Review
Some formatting problems - each chapter start is a few paragraphs out of sequence. Poor editing, didn't anyone proofread this? Also no way to skip to the second book (no table of contents).

That being said THE EYE OF THE TIGER is pure classic Wilbur Smith. Lean and action packed, usually the first book I recommend when someone asks about his books. ... Read more

13. Garcia's Heart: A Novel (Thomas Dunne Books)
by Liam Durcan
Paperback: 304 Pages (2009-02-03)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$2.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312539320
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
In this enthralling debut novel, neurologist Patrick Lazerenko travels to The Hague to witness the war crimes trial of his mentor, Hernan García, a Honduran doctor accused of involvement in torture. As García’s supposed crimes are revealed, Patrick wrestles with what truth there may be behind the accusations, haunted as he is by his own youthful memories of the man and his family. But it isn’t until García’s shocking intentions come to light that Patrick begins to realize that however sophisticated his knowledge of the brain may be, it will take more for him to understand the human heart.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth A Lot More.
My wife picked this up for me in a dollar store.She leafed through it and thought I would like it.Like it?I loved it. What a wonderful book.You'll be drawn in to it like iron filings to a magnet.What a talented writer and what a fascinating story!I don't think my wife ever got a better bargain.I'm so happy she bought it for me."Keep on keeping on" Liam Durcan!

5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling character study
This book has all the great elements - political backdrop, foreign settings, courtroom drama, mystery and very well developed characters.I was caught up in the dilemma that Lazarenko faced and found myself re-reading portions of the book to make sure I had savored every detail.A smart read and compelling in its humanity.The contrast between perception and reality closely examined, yet never quite resolved.

4-0 out of 5 stars Precise writing with relevance to current events
The first thing I was stunned by when I started reading this first work by Liam Durcan was the precision in the style of writing and the structure of the novel.His character development is compelling and his use of symbolism is not overapplied (although some are a little obvious).I imagine this novel would be categorized as a thriller, but the most fascinating aspect is the psychological impact of the events on the main character.

Duncan is clearly making parallels to the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.The refreshing part is that his treatment is not heavyhanded.There is moralizing, but it is of the self-examining type.

This is a very strong effort by a new writer.I highly recommend.

5-0 out of 5 stars "García's Heart" is a carefully crafted shell game of a book.
Liam Durcan takes the reader into the head of Patrick Lazerenko, the graffiti artist teen, the young doctor and the neuroscientist working to help Globomart (the world's largest retailer) read the minds of its customers.With extensive references to Montreal's NDG area, Den Haag and loaded with medical facts, this book continually peaked my interest, keeping me online looking at maps and information to fill in the voids in my knowledge.What a treat to be entertained and motivated to learn at the same time.

The character development is captivating.Masterfully crafted, the twists in the book could be anticipated in retrospect, but the magic of the author is that they never are.A good solid read, "Garcia's Heart" will have me eagerly searching for more work from this author.

5-0 out of 5 stars superb contemporary character study
In Montreal teenage Patrick Lazerenko was just another aimless street punk until he was caught vandalizing the Bodega owned by immigrant, Hernan García.However, Patrick got off soft as he is allowed to work off the damage he caused.He becomes part of the Garcia family and considers Hernan as a father figure.In fact it is Hernan's illegal practice helping Central American immigrants with health issues that inspires Patrick to attend medical school and become a doctor.

Decades later, Hernan is exposed as the Angel of Lepaterique, who was part of a CIA sponsored group that tortured Hondurans during the Reagan era.Hernan is brought to The Hague to stand trial as a war criminal accused of abetting detainee torture.Unable to ignore his mentor in trouble and needing to know the truth, Patrick travels to Europe unable to reconcile the man who saved him and gave so much to immigrants in Montreal with the person who could be part of a group torturing dissidents.

Patrick holds together this superb contemporary character study as readers observe his myriad of emotions as his hero whom he placed on a pedestal crumbles to the ground.On the one hand he wants Hernan to be exonerated, but also begins to believe his mentor did the nasty deeds.Complicating his feelings towards his father figure is seeing his former lover Hernan's daughter Celia with in your face references that imply war crime trials for those in charge and participating at Abu Ghraib and Guantomino is appropriate.

Harriet Klausner

... Read more

14. The Existential Pleasures of Engineering (Thomas Dunne Book)
by Samuel C. Florman
Paperback: 224 Pages (1996-02-15)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312141041
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Humans have always sought to change their environment—building houses, monuments, temples, and roads. In the process, they have remade the fabric of the world into newly functional objects that are also works of art to be admired. In this second edition of his popular Existential Pleasures of Engineering, Samuel Florman explores how engineers think and feel about their profession.

A deeply insightful and refreshingly unique text, this book corrects the myth that engineering is cold and passionless. Indeed, Florman celebrates engineering not only crucial and fundamental but also vital and alive; he views it as a response to some of our deepest impulses, an endeavor rich in spiritual and sensual rewards. Opposing the "anti-technology" stance, Florman gives readers a practical, creative, and even amusing philosophy of engineering that boasts of pride in his craft.
Amazon.com Review
...clear, erudite, and occasionally eloquent, a useful readfor engineers given to self-scrutiny and a stimulating one for thelayman interested in the ancient schism between machines and men'ssouls. -- Time Magazine ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars Could've Been So Much More
As an engineer myself -- one with a soft spot for the liberal arts -- I really wanted to like this book.I'd purchased a copy for my father, a mechanical engineer, a few years back, and was curious as to why he still hadn't read it, since it looked like the kind of thing we both might enjoy.Now I know.

It's basically the sort of book that can be summed up in a single paragraph -- a paragraph, in this case, that isn't revealed until around page 150 or so -- and is otherwise crammed with wordy paraphrasings and reiterations of that same paragraph, with dozens of references thrown in for good scholarship.By the time I finally reached that paragraph, I'd pretty much checked out, having plodded for hours through Florman's rants against what he calls "the antitechnologists" (haters of technology, essentially; those broadly opposed to technological progress), apparently having forgotten that his primary audience -- i.e., engineers -- would need little convincing on this particular point.

So in short, I went in looking for an explanation of why engineering is so much fun; I came out (left early, even) having found little more than a long-winded rant against the tree-huggers.Could've been so much more.

5-0 out of 5 stars Relivant also to the finance industry!!! and those who working on banking reform
This book shows the inherent connection of the science of engineering and the things engineers build with the humanity of their application.This is an incredible book and should be mandatory high school reading.If I had read this book I would have been more likely to go into engineering - and would have been confident that double majoring engineering with a liberal art which would have best served my interests.

The lessons go beyond the profession of engineering.The book could be used in an ethics course for Banking, Medicine, Political Science and any other profession where power corrupts.

Chapter 3 is full of insights on why we always needed strict financial oversight of big business (remember Glass-Steagall Act?).See p. 19-20 for starters: "Although they were men of conscience, they did not assume that the world could be ruled by conscience alone.Civilized men had long recognized that laws and regulations, mutually agreed upon, are the only sound protection for society against the self-interest of each of us.The founding fathers of the Constitution considered this as a given.James Madison asserted that men needed governing because they were not angels.Even Thomas Jefferson, that great believer in popular democracy, said, 'In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down by the claims of the constitution.'"

5-0 out of 5 stars To engineer is human
This is a book for all engineers (and many scientists) who havbe ever had a crisis of faith in their work. It's a reminder, if one is needed, that engineering is human, humane work, and profoundly fulfilling in itself.

Florman gets off to a slow start, though. The first third of the book is apologetic, acknowledging the many social and environmental ills in which engineers have taken part. "Forgive us," he seems to say, "for not being better than the masters who command our work and the clients who demand it." The next third of the book takes on a shrill tone, an answer to the neo-Luddites of the 1960s and 1970s. Florman spends time answering their anti-technological absurdities and self-important elitism. Only in the last third of the book does Florman make the central point of this book.

Engineers, as a stereotype, seem boring, but perhaps that's becuase we lack so many of the stereotypical failings of other professions - avarice, personal arrogance, or violence. Engineering is no less creative than any of the "creative" arts, and is a profound expression of all that sets us apart from animals. It's part of the tradition of Homer and the Old Testament, where the ability to create was god-given, and the tradition of Chartres, where engineering skill was an offering to God. Florman notes that putting one's skills to the service of human needs is a living expression of the communal sense. I felt that myself when I acquired a breast cancer microarray dataset in the course of my work. It was the realization that those blank case numbers were real women, some now dead, and that I had a duty towards them (or their memories), their futures, and the futures of others. But most of all, Florman reminds us that engineering is fun. It answers personal, social, and even spiritual needs in ways that outsiders may never understand. I assure you, the greatest awareness of the world and its glories comes from direct involvement with it, and an engineer's life is about involvement with the physical world.

Issues have changed since Florman wrote this in 1976; it sometimes answers questions that aren't commonly asked any more. Still, it's the finest statement I know of what there is about engineering that makes a practitioner proud, even happy, to be a part of it.


5-0 out of 5 stars Engineering Pride and Purpose
This is a book for new engineers.For a student who is choosing to learn mechanical, civil, aerospace, electrical, software, or another engineering discipline.For the high school student contemplating academic options.For the university student working through courses.For the apprentice engineer working on real problems for the real world for the first time.

For all of these it can be invaluable to know that the engineer is not only defined by the science and math geeks finding something they are good at.That is important.In addition the engineer has a valuable role in society.And the creative and analytical urges that may separate the student from the crowd are fundamental urges of the human.We create.We build.And we take joy from this.It is in the genome - from the baby working over the blocks to The Skunk Works building a U2 or SR-71.

Samuel Florman has written a philosophy text on why engineers do what they do, and feel what they feel.The mature engineers will have fought through any resistence and anti-technology populist imagery.We learn to laugh and reflect on Chaplin caught in the gears, and keep an eye on overwhelming those who the technology should serve.Indeed, the practicing engineers will also have learned to deal with the guilt tossed our way by the league of environmentalists who treat modern technology as a planetary evil.

Those engineers will enjoy this book but probably not be altered by it.As we know from the numbers, fewer and fewer students are entering the engineering professions each year.This is where the book is important.One of the most rewarding and fulfilling professional directions is often considered a social problem through negative "press", reinforced by peer treatment in school.Don't we all learn early that engineers will create something that will destroy us all?And the engineers are unnatural, nerdy types who do not fit normal society.

Witness the Q equivalent in Alias.Quick, name a positive example of an engineer in prime-time television.Has there been one since MacGyver?

Give students this book and allow them to form a more positive impression.Let them read quotes from works that praise engineers and their contributions.Let them learn that the engineer has had a good image through earlier history, reflected in works of art.This book can help the young engineer build some pride and sense of greater purpose, and not feel guilty about enjoying the creative process.

Perhaps this book would not have been written if there had not been a strong anti-technology sweep in American society.(And shared in many others worldwide).In that sense it is an apology for the engineering professions.Yes, sometimes our creations break.And those creations are sometimes critical to society.That does not negate the professions good.And engineers are not ones to dodge responsibility.We build it as best we can for the common good.It breaks, it is our fault, and we will improve and improve again.

Where would we be without the creations in the first place?None of us want the power grid to fail and the lights to go out.But how many want the lights to never go on?

I received The Existential Pleasures of Engineering while in college (first edition, mumble years ago).It boosted my confidence that I was preparing to do important things for society and that I would enjoy the work.That is a good thing for a book to deliver.

I suggest clicking to read the back cover.

3-0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately Off Target
In reading this book, I found quite a bit of agreement between myself and Florman.As a practicing engineer, I have fairly well defined ideas of my role in society, how society values my contributions vice those of others, and the needs for technology in our growing world.When I finished the book, I had a feeling that Florman was preaching to the choir.As an engineer, I was bound to think that my profession was important, and he really didn't have to convice me that our work has helped build society to what it is today.The problem is that I don't think a lot of non-engineering types are inclined to pick up this book and read through it, in much the same way that non-Muslims are not very likely to grab a copy of the Koran and read it.

This problem, I think, is symptomatic of what Florman is really writing about.The Catch 22 of the profession is that the vast majority of people aren't interested in understanding the contributions that engineers make to the world, because if they were interested, chances are they would become engineers.The same holds true for history of science/technology classes at universities, where most of the folks that are in there are trying to learn about the history of their discipline.

If you are not an engineer, reading this book will certainly broaden your understanding of the people who bring you everything in life.If you are an engineer, this book will likely add to your convictions as to why you became one in the first place. ... Read more

15. A Much Married Man (Thomas Dunne Books)
by Nicholas Coleridge
Paperback: 464 Pages (2008-05-27)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$12.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0042P58SI
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

From one of the sharpest observers of the modern scene comes this witty, intelligent, and irresistible novel in the tradition of Gosford Park and Snobs. 

Anthony Anscombe has everything he could ever want: an exquisite family estate, enviable social standing, and a desirable inheritance. But Anthony still has an aching desire for one thing: the perfect match. Running headlong into marriage is Anthony’s forte . . . and his greatest weakness. As he surveys his beautiful house in the English countryside, Anthony has the distinct feeling that he’s under siege. He may be surrounded by his sprawling estate, but lurking in the village are more than one or two reminders of his complicated past, including three ex-wives, a mistress, and a legion of children and stepchildren, all dependent on him and all determined to do whatever it takes to get what they want.

A Much Married Man is a wickedly funny social satire with characters that will stay with readers long after the final page. Like a modern-day Edith Wharton or Anthony Trollope, Nicholas Coleridge delivers a sensational glimpse inside the salacious world of the upper classes.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars "Overlong and overplotted" Indeed!
There's no accounting for taste, and I must say that the reviewers who post 4 or 5 stars for "A Much Married Man" have very different taste from mine. The folks at Kirkus reviews used the phrase "overlong and overplotted" to describe Coleridge's book "With Friends Like These", and I find this to be an apt description of "A Much Married Man".

The story starts well enough, with a young Anthony Anscombe falling head over heels in love with the ethereally beautiful Amanda Gibbons, pursuing her across the continent to the south of France to win and marry her, but well before the halfway point it has bogged down amid a welter of characters and plotlines--and I found myself wishing that the protagonist, Anthony Anscombe, would grow a spine and tell some of his ex-wives and their variously clueless, grasping, over-bearing, and needy relatives to piss off. The final straw came, for me, with Anthony's remarkably-ill-advised 3rd marriage to Eurotrash millionaire-husband collector Dita, who eventually overturns and overruns his world. I started skimming pages just before their wedding, and what little enjoyment I had gleaned from the book up to that point was quickly siphoned away by these poisonous characters. I only finished the book, ultimately, to find out how Anthony's oldest child, Jasmine, and his not-quite-stepdaughter, Katie, would turn out--I had long since stopped caring about any of the other characters.

I have previously read only one of Mr Coleridge's books, "Godchildren". Similarly densely-plotted and heavily inhabited with a plethora of characters, "Godchildren" at least has a few characters with whom one can feel sympathetic, and who prevail over circumstances to come out of the story in good shape. The Anthony Anscombe character in "With Friends Like These" has the admirable quality of having the desire and intention, if not always the ability, to be a caring and loving father to his children and his step-children, though at least one stepson is a spoiled, detestable Eurotrash creep--unfortunately, he hasn't the strength of will to stand up to any of the adult women in his life, from his snobbish, over-bearing, married-up and now "plus catholique que le pape" mother to his various wives and one singulary ill-advised mistress.

Even in a story which is set in the quiet Oxfordshire countryside, on one of the last semi-feudal demesnes where the local "squire" rules a great estate and the accompanying village, Coleridge cannot resist the temptations of the glitter and flash of London and European high society, though he would be well-advised to try. Mr Coleridge seems determined to ensure that his readers are constantly reminded of his position in the glitzy "Ugly Betty" world of Conde-Nast's frothy glossy-cover society magazines, not by anything so crass as direct reference, but by never failing to introduce that world into his storylines. If he were to turn down the intensity a bit, Coleridge's stories would be much more satisfying reads--but I fear that subtlety is not within his power.

For readers who are interested in reflections on British society and class distinctions, I heartily recommend Julian Fellowes' books "Snobs" and "Past Imperfect" -- both of which are quieter, more thoughtful--and to my mind, truer--portraits of that world -- over Mr Coleridge's books. What a pity that Mr Fellowes has written only the two...

4-0 out of 5 stars strongly recommended
This was such an enjoyable read.I would probably have enjoyed it even more had I been more familiar with the English class system; it is so obviously a spot-on comedy of manners.I agree with previous reviewers:it is most certainly not a 'satire' -- it is way too good-hearted to be that.There were a couple of laugh-aloud moments, but mostly I just kept turning the pages and smiling at this very large interesting cast of characters.I found Anthony very very appealing; if you don't, then it's all over for you, because he is what holds the book together.His string of wives is purposely selected from various representative 'types' of English class and as such it most clearly functions as satire -especially with Dita -but again, at its heart, it is inno way a satire.My only negative:the end was a bit too frothy for me, and I found myself skimming the final 20 pages, because I found it far too 'feel-good;' it was only at this point that it lost its footing and became Hollywood-ish in its ending.But then in the final few pages, it regained its humor and balance and voiceReally, I closed it with a very contented sigh.It is intelligent, and a strong character and class study with fun plot turns. Strongly recommended, particularly if you're feeling a little down and don't care to think TOO much, but want to think a bit.

1-0 out of 5 stars did not enjoy at all.
I found this a struggle to complete.Mostly because I did not like "Ant" the main character.
I agree with an earlier reviewer "Water for Elephants" is a much better summer read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!!
Never heard of the book or the author and took a chance when I spied it in the bookdstore.How glad I am that I did.A totally enjoyable read about upper class British life.I can't wait to check out some of the authors other books and recommend this one to my friends.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, wait 'til the remainder bin
Not a great story or storytelling. Pick up a novel by David Lodge if you need a good read. ... Read more

16. True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess (Thomas Dunne Books)
by Wendy Leigh
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-06-10)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312381948
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of Grace Kelly’s death, New York Times bestselling author Wendy Leigh has written a haunting celebration of a life that ended far too soon, starring a heroine whose dramatic, star-crossed story is both tragic and inspiring.

Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco, the legendary Hollywood screen siren Grace Kelly, is an American icon whose beauty is unrivaled, and whose oft-imitated aristocratic style and cool elegance have never been eclipsed.
            Over the course of three years’ research, Wendy Leigh gained unprecedented access to more than one hundred sources who had never talked about Grace before, including nine of her until-now undisclosed romances (among them an English aristocrat, an American tennis player, and a Hollywood legend), her priest friend, Father Peter Jacobs, and Bernard Combemal, the former head of the S.B.M., the consortium that dominates Monaco. 
Providing new details about Grace’s life, including her premarital romantic swan song that took place during her voyage to Monaco, Leigh also reveals the hitherto untold story of her troubled relationship with bridesmaid Carolyn Reybold, and the moving story of her lifelong relationship with actor David Niven.
True Grace paints a compelling portrait of the ambitious young actress, the dutiful princess who transformed the principality of Monaco into a jet-set haven, the kind-hearted philanthropist, the loving mother, and Grace, the patriotic American. Wendy Leigh has written True Grace not for readers who wish to view Grace Kelly as a saint but for those who, like Leigh herself, believe she was a strong and beautiful woman.

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Customer Reviews (31)

1-0 out of 5 stars Dis- GraceBook
What a sad, poorly put together book,if you want to know more about Grace Kelly I recommendDonald Spoto's book,which was quite good, he has much respect for the deceased princess, he actually knew her, thesame forThe Bridesmaidsby Judy Quine, reading these you get a feel as to who she really was, not just a pieced together tabloid. I donated my copy.

4-0 out of 5 stars great all the way until the wedding
a very well written book but then once the wedding of the century happened it lost steam and almost lost me as well other then that a great read.I am a true Grace Kelly fan.

3-0 out of 5 stars Little substance but still entertaining
PRINCE ALBERT: Your father used to call you his swan, so I am told. I think that's a good thing to remember. Think what it means to be a swan. To glide like a dream on the smooth surface of the lake, and never go to the shore. On dry land, where ordinary people walk, the swan is awkward, even ridiculous. When she waddles up the bank she painfully resembles a different kind of bird, n'est-ce-pas?


PRINCE ALBERT: I'm afraid so. And there she must stay, out on the lake; silent, white, majestic. Be a bird, but never fly; know one song but never sing it until the moment of death. And so it must be for you, Alexandra. Cool indifference to the staring crowds along the bank. And the song? Never....

That scene comes from Grace Kelly's next-to-last movie at MGM, "The Swan" (1956), in which she plays a princess betrothed to someone she doesn't particularly love, but must marry in order to fulfil her duties to the royal bloodline.It's a scene that would eerily echo in Grace's own life once she married Monaco's Prince Rainier and effectively turned her back on the burgeoning Hollywood career which had already garnered her an Academy Award (for "The Country Girl") and legions of fans worldwide.

In Wendy Leigh's TRUE GRACE, the author doesn't dwell on Kelly's Hollywood years, for that period has been extensively covered in the many biographies written in the past, but rather her life in the claustrophobic, "chocolate box" world of Monaco.Ms Leigh uncovers a hitherto-undisclosed romance with David Niven, which apparently lasted until her death, plus a short-lived affair with "High Society" co-star Frank Sinatra.

The rest of the book won't be much of a surprise to well-read Grace Kelly followers.It's almost too concise, skimming over large parts of Grace's life in order to spend more pages concentrating on the "juicier" segments (and most of those are old news).Still, it's an entertaining read and will definitely encourage you to revisit Kelly's remarkable movies if nothing else.

2-0 out of 5 stars I DEMAND A REFUND!!
I purchased this book under the impression that it would finally provide the definitive look into the life of a remarkable woman. Imagine my utter disappointment when I completed Chapter 2 and discovered that there was nothing written here that I haven't already seen (in one of my previously owned bios or in those trashy tabloids). Not only do I want my money back but I also want a refund on the last half-hour of my life.

3-0 out of 5 stars Snack Food for the Gossip-Hungry Reader
Well, Leigh made have promised her publisher that she would not do a "warmed over" treatment of her subject, but that is exactly how this book comes across.She is proud to make the point that she interviewed over a hundred new sources who were willing to speak on the record about Grace, and even prouder of the fact that she was able to disclose fifteen of her sexual affairs that had never been made public before.(As if that matters.)There were only a few revelations here that caught my attention, like the fact that Grace had a tumble with the husband of one of her bridesmaids and then confessed all--leading to the complete decline of that poor woman's life--and a discussion of the extremely cruel side of Alfred Hitchcock's personality.There was virtually no discussion about Grace's death and too little examination of her complicated relationships with Rainier and the children.Also, there are regrettably few pictures in this book, most of them being publicity shots.

Finally, there is too much emphasis on what seems to be extraneous.One appendix is devoted to Grace's horoscope, and another concentrates on analyzing her handwriting.Leigh also emphasizes in an epilogue about writing the book that she stayed in many of the same hotels that Grace once did, allowing her to "experience and understand her world."But did that contribute to a better book?I don't think so.For a much deeper look into the life of this beloved but controversial princess, read Randy Taraborrelli's 2003 work, Once Upon a Time.
... Read more

17. American Roulette: How I Turned the Odds Upside Down---My Wild Twenty-Five-Year Ride Ripping Off the World's Casinos (Thomas Dunne Books)
by Richard Marcus
Paperback: 384 Pages (2004-11-08)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$4.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312336012
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In American Roulette, Richard Marcus tells his never-before-heard story, of ripping off casinos. The book follows Marcus, along with several of the world's great professional casino cheaters, as he travels from Las Vegas to London and Monte Carlo, pilfering large sums of money from casinos by performing sleight of hand magic tricks with gaming chips. As skilled cheaters, they back up their moves with psychological setups to convince pit bosses that they're watching legitimate high rollers getting lucky, while in fact they're being ripped off blind.

With the exploding growth of casino gambling, heightened by Indian reservation and riverboat expansion, more and more elaborate casino cheaters are illegally assaulting the green-felt, getting rich off of novice casino personnel. Richard Marcus's insider story is a window into the hidden world of intriguing personalities and tense situations he encounters as a member of expert casino-cheating teams who use their wits to turn the odds upside down and "earn" millions. American Roulette is a fascinating story not only for those who occasionally casino-gamble, but for everyone with a little larceny in their heart.
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Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome story about something you dont hear about everyday
Amazing gambling book, whole bunch of fun to read, and great story that I have never heard or read of before.Must read for sure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Educational and entertaining
In the world of casino cheating, Richard Marcus once reigned supreme. His 25+ year career as a cheat is entertainingly detailed in this book. In nearly a decade of casino surveillance I have not found any other book give more insight into the mind of a cheater or give as much detail as to how professional casino cheating teams work. I encourage anyone in the industry to read this and to visit Richard Marcus's website to stay informed on the latest casino and gambling related news - no matter which side of the table you're on.

2-0 out of 5 stars W H Y......C H E A T...?????
To me, this book is far more of a biography than a "how-to" on learning
roulette.Yes -- it teaches you how to cheat....but why cheat?
Roulette is a game one can win at WITHOUT cheating!Read the books of
rated book on roulette, here on Amazon, instead.)Gamblers have a bad
enough reputation as it is.Cheating makes this reputation worse--
for everyone!Cheating can lead to being banned from a casino -- and
also being "man-handled", if one is not careful.And -- cheating at
roulette is, as I have said, totally unecessary if one is methodical
and careful.Make money, have fun, give tips to the casino personell
and be satisfied with $150 a day.That's more than most people make!
"Winners never cheat, and cheaters never win!"Not in the long-run,

I suppose this book is an entertaining biographical read.But I got SO
upset at the lack of instruction on how really to PLAY roulette, and
not to cheat at it, that I could only skim the copy I got from the
library -- then sadly put it down.

To really LEARN roulette, check out the books written by the authors
I name above!

4-0 out of 5 stars incredible story
This story is great. It keeps you going with chases and backroom scenes. The only detractor for me was that it falls into one common memoir trap - repetition. I don't really need to know about every single time they cheat in the exact same way. That said, many of the descriptions of people are great. It's not often that you find a book describing people from the point of view of how easily they can be cheated. My favorite was "old grumpy," a casino floorman who always blamed his dealers for the mistakes they made, and never guessed that the players might be "helping" the dealer make the mistakes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest Casino Cheat in History
One of the most interesting books on casino cheating ever written.Richard and his team took the classic gambling move of past posting and perfected it as has never been done before.And when casino technology started to catch up Richard completely switched it around with the Savannah move.Brilliant.

Richard goes into detail on the psychological aspect of casino cheating, which is really the most important part.Fascinating in every way, he makes you feel as if you are right along side him and you can almost feel the "steam".

I look forward to a part II as I'm sure Richard has more fascinating stories to tell. ... Read more

18. The New Health Care System:Everything You Need to Know (Thomas Dunne Books)
by David Nather
Paperback: 240 Pages (2010-07-20)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312649347
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Now that the health care reform bill has become the law of the land, millions of Americans will need help figuring out exactly how the new system will work and how it might affect their lives.  

This guide will teach people how the new health care exchanges are supposed to work.  In an easy, conversational manner, David Nather makes a complicated system easier to understand by answering all your questions.  Such as:. 

*How to apply for help in paying for insurance?
*Will your healthcare change if you work for a big company or a small company?
*How will the legislation affect you if you receive individual insurance, if you're uninsured, or if you are
on Medicare?
*What new protections are you supposed to get from the worst health insurance practices?
*Why did Congress decided everyone should be required to get health insurance?

For people who aren’t lawyers or policy wonks, but simply want to make sense of what to expect in their own lives, this book will be a must-read.

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Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars The New Health Care System
Well written in plain language to explain what we can expect.The listed resources were very helpful so while some items may change, at least I have the resources to keep up to date. After reading it to see what was in it for me, I found the bill tepid in many respects and wondered what the fuss was all about.Suppose I believe that health insurance like utilites should be run as non profits as opposed for profit. If you are unsure about purchasing this book, then check it out of the library first and then decide if it should be purchased as a reference book.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT PRIMER on the new health care bill
I read David Nather's "The New Health Care System: Everything You Need to Know" while suffering insomnia one night...and found it an excellent, step-by-step guide on the ins and outs of the new health bill.While I consider myself fairly informed on current public policy issues, it was hard for me to make heads or tails of the new health bill, and Nather's book clearly and succinctly lays out what the new health insurance exchanges are designed to do, how new categories [platinum, gold, silver etc] will allow consumers to more easily determine the relative comprehensiveness of various plans out there, and how subsidies and credits will work based on one's income level.I also really appreciated the resource section at the end of each chapter...as my family continues to struggle with finding ways to finance long-term care, those links have become extremely useful.

5-0 out of 5 stars EVERYONE NEEDS A COPY
David Nather's book THE NEW HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Everything You Need to Know is exactly that.It is both useful and user-friendly and is filled with information which answers a variety of questions about this new legislation.I work in the health field and brought a copy into the office for everyone's general use.While I would rather read a novel, I also want to be informed, and this is the book to read to get up to speed on this issue.A real winner!

1-0 out of 5 stars Needs to be in the fiction section
I am a Health Care Provider and have extensive experience providing and billing for medical care. We have actually read the bill, (tried anyway ) and it is so open-ended, confusing, redundant and conflicting and written in legalese gibberish.
Nather keeps trying to reassure, calm and convince the reader that the bill is just great and will actually not increase costs. Beware, he comes to conclusions that conflict with most other people who actually have experience with medical care costs.
I think Nather really believes that you can cut off three feet from the end of a blanket, sew it on the other end and have a blanket that is three times bigger than the original blanket.
It should tip you off right away that the author is able to tell you exactly what the bill will do-- and nobody really knows because there are too many unknowns: how will the shortage of care affect rationing?How can we pay for so many more people with less money? If it really controlled insurance payments then why are they going quietly with what would bankrupt them?How are the elderly going to take it when they are deemed short-timers anyway and are not worth treating? Never mind that it may be illegal to force people to buy insurance.
Go ahead and read it if you enjoy fairy tales.There's no good pictures, though.

... Read more

19. Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever
by Farah Jasmine Griffin, Salim Washington
 Hardcover: 304 Pages (2008-08-05)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$8.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003O86ID8
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

When the renowned trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis chose the members of his quintet in 1955, he passed over well-known, respected saxophonists such as Sonny Rollins to pick out the young, still untested John Coltrane. What might have seemed like a minor decision at the time would instead set the course not just for each of their careers but for jazz itself.

Clawing at the Limits of Cool is the first book to focus on Davis and Coltrane’s musical interaction and its historical context, on the ways they influenced each other and the tremendous impact they’ve had on culture since then. It chronicles the drama of their collaboration, from their initial historic partnership to the interlude of their breakup, during which each man made tremendous progress toward his personal artistic goals. And it continues with the last leg of their journey together, a time when the Miles Davis group, featuring John Coltrane, forever changed the landscape of jazz.

Authors Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington examine the profound implications that the Davis/Coltrane collaboration would have for jazz and African American culture, drawing parallels to the changing standards of African American identity with their public personas and private difficulties. With vastly different personal and musical styles, the two men could not have been more different. One exemplified the tough, closemouthed cool of the fifties while the other made the transition during this time from unfocused junkie to a religious pilgrim who would inspire others to pursue spiritual enlightenment in the coming decade.

Their years together mark a watershed moment, and Clawing at the Limits of Cool draws on both cultural history and precise musical detail to illuminate the importance that their collaboration would have for jazz and American history as a whole.

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, August 2008:Throw on the legendary LP, Kind of Blue, and the genius of Miles Davis and John Coltrane sings with the first note. Right away, both men establish their styles within the warm, confident tones of "So What," setting the stage for an album that has sold over 3 million copies to date. Clawing at the Limits of Cool explores this early symbiotic relationship and how two mavericks went on to rewrite the rules of jazz. Davis was the prodigy, born with a once-in-a-generation talent and a desire to expand the limits of his sound. Coltrane, on the other hand, was a late bloomer with a tenacious focus who saw nothing but the music. "Trane was just into playing," Davis once remarked. "If a woman was standing in front of him naked he wouldn't have seen her." Yet while Davis' bold trumpet and Coltrane's searching sax mixed in perfect harmony, their off-stage relationship was surprisingly flat. According to alto saxophonist Sonny Fortune, "Miles wasn't a talker and Trane wasn't a talker. So you got to guess there's no talking." Added drummer Rashied Ali: "Not with words, anyway." With deft examinations of time-honored performances and colorful anecdotes from bandmates, Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington provide an honest portrait of the enduring legacies of both "The Chief" and "Trane." --Dave Callanan ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very informative
I don't have a strong background in the history of jazz, but this book seems to be a good one for studying the history and influence of two jazz greats, Davis and Train. I particularly like the second half of the book in which the authors devote extended interpretations and the cultural history of albums and single compositions, such as Milestones, Blue Train, Kind of Blue, A Love Supreme, Giant Steps, `Round About Midnight. The first half of the book delves more into the personal background of the two musicians.

Washing and Griffin's book is by no means a definitive study. It simply sheds light on the relationship between Davis and Coltrane. It ends with the emergence of Miles Davis and the jazz fusion era. But it provides an overview of the history of the two great giants, describing how so different they were--Davis, the cool and more confident jazz band leader, and Coltrane, the more spiritual, sometimes timid, gentler of the two. Of course, Coltrane by 1961 formed his own group, and that time he was jazz figure breaking new territory.I had not known about there differences until reading this book.

This book focuses a little more Davis than it does on Coltrane, which makes me want to definitely read a full biography of Coltrane, because he seems such a complex figure, that there's much more to him than what they book conveys.

Finally, I would add, that in this era of digital technology, I really hope that jazz books like this do more to link readers to particular compositions that will be discussed in this book. It would be great if the authors had a website in which they list all the titles of compositionsthat will be discussed, and perhaps allow readers to listen to those songs on their website. I have several Davis and Coltrane albums, but I still needed to go on YouTube to find many of compositions that the authors write about. This book will be very accessible to those who have a strong background in jazz music, but it will be somewhat challenging to those of us who are just beginning to study the jazz, beyond just listening to it.

Clawing at the Limits of Cool will be among several books on the history of jazz that I will be reading in the coming months.

4-0 out of 5 stars JAM PACKD
A very impressive and different POV of a a very important jazz collaboration between two giants of jazz. A very interesting perspective from two black writers.

5-0 out of 5 stars A scholarly and Impassioned look at MIles and Coltrane
Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington have looked at Miles Davis and John Coltrane and their musical reelationship.This is done not only with intelligence, good judgment, and scholarship, but with compassion, even love.Every sentence is warm and penetrating.The book achieves its main purpose by drawing the reader directly to the music itself:I listened to the records all over again (repeatedly) with new enlightenment and feeling.

Rev. Peter F. O'Brien, S.J.
Executive Director
The Mary Lou Williams Foundation, Inc.

3-0 out of 5 stars cool cats and cool sounds...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which chronicles the ascension of two of America's greatest jazz artists. Not as enjoyable as MILES by Miles Davis or as informative as CHASIN'THE TRANE by J.C. Thomas but in it's own right an interesting piece of work.

3-0 out of 5 stars Why Do Some Authors When Writing About Jazz Artists Focus On Race Related Political Issues?
It's as though the authors would like to recreate the personalities and musical accomplishments of the musicians to reflect their own sociological and ideological theories and prejudices. There are multitudes of books available to those who want to read about black history and social issues. Of course, both Miles Davis and John Coltrane were Black. Miles achieved some success in the 1940's and early 1950's when playing with Charlie Parker and with his own Birth Of The Cool group. At the time,however, he was overshadowed by Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro and Clifford Brown. Davis then made some fine recordings with such artists as Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, J.J. Johnson, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson and Lucky Thompson. His career really launched when he joined together with Coltrane in the Famous Quintet with Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. Then was to come more success with Gil Evans collaborations. Coltrane recorded in the early 1950's with Dizzy Gillespie. But did not achieve widespread recognition until joining up with Miles in the mid 1950's. Coltrane contributions both as a leader and sideman began to come with great frequency. In 1956 he recorded with Paul Chambers, Curtis Fuller, Elmo Hope the album Tenor Madness with Sonny Rollins and Tenor Conclave with Hank Mobley, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn. Mating Call with Tadd Dameron was also released that year. 1957 showed him recording with Monk and the famous Blue Trane album. 1958 brought release of the Soultrane set. He was considered to be an innovator by the mid to late 1950's and early 1960's.

My sense is that artists gradually evolve. Some characteristics that separate talent are based on their creativity, dedication, inherent ability,tone, technical facility, rhythm, concept, practice, perserverance and drive. To suggest that history and the civil rights movement are key issues that propelled their success is, I think,more than a bit of a stretch. It's almost as though artistic abilities are secondary and incidental to the message the authors wish to convey.

Here, for your evaluation, are some passages which I think evidence much of the tenor of the book:

pp3Mile's manner seemed to say the coon show is officially over; we are here to play......Miles was raised to be a confident black genius..

pp4 According to Carl Grubbs, Coltrane's nephew by marriage....We are not trying to be like Pops (Louis Armstrong). Nobody wanted to be that guy sweating with the handkerchief.

pp6 (Coltrane) stands as a premier example of black creative genius..

pp7 According to the poet Michael Harper Coltrane's energy and passion was the kind of energy it takes to break oppressive conditions...and oppressive societal situations..

pp53 ..this sense of racial confidence and belief in black possibility would allow Davis and Trane to recognize the genius of the music they loved and would push them to pursue their art with complete dedication and passion.

pp 56The music communicated the longings, postures, and desires for greater freedom of the emerging generations that had reached adulthood during the war years (WWII): freedom to explore one's political and aesthetic sensibilities without reprimand or violence..

pp58For Miles, this quest for collective political freedom paralleled his own quest to liberate himself from the racism that sought to limit his ambitions as man and as an artist..

pp63 discussing the song Now's The Time..This song is an important recording for a number of reasons: First is its political connotation, suggesting the militancy and postwar expectations of black Americans. This twelve bar blues based tune was recorded in November 1945 for the Newark based Savoy label. It later became a R&B hit when recorded in 1949 by Paul Williams. To suggest that the title of this song was based on anything to do with the civil rights movement, black militancy, political connotations or postwar expectations in simply absurd.

pp104 discussion of "walking the bar" which was often done by rhythm and blues saxophonists...it was Uncle Tom-ish...demeaning..humiliating..Well, the audiences and players seemed to enjoy this and participated quite enthusiastically. I remember Big Jay McNeely would sometimes even lead the audience outside and around the block.

pp 113this was a period of repressive anti-communist hysteria...The decolonization of counties in Africa and Asia brought inspiration to those engaged in domestic battles...

pp 114According to Naima(Coltrane's first wife) He very much loved his people. I don't know if people know that, but he did. He very much loved black people, and he was concerned for us.

pp114Davis and Coltrane were critically aware of the political enviornment they inhabited. And each would come to be representative of a more rebellious side of the supposedly conformist fifties. Serious, intelligent young black men: articulate, confident, refusing the antics of earlier entertainers and self consciously affirming the complexity and unique universality of black art forms...

pp126 discussing the song Airegin..Is Nigeria spelled backward, a nod to the anticolonial struggles sweeping across Africa and Asia. I might here call attention to what's happened in the aftermath of colonialization in such places as Rwanda,The Congo (Zaire), Zimbabwe, Guinea, Zambia, Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Such things as genocide, disease, rape, plunder, corruption, joblessness,famine, torture, mutilation,assassinations,cannibalism,banditry, witchcraft, as well as other unspeakable physical cruelties and astoundingly unheard of inflation became the rule.

pp 189.. By the late 1960's, the old forms of civil disobedience were no longer satisfactory for a younger generation--a generation that came to possess a new sense of urgency and militancy..

pp 204We learn that after Cannonball Adderly joined the group he became the "straw boss."

pp221Coltrane's music would become the sound track for a growing political and spiritual consciousness that came to characterize some of the most radical sections of both black power and the anti-war struggles of the late sixties and early seventies.....along the way, both (Miles & Trane)had become international icons who would continue to inform our understanding of jazz music, black masculinity, and artistic genius.

pp 226 Coltrane's cachet as a cultural icon derives largely from the 1960's, an era where young people fashioned a new society .....where black urban youths grew impatient and began to develop a more militant movement..

pp 250 Ultimately, Coltrane speaks to the poets of black liberation..

pp 252 Trane led the way to the expressionism that gave life to the new black aesthetic..

Oh, by the way, on page 159, we are informed that Paul Quinichette was a hard bop tenor saxophonist, In fact, he was such a disciple of The President, Lester Young that he was frequently called "The Vice President."Neither Lester Young or Paul Quinichette were considered to be "hardboppers."

The author refer to Miles as "The Chief." While Charlie Parker was commonly called "Bird" I have never heard anyone refer to Miles as "The Chief" other than in this book. In fact, when I hear mention of "The Chief" I tend to think of former New York Yankee pitcher Allie Reynolds who was referred to by that name.

Nowhere in the book did I notice mention of Max Roach's "sit in" at the famous Davis 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. Roach sat in to disrupt the performance because he felt the concert was a benefit sponsored by an organization supportive of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

To me, the most enjoyable part of the book was the excellent discussion of the great classic Davis rhythm section of Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones.More of such and less politics would have been much better!
... Read more

20. The Road to Cooperstown: A Father, Two Sons, and the Journey of a Lifetime (Thomas Dunne Books)
by Tom Stanton
Paperback: 272 Pages (2004-05-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$10.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312331185
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Every true baseball fan dreams of visiting Cooperstown. Some make the trip as boys, when the promise of a spot in the lineup with the Yankees or Red Sox or Tigers glows on the horizon, as certain as the sunrise. Some go later in life, long after their Little League years, to glimpse the past, not the future. And still others talk of somedays and of pilgrimages that await.

For Tom Stanton, the trip took nearly three decades.

The dream first grabbed hold of him in 1972, in the era of Vietnam and Watergate and Johnny Bench and the Oakland Athletics. Stanton, then an eleven-year-old Michigan boy who lived for the game, became fascinated by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the sport’s spiritual home, the place to which great players aspire. He plotted ways to convince his father to take him to the famous village along Lake Otsego.

But his plans for that season never materialized. They disappeared in the turmoil caused by his mother’s life-threatening illness and his brother’s antiwar activities. Still, the dream lingered through the summers that followed. Twenty-nine years later, he invited the two men who had introduced him to the sport, his elderly father and his older brother, to join him on a trip to the Hall. Finally, they embarked on their long-delayed adventure.

The Road to Cooperstown is a true story populated with colorful characters: a philanthropic family that launched the museum and uses its wealth to, among other things, ensure that McDonald’s stays out of the turn-of-the-century downtown; the devoted fan who wrote a book to get his hero into the Hall of Fame; the Guyana native who grew up without baseball but comes to the induction ceremony every year; the librarian on a mission to preserve his great-grandfather’s memory; the baseball legends who appear suddenly along Main Street; and the dying man who fulfills one of his last wishes on a warm day in spring.

As he did with his award-winning book, The Final Season, Tom Stanton again tells a magical tale of fathers, brothers, and baseball heroes certain to resonate with sports fans everywhere. This adventure, though brief, provides a true bonding experience that is the heart of a sweet, one-of-a-kind book about baseball, family, the Hall of Fame, and the town with which it shares a rich heritage.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant journey for every fan to read
Mr. Stanton does a wonderful job luring the you, the reader through this book.Stanton a devoted Tigers fan, writes this in a way where a fan for any major league team would enjoy.A must read for all baseball fans!

5-0 out of 5 stars Stanton Strikes Gold Again
"The Road to Cooperstown" is one of those books that you always hope you'll stumble across some day and when you do, you promptly try to force it on everyone you've ever met! I know I did.

Stanton has long been one of my favorite writers. I've had the privilege of meeting him and talking baseball with him, both were big honors. He is a die-hard baseball fan, from a die-hard baseball family. This book chronicles his long overdue road trip to Cooperstown to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame with his father.

As always Stanton's beautiful writing voice leaps off the pages and into your heart. As a man who has always connected with his father through baseball, this book meant a lot to me. I recommend this (and anything else by Stanton) to readers of all types.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read!Highly recommended!
This book was given to me as a gift before my road trip to the quaint village of Cooperstown!!! My partner & I were going to Holy Grounds of baseball immortals for a few days, and as we were road tripping it from Ohio to New York, we took turns reading aloud to eachother this book. I have to tell you (having been to Cooperstown before - and being a HUGE baseball fan all my life) I could vizualize everything that was being described - page by page in Mr. Stanton's book! The personal trip for him, and hearing/reading it from his perspective was refreshing, and heartwarming! Strongly recommend this book for ANYONE who enjoys the sport of baseball...great read, and made my "Road to Cooperstown" a memorable one as well!!!
A side note, I had the privelage of meeting the Author at a recent book signing event promoting his new book Ty & The Babe (which I purchased and I am reading now)...he is as warm, and personable as I imagine from reading the pages of his book! Thank You for a wonderful book, and sharing your personal experiences and memories ----

5-0 out of 5 stars Another emotional baseball saga from Tom Stanton
Like Tom Stanton's first book about Tiger Stadium's final season, this book combines great baseball stories into a family pilgramage.We learn not only about Cooperstown, but what it means to Stanton and his family.We get to know the Stantons in the same intimate way we come to know Cooperstown.

You will very much enjoy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stanton in the Running for a 2nd CASEY Award
Great subject and wonderful execution. Even veteran Cooperstown-goers will learn things about the town and the Hall of Fame. No one has ever repeated as a CASEY Award winner. Will Stanton be the first? ... Read more

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