Leonard Johnson

Joined a year ago

Leonard's Favorites
Who Was George Washington Carver?
Who Was George Washington Carver?
I like how it lets my son know he can be more than just a Athlete or entertainer. He can go as far as he can believe if know the people that came from a much harder time than him did.
Bravado Beatles 'Hard Days Night' Queen 4 Piece Sheet Set
Bravado Beatles 'Hard Days Night' Queen 4 Piece Sheet Set
This vivid and cheerful Beatles comforter set, will make quite a statement in my son's otherwise dreary dorm room! So far it has dominated his room's color palette with matching red, white, and blue towels, black fridge, microwave, storage crates etc. The comforter is pleasantly smooth to the touch, very pliable and it has no loose threads or imperfections. In addition to the included Union Jack pillowcase, I purchased a black and white John Lennon pillowcase to add to the ensemble which makes the set look a little more "grown up" and sophisticated for a university student. Unfortunately, since the coordinating bedding isn't available in Twin-XL, I purchased a "black" sheet set which looks great because it accentuates the Union Jack pillowcase, making it stand out that make more! So don't be timid about experimenting with other coordinating sheet sets especially in red, white or blue! This comforter set is guaranteed to add a remarkable splash of color to any room! Perfect for the "Beatles fan" in the family!
Love And Theft
Love And Theft
Sandwiched between the 1997 Grammy-winning `Time out of Mind' and the equally excellent `Modern Times' in 2006, "Love and Theft" (the album's title is intentionally in quotes) was famously released to the world on 11th September 2001, its launch understandably eclipsed by other news of the day. This album is therefore central to Dylan's impressive late-in-life canon of work as a mature artist.

L&T paints on a broad canvas the varied colors of rock and roll, slow blues and R&B, bluegrass, rockabilly and country styles; it's an odyssey through American folk styles and as great as anything Dylan has produced in a long career of outstanding creativity.

With a trademark-ironic quip, Dylan himself said of the album "I think of it as a `Greatest Hits' album - without the hits". As so often with Dylan this throw-away line conceals a hidden truth: many of the songs are sing-able and get the feet tapping. Lyrically, these slice-of-life stories in the great American folk tradition sound bang up-to-date: is this why his music never seems to age?

It's hard to pick out individual songs in a collection so universally excellent, but "Mississippi" (an unused leftover from the `Time out of Mind' sessions re-recorded for L&T) has a rare repeat-play-please poignancy and was described by Rolling Stone as "A drifter's love song that seems to sum up Dylan's entire career, a rambling classic that ranks up there with `Tangled up in Blue'."

Bob Dylan shows no sign of going off the boil with age, or of hanging up his guitar. He really is truly the heir to his teenage idol Woody Guthrie, yet has reached global audiences Guthrie could never hope for. His uniqueness is in his refusal to be pigeionholed or typecast and he is, and always has been, his own man with his own unique vision and style. He is in some ways his own genre, all by himself. Long may he thrive.
Side Tracks
Side Tracks
This collection is for fans only. It' a great import-only compilation, mainly of the unreleased tracks that were originally featured on Biograph. For good measure, Sony Japan threw in the unreleased tracks from Greatest Hits Vol. 2 and the single tracks George Jackson (available nowhere else, as far as I know), Series Of Dreams from Greatest Hits Vol. 3 & Things Have Changed (from Essential Bob Dylan and The Wonder Boys soundtrack). It also comes with a booklet of lyrics, in Japanese & English.
The only downsides: The CD artwork seems to have been created for the LP format, as it breaks the tracks out into Side 1, Side 2, Side 3, etc. And it's literally unreadable without a magnifying glass, and I mean beyond the usual CD-size font. Too bad because the package is really nice. The Groom Still Waiting at the Altar should have been included, as that was on Biograph-only, until it was subsequently added to the CD of Shot of Love. Also, the version of Dignity included in this set is not the 'single' version from Greatest Hits Vol 3, mixed by Brendan O'Brien; it's either a different mix or a different take altogether.
All that said, it's still a terrific comp for the completists among us. Like me. Worth the dough.
Core Java Volume I--Fundamentals (11th Edition) (Core Series)
Core Java Volume I--Fundamentals (11th Edition) (Core Series)
The book is overall very good in that the writing is concise, informative, and even largely fun to read for a programming language book. But this series is very strangely organized, and you should be aware of this.

This is Core Java, Volume I: Fundamentals, with a sister book named Core Java, Volume II: Advanced Features. But those title are very misleading. Many pages in the Fundamentals volume properly belong in the Advanced Features volume, and vice versa. For example, in the Fundamentals book the author includes many pages covering such topics as Reflection, Proxies & the Class Loader, and so forth. These are advanced topics if you ask me, and it would seem the author himself would agree! In not just one but in many places he says, "Application programmers can safely skip this section". I agree, because these sections have no place in book about fundamentals. But meanwhile very important topics which I would consider to be Java fundamentals are not covered in the Fundamentals volume, but in the Advanced Topics. Basic File I/O is in the Advanced Topics book, Reflection is in the Fundamentals book. That's exactly backwards!

Both Basic File I/O and Networking are in the Advanced Topics book. At the end of the Fundamentals book, you won't be able write useful programs because the very basic essentials of how to get data into them will have never been presented to you. You might be able to create some very basic GUI applications from the Fundamentals book, but what they might be doing besides looking pretty I don't know. Again, refer to the Advanced Topics book to read/write files to connect to anything on a network, etc. and generally having anything interesting to operate upon.

These books in tandem might do you well, but know that going in. The Fundamentals book by itself is really not sufficient to stand alone usefully.
Sams Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days Eighth Edition
Sams Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days Eighth Edition
I thought that after five editions and some really nice comments I was in for a pretty good book. No way. In addition to the problems mentioned by PMD1973 there's a lot of code in examples that are not explained and the language is often unclear and apparently contradictory.

"A variable or method declared without an access control modifier is available to any other class in the same package. The Java Class Library is organized into packages such as javax.swing, which is windowing classes for use primarily in graphical user interface programming, and java.util, a useful group of utility classes.

Any variable declared without a modifier can be read or changed by any other class in the same package. Any method declared the same way can be called by any other class in the same package. No other classes can access these elements in any way."

Perhaps using a Kindle instead of an emulator would solve technical problems then one would only have to deal with the language problems that might be solved with significant editing.
Introduction to Programming in Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach (2nd Edition)
Introduction to Programming in Java: An Interdisciplinary Approach (2nd Edition)
This book is clearly tailored for somewhat intense Computer Science Undergrad Program's first year course. I say that because it's not exactly the quickest path to learning your first language; it's more focused on big computer science concepts as it is on the Java language itself. If someone is completely new to programming it might be a bit overwhelming to not be given solid practice with a language before talking about complex subjects like recursive implementation of sorting and searching algorithms and their Time Complexity measurements as this book does.

I have my reservations about the currently accepted choice of Java as the first "teaching language" in most universities but here is where the book shines: it does a great job of framing Java within the world of other languages. Lower level features not in Java like pointers are talked about. The book works with a non-standard library called stdlib which emulates C's printf as well as some providing some really nice classes for creating graphical elements, bridging the gap to higher level languages like Javascript and providing the satisfaction of some real feedback. I believe this library is authored at Princeton University, where the book is used.

If you are a self-learner looking to learn your first language I wouldn't really recommend this book unless you're a very fast learner or you supplement it with some real Java language learning and practice. The latter might even be my recommendation if you are using this text book in college and don't already have some programming experience.
FitMiss Delight Protein Powder, Nutritional Shake, Vanilla Chai, 2 Pounds, 39 Servings
FitMiss Delight Protein Powder, Nutritional Shake, Vanilla Chai, 2 Pounds, 39 Servings
This product was not what I was hoping for. I did a ton of research on the best protein powders for women who lift. I know this is a product that advertises as a dietary supplement and can help weight loss, but it was top rated on many websites for being a good protein for women lifting and getting in shape. I ordered the vanilla chai flavor hoping it wouldn't taste like "protein powder" does (super chalky), because most reviews on the chocolate claimed it tasted like that, and I don't like cappuccino in general. The taste was not what I was expecting. It was super sweet and was almost too much to even choke down. I mixed the powder with almond milk and drank it in the morning with some eggs for breakfast. After finally choking it all down, it made me terribly sick. I vomited it all up, and couldn't get the awful taste out of my mouth. I have taken protein before. In high school I would have protein shakes combined with lifting and participating in whatever sport I was in at the time. Protein has never upset my stomach before. This product was highly disappointing, and to add to it I had ordered the preworkout in this same brand (FitMiss Ignite strawberry margarita flavor), and had an ALLERGIC REACTION to that. I will not be purchasing any more of their products and will not recommend it to anyone. I returned the tub that had just one scoop out of it for my money back.
GISIAN 300Watt Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter 12V DC to 110V AC with LCD Display, Dual USB Ports and 2 AC Outlets, Perfect for Smartphones Laptops Tablets
GISIAN 300Watt Pure Sine Wave Power Inverter 12V DC to 110V AC with LCD Display, Dual USB Ports and 2 AC Outlets, Perfect for Smartphones Laptops Tablets
I bought this "True Sine Wave Inverter " a bit over a week ago; I purchased it after buying, and returning, a regular Power Inverter from an Auto Parts Store.

I knew I needed a True Sine Wave Inverter and I read all of the reviews on the majority of the Power Inverters on Amazon. All of the reviews I read spoke about how loud the Inverters Fan noise is.....this particular Inverter is more than Whisper Quiet; even holding the Inverter next to my ear I can barely make out a very muted whisper of a sound.

I love the fact that this Inverter also monitors my vehicle's battery power. Prior to getting this Inverter, I had to have my car jumped off about every three nights/mornings.

I bought this Inverter because I went Homeless, back in November. Just because I'm Homeless doesn't mean I can't continue to work. I have two Laptops connected, usually, all the time.; I also power my Electric Shaver, Cell Phones, et cetera. I'm going to try a regular Mr. Coffee next.

I highly recommend this True Sine Wave Power Inverter. It is totally awesome! When I get the monies, I plan on getting the 1000 Watt True Sine Wave Power Inverter.
CONNOISSEURS 1050 Diamond Dazzle Stick (Тwо Расk)
CONNOISSEURS 1050 Diamond Dazzle Stick (Тwо Расk)
I was so impressed! My diamonds looked like I just got a professional jewelry store cleaning. What I have not gotten from other jewelry cleaners is the polishing component. My gold and silver are so shiny. Next level clean. I cleaned every piece of real jewelry I own. The brush is great to get behind the stones. If you don't get that dirt out, the stone will appear dull. I won’t go back to the liquid cleaners. Love this stuff!
MAD: The Complete Second Season
MAD: The Complete Second Season
I discovered this show after hearing about the episode Thundercats LOL. As a huge Thundercats fan & having a good knowledge of internet memes I sought it out & boy was it hilarious, as are most of the episodes. But the show isn't all good; there are quite a few sketches that are actually very bad. They range from mean-spirited, gross to just not funny. But the good stuff is gold, & will always stand out above the garbage. The second season is significantly better than the first, as there are more episodes where I didn't feel the need to fast forward any. Now if only Warner Bros. would release this & the third season on DVD.
Funny Or Die MashUps
Funny Or Die MashUps
I haven't watched all the episodes, but so far the ones I have seen are o.k. They remind me of a movie trailer, which I think is intended sometimes. I appreciate the effort and these shorts are humorous enough for a little laugh.
Redemption Trail
Redemption Trail
Nice movie. The trailer was lousy, so I was expecting to see a dark character show up (probably Jake Weber's character), but that didn't happen. While the main characters are the women (Tess and Anna) and their struggles with their pasts, the male characters have struggles as well which are interesting. The characters, (Tess and Anna) personal struggles with the tragedy of their lives affects the relationships they have with John (Tess's squeeze) and David (spouse of Anna). So it is also a movie about relationships and it is done fairly well. There is also a bit of that "mystical" healing BS that I have never bought into, presented in kind of a dream sequence for the most part, somewhat bizarrely. That didn't detract too much as the movie is paced pretty well. However I had to turn on closed captioning because the dialogue at times was difficult to decipher. A fault of the editing? I didn't rate it higher because as a gun and horse owner, I felt the screenwriter lacked a hell of lot of knowledge about either subject. Both guns and horses figured prominently in each woman's past so I thought the treatment should have had more realism. Bought it on Amazon Prime.
Wizards
Wizards
I'm sure some will dismiss this remarkably energetic film as flawed & dated, particularly younger viewers accustomed to CGI animation—and that's understandable for anyone coming to it cold. Not only is it from an earlier era of animation, it's from a very different mindset indeed, one that didn't mind a little sloppiness & trippiness if it made for a more dynamic film. In other words, this is definitely pre-geek, with the latter's emphasis on everything fitting together perfectly & sticking to an established formula.

Well, WIZARDS is its own thing, and all the better for it. It's an attempt at fantasy with more adult themes, delving into some darker territory, with its countercultural vibe that's deeply anti-war, anti-authority, anti-conformity … and it pretty much succeeds on its own very personal terms. It's clearly the vision of creator Ralph Bakshi, not a production by committee via demographics & merchandising potential. And again, all the better for it!

If the basic fantasy trope is familiar—twin brothers, one good, one evil—it's done with exuberance & panache, utilizing a wide range of animation techniques & solid voice talent. The depiction of evil is blatant, but with good reason: this far future is the result of nuclear war in our own time, and it's the revived propaganda & ideology of Nazism that drives the mutant forces of Black Wolf. While the story is meant to be enjoyed as story, it's grounded in the concerns of one who grew up in the 1950s & 1960s … and those concerns haven't gone away, as sadly shown by current events.

Does everything work? Not everything, as the budget ran out toward the end & corners had to be cut—as would happen again with Bakshi's film of the first half of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, crippling it & preventing the second half from being made as well. For some, the dark humor & irreverent moments may not fit their notions of what a fantasy film should be. But all of this is a matter of individual taste, after all.

Final thoughts? Flaws & all, this is something distinctive, not mass-produced: and it deserves to be seen by anyone who likes fantasy & animation. Just put aside contemporary preconceptions & meet it on its own terms. You just might find yourself succumbing to its acid-tinged charms—recommended!
The Guide to Walden Pond: An Exploration of the History, Nature, Landscape, and Literature of One of America's Most Iconic Places
The Guide to Walden Pond: An Exploration of the History, Nature, Landscape, and Literature of One of America's Most Iconic Places
The subtitle of this lovely and useful volume is a bit of a mouthful, but it does capture the layers of history this guide suggests in a sort of poetic way: showing just the right images. I liked the peeks into rocks and ancient land formation and the man who lived in a house (he tells us Thoreau preferred that word to “cabin”) overlooking a part of the pond, and guessing why he might have chosen that particular place over others. We get glimpses into work of the time, such as railroad building and cutting ice, as well as a guide to plants, trees, and animals of then and now. The book with short informative segments and gorgeous photos made me eager to get back to Concord to walk and look. Though I felt quite satisfied with this paper tour, too, and its suggestion that looking longer will always lead one to more.
A Confession and Other Religious Writings (Penguin Classics)
A Confession and Other Religious Writings (Penguin Classics)
Ce livre est un livre autobiographique, un livre-témoignage ou Tolstoï raconte la terrible crise existentielle qu'il traversa alors qu'il avait dépassé la cinquantaine. Tout ou presque pourtant lui souriait, pourrait-on dire : né dans une famille aristocrate aisée, devenu relativement tôt un écrivain reconnu par ses pairs et admiré dans l'Europe entière, toujours épris de sa femme avec qui il a eu de magnifiques enfants... et pourtant ! Tolstoï fait alors face à une dépression abyssale qui lui retire tout plaisir de vivre : qu'est-ce que la vie ? Quel est son sens et que fait ici l'homme dont la condition est autant sublime qu'abjecte ? Tolstoï alors s'interroge, lit les philosophes et les grands mystiques et en même temps interroge autour de lui ceux - les artistes, penseurs, scientifiques... - qui pourraient l'aider à comprendre l'énigme de la vie. Mais rien n'y fait, la crise n'en finit plus et rien, ni sa famille ni la littérature, ne lui donne plus le goût de vivre.
Jusqu'au jour où, à côtoyer le petit peuple des moujiks qui travaille sur les terres de sa propriété de Iasnaïa Poliana, Tolstoï est frappé de voir que ces petites gens trouvent la force de vivre, en dépit des conditions misérables et souvent tragiques qui sont les leurs, et souvent avec une certaine joie,. Quelle est donc leur force se demande Tolstoï ? "Ou puisent-ils cette énergie, cette envie de vivre en dépit d'une réalité terrible et d'une injustice criante que moi Tolstoï, riche, célèbre, adulé, je ne parviens pas à seulement approcher ?"
Et, à mieux les observer, à travailler avec eux et à les côtoyer Tolstoï finit par comprendre : cette énergie, c'est dans la foi qu'ils la puisent : cette foi chrétienne faite d'abnégation et de volonté d'aimer que lui-même, comme tous ceux de sa classe sociale, a rejetée. C'est elle qui les soutient et leur sert de ciment, c'est elle qui leur permet non seulement de supporter leur condition, mais plus encore de trouver la vie belle, et de parvenir en dépit des souffrances à sourire et à donner. Et cette découverte va transformer Tolstoï, qui à partir de là redeviendra chrétien et changera sa vie du tout au tout.

Tolstoï, je ne vous apprend rien, est un écrivain gigantesque, immense ! Mais bizarrement, ce qui fait l'intérêt de ce livre ne relève pas en premier lieu du talent ni même de l'art littéraire de son auteur - même si, on ne saurait l'oublier, la narration est toujours aussi limpide et évidente que dans ses romans.
Ce qui nous est donné ici et qui est sensiblement plus précieux, c'est le cœur mis à nu d'un homme dans sa maturité qui interroge la vie et son sens, un homme qui se parle à lui-même sans rien cacher, sans faux-fuyants, un homme qui ose se regarder en face comme peu d'hommes y parviennent sans doute. Bref, la confession totale d'un homme en quête de sens et dont la quête aboutit au Christianisme, non pas celui des religions et des religieux, mais au sens profond, existentiel justement, du Christianisme : un Christianisme tout entier tourné vers Dieu au travers d'une relation personnelle et intime qui nous transcende et nous pousse à devenir meilleurs. Voilà où la quête de sens a mené Tolstoï et voilà ce qu'il écrit ici.

Le texte principal dont je viens de parler - "Une confession" - est accompagné d'autres textes, plus courts, ou Tolstoï disserte sur le Christianisme et plus largement sur l'état d'affadissement intellectuel et moral dans lequel l'Europe de la fin du XIXème siècle se précipite déjà. Sa conclusion est sans appel : l'abandon de la religion comme fondement du commun et l'éloignement des individus des valeurs chrétiennes qui ont fondé l'Europe sonne le glas de notre civilisation, et peut-être même de LA civilisation. Un constat qui, plus d'un siècle plus tard, nous apparaît dans toute sa réalité et qui contribue à l'importance capitale de ces écrits de Tolstoï pour l'histoire de la littérature comme pour l'histoire des idées.

J'ai déjà fait long mais permettez-moi un dernier mot concernant l'édition : si j'ai lu ce texte en anglais, ce n'est pas par snobisme, mais parce qu'il est aujourd'hui introuvable en français puisque visiblement plus aucun éditeur francophone ne l'édite. Je trouve ça fâcheux pour les lecteurs qui ne peuvent pas basculer vers une autre langue, et plus globalement pitoyable pour l'édition française dans son ensemble qui ne semble même plus intéressée à publier les grands textes de la littérature.
J'en profite donc pour saluer la "Bibliothèque Russe Et Slave" qui, en plus de mettre en ligne à la disposition des lecteurs francophones des textes appartenant aux littératures russes et est-européennes, les proposent gratuitement. Vous y trouverez le texte "Ma Confession", dans une traduction irréprochable de Zoria (un pseudonyme qui cacherait la femme de Tolstoï, si j'en crois le propriétaire du site) qui comblera les manques des éditeurs francophones.
Score!
Score!
It's brilliant - for its wit, its perception, its view on the world; for meticulous research, for the vast amount of sheer unremitting hard work that's gone into it. Ms Cooper's misfortune is that the market she writes for isn't one that readily recognises the unique sort of brilliance she brings to bear on just about everything she writes - and has done since she started in journalism several decades ago. Otherwise, she'd be up there among all those (perhaps less amusing and certainly less endearing) giants of literature. Meanwhile, however, for me (and I suspect millions - now - of others) she unfailingly offers hours of unique delight - hooting with laughter, weeping buckets, envying her wisdom........ 'Rah rah rah, Jilly - keep it up, gel!
R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series, Vol. 5
R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series, Vol. 5
Ordered the entire series. Couldn't wait to watch Pumpkin Head. I watched Goodebumps as a young adult and Are you afraid of the dark. I love R.L. Stein. This series is actually very creepy. Definitely better then any of the other shows as far as fear factor is concerned. Highly recommend these to any horror fan! I don't have children of my own but probably wouldn't want a child 10 or younger watching these alone. They can get intense and the main character meets an ill fated end more often then not. Pumpkin Head was my favorite episode. These are a true jem. I highly recommend this to kids and adults that are true Sci-fi/Horror fans!
Don't Ever Get Sick at Granny's (R.L. Stine's Ghosts of Fear Street, No 16)
Don't Ever Get Sick at Granny's (R.L. Stine's Ghosts of Fear Street, No 16)
I read this book in what I guess what probably the 6th grade, because around that time I loved whatever had the name "R.L. Stine" written on it. I knew from the start these books weren't written by him, but I still gave them a shot, because after reading the first two (the best ones of the series) I decided to stick around for the ride. I have only a fadey memory of this book, but remember that the plot of the book was pretty good and kept you involved. The ending was a pretty cheap pay off, and ruined basically what would have been a decent read. But, then again, you could see one of them crazy endings coming from the beginning, because as it built up, that ending was the only way to really pull off the story without it looking totally rediculous. And it was a Ghosts of Fear Street book, and most always ended like that (Ex. "The Boy Who Ate Fear Street" and "Night of the Werecat", to name a few). It's an okay read if you don't mind the helpless ending.
Guardians Trilogy Collection Set (Stars of Fortune, Bay of Sighs, Island of Glass)
Guardians Trilogy Collection Set (Stars of Fortune, Bay of Sighs, Island of Glass)
I loved it. Nora is at her best when she is writing about fantasy and Ireland. She creates fascinating characters and has a way of writing that moves like air through your lungs. It’s effortless. Definitely read this trilogy in order though as each book builds on the prior book’s story. The only sad part was the end of the last book! I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters.
The Tale of Tsar Saltan
The Tale of Tsar Saltan
In the first few decades of the 19th Century, the great Russian Poet Alexander Pushkin wrote a number of fairy stories in verse, among them a gem called The Tale of Tsar Saltan. The story has remained popular for nearly two hundred years, and was staged as an opera in 1900 by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. However, few American children have had the pleasure of hearing or reading this beloved Russian story.
Dial Books has adapted an English version of the tale from a translation by Pauline Hejl, and illuminated it with illustrations by the Russian-born artist Gennady Spirin.
Tsar Saltan is a mini-epic that begins with three sisters, the youngest of whom marries the Tsar himself. Her sisters become jealous of her, however; and when she gives birth to a son, the Prince Guidon, her sisters arrange to have mother and child sealed up in a barrel and cast into the sea. Fortunately, an enchanted swan appears who helps the castaways to reclaim their lives.
Spirin's luminous illustrations are full of energy and detail. At the top of each page is an arc-shaped picture, usually portraying a curved landscape, which usually supports the narration or illustration below. At times it crowns an illustration framed by the shape of a window with an arched top. This device reminds one of traditional Russian iconography, and suits the "once upon a time" flavor of the story very well. The use of color and texture is quite impressive as well, from the soft quilted and embroidered cloth of the sisters' outfits to the cold steel of the knights' weapons. I found myself staring at the end papers, which show the barrel washing up on the shore of an island in the night - the sand and spray seem to glow through the dark water, as if the island were a candle dispelling the darkness.
The Tale of Tsar Saltan makes an excellent bedtime story for young children, and a wonderful addition to anyone's collection of lavishly-illustrated fairy tales.
The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien: The Places That Inspired Middle-earth
The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien: The Places That Inspired Middle-earth
As a member of the Tolkien Society I enjoy reading comments in the Society's periodicals and on its Facebook page about the latest advertisement identifying various places as having "inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to write his masterpiece!" A few of these claims have some credibility, in that it is known that Tolkien visited or could have visited the site in question, but most are nonsensical: Tolkien never once set foot in Nepal, Iceland, or even Virginia. That is not to say, however, that Tolkien was not inspired by landscapes, ruins, and buildings he saw or read about, and that as a highly educated man of wide interests he and his writings were not influenced by what he read. In The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien John Garth presents us with a sumptuously illustrated book identifying and discussing places that can be solidly identified as having been important to him and to have affected his creative processes. The many illustrations are accompanied by Garth's enjoyable commentary, which is approachable to non-specialists without sacrificing scholarly rigor, as the many end notes attest.

The eleven chapters are each devoted to aspects of Tolkien's life and influences. Garth's careful and thorough research means that nearly every page contains new details, thoroughly annotated in the end notes. All are beautifully illustrated with color and black and white photographs as well as artwork from Tolkien himself and such artists as Pauline Baynes, Alan Lee, John Howe, and many others. I can't identify any particular chapter as a "favorite," because I find them all so fascinating in different ways, from English landscapes to Swiss Alpine grandeur to seascapes, caverns, and forests. I also enjoyed the sections dealing with archaeology and history, in which it becomes clear how rooted in reality Tolkien's descriptions of towers and fortresses really are. More poignantly, the chapter dealing with Tolkien's experiences as an officer at the Somme makes clear war's impact on him and his creations.

The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien is beautifully designed and constructed and might be considered a "coffee table book," though its value as a reference work is even greater than its "eye appeal." John Garth is the author of Tolkien and the Great War, an account of Tolkien and his three closest friends' lives before and during World War I which is justly considered a classic. His latest work fully deserves the same acclaim.
Detektiv Conan 76
Detektiv Conan 76
Da ich schon von Anfang an den Conan-Manga verfolge, kann ich hier nicht besonders viel schreiben/meckern
Die Fälle sind wieder spannend gehalten und lässt drei Personen in Verdacht stehen von den MIB zu sein.
Welche das sein sollen werde ich aber an dieser Stelle natürlich nicht verraten ;P
Auf jeden Fall freue ich mich schon auf die nächsten Bände und besonders auf den 78. :)
Dragon Teeth: A Novel
Dragon Teeth: A Novel
I was surprised that there was no full explanation of how Dr. Crichton, who died in 2008, could be publishing a new book in 2017, with the exception of a brief afterword by his wife. But a little research cleared up the mystery. I learned he had been working, on and off, on this for 15 years before his death. His wife discovered the manuscript when organizing his archives. So while the book is represented as all Crichton, I expect there was some editorial work performed on it before publication.

I have read with pleasure and benefit almost all of Crichton's previous novels. From that perspective, I would say this novel is OK but not striking--it certainly is not a page turner that grabs the reader. It is typical Crichton in that he instructs while entertaining. For example, he once again attaches a bibliography of related books for readers interested in pursuing the topic. He also stops the narrative at several places (107; 116;and 153) to explain the context of what is happening, so that the reader can fully appreciate the story. Since paleontology is the setting for the story, these brief explanatory interruptions are quite helpful. Crichston also attaches an author's note and postscript at the end explaining a few things.

He also adopts the practice of intermixing real figures with the story's characters. This technique requires real skill and discipline in not overdoing it, and Crichton does not abuse the practice. The two central figures in the novel, aside from the young Yale student narrator, are two real professors of paleontology who during 1876 are competing for the academic title of King of Bones. The prize goes to whomever digs up the most important and numerous fossils, generally drawn from the far west. So almost immediately, in effect, Crichton has shifted the story into almost a conventional western--an area I only previously saw him involved with in "The Great Train Robbery" and indirectly in "Westworld." So we have gunfights, Indian attacks, Deadwood, the U.S. Calvary, dance hall girls, stagecoach attacks, and other trappings of a western story. Yet throughout, Crichton keeps the theme of dino fossils first and foremost. Additional real life characters appear, including Collis Huntington (one of the big four founders of the UP railroad) and especially Wyatt Earp, who had come into prominence during the 15 years Crichton was crafting the novel.

So, folks interested in the West and/or paleontology (the title relates to actual fossil dino teeth) should enjoy this book. Its 283 pages pass quickly, and the author thoughtfully has converted the end papers into a detailed map which makes it easy to follow where all the stages of the story occur. It is good to read Crichton once again!
The Guns of Navarone/Force 10 from Navarone (Cinema Classics)
The Guns of Navarone/Force 10 from Navarone (Cinema Classics)
Thriller writer Alistair MacLean hit the big time with "The Guns of Navarone," his second novel, in 1957. It was made into a very successful movie with Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, and David Niven in the starring roles. The idea of the secret commando team consisting of a number of specialized operatives (Cpt. Mallory -- rock climber extraordinaire; Andrea -- incredibly strong, lethal fighter; Cpl. Miller -- explosives expert; Petty Ofc. Brown -- engineer and radio expert; Lt. Stevens -- rock climber) with a suicidal mission was duplicated in numerous incarnations ranging from "The Dirty Dozen" to "Mission: Impossible" (the TV series).
"The Guns of Navarone" is a fantastic adventure/war novel. It's tight and tense throughout, and there's an edge to it that is missing from a number of MacLean's later works. It comes across as more realistic than the fun to read "Where Eagles Dare."
The basic plot of "Guns" is that the, during World War II, the Germans have recaptured from the Allies a number of Greek islands; the last one left will be taken over soon, dooming over 1000 Allied soldiers. The British would evacuate the soliders, except they can't get through a channel covered by the Guns of Navarone. All previous aerial attacks on the guns have failed. So Mallory and company are sent on a mission to approach the island of Navarone by boat, climb a sheer wall face, infiltrate the German fortress, and blow up the guns.
"Force 10" is the sequel to "Guns," written eleven years later. It picks up from the ending of the movie, not the novel, so characters who were in the book but not the movie disappear. This time, there's another mission, and Mallory, Andrea, and Miller are paired with three young soldiers who are more eager and less experienced. It too has an edginess to it, but it's not as thrilling as "Guns."
Note that the movie version of "Force 10" starring Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, and Edward Fox is based on the book in name only (well, except for one fight scene, sort of). Andrea isn't even in the movie. So don't expect the book to be anything like the movie. (Which may be good or bad depending on what you thought of the movie.)
In sum, these are prime examples of MacLean working at his peak. You can't go wrong here.
Navy SEAL Captive (SEAL of My Own Book 2)
Navy SEAL Captive (SEAL of My Own Book 2)
Jenna is a jilted bride, left at the alter two months ago when her groom decides to run off with her maid of honor/former best friend. Unable to get a refund on her honeymoon, she and another friend go to Cancun for a vacation.

Sawyer Houston is one of the 4 Navy SEALs in this series on vacation in Cancun. He's just finished up an unauthorized op from the first book and wanting to get some R&R in Cancun when he's talked into going zip-lining with his SEAL brother Quentin. Jenna is convinced she's boring, thanks to her former fiancé. Also talked into zip-lining, this is where they originally meet but don't connect.

Jenna mistakenly gets a suitcase that isn't hers. Inside she finds a sniper rifle and photos indicating the man she bumped into on the zip-lining excursion is targeted. She decides she needs to warn him and once she finds him, their adventure finally begins.

Throughout their adventure, Jenna constantly references how boring she is. Sawyer tried to convince her otherwise as they continuously dodge the attempts on his life.

Sawyer is a lovable hero. They both have issues and baggage, but get past it. With the help of Natalie, an SOS agent from the first book, their is excitement at the end of the book. Yet, who hired whom to kill him remains a mystery that I'm sure will carry onto the next book in the series.

I've read the previous SOS series, and it's pretty obvious these SEALs will become agents within that once this series ends.
Morgan's Chase #8 (Judgment Day)
Morgan's Chase #8 (Judgment Day)
This series is really hard to read. The main character is totally unlikeable. Everytime something positive is mentioned involving Morgan Chase, within a page or two she does something that sets her back 3 paces in this readers eyes. The wrong people are together...Alex & Travis should end up together, would make for better reading.
Dorothy's Prophecy (The Nightengale Legacy Of Sin And Betrayal Book 7)
Dorothy's Prophecy (The Nightengale Legacy Of Sin And Betrayal Book 7)
This book was great!! Kept me reading and kept me laughing as well! Crazy people really are funny! I love the way Mr. Foxworth used his imagination with this book!! Stretched reality just a bit. Just enough to make us laugh, but also still had us keep in mind what's actually occurring in our real world!!! I LOVED that about this book!!! Another great read. The ending was a surprise, but still good! Another job well done Mr. Foxworth. Well done indeed....
And Four to Go (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 30)
And Four to Go (A Nero Wolfe Mystery Book 30)
Three of these stories involve holidays. All require Wolfe's cleverness to find the killer. One of them happened away from home so required Wolfe to find the killer so he could get back home as quickly as possible.

Christmas Party started with a joke but ended with Wolfe working to keep from being implicated in the murder. Easter Parade was brought about because of Wolfe's jealousy of a rare orchid plant and once again involved Archie in a risky situation. Fourth of July Picnic included Wolfe in a group of speakers who also happened to be the only ones who could have murdered one of the special guests. He had to disclose the murderer to keep from being held as a material witness. If the book began with a joke it ends with proving Murder Is No Joke. Wolfe resents being used to prove a time of death for a murderer so he is determined to identify the culprit.

I enjoyed all of these stories and recommend adding this to your collection of Nero Wolfe books. Archie is at his funniest in some of them. It's a real treat to see the interaction between Wolfe and Archie.
Harry Houdini: Master of Magic (Harry Houdini Mysteries)
Harry Houdini: Master of Magic (Harry Houdini Mysteries)
Have you ever locked yourself up and then slipped out without the crowd knowing? In Harry Houdini, Master of Magic, the man is amazing; he does tricks and stuff you can't even imagine doing, such as stealing locks from his mother when she locks them up. At first the young Houdini is playing with ropes, tieing himself up, and the next thing you know, he is locking himself up. My opinion about this book is that it's good. I have never seen someone lock themselves up, then get out. I think everyone who likes to do tricks will like this book.
Spear & Jackson MINI3PS Select Stainless 3 Piece Mini Tools Set, Red/Blue/Silver, 29.5 x 15 x 3.5 cm
Spear & Jackson MINI3PS Select Stainless 3 Piece Mini Tools Set, Red/Blue/Silver, 29.5 x 15 x 3.5 cm
This mini-garden tools set is the thing I never knew I needed! Smaller than usual hand-gardening tools, they're perfect for my mum, who is smaller than usual women. She finds them best for her indoor pot plants and the size makes them easy to handle and manoeuvre, and also allows a much greater degree of precision, which is important with her smaller and sometimes more fragile plant. There's a little spade, a three-pronged trowel, and a very narrow spade (which probably has a special name, but I don't know it!), and they have a rubber-coated handle which provides good grip a well as the cheerful splash of red.
Wall Mount Floating Lucite Picture Frames 8x10 Office Family,Clear Acrylic Decorative 8 x 10 Frameless Wall Frame uv Protected for Photo Art Memories Anniversary Wedding (Full frame size 9x11inch)
Wall Mount Floating Lucite Picture Frames 8x10 Office Family,Clear Acrylic Decorative 8 x 10 Frameless Wall Frame uv Protected for Photo Art Memories Anniversary Wedding (Full frame size 9x11inch)
I was seriously skeptical before I ordered this that closing a magnetic floating frame like this without the paper inside shifting away from being centered, but this frame is as slick as can be. The magnets are beautifully strong and snap together so quickly that the item inside doesn't have time to shift. I was also expecting the magnets to not line up perfectly, resulting in the two halves being off-kilter, but that didn't happen. The item inside stayed right where I placed it, and the edges of the two frame halves line up perfectly.

The frame also feels so solid that I can no concerns about it failing to work in the future. Exactly what I wanted!
Geospace The Original Sledsterz Kids' Snowboard Assorted Colors, Snow Sled (Red, Purple, or Blue)
Geospace The Original Sledsterz Kids' Snowboard Assorted Colors, Snow Sled (Red, Purple, or Blue)
We were super excited to give this to our 10 -year-old son on Christmas, especially because it’s snowing on Christmas morning and he could go right up to use it. Unfortunately, the boot shoe straps are too small to go over his snowboots and he can’t use this at all. He is a skinny, little guy, surprised these don’t fit. It seems like it might be the right size for a 4 to 6-year-old, although I’m not sure do tha-year-old son on Christmas, especially because it’s snowing on Christmas morning and he could go right out to use it. Unfortunately, the boot shoe straps are too small to go over his snowboots and he can’t use this at all. It seems like it might be the right size for a 4 to 6-year-old.
Magic Spell Book: of Shadows / Grimoire ( Gifts ) [ 90 Blank Attractive Spells Records & more * Paperback Notebook / Journal * Large * Pentacle ] (Magick Gifts)
Magic Spell Book: of Shadows / Grimoire ( Gifts ) [ 90 Blank Attractive Spells Records & more * Paperback Notebook / Journal * Large * Pentacle ] (Magick Gifts)
AMAZING! I was expecting a lot less than what I got. I am so impressed and the price was ridiculously cheap! You could take the pages out and use them in your own BOS, or make this your recipe/spell/herbal book ~ or you could get more than one and have several different books. While the "learned" might not find this useful, a begginer would find it very helpful! Would definitely get another....might order a few for gifts too. You will not be sorry.

BTW, I thought it only would have a few pages with information, but the whole book is full of blank spell pages (already formatted for you and very lovely - just add your own colors and artwork). So if you are looking for a book that is mostly a blank book you will be very disappointed.
Wrebbit 3D - Hagrid’s Hut 3D Jigsaw Puzzle – 270-Piece
Wrebbit 3D - Hagrid’s Hut 3D Jigsaw Puzzle – 270-Piece
This was the fourth Wrebbit puzzle I have bought thru Amazon. The first three were so enjoyable. If this had been the first one I bought, I never would have bought the others I enjoyed so much. The smaller roof on this puzzle was just impossible to hold together. I'm putting a hold on purchase of any more Wrebbit puzzles. A disappointment. Three stars only because of the other Wrebbit puzzles I enjoyed.
20 Pcs Assorted Bandanas Paisley Cowboy Polyester Headbands 22x22 inch
20 Pcs Assorted Bandanas Paisley Cowboy Polyester Headbands 22x22 inch
I purchased this bundle of bandanas to make quilts (unfinished quilt top and cut area pictured) for my grandchildren. The price-point was definitely within my budget. The variety of colors was nice, there were no duplicates. Colors were bright and vivid. Washed all prior to constructing my quilt tops. They washed well with minimum and no ink bleed. Tossed in a low heat dryer; items dried well. Used a low heat iron to press them, which worked equally well. These bandanas are lightweight. They do not appear or feel to be cotton; perhaps a cotton blend maybe. I don't recommend cutting as is often necessary with quilt making. The bandanas I did cut, frayed a little and had some puckering. I would suggest with this type of project, the bandanas be folded, taped, or otherwise modified instead of cutting. With that said, I'll still use them for the project. As wearable, the bandanas are perfect. Would recommend as they are still a good product.
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams
Extremely well written with illustrations that are worthy of stopping to look at closely. The reader feels compelled to turn each page. On some pages, the illustrations (by the author’s husband) make the reader pause and think more carefully about the gravity of what the author is saying. Wow. They had to learn how to play tennis under those conditions? On other pages, the illustrations reveal the force and power of the sisters’ talent as well as the strong bond of these sisters. The author builds on these themes with quotes and descriptions of small moments like two sisters sitting in bed, looking out the window asking, “Do you really think I can do it?” and the father bringing in “busloads of neighborhood kids” to taunt the sisters so they wouldn’t be bothered by this during real tournaments.

Would read this aloud to grades 3-5. OR would offer this as a title for small groups to read and discuss. OR would book talk this and then leave in the classroom library to be snatched up.

If you're going to book talk this - I'd project the cover (with the title) and ask students to spend a few moments looking closely. You might ask, "What do you notice?" or "What is the illustrator trying to convey?" and "What do you think the title means?" You might also read aloud the page that starts with "By the time Venus was four she could hit five hundred tennis balls at every practice...At twelve, Venus announced she would win Wimbledon" (about page 13). And then ask, "Who wants to read to find out if she does?"

If you're going to read this aloud, I'd read aloud twice. Once for the joy of it. And then again (maybe during another lesson), stopping at particular points to ask questions for students to discuss in small groups like:
*What does "game changers" mean at this point in the story? (stop in three or four places)
*How does the author convey the idea of "team" as more than Venus and Serena? (Dad and mom were supportive in numerous ways...stop at point where this is apparent)
*How does the illustrator convey the difference between the courts in Compton and the courts in professional matches? (Including the people watching) Why is this important to consider?
*If you just looked at the illustrations on each of the pages that includes both sisters, what would you learn about them?
*How do the author and illustrator convey the theme of perseverance? Friendship? Team?

Students can also choose one of these questions (that jumps out at them as important) to respond to with their own illustration and written response.

So much potential!!! I'd also read aloud or share a second and third source on these sisters and their relationship. A book on my list to read is Sisters and Champions by Howard Bryant. Oh! And don't skip looking closely at the end covers and reading the author's note at the end. The author's note might even be a "second source" to read aloud and ask, "What did I just add to my learning?"

“Whatever you become, you become in your head first.” - Venus & Serena’s mother.

Winner of 2018 Eureka Silver Award for Excellence in Nonfiction (CA Reading Association). Dear Amazon - I received a copy of this book as a member of the Eureka Award committee.
GE Sealants & Adhesives GE5000 Advanced Silicone 2 Window & Door Sealant, 10.1oz, Clear
GE Sealants & Adhesives GE5000 Advanced Silicone 2 Window & Door Sealant, 10.1oz, Clear
When ordering light grey, you're getting tubes with labels/barcodes that indicate grey, but the tube itself is going to be clear color (white cap and tube clearly says "clear"). Re-ordering does not help, you're still getting more of the wrong color, and Amazon makes you package return the tubes individually even if you ordered several in one order (a major hassle).

The clear color silicone works as expected, but seems to be average quality. It doesn't stick to primed wood siding (fascia boards), so I would not recommend this as caulk for any exterior use or where wood expands/contracts. This can be used as a filler when the pieces are stable (don't expand with weather changes) and it doesn't matter that light gets through.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro (512GB) - Gold
Apple iPhone 11 Pro (512GB) - Gold
I am always being fan of iOS & Apple Products.
Reason:-
Quality
Performance
Transparent Customer Support
Design
Build Quality
Updates
Sound Quality
Promises too.
Going to write review post a week usage.
Pros.
Display Quality
Performance
Speed
Fast charging
Camera
Even Selfie camera Quality enhanced
Triple camera also good as described.
New Color Midnight Green added as a charm.
E-Sim
IP68 better than others.
Battery Usage too better then iPhone XS.
Durability too.

Cons.
No 3D Touch.
Old Headphones no changes
In india its too much expensive
Heating issue
While charging please don’t use it bcz thereafter you can fry an egg on it 😂.
Low Screen Refresh Rate.
Just 10-20% better than iPhone XS.
Camera fails in lighting, ma be apple sort-out this in next update.

I am giving :-
Screen 4/5
Design 5/5
Performance 4/5 (Heating)
Sound 5/5
Price 3/5 (too much expensive)
Customer Support 5/5
Now battery life falls to 84% in Just 400 Charges.
Amazon Delivery 3/5 (i am not satisfied bcz they not delivered the product as per promise.

Soon i’ll publish the pics shoots on iPhone 11 Pro.

Thanks for Reading.
ASUS AC2900 WiFi Dual-Band Gigabit Wireless Router with 1.8GHz Dual-core Processor and AiProtection Network Security & AmazonBasics RJ45 Cat-6 Ethernet Patch Internet Cable - 5 Feet (1.5 Meters)
ASUS AC2900 WiFi Dual-Band Gigabit Wireless Router with 1.8GHz Dual-core Processor and AiProtection Network Security & AmazonBasics RJ45 Cat-6 Ethernet Patch Internet Cable - 5 Feet (1.5 Meters)
I had played around with cutting the cord for a couple years but never pulled the trigger due to consistent buffering issues while streaming through a well known Wi-Fi Mesh system. I had suspected it was the Mesh system and not the Internet itself but put off testing to prove it and kept satellite as my main provider. After getting tired of dealing with them I was determined to cut the cord.

Due to my setup I had to use a Poweline adapter to get an Ethernet connection directly to my AppleTV. But the buffering continued. At that point I looked into routers that were reasonably priced, had app control, allowed for user controls over individual device bandwidth, as well as some other features.

As soon as I connected the WiFi through this ASUS router to the AppleTV it has been rock solid. I’ve had no buffering issues since and cut the cord a week after installing. The user controls allow for a lot of adjustment and it’s had no issues reaching the farthest parts of the house. Overall, I’m very happy with this router.
Blueair HealthProtect 7470i Smart Air Purifier for Home, Virus, Bacteria, Dust, and Allergies with HEPASilent Ultra Technology for Bedroom, Medium rooms​ ​
Blueair HealthProtect 7470i Smart Air Purifier for Home, Virus, Bacteria, Dust, and Allergies with HEPASilent Ultra Technology for Bedroom, Medium rooms​ ​
I have a few other Blueair purifiers, and the new 7470i seemed about right for my bedroom. I'm not sure how it would compare with other brands on objective tests, but subjectively its performance seems excellent. It's very quiet on the lowest setting -- I can barely hear the air flow, and the motor not at all. Moreover, my usual fall allergies are in check. It's amazing what filtered air can do, at least for some of us. I would give it five stars but there are annoyances. First, out of the box there's a bright blue LED light that provides information about air quality. The all-clear signal is blue -- the machine runs with a bright blue bar under normal conditions, maybe ten times brighter than any other appliance LED I've ever seen. Other Blueair purifiers display a little blue button when they're on, which is annoying enough, but this thing -- I can practically read by it. How can it be an accident that Blueair's engineers chose a blue running light even though blue is the best color known to science for preventing sleep? No other color comes close. That's why many screens (cell phones, tablets) have settings for blue light abatement. So, that's one star down. The other star is for making it impossible to easily adjust the intensity of the display light. I read that you can change display settings if you install the bluetooth/WiFi app. I managed to do so after about an hour of tech tinkering. But then there's still no way to adjust the light. The only setting that I could change was Celsius vs. Fahrenheit. I looked on BlueAir's customer support web site, and amazingly enough, all references to the HealthProtect machine have been pulled. HealthProtect? No, we don't make that. Never heard of it. Must be somebody else's machine. Have you tried IQ Air? And you get a 404 Error if you try to find BlueAir's information about the HealthProtect on the web. But even if the link is eventually reinstated, I don't understand why you have to install an app on a cell phone and link your machine to it in order to simply dim a light. Maybe they have reliable WiFi in Sweden, but here in the states, lots of places have lousy WiFi, with glitches and crashes. And, by the way, who are these people who need to have everything in their lives controlled by a cell phone app? Can't they just get up, walk across the room, and adjust a knob? Are their fingers numb? Are their cell phone operating systems stable? Does their bluetooth actually work? It's all the more annoying that you have to set up an account with BlueAir corporate when connecting the HealthProtect to your cell phone (so that they can frag you with product announcements or gather data about your behavior?). All just to dim a light that, undimmed, will shift your body clock to high noon permanently. Right now I have an old towel lying across the top of the machine. So much for Swedish design elegance. I'll probably invest in some kind of LED attenuating adhesive plastic, or just put a strip of tape over it. Anyway, it's basically a great machine that seems to clear the air very well, but I think that the engineers geeked out over the controls, and currently there is no visible sign of support.
Licorice in 1 Kilo / 2.2lb Bag - Venco Limburgse Katjes Drop Sweet (Holland Lakritze Black Cat Kittens Licorice)
Licorice in 1 Kilo / 2.2lb Bag - Venco Limburgse Katjes Drop Sweet (Holland Lakritze Black Cat Kittens Licorice)
Kudos to the other reviewers! This is the genuine delicious taste of licorice that I was looking for. You guys are awesome :-)

Shame on the seller! The product was dry and brittle on the outside. It's still moderately ok on the inside--and it's likely the candy is ruggedly chewy if properly fresh--but having to crunch through dry, stale stuff to get to the chewy part is. If this is really how the product was meant to be, texture-wise, then let this be a heads up to other American customers: this is a radically different mouth-feel from what we're used to in candy, and you may, like me, find it highly unpleasant.

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