Lilian Ruiz

Joined a year ago

Lilian's Favorites
MySQL (Spanish Edition)
MySQL (Spanish Edition)
MySQL (Spanish Edition) by Juan Diego Gutiérrez Gallardo. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 24 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
MySQL Question Bank
MySQL Question Bank
MySQL Question Bank by Mohit Kukreja. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
Manuale del linguaggio SQL: Guida alla sintassi del linguaggio SQL, con riferimento ai sistemi Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL e Microsoft SQL Server ... di informatica Vol. 1) (Italian Edition)
Manuale del linguaggio SQL: Guida alla sintassi del linguaggio SQL, con riferimento ai sistemi Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL e Microsoft SQL Server ... di informatica Vol. 1) (Italian Edition)
Manuale del linguaggio SQL: Guida alla sintassi del linguaggio SQL, con riferimento ai sistemi Oracle, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL e Microsoft SQL Server ... di informatica Vol. 1) (Italian Edition) by Riccardo Cervelli. Rated 4 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
PHP MySQL和JavaScript入门经典 第6版
PHP MySQL和JavaScript入门经典 第6版
PHP MySQL和JavaScript入门经典 第6版 by [美]朱莉·C·梅洛尼(Julie·C·Meloni) 李军. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the mysql category.
De lange tocht (Dutch Edition)
De lange tocht (Dutch Edition)
De lange tocht (Dutch Edition) by Nicholas Sparks. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Só Nós Dois (Portuguese Edition)
Só Nós Dois (Portuguese Edition)
Só Nós Dois (Portuguese Edition) by Nicholas Sparks. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with undefined ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Death is Painless
Death is Painless
Death is Painless by Louis Rosa. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, with 4 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Nicholas Sparks category.
Two Lost Boys
Two Lost Boys
Two Lost Boys by L. F. Robertson. Rated 4 out of 5 stars, with 15 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
Deadly Proof (Atlanta Justice Book #1)
Deadly Proof (Atlanta Justice Book #1)
Deadly Proof (Atlanta Justice Book #1) by Rachel Dylan. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 352 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
MYSTERY CLASSICS Boxed Set - Earl Derr Biggers Edition (Illustrated): Seven Keys to Baldpate, Inside the Lines, The Agony Column, Love Insurance & Fifty Candles (Including the Charlie Chan Series)
MYSTERY CLASSICS Boxed Set - Earl Derr Biggers Edition (Illustrated): Seven Keys to Baldpate, Inside the Lines, The Agony Column, Love Insurance & Fifty Candles (Including the Charlie Chan Series)
MYSTERY CLASSICS Boxed Set - Earl Derr Biggers Edition (Illustrated): Seven Keys to Baldpate, Inside the Lines, The Agony Column, Love Insurance & Fifty Candles (Including the Charlie Chan Series) by Earl Derr Biggers and Frank Snapp. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, with 16 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime Book 13)
The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime Book 13)
The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime Book 13) by Stephen King. Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars, with 1422 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
La cúpula (Spanish Edition)
La cúpula (Spanish Edition)
La cúpula (Spanish Edition) by Stephen King. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 97 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Introduction to Java Programming, AP Version
Introduction to Java Programming, AP Version
Introduction to Java Programming, AP Version by Y. Daniel Liang. Rated 3.2 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Java programming' category.
Python Data Analysis - Second Edition
Python Data Analysis - Second Edition
Python Data Analysis - Second Edition by Armando Fandango. Rated 3.3 out of 5 stars, with 4 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
bbPress Complete
bbPress Complete
bbPress Complete by Rhys Wynne. Rated 3.6 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'PHP programming' category.
Schaum's Outline of Programming with C
Schaum's Outline of Programming with C
Schaum's Outline of Programming with C by Byron Gottfried. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 26 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Ruby programming category.
Security Analysis: The Classic 1940 Edition
Security Analysis: The Classic 1940 Edition
I just finished reading this book cover to cover, and will probably read it again in a few weeks time. I found it to be quite simply the best and most complete resource on value investing I have ever seen, read or heard of in my life. Graham and Dodd not only teach us how to invest and why, but convey with beautiful eloquence their reasoning and frame of mind. They teach us that investing is as much about constitution and temperament as it is about logic and numbers, and are able to impart that wisdom and experience to us in those few hundred pages (ok, many hundred pages).

For those of you reading this who are new to investing, Benjamin Graham and David Dodd quite literally wrote the book on value investing, and this is it. I would point out though that it was written for the purpose of being a source of information and tools rather than a way of introducing and inspiring its readers to the philosophy of value investing. So if you are new to investing or to the concepts of value investing, I would really recommend reading Graham's "The Intelligent Investor" first; it's a comparatively easy to read introduction to the concepts covered in greater detail in this book.

While I have not read the original 1930's edition, I have heard that this version is more complete in that it irons out some of the kinks in the investment strategy that Graham developed following his near bankruptcy during the great depression.

A word on the relevance of this book in today's market: Much of the book centers about examples from preferred stocks of utilities and railroads, investment vehicles which are far less prevalent today than they were in the early 20th century. However, these are just examples, and the pitfalls and opportunities which arise in the stock market are as prevalent today as they were in the days this book was written. I am of the opinion that those who criticize this work on the basis that it is outdated, really did not understand what Graham was trying to do; to convey a new way of thinking about stocks, and to understand them based on the company that they represent. It doesn't matter whether you are purchasing a pre-depression era railroad preferred or the hybrid floating rate bond of a modern technology company, the examples exist to illustrate how to look past all that and to understand what the purchase of that security really means. If, after reading this book, you find yourself unable to transfer the examples to the modern world, then quite frankly you've read it wrong.

If, however, you are concerned about the relevance and are after more specific guidance on modern applications (as well as trimming of the "less" relevant sections), take a look at the 6th edition of this book, which contains detailed chapter summaries and introductions by modern money people.

Finally, the reason for the 4 stars: The digitization of this book is not fantastic, and given the price this is not really acceptable. I found several errors which I have reported (and will hopefully have been fixed by now), but my real gripe is with the tables and figures, which are simply scanned. This is usually fine, but many of the footnotes are so small as to be illegible, and the overall feel is somewhat like a sketchbook; with cutouts glued to the pages where the tables were in the real book. I had hoped that Amazon would instead have digitally transcribed the tables and inserted them, or at least given them a transparent background, rather than the sepia tone that can't be changed on the tables. If this is ever corrected I'll change my review to 5 stars and remove this paragraph.

I can't possibly express my gratitude for what those two did when they decided to put Graham's experience onto paper in the form of this book, and I think I will forever be grateful for their efforts. This book has taught me invaluable lessons not only in investing but also in prudence and the value of sobriety in the face of euphoria and gloom, lessons which apply to many other facets of life.
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
This is a fascinating biography that I enjoyed very much, but before getting into the details of the book itself I want to quickly go back in time to when Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011 (it's hard to believe that three and a half years have already gone by since that date). At that time, the Walter Isaacson biography (Steve Jobs) had already been written.

Jobs had agreed to be interviewed by Isaacson over the course of the final two years of his life, and when Isaacson's biography of Jobs was published less than three weeks after his death, on October 24, 2011, it immediately became a bestseller. His book was taken as the most thorough and authoritative description of Jobs that had been written. It did have the cooperation of Jobs himself, and did become the benchmark biography of Jobs (until today). It pulled few punches in describing Jobs volatility throughout his life and in managing his businesses. The view of most was probably that the Isaacson book was tough but fair, because the stories of how difficult Jobs could be were well known and undisputed.

Now that a couple of years have gone by and people have had a chance to adjust to Jobs death and reflect, it turns out that there was a need for a more balanced look at his life, one that doesn't overlook his failings but also gives more credit to not only his great technological leadership but also his humanity and his great talents as a leader of men and women. Especially interesting are the stories of his growth as a person, and how he did learn to be more understanding and compassionate in dealing with people. We learn through reading this book that this was something he acknowledged and worked hard at improving. He knew he had faults and he tried to limit them (not always successfully). We are all aware of his accomplishments - he led and inspired (and demanded) the talented people at Apple to innovate and exceed their own expectations time after time, and although he was a stern taskmaster he also drove them to design and engineer products that were sensational to use and experience. They were transformative to industries. Jobs may not have been perfect, nobody is claiming that, but these things do not happen solely through bullying, there has to be more to it than that.

And there is more to it than that. This new biography of Jobs brings out those other aspects of Jobs life and personality. And no doubt it benefits from the time that has gone by since his death, which has given everyone involved a chance to get some distance from the events of his life and put them in perspective.

This book also has an even more significant difference, I feel: the authors, Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, are two gentlemen who have known the computer industry and Jobs for many years. Schlender in particular had a relationship with Jobs that spanned almost 25 years. He did not meet Jobs for the first time when they began working on the book (and this is one of the most important differences in comparing this book to the earlier biography, because Isaacson did not know Jobs prior to working on that book, and he did not have the strong background in the computer industry that both Schlender and Tetzeli possess. He was, and is, an accomplished and well respected biographer and business executive, and among other things has been the CEO of the Aspen Institute for a number of years). Bringing out this personal connection right at the beginning, the book starts with Schlender talking about his first meeting with Jobs, in April of 1986, when he was working for the Wall Street Journal and stationed in San Francisco and he drove down to Palo Alto to meet with Jobs at the NeXT headquarters.

A couple of years ago, when Schlender and Tetzeli approached Apple with their plan to write this book, they were not able to obtain the cooperation of the company or its executives. Then, after a year and a half of continued effort, the door was finally opened. They were able to meet with Apple people, as well as with Jobs widow, and the resulting fresh materials, together with the notes and documents they had already gathered, going back many years, gave them an unequalled resource of information to produce this new biography.

This book provides a more comprehensive look at Jobs full career, not just the Apple years (parts I and II). There is a great deal of material describing his time at both NeXT and Pixar that I was unfamiliar with. Those years when he was separated from Apple were very important in understanding and illustrating the evolution Jobs went through as a manager and as a person over the course of his life. The executives Ed Catmull, and John Lasseter at Pixar, and Bob Iger at Disney, for example, were very influential to Jobs and this was interesting to read about. (This is a time period of his life that was almost completely overlooked in the earlier Isaacson biography).

This 13-year period, beginning in September, 1985, when Jobs resigned from Apple after John Scully essentially stripped all of Jobs responsibilities from him, until late 1998 when he returned to Apple following Apple's acquisition of NeXT and the removal of Gil Amelio as CEO, is covered in detail in this book and was, to me, most interesting. It was during this period that Steve tried unsuccessfully to reproduce the magic of the Mac in the new NeXT computer, acquired a creative and well-functioning team at Pixar that resisted his micromanaging and taught him how to more skillfully lead a high performing creative group. It was also during this time that he met his future wife, Laurene Powell, married and began to raise a family. Pixar achieved it's first major success when the movie Toy Story was produced in 1995; that eventually led to his return to great wealth when Pixar was sold to Disney. All of these experiences combined over time to produce a more thoughtful and measured manager who, by the time he was asked to lead Apple again, was a far different person than the imperious and demanding 20-something who had co-founded Apple and then skyrocketed to fame and fortune when he was probably too young to handle it.

And while some are now criticising this book as being more forgiving regarding Jobs, especially when compared to the Isaacson biography, I'll add one story that speaks volumes to me regarding this 'other side' of Jobs. When he returned to Apple in 1998, he faced a terribly difficult situation, the company had it's least inspiring product lineup ever, employee morale was seriously depressed, and there was a desperate need to chart a path to recover the magic that the company had held in its early days. In one of his very first leadership decisions at Apple, in learning that the stock options of the employees were all 'underwater' and valueless, he insisted that the board re-issue all those employee stock options so that they were priced at the stock value on July 7, the day that Amelio's firing was made public. He informed the employees of this in an 'all hands' memo that went out over his signature, a singular move that immediately revitalized the financial prospects for the companies employees. And he had no personal stake in that decision, because at that time he had no personal stock options of his own. The depth of his dedication to the employees of Apple could not have been more clearly shown than it was in that single action.

As I read this book, having read many other stories about Jobs and having a familiarity with his life and how it developed, it can be both sad and frustrating to read once again about his failures and mistakes. At NeXT, for example, recounting the many errors made - selecting expensive magnesium for the computer case, requiring it to be built as a cube with sharp edges rather than easier to manufacture rounded corners, building the state-of-the-art factory in Fremont that would never be used to its full capability - I found myself lamenting that he hadn't been able to learn those lessons of management and discipline earlier in his life. A great waste, in many respects. Still, it is a part of his story (and a number of the innovations from NeXT would go on to live well beyond those days). Great leaders always talk about how their failures were critical to their development. Likely he would not have grown into the man he eventually became if he hadn't made those mistakes, painful though they are to replay. He was just 30 when he began NeXT, 33 when the first NeXT computer was unveiled, in grand Jobs extravaganza style at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. He was world famous and yet still a very young and immature man. The attention to detail and importance of design that was so important to him from the very beginning, even when it was impossible to implement or led to products that were too expensive to succeed commercially, would blossom in later years as the iPhone and other devices were developed and led to Apple's greatest successes.

To me, the most moving story from the book was when Tim Cook realized that he and Jobs had the same blood type. That meant that Cook could potentially help Jobs fight his illness by donating a part of his own liver. But Jobs wouldn't even consider it, and the deep personal nature of that exchange, between those two men and at a time when Jobs realized that his remaining days were dwindling, was very poignant. The last part of the book is especially sad as we live through his final days, when he knew that his time was coming to an end.

There are many other interesting stories here, some of which can be found elsewhere in the other reviews or on the internet already, as the early reviews are out and most of them share favorite stories or new insights that were gained from reading the book. I'll just add that this is a very human portrayal of Jobs, it is one that I believe will appeal to people who like to read biographies of business leaders, people who are fans of Apple and are looking for more insight into how it works and the people behind the products, and it will also appeal to readers who are interested in what makes a brilliant leader tick, how does the mind work and what magic must take place in order for those visions to become manifest in products and in a company that, soon after Jobs death, became the largest in the world.

I also think that it is remarkable to see the support that Apple executives are now putting behind this book now that it has been released. Tim Cook, Apple's current CEO and Jobs hand-picked successor, Jony Ive, Apple's long standing head of design, and Eddy Cue, Apple's head of software and internet services, have all endorsed it. A cynic might view their praise of the book as support of something that may help to reshape Jobs image in a more flattering light, but I think that there is more to it than that. This book does not whitewash Jobs or overlook his faults.

My earlier comparisons to the Isaacson biography, which until today may have been the benchmark for a Jobs biography, may sound like too much of a criticism of that book, so I will add that anyone interested in Apple and the story of the company and of Steve Jobs is probably going to want to read both books. I purchased the Isaacson book as soon as it came out, and I'll probably go back and read it again now. There are portions of Jobs life and Apple history that are covered in the Isaacson book and not so much (or at all) in this new book. I think that one of the other reviewers makes the point that the two books should be viewed as complimentary, and I think that is the right way to look at it.

By the time of his death, Steve Jobs had become an icon of the business world, having achieved a stature that only a few American business executives have ever reached (Jack Welch at GE being perhaps the most recent, prior to Jobs). This is a fascinating look at him and his company, and after reading it I have the feeling that I may be just a bit closer to understanding what he was like. I wouldn't try to claim that this book is definitive - Jobs was complex enough and accomplished so much during his life that no single biography is going to provide everything that could be written about him. I do have the feeling that it may be the closest yet.
Let My People GO!: 21 Days Fasting and Prayers for Breakthrough and Deliverance
Let My People GO!: 21 Days Fasting and Prayers for Breakthrough and Deliverance
This is another gem by Senior Pastor J E Charles, an insightful and biblical teaching on effective self deliverance and breakthrough through a process of 21 days of fasting and prayers.

This book teaches biblically on how to break evil covenants, yokes, soul ties, destroy evil altars, deal with evil spiritual gatekeeper, break black magic curses and hexes, divine restoration etc.

The days we are living in are evil and withcraft are rampant due to greed, pride and wickedness of human' heart. It has been repackage and it will be our folly not to recognise and deal with it effectively as a child of God, Jesus Christ. I still frequently pray the prayers in this book for myself and family members even after the conclusion of 21 days fast and prayers program.

Chen Chen (Singapore/Malaysia)
American Legends: The Life of Henry Ford
American Legends: The Life of Henry Ford
I grew up in Michigan and as an adult lived for a number of years in the Detroit area including Dearborn. Henry Ford was as ubiquitous to life in Michigan as the title Motor City was to the USA. Everyone knew Henry.
This short book written in my opinion in the style of Wikipedia ( just the facts, ma'am . Joe Friday) was packed with the details of Ford's life and his accomplishments. Some I was aware of like the assembly line and his dislike for labor unions. Other interesting facts were his use of a guarantee of service after the sale and profit sharing for his workers. He believed in a benevolent capitalism which benefited everyone. His view of the big picture to increase wealth for everyone drove him to do what today would be called social engineering. He was a pioneer in the air plane industry, and in the chemistry of plastics and fuel for his automobiles. One surprise was that he allowed other colors than black as long as you PAID EXTRA for the paint job.
The reason I did not give the book a 5 star rating was the lack of explanation into his complex character regarding his views regarding Jews. On the one hand he hired blacks, women and handicapped to work in his plants at full wages while at the same time refusing to hire Jews to work inside his offices. While he was quoted as blaming Jews for financing wars and making shoddy equipment, the book did not give any background as to why he was so vehement in his opposition to the Jews to go so far as to publish a news paper and support Hitler. The book does give resources in the back pages for further study for those who wish to delve into his life in a deeper way. A second reason for the 4 star rating was the lack of commentary on Fords bringing Muslims to America to work in his plants. Dearborn now has the largest population of Muslims in America thanks to Fords decision to get their labor. An interesting oversight. In the meantime, I do recommend this book highly as it filled in so many blanks regarding Ford and his impact on America and its automobile culture.
Galactus The Devourer (Galactus The Devourer (1999))
Galactus The Devourer (Galactus The Devourer (1999))
The story starts with the Mole Man stealing a sewage treatment plant from New York City when a space ships crashes warning of the coming of Galactus. Never say Louise Simonson didn’t like big beginnings. In order to save the Earth the Silver Surfer once again becomes his herald. It turns out Galactus has gone mad with hunger which is actually making him sick. That’s shown in his first appearance where he looks aged and weathered. The story centers around whether the Surfer and Earth’s heroes can find a way to cure Galactus of his sickness.

I always enjoy a good Galactus story and Simonson weaves a strong tale. The main problem is the art. It’s split between Jon Muth and John Buscema. I don’t like Muth’s style at all. it looks like sketches instead of finished work. Buscema of course is a Marvel master. The problem is all the art was finished by Bill Sienkiewicz who had a very artistic approach, similar to the Impressionists even. He ruins a lot of panels with his style unfortunately.
Material Girl: The Fancy Lives of the Lear Sisters, Book 1
Material Girl: The Fancy Lives of the Lear Sisters, Book 1
I bought this book as part of an Amazon special and am not interested enough to purchase the rest of the books in this series. The book was well written, but I didn't particularly care what happened to any of the characters.

Robin was a vapid twit who I was repeatedly assured had a good heart, but I didn't see much evidence of it (despite her magical ability to connect to a teenage boy and turn him into a well adjusted, nice guy in the space of two conversations). Her thought process about her job made me angry - I was supposed to be on her side after how irresponsible and selfish she was? Her inability to do any kind of research or preparation for the deals she was supposedly making was just ridiculous.

Jake was a nice enough guy, I suppose, despite his rage issues when dealing with his mother and nephew. I never really got the feeling that he actually *liked* Robin, as most of his thought process was focused on her backside (despite his numerous thoughts about how she was too skinny).

The obstacles to their relationship were ones that any half functional adult would dismiss within a minute or two, or actually - and this will probably be a crazy idea for a romance novel - talk to each other about! Instead, these two managed to draw them out into major problems. Robin's father was such a caricature that it was difficult to take him seriously. The similarities between father and daughter were the only well drawn relationship in the book, I thought - I could easily believe that someone as selfish and head-up-his-ass as Aaron could have a daughter like Robin.

While I didn't hate it, I was left completely uninterested in the second and third books in the series and glad that I hadn't paid full price for the book.
Summer Desserts
Summer Desserts
As I finished reading “Summer Desserts” I wondered why I’d expended the energy it took to finish it. Up till now I’d been pleased reading some of NR reissues of works originally published in the mid-1980s but this one turned out to be a huge snooze.

The protagonist, Summer Lydon, is a world-renowned, globe trotting dessert chef who is very much in demand and very full of herself. She is hired by hotel magnate, Blake Cocharan, to transform his Philadelphia property into a gastronomic paradise. And of course the two strong personalities have an equally strong mutual attraction but demanding dual careers require compromises. Can they put aside their oversized egos and find their HEA?

My biggest problem with this book is there’s no mystery to it. Everything is laid bare - there’s nothing to reveal or learn about the characters. What you see is what you get. Too many pages are dedicated to descriptions of food prep and presentation. I suppose if you’re in the food & beverage industry you could conceivably find that more interesting than I did. I dunno’.

Summer isn’t especially likable which is a problem since she’s the main character. She’s hard to relate to so there’s no emotional attachment. Blake is a more sympathetic character and a more believable one.

As for a plot, there really isn’t one which brings me back to the boring issue. Even the love scenes lack authenticity. No plot, no mystery in the character development, no surprises, just blah, blah, blah about temperamental chefs, food, menus and kitchens. Two and a half stars.
The Pilgrim's Regress
The Pilgrim's Regress
“The Pilgrim’s Regress” is an earlier work by Lewis which seeks to express an everyman’s journey of faith through an allegorical fantasy adventure, as with it’s obvious main reference point, Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”
It is not as well liked or read as much of Lewis’s other work. This is probably due, in large part, to a problem Lewis himself identifies in a foreword written ten years later. Lewis admits he was too presumptuous in thinking that themes in his own spiritual journey and conversion would be readily understood by a contemporary readership (that was then, how so more now); in particular, his view of “romanticism,” and its different levels of meaning. Lewis takes trouble in his foreword to draw out what he understands to be these meanings. But the main one he uses in the story is, he admits, personal and obscure. It relates to a kind of yearning for some golden ideal that warms the soul and is in fact a desire for God. However, Lewis understands it to be often misunderstood by human beings as a desire to return to some comfort zone or nostalgia for the past, for natural beauty, or for the yearning that beautiful music or poetry may engender. Lewis then warns that this yearning can never be fully satisfied in the human lifespan, as it is meant to lead to God. Hence it gets twisted into idolatry for sex, the natural world, or some other such channel. Lewis later gives us a German word for this, “Sehnsucht.” It is also referred to in “Surprised by Joy” and other of his works. It is the archetypal itch that can never be scratched in our lifetime.
The story tells the story of John, a boy who dreams of a beautiful island that he has glimpsed through some woods near his house. This island represents the yearning and “Sehnsucht” in his soul. In the meantime, he is surrounded by realities such as death, and the possibility of a “Landlord” (God), whose “Stewards” (Priests) direct the “tenants” of the land through a religion full of symbols and rules. It is the dissatisfaction with this religion in the face of his yearning for the island that sets John off on a voyage of exploration through the land.
On his way he picks up a companion, Vertue, an intense and pained young man determined to lead a good life through his own works and efforts. Together, on their way, they discover allegorical ciphers for the various philosophical, scientific, sociological and religious trends that have held sway and held sway in Lewis’s time. This includes representatives of romantic paganism, rational humanism, Freudianism, liberal theology, and so on. Some of these are more obvious than others, such as the Freudian giant that reduces all his captives to a grim literalism so they can “see through” each other so that each appears a collection of walking blood and guts. Others are less obvious and allude to trends of thinking more prevalent in Lewis’s day, such as that represented by “The Pale Men.” However, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear we can still see parallels with our own age, with those theologians and Church leaders who deny God and put in its place some “pale” construct (I think of the “Sea of Faith” movement).
The land where John and Vertue journey is split into a North and South; The North is all barren and rocky highlands (the land of rational humanist thought) and the South, all hot, humid and baggy lowlands (liberal theology and “anything goes” morality and lifestyle). And in the end John and Vertue must defeat dragons in the North and South before completing their journey.
This is a complex and dense read at times, and it lacks the simplicity and straightforward allegory and narrative that have made Bunyan’s work so enduring. Lewis himself admits in his foreword that it has “needless obscurity, and an uncharitable temper.” However, it is still an intelligent, nourishing read, and as is often case with reading Lewis, I felt I was breathing mountain air after having spent a long time in the City. Not a starting point for those new to Lewis, but definitely one to come back to once you are well acquainted with some of his more accessible and well known works.
James Bond: Casino Royale
James Bond: Casino Royale
This delightful volume was released fifth by Titan Books in their James Bond series.
I mention this because after the Roger Moore introduction there is a non fiction section called "Bond In Books" and it is part 5.
So those intent on collecting the series may wish to start with "The Man With The Golden Gun" volume which was the first released by Titan.
This volume collects the newspaper strips of "Casino Royale", "Live And Let Die" and "Moonraker".
Whilst they are condensed versions of the original books (condensed to remove any graphic detail that could have been read by children) there are good representations of the books.
The artwork is pretty good not forgetting that the strips were originally published in the late 1950's.
You can buy omnibuses of the collection from Titan would collect together 3 of the volumes but they are printed on smaller paper and some of the precise ink work on the strips is lost.
LEGO Harry Potter Build Your Own Adventure: With LEGO Harry Potter Minifigure and Exclusive Model (LEGO Build Your Own Adventure)
LEGO Harry Potter Build Your Own Adventure: With LEGO Harry Potter Minifigure and Exclusive Model (LEGO Build Your Own Adventure)
I'm both an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego) and a big fan of all things Harry Potter. The book and the included set absolutely tickled me.

All the builds featured in the book are based on the first Harry Potter book/movie: (Philosopher's)Sorcerer's Stone

Table of Contents:
The beginning of the book includes some background on Harry Potter, Hogwarts and basic info on Lego bricks. The back of the book includes step-by-step instructions for the included 2-in-1 lego set.

Chapter 1 - The Muggle World
Privet Drive (Dursley house facade, lamp post, planter & bird bath/fountain)
At the Zoo (python display w/ removable glass, small animal enclosures)
Harry's Bedroom (cupboard under the stairs)
Mail delivery (fireplace that spills envelope tiles)
Island Hideout (shack with breakout door)

Chapter 2 - The Wizarding World
Diagon Alley (secret entrance & ice cream parlor)
Gringotts Bank (bank cart & tunnel)
In the vaults (ornate vault door)
Ollivander's shop (wand shelves & storefront)

Chapter 3 - Welcome to Hogwarts
Hogwarts Castle (castle door & moving staircase)
Sorting Ceremony (House Points hourglasses & House crest flags)
Teachers' table (long table, Dumbledore's chair & lectern)
Common room (Fat Lady portrait, sofa, wizard chess table, minifig Gryffindor bust)
Dormitory (four-poster beds & storage cabinet)

Chapter 4 - Life at Hogwarts
Potions class (tables & shelves of bottles, etc)
Flying Lessons (simple gazebo w/ minifig statue, small stone bridge, small watchtower turret)
Library Visit (ornate window frame, interesting bookshelves)
Halloween Feast (simple tables, windowed wall facade with 'floating' pumpkins)

Chapter 5 - Magical Adventures
Forbidden Forest (brick-built trees and paths)
Troll Attack (brick-built troll, bathroom sink & toilet stall)
Facing Fluffy (brick-built 3 headed dog)
Devil's Snare (snare plant w/ trap door & mini plants)
Wizard Chess (Chessboard, rocking Knight piece, Queen piece, articulated pawn w/ swords)

Pros:
The printed house crest tiles are gorgeous. Currently, apart from this set, the tiles can only be found in the Lego Harry Potter 2019 Advent Calendar (75964). Similarly, the Sorting Hat element is only found in the Hogwarts Great Hall Set (75954). Though there's always the option to buy them second-hand/from a third-party on sites like Bricklink, eBay or similar.

The 101 pc 2-in-1 design Lego set included allows fans to create a Sorting Hat spinner to sort Minifigures into their houses, OR a fireplace with a turning center to make Minifigures "disappear" - great for Floo travel!

Many wonderful ideas presented in the book: I want to build them all! It also gave me ideas to design MOCs (my own creations).

Exploded sections of some builds and notes about techniques or bricks used are frequently presented. An intermediate to advanced Lego fan should be comfortable attempting them.

Cons:
There are only enough pieces in the set to create one design or the other; you cannot create both designs at once. Some might find this to be a con.

No step by step instructions for builds beyond the 2-in1 set that comes with the book. The builds are inspiring but the minimal instruction presented is likely to disappoint or frustrate younger or inexperienced Lego fans.

Many builds presented use parts outside the current HP line or even beyond what's available in Lego Classic brick sets. It can be very frustrating or limiting for young and burgeoning Lego fans who don't have access to or haven't discovered the resources to obtain such parts. Pro tip: the Bricklink, Brickset, and Rebrickable websites are fantastic resources for Lego fans to expand their sets and knowledge.

Thoughts:
It would be extremely helpful if the book included an appendix with an inventory of part numbers for the various Lego bricks and elements appearing throughout the book. I found a number of parts I'd never encountered before and had a difficult time trying to figure out what they were.

I've been using a free Lego design program by Bricklink called Studio 2.0 to recreate the builds in the book. This has helped me identify parts I don't recognize, price and locate parts to build the models, and create step-by-step instructions for them. Occasionally, the program didn't have a specific part represented (which goes to show how rare those pieces really are because Studio's catalog of Lego parts is vast). However, I've been able to substitute or work around those pieces so far. The program even allows you to render a realistic image of your build (see photo)
In my opinion, the Studio program is user-friendly enough that kids 6-8+ could learn to use it with the assistance of an adult or older kid. It allows one to create virtual lego builds, render 3D images of them, create step-by-step build instructions, parts lists, and provides part prices and build costs. I highly recommend it for any Lego fan looking to design their own creations. It's become indispensable to me in recreating all the builds in this book.

All in all, I love this book and the included Lego set. As an intermediate AFOL (at best), the book taught me some new techniques and challenged me to learn more, plus inspired me to expand my inventory and create custom designs of my own.
40 Inch Large Pink Number 1 Helium Balloon,Foil Digital Balloons for Party Birthday Anniversary Festival Decorations
40 Inch Large Pink Number 1 Helium Balloon,Foil Digital Balloons for Party Birthday Anniversary Festival Decorations
At first I was nervous purchasing this without having a air pump but boy was I surprised. The balloon came with a straw and instructions on how to blow it up and seal it using only the straw and your hands. I was able to blow both numbers in less than 30 seconds so I was very satisfied. Also, the size of them were perfect! I needed huge balloons and that's exactly what I got! Def worth the price!!!!
Uncle Jack Charging Dock Airpods Apple Watch Stand Bamboo Wood Charging Station Desk Organization Compatible with AirPods/Apple Watch Series3/2/1/iPhone
Uncle Jack Charging Dock Airpods Apple Watch Stand Bamboo Wood Charging Station Desk Organization Compatible with AirPods/Apple Watch Series3/2/1/iPhone
This is a really nice item. It's a solid piece of bamboo with milled cutouts. This gives it some weight so it doesn't slide about or tip as you're placing/removing your phone and watch. I wanted one where the phone would sit horizontally and this was one of the few choices and I'm not disappointed at all. The charger for my Fossil Gen 5 fits in the cutout just fine. I believe the Gen 4 Fossils use the same charger. The only Cons (and they are very minor) is it would be nice if the watch holder could be on either side and if there was a choice of what type of cable to include for the one that's embedded into the earbuds charging pocket.

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