Mark Williams

Joined a year ago

Mark's Favorites
Farm Day (Day Series by T. M. Kaht Book 4)
Farm Day (Day Series by T. M. Kaht Book 4)
Farm Day (Day Series by T. M. Kaht Book 4) by Tina Marie Kaht and Hatice Bayramoglu. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, with 19 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the m category.
Julia Programming for Operations Research
Julia Programming for Operations Research
Julia Programming for Operations Research by Changhyun Kwon. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 14 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Julia programming category.
Essential Angular for ASP.NET Core MVC
Essential Angular for ASP.NET Core MVC
Meine Überschrift klingt widersprüchlich. Klar wird's, wenn man berücksichtigt, dass es sich um zwei verschiedene Anwendungen und auch Architekturen handelt. Dazu kommt mit TypeScript noch eine für die meisten wohl unbekannte Sprache dazu.

Gute Kenntnis von ASP.NET Core sollte meiner Meinung nach daher gegeben sein. Dies wird auch vom Autor empfohlen, und der Titel ist dem Intermediate level zugeordnet. Ich hatte mich zuvor mit Pro ASP.NET Core MVC befasst.

Am Anfang werden die Werkzeuge und Pakete vorgestellt, nebst Schritt-für-Schritt-Anleitungen zur Installation. Hatte damit keine größeren Probleme mit Windows 10 (Dogger s.u.). Daneben werden auch Linux und Mac behandelt.

Thema "project.json to csproj": Voraussetzung von Visual Studio als Umgebung ist die 2017er Version. Da ich aktuell keinen Nerv auf eine Parallel-Installation habe, entschied ich mich dafür VS Code zu verwenden.

Thema VS Code: Kann nur dringend empfehlen, sich mit der Konfiguration und den Shortcuts zu befassen. Sonst ist der Nervenarzt nicht weit. Dies ist natürlich nicht Teil des Büchleins, aber mit ein wenig Recherche komme ich immer besser zurecht. Und irgendwie passt das Teil auch zum Buchinhalt: Die TypeScript-Dateien etc. sind für mich sowieso wie eine andere Welt. Setze nun die Konsole vielmehr ein. Debuggen ist aber mit einer Extension (C#) wie gewohnt möglich.

Vorüberlegung Dogger: Unter 8GB Speicher geht nichts, da Dogger bereits 4GB reserviert bekommt. Habe mal interessehalber VS2015 gestartet und da ist dann nicht mehr viel Platz nach oben. Bei 8GB und Dogger hat man dann auch einen weiteren Grund VS Code einzusetzen.

Installation Dogger: Vermutlich wegen HyperV wird nur der Administrator, der installiert, als User eingetragen. Ein anderer User bekommt eine Fehlermeldung präsentiert. Hatte vor etlicher Zeit mal vergeblich versucht, einen neuen Eintrag für HyperV zu erstellen, und wollte mir dies nicht erneut antun. Wenn man nicht ständig als Admin unterwegs sein will (empfehlenswert), gibt's aber einen einfachen Trick: Für die Installation von Docker den präferierten Standarduser zum Admin machen und dann wieder zurück. Dann gibt's damit keine Probleme.

Einsatz Dogger: Bei ersten Lauf wurde eine Konfiguration nicht gefunden und der Container wurde nicht gebaut. Recherche ergab, dass ich keine weitere Zeit damit verbringen wollte, da ich weniger am Einsatz interessiert bin und nur mal einen Einblick in die Materie haben wollte. Den hatte ich ja nun. Also deinstalliert und einfach einen localhost-ConnectionString aus einem anderen Projekt in die appsettings.json-Datei kopiert und angepasst.

Angular: Habe nicht schlecht gestaunt, wie ich mir zum ersten mal den erzeugten Seitencode angeschaut habe. Kein Spoiler an dieser Stelle.

Edge als Browser: Nun ja. Wenn dat Dingens nicht so tut, wie's im Büchlein steht - nicht wundern oder gar aufregen. Stichwort HMR (Hot Module Replacement) recherchieren und dann doch wundern, aber nicht aufregen.

Entity Framework: Staunte auch über das Datenmodell. Entspricht mal nicht dem, was ich so kenne. Die stufenweise Beschäftigung damit in Kap.5 ist didaktisch sehr gut - der Service wird ohne Angular aufgerufen, und die resultierenden JSON-Strings werden im Browser angezeigt und können verglichen werden.

FAZIT: Aller Anfang ist schwer. Die Struktur und Funktionsweise von ASP.NET Core sollte immer präsent sein. Und Zeit und Geduld für die Beispiele sollte ebenfalls vorhanden sein. Der Inhalt ist wirklich knackig und ohne Abschweifungen. Nach der Lektüre von Pro ASP.NET Core MVC finde ich das gut, da ich mich auf das hier Wesentliche konzentrieren kann: Angular und TypeScript. Ein großer Vorteil ist dabei, dass Parallelen zwischen den zwei Welten aus der Sicht eines C#-Programmierers aufgezeigt werden. Habe zwar erst ein Drittel durch, aber von mir jetzt schon eine Kaufempfehlung.
The People Vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (and How We Save It)
The People Vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (and How We Save It)
There is presently a glut of books being published on the threats to liberal democracy: post-truth demagoguery, populism, self-serving elites, identity politics, globalisation, growing inequality, etc. Bartlett’s argument is that it is digital technology, if it should continue on its current trajectory, which is one of the major culprits.

Social media is based on the model of a free service in exchange for advertising. To maximise their pay-off, adverts are ever more individually targeted, by collecting ever more data about users and analysing them with ever more sophisticated software. But the same knowledge, which increasingly outstrips our self-knowledge, can also be used to manipulate us with political messages. Driven into echo-chambers and aggressively tribal, we are undermining a crucial pillar of democracy: a common forum of debate, where a diversity of views is heard, others are respected, and compromise is possible.

As for the tech firms themselves, they are likely to gain in power. The specific characteristic of network effects (the bigger the network, the better it is) encourages the formation of monopolies – Google for searches, Facebook for social networks, Amazon for buying things, and so on. This means more than just economic power, to crush competitors or else buy them out. And it means more than money to lobby governments and influence legislation. It increasingly also means ideological power: to make people and politicians see the world as they do - with the possible result of a few companies ending up controlling the technology for a totally networked planet, an artificial intelligence platform governing everything from manufacturing to healthcare to functions of government itself – and everyone being happy with it.

Increasingly intelligent technology grows productivity. But the spoils are more likely to accrue to its owners: This will further exacerbate inequality, with a large number of low-paid workers serving a rich technology elite. Which, in turn, will lower the tax base, since the poor cannot pay tax and the rich can often avoid paying it. Such inequality, and the consequent inability to fund public services, could have grave political consequences. Many may come to conclude that liberal democracy, or even democracy itself, is incapable of solving our social problems, and opt instead for authoritarians to re-impose control. If there is the threat of illiberal democracy or worse, there is also, however, the threat of undemocratic liberty. Encryption and block-chain technology in particular have made possible currencies, markets and networks that are anonymous and beyond state control. Crypto-anarchists envision a world with no states and individuals with no social obligations; even if this extreme should not come to pass, the severe weakening of state power could lead to a dystopian breakdown of civil society.

How likely is all this? As Bartlett remarks, new technologies bring with them a set of values all of their own. The technically possible becomes the desirable, then the inevitable. Technologies do nothing less than transform culture. So it was with the information revolution brought about by the printing press, the shrinking not only of physical but also psychological space by the railways, and the building of so much of our lives around the motorcar. And all too often, technological development has outrun our ability to harness it as a means for human betterment, dominating and threatening us instead. (The H-bomb is perhaps the most egregious example.) Digital dependency is already widespread – one need only witness countless smartphone addicts – and a life off-line already next to impossible. How else now could we communicate, shop, travel, or bank?

The author ends with twenty recommendations to make digital technology serve the public good and thus give liberal democracy a chance to survive. He has written a well-informed and very timely book, one that deserves to be read by every citizen concerned with not sleep-walking into a digital disaster.

(A note on production: The cover of the paperback is a sort of rough white cardboard. After just one read, it was dirty and considerably worse for wear. I hope future print-runs will fix this problem and choose a better-suited material.)
Bold: How to Go Big, Make Bank, and Better the World
Bold: How to Go Big, Make Bank, and Better the World
I have two issues with this book. First, it would have been a whole lot better if I known about it and read it much sooner. Secondly, every copy should be shipped with a complementary highlighter because if you are serious about entrepreneurship and creativity that will give you an edge in today's world and don't have photographic memory, you will ABSOLUTELY be going back and referencing specific ideas and passages. I got so tired of trying to remember all the little nuggets of wisdom that by the time I was halfway through the book, I turned back to the beginning of chapter 2 and started highlighting close to three-fifths of the text!

Plain-English explanations of how technology giants like Lockheed Martin's Skunkworks and Google tap ideas and make them work are in this book. Understanding of how to slide into a state of flow and make it work for you is there. How to utilize platforms of social media to get instant feedback on ideas and therefore rapidly evolve and improve them is right there. Seriously. This is a how-to-take-over-the-world guide for entrepreneurs that can be read and understood by a 12 year old wearing headphones.

If you are thinking of starting a business that could shake up the status-quo and possibly change the world (never mind starting an Etsy page, I'm talking moonshots here), then this book needs to be in your collection. And I don't just mean taking up space in a bookshelf. No. This book should be dogeared and scuffed; sitting atop your coffee table right next to your dried out highlighter and your plans for the next big thing to benefit humanity. And if you read this book and it doesn't radically redirect and focus your ambition, then you are either already a millionaire reading what you already know, or your copy was accidentally shipped without ink. Which I'm sure Amazon would happily replace.
A GISHWHES book made lovingly for Jeff Bezos
A GISHWHES book made lovingly for Jeff Bezos
A GISHWHES book made lovingly for Jeff Bezos by Julaine Wilson. Rated undefined out of 5 stars, with null ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the "Jeff Bezos" category.
Library of Famous Women Juniors - Oprah Winfrey
Library of Famous Women Juniors - Oprah Winfrey
This book is labeled that it is for 9 year olds. My daughter just turned 9 and checked this book out at her school library to read due to black history month. I have NO problem with Oprah.....I do have a problem with my daughter reading about how her family member had her have "Sex" with him and if she wouldnt tell anyone he would buy her an ice cream......NOT for a 9 yr old to read.....Doing my best to keep any other child from reading this book in my kids Kindergarten through 3rd grade school library.
Faces of Henry Ford
Faces of Henry Ford
I enjoyed the pictorial history of Henry Ford. The pictures were revealing of the developing the automobile and the engineering achievements of Henry Ford. It also gave insight to the man that he was and his dreams. What he accomplished by working to fulfill his dreams. His loyalty to his company and his family and friends. He devoted his life to the betterment of the people of this country.
I Say a Little Prayer
I Say a Little Prayer
Great music, I really like the piano and the way it set up the beginning of the song . Just me I guess. I believe Franklin could take funeral music and have people dancing and singing along. We should all be so lucky to have just a little pinch of that ' IT ' that is so much of what Aretha is.
Jewels In The Crown: All-Star Duets With the Queen
Jewels In The Crown: All-Star Duets With the Queen
Among the 16 songs here are five chart hits that didn't make Aretha's 1994 Greatest Hits CD but are all included to this year's "Knew You Were Waiting" set: "Jumpin' Jack Flash" w/Keith Richards (he plays guitar, doesn't sing), "Through the Storm" w/Elton John, the obnoxious "It Isn't, It Wasn't, It Ain't Never Gonna Be" w/Whitney Houston, "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves" w/the Eurythmics, and "Love All the Hurt Away" with George Benson. Three of these are on the '94 set but NOT "Knew You Were Waiting" (the ones with Luther, Michael McDonald, and Bonnie Raitt/Gloria Estefan). So, between the two hits collections you get nine of these tracks. Because of course the #1 George Michael duet appears on all three discs.

The draw for completists is the new stuff with Fantasia and John Legend. I can't say either song thrilled me. Probably not too many others either, since the Fantasia duet only reached #41 on the R&B charts.

By the way, there is some extra instrumentation on the George Michael here (neither helps nor hurts), and the Whitney debacle at least edits out the horrific "You may be his queen but I'm his princess" bitchiness. There's a reason that one stopped short of the Top 40. I am pretty sure there is some "extra" production on the duet with Elton too.

For many, it'll be good to have all these duets on one disc. But because most of the good stuff is available elsewhere, I can't say this is essential.
New Orleans Nights
New Orleans Nights
Un bellissimo disco del miglior Louis, dove si sentono tutte le radici del profondo sud degli Stati Uniti e dove la tromba di Satchmo si erge sulla band che lo accompagna, gli All-Stars, in cui spiccano i nomi di Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines, Bud Powell e Cozy Cole, tanto per citarne alcuni.
Album godibilissimo, con brani famosissimi reinterpretati in maniera eccellente che fanno pensare proprio alle notti calde e affollate di New Orleans.
Da ascoltare assolutamente!
UNDEFINED: A Journey from Syria to Europe as a Refugee
UNDEFINED: A Journey from Syria to Europe as a Refugee
It was a well-written book. Thought-provoking in multiple ways -- not only about the bigger picture of "the world is degenerating," but also in terms of creating and sustaining a supportive family and friend network, as well as the small things in life. The author's intelligence seeps through every sentence and there are multiple nuggets of wisdom, well-articulated humor, and just "plain old" good writing. My favorite was "we don't want to be submissive to society so that we are enslaved by it, but neither do we want to oppose it so that we are outcast." Highly recommend.
Bob Dylan Men's Rolling Thunder Tie Dye T-Shirt Multi
Bob Dylan Men's Rolling Thunder Tie Dye T-Shirt Multi
The print was decent, but the material quality is incredibly cheap. I thought it would feel better after a wash with softener, but not at all. I’ve had better quality with a pack of hanes. The neck/collar was a bit stretched out, and overall shape was just weird.
Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd Edition (The MIT Press)
Introduction to Algorithms, 3rd Edition (The MIT Press)
I think this is a pretty good book that is easy to read if you have a strong background in proof-based math.

Highlights:
- The introduction (Chapters 1-4) is really good and does a good job setting up all the fundamental concepts of algorithms. I think a lot of people tend to skip over introductions because they think they know all of it already, but this is an introduction that I recommend reading the whole way through.
- The book is a pretty light read (none of the math is too difficult) and each chapter is a good length.
- I think the material on dynamic programming and greedy algorithms was particularly enlightening, and if you read it the whole way through you actually learn how to prove that greedy algorithms work, instead of just being like "let's use a greedy algorithm because it seems right"
- I was able to copy a lot of CLRS code almost verbatim in my programming interviews and pass them.
- The figures are really well done and informative.

Drawbacks:
- The pseudocode has a lot of one-letter variable names, and while this follows the tradition of pure math, it also makes understanding the algorithms more difficult than it should be.
- Sometimes the pseudocode is not the "easiest" possible pseudocode (for example, merge sort), and I think it would be better if the authors presented a simpler version of the pseudocode first and then extended it to the optimal version. But then I guess CLRS would be even longer than it already is.
- The arrays are 1-indexed, which makes it trickier to convert to code. Also there are some sections of the textbook (the counting sort section) where some of the arrays are 0-indexed and other arrays are 1-indexed, which is just weird.
- I think the material on graphs, particularly the derivations, could be done in a more engaging and intuitive way. The derivations in Chapters 22-24 were a long series of small uninteresting lemmas, instead of a small number of harder, more insightful theorems. I found derivations elsewhere on the internet that were a lot more interesting and built more intuition about why the procedures worked. I feel like the rest of the book is pretty good though, so maybe all the graph stuff was written by a separate person who is not very good at explaining things.
TCL 10L, Unlocked Android Smartphone with 6.53" FHD + LCD Display, 48MP Quad Rear Camera System, 64GB+6GB RAM, 4000mAh Battery
TCL 10L, Unlocked Android Smartphone with 6.53" FHD + LCD Display, 48MP Quad Rear Camera System, 64GB+6GB RAM, 4000mAh Battery
The TCL brand is really hitting where it counts. I was looking for a phone with a large screen that didn't cost an arm and a leg. So I turned to the TCL 10L. The phone is great but not with it's setbacks. Now this is a budget phone but they didn't sacrifice were it matters. The 6GB RAM offered definitely makes up for the lower spec processor. I didn't have any problems scrolling through the menus, playing games (PUBG, COD) and streaming videos. The storage is on the medium size 64GB but it's expandable via micro SD which makes up for it. The reception works great on this phone even though it doesn't support band 71 on the LTE bands, never had a call drop and video calls were amazing. We're this phone makes cutbacks is on the camera. No night sight, slow motion videos are super blurry, auto camera has to be super close to the object and in good light source to get a nice picture, portrait works as intended. Selfies are ok. There's also no fast charging and with the large battery in it, makes for long charging time, about 2 hours from 10% to full. Now the good thing is it uses stock Android for system management (think something like the Pixel phone) it runs very smooth. The screen is beautiful with their porpietary NXT vision enhancement. Honestly I can't wait to buy the 5G version of this phone because it will come with better cameras and better processor. But for the price this phone is amazing! Don't hesitate to buy it with confidence that you are getting a great product.
Baby GUND Spunky Huggybuddy Stuffed Animal Plush Blanket, Beige, 15"
Baby GUND Spunky Huggybuddy Stuffed Animal Plush Blanket, Beige, 15"
I am a stuffed toy enthusiast so I'm going to share my detailed feelings about this Dog Huggybuddy. I rate it 5 stars because its a fantastic design with good materials and the perfect size.

This I liked:
It's large, over 12 inches tall.
The silky material on the front of this toy, the smooth texture is soothing and I only wish he also had it under his ears.
The nose isn't too big and the eyes are a good distance apart. The spots are cute and well-placed.
It has tiny bit of stuffing in the top paws which is great.

Some minor problems I had with this toy:
The back of the head was not stitched all the way closed, fortunately I have no problem stitching it myself.
One ear had a broken stitching which would normally hold it down.
The seam at the neck/shoulders feels too stiff (and I can feel it jutting out too far at one shoulder) I find this stiff bump distracting on what should be a floppy soft toy.
It doesn't appear to be super sturdy*

*I've only had this toy for a day, but because of the smooth material used in the toy, it is susceptible to rips and tears. This type of material is difficult to mend because it shows everything and it frays easily.

Overall I'm pleased with this toy, and I'm glad that GUND produced such a delightful design
Marvel Womens Captain America Burnout Ringer Tee
Marvel Womens Captain America Burnout Ringer Tee
It fit okay and my granddaughter loved it - a lot, but it wore thin too fast - almost as if the fabric reacted to her deodorant. After the first couple of wearings and laundering it was no longer suitable for wearing out of the house but it served fine as a shirt for her to kick around the house in. In the image attached it looks like deodorant residue, but the shirt has been laundered - that is not residue it is fabric that has lost the color and is now thin - see through thin. For the price it only deserves 2 stars, but I will add one more because my granddaughter loved it. Had it cost only half the price it was I could have given it an extra star.
Imagine by Rubie's Child's Thanos Infinity Gauntlet Set Costume, Small
Imagine by Rubie's Child's Thanos Infinity Gauntlet Set Costume, Small
My 6 year old grandson liked it but it was a little small for him (he is average sized) and the glove is not a solid piece but rather a piece that covers the front of your arm with elastic in the back to hold it on. It’s not bad for the price but I was disappointed in the quality.
Auction Adventure: Baseball Auction
Auction Adventure: Baseball Auction
Ahh, the days before the recession when you can plunk down thousands to indulge your collecting passion and not blink an eye. Anyway, this was a cute look at fans going nuts for some major league baseball memorabilia -- the star of which was the bat Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run in the newly opened Yankee Stadium. I guess with all the sports scandals of today, collecting is about the last avenue of pure pleasure for a baseball fan. Some shakey camera work and repetition. Nice to see a woman auctioneer -- even if she doesn't do the whole sale.
Trend Lab Dr. Seuss Oh, The Places You'll Go! Unisex 5Piece Crib Bedding Set
Trend Lab Dr. Seuss Oh, The Places You'll Go! Unisex 5Piece Crib Bedding Set
We are in love with this nursery set and for the price compared to a lot of other sets you get more for your money. A lot of the Dr. Seuss sets seem to only be 3 pieces and are the same price or more than this set which is a 5 piece set and the set includes all items you will use either practically or for decoration. It's the best gender neutral Dr. Seuss set I could find because it really could be used for either gender and doesn't give people an indication of what you're having if you know but want to keep it a surprise. Some of the other gender neutral sets seem to lean more toward boy or girl and people then tend to make comments that can be hurtful.
Henry Rollins Reads Dr. Seuss
Henry Rollins Reads Dr. Seuss
Don't take this seriously or else you'll get angry. This is simply another time when Henry spouts off to get people worked up. This video really doesn't deserve even one star but it's the lowest rating allowed. And for those wondering, I'm only slightly younger than Henry & have been a fan for more than 3 decades. I felt I needed to update my "review". In this, Henry is using the "punk attitude" of talking garbage just to get a reaction, he doesn't believe anything he's saying, he's just trying to get "you" to react. No rational person is going to take Dr. Seuss so seriously. Also this is from 1996 and Henry's still "angry" but has mellowed with age, at least a small bit. And for those who are fans and/or those just "discovering" Henry, remember his #1 bit of advice, get a passport, travel & see the world & you'll learn that "we" are more alike than different. No matter of color, creed, race or location, there's good people everywhere.
Dean Koontz Thriller Novella Collection: Darkness Under the Sun, Demon Seed, The Moonlit Mind
Dean Koontz Thriller Novella Collection: Darkness Under the Sun, Demon Seed, The Moonlit Mind
Love it! I was listening while driving to the race track. I was soooo hooked by the time I got there, I didn't want to get out of the car. Almost missed my son's race because I was so enthralled and taken in by the stories. It's crazy how quickly I arrived at my destination while listening to these stories. Thank you. Just what I was looking for. Arrived on time and in perfect condition.
Morrigan's Cross: Circle Trilogy, Book 1
Morrigan's Cross: Circle Trilogy, Book 1
I have read Nora Roberts books for years and got used to her romantic novels. So while on vacation in Mexico and having finished all the books that I bought, I wondered to a local shop that had some American paperbacks. I picked up the "Dance of the God's" because I knew her name, not realizing that it was book 2 of a trilogy. Expecting the usual romance from Roberts, I was shocked to find myself in the middle of a magical and brutal war between humans and vampires. I read the "Dance" probably in 1-2 days and couldn't wait to get my hands on the 1st and 3rd books which proved to be just as good.

I sooooo wish there was a movie made from these books because I could see it all in my head. The time travel, the magic, the love, the great battles. I'm surprised that no studios picked it up as the next big trilogy to produce. It begs for it and has the substance to back it up.

Love Nora's writing style and how she really dives into the ancient rituals and mythology of old Ireland. She also ensures that the reader gets a good understanding of how each of the character's talents are valuable, despite their varying backgrounds and fears. I could see the movie in my mind while reading her books which is a true sign of a good author. I really wish that I had a production company to put this trilogy into theaters. I think it would beat Lord of the Rings!!!
Dances [In Japanese Language]
Dances [In Japanese Language]
ずいぶん前に読んだのですが、知人に読ませて上げたかったので購入しました。面白かったとの事でした。ショートショートなので読みやすいです。
The Scorpio Illusion
The Scorpio Illusion
This is one of those can't put it down books. From the very first page the reader is taken on a journey from the Middle Eastern war through the Carribean and the USA.
Robert Ludlum keeps a fever pitched pace as Bajarat weaves her magic dealing out love and death with a cold, calculating terrorist mind, all the while staying just out of reach of commander Hawthorn.
If you like action, romance, intrigue and a little blood doesn't put you off then I recommend this book as it has a double dose of all the above.
Dragon Ball nº 07/34 PDA (Manga Shonen) (Spanish Edition)
Dragon Ball nº 07/34 PDA (Manga Shonen) (Spanish Edition)
Soy fan de Dragon Ball. De pequeño me hice la colección blanca y la roja. Pero debido a que esos comic estan muy maltratados ya que no era muy cuidadoso me he decidido a hacerme con esta versión Ultimate.
Tengo algunos comics japoneses y esta colección imita a la perfección esas ediciones. Lectura invertida, muy buena calidad y algunas páginas a color. Otra cosa que me encanta es que solo son 34 volúmenes. Con lo extensa que es la obra de Toriyama. El poder tenerla en 34 tomos es una maravilla.
Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium
Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium
Insightful and light and entertaining to read. Tolkien's love of plants and nature, expressed throughout his vast legendarium, helps us dive into his created world and makes it more believable. Flora of Middle-Earth not only contextualizes both real and invented plants according to their biomes, tracing parallels between our very real (and endangered) ecosystems and those of Middle-Earth, but also maps Middle-Earth's plants by place and according to their importance in the stories in which they appear. The woodcut illustrations are beautiful and help us identifying the plants and remembering the passages in which they become crucial points of Tolkien's narrative. It's a great book for all those interested in going further into Tolkien's universe, and I believe it'll be especially insightful to those interested in writing fantasy stories, as it illustrates well how the world we live in can help build a more believable fantasy world if we pay more attention to nature.
Zero Cool: A Novel
Zero Cool: A Novel
Wir schreiben das Jahr 1967, der amerikanische Radiologe Peter Ross macht Urlaub in Spaniens Süden und gerät total unverschuldet zwischen die Linien zweier dubioser Mächte, die auf der Suche nach einem mysteriösen Artefakt sind.

Er flaniert am Strand zwischen anderen - zumeist weiblichen - Urlaubern, die in knappen Bikinis in der Sonne baden, als ein kleiner Mann ihm droht, eine Obduktion NICHT vorzunehmen, sonst werde man ihn töten. Ross ignoriert ihn und schäkert lieber mit der schwarzhaarigen Schönheit die nur einen Hauch Pink trägt.

John Lange zappt von einem europäischen Schauplatz zum nächsten, als wäre Europa für ihn ein Ort, ein Spielplatz mit winzigen Entfernungen, auf dem er sich austoben darf. Wir lassen ihm das durchgehen, für einen Amerikaner kann das unter Umständen so wirken, wenn er morgens 20 Kilometer fährt um Cornflakes und Instantkartoffelbrei im nächsten Walmart zu kaufen.

Der Stil ist schnörkellos und straight-forward, ich habe das Buch auf Englisch gelesen und hatte mal überhaupt gar kein Problem es zu verstehen. Es ist also auch für Leute mit weniger Fremdsprachenkenntnis gut und leicht zu lesen.

John Lange ist ein entspannter Autor. Er schreibt einfach, ich glaube nicht, dass er sich bei der Arbeit an "Zero Cool" besonders viel um Glaubwürdigkeit und Zielsetzung der Figuren geschert hat. Er hatte seinen Spaß und das ist das einzige, was man ihm dabei zugute halten kann. Sein Erzählen ist immer distanziert und transportiert wenig bis gar kein Gefühl.
Die Charakterzeichnung ist dürftig, man erfährt nahezu nichts über die Akteure, ein wenig Informationen über Aussehen und Verhalten sind schon nötig, damit man sich selbst ein Bild machen kann. Er entwirft oberflächliche Charaktere, ohne Seele, es gibt keine Möglichkeit sich mit den Figuren anzufreunden, sie sind ausgestattet allein mit einer Funktion und eindimensional.
Es sind zum Teil absurde Figuren, die er auftreten lässt, wie den "Grafen", den "Texaner" oder den "Professor". Comic-Relief.

Das alles sind Kritikpunkte, die einem bekannt vorkommen können... wenn man die Bibliografie von Michael Crichton kennt.

John Lange ist Michael Crichton!

Crichton finanzierte sich sein Studium mit kurzen Romanen, die unter Pseudonym in Revolverblättern veröffentlicht wurden. Dieser hier war sein sechster Roman unter dem Namen John Lange und er veröffentlichte ihn 1969. Im gleichen Jahr brachte er auch das Buch heraus, mit dem er seinen großen Durchbruch (unter richtigen Namen) hatte: "The Andromeda Strain"
Dieses Buch hat einen sehr guten Sci-Fi-Film nach sich gezogen und das Genre maßgeblich beeinflusst.

"Zero Cool" ist Pulp Fiction. Ein Einfach-so-Krimi, der nicht mehr
sein möchte als leichte Unterhaltung. Das fließt dann auch in meine
Note ein, denn es ist nahezu perfekte Pulp Fiction.

Erwähnenswert ist noch, dass Crichton für die Neuveröffentlichung in der Reihe "Hard Case Crime" seinen Roman durchgesehen und ein einleitendes und ein Abschlusskapitel geschrieben hat.

Note: 2- (Mit viel Wohlwollen)
Prime Target (Alistair MacLean’s UNACO): Prime Target"
Prime Target (Alistair MacLean’s UNACO): Prime Target"
Got back into the habit i lost of reading so decided on Alistair Maclean's books,ive now read all of his books then reluctantly decided to try the UNICO books,glad i did because ive grown to love them,yea the plots can be a bit far fetched but are gripping non the less and make fantastic reading before going to sleep at night. I have purchased nearly all the UNICO books now and i'm down to my last 4,am not looking forward to finishing the last book because sad to say i will miss the characters they've created Sabrina Carver,Mile Graham,CW Whitlock and their boss Malcolm Phillpott . Wish an author would read these UNICO books and continue them.
All in all i'd highly recommend these books to anyone who loves Alistair Maclean books because although not written by him you'd be hard pressed to realize that.
The Century Trilogy Trade Paperback Boxed Set: Fall of Giants; Winter of the World; Edge of Eternity
The Century Trilogy Trade Paperback Boxed Set: Fall of Giants; Winter of the World; Edge of Eternity
Follet is one of those authors that drives me buggy. You keep reading hoping there is something to hold your interest for more than a few pages. After you have read 2/3 of the book he gets you hooked and then leaves you hanging for the next book. The history is well researched and I do enjoy the weaving of his story lines with historical facts I just wish he would get to the point and plot a lot sooner. It would make for a better read. Although I enjoyed this series I doubt I will be a big fan in the future.
SEAL's Vow (Iron Horse Legacy Book 4)
SEAL's Vow (Iron Horse Legacy Book 4)
When you read this book, you need to be aware that the lead couple of the story does get a resolution to their personal relationship, but there is a broader mystery won’t get resolved until the end of the 5th book in the series. ‘Iron Horse Legacy’ is a companion series to the ‘Brotherhood Protectors’ series, but you definitely don’t need to have read that series to enjoy this one.

Sebastian “Bastian” McKinnon is home on emergency family leave to help in the search for his father, James, who went missing under circumstances that would indicate foul play. Bastian ends up tasked with protecting Jenna, his little sister’s best friend. He has not been seriously interested in a woman since the death of his high school sweetheart in a car crash. He survived, but the drunk driver killed her, and Bastian vowed to never love again. Jenna survived a marriage to a violent ex-husband who very nearly killed her. She has promised herself to never trust a man again. As you can see, there are potential trigger issues in this story, but I thought the author handled them well. (My husband was killed by a drunk driver, so that is an issue about which I am particularly sensitive).

Along with the serious emotions there is a lot of action. There is also some steam with a lighthearted edge, and supportive involvement with the loving McKinnon family. Bastian and Jenna get the HEA they both deserve. And sadly, Bastian’s father is still missing.
A dream of Red Mansions-the story of a stone
A dream of Red Mansions-the story of a stone
Review of Dreams of the Red Mansion

The copy I read was a downloadable Kindle version. I could not figure out the translator. The total location number was 36403. If I use a recommended page-equivalent converter number of 16.69, the page number comes to a little over 2100, which is close to the printed full version page number.

At first, I couldn't understand how this book became one of the four pinnacles of classical Chinese literature. - The other three are: The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, and Outlaws of the Marsh; all may have various different titles depending on the translation. - It starts out like a rather dull, uneventful, linear diary spiced with an occasional mystical dream of the main protégé, Bayou, an early teenage boy growing into young adulthood during the story. The details of his days and the days of a host of other main characters, mostly his relatives, are given in obsessive, almost painful details.

But dear Reader, don't be fooled by this slow start! Perhaps the following statement will demonstrate how the book grew on me: completing the first 20 % of the book took me more time than the rest of the 80%. The reason I hung on during these critical early pages was a fascinating look into a long-gone culture; a culture that until this day has been reflected in the life and mentality of nearly a third of the World's population - East and South-East Asia, to be exact -. If one has my kind of enthrallment with various cultures, the "boring" details throughout the book actually provide an exquisite opportunity to observe and learn.

In sharp contrast to the first part, around 50% into the reading the story accelerated and I had hard time putting down my Kindle. From here on, the life events of a few dozen main characters and countless minor participants became compelling. The story branched out into several exciting subplots only to be masterfully reunited in the final chapters.

The Jia is an old, noble family in the middle period of the Qing-Dynasty China. One of their greatest social achievements came when the Emperor chose their oldest daughter as a favorite concubine. When the family learned that their daughter had gotten permission from the Court to visit her parents, for her welcome they built a magnificent garden with several living quarters. The rest of the story took place mostly in this garden and the surrounding two mansions belonging to two branches of the Jias.

The main storyline focuses on the slow decline of this huge, influential family. However, there is an equally important second storyline running parallel with the first one as an organic component of it: Bayou's somewhat mystical spiritual awakening.
Most characters have multidimensional flesh-and-blood personalities without a hint of dogmatic profiling. The good, bad, and the ambiguous features are distributed among them with good sense, letting their vivid individualities shine through.

Poetry is an important part of the characters' lives. The book presents a good number of poems written by a few gifted family members. Although intellectually these poems gave me very little to hang on to, their moods nonetheless helped me understand the state of mind of those who wrote the poems and even the times they lived in.

Not unlike James Joyce's with his "stream of consciousness," the author gives the reader free access to the most inner thoughts of several major characters, most notably to Bayou's. This extra dimension of their personalities makes these characters even more intimate and accessible to the reader.

One thing I especially enjoyed in the book was learning about the multiple elements of the Qing Dynasty China interwoven in the story: the arranged marriages; concubines; the "dowager" cult - incidentally this latter largely contributed to the fall of China during Emperor Dowager Cixi's regency -; the bizarre look at suicide as an accepted and in fact frequently expected solution to life's problems; Chinese Medicine with its reliance on pulse evaluation; the system of feudalistic servants whose status was not much different from slaves but who could become highly valued members of the families - in the book represented by Xiren and Pinger -; the influence of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism on every day life; the role of Chinese Opera in Chinese culture; the importance of jade in Chinese spirituality; etc.

One peculiarity that stood out for me in the book is the physical and psychological fragility of the Jia clan members. Frequent crying, mental derangement, suicide, and consumption - i.e. tuberculosis - abounded in this wealthy family. I could not find any historical information regarding the incidence of mental disease and tuberculosis in 18th century China but based on the story it surely seemed high. Or, was this family struck by an unusual genetic burden due to intermarriage? As an example, Bayou, who himself acted at times as a schizophrenic, other times as a depressed or autistic youngsters, married his first cousin.

In summary, this is a remarkable book for its documentation of an obscure historical time hardly accessible for most Westerners. It has a rich character set, the theme is timeless, and the intriguing subplots make it a persuasive reading. The book's length is due to exquisite details. On one side, these seemingly unnecessary details don't help much with the modern concept of story development yet, I would submit that they have other literary values. I can see that many potential readers will get discouraged to start or continue reading the book even after overcoming their reluctance due to the formidable page number. To such potential readers I would recommend reading one of the abridged versions readily available in popular bookstores.
We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love
We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love
"We" shows what Johnson can (could) do when he takes the necessary time to work and write properly, with focus and direction, thinking about the reader and putting his vast knowledge to our service. Together with "Inner Work", this is Johnson's best book, Jungian analysis explained in plain wholesome awesome language.

WHAT YOU FIND IN THE BOOK
It is Johnson's trademark using classic mythology to dig a hole in our personal and cultural psyche and explain who we are, how we behave and why. Like many of his other works, "We" uses a myth, in this case the myth of Tristant and Isold (or Iseult) to take us in a long ride that goes from the 12th century to the modern times having as a connector the ideal of Romantic Love in Society, in relationships, and in our psyche.

The book is well structured and narrated in a very beautiful prose. Although no footnotes are provided, the book is the most academic of Johnson's books. The general introduction, and the chapters On Myths and Note for Women form a sort of prologue. In them you get, in a nutshell, what the aim of the following exploration is, what the book is about and is not, and a short consideration on the use of the versions of the myth used for the study. Johnson approaches and analyses the myth from a Jungian Psychology point of view not for a Literary point view.

Four parts follow. The beginning of each part is a condensed summary of the myth, which is followed by several chapters analysing the symbols, characters, and dynamics explored in that part of the myth from a Jungian psychology point of view.

The conclusion is structured in three chapters it is great, brilliant at times. In it, Johnson tries to give a practical solution to what to do with the information the analysis gives us. The book ends with a list of references of the books quoted in the book, as well as a recommended reading list. A bit outdated, but good nevertheless.

THE USE OF MYTHS IN JUNGIAN PSYCHOLOGY
Why using a myth to analyse the ideal of Romantic Love, you will ask. Johnson summarises it in this simple way:

"The myth not only records the dynamics of romantic love in the male psyche, it also reflects the fate of the feminine in our culture" (... )A myth is the collective “dream” of an entire people at a certain point in their history. It is as though the entire population dreamed together, and that “dream,” the myth, burst forth through its poetry, songs, and stories. (...) The myth of Tristan and Iseult is a profound expression of the Western psyche."

The way Johnson is able to dissect the myth without forgetting the historical context that led to its birth is something remarkable taking into account that he is not a historian. This is not to say that some of his statements are not controversial, mostly because of lack of a proper academic apparatus and footnoting.I was mesmerised by Johnson's easiness as having a myth peeled off, layer by layer until it connects with things that we modern humans still do.

This reflection of the female/feminine element and patriarchate in the Western Culture are priceless and very relevant to this very day. Most of the Note for Women reflects on this issue and on the fact that this is a male-made myth not a female one, and the shortcomings that can derive from the vision of the feminine from it.

There are different levels of analysis of the myth, that are all interconnected and intermingled: 1/ The historical approach to the text to understand why it is what it is. 2/ The analyses of the symbols in the myth. 3/ The analyses of the dynamics between our own psyche, that is, between the conscious and unconscious in our psyche. 4/ The depiction of the ways of relating in romantic relationships in the myth and how we are still replicating them; and 5/ the reasons for the ideal of romantic ideal being so strong (and destructive at times) in the Western Culture. This is also a great book to understand what Anima/Animus are and what Psychological Projections are and how they manifest.

Johnson succeeds at many fronts in this book, especially at analysing what romance and romantic ideals are, and how they undermine our personal lives and Society. He is able to explain the substratum that is the basis of that need for romance and romantic ideals and what the ideal is seeking in our inner world and in our unconscious.

JOHNSON DOES NOT PREACH OR MORALISE IN THIS BOOK
Despite what many reviews say, this is not a religious book or John does not preach. See what I say in the paragraphs below. First at all, Jungian psychology is more spiritual than any other psychological discipline, but it is not religious. Even Johnson says that you have to decide what religion and God are to you, and he speaks of God and the Gods. In that regard, you can criticise his Jungian approach, not the way he links spirituality and psyche, as soul and self are concepts intrinsically linked in Jungian Psychology and Johnson is doing a Jungian approach to the text. In other words, a disregard for the connection self as a soul is not Jungian. Yet, just read Johnson's definition of "soul" in this book as psychological entity and tell me that this is religious. It is not. Johnson, despite being a religious person, is good enough to detach himself for his personal religious preferences and speak in ways that touch people like me, who are not religious.If this was not enough, the use of some Christian references is not literal. Johnson never uses her examples from the Bible in a literal way, ever. Just see the way he explains the Jesus' human-divine duality. Having said that, I think Johnson is a son of his time, and uses religion and spirituality as synonyms, something that is not so common nowadays.

WHAT WE LEARN FROM THE MYTH AND WHAT TO DO WITH IT
The analysis of the myth shows us patterns of behaviour, psyche structures and couples dynamics that go from the past towards our present times. As Johnson says, it doesn't tell us what to do with that information, how to us it so we are able to reduce or eliminate projections in romantic relationships and channel them in a productive way. The Conclusion is aimed to do so. The answer is given using the same mythological basis, but using the advice of two different mythical languages 1/ the myth of the Oglala Sioux Nation (the story of the Bison Spirit Woman), and 2/ in the language of dreams, by using the dream of f one of Johnson's clients (The Bell of the Holy Virgin).

Johnson concludes that romantic projections are, in essence, deep down, a quest to communicate with the most sacred part of our inner self, but just expressed in the reverse way. The passions of romance or drugs, the seek for physical possessions, have in common an misdirected unhealthy way to reach that our psyche seeks. We need to redirect that energy towards the right place, so that we can "channel it correctly so that it will enrich our lives— in the realms both of spirit and of relationship— rather than sabotage them". How do we return to our inner sacred core, to our soul? "What is required is not so much an external, collective religion, but an inner experience of the numinous, divine realm that is manifested through the psyche" Dreamwork and archetypal inner work are a perfect alternative, numinous and spiritual at many levels, that can reach those places inside us that we consciously want to reach but unconsciously were are too afraid to.

DOWNSIDES
>> One of the most interesting episodes of the myth, to me, appears narrated in part three, while the lovers are in the enchanted Garden and tell a hermit that confronts them on their wrongdoings:

“Lord, by God Almighty, He does not love me, Nor I him. It was because of an herb potion Of which I drank And he drank, too: it was a sin.”

I was expecting Johnson to comment on it at length as it is really intriguing. It is a moment of awakening, of consciousness of the unconscious if that can be said. It is like Adam and Eve a la Reverse. It is a lucid dreaming sort of episode as well because when they are saying that, they are truly not projecting. The episode contrasts remarkably with the attitude of both characters before and after this episode. No word is deserved to it. How is that possible? I am dying to find this episode explained "Jungiangly". Anyone?

>> The major flaw of the book is the last chapter in the Conclusion. I was in awe at finding Johnson's projections on other Culture so patently obvious. He compares Western ways of relating and Eastern-Indian ways. He spent a good deal of time in India, obviously with good families and friends, and uses his own experience to produce a pinkie version of the Indian way of relating, Indian families, Indian couples and love relations. Some affirmations made cringe, even shriek. Statements of the sort that Indian families are healthier, and they produce non neurotic children, that they are not romance based and that projections basically do not exist. I consider that a big blind in front of Johnson's eyes. Have you ever watched a Bollywood movie? That would suffice to show how projections show in Indian culture, specifically. The fact is that relationships between women and men in India are far from ideal and vary from family to family, like in the West. Too many women are still treated as mere objects and possessions, women are raped on a daily basis in Delhi, and their raping and rapists are justified by a good part of Society and the legal system. The documentary on the girl brutally raped and murdered on a bus in India a few years ago, would suffice to show how many men treat women in India, and how well educated people did justify it. Some women of my age only speak to their husbands when asked, The cast system is still well alive in India, even though it is not politically correct or modern to say so. There are 3-5 years old children begging for money, alone, at 5am in the morning in some major train stations. You can ignore that part of Indian reality and present just the pinkie version of Indian families. I think that there are good and bad families everywhere, and that the way Indian people project are different from us, but they still project.

IN SHORT
Personally, I would recommend starting with We, and then He and She, and not the other way around, even though We is a later book, just because you want to start with a clear idea of what Johnson does, how he approaches any myth or subject, and not having to guess that. We is a brilliant book and He and She do not match that greatness as they were published lectures not real books.

ON THE COVER
The covers of Johnson's books on Kindle are usually dreadful, you wonder why investing so little in making the book shine also outside, but the cover of this Kindle edition is just beautiful and perfect for the book. A wild poppy.
Alex and Ani Harry Potter Happiness Can Be Found Bangle
Alex and Ani Harry Potter Happiness Can Be Found Bangle
I was very disappointed that the bracelet didn't come in the Alex and Ani box. This was not one of the cheapies. It is for a Christmas gift and I feel uncomfortable about putting it in another box. Unhappy with this seller.
Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Ornament 2018 Year Dated, Harry Potter Honeydukes Sweet Shop
Hallmark Keepsake Christmas Ornament 2018 Year Dated, Harry Potter Honeydukes Sweet Shop
We have a Harry Potter-themed Christmas tree. I must admit that this new Honeydukes ornament was the hardest to pack away this year. Two lights from your strand fit nicely inside of the building which lights up all of the windows in the candy shop. Two more great highlights of this ornament are that it's a nice size and has clear "snow glitter" on the rooftop which twinkles under the Christmas lights. This is my new favorite Harry Potter ornament next to my new 2018 Alivan's wand ornament!
K-Swiss Unisex-Child Classic Pro X Harry Potter Sneaker
K-Swiss Unisex-Child Classic Pro X Harry Potter Sneaker
The photo doesn’t really share the quality of the shoes. They look even better in person. The color is very rich, and the shoes come with two options for laces- red and the red and yellow shown in the photo finished with metal aglets that weigh the laces down nicely. They came packaged in the blue shoebox that had surprisingly detailed accents- the Hogwarts emblem, House emblems and mascots scattered across the exterior and interior of box, The Daily Prophet tissue paper, a golden snitch image inside lid- that my son thrilled over. Absolutely love the shoes and packaging!
Puffs: Filmed Live Off-Broadway
Puffs: Filmed Live Off-Broadway
My husband, my kids and I are all huge Harry Potter fans. This play was SOOOO funny. The kids have been quoting it back and forth to each other for the last month. It’s so clever, so tongue-in-cheek, and owns its low-budget overblown campy acting!

The way they managed to avoid copyright infringement is pretty darn clever.

At a certain school of female magic and male magic, there are four school houses. They’re known as The Braves (who only let in people who are brave), The Smarts (who only let in people who are smart), The Snakes (who always look like they’re about to throw a glass of white wine in your face), and the Puffs. This play is about the Puffs.

I laughed so so so hard at this. Go watch it. Now!
Harry Potter i el pres d'Azkaban (HARRY POTTER LUXE) (Catalan Edition)
Harry Potter i el pres d'Azkaban (HARRY POTTER LUXE) (Catalan Edition)
Una pasada para los forofos de Harry, mi hijo mayor disfruta como un loco de estos libros de Harry, los va alternando en diferentes idiomas y está encantado. Los recomendamos a todos los que tengáis hijos que amen la lectura y amen a Harry porque disfrutarán mucho y mucho, además estos modelos son baratos y abultan poco.
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets/ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets/ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Again, John Williams - who scored 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' - returns to bring us a great score for the next chapter in the adventures of the boy wizard & his friends at Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. This time, the score contains a lot of the original themes from the first film, but also includes a substantial amount of new material.

The opening track, 'Prologue: Book II & Escape from the Dursleys', is music of the first kind, focusing largely on Harry's & Hedwig's themes as Harry, locked in his room to be kept away from his arrogant uncle, aunt & cousin, soon finds himself at the mercy of Dobby the house elf, then escapes with help from Ron in a flying car as his obnoxious uncle tries to keep him from doing so, and ends up falling headfirst into a bush. 'The Chamber of Secrets' is a much more bombastic piece featuring significant influence of brass & percussion, while 'Gilderoy Lockhart' has a melody & pace very similar to that of another Williams recording, 'No Ticket', from 'Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade' (this one is heard as Indiana Jones punches out S.S. Col. Vogel, who had been trying to arrest his father on the zeppelin). People familiar with Williams' music will likely recognize the similarity. 'Knockturn Alley' is a track featuring a lively flute melody; it appears in the Wii Lego Harry Potter video games in more than one place. 'Moaning Myrtle' is a very mysterious-sounding melody, heard as the ghost of the title name appears in a Hogwarts' lavatory. 'Dueling the Basilisk' is a bellicose piece of heavy brass & percussion as Harry duels the snake-like monster. 'Reunion of Friends' relies heavily again on the existing themes of Harry, Ron & Hermione, as the 3 classmates conclude another year at Hogwarts. 'Harry's Wondrous World', the end title track heard as the end credits roll, incorporates both new & old themes heard in the film - as was Williams' style with the 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones' scores - into the score's final track.

Liner notes are short but include a track listing and a little commentary from director Chris Columbus. This score is one of my favorite Harry Potter scores. Well worth it for any fan of the series or of John Williams' music.
Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy
Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy
"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Robert Silverberg - The twist is that the sorcerer is actually a woman, and the apprentice is a young man who is instantly smitten by her. However, she treats him coldly...most of the time.

"Perpetua" by Kit Reed - Strange story in which a father's love is carried too far.

"The Edges of Never-Haven" by Catherine Asaro - In the town of Never-Haven, people live in curved houses and cannot create any straight line, not even a line in the dirt, without summoning demons.

"Pat Moore" by Tim Powers - Brilliant, suspenseful ghost story.

"Six Hypotheses" by Joyce Carol Oates - Strange story showing six hypotheses for the basis of a violent incident in a seemingly normal family.

"The Silver Dragon" by Elizabeth A. Lynn - In this land the King can shapechange into a dragon.

"Fallen Angel" by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. - Devout religious people may not care for this story much.

"The Following" by P.D. Cacek - Chilling ghost story with a twist.

"A Tower With No Doors" by Dennis L. McKiernan - Nice take on Rapunzel

"Boomerang" by Larry Niven - Too short to describe

"Wonderwall" by Elizabeth Hand - Sorry, don't remember much about this one (I don't have the book anymore)

"Blood, Oak, Iron" by Janny Wurts - Every time a King dies, the successor is possessed by an evil spirit. Can the cycle ever be broken?

"Riding Shotgun" by Charles de Lint - A man clearing out his deceased father's estate stumbles upon an old car and is transported back in time to a critical event in his past.

"Demons Hide Their Faces" by A.A. Attasnasio - A skeptical young man discovers the truth about missing books.

"Relations" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman - Can't remember

"Tourists" by Neal Barrett, Jr. - Can't remember

"The White Man" by Thomas M. Disch - A chilling tale of race relations and vampires.

"Out of the Woods" by Patricia A. McKillip - can't remember

"Perchance to Dream" by David Morrell - A doctor tries to treat a patient for sleep disorder.

"Coming Across" by Harry Turtledove - Elves who can live forever (if they don't die of boredom-literally) created a gate to visit another world (ours) in search of interesting experiences. Little do they know what they will find and accidentally bring back with them.

"The Problem of Susan" by Neil Gaiman - Related to C.S. Lewis's The Last Battle

"Keeper of Lost Dreams" by Orson Scott Card - A young person discovers he is the keeper of the title

"Watchfire" by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts - can't remember

"Tots" by Peter Schneider - Four-year old children who fight each other to death for the amusement of adults

"Jupiter's Skull" by Jeffrey Ford - A strange psychic woman leaves a legacy in tea leaves for a man and woman who had visited her often when she was alive.

"Death's Door" by Terry Bisson - What happens when the dying can't die?

"Bill, the Little Steam Shovel" by Joe R. Lansdale - A totally irreverent, hilarious tale of a steam shovel who dreams of being more than he is.

"Sleepover" by Al Sarrantonio - Two children wake up on a flat, deserted, alien plain.

"Golden City Far" by Gene Wolfe - A young man's dreams invade his waking life.

A wonderful mix of classic and modern fantasy, as well as stories that defy categorizing. Despite the title, the stories are not about flights or flying. Not all of the stories are winners, but there is enough good stuff here to warrant a 5 star recommendation.

My personal favorites: "Pat Moore" by Tim Powers, "The Silver Dragon" by Elizabeth A. Lynn, "Riding Shotgun" by Charles de Lint, "Coming Across" by Harry Turtledove, and "Bill, the Little Steam Shovel" by Joe R. Lansdale.
Michael Connelly (12 Set, Harry Bosch) #1, The Black Echo -to- #12, Echo Park
Michael Connelly (12 Set, Harry Bosch) #1, The Black Echo -to- #12, Echo Park
Only 3 of advertised first 12 Harry Bosch books were received #5 Trunk Music, #10 The Narrows, and #11 The Closers. The rest were a jumble of other Michael Connolly books, including several that did not feature Harry Bosch. Mixed quality including old & poor quality.
Have added VikaSP to my NEVER ORDER AGAIN FROM THIS PLACE list.
Skechers for Work Women's Burgin Taney Boot
Skechers for Work Women's Burgin Taney Boot
I’m super disappointed with these boots. I’ve purchased these now twice. The first time I ordered a half size up like I usually do for work boots and they were literally like clown shoes. I returned the first pair and ordered my normal size. Just note that these run pretty large. Even with thick socks a size 8 (my normal size) seems pretty loose on my foot, but I was okay with it. That was until I realized that the right boot has significant discoloration.

While the boot seems like it would be comfortable while being used long term I’m disappointed in the sizing and the fact that the replacement pair also had issues.
Power Rangers 1.65" Die-cast Metal Collectible Figures 20-Pack, Toys for Kids and Adults
Power Rangers 1.65" Die-cast Metal Collectible Figures 20-Pack, Toys for Kids and Adults
These are relatively nice looking figures, however they come up very short on a lot of paint details. Saba is not painted correctly for either the White Ranger or Lord Drakkon. The Dragon Dagger is not painted correctly. The Triassic Ranger's shield also suffers from the same issue. In fairness, this is clearly displayed in the photos of the item, it just feels like a missed opportunity to really make these stand out. The paint that is applied is a bit sloppy in the final product, almost as though some coats were not allowed to dry completely before applying other coats.
SweatyRocks Women's Vintage Print Halter Neck Crop Top
SweatyRocks Women's Vintage Print Halter Neck Crop Top
This top is adorable. I took off one star because the red pictured is a lot brighter than the almost maroon top I received. Regardless, I'm going to keep it and will probably wear it often. I recently got a tattoo that I want to be able to show off, and this top is just short enough to show a good amount of it. Overall, I'm happy with this.
For reference I'm 5'6" 130lbs 34c 29in waist and I ordered the medium. I thought I ordered the small, but I apparently got the medium. No big deal, the medium fits well it's just not as short as I wanted it to be and doesn't show as much of my tattoo as I wanted. I do think that the small would have still fit seeing as this item is 100% adjustable.
Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement
Conversations Worth Having: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Fuel Productive and Meaningful Engagement
A practical and enlightening book for leaders in all contexts (including parents and teachers), Conversations Worth Having shows us how to use our conversations to maximize outcomes and help people flourish. The approach “represents a breakthrough in the combined fields of Appreciative Inquiry and Peter Drucker-like strengths-based management, positive psychology, and design thinking” (p. 7).
A quick but valuable read, this resource offers mental tools for maintaining a learning mindset while interacting with others. Conversations worth having as described as:
• Meaningful
• Mutually enlivening and engaging
• Geared to generating information, knowledge, and possibility
• Solution- or outcome-focused
• Positive
• Productive
These conversations rely on two simple practices: positive framing and generative questions. Readers are encouraged to build their skill in using these practices through an informal action research approach – try out the techniques and notice what happens. Stavros and Torres offer this challenge: “There are many possible worlds out there. The probability that any one of them comes into being depends on our conversations. What kind of conversation will you have next?” (p. 133).
Pull of the North
Pull of the North
The scenery is gorgeous, of course, worth watching the film just for that. Otherwise, it's oddly edited and feels like it couldn't decide what it wanted to be: One man's quest for community & connection? Stories of fascinating native people with lovely insights into the world? A travelogue canoeing the Yukon? It's none of those but has bits of all, skimming the surface (so to speak) but avoiding any depths. The first reviewer noted accurately that it's kinda boring, and I think that's why.
Xbox Wireless Controller - Fortnite Special Edition
Xbox Wireless Controller - Fortnite Special Edition
First off, this product is amazing. Microsoft’s controllers are the best around. For people who are having 3.5mm jack issues and worn left sticks, please don’t be complaining in your review. All of these issues are because the user was careless and 1, yanked the headset jack out over and over, and 2, was very hard on the left stick. If you are having these issues then I’m sorry to say but all that is your fault. Our controllers at home have worn left sticks and broken headphone jacks because we were hard on them for 3 years. Here are some tips to help your Xbox one controllers last a long time.

1. Don’t be hard on the analog sticks. Pushing it harder won’t make your character move faster or better.

2. Don’t be careless with your headphone jack.

3. While gaming, have a stuffed animal or something soft beside you that you can throw at the wall if you lose a game. Don’t take your anger out on the poor controller!

Anyway, I hope this helped you and again, the Xbox one controllers are some of the best around.
Hanes Boxeador sin etiqueta con cintura ComfortFlex
Hanes Boxeador sin etiqueta con cintura ComfortFlex
I've been a loyal Hanes customer for years, but as with so many other manufacturers and their products, the quality has noticeably declined.

When I received the new pairs, the difference in quality was immediately obvious, especially in the fabric itself.

Just for kicks, I put a new pair and an old pair on my head, over my eyes. I could easily see through the thin fabric of the new pair, but I could just barely see through the fabric of the older pair. And the older pair feels better, too.

After washing them, I noticed that a lot of threads needed trimming and the waist bands are not as good as they once were.

You could easily get away with wearing these, but the quality is lacking. Had these been of better quality, I would have stocked up as usual. Instead I ended up buying my underwear from Duluth Trading Co, and making rags out of every last pair of these Hanes.

By the way, the cost of Duluth Trading products is a bit higher, but I find them worth it. The quality is outstanding. Wait for a sale if you plan on buying from them - they are fairly regular and worth the wait. You'll be spoiled though so keep that in mind.
Mujer lentejuelas señora Claus Navidad suéter - Cinturón rojo Santa feo Navidad Cardigan Mujer
Mujer lentejuelas señora Claus Navidad suéter - Cinturón rojo Santa feo Navidad Cardigan Mujer
Down a star because of the belt, it is 38” on my XL order. My guess is that they send the same belt no matter what size you order. I am ordering a different belt.
The stitching for the sequins is a little scratchy but let’s be honest, it’s a novelty item. It’s made for looks not comfort.
Arrived pretty wrinkly, I’m not sure how to handle this with a novelty (and likely fragile) garment. I’m hanging it up and hoping for the best.
$60 seems pricey for what you get. Depends on it’s value to you I guess. One would hope for more comfort at this price. I might end up backing the sequin sewing with felt or flannel spots.

Overall, pleased with the arm length and appearance. I have super long arms (6’ arm span) and the sleeve length is fine.
Gaia for Fire TV: Conscious Yoga, Meditation, and Spirituality
Gaia for Fire TV: Conscious Yoga, Meditation, and Spirituality
I am a recent Gaia subscriber. I bought Fire TV specially to watch Gaia, after neither my brand new smart TV or Blu-ray (both bought on 11/24/17) had the Gaia app, and I couldn't find another way to watch Gaia on my TV. The app crashes back to the Fire TV main menu every time I try to play a video, or select a different season of a show (which I tried to do before I discovered I couldn't watch any videos). I really want to watch Gaia content, but I don't want to be stuck at my computer to watch it. I have all this expensive modern technology on my TV, and none of it can play Gaia shows.

Edit: I contacted Gaia support, and they believe it is an issue with the latest Fire TV with 4K. So if you have an older Fire TV, the app probably works.

12/23/17: Fire TV 4K now has a Firefox app. I have been able to use that to go to Gaia's website, login, and watch videos from there. Hopefully someday this app with work with the Fire TV 4K, but for now I have found a working solution.

1/2/18: A new version this Gaia for Fire TV app has been released which fixes the problems. The app now works as expected so I am changing my rating.
Krups CALVI Steam & Pump Espressomaschine XP3440 XP344010, Edelstahl, 1 L, schwarz/silber, authentischer, cremiger Espresso mit einer der kompaktesten Siebträger-Espressomaschine
Krups CALVI Steam & Pump Espressomaschine XP3440 XP344010, Edelstahl, 1 L, schwarz/silber, authentischer, cremiger Espresso mit einer der kompaktesten Siebträger-Espressomaschine
Vorab mein Kaffe/Espresso Bedarf:
-In der Woche 1x jeden Morgen
-Am Wochenende 2-3x täglich

Ich wollte von meiner Kapselmaschine weg, da Kapseln recht teuer und für die Umwelt schlecht sind. Habe lange nach Alternativen gesucht. Bin dann über diese Krups gestolpert. Anhand der Bewertungen hatte ich ein gutes Gefühl und diese passte genau zu meinem Nutzerprofil. Wollte kein Vollautomat mit Schnick Schnack, hohen Reinigungsbedarf und hohen Anschaffungskosten. Welche in der Regel mit der Zeit eh kaputt geht bevor diese sich bezahlt macht.
Also die Krups bestellt. Versand war wie immer zügig. Sofort ausprobiert nach der vorgegebenen gut beschrieben Grundreinigung/Inbetriebnahme. Der Espresso schmeckt mir sehr gut, das Milch Aufschäumen klappt auch Super. Somit konnte ich auch meine erst skeptische Lebensgefährtin überzeugen. Das Reinigen ist super simpel. Ich bin bis jetzt sehr zufrieden!
Was ich noch nicht bewerten/absehen kann, ist natürlich die Lebensdauer. Hier bin ich aber guter Dinge, da meine Kapselmaschine ebenfalls eine Krups ist und diese schon älter als 5 Jahre ist. Und würde wohl noch paar Jahre halten wenn ich nicht von den Kapseln weggehen würde.
Dieses oft beschriebene Manko mit dem doppelten Boden in der Kaffehülse (Ansammlung Verunreinigung möglich), habe ich jetzt einfach in Kauf genommen, da ich auch dazu keine Alternative gefunden habe. Ich lass ab und zu mal einfach die Maschine ohne Kaffe durchlaufen um die Kaffehülse dadurch indirekt etwas zu reinigen.

Also bis jetzt kann ich die Maschine weiterempfehlen an Leute mit ähnlichem Nutzerverhalten.
Amazon Brand - Daily Ritual Women's Terry Cotton and Modal Roll-Sleeve Sweatshirt Dress
Amazon Brand - Daily Ritual Women's Terry Cotton and Modal Roll-Sleeve Sweatshirt Dress
I've addressed this before in other Daily Ritual reviews. I own several casual dresses and other items from this line and it's impossible to determine your size because even within the same style line there are huge variations in fit. I have this exact same dress in the pink color and it's at least 2 inches longer and fits much looser through the body. This dress was tight everywhere and a good 2 inches shorter. Daily Rituals products are absolutely outstanding in terms of quality and workmanship but until they resolve these issues with sizing, they're going to experience a lot of returns. For reference, I'm 5'9" usually wear a small to medium....probably most accurately a size 8. Most of the DR dresses and tops currently in my closet range from small to medium and fit from comfortably loose to generous. I hate having to return items .....especially those that I'm now typically waiting 2-3 weeks to receive. So this was very disappointing from a lot of perspectives.
Prestige Popular Plus Induction Base Pressure Cooker, 2 Litres, Silver
Prestige Popular Plus Induction Base Pressure Cooker, 2 Litres, Silver
I wanted to buy a small cooker to cook for 1 person and initially went for 2 lit but it was too small, I total volume maybe 2 lit but out of this almost 1 lit went to lid, and the remaining left was very less to cook anything. So returned and went for 3 lit this one is ideal for cooking for 1 person. Material cannot be better than this. You can get other induction compatible for 25% less but paying for Prestige is worth the quality.
Regalo con simulación de medicinas divertidas. Con golosinas. Amigo invisible, fiestas, regalos originales.
Regalo con simulación de medicinas divertidas. Con golosinas. Amigo invisible, fiestas, regalos originales.
A ver antes de comprarlo me rallé mucho porque había varios comentarios negativos diciendo que las chuches estaban malas etc. Siendo sinceros el 90% de los comentarios de mal rating son porque no han leído la descripción del producto. El regalo está bien, las chuches pues saben a chuches (el regaliz esta especialmente bueno el resto estándar), que es caro 10 euros por unas chuches, si obvio, pero lo pagas por la coña y a mi parecer esta justificado (la caja de 20 euros si que me parece un poco más timo la verdad), en resumen que para una pequeña sorpresa está muy bien y es muy gracioso. Un abrazo

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