Matilda Lee

Joined a year ago

Matilda's Favorites
JavaScript Concurrency
JavaScript Concurrency
JavaScript Concurrency by Adam Boduch. Rated 2.8 out of 5 stars, with 8 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the javascript category.
What to Do When Someone Dies
What to Do When Someone Dies
What to Do When Someone Dies by Nicci French. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 95 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI
Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI
Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI by Stephen King, George Guidall, et al.. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 1407 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
La zona muerta (Spanish Edition)
La zona muerta (Spanish Edition)
La zona muerta (Spanish Edition) by Stephen King. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with 24 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Introduction To Computing And Programming In Python
Introduction To Computing And Programming In Python
Introduction To Computing And Programming In Python by Mark J. Guzdial and Barbara Ericson. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
SQL Computer Programming for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide to Learn SQL Programming Basics, SQL Languages, Queries and Practice Problems, SQL Server and Database, Coding Languages for Beginners
SQL Computer Programming for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide to Learn SQL Programming Basics, SQL Languages, Queries and Practice Problems, SQL Server and Database, Coding Languages for Beginners
SQL Computer Programming for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide to Learn SQL Programming Basics, SQL Languages, Queries and Practice Problems, SQL Server and Database, Coding Languages for Beginners by Anthony Hack and Jordan Gunner. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 18 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'SQL database' category.
DB2 Universal Database SQL Developer's Guide
DB2 Universal Database SQL Developer's Guide
DB2 Universal Database SQL Developer's Guide by Roger E. Sanders and Roger Sanders. Rated 5 out of 5 stars, with 2 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'SQL database' category.
Actors in Scala
Actors in Scala
Actors in Scala by Philipp Haller and Frank Sommers. Rated 3.3 out of 5 stars, with 5 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Scala programming category.
Unix Power Tools
Unix Power Tools
Unix Power Tools by Shelley Powers, Mike Loukides, et al.. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 63 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Shell programming category.
Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
I was excited about diving in this weekend into Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda, a new book providing a detailed look inside the design process at Apple. And Creative Selection did not disappoint. While much has been written about Steve Jobs and Apple, I found Creative Selection particularly insightful because it provided a vignette into the development of the first iPhone, and in particular, one of it's most critical features - the keyboard - from the perspective of Ken Kocienda, the software engineer ultimately responsible for developing it. Ken goes through the many challenges and subsequent iterations to address those challenges with building the first keyboard to be presented only on a glass display. And in doing so, it showcased how Apple's design and development process was different from traditional Silicon Valley companies in subtle yet incredibly important ways.

Ken distills the Apple development approach that ultimately made them successful to seven elements: inspiration, collaboration, craft, diligence, decisiveness, taste, and empathy. And he walks through what each of these elements means to him with detailed stories exemplifying each.

But I wanted to share some personal observations I took away from the book on how Apple built products in such a fundamentally different way.

Ken describes the process by which they would prepare product demos for their own team and then for various leaders, use that demo as the primary avenue for feedback, and then continue to iterate to the next demo, followed by more rounds of demo feedback, and so on. He calls this process creative selection. While at the surface this may sound like a typical product review process that many companies have, there was so much that was different about it.

First, demos were done early and often, even at the prototype stage. These were not just reviews at the end of the process to get final approval, but instead they were done to show early progress, determine viability of the project, and make fundamental design decisions. The goal was to produce an initial prototype to demo as quickly as possible and then continually refine the prototype through subsequent feedback sessions. These demo sessions with senior leaders happened on a weekly basis, not months apart.

And in contrast to so many classic reviews where leaders are largely concerned with ensuring projects are on time, that there are no unaddressed bottlenecks, and that the team is executing on the right strategy, leaders at Apple in fact played the role of arbiters of taste. Ken defines taste as developing a refined sense of judgment and finding the balance that produces a pleasing and integrated whole. And in these reviews, leaders would often be making calls on the spot on design decisions for the product. Ken retells the story of many reviews with Scott Forstall, who was head of iPhone software, and Steve Jobs himself who would make critical decisions to remove UI elements, to pick amongst a few design directions that the team was presenting, and to cancel efforts entirely, all based on the context and feedback they got from the presenting team, their own first-hand experience with the demo, and their ultimate sense of taste. This feedback was highly respected by the team and didn't feel like classic executive swoop-ins because of how deeply involved the senior leaders were on a weekly basis with engaging in-depth with the product during these demos.

The nature of these meetings also looked so different from traditional exec meeting topics with discussions around market opportunity, competitors, resourcing, etc. They were instead fundamentally about the design and user experience. And each leader would play with the product themselves just as a user would to really connect with the product experience.

Equally important to their process was extreme product dogfooding, which they called living on the product. They understood that even after making initial product decisions in these demo reviews, they needed to continue to experience the product on a daily basis to ensure the experience was actually satisfying. And in doing so, they would continually come up with feedback from amongst the team who was living on the product, and incorporate that feedback into the product. Ken shares how each change he made to the keyboard auto-correction capabilities would be rolled out to the small team of iPhone software engineers and how the feedback directly from those individuals shaped his future iterations. I do regularly see a disconnect in product quality emerge when the product, design, and engineering teams aren't using their own product on a daily basis.

And finally, the teams tasked with owning critical software components were very small empowered teams of individuals. Each component would have a DRI - a directly responsible individual - who was ultimately on the line for producing that component. And there was a fundamental belief that small teams did the best work, because they were empowered to do so. Ken was the DRI for the iPhone keyboard and worked directly and closely with an associated designer. Glaringly absent from these teams were in fact product managers. The responsibility instead was divided amongst the engineers, designers, a program manager for project management support, and the senior leader. By empowering these very small teams they had the ability and motivation to do their very best work.

I would encourage you to check out the book for yourself as it was a fascinating glimpse into the design process of one of the world's most innovative product companies: Creative Selection by Ken Kocienda.
The Creator's Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs
The Creator's Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs
You know that sense you get when something has the ring of deep truth to it? That's the feeling I got a couple of months ago when listening to Amy Wilkinson's talk about her upcoming book. So I pre-ordered the book, and when it came out, went through it like lightning through tofu, devouring it in 1.5 sittings.

For my brain, this book is pure crack: stories of risk-taking, hard-working, talented entrepreneurs and their ventures. If that were all that "Creator's Code" were offering, I'd already be sold. But Wilkinson goes way beyond that and actually distills the wisdom of these unusually successful people into six principles mere mortals like you and me can use.

Here are the 6 principles:
1. FIND THE GAP: By staying alert, creators spot opportunities that others don't see.
2. DRIVE FOR DAYLIGHT: Just as race-car drivers keep their eyes fixed on the road ahead, creators focus on the future.
3. FLY THE OODA LOOP: Creators continuously update their assumptions. In rapid succession, they observe, orient, decide, and act.
4. FAIL WISELY: Creator set failure ratios, place small bets to test ideas, and develop resilience. They hone the skill to turn setbacks into successes.
5. NETWORK MINDS: Creators bring together diverse brainpower to come up with breakthrough solutions.
6. GIFT SMALL GOODS: Creators unleash generosity by helping others, often by sharing information, pitching in to complete a task, or opening opportunities to colleagues.

Here's what I like about the book:
--The stories of the entrepreneurs: You may have used PayPal or eBay, or bought Spanx undergarments, or wished for a Tesla Model S for Christmas, but you may not know how these companies came into being. Loved hearing how Sarah Blakely started as a door-to-door fax machine saleswoman, how Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Skoll partnered to get eBay going, how Elon Musk was always mere millimeters away from disaster (or already in it) with Tesla and SpaceX, and how the PayPal guys beat out the competition and beat down international fraud rings through sheer determination and ingenuity.

--The interviews: I hope Wilkinson has super-elite platinum molybdenum frequent flyer status by now, since she must have run up crazy miles to interview pretty much every single luminary of today's entrepreneurial world. Some of these guys I had heard of before; some of them I'm glad to know about now (e.g. Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle). The list is impressive: the aforementioned Musk, Omidyar and Blakely; Elizabeth Holmes, the elusive wunderkind of Theranos; Peter Thiel; genius inventor Dean Kamen (of Segway and Slingshot fame); Google's Larry Page; MIT's Bob Langer, head of the world's largest bioengineering lab; Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani yogurt; Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky of Airbnb; Kevin Plank of Under Armour; Max Levchin of PayPal, Yelp, Affirm, Glow, and co-inventor of CAPTCHA; David Sacks of PayPal and Yammer; Jessica Herrin of Stella & Dot; the legendary David Kelley of IDEO.

--The ideas: Wilkinson has combed the scientific literature to bring us some gems from psychology, anthropology and neuroscience relating directly to creative success. For example, from psychiatrist Albert Rothenberg: "Conceptual contradiction can lead to creative results." So, hire people with different opinions. Or psychologist Carol Dweck's notion of growth vs fixed mindsets, and how the former leads to a more can-do attitude and entrepreneurial drive. The importance of the "Yes, and..." rule of improv comedy in hatching and developing new ideas. And one of my favorite from the whole book: "Creators become comfortable with being uncomfortable. To fail wisely, they place small bets, set a failure ratio, believe enough to persist, and turn setbacks into strength."

-- The implementation: Wilkinson doesn't just tell you what the principles are; she also gives you eminently usable methods for implementing them. For example, regarding Principle 5, Networked Minds: "To solve multifaceted problems, creators bring together the brainpower of diverse individuals through on- and off-line forums. They harness cognitive diversity to build on each other's ideas. To do this, creators design shared spaces, foster flash teams, hold prize competitions, and build work-related games. They collaborate with unlikely allies." Do you have any idea how much concentrated wisdom those 49 words contain? Amazing.

-- Thoroughness: Amy did 200 interviews with founders and went through 10,000 pages of transcript notes, 5000 pages of secondary data and 4000 academic papers to come up with her stuff. Not sure how she boiled it all down to 6 concise principles (I suspect it involved some secret formula and goat sacrifices), but for all of us, I'm glad she did.

-- Writing style: One reason besides my superhuman reading speed that I could get through this book so fast is that the writing is super-smooth, no snags. Heck, I'm already re-reading it because I know it's an easy read.

In the end, the book is an embodiment of the spirit of generosity that Principle 6 (Gift Small Goods) advocates. Wilkinson does not glamorize rapacious money-grubbers but rather chronicles the work of well-intentioned entrepreneurs out to solve real problems facing humans. Her relentlessly positive tone and pro-sharing attitude can inspire us all to go out there and use these principles to make useful things. As such, "The Creator's Code" is no small good; it's a great gift to all who read it.

-- Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil., Happiness Engineer, Entrepreneur; Author, The Tao of Dating
San Francisco, CA
WEconomy: You Can Find Meaning, Make a Living, and Change the World
WEconomy: You Can Find Meaning, Make a Living, and Change the World
In WEconomy, purpose is the new currency. Get it right and business health, profitability and value will follow. The book explores the social dimension of finding a problem and solving it as the surest key to success.

In practice, the idea is to embed purpose into every area of the business. The involvement of senior management is critical, as well as, engagement with the entire workforce at some point. Identifying strategic stakeholders is important too. The idea is to arrive at a final articulation in order to fulfill the basic purpose in its entirety.

Impact engineering is a great example. Stakeholders find a cause with merit, build a practical action plan and engage the network frequently and methodically. Team members must listen, learn and develop an approach toward problem solving that is all-encompassing and all-inclusive.

An example of a worthy cause would be reducing infant mortality rates in high risk areas of the world like Africa or Asia. The effort involves reducing premature birth complications with routine medical interventions, the use of prenatal vitamins, optimal dietary protocols and much more. Availability of quality vaccinations and antibiotics (including natural antibiotics) may be helpful too.

Overall, "WEconomy: You Can Find Meaning..." by Craig Kielburger, Holly Branson and Marc Kielburger is a gem of a book on the mechanics of marrying organizational dynamics with technology to solve difficult social challenges worth tackling.
Henry: A Life of Henry Ford II
Henry: A Life of Henry Ford II
Fairly good, but could have been far more detailed. It should have focused more on the cars and the company itself as much as it did on his strange private life. I wanted to know more about the '49 Ford and how the decision was made to move from the Flathead V-8 to the modern OHV engine; the sales "blitz" of swamping dealerships with cars; the Thunderbird and many other things about the cars and the designers, etc. Instead, I got pages about Christina and his art collecting and his Liberal politics. I only bought this because it's the ONLY biography about Ford II I could find.
Still Winning: Why America Went All in on Donald Trump - and Why We Must Do It Again
Still Winning: Why America Went All in on Donald Trump - and Why We Must Do It Again
This is a tasty serving of raw political meat from one of the president's top supporters. It is a reliving of the campaign and the initial years of what Charlie hopes will be the first of two presidential terms. Sometimes we have historical narrative, sometimes a recapitulation of extended talking points. Those on Charlie's wave length will relish his accounts and those who are skeptical may actually be convinced, persuaded or at least impressed by his recital of a number of hard facts.

Charlie pulls no punches; he does not attempt to hide his contempt for such figures as John Kerry, JFK, his 'runt of the litter' brother Ted, and, yes, Mitt Romney. He is unswerving in his candor and generally spot-on with his facts. Like Fox News at its best, he reveals the facts which others are quick to suppress (e.g., JFK's treatment of interns). The writing is never dull and it is often florid/funny:

"The lobby industry attracts some of the most morally bankrupt politicians from both the House and the Senate. These former members of Congress, having sated themselves at the public trough, now sit like bloated toads on the swamp's lily pads, flicking their tongues out for the sweetest of delicacies" (p. 52).

If there is a key theme it is the shock at the endurance of the corrupt status quo. I once had a Marxist colleague who said that many looked at America and thought everything was alright. He looked at it and thought that everything was wrong. Adopt that and you have Donald Trump (and Charlie Hurt). The swamplike status quo was good for the inside-the-beltway occupants but horrendous for America. Trump saw that it was bad and vowed to change it. The swamp (including an array of republicans as well as the gamut of democrats and, now, socialists) does not want its status quo disrupted and it will do anything, literally, anything (witness the Kavanaugh hearings) to sustain that status quo.

There are few epiphanies or new revelations here, but the argument is insistent, fact-laden and (as with most of CH's commentary) cathartic. He confirms all of your suspicions and gives you heart by displaying the courage of his own convictions and his willingness to declare the unvarnished truth. You don't need to fear lawsuits if the facts that you announce are supportable, indeed, undeniable.
Tiny Toon Adventures Season 1
Tiny Toon Adventures Season 1
THIS DVD PLAYS ON REGION 2 DVD PLAYERS.

Now, this series is the last of any of Looney Tunes knock off that was decent. This set is a nostalgic no holds barred parody and really a salute to the original Looney Tunes.
A pop culture packed show, which runs for 20 odd minutes a time with cut scenes of modern culture and culture parodies.
The set isn't held with an iron fist by censors like today, which is crazy to believe that this series is around 20 year old.
You get characters which are at a university taught by veteran Looney Tunes characters, starring the talented Charlie Adler (Cow and Chicken, Ahhh real monsters) and we have Buster Bunny and Babs Bunny(no relation) in the starring roles, a parody of Bugs Bunny. Plucky Duck is a parody of Daffy Duck... You get the idea The show goes into university days of these characters.
The show is fun and surprisingly not dated. The jokes still hold water today, mainly because they're recycling the classic Looney Tunes ways, but the set is still so much fun to see these cartoons again.
The set contains 4 discs and 1 is double sided (I hate double sided discs) with a nice box styled box and easy to navigate menu's. With a Play All option and episode selection and language selection (ask if you want to know specifics for that)
This set is the start, from the pilot, to the first half and I'd say the better half of Tiny Toons. But don't let that put you off the second half of season 1. It has some brilliant episodes.

here is the episode break down.

Disc 1
The Looney Beginning
A Quack in the Quarks
The Wheel O' Comedy
Test Stress
The Buster Bunny Bunch
Her Wacky Highness
Hollywood Plucky
Journey to the Center of Acme Acres

Disc 2
It's Buster Bunny Time
Stuff That Goes Bump in the Night
Looking Out for the Little Guy
Starting From Scratch
Citizen Max
Furball Follies
Hare Raising Night
The Acme Acres Zone

Disc 3
Life in the 1990s
Rock n' Roar
Prom-ise Her Anything
Hare Today,Gone Tomorrow
Cinemaniacs
You Asked For it
Gang Busters
Wake Up Call of the Wild

Disc 4 side 1
Buster and the Wolverine
You Asked For it part 2
Europe in 30 Minutes
The Wacko World of Sports
Rainy Daze
Fields of Honey
Sawdust and Toonsil
Spring in Acme Acres

Disc 4 side 2
Psychic Fun-Omenon Day
The Wild World of Elmyra
A Ditch in Time

This set also looks un-cut, so if you have any questions, leave a comment.
Amistad: Agenda 2017 (Spanish-language) (Spanish Edition)
Amistad: Agenda 2017 (Spanish-language) (Spanish Edition)
I love each and every Paulo Coehlo Agendas. They have a poem or excerpt of one of his books at the first page of every month. Also, every moth first two pages contain beautiful and unique artwork that you won't see again in any other agenda. Each page of the agenda has a quote from one of his books as well. Every two pages are divided by five days, each page has plenty of space for three or two days with plenty of space to write on. Each agenda is unique and limited edition and best of all, at a very accesible price. I collect them all. These agendas are practical, contain beautiful poems and quotes as well as unique and beautiful artwork. Recomend them as a practical and organizational tool as well as a collectible item.
Seul contre tous (First Thriller) (French Edition)
Seul contre tous (First Thriller) (French Edition)
J'ai acheté ce livre en connaissant et appréciant l'auteur.
A première vue, ce policier ne m'inspirait pas, je trouvais les descriptions du procès longues et un peu ennuyeuses. Mais je me suis laissée prendre au style efficace et fluide de l'auteur qui m'a emportée dans cette histoire. J'ai dévoré les pages les unes après les autres entrainée dans cette intrigue reposant sur une ursupation d'identité qui lui permet de découvrir la vérité.
Je crois que la force de cet auteur est d'intégrer le lecteur dans ses romans ou ses policiers grâce à sa manière d'écrire.
Astro Boy 1 [VHS]
Astro Boy 1 [VHS]
Astroboy(Japanese original name is "Tetsuwan Atom", which means Armstrong Atom or Mighty Atom by the author's English titles written in manga books) is the first attempt of the weekly TV animation series made in Japan. It was released in Japan from Jan 1st 1963 until Dec 31th 1966 (4 years) with 193 episodes in total in B/W films. In Japan the watching rate was usually more than 30% and the highest marked astonishing 40.7 %. In USA, the on air was discontinued by the claim of parental movement insisting the story contains strong brutal actions, so only early part of the total episodes were available outside of Japan. The original Tetsuwan Atom was written in the form of Manga (comic) on the monthly books started from 1951. The author Tezuka Osam (Tezuka is the family name) was the best manga writters in history and in his lifetime he wrote more than one hundred fifty thousand pages of manga manuscripts (about more than 500 manga books) and directed many animation films for commertial TVs and non commertial experimentals. Outside of Japan, very small part of his huge amount of work is known. Atom is just 1% of him. The Atom series contains many classical SF spirits and rich ideas. The design of the machines and buildings are elegant decora style possibly Germanic. This Atom series influenced many Japanese kid at that time to make many engineers to have desire to make humanoid robots with intellect. etc, etc, Enjoy
The House Husband (Bookshots Thrillers)
The House Husband (Bookshots Thrillers)
Summary:
           Detective Teagan Beaumont has come back from maternity leave into a mess.  Her partner is hiding something, her husband is having issues adapting and, let's face it, she just doesn't want to leave her baby every day.  Then there are the murders.  Several families have come up murdered.  A mother that killed her children, husband and herself.  A well off family where the mother poisoned her family, then overdosed on pain killers.  The one that shakes her, though, is when it is another police  man's family.  It looked like the mother took a gun to her family and then herself.  But she knows this mother.  Nothing would have possessed her to do this.  Where do you loo for clues when nothing is as it seems?
         At the same time W. Harold Poshen has the perfect life not far away.  He is the perfect father and house husband and loves his life.  Sometimes though, you just have to blow off a little steam.  And, really, can he help it when it makes him angry to see failing families?  All he wants is the perfect family. 
My thoughts:
             This was a good, fast read; though fairly predictable.  I did like Teagan, but it was harder to like the other characters as they were a bit underdeveloped for me.  I would be interested to see if Detective Teagan becomes a series, but as of yet this is a standalone novella.  The story line was interesting and engaging, and I found myself wrapped up in the mayhem.  I give it a three. 

           On the Adult Content Scale, I give it a six.  The violence gets pretty gruesome.
J. R. R. Tolkien (A Life From Beginning to End): Biographies of British Authors, Book 4
J. R. R. Tolkien (A Life From Beginning to End): Biographies of British Authors, Book 4
This whole series "Hourly History" of books are just kind of okay. If you are into history and spend a lot of time in waiting rooms, buses or other places without wifi service, they can be a godsend.

They all read pretty much like freshman term papers, not great literature, but readable and informative. They are not terribly well edited, with typos and grammar mistakes, but for the price you can't beat them. They are meant to be read from your Kindle app in about an hour and are good for those places where you can't get online. You do have to start reading somewhere with service though, the book is downloaded when you start reading NOT when you buy it, so be aware of that. I discovered this after buying several for a long plane trip and discovering I didn't really have them!

So anyway, just fine, just don't expect too much scholarship or depth.
Das Rätsel von Miramare: Roman, Band 78 der Gesammelten Werke (Karl Mays Gesammelte Werke) (German Edition)
Das Rätsel von Miramare: Roman, Band 78 der Gesammelten Werke (Karl Mays Gesammelte Werke) (German Edition)
Es gibt nicht nur Old Shatterhand und Kar bin Nemsi! Karl May hat auch anderes geschrieben. Um das Lebenswerk von Karl May zu kennen, sollten auch die weiteren Bände aus den gesammelten Werken gelesen werden. Diese haben z.T. sehr interessante Details, die vom Verlag bzw. den Autoren der Überarbeitungen hinzugefügt sind. Hierzu zählt auch dieser Band.
Wie immer: etwas für Karl May Fans!
Montana Dog Soldier (Brotherhood Protectors Book 6)
Montana Dog Soldier (Brotherhood Protectors Book 6)
Montana Dog Soldier is a good story with strong female and male leads. Joe aka Kujo is the male hero along with his German Shepherd Six, they are both retired military but being Delta Force makes him never fully retired. Kujo and Six are the newest members of Brotherhood Protectors.
Molly is an FBI agent out in the Crazy Mountains of Montana to find a terrorist training camp, when she is left for dead, Kujo and Six will save her life. Kujo and Molly have a love hate relationship at first as their trying to figure the other out. Once that trust develops, it's on like Donkey Kong. Kujo is one sexy alpha but he is also sweet and caring. Molly is strong, independent but knows when she is over her head and needs help.
if you read any other books in this series than you will see all previous Brotherhood members such as Hank, Taz, Bear, Duke and my favorite Swede. This is actually the first book of the series where all previous books characters had a little role and I loved it. I like when an author writes a series and includes all her characters in the books. I hate reading a series, only to never read about the previous characters. So I am excited James included the men and their woman in Montana Dog Soldier.
Happy Reading! !
Spinners Lake: Book Five in the stunningly heartwarming Gibson Family Saga
Spinners Lake: Book Five in the stunningly heartwarming Gibson Family Saga
Had to choose a book from a limited selection and took book 1 of the Gibson saga, Salem Street. Worked my way through all five now, as they are riveting good stories. A bit of continuity mishaps here and there - the youngest child born to John has a name change, and people's ages slip back and forth a year or two. Some of the happenings are a bit unrealistic - John the lay preacher had no hesitation in impregnating his very young housekeeper without marriage - would cause a scandal now never mind then. Loved reading about Annie but found her somewhat annoying - her habit of marrying for money as well as love, and her obsession with style, not to mention the put-downs her final hubby endured! In the last book she comes over as a bit shrewish. Money seems to answer a lot in this series. There is also a dubious theme that nice men, even if married can "visit ladies in Manchester" and still turn out to be the hero . In spite of some of these annoying niggles, a great family story, and now I am left wondering how William and his siblings got on. I felt sure that the little lad was going to die of Asthma and was so relieved when he was still alive on the last page! Would love a sequel, but am getting into the Irish sisters series where there is a link through runaway Mark. Easier to read than Cookson, I found, as she is prone to massively long portions of direct speech which I find detracts from the stories.
Twilight 7: Eclipse Vol. 1 of 3 (Twilight Saga) (Japanese Edition) by Stephenie Meyer (2008-11-01)
Twilight 7: Eclipse Vol. 1 of 3 (Twilight Saga) (Japanese Edition) by Stephenie Meyer (2008-11-01)
いやあ〜待ちました。もう、一年が長かった……。こんなに次が読みたくなる本はめったにない。しかも3巻同時発売!……ありがと〜っ!誰に向かって言っているのかわからないけど、とにかく幸せなんだからしょ〜がない!中だるみすることなく一気に読めたので☆5つ決定!面白ければなんでもいいよ、という私は、小難しいことなど考えずにただひたすら本能に従うので、そういった意味では読者としては文句なしの満足感を味わえた。それにしても、エドワードは毎回やってくれます。多くの女性読者は、彼の甘い態度や台詞に一撃されたのではないでしょうか。本当に夢を見させてくれる本だなとおもいました。時の旅人クレアが大人向けのロマンスなら、トワイライトはティーン向けのロマンスなんでしょうね。どちらも王道を行っていて、ひたすら読者をワクワクさせてくれるし、どちらも私の中では見逃せない代表作になりました。現代に生まれてきてこれらの本にめぐり合えたことを幸せに思います。女はやっぱりロマンスが好き!どんなに小難しく考えても、心の中にいるお姫様は眠りませんよ。……というわけで。私が幸せなので☆5つになりましたとさ♪
Die Suche (German Edition)
Die Suche (German Edition)
Hallo, als Freund des Schreibstils von Wilbur Smith kann ich diese fantasievolle Geschichte nur empfehlen. Es ist natuerlich auch viel mystisches und magisches dabei zusätzlich aber gewohnt spannende Abenteuer der Hauptdarsteller. Innerhalb 3 Tagen habe ich das fast ohne das Buch
wegzulegen durchgelesen. Alles ist stimmig und man fühlt sich als Teilnehmer der Geschichte.
Klasse.
The Drifters: A Novel
The Drifters: A Novel
I am re-reading the Micheners I read years (20-30) ago because I find Michener so incredibly educational. If you care to, you will learn dozens new vocabulary words. Your will read about places you might never have heard of before or may never get to see. He always includes a smattering of politics, culture, economics, geography, race-relations and several other subjects entertaining you all the while.

The Drifters is a little dated because so much of it was germane to the attitudes or the late 60s. He delved into the drug and music culture from the point-of-view of the 60-something narrator hanging out with a half-dozen young adults ranging from about 17 to late-twenties. (The narrator is a businessman who travels a great deal and knew a couple of the kids incidentally early in the novel.)Despite the fact that I am of the generation of the young adults (I was born in 1950), I found some of the youthful sneering at the old generation's music a little over-the-top. Yes, we thought we had everything figured out and our music was the best and we were going to be the salvation of humanity, but it didn't quite work out that way, And I, as well as many others in my age group, did like music from the 50s and 40s. There was a section where he made the breakthrough from perceiving the young people's music as little more than noise to largely "getting" it. It was interesting to me because Michener obviously went through this in order to write it.

The biggest "take-away" from The Drifters is the travel fantasies. I don't know if all the places that were such a big deal then have retained their appeal or evolved into something quite different but they would be magnificent to travel to if they still retain the character from the time.

I know bulls still run at Pamplona and I hope that the game preserves in Mozambique haven't been destroyed. They (the characters) explore sites of historical significance and others for little reason more than the beauty or charm of the place.

I highly recommend any of the Michener "behemoths". They are usually written in *almost* stand-alone sections so, if you get fatigued, you can take a break and return later.
Harry Potter House & Uniform 5-packs Adult No-show Socks
Harry Potter House & Uniform 5-packs Adult No-show Socks
I completely agree with the previous person reviewing this product. I also bought them thinking they adult socks, but the read 4-10 as well. They do not seem like adult socks, but they seem pretty stretchy. I hope they fit my step kid she’s a size 11.5. Other than that they are made of good material.
Alternatives
Alternatives
I picked this book up a long time ago (when it was new) and ran across it by accident recently. Figured it was time to take a look again.

There are six stories covering a wide range of "what ifs", from an alternate US where George Washington was hung from treason to a world in which Islam overran Constantinople and continued to conquer much of Europe. Some seemed credible and others not so much (I have no idea exactly what was happening in the first story, something about a different path Joan of Arc took). I dare I enjoyed most, and the couple I didn't I read long enough before it was time to jump to the next.

Definitely recommended and a solid collection of stories, though not all of them are solid hits. Of course that's the beauty of an anthology like this; if one story doesn't work for you, it's easy to skip on to the next. How well you LIKE the book depends mostly on many stories are hits vs. misses for you. Of course this book has fewer stories in it than many, which limits your hit/miss ratio a bit.

For me, the collection was better than most. As I said it's recommended, though I might not collect it ahead of others unless I just ran across it at a bookstore.
Funko Quidditch Harry Potter Vinyl Figure
Funko Quidditch Harry Potter Vinyl Figure
I purchased this item as a gift for my Harry Potter and Pop figure lover. We can't get enough of the these Pop's and Funko's quality is usually pretty good. He is adorable in his Quidditch uniform. The detail is amazing and the paint job is really good on this little guy (he even has his scar...how cute is that?!) My daughter loved that he came with his broom and of course the golden snitch! As stated in previous reviews, he stands about 3 ½ inches out of package. I am giving this one a 4 star rating due to Harry's glasses being pretty flimsy. My daughter took this guy out of his packaging and his glasses were not attached to one side of this figure.
Gift For Dying
Gift For Dying
M.J. Arlidge is one of my favorite authors. His D.I. Helen Grace series is phenomenally and consistently good. So when I saw that he had a stand-alone novel, I jumped at the chance to read it. Alas, "A Gift for Dying" did not live up to the standards I have for Mr. Arlidge, and here's why:

1) The book took forever to get going. There was so much backstory and setup. Too much. Although the book had Arlidge's trademark very short chapters, the short chapters didn't help move along the plot like they do in his D.I. Helen Grace series. Instead, I got frustrated that a 3-page chapter would be inserted to talk about a potential victim's mundane day. I realize that Arlidge wanted to give readers a chance to get to know the characters, but in this case it really wasn't necessary. Knowing the victims' daily routines and thoughts didn't have bearing on the plot or getting insight into the killer, so it was really unnecessary and served only to drag out the book, which was already 470 pages long.

2) This story should not have been set in Chicago. Or anywhere in the United States, for that matter. It should have been set in England because Arlidge's language is British English, with British vocabulary. Lots of British vocabulary. It was so jarring for the characters to be speaking British English when they're supposed to be American people based in Chicago. And not just the characters, but the descriptions and narrative portions were also steeped in British vocabulary. There was no need to base this book in Chicago. It could have been based anywhere and still worked. But if you're going to base it in the United States, you need to use American English. Otherwise, it simply doesn't fit.

3) I didn't connect with Dr. Adam Brandt, the main adult character. I didn't find his actions and decisions believable, and I simply never felt a connection with him and his wife Faith and their domestic trials, although I could tell that Arlidge was trying very hard to draw the reader in. I felt more of a connection with Kassie, the teenaged girl who is central to this novel. But even with Kassie, I didn't really care about her family life backstory, her mom, her childhood. I don't know why, but all of that just made me impatient to get on with the plot. I understand the need for character development, but for some reason it wasn't working for me in this book.

Having said all this, I still give the book 3 stars because Arlidge is a good writer. When the pace of the book finally started picking up, I was much more engrossed. Some of the violence is extremely graphic, but this was not a surprise to me, as I know how graphic his D.I. Helen Grace series can be. It's not gratuitous violence - it does fit, but it's definitely not for the squeamish.

Because I like Arlidge so much, I'll still give it a go with any future standalone novels, but in the meantime I eagerly await the next in his D.I. Helen Grace series.
Westcott Junior T-Square Ruler, 18-Inch (JR-18), Clear
Westcott Junior T-Square Ruler, 18-Inch (JR-18), Clear
I am very pleased with the quality of this T Square and the care in packing that was taken to assure I received it in perfect condition. Amazon was the only one that gave me the selection and price range to compare similar items. I use the T Square when I write and use reference material as part of my stamp collection which I later share with students. I was so please with the cost that I have ordered a second one as a stand by. Rulers just didn't work because sorry to say I have a little of the shakes because of age and need a bigger target to hold on to. This T Square hit the spot. The service was outstanding. Thank you Amazon for all your help again.

Anthony Sr.
Y: The Last Man Vol. 4: Safeword
Y: The Last Man Vol. 4: Safeword
The story of Yorrick Brown - as the last remaining specimen of the male species in the world along with his monkey - continues across the heartlands of US in this fourth edition. In any case the post-apocalyptic journey-saga feel in itself is a concept I find utterly engrossing. After a lot of plot setting and starting the journey in the first 3 volumes, I thought this one was a roller coaster of action, intrigue and even psychological revelations. While there is a lot of excitement and fun to be had in this volume, I did feel that it did not develop enough of a web to be unraveled later or any complex additional plot development that keep us wondering whats to come next and that makes it a 4-star.

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