Reece Castillo

Joined a year ago

Reece's Favorites
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Book 7 by J.K. Rowling, Jim Dale, et al.. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars, with 10564 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the J. K. Rowling category.
Das Bekenntnis: Roman (German Edition)
Das Bekenntnis: Roman (German Edition)
Das Bekenntnis: Roman (German Edition) by John Grisham , Kristiana Dorn-Ruhl, et al.. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 69 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
Green Lake
Green Lake
Green Lake by S.K. Epperson. Rated 4.2 out of 5 stars, with 3273 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the John Grisham category.
Running man
Running man
Running man by Nicolas Djermag, Stephen King, et al.. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars, with 42 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Stephen King category.
Java How To Program (Early Objects) (10th Edition)
Java How To Program (Early Objects) (10th Edition)
Java How To Program (Early Objects) (10th Edition) by Paul J. Deitel and Harvey Deitel. Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars, with 61 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Java programming' category.
Python for Everybody: Exploring Data in Python 3
Python for Everybody: Exploring Data in Python 3
Python for Everybody: Exploring Data in Python 3 by Charles Severance, Aimee Andrion, et al.. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars, with 433 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'Python programming' category.
SQL Server Security (Osborne Networking)
SQL Server Security (Osborne Networking)
SQL Server Security (Osborne Networking) by David Litchfield. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 2 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'SQL database' category.
Pro SQL Server 2000 Database Design
Pro SQL Server 2000 Database Design
Pro SQL Server 2000 Database Design by Louis Davidson and Apress. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 3 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the 'SQL database' category.
Learning Concurrent Programming in Scala
Learning Concurrent Programming in Scala
Learning Concurrent Programming in Scala by Aleksandar Prokopec. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 15 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Scala programming category.
Practical Machine Learning
Practical Machine Learning
Practical Machine Learning by Sunila Gollapudi. Rated 3.3 out of 5 stars, with 19 ratings. Read more and check out similar items in the Julia programming category.
How To Invest Like Warren Buffett: Discover the Wisdom of the World's Greatest Wealth Creator
How To Invest Like Warren Buffett: Discover the Wisdom of the World's Greatest Wealth Creator
Do not be frightened off by the title. This is not yet another “How to become as rich as Buffett by following his investment secrets.”
This is a mature and thought-provoking book that highlights some important practices of the best investor on planet earth. These are practices that can be easily followed by any investor and that will at best improve your returns, and at least highlight the difference between being a speculator and an investor.
The book opens with a description of Buffett’s early life, education and career, as well as his capitalist tendencies that started at age six.
The impression many have of Buffett as a great stock-picker overlooks the fact that his wealth is not based on stock-picking, and that he doesn’t spend his days watching the boards to see movements from which he can take a quick advantage. His is the “get rich slow” scheme, which requires work – Buffett works seven days a week.
Early in his career Buffett learned a powerful, clarifying insight from his mentor, Benjamin Graham, that of the erratic Mr Market. The stock market is like a manic-depressive partner who will offer to buy your 50% share of the business for more than it is worth when he is manic, and sell his 50% for less than it is worth when he is depressed. Buffett’s method is to ignore Mr Market and focus only on the business itself.
No business gets percentage points better in a day or percentage points worse in a day. Those are the ravings of the manic-depressive, Mr Market.
A well run business with its solid business model and high quality management, will go through rough periods, but those will pass and not affect the value the business will achieve – over time. “Over time” is five years, anything less is not investing, it is speculating.
Buffett works hard at finding out how good a company really is, and flees from companies that mask their problems or mislead their shareholders. Recently he dumped his holdings in Tesco, the British supermarket chain, when it was revealed the management had lied about their financial state. Buffett lost $440m, but would not leave his money with a company that cannot be trusted to tell the truth to their shareholders.
Buffett reads company reports insatiably, and places great value on those that have a Chairman’s report written by the Chairman himself, and not the PR department. However, Buffett also listens to “the Scuttlebut” – the bucket on the old sailing ship that the sailors would gather around to drink water and gossip, much like the modern coffee machine. What are the people in the company saying about the company and the management? What are the competitors and customers saying about the company?
Buffett has a share portfolio of $117bn, (larger than the National Budget of South Africa), but just four listed companies make up 60% of that value. They are Wells Fargo, Coca Cola, American Express and IBM. The rest of his portfolio are unlisted companies, eight of which are big enough to qualify for the Fortune 500.
Many talk of “diversification” of a portfolio, and their rationale is that where some companies fail to perform, the others will compensate. Buffett’s view is to “put all your eggs in one basket, but watch that basket very carefully, and know what it is that you are buying.”
In this short and very readable book, the trusted Alec Hogg has pulled together some of the most important lessons that can be gleaned from Warren Buffett. Hogg has followed Buffett for years and has had personal exposure to the great man. Complemented by Hogg’s knowledge of the South African context he has produced a ‘must read’ - whether you invest directly in the market, or through advisors.
Readability Light +---- Serious
Insights High -+--- Low
Practical High -+--- Low

*Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy and is the author of Strategy that Works.
What Would Steve Jobs Do? How the Steve Jobs Way Can Inspire Anyone to Think Differently and Win
What Would Steve Jobs Do? How the Steve Jobs Way Can Inspire Anyone to Think Differently and Win
I recently read this book and What Would Drucker Do Now?, written by Rick Wartzman and also published by McGraw-Hill. Initially, I suspected that both were (or will become) part of a "What Would X Do?" series that might also include Sun Tzu, Socrates, Machiavelli, and Von Clauswitz or, within the domain of business, Henry Ford, Albert Sloan, one or both of the Thomas Watsons, and Walt Disney. It turns out, the two "What Would" books share little in common, except for the quality of their content and of their authors' presentation of it.

Peter Sander devotes the first two chapters of his book to essential background information about Steve Jobs and Apple, then explores the meaning and significance of the book's title in several different ways. Here are two. First, what he characterizes as "The Steve Jobs Leadership Model" in Chapter 3, one that consists of six "steps" or elements. He also includes a suggestion by Jean-Louis Gassée, former Apple VP: "Democracies don't make great products - you need a competent tyrant." Jobs was certainly both and that is hardly a head-snapping revelation. The historical details of the model have been known for decades. The same competent tyrant who visited Xerox PARC with Steve Wozniak in 1979 also introduced a series of "insanely great" Apple products 25-30 years later. For better or worse, Jobs really was literally "one of a kind."

Hence the importance of Sander's second approach: A series of "What Would Steve Jobs Do?" sections at the conclusion of Chapters 4-9 in which he suggests lessons to be learned from Jobs in six subject areas: Customer (Page 103), Vision (124-125), Culture (153-154), Product (171-172), Message (190-191), and Brand (205-206). Almost anyone who reads this book can follow the advice provided (e.g. "Thank about customer pain and what causes it") but few - if any - can do so in ways and to the extent Steve Jobs could...and did. Most of the admonitions will serve as reminders rather than as revelations. Fair enough.

For those who wish to know more about Steve Jobs, there is no shortage of other sources, notably Walter Isaacson's biography. I also highly recommend Adam Lashinsky's Inside Apple and Leander Kahney's Inside Steve's Brain.
How To Start A Business Without Any Money
How To Start A Business Without Any Money
Has some links but would not recommend you would be far better off with Tony Robbins and rich dad books
She has not fought enough battles it is evident in her writing that she cannot and shouldn't use her Cambridge major as that is only studying but so you need to find someone who has done the real thing for advice there are better books out there
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
My son had to read this for a book report. He said it was the most boring book he ever read (and he is an avid reader). He barely got through it...When I asked the other moms of the kids in his class what their son's thought, they all said the same thing,,,their son's hated it!
Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech
Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech
When is Victoria Saker Woeste and Stanford University Press going to turn their concern with "hate speech" on some lesser cartoon cut-out than the long-dead Henry Ford? What about the contemporary rhetorical war on goyim, in which Woeste and fellow thought cops invest exactly zero interest and concern? Take for example the Lakewood, New Jersey yeshiva volume, "Romemut Yisrael Ufarashat Hagalut" ("Jewish Superiority and the Question of Exile"). Quoting from its contents: "The Jew by his source and in his very essence is entirely good. The goy, by his source and in his very essence, is completely evil. This is not simply a matter of religious distinction, but rather of two completely different species." Does anti-goyimite racism qualify as hate speech that must be interdicted?

Let us consider another charming book that has had a considerable influence over the Israeli army, "Torat Hamelech: Dinei Nefashot Bein Yisrael Le'Amim" ("The King's Torah: Laws of Life and Death between Jews and the Nations"). This book contains 230 pages on the halachic perspective on the killing of gentiles. The authors assert that "The prohibition `Thou Shalt Not Murder' applies only `to a Jew who kills a Jew." Torat Hamelech was published by the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva. It has received wide dissemination and the enthusiastic endorsements of prominent rabbis. At the entrance to Moriah, a large Israeli bookstore just yards from the Western Wall, copies of "Torat Hamelech" were displayed with children's books and halachic commentaries. The store manager, who identified himself only as Motti, said the tome has sold "excellently." Other Israeli stores carrying the book include Robinson Books, a well-known, mostly secular bookshop in a hip Tel Aviv shopping district; Pomeranz Bookseller, a major Judaic book emporium near the Ben Yehuda mall in downtown Jerusalem, and Felhendler, a religious store on the main artery of secular Rehovot, home of the Weizmann Institute. Prominent religious figures wrote letters of endorsement that preface the book. This is happening now. It is not a relic of the Great Depression era, like Ford's material.

Here is another quote from "Torat Hamelech": "In any situation in which a non-Jew's presence endangers Jewish lives, the non-Jew may be killed even if he is a righteous Gentile and not at all guilty for the situation that has been created," the authors state. Other books of this tenor include the Lubavitcher-sponsored "Baruch Hagever," which praises the mass murderer who slaughtered 40 Palestinians in Hebron in 1994, and Kahane's "They Must Go," which describes the entire Arab population as "malignant." We could go on, citing, in context (as Woeste does with Ford), quotes from such hallowed texts as the Talmud Bavli, Mishneh Torah, Tanya, and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch. Hopefully, what we have furnished herein will suffice.

When will see a book about the "Rabbis' War on Goyim and the Battle Against Hate Speech"? We could not find "Torat Hamelech" or "Romemut Yisrael Ufarashat Hagalut" in your book decrying hate speech. Why? You seem to be branding a prominent goy (Ford) with the Mark of Cain, while turning a blind eye to the hate speech of Right wing Orthodox rabbis who have signficant influence over the Israeli occupation troops who hold the lives of Palestinians in their hands, at the present time. When will we witness righteous outrage concerning the on-going hate speech associated with the War on Goyim?

[Hoffman is the author of "Judaism Discovered."]
My Life and Work
My Life and Work
While the title reads life and work, for the author this meant more or less work is life. In a way it is an old school biography - in this case focused mostly on the company in question, rather than the author himself - in the same vein as Hilton's Be My Guest. It is also very much focusing on the principles of management that Henry Ford believed in, and is in that way a great complement to Alfred P. Sloan's My Years with General Motors - something worthwhile reading for anyone interested in or working in the automotive industry (and interested in management more broadly, as well).

A lot of the moves Ford made from the start at the turn of last century to the meteoric rise and peak in the early 1920's, when the book was written are described in the book, with the logic behind it laid out. You will be able to read about the $5 workday, the constant quest for production efficiency improvement, the practical (and not from forged results, like with Taylor) results of scientific management, the production line, the constant lowering of prices for the product, following efficiency gains, the mechanisation of agriculture, etc. Some, such as the introduction of the production line and the $5 a day salary are relatively well known, the rest perhaps less so and what the book does relatively well is show how the system works well holistically and what is needed in order to implement it.

On top of describing production, quite some attention is being devoted to other aspects of business, which Ford considered peripheral, misused and generally badly run - such as financing, hedging, transport, law, etc. In his view the finance aspects and departments even in his day were overemphasised and one can easily see how the efficiency based system he was striving for would be hard to implement in a company where the owner / CEO does not have the ultimate control - stock markets as well as shareholders would be fairly unlikely to support the low dividend and low article profitability (compensated by a meteoric rise in sales leading to an extremely solid profitability overall) back then as well as now. His basic message being that more money will not prevent bad management, rather it will perpetuate it, removing the urgency and need for more fundamental operative changes. He also warns agains hedging (raw materials, currency etc.) - in his view, when a business makes a killing in those areas a couple of times, the temptation is great to focus the effort here rather than on production or the delivery of goods and services, something likely to lead to decline in the longer term (he did not believe it is consistently possible to beat the market).

The book is also surprising if one looks at when it was written - many later authors seem to have borrowed extremely heavily from it. Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged (Penguin Modern Classics),The Fountainhead (Penguin Modern Classics)) appears to have taken on many ideas - although her disdain for the common man is not shared by Ford (he is much more egalitarian in this respect - i.e. people have different capabilities but it is also the responsibility of the management and the people with abilities to make sure the rest fulfill their potential). The stock and flow framework of Jay Forrester's System Dynamics (as introduced by the author in his book Industrial Dynamics) is described here (decades earlier), too. He also seems to have predated Colin Chapman's (of Lotus fame) obsession of adding lightness to everything by about 5 decades.

As for the style, Ford does not necessarily write for readability - it will be much closer to works of his time in this respect, more of a Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class (Oxford World's Classics) than the work of a late 20th century management guru. Still, it is not a real chore to read, it just requires a bit more concentration.

Finally, it is interesting to see how the system he devised and operated so effectively for about two decades was replaced and enriched by Sloan's version of mass customisation, something Ford was forced to adapt but a few brief years after the book was written. If you are interested in how some of Ford's ideas evolved (and degenerated) later on, I can also warmly recommend Sloan's My Years with General Motors for the next stage of development, Dewar's A Savage Factory: An Eyewitness Account of the Auto Industry's Self-Destruction for the complete brakdown of relations between labour and management (also at Ford), and either DeLorean's On a Clear Day You Can See General Motors: John Z. De Lorean's Look Inside the Automotive Giant or Yates' The Decline and Fall of the American Automobile Industry for the final stages of cancerous development / subversion of Ford's and Sloan's earlier ideas.
Donald Trump: The Man Who Would Be King (Blood Moon's Babylon Series)
Donald Trump: The Man Who Would Be King (Blood Moon's Babylon Series)
Donald Trump, the Master of Celebrity Schmaltz, has been famously associated with the phrases “I think big” and “I kick ass to win,” and perhaps in emulation of Trump’s BIG and ambitious perspective on things, the celebrity-savvy authors of this BIG overview of his business history and rise to power took BIG risks with this explosive saga.

Laid out like a brainy, sprawling tabloid, it nails the bombastic unreality of The Donald’s (Horrifying) World. It’s hot, it’s already won some literary awards, and it tramples with a sense of bemused irony across more of the big-ticket scandals of Trump’s ongoing mess than any of the sycophantic odes to his “genius” published by groveling members of his tribe. There’s 800 pages of amazement here: a world class compendium answering, “Who is he, and how did it happen?”

In any “normal” election, this book would have been a game-changer that influenced the outcome. But 2016 was a year in politics when freaks and loonies took over, and who better than media gurus and spinnmeisters Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince—world-class authorities on the rich and very famous—to focus on The Donald as a naughty, perhaps crazed, celebrity?

Look to this book for the core of The Donald, and the fleurs du mal that blossomed, contrary to each of his pundits’ predictions, into a Presidential Administration. FIVE STARS! There’s nothing else like it on the market. In terms of visibility and whatever allegiance this ode to power may garner, at home and abroad, there’s room for growth… Because THE DONALD and his “only in America” saga has only begun.
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.
Fine Fit Mens Novelty Print Socks | 2 Pair Set | Trouser Socks | Casual | Crew
Fine Fit Mens Novelty Print Socks | 2 Pair Set | Trouser Socks | Casual | Crew
I got this set as a gift for a financial counselor I work with. He was super happy when he saw them, but I think his wife was more excited - she bought him a matching shirt! I was worried about the fit and quality, but he says they fit great and are very comfortable. Friday is fun sock day for him and he’s worn these several times since getting them 4 moths ago (I know because he likes to show me once it a while.). Highly recommend!
Heroes In History - George Washington Accessory Kit
Heroes In History - George Washington Accessory Kit
I bought this for a school presentation for my 8 year old who will be be John Hancock and this was the closest I could find. It was a little more than I would like to spend on a costume for school, but for what it id it will do. Please note that the net piece that goes around the head to hold it on is VERY small and barely fits my 8 year olds head. We cut a slit in it to make it not so tight, and it will do for a 5 minute presentation. But if you are using it for anything more than that, or you have a large head, you may want to think twice.
George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
What fun! I bought this book primarily for my youngest son to read--his teachers love how much he reads but have recommended he expands a bit into more history and non-fiction and this is right up his alley. He gets stubborn if he thinks I'm recommending something 'good for him' so I do have to sneak the good stuff in once in awhile--and this one is great for that!

I do think it is a little off-putting at first-- the old-fashioned font (Caslon Antique), while setting a period-realistic tone, also does something to the modern eye that initially made me think dry/dull/dusty/old fashioned. Something about preconceived notions and judging by appearances--the appearance was old, so my initial 'reaction' was this would be a dull, old read with difficult language. Fortunately, not so however and the content really showed through in a combination of story telling, period appropriate illustrations, and yes indeed, playing around with the codes.

In any case, this is a great approach to a well known historical figure, and the way it is done certainly lends itself to the active mind that likes more than just a linear history lesson. The book's "Lexile" score is 1100 so it does have a nice degree of challenge (even though it doesn't appear all that 'dense') and for those children (like my son...) who is looking for books to read that he can do the Reading Counts test on, this one gives 8 points.

Highly Recommended!

JTG
Songs of Bob Dylan
Songs of Bob Dylan
I am a Dylan devotee from way back when, so I was just a bit negative about Joan Osborne making an album of Dylan songs. All I knew from Joan was the one fantastic hit in which she asked, "What if God was one of us?" Now that I have heard this album, I am very pleasantly surprised. As far as Joan's voice is concerned, I find it to be deeper, just a little raspier, than I expected, and I like it. And she keeps things simple, very little showy emoting. The arrangements for the tracks are smooth country-rock, with some reminding me of the tracks on Dylan's award-winning "Time Out Of Mind". They are mellow without being dull or sleep-inducing, and there is excellent guitar throughout the album.

My favorite tracks are probably the most serious tracks. "Rainy Day Women" and "Highway 61 Revisited" were, on the surface, fun songs in Dylan's hands. In Joan's hands they are slow and bluesy. "Rainy Day Women" sounds particularly sinister by virtue of the backup vocals that frame the song. "Highway 61" opens with, "God said to Abraham, kill me a son/Abe said, man, you must be puttin' me on". With those words, the dramatic arrangement and Joan's ominous vocal, right away you know you are in serious territory. "High Water" is bluesy rock, with Joan expressing urgency due to the misfortunes described in the lyrics. "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome" is slow and folky, and the quiet cello arrangement helps to soften the sorrow in the song. "Masters Of War", one of Dylan's most famous "finger-pointing songs", is also folky, but darker. The mood is angry, and Joan's voice has an appropriately accusing edge.

Some material is more upbeat. "Tangled Up In Blue" is smooth country-rock and so is Joan's vocal. "Buckets Of Rain" is light in mood but calmer than the duet Dylan sang with Bette Midler on her album, "Songs For The New Depression". "Quinn The Eskimo" sounds pretty joyous (the lyrics actually say, "Everybody's gonna jump for joy!"), and "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" is an unqualified country-folk delight. The remaining tracks are perfectly fine vocal interpretations by Joan. She is a much more accomplished vocalist than I gave her credit for. Even "Ring Them Bells" is tolerable. 25 years ago, Heart included that song on an album, and I just did not like the song at all, nothing to do with the singers. But Joan's version sounds a little better.
Zipfizz Pina Colada B12 Energy Drink Dietry Supplement Limited Edition Net Wt 11.64 Oz
Zipfizz Pina Colada B12 Energy Drink Dietry Supplement Limited Edition Net Wt 11.64 Oz
I love Zipfizz because it gives me energy without making me jittery, it's keto, and it tastes good. I love pina colada flavor, so I paid more than I usually would for this flavor. I won't do that again.

This flavor is good, but it's mostly pineapple. I had to add coconut milk to get the real flavor. (Great for keto, btw, as long as you get some without added sugar. Adds fat and coconut flavor without adding carbs. I froze the rest in an ice cube tray for later.) I hope the makers of Zipfizz will take note. Add more coconut and drop the price, and you will have a very popular flavor.
If Not for You
If Not for You
1970年発表の『新しい夜明け』の冒頭を飾る、If Not For You。多くの有名なカバーは初期バージョンの歌詞で歌われていますが、この絵本では、ディラン本人の最終バージョンが一字一句変えずに、そのまま使われています(正確に言えば、My sky would fallで始まる繰り返しの部分は省いていますが)。

にもかかわらず、ページを繰れば、この絵本は、ディランのIf Not For Youの、最も大胆で斬新なカバーであることがすぐに分かります。なぜかと言えば、男性が歌えば彼女への、女性が歌えば彼氏への想いを歌っていると聴こえるこの歌を、なんとこの絵本作家は、親の子どもに向ける深い想いを歌った歌になるように、絵を描いているのですから。

絵はとにかくキュートです。特に表紙をめくった瞬間目に入る、子犬の可愛らしさには瞬殺です。しかし、この絵本はただキュートなだけではない。絵本作家の意匠がそこここに見え隠れします。例えば、主役の犬の親子。親子とも、性別がどちらともとれるように描かれています。お父さんでもお母さんでもいい「親」と、男の子でも女の子でもいい「子ども」。そして、親子は似ているのだけれど、毛色が違う。君がいるからこその「新しい夜明け」もちゃんと絵になっています。

というわけで、可愛いのが苦手でなければ、特にお父さん・お母さんにはお勧めの一冊です。ディランらしい、君がいないとwinter would have no springとかanyway it wouldn’t ring trueといったシンプルで誌的な表現もたっぷり味わえます。これを日本語にするのは、アーサー・ビナードさんでないと無理かな?
Dont Look Back (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Dont Look Back (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
I watched the video two times and it's still is not enough. This video was better than, Netflix Rolling Thunder. I had to go to my daughter house to watch, together so she could see how great he is.
(Don't Look Back) was real, you saw the Bob I love, not a second of feeling he was putting on an act. Lots of great video of just what life is like on the road. He is Bob all the time, never gives stupid answers to anyone. Hates being questioned, as the questions are in the viewers mind,he says. Each person sees it to their liking.
Can't say enough about this film. LOVED LOVED :) Bob is a Genius, and each word means something, to me, to keep forever and whenever he sings a song. Never sings a song twice the same even changes words when he sang, you have to Serve Somebody. His Gospel songs blow my mind. I listen all day with my ear buds thanks to Amazon's wonderful over the ears pair I purchased. Don't want to loose a pair from falling off and not being able to use ear buds. Bought the Rolling Thunder tee shirt also. OMG I'm crazy LOL
Thanos: Cosmic Powers
Thanos: Cosmic Powers
In the Secret Defenders Thanos comes up with a new scheme to kidnap a monk oracle and creates a team of Geatar, the Super Skrull, Nitro, Titanium Man, and Rhino to carry out his will.

That leads to the Cosmic Powers comic. It starts with Thanos using the oracle’s knowledge to find a galactic despot called Tyrant, yes not the greatest creativity here by writer Ron Marz, that he thinks will be a challenge to defeat. Even worse, Tyrant’s main opponents are a group of women warriors called Spinsters.

Basically this whole collection is game for Thanos to see if he truly is one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Despite the limitations of that plot the story is pretty good, there’s plenty of action, and you get to read Thanos’ scheming.

My main problem is the Secret Defenders comics was drawn by Tom Grindberg who is just horrible. His drawings look like crude sketches and they even vary from comic to comic.
Infinity
Infinity
Infinity is the first event written by Hickman after he took over creative direction on both the Avengers and New Avengers titles and mostly serves as the payoff to the slow burning plot of the mysterious Builders from his Avengers series. Over the course of the first three volumes of said title, Hickman has introduced the concept of an ancient alien race, the Builders, who seeded the numerous worlds of the galaxy for evolution. Now, the Builders have returned to cut a bloody swath through space on a path that will lead them straight to Earth. The Avengers, led by Captain America, blast off into space to team up with an unlikely alliance of aliens who are imperiled by the Builder's onslaught: Annihilus of the Negative Zone, the Brood, the Shi'ar Empire, the Kree, and the Spartax. Meanwhile, as the main host of the Avengers travel off world to combat the Builders, Thanos and his Black Order descend on a relatively unguarded Earth to claim a mysterious prize.

Infinity's problem is that it is a mishmash of two much stronger events: the Jim Starlin Infinity Gaunlet/Infinity War stories about Thanos and the Annihilation story arc about Annihilus' invasion of the galaxy. The Builders are never sufficiently fleshed out as enemies (and the world building attributed to them in Hickman's Avengers series had been minimal at best previously) and end up feeling like another big cosmic threat not unlike the Annihilation Wave or the Phalanx. They decide to wipe out all life that resists them and the Avengers marshal the resistance. The action is fun enough and big enough to provide a decent read and it is great to see the Avengers team up with so many other characters from the cosmic branch of Marvel's stories. That said, the Builders in the end are a bit of a let down because they are revealed to be another symptom of the wider "incursion" story arc that runs throughout Hickman's New Avengers title and laid the groundwork for his much stronger Secret Wars crossover. The Builders really want to destroy Earth to prevent any future incursions from wiping out the entire universe, but that doesn't explain why they feel the need to attack and wipe out all the other races in the galaxy as well.

The Thanos story arc seems like it should be the bigger one (he is on the cover after all), but frankly Thanos' role in the story feels like an afterthought. His role is a B plot that keeps the Illuminati busy while they also deal with another incursion event. Hickman adds a lot to Thanos' mythos in this book by introducing the characters of the Black Order (Thanos' elite generals) and Thane (Thanos' son). However, I myself am not a huge fan of the Black Order as they are essentially grim dark mini bosses (only Corvus Glaive and Proximia Midnight end up feeling like real characters by the end). Furthermore, a few of them are defeated really easily (Black Dwarf gets his tail handed to him twice) and they don't end up living up to all the hype. Thane is a stronger character, but he gets so little to do in the overarching story that he never justifies being such a major part of Thanos' plans (he is the real reason Thanos decides to invade). Jeff Lemire's recent Thanos series did a lot more with members of the Black Order and with Thane especially. All in all, Infinity is a decent read but nowhere near as good as Hickman's Secret Wars or any of Starlin's classic Thanos stories.
Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition Officially Licensed Xbox One Controller: 4 Remappable Multi-Function Buttons - Hair Trigger Mode - For PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S - Black
Razer Wolverine Tournament Edition Officially Licensed Xbox One Controller: 4 Remappable Multi-Function Buttons - Hair Trigger Mode - For PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S - Black
 UPDATE 11/24/2017:
The audio bug I reported in my original review is now finally fixed. After working extensively with Razer support (who have been great) and two replaced controller it was finally determined to be a firmware bug as predicted. They issued a new firmware v1.02.00 which fixes the issue . So if you experience the audio bug I faced you should contact Razer support to get the firmware updater . I now full, 200% recommend this controller . The only reason I am not bumping my original rating from 4 stars is to recognize the existence of this initial (but resolved) issue

I'm an avid console FPS gaming enthusiast and spend a significant portion of my game time playing online competitive multiplayer games like Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1 , Overwatch, Halo 5 etc. And just like me I'm sure you will come to a point where you'll realize that the stock OEM Xbox controller doesn't really cut it. Hence I have a amassed quite the collection of 3rd party controllers including my current favourite the Razer Wildcat controller (before using the Wolverine controller that is). For this review I will compare the new Wolverine controller to the Wildcat controller, how it feels in hand while gaming and reasons why I had initially chosen the Razer Wildcat over the Xbox Elite controller ( all of which apply to the Wolverine controller as well)

WHY I CHOOSE THE RAZER CONTROLLER OVER THE XBOX ELITE CONTROLLER
When I first purchased my Wildcat I had spent an embarrassingly large amount of time researching between it and the Elite controller and in the end it came down to this :
- If you read online forums, Reddit etc you'll quickly come to realize that the Elite controller is plagued with build quality issues and cheap plastic parts that break easily and on top of that the elite controller only has a 6 month warranty. These Razer controllers come with 1 year warranty. To me the the length of warranty told me all I wanted to know about the confidence each of the manufacturer had in their product
- The second thing that really seals the deal in favor of the Razer controllers (both Wildcat & Wolverine) is MECHANICAL buttons - You see even while costing $150 the elite controller had the same rubber domed ABXY buttons as the stock Xbox or any other cheap controllers. Rubber dome buttons do not provide the right feedback while intense gameplay as they tend to bottom out / fade away and 'stick' over time . Whereas the Razer controller feature proper mechanical switch ABXY buttons that are responsive , Clicky (just like a mechanical keyboard) and feature a very short travel distance and actuation time
- Well these two reasons were more than enough for me to look away from the elite controller

DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY
- From the first moment you unbox the Wolverine controller , open its velvet lined hardshell case and hold the controller in your hand - you realize that it just oozes with quality worthy of its asking price. It is neither too heavy nor too light , the matte finish plastic construction, triggers , trigger locks all feel solid and operate smoothly without any creaks and rattles
- Unlike the Razer Wildcat controller where you have to stick the rubberized grips yourself which is hard to get right , the Wolverine controller now features a permanent rubberized dotted grip which works out much better in practice without adding too much bulk. It is very comfortable to hold/squeeze even with sweaty palms
- The trigger stops are also better built and feel sturdier than Razer Wildcat controller
- The four rear buttons on the rear of the controller ( M3 to M6) are made of plastic and are also of the mechanical switch type with very short actuation distance and clicky operation. One thing I would like to point out is that the rear triggers/buttons on the Wildcat controller are made of metal whereas they have switched to plastics for the new Wolverine controller
- Another aspect where the Razer controllers are better than the Elite controller is their built in chat & program pad. You can quickly program the 6 customizable buttons without the help of any software and quickly change assignments on the fly . It can store two profile assignments and also adjust chat and game volume
- You can swap the rubber domed metal- thumbsticks , D-pad out to match your preference whether you like the stock xbox controller feel, taller wider or dome shaped thumbsticks - there's one for every preference. While the magnets that hold the thumbsticks and D-pad is strong they can still come out if the controller falls or is kept face down . Hence i would recommend some caution there
- The reason why most of the 3rd party controllers on the market today are wired (with the sole exception of modded stock $170+ Scuff controllers) is because Xbox One uses a proprietary wireless protocol for their controllers which is probably very expensive to license, so its hard to be critical on this controller for being wired. Having said that the included 10 Ft nylon braided cable is durable and long enough for most gaming setups and can easily reach your couch

PERFORMANCE, TRIGGER LOCKS & CUSTOM BUTTONS
- Lets first talk about the trigger locks as they're one of main game changers when compared to stock controllers, as they limit the motion of the RT/LT triggers right upto their actuation point and cutting their 'dead' zone by almost 75%. If you prefer high precision or semi-automatic weapons in your FPS games, then you can get in significantly more number of shots faster than you would on a regular controller. The importance of that in a tense encounter with another player cannot be understated. Also unlike the Wildcat controller you dont have to activate a special 'Hair Trigger' mode on this controller as some games do not accurately recognize trigger locks . The Wolverine controller does that automatically the moment you engage the trigger locks. Very convenient indeed
- The positioning for the additional shoulder buttons M1 & M2 is genius if you ask me and once you get used it , you will stop using the regular shoulder buttons LB & RB . That's because when your fingers are on the LT & RT fingers are already exactly where the shoulder M1 & M2 buttons are located . That way you can operate them without having to lift your fingers off the triggers - Another advantage in multiplayer
- The four buttons at the back M3 to M6 are ideally located and easy to reach , but it does take getting some used to for incorporating into your gameplay. But the thing is once you get used to it you cant do away with it - I find it very hard going back even to my Wildcat controller now!
- By default the rear triggers M5 & M6 are configured for two modes with the left rear trigger for a mode called 'Focus' which decreases the sensitivity of the analog sticks by half as long as you keep M5 pressed (you can fine tune this in the Xbox Synapse app) . This allows you to carefully line up those headshots using sniper rifles . Pressing the right rear trigger activates the 'Agile' mode which doubles the analog stick sensitivity for faster response. Once you get the hang using these two mode - It does give you yet another very tangible advantage over your opponent
- Of Course if you dont want to use the Focus & Agile modes you can always re-assign the rear triggers M5 & M6 to any button you like. Think of of it - With the four rear buttons you could map the entire ABXY buttons to them and never have to move your fingers off the thumbsticks and the triggers ! ( as even the shoulder buttons M1 & M2 are right there)
- Now for the Chroma lighting on the controller which I first thought was mainly gimmicky as you never get to see it while you are actually gaming - But it does look cool for onlookers. What changed my view of it was a lighting mode called 'Immersive' which lights up as according to the controller's vibrations ie say when you fire a weapon it lights up or when you are running . It does look very cool- Check out the small clip i made of it in action

AN ANNOYING BUG
- My only disappointment with this controller is a firmware bug I encountered where if you use the Wolverine to turn on the Xbox it does not activate the audio on the 3.5mm jack and you have to do literally unplug the controller and plug the controller back in to get audio. Sometimes even the controller fails to turn on when you power on the Xbox
- I contacted Razer support for this and they did RMA my first controller and since they did not have one in stock in their local warehouse they sent it to me from their Hong Kong warehouse with two day international shipping ! Kudos to them for that but even my second controller has the same issue.
- I am decking one star for this bug alone. And the reason why I am not taking away more stars is because it can be fixed via a firmware update (which just happens to not be available yet) and they had the other similar issues with their Wildcat controller at launch which was fixed by a later firmware upgrade. I just hope it comes soon enough
- I have the original Xbox (not the S) and this bug happens on Xbox on both power saving and instant on modes

FINAL THOUGHTS
So there you have it the Wolverine controller is miles better than their own Wildcat controller (and by extension the Xbox Elite controller) . It is so good that I dont like using my Wildcat anymore as it does give a very tangible edge to my gameplay and has better overall ergonomics and precision. The only thing I would like to caution you about is the audio bug I faced requiring you to unplug and replug the controller every time. I will update this review once there is a firmware update available but until then you'll have to decide if its a quirk worth living with or not. And according to me - It is...See you in the battlefield !
The Wolverine Way
The Wolverine Way
I've loved wolverines since the day my son and I discussed raw meat with the pair at Cheyenne Mt. Zoo (who subsequently escaped from the zoo and, according to folklore, helped jump-start the reintroduction of wolverines to Colorado). About the same time, I heard James Dickey read "To the Last Wolverine," one of the great American wildlife poems (an audio is available on-line).

Chadwick's book is almost as much fun as the conversation at Cheyenne Mountain, if not as heart-gripping as Dickey's poem (which surfaces in bits throughout the book). As Chadwick says, most of us -- and most of the scientific community -- have at best a cartoon grasp of the wolverine. He's a sort of indigenous Tasmanian Devil at best, and at worst a representation of everything we see as adversarial in Nature. Chadwick not only gives the wolverine its first real book, but offers proof of a radically different animal than our cartoon nightmares. The very model of ferocity? Well, yeah, but there's so much more.

Contrary to mythology, wolverines are social. The study team that Chadwick joined found social interactions not just between mother and kits, but between fathers and their adolescent sons, both adult sized and ranging through Glacier Nat'l Park on training sessions. Their socialization is rare among mammals, rarer among predators, inconceivable in an animal legendary for its vicious, raging, competitive individualism.

The book follows multiple generation of named animals, and you come to know them as individuals, cheering their successes and grieving for their deaths. One poignant picture shows a young wolverine who slipped crossing a cliff and fell her death. The body was found with its mother's track all around it. Chadwick is not giving us an antidotal Disney view of things; he documents what appears to have been a fratricide.

Wolverines. We have 300 left in the contiguous states, barely enough to maintain a population. They are on the same brink that the polar bear is facing, their habitat threatened by the immediate risk of human incursion and animosity and the distant but looming threat of climate change. Chadwick documents how specific climate changes are changing the environment faster than selection can adapt.

If you want to know why you should care, read Chadwick's book. If you want to help, find The Wolverine Foundation on-line, and make a donation. Maybe we can't save the last wolverine, but shame on us, if we don't try.
An Evening at the Improv
An Evening at the Improv
80% of the hosts are terrible and unfunny. 100% of all "filler skits" are entirely unfunny. Barely 50% of the "comedians" are actual comedians (i.e., jugglers and impressionists, making up the bulk of those who were not). The overwhelming majority of musical guests are even worse and more unknown (most being local L.A. bands with zero hits, let alone talent), with the very rare exception of appearances like "Alabama" (who were, albeit, brand new at the time they appeared)... or guys like John Sebastian who showed up to merely to try and liven up their career, or try something "experimental" that they knew wouldn't fly anywhere else outside of a comedy club.

If you're still interested in watching this, for the few, known, up-and-coming comedians you will recognize and/or like, they're sadly often just as disappointing as the rest who never made a name for themselves (due to, you know, not being funny).

And if you're still interested in watching, just know, hack-comedians always draw from "bankable laughs" which is beyond tedious and so incredibly horrid to listen to ad-nauseam (as in: enough already, write some actual material that will appeal to more than just the 50 leftist nuts in the L.A. bar you're performing in front of -- clearly most of them didn't realize it's televised for a national audience, and sorry; but outside of the leftist L.A. and N.Y. nuts, no one wants to hear a bunch of political rants/opinions from people who barely grasp the simplest of political concepts, regardless of how you vote or "identify".)
That said -- The more things change, the more they stay the same. Jimmy Carter: absolute disaster of a President... Ronald Regan: decidedly not -- and this is not my "opinion", this is unbiased historical fact. Yet, all you will hear is how terrible, stupid, and inept Regan is (particularly on economics and foreign policy), while they pine away for Carter -- despite reality being the complete opposite.

Also, I was thoroughly disappointed with Richard Lewis, in particular, but some other well-known/successful "Names" as well -- Yes, early in their career; but not so early that the performances here could be justifiably excused away. I honestly don't think I laughed a single time, during any of R.Lewis' sets (of which there are many in the first few seasons I've seen thus far) -- Anyway -- Given his level of notoriety and success going back as far as I can remember -- Just, wow, after seeing this, cannot imagine how he ever became famous, let alone kept booking return spots on the show... though... I'd still prefer his neurotic weird unfunny jokes over some stupid juggler or lame impressionist, so, I guess that explains his repeat appearances.

Oh, and I nearly forgot: "Mr. Bud Freidman" or whatever his name is... Slimiest sleazeball that just oozes an "Ick-Factor" of ten. Wow. Seriously? You're a freaking club/bar owner dude -- You don't "Discover" these comedians and they did NOT get famous because you gave them time on your stage (in N.Y. or wherever!) -- THEY, however, made YOU rich and famous, while you demanded they pay some sort or fidelity to you by thanking you for THEIR success. It's just truly sickening to listen to that man, as he epitomizes the "You can't do it yourself" Leftist mentality... which is so Anti-American it's disturbing to listen to. (Seriously, Bud, they would have become just as famous and successful, applying their trade ON THE STREET OR IN PARKS... you merely provided a building, and sound equipment, so that you could make money charging admission to their performance while selling people food/drinks in the process. You, sir, are truly pathetic and beyond delusional, if you imagined yourself playing a larger role than that in their success.)

PS: If you've never seen Bob Geldof perform (outside of "Pink Floyd's The Wall (movie)" you can find his band, "The Boomtown Rats" in Season 2, Episode 18... I knew he was an actual singer/performer and that contributed to him getting that role; but if you're hoping to be impressed, don't hold your breath -- just, more of an "Easter egg" type of thing.
Thor: The Eternals Saga Vol. 2 (Thor (1966-1996))
Thor: The Eternals Saga Vol. 2 (Thor (1966-1996))
The Eternals Sage Volume 2 is a misnomer. While the collection starts with a confrontation between the Norse and Greek gods versus the Eternals, the heart of the comics are actually about ancient Asgard and Germany.

The first comic, issue #292 has a dramatic beginning as Odin stands above Thor ready to slay him in the middle of the battle of Asgard and Olympus vs the Eternals. He says he won’t slay his son again and spares him. This starts a journey where Thor travels into another world and talks with Odin’s eye that he cast out to try to find out what Odin meant by not killing his son again. The eye provides a series of tales to Thor about such things as a previous Asgard, how Odin was born, the death of one of his sons, and a version of the German myth of Siegfried and Brunnhilda.

It’s not until issue #300 where a hint of the Eternals return when the Celestials come to the Earth to judge it. That leads to a fantastic confrontation between Asgard’s Destroyer and the Uni-Mind which is the combination of all the Eternals meant to confront the Celestials.

Overall this is a great collection even if it really isn’t about the Eternals.
Woman at War
Woman at War
Imbued with nuance, even the pops of red, the music, and the way the musicians follow the protagonist about her ventures imply meaning. Gorgeous scenery. Must be ok with subtitles unless you are Icelandic yourself. It's got a surprising and mostly satisfying end, if a bit uncertain, which of course is why these types of films have such appeal. I would have liked to known more about the "cause" this gal was fighting, but the film was not about the reasons for her personal war - just that she was alone in it, and that it was bigger than her did not stop her. In fact, it was that her cause WAS bigger than one woman that she was inspired to go big and risk everything. And then there's the sister....
A must watch for both genders, liberals, rebels, environmentalist, and general indy-art-flick lovers.
POP Marvel: Deadpool Vinyl Bobble-head Figure
POP Marvel: Deadpool Vinyl Bobble-head Figure
For POP Figures I will be leaving lots of 5 Star reviews that are identical. I have purchased over 30 of these so far and I wanted to wait to get a lot of them to see if there were any defects and/or things I was disappointed with. There isn't a single thing I don't like about them.

This figure came in nice packing and is exactly how it looks in the picture. I personally think they look best left in the box and displayed on a bookshelf, TV stand, mantle, etc... You can buy plastic cases that are well constructed for about $1.50/each if you want to protect them for a long time. The plastic on the box they come in is very thin and a case like this one will help prevent any damage:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZB7O6AW/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I have tried a few cases and these are my favorite. For the money they are sturdy and the plastic is very clear.

The only problem you will ever encounter with the POP Figures is the seller that is shipping them. Like I said earlier the plastic on the outside of the box they come in is thin. The boxes themselves are also constructed out of thin cardboard.

Take them out of the box and display them, leave them in the box and display them, either way they are cool.
Dr. Seuss Oh, The Places You'll Go! Canvas Growth Chart
Dr. Seuss Oh, The Places You'll Go! Canvas Growth Chart
This is a cute product. The colors are just the most perfect combination, match the set and are just as vibrant. We waited to find out what we were having and were excited to find out it was a boy! Works perfectly for him; would imagine it works perfectly for a little girl as well. I will be using this to track my little one's growth along with his 2 older siblings. Definitely a nice choice. Yes, there's a crease in the middle, but not a deal-breaker. Highly recommended.
The Taking: A Novel
The Taking: A Novel
Koontz ,'back in the day' .... would write with a similarity to the micro roadways laid out like tiny city streets when one examines circuitry on a shiny green motherboard ... it looks confusing but makes perfect sense if only you had the ability to shrink down and travel that tiny highway to reveal and understand the logic and destination of those tiny roadways of micro circuitry.

But Koontz has undergone as mysterious a change over the years like one of his own characters in some mystifying horror story. 'TAKEN' was basically one woman's thoughts, fears, opinions, rationalizations , and ends like a basically uninteresting character waking from a dream , and all is neatly 'ok' again ... or if you understand biblical 'Revelations' those who didn't ascend have more to worry about than those who did ... Movie technology, CG, ultra sophisticated physical prop mechanics and electronic AI has certainly surpassed what once long ago could only be experienced by a good writer's fantastic image making sentences .... Now the reverse has become reality ... no writer can match with only words what technology can now do for your ears,eyes, and nervous system ... Worse for writers, we are on the brink of not needing to read about some character ... soon we can , holodeck style ... BE the character. No, this isn't being written by some unappreciative wild eyed progressive youth writing this ... Sadly, its a 73 year old man that has suddenly realized ..just as the woman in this novel ... that the world we knew has suddenly gone away and taken beloved traditions with it ...
Demon Child
Demon Child
Dean Koontz's early writing was pure science fiction. I prefer his horror, but I'm working to collect and read ALL of his books. He's my favorite author. Seller is great too.
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy Book 1)
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy Book 1)
I seem to remember Stephen King announcing his retirement some years ago. And yet, the books keep coming – and I'm thankful for that.

I saved Mr Mercedes for my annual vacation (sorry to make you jealous, but I'm writing this review on my iPad, on the sundeck of the cruise ship Azura, just off the coast of Italy, while listening to Haydn’s Symphony 103 on my iPod).

I romped through Mr Mercedes in just a couple of days or so, pulled along by King's easy style – the thing I've always most admired about his writing is that it is so immersive; the words fade away in your mind and it becomes like watching a film.

The book is a cat-and-mouse story; one where it's often difficult to tell who is the cat and who is the mouse. Retired detective Kermit William Hodges (thankfully known as Bill to his friends) passes time by watching TV and gaining weight, until a letter arrives from the perpetrator of an unsolved crime, goading him back into life.

Brady Hartsfield is a man without conscience; he takes enjoyment from inflicting misery and has a somewhat unhealthy relationship with his mother. It's often said that believable villains can't be 'all bad' but there's very little to redeem Brady. And Hodges is his latest target – but far from the biggest one in his sights.

As ever, King creates characters which are as believable as the person next to you. The pace of the book is almost unrelenting – there are several natural pauses as characters develop their relationships – and the plot twists in a way that real life does. Only one event I felt was foreshadowed too clearly; I won't spoil it for you but I think you'll know which one I mean, once you reach it.

Hodges becomes our friend; his good nature balanced by the ability to be tough when the going demands it. The insight into his thought processes, as he tracks the letter's writer, is as enjoyable as the plot. Brady's mind works in a different way and he's the counterbalance to Hodge's morality – outwardly so ordinary that he's forgettable, but inwardly as dark as anyone King has created.

I've heard people say that they 'prefer classic King' but I have to say that I really like the way that his writing has evolved. I recently re-read The Shining and found it less satisfying (in terms of writing style) than his later work.

It's true, this is less horror than we're used to with King's earlier works; there's nothing supernatural here – just the perverse nature of the human race. But this book is no poorer for that. There are some enjoyable name-checks of King's other work to look out for along the way, too.

This is yet another great book from Stephen King. Thoroughly enjoyable, it's definitely one that you won't want to put down until you're done – and when you are, you'll wish it wasn't over.
El Alquimista: Una Fabula Para Seguir Tus Suenos
El Alquimista: Una Fabula Para Seguir Tus Suenos
Probably if you are looking in to this book you know what you are going to get,read it before or have heard of it and what it is about. All I can add after reading it myself is - greatly written stuff. If you enjoy inspirational stories,going through challenges in your life and trying your best to find your happines and follow your dreams,your goals - Plus - are learning or trying to improve Spanish - this is a perfect mix. Great stuff to read to improve and take language learning to the next level. Would recommend to read it in your native language first,or to have a good base of Spanish before attempting this one.(maybe A2-B1?) Go through a few pages on the book page on amazon and see if you understand 60-70%. If yes - go for it! :)
Great book,had a good time whilst studying. Dont be discoraged if you dont understand a word here or there,there are some terms used that are applicable to those older times that are described in the book.
Highly recommend this one in any language to be honest.
Asterix in Belgium: Album #24
Asterix in Belgium: Album #24
A rather flat storyline in a flat land. This one is quite mediocre and lacks some of the vitality and humour of earlier works.

The plot lacks the normal intrigue. The characters are not well-developed, there is no mystery or suspense. The storyline- a fighting contest between the Gauls and the Belgians- is a bit dull.

There are some gags and allusions to modern-day Belgium but they mostly fall flat because this tiny country is not well-known to the outside world, and there are few cultural reference points. Gimmicks like cameo appearances or pagespreads are padding. Its Ok, but not very engaging.
Mystery In Spiderville
Mystery In Spiderville
By some bizarre twist of fate you've stumbled upon this book and rather than take the plunge and part with your money you needed to know other people's opinions first. That's fine. So let me tell you about a discovery I made - As with most young writers in pursuit of knowledge and entertainment a lot of my spare time is spent skulking around libraries and one particular day, before another mind numbing shift in work, I stumbled across A Mystery In Spiderville... `Never judge a book by its cover' is a piece of advice that 9 times out of 10 is worthless to people in a rush and having looked at the cover and the description on the back ("the décor is by Dali, the plot is a mixture of Breton and Burroughs") felt like I HAD to read this book.

... And I've read it at least six times since. Every time I do I find something new and different and influential. This book has influenced me more than anything I've ever read before and for that I've become permanently indebted to John Hartley Williams - Jesus, even the blurb on the back of a collection of his poetry (Cornerless People) is one of the best things (and best concepts of what story is) I have ever read in my life! Take that for what you will. With Spiderville, you start off slugging away at it and think "What the hell?!" to yourself as it follows no linear plot but I swear, by about page 54 you'll slowly but surely be getting to a point where you can't put the book down - the lyrical prose will make you laugh and smile to yourself.

This book is my secret, my own personal bible. But I pray, if you enjoy this book, to tell all your friends about it. If, as Paul Valery put it, "the true poet is the one who inspires," John Hartley Williams is the best of the best.
On the Spot: Violence and Murder in Chicago
On the Spot: Violence and Murder in Chicago
I had mixed feelings about this book. I recently read a collection of P.G. Wodehouse correspondence and this book was referred to as the best by Edgar Wallace. A footnote confirmed this. It may be true but I found too many cliches and settings that seemed contrived. Still, it occupied an evening and said something about prohibition chicago.
The Berenstain Bears and The Dinosaurs
The Berenstain Bears and The Dinosaurs
I was originally planning on reviewing Stan/Jan's "The Berenstain Bears and the Dinosaurs" (henceforth BB) the way I usually review bad dino books. However, I then remembered that Trish/Talcott's BB review is so perfect (especially when it comes to criticizing BB's art & message: [link in the 1st comment] ) that I can't possibly top it, so I won't even try. Instead, in this review, I'll point you to Trish/Talcott's BB review & add my own thoughts as well:
-The part around 13:00 reminds me of the "I Love Dinosaurs" series. I'm surprised said series isn't mentioned by name.
-The parts around 14:00 & 17:00 remind me of the Holtz quote below. More specifically, "it feels like...the creatures in the mind of a concerned parent whose only knowledge of [dinos] comes from the films of the 30s" (& thus, has "more in common with medieval bestiaries, conjured from rumor and imagination alone"). Furthermore, not only are said creatures inconsistent with "these [dino] skeletons on this page", but said skeletons are inconsistent with "the fossil skeletons on which [they're] based."
-The parts around 16:00 & 20:00 remind me of "The Berenstain Bears' Nature Guide": Not only do the Berenstain Bears explore "the whole of nature" (including non-bird dinos), but 1) they do so with Actual Factual (who supplies "actual facts about nature"), & 2) "they're happy" to spend the day together doing so; Keep in mind that this book was published 9 years before BB.
-The part around 30-32:00 sums up part of the reason why "The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream" does BB's story better, the other part being that Mama & Papa don't "take advantage of Brother's fear to talk him out of...his new interest".
-The part around 31-33:00 reminds me of 1) Switek's "Paleontological Profiles: Robert Bakker" (To quote Bakker, "We dino-scientists have a great responsibility: our subject matter attracts kids better than any other, except rocket-science"; This interview is especially good at showing both why an interest in dinos is good & why BB's message is bad), & 2) Waldrop/Loomis' "Ranger Rick's Dinosaur Book" (which is 1 of the "better kids' books of the time": https://www.amazon.com/review/R94XM1O8E45DV/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8 ).
-The part around 37:00 reminds me of Jan/Mike's "The Berenstain Bears' Dinosaur Dig" (which also does BB's story better).*
-At around 39:00, they recommend Bakker's "The Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs" & Holtz's "Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages", but forget the author & title, respectively (which surprises me given that [1] they mentioned "The Dinosaur Heresies" at around 9:00, & [2] Holtz's book has the best title ever).

*For 1, both Brother & Sister take an interest in dinos. For another, not only does Actual Factual encourage their interest, but he also takes them on a tour of a dino dig. For yet another, this book begins & ends with 2 important messages (See the Jan/Mike & Papa quotes, respectively).

Quoting Holtz (Google "Holtz's A Dinosaur Lover's Bookshelf"): "Paleoart is, admittedly, a difficult enterprise: after all, its subject matter is long dead, and science can never expect to know very much about the creaturers' external surfaces or, for that matter, any of their other perishable features. Nevertheless, there is one inviolate rule of dinosaur restoration: if the known fossil skeleton conflicts with the shape of the reconstruction, the reconstruction must be wrong. That rule gives the casual reader at least a fighting chance of separating the wheat from the chaff: distinguishing books that depict restorations consistent with fossil specimens from books that have more in common with medieval bestiaries, conjured from rumor and imagination alone. One reliable clue that a book belongs to the former group is the inclusion of drawings or photographs of the fossil skeletons on which the restorations are based."

Quoting Jan/Mike: "A special kind of beast lived very long ago.
Its different forms and names are very good to know."

Quoting Papa (in reference to sitting on Sister's Stegosaurus toy): "Sister...I'm delighted that you and Brother have this wonderful new interest. But...the Jurassic Age will just have to settle for the coffee table."
Zane Grey, Collection novels Volume III
Zane Grey, Collection novels Volume III
This is a review of content only, as I can only assume certain things about the actual physical book, such as five long Zane Grey novels taking only 522 pages to print them, so I have to assume the print is very tiny or they have been abridged. That is the reason for the three stars, because of this. As to the novels themselves this is an eclectic grouping containing the first novel Zane Grey wrote, Betty Zane, about his real life ancestors and their contribution to the country before and during the American Revolution; The Young Forester, a Ken Ward "book for boys" as they were advertised back then; The Day of the Beast, Zane Grey's social commentary on society following the First World War; The U. P. Trail, his historical novel about the construction the first transcontinental railroad; and Wildfire, a romance featuring one of Zane Grey's best loved horses. These five make up a wide variety of his work and all of them need to be rated five stars with the exception of Day of the Beast which is okay, but not his best work. His wife, Dolly, had urged Zane not to write this book, and his publisher, Harpers, was not too entusiastic either, proclaiming in large letters on the book jacket--Not A Western--so to warn the public. Yet it does give the reader a clue into the man who wrote such a work, and how he felt about drinking and smoking and the promiscuous age of the 1920's. My advice is get each one of these books by themselves, preferably in hardback, as you WILL want to read them time and again over the years.
Zane Grey : Outdoorsman Zane Grey's Best Hunting and Fishing Tales Published in Commemoration of his Centennial Year
Zane Grey : Outdoorsman Zane Grey's Best Hunting and Fishing Tales Published in Commemoration of his Centennial Year
I have had my copy of this book since 1986, and mine does not have a dust jacket and is the third printing of the first edition printed in November of 1972. I paid $15.00 for it at a used book store. This book contains some of Zane Grey's best hunting and fishing stories. Included are to name just a few: The Lord of Lackawaxen Creek, on of his first published stories; Roping Lions in the Grand Canyon which relates his first visit to the West with Buffalo Jones who introduced Zane Grey to some interesting personages who were the inspiration for his first western novels, Heritage of the Desert and The Riders of the Purple Sage; Nonnezoshe, his trip to the Rainbow Bridge; Don, the Story of a Lion Dog, one of his most famous short novels; Fishing Virgin Waters, about his first trip to the South Seas; Colorado Trails, hunting bears; and The Whale Killers of Two-fold Bay based on a true tale of fisherman in Australia. All in all there are twenty diverse and interesting true stories of his fishing and hunting around the world. And it is all there in the same fantastic description prowess as in his novels; Zane Grey makes you feel as if you are right there experiencing it yourself. And remember, when he was doing these things no one, or almost no one was doing this sort of thing. A very good and entertaining book.
Naruto, Vol. 6: Predator
Naruto, Vol. 6: Predator
Our 11 y/o is finally enjoying to read because of these books. I haven't the slightest clue as to what they are about, but he sure does and he loves them. No more fighting to get him to complete his 1 hour of mandatory reading/day. Often times, he can put the books down ( I am slowly buying him the monster collection of Naruto books that he has wanted.
Naruto, Vol. 38: Practice Makes Perfect
Naruto, Vol. 38: Practice Makes Perfect
Naruto Volume 38 contains chapters 340 to 349 and 2 Naruto bookmarks!

The battle against Kakuzu concludes and Naruto tries out his new move!
Plus Sasuke vs Orochimaru!
We also meet some new characters, Suigetsu, Karin and Jugo.

The only thing that annoyed me about this volume is the censoring for Konohamaru's new technique... you'll see what I mean when you read this volume.
Rasta Friendship Bracelets Wholesale Lot 10 Mix Rastafari From Peru
Rasta Friendship Bracelets Wholesale Lot 10 Mix Rastafari From Peru
I ordered these specifically for two of the bracelets shown in the picture. When the order arrived i only recieved 2 out of the 5 types of bracelet shown. That was pretty disheartening considering i looked at the reviews and people had posted pictures getting ALL types of bracelets..
The Golden Rendezvous
The Golden Rendezvous
Warning: SPOILERS!!!!

I don't know what it is about The Golden Rendevous that sticks in my head. Like many of MacLean's stories, it's written in the first-person, which lends a sense of urgency to the impossible situations the hero finds himself in. Like many of the stories, there's a beautiful girl who isn't just a damsel in distress but lends crucial help to the hero. He just wouldn't make it without her. And like many of the stories, the bad guy is just that-a bad guy with no redeeming qualities. No confusion with MacLean-you know who you're supposed to root for and who you're supposed to detest not many pages in. I suppose it's the humanity that he manages to infuse into his characters that gets me. The Golden Rendevous has some particularly appealing characters.

The plot is not very involved-a seemingly innocent passenger on the Campari is planning to use the cruise ship to pirate a ship carrying gold. He's brought along a kidnapped scientist and a stolen nuclear device to blow up the gold ship after he gets the cargo. And he's planned everything down to the last detail, not realizing that a member of the crew, First Officer John Carter, has figured out his plan and will do everything he can to stop him. It's a tense ride with gunfights, knife fights, and suicidal stunts aboard the most luxurious cruise ship in the world. The Campari is a character in itself-an incredibly opulent boat with prices even the fabulously wealthy can barely afford. How this book failed to make it to the big screen is a mystery to me-the sets alone would have made it a movie worth seeing.

MacLean's heros are always likeable and John Carter is no exception. However, he is not just likeable-he has some scenes that have never failed to get me. Like when he tells Miss Susan Beresford, spoiled multi-millionaire, that her kind make him sick when they misuse their power to taunt the crew members who desperately need their jobs. Or when he sees the atomic bomb central to the plot for the first time and backs up to where it's not visible, reasoning that he's safe if he can't see it, poking fun at himself. When Carter helps the bad guy plan how to take the gold ship he's planning to pirate and tells his friends he has no family, only himself, and has to look after all he has in the world (he doesn't dare tell them what's really going on) I always feel for him-they're so mad at him. And at the end, when he pops up and reveals all his clever tricks to save the gold and the scientist and get the bad guy, I always feel like cheering.
The Dressmaker
The Dressmaker
A watch that felt cut off in the middle. Seems it might have moved better if less front time was spent in moody, sullen looks, and more was added to the end after the incident. OR, the movie was made longer, and the end added to, dealing with consequences. And, I felt too little time was spent fleshing out the dressmaker, the character in the title, afterall. Great actors, just felt like it went nowhere.
The host
The host
Fantascienza? Sì, fantascienza ma anche molto di più. La storia in sé è semplice (e questo è un vantaggio, quando si trattano temi delicati: tutto è più lineare, comprensibile e persino credibile): sulla Terra, ormai colonizzata da entità aliene - pacifiste ma determinate - quasi tutti gli esseri umani hanno mantenuto il proprio corpo, ma la coscienza appartiene a colui che ne ha preso possesso; qualche raro sopravvissuto è riuscito a sfuggire a questa forma di morte controllata e qualcun altro, come Melanie, nonostante sia stato riassemblato con un nuovo sé, resiste e le due coscienze convivono imparando a conoscersi, con fatica e dolore.
Ma, secondo me, la Meyer ci racconta ben altro sottolineando l'immane sforzo di vivere in un mondo conformista pur mantenendosi diversi. L'Essere che non è più totalmente umano e non è ancora alieno deve sfuggire sia dai colonizzatori (che lo vorrebbero "normalizzare" o eliminare in caso di fallimento) che dai terrestri che non si fidano e pensano ad un trucco alieno per intrappolarli.
Questo romanzo diventa il racconto di una solitudine esistenziale profondissima e disperata, così come la nascita di un'amicizia impossibile e lacerante. Due "io" che si fondono in un "noi" e trovano un modus vivendi talmente rivoluzionario da richiedere la sua eliminazione.
Ma c'è dell'altro. La tesi dell'autrice è che la vita è una conquista individuale, se qualcuno promette di regalartela (pacifica, perfetta, come un bel quadretto degli anni '50) è come se rompesse l'ingranaggio di uno splendido orologio prima di donarlo: bell'involucro del tutto inutile.
L'uomo e la sua esistenza sono fatti di fatica, sudore e sangue, di cattiveria e gesti eroici, di amore e indifferenza. Fa male, è ingiusto? Certamente, ma è la vita, bellezza! E ce la dobbiamo costruire da soli, magari con un po' di fantasia.
Lector de Scholastic Nivel 1: Clifford va al doctor: (Spanish language edition of Scholastic Reader Level 1: Clifford Goes to the Doctor) (Spanish Edition)
Lector de Scholastic Nivel 1: Clifford va al doctor: (Spanish language edition of Scholastic Reader Level 1: Clifford Goes to the Doctor) (Spanish Edition)
ce livre fait partie d une collection très sympathique que mon adore depuis ses 18 mois.
les histoires sont simples et traitent de sujets de la vie quotidienne.
le nombre de pages est suffisant pour des petits et permet de raconter une vraie histoire.
le format est très maniable et manipulable bien que non cartonné.
les illustrations sont un peu rétro et très adaptées á des petits enfants car contiennent aussi des détails sans être trop sophistiquées.
enfin le texte est 100% espagnol et permet á votre enfant de pratiquer cette langue facilement.
J utilise ces livres comme support á la pratique de l espagnol á la maison bien que je suis française de langue maternelle et cela me donne aussi la possibilité d'apprendre en même temps que mon enfant.

le thème de celui-ci est la visite annuelle du héros le chien Clifford chez son vétérinaire. Il permet à l'enfant de faire le rapprochement avec ses visites chez le docteur.
Dr. Second (Doctor Who / Roger Hargreaves)
Dr. Second (Doctor Who / Roger Hargreaves)
The delightful crossover between Doctor Who and the Mr. Men, that sufficiently captures the gist of both franchises, continues in a second wave that features a further four incarnations of the Doctor.

This book is the turn of the Second Doctor who lends himself quite wonderfully to Mr. Men form. Even though Troughton had some great serious moments, this being the Mr. Men it focusses on the silliness he bought to the role and captures it very well. However, I was half expecting a few “I would like a hat like this” references which are disappointingly absent.

The Doctor takes his companions to visit a museum where they inevitably discover some nefarious activity from a popular foe from the Second Doctor’s tenure.

It features companions Jamie and Victoria, both of whom appear more capable than the Doctor and take delight in teasing him.

What a shame this came out a month too late for Deborah Watling to be able to see herself realised in Mr. Men / Little Miss form.
Little Miss Star (Mr. Men and Little Miss Book 18)
Little Miss Star (Mr. Men and Little Miss Book 18)
I purchased this book as a gift and decided to read it when I went home. I was absolutely horrified to read that little miss star jumped on a plane and went to knock on the door of a "very large man" who welcomed her into his home to see what he could do to help make her famous. No more details are given as to what happened inside his home but low and behold, 3 weeks later, she's on the cover of a book!
THIS IS CREEPY AND WE SHOULD NOT BE READING THIS TO OUR CHILDREN AS THEY MIGHT THINK IT OKAY TO TAKE FAVOURS FROM STRANGE MEN!!!!
Operación trueno (Spanish Edition)
Operación trueno (Spanish Edition)
If you've read the original book in English and are fluent in Spanish, it's not too hard to follow; be aware that some Britishisms in the book don't translate very well in Spanish. (And it's in the Castilian Spanish, much more formal than Latin American Spanish.)
Siddhartha: (Spanish Edition)
Siddhartha: (Spanish Edition)
There is nothing wrong with the original, however this version, published by Simon & Brown, is full of typos and mispellings. For instance, the word "the" will be written twice in a row, or the word "nit" instead of "not." It makes me wonder if the translation is bad also, since I don't have another version to compare it to.
Temor a la verdad (Best Seller) (Spanish Edition)
Temor a la verdad (Best Seller) (Spanish Edition)
Un tema bien desarrollado con el estilo de Mary Higgins Clark. A pesar de que coinciden varias sucesos la historia no pierde sentido. Atrapa la atención del lector desde el principio. Es un libro ampliamente recomendable para leerse en un fin de semana.
The Marriage Demand
The Marriage Demand
When Faith was a child, she was an orphan and the resident of a children's home. Nash's godfather took an interest in young Faith and would invite her to stayover when she wasn't in school, which is how Faith met Nash and fell in love with him at the age of 15. The other girls in the home, jealous of the attention Faith was getting from the wealthiest people in the community, lured her into giving them certain details and used the information to go to rob Hatton House.

By the time she realized what was happening...it was too late. Nash's godfather was dead and the other girls blamed everything on Faith. She pleaded with Nash to believe her, but instead he had the police haul her away. Years later, Faith has turned her life around and ends up working back at Hatton House. And this is where the improbabilities start.

Nash supposedly hates her and still blames her for the death of his godfather, but insists on her working there. Apparently, his lust for her overcomes his hatred and they have sex. But upon realizing that she is a virgin, insists that they get married...still refusing to hear her out on her version of events of that night. He supposedly hates her all this time and yet wrote her letters of recommendation, expedited her release, and sent her expensive gifts upon graduation. If you believe someone killed the man who was like a father to you, would you really do that?

I think not.

Had it not been for Nash overhearing two people discussing everything in detail (in his house where anyone could overhear) he would still think her capable of a number of vile things. Should I believe there was a secret love on someone capable of that? Had that conversation not been overheard, he would have stayed shackled to a woman capable of those things?

Again, I think not.

In addition, Faith is terrified of thunderstorms. So when one starts, she strips off all her clothes and climbs into Nash's bed. I get going to his room and in his bed for comfort. But what's the reason for getting naked?

Worth neither the time nor the money to read. Give this one a pass.
Hornet's Nest (Andy Brazil Book 1)
Hornet's Nest (Andy Brazil Book 1)
Readers: read this book for itself. Fiction reading is supposed to be entertaining, and this book definitely does that! Now, more detail. I am an ardent Patricia Cornwell fan, full disclosure. I've read all the books in the Kay Scarpetta series, and loved them all. Cornwell's writing style in the Scarpetta series is one thing, and in the Andy Brazil series, another. Scarpetta: unique, first person, deeply character-driven, filled with scientific detail, psychological, punctuated with escalating tension until the ultimate, thriller crime-scene-as-it-happens climax that you feel like you can't possibly live through. And then, the epilogue. Whew. Andy Brazil: filled with whacky characters you cannot HELP but love, rollicking, rolling scenes that made me laugh out loud, crime fighters galore and bad guys who - I love this - take a whooping, with all the white hats on top at the end. I guffawed so many times I lost count. The humor in this first Andy Brazil book is priceless! I think the book is wonderfully written and terrifically entertaining. It is NOT like Scarpetta, and shame on the editorial reviewers who made that comparison. I think it's genius when an author can create an entirely new voice for a new series.
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Room of Requirement 75966 Dumbledore's Army Gift Idea from Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, New 2020 (193 Pieces)
LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Room of Requirement 75966 Dumbledore's Army Gift Idea from Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, New 2020 (193 Pieces)
This is a nice small set because it includes three important figures and two special patronus pieces that have never been released before. It connects well with other parts of the Hogwarts castle. I am very satisfied with it. The following is what I like and what I dislike:

What I like:
The new Patronus pieces are very sparkly and generally outstanding. In fact, I opened this box, my girlfriend saw them, grabbed them, and has refused to give them back to me the rest of my life (for now). The figures are also neat. I love Harry, Luna and Hermione’s Hogwarts robes and the target figure’s overall design. I normally hate stickers but I really appreciate the ones that come in this set because they are very detailed. The set connects well with the Hogwarts Castle set.

Cons:
My only con is that the moving wall can be clunky at times. But, I think all of the exclusive figures and parts make up for this, and I still think it is a great set for anyone.

If you have found my review useful, please let Amazon know by clicking “helpful.”
Back to Hogwarts (LEGO Harry Potter: Activity Book with Minifigure)
Back to Hogwarts (LEGO Harry Potter: Activity Book with Minifigure)
* My product arrived with a damaged front and back cover (bent).

This is a very thin book -- about 30 pages of activities (think more like a magazine). The activities look like fun for younger elementary kids (around 5-8 yrs old). They are VERY simple -- connect the dots, matches, mazes. Colorful and fun graphics. The HP Lego character is great -- my son is going to love it-- detailed, comes with a broom, owl, and newspaper. Sad about the damaged book, but I do think it's a fun gift for the right age. It is worth the $6.
#12 on Amazon Charts
#12 on Amazon Charts
 Before coming to the review I will say that the delivery system of amazon.in; the so called Amazon Transportation Services is awful and pathetic. They delayed my order for 3 days and the delivery agent switched off his phone and didn't deliver the product. Now all things apart and coming to the book....

For those who have already purchased the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, you already know what a treat this book will be. It has over 100 new images by award winning illustrator Jim Kay, which truly take the story and open it into a piece of art. There can be no understating the illustrations: they are amazing. The book itself is a piece of art. Under the jacket it is a gorgeous hardback with gold lettering, the paper is thick and substantial, with a glossy finish, and the images are everywhere: from the chapter introductions and throughout, with some illustrations spanning across both pages.

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets since I finished the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone! Some people might wonder why I'd buy another version of any of the Harry Potter books, but this is an absolute MUST HAVE if you even so much as LOVE Harry Potter and the wizarding world in general. Jim Kay has always brought JK Rowling's wizarding world to life, but these illustrated editions just take it to a whole new, exciting, and fantastic level.

Part of the joy of reading (at least for me) has always been bringing the words on pages alive in my own imagination. This may seem counter-intuitive to my raving review, but what if I told you that almost everything illustrated was at the very least close to what I had always imagined? It's probably part of the brilliance of JKR's vibrant descriptions, but it's still pretty cool when you see them.

The illustrated edition of Chamber of Secrets is phenomenal in short. Inside the cover you see the Hogwarts Greenhouses, and it only gets better from there! Pictures of mandrakes, an illustration of Hagrid which is absolutely awesome, Fawkes, they just add so much to the story, especially for the new readers. I would like to say I could totally use LESS of the illustrations of the acromantuals! GROSS! Not only are they all over the contents pages, but there are WAY too many full page(s) photos of these gross spiders! PASS! My two favorites though are the illustrations of the phoenix and of Dobby!

I could laud over the illustrations for a year, but I won't. What I love about this book (and for the whole collection of illustrated editions I hope!) is that this is the version I can see first introducing my (future) children to Harry Potter with. I put these on my bookshelves waiting for the day when I can show my kids the wonderful world that has filled my life with such fun and fantasy.

The book DOES include the full text of Chamber of Secrets in case any of you were wondering, it just also includes some fantastic illustrations from Jim Kay!
The book itself is a piece of art. Under the jacket it is a gorgeous hardback with gold lettering, the paper is thick and substantial, with a glossy finish, and the images are everywhere: from the chapter introductions and throughout, with some illustrations spanning across both pages.

There is no reason to go through the plot, since those who are buying this have undoubtedly read the series before. In short, this is the art-lover’s version of an epic book (one of the best ones, I think) and an edition that will simply delight all those little ones who love “seeing” the story.

The best features:
1. Underneath the book jacket, the novel is bound in a sturdy orange hardback with green lettering on the spine.
2. The paper is thick with an eggshell glossy finish.
3. All chapter intros are illustrated.
4. Some images take up full pages or multiple pages. Most illustrations share the page with text.
5. Every inch of the book is illustrated or decorated in some fashion. There are NO white pages in the book. Even the pages without large illustrations have the paper printed and marked with ink blots or paper "stains". In Chamber of Secrets (compared to Sorcerer's Stone), some pages even have beautiful patterns over the entire page. One page has a spider-web pattern and is right next to a picture of Aragog. Quite brilliant overall.

If you love Harry Potter, don't hesitate. Collect these editions! You and your family will love this for a long, long time! I would highly recommend this for anyone looking to read the series (again, or for the first time), especially if you plan to read this with someone younger. Based on the fact that the illustrations for this book were even better than in the first book, I'm now looking forward to the rest of the series even more. Prisoner of Azkaban is next and I'm heartbroken it'll be so long before I get to have it in my collection.
Labyrinth [Region B]
Labyrinth [Region B]
FOR THE RECORD - some other reviewers are INCORRECT!
THIS FILM OFFERS YOU THE OPTION OF PERFECT ENGLISH, with German subtitles, OR the GERMAN LANGUAGE. ALL ONE NEED DO IS READ THE SET-UP AND SELECT THE CORRECT BOXES. At the time of my writing, this film is available in Region 2 format, requiring an easily obtained All Region Player (everybody should own one).

THE STORY:
Here is a little known film whose story spans history between two special women, Alais & Alice, between Medieval times and today, separated by centuries, and yet psychically connected by the greatest secret of in human history. Both women, both, in their own times, search for the Holy Grail. This is not the Christian Grail, but the pagan Grail associated with the Knights of the Round Table.

Their lives are marked by conspiracies, intrigue, violence and passion. And while the 17 year old royal princess, in the 13th century, Alaïs Pelletier, guards a secret that should be protected at all costs, Alice Tanner, a doctoral candidate, makes the incredible contemporary discovery of the Holy Grail, and embarks on a race against time, to put together the strangely familiar pieces of their own history. In all of this process, is she is "brought back in time" to view key historical events of the past, helping her to put together this

The Lost Labyrinth is a story of the interwoven lives and adventures of two heroines from two different centuries, yet linked by a common destiny.

Acting is superb. The story is wonderful. Given the medieval times, yes, there is some violence, but it is not particularly graphic. It is appropriate for the times.
Choose Your Own Adventure Spies: Harry Houdini
Choose Your Own Adventure Spies: Harry Houdini
Katherine Factor provides enough information to make you want to check out every one of the options. Partway through reading the book, I was already delving into online resources to read more about the facts she was weaving into the story. The spy series of Choose Your Own Adventure books reveals the intriguing history of undercover work. This was my second purchase from the series, and I’m eager to read more.
Harry Potter Wand with Illuminating Tip (Replica)
Harry Potter Wand with Illuminating Tip (Replica)
Mi aspettavo una riproduzione fedele in una importante confezione in legno, visto il prezzo di 50 euro! Invece è in plastica di scarsa qualità con tanto di marchio di fabbrica stampato sopra. La confezione è di cartone. Niente da dire sul venditore, è proprio il prodotto che secondo me non vale nulla.
Tiny Love Tummy Time Mobile Entertainer, Blue, One Size
Tiny Love Tummy Time Mobile Entertainer, Blue, One Size
 This has been a great addition to my 4 month old daughter's baby toys.
We are always looking for new ways to keep my daughter engaged and happy on her tummy, as getting 10+ minutes in a day can be a challenge sometimes. Putting this in front of her has kept her interested and stimulated both on the floor as she lays on her tummy looking up at it, as well as on a table with her in her chair looking at it. Having toys that can keep her busy while I do a task around the house is a must have.

Pleasant for baby and parent:
The design of this toy has felt like a step above the typical electrical musical baby toys, as it has a more elegant feel and sound to it. The music is soft and easy on the ears... a mix of familiar songs in a soft instrumental version.
The color scheme still has bright stimulating colors (red, blue, yellow), but is grounded with a white base that helps balance the visual aesthetic.

Versatile:
We have used this for tummy time, we have used it sitting on a table, holding in our hand and it has been a great travel toy as it is not that big.

There are four modes:
1) Off
2) Music plus rotation and (white) light
3) No Music, just rotation (white) light
4) No Music or rotation. Tap activated light and sounds of a child laughing and talking

In the modes that have the rotation, the little hanging toys (apple and bird) rotate around the circular base and each of the apple and bird spin from front to back with a different pattern showing for extra interest). The base has rotating pictures of garden insects and animals that are cute and pleasing to the eye.

My daughter has enjoyed this toy and so have I. This is $25 well spent and would be an excellent gift.

Thanks for reading. I hope these comments help better inform your decision. If you found this review helpful, please click "Helpful" below. Much Appreciated.
Bedtime Originals Eloise Musical Baby Crib Mobile
Bedtime Originals Eloise Musical Baby Crib Mobile
BUY IT! My baby loves this! I put it over her changing table and she just smiles and tries to talk to the elephants:) good quality. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t have the sleeve with it. Makes no difference and still looks cute.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 13.5" Touch-Screen – Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive (Latest Model) – Platinum with Alcantara
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 13.5" Touch-Screen – Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive (Latest Model) – Platinum with Alcantara
I bought this mainly to be my dedicated personal/music recording laptop (I use another equipment for company work). It's really powerful considering the price, size and weight (enough to play Divinity 2 over Steam, for example). Camera is impressively good and can compensate very well for poor lighting with very little noise. Sound is fair for overall use (I use an external Focusrite interface for music recording/editing). Now the cons:

1. Because I usually run it on power, only after a few months I realized this odd behavior of completely shutting down randomly when running on battery, even with battery full. Tried to fix it via software several times (Windows and Firmware updates, Factory Reset and Recovery from USB). Nothing worked. Seems like a hardware defect by the behavior and result of some online research so I returned it for replacement. Hope the new unit works.

2. The keyboard looks fragile. You can see its surface bending while you type. I wonder how long until I need to repair/replace it.

3. It would be nice if the touch screen could be flipped all the way back to work like a tablet.

4. The face recognition log in mechanism (I don't recall how Microsoft calls it) is a little bit odd and I'm thinking about disabling it completely. Did some research and it appears it uses an infrared dedicated camera instead of the main "normal" camera so this would explain why it was recognizing me even with the regular camera covered. I never got to confirm this a 100% but then I decided to test in a way where I wasn't even in front of the screen and the thing would unlock sometimes! Since I use it only at home in these quarantine times, not a big deal, but I would NEVER leave this thing enabled if taking it outside.

Overall, assuming the replacement will solve the battery problem, I would see this laptop has a nice value for money on its tier.
Gifts for Men - Ebony Wood Phone Docking Station - Nightstand with Key Holder, Wallet Stand and Watch Organizer to Boyfriend Husband Wife Dad for Anniversary Birthday Christmas
Gifts for Men - Ebony Wood Phone Docking Station - Nightstand with Key Holder, Wallet Stand and Watch Organizer to Boyfriend Husband Wife Dad for Anniversary Birthday Christmas
I bought this for my husband on our wedding anniversary. My husband has a traumatic brain injury and is constantly misplacing his keys, glasses, and wallet. So i got him this, giving him a regular place to put all of his stuff and it's right next to our bed. He absolutely loves it.
The only complaint he has is that it doesn't have a proper spot for his galaxy active (watch) charger. He makes due by just hanging it, but if our cats go crazy at night (which happens frequently 😒) they hit the table/stand and it tends to dislodge the magnetic charger. I honestly would have paid extra to have had a little placeholder added for the watch charger.
Over all, it's beautiful and decent quality. It's definitely sturdy, since it withstands 3 rambunctious cats and 2 overzealous toddlers. My husband said, and I quote "I like it". So there you have it guys, he likes it 😂. Perfect wooden gift for our 5th wedding anniversary.
Hanes - Bóxer Cool Dri para hombre inspirado en los deportes, 5 unidades
Hanes - Bóxer Cool Dri para hombre inspirado en los deportes, 5 unidades
I just got these today. They're nice, but I was disappointed that they ended up being regular length in the legs when the description here states they're long legs. I'm a stocky guy, so I was worried the regular length would cause ride-up. However, they seem to stay in place, so I'm going to keep them. I like the colours (I got 3 out of the 5 shown in the display image; the other two are dark blue and green). A problem I sometimes have with other briefs is the back of them riding down when I sit, but I don't have that problem with these. No plumber's crack!

Something else to note about these is that the size chart next to the size select menu is incorrect according to the packaging I received. In fact, there's about a 6 inch difference between the chart on the package and the chart provided by Amazon. This is probably why some people have complained about the sizing. I've included a photo of the size chart on the back of the packaging. Hopefully it helps future customers out.
ADEPTNA Comfort Therapy Knee Pillows Memory Foam Leg Pillow with Elastic Strap for Side Sleepers Sciatica Pain Relief Back Leg Pain Knee Pain Pregnancy Hip and Joint Pain – with Washable Cover
ADEPTNA Comfort Therapy Knee Pillows Memory Foam Leg Pillow with Elastic Strap for Side Sleepers Sciatica Pain Relief Back Leg Pain Knee Pain Pregnancy Hip and Joint Pain – with Washable Cover
A very simple and comfortable pad that helped a lot with my knee injury.
I have a long term injury and it can often (but not always) disturb my sleep. This leg pillow is firm enough to keep my other leg from resting against my injury in my sleep. I'm also someone that turns over a few times during sleep so the soft elastic strap helps it stay in place. Honestly, I didn't know how much I needed this until I tried it, and for the price (9.95 at the time of the review), I thought it was well worth a try. The soft fluffy cover feels nice against the skin and is removable for washing, even the zip is an oval design so there aren't pointy bits to irritate.
I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone with a similar condition to mine, it genuinely improved my level of comfort.
Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Air Purifier, Heater + Fan - HEPA Air Filter, Space Heater and Certified Asthma + Allergy Friendly, WiFi-Enabled – HP04
Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Air Purifier, Heater + Fan - HEPA Air Filter, Space Heater and Certified Asthma + Allergy Friendly, WiFi-Enabled – HP04
As with any Dyson product, its esthetics are simply awesome, and its eye-catching looks work great for our living room.

It came packaged securely, and arrived in extremely good condition. Unfortunately, the note that asks you not to lift it using the top assembly was not clearly visible until after I had already done so :(

Setup was simple - just insert the 2 carbon filters, download the Dyson Link app, add the device, and setup wifi access

I am using it, sitting about 8 feet away from it, with the fan speed cranked up to max, and I can feel the heat it generates. The fan works just as well at this range.

The LCD display is very clear and bright, and the temperature and humidity readouts are visible even at this distance. However, much of the displayed information can be read only from up close or on the app.

I'm not sure that I'll ever monitor our room for particulate matter or VOCs, but it is interesting to see nonetheless.

Finally, combining the heater and fan is an excellent idea - reducing the number of appliances needed in a room.

Unfortunately, a few issues mar this unit.

First, the remote is likely to get lost without too much effort. It is small, and does not attach securely at all to the hood (which is where it attaches magnetically.)

Second, the heater cannot be turned on using the app - so if you lose the remote, you are truly out of luck. The app claims that this is due to US regulations, but that's of little comfort. I cannot imagine why someone figured that a manual control was not required on such an expensive unit.

Finally, the remote is not forgiving - it registers commands only from specific angles, which is annoying. Whoever thought an IR remote was better than an RF one likely does not use this fan/heater at their home.

This Dyson's price point magnifies the impact of these negatives, which might have been forgivable on a cheaper device.
Venco Honey - Bolsa de 2.2 lbs con diseño de licor
Venco Honey - Bolsa de 2.2 lbs con diseño de licor
I grew up in the Netherlands and am somewhat of a connoisseur of Dutch licorice. During my many years I've eaten many different varieties of honing drop and of all the honing drop I've ever tasted these are the best. Venco is an above average brand to begin with, but then on top of that these are unsurpassed in quality and flavor. Now, of course that's highly subjective. But if you're in the market for Dutch licorice that's more sweet than salty and tastes delicious you should at least try these. I've shopped all over the United States for imported Dutch products for over 30 years. In terms of price I've not found a better price anywhere else in the U.S. Recommended

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