Jeff Shaara called April 1865 "Magnificent"

Book title: April 1865: The Month That Saved America
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
April 1865: The Month That Saved America - book cover picture

As a Civil War buff who loved April 1865 and thought it was truly extraordinary, I just couldn't let a disgruntled review pass unanswered. Jeff Shaara, of "Gods and Generals" and "The Last Full Measure" called April 1865 "magnificent" in the Wall Street Journal - he also wrote that it "provides a splendid combination of history, civics lesson, and biography, but Mr. Winik is also a marvelous storyteller." Mr. Shaara clearly knows his Civil War; if you don't want my recommendation, take his. This book is "magnificent."

EAN: 9780060930882
Pages: 496
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Jay Winik

An Excellent Learning Tool

Book title: Fokus Deutsch: Beginning German 1 (Student Edition + Listening Comprehension Audio Cassette)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Fokus Deutsch:  Beginning German 1 (Student Edition + Listening Comprehension Audio Cassette) - book cover picture

I'm a college student using this text, lab manual, and audio CD accompnaiment. I had taken German previously, but the text was difficult to understand and the layout didn't seem to make sense. This book teaches the German language in a layout that makes the learning process flow more smoothly. Each topic builds on the last, and the exercises are challenging yet excellent practice for what was learned. The text not only teaches vocabulary and grammar, but also the German culture and day-to-day German life. The Audio accompniment is an excellent addition to the text because it helps you build on your listening skills and actually hear the correct pronunciation of the words you've learned by many different voices, so you're not hearing one voice repetitively.

EAN: 9780072336641
Pages: 368
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
Rosemary Delia
Daniela Dosch Fritz
Anke Finger
Stephen L. Newton
Lida Daves-Schneider
Karl H. Schneider

An Astonishing and Heart-Stopping Adventure!

Book title: The Endurance : Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Endurance : Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition - book cover picture

(originally written December 26, 1998 as an anonymous review) What might have been a dry re-telling of an ill-starred expedition is transformed instead, thanks to the brilliant Caroline Alexander, into a colorful and often heart-stopping account of an incredible journey of heroism and tenacity. I read "The Endurance" in one hearty, greedy gulp; at times I was trembling and weeping--at other times cheering and joyful. Even those with the most feeble imaginations cannot help but be moved by this testament of Human Will and, yes, "Endurance". The beautiful and sometimes astonishing photographs taken by Frank Hurley, laid out generously throughout the book, remind one that this was, indeed, a true account. My recommendation is this: BUY it, READ it, and TREASURE it, as shall I. You will not be sorry!

EAN: 9780375404030
Pages: 224
Publisher: Knopf
Caroline Alexander

Angered at the intentional deception of the American people.

Book title: Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story - book cover picture

The values that our founding fathers expected from our Commander in Chief are no where to be found in Clinton or his administration. Growing up I learned in school statements of the moral character made by our President's to include George Washington's "I can not tell a lie" to Harry Truman's "The buck stops here." Our President now looks the citizens directly in the eye and lies to them without any hesitation or accountability. And what is more frustrating is that the American people accept it. Michael Isikoff does an excellant job of detailing these lies and the people who perpetuated them.

EAN: 0045863603937
Pages: 416
Publisher: Crown
Michael Isikoff

fascinating and insightful

Book title: Isaac Albeniz: Portrait of a Romantic
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Isaac Albeniz: Portrait of a Romantic - book cover picture

Aaron Clark is admirably unwilling to speculate as so many much earlier biographies of Albeniz have been about the more hazy periods in his life. He is particularly good on understanding the hyperbole and publicity-friendly porkies Albeniz was given to in the context of his character. Where he is at his best is in the analysis and history of the music/forms it uses. I wish he would write a work which concentrates on analysis of the music itself as well - I'd buy that too. It is also a very entertaining read, and has many very sensible conclusions especially about Albeniz's earlier life, which is surrounded by myth! This is an essential book for anyone interested in Spanish Nationalist Romantic Music. Does this man have an email address? Ben Coulthard

EAN: 9780198163695
Pages: 321
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Walter Aaron Clark


Book title: The Outsiders
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
The Outsiders - book cover picture

I thought the book the Outsiders was a great book for young teens who have a love for reading. There are some books that you get bored with reading very fast, but I found that with this book I was never bored and found it hard to put it down. In this book people are labled as being "greasers" or "socs". The "greasers" are low class and don't have very much. The "socs" are more high class and rich. I think reading this book is a good idea because it shows the pressures of peers and how it hurts to be labled.

EAN: 9780140385724
Pages: 180
Publisher: Puffin
S. E. Hinton

A gift to AD/HDers

Book title: Delivered from Distraction : Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Delivered from Distraction : Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder - book cover picture

Dr. Hallowell has given us a GIFT in this optimistic, realistic, encouraging book. Yes, there is a dark side to ADD (prison, alcoholism, unemployment...) but it's about time we heard about the strengths - intuition, creativity, the ability to connect with others, and the kind of risk-taking that changes lives for the better. Thank you, thank, thank you.

If you'd like the unabridged version, it's available from, and the reader, Dan Cashman, is superb. The same abridged version read by Dr. Hallowell is also available.

EAN: 9780345442307
Pages: 416
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Edward M. Hallowell
John J. Ratey

My Four Year Old is Reading

Book title: Bob Books First! Level A, Set 1
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Bob Books First! Level A, Set 1 - book cover picture

As a former educator, I tend to stress educational development with my four year old. I recently began teaching him the sounds of his letters. A co-worker told me about the Bob Books. My son was able to read the first two books within 1 week. I was truly impressed with the books. They are excellent for beginning readers. My son is now confident in his ability to learn. The books made it easy for him to learn how to put sounds together to form words.

EAN: 9780439145442
Pages: 14
Publisher: Scholastic
Bobby Lynn Maslen

A super book that shows an interesting future for Earth.

Book title: Caves of Steel (Robot City (Paperback))
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Caves of Steel (Robot City (Paperback)) - book cover picture

Asimov's wonderful mystery/science fiction novel that sets the stage for his whole robot series has a good mystery plot. The whole book's setting, however, is in some ways more interesting. The idea of a future Earth as being a few huge cities with tens of millions of people who have never seen the light of day is disturbing and thought-provoking. Though the mystery is not extrodinarily complex, it is interesting when put together with the setting which makes the book even more interesting. I highly recommend this book.

EAN: 9780553293401
Pages: 288
Publisher: Spectra
Isaac Asimov

A beautiful book about mother/daughter relationships

Book title: Amy and Isabelle
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Audio Cassette
Amy and Isabelle - book cover picture

On the surface, the lives of Isabelle and Amy appear mundane. But the author, Elizabeth Strout, makes us care deeply about this mother and daughter as well as many of the other seemingly uninteresting characters who people this small New England mill town. Until the summer in which this story takes place, Isabelle and Amy exist in a world of their own, not really belonging to any social group within their town. But the same incident that causes a traumatic rift in their relationship, finally enables them to connect with these other individuals as well as to truly understand and accept each other for the first time. Strout's ability to climb into her characters' minds, understanding their longings and fears, is just extraordinary. She treats all her characters (her female characters, anyway) with great compassion and understanding. The character of Fat Bev was a particular standout. Run, don't walk, to buy this book!

EAN: 9780375404962
Publisher: Random House Audio
Elizabeth Strout
E. Strout

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