Robinson just gets better...

Book title: In a Dry Season
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
In a Dry Season - book cover picture

I've enjoyed reading the entire Banks series and, for sheer storytelling, this is his best. Robinson does not write nail-biting mysteries. What he does write are thoughtful stories full of interesting characters. It is becoming more difficult to find good, character-based mysteries to hold your interest. If, like me, you like good characters and excellent writing and storytelling, also try Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe stories. In fact, his On Beulah Height is very similar to In A Dry Season (although he wrote his first).

EAN: 9780380794775
Pages: 480
Publisher: Avon
Peter Robinson


Book title: Fahrenheit 451
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Fahrenheit 451 - book cover picture

This is perhaps the most thought provoking book I have ever read. Unfortunately, I missed this book in my earlier days of public education, but I have found a real treasure now. This book is very topical in the policitically-correct world in which we live. I find it hard to believe that so many of the fears that are expressed in Beatty's speech to Montag regarding why books or ideas were burned have come to fruition. In fact, the most stirring part of this edition is the coda where Bradbury's ideas about censorship are expressed in first-person. A must read for any would-be scholar.

EAN: 9780345342966
Pages: 208
Publisher: Del Rey
Ray Bradbury

A friendly, historic bout between the author and her subject

Book title: Hatchepsut : The Female Pharoah
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Hatchepsut : The Female Pharoah - book cover picture

A wonderful piece concerning the life and times of the great Hatchepsut, "Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh" gives every possible and credible view concerning its subject. The enigma of Senenmut is discussed, as well as what may have motivated Hatchepsut to make the unprecedented move of assuming the role of Pharaoh. The possible vengence of Thutmose III is covered in all its aspects, and I for one found it compelling that there is evidence he didn't start destroying her monuments until at least twenty years after her death; Joyce also examines why he may have waited so long. The plates are wonderful and compliment well the attempts at reconstructing what Hatchepsut may have looked like. Possible canidates for her still missing mummy are considered at length, especiall the displeasing (for me) but oddly logical choice of the mummy in the newly discovered KV60. I urge you to find out for yourself.

EAN: 9780140244649
Pages: 304
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Joyce A. Tyldesley

This one actually deserves raves

Book title: The Philosopher Stone
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Philosopher Stone - book cover picture

When I picked this book up I intended it to serve as an occasional break from my "heavy reading." But, right from the prologue it took hold and never let go until it carried me to the denouement. What incredible characters and how well the author manages to keep each true to his or her role. The dialogue is ear-perfect and the result is that you are brought directly into the tale. You feel less like a reader than one of the players. Rushlow writes with great efficiency, there was never a dull spot from beginning to end. I trust there will be a sequel and, personally, I can't wait.

EAN: 9780595000807
Pages: 248
Publisher: Writer's Showcase Press
Philip Rushlow

Complexity Theory and Psychology

Book title: A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action (Cognitive Psychology)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action (Cognitive Psychology) - book cover picture

This book is among the first to apply complexity theory to developmental psychology, and is definitely a must read for anyone interested in either topic. When read in conjunction with Port and Van Gelder's Mind as Motion, Walter Freeman's How Brains Make Up Their Minds, and Alicia Juarrero's Dynamics in Action, one begins to see aborning the outline of a new framework for a naturalized philosophy of mind.

EAN: 9780262700597
Pages: 408
Publisher: The MIT Press
Esther Thelen
Linda B. Smith

Wonderful Resource for All Science Teachers

Book title: Light Science : Physics and the Visual Arts (Undergraduate Texts in Contemporary Physics)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Light Science : Physics and the Visual Arts (Undergraduate Texts in Contemporary Physics) - book cover picture

Light isn't just about electromagnetic waves - it is about human perception of those waves. This book is a wonderful resource for all teachers, and an easy and pleasurable bed-time read as well. It accurately and simply presents the pure physics of light and color and then relates it to our perception of that light and color. However, as a resource for teachers, it also provides numerous hands-on experiments suitable for students at many different levels. I'm using the polarization experiments with my high school classes at the moment. The demo using a CD as a diffraction grating is awesome, even if you don't want to explain how it works. This book is my constant companion in my effort to share "Light Science" with my students.

EAN: 9780387988276
Pages: 442
Publisher: Springer
Thomas D. Rossing
Christopher J Chiaverina

Great expose about the Catholic Church

Book title: The Da Vinci Code
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Da Vinci Code - book cover picture

Dan Brown explains how the Catholic church sent women to their death during the middle ages, calling them witches. For too long the Catholic church has hidden its past amid claims of saving souls from some hateful god who would burn them in hell if they don't do as this church says. Hopefully this well written best seller will expose readers to the past and present sins of this massive cult. Brown's work makes fascinating reading in the context of this cults attempt to cover up the very real sins of its leaders against thousands of children.According to Brown Catholics, for centuries, have attempted to cover up many original unpleasant truth's about the founding of this religion. That the cover ups never stop should give anyone pause. Brown's book is not all that great as a thriller - but the subject matter is fun and fascinating and perhaps will hasten the demise of an ancient anachronism.

EAN: 9780385504201
Pages: 454
Publisher: Doubleday
Dan Brown

Buy it today!!!!

Book title: Just Java 2
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Just Java 2 - book cover picture

This is a wonderful Java text. My favorite part, as with all PVDL books, is the humor. Each chapter ends with a "Ligh Relief" section, where you can learn the programmer's battlesong "Hatless Atlas", a list of messy kernel messages, or my favorite, a program that compiles both under C, C++ and Java!Humor aside, the book does a wonderful job explaining Java concepts, and the CD that accompanies the book is loaded with goodies.

EAN: 0076092004813
Pages: 608
Publisher: SunSoft Press
Peter Van Der Linden

Hooray for Harry Potter!

Book title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) - book cover picture

As a twenty year old, having read all the Harry Potter adventures now, I can't quite agree with the whole, "children's novel" idea. I think that not only is this book a little gruesome toward the end, but I really can't recall being 9 or so, and understanding much of the vocabulary in this book. I'm not talking about the magic related fiction, I'm talking about the overall prose of the book. However, I really enjoyed this book. I could hardly put it down! I think many will agree with me when I say, " we want more!" Hopefully it won't be to long before Harry Potter strikes again.

EAN: 0038332187076
Pages: 734
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
J.K. Rowling

Gritty well-paced realism without parallel

Book title: Skin River
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Skin River - book cover picture

Skin River never strays from its fully believable scenario. If you're looking for thrills derived from a story line that could conceivably happen anywhere in middle America, read Sidor's tingling debut. For starters, the pace is sure to hook you as you become quickly acquainted with Goatskinner.
Beyond 'skinner, all Sidor's characters contain the traits of 'real' people -- he doesn't snow you with superhuman agents, too-beautiful women, and exotic locales too good to be true. Instead, Sidor enthralls with vivid everyday people and visible scenes for the book's events.
Better yet is the unfolding of the plot -- I won't divulge it here but Sidor scores with the story's evolution from start to finish. If you're anything like I am you'll find yourself at his web site immediately after finishing this novel looking for his next release.

EAN: 9780312329495
Pages: 256
Publisher: St. Martin's Minotaur
Steven Sidor

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