The best book I read last year

Book title: The Body and Its Dangers and Other Stories
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Body and Its Dangers and Other Stories - book cover picture

I was very impressed with the quality of writing in this book, and the extraordinary compassion of the author that is evident even in the less likeable characters.The metaphors in the book are richly woven into the stories, especially the two dealing with the friends from the Jesuit college whose lives are profoundly affected by their relationships. I hope this book gets a wider reading public than gay men as several themes explored in the book- illness, breast cancer, finding the father figure, sexuality and sensuality, loss of traditional spirituality- are issues facing many men and women in society. I was distressed to learn that Mr Barnett himself had died of AIDS shortly after the book was published. He was a very gifted writer of perception and depth, and I mourn this loss to the literary world.

EAN: 9780312042721
Pages: 181
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Allen Barnett

An exhilirating, breath-taking classic!

Book title: Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Illustrated Junior Library)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (Illustrated Junior Library) - book cover picture

Pyle's book is simply THE GREATEST version of the Robin Hood legend ever written (it is no wonder it has been in print for one hundred years). The poetic Medieval english is never too difficult for readers of a young age because the dialogue is stirring, a blood-rousing call to adventure with Robin and his merry men. Pyle perfectly captures everything that makes the Robin Hood legend still compelling today, without making the battles between noble Robin and the corrupt government of early England into a treacly, heavy-handed lesson in morals (unlike many of the books his contemporaries were writing). This book is especially fun to read aloud; it was a popular read with the kids I babysat for in high school. (Plus, what kid doesn't dream once in a while of running away and living in the forest, hunting deer with longbows, and showing off in front of the damsel of his dreams by defeating the "bad guy" in a duel of broadswords?)

EAN: 9780448060200
Pages: 325
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Howard Pyle

Great book for the beginning HTML writer!

Book title: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition - book cover picture

I recently sold this book (after using it for almost a year) and it has been my best source of information when writing HTML webpages. It is easy to follow, well thought out, and very thorough. For the past year, I have been writing both professional and personal webpages (...) just by the use of this book.This book covers everything from your basic tags (HEAD, BODY, BR, etc) to how to create tables and form-to-email forms. It is definately worth the money!

EAN: 0076092020509
Pages: 480
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Elizabeth Castro

Too intense for a fairy tale - wonderful read!

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

The synopsis of this book misses what makes this book so engaging! Weiland has spent 16 hellish years in Daria's remote castle with few companions (all of whom were formerly wolves, racoons, mice, birds or other animals.) Daria herself is a very cruel woman whose inconsistent (and sadistic) actions leave Weiland always in the dark as to whether he has fallen out of favor or not. Daria decides to move to the big city. Weiland, and other member of Daria's household (mice as lady's in waiting etc) all learn about the real world. Weiland also sees an even darker side to Daria, which his growing conscience will not allow him to ignore, even though stopping Daria means becoming a wolf for the rest of his life. Well crafted emotional and psychological tension! NOT for the very young. Also note, this is actually a prequel to the Conjurer Princess, which is also a very good read.

EAN: 9780061057052
Pages: 290
Publisher: Harpercollins (Mm)
Vivian Vande Velde

I chose this book as my book of the millenium

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

I was so pleased to see my choice of book in the Millenium list - even no 6 is great, considering how many books there are to choose from. I have read this book at least 12 times- the uncut, and about the same, the abridged till the uncut came out. It absolutely my favourite book of all time. The style, the story, the people - they are friends. End of the world, plague, the chosen few, Randolf (the devil) Flagg - it's all been done - but Stephen King does it the best.

EAN: 9780450537370
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Stephen King

People from 130 years ago must think we're all loony

Book title: Confederates in the Attic
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Audio Cassette
Confederates in the Attic - book cover picture

Horwitz's writing style is beautiful. He has an unabashedly Jewish, white, urban, young and educated perspective from which he interprets the people and events that he comes across. The result is obviously skewed, but in a way that is lighthearted and surprisingly open. He meets an extraordinary range of people in this trip, and portrays them all with an earnestness and sense of humor that admits his own humanity as well as all of ours.

EAN: 9780553525830
Publisher: Random House Audio
Tony Horwitz

Exceptional Thriller

Book title: No Second Chance
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
No Second Chance - book cover picture

This one grabs you with the first sentence and doesn't let go until the last page. Dr. Marc Seidman wakes up in the hospital after being shot and almost killed, to learn that his wife was killed and his six month old daughter is missing. Coben weaves a fine tale of death, destruction and double-dealing over a period of eighteen months. As Marc searches for his daughter, the reader is taken on a wild non-stop ride. If you like Coben's two recent novels, Tell No One and Gone For Good, you are going to love this one. The characters are very well drawn. I loved the character, Verne, dearly. The action never lets up and the ending was very satisfying. Just one thing. The title, No Second Chance, is misleading. There is a second chance. Actually there are more than two and Dr. Marc Seidman handles each one with sometimes bumbling and sometimes brilliant action. An Exceptional thriller.

EAN: 9780451210555
Pages: 448
Publisher: Signet Book
Harlan Coben

Excellent Reference for academic and industry use

Book title: Windows Nt & Unix: Administration, Coexistence, Integration & Migration
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Windows Nt & Unix: Administration, Coexistence, Integration & Migration - book cover picture

As a professor in computer science at a major university, I see many books cross my desk. It is rare that I find a publication that is so comprehensive that I would develop a new graduate level course around its contents. This is is one of those rare publications. It is used by my students and I widely recommend it to my corporate consulting clients. In addition to exceptional discussions of the two operating systems, the book also provides one of the best quick reference guides available anywhere. The appendix provides over 200 pages of UNIX and Windows NT commands that are uniquely cross referenced.This is a most have book for anyone involved in UNIX and/or Windows NT administration.

EAN: 9780201185362
Pages: 738
Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company
G. Robert Williams
Ellen Beck Gardner

Zowie! Kincaid sucks readers in again

Book title: Autobiography of My Mother
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Unknown Binding
Autobiography of My Mother - book cover picture

Autobiography of My Mother is a powerful, mesmerizing, and other-worldy tale of Xuela, a woman of Dominica, West Indies, who is a worthy subject for Kincaid's musical cadences and rapturous prose. Boy, can this woman write - and she infuses all her prose with the lilting voices of her compatriots. There's no way to read her work aloud without finding yourself lapsing into the patois, sing-songy style of speech that comes thru so clearly in her writing. This book is a painful tale, the recounting of a difficult life without much love shown to the girl as she grows from motherless infant to strong and bitter young woman who aborts her pregnancy and remains defiant the rest of her life. Raised motherless herself, she determines never to mother others. Taken on a metaphorical level, the woman's story could be the story of Dominica, torn by suffering, racism, power, and the unbreakable bonds that bind them together.
Powerful writing on so, so many levels.

EAN: 9780099738411
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Jamaica Kincaid

Strange title, huh?

Book title: Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life - book cover picture

Great book, though. I was assigned this book for class; I had to read it. That said, it's one of the best I've ever read. Sometimes the title of a book can be misleading or can suggest that the book's contents aren't conveniently or understandably arranged. While Lamott's book definitely reads as a novel, it can be read gradually and could even be treated as a text for a class. My teacher approached it in this way, ignoring the book's basic premise: a book to read about writing. But hey, it worked. My teacher's great, Lamott's great, and I leave inspired. And I think the same can happen for anybody if for me.

EAN: 9780385480017
Pages: 239
Publisher: Anchor
Anne Lamott

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