Ultimately Illuminating!!!

Book title: The Structure of the Ordinary: Form and Control in the Built Environment
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Structure of the Ordinary: Form and Control in the Built Environment - book cover picture

I found this book to be both insightful and ultimately very influential as to my own thoughts on sustainable design, urban planning, and the contemporary values and accustomed comfort levels which we, the western societies of the world, have come to take for granted when we think about our built environment. I feel that this book should be read by both students and practitioners alike. It's lessons are far reaching and all too relavent.

EAN: 9780262082600
Pages: 200
Publisher: The MIT Press
N. J. Habraken
N. J. Habraken

**All so True**

Book title: Gossip Girl #1 : A Novel by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Gossip Girl #1 : A Novel by Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl) - book cover picture

This book was one of the best books that i have ever read. It is all about the truth of what really goes on in the real world no matter how you look at it. Blair has the perfect life, boyfriend, and well of course money! There is not one thing in this book that was not true. When you look at our society, kids shop in the best of the best and go to the best of the best. They drink no matter what their parents say and they have sex. Smoking is totally a persons pick whether or not they do it, but trust me they do it. THe book states the truth and is one of the best books out there!!

EAN: 9780316910330
Pages: 208
Publisher: Little, Brown
Cecily Von Ziegesar

Anyone who is an Elizabeth Lowell fan--read this Series!!!!

Book title: Fire and Rain (Silhouette Single Title)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Fire and Rain (Silhouette Single Title) - book cover picture

Some of the strongest, sexiest, most memorable characters I have read about in years!!!! I am totally hooked on Elizabeth Lowell. Read them in this order: Fire & Rain, Outlaw, Granite Man, & Warrior.Its a wonderful story that involves 4 deliciously handsome/sexy men, their reluctance to live or love, and the extraordinary, intelligent, and strong women who change their minds about life/love and everything in between! I have read this series about 7-8 times.Typical of Lowell's other series; well written, good story line, lots of sexual tension and some descriptively delicious male characters...YUM!

EAN: 9780373218882
Pages: 256
Publisher: Silhouette
Elizabeth Lowell

Superb explanation the psychology of race relations.

Book title: Race in the Mind of America: Breaking the Vicious Circle Between Blacks and Whites
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Race in the Mind of America: Breaking the Vicious Circle Between Blacks and Whites - book cover picture

Many books on race deal extensively with social and economic issues. While not ignoring these issues, this book concentrates on the powerful psychological factors that influence race relations. It explains the vicious circles that blacks and whites are caught in that perpetuate racial problems. The book explains how both blacks and whites participate unknowingly, and often innocently, in maintaining these vicious circles that inhibit progress. Besides presenting the many problems and difficulties to be overcome, the book provides hope and guidance for resolving many painful issues.

EAN: 9780415920001
Pages: 344
Publisher: Routledge
Paul L. Wachtel

In which Qwilleran, Koko and Yum Yum . . .

Book title: The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (Cat Who...)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Cat Who Sniffed Glue (Cat Who...) - book cover picture

. . . try their hand at theater! The "K" mansion has burned down, and Qwill decides to donate the property to the theater club. Unfortunately, just before the first big show (Arsnic and Old Lace) the body of the one of the prominent members of the community is found, along with his new wife. Will Qwill and the cats be able to solve this one? Or will the murderer get off scot free?

There is a lot of good to be said for this installment of "The Cat Who . . .) series. We are re-introduced to an interesting character from "The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern" and to a charming new character, Eddington, the eccentric used book dealer. Arch Riker, Iris Cobb, and of course, Polly all have roles to play as well.

As an interesting note, the book is not divided into chapters, but rather into scenes and acts -- all part of the "theater" theme.

For fans of the series, this is one of the better ones.

EAN: 9780515099546
Pages: 288
Publisher: Jove
Lilian Jackson Braun

Hope-from darkest dispair

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

Beloved the book was my fifth read of Toni, at this point it was a little easier knowing her better, but still I think she had gone a level better than in her other past works. Beloved depresses you terribly but you want/have to read on, its an emotional journey that is more important to one especially when you are black, because then it affects you in a way more direct. Even though it set in the 1800s, it is a story that transcends time limits. The poetry mixed with the story is striking and so relevent. I think you must love Toni as a writer/link between minds that think/feel alike to understand and appreciate what she has tried and to great degree achieved to do with 'BELOVED'. Which is not just the name of the ghost-child.

EAN: 9780394535975
Pages: 288
Publisher: Knopf
Toni Morrison

History as it should be written...

Book title: Flags of Our Fathers
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Flags of Our Fathers - book cover picture

There's really not anything more that I can add that all the previous reviewers haven't already said, but I did want to include my 5 star rating. I didn't know much about the specifics of Iwo Jima (just another Pacific theatre battle to get to Japan), but after reading this classic, I'm again re-enforced with the feeling of sacrifice that occured and the utter chaos of the WWII trenches. This will definately give you the feeling of being there and, coupled with the opening scene from "Saving Private Ryan", are all you need to understand war and specifically WWII.

EAN: 9780553111330
Pages: 384
Publisher: Bantam
James Bradley
Ron Powers

A must for anyone who is interested in improving!

Book title: The Fountainhead
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Fountainhead - book cover picture

I am sad to see some comments that this book is too long, and/or that the key points can be said more concisely. Often, good books require the reader to take the time to understand and absorb the meanings. The beauty of it is that you learn more as you mature in life. I have personally changed my views in reading the works of Ayn Rand over time. If human nature was easy to change, then books like "10 things to improve your self-esteem" need only be 10 lines long. But humans as humans tend to stay fixed within their comfort-zones, and believe me, there is so much more that you can get from reading this book!

EAN: 9780026009102
Pages: 727
Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company
Ayn Rand

Beware the Aristocracy!

Book title: Guns of August
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Guns of August - book cover picture

If anyone longs for the good old days of lords and ladies, then one only needs to read this book to understand why countries no longer pick their leaders by right of birth. Never has a book so infuriated my sense of justice then when reading about the deeds of the nobles and their chosen leaders who lead their countries into the Great War. An entire generation wiped out because of the delusions of a few men who believed in the nobility of war. This book should be a must read by any leader, be they President, Prime Minister or King, who believes in the need for war. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand some of the defining moments that have shaped our world.

EAN: 9780345386236
Pages: 544
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Barbara W. Tuchman

Terrific and honest

Book title: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly - book cover picture

Bourdain takes the image of chef -- whether it be arrogant snoot in pressed and spotless jacket or excitable Food Network man-of-the-people -- and shows you a glimpse of what's really going on in the kitchens of restaurants in the city these days, whether it be the hectic workdays, power plays among the individuals and egos involved, or the what the lifestyle of the cook does to that person. For better or worse, whether you think Bourdain a hero or a jerk, the book is entertaining and the straight scoop on what kitchen life is about. Highest recommendation.

EAN: 9780060934910
Pages: 320
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Anthony Bourdain

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