a book that changed the way I think


Book title: The Practice of Everyday Life
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Practice of Everyday Life - book cover picture

This is one of the great books of French post-structuralist thought. I realize that to some people that might be like saying "one of the nicest Nazis I know." But for those who don't immediately dismiss the entire genre, there is much to be gained from reading, and rereading, this book.In essence, Certeau is challenging the rather despairing vision of Foucault's The Order of Things, with its image of the panopticon from which no one can escape. Certeau focuses on everyday practices to see how people do in fact escape the all-seeing gaze of the panopticon. In particular his distinction between "strategy" and "tactics" is useful and intriguing.The language is highly poetic and at times difficult going, but *how* Certeau says what he says is in some ways as important as *what* he says. He wants to write in a way that at the same time uses and escapes the constraints of ordinary language. It takes some getting used to, but it is worth it.

EAN: 9780520236998
Pages: 260
Publisher: University of California Press
Authors:
Michel De Certeau



Controversial Alternative History


Book title: 1421 : The Year China Discovered America
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
1421 : The Year China Discovered America - book cover picture

Gavin Menzies employed his experience as a mariner with detaled research into Chinese and European history to make a daring conclusion: that Chinese discovered the New World (and much more) at least seventy years before Columbus made his first journey.This thick volume is filled with facts, experience, conjecture, a fair amount of logic, and certainly passion. Despite some repetition and a tendency for conjecture, Menzies serves up a compelling circumstantial case. His story reads something like a historical mystery novel, finding clues and often answers from a wide range of sources.The strength of 1421... lies in its vivid evocations of Chinese maritime life, from shipbuilding to sailing. It's just one of several books that are now being published on this extraordinary era in Chinese history.

EAN: 9780060540944
Pages: 656
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Authors:
Gavin Menzies



A masterpiece in intrigue as history comes alive!


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

"Bloodline" is a riveting tale that blends the facts from a highly publicized historical event into a spellbinding contemporary novel. After more than a century, the infamous Jack the Ripper still has the ability to hold our fascination. "Bloodline" keeps the reader entranced as it takes us through the original Ripper murders and a string of present day copycat homicides. Victoria, an FBI profiler, and Jonathan, a Scotland Yard detective, are wonderful characters who have us on the edge of our seats as they race to unmask the present day serial killer by unraveling the facts from the historical slayings. Their solution is captivating and believable. I would love to see this duo reappear in a sequel, continuing to solve the crimes of today and yesteryear. Treat yourself and read this mesmerizing tale of suspense, mystery and romance. You won't be sorry.

EAN: 9780312974121
Pages: 336
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Authors:
Jill Jones



Wake Up Call


Book title: The American Prophecies: Ancient Scriptures Reveal Our Nation's Future
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The American Prophecies: Ancient Scriptures Reveal Our Nation's Future - book cover picture

As a history major, I find the convergence of history, our modern era, and Biblical prophecy compelling-- and have long wondered what America's place is on the prophetic stage. I highly recommend Michael D. Evan's book, American Prophecies, for its succinct analysis of our current situation--and its courageous wake up call to us all.

Christy Lowry
author of PAM: Life Beyond Death; Joy Beyond Grief

EAN: 9780446522526
Pages: 320
Publisher: Warner Faith
Authors:
Michael D. Evans



Great Book


Book title: Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony - book cover picture

I really enjoy this work and use it as a regular means of meditation and reflection. As to the critics regarding the etymology - they may want to search for Dr. Edward E. Thi. He did the caligraphy and was the consultant for the etymology. I would really like to study any of Dr. Thi's work. If anyone out there knows where he is at please send me an email. Good luck to all you seekers of Tao. taofpaul@hotmail.com.

EAN: 9780062513953
Pages: 272
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Authors:
Ming-Dao Deng



Quite conceivably the most amazing book ever written


Book title: The Princess Bride: S Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Princess Bride: S Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - book cover picture

The greatest Love story of all time - Not one couple a century is this lucky. If you read it, it will make you truly happy. The suspense, the humour, the comedy, the crying, the starlet and the psychiatrist wife all go to make this book probably the best collection of good parts that I have ever had the fortune to read.


Life isn't fair, and this book tells you that but it also tells you that you should never give up trying for what you want. No matter what it is, if you want it badly enough, you have to keep trying. It took me years to find a copy - I have now bought 4 - I lend it out and never see it again!!


If you haven't read this book, what are you reading this for - go buy it!!

EAN: 9780345348036
Pages: 416
Publisher: Del Rey
Authors:
William Goldman



All you ever wanted to know about Chicago soul music.


Book title: Chicago Soul (Music in American Life (Paperback))
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Chicago Soul (Music in American Life (Paperback)) - book cover picture

"Chicago Soul" is an excellent history of rhythm and blues in Chicago--the singers, songwriters, producers, record companies, and other major players. It is the definitive work on the subject by the author considered to be "the" authority on Chicago soul music. If you want to know Chicago soul music's antecedents, "Doowoop: The Chicago Scene" by the same author is a must.

EAN: 9780252062599
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Authors:
Robert Pruter



An instant classic


Book title: The Computational Beauty of Nature: Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Computational Beauty of Nature: Computer Explorations of Fractals, Chaos, Complex Systems, and Adaptation - book cover picture

Over the years I have read many books on artificial life, complex systems, and computer science. Quite simply, this book is best that I have ever seen. It is easy and fun to read because Flake has a casual and pleasant writing style. Yet it still manages to be true to all of the topics covered. In fact, all of the equations that are required to understand the topics are given, but Flake gives you the intuition that you need to understand them by giving many figures, metaphors, and analogies.Plus, the source code and images are just spectacular.I consider this book to be as important as Hofstaders "Goedel, Escher, Bach." So if you buy just one science book this year, this should be it.

EAN: 9780262062008
Pages: 492
Publisher: The MIT Press
Authors:
Gary William Flake



A story of desolation and redemption.


Book title: Cold Mountain
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Cold Mountain - book cover picture

Charles Frazier's wonderful first novel is the story of a soldier's recovery from the devastation of war. In a parallel story, his beloved grows from sheltered innocence to independence. Along the way, the reader is treated to the natural beauty of the landscape, a picture of life on the home front, and a variety of well-drawn characters. A beautifully written, powerful tale. The best new fiction I can remember.

EAN: 9780340680599
Pages: 438
Publisher: Sceptre
Authors:
Charles Frazier



Good introduction to chapter books


Book title: Beans on the Roof
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Beans on the Roof - book cover picture

This is a good book to use to introduce young children to chapter books. It contains nine short chapters. Good book to use when beginning a unit on poetry (teachers) or reading poetry books (parents) together. Poor George gets writer's block--something we all can relate to. Mr. and Mrs. Bean as well as Jenny and Anna have no trouble with writing--how frustrating! Family love and unity come into play. Children will be motivated to try their hand at writing their own poetry.

EAN: 9780440403142
Pages: 80
Publisher: Yearling
Authors:
Betsy Byars



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