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Book reviews for "Lyle-Smythe,_Alan" sorted by average review score:

Azucar! The Story of Sugar
Published in Paperback by Belecam & Associates, Inc. (2001)
Author: Alan Cambeira
Amazon base price: $14.50
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Unbelievably Bittersweet
Since the early 1500s the Caribbean sugarcane plantation or ingenio has been dedicated exclusively to growing and producing its own sugarcane and sugar. This was not only an agricultural-industrial complex, but was also a small, self-contained, almost self-sufficient township. They had their own codes and laws...and their own ruthless means of enforcement. Undeniably, Caribbean plantation societies of an earlier era had some peculiarities - many of such hideous oddities still characterize the contemporary sugarcane estates in the region. The way in which the development of the sugar plantation has created seemingly unbearable stresses with both the society - is what AZÚCAR's story is all about. Looking at women of the Caribbean, we clearly see Caribbean women born into a region where all the 'major players' were 'newcomers' transported from somewhere else. The Caribbean,according to Alan Cambeira, author of this new novel, is a place of permeable boundaries and multiple identities, offering continuous redefinition of the self and of one's relationship to society. AZÚCAR! The Story of Sugar follows this pattern...and more specifically, the life of exploitation, brutality, terror, and decay of the sugarcane plantation. Azúcar's story is a frank testimony to the unmasked horrors of daily life in the batey - the dilapidated quarters that house the sugarcane workers recruited annually from different islands across the Caribbean to work the plantations. Alan Cambeira has woven a suspensefully different tale about women's 'secret powers' to defy and to revolt against all sorts of codes and laws, especially those traditionally made and excecuted by men in the region. AZÚCAR! The Story of Sugar exposes the oppression of women and the male fear of those 'powers' that men believe certain women to have.

Also recommended: ¿Quiénes son los Dominicanos? Caleidoscopio turbulento.

AZÚCAR is Exquisite Prose...
What a wonderful narrative... honest and masterfully written! Dr. Cambeira humbly offers me, as a reader, the joy of exploring great virtues thanks to the loved characters of 'el batey'. Love and compassion, strength and honor, faith, endurance and pride... all found in Doña Fela, Don Anselmo, Azúcar and all the other residents of 'el batey'. Reading Azúcar's story made me think of the balance between faith, love, and respect for one another. Bravo for Alan Cambeira...what a talent...what an unforgettable reading experience. I hope there is a sequel.

Powerful Treatment of Tough Subject
I was born in the Caribbean (St. Lucia) many years ago and Alan Cambeira's novel took me back to my native island. His work is brilliant, fresh, and brutally realistic in every sense. You have got to be ready for this story. I also learned a great deal about my own 'backyard.' The suspense and intrigue didn't allow me to put down the book even for one minute. This is really one powerful story! I have never read anything like this before. It is so unusual and so shocking. I definitely recommend this novel to anyone genuinely interested and open to new cultural experiences. Cheers to Professor Cambeira. Simply the Best!

Published in Paperback by Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd Pap) (1979)
Authors: David Larkin, Brian Froud, and Alan Lee
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one of a kind book :)
Do you believe in faeries? After reading this you'll want to. There are plenty of books about faeries out there - what makes this one unique is that it is written as a field guide and it is full of beautiful (and I do mean beautiful) paintings and drawings of the creatures described. The book is titled Faeries, but it also contains goblins, witches, selkies and the like. Not only is it fun to read and look at, but if you draw, it's a great artistic reference. (Many of the illustrations in Faeries are used as tattoos today.) Brian Froud is an amazing artist himself and he helped design the creatures in movies such as the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Buy this book if you loved fairy tales as a kid.

Beautiful, enchanting, surreal and exquisite.
This was the book where I first encountered the artists Froud and Lee, and also where I discovered that faeries are indeed either ugly or beautiful, old and young; everything I had ever hoped and imagined, and more. Froud and Lee's breathtaking and altogether masterly portrayal of the intrinsic, metamorphic world of fantasy forever hovering at our fingertips, is truly masterly, and I have never encountered another yet which rates quite as highly as this. I would definately recommend this book to anyone who loves faeries, and/or queries the 'pretty' flower-faeries we tend to be bombarded with today. s This book has all my dreams, nightmares and fantasies woven together in it's intricate, detailed illustrations, the thick, scrawling lead pencil script... I cannot find the words to speak highly enough of this simply unique, marvellous book. I am an avid admirer of Froud and Lee's works, the faery-kingdom, faery poetry, stories, tales, photographs, illustrations, and can never have enough information on that mystical kingdom where people such as Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin vanish to, where a cup of wine can bind you a prisoner, where the young are old, and the old are yound, where anything is possible whether you believe or not. I for one, do strongly believe in faeries, and wish that I could see one. This book is - where are the words to describe it? Magnificent/Fabulous/Beautiful/Moving/Terrifying/Fantastic/Eye-opening - they are only some... I would like to congratulate Lee and Froud on their admirable skill for illustrations, the publishers for - well - publishing this book, and all the readers out there who fell in love with this book, which is a gift from faeryland itself.

"Faeries" one of the most influential books of my childhood
My mother gave my a copy of "Faeries" for Christmas 1980, when I was 11. I was instantly enchanted with the idea of faeries as real beings, and accepted much of the text as truth. I fantasized about spotting faeries in the woods and rocks surrounding my childhood home, and made many (sophomoric) attempts to copy Brian Froud's illustrations. As an adult I even had a flower faerie tattooed on my ankle in homage to his art

My origional copy of "Faeries" is tattered and dog-eared, most of the pages have fallen out, and are hopelessly out-of-sequence, but I can't bear to throw it away. I count "Faeries" as one of the most influential books I had as kid growing up, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any child (or adult) interested in faeries or mythology. The book is incredibly well-researched, and beautifully illustrated. The hand-written text can be difficult to read at times, but adds to the wonderful illusion of illicitly reading someone's journal

Bravo for reissuing this book, I am ordering my new hardcover copy today

Tupac Amaru Shakur: 1971-1996
Published in Hardcover by Crown Pub (1997)
Authors: Alan Light, Margeaux Watson, Vibe Magazine, Danyel Smith, and Vabe Magazine
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Tupac at his best!!
Someone once said that "Vibe magazine is one some love s###." No, I disagree. Tupac has graced the cover of Vibe no less that 4? times before his untimely death. No one in the rap game (then or now) affected us the way Tupac did. The mystery that still surrounds his death still haunts most of his fans. Tupac became larger than life in death. He released more albums in death than in life. He has easily become the Black Elvis. The book gives you a timeline from the beginning to his tragic end. The questions still linger on. Who? What? When? Where? Most of these questions will never be answered. One man who was going to come forward with information was killed, execution-style. Suge (at the time) was in prison. Other people are either too scared to talk, are in prison, dead or cannot be located. There are lots of theories that Tupac is still alive as he may have insinuated in his music: post-humous album Makaveli: The 7 Day Theory. We even get to hear Tupac's side of the story for the woman who accused him of rape. {He was never convicted of rape, but of sexual abuse.}as well as the story of the first attempt on his life. This is an excellent book!

Essential, a must have!
This is one of the better books to be published about Tupac since his death. All props go to the people at VIBE who hit upon this concept of publishing all of their Tupac interviews, plus the interviews of other hip hop artists, in one book. This is a good method of examining Tupac's life and how and where he went wrong. From reading the interviews in this book, the reader can get an Idea of exactly where Tupac was coming from, and how he self-distructed his character in his last days. It was obvious that Tupac wanted attention, the kind that he didn't get growing up, the kind that only a father figure could give him. Through his words, it was obvious that Tupac was defintelely searching for a leader, someone too knock some sense into his head. Instead of trying to find that person, he became his own worse enemy. Tupac, wherever you are, I hope you find the peace that you so desperately wanted while you where alive. RIP.

Peace El-715

very informative
I my self am not a very big fan of rap music however i was intrigued to read this book after looking into some of the lyrics of 2pacs singles they seemed very in depth. After reading the lyrics i felt that his words had a lot of depth and soul attached to them which intrigued me to find out more about the rap star.

I myself have a genuine interest in politics, philisophy and poetry similarly to 2pac and i felt that i could relate to some of the lyrics he wrote. This book on tupac gives a deeper insight to the rap artist not only his music and talent but to his life it shed light on many differant topics from differant aspects and i found it very inspirational. What i particularly liked about this book was the way it presented both sides of the story (with the rape case) and i felt this ruled out any bias.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has a love for reading regardless of whether they have a genuine interest in rap this book not only looks at his career but looks at his inspiration, ambition, life and above all recognised him as more than a rap artist but as a human being and who he actually was!!!

5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn the Boy from Mars, Slaves of Spiegel, the Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, the Last Guru, Young Adult Novel
Published in Paperback by Farrar Straus & Giroux (Juv) (1997)
Authors: Daniel Manus Pinkwater and Jules Feiffer
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The warped genius of kids' fiction
Whenever I go to a bookstore with a new friend, I check out the Daniel Pinkwater section. The ones who turn out to be the best friends inevitably remember _some_ Pinkwater book from their childhood--Lizard Music or Fat Men From Space or The Magic Moscow--but the best and most resonant are Alan Mendelsohn, The Boy From Mars and The Snarkout Boys And The Avocado Of Death, and they're both included here. The former is about the best teenage-friendship book ever written, the latter drives a stake through the heart of the teenage-detective genre, and this anthology also includes the ridiculously brilliant Young Adult Novel. I want my kids to have this book. More to the point, I want my kids to think they're not supposed to be reading this book, but to read it anyway.

my favorite book
When i picked this book up I was about nine I started reading it. it is really somthing you have to read, alen mendelsohn the Boy from mars is my favorite story you can't explain how good it is you have to read it. if you liked harry potter you will love it if you didn't you'll still love it.daniel pinkwater is a genius when it comes to writing .i just don't know how he does it but he really is good at it and he's got to keep up the good work if he is going to keep us going it should be a sin not to read this EXCELLENT book. i wish i could explain how good it is but you'll have to read it to find out don't hesitate just do it it is the longest book i ever read it is the best book i ever read as well.

This book is being sold for nine dollars??
The price would be a bargain just for one of the books it contains. Some of these books (and a lot of Pinkwater's others) start out with ordinary kids or teenagers who have adventures and slowly find things getting weirder and weirder. Others just start out weird and never let up. _Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars_ is probably the best of these five. It makes surviving high school sound almost fun; Alan Mendelsohn brightens up a dull day by tripping people, telling his history class about Ben Franklin's sex life, and telling the whole school he's a Martian. He's my new role model. _The Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death_ is similar in that it's about high school boys who make their lives more interesting -- by sneaking out at night to the Snark Theater and making friends with avacado-obsessed movie-lovers. _Young Adult Novel_ is delightfully clever, absurd, and ironic, and _The Last Guru_ is pretty good as well. (I haven't finished _Slaves of Spiegel_ yet.) If you like Pinkwater at all, it's hard to go wrong with the funny, fascinating books in this collection.

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen: A Tale of Alderley
Published in Hardcover by Putnam Pub Group Juv (1979)
Author: Alan. Garner
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Spellbinding classic fantasy
Wizards, dwarves, goblins and elves - Tolkien, right? Wrong, it's Alan Garner's "Weirdstone of Brisingamen," a spellbinding story in the true tradition of imaginative and inventive fantasy. Garner isn't as well-known as he deserves, but fantasy fans will gobble this right up.

Colin and Susan, a pair of English schoolkids, are sent to Alderly for a six-month vacation with their mother's old nurse and her husband. Things start off normally enough, with the kids exploring the area and the myths, legends and superstitions surrounding it. But things begin to take an eerie turn when they encounter a spell-chanting old woman named Selina Place - and then a horde of svart-alfar, hideous and hostile goblins.

They are unexpectedly rescued by the wizard Cadellin, who is the keeper of a company of knights sleeping deep under Alderly. They will awaken at some time in the future, to combat the evil spirit Nastrond and his minions in the final, magical battle. There's just one problem: long ago, Cadellin lost the Weirdstone of Brisingamen, the magical jewel that bound the knights there in the first place. Susan realizes too late that the little misty teardrop gem in her bracelet is the Weirdstone - and it's been stolen. The kids team up with Cadellin, the dwarves Fenodyree and Durathror, the lios-alfar (elves), and their friend Gowther to find the Weirdstone - and save the world.

Written in the 1960s, this book effectively combines the English-schoolkids-swept-into-magical adventure subgenre with mythology and the overlap of our world with another. Garner's wizards, dwarves, elves and goblins are as legit as Tolkien's, as Garner draws heavily from mythos and legends. There are similarities to Tolkien's creations, but they are sufficiently different that not once do you feel the need to compare. Garner lifts from Norse and Celtic mythologies for this book (mentions of the Morrigan and Ragnarok are featured within pages of one another) and manages to cobble it together into a coherent and believable whole.

Alderly is effectively shown - from the moment the kids venture out of the farm, you get the sense that enchantment is thrumming through the land, and that a magical creature could be lurking nearby. The sense of atmosphere is somewhat stunted by the fact that we rarely hear the characters' thoughts, though, but such creatures as the svart-alfar and the lios-alfar are effective in the simple, evocative descriptions.

This is a book more for Tolkien fans than Diana Wynne-Jones fans. Though there are a few funny parts, it is overall a relentlessly serious book, with many of the characters using archaic-sounding language. Another good thing: the kids speak like twentieth-century preteens ("That WOULD have made a mess of things!") while such characters as Durathror speaking like warriors from centuries ago ("... for there I think it will be, and so to Fundindelve, where I shall join you if I may.") In addition, there is no cutesy magic or gimmickry, or casual magical elements popping up every page or two. The magic featured in here is deadly serious and very intense.

Colin and Susan are the archetypical kids-on-holiday-in-magical-place: brave, respectful, inquisitive, curious, and in completely over their heads. Cadellin is an excellent wizard, dignified and powerful but sufficiently human to be sympathetic, such as his reaction when he hears that the Weirdstone has been stolen from Susan. This guy deserves a seat right below Gandalf, and alongside Merlin, Ged and Ebenezum. The dwarves are serious and unusually cool-headed for the fantasy portrayal of dwarves; the lios-alfar are featured less prominently, but the "elves of light" passage is one of the most moving paragraphs in the book, both sad and beautiful.

The only problem with this book is its shortness, and its presence as only one of two. The tales of Alderly are so rich that you feel that Garner could have churned out fifty books and never grown stale. If you are a fan of serious fantasy, for any age, read this book, and the sequel "Moon of Gomrath."

While temporarily staying with their Mother's old nurse in Wales, young Susan and Colin learn the Legend of Alderley, a tale of magic and mystery. Naturally, it's just a good story at first, a part of the fay countryside's queer charm. But when a strange woman some call a witch tries to lure them into her car and unearthly things come crawling up out of the Devil's Grave, the children realize the legends are true, and that there's far more to Susan's prized family heirloom than anyone ever guessed.

A true classic of its kind, "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" is a tale of fantastic wonders and terrors lurking right under our unsuspecting noses. Alan Garner's prose style is at once straightforward and mysterious, evoking just the right touches of color and mood. Though ostensibly a children's book, this is a novel that has repeatedly demonstrated its literary worth to fantasy lovers of all ages. Peopled by wizards black and white, gallant dwarfs, sleeping knights, loathsome eyeless hounds and sniveling goblins, as well as the very ordinary but brave young protagonists, "The Weirdstone" is a treasure of enchantment and suspense that will delight fantasy readers for generations to come. Highly recommended.

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner (1960)
This continues to remain one of the finest fantasy works I have ever read. Although originally intended for children, Mr. Garner's style easily lends itself to the cognoscente, and the way he merges the ancient Celtic and Pre-Christian characters and legends with his modern characters and themes is nothing short of superb. I have also visited Alderley in Cheshire, England, the setting for his story, and he has captured the atmosphere of this beautiful and mysterious place wonderfully. This is a must for your reading list, along with the sequel, The Moon of Gomrath, while his other works in this genre, Elidor and Red Shift, are pitched to a progressively more mature audience.

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
Published in Audio Cassette by Penguin Audiobooks (1997)
Authors: Richard Briers, Alan Cumming, Nigel Davenport, Andrew Sachs, Juliet Stevenson, and T. S. Eliot
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Give your kids a high-modernist instead of Dr. Seuss!
If are a lover of cats, or have enjoyed the musical "Cats", or appreciate masterful poetry, or even a student of modernism, you will fall for "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S Eliot ("The Wasteland" "The Lovesong of J.Alfred Prufrock").

However, I especially recommend this book to parents who read to their children. Imagine an older and more conservative grand-master poet focusing his skills in rhythm, rhyme and content into a book of lyrics suitable for 5-year-olds. What you get is a book that not only has the sonority and imagination, combined with an appealing subject matter ( a diverse group of antropomorphized cats), for the children, but also is dense enough to be enjoyable repeated reading for the parent (Who of you still gets turned on by "Green Eggs and Ham"?), and challenging stimulation for the child.

If you have a son or daughter who loves cats,this book is a must buy!

As a mystery author with my debut novel in its initial release that features a private investigator who is also a poet, I love this book. This verse collection is perhaps T.S. Eliot's most accessible work, and it provided the raw material for the fabulous musical CATS. I enjoy reading these poems, and I've enjoyed attending the musical. I think I saw CATS three times during its Winter Garden run, twice in Los Angeles, and once each in San Francisco and the Palm Springs area. CATS would not exist as a most enjoyable musical if the poet Eliot had not first jotted down OLD POSSUM'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS.

This book was a delightful read! Poems for everybody to come to love! It was also the inspiration behind the musical Cats, and everybody can certainly see why!

Between some of the cheerful and bubbly poems you'll find, a discussion/interpretation of the social issues surrounding Eliot at that time, giving the reader an insight into the inspiration behind his poetry and into his psychology.

Garnished with lovely illustrations to feed and humor your imagination, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats has everything to become something for all of the family, and all generations to behold. I couldn't put it down, and it always beckons a re-read!

Hostile Waters
Published in Mass Market Paperback by St Martins Mass Market Paper (1998)
Authors: Igor Kurdin, R. Alan White, and Peter A. Huchthausen
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Yankee in trouble
This book tells the story of Soviet Yankee I-class missile submarine K-219. This incident happened in 1986 and already then Soviet armed forces were in rather bad condition. K-219 is sent to American east coast for patrol duty and it experiences difficulties from beginning of journey. In fact there has been major problems before this journey. Troubles really start when one of the missiles explodes due to malfunction.

This book was interesting for several reasons. First it gives the reader a view in what kind of shape Soviet Navy was during last stages of communism and how politics were always most important thing and everything else came only after it (maybe). It also gives reader view how US Navy hunts submarines, how well (or bad) USN and other branches of service ie. US Air Force in this book co-operate. Also for once one of the bad guys is American; commander of US attack sub USS Augusta.

Text was easy, fluent and fast to read and photo section is ok for paperback (pics are clear enough to really see what kind of monster K-219 was). One thing that bothers me after reading this book is that if Soviet Navy was in such a bad condition during communist era in what condition are Russian Navy vessels today? Luckily their ships and subs rust most of the time in port due to lack of funds.

Excellent true story: I am privileged to know the authors.
Through my work as Exec. Asst. to the Exec. Dir. of the Navy League of the U.S., I met member Peter Huchthausen when he introduced Igor Kurdin to the NLUS as an associate member. I became their liaison. Through this I have worked with young hero Sergei Preminin's high-school teacher, who created a small museum to his heroism. Then on 8/4/97 at a dinner in his honor at the Officers Club of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, I was privileged to be seated at the head table with and to meet the brave Russian sub commander, Igor Britanov, who saved our East Coast from a Chernobyl, and probably thus headed off WWIII. I was honored to be made a member of the St. Petersburg Club of Sailors and Submariners that evening. Peter Huchthausen did painstaking research, as did his coauthor Igor Kurdin to create this book. It is riveting, utterly compelling, heart-wrenching, and true. Although I have read it three times and highlighted much, plus viewing the HBO slightly-altered and less grippingly true rendition, I still weep for these brave men. This is the sign of a well-written book! It captures vividly the heart and soul of these men, and what they courageously endured. To read of them and meet them in person is to love them for their bravery and decency. I have never seen a face radiate more goodness than Captain Britanov's. I highly recommend this book to everyone I engage in conversation on the subject. I only wish that it had received much more publicity, in hard and soft cover.

Maybe you remember. The book says something to the extent that, "a certain event almost jeopardized the summit meeting with Reagan and Gorbechav." This book tells you what that event was. It is a TRUE story. A very haunting story, and I'm one who lives in southern Arizona, far away from the scene of this event. This book is like a Hunt for Red October from hell. I won't tell you ANYTHING about what happens, because it is important that you read this yourself. Another classic example of our government hiding things from us hard-working blue-collar workers. Another amazing thing about this story is that IT READS LIKE A NOVEL, but it isn't. At the end, I found myself CHEERING for the RUSSIANS because the Americans were (sorry) so STUPID and SELFISH. To many people, "russians" is synonymous with "evil". I hope this book changes your view of the Russians, as it changed mine--they are no better or worse than we are, as we are all human beings.

Toddler Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Toddler Furniture, Clothing, Shoes, Travel Gear, Toys, and More
Published in Paperback by Windsor Peak Press (2002)
Authors: Alan Fields and Denise Fields
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Not as Good as "Baby Bargains"
We looked forward to reading this book. Baby bargains was great. Toddler Bargains is just ok. There is alot to like about this book, but it does not live up to the predecessor.

As usual, where the book rates products the ratings are very helpful. The book is based around the opinions of the Fields, with some input from consumers via e-mail and other sources. "Baby Bargains" would state that the authors did not care for a type of product and then rate those items for people who really wanted to buy them, this book doesn't. In the furniture section they say that they recommend skipping the toddler bed for a twin bed, and then go on to discuss bunk bed safety. This ignores the fact that many readers have practical reasons for buying a toddler bed and would like the guidance.

Another problem is there is an abundance of "filler" to make the book bigger in addition to the very helpful information, that makes this book more of a treasure hunt than "Baby Bargains". Much of the information is general, and alot can be easily found online.

Overall this is a good book, but look through it before you buy it, or buy it on sale.

I love this book!
I was an avid reader of the books, "Bridal Bargains" and Baby Bargains", written by the same authors. When they published "Toddler Bargains", I was so excited because the other books helped so much and saved me tons of money when I was shopping and registering for my wedding and during my first pregnancy. Now that my son is 16 months old, I go to this book first for answers to eating, booster seats, toddler beds, clothes, and potty training, plus a lot more. I bought a booster seat recently based on recommendations I found in the book, and we were so happy with it, we bought a second one for our second car. Their book takes all the guesswork out of decisions and eliminates the problem of buying junk and wasting money. Every product is given a letter grade with justification, so you know right away what to look for and what to buy. Also, there is contact information in the book so that you can contact the author. I happened to email a question about something I read, and they responded personally within a day or two. You don't normally get service like that, and I emailed them AFTER I called a manufacturer and tried to get the same information, unsuccessfully. I would recommend this book, plus all their others, hands down. I give their books for shower gifts, and have loaned mine out to friends as well.

The "Must Have" book for parents of Toddlers!
Thank you Denise and Alan Fields for another great book! I purchased their Baby Bargains book before my son was born and couldn't live with out it! I took it everywhere I went. I felt that it made me a better consumer, by purchasing the safest and most well made products.

My son is now 10 months old and I wish I'd had Toddler Bargains sooner! It has information on the best booster seats and sippy cups, which are important to me now. The rest of the book is a wonderful resource and gives me a "heads up" for what to look for in the upcoming months - especially on clearance! An added bonus is that they have a web site where they offer updates - for free!

I love this book and recommend getting it and Baby Bargains as a set for all expectant parents!

The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, Part 3)
Published in Hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Co (06 October, 2002)
Authors: Alan Lee and J.R.R. Tolkien
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You're missing out if you have not read this book!!
Lord of the Rings reads like one very long book that the reader finds themselves unable to put down. It goes without saying that you must read "The Fellowship of the Ring" and "The Two Towers" before you read this one. This, the third segment, is the climax to what the other two stories built up. This was astonishingly real for a book about wizards, hobbits and elves and I loved it. It is the only book that I have ever found myself crying when it was over. It was a sad sort of ending, (I won't spoil it), but it wasn't because of that. These vivid characters whom I had come to know and love for the months that it took me to go through "The Hobbit" and the other Lord of the Rings books were abandoning me. They would go on with their lives and have glorious new adventures of which I could not be a part of...I miss Sam most of all. The afterward of this book is a gem as well, since you can learn to read and write in Elvish and in runes, and find out histories and afterwards behind the epic. This is a must read for anybody. You are missing out if you do not read this. (And I might add that if you haven't, you are among a shrinking number of people, since the series continues only to grow in popularity.)

Finally, the end
Having read all the Lord of the Rings series, we have now come to the end of the road where the destinies of our lead characters are revealed.

The battle of Gondor is vividly narrated & you feel the fear, pain & sadness of each character. Likewise, you witness Frodo & Sam's difficulties & sacrifices away from the battle field but fighting their greatest battle inside the tower where the evil Sauron resides.

All stories come to an end & it is expected to be of a happy ending. However, successful as they may be in their quest, the story does not end there. Instead, their lives has just begun for a new age.

I am certain, after having read this book, you cannot stop thinking what would happen next to Frodo Baggins while the rest of the hobbits are happily residing in the Shire. All I can do is wish him the best on his next journey.

The Return of the King, by J.R.R Tolkien, is a wonderfully written book concluding the three part trilogy of The Lord of the Rings. This book takes place in the world of Middle Earth, during the Third Age (there are 4 Ages in this book). The book starts out with Gandalf and Pippin riding towards Gondor and Minas Tirith. When they arrive, they find that the Grand Steward, Denthor, morning the death of Boromir, his oldest son, and trying to figure out what to do about the impending attack from Mordor. Meanwhile, Frodo has been captured and Sam goes into the land of Mordor to save him. After the rescue, they run into Gollum, and he tells them he will help them to the Crack of Doom and destroying the Rings. They begin the journey, but soon they realize that Frodo is getting weaker because the Ring is getting stronger. At the same time, in the land of Rohan, the Riders of Rohan are mustering to help Gondor in the desperate struggle. Along with them is Merry, who helps them. In the land of Rohan, Aragon is now revealed to be the heir of a great power. He goes into the land of the dead, (No, NOT MORDOR!) There, he gathers an army of dead, now, he is revealed to be the King of Gondor! Back in Gondor, all the forces are colliding, the forces of Mordor, led by the King of the Ringwraiths (Given power by Sauron, the lord of Mordor and the true owner of the Ring), the Riders of Rohan, led by Theoden King, the Men of Gondor, led by Gandalf, and the army of the Dead, led by Aragon. Who will prevail? Back in Mordor, Sam, Frodo, and Gollum are making progress towards the Crack. Will they make it in time and save the day? The writing style of Tolkien is WONDERFUL. Many fantasy novels are based on this trilogy, as is The Chronicles of Narnia. " There were long hairy breeches of some unclean beast-fell, and a tunic of dirty leather. He drew them on. Over the tunic went a coat of stout ring-mail, short for a full-sized orc, too long for Frodo and heavy. About it he clasped a belt, at which there hung a short sheath holding a broad-bladed stabbing sword." This book is AMAZING!!! The trilogy is well written, and I was brought into this trilogy, that I thought that I was actually IN Middle Earth!!!!! If I could give a higher rating of this book, I would give it 2 thumbs up and 100 stars!!!!!

Democracy in America (Everyman's Library, 179)
Published in Hardcover by Knopf (1994)
Authors: Alexis de Tocqueville and Alan Ryan
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Excellent presentation on the books, his life and times.
This is actually a presentation on de Tocqueville's life and times, centered on a general analysis of Democracy in America, but including much background on his family's history, his political career and accomplishments and a look at the historical context of France, Europe and the US in the mid 19th Century. The themes of DiA are reviewed with many quotes from the book and from commentaries by de Tocqueville's contemporaries. He is presented in all his glory: his hits (the brilliant insights into social character, the nature of democracy and his devastatingly astute, timeless analysis of our American identity) and his misses (his advocacy of war and his surprisingly traditionalist views of society's class structure). An occasional cheesy French accent in some of the characterizations is the only flaw. This is a _great_ commute tape, I look forward to "reading" more in this series on other great writers!

Democracy in America
Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville is by far an in depth view of America as seen by the traveling Frenchman. It is written so well that even today almost one hundred and fifty years later it is still apropos.

The translation flows very easily and is not distracting. De Tocqueville has a wonderful writing style that could pass today even though it was written long ago... so well readable and quotable that you get the picture of American life, morals, and an astute view of politics all rolled into one.

You get a view and meaning of American civilization, for America herself, and also for Europe. You can tell from reading. that this view is ever-present in De Tocqueville's mind as if he is a comparative sociologist. Yet reading this book you get the impression that De Tocqueville had generations of readers in mind.

As De Tocqueville noted, "It is not force alone, but rather good laws, which make a new govenment secure. After the battle comes the lawgiver. The one destroys; the other builds up. Each has its function." So true even for todays war. After you defeat your enemy you have to build up the infratructure just as Marshall and Truman both realized.

Reading this book you see the skillful eye of the author noticing and recording what he sees and he is impressed. I found this book to be of great import for the observations of America and hope that our educators use this book for teaching our children about the great country we live in.

De Tocqueville is every bit as brilliant and insightful as he has been said to be. The book is as relevant now as when written and is a must read for every american who is serious about understanding his country. What one realizes in reading the book is how novel and radical was the american experiment in creating a state that was both a republic and a democracy. De Toqueville's research was amazing, as well, he read the laws and constitutions of the various states, he didn't just observe the manifestation of american government and society. His assessments of the plusses and minuses of our government forms was incredibly astute and it is interesting to reflect on the changes that took place in the government after his time and how accurately he foresaw the advantages and disadvantages of those changes, as well. Given the short period of time that he spent in this country and the distances that he travelled one stands in awe of his work. His writing style is, of course, dated but one gets accustomed to it and learns to follow the rhythm.

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