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Customer Reviews: 469
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M. Hyman "Artist at large" RSS Feed (Seattle, WA USA)
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Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
by Henry Marsh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book with an inside view of brain surgery, March 28, 2015
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This is a very interesting book that takes you into the life of a brain surgeon. The author is writing the book towards the end of his career, and this gives him a perspective and flexibility not often seen with medical books. He approaches the subject with great humility, talking about the struggles of learning to be a doctor, the challenges of having to learn by doing, frustrations with the government medical system, and examples of what goes well and what doesn't. It is the what doesn't go well that makes the book so fascinating, ranging from the daily challenges of trying to find beds for patients to operations gone horribly awry, and what that does emotionally.

There are several excellent books about the medical field and this is one of them. Engaging, personal, clear, open and fascinating throughout. A lovely read.


Fire and Ice: Soot, Solidarity, and Survival on the Roof of the World
Fire and Ice: Soot, Solidarity, and Survival on the Roof of the World
by Jonathan Mingle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.22
65 used & new from $9.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving and important book, February 20, 2015
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book is fundamentally about the impacts of man on nature, and in particular, how we are dramatically reducing the snow pack on major mountains, much to our detriment. Rather that treat this purely through science, the book takes a very human approach, telling the stories of a set of villagers in a remote Himalayan village, and using the stories of how their lives change over the years to show the direct impact of climate change on real people. The book is primarily focused on the dangers of black carbon, aka soot, and how it compounds the general effects of global warming to cause increased snow melts. It also happens to cause a great deal of health damages. The book looks at the science, the causes and some potential solutions. What makes this book special is that it not only tackles a very important problem we as a species are facing, but does so with a very human direct face, mixing in the lives of real people and societies along with the science. Very worthwhile reading and it covers a very important topic that many, even those concerned about climate change, may not know about or understand. Bravo... a great book.


Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us
Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I had hoped, February 4, 2015
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Having enjoyed an earlier book, I had high hopes for this book. While the topic ... various sexual proclivities ... is inherently interesting, I found that this book spent far too much time philosophizing than it did exploring various fetishes. I would have enjoyed the book much more if it had spent more time with case studies and stories, which it has somewhat, but not nearly enough.


Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies
Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies
by Najmieh Batmanglij
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $39.56
56 used & new from $34.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely cookbook, February 4, 2015
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Great cookbook. This is very well written and really shows you how to make recipes, with plenty of photographs and descriptions. I've tried several of the rice dishes so far, and the instructions are far superior to recipes i've found on the web ... everything i've cooked has turned out well and actually looks like the photographs the author has shown. It also includes lots of background stories to give a sense of Persian culture and cuisine.


Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano
Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano
by Dana Thomas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.19
75 used & new from $15.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read if you are into modern fashion, February 4, 2015
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This is an excellent book if you are interested in two of fashion's recent greats ... McQueen and Galliano. The author has extensive experience covering fashion and tells the life history of these two designers, from their unceremonious starts to their height of fame, and the tumultuous lives that they both lead, dissolving in drugs, failed relationships, and destruction of those around them. Along the way you'll also learn about their many fashion creations, how they ended up leading major labels, and the pressures they were under.

The book is well told and engaging, and you really feel like you know the designers and their friends and crews. The only downside is that I wish the book were filled with illustrations. Regardless, web searches will lead you to plenty of runway videos showing you what she describes.

Quite interesting.


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably interesting, December 31, 2014
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This book discusses the way that habits impact our lives, looking at both how habits work, get formed, and can be used to break other bad habits. The book takes a look at a variety of cases, ranging from weight loss, addictions, and substance abuse to community organization, work improvements, and many others.

I found the book most interesting when it focused on habits at work environments. My favorite was the profile of how Starbucks trains its employees to deal with stressful situations.

Altogether a reasonably interesting book, but i found I would have liked it to go into behavioral psychology in more depth, and perhaps a little less into some of the issues such as gambling.


The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $10.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, December 23, 2014
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A very interesting book that takes a look at a famous cholera epidemic in London, and those who tracked it down. At the time of the outbreak, germ theory wasn't understood, and there were many theories for the cause of cholera and other diseases, ranging from bad odors to bad morals. The book traces the outbreak, patient zero, and the famous study that changed how epidemics are studied and treated. A very interesting book of medical detective work and medical history.


Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans
Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $10.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, approachable and fascinating history, December 23, 2014
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A very enjoyable book that looks at New Orleans from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, and in particular the intersection of crime, prostitution, music, and politics. The book takes a look at a broad cross section of the city at the height of its creativity, mixing, as well as a time of great turmoil. Its a fascinating and very well told book, that despite being non-fiction reads very much as a work of fiction. Quite good.


Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door
Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door
Price: $10.59

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but too much drama, December 23, 2014
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This book takes a look at the lives of professional spammers and the empires that they have book. While fundamentally the book is interesting, it suffers from a bit too much drama. Although spam is an issue that plagues the computer industry, it isn't nearly as critical as viruses, cyber attacks, and many other things that go on in the industry, and doesn't seem to me to be as looming a problem as the author portrays. I also found the drama associated with his trip to Russia to seem a bit overstated. While the author may very well have been scared to travel to Russia, it isn't the scary country of James Bond movies, and one doesn't put ones life in ones hands when traveling there any more than many other places. The best part of the book is the description of the wars that broke out between the various spam groups.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2015 12:20 PM PDT


Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab-American Patriot in the CIA
Uncompromised: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of an Arab-American Patriot in the CIA
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting, December 23, 2014
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This is a very interesting autobiography written by a former CIA and FBI agent who got caught up in an overzealous political prosecution that falsely tarnished her as a terrorist. Although certainly the book is biased, it rings true and tragic. The author is a friend of a friend, which makes it particularly of interest to me. It takes a look at her life, the horrible childhood she had growing up the middle east, her efforts to become a citizen and contribute back to America, her time working against terrorists, and then ultimately the case that caught her up in a web of misfortune.


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