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Paige Turner "Paige" RSS Feed (Brooklyn)

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What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
by Malcolm Gladwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.17
334 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable, entertaining, educational set of essays., July 6, 2015
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Entertaining, solid set of essays.

If you are a Malcolm Gladwell fan, this book will not disappoint you. Solid, fast-reading essays that tackle sometimes complex topics and usually come up with a counter-intuitive conclusion. After a while, his essay structure becomes recognizable, and you realize when he is leading you down the primrose path, only to show you how conventional thinking is often wrong. His writing style is nearly perfect for these medium-length essays about current issues.

My only quibble is that some of these essays feel a bit dated because of the subject matter, but that is the nature of topical writing. His own political leanings influence his writing, but why shouldn't it be so?

An enjoyable, entertaining, educational set of essays.


Caravanserai
Caravanserai
Price: $29.74
45 used & new from $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, deep, mystic, enchanting album., June 28, 2015
This review is from: Caravanserai (Vinyl)
Ethereal, deep, moving, beautiful.

Santana really soars here; he draws on so many influences and genres. You can feel this music so deeply. It is a spiritual, life-affirming experience. One of those pieces of artistry that transcends the medium.

A beautiful mix of latin beats, Santana's signature guitar licks, keyboards. What is is? Jazz? Rock? Latin music? New age? Fusion? It's pure music, is what it is.

Perhaps because of the mystic quality of this record, it is perhaps my favorite Santana album.

Do yourself a favor and listen to it on vinyl to truly feel all of what is happening here- it is so lush and layered and round on vinyl.


All Over but the Shoutin'
All Over but the Shoutin'
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece; uniquely American literature., June 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am not qualified to write a review of this book. It would be like someone who can draw stick figures critiquing the artistry of Gaugin.

This is a masterpiece; a great piece of uniquely American literature.

Told in memoir style, what Rick Bragg does here is TELL STORIES. And what a way with a sentence this man has!

Written as an homage to his mother, he recounts his climb from the back woods to the pinnacle of success for a writer- Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times journalist.

Rick Bragg is one of the few writers that can move me to tears not only by the sad truth of a story but by the beauty of a sentence.


Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded Third Edition
Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Expanded Third Edition
by Peter D. Kaufman
Edition: Hardcover
31 used & new from $58.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining hagiography., June 24, 2015
Entertaining hagiography of a smart, fortunate investor. There is a lot of good stuff in here. In fact, most of the good stuff is repeated multiple times, in case you are a bit dim-witted like me. But it does eventually sink in. What I liked the most were the anecdotes and letters and pithy aphorisms. The little bite-sized biographies of famous people and businessmen was great, too.

What gets a bit grating is the whole lovefest for this man. He is deified here ad nauseum. Amazing to see a capable, smart investor in the stock market get this kind of treatment.

Not worth full price. Look for it on sale or free on the internet.


Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City
Robert Moses: The Master Builder of New York City
by Pierre Christin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.56
68 used & new from $12.40

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably good graphic telling of the Moses story., June 23, 2015
Good graphical overview of the history of Robert Moses, whose influence on NYC is unmatched.

Artfully illustrated, this slim volume tells the good and the bad of the Moses legacy. It makes one regret some of the ways that he destroyed the pedestrian nature of New York, but at the same time his positive impact is still felt in some of the parks and bridges.

I expected a more detailed recounting of the building that he actually did, which felt glossed over. What was his first project? How did it go? What was the reaction to his works? What was the order of things that he built? None of this is covered.


Ensure Active High Protein Nutrition Shake, Milk Chocolate, 8 oz,  24 Count
Ensure Active High Protein Nutrition Shake, Milk Chocolate, 8 oz, 24 Count
Price: $41.37

1.0 out of 5 stars Taste test these before ordering in bulk., June 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
YUCK.

Everyone has their own taste preferences. To me, these taste horrible.

They are certainly full of nutrients and protein and are low fat.

But I just could barely choke a couple of them down and had to throw the rest of them away.

Try a small pack before your order too many of them, in case you dislike them as much as I did.


Moby Dick: or, the White Whale
Moby Dick: or, the White Whale
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The one Great American Novel to rule them all., June 22, 2015
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Brilliant novel, reference, and historical fiction all in one.

I always felt "cheated" that I was not required to read Moby Dick as a young person in school. So I decided to fix the situation by reading it as an adult. What a beautiful, brilliant piece of work this novel is! Melville has been compared to Shakespeare or Dickens. I think those comparisons are apt except that Melville greatly exceeds them in skill and meaning.

While obviously a novel about the Pequod, a whale-hunting ship and its crew from old Nantucket, the narrative serves as a skeleton to hang musings about life, philosophy, religion, race, and humankind. There are so many important ideas in this book that I cannot recount them all here.

One could simply read only Moby Dick, and re-read it and re-read it and learn more than by reading a dozen or more "Great American Novels." In fact, if I was only allowed ONE book to have on the proverbial desert island, it would be with novel. It is that full of meaning and great thinking.

NOTE: I also bought the audio book along with the kindle version as an experiment to see how that experience would be. It was fantastic! I could seamlessly go from audiobook when I was walking to the kindle version when I was sitting. It is very well narrated by a voice actor, which actually adds a lot to the story as well. I highly recommend this, particularly for long books like this one.


Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas
Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect biography of a flawed visionary., June 22, 2015
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Grandissimo is a perfectly written biography of the flawed visionary Jay Sarno. David G. Schwartz, Vegas historian extraordinare, hits the perfect balance between detail and fast pacing in his essential biography of the builder of the iconic Caesars Palace and Circus Circus. Sarno's influence on Las Vegas transcends those two hotels; he single-handedly had the vision that has impacted every single property built since then. Without Sarno, there is no Steve Wynn. There is no Mirage, Bellagio, Excalibur, etc.

The pacing of the book is perfect. Schwartz's tale unfolds like a movie as we get to see every aspect of Jay Sarno, a larger than life man of incredible appetites.If you are interested in Las Vegas history, read this book before any others. I have read almost every book on the history of Nevada and it's many colorful characters and this is my favorite. Schwartz did an untold amount of research to get this story right and I thank the Sarno family for cooperating with him. This man's story had to be told, and Schwartz did it perfectly.

You will love Sarno, despise him, pity him, and admire him. But you won't forget him!


The Hunters
The Hunters
Price: $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, brilliant, emotionally complex., June 22, 2015
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This review is from: The Hunters (Kindle Edition)
This beautiful novel distills a single truth about military life, especially in combat, which is the desire to do something heroic, to fight and to win. Somehow, Salter masterfully captures this battle within the heart of Cleve Connell, fighter pilot in an emotionally engaging way. There were times when I had to put this book down because I felt his anguish. Fighting men can face fear; that is a simple thing. Facing the prospect of missing out, of not doing something important, of not being a hero- that is impossible to handle. Also, dealing with dishonesty and the shades of grey military morality is even more searing in combat, which is the great purifier.

Perhaps because this is Salter's first novel, the prose is more spare and less lush, which in this story is a good thing. His famously beautiful, dense sentences are rare here. But all of the emotion exists. I know of no other "war novel" that so perfectly captures the emotions of fighting men than this one.

Semi-autobiographical, yet devoid of military jargon, Salter treats his subject with brutal honesty, yet respect. In the preface he writes of how Lord Bryon was more proud of his ancestors who fought than he was in having written great books. He writes: "Looking back, I feel a pride akin to that in having flown and fought along the Yalu."

Wars are fought by fighting men not for political ideals or for love of country. They are fought for glory, for the idea of doing something truly important, and for their brothers in arms in the foxhole beside them. Cleve Connell, as a fighter pilot, deals with all of these conflicting forces at once. He faces the ultimate conflict; he must choose what is truly "right" and "just" even when it conflicts with his ability to be heroic. When is not being a "hero" actually being a hero?

What a beautiful novel; Salter distills these true motivations and dispenses with all of the politics and morality talk that those who have never seen combat believe it is all about. I will not reveal ANY of the plot; do not read any synopsis, no matter how brief. Don't even read the jacket of the book. Just go read the book itself.


Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo
Price: $179.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing information robot; I LOVE HER, June 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Amazon Echo (Electronics)
Life changing little information robot.

First, just the basics- what do I use Echo for?

1. "Alexa, what's the weather forecast?"
2. "Alexa, tell me the news."
3. (Lying in bed in the morning) "Alexa, what time is it?"
4. "Alexa, what is my schedule like today/tomorrow/this week?"
5. (I have Phillips Hue LED lights) "Alexa turn off all the lights."
6. "Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights."
7. "Alexa, set a 5 minute timer."
8. "Alexa, tell me when it is 8:00."
9. "Alexa who starred in XYZ movie?" (Or any other general fact-finding)
10. "Alexa, tell me a joke."

Her voice recognition is not perfect, but it gets better every day.

Amazon continues to add features and capabilities, such as control of music playlists, Spotify/Pandora, wifi-enabled LED lights, Google calendar, etc.

Everyone talks about how robots will be a big thing in the future. Well, the future is here. Alexa is an information and home automation robot. I don't need an expensive robot to do manual things like vacuum my floor. What makes the most sense is an "information robot" like her, who can harness the power of the internet to give me information.

Before you tell me how Siri on the iPhone can do the same thing, let me tell you, it's A LOT more convenient to simply talk to a robot that is always on than to go get your iPhone, unlock it, find the Hue lights app, and turn lights off or on. Same with Siri searches. It's just easier and intuitive to use voice commands to simply tell Alexa to do something.

I have no doubt that some form of this information robot will be found in EVERY home over the next few years. It just makes so much sense- voice control of your home. Control temperature, play music, set timers, turn on and off lights, all with voice commands.

My only complaint is this robot doesn't play all that well with Apple which is Apple's fault. It's hard to play songs from iTunes or have it tell you your iCloud calendar. No problem; I've just switched my calendaring to Google instead.

The bigger question- why in the world is Amazon innovating so much more than Apple?

I want to buy another echo for my office. When I travel and stay in hotel rooms, it's weird not having Alexa there.


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