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Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love and Devotion Book 1)
Faith & Fidelity (Faith, Love and Devotion Book 1)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most obsessive read in years, October 23, 2010
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Have you got a free night or two on your hands? Because you really, really need to read this awesome book and the sequel "Duty and Devotion", and once you start you won't be able to stop. Seriously. I'm writing this review in a totally sleep deprived state because I foolishly clicked on this book as a kindle read on Wednesday, stayed up all night, spent a useless day at work, clicked on Amazon to read the reviews just to revel in others' great opinions, realized there was a sequel, stayed up another night reading the sequel, then spent the next couple of nights re-reading both.

Tere Michaels sketches an unconventional and incredibly poignant love story. The particulars - a grieving widower, his struggling family and a burnt-out former cop - are delicately scripted and enticingly nuanced. The romance is surprising, and as conveyed by Michaels, as unexpected and compelling to the reader as it is to the the main characters. This book isn't particularly graphic, but it packs an emotional punch that transends the genre.

A must read for readers of m/m, and for readers who haven't ventured there, something new and compelling that you owe it to yourself to check out.

How to Meet a Man After Forty: and Other Midlife Dilemmas Solved
How to Meet a Man After Forty: and Other Midlife Dilemmas Solved
by Shane Watson
Edition: Hardcover
97 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very witty insight into what it means to be single and fabulous, June 6, 2009
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First, let's get the name out of the way. This is not a book about how to meet a man. At all. If what you're looking for is a guide to meeting a man - and why wouldn't you be? That is, afterall, the title - you're going to be disappointed.

It's a book about what it means to be a single woman in the 21st century, and it reads a lot like autobiographical chick lit. It bursts the myths about the supposed Sex in the City lifestyle we single women are supposedly leading, but at the same time it celebrates all the wonderful contours of our lives. It is full of insights into the lives of contemporary 40 year olds. I adored the chapters "Is It Me, or Is Everyone Showing Off" and "Should They Have Written to Thank Me?" There were many lines I called my friends to read aloud.

When the manhunting and dating advice finally appears in the 6th chapter, the author is refreshingly frank: "Dates...are the number one drawback of being single. Most are a sophisticated form of self-flagellation that leave you thinking that things out there in man world are even worse than you had imagined. You get home from 90 percent of those dates, open a bottle of wine, and pray for God to make you a lesbian. Nevertheless, dating has got to be done. You must date when the opportunity arises, in much the same way that you are obliged to vote in elections, because (a) otherwise you are not in a position to complain about your lot and (b) there is always the fractional possibility that it might bring about some positive change in your life."

The message of the book is that if you're happy, confident and have a healthy social life, you're more like to attract The One. Good advice, but perhaps not the detailed blue print some readers will be expecting.

Fill-In Paint-doku
Fill-In Paint-doku
by Conceptis Puzzles
Edition: Spiral-bound
16 used & new from $47.50

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and challenging alternative to Sudoku, June 6, 2009
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This review is from: Fill-In Paint-doku (Spiral-bound)
Bored with Sudoku? "Paint-doku" is a fun and challenging alternative. The rules are simple - the numbered boxes in a grid correspond to the number of adjacent boxes that will be shaded - but figuring out which of the adjacent boxes are shaded is a great logic exercise. Not only does it challenge your spatial conception, but it also requires you to weigh options. Conceptis is a great puzzle maker, and the puzzles in this book are very well researched. As you're working a puzzle, you may think you've hit a dead end, but you can be confident that it's because you've made an error or aren't seeing the intersecting clues, not that there aren't sufficient clues in the puzzle itself. This book has over 100 puzzles, and most took me 1-2 hours to complete. Fantastic for long plane flights. At the end of the day, this is really just a complex coloring book for adults - and what could be better than that? I enjoyed most of the puzzles over a very long business trip so much that I'm ordering a second book for my next trip!

The Smart Girl's Guide to Tarot
The Smart Girl's Guide to Tarot
by Emmi Fredericks
Edition: Paperback
33 used & new from $0.24

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bring tarot into the modern world, May 22, 2005
Forget all the stereotypes. No old crones with shawls and crystal balls here. Just lots of fun, practical advice about how tarot applies to our modern lives. When I started tarot, I bought about a dozen books to guide me, including the classic texts. The Smart Girl' Guide to Tarot has definitely become my favorite and most valuable resource for interpretting cards. Unlike most authors who describe vague possible meanings, Emmi Fredericks gives witty and concrete guidance. Fredericks clearly knows her stuff, and she's careful to include both traditional and alternative interpretations.

Much as I love this book and consider it a "must have" for any tarot enthusiast, it isn't comprehensive. It glosses over the history of tarot and doesn't do a great job teaching about tarot spreads. The illustrations are fun but don't show the classic symbolism you'll need to thoroughly interpret the cards.

Adventure Armenia: Hiking and Rock Climbing
Adventure Armenia: Hiking and Rock Climbing
by Carine Bachmann
Edition: Paperback

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Armenian Guide Available, April 12, 2005
I have lived in Armenia for over a year, and this is by far the most useful guide book on the market. Not only is it a great hiking guide, but it also provides all sorts of useful information about the country and region in a very accessible format. The authors have done a great job selecting hikes from a variety of regions and with varying skill levels. Unlike most guides about Armenia, the directions are up-to-date and easy to follow - a notable accomplishment given the generally poor signage in the country. Even if you aren't planning to hike, this book is an invaluable resource for anyone planning to venture beyond the city limits of Yerevan. It points you to all the best sights. Another bonus is the size - perfect for slipping in a pack or even a pocket.

Arrested Development: Season 1
Arrested Development: Season 1
DVD ~ Jason Bateman
Price: $9.99
45 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, funny, smart - what more can ask for?, December 29, 2004
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All the critical acclaim and awards are richly deserved. A fresh concept that uses the extremely talented cast to huge advantage - how could it go wrong? It doesn't. Each episode is a gem, and kudos to the casting department. The cameos in particular are hysterical. One of the joys of the DVD collection is that it includes oodles of outtakes - a must for a show with some of the best improvers in the business. Also, nice commentary on a couple of episodes by the whole cast. It's so nice when actors are willing to participate in commentaries and share their enthusiasm for the work.

Golden Tarot Deck
Golden Tarot Deck
by Kat Black
Edition: Cards
Price: $21.61
46 used & new from $16.00

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, October 17, 2004
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This review is from: Golden Tarot Deck (Cards)
This was my first Tarot deck, and it is definitely my favorite. The cards follow the Rider Waite symbolism, but I find them much richer and informative than a Rider Waite deck. Each card is a meticulous collage of medieval and renaissance art. That necessarily means that there is some heavy Christian symbolism. For some people, that will be a big selling point; for others, it's not so appealing. For me personally, the art itself is so opulent and compelling that the Christian overtones are very secondary. The cards themselves are a nice size on heavy cardstock and feel good in your hand.

The guide that comes with the deck is brief but very instructional. My major complaint is that it lists the minor arcana out of order - swords, wands, cups coins? Reversals are barely addressed.

Firefly: The Complete Series
Firefly: The Complete Series
DVD ~ Nathan Fillion
Price: $14.00
41 used & new from $4.76

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't help but gush..., October 7, 2004
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This review is from: Firefly: The Complete Series (DVD)
I didn't have much interest in this TV show but bought it anyway because it is from the god-like Joss Whedon. I had recently become a huge convert to the Buffy-verse, but was dubious about the premise of a "space western." Silly me! Once I'd watched and rewatched all my Buffy and Angel DVDs, I just had to have more Joss and turned in desperation to Firefly. I was hooked less than halfway into the pilot movie and had to fight the urge to call in sick the next day so I could watch the whole series back-to-back. I was so distressed when I got to the last episode, "Objects in Space", that I made myself go back and rewatch all the other episodes first so that I could savor the experience. Imagine my delight when I got online and discovered that Joss and crew have already shot a feature film and that it will be out this spring! Firefly lives!

Now, about this premise. The western thing took awhile to buy into, but stick with it and before long galloping horses and the abundant use of "ain't" get less jarring as all the pieces fall into place. It all works for two reasons - the ensemble cast is amazing and the cinematography is breathtaking. It is so evident that each and every member of the cast and crew was having the time of their lives working on this show because each element is so meticulously perfect. I don't have the vocabularly to convey how very, very good the cast is. This show wouldn't have worked without Nathan Fillion. Dare I say it? He almost makes me forget Captain Piccard. Charisma, angst, comedy, passion - not to mention the good looks. This boy has it all. Gina Torres is a goddess, and Summer Gua gives a beautifully nuanced performance. Adam Baldwin is masterful, and it's a delight to see Ron Glass again.

All the episodes work, but expect a wide range of genres. There's horror ("Bushwacked"), comedy ("Our Mrs. Reynolds"), classic sci fi ("Ariel"), even a study of existentialism ("Objects in Space" - and thank you to Joss for explainging that in the commentary). The only episode I wasn't crazy about was "The Train Job" which isn't surprising since it was the network's misguided pilot do-over.

This DVD set is loaded with extra features. Half of the episodes have commentary. Joss himself chimes in on three, and several members of the cast participate as well. It is so, so refreshing that the stars of the show participate both in the commentaries and the "making of" featurettes. I only have one teeny complaint. More a piece of advice than a complaint, really. The title and individual episode menus don't indicate which episodes have commentary; you have to click on the "language selection" option to find the commentary.

Words fail me. I can't thank Joss Whedon enough for this masterpiece, and I am eternally grateful that he was so dedicated to the show that despite all obstacle he's made it into a feature film. This is how much I love this show - I'm seriously considering buying a plane ticket from Armenia where I work to the States for the premiere of the film. And I'm not even a sci fi geek! Well, maybe a little. I'd try to come up with more superlatives, but I must go order copies for all my family and friends. This is an obsession that must be shared...

Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell On Earth
Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell On Earth
by Kenneth Cain
Edition: Hardcover
40 used & new from $7.99

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking but flawed look at development work, September 9, 2004
This book is about two things: first, the exhiliration, futility and frustration of trying to save the world; second, the crazy freedom of the expat lifestyle. Both are good stories and well told, but they don't belong in the same book, and each theme suffers from being linked with the other. Ken and Andrew's journey from idealist do-gooders to disillusioned veterans with just enough hope left to justify one more mission - and the inevitable descent into hell - is heartbreaking. Heidi's story is less interesting. It's mostly just a outlandish series of sex and drug stories. I'm recommending to my friends - and believe me, everyone in the development community is buzzing about this book - that they read Andrew and Ken first, then read Heidi separately.

Wives and Daughters
Wives and Daughters
DVD ~ Francesca Annis
5 used & new from $13.59

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Victorian Soap Opera, May 7, 2003
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This review is from: Wives and Daughters (DVD)
Even though "Wives and Daughters" is a typically fabulous BBC period piece, it feels like a guilty pleasure. It's chock-full of romantic intrique, not to mention lots of outrageous costumes - the hats deserve special notice here. Not only is the art direction dead-on, but the acting is also uniformly excellent. But don't think this is serious high-brow fare. This is the type of DVD that is best watched sitting in your jammies and eating brownies with your best girl friend.

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