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Resilient Heart: Transcending the Death of Your Loved One
Resilient Heart: Transcending the Death of Your Loved One
by Gail Saunders
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.95
11 used & new from $17.57

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story! Gail Saunders has captured in written word, February 6, 2015
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Amazing story! Gail Saunders has captured in written word, the flow of experience, the power of believed connection with the divine, insisting on light energy and NEVER giving up on oneself. POWERFUL, RESILIENT, COMPASSIONATE, MINDFUL, RESOURCEFUL and ultimately
being a CHAMPION of the best life possible! BRAVO, BRAVO Gail Saunders!!!! paula, appreciative of you, davis,ca/concord, ma

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
by Jon Meacham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.46
315 used & new from $1.20

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vividly told story with impeccable scholarship, February 7, 2013
Meacham has an uncanny ability to tell a vivid story. As he tells the tale of Jefferson's growing up with a father who enjoyed being on the march, out surveying land and exploring wilderness and encouraging Thomas to do the same, the prodigious scholarship lies hidden. The book has fastidious research holding it up, but never is even slightly pedantic. This is surely a gift of the author, and his deep understanding of Jefferson's life course.

The themes of Jefferson's life --- his self-confidence, his eagerness to learn about French wine, design, and philosophy as well as the law, his penchant for geographical exploration and surveying, the tragic early deaths of so many family members ---jump from the pages as though the author had been Jefferson's alter ego or best friend in adolescence. The over 200 pages of references never intrude but always support. In addition the author took overnight visits to Monticello to see how the early morning light crept into the room where Jefferson always slept, since light was so important to him.

It may help that Meacham is from the south, specifically Tennessee. This gives him a leg up in understanding the sensibilities of the near South. To say that the book is spectacular is a gross understatement.

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
by Sherry Turkle
Edition: Hardcover
90 used & new from $2.30

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle and nuanced read, February 25, 2011
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We are so familiar with Blackberrys, iPhones, and other devices showing up at dinner or, in my case, in the middle of psychiatric sessions, we hardly blink an eye or click a mouse. It's routine. It's the 21st century. But if I call an old friend on my iPhone while driving to work and talk with her (illegally), the conversation is not the same as if I had deliberately called her from my favorite chair at home. Out split attention always comes at a price.

What I loved about the book as a child psychiatrist myself is her capturing how today's youth hold technology so close it may as well be under the skin. One youth is "waiting to be interrupted right now" by his phone, and all youth are reinventing separation (perhaps being out of range or temporarily in a tunnel under the Big Dig?). Going to college simply means checking for good reception and endless texts, photos, and instant messages go back and forth rather than a single phone call on Sunday evening.

Her subtle and rich discussion of adolescents and technology is a must read. Adolescents can wander far from home in a suburb and still know parents are looking for them because the phone rings, even though the teen may not answer. And they may choose to text, and not to talk, to avoid the intimacy of spontaneity. Similarly, she describes how teens can easily ring one friend after another to find someone who picks up. Remind me again, what is being alone?

The book is a major contribution to teasing out just how much technology is changing who we, and our children, are. I found the second major section of the book ("Networked") far more relevant to my life than the first, which primarily concerns robots. Some readers--- perhaps those routinely interrupted by their Blackberrys -- may want to begin with the second section.

Alone Together is the mother of all wake-up calls about how technology and who we are evolve together. It's not just 'the world' that has changed. No one has observed this with a finer eye than Sherry Turkle.

The Seducer: A Novel
The Seducer: A Novel
by Jan Kjćrstad
Edition: Paperback
86 used & new from $0.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What is the most crucial story in your life?, August 6, 2010
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This review is from: The Seducer: A Novel (Paperback)
"Is this the most crucial story in Jonas Wergeland's life?" Like Karosawa's 'Rashomon,' the novel tells stories, one after the other, in the form of short chapters that fit together (the whole mosaic makes sense) and don't fit together (each glows on its own). The stories are spiced with a luscious sexuality ("The one thing the women who made love to Jonas had in common was that they all instinctively sat astride him."). Good sex seems to flow to him, like the prom king you hated in high school, without much effort. And each sexual event permeates his being with a new sense of who he is.

The sustenance of book, though, is the story of Norway, what it is now, a nation of comfortable (indeed VERY comfortable) risk-averse, xenophobic social democrats watching TV, smug at times, breaking into a sweat not very often (perhaps only during Nordic races). "When do we see who we are?", asks the narrator.

The author brilliantly, and often comically, keeps the reader engaged in cliff-hanger moments that rivet attention: Jonas as a child is trapped inside a snow fort and left for dead by his cousin, and the next chapter begins with Jonas as a teenager talking about Dostoyevsky's description of sable eyebrows and the Russian ideal of beauty. Disconnected? Yes. Totally effective in creating a
can't-put-it-down novel? Definitely!

The erudition of the author is impressive, his cliff-hanger style engaging, and his comments on present day Norway hilarious and thought-provoking. He is so in love with details his protagonist vomits when he sees his hometown at altitude and can't make out the beloved familiar texture of it. I loved reading this book, beginning it as a 'have to read it for book club' task and then finding I couldn't get enough.

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