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Reviews Written by
bernie "xyzzy" RSS Feed (Arlington, Texas)

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The Man with Two Left Feet And Other Stories (Jeeves and Wooster)
The Man with Two Left Feet And Other Stories (Jeeves and Wooster)
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars “Life is not all bones and liver”, August 31, 2015
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This is my first P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse. I did not realize that it is a collection of short stories; many of the stories have a unique perspective.

I did find myself using a log of Wikipedia as he refers to contemporary people and subjects for the time of his writing.

Different writers have different attractions for people. Tony Hillerman brings up Navaho Tacos. Agatha Christie exotic deaths. And so forth. What makes Wodehouse so unique in these short stories is not what subjects the talks about as much as how he articulates.

Be aware that after reading “The Man with Two Left Feet” 1917, you may find yourself articulating and people staring.

An added plus was reading Kindle on the iPhone with whispersync narration by Fredrick Davidson.

The Blacklist: Season 2 [Blu-ray]
The Blacklist: Season 2 [Blu-ray]
Price: $44.43
42 used & new from $23.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the same James Spader of Stargate?, August 30, 2015
The stories are not unique. The formula of having short-story episodes with a long-term underlying story is not unique. There is a laundry list of not "unique." There are holes you can drive through and standard end-of-episode twist.

Enough of the "nots." This is downright fun seeing Spader smirk and Megan Boone cringe. As there is a politically incorrect dispatching or dissecting of the bad guys. An added plus is all of the cameos from various ancient actors.

The story is basically an ex-government agent turned entrepreneur. He has his own agenda at catching the biggest most secretive bad people, he calls his "Blacklist." He offers to help the government track down the cabals with one caveat; his only contact is through Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) Liz has no Idea why she was picked and speculates throughout the series. As the series progresses she changes from squeamish to aggressive leaving you think she was named after Lizzy Borden.

Anyway this is not the program to be watching a supper.

Season 2 is fairly much a continuation with no formula change. A new character to two. Have fun with a Blacklist marathon.

By Erich Maria Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front
By Erich Maria Remarque All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque
Edition: Paperback
14 used & new from $11.45

5.0 out of 5 stars You are there, August 29, 2015
Erich Maria Remarque did a great job with his story. Being first person in view gave you the feeling that you were there. To add to this he is a very good writer.

Not being in the Great War, I can only imagine the technology of the time and trust in old war movies. In addition, this is a foreign culture in a foreign time. People there had a tendency to trust and respect their elders unquestionably.

Being of the Vietnam era, I could however relate to the parts about the different personalities and some of the war situations and attitudes. I could appreciate the river crossing at night and the defending of the deserted town. I even liked the cat that they befriended in the story. We had a dog that was named Followme, which was one of the few that did not end up in a pot. I even could feel the anxiety of not fighting and just waiting for action. The only major difference is the question of do you want the people to be behind you to push you on or cheer you on, or doing the same job with people that are indifferent or not supportive?

Anyway even with the graphic description of the actual battle is more of a description of war, not a reason to sue for peace at any cost. The story is more of a, "don't let someone pull the wool over your eyes," with the talk of the glory of war. A movie with that theme is "The Americanization of Emily" (1964)". Also, don't let Authority blindly lead you into the army with the condos as in, "Private Benjamin" (1980).

This is not the end but the key statement that pretty much sums it up, "He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so quiet and still on the whole front, that the army report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the western Front."

Self Hypnotism: the Technique and Its Use in Daily Living
Self Hypnotism: the Technique and Its Use in Daily Living
by Leslie M. Lecron
Edition: Paperback
3 used & new from $11.26

5.0 out of 5 stars Classic by a mainstream author, August 29, 2015
Leslie M. Lecron is well known as a mainstream specialist in the technique and understanding of the hypnosis process. What you are looking at is a classic. He may be a little Freud happy; however so was every one else in his environment. Say what you will the concept of triggering events is still with us. There is only one diagram of a Cheurel Pendulum "Magic Eye" and no photographs. Instead of me trying to interpret the good, bad and ugly of this book I will write the chapter titles so you can decide if this is what you are looking for.

1. What you should know about your subconscious
2. How you ca communicate directly with your "inner mind"
3. Hypnosis: A powerful force for good
4. Self-Hypnosis gives you the key to a happier life
5. How the use of autosuggestion can improve your life
6. Eliminate emotional troubles from your life
7. How bad emotions figure your health
8. The value of positive thinking and healthful relaxation
9. How to overcome feelings of inferiority and poverty "Complex"
10. How to conquer bad habits and overcome pain
11. Heal your own emotional scars
12. Fears and phobias can be conquered
13. Keep slim and youthful without dieting
14. Never suffer from headaches again!
15. The key to a happier sex life
16. Master your emotions and overcome allergies
17. common ailments and how self-therapy helps your remedy them
18. You have the power!

The Waking Sleep by Frank Monaghan

The Joy of Handweaving
The Joy of Handweaving
by Osma Gallinger Tod
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from $86.07

5.0 out of 5 stars A tad dated but still functional, August 25, 2015
This review is from: The Joy of Handweaving (Paperback)
This book makes a good addition to anyone's weaving library. You can actually use this as a first book or extend your repertoire.

All the pictures, drafts, and diagrams are in black and white they still work but would have been better with the added dimension of color. 0.K. there is a small color section.)

Fort the brave there is a section on clothing. I however prefer flat square projects.

Price: $1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Barely believable adventures, August 25, 2015
A very remarkable book written in the 13th century. Many secrets were reviled when Marc returned. And may interesting explanations of things like the origin of cinnamon.

Marco writes well enough of his travels and you feel that you are there. You can actually follow the trail if you have a map. He describes the flora and fauna of each region and describes the economics and industry of the region.

Example: "The women of the superior class are in like manner free from superfluous hairs; their skins are fare, and they are well formed."

It is interesting to see how little has changed from Marco Polo's 13th century and now

Legends, Lies, & Cherished Myths of American History
Legends, Lies, & Cherished Myths of American History
by Richard Shenkman
Edition: Paperback
6 used & new from $7.87

5.0 out of 5 stars A good compliment to the "Myth America" TV series., August 23, 2015
As with most TV series you get statements with out support. So I tracked down the Richard Shenkiman book to get some background to the statements about American myths. I was not disappointed. It is as if he was reading this book on the TV with more graphic representations for the different media.

The book is worth reading. However the format may not be to some peoples liking as it is short choppy statements and the chapters are divided into subjects as, Discoverers and Inventors, Presidents, Sex, and Art.
There is a fair set of footnotes to lead you to further reading. You may need this as he sometimes stretches a point.

Final analysis, you are better off reading this to give a better perspective on reality. Read it to your kids and save them a lifetime of "Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American History".

Hitler: The Pictorial Documentary of His Life
Hitler: The Pictorial Documentary of His Life
by John Toalnd
Edition: Hardcover
9 used & new from $71.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with Pictures, August 23, 2015
This book was meant as a supplement to John Toland's biography of Hitler. It contains 465 photographs, 11 of them in full color. It is hard to describe the pictures to you. Some are candid shots and others are exquisitely staged. They pretty much line up in chronological order and they also show the people that were on Hitler's periphery. Photograph 155 is the next day Hindenburg died. Photograph 176 shows Bormann at the wheel with a Frau Hess. Photograph 228 a member of Sir Oswald Mosley's black shirt is with the brown shirts.

We could go on forever however let me say the photographs cover the time from 1899 through 1944. Many of these pictures are not seen in newsreels.

The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968
The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968
by WilliamManchester
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars How one manufacturing family influenced the shape of Germany, August 23, 2015
This is an excellent description of a family, noted for their involvement with the steel industry and especially the manufacturer of arms. They struggle with Germany's economy and influence Germany's foreign policy covering about 400 years between 1587 and 1968.

It looks like a lengthy volume however it is over just as you are getting started. A side benefit is the technical information added helps you imagine what is like to design and sell the arms.

In some cases arms were almost given away for a cause. At other times they mercenarily sold arms to may conflicting countries on both sides. This story parallels other books on history and makes the world seem that it is made up of people not just historical facts. Speaking of historical facts, one of the things I like to do is to read books that become movies and movies that are novelized. This would have to be a mini-series.

Notice that in the book; interestingly enough William Manchester mentions that George Bernard Shaw actually based a play on the Krupp family, "Major Barbara" which consequently was made into a movie with windy Hiller in 1941.

An Unmarked Grave
An Unmarked Grave
by Charles Todd
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Fourth in the series and Bess Crawford just keeps getting better, August 23, 2015
This review is from: An Unmarked Grave (Paperback)
By the time you've located this book you should already be aware of the mother-son team of Charles Todd so I will not describe it in this review.

We have the same Bess Crawford but a new mystery. As with previous books in the series even though the mystery is in-depth and full of misleading suspects or red herrings the excellent writing that gives you the feeling of the time is what really sells the book. You also find something comforting in the characters in the book even the negative ones all seem to have a higher human quality than you would find in real life.

Bodies are picked up on the battlefield and wrapped for disposal. Someone points out to Bess that there is one body too many and not properly wrapped. It made me think of "One Corpse Too Many" by Ellis Peters; however that's where the similarities end and the story takes on a life of its own. I also noticed that Bess Crawford has a tendency to be in the right place at the right time to hear the right thing. But if she wasn't there then we would not have story.

All I can say is that you will want to get a copy as soon as possible and not miss this great addition to your library.

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