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The Metrosexual Guide To Style: A Handbook For The Modern Man
The Metrosexual Guide To Style: A Handbook For The Modern Man
by Michael Flocker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.64
284 used & new from $0.01

49 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lifestyle for Dummies, November 20, 2003
Consider this: metrosexuality is really nothing new. Stated in the most simplistic manner, metrosexuality is no more than a polite man who understands how to dress and appreciates the finer things in life. In a nutshell, a metrosexual is what used to be known as a gentleman. The term gentleman may not be politically correct or interesting enough to sell books in a day when the new straight is gay. So to sell this lifestyle book, the author has capitalized on the latest social trend.
In general this is a hip and fun book. I'd recommend it for the young man whose upbringing didn't include, for example, exposure to manners, tipping, wine selection, or dress. In general, this is a `how to' lifestyle guide for dummies. It isn't a serious guide to style. So, if you are serious there are far better style books or magazines to buy.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2013 12:50 AM PDT


Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy
by Frances Mayes
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.98
1335 used & new from $0.01

24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toscana here I come!, October 28, 2003
In preparation for a two-week visit to Tuscany, I made it a point to read "Under the Tuscan Sun." If you are planning on visiting Tuscany this is the book to read. A reading of her book provided a wonderful and most helpful underpinning to my visit to Tuscany.
Frances Mayes descriptive approach to writing makes the Tuscan towns and countryside, churches, wine, restaurants and cuisine, and people virtually come to life. The book also provides an incredible account of her and her husband's love affair with the Italian culture and the restoration of house that eventually becomes their "home." She literally brings Tuscany alive in a very compelling and readable manner!
Frances Mayes is a complete optimist. Her glass is literally always half full despite the numerous obstacles she encounters during her home renovation in Italy. While I share her love of Italy - I am of Italian descent and I've lived in Italy - I do not share in her ability to overlook many of the shortcomings of Italy. For example, I agree with Frances Mayes that the food is wonderful. But it is hard to overlook the seemingly ever-present flies hovering near it in a restaurant and the ability of the locals to overlook that. Not to berate, but the future reader will note that Frances Mayes has gone native.
This is a book that I highly recommend. Just don't expect it to be like the movie.


Mohammed and Charlemagne
Mohammed and Charlemagne
by Henri Pirenne
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.93
70 used & new from $6.00

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece!, May 19, 2003
Mohammed and Charlemagne is the last work of Henri Pirenne. It was published after his death and represents a masterpiece of historical scholarship. This is a seminal work that challenged the thesis that Germanic barbarians obliterated the Roman Empire. His revolutionary thesis was that the unexpected rise and advance of Islam led to the downfall of the Empire. With the rise of Islam, the Mediterranean was no longer a thoroughfare of commerce and ideas. Without the Mediterranean, commerce dried up to a trickle and Europe slipped into the Middle Ages.
The revision and completion of the book was completed by one of Pirenne's students after his death. That leads to one of my criticisms. Previous works by Pirenne I found engaging and masterfully written. This work however, seemed to lack the same literary style and, as a consequence, I found it to be a choppy read that lacked the clear crispness of his previous works. While this statement is subjective, it is not irrelevant. When Pirenne expounds on economic and sociological issues of the Middle Ages his words literally leap off the page. It is disappointing that this subject does not surface until the end of the book.


Telecommunications and Politics: The Decentralized Alternative
Telecommunications and Politics: The Decentralized Alternative
by Andrew Davies
Edition: Hardcover
11 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Historical and economic analysis of telecommunications, March 31, 2003
Davies provides an outstanding and complete review of the regulation that occurred in domestic markets for telecommunications. He covers all the major domestic markets: U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and includes background on other European markets. The major point of this work is the role of economics and political power in shaping markets. Most conjecture is that domestic market regulation was driven by technology and politics. However, Davies makes the case that economic imperatives determined the different paths of restructuring of domestic network telecommunication monopolies. The nationally based monopoly providers and an alliance of multi-nationals competed and the outcome of their struggle determined how restructuring of domestic telecommunications markets occurred. How it played out differently in each domestic market depended to a great extent on that nation's markets and the influence of either monopoly providers or multi-national alliances. Davies is on the money in his analysis.


Know Why You Believe
Know Why You Believe
by Paul E. Little
Edition: Paperback
74 used & new from $0.01

27 of 46 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A place to start for beginners., November 26, 2002
This review is from: Know Why You Believe (Paperback)
I read Little's book and was disappointed with it. My criticisms of this book are derived not from an anti-Christian perspective, but from a practical pedagogical perspective. With that said, I am not trying to disprove any of Little's statements on Christian faith that he derives from his readings of the Bible. But I do have some criticisms of this book. My criticisms against this book should assist the prospective reader in selecting (or not selecting this book).
-Simplistic style. This is not a college level book, despite what one review states. It is written at the seventh or eighth grade level. If you read at the college level, this is a Dick & Jane book. Sometimes it is like reading a PowerPoint presentation. It is basic and not challenging.
-Slow pace. The pace of this book is very slow. Part of what makes this a slow read is the book's repetitious style. Little keeps making his point over and over. After a while, you get the point and no longer have to have it made again.
-Errors (or over-simplification). For example, Little refers to a Greek Empire (page 12). There was never one. With that said, it is clear he is referring to the `Greek' linguistic and cultural hegemony created in the western Mediterranean by Alexander the Great's conquests.
-Academic credentials. Little holds an MBA and is not a theologian. He holds no advanced degrees in that field. The method by which Little postulates his arguments resembles those made by Fundamentalist - a lot on what the Bible says and little on historical context or liturgical perspective. In other words, his sources are limited and it shows. And, he tends to make circular arguments.
With all of this said, I do consider this to be fine book for a novice to Christianity. The basics are here, without any complications. However, it is not illuminating. So if you are looking for a place to start, this might be it. However, don't stop here - this is way too basic.


The Gnostic Gospels
The Gnostic Gospels
by Elaine Pagels
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.08
593 used & new from $0.01

19 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not compelling, October 24, 2002
This review is from: The Gnostic Gospels (Paperback)
I read Elaine Pagels' book entitled "The Origin of Satan" and greatly enjoyed it. That book allowed a non-expert in the subject matter to easily follow and understand her points and arguments. She accomplished that without being overly simplistic. So I eagerly anticipated reading "The Gnostic Gospels." However, this book fails the reader, especially one who is a novice to the Gnostic gospels. Unlike her pervious novel, little background is provided on the Gnostic gospels making it difficult, at times, to fully understand and appreciate her points.
She writes little about the actual gospels and what they say (and mean). I literally have no idea how many of these gospels there were or how long they were. But, it is clear from her book that the writers of the Gnostic gospels were heretics and had opinions about the nature of God, the Trinity, and martyrdom, to name a few, that diverged from Christian Orthodox views. While it is clear that there was a battle between the Gnostics and Orthodox Christians, I learned very little about the Gnostic gospels. Pagels does very little to tell the reader why these gospels are compelling, or are credible or non-credible. And that is an important point since the Gnostic gospels are that different from the standard New Testament gospels. I was looking for perspective and insight on the gospels and she failed to deliver.
While it is interesting to learn about why the views these non-Orthodox gospels offer were squashed, you will gain little perspective and insight on what the texts where about. So, I would not recommend this book if you are interested in learning about the Gnostic gospels. With that said, Pagels is a wonderful writer who is unbiased and, almost always, completely compelling.


Coolidge, An American Enigma
Coolidge, An American Enigma
by Robert Sobel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.88
57 used & new from $1.99

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quite & unaasumming President, October 17, 2002
There aren't too many biographies about the life of Calvin Coolidge. This is an absorbing book that is sure to shatter many myths about Coolidge. I highly recommend it for your reading list.
President Coolidge was not a man accustomed to tooting his horn. He is well known for his economical use of words. Without a doubt moderate or conservative in personal behavior, President Coolidge should not be confused with modern political conservatives. While his personal behavior was clearly conservative, his political beliefs were more identifiable with those associated with modern libertarianism. President Coolidge was one who believed that government should exercise restraint and not limit liberty. Despite this belief that government should exercise restraint, President Coolidge's Administration suffered very little from scandal.
Modern historians often portray Coolidge as a minor figure and trivialize his time as President. Often portrayed as a lackey for big business and for not doing anything to prevent the Great Depression, this biography puts holes in the myth that he was in the pocket of big business and responsible for the Depression. President Coolidge was neither lazy, unintelligent, nor an accidental President. Coolidge understood the concept of restraint and approached life as President from that perspective. Not concerned with the outward trappings of power, Coolidge stayed true to his Vermont roots.
You will find that Coolidge was neither indolent nor unintelligent after reading this book. President Coolidge is just the kind of President we need today.


Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe (Harvest Book)
Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe (Harvest Book)
by Henri Pirenne
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.35
72 used & new from $0.01

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive work!, October 17, 2002
Pirenne's book first appeared in print in 1933, so I have to admit I was a little leery about reading it even though I have an interest in feudal economics. I was concerned that it would be a stuffy tome that was written in a dense and archaic academic style. To my surprise, this book is an extraordinarily good read, most interesting, and very informative. And unlike many books on this subject, a casual reader can be assured that a master's level background on the subject is not necessary to read this book.
Picking up at the end of the Roman Empire and running through approximately the middle 1500s, Pirenne tackles the full spectrum of economic and sociological issues as they evolved throughout the Middle Ages in Europe. Specifically, he relates how commerce was revived after the break-up of the economic and cultural stability that existed in the ancient world. Concepts such as the re-issuance of a currency, the rebirth of a money economy, rediscovery of credit, and how urban industry developed are covered and explained in detail. This is a very complete picture of economic and sociological circumstances that existed during the middle ages, as you are likely to see.
Pirenne takes the reader on a journey that attempts to plug the Medieval Period knowledge gap with a detailed explanation of economic development. Geographically (and culturally) he is able to discuss developments throughout all of Europe, from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. If you are interested in learning more about conditions in Europe during the Middle Ages and want a fuller understand of how the western economic system developed, pick up this book


Coolidge, An American Enigma
Coolidge, An American Enigma
by Robert Sobel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.88
57 used & new from $1.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cooldge - A Man for Our Time, October 8, 2002
There aren't too many biographies about the life of Calvin Coolidge. This is an absorbing book that is sure to shatter many myths about Coolidge. I highly recommend it for your reading list.
President Coolidge was not a man accustomed to tooting his horn. He is well known for his economical use of words. Without a doubt moderate or conservative in personal behavior, President Coolidge should not be confused with modern political conservatives. While his personal behavior was clearly conservative, his political beliefs were more identifiable with those associated with modern libertarianism. President Coolidge was one who believed that government should exercise restraint and not limit liberty. Despite this belief that government should exercise restraint, President Coolidge's Administration suffered very little from scandal.
Modern historians often portray Coolidge as a minor figure and trivialize his time as President. Often portrayed as a lackey for big business and for not doing anything to prevent the Great Depression, this biography puts holes in the myth that he was in the pocket of big business and responsible for the Depression. President Coolidge was neither lazy, unintelligent, nor an accidental President. Coolidge understood the concept of restraint and approached life as President from that perspective. Not concerned with the outward trappings of power, Coolidge stayed true to his Vermont roots.
You will find that Coolidge was neither indolent nor unintelligent after reading this book. President Coolidge is just the kind of President we need today.


Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe (Harvest Book)
Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe (Harvest Book)
by Henri Pirenne
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.35
72 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterful explanation of Economics during the Middle Ages, October 7, 2002
Pirenne's book first appeared in print in 1933, so I have to admit I was a little leery about reading it even though I have an interest in feudal economics. I was concerned that it would be a stuffy tome that was written in a dense and archaic academic style. To my surprise, this book is an extraordinarily good read, most interesting, and very informative. And unlike many books on this subject, a casual reader can be assured that a master's level background on the subject is not necessary to read this book.
Picking up at the end of the Roman Empire and running through approximately the middle 1500s, Pirenne tackles the full spectrum of economic and sociological issues as they evolved throughout the Middle Ages in Europe. Specifically, he relates how commerce was revived after the break-up of the economic and cultural stability that existed in the ancient world. Concepts such as the re-issuance of a currency, the rebirth of a money economy, rediscovery of credit, and how urban industry developed are covered and explained in detail. This is a very complete picture of economic and sociological circumstances that existed during the middle ages as you are likely to see.
Pirenne takes the reader on a journey that attempts to plug the Medieval Period knowledge gap with a detailed explanation of economic development. Geographically (and culturally) he is able to discuss developments throughout all of Europe, from the Mediterranean to the North Sea. If you are interested in learning more about conditions in Europe during the Middle Ages and want a fuller understand of how the western economic system developed, pick up this book


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