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Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors
Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors
by Piers Paul Read
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.92
269 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Greater Love Hath No Man Than His, That a Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends!, July 30, 2015
Piers Paul Read's true account of the Uruguayan survivors of the plane crash in the Andes Mountains in October 1972 is a brilliant fast paced read about individuals who did the unthinkable in order to survive. I had always avoided the film until now. The book is a very detailed account and compilation of the survivors' words and memories. The plane crashed in the mountains and they survived for weeks in dealing with deadly avalanches and starvation.

The survivors felt that they had no choice but to do it. Eat their friends and fellow players who had perished in the crash! After reading this book, I began to understand the dire situation and the choices to make there and then. There was no joy in doing so. The survivors felt that their friends would want them to survive until they were rescued. While they waited for help and rescue, they spent weeks aboard a fuselage in the mountains. They had to deal with each other and their situation.

The book is a very well-written read and you can't but help get to understand each and everyone of the survivors and those who perished whether by avalanche and crash. I now understand why they did the unthinkable. This book helps readers understand what the survivors went through in the Andes. I also understood why it took so long to get rescued as well. The relatives and friends fought hard to get answers and assistance in finding the passengers. People had given up hope on ever finding them alive much less looking in the Andes.

This book is about survival even in the worst of circumstances. None of the survivors were ever the same again. The families of those who perished understood their dire situation in the Andes. You wonder what else could they have done differently? Really, they wouldn't have survived without doing it.

by Laurie Halse Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.83
252 used & new from $2.48

3.0 out of 5 stars Art Without Emotion is Like Chocolate Cake Without Sugar. It Makes You Gag!, July 29, 2015
This review is from: Speak (Paperback)
Melinda Sordino's personal experience marks her an outcast at school for being the caller to the cops to break up a party and possibly more. The author writes about Melinda's school year. Once she does the unthinkable, she is ostracized in school and her community. Melinda is an artistic personality who likes to draw.

The book has some issues about writing styles. The book is told from Melinda's point of view throughout and there are many questions about what happened to her. The story begins with the new school year at Merryweather High in upstate New York. Melinda doesn't give many clues about what happened to her at the party until the end of the book. I just felt like I was reading about any normal female high school student not obsessed by being in the in-crowd or celebrity like her peers. She is quite the mystery and slowly unfolds throughout the book.

The movie version did a sufficient job in displaying Melinda as a quiet outcast with a mystery. She becomes an enigma to her classmates, teachers, and even her home. She doesn't write much else about the life around her. I personally thought the book would be so much better in writing and displaying the complexity of this character.

A Mother's Story by Vanderbilt, Gloria (1997) Mass Market Paperback
A Mother's Story by Vanderbilt, Gloria (1997) Mass Market Paperback
by Gloria Vanderbilt
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
2 used & new from $106.50

4.0 out of 5 stars A Loss I thought I Could Not Survive. But I Did. The Unbreakable Glass Didn't. And That's What I want To Tell You About!, July 29, 2015
Gloria Vanderbilt may have been born with wealth and privilege in one of America's prominent families but nothing compares to losing your child. Gloria lost her adult son, Carter Cooper, in 1988. This book is a tribute to his memory and his life. In understanding his loss, Gloria tries to piece together his life and her own life. She was a divorced mother of two sons when she married Carter and Anderson's father, Wyatt Cooper. She had two more sons with Wyatt, the love of her life.

Sadly, Wyatt Cooper died too soon when their sons were still quite young. Gloria never remarried again. She raised both sons with her older sons as well. She became well known for her jean wear. Still, Gloria has been a survivor herself despite wealth and privilege. When Wyatt died tragically, Gloria had to move on with her life. Her younger son, Anderson Cooper, would become a household name as a journalist and talk show host himself.

The book has pictures and stories about her life with Carter Cooper and Anderson as well. If you are interested in Gloria's life, you will find this book interesting especially how she handled her son's death. There are questions about why he died so young. The chapters are short and the they go back and forth between time periods.

It is still an easy read where she searches for answers 9 years after his death. Gloria doesn't dwell on her loss into other avenues or become self-destructive like some bereaved parents. Gloria has picked up her life and moved on but not away from her son's memory. She is quite a survivor herself.

Mighty and Strong (Righteous Series)
Mighty and Strong (Righteous Series)
Price: $4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars I Came Here To Look For The One Mighty and Strong!, July 29, 2015
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Michael Wallace's series, "The Righteous," is quite an enjoyable and adventurous journey into the understanding of the polygamist culture. While I totally disagree with their polygamist lifestyle, I did enjoy the series overall. Dr. Jacob Christiansen, Abraham's son, is a doctor and married to one woman, Fernie, and father of three children. He is intertwined with the FBI and trying to keep his people together. Jacob is a sympathetic protagonist in this series. You can understand his divided loyalties. He comes from a polygamist background and upbringing but he doesn't want to practice it in life. His wife, Fernie, is interested in a plural marriage ironically.

If you can get past the polygamy, there is plenty to more to enjoy reading. The author himself comes from a religious background but he doesn't say which affiliation. He does bring a sense of humanity and understanding to the polygamist sect of the Mormon religion. The polygamists have been excommunicated from Mormonism for over a hundred years. Any Mormon who commits polygamy is excommunicated. The polygamists here belong to their own cult in the American Southwest where women dress like Little House on the Prairie and live in an isolated world.

Jacob is quite a developed character where you understand his torment and personal battles with his religion and his country. This book carries on the adventure. If you have read the other series, this book will help answer some questions. We meet his sister, Eliza; Sister Miriam with a secret past; poor Emma Green; and other interesting characters. Jacob is the mighty and strong hero here.

If you love the other books in the series, this book is just as fast paced and enjoyable as the others.

Goldy's Kitchen Cookbook: Cooking, Writing, Family, Life
Goldy's Kitchen Cookbook: Cooking, Writing, Family, Life
by Diane Mott Davidson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.62

4.0 out of 5 stars How Do I Look? And Other Stories about Food and Appearance!, July 29, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had never heard of Diane Mott Davidson and I never heard of Goldy, the catering investigator before. It is quite an interesting combination of a caterer who solves crimes. In this cookbook, the author describes her life, background, and inspiration for her Goldy's series. In this inspired cookbook, she collects the recipes from previous cases and compiled them for cookbook readers and Goldy fans everywhere.

The book is broken down into seven chapters. The first chapter is the "Appetizers and Soups, or How Do I Look? And Other Stories About Food and Appearance." Recipes include "Goldilocks' Gourmet Spinach Soup;" "Holy Moly Guacamole;" "Nachos Schulz;" "Tom's Layered Mexican Dip;" "Diamond Lovers' Hot Crab Dip;" "Handcuff Croissants;" "Not-So-Skinny Spinach Dip;" "Hoisin Turkey with Roasted Pine Nuts in Lettuce Cups;" "Not-So-Secret Cheese Spread;" "Models' Mushroom Soup;" "Rainy Season Chicken Soup;" and more.

The second chapter is entitled "Eggs and Cheese or My Agent is Still A Vegetarian." Recipes include "Julian's Cheese Manicotti;" "Doll Show Shrimp and Eggs;" "Collector's Camembert Pie;" "Boulder Chili;" "Quiche Me Quick:" "Chuzzlewit Cheese Pie;" "Julian's Summer Frittata;" "Ferdinanda's Florentine Quiche;" and more in this chapter.

The third chapter is entitled "Spuds, Salads, Etc. or My Editor is Also A Vegetarian." Recipes include "Jailbreak Potatoes;" "Slumber Party Potatoes;" "Penny Prick Potato Casserole;" Prudent Potatoes Au Gratin;" "Party Apples;" Gold'ys Marvelous Mayonnaise;" "Wild Man's Rice Salad;" "Schulz's Guacamole Salad;" "Figgy Salad;" "Wild Girls' Grilled Mushroom Salad;" "Chopping Spree Salad;" "Tangy Lime Dressing;" "Goldy's Caprese Salad;" "Love Potion Salad and Dressing;" and more in this chapter.

The fourth chapter is entitled "Meat, Poultry, and Fish or The Heart of the Matter." Recipes include "Snowboarders' Pork Tenderloin;" "Party Pork Chops;" "Figgy Piggy;" "Shakespeare's Steak Pie;" "Upper Crust Pastry;" "Love Me Tenderloin Grilled Steaks;" "Ad Guys' Roast Beef and Gravy;" "Anniversary Burgers;" "Sweethearts' Swedish Meatballs in Burgundy Sauce;" "The Whole Enchilada Pie;" "Unorthodox Shepherd's Pie;" "Goldy's Garlic Lamb Chops;" "Andre's Coq Au Vin;" "Trudy's Mediterranean Chicken;" "Chicken Divine;" "Shrimp on Wheels;" "Shuttlecock Shrimp Curry;" "Power Play Potatoes and Fish;" "Goadies Grilled Tuna; and more.

The fifth chapter is entitled "Breads or This Is Not Your Low Carb Chapter." Recipes include "Dad's Bread;" "Galaxy Doughnuts;" "Monster Cinnamon Rolls;" "Julian's Five Grain Bread;" "Got A Hunch Bread Rolls;" "Chicky Bread;" "Yolanda's Cuban Bread;" "Pina Colada Muffins;" "Stained Glass Sweet Bread;" "Goldy's Guava Coffee Cake;" and more in this chapter.

The sixth chapter is entitled "Desserts or This Is Not Your Low Carb Chapter, Either." Recipes include "Honey-I'm Home Gingersnaps;" "Cereal Killer Cookies;" "Sweetheart Sandwiches;" "Canterbury Jumbles;" "Blondes' Blondies;" "Keepsake Cookies;" "Queen of Scots Shortbread;" "Fatally Flaky Cookies;" "Chocolate Coma Cookies;" "Chocolate Comfort Cookies;" "Chocoholic Cookies;" "Strong Arm Cookies;" "Babsies Torts;" "Goldy's Nuthouse Cookies;" "Dungeon Bars;" "Lethal Layers;" "Bleak House Bars;" "Got a Hot Date Bars;" "Scout's Brownies;" "Goldy's Terrific Toffee;" "Labor Day Flourless Chocolate Cake with Berries, Melba Sauce and White Chocolate Cream;" "Happy Endings Plum Cake;" "Damson in Distress Plm Tart;" "Shoppers' Chocolate Truffles;" "Super Spenders' Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler;" "In Your Face Strawberry Pie I and II;" "Door Prize Gingerbread;" "All American Deep Dish Apple Pie;" "Chocolate Lovers' Dipped Fruit;" "Totally Unorthodox Coeur A La Creme;" and more in this chapter alone.

The seventh and final chapter is entitled "Enfin! Low-Carb Recipes or How I Lost Thirty Pounds and Kept It Off." Recipes include "Luscious Arugula Salad;" "Cauliflower Mash, or How To Get By Without Potatoes;" and others in this chapter.

The book has an introduction and epilogue to explain the author to new readers. The cookbook is actually entertaining and original in the author's comments, suggestions, and recipes. The author writes about her cooking experiences and her family's taste. Davidson is influenced by her environment and is inspired by a variety of cuisine around her. The author is also friendly, professional, and open to new ideas. I really enjoyed reading about her inspiration and her background while reading this book. This book is full of wonderful innovative recipes and the author is quite an entertaining personality.

I would have enjoyed colorful pictures if possible for the final edition. Even then, I would still highly recommend this cookbook to cooks, chefs, and foodies everywhere. There are also many wonderful stories about the recipe themselves.

Black & Decker D3030 Allure Iron, Blue
Black & Decker D3030 Allure Iron, Blue
Offered by Tradecozone
Price: $49.49
12 used & new from $41.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Works like a charm!, July 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Black and Decker Iron is first rate. It has a speak style and design too. The brand is an improved iron. This iron would make the perfect iron for the family home or apartment.

Bissell SpotClean Cordless Portable Spot Cleaner, 1570
Bissell SpotClean Cordless Portable Spot Cleaner, 1570
Price: $149.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Spot cleaner, July 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I received this item in order to clean my car. There are some parts that go with it. It comes already charged and ready to go. Bissell is a great brand. I thought the product was smaller though.

Five Star Advance Spiral Notebook, 3 Subject, College Ruled, Blue (73138)
Five Star Advance Spiral Notebook, 3 Subject, College Ruled, Blue (73138)
Price: $15.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Durable, July 26, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This five star notebook is more like a binder than a notebook. It will come in handy during the school year or for personal use. There is nothing more I like than a brand new notebook.

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
by Sam Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.93
543 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Won't Find God in Destroying Other Lives !, July 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have read Sam Harris' book with an open mind and heart to the contents of religion. The author is quite a well-known atheist and philosopher with a Stanford education. He is the also the son of Susan Spivack Harris aka Susan Harris of "Soap," "Golden Girls" and other sitcoms. He is also the son of actor, Berkeley Harris and stepson of soap actress, Beverlee McKinsey.

Sam Harris is an intelligent logical man but he is not altogether right about religions. He omits Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II in the text. They were leaders in the Catholic Church especially Mother Theresa who cared and helped the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India (a predominantly Hindu population). Mother Theresa never asked the patients and lepers dying on the street about their faith. Regardless, she rescued them and nursed them until they died or recovered. She never abandoned a child, a leper, or anybody. Pope John Paul II was also a devout Catholic but he practiced and encouraged compassion and love.

Sam Harris focuses on the Islam, Catholicism and Christianity, and Judaism in the text. He writes about anti-Semitic treatment against Jews throughout history. Christianity's own history of terror against Jews and witches in a paranoia. When he wrote this book in 2004, Bush was still President and was re-elected. His constituents were mostly right wing Evangelical Christians who support Israel no matter what and believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth.

I don't necessarily believe everything in the Bible to be fact nor fiction. I believe the Bible has been translated and edited over the last 2,000 years by various scribes. The same theory could be held to the Torah and Koran as well. The actions of 19 Arab Muslim men were influenced by Osama Bin Laden (a right wing fundamentalist Islamic leader of a terrorist group) and who was executed in 2011 by American Navy Seal.

We have a big problem today with Islamophobia since not all Muslims are terrorists. In fact, a few years ago on the TLC channel there was a reality series entitled "All American Muslim" which was canceled after a campaign of ignorance and fear. The series was actually set in Dearborn, MIchigan where there is a substantial Muslim population. If you watched this series, you would have seen a realistic depiction of Muslim life living and working in America. Sadly, this show was canceled but other senseless reality series thrive in actuality. Another reality series, "The Shahs of Sunset," featured Iranian Muslims and Iranian Jews living large in Los Angeles, California. The series is actually an insult to American reality and Iranians.

Sam Harris doesn't have a religion of his own or a belief in God. For those of us who do, there are many ways besides organized religion to reach Him. When religion becomes used to start wars and kill innocent people, religion becomes a distortion and abomination. In the name of religion, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity share many qualities and characteristics. There are more similar than different. Instead, we should celebrate our similarities rather than differences.

While I enjoyed the book, I was enlightened by the history of major religions in the last few centuries. I do believe that religion has diminished a role in American society. Religions were designed to keep people together rather than tear them apart. This book makes an argument against organized religions especially in contemporary times. Religion can be a dangerous if it is corrupted and manipulated to destroy others.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2015 10:10 PM PDT

A Tale of Love and Darkness
A Tale of Love and Darkness
by Amos Oz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.05
189 used & new from $0.03

4.0 out of 5 stars We'd show the whole world how to treat a minority!, July 23, 2015
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Amos Oz (born Klausner) is an award winning Israeli writer. In this autobiographical memoir, he recounts Israeli's history and his mother's suicide. The book is about how a native Israeli Jew from an Askenazi background came to grow and live in the Middle East. Amos Oz has written a very personal book about his thoughts perhaps in a stream of consciousness. On page 192, he writes that Israel would show the world how to treat minority like the Israeli Arabs. Oz ends with "it was a pretty dream."

Oz writes about how the new Israeli Jews from around the world have been castigated, ostracized, and almost wiped out in the Nazi Genocide during World War II. Oz writes about how Israeli immigration and dealing with the Arab neighbors. The five hundred pages does go by fast though if you're interested in Israeli history and politics. Amos writes from the heart and mind. In fact, I believe Amos Oz is the heart and conscience of Israeli literature today.

The Israel of Amos Oz is far different today than when it was first declared a nation in 1948. While Israeli Jews are the majority, the Israeli Arabs (still 20%) are a substantial minority and subjected to 51 laws against them. An Israeli Arab cannot marry an Israeli Jew at least not in Israel. The Israel doesn't exist anymore and that's the sadness in Oz's text. He writes a lot about other Israeli Jews but I don't see much about Israeli Arabs.

Perhaps Oz had finally come to terms with his mother's mental illness and death with this memoir. He has also come to terms with Israel of the past rather than Israeli's presence today in world affairs. He helps understand the Israeli Jewish experience from his birth in 1938 to the early 2000s. He doesn't talk much about present Israeli affairs even ten years ago. I don't always agree with them politically but I do respect his courage and bravery in writing a very personal book.

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