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All The Beautiful Lies: Book 1: Passion Always Comes with a Price
All The Beautiful Lies: Book 1: Passion Always Comes with a Price
Price: $0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars `We don't always recognize the moments that alter our path in life and send us ricocheting through the universe out of control.', February 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Texas author Sarah Atlas writes erotic novellas. ALL THE BEATIFUL LIES seems to be in four volumes to date, this being Book 1 (she has also published a book PRECIOUS CARGO whish is classified as an erotic short story. Sarah has talent - reading just one of her short erotic novellas assure the reader of that fact. The question arises as to whether that talent will extend beyond erotica to a full-fledged novel. She seems capable of heading in that direction. On her website she states,' Hi, I'm Sarah. I write stories that take you into delicious dreams and unforgettable agony. Oh, and my characters aren't afraid to romp around a bit on the naughty side, if you know what I mean.'

This rather short novella deals with a needy woman Aleah, married to Glen who refuses to be checked for fertility, and on New Year's Eve she strays out of the house away form her ill Glen to attend a poker party (a section rather overwritten for non-card playing readers) and there she encounters the lusty Blake. `Blake and I had been friends forever. I'd known him almost as long as I'd known my husband. They'd been roommates when Glen and I were dating. He's funny and sexy and I was always happy to see him.' That out-of-the-house situation become an in-house sex party and the manner in which Sarah develops this ménage a trios works quite well - given the drives and propulsion of the story.

Sarah Atlas works words well - and that is a refreshing finding among debut authors. She likely will make it strong -especially for those who enjoy the flavors of erotic. Grady Harp, February 15


Schumann: Klavierkonzert - Violinkonzert (Piano & Violin Concertos
Schumann: Klavierkonzert - Violinkonzert (Piano & Violin Concertos
4 used & new from $9.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasures exhumed, February 27, 2015
TELDEC has made it possible for us to hear two very fine performances of Robert Schumann's concerti and have labeled this album DOKUMENTE - an honor in the recording industry.

The recordings here are two made at different times. Schumann's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra op 54 is played with lyrical elegance by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920 - 1995), `One of the most enigmatic performers of the twentieth century, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli was also one of the most compelling and, paradoxically, one of the least-heard pianists of his generation. Michelangeli was famous for having canceled nearly as many performances as he gave, and he committed little of his vast repertory to disc.' He alos taught Matha Argerich who just completed a dazzlingly beautiful performance of this concerto with the LA Phil last week. Antonio Pedrotti conducts the Teatro alla Scala Orchestra in this 1975 recording.

The Concerto for Violin and Orchestra is performed by Georg Kulenkampff (1898 - 1948) one of Germany's most beloved violin virtuosos of the first half of the twentieth century and a teacher to many younger stars of the violin. He is accompanied by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt conducting the Berlin Philharmonic in a 1937 recording. The sound has been digitally mastered in 1961 and hold up well considering the time lapse.

Both performances are `old school' and all the more beautiful for it. This is a very special collector's item. Grady Harp, February 15


Europa: A Thousand Years of Oil
Europa: A Thousand Years of Oil
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coping with the very conceivable Global energy crisis - a tale of addiction to carbon fuels, February 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
New author J. J. Co debuts with this very important and starling novel EUROPA: A THOUSAND YEARS OF OIL. Though he has two other books soon to be released - HUMAN GODS: LIVE FOREVER and CITY NIGHTS - he is new to this reviewer and to the public at large as far as his rather splendid writing skills are concerned. His `day job' is both a lawyer and an adult educator and he has degrees in law and arts, a postgraduate diploma in legal studies, and a number of vocational certificates, including a certificate in adult education. But his talent is not limited to these pursuits - he has also worked in production engineering, building construction, and agriculture. His passion is his interest in how people balance their everyday lives with their need to understand their purpose in life, particularly how technology changes the way we live - and that is a perfect lead-in to the topic of this debut novel - a world running out of oil.

J.J. categorizes his novel as `and environmental thriller' and the choice is a solid one. His ability to draw the reader into his book is evident in the Prologue: "Tomorrow humanity will change forever." "The world-wide war of words intensified today with the corporate giant, Global Oil, defending its proposed use of off-world shale, the environmental impact of which it says will be `minimal' while its impact on profits, `maximal.' Bonham Moore, Global Oil's soon to be decade long CEO, claimed that the United States government was right behind the oil giant. The President is yet to comment..." `It was while studying bacterial mats growing around Earth's deep sea thermal vents that extraterrestrial life first began fascinating him. "Aliens," people often commented, "men from outer space?" He tolerated the party jokes and smiled, correcting them with a low key, "Not quite." Actually, he studied the simple DNA strands of dead extraterrestrial bacteria, such as those that space probes found on Mars and accessible asteroids, as well as, in part, Europa, the icy, white moon of Jupiter. Now - tomorrow morning - he was to deliver a presentation in respect of just that icy moon to an auditorium in the Dawson Adams Building, packed with the world's scientists and media.' It is this balance of science and fantasy (or is it fantasy....?) that makes this book so immensely interesting.

The author has provided a fine synopsis of the plot: `As major nations jockey and feud for the last carbon resources on the planet, one oil company sets its sights on the vast energy reserves of Europa, one of the largest of Jupiter's moons. Thought to have twice as much water as Earth, Europa offers humanity the best chance of finding microorganic life within the solar system--life that would prohibit harvesting the moon's resources under international space laws. To confirm the presence or absence of life, Earth's leaders plan a manned mission to Europa. Jamie Caldicott, husband, father, and hero of a botched Mars mission, grudgingly accepts a position on the crew. His main concern is providing for his family. The presence or absence of Europan life doesn't much interest him. As the mission progresses, however, it becomes evident that powerful interests plan to harvest Europa whether or not life exists. As they journey farther from Earth than any manned craft before them, Caldicott discovers that some of his crewmates aren't who they claim to be. The fates of two worlds depend on Jamie Caldicott. If he makes the wrong choice, he'll never return from Europa's icy surface.'

J.J. has written such a fine novel about such an important subject that it should be on the reading list of everyone who cares about the environment and technology - and very fine writing! Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, February 15


Missing Persons: A Life of Unexpected Influences
Missing Persons: A Life of Unexpected Influences
by Bruce Piasecki
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.88
45 used & new from $7.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `The meaning and power of memory', February 27, 2015
Dr. Bruce Piasecki is the author of nine seminal books on business strategy, valuation, corporate change, and sustainability, including his most recent works, "The Surprising Solution," "Doing More With Less". As President and Founder of The AHC Group, Inc., a management consulting firm specializing in energy, materials, and environmental corporate matters he has worked with many global firms such as Hewlett Packard, Whirlpool, Toyota, and DuPont.

MISSING PERSONS is a unique experience for the reader. Written in the third person, as though writing a novel rather than a memoir, Bruce explains the core philosophy of a `man who, propelled from an impoverished and fatherless childhood, became an internationally, sought-after resource for the world's largest corporations.' Less reportage than poetic prose, this is a set of 70 moments alluding to people and incidents that influenced his life.

The manner in which Bruce shares his formative relationships and experiences is rich in intimacy and longing. We, the reader, are introduced to his mother, and father, his interracial brothers and sisters, his early and late business partners, his lovers, his daughter and his wife. His subtitle for the book, `A Life of Unexpected Influences', is far more meaningful that a subtitle usually suggests. The manner in which Bruce uses his memory as a construct to explore his maturing and his enormous success as a businessman results in a most unique reading experience. At times witty and lighthearted - such as the moment in his Introduction as he learns how to pronounce his Polish name form his grandfather: `This was the beginning of my ability to see myself in the third person, which is how I have written my story. You can blame my name.' At other time his words are deeply moving as in the portion titled `A Funeral Message': His mind goes there whenever he thinks of his mother. She is there, somewhere in the abbey. She is there - everywhere - in literature. She is always there, his Missing Person.'

Bruce Piasecki's book is luminous, especially for those of us who are finding ourselves reflecting on the past attempting to understand the present and predict the future. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, February 15


Gooseberry Island
Gooseberry Island
Price: $7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `The pity of war, the poetry is in the pity' - Wilfred Owen, February 27, 2015
This review is from: Gooseberry Island (Kindle Edition)
This reviewer became acquainted with the very special novels of Steven Manchester with his novel `The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy' and many short stories that deal with one man's view of the universe in a lighter tone. That followed with his TWELVE MONTHS, GOODNIGHT, BRIAN, ROCKIN' CHAIR and PRESSED PENNIES - each of which allowed entry into his ability to address end of life situations, family relationships as challenged by cancer and by having a child with a critical disease. The aspect of Manchester's books that is dependable is his ability to introduce delicate subjects without fear and still make the stories flow with a sense of familial love, humanistic views and spiritualism. And yet always there is the gift of his ability to be a fine storyteller in the true sense of the term.

In GOOSEBERRY ISLAND Steven plunges us into the effects of war on the soldiers who fight it and the loved ones back home who wait in anticipation of whether or not the soldier will return or if he/she returns, will the mind be able to recover - that stigma of PTSD.

David McClain and Lindsey Wood met at the worst possible moment; David was about to be fragged to the war in Afghanistan and Lindsey was there at his going-away party. She captured his heart when falling for a woman was the last thing on David's mind. While David was serving his country, he stayed in close contact with Lindsey. But war inflicts more than just physical wounds on soldiers, the psychological wounds are far more profound and difficult to diagnose and treat. It is this working through the PTSD David brings home that radically alters his relationship with Lindsey and with the rest of the `homeland' family.

The manner in which Manchester deals with this story is typical of his deep spiritual foundation. Manchester is able to deliver difficult messages in a manner that signifies he is wise beyond his years. Each novel grows. He will be around for a long time if there are more stories like this one to share. Grady Harp, February 15


The Mafia Only Kills in Summer (2013) ( La mafia uccide solo d'estate ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - Italy ]
The Mafia Only Kills in Summer (2013) ( La mafia uccide solo d'estate ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - Italy ]
DVD ~ cristiana capotondi
6 used & new from $8.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "La mafia uccide solo d'estate", February 27, 2015
Director/writer/actor Pif (Pierfrancesco Diliberto), a famous Italian television personality, brings his story he wrote with Michele Astori and Marco Martanito the screen with a terrific degree of freshness in dealing with a subject that has always been subterranean and dark - the Mafia of Palermo, Sicily. Working on what appears to be a tight budget as far as cast and crew are concerned Diliberto brings this little gem to life in a most memorable manner.

The story is based on facts - but lightened with a fine sense of comedy that make the facts seem even more brutal: the dichotomy between the history and the comedic translation is intentional. The story begins with the inception of Arturo (Diliberto once he has grown to a man) in an inventive marriage of computer generated graphic art and reality based activity. From birth through twenty years we follow Arturo as a child as he views the workings of the Mafia and that intuitive response or observation follows him through young life into the position of a young man deeply infatuated with his girlfriend Flora. The charm of Arturo's coming of age is balanced by the film's mocking Mafia Bosses and restoring the generosity of the heroes of the Anti-mafia. The period was a time of `see no evil/hear no evil' in Palermo, a city where denial was coupled with stifled tolerance, as the now infamous war for Mafia supremacy filled the air (and the streets) was accompanied by regular assassinations of rival mobsters and anti-Mafia crusaders.

Despite the potentially grim subject, the film is paced (or laced) so gently that the overriding effect is about love in a time of chaos managed beautifully by Pierfrancesco Diliberto. It sparkles like the beauty of the waters surrounding Sicily. In Italian with English subtitles. Grady Harp, February 15


Sebastian & Seline
Sebastian & Seline
by Robin Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.94
4 used & new from $17.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `What a clever monozygotic sibling I have, identical in every way.' 'You are blessed with the arrow, and I with only a quiver.', February 26, 2015
This review is from: Sebastian & Seline (Paperback)
`What a clever monozygotic sibling I have, identical in every way.' 'After all, you have been blessed with the arrow, and I with only the Quiver'
Robin Anderson takes a million and one chances in this stingingly funny novel and his writing style is so adept that he knows exactly how to balance camp with storyline. A little background: Anderson was born in Scotland and educated in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and South Africa and while his novels have a decidedly bent twist, is day job is that of an internationally respected interior designer. And in that field he likely has encountered much of the classy fodder he molds into this book.

In SEBASTIAN & SELINE he takes on a massive book, though be aware that, kindness form Robin's heart, the typeface is large and the lines well separated so the book could have been condensed in pages (but thankfully it is not). Right off the bat we are plunged into another Robin Anderson romp. `Beautiful but decadent twins Sebastian and Seline are brought up on an idyllic estate by the sea in Kwazulu, South Africa. Suikerbos is a veritable Garden of Eden but tainted by an evil boomslang - or serpent - in the form of Grandpa "Shaka" Tyson. What he puts the twins through is unforgiveable, but the two young artists and secret lovers go on to launch themselves successfully in London, South America, Rome and Cape Town. However, there's something about their "body art" that's a tad too real... Will their guilty past catch up with them? Will the glitz fall away and the bare bones be revealed? Read on ... and discover corners of human behaviour you never believed existed! Despite all the exotic locations and steamy, all-ports-open sex in this psycho "chiller" thriller, there's a serious issue at stake. It concerns one's identity in a modern, frenetic society where people change places, occupations and lovers.'

Warning - schedule some breathing time to recoup while reading this hilariously fun spoof - there are so many hoots and guffaws that should such moments not be pre-arranged, O2 may be necessary. Another classic! Grady Harp, February 15


Citizenfour 11x17 Movie Poster (2014)
Citizenfour 11x17 Movie Poster (2014)
Offered by eTriggerz
Price: $9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please watch for the film, February 26, 2015
First, this is a very fine movie poster, suitable for framing, and likely to become a collector's item because it is a dramatic image of Edward Snowden whose documentary it advertises.

In time Amazon will offer the DVD of this Oscar winning documentary but until it become available either on streaming video on demand the public should be alerted to the fact that this is one documentary that deserves global attention.
In January 2013, Laura Poitras started receiving anonymous encrypted e-mails from "CITIZENFOUR," who claimed to have evidence of illegal covert surveillance programs run by the NSA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies worldwide. Five months later, she and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The resulting film is history unfolding before our eyes.

The method of telling this unveiling of a disastrous governmental blemish is so well paced that its two hour length speeds by. The cast is all the characters who were involved - Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Willliam Binney, Ewen MacAskill, Jeremy Scahill, Jacob Applebaum, Kevin Bankston, Jonathan Man etc. Their screen presence is seeringly on target. Kudos to Laura Poitras who directed and filmed this very important revelation. It is a must see film and one that hopefully will alter the way our individual privacy is respected in the future - if it is not too late. Grady Harp, February 15


Fat
Fat
by James Keene
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.99
10 used & new from $4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `He's drinking way too many calories. He's ridiculously overweight.', February 26, 2015
This review is from: Fat (Paperback)
Author James Keene is a physician whose specialty is Pediatrics. Unfortunately we know little else about him except he has written one of the most hilarious yet mind-opening books - FAT- on the subject of the pandemic of obesity. OR James Keene is not really a pediatrician but just a brilliant author writing medical fiction. You choose, because the bio and websites offer little help.

The story, according to the given synopsis which is well summarized, reads as follows:' This country is full of obesity. Almost half of our citizens are overweight, and their numbers, in both population and mass, are only increasing. I spend much of my days ruminating about one in particular: Xander, a patient I have watched since birth. He was a fat baby, he was a fat toddler, a fat grade-schooler, a fat teen, and adult. His parents couldn't help. Taco Bell didn't help. I tried to help as his pediatrician, but this was an appetite that wasn't stopping for anything. This is a glimpse into his morbid life.'

And so we have the life of an obese kid to person. But the manner in which Keene writes is so delightful that this book deserves a wide readership, whether to discover just how sad our obesity problem has become, or for a very fine book.
It is funny. In the opening chapter our Dr. Bill Grant and his 72-year-old wife are at the beach and while Dr. Grant is admiring his wife's continuing beauty be looks around and sees the following: `There is a topless sunbather a dozen yards to my left who, even in her mid-30's, looks like an overfed cow with two overused udders on her chest that are more Slinky than skin; her breasts were leaking off the flanks making her nipples areola- down in the sand like two embarrassed ostriches. A middle aged man had just walked by me who was either completely naked with his genitals disappeared under belly and thigh rolls, or he had on a too-tight Speedo that had disappeared under belly and thigh rolls. The dozens of swarming kids all had the physiques of aged bowlers and were running to and from the snack bar with cheeks overflowing, as if the rush of hogs around the trough finally filled with the day's slop.'

Hilarious yet underlining a huge problem, we are medically facing, FAT puts it all together into a 5 star book. `I have never loved anything as much as Xander has loved food. Not many have.' Read it, think about it, laugh a lot, and cut down on those carbs! Grady Harp, February 15


Aoleon The Martian Girl: Science Fiction Saga - Part 1 First Contact
Aoleon The Martian Girl: Science Fiction Saga - Part 1 First Contact
Price: $0.99

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Gilbert Sullivan often had strange dreams the night before the circle makers came.', February 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
New York author/artist Brent LeVasseur makes stories that can dance in multiple formats - books, games, movies, and toys. As his very brief bio states, he lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. Oh, and exospheric skydiving....

AOLEON THE MARTIAN GIRL is `experience 1' (calling this product a book doesn't do the work justice) of a now completed 5 part saga. Yes, it does read as a fantasy illustrated book that children (of all ages, apparently the term `middle grade' is the proper designator) love, not only because of the imaginative story grounded on planet Earth but also because of the extraordinarily creative and beautiful illustrations that accompany the story. It is science fiction for youngsters - not unlike the plethora and glut of science fiction for adults that fill the movie houses at this time. But Brent's is better!

Brent obviously cares about his audience. On his website he introduces his cats of characters as follows: `Join Gilbert and Aoléon as they embark on an adventure to the planet Mars and beyond. On Mars they uncover a sinister plot by the Luminon (the supreme leader of Mars) to invade Earth and steal its milk cows. Only Gilbert and Aoléon can save both of their worlds from impending doom. In her spare time, Aoléon loves to visit Earth to practice piloting her saucer while making crop circles. She also enjoys playing sports such as sky-boarding and psi-ball. Her unusual abilities include telepathy and telekinesis. When he isn't doing chores on his parents' farm, the 11-year-old Nebraskan farm boy typically is out playing with his friends, studying, or pulling pranks. Zoot is Aoléon's pet moog. A Procyon commando under cover as a pizza deliveryman for Saturn Pizza (Mars' largest pizza franchise), he conducts covert operations, sabotage, subversion, and assassinations. He is expert at psi-blade fighting, demolitions, and close-quarters combat. Helios is a first-generation Martian soldierbot. Bizwat recovered him from a junkyard and pieced him back together. Built like a tank, there isn't much that can faze him in combat. However, he hates heights, flying, and sand (because it gets in his joints). And he grumbles a lot.' Each character's introduction is paried with a special image of that participant.

How do you describe such a wild adventure? The author offers his synopsis: Crop circles magically appear in Farmer Johnson's field. A mysterious light sweeps over the night sky and awakens Farmer Johnson and Gilbert, the boy next door. Curious, Gilbert ventures out to discover the source of the light and stumbles into a beautiful Martian girl sitting in a crop circle. Farmer Johnson also investigates the strange light, and thinking that Gilbert and Aoléon are vandals, he chases them. But they sprint to Aoléon's saucer and escape only to be pursued by the U.S. Air Force. Gilbert has never been attacked by swarms of giant killer robots. Never met strange aliens from other worlds. Never skyboarded across a megalopolis hidden deep inside an extinct volcano. Never trekked across a vast Martian desert. And never been eaten alive by a gigantic slor (well, almost never, unless you count Billy the fat bully at school). And luckily, he has never ever confronted an evil ruler of Mars bent on conquering the Earth to steal its cows. Never...until now! This may be the adventure Gilbert always wished for. If only he can survive.'

Final summation? Pure fun and very fine art. And highly recommended on many levels. Grady Harp, February 15


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