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Customer Reviews: 37
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Carol Kasper Winet "Carol Kasper Winet" RSS Feed (Pasadena, California United States)
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The Wright Brothers
The Wright Brothers
by David McCullough
Edition: Audio CD
Price: $21.19
49 used & new from $14.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad reader, November 30, 2015
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This review is from: The Wright Brothers (Audio CD)
This is a review of the AUDIO CD. I also have the hardbound book, which is excellent. McCullough is a clear, fascinating writer. He is NOT a good READER - ALOUD. He has a slightly raspy voice, deep. His pace is appropriately slow, but he does not enunciate clearly. It's a strain to try to understand everything. It's hard to listen to him in an automobile, which was the purpose for which I got the audio edition. A higher-pitched, professional reader would have been a good idea, albeit perhaps more expensive for the purpose.


Emma: A Modern Retelling
Emma: A Modern Retelling
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.90
144 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing as always, April 13, 2015
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I can count on McCall Smith for humor and human understanding. I chuckled my way through this wonderful book. He's a marvelous author. This book helps one understand the original "Emma" of Austen, it explains many areas that Austen leaves vague. I had some trouble understanding Austen's "Emma" but McCall Smith elucidates the plot well. hooray for McCall Smith!!!


Bad Blood
Bad Blood
by Guy Young
Edition: Paperback
Price: $28.99
26 used & new from $20.97

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Author's first effort a success, April 10, 2015
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This review is from: Bad Blood (Paperback)
Dr. Young has written a suspenseful, quick-paced mystery with unusual sleuths. He is easy to read, so even though this book is longer than most "mysteries", it's smooth. It was fun, and I look forward to more books from him.


The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
by Adam Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.47
334 used & new from $0.68

0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Misogynist protagonist?, March 23, 2015
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I am puzzled by Jun Do's attitude to the actress Sun Moon, whom he ships off to America with her two kids, to "freedom". But she has asked not to go without him, and, she's in her late 30's, a well-known actress in her home country where she's coddled, whereas she's unknown in America and she speaks no English. This is a liberation?


Soul of the Fire: A Mystery (Inspector Shan Tao Yun)
Soul of the Fire: A Mystery (Inspector Shan Tao Yun)
by Eliot Pattison
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.36
70 used & new from $4.07

5.0 out of 5 stars Lucidity makes this best of series., March 17, 2015
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Pattison has always had a lot to says that is valuable, but now he is far more lucid and taut than in his excellent early books. This is his best to date, and I would recommend it to someone who has not read him before because he is so much easier to follow.


Mandarin Gate (Inspector Shan Tao Yun)
Mandarin Gate (Inspector Shan Tao Yun)
by Eliot Pattison
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.06
44 used & new from $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Evolving writing style welcome, March 16, 2015
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Pattison's depiction of modern-dayTibet continues to fascinate. He has become easier to read-- I used to slog along a little confused for stretches. There is more action in this book than in most of its predecessors, including, heavens! a romantic encounter.


A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World)
A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World)
by Gregory Clark
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.25
135 used & new from $5.15

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courageous assessments, March 23, 2014
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Despite the equations (which one can skip over), despite the inadequately labelled figures, it's a fascinating read. I shall cherish his wealth of fascinating data, not easily available elsewhere. His description of poorly-disciplined laborers in cotton mills in India (many absences, etc), leading to low productivity, reminds me of a similar problem not so long ago in the auto industry in the USA.
If this book were to go to a second edition, a friendly editor might make it more easily understood by the lay reader. Does Clark want a textbook, or a popular book? It's hard to have both.


Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes
Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes
by Svante Pääbo
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from $3.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What every young scientist should read, March 16, 2014
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Paabo's story of discovery is well-told, as clearly as possible given that some genetic nomenclature must be used. For those who persevere, he tells of going down blind alleys, of struggling for funding, of worrying about making a mistake in his research, of worrying about competing scientists, of friends around the world who turn out to be helpful, of publishing papers that tell what he discovered without going too far and saying something that later proves wrong, of the joy of discovery. The young scientist will read of how a good investigator goes about a puzzle. The story of how he got to his scientific conclusions is as interesting, or more so, than what he discovered. Paabo is very frank about his personal journey, a worthwhile exercise in candor.


BalanceFrom High Accuracy Digital Bathroom Scale with 4.3" Large Backlight Display and Step-on Technology, Silver
BalanceFrom High Accuracy Digital Bathroom Scale with 4.3" Large Backlight Display and Step-on Technology, Silver
Offered by BalanceFrom
Price: $49.95
7 used & new from $19.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Good-looking and well-behaved scale, January 6, 2014
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I hesitated to get an electronic scale, being an elderly person who fears new technology. This scale was easy to set up, following the instructions exactly. At first I wondered why I had to put in the batteries and then take them out. But it worked. I am happy with my scale in its function, and I must say it's the nicest looking scale I've seen.


Junipero Serra: California's Founding Father
Junipero Serra: California's Founding Father
by Steven W. Hackel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.18
55 used & new from $4.96

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, highly informative, October 9, 2013
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This excellent new biography is a modest length. The writing is clear and concise.The only previous biography I'd read was a hagiography by Serra's closest companion Francisco Palou, written shortly after Serra's death, and later translated into English. Hackel's book describes Serra's homeland of Mallorca in the 18th century, an arid island that often couldn't grow enough food to feed its own population, where people were very poor, very subject to famine and epidemics. The central part of the island, agricultural, was owned by absentee Spanish landlords who took part of the crop from the hungry peasants, whose consolation was religion, of a medieval nature, including some belief in magical manifestations of saints and also in the literal works of the devil. The Church was an attractive and common career for a dirt-poor boy who could not expect to get himself enough income to justify marriage. On Mallorca, Serra rose to be a learned professor, but longed for the glory of converting the heathen, and took the opportunity to go, first to Mexico, then to Baja, then to Alta California. He turned out to be an able administrator. Conversions were difficult, except for the baptism of infants; adults sometimes converted if offered gifts. A strong-willed, determined, opinionated man, he often clashed with civil authority. It was a matter of who was in control. The Franciscans wanted total control of their missions and their flock, the civil authorities also wanted control. The Indians were viewed as inferior, and like children, who needed bribes and punishments, including whipping, which was not part of the Indians' own system. The missionaries did not really get along very well with the Indians, whom they did not begin to understand, nor want to understand. Bringing Indians to live at the missions resulted in a high death rate from disease, and although the author did not define the disease except for an epidemic of smallpox, I suspect that tuberculosis was a major player, as it was among the Hawaiians. The Indian population of California was over 300,000 in 1769 when Serra arrived, and was about 50,000 by 1855. (Native populations everywhere in the Americas fell dramatically with colonization.)

Serra can be admired as a pioneer, for he certainly was that. He was big on religious conversion, as the one most important goal in life; those of us with heavy religious backgrounds can understand it. I don't think I would have liked him. It's interesting to think that he was working in California, with such narrow-minded ideas, at the same time as the enlightened east-coast Americans were writing the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 1, 2015 2:49 PM PST


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