Profile for shantinik > Reviews

Browse

shantinik's Profile

Customer Reviews: 72
Top Reviewer Ranking: 180,654
Helpful Votes: 742




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
shantinik RSS Feed

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
pixel
On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not
On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not
by Robert Alan Burton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.61
84 used & new from $3.73

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curious in Its Own Way, December 26, 2011
As a non-scientist, I enjoyed the first half of the book very much. I learned much about neurononal networks, appreciated the metaphor of the hidden layer as the place where past experiences, genetic predispositions, etc. "vote" on the meaning of things, loved his discussion of the amygdala and poker!

The second half - not so much. It was mostly a series of straw men. A weird attack on scientists and their sense of certainty when (as he knows well), scientists as body accept the provisional nature of scientific "truth" (precisely what most religion, which he attempts to defend) does not. He also seems not to be able to distinguish between science and medicine (which is not science but its application - a distinction which he seems unable to make).

I suspect that what happened is that his editors were afraid of him, and less than willing to take him on.


Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level
Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level
by Sally E. Shaywitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.68
266 used & new from $2.20

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly Unscientific, June 20, 2011
Shaywitz is fine when she sticks to her knitting. She knows lots about the science of the brain, and people wrestling with dyslexia or who have children doing so will benefit greatly.

But when she gets to prescription, this book is shockingly unscientific. She just doesn't know the research.

She praises programs like Open Court and SRA which are proven failures. She extols assessments like DIBELS that have little or no validity. She praises NCLB (which is simply a record of ten years of failure in improving education, according to the National Research Council.) There are clear records of failure in the phonics-based programs she extols, fails to cite the research, and insists that there are no other approaches that work.

I think she means well. From a scientist at Yale, that's simply not sufficient.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 1, 2013 8:34 AM PST


A Peace of Africa: Reflections on Life in the Great Lakes Region
A Peace of Africa: Reflections on Life in the Great Lakes Region
by David Zarembka
Edition: Paperback
Price: $25.00
23 used & new from $5.42

5.0 out of 5 stars A Spectacularly Good Piece of Work, May 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is Zarembka's life work in a single volume. There's some autobiography, firsthand experiences, considered reflections, and an outline of some of the most important peace work happening on the planet today.

His commitment, and his love, shine through on almost every page. If you are at all interested in what is happening in East Central Africa today, this is not a book to miss.


Death of the Liberal Class
Death of the Liberal Class
by Chris Hedges
Edition: Hardcover
82 used & new from $0.83

15 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dull, May 21, 2011
I agree with almost everything he wrote. (And I already knew most of it). But it was dull, a little pompous, and overwhelmingly smug. Those who need to read it probably won't. For a reporter, Hedges' writing is not the least bit engaging, and is almost entirely humorless.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2012 11:55 PM PST


American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt
American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt
by Daniel Rasmussen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.56
99 used & new from $0.01

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really Disappointing - Neither Fish, Nor Fowl, April 10, 2011
I was pleased to be able to read about an untold part of our history, but....

I don't know if the book was well-researched. Sometimes I think the author is psychologizing. But then, not enough to provide for a good, novelistic treatment. I didn't get a really good sense of how the planters lived. I don't really know where the sugar went. I didn't have a good sense of the weapons used. I have a feeling that his was a really good journal article blown up into a book attempting to appeal to a popular reader, but falling short.

It's no "Confessions of Nat Turner". It's not the memoirs of Charles Ball. I suspect this was his Harvard thesis dumbdowned, rather than bulked up, as it should have been.

Quick read, though.


How to Avoid Huge Ships
How to Avoid Huge Ships
by John W. Trimmer
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from $183.83

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of Date, January 14, 2011
The so-called huge ships that this book refers to are but babes in the water compared with the HUMONGOUS ones that now ply the seas. So I'm not sure the advice is current, or particularly useful, especially if you are being pursued by one the latest cruise ships or destroyers. (sometimes I can't tell which is which). The usual advice that sometimes works with bears - be very, very still, and maybe they won't see you - only works in ports of call where they are aren't selling overpriced jewelry, which means not at all.

I recommend this book for its antiquarian value.


Decision Points
Decision Points
by George W. Bush
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $25.82
1286 used & new from $0.01

28 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Addition to the Shelf of Memoirs of War Criminals, November 9, 2010
This review is from: Decision Points (Hardcover)
We need to know what it is that makes war criminals tick. Of course, the best of its kind is that of Albert Speer. Bill Clinton added to the shelf, without even mentioning the half million children under age 5 that he killed in Iraq (more children killed than in Rwanda, about the same as under Pol Pot in Cambodia, and more children than Jewish children killed in any one year under Hitler.) Tony Blair's memoir is a wonderful exercise in selective memory.

So now we have Bush. He really isn't as smart as the others. Pretty incurious about the world. Needs us to think that he's tougher than he often appeared, and that he really is responsible for the crimes committed in his name. No mention of the five million homeless Iraqis created, and still homeless. Little about the impacts of the free money he doled out to his cronies in the form of tax cuts.

But it is a pretty good read. There isn't a lot of there, there. Pretty banal. But that's precisely the point.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2010 8:16 AM PST


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
by Elizabeth Gilbert
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.39
958 used & new from $0.01

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth the Paper It is Printed On, July 10, 2010
It's just terrible. It's not a good travel book, romance, or serious religious inquiry. It's what you expect if one of the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" got kicked off the show, and took her paychecks off to "find herself", only she took most of New Jersey with her.

The author should be ashamed. What's worse, she probably isn't.


Sliding Into Home
Sliding Into Home
by Kendra Wilkinson
Edition: Hardcover
327 used & new from $0.01

4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compared with Kendra, Sarah Palin is an Intellectual Pygmy, July 6, 2010
This review is from: Sliding Into Home (Hardcover)
A reasonably honest, reasonably thoughtful book by a young woman who has had ups and downs. (Carrie Prejean, eat your heart out.) I wish her well.


The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson
The Rebbe: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson
by Samuel Heilman
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from $8.49

12 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How many folks reviewing this title have actually read the book?, June 14, 2010
"Are we really to believe that a man who utterly transformed the face of Judaism worldwide and who, by the authors' own admission, changed Chabad from a small chasidic group which had been decimated by Hitler into a global powerhouse of Jewish outreach, achieved all these things by reluctantly choosing this life because he couldn't be an engineer?"

Why not? I would have thought the man the greater for it. Isn't the reluctant leader (remember Moses?) the great story of the Jewish people?

For the record, I would like to know whether those reviewing this book consider the Rebbe the Messiah, so that I might have some context for their comments. I don't, anymore than I believe Sabbatai Tvi, Bar Kochba, or Jesus were (are), even though there were august rabbis and scholars who believed so in each case.

Now I also have to say, having read the book thoroughly, and the critiques, I think the book is excellent, but very thin on the period 1941-1950, precisely at such a time as the Rebbe's tranformation would have been taking place. That he truly wanted to be an engineer seems to be uncontroverted. That he lived far from synagogues and played almost no role in the Jewish life of Paris (where there was ample opportunity, also seems to me to be uncontroverted. That the Rebbe's wife had not expected to be spending the latter part of her life in the insular community of Lubavitch also seems to be clear.

I don't think any less (or more) of the Rebbe for making a different life choice in 1941 or later, whether as a result of circumstances, or because God spoke to him. I see no evidence that the choice was reluctant, but that he made a choice is obvious, or at least it is to me.

I now give the book five stars (rather than three) because I feel more educated as a result, and I had a glimpse of Lubavitch life that I never would have had otherwise, and feel the better for it.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2010 8:07 PM PDT


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8