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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams   (Second Edition)
Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (Second Edition)
by Tom DeMarco
Edition: Paperback
41 used & new from $11.31

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guidance on Management, Leadership, and Career Outlook, September 4, 2004
Lister and Demarco capture in this text the essence of why so many projects and initiatives fail across corporate landscapes - communication, planning, structure, and leadership. Most are lacking in today's fast-paced environments, whether driven by technology or not.

While the text has a bent for software development, the arguements and suggestions are valid across a wide number of management and project planning scenarios. Even if you're not able to implement their theories in your own organization, reading of the case studies and best practices can be therapeutic to see how "someone actually gets it." I have a photo-copy of one of the pages that addresses "burnout" on my cubicle wall. I often go back and re-read it to focus, breathe deeply, and plod along.

This book is HIGHLY recommended for personal reading, distribution to a team, or to your "management" at work. Very thought provoking and accessible.


About the Author: A Novel
About the Author: A Novel
by John Colapinto
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
112 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychological thriller with substance, September 4, 2004
Colapinto's "About the Author" is a fun to read, intense psychological thriller that will strike chords (and funny bones) with artists and authors - and those interested in writing and art. When thinking of a phrase to describe the style of this novel, I arrived at "modern drama noir."

The plot development (including twists), point of view/voice, and overall structure of the text are sound and engaging. I flew through the pages because the story was so interesting and entertaining. If you're seeking a philosophical treatise on art and literature, this is not it. However, there is enough substance in Colapinto's work to make this a great book.

Highly recommended.


Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness
Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness
by Ian Tattersall
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.81
99 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Survey reader in human evolutionary history, August 31, 2004
Tattersall's departure from the mainstream in documenting what is known about our evolutionary track as humans is a solid survey text for the casual reader. His account avoids the oft-used countless details and tedium of many scientific and historical works. Overall, I would recommend his book for someone investigating this domain for the first time.

Other reviews account for the contents of each chapter, but I will comment on the quality and tone that I recognized. Tattersall's approach is very accessible and is related to our world in the 21st century. The grounding of past and present is valuable, I think, as it frames both what is known - and unknown - about where we "came from." However, I was somewhat disappointed in the conclusion, which seems very hurried and lacks the forward-looking hypotheses I would have liked to hear from the author. He has a lot to say, and a unique approach to his research, but there is an important component missing in the way the threads are finally brought together.

To paraphrase another contributor, this volume should not be read in isolation, but as one of several viewpoints on a powerful topic.


The Talented Mr. Ripley
The Talented Mr. Ripley
by Patricia Highsmith
Edition: Paperback
220 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic Departure from the Modern Film, June 25, 2002
I purchased this volume over a year ago, but just got to reading it recently. In that time, I also saw the modern film version of the same title. Seeing the film, I already knew the premise, characters, and subject matter of the story. The book, however, is significantly different - and better - than the film. The film seems hardly to capture the true noir characterization in Tom Ripley and his actions. The book, however, focuses in detail on these actions and his twisted psyche. The point of view and narration are right on for this subject and setting.
After I realized how different and engaging it would be (versus the film), I read faster and with more zeal and interest. I recommend this volume to anyone interested in crime, European travel, or social psychology (and studies in personality)


City of Light
City of Light
by Lauren Belfer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
126 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Historical Fiction in _City of Light_, June 11, 2002
Lauren Belfer's first novel, _City of Light_, is an amazing work of historical fiction. Although lengthy at nearly 700 paperback pages, the story moves quickly and with clear and realistic action and imagery. Character development is sound, and technical details are present (a key component of the story is hydroelectric power at Niagara) without being weighty.
Belfer's work lives up to its billing of "gripping," "suspenseful," and "wonderful." I would rate it as one of the best works of fiction I have read. The story is well balanced, yet strong and full of emotion. I highly recommend this book ...


My Century: A Novel
My Century: A Novel
by Gunter Grass
Edition: Hardcover
222 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Poignant Glimpse of the Past Century, February 22, 2002
This review is from: My Century: A Novel (Hardcover)
I began reading this book not knowing much of what it was about or where it would lead me. The brief yearly vignettes that Grass paints are just enough for the reader to gain a sense of time, place, and emotion. As a progressive work, the chapters unfold year by year to yield a personalized account - individual by individual - of what the twentieth century was like in Germany. Having studied the language and worked in Stuttgart, I was familiar with many of the references to cities, events, and jargon that the casual reader might miss. I would recommend the work as a quality introduction (albeit not a historical factbook or almanac) to Germany's recent history. In its historical fiction it reads like a novel - intricate, yet accessible. A worthwhile read from a highly talented writer.


Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
by Steven Millhauser
Edition: Hardcover
75 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where prose successfully gives substance to dreams..., January 2, 2001
I read this book over two years ago and still have very fond memories of its characters, plot, and message. For those with wild imaginations that daydream, it will be nothing less than a literary tour de force. The intricate detail of Millhauser's story draws in the reader and moves him/her quickly through the story.
This story is probably best enjoyed by those who have an interest somewhere in the fields of art, architecture, psychology, and history. Not only is the artifact detail exquisite, but the mental portrait of Martin Dressler is quite well executed. The reader is able to see his dreams before they are realized; Millhauser's prose brings these dreams to life in stunning fashion.
Accolades and criticism aside, this volume is certainly worth adding to your personal library or as a gift for an aspiring dreamer. Do not be deterred by the price of the book... it is worth the cost.


Coming of Age: The Story of Our Century by Those Who'Ve Lived It
Coming of Age: The Story of Our Century by Those Who'Ve Lived It
by Studs Terkel
Edition: Paperback
118 used & new from $0.01

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A poignant step back from the new millennium..., December 26, 2000
Studs Terkel captures in this volume what few children of the new millennium will ever learn about or experience: how our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents grew up, grew old, and left footprints on the twentieth century. His vignettes of life throughout the century, focused on the lives of amazing Americans from coast to coast, are quite profound. Terkel did not profile famous athletes, politicians, and CEOs; his interviews capture the lives of those who have made - and continue to make - an impact on our local communities.
It did not take very long to become addicted to this book. Terkel captures some of the most valuable American minds at just the right moment. The interviews give a first-hand look at history while capturing pearls of wisdom for the future. I recommend this volume as a gift and as a textbook for students. What Studs Terkel has captured here is worthy reading for any generation.


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