Back to Business Best Books of the Month Valentine's Day Shop Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon St Lucia Bose SoundTouch 130 Amazon Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Valentine's Day Cards Create an Amazon Wedding Registry Amazon Gift Card Offer chiraq chiraq chiraq  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Prime Exclusive Savings in Video Games Shop Now SnS
Profile for Schwerpunkt > Reviews


Schwerpunkt's Profile

Customer Reviews: 9
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,223,447
Helpful Votes: 61

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

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

Reviews Written by
Schwerpunkt RSS Feed (Virginia)

Page: 1
Napoleon's Waterloo Campaign: An Alternate History: Volume I
Napoleon's Waterloo Campaign: An Alternate History: Volume I
by Steven Marthinsen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $21.90
33 used & new from $12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, engaging "what if" on Waterloo, February 3, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I really like alternate military history books, and this one is excellent. I'm not a hardcore student of the Napoleonic wars, but recently reread 2 books on Waterloo, and have also read one Hofschröer's books. That's what prompted me to check this one out.

- comes across as plausible; strengths and weaknesses of respective forces and leaders are very consistent with what I've read elsewhere.
- level of detail is truly impressive.
- engaging writing style: this is a 430+ page book, but I read it in 2 sittings.
- thoughtful critique of decisions that I haven't seen discussed elsewhere (e.g., Wellington's decision to detach a large body of troops as a rearguard, most importantly, where he placed them). I found myself agreeing with the author.

What I would change
- the maps aren't very good. See Rick Atkinson's WW2 trilogy for an example of great battlefield-level maps.
- in some cases, the author didn't explain, or passed over lightly, why things happened differently in this scenario. For example, Napoleon was much more actively engaged -- what brought this about?
- it would be fun if the author added an appendix that covered the things he changed, and his argument for why these changes were within the realm of possibility. See "Disaster at D-Day" for a good example of this.

Overall, highly recommended, and I look forward to reading vol. 2.

Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil, 0.5mm Lead Size, Brushed Metal Barrel, 1 Each (PG1015A)
Pentel Graph Gear 1000 Automatic Drafting Pencil, 0.5mm Lead Size, Brushed Metal Barrel, 1 Each (PG1015A)
Price: $7.99
43 used & new from $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Best 0.5mm pencil I've ever bought, October 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've tried quite a few different mechanical pencils, mostly 0.5mm, and I like this one better than all the others. Reasons why:

- really comfortable grip, best I've come across; the Uni Mechanical Pencil Kurutoga writes well, but its grip isn't nearly as comfortable
- writes well
- like the retractable tip

I haven't ever used the built-in eraser, fwiw.

I subsequently bought the 0.7mm and 0.9mm versions for sketching. Am also very happy with them.

Sentey LS-6141 10 Ports USB 3.0 Hub with 3 Aluminum Charging Ports Hub Style Portable with Pouch
Sentey LS-6141 10 Ports USB 3.0 Hub with 3 Aluminum Charging Ports Hub Style Portable with Pouch
Offered by Sentey

4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of ports, but keyboard won't work with it, October 28, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this to replace a 4-port USB hub. Like the bigger capacity, but I find it pretty annoying that my keyboard won't work with this hub; I have to plug it directly into my laptop, which somewhat negates the value of the hub in the first place.

UltraFire® 7W 200LM Mini XPE Q5 Zoomable LED Flashlight Adjustable Focus Portable LED Light Lamp Flashlight Torch
UltraFire® 7W 200LM Mini XPE Q5 Zoomable LED Flashlight Adjustable Focus Portable LED Light Lamp Flashlight Torch

5.0 out of 5 stars Great little flashlight for the money, October 26, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Compact, inexpensive, and bright -- what's not to like? It is easy to adjust as well for either a broader or narrower light pattern. We have bought 7 or so of these to keep in our cars and around the house. Needs only 1 AA battery.

The Sketchnote Handbook Video Edition: the illustrated guide to visual note taking
The Sketchnote Handbook Video Edition: the illustrated guide to visual note taking
by Mike Rohde
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.02
53 used & new from $14.33

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful...and a lot of fun, December 13, 2012
Quick take: great book -- well organized, clear instructions, and, of course, good illustrations. Highly recommended.

I didn't know much about sketchnoting before buying this book. I'd gleaned a bit about it from author Mike Rohde's tweets, and from those by another contributor, Veronica Erb, and I was curious to learn more. Along came this book, and I thought I'd give it a shot.

It's a fun read -- Mike Rohde's enthusiasm really shines through. It's also surprisingly well organized, at least compared to what I expected from a book about doodling. Mike does a nice job of explaining the value of sketchnoting, i.e., why it's a useful technique, and then walks you through different kinds of sketchnote patterns and the how-tos.

The book also contains a lot of examples from other sketchnoters; these give you an idea of other peoples' styles, and offer their take on tools and techniques. It might be mildly intimidating to see so many great-looking examples, and wondering, "Will I ever get this good at it, and if not, is it worth trying?" Fortunately, Mike mentions early and often that a) if you can draw *really* simple shapes, then you can sketchnote, and b) it's more about structure than art. I found that reassuring.

I bought the book+video version, and I'm glad I did. The book is fine by itself, i.e., if you just bought the book, I think you'd be ok. But the videos let you see Mike sketchnoting in realtime, and I found that complemented the book very well.

Suggestions for the next edition:

- Recommended equipment: Mike mentions which pen and notebook he uses, and many of the other contributors do so too, but these are scattered throughout the book. Might be worth pulling this together onto a single page, to help us newbies. Do I go with a Moleskine, or one of the spiral-bound notebooks?...

- Other applications/contexts: Mike mentions sketchnoting while attending conferences (IA Summit, anyone?); it would be helpful to mention other applications if relevant.

In conclusion: if you've ever attended a conference and have taken notes, you ought to buy this book. As for me, I've ordered my sketchnoting pens, and am eager to put Mike's book into practice.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2012 7:22 PM PST

OXO Good Grips Ice Cream Scoop - Point
OXO Good Grips Ice Cream Scoop - Point
Offered by BigKitchen
Price: $7.99
21 used & new from $4.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Leaks water, October 2, 2006
The grip is indeed good, and the scoop works well, even with hard ice cream. This product has an annoying flaw, however. When you wash it, water gets trapped in some tiny nooks and crannies. Then, when you are scooping ice cream, especially ice cream that's straight out of the freezer, the pressure from scooping opens up these nooks and crannies (e.g., around where the scoop shaft joins the handle) and water starts dribbling out and down into the ice cream container.

If you only use this scoop occasionally, I imagine the water trapped inside would have evaporated. Since we tend to use our scoop every week or so, this water dribble happens frequently. I'd recommend taking a pass on this scoop.

The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II
The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II
by John Mosier
Edition: Hardcover
62 used & new from $0.08

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contrarian Counterattack, February 11, 2006
John Mosier sets out to debunk the theories that pervaded military thought in the twenties and thirties, and greatly influenced how the Allied and Axis powers fought World War Two. The result of his efforts is a vigorously contrarian read: the blitzkrieg was overrated, the Germans weren't very good at designing tanks, and Bernard Montgomery was a great general. Although I don't concur with all the author's assertions, this is an interesting and thought-provoking book, and well written to boot. Moreover, I laud the author's determination to puncture the fog of hyperbole surrounding the conduct of the war, and unmask how the war was actually fought.

The strongest part of the book is the discussion of the Spring 1940 campaign in Western Europe. Mosier cites work after work by French, Belgian and Dutch authors that are largely if not entirely unknown in the States. These bring to light interesting facts on how the campaign progressed; for example, he maintains that it was not the Belgians that left the British Expeditionary Force in the lurch, but the other way around. That's not to say, by the way, that Mosier is out to savage the reputation of, say, the British and boost that of the French, as he castigates one and all when he thinks they deserve it.

Mosier also takes the Germans to task for the flaws in their tank development program, pointing out that many of their tanks in the latter part of the war (e.g., the King Tiger) were powerful, but so enormous that they were impractical for mobile warfare; they were slow, guzzled great amounts of fuel, and oftentimes couldn't traverse bridges or off-road terrain due to their weight.

Other aspects of the book I found less compelling. For example, he maintains that the (German) Hetzer tank destroyer was one of the best-designed fighting vehicles of the war. Well, it did have a low profile, so it was hard to spot and hit, true, and it had sloped armor that was effective at deflecting shells, as did many Soviet and some German tanks such as the T34 and Panther, respectively. It is also worth pointing out, however, that the crew compartment was poorly designed, and this is well documented (c.f., Encyclopedia Of German Tanks Of World War Two: The Complete Illustrated Dictionary of German Battle Tanks, Armoured Cars, Self-Propelled Guns and Semi-Track<>). Furthermore, he mentions that the Swiss army used the Hetzer well into the seventies. Well, without wishing to be unkind to the Swiss, since when are they a benchmark for panzer development? Had the Bundeswehr, the US or the Soviet military adopted the Hetzer, that would have been a much more persuasive argument.

Conclusion: a book that takes on an entire herd of sacred cows, some more ably than others, but is well worth a read.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2008 5:37 PM PDT

Sarum Chant: Missa in gallicantu
Sarum Chant: Missa in gallicantu
Price: $21.25
26 used & new from $12.17

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding chant, October 28, 2005
I own a number of recordings by the Tallis Scholars, but this one, for me, eclipses all the rest. The rich, sonorous voices and the measured cadence of the chant produce a deep, soothing performance of the Midnight Mass. The Latin is that of the Sarum (English) Rite, so it sounds a little different from what you'd hear elsewhere -- for example, "caelum" is pronounced "say-lum", not "chay-lum". If you enjoy Gregorian chant, this work belongs in your collection.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 15, 2011 9:10 AM PST

Disaster at D-Day: The Germans Defeat the Allies, June 1944
Disaster at D-Day: The Germans Defeat the Allies, June 1944
by Peter G. Tsouras
Edition: Hardcover
84 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Rommel had had his way..., April 7, 2003
An excellent story about what might have happened at D-Day, if four things had turned out differently. The biggest change that Tsouras introduces is the disposition of the units, which occurs more, though not entirely, along the lines of what Rommel had in mind. The second greatest change is how the Germans react as the Normandy beachhead develops. The third is the weather and its effects on the battle. And the fourth is the resulting political fallout. In the afterword, the author discusses the basis for the major changes he made to the course of the campaign.
The book is broken up into chapters that correspond to each of the major offensives & counter-offensives, as the Allies and Germans slog it out in the hedgerows. Lots of details, as this and that regiment drive forward, then meet heavy artillery fire or what-have-you. And you'll see how the Allies react as their grand strategy takes some big hits, and what Rommel might have done had he been dealt a better hand.
My only gripe about this book is that it could use a few more maps. One of the chapters (Operation Spanner) has no accompanying map, so I found myself frequently flipping back a chapter or two to figure out where exactly the events described were taking place. In other cases, e.g. Operation Rossbach, it would have been helpful to provide not only an overview of the whole offensive (as the book does), but then zoom in on each zone of the front to provide more detail.
Otherwise, it's a great read, and, for my money, not too far out there.

Page: 1