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James Pernikoff RSS Feed (Marietta, Georgia USA)
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1964-1965 New York World's Fair, The (Images of Modern America)
1964-1965 New York World's Fair, The (Images of Modern America)
by Bill Cotter
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.36
34 used & new from $10.70

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The color makes the difference, March 3, 2014
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Having enjoyed the earlier Arcadia books about a fair that I (vaguely) remember attending when I was 11 and 12 years old, I really appreciated the color photos in this new book, which jogged my memory bank more than the photos in the earlier books. Color photos are particularly useful for events like world's fairs, and I'm glad that Arcadia has managed to do this at a reasonable price. Hopefully other similar expositions will get this treatment, which would also be great for amusement and theme parks.


60 Minutes-Lamborghini
60 Minutes-Lamborghini

3.0 out of 5 stars Great program; terrible value for money, March 3, 2014
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This review is from: 60 Minutes-Lamborghini (DVD)
As a Ferrari fancier, I appreciated this nice piece on that other Italian exotic car maker. The piece was very nicely done, but I cannot give a higher rating to a program that costs over a dollar a minute! These "60 Minutes" segments should cost no more than about $7.95, not a penny more.


Martin B-26 Marauder (Air Vanguard)
Martin B-26 Marauder (Air Vanguard)
by Martyn Chorlton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.69
52 used & new from $7.69

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good technical history spoiled by faulty artwork., January 27, 2014
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I've always been a fan of the Marauder because of its agressive lines, and this book does a particularly good job of describing the design philosophy and technical details that went into the aircraft. The one deficiency in the text, though, is a lack of clarity as to exactly when the lengthened wing and tail went into production: was it at the beginning of B-26B production, or at a later date?

One certainty, though, is that there are a couple of glaring errors in the color side-view drawings. Firstly, all of the aircraft are shown with the definitive vertical tails, including the early B-26A examples that clearly would have had the short fin. The other concerns the F and G-models, whose increased wing incidence is clearly visible in photos but is missing from the drawings.

I really think that Osprey should withdraw this title and fix those errors, but I figure that that's not likely to happen. I can still give the book a partial recommendation for Marauder fans, but Osprey needs to do better than this.


500 Ballparks
500 Ballparks
by Eric Pastore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.75
35 used & new from $7.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, in spite of the flaws, December 6, 2013
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This review is from: 500 Ballparks (Hardcover)
This is a fun book with a lot of useful information, even if some of it is not entirely accurate. I don't object to the alphabetical listing of the contents, since there is a comprehensive index by city. I do object to the use, at times, of old names for ballparks rather than the names we generally know the parks by, as is the case for the previous Busch Stadium or for the Orange Bowl (the inclusion of which is puzzling, since I know of no baseball ever being played there!). At least, both the old and new names are listed in the index.

The locations listed for some of the parks may not be obvious. For example, I think of Hiram Bithorn Stadium as being in San Juan, but it is instead listed under Hato Rey, which is a district in San Juan, but if you've never lived in Puerto Rico, you may not know that.

I think the photo selection is generally fine, though in a few cases better photos might have been found, and a few parks have no illustrations at all. The color-coded maps of the layouts of many of the parks, while simplified, are quite welcome.

There will always be reason to ask why some parks were included at the expense of others, and there is a listing of additional ballparks, described briefly. Even then, where are Frawley Stadium (home of the Wilmington (DE) Blue Rocks) or State Mutual Stadium (home of the Rome (GA) Braves)? These are delightful little ballparks, and I personally prefer State Mutual to Coolray Field, which is included.

Regardless, this is a fun volume which should be on the bookshelf of any serious baseball fan.


Railroads Across North America: An Illustrated History
Railroads Across North America: An Illustrated History
by Claude A. Wiatrowski
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.47
70 used & new from $6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great general history, if haphazardly organized, November 2, 2013
This book is a nice general history of North American railroading, told in a series of brief articles that primarily highlight railroads past and present, but also include articles on such topics as locomotive types, railroad expositions, Harvey's restaurants, signaling, circus trains, dining cars, logging, mail cars, mine trains, museums, right-of-way maintenance, stations, toy trains, trolleys and railroad art, movies and songs.

The book is divided into five chapters, roughly chronologically, but the inclusion of topics in each of the chapters seems to be entirely random, making finding anything in particular harder than it could have been without having to consult the index. Fortunately the book has a great appendix listing railroad clubs, societies and trade organizations (with web addresses) and another listing preserved railways, museums and historic sites, by state.

The best thing about the book is the inclusion of many great vintage advertisements, many of which are poignant in their obselescence! It does rather make one long for the days when you could travel just about anywhere by train. While certainly not the last word in railroad histories, this book achieves a lot by its entertainment value.


North American Locomotives: A Railroad-by-Railroad Photohistory
North American Locomotives: A Railroad-by-Railroad Photohistory
by Brian Solomon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $35.88
48 used & new from $13.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite enough book for the topic, November 2, 2013
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While a lot of good research went into this book, the problem is that to give the locomotive history of no fewer than 90 railroads in about 270 pages just can't be done with any degree of depth; it would probably take closer to 1000 pages to really cover the topic.

The included railroads include both present-day roads and their predecessors, "fallen flags", major commuter railroads and even a tourist railroad, the Napa Valley Wine Train. (I wish Florida's TriRail commuter line could have been included; a relatively small operation but with some brightly painted locos.) Railroads are listed under their proper names, so if you're looking for the Nickel Plate Road, the pretty good index will direct you to the New York, Chicago & St. Louis.

Over half of the railroads get only 2 pages of coverage. Typically there are three photos in each two-page spread, and one of the photos will be accompanied by a small specification table for the locomotive type. I rather wish that the author could have included a fleet list for each railroad, at least including those types that the road bought in any decent quantity. But I recognize that that would have made a pretty big book even larger. The coverage decisions are at times puzzling: why does the Long Island Rail Road, which has been in business for 180 years, only get two pages, while the Penn Central, which lasted all of 8 years, get six?

Having said that, the book is a great introduction. If will help if you have some knowledge of present-day diesel locomotive designations, because at times the author tosses them around hot and heavy. But even considering the brevity of some of the coverage, this book is entertaining enough to belong on any railfan's bookshelf.

A small caveat: the first copy I received from Amazon had several pages in the index and copyright page printed too faintly; the replacement copy was only slightly better but I elected to keep it. Fortunately none of the other pages in the book suffered from this malady, but you might want to wait awhile before ordering the book.


Fast Trains Worldwide
Fast Trains Worldwide
by Thomas Estler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.82
43 used & new from $3.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fine survey from Germany, October 3, 2013
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This review is from: Fast Trains Worldwide (Hardcover)
Originally published in German, but fairly well translated, this is a fine country-by-country survey of high-speed intercity rail around the world. 25 countries are included, mostly in Europe, but Australia, the Far East and the U.S.A. are also included.

For each country, a historic overview starts off, including (for the larger systems) a table listing all of the principal lines, their length, opening date and top speed. This is followed by chapters covering each type of equipment, chronologically, with plenty of technical and financial detail. These are accompanied by photos and specification tables.

There is no index (though with this format that may not be much of a failing) and only a brief bibliography. Both English and metric units are given, and costs are shown in both U.S. dollars and Euros, so the European origins of the book are not a problem. If I had one real complaint, it is the small size of the type used in all of the tables, but I suppose not doing that would have resulted in a rather larger book. And it would have been nice to see small maps of each country's rail network, with the high-speed segments highlighted.

If you care about high-speed rail, you should find this book informative and entertaining.


Rush to Glory: Formula 1 Racing's Greatest Rivalry
Rush to Glory: Formula 1 Racing's Greatest Rivalry
by Tom Rubython
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.48
61 used & new from $0.34

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very detailed look at an interesting season, October 3, 2013
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First, I should point out that this book is not new; it is a paperback edition of a book first published in 2011 as "In the Name of Glory", cleverly renamed to tie in with the new movie on substantially the same topic.

The book rather reads like a movie script, but it appears that that is purely coincidental, and the movie team appears not to have consulted the book in the writing of the actual movie script.

This is a very detailed look at the 1976 Grand Prix season, with particular emphasis, of course, on the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. A considerable number of sources are listed in the Acknowledgements, and as a result we find out much about the two drivers' relationships with each other, with their families, their teammates, their team bosses and owners, their women and the press.

I lived through this period, and saw both men win races at Watkins Glen (Lauda in 1975 and Hunt in 1976). Compared with the information available in the motoring press back then, this book adds a lot of substance "between the lines" and I found some of it quite unexpected.

A bonus is the marvelous insert of color photos of the season by the noted photographer Rainer Schlegelmilch, and there is an appendix showing detailed race-by-race results, and a very detailed index.

Now, should you read the book before or after you see the movie? I'd say, both! That's what I did, and the two complement each other quite well. There may be more books released as a result of the movie, but this one is a great start.


60 Minutes - The IAF (April 27, 2008)
60 Minutes - The IAF (April 27, 2008)

3.0 out of 5 stars Good look at a great air arm, but terrible value, October 3, 2013
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This program provides a good, if brief, look at one of the world's most dynamic air arms, as it was in April 2008. Of course, the program was subject to the censors, but there is still a decent level of content, including video footage of the famous raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. Particular emphasis is placed on the fact that the age of dogfighting between opposing fighter jets has largely been replaced by armed helicopter responses to rocket attacks launched from places like Gaza.

But I cannot give more than 3 stars to any video that represents such rotten value for money. $17.95 for 12:32 is unacceptable. Amazon needs to take $10 off of all of the 60 Minutes video series. Then I might give it another star.

Note that all of these videos have sound recorded at a low level, and you'll have to raise your volume control substantially. Be sure to lower the sound level back as soon as the video is over!

Also note that the cover image depicted here is not what you get; instead the video cover is a generic one with 60 Minutes' famous stopwatch.


60 Minutes - Around the World in 20 Days
60 Minutes - Around the World in 20 Days

3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating program, but terrible value, October 3, 2013
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This program shows off the unique Solar Impulse aircraft, designed to fly around the world on solar power alone. The interviews with the very enthusiastic Bertrand Piccard are most entertaining. (Since this was recorded, the aircraft has successfully crossed the United States; the world flight is scheduled for 2015.)

But I cannot give more than 3 stars to any video that represents such rotten value for money. $17.95 for 12:29 is unacceptable. Amazon needs to take $10 off of all of the 60 Minutes video series. Then I might give it another star.

Note that all of these videos have sound recorded at a low level, and you'll have to raise your volume control substantially. Be sure to lower the sound level back as soon as the video is over!


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