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Anthology
Anthology
Price: $19.44
52 used & new from $1.70

5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific collection of a unique and legendary rock and roll and country singer., March 24, 2015
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This review is from: Anthology (Audio CD)
Terrific collection! Where was I when Brenda Lee first sang these marvelous songs? I don't know. But I'm enjoying them now, one after another. And for anyone who loves this kind of rock and roll and country music, this particular collection is terrific. I know of no other voice quite like that of Brenda Lee, and I guess the defining word would be "power." Her voice is just huge! Enjoy.


Grantchester
Grantchester
DVD
Price: $9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New, fresh and enjoyable British Crime series., March 5, 2015
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I found this to be another very interesting and enjoyable British crime solver series, and I'm looking forward to the second season. The casting is terrific all around, and the hero is all the more fascinating for his his weaknesses and his faults. I guess one could say he's the Anglican "Father Brown," but really he is much more than that, and ultimately his own new and compelling brand. I find the writing excellent. The whole thing feels fresh. Recommending for pure enjoyment.


Father Brown, Season 1 [HD]
Father Brown, Season 1 [HD]
DVD
Price: $27.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable series., March 5, 2015
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Quite an enjoyable series. Sometimes I find it a bit too playful, and the regular supporting cast a bit too comical, but I remained riveted to the episodes regardless, and found the Mark Williams version of Father Brown very appealing. Looking forward to seeing the remaining seasons. This is not quite the Father Brown I remember from Chesterton's stories, but this stands on its own as very well crafted fun. It's prompted me to read the stories again. The only thing I truly did not like at all is Father Brown's relationship with the local police inspector which struck me as tiresome and cliched. But this is easily overlooked. There's so much else that is satisfying.


Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina
DVD ~ Vivien Leigh
Price: $13.10
44 used & new from $3.06

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite and Heartbreaking; lovely adaptation of the great novel., March 5, 2015
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This review is from: Anna Karenina (DVD)
This is an exquisitely photographed and beautifully acted film that is amazingly faithful to the novel. The story of Kitty and Levin is much neglected, but that seems to be the case with many adaptations of "Anna Karenina." I thought Leigh's performance was tender, restrained and heartbreakingly lovely. She comes across as gorgeous, magnetic, and unconsciously seductive and makes Vronsky's infatuation with Anna wholly believable. All the casting was superb. I first saw this film on late night television decades ago in the very early seventies, and it was what prompted me to read the entire novel cover to cover, introducing me to one of the greatest fiction accomplishments in literary history. Now, having watched the film again, I find it in many ways as compelling as I did years ago. Some might say it is dated, even a bit creaky; but I was again deeply moved by it, and marveled at its fidelity to the personality of Tolstoy's characters and his major themes. Highly recommended. I also note that you can see a digitally remastered version of this on Amazon Instant Video. I think that's marvelous. My review is for the DVD.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 8, 2015 12:23 AM PST


Bosch
Bosch
DVD

5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Satisfying all the way., February 22, 2015
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This review is from: Bosch (Amazon Instant Video)
Very satisfying. High production values, and superb casting. Especially liked the cinematography. Los Angeles never looked more beautiful and the "film noir" ambience was rich. Fans of police procedurals will love it, it seems to me. It had an old fashioned feel to me in terms of story and characters, yet sharp contemporary editing and pace. Loved Titus Welliver in the title role. I liked that all loose ends were wrapped up. Hoping for a second season. And I'm really impressed with the quality of Amazon series.


Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina
by Leo Tolstoy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $27.58
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subjective Response to Barlett's Translation of "Anna Karenina. Recommending., February 20, 2015
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This review is from: Anna Karenina (Hardcover)
This review is for the Rosamund Bartlett translation of "Anna Karenina." ---- For years, I rejected new translations of this great novel when they came my way. I tried them. I simply couldn't sink into them. I compared them all in my heart of hearts to the great Constance Garnett. But I've decided now that I do want to explore the latest translations and I've begun with Rosamund Bartlett. Well, I'm loving this. I have spent considerable time moving through the novel focusing only on the passages that pertain to Kitty and Levin, and I am swept up in prose that is so beautiful it has moved me more than once to tears. ----- I am not equipped really to access a translation from Russian into English except subjectively and emotionally. And I am weighing in to say that I love Bartlett's language. It resonates with my concept of Tolstoy, and my concept of this magnificent novel. I recommend this book. ----- I'm hoping to approach other translations in the coming days. But I don't think a new reader of "Anna" could go wrong with Bartlett. I am also very happy with her new biography of Tolstoy as well.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 21, 2015 3:51 PM PST


Tolstoy: A Russian Life
Tolstoy: A Russian Life
by Rosamund Bartlett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.79
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography of the Great Writer., February 19, 2015
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It's beyond me to compare this biography of Tolstoy to others. What I can say is that I am loving it. I find it clear, readable, inviting and it is giving me the very details about Tolstoy that I badly want. Tolstoy is coming alive here for me once again. I trust the author very much. And I am also reading her recent translation of "Anna Karenina." Studying Tolstoy is an education in itself. I'll never tire of reading about him, how he wrestled with his immense literary gifts, how he managed somehow to write two of the greatest novels I've ever read, novels that brought the depth of Shakespeare to a form that was not necessarily known in English for such depth. I recommend this biography completely. ----- Again, whether it is better or worse than any other biography of Tolstoy I've read I cannot say. But having read others, I nevertheless find this one fresh, informative and enlightening.


Emily Climbs
Emily Climbs
by L.M. Montgomery
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.89
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Continuation of Emily's Inspiring Story: portrait of the writer as a young girl., February 18, 2015
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This review is from: Emily Climbs (Paperback)
"Emily Climbs" is the sequel to "Emily of New Moon" and follows the highly imaginative and creative Emily on her journey to high school in Shrewsbury along with her beloved and also highly creative friends, Else, Perry and Teddy. ----- At first I was a little disappointed in the form of this novel, in that it plunged into diary entries by Emily, and I longed for a direct pounding narrative, but very soon, I was totally at home with the author's experiments in form and swept up once more in Emily's journey to becoming a professional writer. Once more, the natural world sustains Emily and restores her when the world of relatives and schoolmates is oppressive or hostile to her, and the descriptions of woodland groves, hills, flowers, and views are breathtaking. I know of no writer who describes the natural world any better than Lucy Maud Montgomery. ---- This novel has many extraordinary moments, including Emily's emotional reaction when a poem of hers is finally accepted for publication in a periodical; and also a strange adventure for Emily and Ilse in the countryside in which they encounter a marvelous old storyteller from the "old country" and Emily's psyche ability, her gift of "second sight, " manifests itself in a surprising way. I hated for the book to end. --------- The "high school" of Emily's time is vastly different from high school today, and I enjoyed very much the immersion in the period, in its attitudes, expectations and the pressures it put on young women. Once again, the chief value of Montgomery's "Emily" novels for me is that Emily is a gifted writer who must battle discouragement at every turn. But I loved everything about this book, absolutely everything, and I think many a reader will be enchanted with it. I recommend reading "Emily of New Moon" first. This book does give much information to ease a new reader into Emily's family situation and her many problems, but it also presumes, I think, a knowledge of what has transpired with Emily before. ------- I'm moving on now to the third Emily book. (My review is based on the handsome trade paperback of this book now available on Amazon.)


Emily of New Moon (The Emily Books, Book 1)
Emily of New Moon (The Emily Books, Book 1)
by L.M. Montgomery
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.99
239 used & new from $0.01

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless and Beautiful Portrait of a Little Girl Who Longs to be a Writer., February 8, 2015
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This review is based on a hardcover edition of this novel which I believe to be unabridged. I came to the book due to the recent Canadian Television Series, and though I've enjoyed that series very much, I find the book is altogether quite different from the series. It held my interest from the first page, and I was deeply moved by the entire achievement. Little Emily in this novel is a writer, a child with the heart and soul of a poet/prose writer who is immensely sensitive to the beauty around her on Prince Edward Island where she is growing up. Her closest friends, Teddy and Ilse, are also highly creative; and the soul of the novel has to do with the passion and courage of Emily in a world where vulnerable creative personalities meet with general bias as well as specific obstacles to their development every day. For me, the strongest and most arresting passages in the book have to do with nature as Emily sees it and moves through it.... trees, woodlands, coastal areas, gardens both natural and created, and the neverending panorama of changing skies. It is worth noting that Emily sees as much beauty in winter around her as she sees in spring or summer; and when she feels deeply, her joy is mingled with pain. Her soul opens when she is given opportunities to write down her thoughts; and the act of writing is therapeutic for her; and over the course of the novel she grows in insight and strength. ----- ------- There is much more to be said about this book. It is part of group of novels of the period that dealt with appealing orphans placed in homes where they had to win over the unsympathetic guardians who burdened with their care. And much can be said about the metaphor of the orphan, and why these books attained such popularity. ---- Another key aspect of the novel is that it takes the mind and soul of a child completely seriously, and does not shrink from strong condemnations of those who are rude and abusive to children. It is not written per se for children; but it is written by some one for whom the child is a full human being. ----------- I do want to explore those aspects of the book (and others) as I continue to read Lucy Maud Montgomery but the primary value of this novel for me is that Emily is a writer; and I think there is much here to comfort, encourage and inspire writers of all ages. The novel rings true. The novel is not just for children. The novel transcends time. I recommend this to anyone interested in the dilemma or the adventure of the creative child, the child who is a dreamer, the child who sees miracles in the physical world all around her, the child whose soul longs to write or paint or make art in any form. This is lovely novel, and it is a strong one and reading it was a rare pleasure. ------ One last note. When I finished it I thought at once of "Martin Eden" by Jack London. That is a book about an adult, and a much darker book. It is wholly different book, and it provides a deeply disturbing ending that many might find disappointing. But "Martin Eden" also about a writer, about the anguishing struggles of a sensitive soul who longs to be surrounded by beauty and to make beauty. ----- I recommend both books very much.


Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings
Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Gift of Wings
by Mary Rubio
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.13
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine comprehensive biography of a hugely popular writer. Excellent. Huge scope., February 1, 2015
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This is a very well written, and comprehensive biography of an author whose novels moved millions. I welcome the immense scholarship here, the attention to Lucy Maud Montgomery as a female writer, and a wrier of her time, the research on the books she read growing up and the early experiences that shaped her as the voice behind "Anne of Green Gables" and other internationally popular books. I also welcome the excellent exploration of Montgomery's reputation and the negative effect of academic attitudes towards her and her work. This is a valuable book, I think, not only for those intrigued by the woman behind the novels, but for aspiring writers interested in the experience of those who have gone before them, and for anyone interested in how a writer copes with and survives great fame in her lifetime, and also how the world regards those hugely popular writers whom "the academy" does not want to accept as great. Like many a fine biography, this one describes in great detail the physical, religious, political and evolving world into which the protagonist was born and I cherish all that information. The scope here is simply wonderful. Mary Henley Rubio has done a superb job here. I'm grateful.


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