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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: $27.31
56 used & new from $17.75

12 of 18 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
90 used & new from $3.27

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
62 used & new from $5.00

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
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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: $16.95
73 used & new from $11.79

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.


Emily of New Moon Season 1
Emily of New Moon Season 1
DVD
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and often enchanting series about a sensitive little girl who wants to be a writer., January 29, 2015
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This review is of the First Season of "Emily of New Moon" offered on Amazon Instant. I loved it. The direction, acting and cinematography struck me as outstanding. The costumes, the look of the houses, the interiors, fabrics, wallpaper, china, myriad details --- all very well done. And I loved the poignant portrayal of a little girl who wants with all her heart to be a writer, and will not be silenced no matter how often people try to do it. The actress playing Emily is enchanting, but then the whole cast is excellent. ---- I love that Emily is poetic by nature, and that she sees ghosts and the ghosts are benign or helpful. This did more than whet my appetite for the remaining seasons, and also for the Emily novels which I've ordered. I cannot compare the series to the novels, as I have only just begun to read them. I can say that I found the series entertaining, delightful, engrossing and in some way soothing. I liked being in the world of the series. I felt safe there. I recommend it.


Love is the Link: A Hospice Doctor Shares Her Experience of Near-Death and Dying
Love is the Link: A Hospice Doctor Shares Her Experience of Near-Death and Dying
by Pamela M. Kircher MD
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.76
5 used & new from $10.71

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, authentic, and inspiring., January 24, 2015
This is certainly one of the finer books I've ever read on the Near Death Experience (and the Spiritually Transformative Experience.) NDE studies is one field where you absolutely cannot judge a book by its cover. The field is overrun with all kinds of approaches and responses to the Near Death Experience, including small vague religious books, books that claim people went to the Christian Heaven or Hell and have come back to save souls, long thoughtful personal accounts which are deeply examined in terms of spiritual and physical implications, and scholarly books that address the entire range of Near Death Experience research worldwide and its implications. Many of the finest books are written by medical doctors. This author is a medical doctor. And many excellent entries --- truly fine books --- have been packaged with simple art and sometimes annoying simplistic titles..involving "the light," or "Heaven" or huge claims of proof of the "Afterlife." This can be off putting. ---- So one must approach each and every book with an open mind, aware that the cover art, title, publisher, etc., may not be a determining factor as to the quality of what you will find inside. ----- And what I found inside of this book is profound and compelling writing. Pamela M. Kircher's style is simple and accessible, but it also extremely precise, richly detailed, and what I would call authentic. --------------------------Kircher has had her own Near Death Experience as a child, and she has worked in the field of Near Death Experiences for years, including her years in hospice work which gave her immense access to all kinds of "experiencers" and their stories. --------- She has much to say here about the near uniformly positive and transformative effects of the NDE. And she is not speaking lightly or hastily when she declares her belief that the NDE teaches many people that we are in this world to love others, and that learning this can and often does transform a life completely. She does not gloss over that there may be grave adjustment difficulties for those who have NDEs. But she is, in my opinion, on very solid ground when she reports her experience of the great positive effect of the NDE on human beings and the increasing awareness of NDEs among today's population. ---- The book's strongest point, in a way, is it lack of embellishment --- as Kircher tells story after story, regardless of how repetitive they might seem, in sharing what she has learned from experiencers. She talks convincingly of the differences between the NDEs experienced by dying patients in hospice, and those more traumatic NDEs experienced by younger or healthier people. She records valuable details as to how hospice patients frequently appear to see and to be talking to deceased relatives. She offers simple yet fresh stories told to her by Near Death Experiencers. She offers all that she has observed, and it is quite a range, and she is unquestionably inspiring. --- I am now rereading the book, underlining, studying, pondering much of what she offers. ---- It is my belief that the NDE experience is the most significant mystical phenomena of this period in human history, and that no matter what one believes about an afterlife, NDEs involve patterns worldwide that should command serious attention. ---- One of these patterns, as Jeffrey Long has pointed out in his book, is that when the NDEr sees people on the other side they are invariably dead people. Hallucinations show no such pattern. And another pattern of course is the one this book emphasizes, the positive transformative effect. . Neither of these two patterns can be explained away as the effects of oxygen deprivation or drugs. These patterns are far more significant to me than the hasty, shallow "scientific" efforts to explain away the NDE, none of which has ever accounted for the many features of the NDE, and yet are so readily accepted by skeptics to dismiss the entire phenomenon. --------Unlike some who follow this literature, I do believe there are profound religious implications for people today coming out of NDE research. And I continue to derive great personal inspiration from following this material. Myself, I've never had an NDE that I can remember; and I have never been with anyone dying who appeared to have an NDE or spoke of having one. But the more I explore the field, the more intrigued I am, and the more convinced that the message.... we are here to love.... is vitally important. ------ So I recommend this book heartily. In fact, I find it one of the best I've read on the topic. -----


Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend
Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend
by Penry Williams
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.55
80 used & new from $10.33

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written biography of a remarkable man. Solid yet compulsively readable. And fun., January 19, 2015
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This is a compulsively readable biography of a fascinating life, and like any fine biography it takes one on a colorful tour of the period in which the subject lived. Raleigh's life was beyond remarkable; his achievements as a poet, prose writer, favorite at the Court of Queen Elizabeth, adventurer and explorer, soldier and sea captain are simply beyond amazing. And this book opens up that enormous story in such a way as to make it more exciting than a novel. I'm not qualified to judge the authors' conclusions on controversial points about the life of Raleigh, but I do want to say with great enthusiasm that this is beautifully written, and great fun. It's as solid as any academic biography and the prose is easy and accessible for the common reader. Highly recommended. It's answering every question I ever had about Raleigh and has me searching for biographies of those who lives intersected with Raleigh's. A marvelous achievement. (The hardcover is beautifully packaged as well. Would make an impressive gift.) This cries to be adapted for television as a high quality series.


Gone Girl
Gone Girl
DVD
Price: $12.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine; suspenseful; beautifully done mystery. Faithful to Flynn's novel., December 26, 2014
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This review is from: Gone Girl (Amazon Instant Video)
A finely crafted, suspenseful and deliciously dark mystery. Superb acting, writing, directing and cinematography. Quite an achievement. And I think the film did an excellent job of conveying the dark, alienated prose world of author, Gillian Flynn. Rosamund Pike was convincing and compelling as "Amazing Amy," and Ben Affleck equally so as Nick Dunne. Affleck brought a likable quality to the role that was perfect for it. ----The film put me in mind of "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and "Double Indemnity." ---- Certainly it had that hellish noir quality throughout. Conveying the subtleties of Flynn's vision is no small feat. Enjoyable, with more than a few hints of disturbing truth.


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