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Profile for M. McAulay > Reviews


M. McAulay's Profile

Customer Reviews: 11
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The Usborne Book of Princess Stories
The Usborne Book of Princess Stories
by Heather Amery
Edition: Hardcover
50 used & new from $0.01

46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Castle Tales by any other name, December 10, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We're big fans of the Usborne books in our household but were very disappointed to discover that Princess Stories is just Castle Tales repackaged, presumably to cash in on the princess craze.

So, four stars if you don't already have Castle Tales and don't mind the repackaging. But if you already own Castle Tales you'll feel burned just like we do.

Edit: Wandering around Amazon and came back to this review for the first time since I posted it. I'm just amazed that anyone could mark this review as unhelpful. Great literature it may not be but it contains an important piece of information which could help a potential buyer. How is that not helpful?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2010 7:55 AM PST

by Jez Alborough
Edition: Hardcover
35 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for toddlers, October 24, 2008
This review is from: Yes (Hardcover)
Yikes! I don't want to make too big a deal out of it but some of the negative reviews on this title really have me shaking my head.

First of all: Bobo's mommy does not leave him alone! She very clearly goes and hides behind a bush and watches him to be sure he's safe.

Second: the notion that this book will teach a toddler to be negative is preposterous. Toddlers are going to experiment with boundaries as a natural part of their development and that includes negativity. It's comical (but also sad) to imagine parents who probably say "no" to their toddlers a dozen times a day worrying that this book will somehow exacerbate the situation.

Our daughter loved this book from around 14 months through 20 months or so. The art is beautiful (as always with Jez Alborough) and the characters' faces are very expressive which afforded us plenty of opportunities to talk about what they were feeling. In our household we don't try to suppress negative emotions, rather we work on understanding them, communicating them respectfully, and channeling them into positive outlets. There is nothing whatsoever in Yes that's incompatible with these goals.

All of the Bobo books are worth having. The art is beautiful and the stories are stripped down to their fundamental emotional elements which makes them ideal for toddlers. Hug and Tall are arguably better but Yes is still great. Highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2015 4:06 AM PDT

Practical Prototype and (Expert's Voice in Web Development)
Practical Prototype and (Expert's Voice in Web Development)
by Andrew Dupont
Edition: Paperback
Price: $39.99
63 used & new from $0.04

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only decent Prototype/ book published to date, July 30, 2008
Prototype and are influential and widely adopted. It's not surprising that book publishers are rushing to cover them. What is surprising is that most of the titles currently available are of such poor quality. This is the good one.

Practical Prototype and script.aculous is well-organized, easy-to-read, covers the feature set well and includes a wealth of non-fluffy background material that beginners and journeymen alike will appreciate. The book easily paid for itself in time savings. Use it with the API reference at and you'll be all set.

One Two Three the Toddler Years
One Two Three the Toddler Years
by Irene Van der Zande
Edition: Paperback
60 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to communicating with your toddler, March 14, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A short-n-sweet book deserves a short-n-sweet review. This is the best "first toddler book" I've found, and I've read quite a few. It does a marvelous job of conveying the core strategies you need to talk to and provide discipline for your toddler.

You don't have to go to war with your kid! And you should work hard to minimize the confrontation level, for all concerned. Tuning your communication is the key.

I also like Happiest Toddler On The Block, but if you put a sweet little baby to bed last night and were surprised to find a new, more willful and opinionated person in the crib this morning, buy this book pronto and put it to use.

Golden Lies
Golden Lies
Offered by vsource
Price: $15.59
38 used & new from $3.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curt rises to the occasion again, August 29, 2007
This review is from: Golden Lies (Audio CD)
OK, sure. Given the choice I would prefer to hear these songs recorded by the original line-up. The thing is, we weren't given the choice. Curt wasn't given the choice. So he put together a new group of guys and they made this record and it freakin rocks.

It's got an aggro energy on a few of the tunes that's a bit more abrasive than usual. But it's also got beautiful melodies and intriguing, surreal lyrics and some of the best electric guitar playing you're going to hear anywhere. The performances and production are top-notch and overall there's an artistic unitas that was missing on the previous record (the underrated No Joke!)

As with No Joke!, I recommend Golden Lies to any fan of latter era Puppets. Now that Cris is back there's no reason to "take a stance" against this incarnation of the band. It's Curt's show but it's damn good so pull the cotton out of your brain and git on down with it.

No Joke
No Joke
Offered by CAC Media
Price: $27.49
55 used & new from $0.20

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most difficult Puppets album, August 29, 2007
This review is from: No Joke (Audio CD)
I like this album a lot. But it puzzled me for a long time - a couple of years at least.

I'm an old school puppethead but unlike some I really enjoyed their evolution from psychedelic punk to psychedelic country and thence to psychedelic hard rock. Too High To Die and Forbidden Places are right up there with Up On The Sun in my opinion.

I view No Joke as Too High To Die II, but with a twist. The twist of course being Cris Kirkwood's slide into heroin addiction. Remember that there was no tour for this record, which was a first in the band's history. They broke up and Cris disappeared into the desert.

Everyone in the band had to know what was going on. Certainly Curt must have known. And that sense of impending doom (and mortality) is all over this record. In some of the songs it's overt - for example Taste of the Sun and Poison Arrow. And let's not forget the album cover. What, exactly, is "No Joke?" Well the cover depicts a decomposing corpse wearing an idiot grin so I'd say it's death.

Even Cris seems to have an inkling that things are going off the rails. In "Cobbler" he wishes for a new pair of shoes as he slips underneath the slime and it's hard to read "Inflatable" as anything other than a pitiful cry of despair.

With all that said, there's a lot to like here. It is the Meat Puppets after all. The psychedelic guitar swirls and vocal insanity are dialed up to 11, and there are some tracks that are absolutely amazing. Taste of the Sun and Chemical Garden are pretty (and have great lyrics) and Nothing and Sweet Ammonia are Curt Kirkwood at his best: killer rock tracks with clever, creepy, nihilistic lyrics and ferocious, tripped out guitar.

If you've heard the Meat Puppets are a cool band and you're looking for a first record to try, I'd go with one of the others. (actually three: Meat Puppets II, Up On The Sun, and Too High To Die). But if you like any of the latter era puppets (from Monsters on) then No Joke is well worth the money.

Rise to Your Knees
Rise to Your Knees
Offered by Butler Online Stores
Price: $14.97
36 used & new from $2.93

5.0 out of 5 stars Like a new leaf from the old ways, August 29, 2007
This review is from: Rise to Your Knees (Audio CD)
Count me as another satisfied customer. I'm a long-time puppethead who gave up years ago on the hope that I'd ever hear the Kirkwoods playing and singing together again. If this album sounded like complete crap I'd probably still treasure it. But it doesn''s really really good.

It's true that there is a higher than usual ratio of midtempo numbers to rockers. I read in an interview with Curt that the album was mostly written before he got in touch with Cris to work together again. My suspicion is that many of the songs were intended for Curt's next acoustic album, which may explain the tempi. Personally I'd have saved "This Song" for a B-side to improve the overall pacing but hey, they're the puppets and I'm not.

Overall the songs are very strong. There are at least five tunes that are up there with the best of the band's output. And while the psychedelia is toned down a bit listen to the ride-out of Light The Fire. If that doesn't slap a perma-grin on your mug it may be time to invest in some Kenny G CDs.

Lyrics are great. Singing sounds better than ever. Buy it now and dig it.

UPDATE: As I continue to listen to Rise it continues to grow on me. I love every song on the record, including This Song (which took the longest...but listen carefully to the guitar solo and the ride-out. Damn!)

Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition)
Apache: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition)
by Ben Laurie
Edition: Paperback
Price: $26.65
97 used & new from $0.01

34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of paper, December 1, 2006
Most of the time you can trust O'Reilly technical books. But this dog should be drug out back and shot. It's out of date, it's poorly written, it meanders all over the place. I'm pretty tolerant of technical writing as long as I'm learning what I need to along the way. But at a time when I was highly motivated to get up to speed on Apache I literally gave up and threw this on the floor in frustration. Buy any other book on Apache. This one sucks.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2011 4:54 AM PST

All the Roadrunning
All the Roadrunning
Price: $7.99
103 used & new from $0.73

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, June 11, 2006
This review is from: All the Roadrunning (Audio CD)
Alanna Nash needs to take long walk on a short pier. "Underwhelming?" Please. This is Mark Knopfler's best record since Sailing to Philadelphia at least, if not Neck and Neck. The songs are perfect jewels with beautiful melodies and great lyrics. And the interplay of Knopfler's and Harris' voices is sublime. If you like Mark Knopfler I guarantee you will like this album.

Every time I listen to this record it just sounds better and better. My only regret is that the tour will not be coming to the northwest of the USA.

Price: $10.53
40 used & new from $0.98

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hyperbole! Superlatives!, November 30, 2005
This review is from: Snow (Audio CD)
This is a hard review to write. Not because I don't know what to think about the album. I do: it's amazing. Rather, there's the question of who the review is for. Presumably long-term Puppets fans knew they were going to buy this record before they'd heard a note of it. I'm in that camp. But most likely, the vast majority of folks who've never heard the band (or only know Backwater from the heady days of "grunge rock") won't even know it's been released. So rah rah my brothers and sisters. You're spending your money wisely.

Opinions are like twigs in the fur of a dancing chimp. Just remember that.

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