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David Z. Moss RSS Feed (New York, NY)

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The Sixteenth of June: A Novel
The Sixteenth of June: A Novel
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $11.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hits a bit too close to home, but in a good way, June 11, 2014
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One of the other reviewers says that you can appreciate this book with zero knowledge of either Joyce or "Ulysses". I can confirm. Source: that's me. I read the book because I thought I could relate to the characters and that turned out to be more than true. In fact, they are a bit too believable if anything and I find myself nervously wondering what I'm missing about my own life when an author as astute as Lang is able to create so much detail in fictional characters. And it's not just Nora, Stephen and Leopold; the parents come alive as well. While the character portraits are clearly the dominant feature of the book, I also appreciated Lang's keen observations on food, economics, publishing, Philly, grad school and even football. The writing is blunt and sincere and few words are wasted. So if you are a Joyce fan it's an easy call to read this, but even for the more "Leopold" types like me the book is a winner.

One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One
One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One
by Lauren Sandler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.09
75 used & new from $0.01

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have kids if you want them, not because they need each other, June 19, 2013
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This book could not have come at a better time for me. I'm a 43-year old Brooklyn yuppie with one 2.5 year old son and it is getting to be time to fish or cut bait on having a second kid. In discussions with my wife on this question I've articulated a notion that the decision should be based on whether it will make our lives better, not whether it will make our son's life better. I figure that while his life will certainly be different if he has a sibling, it will not necessarily be better or worse and thus the decision should be made from our perspective, not his.

Sandler basically proves this correct. By taking us through the data, Sandler reveals that singletons lead perfectly good lives (on average) and any notions to the contrary are stereotypes. Indeed, if anything the data would indicate that they may even be better off than kids with siblings.

So this does not solve my problem; Sandler cannot (and does not try) to tell me what is right for my life. I still need to decide whether having more kids would improve my life, and I admit to also thinking about the possible person who might not be if we decide to stop at one. But after reading this book I am totally confident that my existing son will be just fine either way and that I don't have to feel guilty if we don't provide him with a brother or sister.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 17, 2014 6:37 AM PDT

Geoducks Are for Lovers
Geoducks Are for Lovers
by Daisy Prescott
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.38
26 used & new from $2.49

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Summer read goes deeper, May 17, 2013
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This isn't normally my genre but I was able to score a free copy of the ebook right when it came out and I gave it a shot, expecting not to finish. Instead I got drawn in and next thing I knew I had spent a couple hours and was more than half way through the book. I think it kept me going because the flirtation was so intense and detailed, and Daisy did a great job not letting it get resolved but yet moving it forward. The dialogue was totally believable as was the setting. Indeed I've always wanted to visit Whidbey Island but that may not even be necessary anymore after seeing the detailed picture painted by Prescott. Bottom line this is an easy choice for a summer read but it goes deeper than that and really makes you think about the choices you have been making all along in your own life. I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could because the Gil character is maybe a bit too perfect; hoping in the sequel (right Daisy!) to see some of his flaws come out. But rounding up gets it a 5.

Echoes from the Sun: A Modern Quest for the Fountain of Youth
Echoes from the Sun: A Modern Quest for the Fountain of Youth
by Ari Marsh
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.95
12 used & new from $8.82

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy for Believing, February 9, 2013
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Ari Marsh is a veteran in the Southern California "new age" scene. He cut his teeth with early vegan culture circa Diet for a New America, and today sends out pure vibes from Encinitas, where his current focus is on surfing and writing. Echoes From the Sun, Ari's first novel, takes the reader on a whirlwind spiritual tour of history, holistic medicine, and archeology, while we tag along with the main character Fiel, the pure-hearted hero who feels his way through various spiritual and physical crises as the book progresses. One quote that summarizes the book (to me) comes from a sophisticated but down-to-earth side character, who was speaking about a specific plot point but who could have been speaking about virtually anything that happened in the book: "Well either you are crazy for believing in such a thing, or the rest of us are pitiful for doubting that the universe can work in such mysterious, transcendent ways." I guess even after finishing the book I'm still in the hard-hearted camp of the "rest of us" non-believers, but if you want to believe you can't go wrong with Echoes From the Sun.

American Apocalypse: The Beginning (Beginnings)
American Apocalypse: The Beginning (Beginnings)
by Nova
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from $0.01

81 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vision of one possible future, January 8, 2010
Volume 1 hypothesizes a possible future after an extended economic crash in the United States. Things slowly get worse for our protagonist Gardener and the rest of the country, but Gardener does a better job than most at adapting to changed circumstances. Effectively he embraces violence and sets himself up as a survivor and future warlord in an increasingly Mad Max style universe. OK, I admit I got hooked on the story after reading Volume 1 and am now in the middle of Volume III (which you can read right now on Nova's website). So I'm projecting a bit. But just a bit. In Volume 1 the future is not quite post-apocalyptic although it is getting there, and you can see and believe in the devolution of society happening through Gardener's observations.

I don't necessarily see the future heading this way myself, but American Apocalypse is a profound vision of a potential future that cannot be lightly dismissed. And if it does come to pass (or anything like it) you'll appreciate having seen a glimpse from Nova before getting there yourself. Perhaps more importantly, the book is an excellent page turner and a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

If I could I'd give the book four and a half stars. The downgrade comes from the relative lack of editing and the fact that the stream of consciousness style leaves you wondering a bit about some things. (Why for example do none of the characters get any news from the radio and learn about what is happening outside of the US?) But since I can't and it's either four or five, I'll go with five stars because it makes you think in a way that few other books can.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 8, 2010 12:25 PM PDT

Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics
Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics
by Jerome Armstrong
Edition: Hardcover
131 used & new from $0.01

172 of 181 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and enlightening, March 10, 2006
I will admit that I am a partisan and have been a member of the DailyKos website since its inception. However, I have not always agreed with Kos and was somewhat skeptical about the fact that he was writing a book. It looked to me like maybe he and Jerome were trying to cash in on the popularity of their blogs. Nonetheless, I supported their efforts and bought a copy of the book. I took it with me on the subway to read for the last week or so, figuring that if it were a huge waste of time, no big loss.

So I was hugely and pleasantly suprised to see not only that it covers a lot of new ground, but also that it was a fast, entertaining, and enlightening read. I was particularly intrigued by their discussion of the Republicans' lead over the Democrats in data mining and in other structural issues relating to campaigning. I also liked their concise coverage of the history of the netroots over the last couple of years. Although I have had personal involvement in this, I have not had the opportunity or the inclination to sit back and think about the trajectory of this mini-revolution.

Bottom line: I would strongly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in either political blogging or the history and future of the Democratic party. If you are not interested in either politics or blogging, do not bother.

Flower Essence Repertory:  A Comprehensive Guide to North American and English Flower Essences for Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being
Flower Essence Repertory: A Comprehensive Guide to North American and English Flower Essences for Emotional and Spiritual Well-Being
by Patricia Kaminski
Edition: Paperback
49 used & new from $14.88

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Great Book, May 27, 2001
I first learned about flower remedies when I read Radical Healing by Rudolph Ballentine. Like many people, I started my explorations of flower remedies with Bach Flower Essences, since I found more information about them on the Internet than the other essences. The Bach essences that I tried had a very positive impact on my life. As I started to want to expand my use of flower essences, however, I began to notice gaps in the Bach repertory. I don't mean to insult Dr. Bach (I still use and love Bach Flower Essences), but it seems to me that his remedies are directed at people from England in the 1930s. The world has changed a lot since then. One day when I was looking for more Bach essences, I found this book in a local health food store. I looked at the middle section (which matches issues to remedies) and selected a new California essence that seemed much more directly on point to my life. I had such a positive experience with the first one that I tried that I went back to the store the next day and bought my own copy of the book. I read the entire book that day, and continue to use it as a valuable reference for me and my friends. Bottom line: Bach Flower Essences are great, but you shouldn't overlook the California essences too. In fact, you might just find the perfect one for you in this book like I did.

Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement
Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement
by Anthony Robbins
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.07
148 used & new from $0.20

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting techniques but ultimately shallow, May 24, 2001
There is no doubt that Unlimited Power offers certain useful techniques that could potentially improve your thinking and outlook on life. For that reason alone I give it three stars. Nonetheless, for several reasons I ultimately don't recommend reading it. First, I object to Robbins' overly-simplified characterization of the personal improvement process. Although he states or implies that the simple use of certain NLP techniques essentially guarantees success, of course in real life it's not that easy. Second, much of the prose reminds me of text that you find in overly agressive multi-level marketing materials. It's kind of annoying and distasteful to me. Third, there are alternative, superior places where you can find out about the techniques (which may also be more up to date). You'll need to do a bit of research on NLP, so it will require more work than just reading Unlimited Power. But if you are not just looking for easy answers, in the end you will have to do the research anyway if you are really interested in these subjects. So you may as well do it now. If you do wish to do the research, perhaps you could get started by reading a book by Richard Bandler or David Grinder (there are lots of choices). Better yet, go...and find some Richard Bandler MP3s to download.

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