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Paint Landscapes in Acrylic with Lee Hammond
Paint Landscapes in Acrylic with Lee Hammond
Price: $11.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not the type of painting I was hoping for, July 24, 2016
The book has some decent advice for a beginner. But, after reading a bunch of the how to paint landscape books, I realized that this Lee Hammond's work isn't the type of work that I aspire to create. Her style is more drawing with paint, and isn't very "painterly," which is the term other authors have used to describe a loser approach to landscapes. Nor is her style realism. I'm interested in a more impressionistic, lose, painterly approach to landscape painting, and this doesn't provide that. For that, I recommend other books such as Landscape Painting Inside and Out, and especially the Painterly Approach. The later in particular was excellent.

Not being aligned with my own tastes wouldn't be enough to knock this book down to 2 starts. But, there were somethings that I particularly didn't like about the book, particularly in some very good basic advice about composition, value, edges, and detail that was missing. For example, the author kept saying that detail should decrease with distance. This is fine advice on average, as the atmosphere decreases the visible detail. But, more important in my opinion is to make sure that the focal point or area of interest has more detail than other areas, regardless of how far away that focal point is. The foreground shouldn't be full of detail just because it is close, if it isn't the focal point. In general, more attention could be paid to composition.

I read on Prime Unlimited, and am happy that I didn't spend money on this book.


Landscape Painting Inside and Out: Capture the Vitality of Outdoor Painting in Your Studio with Oils
Landscape Painting Inside and Out: Capture the Vitality of Outdoor Painting in Your Studio with Oils
Price: $14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good. Far from great., July 10, 2016
Things I liked about the book:
1. The author's art is beautiful
2. The painting proverbs, and generally sound tips on how to paint, use color, etc.
3. Suggestions on exercises to improve skills. Some of these suggestions are first rate.

Things I found less appealing:
1. I read it on the iPad kindle app. The kindle version of the book could use a little revision by the publisher to make sure that capital letters appear at the beginning of each sentence. Similarly, the captions and text boxes from the pages in the book were just randomly placed in the main body text... So, you're reading about light, and then there is an unrelated paragraph about something else, and then you go back to reading about light. The unrelated paragraph was never marked as unrelated. This was often confusing, but not horrible.
2. The book is a bit dated. Discussion about film cameras, and flying with film makes the book feel dated. As do pre-google statements like "people can't find you on the internet if they don't already know you exist." This doesn't reduce the value of the genuinely good art advice, but it is distracting.
3. In some parts of the book, the reader is treated as if he is a complete novice, and in others, the reader is expected to quit their job and start selling paintings in galleries. This was a little weird. Would have preferred the book to focus only on how to paint better.
4. There was no mention of acrylics at all. I understand focusing on oils, but the book could at least say what might work or not work with acrylics.

Overall, it is a good book, and worth reading. "The Painterly Approach" was better, in my opinion, while making many of the same points about how to improve your painting. One of the advantages of The Painterly Approach was that it spends time talking oils, acrylics and pastels, not just oils. It also seems better organized (particularly on the kindle app) and focused more on painting technique. That's the one I'd read first.


The Simple Secret to Better Painting
The Simple Secret to Better Painting
Price: $9.50

2.0 out of 5 stars Not a great books, does the basics ok, July 9, 2016
I've been an avid photographer for years, and have started to take up painting. This means that I already had a good handle on the basics of composition (and perhaps a less well developed understanding of theory regarding color and light). This book is just an okay guide to composition, and doesn't go much into any of the stuff I am more interested in. I personally didn't find it very helpful.

I was also a bit put off by the magical rule: never make any two intervals the same...

The rule is helpful basic advice, in some sense, but is not a magical rule that ties everything together. It is just one aspect of good composition, but the author rather unsuccessfully tried to relate all of the basic insights on good composition back to that point.

I found this attempt to argue that everything reflected the magical rule particularly irritating when the book started talking about balance. Things should be in balance and thus the intervals should be the same in terms of their balance, suggesting that intervals should be the same not different in this regard. Also, there is a place for symmetry and patterns in art, which the book ignores.

So much better was "The Painterly Approach", which I read immediately before this book.


The Painterly Approach: An Artist's Guide To Seeing, Painting And Expressing
The Painterly Approach: An Artist's Guide To Seeing, Painting And Expressing
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for a serious beginner, July 9, 2016
I'm just starting out in painting, but know the basics of compositions and how paint and the colour wheel work. I found this book extremely helpful for better understanding how to deal with light and colour. The book has pointed out a number of things that I've been doing wrong, common practices that are inconsistent with the way that light and colour work. I have started reading through a number of books, and this is the best I've read so far.


Woolfy Cooperative Game
Woolfy Cooperative Game
Offered by 5 Toys
Price: $41.81
3 used & new from $35.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect family game with young kids, October 4, 2015
This review is from: Woolfy Cooperative Game (Toy)
We bought this from the local game store and have been playing it with our two young kids (3 and 6). The 6 year old is into the strategy. The three year old is along for the ride but really enjoying it.

One of the nice things is that you are working together as a family to build the brick house and keep the kids safe from the big bad wolf. You take turn rolling dice, which determine whether a wolf moves or whether you can move a pig of your choice (they are all shared pieces). You have to land on specific squares to add pieces to a brick house or to rescue captured piggies from a cauldron (if they have been caught by the wolf). The game has some strategy to it, as you must choose which pig to try to move and in which direction, and whether to take refuge in a house. A couple unlucky rolls, and a few of your pigs get caught and tossed in the cauldron, and then you work together to rescue them before wolf catches you. Very fun. Absolutely perfect for a young family, teaching kids to strategize, take turns and work together.


CAL KING Size 1200 Thread Count 4pc Bed Sheet Set, Deep Pocket, DARK PURPLE
CAL KING Size 1200 Thread Count 4pc Bed Sheet Set, Deep Pocket, DARK PURPLE

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not as advertised, very low quality set of sheets, July 17, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Listed on the site as 1200 thread count. No indication that they are. The packaging reads "Compare the Confort and Soft Touch as a 1500 thread count 100% egyptian cotton sheet set," but does not actually say what they are. They feel like 200 thread count, and you can very easily see the large threads. No way that they are any where near 1200. Very low quality set of sheets. They should not be allowed to list them as 1200. I feel ripped off. Fraud.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2013 8:18 AM PDT


Economics and the Theory of Games
Economics and the Theory of Games
by Fernando Vega-Redondo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $64.99
46 used & new from $30.15

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite game theory book, April 28, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am a PhD student at Cornell studying game theory, and this is by far my favorite non-cooperative game theory book. It's written at a similar level as Fudenberg and Tirole's book but with better examples, explanations, and organization. These strengths make it a very good book to learn advanced game theory. Additionally, it covers popular recent topics such as evolutionary game theory and networks in more detail than in other advanced books (F&T, Osborne & Rubinstein, Myerson, etc.).

With that said, it is not an easy book, requiring strong math skills, etc. If you are looking for a simple introduction, check out the books by Gibbon or Gintis.


Microeconomic Analysis, Third Edition
Microeconomic Analysis, Third Edition
by Hal R. Varian
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $115.77
110 used & new from $31.64

83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for the basics, August 23, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have read three graduate level Microeconomic Thoery texts: Mas-Colell, et al. Microeconomic Theory, Varian's Microeconomic Analysis, and Krep's A Course in Microeconomic Theory.

Mas-Colell is generally the most detailed, inclusive book that must be on the shelf of any serious economist. It has its weak points; however, it is the best that there is for learning the microeconomic theory. Note that this book is generally the text of choice for the first year of graduate study at most all of the top econ programs.

The math requirements for getting the most out of this book are fairly heavy. With out a good math for economists course, this book is very difficult to use.

Kreps book takes on more of the game theory approach. This is very interesting for the game/decision theorist, and is a highly recommended in addition to Mas-Colell for those with these interests.

Varian is often used in masters degree level graduate programs, non-econ graduate programs, and lower-level econ phd programs.

It is not as intense as Mas-Colell. However, it is often very helpful in its own right. For students who are using Mas-Colell in their courses, but are struggling to grasp all of the concepts, Varian presents the information in a more "user-friendly" way. He spends more time explaining the concepts using english rather than math, which can be very helpful to someone just starting out.

At Cornell, Varian was helpful during the first semester of my microeconomic theory course, but provided virtually no help after that.

Additionally, I found the practice problems and examples in Varian very helpful when studying for exams.

In summary, all serious economists usually have Mas-Colell. Other than that, choose your additional books based on your needs and interests.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2011 1:58 AM PDT


Microeconomic Theory
Microeconomic Theory
by Andreu Mas-Colell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $169.15
77 used & new from $82.00

99 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best there is, August 23, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Microeconomic Theory (Hardcover)
I have read three graduate level Microeconomic Thoery texts: Mas-Colell, et al. Microeconomic Theory, Varian's Microeconomic Analysis, and Krep's A Course in Microeconomic Theory.

Mas-Colell is generally the most detailed, inclusive book that must be on the shelf of any serious economist. It has its weak points; however, it is the best that there is for learning the basics of microeconomic theory. Note that this book is generally the text of choice for the first year of graduate study at most all of the top econ programs.

The math requirements for getting the most out of this book are fairly heavy. With out a good math for economists course, this book is very difficult to use.

Kreps book takes on more of the game theory approach. This is very interesting for the game/decision theorist, and is a highly recommended in addition to Mas-Colell for those with these interests.

Varian is often used in masters degree level graduate programs, and lower-level phd programs. At Cornell, Varian covered most of the information from the first semester of microeconomics, but provided virtually no help after that.

It is not as intense as Mas-Colell. However, it is often very helpful in its own right. For students who are using Mas-Colell in their courses, but are struggling to grasp all of the concepts, Varian presents the information in a more "user-friendly" way. He spends more time explaining the concepts using english rather than math, which can be very helpful to someone just starting out.

Additionally, I found the practice problems and examples in Varian very helpful when studying for exams.

In summary, all serious economists usually have Mas-Colell. Other than that, choose your additional books based on your needs and interests.


Let's Go 2004: Europe (Let's Go: Europe)
Let's Go 2004: Europe (Let's Go: Europe)
by Let's Go Inc.
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from $1.08

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as helpful as Lonely Planet, August 23, 2004
Let's Go is the college student classic. Without a doubt, if you are looking simply to party Europe, this is your most helpful tool. But if you are looking to experience Europe, understand that Let's Go is the most popular European travel guide. Virtually EVERYONE has it. This fact does have its advantages: you will never be far from the American crowd. But the disadvantages are the same: the bars, the clubs, the hostels and resturants are all on the Let's Go circuit.

In all, my recomendation is to buy the Lonely Planet guidebook that I found much more informative and better written. You can better avoid the American Party crowd when you feel like it, and when you want to partake in the happenings - don't worry they are easy to find.

The other advantage of everyone having Let's Go would be that it can be found almost everywhere (hostel bookshelves, your roommate's backpack) and you will not have any trouble borrowing it for a while. Lonley Planet offers a slightly different perspective, and allows you to more fully enjoy your trip abroad.


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