Lenka S. - Reviews

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1492
1492
Author: Newton Frohlich
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 12/15/2008


From Publishers Weekly
Who was the real Christopher Columbus? In Frohlich's captivating, extraordinarily vivid first novel, the white-haired widower and sea captain who alternately called himself Colombo, Colomo and Colon (never Columbus) was a Marrano, or converted Jew, an idealist who believed it his destiny to be "a light to the Gentiles." Frohlich, an attorney, spent eight years researching his book and brings remarkable realism to his chilling depiction of the fanaticism fueling the Inquisition. Queen Isabel is a merciless, sadistic, money-mad anti-Semite, and King Fernando henpecked. Among the other compelling characterizations are Beatriz, Columbus's outspoken Jewish mistress, cousin of the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada; and Boabdil, a weakling who deposes his own father to become sultan of Granada. Except for some patches of self-conscious dialogue, this is a convincing, detailed re-creation of the Old World on the brink of discovery.


Comments:
I bought this book hoping to read about Christophers trip to the new land, but instead got details about Queen Isabel's inquisition against the Jews, the war against the Arabs, and Christophers life and efforts to hide his Jewish background. His trip and discoveries were mentioned briefly in the last three pages.
This book however was enjoyable, and I do recommend it. It follows the efforts of Queen Isabel to finance her war, the problems the Inquisition caused, the war against the Arabs,and Christopher Columbus's efforts to get approval for his voyage. Too bad it's out of print.


1492: A Novel of Christopher Columbus and His World
1492: A Novel of Christopher Columbus and His World
Author: Newton Frohlich
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/15/2008


From Publishers Weekly
Who was the real Christopher Columbus? In Frohlich's captivating, extraordinarily vivid first novel, the white-haired widower and sea captain who alternately called himself Colombo, Colomo and Colon (never Columbus) was a Marrano, or converted Jew, an idealist who believed it his destiny to be "a light to the Gentiles." Frohlich, an attorney, spent eight years researching his book and brings remarkable realism to his chilling depiction of the fanaticism fueling the Inquisition. Queen Isabel is a merciless, sadistic, money-mad anti-Semite, and King Fernando henpecked. Among the other compelling characterizations are Beatriz, Columbus's outspoken Jewish mistress, cousin of the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada; and Boabdil, a weakling who deposes his own father to become sultan of Granada. Except for some patches of self-conscious dialogue, this is a convincing, detailed re-creation of the Old World on the brink of discovery.

Comments:
I bought this book hoping to read about Christophers trip to the new land, but instead got details about Queen Isabel's inquisition against the Jews, the war against the Arabs, and Christophers life and efforts to hide his Jewish background. His trip and discoveries were mentioned briefly in the last three pages.
This book however was enjoyable, and I do recommend it. It follows the efforts of Queen Isabel to finance her war, the problems the Inquisition caused, the war against the Arabs,and Christopher Columbus's efforts to get approval for his voyage. Too bad it's out of print.


The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook: 200 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, and Nourishing Meals That Are Easy on the Budget and a Snap to Prepare
Review Date: 9/24/2012
Helpful Score: 26


Though the book hints it is possible to make a HEALTHY dinner for 4 people under $5. It is a myth.

I have shared this book with friends and this is what we found:
Though you can get cheap diners (that is true) a $5 budget is not gone happen!
For example: a black angus beef roast will cost more then $5/meal, especially if you have....
A: a husband, son or G..d help you husband AND 2 sons blessed with healthy appetite.
B: if you choose antibiotic/hormone free food (please do not read this as 'health nuts' that we are not)
C: if you are into healthy or low-to-no-meat foods
D: Loads of bacon is not what I would choose to include in HEALTHY (Nourishing) FOODS column.

The second problem was the dishes (read tastes) that do not fit many a tastebud:
A: If you are like me you will not appreciate meat/fruit combinations (80% book)
B: meat, meat MEAT!!! (not vegetarian friendly)
C: Not a low cholesterol/ gout/ diabetes/ food allergies friendly recipes (also not Atkins/weight-watchers friendly)

Meat pricing notes: (though this is not directly related to the book, a shopping list containing 80% cheap - discount priced - meats needs certain things to be noted):
A: That the cheap ground meat which you get at lowest 'rock bottom' prices almost certainly contains pink slime. (Think ground throw away cuts of 'meat' such as skin, bones, fat - no actual meat present -... all processed beyond recognition, and sterilized with delicious safe chemical mixture of ammonia.) This pink slime does not need to be noted on the label as long as it is less then ??? not sure here 30% ???
B: That the lowest priced cuts of 'solid' meats are far from 'choice cuts' and would most certainly lack tenderness or taste. That is why the recipes include tons of bacon, fruit and other flavoring agents.

Conclusion:
It is not funny, my friend told me, when your men start playing 'guess the meat... and no it is not a chicken' 'round the dinner table, or ask for a carving knife to cut their oversized steak bought as the lowest priced meat in an effort to fit the $5 budget dinner.

So it depends on your individual tastes, health, finances and other aspects wether any of you will find the book helpful, and to what extent. I'm sure some of you will but for my friends and me, it did not work.
Good Luck!


7 Minutes of Magic: The Ultimate Energy Workout
7 Minutes of Magic: The Ultimate Energy Workout
Author: Lee Holden
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/4/2010


"I don't have time to workout!" is probably the most common excuse in the world, but this book will pull that rug right out from under you. 7 Minutes of Magic provides a realistic program that can improve your health in 7, 14 or 21 minutes a day. Are you going to lose 30 pounds in a month with this program? No, but you will certainly feel better and lay the foundation for a healthier lifestyle. I would describe the plan as a mix of yoga, isometric exercise and calisthenics, with a good dose of Tai Chi and Qi Gong thrown in. The primary plans are for morning and evening workouts with a bonus 7 minute plan and extra exercises that you can use to customize your program. The book also contains good advice about nutrition and meditation. If you already exercise an hour a day, you might still benefit from this program, but I think it is best suited for people trying to take the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle. You can also buy a companion dvd, but the book has enough photos and explanations to make that purchase optional.


The Adventures of Mona Pinsky
The Adventures of Mona Pinsky
Author: Harriet Ziskin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/30/2009


From Publishers Weekly
As sweet and well-meaning as its title character, a 64-year-old restaurant hostess, this mystery is also as scatterbrained. Ziskin (The Blind Eagle) has created a sympathetic heroine, but the story is so full of flaky zigs and zags that it addles the pate. At work one day, Mona overhears a group of suit-clad men talking about a project. At first she assumes it is business-related, but she changes her mind when she also hears them mentioning "crime" and "robbery," and begins investigating?spurred on when robberies begin to occur in the very area they were discussing. Mona's daughter, Adina, and Adina's husband, Gideon?a prissy architect busy designing a new prison?wish she'd get respectable, quit her job and stop talking and acting like a crazy person. Their concern is understandable in light of the voices Mona hears in the night and her belief that her dead Uncle Gabe is trying to warn her of impending danger. Although each brief chapter is given a date and location, aiding orientation some, there are so many odd coincidences and mystical connections here that it becomes difficult to keep track of the whodunit at the center of the plot. Despite all the red herrings, the solution is obvious.

Review
In this adventurous tale filled with magic and myth, sixty-five-year-old Mona Pinsky uncovers a plot of political manipulation and theft. She faces ridicule, anti-Semitism, and ageism as well as alienation from her daughter, but Mona refuses to be silenced. She uncovers the inner strength to stand by her convictions and to speak out on an enchanting and heroic journey.


My notes:
While reading this, I found that I really sympathized with the main character, a 65 year old lady who overhears some business men discussing crime in her quiet town of Jasmine. As the men return to the restaurant where Mona is hostess, she hears more snippets of their conversation and is convinced they're up to no good. However, when she tries to warn the police, the Mayor, it seems no one will believe her. After all, she is the crazy old Jewish woman in this sheltered town, not to mention that she's friendly with one of the only black women around. Why should she be telling the truth? Even her own family has a hard time, with Mona's son-in-law trying to win a county contract to build a new jail, the last thing he wants is for his mother-in-law to be stirring up trouble. Throughout this book you just end up hoping that someone will listen to her story and help to stop the recent wave of vandalism and robberies.

This book is full of dreams and visions that Mona sees, of her Uncle Gabe, other heavenly symbols, and various references to Jewish angels. While her visions often related to other characters in the story, I felt a little lost without knowing much Jewish folklore. There is probably much more symbolism contained in the book than I realize, and it's mildly unfortunate that I don't understand all of it.


Against All Odds: The Lucy Scott Mitchum Story
Against All Odds: The Lucy Scott Mitchum Story
Author: Barbara Riefe
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/17/2010


From Publishers Weekly
Riefe's first novel outside of her Iroquois series (Mohawk Woman, etc.) displays her usual attention to historical detail, but little else of merit. When Lucy Scott Mitchum's idealistic husband, Noah, gets bitten by the 1849 gold bug, she dutifully packs her worldly possessions in a prairie schooner and accompanies him from Baltimore to Sacramento with their four-year-old daughter in tow. The family's six-month trek across the Great Plains and over the Sierra Nevada mountains should have resulted in high historical drama, but Riefe's uninspired narrative robs even stampeding buffaloes and hostile Indians of their impact. Some of the flattening comes from the way characters remain passing acquaintances. When one fellow traveler of the Mitchums commits suicide by jumping in a river, for instance, it barely causes a ripple in the reader's consciousness. After building up anticipation of an impending massacre by Cheyenne of traders in Fort Laramie, Riefe describes the event as viewed from a distance, with little color or excitement. While trouble crops up continually for Lucy and her kin, they sail through nearly unscathed. The family will at last reach Sacramento, but a number of readers will have jumped schooner long before.


From Library Journal
Readers who normally avoid Westerns will find Riefe's (Mohawk Woman, LJ 12/95) novel a real treat. The author's clear, appealing writing tells the fictional story of Baltimore native Lucy Scott Mitchum; her husband, Noah; and young daughter Lynette as they journey across America in 1849 to the gold fields of California. They travel with four other families in a wagon train and encounter various Native American tribes, charging buffaloes, sickness, and a tragic massacre. The reader will learn how to cook buffalo meat, treat toothache with chamomile tea, and shoe an ox. Riefe's writing style is pleasing, and most of the characters are believable and quite likable. As Lucy Mitchum reaches California and begins a new life as one of Sacramento's first school teachers, the reader shuts the book and wonders whether this was in fact a true story. A nice buy for Western and historical fiction shelves?


The Alchemists of Barbal
The Alchemists of Barbal
Author: David Clement-Davies
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/20/2010


Product Description
The high stone walls of Barbal encircle a deep rift. At the heart of the city the Lord Alchemist, Mardak the Dark, reigns supreme. His pursuit of power has led the tyrannical ruler to treacherous deeds: seizing the opposing alchemist, Ogog, and holding him hostage in the Ziggurat. However, help is at hand in the shape of a young boy called Silas. Under the guidance of his charismatic mentor, Sultan Ash, Silas sets off for Barbal to free Ogog, armed with nothing more than sheer determination - and a pure white pebble in his pocket. Unbeknown to Silas, the pebble is a Turnstone, a talisman bestowed with magical powers. In Barbal, Mardak's wild obsession has culminated in the construction of the Entropoth, a deadly time machine powered by human souls displaying events happening in the past and future. Mardak may know Silas is on his way - but will he be a match for the Turnstone?


My Notes:
I have read both The Sight and Firebringer 3 different times. Due to them, David Clement-Davies has become my favorite author. After waiting 2 years for him to write another book, he came out with this one. I was very eager to read it. I ordered it, and read it right when it came in. The book however simply was awful. It had all the makings of a typical childish novel. Gone were the mature ideas found in his other 2 novels. Gone also was the book about a society of animals. Perhaps the only likeness this book had to the other 2, other than having the same author, was the inclusion of a prophecy. Even this wasn't really stuck to. Overall, I found this book to be a major disapointment.


Alien Embassy
Alien Embassy
Author: Ian Watson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/7/2011


Lila was one of those who could, by diving deep, deep within herself, emerge in outer space. The few who could make that journey were honored above all other mortals; already the secrets brought back by the mind-travelers had transformed Earth from the pig-sty of the 21st century to the paradise of the 22nd. But Lila was to learn something beide which the secrets brought back by previous psychic astronauts would pale to insignificance-she was to learn the Truth...and it would not make men free.


Always
Always
Author: Lynsay Sands
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 99
Review Date: 2/10/2010


This is my first Lynsay Sands novel and it will not be my last.Always is a novel tat has it all: Humor, romance and Mystery.The parts of the story with Aric and Rosamude's wedding night as well asAric trying to teach his wife to enjoy the " Matial Bed" are priceless.The real humor however, is when Rosamude dressed Aric's horse up in his clothes by the fire in the Keep to help the animal get over a cold. I laughed s hard people on the bus were looking at me.Although these two people did not start out loving each other the relationship and the love was so much fun to read. Learning about themselves and learning to trust easc other was wonderful.The novel also contained a little myster, Who killed Rosamude's mother and why issomeone trying to kill her is a question that takes center stage is the later part of this book.


America on Six Rubles a Day  or  How to Become a Capitalist Pig
America on Six Rubles a Day or How to Become a Capitalist Pig
Author: Yakov Smirnoff
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 27
Review Date: 2/16/2014
Helpful Score: 2


As an immigrant my self, I have committed many blunders as well, so it is nice to know that I was not alone...

One of the many humorous pictures is Yakov Smirnoff hunching over a roulette table with the caption "I like the American version of roulette much better!" Another has him in front of an "OPEN HOUSE" sign with the caption: "No wonder there are so many burglaries in America!" They're funnier when you're physically seeing them, of course, which is why you must pick up a copy of this sadly passed over hidden treasure. He genuinely loves this country, the country that gave him refuge from the USSR. Astoundingly funny political humor, but Smirnoff never becomes political. He's simply trying to make you laugh, and he succeeds.


America the Beautiful: The Complete Verses
America the Beautiful: The Complete Verses
Author: Katharine Lee Bates
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/1/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Someone once said that a pictures are worth a 1000 words. In this book they truly are! Exceptional photographs that eill touch your soul!


Among The Elephants
Among The Elephants
Author: Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Oria Douglas-Hamilton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/26/2009


From Publishers Weekly
Humorous, jubilant and touching by turns, this story of the relationship between man and dog is informed by the author's grasp of animal research and his attachment to Merle, a stray dog he adopted. A Labrador mix, Merle first appeared while the author was on a camping trip. Kerasote (Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age), an award-winning nature writer, decided to take his canine friend home to rural Wyoming. This chronicle of their 13 years together is interspersed with studies by animal behaviorists that strengthened Kerasote's desire to see Merle as a responsible individual rather than a submissive pet. Merle set his own eating schedule (though not without early mishap), refused to hunt birds (although not elks) and, according to the author, possessed a range of emotions and sentiments similar to those of humans. Kerasote tends to anthropomorphize Merle's every look and movement, but this narrative is entertaining and Kerasote's strong love for Merle and enthusiasm for life in the wild will win over many readers. Kerasote's joyous relationship with Merle is balanced by a bittersweet account of a close relationship the author had with Alison, a neighbor and fellow dog owner. Kerasote's last weeks with the dying Merle are beautifully rendered.


From Booklist
*Starred Review* Merle showed up at the San Juan River at the same time Kerasote and his river-rafting friends arrived. Merle looked at Kerasote as if to say, "You need a dog, and I'm it." He accompanied the group down the river and then went home to Wyoming with Kerasote. A dog who was eager to please and almost trained himself, Merle learned the ways of bison, ground squirrels, and coyotes. Merle then taught Kerasote the fullness of the hunt, leading Kerasote to his favorite prey. But, after Kerasote installed a dog door, the main thing Merle taught him is that a dog develops to his full potential, becoming the dog he was meant to be, when allowed to make his own decisions. Merle developed a life of his own, patrolling the small settlement where they lived with his dog companions, and yet was always very aware of Kerasote and his schedule. In telling Merle's story, Kerasote also explores the science behind canine behavior and evolution, weaving in research on the human-canine bond and musing on the way dogs see the world. Merle is a true character, yet Merle is also Everydog. An absolute treasure of a book.


Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/10/2013


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life.


Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/10/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life.


Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/10/2013


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life.


Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/10/2013


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life. This publication from Boomer Books is specially designed and typeset for comfortable reading.


Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/10/2013


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life.


Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 1/10/2013


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life.


Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/10/2013


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life.


Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/10/2013


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life.


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