Nancy W. - - Reviews

1 to 20 of 28 - Page:
Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray
Review Date: 8/17/2008
Helpful Score: 1


After reading this book, you come to the conclusion that you somehow knew all this stuff with the back of your mind, just not the front of it. You have noticed all these human tendencies in yourself and others,so why is it so amusing and enlightening to read them ? Who knows, who cares! The writing is utterly read-able and charmingly frank without being crude in any way. Another bonus is it makes people watching even better!
This book is deeply referenced and researched. You can quote from 'Anatomy' with confidence all the anthropological oddities you will learn and be eager to share. A good 1/4 of the text is the citations and bibliography,in my mind that is good research science. Read this in your own copy, 'cause I am a money's uncle if you don't find yourself underlining all over it.


Beans: Four Principles for Running a Business in Good Times or Bad
Review Date: 9/23/2008
Helpful Score: 1


The business principles I learned from reading this book are useful, but I earned them. The book is written in a style that is hard to stomach. It has elementary school levels of dialogue, complete with many phrases that begin with "wow,...". Be prepared to be spoon-fed sugar sweet business truths on pages padded with illustrations and wide margins and gaping spaces between paragraphs. The book design makes me think this was a short story stretched to be book sized. You can consume this offering in one day. It is nothing life changing,but good reminders about the human part of running a small business.


Blue Shoe
Blue Shoe
Author: Anne Lamott
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 12/26/2008
Helpful Score: 2


A story full of believable characters and convoluted yet also believable relationships.It is a family emotional drama that bridges a few generations. Those nasty skeletons those-in-the-know bury and those-who-don't-know are determined to uncover are slowly revealed skillfully page by page. People do fall in and out of love, kids do feel insecure about it. Serial monogamy is the wisest course yet it seems difficult for human beings to keep their romances in chronologically socially acceptable order.There is some seriously beautiful writing here. I am glad it was a novel and not my life. I will experience no surprise if this someday becomes a Hallmark Hall of Fame production.


Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries throughout History
Review Date: 8/17/2008


I cannot say that this book is gripping. I cannot say that Poastron's writing style is breezy . The info in the pages is worth wresting out,be warned,it is no stroll. In a nutshell, interesting: off and on, dry: mostly, researched:to the uttermost.After reading 'Books On Fire' I do believe I have more knowledge about libraries that are no more than a person really has need for to have an interesting conversation over cocktails.


Chimpanzee Politics : Power and Sex among Apes
Chimpanzee Politics : Power and Sex among Apes
Author: Frans de Waal
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/21/2009


This book is consistently sited in books of both scholarly and pop psychology. The exhaustive notes and observations and been synthesized into an enjoyable read by Frans de Waal. His interest and amazement at the behaviors and interactions among the Chimps at Arnhem Zoo are infectious. He is careful as a scientist not to make unsupported statements, yet he does not sterilize the topic. Some interpretation of the goings on of the chimps is needful and de Wall does it deftly.In the course of his years of observations there was a power shift and then a retaking of elevated status with a few key alterations and sharing of power among the males of the group.The females of the group are instrumental and play no small role in how it all plays out. De Waal is thorough and completes his research by making sure that the females in the band and their instrumental role in the political realm is a observed and weighted as keenly as the more showy violent displays of the males. In his conclusion he writes "What my work at Arnhem has taught me,however,is that the roots of politics are older than humanity". De Waal does not make apes into humans nor humans into apes, but the corresponding traits we share are unmistakable and enlightening.


Death, Sex, and Fertility: Population Regulation in Preindustrial and Developing Societies
Review Date: 8/20/2008


Utterly readable! Utterly fascinating! What was the publisher thinking giving this terrific book such a horrid title??!! Forgive them their gaff by getting your hands on this book. If you are a person who has never been life-threateningly hungry,if you are a person who has several security nets to your lifestyle, then this book demystifies the behaviors of people who live outside of your environmental pressures. Your compassion for the hard decisions men and women make and have always made will be enlarged. If you go into this book naive and sheltered about what really makes the work tick, you will not be when you come out the other side. The truly amazing thing is how well written and approachable the topic is in the hands of the authors. It is well researched and scholarly. This book is way up near the top of the list of 'most important books I have ever read'. This book is not only for science types,as the title would indicate, it is for everybody.


Easy Lawn and Garden Care: How to Maintain Your Yard and Save Time and Money (The Homeowner's Library)
Review Date: 9/14/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Most certainly this book is a good addition to a gardening library. The author does not get all personal with stories of their own gardens yadda yadda. The information is concise and clearly followable and is not only what to do but also the flip side if you don't, followed by and how to remedy the situation. The advice on selecting tree trimmers was insightful, as well as the differences in nursery centers, home improvement or grocery store plant purchasing. All really logical stuff, just as soon as you have been told. I intend to use the calendar of chores laid out by month for Northern or Southern latitudes. It all seems do-able and takes out the guess work out of having a green thumb.
My only gripe concerning this book is about the illustrations. I recognized some of the pests (Plant and critter)...but only because i am very familiar with them. The drawings were crude for actually making it possible for someone unfamiliar with the item ( plant or critter)to actually identify them via the illustration. A more technical type drawing , still in black and white , would have suited the need better.


Hand-Feeding Backyard Birds: A Step-By-Step Guide
Hand-Feeding Backyard Birds: A Step-By-Step Guide
Author: Hugh Wiberg
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/26/2008


This is a lovely book, glossy pages, clear photos. The text is easy to follow and even encouraging in a folksy way. Patience is required to hand feed, but living in New England is likely the best indicator of success. As a Southern Californian my chances of utilizing the bulk of information is scant. The optimal times to hand-feed are 24 hours after a severe ice storm, with 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. So you East Coasters, you will love this book as is predominately aimed at you. I will give the novelty of hand feeding as coached by Mr.Wiberg an attempt with local mocking birds,since we in So.Cal are clean out of Chickadees, Nuthatches and seriously cold weather.


The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 689
Review Date: 1/20/2009
Helpful Score: 2


One of the smartest most engrossing books I have ever read. A future society played backwards of the womens equality movement.Fascinating and revels how bad things could get if testosterone ruled the day unchallenged. Thats really all I can say without spoiling it for everybody.


The Help
The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2454
Review Date: 7/31/2011


I had no idea what this book was about by the title. The 'hired help' is the point.This was a fascinating behind the scenes view of people behaving badly, in the southern states no less.It all takes place in the early sixties just as race relations where heating up and getting smoothed out. Brave people. An excellent read.


Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior
Review Date: 9/25/2008
Helpful Score: 3


This may well be a serviceable primer for the females of the population on how to tell the good guys from the rascals...not that some females do not have rascally amounts of testosterone too. This was certainly not the intent of the authors, but none the less, there it is. For women seeking some way to tell which men of the millions to choose from that will be naturals at monogamy,and least likely to hit,here is your book. For guys who would like to understand their desire for tattoos or lack of desire for tattoos, here is your book. It is all laid out in charts and bibliography just what the nasty yet wonderfully action-packed hormone is doing to you and how much of it you are likely ,personally, to be hauling around.

After reading these pages the people watching is going to be so much more colorful than ever before, and I am also less likely to be a mark for some slick high testosterone confidence man. Seriously, this book is just loaded with fascinating and useful insights and info.


The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, Bk 1)
The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, Bk 1)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2292
Review Date: 1/23/2011


This amusing and entertaining book is intended for young readers, but as an adult I relished this one day read like a true teen.


Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined
Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined
Author: Gordon Patzer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 11/7/2008
Helpful Score: 1


This is an interesting read, but the title is a bit misleading. It doesn't address the WHY as completely as it implies. For an explanation of why looks matter and why we respond to individual attractiveness in a predictable manner I would point you in the direction of "Survival of the Prettiest", by Ectoff. After reading that, if you want some additional interesting insight on the topic of Physical Attractiveness (PA) then "Looks" fits that bill very well. I feel the most interesting chapter is #6 'Rendering Judgment: How Looks Affect Courtroom Results. Some statistics and observations can be found in those pages that would well serve lawyers, jurors,and the accused,that is apart from just being darn interesting to the rest of us. This book is deeply noted and is well researched. I feel I can quote from it with confidence.


Lost Message of Jesus, The
Lost Message of Jesus, The
Author: Steve Chalke, Alan Mann
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 9/7/2008
Helpful Score: 1


In the U.S. (Sir) Steve Chalke is not a household name. Somehow we need to change that. If you get a chance to hear him in person it is well worth the experience He is very engaging,charming and charismatic + English accent. Barring that, listen to a tape, barring that read this book. His ideas are street-smart Christianity that functions and is relevant for modern/postmodern culture. "Either Christianity itself is flawed,failing and untrue,or our modern,Western,commercialized,industrial-strength version of it is in need of a fresh look, a serious revision." This is no heresy, he does give a look at a viable revision.His theology is shaking up status quo Christianity on both sides of the pond...at long last. He can support his new/old message with all the Roman and Jewish cultural context. You can quote Chalke and know you are not a heretic,not spreading weak theology.The man knows of what he speaks. He is clearing a path that is moving towards Christianity that will serve current generations that are finding less and less about Jesus that makes any sense. Add Chalke to the list of important individuals such as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton,,but possibly more approachable. Chapter 7 alone is worth the read.


Lost Paradise: From Mutiny on the Bounty to a Modern-Day Legacy of Sexual Mayhem, the Dark Secrets of Pitcairn Island Revealed
Review Date: 10/10/2010
Helpful Score: 3


Kathy Marks does a complete and fair assessment of the situation at Pitcairn Island. She avoided being lulled into the myth of the movies, stories of idyllic life, that have shielded the pedophiles that have inhabited the island ,sadly, from the first. What emerges is a sad protective community of commodified females that actually help perpetuate the dark culture of domination by several generations of strong-arming power-hungry men. This book's subject is not easy to read. It is a reflection into the potential for ugliness we all carry inside,definite proof we all need supervision and rule of law. If it were not for the few brave girls that squared their shoulders and risked being not believed, the situation my not have changed even yet. This is a sober telling of truth that the cognitive dissonance of many would have you never hear. This is the anti-venom for the romantic tales of the high seas. I highly recommend it for it's shear truth and setting straight of history's story.


The Mermaid Chair
The Mermaid Chair
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 1470
Review Date: 8/24/2008


The first paragraph of Monk Kidd's book is a spoiler. She admits right out of the gate that the story is about an affair she had with a Benedictine monk. Not to worry, there are other mysteries to read toward. If you credit yourself when reading a mystery of being able to figure out the who-done-it in advance of the revelation,then try your skills on this one. Along with the mystery of "why are these people behaving so oddly", is the emotional travels of the female main character. As in any good book, have an experience without having to actually have the experience.


The Mismeasure of Man
The Mismeasure of Man
Author: Stephen Jay Gould
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 11/4/2010


This book ends any and all excuses to be mean, racist, or superior to any fellow human. Gould is always thorough,frequently to the point of exhaustion, but you always know you have read something well supported with data and supported by history and research and good science...but no guarantee that the book is a page-turner.


My Hands Came Away Red
My Hands Came Away Red
Author: Lisa McKay
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 10/9/2008
Helpful Score: 4


This reads as an honest tale of overwhelming situations of violence and harsh realities through the eyes of budding adults. The characters are old enough to be relate-able to grown-up readers yet, while reading, their actions remind you they are young. Very young. They are six western Christian teenagers of varying levels of naivete on a well intentioned summer mission trip. The time for their trip was badly timed and they find themselves in a Muslim vs. Christian killing zone. Adventure is gripping but so is the reality check that their faith in God goes through. I appreciate the lack of a neatly tied up conclusion to the unsettling sense of being on the cusp of loss of personal faith. I would suggest this to book any one, it is flat out good reading.


A New Era of Gardening
A New Era of Gardening
Author: Douglas Kent
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/23/2010


Designed for those designing a garden, but is applicable to those with established yards as well. This text is geared to bring the co2 content of gardening into your thinking. Who knew there was an argument in favor of landfill for our garden waste. Kent makes an convincing argument that we need to bury it and keep it from decomposing and giving off it's co2 by being mummified/pickled in the landfill. Gardening for the sake of producing more oxygen. A quick read.Plenty of charts and graphs.


The Perennial Killer (Gardening Mystery, Bk 5)
The Perennial Killer (Gardening Mystery, Bk 5)
Author: Ann Ripley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 8/20/2008


Here is a good read for a vacation. The plot is not so engrossing that you will be a bad traveling companion,that is,with your nose stuck in a book to good to put down.Read awhile ,set it down,pick up again. repeat. I would warn off the fellas and say this in a chick-read. I would also say it is aimed at readers who like plants and all things garden, and yet for those who aren't the sections that are heavy in plant lore are sectioned and easily skipped or skimmed over.


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