Dr. Finkelstein sure whipped up some controvery with this book - but you gotta give the guy credit for looking at something so ancient under a new lenDr. Finkelstein sure whipped up some controvery with this book - but you gotta give the guy credit for looking at something so ancient under a new lens....more
I used this book as a textbook (the author was my professor) before my study-abroad in Israel in 2000. With a deeper understanding of synagogue architI used this book as a textbook (the author was my professor) before my study-abroad in Israel in 2000. With a deeper understanding of synagogue architecture and with some previous knowledge about Greek archaeology and architecture, it made my experience in Israel even richer....more
Very good primer text on Second Temple period history and the early rabbinate. I used this in a college course with the companion volume _Texts and TrVery good primer text on Second Temple period history and the early rabbinate. I used this in a college course with the companion volume _Texts and Traditions_....more
I used this source reader for my Second Temple period history class in college - it is a great companion volume for Schiffman's _From Text to TraditioI used this source reader for my Second Temple period history class in college - it is a great companion volume for Schiffman's _From Text to Tradition_ as it has so many of the ancient texts included. ...more
**spoiler alert** Wow - what amazing storytelling. I *can't wait* for BOOK 3 to come out this summer...especially with the incredible cliffhanger the**spoiler alert** Wow - what amazing storytelling. I *can't wait* for BOOK 3 to come out this summer...especially with the incredible cliffhanger the author throws at the end with Peeta being captured by the government while Katniss is with the resistance.
When I first read the jacket cover, I was thinking, "seriously, she is going back into the Game?" and I was wondering how the author would craft that... but it was a great element with the whole brimming rebel movement in the districts. I found it slightly unbelievable that the victors from the other districts would sacrifice themselves for Katniss and Peeta. It didn't appear to be because of Katniss's "pregnancy" either. (wow, how smart is Peeta, eh?)
I read this in less than a day because I couldn't put it down. My excitement about these books prevents me from writing an intelligent review :P...more
A real page-turner and lots of fun to read. The author captures a lot of elements of fantasy and whimsy that will really appeal to his intended audienA real page-turner and lots of fun to read. The author captures a lot of elements of fantasy and whimsy that will really appeal to his intended audience. There was definitely a "Kids Rule!" message, being that the kids were the heroes who essentially "saved the world" :)
I enjoyed the beginning of the book quite a bit with the battery of tests for the students and learning more about the mysterious group conducting them. The whole plot and the school on the island was a bit confusing to me - I wasn't really sure *what* was actually happening with the "evil plot"... but it didn't really take away from the story that the science of it was so unclear. It seems like the author tried to wrap things up a little too much at the end with all the reunions, but hey, it is a young adult book, so I guess it is in need of a happy ending :)
I was interested to read that the illustrator for the book (both the cover and the artwork at the beginning of the chapters) is also the illustrator for several of The Decemberists albums. I knew I recognized the work! ...more
It definitely held my interest once I reached page 80 or so... I contemplated putting it down before that, but then things really picked up and it becIt definitely held my interest once I reached page 80 or so... I contemplated putting it down before that, but then things really picked up and it became quite enjoyable. Sticking with it was a good thing, because I liked where it went.
I liked the dystopian-lite aura of this book - it isn't as heavy as some of the other sci-fi dystopias, so it makes it more digestible for the younger readers with the same messages. It brings up important themes that kids cannot hear enough of: acceptance, importance of inner strength/beauty, meaning of true friendship, etc. Westerfeld seems to have a real understanding of his intended audience, and the writing reflected that - it was really good.
I am curious about the next volume and where Tally's story will go from here... I am not planning to rush out to get the sequel, but I will probably pick it up some time in the future.
I finished this book around 3:50am this morning... so, that, if anything, is a testament to its page-turning quality. It did not have the same emotionI finished this book around 3:50am this morning... so, that, if anything, is a testament to its page-turning quality. It did not have the same emotional affect on me that The Sparrow did, but because I read them in such quick succession, I see them as one masterwork. I really enjoyed the allusions to the books of Genesis and Exodus in this novel, and I felt that the characters were developed much deeper than in it's predecessor. I especially enjoyed seeing the development of the VaRakhati characters and how they interacted with the humans. ...more
Listened to the audiobook - not sure whether that had a true effect on my rating, although the narrator's voice annoyed me at times...
The story had aListened to the audiobook - not sure whether that had a true effect on my rating, although the narrator's voice annoyed me at times...
The story had an interesting premise, but quickly devolved into banalities and stereotypes: grad student down on her luck in life and in relationships, discovers a family secret dating back 300 years, meets a guy, dramatic events unfold... it just seemed like there was nothing new and exciting here. Connie, the protagonist, seems to have a real chip on her shoulder regarding some people and groups... some of the things she said and did seemed immature, unethical, and generally unlikable.
On a personal note: for goodness sake, the whole notion of archivists and librarians as being annoyed by patrons and "shushing" all the time is SO overdone. Did this book really have to add to it with each archivist or librarian the protagonist met? Sure, I am sensitive to that as an archivist myself, but come on.
Not sure about the time of this story either - it was never clear why the modern side of the story took place in 1991. Was it to nearly coincide with the anniversary of the Salem witch trials in 1692? If so, that was never expressed. The date seemed random, and there were a few times when I thought to myself, "was that around in `91?"
However, I kept on listening, somewhat curious how it was all going to end up. Part 2 was better than Part 1, but I was left shaking my head on this one. There are better accounts and novels about the witch trials and/or colonial New England. ...more
I was back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, and rounded up in the end.
Brazier is a professional athlete - he does IronMan triathlons and many other amI was back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, and rounded up in the end.
Brazier is a professional athlete - he does IronMan triathlons and many other amazing feats of human strength and endurance - but the most interesting thing to me is that he does it all on a 100% plant-based diet. And he totally knows his stuff. Like every single detail with pie charts and graphs. I was blown away with the sheer scientific research on why a vegan diet is truly the best for stress reduction, training, and recovery. The best part of it all is that you really don't have to be an athlete to gain this wisdom... I am not an athlete and never will be, but I greatly enjoy exercise, and want to take care of my body and my mind. I feel that this book really shows a viable way to do this for the long-term.
When I first heard about this book (about a year ago), I figured it would be about a bunch of powders and supplements, so I held off. So, when I finally picked it up and read it, I was so happy to be wrong. Brazier focuses solely on the importance of whole food sources, and even highlights the importance of raw foods in the daily diet. He has formulated this diet, called the Thrive Diet, that introduces the body to these whole sources over a 12-week span. It is not a diet in the traditional way of thinking about calorie-counting and/or deprivation - he includes dozens of recipes for all sorts of amazing foods (I especially love his use of "pseudograins" like amaranth and quinoa, as well as his copious use of medjool dates - love them!) One of the most clever things is that he turns these marketed sports-performance notions on their heads and has recipes for "sports drinks", "energy gels", and "recovery shakes". They are not Gatorade or "power" bars packed with synthetic ingredients that the body cannot even use... they are fresh fruits and vegetables (along with algaes, grains, fungi, etc.) used to their maximum potential to unlock true and sustainable energy inside your own body.
Brazier's case for veganism is very strong: he discusses how nutrition and the typical Western diet can be one of the biggest stresses on the human body. By going to the original source - not the highly processed foods - we can revitalize our bodies to be at their best, whether you are going to run marathons or simply do 30 minutes on the elliptical. His case is backed up by some very convincing research. He also discusses how veganism can help save the planet by replenishing the soil, the water, and the air. While many people become vegans for ethical/animal rights issues, this topic is not expressly mentioned in Brazier's books. I made the choice to be a vegan for ethical reasons (first) and health (second), but I really enjoyed learning his story, and how he came at this from a much different perspective.
Brazier is quickly becoming a well-known personality in the "veg" circuits with regular write-ups in newspapers and magazines. He also has some new books out that delve deeper into the diet, and the other about "Thrive Fitness". I am looking forward to more of his work. This one is highly recommended to anyone who cares about veganism and wants to learn more about how this choice affects your health and your general well-being.