At first glance, it looks like a children's book on the outside and the inside with it's colorful illustrations. But what we have on the inside isna pAt first glance, it looks like a children's book on the outside and the inside with it's colorful illustrations. But what we have on the inside isna plethora of information, theories by scientists, historians, and Astronomers as to the origin of that so fateful star, there are beautiful illustrations in the style of ancient and medieval times including actual star charts, some even showing the position of planets illustrating the many theories put fourth in the book. It even helped me form my own research. And theories. I received this book for free at my College library when they were giving things for free. In my opinion I received a valuable treassure, one I will be very hard pressed to part with. It also includes many ballads and poems as well as Biblical texts and traditions. Truly, this was worth the read and I am Sorry it wasn't longer and sad I finished it so soon. Knowing what I know now I'd have bought it were it not for free. Well done miss Hanson, well done....more
ce, informative, and un-biased scholarly work. No Justifications for racist Colonialism, no romantisizing of Native Americans, no propaganda of any kice, informative, and un-biased scholarly work. No Justifications for racist Colonialism, no romantisizing of Native Americans, no propaganda of any kind in this. Just clear, concise, and true. Plus you'll learn things you never knew before or even heard of. Everyone including non-college students should read this book. For instance, you'll read that most people were against the American Patriot Movement because they were seen as extremists and opportunists who wanted to replace the Monarchy with their own ultra-nationalist dictatorships, Native Americans converted to Christianity to steal white men's spiritual secrets, most went back to their own religions, some became Christian Shamans, and others were a mix of Pagan and Christian to combine the power of Jesus with that of the elements and spirits. Many Native Americans were as racist and opportunistic as the whites who came to Americs the only difference between the two was the advancement of each others weapons technology. Some even owned slaves, inter married with them, so there are separate tribes of half black Native Americans, Witchcraft was openly practiced by Christians In America and used the reading of Omens and Soothsaying and astrology to read God's commands. It was only bad when non-christians practiced it apparently so there was an entire civil division of Christianity of Witches and Non-witches theologically fighting each other. There's just so much this amazing book brings to the table this is my Christmas gift to you all. Includes documented opinions and eye witness accounts from people who lived there at the time. Trust me, you'll love it. Also, it traces various Revolutionary ideas from the Right and Left wings including what eventually became Communism, religious revivals, reforms, and Revolutions, everything....more
**spoiler alert** Well I am going to be brutally honest, I question the veracity of a lot of the claims he makes here. I would have said I recommend t**spoiler alert** Well I am going to be brutally honest, I question the veracity of a lot of the claims he makes here. I would have said I recommend this to beginners, but I found that even the basic information was lacking in much information.
While he did give a basic outline of Alchemy and even put fourth a few ideas as to it's origin, he also doesn't complete the information.
He makes the usual statement that Alchemy was mostly about changing metals into gold and silver, HOWEVER genuine Alchemists were concerned with natural transformations as well as the unnatural variety to make medicines. He even neglected to state that the Philosopher Stones (many stones that could be created by almost any Alchemist) could recreate all manner of magickal potions as well as the famed Elixir of Life which was the obsession of most Alchemists.
He also does not devote too much time to the chapters. At most he only writes 4 or 5 pages. I can understand the book can not be too big, but still, even short stories are longer than the chapters in this book. That is not a fair enough coverage of the facts.
I also question the veracity of the magickal systems he claims are old magick and whether or not they actually work on their own. I mean, if you have enough faith anything can work, but genuine magick can work even without a faith base. His explanation of the symbols I am very satisfied with however.
He does his best to put as much of the symbols as possible to reveal their meaning. He also put in as much of the Egyptian Alphabet as possible. His chapter on Voodoo is also very intriguing. It did have some rather interesting information and even revealed Baron Samedis other names (Ghede his true name and Baron Cimietre sorry for the misspelling of the last one) but, I find that I can not help taking a pencil to add information to the pages where I believe relevant information has been left out.
For instance, he did not explain that the belief that Hermes Trismegustes was Thoft in a human body was only a belief held by Hermetic Gnostics, he wrote it as if it were fact and a belief that is held by everyone universally.
Hermes Trismegustes was a Mage of the Hermetic Mystery school who believed as many Hermetists believe, that the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoft were one and the same. He wrote so many books and his power was so great (on par with Merlin) that he was mistaken by many to have been Thoft/Hermes (Hermeticism is nothing more than a religious doctrine that came from the Greek Interpretation, a nationalistic view point where the Imperialist Greeks invaded other countries, and then started reinterpreting other cultures and religions based on their own.)
Hermeticism is just the last visage of Greek Interpretation from an Imperialist standpoint. Granted there are some positive things about Hermeticism, and the way they combine Thoft's energy with Hermes seems to complement them both.
But to say that they are the same, and then to claim that Hermes Trismegustes was an incarnation of these gods is not only rather insulting to those who do not believe in Hermeticism, but out right blasphemy at equating this man with gods. I do believe he held a god-like power, but I do not believe he was a god let alone Thoft or Hermes.
And if the author is going to make such claims he should put in the evidence to back it up. But those are just my two cents. I could be wrong, I could be right....more
**spoiler alert** Amazing! The book is better than most of the portrayals of Holmes and Watson, the closest portrayals of them are the ones made by Ju**spoiler alert** Amazing! The book is better than most of the portrayals of Holmes and Watson, the closest portrayals of them are the ones made by Jude Law and Robert Dawny Jr.
Holmes is funny, Sarcastic, eccentric, and extremely arrogant. John Watson is tough as nails, bad ass, challenges Holmes and calls him out when he thinks he is in the wrong, and is a lover of women.
These stories are amazing. Though Arthur Conan Doyle does contradict himself in several of his stories. For instance, in the Final Problem, Watson had no idea who Moriarty was. Yet in the Hound of the Baskervilles which takes place years before the events of the final problem, he knows exactly who Moriarty was.
He does things like this throughout his stories. But it doesnt take away from the amazing writings of his stories!...more
**spoiler alert** It was a slow read at first but it quickly picked up. I found the book soothing, entertaining, and very insightful. I had however, o**spoiler alert** It was a slow read at first but it quickly picked up. I found the book soothing, entertaining, and very insightful. I had however, originally expected that it would be a book about Buddha Shakyamuni aka Siddhartha Gotama, the Buddha who created Buddhism. This Siddhartha was apparently loosely based on the historical Buddha to teach a special lesson. I had expected in vain to see him transform into that historical Buddha.
However, another Buddha he meets early on in the book, and who is referenced throughout the book to the very end, suspiciously named Gotoma may actually be another play on Siddhartha Gotoma. So this novel probably divides the Buddha we know into two people : the young man who makes the long and painful journey towards enlightenment and the already ascended Gotoma Buddha.
Near the end of the book, when Siddhartha meets with his childhood friend Govinda who became a disciple of Gotoma, Siddhartha says "I am at one with Gotoma" and mentions that all things are connected, so Hermann Hesse was probably making a metaphorical allusion as to Siddhartha and Gotoma being one and the same.
Perhaps it was not even genuine reality, but a purgatory of sorts in which the younger, fool hardy, and sinful version of the Buddha had to die to be reborn the way he was always meant to as the ascended Gotoma. Those are just my thoughts on the matter, I may be right I may be wrong. Who knows. In the end, it is fiction and is thus open to interpretation....more
I love this book, it focuses on Positive Psychology, meaning instead of just diagnosing what's wrong with you and how to fix it, it focuses on what isI love this book, it focuses on Positive Psychology, meaning instead of just diagnosing what's wrong with you and how to fix it, it focuses on what is right with you and uses Positive reinforcement in order to help you change your life for the better.
I recommend this to everyone. It certainly is changing my life....more
Its a good book to learn the history of Jazz and how modern music relates to it. I learned for instance, that Jazz can trace its linage to military brIts a good book to learn the history of Jazz and how modern music relates to it. I learned for instance, that Jazz can trace its linage to military brass bands from the Civil War. So it's literally a musical phenomena that has been going on for centuries.
But it is a tad boring at first for someone who is not particularly into music or already knows the history well.
In either case, its a good read and comes with its sound track of Jazz music....more
Quite an interesting little book. It is part dictionary, grammer style book, and text book as well as an official manual for how to properly phrase thQuite an interesting little book. It is part dictionary, grammer style book, and text book as well as an official manual for how to properly phrase things on professional writing.
It really is an amazing book and while working for the student newspaper at Miami-Dade College, we had what we called a style-book moment every once in a while were we read this book so much that if we used slang even just once, well.....we were just a couple of dorks lol
It is worth keeping for the Professional writer....more
An excellent book teaching you all there is to know about Journalism. It covers various subjects including the professional integrity of Journalists aAn excellent book teaching you all there is to know about Journalism. It covers various subjects including the professional integrity of Journalists and the need to be unbiased....more
**spoiler alert** It's a book on literary works and essays made by people. I cant say that I love it because there is a lot of things I think is ludic**spoiler alert** It's a book on literary works and essays made by people. I cant say that I love it because there is a lot of things I think is ludicris from some of the things people write but every once in a while you find something good like Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream Speech" or Malcolm X's "The Importance of Language"...more
**spoiler alert** Well it did meet my expectations for the most part, Pia Pera did a wonderful job writing Lo's character.I even like how she showed t**spoiler alert** Well it did meet my expectations for the most part, Pia Pera did a wonderful job writing Lo's character.I even like how she showed the people's quote un-quote "real names" in the Book. I had actually suspected that Delores Haze real last name was Maze because in the forward of the original Book it said that her name was so essential to Humbert's narration that only the surname was changed. It bothered me in the beginning that she was still alive but I quickly got over it. Life doesn't really have to be so tragic even though some of the stuff she goes through (if not all) is really,really gruesome. While Humbert doesn't get into specifics about the things he does to her she is extremely Graphic. It was a clear contrast to Vladimir Nabokav who didn't want to write a book with perverse themes in it (even though Pera only showed it to show the horror of child abuse). She does an excellent job of showing the world through Lo's eyes and simulating her personality well based on what little Lolita did actually say in the original novel. I think she pulled it off very well. HOWEVER what did bother me was that :1)It turned out that Gerry Sue Filthy (Clair Quilty's real name) didn't stay with Lo as long as Humbert claimed he did and that in fact he hadn't kicked her out for not doing a kid porno. I knew that Humbert couldn't be trusted cause he's nuts but still I expected at least some honesty.I also know that a novel doesn't have to be extremely graphic or violent but I expected her time with Quilty (Sue) to be way longer after she left Humbert than it actually was. Quilty seemed more interested in Humbert than in her which you can tell by the way he goes to several hotels without her using the fake names just to mess with his head. Not to mention he claimed he wanted to do a play that was loosely based on the 3 where two men ended up together in a gay relationship. I knew he was Bi since the other book, but still I expected him to pay a lot more attention to Lolita. So then she leaves within 3 or 4 weeks of her arriving there and then the happy ending (yay I guess) where she lives with her Mom's best friend. I dont mind happy endings,in fact I love them, but it all just seemed so random and paper thin it was hard to enjoy. I would have loved to see her stay for a while longer with Gerry Sue Filthy and then after all the struggle she has the happy ending like this it was just empty and meaningless. And 2) Pia Pera showed Dr,John Ray Jr. the guy who supposedly wrote the forward to the original novel to actually have been a friend of Humbert's with a weak personality who was easy to be controlled or scared which is why he did some alterations in the book to make him look more innocent. If you don't mind a weak ending you might love this though, after all the ending was what messed the book up,but it definitely is worth the read. That's just my opinion. ...more
**spoiler alert** Well it wasn't bad but neither was it as good as it could have been.
For starters, the Count kind of looked like the stereotypical vi**spoiler alert** Well it wasn't bad but neither was it as good as it could have been.
For starters, the Count kind of looked like the stereotypical villain complete with the bushy eye brows (lol) although the man is such a genius and has created a master plan worthy of Sherlock Holmes' Moriarty, he speaks such a broken English that it is hard not to laugh at him at times.
The part that made me laugh the most was when he was speaking to Mina in her chambers before he was changing her into a Vampire and said
"When my Brain speaks to you, you will cross Ocean and Sea to do my bidding"
Seriously? When my brain speaks to you? LMAO!!!
He knows how to speak English almost fluently yet he makes such mistakes as that? Plus Dracula was somewhat of a coward in the book as well. I mean, he waited 100's of years to venture outside of Transylvania because he feared death outside of a place that he had clearly dominated for less than that time.
Then of course in all of that time, you only see 4 Vampires in his castle and one of them (according to Jonathan Harker) may actually be him posing as his own servant? What the Hell is that?
Not to mention he couldn't stay in his youthful form or old form for very long so he was constantly changing. And the way he died without a real fight just being slaughtered in his own coffin?
I don't know. Plus he says that he will love again when he speaks to his three brides but who does he end up loving? No one. He is a sexual predator who practically rapes Mina when he forces his blood down her throat and holds her tightly by the hands.
Then of course there was the whole sweet talk in the whole novel. I mean okay, I can understand the feeling and sense of camaraderie among them all, after all they are eternally locked together in a bond that will never break due to this horrible situation, but seriously, do they have to be all cutesy whootsy all of the damn time praising one another, and crying, and etc, etc, etc,?
Come on! This is a story about a Bloodsucking Demon from Hell and the people who mean to destroy him and his devil spawn! Put away the tissue paper, pick up the wooden stake and shove it into his heart already. Jesus.
I thought I was gonna lose my mind with that, it was just so sickeningly sweet. Plus they take forever to do everything, I mean all right so it was good that they did research to figure out where Dracula's lairs where to destroy them and what not but did they really need to take that long to put the info together and do it?
I mean in the last house they found, they already had a perfect description of Dracula by the people who sold him the house. Was it really necessary to go and have to get the name of the person when they already knew it was obviously him?
Freaking Van Helsing took three nights to kill Lucy as a Vampire, I mean I get waiting two nights to kill her because of Arthur needing to see with his own eyes that she was a Vampire, but after they had already exposed themselves to her? Jeez, I mean if Lucy had only been more intelligent, she could have escaped that very same night to somewhere else because they had shown themselves to her and she knew she would have been killed.
They were lucky to still find her there the next day.
And how can these people (And even Mina herself) be so retarded that they cant figure out that she's being preyed upon by Dracula himself? Especially Mina, she's constantly being praised as the brains of the bunch yet she didn't even once believe that the weird white mist leaving Carfax was Dracula himself especially after having read Jonathan's account of the strange things he suffered in Dracula's castle?
Seriously Mina? And did she not think that something was amiss the first time she found Lucy sleep walking out to see a dark figure bending over her neck or the bat that kept flapping at the damn window?
If anything, this makes British people look like idiots. The only real intelligent person there is Van Helsing and even he gets fooled once in a blue moon. Also, there was too much humor in the book for it to be a pure horror. I mean for God's sake every time that Reporter kept writing up an article in the paper, he killed the scary atmosphere of the book.
Now for the good points,
I liked how Bram Stoker put in the Occult knowledge in the story. For instance, the Will-O'-the-wisps appearing above buried treasures on St. George's eve when Hell's forces on Earth are totally unchecked. Or the various signs Dracula has on his person which signal him as a vampire (ex, his fingers are all the same length, he has hair on the palms of his hand, eye brows interconnect etc..)
I also like how Dracula was made to look like Vlad Tepes, the historical Dracula, He makes allusions to himself as being that Dracula, talking history (very accurate history at that) and later on mentions of other things from Romanian Folklore, such as Dracula having attended the Scholomance (A school where the Devil teaches Dark Witches the forbidden secrets of nature)
Then of course there is the little known explored facet of Stoker's Dracula as being an Antichrist (which actually was a popular rumor during his time) and how he was dressed in black as a type of Satanic High Priest. His intellect is unquestionable, and his ability to use valuable resources over time as Gypsies and other human agents to do his bidding as private soldiers at his behest are no short of amazing.
His powers are great though Stoker put way too many restrictions on them. Yet as powerful as his magic is, his intelligence is even greater allowing him to manipulate different corporations into doing his bidding and unknowingly hiding his sinister work is great.
Van Helsing is also a genius and has a sarcastic sense of humor that makes you laugh off your ass! My favorite parts were on page 338 where he talks about the Captain who cursed Dracula out in a dozen different languages lmao.
Renfield was a surprisingly good character, it makes me sick to see how none of the portrayals of him in any of the movies are faithful to him. The man died a hero trying to fight his former Master to save Mina's life.
He and Van Helsing were actually one of the more interesting characters besides Dracula. One moment he was insane, the next he was perfectly sane and quoting philosophy. Very fascinating character.
I also thought it was interesting how Van Helsing himself was not a 'holy warrior' the way they portray him in the movies, but was a skeptic who was also spiritual and was able to open his mind to the possibility of something that secular science could not prove.
I also liked the information that was written in small intervals on the pages. Over all, it was a good book. But I wish they had actually shown more of Dracula than was shown in the book. ...more