Anyone interested in Danish history would find this book informative and useful. Still, it is not flawless. Jörg-Peter Findeisen says that he aims to wAnyone interested in Danish history would find this book informative and useful. Still, it is not flawless. Jörg-Peter Findeisen says that he aims to widen the readers' knowledge of Denmark and its people. To my disappointment, however, the book does not include any cultural background. Something, which is crucial if one really wants to get to know a particular country and a part of history which I consider to be no less important than the merely political facts.
At times the style can get either taking or tedious, but for the most part it is neutral. The text is not entirely consistent, though. It may happen that the author pays too much attention to certain events and merely mentions others, and not always in a chronological order, as he sometimes gets carried away. This can be a bit confusing, particularly near the end of the book, where the author floods the reader with a series of years and names, without always making it clear how one thing lead to another. For example, one moment Denmark is in the worst crisis for the last century, and the next everything is going well.
Nevertheless, Jörg-Peter Findeisen does a good overall job at explaining the historical situation. The book is comprehensive, but there are still some events which I think should have received more attention, namely the campaigns of the Danish vikings in Normandy, the Reformation in Denmark and the Danish privateering from at the beginning of the 19th century (the last is not so significant, but is still interesting). Also, the last part of the book focuses almost entirely on the problems Denmark has and the reader is left with the false impression that the country has been I a crisis for the last couple of centuries.
Other than that, the book offers a good and accessible overview of Danish history and I would recommend it to people interested in the subject....more
There are some useful tips in this book, both practical and aesthetic. The theory is illustrated with good examples in the form of beautiful photograpThere are some useful tips in this book, both practical and aesthetic. The theory is illustrated with good examples in the form of beautiful photographs. From one point on, however, the book gets quite repetitive and you hardly read or learn anything new.
The guide seems to end up in no man's land. On one hand, it is too technical for people who don't intend to spend money on photographic equipment, and on the other hand too general for those who have the said equipment and presumably are already familiar with most of the advices found in the book and want to learn more details.
I am somewhere in the middle - I am familiar with the basic technical theory and I intend to obtain more serious equipment one day, so the "pro" tips did not bother me, and neither did the summarizing character of the info and the lack of details, since I am not yet that advanced. And I did enjoy the book. It helped me understand some things better, and it is a little step forward, but overall it provides just a basic insight in landscape photography and is rather meant to inspire you to look for more info and try new things yourself than actually teach you anything advanced.
It is also a bit outdated, as it focuses almost entirely on film cameras and merely mentions once or twice that such a thing as digital photography actually exists....more
I normally keep as far away as possible from books of this kind, but in this particular case (the book was given to me), I thought it easier to just rI normally keep as far away as possible from books of this kind, but in this particular case (the book was given to me), I thought it easier to just read "How to Be Twice As Smart" than to try explaining my prejudice without being offensive. Well, I read it, and it turns out I have been right in my aversion to such titles.
Some of the advices in the book are not really applicable, and many of those who would probably work, would hardly be any faster or better than more conventional solutions. And the rest you have certainly already found out by yourself. Here are two examples: Witt tries to convince the readers (as if he has discovered America) that practice is good for you, and illustrates this statement with a short story about a guy who learned a foreign language better by practicing it. Really? Who would have expected?! He also says that to solve a problem, you have to think about it and imagine what the various outcomes might be. I would never have thought of that.
The book is full of convenient stories and clichés (like the one about the man who learned a foreign language), which all, as Witt claims, happened to friends of his, and which are obviously made up for the occasion. The result is, that instead of convincing me in something, they are having the opposite effect.
The author's scientific claims are also questionable and as a rule, he never quotes his sources.
Witt sounds all the time as if he were a salesperson from a teleshopping program, repeating the same things over and over again, trying hard to sell some product. Well, the reader has already bought the book, hasn't he/she? In a similar fashion, the author explains everything as if the readers were a bunch of imbeciles, which is probably not true (even if the very fact that they are reading a book called "How to be twice as smart" might suggest that it is), and therefore is not very polite, or at any rate is quite annoying.
In the chapter about fast and effective reading, the author tells us how to skip through introductions, "filler" and other unnecessary information in various texts, for example history books. This ridiculous underestimation of literature (fiction or not) maybe comes from his own experience, since you can easily skip about 75% of this very book and you won't miss anything.
But what annoyed me most in "How to be twice as smart" was the author's attitude to the topic. The reader is left with the impression that according to Witt, intelligent equals fake, pragmatic and manipulative, that there are hardly any people outside the corporative and capitalist world, that the only reason to communicate with other people is to make use of them, and that everybody is driven by the same basic needs and wants. (Here is the moment to mention that many of the methods in the book are based on oversimplified psychology and Witt's lack of understanding for the subconscious.)
As a conclusion, I would suggest that you don't lose any time with this book. (It took me a few hours to read it, which however were spread throughout a few months, because of my reluctance to keep on reading it.) I have to admit that there are some useful tips in there, but none which you can't think of by yourself or at least stumble across on the Internet....more
This is an interesting book, though more because of the articles accompanying the actual Gnostic text. They give a good overview of some of the characThis is an interesting book, though more because of the articles accompanying the actual Gnostic text. They give a good overview of some of the characteristics and beliefs of Gnosticism, and Sethianism in particular. However, the long lost Codex Tchacos is nothing revolutionary, neither for Christianity (the text is actually more related to Judaism and Platonism)) nor for Gnosticism. From a religious point of view, it is just one of the many heretical writings from the early days of Christianity. From a historical and scientific point of view, it is interesting, of course, and is a nice addition to the Gnostic texts from the Nag Hammadi Library, discovered in 1945. But, as I said, the Gospel of Judas does not really bring any new theological revelations.
PS Congratulations to all the people who made a great effort in restoring the codex....more
The 'Meanings' from the title should rather be understood as a historical and ideological overview of modern art (beginning with the Impressionists). AThe 'Meanings' from the title should rather be understood as a historical and ideological overview of modern art (beginning with the Impressionists). At any rate, Russell's immense erudition is impressive. His writing style is not lacking either and the book is very informative and enjoyable to read. The author sometimes makes bold statements as to the nature of art and its quality without defending them, but then again, that is not the purpose of the book. Russell aims to give the average reader a good idea about modern art, while simultaneously paying a tribute to it, and he does that perfectly. He was able to abolish most of my prejudices (and confirm some, unwillingly, I presume) and broaden my view of (modern) art, which is a lot more than I expected from this book....more
A wonderful overview of the history of pornography and erotic art, from the Venus of Willendorf to Richard Kern. Alan Moore's formidable erudition isA wonderful overview of the history of pornography and erotic art, from the Venus of Willendorf to Richard Kern. Alan Moore's formidable erudition is quite obvious, but still he does twist some of the facts a bit, sometimes for the sake of making a valid point, sometimes for the sake of making the text witty and pleasant to read. The critics would probably not consider this as a serious study (particularly as he doesn't quote any sources either), but as I said Alan Moore makes valid points and I would recommend the book to anyone interested in the topic, no matter whether he or she praises or condemns pornography....more
Hans Rüdi Giger's art is an orgasm from hell. This book presents a nice overview of his work, as well as some witty personal stories from Giger himselfHans Rüdi Giger's art is an orgasm from hell. This book presents a nice overview of his work, as well as some witty personal stories from Giger himself, which I really enjoyed reading....more
We get to visit eight different unique homes and hear what the owners have to say about them. The prevailinThis book has a simple and charming concept.
We get to visit eight different unique homes and hear what the owners have to say about them. The prevailing feeling is that the place where one lives becomes part of that person and vice versa. And that's why I wish there were more photos showing the people living in their homes, and not just the homes. Aside from that, the photos and the living places themselves are beautiful and the whole concept of the book is put together very well....more