I received this book for free from Goodreads Firstreads Giveaways, and I am so happy to have obtained it. I had never before heard of Honeycreepers, a...moreI received this book for free from Goodreads Firstreads Giveaways, and I am so happy to have obtained it. I had never before heard of Honeycreepers, and if I had not seen this book on the Giveaways list, I might have gone my whole life without ever enjoying these beautiful birds.
This book is small and very short, but it packs a great deal into just a few pages. The text is informative without being pretentious; in fact, it's written in a very friendly, down-to-earth style. And the pictures -- oh, the pictures are magnificent. This book is a joy.(less)
This book provides an answer for the worries of daily life, and Max Lucado writes with a distinctive voice: funny in some places, serious in others, a...moreThis book provides an answer for the worries of daily life, and Max Lucado writes with a distinctive voice: funny in some places, serious in others, and comforting throughout. I laughed out loud in a few places, and I was delighted as his ability to take an austere topic, specifically a Bible passage, and relay it with both respect and hilarity.
My only complaint is that although the book addresses aspects of secular life that may cause fear, such as deaths, alcohol addictions, financial struggles, wars, illnesses, and unemployment, he fails to address fears that come from faith life. In fact, he tends to write the issue off entirely, saying that if you aren't sure that you have accepted God, then you haven't. I disagree, as I think that it's much more complicated than that. However, in pretty much all aspects of life except this one, this book can be (and is) a great source of comfort.
It takes only a few minutes to read this book, and Lucado draws on his own family history, on a Biblical parable, and on several verses of comfort from the Old and New Testaments. Well worth the read.(less)
A fun collection of urban legends. Some were familiar to me, and some weren't, but they were tremendous fun to read. Entertaining, certainly, this boo...moreA fun collection of urban legends. Some were familiar to me, and some weren't, but they were tremendous fun to read. Entertaining, certainly, this book also provides an intriguing look at urban legends' roles as cultural artifacts. Overall, it was quite informative.(less)
I found this book highly enjoyable. Many of the ideas are creative and festive, and some are gory and disgusting. I want to make many of these project...moreI found this book highly enjoyable. Many of the ideas are creative and festive, and some are gory and disgusting. I want to make many of these projects next Hallowe'en, but even if I don't, I am still glad to have read this book. Nardone's humorous prose is refreshing and enjoyable, and although his ideas for pranks, decorations, and activities are inventive, this book is worth reading for his sense of humor alone. Who knew DIY could be so amusing?(less)
This book has a little of everything: short stories, poems, carols, recipes, crafts, tips, history of Santa, and information about traditions around t...moreThis book has a little of everything: short stories, poems, carols, recipes, crafts, tips, history of Santa, and information about traditions around the world. It includes such religious content the famous passage from the Gospel of Luke, and such traditional fantastic tales as Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Hoffman's The Nutcracker. This book combines several centuries of Christmas writings in one compact, pocket-size volume.
That said, this book just isn't that practical; I think it tries to do so much that it doesn't really do things well. The short stories are severely abridged, but they are not listed as abridged. The carols do not include music, or even the names of the tunes or composers.
The section with traditions around the world is very short -- good for overviews but lacking detail. It and the Santa history are still fun sections to peruse.
The crafts seem very interesting and fun. I cannot comment on the recipes because I don't cook, but they seem very good. They also take up a substantial amount of the book, as it was a particularly large section.
Overall, the book is fun, and it's a nice addition to my collection. I would recommend it to anyone who loves Christmas but who isn't looking for a definitive history or anthology. It's a nice stocking stuffer, it provides good variety, and it's fun.(less)
I would recommend this book to any knitter. It is a friendly and informative handbook designed to help knitters working from patterns for the first ti...moreI would recommend this book to any knitter. It is a friendly and informative handbook designed to help knitters working from patterns for the first time, but it also has chapters for different techniques, including cable and lace. It includes many full-color pictures and is written in an easy to understand, down-to-earth style. It is peppered with bits of advice, not only tips for specific techniques, but also general advice for knitters, such as how to deal with mistakes (or why making mistakes is actually an important part of the learning process). One thing that confused me was that this author used “tension” and “gauge” interchangeably, while I had been taught that they meant two different things. On the whole, however, this was quite an impressive book. At the very end, the blurb about the author says that Atherley's grandmother taught her how to knit, and that is exactly the "feel" that this book gives: reading this book is like talking to an old friend who will patiently teach a craft and support you at each step. It's warm, it's personal, and it's part of what makes knitting fun. I received this book for free from Goodreads Firstreads Giveaway.(less)
This book has everything. It gives history associated with children's literature generally, with the specific stories (the different versions of "Litt...moreThis book has everything. It gives history associated with children's literature generally, with the specific stories (the different versions of "Little Red Riding Hood," for example, are a fascinating study), and even with the content of some specific stories (e.g. the section on alphabet poems describes an older, 24-letter English alphabet). And what a collection! It contains tradition stories, including fairy tales. It contains more modern responses to these fairy tales, such as parodies and cynical, worldly retellings. Its collection of literature includes humor and serious works. It includes poetry, prose, plays, and picture books (and yes, the actual pages of the picture books are reproduced as images, so the readers can see more than just the text). It even has a section of full-color pictures. It includes many works that I recall from my own childhood, and it grounds them in context so that I can better understand their history and their context in the canon.
This book is the Wimmer Lecture No. 3, given in 1949. This book, partially because of its very short length, works very well as an overview or even in...moreThis book is the Wimmer Lecture No. 3, given in 1949. This book, partially because of its very short length, works very well as an overview or even introduction to the philosophy of Saint Anselm. Specifically, Anselm was concerned with the connection between faith and reason. Interestingly, Anselm saw the two as working together, not separately. He felt that without first believing, he would never understand; but he also believed that, since humans are rational, nonbelievers could be reached through reason and logic. Moreover, he was always seeking the "Truth," which for him, was something more than fact. Anselm says, "If one does what he ought to do, he expresses truth." Phelan's lecture is a fine introduction to these concepts, but it really left me wishing to read more. Phelan touches on different philosophies from Anselm's time and after (being as existance and not essence), and he also briefly contrasts the truth of man (veritas hominis) with the truth of existance (veritas existendi). Each of these concepts could be a lecture by itself, and I would have liked to see them examined in slightly greater depth. Still, Phelan only had a short amount of time to deliver his lecture, and he does quite a lot with so little.(less)
This book was fascinating. In terms of science, it was interesting to see how much and how little people knew about the natural world. Some of what Lu...moreThis book was fascinating. In terms of science, it was interesting to see how much and how little people knew about the natural world. Some of what Lucretius believed was accurate, and some was highly inaccurate; but even when his facts are wrong, his way of seeing the world makes for a terrific reading experience. He states a few scientific principles, and then he ponders them deeply, looks at the same principle in several different examples, and then, often, draws moral or philosophical conclusions based on the science. While I don't agree with his philosophy, his dynamic style made for quite an enjoyable read. Moreover, it was fascinating to study Epicurean ideas and to read about the pursuit of pleasure. The six books deal with everything from atoms to the cosmos, from the human soul to the weather. Finally, A. E. Stallings' translation, with its meter and rhyme, makes the book a pleasure to read.(less)
This book is appropriately horrifying. Meticulously researched and large in scope, it follows many different threads of this tragedy. Obviously, this...moreThis book is appropriately horrifying. Meticulously researched and large in scope, it follows many different threads of this tragedy. Obviously, this author describes the events of the shooting, but he does so much more. He offers detailed backgrounds on the killers and insight into their motives and mental state; he also includes excerpts from their journals. He describes the nature of the killers’ friends, and he shows their anguish in the aftermath of the tragedy. He describes the reactions and subsequent investigations of the law enforcement. He shows the grief of the community and the complexity of both mourning and hating the killers. He even follows the survivors’ healing processes, both physical (as one of them learns to walk all over again and another learns that she never will) and mental (especially PTSD), both immediately following the tragedy and even through the reunions years later. This book is tasteful (no pictures here) and respectful of all who were touched by this crime. Certain people, such as the principal, are described with such vivid clarity that it is almost possible to think of them as old friends.
So why am I only giving it four stars? Because, for a nonfiction work, it was simply too hard to follow. It jumps around quite a bit, which, honestly, I expected. But more than that, it seems to be deliberately playing up the suspense. He’ll vaguely hint at something, but he won’t explain it until much later. Or he’ll interrupt the explanation of events so often that it will be difficult to understand who did what and when. I spent much of the book trying to figure out which of the students that he mentioned had died—it’s really sad when the reader doesn’t even know who the casualties were. Nor did I get a sense of where the killings were. Wait, did Eric even enter the cafeteria? (I thought not, from reading the book, but some Internet searching indicates that he was picked up on the security cameras. So now I don’t have a clue.) How were the library students hiding under tables? Did they flip the tables to make some sort of barricade? (Later in the book, he seems to indicate that they were actually in plain sight under upright tables. Still not clear as to why.)
Now, I don’t think I can really blame him for wanting to keep some tension in a book when most of his readers know in advance the gist of what happened, but I don’t think it’s fair to gain this tension at the expense of clarity. However, I will also admit that part of my trouble likely stems from my complete lack of previous information about the murders. Indeed, much of this book seems occupied with correcting misconceptions and explaining the source of misinformation and fallacies in the media. I, however, was way too young in 1999 to have followed media coverage of the Columbine shootings. In fact, when I borrowed this book from the library, I had no idea what Columbine was. The librarian told me it was the location of a school shooting. I had absolutely no notions of Columbine, preconceived or otherwise. The name of the school sounded vaguely familiar, and at first I thought it was the space shuttle that crashed, but that was Columbia. When I read the back cover, the names Eric Harris and Dylan Klebald were absolutely foreign to me. Not even vaguely familiar from the back of my mind. Heck, I thought Dylan was a girl. It is entirely possible that the average person, the savvy reader, might know enough going in not to have a problem with confusing text; for all I know, this book isn’t confusing at all to people who already have cursory knowledge of the situation. However, John Hershey, with his work Hiroshima, managed to give a clear account, following six survivors of the atomic bombing. I didn’t know much about that, either, but I still was able to know who went where and did what.