Interesting take on how workers have changed motivations over the year, and on what truly motivates us.
A must-read if you're changing jobs or careers....moreInteresting take on how workers have changed motivations over the year, and on what truly motivates us.
A must-read if you're changing jobs or careers. It really helped me to view my potential jobs in a whole new light and to be sure that the rewards that the job offered were truly motivational to me.(less)
4 stars RECOMMENDED FOR: Agatha Christie fans and all lovers of good mysteries
Classic Agatha Christie, but with a spunky heroine named Victoria Jones....more4 stars RECOMMENDED FOR: Agatha Christie fans and all lovers of good mysteries
Classic Agatha Christie, but with a spunky heroine named Victoria Jones. No Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot... no, 20-something Victoria Jones, a Mr. Dakin, an Edward, a Michael Carmichael, an archeologist, a mysterious Anna Scheele, and Richard Baker.
But Victoria is the main focus of the story, once it gets started. And yes, it takes place in Iraq in and around Baghdad. See, Victoria meets a handsome young man in London after just being sacked from her position. He charmingly chats her up, and Victoria feels a real spark between them. But, alas, Edward is headed off to Baghdad, to his job - the one that he's concerned might be a "front" for something else. What, he's not sure... poor boy. Victoria is convinced that Edward is THE ONE. And so, she's determined to find a way to Baghdad to convince Edward that they belong together.
Oddly enough, an opportunity presents itself, and Victoria finds herself off to Baghdad without much delay. Problem is, she hasn't a clue what Edward's last name is nor where he works.
While she's muddling it all through, a mysterious English man dressed as an Arab wanders into her room one night, bleeding profusely. He begs her to hide him, so she does - in her bed, and just in time for the police to search the room. Since Victoria is in her robe and obviously just came from sleeping in her bed, the police don't think to search IN the bed.... but Victoria discovers that the man, a Michael Carmichael is dead. Mr. Dakin comes to the rescue and tells Victoria a story that puts her in the picture, as a sort-of spy. She's to spy on Edward's boss - yes, Victoria was able to locate Edward.
And so, we're off... to kidnappings, political upheavals, love, true love, spies, and all manner of fun.
I'd never heard or nor read this one, which is strange, because I'm such an Agatha Christie fan. My favorite of her books, is , which stars Tommy and Tuppence, once of Christie's lesser known couples. Victoria reminds me of Tuppence, except that this is set in the 50s, and Tuppence's stories are set in the 20s, 30s, and 40s. Perhaps Tuppence is some long lost relation?
Loads of fun - love the 50s flair! Especially with the travel, clothes, and the way that Christie describes Baghdad. (less)
This book might seem over-simplistic, but really, isn't that we so often do - over complicate things in our emotional and romantic lives? This...more3+ stars
This book might seem over-simplistic, but really, isn't that we so often do - over complicate things in our emotional and romantic lives? This book is designed to help us step back and take another look at ourselves and our partners. Gary Chapman says that we each long to love and be loved - just for who we are; and to discover my "love language", I must analyze the things that make me feel loved. Words? Actions? Quality time? Touch? Gifts?
We each have our own preferred ways of feeling loved. And what makes me feel loved might not be what makes my partner feel loved. And human nature being what it is, I will express my love for others in my primary love language - because I know that's what makes me feel loved. But if my partner or family doesn't prefer that same love love language, if that love language doesn't make him or her or them feel loved, then we could be at odds with one another, speaking completely different languages and being overwhelmed and frustrated, trying to figure out where the "love" has gone.
It's interesting that he says that "romantic love" lasts about 2 years; that obsessive love that we read about in books, watch on TV and in movies, desperately long to have with another person. Once that fades, real love can begin. In other words, love is a verb, people. It's not a feeling, an emotion, a daydream, or a life-time full of candles and sighs. It's a commitment and an act of will. Because love is such a deep and integral part of who we are, once the obsession (or what some call "passion") fades, it's up to us to keep the love alive. And to do that, we must understand our own love language, so that we can communicate to those who love us. It's good for us to understand the love language of those closest to us (especially spouses or significant others), so that we can express love towards them in ways that make them feel loved.
This isn't a book about choosing the right mate. It's not about staying with someone who abuses you or treats you like a doormat. If you're in a troubled relationship, this isn't necessarily the first book you should reach for. But it can provide insights into yourself and your partner, especially if you're trying to rekindle the romance or reconnect again like you did when dating.
And I especially appreciate the "work" aspect of this book. Each chapter has questions to ask yourself - ways to apply the book. After each love language is described, the author provides a checklist for you and for your partner on ways to express that love language. Not everything costs money - not even the love language that prefers gifts! You can give gifts from the heart that have nothing to do with monetary value - that single flower picked from a meadow (or your neighbor's yard), a handmade card, a sticky note that says "I love you", and so on... all kinds of ways to express love through words, gifts, touch (not just sexual), actions, and quality time.(less)
For many years, I've remembered reading a story about a girl with a young brother who traveled to another world to confront an IT. The story...more3.5 stars
For many years, I've remembered reading a story about a girl with a young brother who traveled to another world to confront an IT. The story made a deep impression on me, because I was 8 or 9 when I read it, and it seemed so fascinating, so horrible, and so unlike the usual stories that I was able to check out from the school library at the time. But I could never remember the title of the book or enough about it to locate the book again.
While I'm not a fan of ads on sites, I must thank the 50th anniversary edition ad for this book here on Goodreads for helping me to find this book again!
It's a beautiful story about a girl who feels very out of place - in her family and at school. Her father, a scientist, has been missing for several years, and the entire town thinks that he's run away with another woman. So her family is pitied and gossiped about endlessly. Margaret (Meg) is also at that awkward growth stage, where she's lanky, clumsy, wearing braces, and trying to deal with the emotions and thoughts of a young girl changing into a woman.
Meg has a special bond with her youngest brother, Charles Wallace. Charles is 5 years old and very unusual; he didn't speak until he was 4, which started the rumors that he's a moron. But when Charles did begin to speak, he spoke not only in complete sentences, but with a marked intelligence and a vocabulary and understanding often not found in 24 year olds! Charles has a way of knowing what Meg thinks and what she needs. It's implied that Charles has ESP, and that he can apply it to figure out what others are thinking. He certainly knows Meg and his mother.
On a windy, stormy night after a particularly bad day at school, Meg wanders into the kitchen and finds Charles Wallace making cocoa and sandwiches. Their mother joins them, and the children realize just how much she's missing their father... and the toll all of this is taking on her. A Mrs. Whatsit, a friend of Charles' who he says lies in the old abandoned "haunted" house with 2 friends, knocks on their door. She's dressed so strangely and talks so strangely with Charles, that Meg is certain this is the sheet thief, coming to steal from her house or even, perhaps, to harm her family. But when Mrs. Whatsit, who also seems to be able to read minds, mentions, "there is such a thing as a tesseract", Meg's mother instantly reacts to the word "tesseract". Meg can't get any more information from her mother, only a sense that that word has to do with the experiments that her mother and father were doing when he went away on some "top secret" mission.
The next day, Charles takes Meg to the haunted house, where they meet another of Mrs. Whatsit's friends, Mrs. Who, and a neighbor boy, Calvin. Calvin is a few years older than Meg, and they've never properly met, but somehow an instant bond is formed between them. Calvin immediately feels protective of Meg and Charles, and it's obvious that he's got a keen interest in Meg. He, too, seems to have some sort of "gift", and Charles and Calvin recognize like-souls. Calvin asks Charles if she's "one of us", and he responds, "Meg has it tough. She's not really one thing or the other." This mysterious statement is never fully resolved in this book... I wonder if it is in any of the sequels?
Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who then take Meg, Charles, and Calvin on a mysterious journey to save Mr. Murray (Meg's and Charles' father) from some strange darkness that seems to be trying to cover the Earth and has already covered several planets in the universe. They know that the darkness is Evil. They learn that a tesseract is a way of traveling through space and time - sort of folding time and space to lessen the distance between points (like a fold of cloth). The children also meet Mrs. Whatsit's other friend, Mrs. Which, who never quite takes on a true corporeal form. The three "weird sisters" tell the children that they must rescue Mr. Murray from the Darkness... and they must go alone. But each is given specific gifts from the weird trio before they venture off to the unknown.
What the children discover is that, while this new place (Camazotz) might look a bit like Earth, there is definitely something OFF about the place and its people. All the houses look the same. The people might look different, but they all act the same way - walk at the same rhythm, bounce balls at the same rhythm... it's as if they all share one mind. Meg, Charles, and Calvin discover that they must go to CENTRAL Central Intelligence to find what they're looking for. They find more than what they bargained for - walls that inhabitants can make disappear by manipulating the atoms of the wall, a strange man with red eyes who talks of IT, and then finally, IT.
With his vast intelligence, Charles Wallace thinks that he can find father by allowing himself to glimpse IT, mentally. But IT takes over Charles Wallace, and he becomes a strange, cruel creature. Meg and Calvin try to free Charles from IT and almost succeed in breaking the bond, but IT intervenes. Meg does find Father, and she's able to rescue him with the help of one of the gifts. But IT is trying to take over Meg's and Calvin's minds, and Father uses a tesseract to take Meg and Calvin away from Camzotz. But they must leave Charles Wallace behind; he's too ingrained with IT.
Will Meg and Calvin and Father be able to break away Charles Wallace from IT? Will they be able to return home? ----------------
As a child, the spiritual references (especially scripture) obviously went over my head. While I was raised in a church-going home and memorized scripture, at this point in my life, I was more interested in the occult - a fascination I outgrew and left behind in favor of my faith. I remember the thrill of this book to me - it felt more like a story of magic than faith. But reading it now as an adult, I realize that the story is showing how faith can appear as a sort of "magic" - that the power of faith and the belief in Good (or Light or God) can overcome the Evil/Darkness that tries to conform us to itself - stripping away our individuality and our free will, making us it's servant and robot.
The strange thing, to me, was the Medium with her crystal ball. While I could accept many of the other strange creatures and worlds, the Medium goes against scripture. The Bible is clear about mediums, and so this oddity who is obviously meant to be a friend and a help in this adventure puzzled me. I was no longer sure about the author's intention - perhaps she didn't mean the story to be an allegory for Christianity as much as faith? Still not sure....
But it's a delightful book, IMO. I wouldn't recommend it for under 10 or for tender hearts or those easily frightened.(less)
**spoiler alert** The question is whether Cousin Rachel is a temptress & murderess out for money or an impulsive, passionate misunderstood woman....more**spoiler alert** The question is whether Cousin Rachel is a temptress & murderess out for money or an impulsive, passionate misunderstood woman. Du Maurier leaves the final decision up to you, the reader, which is terribly frustrating!!! I just read a 300+ page book and THAT was the ending I was left with?
As I read, I pictured a black-and-white movie by Hitchcock. In fact, some of the parts of this book reminded me of "Vertigo". When I looked it up on imdb.com, I discovered that this book had, in fact, been made into a movie in 1952, staring Olivia de Haviland as Rachel and Richard Burton as Philip Ashley. I'm an old movie buff, so it surprised me never to see that film or even know of it.
Regardless, this is definitely a Gothic tale of love and mystery... It haunts you as you read it and after you finish it. It's the kind of book that's good for book clubs, because you NEED to discuss it with someone... ask your questions, put forward your thoughts and theories, and try to find a resolution that Ms. du Maurier doesn't provide.
Many other reviewers here at Goodreads.com make good points. These particular points stand out to me: * Ms. du Maurier's characters often get what they want only to wonder if they're truly happy for having it.
* The men and women never seem to fully communicate -- each holds something back from the other. As the reader, you just want to shake them and shout at them - JUST SAY IT!
I'm sure there are many who believe Rachel innocent, based on the last few pages of the book. But cynic that I am, I don't believe it for a moment. The woman was a psychopath: Rachel did and said exactly what she knew the person she was with wanted her to say and do, so that she could manipulate that person in the long run to do as she wanted. There's plenty of proof in the pages of the book, and especially the way she played Philip.
To me, the question is, did Philip kill Rachel? He certainly believes that he did. Philip knew that the bridge wouldn't hold - he was told so by the workman. Philip knew that Rachel would likely walk over the bridge during her walk. Ergo, Philip knew that Rachel would fall and be hurt, even if she wasn't killed. His conscience tells him that he's responsible for her murder. I'm not so sure... Regardless, Philip will never be free of her. She'll always haunt him, because he'll always have that guilt and a bit of doubt in his mind.
I never read this Mary Stewart book -- probably because I read most of her books when I was in grade school or middle school, and this book came out l...moreI never read this Mary Stewart book -- probably because I read most of her books when I was in grade school or middle school, and this book came out long after that time in my life. (*ahem!*)
Regardless, it's a light, easy tale set in 1947 England about Kathy/Kate, her grandmother, her religious holier-than-thou Aunt Betsy, her mother the Fallen Woman, and Rose Cottage where they all lived. Kathy doesn't know who her father is -- her mother became pregnant at 16, and the father was never named. Kathy and her grandparents lived in harmony in Rose Cottage until her beloved grandpa died; then Aunt Betsy came to live with them, and her religious attitude and samplers such as "The Wages of Sin is Death" drove Kathy's mother, Lilia, out of the house. Lilia was supposed to have run away with the local gipsy/gypsy band who camped nearby. When Kathy was 7 or 8, they learned that her mother and her gypsy lover, Jamie, were killed in a bus crash in Ireland. Now, years later and after WWII, Kathy's grandmother learns that the family of the Big House (where her grandmother worked as a cook and her mother as a house-maid) are turning the place into a hotel. If her grandmother, now living in Scotland, doesn't wish to keep Rose Cottage, the Family will likely renovate it into a cottage-for-rent. So Kathy's grandma asks her to go to Rose Cottage and bring back some of her things that she left behind -- including items from a hidey-hole that no one, not even Aunt Betsy, knew about. But when Kathy gets to Rose Cottage, someone has already found and emptied the hidey-hole safe. And there's been mysterious digging in the backyard. As Kathy tries to solve the mystery, the Three Witches down the lane report having seen strange lights, and the "medium" of the bunch claims to have seen Kathy's mother, Lilia, with her gypsy lover in person at the cemetery just a few nights before. Kathy tries to uncover the truth and banish the ghosts of her past, with the help of a childhood friend, Davy. And what they discover is that the past really does have ghosts... ------------------ I enjoyed the book -- it was light reading. But as I said, not much mystery or suspense. I imagine that the whole idea of ghosts was supposed to be much more than it is nowadays. The intrigue was really whether or not Lilia was alive, who is Kathy's father, and which of the residents and old friends might have removed the contents of the old safe -- and why they'd want such things.
Having just finished a couple of Mary Stewart books, though, I stumbled across an interesting pattern: Ms. Stewart's heroes weren't the typical hero for the time. They weren't the dashing, handsome, rich, prince-on-the-horse. Rather, they were the Everyman -- the hard working, easy to overlook, good-natured, solid guys. And my heart warmed at that discovery. It's easy to make the obvious guy or the tortured guy the hero; it's much more difficult to make the solid guy that most girls overlook and undervalue the true hero... the romantic interest.
Not quite a classic... not quite Mary Stewart's best, but a good read.(less)
3.5 stars (wishing there was a way to indicate half-stars!)
I'm sure I must have read this in grade school or middle school... and while the book still...more3.5 stars (wishing there was a way to indicate half-stars!)
I'm sure I must have read this in grade school or middle school... and while the book still has its appeal, it's interesting to me to see how far we've come from the 70s. As a young girl, this book held mystery, thrills, romance, and a bit of the "woo woo" in the ESP sense.
It's still a fun book to read, but to my jaded, much older self, not as much of a mystery, suspense, or thriller. But that's not because there's anything wrong with the story or the characters... it's just a difference in the "sophistication" of and abundance of book, movie, and TV plots since the book was published. And it's great to find a PG-rated story!
So much to love -- Byrony, the mystery of where Francis is, the Twins (James & Emory), Rob, the Upplands, and the whole story, really. Despite the thorough and lush description, I must admit that I didn't quite understand or picture the maze or the little garden house... or the whole sluice system to keep the place from flooding. But it doesn't really matter, because once I picked up the book, I didn't want to put it down.(less)
What a treat! A rare heroine who is truly goodness and grace... unafraid to try to help those around her and right injustice. "Arabella" is innocent,...moreWhat a treat! A rare heroine who is truly goodness and grace... unafraid to try to help those around her and right injustice. "Arabella" is innocent, yet brave and strong. She doesn't give a fig about impressing the ton, which makes her a breath of fresh air.
I loved Beaumaris' gradual change from trying to mock her and having fun at her expense to a true admiration and love for Arabella. It's a gentle romance, and while Arabella still seems a bit young, to me, for a 30-year old man, it seems that Beaumaris won't mind a bit helping Arabella to mature into a grand lady.
Loved the dog, Ulysses! Love that Arabella puts family and those who need help first, despite what the ton might think. Loved this book!(less)
What a madcap romp! After reading it, I feel as if I've just watched a hilarious play, like "Noises Off" or "The Importance of Being Ernest"...more4.5+ stars
What a madcap romp! After reading it, I feel as if I've just watched a hilarious play, like "Noises Off" or "The Importance of Being Ernest" or "Blithe Spirit" or "Private Lives"!
Why this book hasn't been turned into a play or a movie yet is beyond me. Great comedy is extremely difficult to write, and Ms. Heyer wrote one of the best comedies I've ever read in The Grand Sophy.
There are a few troubling stereotypes in this book, quite acceptable for Ms. Heyer's time and in the Regency period; but nonetheless, it's disheartening to come across them. Goldhanger would be no less a villain if no ethnicity was attributed to him.
However, I quite enjoyed how Sophy livened everything up and kept everyone around her almost spinning while she "helped" them find the best of life: family, true joy, love, laughter, and true friendship. The main characters are so well-drawn... and you have to love how well Sophie and her cousin Charles come to know one another -- so well, that by the end of the book, Charles has figured out Sophie and knows how to use that knowledge to his best advantage!
The book is almost an exhausting read, shot-through with the best farce, satire, and at times, a bit of vaudeville. If you like Georgette Heyer books, you'll love this one!(less)
This book is a smart, witty, funny book that almost seems out of character for Maugham. We delve into the lighter side of life with an acting family a...moreThis book is a smart, witty, funny book that almost seems out of character for Maugham. We delve into the lighter side of life with an acting family and their world of theatre.
However, as I read the book, I couldn't get the movie "Being Julia" out of my mind. In fact, it was if I read the book and watched the movie at the same time. Obviously, there's more detail in the book... but I'd have been quite content to just watch the masterful Annette Benning bring Julia to life.(less)