William Silver is a young teacher at the ISF, a high school for international students, in Paris. He is a well liked and dynamic literature teacher wh...moreWilliam Silver is a young teacher at the ISF, a high school for international students, in Paris. He is a well liked and dynamic literature teacher whose senior seminar is one of the highlights of many students careers at the school. The school year in which the story takes place, Silver is teaching literature, that while not exclusively existentialist, leans in that direction and is exposing most of his students to this philosophy for the first time.
Yet, as he is teaching these students about the repercussions of choosing (or not choosing), about living a life to its fullest, he is engaging in a sexual affair with one of his students. As his own choices, and lack thereof, become known to his students, his stature amongst them and ultimately his teaching position fall into jeopardy.
Silver's role is reminiscent of John Keating (Robin Williams character) in "Dead Poet's Society" and the story recalls "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder in that it teaches philosophy in the form of a novel, albeit more focused on existentialism rather than a sweeping view of the history of philosophy.
Well written, erotic, and passionate, "You Deserve Nothing" is an interesting read, slow in a few parts, but packing enough punch to keep your interest all the way to the bitter, and bittersweet, end.(less)
An interesting story about Thad Roberts and several co-conspirators who stole a number of valuable samples of moon rocks from the Johnson Space Center...moreAn interesting story about Thad Roberts and several co-conspirators who stole a number of valuable samples of moon rocks from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Some reviewers have compared the chronicled escapade to a spacey version of "Oceans 11." I think that is giving a bit too much credit to both Roberts and Mezrich. While an interesting story about the theft of a national treasure, the fact that three interns could steal such valuable material, makes NASA look like a bunch of bumbling idiots and the story read more like an episode of The Keystone Cops.
Was the theft really that unsophisticated? Just a smart kid knowing when to walk into a lab and wheel out a 600 lb. safe? Cutting it open with a power saw from Home Depot in a motel room that you might rent by the hour? No one saw or heard anything?
Though I'm not saying it didn't happen like Mezrich writes, I found only a few moments of real tension and surprise, an almost lassiez-faire attitude towards the telling of the story, and a few nit-picky details (details that I am familiar with) that seemed either glossed over for the sake of story telling or he just didn't do enough research. Those details he got wrong make me wonder about other details of the story, from the descriptions of NASA to the federal prison where Roberts was incarcerated.
While written in Mezrich's trademark style, "Sex on the Moon" is only a mildly engaging read that left me feeling like I'd just eaten at a Chinese restaurant: momentarily sated, but wondering an hour later, if I'd really eaten anything at all.(less)
Kings of Colorado is a coming of age story, told through the eyes of the principal character William Sheppard, who as the book opens is on the late si...moreKings of Colorado is a coming of age story, told through the eyes of the principal character William Sheppard, who as the book opens is on the late side of life and is recounting the story from his early teen years. Sent to a boys "reformatory" in the Rocky Mountains for stabbing his father in the chest, William quickly learns that life isn't fair, is full of both friends and enemies and those who should be protecting you are often the perpetrators of the worst sort. The story is devastatingly honest and an emotional punch in the gut. It has been referred to, and rightly so, as the heir to "Lord of the Flies." While the story gets a little wobbly in the last few chapters, where there is a reunion with old friends, it is still a satisfying close to a fantastic debut novel.(less)
I downloaded iPad: The Missing Manual and read it on my iPad (in iBooks). This gave me the opportunity to switch out of iBooks and quickly test some o...moreI downloaded iPad: The Missing Manual and read it on my iPad (in iBooks). This gave me the opportunity to switch out of iBooks and quickly test some of the things that are mentioned in the book.
Overall, the book is well written and has a nice layout. It is very self-explanatory and has plenty of illustrations to help the reader see what things should look like on the iPad screen.
While the manual would be very useful to someone who just purchased the iPad and is just getting up to speed on how set it up and use the different functions, there are very few things that someone who has had the iPad for a couple of months or more would find very useful (although I did find a few tips and tricks that I didn't know about).
The section on iBooks was ok, but it left out some things, such as- when you download a free book with a generic cover, there is a way to change the cover, just like you can do with music.
There was quite a lot dealing with iTunes, but unless you've never used an iPod or iPhone before, this was information that seemed to be repetative of other "Missing Manuals."
Although I normally like the "Missing Manual" series, this book didn't help me much (if I had to pay full price, what new things I did learn wouldn't be worth the price I'd paid). This book should definitely be aimed at those who are brand new to the iPad and/or iTunes, but not toward those who have already had the iPad for a couple of months. (less)
I first became aware of John Hart when I read "Down River," and at the moment I finished that book, I became a fan. "The Last Child" continues to ceme...moreI first became aware of John Hart when I read "Down River," and at the moment I finished that book, I became a fan. "The Last Child" continues to cement Hart's stellar reputation in mystery fiction.[return][return]When his 12 year old sibling, his twin sister Alyssa, goes missing, Johnny Merrimon's family begins to fall apart. His father, eaten up by the guilt of forgetting to pick up Alyssa the night she goes missing, disappears. As the stress of losing her daughter is compounded by losing her husband, Katherine Merrimon, turns to an old friend who turns her to drug and alcohol then controls and abuses her. Johnny grows up fast, taking the search for his missing sister, whom he believes is still alive, into his own young hands.[return][return]Watched over by a concerned detective, who is also searching for his sister, Johnny searches the city, house by house, particularly those of pedophiles and sex offenders. This search leads him to cross paths with David Wilson, a man attacked and dying, but claiming to know where the missing girl is, Isaac Freemantle, an escaped convict who believes he is directed by the voice of God, and a myriad of lowlife characters, any of which may know where Alyssa is at.[return][return]"The Last Child" is a book that seems to be going in one direction, but continually takes ninety and one-hundred degree turns until the outcome is all but uncertain. Hart ratchets up the suspense chapter by chapter and brings the story to a surprising conclusion that satisfies, yet leaves you wanting more justice than is dealt. "The Last Child" is well deserving of its Edgar Award nomination.(less)
A wonderful collection of poems by Ferlinghetti about his beloved San Francisco. Each poem captures a different aspect of the city and its people, wha...moreA wonderful collection of poems by Ferlinghetti about his beloved San Francisco. Each poem captures a different aspect of the city and its people, what Ferlinghetti loved and what he detested about what happens in his city. One of my favorites of the collection is "A Report on a Happening in Washington Square, San Francisco," which talks not only about a beautiful area of the city, but of lives being joined and lives going their own way. Ferlinghetti's poems give a real, gritty, loving sense of a city for those who live there and for those who know it through visits.(less)