Profile for Reader Writer Runner > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Reader Writer ...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 18
Helpful Votes: 543

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Reader Writer Runner (Victoria, BC)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-30
pixel
Full Upright And Locked Position
Full Upright And Locked Position
by Mark Gerchick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 16.62
39 used & new from CDN$ 6.23

4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 24 2013
A hot meal? Free checked baggage? A welcoming smile from a living, breathing employee? Forget it. Welcome to the world of modern air travel, a mean, profit-seeking business that places passengers at its mercy. In his entertaining and fascinating new book, former FAA chief counsel and Transportation Department policy official Mark Gerchick explores the industry's transformation since the jet fuel cost explosion in 2008 and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Gerchick provides peeks into seat-price schemes and shows why the hassles of airline miles programs outweigh their benefits. He gives insight into the causes of flight delays and of lost (and damaged) luggage. He rattles off statistics about onboard fatalities and divulges why forcing passengers to arrive uber-early equals profitable “dwell time” for airport businesses. He revolts readers with health-related information pertaining to the barely potable water used to make coffee and the zillions of bacteria residing on the bathroom door lock. Perhaps most resonantly, he explains how airlines no longer sell flights but rather “a bundle of separable, flight-related services — transportation of luggage, making a reservation, having a seat assigned, snacks and drinks, legroom, even jet fuel.”

Although some mild repetition throughout the chapters becomes tedious, Gerchick effectively and engagingly brings light to the "new normal of air travel." He does smartly include some hope for the future in the form of forthcoming technological improvements to the industry but, by in large, sitting back and relaxing appears to be a thing of the past.

The Color Master: Stories
The Color Master: Stories
by Aimee Bender
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.14
30 used & new from CDN$ 4.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 21 2013
In her most recent collection, Aimee Bender explores the undulations, oddities and surrealisms that define both loneliness and companionship. The fifteen stories share similar themes, symbols and character types but diverge in setting and particulars. Most read like modern folk tales, featuring obvious or subtle magic, and all emerge as compelling, provocative tales.

Bender's opening 2-page story portrays a dark scene that poses a relevant questions for the entire book: do we exist in fantasy or reality? Symbol or solidity? Later, the reader meets two sisters who travel to Asia to heal skinless tigers. The title story features characters stitching clothing in the colours of the sun, moon and sky, indicating uncertainty and transformation. An ogre's wife mourns the loss of her children and a family inexplicably begins to find extra objects around the house. As "The Colour Master" blurs the line between mundane and fantastic, elements of real life weave with shimmering glimpses of an unknowable exterior world.

Bender also highlights emotional isolation and awkwardness. A college-age woman spends a strange evening with an elderly man, a boy cannot or will not see the faces of the people around him, a teenage girl at the mall with her friends acts like a social and temperamental outlier and a man keeps losing the "words of things," remaining incapable of committing to a relationship with a woman he truly likes.

One could certainly read this collection in one sitting thanks to its brisk pace and straightforward style. However, each story deserves to be mulled over, unpacked and contemplated in order to appreciate the complexity of the author's ideas.

50 Fantastic Things to Do with Preschoolers
50 Fantastic Things to Do with Preschoolers
by Sally Featherstone
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.83
9 used & new from CDN$ 9.37

4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 20 2013
Play dress-up, finger paint, prepare a simple snack. Most of the activities in "50 Fantastic Things to Do with Preschoolers" seem intuitive and even obvious but the way in which the authors present said activities sheds new light on the benefits of everyday play.

Each page has step-by-step instructions accompanied by four info boxes: "helpful hints," "ready for more," "did you know?" and "what is my child learning?" The authors offer practical ideas on differentiation for young children with special needs as well as tips on what to look and listen for when performing various tasks. The experiences suggested in this book will help young children develop through both planned and informal fun using common objects and resources. They focus on practical activities and purposeful play for individuals, pairs and small groups and allow children to develop at their own pace, making unhurried discoveries along the way.

Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat: And the 101 Truths That Will Save Your Waistline--and Maybe Even Your Life
Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat: And the 101 Truths That Will Save Your Waistline--and Maybe Even Your Life
by Nancy L. Snyderman M.D.
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.19
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 20 2013
In "Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat," NBC News chief medical editor, physician and author Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman examines prevalent beliefs about nutrition and describes how they stack up medically and scientifically. With its relaxed, conversational style, the book engages the reader even as it discusses the glycemic index, the pros and cons of diet drugs and the effects of hormones on weight.

Snyderman constantly emphasizes her thesis: calories count, regardless of their form. She offers simple ways to keep track of calories without feeling hindered and decries high protein, low carb diets, which work by restricting calories. Our bodies need carbohydrates to function, she argues; we shouldn't eliminate them from our diet. She also devotes a chapter to the important issue of body type, looking at the health risks connected with both both apple and pear-shaped bodies, and the divulging the kinds of exercise and lifestyle changes useful in paring down each.

Though she focuses on myths, the author also sprinkles her book with small boxes containing interesting and wide-ranging factoids she labels "truths." Ultimately, she provides sensible, non-revolutionary advice: follow a maintainable diet, be realistic about goals, seek support, keep track of what you eat and continue to exercise. Her easy-to-understand explanations and moderate, upbeat advice make this book worth a read.

Weird Things Customers Say In Bookstores
Weird Things Customers Say In Bookstores
by Jen Campbell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 11.55
30 used & new from CDN$ 5.05

4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 14 2013
Customer: I read a book in the sixties. I don't remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?

In "Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops," British bookseller Jen Campbell provides a collection of exactly what her title implies: strange, hilarious, jaw-dropping and moronic sentences that emerge from the mouths of those in the market for reading material. Furthermore, some customers' actions speak louder than words; Campbell tells of those who ask to leave their children in her shop while they browse other shops, those who let children destroy books and think nothing of it and those who ask for cups of tea when they aren't shopping there.

Other anecdotes provide amusement simply because they ring so true, like the customer who asks, "did Charles Dickens ever write anything fun?" or the one who requests, "do you have a copy of Atonement? But not the film cover, please. Keira Knightley's neck makes me want to punch things."

A quick and heartily enjoyable read, perfect for any bibliophile.

Obsessed: America's Food Addiction--and My Own
Obsessed: America's Food Addiction--and My Own
Price: CDN$ 9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 13 2013
MSNBC star Mika Brzezinski once told her best friend, journalist Diane Smith, "Diane, you're not just overweight, you're fat. You're obese." Who says that to a friend? Perhaps only someone who harbours a miserable food addict inside her thin body. Someone who used to constantly binge on pizza, chips and ice cream. Someone who, though uncomfortable in her own skin, relies on good genes and fanatical exercise to maintain an outwardly healthy appearance.

In "Obsessed," Brzezinski and Smith provide intimate details of their life-long struggles with food. The former has resolved to gain some weight and release her obsessions; the latter wants to lose 75 lbs. We travel with them on their journeys and also hear from such famous men and women as Charles Barkley, Jennifer Hudson, Gayle King, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, all of whom have battled to maintain a normal weight. In addition to discussing her personal issues, Brzezinski writes passionately about America's obesity epidemic: how it arose in the first place, the dangers it presents, and how society can curb it.

"Obsessed" provides a quick and interesting read though it feels marred by the unnecessary repetition of passages that appear on random pages in bold letters. Additionally, although the author plays the tortured, empathetic expert, she sometimes comes across as smug and self-righteous. Diane Smith ultimately emerges as the more likeable and credible of the two; many more readers will relate to her difficult quest for health and her frustration over trying fad diets, losing weight, and then quickly gaining it all back.

Aside from Brzezinski's admissions of closet bingeing, this book offers little in the way of news. Today, most know that diets do not provide a permanent solution; a focus on whole (not processed) foods and exercise is the key to a healthy life. Model good eating habits for your kids, cook nutritious meals and monitor portion sizes. Not rocket science but to stop the vicious cycle, we must take our well-being far more seriously.

Truck Duck
Truck Duck
by Michael Rex
Edition: Board book
Price: CDN$ 9.00
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 7 2013
This review is from: Truck Duck (Board book)
Make way for a parade of trucks, boats and other things that go, each driven by a cheerful animal. The duck on the cover pilots a dump truck, a "cab crab" waves from a taxi window and a "blimp chimp" (my favourite!) steers a purple airship. Michael Rex illustrates each vehicle in bold primary colours and sets them strikingly against monochromatic backgrounds, tempting young readers to linger on each page.

My son loved this book at 18 months and continues to ask for it at almost 3 years of age. A definite must have for fans of both animals and all things with noisy engines!

The World in Your Lunch Box: The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods
The World in Your Lunch Box: The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods
by Claire Eamer
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.79
32 used & new from CDN$ 4.11

5.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 7 2013
If your kids have grown tired of boring old lunch staples (ham and cheese sandwiches, apples and peanut butter), perhaps they simply need a new perspective. "The World in Your Lunch Box" to the rescue!

Wonderfully illustrated by Sa Boothroyd, Claire Eamer's book contains fun food facts that both entertain and educate. It answers questions such as, where did mustard originate? How does ice cream get so creamy? What makes yeast "burp"?

Each chapter contains a lunch menu, of which Eamer analyzes every part. She takes readers through history to explore the origins of food in a kid-friendly way, stuffing her information with trivia, puns, and silly jokes. She also serves up healthy doses of food science while making said science intriguing and relevant to the elementary age cafeteria crew. In fact, she provides a fascinating and enjoyable for lunchers of every age.

New Kitchen Ideas that Work
New Kitchen Ideas that Work
by Jamie Goldberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.07
41 used & new from CDN$ 4.42

4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 7 2013
A refreshing update of the 2007 version, "New Kitchen Ideas That Work" presents renovation and decorating ideas to suit everyone from homeowners with small kitchens and budgets to those with grandiose rooms to fill.

Goldberg covers every aspect of kitchen design - cabinets, floors, countertops, appliances and extras - and discusses the pros/cons of every imaginable material. She also presents ideas for inexpensive conveniences and emphasizes the importance of layout. Copious and lovely photos, including some before/after shots, illustrate the author's ideas and inspire fence-sitters to take the plunge and renovate.

Kitchen Ideas That Work: Creative Design Solutions for Your Home
Kitchen Ideas That Work: Creative Design Solutions for Your Home
53 used & new from CDN$ 1.68

3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., Aug. 7 2013
Although now slightly dated (2007), "Kitchen Ideas That Work" presents renovation and decorating ideas to suit everyone from homeowners with small kitchens and budgets to those with grandiose rooms to fill.

Veillette covers every aspect of kitchen design - cabinets, floors, countertops, appliances and extras - and discusses the pros/cons of every imaginable material. She also presents ideas for inexpensive conveniences and emphasizes the importance of layout. Copious and lovely photos, including some before/after shots, illustrate the author's ideas and inspire fence-sitters to take the plunge and renovate.

For a more up to date resource, check out "New Kitchen Ideas That Work" (2012)

Page: 1-10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21-30