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Brendan Kennedy (Boulder, CO USA)

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Sailing Alone Around the World
Sailing Alone Around the World
by Joshua Slocum
Edition: Hardcover
10 used & new from CDN$ 8.57

4.0 out of 5 stars When the World was still Flat, Sept. 2 2002
The story of the first solo circumnavigation of the world, is very intriguing. An epic adventure when many people still believed the world to be flat, Joshua Slocum writes of his experiences with pirates, dignitaries, and people from all over the world along his amazing journey. Despite the era that it is written in, the language remains somewhat timeless (and easily understandable), as is the challenge that Slocum undertook. You will enjoy reading about the nefarious storms of the southern ocean, and the calm, hospitable people of the islands in the south pacific, among other things. A great book.

North to the Night: A Spiritual Odyssey in the Arctic
North to the Night: A Spiritual Odyssey in the Arctic
by Alvah Simon
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.71
68 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Polar Bear surprise, Sept. 2 2002
The adventure that the author embarks on is, of itself, quite extraordinary. It is an adventure with a huge amount of risk, and a challenge consisting of a more philisophical and mental nature. Aside from the adventure aspect, the details of such an expedition, and the magnification of the thin line between life and death was enthralling. Although the writing is good, I wish that there were more pictures in the book. There are just some scenes in nature that words cannot describe, and I know that the beauty of the Arctic is one of these. Pictures are truly the only way to capture the harsh, fantastic, and unique landscapes of the upper latitudes of our planet.
I was so very appreciative of the authors attempts to give the reader insight into the native peoples who endure in such a difficult and bleak setting. It is so refreshing to see into the lives of people so adapted to their environment, and living so harmoniously with nature. I hope that the infringemnet of modern living, doesn't leave it's indelable footprint on the culture of these wonderful people. A good book, and really remarkable adventure.

20th Century Shadow Line
20th Century Shadow Line
by Joseph Conrad
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.67
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Crank the Windlass and set sail, Sept. 2 2002
I enjoyed reading about the main characters experience of crossing the line from youthfulness into true adulthood. Conrad's eloquent, descriptive, and almost surreal writing style allows the reader to almost experience the stagnation, heat, and frustration that envelop the characters in this book. Perhaps not Conrad's best book, but certainly a good read, and it is quite short and to the point. Especially if you have an affinity for sailing and the power and majesty of the sailing vessels of old. I have always felt that there is a certain amount of effort required to enjoy Conrad's books, but I also feel that this, in a sense, is directly proportional to effort in life. The more you put in, the more you get out.

Black Hawk Down
Black Hawk Down
by Mark Bowden
Edition: Hardcover
53 used & new from CDN$ 1.55

3.0 out of 5 stars A tale of things to come, Sept. 2 2002
This review is from: Black Hawk Down (Hardcover)
A very interesting book in the sense that it allows the reader to experience a small taste of modern day warfare in a developing country. With most future military conflicts involving U.S. soldiers probably taking place in developing or third world countries, I feel this book is a great asset in overcoming the ignorance people have about war in general, and more specifically about the social and political situations that a large percentage of the world's population struggles to survive in. This glory, and gory account shows the brutality of urban warfare, the reactions of people who have nothing to lose, and most importantly the often forgotten and mis-represented horror and futility of war.

I don't usually give much attention to introductions or afterwords in a book, but the author's description of his research methods, reasons for writing the book in the first place, and general accounting of his experiences is wonderful. If you read this book, read it from cover to cover!
My only criticism would be that this book in a peculiar way glosses over modern day warfare. In a battle where essentially less than 20 U.S. soldiers die, in a period of less than 48 hours, I felt giving this story eternal life in the pages of a book may not necessarily have been required. You could go to your local VFW or Elks club, and talk to veterans of america's previous wars who experienced a "black hawk down" scenario several times a week, during WWII, Vietnam, or Korea. The ideals and outcome of this story, have already found life in the pages of many excellent books thousands of times over. But, perhaps it is necessary to repeat the lessons learned so many times throughout human history, in order that we don't repeat them. An interesting quote from the book:
"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade for the ultimate practitioner". Cormac McCarthy

From Beirut to Jerusalem
From Beirut to Jerusalem
by Thomas L. Friedman
Edition: Paperback
93 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Sand in my eyes, Jan. 21 2002
Reading this book gave me a much better understanding of the history and current struggles of life in this part of the world. From a culture so different from our western way of life, it was extremely helpful to have it interpreted through the eyes of an american immersed in the confusion and chaos of life in this region of the world. This book is a great introduction into understanding how and why things happen the way they do for many people in the middle east.

Island
Island
by Aldous Huxley
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from CDN$ 4.59

3.0 out of 5 stars Shipwrecked, but still alive, Jan. 21 2002
This review is from: Island (Paperback)
I really didn't enjoy reading this book as much as I had hoped. The whole plot is essentially used as a device for Huxley to give his ideas about what a sustainable society might look like. Although I find Huxley to be a very good writer, this book was a little to authoritarian and condescending for me to enjoy. But, if you have ever read books that highlighted alot of problems, but never seem to give solutions, this is a good book to read. Many of the problems Huxley see's in modern society are brought forth with real answers applied to them. I have to admit that alot of his proposed solutions were very interesting and a breath of fresh air.

Ender's Game
Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
161 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate twist, Dec 9 2001
I'm not much of a sci/fi reader, but I really enjoyed this book. It pushes the endurance of humans to the edge in what is required from the young boys in this story, and examines the ability of people to adapt and then create solutions under the most extreme circumstances. A gripping story, with one of the best twists of plot that I have ever seen. Truly brilliant. The characters are well developed and have interesting dynamics not unlike what many people expirience in their own lives. Definetely a great read!

Contact
Contact
by Carl Sagan
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.92
98 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The Sounds from Space, Dec 9 2001
This review is from: Contact (Mass Market Paperback)
A pioneering piece of literature written by one of the pre eminant physicysts of our time. I was very much impressed by the author's writing ability, considering his background of very much academic and scientific work.
At last contact has been established with a foriegn life form, from a distant solar system. This book delves into how the earth as a whole might respond to a situation where everyone has to work together to achieve the desired goal. It also brings to light the classic, but somewhat sleepy struggle of scientific evolutionary principles versus literal interpretation of the Bible. Great dialogue and a wonderful array of perspectives make this book an adventurous and intriguing one to read. This book is well written, and gave me a real sense of the vastness and beauty found in our universe.

Fahrenheit 451
Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury
Edition: Paperback
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars What is the ignition temperature of paper?, Dec 9 2001
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (Paperback)
A truly excellent book that spans the generations since it's 1953 debut. This book is along the same lines as Brave New World and 1984 in the sense that it creates a futuristic society (not unlike our own in many ways) in which control has shifted toward an entity other than the will of the people. A certain amount of propaganda and coersion, mainly propogated through television, has transformed the populace into a sick and backwards culture without substance. All the wonderful knowledge found in literature has been abandoned, and burned, while the people have become so unaware that they don't even know that the ashes they are choking on are the ashes of books that used to live on their shelves. Essentially, the ashes of value, and morality. One of the things I liked best about the book was that it highlights the control people have over their life in reguards to books. You always have the power of choice, whether it be in the subject matter of what you read, or the choice of chosing not to read at all. You can put down a book whenever you wish, but in contrast, the television has control over what you see, and what your exposed to. So, kill your TV, and read this book. It is a great story reminiscent of some of our past, and possibly of things to come. It is also very well written.

Heart of Darkness: Great Books Edition
Heart of Darkness: Great Books Edition
by Joseph Conrad
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.83
76 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Into the Shadows, Oct. 24 2001
"Not a very enthralling book; but at the first glance you could see there a singleness of intention, an honest concern for the right way of going to work, which made these humble pages, thought out so many years ago, luminous with another than a professional light."

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