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The Great Lakes: The Natural History of a Changing Region
The Great Lakes: The Natural History of a Changing Region
by Wayne Grady
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.91
32 used & new from CDN$ 21.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, July 6 2011
I say "surprisingly" good because I never thought I could be so thoroughly engaged by a natural history book. But "The Great Lakes" is a fascinating and well-written account of the flora, fauna, ecology and geology of the Great Lakes basin.

Pandora's Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway
Pandora's Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway
by Jeff Alexander
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.75
11 used & new from CDN$ 19.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done, July 6 2011
This is a thoroughly researched, and, for the most part, engagingly written account of how the Great Lakes have been invaded and damaged by non-native aquatic species. The culprit, of course, is man. Jeff Alexander documents how the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 cleared a path for dozens of aquatic invaders to enter the Lakes -- carried often in the ballast tanks of ocean freighters. The ecological damage these invasive species have caused to the Great Lakes has been enormous. Alexander is passionate and persuasive in describing how human negligence -- driven by a combination of laziness, greed and denial -- allowed the problem to fester. Government regulators were aware of the risks posed by invasive species but failed to act. They were, Alexander suggests, too preoccupied with keeping the shipping industry happy. My one criticism of "Pandora's Locks" is that it would have benefited from more careful editing. The author tends to repeat himself. The book could have easily been 100 pages shorter. But this is a worthwhile and interesting read.

The Imperfectionists: A Novel
The Imperfectionists: A Novel
by Tom Rachman
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.88
15 used & new from CDN$ 2.78

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't understand the praise for this novel, July 6 2011
I bought this book because it received great reviews and because, as a former journalist, I thought I would find it especially interesting. I was disappointed. I abandoned "The Imperfectionists" about half-way through. This is another one of those novels, like "Freedom" by Jonathan Franzen, that leaves me puzzled about the state of contemporary literary fiction. "Freedom", too, received rave reviews and was, to me, disappointing in the same way that "The Imperfectionists" is disappointing. The writing was facile, the characters uninteresting and the plot non-existent. The whole thing had an air of trying very hard to sound clever.

The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression
The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression
by Bruce Barnbaum
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 29.78
43 used & new from CDN$ 29.78

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but . . ., March 16 2011
This book contains useful insights, and there is obviously much that one can learn from Bruce Barnbaum. However, the author's tone of voice started to get under my skin after a while. For my taste, there is far too much "I am very wise and deeply in touch with my inner self and that is why I am a great photographer."

Freedom
Freedom
by Jonathan Franzen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.04
40 used & new from CDN$ 2.29

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage, Dec 15 2010
This review is from: Freedom (Hardcover)
What a pile of over-rated, overwritten, uninteresting, self-indulgent pap. Why is it that reviewers seem to go ga-ga over the tedious lives of unhappy people who have absolutely no redeeming features? This book has no message, no meaning, no nothing. And the prose is stilted, mannered and just generally gives off the aroma of "trying to hard to be cool and post-modern". I tried for about 200 pages and then gave up.

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