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Todd Vance (Atlanta, GA United States)

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Great Exotic Novels And Short Stories Of Somerset Maugham
Great Exotic Novels And Short Stories Of Somerset Maugham
by Carroll & Graf Publishers
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 17.98

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Collection, an Excellent Writer, Feb. 18 2002
Maugham claimed that he was "in the very first row of the second-raters". Maybe, but maybe not.
While his style may not elevate his work to the status of "great literature," you owe it to yourself to read Maugham. This collection is a fine place to start. The Moon and Sixpence is based on the life of Paul Gaugin and The Magician is based more than loosely on Aleistar Crowley's exploits. Fascinating people who Maugham used to craft page-turning stories around.
Maugham is greatly underappreciated. This is a great collection to begin exploring his work.

The Last of the Giants: Lifting the Veil on Islam and the End Times
The Last of the Giants: Lifting the Veil on Islam and the End Times
by George Otis Jr.
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Want to understand more about Sept. 11? Read this book!, Jan. 29 2002
Actually, I would recommend reading Otis' The Twilight Labyrinth first, which gives the background on the roots of spiritual darkness, then read The Last of the Giants.
Both books were invaluable in helping me understand the true causes of the turmoil in Central Asia and the thinking that led to the events of September 11, 2001.
I can't give the book 5 stars for a couple of reasons. First, at times, Otis is not easy to read. Better editing would have helped. Secondly, Otis mentions the dangers of materialism in American society, but fails to elaborate much on this topic. Since materialism seems to be one of the reasons Muslims are so offended by the West, more information on the spiritual implications of materialism and consumerism would have added to the value of this book.

A Jacques Barzun Reader: Selections from His Works
A Jacques Barzun Reader: Selections from His Works
by Jacques Barzun
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 2.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Bite-Sized Barzun!, Jan. 21 2002
Barzun is one of the best thinkers of our time. It is great to have his thoughts on so many subjects assembled in this collection.
It is especially valuable since some of Barzun's most famous commentaries (for example, on baseball) are now out of print and hard to find. Buy this book, you will profit from having it on your bookshelf!

Walk On
Walk On
by Steve Stockman
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good info. on U2, Damning Commentary on the Church, Jan. 21 2002
This review is from: Walk On (Paperback)
There's not a whole lot of new information here for the avid U2 fan. If you've looked at U2's work from a Christian perspective before, and if you've read the band's interviews, you've already figured out where they stand spiritually.
The real value is in Stockman's comments regarding the Church. As a minister, Stockman has the credentials to point out the failings of the Church and the success of Bono and U2 in doing Christ's work here on Earth.
More than anything, Walk On motivated me to be more active as a Christian and to insist on the same activity from my congregation and my Christian friends.

Five Moral Pieces
Five Moral Pieces
by Umberto Eco
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.80
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Eco fans should wait for the paperback version., Dec 26 2001
This review is from: Five Moral Pieces (Hardcover)
My wife gave me this book as a gift. I love Eco's writings, so I immediately began reading these essays. Be forewarned - if you are an Eco fan, you have probably already seen parts of this book. One of the essays was even included in last year's Belief or Nonbelief?
Wait for the paperback or check this out at the library. Unless you're giving it as a gift, Five Moral Pieces isn't worth the price.

Belief or Nonbelief?
Belief or Nonbelief?
by Umberto Eco
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Well-reasoned, civil dialogue, May 29 2001
This review is from: Belief or Nonbelief? (Hardcover)
I loved this little book. Eco is one of my heroes, and I knew of Martini's reputation, since there's been much speculation that he is one of the favorites to become the next Pope.
What I liked most about the dialogue is that the two men clearly present their views and fully address the other's questions, without breaking down into the type of sensationalistic diatribe that passes for debate in the United States. Eco and Martini show respect for each other and each other's views, while clearly making a case for their own beliefs.
My sole complaint is that of several other reviewers - the book was too short. I would have enjoyed more Q&A from Eco and Martini. The reactions of other intellectuals that were apparently included in the Italian and Spanish versions would have also been interesting reading.
This book is well worth a purchase.

Brand New Day
Brand New Day
Price: CDN$ 14.24
118 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good CD, but perhaps not what you would expect., March 13 2001
This review is from: Brand New Day (Audio CD)
My yoga teacher turned me on to this CD by playing it during our yoga practice. I've liked Sting's work for years, but lately everything was starting to sound the same to me.
This CD is different. Moody, rythmic, and ambient-themed tracks are mixed with mellow sings that aren't much of a departure from Sting's previous solo work. The only track that doesn't fit the overall mood of the CD is "Fill Her Up," which I often skip.

Bump And Run
Bump And Run
by Mike Lupica
Edition: Hardcover
50 used & new from CDN$ 0.05

4.0 out of 5 stars A funny page-turner, Jan. 5 2001
This review is from: Bump And Run (Hardcover)
The best thing about Bump & Run is that Lupica has written a true page-turner. He creates characters that keep you interested, plot twists that are amusing and realistic, and does it all in settings that are larger than life - the NFL and Vegas.
Bump & Run is just a fun book to read - ideally by the fire or on the beach.

Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
Price: CDN$ 8.00
89 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Good to have the best of Lenny Kravitz on one CD, Jan. 3 2001
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Although I like many of his singles, I had never bought a Lenny Kravitz CD because none of his albums have had enough good songs to justify a purchase. Until now. This greatest hits compilation shows Lenny's remarkable range - from hard rock to soul to funk - and the variety keeps it fresh for the listener.
Now if the Black Crowes would release a "best of" disk...

The Legend Of Bagger Vance
The Legend Of Bagger Vance
by Steven Pressfield
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
61 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Much Deeper than What You'll See in the Movie, Dec 29 2000
I enjoyed both the movie and the book, but the book delves deeply into eastern philosophy. The beginning and ending of the book are slightly different from the film version, but the major events are the same in both. And of course, this is much more than a story about golf.
If you like the philosophical aspects of the book, I would suggest reading more on eastern thought and philosophy. Perhaps starting with "The Tao of Physics" by Capra.

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