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Content by Lynna Landstreet
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Reviews Written by
Lynna Landstreet "" (Toronto, ON Canada)

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5.0 out of 5 stars By far their best album, Dec 17 2013
This review is from: Meredead (Audio CD)
There are only a few albums I can think of that are just outstanding all the way through, with not a weak track on them - but this is one. I liked Leaves' Eyes' previous albums just fine, but this one is breathtaking - by far their best.

The Celtic and Scandinavian folk elements are more prominent than usual on this album, but integrated beautifully with the metal side - it's not a folk album by any means. It's just a perfect folk-metal hybrid, with a truly magical feel.

by Kate Banks
Edition: Hardcover
16 used & new from CDN$ 2.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and poetic, April 10 2010
This review is from: Fox (Hardcover)
This is one of the loveliest children's books I've yet come across. The painted illustrations are done in a simple way that looks almost like children's art, but is still evocative, and the text is lyrical and poetic, with an almost hypnotic rhythm - but not too abstract for kids to understand.

My 2-1/2-year-old son really loves it, and although he's asked a few times about some of the wordier bits ("What's a 'peaceable hum'? What's a 'billowy gust'?"), he never gets tired of having it read to him, and I've even heard him use a couple of the expressions in other contexts, like when we were out walking on windy day one time and when a the wind picked up in intensity, he suddenly called out "Billowy gust!" and started laughing.

The storyline is also nice, with the baby fox slowly learning life skills and growing to independence as the seasons pass. It's provided a useful example on more than one occasion for when I've had to tell my son he wasn't yet ready to do something he wanted to do, but that one day he would be.

Torchwood: The Complete First Season
Torchwood: The Complete First Season
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 57.46
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic, July 27 2008
I'm not much of a fan of TV in general, but there are a few series here and there that really stand out for their intelligence, innovation and quality... and Torchwood is a standout even among those.

While season one didn't quite hit the same level as season two eventually did, it was still stunningly good -- far more interesting, entertaining and mature than the vast majority of other shows. Torchwood even at its worst is better than most other shows at their best.

The acting is consistently excellent, and the characters all intriguingly complex, flawed people, who are not overidealized but shown as being capable of both heroism and terrible mistakes. Above all, they're very, very human. It does take a while for some of them to fully develop over the course of the series, though, so don't expect to feel like you fully know everyone after just the first few episodes (or even by the end of the first season, for that matter).

However, it's definitely not for everyone's tastes - Torchwood does not shy away from dealing with dark and/or controversial themes, and the conservative or easily offended should probably stay far away. In particular, those who are expecting it to be similar in style and tone to Doctor Who may be in for a bit of a shock. Even the character they have in common has gone through a lot of changes between his parting of ways with the Doctor at the end of DW season one, and the beginning of this series (for reasons that are eventually made clear in season 3 of DW) - Captain Jack as he appears here is a lot more serious and driven, and less playfully hedonistic than we originally saw him, though there are certainly still flashes of that.

But many of the same things that upset some viewers - like the strong presence of LGBT themes and characters, sudden shifts in style or content just when you think you've got the series pinned down, exploration of moral ambiguities, and the occasional shock of having "good" characters do very bad things - are what make the series so unique and compelling for those of us who find most television banal.

The only real flaw I've found in Torchwood is that it sometimes seems to focus on character development and emotional impact to the point where logic suffers. There are things that seem to happen for no other reason than that they provide an opportunity for intense and emotionally affecting scenes, and don't really stand up to logical scrutiny afterwards. But on the whole that seems like a minor failing in a series that's otherwise so powerful.

All in all, highly recommended for anyone who wants a change from the usual TV fare, and isn't afraid of being shaken out of their comfort zone.

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
by T. Colin Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.84
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solidly researched and guaranteed to shake up your worldview, April 15 2008
I tend to be pretty skeptical of nutrition books, particularly those coming from "alternative" perspectives, since they're often quite faddish and unsubstantiated by science. But this one really blew me away.

While the author advocates a diet that might be considered extreme by some -- a whole foods, plant-based, mostly vegan diet -- his background is anything but fringe or faddish. He's got very solid scientific credentials, and came to his conclusions over the course of years of research. Every claim in this book is backed up by references, the vast majority of them to articles from peer-reviewed medical or scientific journals.

As of starting the book, I was an ex-vegetarian who'd gone back to being a moderate meat eater and had been for over a decade now, but by the time I was halfway through it I was pretty sure my eating habits were about to seriously change. I'm not sure any reasonably intelligent and open-minded person could look at the research Dr. Campbell cites and not come to the same conclusion.

Having said that, I don't think the book is quite flawless -- there are times, particularly toward the latter part of the book, when it gets a bit heavy-handed and feels like the author's trying to drive home his point with a sledgehammer. But on the whole that's a small failing compared to the wealth of useful and potentially life-saving information in it -- not enough for me not to give it a 5-star review, though if fractions were allowed I might have gone for 4.75.

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