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Erik Strommen (Bellevue, WA United States)
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The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family
The New Work of Dogs: Tending to Life, Love, and Family
by Jon Katz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 23.96
33 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Harsh thesis, gently argued, Jan. 14 2004
Much has been written about the downside of the highly mobile, rootless, media-dominated country America has become in the last 50 years. Katz looks at how the loss of community and the creation of a nation of strangers affects how we treat our dogs. Dog ownership is exploding, and Katz shows very persuasively how dogs have become substitutes for absent human relationships. People are projecting their longings, loves, and attitudes onto dogs because they have no one else OR they treat dogs as another piece of property, like a video game console or a new toy - having no emotional connection at all. Katz profiles people and their dogs in sympathetic, yet honest ways that raise troubling questions about people's relationships not only to dogs but to one another. The writing is thoughtful and evocative. I think he is too pessimistic about the future of dogs as companions doing "emotional work" for humans rather than physical work like herding sheep or guarding property, but his analysis of the issue rings true.
A thought-provoking and well-written book. Highly recommended.

Theremin
Theremin
by Albert Glinsky
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 43.41

3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy handing anticommunism mars otherwise good story, July 1 2002
This review is from: Theremin (Hardcover)
Glinsky has done a great job of compiling the factual story of Leon Theremin and electronic music, particularly the Theremin instrument through the years.
I have several reservations. First, the writing style is pedestrian and not terribly stylish or interesting. Second, it would have been nice to have a bit more detail on how the instrument actually works. And last but most serious, Glinsky is obsessed with the evils of communism and spends far too much time sneering at Americans fooled by Stalin and on wallowing in the grotesque history of communism in the USSR than is justified given that the book is about Leon Theremin, not Stalin, Lenin, Beria, Kruschev, etc. etc. He gives us several pages on Beria and his fate, for example, when Beria actually had only an indirect link to Theremin. The point seems to be to portray Beria as an evil man. Fine, but this book is about Leon Theremin, right?
My last reservation is that in the end, I still did not feel we ever got to know Theremin. Why he did what he did, what he thought of events in his life, remains a mystery. It may well be that Theremin, a committed communist, was too alien to Glinsky's own imagination for him to be able to write about him with any insight or sympathy. We get, generally, a pretty clinical detachment.
This is a fine book for the facts. I cherish it as a solid resource. But Leon Theremin himself remains unknown to us on a personal level, and so as a biography this book falls short.

THE MUMMY CONGRESS, SCIENCE, OBSESSION AND THE EVERLASTING DEAD.
THE MUMMY CONGRESS, SCIENCE, OBSESSION AND THE EVERLASTING DEAD.
by Heather. Pringle
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on the science of the ancient dead, May 9 2002
A great book about a weird topic. HP makes some very telling insights about mummies as dead people yet also as natural objects. She reports some very affecting anecdotes about both the mummies and the people who study them, and at the same time tells us a tremendous amount about the science of mummy study. A treat.

History of God
History of God
by Karen Armstrong
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.16
153 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Dense and not for all tastes, May 9 2002
This review is from: History of God (Paperback)
This is an impressive (if selective) overview of theological ideas. But it is heavy going. Keep a dictionary handy, unless words like antinomian, Hellenistic, and apophatic are familiar to you. KA does a great job with truly complex material, but she can only simplify so far. Reading this book is an effort. I learned a lot, but if I had not had a friend reading it too I am not sure I would have finished it on my own.

The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850
by Brian Fagan
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.80
40 used & new from CDN$ 8.27

4.0 out of 5 stars Circumstantial but persuasive and lots of neat facts, March 2 2002
I really liked this book but its not perfect. There's a bit of weather theory here, and lots of concrete information, but its never really organized in a way to prove the author's point. Its a bit of a mishmosh. But the concrete facts are great. Fagan describes glaciers consuming entire villages in the middle ages, sea ice blocking formerly reliable ocean routes, and more. I think his research proves that climate changes should be taken VERY SERIOUSLY because, as he documents, the effects can be relatively rapid and profound.

Looking for a Miracle
Looking for a Miracle
by Joe Nickell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.20
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking clearly about "miracles", Sept. 2 2000
This review is from: Looking for a Miracle (Hardcover)
This is a great overview of various miraculous events, conducted with an eye to actual data and evidence. A great book for thinking clearly about "holy visions," weeping statues, and other religious mass delusions. The text is thick in historical and scientific support, and there are some interesting pictures. Joe Nickell is a smart guy. Highly recommended.

Inquest on the Shroud of Turin: Latest Scientific Findings
Inquest on the Shroud of Turin: Latest Scientific Findings
by Joe Nickell
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.80
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of shroud silliness, July 23 2000
Nickell does a clear, thorough job of debunking all the contradictions and self-delusions of those folks who insist on believing that this long-acknowledged fraud actually contained the body of Christ(even the Catholic Church denies its authenticity). A good review of the actual "shroud" tradition (contradicted by the bible itself BTW) and the mountain of scientific data disproving the shroud's miraculous nature. Highly recommended for clear thinkers who prefer fact and data to fanciful speculation and special pleading.

Inquest On Shroud Of Turin
Inquest On Shroud Of Turin
by Nickell
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 7.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of shroud silliness, June 24 2000
Nickell does a clear, thorough job of debunking all the silly contradictions and self-delusions of those folks who insist on believing that this long-acknowledged fraud actually contained the body of Christ(even the Catholic Church denies its authenticity). A good review of the actual "shroud" tradition (contradicted by the bible itself) and the scientific data disproving the shroud's miraculous nature. Highly recommended for clear thinkers who prefer fact and data to fanciful speculation and self-delusion.

Tree Houses You Can Actually Build: A Weekend Project Book
Tree Houses You Can Actually Build: A Weekend Project Book
by Jeanie Trusty Stiles
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.99
32 used & new from CDN$ 2.91

5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended!, June 5 2000
Want to build a tree house for your kids (and you?) This book is a great resource. Informative, but also witty and inspiring. I have given this book as a gift. But beware! It tends to inspire carpenters to run out and build tree houses. You have been warned. :)

Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years
Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years
by Phyllis Siefker
Edition: Library Binding
15 used & new from CDN$ 85.40

5.0 out of 5 stars everything you know is wrong, April 9 2000
about Santa Claus. A wonderful book that unearthes a forgotten past where Santa was quite more spooky than he is now, and has ties to our much deeper past than just the current neo-Christian myths we are fed each year. A great book, easy to read, highly recommended.

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