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stevenhorr (Canada)

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The Sandman
The Sandman
by Lars Kepler
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.64
6 used & new from CDN$ 6.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Fast, Dark, March 4 2015
This review is from: The Sandman (Paperback)
I tried reading The Hypnotist by Lars Keplar months back, and while I enjoyed what I read of it, due to my being busy and unable to give the book proper attention, I didn't finish it (but will likely give it another go after finishing this one). I was equally busy when I read The Sandman. For some reason, though, I finished it in five nights. I couldn't put it down. The book reads like a great movie. There isn't a ton of descriptive writing in here; there is just enough to set the stage and maintain a wonderful pace. The characters are equally likable and unlikable. This book takes the reader to some dark places, places compelling and engaging to a reader safe in his or her den with a reading lamp and a pillow. It's gripping from the get go, has a fast, fluid pace, and is compellingly dark and subversive. Very satisfying entertainment.

Price: CDN$ 5.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Jan. 9 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Seed (Kindle Edition)
Seed was better than I expected. It is a dark, creepy, rather hopeless novel, and engaging enough that I burned through it in a couple of days. If horror is your thing (I need a fix from time to time), don't pass on this one!

It's the Crude, Dude: War, Big Oil and the Fight for the Planet
It's the Crude, Dude: War, Big Oil and the Fight for the Planet
by Linda McQuaig
Edition: Hardcover
28 used & new from CDN$ 3.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get up to speed regarding Big Oil and its impact on the world, Aug. 9 2007
While I think Mcquaig might know more than she presents here, this book is a great way to understand Big Oil/Big Business, and US and Canadian foreign relations. Not only is it informative, but entertaining enough that people who normally wouldn't have the patience for books about politics or economics (such as my wife) will be captivated from the first chapter. Important reading.

Holding the Bully's Coat: Canada and the U.S. Empire
Holding the Bully's Coat: Canada and the U.S. Empire
by Linda McQuaig
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 3.04

33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do your own homework. Read Mcquaig., Aug. 9 2007
Read for yourself. It is a good thing that books are published that question or criticize the 'official story', aka the CNN/FOX spun version of reality, where "humanitarian aid" means the bombing of civilians, where "spreading democracy" means illegal occupation. You're not being "anti-american" if you don't want to follow America into bogus wars of occupation and invasion, like the current "war on terror". Anti-american twaddle? Mcquaig points out specifically that she is not anti-american, but "anti-american-exceptionalist"-- why should the US have special rights, like the ability to pursue their own nuclear program while they go around seeing that other nations don't pursue theirs? That's just one example of how the american-exceptionalism. The list goes on, and on.

Why should Canadians be ashamed to want to be an internationally concerned and responsible country, instead of following in America's agressive-defensive ways? It is often said that we need the US to protect us, but I'd say that US foreign policy in the middle-east, and any Canadian affiliation with it, if anything, has made us a more desireable target of foreign attack.

Canadians: read Linda Mcquaig and Michel Chossudovsky. Don't worry about being politically-correct. The media shouts us down as "anti-american" if we don't support an illegal, destructive, US-led war. Canadian media calls us "unsupportive of our troops" if we don't agree with Canadian policy in the middle-east. Why should we, as Canadians, be ashamed to read this material (especially Canadians from Virginia ;) )? We shouldn't be. Read it.

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One
by George R.R. Martin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.79
147 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars satisfaction!, Feb. 15 2004
I've been waiting to read and review this book for about 2 years while I have plodded along in the Wheel of Time series. But I am not here, like so many others, to bash Mr. Jordan and revere Martin. In fact, I was just as excited to get my hands on "The Great Hunt" as I am to get my hands on "Clash of Kings". Quickly I must say that I still very much enjoy Jordan's imagination and scope of story, and I continue to read them despite times of frustration for certain qualities that the books have. But onto praise for Martin!
Martin writes a mean and compelling tale which flows nicely and which had me equally interested in every chapter. The writing never really gets dry, and while it isn't jam-packed with endless fighting either, it has enough intrigue, disaster, conflict in each chapter to keep the reading enjoyable. I am finding in Jordan's books that I am reading through some pretty drab stuff to get to a chapter which gets my heart pounding again. Indeed, Martin's pacing (so far!) cannot be beat.
The character development is incredible, and I already care for many people in Martin's world, loathe others, and mourn for one or two as well. This book is so HUMAN, and therefore less imaginative than some fantasy I have read. For anyone here who has read Steven Erikson's "Gardens of the Moon", it may be noted that while Erikson's pacing is good too, the level of fantasy is much more involving and indeed detracts somewhat from the human/emotional element of the story. This is not the case with "...Thrones". This is not to say that a fantasy element doesn't exist in "Game of Thrones". Like a good, seasoned chef, Martin knows how to hold back, using careful discernment and subtlety, adding just the right spices in just the right amounts so that the over-all flavor benefits. There is magic and fantasy, but it is more believable in that it is less overt and is treated with mystery. There is no hurling of balefire or magical bolts, at least not yet, but a more suspenseful allusion to magic and monsters than in many of the best fantasy books out there. And the reader is left knowing that there is more, much more, magical and mythical revelation just around the corner, which of course leaves him/her hungry for more Martin!
My only critique regards the level of violence in this book. For the most part it is fun to read about, but not when it comes to the gratuitous rape scenes which I found a bit vulgar and unnecessary.
Being that this review is sandwiched between nearly a thousand others, I thank you for choosing mine to read. If you like Jordan, Goodkind, and Erikson, you will love this book. It compares to Jordan's original appeal and character development, Goodkind's gratuitious violence and grit, and Erikson's lack of dull moments. I do think, though, that it does raise the bar a little bit for all fantasy writers, and I hope that the series remains as compelling in the books to come. "Game of Thrones" is definitely one of the most satisfying fantasy novels I have read.

The Imitation of Christ
The Imitation of Christ
by Thomas Kempis
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.99
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.63

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome, Jan. 20 2004
I read this book perhaps more frequently than any other book. Quintessential Christian reading. Following Christ isn't just about joy. We are called to deny ourselves daily, and to carry our crosses. More than console, this book calls us to imitate Christ, to do the real tough work of living in humility and obedience. It is beautiful, passionate, powerful, and challenging. Read it.

The Urantia Book: Revealing the Mysteries of God, the Universe, World History, Jesus, and Ourselves
The Urantia Book: Revealing the Mysteries of God, the Universe, World History, Jesus, and Ourselves
by Urantia Foundation
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.89
35 used & new from CDN$ 14.07

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars vast, complicated, and (mostly) heartless, Jan. 10 2004
If, like another reviewer suggested, you are one who does not adhere to the exclusivity of one writing, or one written "truth", then this book certainly throws an interesting curve into the whole picture. I read it for about a year. At first I was compelled because of its scope, because it speaks of God and it also speaks of the existence of life on other planets, all evolving back to the divine. Great! But what it also does is basically judges all Earth-based, feminine, indigenous religion as being essentially primitive and superstitious. That irked me. Then it goes ahead and takes so much beautiful metaphor, allegory, and archetypal imagery from the Judeo-Christian tradition and attempts to explain it away in the calculative left-brain way with which the entire book is written. In this book, for example, the forbidden tree in Eden was an actual, physical tree that bore real fruit of immortality! Planted on "Urantia" by aliens, or angels, or something. All biblical lore is reduced to actual, physical events, explained away by blaming our poor, limited human intelligence (or unlimited stupidity) on such perversely superstitious and erroneous interpretations of such events/myths. Then a carefully thought out, grossly logical and pragmatic version of any given myth is substituted for our human version. ANd listen to this: The spirit that resides in us, that is a part of God, is called the Thought-Adjuster! The terminology of the Urantia Book is so cold and clinical, I believe it was written either by a human male dangerously detached from his feminine side, or an alien after all.
All in all, not a book to read from cover to cover, a feat I was never able to achieve. Each part of the book claims to come from a different messenger, but every book is written like a text book, with many lists of different spiritual levels and governing galactic principles, and the same patronizing, logical voice is expressed throughout.
Read it if you dare, when you are idly curious. Don't let it replace truly profound and truly human scripture like The Holy Bible, the Dhammapada, the Tao Te Ching, the Bhagavad Gita, etc. There is still a little "heart" in the third part of the Urantia Book, which deals with Jesus, but only because it deals with Jesus. If you need a more detailed and contrived version of the gospels wherein every little nuance is explained for you, allowing no room for intuitive interpretation, you may enjoy Part III of this book. I personally recommend reading the actual gospels themselves instead.

The Way of a Pilgrim
The Way of a Pilgrim
by Walter J. Ciszek S.J.
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.27
46 used & new from CDN$ 4.61

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way of the True Christian, Nov. 22 2003
This review is from: The Way of a Pilgrim (Paperback)
This tiny little book inspired me so much. Within a simple tale, the author has encapsulated what it means (in my opinion)to be a contemplative Christian, by praying without ceasing. It also holds its own as a look into the culture of Orthodox Christian Russia. The author writes with child-like innocence, the very thing in itself that makes his words so powerful. The meaning of the Jesus Prayer is herein eloquently explained by an experienced adept, with references to both the Bible and the Philokalia.

Meditations on the Tarot
Meditations on the Tarot
by Anonymus
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.33
28 used & new from CDN$ 16.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing Prose, Nov. 22 2003
As a student of everything mystical, magical, religious, and mysterious, I am completely floored by the contents of this book, not only for the author's incredible scope of knowledge, but for the quantity and quality of Heart embedded in the transmission. Admittedly, at times I found his handling of Buddhism and other Eastern traditions a little biased, but for the light he shines onto the Western esoteric traditions, it is entirely forgivable!
The author exposes magic that is will-driven and merely ceremonial for what it is, and points out that only sacred magic in alignment with the "Will of the Father" is ultimately of value. Purification, illumination, and union are the goals of a true mystic.
Warning: this book is not easily digested! But beautiful, enlightening, complicated, and filled with divine light.
At the risk of redundancy, reading this book is truly like sitting down with an enlightened master of the west. The book has perhaps more "presence" than any I have read. I have poured through a recently borrowed copy of this book and will not rest until I own my own. This isn't one to read and forget. Impossible!

The Seven Storey Mountain: 50th Anniversary
The Seven Storey Mountain: 50th Anniversary
by Thomas Merton
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.57
38 used & new from CDN$ 7.47

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love you, Merty!, Oct. 14 2003
It has been a couple of years since I read this autobiography. From the perspective of an always aspiring writer and poet, I applaud this piece of literature for capturing the interest of even the most adamant unbeliever or un-anchored agnostic simply for the raw and accessible story which it conveys. From the stand-point of a spiritual seeker, a self-censoring #4 on the Enneagram (read "Merton: An Enneagram Profile", by Suzanne Zuercher), and a religious tolerant (which Merton certainly became in his later life), I connected with it instantly on a very intimate level.
I can honestly credit Merton for inspiring me to investigate Christianity much more deeply without the usual repugnance and negative bias I had approached it with before, and has since become one of my favorite writers, artists, thinkers, and Christians... period!
Merton was a very "human" being. His struggles with pride, ego, Biblical understanding, lust, vanity, etc. may help the spiritually inclined reader to accept his or her own flaws in a more forgiving light. He reminds us that nobody is perfect.
I highly recommend this book to both the fan of compelling autobiography, and to the aspiring contemplative.

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