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cousette copeland "codyhaha" (santa clara, california USA)
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Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer
Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer
by Lynne Cox
Edition: Hardcover
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Lynne rates as a modern Adventurer!, Jan. 24 2004
I started reading Swimming to Antarctica at 8 pm and I couldn't put it down till I finished it after midnight!
Her book, her adventures, her swims, and especially Lynne herself - are all fantastic! Not only did she set and achieve personal goals, she did it keeping in mind her involvement with those around her - family, coaches, fellow swimmers, the community, and even those non-swimmers who cheered on her achievements!
I can't stop using exclamation marks because I admire and am thrilled by everything Lynne has done!
I wish the book had photographs! I wish I read Lynne's book or heard about herin high school - it might have inspired me to do more over the years.
The writing is engaging and you feel you are right in the stormy, foggy ocean or in the murky slime of the Nile or in the icy, freezing water of Antarctica. Lynne rates as high as Thor Heyerdahl (Kon Tiki) as a modern adventurer. When I saw a photograph of her in People Magazine - it was wonderful to put that smiling face to the smiling voice that comes through clearly in her writing!
I will read and re-read this book many times over the years.

Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down
Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down
by Anne Fadiman
Edition: Paperback
120 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars The Hmong/American Experience and Tragedy, June 16 2002
The tragedy of an immigrant Hmong family from Laos/Cambodia and their struggle with an epileptic child and the American medical community. If you are looking to find out answers about epileptic treatments, don't look here. This is the worst tragedy that can befall an epileptic child and her family. It is the story of the American medical community who tries to help by forcing confusing medical treatment on a family who can't even read or write, let alone understand the complex regimen of multiple prescriptions with confusing dosage/time schedules and horrendous side effects. A medical system that thinks they are helping by having the child removed into protective child service programs, who dump the child into a foster care system. The story of the child is one of a child lost in the medical system. The story of this child is also lost in Fadimen's book, which becomes more a detailed history of the Hmong people. Two books in one - it is informative, detailed, and frustrating in its abundance of information and lack of hopefulness. I have heard nurses and doctors say that they have learned a lot about the South East Asian community - but 20 years too late, in my mind.... The miracle of this book is that the epileptic child is never abandoned by the family, and at the time of the writing, was still alive and being cared for lovingly and protectively, though in an almost comatose state.

Endangered Species: An Anna Pigeon Mystery
Endangered Species: An Anna Pigeon Mystery
by Nevada Barr
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Anna goes skinny dippin, cuts her hair, and loses her "Ex.", June 16 2002
Anna is in the south again - but this time on one of the islands off the coast of Georgia. And she's not 'wrastlin' gators this time, it's turtles instead. There's a plane crash, Bambi (real name, Flicka), cannibus (marijuana), and more. She's still contemplating moving to Chicago to be with the distant Frederick, but that possibility seems to always be on the backburner. As usual, Nevada fights the good fight, goes skinny dipping, gets her hair cut, and is finally free of her ex-husband (in a hilarious manner), while discovering the the secrets of Cumberland Island's murders.

Firestorm
Firestorm
by Nevada Barr
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
49 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hot, Hot, Hot in Barr's best novel - a 'locked room mystery', June 16 2002
This review is from: Firestorm (Mass Market Paperback)
Nevada Barr has 2 books that are closed to "locked room" mysteries - that is, where the action and events are in a tightly controlled environment. Firestorm has it's events in the middle of a firestorm, on a mountain top where rescue is delayed. (Blind Descent is the other - inside a subterranean cave.)
Barr's description of the firestorm, and being trapped inside of a tiny fireproof tent are gripping! The murders are solved by Frederick and Anna. Frederick is working on the outside, and supplies info to Anna via hand radios. Anna uncovers facts and fights the growing tension between survivors who are trapped on the mountain together.
There are suspects galore - but I was totally surprized by the identity of the true murderer and Anna's judgement call in handling the murderer.
This is probably one of Barr's best novels - a "hot, hot" read!

Liberty Falling: An Anna Pigeon Mystery
Liberty Falling: An Anna Pigeon Mystery
by Nevada Barr
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars A National Park Service in NEW YORK CITY?????, June 16 2002
Who knew? A National Park Service exists in New York City. Yes - at The Statue of Liberty! Anna Pigeon is a guest, rather than a working ranger, while she waits for news about her sister, Molly. Molly is in critical condition with complications that followed an operation. Anna races between The Statue of Liberty and the hospital. She works to solve the murders of a young teen girl and a NPS ranger/guard, both of whom appear to have 'fallen' from The Statue of Liberty. Meanwhile, her boyfriend Frederick tries to hide his love of Molly from Anna! The romantic element for Anna is Molly's doctor, who asks Anna on a date. And clueless Anna accepts. For a while, I wondered if Molly's remission reversal was due to the 'evil' doctor - but turns out his evil is in another arena.
This is probably my least favorite Nevada Barr book. I'll admit that I had a clue to the identity of the killer and accomplices about half way into the book. I was right. I think the most disappointing thing about this book is the urban setting. Barr can make any national park setting come alive, but the 'big city' of New York seemed stereotypical and uninteresting to the plot.

Deep South
Deep South
by Nevada Barr
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
85 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Gators and Bubbas - look out for Anna Pigeon, ranger PI!, June 12 2002
This review is from: Deep South (Mass Market Paperback)
Anna Pigeon is on the move again - with cat Piedmont and dog Taco in tow. Her new assignment is in the Deep South of the Natchez Trace in Mississippi. Before she can even get to her new digs, she's given bad directions by a junior ranger and ends up in the Mississippi mud. Once she finds her way to ranger central, she finds herself up against bible-thumping campers, Confederate soldier re-enactors, and employees that embody the southern Bubba spirit. All the men seem to have a layer of fat and a condescending attitude towards the lady ranger. But there's no time to dwell on the obvious, because in her first day/night she encounters boys who have abandoned a drunk and blacked out teenage girl. Another drunken girl, Danni, in the woods turns out to be the victim of a heinous crime - she's got a sheet with eyeholes cut out over her head and a noose around her neck. Is it redneck villians? Disgruntled boyfriends? A black-on-white crime? Nothing is slow as molasses as Anna fights off a gator who bites off one dog's leg, as she meets the victim's psycho mother, as she is endangered by the Bubbas who don't want to work for a lady ranger, and when she finds out about the local homosexual lover's point. There's the handsome and sexy policeman...but there's also his wife on her doorstep. Throw in the story of Grant's soldiers who disappeared during the Civil War, and a horrific attack on Anna, and you've got another Nevada Barr page-turner that will keep you up all night!

The Log from the Sea of Cortez
The Log from the Sea of Cortez
by John Steinbeck
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.44
37 used & new from CDN$ 4.67

4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag of Specimens and Thoughts, Jan. 4 2002
I have mixed feelings about this book. I was an oceonographer wannabe, so I'm familiar with many of the specimens described in the collection process. But without a visual guide, I think it may be difficult for some readers. It made me want to see the full 600 page text, which was the scientific (not narrative) portion of the Sea of Cortez.
I liked Steinbeck's intimate stories within the narrative - the stories of Tiny and Sparky, Tony and Tex, and the villagers and fishermen of Mexico. I tend to dislike the philosophical discussions - tho the intro says that the inner workings of Steinbeck's mind has been revealed. Many of the societal attitudes seem outdated.
It's a definite period piece - the gringos visiting the Mexicans and Indios during a time when few gringos came into their isolated world. When Baja California was an unspoiled habitat for marine life, instead of a resort/sportsman area. A time when you could freely collect marine specimens without desimating the species. What a great adventure, though, to make many discoveries (not of unusual species) but of the abundance and variety of species - and to record them for other science lovers.
The book jumps in tone, emphasis, and style - showing the variety of Steinbeck's interests, strengths and weaknesses, and makes you want to go back to his classic fiction -where he is strongest in telling the stories of common man. A good read!

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