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F. G. Hamer "MadManxMan" (Isle of Man)
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Office 2003 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies
Office 2003 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies
by Peter Weverka
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.50
58 used & new from CDN$ 0.78

5.0 out of 5 stars The best in a line of 'greats', Nov. 5 2003
The last book review I wrote on this site was close on one year ago... for no other reason than leading a busy life doing other things. But I just felt I had to come out of 'exile' for this book because it's classic Peter Weverka at his stunning best.
Clear, precise, a touch of gentle humor, Peter cuts through the jargon like a hot knife through butter. There is simply NOTHING that doesn't get properly explained and simplified.
"Office 2003 All-In-One" is the Dummies Guide to not just one program but to no less than NINE. (Word 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Excel 2003, FrontPage 2003, Access 2003, Publisher 2003, Office 2003 - one step beyond and Windows XP). It's a true compendium of reference books - a genuine all-in-one library.
Just so you understand why I feel so qualified to comment on this publication, I should tell you that I am an 'expert user' at Excel and Access. I'm very much a middle-of-the-road user at Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Windows XP, and I have never before even looked at FrontPage or Publisher. I reckon that gives me a unique insight into how effective Mr Weverka's writing for all types of users and all levels of expertise.
I can assure you it hits the mark at EVERY level. Never condescending, never too clever for his own good, always explained in clear simple language, this book is an absolute pleasure to own, and a real treasure house of information and reference.
Screen captures are clean and easy to understand, cross-referencing is more than adequate, and there's hardly a word of unintelligible jargon or computerese anywhere. (Oh, and the author throws in a few smiles from time, to time, just to stop you nodding off.)
Peter Weverka has really excelled himself, and has again produced a masterly tome that will stand the test of time. If you want to know more about the inside workings of Office 2003, THIS is the only reference book you will ever need... and that's a promise.

The Illustrated A Brief History of Time: Updated and Expanded Edition
The Illustrated A Brief History of Time: Updated and Expanded Edition
by Stephen Hawking
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 28.22
38 used & new from CDN$ 16.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the original, May 13 2002
I read the original version of 'A Brief History of Time' back in 1988. At the time, Hawking was into ground-breaking territory. The fact that his theories have gained such universal acceptance and that many of them have since been proved is evidence of the brilliance of the mind that thought through the logic.
In this updated version, Hawking moves from time travel to black holes to general relativity, quantum mechanics and even string theory, he never fails to captivate and entrance, even though some of the theories are difficult to grasp.
The sections devoted to black holes and time travel are, in my view, the most interesting... putting a human slant of a highly theorical subject. With the addition of hundreds of amazing illustrations and photos, Hawking has made his revised book extremely readable and colorful, both comprehensive and comprehendable, as one reviewer put it.
An excellent introduction to relativity, big bang, and anything else you might have scratched your head about!

Fall On Your Knees (Oprah's Book Club)
Fall On Your Knees (Oprah's Book Club)
by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Edition: Paperback
182 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but..., May 13 2002
I HATE doing this, but I have now closed Fall on Your Knees and will not bother opening it again. I struggled to about the halfway point, but can go no further.
It's not that it's badly written... in fact the prose in places is beautiful. It's not that there's no story... there's bucket-loads of story and the reader is dragged through it at a rate of knots that is sometimes breathtaking. And maybe that's the problem. So far, we've not stopped long enough in one place to care for any of the characters.
I really don't care what happens to any of them!
Honest, I struggled and struggled to keep going, but boredom finally broke me and I've given up. As one astute reviewer puts it ... "The traumas and tribulations were just never ending, with all the subtlety of a John Phillips Sousa march" ... Well here's a de Sousa fan who prefers the marches!
Sorry, but...

The Domain Name Handbook; High Stakes and Strategies in Cyberspace
The Domain Name Handbook; High Stakes and Strategies in Cyberspace
9 used & new from CDN$ 5.71

2.0 out of 5 stars Out of touch and out of date, April 19 2002
I have to agree with one of my fellow reviewers - this book is way too technical and dry. With heavy, heavy chapters devoted to the development of the domain name system, trademark challenges, dispute case studies etc., The Domain Name Handbook reads more like a govenment manual than an istructive and entertaining piece of writing. Ten out of ten for so much research but not many out of ten for entertainment value, (and, yes, even an instruction manual can be enetertaining).... Theirwell-linked pages will take you some interesting routes to wherever the real knowledge lies.
If you're a sucker for tables, lists, facts, data and specifics, this book with inform. If, like me, you prefer that learning should be fun, you'll find yourself in the wrong hands here. In any case, the book was published in mid 1998 and, with so much having happened on the Web, is in dire need of a revised update.

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regement, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle'Snest
Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regement, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle'Snest
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Edition: Paperback
79 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of soldiers' memories., April 1 2002
Stephen Ambrose does an excellent, craftsmanlike job of piecing together the memories of the men of Easy Company, 101st Airborne. In 'Band of Brothers' he recounts the 18 months or so from the formation of Easy Company under the disciplinarian Herbert Sobel, to their disbandment at war's end. To many, the fact that men can accept death in such an uncomplicated way is puzzling, yet many books that have been written from the soldiers' perspectives indicate that this attitude was prevelant to all fighting men.
One of the telling moments for me was, I believe, when Lt. Col. (later Gen.) Harry W.O.Kinnard said of the Battle of the Bulge, "We never felt we would be overrun. We were beating back everything they threw at us. We had the houses and were warm. They were outside the town, in the snow and cold." Every surviving member of E company kept copies of that newspaper story with comments which could best be translated as "What battle was he in?"
To me, this shows that Ambrose really did get the soldiers' take on the war. The trenches, the deaths, the cold, the hunger. If I may make one small criticism it is that, in places, he relied TOO much on the soldiers' memories... he talks of E Company's 'triumphant capture' of Berchtesgaden (Hitler's Eagle's Nest). History says he is wrong. In fact the French, under orders from General Leclerc, but against the orders of deGaulle beat the Americans into Berchtesgaden by almost a full day. The differences in recollection may well come from the fact that the Americans were first into the sections of Eagle's Nest they considered important - the French, led by an engineer called Bernard de Nonancourt had gone straight to the wine cellars to reclaim their half-million bottles of captured wine! Difference of priority - difference of perspective!
Band of Brothers is an excellent account of man's inhumanity to man; of men's love for their fellow men, and of mens' sacrifices for mankind. It is also an interesting perspective on the actions undertaken by Easy Company during the last 12 months of the war in Europe.

The Drawing of the Three
The Drawing of the Three
by Stephen King
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
99 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional, March 30 2002
In The Drawing of the Three, Roland is attacked by marvelous, poisonous "lobstrosities" and enters our world for help. He takes heroin addict Eddie Dean from 1987 New York and Odetta Holmes from 1964 New York as his team. In a powerful time-tripping scene, Roland confronts Jack Mort and actually changes Jake's Earth history, which has heady implications for Roland's world.
The Drawing of the Three is different again from The Gunslinger. What really got to me was the fact that Jack and Odetta were so intimately joined without ever knowing it, and that Roland, in Mort's body, bought bullets from someone who worked with Balazar, Eddie's drug czar. All the coincidences that weren't coincidences, the terror of the lobstrosities (not to mention Detta Walker), the disturbing mind of Jack Mort, and the action-packed shootout at Balazar's. These combine effortlessly to join a remarkable novel that is one of King's best. The joy when Eddie finally overcame his physical addiction, or when Detta/Odetta joined finally, or the dark happiness when Jack Mort finally kicked the bucket... Just read it!

The Gunslinger
The Gunslinger
by Stephen King
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
82 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Persevere - it's worth it., March 30 2002
One of the few King novels I've ever had trouble getting into was The Gunslinger. But persevere, because so much depends upon this first book when reading the following volumes of the series. The Oracle's prophecy, the dark man's vision, the sacrificial child who becomes increasingly important as the series grows. Perhaps it was the sparse writing that put me off to begin with - so different from the rich, textured feel of most of King's novels. It's also difficult to empathise with the lone gunslinger. But again, as the series goes on, it's intriguing to watch this obsessed man change and develop further. One needs a starting point, and the cold, single-minded man that Roland is at the outset is a noble one. Still, I was glad when I watched him gradually change and begin to love more than just his Dark Tower

A Mothman: The Facts Behind the Legend
A Mothman: The Facts Behind the Legend
by Donnie, Jr. Sergent
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 9.98

2.0 out of 5 stars A list of so-called 'facts', March 17 2002
The authors state clearly in the book that 'Mothman: The Facts Behind the Legend' does not try to draw conclusions about what might or might not have happened at Point Pleasant, West Virginia on November 15 1966. That's a good thing because, based on the miniscule amount of "evidence" in the book, it would be difficult to conclude anything except that some kids were scared by something they saw.
Please don't misunderstand. I'm NOT trying to say these kids were mistaken. Let's accept that they saw what they saw. What I'm saying is that the book, 'Mothman', is shallow and repetitive. In large print with page after page after page of photocopied newspaper clippings that all say the same thing, 'Mothman' has 95% filler and 5% content. There are too many questions the authors SHOULD have asked...
What relationship was there between MIB and the collapse of the bridge? What did other eyewitnesses see of the many UFO reported sightings? Who were the MIB? How could 'Mothman' be linked to MIB?
Even simple curiosity questions were missed... Did Mothman wear clothes? Why do the witnesses say HE was a man - wht not SHE was a woman?
Sorry but I read the content of this book in a couple of hours and it left me empty and disinterested in thinking further about the subject.

Good Omens
Good Omens
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
63 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Huge fun, March 12 2002
This review is from: Good Omens (Mass Market Paperback)
Mixing Pratchett's sense of outrageous parody with Gaiman's morbid humor, Good Omens comes up trumps as a laugh-a-minute novel staring the good guys, the bad guys, a gang of kids and a devil dog.
For me, a long time Pratchett fan, it was easy to spot the joins between the two authors ideas, but that did not lessen my enjoyment of Good Omens, as it romped from the sublime to the truly ridiculous (always with a sense of gentle mockery about the state of human nature as a whole). And, as with a high percentage of Terry Pratchett's works, the underlying religious question always presnts itself... a sort of Small Gods parody.
Good Omens should carry a public health warning... laughing out loud can seriously improve your health.

Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson
Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson
by Kenneth R. Timmerman
Edition: Hardcover
43 used & new from CDN$ 1.84

5.0 out of 5 stars What we knew all along, March 9 2002
For decades the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson has been an icon for the liberal media. Seldom a word of media criticism about him has hit the papers. CNN even gave him his own TV program and paid him a fortune for it. But Jackson's days of being 'untouchable' may soon be over thanks to "Shakedown"
Published by the same publishing house that came out with the best-selling books, "Bias" and "Final Days.", Shakedown has even more bombshells than those two together. In 'Shakedown', the reader is invited to discover the REAL Jesse Jackson - the one the media will never report on, including how Jackson personally profited from "non-profit" groups whose funds were intended to help poor minorities and civil rights...
...how Jackson used his "public service" image to live the lifestyle of Donald Trump: jets, top class hotels, million dollar homes - the best of everything - you name it!...
...how Jackson earned the name "Action Jackson" because of his voracious appetite for women...
...how Jackson used his complaints of racism against major corporations as a method of out-and-out extortion and blackmail in order to reap millions for himself and his organizations...
...the special relationship Jackson formed with Bill Clinton during the Monica affair and how Jackson got millions in taxpayer funds for being a Democratic Party mouthpiece.
"Shakedown" will knock your socks off and there are many more shocking revelations about Jackson which, in the interests of good taste, are not printable here. In fact, if you believe what the author claims, you'll find that almost everything you heard about Jackson is a lie...
Jackson was NOT anointed by Martin Luther King to be his heir.
Jackson was NEVER even an ordained a minister.
Jackson was NEVER poor or victimized by racism, as he has alleged.
But it gets worse. Kenneth R. Timmerman reveals that Jackson acts more like a mobster than a civil rights leader. "Shakedown" reports on Jackson's ties to the Chicago mob and his ruthless methods: beatings, death threats, career destruction and verbal assaults that border on incitement to murder are all staples of the Jackson Treatment.
If, like many, many people the world over, you are tired of Jesse Jackson and fed up with the media cover-up of his outrageous behavior, you need to get "Shakedown." Unlike some other political publications, it has a genuine ring of truth to it. If only 10% of it is factual, this book should lead to a full Justice Dept. investigation of Jackson, his cronies and his shakedown business activities. He should be held accountable before the American system of justice.

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