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. "scarlet9" (OH United States)

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Amy and Isabelle: A novel
Amy and Isabelle: A novel
by Elizabeth Strout
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.75
98 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly open and forward!, March 14 2004
Elizabeth Strout has written a masterpiece here. A friend gave me "Amy and Isabelle" shortly after I was finally able to come to terms with myself, my past and come out about all of it - at 31. My first thought, was "ugh, another mother-daughter story from another well-meaning friend", but Strout managed to present the story of a mother and daughter coming to terms with themselves and each other without developing suffocating tunnel vision or a soapbox.
This tale is always open with many interwoven avenues like a road map. The reader gets a broad perspective of the various individuals with whom Amy and Isabelle Goodrow interact on a daily basis, rather than just being limited to Amy and Isabelle themselves like so many other mother/daughter reads tend to do somewhere after page 1. There's Avery, Fat Bev, Dottie Brown, Stacy, Mr. Robertson, and a number of others rounding out the picture. We really get to see the clearest measure of Amy and Isabelle -- of how they measure themselves, how they believe they are measured, and how they are measured in reality -- through these other characters. In fact, what is measured in the end is how we view ourselves as [reader] in light of those with whom we interact.
Both Amy and Isabelle find unexpected strength when they each quit trying to be something they are not, and allow themselves to become human, in Shirley Falls, where Isabelle has for many years thought that 'being human' was probably the worst possible thing to do. The characters are all so familiar that one can't help but put themselves into at least one pair of shoes in this book. Strout has achieved a familiar, three dimensional, fast and engaging style that keeps you reading until the book runs out...

Once Upon a Time in Mexico / Desperado (Special Editon)
Once Upon a Time in Mexico / Desperado (Special Editon)
DVD ~ Antonio Banderas
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 51.82
10 used & new from CDN$ 22.16

4.0 out of 5 stars Don't forget the first one to..., Feb. 19 2004
Both of these movies are amazing, though I was all too happy that I was able to see El Mariachi before either of them. The first movie was done almost entirely volunteer with a budget that barely covered the cost of the ammunition -- and yes, at that shockingly low price-tag -- it was that good that it rated two sequels!
Lots of southwest machismo flavor, guns, musicians, tragic love, what more could one want from a movie aiming for the top of the genre.
Desperado first disjointedly continues from El Mariachi (believe me, if you saw E.M. first, you would have at least a few confused moments when viewing Desperado the first time). Once Upon a Time in Mexico picks up from where Desperado left off and the flash backs throughout the third movie do a reasonable job and tying the series together. The plots for all three are fantastical and legend, but all three movies work the genre style for all they are worth and end up way way way on top. Did I mention the astounding cast? It's not just the stars -- they've pulled out some pretty legendary supporting actors to boot.
Five stars for the fact that in addition to being astoundingly fabulous movies -- each one of the three is able to stand as a solid movie unto itself without the other two. Four stars for the set -- only because the set doesn't include El Mariachi, which I think everyone should watch at least a few times. I think it is about time that El Mariachi garners due royalties along with its American companion sequels...

Children of the Night
Children of the Night
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling time with or without your medical dictionary!, Feb. 14 2004
Dan Simmons writes a modern twist on the old vampire story here. A hematologist working for the CDCs and a young orphan at the center of her focus take this story across two continents. A brilliant immersion into contemporary (to the tale) politics. Some of the medical terminology might be a little heady, but no more so than the average science fiction read concerning fictitious/not-yet-developed science.
The end of this tale is not particularly surprising, but then again this tale is centuries old so no complaints. Simmons is dealing with Vlad Ţepeş as subject matter, and spins an exciting yarn as grandiose as the characters at hand. Readers annoyed with the ending of this book were probably also annoyed that their 11th grade English teacher and his 'silly' reading requirements spoiled "Oh Brother Where Art Thou".
When I read this book for the first time, I didn't put it down until well after my bedtime each night. If you are looking for the classic vampire tale couched in / affected by 20th Century medicine and politics â€" this book is a serious page-turner!

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House
Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House
by Cheryl Mendelson
Edition: Hardcover
41 used & new from CDN$ 4.31

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the gift of a century for certain! *10* stars, Feb. 3 2004
My sister bought this book for me a few years ago as a Christmas gift, and errantly enough I often made the mistake of simply checking the index and thumbing to the appropriate pages when needed. This week, in a fit of un-hominess related to flat-mate changes, 30-something grad school home-neglect, etc., I went to my bookshelves looking for some solace. For the first time -- I looked at the table of contents and there I found the secrets I had been looking for all along: Chapter 1 - My Secret Life. I started reading the book from the preface onward immediately.
Though I am a child of the early 70's, I was raised by parents born in the 30's, subjected to post-war/50's cleaning rigors through the week and every weekend. At heart, like my own grandmother, I am a putterer - 100% contrary to my callisthenic style chore-upbringing.
For years, I have secretly reveled while doing all of my housework as close to bedtime as possible, sometimes hours after all "normal" people were long in bed. The truth is I honestly like doing housework -- I simply do not like doing it first thing out of bed, nor according to any clock. I love going to sleep knowing that there are far better reasons to wake up in the morning than some mess left over from today. To finally find a book written by someone who genuinely loves to keep house, this was a sleeping joy sitting on my bookshelf I am sorry I never started reading cover-to-cover long ago. Though I am sure I will probably find a point within a few chapters where I decide that it will be relegated to more of a reference, I now know that when I have a little free time here or there, want to steal myself away to relax with a cup of tea between loads of laundry -- I have just the tome to which to turn to learn more and more about how make house into "home".
Cheryl Mendelson brings her secret love of housework into her writing brilliantly and sometimes humorously. After years of looking at housekeeping as a chore while I tried to keep up with the clockwork callisthenic style of my childhood and feeling guilty for wanting to relax my way through making my home just that, I finally found an author who approaches her subject as something to revel in rather than revile -- an author who validates the secret wisdom of my own grandmother as absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. At first realization that Mendelson left "JD" off the cover, an eyebrow went up as to how many pages would pass before the respect and humor turned into a dry-as-heck legal brief, as enthusiastic as a math professor reciting his grocery list, but it doesn't really happen.
Anyone can pick up a little 100-page quickie on how to make chores more efficient or effective, written by people who hate to "waste time" tending to household needs. While Mendelson does indeed write about many things effects the same ends, her style exudes respect and truly communicates that one does these things to convert the house into a well balanced, efficiently run, harmonious home. A place to "come home" to, rather than a demanding place that simply adds to the worries of the outside world. Save your pennies and ignore those little "hints" books -- this one single volume is worth its weight in gold.

Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide For All Of Us
Whole Lesbian Sex Book: A Passionate Guide For All Of Us
by Felice Newman
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.97

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tome of VERY Useful Information!, Feb. 11 2003
This book is a tome of useful information. It contains not only the basics and standby's, but also a lot of creative ideas that will turn you from novice to sexpert with just a little practice.
I recommend this book not only for lesbian and bi-women, but also for men who like women, because the best place to get sex advice is from the people who know the parts the best. (Likewise I tell all my straight girl friends that if they really want to find out how to make their men scream with delight - they should read "The Joy of Gay Sex".)
Girls, if you are not that familiar with your parts or your partner's particularities, this book will open a lot of creative doors for you. Guys, if you are looking for tips on how to please those parts you normally only get to learn about *while* you are actually "borrowing" them, this is the book for you!

Coming Out to Parents: A Two-Way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Parents
Coming Out to Parents: A Two-Way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Parents
by Mary Borhek
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from CDN$ 0.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Second edition is first rate!, Feb. 11 2003
This book is in its second edition -- updated in the 90's to include information about HIV and AIDS. One of the things that it stresses when coming out is to make sure to include the statement "BEING GAY DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO GET AIDS." -- a few times if necessary.
I have felt the need to come out to my family for a long time about my own emotional/sexual status. This book helped me a lot as far as planning my strategy, what to say, etc. It contains a TON of useful info concerning how to make "coming out" as painless as possible -- *for all involved*.
To sum it right up? Here I am at 31 years old, and after reading this book, the notion of coming out to my family scares me less than the thought of smoking in front of them (which I am sure I will probably feel the need for a few cigarettes before this discussion is over...)
... not to mention -- it has some wonderful information in there for family members too, so definitely lend it to them after you have come out, or if you are a family member who is still looking for some more answers as to how your child's/sibling's/parent's(') sexual orientation might effect your relationship with them -- BUY THIS BOOK!

The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities
The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities
by Dossie Easton
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 5.76

5.0 out of 5 stars Polyamory - back to the basics!, July 24 2000
This book is a wonderful introduction and overview of non-monogamous lifestyles. I could gloss over the honesty, openess and need for permission that others have already mentioned but I will save you a minute so that you can spend it ordering this terrific book. Polygamy - more than one spouse - is the standard through nearly all of the non-Western world. Whether it is polygyny - multiple wives, or polyandry - multiple husbands, over 3/4 of the world population practice it! Polyamory applies to both women and to men and it encompasses many different relationship levels, not just marriage.
Reading books on this very old standard as well as how to live this life openly when not in a "relationship" as I am not right now is a wonderful step forward to our more civilized past when people were open and honest and everyone knew what went on and no one had any problem with it! I am VERY happy to see this subject matter breaking into the mainstream and no longer confined to the Anthropology section!
Whether you are a swinging "single," a co-wife/co-husband, or anywhere in between, this book has something for you - especially those who consider themselves mono but are involved with someone who is poly!
A must read.

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