John L. Velonis

Helpful votes received on reviews: 80% (4 of 5)
Location: Dobbs Ferry, NY USA
Birthday: May 18
In My Own Words:
I'm a bibliophiliac dilettante -- I read lots of books on lots of subjects. Some of my chief areas of interest are: intelligent science fiction and fantasy; archaeology; ancient history; linguistics; maritime and naval history; children's literature; cognitive science; artificial intelligence; travel essays; and surrealist art.


Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,002,889 - Total Helpful Votes: 4 of 5
Greg and Tim Hildebrandt: The Tolkien Years by Gregory Hildebrandt
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I loved the Hildebrandts' art as a kid, and I appreciate being able to revisit it in this handsome volume. Engaging scenes, fabulous detail, vivid colors, and some of the best Tolkien paintings ever (the Ring of Galadriel, Old Man Willow, the Pillars of the Kings, Saruman and the Palantir). Their influence can be seen in many subsequent interpretations of Tolkien (compare the Hildebrandts' "Eowyn and the [left-handed] Nazgul" with the same scene in the 2004 Ted Nasmith calendar) and in much "generic" fantasy art.
But... Some of the earlier works have odd perspective (check out the chimney in "Gandalf visits Bilbo"). The hobbits look like children (the… Read more
African American Heritage Hymnal: 575 Hymns, Spiri&hellip by Rev. Dr. Delores Carpenter
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of favorites, Dec 1 2001
I was raised in the Baptist church, though it has been many years since I've been in one. But looking through this hymnal, on page after page I found one or another old favorite tune leaping into my head. Regardless of your denomination, you are sure to find many songs worth singing here.
One note -- while the book includes plenty of spirituals and gospel songs, these are outnumbered by what I would consider "standard" hymns and revival songs which are not specifically associated with African-American churches. I think this is a good thing, since it emphasizes how much musical heritage all English-speaking Protestants share.
The Fermata by Nicholson Baker
The Fermata by Nicholson Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted fantasy, Oct. 5 2001
Baker's protagonist, Arno Strine, calls the pornographic stories he writes "rot", short for "erotica" but also suggesting a British term for "nonsense" or "baloney". This is clearly a description of the book itself -- not to be taken seriously, but enjoyable nonetheless. Most of the book is a series of unrelated fantasies. Every hetero male will recognize their essence -- man sees pretty woman at the office; man sees pretty woman sunbathing at the beach; man sees pretty woman driving on the highway; man is examined by pretty female doctor -- but Baker develops them in original and witty ways.
The novelty is that Arno is magically endowed with… Read more