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Content by Bill Thomson
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Reviews Written by
Bill Thomson "drbillthomson" (Bozeman, Montana USA)

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Loser Goes First: My Thirty-Something Years of Dumb Luck and Minor Humiliation
Loser Goes First: My Thirty-Something Years of Dumb Luck and Minor Humiliation
by Dan Kennedy
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, Sept. 17 2003
Follow the author as he travels through a series of short careers, finding himself in the next before he realizes what he likes about each. Dan Kennedy has a remarkable ability to describe his life's catastrophes without being either too glib or too serious. This allows the reader to relate to his problems, but in an enjoyable way. Following his progression from warehouse employee, to firefighter, to working at an espresso stand, and his reasons for choosing and then abandoning each leads to a truly engrossing story. In particular, the description of his performance at an open-mike night in Texas will blow you away.
Dan Kennedy's writing moves the story along, and the story itself is great, this one is not to be missed.

The Culture Of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid Of the Wrong Things
The Culture Of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid Of the Wrong Things
by Barry Glassner
Edition: Paperback
69 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A true eye opener!, Aug. 22 2003
This book will change the way you watch the news.
Like many others, I saw the author interviewed in Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine", amd went out and bought "Culture of Fear." As a news junkie, this was an astonishing read. For years I've felt a growing sense of nervousness, manifested by the restrictions I put on my children. After reading Glassner's book I am much more aware of the print and other media's scare tactics.
Using abundant examples, Mr. Glassner examines the headlines, separates the truth from fiction, and makes it clear why we are afraid of the wrong things. This book will help you avoid being mislead by the media, and change the way you look at news coverage. Can't ask for much more than that from a book, can you?

by Andrew O'Hagan
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.45

4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, Aug. 14 2003
This review is from: Personality (Hardcover)
In a run-down resort town on a Scottish island, a family pins its hopes on the youngest daughter, Maria, who is working on her singing and her looks. As an early teen, she is whisked off to London, where she wins a televised talent contest. Three years later, she is a famous pop singer. By twenty, she is anorexic, looney, and is being stalked.
The characters in Personality are astonishingly complex & well described, the plot is not particularly compelling. Still a fine effort by Mr. O'Hagan, and well recommended!

The Summons
The Summons
by John Grisham
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
129 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Bad, Aug. 13 2003
I've read (and enjoyed) 4 other books by Grisham, and thought this would be a good book to take on vacation. Halfway through I considered just putting it down, but I didn't have anything else to read. The "plot twists" are fairly obvious. The action is repetitive, moving the money again, going to another casino, etc etc etc... By the end I didn't really care what happened, but was just determined to finish. All in all a suprisingly weak effort from a talented writer.

Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism
Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism
by Ann Coulter
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 39.08
71 used & new from CDN$ 0.62

1.0 out of 5 stars Train Wreck, July 8 2003
Coulter's writing is not just inflammatory but blatantly irrational. Slander, her bestseller from last year, quickly became notorious for its errors and distortions of the facts (a quick google search will lead you to these). In Treason she takes her attacks to a new, and altogether astonishing level.
Describing everyone with viewpoints that differ from hers as traitors, Coulter states that she believes that liberals are intentionally attemtping to destroy the United States. She explains to us what a patriot Joe McCarthy was, and how those who support freedom and liberty are guilty of Treason.

Coulter in general, and this book in specific are prime examples of the worst in American political commentary. Rather than attempt to present a viable viewpoint, Coulter distorts facts, takes quotes out of context, calls her opponents names, and lies (with lots of footnotes). Personally, I'm of the opinion that calling ones opponents names does not serve to further any just political cause.

Goodnight Moon Board Book 60th Anniversary Edition
Goodnight Moon Board Book 60th Anniversary Edition
by Margaret Wise Brown
Edition: Board book
Price: CDN$ 6.36
151 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful First Book, July 7 2003
My daughter received 3 copies of Goodnight Moon when she was born. This was my first clue that Goodnight Moon is a special book. We now have 3 children (and about 5 copies), they have all loved this book. I have such fond memories of all of my babies sitting on my lap as I read this book to them, so I just can't recommend Goodnight Moon highly enough.

Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game
Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game
by Michael Lewis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.14
107 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book, July 7 2003
I'm not much of a baseball fan, but this book is about much more than baseball. While I hate cliche's, frankly this book is about "thinking outside the box". It explores how the Oakland A's have been consistent winners while mainting a low salary. They have managed to do this by figuring out the characteristics of ideal players who can really help the team win. It is fascinating to read about how simple some of these stats are, and yet how elusive they were for the rest of the teams.
For the businessman the challenge is clear: figure out ways to win that the competition has overlooked, and success awaits you.
An altogether brilliantly written book, I've already given copies to several people in my company to read.

Lonely Planet Maui 1st Ed.: 1st Edition
Lonely Planet Maui 1st Ed.: 1st Edition
by Sara Benson
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guides, June 27 2003
The descriptions of Hawaii (and in this case Maui) in the Lonely Planet guidebooks is far and away the best available.
Frankly I'd recommend the Lonely Planet Hawaii instead. This book doesn't really add that much info beyond the LP Hawaii, I suppose the only reason to get this book is if you have no intention of going near any of the other Islands. But in my experience plans change, and on one trip we added a side trip to Molokai at the last minute (a 30 minute flight), after reading about it in the Hawaii guidebook.
Having said that, this is a good book, and if you are flying direct to Maui & home again this book is a bit cheaper and lighter that the Hawaii guide. Either way, you should be taking one of the LP guides with you.

Frommer's(r) Hawaii from $80 a Day
Frommer's(r) Hawaii from $80 a Day
by Jeanette Foster
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 2.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful, June 27 2003
On my trips to the Islands, I've found this book to be an excellent source of hotel, B&B, and restaurant recommendations. It is not the best overall guide, but it IS the best source of info for the above items. I've found that by taking this book along with the Lonely Planet (which is the best overall guide but is weak on lodging & restaurants) I have all the info I need to plan & enjoy my vacations to Hawaii.
I've used this book for travel to Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, and have never found any of the reviews to be far off base. Highly recommended!

Purpose Driven Life
Purpose Driven Life
by Rick Warren
Edition: Hardcover
377 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Experience, June 26 2003
This review is from: Purpose Driven Life (Hardcover)
I'm not a religious man, so I was a bit nervous about whether this book would appeal to me. But I was hooked almost immediately, and this book has changed my life.
As far as the book goes, I was very impressed by Mr Warren's chapter a day for 40 days approach. Although I frequently wanted to read ahead, I made myself stop.
For the message, the bottom line is that many of us feel unfulfilled. Mr Warren leads us to a simple method to direct our mental energy, and focus on what is important. This book has led to me have a more fulfilled life, and I am truly more at ease and focused. The less religious reader will need to focus on the message, not the source, but this is easily done.
Bottom line, I couldn't have been more impressed by this book or by Mr Warren.

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