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Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades
Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades
von John J. Robinson
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 22,30

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating and illuminating book, 15. Juli 2000
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It provides a detailed history of all the Crusades as well as the Templar's part in each of them. What I found most interesting in the book were all the political details. It becomes apparent at many points that if the Christian invaders of the Middle East had been organized together rather than engaging in constant infighting they would have been able to hold onto their teritory much longer.
Another nice feature of the book is the amount of time spent on the original inhabitants of the Middle East and later in the book on the Mongol invaders. The author does not evince any sort of bias and treat each group equally in his assessment, pointing out both their honorable and despicable deeds.
I would reccomend this book to anyone who is interested in history, warfare, or secret societies, although the secret society aspect it downplayed here.


Replay
Replay
von Ken Grimwood
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 10,20

5.0 von 5 Sternen One of the most beautiful and moving books I've read, 29. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Replay (Taschenbuch)
I started reading this on the plane the other day and I ended up finishing it the same day. It takes a little while to get going, about 100 pages, but after that you won't be able to put it down.
Apparently, many of the other readers here were greatly affected by the book. It really is a wonderful story. I have a very low tolerance for preachiness and false niceness which is all too common in popular novels. However, the words and ideas in this book ring true. The experiences seem very real, not created by the author simply to force his views on life on us.
If I had any criticism of the book, its that I wish he had explored the boundaries of the replay condition more fully. But its still a wonderful book and I'm sure in ten years I'll remember its message while forgetting any quibbles I have about it.


BIOS: A Novel of Planetary Exporation
BIOS: A Novel of Planetary Exporation
von Robert Charles Wilson
  Gebundene Ausgabe

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wilson is back to his old self., 29. April 2000
Unlike Wilson's last book, Darwinia, this one is a clear cut winner. It covers an interesting twist on scifi: what if there weren't lots of "M Class" planets out there where humans could casually show up and start colonizing? What if other planets had organisms completely toxic to humanity?
Like Darwinia, around the middle of the book you start to realize there's a much larger conspiracy going on, but unlike Darwinia, the two halves flow together easily.
There was a lot of emotional intensity in this book, and it had a very satisfying ending. I thouroughly enjoyed it.


The List of 7
The List of 7
von Mark Frost
  Taschenbuch

3.0 von 5 Sternen A very silly book, but entertaining enough to finish, 29. April 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The List of 7 (Taschenbuch)
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I have to say that the pacing was excellent and that it is a fun adventure book. However, the characterizations are overwhelmingly absurd. Ever character in the book is a ridiculous aberation. One or two peculiar characters in a book, I can tolerate, but when every character in a book is either bizare or a lunatic, credibility starts to stretch. The gimmick of using Arthur Conan Doyle as one of the main characters was also quite annoying to me, because the book could easily have been done without this. I did finish the book, but I was pretty unsatisfied, and I'll probably be ditching it at the used bookstore sometime soon.


Large-Scale C++ Software Design (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing)
Large-Scale C++ Software Design (Addison-Wesley Professional Computing)
von John Lakos
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 52,57

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent book covering important but rare ropics, 14. April 2000
After having this book reccomended to me a number of times by various people, I decided to check it out. It is an excellent primer on how to design reusable classes in C++. It discusses a number of aspects of programming we tend to ignore, like the difference between logical and physical design. Anyone who wishes to write reusable, stable software in C++ should read this book.
I have one criticism, though, and that is that I believe the book is poorly organized. Although each individual peice of information in the book is useful and well thought out, I found that I wished he would cover things in a more natural order. Often I would read something and have to go back and reconcile it with what had been said earlier in the book, which was sometimes difficult. Don't let this criticism stop you from reading, however.


The Meaning of Star Trek
The Meaning of Star Trek
von Thomas Richards
  Gebundene Ausgabe

2.0 von 5 Sternen Some interesting points but poor writing., 24. November 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Meaning of Star Trek (Gebundene Ausgabe)
The thing that struck me most about this book is how much it reminded me of how my friends and I used to write in High School. We'd have some topic to go over, usually one we didn't care about, and we'd just put out any old thing to just get credit. The Meaning of Star Trek almost seems like that.
The biggest problem that I have with the book is that it is so selective in terms of the material it looks at when attempting to prove a point. On the whole, I believe the author discusses about ten to fifteen episodes in depth, and mentions another 10-15. This is from a series of shows that have literally hundreds of episodes to choose from. He just selects the episodes that let him prove his point and ignores all the rest, even if they do not agree with the point he is making.
He does put a perspective on the Star Trek universe that was new and different from my own thought and what I've read in other books, but his perspective is very biased. It almost seems like he decided beforehand that he wanted to say some things were true of Star Trek and then only focused on those episodes that would specifically prove his point, rather than examining the serieses in detail and drawing conclusions based on the whole picture.


Colonization: Second Contact
Colonization: Second Contact
von Harry Turtledove
  Gebundene Ausgabe

5.0 von 5 Sternen This is a good book in a great series., 2. November 1999
I really enjoyed this book. I read the WorldWar quartet voraciously, and I thought they were some excellent books. I love the grand scope, and the historical references of these books. However, if you haven't read the WorldWar books, pick them up before you read the Colonization books, because many of the characters from the first series carry over into the second.


Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Supersition, and Other Confusions of Our Time: Pseudoscience, Superstition and Other Confusions of Our Time
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Supersition, and Other Confusions of Our Time: Pseudoscience, Superstition and Other Confusions of Our Time
von Michael Shermer
  Taschenbuch

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4.0 von 5 Sternen A book with some great highlights, but a few flaws., 2. November 1999
I really can't add a whole lot to what has been said by prior reviewers. I think that they pretty much nailed it on the head. But here's my take anyway.
The first 1/3 of the book is excellent and a must read. As mentioned before, the list of logical errors and fallacies is great food for thought.
The second 1/3 is still very interesting, although Shermer doesn't really back up his claims about the feedback loop concept which he uses to describe cult accusations. Unfortunately, this book doesn't provide enough information to prove his hypotheses, and although it has an extensive bibliography, I don't have the time to read all these other books.
The final 1/3 of the book, on creation and the holocaust, is really the worst. The creation section is readable, but he spends too much time complaining about the creationists methods and not enough analysing why they believe what they do. The holocaust section is really the worst. His arguments are really not convincing. They are basically, "Everyone knows the Holocaust happened so, the deniers are wrong." I actually do believe it happened, but I don't think that Shermer could have convinced me if I did not.
Basically, the book is a fun read, its well written and often humorous, but I think Shermer gets a little too carried away on some subjects. I would reccomend it to anyone, with the caveat that the end is a tad boring and unbeleivable.


TANTRAS-AVATAR #2 (Forgotten Realms Novel: Avatar)
TANTRAS-AVATAR #2 (Forgotten Realms Novel: Avatar)
von Richard Awlinson
  Taschenbuch

2.0 von 5 Sternen Not nearly as good the second time around., 2. November 1999
I remember reading this back in my grade school days right after it came out. At that time I read all three books in quick succesion and loved them. Thinking about all the fond memories I had about the books, I decided to reread the series and see how they fared on a second perusal.
Tantras is easily the worst book in the series. Unlike the first book, Shadowdale, it does not go to any lengths to develop the chracters; instead it uses the setup provided in the first book and does not deviate from it.
I was very annoyed at a trial that occured early in the book. I felt that the characters acted very inconsistently and that there was some pretty poor writing there.
The character of Cyric, who was quite interesting in the first book, becomes little more than a sound bite here. He becomes one dimensional, and doesn't get any better as the books move on.
I would suggest that you slog through this one only so that you can read Waterdeep, which is a good book. My might just want to stop at Shadowdale, though, because that was the best book in the series.


PRINCE OF LIES (Forgotten Realms)
PRINCE OF LIES (Forgotten Realms)
von James Lowder
  Taschenbuch

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Quite an excellent read after rereading the Avatar trilogy., 23. Oktober 1999
I remember getting this when it came out about four or five years after the Avatar trilogy. I started to read it but couldn't get into it, and its been resting on my shelf since. Recently, I decided to reread the Avatar trilogy because it was my favorite of the ADnD series I used to read when I was younger.
Unfortunately, the Avatar trilogy did not fare as well with time as I had hoped. It was in no way bad after ten years, but it didn't live up to the high regard I had for it when I read it the second time.
Prince of Lies, on the other hand, was a great deal of fun. I started reading it right after finishing Waterdeep and it kept me interested until the end. The political intruiges of the gods as well as the battles and the extreme characters all made it quite interesting.
I'd reccomend this to anyone who has read the Avatar trilogy. If you haven't, though, you might not be as interested in some of the characters.


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