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J. Kimbrough (Bavaria, Germany)
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A Canticle for Leibowitz (Bantam Spectra Book)
A Canticle for Leibowitz (Bantam Spectra Book)
von Walter Miller
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 5,80

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Sci-Fi or Literary Fiction?, 18. Januar 2012
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I first read this book 45 years ago. I bought a new copy and read it again. There is a fine line between Sci-Fi and Literary Fiction. I am no literary expert, but this classic story really is literary fiction. This is a well written story of a post-apocalyptic and dystopian future world.

It starts out in a post-apocalyptic nuclear winter future "middle ages" in a monastery that is preserving science instead of religion and continues until the world is rebuilt. But no - we always find a way to destroy ourselves again. I liked the technique the author used by applying "cycles" to the telling of the story. This book really makes you reflect. Reading it again as an adult, you appreciate it more what the author is trying to say. How we destroy our societies - rebuild and - destroy it again.

It is still in the top 100 of all time science fiction listings. I recommend this book for a person who likes literary fiction, but never really read a science fiction book before.


30 Pieces of Silver: An Extremely Controversial Historical Thriller (The Betrayed Series Book 1) (English Edition)
30 Pieces of Silver: An Extremely Controversial Historical Thriller (The Betrayed Series Book 1) (English Edition)
Preis: EUR 6,17

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4.0 von 5 Sternen A good Escapist Fiction Story, 18. Januar 2012
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This is a good action thriller and conspiracy fiction with a religious/historical background story. I like the way the author has the historical story running separately to the main action thriller and contrasts back and forth. In addition, she has a different "twist" to the proto Christian alternative history story line and made it unique. It really was a page turner. For an Indi writer, she is just a good as a lot of the "main stream" writers in this genre that I read regularly. And no - it really is not a controversial book.

Yes, there are some errors in this story, but it does not distract from the story line. Some of the military action is not correct, but only an expert like me would notice it.

I recommend this book for those who love this genre or just want some escapist fiction to read on vacation or whatever.


Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged
von Ayn Rand
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,90

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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Modern Classic that deserved to be a Bestseller, 9. Januar 2012
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Atlas Shrugged (Taschenbuch)
There is not much more you can add about this book with the number of reviews listed here. Ayn Rand has taken her philosophical system she called Objectivism and presented it though a fictional story. For a work of literary fiction at 1,088 pages (mass market edition) , it was not an "easy" read, but once you got into the "flow" of the story you wonder why this book never reached bestseller status at the end of the 1950's.

Yes, this book in some respects is controversial and subject of much debate. Some see that we are heading towards a dystopian United States (or World) similar to the setting in this plot and think this book reflects the reasons for it. Rand's point in stated in simple terms - Capitalism good - Socialism bad! In some respects, it may be somewhat dated because of the 1950's industrial settings, but that does not affect the overall plot and thesis. I originally read this book as a work of science fiction. However, the elements s of science fiction does not appear until the end when the characters are at the "hideaway".

This book is required reading for all "Libertarians". However, I recommend it for all readers who want to expand their intellectual understanding of other philosophical & economical viewpoints and reasoning.


The Alchemist
The Alchemist
von Paulo Coelho
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,80

5.0 von 5 Sternen An Obscure Book that became an International Bestseller., 9. Januar 2012
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Alchemist (Taschenbuch)
It is rare for a work of simple literary fiction to make this status. Not since "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and to a lesser extent "Sophie's World" has a book achieved this status. If you read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell, "The Alchemist" is a book that became a trend and "tipped" selling more than 33 Million copies (as listed on the cover of my UK paperback).

If you love Hemmingway's blunt writing style - this book is for you. Even though this is a fable about following your dream, I found the most interesting are the little tidbits' of wisdom thrown in though out the story. You know, those little "nuggets" that always float around in the back of your mind until he brings one out and Bing! You say "How True!"

I recommend this book to any one from Junior High Level on up. It is a nice easy read with a few bits of wisdom and simple philosophy hidden within.


The Autobiography Of Ben Franklin
The Autobiography Of Ben Franklin
von Ben Franklin
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 15,00

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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Timeless Classic, 4. Januar 2012
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I downloaded this as my first Kindle book. This is well written story of Ben by Ben! Now I see why this was included in the Harvard Classics. I wish I read this book when I was teenager. It might have influenced me in other ways. You just keep reading it and then Wham! It ended. I wish "Old Ben" had finished it. You really get a good idea of how life was in Colonial American and how a Great Man created himself through self-education and hard work. Back them entertainment was limited, so people had the choice of self-education & reading or self-medication in the Taverns. You learn how old Ben chose the former and excelled in life.

I recommend the book to everyone. And if is not on the required reading list of high schools, they should put it back on.

The kindle edition was easy to read and the photos included were clear as opposed to other kindle books I have downloaded


The High Crusade
The High Crusade
von Poul Anderson
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 8,90

5.0 von 5 Sternen Classic Science fiction - Medieval Knights vs. The Aliens, 2. Januar 2012
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: The High Crusade (Taschenbuch)
If you watched many of the old B&W Hollywood knights/swordsman's movies from the 1950's, this book is for you. Anderson may have gotten his idea form this style of film and turned it into one of the classics of science fiction. Aliens invade the Earth and instead of their advance technology overwhelming the medieval knights, the opposite happens and the strong will & 6cunning of the English conquers the aliens and their known space. A short fast good read. Talley Ho!"


God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
von Christopher Hitchens
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 6,10

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Either he was Right or Wrong?,, 29. Dezember 2011
I was intrigued by the title of the book and was somewhat skeptical when I started reading it. However, I found the book well written, humorous in parts, thought provoking with well written arguments backing his thesis God does not exist and relgion is the main cuase of Man's problems.

Remember, religion is based on beliefs. I have never seen anything that proves God exits - I can only believe. His arguments "peel" away the beliefs and shows how they caused all the problems we have over time, but once we get to the center - there are nothing there. If people only knew that they had this one chance only, he writes that people would treat each other totally different and a lot of the problems we have would go away.

Now that he is dead and no longer exists - he was right or he is "somewhere" else and he was wrong.
We will never know!

I recommend this book to anyone who would wants to look at religion/belief from another prospective. It really does male you think and reflect about your own belief system.


The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works (National Geographic)
The Science Book: Everything You Need to Know About the World and How It Works (National Geographic)
von National Geographic
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 18,80

4.0 von 5 Sternen These type books are rare now a day!, 20. Dezember 2011
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A few years ago I picked up a copy of Asimov's New Guide to Science (Penguin Press Science) at the Moscow airport and then much later a copy of - A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. These books are great single volumes on Science for the general reader, Asimov with the serious in depth approach and Bryson with his lighter look at science. If you have never had much formal science classes or just want a good review of science subjects these books are good.

Nat Geo has taken a translated version of a small German publisher and put their name on to this single volume review of science in the tradition of the writers above. . As with the previous books listed above, they start with the macro/cosmic and go towards micro/cellular. This book has a lot of good photos, charts etc. and general explanations of the major themes in science. It makes a great reference to keep handy on the coffee table when watching those Nat Geo science programs for quick look up. Since, it has been years since I had formal science classes at the University, it is also a good just to thumb through to review science concepts.
Beware - This is not a detailed science encyclopedia as is Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, but a light overview for the general reader.

In these days where almost everybody has a computer and Wikipedia is expanding its in-depth encyclopedic material, it is "rare" to find publishers who try to create concise encyclopedias in print for the general reader.


Idiocracy
Idiocracy
DVD ~ Luke Wilson
Preis: EUR 6,99

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Idiocracy- A realistic possible future!, 19. Dezember 2011
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Idiocracy (DVD)
This is one of my all-time favorite movies to watch over and over.

I guess a lot of people do not like this film because to them it is "realistic" reflection of our society and themselves and it - scares them. Instead, Judd has done a wonderful job creating a satire about a possible future of the USA based on our "Dumbing Down" of our society. There is a lot of good hidden satire in this film and you have to watch the film closely to see it.

I guess it will remain in the "cult" status. Never really was given a real release. It was possibly to "politically incorrect" for Hollywood.


Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, 10th Anniversary Edition
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, 10th Anniversary Edition

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3.0 von 5 Sternen Are they really "Dumbing us Down", 17. Dezember 2011
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I had this book hanging in my Wish list and do not remember why and finally downloaded a Kindle edition. My rating is based on the presentation and writing and not on Mr. Gatos sociological viewpoints.

I was expecting a well thought-out treatise on this subject, but only read a collection of his speeches and essays which rehash the same themes over and over. Yes, the public school systems have problems and he defines his reasons from the standpoint of a school teacher through his 7 lesson concept as the reason for this failure. However, he never presents any concrete solutions to a lot of these problems. Personally going through the 1960's school system he describes, I can empathize with him through personal experience as a student, but I never felt that I was actually "dumbed down".

His only solution seems to be a return to a pastoral life of the 19th century of self-education which is not going to happen, unless we have major catastrophe which will most likely take us all back to the Stone Age. He sees the sociological problems being caused by the school system instead of it being brought into the school from society in general.

Maybe he should rewrite this book by presenting the real problems and coming up with realistic solutions. Charter schools and home schooling are a start. I am a believer in self-education, but this technique is not the only solution and in most cases will not work with the average person.
If you read the forwards & introduction, you can get the whole concept of this book.

I was not totally dissatisfied with this book, only found it lacking in presenting a well thought out problem & solution thesis.


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