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Beiträge von John IV
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John IV (Snohomish, WA United States)

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Golf Handbook for Women: The Complete Guide to Improving Your Game
Golf Handbook for Women: The Complete Guide to Improving Your Game
von Vivien Saunders
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 17,29

5.0 von 5 Sternen A Glossy Presentation w/ Some Teeth, 20. Juli 2000
Further efforts to find an updated, complimentary text for my golf-learning girlfriend led me to this pleasant offering. Nicely packaged, slick and glossy, it pictorially compliments more mechanical texts like Ben Hogan's Fundamentals. This book is well laid out, discussion of golf equipment is presented right off the bat. Grip, stance, posture follow in order. It reads like a collection of easy to follow magazine-style lessons. Interestingly, immediately following the basic structures they include information on shot shaping, dealing w/ pulls, pushes, fades, draws, etc. which may be overkill for that point in the instruction. Ultimately though it is quite a nice 'guide', touching on golf etiquette thankfully, providing some interesting exercises, and running down oft used golf rules. Hopefully the presentation will score some points; seeing all the women in the examples, and hearing the voice of the female author versus some of the gender neutral or male dominated texts I've thrown at her. Ah golf!


Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
von Ben Hogan
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 9,49

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Timeless Instruction from a Master, 14. Juli 2000
This excellent teaching device found me at the right time, having mysteriously started struggling with my takeaway and back swing [right elbow flying out at the top!]. I poured through it in a night to search for the secret cure and I found it. I can't believe it took me 18 years of golf to discover this book. This really should be in every beginner's bag, to get his or her mechanics and fundamentals together, as well as any long time golfer who occasionally 'loses' it. It's quite a testament to its staying power to note that there are no reviews of less than five stars for this wonderful manual [my rating will be no different]. Hogan boils down the game to one important aspect, striking the ball. Grip, stance, setup, back swing, downswing are all meticulously verbally described, and then highlighted by amazingly detailed and accurate drawings. Written as a series of SI articles in the 50's, the teaching voice has lost none of its punch over the ensuing years. The gods are in the details, and I noted immediately in the setup section things I was doing to hinder the chain-reaction of his preferred swing. Left foot out a quarter turn, hmm, that's new but makes sense, elbows at hipbone at address, and arms very close to chest to allow the right elbow to fold properly. That's what I needed. His description and the images of the glass / back swing / downswing plane will provide appropriate visual clues during practice. I found his discussion of the waggle and supination of left hand on follow through also quite interesting. I've purchased copies of this for my long-time golfer mother and my girlfriend who's just taking up the game, hopefully they'll enjoy it as much as I did, and we can discuss Hogan's straightforward instruction with a common background understanding.


The Island of the Colorblind
The Island of the Colorblind
von Oliver Sacks
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 15,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen Anthropology and Neurology Meet in Micronesia, 13. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Island of the Colorblind (Taschenbuch)
Having thoroughly enjoyed 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat' I opted to make this my second Dr. Sacks outing. Once again the good doctor provides compelling, humane, interesting stories about odd physiological conditions and the cultures that foster and contend with them. In multiple episodes that have him traveling to small volcanic islands in Micronesia, the entertaining neurologist studies a group of people who have been born without the ability to see color. Accompanying him is a Nordic specialist in this genetic trait, and one who also happens to share the same condition. As the troupe moves about the islands, they meet and talk with the achromatopes; the natives and Knut evince a feeling of camaraderie. Dr. Sacks plumbs their depths to hear them describe their world in terms of textures and monochrome shades, completely barren of color. Along the way, he experiences a taste of their 'night' lives, the skills they have developed to compensate for their lack of color sight. The next topic in the island hopping takes them to Guam where Sacks sees the patients of an associate who suffer from lytico-bodig, a degenerative condition which causes paralysis [not unlike Dr. Sacks' own neurological patients] and eventual dissolution. Having struck only a certain age bracket on the islands, the mysterious disease has confounded science for almost four decades and has almost killed off its victims. Finally, he treks to Rota to walk among the ancient Cycad plants that have captured his imagination since childhood. This novel appealed to the adventurer's spirit while I was reading it, listening to Dr. Sacks describes the beauty of the island culture and the supremely languid pace of life. Dr. Sacks' writing is not only aesthetically entertaining, but his case studies continue to pique the interest of the intellect. However, one is never so bowled over by the beauty of the surroundings as to forget the real human cases being presented. It is indeed an odd combination, this beauty and tragedy, but one that works very well in this novel producing an enjoyable read.


Driving Myself Crazy: Misadventures of a Novice Golfer
Driving Myself Crazy: Misadventures of a Novice Golfer
von Jessica Maxwell
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 22,46

4.0 von 5 Sternen Amusing, Non-Threatening Story of Golf Indoctrination, 27. Juni 2000
While attempting to convey the allure and timeless majesty of golf to my just-learning-the-game girlfriend, I chanced to spy this nicely presented short novel. Purchasing it as a gift with her in mind, I definitely wanted something gentle and compelling to hold her attention and not overwhelm. Curiosity got the better of me, and rather than turn it over, I took three days to pour through it, ostensibly to verify its claim as a humorous anecdotal journey. I found myself laughing along with the author at many of her nascent exploits, showing newbie golf from a woman's point of view [clothing, equipment, and romantic issues abound]. After meeting the mysterious, but benign golfer-Svengali, Graham, she goes through a series of neo-mystical encounters with a variety of teaching pros and golf luminaries like Nancy Lopez. She comes to a deeper understanding of the game and its hold on its practitioners. Parts of this journey have her visiting golf meccas on the East coast, as well as playing her NW home courses. As a fellow north westerner, having played those great courses too, I caught myself nodding with appreciation at her descriptions of Sandpines, Salishan, and Pumpkin Ridge. Eventually she even makes the ultimate pilgrimage to Scotland, to visit St. Andrews, the home and heart of golf. Presented rather whimsically, and with good-natured humour, the book ranges about, just as the author did, touching on various philosophies of golf. She absorbs and assimilates each one, combining and piling them upon each other until she has a two minute litany before each ball address. Her light humor throughout this indoctrination never detracts from her bourgeoning respect for the game and its tradition. The Tao of golf inclusion was particularly endearing, as many golfers feel the game fits that line of thought perfectly. So, after smiling many times during the read, I can pass this on without hesitation with a positive recommendation.


Beauty's Release: A Novel (Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, Band 3)
Beauty's Release: A Novel (Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, Band 3)
von A. N. Roquelaure
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 15,99

0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Control and Compliance in a more Exotic Locale, 17. Juni 2000
The third and concluding chapter in Anne Rice's erotic retelling of the sleeping beauty fairy tale, sees Beauty, Tristan, Laurent, and some secondary slaves from the village kidnapped and whisked away to more sensual adventures in an unnamed Arabian kingdome. Armed with first person dialogue and reflection through Laurent [the rebellious, willful fugitive slave from book 2], and a more exotic locale/plot, this chapter in the story was considerably more interesting than the second, which I gave 3 stars. Part of the allure of this version for me was a release from the utter crudity of the European castle and village. Beauty's escapades with the Sultan's harem and his main wife were presented with a lot more sublime sensuality than the whipping and paddling of the previous books. Laurent's transformation from slave to master mentality and his ability to exist moving seamlessly between the two are also compelling aspects. The slaves eventually relish their time with the Sultan above all else, having even their higher reason sublimated. They are told not to talk, nor to express anything other than the most rudimentary understanding as they are used as sex toys, or living sculptures to line the Sultan's gardens, bed, bath, etc. It is this complete abasement and personality disintegration that Tristan, the most philosophical of the group, touches on when asked why he loves it so. Religious and philosophical thoughts of the region combine to show them that they are simply cogs in a grander scheme, and they take pleasure and freedom in this anonymity. Further plot break-down would lead to spoilers, so suffice it to say there is eventually closure for each of the characters. Upon completing the series I feel better about it than after the second book, it helped to think of it anthropologically as if these strange undercurrents were the results of a completely different culture. In that respect it was quite interesting to observe the push for control, compliance, dominance, and love, and question whether that can be squared with ideas of entwined aggression and tenderness. Anne Rice provides the framework and fairy tale, but readers must ultimately decide that answer for themselves.


Beauty's Punishment: A Novel (Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, Band 2)
Beauty's Punishment: A Novel (Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, Band 2)
von Anne Rice
  Taschenbuch
Wird angeboten von moviemars-de
Preis: EUR 9,99

3.0 von 5 Sternen Past the Spanking, to the Psychology, 14. Juni 2000
It had been a year or so since I had read the first one, and after completing this installment I would strongly suggest, for continuity sake, that people do not allow that lapse of time. Recall that this is an updated erotic version of the sleeping beauty fairy tale. The Prince in this medieval version wakes Beauty from her 100-year sleep not with a kiss, but by making her a sexual initiate. This act coupled with the mores and power structures of the land force Beauty off to the Prince's distant castle where she will undergo all manner of S&M and bondage. Despite becoming a castle favorite amongst the nobles, the Prince, and the Queen herself, Beauty's spirit and 'soul' is not broken by these acts and she willfully disobeys. She is sentenced to slavery in the neighboring village, and that is where this book takes up. Beauty and her final castle paramour Tristan are sold at auction in the village square, Beauty goes to an inn while Tristan is snapped up by one of the villagers richest men, the Queen's chronicler. What follows for the two are a series of spankings, public punishments, being dressed up like a pony [complete with, er, tail accoutrements] to pull carts, and being 'forced' to pleasure a wide variety of lodgers, and other slaves. It should also be mentioned that the castle slaves who are sent to the village for punishment must run around bereft of clothes, and never speak unless told to. It is here that the story flags, the punishments and humiliations mount, but we are only vaguely aware of both protagonists' feelings and thoughts as this continues. Beauty gives in to it all and comes to appreciate her place, but she does not give over the love of her soul. The numerous, and I do mean numerous, spankings become banal after awhile as the reader desensitizes. I found things becoming more interesting psychologically about 5/6 of the way through when Nicolas [Tristan's master] plumbs his depths about why a slave behaves as they do, what they think of the abasement, and whether love could come from this non-egalitarian relationship. Tristan provides no shocking revelations really, and the age-old struggle for dominance and power is left as the answer. Nicolas then professes his love as Tristan's heart soars, for he, Tristan needs the discipline to complete himself. This was a rather difficult read, I can't say I particularly enjoyed it, but it was interesting on other levels. As some other reviewers have noted the plot thins considerably and all we are left with are the power struggles acted out through sex. Thankfully, things picked up a bit, as noted, towards the end. For completeists sake I begin Beauty's final chapter, as she is kidnapped from the village and taken to the Eastern realms of a Sultan.


Beauty's Punishment: A Novel (Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, Band 2)
Beauty's Punishment: A Novel (Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, Band 2)
von Anne Rice
  Taschenbuch
Wird angeboten von moviemars-de
Preis: EUR 9,99

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Past the Spanking, to the Psychology, 12. Juni 2000
It had been a year or so since I had read the first one, and after completing this installment I would strongly suggest, for continuity sake, that people do not allow that lapse of time. Recall that this is an updated erotic version of the sleeping beauty fairy tale. The Prince in this medieval version wakes Beauty from her 100-year sleep not with a kiss, but by making her a sexual initiate. This act coupled with the mores and power structures of the land force Beauty off to the Prince's distant castle where she will undergo all manner of S&M and bondage. Despite becoming a castle favorite amongst the nobles, the Prince, and the Queen herself, Beauty's spirit and 'soul' is not broken by these acts and she willfully disobeys. She is sentenced to slavery in the neighboring village, and that is where this book takes up. Beauty and her final castle paramour Tristan are sold at auction in the village square, Beauty goes to an inn while Tristan is snapped up by one of the villagers richest men, the Queen's chronicler. What follows for the two are a series of spankings, public punishments, being dressed up like a pony [complete with, er, tail accoutrements] to pull carts, and being 'forced' to pleasure a wide variety of lodgers, and other slaves. It should also be mentioned that the castle slaves who are sent to the village for punishment must run around bereft of clothes, and never speak unless told to. It is here that the story flags, the punishments and humiliations mount, but we are only vaguely aware of both protagonists' feelings and thoughts as this continues. Beauty gives in to it all and comes to appreciate her place, but she does not give over the love of her soul. The numerous, and I do mean numerous, spankings become banal after awhile as the reader desensitizes. I found things becoming more interesting psychologically about 5/6 of the way through when Nicolas [Tristan's master] plumbs his depths about why a slave behaves as they do, what they think of the abasement, and whether love could come from this non-egalitarian relationship. Tristan provides no shocking revelations really, and the age-old struggle for dominance and power is left as the answer. Nicolas then professes his love as Tristan's heart soars, for he, Tristan needs the discipline to complete himself. This was a rather difficult read, I can't say I particularly enjoyed it, but it was interesting on other levels. As some other reviewers have noted the plot thins considerably and all we are left with are the power struggles acted out through sex. Thankfully, things picked up a bit, as noted, towards the end. For completeists sake I begin Beauty's final chapter, as she is kidnapped from the village and taken to the Eastern realms of a Sultan.


The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea
The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea
von Sebastian Junger
  Taschenbuch

4.0 von 5 Sternen Sleek, Technical, Cold, and a Gripping Story, 4. Juni 2000
This book had been languishing on my library shelf for some time and I wanted to get it read before the movie came out, invariably altering its impact. It did not disappoint. It must have been difficult writing a speculative account of the last few days of 6 men's lives, but Junger does makes an admirable attempt. Using what direct quotes he can, the story still comes off as rather detached, which I suppose can't be helped. The novel chronicles the final journey of the fishing vessel Andrea Gail, as it returns home on October 1991 hitting one of the worst storms of the century off the East Coast. The six crewmembers are adequately fleshed out in exposition early on, and their stories will intertwine with those of their searchers and fellow fisherman during their terrifying ordeal. I did find the numerous technical discussions of weather, sea-faring, rescue ops, etc. very interesting. Having just finished Isaac's Storm, another death and destruction by sea/hurricane historical novel I was particularly fascinated and frightened by Junger's clinical and emotionless description of the act of drowning. Considering how that description applied to the crew of the Andrea Gail as well as all those victims in the earlier novel, allowed for moments of morbid personal reflection. The novel really picks up, and is helped by the factual / eyewitness accounts of the other survivors of the Halloween Gale. The latter part of the novel dealing with the various rescues of other foundering ships makes for a quick and intense reading experience. It reads like an adventure story, but it is very sobering to stop and remember that these were real people with families and whose lives were cut so short. I can't imagine the upcoming movie will provide the experience and response the book did, I'm glad I got to it first. Recommended.


Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
von Erik Larson
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 23,99

4.0 von 5 Sternen Mirroring Its Subject, Story Builds Slowly Then Explodes, 19. Mai 2000
On the cusp of 1900 while doctors Minor and Murray were working across the pond on the Oxford English Dictionary, in the recently completed novel Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester, a tropical hurricane of immense proportions was hurtling unannounced toward Galveston, TX and its meteorologist, Isaac Cline. I've had great luck so far with turn of the century historical non-fiction, this is my second novel after The P&tM. Like all great disaster epics the reader is introduced to a variety of people whose lives this will alter, and even snuff out. The beginning exposition moves slowly, describing the events of the day, as well as Isaac's childhood, eventual rise through the ranks of the nescient weather bureau, and ongoing rivalry with his brother. Interspersed with the background of the major players are pages detailing the birth, development, and murderous progress of the storm, humanizing it in a way that reminded me of Peter Benchley's malevolent sharks and squids. Erik Larson does a commendable job unraveling the politics which lead to the blatant disregard of the storm warnings in Cuba. Without this information relayed ahead, the hurricane slams into Galveston full force killing 8000+ citizens. The novel really takes off at this point, moving at a speed to match the flowing current, as the reader bounces back and forth between characters. Families are decimated, houses collapse, parents see their children slip away into the sea, refugees struggle through 12+ foot flow. Through all the devastation and terror the author keeps a menacingly placid tone, he does not sensationalize.. and it is this almost dispassionate view which lends a chilling aspect to the death that abounds; it is so frank and curt that it desensitizes. Once again man pays for his hubris with tragedy. Recommended.


Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived
Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived
von Ralph Helfer
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 16,70

5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful Story of Pachyderm Devotion, 8. Mai 2000
It's been a while since a book produced the sort of emotive response, upon completion, that Modoc did. The last few chapters were the ones that caught me feeling pain and pathos for the great elephant, and a smiling appreciation of her love for her trainer. This sweeping epic tells the story of a boy and his female elephant, inseparable from their dual births on the same day in turn of the century Germany. Born to the circus, Modoc and Bram forge a career of adventures as they travel the world experiencing metaphysical lessons in life and love. These lessons are taught through their interactions with Bram's two great [human] loves, the bigoted and megalomaniacal circus owner, ship and circus mates, and Indian leaders, spiritual and temporal. It is billed as a love story first, adventure second, and it is plain to see the special, almost supernatural bond the elephant and the trainer hold as they both age well into their 70's. This novel gives one pause thinking about our own interactions with animals, and pets. I chuckled to think of how things would be different if my Siamese cat were suddenly 10 feet tall and 3 tons. Playtime would take on a slightly different dynamic. Yet Modoc was always gentle and a constant lifesaver to Bram, aware of her immense power and always desirous of his happiness. It was also interesting to see that the author Ralph Helfer, was also the same Ralph in the story who found Modoc and employed Bram and her for the last 20 years of their lives. I'm not sure what the target audience age was but it proceeds easily and swiftly, and reminded me of the Black Stallion books I read back in 7th grade. Ultimately a feel-good, slightly embellished, true story that is recommended reading.


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