Skip to comments.Free Republic Book of the Month, March: Your Opinions, Fiction and Non-Fiction
Posted on 03/23/2002 4:50:39 AM PST by xzins
This is the 2nd month of a recently approved continuing topic for Free Republic. The purpose is to tap the reading experiences of the countless Free Republic readers. Your mission is to post recommendations and brief summaries of current books which you've recently read. They need not be on anyone's bestseller list, but preferably they will be current (roughly two/three years from publication,) although this is not a hard and fast rule. Don't worry about repetitious reviews: a different take over time by different people on the same book is a good thing. If someone wishes a link to a bestseller list, this one is for Publisher's Weekly Bestsellers Lists:
1. Give name of Book, author, and classification (fiction/non-fiction)
2. Give a very brief summary. (Unless you feel bold and want to post a review.)
3. Give a rating and a reason. Scale = 1 to 5 Freeps, five being the best possible. A 5 Freep book would delight the CONSERVATIVE, FREEDOM LOVING folks who frequent our beloved Free Republic. A one Freep book would probably be trash anyplace, but maybe acceptable just in some liberal haven like DemUnderground.
Finally, Thanks Admin Moderator 8 and thanks Jim Robinson.
February, 2002, thread: click, Feb 02
Czeslaw Milosz "My Native Realm" (His most famous one I haven't read)
2. This is by far the best books I've ever read on the subject of the natural law. The Q&A format is very well suited to the subject and he asks all of the right questions to the point that you can anticipate them -- it really flows smoothly. I highly recommend the book for religious-minded law students who want an alternative to the prevailing modern law theories where God is absent from the discourse. Charles Rice does a very thorough, scholarly job with this book. Highly recommended. Charles E. Rice demonstrates his capability as a legal scholar in this great treatment of natural law. Not only is this book filled with great information on traditional natural law thinkers such as Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, it is full of contemporary legal examples that concretize the discussion and bring natural law out of the abstract realm into our everyday lives.
3. 5 Freeps
2. Jeff Shaara, famous with his father for the Civil War Series, begins a wonderful two book series on the American Revolution. Going from the Boston Massacre up through the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it attempts to get inside the heads and lives of major players. I came away with a great appreciation for the maneuvering of Sam Adams, for the "feel" that Shaara gave to the Boston Massacre, for....so many more events. The tribulations of Ben Franklin in England are eye-opening. Shaara goes to great pains to have all the history be authentically accurate.
3. This is a 5 Freep book. An informative, fun review of all you love about the American Revolution. Can't wait for book 2.
Interesting look at the spread of disease and its effect on society, particularly during the Revolutionary War. Prior to Jenner's discovery that innoculation with cowpox confered immunity, innoculation was done with smallpox itself. Mortality of the treatment was still 2-3% (as opposed to 15% or so in European stock)
George Washington, himself a survivor of the pox, was well aware of the diseases' potential for havoc in his camps and eventually got the first state-sponsored vaccination program in American history. This probably contributed greatly to the American victory.
The book also traces the diseases' path throughout north America, among the tribes dealing with the Hudson Bay Company, and throughout the mission system of the Spanish southwest. These outbreaks were vastly more damaging, with the indians experiencing a 60-90% mortality. The book presents this in a dispassionate manner, with no agenda. The smallpox changed life throughout the continent.
I give it 3 Freeps. (Well written and interesting, but not political)
Our Price: $2.50
Short and Sweet. Freedom and Virtue. Ordered Liberty. Occasional Paper No. 9. With an Introduction by Doug Bandow. A foundational description of the complementary relationship of freedom and morality. "Both freedom and virtue are under serious assault today...At this critical time, some supporters of either liberty or virtue are setting the two against each other, treating them as frequent antagonists, if not permanent opponents. At the very least, the competing advocates suggest, you cannot maximize both values, but instead have to choose which to promote and which to restrict." "However, it would be a mistake to assume that one must be sacrificed for the other. Rather, freedom and morality are complementary. That is, liberty - the right to exercise choice, free from coercive state regulation - is a necessary precondition for virtue. And virtue is ultimately necessary for the survival of liberty. Anyone interested in building a good society should desire to live in a community that cherishes both values. As the Rev. Robert A. Sirico points out, 'common sense tells any sane person that a society that is both free and virtuous is the place in which he or she would most want to live.'" - from the Introduction
Rating: 5 (Mainly for an intriguing story that is almost unbelievable)
This is a story of two sisters who basically have their lives signed over to the CIA when they were 4 and 6 years old in the mid 1960's. The CIA then brainwashes them and induces multiple personalities into their psyche. Each personality does not know of the other, thereby making them the perfect assassins. Their personalities range from assassin, seductress, fighter pilot, martial arts expert, to military tacticians.
I guarantee that you have never read anything like this before. It is equally disturbing as it is intriguing.
Professor Rice was and is a devout Catholic, a loving father and family man. He is one of my favorite professors of all time and a man that I admire and respect deeply.
Cheryl and Lynn Hersha (The Manchurian Candidates from the book) with Dale Griffis, Ph.D. and Ted Schwarz.
The book is called:
"Goodbye Good Men"
How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations From the Priesthood
by Michael S. Rose
( ISBN 0-9676371-1-2)
"American Catholics have been left reeling by recent clergy sex scandals, and have wondered how things could have gotten so bad. "Goodbye! Good Men" has the shocking answers. Rose presents evidence that the destruction of Catholicism in America has primarily been an inside job carried out by unchaste gay priests, feminist nuns and theological dissenters in control of the institutional Church - and he names names. Goodbye! Good Men could not have come at a better time for the American Church which is in desperate need of authentic reform. At last, someone has written the blockbuster book orthodox Catholics have been hoping and praying for." -- Rod Dreher National Review
Is that the direction this book will take?
A small book packed with information that will assist those who want to make some sense of the Islamist challenge to the West. Lewis is an expert whose prose runs smoothly and who tells a tale better than most of his contemporaries.
..."Dennis Smith began his career as a firefighter in the New York Fire Department.
In 1972, he published his first book, the New York Times bestseller ...Report from Engine Company 82....
He is well known and respected within the NYFD.....and so was given special favor to write this account of 9/11.
The narrative is strightforward and the personal testimony of many who were there that day is breathtaking!
I highly recommend this book.
I give it a 5!
This is a quirky natural history book, a cross between a Stephen King horror story and an Ann Rule true crime novel meeting Monty Python's Flying circus, written by an avowed snakeophobe who travels the world to relate true harrowing stories from people who have--mostly--survived accidental and deliberate envenomations from the most poisonous and ill-tempered snakes in the world...the mamba, the tapei, the eastern diamondback and timber rattlesnakes, among others.
Rather than tell each story in turn, he runs several story lines at once, interspersed with his own observations and fears. If you don't like snakes...I mean if you really don't like snakes, don't buy this book or I guarantee tonight you will be sleeping on top of a telephone pole with a shotgun in one hand and a flashlight in the other.
The Quantum and the Lotus, Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan. Non fiction. A "dialogue" between a Buddhist (monk?) and a physicist. Thuan is the physicist, Ricard the buddhist. Almost lost me in the first 10 pages, where the authors allow their politics to emerge. I don't need to hear that "altruism" is the only right and proper philosophy. But I kept at it, and, sort of against my will, became engaged. I'm learning lots about Buddhism. The book compares and contrasts the "truth" as apprehended by quantum physics and Buddhism. 4 Freeps. Lost one for the politics.
I bought this in a twofer offer on the net, along with Bernard Lewis What Went Wrong?" and I would give both books a 5.
For those of us who are time-challenged, the Lewis book (see Post #18) is a short overview of history of Islam written from a strictly historical perspective.
Emerson, on the other hand, relates the results of his well-known investigation into the activities of Islamic terrorists in the U.S. Contrary to the characterization of his work as racist and unsubstantiated by U.S. Muslim organizations, he goes to great lengths to not only document his research, but to argue that, in his view, radical fundamentalists do not represent the real Islam.
Whether you agree with that statement or not, I recommend his book as a expose of how deeply entrenched Islamic radicals have become in our society, how they have exploited, and will continue to exploit, our laws, our commerce and our institutions to fund their causes worldwide and to weaken our defenses at home
A full-length study of the last years of the reign of Richard II and his overthrow by Henry of Bolingbroke in 1399.
If you enjoy reading of the politics of medieval England, you'll love this book. Detailed and thourough.
This fictional tale is set in a classical period that all can identify with. The stage is set for the trials and tribulations of the heroine in the story, Junie B. Jones, from the very first chapter. You will become rapt and engrossed as you follow her along as she ponders and conquers lifes most perplex questions. The phrase, "Yeah, only, I don't know why 'cause I only ate three of those softy guys" is sure to play in your mind as deeply and intrinsically as "Who is John Galt?". This is a 5 freep novel to be sure.
The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz - the memoirs of a survivor of the Soviet Gulag - what a read!
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America - A Chronological Paper Trail by Charlotte Thompson Iserbyt, Charlotte Iserbyt-Thomson - scary but well-researched adn tells us that the NEA's power needs to be destroyed before it's too late.
Beyond Belief by V. S. Naipaul - a follow up to Among the Believers - Naipaul saw the future of Islamic fundamentalism years ago.
An interesting investigation into the systemic causes of failure in engineering. A bit on the dry side, but not too bad. Makes for a nice reality check on the thought processes that are used in traditional design practices as well as systems engineering.
I give it 3 1/2 Freeps.
Can anyone think of a good graphic for a Freep?
I'll work on the star. I could post it in my profile and everyone could use that URL to post it on these threads.
One of my all time favorites too, Riley. Sometimes I will read the book cover to cover without stopping even if it takes all night. Junie B. is the cat's pajamas.
1. The Indwelling Book seven in the "Left Behind" series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Interesting read, but nothing on which to base your end times philosophy. Even if you follow the scenario it's all a little too "easy."
2. The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg, Zondervan Publishers. Ortberg is a Pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, so that may be a negative for many freepers. But he offers some practical advice for living out your Christian walk.
3. When Character Was King by Peggy Noonan. Noonan takes an intimate look at the life of Ronald Reagan. 5 FREEPS - Should be a must for every freeper. I still miss Ronald Reagan.
If Two Shall Agree by Carroll Fergusen Hunt. The Story of Paul A. and Kay Rader, former General of the Salvation Army. Dr. Rader is now President of Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Joseph Smith: The First Mormon by Donna Hill. Appears to be a pretty good historical read.
Full of interesting characters...at a time when America's hero was an "underdog" thoroughbred........I grew up with horses and people who loved them and people who made their living around them and this book just brought all that back. There were similarities to people I knew in just about every person in Seabiscuit's story, and it's a little-known but fascinating account....if you like horses or if you like thoroughbred racing and want to read a really good true-life story about all it involves, read this book!
I'm embarrassed to admit I'm reading one of the books I bought for my daughter. LOL It's out of the "Dear America" series, called Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie. These books are short, written in diary form, filled with history. I've read a few of them and it gives me a chance to discuss history with my daughter.
1. The Indwelling - 3, mostly for the entertainent/story line value.
2. The Life You've Always Wanted. - 4
3. When Character Was King - 5
I'm not far along enough in the other two to give a rating yet.
Did you ever want a real understnding as to how the balance of these two "wings" lifted the founders of our republic? THIS IS the book, IMHO.
It is, perhaps, the saddest book I have ever read, but it is a MUST read.
Five freeps and a bump
This book, while originally published in the 1880's, is a good overview of the various campaigns. IT is intersting to note, that there are many references to God, and how the soldiers were regulars at praying, etc.
So, to the revisionist crowd, it is rather tough to refute writings from 115 years ago.
Ronald Reagan, How an Ordinary Man became an extraordinary leader. D'Nesh D'Souza (sp?)
This is an oldie, but reading it for the first time. Too early to tell, but it appears to be a good one.
The Final Days. Barbara Olson. This one needs no recap.
In the queue:
The Closing of the American Mind. Bloom
The Spirit of the Laws. Montiesquieu
Democracy in America. Tocqueville
Whatever else I come across that looks interesting.
The link above actually takes you to a page describing the 5th Edition
By Paul Mcfedries.
I innocently agreed to put up a web page for our Sportsmens club knowing nothing of HTML. Luckily, I found this little gem at a discount/closeout store for three bucks and grabbed it. Referring constantly to this book I did get the page up. It wasnt a work of coding art but it worked.
For the beginner (me) its very good. The style is conversational and lighthearted. Think HTML boot camp without all the yelling and screaming and pushups! Just kidding, MICHIGANDER! J The concepts are presented clearly and the examples, also available for copy/paste from the CD, are simple enough to be easily tried out and results seen. Theres even a selection of clip art and animated GIFs to get you started with graphics.
Contents (for 3rd Edition)
Part 1 Creating Your First HTML Web Page
1 A Brief HTML Web Page Primer
2 The Basic Structure of a Web Page
3 Dressing up your page (formatting, special characters, etc.)
4 A Fistful of List Grist
5 Adding Links
6 Working with Images
7 Publishing Your Page on the Web
Part 2 A Grab Bag of Web Page Wonders
8 Images can be links, too
9 Netscape and Internet Explorer HTML Estensions (a little dated now)
10 Adding Tables to Your Page
11 Making Your Web Pages Dance and Sing (animated gifs, sound, video)
12 Create a Form
13 Fooling Around With Frames
14 Style Sheets
15 Java Applets & Java Scripts
16 HTML and IE 4.0
17 Elements of Web Page Style
18 Some HTML Resources on the Web (many now defunct URLs)
19 Using Personal Web Server
Part 3 Painless Page Production: Easier Ways to Do the HTML Thing
20 Netscape Composer
21 Office 97 HTML Tools
22 All Aboard Front Page Express
23 Assorted Other Ways to Create HTML Documents
B Browser Basics (for NS & IE)
C HTML Codes for Cool Characters
D Webmasters Toolkit
Last, but not least, the index is excellent! You know how sometimes you know what you want to do and you know you saw it SOMEWHERE in that darn book? Well, if you can come up with one or two words of your object youll likely find it in this index.