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$11.16 $8.71 list($13.95)
101. Man with Farm Seeks Woman with
$2.95 list($16.95)
102. The Frank Sinatra Reader
$10.47 $5.95 list($14.95)
103. The Action Hero's Handbook: How
$14.93 list($21.95)
104. Anatomy for Fantasy Artists :
$141.75 list($175.00)
105. Visionaire #38: Love
$9.71 $7.17 list($12.95)
106. The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering
$11.16 $6.48 list($13.95)
107. Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's
$15.64 $10.45 list($23.00)
108. Wonderland: A Year in the Life
$37.80 $37.79 list($60.00)
109. Art Of Modern Rock: The Poster
$10.17 $5.24 list($14.95)
110. Label Launch: A Guide to Independent
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111. The Mailroom : Hollywood History
$16.50 $16.49 list($25.00)
112. Goblins!
$32.97 $32.47 list($49.95)
113. Star Wars Encyclopedia
$15.50 list($45.00)
114. Ray Gun : Out of Control
$16.50 $14.90 list($25.00)
115. A Hard Day's Write: The Stories
$16.95 $11.34
116. "Hello My Big Big Honey!": Love
$26.07 $24.95 list($39.50)
117. Reading Lyrics : More Than 1,000
$19.95 $2.59
118. Encyclopedia of Orson Welles (Great
$28.35 $27.95 list($45.00)
119. Herb Ritts
$5.00 list($24.95)
120. This Is Modern Art

101. Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time
by Laura Schaefer
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560256869
Catlog: Book (2005-04-10)
Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press
Sales Rank: 31961
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Book Description

We've all been there, whether searching the personals for a romantic connection or posting an ad in hopes of luring in a new friend. A great source of entertainment, many people skim through the personals section for a quick laugh, never questioning its origin or its interesting history. Personal ads began popping up sporadically in the eighteenth century and became common by the end of the nineteenth. Whole publications devoted to romantic and marriage-minded classifieds flourished around the turn of the last century. In the last half of the twentieth century, personal ads exploded in myriad publications from coy gay ads of the 1950s to colorful ads in the alternative presses of the 1970s. Today, more and more people are paying for a chance at love. From the best and the worst, the hopeful and the hopeless, the bitter and the sweet, the romantic and the lustful—never before has a collection like this been assembled from so many decades past. By including hundreds of funny and surprising personal ads from historical newspapers as well as modern Web sites, Man with Farm will entertain and inform. ... Read more

102. The Frank Sinatra Reader
by Steven Petkov, Leonard Mustazza
list price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195113896
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 132867
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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The Chairman of the Board has inspired a great many emotions--from hero-worship to withering contempt--and you'll find most of them documented in this intelligent compendium. The editors have dredged up some wonderful relics, like Bruce Bliven's 1944 rumination on what makes the Voice so magical in the first place ("Undoubtedly, just plain sex has a great deal to do with the whole matter"). But the essays, reviews, and memoirs cover every segment of Sinatra's career, including the end-game triumph (or travesty) of the best-selling "Duets." ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Inside View of the #1 Megastar of them all!!
From Bobby Sox fave to Sultan of Swoon to the Fall and Great Comeback, it is just about all here, except for the very last years from the mid-1990's to the end. This volume is a collection of essays surveying the vast realm of an incredible career. The clear links between his peerless Capitol recordings,and his own life are explained,as are the demanding sessions themselves, his always being in charge with a lot of help from his friends. Every piece here is worthwhile, my favorite being Gay Talese's FRANK SINATRA HAS A COLD (1966)To quote:"Sinatra with a cold is Picasso without paint,Ferrari without fuel..A Sinatra with a cold can, in a small way,send vibrations through the entertainment industry and beyond as surely as a President can, suddenly sick, shake the national economy." A great fun of a read! Not for Frank fanatics only.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who loves Ole Blue Eyes
This book is like an almanac of information on Frankie. I had the pleasure of reading it at a friends house, and it was just great. I highly recommend it. Another good one, is "Why Sinatra Matters." Both give a glimpse into a man that we all love. ... Read more

103. The Action Hero's Handbook: How to Catch a Great White Shark, Perform the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, Track a Fugitive, and Dozens of Other TV and Movie Skills
by David Borgenicht, Joe Borgenicht
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
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Asin: 193168605X
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Quirk Books
Sales Rank: 5183
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Everyone wants to be an action hero--as smooth as James Bond, as clever as Captain Kirk, as tough as Charlie's Angels. And now you can: The Action Hero's Handbook is the ultimate guide to an action-packed lifestyle, with genuine step-by-step instructions on interrogating a suspect, catching a great white shark, performing the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, stopping a wedding, navigating a ventilation shaft, and much more. All information is reality-based and comes from a host of experts (including FBI agents, marine biologists, karate champions, wedding planners, and air duct cleaners). With more than 35 illustrations throughout, this dynamic little handbook will teach us all how to keep up with the Indiana Joneses. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars How to Be Ready for Anything
This book is from the creators of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series and is in the same tongue-in-cheek style of presenting valuable information. This time around, the focus is on skills that can turn you into an Action Hero. It covers such topics as how to catch a great white shark, perform the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, take a bullet, and how to dirty dance. All the information comes from experts in their field, be they detectives, stuntmen, surgeons, pilots, and wedding planners. Recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Pretty Good Book
The Action Hero's Handbook is a fascinating little book. While
I was a little disappointed in the Vulcan Nerve Pinch and the
Jedi Mind Trick, the rest of the book had very interesting
and potentially useful information like, how to get out
of handcuffs and how to escape a sinking cruise ship.

This is a great book to give to people who live unusual
lives or a book to buy for yourself if you're the kind of
person who travels or just find adventure wherever you
go. You might not have a great need to catch a white
shark, but it's always possible these days to encounter
someone with a gun that you may need to disarm or deal with
an intoxicated driver who seems bent on running you over,
and the Action Hero's Handbook tells you what to do in both circumstances.

As great as the book is, I gave it four stars only because a
few minor things are missing: for example, while the book tells you how to avoid getting hit by a car or a truck, it doesn't cover SUVs, which to me is an important little detail. But overall, it's a great book to have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn How to be a Hero
This brilliant book expands on the previous Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series and adds humour to what was previously a rather boring instructions you'd find in a box of something you were going to put together type series. In The Action Hero's Handbook the authors pretend you the reader want to be an action hero and guide you step by step through how to spy proof your hotel room, survive being run over by a truck, save someone hanging off the side of a cliff and other stuff your not likely to do in real life but would if you were an action hero like James Bond, Rambo and other action characters.

This book is not afraid to make fun of its advice which previously wasn't done in the Worst-Case Scenario series by the authors although certainly was by readers. There's a lot more advice in here as well. Even if you don't want to be an action hero you'll still laugh you head off from cover to cover. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Very informative
When my brother loaned me his copy of this book I was definitely intrigued. Then when I started reading it, I just could not put it down. I loved it so much I just had to get my own copy. It has all sorts of useful information including: how to disarm a thug with a gun, how to save someone from falling off a cliff, how to pick up someone in a bar, how to secure and read a crime scene, how to fight off a ghost, and how to make a clean getaway. So, if you're thinking of becoming an action hero or you just want a good book that is both entertaining and helpful, then this one is a definite must have.

5-0 out of 5 stars HOW MANY BOOKS ARE THERE?

104. Anatomy for Fantasy Artists : An Illustrator's Guide to Creating Action Figures and Fantastical Forms
by Glenn Fabry
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764129503
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Barrons Educational Series
Sales Rank: 1316296
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Book Description

Here in a single volume is a practical, comprehensive training course for budding illustrators working to master comic book art, graphic novels, fantasy posters, sci-fi book covers and illustrations, and computer games. The author, a highly successful fantasy artist, teaches the basics of human anatomical drawing and musculature, as well as perspective and composition. He then instructs on ways to distort, develop, and transform the human figure, giving it features that range from monstrous or magical to super-agile or larger than life. Detailed artist’s references and step-by-step instructions show how to build bodies that truly stretch the imagination—mighty alien warriors, kick-boxing cyber-punks, and mega-muscled superheroes, to name just a few. Art students also learn how to show their characters in many different dynamic action poses, such as flying, spinning, punching, and jumping, as well as how to express each character’s emotions through facial expressions. More than 300 color illustrations. ... Read more

105. Visionaire #38: Love
by Not Applicable (Na )
list price: $175.00
our price: $141.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1888645377
Catlog: Book (2002-07-15)
Publisher: Visionaire Publishing
Sales Rank: 449540
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What is love? What does it look like? Visionaire, the highly respected--and highly-sought after--fashion and art publication, featuring the work of some of the world's most prominent artists and image makers, offers Visionaire 38 Love in collaboration with Tiffany & Co. For this issue Visionaire returns to its roots with a hand-crafted volume depicting romantic love, love for life, love for all things beautiful, love for work, love for family, love for friends, what we do for love, and what we do with love. Images and tokens of love, including a special inclusion designed by Elsa Peretti, will be inserted into authentic vintage hard-cover novels, making each copy of this 4,000-run limited edition a unique work.

Do you love me because I am beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me? --Cinderella
Love is the only gold. --Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Who, being loved, is poor? --Oscar Wilde
I like not only to be loved, but to be told that I am loved. --George Elliot
If you have it [love], you don't need to have anything else. If you don't have it, it doesn't matter much what else you have. --Sir James M. Barrie
All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. --Leo Tolstoy
LOVE: The irresistable desire to be irresistibly desired. --Mark Twain
What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork. --Pearl Bailey
Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell. --Joan Crawford
Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love. --Albert Einstein

Casebound in Tiffany blue box with white satin ribbon. Specially designed sterling silver pendant/bookmark by Elsa Peretti. Variable dimensions for each vintage hardcover novel. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars What is LOVE?
Well, love is many things to many different people and in this issue Visionaire asks "what is LOVE" to the various contributors.

The concept itself is fairly original which I like. Every issue is a real vintage book (obscure romance novels, all having something to do with love) with the work tipped in various pages throughout. Mine seems to be a novel from the 70's about a love triangle set in some college town. The book itself comes in a felt bag with a pendant/bookmark designed by Elsa Peretti that should be worth the price alone. Then the whole thing is in a Tiffany blue box.

I would have given this issue 5 stars, but there are some production problems that I find too troubling to justify the cost. For one thing, I find that a lot of the pictures are falling out of my issue, the glue that was used (or maybe it's a chemical reaction to the old pages that they didn't foresee) to stick the pictures into the book isn't holding. I'm just ending up with the loose pictures with yellow marks (the glue) loose in the book instead of them being stuck onto the pages of the book.

Another problem has to do with the box the book comes in. It's falling apart, again, perhaps due to the glue that was used. It's hard to describe without a picture of the inside, but there's another box half glued to the inside to create a clamshell effect, but it's gotten loose to reveal that the glue holding it together is no better than that rubber cement type of adhesive that holds samples in magazines. Once it came off, you can't stick it back on.

All in all, buy this issue if you are an avid collector, but be wary of the possiblility of something this expensive falling apart on you... which may not be a bad thing if you want to read the novel underneath the art. Perhaps they meant for it to fall apart, is it a comment on how love can be fleeting? Who knows! ; )

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally a new issue!
They've kept us waiting for a very long time but now they're back with a new issue! Number 38: Love is the book of the season! Every fan of Visionaire should really buy this issue. Don't be suprised if this issue sells out very quickly. The book comes in a great blue Tiffany box and is really suprising! When you open the box there's a tiffany blue sleeperbag with inside a very old book. Around the outside is a silk string with a silver heart attached to it. This very exclusive heart is designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. and can be worn as a necklace. When you open the book music starts playing. And then the journey begins. The journey to find out what Love really is........ ... Read more

106. The Hedonism Handbook: Mastering the Lost Arts of Leisure and Pleasure
by Michael Flocker
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306814145
Catlog: Book (2004-11-30)
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Sales Rank: 7353
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Book Description

By the best-selling author of The Metrosexual Guide to Style, an amusing tour of vice and its virtues and the anti-self help book of all time.

In the age of Oprah, Dr. Phil, and countless other self-help disciplinarians, indulging in any kind of pleasurable pastime is on the brink of extinction. But it's not too late to revive those lost pleasures that make life worth living. The Hedonism Handbook can help put the three-martini lunch, the baguette with real butter, the deep tan, the unfiltered cigarette, or the simple act of lying in a hammock under the stars back within our grasp. A tongue-in-cheek, satirical guide to the "good" life, The Hedonism Handbook will help us reclaim it all.

With his characteristic wit, author Michael Flocker combines humorous reviews of historical excesses, suggestions for everyday indulgences, lists of hedonistic icons with famous quotes and earnest warnings about the perils of structured living. Made up of ten worldly wise chapters arranged to form a journey for the reader- a path from the straight-and-narrow into wide-open fields of frivolity- The Hedonism Handbook will help readers master the lost arts of leisure and pleasure. It provides an entertaining, yet (if you're not careful), life-changing read. ... Read more

107. Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge--And Why We Must
by Kalle Lasn
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688178057
Catlog: Book (2000-11-01)
Publisher: Perennial Currents
Sales Rank: 31622
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

America is no longer a country but a multimillion-dollar brand, says Kalle Lasn and his fellow "culture jammers". The founder of Adbusters magazine, Lasn aims to stop the branding of America by changing the way information flows; the way institutions wield power; the way television stations are run; and the way the food, fashion, automobile, sports, music, and culture industries set agendas. With a courageous and compelling voice, Lasn deconstructs the advertising culture and our fixation on icons and brand names. And he shows how to organize resistance against the power trust that manages the brands by "uncooling" consumer items, by "dermarketing" fashions and celebrities, and by breaking the "media trance" of our TV-addicted age.

A powerful manifesto by a leading media activist, Culture Jam lays the foundations for the most significant social movement of the early twenty-first century -- a movement that can change the world and the way we think and live.

... Read more

Reviews (45)

4-0 out of 5 stars Raving review
If, for some reason, I was able to create a law whereby everyone was required to read the book Culture Jam by Kalle Lasn, I strongly believe that the world would be a better place. In his book, Lasn points out to his readers all of the errors that our society has made in the process of creating our culture.
He touches many of our culture's problems (consumption, poor body image, environmental issues) and examines how the media has had its affect on each of them. The media has become the people. By this, I mean the people live through "brands, products, fashions, celebrities, entertainments." These things "are our culture now. [The people's] role is mostly to listen and watch-and then based on what we have heard and seen, to buy (p. xiii)." The media has turned us into lean mean buying machines-always striving for the newest and the coolest item on the market (which isn't even cool until the media says so).
People have separated themselves from their natural environment, and now live mostly through a consumptive, technology based world. In many ways this impacts the environment negatively, but mostly because "If the Earth felt less like something out there and more like an extension of our bodies, we'd care for it like kin (p. 6)." With all of the problems in our natural environment, people still pretend not to acknowledge or care about it.
The way the media works, Lasn explains, is first by creating fear; fear of not fitting in, not being cool, fear of traveling to foreign places (terrorism), and fear of corruption. "Fear breeds insecurity-and then consumer culture offers us a variety of ways to buy our way back to security (p. 17)." The fear implanted on the people guides their actions everyday. People have become "mediated self-constructions (p. 44)" at the aid of our media. We don't have to think if the media shows us everything from how to fight with our friends to how to have sex with our lovers.
Lasn's book is about "wanting to live 'not as an object but as a subject of the story' (p. 100)." He inspires the reader to create their own world and offers a variety of ways to help it along. If people were tuned in to how the media downplays one's own identity, perhaps they would turn off the TV and go outside for a walk or talk with a friend.
Lasn's book has been the most effective that I have read on this topic. He puts things into words that I had only scrambled thoughts of. He pulls the man out from behind the curtain and points his finger. "You are the cause of our suffering" he says to corporate America. He addresses old issues and concerns with a new twist. For example, instead of just fewer cars on the road, Lasn suggests to create "cities designed chiefly with pedestrians, bicycles, and public transport in mind. Not just new ecofriendly products, but new consumption patterns and new lifestyles (p. 112)."
Lasn says it all in a manner that demands the reader's attention, thus really getting his point across. The voice in the book becomes the voice of a charismatic speaker in the reader's mind. The book reads conversationally with the use of different literary devices. He uses repetition to create rhythm and really leave an impression on the reader.
Culture Jam really hit home for me. Everywhere I look, I relate the book to what I see. When I was reading it I couldn't put it down, and now that I've finished the book my mind still obsesses with it. The themes of the book are so prevalent in our culture- it's impossible to ignore.

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Uncooling" of American Culture
Reading Culture Jam made me feel dejected, awakened, terrified and energized all at the same time. Kalle Lasn made me never want to put his book down because he pointed out all of the things that have gone wrong in our culture and he also gave some solutions that we could do to attempt to solve these problems and reclaim authentic American culture. "America is no longer a country but a multimillion-dollar brand," claims Kalle Lasn. This chilling quote sums up what many Americans have turned in to, consumers who let the media control what we think.
Americans have lost much of its' diversity and also our ability to think for ourselves. We walk around daily seeing thousands of people and so many of them are wearing the same name brands, going to the same fast food restaurants and living the same "American" dream which Lasn points out as, "a dream of wealth, power, fame, plenty of sex and exciting recreational activities." It is scary how many people are oblivious to the monotonous tone of our society, but Lasn makes it really clear in his book. I do not think he gives enough credit to the small things people do like avoiding fast food restaurants, shopping at thrift stores instead of the Gap, and walking instead of driving a car. Instead he focuses more on solutions that not everybody has in their grasp.
Lasn points out that we have lost so much of this diversity because of the prevalence of corporate advertising and the handful of corporations that are telling us what we should be wearing, eating, what beautiful looks like, and basically how we should be living out our lives. Advertising is everywhere you could look and the messages they send have been soaking into our brain since we were born. They brainwash us into thinking we need to be what they tell us to be or we are not "cool". Because of advertising a lot of people have lost the true meaning behind holidays, and now for many they are mainly an excuse to go buy things, which is exactly what the advertisers want.
One of the most terrifying things that Lasn points out is how difficult it is to try and speak out against the sponsors who put all of the advertisements out there. He points out how difficult it is to get even a short television spot to run a commercial like "Buy Nothing Day" because it is not in the best interest of the corporate sponsors who run the television stations. I feel that this is limiting our right to free speech if these corporations can control what is put on television and in newspapers. Lasn does give us some hope towards the end of the book as to what we can do to get ourselves out of the bind we are in. I think he did need to give us more solutions as to what the average person could do in their daily life to help out but he did give some solutions. I believe that everyone needs to read this book, mainly to open their eyes to see what our society has turned into instead of going through your daily routine ignoring that other people have instilled in your brain how you should be living your life.

3-0 out of 5 stars Divisive yet insightful
Kalle Lasn's 'Culture Jam' is indeed a call to arms for a 21st century generation that seems more distracted than ever by the pervasive power of mindless consumption. Adbusters magazine has been at the forefront of consumer critique, developing a manifesto that obviously strikes a chord with a growing readership, given its current circulation of over 120,000.

In the opening introduction Lasn makes some rather remarkable statements: "For us feminism has run out of steam" p.xii; he then goes on to state "The old political battles......- black versus white, Left versus Right, male versus female - will fade into the background" p.xvi. This is an ignorantly optimistic conjecture in a world where aparthied still existed in Africa's largest economy less than a generation ago, a world where the vast majority of women are denied the same political rights as men and in the U.S. where they don't even have a universal healthcare system. Lasn seems to suffer from the same illusions as his heros the situationists, that somehow, in the West at least, basic human needs have all been satisfied i.e. freedom from poverty, hunger and homelessness. This may not be a wild idea in Canada where Lasn and Adbusters are based. Consistently touted by the U.N. as the best country in the world in which to live, Canada's reputation for higher standards of living is in part due to the pioneering campaigns of noted left-wingers like Tommy Douglas. Douglas, a former premier of Saskatchewan brought in a cheap and affordable healthcare system for his province in the 1960's, which soon spread throughout the rest of Canada thereafter.

It is true to say that much of the time identity politics operates in a postmodern culture obsessed with diversity in and of itself, rather than any notion of universal revolution. A position which plays into the hands of largely right-wing libertarians who see greater diversity as an opportunity to develop new markets. But to believe that gender, race and class are no longer issues that affect the first world gives those on the right too much comfort.

Other dubious assertions include Lasn's belief that daily exposure to media violence shapes the way we feel about crime and punishment "even though I can't prove it with hard facts" p.18

On the more postive side of the book, there's an interesting piece on how we in the West are increasingly finding it more difficult to appreciate our immediate surroundings without framing it with a camera viewfinder. Lasn also uses the example of a poet who read his poems at parties and no one listened to him, but when he played recordings of himself, everyone listened (shades of David Cronenberg's 1982 film 'Videodrome').

Where Lasn is at his strongest is in his study of the development of corporate power under American law. The 1886 ruling by the Supreme Court in the U.S. which granted the private corporation the rights of a 'natural person' under the U.S. Constitution, has had profound effects on American political and economic culture since then. Unlike most individuals, corporations have huge financial resources and as a consequence have a much greater say in the running of the economy, greater stamina in the courts and greater access to the media (which they probably own anyway) than any individual could hope to have. Globalization is the effective spread of this corporate disease throughout the rest of the world.

Another important area that Lasn tackles is how we measure prosperity. Classical economists seem to believe that there is no shortage to the Earth's natural resources and even if we did deplete all of them we should still be able to develop the technology to provide for everyone on the planet. The problem with classical economics is that it is not a science i.e. it is not concerned with an understanding of nature, but simply with an understanding of models. The best example of which is the concept of GDP, which increases everytime money is put into the economy for whatever reason; war, illness, cleaning up environmental damage and so on. A better way of measuring prosperity would be the ISEW (Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare) which takes into account factors such as pollution, depletion of nonrenewable resources and industrial related health costs.

Despite his attacks on the traditional Left, Lasn seems perfectly happy to hold true to explicitly Marxist sentiments such as living not as an object of history but as a subject: "That's about as good a working definition of the culture jammers ethos as you'll ever hope to find" p.100. Lasn also makes a welcome attack on the Slacker generation whose disdain for any kind of earnestness in politics has become the apathetic norm. We should use our irreverance pointedly but a surfeit of irony contributes to social corrosion and a general malaise in putting the effort in.

It is in the media world where corporate power has its most obvious influence, especially in the U.S. It's almost impossible to find objective news on American commercial T.V. The only reason that CNN runs Adbusters' commercials for Buy Nothing Day is that Ted Turner likes to think of himself as a bit of a liberal in comparison to his arch-nemesis Rupert Murdoch. Lasn's difficulty in getting airtime elsewhere for his Adbustes' commercials shows an open ideological bias at work within media conglomerates, whose primary function is not to provide news but to sell advertising space.

Lasn's tract is useful in highlighting the increasing hegemony of corporate power in America. Although his lefty-bashing has less impact for many of us in Europe where left-wing governments can still initiate large and meaningful changes. However, American foreign policy influences the whole world and 'Culture Jam' makes us more aware of the forces that shape it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspires and Informs
A lot of the material covered in this book was already familiar to me as a subscriber to Adbusters for a number of years and is a great introduction and overview of the themes presented in the magazine. This book will show you how our lives are controlled by corporations to the detriment of ourselves and the planet, featured topics are media control, growth of mood disorders, impact of television on human beings. There is a very interesting history of the U.S. in regards to corporations, for the first hundred years or so after liberation from Britain VERY suspicious of them, somehow though the corporations managed to gain the upper hand in the 20th century, especially after the second world war.

This is not really a how-to guide for the activist, it is more to stimulate thought about certain issues and get you to pay attention and start thinking for yourself. I already agree with much of the author's critique on modern life, but would not choose the same responses necessarily that he has or recommends. A lot of the "memes" were great, "obsession for men" is hilarious and has been fun to pass along, also "we used to identify ourselves by our religion or political affiliation, but now we identify ourselves with the type of consumer we are, that is what kind of clothes we wear, the make of car we drive, etc. is what defines us as people", another one I enjoy repeating.

But read it for yourself, there's a little something in this for everyone to think about.

1-0 out of 5 stars One Of The Worst Books I Have Ever Had the Misfortune To Rea
Some books, such as Micheal Moore's change the way the reader thinks for a long time. Other books don't. Other books don't even make sense, are annoying, and direct readers into the opposite direction intended. This book is one of those. Advertising can be annoying, true. But this is so stupid. McDonalds makes people fat. They make food that isn't exactly natural. But they are not promising this. This author makes it sound like McDonalds is lying. IF YOUR STUPID ENOUGH TO GO AND EAT MCDONALDS ON A DIET MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T GO THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE...! He also says that some station is breaking free speech by not playing his ads. Just because he has the money, doesn't mean that they have to play it. What if it was the reverse? What if a station wanted to put ads in his book? If they had the money to do it, then he would be breaking the law. Anyone who disagrees with me I will gladly point out your error in intelligence. Email at

THIS BOOK SUCKS! ... Read more

108. Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School
by Michael Bamberger
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0871139170
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Sales Rank: 14693
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From an acclaimed Sports Illustrated journalist, the all-American story of a high school and its larger-than-life prom

Pennsbury High School would be like any other were it not for one thing: its prom. Its spring dance is considered by Reader’s Digest to be one of "America’s best legacies." Wonderland is the true story of a dance floor and the kids who fill it: a tale of hope, sex, love, and loss. For one year, the students, parents, and teachers of Pennsbury invited Michael Bamberger, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, into their classrooms, their homes, their parties, and their dreams. He discovered an extraordinary and disparate group of everyday teenagers whose stories were touching, odd, funny, and beautiful.

In Wonderland, lives intersect in unpredictable ways and are never what they appear to be. The star quarterback seems to be perfect as he walks Pennsbury’s hallways, but hides the pain of not knowing where his father is. The senior in the lowcut jeans and the black Corvette doesn’t realize she is idolized by a group of junior boys. A student with cerebral palsy is desperate to learn to tie Eagle Scout knots, despite a useless left hand: his dream is to arrive at the dance in the car from Back to the Future. A young couple want to score the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile for the big night—and a babysitter for their infant son. The patriarch of the prom, a history teacher who has presided over the dance for thirty-three years, secretly wishes after a new life as a novelist and a White House usher. And then there is Bob Costa. He dreams of making his name and bringing glory to his school by convincing John Mayer, whose song "Your Body Is a Wonderland" is an anthem for the students, to perform at the prom.

Wonderland shows that truth really is stranger than fiction, and every bit as moving. It is a portrait of young people in America today—finding their way, struggling with identities, fighting with their parents, falling in love. Moving, heartfelt, and inspiring, Wonderland is a fresh and spirited report from the front lines of American adolescence, where children long for the ritual of a seemingly vanished world and search after what they’ve always wanted: hope, meaning, and something to call their own. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars couldn't have said it better
No matter where you are from or what high school you went to, everyone can relate to this book. I very recently graduated from high school (class of '03, the same year as the kids in the book) and just happened upon this book at the airport. Before I even landed at my destination, I had finished it. The people in this story are the same characters at every high school. Every school has it's jocks and it's preps and it's preverbial screw-ups. Bambarger did an amazing job of capturing high school as it is lived, even if the prom at the end of the year is the climax. High school even only having been gone a year now, seems like another lifetime and after reading this book it seems like just yesterday I was preparing for my five day prom. Pick it up, I promise you'll love it as much as I did.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Honest Author
This book is honest and very real. It reflects the lives of kids everywhere in middle class America. I went to this school 24 years ago and I felt like i just left....Great Job!

After living in LA for years, it is refreshing to see an honest and objective account of the lives of real people.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT.
This book is great. It should be on everyone's summer reading list.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Wonder" Boys and Girls
WONDERLAND by Michael Bamberger follows the lives and loves at a Pennsylvania high school for a year. He profiles not just the students but some of the teachers and parents as well as the principal. There are the popular kids; the audio/visual boys; the jocks, both female and male; the Homecoming Queen; the teen parents; all sharing their experiences.

The title is two-fold. The book begins with a passage by Lewis Carroll, whose classic work Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a coming-of-age tale in its own right. One of the boys profiled in this work attempts to get John Mayer, the singer / songwriter / guitarist, to perform at their school prom. Mayer has a song entitled "Your Body is a Wonderland." It is interesting to note that the student body had an interest in Mayer prior to his winning Grammy awards; in fact, the book shows his rise to fame over the course of the school year, as well as the band Maroon 5.

Happily, the focus of the book is not on songwriters or pop culture, but the experiences of teens. They offer drama, comedy and tragedy. Such is real life.

Wonderland is a very quick read and worth picking up. Never invasive, never an expose, this book tells it how it is. The writer never judges the actions of the teens; he lets their actions speak for themselves. Each chapter is named after a month, September through May. I would have liked to have read more about finals and graduation, rather than cutting off after the prom in May. However, I liked the last bit wrapping up what happened the summer and fall after the school year, and the fact that the author tied it into his own past and present experiences.

This study of a year in the life of high school students to shows that, when you get down to it, teenagers across the nation have more in common than they might think. Not only that, but it will appeal to all ages, because many of the same hobbies, goals, hopes, fears, loves and losses of the present generation are those of generations past.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good story
Sure this book is about a particular High School, in a particular place and time. But it could be about your High School, and it could be about when you went to High School. I graduated from High School almost thirty years ago. Mr. Bamberger makes the characters come alive, the names may change but all high schools have the same characters. It was a trip down memory lane for me. I was the AV geek in high school, and daydreamed about the hot mysterious blonde babe who I later came to know. Was this, or is this a special High School? No, it is a very ordinary High School in a very ordinary place. It is a story about people that all of us have known. It is a story about a place that all of us have been to, and yes there is something about a prom. This book now sits on the shelf next to my yearbook. You see, I spent 2 years in "The ROCK" they call Pennsbury High. Jim Cunningham was my Social Studies teacher, and the mere mention of his name makes my left ear twinge. I am a proud graduate of the class of '75.
Am I just a little prejudiced? Buy the book and find out for yourself. ... Read more

109. Art Of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion
by Paul Grushkin, Dennis King
list price: $60.00
our price: $37.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 081184529X
Catlog: Book (2004-12-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 311
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Book Description

Authoritative, eye-popping, and massive, Art of Modern Rock is the first and last word on contemporary concert posters. An art form that has grown hand-in-hand with the independent music scene, heralding small and large gigs alike, the posters have emerged from visually creative street-level notices to prized collectibles rendered in a variety of styles and media. Today's poster artists combine the expressive freedom pioneered in the poster revolution of the 1960s with the attitude and the do-it-yourself approach of the punk scene, creating an unprecedented surge of innovative poster production on an international scale. Featuring over 1,600 exemplary rock posters and flyers from over 200 international studios and artists, Art of Modern Rock is the long-anticipated sequel to coauthor Paul Grushkin's The Art of Rock. Profiles and quotes from the pioneers in the field and their emerging heirs share nearly 500 gloriously packed pages of poster after mind-blowing poster. As brash and colorful as the burgeoning scene it documents, Art of Modern Rock is the must-have book for music and poster fans and collectors. ... Read more

110. Label Launch: A Guide to Independent Record Recording, Promotion, and Distribution
by Veronika Kalmar
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312263503
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 20333
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Whether you're in a band, a business entrepreneur or just interested in the music business, Label Launch will let you take your fantasies of holding the reigns at your own record label into reality. In fun, easy-to-understand language Veronika Kalmar takes you step-by-step through the intricate process of running a label from the moment you think about entering the biz until your first CD, vinyl single, or demo tape rolls off the press. Topics covered include:

Funding your label
Maneuvering through the legal maze
Selling your product online and off
Picking and signing bands
Promotion and touring
Avoiding the most common pitfalls of a new label

And even tells you when it's time to sell out to "the man."

Kalmer has culled information from the best in the independent record business interviewing heads of labels who have made a great success and those that almost didn't make it.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Superficial
Let me start out by pointing out the good things about the book. It is well written and covers every aspect critical to the successful launch of a record label.

Unfortunately, the book is not very thorough. In fact, the book is barely more than just a superficial laundry list just listing all the things that you need to be aware of. But at all times, the author completely fails to provide a well-researched, indepth treatment of any subject that it covers.

For example, it mentions that you need a music attorney to make sure nobody steals your copyright and negotiates your contracts. Well, that's common sense, I don't need to spend money on a book to tell me such basic things. I wanted to find out how to go about launching a label. Well, the authors recommends that I incorporate and think about the difference of LLC. and C-Corporation. She wastes 2 pages (= 1% of this very thin book) on basic knowledge that many other brilliantly written books about business law cover at much greater depth. Why did she even bother? She wastes another 20 pages on such generalities and topics that are mostly common sense.

Will she get to the good stuff? How do I promote a record? How do I go about approaching a DJ, a radio station, a music reviewer? Her answer: hire a good promoter. Duh. Come on, this book is cheap, but I did pay money for information. Why not explain how radio promotion works? That's one of the critical subjects of them all...In short, the book is too superficial and basic to be of any value to anyone serious about starting a label. Avoid and check out the many other wonderful books here on instead.

4-0 out of 5 stars A solid checklist for starting an indie label
Good stuff. If you've done the indie-label thing before, it may seem like common sense, but that's because you've done it before and have already made the common mistakes. There are many other books dealing with major-label workings and the more specific music trades -- song publishing, recording, mastering, promotion, etc. -- but this is a solid quick read that will force you to re-do your startup checklist. And it's a fine guide for those non-music-biz people joining you on the indie-label train (investors, your musicians, etc.). What I'd like to see is a revised edition dealing more with Net distribution (a chapter on CDBaby?) and more tales from actual indie labels. ... Read more

111. The Mailroom : Hollywood History from the Bottom Up
by David Rensin
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345442342
Catlog: Book (2003-02-04)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 173882
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

It’s like something out of a Hollywood potboiler: start out in the mailroom, end up a mogul. Only for dozens of Hollywood’s brightest, it happens to be true. Some of the biggest names in entertainment—including David Geffen, Barry Diller, and Mike Ovitz—began as trainees in musty talent agency mailrooms. Now, in this fascinating new book, veteran Hollywood writer David Rensin travels behind the scenes and through sixty-five years of show business history to tell the real stories of the marvelous careers that began—and in some cases ended––in the mailroom.

Based on more than two hundred interviews, Rensin unfolds the never-before-told history of an American institution––in the voices of the people who lived it. Through seven decades of glamour and humiliation, lousy pay and incredible perks, killer egos and a kill-or-be-killed ethos, you’ll go where the trainees go, do what they must do to get ahead, and hear the best insider stories from the Hollywood everyone knows about but no one really knows. The kids in The Mailroom have done it all: from hanging out with Elvis to delivering a senior agent’s urine sample to the doctor; from pouring drinks for Sinatra to sending ice to Johnny Carson on the Nile; from crashing the Academy Awards ceremony to hoping to deliver more than just the mail to sexy actresses’ homes.

The Mailroom reveals why Harvard MBAs fight to turn down secure six-digit corporate salaries to start work at a major agency for less than $400 a week; what it takes to appease impossible bosses, outsmart the competition, and “agent” the agents; and how a hungry, star-struck kid can become the next Geffen or Diller by sorting mail, eavesdropping on crucial conversations, and trying anything to get noticed.

Full of revealing stories and delicious dish, The Mailroom is not only a non-stop, engrossing read, but a crash course, taught by the experts, on how to succeed in Hollywood through hard work, shrewd manipulation, and a hell of a lot of nerve. The Mailroom is classic Hollywood—a vibrant and complex tapestry of dreams, desire, exploitation, power, and genuine talent. If you want to know who rules Hollywood and how they got their power, if you want to know how to start with nothing and get ahead in any business, this is the book you must read.
... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars I'd rate this one 15 stars if I could!
If you have an interest in the entertainment industry, this is an absorbing must-read, absolutely fascinating from cover to cover, the kind you don't want to put down. Can't recommend it highly enough!

1-0 out of 5 stars SO?????????
A Studs Terkel-like verbal history of the role of the talent agency in Hollywood; with a particular focus on the Mailroom where the movers and shakers get their start. The book is a never ending compilation of interviews with the men who made it after paying their dues in the servitude of the Mail Room. For those in the industry it is probably fascinating lore. For me, it was one big bore.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up
Anyone that wants to be in the agent or management business should read this book. David Rensin provides a compulation of agents starting from the ground up (in the mailroom).

This book truly inspired me to work harder, never give up and provides great ideas for anyone trying to run a successful agency.

The downside is that there is alot of nepotism here.
Find out how certian stars became stars because Uncle so and so was an agent or a lawyer for, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars Witty, informative anecdotes of the low rung on the ladder
I love entertainment business books and this one does not disappoint. Unless you're in the biz, which I'm not, almost all of the names will be unfamiliar. This book has no story. It's a known fact that a way into the entertainment industry is to work in an agency's mailroom, eat sh*t, and hope for your break. This book is a series of interviews with the former mailroom attendees on the good, the bad, and the mental make-up of the wannabes struggling to get out of "mailroom jail". It's funny, informative, and one of those books you can't put down.

Many industries have a proving ground. In investment banking we put them on as a trading or sales assistant hoping they will pick up the lingo and learn on the fly. But the agency mailroom seems to be about feeding egos of senior agent's with much more screaming, yelling and attention paid to personal chores. They do mention many of the nice agents as well as the agents who were best at teaching the mailroom guys. My favorite stories are about CAA because it is next door to my favorite hotel the Peninsula and because of the Mike Ovitz aura. Mike doesn't come off particularly well in the book but partner Ron Meyer does come off as a particularly sharp and nice guy.

The positives and negatives of the mailroom run from taking your bosses stool sample in the doctor to having nude actresses answer the door. I also enjoyed the stories of the CAA mailroom which had a particularly high level of paranoia. I had met media mogul and former agent, Mike Medavoy so it was interesting seeing his son's quotes who was eventually fired due to information leaked to his father.

If you have any interest in the business side of Hollywood, you'll like this book. Other books of interest would be "Wannabe" about an MBA's attempt to succeed at the low levels of Hollywood, and Lynda Obst's book "Hello, He Lied" about her journey from journalist to producer.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious. Brutal. True.
After suffering through an agency mailroom through to promotion I can vouch for the veracity of this book. The book would have been perfect if Rensin were able to get an interview out of Mike Ovitz... he's had more than a few words to get off his chest lately anyway. Still a good read for anybody who wants to start out in Hollywood the right way... hopefully it will scare some sense into you and make you choose a real career/life! ... Read more

112. Goblins!
by Brian Froud, Ari Berk
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810949415
Catlog: Book (2004-10-13)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 7940
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Book Description

Anyone who brings home this book will be in big trouble. Renowned artist Brian Froud and scholar Ari Berk have conducted a thorough investigation into the goblin realm. (For the uninformed, goblins, a subspecies of faery, are those maleficent creatures that cause all manner of havoc in the human realm.) The fruit of their labor, however, turned out to be a rotten apple: the book is infected with goblins.

Now, thanks largely to Froud and Berk's continuing carelessness, the noxious, viscid, and largely nonsensical volume has been unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Among its pages are reproductions of the ancient, odoriferous Codex Goblinensis; a glossary of common goblins and their markings; and a gazetteer of goblin photographs taken with the arcane Goblin Camera. Those fearing an infestation can refer to the section detailing how to determine if you've "got goblins" and, if so, what you can do about it. (There is nothing you can do about it.)

Combining the folkloric approach of Faeries with the utter wackiness of Lady Cottington, this is the team's most visually rich and outrageous opus yet.
... Read more

113. Star Wars Encyclopedia
list price: $49.95
our price: $32.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345402278
Catlog: Book (1998-06-30)
Publisher: Del Rey
Sales Rank: 11691
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Since 1977, the Star Wars universe, conceived by George Lucas, has been explored by authors and artists eager to build on the foundation laid by the blockbuster movies. The Star Wars Encyclopedia is the essential guide to every detail of the history, planets, vehicles, politics, aliens, and weapons described in countless books, comics, stories, and (of course) movies. You'll find extraordinary details about old favorites here--for instance, did you know that Luke Skywalker helped rescue Han and Leia's children from the dark side of the Force? Or that the primary food of Jawas is the hubba gourd? Endless hours of browsing pleasure await you, from A-1 Deluxe Floater (a luxury air speeder) to ZZ-4Z (Han Solo's housekeeping droid). Each item is cross-referenced to the book, movie, or comic in which it appears, but fans looking for "real-life" information about the Star Wars phenomenon won't find it here--this is strictly a resource for those who want to keep track of how all the stories and characters fit together, the clothes they wear, the foods they eat, and the planets they call home. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Reviews (89)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Star Wars reference for true fans!
Except for the fact of missing references to the prequels, but with so many people complaining of their (minor) inferiorities who's arguing? The undying classic trilogy is brought in splendid life with characters, droids, creatures, monsters, and technologies from A to Z.

Whether it's the history of the Skywalkers, Jabba the Hutt, droids, Imperial Commanders, Super Class Warships, alien species, or monsters from all sorts of galaxies - this book is the source of information bringing the evolution of how they came to be in each film. Given it was published in 1998 it gave audiences an even wetter appetite to view the trilogy in full splendor and understand how all of it came to be a story.

Stephen Sansweet, who also wrote earlier books of STAR WARS collectibles ranging from toys to audio cassettes gives classic depth to the classic trilogy. It's heavy and rich with information, so this is a must for any true fan. By the way, George Lucas, we can't wait until September 21, 2004 for the release of the trilogy on DVD! Even more so for EPISODE 3 in May 2005! MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

5-0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive Star Wars compendium available
Since the dawn of George Lucas' Star Wars Universe back in 1977, there have been numerous attempts to document some, if not all, aspects of that universe. Despite some fine efforts, all of the attempts to chronicle its vast and intricate details have felt somewhat incomplete. Perhaps editor Steven Sansweet felt the same way, for he has managed to develop what is simply the most comphrensive record of all things Star Wars. From the major characters and technology like Darth Vader and the Death Star to most minor detail in a comic rendering like the Knobby White Spider, Sansweet covers all the bases. Every piece of literature about the Star Wars Universe (including sanctioned and unsanctioned novels, comics, Adventure Journals, Customizable Card Game) are documented in this reference piece. The true beauty of the encyclopedia is not just its completeness, but also its ability to help the reader cross-reference all the listings. In parentheses as a footnote to every entry in the book, there is an acronym that indicates the source of the character, technology, or story. A key in the index of the book explains what each acronym stands for. Given the date of the encyclopedia's release, it obviously does not include material written after early 1998 (I strongly suspect that once Episode III has been released and the New Jedi Order Novel series has completed that a new edition will be released). I have owned the "Star Wars Encyclopedia" for almost 4 years now, and I still find myself referring to it for minute details about books I have read. Other times, I just sit down and browse through to see if I can find anything new. That is the mark of a truly fine reference document.

5-0 out of 5 stars Star Wars (before the prequels) from A wing to Zuggs....
Ever since the first Guide to the Star Wars Universe was published in 1984, there have been many reference books written about the characters, weapons, spacecraft, fauna, flora, and worlds of that "galaxy far, far away...." Raymond Velasco's first Guide had precious little to go on back in '84. Bill Slavicsek was luckier a decade later; the Expanded Universe had grown a bit larger with the new wave of Star Wars-related novels, role-playing game guides, graphic novels, and even young readers' books.

But even though Slavicsek's 1994 and 2000 Guides are very well-done, Steven J. Sansweet's huge Star Wars Encyclopedia is a treasure trove of information about the Star Wars saga's details. Following the same format as the Slavicsek "Guides," Sansweet's large and lavishly illustrated one-volume Encyclopedia covers every imaginable topic from the Rebel A-Wing to the Imperial officer known as Zuggs.

Because it was published in 1998, precious little information from the current "Prequel Trilogy" appears in this edition of The Star Wars Encyclopedia. Also, the Expanded Universe has gotten larger, so readers who want to find out about topics covered in the New Jedi Order series will be disappointed. Fans will have to wait until 2006 to see the second, updated edition.

Still, Sansweet's book is considered to be the best reference work, not only for its thoroughness, but because the author is a vice president at Lucasfilm and is the owner of one of the world's largest private Star Wars collections. He also appears frequently on the "Ask the Jedi Council" forum at

3-0 out of 5 stars A very complete textual condensation...
A very complete textual condensation, in thousands of entries, of probably every piece of important knowledge from the novels, comics and films. Although illustrations are included for many entries (there are multiple pictures on every page), I believe a truly comprehensive encyclopedia should include, for example, maps of locations of important star systems in the Galaxy and diagrams of spaceships, and so forth. I was looking forward to technical materials like this to be found in the book, and so I was a little disappointed. There is no question: they missed some great opportunities for additional pictorial information.

(There is a reason for the book's shortcomings: the Star Wars franchise doesn't want one single commercial item to be so comprehensive that it does away with the need for any of the plethora of other titles available. Instead you'll need to buy some of the other books to see the kind of info I feel the encyclopedia should have included. But, then, whoever said Lucas was dumb?)

As such, for an Encyclopedia it falls short of what could have been. However because of quality of information that *is* there - every single entry is highly readable - I rate this GOOD (3 stars). And be forewarned: being a few years old, it comes without any of the material from the latest trilogy.

5-0 out of 5 stars The A to Z of the galaxy
I love this book because it's packed with ingormation about every and thing in the "Star Wars"galaxy!From Admiral ackbar to Zuckuss,you'll learn more than you ever thought there is to know.WHat's Jabba's full name?Who designed the first Death Star?Fimd the answers to these and other questions in this book.Hundreds of photographs and drawings make this THE MOST COMPLETE "STAR WARS" REFERENCE BOOK!!If you like "Star Wars"movies,books and collectibles THIS is the book for you> ... Read more

114. Ray Gun : Out of Control
by Dean Kuipers, Marvin Scott Jarrett
list price: $45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684839806
Catlog: Book (1997-06-13)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 180339
Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars
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Since the publication of its first issue in 1992, Ray Gun has set the perimeters of the cutting edge in publishing. Abandoning such conventions as headlines, columns, and even page numbers, the alternative rock-and-roll magazine created a chaotic, abstract style that broke all the rules, clearing the way for a slew of fringe magazines devoted as much to style as to substance. This self-consciously hip, unconventional approach soon emerged on album covers, concert posters, and MTV, signaling the birth of a bona fide movement. The same irreverent approach to production is applied to Ray Gun: Out of Control, forcing you to wade through a maze of random graphics and typefaces to unearth the articles and essays. The search is half the fun, though, as the pieces are enough to capture your interest, even against the backdrop of so much graphic noise. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars ray gun - out of control
this book is a collection of spreads from the early years of raygun and other magazines whose art direction was lead by david carson. there is a lot of controversy surrounding carson's work, and carson as a graphic designer. i find the work visually stimulating and closer to art than most design i've encountered. i personally admire the intuitive beauty of this book and have spent countless hours looking at it. while i do not recomend carson's other books i do recomend this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Collection on the shelf
This book is for the Raygun collectors who admires clever typographic layout. A collector's item.

1-0 out of 5 stars out of gas
As the elite of contemporary typograhpy will tell you, Art Director David Carsons was neither type designer nor graphic designer, but instead adept collector of typefaces and free favors from young talent. This book is an attempt, on the eve of the sellout of the Ray Gun Empire, to solidify the merit of a magazine built on 2 things: hype, and the desire of the design community and its afficionados to find a voice for the explosion of creativity ignited by the early macintosh design pioneers and their disciple, Ed Fella,while, initially at least, disregarding the need for relevant indie music reporting. Don't buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of Control pushes the envelope
Use this book for ideas that will stun and amaze your staid audience whether it be in print or on the Web. I look at it as one giant idea book - it pushes the limit of type and design and gives us a new art form

2-0 out of 5 stars A magazine picture book?
"Out of Control?" I don't get it. Is this a picture book, or a book that is supposed to honor the magazine? Magazines are about content and design, but here all we get is design. Now, I like design, I like it a lot, and hope to one day get into magazine desiggn, but this book seems to undermine what the magazine should be about. Design vs. Content. How well does the design and presentation relate to the article? I have no idea from looking at this. This is a picture book. From looking at this from a distance (which you are apparently supposed to do) Ray Gun is a nicely laid out and designed magazine. But what's it about? I love design, but I don't give a damn about a publication about information (no matter hhow good the design) if I can't have access to that information. As far as I'm concerned, this collection should showcase and celebrate the representation of information. IAs I've said, I enjoy the design and designers, but Ray Gun was started as a great means of maing the aarticles fun to read...lure the reader in with the design and hook 'em with the words. This may or may not have worked, but the intention was there. No matter how much of a design magazine this is, Ray Gun is the bible of mushc ansstyle, not a graphic design monthly. I think that this collection is a slap in the face to the people who wrote the articles in the mag. Buy "Out of Control" if you want a picture book, but if you want to get any idea at all about what the actual magazine is about, bo to the periodicals section and pick it up. ... Read more

115. A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song
by Steve Turner
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0062736981
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: HarperResource
Sales Rank: 2387
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A lavishly illustrated, rollicking account of the real people and events that inspired the Beatles' lyrics.

Who was "just seventeen" and made Paul's heart go "boom"? Was there really an Eleanor Rigby? Where's Penny Lane? In A Hard Day's Write, music journalist Steve Turner shatters many well-worn myths and adds a new dimension to the Fab Four's rich legacy by investigating for the first time the ordinary people and events immortalized in the Beatles' music and now occupying a special niche in popular culture's collective imagination.

Arranged chronologically by album, the book breaks new ground by exploring how private incidents influenced the group's writing and how their music evolved. Turner reveals that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was really a drawing by Julian Lennon of his childhood friend; Bungalow Bill was an all-American tiger hunter; Doctor Robert was a New York 'speech doctor'; and much more. A longtime Beatles admirer, Turner tracked down and interviewed the real-life subjects of the songs, probed public records and newspaper archives, and spoke in depth to the people closet to the Beatles to unearth tales that have never before been made public. The result is a book that chronicles an untold story of the Beatles themselves.

Illustrated with over 200 photographs, A Hard Day's Write is a visually alluring and highly entertaining journey to the land stretching just beneath your conscious mind, mapped out with strawberry fields, fool-topped hills, and long and winding roads. ... Read more

Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Money CAN buy you this fantastic book!
Steve Turner gives the background story behind every Beatles song on all their officially released albums up to Abbey Road. Other books make the same claim, but this one's the best! To me, the most fascinating entries are about John's autobiographical songs, such as 'In My Life' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever.'

The story behind 'A Day In the Life' is riveting and is partly based on a personal tragedy for Paul.

Find out what John's inspiration was for 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' Does Dr. Robert really exist? 'She's Leaving Home' is based on a true story Paul had read about in a newspaper. Which was the first Beatles song not to be about love? Learn how much of an influence Dr. Timothy O'Leary was. Who's Ocean Child ('Julia')? Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is behind a few songs, but not always the way you might think! A song based on a conversation with Peter Fonda? You bet! What's the story of the sitar in 'Norwegian Wood,' and just who is the mysterious woman in whose bathtub John slept? I could go on and on!

The text is very well researched, and includes quotes from people who were involved with the Beatles.

The photos are excellent and add to the realness of the songs. See Eleanor Rigby's gravestone, Matt Busby (from 'Dig It')and the man who 'blew his mind out in a car.'

AHDW is thorough, accurate and FUN to read. If I could, I'd give it 10 stars!

5-0 out of 5 stars Without a Doubt My Favorite Beatles Book!!...
I have read most of the books on the Beatles and this one is my favorite. It has great photos, is easy to read, and tells the story of the Beatles through each of their songs. I especially liked the update with "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love," from the Anthology. This is a great gift for any real Beatle fan. There is more packed into this 224 page book than you could ever imagine. This book is a true joy!!!... You got to get this one!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Beatles Fanatics
A great, fun, well written book.

You do not have to be a crazed Beatles fan to enjoy this one.

I purchased this for a loved one who grew up listening to the Beatles, and we spent hours sitting on the couch, reminiscing about Beatles songs and reading aloud the stories behind them.

The stories were so fun, that I ended up buying another copy and giving it to another friend (who also spent hours happily reading the tales).

I would recommend tracking down your old records (or new CDs), curling up on your couch and listen to the music while you read this book. It's a great way to spend an afternoon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, well-researched, and readable
Never mind the dumb punny title. The subtitle says it much better: "The stories behind every Beatles song." And never mind academic navel-gazing about the metaphors in "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" or nonsensical philosophizing about "Revolution #9." Those of us whose hearts are in the firm grip of the Beatles' rich catalog owe a debt of gratitude to ace British music journalist Steve Turner for this book. Read it for fun and for some insight into the hard work the lads put into the creation of so many deceptively simple little ditties that have deservedly become classics. Enjoy the pictures, too. This book has a couple of hundred very good photos. Books about the Beatles number many hundreds. This one deserves a place near the top of the heap for the quality of the writing and the readable, accessible journalistic format. One quibble, and I'm surprised the editors didn't catch it: there's no alphabetical, page-numbered index of the songs, not in the Table of Contents, not in the Index, either. If you want to find the story behind a specific song such as "In My Life," you have to know which album the song appeared on, and approximately which cut. But that's a minor detail-Beatles afficionados know the songs on every album.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Buy
This is a complete book of the Beatles work. If you have ever been interested in the meanings of the songs that the Beatles wrote, this book is a must-have. ... Read more

116. "Hello My Big Big Honey!": Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews
by Dave Walker, Richard S. Ehrlich
list price: $16.95
our price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0867194731
Catlog: Book (2000-12-01)
Publisher: Last Gasp
Sales Rank: 36023
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Veteran reporter Richard Ehrlich and Dave Walker unfold a tale of love and lust in Bangkok's notorious red-light district. These interviews and correspondence with prostitutes and their patrons draw an intimate and touching portrait amidst the blaring lights and pounding music of Bangkok. ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars by torrance mendez, west australian
Australian men bitten by the love bug after a dalliance in a Bangkok bar can take heart -- you are not alone.

It seems Thai bar girls are objects of genuine desire from many overseas strangers.

And they have stacks of love letters to provite it.

Two writers, American Richard Ehrlich and Canadian Dave Walker, won the confidence of several women to gain an intimate slice of the sex trade that rarely gets seen.

The result has been a bestseller..."Hello My Big Big Honey! -- a collection of love letters to Bangkok bar girls and their revealing interviews.

Letter-writers' names were omitted for privacy though all the texts begged one questioon -- could love survive in these conditions?

Ehrlich says it can, but the odds are against it.

He and Walker trawled Bangkok bars for more than two years before cataloguing selected letters in a tome of tryst and mistrust.

"Prostitutes told us a lot of men fell in love with them and went back to Australia, America and Europe and sent back love letters, putting money in envelopes," Ehrlich said...

"That proved they were in love because they were no longer having sex."

Some letters were from Australian factory workers.

Cash was often intended to put the girls through school and some letters mentioned marriage.

"The girls would have large manila envelopes stuffed with love letters from many guys from many countries," he said.

"Most were fairly juvenile expressions of lust but there were some genuine love letters."

It was the genuine letters that gave rise to the book.

Ehrlich and Walker quizzed the girls about AIDS, the status of prostitutes in Thai society and their advice to fresh recruits.

"One girl had several guys all sending her money and she was telling them all she would marry them," he said.

"Yet she was placing adverts in New Zealand. She was more mercenary.

"Her dream was to get enough gold to open a shop.

"Another girl had slash marks on a forearm from a suicide attempt.

"She fell in love with a foreign guy and really believed he loved her but one night she walked into another bar and found him with another bar girl. So she slit an arm."

Then there was another girl taken on by feminist agencies and non-government organisations who toured the world to lecture about prostitution and the dangers of AIDS.

"Although she knew everything about AIDS and safe sex, she said she would go without a condom if she needed the money," Ehrlich said.

He discussed the mechanics of long-distance love affairs with a Thai academic who concluded: "A foreign man having sex is in control but the moment he falls in love she is the boss."

Two fantasies are commonly played out -- he is her proactive saviour and she passively will be saved from her lifestyle and move to the West.

"In reality he may beat her or take her back home and use her as a prostitute there," Ehrlich said.

Money was an enduring part of a relationship, he said.

For her, it demonstrated true love.

For him, it shouldn't buy love.

This led to the seeds of mistrust.

Ehrlich saw Bangkok bars as a conduit for tourists and expats to meet normally conservative Thai women who would avoid scandalous associations with foreign men.

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand.

About 95 per cent of the trade is between Thais, only 5 per cent with foreigners.

About two million of the 65 million Thais are thought to have HIV.

Ehrlich said some foreign men did marry Thai bar girls and lived happily ever after.

by Torrance Mendez, West Australian, Perth

3-0 out of 5 stars The Focus is more on the Men than the Women
Ever since Thailand became known as the newest and best sin city for foreign men to visit to have sex with impoverished yet attractive Thai women, a deluge of these men land daily at Thai airports expecting to find the romance and lust often denied them in their home lands. What these men usually discover is that any romance that develops is based on a pay as you go basis. In HELLO MY BIG HONEY, Dave Walker and Richard Ehrlich try to explain why. The authors see the Bangkok sex scene as the natural outcropping of a degraded culture that has only its women to peddle. In such a lurid, transient environment, the focus of money for sex must be limited to the here and now. Any foreign man with even a minimum of sense and dollars can surely score in any of dozens of sleazy clip joints. In a series of interviews with bargirls, hookers, and transsexuals, Walker and Ehrlich clarify to the next deluge of incoming men that these are working girls, all of whom count the success of a relationship in the minutes spent to earn those western dollars. It is hardly the fault of these Thai women if they soon realize that calling their newest boyfriend 'Big Honey' and other such of similar ilk can only gratify him into spending more money on her (and her family)or--and this is what each Thai lady dreams of--finding a western man thinking that he will 'deliver' her from a life of vice by taking her back to his country for marriage. In this latter case, the man will certainly send money to her on a regular basis, with her promising all the while that she will be loyal in return. The letters that these men write back and forth reveal a breathtaking lack of brains that they, with all their degrees, find out later that these women were always one step ahead. In defense of the men who are surrounded by willing, attractive Thai ladies who offer themselves at what to these men seem like bargain prices, it is not difficult to overlook the more obvious and higher bill that is sure to be presented later.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prositutes and the Men Who Love Them
Most books are bound with the hooves of crushed horses. This book is bound with the dreams of crushed men.

1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading
Had very high hopes for this book. Started out to be a very informative and interesting. Once you get past the first 3 letters they are basically the same. Didn't feel there was any feelings or passion to this book.

Think the idea was great but just not enough detail.

5-0 out of 5 stars roving insight from marc richard and loreen neville
This was a book waiting to be written, but if you're looking for a raunchy sex tale about Bangkok's red-light districts, try the Internet -- it's full of sites with much more graphic descriptions, even streaming video.

What Dave Walker and Richard S. Ehrlich have done is approach a social fact of life from a different angle, a very human angle.

"Hello My Big Honey!" is a sociological study dealing with a section of society that can be found in just about every country in the world, their hopes, their fears, their dreams and above all, their interaction and deeper involvement with their clients, the farang (foreigner).

As Dave Walker explains in his 10-page preface, the germ of an idea was born in the bars of Patpong Road in Bangkok...True, the days of the Vietnam War were over, but the reputation that Bangkok had gained as a "wide-open town" had spread near and far. Where there had been GIs, now it was oil workers and other professional expatriates hunting a living in Southeast Asia...

The letters followed, more than a reliving of stolen moments of physical passion, these were letters of hopes, dreams and longings to return...

To some it might seem the craziest of places to find love, a road full of hustling, neon lights, prowling transvestites and ear-shattering music. Lust yes, but real love surely no. Yet whether or not it's the wrong place to be looking for lasting commitment, there are those foreigners who have found their heart's desires in a love that's been reciprocated.

This is something that Richard Ehrlich takes up in his 10-page introduction. It's "a surreal night-time world" in which the bar girls live, one in which "men's fantasies, desperation, emotions and hormones" all "collide" with the "sleaze, partying" and highly "intensive care", plus of course, "cash". Most times it's a purely physical interaction that lasts no longer than rising from the crumpled sheets, but sometimes...

As Richard points out though, "the odds" are really stacked "against" it [love]. "Dancing on her tiny stage", a girl may try and shut out the leering faces while trying to pick out just one where there is a deeper feeling she believes she can read. Other girls may become outright exhibitionists playing to the crowd, but they too are searching for a soul mate. The "competition" is fierce, for the girls have only one thing on their mind -- grab a man. Their reasons differ, some so spaced out on heroin or amphetamines that their only worry is where they can find the money for their next fix, while the professional plasticine jobs with their fake smiles of enduring love are mentally counting baht as they move around weighing up the potential catch. With so many girls and so many bars, to make the right connection can be tough...

No wonder the poor old farang is confused, for it destroys all his Western conceptions of "normal" life...It is easy to become deluded and believe that they are really in love, but what about the girl. Does she really love me? Does she really care that much about me? If she does, then why does she always want money? I know she has to live, but surely she can earn money in some other job.

If it's a quandary he finds himself in while in Bangkok, at least the ministrations of his newfound love provide some temporary relief. It's when he's back home that the whole meaning of this relationship begins to gnaw on his mind...

It is into this strange melting pot of fantasy and reality that Dave Walker and Richard S. Ehrlich have delved, fishing out a selection of 71 letters from foreign men all around the world, as well as interviewing a dozen bargirls and three bar owners, one English, one American and one Thai.

It may seem a massive invasion of privacy to read someone else's letters, for there are only two places a person can never hide -- in bed and in their letters. Yet the only people able to tell the true story of life on Patpong Road are the bargirls themselves and it is story that merits being told.

Be warned however, this is a journey that is not for the faint-hearted...The American serviceman on his way to Saudi Arabia prior to the Gulf War desperately trying to persuade his teenage Thai girlfriend that he really wants to settle down and marry her, is one letter that stands out not only for its length but also the intensity of feelings expressed.

Then of course there are the girls, who provide another cross-section. There's the consummate professional, all business, who is busy saving to buy a house -- no time for romance in her life one suspects. Or the girl whose
seen it all, from being a barmaid right down to being a mama-san today.

Then there's the would-be suicide, who has tried once and hopes she can stave off the desperation to try again. Yet perhaps more typical is the girl who lives in cramped squalor with her son, mother, two younger children, her sister and her boyfriend and another girlfriend...

"Hello My Big Honey!" doesn't delve into the morality of prostitution, nor was that its intention...

There is even one Thai girl who has traveled the world as an anti-AIDS campaigner, but admits that if desperate for money she would quite willingly have unprotected sex. ... Read more

117. Reading Lyrics : More Than 1,000 of the Century's Finest Lyrics--a Celebration of Our GreatestSongwriters, a Rediscovery of Forgotten Masters, and an Appreciation of an
list price: $39.50
our price: $26.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375400818
Catlog: Book (2000-11-21)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 59278
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars another triumph for american songwriting
i defy you to go thru this volume and not shake your head in disbelief. while anyone reading this page will be familiar with the likes of berlin or mercer or porter or the like, you will be astounded by the number of great songs, both familiar and new, that were writen by names youve never known. jack yellen? haven gillespie? irving kahal? who the blazes were they? well, yellen gave us "aint she sweet?" and "happy days are here again"; gillespie "you go to my head" and "santa claus is coming to town"; kahal "i'll be seeing you" and "when i take my sugar to tea". oh yes, btw, they all had more standards to their credit. as other reviewers have said, this is a book you dont ust read, you SING! messrs. kimball & gottlieb are to be commended -- and id bet a volume 2 would be just as filled with gems.

5-0 out of 5 stars You don't read this SING it!
You don't merely READ this wonderful collection. If you love standards, you'll SING it! The concept of READING LYRICS is so appealing, one wonders why it took so long to find its way into print. You don't need to be a senior citizen to recognize that these songs document an era when love was a respectable commodity. It also proves, elegaically, that they really DON'T write 'em the way they used to. An encyclopedia and indispensable collection you'll return to again and again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent to have around when you can't remember the words!
I've conquered music reviews & the occasional movie one, but I had yet to try my hand at a book review. However, with this book, I just had to write about it & alert people to this great collection of some of the greatest words ever put to music in history. Some may wonder why certain songs from a certain lyricist are the only ones represented, but I imagine the lyrics that have best stood the test of time or are truly representative of the greatest of the person's repertoire are what's included. For a complete collection of lyrics, most likely a composer will have something of the sort published somewhere, but READING LYRICS is an excellent taster for those wanting to dive in.

Most music lovers of my generation like to listen to music where lyrics take second place to rhythm or melody, with the volume of both enough to render such good words useless. READING LYRICS looks at the first 3 quarters of the last century, perhaps the stretch of time when you could still hear what was being sung & eventually get the lyrics etched into your brain enough to repeat them at will. Naturally, those songs from the annals of musical theatre take up a fair share of the book, but that after all was its golden age until maybe the second half of the 1900s, when popular music truly became "popular" & theatre became more of a higher art. Both genres are represented on READING LYRICS (although this review is far from comprehensive what with the hundreds of lyricists discussed in here).

Even the most famous & worthy of household name status of songwriters get an inventory in READING LYRICS. True superstars of songwriting like Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin & Cole Porter are represented in READING LYRICS, although I imagine finding which songs to use was quite the struggle with all of their extensive outputs. However, all three helped expand the vocabulary of popular songwriting away from simple rhymes like "moon" with "June".

Gershwin couldn't be accused of following such methods, for time-honored classics like "But Not For Me", "Embraceable You", "Love Is Here To Stay" & "Someone To Watch Over Me" managed to be intelligent yet accessible at the same time. And that's just Ira's work with his brother George! Even after George's death, Ira kept on working with other collaborators, creating classics like "The Saga Of Jenny" (with Kurt Weill) & "I Can't Get Started" (with Vernon Duke).

Berlin was certainly more of a "people's songwriter" with lyrics that were easy to sing & remember, but by no means simplistic. Out of the thousands of songs he penned (both music & lyrics), "Supper Time" is perhaps the one to truly call Berlin's best, with its heartwrenching tale of prejudice against African-Americans written at a time when such racism was still a fact of life. In fact, Ethel Waters, who popularized the song, claimed it represented the Black experience better than any other song she sang. He may have also wrote the patriotic "God Bless America" (quite the statement from a Russian-born immigrant), but I think he never played into the hands of any specific politics & for that Berlin should be commended.

However, maybe THE classiest lyricist of all was (a Hoosier no less) Cole Porter, who, like Berlin, wrote both music & lyrics, which was no easy feat in that time. Of course, Porter was known for his extensive mastery of the English language in his music, with more internal rhymes than you can shake a stick at, thus making his songs both a challenge to sing & still contemporary even today. A great deal of Porter's songs rode on acerbic wit (like Stephen Sondheim's music of today), with a few notable examples like "It's De-Lovely" (to sing all of it, verses & refrains, would take all day), "Let's Do It" (which had "Let's Fall In Love" added to it so radio could play it), "Miss Otis Regrets" & "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" (its masochistic lyric is still a scorcher even now). But at the same time, Porter could be heartfelt when he wanted to, as proven by "True Love", "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", "Just One Of Those Things" & even "Love For Sale" (its bouts with censorship are legendary). Cole Porter's run-ins with the censors would fill a book in itself, but let's just say that in this day & age of outright profanities being used, Porter's way with words still retains its power to shock & amuse.

That's not even the half of what READING LYRICS does to recount the greatest of American popular songwriting. But because of space restrictions, I just thought I'd point out some of my personal favorites. Nevertheless, READING LYRICS still contains a wide range of lyricists, from the absolutely famous (Oscar Hammerstein II, Stephen Sondheim & Noel Coward) to the semi-famous waiting to be rediscovered (Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer & Hoagy Carmichael) to ones whose songs may be more famous than their authors (too many to mention).

Each chapter in READING LYRICS features a short blurb on the songwriter's life & times, and their life's work with the occasional fun fact. For example, Jack Yellen's song "Happy Days Are Here Again" was adopted as FDR's campaign theme despite Yellen himself being a Republican. Maybe he was still grateful for the attention & the fact that the song became one of the most popular of the Depression era. But considering Yellen's politics, who knows if songs about wild women like "Hard-Hearted Hannah" & "Louisiana Lou [The Vampin' Lady]" really were what he thought about women & are all that popular with feminists today?

Anyhow, READING LYRICS is a good refresher course for anyone wanting to learn about popular music's golden age or, even better, for someone wanting to explore songwriting themselves. If a second volume is in the works, I'll be sure to put in my order for it soon enough!

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but stupid problem
The one issue I have with this otherwise wonderful book is the way the editor writes about popular hits in each author's intro but then doesn't always include the lyrics to those songs! The hell is up with that?? If you're going to mention a song that everyone knows but then skip the lyrics of that song, it makes for a very frustrating time. Is there a vol 2 on the way?

5-0 out of 5 stars Get ready for endless hours of singing
This book will provide you and countless tunes to sing as you're going through the day or in the shower. My only quibble with the book is that the editor arranges the book chronologically (based on the lyricist's birthdate) as opposed to alphabetically. A minor flaw to be sure, but noticable when you're in a hurry and you need a Johnny Mercer tune to sing. ... Read more

118. Encyclopedia of Orson Welles (Great Filmmakers)
by Chuck Berg, Tom Erskine, John C. Tibbetts, James M. Welsh, Thomas L. Erskine
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0816043914
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Facts on File
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119. Herb Ritts
by Herb Ritts
list price: $45.00
our price: $28.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500974896
Catlog: Book (2000-10)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 39470
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Herb Ritts is one of the most notorious and successful photographers working today. The Los Angeles-based imagemaker has created portfolios for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and other magazines, done movie ads and music videos, and worked with fashion-world clients such as Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani. This sumptuous catalogue, published to accompany an exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris, includes an interview with Herb Ritts. One hundred photographs, some previously unpublished, exemplify the rigorous, disconcerting work of one of the most remarkable photographers of the contemporary art, fashion, and entertainment worlds. Herb Ritts's subjects include Antonio Banderas, Sandra Bernhard, Louise Bourgeois,Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Francesco Clemente, Joseph Fiennes, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Gibson, Keith Haring, Stephen Hawking, Michael Jordan, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, B. B. King, Roy Lichtenstein, Ewan MacGregor, Nelson Mandela, Edward Norton, Robert Rauschenberg, Christopher Reeve, and Tina Turner. 94 duotone photographs. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful Black & White Imagery
As an amateur photographer, I have always found Herb Ritts to be one of the greatest modern photographers living. Similiar to many celebrity photographers such as Richard Avedon, David LaChapelle, and Annie Liebowitz, Ritts captures the essence that is celebrity perfectly. Whether it is the photograph of Madonna and Sean Pean as a loving couple, or a gathering of today's top supermodels (all nude) Ritts has an eye for detail, as well as an approach few photographers nowadays don't utilize, direct communication with your subjects. In the past (and even in the present) celebrity photography can be a pain as many celebrities tend to want their agents around them whenever there is a shoot.

Many of Ritts photographs in this compilation happen to be of a homoerotic nature. Ritts, who is openly gay, captures the essence of male sexuality perfect, and the results can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their orientation.

I hope in the future Ritts comes out with another huge compilation of his work. His recent work with such celebrities such as Monica Lewinsky and Janet Jackson should be published in a volume, but for the meanwhile, purchase this book for your coffee table or library. It will make an interesting topic of conversation with anyone. Ritts is pure genius!

5-0 out of 5 stars Herb Ritts: Work
I was mesmorized by this book! Herb Ritts has the ability to not ownly create a beautiful portrait, but to capture I personality of his models. Each photograph tells a fabulous story of fantasy, glamour, and often just everyday life. I would highly recommend this collection. Among my favorite celebrity photos: Johnny Depp on the set of Edward Scissorhands, Jim Carrey dressed as a Mermaid, Tom Cruise on the set of Mission Impossible 2, the tattooed arm of Axle Rose, and a mysterious grin by Roy Lichtenstein. These photos are also large enough (most are at least 8x10) to remove and frame.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful coffee table book & conversation piece
I received this book as a gift. I can't tell you how many times at a party or get-together at our home someone has picked this up, and then it has become the topic of conversation. The book gets passed around the entire night because everyone wants to look at it, and once someone starts flipping through the pages they simply can't put it down because they want to look at every image. Several of the photos are of celebrities, but they are somewhat disguised. Example: Cindy Crawford made up as a man. It is fun to do a "double take" as you try to guess who some of the subjects are. As always, Herb Ritts' images are masterpieces. This was a wonderful gift.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag of Photographs
This catalogue of the retrospective of Ritts' work in the mid 90's at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston by its very nature has a lot of photographs that are included in previous volumes: many of the nudes, the African photos, the series called Duo and "celebrity portraits." Unlike many celebrity photographers, Ritts was able to create photographs that rarely if ever are duplicates of either his or other artists' work. You get a good sense of that from looking at all of the small copies of all the photos published at the end of this volume. That is no small accomplishment. Many of the nudes and/or erotic photographs have been around for so long and reproduced so often that they have almost become cliches. For example, the series of "Fred With Tires." These show up in calendars, refrigerator magnets, posters ad nauseam. The nine photographs of Bill T. Jones, one of which graces the cover of this hefty volume, should be called "Eunuch, I-IX." The poor man has been castrated by the stroke of an airbrush. I assume we are politically rather than anatomically correct here. This show was clearly no repetition of the Mapplethorpe Exhibit in Cincinnati!

Celebrity photographs are often just that. They are interesting only if you know the model. A fine portrait photographer can shoot someone we do not know and make that person interesting to us. Many though certainly not all of Ritts' photos rise to that level. For that reason, he will always be revered as an artist. I would put the photos of Whoopi Goldberg, William Burroughs and Mike Ovitz in that category, to name three. Even if we did not know who these people are, Ritts makes us want to know them. Proof of this, at least for me, is that I was mesmerized by the photo of Ovitz and didn't have the slightest idea initially of who he was. These photographs are intriguing and draw the viewer in. Finally, for my money, the three incomparable shots of Eunice Kennedy Shriver are simply the best portraits in the book. The first time I leafed through this volume, these fantastic shots jumped out at me.

I treasure my signed copy of another of Ritts' books. I'm sorry that he will never take another photograph.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Although, sadly, Herb Ritts has passed away I'm sure he'll be remembered as one of the greatest celebrity photographers ever. With that being said, I'll admit that I am NOT a Hollywood-glam-celebrity fanatic, and I hate public obsession with celebrities. However, I will admit my admiration of Herb Ritts' introverted and sophisticated images of Hollywood identities. I keep my copy of "Herb Ritts: Work" next to the wild and outgoing "Lachapelle Land" by David Lachapelle, which together show an interesting contrast in approach to celebrity photography.

The first third of the book is comprised of Herb Ritts' nudes and "unearthly" abstract nudes, most of them photographed in the 1980's. The remaining are photographs in Africa and his famous artist and celebrity portraits. One of my favorite photos is of photographer/sculptor Joel-Peter Witkin with his son, a rather down-to-earth and affectionate portrayal of such a "macabre-oriented" artist.

I was always intimidated by the price of this book, but I knew I had to have it. Luckly, I got a new 1st ed. copy for about thirty-bucks with online auction (I'm sure the seller was hitting himself on the head with it). However, I would've WELL paid $135+ on this as it is one of the most well-bound luxurious photography books I've seen. The book itself is finely printed, and I would definately recommend adding this "essential" to any monograph book collection. ... Read more

120. This Is Modern Art
by Matthew Collings
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823053628
Catlog: Book (2000-04-15)
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Pubns
Sales Rank: 149866
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Yes, it's shocking and sensational and makes headlines, but is it art? What happened to beauty and loveliness? Modern works by "Brit Brats" and other explosive artists are explored in this knowing book that combines hard art historical information with refreshingly candid, wonderfully readable reflections on today's dynamic art scene.

Each of six chapters becomes a journey, a tour around the world to art galleries, museums, and artists' studios, a trip back and forth in time-from the earliest heroic beginnings of modern art to the circuslike atmosphere of Sensation, the famous/infamous exhibition seen recently by record-breaking museum crowds on both sides of the Atlantic. These gorgeously illustrated rides are by turns smooth, surprising, alarming, but they are always informative and entertaining in answering such essential questions as: Will future generations accept today's art as a vivid expression of how life was really lived during the 1990s? Or will they scratch their heads and wonder how we could have put up with such stuff-how we could have valued it as art? ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's like taking a cold shower on a sultry fetid day
As an antidote to art jargon that passes as "writing" whether in ART FORUM or in catalogues, Mr Collings' book is a refreshing RELIEF. Well illustrated examples which illuminate his arguments, clear division into six sections, and an open-endedness to many issues make this a very enjoyable and informative read for the lay person who loves art. I'm immediately passing it on to one of the people I value most in the world - my 17 year old son. Is there a better recommendation?

4-0 out of 5 stars Is it all a joke
This is very idiosyncratic look at art today, and in it, Matthew Collings chooses several issues about art to discuss: Shock, beauty, emptiness of meaning, humor, and the present. His writing can be annoying, sounding almost like Warhol in his "Philosophy of Andy Warhol" with short, witty, curious phrases, and a distant, ironic humor that can sound condescending or careless. Still, it turns out to be insightful and entertaining, and even informative. It isn't that you learn something profound about how to see art or understand it. Rather, it's like having a conversation (albeit one way) about art and particular artworks with someone who has a lot of knowledge about art and is often very perceptive. Along the way, you learn about recent artists such as Chris Ofili, Sigmar Polke, and Richard Prince, as well as past artists like Pollock, Picasso, and Goya. The pictures are good too. But it's just a fun look into the issues that modern (or post-modern) art tries to tackle, and some things to think about the next time you visit a modern art museum. Again, it's idiosyncratic and personal, so it's only one person's take on artists and art.

3-0 out of 5 stars It's good but ...
'This is Modern Art' is a book accompanying the ch.4 TV series of the same name, and this fact became all too obvious after I purchased it. The text does not read well: it seems as though the publishers have lifted Matthew Collins' voice-over from the TV programmes and transcribed it directly onto the pages of the book. Sure, there are plenty of nice photorgraphs and the tone is lively and informative, but reading the book - actually reading the text - is a strange experience as the words on the page do not work as words on a page: I kept wanting to read aloud and listen to myself speaking. The book is full of phrases and sentence construction that is made for the ear, not text that has been written to be read.
The TV series was very good, but sadly this book is too close to a script of that series - and not what it should be: a BOOK about Modern Art.

5-0 out of 5 stars Of Course This Is A Great Book, And Here's Why...
... I was a bit perplexed to discover accusations of "bias" [by others]. What were people expecting? The evening news? Journalism? Collings approaches his subject - the evolution of modern art and the context of contemporary British artists - from an informed, but highly personal point of view. Pretty much like Clement Greenburg or Robert Hughes or any of the other hundreds of critics with a case to make... Collings's writing is witty, erudite and can, in the turn of one sentence or a single carefully chosen word, create an entirely new way of looking at familiar art works. Not everyone is going to agree that Basquiat is great or that certain UK artists aren't very good - but what the hell - it's just one man's opinion. In light of the orthodox, conservative and sometimes downright reactionary points of view put forward by tv art critics and book authors, Collings is a fresh voice with something to say. That's very rare in any writer and, in the art world, as rare as genius itself.

4-0 out of 5 stars This Is Modern Art. Most definitely.
This book is an absolute must-have for anyone interested in the exploding modern art scene.

Collings is based in London, and with it's recently opened Tate Modern museum of Contemporary Art the content of this book seems even more appropriate.

Irreverant, humorous, fact-packed, entertaining and controversial, this book will lead you from Klein to Hirst to Picasso and back on a non-stop, roller coaster ride. Buy it. ... Read more

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