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141. But Is It Art?: An Introduction
$17.13 $15.98 list($25.95)
142. Hard News : The Scandals at The
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143. Evening Dress
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144. Your Brain Is God
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145. Postcards From The Boys
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146. The Art And Flair Of Mary Blair
list($59.95)
147. Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954:
$38.22 $6.60
148. The Marilyn Encyclopedia
$8.99 $4.40
149. Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to
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150. Dishing Hollywood: The Real Scoop
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151. That's All: Bobby Darin On Record,
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152. The Winner-Take-All Society: Why
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153. Billboard's Top Pop Albums 1955-2001
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154. Malicious Resplendence: The Paintings
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155. Adcult USA
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156. Hell's Angels : A Strange and
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157. The Third Wave
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158. Lighting for Glamour Photography:
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159. Laetitia Casta
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160. Phantom of the Opera

141. But Is It Art?: An Introduction to Art Theory
by Cynthia Freeland
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192853678
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 86330
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From Andy Warhol's Brillo boxes to provocative dung-splattered madonnas, in today's art world many strange, even shocking, things are put on display. This often leads exasperated viewers to exclaim--is this really art? In this invaluable primer on aesthetics, Freeland explains why innovation and controversy are so highly valued in art, weaving together philosophy and art theory with many engrossing examples. Writing clearly and perceptively, she explores the cultural meanings of art in different contexts, and highlights the continuities of tradition that stretch from modern often sensational works, back to the ancient halls of the Parthenon, to the medieval cathedral of Chartres, and to African nkisi nkondi fetish statues. She explores the difficulties of interpretation, examines recent scientific research into the ways the brain perceives art, and looks to the still-emerging worlds of art on the web, video art, art museum CD-ROMS, and much more. She also guides us through the various theorists of art, from Aristotle and Kant to Baudrillard. Throughout this nuanced account of theories, artists, and works, Freeland provides us with a rich understanding of how cultural significance is captured in a physical medium, and why challenging our perceptions is, and always has been, central to the whole endeavor.It is instructive to recall that Henri Matisse himself was originally derided as a "wild beast." To horrified critics, his bold colors and distorted forms were outrageous. A century later, what was once shocking is now considered beautiful. And that, writes Freeland, is art. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Read it While You Poo!
Freeland's "But is it Art?" is an excellent handbook for digesting the art entity from a contemporary perspective in a time where so many people look at a work and say "what the hell is that?". And the way she breaks it down so simply and quickly makes it an excellent read; one you can accomplish in, say, your next four or five 'commercial breaks'...

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Read, Enjoyable & Insightful
This was a very interesting book and a good read. However, if you are looking for a primer on art theory, then you need look elsewhere. This gives some insight into the general art theories of the past and today but it isn't organized like a textbook. Instead it has a more meandering structure that makes it more interesting but less instructional. All in all though, I really enjoyed it. The only thing I truly didn't like was that it gave very short shrift to some media that are only the line between craft and art. That would have seemed to be a very good topic for inclusion. But still a good book.

4-0 out of 5 stars a considered analysis and a great beginners guide...
How can I put this politely? I kept this book in the bathroom and would read it in small chunks whenever (ahem!) I had a few minutes in there.

I know a fair bit about modern art and art history but am no expert and found this to be an informative study which introduced me to certain theories and ideas and also gave me background on areas I was already familiar with.

A neat, good looking book which I would recommend as ... reading anytime!

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear and enjoyable explaination of what makes it 'art'.
Is there a more confusing or controversial area of understanding in today's society than determining whether a piece of work is 'art' or 'trash'. This book gives a scholarly, yet eminently readable and enjoyable description of how the question, 'but is it art', can be approached and understood. Beginning with Neanderthal renderings and ending in the digital arena - the changing creative environments and philosophical drivers are explained clearly and compellingly. The authors appropriately timed use of wit keeps one happily reading in an area that could easily get dry and intellectually elitist. I now finally feel that I have some tools to evaluate 'art' for myself. ... Read more


142. Hard News : The Scandals at The New York Times and Their Meaning for American Media
by SETH MNOOKIN
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
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Asin: 1400062446
Catlog: Book (2004-11-09)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 855
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143. Evening Dress
by Alexandra Black
list price: $60.00
our price: $37.80
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Asin: 0847826481
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications
Sales Rank: 42572
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Book Description

Be a caterpillar by day and a butterfly by night, counseled the legendary designer Coco Chanel. "Nothing could be more comfortable than a caterpillar, and nothing could be more made for love than a butterfly." This high priestess of style understood what the well-dressed woman has always known: There's something special that goes on after dark.
While daywear must be practical, versatile,
and appropriate, the evening is open for interpretation, offering designers the rare opportunity to indulge their imagination and sense of festiveness and frivolity. A tribute to fashion's highest art, Evening Dress chronicles glamorous attire from ancient times up to the latest season, featuring photographs and sketches of hundreds of exquisite gowns. A celebration of this most elegant form of the sartorial arts, this lavish edition will engage, amuse, and inspire.
... Read more

144. Your Brain Is God
by Timothy Leary
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
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Asin: 1579510523
Catlog: Book (2001-06-09)
Publisher: Ronin Publishing (CA)
Sales Rank: 49209
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This collection of essays, written by the poster boy of 1960s counterculture, describes the psychological journey Timothy Leary made in the years following his dismissal from Harvard, as his psychedelic research moved from the scientific to the religious arena. He discusses the nature of religious experience and eight crafts of God, including God as hedonic artist. Leary also examines the Tibetan, Buddhist, and Taoist experiences. In the final chapters, he explores man as god and LSD as sacrament. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Half &Half
This book is filling with wonderfully insightful concepts about the nature of humans perception of reality. For anybody who is truely interested in psychology You Brain is God, or any Leary book for that matter, is a good bet. Leary's ideas led me, as a high school student, to change the way I think, view the world scientifically, and to determine my major in college. My only critque is that Leary uses his ideas as a basis for forcing the use of LSD on the public. About half the book focuses on the use of LSD as a religious sacrament. If you're into that part of the book, you'll love it in it's entirety. Otherwise, pick around it and enjoy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Are you a god?
That is the question this book wants you to ask yourself. From a fundamental standpoint religions which aim at self improvement are the best in my opinion. This book is not really about religion though. Leary writes about his early exploration into psychedelics and the proper preperation for a session. He also breaks things down to their simplest level and discusses how we can lose ego and rebuild our thoughts.

Some of the questions he poses made me think, and some made me feel like the world made sense. I am not big into the psychodelic drug scene, I am sure if I were I would rate this at 5 stars though.

5-0 out of 5 stars Guild as psuedo-scientific shaman of sorts
Honestly, I think that Leary was being extremely daring tackling the subject of psychadelics in the manner which he did. Also though, this book runs through a brief history of the beginning of his working with psychadelic experiences in the sixties, and offers an outline for reproducing and guiding such experiences. Not only htat though, but his "summa Theologica" is transmitted in the psycho-philosophical banter on spiritual questions. In my opinion leary has seriously done his part in making spirituality and science one and the same. He has been accused of being overly radical and highly speculative, - even by me - but this is precisely why I respect his work as much as I do. Personally, I do not use psychotropic drugs, but I am indescriminately into Dreams as a medium for psychadelic experiences. In my opinion Leary describes poetically, and precisely, the most efficient method for guiding a session that is psychological in nature, be it psychadelics, journeying, self-analysis, etc. In my opinion the personal and comfortably set setting and atmosphere should be adopted by professional psychological doctors. Of corse, that's just my opinion, what do I know?

5-0 out of 5 stars Summa Theologica
The theology of Leary's "Scientific Paganism" is laid bare with wit and clarity. Great insights pertaining to the true nature of experience and the human mind are explained. A must for every fan of Leary, and for all psychedelic psychonauts seeking the truth about the macrocosm, microcosm and psychedelics. ... Read more


145. Postcards From The Boys
by Ringo Starr
list price: $24.95
our price: $14.97
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Asin: 081184613X
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Sales Rank: 207
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Book Description

Whenever John, Paul, or George went on a trip, they would send Ringo a postcard. Now, for the first time, Ringo Starr is opening his private archive to share this delightful and very intimate correspondence. Whether it's John advising Ringo to record a "great & simple" song like Blondie's Heart of Glass, Paul and Jane Asher dropping a note from Rishikesh to report on their meditation lessons with the Maharishi, or George writing from the Great Barrier Reef to confirm plans for Christmas dinner, each postcard is a warm and personal snapshot of life in (and after) The Beatles. The 51 postcards -- many of which are covered in whimsical drawings -- are colorfully reproduced, both front and back. Ringo's droll commentary fills in the blanks, though he does confess that at times he had to consult the Internet for details! Often funny, occasionally bittersweet, and always revealing, Postcards from the Boys is a must for Beatles lovers. ... Read more


146. The Art And Flair Of Mary Blair : An Appreciation
by John Canemaker
list price: $40.00
our price: $27.20
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Asin: 0786853913
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Disney Editions
Sales Rank: 20393
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For more than a dozen years, an unassuming, quiet-spoken woman dominated Disney design. The stylishness and vibrant color of Disney films in the early 1940s through mid-1950s came primarily from artist Mary Blair. In her prime, she was an amazingly prolific American artist who enlivened and influenced the not-so-small worlds of film, print, theme parks, architectural decor, and advertising. At its core, her art represented joyful creativity and communicated pure pleasure to the viewer.Her exuberant fantasies brimmed with beauty, charm, and wit, melding a child's fresh eye with adult experience. Blair's personal flair comprised the imagery that flowed effortlessly and continually formore than a half a century from her brush. Emulated by many, she remains inimitable: a dazzling sorceress of design and color. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Most influential Disney artist a woman?? Yes!
As a woman illustrator and designer in the entertainment industry, and having grown up with Disney, I was stunned and thrilled to learn about Mary Blair! How did this amazing talent remain so obscure? I graduated from a prestigious art/design school that was right next door to Choinard where Mary attended in Los Angeles, and I work in the same field, and none of us (fellow graduates or work collegues) had ever heard of her! What a shame! All of my life I'd floated through and wondered who it was that designed Small World. Had I known that it was this brilliant woman, it would have completely changed my perspective. Not to mention the tremendous influence she had on the entire advertising style of the day. I LOVE this book. Mary may have done a million more paintings - and I've no doubt she did - however, this book was "just right" for me. It is not overwhelming or filled with too much detail that might be uninteresting or tedious. It is a rich and thoughtful overview and introduction to this prolific and influential artist. I learned so much, and treasure it (it was my birthday request). The print and paper quality are beautiful, and it is very well designed.

My 4 year old daughter also loves to page through it regularly, and just this morning informed me that "she wanted to be an artist when she grows up - JUST LIKE MARY BLAIR!" Bravo! This book was looooong over due. I am just grateful she didn't disappear into history unrecognized.

2-0 out of 5 stars 2.5 stars, tops.
the reviewer who states this book is a disappointment is dead on. i'm a fan of blair and eagerly awaited this book's arrival. i'm astounded at the amount of work not represented here, especially considering the price. blair was an AMAZING colorist and the poor reproductions don't do her work justice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Animation Fan
A beautiful book poetically written by John Canemaker. This wonderfully designed book is a fine tribute to Mary Blair, one of the great designers in animation history. An essential book for animators, illustrators, designers and fans of animation. Let's hope that Mr. Canemaker continues to write about the animation artists who have moved and inspired countless others in the field.

2-0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
This has to have been one of the most eagerly-awaited books for animation pros and fans in a long while....and although Canemaker usually does a terrific job writing and editing animation tomes, he's done a frankly poor job here. Considering that Mary Blair is justly famous for her brilliant(in more ways than one)use of color, the reproductions are not good at all. The text is not only rehashed from Canemaker's much superior "Before the Animation Begins"(which has a chapter on Blair), it's awkwardly shortened here. As a matter of fact, the book itself-text and pictures-is ridiculously slim, given the sale price, and the fact that this will probably stand as the only book about the subject.

As another reviewer mentioned, Mary Blair did much more work than is represented here, particularly her children's illustration. It's mystifying as to why the author didn't include or couldn't find many, many more worthy examples of Blair's work to include, when in any month on Ebay, one can bid on some eye-popping merchandise(scarves, for one!), magazine illustration, greeting cards-and even original work-that has no representation here. It appears he merely asked two or three collector friends he knows for permission to publish what they owned, but that's it. A real shame and a pity. Still, diehards will have to have it(as I do)on their shelves-but this artist deserved a LOT more than this lazy, slapdash volume.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mary in the Sky with Diamonds
.
John Canemaker's 4th Disney book is dedicated to the woman that gave a unique touch of colour, styling and magic over the Disney films from mid 40s to mid 50s.

Although the text is more or less the same that appears in Canemaker's book ''Before The Animation Begins'' (a book about the lives and art of the conceptual artists of Disney, published in 1999), the Artwork is not the same!!! It is obvious that Canemaker did not find more things to write (and probably Mary Blair had a quiet and low profile life) but he did his best to come up with totaly fresh artwork from the Disney Archives and from private collections. The book is cleverly divided in chapters that marked Mary's career and the design reflects her fashionable sense of styling!

You will see many unpublished works of Blair - from her early watercolours to her a-m-a-z-i-n-g conceptual drawings for Cinderella, Alice and Peter Pan and from commercial artwork to the creation of the Small World ''universe''. There are also some wonderful photographs that the reader can admire Mary's unsualy elegant sense of dressing.

Mary Blair must be smiling ''over there'' and I guess Walt Disney too since she was his favorite female artist!

**** The reason I gave it 4 stars is ONLY because this book has not many pages. ... Read more


147. Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954: The History of American Popular Music
by Joel Whitburn
list price: $59.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0898200830
Catlog: Book (1992-03-01)
Publisher: Record Research Inc
Sales Rank: 422298
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first documentedhistory of the music America listened to from the Gay Nineties to the RockinÕ Fifties, taken from a variety of popular music charts. Artist Section lists each artistÕs charted recordings in chronological order, with each recordingÕs highest charted position, date first charted, total weeks charted, original label and number, total weeks in the #1 or #2 position, and much more. Includes a wealth of facts and notes about many recordings and artists of popÕs early years. Complete Title Section cross-references all titles alphabetically with significant chart data. 6 inch. x 9 inch.. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential reference book for the serious collector.
I have owned books by Joel Whitburn for over two decades now. As an avid record collector and someone who is extremely interested in the history of popular music I cannot imagine life without them. Of all of Whitburns books, this is perhaps my very favorite. This book is unique among the Whitburn offerings in that it begins with a seven page "Chronology of Milestones in Popular Music/Recording History 1877-1954." It is a fascinating look at the history of the recording industry beginning with Thomas Edisons invention of the phonograph. You will also learn about the history of the Billboard music charts as well as the beginnings of two of America's most venerable record labels Columbia and Victor.
But the main thrust of any Joel Whitburn book is the chart information. In this volume, you will find an artist by artist listing of over 12000 records that appeared on various pop music charts from 1890 through 1954. By perusing the pages of this book you will learn about some of the most popular turn of the century artists such as Henry Burr and Billy Murray. You will be amazed at how dominant such long forgotten artists as the American Quartet and Paul Whiteman were in their day. Of particular interest to me was how prolific Bing Crosby was between 1931 and 1954. During that period Crosby had an astounding 340 charted records!!! It is also fun to peruse some of the titles. You learn that things really don't change all that much. My very favorite among these is a 1915 hit by the Peerless Quartet entitled "Cows May Come, Cows May Go, But the Bull Goes On Forever."
You may be a bit put off by the price of a Joel Whitburn book. But believe me if you are a serious collector they are worth every penny. I bought my copy of this book more than fifteen years ago and still refer to it frequently.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're interested in pre-Elvis music, this helps a lot
Music charts never tell the whole story as anybody who has followed pop charts of any era will know. They serve as an approximate guide to what music was fashionable at the time.

It is particularly important to note that the economic depression of the thirties meant that a lot of singers chose to do radio broadcasts rather than make a lot of records which few could afford. This explains why Frances Langford (for example) was extremely popular yet had few hits.

The other thing you notice is that then, as now, some of the songs you think would have been massive hits (like Moonlight in Vermont and Georgia on my mind) were only modest hits, while other songs which were massive hits appear to have sunk without trace.

Despite all that, this is a valuable source of information for anybody seriously interested in the music of the pre-Elvis era, although very little music is currently available from the early 1920's or before.

I don't think this book could be improved much. Death dates updated? Nice but hardly essential. Pictures? If you buy the music, you'll probably get a picture of the singer. As to the very early artists, photography was also primitive, so pictures may not be available, unless paintings or drawings are available.

There is one improvement which would be really useful - include all the later hits from 1955 onwards for major artists who had a lot of hits up to 1954. Wouldn't it be great to have the complete hits record of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and other major artists in one volume?

But that's a minor point - the information here is not available anywhere else. It's well worth the price if you're into this sort of music.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Musical Journey Through The Past
I purchased this book through Mr.Whitburn's Record Research company in 1993-Right away,I was awestruck at the amount of artists & songs that were listed-I was happy to see that the songs that helped to launch the rock era were included,such as "Sh-Boom",& "Shake,Rattle,& Roll"-One reviewer indicated that this book should be updated,as far as listing the years when these artists died-I'm sure that Joel Whitburn would find that to be quite time consuming-Anyway,this book is terrific.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of All Whitburn's Books
The information contained in this book is beyond compare. The complete pre-rock and roll era, from 1890 through 1954, is here at your fingertips. The Crew Cuts? Here they are. How about Helen Kane (the 'boop boop a doop' girl)? She's here, too. Nora Bayes? Yup! There she is. And thousands more. This book convinced me to search out the music contained herein-not an easy task-but I obtained much of it, and now I'm hooked. Thank God for the web to help me locate this historical music, and thank God for Joel Whitburn for all of the extremely hard work that he had to put into the making of this book. Artists names, release dates, chart numbers (some fabricated but the good intention is there), label and numbers, and artist info. One word of warning in the purchase of this book-you may find yourself searching out and listening to the hits of 1910, 1927, 1941........

4-0 out of 5 stars Every music historian must read this
I bought this book a year ago and this helped me learn about the popular music of one century ago. I'm glad it gives me info about artists and musicians 80% of the world has never heard of like Billy Murray, Paul Whiteman and Len Spencer. This is extremely outdated, but still useful. Record Research unfortunately said that they haven't talked about plans updating it yet. I encourage for future editions they add the features they use in current RR books like pictures of the artists that made everything happen, B-sides, price guides, and most importantly, expanded information and death dates. I encourage collectors and music enthusiasts to buy this. ... Read more


148. The Marilyn Encyclopedia
by Adam Victor
list price: $38.22
our price: $38.22
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Asin: 1585671886
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: Overlook Press
Sales Rank: 193396
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This stunning visual compendium of Marilyn's life includes hundreds of rare photographs and easy access to all of the information on Marilyn's life and times. With complete information on Marilyn's films, including comprehensive credit listings, cross-referencing, a comprehensive bibliography, and an extensive name index, The Marilyn Encyclopedia surpasses everything that has come before it. ... Read more

Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, Unweidly, unproofed
This huge, bulky book has categories of of information about things I'd never even think of asking about Marilyn but was glad to read. The photos are gorgeous and many are hard to find elsewhere. I had to deduct a star because, for all the effort that went into this book, it obviously was never proofread and is spattered with typos. I can live with the bulk of the book (which makes it hard to read) because it allows for the big, clear photos, but not with all the mistakes. It pulls the work down a notch.

4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and current
Collates existing information and mythology into an alphabetical format. Balances accepted facts with rumor and speculation. Includes a wide variety of photos, both posed glamour shots of the "Marilyn" persona and more natural, subdued glimpses of the woman behind the image. Refers to the Christie's auction, the Leaming bio, and several other late '90s happenings. (Negatives: Many typos, misspellings, and pointers to Web sites which are likely to vanish tomorrow.) Recommended overall, though dedicated fans will find few surprises. A great book to flip open to a random page and begin reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!
As a rather new Marilyn fan/collector, this book is invaluable to me as a resource. It is a huge book, alphabetized and cross-referenced, covering everything from movies, music, books, and biographies to gowns, hotels, cars, cities, and family. There are also, of course, hundreds of gorgeous pictures! What I'm enjoying the most is that as I read other Marilyn books, I can fact-check and look up obscurely mentioned items to learn more, or gain perspective. An objective, fact-filled, exhaustive collection of Marilyn trivia.

5-0 out of 5 stars Updated Marilyn reference work recommended for MM students
The basis I'm using as comparison is with an earlier book, The Unabridged Marilyn-Her Life From A to Z. The Marilyn Encyclopedia's assets is that there is more information, there are splendid colour photographs not present in the earlier book. In fact, it boasts 170 full-clour photos and 205 b&w ones. Some of the colour ones take two pages. As for the entries, they compare favourably with the other book. And each letter, A,B,C,D... et cetera is heralded by a colour photo.

One key difference is that the entry for each movie lists the cast and credits, as well as any Academy Award nominations and wins. She herself wasn't nominated for any. It is also more up to date, 1999 compared to 1987. Much has happened re people. Inbetween those 12 years, Bette Davis, Dean Martin, Joe DiMaggio, and Frank Sinatra among others have died, and this book updates those facts. Yes, the domestic postage stamp that was released in 1995 is included. However, I was surprised Marilyn Manson wasn't included, as his stage name is an amalgam of Marilyn [Monroe], [Charles] Manson.

Yet the one factor that differentiates the two books is this entry: "Internet." As the first paragraph states, "The world's most popular woman has spawned thousands of tribute sites on the World Wide Web. Type in the world "Marilyn Monroe" on any of the major search engines and you get back a bewildering number of matches." And I was also amazed to see how many actresses have portrayed Marilyn-based characters or how many fictional novels have been written on her, so "most popular woman" does have some merit to it.

The Marilyn Encyclopedia easily supplants its earlier predecessor.

3-0 out of 5 stars THE SILVER SCREEN'S SEXY SIREN FROM A TO Z
Everything you always wanted to know about the silver screen's sexiest star --- from A to Z --- in one expensive, heavy book that belongs (only) on the shelves of die-hard devotees.
Topics include 'babysitting,' 'hair,' 'Arthur Miller' and more quotes about and by Marilyn than you can shake a Demerol at. One of our faves is this bon mot featuring Marilyn on (what else?) sex: 'No sex is wrong if there's love in it. But too often people act like it's gymnasium work, mechanical.' Proof that Marilyn supported the Olympics? ... Read more


149. Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot - And Cold - Climate Cultures
by Sarah A. Lanier
list price: $8.99
our price: $8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1581580223
Catlog: Book (2000-10)
Publisher: McDougal Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 41075
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A clear, brief, practical introduction
Sarah A. Lanier, Foreign to Familiar (Hagerstown, MD: McDougal Publishing,
2000), 128pp.

In her book Foreign to Familiar, Sarah Lanier seeks to aid the reader in
cross-cultural communication and relationships by highlighting the differences
between hot- and cold-climate cultures. While these concepts are unfamiliar to
most readers, Lanier quickly introduces and defines the categories before
discussing them in detail. Having lived in the Middle East, South America, Africa,
Europe, and New Zealand, Lanier (who is American) is certainly qualified to
address the issue. The reader gets the impression while reading that this book is
the fruit of her own experiences and frequent lectures on the subject in
different settings.

According to Lanier, "the population of the entire world can roughly be
divided into two parts. The two groups represented are 'hot-climate'
(relationship-based) cultures and 'cold-climate' (task-oriented) cultures" (15-16). Lanier
recognizes there may some overlap in the two categories, and cites one unnamed
person who suggested that she use the terms "hot/tribal" and "cold/urban"
(127). She also recognizes that personalities differ within each culture (128).
The primary distinction between the two cultures is that of relational focus as
opposed to task focus. Those in the warm-climates tend to emphasize the
relationships involved between individuals while those in cold-climates focus on the
efficient performance of tasks.

After defining the groups and explaining the primary relationship/task
distinction, Lanier spends the next six chapters explaining further manifestations
of the cultural differences. In Chapter Three, the focus is on direct versus
indirect communication. Chapter Four emphasizes the individualism of the
cold-climates over against the group-identity of the hot-climates. Privacy, highly
valued in the cold, is contrasted with inclusion as the norm in the cold-climate
in Chapter Five.

Chapters Six and Eight discuss two elements of society in which the
differences between hot- and cold-climates are very evident: hospitality and time.
Those with international travel experience will find themselves laughing with
familiarity as they read of Lanier's experiences. Of course, the hot-climates
demonstrate much more warm hospitality, while the cold-climates are extremely
conscious of time and planning.

In Chapter Seven, Lanier introduces a different distinction between cultures
which sometimes clouds the distinction between hot- and cold-climate cultures.
This distinction is between high- and low-context cultures. Drawing from
Edward T. Hall's Beyond Culture, Lanier defines the high-context culture as the
one which has a long history wherein traditions have become very formalized.
Low-context cultures are those whose history is briefer, whose population is more
diverse, and in which very few traditions have developed.

Some of the strongest points of Lanier's book are its brevity, clarity, and
engaging tone of Lanier's style. The reader is aware that Lanier is not writing
an academic treatise. Her aim is pragmatic. She delivers fully in Chapter
Nine, entitled "Practical Next Steps". Here simple steps are outlined to aid the
international traveler or other person who finds himself or herself developing
cross-cultural relationships. Perhaps the most beneficial element of the book
(whether Lanier or her publisher deserves this praise, the reviewer is not
sure) is the summary found at the end of each chapter. It is not as if the
chapters are so lengthy that this is a necessity, but the brief outline form of the
summaries makes relocating information very easy.

Unfortunately, Lanier does not point the reader to further information with
the exception of the brief mention of two sources. This is partly
understandable, in that the bulk of the book's content is based on lessons learned through
Lanier's experiences. Certainly since the time that she developed her ideas on
this subject, she has found other sources to which she could point those with
a hunger for further study. An annotated bibliography would be extremely
helpful in future editions.

This shortcoming notwithstanding, the book has made a positive contribution
to the field of cross-cultural communication. In Foreign to Familiar, Sarah
Lanier has provided a clear, brief, practical introduction to several key issues.
The book is written on the popular level, making it accessible to a wide
audience. This reviewer enjoyed the book and recommends it as a primer for anyone
involved in cross-cultural communication.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short and helpful
"Foreign to Familiar" is a short very easy toread book that really is far more helpful than I could have ever imagined.As an anglo who has had relationships with hispanics my entire life I thoughtI understood hispanic people pretty well.After reading the book I now understand why some of the most important people in my life have made such stinging criticisms of me.They believe I am selfish and egotistical, I believed that they couldn't make decisions, were foolish with thier money, and let their family take advantage of them.I now understand why my friends act the way they do and can begin to see myself through their eyes.I wish someone could have taught me this stuff 20 years ago.

5-0 out of 5 stars Learn how to communicate cross-culturally
As a college Professor, I have been using this book as a textbook to help my students learn how to communicate cross-culturally for almost 2 years now.It is a real eye openner both for students from Mid-America and for students from Latin America and Asia.It is so easy to be mis-understood. This study can heal the wounds and rejection that many people feel when they try to relate at work and in the community.Better yet, it can help us to prevent the hurts in the first place.I give it an A+.

5-0 out of 5 stars wanna work overseas, read this one
This is a really helpfull book. I suggest that everyone who works with people from other cultures shoule read it. great insight's, good story's and the book hit's the point.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for real life situations!
This book really opened my eyes to the differences in various cultures groups and why communications were sometimes muddied or difficult. My job often requires communicating by mail or email with professionals in other countries, so this book has been a tremendous help in learning how to understand people in other cultures. The author breaks down the world's cultures into two basic categories: hot climate and cold climate. She then discusses the cultural differences in these two groups including the ways they communicate. The explanations on how time is perceived differently by each group and on indirect versus direct communications were so valuable! The book has changed the way I correspond with Africans, Hispanics, and Asians totally! Thanks so much, Sarah, for knowing how important this information was and for putting it into a book! ... Read more


150. Dishing Hollywood: The Real Scoop on Tinseltown's Most Notorious Scandals
by Laurie Jacobson
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.87
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Asin: 1581823703
Catlog: Book (2003-11)
Publisher: Cumberland House
Sales Rank: 27658
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dishing Hollywood: Recipe for Success
I highly recommend Dishing Hollywood The Real Scoop on Tinseltown's Most Notorious Scandals. Laurie Jacobson really knows her stuff and serves up heaping portions of scandal and intrigue of Hollywood's most notorious stars. I have read all of the author's books and Dishing Hollywood is Jacobson at her best. Jacobson brilliantly spins tale after sordid tale, "sprinkles" famous film quotes throughout each chapter and "tops" off with a recipe of the star's favorite dish (or, in some cases, their last meal!). Dishing Hollywood is a tasty treat, and I can't wait for Jacobson's next book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Whatta Dish! A Collection of Hollywood Scandals Du Jour
I fortuitously fell into this little gem the day after xmas.....a belated "BEST" present to myself.
While I already own Jacobson's two other books and hold her in high regard, this book proves that she is only getting better as a film historian and writer.
She assumes a slick, quasi-cinema noir persona in her narrative and mixes in a Sandra Lee-like easy 'recipe' that takes a not too subtle slam at each of the scandals/stories she relates. The vanity of the 'dish' (aka scandal/tragedy/hard luck story) only enhances the general readability of this book. This is a novel approach that makes an already interesting product even more appealing. I kept thinking that the author did a terrific job with the material she was presenting.
Aside from the kidding around, this book is really rather fair and factual. The author knows her stuff and relies on knowledgeable sources to substantiate or refute claims made in the book.
My only criticism of this book is that I wish it had been longer and had covered some other stories that I find interesting and want to know more about. Hopefully there will be a follow-up to this book which will do that.
Anyway, this is a very good read and worth the $ and time spent reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A shocking and lurid collection
Organized around the theme of food to the extent of featuring choice recipes with each biographical entry, Dishing Hollywood: The Real Scoop On Tinseltown's Most Notorious Scandals by television writer and producer Laurie Jacobson is a compelling look into more than forty tabloid-worthy exploits of Hollywood's stars ranging from the early twentieth century down to the present day. A shocking and lurid collection guaranteed to add spicy conversational anecdotes to one's Hollywood themed cooking, the recipes are as fun as the scandals are fascinating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wet your chops on this!!!
Fabulous book full of infamous celebrity events and some unknown ones as well. From Marilyn to Divine, the book is packed with juicy info. Their last meals,favorite foods,what they ate before they knocked someone off. It's all here, great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Damn! All that tragedy can make a girl hungry!
Rumors and myths about the some of the worlds most beloved stars shattered! Murder! Scintillating debauchery! Drug abuse!
And recipes too!

Jacobson pulls you in and takes you for a ride around the tawdry side of Tinseltown. Before you know it the book is done like a guilty cookie binge but alas you are left with the everlasting recipes. So moo down some more!

Whip up some goose liver pate and pretend you are Monty Clift. Fading away, hoping he will have his old beautiful face back up in heaven before La Liz had to save him in the wreck that smashed it.
Or wish a peaceful rest for the sweet Sharon Tate and her poor unborn baby over some cheese enchiladas. Sharon's last meal..

But that's just the book! Jacobson's writing style is a gas.
Imagine sitting down with a cigarette girl working Ciro's and having her tell alllll about Gary Cooper and his huge uh, salamie. (I'll save the thrills for the book.)
Unknown facts she's got but shy she's not!
Get this book! There is nothing else like it! ... Read more


151. That's All: Bobby Darin On Record, Stage & Screen, Revised and Expanded Second Edition
by Jeff Bleiel
list price: $24.95
our price: $21.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 096759734X
Catlog: Book (2004-09)
Publisher: Tiny Ripple Books
Sales Rank: 68999
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This new, updated edition of "That's All: Bobby Darin On Record, Stage & Screen" (called "the ultimate Darin reference book" by Billboard magazine) chronicles the life and professional accomplisments of the classic pop singer ("Mack The Knife," "Beyond The Sea"), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and show business icon Bobby Darin (1936-1973).

Singer, songwriter, actor, television personality, musician, teen idol, and consummate Las Vegas entertainer, Bobby Darin had "the most interesting career of any performer of the second half of the 20th century," according to author Jeff Bleiel.

Based on extensive archival research and interviews with over 25 professional associates (including producers, arrangers, musicians, and actors) who worked with Darin, this book provides coverage and analysis of:

--Classic Darin hits including "Splish Splash," "Mack The Knife," "Beyond The Sea," "Dream Lover," "If I Were A Carpenter" and many more

--Darin's appearances in 13 movies (including three in which he co-starred with his wife Sandra Dee) and numerous television shows, including his own 1972-73 series

--Darin's legendary live performances in Las Vegas, at The Copacabana in New York, and elsewhere

--His success as a songwriter, his acclaimed work in different musical genres (rock'n'roll, pop standards, folk, jazz, country), and his activities in the political and social movements of the 1960s. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Chronicles the life and career accomplishments
Now in a revised and updated second edition, That's All Bobby Darin: On Record, Stage And Screen chronicles the life and career accomplishments of pop star and show business idol of the second half of the 20th century. Chapters discuss Darin's appearances in thirteen movies, unforgettable live performances, and his widely recognized and successful work writing songs in a wide variety of musical genres including rock 'n' roll, folk, jazz, and country. Black-and-white photographs illustrate this definitive guide to a truly charismatic performer's professional achievements.

5-0 out of 5 stars The source for info on Bobby Darin's great career
This is no superficial "celebrity bio" -- this book's focus is on Bobby Darin's career, and author Jeff Bleiel goes into great detail on how Darin created a brilliant, and unexpectedly varied, body of work as a musical artist. It includes fascinating insight from people who worked with Darin such as Atlantic Records' president Ahmet Ertegun, Capitol Records producer Nik Venet, jazz pianist/arranger Bobby Scott, and The Byrds' Roger McGuinn (who played guitar in Darin's band before forming The Byrds).There is also solid coverage, and revealing anecdotes, about Darin's work in movies and television.No real dirt on Darin's personal life, although many of those who worked with him are quoted at length about Darin's personality, what he was like to work with, and what drove him.Go to other bios for the scoop on his marriage to Sandra Dee, but come here for real reporting and analysis into the career and legacy of one of entertainment's all-time greatest artists. ... Read more


152. The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us
by Robert H. Frank, Philip J. Cook
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
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Asin: 0140259953
Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 99808
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Explanation for the Growing Economic Inequality
The basic premise of this book is that the U.S. has too many markets where the "star" or top performer gets a large percentage of the proceeds. Examples are the sports market, the movie star market and the publishing market; The reasons given are;

-Technology. National distribution channels such as network television make it easier for an individual to penetrate the market. For example, at one time villages and towns had their own musicians. Now a singer can make a CD and sell it nationally.

-Falling transportation and tariff costs. Goods have gotten lighter. It is easier to send computer discs all over the world than books. CD's are lighter than phonograph records

-- Mental shelf space constraints. We have a limit to the number of items we can keep in our head..."the amount of information we can actually use is thus a declining fraction of the total information available."

-Weakening of regulations and civil society. At one time, informal and formal rules limited the winner take all markets. Now, like free agents in baseball, the top performers have the leverage to demand high prices.

-Self-reinforcing processes. This is another way of saying "success begets success." For example, a sales person does well and gets bigger customers. A person does well and the word of mouth referral causes them to saturate the market. This virtuous cycle increases the income and power of top performers.

The author argues that winner take all markets are not good for society. People are unrealistically optimistic about their own chances of winning "a prize." Thus they are siphoned off from other productive endeavors.

This book was helpful to me in understanding today's economy and job market. If anything, the winners are doing better than ever today, long after the book was published. Just take a look at the latest article on CEO salaries.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some Amusing, Yet Very Scary and Disturbing Truths
Frank and Cook's book, The Winner Take All Society, forces us to reconsider our position on the inherent good of the free market in light of newly emerging forms of destructive, albeit free, competition and growing income inequality. Written in the vein of a thinly veiled rebuke of the moral and social decline of the American economy and society, the book appears to focus too much on specific individuals, and merely states a few implications for society as a whole. In my mind, what the authors posit as the verities for individuals and corporations under a winner take all banner just as readily applies to the nation and ultimately, the world. Taking their arguments one step further, advances in high technology, such as the internet and telecommunications, have increased productivity, transformed labor markets all over the world, and created uniform standards for goods and services that can now be consumed anywhere in the world. In effect, technology has made the world a similar, smaller place. Thus, what is true economically in America now is most likely true elsewhere, though cultural differences still remain.

While winner take all markets can, with the aid of technology, make the goods and services of the few available to everyone in the world, they also have many negative consequences. Winner take all markets magnify the consequences of first mover advantages, making it difficult, if not impossible, for those late to the competition, be they corporations or countries, to establish themselves. Winner take all markets continue to increase the disparity between wealthy, industrialized countries of the North and the impoverished, besieged economies of the South. Winner take all markets continuously lure our most talented individuals into socially unproductive and often individually and socially destructive tasks. Many of the world's economies already invest too little for the future, be they nations struggling to develop (such as those on the African continent), or fully industrialized nations (such as the United States), and the growth of winner take all markets has encouraged wasteful patterns of investment and consumption. Finally, winner take all markets have the proven ability to undermine what is in the best interests of our culture and society, and given the terrifying ability of winner-take-all markets to rigidly engender and enforce conformity, standardization, and one-upmanship, this growing phenomenon can only be counter-productive and disruptive to the efforts of indigenous peoples to maintain and preserve their fragile and threatened cultures.

Quite literally, in winner-take-all competitions, the rules really are there are no rules. As such, these competitions lead people to do very crazy things. When large payoffs are at stake and there is a very real certainty of the loser(s) getting absolutely nothing for their effort, contestants have powerful incentives to spend money to enhance their chances of winning, and have little or no moral compunction to exercise restraint and sensibility in their behavior. This is especially the case where unfettered, free competition is the rule and covenants and/or regulations to ensure orderly, equitable markets are not the norm.

Thus, there seems to be an inverse, negative relationship between investment in these all or nothing competitions and their (social) value to the larger group. As the pace of investment, size of the investment and the risk associated with the investment in the winner take all competition increases, the social and economic value of the competition steadily decreases. While these investments look justifiable from the individual's or nation's standpoint, especially if there is a considerable chance that the individual stands to win, and win big, the concomitant dueling that these investments fuel almost always appears excessive from the standpoint of the society. As such, these all-or nothing competitions have led to a plethora of economic versions of military arms races between individuals, corporations and nations.

Although one could surmise much of the content from experience and simple common sense, I generally found the book to be a straightforward and thought-provoking read. Yet, many of the examples demonstrating the extent to which such competitions have infiltrated all aspects of our economic life, as well as the often ridiculous, comical and increasingly desperate attempts by individuals to thrive in these all-or-nothing environments, profoundly scared and disturbed me. The authors could have done away with the last chapter, a rehashing of the same old remedies to the problem, and written a much better ending which could have summarized the main points of the book and discussed their implications, going forward, for all participants in the new global economy.

In conclusion, these all-or-nothing competitions have steadily become 'the only game in town'. Yet, I seriously doubt that these dangerous economic games are really worth playing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Too long, but still worth it
This book would make a fantastic 30 page essay. It covers very important ideas and backs them up with analysis and examples. But then it starts to repeat itself, and bring out too many examples without new ideas.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Wonderful World of Rent-Seeking!
In the early 1980s, a number of pieces on rent-seeking behavior and tournament style competition appeared in the economics literature. This book highlights the fact that these models of competition are increasingly possible and applicable in a wide variety of settings. The authors then point out that this development is lamentable in that these models of competition, unlike older models of market-based competition, do not in general predict economic efficiency as the eventual outcome nor do they lead to what one would commonly perceive to be equitable outcomes. This is all fine so far as it goes, but this is not new ground.

The only real contribution of the book is the debatable proposition that yardstick competition has increased for which some anecodotal evidence is offered. Yet, in many of these stories, yardstick competition in the large has replaced yardstick competition in the small. For example, now the third best opera star in the US earns little whereas before the third-best opera star in Cincinnati earned little. From this premise, it is difficult to draw judgments as to whether these developments are good or bad (this is the realm of the theory of second-best to economists). Hence, even the premise is a bit shaky.

While I thought it was a pleasant enough read, in the words of Dorothy Parker, there is no "there" there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Commentary from a Chicago school follower
This book is very well written, presenting an argument questioning some of the assumptions that the neo-classical economists make regarding human behavior. While I formerly thought that the outcome of a free market is always socially optimal, I cannot resist the conclusion after reading Frank that some regulations are necessary to divert us from our tendency to engage in arms races for relative status into other more productive activities. The book presents a sound argument for why popular culture has degraded so, and why some people make grossly large incomes, explaining each not on sociological grounds, but rather in terms of the increasing scope and competitiveness of markets. It is not technical in style, so even an Econ B.A. like myself can understand it in its totality (or anyone else, for that matter). The book promises in the beginning to demonstrate who there is not necessary a trade off between equity and efficiency, and in the end, it delivers. More than anything, if you look at the salary of an NBA player and question, "Is his jumpshot really worth $50 million/year? Are we paying him for something that is socially valuable?" then this book is for you. Frank's answer to that question is NO, and that incomes like those induce people to make erroneous career choices (like students who opt for playing hoops over studying math). The result of the free market then, is wasted talent that could have been useful in another application. MIZZOU ECON RULES! ... Read more


153. Billboard's Top Pop Albums 1955-2001
by Joel Whitburn
list price: $99.95
our price: $84.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0898201470
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Record Research Inc.
Sales Rank: 430411
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From pop music's early LPs to its latest CDs, Top Pop Albums 1955-2001 is a sweeping, stunning saga of Billboard's Pop Albums chart. This artist-by-artist listing includes every charted album from 1955 through June 30, 2001 - over 22,000 in all by more than 5,200 recording artists, and the more than 225,000 cuts from those albums. Along with complete chart data, artist biographies and complete track listings for every artist, Top Pop Albums sports new features such as each album's CD availability, data from the newly researched Top Pop Catalog Albums chart, updated album pricing and more, making this the biggest, broadest, absolute best albums book ever! Hardcover, ISBN 0-89820-147-0. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is THE BEST book on the subject-Bar NONE!!!!!
I first got this book in 1976 and have gotten it every time it's updated, and I have only two complaints about it; 1) it only gets updated every 3 to 5 years and 2) it's so damned expensive! But once you open it (and it feels like an LA Phone book), you forget the price and just OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH at how fact-filled and interesting it it! It practically tells you the last time your favorite artist picked his nose! It has EVERYTHING! I only with they would update it something like every two years. Get it, along with the Albums and Singles books, and you really don't need anything else. This book is THE B E S T !

5-0 out of 5 stars Cool
I've been on Record Research's list for many years, and this was my very first Pop Albums book I purchased. It's got several amazing features. The best feature is that you can see which albums made the Pop Catalog albums chart. Although all of the artists do not have their complete discographies listed (only the albums that were charted on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart are in this book), and not much facts and trivia under albums, I still think this book deserves to be on music lovers shelves. I hope in the next edition they will show what current albums that can be found on vinyl. ... Read more


154. Malicious Resplendence: The Paintings of Robt. Williams
by Robert Williams
list price: $49.95
our price: $49.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560973668
Catlog: Book (2003-10)
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Sales Rank: 127540
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The definitive collection of paintings by outsider icon Robert Williams.

Simply put, this is the coffee-table collection of the paintings of Robert Williams, one of the most lauded and controversial American painters of the 20th Century. Williams sprang from the hot rod culture of Southern California and the roots of underground comix, ultimately transcending both by cultivating a mastery of oil paints and forging a career as the preeminent artist among a generation of painters gathering inspiration from the shadowed corners of contemporary culture. Williams singlehandedly became the model of the "Outsider" art movement, influencing a generation of artists to create without concern for the fine art world, which Williams held in contempt (a feeling reciprocated in kind for years until recently, with Williams's past two shows at Tony Shafrazi's New York gallery selling out before opening night.

Originally released in 1997 and now back in print, Malicious Resplendence features over 200 full-color paintings spanning Williams' life and career, reproduced with breathtaking clarity (no small feat with Williams' hyper-kinetic visions). Along with a comprehensive and carefully compiled retrospective of Williams' body of work, the book also features extensive biographical information by critic C.R. Stecyk, an introduction by noted curator Walter Hopps, and dozens of rare and never-before-seen photos of the artist and related ephemera. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars No better book of this sort
A must have for aserious Williams fan. Considerd by most to be the founder of this genre. Exceeded my expectations.Xlnt value.

5-0 out of 5 stars Retinal Delights
Immerse yourself in this mind-bending collection of original art. A full compliment of drawings, sketches, comic book covers and paintings round out this look at the career (still going strong) of Robert Williams. The paintings are lavishly reproduced on high-quality paper stock and the over-sized dimensions of this book are perfectly suited to appreciate the artist's awe-inspiring technique. A MUST for any fan of underground art, culture and surrealism!

5-0 out of 5 stars America's greatest living painter.
I have been a follower of Robert Williams' work for about 8 years. I own all but one of his previous books and was under the assumption that "Malicious Resplendence" was a collection of new work only. Thankfully I was wrong, and completely blown away. Not only does this huge beautifly hard back show his most recent paintings, the book is actually a collection of his entire history of art. Robt.Wms is truly a master painter in the classic sense, a painter of our century who can actually stand up to the vision and draftsmanship of the greatest painters of history ... Read more


155. Adcult USA
by James B. Twitchell
list price: $22.50
our price: $22.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0231103255
Catlog: Book (1997-04-15)
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Sales Rank: 288634
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A spirited exploration of the culture created when advertising becomes not just a central institution, but the central institution. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Advertising drives cultural evolution, so better enjoy it !
AdCult is about culture and advertising; both the culture of advertising and the influence of advertising on culture. This is not something we see explored very often or very deeply. As the author points out, one of the main reasons for this is similar to the reason dairy farmers tend to drink proportionately less milk than other groups. We are so immersed in advertising that we stop thinking about it as a topic of study for its own sake. It becomes just another object to sometimes attract our momentary attention, as when we stop to watch an award show treating advertisements as entertainment or when Saturday Night Live runs parodies of commercials.

Twitchell does take a close, inside look at culture of advertising and that in itself makes this book very valuable. He also makes an argument about advertising and culture. The unique memorability of advertising, acknowledges Twitchell, allows it to take on the function of shared cultural memory, and has therefore has inevitably replaced less memorable literature and science. This is a valuable if unoriginal insight, which many of the old-fashioned types refer to as the "dumbing down" of culture. But wait, there's more! The twist in AdCult is that Twitchell, while admitting that advertising culture is mindless and superficial, compellingly argues that this "dumbing down" is really a good thing.

It's good that we are inundated with superficially memorable images and phrases rather than literature and science? Yes, says Twitchell, and the old fogies who think otherwise just aren't getting it, they are mainly just feeling threatened by how advertising is "stealing their thunder." No, Twitchell is not some cyberpunk, he is (by profession) a university professor who did the research for this book in order to teach a class about advertising.

It's not that he never believed advertising was powerful, it was that he originally thought that power was a good thing, and then came to believe it was harmless anyway. Twitchell was apparently very impressed by advertising critics of the 50's like Vance Packard and Bryan Wilson Key, and took home the message that if advertising was so powerful, the advertisers must be doing something right. He later seems to have decided that advertising has lost most of its impact through constant immersion, familiarity, and increasing superficiality for ever wider appeal. So now, there is no reason to despise this aspect of culture which has redefined the way we speak and what we desire. Now it has become the source of our very substance, Twitchell argues, and bless it for that.

Twitchell characterizes pomo philosophers as intellectuals in a matter-of-fact way, while taking pains to point out how terribly quaint and old-fashioned are the culture critics who imagine there to be some basis for value in human life beyond what attracts our attention or feels good. Ed Hirsch's populist attempt to foster cultural literacy is to Twitchell hopelessly "whitebread." There is nothing of special value in what we traditionally think of as literacy. The main problem is that Hirsch's terms make hopelessly poor ad copy. Rather, Hirsch should have used phrases from commercial jingles as his basis for cultural literacy, since that's what really defines our culture at this time in history.

Twitchell reminds me a lot of the anthropologist who got too close to her subjects and couldn't report on them objectively any more. No, he doesn't see advertisers as kind, gentle, or noble savages. He accurately sees them accurately as promoting "commercial discourse" for a variety of self-interested reasons, including but not limited to trying to move products and create markets.

It is his view of culture that is wrong (or at least a collection of half-truths) and adopted from the twisted mindset of advertising culture. Twitchell completely ignores (or disavows?) any relationship between culture and the capacity for human thought. In the pomo tradition, he treats human thought as if it springs in final from individual heads, connected to each other by whatever arbitrary superficial ideas happen to be floating around and catching our attention at the time. In the advertising tradition descended from an idiot cousin of Freudian theory, he fully buys the argument that people are instinctively aquisitive but need to be told what to acquire by others.

More subtly, Twitchell encourages the view that cultural literacy plays no role in facilitating complex human thinking processes, except that it makes ideas "memorable" and that advertising is good because it does this really well. To discover why this view is wrong from a scientific perspective, a good start is Merlin Donald's "A Mind So Rare." Memory is certainly central to thinking, but literacy changed our minds in a very real and very fundamental way that is not independent of the content of culture, nor is it bound to Ed Hirsch's "whitebread" version of cultural literacy by means of key terms.

Put simply, humans are a symbolic species and the content of literate culture is part of what supplies the meaning of the symbols that enable us to think the way we do. We know that people don't think completely differently as a result of different kinds of cultures or languages. We can translate a great deal between cultures and still understand each other to a great extent. However the content of culture does play a central role in what kind of ideas are generated and accumulated over time, and so the path of cultural evolution.

Twitchell's conclusion that AdCult is superficial mind candy, but good enough for shared meaning, and his assumption that social order is independent of the content of culture (or even improved by superficially memorable images) will probably pass most people by without much thought in this slick advertising-like presentation. That powerfully supports half of the author's argument, that our minds do soak up slick memorable images like a sponge. It also reveals the dark side of Twitchell's perspective, the one that relentlessly wants to believe that there is nothing being lost except a few quaint stories.

1-0 out of 5 stars A disappointing dance around a complicated topic
I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of this book -- an analysis that promised to expand the debate of the over the goods vs. evils of commercialism and its consumers. Unfortunately, it fell way short. Twitchell seems to think that his audience is (like a commerical audience?) satisfied by brief, unreferenced anecdotes as evidence of a dynamic, give and take between advertisers and their audience. While seeming lofty (and at times arrogant), Twitchell fails to back up his claims that media culture is, indeed, akin to art and religion, and responds to, rather than preempts and sets, cultural trends. I would love for another edition of this book to be released with expanded facts and figures (for which Twitchell only adds a sprinkle here and there, when they back up his arguments), and certainly some documentation of his sources. A real unconvincing disappointment. Save your money.

4-0 out of 5 stars thorough, comprehensive, good writing style
I hate ads and haven't watched commercial TV or listened to commercial radio in many years now due to the relentless and frenzied assault of advertising. I credit the feeling people now have that silence is somehow strange with the immersion they have in endless stimulation. We don't know what it means to mentally sit still.

Mr. Twitchell finds advertising a fascinating cultural phenomenon, the very bedrock of modern culture and I find that hard to deny. He interest prods him to go deeply into all sides of advertising and he seems at pains to deflate any pretensions about high art and culture, claiming that ads are to our time what cathedrals and the paintings of the old masters were to the Middle Ages. While this may be plausable, at least in the Middle Ages you could get away from the cathedrals and paintings now and then!

When you finish with this book you will have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the field. The author goes into great detail about the industry and the history of advertising with plenty of illustrations you will recognize from TV and print.

He looks at the subject with wit and insight but doesn't attempt much examination of what ad saturation might be doing to us with it's direct attempt to guide fantasy to alight on the material.

He identifies every trick in the adman's book and believes we may be reaching a limit (my heart beats faster!) to advertising as the content of many ads now show irony in the message itself, a winking agreement with the targeted consumer that the whole act of selling through ads is psychologically bankrupt and no more than nonsensical entertainment...like the emperor having no clothes and clearly pointing it out himself while mugging and giggling for the amusement of all.

As Twitchell says, the link between advertising and sales has never been conclusively made. But that's OK because we claim an equally tenuous link between our rationality and our behavior. The only question is who is fooled more, the consumer or the advertiser? As knowledge and intellect fall back before feeling and fantasy, are we now in a very comfortable, convenient and attractive fools paradise?

4-0 out of 5 stars Advertising History and its Politics gets a fair shake
Now its not just because I make a living in the world of advertising that I say this, Twitchell's book goes a long way to say that advertising is not the evil, subliminal, dark force that many claim it to be.

If you feel this way after reading the book, you might be a professional student at a liberal arts college or you failed to read what I believe to be the overall thesis:

He sees advertising as the principle meaning maker in contemporary society. Do not be confused, this book is not about how the evil geniuses of Madison Avenue plot to separate us from our hard earned money. Though the book does have some fine examples of the advertiser taking advantage of the public trust.

Advertising, for better or worse, works to unify our culture and communities, albeit at the expense of increased consumerism. I think you give those of us who are proud to work in advertising way too much credit when you state that we infiltrated your thought process and somehow forced you to buy junk that you don't need because you consumed our ad.

I like the fact that he says the average American may see up to 3,000 advertising images each day. It is getting harder and harder to be noticed. He says this early on in this book and it helps set the stage for his exploration of different advertising strategies that have evolved through time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful, Witty and Educational
To discover why Americans are sold on advertising, read this book. Twitchell examines the dpeths to which advertisers will go to win the affection of the American people. The book is funny, educational and actually fun to read. ... Read more


156. Hell's Angels : A Strange and Terrible Saga (Modern Library)
by HUNTER S. THOMPSON
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067960331X
Catlog: Book (1999-12-07)
Publisher: Modern Library
Sales Rank: 159909
Average Customer Review: 3.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Gonzo journalist and literary roustabout Hunter S. Thompson flies with the angels--Hell's Angels, that is. He's lived with them, he knows them and their machines, he speaks their langauge,and he reports it back to the world with all the fearsome force of a souped-up cyclone burning rubber. ... Read more

Reviews (68)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hog Wild
Roll up your sleeves boys and girls, if you read Hell's Angels the Doctor is going to inject you with a dosage of Outlaw Reality and Hog Rage as it were. The Hell's Angels are the last vestiges of the American Outlaw, 1%'s they're called, outside the outside, committed to a life of Freedom, punctuated by violence, booze, barbituates, indiscriminate sex and of course cruising the Amercian Wastelands on their Great Metallic Steeds, stripped down Harley Davidson's known affectionately as Hogs. Hunter S. is in his own right a one percenter. This book shows the Dr. of Gonzo's journalistic zeal, as he braves the world of the Angels, driving not a Hog as he should but a Dark Shadow. This is only too perfect as Hunter is the dark specter following the dastardly deeds of these bastard bikers. This book displays Hunter's ballsy journalism, as well as allowing him to focus on a central theme that would go on to pervade his other works: the outlaw and his importance to American society, a society that is dredged to the hilt with phonies, gutless wonders, souless greedmongers, hypocrites, cowards, politicians and other scum, capitalisitc, bureacratic, pig-like and otherwise. Hell's Angels is the journalistic calm that precedes the storm of hallucinagenic brilliance that was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. So one way or the other let the Doctor of Gonzo vaccinate your mind from the mindless surge that makes up the money grubbing, TV watching majority of this Great Country of Ours. (...)

4-0 out of 5 stars The stroy behind the emergence of Raoul Duke
This book, which is a fine read, seems to not quite follow the trend of dialogue style of the more recent Thompson books. It is much more of a documentary then a commentary. Hunter blazes off in a convertible following the ruthless swine who were the California Hell's Angels. The book documents a year that took place in the mid-sixties. Hunter tries his hardest to paint the Angels as innocent of various charges such as murder, kidnapping, and rape; he admits of course that they were there, but things usually just got out of hand, naturally. He became close friiends with a few and truely felt that there was an appeal of belonging to the tight nit group, that had more order to it than it was actually given credit for. This was the first point in his life that Hunter habitually used hard drugs, and I have to say that, personally, I think this was the adnventure that twisted our beloved Dr. Gonzo. The adventure comes to a sudden end as Hunter gets stomped senseless by a couple of Angels he didn't know to well. The moral of the story? The edge is out there, and no one strives to discover it more than the Hell's Angels, except maybe Hunter S. Thompson.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Isn't Your Typical Thompson
Having read Hell's Angels, A Strange and Terrible saga at least eight times starting in 1968, I never cease to be amazed at the criticisms leveled against it in the ensuing years, the major one being that it's not a Fear and Loathing book. I'm pretty sure it was originally a (very) long article written for The Nation magazine. The Nation ain't Rolling Stone, kids. If you are coming to this book expecting Hunter's usual blend of fact, fiction, and hallucinations, you will be sorely disappointed. "Gonzo journalist" though he is, the operative part there was journalist. He had, after all, developed a rather strong food habit since birth, and had no desire to kick it. He explores the Angels' mystique by letting them provide the history, their then current attitudes, and their lives as outlaws outside the system. He then blends research and his observations gleaned from riding with them for the better part of a year into the mix, producing a riveting book.

Since the recent death of Marlon Brando, his movie The Wild One has gained a new audience; it is in fact based on an incident Hunter chronicles in this book, the Rape of Hollister. Oddly, nothing remotely similar to the movie happened there, and some other legendary "motorcycle riots" such as the one at Laconia, New Hampshire, weren't initially riots at all, and certainly didn't involve the Angels, though the media portrayed these events as the brink of Armageddon and gave middle America yet another "dangerous group running wild in their midst," something else to freak over in addition to Communists hiding under every rock.

The Angels became, over time, what people expected them to be. Hunter recognized this transformational quality in his own profession: if other reporters, from respected national magazines, could make up stories or at least embellish them enough to freak people out, he could do it better! What you will find in Hell's Angels is great reporting, an unflinching look at real wildness and personal risk, and the genesis of what would become Hunter's trademark style.

If for no other reason, fans of Tom Wolfe, Ken Kesey, or the "Beats" (including the real "Dean Moriarty" from On the Road, still alive at the time, still driving, and hanging out with the Pranksters) should read this book for the legendary Acid Test at Kesey's place at La Honda when Hunter and the Angels showed up (by invitation, as Kesey was burning to meet them). In a singularly rare occurrence, we find two journalists just before they became instant icons writing about the same private party, rather than, say an inauguration, or awards ceremony, or some other public spectacle; the "public" was definitely not invited to La Honda. Compare Hunter's account of that weekend with the one that appears in the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test; you might just be surprised by who is the more "legitimate" writer.

I obviously love this book and highly recommend it, but again, it isn't FEAR and LOATHING WITH THE HELL'S ANGELS; it's far too serious a situation for that, as you will discover upon reading it. (And if that idea somehow still escapes you, watch Gimme Shelter, the great Maysles brothers' documentary of the Stones free concert at Altamont; if THAT doesn't do it, go down to your local biker bar and kick over a few choppers; you'll deserve what you get.)

1-0 out of 5 stars Hunter S. Thompson is an a$$hole.
This guy is a self-inflating ballon. No one and nothing is as important in his eyes as he is. His opinion of himself and the world around him is all that really matters. His ability to cunningly insinuate himself into the minds of others dramatically increases the danger he poses. If you have the misfortune to be assigned one of his books in a college class, lament that no one has made "Cliff Notes."

5-0 out of 5 stars Hells Angels
I really should like Hunter Thompson more than I do, I mean he did ride a BSA and he is from my hometown of Louisville, Ky but to be honest he's always seemed kind of faggy to me with that gay filtered cigarette thing hanging from his mouth, plus there's that whole bizarre chapter he dedicated to finding a link between outlaw bikers and homosexuality. Hey what can I say, the guy sets my gaydar off. But I will give him credit, he did write a true classic in Hell's Angels. I've heard grumblings that he sacrificed reality for entertainment value by making some of the HA's into exagerated caricatures of themselves in this book, but whether thats true or not this is a great read. ... Read more


157. The Third Wave
by ALVIN TOFFLER
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553246984
Catlog: Book (1984-05-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 75591
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant
I was recommended this book by a collegue. This is a very influencial book in terms of 'future thinking'. I'm told that one should read Future Shock first, but I started w/ Third Wave and managed along just fine.

As was stated by another reviewer, it shouldn't be a must-read b/c it requires vast patience at times to get through tome of information he writes about the first two "waves", but it is worth-while checking out if you're interested in seeing how someone in 1980 could have accurately predicted many events in the past 20 years.

Being 22, this book did open my eyes quite a bit though, and I've bought several copies to give to friends b/c it was pretty influencial to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's like someone turned on the light - amazing!
This book is one that makes you hit your head and say "Why did'nt I see that". This should be required reading for anyone in management or in the IT field. It brings everything into focus as to why things are happening. I was amazed at the keen perception the author has. This is a must read. Worth every penny.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packed with Knowledge!
Perhaps the reason that Alvin Toffler's classic book feels so relevant some 25 years after its initial publication is the fact that he wrote it in a time which, in retrospect, was not so different from our own: The world was trembling before the threat of terrorism embodied, in Toffler's age, by Iranian terrorists, and radical new technologies, in the form of powerful and increasingly affordable computers, were drastically altering business and society. But probably, the book resonates simply because he was right about almost everything. For that reason, we from getAbstract recommend this book as a basic requirement for any professional.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Broad Vision of the Potential for Individualization
I decided to reread this book after 20 years to see how accurately it represented the experiences of the past 20 years. How nice a surprise I received when I found that the broad themes were beautifully portrayed against the background of the prior agricultural and industrial economies. This long term perspective made the articulation of the future vision clearer.

Particularly impressive in retrospect is the description of a forecast for mass customized products. The customer "will become so integrated into the production process that we find it . . . difficult to tell . . . who is the producer." One might be reading about someone ordering a computer on the Dell Web site.

Almost equally impressive is the appreciation of how electronic connections will establish horizontal connections. "Even a partial shift towards the electronic office will be enough to trigger an eruption of social, psychological, and economic consequences." "It promises to restructure all human relationships and roles in the office as well."

Key insights related to:

(1) Companies needing to take on full responsibility for the consequences of their actions on society and the environment;

(2) Companies becoming much more important social institutions of change;

(3) Information moving to the center of major decisions;

(4) Government spreading its influence so that business and politics become inextricably entwined; and

(5) Institutional ethics coming to more closely reflect social ethics.

In fact, this is the first book I have located that sees the business organization as the critical institution in making ecological, moral, political, racial, sexual and social change, as well as the usual transactional ones.

The fundamental vision of humanity as seeking a more appropriate civilization that is built around individual choice in coordinating social interests is a remarkably accurate description of the evolution of the free market democracies over the last 20 years.

Realizing how hard it is to forecast anything, one comes away with a remarkable appreciation for Alvin Toffler's fundamental estimation of human potential. He took that understanding, tied technology to it, and found the answer quite well.

After enjoying this remarkable book (for the first time or) again, I encourage you to consider how these same human characteristics will take us forward in the future. How can you facilitate this felicitous development?

Make your actions and those you cooperate in serve everyone's best interests!

1-0 out of 5 stars Tired Trilogy
Toffler's Third Wave uses a bizarre expression of Marxist theory to interpret the obvious: that societies differ in their stages of development and progress in ways that put them in conflict. Readers would have been better served had he condensed the many hundreds of pages into a short story or op-ed article. The analysis is shallow. ... Read more


158. Lighting for Glamour Photography: A Complete Guide to Professional Techniques for Film and Digital Photography (Revised Edition)
by Duncan Evans, David Kimber
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0817442324
Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
Publisher: Amphoto Books
Sales Rank: 21212
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Light is the key to quality glamour photography, and Lighting for Glamour Photography is for any photographer looking to take his or her glamour photography to the next level. Photographers learn how to analyze light; how to make it work for them; and ultimately, how to take better, high-quality glamour photographs. With clear and easy-to-understand diagrams next to each photo explaining how the shot was set up-the position of the lights, the filters, film, camera, and lens used-photographers will feel ready to choose the right equipment, set up their own shots, and get solid results from the beginning. This new edition has been completely updated to include information on digital photography, as well as to reflect current styles in glamour photography. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars A mix of old and new
I had been on the waiting list for this new book for several months and finally it arrived today. The key here is that it is the "revised" edition of the one printed in 1994, with about half of the images and text coming from the original book (I have them here opened side-by-side for comparison). I was disappointed in how the publisher simply scanned the old pages of photos and reprinted them with much less quality than the original printing. So going through the book, though the pictures are quite professional and the models are gorgeous, the obvious lack of print quality (quite poor actually) for half of the book is a big detractant for the viewer. The remaining new material is printed well with some stunning examples of glamour photography at its best. David and Duncan - why did you allow Amphoto to ruin your excellent past work with such sloppy printing??!! If one can get past that (and it's difficult), the context of the book is top notch with great advise and new sections on shooting digital. I had to give this book only three stars since the photographic reproduction of the original book's photos were so poor. ... Read more


159. Laetitia Casta
by Laetitia Casta
list price: $30.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670888192
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Viking Penguin Inc
Sales Rank: 242313
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Revealing the infinite variety of the "World's Hottest Woman" (Rolling Stone)

She's the hottest French export since Brigitte Bardot. She's graced the runways of Galliano and Gaultier and appeared on hundreds of magazine covers worldwide. And in a world of gaunt, underfed, pale models, she's a bodacious, curvy, voluptuous breath of fresh air. She's Laetitia Casta. Called "the sexiest model" by Details and "the most beautiful woman in the world" by Paris Match, Laetitia Casta is on her way to becoming the supreme supermodel of the decade.

Featuring the stunning, revealing, and erotic photography of Ritts and Isserman, Laetitia is filled with the most sensuous photographs ever taken of this modern-day Aphrodite. Complete with accompanying essays on Laetitia's world and her outlook on life, and including previously unpublished photographs and a full-color poster, Laetitia is the sexiest book in bookstores this year.

Already a frequent cover girl, Laetitia is the new face of L'Oreal and a featured model for the Victoria's Secret catalog. She has starred in ads for Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Isaac Mizrahi, and several Guess campaigns. She made her screen debut in this year's film Asterix and Obelix, with Gerard Depardieu, and she has appeared in three Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues.
... Read more

Reviews (42)

3-0 out of 5 stars "Laetitia" is like a great beauty with spinach on her teeth.
Laetitia Casta is, of course, a spectacularly beautiful and shapely model, and the photographers represented in the eponymous book are among the best and most fashionable in the world. Alas, the photos are vandalized by the worst reproduction and printing quality in a photo book in recent years. Previews of the book in "Photo" and other magazines carry greatly superior reproductions of the images which here are out of focus and muddy. "Forms", by Patrick Demarchelier, carries several of the same images and a comparison of the two books is utterly humiliating for the dreadful Laetitia. As for the color images -- well, only the mini poster glued to the back cover offers anything worth viewing. Don't buy the book without seeing it first, so you can be sure of what you are -- and are not -- getting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have for people who appreciate beauty
This book shows the career path of arguably the most beautiful woman on the planet. When Calvin Klein was talking about 'Supermodel is dead', there came Laetitia, fresh at 16 years old. And then when all the other models are looking doped and skinny, there came Laetitia, full-bodied and absolutely voluptuous with almost no straight line visible all over her 'look'. Then she took the whole fashion world by storm. Now she is one of the most featured model on magazine covers, Victoria's Secret Catalogue and countless fashion shows around the world. If you caught her on the Late Show with Dave Berriman, you know how wonderful this young girl is. I call her 'bubbly', very cheerful, lovely smile with a positive personality.

This book, with the most gorgeous photography displays the utmost in human beauty, well, the utmost in HEALTHY human beauty.

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful
This book let all my dreams come true. The best Laetitia pictures, her views on life/career, and what the designers think of her. This is the best book I have of art and she is indeed the best model ever. Everyone should be able to adleast see this book once in their lives to see what perfection is.

5-0 out of 5 stars the most gorgeous of God's creation
A beautiful woman is God's ultimate creation and gift to mankind. Laetitia Casta stands above as the most gorgeous female of her generation. Only Raquel Welch of the last generation or Sofia Loren of the generation before that can challenge Laetitia as the most gorgeous woman since the invention of the photograph. I am not interested in Laetitia's inner beauty or her mind. I admire her for the work of art that she is. With the help of make-up artists and photographers, this book presents to us the ultimate beauty. Laetitia's physical beauty surpasses the art of a Rembrant, the music of Wagner, the poetry of Dante, or the sculpture of Michael Angelo.

5-0 out of 5 stars intelligence
Laetitia has such a beautiful heart, I am so pleased to see that she hasnt changed such a positive oulook on life. Brilliant book, I almost love her body as much as she does. ... Read more


160. Phantom of the Opera
by Andrew Lloyd Webber
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881886157
Catlog: Book (1987-04-01)
Publisher: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation
Sales Rank: 6310
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This piano/vocal book includes nine favorite songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash blockbuster musical The Phantom of the Opera. Sing Christine's star-making aria "Think of Me," the Phantom's haunting ballad "The Music of the Night," or the love duet "All I Ask of You." The book includes bios of Lloyd Webber and lyricists Charles Hart and Richard Stilgoe as well as 11 pages of production photos featuring Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. --David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great music, fun to play
I've been playing piano for 13 years. When I was younger I had the easy piano version of these songs. And they are fine when you're just learning. I didn't play any songs from the Phantom until recently when I heard it was coming back to town. I pulled my old book out and played it. It just wasn't full sounding and the keys the songs were in weren't close to the CD. I bought this book and it was a bit difficult to adjust to all the different keys at first, but you definetly get used to it; especially if you practice at them. This book has more acurate presentations of the songs. They sound much fuller and beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Music Book
This is a great piano book for those who love the music of The Phantom of the Opera. The songs are not terribly difficult, but they sound great. The keys some of the songs are written in could make it hard for less experienced players.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This music is so fun to play! Every time I sit at the piano I feel that I can't leave it without playing through the Phantom of the Opera. The music isn't really all that complicated and the songs are rich and full like the ones on the C.D. I only wish I had an organ to play the Phantom's theme on. Very cool. I imagine my family is extremely sick of hearing me play this music everyday, but I can't help it. : ) All I can say is if you love the music and can play piano... buy it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Go ahead and buy it (if you only want songs from "Phantom")
By all means, buy this book if these are the songs you want.

However, there is an alternative sheet music collection you should consider if you would like to have songs from some of his other shows. That book is called THE ESSENTIAL ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER COLLECTION (ISBN 0634001604). You can check it out right here at Amazon.com.

That book is a little more expensive but it contains MOST of these "Phantom" songs (except "Masquerade," "Angel of Music" and "Prima Donna") in addition to the key selections from:

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
"Jesus Christ Superstar"
"Evita"
"Starlight Express"
"Cats"
"Aspects of Love"
"Sunset Boulevard"

The book you are looking at now is a great collection of songs from "Phantom." If you want/need to have "Masquerade," "Angel of Music" and/or "Prima Donna" then you'll have to get this book. If you don't want songs from those other shows then this "Phantom" book is right for you.

If you're anything like me, you'll go for the bigger book and get more bang for your buck.

Either way, you're sure to get hours of enjoyment singing along with the cast recording(s) or with piano accompaniment. Having the sheet music is very helpful in terms of learning the song. Also, my ability to sight read is improving.

Happy singing!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
Desperately wanting some more piano music, I bought this sheet music last night. Oh, I love it! I don't have the c.d. or anything, but have listened to it once at my cousins house, who loves Phantom of the Opera. Now I'm definitely buying the c.d. though. And like some other people have said in reviews, this music is not hard. But it sounds like it is. : P ... Read more


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