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    $24.41 $23.69 list($36.98)
    1. The Closers (Harry Bosch (Audio))
    $26.37 $25.59 list($39.95)
    2. Velocity
    $26.37 list($39.95)
    3. Rage
    $23.07 $23.06 list($34.95)
    4. Black Rose (In the Garden)
    $37.79 $35.99 list($59.98)
    5. The David Sedaris Box Set
    $189.25 $128.49
    6. Shelters of Stone, The (Earth's
    $26.39 $21.25 list($39.98)
    7. True Believer
    $26.37 $24.49 list($39.95)
    8. The Da Vinci Code
    $162.55
    9. Clear and Present Danger
    list($128.00)
    10. Swann's Way
    $26.37 $25.00 list($39.95)
    11. No Place Like Home : A Novel
    $25.17 $25.16 list($39.95)
    12. The Kite Runner
    $17.13 $15.89 list($25.95)
    13. Cold Service (Spenser Novels (Audio))
    $19.79 list($29.98)
    14. Honeymoon
    $35.00 $2.69
    15. On Writing : A Memoir Of The Craft
    $19.79 $16.94 list($29.98)
    16. London Bridges (Alex Cross Novels)
    $34.95 $15.73
    17. Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's
    $32.97 list($49.95)
    18. The Broker
    $26.39 $26.37 list($39.98)
    19. Night Fall
    $26.39 $16.75 list($39.98)
    20. Hour Game

    1. The Closers (Harry Bosch (Audio))
    by Michael Connelly
    list price: $36.98
    our price: $24.41
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594830193
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-16)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audio Books
    Sales Rank: 4196
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The death of a teenage girl almost two decades ago comes back to haunt all of L.A. - and detective Harry Bosch in this spellbinding new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.

    In Los Angeles in 1998, a 16 year old girl who had disappeared from her home was later found dead with a single gunshot wound to the chest.The death appeared at first to be a suicide, and although detectives on the case found clues that pointed toward murder, no one was ever charged.Detective Larry Bosch, newly returned to the LAPD with the job of closing unsolved cases, gets the report of a new DNA match that makes the case very much alive again.A white supremacist with close ties to the LAPD becomes a suspect but Bosch and his partner, Kizmin Rider, can't take a step without threatening higher ups in the department.

    And the case turns out to be anything but cold.Everywhere he probes, Bosch finds hot grief, hot rage, and a bottomless well of treachery and danger.Enemies inside the department make Bosch wonder if he's been allowed to rejoin the LAPD only because they needed a fresh victim. ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Much better than the last
    A return to form is welcome. Bosch is back on the job. The bad guy is not much of a poker player. One hopes this continues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In a word, spectacular!
    Harry Bosch has become one of crime fiction's most fleshed-out characters...and he keeps improving with each novel Michael Connelly writes. Mr. Connelly is a modern master.

    Harry has returned to the LAPD, repartnered with Kiz Rider in the recently created Open Unsolved Unit. He remains a relentless, smart, hard working, compassionate, fundamentally decent detective. He is a complicated character---still seeking justice.

    Harry and Kiz draw a case from 1988...the murder of an eighteen year biracial girl. DNA is available from the murder weapon...and they get an immediate match.

    They both feel there are enough inconsistencies in the match's history to question whether he is the perp.

    As they work the case they uncover the crime's heartbreaking effects for the victim's family. These unsolved mysteries can haunt a department...often defining the police force that cannot resolve them.

    Even with the tools unavailable in 1988, it still takes dogged legwork, cop's instinct and long grinding hours to decipher the case. This is where Michael Connelly excels...the calculated progress of Police Procedure 101.

    The suspense is constant; surprises appear at every turn, the entire cast vibrant in this taut crime thriller. "The Closers" is well executed and well envisioned.

    The plot builds in a deceptive manner...accelerating geometrically as the novel progresses. It ignites in a hushed manner...propelling you to the resolution.

    Mr. Connelly is most adept at setting the hook in a most subtle manner...he hides the clues in plain sight as well as any writer. He makes discovering the solution completely satisfying.

    It is easy to immerse oneself in "The Closers."

    3-0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
    I've been a Connelly fan for a long time. In this book, Connelly has jumped on the bandwagon that's typified by such TV fare as "Cold Case" on CBS and "Cold Case Files" on A&E.

    As a straight procedural, this novel works fine. But in my opinion it's missing the essential elements that distinguished the Bosch series in the past, the complexity of character and noir LA that Connelly so ably presented as such a rich tapestry. In this work, the issues that have driven Harry previously are only at best alluded to - his troubled youth and relationship with his young daughter, among others. As a matter of fact, I found the most moving part of the book to be a one or two paragraph passage relating a phone conversation he had with his little daughter. The victim in the piece is simply a cipher with no persona, a plot device to further the story. I had no feel for her as a person. Even the resolution of the long-running conflict with his nemesis Irving Irving is accomplished in a basically throw-away fashion, and was clever but unsatisfying.

    This is the least fulfilling Bosch novel I've read in a long time - maybe ever, I'll have to think about that. I certainly miss the complexity of Harry's character that we've grown used to; in this work he suffers none of his usual doubts or ambivalence (the traits that make him such a riveting character). However, as a straight procedural it earns three stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another great book!
    I love Connelly's books and this is another great one.Unlike a previous reviewer, I found it a very smooth read.He captures the feeling of LA and the Valley very well.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but.........
    Sorry, but I have to disagree with the starred reviews.Mr. Connelly's plot and characters are very interesting, but has anyone actually read his dialogue out loud?People simply do not talk this way--and real people use contractions!!I became so annoyed with the stilted conversations that I simply could not finish the book, and I was 2/3 of the way through it.Not nearly up to the standards of his earlier works. ... Read more


    2. Velocity
    by DEAN KOONTZ
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $26.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0739315552
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-24)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 12136
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    3. Rage
    by JONATHAN KELLERMAN
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $26.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0739309749
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-24)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 727316
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    4. Black Rose (In the Garden)
    by Nora Roberts, Susie Breck
    list price: $34.95
    our price: $23.07
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1593556136
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-31)
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio Unabridged
    Sales Rank: 10045
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    Book Description

    A Harper has always lived at Harper House, the centuries-old mansion just outside of Memphis. And for as long as anyone alive remembers, the ghostly Harper Bride has walked the halls, singing lullabies at night...

    At forty-five, Rosalind Harper is a woman whose experiences have made her strong enough to bend without breaking - and weather any storm. A widow with three grown sons, she survived a disastrous second marriage, and built her In the Garden nursery from the ground up. Through the years, In the Garden has become more than just a thriving business - it is a symbol of hope and independence to Roz, and to the two women she shares it with. Newlywed Stella and new mother Hayley are the sisters of her heart, and together, the three of them are the future of In the Garden.

    But now that future is under attack, and Roz knows they can't fight this battle alone. Hired to investigate Roz's Harper ancestors, Dr. Mitchell Carnegie finds himself just as intrigued with Roz herself. And as they begin to unravel the puzzle of the Harper Bride's identity, Roz is shocked to find herself falling for the fascinating genealogist. Now it is a desperate race to discover the truth before the unpredictable apparition lashes out at the one woman who can help her rest in peace...
    ... Read more


    5. The David Sedaris Box Set
    by David Sedaris
    list price: $59.98
    our price: $37.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586210823
    Catlog: Book (2000-11)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 57819
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Star radio storyteller David Sedaris presents his collected works in one audio box set. The longest (at five hours) is his latest, Me Talk Pretty One Day, which contains two live performances from San Francisco. Welcome to a world where dogs outrank children, guitars have breasts, and Sedaris's fellow language-class students try to convey the concept of Easter to a Moroccan Muslim in their fledgling French (translated into English): "It is a party for the little boy of God," says one. "Then he be die one day on two ... morsels of ... lumber," says another. Sedaris is hilarious, and his Billie Holiday impression is amazing.

    The three-hour, Christmas-themed Holidays on Ice is the gem of the collection. It has his greatest hit, "SantaLand Diaries," a chronicle of his stint as an elf at Macy's, covering everything from the preliminary group lectures ("You are not a dancer. If you were a real dancer you wouldn't be here. You're an elf and you're going to wear panties like an elf.") to the perils of inter-elf flirtation. Other hits feature the crazed newsletter "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" and the prostitute coworker his sister brought home one Yuletide, giving "the phrase 'ho, ho, ho' whole different meaning." Barrel Fever contains the fulminatingly funny "Glen's Homophobia Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 2" and "Parade," discussing the narrator's perhaps not fully plausible gay relationships with Bruce Springsteen, Mike Tyson, and Peter Jennings. Naked describes his adventures in a nudist colony, but his family tales are, as ever, nonpareil. ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars You MUST buy this!
    I first heard of Sedaris through This American Life (An amazing Public Radio show) and immediately bought and read his books. David's writing is beyond belief, but hearing David read them (along with his sister Amy and one story read by Ann Magnuson) brings everything to a new level. While the tapes are abridged, the stories he reads, he reads in full. There are different versions than what is read on This American Life, and he sings some different songs than on TAL (in the style of Billie Holiday). Santaland Diaries are even longer than the TAL uncut version. I did prefer Julia Sweeney's rendetion of Merry Christmas(Seasons Greetings) to Our Friends and Family over Ann Magnuson's. This set is 14 hours long (10 Tapes). At the end of most of the books, there is an additional track of David singing or talking/laughing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You Can't Kill the Rooster
    I have absolutely no idea why anyone would write a review saying that David Sedaris' reading takes away from his books. I have always had exactly the opposite experience. Though I have read all his books, I prefer to listen to them because the author's voice is so unique and his delivery so apt. As much as I love reading "You Can't Kill the Rooster", hearing the phrase out loud adds a whole other dimension of hilarity. Obviously, listening to a book is a subjective experience, but I felt compelled to weigh in after reading the previous review. Don't pay any attention to that person, or to me either except for the part where I tell you not to pay attention to the other review. Decide for yourself.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Sedaris is Great, But Definitely NOT UNABRIDGED
    Let me explain my rating. For Sedaris' work, 5 stars plus. My problem is with Amazon listing this as "Unabridged". It is not--it is significantly abridged. What is here is great, as you might expect, but some of my favorites are missing (such as "We Get Along" from Barrel Fever). Funny thing is, nowhere on the item itself does the word "unabridged" appear. Why then does Amazon list it as "unabridged"? Not good--makes me wonder about their other descriptions. Buy it if you love Sedaris, but don't expect everything to be on these recordings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mark Twain of our Time
    No one around today tells a better story or writes a better story that David Sedaris. A previous "reviewer" mentioned that David doesn't know how to read his own material, which is like saying that Don Rickles doesn't know how to deliver an insult. David Sedaris' voice and delivery IS part of his writing. I'm thinking that David's wacky sister Amy wrote the previous review just to get on David's nerves...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better on CD!
    I'm a huge David Sedaris fan. I purchased this box set for my dad (...I love buying gifts that I can borrow...), and listened to a great deal of it over Christmas Break. This is a must own for anybody who is a fan of Sedaris - his work is even better when he reads it (I'm sure anybody who has heard him on NPR, or heard his act in person, can attest to this). I previously read "Me Talk Pretty One Day," and found myself laughing at lines in the audio version (and his Billie Holiday impression is spot-on) that I missed while reading. His tone is sardonic, self-depricating, and perfect for the brand of humor he presents. ... Read more


    6. Shelters of Stone, The (Earth's Children®)
    by Jean M. Auel, Sandra Burr
    list price: $189.25
    our price: $189.25
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1587889900
    Catlog: Book (2002-04-30)
    Publisher: Unabridged Library Edition
    Sales Rank: 570979
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Jean Auel's fifth novel about Ayla, the Cro-Magnon cavewoman raised by Neanderthals, is the biggest comeback bestseller in Amazon.com history. In The Shelters of Stone, Ayla meets the Zelandonii tribe of Jondalar, the Cro-Magnon hunk she rescued from Baby, her pet lion. Ayla is pregnant. How will Jondalar's mom react? Or his bitchy jilted fiancée? Ayla wows her future in-laws by striking fire from flint and taming a wild wolf. But most regard her Neanderthal adoptive Clan as subhuman "flatheads." Clan larynxes can't quite manage language, and Ayla must convince the Zelandonii that Clan sign language isn't just arm-flapping. Zelandonii and Clan are skirmishing, and those who interbreed are deemed "abominations." What would Jondalar's tribe think if they knew Ayla had to abandon her half-breed son in Clan country? The plot is slow to unfold, because Auel's first goal is to pack the tale with period Pleistocene detail, provocative speculation, and bits of romance, sex, tribal politics, soap opera, and homicidal wooly rhino-hunting adventure. It's an enveloping fact-based fantasy, a genre-crossing time trip to the Ice Age. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

    Reviews (699)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another in a great series
    I have been reading some of the other reviews, and I would like to express my opinion. To dismiss this book as Jondalar and Alya get home, Alya has a baby is the equivalent of saying of Clan of the Cave Bear: Cro-Magnon girl adopted by Neanderthals, grows up, gets kicked out.
    Shelters of Stone introduces many new characters: Jondalar's mom and other family, and explores the stresses of a city type civilization. Alya has to learn to live within a group of a thousand or more. The conflicts are of a subtler sort such as how to handle group pressure. Not all conflict is fangs at your throat. Sometimes it is someone whispering behind your back.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good To Read
    This book seems to be more for the people that loved the series then for people that just read it to pass time.As in most of her Earth Children books she is very descriptive of the landscape (which could get boring), and has to remind people constantly of events that happened in the previous books... though you do get a little too much reminding...She could have shaved off 25 to 50 pages of landscape and past reminders, but the story really makes up for it.If you haven't read her past books do not read this one until you have finished the first four.If you do this book will have little meaning for you.The story of Ayla's journey ending really becomes a new kind of journey beginning for Ayla in this book.Ayla may have a new family, friends and a place to finally call home but she has new troubles, new fascinating customs to learn, and most of all new directions to go with her life that she has to decide on.The wonderful thing about this book is that it is still left open to so may questions, thoughts, and ideas for a sixth book.With the book being over 700 pages hard cover I found that I read it all in four days because it was so fascinating, and now that I have finished it I find the book leaves me anticipating and hoping for the coming of a sixth book to the series.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Long wait . . . great disappointment!
    Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder how Ms. Auel can possibly reach the intended goal of this series (the apparent envisioned meeting of Ayla's sons) in only one more book? Shelters of Stone should have spent more time delving into Durc's life after Ayla's "death"/departure from the clan (starting with the clan needing to find a new cave) in addition to Ayla's adapting to Jondalar's cave home.

    Ayla and Jondalar have traveled for years (albeit getting stopped for adventures along the way), we know every detail of every minute of THEIR lives, and they're now so far away from her original clan home, that I don't see it being plausible to bring the two sons together for this meeting in 500 or 600 pages.Ayla hasn't even given birth to a 2nd son yet, and we have no information whatsoever on one moment of Durc's life during that time, nor how his life's events may have shaped the person he will be if this meeting ever takes place.

    If Ms. Auel's leaving that for us to imagine, then she's lost sight of what it means to "tell" a story.It almost appears she's setting herself up to write another bomb in what started out as an otherwise great series.Shame, shame.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love has no time.
    The series written by Jean M. AUEL "Earth's Children" I beleve is one of the most inspiring series of books out there. Yes it a series based in prehistoric ice age and the accention of man as the dominant species, but many over look that it is an moving love story. Its sory line has significance even to this day. Ayla cromagnon woman raised by neaderthals has to cope with being a minority in a male dominant society. It deals with racial inequalities, mix marriages ,standing up for what you believe in, and the power of women. It teaches that flexability,family, and tolerence is what make us human. It teaches perserverence, fortitude, and resilience when faced with survival. If your life depended on grouping with others for survival, it would you give a life altering experience that few have known. I believe todays society would benifit from this. Often I have wondered if I lived in prehistoric times would I have the courage of AYLA and all she faced. These books offer that experience to readers and also teaches early birth of moral values. The love between AYLA and JONDALAR is very real, and they faced many things that young and old alike face today.
    It also ponders the question when face with over welming odds that humans create, adapt, perserveer. I have recommend this series to all that can read. The sex scenes are just that, sex in the raw form, not shameful, or imoral just a very natural wonderful showing of love. Many only know the movie with Darrl Hanna as AYLA in clan of the cave bear, which I beleve she did a wonderful job, but that only scatches the surface of the wonder of ALYA full story. These books are self contained so each are a story in of them selves. Very easy reading and imformative. One you can not put down and will have you waiting for more.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Reading Auel in context
    While I certainly agree that Jean Auel's writing is repetitious and badly in need of a good editor, and don't understand how her publishers failed her so badly, reviewers who see only that aspect miss the point of the series, as do those who complain about Ayla's mythic status. This *is* a myth, carefully developed through the series starting with "Clan of the Cave Bear" to show how circumstances, time, and distance combine to evolve a mythic figure out of a talented but still very human person.

    The great, and enduring value of the series is (1) its portrayal of the 35, 000 year-old world when Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal overlapped, the great art of the cave painting and ivory carvings was created, and human ingenuity was starting to make itself felt, and (2) the psychological and cultural interactions of very different mind-sets.Auel condenses the historic record of human invention into one short period for good reason: it helps to convey the difficulties and importance of such creative and flexible approaches in a world where humans were few and weak.

    To read these works as you would a realistic novel about today's world is to deprive yourself of a rich - and enriching - imaginative experience.If you need realism/naturalism then don't real Auel.Perhaps it is best to classify her work as historic fantasy, or magical realism, or even surrealism.
    ... Read more


    7. True Believer
    by Nicholas Sparks
    list price: $39.98
    our price: $26.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594830177
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audio Books
    Sales Rank: 138668
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an unforgettable love story that explores the deepest mysteries of all those of the heart.

    As a science journalist with a regular column in Scientific American, Jeremy Marsh specializes in debunking the supernatural.A born skeptic, he travels to the small town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, determined to find the real cause behind the ghostly apparitions that appear in the town cemetery.What he doesn’t plan on however, is meeting and falling hopelessly in love with Lexie Darnell, granddaughter of the town psychic.Now, if the young lovers are to have any kind of future at all, Jeremy must make a difficult choice:return to the life he knows, or do something he’s never done before take a giant leap of faith.But his choice is only the beginning, for their story takes the most unlikely twist of all, one that will finally make Jeremy a TRUE BELIEVER. ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    3-0 out of 5 stars very disappointing - no emotional involvement at all
    This was an enjoyable book, and would have received a much higher rating from me had it stood alone. However, as a Nicholas Sparks book, I was holding it up to some very high expectations set by his previous masterpieces, and quite frankly, it fell very short. It simply wasn't up to the calibre of his previous books and lacked the very qualities I love most about his writings. It reminded me of a Danielle Steel novel rather than something from the deeper, more engaging, Nicholas Sparks.

    In a word, the story was superficial. The supernatural premise that drew the characters together was ridiculously hokey, and pitting New York city-life against life in sleepy small town America didn't capture my interest the way it could have had it been presented better, with more exciting characters and plot development.

    Noticeably absent: there was no deep emotional connection between the two protagonists. Even though I easily buy into the soulmates, meant-to-be concept of love-at-first-sight, I did not find the romance and coming together of these two characters to have that kind of depth or energy. I'm not convinced they truly belong with each other, or their relationship will last much beyond the end of the story.

    As well, there was no emotional connection between the characters and the reader. There wasn't a deep passion for me to feel alongside them. I didn't grow to care for them as people nor did I become as emotionally invested in their relationship, as I have with other Nicholas Sparks characters. These two will be easily forgotten, whereas Noah/Allie, Jamie/Landon, Theresa/Garrett, Paul/Adrienne, Miles/Sarah, and all the others have continued to live in my heart long after I put those books down and moved onto other reading material.

    On the positive side, there were flashes of Nicholas Sparks's brilliance scattered throughout the book. His use of vivid descriptions and attention to detail was impeccable, as always. The dialogue flowed naturally, with the right blend of wit and seriousness, and sounded realistic (very important to me in a romance novel, as most don't have this quality and instead use incessant and annoying bickering so the conflict/tension comes across as abrasively hostile instead of deep and abiding love).

    All-in-all, although I was sorely disappointed, it was still a pleasant story and worthwhile reading. I hope Nicholas Sparks goes back to novels that draw the reader into an emotional investment into the characters and their story, with their bittersweet tragic endings (or even happy endings as in The Wedding). I prefer to feel strong emotions and intense passion when I read a Nicholas Sparks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars the greatest Nicholas Sparks book yet
    I love all of Nicholas Sparks' books, but this one i couldnt put down. Great storyline, and you really won't be able to stop reading it. Once i finished it i wanted to read it all over again.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not his best work
    I am a huge Sparks fan, but this book was not writen by the Nicholas Sparks that I once knew.It was long.I had trouble staying focused, but I will say that it had a good end to it, it just took forever to get to that end.If you are a Veronica Haddon fan then you will never get through this book.It is just not up to the standards of Whispers of the wicked saint, but it is worth the read, If you still love nicholas sparks.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Yeah, it was good...
    I thought this was a good book, and the way the two characters fell so quickly for one another (in a matter of days) reminded me of Nights in Rodanthe (which is my fave).Nicholas Sparks has done it again, with another novel that shows that miracles can happen when you least expect them, and that love conquers all.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A Sparks disappointment
    Oh how I waited with bated breath for Nicholas Sparks' new release! And oh how disappointed I felt as I struggled through this "Danielle Steel"-like book. The Notebook and Message in a Bottle rank as 2 of my all time favorite books. True Believer, however, did not make a true believer out of me. The whole story was unbelievable from the very beginning. Too much for me to believe that 2 people that have just met can instantly know that they are in love, oh please. There is no depth to this book. The characters are implausible, shallow, and very predictable. It seems as thought Mr. Sparks is trying to follow a formula that he thinks will sell, a la Danielle Steel. He should spend more time visiting the truth in life and love-as in The Notebook-and less time giving us this pulpy mess, and expecting us to swallow it... ... Read more


    8. The Da Vinci Code
    by Dan Brown
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $26.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0739313118
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-30)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 1031
    Average Customer Review: 3.48 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. While working to solve the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci -- clues visible for all to see -- yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

    Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion -- an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others.

    In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who seems to anticipate their every move. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's ancient secret -- and an explosive historical truth -- will be lost forever.

    THE DA VINCI CODE heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightning-paced, intelligent thriller…utterly unpredictable right up to its stunning conclusion.


    From the Hardcover edition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2922)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much More Than A Super Suspense Thriller!!
    Once I began this extraordinary book, I could not put it down. "The Da Vinci Code" is so much more than a gripping suspense thriller. Dan Brown takes us beyond the main plot and leads us on a quest for the Holy Grail - a Grail totally unlike anything we have been taught to believe. With his impeccable research, Mr. Brown introduces us to aspects and interpretations of Western history and Christianity that I, for one, had never known existed...or even thought about. I found myself, unwillingly, leaving the novel, and time and time again, going online to research Brown's research - only to find a new world of historic possibilities opening up for me. And my quest for knowledge and the answers to questions that the book poses, paralleled, in a sense, the quest of the book's main characters. What a trip! What a read!

    A violent murder is committed in the Louvre Museum. The museum's chief curator, who is also the head of a remarkable secret society that has existed since the death of Christ, is found dead and gruesomely positioned on the floor near The Mona Lisa. In the minutes before he died, this very complex man was able to leave clues for his daughter to follow. The daughter, a brilliant cryptographer, along with a famed US symbologist, follow her father's codes and leads, hoping that he will, through his death, finally tell her what he wanted to confide in her while he lived. The secret society included members such as: Leonardo Da Vinci, Boticelli, Gallileo, Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, Jean Cocteau, etc. These folks really Did belong to this society, which Really existed! This is when I first began my online search.

    The mystery, or mysteries, take us through England, France and far back in time. We learn about the secret of the Knights Templar, and the symbolism in many of the world's most treasured paintings, as well as architectural symbolism in some of history's most sacred churches. Of course, we also learn who committed the murder and why - although this is almost secondary next to the real epic mystery the novel uncovers.

    If there are flaws in the plot, I was too busy reading to discover any. That is probably the sign of a terrific book! The writing is excellent and the characters are a bit on the super-hero/heroine side, but who cares? Is what "The Da Vinci Code" proposes true? Well, the research is correct. The historical events and people explored in the book are real. But no one knows the Truth...nor will we ever, probably. I think that some things are meant to be a mystery. With all the world's diverse religions and each individual's belief in what is Divine - the Truth would have to destroy the beliefs, hopes and lives of many of the world's population. So, perhaps, in the divine scheme of things, there are many more Truths than one. Don't take the book too seriously. Just read it and enjoy!

    3-0 out of 5 stars ...and scene.
    Readers of Laura Esquivel will recognize in Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code" the same initially inspired meeting of physical science and the arts that formed the basis of her "Swift as Desire." In her novel, Esquivel forged a strong connection between the unlikely fields of telegraphy (as a literary endeavour) and astronomy. In Brown's novel, he begins with an interesting plot that utilizes some actual mathematical patterns in Leonardo DaVinci's masterpieces. Unfortunately, it is a meeting that gets similarly bogged down by the middle with its own premise. While Esquivel gets tied up in romantic psuedoscience, Brown gets attached to a single religious metaphor that eventually turns into a (seeming) political agenda.

    This is a murder mystery in a sense, but feels for the most part like a treatise on women in Christianity. The implications of the so-called "sacred feminine," a religious devotion to female... um... well, we never quite find out why women are so great..., are both too heavy handed and light-weight, and lose their force by the 12th chapter. The conclusion has little to do with the evidence set up throughout the book; and in the last hundred pages, the main character is interpreting almost everything as a symbolic womb. Much like the soundtrack to "Eyes Wide Shut," a movie Brown references in "The DaVinci Code," he takes an interesting premise and beats his audience over the head with it, rather than letting them discover it gradually for themselves.

    There is an influx of new information preceding each chapter's remarkable discovery that detracts from what was an interesting, cryptologically-centered premise with good evidence. I suspect this has something to do with the critical praise that has elevated the novel to "a work of genius". This is not without merit. There is much promise here, and much passion that is just a little too latent, that I couldn't help feeling at points like I was reading a laundry list of cool things that Brown wanted to address at some point. He waits until a critical juncture in the events before unloading vast quantities of symbolic history on his reader- some of which is questionable in its accuracy- and then pulls his characters through it almost as an afterthought. There is much made of the goddess worship by the main character, but in the end this same character spends more energy mentally undressing churches than he does discerning the unique qualities of his inevitable love interest. In the end, we know that she is as smart as he is and has nice legs, but their attraction is a mystery. For all we can tell, they get together because he's a guy and she's a gal and they have matching diplomas.

    That said, the beginning of the book is very good- there are some genuine laughs and intriguing questions that get misplaced. Brown conveys a genuine love for the work and the tangents it takes him on that ultimately prevents you from judging the glaring problems too harshly. Unfortunately, you get a sense that Brown is lost for most of his brainstorming session, and ends up at the last forty pages needing to end the book and not wanting to.

    For more in depth pondering of these questions, read anything by Kurt Godel, or maybe even come back to Dan Brown in a few years. The book was entertaining and I'd be interested to see what more he can add with his current influence.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure
    My wife read this book first and enjoyed its mysteries, revelations and pacing, but was uncomforable with its portrayal of Christianity. I share her feelings, but we both agree the novel is worthwhile as a guilty pleasure. The book is cleverly and expertly done. The use of real historical organizations, such as the Priory of Sion, Opus Dei, and Knights Templar give it a serious, true-life sense. The fact that larger-than-life historical figures like da Vinci were involved with -- and even led -- The Priory of Sion gives it wonder. And author Dan Brown has cooked up a clever premise in which the foundation of Christianity would be shaken if the "truth" were known. And so the chase is on, with a symbologist, a cryptologist, and eventually a Royal historian solving riddles and rhymes in their search for the Holy Grail, with the French and eventually English authorities nipping at their heels as they are blamed for an increasing number of murders.

    But what starts out as a fascinating cerebral adventure with a near literary tone can't quite hold that highminded course. What commences as wine and filet mignon dwindles to cola and hamburger. Maybe that's what happens when you cross the channel. The richest parts of the book come when we are in the head of the protagonist, Robert Langdon -- especially at the beginning, when he sees a historical, even ancient, symbolism in practically every object that meets his eye. These roots of our now familiar symbols are fascinating. But when the chase is on and ongoing puzzles need to be solved, they become tedious and even simplistic. The "difficult" clue concerning Sir Isacc Newton and an orb? Duh! And the "unseen" bad guy was all too obvious. Plus, I don't really think the French and English police are as dumb, naive and comical as this book would lead you to believe. However, when Ron Howard and his "Brilliant Mind" team produce the movie, as I've read they will do, I'm sure a lot of these discrepancies will be ironed out. Hopefully, the movie will hold to that rich Mona Lisa atmosphere the book so promisingly begins with. I have faith.

    As for the attack on Christianity, when He was arrested Jesus told Peter to put up his sword. Because, if He needed to, He'd bring down legions of angels to kick butts. That's good enough for me. Meanwhile, everyone should enjoy The Da Vinci Code and take it for what it is -- a work of fiction built from elastic facts, like looking at clouds and seeing myriads of differing visions. Anyway, Langdon's true insights on symbols are worth the price of admission.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good book, its fiction, don't shout abt lack of authenticity
    I am in no way connected with the history of art or the birth of Christianity, so had an open mind while reading the book. Hey, its a work of fiction, leave it at that, don't worry abt the lack of authenticity.

    The book offers an interesting read, but is jumpy at places when Langdon thinks abt what he taught in class or a penitentiary, when in fact facing a grave situation. May be the author added this for suspense and to keep the reader guessing.

    Having said this, am appalled at the one star reviews, hey the guy has used some imagination, give him credit for that!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Middleweight Page-Turner
    Brown's latest thriller is all the rage this season, and it's a pretty good page-turner. The curator of the Louvre is murdered and intrepid Harvard scholar Robert Langdon (you met him in Brown's last book) meets up with another European girl (this time she's French instead of Italian). Hijinks follow. The historical research is wide, without ever being deep. But it adds a fun veneer of deep mystical somesuch to the plot. Leonardo da Vinci, secret Vatican cabals, Opus Dei, mystical this-and-that. It makes for a fun read.

    As other critics have pointed out, the facts of the book are often muddled and inaccurate, suggesting the research may have been done by one of those credulous sorts who always believes the last thing he reads. The characters are paper-thin cutouts, mere devices who grab hold of the plot early on and cling to it for dear life. The dialogue is silly and predictable. The author's irritating penchant for hanging on to clues and half-clues, doling them out slowly is a device of the B-grade pop mystery novel. Like its predecesors, this book is sort of a middleweight version of Umberto Eco's towering novels. Not too challenging, but it keeps the pop public entranced, sells a bunch of copies, and lets us all feel like we're initiates into some secret society. Bravo -- a lot of fun ! ... Read more


    9. Clear and Present Danger
    by Tom Clancy, J. Charles
    list price: $162.55
    our price: $162.55
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1561000558
    Catlog: Book (1990-05-01)
    Publisher: Unabridged Library Edition
    Sales Rank: 752474
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    At the end of the prologue to Clear and Present Danger, Clancy writes, "And so began something that had not quite begun and would not soon end, with many people in many places moving off in directions and on missions which they all mistakenly thought they understood. That was just as well. The future was too fearful for contemplation, and beyond the expected, illusory finish lines were things fated by the decisions made this morning--and, once decided, best unseen." In Clear and Present Danger nothing is as clear as it may seem.

    The president, unsatisfied with the success of his "war on drugs," decides that he wants some immediate success. But after John Clark's covert strike team is deployed to Colombia for Operation Showboat, the drug lords strike back taking several civilian casualties. The chief executive's polls plummet. He orders Ritter to terminate their unofficial plan and leave no traces. Jack Ryan, who has just been named CIA deputy director of intelligence is enraged when he discovers that has been left out of the loop of Colombian operations. Several of America's most highly trained soldiers are stranded in an unfinished mission that, according to all records, never existed. Ryan decides to get the men out.

    Ultimately, Clear and Present Danger is about good conscience, law, and politics, with Jack Ryan and CIA agent John Clark as its dual heroes. Ryanrelentlessly pursues what he knows is right and legal, even if it means confronting the president of the United States. Clark is the perfect soldier, but a man who finally holds his men higher than the orders of any careless commander.

    Along with the usual, stunning array of military hardware and the latest techno-gadgets, Clear and Present Danger further develops the relationships and characters that Clancy fans have grown to love. Admiral James Greer passes the CIA torch to his pupil, Ryan. Mr. Clark and Chavez meet for the first time. Other recurring characters like Robert Ritter and "the President" add continuity to Clancy's believable, alternate reality.Thisis Clancy at his best. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

    Reviews (149)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Covert Operations in Friendly Country: Ultimate Suspense
    The book begins like modern headlines and top stories in the news: a Coast Guard boat discovers several dead bodies on a drifting boat out at sea ... piecing together the scenes ... the Captain and his crew understand the grisly details which became all too clear. Before the discovery, they announce their intention to board the boat, only to find two Columbians who speak little and look guilty as sin. The Captain and crew have the presence of mind to record on film permanently what the encountered. They nearly gag at what they find. Contrary to usual procedure, they create a "justice at sea" bogus trial based on some ancient mariner's manual. It is just the right scenario to create fear in their prisoners which extracts a confession from them that the Coast Guard believes will stand up in court and get them prosecuted.

    In Washington, DC clandestine operations are executed for a secret American plan to use the most talented night warriors the US Army has ever produced to fight the drug cartel in Columbia, on their own turf. The select group all have Spanish roots and were salvaged from a life on the streets, where they would surely work against the system, to build a clean life in the Army ... the better alternative.

    This book shows how power politics, secret hand-shake decisions, and behind the scenes operations occur which could shake up the core values of a country. Clandestine activities work outside the boundaries of national and international law. If they were madepublic, there would be a huge outcry from USA citizens and of the world judgement. It is at this time that Jack Ryan becomes Acting Director of the CIA. The CIA Director is in the hospital with a terminal illness ... The current president has not a clue of how the drug war is being fought and won. He is only aware of the results: drug cartel airplanes are being shot down and the US is winning. It is an election year, his main concern is gaining a positive standing in the polls and withworld opinion. He knows very little of reality ... Meanwhile when the second in command of the drug cartel is discovered to have acted on *highly* classified information, known only to a *select* few, the accusations in Washington, DC fly. An insider investigation begins to discover where the leaks occured ... This book is nonstop action and difficult to put down. Each chapter reveals another complex episode which adds another layer of under-handed deals and shady activity, all of which make this a most satisfying reading experience.

    Although at times this novel is difficult to follow, the subject matter is contemporary and the unfolding events are highly plausible, making it one unstoppable page turner. The planning and execution of the ninja-styled warrior commandos is superb, the covert operations highly ingenious, the political subterfuge and communications are labyrinthine, shocking in their believability. Expect only the best from Tom Clancy ... you will never be disappointed.
    Erika Borsos (erikab93)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
    amazing book one of my new favorites. this was my first Tom clancy Novel and i was gripped from the beginning. the detail put into the novel and how in the end everythign gets tied together so well is proof of the authors great writing.

    i recommend this to any Clancy fan.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I take some exception to the reviews....
    Well first off, I did not like the book nor the movie, both have enough plot holes to make a swiss cheese look like art. On the other hand, I take excption to some of the neagtive reviews listed here, as some sound very anti-american in their reviews.We being good Americans are intelligent enough to read good books and tell what stories make good patriotism and what does not. We do not have to justify this to anyone who lives outside of the American experience for that.If you do not understand this, TNEN BE QUIET ABOUT THINGS YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

    4-0 out of 5 stars an accomplished voice performance
    Veteran voice performer J. Charles is not only one of the most accomplished audio book narrators working today, he's also one of the busiest.Both listeners and publishers seem to know that if Mr. Charles lends his narrative skills to a production it's going to be highly listenable.An example is his rendering of this techno-thriller by the unparalleled Tom Clancy.

    Once again, Mr. Clancy tears his theme from today's headlines - our country's fight against drugs.As the story opens our commander In Chief isn't at all pleased with the progress being made in this battle.So, a formidable team is dispatched to Colombia to put an end to the struggle. It doesn't work as planned.

    Drug lords, as is known, show no mercy and they retaliate by killing civilians.A beleaguered President gives orders to not only end the original plan but to erase it.It should look as if it never existed.

    When Jack Ryan, now Deputy Director of for the CIA discovers that this aborted plan has been going on unbeknownst to him and some men have been stranded, Ryan decides to rescue them.

    In true Clancy fashion it's Ryan to the rescue, but it's a heart stopping struggle.

    - Gail Cooke

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't Even Waste your time with this book!
    Clear And Present Danger is OK at points, but the rest of the novel is boring with the CIA work, the action between the Commandos don't feel realistic, the story drags on on for hundreds of pages, the boring details of how big a ship is, that is boring! If you want to read a REAL and exciting novel, read Bob Mayer's Eyes Of The Hammer. Bib Mayer is a former Special Forces officer, the action is there, and is VERY EXCITING unlike this book where you have to go through hundreds of pages to get to the action. ... Read more


    10. Swann's Way
    by Marcel Proust
    list price: $128.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0788721860
    Catlog: Book (1999-08-01)
    Publisher: Recorded Books
    Sales Rank: 616134
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The transmutation of sensation into sentiment, the ebb tide of memory, waves of emotion such as desire, jealousy, and artistic euphoria--this is the material of this enormous and yet singularly light and translucid work.

    --VLADIMIR NABOKOV


    In the overture to Swann's Way, the themes of the whole of In Search of Lost Time are introduced, and the narrator's childhood in Paris and Combray is recalled, most memorably in the evocation of the famous maternal good-night kiss. The recollection of the narrator's love for Swann's daughter Gilberte leads to an account of Swann's passion for Odette and the rise of the nouveaux riches Verdurins.

    The final volume of a new, definitive text of A la recherche du temps perdu was published by the Bibliotheque de la Pleiade in 1989. For this authoritative English-language edition, D. J. Enright has revised the late Terence Kilmartin's acclaimed reworking of C. K. Scott Moncrieff's translation to take into account the new French editions.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (71)

    5-0 out of 5 stars MEMORIES
    'Swann's Way' has been called the least balanced of Proust's works, with the chapter - 'Swann in Love'- sticking out like a sore thumb, while this does seem apparent I have faith in Proust's reasoning for his placement - as he is a genius when it comes to structure. He structures themes in such a profound way that after you read him other authors start to seem flimsy in their approach. 'Swann's Way' is one of the greatest books about life and love I have read (so far) but I think you must look at it as part of a whole - a whole which one day I hope to grasp!

    5-0 out of 5 stars a splendid reason to start again!
    I started "Swann's Way" a few times before a friend suggested that we read the whole of "Remembrance of Things Past" together. Every Wednesday on his way to the office, he'd stop by my room (it wasn't really an apartment) and we'd drink coffee, smoke(!), and talk about the book. Encouraged in this way, we both finished the novel. I read it again, and aloud, to my wife over the course of two winters. When Kilmartin's reworking came out, I acquired that but only read the final part ("The Past Recaptured"), which Scott-Montcrief died before translating, and which in my 1950s edition was the subject of a pedestrian translation by Frederick Blossom.

    After reading a rave review of vol. 2 ("In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower") in this new translation, I decided to acquire it, and then I thought better of the decision and got "Swann's Way" as well. It was the right move. Lydia Davis does a wonderful job with this first volume. (It also helps that I am familiar with the text: I know what comes next and sometimes can quote from memory.) It's been criticized here as too literal, but my own impression is rather different. Finding a typo in the Davis translation, I compared the sentence with the Montcrief/Kilmartin version, and I thought Davis's was better. They were actually almost the same, word for word, except that Davis uses "said" where the previous translation has "exclaimed." I will always go with the writer who uses the simpler verb!

    Just as each generation of readers gets its new translation of Homer, so Viking/Penguin has given us a Proust for the 21st century. It is technically more accurate than the earlier versions, because it incorporates the latest French scholarship on Proust. More to the point, for the American reader, Davis and her colleagues have freshened up Scott Montcrief's rather dusty prose. And by employing seven translators instead of just one, they avoid the tragedy of having the translator die before the job is done, as Scott Montcrief did.

    As noted, there are a few typographical errors in the American edition of the new "Swann's Way." Except for the one cited above ("O" for "An"), they won't cause any confusion.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    when i started reading this i could hardly understand it, i had to start over once i got to pg 15 because i was lost, but as soon as i got used to this style of writing i was hooked.Eventually i got to the point that i enjoyed proust page by page instead of making it a race to the finish of the book.i will soon start vol 2, i hope that it can equal the excellent story in vol 1 especially "swann in love" read this book if you can concentrate really well or can get to a quiet place reqularly because it demands, and deserves all of your attention.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Way by Swann's
    With the famous dipping of the madeleine into his tea, Proust begins his fictional/auto-biographical journey through memory and time, alternately seeing his world through the eyes of a younger, more innocent Proust and the weary old man he has become. Random comments on people or places morph into paragraph- and page-long memories, coloured with the rosy tint of time and age, or not, as sometimes is the case. Throughout the novel we are generally confined to the time period of Proust's childhood, but the narrator is very loose with the time frame, effortlessly jumping back and forth through the memories of his boyhood, from the thrill of a mother's kiss to the beauty of flowers and grass along the way by Swann's.

    The writing is flowery and beautiful, with long, flowing sentences that seem to evoke places and times buried within us all. Proust is a master of mental imagery, and through the mostly universal experience of his childhood - and while the particulars will not be identical for us all, the thoughts and ideas certainly will - we are able to relive our own childhood, our own desires and dreams, our own gradual awakening and loss of innocence.

    While reading Proust, there is a sense that we have settled ourselves within his skin. The writing is so personal and intimate that we, for just a moment, become the little boy Proust, we share his feelings, we understand his pains. This can be uncomfortable at times, but the pleasure of such an intense journey far outweighs the 'warts and all' intimacy. While reading, it seems that nothing - not one thought or feeling - has been held back, and that Proust is willing and almost joyous at the prospect of baring his soul to the world in his six book masterpiece.

    Halfway through the first volume, there is a short novella describing one of his father's friends, Swann, and his jealous courtship of the woman who would later become his wife. The change from an intimate 'I' to a less personal 'he' is at first dis-orienting, but thanks to the strength of the writing, this worry is soon dispelled. Of course, by the end of the novel, the purpose of Swann's interlude has become clearer, and it can be imagined that later volumes will shed more light on these mysteries.

    There is not much to be said about Proust that hasn't been already, except that the sheer size and density of his work should not be an intimidating factor when reading. Take your time, be slow about it, and read him as the mood takes you. The rewards are there, on every single page, but they will also be there a year from now. And perhaps, when you are that one year older, the search for memory will be that much more desperate, and Proust's own search will be all the more rewarding.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Being devoid of inspiration, my title is "TITLE"
    Many things have been said about Marcel Proust to myself as the sarrounding adults gushed over the fact that a teenager was reading literature. That said, many of these people confessed they had never finished Proust all the way through; one went all the way to say he had found it too "subjective." If you are reading literature to read literture STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK! If you want to read an incredible novel, then go ahead; you will not desecrate Proust's grave.

    Many times as I read this book, I found myself pausing, almost pained at the beauty of the language. I have read many authors, and have never read such beautiful words; his descriptions seem so divine, and yet he spends the first part of the book saying that he himself can't write! It's one of those moments where you want to shake the author with mental fists, but it's okay; it adds flavour.

    Proust is probably among the greatest novelists of history (probably one down after Dostoevsky). The title of the series "In Search of Lost Time," immediately gives you the clue of what the theme shall be; moments of wasted time, moments of bliss that you wish to recapture, memories long gone that you wish you could recapture. But, that is the essense of life. ... Read more


    11. No Place Like Home : A Novel
    by Mary Higgins Clark
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $26.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743540026
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
    Sales Rank: 20170
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    At the age of ten, Liza Barton shot her mother in their New Jersey home while trying to protect her from her violent stepfather. Despite her stepfather's claim that the shooting was a deliberate act, the Juvenile Court ruled the death an accident.

    Trying to erase every trace of Liza's past, her adoptive parents changed Liza's name to Celia. At the age of twenty-eight, she married a sixty-year-old widower, and they had a son. Before their marriage, Celia confided the secret of her earlier life. On his deathbed, her husband made her swear never to reveal her past to anyone, so that their son would not carry the burden of this family tragedy.

    Happily remarried, Celia is shocked when her second husband presents her with a gift-the New Jersey house where she killed her mother. On the day they move in, the words BEWARE -- LITTLE LIZZIE'S PLACE have been painted on the lawn.

    Determined to prove that she was the victim of her stepfather's psychotic behavior, Celia sets out to gather the evidence. When the real estate agent who sold the house is brutally murdered she is once again branded a killer. As Celia fights to prove her innocence, she is not aware that her life and the life of her son are in jeopardy.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (30)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not her best
    Mary Higgins Clark's last few novels have been very up and down. One good, the next one not so good. This was not one of the better ones.The plot was far-fetched and easily figured out.The first person writing was not has good as the rest of her third-person writing and really narrowed the focus of the novel.

    If you want a good book, go back and read one of her early works, but skip this one. I wish I wouldn't have spent the money on the hardback!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Much better than "Nighttime", suspenseful page-turner!
    We were worried after barely plodding through til the end of Clark's just prior novel, "Nighttime is My Time", that our author had lost her charm after passing age 80.Imagine our thrill to discover in "Home" that our "Queen of Suspense" is back in good form, almost reminiscent of her earliest fine work.While some reviewers feel the villain (there's not necessarily just one) is a little too obvious, and our heroine, Celia Nolan, a little too dumb for her own good, if you can tolerate the coincidence that starts off this novel, then you're in for a good ride.

    Nolan had the misfortune as a ten-year-old to fire a gun that killed her own mother and injured her step-father; she was acquitted of murder in a notorious trial.She was adopted and departed for parts unknown, and, needless to say, changed identities.Now her second husband (she's widowed from a first, with a son by him) has bought her a house by surprise, and it turns out to be the very one where the tragedy occurred (right, tough to swallow).Soon a spate of murders threatens to not only expose her past, but Celia herself seems a good suspect for the killings, even though we know she's not.But getting to who-really-dunit takes us down many paths until an unexpected twist at the end wraps things up in a most satisfying finale.

    Clark could always craft a good plot.Sometimes her leading ladies are just so wonderful, we get a little sick of them.Not here: Nolan seems a little short on smarts in a crisis, and for once the cops pretty much know what they're doing.So combine a clever story with plenty of villains to go around, with lots of reporters and busybodies to keep the creative juices flowing, and we have a tale which turns pages fast, always a good sign!We don't know how many books our matriarch might have left in her, but if she can produce a few more like this one, we say bring `em on!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Certainly Not Her Best
    I have always enjoyed Mary Higgin Clark books and waited impatiently for the next. However I was so very disappointed with this latest. It was obvious from the very beginning who the villain was and buying the premise of the plot was impossible. If my husband bought a house without consulting me and expected me to live in it even if I was uncomfortable, he would be the one seeing the psychiatrist, not me. I feel this book lacked the suspense that her books usually provide.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the Mary Higgins Clark I remember!
    I have read each of her books starting with the first one. Her latest ones have been very bland. This one is a page turner reminiscent of her early books. Since the chapters are short, I tell myself, just one more chapter tonight, then of course I say the same thing for 3 more chapters. An easy read with many twists. I wonder myself how I would have handled the situation if I were Ceil---a subject I haven't encountered before. MHC's daughter & ex-daughter-in-law try to write in the same vein as she does, but they don't compare with the Master, or should I say, Mistress!

    1-0 out of 5 stars The worst book she has ever written
    I was horribly disappointed in this book.Mary Higgins Clark is not known for deep writing but I can count on her to provide a fast paced, suspenseful, and enjoyable book that keeps you guessing.This is most definitely not the case with No Place Like Home.If you are familiar with her work it will be painfully obvious who the bad guy is from the beginning.The coincidences are too much to take and the heroine left me cold. ... Read more


    12. The Kite Runner
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $25.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743530233
    Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
    Sales Rank: 5258
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A Stunning Novel of Hope and Redemption

    Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable and beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan grow up in different worlds: Amir is the son of a prominent and wealthy man, while Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant, is a Hazara -- a shunned ethnic minority. Their intertwined lives, and their fates, reflect the eventual tragedy of the world around them. When Amir and his father flee the country for a new life in California, Amir thinks that he has escaped his past. And yet he cannot leave the memory of Hassan behind him.

    The Kite Runner is a novel about friendship and betrayal, and about the price of loyalty. It is about the bonds between fathers and sons, and the power of fathers over sons -- their love, their sacrifices, and their lies. Written against a backdrop of history that has not been told in fiction before, The Kite Runner describes the rich culture and beauty of a land in the process of being destroyed. But through the devastation, Khaled Hosseini offers hope: through the novel's faith in the power of reading and storytelling, and in the possibilities he shows us for redemption. ... Read more

    Reviews (107)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting. Fascinating. Powerful.
    In a word or two, this book is riveting, fascinating, powerful. An avid reader, I found this to be the best book that I have read in recent memory. It more than lived up to all the accolades that heralded its US debut. Khaled Hosseini could not have written a more apropos novel than The Kite Runner, a story that is set against the backdrop of the recent historical events and subsequent political upheaval of Afghanistan. And while this story does cover much of the political turbulence that disrupted and destroyed the lives of so many Afghani people, this is a story, which because of its of theme friendship, betrayal and ultimate redemption, will eventually transcend time and place.

    The author presents the reader with a serene, picturesque description of pre-war Afghanistan before the fall of the monarchy and the 1979 Soviet invasion. Hosseini, who portrays Afghans as a generous, gregarious people in a land where perhaps the only things more cherished than custom and tradition is loyalty and honor, has given a face to his country that until the events of September 11, 2001, have remained virtually unnoticed by the rest of the world. The deeply held mores and customs of the Afghan people that Hosseini so skillfully, yet simplistically weaves into his story also serves to enlighten the reader about Afghanistan.

    Finally, it is the storyline itself that is truly memorable. The Kite Runner is ultimately a tale of friendship, betrayal and redemption - about how one person finally atones for the sins of his past. Filled with bouts of harrowing action and blissful calm, the novel verily elicits the entire spectrum of human emotions. Hosseini makes his characters quite real, very human, keeping them true to themselves, their personalities, although it is the protagonist, the primary narrator, whose character flaw is at the heart of this novel. Finally, I must admit that some parts of the story were predictable, but it does nothing to lessen the terrific tale told by Hosseini. The Kite Runner is a beautifully written story that will stay the reader long after many other stories have been read and forgotten.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Kite Runner
    This is a truly magnificent book! Without a doubt one of the very best stories I have ever read, not just because it is so beautifully written, but also because it is an important story. It takes place during the last thirty years of turbulent history in Afghanistan, and deals with a family and their love for each other and for their country. Author Khalid Hosseini no doubt has drawn heavily on his own life experiences to bring us this story. He was born to a wealthy family in Kabul Afghanistan and came to America as a political refugee in 1980. In The Kite Runner, Amir is the son of a prominent Pashtun family; his best friend, Hassan is the son of their servant man and a Hazara, a much hated ethnic minority. Despite their ethnic differences, Amir and Hassan are close friends throughout their childhood, both of them always mindful of Hassan's servant status. The two boys grow and learn, one of them privileged, the other deprived, both of them secure in the bosom of a prominent Pashtun family, both loved by the patriarch of that family, while the winds of change blew ceaselessly over the Afghan landscape. This story traces the lives of Amir and Baba his proud Father, and of Hassan and Ali his Father and faithful servant to Baba. In July of 1973, the people of Afghanistan woke to learn that while their King Zahir Shah was away in Italy, the Afghan monarchy had been ended in a bloodless coup led by the King's cousin Daoud Kahn. For a while there was peace in their lives but it was not to last. Before the end of that decade came first the Russians with soldiers, tanks and helicopter gun ships, and when they left, came the years of wanton destruction by the countless tribal war lords. This was to be ended, they thought mercifully, by the arrival of the Taliban, who at first brought order to the chaos, but later proved to be the most ruthless of killers. Amir and his Father left Afghanistan when the Russians arrived and came to America to settle in an Afghan community in San Francisco. However, the ties to their homeland and to the family they had left behind were to haunt them for years. One day, Amir received a telephone call from a friend in Pakistan and decided he must return. What he found there was a revelation of the awful changes which had been brought to his homeland and its people since his childhood. Don't buy this book because it is about that part of the world which changed our lives, don't buy it because it is a story about Muslims, don't even buy it because it is in a way a modern "Gone With The Wind" a story of a strong family in turbulent times. Buy it because it is a wonderful meaningful story, beautifully, sensitively written, by a man whose first language was not even our language, but who has mastered it as few of us have, and who has shown an unusual understanding of the workings of the human mind in times of great mental and physical stress.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
    This book is absolutely riviting. It is one of the best books I have ever read. The characters will stay with me long after the book has been put down.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Exquisitely Written Novel With An Extraordinary Plot
    Khaled Hosseini's powerful and haunting first novel, "The Kite Runner" is the best book I have read this year. It is a story of family relationships, friendship, betrayal, guilt and atonement. Mr. Hosseini also explores, movingly, the horrors of war and the terrible conflicts between classes and ethnic groups that have long plagued the people of Afghanistan. The novel spans the period in Afghani history from the peaceful 70's to the rule of the Taliban in the late 1990's.

    In Kabul, during the winter of 1975, Amir's life changed forever. Those were the last peaceful days of Afghanistan's monarchy. Amir, our young narrator, is the privileged son of a wealthy Pashtun businessman. They are Sunni Muslims. Totally unlike his father, (called Baba, the "Toophan agha" or "Mr. Hurricane"), Amir is very sensitive, introspective, and much more interested in poetry and literature than in football. His mother died giving birth to him and the boy struggles to win his father's affection. Hassan was the closest person to Amir and his constant playmate, but they were not quite friends. The two boys had nursed at the breast of the same wet nurse - a special bond to the Afghanis. They were virtually inseparable. They climbed trees, wandered the streets of Kabul, made mischief, shared secrets, ran kites, and Amir would read while Hassan listened avidly to the wonderful stories. "The Shahnamah," a 10th century epic of ancient Persian heroes, was Hassan's favorite. He was an illiterate servant and his father was Amir's father's servant. They are Sh'ia Muslim, Hazaras. During a kite flying tournament in the winter of Amir's twelfth year, he betrayed Hassan - a defining event that will haunt him always. He will spend the rest of his life trying to atone. The Soviet invasion caused Amir and his father to emigrate to the United States, leaving everything and everyone behind. However, Amir will have another opportunity to prove his loyalty to his childhood friend and gain forgiveness. The story revolves around Amir's internal struggle.

    Mr. Hosseini's characters literally come alive on the page. Their emotional struggles and triumphs moved me deeply. Amir, Hassan, Baba, Ali, and Rahim Khan are so credible that I really became attached to them and miss them, now that I have turned the book's last page. The narrative is beautifully written, poignant, and also very informative about an Afghanistan most foreigners have never seen. Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan émigré living in San Francisco. I look forward to his next book. Very highly recommended.
    JANA

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and timely story
    Khaled Hosseini's debut novel "The Kite Runner" is an expertly crafted and timely novel about Afghanistan. Amir and Hassan grew up together in Kabul and are inseparable playmates and companions. Hassan would do anything for Amir, yet Amir does not consider Hassan his friend because they are of different worlds. Amir is a Sunni Muslim and a Pashtun, a member of the privileged class of Afghanistan. Hassan is the family's servant boy, a Shi'ite Muslim, and a Hazara, the lowest Afghani class. At a critical point in their lives, the cowardly Amir turns his back on Hassan and irreparably destroys their relationship. When the monarchy of Afghanistan is overturned and the Soviets take over, Amir and his father flee to America, leaving Hassan behind. But Amir is haunted by guilt because of his callous treatment of his childhood companion. Years later, when an old family friend is dying, Amir is asked to return to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, and he knows that he must use this opportunity to atone for the past, and in doing so, risk his life.

    The book also touches upon the immigrant experience as Amir's father Baba struggles to adjust to the California lifestyle and to an existence without the luxuries and honorable status he enjoyed in Afghanistan. It highlights the difference in customs and ethnic mindset between Afghanis and Americans. Parts of this novel are humorous and parts are touching. Some sections are painful to read, yet they are a necessary and haunting part of the story.

    I cannot recommend this wonderful book highly enough. It is one of the best novels I have read so far this year. The writing style is sparse and simple, yet it packs an emotional wallop. I could smell the kabobs sizzling on the grill, see the kites soaring and battling in the crisp winter sky, and feel the despair of the Afghani people over the loss of their old way of life due to war and oppression. The story is almost allegorical in its universal truths of love, friendship, betrayal, and redemption. Not only does it bring to life the turmoil and hardships that Afghanistan has faced, but also it sheds light on the culture and nature of the people behind the news stories.

    Eileen Rieback ... Read more


    13. Cold Service (Spenser Novels (Audio))
    by ROBERT B. PARKER
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0739318586
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-08)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 130646
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    When Spenser's closest ally, Hawk, is brutally injured and left for dead while protecting bookie Luther Gillespie, Spenser embarks on an epic journey to rehabilitate his friend in body and soul. Hawk, always proud, has never been dependent on anyone. Now he is forced to make connections: to accept the medical technology that will ensure his physical recovery, and to reinforce the tenuous emotional ties he has to those around him.

    Spenser quickly learns that the Ukrainian mob is responsible for the hit, but finding a way into their tightly knit circle is not nearly so simple. Their total control of the town of Marshport, from the bodegas to the police force to the mayor's office, isn't just a sign of rampant corruption-it's a form of arrogance that only serves to ignite Hawk's desire to get even. As the body count rises, Spenser is forced to employ some questionable techniques and even more questionable hired guns while redefining his friendship with Hawk in the name of vengeance.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but compelling
    If someone shoots Hawk, then Hawk must get them back. If someone shoots Hawk when he's guarding someone, and then goes on to kill that man, Hawk must destroy the entire organization--and make sure the man's surviving child makes money out of the deal. It goes to how Hawk defines himself. And Spenser needs to be there for Hawk, because that is how Spenser defines himself. The women in their lives, Susan Silverman for Spenser and Cecilia for Hawk can't really understand, but they do their best (and in the case of Susan, talk about it way too much), but they don't get in the way as Hawk and Spenser set out to destroy a Ukranian-led mob.

    Relying on help from Spenser's manly-man network, Hawk and Spenser soon learn who actually pulled the trigger, but discovering the motive is a bit more complicated. No more complicated than some strong-arm tactics can manage, though. Especially since the police, CIA, and Feds are busy pretending to know nothing and see nothing as Spenser and Hawk put their revenge plan into operation.

    Over the years, the Spenser novels have become something of a caricature of their earlier self. From dealing with complex moral issues, they pretty much now come down to the question of what it means to be a man. Fortunately, this is a pretty interesting and valid question, although the answer that author Robert B. Parker comes up with won't satisfy everyone. Still, Parker's strong and fast-paced writing kept me glued to the pages and made this a one-sitting read (the large print and plentiful white space helped as well).

    I don't especially like the notion that it's all right to just go in and shoot up people, even criminals, because you want to or because it makes you a man. But that doesn't mean that Parker isn't still one of the best mystery writers out there. COLD SERVICE is a compelling story--even if you end up very happy indeed that you don't have friends like Spenser--or a girlfriend like Susan Silverman.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed....again.
    As a devoted Parker fan for over twenty years, I have finally been disappointed once too often and will not buy any more books in the Spenser series.Ever since the "Spenser For Hire" TV series, Parker's books have gotten shorter and shorter, "disguised" by using heavier paper and larger print.Even worse, the Spenser stories have become depressingly inconsistent with a few good stories as well as some stinkers, like "Cold Service".This story doesn't even have any appealing characters, other than Spenser and Hawk, both of whom sound old and tired.I hate to say it, but I think it's time for Parker to retire this series rather than forcefaithful readers to witness their slow, painful decline.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Getting worse and worse ...
    The last Parker I'll pay money for.What a waste.It's sad to compare this to Parker's many good books.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Reading a Spenser novel is better than not reading one but..
    ...this one doesn't make me want to run out and get another one, either.

    I've read every Spenser novel and just about everything else Parker has produced and this one felt tired.

    This book started out so well - the action was moving, the lines were crisp. I laughed out loud and I couldn't wait to open the book back up.

    Then, the psychobabble began. There was way, way, way too much relationship study between Spenser and Susan about Spenser and Hawk. Enough already! We know that they'd do anything for each other - not out of debt but out of male-bonded love! We got that during the last book and the other 15 or so that have had this exact same conversation (except in shorter form!)!!

    Too bad, because Parker's last Jesse Stone novel was the best of the series and his Jackie Robinson back "Double Play" was very, very good. This one was not up to those high standards.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Thank God for Libraries
    I'm very glad I ran across this on my library's quick-reads shelf, since I'd hate to have shelled out cash for it.Normally I'd give it an extra * for local color, given that I'm from the Bahstan area and relish reading about the same streets I walk or drive down, but even that was pretty lacking in this Spenser, and what there was seemed half-hearted and formulaic.Which pretty much described the book.

    I love Parker, and I love Spenser, and have (or have read) every book he's written on his own (not those with wife Joan), including non-series ones such as "Love and Glory" or "Wilderness", but I agree with those who think the series has become repetitious lately, and shows signs of running out of gas.I don't solely look back to his early (70's and early 80's), pre-Susan, novels .. indeed I think the peak of the series was in the mid-period, books such as "A Catskill Eagle", and even had thought some of his recent books, e.g. "Back Story", were a rebound from a several years' slump.Maybe Parker just runs in cycles, or at random.But even a bad Parker is a good read.

    There are definite points of interest in this one, such as the return of the Gray Man, who put Spenser on a year-long road to recovery years ago, now as a tentative ally.

    But why does every one of the characters accreted over the years have to show up in every new book?Will the Gray Man now have to drop by for scones (not donuts, thank you) for the rest of our, Spenser's and the series' lives?OK, it's not absolutely every character (I don't recall noting that gay bartender from Georgia or wherever, or the gay Boston cop [tough guy Parker intimidated by Republican America?], and Chollo, the LA gunsel, is only mentioned) but it feels like it.

    And why, as some other reviewer pointed out, do Parker's hormonally challenged male characters have to ogle and comment on women constantly; and why are all the women remarkably attractive?And why Parker's obsession with makeup and dress on those women Spenser ogles?

    One thing I didn't notice any other reviewer commenting on is an indication of Parker's (or is it just Spencer and Hawk's?) divorcement from reality -- as part of Hawk's revenge for the killing of his clients and his wounding, he wants to set up a trust for the remaining child, being raised by his grandmother.At one point they wonder, is $150,000 a year indefinitely enough to help out?I know Parker lives in about the most expensive area of liberal, expensive Cambridge 02138, but can he really be so out of touch with the common folk? ... Read more


    14. Honeymoon
    by James Patterson, Howard Roughan
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586217267
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 251126
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    Book Description

    The honeymoon is over--now the murders can begin. America*s #1 thriller writer returns with his sexiest, scariest novel ever. Hotter than The Beach House and scarier than Kiss the Girls, James Patterson*s explosive new thriller introduces a bride who is beautiful, talented, devoted--and deadly.When a young investment banker dies of baffling causes, FBI agent John O*Hara immediately suspects the only witness, the banker*s alluring and mysterious fianc*e. Nora Sinclair is a beautiful decorator who expects the best, and will do anything to get it. Agent O*Hara keeps closing in, but the stronger his case, the less he knows whether he*s pursuing justice or his own fatal obsession. In a novel so compelling it reads like a collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, James Patterson unveils surprise after surprise that will keep readers guessing until the last deadly kiss. ... Read more


    15. On Writing : A Memoir Of The Craft
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $35.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671582364
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
    Sales Rank: 381991
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Read by the Author

    "If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write."


    On Writing begins with a mesmerizing account of King's childhood and his early focus on writing to tell a story. A series of vivid memories from adolescence, college, and the struggling years that led up to his first novel, Carrie, offer a fresh and often funny perspective on the formation of a writer.

    King then turns to the tools of his trade, examining crucial aspects of the wriiter's art and life, offering practical and inspiring advice on everything from plot and character development to work habits and rejection.

    King was in the middle of writing this book when he was nearly killed in a widely reported accident. On Writing culminates with a profoundly moving account of how his need to write spurred him toward recovery, and brought him back to his life. ... Read more

    Reviews (540)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ideas behind the words
    "The story is the most important part of the story" could accurately sum up Stephen Kings book on writing.

    The first half of the book is autobiographical. Stephen takes us through his childhood, discussing key events in his development as a person and a writer. This sets the context for the experiences he later writes about.

    The second half is the "On Writing" part, where he gives advice to aspiring fiction writers. He covers technical aspects (be concise) as well as tips on the creative process (don't sweat the plot, create situations and be true to what the characters would do in them). He describes the process of writing as "finding a fossil" - the fossil of the story is out there, use the most subtle tools out there to share the fossil.

    At the end, Steve covers his current status and recovery from a near death experience at the hands of an errant van driver. Perhaps this is the most touching part of the story.

    This book does capture some very useful nuggets of information, and will be especially useful to avid king readers. In that sense, it isn't just a trade book for writers. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and practical book for writers
    I read this book - my first by Stephen King - after noticing a lot of favorable reviews, and I really liked it. This book has been highly recommended in many different forums for young, aspiring writers, and I can see the reason why.

    While the first half of the book is autobiographical, dealing with events that made Stephen King the type of writer he is; the second half deals almost exclusively with King's insights and suggestions on the craft of writing - from vocabulary, grammar, editing, etc., to the nuances of dialogue, description, and narration. Unlike many books dealing with the art of writing, this book has a friendlier, almost intimate approach, and King uses numerous examples from his own work and that of other writers to illustrate his points. Two of the best pieces of advice in this book are: "Write with your door closed, re-write with your door open", and "If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write".

    This is a very inspiring and motivating book for anyone interested in writing. King himself never stopped writing, no matter what the circumstances - the abject poverty of the early part of his life, or the excruciating pain as a result of the life threatening accident - and that is the biggest lesson in this book for writers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Like a school book, but way more fun!
    Stephen King's On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, is probably the best advice book you're goin to get.
    It has three parts:
    (1)An account on his younger life, and why he thinks he came to be the type of writer she is today.
    (2)The second part is an absolutely fantastic account on writing. He runs you through Plot Development, Character development, different types of plot eg: Story/Situation, advice on Literary Agents, submitting short-stories to magazines etc etc etc...
    (3)And the last 60 pages or so is an account on the horrifying accident he had in 1999 in Maine. He walks through it in detail.

    As an aspiring writer myself, I found this book classic. When I think back to before, when I didnt read it - and was writing myself - If found that I really needed it.

    So, for anyone who wants to know the low-down on becoming a successful writer, buy the book; for anyone who is a fan this is a must, you will read exciteing stories about his childhood and later life, and read the explicit chapter on his horrible accident.
    King, at his best. :-)(-:

    5-0 out of 5 stars Book Review: Stephen King ¿ On Writing
    Book Review: Stephen King - On Writing

    I enjoyed the first half of the book for the humorous lighthearted approaches Steve takes to his life. One inspiring moment would not leave my mind. I wish that I had one in my own life as significant. As a young boy Steve copied the works of his favorite comic and showed the result to his mother. "Write one of your own, Stevie," she said. WOW! Obviously the seed of a writer was already planted but what fertilizer was that moment in Stephen King's life. Permission to write came at a very significant age. So many writers struggle to give themselves permission to write. A comment like this reminds me how influential a parent is to their child. Imagine what may have become of Steve had his mother been a different woman.

    Other enjoyable moments involved poison ivy, a rather naughty school distribution and Steve's bleak telling of his drug and alcohol abuse. With the latter I sat wondering at Stephen's courage. Not just to relate these facts openly and honestly to his readers, but also to step beyond his dependency and hope, perhaps pray, that his writing did not come from the altered state. Some of his readers would see Steve in a darker light when realizing he is a former addict. I know that my image of Stephen changed. I saw in him honor, courage and a great strength to overcome. I admire him for stepping through the fear I can only imagine he must have felt and coming past it into real living. May we all learn from his experience.

    When I reached the middle of Stephen King's "On Writing: A Memoir", I could not help but notice the very distinct change of voice between the first section and the second. I wondered how the light hearted man, who wrote about living life even through some very hard moments, could possibly be the same man who wrote in stilted lament. I read feeling rather resentful of the attitude I felt coming from the pages. I wondered how he dared imply that the way he did things was the only way to do them. I was particularly flummoxed at the parts where Steve speaks of plot and how no writer should ever use plot, story is the key element. I agree, story is key, but my current novel is laid out perfectly on a large board with every little plot nuance decided. Of course since I am suffering a serious writer's block with that novel perhaps Steve has merit when he speaks of plotting and the damage it can do to story.

    Beyond that single disagreement I found Steve spoke to the readers of "On Writing" with integral truth. He spoke fact, but somehow in the second half of the book there seemed a lot less joy. It is only when I reached the postscript I realized why the two halves of one book seemed so different. You may notice the significance of change yourself when you read this book and you will find as I did that there is an rather extreme reasoning for it. Right where the voice changed is the eighteen months where Steve had been recuperating after being hit by a Dodge van. This life-changing event very obviously changed his sense of self and ultimately his voice, his writing.

    The second half of the book involves a lot of helpful advice, but personally I felt that a writer would find the first half much more inspiring. The second half answers questions you might have, but the answers are only helpful if you write in the same way Steve writes. Every writer does things their own way and while you can take his words and mince them in your own mind and heart into something of your own, if you attempt to copy his routine exactly you will loose your self. He admits this also and I thank him for once again being so honest. The second half of the book offers a great deal to aspiring writers but I feel the first half offered twice that again.

    Overall this book is a wonderful read for all writers and entertaining for non-writers. I freely admit that I have never read another of Stephen King's books but having read this one I am itching to read some of his fiction. He has a fluid hand that is a delight to read. I did find the profanity scattered across the book grating, but he has a section where he speaks of that also. It says a lot about who Stephen is and how he was raised. The entire book opens him up for readers to really know him, and that is a true connection of minds that shouts the truth he shares of writer's telepathy.

    Despite all he has suffered in life Stephen comes out a stronger man. In "On Writing" he offers aspiring writers a wealth of advice the most significant being, "Read a lot, Write a lot." You can only learn your subject by immersing yourself in it and as with all artistic desire to reach perfection the Carnegie hall anecdote comes to mine, "Practice, practice, practice". Thank you, Stephen King, for sharing yourself with me. I am a better person and hopefully a better writer because of your candor.

    Rebecca Laffar-Smith

    5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful and Entertaining
    I read this book while in the middle of editing a book for publication. It reminded me of many things I had either forgotten (from my days of working with the Chicago Manual of Style or The Elements of Style) and suddenly, my red pen used A LOT more ink.

    A highly entertaining read, I recommend for all serious writers. Take a few tips from a true master of the craft.

    From the author of I'm Living Your Dream Life and The Things I Wish I'd Said, McKenna Publishing Group ... Read more


    16. London Bridges (Alex Cross Novels)
    by James Patterson
    list price: $29.98
    our price: $19.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586217119
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 3377
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    Book Description

    Alex Cross is back--and so is the Big Bad Wolf.

    Terrorists have seized the worlds largest cities. London, Washington, DC, New York, and Frankfurt will be destroyed, unless their demands are met--and their demands are impossible. After a city in the western United States is fire bombed--a practice run--Alex Cross knows that it is only a matter of time before the bombers threats to the other cities are brutally executed.

    Heading up the investigation by the FBI, CIA, and Interpol, Alex Cross is stunned when surveillance photos show Geoffrey Shafer, the Weasel, near one of the bombing sites. He senses the presence of the Wolf as well, the most vicious predator he has ever battled. With millions of lives in the balance, Cross has to see if the most powerful law enforcement agencies in the world can stay ahead of these two mens cunning. ... Read more


    17. Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days (Left Behind, 1)
    by Tim Lahaye, Jerry B. Jenkins, Richard Ferrone
    list price: $34.95
    our price: $34.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0788749722
    Catlog: Book (2000-11-21)
    Publisher: Recorded Books
    Sales Rank: 361971
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    7 cassettes/ 11.75 hours (UNABRIDGED)

    During a routine flight, airline pilot Rayford Steele is thinking about seducing a young flight attendant when suddenly over 100 of his passengers vanish! Now Rayford and the others left behind are faced with mass chaos and baffling personal loss. Among the remaining passengers is star reporter Buck Williams, who just got the assignment of a lifetime—find out what happened and why!

    In this fascinating apocalyptic thriller, best-selling Christian inspirational authors LaHaye and Jenkins pool their considerable talents. Left Behind begins the gripping story that is now the best-selling inspirational series of all time. Actor Richard Ferrone provides the powerful, hard-edged narration for this thrilling unabridged audiobook. ... Read more

    Reviews (1954)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Left Behind
    Captain Rayford Steele is the captain of a 747 on a routine flight from Chicago to London. Buck Williams is a star writer for the Global Weekly, a national magazine, who is flying to London to meet his college friend. In one cataclysmic moment, millions around the globe disappear. Planes crash after being left with no pilot, cars crash for the same reason, and the world is thrust into utter chaos. People are terror stricken when their family and friends disappear before their very eyes. Rayford Steele and Buck Williams are two of the millions of people who are left behind. Left Behind is the first book in an amazing seven book series about the end of the world, based on the Christian church, written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. This series follows the lives of Buck Williams and Rayford Steele as they search for their family, for answers, and for the truth. You share Rayford's and Buck's excitement and fear, as you learn about what's yet to come. This amazing story about the prophesied end of the world is wonderfully written to the point where you can't put the book down. You relate with everything the characters are going through, and feel as if you are right next to them, going through all of the same things. I feel this is a must read for everyone, because it ties in family, love, action, religion, and adventure all into one beautifully done story.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Forgive me
    Until this book was published, I never realized just how un-Christian I was in my belief that the Prince of Peace really wanted to bring peace to the world. But now I've seen the error of my ways.
    Hopefull they'll make a movie of the book complete with mega-violence chest-bursting death and destruction so we believers can present a good witness to the world. Soldier on Christians!
    Is it too much to ask for a killer soundtrack, too?

    4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely a real pager turner, even for the non-Christian
    Left Behind and the 11 sequels are really just one long novel. It is possible, though not satisfying to read only the first one. I really enjoyed the first novel, Left Behind (well enough to read the next 11), although I actually stopped reading it for a while because the focus on the disbelievers was maddening. Millions of people all over the world disappear at once (coicidentally the die-hard Christians), and there is some question about what has happened? I suppose LeHaye and Jenkins were trying to convey just how ridiculous the non-Christians must seem to the Christians, but it was a bit overboard and actually a little boring. Anyway, our heroes finally accept Christ and the rest of the novels were action packed page turners. Of course, the Antichrist takes over rule of the world using the UN and the promise of world peace. I actually laughed out loud when the Antichrist was promising peace and extolling the exact sentiments you hear in the average Hillary Clinton speech (coincidence?). The novels read just an epic disaster novel and were just as fun. I would warn people who are anti-religion that the preaching is a little thick, but I enjoyed it and it was necessary to set the proper tone.

    1-0 out of 5 stars All who think this is good writing need to be taken by God..
    I have read some bad books before, but this is quite possible the worst one I have had the misfortune to pick up. I could not make it past page 75. Terrible writing, bad plot, one-dimensional characters. But hey, in a country where reality TV is such a hit, what do you expect, garbage sells! Of course, that will not change the minds of the religious zealots that have flocked to this series like a bunch of mindless sheep. Do yourself a favor, read something else...By the way, is there way to give this a negative 5?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lord Jesus I Sure Hope You Save Us!!!!!
    I just dun finished this here book. Now I'll tell all ya fellas that I aint too much on book learnin or readin words but I was goshdanged by this here book. It's just like I always dun knew it was gonna be. The Lord Jesus God gonna come down here on this Earth and be a whuppin up on all those people that aint right like christians. That includes all the dirty muslins and the stoopid aytheists (can't never be spellerin that word correct-like). Anyways I only hope the Lord God Jesus's repersentive on Earth, George W. Bush, can a get this here 'pocalypse a comin soon enough. Theez damn books are a goshdamn sight better than a watchin Jerry Springer or beatin up ma kids like I usually be doin'. One of them stoopid revewers said this here book was a ritten at a sixth grader level. Well thats a bunch of spit and possum vittles. I dint even finish the fourth grade and I'm a readin it just fine. Ima just hopin somebody gonna make nifty cartoon out this here book. YEEEEEHAAAAWWWWW!!!! PRAISE JESUS!!!!! ... Read more


    18. The Broker
    by JOHN GRISHAM
    list price: $49.95
    our price: $32.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 073931646X
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-11)
    Publisher: Random House Audio
    Sales Rank: 17841
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    19. Night Fall
    by Nelson DeMille
    list price: $39.98
    our price: $26.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586217100
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 11572
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    Book Description

    On a Long Island beach at dusk, Bob Mitchell and Janet Whitney conduct their illicit love affair in front of a video camera, set to record each steamy moment. Suddenly a terrible explosion lights up the sky. Grabbing the camera, the couple flees as approaching police cars speed toward the scene. Five years later, the crash of Flight 800 has been attributed to a mechanical mal-function. But for John Corey and Kate Mayfield, both members of the Elite Anti-terrorist Task Force, the case is not closed. Suspecting a cover-up at the highest levels and disobeying orders, they set out to find the one piece of evidence that will prove the truth about what really happened to Flight 800-the videotape that shows a couple making love on the beach and the last moments of the doomed airliner. ... Read more


    20. Hour Game
    by David Baldacci
    list price: $39.98
    our price: $26.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586217070
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 7536
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    Book Description

    As a series of brutal murders darkens the Wrightsburg, Virginia countryside, the killer taunts police by leaving watches on the victims set to the hour corresponding with their position on his hit list.What's more, he strives to replicate notorious murders of the past, improving on them through savage attention to detail. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are already investigating a crime involving an aristocratic and dysfunctional Southern family, but when they're deputized to help in the serial killer hunt they realize the two cases may be connected. Adding to the tension is the appearance of a second killer, this one imitating the murders of the first. Soon, the two killers are playing a game of cat and mouse, with King and Maxwell racing to solve the intricate puzzle of their identities-before the body count escalates. ... Read more


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