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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! (Paperback)


by Jane Austen (Author), Seth Grahame-Smith (Author)

Product Description

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice) this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.

About the Author
JANE AUSTEN is the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and other masterpieces of English literature. SETH GRAHAME-SMITH is the author of How to Survive a Horror Movie and The Big Book of Porn. He lives in Los Angeles.

I have been redeemed..., March 24, 2009
By J. Johnson


After suffering through Pride and Prejudice in a women's lit class in high school, being one of the three males in the class, and undergoing much embarrassment for my lack of understanding of the subject matter, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is bittersweet redemption. It was very nice while reading this to feel as though I am exacting revenge on Jane Austen's literary masterpiece by not only understanding the work but also enjoying a pseudo-perverse amalgamation of her work and a horror/comedy film.

No doubt some Austen fans will cry "heresy" at what Seth Grahame-Smith has done, that is take a classic piece of literature and splice in zombie references, but I think others will accept this work as the kind of flattery that it is to Ms. Austen. Others, like myself, who were intellectually incapable of understanding the works of Jane Austen, will feel sweet vindication from enjoying her great work with a smidgen of added immaturity.

There is no doubt that Grahame-Smith has accomplished something incredibly innovative with this work, possibly spawning a new literary-classic-remade-hilarious genre, and there is also no doubt that he has done so very well.

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys comedy, zombies, and classic women's literature- and I never thought I would recommend anything on those terms.

P&P Fan, LOVE This, March 27, 2009
By EA Blevins


The literary community should never be too proud to laugh at itself. I own three copies of the original "Pride & Prejudice" plus all the movies, so my husband and I bought this the moment we spotted it on the shelf (and laughed all the way to the register).

Fans need to read this book tongue-in-cheek and prepare to laugh WITH it. If you don't like zombies or consider yourself a Jane Austen purist, if you admire only the most intricate writing and consider this sort of work irreverent, then you'll be appalled more than amused. The level of writing IS degenerated from the original but, considering the subject matter, I don't think "quality" was the forethought of the day. "Brains" is more like it.

On a literary note, the juxtaposition of familiar classic and farcical horror makes for harmless, laugh-out-loud comedy. I applaud this idea and hope the "Quirk Classics" line hammers out more spoofs on stories I love.

The only thing I find annoying is the last line of the blurb: "transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read." I'm perfectly capable of enjoying BOTH, thankyouverymuch.

City of Glass (Mortal Instruments) (Hardcover)


by Cassandra Clare (Author)

From Booklist

In search of a potion for her dying mother, Clary sneaks into the City of Glass and is immediately caught up in a life-and-death battle. As the children of the Moon (werewolves), Night (vampires), and Faerie gather for a war that will rend the heavens, Clary calls upon her untrained powers to control an angel who will save or destroy them all. Readers should be familiar with the first two installments in the Mortal Instruments series, but there is nevertheless plenty of romance, loss, honor, and betrayal to make the journey worthwhile. An experienced storyteller, Clare moves the plot quickly to a satisfying end.

Product Description
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

From Booklist
In search of a potion for her dying mother, Clary sneaks into the City of Glass and is immediately caught up in a life-and-death battle. As the children of the Moon (werewolves), Night (vampires), and Faerie gather for a war that will rend the heavens, Clary calls upon her untrained powers to control an angel who will save or destroy them all. Readers should be familiar with the first two installments in the Mortal Instruments series, but there is nevertheless plenty of romance, loss, honor, and betrayal to make the journey worthwhile. An experienced storyteller, Clare moves the plot quickly to a satisfying end.

Product Description
To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

Fell Flat, March 26, 2009
By Moirne Stark


Before I start critiquing, I want to say that I enjoyed this book. I was pretty much glued to it for a day, so it is a page turner. I did have problems with it that prevent me from giving it a higher rating though.

Clare was very repetitive, which I partly attribute to bad editing. I got very annoyed with Clary and Jace because of it. One scene of over angst-y declarations of love would have been quite enough, but I lost count of how many were actually in this book. It was hard for me to believe that two people who have only known each other a month could be so deeply in love. I just wasn't feeling it. I started disliking Clary's character more than ever because of her rash decisions. She always got herself into trouble and had to be rescued. It's a problem when the main characters of your story are annoying. Then there were all the weird love entanglements, particularly with Simon, that was just out of place. There was no surprise factor for me because I figured out the "twist" before it was revealed and the ending was just as predictable. But what really ticked me off was one particular death that was absolutely unnecessary. It made me angry that Clare chose this person to die when she could have easily picked someone else less like-able.

I don't know if I'm being too hard on this book. I guess I expected more and it's frustrating because it could have been great with a bit of tweaking. I would have liked the ending to be less happily ever after and just a little tragic. I may not agree with Clare's decisions, but parts of the story were great and that redeemed it a bit for me.

A Perfect Ending, March 25, 2009
By Heather (Nashville, TN)


I couldn't have asked for a better ending. I got everything I wanted. I don't want to summarize the book, I'll leave that to others, but I will say that there are some heartbreakingly beautiful scenes in this book. The characters became more developed and more endearing, especially Jace. His sarcastic wit is certainly present in this book; however, he is no longer hiding behind his carefully constructed facade. His torment over Clary is glaringly obvious from the first chapter.

I noticed that another review stated that she wished Clary and Jace hadn't have been as close as they were until they knew the truth about not being related, but I have to disagree. Clary was the only person in the world that made Jace feel like he belonged and she was the only person he belonged to and the fact that she didn't turn away from him when he told her that he loved her probably meant more to him than her waiting until she knew the truth to love him back the same way. He had resigned himself to love her always, no matter what, and I'm glad that he got to know that she had resigned herself to the same fate.

Cassandra Clare works magic with this novel. The excitement begins on the first page and doesn't stop until the final sentence. She brings everything full circle for a completely satisfying ending - even though fans would be more than happy to read about these beloved characters forever, I know I will miss them.

One Second After (Hardcover)


by William R. Forstchen (Author)

From Publishers Weekly
In this entertaining apocalyptic thriller from Forstchen (We Look Like Men of War), a high-altitude nuclear bomb of uncertain origin explodes, unleashing a deadly electromagnetic pulse that instantly disables almost every electrical device in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Airplanes, most cars, cellphones, refrigerators—all are fried as the country plunges into literal and metaphoric darkness. History professor John Matherson, who lives with his two daughters in a small North Carolina town, soon figures out what has happened. Aided by local officials, Matherson begins to deal with such long-term effects of the disaster as starvation, disease and roving gangs of barbarians. While the material sometimes threatens to veer into jingoism, and heartstrings are tugged a little too vigorously, fans of such classics as Alas, Babylon and On the Beachwill have a good time as Forstchen tackles the obvious and some not-so-obvious questions the apocalypse tends to raise. Newt Gingrich provides a foreword. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Civilization slides into the abyss of a new dark age in this horrifying apocalyptic novel. Forstchen has put Bin Laden's wet dream on paper and, in the process, taken civilization straight to the rack."--Stephen Coonts, author of The Assassin
“The only thing more terrifying than this masterfully crafted story is the possibility of it actually happening—and not a damn thing being done to protect us.”
--W.E.B. Griffin & William E. Butterworth IV

"Forstchen's work has flair and power."--Joel Rosenberg, author of The Sleeping Dragon

"One of the most intriguing writers today in the field of historical and military science fiction."--Harry Turtledove, author of Guns of the South

"Good storytelling consists very simply of creating characters so believable that the reader forms a deep bond. Forstchen did such a damned fine job with One Second After that shortly after the first page, I had been reeled in hook, line, and sinker."--David Hagberg, author of Dance with the Dragon

A Frighteningly Realistic Scenario, March 19, 2009
By P. A. Bennett (U.K.)


Fans of the author will not be disappointed by his latest work.
Forstchen examines the effect of an attack on the U.S.A. using an EMP(or rather three EMPs). The electro magnetic pulse ruins most electrical gadgets; computers and anything controlled by them, data storage, modern vehicles and planes, electricity generators,water supply, medical equipment, phones and radios.
The small town in which the story is set reverts to a barter economy and its shops soon run out of food and medicines. Local law enforcement has to cope with increasingly desperate local citizens,stranded motorists, and refugees from the big cities hoping to find food and shelter.
Forstchen examines the big issues mainly by looking at the impact on one family. This approach works well, and the reader is drawn in, wondering "what would I do in that situation?"
The reason I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5 may sound trivial. Every single "could have, should have, would have, might have" in the book is written as "could of, should of" etc.After reading several dozen of these I almost ended up shouting at the book. I guess I'm getting old.

Frightening, March 22, 2009
By Stephen Fleischer (Monument, Colorado)


Forstchen delivers a frightening warning about one possible asymmetrical attack on the U.S. We hope (pray) that this is just a post-apocalyptic story, but if we are wrong, the consequences are horrifying.

The same Washington incompetents who brought us the recession, trillions of dollars in deficits, Iraq/Afghanistan, and a bankrupt social security program, are responsible for protecting us from this sort of disaster. Why don't I feel safe?

Forstchen's book is sad, scary and depressing. He rightfully points out that in a Hobbesian world, there are going to be no winners, just the dead and a few survivors. There is a glimmer of hope in the goodness of some people, but the price to discover that virtue is high.

The book prodded me to do two things:
- Buy 50 pounds of rice for my emergency kit; and
- Pressure my Congressional representatives to do a better job.

Best book that Forstchen has written.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich (Paperback)


by Ramit Sethi (Author)

Product Description

At last, for a generation that's materially ambitious yet financially clueless comes I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi's 6-week personal finance program for 20-to-35-year-olds. A completely practical approach delivered with a nonjudgmental style that makes readers want to do what Sethi says, it is based around the four pillars of personal finance— banking, saving, budgeting, and investing—and the wealth-building ideas of personal entrepreneurship.

Sethi covers how to save time by not wasting it managing money; the guns and cars myth of credit cards; how to negotiate like an Indian—the conversation begins with "no"; why "Budgeting Doesn't Have to Suck!"; how to get things rolling—for real—with only $20; what most people don't understand about taxes; how to get a CEO to take you out to lunch; how to avoid the Super Mario Brothers trap by making your savings work harder than you do; the difference between cheap and frugal; the hidden relationship between money and food. Not to mention his first key lesson: Getting started is more important than being the smartest person in the room. Integrated with his website, where readers can use interactive charts, follow up on the latest information, and join the community, it is a hip blueprint to building wealth and financial security.

Every month, 175,000 unique visitors come to Ramit Sethi's website, Iwillteachyoutoberich.com, to discover the path to financial freedom. They praise him thoughtfully ("Your site summarizes everything I want with my life—to be rich in finances, rich in experience, rich in family blessings," Dan Esparza) and effusively ("Dude, you rock. I love this site!" Richard Wu). The press has caught on, too: "Ramit Sethi is a rising star in the world of personal finance writing . . . one singularly attuned to the sensibilities of his generation. his style is part frat boy and part silicon Valley geek, with a little bit of San Francisco hipster thrown in" (San Francisco Chronicle). His writing is smart, his voice is full of attitude, and his ideas are uncommonly sound and refreshingly hype-free.

From the Back Cover
You don't have to be perfect to be rich. Or the smartest person in the room. Or a type-A personality. In fact, with Ramit Sethi's six-week program to financial independence, you can start with any amount of money, do just 85 percent of what he suggests, and succeed brilliantly through good times and bad.

As irreverent and entertaining as he is practical and wise, Sethi explains how to beat banks and credit cards at the fee game, automate your cash flow, negotiate for a raise, manage student loans, and enjoy your lattes and Manolo Blahniks by practicing conscious spending. It's how to master your money with the least amount of effort—and then get on with your life.

Not your parents' money management book, March 23, 2009
By Susan Roberts


First, here's what this book is not: It's not your parents' money management and investing book, although as a parent I wish I had done in my twenties what Ramit Sethi tells the twenty-somethings they should be doing right now.

Ramit starts with the premise that most people are so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of financial information available that they just shut down and do nothing. So Ramit tells you exactly what to do with your money and why. Want to know whether it's smarter to pay extra on your student loans or put that money into your 401(k) instead? Ramit will tell you. Want to know some specific financial companies that offer the low-cost index funds you should invest in through your Roth IRA? Ramit will tell you. Do you not even know what the heck an index fund is? Ramit will tell you!

Ramit also tells the truth about brown bagging your lunch and curbing your latte habit; and the truth is that these actions on their own are virtually pointless. Instead, you should go after the big wins, like getting the lowest interest rate and the best price on your next car because you have impeccable credit and negotiated "like an Indian" (negotiation scripts included).

Ramit maps out exactly how to get from where you are now to where you want to be financially, including how to create a personal money management system that practically manages itself. Ramit's system starts with a no-fee checking account and an online high-interest savings account. (He even tells you which online bank he uses.) He then walks you through setting up automatic bill payments and regularly scheduled transfers to your investment accounts. Throughout, he includes easy-to-understand charts, as well as short pieces by other personal finance bloggers.

I wish I could quote some of the passages that I found especially useful or entertaining--Ramit writes with an appealing, if oddball, humor--but I have already mailed my copy of the book to my 24-year-old son, who called me last night to tell me it never would've occurred to him to ask his bank to waive an overdraft fee. (That gem is in chapter 2, I think.)

Thank you, Ramit! I hope this enthusiastic review by an "old person" will not stop the young people from buying your book!

The New "Random Walk" - For those who'd rather be rich then sexy, March 23, 2009
By C. J. Schaefer (Enid, OK USA)


"Don't let the breezy, irreverent style of this book fool you. It contains serious advice on personal-finance decisions from budgeting and savings to spending and investing." - Burton G. Malkiel, author of "A Random Walk Down Wall Street"

For several years, through his blog, Ramit Sethi has been turning the personal finance world on it's head, defying the advice of many financial "experts" and making the topics of money and investing accessible and relevant for the average twenty and thirty-something.

Now, in his first book he draws from some of his best content and goes many steps further, showing us all that personal finance isn't some magic formula to be unlocked, but rather a series of small, conscious decisions that don't require an MBA or even a financial adviser (gasp).

Sethi explains, "Most of us fall into one of two camps as regards our money: We either ignore it and feel guilty, or we obsess over financial details by arguing interest rates and geopolitical risks without taking action. Both options yield the same results - none. The truth is that the vast majority of young people don't need a financial adviser to help them get rich. We need to set up accounts at a reliable no-fee bank and then automate savings and bill payment. We need to know about a few things to invest in, and then we need to let our money grow for thirty years."

Sethi takes the reader through six-weeks to financial literacy, covering:

1) Optimizing Credit Cards
2) Setting up no-fee, high-interest bank accounts
3) Opening investment accounts
4) Figuring out how much you're spending and developing a conscious spending plan
5) automating your new financial infrastructure
6) why investing isn't the same as picking stocks

Throughout the entire book Sethi offers solid financial lessons in a clear and actionable way. He doesn't just say, "Set up an investment account," he shows exactly how to do it, what questions to ask, various options to choose from and gives the reader the necessary contact information for various investment companies.

Since majoring in business management in college and focusing much of my time on the world of personal finance, I have read several books on the subject, some good, most terrible. Many of my friends would come to me for advice on various subjects and I would have to pull on lessons learned from multiple sources. Now, I can just hand them "I Will Teach You to Be Rich" and know that they will be receiving everything they need, all in one place, for a life of financial success.

A Lion Called Christian: The True Story of the Remarkable Bond between Two Friends and a Lion (Hardcover)


by Anthony Bourke (Author), John Rendall (Author), George Adamson (Foreword)

Book Description

In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.

A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up--fast--and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.

Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.

Product Description

In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.

A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up—fast—and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.

Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Responsible Big Cat Ownership: Review of a Lion Called Christian, July 28, 2008
By Spiritwolf "Check out my art creations at my ... (In USA)


I have an original copy of this book, A Lion Called Christian. It is a hardcover book.

This book recounts the experiences of two men who owned a London boutique, bought a lion cub to try to attract customers to the store, and when the lion outgrew their ability to responsibly maintain him, they took responsibility for his future by taking him to George Adamson in Kenya to be rehabilitated to the wild.

George Adamson was the ex-husband of Joy Adamson, author of the famous Born Free books. They were the pioneers of the practice of successfully rehabilitating captive animals to the wild.

The story is excellent and is attracting new interest today because of videos on youtube, of the reunion of the owners and Christian after Christian was living as a fully rehabilitated wild lion.

This story is the epitome example of people taking full responsibility for the welfare and future of the big cat they bought as a pet, when that cat outgrew their facilities and resources to keep him adequately for his needs.

It is a beautiful moving story and also shows just how much loyalty and love that animals can have toward humans who genuinely care about them and relate to the animals in positive fair ways that the animals understand.

Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting (Paperback)


by Bethenny Frankel (Author), Eve Adamson (Contributor)

Review

"Bethenny Frankel's new book promises -- and delivers -- the ultimate dream of every overweight American: that you can be 'naturally thin' without starvation dieting, exercising like a maniac, taking drugs, or feeling hungry all the time."-- Ellen Kunes, Editor-in-Chief, Health magazine

Product Description
She stole the show in the runaway hit The Real Housewives of New York City, but Bethenny Frankel's passion has always been enjoying healthful, natural foods and sharing that love: whether she was cooking for Hollywood A-listers, launching her successful company BethennyBakes, providing delicious recipes to Health, or working with leading lifestyle and food companies.

Naturally Thin shows how anyone can banish their Heavy Habits, embrace Thin Thoughts, and enjoy satisfying meals, snacks, and drinks without the guilt. Armed with Bethenny's rules, readers will say:

• I know when I am really hungry

• When I'm really hungry, I look for high-volume, fiber-rich foods

• I can have any food I want

• I love the taste of real food

With more than thirty simple, delicious recipes (including her famous SkinnyGirl Margarita), a one-week program to jump-start readers on the Naturally Thin lifestyle, and warm, witty encouragement on every page, Frankel serves up a book for a healthier and thinner life.

Bravo!, March 8, 2009
By Karen Battey "giacourteney" (Newport Beach, CA)


I can't tell you how much this book has changed my life. 10 years ago I was 15 lbs thinner. When I think about it, it is because I followed the principles in this book, I just didn't know it. Since then, I've been on countless diets and exercise regimes and have failed to drop the pounds. After reading this book (which I finished in one weekend), I am confident I can now lose the weight. Yes, her advice may seem commonsense but it just makes sense! And the rule that really hit home is Taste Everything, Eat Nothing, meaning, no food is off-limits. I also like the fact that she includes a 3-week diary of her meals. You will LOVE this book! It's much better than counting calories (which I've been doing for 25 years), fat grams, or carbs.

REAListic "dieting", March 4, 2009
By S. Beriro Lacharlotte "pcbud" (miami beach, florida United States)


This book is the BEST diet/health book I have ever read- and I have read quite a few.......It is honest, straightforward, and very chill. It does not stress you out about dieting and not eating this or that and or having to run to the gym 24/7- Bethenny makes me believe that i can be realistically Naturally Thin- I have already seen some results from some of the eating habits I have changed since reading it!! LOVE it.

Succession: Are You Ready? (Memo to the Ceo) (Hardcover)


by Marshall Goldsmith (Author)

Review

"A 'handbook' in every sense, the latest offering from leadership authority Marshall Goldsmith is a compact field guide to letting go, gearing up, and passing the baton" --T+D Magazine

Product Description
A leader's greatest challenge can be knowing when it's time to step aside. A great deal has been written for corporate boards on the issue of succession planning. But most executives have few resources to help guide them through the process. How do you start preparing yourself--and your successor--for your inevitable leadership transition?

In this concise book, leading executive coach and bestselling author Marshall Goldsmith offers candid advice on succession from the outgoing executive's perspective. From choosing and grooming a successor while sidestepping political minefields, to finally handing over responsibility, Goldsmith walks you through each step in the succession process.

Done right, your successor can enter to applause while you gracefully bow out and start the next chapter of your life.

The Art of Passing the Baton, February 14, 2009
By Pele Ugboajah "Pele Raymond Ugboajah, PhD - L... (International Falls, MN, USA)


Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is very clear that this book is less about the dry, logical, technical, or strategic issues of CEO succession and more about how to navigate the behavioral and emotional realities involved in successfully changing the guard at the top job. His central question for the CEO or top leader in any organization is: Are YOU ready?

To help you answer that question, he focuses like a laser on what may easily be the most challenging aspect of the process: the HUMAN side of leadership succession. While readily admitting that there are several books that can deal with the other technical issues, he forges ahead with powerful metaphors and stories that reveal the extreme importance of correctly handling the BEHAVIORAL challenges in leadership succession. How do you get yourself emotionally ready for moving on? How do you identify the right leaders to pass the baton to? How do you coach those leaders, and provide them with the best and most empowering tools for changing behavior? Ultimately, how do you "pass the baton?"

All these questions and more are handled in a way that reveals the unique insight Dr. Goldsmith possesses regarding the leadership challenges at the very top ... this time, not from the point of view of trying to BECOME the leader, but from the point of view of trying to replace yourself if YOU are the current, successful leader.

I love the analogy of Spock (the logical vulcan), which he uses to represent what this book is NOT about. (Dry, logical, statistical analysis). Perhaps even more, I love the analogy of PASSING THE BATON, which paints a truly powerful picture of what Succession is all about. Just as the lead runner has to carefully slow down without stopping, the second runner must also speed up and stretch out a hand to successfully receive the baton. It is this subtle dance - this carefully orchestrated coaching process - that Dr. Goldsmith uses as a central metaphor to kick off his book.

Like other previous books from Dr. Goldsmith, this is clearly a masterpiece. But beware, for this book will ask you to look deep within yourself with strong introspection if you are the CEO or Leader at the top. For succession is as much about YOUR behavior and emotions, as it is about those whom you hope to groom for the future!

Personal and Professional Succession Advice for CEO's, February 13, 2009
By Judy Knight "Thumbprint Coaching, Inc." (San Ramon, CA)


"Succession" is unique in that it focuses on the personal challenges for CEO's as they move on, as well as the professional do's and don'ts of picking and grooming a successor. This is a quick read, but is filled with thought-provoking ideas for a CEO or senior leader to ponder and then implement to ensure his or her legacy carries on. Marshall provides concrete suggestions for how to choose and coach a successor to increase the chances for a successful transition.

The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education (Hardcover)


by Craig M. Mullaney (Author)

Review
Advance Praise for The Unforgiving Minute


“Keenly intelligent war memoir whose central question is, “What is a man?”’… A philosophically ambitious account of coming to adulthood.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Craig Mullaney has lived every kind of American life—he has been a working- man’s son, a prize scholar, a soldier—and what’s come out of it is a classic memoir about what it means to be American. By marching so many terrains, he has covered the subjects central to every life: courage, pain, loyalty, honor, friendship, love and the tests any good life faces, year by year, minute by minute. He has also produced a page-turner, a brutally honest account of West Point life, the innocence-abandoned experiences of an American abroad at Oxford, and ultimately an indelible story of life and death on the battlefield. In words his squadmates might recognize, I recommend The Unforgiving Minute without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion.”
—David Lipsky, contributing editor to Rolling Stone Magazine and author of the New York Times bestseller Absolutely American

“The Unforgiving Minute is the ultimate's soldier's book—universal in its raw emotion and its understanding of the larger issues of life and death. Mullaney, a master storyteller, plunges the depths of self-doubt, endurance, and courage. The result: a riveting, suspenseful human story, beautifully told. This is a book written under fire—a lyrical, spellbinding tale of war, love, and courage. The Unforgiving Minute is the Three Cups of Tea of soldiering.”
—Ahmed Rashid, author of the New York Times bestseller Taliban and Descent into Chaos

“Mullaney writes a great story—a true privilege to read. Entertaining, balanced, and graceful, The Unforgiving Minute is a powerful narrative of purpose, responsibility, courage, and personal growth. Every young man and woman in America should read this book, and aspire to his standard of public service.”
—General Wesley Clark, USA (Ret.)

“The Unforgiving Minute is one of the most compelling memoirs yet to emerge from America’s 9/11 era. Craig Mullaney has given us an unusually honest, funny, accessible, and vivid account of a soldier’s coming of age. This is more than a soldier’s story; it is a work of literature.”
—Steve Coll, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars and The Bin Ladens

“The Unforgiving Minute is the poignant true story of a young man’s unusual education from the classrooms of West Point and Oxford to his development as a leader, son, brother, husband and friend. In this powerful book, we share in the remarkable experiences of a Rhodes Scholar, and the heartache and pride of a soldier. I admire Craig Mullaney’s courage, and thank him for his service.”
—Senator Richard Lugar, former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“Craig Mullaney is an exemplar of the next great generation of Americans, those who are serving and sacrificing on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is a compelling, can’t-put-down book, a well-written, memorable description of preparing for war and leading in combat.”
—Joe Klein, Time Magazine political columnist and author of New York Times bestseller Primary Colors

“No matter how many books you have read about the rigors of basic training and the terrors of war, you should read this one. Mullaney's keen eye for detail, lively narrative style, and capacity for self-reflection—unusual in many soldiers—make an old story new and gripping.”
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

“Craig Mullaney adds his name to the very few among of us who have the intelligence, sensitivity and skill to share the unforgiving sadness and the unparalleled joy of leading men and women in combat. The Unforgiving Minute should be required reading for all who serve in the White House and Congress and for those who aspire to leadership. Read it. Twice.”
—Paul Bucha, West Point Class of 1965, Medal of Honor recipient and past president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society

“Craig Mullaney puts the reader in the muddy boots of a combat leader as he marches a path from West Point to Afghanistan and back again. Weaving action and reflection, The Unforgiving Minute is fast-paced, entertaining, and rich with insight and wisdom. A great debut from a leader to watch.”
—General Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)

“Intimate and evocative in the tradition of the best coming-of-age memoirs, The Unforgiving Minute accurately captures what it is to prepare for the ultimate responsibility of leading soldiers in war, a demand as much intellectual as physical, as much about compassion as discipline. By turns thoughtful, hilarious, gut-wrenching, and inspiring, The Unforgiving Minute is as gripping and addictive as it is perceptive and honest.”
—Lieutenant General F.L. Hagenbeck, U.S. Army

"Craig Mullaney has served his country twice: first by leading his men at war, and now by remembering. He has done both with skill and honor. Mullaney's memoir is the thinking soldier’s guide to modern combat, told with a novelist's eye for detail and a philosopher's penchant for perspective. It is a story well worth reading."
—Bill Murphy Jr., author of IN A TIME OF WAR: The Proud & Perilous Journey of West Point's Class of 2002

“No one describes more clearly how a boy becomes a man than Craig Mullaney in this masterpiece of self-awareness. No American can read this book and ever again forget what we owe to others for giving to us a society filled with so many choices that we have the freedom to make for ourselves.”
—David L. Boren, former U.S. Senator and longest serving chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee

“An honest account of the closeness and the distance between a father and a son and the highs and lows of military life. A heart-breaking account of what it is like to be responsible for the life and death of America's most precious asset: the Combat Warrior. A must read for all combat leaders.”
—Lieutenant General Ronald Coleman, U.S. Marine Corps

"The Unforgiving Minute tells the story of a fiercely passionate young man and provides important insight into a new greatest generation—his comrades in arms who serve in a time of war. Read this book to get a sense of their courage and sacrifice."
—Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl, USA (Ret.), author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife

“The Unforgiving Minute is a literate and thoughtful memoir that is a valuable contribution to both the genre and to our understanding of contemporary conflict.”
—Andrew Exum, author of This Man's Army

The Unforgiving Minute is a wonderful, beautifully written story of the education and development of a young soldier-scholar, the coming of age of an infantry officer, and the exercise of a small unit leader's responsibilities in a tough, complex, and frustrating situation in Afghanistan. It captures particularly eloquently and movingly the relationships among those who walk point for our nation as part of that most elite of fraternities, the brotherhood of the close fight.
—General Petraeus

“A poignant and evocative book about the great hurdles in coming of age: love, death, belief, and betrayal…I couldn’t stop reading.”
—Nathaniel Fick, author of The New York Times bestseller One Bullet Away

“Craig Mullaney’s memoir is a story of our time, from West Point to combat in Afghanistan and back. A thousand years from now, historians wanting to know about life in America after 9/11 would do well to look at this book. Equally important, it is an enjoyable and honest book. Read it.”
—Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, and senior military correspondent for The Washington Post,

“The young Army officer at the center of this tale provides a searing and honest account, full of small victories, significant losses, and eventually the greatest of all triumphs: self-awareness and understanding. This is a marvelous read, full of life lessons on every page, written in a modest and unflinching style—a classic memoir.”
—Admiral James Stavridis, Commander, U.S. Southern Command

Product Description
A West Point grad, Rhodes Scholar, and Army Ranger recounts his unique education and struggles with the hard lessons that only war can teach.

One haunting afternoon on Losano Ridge in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Captain Craig Mullaney and his infantry platoon were caught in a deadly firefight with Al Qaeda fighters, when a message came over the radio: one of his soldiers had been killed by the enemy.

Mullaney’s education,the four years he spent at West Point, and the harrowing test of Ranger School, readied him for a career in the Army. His subsequent experience as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford couldn’t have been further from the Army and his working-class roots, and yet the unorthodox education he received there would be surprisingly relevant as a combat leader.

But despite all his preparation, the hardest questions remained. When the call came to lead his platoon into battle and earn his soldiers’ salutes, would he be ready? Was his education sufficient for the unforgiving minutes he’d face?

Years later, after that excruciating experience in Afghanistan, he would return to the United States to teach history to future Navy and Marine Corps officers at the Naval Academy. He had been in their position once, not long ago. How would he use his own life-changing experience to prepare them?

Written with unflinching honesty,The Unforgiving Minute is an unforgettable portrait of a young soldier grappling with the weight of his hard-earned knowledge, while at last coming to terms with what it really means to be a man.

5.0 out of 5 stars An Instant Classic, February 24, 2009
By Chris (West Point, NY)


The Unforgiving Minute is a spectacularly written, extremely accurate depiction of the life of a US Army Officer involved in the Global War on Terror. As a member of the West Point class of 2000, I've shared many experiences with Craig. These include not only our time at West Point, but also time that I spent at the same locations in Afghanistan a year after Craig. His accuracy and presentation are astounding, and the challenges he faces are real.

Beginning with his time as a cadet, Craig takes us through his 4 years at West Point, his time in Ranger school, and his attendance at Oxford as a Rhode's Scholar. He takes us on a journey of developing relationships with his soldiers, and then testing and growing those relationships on the battlefields of Afghanistan. The struggles that he details are something that all Army leaders deal with, but few can put to paper as well as Craig has.

In addition to all that, this book is a love story and a story of family hardships. This book is truly a page turner that I recommend to anyone. "The Unforgiving Minute" is an instant classic that I will read over and over again.

Hunted (House of Night, Book 5) (Hardcover)


by P. C. Cast (Author), Kristin Cast (Author)

Review
Praise for The House of Night:

“Zoey Redbird's first-person adventures take on added danger and importance in the latest House of Night release. Forced by circumstance to grow up quickly, Zoey's emotional and spiritual evolution is fascinating. The Cast duo breathes life and vibrancy into the characters and makes each one an integral part of the saga. Awesome and unforgettable as always!” --Romantic Times (4.5 stars) on Hunted

“Teenage issues can seem like life or death, but in this haunting series, House of Night, that’s really the case. Through Zoey’s eyes readers are led into a world that’s getting more complicated by the minute, where friends and enemies can switch positions in a heartbeat. The remarkable Cast duo continues to build a world that you won’t soon forget!” –Romantic Times (4.5 stars) on Chosen
“This highly addicting series offers a unique twist on the standard vampyre story....These books will have the reader laughing hysterically and sobbing unreservedly –sometimes all at once.”
–VOYA on both Marked and Betrayed “Marked is one of the best coming of age stories to come out of Oklahoma since S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. It teaches about the beauty of being a social outcast, friendship, and finding your own inner spirituality.” –The Beltane Papers “Readers will identify with many of the characters, especially the protagonist.” –Library Journal on Marked


Product Description

What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you?

At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face?

On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Eric, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?

Dare to enter the House of Night: WWW.HOUSEOFNIGHTSERIES.COM

not my favorite, March 11, 2009
By Cosmic Creepers


Well, I was looking forward to this book and was left underwhelmed. I am so tired of Heath that I was actually happy when "something" attacked him. I was really happy in the last book when he grew up and realized that there is more to life than Zoey and now he is back to square one with the whole "it's just you and me" crap. The thing between Aphrodite and Stevie Ray was entertaining and unexpected and I am interested to see how Darius and Aphrodite's relationship continues with Aph being a human. I guess if they can work it out then Zoey and Annoying loverboy can work it out but I really hope not. Stark also pleasantly surprised me with his conflicts and redemption although he did deserve a nice butt kicking for the bad thing he did. It was a good book but I guess it has too many elements of high school drama for me to really love it since I am a sophomore in college and hated HS drama with a passion and I have had issues with that in the other books also. and the one thing that really got under my skin was one word...Susancompton...which should have been two and I get the whole 'it sounding like she said the two words as one' but it was not needed and an annoyance.

~I tried to keep this spoiler free so that is why I was so vague in some areas.

House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street (Hardcover)


by William D. Cohan (Author)

Review

Praise for the New York Times bestseller THE LAST TYCOONS, winner of the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award


“Cohan’s portrayal of the firm's dominant partners—whose gargantuan appetites and mercurial habits provide the unifying force behind the book’s operatic melodramas— makes this an epic. . . . In fact, The Last Tycoons bears a striking resemblance to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon.”
—New York Times Book Review

“Breezy and highly readable. . . . For those of us who enjoy high-level gossip (most people) and an inside look at the machinations, triumphs, failures, and foibles of some of Wall Street’s and America’s most exalted personages, Cohan’s book is entertaining and seductively engrossing.”
—Chicago Tribune

“Cohan's thoroughness—he interviewed over 100 current and former bankers and assorted bigwigs—unearths a trove of colourful tidbits, many quite racy. . . . Illuminating are Mr. Cohan’s descriptions of the scheming, politicking, and general dysfunction that was Lazard.”
—Economist

“Cohan not only knows where the bodies are buried but got a guided tour of the graveyard.”
—Financial Times

“[The Last Tycoons] has sent a jolt through Lazard and the rest of Wall Street.”
—Wall Street Journal


--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

Review

Praise for the New York Times bestseller THE LAST TYCOONS, winner of the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award


“Cohan’s portrayal of the firm's dominant partners—whose gargantuan appetites and mercurial habits provide the unifying force behind the book’s operatic melodramas— makes this an epic. . . . In fact, The Last Tycoons bears a striking resemblance to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon.”
—New York Times Book Review

“Breezy and highly readable. . . . For those of us who enjoy high-level gossip (most people) and an inside look at the machinations, triumphs, failures, and foibles of some of Wall Street’s and America’s most exalted personages, Cohan’s book is entertaining and seductively engrossing.”
—Chicago Tribune

“Cohan's thoroughness—he interviewed over 100 current and former bankers and assorted bigwigs—unearths a trove of colourful tidbits, many quite racy. . . . Illuminating are Mr. Cohan’s descriptions of the scheming, politicking, and general dysfunction that was Lazard.”
—Economist

“Cohan not only knows where the bodies are buried but got a guided tour of the graveyard.”
—Financial Times

“[The Last Tycoons] has sent a jolt through Lazard and the rest of Wall Street.”
—Wall Street Journal

Well Told Story of Serious Financial Mismanagement, March 10, 2009
By Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist" (Phoenix, AZ.)


"House of Cards" reports on the collapse of the investment banking house Bear Stearns (America's fifth-largest investment bank), and the beginning of the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression. Cohan's background as an investment banker allows him to cut through the complexity to explain what happened in simple, clear terms.

Bear Stearns had survived every crisis of the 20th century, including the Great Depression - without a single losing quarter - until the end of 2007. In 1997, Bear Stearns had helped pioneer the subprime mortgage-backed security by serving as co-underwriter on a $385 million offering. By the mid-2000s, it was the market leader in this segment.

The focus of the book is the last ten days of Bear Stearns, leading up to its absorption by J.P. Morgan at a fire-sale price ($10/share, down from $167; less than the value of its $1.5 billion office building), greased by $30 billion in Federal Reserve funds. (The Fed was worried that a bankruptcy of Bear Stearns could wreak fiscal havoc around the world.)

Just a year earlier it had been identified as "America's most admired securities firm" by Fortune magazine; in 2006 its Asset Management fees had reached $335 million. Bonuses were in the 8-figure range. Unfortunately, it was also the most heavily invested in mortgage-backed securities. Bear Stearns, like its competitors, financed itself with oversight sources (the cheapest source).

However, when analysts began questioning Bear's viability, given its shaky mix of assets, continued financing for Bear dried up, and it toppled. Amazingly, its chairman was too buy playing bridge and golf to get involved until too late; earlier he had forced out the only many who understood what was going on. The firm even turned down a last-minute offer from a Saudi Arabian for substantial financing ("not needed"). Its leadership then blamed the media and short-sellers for Bear's demise.

True, Bear's fall was quite rapid. However, there had been warning signs - problems at smaller firms with similar asset structures, rising risk premiums for its mortgage bond holdings ($50,000 for $10 million during the first half of 2007, rising to $350,000 on 3/5/08), its first quarterly loss at the end of 2008, and the downgrading of some of its bond holdings. Worse yet, Cohan also alluded to failing to conserve cash by reducing dividends and ceasing stock buybacks, as well as increasing leverage - unfortunately, it is not clear whether he was referring to Lehman, Bear, or both.

The bad news - the 468 pages, complete with endless interviews and accounts of bridge games, is a bit much. The even worse news - Bear Stearns' and others playing for billions has left American taxpayers with a debt of trillions. And we still haven't heard "the rest of the story."

Way juicier but sort of like watching dominoes fall, March 11, 2009
By Amy Y. "Tell me, what is it you plan to do wi... (FREMONT, CA USA)


Cohan details the bursting of the bubble in a book that reads like part gossip columnist, part financial thriller. Talk about making your average Jane feel smart, Cohan makes the big names of Wall Street look like a bunch of rats scurrying about thinking they have won the cheese when really they are about to get the big, gut-popping smack-down.

I enjoyed this read because, aside from being mildly fascinated by economics, it does seem to answer the question that most American are now asking as they look at their 401Ks, retirement plan statements, and now-empty stock portfolios: "What the hell were they thinking?"

Calling it a 'House of Cards' is quite apt as Cohan shows us how multi-million, er, make it billion, dollar empires were built on quicksand: stuff backed by things backed by more stuff, sorta.

This is some seriously fascinating stuff- many of the chapters read like a financial drama cum thriller. Cohan puts the reader in the middle of the action: the "Wehrmacht" SWAT team of Bank of America 'parachuting into the downtown offices of Sullivan & Cromwell' to review Lehman's books, an edge-of-your-seat account of the weekend that the Fed, specifically, Geithner and Paulson- try to anticipate the consequences of the scenarios (which includes some pretty candid quotes right from the source), you can almost hear the jaws drop as Wall Street is informed there will have to be a "private sector solution" i.e. no bailout for Lehman Bros., the scramble to broker a deal with Barclays to take on the bulk of Lehman, the refusal of the FSA(the UK's version of the SEC who needed to okay the deal) to accept the deal, the back-room conversations exuding palpable fear as CEOs from some of the largest firms considered who might be the next to fall, the thirteenth hour desperation of Lehman execs trying to make a case for a federal bailout, and finally the reality of bankruptcy and no calvary riding in... and, of course, Lehman's was sold to Barclays under the supervision of the bankruptcy court.

While Cohan's book is both entertaining and enlightening, the real value I see here is he does a pretty good job of shoowing us how we got here... why this bubble was different from the others. It's all well and good to say that hindsight is 20/20 but ultimately we're all living with the consequences of the decisions made by a very elite few.

I got through this in one day- the writing is excellent. Very straightforward with the facts without waving around the blame stick too much- it's there in the title, though. Definately, if you are going to read even one book about how we arrived at this financial crisis- this would be a great choice.

Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life (Paperback)


by Neil Strauss (Author)

Product Description

Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation.

What can you do when it all hits the fan?

You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system.

**I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes.** So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length worksince the international bestseller The Game, and one of the most original-and provocative-narratives of the year.

After the last few years of violence and terror, of ethnic and religious hatred, of tsunamis and hurricanes–and now of world financial meltdown–Strauss, like most of his generation, came to the sobering realization that, even in America, anything can happen. But rather than watch helplessly, he decided to do something about it. And so he spent three years traveling through a country that's lost its sense of safety, equipping himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future.

With the same quick wit and eye for cultural trends that marked The Game, The Dirt, and How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Emergency traces Neil's white-knuckled journey through today's heart of darkness, as he sets out to move his life offshore, test his skills in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It's a tale of paranoid fantasies and crippling doubts, of shady lawyers and dangerous cult leaders, of billionaire gun nuts and survivalist superheroes, of weirdos, heroes, and ordinary citizens going off the grid.

It's one man's story of a dangerous world–and how to stay alive in it.

Before the next disaster strikes, you're going to want to read this book. And you'll want to do everything it suggests. Because tomorrow doesn't come with a guarantee...



About the Author

Neil Strauss is the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Game and coauthor of three New York Times best-sellers: Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, MÖtley CrÜe's The Dirt, and Marilyn Manson's The Long Hard Road Out of Hell -- as well as Dave Navarro's Don't Try This At Home, a Los Angeles Times bestseller. A writer for Rolling Stone, Strauss lives in Los Angeles

What will you do when WSHTF?, March 11, 2009
By BanjoAndy (MA)


Truth can be stranger than fiction, and that's the case in Emergency.

Neil Strauss wonders what he would do if the world as we know it failed to function as it does currently. What would he do if an event the magnitude of 9/11 or Katrina took place in his hometown? No more electricity, iPods, takeout food or Seinfeld reruns.

The book begins with him as a typical "city boy", knowing nothing about survival. In similar fashion to The Game he seeks out the best of the best to learn the skills he feels he needs to survive. And also similar to The Game he takes all this knowledge and moves beyond it, creating his own interpretations.

At times while reading this book I was tempted with ideas ranging from calling my financial planner to see about moving my money to something more secure to thoughts of leaving the country. Other times I was laughing hysterically.

This was one of those books that I just couldn't put down. Within 24 hours of purchase I had read all 418 pages. It was entertaining, it made me laugh and it made me think.

Highly recommended to any American living in 2009.

Great Book: Informative, Interesting, Exciting , March 11, 2009
By Legion


This book is amazing. Neil does a great job as usual. The random lessons drawn by Bernard Chang, like picking pad locks with soda cans and escaping in a car chase are awesome.

If you enjoy tales of the possible apocalypse and 101 ways to survive them then you'll devour this book.

If you enjoy learning about survival techniques then this book will point you in the right direction by giving you some basic lessons and the names of some great men who teach these arts.

If you want to learn about what it takes to get a second passport you'll find this book informative.

If you enjoy hearing the continuing adventures of Neil Strauss then you'll be entertained the whole way through.

I loved it. You will too.

Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Hardcover)


by Judith Orloff (Author)

Review

“A must-read for anyone who’s tired of feeling frustrated, lonely, jealous, or emotionally tense. Dr. Orloff shows you how to achieve a lightness of being and feel more positive and peaceful. Highly recommended.”
–Deepak Chopra, M.D., author of Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul

“Spectacular! I endorse this book so heartily because it gives a unique blend of the author’s personal and professional experience to enlighten us, and it’s a totally fascinating read. I recommend it to everyone who wants to overcome sabotaging emotional patterns to achieve self-mastery.”
–Candace Pert, Ph.D., author of Molecules of Emotion

“A heartfelt, accessible guide to the graceland of peace and calm–regardless of our parents, our past, or our present. It’s loaded with nuggets of practical and profound healing wisdom.”
–Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

“Absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t put this book down!”
–Caroline Myss, Ph.D., author of Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul

“EMOTIONAL FREEDOM combines neuroscience, psychology, and spirituality to present a new approach for freeing yourself from negative emotions. This book offers you a path to greater health, intimacy, and compassion.”
–Dean Ornish, M.D., author of The Spectrum and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease

“This book empowers us in exciting and remarkable ways. Dr. Orloff’s wise insights about emotions serve us with wonderful clarity.”
–Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God

"An invaluable book written by one of the finest psychiatrists of our time."
–Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind

"This book is a lifesaver for people who are frustrated, stressed, and anxious. If you long for more joy, give yourself a gift and read this book!"
–Marci Shimoff, bestselling author of Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul and Happy for No Reason

"A valuable guidebook for anyone who believes that greater possibilities await them, but has not yet realized them."
–Larry Dossey, M.D., author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things

"EMOTIONAL FREEDOM is packed with that rarest of combinations; it is both intensely informed by the wealth of Dr. Judith Orloff's professional experience, and it is resolutely compassionate."
–Mary Oliver, Pulitizer Prize winning poet

"This well-written book is full of good advice for anyone who wants to take more control of his or her emotional life."
–Library Journal

Much Needed Now, March 5, 2009
By Eco-Friendly Feng Shui Designer


Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life, by Judith Orloff, comes at a perfect time, as most of us are experiencing at least some negative emotions in this economy.

This is a big book--over 400 pages--and is a bit intimidating. However, Orloff encourages us to take our time reading,to take "baby steps."

Orloff defines emotional freedom as: "It means increasing your ability to love by cultivating positive emotions and being able to compassionately witness and transform negative ones, whether yours or anther's."

Orloff is the pioneer of what she calls Energy Psychiatry--blending traditional medicine, intuition, energy and dreams.

She talks about our vital life force energy (or Chi, to the Chinese,) that flows through our body and is intuition. This energy is also all around us--so life force energy is within and without, affecting us.

Part I "Tipping life power of emotional freedom," includes a self assessment test to compare before and after you do the work. She discusses the 4 components of freedom and the roles dreams play in our lives.

Part II "Your tools for liberation," include a practical guide to dealing with the most difficult emotions.

There is a quiz to help you determine what your emotional type is--the intellectual, the empath, the rock, the gusher. She discusses the pros and cons of each and how to find balance within each.

The book includes advice on how to reprogram ourselves to build inner calm by facing anxiety and worry.

As an eco-friendly Feng Shui designer, I really appreciate how she discusses energy and intuition--because both play a large role in my work. Orloff understands that life force energy (as well as negative energy,) surround us. I would recommend reading her book slowly with a book that influenced my practice: HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT: BEAUTIFY, DETOXIFY & ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME & YOUR PLANET, because it will help you raise the energy in your home which will help alleviate stress and other negative emotions.

I also recommend THE ART OF EXTREME SELF-CARE, because it teaches us to love ourselves--key in Orloff's work, as well.

Unchain my heart, March 3, 2009
By Julie Neal "The Complete Walt Disney World" (Sanibel Island, Fla.)


What an important book! So many of us are slaves to irrationality, letting ourselves be led around like sheep by our emotions. To be truly free, a person must have "the power to act, think or feel as one wants without hindrance or restraint." This book has valuable lessons to help you be a master of your emotional domain.

The more you know about your emotional health, the easier it will be for you to control it. If you can put your finger on what triggers your logical, rational brain to take a vacation and put your feelings in control, the better you'll be able to stop it from happening. For example, this book has taught me an important lesson: I'm an empath. No, not poor Agatha from Minority Report. An empath "feels everything, sometimes to an extreme." On the positive side, this means I'm intuitive about other people's thoughts and feelings, which makes it easy to relate to people and make friends. On the downside, I act as an "emotional sponge, absorbing people's negativity." I can be so sensitive to emotions, I feel like "a wire without insulation." I've always thought of it as having no skin; you are laid open and completely vulnerable emotionally. Now that I know I'm an empath, I can understand better how to control these negatives.

Especially helpful are the Emotional Action Steps spread throughout the book. These are boxed segments that contain bulleted strategies you can implement and practice. I also liked the Emotional Vampire Survival Guide, to help you survive those people who suck you dry emotionally.

This wise book is chock full of advice. Much of it is usable immediately. Although it leans toward New Agey spiritualism, the bulk is good old-fashioned common sense articulated in a smartly organized book.

Here's the chapter list:

Introduction. Emotional Freedom: The Secret to Serenity

Part One
1. The Path to Emotional Freedom: Beginning to Learn to Love
2. Four Practical Secrets to Empowering Your Emotional Life
3. Dreams and Sleep: Accessing Revolutionary States of Consciousness
4. From Intellectuals to Empaths: What Is Your Emotional Type?
5. Combating Emotional Vampires: How to Understand and Protect Your Sensitivity

Part Two
6. The First Transformation: Facing Fear, Building Courage
7. The Second Transformation: Facing Frustration and Disappointment, Building Patience
8. The Third Transformation: Facing Loneliness, Building Connection
9. The Fourth Transformation: Facing Anxiety and Worry, Building Inner Calm
10. The Fifth Transformation: Facing Depression, Building Hope
11. The Sixth Transformation: Facing Jealousy and Envy, Building Self-Esteem
12. The Seventh Transformation: Facing Anger, Building Compassion

Afterword. Living in Service to the Heart: The Blessing of Emotional Freedom

The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It: What You Need to Know About the Greatest Financial Crisis of Our Time--and How


by Dave Kansas (Author)

Product Description


We're in the midst of the greatest financial crisis of our time. Do you know what really happened? Are you prepared for what's to come?

When every headline delivers bad news, and each morning market bell seems to usher in yet another bank debacle, stock market plunge or dire warning about the end of access to credit; threats to our savings and security; and the collapse of the entire financial system as we know it. . . . It's hard to keep up.

But we can't afford to be in the dark just because we can no longer bear to turn on the news.

Written by seasoned financial writer Dave Kansas, The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It makes sense of the madness, revealing how the crisis is affecting our financial lives and what steps we should take to inform and protect ourselves. This comprehensive, practical and accessible book delivers:

* An inside look at the financial wizardry, easy money and overconfidence that drove the subprime crisis, credit crunch and market meltdown
* An analysis of the New World Order—the banking behemoths, the government's role—and how it will affect Main Street
* A look at what's safe: a rundown of which investments are protected and which aren't and how fund protection has changed
* Individual investor strategies: stocks, bonds, retirement and real estate (and whether you should think seriously about "the mattress")

From the most authoritative source for business and economic news and written by one of the most trusted voices in financial reporting, The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It is the only book you'll need to navigate the storm ahead.


About the Author

Dave Kansas is Editor at Large of FiLife.com, a new online personal finance joint venture between Dow Jones and IAC Corp. Prior to that, Kansas spent four years as editor of The Wall Street Journal's Money & Investing section and was editor in chief of TheStreet.com during its formative years, and he is the author of two previous books, The Wall Street Journal's Complete Money & Investing Guidebook and TheStreet.com Guide to Investing in the Internet Era. He and his wife, Monica, live in New York City.

A concise and unbiased look at what happened to our economy, February 1, 2009
By Robert Frost (TX United States)


This is the first book I have read on my new Kindle. The author, Dave Kansas, is a former editor of the Wall Street Journal. The book is a concise and unbiased examination of what exactly has happened to the economy as well as a brief discussion on what an individual should currently do to protect their investments.

The book starts by giving a brief history of risk - specifically examining how changes in investment strategies created new risk markets and thus new avenues for profit, leading to the bundling and selling of high risk mortgages that largely kicked off the economic decline. From there proceeds a discussion of derivatives, private-equity, and leverage.

Chapter three deals with the 'canaries in the coal mine' that should have been taken note of before the collapse of Bear Stearns. Chapter four deals with the cascading impacts such as the takeover of Fannie and Freddie and the death of Lehman Brothers.

Chapter five is about where we go from here. Chapter six shifts to the individual and which types of investments are protected. Chapter seven is about debt and Chapter eight provides advice for the individual, based on their age.

Scattered throughout the book are mini-biographies of the names and faces involved, such as Timothy Geithner, Warren Buffett, and Alan Greenspan. At the end of each chapter is a summary in the form of an FAQ.

I found the book very interesting and well written. What to many would sound like a rather dry subject is given in a fast paced narrative.

Learn from this Crisis and make it Your Opportunity, February 10, 2009
By Gary O. Clement


I stopped cold when I saw "The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It" on a bookstand in the Pittsburgh Airport in January 2009. Browsing through it, not only could I scarcely believe how quickly it was written and brought to market, I could barely believe how clearly it outlined our current economic environment.

Another thing became clear - that Dave Kansas, from his perch as a journalist with The Wall Street Journal, TheStreet.com, and FiLife is one of the few writers who could have written this book.

Kansas captures the historical background to the cataclysmic month of October 2008 using the recent examples of the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the Russian crisis of 1998, the U.S. internet and technology bubble of 2000-2001. More pointedly, he delves into the implosion of hedge fund Long Term Capital Management (LTCM), the shortsighted policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the creation of, and dependence on, credit-default swaps (CDSs), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), and collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs).

Kansas's conclusion: October 2008 was predictable. In fact, many of the firms swirling at the epicenter of the current crisis knew they had serious trouble brewing, but couldn't, or wouldn't, take action to avert their fate.

In early 2009, nothing can hide how much our world, let alone the financial markets, has literally changed overnight. Venerable financial firms have either ceased to exist or been swallowed up by stronger, more prudent, players. We are all left to deal with the aftermath.

We've got to deal with the aftermath as we deal with our individual and collective behavior. I say that because most of us have scant knowledge of the role that complex financial products played in this mess and, to a large degree, that's okay. What's not okay is our intimate, yet often unrecognized or unacknowledged, knowledge of our human frailties. Human frailties that Kansas intimates underlie the real problem.

As human beings, we do chase returns. We do act on our greed and overconfidence. We are often guilty of employing hope rather than sound strategy. And, if human beings approach the financial market in this way, what does that portend for a financial system run by human beings?

I learned a great deal from "The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It." I found it as important as a chronicle of the human frailties that led to our current crisis as it is an explanation of the nuts and bolts of how it happened. It cut through the hype and explained very complex terms in a straight forward and easily understood manner. But, it went even further by aiming to arm me with usable information.

The bottom line is it's a true feat to produce a book this good so quickly. My only question is: Will we, individually and collectively, learn from it just as quickly?

First Comes Marriage (Mass Market Paperback)


by Mary Balogh (Author)

Product Description


Against the scandal and seduction of Regency England, New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh introduces an extraordinary family—the fiery, sensual Huxtables. Vanessa is the second daughter, proud and daring, a young widow who has her own reason for pursuing the most eligible bachelor in London. One that has nothing to do with love. Or does it?

The arrival of Elliott Wallace, the irresistibly eligible Viscount Lyngate, has thrown the country village of Throckbridge into a tizzy. Desperate to rescue her eldest sister from a loveless union, Vanessa Huxtable Dew offers herself instead. In need of a wife, Elliott takes the audacious widow up on her unconventional proposal while he pursues an urgent mission of his own. But a strange thing happens on the way to the wedding night. Two strangers with absolutely nothing in common can’t keep their hands off each other. Now, as intrigue swirls around a past secret—one with a stunning connection to the Huxtables—Elliott and Vanessa are uncovering the glorious pleasures of the marriage bed…and discovering that when it comes to wedded bliss, love can’t be far behind.

About the Author
Mary Balogh is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Slightly novels: Slightly Married, Slightly Wicked, Slightly Scandalous, Slightly Tempted, Slightly Sinful, and Slightly Dangerous, as well as the romances No Man’s Mistress, More than a Mistress, and One Night for Love. She is also the author of Simply Love, Simply Unforgettable, Simply Magic, and Simply Perfect, her dazzling quartet of novels set at Miss Martin's School for Girls. A former teacher herself, she grew up in Wales and now lives in Canada.

First book in new series, February 24, 2009
By Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen"


'First Comes Marriage' is the first in a new series by Mary Balogh following the fortunes and loves of three sisters and one brother. At the start of this book we meet the Huxtable family, eldest sister Margaret, youngest sister Katherine, young brother Stephen and the middle sister, Vanessa Dew. Vanessa is a widow, having married a neighbour who died a year and a half ago. Although Vanessa still lives with her in-laws, her three siblings live in a small cottage and make do with minimal money.

When a viscount comes to stay in the local inn the village is intrigued, especially when he attends the assembly dance. However the Huxtable family are astounded the next day when they discover that their lot is going to change significantly. As they find themselves moving to a new area and preparing to be introduced to polite society, it seems that Viscount Lyngate is planning to ask the eldest sister, Margaret, to marry him. But Vanessa knows Margaret still carries a torch for her young love, serving overseas in the army, and so she persuades Lyngate to marry her instead.

As Vanessa and Elliott settle down to married life, she has to come to terms with his rather sober and unsmiling demeanour and he with her feelings for her dead husband. Some of his past actions may come back to haunt him, along with a former good friend who may well be a rogue, and Vanessa has to cope with her own poor self-image. Can they find happiness and love in a marriage of convenience?

Mary Balogh is, in my opinion, one of the finest writers of Regency romances today. 'First Comes Marriage' has all her trademark skills, including deep characterisation, flawed and yet appealing characters and historical accuracy. She falls unexpectedly into a trap laid by Georgette Heyer who coined in her own books the term 'Cheltenham Tragedy' (which appears twice in this book) and which Heyer used for a plagiarism lawsuit against another author who used the phrase. There were also times in this book where it did feel very much like the start of a series; there was a great deal of scene setting at the beginning and we followed some of the other characters (to be featured in further books) more closely than one might normally expect for a standalone novel. I also felt that the falling-in-love aspect of the book was perhaps a little more rushed than it might have been. Despite these minor comments I found this to be another excellent read which had emotion, action and character in abundance.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2009

Vanessa's book -The Huxtable Quintet series, February 24, 2009
By Misuzmama (New York, USA)


The quaint village of Throckbridge in Shropshire is all abuzz with the news that a viscount is staying at the local inn. The gossiping tongues immediately start wagging and nearly every female sighs in delight when the devastatingly handsome -and eligible!- lord arrives at the annual St. Valentines assembly. Bored and agitated, Elliot Wallace, Viscount Lyngate, simply wants to fulfill his task and is impatient to remove himself from this backwater country as soon as possible. Plain and recently out of mourning widow, Vanessa Huxtable Dew, takes an immediate disliking to the arrogant aristocrat but is determined to make to best of the night despite being maneuvered into dancing with the disagreeable man. But her interaction with him is not so short lived for he calls upon her family the next day and shockingly informs them that their brother, a mere boy of seventeen, is the new Earl of Merton. Lyngate insists that his new ward must be immediately removed to Warren Hall in Hampshire (Merton's principle seat) and begin tutoring/training for his responsibilities. As a close knit family, the three Huxtable sisters are determined to accompany their younger brother. Not pleased with the change of events Lyngate submits and looks grimly ahead to the daunting task of launching three women into society . Soon it becomes apparent that marriage to one of the sisters solves a myriad of problems on both sides. Lyngate fulfills his duty, and promise to his grandfather, in acquiring a bride. She, in turn, takes on the burden of preparing her sisters for the ton. But Lyngate is in for one more surprise. He has somehow gotten himself engaged, not to the oldest and prettiest sister, but to Vanessa, the plain unpleasant one who has sacrificed herself in her sisters place. Ultimately he resigns within himself to go forth with the wedding. After all how terrible could it be having a wife who promises complete loyalty and devotion?

Balogh is one of my favorite romance authors but I just didn't really care for this first book in the Huxtable series. Although the writing, character development and historical details are top notch, it is the romance itself that I found to be less than appealing. I felt like Elliot and Vanessa were as mismatched as they come and unlike in other books (Slightly Dangerous for example) there was no spark, no passion between these two. I do not mind a slow moving love story if it comes to a satisfying conclusion. In the end, however, I had the distinct impression that they had settled into a content marriage, far less than the wedded bliss I've come to expect. Vanessa exudes delight and laughter bringing joy to everyone around her but not Elliot. She claims that it will be her mission to please him and make the humorless man laugh. But he seems unaffected by her charms until nearly the end. I also found it tiresome that Vanessa's lack of beauty was referred to over and over again -nearly every twenty pages. And I longed for duty-minded Elliot to come to his senses and finally admit that their marriage had come to mean much more than convenience. He kept flip-flopping back and forth in his mind which was irritating. And when he finally did admit his feelings it happened altogether too quickly and lacked a certain sincerity.

A less than satisfying romance, hopefully the rest of the series will be better.

My Balogh romance shelf keepers (besides the above Slightly Dangerous):
The Notorious Rake
Heartless
TrulyMore than a Mistress
Simply Love