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The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy Review.

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy. The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy

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Combining modern genetic science and evolutionary biology, The Primal Blueprint dispels a number of the myths that modern medicine and conventional wisdom have come to accept as fact. Author Mark Sisson takes the reader on a fascinating journey through human evolution, comparing the life and robust health of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with a day in the life of a modern family - exposing potential health issues that arise from trying to do the right things living in the 21st century. Sisson offers a solution in 10 empowering ‘Blueprint Lifestyle Laws’ that can help us reprogram our genes away from disease and pain towards a direction of effortless weight loss, vibrant health and boundless energy. The reader learns how the right high-fat diet can actually help one lose weight; how popular low-fat, grain-based diets might trigger illness, disease, and lifelong weight gain; why doing too much cardio exercise might actually suppress the immune system and how some of today’s most common medications might make a health condition even worse. The consummate book on ‘Paleo’ or ‘Primal’ health.

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #278 in Books
  • Published on: 2009-06-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 283 pages

Features

  • ISBN13: 9780982207703
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

This book has changed my life.5
This book is absolutely amazing. It’s refreshing to find someone out there that truly wants to help people. Mark Sisson doesn’t try to get you to buy products/gimmicky DVDs/equipment - he offers simple, honest advice that works and that anyone can follow for FREE. Every single health problem I had in the past is GONE after following his advice for only FIVE MONTHS! I’ve lost 35 pounds, my depression is gone, my endometriosis has cleared up and I’m pain free for the first time in years. This book (and it’s companion[...]) has changed my life.

Following Primal Laws4
According to the author “the human species reached its evolutionary pinnacle about 10,000 years ago. After that, we started to take it easy, and get soft…” For that reason the author suggests reprogramming our genes by following primal laws that were validated by two million years of human evolution. These laws that enable us to live long and healthy, be fit and lose weight, are the following:

1. Eat lots of plants and animals
2. Avoid poisonous things.
3. Move frequently at a slow pace
4. Lift heavy things
5. Sprint once in a while
6. Get adequate sleep
7. Play
8. Get adequate sunlight
9. Avoid stupid mistakes
10. Use you brain

Some of these lows are just common sense and obvious, some others require some explanations, yet others might disagree with some people’s perception. This is why you need to read the book to find out what the author really means and why. The author explains how to apply these lows in our modern society that is used to consumerism and quick fixes rather then the pursuit of health. It is often not easy and for some readers this book might be revolutionary. Especially for those who like having their coffee with skim milk rather then with cream so as not to consume too much fat. Surprisingly according to Mark Sisson eating meat, eggs, and high-fat diet is not only healthy but it is also the key to losing weight, being healthy and energetic.

Yes, do eat less carbohydrates but don’t get crazy working out in your gym. Intense strength sessions and sporadic sprints can be more beneficial to your health then grueling daily cardiovascular workouts.

This book certainly deserves more than a casual glance. For those interested in more reading about the natural way of living, eating, breathing, exercising and generally living the life that the Nature has intended I suggest checking the book titled Can w e Live 150 Years?

It works!5
Implemented the program in Aug 2009, lost 22 lbs in 3 months. Its now Jan 2010 and I have maintained my weight loss and feel better than ever!

Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food: 65 Everyday Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Over 150 Great-tasting, Down-home Recipes Discount.

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food: 65 Everyday Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Over 150 Great-tasting, Down-home Recipes. Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food: 65 Everyday Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Over 150 Great-tasting, Down-home Recipes

Product: Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food: 65 Everyday Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Over 150 Great-tasting, Down-home Recipes Discount.

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A born food-lover, raised in California on “the best Mexican food in the country” and her father’s “traditional Southern soul food,” Alicia C. Simpson couldn’t imagine giving up her favorite dishes to become vegan. Animal-free food might be healthier, but could it match the tastes of home—like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, or a bowl of chili? Three years after Alicia took the vegan plunge, Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food answers that question with a resounding “yes!”

Here is the essential cookbook for any of America’s more than 6 million vegans who miss the down-home tastes they remember (or want to try), or for vegetarians and even meat-eaters who want to add more plant-based foods to their diets, but don’t know where to start. Comfort-seeking cooks will find:
  • Easy-to-prepare, animal-free versions of classics like Spicy Buffalo Bites, Ultimate Nachos, Baked Ziti and more
  • 65 delicious combinations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with flavors from around the world, like “Chinese Take-In” or “Tijuana Torpedo”
  • Everything you need to know to start your vegan pantry, and why being vegan is easier, less expensive, and more delicious than you might think.


With spirit and style, Alicia shows just how easy—yes, and comforting—vegan food can be.

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #2082 in Books
  • Published on: 2009-10-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 248 pages

Features

A new favorite5
This is one of the top five cookbooks I plan on rescuing in case of house fire. Just kidding, but I would immediately go out and get it again! Buy this book — it’s worth it just for the mac and cheeze, orange chick’n, and buffalo bites recipes. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Did I mention the mac and cheeze? It’s not a nutritional yeast sauce! It’s incredible!

This book has a good range of simple idea-type recipes — as in, recipes you can really put together quickly and throw in your own substitutions — plus more still-easy-but-complex-in-flavor recipes for the scratch cook. Oh and I can’t say enough about the barbecue sauce, too. I’m picky picky picky about BBQ sauce and the one in this book plus the one in Veganomicon are to live for.

This is my first attempt to start reviewing some of the zillions of cookbooks I own. Happy cooking!

easy to find ingredients4
With some books you have to buy special food items to make anything. This book makes it possible to find the ingredients in your pantry. Very easy!

A great one!5
I’ve been using this cookbook for the last few weeks and continue to be delighted by the high-quality meals, the easily accessible ingredients, and the simplicity of the instructions. The “Red Beans with Quinoa” and the “Fried Chik’n Seitan” rock my world. Buy this book and you won’t be disappointed!

Buy Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t At Amazon!

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

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The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world’s greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness — why some companies make the leap and others don’t.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

    “Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, “fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

    Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

    • Amazon Sales Rank: #124 in Books
    • Published on: 2001-10
    • Released on: 2001-10-16
    • Original language: English
    • Number of items: 1
    • Binding: Hardcover
    • 300 pages

    Features

    Rare Pathways to Exceptionally Increased Prosperity4
    This study was stimulated by Mr. Bill Meehan’s (head of McKinsey in San Francisco) observation that Built to Last wasn’t very helpful to companies, because the firms studied had always been great. Most companies have been good, and never great. What should these firms do?

    Jim Collins and his team have done an enormous amount of interesting work to determine whether a good company can be come a great company, and how. The answer to the former question is “yes,” assuming that the 11 of 1435 Fortune 500 companies did not make it there by accident. The answer to the latter is less clear. The study group identified a number of characteristics that their 11 companies had in common, which were much less frequently present in comparison companies. However, the study inexplicably fails to look at these same characteristics to see how often they succeed in the general population of companies. If these characteristics work 100 percent of the time, you really have something. If they work 5 percent of the time, then not too much is proven.

    How were the 11 study companies selected? The criteria take pages to explain in an appendix. Let me simplify by saying that their stock price growth had to be in a range from somewhat lower than to not much higher than the market averages for 15 years. Then, in the next 15 years the stocks had to soar versus the market averages and comparison companies while remaining independent. That’s hard to do. The selected companies are Abbott Laboratories, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreen, and Wells Fargo.

    As to the “how,” attention was focused on what happened before and during the transition from average performance to high performance. Interviews, quantitative analyses, and business press reports were studied. Clearly, there’s a tendency to see things a little bit with 20-20 hindsight in such a situation. Since this study started in 1996, it was dealing with facts that were already quite old while they were being examined. Bias is likely.

    The key conclusions as to “how” included the following:

    (1) a series of CEOs (promoted from within) who combined “personal humility and professional will” focused on making a great company;

    (2) an initial focus on eliminating weak people, adding top performing ones, and establishing a culture of top talent putting out extraordinary effort;

    (3) then shifting attention to staring at and thinking unceasingly about the hardest facts about the company’s situation;

    (4) using facts to develop a simple concept that is iteratively reconsidered to focus action on improving performance;

    (5) establishing and maintaining a corporate culture of discipline built around commitments, with freedom about how to meet those promises;

    (6) using technology to accelerate progress when it fits the company’s concept of what it wants to become; and

    (7) the company builds momentum from consistent efforts behind its concept that are reinforced by success.

    Then, a connection is made to how these 7 conditions can provide the foundation for establishing a Built to Last type of company that can outperform the competition over many decades.

    One potential criticism of the study is that its conclusions could be dated. Former Stanford professor Collins argues that he has uncovered basic facts about human organizations that will be unchanging.

    I compared the conclusions in this book with my own studies of top performing CEOs and companies in the 1988-2001 time period. I noticed two major differences that suggest a shift in “best practice” standards. First, those who outperform now have developed processes that create major improvements in their operating business models every 2-5 years. Second, senior management development is focused around improving a culture for defining and implementing such improvements. I suspect that item (4) above was an embryonic predecessor to these new dimensions, which occur much more frequently now than in this study.

    Next, I compared the list of 7 items to what I had observed in companies. The biggest point that hit me is how few CEOs have been interested in creating long-term outperformance that lasts past their own tenure in an industry. You also have to be a CEO for a long time with that focus before you have a chance to make a lasting impact. Founders have a special advantage here. Perpetuating outperformance may help fill a psychological need for immortality that fits with founders especially well.

    Finally, I thought about what I knew about the companies studied from personal contacts during the study years. My sense is that their stories are far more complex than is captured here. So, I think the data have probably been “scrunched” to fit together in some cases. In particular, I wonder whether these companies will greatly outperform in the next 15 years. In many cases, they expanded to meet an unfilled need that is now largely fulfilled. Can they develop a new concept for (4) that will carry them forward as successfully in the future? My guess is that most will not. If that turns out to be the case, we must conclude that the items on this list may be necessary . . . but may not be sufficient to go permanently from good to great. Time will tell.

    Before closing, let me observe that if the research team had also looked at the rate by which their principles succeeded among companies that employed them, this would have been one of the very finest research studies on best practices that I have seen. A book like this will provoke much discussion and thought for years to come. Perhaps that information can be included in a future edition or printing. Then, we will have something magnificent to consider!

    Do you want to be the best permanently? Why? Or, why not? Mr. Collins points out that it probably takes no more effort, but a lot more discipline and focus.

    Good to Great + consistent Optimal Thinking = Best5
    This book is a fascinating read! A study taken over five years began with twenty-eight corporations and revealed eleven that had made the leap from Good to Great. From this study, I gained an instant understanding of the role of humility in leadership. The primary ambition of great leaders is focused on the success of their company, not on themselves.

    Collins advocates the Hedgehog Concept - a combination of discovering what you can be best in the world at (Optimal Thinking), what you are passionate about, and what drives your economic engine. Collins states that sustained disciplined action is primarily achieved by “fanatical adherence to the Hedgehog Concept and the willingness to shun opportunities that fall outside the three circles.” So my question is: How do you identify the best? I recommend Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self by Dr. Rosalene Glickman as an adjunct to this powerful book to provide the mental resource to identify the best, optimize emotional and financial intelligence and create a corporate culture of optimization. From Good to Greatest to Best!”

    Good to great is a great book4
    I really do not understand the sub five star let alone the 1 star reviews. This is a great book. A lot of time and research was done to find what separates the good from the great companies. I can only assume that sub 5 star reviewers own businesses that are doing doing that great or are not in business at all…anymore.

    Great book for those who want to learn how to take your business to that next level. The level of greatness.

  • Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West Discount.

    Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

    Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West

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    Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West Description:

    The legendary life and entrepreneurial vision of Fred Harvey helped shape American culture and history for three generations—from the 1880s all the way through World War II—and still influence our lives today in surprising and fascinating ways. Now award-winning journalist Stephen Fried re-creates the life of this unlikely American hero, the founding father of the nation’s service industry, whose remarkable family business civilized the West and introduced America to Americans.

    Appetite for America is the incredible real-life story of Fred Harvey—told in depth for the first time ever—as well as the story of this country’s expansion into the Wild West of Bat Masterson and Billy the Kid, of the great days of the railroad, of a time when a deal could still be made with a handshake and the United States was still uniting. As a young immigrant, Fred Harvey worked his way up from dishwasher to household name: He was Ray Kroc before McDonald’s, J. Willard Marriott before Marriott Hotels, Howard Schultz before Starbucks. His eating houses and hotels along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad (including historic lodges still in use at the Grand Canyon) were patronized by princes, presidents, and countless ordinary travelers looking for the best cup of coffee in the country. Harvey’s staff of carefully screened single young women—the celebrated Harvey Girls—were the country’s first female workforce and became genuine Americana, even inspiring an MGM musical starring Judy Garland.

    With the verve and passion of Fred Harvey himself, Stephen Fried tells the story of how this visionary built his business from a single lunch counter into a family empire whose marketing and innovations we still encounter in myriad ways. Inspiring, instructive, and hugely entertaining, Appetite for America is historical biography that is as richly rewarding as a slice of fresh apple pie—and every bit as satisfying.

    *With two photo inserts featuring over 75 images, and an appendix with over fifty Fred Harvey recipes, most of them never-before-published.

    • Amazon Sales Rank: #335 in Books
    • Published on: 2010-03-23
    • Released on: 2010-03-23
    • Format: Deckle Edge
    • Original language: English
    • Number of items: 1
    • Binding: Hardcover
    • 544 pages

    Features

    • ISBN13: 9780553804379
    • Condition: NEW
    • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

    Customer Reviews:

    Operates on several levels and is beautifully executed on each.5
    The problem I face in writing this review is that I don’t have all the time and space it would take to do this incredibly well done, truly magnificent history the justice it deserves. Stephen Fried has written at least three histories in this single volume.

    The nominal subject is a gentleman named Fred Harvey, a name that is little known among the general public today.

    But Fred Harvey was very influential in shaping the development of the American West, the railroad industry (or at least part of it), creating branding and merchandising as we now know it , creating the then new habit of restaurant eating, expanding employment opportunities for women, preserving Native American culture and still more. His son carried on long after Fred Harvey died, but the Harvey empire crumbled with the modern era.

    Which is really a pity. I grew up in the twilight of the Fred Harvey era. I still vaguely recall how special eating at the Fred Harvey restaurant at a local railroad terminal was and think I rode on one of the last trains where Fred Harvey’s company provided the dining car service.

    “Appetite for America” covers Fred Harvey’s history. His first big day was the opening of a “eating house” for the Santa Fe, Atchison and Topeka Rail Road in Topeka, Kansas. Eating out, so to speak, was not an experience to be sought after. Places offering food were suspect for many good reasons and the victuals offered were usually mediocre on the best of days. But Fred Harvey changed that: eating at one of Fred Harvey’s eating houses was virtually guaranteed a pleasant experience with tasty and nourishing food at reasonable prices. The nation was on the move with the spread of railroads - and Fred Harvey reached a deal with the Santa Fe rail road to feed its ever increasing number of passengers. A shrewd entrepreneur, Harvey realized that creating satisfied customers was the key to success.

    He innovated endlessly from his creation of the “Harvey Girls”, well dressed, well trained servers which was very much a departure from the norm in those days, to the creation of Fred Harvey hotels and newsstands. Harvey created a vast empire of businesses, the first chain stores in fact, covering the western part of the United States. Part of it lives on in the legendary hotel on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

    Friedl covers everything: from Fred Harvey’s childhood to the dissolution of the company in the mid 20th Century.

    There is so much to tell about that time and the man, his company and family, the railroads, the growth of the nation. Remarkably, Stephen Friedl in what can be fairly described as a triumph of research and good writing tells them all in great detail and interestingly. In fact, this book richly deserves more than a single reading.

    I could go on and on about this remarkable multiple history. Friedl even includes recipes from Fred Harvey restaurants that were renowned in their day and still read as if they would be tasty. He recounts the train trip he and his wife took along the path of the old Santa Fe rail road, stopping to hunt for remnants of the Harvey empire. Train lovers, “trainiacs” as Friedl calls them, will love his history of railroading, particularly in the west. Students of business and American history will find much of interest in the detailed descriptions of how Harvey and his successors built and managed their far-flung, multi-faceted empire.

    In all, this is an incredibly interesting book, made so by Friedls intensive research and excellent writing style. Very much worth reading more than once.

    Jerry

    A Dynamic and Splendid History5
    Even though I grew up in the Southwest and had seen references to Fred Harvey since childhood, I never gave him or his company much thought until this book appeared on the “Vine” list here on amazon. Since I love the Southwest and the title seemed inviting, I decided to give it a shot. Am I ever glad I did. Appetite For America is a dynamic and splendid history, one of those inspirational rags to riches stories that has spurred millions through the years to make the best of opportunities given them. And though Fred Harvey is somewhat obscure today, in his own time he was the toast of the nation.
    The book’s storyline has already been recounted time and again in other reviews, so I will just make a few other comments. What’s that old saying about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, Fred Harvey was a very far-sighted and deliberate man and though he may have in his own mind set the groundwork for a hospitality empire that would serve Americans for the foreseeable future, eventually times changed and circumstances intervened. By the time the dashing but spoiled Freddy took the reins of the company, slacking ambition and internecine squabbles had blurred the single-minded vision with which Harvey and his son Ford had led the company to success after success. The Fred Harvey company faltered, rivals moved in, and Harvey empire’s remnants were sold off with the company consigned to the dustbin of history. Harvey’s business empire had lasted for just under a century, but what a ride it was! The reader may note that one of those rivals that came on strong during the Depression (Howard Johnson’s) is now pretty much history itself.
    What you’ll come away with besides a treasure trove of interesting historical tidbits is a picture of an energetic man who truly understood the benefits of synergy in business and the value of a trusted team of like-minded insiders. Fred Harvey and his son Ford both had an uncanny ability to convince others who did business with them that what was good for the Harvey company would also be very good for them as well. Harvey’s business innovations were many and his acumen seems at least to have imbued his son Ford who continued nimbly to keep the company a step ahead of rivals.
    One aspect of the book I really like is how author Stephen Fried uses chapter titles as a succinct summary of what is shortly to come. His short chapters make the book very easy to read and Fried does not often get bogged down in digressions not germane to the story. While at times it seems that he does, the reader soon learns how an apparent digression is actually very pertinent to what the author is later to relate. A part that I find indispensable is the first appendix that gives the reader a grand tour of Fred Harvey’s America as it is today. On my next trip, I plan on visiting many of the same places the author tells about. You may also enjoy the second appendix with its listing of Fred Harvey recipes. They sound delicious!
    If you like American history and are looking for something unusual and uplifting to read, I highly recommend Appetite For America. You will see our westward expansion in a whole new light. And though there were a few minor errors of scale in my pre-publication copy of the book, they do not really detract from the reader’s delight and I must assume they have been corrected.

    A tasty feast of American history and Americana5
    This book offers many different flavors to many different readers. It’s a splendid business history of Fred Harvey - the firm of that name, not just the man who founded it, though his story is well-told here. The Fred Harvey hotel and restaurant chain, the reader will find, was the first such business model that Howard Johnson and other chains would follow - and Fred Harvey affected American cuisine as well, so readers interested in culinary history will also find this book of interest. There’s more: Fred Harvey also affected American architecture and decor (e.g., the “Santa Fe” style), the growth and preservation of Grand Canyon, American attitudes on native American culture and people, and American popular culture in general. We learn how Fred Harvey would influence cinema and entertainment, from Walt Disney to the Judy Garland “Harvey Girls” film of 1945. We even learn how Fred Harvey adapted from railroad hotels to the Route 66 phenomenon and early commercial aviation as the motorcar and the airliner first appeared.

    And, of course, the book has plenty for fans of railroad history. The Fred Harvey chain grew with, and helped grow, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. The railroad’s expansion, and decline in mid-20th Century America, shaped the Fred Harvey story as well. Its challenges from natural disasters, two world wars, flu epidemics, the demands of military mobilization — even the Manhattan Project puts in an appearance — show how the firm, the railroad, and American life affected each other.

    The book is also a splendid family saga. The generations that followed Mr. Harvey would make for lively reading, both in Fred Harvey boardrooms and in their private lives. We see early feminism in both the Harvey Girls phenomenon, Western pioneers indeed, and the pioneering women in the Fred Harvey management and family. Mr. Fried’s storytelling skills are vivid and the book is an unexpected pleasure as it follows this family and this firm through over a century of tumultuous American history.

    Even the appendices are entertaining. Mr. Fried’s personal tour, researching this book, is fun reading, his bibliographical notes are informative - there’s even a few Fred Harvey recipes. (Tip to the publisher and author: given the growing number of illustrated books on railroad cuisine - the B&O, the Empire Builder, etc. - there might be a splendid coffee-table/recipe book here).

    Highest recommendation, to a wide range of readers.

    Amazon.com Review
    A Note from Stephen Fried on Appetite for America

    I first encountered Fred Harvey seventeen years ago in the lobby of El Tovar, the historic hotel just a few steps from the edge of the Grand Canyon. His moody portrait was hanging there, his anxious eyes seemingly scrutinizing everything, and I wondered who the hell he was.

    A pamphlet in our room offered some insight, explaining that his company had been running the hotels, the restaurants, the gift shops at the canyon–even training the mules–since 1905. It also mentioned the amazing impact of his entrepreneurial vision. From the 1870s through the 1940s, Fred’s revolutionary family business–which included restaurants, hotels, dining cars and stores from Chicago to Los Angeles along the Santa Fe railroad, and later along Rt. 66–had forever changed the way Americans ate, drank, cooked, traveled, and spent their leisure time.

    Hotel pamphlets don’t often change my life, but I was immediately struck by what sounded like a great American saga that needed to be told in more depth, perhaps in a magazine article. So I started searching for information about Fred, picking up the few academic books that mentioned him, his company, and his legendary waitresses, the Harvey Girls.

    I learned that the Fred Harvey name had once been ubiquitous in America, as the company built the nation’s first chain of restaurants, lunchrooms, hotels, bookstores–in fact, the first national chain of anything–and was heralded for its unusually high standards of customer service and employee loyalty. By the 1940s, Fred and the Harvey Girls were such a well-established part of Americana that they inspired both a best-selling novel and an Oscar-winning movie musical with Judy Garland. And they went on to inspire everything from the Howard Johnson’s chain to McDonald’s and Starbucks, and all the major national hotels (along with a robust community of Harvey memorabilia collectors.)

    As I continued my research, I found myself caught up in the little-known Harvey family drama. I realized that much of what was attributed to Fred himself had actually been done by his equally brilliant but unsung son, Ford–who memorialized his father by turning him into a brand-name. I am a sucker for stories about father-son family businesses, having grown up in one myself (furniture).

    Somehow I never got around to writing that article. But ten years later, I was having lunch with my editor at Bantam, and we started talking about the new breed of history books–like Seabiscuit and Devil in the White City–being written by contemporary journalists. I suddenly found myself regaling her with my fascination with Fred Harvey, insisting that the saga of his multigenerational family business had all the excitement, intrigue and narrative richness of this new genre of “history buffed” books. Writing it would also give me a window into an entire 75-year stretch of American history.

    By the end of the lunch, we agreed I write a book on Fred. It was the best decision I ever made in my career; this has been the most challenging and rewarding book I’ve ever written.

    The more I’ve learned about Fred, his family, his Harvey Girls, his business and his world, the more I understand about America. And, by reliving through them two Depressions and several major recessions, two world wars, two flu pandemics, the rise of trains, autos and planes, electric lights, telephones, radio and television, I am constantly reminded of this nation’s courage and resiliency.

    The very first person (besides my editors) to read the manuscript of this book told me Fred’s story made him feel better about America. And I know exactly what he means.

    May Fred be with you.

    From Publishers Weekly
    The British-born Fred Harvey and his name stood for American hospitality for many years. In an impressive, comprehensively researched tome, Fried tells the intertwined stories of the man, his family, his company, and America. After Harvey’s mid-19th-century immigration, he tried various jobs in the Midwest before business instincts and ambitions merged with the Santa Fe Railroad’s founding. As the railroad’s growth aided rapid westward expansion, Harvey established the first chain restaurants, called Harvey House. Through Gilded Age economic bust and recovery and into the new century, his company’s fortunes attached to such novel American developments as the automobile and national parks, especially the Grand Canyon. Meanwhile, through innovations such as progressive employment practices, merchandising, and marketing, the company stayed strong beyond its founder’s death. His family ensured that it remained private and profitable through the railroad’s decline and into the Depression. From the battle of the Little Bighorn to the Manhattan Project, Fried makes such lively use of the many remarkable intersections between major American and company history that this volume, though hefty, meticulously detailed, and slightly hagiographic, has unusually broad potential. (Apr.)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    From Booklist
    Few Americans today remember Fred Harvey, but in the era of transcontinental train travel, the Fred Harvey name stood for excellence in food, service, and accommodation. English by birth, Harvey arrived in America just before the outbreak of the Civil War. With a head for business, refined taste, and an open mind about the American frontier, Harvey migrated eventually to Leavenworth, Kansas, where he involved himself in the railroads’ explosive growth. In those early days, train passengers had to endure quick stops at depot eateries noted for foul food, surly service, and outright defrauding of their clientele. Recruiting European chefs, Harvey began building restaurants and hotels at important train junctions. These centers of social decorum, superb food, and efficient service jump-started civilization on the rough, gunslinging frontier. Harvey gained further fame for recruiting single young women as servers in his dining rooms, a business innovation ultimately inspiring an iconic American movie musical. Fried compellingly relates this endlessly surprising tale of a true American entrepreneur, illuminating how Harvey’s business practices anticipated the success of both McDonald’s and Starbucks until technological progress and social change unraveled his empire. –Mark Knoblauch

    Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World Random House Reader’s Circle Review.

    Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

    Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World Random House Reader's Circle. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World Random House Reader’s Circle

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    This compelling and inspiring book, now in a deluxe paperback edition, shows how one person can work wonders. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who loves the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it.

    In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Kidder’s magnificent account takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb “Beyond mountains there are mountains”–as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too.

    Mountains Beyond Mountains unfolds with a force of gathering revelation,” says Annie Dillard, and Jonathan Harr notes, “[Paul Farmer] wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it.”

    • Amazon Sales Rank: #899 in Books
    • Published on: 2009-08-25
    • Released on: 2009-08-25
    • Original language: English
    • Number of items: 1
    • Binding: Paperback
    • 352 pages

    Features

    • ISBN13: 9780812980554
    • Condition: NEW
    • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

    An unreasonable man who has changed the world4
    Trace Kidder has written an excellent book about an extraordinary man. My one critique would be that Kidder has immersed himself so thoroughly in Farmer’s life that I think he is at times incapable of believing that Farmer can make a mistake. The section with Farmer describing the virtues of the Cuban system of health care was accepted too uncritically for my taste. By the end, Farmer was even acting as a de facto cardiology consultant for Kidder during strenuous climbs in the Haitian mountains. Farmer must have an incredible personality, and I think it would be natural for this to happen to anyone who spent as much time with him. Still, it strikes an occasionally awkward tone. Please don’t construe this to mean that the book is not enjoyable and worthwhile. It really is both.

    As a physician myself, I probably read this book with less objectivity than most readers. On a certain level, a doctor like Paul Farmer is an indictment of the way most physicians in this country practice. Paul Farmer could, if he chose, be one of the highest paid consultant in the country. He has demonstrated the intellect and the force of will to succeed at any branch of medicine. And yet, he chose infectious disease and epidemiology as his twin callings, two of the lower-paying specialties within the field. Furthermore, he chose not just to dedicate superhuman effort to this profession, but to practice in one of the poorest of poor regions of the world, Haiti, where every newcomer is “blan” (white), even African Americans from the US. It’s hard to read about such a man an not feel at times inadequate. After all, what have I done with my education that comes anywhere near what Farmer has accomplished?

    I think even non-physicians might have this initial reaction. I think a common defense mechanism might also be one that occurred to me, to pathologize Farmer, to think of his drive to help others as a need to satisfy some kind of internal conflict. After all, if Farmer does what he does to “quite the voices”, then the rest of us are off the hook.

    In the end, I came to realize that this was grossly unfair. A reader does not know and never can know what drives a man like Farmer, we can only judge him by his works. And those works are amazing. Time and again in his career, Farmer chose to push for the absolute best care for the absolute poorest of his patients. He refused to accept that the best HIV and tuberculosis drugs were “inappropriate technology” for Haiti. Instead, by tirelessly fighting for his patients, he redefined how tuberculosis and other horrible diseases are treated. I would encourage a reader to look closest at this aspect of Farmer, as it can be applied to all of our lives.

    To close, I am reminded of the old saying:

    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world;
    the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
    –George Bernard Shaw

    Dr. Paul Farmer is an unreasonable man who has changed the world.

    A Contrast of What Should Be with What Is5
    “Mountains Beyond Mountains” is no exception to Tracy Kidder’s excellent body of work. I have been a fan since he wrote “Soul of a New Machine.” Kidder impressed me then, as he does now, with his upfront investment of time before putting pen to paper. Fortunately for us, his hard work translates to first class storytelling.

    The title “Mountains Beyond Mountains” is a metaphor for life - once you have scaled one mountain (challenge), there are more to come. This is especially true for Paul Farmer, MD, who has devoted his life to what most people call “the impossible.” He has faced mountain after mountain in his quest to help mankind.

    Farmer starts out devoting his life to providing the most rudimentary medical care to impoverished Haitians (the shafted of the shafted). By age 27, he had treated more illnesses than most doctors would see in a lifetime. With time, he finds himself on the world stage trying to find a cure for drug resistant tuberculosis, undertaking the difficult role of a global fundraiser, and fighting big pharma for lower drug prices. He is a modern day medical hero.

    For me, Farmer serves as a startling contrast to Robert K. Maloney, MD, the well known Los Angeles ophthalmologist who has been featured on TV’s “Extreme Make-over.” Maloney, who was profiled October 26, 2004 in the Wall Street Journal, said that after he completed his medical training, he came to a disquieting conclusion: “I really didn’t like sick people.” Maloney has since specialized in LASIK refractive surgery (considered cosmetic surgery) and pampers his patients with 25 person staff, and a suit-and-tie concierge who serves pastries and coffee in the waiting room. He then follows up after his patients return home with a gift box of gourmet chocolate chip cookies and a mug bearing the invitation, “Wake up and smell the coffee.” He says he now earns more than the $1.2 million in salary and bonuses he made during his last year at UCLA (several years ago), but he won’t say how much.

    Farmer serves as reminder of what medicine aspired to be - the buck as only a means to an end….ending poverty, ending tuberculosis, ending the plight of many humans who cannot receive treatment from a qualified and trained doctor. Dr. Maloney serves as a reminder of what medicine has become - the buck and celebrity as ends. We should all get one of Maloney’s mugs so we, too, can “Wake up and smell the coffee” …before it is too late.

    Read “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” if only to regain hope of what medicine can be.

    Mountains Beyond Mountains5
    In a world where it is easy to feel as though we are helpless in the face of everyday violence, war, greed, and inhumanity, the story of Dr. Paul Farmer and his colleagues is an important reminder of the power within all of us to contribute to a better, more just world. I suspect many people who read this book begin it with little or no knowledge of Haiti’s history nor of its desperate situation today (not something we see in school curriculums!) and so the book also serves as a great “primer” for readers on Haiti and the impact of US policy there. Tracy Kidder does an excellent job of allowing us to “shadow” the steps of Paul Farmer as he moves in Haiti and around the world. I think Kidder’s detailing of his own evolving relationship with Paul Farmer is particularly well done. He does an excellent job of chronicling the details of personalities, individuals, and events without ever letting the reader lose sight of the larger global context in which they are situated.

    The Alchemist-Retail $14.99! Sale Only $10.19!

    Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

    The Alchemist

    The Alchemist-Retail $14.99! Sale Only $10.19!

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    The Alchemist Description:

    My Heart Is Afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.”Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.”

    Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho’s charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.

    The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

    The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

    • Amazon Sales Rank: #316 in Books
    • Published on: 2006-05-01
    • Released on: 2006-04-25
    • Original language: English
    • Number of items: 1
    • Binding: Paperback
    • 208 pages

    Features

    • ISBN13: 9780061122415
    • Condition: NEW
    • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

    Customer Reviews:

    Flawed But Ultimately Thought-Provoking and Worthwhile4
    Yes, much of what negative reviewers of this book have to say is true: the writing is blunt and simple, the characters lack depth and complexity, it is quite male-focused in its subject matter and language, it has a bunch of quasi-religious mumbo-jumbo, and so on. This book should not be put on the list of great literature for the ages. There are doubtless many novels that cover subject matter from this book far more artfully. As I read the book, I was aware of its hokeyness and lack of redeeming literary qualities. I am, in fact, usually the first person to criticize books that read like this.

    And yet, I have to say - and I feel a bit sheepish about this - that I found it meaningful, even profound at times. How can I say this, given my criticisms? First of all, unlike many reviewers, I did not approach this book with great expectations. No one told me that this was Shakespeare or Tolstoy; I had never even heard of it until it was recommended to me recently. And by the end of page 2, I had adjusted my expectations further. This clearly was not going to be winning the Booker prize.

    But I found the book moving in its simple way. The characters deliver their statements without subtlety, but subtlety is more a literary virtue than a philosophical one. In fact, I essentially came to view this work as a life philosophy expressed as a fable, so I didn’t particularly mind that its messages were not buried far beneath the surface.

    Are those messages novel? No, but what of it? Novelists have been recycling themes for centuries, becuase many themes are of enduring interest and relevance. The point is, the messages are worthwhile and deserving of consideration. They are simple, but I think that simplicity is itself one of the central themes of the book: that life is not that complicated when one follows one’s dreams honestly and passionately, or as the book says, “with love and purpose.” And yet the book reminds us that it is very easy to give up dreams and abandon one’s passion.

    I have to disagree with one often-mentioned criticism of the book, namely, that it advocates pure materialism. That is, in my opinion, a serious misinterpretation. The book is written in the style of a fable, and therefore the goals people strive for are the typical gold-and-buried-treasure stuff. But I think one would have to misread the book quite severely to think that it is advocating material gain. The book is not at all about the specific goals that the protagonist pursues. It is about the importance of wanting something urgently and how the wanting seems to reorient the universe in harmony with that goal (just as a magnetic field can reorder the particles around it), how genuine passion and enthusiasm are rewarded with success, how those who love us encourage us to pursue our goals, and how the act of reaching for goals - whatever they are, and whether or not ultimately reached - plunges us into a strong current that carries us to places that we can never expect or know when we embark. There is something here in common with the beliefs of the Romantics, in that much of the value of the goal is in the journey that it leads us on — the experiences gained and the lessons learned.

    It’s not a fair criticism of the book, I think, to say that it doesn’t tell us what happens when people’s goals conflict with one another, or disclose that circumstances outside of our control often render us unable to reach our goals however sincerely we may pursue them. We don’t need a book to tell us that. Anyone who has made it out of childhood knows that, and I have to believe that the author is well aware of this as well. I suspect that through his simple tale, he is trying to provide some kind of argument against the kind of cynicism or fear that the world can sometimes instill in us, and encourage us to keep diving into that “strong current” to see where it takes us.

    A Powerful Parable4
    More parable than novel, “The Alchemist” uses the story of young shepherd Santiago’s search for his Personal Legend as an allegory for everyman’s struggle to break from the comfortable confines of conformity and pursue his life dreams. Along the way, of course, our young everyman is beset by all manner of setbacks, testing his resolve and forcing him to become attuned to the Soul of the World in order to survive. By paying attention to the details in the world around him, which serve as omens guiding him towards his goal, young Santiago becomes an alchemist in his own right, spinning unfavorable circumstances into riches.

    Aside from the ubiquitous theme about the power of perseverance, my favorite part of the book was its glorification of simplicity. Like the pared-down manner in which the story is presented, Santiago’s rare ability to get in touch with the Soul of the World comes not from the procedures described in arcane tomes pursued by traditional alchemists, but rather from a simple honesty and observance of the workings of the world. While the lack of character or plot complexity precludes this minimalist work from being considered a great novel, it will be a satisfying read for those seeking inspiration of the purest sort.

    -Kevin Joseph, author of “The Champion Maker”

    The Beauty is in the Simplicity5
    When I thought about reviewing this book, I had many things to say…but after reading some of the other reviews which pick apart and criticize it, I can see the meaning of the book even more clearly.
    The writing is simple and clear- not juvenile. It’s entertaining and brings a message which does not need to be complicated, except for those who are not ready to see the truth. They are the ones who like their truth heavily veiled and masked, as their self-gratification is in the pursuit. The reality is, the only place you need to look for the truth is in yourself. There is no search required- just your own personal journey.
    Life does not need to be complicated, and the folks who have made negative comments about those who enjoy this book have obviously missed the point of it entirely- and they bring to mind the phrase “Casting Pearls before Swine.”
    You are not going to get anything valuable from this book unless you are READY for the spiritual knowledge which it contains. And that is one of the main points of the book anyway.
    Personally, I received deep spiritual messages and peace from reading The Alchemist- and I have been on my own spiritual path for over two decades. This book presents information that only those who have actually paid attention to their journey would understand and appreciate.
    If you read it and don’t like it, I suggest you forget about it for at least 5 years and pick it up again. You might be surprised.
    Update, 10/2003:Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t believe how many people just “don’t get” this book!!! Look: the point is not about anyone’s “Personal Legend”!!!
    THE POINT, is that what you search for is usually RIGHT THERE all along, and that the journey you take to find it is about learning lessons and growing as a person. Get it yet? LIFE IS IN THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION!!
    Santiago set off to find his “pot of gold,” and after a long journey during which he grew mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, he finally discovers the location of the treasure. He follows the directions and find it RIGHT WHERE HE STARTED!
    GET IT?!!!
    You have what you need inside of you all of the time. You don’t need to search outside yourself- you need to look within. THAT is the point.
    Sheesh.

    Amazon.com Review
    Like the one-time bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Alchemist presents a simple fable, based on simple truths and places it in a highly unique situation. And though we may sniff a bestselling formula, it is certainly not a new one: even the ancient tribal storytellers knew that this is the most successful method of entertaining an audience while slipping in a lesson or two. Brazilian storyteller Paulo Coehlo introduces Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who one night dreams of a distant treasure in the Egyptian pyramids. And so he’s off: leaving Spain to literally follow his dream.

    Along the way he meets many spiritual messengers, who come in unassuming forms such as a camel driver and a well-read Englishman. In one of the Englishman’s books, Santiago first learns about the alchemists–men who believed that if a metal were heated for many years, it would free itself of all its individual properties, and what was left would be the “Soul of the World.” Of course he does eventually meet an alchemist, and the ensuing student-teacher relationship clarifies much of the boy’s misguided agenda, while also emboldening him to stay true to his dreams. “My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy confides to the alchemist one night as they look up at a moonless night.

    “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself,” the alchemist replies. “And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” –Gail Hudson

    From Publishers Weekly
    This inspirational fable by Brazilian author and translator Coelho has been a runaway bestseller throughout Latin America and seems poised to achieve the same prominence here. The charming tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, who dreams of seeing the world, is compelling in its own right, but gains resonance through the many lessons Santiago learns during his adventures. He journeys from Spain to Morocco in search of worldly success, and eventually to Egypt, where a fateful encounter with an alchemist brings him at last to self-understanding and spiritual enlightenment. The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension and psychological intensity of a fairy tale, but it’s full of specific wisdom as well, about becoming self-empowered, overcoming depression, and believing in dreams. The cumulative effect is like hearing a wonderful bedtime story from an inspirational psychiatrist. Comparisons to The Little Prince are appropriate; this is a sweetly exotic tale for young and old alike. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo.
    Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    From School Library Journal
    YA– This simple, yet eloquent parable celebrates the richness of the human spirit. A young Spanish shepherd seeking his destiny travels to Egypt where he learns many lessons, particularly from a wise old alchemist. The real alchemy here, however, is the transmuting of youthful idealism into mature wisdom. The blending of conventional ideas with an exotic setting makes old truths seem new again. This shepherd takes the advice Hamlet did not heed, learning to trust his heart and commune with it as a treasured friend. Enjoyable and easy to read, this timeless fantasy validates the aspirations and dreams of youth.
    - Sabrina Fraunfelter, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
    Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality-Retail $15.95! Sale Only $10.85!

    Friday, March 1st, 2013

    Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality

    Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality-Retail $15.95! Sale Only $10.85!

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    List Price: $15.95

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    Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality Description:

    This comprehensive guide for new parents finding themselves overwhelmed dealing with the reality of parenting provides “parent-tested, pediatrician-approved” advice to allay their fears. Written in a compassionate yet authoritative tone by two moms who are also pediatricians, this guide covers a wealth of topics that often prove daunting in the first eight weeks of a child’s life. Starting with “Into the Mouths of Babes” (the trials of breastfeeding) and “What Comes in Must Come Out” (a discussion of “pee and poop”) and moving on through “Fever: Trial by Fire” and “Seeing Yellow: Jaundice,” this guide offers sound advice that will enable parents to feel confident about their parenting skills. Hints on daily living, sleep patterns, crying, the art and science of diapering, and traveling with a newborn are also provided.

    • Amazon Sales Rank: #885 in Books
    • Published on: 2005-06-01
    • Original language: English
    • Number of items: 1
    • Binding: Paperback
    • 306 pages

    Features

    • ISBN13: 9781581101577
    • Condition: NEW
    • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

    Customer Reviews:

    Wonderful practical guidebook for new parents5
    There are people who already have a great depth of infant care experience when they have their first child–have changed so many diapers they can do it with their teeth, can get a onesie over a newborn’s head without waking her, can swaddle a baby into immobility with a flick of the wrist. We are not those people. We needed help, and we found a lot of it here.

    My husband and I both read this book cover to cover before we brought our son home from the hospital, and referred to it often afterward. It has terrific practical advice for the new parent, with informative illustrations–such as demonstrating how to get those cute new outfits on your infant when they have clearly been designed by someone who has never actually dressed a baby– and is written in a casual, clear style that makes it easily readable and memorable. We went back to it often: “What colors of poop did it say were okay?” “What did it say about the difference between projectile spit up and vomiting?” (Asked as something ran down a wall two feet away.) “Is it possible the baby really wants to eat every 45 minutes?” We suspect its discussion of growth spurts saved our sanity, if not our lives.

    This book focuses on the nitty-gritty of the new obsessions you’ll have with the bodily functions and sleep habits of your new arrival, and how to balance them with your own. It is a cheerful, engaging, sympathetic and nonjudgmental guidebook, and we appreciated it tremendously in our early weeks home. Highly recommended.

    Quick, fun, informative5
    Most infant care books fall into two groups: those written by doctors and those written by moms. The books by doctors are usually dry and boring but are packed with information - lots of which you’ll never need. The books written by moms are easier to read but are usually one sided - if you don’t do things their way, you’re a bad mother.

    This book is written by two doctors who are also moms. They know what is best for most babies but they also know that new parents live in the real world - a world that doesn’t always work out just like the text book says it should and that not all babies fit into a mold. In fun, short chapters they quickly tell you what you need to know to care for your newborn (0 to 4 months).

    The book is an easy read and a great reference during the first, chaotic, sleep-deprived months of a baby’s life.

    Great guide5
    I registered for this book after having read great reviews of it. My mom laughed at the name, “from birth to reality!?” but she was so wrong. This is my first child, and although I knew I didn’t know everything there is to know, I did have the opportunity to watch my brother be born when I was 12 and help take care of him as a newborn. Now, of course, this book doesn’t (and couldn’t) cover every facet of raising a brand new baby, but it gets 5 stars because it is so enjoyable to read and it is a great reference book! I know I will bring it with me to the hospital and when at home it will always be nearby on the coffee table. I couldn’t imagine not being able to easily figure out what to do in certain tricky situations when under loads of stress and suffering mind blanks from very little sleep!
    The writers don’t try to sell you on breastfeeding, which as far as I have seen is pretty rare; they just give you tips on either breastfeeding or bottlefeeding, and you quickly learn the pros and cons of each. They also do a very good job informing you about pacifiers.
    They go into great detail about poop and pee, and whether your baby is doing enough etc. Also some pretty good info on gas, spitting up and vomiting.
    The doctors who write the book help you understand what will really happen as you try to get enough sleep for you and your baby, bathe, and soothe crying. They even have great diagrams on how to wrap up your baby to sleep, change diapers, dress your newborn, and bathe her too.
    The section on leaving the houseis invaluable! I would have never felt ok with staying in for weeks, even though I already knew I would probably have to. Most mothers go through this very dilemma. You even get great ideas on flying with your baby!
    The end is full of doctor visits, and body part care, sickness, etc., and also really helpful.
    I can’t suggest strongly enough that any mother (or father) to be reads this book before going home. I will make sure any friends or family that are preparing for their first baby read it, and you should too!

    Review

    “Includes a refreshing mix of practical parenting tips alongside medically sound advice.”  —Staten Island Parent

    Buy Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life At Amazon!

    Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

    Buy Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life At Amazon!

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    List Price: $11.99

    Amazon Price: $8.63

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    Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life Description:

    Scott Pilgrim’s life is so awesome. He’s 23 years old, in a rock band, “between jobs,” and dating a cute high school girl. Everything’s fantastic until a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. But the path to Ms Flowers isn’t covered in rose petals. Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends stand in the way between Scott and true happiness. Can Scott beat the bad guys and get the girl without turning his precious little life upside-down?

    • Amazon Sales Rank: #701 in Books
    • Published on: 2004-08-18
    • Original language: English
    • Number of items: 1
    • Binding: Paperback
    • 168 pages

    Features

    • ISBN13: 9781932664089
    • Condition: NEW
    • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

    Customer Reviews:

    Awesome!5
    Fun and irreverant, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Canadian slacker is one of the most appealing fictional characters I’ve come across, with or without pictures, and by the end of this first volume, I had a ridiculous grin on my face as I anticipated jumping right into Volume 2. I laughed out loud several times throughout the story, but more importantly, I felt connected to each of the primary characters, interested to see what happens to them next, not because of the [insane] plot they were involved in, but because I cared about what fate had in store for them. Which is weird, because I usually hate slacker stories. Scott Pilgrim, though, is awesome!

    Oh my god, dude!5
    Scott Pilgrim is the best comic I have read in years! That’s really saying something. Being a comic creator myself, I read a lot of comics. No, seriously, *a lot* of comics.
    Bryan O’Malley is able to blend innocence and humor and just over-the-top craziness with an art style that is deceptively simplistic and so achingly honest and perfectly expressive that, being an artist myself, it makes me want to choke him. He can do with just three lines what I — what would take me — what, honestly, I just can’t do.
    I was trying to think of a “if you like such-and-such you’ll love Scott Pilgrim” comparison, but you know what, I can’t imagine anyone not liking this book. It’s fun. It’s heart warming. It’s hilarious. It’s infinitely quotable. It has great characters and a great story …
    Hey, just buy it already. I swear you will not be disappointed.

    Why are you reading reviews? You should be reading this book!5
    Hype kills everything for me. When people started going on and on about how awesome this book was, I did my best to distance myself from it. But eventually I caved and bought it. And I’m glad I did.

    Bryan Lee O’Malley is a genius. His art is so amazing, and his writing is brilliant. Scott Pilgrim is one of the coolest books to come out in a long time. This is the kind of book you read and say, “DAMMNIT! Why didn’t I do this first?!”

    Have you ever been in love? Have you ever been in a band? Have you ever stayed up all night playing Super Mario Bros. 3? Then this book is for you.

    From Publishers Weekly
    Scott Pilgrim is 23 years old, lives in a cold, unnamed Canadian town, plays bass in a band called Sex Bob-Omb and has a very cute 17-year-old Chinese-Canadian girlfriend, Knives Chau. His “precious little life” is amiably unstructured, and he drifts, happily unemployed, between band practice and time spent with Knives. His relationship with Knives is chaste—walks, chats and hugs—although Knives is getting bigger ideas. “We haven’t even held hands,” Scott explains. “It’s just nice, you know.” But then he starts having dreams about Ramona Flowers, a mysterious, equally cute and perfectly legal hipster chick on Rollerblades who delivers books for Amazon.com. Ramona is anything but simple, and O’Malley’s tale of adorable slackers in love is transformed into a wildly magically manga–kung fu fantasy adventure. We meet the first of Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends, Matthew Patel, who challenges Scott and his band to a supernatural martial arts duel right out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. O’Malley has crafted a delightfully hybrid comics love story. It’s an alt-lit, rock ‘n’ roll graphic novel with wonderful manga-influenced drawing and a comically mystical plot that manages to capture both the genuine intimacies and serial dishonesties of young love.
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Review
    “Charming, funny, sexy and packed with creative power and the love of storytelling.” — Alan David Doane, Comic Book Galaxy

    “Easily one of my favorite books of the year. It’s sharp, funny, fast-paced, unpredictable, unapologetically silly and just plain fun.” — Kevin Melrose, Thought Balloons

    About the Author
    Bryan Lee O’Malley has been alive since 1979. His first book was called LOST AT SEA. His second book is this one.

    Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great Review.

    Monday, February 11th, 2013

    Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great

    Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great Review.

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    Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great Description:

    Jim Collins Answers the Social Sector with a Monograph to Accompany Good to Great. 30-50% of those who bought Good to Great work in the Social Sector.

    • This monograph is a response to questions raised by readers in the social sector. It is not a new book.
    • Jim Collins wants to avoid any confusion about the monograph being a book by limiting its distribution to online retailers.
    • Based on interviews and workshops with over 100 social sector leaders.
    • The difference between successful organizations is not between the business and the social sector, the difference is between good organizations and great ones.

    • Amazon Sales Rank: #2274 in Books
    • Published on: 2005-11-30
    • Original language: English
    • Number of items: 1
    • Binding: Paperback
    • 42 pages

    Features

    • ISBN13: 9780977326402
    • Condition: NEW
    • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

    Customer Reviews:

    Collins does it again5
    As a non-profit leader, I’ve been waiting for this monograph to be published for several months, and Collins did not disappoint.

    In a lucid style that only Collins can deliver, he masterfully explains the subtle (but seismic) concepts of good to great for the social sector. Similar to his previous books, he effectively uses a broad array of real-life examples (e.g. the NYPD, a church, the Girl Scouts, the Cleveland Orchestra, a high school science dept), helpful graphics, and a very readable, conversational tone. Even though the monograph is only 31 pages, Collins contributes his clear thinking on numerous issues that will be very familiar to social sector leaders: how to measure success in non-$ metrics, how to recruit and motivate a passionate (and poorly-paid or unpaid) staff, how to think differently about “restricted funds,” and how to transcend systemic / external / industry-wide problems. I particularly enjoyed his discussion on “legistative” leadership (versus “executive” leadership in the business world). Collins predicts a dramatic reversal - that one day non-profit leaders, who have mastered legistative leadership, will be wooed away to lead for-profit businesses.

    This monograph does stand on its own. However, I think you would have to be fairly familiar with the concepts in Good to Great to fully appreciate its value.

    If you are still not convinced, you can also go to his website, jimcollins.com, to read 3-4 pages of snip-its from the monograph.

    Regardless, I would recommend this to every social sector leader.

    Five Challenges for Non-Profits to Achieve Greatness5
    I have direct experience in the social sector with over twenty-five years as an advisor or board member of several, varied non-profits. “Good to Great and the Social Sectors” resonated with me as it fills a very deep void in social sector leadership guidance.

    Recently, one executive newcomer to a non-profit called to tell me she was being told to back off by other executives. She was being perceived as “too businesslike”; she did not understand the non-profit world. I asked her to have these people define “businesslike.” She learned that “businesslike” meant expecting people to complete assignments on time and be accountable!!

    This attitude, which permeates many non-profits, is one of several targets in “Good to Great and the Social Sectors.” In fact, due to the diffuse power structure that exists for most social sector organizations, non-profits need even greater discipline - disciplined planning, disciplined people, disciplined governance, disciplined allocation of resources.
    And the culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.

    Non-business leaders in the social sector must operate differently as they do not have the concentrated power of a business CEO. They have a thousand points of no. It is Collins’ observation that they require two skill sets - leadership skills and legislative skills - to be successful. And, he believes you will find more true leadership in the social sector as a result.

    The book is organized around five issues that need to be addressed for greatness. These are:
    Issue One - How do you define great without business metrics?
    Issue Two - What is “Level 5 Leadership” in the social sector?
    Issue Three - How can you get the right people on the bus?
    Issue Four - How do you apply the Hedgehog Concept (attaining piercing clarity about how to produce the best long-term results) without a profit motive?
    Issue Five - How do you use brand to build momentum?

    Great societies have both great business sectors and great social sectors. With this in mind, Collins was motivated to write this book. He realized that it was not simply good enough for him to focus on a great business sector but also on a great social sector. He has done us a service. We will gain as a society if all who work with or for non-profits read and apply the lessons of this excellent monograph.

    extremely helpful5
    Many of us who work in the social sector-in my case the United Methodist Church-were encouraged and inspired by Jim Collins book Good to Great. We worked to adapt the methodology to our work, but some parts didn’t fit. Collins realized from the feedback his work was getting that a large number of his readers needed more specific research into their context. This monograph is a first installment in addressing our need.

    The underlying principle of the book is that we don’t need to impose the language of business on the social sector, but develop a language of greatness. He does this by focusing on five issues that surfaced during the Good to Great research and tweaking them for a different mission and context. They are:

    1. Defining Great-How do we calibrate success without business metrics?
    2. Level 5 Leadership-Getting things done within a diffuse power structure
    3. First Who-Getting the right people on the bus within social sector constraints
    4. The Hedgehog Concept-Rethinking the economic engine without a profit motive
    5. Turning the Flywheel-Building momentum by building the brand.

    The monograph is a first look at applying these five good to great concepts to the social sector. I found it to be exciting, invigorating and one of the best things I’ve read in a long time. I think this is essential for non-profit leaders-especially church leaders-who want to build great organizations and build accountability within the constraints of structures that we can’t change.

    About the Author

    Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies — how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies. Having invested over a decade of research into the topic, Jim has co-authored three books, including the classic Built to Last, a fixture on the Business Week bestseller list for more than five years, generating over 70 printings and translations into 16 languages. His work has been featured in Fortune, The Economist, Business Week, USA Today, Industry Week, Inc., Harvard Business Review and Fast Company.

    Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he now conducts multi-year research projects and works with executives from the private, public, and social sectors.

    Jim has served as a teacher to senior executives and CEOs at corporations that include: Starbucks Coffee, Merck, Patagonia, American General, W.L. Gore, and hundreds more. He has also worked with the non-corporate sector such as the Leadership Network of Churches, Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Non-Profit Management.

    Jim invests a significant portion of his energy in large-scale research projects — often five or more years in duration — to develop fundamental insights and then translate those findings into books, articles and lectures. He uses his management laboratory to work directly with executives and to develop practical tools for applying the concepts that flow from his research.

    In addition, Jim is an avid rock climber and has made free ascents of the West Face of El Capitan and the East Face of Washington Column in Yosemite Valley.

    From AudioFile
    Collins provides a rigorous analysis of how to apply business performance principles to the nonprofit sector of the economy. In these social sector organizations, in which the objectives are not primarily monetary, superior results depend on attracting talent and money and creating the brand momentum these agencies need to create the social good they intend. The author is a natural and perky narrator of this important little book–he’s proud, enthusiastic, urgent, yet he charms his listeners rather than preaching or pushing them to buy into his ideas. This is a thinking person’s piece that delivers new insights as well as gives clarity to well-known principles of organizational performance. As an audio experience, it’s an expertly performed, indispensable lesson for anyone involved in running a nonprofit organization. T.W. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine– Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

    Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife Lowest Price!

    Sunday, February 10th, 2013

    Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife

    Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife Lowest Price!

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    Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife Description:

    A groundbreaking and accessible history of heaven—from the earliest biblical conceptions of the afterlife to the theologians who frame our understandings to the convictions and perceptions of everyday people

    Drawing on history and popular culture, biblical research and everyday beliefs, Heaven offers a new understanding of one of the most cherished—and shared—ideals of spiritual life. Lisa Miller raises debates and discussions not just about our visions of the afterlife, but about how our beliefs have influenced the societies we have built and the lifestyles to which we have subscribed, exploring the roots of our beliefs in heaven and how these have evolved throughout the ages to offer comfort and hope.

    She also reveals how the notion of heaven has been used for manipulation—to promulgate goodness and evil—as inspiration for selfless behavior, and as justification for mass murder.

    As Miller demonstrates in this absorbing and enlightening book, the desire for a celestial afterlife is universal—shared by the faithful around the world and across religions. It is as old as the Bible itself. While there are many notions of what exactly heaven is and how we get there, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all agree that heaven is God’s home. From the Revelation to the Left Behind series, Augustine to Osama bin Laden, Muslims in the West Bank to American Mormons baptizing their dead, Heaven is a penetrating look at one of our most cherished religious ideals.

    • Amazon Sales Rank: #2515 in Books
    • Published on: 2010-04-01
    • Released on: 2010-03-23
    • Original language: English
    • Number of items: 1
    • Binding: Hardcover
    • 368 pages

    Features

    • ISBN13: 9780060554750
    • Condition: NEW
    • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

    Customer Reviews:

    A Fascinating Read5
    This is a fascinating book, exhaustively researched and beautifully written. As a journalist, Miller, who writes on religion for “Newsweek,” interviews all sorts of intriguing personalities on what they expect to see and do in the afterlife. But she also digs back into history to see where we got all this stuff about milk and honey and roads paved with gold. Finally, she lets us in on her own skepticism, and her own hopes, turning what might have been a dry exposition of ancient doctrines into a conversation that feels as contemporary as it is compelling. Highly recommended for believers and unbelievers alike.

    A Nontraditional Assessment of and Longing for Heaven4
    Heaven: God’s Abode, Paradise, Cloud Nine, eternal and supreme love, joy, and bliss along with all that one’s righteous soul yearns is found in this glorious place. Therein Lisa Miller (editor of Religion for Newsweek” magazine) examines and offers a “literal-minded skeptical” assessment of the afterlife. She writes about this intriguing and essential topic as she evaluates the sundry notions of the afterlife from the standpoint of the ancient Greeks, Old Testament, New Testament, Koran, and many other ideas concerning that which lies beyond the grave.

    This silky and fascinating read covers the doctrine of the afterlife from many perspectives including views of:

    - Judaism
    - Plato
    - Orthodox Christianity
    - Augustine
    - Islam
    - Liberal Mainline Religious adherents
    - Eastern religious groups
    - Mormon and many others.

    Miller’s marvelously written book provides thorough and profound historical and scriptural research garlanded with her non-traditional opinions (atheist Sam Harris endorses this book).

    Alluring, delightful and is written in charming and winsome prose; this volume makes a wonderful read for the devout and the doubter.

    And it’s affordably priced!

    __________________________

    A Cautionary Presage: The notes I write below may disappoint and upset readers who affirm a non-confessional Christian view and possibly hurt some readers’ feelings. If you dislike conservative religious viewpoints and Christian apologetics, you may want to cease from reading. The following is based on my personal research as a conservative Christian theist who disallows Miller’s epistemic pre-commitments.

    I resist Miller’s notion that the truth that “Jesus died and rose again…” has “strained the credulity of even the most devoted believer.” I refer the reader to works on the Resurrection by Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, N.T. Wright, and my brief refutation below.

    One mustn’t completely rest his worldview on brute facts, nonetheless some of the facts concerning the Resurrection of Christ are:

    - Numerous eyewitnesses testified under the threat of death that they saw the risen Jesus, including 500 people at one time.

    To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

    - All the apostles, except John, died a horrible death knowing they saw Jesus alive from the dead. Hundreds more died because they would not recant the fact that they saw the risen Jesus. Not one Apostle recanted to save himself from a torturous death.

    - The resurrection of Christ was proclaimed in the city of Jerusalem where the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection took place. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, his enemies only had to produce his body and this new religion that they hated would be terminated before it started.

    - The conversion of the opponents of Christianity, including many Jewish Priests and Pharisees (Acts 6:7, 15:5, 20:21), can best be explained by the resurrection of Christ. The risen Jesus converted many of those who executed Him because of the overwhelming evidence of His resurrection and His many appearances.

    - Ancient hostile sources and extra-Biblical writers record the same facts of Christ’s death and empty tomb including Josephus in his Testimonium Flavianum recorded below:

    Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day (Josephus 96 AD: Antiquities 18.3.3).

    - The continuous defense of the resurrection in front of Roman government officials from Paul to Tertullian was unchallenged by Rome and all ancient historians. No other plausible explanation, other than the resurrection, existed or the precise government records could have been employed to refute the Christian claims.

    - Jesus’ tomb was secured and guarded by well-trained Jewish and Roman guards. The tomb had a Roman seal to prevent tampering, with the threat of execution for breaking the seal, yet the tomb was empty. Every ancient historical source that discusses the subject verifies that the tomb was empty.

    Of course the real fight is between presuppositions, moral pre-commitments, and a priori assumptions. The Christian presupposes God who raised Christ from the dead; He alone provides all the required preconditions for immutable universals, moral law, and fixed truth that allow one to investigate anything, including the resurrection of Christ. Resist the truth of CT and one lacks a ground to study and contend against anything.

    Nonetheless if one attempts to rest their worldview on Empiricism one falls into a fallacy:

    A causes B.
    Empirical experience observes A always precedes B.
    There seems to be constant conjunction one always sees
    A followed by B in repeated experience.
    WITHOUT an immutable epistemic ground for causality, it violates the classic informal fallacy post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

    Attempts to disprove God/miracles/the Resurrection through empiricism (truth is found through man’s five senses alone) is thus not certain nor formally logical. Moreover the form of any worldview, requires a priori (something prior to or independent of observation and experience, which is assumed to be true) equipment. But a priori truths cannot be justified from observation. Universal truths (laws of logic and absolute morals) must be presupposed in forming any worldview, but empiricism cannot provide the conditions that are necessary for them. Resting one’s worldview on mere empiricism (observation or data/info accumulation from 5 senses), apart from the universal pre-essentials, can only result in nonsense and the unintelligibility of that which one observes. Interpreting and making sense of that which is observed cannot come from brute observation. There must be knowledge equipment already supplied that is not justified by the five senses. God alone provides the prior essentials for the intelligibility of observation that empiricism requires. God is inescapable.

    Additionally I one cannot build a worldview from the ground of Empiricism whereas:
    1. All observed r’s have been t’s.
    2. r, NOT yet observed, may or may not be a t.
    3. Therefore it is illogical to have sense observation as the ground of one’s worldview.
    - I would add that one cannot tie together the a priori and the a posteriori by means of empiricism.

    The Necessary Existence of God: The Proof of Christianity Through Presuppositional Apologetics

    From Publishers Weekly
    Starred Review. Heaven. The word evokes all kinds of images and feelings in the hearts of people virtually everywhere. In some corners, heaven is seen as a vague sense of euphoria, a state of everlasting bliss. In other corners, heaven is a busy place, where eternal progression is the challenge of eternity. In this fine work, Miller, religion editor for Newsweek, surveys this fascinating subject from the earliest days of Judaism to contemporary expressions of faith. Beneath her pleasing prose and often amusing observations about the afterlife, there is a longing, a desire to be part of what heaven really is. And it is this sense of personal yearning that informs her delightful and insightful study. Heaven is hope, a constant hope for unimaginable perfection even as we fail to achieve it. This marvelous work is a readable and wonderfully realized study of this constant hope that we share. And whether we align with Augustine or with the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, whether we’re informed by scripture or by popular culture, Heaven will delight and edify readers at every level. (Mar. 23)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    From Booklist
    According to various polls, most Americans believe in heaven even, as Miller points out, when they don’t know what heaven means. Miller, Newsweek’s religion editor, addresses what and where heaven is and why the concept endures. Having covered many aspects of religion and interviewed people of many different faiths, she offers portraits of famous and ordinary people as well as experts in religious studies to educe how their views do or, more commonly, do not reflect the “official teaching, whatever that is.” The crux of the book focuses on believers, not beliefs, “for how people imagine heaven changes with who they are and how they live.” Miller discusses the heavenly city, afterlife in the Hebrew Bible, resurrection, and salvation, includes a chapter on visionaries, and comments extensively on how heaven is portrayed in pop culture ranging from the Talking Heads’ song “Heaven” to Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones (2002). Miller’s whirlwind tour of heaven is an entertaining primer on a most complex subject. –June Sawyers

    Review
    “A rare combination of journalism, memoir, and historical research by a self-professed skeptic who nonetheless believes in hope, this smart yet heartfelt book leads us into the center of one of the greatest conversations of all time. And Lisa Miller is the perfect conversation partner.” (Stephen Prothero, New York Times bestselling author of American Jesus and Religious Literacy )

    “Delightful and insightful. . . . This marvelous work is a readable and wonderfully realized study of this ‘constant hope’ that we share. . . . Whether we’re informed by scripture or by popular culture, HEAVEN will delight and edify readers at every level.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )

    “Lisa Miller has long been the fairest and most engaging journalist covering religion in America. In Heaven, she has accomplished the impossible: She has written a book about religion that fundamentalists, moderates, liberals, and nonbelievers alike can read with extreme pleasure.” (Sam Harris, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation )

    “Miller’s whirlwind tour of heaven is an entertaining primer on a most complex subject.” (Booklist )

    “Readers of HEAVEN will more likely than not find their own imaginations enriched, their experiences enhanced, their taste for exploration enlarged, and their impulse to reach out in empathy and hope quickened.” (Martin E. Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago )

    “This fascinating, thoughtful, and challenging study tells us a great deal about what it means to be a human being.” (Karen Armstrong, New York Times bestselling author of A History of God and The Case for God )