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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    In my reading experience, there have been several fine books written by expatriates, Brits mostly, who've discovered a better life by moving into dilapidated houses in foreign countries. These contain Peter Mayle's series on Provence beginning with A Year in Provence, Chris Stewart's Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia, and two volumes by Annie Hawes about her adopted home in Liguria, Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month Is Enchanted and Ripe for the Picking. Here in THE RELUCTANT TUSCAN, burnt-out Hollywood scriptwriter Phil Doran finds inner peace and meal for his starved soul.Having written episodes for Tinseltown sitcoms such as ALL IN THE FAMILY, SANFORD AND SON, and THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, fifty-something Phil Doran finds himself essentially a Hollywood has-been with a big, expensive house in Brentwood. Then, his wife Nancy, off carving marble in Italy, phones to announce that she's bought a ramshackle fixer-upper in rural Tuscany. What follows, related to the narratives of Mayle, Stewart, and Hawes, is an acc of an outsider coming to grips with the neighbors and the local customs and government bureaucracy while struggling to renovate the fresh digs. What makes Phil's perhaps a bit various from the others is that he must also cope with the downers of a terminally stalled career and a sputtering marriage.Having written comedy, one would think that Doran could create this a highly entertaining story - and he does, with an engaging self-deprecating humor that serves to paint Nancy as the character of the piece. Phil claims that all happenings are real with names changed to protect the innocent. But, I suspect that the author, with his demonstrated talent for scripting comedic episodes, perhaps embellished just a little. However, this only makes THE RELUCTANT TUSCAN all that more fun. Indeed, it approaches being a couldn't-put-it-down diversion. I hope for a Tuscan sequel - hopefully one that will contain photographs.

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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    SORRY IT TOOK SO LONG TO WRIGHT A REVIEW DID NOT KNOW YOU COULD TILL JUST NOW. SENT AS GIFT VERY HAPPY WITH BOOK

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    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    With "The Reluctant Tuscan", Phil Doran has given readers a witty, private acc of his life as a homeowner and, finally, an enthusiastic part-time resident of Cambione, Italy. (According to the biography on the dust cover, Doran divides his time between his home in Tuscany and the one in California.) The transition from Hollywood writer-producer to enthusiastic ex-patriate and partner in what had been his wife's solo venture into a more rustic lifestyle is charming. As Doran deals with Italian bureaucracy and local customs, he begins to regain an appreciation for the rhythm and joys of living life as a participant and not simply as a cog in the ers will be amused by the characters and their foibles; will salivate as local cuisine is described; and may feel compelled to create their own journey to Tuscany. Characters in "The Reluctant Tuscan" have larger-than-life personalities and eccentricities. Their actions and reactions have provided Doran, the writer, the ample material that forms the basis of this ose who have fun light, amusing reading will search "The Reluctant Tuscan" to their liking. Readers who prefer a book with more depth and substantive material may be less enthusiastic about "The Reluctant Tuscan".

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    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    During my reading of this book and long afterwards I had to pause, place the book down and just allow the feelings wash over me. Mr. Doran's ability to show personalities, places,food-in such a realistic, poignant manner struck home with me from the frist chapter. I loved the people in the book. I feel I could walk into their village and be welcomed and fed well. His humor is already widely known, but I admiired it anew in his loving descriptions of his wife, their relationship and very true adventures.

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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    With "The Reluctant Tuscan", Phil Doran has given readers a witty, private acc of his life as a homeowner and, finally, an enthusiastic part-time resident of Cambione, Italy. (According to the biography on the dust cover, Doran divides his time between his home in Tuscany and the one in California.) The transition from Hollywood writer-producer to enthusiastic ex-patriate and partner in what had been his wife's solo venture into a more rustic lifestyle is charming. As Doran deals with Italian bureaucracy and local customs, he begins to regain an appreciation for the rhythm and joys of living life as a participant and not simply as a cog in the ers will be amused by the characters and their foibles; will salivate as local cuisine is described; and may feel compelled to create their own journey to Tuscany. Characters in "The Reluctant Tuscan" have larger-than-life personalities and eccentricities. Their actions and reactions have provided Doran, the writer, the ample material that forms the basis of this ose who have fun light, amusing reading will search "The Reluctant Tuscan" to their liking. Readers who prefer a book with more depth and substantive material may be less enthusiastic about "The Reluctant Tuscan".

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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    During my reading of this book and long afterwards I had to pause, place the book down and just allow the feelings wash over me. Mr. Doran's ability to show personalities, places,food-in such a realistic, poignant manner struck home with me from the frist chapter. I loved the people in the book. I feel I could walk into their village and be welcomed and fed well. His humor is already widely known, but I admiired it anew in his loving descriptions of his wife, their relationship and very true adventures.

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    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    Doran is a self-described Hollywood refugee who is always one broken shoelace away from a nervous breakdown, so when he moves to a dilapidated farmhouse in Tuscany after being hemmed out of his thirty year career writing for sit coms, it makes for a hilarious memoir. His book is like an Alitalia coach seat from LAX to Fiumicino: up close, very personal, turbulent at times, and ultimately fantastically rewarding.Whether buttering up local official to obtain their construction plans approved, or cooking up batches of wild herbs that give them double vision, Doran and his wife Nancy have a knack for getting caught up in comic mischief, and becoming the butt of their own jokes. Doran's hilarious takes on the classic topics of ice, strikes, and la bella figura will have anyone who has spent any extended time in Italy laughing in recognition. Doran has written a love letter to Italy, his wife and life itself in his own begrudging, curmugeonly way, and I am so glad I came across it.

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    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    This book was recommended to me by a friend. Am I glad I listened!!!! If you have ever been or plan to see Italy you HAVE to read this. This is a delightful read which takes you inside the lives of such colourful characters they can't be created up. As I was reading I could imagine the sights, smells, and sounds the author is vividly describing. This narrative will leave you wanting more...after you package your bags and grab your passport!

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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    Read this book in a few days. Just breezed right through it. A unbelievable read. Light, funny, realistic. It will remain on my bookshelf as one of my favorites. My wife who has a hard time reading books, and especially finishing them is currently reading it, and can't place it down. And for her to say that is a large compliment to the author. The fact that my wife has wanted to live in Italy, even before reading the book, might present a small prejudice. The humor in the book I am sure comes from his career as a situation comedy writer for television. Anyone who has been to Italy, or has Italian ancestry will see all the truths, and humor of the book instantly. I highly recommend the book. Almost makes me wish to fulfill my wife's dream of living in Italy like the author, but there is no method I would wish to go through what they did with their restoration of the old farm house.

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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    The book arrived on time. Bit is a amazing read - especially if you have traveled to Tuscany

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    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    Doran didn't set out to move to Italy. His wife's love of sculpture led him there versus his will after she bought a house without even consulting him! Although Doran's book is another in the genre of "move to another country and build a house versus all odds" books, his is special because he has such a reasoned understanding of the country. He sincerely tries to understand his surroundings. The Italian phrases in the book are all CORRECT, which shows an necessary attentiveness to detail.I use this book in creative non-fiction writing classes I teach in Italy. My American students can easily relate to Doran; they too search themselves frustrated, fascinated, and infatuated with their fresh surroundings. They laugh at his mistakes and celebrate his slow stages of learning.When I shared this book with an American friend, he got mad, saying that he disliked the facile generalizations about Italians. However, Doran's portraits aren't generalizations. They're true-to-life descriptions of my fellow Italians. My grandpa's relatives could have all fit nicely into Doran's book.And yes, as Doran points out, we really do say "Mamma mia!"

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    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    The book arrived on time. Bit is a amazing read - especially if you have traveled to Tuscany

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    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    In my reading experience, there have been several fine books written by expatriates, Brits mostly, who've discovered a better life by moving into dilapidated houses in foreign countries. These contain Peter Mayle's series on Provence beginning with  A Year in Provence , Chris Stewart's  Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia , and two volumes by Annie Hawes about her adopted home in Liguria,  Extra Virgin: A Young Woman Discovers the Italian Riviera, Where Every Month Is Enchanted  and  Ripe for the Picking . Here in THE RELUCTANT TUSCAN, burnt-out Hollywood scriptwriter Phil Doran finds inner peace and meal for his starved soul.Having written episodes for Tinseltown sitcoms such as ALL IN THE FAMILY, SANFORD AND SON, and THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, fifty-something Phil Doran finds himself essentially a Hollywood has-been with a big, expensive house in Brentwood. Then, his wife Nancy, off carving marble in Italy, phones to announce that she's bought a ramshackle fixer-upper in rural Tuscany. What follows, related to the narratives of Mayle, Stewart, and Hawes, is an acc of an outsider coming to grips with the neighbors and the local customs and government bureaucracy while struggling to renovate the fresh digs. What makes Phil's perhaps a bit various from the others is that he must also cope with the downers of a terminally stalled career and a sputtering marriage.Having written comedy, one would think that Doran could create this a highly entertaining story - and he does, with an engaging self-deprecating humor that serves to paint Nancy as the character of the piece. Phil claims that all happenings are real with names changed to protect the innocent. But, I suspect that the author, with his demonstrated talent for scripting comedic episodes, perhaps embellished just a little. However, this only makes THE RELUCTANT TUSCAN all that more fun. Indeed, it approaches being a couldn't-put-it-down diversion. I hope for a Tuscan sequel - hopefully one that will contain photographs.

    0  


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    Useful review?

    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    Doran didn't set out to move to Italy. His wife's love of sculpture led him there versus his will after she bought a house without even consulting him! Although Doran's book is another in the genre of "move to another country and build a house versus all odds" books, his is special because he has such a reasoned understanding of the country. He sincerely tries to understand his surroundings. The Italian phrases in the book are all CORRECT, which shows an necessary attentiveness to detail.I use this book in creative non-fiction writing classes I teach in Italy. My American students can easily relate to Doran; they too search themselves frustrated, fascinated, and infatuated with their fresh surroundings. They laugh at his mistakes and celebrate his slow stages of learning.When I shared this book with an American friend, he got mad, saying that he disliked the facile generalizations about Italians. However, Doran's portraits aren't generalizations. They're true-to-life descriptions of my fellow Italians. My grandpa's relatives could have all fit nicely into Doran's book.And yes, as Doran points out, we really do say "Mamma mia!"

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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    Doran is a self-described Hollywood refugee who is always one broken shoelace away from a nervous breakdown, so when he moves to a dilapidated farmhouse in Tuscany after being hemmed out of his thirty year career writing for sit coms, it makes for a hilarious memoir. His book is like an Alitalia coach seat from LAX to Fiumicino: up close, very personal, turbulent at times, and ultimately fantastically rewarding.Whether buttering up local official to obtain their construction plans approved, or cooking up batches of wild herbs that give them double vision, Doran and his wife Nancy have a knack for getting caught up in comic mischief, and becoming the butt of their own jokes. Doran's hilarious takes on the classic topics of ice, strikes, and la bella figura will have anyone who has spent any extended time in Italy laughing in recognition. Doran has written a love letter to Italy, his wife and life itself in his own begrudging, curmugeonly way, and I am so glad I came across it.

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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    My wife turned me on to this book, but I left it on a shelf for several weeks. Then I had to create a short trip and required something less than a 600 page mystery. What a lucky day it was for me. Phil Doran has made a very enjoyable and funny book. I finished the book on the trip and quickly tried to search another book by him. But it turns out he has been a Hollywood writer for both the little and huge screen. His credits are impressive... but I enjoyed this book so much that I contacted him and encouraged him to write a sequel. Do yourself a favor and obtain a copy of this entertaining book. From the tug of battle between husband and wife, Italy and the US, indoor plumbing vs outdoor shacks "out back". you will smile, then laugh out loud to this story of two jobs and two worlds... handled very well by two people who care. READ IT.

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    Reluctant Tuscan, The: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-7-11 19:4

    This book was recommended to me by a friend. Am I glad I listened!!!! If you have ever been or plan to see Italy you HAVE to read this. This is a delightful read which takes you inside the lives of such colourful characters they can't be created up. As I was reading I could imagine the sights, smells, and sounds the author is vividly describing. This narrative will leave you wanting more...after you package your bags and grab your passport!

    0  


  • 0

    Useful review?

    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    Read this book in a few days. Just breezed right through it. A unbelievable read. Light, funny, realistic. It will remain on my bookshelf as one of my favorites. My wife who has a hard time reading books, and especially finishing them is currently reading it, and can't place it down. And for her to say that is a large compliment to the author. The fact that my wife has wanted to live in Italy, even before reading the book, might present a small prejudice. The humor in the book I am sure comes from his career as a situation comedy writer for television. Anyone who has been to Italy, or has Italian ancestry will see all the truths, and humor of the book instantly. I highly recommend the book. Almost makes me wish to fulfill my wife's dream of living in Italy like the author, but there is no method I would wish to go through what they did with their restoration of the old farm house.

    0  


  • 0

    Useful review?

    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    My wife turned me on to this book, but I left it on a shelf for several weeks. Then I had to create a short trip and required something less than a 600 page mystery. What a lucky day it was for me. Phil Doran has made a very enjoyable and funny book. I finished the book on the trip and quickly tried to search another book by him. But it turns out he has been a Hollywood writer for both the little and huge screen. His credits are impressive... but I enjoyed this book so much that I contacted him and encouraged him to write a sequel. Do yourself a favor and obtain a copy of this entertaining book. From the tug of battle between husband and wife, Italy and the US, indoor plumbing vs outdoor shacks "out back". you will smile, then laugh out loud to this story of two jobs and two worlds... handled very well by two people who care. READ IT.

    0  


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    The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian []  2020-11-22 19:9

    SORRY IT TOOK SO LONG TO WRIGHT A REVIEW DID NOT KNOW YOU COULD TILL JUST NOW. SENT AS GIFT VERY HAPPY WITH BOOK

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    I know of Penelope Lively through method of her short story "At the Pitt-Rivers" which I frequently teach with 10th-graders. When I saw this novel at the local book store, I decided to take a possibility on it, and I'm here to report that I actually enjoyed reading a lot of other reviewers have noted, the primary premise is how seemingly happenstance occurrences can have unforseen consequences on others (Chaos theory = The Butterfly Effect). The book begins with the mugging of an elderly woman named Charlotte. Charlotte suffers a broken hip, and the doctors contact her daughter (Rose) to come to the hospital. Rose has to leave work to attend to her ailing mother and is unable to accompany her boss (Lord Henry) to a speaking engagement in Manchester. Lord Henry takes his niece Marion in her place. In order to go, Marion must cancel her plans with her married lover. And so forth... one happening leads to another, influences another. The joy is in watching how the various plot lines e part which I enjoyed most, however, was Lively's writing itself. She is a masterful storyteller, and I was much impressed with how she gave each hero his/her own voice. It was really superior writing. Also, the ending was perfect. I don't think the novel could have ended any differently and still remain real to the premise. Some may search it a bit unsatisfying that things weren't neatly tied up, but I thought it rather clever.Overall, a amazing summer read. Most enjoyable.

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    I never knew anything about the true life of Calamity Jane. I suppose I thought she was mostly is is a amazing retelling, not of her complete life story, but some highlights that create you curious for more details. Read this one...quick and fun.

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    We, as readers, already have a relationship with Calamity Jane since childhood. This is a surprising contrast to the Calamity Jane that we learned about in school! This story enhances that relationship and takes it into the adult world. The novel is atmospheric in time, place, and characters with vivid descriptions of the environment. It is a compelling read. I enjoyed Jane's adventures here, and was left wanting more. I look forward to reading further adventures and tall tales!

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    I rarely write reviews, but I had to write one about this book. It was immensely enjoyable and has such interesting points (no spoilers) that it's always interesting. I had been looking for fresh things to read, and was glad this was brought to my attention!An A+

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    Lively writes with insight to the human condition and with the kind of detail that both informs but also keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. As Lively says, it is the story that we wish to know and here she gives us a lot of intertwined and satisfying. Not so a lot of as to confuse or so exotic as to be unrelatable, but characters much like any of us, and that is what keeps us reading.

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of writing; they method the story engaged me; a few quite astute observations of human nature. The ending was realistic but not terribly satisfying--well, wait a sec, that's rather realistic as well. In fact, I'm upgrading my initial three star to a four because this was in no method a waste of time and in the end I was glad I read it. It, however, is not a book to tag for rereading which type I assign five stars to.

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    Somewhere in the Amazon, a butterfly flaps its wings and provokes a tornado in Texas. So goes the chaos theory - a proposition that apparently random phenomena have underlying order. It is the premise of Penelope Lively's thoroughly engaging and delightful fresh book, where at least seven lives are derailed one day in all begins when Charlotte Rainsford - a 76-year-old woman - is accosted by an unknown teenage thief on the roads of London and breaks her hip. That one random happening gives method to a slew of other similar events: Charlotte must recuperate at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Rose and Gerry. Bored out of her mind, she takes on an adult student - Anton, a European immigrant who is learning the English language - who fascinates Rose in a method that hasn't happened in years.And, since Rose must tend to her mother, she cannot go to Manchester with her boss, an ancient historian named Henry, who takes his niece Marion instead. It's during that trip that Marion meets a shyster and, at the same time, is forced to begin reconsidering her affair with the very-married Jeremy, whose wife Stella finds out about the affair, and... well, the "chaos theory" goes on and ne of this is particularly innovative but it's done so exceedingly well and with such aplomb and amazing humor that the reader cannot support but be carried along. As the historian Henry notes, "Progress is forever skewed by cirtance - the unforeseen event, an untimely death, the unpredicted cirtance, and the course of history would be one of seamless advance." History and life are, the author suggests, topic to interpretation and random fate.I cannot support but end this review by quoting Ms. Lively's key character, Charlotte, on her love of reading. "She has read not just for distraction, sustenance, to pass the time, but she has read in a state of primal innocence, reading for enlightenment, for instruction, even. She has read to explore what it is to be amazing or bad; she has read to search out if things are the same for others as they are for her - then, discovering frequently they are not, she has read to search out what it is that other people experience that she is missing." I have read How It All Began for a lot of of these same reasons - and I've been rewarded.

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    I loved this witty, tender story because:1. I believe its central tenet -- everything and everyone is connected and the consequences of our most trivial actions echo across zone and time.2. I care about all the characters -- even Jeremy, the perennial optimist, opportunist, and infant.3. Charlotte -- a lady of a certain age (mine) -- has to deal with the vicissitudes that come with advancing -- um -- maturity: loss of independence, role reversals; vulnerability.4. Charlotte volunteers as a tutor in an adult literacy program, as do I.5.Henry reminds me of some aging academics I know who struggle to remain relevant, when clearly their glory days are in the rearview mirror.6. Rose and Anton's story -- which could have been so treacley -- instead ends as it should, with an adult recognition of reality. I wish to hug them!

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    This is my first story by Bryan Ney, but far from my last. The book was mistaken by me to be nonfiction when I bought it. I started out disappointed, but quickly changed my mind. Mr Ney explains how he developed his tale and in my opinion he did an outstanding job and I enjoyed it very much. Anyone who likes western fiction or nonfiction for that matter, will have fun this book. Thank you sir and I can't wait until the next one.

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    I love historical fiction, and truly enjoyed reading Calamity Jane (devoured it in 2 days). Appreciated the a lot of historical info woven into the story - the years of research that must have devoted! I've now passed it on for my 15-year-old daughter to read (she loves a story with a powerful female lead). I hope the future finds Dr. Ney in Starbucks, writing sequels. I long to know what happens next in the tale of Calamity...

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys the stories of the west. N o nonfiction and a small fiction just to hold thing interesting. I love that the accounts could be found in real doentation

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    This was so much fun to read, light but full of realistic historical detail. Reading this brought the living conditions of that time and put to life for me. I had read another historical fiction novel based on the Plummer incident (that one was written from the point of view of a Pinkerton operative) and it was fun to see somebody else handle it so differently.

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    When Charlotte Rainsford, a retired schoolteacher, is accosted by a petty thief on a London street, the consequences ripple across the lives of acquaintances and strangers alike. A marriage unravels after an illicit love affair is revealed through an errant cell phone message; a posh yet financially strapped interior designer meets a business partner who might prove too amazing to be true; an old-guard historian tries to recapture his youthful vigor with an ill-conceived idea for a TV miniseries; and a middle-aged central European immigrant learns to speak English and reinvents his life with the assistance of some fresh friends. Through a richly conceived and colourful cast of characters, Penelope Lively explores the strong role of possibility in people’s lives and deftly illustrates how our paths can be altered irrevocably by someone we will never even Thoughts: From the very first page of How It All Began: A Novel, we are caught up in a series of events, beginning with the mugging of Charlotte Rainsford, and rippling forward to people she knows…and then to total we can all be connected by an happening was a fascinating exploration. I liked how the author showed us the different characters as they meandered down the pathways that were affected by this one seemingly irrelevant moment in one woman’s ere was Rose, Charlotte’s daughter, who takes her in after the mugging and whose life is changed.Another random connection occurs when Rose’s boss Henry asks his niece Marion to attend a luncheon with him when Rose cannot. A text Marion sends to Jeremy, a married lover, upends his merous vignettes that spotlight how these several lives are changed kept my interest up, and while the story was not one I loved, I definitely enjoyed it. 4 stars.

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    I think this is one of Lively's finest novels, and there are a lot of to choose from. I have enjoyed reading her over several decades and feeling the shifts in her characters and plots as she has grown older. This novel centers around an older woman whose life inter-weaves with that of eight others after she suffers an untimely fall. The characters are beautifully limned, as are their relationships, and the novel ends optimistically.I do not think book reviews should summarize plots, so let me just to say that Lively's writing is always wonderful, and in this book, it is at its best. The novel is both literary and accessible, the plot clips along at a satisfactory rate and the characters are beautifully developed. Enough said!

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    In this short, beautifully written novel,the young Jane Canary is one of those characters who never ceases to surprise and enlighten the reader. I want I'd have known her and Bryan Ney's debut novel about this remarkable woman captured my heart and attention to the point of wanting more...much more. The supporting characters glowed with enough description to elicit either deep respect or outright disdain, and Dr. Ney's descriptions of the countryside, the little towns, and suffering yet hardy adventurers were enough to put one right there alongside of them. There's a movie in here and that too, I would have fun thoroughly. Thanks to Bryan Ney for the history lesson, too.

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    It is quite satisfying to grow old with Penelope Lively. Among her a lot of novels is one that gave me my first glimpse of the lingering sorrow of the Blitz in kids who were sent to the countryside for safety, and whose parents perished in London bombing raids(GOING BACK) . Another told me something about the uneasy powers of village vicars (JUDGEMENT DAY). Unforgettably, in CITY OF THE MIND, he narrator presented divorce as a deep slough of questioning fundamental assumptions, and a method to face uncontrollable change. I loved A HOUSE UNLOCKED, a book of nonfiction in which the author reenters the family home to access childhood memories and understand HOW IT ALL BEGAN, Lively faithfully records the aches and pains and the convictions of an elderly woman who briefly loses control, and the domino result it has. Charlotte has a fall, is suddenly created dependent on her daughter Rose; Rose must cancel an obligation to Lord Peters (Henry), an aged scholar for whom she serves as PA’ and Henry then must then ask his niece Marion to accompany him to Manchester where he is to deliver a lecture. Thus Marion has to cancel a date with her lover Jeremy, and leaves an affectionate text notice on his phone, which is discovered by Stella, Jeremy’s is Lively’s adoption of the fresh technology in this novel that becomes a foil for all that is outmoded and worn, such as women like us. Though I regretted having to acknowledge that I understood, I appreciated every word in this testimony, again, to uncertainty and frustration, and to the difficulty of letting go of what we cherished about our lives, including life itself. Charlotte is a medium for life review, set versus the narcissistic Henry. In the midst of their issues a love affair flickers and goes out and fresh love blossoms. Very touching. So realistic it gives me the shivers to think about it.

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    Ms. Lively's conventional theme is ever show in her fresh book. The reader is well aware from the beginning that a singular happening will disrupt the lives of her seven characters. Her writing is brilliantly fluid and she moves us through the incidents and thoughts of her cast. One does not have to dig too deep; Lively tells us what makes up their motivations and locations us within reach of their arlotte Rainsford, a 70ish widow, is mugged. After her initial hospitalization, she becomes a "guest" of her daughter, Rose and son-in-law Gerry who will provide her assisted care as she recovers. Her recovery is slow moving, reminding her that, at her age, she has lost her ambulatory independence and involvement in daily activities. She is an educated woman who is intuitive but intelligent enough not to blurt out her thoughts. Her thoughts start to center on Rose, who works for "his Lordship," a self-centered, indulgent academic who is unmarried and rather is historian has his niece, Marion, an interior designer, accompany him to a lecture trip (Rose is tending to Charlotte) where she meets Mr. Harrington who will support her expand her faltering business with rich commissions. Marion is having an affair with a married man, Jeremy, a selfish lout who wants it all. A text notice from Marion derails a lot of lives and ultimately impacts previous impulses. Meanwhile, Charlotte invites Anton, a foreigner into Rose's home, to teach him to read English, which sparks dangerous emotions in Rose. And so it ly addresses the invasion of time through 76-year-old Henry and housebound Charlotte. The reality of the initial mugging undulates through the everyday lives and ambitions of her characters. The theme, itself, is not innovative, but the author's presentation, which seems so effortlessly, captures our fears of mortality and the drawbacks of our dreams. 4.5 stars

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    How It All Began: A Novel [Book]  2018-3-20 18:0

    Penelope Lively uses the chaos theory as a template for this story, with a mugging setting into motion happenings that upset the lives of seemingly random people around London. There are threads connecting them, but their stories spin independently, almost like a series of linked short stories. The British do this so well, creating satisfying novels populated with interesting people. warts and all. These situations are not all very original, their resolutions not all happy, but interspersed within the pages are ruminations on the times, the effects of the advance of time, and life in England in general. There is a particularly lovely passage on memory, memories, and the individual that I have underlined and will return to from time to time. Highly recommended.

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    I enjoyed reading this book. I didn't know much about Calamity Jane's younger years. She certainly led an awesome life

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    Calamity Jane: How The West Began []  2020-1-19 20:54

    Calamity Jane was an interesting historical read. I wouldn’t rank it near the top of the historical books I have read about the old west but it was a fun read nonetheless.

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    Lee is a joy as are her scrapes and bumps on her journey through adolescence. Due to the skill of the author this story transports me back to my own youth. Long, sunny days in which riding my bike with my mates making plans for adventure – all in the absence of adults -- was complete power. The 1980s, middle class, suburban Italian setting and the descriptions of family interactions, neighborhoods, vacations, and food, is sociologically interesting. But this is a relationship-driven story and our protagonist has much to say and learn about herself, gender, and gender stereotypes. Lee is confused by so a lot of of the relationships around her as they rapidly change and often seem to spiral out of control. The bittersweet lesson that nothing stays the same is handled here without sentimentality. Young adults will search the characters funny and relatable. I highly recommend this book.

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    This is a wonderfully written book and true hook. You're literally in the mind of Leda, with all the fears, doubts, wants, likes and dislikes of a girl growing up in Italy. If you would have told me that I'd be drawn into the life of a twelve year old girl I would have told you, 'you're nuts'. I would HIGHLY recommend this book for any man with daughters for no better reason than you'll learn what goes on in the mind of a 12 year old girl. Quite honestly, it blew me away. It's like Suzuki without the e thing I really love about this series is that it draws no conclusions and makes no fuzzy moral statements. The reader can decide what they feel. Leda is who she is. There's true strength in this 82 pound girl , despite her disappointments, pitfalls and back steps. You'll be in love with her from the first chapter. Oh, and by the way. The book is hilarious.If I can create a suggestion to any married woman with children, by this for your husband. It will save him and you enormous anguish. I have two very successful daughters but I really beat my head versus the wall getting then there. I want I would have known Leda 20 years ago! haha

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    “I was coming to realize that we are just as powerful as the pain we are forced to face,” --Leda.Leda is a tomboy on the cusp of becoming a young woman. Her inner dialogue is real to that formation. She is a multi-dimensional hero we can all relate to. Amman captures her development with humor and budding wisdom. Amman also has a wicked eye for sibling rivalry and handles Leda's perspective with precision, letting the mystery of her emergence from childhood to teenagedom present just the right level of tension that comes with discovery. This was a wonderfully fun well-drawn read.

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    A unbelievable soulful story about LIFE! Leda connected me to my past which created me look at phases of my own life differently. Leda's story created me satisfied (who doesn't wish to feel satisfied and loved?) The excellent descriptions of the Italy, the Italian countryside, the sea...BELLA!Anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's can truly relate to Leda's story no matter where you grew up. I just ordered the recently published second book.

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    Simple entertaining read. Culturally interesting

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    Leda, known as Lee to her mates and family, grows and learns hard lessons during her formative years. Gaia Amman presents very real-life problems of divorce between parents as a young girl must create sense of grown-up decisions and yet feel amazing about herself. “An Italian Adventure” illustrates that kids are keener and more astute to life’s challenges than they reveal. This is a delightful 5-star novel that moves far beyond the play of childhood. Hard questions are posed and the plot unveils the possibilities.

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    The sweet kids!

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    Thoroughly enjoyed this novel, it reminded me of what it felt like to be a 10 year old girl! Looking forward to reading An Italian Sumer.

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    Interesting novel describing life seen from the point of view of a 10 years old girl. The grown up people should test to obtain into the globe of kids more carefully if they really wish to educate them to their future life as adults. Adults should create the effort to give precise answers to the questions raised by children, but using easy and understandable arguments avoiding shocking or frightening.

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    An Italian Adventure (Italian Childhood novel 1, The Italian Saga) []  2020-1-28 22:44

    An original story from the perspective of a nine years girl; a reworking deep and ironic at the same time the growth path.A story apparently normal, with the questions you deal with when you are 9 years old (what is ? Why my parents separate? why my sister is a @#$%!?), created unique by the brilliant method the protagonist is recounting the happenings and outline characters.An ironic, touching, funny book. One of those books you read (or would like to read) in one breath because the story keeps you hooked.

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    Fifty years ago I undertook a major in linguistics at UCLA. During the course of the first quarter I concluded that I had entered in to the realm of a quasi-religious cult. The prof. of historical ling. spent the first class apologizing for teaching the subject, linguistics being a genetic trait, like sneezing, it could have no history. Deep structure, surface structure, transformations. I pointed out, to a friend, preparing a thesis on 'universal grammar' transformation into conversational French that even if each of these "transforms' took but a millisecond it would take about twenty mins to say anything significant. Realizing the silliness of it all, I departed. But I have been a silent observer of the globe of "linguistics" ever since, saw Chomsky churn out his evermore absurd "new theories" and sadly watched as society lionized him and two generations of serious study were lost. Contrary to a previous reviewer the "contributions" of Chomskyites are far outweighed by the hurt they were allowed to do. And yet. I live to see Everett's work! Although some might quibble with info - he claims no certainty - his primary premise is unassailable. Chomsky's theories were not even wrong.

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    How War Began: Texas A&M University Anthropology Series []  2020-1-18 20:39

    This is an necessary book because it counters a very risky tendency: the tendency for the modern globe to see warfare as something endemic to the human erbein shows clearly that this is not the e "natural propensity" of humankind, he says, is peace (p. 222).Otterbein backs his statement up with r example, if warfare were something inescapable, there would be no societies such as Abu Hureyra, which existed from 9500-5000 BC with no signs of warfare whatsoever during the entire 4,500-year period of its my opinion, one of the most valuable aspects of the book are the charts vis-à-vis the origin of "the state" in different globe areas. These suggest the method in which particular locations in the Near East, China, Mesoamerica and Peru moved through initial times of egalitarianism and minimal conflict, through stages characterized by class differences, internal warfare, external warfare, battle captivity, slavery, torture, elite fighter classes, and institutionalized Otterbein notes, through the millennia, warfare-based societies have obliterated societies with the knowledge and ability to live without warfare. The result? What we have today: a globe saturated with battle -- or the threat of it, hanging always over our heads.~ Jeri Studebaker, author of Switching to Goddess: Humanity's Ticket to the Future

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    How War Began: Texas A&M University Anthropology Series []  2020-1-18 20:39

    There are some interesting ideas in this book, and a lot of interesting information, although I wouldn't trust any of it without r instance, when was the atlatl invented? How about the bow? To me that's interesting, and a lot of things like that are covered.Full disclosure: I haven't finished it yet, and I doubt I'll read every word. It doesn't support me that some idiot copiously highlighted this library book in yellow. Anyway, I was beautiful excited on hearing of this book, and now I've got keep of it, it's quite a letdown. It really is not a very amazing book at all; it's just badly reasoned and argued, that's all there is to it. I thought about giving it two stars, but it's just bad, so one star it erbein suffers, on one hand, from a moderate case of academitis. He takes several pages trying to devise an extremely precise, yet extremely broad, definition of war, and as far as I can tell, finally comes up with "armed conflict between political entities". Well, duh. I could have done that in one sentence. That's the least of the problems, though. The largest issue is that he makes numerous unsupported statements, and arrives at conclusions that aren't supported either, but he doesn't seem to realize that. There are different ideas around, and he comes up with a fresh one of his own, and considers that he's proved it, when he's done no such thing. Also, while he covers a lot of existing literature, I don't think you can trust how he summarizes it. He says there was no interbreeding between humans and Neanderthals, that's settled now, but my understanding is that the opposite is true; that all humans of European and Asian ancestry-- everyone but Africans-- have been shown to have Neanderthal genes. I think he's just wrong on this; at the least, what he's saying is not so, he says modern humans wiped out Neanderthals by throwing spears at them from a distance with atlatls, which the Neanderthals didn't have. Man, that's beautiful specific. You'd never obtain a conviction in court with that! Now, if all the Neanderthal skeletons had human-made spear points in them... obviously not the case.He says that the "more intelligent" moderns would not have engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the physically stronger Neanderthals. What, never? You're a military historian; haven't you ever heard of surprise, and concentration of force? He talks about ambushes all the time; well, a team of ten humans with stabbing spears could take on a solitary Neanderthal, especially by ambush; a platoon of 50 should be able to handle a little band of Neanderthals. Chimps do this--go out on patrol and ambush solitary members of other bands-- so surely humans could have. Of course, we don't even know how much actual combat there was. As he himself points out, genocide and interbreeding can both happen. Ask the Cherokees. In fact, humans could have outcompeted Neanderthals, waged genocidal battle versus them, AND interbred with them. That's what I think probably happened.And, we don't really know that humans were smarter than Neanderthals. We like to think so, it's not unreasonable, it may well be true, but we don't really know that. They had bigger brains than we do.Look, dude, we don't KNOW exactly what happened. You think you've settled it, but it ain't settled. All claims about these matters are highly speculative and controversial. It's fine to create these claims, you may have some amazing points or ideas, and you may have convinced yourself, but you haven't convinced the world. This is what happens all the time in this book: he reaches some conclusion, not necessarily unreasonable, and he's welcome to his opinion, but then he thinks he's proved his case and moves on to the next thing, but he just really hasn't proved anything. He says a discussion of the origins of battle should be about military organizations, not about fighter culture, and I'm inclined to agree, but he really doesn't prove it. Then he keeps saying that the numerous existing theories other people keep are just wrong, that's all, apparently just because he says so. He mentions "hawks" who think people are just violent and always have been on the one hand, and on the other hand "doves" who think people are inherently peaceful, and "primitive" people didn't have war, it's all because of those pesky, evil, poor states, and then he claims to be in between, with a theory that "hunters" had war, but then peaceful agrarian states did not, until eventually they did.. He says that hunters had war, then peaceful agrarians didn't, and then states arose and reinvented war. First peaceful, "pristine" states arose, then later they started having wars. You have to have peace to invent states, and then you can invent (re-invent) war. Seriously, that's what he says. Apparently, according to him, people lived by hunting till they killed off all the huge animals, so they were hunters until they couldn't be any more, and then they became gatherers, and then they settled down and invented agriculture. But, but, the term is usually "hunter-gatherers". It's not just one or the other, is it? A hunter wouldn't pick a grape? Gatherers never do a small hunting on the side?For that matter, can't a hunter ever create a living on little game? And what about herdspeople? Scavengers? Well, Otterbein doesn't seem to have heard of herdsmen, and he thinks once the huge animals are gone, hunting is over.But allow me give you a couple of "what abouts". What about a "hillbilly" in Goose Creek, Tennessee in 1835? He has a vegetable patch. He picks blackberries. He catches the odd catfish in the creek, shoots the odd squirrel or rabbit, traps a beaver now and then, maybe makes a few bucks at odd jobs in town, or selling moonshine. He doesn't seem to fit either the hunter, or gatherer, or farmer, or state citizen models. He still hunts, even though he's settled down and practicing agriculture, and even though there's no wooly mammoths in Tennessee. Maybe he's involved in a feud with another family, maybe he wages unconventional battle versus the revenuers. Maybe he (or his son, I guess, a while later) goes off to war in the Civil Battle when that rolls around. He just doesn't fit in any of these neat categories. He'll hunt, he'll gather, he might pick a pocket given the chance.Or, what about a nomadic herdsman, tending a flock of sheep or whatever, who might be tempted to steal women or horses, from one of those peaceful settled agricultural communities? Do you think those peaceful farmers might come into conflict with this guy?I highly recommend Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood, for a much more cogent discussion of how war, and military organizations, and states, arose. According to her, agricultural and urban societies developed military organizations first to war off herders, and then to grab land from each other, which makes a lot more sense to me. So little bands of hunter-gatherers fought sometimes, and no doubt herdsmen also fought each other or the hunters, sometimes, and then when villages and cities arose, it was natural for the herdsman to raid them, so the villagers fought back, and so on. There's always a chance of conflict, if there's somebody else to war with, and these peaceful farmerswere the lawful prey of nomads with nothing to lose, so they'd have to defend themselves. So you always have conflict, or the chance of it, and the more advanced and complex the society, the more advanced and complex the methods of warfare. Maybe if you're on an island someplace, or a remote mountain valley, you can have a peaceful community for a while, until the Europeans present up, but that's not the kes much more sense to me. So for me, the main thesis of the book, while interesting, is unproven and probably wrong, and along the method there are so a lot of things asserted, not proved, and yet claimed to have been proven, that it's, well, very disappointing, that's all, and very unconvincing.

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    This book is full of valuable illlustrations and iformation. It is a bit weighty to read with children all at once, but reading 2-4 pages a day it's a amazing tutorial to the happenings leading up to the Revolutionary battle and American independence

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    Amazing method to talk about some necessary historical facts with the kids, thank you.

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    How War Began: Texas A&M University Anthropology Series []  2020-1-18 20:39

    i-Palikar's remarks are hard to argue with for his quote of Otterbein is direct and accurate. Read it for yourself. Otterbein's belief in "determined" decisions is very disturbing, archaic, illogical, and undefendable in a post-modern world. It left me pondering whether or not I would have bought the book if Otterbein had posted his misguided belief as the very first paragraph of the book. Otterbein's misguided belief twarts interdiciplinary studies and has NO scientific basis despite his excessive claims of being scientific. Ironically, when Otterbein's misguided belief is brought to a logical conclusion; it literally defies the need or belief in any human theories on any subject. Yet, hypocritically Otterbein uses it to show a fresh theory. The outline of his dual path theory is indeed interesting; however, the cornerstone behind his theory is absurd. Is that why he hid this salient factor on pages 20/21 - and failed to note it prominently in his opening page? How a lot of others would have elected to not buy his book if his absurd belief in "determined" decisions was the very first paragraph of the book?

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    When an elder statesman scholar at the top of his or her field writes a book to summarize what they have learned about their favorite topic, then it's usually worth checking out. Everett does not disappoint. Aside from being a very readable survey of our best current inferences of the emergence of human language, Everett takes the time to discover and teach the proper app of the methods of amazing science throughout the book. The other powerful element of praise that I have for the book is that this is the best appreciation of our ancestor Homo Erectus that I have ever read. Finally, someone is showing Erectus the respect they deserve.On the cautionary side, Everett talks about a lot of other researchers and contributors by name and is not shy about is praise for and qualms or problems about their work. He can be a small ly at times, but I think that is a amazing thing. Everett's style strikes me as being a much more honest than leaving the reader to test and read between the lines.I do take problem with his categorical denial of any correlations between the method the brain and computers work, although even in this his arguments are quite cogent. It's just that he doesn't know the machines as well as he thinks he does, and there are two very clear and quite interesting powerful parallels between the method the brain works (or doesn't work) and the method the machines perform. Those deal with plasticity and the interesting parallel between the functions of REM sleep and stored data management, and the consequences that flow from depriving either the brain from REM sleep or a stored data environment from routine organizational maintenance. They are strikingly similar. I think that if he knew about those two aspects of the machine globe he would be pleasantly surprised. That said, if you are interested in the never ending find for insight into how we became what we are you will thoroughly have fun this book.

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    I read this book because I have always wondered when humans began to use language to communicate. I felt the prevailing theory based on a homo sapiens gene mutation bout 100,000 years ago was an easy, but probably incorrect, theory. Prof. Everett's idea that humanoids were using language 1,000,000 years ago is more plausible to me. He provides only a small physical evidence to back up this theory (i.e. brain size and larynx evolution). He does spend a lot of time on language and it's structure, and how it might develop and be used. This is based on his own zone of research on the languages of current primitive societies. I found this part of his argument weak and probably over emphasized. In summary I found the book interesting and Prof. Everret's theory most likely correct but I want he had more evidence .

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    Beirut 1958: How America's Wars in the Middle East Began []  2020-1-26 21:58

    story line a small hard to follow

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    Terrific all-around Revolutionary Battle book that the entire family can learn from. This one belongs on your child's bookcase. The illustrations are clear and in-depth, the writing style is informative, the size of the book is extra-large 9X12".This is very well done. Amazing maps at the beginning and end of the book.

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    History in a nutshell - amazing for 1 - 3 grades and beyond

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    This book may well mean a revolution in our understanding of language, its origin and meaning. It proposes a radically fresh theory of the origin of language, supported by systematic review of similar topics (Evolution of hominins, Biological adaptations of humans for language, The evolution of language form, and cultural evolution of language).His theory is, contrary to prevalent thinking that language originated after the emergence of Homo Sapiens, that language was primarily for communication (against Chomsky), and was born as an invention of Homo Erectus, approximately two million years ago. He strongly disagrees with the hypothesis that a genetic mutation allowed sapiens to make language a few tens of thousands years ago. This "single shot" generation of language goes versus the very slow pace (baby steps) of language evolution. Moreover, there is no evidence supporting a genetic background for language. There are no genetic "language diseases", there is no part of the brain identified solely with eories that define language as structure, serving no basic communication purpose, are not compatible with the relatively high level of technology, social structure, and migrations of erectus, including overseas migrations that needed some form of navigation. It is impossible to understand these achievements without symbolic communication, i.e., e final proof is that modern languages of amazonian aboriginals are mostly for communication, highly variable, adaptive to their realities, mostly unstructured, thus frontally contradicting l in all, a major contribution, presenting a well supported, radically fresh theory. Everett could have titled his book "The Origin of Languages"Jorge Urzua, ntiago de Chile

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    The author clearly knows his subject. Here and there the book is just a bit technical, but all in all an perfect read for anyone.

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    A amazing read

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    As a homeschooling mom and one who was not born in the US, I am always looking out for historical books that will create American History not only simple for me understand, but also fun for the kids. This book is beyond excellent, it is absolutely fabulous!!! This is by far the best, simpliest and most interesting acc of the happenings that led to the revolutionary battle that I have ever read ( I have read plenty).

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    My 10 year old loves this book! He gets so into it and really loves telling me about what he reads. A wonderful, colorful, and informative resource when studying the Revolutionary War.

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    Beirut 1958: How America's Wars in the Middle East Began []  2020-1-26 21:58

    I like this book. I've been really interested in the Middle East and our strange involvement over there, especially since I got to see for myself just how extensive that involvement is after spending a year in is a short book, and it's not super simple to read. It's definitely more of an fact-based thing more than an intellectual pontificating book; in some ways that's a amazing thing, but I wouldn't mind hearing more theories and reasons as to why each of these decisions along the method were made. It's definitely one where you really need to be interested in the subject, and in that case, you'll obtain something out of reading it.

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    My 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son LOVE this book. Each double-page spread covers one aspect of the American Revolution, breaking it into small, easy-to-understand chunks for them. The illustrations are well done and support tell the story. We read 3 or 4 pages each night because they hold begging for more. After just a few nights of reading it at bedtime, they can both explain the Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, the French and Indian War, the Boston Tea Party, taxation without representation, as well as identifying some key people in the revolution. I am so amazed. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to teach history to their children, and I am hoping to search more like it!

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    Amazing series.

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    Beirut 1958: How America's Wars in the Middle East Began []  2020-1-26 21:58

    I had a hard time reading this book. The type was small, but the main issue was the dry list of facts and events, which were doented by notes, that created me feel like I was back in Globe History 101. I was only 10 years old when this happened and the happenings didn't have much result on my globe then, but now I wonder how we ended up in the middle-east situation we now endure. This book answers some of the questions but in such a method that I have to re-read sections to comprehend them. I suggest reading the Kindle ver because of price and the dictionary feature.

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    This is a book that will teach you some fresh concepts, if you are of an begin mind. It gets a bit technical at times, but it is easily understood, if you take the time to reason out the concepts.

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    How War Began: Texas A&M University Anthropology Series []  2020-1-18 20:39

    This is a masterful work that can be savoured by the professional historian and educated layperson alike. In this book, Otterbein challenges the notions that there was no warfare before the Neolithic period, that early agriculturalists engaged in warfare and that military conquest led to the first, pristine, states. He identifies an evolutionary sequence that goes from no war, to internal conflict, to combat between elite fighters and to wars between massed infantry. In short, he provides us with a framework to understand the method the spread of Homo Sapiens, the origin of war, the origin of agriculture and the origin of the state are inextricably intertwined (to place it in a nutshell, PLANTS plus SOIL AND WATER plus NO WAR led to THE STATE). Besides, the book is not a difficult reading (content: 5 starts; pleasure of reading: 4 to 3).Other books I would recommend to read are the following:- above all, the masterful "War in human civilization", by Azar Gat;- and then, "The Origins of War. From the Stone Age to Alexander the Great", by Arther Ferrill, "War before Civilization. The Myth of the Peaceful Savage", by Lawrence Keeley; and "Historical Dynamics. Why states rise and Fall", by Peter Turchin.

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    How War Began: Texas A&M University Anthropology Series []  2020-1-18 20:39

    From a sociological point of view, Otterbein's thesis that the origins of battle developed along two separate paths seems quite plausible - at least superficially so. It is an interesting approach except that early on one begins to wonder if "he doth protest too much" about how supposedly scientific his approach is. BUT THEN, like a bolt out of the blue Otterbein exposes his severe mental limitations for the abstract nature of theory on pages 20 & 21, when Otterbein unequivocally states: "Although I agree that humans are important, I nevertheless believe that their decisions are determined. I have long noted that the more info available about an happening and what led up to it, the more inevitable the happening seems. It is a waste of time asking the `what if' questions, although it may be a lot of fun to do so...Multiple factors led to (a leader's) decision. A various decision could not have been created unless the factors had been different. And they were not."Thus we have the epistle on battle according to Otterbein - and for that matter the epistle on life according to Otterbein. From this point, EVERYTHING becomes abundantly clear - we are who we are and where we are in life because decisions and thus actions are determined by al the preceding unalterable factors...ergo, all of human life and history is early, Otterbein is one of those limited people who quote Clausewitz but never actually read Clausewitz. Not that Clausewitz is the be-all-end-all god-of-war - but ever since Clausewitz inserted the elusive factor of possibility into the overall theory of war, no one has been able to successfully remove the factor of possibility from battle - not by logic nor science - not even it is one thing to ignore the factor of possibility in war; it is something utterly ignorant to proclaim that humans are caught up in a vortex of preceding unalterable factors which predetermine human decisions and actions - ergo, humans have no vestige of free will whatsoever. Per Otterbein, there is no such thing as a amazing decision or a poor decision - only decisions determined by all the preceding unalterable r Otterbein's logic, decisions could not have been various unless the factors had been various - and the factors could not have been various because they were not different, thus the decisions were not different. (Doesn't that have the distinct ring of a devious circuitous argument?) Ok, now keep your breath, shut your eyes, click your heels, and take a heavy non sequitur leap down the yellow-brick street into the land where the preceding historical factors are what they are and could never have been different. Thus all the so-called decisions weren't really decisions at all...all historical decisions are merely an illusion...they were predetermined actions. Is that the globe that YOU live in? Well apparently, it is the globe that Otterbein lives in...a globe where preceding unalterable factors determine all decisions and I ask the reader: Do you honestly believe such unadulterated nonsense...such utter ignorance? Do you honestly believe that all your decisions / actions are all predetermined by preceding unalterable factors? Do you honestly believe that humankind arose out from the hard-wired ignorance of the jungle to the lofty heights as the dominating monster on the entire earth - all because humans operate by predetermined decisions / actions - no free will whatsoever?For "IF" that is what you believe, then you have no purpose on this earth other than to be a minuscule predetermined cog in a heavy predetermined mechanistic machine. At which point there is no purpose to your life, no purpose to you ancestor's lives, as well as no purpose to the lives of your kids and no purpose to any of your descendants ad infinitum for as you read his book - please remember that in Otterbein's short but potent display of stupidity to the Nth degree on pages 20 & 21, he has stealthily slipped in his rigid, myopic belief that humans have absolutely no ability of free will - nor the ability to influence any outcome of history. All the factors of history were unalterable long before they took put - thus everything is determined. Yet, in the true globe where possibility is always the wild card in life, where people do have free will, where life, decisions, and actions are not determined by preceding unalterable factors - it is this sole factor alone that completely debunks the superficial credibility of Otterbein's entire thesis into nothing more than a specious ponder this minor thought for a moment. Is it a curiosity that Otterbein could write such utterly ignorant remarks, and yet still proffer a plausible and interesting thesis of dual paths for the origins of war? It is a curiosity only until you buy into Otterbein's rigid belief structure that decisions thus actions are all predetermined by preceding unalterable factors. For if you buy into the specious globe of Otterbein's nonsense, then clearly it was nothing but a series of preceding unalterable factors in life that determined Otterbein decisions and actions to write this book - and it is a scientific book to boot!

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    Beirut 1958: How America's Wars in the Middle East Began []  2020-1-26 21:58

    First, this is a very short book, just a small over 100 pages. While the author covers the happenings leading up to the Marines being deployed for the first time to the Middle East and covers all the major players that were involved he does it in a very brief manner. The book seemed to be more a synopsis of the happenings and left me feeling I was only getting an outline of what happened. The book could have been so much better if the author had went into more info about the happenings leading up to Marines being deployed, as it is I don't feel like I know much more than I did before reading this book. Maybe due to this info still being classified the author wasn't allowed to goi into more detail, but whatever the reason this book suffered from being so abbreviated.

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    I homeschool my 2nd grader, and this year we are diving deep into early American history. This book is hands down my favorite children's history book we've read so far. The pages are full of big, colorful, lively illustrations that really place you in the moment that's being described. The author also does a amazing job of writing a tight, concise explanation of the lead-up to and early years of the Revolutionary War. The language is also really thrilling, with vibrant words and short paragraphs that hold the story rolling. There truly were no dry areas. My kid was never bored and even requested to hold reading after a chapter had e chapters are brief (good for short attention spans of young children), but are jammed full of info. Additionally, as an adult, I really enjoyed the book and learned quite a few fresh facts. I just can't say enough amazing things about this text. As a final note, the back cover recommends the book for 2nd grade and up. I concur this book is best for children age 7+.

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    Liberty!: How the Revolutionary War Began (Landmark Books) []  2020-1-25 14:45

    This lovely book arrived quickly and in perfect condition for me to use in eighth grade social studies as a begin for the unit on the Revolutionary War. Our English Language Learners love books like this to refer to since our textbook is WAY too much for them. Thank you!

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    How Language Began by Daniel L. EverettControversial and revisionist are two words that came to my mind while reading this book.I can't claim any deep specialty in this zone but I've read a few books on the topic of linguistics and thought I was keeping abreast of the subject. I thought that Noam Chomsky was widely accepted as setting the benchmark for linguistic study and that the idea that language developed as a effect of a genetic mutation in the latest 50,000 years was equally accepted. Likewise, I read Steven Pinker's "The Language Instinct" and I was sold on the notion that the human brain has a component for handling language.Daniel L. Everett's book "How Language Began" challenges those complacent beliefs. Everett comes across as a one-man wrecking squad to set things straight. Everett sets forth his thesis in the preface: "The story of how humans came to have language is a mostly untold one, full of invention and discovery, and the conclusions that I come to through that story have a long pedigree in the sciences similar to language evolution – anthropology, linguistics, cognitive science, palaeoneurology, archaeology, biology, neuroscience and primatology. Like any scientist, however, my interpretations are informed by my background, which in this case are my forty years of field research on languages and cultures of North, Central and South America, especially with hunter-gatherers of the Brazilian Amazon. As in my recent monograph on the intersection of psychology and culture, Dark Matter of the Mind: The Culturally Articulated Unconscious, I deny here that language is an instinct of any kind, as I also deny that it is innate, or inborn. As far back as the work of psychologist Kurt Goldstein in the early twentieth century, researchers have denied that there are language-exclusive cognitive disorders. The absence of such disorders would seem to suggest that language emerges from the individual and not merely from language-specific regions of the brain. And this in turn supports the claim that language is not a relatively latest development, say 50–100,000 years old, possessed exclusively by Homo sapiens. My research suggests that language began with Homo erectus more than one million years ago, and has existed for 60,000 generations. As such, the character of this story is Homo erectus, upright man, the most smart monster that had ever existed until that time. Erectus was the pioneer of language, culture, human migration and adventure. Around three-quarters of a million years before Homo erectus transmogrified into Homo sapiens, their communities sailed almost two hundred miles (320 kilometres) across begin ocean and walked nearly the entire world. Erectus communities invented symbols and language, the sort that wouldn’t seem out of put today. Although their languages differed from modern languages in the quantity of their grammatical tools, they were human languages. Of course, as generations came and went, Homo sapiens unsurprisingly improved on what erectus had done, but there are languages still spoken today that are reminiscent of the first ever spoken, and they are not inferior to other modern languages."Everett argues his thesis in amazing detail, which results in this book being a soup to nuts survey of linguistics, running from anthropology to historical linguistics to the mechanics of how words are formed by the human vocal apparatus.Everett's position on Homo Erectus is both interesting and idiosyncratic. Everett argues cogently that H. Erectus must have had speech capabilities in order to accomplish the things that they accomplished, particularly building sea going vessels capable of taking their species to offshore islands beyond the website of land. Everett also discounts the trustworthiness of scholarship that identifies other homo species:"According to some classifications, there were, soon after and before erectus, other species of Homo co-existing or existing in close succession – Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rudolfensis among others. But, again, most of these different species of Homo are ignored here, with the focus kept on Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. Most other Homo species are murky, maybe nothing more than variants of Homo erectus. However, the story of human language evolution changes in no significant way, whether erectus and ergaster were the same or various species."Homo Sapien is simply an improved model of Homo Erectus.Everett offers this on the sophistication of Erectus:"This view of human cooperation in erectus is strongly supported by the archaeological record. As erectus wandered through the Levant, near the Jordan between the Dead Sea to the south and the Hula Valley to the north, they came to stop at the website known today as Gesher Benot Ya’aqov. At this site, going back at least 790,000 years, there is evidence for Acheulean tools, Levallois tools, evidence of controlled fire, organised village life, huts that housed socially speed tasks of various kinds and other evidence of culture among Homo erectus. Erectus may have stopped here on the method out of Africa. Erectus technology was impressive. They built villages that manifested what almost appears to be central planning, or at least gradual construction under social guidance, as in Gesher Benot Ya’aqov. This is clear evidence of cultural values, organised knowledge and social roles. But such villages are just one example of erectus’s technological and organisational innovation."I didn't know munication exists in sub-homo species. Non-humans use indexes and icons, non-arbitrary referents that mean one thing only. Humans use symbols. For Everett, the human achievement was a brain capable of using symbols and engaging in recursive thinking. Language is not a product of the wiring of the brain any more than a hammer is; both language and a hammer are inventions or tools of the human mind. Everett notes:"A startling conclusion emerges from deficits affecting language: There are no language-only hereditary disorders. And the reason for that is predicted by the theory of language evolution here – namely that there could not be such a deficit because there is no language-specific part of the brain. Language is an invention. The brain is no more speed for language than for toolmaking, though over time both have affected the development of the brain in general ways that create it more supportive of these tasks."This insight comes after a long discussion of the kinds of ways that things can go wrong in the human ability to talk. Everett's point is well-made. We don't say that a hammer must be "wired" into the brain because someone without thumbs can't use one. There is no genetic condition that effects language - no one is born without an ability to comprehend verbs except insofar as they can also not comprehend nouns and prepositions. Likewise, as a practicing Linguist, Everett has seen far too a lot of grammars to accept the notion that there is a universal r readers of anthropology and linguistics this is a very useful work because it shows how much is still begin to debate. I think that for someone looking for a survey of linguistics this is a helpful and interesting book. If you are like me and are intrigued by the "gosh-wow!" ideas of "deep history" and "human evolution," this book is well-worth the investment.On the other hand, it is not particularly written for the lay reader. Everett spins off idea after idea and the reader has to stay on his toes to hold up. Also, there is a lot of dense and dry material. For example, the chapters on the mechanics of language are necessary (and I found them interesting insofar as Everett shared his private experiences in the field), but I found my enthusiasm for the topic lagging at times. I suspect that for others with less background, these are chapters that can and will be skipped.Obviously, on the whole, I found Everett's thesis captivating and his arguments B

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    This is the book I've been waiting for. It must be granted that the Chomsky school of linguistics accomplished much. They proved that traditional grammarians lacked the tools to describe grammar as it is actually used. The poverty of the stimulus argument showed that we must be endowed with primitives that preferentially learn language. They have produced rich grammars for true languages that do a better if still incomplete job of describing languages than their predecessors. On the other hand, I've long been uncomfortable with their grammar-first, brain-and-evolution naïve approach. As an outsider, I just didn't know what to replace it with. Everett shows the way.I can't take seriously the idea of a language acquisition device, especially one that supposedly arose as the effect of a single mutation. Something that complex would need internal parts. Just like the eye couldn't evolve all at once, neither could the ability to communicate using a fully recursive language. In his book The Blank Slate, Chomsky's colleague Steven Pinker makes the case that the brain has genetically programmed primitives. But a primitive in the brain should not have a complex internal structure, like the eye. If it does, then it isn't a primitive and couldn't have evolved all at once. The level is nguage requires the ability to serialize and de-serialize thought, with the side result of increasing the complexity of thought. Our main channel of language communication, vocalization, is serial. The ability to convert back and forth between the webbiness of thought and the one word after another nature of speech gives our species its largest advantage. Communication is the purpose and function of language. Everett is right to shift the focus of language study back to communication. It is how we transmit our thoughts to one at doesn't mean that I agree with everything in the book. His brief screed versus computer modeling of language is silly. He dismisses it because the brain is not a computer. Of course not. The brain is a network. Neurons are computers, not the brain. Artificial brains will be computer networks or will at least simulate them. His Dreyfus-like insistence on embodiment may end up being correct, but that remains to be seen. His point that human languages do not really permit unlimited recursion doesn't mean that humans don't use it, merely that the brain provides a stack of limited size.I would like to see a dialect of English using a merge-less sub-grammar of standard English, call it EnG1ish. Maybe the second edition of the book could contain a chapter in parallel format, with EnG1ish on the left page and the equivalent standard English on the right. While the existence of a little number of very marginal languages in little language communities might create a nice theoretical rebuttal to the view that the grammar of a real language must be recursive, an extended example in a language that everyone can read would wipe it off the e Chomsky revolution has run its course. It is time for the next generation of upstarts to disrupt the study of language. I toast the idea that this book is a launching point for the next band of rebels.

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    How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention []  2019-12-20 18:28

    An enjoyable, though occasionally annoying read.Everett has a "thing" about Homo erectus. He's convinced that this is the first human species to have language, but uses circular reasoning all too often. That species spread out of Aftrica across Eurasia and into Java and islands that would have, at that time (1-1.3 million years ago) needed the technology for "over the horizon" navigation. He infers (reasonably, I think) that boat-building probably requires language.

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    how to buy lasix in Chicago [lasix rx in canada]  2020-9-17 5:31
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    my heart transplant for your amusement []  2020-8-16 15:50
    [email protected]

    "My Heart Transplant for Your Amusement" by Vince Clews The essence of this book is Vince's story about his heart condition and the obstacles he had to overcome to create the transplant happen; but, it also a love story of Vince's love for his wife, Carol. That love is evidenced in his accolades describing her faithful attendance to his every need, demonstrating what it means to vow, "I will love you and honor you all he days of your life". This is a amazing read and makes one admire the Clews for the tenacity they demonstrated in overcoming the continued frustrations of this rollercoaster ride. I would suggest a various title ~ as I was not amused! I might suggest, "My Heart Transplant: A Good-Humored Look at a Life in Crisis". It is amazing read and I love a guy who watches The Meal Channel to see Barefoot Contessa and Giada with cleavage showing.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    Leda, known as Lee to her mates and family, grows and learns hard lessons during her formative years. Gaia Amman presents very real-life problems of divorce between parents as a young girl must create sense of grown-up decisions and yet feel amazing about herself. “An Italian Adventure” illustrates that kids are keener and more astute to life’s challenges than they reveal. This is a delightful 5-star novel that moves far beyond the play of childhood. Hard questions are posed and the plot unveils the possibilities.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    A unbelievable soulful story about LIFE! Leda connected me to my past which created me look at phases of my own life differently. Leda's story created me satisfied (who doesn't wish to feel satisfied and loved?) The excellent descriptions of the Italy, the Italian countryside, the sea...BELLA!Anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's can truly relate to Leda's story no matter where you grew up. I just ordered the recently published second book.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    Thoroughly enjoyed this novel, it reminded me of what it felt like to be a 10 year old girl! Looking forward to reading An Italian Sumer.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    Lee is a joy as are her scrapes and bumps on her journey through adolescence. Due to the skill of the author this story transports me back to my own youth. Long, sunny days in which riding my bike with my mates making plans for adventure – all in the absence of adults -- was complete power. The 1980s, middle class, suburban Italian setting and the descriptions of family interactions, neighborhoods, vacations, and food, is sociologically interesting. But this is a relationship-driven story and our protagonist has much to say and learn about herself, gender, and gender stereotypes. Lee is confused by so a lot of of the relationships around her as they rapidly change and often seem to spiral out of control. The bittersweet lesson that nothing stays the same is handled here without sentimentality. Young adults will search the characters funny and relatable. I highly recommend this book.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    An original story from the perspective of a nine years girl; a reworking deep and ironic at the same time the growth path.A story apparently normal, with the questions you deal with when you are 9 years old (what is ? Why my parents separate? why my sister is a @#$%!?), created unique by the brilliant method the protagonist is recounting the happenings and outline characters.An ironic, touching, funny book. One of those books you read (or would like to read) in one breath because the story keeps you hooked.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    Interesting novel describing life seen from the point of view of a 10 years old girl. The grown up people should test to obtain into the globe of kids more carefully if they really wish to educate them to their future life as adults. Adults should create the effort to give precise answers to the questions raised by children, but using easy and understandable arguments avoiding shocking or frightening.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    “I was coming to realize that we are just as powerful as the pain we are forced to face,” --Leda.Leda is a tomboy on the cusp of becoming a young woman. Her inner dialogue is real to that formation. She is a multi-dimensional hero we can all relate to. Amman captures her development with humor and budding wisdom. Amman also has a wicked eye for sibling rivalry and handles Leda's perspective with precision, letting the mystery of her emergence from childhood to teenagedom present just the right level of tension that comes with discovery. This was a wonderfully fun well-drawn read.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    Very enjoyable...especially enjoyed insights to differences between northern & southern Italians and Italian mindsets.

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    This is a wonderfully written book and true hook. You're literally in the mind of Leda, with all the fears, doubts, wants, likes and dislikes of a girl growing up in Italy. If you would have told me that I'd be drawn into the life of a twelve year old girl I would have told you, 'you're nuts'. I would HIGHLY recommend this book for any man with daughters for no better reason than you'll learn what goes on in the mind of a 12 year old girl. Quite honestly, it blew me away. It's like Suzuki without the e thing I really love about this series is that it draws no conclusions and makes no fuzzy moral statements. The reader can decide what they feel. Leda is who she is. There's true strength in this 82 pound girl , despite her disappointments, pitfalls and back steps. You'll be in love with her from the first chapter. Oh, and by the way. The book is hilarious.If I can create a suggestion to any married woman with children, by this for your husband. It will save him and you enormous anguish. I have two very successful daughters but I really beat my head versus the wall getting then there. I want I would have known Leda 20 years ago! haha

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    An Italian Adventure (The Italian Saga Book 1) []  2020-11-9 18:50

    Note: I’m not sure which edition my copy is, as it’s been sitting in my TBR for a while.While I went in with some knowledge of reviews and receptions, I tried not to paint an opinion of it beforehand.Well, having finished it, I have one.Let me clarify: there are things I liked and didn’t like. In this tale of youthful innocence and experience clashing in late 80s Italy, protagonist Leda comes to terms with coming to the edge of not being a child anymore. It’s a full-motion combo of identity, relationships, heartbreak, and the passage of time; she’s twisted in and out of her feelings, both for herself and for others. What all this did for me, though, was leave a lukewarm impression. I should note that it isn’t an extremely long read, but there’s still quite a bit to remark upon.I’ll begin with the pros:A—Italy. It took a small while to really become pronounced, but the author had a deft hand at enveloping the story in its background. From the towns, the media, the activities, and especially the landscapes, I felt like I had a glimpse into real Italian life. To say it was the 1980s, it nonetheless looked, sounded, and came across as authentic.B—Tone. The moods are appropriate throughout, and that never really changes. I’m glad for the lack of dissonance, since it meant scenes with gravity actually had them and lighter moments were light—all’s right the globe there.C—Special shout-out to the revelation of *SPOILER ALERT just in case* the separation. I sat there thinking, “Man, I wouldn’t wish to be married to this man. I’d rather be single, regardless of how taboo that would’ve been.” And there it was! Starry decided to follow her desires in spite of him putting her down, in spite of the expectations of her en there are the e largest thing that gets me about this book is the language. I’m going to separate this into bits in order to not create a huge, ugly wall of text.A—Style. The speaker, our character Leda in some future time, seems to not have a consistent voice. One min she’s speaking as though she were the smartest child in the country, but next she’s using language a kid would use with small clue of what’s really going on (one example: the use of “heck” and “darn” juxtaposed with deeper musings of how the globe works and what her real feelings were, since she apparently could not understand them as a child, was jarring). It kind of comes across as the speaker dipping back into her childhood consciousness, but it jumps back and forth with no flow. I was reminded of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, though in the earliest chapters of that book, Stephen always sounded like a child.B—Information. There are instances where the reader simply isn’t told things. Some Italian words obtain explained, some don’t (and I personally don’t need them explained—context does most of the illuminating). Doggy and Fuzzer have apparently been around the whole time, but I’m not told about them until nearly at and after the halfway mark, respectively. Starry and Dad’s constant wars weren’t constant. She had a computer in Ch. 28 out of en I’m hit with info I don’t need. A lot of sections and chapters likewise begin off by telling me what happened in the last, which I don’t need reiterated. Furthermore, a lot of of the chapters end with light cliffhangers, saying things like “little did I know what would happen next/how my life was going to change.” Erased any chance of surprise, especially when what followed wasn’t particularly interesting or life-changing.C—Relation. Most of Leda’s relationships in the book are tense, but they were also at times not clear-cut. Why does she “venerate” Viola when she’s poor to her? Leda assures me that she does for no particular reason. Nico’s development into becoming her mate is skipped over, which was also odd, considering he’s one of the largest influences on her. Why does her circle of mates change by the season when everyone’s in the same town? Things like this.D—Grammar. I know I don’t speak for everyone when I say grammar and syntax can have an result on entertainment value, and that held real for me. I found spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar problems throughout the book, alongside weird choices in language; they slowed me down.(I also kind of laughed when I saw Fist of the North instead of Fist of the North Star.)E—Relevance. Some of the things occurring in this book…did they need to? Doggy serves to give the group a name, but Viola’s howling could’ve done that. Nico “dying” happens after Peo flies off the hill and didn’t really change anything. The *SPOILER ALERT and TRIGGER WARNING, just in case* assault served no purpose in the confines of this book, besides I guess making me uncomfortable.I think this all boils down to Leda herself, with whom I grew less interested as the book went on. She definitely comes across as one of those self-assured children becoming less so as she realizes things aren’t as black and white as once believed. The issue for me what that she also gave me the air of a know-it-all who couldn’t believe she could be wrong unless it hit her hard. Yes, her parents are quite flawed and her sister near unbearable, but seeing the story through her eyes is one part deep perception and one part amazing immaturity. Her hang-ups about being a girl are apparently deep-rooted, but how a lot of times do I have to hear her muse, Being a girl is prim and gross and I’m too “ugly” and rough to be a girl before I stop caring?What should I expect from a precocious nine- to eleven-year-old, really?Ultimately I couldn’t really root for her. It isn’t her flawed nature that created this tough for me (that’s the case for any true person); it’s the presentation of contrivances that create her feelings about being a girl negative, coupled with her arrogance/woeful naïveté, that were not for me. I'm going to declare this a "lukewarm feelings about it" rating.I’ve finished the book all the same. Here I leave this review. I hope it either encourages discussion or informs future readers.

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    Finding My Possible: How I Changed my Narrative and Created a Life of Adventure []  2020-11-22 18:48

    Wow! This is a must read for girls and women of all ages. If you have dreams that you’re working toward – Read this book! If you have obstacles or challenges and wish to know the will and determination it takes to overcome them - Read this book! This was a motivating and inspiring story of a woman that followed her dreams, through the ups and downs, and had the help of a loving husband, family, friends, and of course faith. I believe you. You can do whatever you set your mind to. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    Finding My Possible: How I Changed my Narrative and Created a Life of Adventure []  2020-11-22 18:48

    "Finding My Possible" is a superb book in which the author gives an authentic accounting of challenges in her life and how she turned them into successes. I laughed out loud and I was teary at times as I followed the story. (I don't wish to give anything away!)A very inspiring book. I look forward to reading another book by this author.

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    Finding My Possible: How I Changed my Narrative and Created a Life of Adventure []  2020-11-22 18:48

    This was a wonderfully inspiring book about a girl who became a woman even though life started out rough. Determination and perseverance can be within all of us. I am grateful to read this private journey of finding her possible. I can relate on so a lot of levels of the author’s story. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

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