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text 2018-06-22 23:54
Reading progress update: I've read 69 out of 448 pages.
The Sinews of Habsburg Power: Lower Austria in a Fiscal-Military State 1650-1820 - William D. Godsey Jr.

This definitely fits in the category of "difficult, but good."

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review 2018-06-19 05:58
Power Places and the Master Builders of Antiquity: Unexplained Mysteries of the Past by Frank Joseph
Power Places and the Master Builders of Antiquity: Unexplained Mysteries of the Past - Joseph Frank

TITLE:  Power Places and the Master Builders of Antiquity: Unexplained Mysteries of the Past

 

AUTHOR:  Frank Joseph

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2018

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  9781591433132

_____________________________

 

This book is an extremely superficial collection of chapters about individial oddball topics - everything from pyramids in China to unexpla artifacts/buildings in the America's, Templar mysteries, today's megalith builders, remote viewing, power places, a random collection of interesting personalities, alteres mental states, interviews with unusual people and strange natural occurences.  This book is not nearly so well written as other books that I have read by Frank Joseph.  The topics are not covered well enough to provide anything other than a few tantilizing glimpses of mystery.  There is also a lack of rigorous research.  In several cases we only have the author's interview with the subject to go on.  Several of the subjects covered in this book are familiar to me, but I did find found some topics (usually the longer chapters) interesting.

If you are new to this sort of subject or just wish to read something in chapter size pieces, then this book may be of interest to you.  If, on the other hand, you are familiar with the mysteries of antiquity and some unexplained mysteries, you might not find any meat in this book.

 


OTHER SIMILAR BOOKS

- Worlds Before Our Own - Brad Steiger
- The Giza Power Plant - Christopher Dunn
- The History of Atlantis - Lewis Spence
- Atlantis Beneath the Ice - Rose and Rand Flem-Ath
- Forbidden History - J. Douglas Kenyon
- History's Mysteries - Brian Haughton
- The Lost Treasure of King Juba - Frank Joseph
- Advanced Civilizations of Prehistoric America - Frank Joseph

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review 2018-06-18 19:55
Power to the Princess by Vita Weinstein Murrow
Power to the Princess - Vita Weinstein Murrow

This is a anthology of 15 fair tails rewritten for today's girls. The stories are retold with Girl Power!!! 

In this version Sleeping Beauty is a specialist on sleeping disorders, Rapunzel is a world-famous architect, The Little Mermaid is a advocate for peace between mer-people and humans, and all the other favorites are here to in their new jobs. 

 

The kids and I enjoyed the new versions of the old tales. The book focuses on building up girls instead of leaving them locked in a  tower and a man coming long and rescuing them. The new Princesses in this book seeks to help others, is open to learning new things, and looks for ways to add purpose to their lives and the lives of those around them. 

 

This book is written very well and teaches girls they can be and do anything.

 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.

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review 2018-05-27 14:38
A dark and twisted take on the original for readers interested in morally ambiguous characters.
Macbeth (Hogarth Shakespeare) - Jo Nesbø

Thanks to NetGalley and to Vintage Digital for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

This book is part of the Hogarth’s Shakespeare project, a project designed to create novels based on some of Shakespeare’s original plays and bring them up-to-date thanks to best-selling novelists. Although I have been intrigued since I’d heard about the project (because I am a fan of some of the authors, like Margaret Atwood and Anne Tyler), this is the first of the novels to come out of the project that I’ve read. Evidently, the idea behind the series was to try and bring new readers to Shakespeare and perhaps combine people interested in the plays with followers of the novelists. My case is a bit peculiar. I love Shakespeare (I prefer his tragedies and his comedies to the rest of his work) but I can’t say I’m an authority on him, and although I’ve read some of his plays, I prefer to attend live performances or watch adaptations (I’ve watched quite a few versions of Hamlet, but not so many of the rest of his plays, by poor chance). I’ve only watched Macbeth a couple of times, so I’m not the best person to comment on how closely Nesbo’s book follows the original. On the other hand, I have not read any of the author’s novels. I’ve watched a recent movie adaptation of one of them (mea culpa, I had not checked the reviews beforehand) but, although I know of him, I cannot compare this novel to the rest of his oeuvre. So I’m poorly qualified to write this review from the perspective of the most likely audience. But, that’s never stopped me before, and this review might perhaps be more relevant to people who are not terribly familiar with either, Macbeth or Nesbo’s books.

From my vague memory of the play, the novel follows the plot fairly closely, although it is set in the 1970s, in a nightmarish and corrupt city (some of the reviewers say it’s a Northern city somewhere not specified. That is true, and although some of the names and settings seem to suggest Scotland, not all details match, for sure), where unemployment is a huge problem, as are drugs, where biker gangs murder at leisure and control the drug market (together with a mysterious and shady character called Hecate, that seems to pull the strings in the background. He’s not a witch here but there’s something otherworldly about him), where the train station has lost its original purpose and has become a den where homeless and people addicted to drugs hung together and try to survive. The police force takes the place of the royalty and the nobles in the original play, with murders, betrayals and everything in between going on in an attempt at climbing up the ladder and taking control of law-enforcement (with the interesting side-effect of blurring any distinction between law and crime), with the city a stand-in for the kingdom of Scotland in the original.

The story is told from many of the characters’ points of view (most of them) and there is a fair amount of head-hopping. Although as the novel advances we become familiar with the characters and their motivations, and it is not so difficult to work out who is thinking what, this is not so easy to begin with as there are many characters with very similar jobs and, at least in appearance, close motivations, so it’s necessary to pay close attention. The technique is useful to get readers inside the heads of the characters and to get insights into their motivations, even if in most cases it is not a comfortable or uplifting experience. The book is truly dark and it seems particularly apt to a moment in history when corruption, morality, and the evil use of power are as relevant as ever. (Of course, the fact that this is an adaptation of a play written centuries before our era brings home that although things might change in the surface, human nature does not change so much). The writing is at times lyrical and at others more down to earth, but it is a long book, so I’d advise readers to check a sample to see if it is something they’d enjoy for the long-haul. I’ll confess that when I started the book I wondered if it was for me, but once I got into the story and became immersed in the characters’ world, I was hooked.

The beauty of having access to the material in a novelised form is that we can get to explore the characters’ subjectivity and motivations, their psychology, in more detail than in a play. Shakespeare was great at creating characters that have had theatregoers thinking and guessing for hundreds of years, but much of it is down to the actors’ interpretation, and two or three hours are not space enough to explore the ins-and-outs and the complex relationships between the characters fully. I was particularly intrigued by Duff, who is not a particularly likeable character, to begin with, but comes into his own later. I liked Banquo, who is, with Duncan, one of the few characters readers will feel comfortable rooting for (Banquo’s son and Angus would fall into the same category, but play smaller parts), and I must warn you that there is no such as thing as feeling comfortable reading this book. I thought what Nesbo does with Lady is interesting and provides her with an easier to understand motivation and makes her more sympathetic than in the play (it is not all down to greed or ambition, although it remains a big part of it). No characters are whiter-than-white (some might be but we don’t get to know them well enough to make that call), and although the baddies might be truly bad, some remain mysterious and unknown, and they are portrayed as extreme examples of the corruption that runs rampant everywhere. Most of the rest of the characters are human, good and bad, and many come to question their lives and what moves them and take a stand that makes them more interesting than people who never deviate from the path of rightness. Macbeth is depicted as a man of contrasts, charitable and cruel, a survivor with a difficult past, perhaps easy to manipulate but driven, full of doubts but determined, addicted to drugs and ‘power’, charismatic and dependent, full of contradictions and memorable.

The ending of the novel is bittersweet. It is more hopeful than the rest of the novel would make us expect, but… (I am not sure I could talk about spoilers in this novel, but still, I’ll keep my peace). Let’s just say this couldn’t have a happy ending and be truthful to the original material.

Although I have highlighted several paragraphs, I don’t think they would provide a fair idea of the novel in isolation, and, as I said before, I recommend downloading or checking a sample to anybody considering the purchase of this novel.

Not knowing Nesbo’s other novels, I cannot address directly his fans. I’ve noticed that quite a number of reviewers who read his novels regularly were not too fond of this one. Personally, I think it works as an adaptation of the Shakespeare play and it is very dark, as dark as the plot of the original requires (and perhaps even more). It is long and it is not an easy-going read. There are no light moments, and it is demanding of the reader’s attention, challenging us to go beyond a few quotations, famous phrases and set scenes, to the moral heart of the play. If you are looking for an interesting, although perhaps a not fully successful version of Macbeth, that will make you think about power, corruption, good and evil, family, friendship, and politics, give it a try. I am curious to read more Nesbo’s novels and some of the other novels in the project.

 

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review 2018-05-12 12:52
Unterschätze niemals eine Frau
Power Women - Geniale Ideen mutiger Frauen: Was würden sie dir raten? - Andreas Jäger

Inhaltsangabe

In diesem Buch finden sich die wahren Geschichten von 25 Frauen, die alle auf ihre eigene Weise die Welt verändert haben - von den Trung-Schwestern, die vor 2000 Jahren in Vietnam eine Rebellion gegen China anführten, über Katharina die Große, die Kaiserin von Russland wurde, zu der großartigen Malerin Frida Kahlo, der jungen Nobelpreisträgerin Malala Yousafzai, der engagierten Schauspielerin Emma Watson und Michelle Obama, die eine große Fürsprecherin der Rechte von Frauen und Mädchen ist.

Jede dieser Frauen ist auf ihre Weise beeindruckend, aber ob Naturwissenschaftlerin, Krankenschwester, Schriftstellerin, Rechtsanwältin, Schauspielerin, Umweltschützerin, Fußballerin oder Tierschützerin – eines haben sie alle gemeinsam: Sie waren und sind der Überzeugung, dass Männer und Frauen ebenbürtig sind, und haben sich geweigert, Männern den Lauf der Geschichte zu überlassen. 

 

Meine Meinung 

Dieses Buch gehört einfach in die Hand jedes jungen Mädchens und auch gerne in jede Hand einer erwachsenen Frau. Mit diesem Werk zeigt uns der Verlag auf, dass es weit mehr als zwei Hände voll Frauen gibt, die zu unserer Geschichte etwas beigetragen haben.

 

Ich bezeichne mich nicht nur gerne als starke und selbstbewusste Frau, sondern bin es auch. In einer Welt, die meiner Meinung nach noch sehr weit von Gleichberechtigung zwischen Frauen und Männer entfernt ist, sind solche Bücher unheimlich wichtig. Vor allem für die weibliche junge Generation.

Denn schaut man sich den heutigen Alltag einer Jugendlichen an, so fällt auf, dass es nicht nur Jungs sind, die einen erdrücken. Nein! Mobbing, Neid und Hass spielen in unserer modernen Welt für viele Mädchen eine große Rolle.

Zurückzug und ein geringes Selbstbewusstsein sind das Resultat.

 

Dieses Buch zeigt euch, dass Mädchen und Frauen so einiges erreichen können.

Und das Phänomen „unterschätze niemals eine Frau“ zieht sich einmal komplett durch die Weltgeschichte. Im Buch zeigt Kleopatra bereits 69 v. Chr., dass man eine Frau als Herrscherin nicht verkennen sollte.

 

Einige der 25 vorgestellten Frauen, wie zum Beispiel Jeanne D’Arc, Katharina die Große oder Florence Nightingale waren mir bereits bekannt.

„Ich habe keine Angst. Ich wurde geboren, um dies zu tun.“

(Jeanne D’Arc, 1429)

Andere wiederum waren mir noch aus der Schulzeit ein Begriff. Dazu gehören Marie Curie, Virginia Woolf und Rosa Parks.

„Ich wage sogar zu behaupten, dass sich hinter dem >Anonymus<, der so viele Gedichte geschrieben hat, ohne seinen Namen darunterzusetzen, oft eine Frau verbirgt.“

(Virginia Woolf)

 

Absolute neue und unheimlich interessante Informationen bekam ich durch dieses Buch von Ada Lovelace, Amelia Earhart und Junko Tabei.

Diese drei Geschichten machen mich wirklich neugierig auf mehr Literatur über die Damen.

„Du sollst wissen, dass ich mir der Gefahren vollauf bewusst bin.

Ich will es tun, weil ich es tun will.

Frauen müssen versuchen, das Gleiche zu wagen wie Männer.

Wenn sie scheitern, soll ihr Scheitern nur eine Herausforderung für andere sein“

(aus einem Brief von Amelia Earhart)

 

Wie bereits im Klappentext ersichtlich, hatten diese 25 Frauen Erfolg auf die verschiedensten Weisen. Dass hier nicht nur die Politik oder Bürgeraktivisten zählen, ist ein absoluter Pluspunkt. Es werden auch eine Architektin und eine Malerin geehrt.

 

Ein weiteres Highlight sind die einzelnen Illustrationen der Frauen, welche von verschiedenen Illustratoren stammen. So hat man die Frau, über die man liest, gleich vor Augen. Allerdings wurde ich dennoch angespornt auch das Internet nochmal zu einigen Damen zu befragen.

 

Vom Aufbau her erfährt man anfangs wichtige Fakten zur Biografie, im Anschluss befindet sich ein Text zum Wirken der Frauen. Dieser beläuft sich allerdings immer nur auf lediglich eine Seite. Mir war es fast immer ein wenig kurz, aber da dieses Buch unter die Kategorie Kinder- und Jugendbuch fällt, sind diese kurzen, aber informativen Abschnitte auf jeden Fall sinnvoll.

 

Am Ende jeder Vorstellung stellte der Autor verschiedene Fragen in den Raum, welche vor allem junge Frauen in der heutigen Welt beschäftigen und ließ diese Fragen aus der Sicht einer jeden porträtierten Frau beantworten.

Dieser Teil fällt absolut in das Jugendbuch-Genre. Ich konnte mich an meine Schulzeit zurückerinnern, in der mich da einige der Tipps motiviert hätten.

Als Erwachsene steht man mittlerweile über viele der angesprochenen Probleme drüber.

 

Mein Fazit

Für mich ein Buch, welches mich gut unterhalten hat und welches nachwirkt.

Der Beweis dafür, dass nicht nur Männer zu unserer Weltgeschichte etwas beigetragen haben. Dieses Buch sehe ich abschließend eher als Buch für 12- 17- Jährige, aber dennoch konnte es mir auch als Erwachsene einige neue Informationen beschaffen. Ich bin dankbar über jede starke Frau, die ich kenne.

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