1998: Electronic Publishing Guide: the Essential Resource for Electronic Publishing. San Jose, ca: Adobe Press




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Catfish

Volume 40

Andrew Bushard

Reviews


Books


Acker, Kerry

2000: Need to Know Library: the Goth Scene. New York, NY: the Rosen Publishing Company.


The author did an excellent job enabling us to understand the Goth culture without stereotyping it (though in the book’s brief mention of punk, it mischaracterizes punk, perhaps stereotyping it). After reading this book, I have a better understanding of the Goth culture.


Adobe Systems

1998: Electronic Publishing Guide: the Essential Resource for Electronic Publishing. San Jose, CA: Adobe Press.


This is one of those books disguising itself as a handbook for publishing, when it is really just a glorified infomercial for Adobe. Nonetheless, even if one never uses Adobe, this book can still be of use.


Alexander, Paul

2004: The Candidate: Behind John Kerry's Remarkable Run for the White House. New York, NU: Penguin Group, Inc.


I read part of a review of this book, which made the book sound cheesy, but the book really wasn't. In fact, it was odd: I finished this book in one day, something which is rare for even the best books of substantial length. I guess even though I dislike the Democratic Party, I can still learn something from John Kerry's candidacy and his life.


Blanco, Jodee

2003: Please Stop Laughing at Me: One Woman’s Inspirational Story. Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation.


If this book had a theme song, it could be Bob Marley’s “Cornerstone”, which says “The stone that the river refused will always be the head cornerstone”. The book gives me hope; it provides comfort to the outcasts, and hopefully it gives us strength to carry on. Surely, one of the best genre of books is non-fiction narratives, and of that category, this book excels like few other.


Boland, Mary

2001: Crime Victims Guide to Justice. Naperville, IL: Sphinx


If you have a fundamental understanding of the criminal justice system as I would like to think I do, then this book probably won’t teach you much new information.


Brandt, Lisa

2003: Celebrity Tantrums: the Official Dirt. Toronto, ON: ECW Press.


Entertaining but hardly edifying.


Breitman, Patti and Connie Hatch.

2000: How to Say No and Say Yes to More Time, More Joy, and What Matters Most to You Without Feeling Guilty. New York, NY: Broadway House.


I liked how so many different situations requiring assertiveness where explained and specific examples and phrases were suggested to help deal with these situations. Still some possible situations were not described but I guess we can’t expect the authors to get them all in here. A great combination of general principles and specific examples. Assertiveness books are so needed because no matter how good a person may be, there is always room for improvement.


Brooks, Guy and Victoria

1995: Malaysia: A Kick Start Guide for Business Travelers. North Vancouver, B.C.: Self-Counsel Press.


Not bad. A little too formal, but still useful.


Buchanan, Patrick J.

2004: Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.


I like the fact that when a rightist such as Buchanan rightfully denounces neoconservatives, it might be reason for others to notice. Let us hope the conservatives follow his way. Although conservative views may not be my total ideal, I would much rather conservatives act and believe like Buchanan than act and believe like Bush. The criticisms are right on and Buchanan is courageous to be maverick enough to criticize the right. You conservatives better listen and change your movement to align it with Buchanan’s recommedations.


Bueno-Aguer, Lee

1991: Fast Your Way to Health. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House.


Can you believe it: I found a book about fasting at a library? Any library that stocks a book on fasting scores big points with me. I dug how the book combined emphasis on both the spiritual and therapeutic aspects of fasting. The book is solidly grounded in natural hygienic thought. I knew much of information about the therapeutic aspects of fasting because I read a bunch of books on fasting already, but I learned more on the spiritual aspects of fasting. Especially if you are a Christian, this book can be great for you.


Carville, James

1998: And the Horse He Rode In On: The People V. Kenneth Starr. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.


Typical, almost stereotypical two party polemic. James Carville believes that Kenneth Starr needs to get a life, I agree, I also believe that Carville needs to use his talents to smash rather than advance the two party system.


Cary, Eve, Alan Levine and Janet Price.

1997: The Rights of Students: ACLU Handbooks for Young Americans. New York, NY: Penquin Putnam, Inc.


Vital! Read, even if you are not a student. It's great to learn about student rights, especially in the favorite Q&A style. In general, I find it so immensely necessary to learn about my rights, thus I adored what I learned in this volume.


Catlin, Steven

1997: Work Less & Play More. Ventura, CA: Kimberlite Publishing.


This book attempts to put into practice a major aim of my life, to work needlessly as little as possible. I am glad that other people realize this aim is essential. Naturally, many of the suggestions I have already discovered or thought of, but one can always learn something new, right? If the possibility of reducing the amount of time you work has just been opened up to you, then this book can really help you out. Indeed, so many people don’t realize how little we can work and still get by. Work Less & Play More exhilarates me because it uplifts the beautiful.


Creed, Dan

2003: Governor Ventura “The Body” Exposed: The Man. The Mansion. The Meltdown. Madison, WI: Hunter Halverson Press, LLC.


I am skeptical of his criticism of Jesse. Although I don’t agree with everything Ventura believes or does, I do believe he has a lot of good ideas and he is an inspiring individual. I did like to get this perspective of Ventura’s Residence Manager. Creed touched upon the notion of “servant leadership”, which caused me to look into it further. I stayed up too late reading this book. In places, the work is even touching because Creed reflects upon the goodness of all the people he worked with (famous and not so famous). Exposes continue to fascinate me, and this work does what the genre generally does.


Crowley, Thomas.

1994: Settle It Out of the Court: How to Resolve Business and Personal Disputes Using Mediation, Arbitration, and Negotiation. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.


When I picked up this book I hoped it would be a straight forward navigation guide for mediation and arbitration forums. The book heavily emphasized the philosophy and psychology of disputes and their resolution. It even covered trial. The book is insightful on these grounds, though I would have preferred a more straight forward approach describing the nuts and bolts of mediation and arbitration.


Cohen, Ben and Jerry Greenfield

1997: Ben and Jerry's Double Dip: Lead with Your Values and Make Money Too.  New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.


I heard Ben Cohen speak in person and thought he had a good approach to business.  This tape further elaborates Ben and Jerry's philosophy of business.  Perhaps, Ben Cohen should run for president.  He has some good views plus he has enough money to bankroll it.


Coulter, Ann

2003: Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. New York, NY: Crown Forum.


For Labor Day holiday since the library was closed, I made sure to check out a bunch of books. I was hoping to check out a page turner since I really needed some good books for this holiday. Most of the books really didn’t excite me. Some of them had good messages, but I just was not drawn in. Then I pick up Treason and finally I had a page turner. Ms. Coulter is a great writer (though I can’t say I totally agree with her message). It’s hard to tell what makes a book a hook. Sometimes, one may think if a book has too many sophisticated words, it is hard to read. But this book surely puts that hypothesis to rest as there are plenty of sophisticated words, yet you can’t put the book down. I once checked out one of her other books, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, but I really couldn’t get into it. For her book titles, she surely chooses words with unambiguous meanings and those that pack a powerful punch. Especially in regard to McCarthy, Coulter is a revisionist. In a way, this work is similar to Buchanan’s A Republic Not an Empire, as both works describe history in order to make a political argument. The difference is that Buchanan is much more subtle and graceful, while Coulter endlessly tosses lethal grenades. Overkill, perhaps. Her writing is far more inflammatory than Buchanan. Buchanan, at least in part, maintains some objectivity, but Coulter is constantly complaining. These Republican types are quick to accuse someone of “treason” if the person critiques the United States government, but Republicans somehow can complain all they want and still are “patriotic”. In fact, Al Franken pointed out that some Republicans who ripped Democrats apart for opposing the Iraq War saying it’s unpatriotic to question government policy when our troops are at war, they themselves criticized the troops when Clinton was President. Coulter provides a list of presidents during the Cold War and argues that most of them were weak but Reagan was a hero. For some reason she left Warren G. Harding off this list. I don’t know whether it was because it was inconsistent with her argument, or whether it was because she like many others thought his administration was insignificant. I was a little impressed to see her even criticize some Republicans. It seems if one is not conservative (even though one may be a Republican), one is not good to Coulter. She even criticized Bush once!! I do believe that is a first. She talks about Bush like a giddy school girl swoons over an attractive teacher. She repugnantly defends racial profiling in the war on terrorism. Does she realize that a number of terrorists have been WHITE? Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber, and the Symbionese Liberation Army (all white except one black) are three examples of white terrorists. Perhaps, in 1995, the loser law enforcement agents were harassing Middle Eastern people when they should have been scrutinizing McVeigh and Nichols. It’s great that Ann Coulter is a strong fierce woman. She is assertive and strong willed. She can hate as we sometimes should. But Ann Coulter lacks balance. She seems to have no sensitivity, no softness. Maybe she has a tender side which only her close ones see, but in her writing, it is not apparent.


Diamond, Harvey.

2003: Fit For Life, Not Fat For Life. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.


I was pleasantly surprised to see such a natural hygienic book in the Maplewood, MN library. Books of this perspective are all too rare. Diamond believes raw food is absolutely key. He tells us to make sure we consume a greater amount of raw food than cooked and processed food. A good goal, which I find very difficult to attain. At least, he does not eschew all cooked and processed, but just believes the diet show emphasize raw food. It is my hope that I incorporate more and more raw food into my diet. I also am coming to believe that cooked food is necessary too. I just don't feel right if I only eat raw food. Perhaps there is something sacred about cooking food. Diamond tries to change the standard of way more cooked and processed food than raw food. I like that a balance of both to me is what we need.


Dimaggio, Richard L.

2002: Collection Agency Harassment: What the Debt Collector Doesn’t Want You to Know. Clifton Park, NJ: the Consumer Press.


The common sense suggestions of the book, I figured out many already. The rest informed me about the collection agency law, specifically the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I feel more empowered in the debt arena. As lawyers go, Dimaggio appears to be a worthwhile one.


Dorio, Marc

1997: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Interview. New York, NY: Alpha Books.


This book appealed to me both out of general interest in Idiots’ and Dummies’ books, and also out of practical need. Though, it was more a matter of the former than the latter.


Eriksen, Ronald

1994: How to Find Missing Persons: A Handbook for Investigators Revised and Expanded Second Edition. Port Townsend, WA: Loompanics Unlimited.


I carried this book through customs, and perhaps surprisingly, they did not say much about it. I find it hard to believe some of the tricks used in this book to get otherwise inaccessible information worked and would work. It just seems these companies have more security than that. The informal tone added to the interest without taking away from the information.


Farah, George

2004: No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates. New York, NY: Seven Stories Press.


The book is a critique of the state of presidential debates (they suck) and call to include third parties candidates most especially Perot, Buchanan and Ralph Nader. As a pragmatic move, the author recommends inclusion of only those like these, while excluding the rest of the third parties. Since I so dearly love third parties, the pragmatic move might be a smart one. The author also clearly demonstrates how utterly pitiful and unjust it is that the debates exclude third party candidates. To support his point, he even finds surprising backing from people like Alan Keyes! How wonderful it will be if the author’s ideas come to fruition.

Feiner, Michael

2004: The Feiner Points of Leadership: the 50 Basic Laws that Will Make People Want to Perform Better for You. New York, NY: Time Warner Book Group.


Generally sage advice drawn from the author's personal experience. In depth and elucidated extensively. I crave books about leadership because leadership is so

important to do right. Another leadership book I can add to my knowledge base.


Frank, Stephen and Stephen Wagner

1999: We Shocked the World: A Case Study of Jesse Ventura's Election as Governor of Minnesota. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Inc.


Written by two Stephens!  Short and academic yet even non academics could get something out of it.  It lacked the typical descriptions of this great victory instead opting for a more dispassionate analysis.  Consequently, the main consultant to the authors is a professor from Minnesota State University at Mankato, whom I have met.  This book, through its analysis, minimized some the intrigue of this campaign victory.


Fransway, Rebecca (ed)

2000: 12-Step Horror Stories: True Tales of Misery, Betrayal and Abuse. Tucson, AZ: See Sharp Press.


Page turning extraordinaire. From reading other books about A.A., I was already predisposed to believe AA is not too good. This book has me convinced that, as many of the writers in this work say, the top self help organization is a cult. While reading this book’s description of AA, it occurred to me that AA is very similar to Rational Emotive Therapy. Since Rational Emotive Therapy has issue, so does AA. I wouldn’t want to go to an AA meeting; something rubs me the wrong way, and furthermore many of these authors rationally argued against it. Even though I am all against alcohol, I at best find AA to be an impediment.

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