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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism



My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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Customer Comments

Jason Perry has commented on (3) products.

The Alchemist (Insight) by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist (Insight)

Jason Perry, September 10, 2012


When I first started reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, I thought it was the most inspiring book I’d ever read. I loved the messages Coelho used and the spiritual metaphors he constantly connect to real life. However, after a certain point it became very repetitive, and I felt that the same messages were being restated over and over again. I still found the book fascinating, but the constant preaching of morals and values started to irritate me.
For example, the term “Personal Legend” was first introduced on page 21. As interesting and important a topic as it was, the idea that one must always be striving for it was repeated consistently until page 163. This became frustrating to me about halfway through the novel. Granted, it is an important part of the book, but it was used repeatedly as if we were small children who didn’t listen the first 15 times.
The book had me completely spiritually enticed up until page 140 when the alchemist stated that Santiago “could destroy [the] camp just with the force of the wind”. The morals and messages expressed seemed relatively realistic until we found out that the boy had to become the wind. Usually I love fantasy fiction book, but this passage didn’t fit in with the overall mood of the story, simply because The Alchemist is not a fantasy fiction novel.
The things I believe about The Alchemist are just on man’s opinion. The book was excellently written other than these things I have displayed, and has the power to create a permanent effect on the reader.


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Sabotaged (Missing)
Sabotaged (Missing)

Jason Perry, January 14, 2011

Having read both Found and Sent, I confess myself disappointed with Margaret Peterson Haddix’s third installment in the Found series Sabotaged. It seems as if Haddix’s writing skill has lowered with every new book she has published. In the third episode of this series, Jonah and Katherine find themselves going back in time to assist their friend Andrea in setting time right during her first life as the child Virginia Dare in the Roanoke Colony. The main character, Jonah, an intelligent boy in the first two books, shows up confused and severely lacking in observational skills. Throughout the entire story, he misses nearly every clue, and can’t seem to put two and two together. Snippets from the book, such as,
“ ‘You want to make time right, don’t you?’ Andrea asked softly. ‘Don’t you think we should go to Croatoan with the tracers?’ She was looking at Jonah, not Katherine. And for that matter, Katherine was looking at Jonah. Both of them were waiting to see what he had to say. He though about making a dumb joke: Hey, America isn’t a democracy yet. You don’t have to wait for my vote! But they were all in this together. Andrea and Katherine did need to hear Jonah’s vote. ‘I guess you’re right,’ he said.”,
demonstrate his inability to make the type of decisions he made in the previous two books. In this way, Haddix fails to let her characters evolve and develop. However, her use of historical facts blended with the concept of time travel made for a compelling plot. The interweaving of historical moments and figures into the storyline piqued my curiosity about history, but the dialogue and character development of this volume of the Found series left a little to be desired.
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Heat by Mike Lupica
Heat

Jason Perry, November 30, 2010

Mike Lupica does it again with an inspirational story chalk full of perseverance and determination. Michael Arroyo, a 12 year-old boy born in Cuba, resides in New York City, and hopes to pitch in the Little League World Series, and eventually become a professional baseball player. But because Arroyo is so talented at virtually every aspect of baseball, rival coaches begin to question that he is a mere 12 years old. In this way, Lupica brings out the way that many real life adults and coaches act when they don’t get their way. Heat is a richly detailed book, with captivating dialogue and characters, however, it can be slow at times, and does seem to become a very clichéd children’s baseball tale. All the same, Lupica has written a fantastic middle reader sports novel, and will hopefully continue to create more.
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