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New Jersey reader has commented on (4) products.

Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W Tuchman
Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

New Jersey reader, March 20, 2015

Just finished reading Barbara Tuchman's masterful account of the disastrous 14th century in Europe. The book is just as wonderful as it was 35 years ago. Ms Tuchman gives a vivid picture of life and death as she traces the career of Enguerrand de Coucy. The century included the papal schism, the horror of the Black Death, the plague that claimed the lives of perhaps 1/3 of Europe's population, and seems to have been filled with unending war, between France and England, between different factions within France, and between Crusaders and Turks. Most of the 100 years war between France and England took place in the 14th century, including the two major French losses at Crecy and Poitiers.
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Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W Tuchman
Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

New Jersey reader, March 20, 2015

Just finished reading Barbara Tuchman's masterful account of the disastrous 14th century in Europe. The book is just as wonderful as it was 35 years ago. Ms Tuchman gives a vivid picture of life and death as she traces the career of Enguerrand de Coucy. The century included the papal schism, the horror of the Black Death, the plague that claimed the lives of perhaps 1/3 of Europe's population, and seems to have been filled with unending war, between France and England, between different factions within France, and between Crusaders and Turks. Most of the 100 years war between France and England took place in the 14th century, including the two major French losses at Crecy and Poitiers.
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Rainmaker by John Grisham
Rainmaker

New Jersey reader, August 18, 2012

One of Grisham's early books, and a great read. The story is told in the first person by Rudy Baylor, who is at the end of his 3 years of law school in Memphis, and is about to graduate. During the last activity in one of his classes, he visits a senior center where he meets a couple who believe an insurance company has wrongfully denied a claim for medical treatment for their ill son. The story progresses as Rudy graduates, passes the bar exam, loses a job, opens his own law firm, sues the insurance company, and takes on the defending lawyer from the most powerful law firm in Memphis. Along the way he befriends a young woman who is on the receiving end of serious mistreatment from her abusive husband.
Although some of the plot details seem rather unrealistic, Rudy's narration of his adventure is enormously enjoyable to read. A perfect book to take on a long summer vacation.
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The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

New Jersey reader, December 24, 2010

Simon Winchester relates the fascinating history of the OED, from the proposal that started it in 1857, through the publication of the first edition in 1928, the 2nd edition in 1989, and the on-going work for the 3rd edition.
The book also reviews prior lexicographic history, including Samuel Johnson's 1755 dictionary, and Noah Webster's 1828 American version, among others.
The main part of the book is the story of James Murray, who spent the last 37 years of his life supervising the vast amount of work leading to the 1928 first edition. With our understanding and dependence on modern technology, it seems incredible that this huge reference work could ever have been created with the primitive pencil & paper tools that Murray had available.
Winchester's writing is clear and to-the-point, and provides vivid images of all the major and some of the minor players in the dictionary saga, as well as accounts of the various crises that threatened the work's completion.
Reading this account is great fun, and gives a real insight into the process of constructing a book that attempts to explain "the meaning of everything".
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