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Customer Comments

Nick Chapman has commented on (13) products.

Always Coming Home (California Fiction) by Le Guin Ursula K.
Always Coming Home (California Fiction)

Nick Chapman, May 20, 2009

Anyone who has spent much time in Northern California will recognize the physical landscape of "Always Coming Home."

Anyone who has read other books by Le Guin, in particular the truly superb "The Dispossessed," will recognize the intellectual and emotional landscape.

"Dispossessed" and "Always Coming Home" share a powerful engagement with the notion of utopia, and with the social issues informing the radical movements of the time in which they were published. "The Dispossessed" has space ships and anarchism. "Always Coming Home" has a Native American inspired matriarchal society on a (presumably) post-apocalyptic Earth.

"Always Coming Home" is also stylistic very different from "Dispossessed." Whereas the latter was a traditional narrative, coherent, complete and closed, "Always Coming Home" is a story, or a picture, constructed from a number of different threads. The main thread is basically a coming of age story about a young woman that follows a very traditional narrative structure, but it is broken up into sections, with other pieces interspersed. These other pages are highly varied - song lyrics/poems, fables or folk tales of the society depicted in the main story, and so on.

All the pieces come together in a very rich, satisfying way. The other material fleshes out the reader's understanding of the girl's world, while the interest of the girl's journey keeps the reader fully engaged.
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(6 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)



Barefoot Gen 01 Cartoon Story of Hir 2ND Edition by Keiji Nakazawa
Barefoot Gen 01 Cartoon Story of Hir 2ND Edition

Nick Chapman, October 18, 2008

Incredibly powerful, moving, persuasive, and very real. If you want to know what things were like in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombings, and especially if you want to have something to give to a young person to help them understand the horrors of nuclear war, then you need to check this out.

I think there is a sense that nuclear war is no longer an issue, and that terrorism is what we now need to be fearful of, but the nukes are still out there. And just as relevant, or more so, is the issue of confronting the horrors that have been perpetrated in the name of war...
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics) by Pema Chodron
The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics)

Nick Chapman, April 28, 2008

Buddhists of all stripes, non-Buddhists, anyone with a thoughtful mind and an openness to spirituality will find things to intrigue, enlighten, guide and help them in Pema Chodron's writings. This is perhaps my favorite book and the one I give the most, as it so often is the case that it is in "difficult times" that people start looking for answers, or new ways. Like all of Pema Chodron's works, this book does not offer answers, or at least not any easy or obvious ones, but it does offer new ways, ways forward even in the darkest of times.

Very accessible - no prior background in Buddhism, or indeed in any spiritual practice, is necessary to approach and enter into this book, and she has a wonderful, engaging voice.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone by Beth Lisick
Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone

Nick Chapman, January 30, 2008

Beth Lisick is always a treasure - quirky, irreverent, unpredictable and intelligent. What's amazing about her is that she is so much the same in her writing as her music. Her album, pass, as The Beth Lisick Ordeal is a perennial favorite of mine.
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(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)



Accelerando by Charles Stross
Accelerando

Nick Chapman, January 22, 2008

Post-cyberpunk sci fi and a rollicking good read. Has a lot in common with some of Ken Macleod's outstanding stuff, but with a more over-the-top, humorous, space opera tone.

A lot of the ideas about technology and futurology are worthy of serious consideration.
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(8 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)



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