book reviews

1984Orwell, George
9 Steps to Financial FreedomOrman, Suze
Reviewed August 10, 2000.
A wonderfully written suspenseful thriller.  *****
A white female Attorney General and a black Army General are the leading contenders for President, when disaster strikes. The General's granddaughter is kidnapped, the Attorney General acts in her official capacity to help solve the crime, but comes under criticism as being politically motivated. Less than a week until the election, the A.G. must solve the crime to win the presidency. And then there is the factor of her adopted baby daughter who was kidnapped years ago. This book is fast paced, an easy read, and easy to follow. Every page is packed with action, and the true villain is a mystery until the end. The Abduction is a fascinating mystery, and highly recommended.
Grippando, James
Absolute PowerBaldacci, David
Abuse of PowerRosenberg, Nancy Taylor
Accounting For DummiesTracy, John A.
Administrative Procedure and PracticeFunk
Advanced FrontPageTyler, Denise
Against The LawEberhardt, Michael
The AgendaWoodward, Bob
AirframeCrichton, Michael
All Around The TownClark, Mary Higgins
All I Really Needed to Know I Learned In KindergartenFulghum, Robert
Reviewed February 28, 2001.
One of the more interesting "insider" books.  ****
I'm probably biased towards finding any Clinton book more interesting than, say, a Reagan or Bush book, but this one was especially interesting. This book takes the reader from the early days of the Clinton campaign through the first four years of his term, until George quit working at the White House. Throughout the book George discusses the various scandalls, and gives the reader his inside perspective on the good and the bad of the White House. The last chapter was clearly hastily added-on to discuss Lewinsky. George also discusses the... that went on with Dick Morris. It's an interesting book - I learned quite a bit about how the White House works.
Stephanopoulos, George
America By The NumbersKrantz, Les
American GovernmentLowi & Ginsberg
American LiteratureWymen, Marilyn
Anastasia SyndromeClark, Mary Higgins
Reviewed February 17, 2001.
Wonderful insight into a political nightmare.  *****
Randy Shilts has written an incredibly detailed accounting of what happened, and what failed to happen, during the 1980's. Through detailed interviews and research, he shows how the disease spread, and who the people were who fought to keep the disease controlled. More interesting than that, however, is his account of how the government's inaction contributed to the present day AIDS crisis, specifically the complete lack of executive leadership under Reagan. He also shows us how the blood banks refused to adopt procedures to reduce AIDS transmissions, and how the gay community itself contributed to the crisis by refusing to close the bathhouses in San Francisco. Every gay person should read this book, as should everyone who knows someone with HIV/AIDS. Your view of the disease and American politics in the 80's will be forever changed.
Shilts, Randy
Animal FarmOrwell, George
Anne Frank: Diary of a Young GirlFrank, Anne
Reviewed July 7, 2001.
A suspenseful legal thriller.  ****
Attorney Paul Madriani has recently moved to San Diego and set up his law practice with his partner Harry. He moved to San Diego to be closer to the woman in his life, Susan, but little does he know the trouble Susan will cause. One of his first clients in San Diego is Jonah Hale, an elderly man who won millions in the state lottery. He is the grandfather of Amanda, the 8-year-old who Jonah and his wife have been raising. Jonah's absent daughter Jessica suddenly becomes interested in parenting Amanda after Jonah wins the lottery. Jonah refuses to discuss shared custody, so Jessica resorts to Zo Suade, a militant anti-men activist who helps women abduct their children from the custodian. With Suade's help, Jessica abducts Amanda from Jonah. Jonah hires Madriani to help find his granddaughter. Suddenly there is a dead body to contend with, and Jonah is the prime suspect. Madriani must race against time to save Amanda from the drug lords who are hunting down her mother, and keep Jonah out of jail before he succumbs to an illness. This book is full of suspense, and a fun read. However, the climax comes very late in the book, and the last four or five chapters are a fast-paced attempt at tying up the loose ends and solving the mystery. I would have preferred if Martini had spread the last few chapters out more, but the "who done it" finale is superb - you may guess who did it, but not why and how.
Martini, Steve
Autobiography of Malcolm XMalcolm X & Alex Haley
Bad LoveKellerman, Jonathan
Reviewed October 28, 2001.
Very clever novel.   ****
This is a story about two teenage storytellers.  The setting is Mao's Cultural Revolution.  The main characters, two boys who were raised in the city, are sent to the country for "re-education" by peasants.  While they toil over manual labor, they befriend Four-Eyes, who has a secret and forbidden hoard of Western books, translated into Chinese.  They read one of the books, and cannot get enough of it.  They retell the story to the Little Seamstress, who loves to hear stories told.  The boys soon become the village storytellers, and are sent to the closest city to watch movies, so that they can come back to retell the stories.  It is this storytelling and the boys' quest for outside influences that allows their spirit to withstand the grueling abuse of the re-education process.  This book combines the history of the communist movement with the romance of a Little Seamstress to produce a wonderfully written (and translated) novel.  It is fun to read, and not a long story.
Sijie, Dai
Reviewed March 20, 2000.
Spend your money elsewhere.  **
The title of this book sets the reader up for great expectations that just aren't delivered. 75% of the book is "Law Charts" (condensed outlines), which would be useful for someone who wasn't able, for reasons I can't imagine, to create their own outlines. The remainder of the book contains fairly common sense suggestions that anyone who survived law school exams would already know.
Adachi, Jeff
Reviewed August 14, 2000.
Great insight into workings of corporate America.  *****
What an incredibly well researched book! This book gives the entire history of RJR Nabisco, including the legacy companies (which date back to the 1800's), focusing on the leveraged buy-out (LBO) of the company in the late 80's. The book goes behind the scenes and details seemingly every conversation and action that took place - a credit to the incredibly thorough research which the authors did. The book is long, and at times tedious, but if you are interested in the early stages of the demise of junk bonds, leveraged buy-outs, and the technicalities of financing of corporate takeovers, this is a great book for you!
Burrough & Helyar
Basic Internet LawBallon, Ian
Best of the Old Farmer's AlmanacHale, Juston
Reviewed January 18, 2000.
Great introductory book to high tech business issues.  *****
I read this book for my high tech tax class in law school, and unlike most of my required reading, this book was absolutely fabulous. It provides an introduction to a wide range of issues facing high tech business, ranging from lawsuits to taxation to R&D. I highly recommend this book to anyone starting out in high tech business, regardless of in what capacity.
Jernigan, Cliff
Billy BathgateDoctorow, E.L.
BiologyAlexander, et. al.
Bless the Beasts and ChildrenSwarthout
Blind JusticeBurnhardt, William
The Blue Laws of New Haven ColonyHinman
Body for LifePhillips, Bill
Bonfire of the VanitiesWolfe, Tom
Book of FactsAsimov, Isaac
The BrethrenGrisham, John
The BrethrenWoodward & Armstrong
Bridge of San Luis ReyWilder
Brief History of Time, AHawking, Stephen W.
Built To Last: Successful Habits of Visionary CompaniesCollins, James
Burden of ProofTurow, Scott
Burning ManMargolin, Peter
Buy Your First Home
Reviewed November 3, 2000.
A great primer for the first-time home buyer.  *****
I read this book when I was buying my first home, unfortunately in the ultra-expensive Bay Area. I read a few of the Dummies books, which were adequate, and then came across this book. Irwin's book is a fairly easy read - you can skim the parts you already know (i.e. if you're not buying a fixer-upper, skip that part), and concentrate on what you don't know. He doesn't go very far in depth into any one subject - the book is only 180 pages - but he gives a layman's explanation of almost every part of the home buying process, from offers, to financing, to inspections, to repairs. And I don't think you need anything more in depth than this to buy a home. I actually read this book half-way through my own home buying process, and I still found it very valuable and useful. I can't claim that it saved me any money - it didn't. But it did reassure me that what I was doing was right - and that is well worth the cost of the book.
Irwin, Robert
California AngelRosenburg, Nancy Taylor
California LawGuerin, Gima
California Politics and GovernmentGerston & Christensen
Canterbury TalesChaucer, Geoffrey
Cardinal Of The KremlinClancy, Tom
Cases and Materials on Evidence (8th)Waltz
Cases and Problems on Remedies (2nd)Snoben
Cases on Decedents' Estates and Trusts (8th)Ritchie
Cases on Pleading and Procedure (7th)Hazard
The CayTaylor, Theodore
The ChamberGrisham, John
Reviewed March 24, 2001.
A fascinating novel inspired by history.  *****
What a fascinating book! Chang and Eng is a novel - a work of fiction - inspired by the history of the lives of the original Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng. While the book is a novel, and therefore a work of fiction, I did some research on the internet and learned that the general themes of the book and the large milestones were very much real. The story is narrated by Eng, the more intelligent and literate of the twins. The narration alternates between their childhood and their adulthood. The story starts at birth, takes us through their childhood, where we are introduced to their family, and learn about their upbringing. After living with King Rama of Siam, they are sold / abducted to a U.S. promoter who takes them to New York, where they begin their exhibitions. Eng tells us about their life as a circus attraction. I think the most fascinating part of the book, and the part I learned the most from, was when they married Caucasian sisters and built their home in a small town in North Carolina. Given the prejudice, racism and bigotry of the 1850's, I was amazed at how relatively well they were able to live. We are privy to quite a bit about their marriage (presumably this is more fiction than fact), sex life, and their 21 children. The book ends with their death. I highly recommend this book - it's a quick and fascinating read, and it will give you quite an education about Siam, conjoined twins, and the mid-1800's.
Strauss, Darin
Reviewed August 9, 2000.
A superb introduction to investing.  *****
Schwab, of discount brokerage fame, has written an easy to read introductory guide to savings and investment. None of his material is unique or new - it is similar to that presented by Suzie Orman and the Dummies guides. Nonetheless, Schwab's book is probably better for new investors because he uses plenty of charts, graphs and personal examples, and presents it all in a very user-friendly format. The theme is basically not to jump in with both feet, but to do as much as you can. There are a few gratuitous plugs for his brokerage firm, but the book is definitely not one big advertisement. This book is well recommended for first-time investors and recent college graduates about to start their first job (good graduation gift). It is not recommended for people who are already in the stock market or who already own mutual funds and regularly invest - you already know what is in this book.
Schwab, Charles
Christmas CarolDickens, Charles
Citizen Tom PaineFast, Howard
Civil Action, AHarr, Jonathan
Civilization and Its DiscontentsFreud, Sigmund
Classics of Western PhilosophyCahn, Steven
The ClientGrisham, John
Code And Other Laws of CyberspaceLessig, Lawrence
Reviewed May 19. 2001.
Not who done it, but why?  ****
White's latest book is a classic mystery. Alan and Lauren are invited to join an elite group of forensic specialists to solve a crime committed 10 years ago. Two girls were murdered, and a perp was never arrested. As the elite group swings into action and Alan starts poking his nose into the life of a congressman, Alan's life is put in jeopardy. A handful of bad guys emerge early on in the book as possible perps, but the bigger mystery is not who, which is somewhat obvious, but why, and how. White also reintroduces us to A.J., the ex-FBI agent with MS. No fan of White's should miss this book.
White, Stephen
Commercial Transactions eBookNeustadter, Gary
Community Property in CaliforniaBlumberg
Complete Idiot's Guide to Impeachment of the PresidentStrauss, Steven & Spencer
Complete Idiot's Guide to Office PoliticsRozakis, Lauri & Bob
Complete Idiot's Guide to The Perfect InterviewDorio, Marc
Complete Idiot's Guide to Wills and EstatesMaple, Steve
The Complete Law School CompanionDeaver, Jeff
Computer CaperDank, Milton
CongoCrichton, Michael
Constitutional Interpretation (6th)Ducat
Constitutional Law (3rd)Stone
Constitutional Law (13th)Gunther
Consumer Transactions (3rd)Greenfield
Contract Law and its Application (5th)Rosett
Corporations and Other Organizations (4th)Soderquist
The Cradle Will FallClark, Mary Higgens
Criminal Law (3rd)Kaplan
Criminal Procedure (3rd)Tomkovicz
Reviewed April 4, 2001
Fast paced mystery!  ****
Wow - what a fascinating thriller! Our good friend Alan is caught in the middle of an incredibly complex web of a who-done-it. He is called to the hospital on yet another of his consultations (who pays for these anyhow?), where he begins treating a teenage girl who refuses to speak. We soon learn that the girl is the daughter of a local news anchor, and the sister of a critically ill child who has received a lot of publicity because the HMO has refused to cover the girl's treatment costs. When the head of the HMO turns up dead, all fingers point to Alan's patient. But did she do it, or did any one of half-a-dozen other suspects, all of whom are interrelated and have their own motives, commit the murder? We won't know until the end, when Alan finds himself on an incredible journey through the Denver international airport ... luggage system! This book is hard to put down, and a very enjoyable read. There are a lot of characters, but they become familiar quickly, and they are not hard to keep mentally separated.
White, Stephen
Reviewed May 7, 2001.
Fascinating thriller!  *****
Wow! What a wonderful book to read. When I finished reading this book (in one 4-hour setting), I put it down feeling completely mentally refreshed - it was that good! The first 6 chapters or so develop the plot while introducing the characters. Many books just dump the characters in your lap, but Martini weaves their introductions into the development of the plot, possibly better than any other book I've read. Our heroine, a lawyer who recently set up shop in Washington, gets pulled into the middle of a national security crisis when she gets retained by an arm's smuggler who has been hired to smuggle a nuclear bomb into the U.S. and blow up a city. But where is the bomb, who is the smuggler, and what city is targeted? Just when you think you're on to the plot and you know what is going to happen, the plot twists, and you are left in amazement. This is one of Martini's strongest books, and it was a pleasure to read.
Martini, Steve
Cruel DoubtMcGinnis, Joe
Cry For JusticeSorrells, Walter
Cuckoo's EggStoll, Cliff
CyberpunkHafner & Markoff
Reviewed August 3, 2000.
Completely unrealistic.  **
First, the positive comments. The book is a quick read, and the plot twists kept me very interested in this book. On the negative side, comparing this to Grisham (as the teasers do) is laughable. It's simply not that quality. Second, as a law school graduate, it is incomprehensible that these characters wouldn't have known basic ethical and legal issues which the characters failed to recognize, which any first year law student knows. That made the book highly unrealistic to me, and painful to read.
Meltzer, Brad
Deadly JusticeBurnhardt, William
Deamon SeedKoonts, Dean
Dear Mrs. HenshawCleary, Beverly
Death of Ivan IlyichTolstoy, Leo
Reviewed August 25, 2000.
Authoritative source on why junk bond are bad.  *****
This book was recommended to me as an introduction to how corporate financing works (or has worked in the past). I found this book to be fascinating. Yes, it's long, and in some parts dry, but the author presents us with behind-the-scenes discussions of all the major players in the junk bond scandal of the 80's, leading to the S&L problems. Milken and Boesky are featured. The book goes into great detail about SEC enforcement, and how the dealers were finally brought to justice. I thought this was a great companion book to 'Barbarians At The Gate' (about the RJR Nabisco LBO calamity). Great book - highly recommended.
Stewart, James B.
Dicey's SongVoigt, Cynthia
The Dictionary of MisinformationBurnam, Tom
Reviewed August 30, 2000.
A witty look into the future.  ****
This short book is Scott Adams' witty view of what the future holds. Clearly not to be taken seriously, this book is a good light-read, and will give you a few chuckles.
Adams, Scott
The Dilbert PrincipleAdams, Scott
DisclosureCrichton, Michael
Dogbert's Clues For The CluelessAdams, Scott
Don't Sweat The Small Stuff ... And It's All Small StuffCarlson, Richard
Don't Sweat The Small Stuff At WorkCarlson, Richard
Don't Sweat The Small Stuff With Your FamilyCarlson, Richard
Don't Worry, Make MoneyCarlson, Richard
Reviewed July 31, 2000.
A must-read for every law student.  ****
Although this book does not live up to the teaser on the back cover, it is nonetheless a great book. It should be required reading for any 1L's or 2L's going through the OCI process at law school, or otherwise considering working at BIGLAW. Stracher takes readers through his bar experience, which I found reassuringly similar to my own, and his several-year tenure at a BIGLAW firm. I found the most interesting part of this book to be his descriptions of the work he did on various cases. He shows that work in the firms isn't all glamorous, and what a stark contrast first-year associate work is from summer associate work. It's a quick read - you can do it in one or two days - and again, a must read for law students.
Stracher, Cameron
Double JeopardyBurnhardt, William
Drugs and SocietyHanson, Glen
Drunken Goldfish & Other Irrelevant Scientific ResearchHartston, William
Dungeon MasterDear, William
Reviewed July 11, 2000.
This book should be on everyone's reading list.  *****
I first read this book in the 8th grade when a teacher handed it to me and suggested I read it. I couldn't put it down, and ended up reading it three times that year because I found the story so captivating. Aside from being set here in my home area (the San Francisco bay area), I thought that the book was interesting because I could see it being a prediction of how our world will end up as a result of diseases such as cancer and HIV. Despite being written before I was even born, this book is timeless, and every few years I get it off my shelf and re-read it, each time finding new aspects of the book that I hadn't gotten before.
Stewart, George
Eastern Standard TimeYang, Gan & Hong
Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law SchoolWhitebread, Charles
Employment Discrimination (2nd)Player
Engines Of The MindShurkin, Joel
Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, AnHume, David
Essay Concerning Human Understanding, AnLocke, John
Etiquette Advantage In BusinessPost, Peggy
The Evolution BookStein, Sara
Experiencing Race, Class and Gender in the United StatesCyrus, Virginia
The ExpertGruenfeld, Lee
Extraordinary Origins of Everyday ThingsPanati, Charles
Eyes of DarknessKoonts, Dean
Famous Trials:  Cases That Made HistoryMcLynn, Frank
Fantastic VoyageAsimov, Isaac
Fantastic Voyage IIAsimov, Isaac
Farewell To ManzanarHouston, Jeanne
Reviewed May 24, 2001.
You Are What You Eat.  ***
Want to find out why McDonald's french fries taste so good? This book will tell you, along with all sorts of interesting information about the food we eat. The book starts out talking about economics: minimum wage, hiring unskilled workers - whether young or handicapped. Lobbying for a lower minimum wage, how not to unionize, and how to avoid having to pay benefits. The book then talks about what we want to hear - the atrocious conditions of the meat packing plants, and the horrible conditions the cows are kept in. Yes, we learn what it is that really goes in beaf - and it makes rats seem preferable. The book is a fascinating insight into the history of the fast food industry and the economics of these companies. The author spends a great deal of time talking about Colorado, and that seems to be an unnecessary digression, but the majority of the book is a fascinating insight into fast food, and the entire industry that produces it. The book concludes with suggestions for making fast food better - nutritionally, and economically. If you are at all interested in the food you eat, and the history behind it, this is a good book to read.
Schlosser, Eric
Fatal ErrorSharlitt, Joseph
Father, Son & CompanyWatson, Thomas
Federal Income Taxation (10th)Freeland
Final JudgmentPatterson, Richard North
Final ViewingAxler, Leo
'Fire! Fire' Said Mrs. McGuireMartin, Bill
The FirmGrisham, John
First Dictionary of Cultural LiteracyHirsch, E.D.
First OffenseRosenburg, Nancy Taylor
First Year Law School Survival KitAdachi, Jeff
Five Patients: The Hospital ExplainedCrichton, Michael
Reviewed March 10, 2001.
Quick reading philosophical book.  ***
The Four Agreements offers a way to change your personal philosophy that promises to open your life to a new way of living. By being impeccable with your word, not taking anything personally, not making assumptions, and always doing your best, the book promises your life of "living hell" will change into a "living heaven." The meat of the book is definitely in the middle. The first part offers background in southern Mexican spiritual culture, educating us about the Toltec, "women and men of knowledge," of which the author is somehow related. Then there is a story of how the Toltec lifted themselves from the living hell that we all occupy and transcended into a better philosophical place. Ruiz discusses the "agreements" we have all made which have domesticated us to be the way that we are. He suggests that if we can break some of these social and cultural agreements, we will free ourselves to be much better people. And abiding by the four agreements is how we break our prior agreements. As an example, a bad agreement might be when a mother tells a little girl, in frustration, that the girl sings badly, and the girl makes a mental agreement to this, and never again sings and develops a fear of public speaking. If the girl can break that mental agreement, she will open herself up, and get over the mental blockages that she has from singing and speaking. In summary, this is a good book, but as with many such self-help / personal psychology books, hard for most of us to implement.
Ruiz, Don Miguel
The Four Agreements Companion BookRuiz, Don Miguel
Framing of the Federal Constitutionn/a
From Here to AttorneyArnett, Robert
Full DisclosureBell, Susan
G Is For GumshoeGrafton, Sue
Getting To YesFisher, Roger
Gone With The WindMitchell, Margaret
Grievous SinKellerman, Faye
Reviewed August 7, 2000.
Good book for law students to read before OCI's.  ***
I read this book, no kidding, the night before I had an OCI (on campus interview). I didn't get much from the book - there isn't much in it that you either don't already know or isn't common sense, but it does have a few practical and substantive tips that I found useful. As the matter of fact, the book gave a suggested way to answer to a common OCI question, and sure enough, that question was asked, I used the suggested answer approach, and the partner told me that my answer was one of the reasons I was given an offer (which I ended up not accepting). Don't read this book expecting it will tell you how to make such a great impression on the interviewer that you will be made an offer on-the-spot - it's not that good of a book; but it might be worth checking out of the library and skimming, because when you're interviewing for a legal position, every little bit helps.
Walton, Kimm
Guide to Financial IndependenceSchwab, Charles
Gulliver's TravelsSwift, Jonathan
HackersLevy, Steven
Reviewed March 14, 2001.
A mediocre mystery.
I had read White's "Privileged Information" before I read "Harm's Way". The former was an incredibly well written suspenseful mystery. The latter is a more predictable, less suspenseful, and frankly less well written mystery. The main character is the same - Alan, the psychologist who serves as an occasional consultant to the local police department - is asked to do a psych profile on the unknown killer of his friend and neighbor. As the book continues, several other murders take place, and the $64,000 question is who the murderer is. The cast of characters is small enough that it isn't hard to narrow down the list. The climax is in the last dozen pages when the murderer is revealed. This book had a more difficult time keeping my attention than his other books - I would recommend White's others over this one.
White, Stephen
Reviewed August 22, 2000.
Another amazing children's book that is great for adults.  *****
As I said with the first Harry Potter book, there isn't anything I can say here that the other reviewers haven't already said. I echo my earlier sentiment that adults will enjoy this book every bit that children do. This book set my imagination spinning, and was a great way to "recharge" my brain! I can't wait to read the third and fourth books.
J.K. Rowling
Reviewed September 24, 2000.
A classic five star book for children as well as adults!  *****
As I said with the last Harry Potter book, there isn't anything I can say here that the other reviewers haven't already said. I echo sentiments that I have said about the other Harry Potter books that adults will enjoy this book every bit that children do. This book set my imagination spinning, and was a great way to "recharge" my brain! I can't wait to read the next books, when they come out!
J.K. Rowling
Reviewed September 1, 2000.
A classic 5 star book for kids and adults!  *****
As I said with the last Harry Potter book, there isn't anything I can say here that the other reviewers haven't already said. I echo sentiments that I have said about the other Harry Potter books that adults will enjoy this book every bit that children do. This book set my imagination spinning, and was a great way to "recharge" my brain! I can't wait to read the fourth book.
J.K. Rowling
Reviewed August 15, 2000.
A great book - for adults as well as children.  *****
There isn't anything I can say that hasn't been said in the thousands of other reviews of this book, but I will simply add that as an adult, I thought the book was wonderful. I read it in one sitting - that's how great I thought it was. To those who are concerned about their children reading things about witches and warlocks - phhht. Even children know fantasy from fact. This is clearly fantasy.
J.K. Rowling
Hide and SeekPatterson, James
Hidden AgendaRacina, Thom
Hiding PlaceBoom, Corrie
High FlightHagberg, David
Reviewed July 29, 2000.
High on speculation, low on substance.  ***
Reading this book gave me an inside view of Bill & Hillary's childhood and college years, and certainly the presidency. I can't help but feel that some of the history was conjecture and speculation (don't try and tell me that the nurse who helped deliver Bill Clinton remembers the birth). But try as she might, Sheehy doesn't really tell us how Hillary dealt with Bill during the Monica saga - probably because she hasn't been able to do what a real biographer needs to do - find out the truth from the source. Hillary won't talk about it, and therefore Sheehy can't write about it. If you're looking for an inside view of Hillary, this isn't the book. If you're looking for some background information on who Bill and Hillary are, this might be the book for you.
Sheehy, Gail
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyAdams, Douglas
Reviewed September 24, 2000.  ****
A must for every person considering the purchase of a home.  I have yet to be disappointed with a Dummies book, and this one is no different. As a first-time home buyer, I found this book to be a quick read and immensely helpful in knowing what to ask my agent, what to look for on walk-throughs, what to expect in terms of offers and counter-offers, and the entire timeline and process from open houses to moving in. This book really is invaluable to anyone purchasing a home, even if you're not a first-time homebuyer, or you otherwise think you know what you're doing.
Tyson, Eric
Hong KongFodor's
Hong Kong HandbookMoran, Kerry
Hong Kong SanctionRossi, Mitchell Sam
Household Hints and TipsHutchinson, Rosemary (ed.)
How Did They Do That?Sutton, Caroline
How Do They Do That?Sutton, Caroline
How To Get Into The Right Law SchoolLermack, Paul
How To Have A 48 Hour DayAslett, Don
Reviewed July 27, 2000.
A cute coffeetable book.  ****
This book defines about 250 phrases, many Latin, along with correct pronunciation and examples. I can't imagine anyone actually reading this book cover-to-cover and learning many of the phrases, but you might learn more if you do a page-a-day type thing. For the most part, anyone who uses more than a few of the phrases in this book in daily conversation would look like a pompous jerk, but it's still good to know the definition of the phrases.
Vincent, Norah
How To Succeed In Law SchoolMunneke, Gary
How We DieNuland, Sherwin B.
I Is For InnocentGrafton, Sue
In The Name of The FatherQuinell, A.J.
Incomplete Education, AnJones, Judy
IntensityKoonts, Dean
Internet:  From Mystery to MasteryBadget, Tom
Interview With The VampireRice, Anne
Introducing PrehistoryLerner
Introduction to Intellectual Property LawGallagher, William
ImponderablesFeldman, David
Jackie, Oh!Kelley, Kitty
Jobs for LawyersMantis & Brady
Joy Luck ClubTan, Amy
Julius CeasarShakespeare, William
Reviewed June 23, 2001
A classic pro-socialism account of a poor immigrant family's failure to find the American Dream.  ****
The Jungle is a very well written book, particularly for an author who was only 28 years old when he wrote it.  The story features an early twentieth century family who has just immigrated to Chicago from Lithuania, and their struggles to survive in America.  This is not an inspirational story about the American Dream.  Quite the contrary, it is a story about how the American Dream was a nightmare for many poor and uneducated immigrants. The Jungle chronicles the travails of Jurvis and his family, as they struggle to learn how to survive.  It is depressing to read about the disasters which befell this family, and how their ignorance was taken advantage of on so many levels.  One would hope that this no longer happens to immigrants, but of course, it does, just in different ways.  Jurvis and his family work in the meat processing district of Chicago, and the book details the working conditions of the meatpacking plants.  Those details led to investigation and greater regulation of the meatpacking industry, as well as modern child labor laws.  In the last several chapters, we witness a transformation of Jurvis, as he learns his entire family has either died or is selling themselves into prostitution.  Jurvis stumbles upon socialism, and quickly becomes a supporter of the movement to bring power to the working class people, and end the wage-slavery taking place in the meatpacking plants.  Jurvis' transformation into a socialist is a classic pro-socialism story, and it was particularly interesting to read that part.  This pre-communist account reminds us that socialism is really simply a political theory, which was never really properly introduced in supposedly socialist countries.  I did find the last few chapters dealing with socialism to be hastily written, and not nearly as engaging as the first part of the book.  The Jungle is a classic, and for so many reasons, it should be required reading in college, if not high school (but sadly, it is not).
Sinclair, Upton
The JurorGreen, George Dawes
JusticeKellerman, Faye
Kent Family ChroniclesJakes, John
L Is For LawlessGrafton, Sue
Reviewed November 11, 2001.
A witty reminder of childhood.  ***
It is the summer of 1956.  For fourteen year old Gary, it is the summer of baseball, rock-n-roll, and discovering women.  Gary is growing up in a conservative Brethren family, where even a television is prohibited.  But Gary managed to acquire a nudie magazine, which has taught him everything he knows about sex.  His cousin Kate helped also.  His under appreciated writing talent blossoms when he is asked to be the fill-in sports reporter for the local newspaper.  This book traces the life of Gary during the summer of 1956.  It is not a particularly exciting or thrilling book, more of a meandering journey as Gary develops and grows.  To be sure, it is an interesting book, a quick read, and an enjoyable look back at childhood.
Keillor, Garrison
The Lasko TangentPatterson, Richard North
Latin Stuff & NonsenseLovric, Michelle
Law School CompanionLisnek, Paul
The Laws of Our FathersTurow, Scott
Reviewed August 30, 2000.
A good review of Jay's early years.  ****
I listened to the audio tape of this book while in the car, and I found it fairly enjoyable. It is basically a humorous account of his childhood, upbringing, and entry into entertainment. At times it is monotonous, and he is clearly reading from the book (he could have used some more voice intonations), but overall a good book.
Leno, Jay
Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of American HistoryShenkman, Richard
Let Me Call You SweetheartClark, Mary Higgins
Reviewed May 3, 2001.
What law school is like for the majority - not just the top.  ****
Letters From Law School is a fascinating insight into the world of a typical law student. The story is told through the diary of Ken Westphal, a second year law student at Louisiana's Tulare Law School. We share Ken's stress as he attempts to get on law review, and rushes to meet his deadlines while keeping up with his course work. We experience his classes through his eyes. And we get insight into how Ken (and many law students) pick their field of practice: Whatever job gets offered becomes the law student's new favorite field. The overriding theme of the book, and perhaps most law students' experiences, is the angst of finding a job. Ken's diary is broken up by a seemingly endless flow of rejection letters from employers. Ken's experience of interviewing with law firms, getting his hopes up, only to receive rejection letter after rejection letter. While my law school experience was not quite so distressing, Dieker's book brings back many memories about law school, and gives a very realistic look into the life of a typical law student. There are plenty of books available in this genre which tell the story of those law students in the top 10% who land glamorous law firm jobs - this book is for the remaining 90% of us.
Dieker, Larry
LeviathanHobbes, Thomas
Life PenaltyFielding, Joy
The ListMartini, Steve
Listening to ProzacKramer
Little Book on Oral ArgumentDworsky, Alan
London From $85 A DayFrommer's
Looking At Law SchoolGillers, Stephen
Lottery WinnerClark, Mary Higgins
Reviewed August 31, 2000.
A good intro to Notes.  ****
In contrast to the other reviewer's comments, I thought this book was helpful. I have extensive experience with other database and e-mail programs, but none with Notes. I read this book prior to using Notes for the first time, and found it to be quite helpful. No, it doesn't cover some elementary things (how to create a signature), and yes, we could do without the poor attempts at humor. But as far as a quick intro to Notes goes, I think this fits the bill. You won't be an expert after reading the book, but you will be able to use Notes without having to stumble around. My other comment is that parts of the book are skimmable - it's not necessary to read the entire book to learn how to send e-mail or use your calendar.
Londergan & Freeland
Love, LucyBall, Lucille
MacauCarney, Daniel
Magna CartaKing John of England
Making LoveRhodes, Richard
Man's Search for MeaningFrankl, Victor
Marx-Engles ReaderTucker
Reviewed May 15, 2001.
Alan Gregory saves the day, again!  *****
One of the reasons I like Stephen White's book so much is his continuity of characters, and his development of characters.  His books are so much more interesting when read in the order in which they were written, because of how much character development White does along the way.  In Manner of Death, our hero, Alan Gregory, finds himself the target of one of his former patients, who has set out to kill the entire team of psychologists who he had contact with many years ago.  Alan is one of the last members of the team surviving, and the culprit is hot on his tail.  The true identity of the stalker is completely up in the air until the final chapters, when we are shocked to learn who it is, and what the killer's connection is to D.B. Cooper, the only successful airplane hijacker in U.S. history.  This is yet another fast-paced fascinating thriller by White, and it was a pleasure to read.  My only criticism is that the ending (the last 3-4 chapters) seemed rushed.
White, Stephen
MaskKoonts, Dean
Material WitnessTanenbaum, Robert
Reviewed October 3, 2000.
A thorough, well-written introduction to accounting.  *****
For those of us who don't have an accounting background, but need to have one fast, this book is great. I didn't follow the 36-hour guideline, although I have no doubt that the "course" can be completed in that time. I read it leisurely, an hour here, an hour there, and was able to read the book in two weeks. Each chapter has a distinct lesson, with an "exam" at the end of the chapter (and supplemental exams in the back of the book). The content is well written, with plenty of great examples and definitions of basic terms. I don't have an accounting background, but I needed one, and selected this book as one of many to get myself up to speed. This book was the best of several that I choose, and I do think it did the best job in terms of education. The book can be read straight through, or you can use it as a reference - the contents are segmented in such a way that it's a handy reference guide. Highly recommended for those people without accounting backgrounds who need one.
Dixon & Arnett
McGraw-Hill Handbook of American Depository ReceiptsCoyle, Richard
Medicines of the Mindn/a
Meditations on First PhilosophyDescartes, Rene
Megatrends 2000Naisbitt, John
Reviewed August 2, 2000.
Interesting story, but that's all it is.  *****
When I first read this book, I was captivated by the story. A young girl who grows up in an impoverished family, sold as a slave to a new "family" who raises her to be a geisha. The book has a well-developed storyline and plot, with twists and turns comparable to the best novels. The themes of sex, power, slavery and freedom are all intertwined to produce a moving story about the geisha. But those who read this book in order to get an insight into Japanese or Asian culture are sadly mistaken - this book is not representative of Asian culture any more than a book about white prostitutes is representative of Caucasian culture. Cultural issues aside, the book is well written and so full of details that it is hard to believe it is fiction.
Golden, Arthur
The Millionaire Next DoorStanley & Danko
Reviewed April 24, 2000.
406 pages of regurgitation.  **
I really wanted to enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the Millionaire Next Door, but Stanley makes it so difficult for me to enjoy. The data is almost worthless because of the collection methods. But what really infuriated me was that he didn't compare his millionaire data with the population as a whole. He gave me no reason to think that everything he said doesn't apply equally to the poor people as the rich people, and therefore he gave no true insight as to how millionaires are different from anyone else. And the book definitely doesn't apply to the Silicon Valley millionaires (of which there are hundreds if not thousands) - the SV lifestyle is dramatically different from what he portrayed in the book.
Mind HunterDouglass, Joel
Mitigating CircumstancesRosenburg, Nancy Taylor
Reviewed July 14, 2001
Not quite the perfect mystery.  ***
I'm a big fan of Stephen White, who, like Kellerman, writes mysteries with a psychologist main character who helps the police track down the bad guy.  I really hoped that I would like Mystery as much as I like White's books, and as much as I have liked Kellerman's other books, but this one wasn't quite up to that level.  For one thing, I failed to understand why Dr. Delaware was involved in the investigation; by all accounts, he really shouldn't have been a part of the process.  The premise of the book is that a heavily medicated psychotic who is locked up in a secure mental hospital is able to predict horrific murders.  Dr. Delaware and Det. Sturgis are called in to solve the crimes.  It becomes clear that the murders are part of a pattern, and apparently involve snuff films, but it isn't until the end of the book that we learn how it is that the inmate (the Monster) is involved in the crimes.  It's a race against the clock as Dr. Delaware tries to uncover the truth before more people are murdered.  The jacket describes the book as "incomparably deft characterizations and dazzlingly dark plot twists."  I didn't see any of that in this book, which was too bad, but for long-time Kellerman fans, you shouldn't pass this one up.
Kellerman, Jonathan
Reviewed July 11, 2000.
Good coffeetable book.  ****
I read this book while preparing for the bar exam and it gave me inspiration to keep studying. It's a cutesy book, good for the coffee table. I loved seeing the handwriting of some of the most famous people in the world.
Adrain, Lorne A.
Most Perplexing PuzzlesMaslanka, Christopher
Murder In The White HouseTruman, Margaret
My Point ... And I Do Have OneDeGeneres, Ellen
NakedSedaris, David
Necessary LessonsSewall, Gilbert
Never Be Lied To AgainLieberman, David J.
Never Trust A Calm DogParker, Tom
New Medicine Shown/a
New York on $80 A DayFrommer's
Reviewed July 17, 2001.
Suspense, politics and murder ... the perfect combination.  *****
A Kennedy-esque Senator Kerry Kilcannon is running for his party's nomination for president against the vice president.  This book follows Kerry's campaign across the country in the days leading up to the primary.  In the end, the focus is on California, where Kerry needs to win.  Haunted by the assassination of his older brother whose footsteps Kerry now follows, Kerry is determined not to let an old affair ruin his chances to be president.  The real suspense comes from a right to life fanatic, wanted for murdering three abortion clinic workers, who tracks Kerry to California, where he plots the assassination of the presidential hopeful.   This book is like a train wreck: It is obvious what is about to happen; what is not obvious is who the mysterious assassin is.  The author effectively uses flashbacks to give us a glimpse of Kerry's past, which dramatically influences who he is today: his abusive father, his Irish godfather/mentor who guides Kerry's political career, and the importance of his campaign manager.  The details about the campaign, the press, and the Secret Service are astonishingly clear, but not a surprise given the research Patterson did in writing this book.
Patterson, Richard North
Not Quite Human?
Reviewed August 10, 2000.
Not very interesting true tales of Silicon Valley.  **
Sorry, but I had a hard time enjoying this book. The book consists of stories about various people in the Valley, some of whom might be described as movers-and-shakers, but most are people who were almost movers-and-shakers of the technological era. It is difficult to follow the stories, because the first half is not really broken up into chapters, but rather sections, which I found incredibly difficult to understand what the meaning was. This book was recommended to me as a way of learning about the behind-the-scenes of IPO's and corporate financing, and I will say that this book DOES satisfy that need - clearly the author was privy to some significant behind-the-scenes meetings and goings-on which are very interesting to learn about in terms of how start up companies get their funding and go public. But I can't help but think that there was a better way to present that information.
Bronson, PO
The Official Rules at WorkDickson, Paul
On LibertyMill, John Stuart
One-LTurow, Scott
One Night Stands With American HistoryShenkman, Richard
Op Center: Games Of StateClancy, Tom
Operation:  Dump The ChumpPark, Barbara
Over The EdgeKellerman, Jonathan
Overnight Guide to Public SpeakingWohlmuth, Ed
Overview to E-Commerce TaxationNellen, Annette
Reviewed May 11, 2001.
An incredibly well-written story.  *****
So, you've read all of Grisham's books, and this is next on the list ... you're prepared for a well-written legal mystery, right? Wrong. Grisham has written a relatively short book about growing up in rural Arkansas in the late 1940's. This supposedly semi-autobiographical book is narrated by Luke, the 7 year old youngest child of dirt-poor cotton farmers. Luke narrates us through the summer harvest. The story is inspirational - how people who are so dirt poor can be so happy and content with life. Grisham has written so many details into this book that you can easily picture life as it was for Luke and his family. Does that mean the story is peaceful and relaxing? Far from it! There is murder, mayhem, incest, lewd acts ... all the ingredients for a fascinatingly interesting book.
Grisham, John
The PartnerGrisham, John
The Pelican BriefGrisham, John
Perfect World, AGram, Dewey
Reviewed July 28, 2001
Suspenseful, but not very real.  ***
Robbie Feaver is a hapless attorney who leads an unlucky life.  He has been doing personal injury law for a long time, but he was never licensed as an attorney.  He and his partner have a secret bank account which they use to pay off judges; a common practice in Kindle County.  The IRS and FBI get involved, and in exchange for leniency, Robbie wears a wire.  Evon Miller is the FBI agent assigned to Robbie's side.  She provides moral support for Robbie as his wife lays dying of ALS, and Robbie provides Evon with a human side of her job.  The story is told from the first person point of view of George, Robbie's attorney.  I didn't think that this book lived up to Turow's reputation.  It seemed slow at times, plodding along through details that I thought were unrealistic.  The FBI seemed too willing to bend over backwards for Robbie and George.  Evon seemed almost incompetent at times.  And the thought that Robbie could get away with practicing law for so many years without a license, and then not face any real formal punishment, strikes me as highly improbable.
Turow, Scott
Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truthn/a
The Pilot's WifeShreve, Anita
Reviewed September 22, 2001.  ***
Plodding mystery that should come with a character map.
Turow brings us back to Kindle County, which seems to be home of a large population of disturbed people. Our hero is the hapless Mack Malloy, a former cop turned lawyer, who somehow managed to become a partner in a local law firm. His laziness has him close to getting the boot by the partnership, until the head partners ask him to investigate the disappearance of $5.6 million from an airplane crash settlement fund. All arrows point to another partner having taken the money. Mack confides in another partner, Brushy, who provides the sexual titillation in this book as the town slut. Mack's investigation takes us to the local Russian Baths and down to South America before we learn who really took the money, and why. All the while, Mack has to battle his former colleague and nemesis, Detective Pigeyes, who thinks Mack is somehow dirty. The only thing dirty is this story. There were so many characters, few of which had any distinguishing qualities, that it was hard to keep many of the partners apart. Mack is a hard character to like - he leads a life no one would admire, and gives me no reason to want him to succeed in his quest. Mid-way through the book I was hoping a bomb would explode in the law firm and just wipe out all the characters so that we could start over.
Turow, Scott
Political WritingsWeber
Reviewed July 28, 2001.
High suspense and drama, low reality.  ****
Alex Cross, a psychologist and detective with the Washington D.C. police department, is investigating a series of murders in the D.C. area.  The suspect is a British diplomat named Shafer, who has become involved in an on-line game that he has carried over into the real world.  Shafer gets his kicks by killing people in twisted ways, and Alex is hot on his tail.  Proving that Shafer is the murderer implicates Alex in the crimes, and Alex's fianc� is abducted and missing for over a year.  Just as Alex gives up hope on ever finding his fianc� alive, the case starts to turn around.  This book his high on action and drama, and it was a quick read with very short chapters.  But I fail to understand how Alex was able to get so much time off of work to devote to tracking down Shafer, since that crime was not one that he was assigned to.  I wish I had a job like that.
Patterson, James
Portable MBABruner, Eaker, et. al.
Powers of AttorneyLatt, Mimi
Prayer For Owen MeanyIrvine, John
Prayers For The DeadKellerman, Faye
Prejudicial ErrorBlum, Bill
Press OnYeager, Chuck
Presumed InnocentTurow, Scott
Primary ColorsAnonymous
The PrinceMachiavelli
Reviewed March 31, 2001
A non-stop action mystery!  ****
I first read White's Privileged Information, which was incredible. Then I read Harm's Way, which was only so-so. Private Practices is back into the "incredible" category. Our psychologist hero, Dr. Alan Gregory, it back in his role as a consultant with the county, this time with the coroner's office. The book starts off with an action-packed murder in the office he shares with Diane, his partner. It turns out that the murder is connected to clients of both Diane and him. Alan is pressed into duty by the coroner's office, and his police pal, to solve what seem to be a string of unrelated crimes. Soon the crimes begin to affect Alan and those close to him. This is a powerfully suspenseful mystery, and I am happy to highly recommend it.
White, Stephen
Reviewed August 4, 2000.
Incredibly suspenseful thriller.  *****
I read a lot of mystery novels, so there aren't many that get my attention. Stephen White got my attention. It didn't happen right away - the first 100 pages aren't mindgripping, but the last 250 are phenomenal. A psychologist turned detective, Alan seems to have a string of bad patients who all share something in common - death. He tries to put the pieces together, with help from his D.A. girlfriend, who ends up in some trouble herself. The climax is one of the best-written, most suspenseful pieces of writing I have read in a long time. Absolutely wonderful. White has sold me on his books - I've ordered his others already. If Privileged Information is any indication, he is a very unique writer which those of you who enjoy mystery novels will get quite a bit of enjoyment from.
White, Stephen
Probable CauseStockley
Reviewed February 17, 2001.
Not quite the good book it could have been.  **
If you are an attorney and considering reading this book, I urge you to think again. You already know everything in this book, even if you haven't worked for a big firm. On the other hand, law students who are considering working at a big firm, or who need to reassure themselves that their choice not to work at a big firm was a good choice, probably should read this book. It's short - about 150 pages, and not intellectually difficult to read. Frankly, I thought it was fairly dry - after 50 pages or so, the general theme of "I hate my job" is crystal clear and begins repeating itself. There are other books out there that give you a glimpse at big law firm life, and I'd recommend passing this one up.
Keates, William
Profiles In CourageKennedy, John F.
Reviewed June 10, 2001
A book you won't be able to put down.  *****
So let me guess.  You just found out that White wrote a new book, and you can't wait to buy it to read the latest adventures of our hero, Dr. Alan Gregory, right?  But you read the synopsis, and discovered that Alan isn't the main character, so you're a tad disappointed.  After all, Alan and Lauren are who makes these books so interesting!  How could White dump his main character now!?  Not to worry - this book will knock your socks off! Kirsten Lord is the main character, and she finds herself in a heap of trouble.  A former D.A. from New Orleans, she is in hiding, because one of the cons she put away for life is exacting revenge on her and her family.  The con promised in open court to take away two important things from her.  The first was her husband, and she fears the second will be her nine year old daughter.  Kirsten assumes new identities and travels across the country trying to hide from the people who are out to get her.  Soon she realizes it isn't just the guy she put in jail who is after her - there is another group hunting her down as well.  She ends up in Boulder in the Witness Protection Program, but she can't even trust the Program, because it seems they are out to get her also!  Kirsten enlists the aid of Dr. Alan Gregory and his wife Lauren to help her survive, in what becomes a race against time to save both her life and the lives of others.  Kirsten teams up with an unlikely partner, a mafia enforcer named Carl who watches after Kirsten and  her daughter.  This is a fast paced thriller that you will have trouble putting down.  The characters are so likable that you will bond with them almost immediately.  And while Dr. Gregory and a very pregnant Lauren do take second chair in this book, they are by no means missing completely.  I promise that if you are a Stephen White follower, you will not be able to put this book down.
White, Stephen
Property (3rd)Dukeminier
RainmakerGrisham, John
Reviewed August 7, 2000.
A deep look at a forgotten horrible incident.  *****
Most Americans are probably aware, as I was, that early in WWII, Japan did some bad things in China. But I don't believe American schools teach much in the way of the details. Maybe there is a conspiracy to appease the Japanese by denying or covering up the events; or maybe the Chinese holocaust is forgotten because it is not racially as popular as the Jewish holocaust. Regardless, Chang does an incredible job of blowing the cover off of the horrible Japanese actions against the Chinese in Nanking. The book contains frequent footnotes to original source material documenting the atrocities which occurred in Nanking, which resulted in the extermination of 250,000 to 300,000 Chinese civilians. The incidents are shocking and delivered in a graphic narrative. Chang covers the historical, statistical, and personal aspects of the events, as well as the socio-cultural aspects (regarding why the event was not more widely reported) from Chinese, Japanese, and American/European perspectives. It was amazing to me that a 29 ear old author could do such professional research and produce such a well-written historical account - she is truly a gifted author. This book is well worth the money, and the time to read it.
Chang, Iris
Real Life Dictionary of the LawHill, Gerald
Red Storm RisingClancy, Tom
RedwallJacques, Brian
Regulation of Lawyers (5th)Gillers
Reviewed May 17, 2001.
Quick, Alan, Lauren is in trouble!  ****
Could Stephen White have written any more twists into this book?  Would it be possible for more characters to be in jeopardy?  The book starts out with Emma, the daughter of an assassinated politician, and her quest for privacy.  Did Lauren, in an attempt to defend Emma's privacy, shoot someone?  Lauren is arrested for what may become capital murder, and the complications from her MS are quickly threatening her life.  Alan must not only battle the system to get Lauren to the hospital, but also find a way to solve the crime and get her out of jail.  Unfortunately, his own culpability prevents him from being completely honest with his police friend Sam, who might be able to help.  This book is full of thrilling legal maneuvering, and White uses a type of flashback writing that really keeps your interest going and your brain working to sort out the events.  This book is not as good as some of White's others, but it is definitely worth the read for White's avid fans.    
White, Stephen
Representative GovernmentMill, John Stuart
Reviewed June 23, 2001
A good gift.  ****
This book is a collection of antidotes about specific rich people, interspersed with quotes about rich people as a whole.  It's a cute book, and a good gift, but not the type of book I would have purchased for myself.
Winokur, Jon
Reviewed July 11, 2000.
Skip the commercial...  ***
The first 90% of the book is great - an inspiring story about rags-to-riches and what qualities separate the rich from the poor. But the last 10% seems to be a pitch for one of these programs where people buy homes with no money down ("other people's money") and turn the houses around for a quick profit. Spare me.
Kiyosaki, Robert
Riddle of Amish CultureKraybill, Donald
Rising SunCrichton, Michael
Romeo & JulietShakespeare, William
RootsHaley, Alex
Rules of ThumbParker, Tom
Rules of Thumb 2Parker, Tom
Reviewed March 5, 2001.
How can there be any question left?  ****
After you read this book, you will be left with no question that O.J. Simpson is guilty of killing Ron and Nicole. Toobin makes no secret that he is convinced of O.J.'s guilt, and lays out the evidence which overwhelmingly proves that O.J. did it. Toobin also shows the personalities of the attorneys on both the defense and prosecution. We learn how the egos of all of the attorneys got in the way of them doing their jobs, how the prosecution failed to do even a minimally professional job, and how the jury was swayed by outside information and by internal racial pressures. Toobin's book is fascinating, even years after the trial ended.
Toobin, Jeffrey
Ryan White: My Own StoryWhite, Ryan
Sales: A Systems ApproachKeating
SanctuaryKellerman, Faye
Reviewed April 8, 2000.
A Good Study Aid for Writing Essays.  ****
I'm happy to recommend this book - it's quite useful. The first half of the book is tips, the second half is 80 full-length essay exam with model answers. The tips section is built on Gallagher's essay writing "system" which is basically the IRAC system which every law student uses, modified into CRAC. Her "model paragraph" system is quite useful, and something that I wish I had learned about earlier in my law school career. The only downside is that the book was written in '96, and while substantively the information isn't out-of-date, it would be nice if it wasn't so old.
Gallagher, Mary Campbell
Season In PurgatoryDunne, Dominick
Reviewed August 4, 2001.
Insider's Guide to Insiders.  ***
Gene Marcial, a columnist for Business Week Magazine, reveals the inside scoop on inside scoops.  This somewhat dated (1995) book, published before the tech sector boom of the late 90's, has not lost much of its relevancy in disclosing how stock deals really go down.  Marcial's jaded but no doubt factual account of how the entire financial system works is based on the inability of those on the inside to resist the temptation of greed and money.  Using short chapters, each of which is a self-contained story about insider trading and how the financial world really works, Marcial introduces us to I-Bankers, portfolio managers, investment advisors of the rich and powerful, overvalued companies doing IPO's, and a host of real people who used inside information, sometimes legally, sometimes illegally, to manipulate the market which we all invest in.  There are no real big surprises in this book, and I doubt anyone will be shocked by what they read.  The most valuable lesson from this book is not that this activity occurs, but how it occurs, and how to best protect yourself (if at all possible) from being victimized by the market.
Marcial, Gene
See I Told You SoLimbaugh, Rush
Self DefenseKellerman, Jonathan
Sense of History, An/a
Seven Habits of Highly Effective PeopleCovey, Stephen R.
Seven Years of Highly Defective PeopleAdams, Scott
Shadow ManKatzenbach, John
Shakespeare For Young Playersn/a
Shanghai StarLovejoy, William H.
Silent NightClark, Mary Higgins
Silent SonWarfield, Gallatin
Silent ThunderEstleman
Silent TreatmentPalmer, Michael
Silent WitnessPatterson, Richard North
Reviewed August 11, 2000.
What an amazing book!  *****
Wow. What an amazing book. Not many books live up to my expectations, but this one surpassed it. David Kaplan manages to walk readers through the entire history of Silicon Valley, from orchards, to Apple, to Fairchild, to Intel, to Yahoo! and beyond, explaining every step of the way how each company is interrelated and the genealogy of the people and the funding. There are antidotal stories along the way to keep you interested. He tells of the greed, and the lavish lifestyles. We get behind-the-scenes details of the deals that created the companies we all take for granted - Netscape, Microsoft, Yahoo, Intel, Apple, etc. This book is much more than merely the stories of those on the back cover (Yang, Doerr, Andreessen, Gates, Clark, Jobs): It is a detailed, well planned, well executed history of Silicon Valley. Anyone wanting to know the history of the valley or the history of the high tech companies in the valley need look no further than this book. It amazes me that Kaplan was able to pack so much fascinating information into just over 300 pages.
Kaplan, David A.
Simeon ChamberMartini, Steve
Reviewed August 7, 2000.
If you are challenged by grammar, start here.  ****
I'm sure my review will contain grammatical errors - alas, I did not learn as much as I could have from this book. But that is my fault, not the fault of the book, for I have always found grammar to be nearly incomprehensible. In my quest to improve my grammar, I have read a number of books, and none have been as useful and well-written as Sleeping Dogs Don't Lay. Sleeping Dogs contains something for everyone: Several chapters are devoted to basic grammatical mechanics, such as the I/me conundrum, alumnus/alumni, etc. One chapter goes through popular misspelled words ("irregardless") and misused words ("head honcho", "graduate college") and explains, in a paragraph each, why the usage is wrong and what the proper usage was. The book goes through about 12 grammatical myths, such as the popular "never end a sentence with a preposition". There are two chapters on punctuation. And throughout the book, there are actual examples of really bad grammar which the authors found in newspapers, news magazines, professional papers, and best of all - comic strips. If grammar is not your forte ("fort"), this is a great book for you.
Lederer, Richard
Smart BusinessBotkin, Jim
Reviewed May 4, 2001.
Practical advice for couples starting their financial future.  ****
Bach has written a nine-step plan for couples that should not be overlooked by any couple doing financial planning.  The book is written on two premises:  (1) that the issue of finances cause couples the most stress of any issue in a relationship; and (2) everyone can become wealthy, no matter how much you currently make.  The nine steps walk you through what you need to do to set up emergency reserves, and start investing, so that you can retire a millionaire.  His plan is not revolutionary - it is essentially the same mantra of dollar cost averaging, invest in mutual funds, and invest at least something on a regular basis.  But Bach adds a new spin by gearing his book to couples, and encouraging people to do financial planning with their partner, rather than independently.  This is not a hard book to read or understand, and it is a relatively quick read.  People who have read other books in this genre will recognize the theories and themes, but I think you will find that Bach adds enough new information and new slant on old ideas that you will learn from and enjoy this book.  
Bach, David
Spirit of Crazy HorseMatthiessen, Peter
Straight A's Never Made Anybody RichRoberts, Wess
Strange HighwaysKoonts, Dean
StrangersKoonts, Dean
March 23, 2000.
Great resource!  *****
This book is really worth the cost. The first 30 pages contain some really useful tips for taking the MBE, and the rest of the book is sample tests followed by detailed analysis of the answers. Of all the MBE prep books I've seen, this is the best.
Emanuel, Lazar
The Street LawyerGrisham, John
Summa TheologicaAquinas, Thomas
Supreme Court of California Practices and Proceduresn/a
Tainted EvidenceDaley, Robert
Taking LibertiesDershowitz
Tax Considerations for High Tech Start-UpsNellen, Annette
The Teachings of BuddhaBukkyo Dendo Kyokai
Tell Me No SecretsFielding, Joy
Reviewed August 30, 2000.
Action packed book, but a let-down ending.  ****
This is a classic Grisham book - action packed, every page suspenseful, and captures your attention within the first 10 pages. There aren't really any cliffhangers here - it's a drama, with a clear good guy and bad guy separation. For me, the ending was a let down - I expected more from Grisham, especially since the dust jacket promises a "surprise ending".
Grisham, John
Time Management for DummiesMayer, Jeffrey
Time To Kill, AGrisham, John
Reviewed September 27, 2000.
Tipping towards being a great book.  ****
What does Sesame Street have in common with cocaine? Not much - but they do share one thing - A Tipping Point. This book is an incredibly well-written and interesting analysis of a phenomenon, The Tipping Point, at which something turns from being an unnoticed or unpopular thing, into a phenomenon. The author successfully (and probably undisputedly) applies The Tipping Point to everything from Blues Clues to HIV to shoes to smoking and a lot of other things in between. This book is not very long, but full of interesting stories, facts, trivia, and examples. You will surely come away from this book feeling like you have just learned a lot about psychology, marketing, and even diseases!
Gladwell, Malcolm
Titanic Disaster HearingsKuntz, Tom
To Be A Trial LawyerBailey, F. Lee
To The StarsTakei, George
Tort Law and Alternatives (6th)Franklin
Reviewed August 9, 2000.
A non-stop action packed mystery thriller.  *****
Did I get enough adjectives into the review title? I hope so. This book deserves it. Every one of the nearly 700 pages of this book is filled with incredible intrigue and plot twists. Plane crashes, embezzlement, kidnapping, hostages, the FBI, lawyer-turned-crime solver ... it's all there. I've read hundreds of mystery novels, and this ranks in my top ten. The book was so tantalizing, that I read it in one day. Could not put it down!
Baldacci, David
Trial by FireRosenburg, Nancy Taylor
Twentieth Century DiscoveryAsimov, Isaac
UFO Has Landed, ADank, Milton
Uncle Tom's CabinStowe, Harriet Beecher
Reviewed July 31, 2000.
Reference book molded into a story.  ***
There is a genre of books which I refer to as "debunking books" - books which debunk popular knowledge. All of the books in that category generally contain the same information, because all of the authors have used the same sources (of which the number is limited due to the purging of these sources by the passage of time). Zacks' "An Underground Education" is similar to the others in the genre, and in fact credits many of the other books as sources of his research. If you've read one of these books, you've pretty much read them all, and you can skip this book. There just isn't that much new debunking information out there to serve up in a new book. However, this book does do something that the others don't as well: Present the knowledge in an easy(ier) to read format. Many of these books operate like an encyclopedia of misinformation, but Zacks has reformatted the text into an easy to read, chapter-by-chapter story. The information seems to flow in a loosely-organized fashion, which allows the book to be read over-to-cover without seeming like one is reading an encyclopedia. If you are really interested in debunking popular culture, this is one of the better books in that genre, due to the format the author employs. If you've read one or two of those "debunking" books already, skip this one - it's largely the same information you've read before.
Zacks, Richard
Unibomber ManifestoKaczynski, Theodore
Uppers, Downer, All AroundersInaba, Darryl
UtilitarianismMill, John Stuart
Vampire LestatRice, Anne
Reviewed February 25, 2001.
A good book for those who want the full details.  ****
It would be easy to write a very partisan view of this book - either praising it for showing that Bill really didn't do anything wrong, or lambasting it for showing Ken Starr to be a bumbling idiot. But it's more challenging, and interesting, to read this book with an open mind. Toobin's book is very well researched, and interesting to read. He discloses a lot of the details and information that we never heard from the media, and gave us a glimpse at how Hillary interacts with Bill vis a vis the sex scandalls. The book was historically interesting to read, and readers will gain a new perspective on the Lewinsky matter.
Toobin, Jeffrey
Vertical RunGarber, Joseph
Visual Arts: A HistoryHonour, Hugh
Voyages of Doctor DolittleLofting, Hugh
The Way Things Aught To BeLimbaugh, Rush
The WebKellerman, Jonathan
Weep No More My LadyClark, Mary Higgins
The Westing GameRaskin, Ellen
When Did Wild Poodles Roam The Earth?Feldman, David
Where The Red Fern GrowsRawls, Wilson
While My Pretty One SleepsClark, Mary Higgins
Reviewed July 11, 2000.
A good gift.  ****
After reading the book, whenever my life path takes a different turn, I say, "Oh, my cheese just moved." But I didn't think that this book explained very well what one should do or think in response to one's cheese moving. Nonetheless, I thought overall it was a good book, and I've given it as a gift several times to recipients who have enjoyed it.
Johnson, Spencer
Who Put The Butter In Butterfly?Feldman, David
Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?Feldman, David
Why Doesn't My Funny Bone Make Me LaughXenakis, Alan
Reviewed October 7, 2001.
The Book Done Gone.  **
I first picked up this book several months ago when the courts decided the book could be published.  I read the first few pages, and realized that without having read Gone With The Wind, the book was meaningless.  So I went to the library and checked out GWTW, and started reading it.  Two weeks later, I finished the novel, and I was impressed.  GWTW was a relatively quick read (given its length), and enjoyable to read.  It truly is timeless, and a history lesson in itself.  I then watched the movie.  I was now prepared to take up The Wind Done Gone.  What a let-down.  TWDG is a labor to read.  It is presented in a diary format, which is fine, but the content is just dull.  The diary is written by the mulatto half-sister of Scarlett, who reminisces on her childhood, and details her life as Rhett's wife (post-Scarlett).  I had a very hard time remaining interested in this book, probably because it didn't come close to the quality of GWTW.  Certainly the story was interesting from a racial and historical point of view, but not from an artistic or literary view.
Randall, Alice
Without RemorseClancy, Tom
WitnessBrown, Sandra
World According to GarpIrvine, John
Writing and Analysis in the LawShapo, Helene
Writing ArgumentsRamage & Bean
Yankee IngenuityHarris, Harry
Yeager, An AutobiographyYeager, Chuck
Reviewed May 1, 2001.
Creative look at modern race issues.  ****
I initially bought this book for an Asian friend of mine, but I ended up reading it myself first, and found that I really got a lot out of Don Lee's book. The author has written a handful of fictional short stories, all of which take place in the fictional town of Rosarita Bay, located south of San Francisco, apparently near San Luis Obispo. With each of the main characters (a furniture craftsman, an attorney, a doctor, and a young man/college student), we learn about how race has impacted their lives. For some, they have eagerly identified with their Asian heritage. Others rejected it. We see how racial events impacted their personalities, and how their race impacts their day-to-day lives. I thought this was a fascinating book, although I was not immediately captivated by the stories. For me, the last story had the deepest impact, probably because the character's life is most similar to my own, apart from race.
Lee, Don
You Belong To MeClark, Mary Higgins
Young Girl's Diary, AFreud, Sigmund
Reviewed May 7, 2001.
Not much help in the "jungle".  **
This book attempts to be a guide for "young" (as opposed to "new") lawyers to survive working at a firm. But any valuable substance in this book is lost behind the author's self-serving comments and annoying footnotes. This book fails to live up to its title, and I recommend reading it only if you have exhausted all other books in this genre and are still looking for more information.
Messinger, Thane

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