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  • Matthew Hinman - Expert Advice from a real ExpertThis book features some of the best tips that anyone could use, from the youngster playing around making a home movie to the semi-professional shooting for a commercial or business.

    Easy to follow, clear definitions, and proven results are what this book has to offer. The companionn website has a plethora of informative links and tips, and complements the book very well.
  • Richie Partington "Richie's Picks" - Richie's Picks: Counting by 7sMeet twelve year-old black, bespectacled, self-aware genius and gardener Willow Chase, who is obsessed with the number 7; obsessed with studying and observing medical conditions, and obsessed with plants. Not long into the story, Willow is suddenly thrown out of the Garden when her white adoptive parents die in a horrific car accident.

    Leading up to the accident, Willow has, herself, been following a collision course that begins with being referred by her school principal to a counselor named Dell Duke, this being the result of the principal's determination that Willow has cheated on a State standardized test. (She completed the test in 17 minutes and was the only student in the State to answer every question correctly, which might provide a clue as to why she hasn't been at all engaged with middle school, other than as a silent observer of bizarre behaviors.)

    Counselor Dell Duke (who categorizes the students he works with as THE STRANGE, MISFITS, ODDBALLS, and LONE WOLVES), quickly learns that he needs a whole new category for this young woman. And in the wake of Willow's second loss of parents in her short life (having already been adopted the first time), it will be counselor Dell Duke; plus one of the other students he works with named Nguyen Quang-ha; plus Quang-ha's sister Nguyen Thi Mai; plus Quang-ha and Mai's mother Pattie; plus a taxi driver named Jairo Hernandez; who will affect and be affected by this amazing girl.

    COUNTING BY 7s reminds me of BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE because of the way that Willow is saved from going to the pound (being thrown into The System) by unlikely heroine Pattie Nguyen (Quang-ha and Mai's mother), the Vietnamese immigrant proprietress of a nail salon. Like India Opal Buloni's decision in the moment to lie about the stray dog and claim ownership, Pattie lies about her relationship to Willow, who she's just met, and this sets the stage for a profound and moving story in which a whole group of idiosyncratic characters are brought together, find family and community, and have their lives enriched and changed forever by this amazing genius of a girl.

    "I pulled my wheeled luggage to the cab door and leaned in through the open window as I said: 'I would like the number of your taxi license and to see proof of your compliance with brake and headlight adjustment requirements.'
    "The driver's name was Jairo Hernandez, and he had been driving for Mexicano Taxi for seven years."

    I particularly love how taxi driver Jairo Hernandez virtually hits the lottery again and again for having randomly and so fortunately encountered Willow on that first taxi ride.

    (And I love how what comes around goes around.)

    COUNTING BY 7s also makes me think of Natalie Merchant singing of people struggling and fighting for the simple pleasures in their lives. This is a tale of at-risk kids and at-risk adults, and it makes it that much sweeter to see what comes to them all because of Willow Chase.

    One final note: The cover of COUNTING BY 7s, in which a bright red fish is seen swimming again a large school of nondescript fish, is notable, engaging, and perfect for what is contained in these 384 pages that had me swimming right along with Willow from beginning to end.

    A big-time middle school read.
  • J. Cross "J. Cross" - just June'sThis is the first of Jan Karon's books that I have read. It was recommended to me by a friend because I said I had enjoyed Patrick Taylor's books about the Irish countryside. I loved this book and have researched all of Karon's books that seem to follow with the same characters. I plan on continuing to read them in the order written. This book is an easy read, has events that will leave a smile on anyone's face and you come to admire the characters. Just a great storyteller I can say about Jan Karon.
  • Carl Kirk - Mandatory reading for investors -- and CEOs"Analyzing words is as important as analyzing numbers," Rittenhouse writes -- and provides the roadmap for how to discern authenticity from spin, integrity from duplicity, and vision from myopia.

    Words matter. Learn how to discern the underlying truths in annual reports, shareholder letters, and quarterly earnings calls. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to emulate the investment savvy of Warren Buffet, to match the managerial success of Jack Welsh, or to spot the next Enron before its implosion.
  • Craig Davis "c.w. davis" - Just want to give it 5 starsSee reviews above. I have nothing to add other than, as a Bible scholar in the 'Bible church' tradition who is considering becoming a Roman Catholic, and as someone who loves ALL my brothers and sisters who 'love the Lord with a love uncorruptible' ... I LOVE this book. It's easier to manage and understand than the Roman Missal (though I love my Missal!) for liturgical neophytes like me. I especially love how it is so extremely amenable to family and small group devotions. I love this book and am incorporating in my daily times with God. Oh, one more thing, the fact that it is a simple guide whereby I can feel a sense of worldwide unity with other brothers and sisters also using it...I find that wonderful.