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21. Assassination Vacation
$10.50 $3.99 list($14.00)
22. Running with Scissors: A Memoir
$9.71 $6.57 list($12.95)
23. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man,
$8.96 $3.50 list($9.95)
24. A Child Called "It": One Child's
$14.93 $14.49 list($21.95)
25. How To Lose Your Ass and Regain
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26. Them : A Memoir of Parents
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27. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
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28. Oh the Glory of It All
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29. Lion of Hollywood : The Life and
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30. Luckiest Man : The Life and Death
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31. Bono: In Conversation with Michka
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32. Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts
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33. The Peabody Sisters : Three Women
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34. Princesses : The Six Daughters
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35. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
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36. Three Weeks with My Brother
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37. John Brown, Abolitionist : The
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38. Take Big Bites: Adventures Around
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39. The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable
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40. My Life as a Quant : Reflections

21. Assassination Vacation
by Sarah Vowell
list price: $21.00
our price: $14.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743260031
Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 250
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrumsof American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other -- a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue -- it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and -- the author's favorite -- historical tourism. Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are all kinds of lighter diversions along the way into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wierd but Funny - A Great Way to do History
This book is just a touch wierd. Who would take a vacation with the specific intent of going to see where the presidents got shot?

OK, I'll admit having visited the Texas Book Depository building in Dallas. But that was because of the publicity that was high at the time regarding who actually shot him. An aside -- anyone who has ever gone rifle shooting can look out the window he used and will think, "I could have made that shot."

Still, her dry wit can't help from coming through, "Going to Ford's Theatre to watch the play is like going to Hooters for the food." She makes the study of history come alive much better than the dry history books I remember from school.

As now the author of five books, television appearances on several shows, and the voice of Teenage superhero Violet Parr in "The Incredibles," Ms. Vowell is a budding great voice in American literature.

1-0 out of 5 stars For Presidential History Geeks Only
I like Sarah Vowell's personality and normally enjoy reading her books and listening to her on This American Life.Plus she kicked ass in The Incredibles.

I found this book really dull reading though. Unless you, like Sarah, are obsessed with the tiny details of President Garfield's presidency (and other subjects equally dry) you may be as bored as I was. She herself keeps saying how the companions she brings along on her research trips are bored to tears by the subject matter.

I look forward to her next book and a return to more interesting territory.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's No Coincidence...
This book is great! The wit and humor of Vowell's essays, collected in Take the Cannoli and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, translate well to this more focused tale of her visits to sites related to presidential assassinations. Filled with Vowell's quirky observations and animated by the rapid-fire connections her mind makes, Assassination Vacation is a page-turner AND a history lesson at the same time. Vowell's deep appreciation of and enthusiasm for her subject matter is infectious. Highly recommended, especially if you're planning a trip that includes visits to historic sites. Vowell's viewpoint will give you a new way of enjoying them that will definitely enhance your experience!

5-0 out of 5 stars quirky history tour
Very informative, hilarious and even moving at times. One other reviewer mentioned Vowell's Bush bashing, but they should read or listen to more than a snippet. The "current president" only pops up a couple of times and briefly. The rest of the book is for the most part a quirky nonpartisan journey through American political history. Vowell's narration in the audiobook abridgement is broken up with some interesting guest voices. Stephen King as Abraham Lincoln for instance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Charming, Witty and Funny
I just, today, discovered Sarah Vowell's work. It is a wonderful treat. She looks at history in an amazingly honest way. Her history is never boring, of course. I was fortunate to see Sarah do an author presentation on C-Span2 BookTV.

She presents history in a quirky, honest and humorous way. This book is about the history of the people and events surrounding the assassintions of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. You will learn historical details that you never knew or even thought that you wanted to know. You will be very pleased with Sarah's look into history. ... Read more


22. Running with Scissors: A Memoir
by Augusten Burroughs
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031242227X
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: Picador
Sales Rank: 317
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

There is a passage early in Augusten Burroughs's harrowing and highly entertaining memoir, Running with Scissors, that speaks volumes about the author. While going to the garbage dump with his father, young Augusten spots a chipped, glass-top coffee table that he longs to bring home. "I knew I could hide the chip by fanning a display of magazines on the surface, like in a doctor's office," he writes, "And it certainly wouldn't be dirty after I polished it with Windex for three hours." There were certainly numerous chips in the childhood Burroughs describes: an alcoholic father, an unstable mother who gives him up for adoption to her therapist, and an adolescence spent as part of the therapist's eccentric extended family, gobbling prescription meds and fooling around with both an old electroshock machine and a pedophile who lives in a shed out back. But just as he dreamed of doing with that old table, Burroughs employs a vigorous program of decoration and fervent polishing to a life that many would have simply thrown in a landfill. Despite her abandonment, he never gives up on his increasingly unbalanced mother. And rather than despair about his lot, he glamorizes it: planning a "beauty empire" and performing an a capella version of "You Light Up My Life" at a local mental ward. Burroughs's perspective achieves a crucial balance for a memoir: emotional but not self-involved, observant but not clinical, funny but not deliberately comic. And it's ultimately a feel-good story: as he steers through a challenging childhood, there's always a sense that Burroughs's survivor mentality will guide him through and that the coffee table will be salvaged after all. --John Moe ... Read more

Reviews (279)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book kicks a**..!
...in the words of the ubiquitous Cartman (South Park). Augusten Burroughs' memoir about growing up in apparently the most dysfunctional place in the Universe, is brilliant, if somewhat surreal.

Burroughs relates his childhood with his mother, who may or may not be insane, and the cast of bizarre characters that inhabit his world. Like a strange episode of "The Twilight Zone", "Running With Scissors" is at once engaging and horrifying. I had to keep reminding myself throughout that it wasn't fiction, that Burroughs had actually experienced the drama as he told it. With a wry sense of humor that's prevalent all the way through, Burroughs manages to depict the horror of his life without slipping into maudlin self-pity. An excellent read...and I hope there's a sequel!

4-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, disturbing, funny, and a lot of other things
Augusten Burroughs' memoir can make you laugh, cry, and retch in various combinations. Strange and disturbing don't adequately describe Burroughs' childhood. Being raised until pre-adolescence with an alcoholic father, a bipolar mother, and a brother with Asperger's certainly did much to shape Burroughs' life, but his teenage years spent in the house of Dr. Finch, surely one of the strangest characters ever to be described in a book, constituted the bizaare formative period that gave birth to this memoir. In the Finch house, Burroughs experienced things far removed from the realm of normal childhood including pedophilia courtesy of Dr. Finch's mentally disturbed adopted son and a disgusting ritual involving retrieving Dr. Finch's stool from the toilet to be examined for divine messages. It's hard to believe that characters that would more likely arise from some imaginative writer's mind exist in real life. Thankfully, Burroughs reminds us that at least a few can emerge enlightened and successful from such twisted childhoods.

My only criticism is that I felt the book's narrative flow was interrupted at the end when the author began jumping from story to story without going into enough depth with each one. Maybe he just ran out of interesting things to say. However, that's really my only criticism. The memoir is great. You'll most probably look back on your childhood with a more forgiving eye after reading about Burroughs'.

5-0 out of 5 stars The memoirs do have it this year
The memoirs do have it this year, and "Running With Scissors" is no exception. It details a troubled life, addictions and the turning point (the determinationa nd courage) to turn your life around when it would be so much easier to fall in to the pitts. <br /> This authors other books: "Dry" and now "Magical Thinking" are excellent books to read as well. he is a superb writer. Along those lines of good memoirs/Biographies to sink your teeth in to and learn about the real world and what goes on with in it (wether rich or poor) are books such as "Nightmares Echo", "If I Knew Then" and Sickened". All highly rated books <br />

5-0 out of 5 stars Humourous and yet....
Yes this author tells his story with humor. But, underneath the laughter lies the pain of living through a difficult childhood. Mr. Burroughs did well in telling us his story in 'DRY',and as with 'DRY', you still know the life he led that took him through the addictions he suffered. It made me understand all the more another book I read called 'NIGHTMARES ECHO'. In that book the author details that though you see the addict,prostitute and homeless person-don't just assume they want to live life that way. There may be underlying reasons. Mr. Burroughs points that out as well in showing us his side of the story and the pain along with his humor. One of the best books I have read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Awful!
Worst book I've read in a long time, or does it count if you only get halfway through before using it as kindling? I can't believe people actually compare this guy to David Sedaris. I can't believe it was on several top ten lists in 2002. I can't belive I wasted $15 on this. Not only did it not make me laugh once, but I didn't care for any of the characters whatsoever. And I wouldn't consider myself to be homophobic (Sedaris is gay and he's one of my favorite writers) but I really didn't need to hear about Burroughs' "anal excursions" as a teenager which is about the point where I stopped reading the book altogether. ... Read more


23. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson
by Mitch Albom
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076790592X
Catlog: Book (2002-10-08)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 111
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague.Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.

For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder.Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?

Mitch Albom had that second chance.He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life.Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college.Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class": lessons in how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world. ... Read more

Reviews (1628)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tuesday's With Morrie
This year for my seventh grade Language Arts class, we were supposed to choose a book and then critique it. I chose Tuesdays With Morrie after selecting it from a dusty bookshelf in my brother's room. Personally, I loved the book; it had a deeper meaning of life that i had never considered before. Some of my favorite quotes from the book have stuck with me like the one, "Love eachother or perish," The book is about a former college student, and his favorite professor. It all begins sixteen years after graduation when Mitch Albom finds himself watching his beloved college instructor on Nightling with Ted Koppel. Morrie has become a victum of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, leaving his body withered and sagging. Mitch visits Morrie one day and what starts as a reunion of old friends turns into the project of a lifetime. Now, I don't want to spoil anything, but the lessons that Morrie teaches to Mitch on their Tuesdays together will stay with him all of his life. I would recommend this book to anyone. If you are looking for enlightenment, deep thinking, and a true story, you've come to the right book. On a scale from one to ten, i would give Tuesdays With Morrie a nine and a half.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
Tuesdays with Morrie is definitely one of the best books that I've ever read. Once I picked it up, I couldn't stop until I found myself on the last page. Although the book is very short, nearly every page carries a message. It's purpose is to teach us a lesson; that was Morrie's final goal. He wanted to create this one last thesis with one of his favorite students, Mitch Albom, that would give people insight into how to live their lives and what it feels like to die. In this book, not only do we learn from Morrie (who died from ALS) how to live life to the fullest, but we learn from Mitch's mistakes as well. All too often we get caught up in our fast paced culture that we forget to stop and look around and actually enjoy things.

Mitch Albom uses a unique approach to get his old professor's message out. When I was reading this, I couldn't help but feel like Morrie was speaking right to me. The book could relate to anyone; it covers so many topics from love and life to death and trying to live even when death is knocking on the door.

I highly recommend reading Tuesdays with Morrie. You can't help but love Morrie by the end of the book, and like me, you might even tear up at the end a little.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
<br /> Beautiful and touching, inspirational and rich. A book that not only teaches but makes you feel. <br /> Also recommended: Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart, Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs,The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

4-0 out of 5 stars Have A Tissue Ready
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is beautifully written. It is also an easily read and understandable. The fact that it's a true story makes it even more touching. So have some tissue ready :) . Morrie was a real person. He helped so many people during his life, and now, because of Mitch, he will touch many more after death. I strongly recommend reading this book if you are afraid of death.

There is also another book here on Amazon I have found that I highly recommend on life after death, or between death that has given me a lot to think about. It is called The book of Thomas by Daniel Aber and Gabreael. In their book everything from the suicide, the different levels of heaven, reincarnation, and so on is covered also in an easily read format

1-0 out of 5 stars I'm Embarrassed I Read This
My younger brother had this on his summer reading list and I noticed it on his desk. Seeing it was pretty short I sat down and read it. I think the fact that my high school's English department recommended it should have been warning enough to avoid this book. In all seriousness, this is the worst book I have read in a LONG time.
Even calling it a book is slightly misleading, because that usually implies some sort of literary value. It's about as literary as Life's Little Instruction Book, but far less insightful. Albom writes at about a 2nd grade reading level, in a ridiciulously simple shallow way rather than a Hemingwayesque style. Even more ridiculous is his constant use of immature, sentimental little gimmicks that I guess the Oprah-watching soccer moms giving this book a good review would call "touching and heartfelt". For example:
"He waited while I absorbed it.
A Teacher to the Last.
"Good?" he said.
Yes, I said. Very good.

I would write something like that and be satisified with it when I was probably a freshman, and I really don't consider myself to be a talented writer. The whole Tuesday motif was also along those lines. Even more annoying was I lost count of the epiphanies Mitch has by about the 11th page. Highlight how many times he "suddenly realizes something about life". Don't be materialistic? Love other people? Is this really that breakthrough? I think Jesus said that about 2000 years ago, and most people agree he wasn't even that revolutionary(in moral philosophy that is.) Look at some of his other ridiculous "aphorisms":
Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.
Learn to forgive yourself and forgive others.

If I really felt like it, I could probably spew out about four thousand of those obvious, self-righteous statements in about 5 minutes.
I also don't even see how Morrie was such a hero. In one scene, they tried to convince you that he was some hero for turning down some medicine that wouldn't have helped and, more importantly, wasn't even available. Wow. Not to mention, it's pretty easy to be so courageous about death when you have an amazing family supporting you. I wonder if he was half his age, alone with nobody to help him except some indifferent inner city hospital nurse if he would face death with such resilience and wit.
What annoys me the most is how they planned writing this book before Morrie even died. Sounds like he just wanted to pay some bills. I mean, if they are planning to write a book about all these great moments Mitch realizes, of course he's going to have them(or pretend to) because he has to write a book about it! Furthermore, it's pretty arrogant that Morrie to think that he had some great noble truths to spread.
This book has several more blatant flaws, but this review has a maxium word limit. So, I'll say if you like reading Chicken Soup for the Soul, and other empowering self-help books that like to constantly re-emphasize the obvious for $20, go ahead and buy this. If you are looking for an actual good book by someone who actually knows how to write, don't waste your time or the 40 minutes it takes to read this. ... Read more


24. A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive
by Dave Pelzer
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558743669
Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 1051
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturant to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school!--but mostly it was pure sadism. Inexplicably, his father didn't protect him; only an alert schoolteacher saved David. One wants to learn more about his ordeal and its aftermath, and now he's written a sequel, The Lost Boy, detailing his life in the foster-care system.

Though it's a grim story, A Child Called "It" is very much in the tradition of Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul and the many books in that upbeat series, whose author Pelzer thanks for helping get his book going. It's all about weathering adversity to find love, and Pelzer is an expert witness. ... Read more

Reviews (1362)

5-0 out of 5 stars Touched a place deep within my heart and soul, changed me.
My ten year old daughter introduced me to this book. I felt I needed to share this with her. I think it has changed us both forever. Neither of us slept well the night we finished it. I will never again look at any child the same way. It is hard to imagine where young Dave ever found the strength to go on and on and on. My hope after reading this compelling story is that I might be able to recognize the pain of abuse and neglect in the eyes of a child, that I might be able to reach out and make a difference. When Dave recalls the few times someone hugged him, it almost broke my heart. He wanted nothing more that to hang on to that warmth forever. Now I know that a hug, a smile, a gentle touch, or a helping hand, really can make all the difference in the world. I will never forget this story and plan to read "The Lost Boy" immediately. Dave, thanks for the gut wrenching courage it must have taken to write this book. You have opened my eyes and my daughters eyes.....wide!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Child Called it
This book was probally the best book that I have ever read. In his book David Pelzer describes how horrible he was treated by his mother and how he was treated by his peers and teachers at school. His life was fine in his early years, but as he grew older he became trapped in what he described as a livng hee. He began to plot out ways to survive from not being killed by his mother. He also had to deal with an alocoholic father who although, once was a caring and loving father turned his back to whatever his wife did to David. As David grew older his punishments got more extreme. One example is that he was forced to lay completely under water in cold bath water from the period after school until late at night. He was also locked in his bathroom with a full bucket of ammonia. The main idea of this book is that no matter how hard your life is that you should never give up and always look towards the future.I felt that David's choice of a title was exellent. The title describes in one word, IT, how he was treated, like a thing, that wasn't human. David showed to be a very strong and determined individual. His mother was obviously very disturbed and frustrated. The weird thing was that she only treated David horrible, the other childre were treated just as most good parents treat their kids. Davids father made me ver angr, and it was hard for me to understand him. He was a strong man physically, bu not mentally. Even though he didn't want his wife to do thee things to David he was not strong enough to do anything about it. This book definately made me think about how great my life is and how great my parents are. I feel that his is a must read book and makes you think a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a gift
This author is a gift to us, Thank goodness he made it through the darkest hours to tell us his story. I hope this book will help others to have courage as well as show what it is like to live the life he did. Very inspirational Another inspirational book-Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart

5-0 out of 5 stars A Child Called It.
I really was shocked while reading this book because it brought back the memories of my childhood. The shock was that I thought no one else could treat their own child so bad. My older brother was treated nearly as bad as It. I witnessed this until he moved from home at the age of 17. I would read for a while and turn to my wife or my oldest daughter and tell them some of the similuar experiences that I witnessed. The public needs such revelations as A Child Called It to fuel public out cry for such neglect and abuse. The courage to report is needed. I explain to my two children that there is no excuse for abuse of a child like what was exampled in the book. My oldest daughter even went as far as conducting a book report after reading A Child Called It. Wanting to express publicly her distress over the situation of child abuse/neglect.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Poorly Written, Lurid Hoax!
Several of my co-workers were simply mesmerized by the Pelzer trilogy, so joined in on the reading fest. Even as I read the book, a LOT of things weren't ringing quite true: like being repeatedly exposed to a lethal combo of ammonia and bleach (he would've been dead the very first time) and that his teachers had known for years, were powerless to do anything and risked their careers....while this MIGHT have been true in the 50's and even EARLY 60's, it wasn't true in the late 60's early 70's.

I'm only 4 years younger than Pelzer and can VIVIDLY recall a teacher in first grade (1971, in my case) being extremely concerned about a slap mark on my face (courtesy of an older brother's rough housing)---and this was still when spanking children was regarded as a perfectly acceptable form of discipline. Additionally, child abuse had been the subject of NUMEROUS TV dramas (I recently saw an old episode of "Dragnet", among others) and was, in fact, the "hot" issue of the time. It was 1973, in fact, that the "Mondale bill" was signed into national law (and had drawn extensive attention for quite a few years prior)---so the idea that no criminal charges would have been levied against Mrs. Pelzer is even MORE absurd.

Please do NOT mistake me----I am FULLY aware that abused children daily go undetected and that in the 1970's we were barely beginning to comprehend the depths
of this horrible issue. I can certainly believe that "Catherine" Pelzer was an alcoholic, probably bi-polar and very possibly DID smack the poor kid around (which I firmly believe NO child should EVER experience)--but much of the other aspects were clearly fabricated.

((...) ... Read more


25. How To Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big-Butted Star
by Kirstie Alley
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159486232X
Catlog: Book (2005-03)
Publisher: Rodale Books
Sales Rank: 4114
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

She captured our hearts with her award-winning performances on screen.Now Kirstie Alley is poised to do it again as she laughingly explores our American obsession with fat, food, love, sex, beauty, and weight loss.

If anyone in Hollywood knows about weight obsession, it's Kirstie Alley.After she rose to fame on Cheers as the svelte and gorgeous Rebecca Howe, she watched as the tabloids mercilessly chartered her fluctuating weight.Well, look out, Hollywood, because this beloved star is ready to strike back - with a starring role in a new, unscripted comedy series on Showtime calle Fat Actress.She plays a fictionalized version of herself as she searches for work and love in the land of glitter and glamour.The show, which promted a huge media buzz when Showtime announced plans for it, premieres just as this witty and wry new book hits bookstores across the nation.

Alley's accounting gives readers and intimate look into her life while providing a hilarious view of being overweight in a skinny-obsessed world.Whether readers are struggling with weight or personal integrity - or if they're just looking for love and happiness - they'll identify with Alley's experiences.She tells it like it is and helps us laugh at ourselves (and others.)

... Read more

Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a Weight Gain/Loss Tell All, Light and Forced at Times
This was a very quick read.Kirstie opens the book with a funny sexcapade story about her and a former love interest.This intimate yet funny story makes readers thinks that Kirstie is really going to "open up," in this book.Not really.She shares some intimate details, like how the press was insensitive when she suffered a miscarriage.Don't get me wrong, I am not wanting Miss Kirstie to divulge all of the details of her life, but being that this story was about weight to a degree, I didn't really get the feeling that the book was authentic.I felt like the journal entries (which are very short) were written after the fact, like maybe after looking at one's day planner after they ink a book deal.There were also a lot of pictures of people in this book that took up full pages, as if they might be serving as fillers for a book trying it's best to make the 200 page mark.I hope this doesn't sound harsh because I like Kirstie and somewhat enjoyed the book.

If you enjoy "Fat Actress" as I do, you will find in the book that several of the scenes in the show were inspired by real life events.I just thought the book would dig deeper into how she gained weight, if her divorce and the time after the divorce made her eat more, just more about her feelings regarding food and the struggle to lose the weight.The book is very "now," meaning the journal entries were from like the 2004 to now era.I wanted to know about the "fat" Kirstie after "Veronica's Closet" and before "Fat Actress."I am sure there was a deeper story to tell.This is kind of light."Yeah, I am losing weight on Weight Watchers," that kind of thing.She also details selling her show "Fat Actress" to Showtime.There are also numerous John Travolta mentions. In the last pages of the book she tells a story about a child hood friend, it just seemed out of place as the book was supposed to be wrapping up. I love Kirstie and am so proud of what she has done with "Fat Actress," and with bringing to light the drama that celebrities deal with.I am an author and an entertainment journalist and when I have to do promo or special appearances there are many times I feel very fat and I am always trying to lose that 10 pounds, and as Kirstie in the book discusses how happy she is with her children, the book really makes you wonder about why women work so hard to lose weight for society when they are really happy.In conclusion, the book seems like a tie in for the big Kirstie come back, kind of forced and not very deep.Would have liked to see more detailed journal entries and more about how she got to the point that she did verses the standard PR line we have all heard about deciding to stay home with the kids and eating.

5-0 out of 5 stars laughed my ASS OFF
Funny book, funny lady. I can't recall ever laughing this much from a book.. I admire and respect Kirstie for being able to extract the humor from lifes "little" adversities. You go girl!

5-0 out of 5 stars fun book
This is a fun book. Kirstie writes with a sharp wit and candor I found very entertaining. She jokes about herself and speaks with love & respect for her family, parents, and grandparents.
Her food & weight issues are mentioned often. I really loved the story about her Grandfather paying her a dollar to spend Saturday night, watching the fights with him on TV, serving the then 6 year old Kirstie lightly salted beer in a "thimble" sized shot glass. I'm glad I bought this book so I can reread it whenever I want.

5-0 out of 5 stars "BRAVA MS. ALLEY!"
"How To Lose Your Ass And Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions Of A Big-Butted Star," by "funny lady," Kirstie Alley, was such a FUN BOOK!Be ready to stay awake all night once you begin reading this FABULOUSLY FUNNY BOOK!You will not want to put it down.

I love this writer/actress.Kirstie Alley is one terrific lady and talent.I admire her and her efforts as she tries hard in life to turn her stumbling blocks into stepping-stones!

We briefly met once right after her first few tapings of "Cheers" after Shelly Long left the scene.What an amazing woman!I'm such a fan.

If you enjoy this genre in your reading material then this is one book you won't want to miss.It is well-written, entertaining, and insightful.You'll enjoy it as much as I did.That's a promise.

4-0 out of 5 stars A quick & fun read
I was so drawn in by the title I couldn't resist picking this one up.I also am currently enjoying Fat Actress on Showtime.

Kirstie is very blunt and funny.This autobiography is basically just a brief glimpse into different periods of her life and how they've shaped her into who she is.

For those who are offended by bad language and what not, Kirstie is not for you.But, I think she's pretty well known for being outspoken, so this shouldn't be a surprise for anyone, so it's unfortunate that this affects the books ratings.

A good read for even mediocre fans, and certainly anyone looking for motivation in their own life.
... Read more


26. Them : A Memoir of Parents
by Francinedu Plessix Gray
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200491
Catlog: Book (2005-05-05)
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Sales Rank: 391
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The much-acclaimed biographer's unflinchingly honest, wise, and forgiving portrait of her own famous parents: two wildly talented Russian émigrés who fled wartime Paris to become one of New York's first and grandest power couples.

Tatiana du Plessix, the wife of a French diplomat, was a beautiful, sophisticated "white Russian" who had been the muse of the famous Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. Alexander Liberman, the ambitious son of a prominent Russian Jew, was a gifted magazine editor and aspiring artist. As part of the progressive artistic Russian émigré community living in Paris in the 1930s, the two were destined to meet. They began a passionate affair, and the year after Paris was occupied in World War II they fled to New York with Tatiana's young daughter, Francine.

There they determinedly rose to the top of high society, holding court to a Who's Who list of the midcentury's intellectuals and entertainers. Flamboyant and outrageous, bold and brilliant, they were irresistible to friends like Marlene Dietrich, Salvador Dalí, and the publishing tycoon Condé Nast. But to those who knew them well they were also highly neurotic, narcissistic, and glacially self-promoting, prone to cut out of their lives, with surgical precision, close friends who were no longer of use to them.

Tatiana became an icon of New York fashion, and the hats she designed for Saks Fifth Avenue were de rigueur for stylish women everywhere. Alexander Liberman, who devotedly raised Francine as his own child from the time she was nine, eventually came to preside over the entire Condé Nast empire. The glamorous life they shared was both creative and destructive and was marked by an exceptional bond forged out of their highly charged love and raging self-centeredness. Their obsessive adulation of success and elegance was elevated to a kind of worship, and the high drama that characterized their lives followed them to their deaths. Tatiana, increasingly consumed with nostalgia for a long-lost Russia, spent her last years addicted to painkillers. Shortly after her death, Alexander, then age eighty, shocked all who knew him by marrying her nurse.

Them: A Portrait of Parents is a beautifully written homage to the extraordinary lives of two fascinating, irrepressible people who were larger than life emblems of a bygone age. Written with honesty and grace by the person who knew them best, this generational saga is a survivor's story. Tatiana and Alexander survived the Russian Revolution, the fall of France, and New York's factory of fame. Their daughter, Francine, survived them.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Memoir to Remember
Francine du Plessix Gray who, has written several fine novels as well as complex and satisfying biographies of the Marquis de Sade and Simone Weil, now tenderly explores the lives of her famously mercurial parents. "Them" is a success any way you look at it; the elegant writing and the loving way she examines the life she had with these completely self-absorbed people make this memoir worth reading.

Her parents were Tatiana Yakoleva, a renowned New York designer of hats, and Alex Liberman, who was one of the creators of modern fashion journalism at Vogue. The du Plessix in Francine's name comes from her birth father, a hero of the French Resistance who died early in World War II. Although he never adopted her, Alex Liberman was the father she knew and loved, the man she and her mother always saw as the one who rescued them from the horrors of war. Tatiana had already fled one revolution, leaving Russia to live in Paris as a teenager with her grandmother, aunt, and uncle. In her early 20s, she met the dynamic Russian revolutionary poet and playwright Vladimir Mayakovsky during one of his visits to France. He wrote one of his most beautiful poems to her and begged her to return to Russia with him. But her fear was too great, and she married diplomat Bertrand du Plessix before Mayakovsky could return to again persuade her. Mayakovsky had been under growing scrutiny for his criticism of increasing oppression in the new Soviet Union, and he committed suicide shortly thereafter. His letters were one of the Tatiana's most carefully guarded items when she fled Europe.

Photos from the family's arrival in New York make them look like a tight-knit trio, but Tatiana and Alex were terrible parents. They shuttled off Froshka, as they called her, with all sorts of extraneous family and friends. A friend had to tell her that her father was dead. They failed to tell her when they got married. They were as ambitious and thoughtless as two people can be. But they loved her very much.

What makes this memoirs so remarkable is how warmly du Plessix Gray writes about all this. She does not see herself as a victim, which is probably why she has a close and healthy family life as an adult. Beautiful writing, fearlessness, and compassion make this a memoir that will hold readers captive from start to finish.

5-0 out of 5 stars We cannot choose our parents . . .
"Them" is an engrossing read.Mrs. Gray portrays her parents in their full roundedness with no holds barred when it comes to revealing their faults as well as their virtues.In reading the memoir, I found myself saying "what fascinating people yet how obnoxious. . . how powerful an emotion love is to permit a daughter to see all her parents' faults and still treat them with respect."The book is also a portrait of a time and an industry (magazine publishing) and of people finely attuned to the needs of fashionable society.It's also about Change and how we all become outmoded when our work fails to meet changing fashions. ... Read more


27. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (A Marketplace Book)
by EdwinLefèvre, Marketplace Books
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471059706
Catlog: Book (1994-05-11)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 1620
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Stock investing is a relatively recent phenomenon and the inventory of true classics is somewhat slim. When asked, people in the know will always list books by Benjamin Graham, Burton G. Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings by Philip A. Fisher. You'll know you're getting really good advice if they also mention Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lef&egrave;vre.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the thinly disguised biography of Jesse Livermore, a remarkable character who first started speculating in New England bucket shops at the turn of the century. Livermore, who was banned from these shady operations because of his winning ways, soon moved to Wall Street where he made and lost his fortune several times over. What makes this book so valuable are the observations that Lef&egrave;vre records about investing, speculating, and the nature of the market itself. For example:

"It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine--that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon."

If you've ever spent weekends and nights puzzling over whether to buy, sell, or hold a position in whatever investment--be it stock, bonds, or pork bellies, you'll be glad that you read this book. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is full of lessons that are as relevant today as they were in 1923 when the book was first published. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (114)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting but not particularly useful...
I have read this book several times and always find it entertaining. The psychology of the markets is, I guess, always fairly similar; however, this book will not make you a dime. Do not buy this book if you think that you will learn valuable money making insights by reading it.

The worth in this book is in the entertainment value. Experienced traders will relate to certain events and conditions mentioned in this book (at least I do). Really, this book is a just a novel for traders that transcends generations in terms of relevance.

Victor Niederhoffer heavily borrowed from this book when he wrote "Education of a Speculator." In that book, he basically said that he would not give up his trading secrets for the price of a book. What came about was a biography on the basics of how he developed his mind of a successful trader. That is the essence of "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator:" how Edwin LeFevre developed his trading mind.

Will a neophite leap frog elemental educational experience in the financial markets by instead reading this book? I think not. The neophite will also not learn of a succesful money making strategy by reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is my "bible" of investing
I have a library of nearly 100 books about the markets. Reminiscences was the third book I ever read and it remains my "bible" more than a decade later. You might wonder how an 80-year old book about the stock market could still be relevant. Well, that is because financial markets are determined by human nature as much as anything else, and human nature acts today as it did a century ago. Greed, fear, herd thinking, impatience - those are the same influences that drive markets today and haunt traders and investors who are striving to make the right decisions. Many of the lessons that dictate my investment philosophy ("Cut your losses, let your winners run", "if you don't like the odds, don't bet") were taught to me by the protagonist, who is the fictional characterization of the legendary Jesse Livermore. That he tells his stories with such color and suspense makes the book completely entertaining beyond its invaluable trading lessons. BUY THIS BOOK FOR YOURSELF. BUY ANOTHER ONE FOR A FRIEND (I've given 4 copies). You'll not only improve your own investing results, but your gift will impress as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
I bought this book after it was mentioned on the book Market Wizards. After I finished reading it, I found myself going back to it over and over again. This is a must read book for anyone that is really interesting in how the trading markets work in real life. It's brilliant, funny... Great!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dated Yet Insightful
This book's contribution to the literature of the financial markets is incontrovertible. For an investing public starved of trading wisdom in a pre-Markowitz era when stock traders relied more or less on rules of thumb, "Reminiscences" stood out as a true gem. It should be read both as a source of profound insight into the workings of financial markets past and present, and as a critique of speculative activity in the years prior to the bursting of the stock market bubble in 1929.

One of the most important lessons mentioned in the book is that a trader does not have to be invested in the market all the time. It sounds hackneyed today, but this tenet is actually difficult to follow in practice, given the propensity of traders and investors to ride out losing positions.

It is important to remember that, having been written during a massive bull run and prior to the systemic failure of the stock market in 1929, during which the market's 'boundless hope and optimism', as described in Galbraith's "The Great Crash 1929", run roughshod over sentiments that the markets were overheating, "Reminiscences" should be read with an eye towards portfolio preservation, not injudicious speculation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hardcover Marketplace Book version worth the price ?
Wonderful book.
However I wanted a version printed on good paper so it would last a long time.
I bought a very costly hardcover Marketplace copy, just to discover that it was printed on weak paper.
It probably is just the paperback version with a hardcover, for which a 4.5 times the paperback price tag is quite rich. ... Read more


28. Oh the Glory of It All
by SeanWilsey
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200513
Catlog: Book (2005-05-19)
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Sales Rank: 76
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cover art my vary.

"In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess." With these opening lines Sean Wilsey takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families.

Sean's blond-bombshell mother (one of the thinly veiled characters in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City) is a 1980s society-page staple, regularly entertaining Black Panthers and movie stars in her marble and glass penthouse, "eight hundred feet in the air above San Francisco; an apartment at the top of a building at the top of a hill: full of light, full of voices, full of windows full of water and bridges and hills." His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade and lectures his son on proper hygiene in public restrooms, "You should wash your hands first, before you use the urinal. Not after. Your penis isn't dirty. But your hands are."

When Sean, "the kind of child who sings songs to sick flowers," turns nine years old, his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend. Sean's life blows apart. His mother first invites him to commit suicide with her, then has a "vision" of salvation that requires packing her Louis Vuitton luggage and traveling the globe, a retinue of multiracial children in tow. Her goal: peace on earth (and a Nobel Prize). Sean meets Indira Gandhi, Helmut Kohl, Menachem Begin, and the pope, hoping each one might come back to San Francisco and persuade his father to rejoin the family. Instead, Sean is pushed out of San Francisco and sent spiraling through five high schools, till he finally lands at an unorthodox reform school cum "therapeutic community," in Italy.

With its multiplicity of settings and kaleidoscopic mix of preoccupations-sex, Russia, jet helicopters, seismic upheaval, boarding schools, Middle Earth, skinheads, home improvement, suicide, skateboarding, Sovietology, public transportation, massage, Christian fundamentalism, dogs, Texas, global thermonuclear war, truth, evil, masturbation, hope, Bethlehem, CT, eventual salvation (abridged list)-Oh the Glory of It All is memoir as bildungsroman as explosion. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Probably not worth it.
I read a review of this book and ran out to buy it. It started off somewhat funny but, about halfway through, I found myself struggling with it. The characters here are just too far-fetched. No mother is as crazy as the author's. No stepmother is as wicked as his either. They are not believable. Th ebook drags as he goes from one reform school to another and I found myself caring less and less for the author. I read in the NYTimes that he is some rich kid with a fancy apartment in Soho and a trust fund. As I thouught about it, this is a story about a rich kid who has parents who divorced and a stepmother he doesn't like. Big deal. In the hundreds of pages, there is no sense that he takes ownership for his mistakes, grows, etc. It just keeps going... He needs a good shrink and a better editor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Addictive, honest & thrilling to read
I started reading the excerpt in The New Yorker and am instantly buying this book.I cannot stop reading it-- The portrait of the author and his parents is un-putdownable...
This is a big story; the themes aremythological -- the detailsdiverting and devastating.Wilsey is on a wild ride with his mother that takes him to the Vatican, the Kremlin and beyond...to a place in world class literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars YES, THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT THAN YOU AND ME !

Are the rich really different than you and me?You're darn right they are according to Sean Wilsey in the juiciest totally tell-all in many a moon.According to the author, his stepmother, Dade Wilsey, currently a doyenne of San Francisco society, needed no coat hangers to outdo Joan Crawford as the mother-in-law from you know where. Further, while his stepmother provides plenty of fuel for flame, his mother, Pat,is almost certifiable.

In the beginning it was good, we hear, "We were happy.And we were always excessive.So in the beginning we were happy to excess."For them, excess might be defined as his Dad supplying a jet helicopter to drop Wilsey of at the video arcade or his mother tossing lavish bashes in their luxurious home.

Then, when he was 9 his father divorced his mother to marry her friend, Dade, who was 15 years Pat's junior. Pat didn't take this at all well, once suggesting to Wilsey that they commit suicide together. .When that didn't happen she formed an international group of children to bring about world peace and hopped around the globe with Wilsey in tow to do meetings with Sadat and the Pope.After all, as a former Neiman-Marcus model and society columnist, she does have a flare.

As for stepmother, Dade, who brought two sons into the fold, Wilsey remembers a Christmas when she happily undid little boxes under the tree which held $200,000 brooches.She showed her appreciating by giving her husband a kiss and pinning them to her bathrobe.One could go on and on about her luxe lifestyle, but Wilsey puts it best: "If you want a sense of her values, rent the movies "Gaslight" and "Sweet Smell of Success."The scheming lead in "Gaslight" who sweet-talks a wealthy heiress into marrying him and then drives her mad with drink and double-talk, is her."

How is Dade taking all of this?We read that she's threatening to sue.Regardingthe overdoses of jewelry, well, she's quoted as sayingeveryone gave her jewelry - her husband, her exhusband, and her father.

As for Pat?You can't keep a gal from Oklahoma down.When last heard from she was planning a party to celebrate the publication of her son's book.

"Lives of the Rich and Famous" couldn't hold a candle to these folks, and Scott Brick reads their story with grace, gusto, and wry humor.Bet he had a blast doing it.

- Gail Cooke

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, good humored tale of a world that doesn't seem real
I know some folks in SF might take offense to the supposed skewering they recieve in this book, but I had a hell of a time reading it.The world described doesn't seem real, and the humor and harsh light falls fairly equally among the "characters" including Wilsey himself.It's one of those stories that is so strange it would never work as "fiction." Totally over the top. ... Read more


29. Lion of Hollywood : The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer
by Scott Eyman
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743204816
Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 755
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lion of Hollywood is the definitive biography of Louis B. Mayer, the chief of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer -- MGM -- the biggest and most successful film studio of Hollywood's Golden Age.

An immigrant from tsarist Russia, Mayer began in the film business as an exhibitor but soon migrated to where the action and the power were -- Hollywood. Through sheer force of energy and foresight, he turned his own modest studio into MGM, where he became the most powerful man in Hollywood, bending the film business to his will. He made great films, including the fabulous MGM musicals, and he made great stars: Garbo, Gable, Garland, and dozens of others. Through the enormously successful Andy Hardy series, Mayer purveyed family values to America. At the same time, he used his influence to place a federal judge on the bench, pay off local officials, cover up his stars' indiscretions, and, on occasion, arrange marriages for gay stars. Mayer rose from his impoverished childhood to become at one time the highest-paid executive in America.

Despite his power and money, Mayer suffered some significant losses. He had two daughters: Irene, who married David O. Selznick, and Edie, who married producer William Goetz. He would eventually fall out with Edie and divorce his wife, Margaret, ending his life alienated from most of his family. His chief assistant, Irving Thalberg, was his closest business partner, but they quarreled frequently, and Thalberg's early death left Mayer without his most trusted associate. As Mayer grew older, his politics became increasingly reactionary, and he found himself politically isolated within Hollywood's small conservative community.

Lion of Hollywood is a three-dimensional biography of a figure often caricatured and vilified as the paragon of the studio system. Mayer could be arrogant and tyrannical, but under his leadership MGM made such unforgettable films as The Big Parade, Ninotchka, The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, and An American in Paris.

Film historian Scott Eyman interviewed more than 150 people and researched some previously unavailable archives to write this major new biography of a man who defined an industry and an era. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars :LB: THE MAYER OF MGM CITY WAS A GREAT MOGUL!!!!
Louis B. Mayer (1885-1957) was in this reviewer's opinion the greatest of the studio heads in the days of Hollywood's golden
age. Mayer rose from a difficult childhood.Mayer was born in
Eastern Europe, had a difficult relationship with his father;
adored his mother and was always busy in his new beloved land
of America! He grew to manhood in Canada, moved to the east coast of the USA and developed a string of successful theatres
in the east. Mayer went to HOllywood and climbed the slippery slope to the top at Metro.
Scott Eyman has written an outstanding, well balanced view of the complex producing and executive genius of LB! Mayer had a
scant education, rarely read books and wanted Metro to be the
studio of clean, wholesome entertainment. Mayer had a difficult family life with his first wife Margaret and his two difficult
daughters Irene and Evie.
In this book you will hear the gossip spoken around the water coolers in Culver City. You will meet the pantheon of MGM stars
from Garbo, Gable, McDonald, Garland, Rooney, Montgomery, Loy,
Powell, Crawford and Garson (and a cast too numerous to mention).
One caveat about fans wanting the scoop on stars should be voiced-in many Hollywood books the author usually takes several pages to explain in detail how movie deals were financed and
distributed. I personally found this of interest.
Mayer and his chief lt. the boy wonder of MGM Irving Thalberg
built MGM into the greatest studio in Hollywood. Due to changing
social mores, the advent of television and other factors the studio faltered and declined sharply under the leadership of
Dore Schary who ousted Mayor. Plots and counterplots among the Hollywood bigwigs populate these many pages!
Mayer was far from a candidate from sainthood! He had affairs,
could be cold, cruel and vindictive. He was also a man who loved the movies and his studio. Take him all in all-he was a giant of the industry.
Scott Eyman has done another fine job with this outstanding
biography.
The Lion of MGM in the incarnated form of Louis B. Mayer roars
again!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book By Scott Eyman
I was anxiously awaiting the publication of this book, and it was well worth the wait. Finally a book about the much maligned Louis B. Mayer that is balanced and objective.

While the book primarily is devoted to telling the story of how Mayer went from dealing in scrap metal to running the classiest movie studio in Hollywood (o.k., Culver City) and then describing Mayer's eventual fall from grace, a wide cast of characters fills out Mayer's story. This book relates commonly circulated stories as well as some new ones. However, Eyman meticulously has researched his subject and allows his readers to draw their own conclusions by evaluating the validity of some of these stories which would be considered questionable.

Eyman also provides his reader with an exacting description of the dynamics that came into play while Mayer was running a large movie studio as well as the dynamics within his own family.

The list of those people Eyman interviewed while writing this book is mind-boggling. Many of his interviewees have died since he began this book which makes a lot of the information provided in this book even more significant.

This book was long overdue and I am glad the author took this project on while there were still enough people alive who could provide first hand information about the subject.

I am hoping that I don't have to wait too long for Mr. Eyman's next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner from a terrific biographer
You can always rely on Scott Eyman for a readable, well-researched and even-handed bio. This is no exception: it's fascinating to see L.B. Mayer not as the monster so many have painted him, but as a well-rounded human being.

Eyman also gives his readers credit for intelligence and judgment: he repeats the questionable stories (John Gilbert hitting Mayer; Mayer cheating Marie Dressler out of money), but then cites his sources and lets us make up our minds as to how legitimate these stories are.

No doubt Mr. Eyman is taking a well-deserved breather after this book, but I al already anxiously awaiting his next project. ... Read more


30. Luckiest Man : The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig
by Jonathan Eig
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743245911
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 417
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Lou Gehrig started his professional baseball career at a time when players began to be seen as national celebrities. Though this suited charismatic men such as Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, Gehrig avoided the spotlight and preferred to speak with his bat. Best known for playing in 2,130 consecutive games as well as his courage in battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a disease that now bears his name), the Iron Horse that emerges from this book is surprisingly naïve and insecure. He would cry in the clubhouse after disappointing performances, was painfully shy around women (much to the amusement of some of his teammates), and particularly devoted to his German-immigrant mother all his life. Even after earning the league MVP award he still feared the Yankees would let him go. Against the advice of Ruth and others, he refused to negotiate aggressively and so earned less than he deserved for many seasons. Honest, humble, and notoriously frugal, his only vices were chewing gum and the occasional cigarette. And despite becoming one of the finest first basemen of all time, Jonathan Eig shows how Gehrig never seemed to conquer his self-doubt, only to manage it better.

Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig offers a fascinating and well-rounded portrait of Gehrig, from his dugout rituals and historic games to his relationships with his mother, wife, coaches, and teammates. His complex friendship with Ruth, who was the polar opposite to Gehrig in nearly every respect, is given particularly vivid attention. Take this revealing description of how the two men began a barnstorming tour together following their 1927 World Series victory: "Ruth tipped the call girls and sent them on their way. Gehrig kissed his mother goodbye." Eig also shares some previously unknown details regarding his consecutive games streak and how he dealt with ALS during the final years of his life. Rich in anecdotes and based on hundreds of interviews and 200 pages of recently discovered letters, the book effectively shows why the Iron Horse remains an American icon to this day. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary biography of a mythic figure
Lou Gehrig has risen beyond mortality, into mythology. His life and death are part of our lore more than our common history. But Eig does a beautiful job of chronicling both in human, concrete terms, not in the poetic abstractions of baseball memory. Don't get me wrong: I love the poetic abstractions of baseball, but here we get a glimpse of the kind of flesh-and-blood hero we haven't had for a long time, engaged in a rise and fall unlike any we see in a media-saturated 21st century.

Eig's writing is full of the pain, celebration, quiet nobility and raw physical strength that made Lou Gehrig. The fact that a sports figure remains a figure worth our money, time and interest 60 years after he died is testament to his contribution to the sport and the impact of his personal courage.

Gehrig wasn't without flaws. Rather he was a perfect antithesis to teammate Babe Ruth, a significantly flawed fella who wasn't without his personal qualities. Together, they stand as icons of the golden age of the sport, and Eig's biography pointedly (and poignantly) paints Gehrig as a myth-in-the-making, utterly unaware of his deity-to-be.

And that's how it should be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Role Model
Reading this book made me wonder, "Are there any men of this caliber of character in MLB today?"My immediate answer would be, "No."Who in today's big leagues would feel almost embarassed to get a raise?Who would play for such a quiet love of the game?

A ballplayer from the 80s, Ryne Sandberg, does come to mind.Of course, he was nowhere the player of Gehrig (who is?), but he always seemed like a gentleman who gave it his all.

God Bless Lou Gehrig and all he stood for.Read this book if you want to be inspired by a genuine American role model and hero.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rise and Fall of the Iron Horse
In his biography of Lou Gehrig, Jonathon Eig offers up a portrait of an iron willed individual, complex to a fault, who achieved the highest level of success in a sport dominated by oversize personalities such as Ruth, Cobb,and Alexander. Lou may not have had the talent of those men , but his work ethic and boy scout persona honed his skills to the extent he became the greatest offensive force in the game in the late 1920's and 30's. Not just a portrait of a superior athelete, Luckiest Manexamines Lou's struggles with the disease which would become linked with his name. A wonderful read which draws you into the golden age of sports,providing a link from Babe Ruth to Joe Dimaggio, Luckiest Man is a rare sports bio which offers adose of humanity of such a complex man .

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
Paints an informed and vivid picture of a complicated man with an inspiring and unbelievable work ethic.Great for baseball fans, but also great for anyone seeking inspiration in the face of adversity.Often when talented people are brought down in the prime of their lives, they become martyrs and their accomplishments are embellished over time.For the story of Lou Gehrig's life and death, martyrdom and embellishment are neither necessary nor appropriate, and Jonathan Eig skillfully avoids both of them.One can only wonder how long Lou Gehrig's streak would have lasted had he not been stricken at such a young age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well researched, great read!
This is an amazing book.Eig has done a ton of research (check out the list of primary sources in the back!), and lets you see Gehrig as a man, not just through his stats as a baseball player.After reading this book, I really felt like I had some insight into Lou Gehrig's personality, his upbringing, his motivation, and especially his courage as he faced a slow death from ALS.By seeing Gehrig as a complete person, including his faults, I believe Gehrig becomes even more of a hero.

This book is very well written and could be enjoyed by baseball historians, casual fans, and those who might only know the name Lou Gehrig.I'm proud to have this book on my shelf next to great baseball writers like Lawrence Ritter, Robert Creamer, and Harold Seymour. ... Read more


31. Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas
by Michka Assayas
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573223093
Catlog: Book (2005-04-21)
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Sales Rank: 160
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For the first time ever, Bono--the biggest rock star in the world--tells his life story.

Bono's career is unlike any other in rock history. As the lead singer of U2, Bono has sold 130 million albums, won fourteen Grammys, and played numerous sold-out world tours, but he has also lobbied and worked with world leaders from Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to Nelson Mandela on debt relief, AIDS, and other critical global issues. He has collaborated with the same musicians for nearly three decades and has been married to his childhood sweetheart since 1982. His life, at all turns, resists the rock star clichés.

In a series of intimate conversations with his friend Michka Assayas, a music journalist who has been with the band since the very beginning, Bono reflects on his transformation from the extrovert singer of a small Irish post-punk band into one of the most famous individuals in the world; and from an international celebrity to an influential spokesperson for the Third World. He speaks candidly about his faith, family, commitment, influences, service, and passion. Bono: A Self-Portrait in Conversationis the closest we will come, for now, to a memoir from the iconic frontman of U2.
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Conversations Between Friends
If you wanted to ask Bono a question, what would it be?

Would it be about the music?

Would it be about his personal life? Perhaps the deaths of his parents?

Would you ask about the formation of the most successful band in history?

Perhaps you'd want to know more about his work in support of AIDS and hunger releif.

All of these questions, and many, many more are asked and answered in this book. In fact, almost the whole book is a series of questions that ramble from subject to subject with no pattern. These questions and answers are like a normal conversation flows between friends.

Because they are friends, a true respect exists between the two men and it comes out in the book. This means that there is great insight shown into how Bono thinks. And it comes out that he thinks very well indeed.

This is a fascinating book, not just because of the fascination with the singer, but because of the insight he brings to us about places like Africa and the Soviet Union.

4-0 out of 5 stars Trip inside Bono's head
U2 is the greatest band of my lifetime.How could I resist 323 pages of Bono pontificating?Obviously, I couldn't.Is Bono a little self-indulgent?You bet.Does he avoid dishing the dirt?Absolutely.But he does provide quite a bit of insight into what makes him tick.He is a remarkable human being.

This is by no means a "tell all" book.The book briefly mentions Adam's problems with addiction, which were so bad at one point that he actually just didn't show up for a show in Sydney, a show that was being filmed for TV!But there aren't any details.There's some lip service paid to the group's (minus Adam) involvement with Shalom Christianity (a group devoted to understanding the Scriptures), but again, no real details.The details we get in this book are the little ones that make up day-to-day family life, past and present..., and ALOT about Africa.6500 Africans die each day of a preventable, treatable disease.It's hard to argue when Bono suggests that deep down we don't really believe in their equality. Bono's trip to Africa after the Live Aid concert seems to be a real turning-point in his life, and there are many pages devoted to his time there and his efforts to bring Africa's problems to the world's attention.

But it's not all heavy seriousness.There's alot of poking fun at Bono's admittedly giant ego.Naturally, there are more than a few great quotes:"I can do the high-life; I can do the low-life; it's the in-between that gives me trouble."I'm paraphrasing.I've started using the line myself, and have kind of made it my own, as I did with, "The God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister...."Back to the heavy stuff, there's some interesting commentary on the Sandinistas and the events that inspired "Bullet the Blue Sky".Bono saw things first-hand.

Naturally, there's some talk about other musicians.Bono clearly loves Prince.Oddly, it appears that Bono thinks The Rolling Stones (the only band I can think of with the longevity and enduring creativity of U2) as almost fluffy pop musicians.He doesn't come out and say it, but it's between the lines.

In short, the book is a must-read for the U2 fan, and a great read for people curious about the life of a very unique individual who might very well one day win the Nobel Peace Prize.It's missing the stories of sex and drugs, but it's clear, despite what Bono might have said on God Part II, that rock and roll can really change the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars A humbling perspective of a man in power....
I must admit that when I saw this book, I was hesitant at first to read it.I thought it was going to be another "entertainment book" about U2 and their career.Little did I realize that this book is very in-depth about "the man behind the shades".Bono shares his joys, his struggles, and his adventure in this book.It covers anything from his family, his inadequacy as a celebrity, the workings of U2, his activism, faith, and other topics.This book is definitely a must read for anyone who loves U2's music and wants to gain a better understanding of Bono.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look into Bono's character
A long-time fan of U2's music and impressed by Bono's activisim, I was anxious to read this new book. And I loved it! I couldn't put it down!

Written in a coversational style, I at first thought it may be difficult to follow. Instead, I pleasantly realized that it made me feel as if I was listening to Bono talk to a group of which I was part. Because we are actually reading his words, I thinkwe really get a look into Bono's mind - or even his soul.

Every topic I could want to hear Bono talk about is covered - his music, the band, his family, his belief in God, and his activism. It had it all.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about what makes Bono tick. It confirmed to me that he has a very big heart, a great intellect, and incredible talent.

Enjoy! ... Read more


32. Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts on Faith
by Anne Lamott
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385496095
Catlog: Book (2000-02-15)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 1493
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Anne Lamott claims the two best prayers she knows are: "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you." She has a friend whose morning prayer each day is "Whatever," and whose evening prayer is "Oh, well." Anne thinks of Jesus as "Casper the friendly savior" and describes God as "one crafty mother."

Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott's real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers--her friend Pammy, her son, Sam, and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness.

Lamott's faith isn't about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, "My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers." At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.

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Reviews (240)

5-0 out of 5 stars Only for those with a wry sense of humor
I can't fault this book, only praise it. For who else has written in such a unique way about a faith journey? Lamott makes it real (for someone of her age [middle-aged] and from a definitely Californian point of view.) But, her observations and the way she writes about them are universal. And funny.

If you can't laugh at yourself, your foibles, and even at God, don't read this--you'll start feeling self-righteous and will be quickly entering a "how dare she?" review. You will, of course, have totally missed the point.

Everyone can learn something about the way LIFE has a sneaky way of surfacing painful and joyous memories and feelings. These emotions are triggered by life's details, which Lamott expertly captures. She finds the most unassuming triggers to release a flood of feelings about various topics. The stories she tells are God-given, precious moments. Perhaps we don't "see" these moments and reflect on them enough in our lives. Is that why Lamott touches us? Thankfully, she remind us that they are there.

Read and savor this book, if you are open to what makes someone an imperfect person--and a Christian.

5-0 out of 5 stars Never written a review or letter to author before....
Have been an avid reader for 30 years, but never before felt compelled to write a review or letter to an author before...This book, perhaps more than any of the thousands of others I have read, struck a chord in my soul. On the recommendation of a friend I had read "Operating Instructions" about three years ago. While thumbing through a Book of the Month Club type catalog I ran across the photo of a white woman in dreadlocks and was struck with admiration for the woman who would present such a public image. I was pleasantly surprised to read that her name was Anne LaMott. I ordered the book "Traveling Mercies" and was delighted and completely engrossed by it. Ms. LaMott puts words to emotion I cannot personally express when she speaks of her "Christian-ish" life-orientation, her likening of her personal experience of coming to the Lord as to that of a stray cat trying to enter her life, and the pain and sublime joy of rearing her Sam. Like Annie,(oddly enough the name my own mother, a story in and of itself, was called as a girl) I came to a personal relationship with God through voyeurism into a congregation of Black believers, and like her, was taught life lessons I didn't know I needed through my interaction in fellowship with them. I thank God for the talent with words he has bestowed upon Anne, ask his blessings upon her and her loved ones, and recommend this book to anyone who finds him/herself surprised at the move of the Holy Spirit in his/her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooked
This is the book that got me hooked on Anne Lamott. Most poignant and precious are the insights about life as a recovering alcoholic. Raw facts about motherhood were astounding, too. Her word choice at times caused my gut to spasm, but I survived and went on to read all of the book she had previously written. To my delight and the benefit of mankind, Lamott's newest book, Blue Shoe, avoids profanity.

4-0 out of 5 stars my kind of christian
Until I read Anne Lamott I associated the word "Christian" with holier-than-thou, priggish, etc. Now I see clearly that that's just a stereotype. It IS possible for a Christian to be a liberal with a wicked sense of humor.

Lamott isn't afraid to present herself in a less than flattering light whether it's secretly hating her mom or yelling out of frustration at her young son. We all do these things, but most of us prefer to show the world the "good" side of ourselves. Lamott is wonderful when it comes to making the everyday petty irritations of life funny, so that you empathize with her rather than judging.

Lamott writes about children, her friends, relatives and church. She writes about the competitiveness that can develop among parents of young children, and she writes about the path she took to becoming sober. Unlike some reviewers, I don't think it's going to be detrimental to her later relationship with her son when she makes him go to church. There could be a lot worse things she could force him to do.

In one essay, she writes about feeling unattractive after standing with a group of teenage girls waiting for a bus back to her hotel. Then she realizes that no one in the group is probably satisfied with her body, and this is something I've started to tell myself when I find myself in that kind of situation, too.

This atheist gives this book two thumbs up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outside my experience
This book should be an eye-opener for anyone who is prone to believing in "cookie cutter christians"...

Read with an open heart. God will bless... ... Read more


33. The Peabody Sisters : Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism
by Megan Marshall
list price: $28.00
our price: $18.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395389925
Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 794
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Book Description

Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia Peabody were in many ways our American Brontes. The story of these remarkable sisters &mdash; and their central role in shaping the thinking of their day &mdash; has never before been fully told. Twenty years in the making, Megan Marshall's monumental biograpy brings the era of creative ferment known as American Romanticism to new life.
Elizabeth, the oldest sister, was a mind-on-fire thinker. A powerful influence on the great writers of the era &mdash; Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among them &mdash; she also published some of their earliest works. It was Elizabeth who prodded these newly minted Transcendentalists away from Emerson's individualism and toward a greater connection to others. Mary was a determined and passionate reformer who finally found her soul mate in the great educator Horace Mann. The frail Sophia was a painter who won the admiration of the preeminent society artists of the day. She married Nathaniel Hawthorne &mdash; but not before Hawthorne threw the delicate dynamics among the sisters into disarray.
Marshall focuses on the moment when the Peabody sisters made their indelible mark on history. Her unprecedented research into these lives uncovered thousands of letters never read before as well as other previously unmined original sources. The Peabody Sisters casts new light on a legendary American era. Its publication is destined to become an event in American biography.
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34. Princesses : The Six Daughters of George III
by FLORA FRASER
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679451188
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 1717
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dutiful Daughters
Flora Fraser is the next generation in the fine biographical/historical tradition of her mother Lady Antonia Fraser and her late grandmother Elizabeth (Countess of) Longford.Like her forebears, Fraser combines scholarship with an elegant and witty writing style to produce books whichilluminate and engage.

King George III's six daughters tend to get short shrift from historians and biographers who focus on their father, their brothers, and their niece Queen Victoria. The prevailing picture of them is of six mousy women pushed into the background.Fraser has pulled Charlotte, Augusta, Elizabeth, Mary, Sophia, and Amelia out of the shadows and let us see that they had strong personalities and lives of their own.

The six princesses were victims of circumstance even more than most eighteenth century royal women.Ordinarily they would have been married off to men they scarcely knew almost as soon as they reached puberty in order to strengthen Britain's alliances.George III, however, had been horrified by the ill treatment two of his own sisters received at the hands of unloving husbands, and he was determined that his own daughters would not suffer such a fate.Unfortunately his paternal affections did not extend to allowing his daughters to marry Englishmen they loved, and only meant that he turned down overtures from many foreign princes, usually without consulting his daughters at all. Furthermore, as the princesses reached marriageable age the French Revolution and Napoleonic Warsmeant many possible suitors were now the enemies of Britain and thus out of bounds. Finally, George III's bouts of madness/porphyria attacks made him unable to entertain marriage offers, and his wife Queen Charlotte's deep depression over her husband's malady meant that she could not be a matchmaker either.

Bereft of the chance to be proper wives and mothers (the only acceptable role for nearly all women of the period) the princesses lived under their parents' noses well into middle age.They developed literary and artistic interests and were patrons of British charities, and managed little flirtations and dalliances here and there with gentlemen of the court.One of Augusta's liaisons possibly ended in (an illegal) marriage, while Sophia actually produced an illegitimate child.The princesses were dutiful and loving children to their increasingly difficult parents and were supportive siblings to their rackety brothers, who were also denied the chance to legally marry women they loved.

It was only in middle age that some of the daughters married, Charlotte and Elizabeth to German princelings, Mary to an English cousin.Charlotte probably had the most adventurous life, living in Wurttemburg right through several invasions by Napoleon and having to flee for her life at one point (Fraser's description of her life in temporary exile, accompanied by two kangaroos, is among the most amusing of the many anecdotes in the book.)

The fine human qualities of the daughters are well portrayed here.I felt sorriest for Amelia, whose unrequited love for an English officer lasted until her death in 1810.I was impressed with the lovethe daughters showed for their parents and their brothers, and by the love their brothers gave them in return. (Usually the later Hanoverians are depicted asself-indulgent reprobates devoid of any finer qualities.) Finally, the love and regard the daughters had for each other, going to great trouble to visit when one was ill for example, is admirable.

The final years of the daughters were quiet, marked by illness and decline, but I was glad to see that they were not lonely ones, but rather filled with visits from their surviving siblings and other relations and friends.There is a charming photograph in the book of Queen Victoria with two of her children visiting Mary, the last survivor.It is a fitting end to this story of six women who, though related to some of the wealthiest and most powerful people of their time, enjoyed unassuming and generally unremarked upon lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Six Lives Stories, Well Told
Perhaps best known in the United States as being the British king who wanted the colonies to pay for military protection with things like the tax on tea, George III was King of England from 1760 until 1820. He fathered fifteen children, six of whom were daughters, this is their story.

The King's growing madness is heavily emphasized in this story. And this is fitting because this was a growing part of the lives of the children. Ms. Fraser did a remarkable job with this book. It is based on the extensive letters between Queen Charlotte and the six girls. It is not a typical biography talking of the major events of King George's rule, it is the personal story of this group of women trying to live a semi-normal life amidst life at the court.

It is a fascinating book that looks at a time far removed from ours. ... Read more


35. The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
by Sue Monk Kidd
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006064589X
Catlog: Book (1996)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 1642
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The acclaimed spiritual memoir from the author of The Secret Life of Bees

I was amazed to find that I had no idea how to unfold my spiritual life in a feminine way. I was surprised and, in fact, a little terrified when I found myself in the middle of a feminist spiritual reawakening.

Sue Monk was a "conventionally religious, churchgoing woman, a traditional wife and mother" with a thriving career as a Christian writer until she began to question her role as a woman in her culture, her family, and her church. From a jarring encounter with sexism in a suburban drugstore to monastery retreats and rituals in the caves of Crete, Kidd takes readers through the fear, anger, healing, and transformation of her awakening. Retaining a meaningful connection "with the deep song of Christianity," she opens the door for traditional Christian women to discover a spirituality that speaks directly to them and provides inspiring wisdom for all who struggle to embrace their full humanity.

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Reviews (42)

4-0 out of 5 stars One woman's journey into feminist spirituality
Sue Monk Kidd spent approximately her first forty years in the Baptist church, where women are exhorted to submit to their husbands and where she heard the phrase "second in creation, first to sin" countless times. She was disgruntled with the church's stance on women, but never felt moved to rock the boat much, until one day she walked into her daughter's work and found two customers sexually harassing the girl. Something snapped inside her, and she began to question her religion's assumptions about gender and to seek a more feminist spirituality. Her journey took her to ancient mythology, the Gnostic gospels, and to dark places in her own life as her quest caused trouble in her marriage and her religious life. She tells us how she got through her troubles, and her story seems very human and touching. She would feel uneasy, drop the whole subject for months, but her longing always resurfaced. And in the end, she seems to have found peace, and some interesting insights. This book will be interesting to Christian women trying to figure out how to reconcile religion with self-respect. It was also interesting to me, as a pagan of several years and an agnostic before that--it helped me see value in Christianity that I had not seen before.

My only gripe about it is that sometimes Kidd generalizes too much. The book is at its best when she tells her own story, but sometimes she slips into saying things like "A woman feels X when Y happens". Everybody's journey is slightly different.

5-0 out of 5 stars It changed my life
Like Sue Monk Kidd, I was (am) the wife of a Protestant Minister. Unlike her, I was absolutely miserable for twelve years. I was unhappy and unsuited for the role, and found the expectations of the small Methodist congregations impossible to my independent nature. When my husband left the pastorate to take a special appointment primarily because of my nervous breakdown, I felt as if I had failed my religious family and friends. I floundered, confused and depressed for some time until I happened on DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER. The accounting of Ms.Kidd's search for her place in a patriarchal religious south and her discovery of the power available within when embracing her own feminine nature and the sisterhood of other women gave me hope. I knew that I would encounter considerable impediments if I traveled that road so when I met her at a book signing in Atlanta, I had one question: "Is it worth it?" She looked me in the eyes and said one word---"YES!" And it has been.

This book is of immeasureable value for any woman searching for a path to a personal spiritual awakening not filled with the platitudes and martyrdom usually found in Christian Women's books. I would especially recommend it to wives and daughters of Pastors and Ministers who are finding their husband's and/or father's profession personally difficult. Be warned, it is forward thinking and revolutionary, but you may find spiritual depths that give you and your families a new and powerful source of strength.

5-0 out of 5 stars What can be said?
What can be said about a writer as good as Kidd? I have been following Sue Monk Kidd since those days when she was a contributing writer to Norman Vincent Peale's Guideposts magazine. As another woman who has come to embrace the Divine Feminine, I admire her courage in relating her spiritual journey, especially in giving up those associations through which she had acquired fame and recognition. Would also recommend a book titled "The Bark of the Dogwood--A Tour of Southern Homes and Gardens" as it is equally well written and full of ideas.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
I was excited to read this book because I think of myself as a feminist and I have a strong interest in feminine divinity. Although Ms. Monk has some pertinent information about patriarchy in the Christian church, the balance of the book was a narcistic view of her years spent in therapy, retreats, libraries, and dream analysis, trying to find her feminist self. My view of the feminine divine doesn't include such self-indulgence. My advise to Ms Monk: "Get over it, get a life."
What a lot of drivel.

5-0 out of 5 stars An absolute MUST READ!
The way I was led to this book was uncanny...but as I began reading it I thought, "OH MY GOSH - this is MY STORY!" I have been in the "unlearning, awakening" state that Monk Kidd talks about...and it is a LONELY road. The most difficult thing about evangelical christianity is that nobody (especially a woman) can ask any "hard questions" or they are labeled "not a christian" or "backslidden." I was raised in NO religious setting but joined the evangelical movement in my late 20s and was solidly rooted there... until I began an academic journey at age 40. College studies (sociology, women's studies, anthropology) made me thirst for MORE but "the church" didn't like that. I so needed a friend like "Betty" (Sue's friend in the book). I couldn't put the book down but it was a library book and I couldn't write in it either! SO I ordered a bunch of them... so I can re-read and write in mine... and share it with many ladies who I know will appreciate it. ... Read more


36. Three Weeks with My Brother
by Micah Sparks, Nicholas Sparks
list price: $22.00
our price: $15.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446532444
Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 504
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

As moving as his bestselling works of fiction,Nicholas Sparks's unique memoir, written with his brother, chronicles the life affirming journey of two brothers bound by memories, both humorous and tragic. ... Read more

Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Summer Reading
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Spark's family and about the journey around the world and through childhood of these two brothers. I was deeply touched to be given such insight into the author's life and it made you realize that no matter how good someone's life looks on the outside, you never know really what is going on/has happened behind the smile/tears. This book is different from his others since it was inspired by his own life not someone else's (also enjoyed learning where he came up with the ideas for other characters in previous books)...truly an enjoyable book to read. I loved how he mixed past and present stories with his trip with his brother. Kept it very interesting.

3-0 out of 5 stars Skip the Travelogue, Read the Memoir
If anyone advised Nicholas Sparks to abandon couching his memoir within a travelogue, he should have paid attention. Sparks's thoughts about the wondrous places he visits -- Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Agra, among others -- are silly and shallow. Plus he and his nominal co-author brother proudly portray themselves as buffoons and philistines. You want to slap them both on the back of the head and tell them to at least be quiet if they can't behave.

On the other hand, the bulk of the book, which details the series of tragedies that have overwhelmed the brothers' adult lives -- deaths of parents and a sibling, as well as the rearing of an autistic child -- is sad but compelling, and ultimately encouraging, because it is written from the heart.

I also think another book -- perhaps it will take the form of a novel -- needs to be written about the Sparks' mother. Nicholas professes unblemished love and respect and devotion to the woman, who died tragically at 47, just weeks after his marriage. However, she was a complicated character whose parenting of her three children was often questionable at best. Perhaps additional time is needed for him to examine her -- and his own feelings about her -- more honestly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Full Of Heart
Thats exactly what this book has-Full Of Heart. The brothers go through so much together, life is a challenge, sometimes so unfair but the one thing-the clearest thing spoken is that they have the ultimate gift-Love. Full of heart! Also recommended: Other Memoirs-A Child Called It, Father Joe,Running With Scissors,Nightmares Echo

5-0 out of 5 stars "Three Weeks" is a great read
Like many others who have reviewed this book, I have read all of Nicholas Sparks' previous books. I completely enjoyed reading this book as well. I think some reviewers missed the point of the book, unfortunately. It is not a "travel" book and it is not a "spiritual" book. It is a memoir, an autobiography, of the author and his brother's life experiences. I was drawn into the story on many levels - the familial relationships, the growing up years in Fair Oaks, the heartbreaking traumas endured. I think it is wonderful that Cathy and Christine were in favor of this trip for the brothers. They truly are saints (it's nice to know that both Nick and Micah truly understand that!). It makes me sad to think that Micah and Nick are so far apart (physically), but the book is a beautiful reminder that love knows no bounds. And aren't they lucky to have each other. I don't think they come off as pretentious at all...they're all they've got, it doesn't get more real than that. I think it must be amazing for Nick to look back and realize where he was and where he is now (and that he thanks God for all the blessings). I think writing this book must have been very cathartic for him, at least I would hope it was. And that he can still rely on his faith to carry him through the difficult times...we all have them, even if we aren't best selling authors or successful businessmen. It's interesting that as I read the book, I kept reminding myself that this wasn't one of his novels...this stuff really happened. And though some of the antics that he and his brother did on the three week trip were borderline-out-of-control, it was funny. I could see me and my brother and sisters doing stuff like that! Micah seems to be a good reminder to relax, enjoy life and have fun. I hope that they both benefitted from traveling together and spending quality time together like that...and that there was some healing in the pains suffered after living through so many tragedies...especially for Nick. Micah seems to deal with life and it's ups and downs well enough...I mean, if not going to church and questioning his faith are the worst things that he has endured, then good for him. I think writing the book for Nicholas probably has helped him move forward, which sounds like he is doing. God bless him, his brother and their families. Now I think I need to make a run downtown to get some Zelda's and beer myself! :)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written!
This is a different kind of book but wonderful! Any Sparks fan will love this! You will laugh and cry. Have some tissues nearby and enjoy! Fan for life! ... Read more


37. John Brown, Abolitionist : The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights
by DAVID S. REYNOLDS
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375411887
Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 1207
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good biography of Brown with important cultural issues
When I was a child the name of John Brown was a grotesquerie.We sang about his body a moulderin' in the grave, but it was generally understood that he was some kind of crazy man who killed some people over slavery, had something to do with the Civil War, and we just shouldn't talk about it.And I am from Michigan rather than the South so this avoidance wasn't based on region.

In the sixties I was about as removed in time from the Civil War as today's young people are from the First World War.That is, the people who were alive during the war were all but past and the children born to those who had lived through the war were now old.Still, some of the received knowledge of the war came from tradition of those who had life experience rather than from books and scholarship.However, with the Great War in our Grandparent's lives, the Second World War in our parent's lives and the echoes of Korea all around us and Vietnam getting under its bloody way, the Civil War just seemed too long ago to worry about in real life.

I took extra time with this book because I wanted to wrestle with the idea of when a cause is important enough to justify personally initiated violence.In our present state of affairs, it is hard to conceive a wrong so great that righting it would involve action outside the political and judicial processes.At bottom, no matter how certain of the rightness and goodness of our cause, there is still some possibility that there is more to the issue than we understand and that those whom we would kill or murder might actually, in the cosmic view of things, not merit the death we would inflict on them.We have doubts enough with the state rendering a judgment of death, how much more would we doubt the rightness of a private judgment that concluded in the death of a human being.

The author, David Reynolds, does a solid job in telling the story of John Brown.We see Brown as a human being within his time.We see his faith in God, his Puritan sense of destiny, and his fury at the injustice of slavery.As we follow him through his life we understand why he acted as he did and the enslavement and misery of four million souls makes his actions in Kansas and at Harpers Ferry make some sort of awful sense.The last two chapters make clear that this author agrees with W.E.B. DuBois that "Brown was right".Reynolds does take on the modern terrorism of the left and the right.He takes on abortion, the environment, the Islamofacists, and more.He argues that Brown was different and exceptional.He notes the power Brown's words and how his cause was taken on by so many leading into, during, and after the Civil War.

Yet, in my own mind, if I grant that Brown is an exception I have to ask what was he exceptional with?And I note it was his eloquence in words.I still cannot help but disqualify his violence as just.His cause in freeing the slaves was certainly just, but if we allow his violence under what premise do we make that allowance?Abortion has taken millions of lives, environmentalism claims they are saving the whole planet, animal rights claims they are sparing billions of animals, and on and on the fever goes until it reaches into insanity.Whose conscience do we grant the privileged position of spilling everyone's blood?

Brown had the passion, conscience, and eloquence that he could have used to make a powerful case against slavery as he did after his trial.He would have had, I believe, and even greater impact against slavery with his preaching than with his sword.Remember, every other country in the world abandoned slavery without the violence of our Civil War.And even if we grant that the War freed the slaves in 1865 while a nonviolent approach would have taken decades longer, we also have to admit it was another century of work and too often bloodshed before the descendants of those slaves got close to the civil rights promised them.And don't forget that the man who did the most to move society to accepting those rights was Martin Luther King who preached nonviolence.Thurgood Marshall won Brown v. Board of Education without guns as well.

Yes, there is more to do.Certainly, there is cruelty and injustice almost more than we can bear in the world.But bear it we must as we work towards a better world.Our methods in that work do matter and we must not become deluded that our personal sense of righteousness actually grants us a special position from which we can deal injustice in the name of a higher cause.

This is a thoughtful book and deserves to be read.You will gain a lot from it and wrestling with these awful events will help you clarify what exactly it is you do believe.

1-0 out of 5 stars There are better biographies of John Brown
Don't waste your time on this book. Find and read Otto Scott's "John Brown and the Secret Six" which has plenty of evidence of the terrorist roots of John Brown and his band.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvellous
Ideal for those of you who want to find out about John Brown, Abolitionist : The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights

5-0 out of 5 stars A Christian Right Wing Terrorist
I'm not so sure that I agree with Dr. Reynolds subtitle.

John Brown didn't exactly end slavery. That took a little over two million men; 359,528 of whom died.

Did he spark the Civil War? Certainly he was one spark. Dr. Reynolds writes that the Civil War might have been delayed, except for John Brown's murderous raids and the seizure of the federal armory at Harpers Ferry. If it had been delayed, might it not have happened?

Seeding Civil Rights, OK! But if so, the growth and maturity of the Civil Rights movement took another hundred years and the actions of a lot of people.

From this you can guess the tone of the book. Dr. Reynolds presents Brown as a Puritan pioneer rather than a crazed fanatic. I wonder if he would present Timothy McVeigh and the Christian Right prople who blow up women's clinics in the same way.

You can certainly say that Dr. Reynolds presents a strong viewpoint almost praising John Brown, yet at the same time he does point out that the actions of John Brown would today mark him as a terrorist. ... Read more


38. Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table
by LindaEllerbee
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399152687
Catlog: Book (2005-05-05)
Publisher: Putnam
Sales Rank: 127
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The celebrated journalist, producer, and bestselling author takes us on a remarkable culinary journey through "a life lived interestingly, if not especially intelligently."

Linda Ellerbee's first two books were instant classics: And So It Goes, a hilarious, unblinking look at television journalism that spent months as a bestseller; and Move On, a wry, intimate look at a woman in her time that became a milestone in autobiographical writing. Now she takes us both farther afield and closer to home in a memoir of travel, food, and personal (mis)adventure that brims with warmth, wit, uncommon honesty, inspired storytelling . . . and a few recipes as well.

In Vietnam, preconceptions collide with the soup. . . . In France, lust flares with the pbti and dies with the dessert. . . .In Bolivia, a very young missionary finds her food flavored with hypocrisy . . . while at the bottom of the Grand Canyon an older woman discovers gorp is good, fear is your friend, and Thai chicken tastes best when you're soaked by rain and the Colorado River.

From Italy to Afghanistan, from Mexico to Massachusetts, Ellerbee leads us on a journey of revelation, humor, and heart."What can you say about Linda Ellerbee?" Ted Koppel once wrote. "The woman is raucous and irreverent and writes like a dream." Take Big Bites proves it again.
... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A spectacular tour de force
It is rare to stumble on a book that you know is going to be a classic. Linda's latest reminds me of A J Liebling's already-classic saga of Paris dining, Between Meals. Liebling, too, was a journalist-gourmet. But Linda's book is possibly greater than Liebling's (and his is one of my favourites). Ellerbee has been everywhere and tasted everything. A Texan who was "going large" long before it was fashionable, and who has probably the most interesting address book in the world, her amazing empathy for people and her eye, ear and tastebuds all become the grist for some exquisite writing. Her respect for others, self-mockery, love of adventure and occasional sharp tantrum makes Take Big Bites a genuine literary achievement. Dare I propose that Ellerbee should be taken more seriously as an important American writer(I write this as a Brit). If Ellerbee had not become a TV star, she would have made plenty of reputation for herself with words alone. The charm of her TV scripts was always her clarity and precision - something not common in that industry. This book shows Ellerbee once again in perfect command of her stories. It is a memoir, a cook book, a statement of love for the world and its people, toldin a unique voice. Buy this book and you will feel happier. This is not really a five-star book by the somewhat devalued standard of these evaluations, it is a perfect 10. Did I mention that I love this book?

3-0 out of 5 stars Small Bites Are OK, Too
I remember Linda Ellerbee on Overnight, a late-night TV newscast that was considered ground-breaking at the time, before CNN. The news was serious, but she and her co-anchor, Lloyd Dobyns, seemed to be taking it all with a grain of salt, enjoying their gig while all the grown-up anchors were asleep. It was fun to watch reporters who weren't taking themselves too seriously.

For the most part, Ellerbee maintains that attitude in Take Big Bites, but it's a bit difficult when you've been through a few marriages, breast cancer, and reporting from war zones. Take Big Bites isn't exactly a memoir, it's a collection of essays and memories of places she's been, people she's met, food she's eaten. You can take it in order, or skip around, as Ellerbee has done.

I suggest small bites, contrary to Ellerbee's advice. A little bit of Ellerbee goes a long way. Her first encounter with pho,Vietnamese noodle soup is amusing, and so is her reaction to Singapore. But there is a bit too much homespun philosophy for my taste, as well as James Taylor lyrics. I like JT as much as anyone who came of age in the Seventies, but quoting him this much seems like an odd 'blast-from-the-past'.

5-0 out of 5 stars A delicious must read!
Ellerbee's escapades as she dines her way around the world is hysterically funny. It is a laugh-out-loud read about the life of one of Amercia's great journalists and greater writer.Her personal observations and honesty touch your heart and give a compelling insight into what makes this woman an icon. ... Read more


39. The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun
by Paul Hattaway
list price: $13.99
our price: $10.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 082546207X
Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
Publisher: Monarch
Sales Rank: 1483
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars This will challenge your socks off
After reading this book, I'm convinced that most professing Christians in America have no clue what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. This book is about Yun who was nicknamed "The Heavenly Man". Yun was a church leader, planter and missionary in China. He faced much persecution because he refused to compromise. He could have avoided the persecution, separation from his family and imprisonment by just being quiet about his faith. But he choose to obey, and he suffered greatly. I was challenged and convicted of my fear of man. This book has been one of the most life changing books I have ever read. Buy It!

5-0 out of 5 stars THE SPIRITUAL POWER OF 'THE CRUCIFIED LIFE' .....
I wish I could give this book six or seven stars. There
are a few truly rare books out there that can genuinely
change your life for the better: this is definitely one
of those books.
You will be amazed to read the fascinating and heartrending
testimony of bro.Yun, a leader in the Chinese underground
church, and how his "faith of abandonment to GOD" leads
him into astounding testings and overcoming power to
testify of the faithfulness and supernatural power of
Christ in daily life: a life that seeks nothing but the
glory of God and the salvation of others as a true servant
in the Kingdom of Christ and His Church.
Just to read the triumphs and tragedies of chapters 11 and
12 alone is more than worth the price of this book. It's a
modern-day classic that will, perhaps, challenge your faith
and your life as no other book you may ever read.
I know now beyond any shadow of doubt that most Christians
in the Western and developed world are virtually spiritual
pygmies compared to our brethren suffering under persecution
and rising to the task of giving testimony to The Gospel with
their very lives and their all for Christ, and Christ alone.
~ This is what genuine, - from the heart CHRISTianity is
all about. The book is a rare treasure. don't miss it, OR
the Message.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!!!
The reviews speak for themselves! This book is a must for all believers!! It is encouraging and convicting. Brother Yun is a vessel willing to be used.. you will be encouraged to do the same!

5-0 out of 5 stars God using people, People Used by God!!!
Reading this book will change your life forever. If you want to strenghen you faith in God or find out about Chinese Church Persecution this is the book for you. After you read the book you won't feel God just wants you to go on with life, but that he wants to use you in ways you've never thought possible.To devote your whole life to him and want to give everything that you have to him, So that HE CAN USE YOU!!!This book will Bless you.

God Bless

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Christian book I have ever read
This book is what true apostolic Christianity is like. It is a guide book for anyone who is desirous of authentic New Testament faith walked out in today's modern world. It will radically challenge your paradigm of what Christianity really is about. ... Read more


40. My Life as a Quant : Reflections on Physics and Finance
by EmanuelDerman
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471394203
Catlog: Book (2004-09-17)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 1360
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Book Description

"Derman’s memoir of his transition from mathematical physicist to expert finance whiz at Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers reads like a novel, but tells a lot about brains applied to making money grow."
–Paul A. Samuelson, MIT, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, 1970

"Not only a delightful memoir, but one full of information, both about people and their enterprise. I never thought that I would be interested in quantitative financial analysis, but reading this book has been a fascinating education."
–Jeremy Bernstein, author of Oppenheimer: Portrait of an Enigma

"This wonderful autobiography takes place in that special time when scientists discovered Wall Street and Wall Street discovered them.It is elegantly written by a gifted observer who was a pioneering member of the new profession of financial engineering, with an evident affection both for finance as a science and for the scientists who practice it.Derman’s portrait of how the academics brought their new financial science to the world of business and forever changed it and, especially, his descriptions of the late and extraordinary genius Fischer Black who became his mentor, reveal a surprising humanity where it might be least expected.Who should read this book?Anyone with a serious interest in finance and everyone who simply wants to enjoy a good read."
–Stephen Ross, Franco Modigliani Professor of Finance and Economics, Sloan School, MIT

" … a deep and elegant exploration by a thinker who moved from the hardest of all sciences (physics) to the softest of the soft (finance). Derman is a different class of thinker; unlike most financial economists, he bears no physics envy and focuses on exploring the real intuitions behind the mechanisms themselves. In addition to stories and portraits, the book documents, in vivid detail, the methods of knowledge transfer. I know of no other book that bridges the two cultures. Finally, I am happy to discover that Derman has a third career: he is a writer."
–Nassim Taleb, author of Fooled by Randomness

"The quintessential quarky quant, Emanuel Derman has it all.Physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and poet blend together to produce a narrative that all financial engineers will find worth reading."
–Mark Rubinstein, Paul Stephens Professor of Applied Investment Analysis, University of California, Berkeley ... Read more


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