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$8.21 $5.00 list($10.95)
81. The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's
$16.97 $15.93 list($24.95)
82. Mr. China : A Memoir
$16.80 $15.31 list($24.00)
83. Tales from the Bed : On Living,
$11.16 $3.99 list($15.95)
84. Pour Your Heart into It : How
$10.36 $7.48 list($12.95)
85. We Thought You Would Be Prettier
$15.40 $13.94 list($20.00)
86. Mein Kampf
$17.13 $14.95 list($25.95)
87. Their Lives: The Women Targeted
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88. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary
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89. Wilt, 1962 : The Night of 100
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90. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures
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91. The Last Season: A Team In Search
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92. By Myself and Then Some
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93. A Hope in the Unseen : An American
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94. No Mountain High Enough : Raising
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95. Jack: Straight from the Gut
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96. Sweet Life: Adventures on the
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97. Biggest Brother : The Life of
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98. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
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99. The Spiral Staircase : My Climb
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100. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated

81. The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family
by Dave Pelzer
list price: $10.95
our price: $8.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558745157
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 1555
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Imagine a young boy who has never had a loving home. His only possesions are the old, torn clothes he carries in a paper bag. The only world he knows is one of isolation and fear. Although others had rescued this boy from his abusive alcoholic mother, his real hurt is just begining -- he has no place to call home.

This is Dave Pelzer's long-awaited sequel to A Child Called "It". In The Lost Boy, he answers questions and reveals new adventures through the compelling story of his life as an adolescent. Now considered an F-Child (Foster Child), Dave is moved in and out of five different homes. He suffers shame and experiences resentment from those who feel that all foster kids are trouble and unworthy of being loved just because they are not part of a "real" family.

Tears, laughter, devastation and hope create the journey of this little lost boy who searches desperately for just one thing -- the love of a family.

... Read more

Reviews (319)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
After reading A Child Called It, I of course, had to read Lost Boy. Though, I was very happy to see David got away from his mother, I was more compelled to learn that the school system got involved, finally! Being in foster care itself, can't be a easy task, i.e. living out of a paper sack with the only prized possessions he ever owned, but not knowing from moment to moment if you are going to be pulled out of that home. This book is one of those books that you just can't put down, you have to turn the page to see how David pulls through each situation. Don't pick up this book if you don't have a few hours to spend starting and finishing this book. It is a MUST read! I have purchased A Man Named Dave and have begun to read it. This series is compelling!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dave is Inspiring to All
The Lost Boy is the most beautiful book I have ever read. It tells about his life from the ages of 12 to 18 as a foster child. It is the long awaited sequal to the book A Child Called 'It.' A book so intreguing, it was literally impossible to put down. This book is Pelzer's moving sequel. It deals with child abuse and how he survived. He takes you through his five diffrent foster families during his adolesent years. Pelzer tells about his desperate dtermination to find the love of a family and a child's dream of 'fitting-in.' While reading The Lost Boy, you will experiance an uproar of emotions. It will make you cry and at the same time it will make you mad. Then when you least suspect it, you will be crying and cheering for Dave. Dave is living proof that abusive cycles can be broken. He is an inspiration to us all. It would be an honor to hear this wonderful man speak.

1-0 out of 5 stars Peddling bogus melodrama for a profit
This 'memoir' ought to be labeled trash fiction. Hasn't anyone read the New York Times article tracing Dave's childhood and examining the inconsistencies in his books? He peddles these books at 'conferences' in order to keep his name on the NYT Bestseller list - which is NOT an evaluation of the merit and literary value of any particular book, but just shows the general ignorance of today's reader.

I'm embarrassed for the readers who actually believe the pages of rubbish. It's a sad state when books like these continue to garner attention and prey on poor innocent readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I really liked the book "The Lost Boy" and read it after I finished a "Child Called It." I cried in many parts of this book and enjoyed reading it very much. If you have read "A Child Called It" (and enjoyed it) I would highly recommend you read "The Lost Boy." The book was mainly about how Dave Pelzer was moving to different foster homes, his problems fitting in, and his constant fear of his mother.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brought me to tears again
This book was just as good as "A Child Called It"

What David Pelzer went through is unspeakable. I can not even formulate it into words, but to say, no child should go through what he went through.

At the end of the book there was light at the end of the tunnel, he became an adult an enlisted in the Armed Forces. I will read "A Man Called Dave" to see how his life unfolded.

Later.... ... Read more


82. Mr. China : A Memoir
by Tim Clissold
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060761393
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: HarperBusiness
Sales Rank: 1423
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The idea of China has always exerted a pull on the adventurous type. There is a kind of entrepreneurial Westerner who just can't resist it: red flags, a billion bicycles, and the largest untapped market on earth. What more could they want? After the first few visits, they start to feel more in tune and experience the first stirrings of a fatal ambition: the secret hope of becoming the Mr. China of their time.

In the 1990s, China went through a miraculous transformation from a closed backwater to the workshop of the world. Many smart young men saw this transformation coming and mistook it for their destiny. Not a few rushed East to gain strategic footholds, plant their flags, and prosper. After all, the Chinese had numbers on their side: a seemingly endless population, a thirst for resources, and the tide of history. What they needed was Western knowledge and lots of capital. Or so it seemed ...

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of one man's encounter with the Chinese. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars and a strong sense that he and his partners were -- like missionaries of capitalism -- descending into the industrial past to bring the Chinese into the modern world, Clissold got the education of a lifetime.

The ordinary Chinese workers, business owners, local bureaucrats, and party cadres Clissold encountered were some of the most committed, resourceful, and creative operators he would ever meet. They were happy to take the foreigner's money but resisted just about anything else. At every turn, the locals seemed one step ahead of Clissold's crew threatening to take the Westerners for all they were worth.

In the end, Mr. China isn't a tale of business or an expatriate's love for his adopted land. It's one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.

... Read more

Reviews (20)

4-0 out of 5 stars A first-hand look into China's complex business culture

In "Mr. China," we get a genuine look into the, "Now you see it, now you don't," world of foreign investment in China.

You'll laugh, and cry, when you read Clissold's frightening tales.You'll find out first-hand what it's like to be a pioneer in an emerging market, still entrenched in communism, where firing workers is off limits, regulations are deliberately complicated, and property ownership is a moving target.

Much of what has been written about China deals with the economic boom in coastal cities.Clissold takes us out into the hinterlands, some areas of which have only recently been opened to westerners.Out in China's badlands, they can be trying to destroy you one day, and the next day they're your best buddies, staying up with you all night, sloshing down baijiu.Lucky for us (and for the author), he lived to tell about it.

This book is full of valuable lessons, not just about China, but which are relevant to any emerging market.Even if you're not looking to invest in China, this book is still worth reading.Because, like it or not, China is here to stay.And the more we understand their complex culture, the better we'll be able to deal with them as an economic superpower.

We should be thankful to pioneers like Clissold, who pave the way and take the arrows.Yet despite the extreme hardships, and tens of millions in losses, Clissold leaves us with hope that, some day, we'll be able to make this work."Mr. China" is definitely a step in that direction.


4-0 out of 5 stars Unusual stories about investments in China that went wrong
For every success story that we hear about China investments, there must be many which have gone awry. Yet there are not many books that depict such tales from the first narrator viewpoint. Many are dry textbook-like, how-to narrations. Thus, Mr China provides a refreshing look into the realities of doing business in this vast land of 1.3 billion. I particularly enjoyed the story on the investment in Five Star Brewery- perhaps because it is a tale about a consumer product which makes it easier to grasp.

However, I do not understand why Mr Clissord kept using "arrived back from " when he could have used "returned from". Perhaps, it is due to his long stay in China that he started formulating his thoughts in Chinese?

It would also help if Mr Clissold could explain in greater detail the hierarchial structure of the Chinese governmental bodies.

On the whole, this is book worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone wants to understand modern China
As a person who was born in Taiwan and came of age in the States, I marvel at Tim's in-depth understanding of Chinese culture.All those proverbs he quoted at the beginning of each chapter are old sayings that are known for almost all Chinese and capture much essence of Chinese view of life and world through ages.His sincerity and truthful portrait of the Chinese that he encountered makes this book truly educational for anyone who wants to do business in China, like many reviews have already mentioned. What makes this book so special is Tim's compassion toward fellow human beings, in the instance of this book, toward people who live in the land that European happened to call "China."Scratching the surface difference of customs or language, people everywhere are pretty similar--they all long for a better live, try to do the best of what they are given and want to be treated respectfully.Being a member of this exclusive five-thousand year old club, I admire and appreciate Tim's efforts to put a humane face of Chinese people and try to build deeper understanding between two great nations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Reading Before Business Travel to China
Several days ago, I learned of the book Mr. China by Tim Clissold. I started reading it last night and finished it early this morning - only 252 pages. It is an absolutely mesmerizing chronicle of the investing in China in the 90's, and of the challenge to traveling out into the hinterlands of that enormous nation.

To a great extent it explains to me the situation I was actually in during my trip to Humen China last November - the balance between the Party and the private sector there, the role of the press, the work ethic and entrepreneurial drive of the Chinese, the intrigue of their nefarious rules/regulations and the balance between Beijing and the provinces. It reinforces the wisdom of our non-profit trade group having over 30 members with offices in China, a resouce we can draw from in our network. But this book is what individuals must read and come to grips with prior to travel to China.

I almost can not imagine what our members went through in opening factoriesthere. After you read this book, neither will you. And the same holds true for our many members there or soon to be in one form or another.

Simply amazing and an important, informative, moving and almost visceral read for those of us in this global game.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Emerging Market Lessons
I have worked extensively in Russia, rather than China, but most of the author's experiences and lessons are just as applicable to Russia or any other emerging market.

Other than describing some common pitfalls and challenges, the author does a great job of explaining with insight, humor, and feeling why people are attracted to invest and live in emerging markets.

A good, fun, quick, read that might actually teach you something.Highly recommended!

TMR ... Read more


83. Tales from the Bed : On Living, Dying, and Having It All
by Jenifer Estess
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743476824
Catlog: Book (2004-05-18)
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 320
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jenifer Estess is a woman on the verge: She's about to launch her own company; she's looking buff and dating vigorously; she's driving in the fast lane -- with the top down. At the age of thirty-five, Jenifer dreams of falling in love and starting a family. Then she notices muscle twitches in her legs. Walking down a city block feels exhausting. At first, doctors write off Jenifer's symptoms to stress, but she is quickly diagnosed with ALS, a fatal brain disease that is absolutely untreatable.

Max out your credit cards and see Paris, suggests one doctor. Instead of preparing to die, Jenifer gets busy. She dreams deeper, works harder, and loves endlessly. For Jenifer, being fatally ill is not about letting go. It's about holding on and reaching -- for family, friends, goals.

Jenifer's girlhood pact with her sisters Valerie and Meredith -- nothing will ever break us apart -- guides them as Jenifer faces down one of the most devastating illnesses known to humankind. That same enduring pact inspires the creation of Project A.L.S., a movement started by the sisters that changes the way science and medicine approach research for ALS and the related diseases Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and which has already raised more than $18 million. Will Project A.L.S. help scientists discover medicine in time for her?

Jenifer answers these questions and others in this beautifully written and wholly inspiring memoir that celebrates a life fuelled by memory. Tales from the Bed forces us to reconsider society's notion of "having it all," and illustrates, more than anything, the importance of endurance, hope, and, most of all, love. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars I've found a new hero (or heroes)
I have seen the HBO documentary, "Three Sisters," with which this book is associated, and also read this book. Both were amazing and powerful, yet different. I walked away from the book, looking to do something more meaningful with my life, whereas the film was more educational as far as ALS is concerned.

The book kept me up, reading all night long, in a rush to continue with Jenifer on her journey to the end. When I read the final pages, I didn't want to close the book, in fear that the connection I established with Jenifer, Valerie and Meredith would disappear. The writing flowed like a familiar memory and the humor made me smile between the tears that dropped. I feel like I've known the Estess family for my entire life, even though I was introduced to them by mere text in the pages of the book. I recommend this book highly to everyone--not just those who have ALS or know someone with ALS. After all,like Jenifer, ALS could happen to anyone of us.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful
This was such a great read that revealed a woman with a lot of class who even though she was dying inch by inch continued to live and fight for the hope of a cure for ALS. Through the writing you can feel her struggle, but her sense of humor comes through so just when you are about to cry over the inhumanity of the disease you crack a smile or even laugh out loud at something Jenifer said. The love she and her sisters had for one another and their determination to help Jenifer is awe inspiring. This book makes you forget about your troubles and makes you want to do something to find a cure for ALS. I'd recommend it for anyone who has a heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars A moving story of courage
I picked up this book on the way home from a trip for some airplane reading and could not put it down. I was somewhat familiar with Jenifer's story from seeing her and her sisters on the Today Show and other news programs when they started Project ALS. But her courageous story of life and love and what it means to be family really touched my heart - and gave me some much needed perspective in my life. I highly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Indomitable spirit an encouragement to all
I deeply admire Jenifer's courage and indomitable spirit. Her sisters' commitment to love, care, and find a cure is also very admirable.

My husband has ALS and I am very glad I read this book. I am challenged to love others more and do my best to make a positive difference in spite of daunting odds.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful summer read - inspiring and filled with love!
I just read Jenifer's wonderful memoir, TALES FROM THE BED and thought it was one of the most beautiful stories I've read in years. With all that was changing in Jenifer's life, she had her sisters and still had hope, and remained funny, heartwarming, and inspiring you can feel the love that she had for life pouring through the pages. I hope that you'll give yourself the gift of reading Jenifer's wonderful story and the legacy she left behind. ... Read more


84. Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
by Howard Schultz
list price: $15.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786883561
Catlog: Book (1999-01-13)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 3372
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The success of Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the mostremarkable business stories in decades, growing from a single retailstore on Seattle's waterfront to a company with more than one thousandstores nationwide and a new one opening every business day. Starbucks haseffected a fundamental change in American life, turning coffee into anational obsession and establishing the coffee bar as a new fixture ofMain Street - a home away from home for millions of Americans. In PourYour Heart Into It, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, shares thepassion, values, and inspiration that drive the success of thisfascinating company. Schultz gives credit for the growth of Starbucks toa foundation of values seldom found in corporate America - values thatplace as much importance on the company's employees as they do onprofits, as much attention to creativity as to growth. Schultz tells thestory of Starbucks in chapters that illustrate the principles which havemade the company enduring, such as "Don't be threatened by people smarterthan you," "Compromise anything but your core values," "Seek to renewyourself even when you are hitting home runs," and, most simply,"Everything matters." For entrepreneurs, marketers, managers, andStarbucks' loyal customers, Pour Your Heart Into It gets to the heartof a company that, according to Fortune magazine, "has changedeverything...from our tastes to our language to the face of Main Street." ... Read more

Reviews (81)

4-0 out of 5 stars An insightful read - much better than the typical CEO tract
I was pleasantly surprised as that number of insights I picked up in Howard Schultz' tale. He and Dori Jones Yang really appeared to have connected in the writing of this book. There's an effortless flow in the telling that gives you a 'fly on the wall' insider's feel without getting bogged down in coffee arcania or management dribble.

Schultz walks you through some of the thought processes and actions that led to important advancements in Starbucks' success with their customers. And, he's not afraid to point out when he's been dead wrong. He's strong enough to admit being dead set against the Frappuccino & totally missing the boat on what ended up being a blowout product for the company.

One comment - it's hard for me to reconcile Schultz' recent fixation on the Internet, going so far as ruminating about buying Williams-Sonoma for its online potential, with the clear-headed thoughts expressed in this book. [Yes, let's see...I'll have a latte and this leather couch, thanks.] Throughout the book, Schultz shows a complete understanding of a company's need to please Wall Street via growing profits, and also is quite clear of having to evaluate each decision by asking "Will it strengthen or dilute the brand?"

5-0 out of 5 stars You will never look at Starbucks the same way again
This is one of the best business biographies I have ever read. It is truly inspiring. One simple, and telling, output from reading this book on a plane was that as soon as we landed I headed to the local airport Starbucks for a latte. I rarely even drink coffee! So powerful are the imagery and the passion for coffee in his story that you can almost smell the roasted dark beans, feel them running through your fingers, hear the sounds of the espresso machine and taste the coffee itself!

Why is this imagery so important? Because behind the corporate image of a relentless pac-man like machine churning out new locations at a rate slightly above the national birth rate it seems, is a simple vision of passion for coffee combined with Italian neighborhoods and a warm and friendly place where the worlds best coffee and social friendship intermix. That is what Starbucks was all about.

The book itself is a remarkable insight into this journey. It was even more special for me, as I grew up with Starbucks - literally. When Howard talks about the vision he had to treat even his part time employees with full benefits and ownership in the company through stock, I know it was more than just a nice sounding corporate manta, it really worked. Friends I went to high school with in Bellevue in the mid to late 1980's worked at the first stores, and raved about this little coffee company and couldn't imagine working anywhere else. So, from firsthand experience I can tell you that what he says about the passion and vision coming to life in Seattle is all true

While company history is quite interesting, and the book itself just hums and glides without ever getting mundane, the real gems are in the emotional reality Howard displays. He talks about being overwhelmed to tears, about the rejection he faced while trying to get funding for his fledgling company, about the naysayers and others who nearly took it all away, and the struggle with having a hand in everything and slowly letting go. You know that you are reading about a real person, someone who came from a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn with working-class roots, not an image generated by a large corporations PR spin doctors

The value of people, so often lost in corporate bureaucracy, is evident here. Starbucks grew because it struck an emotional chord with people. He knew that in order for the company to be successful he needed people who shared the values. This is often spoken of, and rarely practiced in the corporate world where systems, forecasts, processes and other such tools become the focal point, and the simple fact that all results come through people is lost. He speaks throughout the book of people who helped him, coached him, mentored him, challenged him, and made the company what it was. One quote in particular summarizes his views: "If people relate to the company they work for, if they form an emotional tie to it and buy into its dreams, they will pour their heart into making it better." (Page 6) This theme comes through in every decision.

Overall, this is a wonderful book, and is truly inspiring. I would work for him tomorrow, if it really still is the way it's portrayed here. I encourage you to read this book and see your neighborhood Starbucks in a new light.

1-0 out of 5 stars Try Working at Starbucks
This is an interesting read if looked at as a fictional account of business. As a frustrated Starbucks employee, there are many an urban legend about how great we are supposed to be treated. Howard should go to work as a barista in one of his own stores, have customers insult him, throw drinks back at him and do all of the cleaning chores expected of the people making him his millions. As for the "One Drink at a Time", I wish that were true. We are expected to whip out drinks within mere seconds of them being ordered. Don't believe all the gospel of Howard. It ain't all that he thinks it is cracked up to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read
OK. I don't read a lot of books. I am an entrepreneur. This book was great. I always liked starbucks coffee but now I have an in depth understanding of how truly amazing a company Starbucks is. You will not be dissappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book to Read for those who Wish to Develop Own Business
You can see from this book how Howard Schultz upheld his belief in good coffee quality from the begining. Also, he was so committed to bring in new experience to his customers which was a very important marketing strategy nowadays. The book is easy to read and has given the reader a lot of inspirations! ... Read more


85. We Thought You Would Be Prettier : True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive
by LAURIE NOTARO
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812969014
Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
Publisher: Villard
Sales Rank: 2404
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars The funniest woman alive
I'm appalled at the reviewers who have the audacity to say Laurie's work isn't hilarious. One clearly has no sense of humor if she fails to make you laugh. Sure Laurie pokes mean spirited fun at Camaros, morons in line at Fedex and kids with stupid hairdos but she also thoroughly makes fun of herself which you've got to respect. And you're kidding yourself if you can't relate to some of her tales - we all lose patience with strangers and do idiotic things.

My respect for Laurie doubled when I met her a B&N book signing. She is a great person - as funny and sarcastic as you'd expect from her writing but also genuinely nice - the kind of person who makes a really fun friend. She clearly cares about her readers and delights in meeting the people she has touched with her stories. She also shared the chocolate Twizzlers someone brought her with everyone at the book signing. You gotta love generosity when it comes to candy! ;o)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another humorus home run from Laurie!
I was so happy to get this book, I've been a huge fan of Laurie Notaro for years. She speaks for all of us who are less than perfect but make the most of it. These books keep getting better and better. I can relate to so many of the situations, but could never find the right way to express the details. Laurie not only captures the moment, but makes a hilarious sitcom out of it - in fact I think she deserves a prime time sitcom! Now it's time to wait for the next book. Until then, I'll read this one again! Go buy this book, you'll love it!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Notaro rocks
In this latest collection of short stories, Laurie Notaro works her comedic yet magic again. From start to finish, I was cracking up with each new page. Laurie Notaro rocks!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not as good as the others
This book is funny - it is a good read but I enjoyed her previous books more. Autobiography of a Fat Bride : True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood is probably my favorite. That aside, this is still an entertaining read - it is broken up into short chapters so you can read a bit here and there. Notaro has some really witty observations on life and a sarcastic sense of humor.

2-0 out of 5 stars Alright??
I had just finished a few thoughtful books. I really wanted something light hearted and would make me laugh. This certainly was NOT the right book.

I hate to admit this but I chose this book because of the cover and its title. I thought it would remind me of my life in someway and I could easily identify with it. SO not the case.

Most of the humor is forced. She tries to get us to see what she experienced without realizing we didn't grow up with her. She had a few moments especially in her surgery story but other than that...The worst story (many would most likely disagree with me on this) was her fedex story. Although many of us have been there: stuck in line with a stupid customer in front of us, it doesn't mean that would ruin an entire day. She almost has no compassion on the woman...it seems like everyone is an idiot, a paris hilton or something to that degree...it's like a constant pity party.

What makes me sad is that I forced myself to finish this book. I hate quitting on a book so I forced myself. One should never force yourself to read a book. But I must admit, there were some decent stories hidden in this book. But the bad far out ways the good. ... Read more


86. Mein Kampf
by Adolf Hitler
list price: $20.00
our price: $15.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0395925037
Catlog: Book (1998-09-15)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Sales Rank: 3292
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1922, just four years after the war to end all wars, an unknown Austrian then living in Bavaria planned a pamphlet to be called Settling Accounts. In it he intended to attack the ineffectiveness of the dominant political parties in Germany which were opposed to the new National Socialists (Nazis). In November 1923, Adolf Hitler was jailed for the abortive Munich Beer Hall putsch along with men willing and able to assist him with his writing. With the help of these collaborators, chief among them Rudolf Hess, the pamphlet became a book. Settling Accounts became Mein Kampf, an unparalleled example of muddled economics and history, appalling bigotry, and an intense self-glorification of Adolf Hitler as the true founder and builder of the National Socialist movement. It was written in hate and it contained a blueprint for violent bloodshed.
When Mein Kampf was published in 1925, it was a failure. In 1926 a second volume appeared - it was no more successful than the first. People either laughed at it or ignored it. They were wrong to do so. As Hitler's power increased, pressure was put on all party members to buy the book. Gradually this pressure was extended to all elements of the German population. Soon Mein Kampf was even being passed out to newlywed couples as a gift. Ironically, and frighteningly, by the time Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933, what has been considered by many to be the most satanic book ever written was running neck and neck with the Bible at the top of the German bestseller lists.
In his excellent introduction to this definitive American translation of Mein Kampf, Konrad Heiden writes: "For years Mein Kampf stood as proof of the blindness and complacency of the world. For in its pages Hitler announced -- long before he came to power -- a program of blood and terror in a self-revelation of such overwhelming frankness that few among its readers had the courage to believe it ... That such a man could go so far toward realizing his ambitions, and -- above all -- could find millions of willing tools and helpers; that is a phenomenon the world will ponder for centuries to come."
We would be wrong in thinking that such a program, such a man, and such appalling consequences could not reappear in our world of the present. We cannot permit our selves the luxury of forgetting the tragedy of World War II or the man who, more than any other, fostered it. Mein Kampf must be read and constantly remembered as a specimen of evil demagoguery that people whenever men grow tired of thinking and acting for themselves. Mein Kampf is a blueprint for the age of chaos. It transcends in historical importance any other book of the present generation. In his translation Ralph Manheim has taken particular care to give an exact English equivalent of Hitler's highly individual, and often awkward style, including his occasional grammatical errors. We believe this book should stand as the complete, final, and definitive English version of Hitler's own story of his life, his political philosophy, and his thwarted plans for world domination. Translated by Ralph Manheim with an introduction by Konrad Heiden.A compilation of Hitler's most famous prison writings of 1923--the bible of National Socialism and the blueprint for the Third Reich.
... Read more

Reviews (118)

1-0 out of 5 stars A must read. But is just garbage
How do we rate this book? Because of its historical significance? If we rate it based on that, then it certainly deserves 5 stars. However, I think we should rate it based in what's inside. It is nothing but garbage. I understand that Hitler had motifs to feel bad about the situation of Germany in the mid -20s but what he expresses in this book is WRONG. High School and College History books don't cover enough information about the economic and social situation of Germany during the 20s but still. Hitler's ideas are nothing but anger and hate. It has a great historical importance. This book is a must read. It is well written and covers important points. But the ideas are still Garbage. Anyone who doesn't think that Nazism is garbage has a problem and you and I know is true.

2-0 out of 5 stars Dizzying, rambling... but possibly very important
In order to give any clear review for Mein Kampf it is necessary to attempt to read it as just another book by just another theoretician. While this eventually became untrue, viewing it this way helps to see it as it was initially encountered, which in turn may help us to understand how it went from long political diatribe to near-eternal infamy.

If we do that, here is what we discover. Adolf Hitler's long tome is not unintelligent. One could, in fact, make a list of quotations from Mein Kampf that are easy to agree with. This is due to the fact that in exploring his ideas Hitler touches on many areas of human and even natural experience. In doing so he states many things which would be difficult to not call truisms.

Yet in investigating this philosophy Hitler makes errors that perhaps it is easier for us to see in our time, but might have been harder when this was published. In describing human structures, Hitler is quick to designate terms that he feels he can pigeon-hole people into. Given his racial views this might not be surprising, but without that assistance, it might not be as easy to note his logical flaw when, for example, he divides activists into idealists and politicans; though he acknowledges that occasionally one is both, what he fails to notice is that the line between the two is not nearly as easily definable as he thinks it is.

Besides his use of this belief system as it relates to race, his tendency to do this extends to the rest of his writing. Mein Kampf is packed with various lists that Hitler feels can describe different phenomena. The more he lists, however, the more that you see someone in love with his own self-created systems than with any desire to map them accurately to reality. This is in spite of the fact that Hitler spends a good portion of the first 1/5 of the book discussing the evolution in his views as his old opinions fell in the face of adult-acquired evidence.

There is also a problem for the non-German reader in that Hitler spends a good amount of time focusing on specific words that appear to drive the debates of his time, the same way that the fight over words such as "liberal" or "alternative" defines ours. So when Hitler describes the battle for proper use of the word "folkish" to describe his utopian state, most lack the social history necessary to even fully understand his points, let alone judge his accuracy in describing them.

So the question comes: do you need to read this? That's not easy to answer. At roughly 700 pages with highly complex sentences that often go to more than 10 lines, Mein Kampf is a very difficult read. On the other hand, because we now know of the nightmare Hitler unleashed on the world, it is natural to want to read this to find out where he went wrong so we can avoid these problems in the future.

For people who feel that way, I would answer this "yes", as the answer for this is more hidden than you might guess. If you get into this with the mindset that you will find a one-to-one correlation of his philosophy to those of some modern-day leader or party, you'll be in for a surprise. Elements of right and wrong are interspersed all over Hitler's rambling. That makes it even harder to work through, but it also provides a reward more fulfilling than any black-and-white rallying cry. And given that that was the kind of world that Hitler saw, and we now know the results of these ideals, that might be all the more reason to put the effort in and understand with more maturity and clarity exactly where Hitler missed the point.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mein Kampf
Many people claim that was the worst of human kind. I could not disagree more. Adolf Hitler was a genius with a clear sense of historical, social and political knowledge. He had to fight the jew controlled establihment early on his life and knew that the liberal lies where just that, i.e., lies. Whilst it is true that he is not a writer in the realm of either Donne, Milton, Dante or Shakespeare; one would be an idiot not to realize true genius when it stares one right in the eye. His knowledge in many fields is astounding and he writes verily like a scholar and a deep thinker. This book, i.e., Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (Introduction), Ralph Manheim (Author), should be read by people whom are not affraid of the truth behind the jewish lies and deceit and want to know the true nature and spirit of one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. Even though I find his occult ideas very troubling and his cult of personality smacks of heresey one can cleary see that their is a genius residing in that mind. A genius tainted by Satan and his minions , yet a genius. Yet Shakespeare wrote that one can smile and smile and still be a villain.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
i find this book the best book i have ever read, i think it includes some fasinating points and lines. I would reccomend it anyone who is open-minded and is prepared to let there "anti-racist, hate hitler" views go out of the window while you read it. Forget who it was written by for a minute if u dissaprove of the man and you will come to realise wat i mean.

3-0 out of 5 stars Just FYI....
I can't stand it when people post reviews which point out factual errors made by other reviewers, as this is usually done to show off their own knowledge rather than out of any charitable impulse to correct a wrong. That having been said, I have to do just that the two official Amazon reviews of this book posted at the top, one or both by Sunny Delaney, who should have checked the facts before posting them as such.

The original July 18, 1925 release of "Mein Kampf" was not a failure as stated. In point of fact this first printing of 10,000 hardback books sold 9, 473 copies in less than six months, despite a depressed economy and a relatively high price of 12 marks. If the printing had been a failure, Munich publisher Franz Eher would never have ordered a second in 1926. The second edition was in fact a disappointment, sales dropping off sharply in following years, and it was not until the Nazis gained significantly more momentum in Germany years later that additional editions were ordered. However, it is recorded that Hitler gained a substantial, if temporary, income from royalties of his book, and it may have financed or partially financed the 28,000-mark Mercedes-Benz he bought when released from Landsberg prison.

I understand that most people cannot even fake objectivity about Hitler as a historical figure because of the things he did and set in motion, but that is not an excuse for getting the facts wrong. "Mein Kampf" was by no means a runaway success, but neither was it a failure. It neither fulfilled the lofty expectations Hitler had for it nor flopped on its face as so many of his critics (and there were many, even in 1925) hoped. Hitler, as it happened, had no respect for objective truth and bent it to suit his purposes and his whims; in studying his life, career, and beliefs, we have an obligation to do the exact opposite and get the facts straight. There are enough myths, legends, and outright lies about this crucially important figure of modern history told every day without committing any more of them to print. ... Read more


87. Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine
by Candice E. Jackson
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974670138
Catlog: Book (2005-05)
Publisher: World Ahead Publishing, Inc.
Sales Rank: 4607
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Book Description

The lives of eight women who crossed romantic paths with Bill Clinton are examined in this innovative look at the former president. Extensive research and firsthand interviews document the intimidation and harassment that these women suffered after falling out of Clintons favor, in the process revealing a disturbing truth about the ideology of the president and his followers. ... Read more


88. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
by JOSEPH J. ELLIS
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0375705244
Catlog: Book (2002-02-05)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 587
Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this landmark work of history, the National Book Award—winning author of American Sphinx explores how a group of greatly gifted but deeply flawed individuals–Hamilton, Burr, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Adams, and Madison–confronted the overwhelming challenges before them to set the course for our nation.

The United States was more a fragile hope than a reality in 1790. During the decade that followed, the Founding Fathers–re-examined here as Founding Brothers–combined the ideals of the Declaration of Independence with the content of the Constitution to create the practical workings of our government. Through an analysis of six fascinating episodes–Hamilton and Burr’s deadly duel, Washington’s precedent-setting Farewell Address, Adams’ administration and political partnership with his wife, the debate about where to place the capital, Franklin’s attempt to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery and Madison’s attempts to block him, and Jefferson and Adams’ famous correspondence–Founding Brothers brings to life the vital issues and personalities from the most important decade in our nation’s history.
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Reviews (281)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Look at the One of the Most Important Decades - 1790's
Joseph J. Ellis' richly (and deservedly) rewarded book, Founding Brothers (The Revolutionary Generation), looks at six important events that helped form the stable government of the United States after the war for independence and the intellectual wars over the creation of the constitution had ended and before a new generation took up the mantle of state. The period was primarily the 1790's, one of the richest decades in American history from which to mine and the author does a great job of finding and presenting some prime historical nuggets. It is fascinating to see this band of brothers who fought a war divide themselves slowly into ideological camps that then transformed over the decade into parties while still preserving the precarious union that they all created without the shedding of blood, the Burr-Hamilton duel notwithstanding. Adams comes out the best and Jefferson the worst in the narrative as many historians are swinging that direction lately but this will change again, showing that the debates raging in the 1790's are still raging in the history books today. The reconciliation of these two friends is the most touching and noble section of the the book. This is a lively and enlightening read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Founding fathers & political rivals in newborn Republic
This book is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for good reason. Author Joseph J. Ellis offers intimate portraits of our nation's founding fathers and also a vivid view of the political rivals in our newborn Republic. Ellis is a terrific writer. History comes alive in this stirring narrative...the action starts in the opening pages with the most famous duel in American history and ends in the final chapter with a glowing review of the fued/friendship between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington are examined in great detail by Ellis. Adams "enlightened diplomacy" negotiated a critical peace treaty with France. Burr is an opportunist and manipulator who was never forgiven for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Franklin, (who is not given the same attention as others) is a scientific genius who uses the press to attack political enemies, particularly those who were advocates of slavery.

Hamilton restored public credit but also nurtured power for the commercial elite at the expense of the large landowners. Jefferson is the brilliant author of the Declaration of Independance. Madison's nickname in Congress is "Big Knive" for his ability to cut up opposition to legislation he sponsors. And Washington is the "American Untouchable," a great horseman and pragmatic military man who is clearly not as well read as other leaders of his generation but becomes by far the greatest legend among the people. The combined talents of the founding fathers provided the intellectual energy that allowed our nation to survive.

Ellis is a talented writer, impressive researcher and a towering patriot. Highly recommended.

Bert Ruiz

1-0 out of 5 stars A hash job
Ellis makes it clear from the start where his sympathies lie with the Revolutionary generation and he ambushes us with Abigail Adams for good measure. Of the six stories, only The Silence is revealing for Ellis' feeble attempt to portray the slavery debate as a South-against-South issue. He lavishes attention on a hillbilly from Georgia simply to whitewash a Virginian like Jefferson, who in fact held the same, if not worse, attitudes about his slaves (all conveniently ignored by Ellis). Hamilton was the closest as any of these founding brothers came to believing that blacks and whites were equal and his financial system doomed slavery in a way Adams and his fine rhetoric could never hope to, but he barely rates a mention.

1-0 out of 5 stars I just had to put this in.
I've been reading reviews for this book and I notice that they are all 5 stars. Fine. I like stars. But. No one has mentioned (at least no one that I can see) how totally and utterly boring this book is. Now, this might be because I have to read it for Honors English, but I don't think it is.

Unless you are a major history buff and can handle gems like this: It goes without saying that Alexander Hamilton's understanding of the issues raised by his fiscal program, and the Virginia-writ-large squadrons that were mobilizing south of the Potomac to oppose it, was blissfully free of all the Madisonian ambiguities." And that was the first sentence I opened to.

Just be warned, while this book might be good, it's boring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get inside the heads of the Founding Brothers
Joseph J. Ellis knew that he wanted to write a book that wouldn't crush you to death if you fell asleep under it. Library shelves are full of large ponderous historical volumes that, let's face it, hardly anyone reads. Ellis has turned his historical microscope on a handful of key individuals and moments and the result is a very satisfying read.

This book made me understand what was going on in the minds of the individuals involved better than any history I'd previous read.

The book begins with the fatal duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, often a simple paragraph in many history books. In Ellis' work we get a sense of not only actually being present during the duel itself, but also inside the minds of both men in the months leading up to the event. It seems incredible today to think that the Vice President of the United States killed the Secretary of the Treasury in a duel, but Ellis brings the event back to life in a way more vivid than any I'd previously experienced.

With a similarly knowing eye, the book looks at a landmark dinner held by Thomas Jefferson in which the decision to move the nation's capital to the Potomac was made in exchange for support for Alexander Hamilton's financial plan. A most enlightening chapter looks at the first significant debate after the Constitutional Convention on the subject of the future of Slavery, precipitated by the leader of the Pennsylvania Assembly - Benjamin Franklin. We get to see the context of George Washington's Farewell Address. John Adams is featured frequently in the book. There is a chapter detailing the long and mutually supportive relationship between John and Abigail Adams, then the final chapter describes the rekindling of the friendship between Adams and Jefferson four decades after the Revolution. This chapter contrasts essentially the two views that have existed ever since about the *meaning* of the Revolution and of the Founding of the United States.

Although they were miles apart, both geographically and idealogically, Adams and Jefferson kept alive a friendship and mutual respect that would serve as a wonderful model for politicians ever since. ... Read more


89. Wilt, 1962 : The Night of 100 Points and the Dawn of a New Era
by GARY M. POMERANTZ
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400051606
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 1189
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hershey Native Reviews Wilt, 1962
I was born and raised in Hershey, Pa., and worked as an usher at the Hershey Arena all through high school. I saw every sporting event in that remarkable little town throughout my life. But I missed that game. I was away at college, Wake Forest University, and missed the greatest night in the history of my hometown.
Obviously, the story of this game, this player (the Warriors trained in Hershey as did the Eagles) and this town is very personal for me.
Gary Pomerantz did an eloquent job of capturing the times, the player, the game and the town. He grasps the sensitivity of the social issues of the time (remember JFK's New Frontier was in full bloom) and the hearts and the minds of the people who lived. He describes with brilliance this innocent period and the bigger than life presence of Wilt Chamberlain, who dominated it and bent it to his will.
This is a book of history, of sport and the civil rights movement and of a man who captured all of our imaginations until the day he left us.

Ernie Accorsi
General Manager
New York Giants

5-0 out of 5 stars Wilts As a Cultural Phenomenon
Wilt Chamberlain was a true athletic phenomenon, as special to his sport as Babe Ruth had been to his 40 years earlier, and author Gary Pomerantz, who started his professional career as a sportswriter, does an excellent job of showing why Chamberlain was so important to the NBA.

But Pomerantz does much more than that. He takes the reader on a tour of Chamberlain's multi-layered life, showing how he rose above, literally and figuratively, the prejudice of the time. When he played at Kansas, restaurants were racially segregated - but not for Wilt. He dated many women, and wasn't particular whether they were black, tan or white. The NBA had informal quotas but with Chamberlain's dominance, the quotas became irrelevant and fell away.

Pomerantz uses the framework of the game itself, an otherwise obscure event between the Philadelphia Warriors in Hershey, Pa. that wasn't even covered by the New York press, to weave in his social messages.

One of the most evocative passages describes Wilt striding through the Harlem nightclub he had a small part of, "Big Wilt's Small Paradise," among the black icons of the time and the white patrons, comfortable in both worlds but somehow apart from both as well.

The book captures beautifully an era when life and basketball were so much different than they are today, and I recommend it highly.

Glenn Dickey
(...) ... Read more


90. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
by Anthony Bourdain
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060934913
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Ecco
Sales Rank: 1035
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Most diners believe that their sublime sliver of seared foie gras, topped with an ethereal buckwheat blini and a drizzle of piquant huckleberry sauce, was created by a culinary artist of the highest order, a sensitive, highly refined executive chef. The truth is more brutal. More likely, writes Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential, that elegant three-star concoction is the collaborative effort of a team of "wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts, and psychopaths," in all likelihood pierced or tattooed and incapable of uttering a sentence without an expletive or a foreign phrase. Such is the muscular view of the culinary trenches from one who's been groveling in them, with obvious sadomasochistic pleasure, for more than 20 years. CIA-trained Bourdain, currently the executive chef of the celebrated Les Halles, wrote two culinary mysteries before his first (and infamous) New Yorker essay launched this frank confessional about the lusty and larcenous real lives of cooks and restaurateurs. He is obscenely eloquent, unapologetically opinionated, and a damn fine storyteller--a Jack Kerouac of the kitchen. Those without the stomach for this kind of joyride should note his opening caveat: "There will be horror stories. Heavy drinking, drugs, screwing in the dry-goods area, unappetizing industry-wide practices. Talking about why you probably shouldn't order fish on a Monday, why those who favor well-done get the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, and why seafood frittata is not a wise brunch selection.... But I'm simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I've seen it." --Sumi Hahn ... Read more

Reviews (390)

4-0 out of 5 stars He's become what he disdains
I enjoyed most of KC, including the childhood reminisces, the cooking tips, and the dining hints. As with other reviewers, I know when not to order fish, what kitchen tools are truly essential, and, most importantly, what goes on behind the kitchen doors (at least at some restaurants).

Two things grated on me, however (pun sort of intended). First, Bourdain has obviously read a lot of Hunter S. Thompson, and tries to style his writing after the original Gonzo journalist, but it's very difficult to mimic Thompson. The references to whacked-out, drug abusing, thieving kitchen staff were entertaining for awhile but began to wear thin 2/3 of the way through the book.

Second, Bourdain expresses contempt for a particular celebrity chef. Although he never mentions Emeril Lagasse's name, we know who he's talking about. He never gives a basis for such contempt, however, and fails to give credit where it is due. Before they were celebrity chefs, Lagasse and a few of the other Food TV folks spent years and years honing their craft and doing perfectly legitimate and respectable work.

The kicker, however, comes when I see advertisements for -- you guessed it -- Anthony Bourdain on Food TV! I saw the first of his Cook's Tour series. It was mildly interesting. But the irony was more than delicious -- the Emeril-basher doing a 22-part celebrity chef series on television!

4-0 out of 5 stars Marvellously informative, hysterically witty!
I laughed out loud at least ten times while reading this book. Tony Bourdain is SO very witty and has such an amazingly conversational style of writing, it's like sitting around having drinks and swapping anecdotes with a very funny old friend. I have a friend who is a chef in San Francisco and I always thought that it was just *him*, but now I realize that most, if not all cooks are like him! I can't wait to give him this book. He's a filthy-mouthed pervert who speaks constantly of sex and drugs, dishes out the crudest Spanish slang I've ever heard from a white guy, works six days a week, changes restaurants every few months, dresses like a pirate, has a shaved head, usually *stinks* of onions and body odor, and makes the most wonderful food I've ever tasted. He has more knowledge of, and passion for good food, than anyone I've ever met. So it was with him in mind that I read Tony Bourdain's account of his life, the kitchens he's worked in, the characters he's met along the way, how things *really* work behind the kitchen doors of most restaurants. Absolutely fascinating read. I give the book 4 stars, not 5, simply because the chapters are kind of schizophrenic at times, though all are good. One is about a friend of his, the next will be about kitchen slang, the next about some other seemingly unrelated subject. It's all kind of thrown together hodge-podge, but it never annoys,and it all does work quite well in the end. A definite recommendation.

3-0 out of 5 stars those crazy cooks
I just finished this book and really couldn't put it down, but at the same time I thought the author came off as really pompous: 'I've had the most interesting life and I just feel like talking about myself.'
I've worked in restaurants before and to tell you the truth, I really wasn't all that shocked by the behavior of his degenerate kitchen staff. Guess what? Kitchens all over the world are plagued by these oddball screw-ups, so tell me something I don't know! And it was rather annoying how the author kept throwing out names all over the place. I got the feeling he was trying to make me feel inadequate because I have never heard of some of the famous chefs he refered to. Well, mission accomplished. I wonder who this book is directed at? It obviously is an ode to the restaurant industry. But I think people who haven't worked in the industry will no doubt pick it up and be lost at sea.
At times I could not ignore the Lou Reed-ishness of this guy: A bad, don't-mess-with-me attitude but at the same time he's hoping people will read his book and propel him to greatness... but it was well-written and interesting, just like any Lou Reed song.
A pet peeve: Pay a good editor to weed some of your commas out; there are only so many of them in the earth's atmosphere.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!
This book recapitulates the life of Anthony Bourdain, a New York City chef. Bourdain describes how he decided to become a chef, and his training, from washing dishes for a Provincetown surf-and-turf, to studying at the Culinary Institute of America, to boot camp with Bigfoot, an unnamed New York City restaurateur from whom he learned how to survive in the big leagues. He introduces us to the backrooms of a busy restaurant kitchen, where we meet the people who prepare the fabulous food, learn about their tools and slang, and begin to get an inkling about the daily responsibilities of a head chef.

Thanks to his French heritage, Bourdain had learned to appreciate superb food as a youngster, and his parents had the resources to send him to any college he chose. Bourdain, however, likes to live on the edge, and his desire to live life to the fullest and push the limits soon led to multiple drug dependencies and heavy alcohol usage that kept steady employment difficult to maintain for a time. Remarkably, though not detailed exactly how in this book, Bourdain managed to beat his addictions, and has gone on to become not only a talented executive chef, but also a successful novelist and writer in his spare time. How anyone could even find spare time in a chef's life as he describes it is unfathomable- -Bourdain obviously thrives on stress and challenges.

The pace of the book is relentless- -it's one of those volumes that you can race through in a single day, not allowing anyone to interrupt you. Bourdain's language is not for everyone though- -he accurately records the words that are said behind the kitchen doors, so if you are squeamish about sex or take offense easily, this book is not for you.

This book confirms the importance of knowing who is cooking your food. After all, food is something you put inside your body, so it is a real act of trust to consume something that someone else has prepared. It's remarkable that many people are quite content to let total strangers prepare their food. Why would anyone frequent fast food restaurants where most of the cooks are teenagers with no talent or interest in food preparation, doing it all for minimum wage? At least in kitchens like Bourdain's, although some of the cooks may be oversexed drug addicts with filthy mouths, only those who can consistently achieve high cooking standards manage to stay on. Bourdain also reminds us to use our heads when placing our orders. After all, when you tell the waiter what you want, the food isn't just going to appear on the plate out of thin air when the cook snaps his fingers. If the fish market isn't open on the weekend, then Monday isn't a great day for ordering fish. Today's luncheon special may indeed contain leftovers from last night's menu. Some items take longer than others to prepare- -hence shouldn't be ordered at five minutes before closing. This book provides a fascinating perspective on what it's like to study at the CIA, how an executive chef spends his time, and what may be happening behind those closed doors at your favorite restaurant.

5-0 out of 5 stars Much more than "No Fish on Mondays"
Reading Tony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" for restaurant tips is like reading Hemingway for travel pointers---by focusing on the mundane, you'd be missing a lot. Bourdain is not only a fascinating character, he is also one hell of a writer, and maintains a delicate balance between outrage and outrageousness at all times. He's one of my favorite writers, period, and I've never paid more than $50 for a meal in my life. Not that Bourdain doesn't write expertly about food and especially the emotional and sensual joys of eating-he's among top modern food writers like Ruth Reichl and Jonathan Reynolds in combining expertise and literary skill. But unlike many upper-crusty food journalists, he also gets into the polyglot and hedonistic culture of the kitchen, an often hysterical portrayal that rings true to this former dishwasher. If you've ever spent time in a restaurant in any capacity, you owe yourself this book. ... Read more


91. The Last Season: A Team In Search of Its Soul
by Phil Jackson, Michael Arkush
list price: $24.95
our price: $14.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200351
Catlog: Book (2004-10)
Publisher: The Penguin Press
Sales Rank: 120
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Book Description

Nine-time NBA Champion coach Phil Jackson knows all about being in the spotlight-about high-profile, high-pressure seasons coaching gigantic personalities through adversity and controversy in the middle of a media hothouse in which every move is another headline, another installment in the soap opera. But nothing-not six championships with the Bulls of Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen, not three previous championships with the Lakers of Shaq and Kobe-had quite prepared him for the only-in-Hollywood high-wire act of the Lakers' 2003-2004 season.

In The Last Season, Jackson tells the full inside story of the season that proved to be the final ride for this great Lakers dynasty. From its beginnings in the off-season-with the signing of the future Hall-of-Famers Karl Malone and Gary Payton and the enormous expectations it created, and the bombshell news of the felony sexual assault charges against Kobe Bryant, one of the league's marquee superstars-Jackson describes the many challenges that arose during this turbulent season. Juggling enormous egos with enormous sums at stake, managing difficult relationships and public feuds, facing injuries, contract disputes, and team meltdowns, all in the shadow of the Kobe Bryant trial-slash-media circus, Phil Jackson somehow guided his team through to its fourth NBA Finals in his five years as its coach. There, finally, his team ran out of road, a failure Jackson examines with the same deep honesty and wisdom he brings to bear on the rest of this amazing season.

Few seasons in memory can rival this one for drama, and fewer coaches rival Phil Jackson in the ability to write about it with such wisdom and clarity. The combination has produced, in The Last Season, a book of tremendous human drama and timeless appeal, rich in lessons about coaching and about life.

With the honesty and insight that are his hallmarks, one of the most successful coaches in the history of basketball offers his personal account of a season like no other-the extraordinary ride of the 2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers
... Read more


92. By Myself and Then Some
by Lauren Bacall
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060755350
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 5181
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The epitome of grace, independence, and wit, Lauren Bacall continues to astound generations with her audacious spirit and on-screen excellence. Together with Humphrey Bogart she produced some of the most electric scenes in movie history, and their romance on and off screen made them Hollywood's most celebrated couple.

But when Bogart died of cancer in 1957, Bacall and their children had to take everything he had taught them and grow up fast. In a time of postwar communism, Hollywood blacklisting, and revolutionary politics, she mixed with the legends: Hemingway, the Oliviers, Katharine Hepburn, Bobby Kennedy, and Gregory Peck. She was engaged to Frank Sinatra and had a turbulent second marriage to Jason Robards. But Bacall never lost sight of the strength that made her a superstar, and she never lost sight of Bogie.

Now, on the silver anniversary of its original publication, Bacall brings her inspiring memoir up to date, chronicling the events of the past twenty-five years, including her recent films and Broadway runs, and her fond memories of many close lifelong friendships. As one of the greatest actresses of all time turns eighty, By Myself and Then Some reveals the legend in her own beautiful frank words -- encapsulating a story that even Hollywood would struggle to reproduce.

... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful and Engaging Book
If you have read her first book you will probably be a bit disappointed since the present book has just 80 new pages added in a second section at the end, and there is a twenty year gap in her biography, between where the old story stops in the 70s and the addition begins in the 90s. The new part is mostly from the early 1990s through to her Oscar nomination, and then on to the Sept 11, 2001 attack and beyond to the end of 2004. It covers her more recent movies and TV appearances, and plays, including those movies with Nicole Kidman. For readers like myself - and I am a Bogart fan - and I have not read her old book, I found this to be a wonderful biography and I read it cover to cover over a two day period. The book transports the reader back to 1940s Hollywood with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and many more.

This is a fairly detailed look at the life of Bacall, but mainly about the years to 1957 and before, the year her first husband Humphrey Bogart died. My main complaint is that the book lacks structure, andinstead the 500 page book is one continuous story broken with the occasional short sentence inserted in heavy font to designate a change in the direction of the story, and that line can occur anywhere on a page. There are no chapters nor is there an index - just one break where the new 80 pages are added. The good news here is that this update book by Bacall is a a very well written, reader friendly, and an engaging book. Once you start to read it is almost impossible to put the book down, and I read the first half or over 300 pages almost non stop - to where Bogart dies.

She starts with her early childhood in New York city; she tells us her life story through high school, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, modelling, then into small parts. She was star struck with visions of Bette Davis and others frorm a young age. The book describes a meeting bewteen the two in a New York hotel, where Bette Davis advised Bacall and her friend on how to become an actress. After some struggles, and by page 80 in this 500 page book, the ambitious Bacall makes a breakthrough when she appears on Harper's Bazaar cover in March 1943. Next she leads us through seemingly hour by hour for her first days in Hollywood at Warners, her screen test, the long wait and then her first film with Bogart, their relationship, threats from the director Hawks who had been supporting her but who opposed the Bogart relationship, Bogart's love letters, etc. They had an intense romance punctuated by Bacall making a middle of the night drive down highway 101- somewhat dramatically in the rain like a Bogart film -looking for a perhaps slightly drunk Bogart - who had phoned her in the middle of the night - and who was walking on foot with a large sunflower in his lapel - while her mother sat at home and was horrified that her daughter was going out with a three times married and 25 years older man.

The book seems to slow in tempo after Bogart's death and her affair with Sinatra - around pages 320 or so - and my only negative feeling about the book is the Sinatra section - about 20 pages long - where one is certain that she is skipping much detail. The last part of the book, the last 150 pages, leads us though her second marriage to Robarts - a mostly dismal and uninteresting period in her life - followed by the death of her mother, and then the rest of her career and awards, and her friends and family. In the last few pages she spills over with opinions about living in New york city, travelling outside the US with a US passport, and a number of other topics including her relationship and admiration of the late Katherine Hepburn.

After her second marriage failed, and her mother's death, and with "Mrs. Bogart" still being part of her core identity, Bacall was able to start a new life and made a comeback on her own in TV, movies, and live theatre. To her credit, the mature Lauren Bacall seems to have had great success in live theatre and on Broadway, and done it mostly on her own. She worked around the country in smaller theatres then in New York. She got a Tony for Applause and in a moment of poetic closure, Bette Davis, the star that Bacall had schemed to see in a hotel 30 years earlier (see above), came backstage and praised her for her performance in Applause, and told her that only she could do the part.

After her comeback she has appeared in a number of films and has reached a total of 50, but never again enjoying the same level of success and popularity as her early 4 Bogart films. But she continues to work into her seventies and is still sought for parts, especially mother roles, and came close to duplicating her old successes with a recent Oscar nomination late in her career. With her success she continues to live in New York overlooking west central park, her home town where she grew up and went to school.

All in all a great biography -5 stars.


1-0 out of 5 stars Same book, with brief epilogue
BY MYSELF--excellent, heartfelt autobiography.

UPDATE--reads something like this."The next one to die was Adios Hartley.We had enjoyed many wonderful luncheons together over the years and he was my escort to the Golden Globes in 1987.I will miss him terribly."

"Then the next one to die was Beau Bye.He was a delightful person that I got to know well on the set of Uptown Downtown.Such a raconteur!"

and on, and on, and on....

Reads almost like a Roll of the Dead Christmas Letter.

3-0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed
I har already read the first book by myself.This is a wonderful book.The rest is just not worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Loved It"
BY MYSELF AND THEN SOME by Lauren Bacall is anything but boring. What a woman!

I admire Ms. Bacall for many, many reasons, a few reasons...her savvy way of doing things...her spunk... and her own unique style.I, for one, am thrilled she chose to share some of herself with us (her many fans), in this fantastic book.

No-matter what her real age today, I think she is STILL beautiful both inside and out.

Ms. Bacall, you go girl!

(Recommended Reading!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved By Myself.Looking Forward to Reading This One
I have not actually read this follow-up book yet, but am looking forward to in the near future.I am currently re-reading By Myself.I read one of the reviews below, and felt I really have to answer it.Lauren Bacall is in no way ripping off or cheating her readers.Instead, what she has done is a marvelous thing.By Myself was first written 25 years ago.It is a wonderful book.Since then, a whole generation of people has grown up not knowing about this book.She has simply presented it again along with an update so those of us who weren't around the first time can enjoy it, and those of us who read the first book can enjoy it again along with a nice companion update.I just love and admire Lauren Bacall.She really is class all the way. ... Read more


93. A Hope in the Unseen : An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League
by RON SUSKIND
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767901266
Catlog: Book (1999-05-04)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 7672
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At Ballou Senior High, a crime-infested school in Washington, D.C., honor students have learned to keep their heads down. Like most inner-city kids, they know that any special attention in a place this dangerous can make you a target of violence. But Cedric Jennings will not swallow his pride, and with unwavering support from his mother, he studies and strives as if his life depends on it--and it does. The summer after his junior year, at a program for minorities at MIT, he gets a fleeting glimpse of life outside, a glimpse that turns into a face-on challenge one year later: acceptance into Brown University, an Ivy League school.

At Brown, finding himself far behind most of the other freshmen, Cedric must manage a bewildering array of intellectual and social challenges. Cedric had hoped that at college he would finally find a place to fit in, but he discovers he has little in common with either the white students, many of whom come from privileged backgrounds, or the middle-class blacks. Having traveled too far to turn back, Cedric is left to rely on his faith, his intelligence, and his determination to keep alive his hope in the unseen--a future of acceptance and reward that he struggles, each day, to envision. ... Read more

Reviews (99)

4-0 out of 5 stars Rising to the occasion...reaching the unseen
Cedric's trials as an intelligent black youth growing up in Washington DC and going to Ballou High School are well expressed in this book by Ron Suskind. His story and hopes to rise above his surroundings and his past are inspiring and moving. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse inside the life of someone like Cedric, being a District resident myself. However there were a few things about the book that I found to be a bit strange. I think that the book would be very differently written had a black writer taken on this story, and I also feel that more focus could have been around Cedric's home life, with more emphasis on his mother Barbara. The book does a good job of looking at his education which is really the main point and driving force behind Cedric's life, and this story. The story of a real youth struggling to succeed and not be tor apart by his peers or by anyone else who may discourage him makes a very thought provoking book. I really did like most aspects of this book and found it to be a very intriguing read. It is not a particularly fast read, but still, the book managed to keep my attention and I did enjoy this book thoroughly.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cedric gets a 5, Suskind a 2
Amid all the debates over affirmative action and inequity in funding for public schools, A Hope in the Unseen is the story of what these issues mean to a determined young man named Cedric Jennings as it follows him through his inadequate preparation at Ballou High School, to a summer program at MIT, to his freshman year at Brown University, with Cedric not quite fitting in anywhere. At home he's derided for his success, even for wanting to succeed, by his fellow students. At MIT, and later Brown, he finds himself inadequately prepared, academically and socially, to easily succeed. I found the story of his determination to make something of himself and his search for identity to be very powerful. I was put off, though, by the methods Suskind used to tell Cedric's story. This book reads like a novel, including the use of an omniscient narrator. I wanted to hear more from Cedric himself, in his own words, and not Cedric filtered through the lens of Suskind. I wish more of an effort to include Cedric's own perspective were included. If you liked this book, read the works of Jonathan Kozol, particularly Savage Inequalities, which further explains the inequities that exist in public schools.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A great book! I read it cover to cover in a day, it was compelling. You feel like you're part of Cedric's story.

4-0 out of 5 stars A story of persistence over struggles and triumph!
When I picked up this book, I didn't know what I'd think of it. It's not the normal kind of book I read, but as this month's book club selection, I gave it a chance. And I was quite impressed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Cedric. Coming from middle-class white suburbia, but not far from Detroit, I was familiar of the struggle for inner-city kids to strive, but not with their perceptions of it. This book opened up my eyes to some realities and feelings, I never had thought about before. For instance, how it's not only very difficult to get a good education or good grades in the inner city, but how you're ostracized by your peers for trying.

This is a story of how Cedric ignored the taunting of fellow students, how he earned a chance at the Ivy league and then we learn the struggle doesn't stop there. For a boy who was salutatorian at his high school, his education level is still far below most of those in the Ivy leagues. The story is about his efforts to make the grade, fit in at school and become comfortable in his own skin. Just reading about his obstacles made me tired for him!

I enjoyed the book, especially how we did get to see the world by more than just Cedric's eyes, but also by his mothers, his fathers and friends. I think this gave the story a pick-me-up when otherwise it would have gotten boring. To anyone who is interested in this topic, I'd recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beauty found in Hope in the Unseen
While flipping channels one day on my TV, I stumbles upon a writer doing a reading of his Pulitzer Prize winning book entitled Hope in the Unseen. Moments later the main character from the book, Cedric himself, stepped to the mic and took questions about the experience, and the book itself. I was riveted! This was facinating! I ran out and got the book, and was literally swept away by the story, the strength, and the bitter sweetness of the struggle illustrated so well. This book was a profound experience for me. Not only does the author use words in the most beautiful manner, but the story is so unashamed in it's stark compassion and truth. There were so many parts of this book that brought tears to my eyes. I felt privilaged to catch a glimpse of the vulnerability of this courageous, flawed, strong, optimistic young man. This book gave me hope for all young people out in the world facing seemingly insurmountable odds. I wanted to stand up and cheer at the end, I felt like this kid was going to be better than "OK", that he was going to have a richly rewarding life because he wasn't afraid to push himself along his journey. Every teen in school should be required to read this book, and every adult should read it so that we can change the attitudes in this world one family at a time. ... Read more


94. No Mountain High Enough : Raising Lance, Raising Me
by LINDA ARMSTRONG KELLY, JONI RODGERS
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076791855X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 8374
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power Behind the Throne of Victory
Linda, a "natural blonde" with a bombshell attack on life, has put together this behind-the-scenes look at life with Lance Armstrong, a miracle kid who became one of America's favorite heroes.

Linda was a single mom who had Lance when she was still in her teens. Her reckless and desperate pursuit of happiness in marriage is part of her story. Women will empathize with her attempts to make relationships work out for the sake of the child she adored. Loneliness and insecurity make the smartest of us blind to the consequences as we plunge ahead into yet another bad partnership. Throughout, the kid kept her sane and was her anchor. Without him she undoubtedly would have made worse choices.

Once Lance began his youthful pursuit of victory in triathlon events, Linda became a fan who cheered him and a supporter who wrote the checks, no matter how pinched her finances. He started getting sponsorship and that helped. Then he was offered a full college scholarship for his swimming ability. He refused, saying he believed he could make it in the big-time world of sporting events. She went along, with her usual encouragement: stay focused, and I'll be there.

Linda found her personal self-esteem in the world of business. Beginning at the most humble level, shredding paper on weekends to make extra money in her first secretarial job, she moved up quickly to a series of administrative positions in which her vibrant personality came to the fore. She needed money to keep Lance on his bike, but in the meantime she was racing to her own victories as a successful corporate somebody.

Her father was a major influence. Having given up drinking as soon as he had a grandson, he protected Linda and Lance and made their way as smooth as he knew how. It was hard for Linda, however, not to repeat the patterns she'd observed as a little girl. Though she didn't get trapped in physically abusive relationships, she was a doormat --- first for a philanderer and then for another alcoholic. It wasn't until she was older and Lance was independent that she finally found a man who could care for her without his own unwholesome agenda playing out.

So that's where life finds Linda now. Lance, as the world knows, survived Stage 4 (the worst) cancer, including brain lesions. He won the Tour de France a whopping six times and has fathered a son. His mother says, "I still love to stand there and watch him fly."

This is a believable story of the power behind the throne of victory, because Lance Armstrong undoubtedly is made of tough stuff, and it had to have come from somewhere. Linda's story will inspire moms and perhaps help some other lonely mother to let some other kid go the extra mile.

--- Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott

5-0 out of 5 stars The real victory
I'm a Lance fan. So, when I read this book, it was only out of curiosity for Lance's career. But I found myself reading about an everyday victory, and one not rewarded with multi-million dollar advertising contracts or front-page stories.

Linda could have given away the baby. Linda could have received welfare and lived off the government. She didn't have to work hard to improve her career. She could have stayed in the projects or in bad marriages. Instead, her own determination lifted her and her child's life.

Sometimes I feel down because I'm struggling to save enough to buy a house, and I'm earning far more than she did and I don't have a child to raise. This is a wonderful, motivating book by a woman who never believed it when people told her it couldn't be done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer grit
The title (can you hear the Temptations singing "Ain't no mountain high enough"?) alerts us to uncommon grit and determination inside.I might add, ego --mom's, as well as Lance's.Not surprising, for mom lifted Lance out of his unpromising roots by sheer force of her ego and drive.Same can be said of Lance's string of Tour de France triumphs.He's the boy mama raised.

The chapters of the book dealing with Lance's cancer powerfully illustrate, in a different way, the grit and determination that bonded mother and son.Others might describe his dramatic comeback as "miraculous," but Lance doesn't.He goes out of his way to tell people he does not pray and his recovery was not the result of prayer.

Glancing at the book cover -a pretty blonde on Lance's shoulder- one may mistakenly think this is Lance and his wife.Reading the sub-title, "Raising Lance, Raising Me," clarifies this is not wife or girl friend but Lance's mother.Lance was named for Lance Rentzel, dysfunctional star of the Dallas Cowboys.The Armstrong name was provided by Linda's second husband, a travelling wiener salesman who wasn't home much.

Linda, Lance's mom, had an abusive father and HER mother had an abusive father.Linda, by strength of character, broke the family pattern of abuse.Her marriages, however, were as disastrous as her mother's and grandmother's.Linda is in her fourth marriage.Lance, having fathered three children, is divorced.

Other women in Lance's life are barely mentioned.The most painful part of the book is what's unsaid.When Lance marries, Linda is not involved in plans for the wedding.She no longer seems significantly involved in his life.

Lance was the accidental offspring of two teenagers in "the projects."That seventeen-year old Linda's baby got where he did is a remarkable and inspirational story.Lance's mom deserves all the credit she claims.She's a terrific lady.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read.
This book really changed my mindset on what it means to support the interests of my kids rather than just paying lip service. The most challenging portion was her thoughts on page 112 on how easy it can be to unintentionally communicate that their interests aren't important.

As an unexpected bonus, I also got a great pep talk on the attitude to have while diving into new areas at work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Now we know where Lance got his drive.
Nothing was going to keep Linda Armstrong Kelly and her son from getting their piece of the American Dream.

Knowing Lance's story is helpful, but not essential to enjoying Linda's telling of a life of poverty, less than wise choices and being mother to a live wire named Lance. (Who was supposed to be named Erica, should he have been a girl.)

With little more than a heart full of love for her child and a huge amount of determination, Linda carved out a life for the two of them . . . truly against all odds.Armed only with a GED and a real estate license, she rose from a temporary clerk to the rank of project manager for a major telecommunications company.She raised Lance to believe in himself and it seems she didn't try to squelch his infatuation with danger . . . and speed.Her determination to succeed was quickly transferred to Lance, who's natural athletic abilities were just what the doctor (and his mother) ordered/needed to keep his boundless energy channeled in a positive manner.

My favorite part of the story revolved around Lance's early competitions, when Linda was his only "pit crew" and it was, indeed, the two of them against the world.

While being open and honest about her own unfortunate choices, Linda shows herself to be fallible, too.However, instead of having a pity party, she seems to learn from her every mistake and to take each personal relationship failure and make something positive out of it.It's good to know she's found the love of her life and is happy at last.

Never flinching from responsibility.Instilling a good work ethic.Teaching the value of a dollar.Believing in the good in her child, despite some teen-age boy pranks to the contrary.

Maybe Linda Armstrong Kelly should start her own foundation and teach parents how to raise their kids to be STRONG, responsible, caring and giving adults.

Kudos to her . . . and that kid she raised to ride like the wind!

Enjoy! ... Read more


95. Jack: Straight from the Gut
by Jack Welch, John A. Byrne
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446528382
Catlog: Book (2001-09)
Publisher: Warner Business Books
Sales Rank: 3236
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

It's hard to think of a CEO that commands as much respect as Jack Welch. Under his leadership, General Electric reinvented itself several times over by integrating new and innovative practices into its many lines of business. In Jack: Straight from the Gut, Welch, with the help of Business Week journalist John Byrne, recounts his career and the style of management that helped to make GE one of the most successful companies of the last century. Beginning with Welch's childhood in Salem, Massachusetts, the book quickly progresses from his first job in GE's plastics division to his ambitious rise up the GE corporate ladder, which culminated in 1981. What comes across most in this autobiography is Welch's passion for business as well as his remarkable directness and intolerance of what he calls "superficial congeniality"--a dislike that would help earn him the nickname "Neutron Jack." In spite of its 496 pages, Jack: Straight from the Gut is a quick read that any student or manager would do well to consider. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (226)

4-0 out of 5 stars Jack, Over the Top Results
REVIEW: If one word could sum up Jack Welch's career at GE it might be "results". And this is why many people will want to read this book. It is basically an autobiography of Jack Welch's GE years and does not dwell on deap management theory. Those readers expecting a lot of new business theory or to learn how to repeat Jack's performance by reading about his secret methodology may be disappointed.

The management insights that Jack does reveal seem to me to be generally built on fairly well established (but poorly executed) management practices. Jack has just embraced them and used focussed passion coupled with an obsession on people to execute superbly and produce great results. For example, some of his major initiatives could be said to have been derived from existing management principles: 1) "No. 1 or 2" Jack admits is derived from Peter Drucker, 2)I believe six sigma is derived in part from Motorola, 3) "Boundaryless behaviour" can said to be based on Peter Drucker's observation that there are no profit centers inside an organization, and 4) Jack was clearly not an early pioneer on "E-business". Yet he recognized the opportunities and produced results from them. The book probably won't become a classic, but it is still recommended reading for today's and tomorrow's managers and especially those interest in the man himself.

STRENGTHS: The book is a fairly easy and interesting read full of anecdotes and insites. It does a great job of showing the management task as art and discipline that can be learned, improved, and mastered rather than as personal charisma or other common stereotypes of leadership.

WEAKNESSES: The minor weaknesses of the book relate to Jack's strong, competitive personality (and maybe ego) that show through in his writing. Despite that author's initial disclaimer to read "I" as meaning "we" I found Jack's lack of distinction between himself and GE to be minorly annoying. Parts of the book are filled with phrases like "I bought this $$$$$ company" when clearly "We" is appropriate [I know, I'm nit-picking]. Second (and this is almost excusable in an autobiography) Jack rarely gave the "other side" of the story when discussing major GE crises. For example, he never explains the EU's reasons for blocking the Honeywell merger, assuming that it is so obviously wrong it's not worthy of explaination.

5-0 out of 5 stars His advice may seem obvious to some, but...
His advice may seem obvious to some, but how often is it actually practiced? I shouted "yeah!" to myself over and over as I read a couple chapters of this book.

For example: the chapter about rating and rewarding his employees was excellent. For example, giving Class A employees 3x the salary increases over Class B employees-- Great!! Giving NO increases to Class C employees, and getting rid of them sooner rather than later...what can I say, I LOVE IT!!

He's so right about the fact that it's more cruel to let Class C workers attain and maintain an certain income level (that they are not really worthy of), and waiting til they're older, with a large mortgage and kids in college before finallly telling them that they're not making the grade.

I've worked with some people in the high-paying tech arena that, because of either blatant incompetence, bad attitude, and/or pure laziness, never should have gotten to where they are today. As far as I'm concerned, some never should have gotten past working in the food service industry.

Eventually those people *do* get weeded out (I'm seeing it happen right now in this economy). Sooner is better than later, both for the employer and the employee. I also enjoy not having to work with those types.

3-0 out of 5 stars I am almost ashamed to keep this book on our shelves
I must say I am disappointed in this book. Mr W. clearly takes much credit for the success of GE. Although a strong leader in any organization can make a big difference, it looks disgustingly fake when he tries to take all credit for success. If you are a critical reader you will most likely see through the tireless self promotion that went on with W.

I cannot waste any more time on this book, so I must end this review here, but there are good parts of this book. To find out about those, read someone else's reviews.

3-0 out of 5 stars Inside scoop on GE
A good book to get the inside "going ons" from a CEO's perspective. If you have interest in GE and the happenings through Mr. Welch's eyes this is a good read.

I was hoping to get a little more insight and direction regarding the key elements of running an extremely successful business. Outside of the "people are everything" and weed out the bottom feeders, there was little practical knowledge to be taken from the book and used by manager "want-to-be" types.

4-0 out of 5 stars Buy the book used
I guess it's not bragging if you can do it - and he did. It is difficult to argue GE's success over the past 20 years. Mr. Welch took a 12 billion company and made it into a 500 billion dollar business. Without even using a computer!! Regarding the portion of the book were he talks about assigning E-trainers for all the top executives in the company, all I have to say is rank does have its privileged, It must be nice to have a techie hold your hand if you are an executive and computer illiterate.
It is hard to believe that it wasn't until 1999 that Jack Welch sent his first email. A multimillionaire who isn't connected....
I am not sure if it is ignorance or apathy?

In Mr Welch's defense, I am not sure how the author could have gotten around referencing everybody he worked with or for.
If you can get through that part of the book, there are some things in the rest of the book that are of value. I listened to the book on tape so it wasn't so bad.
He does talk about real people and real problems that he encountered throughout his career and what it took to get the job done working within the environment HE created.
If you are not a business person or just wondered what it is like at the top, here are a dozen of the key ideas Mr Welch talks about in his book.

Stretch jobs
The runway of a person,
The vitality curve of a career
Differentiation being a key value to getting ahead
"boundaryless" operations
Blackbelt employees
Plane crash scenario: Who will run the company
Having a deep bench: When a replacement was needed
Fix, Close or Sell areas of business that are not performing well
Being #1 or #2 in your field
The 6 sigma quality movement
Finance: People and dollars are the movable parts, while the people hold the depth of knowledge
Not to mention a smattering of, golf, tennis and ping pong stories.

Overall I would say buy the book used or borrow it from a friend - 4 stars ... Read more


96. Sweet Life: Adventures on the Way to Paradise
by Barry Manilow
list price: $70.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070399042
Catlog: Book (1987-11-01)
Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Life is a MUST READ for every Manilow fan
Sweet Life is a MUST READ for every Manilow fan or anyone who has ever heard him sing. His life has truly been an adventure, from growing up dirt poor in Brooklyn to stadiums full of adoring fans and a mansion in Bel Air. He relates the story of his life in a very entertaining and charming way. It made me laugh out loud and, at times, tear up. After reading the book for the first time, I had a whole new respect for the man. Run, don't walk, to find a copy of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Life: Adventures on the Way to Paradise Barry Manilow
I have been a fan of Mr. Manilow for 22 years and have always admired his music and his entertaining concerts. "Sweet Life" is a detailed autobiography which is written with great humor, describing how a shy and young boy from Brooklyn evoloved into one of America's greatest composers and entertainers. The writing style is informal, as if Mr. Manilow was sitting down in your family room, recalling the many stories and events in the book. The most cohesive factor in the book, is Mr. Manilow's enormous sense of humor. Even when he is relating a serious or sad event he is able to shroud the event in humor. Mr. Manilow had to overcome many obstacles to become the sucessful man he is today. And the vehicle that vaulted him over these obstacles was his infinite love for music. When I had finished the book, I felt, that I too, had become a member of the Manilow family, because of the detail he used to described each member of the family. I know more about the Manilow family than I do about my own family. "Sweet Life" is a very informative and entertaining book which can be read in one evening. (Actually you will not be able to put it down until you finish it.)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a pleasure!
Mr. Manilow is a great inspiration.
I loved this book.
It's sincere, funny, interesting and sad all at the same time.
Not only does this man write beautiful music, he sure knows how to write a book too!
If your a fan I would say it's a MUST read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Barry speaks his mind and i agree with him
in this book, which i finally NOW have, i was expecting to read a dark and gloomy rise to fame but there wasn't any. Manilow's fame came by accident and the pressures of the business and the reluctance to accept the fame, in the beginning, is a refreshing story. Barry talks about his early musical career in the '60s before being pushed into the spotlight by Clive Davis. all facets of Barry's career is talked about in here. there's a chapter called "Read 'Em and Weep", which was the title of his huge AC #1 hit in 1984. The story part of the book ends during the "Paradise Café" album in 1984 but the discography in the back includes his 1985 and 1986 material. the pictures contained in this book are rare...you see Barry with black hair, combed to the side, during his days with CBS prior to hooking up with Bette Middler. there's also a picture of Barry on a beach with no shirt on...there's another one where he has a small beard! if anything, this book helps paint the picture of Barry Manilow. It allows people who really never followed his career in-depth to know how the off-stage "barry" was always at odds with the on-stage "BARRY" throughout much of his biggest years. There's also chapters that talk about the commercial aspect of music and the heart-felt aspect of music and why Manilow's songs were poignant yet had a commercial "sound" to them. This is a complex story of a man living the life of a super-star. Being a writer, Barry was also stunned whenever a song he never co-wrote would become a hit for him. "I Write the Songs" wasn't written by Barry...but neither was a few other big songs like "Mandy", "Looks Like We Made It", or "Read 'Em and Weep"...Barry said that it took years before he could accept their success. Barry has changed a lot of his personal opinions since the mid '80s. Nowadays whenever he does a CD he's performing "outside songs", as he calls them, even more than his own material, which wouldn't have happened in his past. above all else, this book shows that "Barry Manilow" is a human and has feelings, too. no artist should ever have to go through what he went through; and all he ever wanted was to spread joy and happiness through his music and even today he's still causing happiness with his style of pop music.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Life
I enjoyed reading every page of Barry's Sweet Life book and all the pictures inside the book, are very good.
Until I started reading Barry's book for the very first time, I never knew about his pot smoking days(Bad Barry!). :-O
Otherwise, it's a very interesting book to read! ... Read more


97. Biggest Brother : The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers
by LarryAlexander
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451215109
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Sales Rank: 468
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In every band of brothers, there is always one who looks out for the rest.

A soldier. A leader. A living testament to the valor of the human spirit. Major Richard D. Winters finally shares his amazing story.

They were the Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Army Airborne, the legendary fighting unit of World War II. And there was one man every soldier in Easy Company looked up to-Major Richard D. Winters.

Here, for the first time, is the compelling story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero-from Winters's childhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, through the war years in which his natural skill as a leader elevated him through the ranks in combat, to now, decades later, when he may finally be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day.

Full of never-before-seen photographs and the insight that family, friends, fellow veterans of Easy Company-and only Winters himself-could provide, Biggest Brother is the inspiring life story of a man who became a living testament to the valor of the human spirit-and America.
... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book
I've never written a review for Amazon before but had to for this great book.If you're interested in World War II, Band of Brothers, etc you would find this book very enjoyable.Although the subject matter is obviously similar to Stephen Ambrose's book, Larry Alexander takes a much more in depth and personal look into the life of Dick Winters (they are from the same city in Pennsylvania).He had access to many of the letters that Winters wrote at the time and that gives you a lot of insight into his thoughts and emotions during the 506th's deployment in Europe.It is fascinating reading!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Biggest Brother, the biography of Major Dick Winters
This has to be the best book I've read. Everyone should read this even if they haven't seen the miniseries or read Stephen Ambrose's book. This book was certainly one of those that you'd find hard to put down. Even though this is Larry Alexander's first book to the best of my knowledge, he has undertaken a fine job.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fills In the Blanks
This is the right book for those of us who want to know more about the most famous infantry officer of World War II. While covering a lot of the same territory that was told in "Band of Brothers," "The Biggest Brother" goes further and illuminates what Dick Winters was thinking and experiencing as a teetotalling, Bible reading, conscientious company and battalion commander during some of the worst combat in the European Theater. The author has obtained a treasure trove of a resource in that he got hold of a pile of letters that Winters wrote to a girlfriend/pen pal during his Army career. His thoughts and reactions to events of more than sixty years ago were recorded for this woman and it provides the backbone for this well-written work, along with interviews and solid research.

While Easy Company's story is told in more detail, I was particularly interested in what happened to Dick Winters after the war. Too often we're left hanging as to how the catalysts of these stories coped with what they went through. "The Biggest Brother" shows that, like many, many veterans, Winters struggled at first, wound tight as a drum and having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. His stint with his friend Nixon's company didn't help matters. Nixon and his father, both raging alcoholics, more or less left Winters on his own at their company headquarters. Basically he had to learn about the business world through intense study, trial and error and strength of will, much like his rise through the ranks in the Army. His eventual success as an animal feed salesman was accomplished through years and years of hard work. We later generations sometimes forget (or never knew) that the "Greatest Generation" built modern America with their own blood, sweat, tears and a very tough work ethic.

In addition, assuming what Alexander has written is true, many of the episodes of the HBO mini-series had major inaccuries in them. Hopefully this book will set the record straight once and for all. For example, Private Blithe, the trooper who suffered from "hysterical blindess" was indeed wounded in the neck but survived, stayed in the Army and served in Korea in the 1950s. The movie stated that he died several years after his Normandy wound, lying paralyzed in an Army hospital.

Another inaccuracy is the HBO portrayal of "Wild Bill" Guarnere going berserk and shooting up a German horse-drawn column. Evidently it was another group of paratroopers who did this as Guarnere, like Winters, had lost his weapon during the jump. There are numerous examples like this, of Hollywood forsaking accuracy, as told by the men who were actually there, in favor of dramatism and blowing things out of proportion in order to make a more profitable production. I was particularly interested in the segments where Winters attempted to impress Tom Hanks and the HBO writers with the need to be accurate and not exaggerate. The overuse of the "F word" was particularly disturbing to Winters and a lot of the other Easy Company men. Usually his advice was ignored as those of us who have seen the movie know.

At 87 Dick Winters still comes across as a tough, no nonsense kind of guy. He doesn't suffer fools and likes to tell it like he sees it. I ended the book convinced he had to be one of the top, if not the absolute best, infantry officers in World War II. His concern for his men, obsession with perfecting his skill and knowledge and lack of interest in whooping it up on furlough made him an almost flawless leader. What a guy!

I would have given the book five stars (I'd like to have made it 4.5) except for a few minor complaints about grammar, missing words and, albeit it petty on my part, technical inaccuracies. The author repeatedly uses the word "insure" when he means "ensure." There's one case where the text reads "Winters and opened fire." In addition, German tank nomenclature is a bit confused. The Mark V (popularly known as the Panther) had a 75mm gun, not an 88mm. I think he means the Jagdpanzer V (dubbed the Jagdpanther) when he refers to the Jagdpanzer IV. If not he should note that the JgdPz V had an 88, the JgdPz IV a 75. He also repeatedly refers to German artillery fire as coming in from 88s. Maybe he got that from the vets who seemed to call all enemy guns "88s." In fact, German artillery covered the gamut, from 75mm to 88mm, 105mm, 150mm and 170mm.

As I said, these are minor complaints. Overall this is an excellent work telling the story of a man many are very interested in. While there must be thousands of WWII vets still out there with stories to tell, I don't think many would be as fascinating as the life of Dick Winters. "The Biggest Brother" satisfies the curiosity a lot of us had after reading Ambrose's original work and watching HBO's mini-series. ... Read more


98. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight : An African Childhood
by ALEXANDRA FULLER
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375758992
Catlog: Book (2003-03-11)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 1448
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time. ... Read more

Reviews (106)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, funny insight into post-colonial Africa
What makes this book worth reading -- aside from a captivating style and humorous content -- is precisely what separates it from other excellent books about similar subject matter (Godwin's Mukiwa, Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions): the fact that Fuller makes no attempt to analyze, excuse, or explain the racism and insanity of her family history. Rather than rationalizing her parents' racist attitudes, Fuller chooses instead to simply describe in her wry, matter-of-fact voice precisely how the end of the colonial era was experienced by people implicated in it. She does not try to gloss her childhood experiences with politically correct hindsight, and in so doing thrusts the reader into the desperation and the joy of rural African life in the last three decades. Bobo's mother is one of the most memorable and remarkable personalities I've encountered in African literature. The book is worth reading entirely for its hysterical concluding scenes. Fuller's characters are real and human, in all their extraordinary bizarreness!

Having spent many an hour, like Bobo Fuller, poking grass into ant-lion holes in the hot dusty veld, this moving story captivated me and painted a moving portrait of people fighting the cruelty of the African landscape. Myth and reality are intertwined in a witty and beautiful story. Everyone should read this book!

3-0 out of 5 stars A different perspective
It was interesting to read a book about life in Africa, from the perspective of a white woman brought up in a family who clung fiercely to the notion of white supremacy with every last bit of their strength. I disagree with a previous reviewer, however, who seemed to excuse the racism of the Fuller parents by implying that the historic and political situation they were in "made" them that way. Racism is racism, no matter what the circumstance.

Despite the attitudes of the Fuller parents, their daughter Bobo has documented a well-written account of their life in various African countries, and provides vivid details about the smells, sights, and emotions that the continent evokes for her. Her writing really gives the reader a sense of both the incredible harshness and danger(poisonous snakes, itchy vegetation, scary militaristic governments, etc) of Africa, but also its gentleness and great beauty.

Although I think Alexandra Fuller writes very well, and I appreciate her honest writing about her parents' behavior and attitudes, I couldn't warm to the family. Despite their numerous trajedies and troubles, I found it difficult to feel sympathetic. In contrast, when I read "The Flame Trees of Thika", another memoir of an African childhood by another white woman, Elspeth Huxley, I rooted for her colonial, turn-of-the-century, white-is-right parents, Robin and Tilly, through all their successes and setbacks. They held the same attitude of racial superiority as the Fullers, yet there is something intrinsically more likeable about how they handled themselves on a continent where they were the minority race, political upheaval or no. After reading Fuller's memoir, it was a relief to pick up "Nervous Conditions" by black female Zimbabwean Tsitsi Dangarembga, and read about three-dimensional black Africans. Her book is set in 1960s Rhodesia, for those interested (A. Fuller recommends it herself in the Afterword section of her memoir). Despite my personal reaction to this book, I recommend it to anyone interested in African writing, because I think that Alexandra Fuller's perspective is just as important and valid as that of any other African writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo
A wonderful insight into the mind of a child and a precise memoir of life itself. Life isn't straightforward and simple, yet we survive, thrive and love, even in the most difficult situations. Ms. Fuller: You said it all and you said it well.

1-0 out of 5 stars Just meanders . . .
I read this book for my book club. It just seemed to meander through her childhood, no real plot or climax. Yes, this girl definitely had a different type of childhood, but what makes it that interesting or significant?????

5-0 out of 5 stars A very different childhood
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller is an extraordinary memoir of growing up white in war ravaged Africa. Alexandra, called Bobo by her family, was born in 1969 in England. Her parents moved the family to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1972. Always suffering from "bad, bad luck", which included losing three children, the family moves from farm to farm within Rhodesia and Malawi.

Fuller's writing style is rich, lyrical and many times, funny. I could picture the land, feel the heat and smell the smoking fish that embodies the Africa she describes. I found myself laughing even as I was shaking my head in disbelief at some of the choices her parents made. Bobo's mother, Nicola Fuller, is racist, resilient, strong and mad as a hatter. In other words, she's the most memorable character in the book.

Of course, to Fuller all of this stress and strife was, while not exactly normal, expected. She was a child, after all, and it's all she'd ever known. As I was reading, I couldn't help but think that American kids really have no idea how hard their life could be.

Overall a captivating read. It left me reminiscing about my childhood and reflecting on how simple and uncomplicated (read boring) it was. ... Read more


99. The Spiral Staircase : My Climb Out of Darkness (Armstrong, Karen)
by KAREN ARMSTRONG
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385721277
Catlog: Book (2005-02-22)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 2175
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Karen Armstrong speaks to the troubling years following her decision to leave the life of a Roman Catholic nun and join the secular world in 1969. What makes this memoir especially fascinating is that Armstrong already wrote about this era once---only it was a disastrous book. It was too soon for her to understand how these dark, struggling years influenced her spiritual development, and she was too immature to protect herself from being be bullied by the publishing world. As a result, she agreed to portray herself only in as "positive and lively a light as possible"---a mandate that gave her permission to deny the truth of her pain and falsify her inner experience. The inspiration for this new approach comes from T. S. Eliot's Ash Wednesday, a series of six poems that speak to the process of spiritual recovery. Eliot metaphorically climbs a spiral staircase in these poems---turning again and again to what he does not want to see as he slowly makes progress toward the light. In revisiting her spiral climb out of her dark night of the soul, Armstrong gives readers a stunningly poignant account about the nature of spiritual growth. Upon leaving the convent, Armstrong grapples with the grief of her abandoned path and the uncertainty of her place in the world. On top of this angst, Armstrong spent years suffering from undiagnosed temporal lobe epilepsy, causing her to have frequent blackout lapses in memory and disturbing hallucinations---crippling symptoms that her psychiatrist adamantly attributed to Armstrong's denial of her femininity and sexuality. The details of this narrative may be specific to Armstrong's life, but the meanin! g she makes of her spiral ascent makes this a universally relevant story. All readers can glean inspiration from her insights into the nature of surrender and the possibilities of finding solace in the absence of hope. Armstrong shows us why spiritual wisdom is often a seasoned gift---no matter how much we strive for understanding, we can't force profound insights to occur simply because our publisher is waiting for them. With her elegant, humble and brave voice, she inspires readers to willingly turn our attention toward our false identities and vigilantly defended beliefs in order to better see the truth and vulnerability of our existence. Herein lies the staircase we can climb to enlightenment. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Reviews (50)

3-0 out of 5 stars Sprial Staircase
Suberb book!Should be REQUIRED reading for every person who is seeking a more spiritual life.

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit tedious
I really enjoyed the early chapters of this book.The author's experiences as a young nun and her subsequent disillusionment with convent life make for fascinating reading.The years of struggling with an at-the-time undiagnosed illness also is of interest.Apart from the above, however, her story is one ofquite an ordinary life - perhaps even more inhibited and uneventful than most. Her story bogs down in the descriptions of her academic life and her living situations. Yes, she struggled with her faith - but who hasn't? She spends a great deal of time discovering things about life that would seem fairly obvious to others.At times her story was rather slow-moving, self-absorbed and even tedious.Did it inspire me?Only a little.Would I go on to read any other of this author's books? I doubt it. I could barely finish this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning story of a spiritual quest
Karen Armstrong is one of the best general interest writers on religion today, and this wonderful autobiography relates how she got there. Armstrong was a Catholic nun in the 60's, during a time of great upheaval in the church. After a 7 year struggle to subdue her intelligent, inquisitive spirit, described in "Through the Narrow Gate," she left the convent, and the struggle really began. Armstrong describes herself as caught in between, in a sort of no-man's land, having lost the vision of God she pursued for so long, but ill at ease in the secular world. She also suffers from deep depression, loss of memory, and hallucinations, which years of psychiatric treatment fail to cure. It is a measure of her misery during this period that a diagnosis of epilepsy is a liberating turning point for her.

Armstrong's long and tortuous path towards a life as an author includes a failed doctoral thesis, being fired from a teaching job, and a failed TV project on the Crusades. But "Through the Narrow Gate" was a surprising success, and "The History of God" established her as a popular (meaning non-scholarly, but serious) writer on Christianity, Judiasm and Islam.

As honest as Armstrong's account of her struggle is, it's not all here. She dismisses her apparently limited experience with men in a terse paragraph, viewing any such involvement as a loss of freedom. And her view of Christianity is, perhaps understandably, quite negative, her view of Islam perhaps overly positive, as she downplays the fanatical, "jihad" aspects that have marred Islam in modern times.

Armstrong's story is an important one, spanning four turbulent decades in the history of modern religion. Read "Through the Narrow Gate" first, then "Staircase." They're well-worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Happy Discovery
I came across this title in a women's magazine book review section.Something about the synopsis intrigued me, and I bought a copy.I was so impressed by Ms Armstrong's writing style, use of language, and her compelling honesty in describing her experiences that I read the book in less than a week.She has a luminous clarity of mind that drew me into the nightmarish world of the convent and on to her self-searching quest for identity and scholarship.Hers is a story of survival and transcendence.I look forward to reading her books on Islam and Buddha, among others.She also has an essay in the April 2005 issue of Utne magazine, warning that "misbegotten U.S. foreign policy is pushing Islamic fundamentalists closer and closer to the use of weapons of mass destruction."She's a brilliant woman, a gifted writer, and I highly recommend this memoir.

5-0 out of 5 stars For more about temporal lobe epilepsy and religiosity...
This fascinating autobiography describes Karen Armstrong's diagnosis with temporal lobe epilepsy, a little-known but common brain disorder often associated with intense religious feelings and prodigious creativity. To learn more about this remarkable disorder and its appearance in the painter Vincent van Gogh and the writers Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lewis Carroll, go to Eve LaPlante's 1993 book, Seized, available in paperback. ... Read more


100. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down The Yellow Brick Road
by Meinhardt Raabe, DANIEL KINSKE
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823091937
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Backstage Books
Sales Rank: 11444
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Dear Readers,

I will never forget the morning that Meinhardt Raabe’s agent called me and insisted on stopping by my office that very same day. "I’ve got a Wizard of Oz project that you have to see to believe." From the moment I looked at Mr.Raabe’s charming memoir and his remarkable collection of Oz memorabilia, Iknew this would be a book unlike any that I have published.

Memories of A Munchkin, written by Meinhardt Raabe with Daniel Kinske, almost feels like three books in one.

Part one is a memoir by Raabe who stepped into film history at the age of 23 when he played the Munchkin coroner in THE WIZARD OF OZ. It’s a charming and inspiring story that begins on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, moves to hisappearance in a special "Midget Village" exhibit at the 1934 World's Fair and on to Hollywood. Through an agent, Raabe was cast in THE WIZARD OF OZ and much of the memoir is devoted to his account of working on the most beloved film of all time - enduring tough auditions, watching as the glorious Munchkinland set was built, putting up with long days of rehearsal, being costumed by legendary MGM designer Adrian, hob-nobbing on the set with the stars, witnessing various mishaps during filming, being visited on the set by curious Hollywood royalty such as Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable, and much more. Here, too, is Raabe's life after THE WIZARD OF OZ: His career as an accomplished pilot with the Civil Air Patrol during World War II; more than 30 years as "Little Oscar," spokesman for the Oscar Mayer ompany; his charity work and his role as advocate and kindred spirit to Little People everywhere. Mr. Raabe’s memoir is lavishly illustrated with the most incredible material such as!blueprints of the Munchkinland set, Adrian’s costume sketches, MGM’s original Oz matte paintings, and many rare, behind-the-scenes photos from director Victor Fleming’s personal scrapbook.

Part two of the book is the most complete collection of OZ movie posters and lobby cards ever published. Included are a beautiful watercolor painted by the legendary Al Hirschfeld, and the jumbo window card that was originallydisplayed in Mr. Raabe’s hometown theater of Watertown, WI!

Part three is a collection of specially commissioned Oz art from some of the world’s best-known and best-loved illustrators – people like Al Hirschfeld, Frank Frazetta, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis and Frank Kelly Freas. I especially like Ron Dias’ painting of what he imagines the interior of a Munchkin house would look like, and Philo Barnhart’s piece that combines the main characters of Oz with those of Snow White. Duck Edwing’s piece, Hearse of aDifferent Color, could not be more colorful or more charming. And you won’t believe all the detail – and clever humor – in Tom Bunk’s piece depicting the Kansas tornado at the beginning of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Put it all together and you have a treasure trove of Oz stories and memorabilia. No fan of this beloved Hollywood classic will want to be without Memories of A Munchkin.

Mark Glubke Senior Editor Back Stage Books ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Really Most Sincerly .... Wonderful!
This book is a must have for any die hard(like me) fan of the 1939 film THE WIZARD OF OZ. It is brimming with never before seen pictures of the movie set, munchkins, scene direction...not to mention other movie stars of the day & lots of Judy Garland!
Meinhardt's story is both intersting & compelling, he's a sweetheart!
Don't miss out...buy this book TODAY! ... Read more


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