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121. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie,
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122. The Scariest Place : A Marine
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123. One Magical Sunday : (But Winning
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124. Truth & Beauty : A Friendship
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125. My Fathers' Houses : Memoir of
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126. Black Boy (Perennial Classics)
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127. Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs
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128. Gift from the Sea
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129. Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids,
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130. I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian
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131. Against the Odds: Riding for My
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132. Mistress Bradstreet : The Untold
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133. Bruchko
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134. The Moon's a Balloon
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135. Fat Girl : A True Story
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136. Autobiography of Malcolm X
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137. The Language of Baklava : A Memoir
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138. Kiss Me Like a Stranger : My Search
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139. Alexander Hamilton
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140. Reallionaire : Nine Steps to Becoming

121. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America
by Les Standiford
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 1400047676
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 5156
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122. The Scariest Place : A Marine Returns to North Korea
by James Brady
list price: $24.95
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Asin: 0312332424
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
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123. One Magical Sunday : (But Winning Isn't Everything)
by Phil Mickelson, Donald T. Phillips
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
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Asin: 0446578576
Catlog: Book (2005-03-21)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 3066
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Every year, he became so close only to fall short. Every year, the dream grew larger, only to fade away. Yet every year, his gallery of fans grew in support of his quest. Then on April 11, 2004, for the most beloved golfer of the decade, everything changed.

In ONE MAGICAL SUNDAY, Phil Mickelson takes us on a magical journey inside a life few have seen up close, but a life whose lessons can be cherished forever.As we travel hole-by-hole through the triumphant Sunday at the Masters, Phil looks back at the influences that made him the man he is today:his mom and dad, who mentored him on the balance between family and golf; his wife, Amy, who has given him so much happiness and fulfillment; and their three children, who remain their top priority.

With personal insights from Phil's family and never been seen photos of his most treasured moments, ONE MAGICAL SUNDAY is a book not only for Phil's millions of fans, but for everyone who finds inspiration in reading about a champion on and off the course. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Magical Sunday = One Magical Book
It's rare that an athlete or to be more specific, an athlete's accomplishment can capture the attention and hearts of an entire nation. But that is exactly what happened on that April day in 2004, that One Magical Sunday when the entire country became enthralled with the left-handed "lovable loser" from San Diego.

I am not sure what it is about Phil Mickelson that earned the love and respect of nearly every golf fan, and in this book, Mickelson wonders the same thing. There is something about us as Americans that makes us root for the underdog - the Rocky Balboas, the Boston Redsoxes, and the Phil Mickelsons of the world seem to epitomize everything that is America - the belief that dreams can come true, even in the face of adversity. And as quaint as that may sound, those beliefs come to life in this book.

This book takes us on a roller coaster ride of all 18 final holes at Augusta National, but much more than that, this is a story of a man who truly feels he is more blessed to have the love and support of his family more so than a major championship.

Sprinkled between a play-by-play recap of the final round of the 2004 Master's, are little anecdotes about Phil's life - from his childhood in San Diego through his college years at ASU through the birth of his three children, we become privy to a world of Phil Mickelson that most of us never knew, and we get to meet the people who helped shape Phil's life and influence him the most - from his parents to his college golf coach to his wife and kids.

The result? You walk away liking the guy even more than you already did, which is no small feat considering how much he was admired to begin with. This is a quick read and a real gem for golf fans and anyone who loves a great story of an underdog's triumph.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loves Life and The Game
I truly enjoyed reading this book due to its unique organization, simple language and profound principals expressed by Phil.The chiefest of these is that life to him is much more than golf.The joy that comes from the game is import to him, not winning, accolades, etc.

His family is primary also, as evidenced by the decisions he has made in favor of his family over golf, e.g. Mercedes tournament absence.

There is much revealed in this chronicle of his magical Masters victory, which is the organizational center, then revolving around this is past memories which cropped up in his Green Jacket round, and then contributions by friends, competitors, relatives, caddie, etc.This makes for a great insight into the talented, competitive golfer who so often is misunderstood and misportrayed by the media.

Thus, this book helps to clear the media polluted air about this great golfer and more importantly, family man.The story of his 2003 with all its trials, but especially about the severe, life threatening birth of son episode endures this great person to me even more.The joy he takes from more simple things off camera are touching and should be inspirational to many.

A great read to all golfers and those interested in Phil.

5-0 out of 5 stars THANKS FOR RIDE PHIL
If you like Phil Mickelson or if you like a feel good story -- then I strongly recommend that you read this book.Phil not only takes the reader through his final 18 holes at Augusta but also the foundation that he was provided as a child.The book is very easy and a quick read.Surrounded by supportive family and friends, Phil makes it a point not to take any of that for granted.Unlike so many professional athletes, Phil is grounded and humble.It is impossible not to cheer for Phil Mickelson.Of course, I am terribly biased as I am a huge Phil Mickelson fan.I am a die-hard sports fan and am seldom moved by accomplishments.However, I must say I wore out my family room carpet as he played the back 9 on Sunday at Augusta.Enjoy the book golf fans because I know I did. ... Read more


124. Truth & Beauty : A Friendship
by Ann Patchett
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.76
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Asin: 0060572140
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 2189
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when the person you promise to love and to honor for the rest of your life is not your lover, but your best friend? In Truth & Beauty, her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Ann Patchett shines a fresh, revealing light on the world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.

Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work was. In her critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, the years of chemotherapy and radiation, and then the endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long, cold winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this book shows us what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.

This is a tender, brutal book about loving a person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

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Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A BROKEN HEART AND A BRILLIANT MIND
If you've read Lucy Grealy's book AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE, you must read Ann Patchett's book TRUTH & BEAUTY. Ann was Lucy's best friend and tells the story of their loving and literary friendship. Ann's book is filled with Lucy's letters. The book tells of how Lucy was taunted by kids and adults because of her facial cancer. Readers get to see into Lucy's heart and how because of her "ugly" face she thought no one would ever love her. yet she beds every man who says something nice to her out of a need to connect and feel "love.". this book is a fantastic look into the heart and mind of someone with a visible disability. it is about someone with a brilliant mind. and it's filled with triumph and tragedy. And if you haven't read AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE, I recommend that too. In both books you'll see the life of a driven woman hoping her genius and writing abilities will save her from what she thinks is the tragedy of her disability and make someone love her and she will live happily ever after. Sadly Lucy died of a drug overdose a few years ago. was it an accident or suicide?? she was heartbroken. she never thought she would find love. but so many of her friends loved her.

4-0 out of 5 stars Patchett's Frank and Tender First Work of Nonfiction
Female friendships are one of the most complex human relationships, regardless of age. And in TRUTH & BEAUTY, author Ann Patchett does nothing to dispel the mystery of girlfriends. If anything, she adds to it.

Although this book is nonfiction, it reads like fiction. Readers will dive into the story, greedily gathering information about the two main subjects --- Patchett and her friend, Lucy Grealy --- like characters in a novel. They were two young and ambitious women who go directly from Sarah Lawrence to the Iowa's Writers Workshop, the most coveted graduate school for writers. They develop a friendship that straddles the lines of intimacy, and they find literary fame. Along the way they form a bond that is difficult to describe. It spans continents, weathers illnesses both physical and mental, and seems to survive even death. But this is not a work of fiction, and so the eloquent writing of this well-known author packs even more of a punch. These are real people; this is Patchett's life, her beloved friend who lives, metaphorically speaking, just beyond her reach.

Patchett recreates her life with Grealy by interspersing their history with letters she received from Grealy over the years, postmarked from Scotland, New York, Providence, Connecticut, and all of the other places she traveled, taught and lived. They are letters that reveal a literary voice filled with love and admiration for a woman to whom she referred as "Pet." She was a competitive woman who was known to jump into Patchett's lap and ask repeatedly, "Am I your favorite? Do you love me the most?" And inevitably the answer was yes.

"Dearest Anvil, she would write to me six years later, dearest deposed president of some now defunct but lovingly remembered country, dearest to me, I can find no suitable words of affection for you, words that will contain the whole of your wonderfulness to me. You will have to make due with being my favorite bagel, my favorite blue awning above some great little café where the coffee is strong but milky and had real texture to it."

Narrated by Patchett, TRUTH & BEAUTY could be described as an analysis of Grealy, a woman who fights an uphill battle to recover physically from a cancer that robbed her of her outward beauty as a child, though it amplified an inner beauty. Grealy, as Patchett tells us, had a kind of animal magnetism that drew the best of people to her. She underwent at least 35 surgeries to rebuild a jaw decimated by radiation and lived her life subsisting on mashed fruits, ice cream and the occasional milkshake. Despite the staggering number of surgeries, the procedures never quite worked and much of Grealy's life was spent lamenting what she believed were her physical inadequacies. Yet TRUTH & BEAUTY is not a sad story. In fact, it features the gifts of Grealy's best features: her wit, gaiety and zest for life.

And while it focuses on Grealy and Patchett's friendship, TRUTH & BEAUTY may be better described as a study of human nature. Patchett writes about the intricacies of the human heart in THE MAGICIAN'S ASSISTANT, THE PATRON SAINT OF LIARS and BEL CANTO, and she tackles the subject once again in TRUTH & BEAUTY. The constant search for a love that seems to be right in front of a person's eyes is a recurring theme for Patchett, who weaves a beautiful if not frustrating story of a friendship that she worked diligently to maintain.

In life many people struggle to find reciprocal friendships in men and women. And, frequently, outsiders perceive even the best of friendships to be one-sided. This may also be the case here. Readers will complete TRUTH & BEAUTY with a keen appreciation for the love that exists between women, the unwavering loyalty that friends can maintain through years of turmoil and emotional trials. And while loyalty (as we see in this 257-page story) may falter occasionally, it can withstand the test of time. And perhaps even beyond.

--- Reviewed by Heather Grimshaw

4-0 out of 5 stars Not recommended for tender sensitivities
Well written, strangely powerful and often horrifying. I can't quite recommend it. It's a special sort of pathology that many of us have encountered.

4-0 out of 5 stars Painful and Questionable
I read this book directly after reading Autobiography of a Face. Lucy seemed to have a huge black hole in her soul that she constantly looked to others to fill up. Obviously she never learned to love herself, so her friends were her mirrors to her soul. She searched endlessly for love on the outside but her greatest quest was her search for the ability to love herself with all her physical flaws.
I saw Lucy's repeated surgeries simply a way to stay connected with something she knew and a place where she felt comfortable and accepted. The surgeries were physically painful but they gave her an opportunity to have everyone care for her openly and with such extraordinary allegiance, a true sign of love. Lucy could never quite embrace it and assimilate that love into her psyche.
Was it guilt that drove Ann to write this book wondering if there wasn't something she could have done to make the ending different? I felt a sense of relief when Lucy's life was finally over. What quality did she ever have in her existence? I think Ann went above and beyond the realm of friendship. One has to wonder why she hung in there through everything for a one-way friendship? Why was Ann so possessed by Lucy? It's a question we will never know but one that the book continually asks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful tribute
Patchett's book is a beautifully written tribute to an exceptionally intense friendship. The author takes you through her relationship with Lucy Grealy although side-stepping prolonged analysis of why their bond was so tight. The reader can draw his or her own conclusion; close attention should be paid to the excerpts from Grealy's letters, which reveal her intellect, her delight in words and her charisma. One thing that astonished me, despite having read Autobiography of a Face when it was first published, was how much physical discomfort Grealy constantly dealt with. Her problem was far more than just an aesthetic problem -- she had only six teeth left, couldn't chew food normally and was constantly in danger of choking because she couldn't close her lips. It amazes me that she was able to be as productive as she was despite to this condition, even before factoring in the multiple surgeries. Grealy clearly had the heart of a lion and it's no surprise that people were drawn to her inner strength, even when it was clouded by her understandable depression and feelings of isolation and want. ... Read more


125. My Fathers' Houses : Memoir of a Family
by Steven Roberts
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
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Asin: 0060739932
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 6522
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Book Description

Bayonne prepared me well for a larger life and a larger world. I knew who I was and where I was from. I was connected by innumerable little cords to people and places that gave me strength and identity. On The Block I was safe, secure, loved. I even had a number, 174, the address of our house, but the number wasn't a badge of anonymity. To the contrary, it marked my place, where I belonged.

As moving as Russell Baker's Growing Up and Calvin Trillin's Messages from My Father, My Fathers' Houses is the story of a town, a time, and a boy who would grow up to become a New York Times correspondent, television and radio personality, and bestselling author.

In this remarkable memoir, Steven V. Roberts tells the story of his grandparents, his parents, and his own life, vividly bringing a period, a place, and a remarkable family into focus. The period was the forties and fifties, when the children of immigrants were striving to become American in a booming postwar world. The place was one block in Bayonne, New Jersey, and the house that Roberts's grandfather, Harry Schanbam, built with his own hands, a warm and reassuring home, just across the Hudson River from "the city," where Roberts grew up surrounded by family and tales of the Old Country.

This personal journey starts in Russia, where the family business of writing and ideas began. A great-uncle became an editor of Pravda and two great-aunts were originalmembers of the Bolshevik party. His other grandfather, Abraham Rogowsky, stole money to become a Zionist pioneer in Palestine and helped to build the second road in Tel Aviv before settling in America. Roberts returns his saga to Depression-era Bayonne, where his parents, living one block apart, penned love letters to each other before marrying in secret. His father, an author and publisher of children's books, and his uncle, a critic and short story writer, instilled in him a love for words and a determination to carry on the family legacy, a legacy he is now passing on to his own children and grandchildren.

Roberts, too, would leave home, for Harvard, where he met Cokie Boggs, the Catholic girl he would marry, and later, for the New York Times, where he would start his career -- across the river and worlds away from where he began. An emotional, compelling story of fathers and sons, My Fathers' Houses encapsulates the American experience of change and continuity, of breaking new ground using the tools and traditions of the past. ... Read more


126. Black Boy (Perennial Classics)
by Richard A. Wright
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0060929782
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: Perennial Classics
Sales Rank: 11016
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With an introduction by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Black Boy is a classic of American autobiography, a subtly crafted narrative of Richard Wright's journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. An enduring story of one young man's coming off age during a particular time and place, Black Boy remains a seminal text in our history about what it means to be a man, black, and Southern in America.

"Superb...The Library of America has insured that most of Wright's major texts are now available as he wanted them to be tread...Most important of all is the opportunity we now have to hear a great American writer speak with his own voice about matters that still resonate at the center of our lives."
--Alfred Kazin, New York Time Book Review

"The publication of this new edition is not just an editorial innovation, it is a major event in American literary history."
--Andrew Delbanco, New Republic

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Reviews (117)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent description of negro life in the 1920's
"Black Boy" is a great autobiographical book written by Richard Wright. Richard, the main character in the story, goes through many trials and tribulations in finding what he loves to do- write. The description of the hardships of negro life in the 1920's and how discrimination ran rampant was excellently described by Wright....the only flaw is maybe a little overexaggeration going on in the descriptions of racism and other hate from whites towards blacks. Richard Wright descibes well though the trials and tribulations of an average negro in American society in that time period. This book is great for teenagers; over the age of 16 though. I say this because vulgar language is constant throughout the story and a couple sex scenes are described explicitly in the book. This is a must-read for young adults.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book To Read
I recently read Black Boy by Richard Wright and I must say it is an amazing book. The book is about Richard growing up in the South in the early 1900's. It may sound a little boring but believe me it's not. Richard had a hard life growing up and that's what makes the book so interesting. Burning up houses, killing cats, and becoming a drunk were just some of the things he did before reaching the age of eight. The thing I like most about him is how he grew up very poor, moved from place to place, including an orphanage, never completed two consecutive school years, and still managed to become a well-educated young man and a world-famous writer. Although the book was very interesting there were some parts at the end that I felt were a little boring, but maybe that's just me. Either way, I think Richard Wright was a very talented writer, and if you get the chance, you should read his autobiography, Black Boy. I recommend this book to anyone over the age of thirteen that is interested in learning about history or just likes to read about some hardships other people had to face growing up.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wright Auto Bio
The first Wrift book I read was the impressive 'Native Son'. I found Black Boy and read it. It's easy to read and gives you a good insight in how black life in the south was in the 1920. Wright's life as for so many has not been easy: no father, a crippled mother, racism abound. But still he finds time to read books and he reads the classics. Especially Babbit was one of his favorites (and one of mine too). Via Memphis he goes to Chicago were he becomes a more famous writer and starts working/writing for the communist party where he has a lot of trouble as an independant thinker.

This book gives a great insight into black life. REal events are interspersed with his thinking about race relations. It is also easy to read and won't take a long time to finish. Definitely worth reading!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Book to Remember
Black Boy, an autobiography written by Richard Wright, describes what many average African American children faced growing up in the Jim Crow South. Wright described the poverty that he, his friends and family lived through and the agony and dangers they had to face day-to-day. Wright also described the unfair treatment from white people that African Americans had to endure and ignore. He also described how white people treated African Americans as slaves. Wright wrote in excruciating detail bringing to the reader what life was truly like in the South and in the U.S. in the early 1900s.
I enjoyed reading Black Boy since it gave me insight into how African Americans were really treated in the South. The book really showed me the crisis that America was in over racial segregation. Black Boy also described the despicable acts that white people committed on African Americans for pleasure and entertainment. Richard Wright's actions showed me how a person that is always put down can still strive to be the best. Wright never gave up and kept on dreaming about his goals in life. Wright's book really showed the determination that one can have. His actions in life influenced me to never give up and to keep on trying no matter what someone tells me to do. This was a great book and if one wants to understand what things were like for African Americans in the South in the 1900s, they should read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A remarkable autobiography
Black Boy is a outstanding autobiography about Richard Wright. Richard writes about his whole life. The book shows the great discrimination Richard faced, as well as he a lot of the times stood up for what he believed in. He fights the world back and in the end his dream of becoming a writer comes true, but not only does he become a writer he also becomes one of the best writers of the 20th century. ... Read more


127. Shadowplay: The Hidden Beliefs and Coded Politics of William Shakespeare
by Clare Asquith
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
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Asin: 1586483161
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 35088
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A revelatory new look at how Shakespeare secretly addressed the most profound political issues of his day, and how his plays embody a hidden history of England

In 16th century England many loyal subjects to the crown were asked to make a terrible choice: to follow their monarch or their God. The era was one of unprecedented authoritarianism: England, it seemed, had become a police state, fearful of threats from abroad and plotters at home. This age of terror was also the era of the greatest creative genius the world has ever known: William Shakespeare. How, then, could such a remarkable man born into such violently volatile times apparently make no comment about the state of England in his work?He did. But it was hidden. Revealing Shakespeare's sophisticated version of a forgotten code developed by 16th-century dissidents, Clare Asquith shows how he was both a genius for all time and utterly a creature of his own era: a writer who was supported by dissident Catholic aristocrats, who agonized about the fate of England's spiritual and political life and who used the stage to attack and expose a regime which he believed had seized illegal control of the country he loved.Shakespeare's plays offer an acute insight into the politics and personalities of his era. And Clare Asquith's decoding of them offers answers to several mysteries surrounding Shakespeare's own life, including most notably why he stopped writing while still at the height of his powers. An utterly compelling combination of literary detection and political revelation, Shadowplay is the definitive expose of how Shakespeare lived through and understood the agonies of his time, and what he had to say about them. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Even If It Has Lots of Speculative Ideas
This is an entertaining book if nothing else.... and I am not trying to be negative in any way. For someone new to Shakespeare, this book is a bit complicated and that particular reader will fail to grasp some the arguments. I found it slightly hard to challenge all of her ideas and conclusion since she draws on a wealth of knowledge. I have attempted to learn something about Shakespeare and started by reading three popular biographies by three well known authors: Burgess, Kermode, and Greenblatt. Plus I have scanned or read a number of other books - see my Listmania list on Shakspeare. Eventually I bought Asimov's guide to Shakespeare, which is just a joy to read, and The Norton Shakespeare, the 3500 page monster that is the best single book - as a general reference on the works and times. Today one can enjoy most of Shakespeare's works on DVD and there are thousands of books, magazines, and journal articles available on the subject.

Writing a biography or an analysis about Shakespeare - putting it mildly - is a challenge, especially if the aim is to present and discuss new information as we have here. The idea that one might find new ideas about a 450 year old Shakespeare is virtually impossible. Thus, all the Shakespeare biographers and writers including Asquith are dependent on Shakespeare's works themselves, plus those books that immediately followed Shakespeare's life such as John Aubrey's book Brief Lives (1626 to 1697), and the various civic records from London and Stratford, along with court records, land transfer documents, and wills, etc. He left no notes nor did he write a biography.

All these books - including the present book - are not about new information. They are about presenting a coherent picture of Shakespeare and his environment: political, socio-economic, historic, sources of myths, religious ideas, other writers, etc. In reviewing the books the differences one sees in the books are in the styles, depth of knowledge, amount of speculation, facts, writing skill, holding the reader, etc.

The present book attempts to bring us an analysis based on the "hidden meanings" or code words and phrases, or simply a deeper understanding of his works, so we can find clues in his writings. This concept is not new since Shakespeare left no diaries and all we have are his writings and those writings of his contemporaries. There have been thousands of books and articles on Shakespeare, but as I wrote above, none by him, and most are centuries after he died.

In trying to judge her arguments - and I am not an expert - I looked fairly carefully at Chapter 15 or "Silenced" where she puts forward the theory that the Tempest was a sort of final personal tour de force for Shakespeare and that he was forced to retire - since he had a Catholic bias in childhood or some Catholic tendencies - and he had to leave London. We will never really know the real story unless we suddenly discover Shakespeare's secret diary after 400 years, but to me this seems like mostly speculation. Around this time he bought property at the Blackfriars in London so clearly he was not completely cutting his ties with London and the theatre. For myself, I suspect that he was simply getting tired after 20 years of writing and had accumulated enough money to retire, and in fact he lived only a few more years. That is the generally accepted view. It is generally thought that his father was a secret Catholic who had suppressed his public views in the mid 15th century as a town bailiff and alderman under the rule of Elizabeth. William Shakespeare the son seemed more neutral and had always lived with the continuous anti-Catholic intimidation factor of heads stuck on spikes, including many Catholic martyrs, as he walked back and forth across the bridge to London from the south bank, so I see nothing really dramatic here to cause a sudden change forcing him out of the theatre. Also, that chapter has just a few references beyond Ben Johnson.

In summary, this is a quick and entertaining read about Shakespeare with some speculation, and it merits at least 4 stars. I enjoyed the book but was not totally convinced. She needs more specific references to back up her points - in my opinion. Still it is a good 4 star read.
... Read more


128. Gift from the Sea
by ANNE MORROW LINDBERGH
list price: $8.95
our price: $8.06
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Asin: 0679732411
Catlog: Book (1991-01-30)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 5132
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

I found a 1955 printing of this book in an old waterfront cabin and was struck by the care with which the previous owner had read it. Eve (the name inscribed inside the front cover and then again above the heading for chapter 3) made pencil marks on nearly every paragraph of the book, underlining a phrase, highlighting many passages with strong vertical marks, scratching out some words that she seems to have found superfluous and even x-ing out whole sections that apparently missed their mark with her altogether. Two rusting paper clips isolate several pages, absent any marking at all. Anne Morrow Lindbergh's lyrical words are still relevant and presage so many of the themes of today's most popular books: simplicity, peaceful solitude, caring for the soul, a woman finding her place in society and life. I heard that the woman who had lived in the cabin had actually passed away some time before. Thank you, Eve, for your gift... from the sea. ... Read more

Reviews (44)

4-0 out of 5 stars Self-help without the jargon
This title was a recent selection for a book discussion group that I helped organize for my library. As the only male in the group, I felt somewhat compelled to offer token protest to the selection of this classic example of a "woman's book," but actually I was intrigued by it. Everything I had read about "Gift From the Sea" praised its meditative quality and I had to admit that the promise of that rather appealed to me.

I wound up reading the bulk of the book on Mothers' Day, which seemed quite appropriate, given that among the many issues Lindbergh addresses here is the need for mothers to find a balance between their own needs and those of their children and husbands. The need for time to one's self, a "room of one's own", the need for a spriritual dimension to one's existence--well, it seems so obvious that these needs have to be met if a woman--if any human being--is to be fulfilled and to be able to meet her (or his) responsibilities with joy rather than with dread. But the lessons that Anne Morrow Lindbergh taught in 1955 still need to be voiced in 2000--perhaps more than ever. Lindbergh seems prescient when she speaks of the dangers of the "life of multiplicity" which had already taken root in the immediate post-War era. We know all too well that it has not gotten any better in the past 50 years and that women's lives in particular have become more stressful and, to use Lindbergh's word, "fragmented" in the past half-century.

What distinguishes Lindbergh's book from today's current crop of self-help or New Age sprititual books though is its lyrical quality. Her careful, belletristic prose is soothing and, yes, meditative in and of itself. Reading it seems to bring about the very centeredness and balance that she seeks to describe.

Although she includes no bibliography (and rightly so, as this is not a tract), I would hope that many of her readers would be inspired to seek out the works of some of the writers she quotes in the context of these essays. She does the world a great service in suggesting how Rilke, for example, whose poetry may seem impenetrable at first, can actually speak to the concerns of our own lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars A true gem!!
I had no idea, when I found this book in a little beach bookstore recently, that it was written in 1955. Had I known, it probably would have dissuaded me from buying it. I now know how fortunate I am to have not known!

I believe that books, words and people come into our lives at the time they are most needed, and Gift from the Sea certainly fits that bill for me. While small bits of it may be dated, most of it speaks as clearly and truly to modern day woman as it would have to 1950s women. In fact, with so many women in search of their most authentic self these days, it may even be MORE relevant to today's woman! It is a delicate and thoughtful essay on solitude, couplehood, inner peace and the wonder of nature. I can't imagine anyone not being inspired and uplifted by reading it. Truly, a gift for the soul.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gifts From the Sea
Quila Mackinnon, a twelve-year-old girl, is just crushed by the death of her mother. Now she is only left with her father and the old light house on Devils Rock. Everyday, her father works in the light house while Quila cleans not only the house but the light house too. One morning Quila decided to go out onto Devils Rock. Breathing in the deep blue sea air was nice until she saw something. As she started down the large rocks, stepping onto the cold wet sand she remembered her father telling don't go down to the waves where they will take you away. Quila sat there shaking when suddenly yelled out, "Papa, Papa!" Her father came running out saying, "What is it?" "A baby Papa, I found a baby."
Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, the author, has a wonderful style of writing. I liked it because she used a lot of description and detail. She can tell in good times and show in good times as well. Find out if they keep the baby and what happens about having no mother!

Franny

5-0 out of 5 stars Five... Cinco... Cinq STARS*****
This is THE book for your feminine lifetime. It is not only a journey.... it's an adventure... and a healing. (+ reality check!)

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect gift for Moms
Even though this book was written in the 1950's, it's subject matter is as current and relevant as if it was written yesterday. This is a small, sensible, gem of a book on the often overwhelming and thankless task of being a wife and mother. No, it's not a feminist rant, just a realistic look at what it means to sacrifice yourself for others. This book would make the perfect gift for every mother with young children...trust me. ... Read more


129. Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big
by Jose Canseco
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060746408
Catlog: Book (2005-02-14)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 4841
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Touted as a Ball Four for the new millennium, Jose Canseco's Juiced promises to expose not only the rampant use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball (with steroids replacing the amphetamines of Bouton's day), but the painfully human flaws of its heroes as well. A steroid devotee since the age of 20, Canseco goes beyond admitting his own usage to claim that with the tacit approval of the league's powers-that-be he acted as baseball's ambassador of steroids and is therefore indirectly responsible for "saving" the game.

Chief among his claims is that he introduced Mark McGwire to steroids in 1988 and that he often injected McGwire while they were teammates. According to Canseco, steroids and human growth hormones gave McGwire and Sammy Sosa (whose own usage was "so obvious, it was a joke") the strength, stamina, regenerative ability, and confidence they needed for a record-setting home run duel often credited with restoring baseball's popularity after the 1994 strike. Although he devotes a lot of ink to McGwire, Canseco envisions himself as a kind of Johnny Steroidseed, spreading the gospel of performance enhancement, naming a number of players that he either personally introduced to steroids or is relatively certain he can identify as fellow users. Because Canseco plays fast and loose with some of the facts of his own career he provides fodder for those looking to damage his credibility, but in many ways questions of public and personal perception are what raise the book beyond mere vitriolic tell-all. Those willing to heed his request and truly listen to what he has to say will find Juiced to be an occasionally insightful meditation on the workings of public perception and a consistently interesting character study. --Shane Farmer ... Read more

Reviews (105)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most revealing baseball book since "Ball Four"
This is the book that grabbed Congress' attention and finally forced the politicians to make baseball clean up its sordid act. Canseco not only implicates himself but also exposes some of the biggest stars of the past 20 years. And not one of them has refuted his charges. While Canseco's steroid-fueled past is undeserving of an endorsement and his statistics are forever tainted, his unmasking of what really goes on inside "the grand old game" is at once shocking and essential. He's a pariah in baseball circles now, but his book is what the sport needed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Juiced
Review By Josh Dall May 18, 2005
Juiced published by Jose Canseco

Jose "The Chemist" Canseco tells all in the book Juiced, an autobiography about his experience in baseball. This book explains why he started taking steroids, and why he thinks people need to know the truth about who cheated in baseball and who didn't. Canseco admits to steroid use and was banned from baseball, but the untold truth of the players who did it come out in his words from Jason Giambi and down to Mark Mcgwire. He explains how baseball has invited in steroids, and why it's their fault people use them still today. But besides steroids he explains the high life of a baseball player and what you don't know.

There are many characters in this book, but there not the usual made up characters you may find in stories. These characters are future hall of famer's, and names that associate with baseball. In this autobiography Canseco accuses Mark Mcgwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Caminiti, Bret Boone, and 4 teamates from when he played on the rangers, and himself of using performance enhancers. Canseco tells what he knows about political figures and managers who knew about steroids and did nothing, including such names as George W. Bush and Tony Larussa. All these accusations that Canseco makes seem believable because Canseco seems to know what he is talking about. Still, the players aren't admitting what they have done, so what Canseco has done is exploit these players who still deny using steroids.

This book is a autobiography and very well written. What makes this book so great is that Canseco tells about the onward dissucion on the steroid issue which has become part of baseball for many years. One thing that did surprise me was that Barry Bonds was hardly mentioned, and he didn't say anything on steroid suppliers who may still be selling them today as much as I thought. My favorite part in this book is where he says all the names of baseball heroes so the public will know who is a cheater and who isn't. Through and through he reveals his life in baseball and what it's like to be criticized. Through the book he openly says he introduced them to baseball and he calls himself the "godfather" of steroids, which is pretty powerful to say. The players who were accused in this book, we're obligated to attend a conference hearing on steroids. All of them attended, accept Giambi, and Mark Mcgwire was crying when questioned, saying "the past is done and the future is now". Juiced, leads us to the point, is baseball Juiced?Even though some people are saying he's just making it sound like steriods are ok to kids and trying to make money,I still recommend this book to anyone who want's to here the truth on baseball, howit stands today, and what it will be like in the future.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, some errors, and a lot of blame
I purchased this book shortly after it came out and blew through it quickly.While the inside info of who did steroids and who he helped with them was nice, Canseco takes none of the blame for his own mistakes.Whenever he was in trouble with the law, amazingly it was always someone else's fault or someone overreacted.There are some factual errors that an editor should've caught.Namely his "Game Six" at-bat in the 2000 World Series.One slight problem: It was Game Four and the Series only went five games.
One other thing that got my attention is where he was going to kill himself after finding out his estranged wife was seeing someone else, only to stop once he heard his daughter crying.Now had he killed himself, his daughter (only one at the time) likely would have starved to death since no one would've fed her.What an absolute a-hole.Enjoy your newfound pariah status, Jose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jose is the MAN!
Who cares about the so-called name-dropping.THey all did steroids.Face it - Jose Canseco is the hottest guy in baseball and he can do no wrong by me.JOse - I'm your gal for life!

2-0 out of 5 stars revie of "Juiced"
Review of Juiced

"Wild Times, Rampant Roids, Smash hits, and how baseball got big was far from what Jose Conseco's book "Juiced" was about.This book brings me back to the third grade and how stupid I thought the "Where's Waldo?" books were.Since I am suppost to give this book an overall rating, I suppose it gets two stars and those stars are burnt out just like Conseco."Juiced" talked about the 1980 Athletics and mainly Mark Mcguire.There were other topics like locker room talk, record setting events, and everyday life stories but any baseball fan who reads this book knows that its just about low blows on teams and players such as Mark Mcguire.Conseco's thoughts are strongly discussed in his book and the thing that makes this book so unattractive to the reader is his lack of ability to support his topics.
Of the many weaknesses in this book there are a few strong points.The thing I do like about this book is that it is a quick and easy read.And by easy I mean EASY!I really do feel like I am back in the third grade reading books with big letters aboutbig animals like Clifford, the big red dog, only this time I'm reading medium letters about big steroid craving monsters.If your thinking about traveling a short distance and your in the mood to end your trip feeling like an empty headed Jessica Simpson, pick up juiced.
With the many weaknesses in this book there is one that sticks out more than any in my mind.That is when Jose Conseco talks about how he pinch hit in game six of the two thousand world series when it was only a five game series.Too me that would be something that I would not get wrong especially since its only the biggest game of the year.
My last and final good comment about this book would probably be giving Jose credit for admitting his steroid use and having the testicular fortitude to name and talk about other players in his book.Although I think this book was written manly for the money, I like how he describes Cal Ripken jr. as a blond, polish diva who demands fancier hotels than the rest of the team.Also I like how he calls "Big Mac" (Mark Mcguire) "Not the best looking guy around".I also like how he talk about his past and his self-confidence issues until he bulked up chemically.
After reading this book I will say that I do have a different view on baseball.I think that steroid use should not be allowed at all.I know that as a child I looked up to baseball players and how I always wanted to play major league baseball.If I ever had kids I don't think that I would want them to now about some of these players.With that being said this book had a tad bit of impact on me.I still love baseball and that will never change.I just think that once these players are done playing they should not always resort to writing books.

... Read more


130. I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala
by Rigoberta Menchu, E. Burgos-Debray, Ann Wright, Elisabeth Burgos-Debray
list price: $20.00
our price: $20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0860917886
Catlog: Book (1987-06-01)
Publisher: Verso
Sales Rank: 16775
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (35)

2-0 out of 5 stars Slow-moving, tedious (& fallacious) tale of Guat. struggle
I am sure that anyone familiar with Rigoberta Menchu is also familiar with David Stoll and his book "I, Rigoberta Menchu and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans" The well-known facts of Menchu's exaggerations aside, the book is certainly no literary masterpiece as it was edited by feminist ethnographer Burgos-Debray from tape-recorded conversations with the title character into Spanish, for neither of whom was it their first language. The flow is stilted and tedious, with long idealized accounts of the "noble savage" Indian community life and the ferocious fair-skinned oppressors; and while the nasty war in Guatemala has claimed many thousands of lives Menchu melodramatically idealizes the conflict as a purely right-wing government vs. oppressed Maya struggle.

As the idea of a somewhat accurate account, or "testimonial," as many academics prefer, the book is at times strong with its image of a young girl of a miserably oppressed class speaking in recently learned, fairly simple Spanish quite frankly of horrendous atrocities and massacres, as well as the extreme discrimination faced by Indians even by mixed blood "ladinos" in similar conditions. Even these wretchedly poor ladinos found solace in the fact that at least they were not Indians. But what is the difference, really, Menchu demands. Also interesting is the author's intertwinement of Biblical ideas from the local helpful Catholic Action (Menchu in reality went to a Catholic boarding school) with her people's native beliefs, drawing particularly heavily upon Exodus. Although the reading was slow, at least some of these themes were interesting; I, however, was greatly insulted upon learning of Menchu's exaggerations and falsities. The book, to me, at least, already had very little going for it, and then I find that much of it was distorted (the central theme of an Maya-rich landowner land struggle was actually a dispute between Menchu's father and his in-laws!) to gain greater appeal from academia in the US and Europe to Guatemala.

Menchu's story still deserves that second star, nonetheless, as it is a colossal example of the unfortunate state of modern academia and its "facts don't matter" approach to such romantic issues as the oppressed native Indian in contrast to the cruel white man. Guatemala's social history has certainly been nasty, but this is certainly not a good account (literarily nor factually) of that country in its idealized portrait of the Indian masses and their noble resistance to savage oppressors.

4-0 out of 5 stars I, Rigoberta de Menchu
"I, Rigoberta de Menchú"
Edited by Elisabeth Burgos-Debray

This is an awesome book. I recommend this book for everybody who wants to know the truth about the suffering of the Indians in Guatemala. This book talks about the customs of her community and also talks about all the injustices and discrimination that the white people had against the Indians.

Rigoberta belongs to the Quiché people in Guatemala. The customs of the Quiché people are very different from our customs. The Quiché people are very closed to the nature and they respect and give an enormous value to the animals and to the plants. This book make you realize the importance of the nature that we normally forget when we became more "civilize". This book shows all the suffering that the Quiche people had to life with it and the story of Rigoberta and her community shake you and force you to see that how superficial our society became. We worry for materialistic things, for example, I want expensive furniture or I'm not happy with the old T.V that I bought a year ago. Now I want the new plasma T.V. We worry for ephemeral things and most of the time we are wondering what kind of food are we going to eat instead of what we are going to do now if our children are asking for food and we don't have any food to provide them.

This book make you realize that Indians are being exploited and so many products that you consume are thanks to them. This book shows how the landlords exploited them on the fincas (The fincas are places where the coffee and the cotton are cultivated). This is a very emotional and sad part of the book and breaks you heart to believe that can exist people so mean who take any advantages of these hard workers. The conditions in which they work are unacceptable. They are exploited in every way possible. They work very hard and the pay is miserable.

When the Indians try to rebel the army took actions and what they did was to torture the people who try to change all this injustices. They try to suppress them with these awful tortures. We can see how the Indians accepted the catholic religion and how they interpreted the bible. The bible help them to see things more clear and they used it to claim their own rights as human been.

I recommend this book because after you read it all you are going to have a better understanding of the Indian culture and also you are going to be thankful for all the tiny things you have in life. People who don't appreciate life should read this book. People who waste food should read this book. People who don't appreciate nature should read this book. This book is going to make you be thankful and to be less superficial.

3-0 out of 5 stars The world is changing: a review on the mayans
There are times in your live when you realize that all the complications and "suffering" that you have to endure is something miniscule. That your whining about how the grass isn't growing pretty in the lawn or about how your life [is hard] because you are only getting paid $10, $12 dollars an hour and that is not enough to pay the $40,000 dollar car and the house and all those thing you need for your "simple" life are a testament of how God is not fair to you. But then, when you read something like I, Rigoberta de Menchu you come to realize that maybe, just maybe all the tragedy in your life is not so tragic. That is the beauty of this book. The realization that there are so many things out there in the world that we not even acknowledge as something real and with substance is what this book reminds you of. We live in a cynical, cynical world that focuses on money, [adult relations], and entertainment and most of the times the problems concerning other parts of the world are irrelevant until one of our own is involve. This is reality, but there is the other realities of people who really suffer and have to face adversity everyday and we, the privilege, don't even care.
(...) I, Rigoberta de Menchu, is an eye opener. It is cruel, sad, gross, devastating, and uplifting book all at the same time. It has value, morals and character something that our community, our entire nation sometimes lacks and that reminds you how little we know about the problems that the human race faces in general. Nevertheless, the narration is extremely moving and compassionate and brought to ink very vividly. I have to admit that there are segments of the book, which are really hard to digest and absorb. There are images that stick to your mind and your spirit like sun to the ground, they might leave you for a while but you know that once inserted they will always comeback to hunt you and will never leave you, not really.
(...)The book reveals the treatment that Mayas, and Indians in general have had to endure for so many years. Seclusion, rejection, discrimination, assassination, and many, many worse things that make your heart shatter. While reading this book you can help but think how humans are capable of doing so many atrocities to fellow members of their species without discriminating if they are men, women or children. It is something barbaric that in a nation like the U.S. seems to be like a Mel Gibson film, something unreal that during our lifetime should not be happening but, that unfortunately it is and with more frequency that it should ever be. Rigoberta accomplishes to tell the reader about the importance of community and respect towards any person. She establishes importance of unity that should be contemplated as something precious among human beings because that is the only way were are going to survive in this world that becomes smaller every day.

Personally, it was hard to read this book because I have fellow countrymen that are Mayan and it is really sad to acknowledge the problems they face are also happening in Mexico. Also, because I spend years studding about how magnificent and powerful their civilization used to be and how modernization is finishing with all the values and practices that made their culture one of a kind in the history of the world. I'll be the first to tell you that modernization is essential for the development of the world, without it we could not survive in this fast growing world, but it is truly a shame that we have to take advantage of people that all they desire is to maintain an style of life that doesn't require technology to be self-sufficient. This is what I am against of, taking advantage of people because we can.

This world needs more compassion and understanding. Until the day we realize that we are doomed to keep making mistake like creating conflicts with people we believe to be "uncivilized" when perhaps they are the rational side of the story. In my point of view, Rigoberta's message is that of -life and freedom for all- I think that is all she wants for her fellow Mayan brothers and sisters to be allowed to live a simple life where their custom will be protected and where their freedom will be left alone with nature. It seems to me that all they ask for is to be allowed to unite with nature in the future like they did in the past. Now, is that too much to ask?

4-0 out of 5 stars a story of survival
Take a whole community of people, stick them in the middle of nowhere and take away almost everything that they've been using to survive for the past hundred years. Take away their land and their way of life. Separate them and divide them against each other. Make them suffer to keep themselves and their family from dying. Will they make it? Some will, and the rest do not have a million dollar prize waiting for them when they've died trying to survive. This is not a reality show; this is simply reality, Rigoberta Menchú's reality.
If there was ever a story that needed to be told, this is it. I, Rigoberta Menchú will declare most of our modern problems, whether it is with our family or friends, bosses or co-workers or anyone and anything else that is complicating our lives, null and void. This novel gives new meaning to the word survival.
This book should affect everyone who reads it because it is not a recollection of history that happened a long time ago. This book was written in the nineteen eighties, not the eighteen eighties. The atrocities that took place all happened in most of our generation. It is real, and though it isn't happening in our home. It's close enough.

Rigoberta Menchú told her story when she was twenty-three years old. She starts off by explaining the traditions of her people, the Mayan Indians. She explains all their rituals, and the significance of each and every one of them. The background given was important to understanding why holding on to their culture was such an important part of life for them. There was not one ritual that I can remember that did not have an explanation. The bottom line was that her people based their lives on those who were before them. They strived to live the way their ancestors did, and when the Spaniards took over Guatemala, everything changed, and holding on to their way of life became a struggle. Even when Spain was done with Guatemala, their presence had a lasting effect on the Indian people. Their land was taken away, and they were forced to work for ghastly wages under inhumane conditions. They could no longer live as a community because all of a sudden they had to pay for things that the community used to provide, but could no longer afford to. Some of the Indian people turned their backs on their community to join the remaining Spaniards and others who were in control. These conditions caused a lot of death and trauma to the Indian communities and this story tells the world about all the atrocities that were committed, and how Rigoberta and her family helped her community, and eventually others, fight for their right to live.
It is inspirational to read about all the risks that were taken, with no regard to their own lives, in order to change the conditions they were living in. Rigoberta Menchú and her family saved peoples lives. They educated Indians on how to defend themselves, and keep from getting killed. They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, Rigoberta Menchú got entire communities going in the right direction to make changes that would better their lives.
There is no way that I could relate to her situation. No one I know could have been strong enough to live under the conditions that they did. They knew they were destined to work hard and get nothing in return from the day they were born. They did not sit and complain and ask the government for help, because it wasn't there. They sucked it up and worked their hardest every single day they were alive. Admirable is not strong enough a word to describe their survival.
I cannot end this review without mentioning that there has been some controversy about this novel and I will not say what it is. If you really want to know, you can find out for yourself. And when you do, put yourself in Rigoberta's shoes and see if you are a strong enough person to do what she did. I know that I am not, so I cannot point any fingers, can you?

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful*
I, Rigoberta Menchu is a powerful depiction of the life Rigoberta has faced in Guatemala. Part of its strength comes from the way it is written. The basis for the book comes from a series of interviews conducted by anthropologist Elisabeth Burgos-Debray. These interviews were taped, transcribed, and organized. Consequently, the book reads as if Rigoberta Menchu is talking directly to the audience. The book also contains several explanations and examples of her culture. For that reason alone it is a good book, but there is so much more to it. In addition, we see how the Indians in Guatemala were oppressed, but more importantly, Rigoberta Menchu offers the "Why?" For example, Indians are discriminated against because they sleep in the same clothes they work in. However, she points out how there is no choice in the matter. Everyone has to wake up before sunrise and work into the night just to earn the little they are paid. Just as she had to break through the barriers to unite the different tribes of Guatemala, so does the book fight to break down stereotypes and misconceptions.
This book will definitely trigger some kind of response. Perhaps the hardships and oppression her family faced will evoke sympathy or pain or disbelief. For example, when the workers were able to get their wages increased, the landowners turn around and increase penalties, some monetary, for unsatisfactory work, which more than exceed the raise allotted to them. The book gives a voice and a rare look at the world through the eyes of the oppressed.
However, the book does have its controversies. That is why I included the asterisk in the review title. The accusation is that portions of the book, or maybe even the whole, have been fabricated. However, there must be some truth to the story. All biographies or autobiographies contain some embellishments. Therefore, the disconnect between the events in the story and evidence in real life should not destroy quality of the book. Rigoberta Menchu did not win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but her ideals and actions more than warrant recognition as a fighter for peace and justice.
As stated before, there must be some truth to the book. There was a repression in Guatemala and several of her family members, including her parents, are dead directly or indirectly because of it. ... Read more


131. Against the Odds: Riding for My Life
by JerryBailey
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399152733
Catlog: Book (2005-04-21)
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Sales Rank: 5374
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A remarkable narrative of failure and redemption, the fiercely candid autobiography of the world's greatest jockey, depicting not only the intenseinside story of professional racing but his greatest victory of all-against himself.

I had hit bottom. My descent into alcoholism had been slow, but now I was lying at the bottom of the ocean, searching for a ray of light. I needed to breathe again. I needed to live again. . . . It was up to me.

He is considered the leading rider of his era, one of the greatest jockeys ever to break from the starting gate. He has won every major race there is, and then won it again; set earnings and stakes records; and entered the Racing Hall of Fame. But none of it was possible until he defeated his demons.

Astonishingly frank and vividly detailed, Against the Odds chronicles the making of both a man and a champion: the years of drinking, cruelty, anger, despair; the moment of truth, with the help of his wife, Suzee; the dramatic rise to the top. It takes us into the racing world as only someone who has lived it can-the joys and dangers, the adrenaline highs and controversies, from the stables to the stretch drive. It is a new classic of the literature.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars No Formula Here
This isn't the story of a great jockey. That would be pretty formula. This is the story of a jockey who somehow beat the odds to achieve greatness. That's what makes it a great book. Somewhat like "My Fractured Life", "It's Not About the Bike" and "The Secret Life of Bees", this is an amazing story that celebrates the flawed heroes among us and takes the reader's emotions for a ride that few have experienced and you can't help celebrating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great to the Finish
There are two books that I had been hearing a lot about and so I ordered them. One of those books was Against the Odds by Jerry Bailey. The other book was My Fractured Life by Rikki Lee Travolta. Of the two, My Fractured Life immediately jumped to the lead in the race of favorites. Against the Odds is a strong contender in its own right though and ran a strong second. It has strength of spirit and courage over addiction that makes it lift off the page. It was a nice Perfecta of weekend reading. Other recent considerations included Simon Lazarus, Nightmares Echo, Mermaid Chair, The Glass Castle, and Smashed. ... Read more


132. Mistress Bradstreet : The Untold Life of America's First Poet
by Charlotte Gordon
list price: $27.95
our price: $19.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316169048
Catlog: Book (2005-03-23)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 10937
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

DESCRIPTION: An illuminating biography of Anne Bradstreet, the first writer--and the first bestseller--to emerge from the wilderness of the New World. Puritan Anne Bradstreet arrived in Massachusetts in 1630, 18 years old and newly married to Simon Bradstreet, the son of a minister. She was accompanied by her imperious father, Thomas Dudley, and a powerful clutch of Protestant dissenters whose descendants would become the founding fathers of the country. Bradstreetís story is a rich one, filled with drama and surprises, among them a passionate marriage, intellectual ferment, religious schisms, mortal illness, and Indian massacres. This is the story of a young woman and poet of great feeling struggling to unearth a language to describe the country in which she finds herself. And it also offers a rich and complex portrait of early America, the Puritans, and their trials and values; a legacy that continues to shape our country to the present day. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Charlotte Gordon!
I first discovered Anne Bradstreet as an undergraduate in the 1970's and fell in love with her work.Over the years I have researched her personal history in depth.Why is so little written about her, I wondered.Doesn't anyone else get it? Well, Charlotte Gordon gets it.
I read this book hungrily, delighted to have found a kindred spirit in Ms. Gordon.Her understanding of the spirit and times of this passionate Puritan are compelling.This is a must read for anyone seeking a better understanding of our Puritan ancestors. I disagree with the author on some details, mainly dates, but she paints the big picture skillfully.This one is definately worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Lovely & Timely Biography!
Anne Bradstreet is virtually unknown--but not after this engrossing and well-researched biography!The author has carefully crafted a beautiful book about the life of this great woman of the early American days.A wonderful book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Modern Messages in an Important Historic Story
I LOVED this book and couldn't put it down - It traces the life and work of Anne Bradstreet, America's first poet, whose story carries a very modern message. "Mistress Bradstreet" is vital reading TODAY for several reasons: 1) it inspires any present-day American who is bent on holding on to their passion, voice, faith and family in times of great upheaval and change, and 2) It fills in missing chapters of history of those women leaders, creative thinkers, and pioneers who continue to shape the world. 3) Finally, Gordon's writing is gorgeous, combining the best of storytelling, biography and history.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Adventure in Early America
This wonderful literary biography is an important contribution to the history of American literature and thought.Anne Bradstreet, a poet whose work I was only slightly familiar with, emerges as a vital, passionate, brave, and yet very human woman in this lively and well written biography.The biography reads like a novel as the author,Charlote Gordon,includes vivid images of early American life including hostile Indians, drunken sybarites, and scathingly judgemental Pilgrims.The reader learns about religious history, the Puritan movement, Anne's life events, the trials and tribulations she faced as a powerfully faithful and spiritual woman in England, the struggles and joys she faced as a wife and mother raising a family in primitive conditions in some of the first settlements in the New World.The biography is constructed with superb and lively scholarship. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is that Gordon, a poet herself, discovers Miss Bradstreet's inner feelings and thoughts by interpreting Anne's poetry.The reader gets to follow Anne's private world though Gordon's inciteful commentary.A must read for anyone interested in poetry, early American history, and adventure. ... Read more


133. Bruchko
by Bruce Olson
list price: $9.99
our price: $8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0884191338
Catlog: Book (1977-06-01)
Publisher: Creation House
Sales Rank: 13268
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Lesson in Learning to Trust and Serve God
I couldn't put this book down; finished it in one night. The most amazing part is that it's TRUE! The man who this story is about is still alive and still an example to the rest of us of what a true, servant of God can accomplish when he takes his own wishes out of the picture and follows the voice of our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ. My faith is stronger having read this book, perhaps yours will be too. God bless you as you seek the God of the Universe who Bruce Olson serves; three in one, God the Father, Jesus Christ the son and the Holy Spirit the Comforter

5-0 out of 5 stars the most unbelievable part is it's true
I whole heartedly agree with the other reviews. As the one person said- WARNING ONCE YOU START READING THIS YOU WON'T STOP! It was absolutely the best adventure story I have read in a long, long time. . . . and it is true! You will learn how God called author Bruce Olson to fulfill the Great Commission and when God leads Bruce's path there are great rewards and when he tried to implement his own plan (against God's clear direction) there is trouble. This is a story of the most amazing miracle that happened over a 20 year period. PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND PURCHASE THIS BOOK AND READ IT - YOU WILL BE BLESSED!

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible what one man can do in the Will of God
Bruce Olson was a 19 year old when he followed God's will for him to bring the Gospel to South American natives. Not knowing a word of Spanish, or any Indian languages, not having a missionary board, or any other missionaries to welcome him, not having a friend in all of South America (except for Jesus Christ), he walked off an airplane in Venuzuela, and eventually found himself injured and left to die inside a hut of the Motilone tribe, a group of natives so fierce that even the neighboring tribes refused to approach their territory and guided Bruce only so far, disappearing at the first sign of a Motilone.

How Bruce survives, and reaches these people and how Jesus transforms them is an exciting and enthralling true story that is miraculous, humbling, and glorious. You won't be able to put this book down until you reach the end, and you'll wish for a sequel, as Bruce is alive and well today and still touching folks with the Gospel and transforming power of Jesus Christ

5-0 out of 5 stars the most unbelievable part is it's true
I whole heartedly agree with the other reviews. As the one person said- WARNING ONCE YOU START READING THIS YOU WON'T STOP! It was absolutely the best adventure story I have read in a long, long time. . . . and it is true! You will learn how God called author Bruce Olson to fulfill the Great Commission and when God leads Bruce's path there are great rewards and when he tried to implement his own plan (against God's clear direction) there is trouble. This is a story of the most amazing miracle that happened over a 20 year period. PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND PURCHASE THIS BOOK AND READ IT - YOU WILL BE BLESSED!

5-0 out of 5 stars a must read for everyone !!!
This book is amazing !!! It tells a story of a 19 year old American - his capture by the Motilone indians and his adventures in Christianizing the Stone Age tribe ... Read more


134. The Moon's a Balloon
by David Niven
list price: $34.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440158060
Catlog: Book (1983-12-01)
Publisher: Dell Pub Co
Sales Rank: 234372
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Touching Personal Memoir
This is the personal history of one of those amazing 20th century lives. Made better when read by the author. (For all the Hollywood dirt you've got to hear "Bring On The Empty Horses!")

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have had the pleasure to read
Prior to reading this book, my only knowledge of David Niven was as an actor in a few films I had seen. 'The Moon's A Balloon' was recommended to the highest level by an old aunt, and I must do likewise to anyone who enjoys superb writing, hugely entertaining and humorous stories, and dry wit of the highest calibre. David's writings are wonderfully descriptive and tinged in places with tragedy lest we forget he was apportioned his share. He led a most extraordinary life, met some of the most famous people from royalty to screen stars, and after reading his memoirs I defy anyone not to be endeared to the man. The book was no doubt initially made popular by David's popularity as an actor, but I guarantee that people who are not acquainted with him will enjoy his memoirs as much as those who are. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, nor adequately elucidate my surprise that it is no longer in print. After reading it I believe you will concur that the world lost a very unique person when David died in 1983. Please do yourself a favour and read this book, you will love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging read
This is one of the best autobiographies I've ever read. The stories are hilarious and moving in turn. I never appreciated David Niven much as an actor, but his writing is first-rate.

My idea of heaven includes David Niven at the dinner table. I can't wait to read his other books!

5-0 out of 5 stars WITTY AND A TREAT TO READ
I am still reading this book and find it to be very descriptive of his early life and so many sad and funny stories. Never knew David Niven was so witty, but he really comes out with some "lulu's" in describing situations he found himself in. Buy it, you'll like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars David Niven don't be dead!
I read this book on the recommendation of a friend when I didn't really know who David Niven was apart from that he was some old actor. The best recomendation that I can give is that while reading the book I started to love David Niven. After I'd read it I decided to write him a letter, but then I thought of the possibility that he might be dead! I immediately searched the internet and found out that he died 10 years ago. I was completely devestated, but have managed to get on with my life since. READ THIS BOOK. David Niven deserves to be remembered. What I want to see is the legendary Michael Parkinson interview from which a doctor contacted Niven to tell him he had a motor neuron disease. If anyone can tell me where I can get hold of it please let me know! ... Read more


135. Fat Girl : A True Story
by JudithMoore
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594630097
Catlog: Book (2005-03-03)
Publisher: Hudson Street Press
Sales Rank: 1127
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A nonfiction She's Come Undone, Fat Girl is a powerfully honest and compulsively readable memoir of obsession with food, and with one's body, penned by a Guggenheim and NEA award-winning writer.

For any woman who has ever had a love/hate relationship with food and with how she looks; for anyone who has knowingly or unconsciously used food to try to fill the hole in his heart or soothe the craggy edges of his psyche, Fat Girl is a brilliantly rendered, angst-filled coming-of-age story of gain and loss. From the lush descriptions of food that call to mind the writings of M. F. K. Fisher at her finest, to the heartbreaking accounts of Moore's deep longing for a family and a sense of belonging and love, Fat Girl stuns and shocks, saddens and tickles.
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Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Most Impressive
What is most impressive about "FAT GIRL" is that it takes strong stands. The author takes risks with confidence. As with other books in the same league of impact and merit ala "YOU REMIND ME OF ME," "THE GLASS CASTLE", "NIGHTMARES ECHO," "MY FRACTURED LIFE," or "NEVER LET ME GO," "FAT GIRL" is a book that will either amaze you or offend you. The author presents a finely crafted story it is. Judged on impact and merit, this is a story that is in the same league as "MY FRACTURED LIFE", "THE LOVELY BONES", "MIDDLESEX", and "RUNNING WITH SCISSORS."

2-0 out of 5 stars Most pointless book of self-hate I've ever read
Like mosquitoes drawn to lights, I couldn't stop reading this blessedly short vilification of overweight people.208 pages could hardly contain the mounds of self-hatred Judith Moore exhibits here.I have to admit she writes well.When she describes a meal, she not only seduces the reader into craving, she makes her smell and taste it. Unfortunately, the same can be said about her depictions of fat people; I kept feeling she wanted me to shower and put on deodorant several times while reading.

I looked at the author's photo on the back flyleaf and could not figure out just why she described herself in the beginning of the book as looking so horrendous and disgusting, with rolls of abdominal fat hanging over her thighs and each bubbling buttock sluicing against the other.She looked fine to me, very normal.Moreover, she admitted to being, at most, only 40 pounds overweight, weight she continually lost and regained over the years.I have been more than 40 pounds overweight and I never looked anything like the woman she so vividly describes, nor do other people I know with even more excess poundage.Ms. Moore is evoking someone morbidly obese, someone begging for a heart attack or stroke.She described her father as repulsive at over 6 feet and more than 200 pounds.Yet, most men over 6 feet tall are at a healthy weight when near 200 pounds.Then I realized that her outrageously abusive childhood had obviously warped her perception of herself (and other overweight people).As she said "Even when I was slender, I was fat".

But I have read Ms. Moore's earlier book, Never Eat Your Heart Out, where her autobiographical sketches are of, as another reviewer wrote, a "relatively ordinary life" with little hint of the horrendous existence she portrays and blames in Fat Girl.Yes, her parents divorced when she was very young, yes, her father disappeared from her life and her grandmother and mother were vicious shrews, her school life was friendless and full of teasing.Hey, that's the story of hordes of people who have nonetheless gone on to lead fulfilling lives free of excessive vitriol focused on a past they cannot get beyond.Ms. Moore is now in her sixties and the mother of two grown daughters.She must realize that a lousy childhood and nasty relatives should not be given permission to control her perceptions and self-worth into late adulthood. My advice to Ms. Moore - get over it.Do good deeds for others less fortunate (yes, there are people with worse lives), smile, and act like the attractive and well-adjusted person you want to be; it will quickly become self-fulfilling. Or get thee to a good therapist posthaste.

For those who might read this book, save yourselves the agony and have something to eat instead.

3-0 out of 5 stars motive unclear
I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. The writer doesn't mince words or make excuses, she lays out her life, her pain, and her fat. She doesn't cut a sympathetic figure, and she isn't trying to be one. I had difficulty finding a context for the novel. Why write it? Was it for self exploration? To explain something to people she knows? To chew the fat? I couldn't figure it out, and couldn't decide if reading it was enlightening or vouyerism.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Truth Hurts
I read this book in one day, alternately weeping and laughing out loud.The author is so brave, honest and unsparing in her description of inner pain.Self-medicating with food does not work but it is easy to fall into. Her descriptions of food are seductive and sensual. I wanted to call her when I finished reading the book and just say I am sorry you suffered that way, you are a delightful human being, and I just want to put my arms around you.I will never judge an overweight person, myself included, again.We cannot know another's inner pain or early experiences.I thank Ms. Moore for sharing hers so brilliantly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Story That Had To Be Told
FAT GIRL is an abrupt and blatantly rude title. It's one that is silly in a way that is funny only to bullies. That's the point. That sense of feeling is exactly what FAT GIRL captures. It is the biography of being fat, being made fun of, being the outsider. My sister was a "fat girl" and I know first hand how she came home crying from the way she was treated. She wasn't any less intelligent than me or any less kind or less polite, yet she was treated so differently - all because of her weight. FAT GIRL is an excellent book in the same league as THE GLASS CASTLE, MY FRACTURED LIFE, SECRET LIFE OF BEES, and THE TRUE AND OUTSTANDING ADVENTURES OF THE HUNT SISTERS. ... Read more


136. Autobiography of Malcolm X
by MALCOLM X
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345350685
Catlog: Book (1987-10-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 4112
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Malcolm X's searing memoir belongs on the small shelf of great autobiographies. The reasons are many: the blistering honesty with which he recounts his transformation from a bitter, self-destructive petty criminal into an articulate political activist, the continued relevance of his militant analysis of white racism, and his emphasis on self-respect and self-help for African Americans. And there's the vividness with which he depicts black popular culture--try as he might to criticize those lindy hops at Boston's Roseland dance hall from the perspective of his Muslim faith, he can't help but make them sound pretty wonderful. These are but a few examples. The Autobiography of Malcolm X limns an archetypal journey from ignorance and despair to knowledge and spiritual awakening. When Malcolm tells coauthor Alex Haley, "People don't realize how a man's whole life can be changed by one book," he voices the central belief underpinning every attempt to set down a personal story as an example for others. Although many believe his ethic was directly opposed to Martin Luther King Jr.'s during the civil rights struggle of the '60s, the two were not so different. Malcolm may have displayed a most un-Christian distaste for loving his enemies, but he understood with King that love of God and love of self are the necessary first steps on the road to freedom. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Reviews (214)

5-0 out of 5 stars Forget all the Minuses About the Man
Growing up in a home where Martin Luther King, Jr. was considered the closest thing to a saint, I was not aware of much about Malcolm X. He was the ONE who was too radical, too opinionated, and too controversial for my parents to accept.

However, when I saw Spike Lee's masterful motion picture autobiography, I had to find out more about this man. I was led to read the life story in his own words and am I glad that I did.

Malcolm X was an individual who encompassed the rage and the determination of the black man of the 1960's. He began, as have so many struggling to survive in the inner city, as a hustler involved in the numbers game. This led to an incareration which brought him into the "light" of Islam.

His views changed and he spearheaded much of that movement designed to faciliate black economic survival and pride. He was misquoted, misunderstood, and underappreciated by the very people that he sought to uplift.

The book will bring the reader greater insight into this most complex human being. Previous biases about him should be placed aside and take him for what he was: a Black man with a mission, a mission to instill integrity and self-sufficiency in a people long denied many of America's basic principles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Do NOT underestimate X
Knowing Malcolm X for a colored person is a prerequisite to being socially aware. Time Magazine calls this one of the top ten non-fictions ever. The reasons are clear. This is the most comprehensive, dauntingly honest, transcending account of X. No one energized the colored community with such "self respect" on a mass-level as Brother Malcolm. Malcolm X's charismatic influence as a genuinely intellectual, and intensely thought-provoking leader remains unmatched. The greatest aspect of Malcolm X was his committment to his very own thoughts and thus, speaking his mind. He didn't necessarily say what America's majority wanted to hear. That is why he was so phenomenal, so radical, so involving. His teachings on self-defense, "freedom by any means necessary", true Islam (after the Mecca trip); his urgency in creating forums for colored people, oppressed people world-wide; and his logical prioritizing of human rights before civil rights, are evidential of his deep/complex understanding of race and human nature. The latest version of the book includes a very special message by X's eldest daughter, A. Shabazz. She gives a personal insight into her father's life, goals, and philosophies. But most importantly, she clarifies the misconceptions surrounding X. "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" is top-notch. Frantz Fanon's scholarly writing, "The Wretched of the Earth" probably comes second.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is incredible.
I have only one thing to say about this book: Wow, what an amazing life-story. Anyone who reads this book will be changed in some way. Buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A story about the life a great man and his important life.
a very interesting story about a man's life. The book is written beautifully by Alex Haley as he tells about malcolm's life which is educational and inspiring. This is a recommeded read for people of all races. you will never regret spending money and time on this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars English 230
So... did these Chicago students have to submit their book reviews to amazon.com as one of their class requirements, or what? ... Read more


137. The Language of Baklava : A Memoir
by DIANA ABU-JABER
list price: $23.00
our price: $16.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375423044
Catlog: Book (2005-03-15)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 174609
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138. Kiss Me Like a Stranger : My Search for Love and Art
by Gene Wilder
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031233706X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 5965
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this personal book from the star of many beloved and classic film comedies -- from The Producers to Young Frankenstein, Blazing saddles to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -- Gene Wilder writes about a side of his life the public hasn't seen on the screen.Kiss Me Like a Stranger is not an autobiography in the usual sense of the word, and it's certainly not another celebrity "tell-all." Instead, Wilder has chosen to write about resonant moments in his life, events that led him to an understanding of the art of acting, and -- more important -- to an understanding of how to give love to and receive love from a woman.

Wilder writes compellingly about the creative process on stage and screen, and divulges moments from life on the sets of some of the most iconic movies of our time.

In this book, he talks about everything from his experiences in psychoanalysis to why he got into acting and later comedy (his first goal was to be a Shakespearean actor), and how a Midwestern childhood with a sick mother changed him. Wilder explains why he became an actor and writer, and about the funny, wonderful movies he made with Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, and Harrison Ford, among many others. He candidly reveals his failures in love, and writes about the overwhelming experience of marrying comedienne Gilda Radner, as well as what finally had to happen for him to make a true and lasting commitment to another woman.

A thoughtful, revealing, and winsome book about life, love, and the creative process, Kiss Me Like A Stranger is one actor's life in his own words.
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Reviews (24)

3-0 out of 5 stars Many references to People & Places
Gene Wilder's "slightly autobiographical' book gives a little insight into his life as a boy ,his close friendship with his pyschiatist Margie, the "Demons" which burdened him as a young man via thoughts and his wife Gilda, his sister Corrine and his own bouts successful or otherwise with Cancer...In his case his joy on "I've won" when the treatments were decreased from a sceduled nine to only six, turned to gratitude when he let one of the physcians who'd treated Gilda before she "passed away", inform him of the need for more treatment...His book hints that his major stresses are due to his concerns of why he thinks the way he thinks whenever the thoughts that lead to certain behaviour don't make sense...In its own "not-heavy" reading way the book is quite thought- provoking.

3-0 out of 5 stars In defense of the book
I found it informative enough. I got a good sense of Gene Wilder's life story from the get go of my reading it. He lets quite a few pictures of himself in younger days tell his story of his life as well as words. BTW he doesn't mention Patrick McGoohan (his co-star in Silver Streak) so I guess nothing happened between the two in a mutual sense. Makes sense as McGoohan had zero chemistry with everyone in that film (Wilder included), McGoohan was just in it for the money and most likely made no friends on the set. I'd like to add that Wilder's bio is definitely largely true as well as what he says of his co-star and friend Richard Pryor is confirmed in Pryor's very own autobiography.

2-0 out of 5 stars Is he a Nice Person? Is he a Good Writer?
Judging from the previous reviews, some of the people who think very little of Wilder's "autobiography" were disappointed to find he was not the sweet, insightful and gentle man he's made his career portraying.Well, OK, me too.

But "Is he a nice person?" is a separate question from "Is this book any good?" and in my view the answer to both is "no."

Dorothy Parker once wrote about Isadora Duncan's autobiography that she wrote with frankness, but that "frankness" was no synonym for "honesty." Or insight, for that matter.

What a sloppy, silly, unintentionally revealing book! At the end we don't know why Wilder's relationship with his daughter ended, but we do know that once he was able to copulate three times in one night.

I could give more examples, but that kinda does it for me: this is a very self-absorbed man, so selfish and consuming that he just doesn't give a **** that we will find it out. In fact, he seems to think we WANT to know. He didn't HAVE to reveal these terrible things about himself.

A self-absorbed jerk can be found with no trouble; what makes Gene Wilder different is that he has been one of the funniest actors and writers ever. Naturally, if you're reading his book, you want to find out about his artistic path. But we don't find out much about how he writes, or why, how he survived auditions, what he gets from his work, do the people who knew him when he was Jerry Silberman still call him Jerry, what roles would he have __liked__ to play?

It's hard to fault him for his Gilda Radner comments; she herself knew she was difficult. His account of his relationship with Gildawas pretty much as she said in __It's Always Something__, except she apparently didn't know he started dating his current wife while Gilda was dying.Again: not a story of a nice person--but that in and of itself is not terrible.Unfortunately it was also not great writing.

I didn't mind that it wasn't funny because I wanted to know about the Person, not the Persona.All I know about him that I didn't know before is that I wouldn't want him dating into my family.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy the Book!
People who think they know this man DON'T.He's a terrific person and his book is just great.Buy it and judge for yourself.

3-0 out of 5 stars I am Waiting for the Unauthorized Bio Later This Year
I have always loved Gene Wilder's work and have followed his career over the years.His memoir is entertaining and he is surprisingly honest about certain aspects of his private life, but I got the feeling that he was being selective in what he shared with the reader.There is an unauthorized Wilder biography being published around November of this year called "Gene Wilder: Funny and Sad" that supposedly is more analytical of Wilder's films and also reveals significant details about his personal life that he chose to omit from his own book.Wilder's book is good but I am waiting to read this other book which I feel will likely be more objective. ... Read more


139. Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow
list price: $26.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143034758
Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 11047
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades," now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

An illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, Hamilton rose with stunning speed to become George Washington's aide-de-camp, a member of the Constitutional Convention, coauthor of The Federalist Papers, leader of the Federalist party, and the country's first Treasury secretary. With masterful storytelling skills, Chernow presents the whole sweep of Hamilton's turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his illicit romances; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

For the first time, Chernow captures the personal life of this handsome, witty, and perennially controversial genius and explores his poignant relations with his wife Eliza, their eight children, and numberless friends. This engrossing narrative will dispel forever the stereotype of the Founding Fathers as wooden figures and show that, for all their greatness, they were fiery, passionate, often flawed human beings.

Alexander Hamilton was one of the seminal figures in our history. His richly dramatic saga, rendered in Chernow's vivid prose, is nothing less than a riveting account of America's founding, from the Revolutionary War to the rise of the first federal government.
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Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of American History's Shining Stars
There have NOT been enough biographies of Alexander Hamilton, and Ron Chernow has restored this often maligned founding father into his deserved spotlight. The marvelous opening passage describes the longings of Hamilton's widow, Elizabeth, for her husband who had died nearly 50 years previously. This romantic image sets the tone for this brilliant book, as it explores the heart as well as the mind of Alexander Hamilton.

For those who do not know, Hamilton was not merely a capitalist and economist who happened to die in a duel with Aaron Burr. True, he was the founder of The Bank of New York and was America's first Secretary of the Treasury. But Hamilton was also a tireless abolitionist, a brilliant lawyer and writer, General Washington's right-hand-man, a war hero, founder of the New York Post, and a swash-buckling romantic. Taken on their own, these achievements are amazing enough, but given the enormous obstacles and tragedies he had to overcome during his youth, it's just mindboggling. To take it a step further, he accomplished all this in just 49 years, which was his age at the time of his death.

A life as full, as dramatic, as IMPORTANT as Alexander Hamilton's deserves volumes. Ron Chernow's extensive biography is a long book but, even so, the amazing life he is describing requires such length. And, to Chernow's credit, the book achieves just the right balance of admiration and criticism, romanticism and realism, speculation and fact. Hamilton's life swung between often contradictory ideas and emotions, and Chernow presents them all to us, rather than sticking with one overriding image. ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Ron Chernow is perhaps the most important book written about the nascent years of our country since Ellis' FOUNDING BROTHERS, which would make an excellent companion to this book. I would also strongly recommend McCullough's JOHN ADAMS, as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Important American Figure Never to Become President
During the 1980s, during the period when Bank of New York launched its hostile take-over of Irving Bank, the following anecdote circulated.

As Alexander Hamilton was getting into the boat to be rowed across the Hudson River to Weehawken where he was scheduled to duel Aaron Burr, he turned to his aide and said, "Don't do anything until I return."

The story concluded, unfortunately, the aide and all of his successors took Hamilton at his word.

The anecdote, though funny at the time of the take-over, could not have a weaker historical foundation. Ron Chernow's biography relates the details of an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan who rose to become George Washington's key aide-de-camp, battlefield hero, Constitutional Convention delegate, co-author of The Federalist Papers, Federalist Party head and the country's first Treasury Secretary.

Hamilton was a rare revolutionary: fearless warrior, master administrator and blazing administrator. No other moment in American history could have better employed Hamilton's abundant talents and energy.

As Treasury Secretary, the country benefited from his abilities as a thinker, doer, skilled executive and political theorist. He was a system builder who devised and implemented interrelated policies.

As in the Revolution, Hamilton and Washington complemented each other. Washington wanted to remain above the partisan fray. He was gifted with superb judgment. When presented with options, he almost always made the correct choice. His detached style left room for assertiveness. Especially in financial matters, Hamilton stepped into the breach.
Washington was sensitive to criticism, yet learned to control his emotions. Hamilton, on the other hand, was often acted without tact and was naturally provocative.

Perhaps the main reason Hamilton accomplished so much was Washington agreed with his vision of 13 colonies welded into a single, respected nation. Chernow presents a well-written and nuanced portrait that arguably is the most important figure in American history that never attained the presidency. Though his foreign birth denied him the ultimate prize, his accomplishments produced a far more lasting impact than many who claimed it.

5-0 out of 5 stars True Founding Interests
The best all around depiction of a pivotal charecter in the founding of our country. With all of Mr Hamiltons accomplishments and pitfalls of character. Hamilton created almost single-handedly the modern capitalist society in addition to making huge implications into the manner which our government took shape that so many Americans take for granted. I would encourage anyone interested in the formation of the American experiment and a capitalist society read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Life
After Ronald Reagan died, I recall a TV commentator saying that there was a movement to replace Hamilton with Reagan on the $10 bill. Paraphrasing, "Hamilton was an easy target because he lacks a 'constituency'". Chernow's outstanding biography not only demonstrates why Hamilton is on the bill, but that his constituency should be all Americans. Of the "Founding Fathers", it is Hamilton who, if he could come back today, would be generally pleased at the United States he would find; his vision of capitalism, free markets and a central government has come to fruition.

The book details his youth growing up in the West Indies of questionable legitimacy, emigrating to the "Colonies", receiving an education, serving on Washington's staff in the Revolutionary War, his authorship of the Federalist Papers, his role in the Constitutional Convention, first Secretary of the Treasury, prolific writer, lawyer. His was a truly a phenomenal life. Chernow remarks that "No immigrant did more for the United States than Hamilton." After completing this book you can't help but "second" that statement.

The book paints vivid portraits of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Burr as well as the political climate. The role of his family and particularly his wife are well chronicled along with his faults. This book adds to the number of outstanding biographies that are being written about this period of our history. Back to Reagan, who quoted Hamilton on numerous occasions, I think if he had a say in who should be on the Ten, he like me would vote for Hamilton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This is the best biography I have read in years. After the wonderful biographies out recently about Franklin and Adams, it was a thrill to learn about Alexander Hamilton, who has been so maligned and sidestepped by history. Buy this book. It is beautifully written, will hold your interest, and you will come away--as I did--with a new take on the founding of this country. ... Read more


140. Reallionaire : Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out
by Farrah Gray, Fran Harris
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0757302246
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 6431
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A remarkable teenager who went from public assistance to a million dollar net worth shares his story and offers 9 key principles to success.

Farrah Gray is no ordinary teenager. He wears a suit and tie; he has an office on Wall Street and another one in Los Angeles . . . and he sold his first business at the age of 14 for more than a million dollars. He invested that money in a partnership with Inner City Broadcasting, one of the most prominent African-American owned businesses in the country, and now is heading the relaunch of their signature magazine, InnerCity. According to People magazine, Farrah is the only African-American teenager to rise from public assistance to a business mogul without being in entertainment or having a family connection.

Reallionaire tells Farrah's extraordinary and touching story. When he was just six, Farrah's mother became seriously ill, prompting his decision to provide for this family, and he spent the first $50 he ever made taking them for a real sit-down dinner. At the age of eight, he founded his first business club. By fourteen, with a million dollars in his pocket, Farrah was well on his way to business success.

Each stage of Farrah's progress is marked by one of the principles of success he learned along the way, creating not just an extraordinary story but also a step-by-step primer for others to create success in their own lives with honor; charity and compassion.
In the tradition of great motivators and leaders, this is both an instructional book and a story to inspire others to live life to the fullest. And readers don't have to be interested in business to enjoy it. In fact, Farrah is a role model for everyone.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Reallionaire Is A MUST Read!!!!!
I was truly impressed with Mr. Gray's writing style.It blends the personal develoment tenets of Kiyosaki, John C. Maxwell, Napoleon Hill and Jim Rohn beautifully in a way that can be easily understood and duplicated by young and old readers.It is a very inspiring and thought provoking guide to living your life with passion, purpose and faith in God and your God-given abilities. I recommend this book to everyone who is serious about personal development. ... Read more


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