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$18.45 $16.99 list($27.95)
61. How to Make Love Like a Porn Star:
$10.20 $9.52 list($15.00)
62. Rebel Without a Crew: Or How a
$12.89 list($18.95)
63. J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys
$16.47 $11.74 list($24.95)
64. Everything About Me Is Fake .
$16.47 $11.44 list($24.95)
65. A Paper Life
$11.16 $7.95 list($13.95)
66. Electroboy : A Memoir of Mania
$16.17 $15.72 list($26.95)
67. Will in the World: How Shakespeare
$29.99 $21.94 list($38.20)
68. Chopin: Pianist and Teacher :
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69. The Pilgrimage
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70. Magical Mystery Tours : My Life
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71. When All the World Was Young :
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72. Girl, Interrupted
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73. Wrestlecrap And Figure Four Weekly
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74. Travels With Charley: In Search
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75. Into the Heart: The Stories Behind
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76. Chronicles, Vol. 1
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77. Hunger of Memory : The Education
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78. Darkness Visible : A Memoir of
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79. Elephant House: Or, The Home of
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80. Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life

61. How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale
by Jenna Jameson, Neil Strauss, Neil Strauss
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060539097
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: ReganBooks
Sales Rank: 272
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Book Description

When the stewardess brought me off the plane in a wheelchair, I lowered my head. I was too scared to even look at my father. I didn't want to see the disappointment and horror on his face. All that hate I had accumulated for him over the years, all the resentment against him for not understanding what I was going through, just released with the tears.

"So, where are your parents?" the stewardess asked me after a few minutes. "I can't wait here with you much longer."

I looked up and wiped my eyes. My father was standing ten feet away. He didn't even recognize me.

In the underbelly of Las Vegas, a cesspool of warring biker gangs and seedy strip clubs transformed the gawky, brace-faced Jenna Massoli into the bombshell Jenna Jameson. Today, Jenna Jameson is the biggest star in the history of adult movies, consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful women alive. But behind the glamour and the meteoric rise to fame was a path paved with tragedy and heartbreak. As a teenager drawn into a chaotic world ruled by rape, abuse, and murder, Jenna plunged into a downward spiral of addiction, even as she became one of the most photographed women in adult magazines.

Determined to overcome this past, Jenna rebounded in the adult-film business, where she encountered sadistic directors, experienced lovers of both sexes, amorous celebrities (from Howard Stern to Marilyn Manson to Tommy Lee), bitter rival starlets, and finally, glory, as she went on to become the biggest porn star the world has ever seen. But her struggle for happiness did not end when the accolades began. For years she wrestled with her resentment at her estranged father, the loneliness of growing up from the age of two without a mother, and her enduring childhood desire to find a man who could give her the security and love she never had.

Her unforgettable memoir is many things at once: a shocking sexual history, an insider's guide to the secret workings of the billion-dollar adult-film industry, and a gripping thriller that probes deep into Jenna's dark past. An unparalleled exploration of sexual freedom, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star ventures far beyond the flesh, into the heart-shredding tragedies and adrenaline-pumping triumphs of a woman who has already lived a hundred lifetimes. Always witty and humorous even as she faces the demons of her past, Jenna offers hilarious anecdotes about one of the most controversial businesses in history, and shares outrageous advice, including her ten commandments of dating and sex, how to become a "suitcase pimp," and how to make it in the business as a female (or a male).

Add to this never-before-seen photographs from Jenna's private collection and others taken exclusively for this book, and the result is certain to be one of the most talked-about books of the year. ... Read more


62. Rebel Without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
by Robert Rodriguez
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
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Asin: 0452271878
Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 2389
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Ever Read On Filmmaking
If you want to be a filmmaker, buy this book. I've read over 30 books on filmmaking in the past few months, and none of them has been as good or as inspiring as this one. This isn't another book telling you how to make movies like everyone else does. In his 10 minute film school at the end of the book, he tells you what is essential, and what is just B.S. that film schools will tell you. Hollywood is for the taking, so get off you're butt and make a movie. This book is a diary of RRs experiences from preproduction all the way through distribution of his famous film, El Mariachi. Hollywood is for the taking, so get off you're butt and make a movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read ripper of a tale
This is a delightful, funny, amazing and inspirational book. It's the remarkable account of how one 23-year-old made a film on the cheap, and how hard he had to work (it was a labor of love, of course) to do that. This book also gives an insightful glimpse into the dazzling world of Hollywood glitz from the point-of-view of "an ordinary Joe" who suddenly finds himself catapulted into a world of limos, expense accounts, and who-you-know mentality. Included in the book are Rodriguez's famous "Ten Minute Film School" essay and the script for his film "El Mariachi" as he wrote it. (No, it's not in "proper script format", but since he wrote, directed, shot, and edited the whole film himself, it didn't matter. Rodriguez rule number one: You don't always have to follow the rules.)

Readers who aren't dying to make their own movies will still find this a tremendously good tale of how an ordinary, middle-class, almost-a-dropout can become a success. Rodriguez's formula for success is a true homily: 10% inspiration + 90% prespiration, and a little blood donated to science. Oh, and a whole lot of chutzpah.

For aspiring independent film-makers, this book is truly a must-read. For everybody else, it's a ripper of a true tale, well told and likeable.

Oh, and don't forget to pair it with the video of "El Mariachi", the film the book is all about. It shows how stylish a "cheap" film can be, and it's a lot of fun, especially when you know all the "inside jokes": cheat sheets, wheelchair dollies, why everybody always gets shot in the chest, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars fresh & inspiring
Rodriguez's philosophy on filmmaking is incredibly simple: get a camera and make movies. This book offers a glimpse into the author's own endeavors to create his first feature film El Mariachi. Just reading the introduction made me want to pick up a camera! His positive, you-can-do-it attitude is infectious and inspiring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read
This is one of the "Must Read" books about Hollywood. Anyone wanting a career in Hollywood needs to read "Rebel Without a Crew" by Robert Rodriguez, "My Fractured Life" by Rikki Lee Travolta, "You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again" by Julia Phillips, and "Digital Filmmaking 101" by Dale Newton.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Inspiration!!!
I must start off by saying that I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I love it for many reasons. It's written BY Robert Rodriguez in a journal style as he was creating his claim-to-fame, first feature film, El Mariachi... He talks about everything, is very to the point, and has a great sense of humor through all the hard times which lead to the "magic". I felt like I was right there with him through the whole Mariachi journy. And what an interesting, fun, nerve racking, and exetremely rewarding ride it turned out to be. Even though this book was written in '91/'92 and a lot of things in the industry have begun to change - the basic information and message are timeless. As a Robert Rodriguez fan, film maker, future film maker, or friend of a film maker, this is a MUST read book! He offers up the best advice through out the entire thing... advice you can not only apply to film making but to life in general as well. This HAS to be the most informal, most informational, and the BEST book on film I've read yet!!! ... Read more


63. J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys
by Andrew Birkin, SHARON GOODE
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
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Asin: 0300098227
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

J. M. Barrie, novelist, playwright, and author of Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, led a life almost as magical and interesting as his famous creation. Childless in his marriage, Barrie grew close to the five young boys of the Llewelyn Davies family, ultimately becoming their guardian and devoted surrogate father when they were orphaned. Andrew Birkin draws extensively on a vast range of material by and about Barrie, including notebooks, memoirs, and hours of recorded interviews with the Llewelyn Davies family and their circle, to describe Barrie’s life and the wonderful world he created for the boys. Originally published in 1979, this enchanting and richly illustrated account is reissued with a new preface to mark the release of Neverland, the film of Barrie’s life, and the upcoming centenary of Peter Pan. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Lost Boys Return
I read this book when it was first released and then had to go to a dealer selling used books to track down a copy to buy.
It's a beautifully written book and a haunting real life story.
The icing on the cake of the reissue of the book would be the release of the BBC miniseries on video or better yet, DVD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sad and Beautiful Story
Wonderful news ... this new edition makes available a book that's been out-of print for much too long.
Birkin completed the book when adapting the story of J M Barrie for a BBC mini-series, The Lost Boys. As well as writing Peter Pan, Barrie was in his time, regarded as a playwright the equal of George Bernard Shaw. That his work quickly fell out of favour may be due to its pathos and close relation to Barrie's own life.
I stumbled across this book over ten years ago, and its poignancy, honestly and power have been with me ever since.
It centres around the Llewelyn Davies family, which became the inspiration for Peter Pan, but went on to have an even more profound impact upon the life of the melancholic Scottish playwright.
As one of the protagonists later wrote, the masses of photographs (extensively reproduced in the book) seem to foretell the whole sad story. Indeed, Birkin's strength is allowing the story to unfold through letters, images and quotation from Barrie's surprisingly autobiographical work. What emerges is the finest of biographies. Peter Pan acquires a whole new sad significance in the light of this book, and it captures the fading Edwardian twighlight exquisitely.
Upon the death of the last of the Llewelyn Davies boys (after first publication), the majority of the material used in the book was bequeathed to Birkin, a ringing endorsement of his sensitive and perceptive retelling of the story.
I cannot recommend this book too highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sad and beautiful story
Wonderful news ... this new edition will make a classic available to new readers.
Birkin completed the book when adapting the story of J M Barrie for a BBC mini-series, The Lost Boys. As well as writing Peter Pan, Barrie was in his time, regarded as a playwright the equal of George Bernard Shaw. That his work quickly fell out of favour may be due to its pathos and close relation to Barrie's own life.
I stumbled across this book over ten years ago, and its poignancy, honestly and power have been with me ever since.
It centres around the Llewelyn Davies family, which became the inspiration for Peter Pan, but went on to have an even more profound impact upon the life of the melancholic Scottish playwright.
As one of the protagonists later wrote, the masses of photographs (extensively reproduced in the book) seem to foretell the whole sad story. Indeed, Birkin's strength is allowing the story to unfold through letters, images and quotation from Barrie's surprisingly autobiographical work. What emerges is the finest of biographies. Peter Pan acquires a whole new sad significance in the light of this book, and it captures the fading Edwardian twighlight exquisitely.
Upon the death of the last of the Llewelyn Davies boys (after first publication), the majority of the material used in the book was bequeathed to Birkin, a ringing endorsement of his sensitive and perceptive retelling of the story.
I cannot recommend this book too highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Haunting -- Stranger and More Moving than Fiction
I first read this book roughly ten years ago. It is still one of my all-time favorites. The beautiful and tragic lives of the Llewellyn-Davies family, and their beauty caught in intimate pictures, reminds one of the Romanovs. This book is a very loving, close portrait of the relationship between JM Barrie--the playwright of Peter Pan (and numerous other plays and books)and an Edwardian family composed of five charming, beautiful, intelligent boys. The boys' parents (one of whom is the daughter of George du Maurier [author of Trilby] -- the boys' cousin is Daphne du Maurier) both die young, leaving them orphans in the care of JM Barrie. The book contains astonishingly beautiful photographs, diary entries, letters, etc. The truth of the story gives it a charm and tragedy mere fiction lacks. I can't recommend it highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Lost Man-Boy
Barrie must be one of the 20th C's most under-rated and misinterpreted writers. This beautiful and haunting book helps interpret his writing, especially that maudlin classic of hopeless nostalgia Peter Pan. Look in this book beyond the fragile elegance of the Edwardian world, and the beautiful children frozen forever in time by Barrie's camera and there's tragedy. Everyone, Arthur, Michael, Jack and especially Barrie himself comes to a sticky end. It well illustrates that old morality tale: be very careful about what you wish for -it may come true. I agree it's a tragedy this book has slipped out of print. ... Read more


64. Everything About Me Is Fake . . . And I'm Perfect
by Janice Dickinson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006055469X
Catlog: Book (2004-04)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 23449
Average Customer Review: 3.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Everything About Me Is Fake…and I'm Perfect, the hilarious and candid follow-up to the national bestseller No Lifeguard on Duty, Janice Dickinson tackles our society's unattainable standards of beauty and reveals the secrets behind her own lifelong struggle to achieve perfection -- from her bra-stuffing days as a flat-chested teenager through her career as the world's first supermodel to her ultimate comeback as a bestselling author and television star on the top-rated reality television hit America's Next Top Model.

most men don't seem to care about my age either. Once you hit the supermodel level, your numerical time spent on Earth doesn't matter to men.

Even as she graced the glossy pages of Vogue and Cosmo, Janice had to struggle to keep up the image of brazen self-confidence and bravado that became her trademark. Behind every smile and pose was a sea of self-doubt and insecurities. Now, after years of experience as a supermodel -- being stitched into clothing, starving herself, and undergoing cosmetic surgery -- Janice debunks the beauty myths and breaks down what's real and what's not. Drawing on her vast knowledge of fashion, beauty care, and fitness, Janice offers no-nonsense advice and tips on how to look and feel your best on your own terms.

you see on the magazine pages starve themselves for weeks on end, smoke up a storm, and scarf down enough diuretics to blast out the Pacific Ocean.

No one tells a story like the world's first supermodel, and Janice's eagerly awaited follow-up is filled with outrageous anecdotes from her personal life, including how she stole Donald Trump's heart after jacking his limo, her steamy date with JFK Jr., and the wonders and pitfalls of going under the knife. In a fabulous fashion that only Janice can deliver, she tells all about her bumpy and unpredictable road to a healthy self-image and pulls back the curtain on the modeling industry, as well as her own life, proving why, as Janice explains: "Everything about me is fake . . . and I'm perfect."

I think it's best to treat most men like they're pets. Treat 'em mean and you'll keep 'em keen.”
... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Janice does it again!!
If you read her first book, No Lifeguard on Duty, this will be just as much of a treat. She delivers advice and details about her life in her typical blunt, ballsy, take-no-prisoners style. You'll laugh more reading this book than her last, because her first was more soul-searching through the most painful moments of her life, this book takes a more light-hearted look at how her life has been since the first one, how being a judge on America's Next Top Model has affected her, and how being a full-time mother and supermodel hasn't slowed her down one bit.
She truly speaks from the heart and from experience. Janice gives it to you straight, whether you like it or not. No apologies. Yet she lets her vulnerable side shine through, like when she talks about her children, her family, etc.
She also gives good advice to women about how the fashion industry is selling us all lies with their airbrushed and digitally enhanced images of perfection(not a shock, right?). She really helps put it all in perspective.
If you're looking for a warts-and-all look at how a supermodel's life REALLY is, this is the book. Also read her first book, once you try Janice, you've GOT to go back for more!

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm ADDICTED to PLASTIC!
I have to say that this is a great read! It's funny, has TONS of gossip about celebrities, and shockingly a BIG HEART! You may know Janice from the TOP MODEL show on UPN, or as a fashion model ... but the biggest shock is underneath her hard exterior is a woman who really cares. She tells things like they are, and she makes no apologies for some of her bad behavior! But she also lets you know that PERFECTION can be a disease, and she lets you in on how to fight that.

I love this book! It's not a literary masterpiece in conventional terms ... more like a gab session with one of your wildest friends. Definitely funny! Definitely shocking! And so much fun you don't want it to end.

I don't care if her modeling advice is suspect (as one reviewer noted), or if she's seen as just another washed up model. She's a courageous woman who deserves to be celebrated. I admire her for being who she is ... the super model with the SUPER MOUTH! :-)

2-0 out of 5 stars Janice is scary...
Janice is really a sad babe. Abused as a child, she grew up, it seems hating everything and everyone. In this book Janice gives advise to women on how to get and keep their man, shares celebrity stories, and talks about how she manages to stay looking good.
The cover of the book is creative with Janice set up to look like a Barbie doll but the content of the book is weak. Janice shares good information in the beginning of the book when she explains in depth how artificial the looks we see in magazines are. Though real women compare themselves to models in magazines, these images are false as the models have been computer enhanced and in true life are most likely staying slender in unhealthy ways. The book goes downhill from there.
She rips apart fellow models for their wrongdoings like Christie Brinkley who moved in with Janice's boyfriend soon after they broke up. But then in typical Janice double standard fashion she sees nothing wrong with sharing her bed with other men who are already taken.
Janice does her best to treat the reader like they are her best buds and baring her soul but her rough, abrasive personality, and foul language permeate the book and its just not pretty. Her egotistical, "I am so hot and beautiful" nature is immature and becomes old quickly. Her photos reflect this too.
I really feel sorry for the worlds first self- professed "supermodel" a fact she reminds you of constantly throughout the book, and I feel sad that she bases her self worth on how many men desire her. Hopefully one day she will find true inner beauty and peace.
Meantime skip the book or borrow it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest and Funny
I liked this book better than her first one, because she is more of herself in the writing. Although she does get carried away sometimes with the beauty tips and work out tips. Nonetheless, it is a page turner. I wonder what she is going to write for her third and last book in this trilogy, i am sure it's going to be funny. This one is a lot more lighter and her delirious personality shines through the series of her honest biographical anecdotes. I think in a way we can all relate to Janice and her insecurity. What it matters is how we deal with it and reading about her story helps.

2-0 out of 5 stars Well I liked her first book....
I have to say that I was looking forward to this book. Boy was I disappointed! Her first book was filled with her life story, gossipy tidbits, and more. This new book of hers barely skims the surface. There's a few good modeling anecdotes about her's and other's experiences in that oh-so-glamorously-drugged-up-world, but most of the book seems to be her reapeating the same phrase in different ways over and over and over again just to fill up space! She repeatedly contradicts herself, and even her wit doesn't compensate for that. It's as if she was trying to write a self-help/mini-autobiography (unfortunately, it went terribly downhill....fast!). Basically, it was like a really long and really bad diary entry. So if you were looking for a great follow up to, No Lifeguard on Duty, you will be very disappointed. Also, Janice doesn't even come across as that super confident tough girl who she claims she is...in fact she comes across as terribly insecure and pathetic (her incestent rambling about how she is so confident makes this even more evident). ... Read more


65. A Paper Life
by Tatum O'Neal
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060540974
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 749
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Book Description

At age ten, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in the film classic Paper Moon. She was hailed as a new kind of child star -- sassy and precocious -- for a hip, cynical age. As the sidekick to her father, the flamboyant star and man-about-town Ryan O'Neal, she became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties and counted celebrities ranging from Cher to Stanley Kubrick among her childhood friends.

But behind the glittering facade of Tatum's life lay heartbreak: abandonment, abuse, and neglect. Her alcoholic mother, the actress Joanna Moore, drifted in and out of her life. Her father, saddled with both Tatum and her brother Griffin, grew increasingly punishing and distant, especially after moving in with his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett. By her late teens, Tatum -- though a working actress with ten movies to her credit -- had begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.

Then, just before her twenty-first birthday, Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the explosive tennis great John McEnroe. They had three children, Kevin, Sean, and Emily, in quick succession, followed by one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the collapse of her marriage and no real family to turn to, Tatum succumbed to the demons of her past, which would nearly kill her.

Now she has emerged clean and sober, rediscovering herself as an actress, mother, and wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.

A Paper Life is a story of strength and courage: unflinchingly honest, yet poignant, often funny, and unfailingly uplifting. It is a tale of triumph steeped in Hollywood lore -- and an inspiring testament to the healing power of love.

... Read more

66. Electroboy : A Memoir of Mania
by ANDY BEHRMAN
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812967089
Catlog: Book (2003-02-11)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 44418
Average Customer Review: 3.41 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Electroboy is an emotionally frenzied memoir that reveals with kaleidoscopic intensity the terrifying world of manic depression. For years Andy Behrman hid his raging mania behind a larger-than-life personality. He sought a high wherever he could find one and changed jobs the way some people change outfits: filmmaker, PR agent, art dealer, stripper-whatever made him feel like a cartoon character, invincible and bright. Misdiagnosed by psychiatrists and psychotherapists for years, his condition exacted a terrible price: out-of-control euphoric highs and tornadolike rages of depression that put his life in jeopardy.

Ignoring his crescendoing illness, Behrman struggled to keep up appearances, clinging to the golden-boy image he had cultivated in his youth. But when he turned to art forgery, he found himself the subject of a scandal lapped up by the New York media, then incarcerated, then under house arrest. And for the first time the golden boy didn’t have a ready escape hatch from his unraveling life. Ingesting handfuls of antidepressants and tranquilizers and feeling his mind lose traction, he opted for the last resort: electroshock therapy.

At once hilarious and harrowing, Electroboy paints a mesmerizing portrait of a man held hostage by his in-satiable desire to consume. Along the way, it shows us the New York that never sleeps: a world of strip clubs, after-hours dives, and twenty-four-hour coffee shops, whose cheap seductions offer comfort to the city’s lonely souls. This unforgettable memoir is a unique contribution to the literature of mental illness and introduces a writer whose energy may well keep you up all night.


From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more

Reviews (41)

4-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
A lot of people have criticized this book as being too sensationalistic and trashy. Others have labeled Behrman a self-promoter. These allegations may be partly correct, but one aspect of writing a good memoir is to entertain the reader a little. For example, I found the description of Behrman's art forgery interesting and consistent with manic behavior. I suppose the book is a little light on information about bipolar disorder, but perhaps describing bipolar disorder in detail wasn't really the intent- hardly anyone criticizes Kay Jamison for not providing more info about bipolar disorder in "An Unquiet Mind". In summary, Behrman has assembled a pretty good book in "Electroboy" that anyone interested in bipolar disorder, or who likes entertaining narrative nonfiction, should read. Avery Z. Conner, author of "Fevers of the Mind".

4-0 out of 5 stars FRIGHTENING RAW, HONEST AND ACCURATE
I also suffer from bipolar disorder, as does Andy Behrman, the author of "Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania." Never have I read a more brutally honest account, albeit raw, of this illness that ravages millions of Americans (including both my brother and sister). I've read accounts of mental illness by Kay Refield Jamison and Elizabeth Wurtzel, but I've just never been this moved and frightening reminded of the intricacies of my illness.

Although Behrman's account seems to highlight an extreme case of manic depression, I really felt like I was taken along for the roller coaster ride of my own life. I became caught up in the frenzy of his mania - - the shopping sprees, the promiscuity and the psychosis.

Although "Electroboy" is technically a memoir, fellow sufferers of the illness (or any other mental illness) will learn quite a bit from this account (as will mental health professionals). It's a must read - - highly informative, captivating and entertaining.

5-0 out of 5 stars Coming to terms
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its coverer, but I have to admit I've been guilty of this crime. I was originally drawn to Behrman's work by the bright yellow cover, but what I found inside was far better. The work provided an entertaining look at someone's life, from stories of travel around the world, to risky behavior revolving around sex and drugs, to life in New York City. This book did things for me other than entertainment as well. As someone that has been diagnosed with biopolar disorder it helped me realize things could be a lot worse. Despite my problems with illness the actions of Andy Behrman seem more extreme than I am capable, which gave me some peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can be enjoyed from either an insider's or outsider's view
I enjoyed this book from an outsider's point of view (I don't have BP) and I felt like it was a tremendously revealing look into the mind of a manic-depressive. Probably the life Jack Kerouac would have led, had he been young in the 1990's and been born into a well off family. The author teeters on the brink of self destruction throughout most of the book but always seems to eek it out, along the lines of Catch Me if You Can. If you have no sympathy for the burden of mental illness, then this is definitely not the book for you but if you'd like incite into this world, you'll love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars WHAT A PAGE TURNER!
I read practically every book on mental illness and a good friend of mine who is manic depressive told me that "Electroboy" was probably the most accurate account of the illness.

I literally devoured "Electroboy" in two days. It's a thrilling tale of a man who experiences such dramatic highs and lows of a devastating illness - - I just couldn't put it down.

If you're expecting Elizabeth Wurtzel or Lizzie Simon, you're not going to find that in "Electroboy." THIS IS THE REAL THING! The writer takes you into the mind of the manic depressive and takes you along for the ride. It's a must read! ... Read more


67. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
by Stephen Greenblatt
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393050572
Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 32
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Amazon.co.uk

Why should we read Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World? There have been innumerable biographies of William Shakespeare, but the greatest of all writers remains the great unknowable. We know about the petty business dealings, the death of his son, his career as a man of the theatre, and (of course) the seemingly contemptuous bequeath to Anne Hathaway of his "second best bed". But any biographer is left wondering for for much more than that.

What makes Greenblatt's account the most valuable in many years (literally so, since famously massive advances were paid for it) is the synthesis of incisive scholarship, immense enthusiasm for the subject, and an unparalleled ability to conjure up the Elizabethan world with color and veracity. If the author's conclusion's about the genius at the centre of his narrative are open to question, Will in the World is none the worse for that--Greenblatt enjoys provoking the reader, and the result is an energetic conjuring of a brilliant man and those around him (Christopher Marlowe and Ben Johnson are evoked with enviable skill, as are such figures as the prototype for Falstaff, Robert Green).

With something of the vigor of the Bard's writing, Greenblatt takes us through the bawdy, teeming Bankside district (centuries before it became a tourist destination), and the Machiavellian, dangerous world of the court--in fact, all the splendor and misery of the Elizabethan age--and at the centre of it all, its greatest artist. The Will we meet here may owe much to Greenblatt's very personal interpretation, but the portrait is fascinating.--Barry Forshaw ... Read more


68. Chopin: Pianist and Teacher : As Seen by his Pupils
list price: $38.20
our price: $29.99
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Asin: 0521367093
Catlog: Book (1988-12-01)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 52531
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The accounts of Chopin's pupils, acquaintances and contemporaries, together with his own writing, provide valuable insights into the musician's pianistic and stylistic practice, his teaching methods and his aesthetic beliefs.This unique collection of documents, edited and annotated by Jean-Jacques Eigeldinger, reveals Chopin as teacher and interpreter of his own music.Included in this study is extensive appendix material that presents annotated scores, and personal accounts of Chopin's playing by pupils, writers, and critics. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars You need this if you play Chopin
You need this book if you play Chopin. There is a wealth of information on playing Chopin's music directly from the composer and his pupils. It has answered many questions and cleared up some misconceptions I had about this music.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book on how to play Chopin
For those of us who bungle at the keyboard and can always use more guidance, this book offers a great start in understanding Chopin's music. Probably the most difficult piece to play in public is Chopin Ballade No. 4, and Chopin offers some incredible insight into how he wanted it played. As you know, the music notation on the sheet cannot cover every intention of the composer, much like writing cannot capture everything, but most of what we want to say. This book supplements your understanding of the music. I would not be surprised if your great piano teacher pulls material out of this book in order to advise you on how to play Chopin.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Historical Document
This book is wonderful for understanding Chopin's philosophies on technique and musicianship. One important thing you learn in reading this book, however, is that the piano has changed dramatically since Chopin's time. My main reason for reading this book was to gain valuable information about how to improve my technique for playing Chopin. Although I definitely learned a lot by reading this book, the issues relating to Chopin's advice about technique are unfortunately not as relevant on pianos today as I was hoping. In short, it's a great read, but will not solve all your Chopin technique problems.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for Chopin fans
This is an excellent and well documented work. Anyone who tries to play Chopin or has an amibition to do so, should read this. It goes straight to the heart of Chopins entire musical philisophy, and gives not only insight into the artist himself, but solid and sound advice on practicing, technique, and interpretation. Strongly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensible to anyone interested in Chopin
When I went to university, I devoured almost all books on Chopin from the library. None was nearly as informative. Through his pupils, friends, associates, colleagues, you'll know exactly what the master was like when he played and taught, his stylistic requirements, his temperament and the magic he evoked.

I just can't stress this enough - this is a must-buy! If you still have your doubts, get your hands on a copy and have a browse - what you can learn from it is priceless. ... Read more


69. The Pilgrimage
by Paulo Coelho
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
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Asin: 006251279X
Catlog: Book (1995-05-01)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 9500
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A Spiritual Journey Toward Self-Discovery

The Pilgrimage recounts the spectacular trials of Paulo Coelho as he journeys across Spain to discover personal power, wisdom, and a miraculous sword that seals his initiation into the secret society of the Tradition. With his enigmatic mentor, Petrus, he follows a legendary road traveled by pilgrims of San Tiago since the Middle Ages, encountering a Chaucerian variety of mysterious guides and devilish opponents. Coelho's experiences and his mentor's teachings impart the spiritual wisdom that reveals itself as the true purpose of their exciting journey. Part adventure story, part guide to self-mastery, this compelling tale delivers a powerful brew of magic and insight. ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Why do pilgrims criticize this book?
I also walked El Camino, and was surprised to know that some (few) Brazilian pilgrims criticize Paulo Coelho's "The Pilgrimage". Every time that I asked if they read the book, they said that they did not. It seems that El Camino was becoming the property of a few choosen ones, and "The Pilgrimage" made it popular all over the world. For me, this is an absolutelly fascinating book, but I understand why some reviews say about whether this is an accurate description of the journey. It is not. It is Paulo Coelho's experience, whether you like it or not. If you don't like, better buy a travel guide or write a book by yourself. And by the way, I believe that Coelho deserved the Golden Medal of Galicia that he received this year.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good travel book, interesting personal perspective
This was Coelho's first popular book, and as such denotes his evolving magical style. It is about his trip in the Santiago de COmpostela trek that goes from east to west across Spain. I found the travel perspective of the book to be fascinating, and since I read it I have thought many times about doing the trek myself.

As for the personal revelation the author encounters in the trek, I foudn them interesting, not overwhelming. The lessons learned are presented in many different books aside form this one; what makes this book a little special, I believe, is that the story involves the reader in such a way that the lessons are driven effortlessly.

1-0 out of 5 stars Oh dear
Silly, very silly. The Pilgrimage is a ridiculous confection of half thought out semi spiritual nonsense. Paulo Coelho claims to have walked part of the route, catching a bus through the mountains of Galicia, in search of his 'sword' in the company of a male spiritual guide. He enjoyed plenty of out of body experiences and wrestled with a dog, which was of course the devil himself, not one of the thousands of wild dogs in Spain.

This book will and does appeal to a large section of society, and if your bookshelves are groaning under the weight of dream interpretaion and past life exploration books, then take a look at your Feng Shui advice guide and throw them all out and replace them with a slim volume of the Pilgrimage, it has it all - even tranced out dancing in a castle. I wonder if Paulo paid the 4Euro entrance fee to join his fellow Knights Templar for that?

4-0 out of 5 stars A possible road to spirituality
You have to be at least a little bit mystical in order to fully enjoy this book, which is full of mysteries and unexplainable events.

This is the detailed experience of the writer in Spain, along the road to San Tiago, which pilgrims have traveled since the Middle Ages. But this story is a contemporary quest, and it has an interesting and exciting mix of ancient and modern, that in the end leads to learning and understanding the truth.

It is the road that Paolo has to take in order to defend his sword and that will turn him into a Warrior of Light. He is accompanied by his spiritual guide, Petrus, with whom he will walk about 800 km over three months, during which time he will confront himself with his own fears, thoughts, doubts, and weaknesses. It is a pilgrimage that will explain to our main character (and implicitly to us) that our efforts in life are salutary and indispensable. But without results they amount to nothing.

Also, the story shows that love makes us stronger and it is this strength that allows us to make the right decision at the right time.

The search of truth is assimilated to a personal search for meaning, for the things that we need in life such as truth, love, joy of life, and spirituality.

I think it will be a very pleasant lecture for everyone who enjoys this kind of story, and it will make you think a lot about your life and the meaningful things in your personal universe.

5-0 out of 5 stars Will to continue
I first read this book in the summer of 97 on my way back from a trip from Ottawa, I'd found it in the ottawa airport. Two years prior to that, I'd read The Alchemist and never really gave much thought to other books by Paulo Coelho, dispite the lasting and impowering effects The Alchemist had had on me. It had me hooked and only at 16, I was convinced and determined that I was going to walk the Camino. Five years later, last may, I finally achieved it. It was my moby dick, really the only thing I'd ever set my mind to doing. The book inspired me to take a journey of a life time. In doing so, I found so many more journey's I'd never imagined. I highly recommend that you read the book, and once you have, live the Camino for yourself. ... Read more


70. Magical Mystery Tours : My Life with the Beatles
by Tony Bramwell, Rosemary Kingsland
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031233043X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Sales Rank: 4018
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"If you want to know anything about the Beatles, ask Tony Bramwell. He remembers more than I do."- Sir Paul McCartney to Donovan in a January 2002 interview

Tony Bramwell's remarkable life began in a postwar Liverpool suburb, where he was childhood friends with three of the Beatles long before they were famous. And by the time he caught up with George Harrison on the top of a bus going to check out "The Beatles, direct from Hamburg"--one of whom George turned out to be--Tony was well on his way to staying by them for every step of their meteoric rise.

If anything needed taking care of, Tony Bramwell was the man the Beatles called, the man they knew they could trust. His story has been sought after for years, and now, here it is, full of untold stories and detailing with an insider's shrewd eye the Apple empire's incomparable rise, Brian Epstein's frolics, Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, Phil Spector's eccentric behavior, and new stories about Yoko Ono, the Stones, and the life--his life.

From developing the first Beatle music videos to heading Apple Films, and from riding bikes and trading records with George Harrison to working and partying with everyone from the Beatles to Hendrix, Ray Charles, and The Who, Tony's life really did (and does) encompass a who's who of rock.

His story reveals fresh insights into the Beatles' childhoods and families, their early recordings and songwriting, the politics at Apple, and Yoko's pursuit of John and her growing influence over the Beatles' lives. And it uncovers new information about the Shea Stadium concert footage, John Lennon's late-night "escapes," and more. From the Cavern Club to the rooftop concert, from the first number one to the last, and from scraps of song lyrics to the discovery of the famous Mr. Kite circus poster, Tony Bramwell really did see it all.

Conversational, direct, and honest, the ultimate Beatles insider finally shares his own version of the frantic and glorious ascent of four boys from Liverpool lads to rock and roll kings.
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Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Really?!!
First-hand stories of legends (living or not) from half a century ago are usually just that: stories. I'm sure most of them are true, but they don't have to be to sell books. And who's memory is that good, or has not been diluted or rearranged many times during one's life, to be able to note specifics of conversations or events pertaining to somebody else?

We all know that Yoko was the black widow that ate the Beatles heart, but we also should know that John desperately needed a "mommy" figure because he lost his mother twice as a child. People have been alot more screwed up from alot less trauma.

It is also been well known for quite a while that the Beatles re-recorded parts of the Shea Stadium concert soundtrack. Mark Lewisohn also details this (secret? Come on!) episode in The Complete Beatles Chronicles, although with plenty of inaccuracies as well. There are many bootleg copies of the concert, some with the original Shea audio, and some with the re-dubbed audio, and it's fairly easy to tell which is which, once you've seen it a few times. And hardly everything was touched-up anyway. Many of the original vocals remained with some of the instruments re-dubbed on a given track, but some songs were never touched at all. I guess it came as a shock to me, when I first saw the "Rain" video on Ed Sullivan, that they weren't really singing or playing; just miming, but I'm not 10 years old anymore, and they didn't invent lip-syncing, either.

So, I guess my point is that even historical documents often bear false information, so don't take somebody's "I was there" book as Gospel. It is, after all, just entertainment!

4-0 out of 5 stars One Big Suprise-true or false?
This is an enjoyable romp thru the Beatles history marred only by some suprising inaccuricies.They can mostly be overlooked as so much time has passed and a lot of alcohol has gone over the dam since then.

HOWEVER-there is a claim made in the book that I have never heard before and am really wondering about.Bramwell states the entire Shea Stadium concert of 1965 was re-recorded in the studio and dubbed onto the film shown on CBS the following year.With the exception of "Act Naturally", the studio version of which is used in the film, it appears the Beatles are playing and singing live. Has anyone heard of this, or has it been confirmed thru another source?Just wondering.

One last thought.This book is not likely to make Yoko Ono's end of the year top ten list.She has to be one of the most annoying people of the last century.What the hell was John Lennon thinking?

5-0 out of 5 stars Rare Gem of a Beatle Book - Advanced Beatle History
I love this book.This is a refreshing Beatle biography, from the standpoint of someone who literally grew up with the Beatles and socialized with them from boyhood.A gifted raconteur, Bramwell draws readers into a "sense" of each Beatle as a boy; what it was like to have George Harrison have dinner at your table; to witness George pulling a very dangerous stunt as a boy and being warned about John's questionable influence on his peers.

Bramwell does a stellar job of portraying a part of musical/artistic/cultural history that will no doubt delight inveterate Beatle fans, but attract the attention of those either becoming familiar with the Beatles or who have an interest in history in general.This book is really geared for all ranging from the "advanced" Beatle fan; that is, one who has a strong background in Beatle knowledge to people wanting to learn more about them and bring them to a high level of Beatle information.

This inveterate, avid Beatles' fan gives this work a hearty endorsement and a yeah, yeah, yeah!



3-0 out of 5 stars Hatred of Yoko Spoils What Could Have Been Something Special
Mr. Bramwell really did know the Beatles in Liverpool and the beginning sections of this book are excellent.Unfortunately Mr. Bramwell's blinding hatred of Yoko Ono really spoils the latter half.Mr. Bramwell puts an anti-Yoko, pro-Paul statement on practically every page and and some of his ommissions and misstatements are really egregious. Once Yoko enters the picture, Paul can do no wrong, and John's contributions are constantly minimized. Perhaps Yoko really was as loathsome to Mr. Bramwell as he claims when he worked for Apple.But his description of the complex Paul/John/Yoko dynamic is simply too vitrolic to be taken seriously.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good insider's view of the Beatles
Tony Bramwell, assisted by Rosemary Kingsland, writes a commendable overview of his years with the Beatles.Bramwell was the "go to" guy when members of the band or their management needed something done.

His early years with the group were the most interesting to me.He makes the reader feel that they are along for the ride when Tony and the group go on an exhausting van trip across England.The reader can tagalong as Tony assists John in escaping suburban imprisonment and embarking on a drunken night on the town in swingin' '60's London.

Bramwell is affecting when describing the trials and tribulations of Brian Epstein, the genius who made the Beatles "bigger than Elvis," but who succumbed to his own inner demons.

Yoko Ono is portrayed as the crazed "stalker" who calculatingly seduces John and evetually lures his interests away from the group.Sadly, Tony's account of her calculated pursuit of the vulnerable Lennon rings tragically true.

The reason I didn't give the book five stars is due to its occasional lapse in historical accuracy and misspellings.Bela Lugosi, who is described as a friend and dinner guest of Phil Spector, died in 1956, two years before Spector even wrote his first number one hit, "To Know Him is to Love Him."Bryan Ferry is rechristened "Brian" Ferry.

Still, overall, I recommend Tony Bramwell's book to all Beatles fans.Reading the book is like sitting in a cozy pub with a man who was one of the Beatles' closet friends and confidantes. ... Read more


71. When All the World Was Young : A Memoir
by Barbara Holland
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582345252
Catlog: Book (2005-03-02)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Sales Rank: 32869
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The author deemed "a national treasure" by the Philadelphia Inquirer finally tells her own story, with this sharp and atmospheric memoir of a postwar American childhood.

Barbara Holland finally brings her wit and wisdom to the one subject her fans have been clamoring for for years: herself. When All the World Was Young is Holland's memoir of growing up in Washington, D.C. during the 1940s and 50s, and is a deliciously subversive, sensitive journey into her past. Mixing politics (World War II, Senator McCarthy) with personal meditations on fatherhood, mothers and their duties, and "the long dark night of junior high school," Holland gives readers a unique and sharp-eyed look at history as well as hard-earned insight into her own life. A shy, awkward girl with an overbearing stepfather and a bookworm mother, Holland surprises everyone by growing up into the confident, brainy, successful writer she is today. Tough, funny, and nostalgic yet unsentimental, When All the World Was Young is a true pleasure to read.
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Delightful
An absolutely delightful book that brings back so many memories. I've often wondered how any of us survived child hood. I had about as much trouble with school as she did, as she called it "The Long, Dark Night of Junior High School." We didn't have a junior high school, but I certainly thought high school was a bitch.

I was struck by her story of wanting to ride on the back seat of a bus. She was in the South at the time, and this forced the African American women to stand. But she didn't know. There weren't any signs, just 'everyone' knew.Where I lived there were signs. I remember riding on a bus with our "negro" (the word at the time) baby sitter. She sat behind the sign, my brother sat just in front of her, with the sign in the middle. My brother and I played with the sign until the ultimate authority in the world, the bus driver came back and said, "leave the sign alone kid." We sat perfectly still for the rest of the trip.

This book is not a typical autobiography. It's a series of little stories from a time when the world was different. It wasn't as easy a world as one would have liked, but she made it through.

My life was much the same, I wish I could write like she does.

5-0 out of 5 stars Memoir of the times as well as the person
A misfit, bookish, lonely child beset by terrors and bewilderment, Barbara Holland grew up to look back on her pre-mid-century childhood with wicked hilarity and affectionate humor, but not a shred of sentimentality. Growing up in the Washington DC suburbs during World War II, graduating high school in 1950, Holland, author of 14 non-fiction books, reanimates a bygone world when "the Father's chair" was sacrosanct and mothers never sat at all but fussed endlessly over their families. Except for her mother, who belonged in a category all her own: "Mothers and my mother."

Holland's mother is brilliant, attractive, talented, and about as unmaternal as a mother of five can be. A skilled carpenter and artist who believes her place is in the milieu she's least suited to - the home- she emerges as a complex, sympathetic character with dozens of quirks (not all of them endearing), who shuns housekeeping for murder mysteries.

Holland's stepfather, on the other hand, receives no such complex attention. He's a monster with only two dimensions, cold and brutal, and at long last Holland has her revenge on him. She calls him " `Carl,' since that wasn't his name." "Just thinking his name brings him back too vividly and I can even remember his smell, not noxious but sharp and distinct like a whiff of danger in the forest." Her real father was lost to divorce early on and nobody explained things to children in those days. Lucky for her, her grandmother anchored her childhood, a constant, if undemonstrative presence, with whom she spent most of her weekends.

Holland, writing as an adult, with an adult's horror and sympathy, appears comfortable with the elasticity and vagaries of memory. She conveys the immediacy of the child's world - the acuteness of perception, vulnerabilities and emotion - and accepts the large blurry patches from which islands of vividness emerge, inking the spaces with evocations of the daily round. Her chapter headings evoke the past with Dickensian humor, beginning with: "In Which the Chairs & Domestic Habits of Fathers Are Explored, & Nick Is Born."

She was five when Nick, her younger brother, appeared. "I was horrified....He howled when Carl was trying to read his paper; he howled at night when Carl needed his sleep. He fouled his diapers and made outrageous demands on Mother's time and attention, even during dinner. He was totally ignorant of the danger he was in; how could he know? He just got here." It was her job to save them both from being cast out of the house into the street. "Apparently Mother didn't understand the danger either. She had, as I said, a great capacity for refusing to notice."

School was the bane of Holland's existence, second only to Carl: "School & I Struggle with Each Other, Plus Hard Times with the Old Testament." The social maneuvering baffled her, numbers were a threatening mystery, each day was a looming dread. Reading, however, was a miracle, and she read voraciously, "shucking the self gladly like a shirt full of fleas."

In elementary school she was called on to read the Bible to her class each morning. A methodical child, unfamiliar with the Bible, she prepared herself by starting at the beginning. The "sheer meanness of God" shocked her. She cried hardest at the fate of Lot's wife: "Struck down for a moment's homesickness." "I wanted no more of God. He was Carl on a cosmic scale. When He put His foot down, everyone died."

Then came war, a time of change. A girl from California came to class wearing Bermuda shorts, a Northern family descended with a white housekeeper, Republicans moved into the neighborhood. Food deteriorated but children, just as they had before the war, "ate what was put in front of them, without comment, and barely noticed." Mother went to work. "Fathers, by definition, came home from the day's work exhausted and surly. Mother came home sparkling all over as if from a light fall of snow."

In school there were air raid drills and in Florida, where she spent summers, German submarines prowled the waters, sinking oil tankers, and fighter planes practiced offshore. "In Washington the war, though great fun, was largely imaginary; on Florida's east coast it was actually happening."

After the war there was Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, which put the fear of State into many of their friends and neighbors, though not Holland's socialist grandmother, who resigned from teaching rather than sign the loyalty oath. There was also polio and the nuclear threat, which progressed from backyard shelters to evacuation to the end of life on earth.

"The Long Dark Night of Junior High School," ended with the blossoming of a wonderful, intense friendship, her first with a soul mate, and high school brought a succession of bad-boy boyfriends, then after graduation she fell into a stultifying depression. But Holland leaves us on a high note, "In Which I Am Saved Again & Live Happily Ever After:" saved by a job - nothing special about it, except the independence of a paycheck, no small thing, then or now.

Holland draws us into a time when big families were the norm, mothers stayed home and had black household help, children roamed at will, and people ate creamed chicken and pineapple upside down cake. In school history was male, girls weren't expected to do math or allowed to take shop and Latin was still offered. Funny, poignant, even savage, Holland's memoir will inspire you to seek out her other books, which cover a wide range of subjects from the irreverent presidential short takes of "Hail to the Chiefs," to "They Went Whistling," a wry and lively account of history's forgotten females, and "Gentleman's Blood," a sharp-witted history of dueling.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Cultural Reflection
My sister Sally H. S. says, "Had Barbara Holland stayed at BCC high school, instead of leaving as a sophomore because she flunked gym, we would have been in the same home room. . . she writes about sledding down Meadow Lane, and she went to Rosemary School.She does a great job of capturing the atmosphere of suburban Washington in WWII."

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!
What a terrific read! Here is a girl who slayed many a dragon, surviving to become a brave, funny and rocky-smart lady who writes like a dream. The fascinating personalities who people Barbara Holland's world are portrayed with precision and compassion. A noble work, highly recommended. ... Read more


72. Girl, Interrupted
by SUSANNA KAYSEN
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679746048
Catlog: Book (1994-04-19)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 7893
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

When reality got "too dense" for 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen, she was hospitalized. It was 1967, and reality was too dense for many people.But few who are labeled mad and locked up for refusing to stick to an agreed-upon reality possess Kaysen's lucidity in sorting out a maelstrom of contrary perceptions. Her observations about hospital life are deftly rendered; often darkly funny. Her clarity about the complex province of brain and mind, of neuro-chemical activity and something more, make this book of brief essays an exquisite challenge to conventional thinking about what is normal and what is deviant. ... Read more

Reviews (366)

4-0 out of 5 stars Girl, Interrupted
Susanna Kaysen, the main character and author of this book, simply went for a doctor's appointment one day and the doctor, not letting her know what was going on, shoved her in a taxi and sent her to Mclean Hosptial, where her stay was about 2 years. Through that year, she experienced many new friends,yet problems, but also discovered new paths and a new way of life which led her to a world of seeing the real Susanna. Susanna entered the mental hospital still having no idea why she was there, but what she soon came to realize was that she was the most normal one out of all that were staying there. The hospital was a very strict facility with locked everything. There was no leaving the hospital except for when the nurse would take 6 lucky patients to get ice cream, but that was hardly ever. Nurses checked on you every 10, 20, or 30 minutes, depending on your behavior and diagnosis. Susanna also had a therapist, with whom she met weekly and told him about her problems and thoughts about everything. Susanna's diagnosis was something having to do with depression, and even though she was in an environment full of friends like Georgina, Lisa, and Cynthia, she felt out of place because they all had seriuos problems and she didn't. All the other characters made the book so lively and humorous, even though it was talking about a serious issue. Susanna was a big thinker and this book showed great analyzation of her every thought. It was so greatly analyzed that it not only taught her something, but everyone reading the book. What happens at the end of the book is for you to find out. Don't miss reading Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. It shows such good -real experiences and how some people just don't have life so easy as others and how they deal with it so well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Deceptively simple
I saw the movie version of "Girl Interrupted" when it came out last winter in spite of the mostly negative reviews it received. I loved it, mainly because it highlighted how women can support each other through the toughest of circumstances. I then bought and read the book. The differences between the two are startling: the setting and most of the characters are the same, but the tone is quite different.

The book is mesmerizing from its first paragraph. Susanna Kaysen uses deceptively simple language to describe her experiences and the people she knew during her 18 months stay at McLean's mental hospital. We slowly come to understand the lack of humanity showed to these girls, and the confused world they came from. Ms Kaysen's spare, poetic prose is interspersed with copies of actual hospital records written at the time she was a patient. The records appear as confused as the patients they detail. They seem to detail Susanna's social interactions and levels of ease with others, as if this alone depicts signs of strong mental health. Some of them appear incomplete and neglected. One is left to wonder what exactly the professionals at this hospital were looking for: mental health or acceptable female behavior?

The book is brief, and leaves the reader with more questions than answers. How have we changed in the way we view certain types of female behavior? How have we changed in the way we view those suffering from mental illnesses? Do patients need to be cured or does the world need to be cured?

This is a remarkable book. It manages to raise awareness without giving in to self-pity. I would recommend it to anyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MOVIE YOU SHOULD READ THIS!!
I read the book after I'd seen the movie and was disappointed in the movie. It left a lot of things out, added some stuff and really obscured the timeline.
The book however was captivating, I really had a hard time putting it down, and it's a very easy read. I enjoyed delving more into Susannna's mind learing what she was thinking during certain events in her life. It also puts a light onto early psychological techniques, which thank God have improved. One of my favorite parts in the book is were she starts to see her hand withouth bones, something that was mentioned shortly in the movie. The characters are thoroughtly mentioned in the book and even some you didn't seen in the movie, the funny thing is that Lisa the Angelina Joeli character didn't seem to play as big of a role in Susanna's life there. The movie seemed to focus maybe too much on the character since she was the more practical Hollywood mold, while the book of course is focused on Susanna.
Anyway, it was a fun book to read and an easy one too, if you liked the movie you should read the book to learn more about what really happened to Susanna during her stay at the hospital.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding a Mental Illness
Right from the beginning of Girl, Interrupted the author introduces herself as an eighteen-year-old named Susanna Kaysen. She encounters a session with a psychiatrist she's never met or spoken to before in her life. The beginning of the book is thrilling and exciting because you're not exactly sure where you're going to end up. Susanna is then sent away in a taxi, which takes her to McLean Hospital. It becomes very real and clear about what is going on if you've had similar experiences in life.

She stays in a ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital for the next two years of her life. By this point you really feel like you're right there with the writer. It all becomes very real and a little hard to read. This memoir of Kaysen includes horrible things that go on in the ward and at the same time she gives the readers a very clear description about the other patients in there. In the end the book brings you to a conclusion between mental illness and recovery. This book really showed me that life isn't as bad as I perceived it. I learned that when you think you've got it bad, you might not really know what you've got coming for you-because as you get older the real world can sometimes catch up with you.

I would recommend this book to anyone that is struggling with a friend or family member that has a mental illness. It helps you to understand what pain they're going through and why they say and think the way they do. This was by far one of my favorite books I've read this year and at the same time it was my biggest life saver.

4-0 out of 5 stars Girl, Interrupted Book Review
This book gives a truthful look into the mind of a disturbed young woman who finds herself in a mental hospital due to a struggle with her inner emotions. Ms. Kaysen makes no effort to sugarcoat the conditions or situations involving her and the other patients at the hospital. Everything she writes is honest and extremely vivid. One account in which we see a frightening and true depiction of a patient's situation is in the chapter entitled, "Calais Is Engraved In My Heart." After a girl named Alice Calais has a severe mental breakdown she is sent to maximum security. The other girls go to visit her, and what they find leaves the reader with an unsettling vision of the lives of these young women. Kaysen makes no excuses for herself, or anyone else, she simply tells her story the way it happened. Another aspect of Ms. Kaysen's writing, that separates her from the rest, is her ability to covey abstract thoughts and theories in a very personal way. Using unique metaphors, symbols, and her own experiences, she is able to address such topics as the inner Id, the cause and effect of her condition, and the thin line that divides normality from insanity. In a place that seems so dark and unhappy Kaysen manages to insert light and humor. One of Kaysen's fellow patients, Lisa, while extremely disturbed, is also very witty and sharp. Kaysen herself also has a very humorous side. A weaker point of the novel is that in some cases Kaysen's writing becomes so internal that it seems scattered and is difficult to follow. Another point that may turn readers away is the extremely graphic and unapologetic accounts of the effects of illness in the hospital. However, this book was an informative, creative, and groundbreaking piece of literature that is certainly worth reading. ... Read more


73. Wrestlecrap And Figure Four Weekly Present . . .: The Death Of Wcw
by R. D. Reynolds, Bryan Alvarez
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1550226614
Catlog: Book (2004-10-28)
Publisher: ECW Press
Sales Rank: 1048
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Book Description

This detailed tell-all of the demise of the former top pro wrestling company World Championship Wrestling explores the colorful personalities and flawed business decisions behind how WCW went from being the highest-rated show on cable television in 1997 to a laughable series that lost 95 percent of its paying audience by 2001. Behind-the-scenes exclusive interviews, rare photographs, and probing questions illustrate with humor and candor how greed, egotism, and bad business shattered the thriving enterprise. Wrestling fans will devour the true story of this fallen empire, which in its heyday spawned superstars such as Sting, Bill Goldberg, and the New World Order.
... Read more

74. Travels With Charley: In Search of America
by John Steinbeck
list price: $9.00
our price: $8.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140053204
Catlog: Book (1980-01-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 6345
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (129)

4-0 out of 5 stars Journey with Trusted Life
Travel with Charley in Search of America

Travel with the Charley is my first book for reading. I never ever read John Steienbick's book before. I like this book vary much. He wrote this book forty years ago but it still look like he wrote it today. I believe Steinbeck's has a skill and experience of yesterday and make it seems like today. It was very exited to read about packing of his trip, custom made car that he called Rocinate. He was the man; his dog, his truck and three months travel across America. It was very funny and exciting about going out and discovers America with dog. He traveled across the state in large circle from New York to Main to Illinois to Washington, California, Texas and further south. As he traveled, he meets with the people along the way and describe them in vary short paragraph. His observation and opinion about every thing from antiques, small towns, American language, interstate system, hunters, trash and many others items and also he made clear statement about how different New England peoples from others. John Steinbeck's also noted subtle regional difference of American people and realize that American south is different than the rest of America. Overall Travel with Charley is an interesting book that present John Steinbeck's idea in a unique and effective way.

To see the Travel with Charley as just an interesting side of American is to miss the point. Mr. John Steinbeck's was present a number of important historical events in American life, while he was travelling toward the southern state during their trouble time of integration. He witnesses people and event during the time of integration school. He also recorded the rise of motor hotel beside of road and towns. He also appreciated with the modern interstate system and small roadside towns throughout the nation.

4-0 out of 5 stars "An Outstanding Travel"
John Steinbeck's book:"Travels With Charley" is one of the most interesting book that I've read. It's about about an exciting travel across America made by Steinbeck and his french poodle, Charley. Although the book has been written since more than forty years ago, there are still some aspects that are found in the current society. The paint of America made by Steinbeck is so authentic, so real that it makes the reader dazzled, stimulates his curiosity and takes him to places that he might have never been.

Steinbeck is a great observer. He describes everything so perfectly, from people to the american society; from the american society to the environment. By using a numerous figures of speeches, he gives to all his descriptions an attractive color which bring them alive. As an example, the way Steinbeck talks about the nature is just extraordinary.

Steinbeck points his finger at the problems of America, and precisely the pollution caused the industrialization of the big cities. Also, he mentions one of the greatest problems that is ravaging the american society since ever, which is the problem of discrimination and racial conflict between Black and White. Personally, I was proud to read his perception about the problem, and the fact of considering himself as a cosmopolitan. In short, Steinbeck discusses with vigour a lot of delicate facts that are still found in today's society.Therefore,"Travels With Charley" still has its place in the in this new generation.
Although I reproach Steinbeck for his tendency to include too many details for things or events which are not important( discussions with charley...), I still think it's a good book to read because you can discover the genius of an author that can make you discover the beauty of a country.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book; buy it used
I recently bought the library binding so that I could loan this book to my friends and students and not worry about it falling apart from use. However, I'm more than slightly disappointed with the quality. The library binding is nothing more than the mass market paperback in a hard cover. The paper is thin, dark, and of the poorest quality; the binding is of questionable stability and I doubt it will last as long as I had expected, and the overall feel and look of the book are poor.

The content of the book, however, is fantastic. Steinbeck shows the reader a side of America which, even in the early sixties, seemed extinct. What the book still offers is a glimpse of America's core: Steinbeck sought out and found the small and quiet remains of the foundation of what makes America such a unique country. Most striking of all is that this is a book that could have been written just five or ten years ago -- it is incredibly timeless.

This book is a book to be read, not displayed, and Penguin's editions reflect this in their pure non-displayability. I suggest that when you go to buy this book you buy it used. Save yourself some money and buy copies which are just as good (my used copies are actually much nicer) and far cheaper than the library binding or the paperback version.

5-0 out of 5 stars On The Road
Our media culture is obsessed with superficial appearances. All information is processed at high speeds in small parcels. It is in the interest of the media/corporations to tell Americans what America is all about and how it is defined by their products.
Hey, everybody's got to make a buck; I've got nothing against that. And you can't deny that some of this stuff is fun and lighthearted.
But that's just it, there is no substance, it's all superficial. Undeniably pleasant, but essentially unsatisfying. That's not America.
I've travelled this country far and wide, and - while some of the specifics have changed - the America John Steinbeck went in search of still exists.
"Travles with Charley" invites us to look beyond the surface of the media bombardment. It introduces - or re-introduces - us to the people and places that truely form the backbone of this country. At the same time it takes us beyond place and reminds us of the humanity of those around us; something that can be easily lost in the sound-byte/video-clip culture that we live in.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lucky Poodle
I wish my master would take me on some journeys like this! The farthest he takes me is to the corner liquor store, which is cool because I get to see this really cute Yorkshire Terrier along the way. ... Read more


75. Into the Heart: The Stories Behind Every U2 Song
by Niall Stokes
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560253142
Catlog: Book (2001-07)
Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press
Sales Rank: 1867
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Into the Heart examines the behind-the-scenes influences that shaped U2’s internationally popular and critically acclaimed music. Included are original and revealing interviews with band members and the key people close to U2. The band’s rich cultural and social context is fully explored, providing a colorful backdrop to the songs. Into the Heart traces U2’s meteoric rise from the early days of their career with Boy, their first album, to the spanning success of The Joshua Tree, Rattle and Hum, Achtung Baby, and Pop. U2 is a group that has become a world-class rock ’n’ roll band; a band that continues to invent themselves and is not afraid to take chances with their craft—as well as make a unique impact in the world of music with their raw, emotional energy. This edition includes over 100 black and white and color photos, provides a complete chronology and discography, and covers the band's newest CD, All That You Can’t Leave Behind. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Book if you're a U2 Fanatic. . .
This book is a very entertaining read provided that you're approaching a fanatical level of U2-ness. It's wonderful in that nearly all of their songs are written about -- from the beginnings to All That You Can't Leave Behind -- another reviewer said it's only for songs before Zooropa, but this is most definitely not true. Furthermore, it has shorter narratives on many of their B-side tracks as well.

That being said, the actual writing could be better -- it seems that Mr. Stokes had unprecendented access to Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam and while his interviewing must have been extensive, his writing style leaves much to be desired. He leaves things purposely vague and his attempts at sounding profound actually confuse and make things more opaque than they need be; U2 are excellent song-writers but the meanings behind their songs are much simpler than Mr. Stokes wants to let on -- his writing would benefit tremendously from increased lucidity. Nonetheless, the book makes for entertaining reading and allows for new insight into one of the greatest rock bands ever. . .

4-0 out of 5 stars U2: Exegesis
Niall Stokes has written one of the definitive books on U2 (along with Bill Flanagan's "U2 At the End of the World") with this massive, song-by-song exegesis of the U2 canon. Maybe not for the casual fan, "Into the Heart" is a must-own for the hardcore U2 fanatic. Stokes devotes at least a page to every song on every U2 album, and the writing isn't press-releasy fan worship, but a loving and critical analysis joined with commentary from the band members and such U2 cohorts as Brian Eno, Flood and Daniel Lanois (the fifth, sixth and seventh members of the band, by all accounts).

For the most part, the book is insightful, informative and was no doubt exhaustively researched. It is beautifully designed and packed with never-before-seen photos of the band. Not only are all the albums dissected, but there's plenty of material covering the B-sides and "extra-curricular activities" of the band members. Fascinating stuff.

Of course, U2 songs aren't terribly easy to pin down, and to my mind it's impossible to say definitively what "Bad" is all about, or "Wire," or "Promenade," or "With Or Without You." Mystery is a huge part of the music's allure, and while I appreciate Stokes' examination of Bono's sometimes incomprehensible lyrics, the mystery and magic of the band's music remains -- blessedly -- intact.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Book of Inspiring Insight into U2's Storytelling
Upon reading this book, even the casual U2 listener will experience listening to U2 albums in a new light; and even better, experience the live versions with much more emotional investment.
The book, offers insights, inspirations, influences and passions that drive U2 to write songs, many that take on a gospel-like quality. When read cover to cover, the book is a fascinating look into the various depths in the emotional and intellectual journey U2 experiences from their beginning to their fascination with electronica in "Pop," to their recent stripped-down sense of soul in "All You Can't Leave Behind."
My favorite example of the book's impact is reading about New Year's Day, then listening to the song as the lyrics take on a more lucid and emotionally powerful dimension about the turmoil in the world -espeically in Ireland and in Poland. To top it off, hearing "New Years day" live during the 2001 Slane Castle performance, in which Bono raises the Irish flag and rejoices with over 100,000 fans singing along, the song generates anthem-like electricity. It is quite unmistakable that Bono is indeed, moved as well, as the song takes on a fresh meaning on that night at Slane Castle.
"Into the Heart" is an architectural insight into the creation of each U2 song and will undoubtedly inspire you to spend nights locked up in your room listening to the all the U2 albums again in one sitting.

5-0 out of 5 stars I like U2. I like the book about U2.
It was extremely good.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice, but.....
A lot of this book was interesting, especially when Stokes would go into the story behind writing and recording the song... but a lot of the book is speculation, and not tremendously in-depth at that. Its a good read for big U2 fans, but not a must-have. ... Read more


76. Chronicles, Vol. 1
by Bob Dylan
list price: $24.00
our price: $14.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743228154
Catlog: Book (2004-10-05)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 3
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Amazon.com

One would not anticipate a conventional memoir from Bob Dylan--indeed, one would not have foreseen an autobiography at all from the pen of the notoriously private legend. What Chronicles: Volume 1 delivers is an odd but ultimately illuminating memoir that is as impulsive, eccentric, and inspired as Dylan's greatest music.

Eschewing chronology and skipping over most of the "highlights" that his many biographers have assigned him, Dylan drifts and rambles through his tale, amplifying a series of major and minor epiphanies. If you're interested in a behind-the-scenes look at his encounters with the Beatles, look elsewhere. Dylan describes the sensation of hearing the group's "Do You Want to Know a Secret" on the radio, but devotes far more ink to a Louisiana shopkeeper named Sun Pie, who tells him, "I think all the good in the world might already been done" and sells him a World's Greatest Grandpa bumper sticker. Dylan certainly sticks to his own agenda--a newspaper article about journeymen heavyweights Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Ellis and soul singer Joe Tex's appearance on The Tonight Show inspire heartfelt musings, and yet the 1963 assassination of John Kennedy prompts nary a word from the era's greatest protest singer.

For all the small revelations (it turns out he's been a big fan of Barry Goldwater, Mickey Rourke, and Ice-T), there are eye-opening disclosures, including his confession that a large portion of his recorded output was designed to alienate his audience and free him from the burden of being a "the voice of a generation."

Off the beaten path as it is, Chronicles is nevertheless an astonishing achievement. As revelatory in its own way as Blonde on Blonde or Highway 61 Revisited, it provides ephemeral insights into the mind one of the most significant artistic voices of the 20th century while creating a completely new set of mysteries. --Steven Stolder ... Read more


77. Hunger of Memory : The Education of Richard Rodriguez
by Richard Rodriguez
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553272934
Catlog: Book (1983-02-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 24934
Average Customer Review: 3.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for teachers of immigrant and minority students
I just finished reading Hunger of Memory as an assignment for a Language and Literacy class I'm taking in my teacher training program. I recommend this book to all teachers or to people like myself who are planning to be teachers. Rodriguez does a outstanding job of capturing the feelings of confusion and separation one feels when learning English. I liked how Rodriguez corelates language with intimacy. He talks a lot about how Spanish was for him a language of intimacy and family. When he learned English in school, however, he lost a lot of that intimacy in the home when he began to lose his language. One particularly sad part was when his grandmother died and he wasn't able to speak to her or say goodbye beforehand because his Spanish was so limited and his grandmother spoke only Spanish. Towards the end of the book, Rodriguez exhibits a lot of honesty and courage in writing about his feelings on affirmative action. As a result of assimilation and studying in England, Rodriguez no longer felt like he could be an effective role model for minority students. However, because he was a Mexican-American with a Phd in Renaissance Literature and because he was a "minority professor", he was expected by Berkley administrators (and students) to be such a role model. When some hispanic students ask him to teach a minority literature class at a community center, he declines. As a result, they treat him like a sell-out. All in all, I admire how Rodriguez is not afraid to take stances on issues like affirmative action and bilingual education that go against what is expected, considering his race. One would expect him to be in support of both programs, but he is not. Though I do not agree on his stances on these issues, I truly admire his ability to be true to his convictions in spite of being called a sell-out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Controversial--After All These Years
I'm an author of a mystery novel in current release that features a Stanford-educated detective of Latino heritage as its protagonist, an American government/economics teacher (for over twenty years) in a rural California high school with a student population that is over 98% Latino, and I have attended several lectures/discussions by Richard Rodriguez over the years. His HUNGER OF MEMORY remains one of the most controversial books in the community in which I work for a significant portion of every year. HUNGER OF MEMORY is viciously hated by some of the most gifted students I have ever had. Others love it. My fellow professionals argue over Mr. Rodriguez and his positions on assimilation and bilingual education. I respect this book and this man. I don't necessarily agree with all he writes, but I do agree he writes what he writes well. I admire what Richard Rodriguez has gone through in life, and I admire the courage of his positions. HUNGER OF MEMORY is an excellent book that anyone interested in the contemporary American Southwest should read. It is extremely educational.

1-0 out of 5 stars SELLOUT
I wont purchase a book by Rodriguez because he is a sellout to himself and his people. The man has consistently come out against affairmative action when he himself is a product of it, and owes his success to it. We all make choices in life and Rodriguez chose to distance himself from his Mexican roots and wants us to validate his choices. Rodriguez is a sucess in the Anglo world but nothing is worth the cost of selling your soul to achieve success at such a high cost. The man is not Mexican he is best described as a pitiful soul that wrote a book trying to find redemption, but you cant have it both ways. Be what you are, take pride in your difference and you can still succeed in this country. I feel contempt not pity for the man.

1-0 out of 5 stars Tio Tomas
Richard shed himself to become a white man. He defines himself by the success standards set by white people. Although I don't disagree with him on everything, he clearly has been white washed and it's really sad. HE rants about himself like his 'ethnic' look is so mesmerizing to people. He's got a big head that I really can't empathize with. He made a choice many people of color make, assimilation in most extreme way. If you need a reason to feel pride in your cultural, read this book and see how you cold turn out if you have no pride in your culture

2-0 out of 5 stars Makes some good points but boring as hell
Indeed Richard makes some good points about bilingual education and affirmative action - and they ARE well worth noting (how affirmative action doesn't benefit those who need it the most)....but everything else about this book [is bad]. His writing style is very self-absorbed. His opinions are inserted after just about EVERY comment and EVERY action ANYONE (his family or the outside world) commits, it's like he's trying to beat his own opinion into your head. There's also very stuck-up tone lurking under his writing; he VERY often notes his own accomplishments endlessly (...at a cocktail party in Bel Air...entered high school having read 100s of books...), it's all fabulous but reading about his greatness gets very tedious after awhile (especially when he's describing how he started making lists of books he read...that alone is 6 pages - go look yourself: p.59-64.

Many advocates of this book say that they like it because of how he becomes "aware of his assimilation" and "recognizes that with all gain comes some loss." Well, unfortunetely, even though Ricahrd becomes AWARE and RECOGNIZES all these things - he lets everyone know he knows by portraying himself as a suffering hero and a "cosmic victim." By saying he's a "cosmic victim" implies some divinity "choose" him to suffer - as if! He chose to separate himself from his family the minute he decided he repected his teachers more.

And yes, Mr. Rodriguez dedicated his book to his parents - but it's funny how he wrote "For him and her-to honor them." To me, if he hadn't written the "to honor them", I would have though he was writing this book as almsot a cruel parody of them - of what they never could be anything else but what they already were in his world, that they are not as great as he because of their lack of education.

Overall, this book is nothing remarkable, if not very boring. Read for an opinion of affirmative action and biligual education (but ignore the fact HE frequently benefited from both, even he admits that!). Yes, he is educated, intelligent, and perhaps (I wouldn't know) a "provocative speaker"....but his image at the end is not of a strong, modest, "manly" man, but a pathetic figure of a person who wants to comfort himself in the glory of his accomplishments. The overall taste you walk away with this book is not respect for Richard Rodriguez, but pity. ... Read more


78. Darkness Visible : A Memoir of Madness
by WILLIAM STYRON
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679736395
Catlog: Book (1992-01-08)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 5753
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In 1985 William Styron fell victim to a crippling and almost suicidal depression, the same illness that took the lives ofRandall Jarrell, Primo Levi and Virginia Woolf.That Styron survived his descent into madness is something of a miracle.That he manages to convey its tortuous progression and his eventual recovery with such candor and precision makes Darkness Visible a rare feat of literature, a book that will arouse a shock of recognition even in those readers who have been spared the suffering it describes. ... Read more

Reviews (87)

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting protrayal of the horrors of depression
William Styron has written an incredibly interesting book, although at times it was hard to truly feel the despair he was obviously feeling because the reader is not allowed far enough into the author's mind. (I recently read a wonderful book entitled "The Music of Madness" where the author not only talks about her deep depression but lets you directly into her conscious thoughts so that the reader can truly experience the horrors of depression). I wish Mr. Styron's book had focused more on his own inner thought processes. There is a great deal of focus on his friends and other rescuers that surrounded him and he was fortunate to have such a wonderful support system, but to truly experience the horrors of depression, one must be led into the dark recesses of the tormented mind itself. This book is brave in its honesty however and to share something so personal in such a public way is a tribute to the author's strength of will. In the final analysis this book is definitely worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet
My one-line summary is a cliche, of course, but entirely appropriate; after all, if fatigue is but one of depression's many demons, what person suffering from this affliction is going to have the energy to read a lot? (Darkness Visible is, fortunately, about eighty pages long. I think it's great fortune that the book is short.)

I think it's important that this book was written by an author of the same stature as famous writers who did take their lives. The difference is that Styron came out on the other side of this malady, saw it for what it was. At times he makes remarkable observations on depression, worthy of a clinician in a psychiatric hospital; for example, when he writes sentences such as, The physical symptoms of this affliction trick the mind into thinking that the situation is beyond hope.

As with many, Styron's physical predisposition to depression (a), led to (b) feelings of despair, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts, which further fed the symptoms and perpetuated the disease.

This literary work helps dispel the idea that depression is "fashionable" and that suicide among the literati is "cool."

His "no holds barred" discussion honors those who fight this affliction.

(By the way, the title is from John Milton's epic "Paradise Lost," "darkness visible" is one of many ways Milton described the Hell into which Satan and his demons were tossed.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Well Written
<br /> <br /> <br /> This is a fantastic and well written moemoir about the life of someone dealing with depression, the reasons behind the depression and the inspirational journey through the darkness and in to the light. Several other good books in this genre are Nightmares Echo, Running With Scissors, and Moods and Madness.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Short and Bittersweet Essay By a Survivor
Having wrestled with various mental health issues myself, I found Bill Styron's essay quite interesting. I recommend this book to anyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Short and honestly descriptive account
Since I have suffered from depression, I can relate to this book in many ways. For me, it is uplifting in ways to hear an accout of another who has suffered in similar ways and to ultimately hear of his triumph over the disease. He describes the disease well, emphasing how difficult it is to exaplain to others the terrible disabilitating effects of the disease.

It is good that this book is a short, easy reader that does not waste time. The personal accounts are great. Lets others know they are not alone. ... Read more


79. Elephant House: Or, The Home of Edward Gorey
by Kevin McDermott, Edward Gorey
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764924958
Catlog: Book (2003-09)
Publisher: Pomegranate Communications
Sales Rank: 32473
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An intimate photographic journey through Edward Gorey's home. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars A specialty item for the true Gorey collector
Even dedicated fans of Edward Gorey will probably know very little about his personal life: he was an enigmatic recluse and few were permitted past his front door. Photographer Kevin McDermott's Elephant House will delight students of architecture and photography, providing rich duotone works of Gorey's intriguing home and its contents. A specialty item for the true Gorey collector, Elephant House is an impressive photographic showcase and a welcome addition to both architectural studies and photographic studies reference collections.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fruitful Coursework
M. McDermott's luxuriant photos admirably capture the subversive hermeneutics of desire at work in every compartment of Edward Gorey's capacious mind. To judge from these photos, at home as much as in his work Gorey enacted a subaltern erotics of duplicity and dialectic: the precise, almost fussy, arrangements of salt shakers and stones, frog spectators and secret guests which echo the Edwardian-styled detail of his famous books and their ecstatic decodification of heterosexual longing into a polysemous weave of interleaved multitextuality illuminate a life's work spent dancing on a metacritical pin. Queer and gender theorists take note: Elephant House will reinvigorate your every critique -- about Edward Gorey and his work, and of course, the texts his prism redacts.

5-0 out of 5 stars At Home With Edward Gorey
Kevin McDermott's Elephant House is an impressive new photography book. The photographs, taken only days after Edward Gorey's death, afford us an intimate portrait of the man as he lived. The book contains insightful photographs that capture the fine details of the way Edward lived and worked in his own space. Gorey clearly had a fascination with light and texture. He scattered a massive array of objects all about his home with a nearly curatorial eye. McDermott's well composed photos not only capture this aspect of Gorey but illustrate a common thread between these two artists: texture. One photograph depicts groups of small stones as they congregate idly on the rough wood of the porch. The cityscape of salt and pepper shakers and a plate of gourd-like, spherical shapes are beautiful studies in the texture and form of ordinary objects abstracted from their normal contexts, while many others are still lives made of the house's windows and the eclectically arranged objects in front of them. The blue bottles in a few images glow like stained glass as the washed-out light of a cloudy day streams in through them. What makes many of the color images so interesting is the spare, nearly monochromatic palette of colors in the rooms which are offset by only the blue luminosity of bottles or the green leaves of spring showing in the background. These are beautiful photographs independent of their connection to Edward Gorey, but serve also to enhance our understanding of him. The text is an entertaining and candid glimpse of Gorey as a friend knew him, and provides a nicely guided tour through each room. This book is handsomely crafted and thoughtfully designed, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in photography or Edward Gorey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elephant House or the home of Edward Gorey
Edward Gorey was a mysterious personage. His works often leave one thinking "what next?". Elephant House by Kevin McDermott helps relieve much of this worry. Mr. McDermott has captured through his photographs and text what it was like to spend time with the elusive Mr. Gorey. This is a personal and moving tribute to a friend that never feels intrusive, but rather illuminates Mr. Gorey and the daily world he invented and inhabited. For those of us who have made Mr. Gorey a part of our own daily lives, Elephant House lets us spend some quality time with the man through his surroundings. A gem and a gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elephant House, Or the Home of Edward Gorey
This Fabulous book gives us a photographic incite into Edward Gorey, the man. It enlightens the reader with an increased knowledge of the sources of the characters and whimsy of the Groey books. The personal anecdotes of McDermott, made you wish you could have known the man in real life. Gorey would have been pleased with his friend's understanding of who he was. The photographers eye, saw the "art" of Gorey in his everyday surroundings. It was like walking in Gorey's shoes from room to room. A must have book for every Gorey fan. ... Read more


80. Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life of an American Artist
by Henry Adams
list price: $40.00
our price: $26.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195156684
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 29373
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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For generations, Thomas Eakins--whose famous paintings include "The Gross Clinic" and "The Champion Single Sculls"--has been regarded as a 19th-century American hero. In Eakins Revealed: The Secret Life of an American Artist, art historian Henry Adams offers a radically different view that allows us to better understand "the intensity and emotional desperation of Eakins' art." Eakins' brush with scandal--he was dismissed from his teaching post at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1886 for removing the loincloth from a male model posing for a class of women students--is generally described by admiring art historians as a brave attempt to modernize stuffy old rules. Adams reveals that the artist was a life-long exhibitionist who appears to have preyed on vulnerable young women. Drawing on the Bregler papers, a cache of revealing documents from Eakins' studio that surfaced in the mid-1980s, Adams describes a man whose sense of masculine identity was thwarted by a deep identification with his mentally ill mother and an inability to please his father. Reviewing the major Eakins studies, beginning with the landmark monograph by Lloyd Goodrich, Adams finds that many aspects of the artist's life were suppressed to establish him as an all-American hero.

Adams presents his case with the mesmerizing power of a star attorney-at-law, painting a detailed picture of the artist's troubled personal life before launching into correspondences between the life and the art. Although readers may question some of Adams' interpretations--whether of Freudian theory or the emotional effect of a specific painting--the author's direct, probing style makes Eakins Revealed as riveting as a courtroom drama. In his concluding arguments, Adams proposes that the subjects of Eakins' late portraits, almost uniformly pensive and hollow-eyed, are in fact multiple versions of the brooding artist himself. Ultimately, the author's new assessments endow Eakins' work with an anxiety about the body and gender roles--issues that preoccupy many artists of our own time. Readers new to Eakins may be disappointed to find only small, black-and-white reproductions of the works in this book, and a few of the works discussed (such as "Crucifixion") are not illustrated at all. But skeptical specialists will be pleased to see that Adams includes copious (and often fascinating) notes and a full bibliography. —-Cathy Curtis ... Read more

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars a very strange book
I have long been fascinated by Thomas Eakins's life and career.Over the years I have enjoyed Lloyd Goodrich's two volume biography and Elizabeth Johns's book about his art.This book by Adams has left me thoroughly confused.

1-0 out of 5 stars Twisted Freudian Interpretation of An American Icon
If a reader were to believe the many ludicrous claims that Adams makes about Thomas Eakins, one would think that the artist was homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, and a pedophile, exhibitionist, voyeur, sadist, and masochist; and further, that he practiced incest and bestiality (all of which, Adams suggests, was driven by a desire to posses his own mother).Take your pick!Adams covers all the bases. Eakins is not so much "revealed" in this book as he is "concealed."He seems to ignore altogether, what to my mind, are the most fascinating things about this remarkable man: that he studied logarithms for fun, that science, not art, was his first love, that he was conversant in five languages, and that he found beauty where others saw ugliness.Among the more humorous assertions that Adams makes about Eakins is that the artist painted while sitting on the floor (he used an easel), that he shot his sister's cat for fun (Adams conveniently leaves out the fact that Eakins' father ordered him to do so because the animal was rabid), and that he painted clergymen because they wore dresses, which supposedly reminded Eakins of outfits his dead mother wore.After reading this dreadful book I came to actually like it as a study of how inbred (dare I say incestuous?) that some members of our academic community have become.Even if you are convinced, or want to believe that Abraham Lincoln was homosexual, you will still have difficulty making the creative leaps necessary to take this book seriously.

1-0 out of 5 stars Riddled with Errors
This book is so riddled with errors and exaggerations that it is a wonder why Oxford University Press would publish it. ... Read more


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