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81. The Pleasure of Finding Things
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82. The Teammates : A Portrait Of
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83. Night
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84. Galileo's Daughter : A Historical
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85. Undaunted Courage : Meriwether
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81. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman
by Richard P. Feynman
list price: $48.00
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Asin: 0736650059
Catlog: Book (2000-03-13)
Publisher: Books on Tape
Sales Rank: 1630458
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Richard Feynman was one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century - from his work on the atomic bomb to his solution to the puzzle of the Challenger disaster; Feynman helped to shape the world as we know it. Nobel laureate, iconoclastic icon, caring family man, amateur artist and professional musician, Feynman was a man of many dimensions, and this book is a magnificent treasury of his best short works.A wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science - a life like no other. There could be no better way to capture the spirit of the times than in the words of one whom Time has honored as one of the most influential people of the twentieth century.

"More gems from the Feynman factory.If some things are old or borrowed, it hardly matters: there are enough new or unfamiliar to charm fans." (Kirkus Reviews) ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliance and charm: Feynman as a teacher
I very much enjoyed this entertaining and delightful collection of lectures, talks and essays by the world-renown and sorely missed Professor Feynman, Nobel Prize winning physicist, idiosyncratic genius and one of the great men of the twentieth century.

I particularly enjoyed the subtle yet unmistakable way he scolded the people at NASA for putting their political butts before the safety of the space program they were managing in his famous "Minority Report to the Space Shuttle Challenger Inquiry." But the chapter that really sold me on Richard P. Feynman, boy wonder grown up, was "It's as Simple as One, Two, Three" in which he explores the ability to do two things at once through an experiment with counting. Such a delight he took in learning as a kid from his friend Bernie that we sometimes think in pictures and not in words. And then the further delight he took in learning that some people count with their inner voice (himself), and others (his friend John Tukey) count by visualization.

I was also loved the chapter, "What is Science?", a talk to science teachers in which Feynman demonstrates that the real difference between science and other ways of "knowing" (e.g., religion) is the ability to doubt. In science we learn, as Feyman said he himself learned, to live with doubt. But in the religious way of "knowing" doubt is intolerable. Feynman gives an evolutionary illustration of why doubt is essential. He begins with the "intelligent" animals "which can learn something from experience (like cats)." At this stage, he says, each animal learned "from its own experience." Then came some animals that could learn more rapidly and from the experience of others by watching. Then came something "completely new...things could be learned by one animal, passed on to another, and another, fast enough that...[the knowledge] was not lost to the race...," and could be passed on to a new generation.

Now, let's stop for a moment. What a great teacher does--and here and elsewhere Feynman proves himself to be a great teacher (although he said he doubted that!)--is to guide the student just enough so that the student arrives at or anticipates the point of the lesson before the teacher gets there. What is the punch line of this lesson for the science teachers? Namely this: with the passing of knowledge from one generation to the next it became also possible to pass on false knowledge or "mistaken ideas." Feynman calls this a "disease."

"Then a way of avoiding the disease was discovered. This is to doubt that what is being passed from the past is in fact true, and to try to find out ab initio, again from experience, what the situation is, rather than trusting the experience of the past..."

In other words, don't blindly accept the word of authority. Test it for yourself! And this is what science does. It tests and it tests again, and it doubts and it doubts--always.

I loved this because one of my dictums is "always guide the experts"--the lawyer, the doctor, the insurance adjustor, et al. Always guide them because, although they are the experts, you're the one who really cares. To this I can now add that you should also doubt the experts because even though they are experts they can be wrong. And, as Feynman showed in his report on the Challenge disaster, they can be wrong for reasons that have nothing to do with their expertise.

I also liked the commencement address he gave at Caltech on "Cargo Cult Science...and How to Not Fool Yourself." We fool ourselves a lot. The managers at NASA fooled themselves; what's their names of cold fusion delusion fame fooled themselves. Feynman has noted that he has fooled himself. Science, he avers, is a tool to help us to not fool ourselves. He is profoundly right. Without science we would go on fooling ourselves with all sorts of mumbo-jumbo, "revealed" religiosity and scientific-seeming stuff such as Rhine's ESP experiments some years ago at Duke, the entire litany of New Age pseudobabblese, and--yes!--such stuff as the amazing Cargo Cult Science in which some Pacific Islanders, in an attempt to attract the big birds of the sky with their cargoes of goodies, built "nests," that is, landing fields with empty cargo boxes, and faux towers, etc. in the hope that the planes flying overhead would see them and land on their island. Feynman has taken this as an example of pseudoscience, that is, behavior in the form of science without the substance of science, without the "integrity" of science.

The integrity of science, Feynman advised the graduates, demands that all the information about the experiment be given, even detrimental facts. Feynman contrasts this idea with that of advertizing in which only that which makes the product look good is given.

When reading this book it helps to imagine that one is listening to Feynman speak. The text includes repetitions and the omissions which he no doubt conveyed with his voice, expression or gesture. When one reads him this way, some of Feynman's endearing charm and the gentle, self-effacing humor for which he is famous comes through. Here's a joke from pages 206-207: He is at Esalen in a hot bath with another man and a girl. The man begins to massage the girl's foot. He feels something in her big toe. He asks his instructor, "Is that the pituitary?" The girl says, "No, that's not the way it feels." Feynman injects, "You're a hell of a long way from the pituitary, man." And they both look at him. "I had blown my cover, you see--and she said, It's reflexology. So I closed my eyes and appeared to be meditating." Yes, Feynman is a long way from reflexology.

4-0 out of 5 stars Find out
Anyone who became familiar with Richard Feynman from his hugely popular memoirs What Do You Care What Other People Think, and Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman will find The Pleasure of Finding Things Out an intermediate step between those books and the dense scientific texts behind his Nobel Prize and reputation as one of the 20th century's great minds.

This book is not meant to be entertaining, but I suppose a glimpse into Mr. Feynman's mind cannot help but be entertaining, even when it is a series of lectures based entirely on science. Here he talks about what he calls the "thrill" of boldly finding out what no man knew before, on subjects ranging from the discovery of the reasons behind the crash of the space shuttle Challenger to the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos and from the role of science in society to his Nobel acceptance speech. And while it is not specifically written with the non-scientist in mind, a strong background in science is not necessary to understand and enjoy the wind-ranging collection of philosophies, musings, and remarks collected on these pages.

2-0 out of 5 stars scraping the bottom of the feynmaniana barrel
This book is yet another posthumous compilation of Feynman's musings. With each successive book - starting from the wonderful transcriptions of Leighton, Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman - they have been declining in quality for years. Well, this is a hodgepodge of paper scraps and even raw oral interviews that have been thrown together to exploit just about the last drop of these kinds of things, and I can say that I don't think the process should continue.

There are some amusing things in this book and some interesting details, but there really isn't anything special except for the fact that Feynman enjoys the personality cult associated with a zany physics genius. He was an original character and, in physics, a truly great thinker. But that doesn't make every last little thing that he ever said or scribbled down interesting, except to uncritical devotees who live with the fantasy that everything he said was better than worthwhile. Indeed, if you know about something in great depth he writes (well talks) about, his views appear as superficial as the rest of non-specialists on the subjects. Where he is truly interesting in on physics, mathematics, and science - and the overwhelming majority of what he produced on those subjects is already available.

I would not recommend this book, except as a source of Feynman trivia if that is your bag. Indeed, I had heard most of these things before - either in films about the man or from his earlier writings. As such, that makes this book the crassest attempt to commercially exploit the legacy of this great man yet again. If such a thing were possible, the editor should be ashamed.

1-0 out of 5 stars different but in a way too different
I found this book to be complicating as it jumped from subject to subject. It wasnt really that informative. It gave out the authors personal information and feelings rather than actual facts. I guess it was something that one with the same mind frame as him could relate to. I had to read this book for school. I got nothing out of it, except the ignorant and close minded thoughts of the author. The grammar was also terrribe. It wasnt written in a way that one could follow. I had to use my imagination to kind of figure out the authors feelings of whatever he was talking. It was written in a way as if he was actually talking to in person rather than through a book. But I do have to say that it was different. I guess if you are into and study science it is the book for you. But its not really a book to learn from. Instead its more like a book to say "Oh! I feel that way too." To conclude, I dont know what to say to those of you who are into science, but to those of you who do not have much of an interest in it i would reccomend that you choose another book.

3-0 out of 5 stars A grab-bag of a book.
This book is a hodge-podge of personal and professional reminiscenses and interviews. Feynmann tells stories about building the A-bomb, his Dad, teaching his children, curiosity, learning, "the big picture," and how he learned that different minds work differently. I enjoyed parts of the book, particularly the parts most related to the book's title, like how his Father taught him scientific curiosity.

It is obvious that a lot of people have respect for Feynman, and I don't doubt he earned it. But as a story-teller, while he is sometimes interesting, frankly a lot of the time he is rather incoherent. The interviews are especially inarticulate, fumbling for words. I guess you had to be there. Elsewhere, Feynman comes across as another famous scientist piddling in other fields in his spare time. As an educator he is interesting, though not always fully syntactical. What he teaches well is his own infectious enthusiasm for "finding things out." Like some other scientists who are not very familiar with other fields, he tends to depict that pleasure as an almost exclusively scientific one. But of course Confucius, Origen, and Augustine knew the same pleasure, as do we in the contemporary humanities. As a teacher myself, I agree that enthusiastic curiosity is itself the greatest lesson. Feynman communicates that well, among other things.

Feynman admits that "in a field that is so complicated that true science is not able to get anywhere, we have to rely on a kind of old-fashioned wisdom." It would be truer to say that science is one in a continuum of epistomological methods, from the most direct (and limited), like math, to "hard sciences" like physics and chemistry, to "soft sciences" (paleontology) and up through history to psychology and finally theology. Like many scientists, and antagonistic philosophers (Rorty), Feynman confuses epistomological "hardness" with rationality, in the sense of finding out what truly is, and being reasonably certain about it.

The odd thing about Feynman's excursions into other fields is that he admits, "I'm still a very one-sided person and don't know a great deal." His editors think he's just being modest, I guess.

Most of the time Feynman treats religion with formal respect (one gets the feeling he's been scolded before and doesn't want to pour oil on the fire). He is, in fact, rather ignorant on the subject, refuting silly heresies, and thinking he has got to the heart of the matter. At one point he compares the "Catholic religion in the Middle Ages" to Hitler and Stalin. I'm not Catholic, but in my opinion that reflects poorly on his understanding of the historical roots of science and democracy. For all Feynman's love of science, it's a pity he should be ignorant of where it came from.

That such a grab-bag of a book would inspire the loyalty that is revealed in reviews below, is something I have great sympathy for. But it also demonstrates what many observers have commented on, the priest-like status that scientists have attained in Western culture. Books like this make me mourn for the sins of modern thought: over-specialization, the cults of celebrity and science, and philosophical confusion about how we know things. The book did make me think about how to teach, however, and introduced me to an interesting scientist.

author, Jesus and the Religions of Man ... Read more


82. The Teammates : A Portrait Of Friendship
by David Halberstam
list price: $25.98
our price: $17.67
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Asin: 1401397476
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Hyperion Audio
Sales Rank: 200787
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky were all members of the famed 1940's Boston Red Sox. Their legendary careers led the Red Sox to a pennant championship and ensured the men a place in sports history.

David Halberstam, the bestselling author of the baseball classic Summer of '49, has followed the members of the 1949 championship Boston Red Sox team for years, especially Williams, Doerr, DiMaggio, and Pesky. In this extremely moving book, Halberstam reveals how these four teammates became friends, and how that friendship thrived for more than 60 years.

The book opens with Pesky and DiMaggio travelling to see the ailing Ted Williams in Florida. It's the last time they will see him. The journey is filled with nostalgia and memories, but seeing Ted is a shock. The most physically dominating of the four friends, Ted now weighs only 130 pounds and is hunched over in a wheelchair. Dom, without even thinking about it, starts to sing opera and old songs like "Me and My Shadow" to his friend.

Filled with stories of their glory days with the Boston Red Sox, memories of legendary plays and players, and the reaction of the remaining three to Ted Williams' recent death, The Teammates offers us a rare glimpse into the lives of these celebrated men -- and great insight into the nature of loyalty and friendship. ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Red Sox killed my father. Now they┬┐re coming after me."
The 1946 World Series match-up between Boston and the St. Louis Cardinals went to seven games before Boston finally lost the championship, and Halberstam makes this seventh game come alive in all its frustrating excitement. The book is unique, however, not because of its rehash of old ball games, but because it brings back an era, more than a half-century ago, when close and supportive friendships developed between players who spent their whole careers on the same team. Telling the story of the sixty-year friendship of baseball greats Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky of the Boston Red Sox, Halberstam shows the kind of friendship which was possible in an era in which players were people, not commodities.

Warm and nostalgic, the book opens in October, 2001, as Dom DiMaggio, accompanied by Boston writer Dick Flavin and Johnny Pesky, makes a melancholy car trip from Boston to Florida to pay a last visit to Ted Williams, who is dying. As the men drive from Boston to Florida, they reminisce about their playing days more than fifty years in the past, recalling anecdotes about their friendship and talking about their lives, post-baseball.

Halberstam uses these memories as the framework of this book, describing the men from their teenage years. All were from the West Coast, all were about the same age, all arrived in Boston to begin their careers within the same two-year period, and all shared similar values. Ted Williams, "the undisputed champion of contentiousness," was the most dominant of the group. Bobby Doerr was Williams's closest friend and roommate, "a kind of ambassador from Ted to the rest of the world," Doerr himself being "very simply among the nicest and most balanced men." Bespectacled Dom DiMaggio, the brother of Vince and Joe, was the consummate worker, a smart player who had been "forced to study everything carefully when he was young in order to maximize his chances and athletic abilities." Johnny Pesky, combative and small, was also "kind, caring, almost innocent."

Stories and anecdotes, sometimes told by the players themselves, make the men individually come alive and show the depth and value of their friendship. The four characters remain engaging even when, in the case of Williams, they may be frustratingly disagreeable. There's a bittersweet reality when Halberstam brings the lives of Williams, Doerr, DiMaggio, and Pesky, all now in their eighties, up to the present--these icons are, of course, as human as the rest of us, subject to the same physical deterioration and illnesses. In Halberstam's sensitive rendering of their abiding relationship, however, we see them as men who have always recognized and preserved the most important of human values, and in that respect they continue to serve as heroes and exemplars to baseball fans throughout the country. Mary Whipple

5-0 out of 5 stars Friendship
Teammates is a story of true friendship. The book centers around three greats from the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams, Dom Dimaggio, John Pesky, and Bobby Doerr. Their final meeting is used as a backdrop for several stories from their playing days.

The story starts in the final months of the life of Ted Williams. Dimaggio and Pesky are inspired to reunite with their friend before his inevitable death. Bobby Doerr is unable to make the trip because of the health of his wife.

The book is formatted in the same way things were probably discussed in the car that day. The stories build up as each one of the four joins the team with the final addition being Pesky. The book continues as it goes through the teams years as a American League powerhouse. Unfortunately, World War II and the Korean War would be the main factor in preventing these baseball icons for playing in more than one World Series. The Red Sox lost that one World Series to the Cardinals. The play that allegedly turned that series is discussed in detail. The misfortune for which Pesky was blamed is a travesty. Even his teammates try to take the blame from Pesky. Being the stand-up guy that he is, Pesky continues to unjustly accept the blame. The book ends with each playing leaving the team until Williams returns from the Korean War to find all of his friends are gone. This drains much of the fun of the game for Williams. As a consequence he also leaves baseball.

Halberstam really does not write a book as buy as he retells stories from a car ride. This book is certain to become a favorite of those who enjoy baseball or the friendships developed in team sports. It should also be required reading for Red Sox fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Moving Tribute to Friendship
This is a moving book about friendship. As baseball legend Ted Williams' lay slowly dying at age 83 in the fall of 2001, his former teammates Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, and Bobby Doerr considered making the long drive to Florida for a final visit. The narrative focuses on that trip, and the enduring friendship between these four that continued for five decades after their playing days ended. Readers come to know these men, their backgrounds, flaws, strengths, families, health conditions, and post-baseball careers. Fans will enjoy their playing memoirs from the powerful Red Sox squads of the 1940's - teams that often fell just short at season's end. Adding spice to the narrative are Boston sportswriter Dick Flavin (who made the trip) and occasionally the author David Halberstam. This is another outstanding baseball book by Halberstam (SUMMER OF '49, OCTOBER 1964); let's hope he'll write more. THE TEAMMATES is a concise and moving tribute to friendship, baseball...and life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Life-long Lessons!
When we are young, most of us idolize certain sports heroes . . . usually because of their feats on the field rather than for their characters. Author David Halberstam had the great pleasure of getting to know some of his idols when he wrote the Summer of '49 about the Yankee-Red Sox pennant race in that year. He kept up with his new friends from the Red Sox including Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky after the book came out. When he learned that in 2002 about the last trip that Dom, and Johnny had taken to see Ted, Mr. Halberstam knew that he had a story. This book relates that tale.

The book recounts the backgrounds of all four players, details their friendships from the days when they were in the minor leagues through the end of their lives and provides lots of perspective on the Red Sox during the 1940s and 1950s when these remarkable players were on the team. The end of the book also has the lifetime stats for each player.

One of the intriguing parts of the book is how hard Ted Williams was on himself and his friends. It is a remarkable tale of friendship to see how others would tolerate his abuse by rolling with the punches. Behind the friendships, you get many glimpses of great character . . . character that actually makes their athletic accomplishments seem paler by comparison.

I strongly urge all Red Sox fans and parents who want their children to develop better characters to read this book, and share the story with their friends and family. I know of no better book about athletes that looks at the qualities of true greatness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book about baseball and friendship
Back in the 1940's and 1950's Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr were stars for the Boston Red Sox. Over the next 50 years or so, they remained the closest of friends. This book gives us a good look at that friendship, on and off the field, and at these four men.

It's unusual for a group of friends to stay so close for so long, but reading about the friendship makes you wish you were part of the group.

The book is full of humorous stories about their playing days and the years that followed. It also shows how close this team came to being a dynasty, but ended up only playing in one World Series (which they lost).

Halberstam does a great job, as always, showing us what baseball was like in the good old days and how the friendship between these players grew and remained strong over the years. It's one of the best baseball books I've ever read. ... Read more


83. Night
by Elie Wiesel, Jeffrey Rosenblatt
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
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Asin: 1883332400
Catlog: Book (2000-01-01)
Publisher: Audio Bookshelf
Sales Rank: 306898
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Night -- A terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family...the death of his innocence...and the death of his God. Penetrating and powerful, as personal as The Diary Of Anne Frank, Night awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again.
... Read more

Reviews (744)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lifechanging experience
Night, by Elie Weisel, is a book different than any other I have read. Many opinions about history, and even life in some cases changed while reading Night. For a very long time I believed that Josef Stalin was the most evil man to live in the twentieth century. After reading Night I believe that Hitler and his relentless "fight" to exterminate Hebrews from the face of the planet is the most evil act of hate ever. Elie Weisel is a 12 year old boy living in the town of Sighet. Untouched by Nazis until about 1942, Elie begins his long tour of numerous concentration camps throughout Europe. This book is about the lengths a human will go through to survive. Night is about love, hope, determination, and the spirit of humanity to survive, forgive, and to inform us, the readers, that we must never forget the lives lost during the years of Nazi occupied Germany. We must never forget how 12 million people just like you and I were executed because of differences. Night is a book that should eventually be read by all high school students. I am still humbled by Night.

4-0 out of 5 stars Non-Stop Reading for the Mind and Soul
Reading Night by Elie Wiesel began as a simple two-day assignment for my freshman English class. At first glance, I expected this quick read to be simply one more trite account to the terrible atrocities committed during wwii Germany. But after getting only 15 pages into the storyline, I found myself immersed in the detail, precision, and striking ability with which Wiesel describes his own adolescent struggle. At the age of only 15, he was faced with the daunting task of realizing that not everyone is good deep down inside. As his family is herded from its town of Sighet into trains, and then unkonwingly into concentration camps, the universal good in man which young Eliezer had once believed was stripped from his soul. This emotional weekend read is capable of being devoured all in one sitting. However, while reading this book in our living rooms or at the beach, we must remember what our fellow men and women around the world have been through. As readers, we should take time to celebrate the courage and hope that men like Elie Wiesel have possessed. Without this strong passion for life our world would be so much different than it is today. The few hours we spend reading this book are special. But they are nothing compared to the days, months, and years that thousands of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and slavs spent in concentration camps. If you have ever felt low or alone, read Night, and you will see just how lucky you are to be able to breathe, to eat, to love, to feel, to even be alive.

4-0 out of 5 stars Horrifying Account of the Holocaust
Night is the story of Elie Wiesel's experience in the German concentration camp Auschwitz during World War II. He calls it a "nightmare-" this is an understatement. One can wake up from a nightmare. The horror Wiesel lived had no outlet.

A Jew from Transylvania, Wiesel grew up with a strong religious background. He found an unlikely teacher in a man named "Moshe the Beadle." Moshe taught his pupil that man could not understand God's answers to man's questions; man could only ask God the right questions. Would Elie's time in Auschwitz destroy his budding faith? The book explores faith in a searing way. A must read for all. Ages 16 and up.

4-0 out of 5 stars Searching for Themes in Night
Night is a story about a young boy's life during the Holocaust. He uses a different name in the story, Eliezer. He comes from a highly Orthodox Jewish family, and they observed the Jewish traditions. His father, Shlomo, a shopkeeper, was very involved with the Jewish community, which was confined to the Jewish section of town, called the shtetl.
In 1944, the Jews of Hungary were relatively unaffected by the catastrophe that was destroying the Jewish communities of Europe in spite of the infamous Nuremberg Laws of 1935-designed to dehumanize German Jews and subject them to violence and prejudice. The Holocaust itself did not reach Hungary until 1944. In Wiesel's native Sighet, the disaster was even worse: of the 15,000 Jews in prewar Sighet, only about fifty families survived the Holocaust. In May of 1944, when Wiesel was fifteen, his family and many inhabitants of the Sighet shtetl were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. The largest and deadliest of the camps, Auschwitz was the site of more than 1,300,000 Jewish deaths. Wiesel's father, mother, and little sister all died in the Holocaust. Wiesel himself survived and immigrated to France. His story is a horror story that comes to life when students in high school read this novel. Even though many students have not witnessed or participated in such horror, they relate to the character because Wiesel is their age. They cannot believe someone went through the nightmare he did at their age.

This book focuses on many themes: conflict, silence, inhumanity to others, and father/son bonding. We see many, too many, conflicts this young man faces. Eliezer struggles with his faith throughout the story. He believes that God is everywhere, and he can't understand how God could let this happen, especially as Eliezer faces conflict everyday in the concentration camp. He also learns silence means. He says he says it is God's silence that he doesn't understand. He feels that God's silence demonstrates the absence of divine compassion. Another silence that drive confuses Eliezer is the silence of the victims. He cannot understand why they don't fight back, especially with the inhumanity that is forced upon them. It is because of this inhumanity that he loses faith, not only in God but also in men. He tells how at the beginning, the Germans were "distant but friendly." However, when they reach the camps, the soldiers are transformed from men to monsters. As part of this inhumanity and lack of faith is the instances when a son betrays his father. He sees this several times and can't comprehend how a son, in order to save his own life, betrays his father. Luckily for Eliezer's father, Eliezer's love and bond is stronger than self-preservation.
How can students relate to this story when they haven't experienced anything near what Wiesel did. Maybe they haven't experienced these acts, but they have experienced conflict, silence, inhumanity, and bonding, and if a teacher focuses on these themes, the students will relate.
Works Cited:
Sparknotes.com. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/night/themes.html

5-0 out of 5 stars Overpowering and Humbling....
l am a Christian and was absolutely stunned by this book. To read -and more importantly to re-read and reflect - about the trials and tribulations of a devoted Jewish family as they went from a loving, religious/spiritual home to a ghetto, then to the railroad yards, then to a Concentration Camp...is to be transported to a nightmarish journey and world that must never be taken for granted, that must be understood deeply, and which must be respected with our hearts more than with our minds.

To criticize any victim of the Holocaust for doubting or questioning their G-d is to live in a fantasy world. Unless one has lived through the horror and degradations of the Holocaust, he should be quiet. As for me, whenever l see or think of the child-victims and their parents of those terrible days, l think of me and my own children in their place...and it keeps me very humble. ... Read more


84. Galileo's Daughter : A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love
by DAVA SOBEL
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
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Asin: 0375409408
Catlog: Book (1999-11-02)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 305829
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Read by George Guidall
Seven Cassettes, 11 Hours

Galileo's Daughter introduces us to the man whose belief that the Earth moved around the sun caused him to be brought before the Holy Office of the Inquisition, accused of heresy, and threatened with torture.In contrast, his daughter Virginia chose the quiet life of a cloistered nun.Sobel takes us through the trials and triumphs of Galileo's career and his familial relationships, and simultaneously illuminates an entire era of flamboyant Medici Grand Dukes, the bubonic plague, and history's most dramatic collusion between science and religion.
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Reviews (195)

5-0 out of 5 stars Galileo's World Under A Microscope
Galileo's Daughter is a rare gift. This marvelous duo biography of Galileo Galilei and his daughter Virginia evokes a sense of time and place, character and action and of cosmic importance that are usually the province of great works of fiction.

Author Dava Sobel's meticulous scholarship and keen insights provide us a literary microscope with which we can examine Galileo's seventeenth-century world as the great astronomer explored the heavens with his telescope.

Galileo's numerous scientific discoveries and his condemnation by the Church for heretically teaching the earth moved around the sun are familiar to most school children. Galileo's Daughter does much more than chronicle these familiar events.

Sobel transports us to the Florence of Grand Duke Ferninando de Medici, the Rome of Pope Urban VIII, the Covent of San Matteo where Virginia Galilei became Suor Maria Celeste and breathes life into Galileo's Italy during the era of The Thirty Years War. Superstition and science, loyalty and treachery, generosity and selfishness, the ridiculous and the sublime each combine in a rich Italinate tapestry of seventeenth-century life.

I recommend this wonderful book to men and women of all ages. It will satisfy even those with little interest in history, science or biography. If you are looking for a good story, well told, that illuminates the human condition, this book is for you.

3-0 out of 5 stars Bringing a historical figure down to a more personal level
Galileo's correspondence with his favorite daughter (only her letters to him are present; his letters to her were lost or destroyed) gives us a new perspective on a well-known historical figure and events.

Sobel weaves fascinating historical background on everything from the plague to international politics around the tender letters from Galileo's daughter, Maria Celeste. Despite the fact that she's a cloistered nun, we learn quite a bit about the world at large.

It's interesting to watch Galileo, a devout Catholic, grapple with his faith and with church authorities who believe science and religion are mutually exclusive. We get to see the personal side of Galileo's famous trial.

The book also presents a suprising portrait of a strong, intelligent woman in a place where you might not expect to find her - a seventeenth-century convent.

If you're not a science or history buff the book can get a bit dry in places, but Galileo's discoveries and persecution generally make for enough plot to draw you along over the rough spots.

4-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Perspective
From the title of this book, I naturally expected it to be a biography of Galileo's daughter, which it is not exactly. I was a bit disappointed to begin with, as the first hundred pages or so are Galileo's early biography. Once his daughter, Virginia (later Suor Marie Celeste) came into the picture, the story became much more interesting.

Virginia was one of Galileo's three illegitimate children by the mistress of his early years, Marina Gamba. She eventually married, with Galileo's blessings, and he never lost interest in his children. Due to their illegitimacy which he felt would eliminate any chance of a decent marriage, Galileo had his two daughters entered into a convent at a very early age. The both became nuns at the convent of San Matteo on turning sixteen, Virginia taking the name Suor Marie Celeste and Livia that of Suor Arcangela. The son, Vincenzio, lived with Galileo in his late teens and eventually (after an unpromising start) became a good son to him.

This book recounts Galileo's personal and private life, using letters from Marie Celeste to give color to what would otherwise be a black and white, straight forward biography. Their shared love is beautiful to see in her letters--his to her having been lost--and the bits and pieces of every day life that she treats the reader to are thoroughly enjoyable.

This is a very detailed and readable history of Galileo, and gave me a much greater understanding of the man, his work and his difficulty with the Church. The conflict he felt between himself and his discoveries comes through very clearly and poignantly in his own words through his other letters. Her faith in him, and in the fact that he was not being heretical, is very apparent. It was interesting to me to see how differently Sobel portrays Galileo's fight was the Church--if her sources are to be believed (and I see no reason to disbelieve) it was not at all what history textbooks would have us believe.

As a history major and fanatic, I truly enjoyed reading this book. The alternate perspective of Galileo was refreshing and real--and made sense of a lot that had previously seemed murky to me about him and the Church. The addition of Marie Celeste's letters gave this book personality and took Galileo from a science god to a human being. My only regret is how few letters are in this book, and that the title is a bit misleading. Despite that, if you have any interest in Galileo, this is a must-read!

5-0 out of 5 stars "The father...of modern science" had a loving daughter!!
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This six part, 33 chapter book, by Dava Sobel, has two themes running through it:

Theme #1: Decribes thoroughly the life and times of Galileo Galilei (1564 to 1642).
Theme #2: Describes the life of Galileo's daughter (1600 to 1634) through some of the actual letters she wrote to her father.

This is first and foremost a solid, easy to read biography of Galileo. His life is traced from him first entering a monastery before deciding to lead a life of scientific inquiry and discovery. Actual letters or parts of letters (translated from the original Latin, French, or Italian by various experts) by Galileo and others are included in the main narrative. Throughout, we are told of his numerous inventions and discoveries. Perhaps the most sensational is that his telescopes allowed him to reveal a new reality in the heavens and to reinforce the Copernican argument that the Earth moves around the Sun. For this belief, he was brought before the Holy Inquisition, accused of heresy, and forced eventually to spend his last years under house arrest. All the translated papers pertaining to these inquisition days are included and make for fascinating reading.

My favorite Inquisition story is with respect to the June 1633 renunciation or "confession" document (reproduced in this book) Galileo was to speak out aloud. The main point of this document is that the Earth does not move around the Sun and that the Earth does not move at all. After reading it aloud, it is said that he muttered under his breath "Eppur si muove" (translation: "But it does move.")

One of Galileo's daughters born "Virginia" and later appropriately named "Sister Maria Celeste," had the intelligence and sensibility of her father. As indicated by her letters, her loving support, which Galileo repaid in kind, proved to be her father's greatest source of strength through his most productive but tumultuous years. Sobel herself translated these letters from the original Italian. They are expertly woven into the main narrative adding an emotional element to this biography.

This book contains almost twenty-five complete letters and numerous large and small fragments from other letters by Sister Celeste. All letters she wrote begin with a statement showing love and respect for her father. Example: "Most Illustrious Lord Father." The first complete letter is dated May 10, 1623 and the last complete letter is dated December 10, 1633. Those letters Galileo wrote to his daughter have not survived.

Almost 75 illustrations are found throughout this book. They add (besides the actual letters of Galileo's daughter) yet another dimension to the narrative. Two of my favorite pictures are entitled "Moon drawings by Galileo in 1609" and "Sunspot drawings by Galileo."

Another intriguing aspect of this book is a chronology after the main narrative ends entitled "In Galileo's Time." This is not just a timeline of important events that occurred during Galileo's life but includes all significant events (especially scientific ones) between 1543 to 1999 inclusive. For example, what happened in 1687? According to this chronology, "Newton's laws of motion and universal gravitation are published in his [book] 'Principia.'" What happened in 1989? Answer: "[NASA] launches [the] 'Galileo' spacecraft [or space probe] to study the moons of Jupiter at close range."

Where did the author obtain all the fascinating information needed to write such an intriguing book? Answer: from the over 130 references found in the bibliography.

I noticed in the book's "Appreciation" section that the author gives thanks to many people. (Dr.) Frank Drake, who helped with the celestrial mechanics found in this book, caught my eye. She co-authored with him the excellent book "Is Anyone Out There?: The Scientific Search for Extraterrestral Intelligence" (paperback, 1994).

Finally, my only minor complaint is with the book's title. As mentioned above, there are two interconnected themes running through this book. Thus, I think a more appropriate title might have been "Galileo and his Daughter."

In conclusion, this book is a thorough biography of Galileo that includes some translated letters from one of his daugters. It is truly, as the book's subtitle states, "A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love!!!"

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4-0 out of 5 stars A original perspective.
Dava Sobel made an excellent job in this book. Family is an aspect of Galileo's life never exploded before (at least not that I know) and totally gives you a different perspective of this controversial and heavily influential individual. Galileo's life, as exposed in Sobel's book, is a very human and touching one. Seeing Galileo from the eyes of his tenderly loving bastard daughter (a nun), evokes such intense conflicting emotions as one might expect only to surge by empathy, a characteristic only obtained when the author makes you compenetrate inside the personage life. A great book, highly recommended for curious people. ... Read more


85. Undaunted Courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
by Stephen E. Ambrose
list price: $25.00
our price: $17.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671574434
Catlog: Book (1996-06-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 61810
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean and back.Lewis and his partner, Captain William Clark, endured incredible hardships and saw incredible sights.

In Undaunted Courage, Stephen Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information to provide a colorful and realistic backdrop for the expedition which is seen through Lewis's eyes.

Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters: Jefferson, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years; Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson's; numerous Indian chiefs; the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis; and many leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century.

High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as engaging as any work of fiction. ... Read more

Reviews (281)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Journey into History!
Ambrose's books are all excellent. Well written and expertly documented. This one is no exception. He traces the steps of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their famous journey across the wild America continent in the early 1800's. Much of his narrative is based on Lewis & Clark's own journals, but the story is told in Ambrose's indomitable style that will keep you turning the pages to the finish. You will get some special insight into the relationship between President Thomas Jefferson and Lewis and how that effected the outcome of history. The book is highly entertaining and interesting to read. Ambrose is by far on the best historical writers alive today and his work should be required reading in every classroom. As for his supposed pro-America bias, some readers claim to detect, I don't understand how that detracts from his work. That he admires the men and women, who fought for and founded our country and shows them in a fair & proper perspective, makes his accounts more creditable, not less. Read the book! It's Great.

5-0 out of 5 stars Undaunted Reading
Ambrose does a splendid job of making the Lewis and Clark voyage come alive again for the 21st Century reader. This work provides a helpful glimpse into Jefferson and Lewis that is not often heard. Becoming familiar with this story makes one appreciate the bravery and adventurous spirit of those that went before us in America's history. The start is a little slow due to voluminous details, but once the voyage reaches St. Louis, the book keeps the reader on the edge of his seat. Ambrose's passion for Lewis and Jefferson makes the reader feel like he or she is a companion with Lewis and Clark on their expedition across the country and an advisor for Jefferson in the White House. Instead of analyzing history, Ambrose succeeds fairly well in helping us relive it. There are points where Ambrose is a bit overconfident in his explanations, but this doesn't tarnish his marvelously informative and entertaining work. Too bad Ambrose couldn't change the tragic outcome of Lewis' life at the end.

4-0 out of 5 stars Deep / Insightful
Ambrose wrote a very complete book here. Obviously extensive, well researched, and with a good flow - this book is worth reading. My pick with this book would be it moves along a little on the slow side, but so did Lewis & Clark on this voyage.

High Points:

Descriptions & Interpretations from the original journals - superb.

Multiple points of view, Lewis, Clark, the members of the corps of discovery, native americans, etc. Ambrose brings these to life.

Intricate step by step accounts of the trip.

Improvement Points:

At times it just moves along too slowly - Ambrose could have made it a bit more concise.

Confusing ending, did Lewis commit suicide? Was he muredered, Ambroses' guesses leave something to be desired.

All in all this is a good book which should be read by any aspiring student of history.

Joseph Dworak

3-0 out of 5 stars Underestimates the reader's imagination and memory
I was disappointed in this book, which I listened to on tape. It was terribly wordy, and took every opportunity to drum in the obvious or reiterate the dangers, deprivations, triumphs, etc. It seems to be a characteristic of popular histories to assume that the reader has no imagination and lots of time, and that fattened-up-by-repetion-or-too-much-detail is better. I did think that the information delivered was interesting and balanced. Still, the L & C expedition, as well as the lives of its participants and leaders, are interesting and inspiring enough not to need alot of commentary.

3-0 out of 5 stars Parents Beware!
Parents, If you're looking for a good history book for your children to read, please beware.

While Ambrose credibly presents the exploits of the Corps of Discovery, he also fails to resist the modern urge to talk about their sex lives. Descriptions of the men's sexual practices with the Mandan indian women and their varied venereal diseases are offered for our enlightenment. The author also regales us with the curious sexual rituals of the Mandans, themselves. In addition, for no particularly beneficial reason, Ambrose relates to us how cold the winter was by offering us the natural consequences to one who would chooose to relieve himself out-of-doors.

Parental caution is advised. ... Read more


86. Leading with My Chin
by Jay Leno
list price: $20.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694517534
Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 595139
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The king of late-night television and America's hardest-working comedian delivers the monologue of his life.

Against the odds Jay Leno has emerged as the undisputed king of late night television as host of the # 1 -rated The Tonight Show. His twenty-year stand-up career; working alongside the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Carry Shandling, and David Letterman, was a long, hard, and laugh-filled battle to the top. In this entertaining, anecdote-filled book, Leno delivers the monologue of his life, leaving readers admiring his unstoppable wit and tenacity. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a guy!!!!
I may only be a sophomore in college, but I have loved Jay Leno for years now. :o) I read his book and when I finished it I wanted to cry, simply because there weren't any more wonderful stories left to read. I didn't cry though--I just flipped it back to the beginning and read it again. This book really lets people into his life. He doesn't back-stab anybody or put anybody down, and his stories aren't "And that's why I'm perfect" He shows us the more human side of him, and his style of writing makes you feel as if you were actually having a conversation with him, and these were the stories he was telling you. These are stories that nobody will ever get tired of reading. They are no doubt stories that, if Jay were a father, his children would beg him to tell over and over again. This is my new favorite book! Way to go Jay!!! :o

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Sincere, Funny and Genuine!
Jay Leno has let us into his life thru this book. The good times, funny times, trying times and truly personal times. He's as entertaining on paper as he is in person! I have learned to like Jay Leno and enjoy his style of comedy. It took me a while, but this book actually put the finishing touches on my feelings. A really good book, full of fun, laughs, thoughfulness and honesty. Easy to read and most enjoyable. Get to know Jay

5-0 out of 5 stars hillarious
im in the process of reading "leading with my chin" by jay leno, and so far i am astonished at how increadably funny it is! my teacher assigned us to read a biography or bibliography of our choice, and last minute i was in frantic search for a book. a friend of mine handed me the bio and told me, "read it. its funny, and it goes fast!" to my surprise, she was right. the book is a joy to read, even to those who dont like reading much *caugh* *caugh*. "leading with my chin" is no less than a 5 star book.

1-0 out of 5 stars FICTION??
After reading this book, some of the stories seem fabricated. I have heard these "stories" from other people. Like your monologue. Old and borrowed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Gives Background on His Career
Hard work pays off in any field, including entertainment. This book chronicles Jay's "dues paying" days in Massachusetts before he made it big. It contains wit, but goes beyond funny anecdotes. It gives insight into his career struggles. Jay seems to remain approachable due to the hard years he faced as an up and coming comic. Leno is, in a sense, a "working man's comedian" in that he had to earn the right to the position he currently holds. This book is instructive in that it teaches the principle of creative persistence by default, i.e., Leno did it and describes the process.
A few photos add to the story telling in the book.
He is honest about not being an ideal student during his college days. Leno's story has elements of interest to a general audience in that his story is a niche version of the American success story of rising from obscurity to national fame. ... Read more


87. Quiet Room
by Lori Schiller, Amanda Bennett
list price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570420386
Catlog: Book (1994-06-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 642604
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars perfect insight into mental illness from every angle
when i first heard about this book several years ago, i could not wait to get my hands on it. the story attracted me as it is my own story. and i was not to be disappointed. never before had i read a book that so expressively described my own illness. since it first came out, i have read it many times. this book is honest and direct and tells our story as it needs to be heard, for lori gives the true and painful portrayal of how a psychotic brain manifests itself through behavior. i was glad that she told so forthrightly of her experiences in the hospital. it is because of such honesty that people like us can learn to tell our own stories and demystify society's understanding of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. through this telling the unfair stigma that has been placed upon us is exonerated. i also liked that the people in her life told their stories as well, for an illness such as this affects all involved. i am grateful to lori and amanda for helping me to gain insight into my own illness and understand better what my family and those closest to me have endured and still endure. i highly recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining an honest understanding of mental illness and the impact on the individual and their loved ones.

5-0 out of 5 stars An insightful glimpse into life with schizophrenia
This is a beautifully written book about a woman's battle with schizophrenia. She begins by describing her descent into the illness and the confusion she experienced. Somehow Lori Schiller manages to describe her experiences with the illness so that you can always see the person inside the mental illness. This is not an easy feat but invaluable for professionals in the field. The most moving scene, to me, was her description of being in a psychiatric hospital and hearing a baby crying. She was frantic because no one would help the baby-yet the baby wasn't real. This is what mental illness is like and why it is such a painful experience. My favorite part of the book was that she reaches a point where she is successfully living with schizophrenia. Too often we forget that people can live with this illness. Not everyone is forever doomed to a halfway house or psychiatric hospital. This is a book every mental health professional should read, especially if you are considering work with the mentally ill.

5-0 out of 5 stars A really good book
A must read for anyone with a mental illness or for anyone close to someone with a mental illness. The book really shows the reader how painful and frustrating and heartbreaking life with severe mental illness is. I like that it also gives the perspective of family and friends. It made me even more grateful for modern advances in mental health medicines.

5-0 out of 5 stars Difficult to put down and difficult to forget
Lori Schiller's story is beautifully written and difficult to forget. What makes this story of a journey through treatment for schizophrenia exceptional is that it is told by several people, not just Lori. Her father, a psychologist, deals with her illness through denial. Her mother faces it with overwhelming sadness. Her brothers are confused and embarassed. Her friends are overburdened. Lori is not the only person suffering due to her mental illness. I was amazed with her strength during her ordeal. How difficult it must have been to live with multiple voices belittling her, constantly yelling insults, telling her she would die, telling her to kill others. After years of misdiagnoses, treatment by indifferent mental health professionals, hospitalizations, halfway houses, overmedication, undermedication, self-medication through cocaine abuse and constant suicidal thoughts, Lori finally comes to terms with her illness and fights to overcome it. With the help of several caring healthcare professionals, Lori learns to live with the voices that will always be a part of her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Lori Schiller has done a magnificent job of chronicling her battle with schizophrenia. Horrible, taunting voices drove her to suicide attempts, drug abuse, numerous hospitalizations, and homelessness. Eventually she got the right treatment, the most important component of which was the antipsychotic drug Clozaril. I'd like to see more from her, because this book is Pulitzer Prize-caliber writing. ... Read more


88. When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes
by Yogi Berra, David Kaplan, Dave Berra, Dale Berra
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565114760
Catlog: Book (2001-05)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 317478
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Now available in paperback, "it's d&eacute;j&agrave; vu all over again" with another New York Times bestseller -- more than 160,000 copies in print!

Three-time MVP and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra hit home runs twice in a row with his two previous books, The Yogi Book and It Ain't Over. Now, his winning streak continues as the celebrated athlete and true American hero speaks about life, baseball, and "the forks in the road."

Filled with the baseball legend's inimitable and unwittingly wise aphorisms from "It ain't over till it's over" to "You can't think and hit at the same time," these reflections focus on the valuable lessons he learned on and off the field. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy Inspiration
As only Yogi can do, he brings many tough life issues down to the ground level. This book is a collection of 2-3 page "truths" according to Mr. Berra. I was really impressed. The approach is one of facing challenges at the gut level and straight ahead. Don't make things complicated, just do it. A must read for everyone. Thanks, Yogi.

4-0 out of 5 stars When Taking the Bull by the Horns, You'll See the Point!
Yogi Berra is our modern day version of Will Rogers. He talks about life and what he sees, and captures a fundamental truth and humor that tickle our fancy and our sense of what's right.

This book contains many of Yogi's most famous aphorisms, followed by essays that explain what he means . . . in other words.

Here are some of my favorites among his aphorisms in this book (which double as titles for the essays):

"We Have a Good Time Together, Even When We're Not Together."

"If People Don't Want to Come Out to the Park, Nobody's Going to Stop Them."

"Ninety Percent of the Game Is Half Mental."

"You Observe a Lot by Watching."

"It's Deja Vu All Over Again."

"We Made Too Many Wrong Mistakes."

"It Gets Late Early Out Here."

"Nobody Goes There Any More, It's Too Crowded."

"I Love Movies When I Like Them."

"If the World Were Perfect, It Wouldn't Be."

"Always Go to Other People's Funerals, Otherwise They Won't Go to Yours."

"Ninety Percent of Short Putts Don't Go In."

The beauty of Yogi's aphorisms is that we know exactly what he means, which we don't always appreciate about what more learned types have to say. The unusual content also jolts us into paying attention, instead of putting us into a mild doze.

About the aphorisms themselves, Yogi says this, "I don't think I ever said anything intentionally humorous in my life."

You could sum up his philosophy as "I really have no regrets." Yogi basically suggests that you take life as it comes, make the best of what it offers, and move on. His most beautiful aphorism is here also, "There Is Always Some Kid Who May Be Seeing Me for the First or Last Time. I Owe Him My Best." The essay describes how Joe DiMaggio always played the hero's role in public, and how much Yogi admired him for it.

The book also contains the famous story of how Yogi refused to reenter Yankee Stadium for 14 years after being summarily fired as manager in mid-season in 1985 (after being told this would not happen). George Steinbrenner finally met with Yogi and apologized. Yogi began coming to Yankee Stadium again. That struck me as very consistent with his sense of what's right and wrong.

Yogi chose to leave school at a very young age. He thought he didn't have much of a future there, and he felt he liked and could do a lot of other things better. That's the story behind the book's title. But Yogi reminds us, "People shouldn't forget where they came from." In fact, the essays double as an autobiography of Yogi.

I enjoyed his stories about the glory days of the five straight World Championships, and how he improved as a catcher while being lambasted by the sportswriters. Having listened to Don Larsen's perfect game against the Dodgers, it was fun to read what Yogi had to say about catching the game. I didn't know he called Larsen "Gooney Bird."

His essay about talking to players, pitchers and umps is also a classic.

Anyone would benefit from his advice about losing. "If [you]lose . . . , shake their hand and try harder next time."

He also maintains that it's not true he was ever in a hitting slump. He just wasn't getting many hits. That's an extension of his focus on keeping a positive outlook.

Each essay is preceded by a small black-and-white photograph. These add a nice personal touch to the essays.

After you read this book, think about where you need to take a fork in the road with courage and enthusiasm. Think of Yogi when you take that fork. He'll be pulling for you.

If the stick in your eye is hurting you, there's no law that says you have to keep holding it in there!

5-0 out of 5 stars We can all learn a lot from Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra is an American treasure, epitomizing many of the things that make America great. As a legend in life as well as a legend in baseball, the common-sense pearls of wisdom that drop from his lips are as instructive as they are humorous. I consider Yogi the common man's philosopher. This book offers forty chapters, each containing helpful advice, based upon a famous Yogi-ism, as well as inspiration to the reader. Most of us already know most of these lessons, but we need to be reminded of them periodically. Yogi is the perfect teacher. He is humble and honest, perfectly willing to use his own failures as well as his successes as object lessons for the rest of us; he also speaks from the heart in plain language. I love the unpretentious nature of this book; maybe it breaks a few rules of proper grammar, but it comes across in such a way that you half believe Yogi is sitting in the room with you and just talking. Yogi does offer up a number of parallels between baseball and business, stressing the importance of true teamwork, loyalty, and the personal involvement and commitment of all involved, but most of the lessons he imparts here are lessons about life and the proper way to live it. All the inspiration and wisdom aside, though, I have to admit that what I enjoy the most is Yogi's baseball stories. Baseball was a different game back when Yogi was playing, and I'm sure I'm not the only fan whose love of the game has faded as the game has turned into an impersonal industry. Yogi represents baseball at its best.

I also enjoyed learning a little more about Yogi's personal life - heck, I didn't even know how he got the name Yogi before I read this book. Here's a kid born in St. Louis to first-generation immigrants who quit school after eighth grade and pursued a dream that many people said he would never attain. All he did was play on ten World Series championship teams, earn three MVP awards, and become one of the most-loved baseball heroes of all time - heck, I bet there are even some Red Sox fans who love Yogi. He is also a war hero, having fought in the D-Day landing at Normandy. (He also played a brain surgeon on an episode of General Hospital back in the early 1960s, as I was quite shocked to learn.) With all of his success, though, he has always been remarkably humble and quick to thank those who made his good fortune possible. He is a great role model for kids as well as adults, and we all can learn a great deal about life by heeding his practical advice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Straight talk from Yogi
This collection of short snippets of wisdom from Yogi Berra is an enjoyable and ,yes, profitable read. Yogi is a man of great integrity and dignity and those qualities shine through on every page of this simple and relatively quick read. Pick it up and read it on your next long flight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wit and Wisdom abounds from this unlikely philospher!
You don't need to be a baseball fan to enjoy (and benefit from) the words of wisdom in Yogi Berra's book, "When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!". Yogi explains and refines the numurous malapropisms that he noted for is this short and quick read.

Without going into the many "Yogi-isms" found in this book, let me suffice to say that you'll get a better perspective on life after reading it. Yogi does a great job giving advice and sharing his worldly experiences with the reader in his own inimitable way. This would be an outstanding graduation gift to share with young people ready to embark on their own life journey. I think it would especially appeal to young athletes who may already be somewhat familar with the Berra legacy.

Older readers will certainly enjoy the "Yogi-isms" that are used as the chapter titles and the numerous pictures from Yogi's photo archive. Yogi is a lovable baseball figure who has furthered his appeal factor by putting his thoughts down in words. Here's hoping that each reader will take something a little different from the experience! ... Read more


89. Think LIke A Champion : Building Success One Victory at a Time
by Mike Shanahan
list price: $18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694522406
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 864204
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Coach Mike Shanahan knows about achieving big goals. Armed with his plan, he and his world champion Denver Broncos have elevated themselves to spectacular levels of performance. In three amazing years, they transformed a "mediocre," aging" franchise--and their legendary quarterback who just "couldn't win the big game--into the most feared powerhouse in the league; with back-to-back Super Bowl rings to prove it.

 Now, in Think Like a Champion, Shanahan opens his playbook to show the X's and O's of winning, a detailed game plan to help you storm the field with foolproof strategies, confidence, and the indomitable will to win. Shanahan's principles of success are as deceptively simple as they are challenging:Preparation is keyWhatever the sacrifice, it is worth the price of pursuing your passionBreak down the competition's weakness and learn from their strengths Pick great leaders and give them the power to inspire Set huge goals. It's about work ethic and balance

Armed with his vision, and these proven success principles, you can improve your chances on Game Day--or any day of the week.
... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Building success one victory at a time.
I have heard this advice before: If you want to be successful
at something, find the most successful person you can in that area, listen to what they say, and try to follow it. Well, its hard to imagine a football coach more sucessful than Mike Shanahan. Here's a guy who started with a dream: to be a head football coach, started as an unpaid volunteer for a college team, and worked his way to be one of the best, most respected, coaches in the NFL (winning 2 consecutive Superbowls) at a young age.

The great thing is, he has written a book that is designed to help people win beyond football, in any area of life. Shanahan breaks it down for you: the way he prepares, some struggles he's had, some ways he motivates people (including the little things that we learn are so critical), very good wisdom concerning life, and a lot more. Also very critical is the fact that this book is very easy to read and understand.

You even get a bonus section in each chapter written by some of the greatest people and minds in football: Paul Tagliabue, Jerry Rice, Bill Walsh, John Elway, Deion Sanders, Steve Young, George Seifert, Joe Montana, Marcus Allen, Al Michaels, and more. They give their own take on the subject being discussed in the chapter, which is not only informative, but like the book itself, filled with wisdom.

The chapters consist of 16 basic areas to focus on to become successful, things like: Preparing (all of life is preparation, and not preparing is preparing to fail), Sacrificing (don't expect to get anything good done without sacrifice, if it was easy, everyone would do it), Learning (without learning, you will be hopelessly stuck where you are), Detailing (the devil is definitely in the details and that's where things often break down). This is just a taste of the wisdom in this book. Highly recommended for people looking to improve themselves.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a Success Story! Motivational!
A die-hard Broncos fan from the days dying watching those ridiculous striped socks and watching Fran Tripuka get killed, what a job Shanahan did turning it around into two Super Bowls in a row.

Learning of his background and his principles makes me now not only a more avid Bronco fan, but also a Shanahan fan as well. His perseverance from the days of his kidney injury to how he became part of Sooner coaching staff till today is truly one of principles of success through hard work, not gifts or who you know or any of the other myths most people who never get anywhere fall for and are unmotivated. Most of them just don't ever want to work hard at anything, but have it handed to them. Shanahan disproves all that bunk and shows how it came to be. Unbelievable that when given the Raiders head-job, didn't even have the downpayment for a house.

This guy is very endearing to so many of us who never had the backgrounds for those connections, but wanting something bad enough, and always believing it, achieve it one goal at a time.

Great advice, especially appreciate his concern for balance.

Excellent read. Thanks, Mike, from a new fan and admirer.

5-0 out of 5 stars "...if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail."
Straight-forward, crisply articulated and with practically no unnecessary fluff, Mike Shanahan's book, "Think Like a Champion," compellingly argues that the game of life is basically won or lost before the "players" take the field. Shanahan asserts his point of view over sixteen easy-to-digest chapters (each about ten pages or less) on the diffent tenets of becoming the best at what you do.

What I liked about this book is that while the author culls specific examples from his football career, the "moral of the story" is clearly applicable to ANYONE seeking to become the best in any endeavor. Offering an excellent, enjoyable read to both sports enthusiasts and non enthusiasts alike, the author's writing style is to neither excessively arm-wave nor make unsupported generalizations.

In fact, part of the Shanahan's credibility here is in his willingness to name names when providing examples of people living up to a credo espoused in a given chapter or more dramatically, falling short.

Written with humility, Shanahan's book leaves the reader feeling that there is nothing magical to becoming a huge success -- other than having a plan and putting in the blood, sweat and tears required to make that plan a success. Or as the author concludes, citing legendary coach Vince Lobardi, "Your quality of life is in direct proportion to your commitment to excellence." So true.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great.....if you can decipher all of the football jargon
Mike Shanahan does a wonderful job at getting across the key points of being successful, and the work ethic and dedication needed to get by. I could have done without all of the sideline/football references, but seeing that he eats, drinks, and sleeps football, that may be a bit much to ask. I would recommend this book, but if you're not to savvy about football, it may be a bit rough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prepare for Success
I enjoyed this book very much. I am preparing to take the CPA exam. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the CPA exam is one of the most gruling professional certification exams. I read Shanahan's book to motivate and inspire me to do all that I could to pass the exam before I begin to study.

One phrase in his book sticks out in my mind:

Preparation + Desire + Work Ethic = Luck

I read this quote evey morning before work and every time I start my study. I have this on my review materials and I remember it as I prepare.

I am a huge fan of the Denver Broncos and of Shanahan. Later this year when I pass the exam I will send him a letter thanking him for the motivation. ... Read more


90. The War Journal of Major Damon "Rocky" Gause: The Firsthand Account of One of the Greatest Escapes of World War II
by Damon Gause, Dick Hill
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1567404669
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

One of the most extraordinary tales of American military history -- the true, firsthand account of a World War II soldier's escape from the Bataan Death March in the Philippines, across the enemy-held Pacific in a leaky boat, to freedom in Australia.

Immediately following his return to safety, Major Gause wrote his gripping memoir using his notes from the battered ship's log and the handmade diary he kept throughout the journey. His account begins with the siege of Manila, where the young Army Air Corps pilot was stationed, and the eventual fall of the Philippines into Japanese hands. Along with 70,000 other American and Filipino soldiers, Gause was captured by the Japanese and destined to walk what would later go down in history as the Bataan Death march.

In the first of many amazing feats, he managed to escape, then swam three miles through shark-infested waters to the rock island fortress of Corregidor. When Corregidor fell, Gause and two Filipinos escaped during the night and continued on a ten-mile trek across the water to reach Luzon Island. Island-hopping for two months, Gause was sheltered and moved about by several Filipino families, always staying one step ahead of enemy patrols. On the island of Mindoro, he met a fellow American escapee, Captain Osborne, who was also determined to make it to safety. Osborne and Gause embarked on a 3,200 mile journey to Australia, and to freedom, in a twenty-foot wooden fishing boat. Along the way, they faced strafings from Japanese fighter planes, tropical storms, jagged coral reefs, and near starvation. Once there, Gause met General MacArthur, commander of the American armed forces in the Philippines, who had been ordered to regroup in Australia months before."Sir," he said simply, "Lt. Gause reports for duty from Corregidor!"

Vividly written with astonishing attention to detail and a surprising sense of humor, "The War Journal of Major Damon 'Rocky' Gause is impossible to put down. Accompanied by photographs taken during the voyage and an introduction and epilogue by Rocky's son, Damon L. Gause, this amazing document reveals a true American hero and pays tribute to the bravery of those who fought and died beside him. ... Read more

Reviews (31)

4-0 out of 5 stars Endless Journey
Overall, in my opinion, the book was very good. The characteristic that I liked most was that it was written in first person. It is the actual account in Gause's words of what happened. If the story had been fiction, it would not have been as enjoyable. It would have been unfair to all the brave soldiers who actually fought in the war to make up a story such as this. However, since the story was real, it gave me a lot of respect for everything that Gause had to go through. He was so brave and so determined. Many people never would have even thought of risking the 3,200-mile voyage to Australia. Gause never gave up, though, even when all hope seemed lost and it did not look like the trip could get any worse. Another characteristic that made the book enjoyable was that it was easy to read. The book used short sentences and simple words. Gause was writing everything in his log, so he did not need long elaborate sentences, or have the time to write them. The book also teaches many lessons. Whenever I look at a challenge that I'm facing, I will realize that maybe it really is not so bad after all. Chances are, I will not be running from the Japanese in a leaky boat like Gause was. The book helps me to put my own problems in perspective. Never, ever, give up. It also teaches the value of friendship. Without the support that Gause and Osborne gave to each other, they never would have made it to Australia. They had their disagreements, but they always managed to settle them. It was very important that they were able to communicate with each other. The book also it gave a real feel for how hard the journey was. There was not anything covering up the hardships. Many times Gause wrote about how bad the conditions were and how he had been overly optimistic right from the beginning. Nothing was done to try and "sugar-coat" the story. Gause was just telling it as it was.

5-0 out of 5 stars More than just a war story... it offers a wealth of lessons
I was seventeen when I joined the army during the Vietnam Era (I plead youth and insanity), and, after training at Fort Polk's 'Tiger Land' (Special Forces), I thought I was tough stuff. But, after reading what Major Damon Gause went through, I paled in comparison. This man dwarfs any other combat man (or woman) I have ever known. I doubt that even Rambo could have endured what this man experienced.

Damon Gause had the characteristics of Rambo: raw physical strength, mental toughness, the ability to withstand tremendous amounts of pain, discomfort, deprivation of food & water, toleration of the sight of gore and scores of gruesome deaths, plus one more - both he and the war he fought were real.

Beyond being a true warrior Damon Gause is also a very good writer. Most "journal" books have the prose of flour paste. This war journal is an exception. Gause brings you into the horrible moment of the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese. You feel the desperation, despair and dementia when the Japs took Corregidor. Continually through the book Gause praises the courage and loyalty of the Filipinos who fought with him and often helped him.

It would be easy to read this book as just an account of a courageous and extraordinary American solider whose feats of "heroism in action" awarded him the Distinguished Service Cross, but this book offers more. It offers a wealth of lessons that anyone could learn from, and apply to daily life.

Two truths that can sustain you in the 'valley of the shadow of death': believe in your cause and hold to your ideologies. In the words of Winston Churchill "Never, Never, Never Give Up". And, despise the thought of surrender. Retreat yes, surrender no. Fight on, even when it looks impossible to prevail. Remember, that of those that surrendered, they were starved and mistreated, often kicked or beaten, and many who fell were bayoneted. 7,000--10,000 died on the way in the Bataan Death March.

Other axioms that are applicable for living and prevailing even today are found throughout the book: develop partnerships, remember your destination and stay focused, camouflage your intentions when the adversary is around, risk trusting others to help you - they will. For those that can, have faith in God's ability to provide and protect you. And finally, when a passing enemy ship's canons are trained on you and your rickety little boat, display their flag, zealously wave and smile, shouting, "long live Japan", and perhaps you too will live. Remembering that their day will come; a day when they will stand on your battleship, with their heads bowed, in defeat. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating First-Person Account of War
Beautifully written and unpretentious, this book amazes and inspires! A classic World War II account!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great first-person WWII narrative
"The War Journal of Major Damon 'Rocky' Gause" is a well-told, exciting survival and escape story of World War II. Lieutenant (at the time of the events related in this book) Gause was a pilot stationed in the Phillipines when General MacArthur was ordered to retreat. His plane being destroyed, he fought with the American troops to the bitter end of the defeat of Corregidor, and through the kindness of the Filipinos and natives of the South Pacific, escaped via a 3,200 mile route to Australia.

This story may perhaps be the greatest survival and escape tale from World War II. It's full of close calls (a Japanese submarine surfacing next to their craft), thrills (a disguised Nazi officer trying to murder Gause and his companion, Lt. Osbourne, in their sleep), quirks (getting much-needed help from a leper colony) and hardships (their small wooden craft being thrown about in a storm). The book also has some truly touching moments--the kindness and loyalty of the Filipinos who were willing to aid Gause despite the risk, and the picture of Gause with his son, whom he saw for a mere few hours before his deployment and subsequent death in Europe in a training exercise.

The book is written simply (but is not a simple book), and not too politically correct (which I don't think Maj. Gause would care for being, anyway). The story flows well, and the foreward and afterword by Maj. Gause's son are well-done. The book would be improved by the inclusion of more maps showing their route and a timeline, and perhaps the reproduction of some of the original ship's log pages.

The book also has a prologue by Stephen Ambrose (whose imprimatur should promptly silence those questioning the credibility of the story).

1-0 out of 5 stars Incredible, yes...as in "not credible"
If half of this stuff actually happened, I would be the most surprised man on earth. I've read a great deal about WWII and this story smells like bologna to me. Had I approached the book as fiction I would have enjoyed it much more. Knowing that it was written as a first person account you aren't expecting Hemingway, but Gause managed to take exciting events and make them rather dull. ... Read more


91. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Zen Journals and Letters of Maura "Soshin" O'Halloran
by Maura O'Halloran, Mare Winningham
list price: $17.95
our price: $17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574530488
Catlog: Book (1996-12-01)
Publisher: Audio Literature
Sales Rank: 686630
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars zen with a heart
this book is one of my favorite books in my library . this diary of an irish american searcher of zen cuts to the heart. ive read the book and have the abridged book on tape. though the tape is a shorter version of the book mare winningham brings the words alive with an irish charm. this book gives an insiders look at the heart zen as it is practiced in a japenese zen monastery. it is not only eyeopening it is enduring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zen is eternal life!
A marvelous book from beginning to end. The utter unpretentiousness of Maura O'Halloran's rich spiritual journuey is a miracle to encounter. It's so difficult, at book's end, to take leave of this shining young person, this quiet buddha , but she strengthens us for the inevitable by teaching so pure, so real, so necessary, that the natural world of our own lives is changed forever, charged with her abiding and beholden to her example. Others here have stated well the 'content' one finds in these pages; I wish only to say thank you to Maura's wise and devoted family for making the effort to provide us with these journals and family letters. Her mother's Introduction, with its simple and moving veneration of her daughter's life, sets a loving compass for the journey ahead; her sister Elizabeth's drawings are clearly pulled from her own heart, and her brother's afterword together give us an infinitely deep understanding of the means behind the meaning of this extraordinary young woman's life's journey. This is a book of great hope, abundant humor, and sure grace for anyone who reads it. Abundant recommendation without reserve; read it and walk anew the paths of love.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Irish voice
What moves me very much is the lilting, playful, droll voice of Maura O'Halloran. You would imagine that the Irish character and the Buddhist tradition are poles apart. Maura's passion whirls them together in an instant.
This book is a good companion indeed.

5-0 out of 5 stars As simple as a....b.....c.............
This book is a lovely tale of a life well lived. It is told in simple, clear prose. These pages describe what it means to be fully alive to reality. Maura shares with us what Zen is all about as a lived experience, rather than some abstraction, which, I suppose, is the only way it can be demonstrated. The book is full of quiet, irreverent, good humor, which is one of the qualities of Zen if I understand it correctly.

Maura tells us a lot about Zen in this book. More importantly, she tells us in poetic prose what it means to be fully attentive and absorbed in the present. What I take from this book is that living a good life, after the fog has lifted, is as simple as a...b...c.......
I

1-0 out of 5 stars overstated
This is a book which reads more like a hagiography than a journal. Maura O'Hallaran's both time in training and understanding were, for want of better words; brief and comparatively small. She may well have been embarrassed by the book herself if alive today. ... Read more


92. The Warren Buffett Way, 2nd Edition
by ROBERT HAGSTROM
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739315692
Catlog: Book (2004-10-26)
Publisher: RH Audio Assets
Sales Rank: 233471
Average Customer Review: 3.96 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Simply the most important new stock book of the 1990s, to date. Buy it and read it." &mdash;Kenneth L. Fisher Forbes

The runaway bestseller&mdash;updated with new material included for the first time!

"The Warren Buffett Way outlines his career and presents examples of how his investment techniques and methods evolved and the important individuals in that process. It also details the key investment decisions that produced his unmatched record of performance." &mdash;from the Foreword by Peter S. Lynch Bestselling author, One Up on Wall Street and Beating the Street

". . . an extraordinarily useful account of the methods of an investor held by many to be the world's greatest." &mdash;The Wall Street Journal

"Robert Hagstrom presents an in-depth examination of Warren Buffett's strategies, and the 'how and why' behind his selection of each of the major securities that have contributed to his remarkable record of success. His 'homespun' wisdom and philosophy are also part of this comprehensive, interesting, and readable book." &mdash;John C. Bogle Chairman, The Vanguard Group

"It's first rate. Buffett gets a lot of attention for what he preaches, but nobody has described what he practices better than Hagstrom. Here is the lowdown on every major stock he ever bought and why he bought it. Fascinating. You could even try this at home." &mdash;John Rothchild Financial columnist Time magazine ... Read more

Reviews (45)

5-0 out of 5 stars Belongs on the list of all time investment classics.
Other reviewers have written that this book is undervalued and they are right. Right from the start Hagstrom gives us advice on the nature of the market. He then gives management tenants, how to value a business and all kinds of investment tenants. These tenents are so fundamental that its very difficult to see how investing can be done without them in one form or the other. This makes the book timeless. Numerous examples are given from real world cases of how these tenants are used. There is also an excellent appendix that gives examples of how a business is valued. This is very helpful. Some reviewers have criticized Hagstrom, saying that if the book is true, why isnt he rich? But this is not how information is to be judged. There are many books that contain solid gold advice, but there are few who master them. Buffett is among them. If one wants additional information on Buffets methods, I suggest reading "How to pick stocks like Warren Buffett" by Tim Vick. But The Warren Buffett Way is a classic and at the top of the heap.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the most popular investment reads
This book is for anyone whether you are trying to understand investing for the first time or an experienced investor refreshing yourself with the principles of fundamental analysis. Hagstrom answers all the questions of what makes Buffett one of the most successful investors of our time. He talks about Buffett's childhood as a boy ambitious to turn a profit in selling Coca Cola as well as his philosophy behind which he makes his decisions on buying a particular stock. The refreshing part about investing like Buffett is whether you buy millions of dollars worth of stock or just a few shares of stock, you can still use the same principles that Buffett uses in making a decision. The methods are straight-forward and bring common sense approach to picking stocks. In it you buy stocks as if you were buying groceries and not as if you were buying perfume. It is not even necessary to know any complicated formulae about how to determine the value of a stock although some elementary math is required. If you only had to pick one book to read about investing and burn all the other books I would recommend this book. It is more informative that many other textbooks out there read by college students filled with unnecessary math and financial theory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the read
Forget B-school, read this book. Seriously, a great introduction to value investing and the Buffett mentality of risk.

Hagstrom's analysis is very easy to read and understand... a book everyone should read.

5-0 out of 5 stars What if Mr. Market goes really crazy?
If you are reading this book just to be better informed, I think you will get your money's worth. I feel I got a five-star education. But if you are going to read it to make a decision to buy or not to buy Berkshire Hathaway, you should keep these two points in mind: First, almost everyone considers Warren Buffet to be the world's greatest investor. This special attribute of Mr. Buffet might be reflected in the price of Berkshire Hathaway stock. If Warren Buffet were no longer around, what would that do to Berkshire Hathaway? Hasn't Mr. Buffet's greatness built in a premium in Berkshire Hathaway stock?

Second, this book proves that Mr. Buffet beat Mr. Market most of the time under normal circumstances. In abnormal circumstances, Mr. Market could beat Mr. Buffet. Abnormal circumstances would exist if Mr. Market went into a long, deep depression (like he did in the 1930's and dropped in value by 90%). And could a second terrorist attack similar to 9/11 cause Mr. Market to panic and create abnormal circumstances in the economy?

No matter how good the company, Mr. Market can and will hurt the value of its stock. If there is another terrorist attack like 9/11, Mr. Market will panic and Coca Cola, Washington Post, GEICO, etc., would all suffer terribly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Once Again, Take It With A Grain of Salt
I am not Warren Edward Buffett. Unlike Mr. Buffett, who has the delightful headache of trying to figure out where to put his steadily growing billions, I am a non-investor, sitting on the sidelines, wondering what all the fuss is about. Like most readers of this book, I have been told incessantly to invest for retirement, and not knowing exactly how I should do so, I figured it might be a good idea to glean a few secrets from a proven successful investor. Hence, I read The Warren Buffett Way from cover to cover, hoping to learn a few things.

And what did I learn? I learned that I am not Warren Edward Buffett. Unlike Mr. Buffett, whose circle of associates includes all of the Beautiful People of Corporate America, I am surrounded by ordinary people, more than a few of whom are looking for a way to get rich quick. Whereas Mr. Buffett is patient and thoughtful with his investments, most of the people I encounter are thoughtless and reckless with their gambles. These two things, which I increasingly began to ponder as I read this book, distinguish me from the Oracle of Omaha, and quite possibly from most readers of this book.

The book consists of nine chapters, and is mostly historical in nature. It details many of Buffett's past exploits in the stock market, mostly the good moves but also some bad ones, and offers some of the principles guiding Mr. Buffett's stock investing strategy, grouped into three classes called Management, Financial and Market Tenets. The first four chapters of the book delve into the early history of Berkshire Hathaway, the key influences on Mr. Buffett which helped to shape his investment philosophy, Mr. Buffett's perspective on the financial markets, and the principles by which he goes about purchasing a business. The last five chapters of the book give example after example of some of Mr. Buffett's past stock moves, and tries to show his Tenets in action.

The style of the book is mostly active until the fifth chapter, whereupon it becomes plodding. The book is extremely repetitive at points, and as other reviewers have pointed out, key concepts are not fully explained up front, suggesting that the possible target audience for this book are those having a strong background in the general principles of economics and business.

In all honesty, I have previously encountered most of the content of this book in coursework or self-study. I previously read Mr. Hagstrom's The Warren Buffett Portfolio, and found the two books to be similar in some respects. That said, I still found this book to be very interesting and useful, primarily because it exposed me to an investment approach which utilizes these concepts in ways I had not previously considered. I also found it highly interesting on an anecdotal level, given that Mr. Buffett's investment career spans The Go-Go Years, The Nifty Fifty Stocks and the 80s and 90s Tech Stock Boom, and yet he never once participated in these tech-stock manias but handily outperformed tech stock investors nonetheless.

Like I said, I am not Warren Edward Buffett and I can not expect or even hope to do what he does, but that does not mean that I can not think like him. Even Mr. Buffett cautions the small investor in this regard, as there are things that he can do that none of little guys can do. Yet, he also has said that there are things the little guy can do that he can not do. That said, the book deserves to be read by any one lacking the ability to reason through the process of investing. However, readers at all levels should not stop with this book. Others have pointed out that one could get even more information straight from the horse's mouth- the Berkshire Hathaway website.

On the other hand, as this information details past moves for which the conditions surrounding them are most unlikely to come around again, I believe that the more astute reader looking to learn more should consult The Money Game by Adam Smith for a brief historical look at financial foolishness (albeit the late sixties but the resemblance to Right Now is striking), The Theory of Investment Value by John Burr Williams for Buffett's original basis for valuation, and The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham for a more detailed explanation of the concepts of margin of safety, intrinsic value, and the benefits associated with ignoring the market noise. These three books will help one learn how to reason through the investment problem, as this is the most important step, aside from finding smart people (as Mr. Smith admonishes forcefully in The Money Game and Buffett has consistently done) and thinking more but acting less (as Buffett has said- do a few things right and screw everything else). ... Read more


93. No Ordinary Time : Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II
by Doris Kearns Goodwin
list price: $25.00
our price: $15.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671534513
Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 178084
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the bestselling author of The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedysand Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream comes a compelling chronicle of a nation and its leaders during the period when modern America was created. Presenting an aspect of American history that has never been fully told, Doris Kearns Goodwin describes how the isolationist and divided United States of 1940 was unified under the extraordinary leadership of Franklin Roosevelt to become, only five years later, the preeminent economic and military power in the world.

Using diaries, interviews, and White House records of the president's and first lady's comings and goings, Goodwin paints a detailed, intimate portrait not only of the daily conduct of the presidency during wartime but of the Roosevelts themselves and their extraordinary constellation of friends, advisers, and family, many of whom lived with them in the White House.

Bringing to bear the tools of both history and biography, No Ordinary Time relates the unique story of how Franklin Roosevelt led the nation to victory against seemingly insurmountable odds and, with Eleanor's essential help, forever changed the fabric of American society. ... Read more

Reviews (80)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Unprecedented Account of the Roosevelts and Their Time
No Ordinary Time presents a compelling social history of both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the development of American society during the war years. Both are exposed for their flaws and both are extolled for their virtues. Doris Kearns Goodwin interweaves an impressive array of primary resource material in chronicalling international and domestic developments. For example, the emotional ups and downs of the Allied war effort are counterposed with excerpts from the diary of Nazi propaganda leader Joseph Goebbels. The progressive views and policies of the Roosevelt administration are aptly pitted with letters to the White House demonstrating the stubborn racism and apathy of many in WWII American society. In the end, Goodwin paints an illustrative picture of both the Roosevelts and their time -- with wonderful accounts of events and attitudes that will surprise a number of readers.

Because of Goodwin's approach, the book is equally valuable for what is says about the Roosevelts as what it says about American society during WWII. The Roosevelt marraige is displayed in all its beauty and ugliness. Goodwin aptly demonstrates the irony of the live of the Roosevelts: while they strove ceaselessly to improve the lives of every Amercian, they often manipulated and harmed the very people closest to them, especially each other.

At the same time, through splendid research and organization, Goodwin follows America's attitudes on such varied subjects as race, gender equality, labor relations, politics, and the war production effort. No item of domestic concern seems overlooked. In her portrayal of domestic developments, Goodwin chronicles the true beginning of modern American society. And once again, as with her descriptions of the Roosevelts, Goodwin does not hesitate to present American society in all its glory and shame. The wonders of American ingenuity and dedication are countered with the ugliness of the Japanese-American internments and racial biases.

Goodwin's account is simply a unique piece of history. While most authors would be unable to portray either the Roosevelts or American society in such brilliant detail, Goodwin pulls both off together in a seemless and impressive account. It is no wonder that this book won the Pulitzer Prize.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Portrait of FDR & Eleanor and Their Times!
Once again Doris Kearns Goodwin pulls the elusive hare from the historical hat! I have been a fan of hers since reading "Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream" well over twenty years ago, and after all this time and reading a number of her books, I never cease to wonder at her incredible creative abilities, at her sheer profundity with language, nuance, and always choosing the right word to cast her narrative into exactly the right mode and string the reader along the trail of her entertaining and informative story line. This time out she tackles the single most fascinating period of modern American history, those critical years between the onset of the Depression and the end of World War Two.

Here she has chosen to thread her way through both the public and private lives and times of the Roosevelts in the throes of their four successive administrations between 1932 and 1945, in the throes of what was undoubtedly the most momentous and critical period in modern American history. Her powerful prose style lends itself magnificently to the task at hand in terms of describing the principals and the social surround masterfully, and the reader is swept into the waves and eddies of the period, sitting in the catbird's seat as Goodwin describes both the intricacies of FDR's administration and their uneasy, unconventional, and unusual marriage. This is an extremely well researched, insightful and thoughtful study of two enormously complex people at the peaks of the intellectual, social, and political powers, in the midst of a socio-political maelstrom of historical proportions.

As described by Goodwin, both Eleanor and FDR become figures of almost Biblical proportions; modern titans committed both to the nation as well as to each other. Yet these two were in many ways living separate lies, and one marvels and the degree of maturity, selflessness, and composure each had to face the issues of both their public and private obligations in the manner they apparently did. Her emerging portrait of FDR is that of a brilliant, charismatic, endlessly witty and wise patrician who steeled himself to the notion of "noblesse oblige", while Eleanor is painted in what is in many ways a much more sympathetic light, as a long-suffering, patient, loving and ultimately independent woman no longer content to stand quietly in the shadows.

This is a very comprehensive, compassionate, and compelling historical biography of the Roosevelts in the context of their times, and is an admirable addition to the growing body of scholarly yet popular works so many recently active American historians like Goodwin, Ambrose, David Kennedy, James Patterson, and Taylor Branch have contributed to our understanding of the United States in the 20th century. I really enjoyed reading this magnificent book by Ms. Goodwin, and recommend it for your history bookshelf. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars A good look at a fascinating partnership.
Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "No Ordinary Time" about FDR & Eleanor is a fine piece of writing that certainly belongs in anyone's American History library. Of course it is World History, but it is written from a very American perspective and thereby manages to relegate even Churchill to the wings.

There is a degree of nearly strident feminism in the writing, not quite what one would call shrill, but the author's sympathies seem to lean decidedly toward Mrs. Roosevelt, often based on issues of sexual inequality. To be fair, Ms. Kearns Goodwin is about as harsh in her handling of racial prejudice
and anti-semitism, both cases where FDR used Eleanor as a lightening rod.

What emerges is nonetheless what most sources reveal: he was the instinctive politician who happened to be in the right place at the right time to make magic happen while she was a tireless social activist more in tune with the masses than with any one person. He could bend his principles when needed (either for the greater good of the whole or on occasion for his own selfish indulgences) whereas she was quite rigid and nearly incapable of intimacy.

One can (or should) hardly judge them. It is enough to appreciate their complexity and their contrasts and to see how they played off one another so well. The real beauty of this book is that it allows us to do just that quite completely.

5-0 out of 5 stars the best biography
Doris Kearns Goodwin really took her time and wrote one of the best books I have ever read. She talked about Franklin and Eleanore and their influence on each other, as well as the support for each other they needed to get through WWII. I was born in 1960, and recognized many of the names in politics from my childhood, but the step by step process of the war and the thinking behind each step was just so educational for me. I chose this book for my Literature group last year, and everyone loved it. Most of the women lived through this time, and one was a nurse in the army at that time, and said this was a very accurate account, but also that she learned much more than was ever in the news. Just a great experience and definitely sparked great discussion fo hours!

1-0 out of 5 stars Roosevelt propaganda
FDR was the second worst president in U.S. history after Bill Clinton. He bankrupted the U.S. economy, he made us a socialist nation, and brainwashed us with filthy Soviet propaganda during World War II. Doris Kearns Goodwin is a Roosevelt worshipper. Steer clear of works like this and instead read John Flynn's "The Roosevelt Myth". ... Read more


94. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
list price: $32.95
our price: $32.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786103299
Catlog: Book (1992-05-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 539532
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Solzhenitsyn's first book, this economical, relentless novel is one of the most forceful artistic indictments of political oppression in the Stalin-era Soviet Union. The simply told story of a typical, grueling day of the titular character's life in a labor camp in Siberia, is a modern classic of Russian literature and quickly cemented Solzhenitsyn's international reputation upon publication in 1962. It is painfully apparent that Solzhenitsyn himself spent time in the gulags--he was imprisoned for nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory statements about Stalin in a letter to a friend. ... Read more

Reviews (121)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Well Written
A sad story about the pains of The Gulag, yet from what i have learned, Solzhenitsyn wasnt in the gulag when it was at its Most Evil Stage, so this account is basically how good it could have been, not how bad it could have been.
The Story is sad and gripping, with many charecters and tensions, only strange thing i noticed is, is how noone died in the book...A few recallations, but no actual deaths, just brutal treatinsg and evil actions.
This book is very good, andis well deserving of its name of Signet Classic, after all, with so much holocaust literature around, there should be literature about the Meat Grinder of History; The Gulag, claim from 10,000,000 - 40,000,000 Lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Offering By The Russian Master Of Modern Literature
I had to read this book in my Final Year at High School and now 25 years later I reread it and once again was impressed by the narrative. This book is beautifully translated and the reader is intruduced to Ivan, a Political Prisoner in a Siberian Labor Camp.Ivan has to endure illness, terrible food, appalling working conditions and the brutality he finds in other inmates. This book goes into such detail that one is easily led into thinking that all of this happened to him in the space of about one week instead of one typical day in his life.This book is a semi autobiographical account by the Master Of Modern Day Russian Literature, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.Read this book and you will get the chills and shivers as you are with Ivan working in the freezing snow.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Worst-Case Scenario
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a former inmate at a Soviet GULAG prison camp wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich as a controversial fictional account based on true facts of what life in a Russian prison camp was like in the time of Stalin.In it, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, and the rest of the 104th squad have to make it through the day without getting more prison time or getting locked up in the guardhouse.Not to mention they have to work to earn their meals.There is no exposition as Solzhenitsyn starts right out with rising action, introducing everything as the story goes on.The story reaches an exciting climax when Shukhov has to find a solution to a problem that could get him locked away.The story ends with him completing the day.

Solzhenitsyn is a literary genius.He didn't use the fact that he had been through the GULAG as an excuse; he merely incorporated it in to the book upgrading it from very good, to brilliant.His serious tone and in-depth account of the story made you feel like a "zek" yourself.He even swore at and insulted all the bad people.

I would recommend this book mostly to anyone who enjoys an in-depth third person story.However, I think anyone who has made it through elementary school could enjoy this book.It doesn't read like a play, where everything is introduced at the beginning, instead he only introduces things when they arrive on scene.Overall, I believe this controversial and powerful book does a masterful job of opening our eyes to the Stalinist reality.

4-0 out of 5 stars Required reading
It is difficult to imagine a more horrific ordeal than life in a Soviet prison camp as described by Solzhenitsyn in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.While classified as fiction, many millions of people really were sent to such camps and of those most perished.From this book, it is not hard to see why: little sleep, back-breaking labour, horrible food and intense psychological stress.That anyone could conceive a system so terrible, and then consign innocent people to it, testifies to the brutality inherent in Man.That anyone could live nine years under such conditions and survive to tell about it, as Solzhenitsyn himself did, testifies to the power of human endurance and faith.I recommend this book to everyone, especially those who find reason to admire or otherwise support our modern Socialist dictators in China, the Middle East and elsewhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars A literary and historical landmark


This small work helped wake the West to the long oppression of the Soviet Gulag. It would be followed years later by the author's major work describing that Gulga Archipalego in great detail. This work tells the story of one day in the life of a prisoner. But that one day in its dreariness and monotony, in its small battles for survival, tells the story of a whole world. The cold, the hunger, the sickness, the pain all are parts of the struggle. But the struggle with the world without, the oppression of the world without are only part of the prisoner's struggle. The struggle within himself in which he finds a kind of freedom which no one outside can take from him, is another theme of the play. The person who others might think of as least free is free in his soul. This is one of the great themes of Russian prison literature from Dostoevsky to Solzhenitzyn. This work asks the question of what true freedom is , and what the real meaning of our life and struggle is. It also historically is a step in and toward the demise of that vast prison called the Soviet Union. This is both a work of true literature then and an important historical document.



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95. The Kiss : A Memoir (Narrated by Kathryn Harrison)
by Kathryn Harrison
list price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559352612
Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
Publisher: Soundelux Audio Publishing
Sales Rank: 339961
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this extraordinary memoir, one of the best young writers in America today transforms into a work of art the darkest passage imaginable in a young woman's life: an obsessive love affair between father and daughter that began when Kathryn Harrison, twenty years old, was reunited with a parent whose absence had haunted her youth.

Exquisitely and hypnotically written, like a bold and terrifying dream, The Kiss is breathtaking in its honesty and in the power and beauty of its creation.A story both of taboo and of family complicity in breaking taboo, The Kiss is also about love -- about the most primal of love triangles, the one that ensnares a child between mother and father.
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Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars A startling story with a deep underlay of sorrow...
This 1997 memoir by Kathryn Harrison is the true story of her incestuous relationship with her father. Her parents were divorced and there had been little contact throughout her childhood, but she had always been obsessed with him. Then, after visiting her in college when she was 20, his kiss good-bye was passionate rather than fatherly. That was the beginning.

Ms. Harrison's writes in the present tense, with brief flashbacks and flash forwards, her language seemingly simple and yet poetic. Always, it is startling with a deep underlay of sorrow. The reader shares her turmoil, her guilt, her attraction to her father as well as her repulsion. She's a victim, although a willing one, anorexic, bulimic and sad.

I've read two of her other books, "Poison" and "The Binding Chair". I loved both of them. And now that I've read this memoir, I've come to know her more and understand the deep well of discomfort which is present in her writing. Now a wife and mother, and a writer of some renown, I admire the courage it took for her to write this book and come to terms with the demons of her past. A mere 207 pages of large print, this book can be easily read in one sitting. Like her other books, it's not a pleasant read but yet very worthwhile. I definitely recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive.
The subject matter of this book is incest, a difficult topic to absorb. No one wants to hear of a young child or young adult abused by one of the people they are programmed to trust the most. A story like this could be written as a tawdry tell all. It could be written in such a straighforward manner that one could be turned off before they can absorb the storyline in all it's pain and disillusionment. This book does not make any of those mistakes or any other mistake one could imagine. Harrison's story is hard to take in, not because of the incest, but really because of the pain of betrayal and loss of self that insues when incest occurs. Sex, childhood and innocence are beautiful and priceless. To lose those things is a tragedy, something difficult for most of us to take in. Harrison draws us into a story that many are too sensitive to hear. She does this with a talent few writers have. Its easy to write a romance novel, its hard to write a romance novel between a daughter and her father. And, of course, its alward hard to write so well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Caught On Sale-And Loved It
Though it is deeply desturbing, it is reality in every sense of the word. Written in truth and honesty it will grip your heart tightly and make your emotions come alive. Well worth the time to listen if you buy the audio. The story line speaks in similarity to that of Nightmares Echo (book) and a bit like Lost Boy (also in book format). All excellent courageous reads

5-0 out of 5 stars packs a whollop
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I'd heard Harrison interviewed about it, and the interview was interesting enough that I decided to read the book. Part of me was concerned it was a Rikki Lake show wanabee, some fifteen minutes of fame kinda thing. No, though; it's a well-written and shocking read.

It's a page-turner--I, not a particularly fast reader, finished it over the course of two weekdays. I reached a point in the memoir where I knew I would have to finish it in that sitting.

It's difficult to explain, but the subject matter is very carefully handled. While one might imagine her own experience might validate a graphic treatment of the topic, Harrison conveys the tale in such a way as to avoid sensationalism; I grew more squeamish in the "good parts" of Lolita than at any time in this book.

The prose is stark and beautiful. No words are squandered. Her use of the present tense is riveting; her story is a tragedy, but you get the feeling she's dealt with it, put it behind her with this book, that she is not ruined for life by the rough start she had.

One of the most meaningful things about this memoir is that truth is stranger than fiction. It's unbelievable as the "affair" develops--you simply can't imagine anyone ever being so dreadful as her father is. I'm a fairly worldly person living in San Francisco, and I sat in my house alone, turning pages with my mouth wide open, occasionally exclaiming to no one... the book is a great ride and it gives you a frank view of more than the incest taboo.

3-0 out of 5 stars French Kisses
I did enjoy this book don't misunderstand. I read it one day. She writes flowery and passionate. Huge subject matter she tackles with a deep longing and sadness. "...one Kiss. An instant, seemingly discrete and isolated in time, yet paradoxically so, for the kiss has grown. It is like a vast, glittering wall between me and everything else.." I love every character in this complex novel. I just didn't love it enough to read her other works. In all a cleansing novel for a girl a bit too apologetic for her experiences. ... Read more


96. Measure of a Man, The : A Spiritual Autobiography
by Sidney Poitier
list price: $32.95
our price: $21.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694521965
Catlog: Book (2000-04)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 583366
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this luminous memoir, a true American icon looks back on his celebrated life and career.  His body of work is arguable the most morally significant in cinematic history, and the power and influence of that work are indicative of the character of the man behind the many storied roles.  Here, Sidney Poitier explores these elements of character and personal values to take his own measure - as a man, as a husband, and father, and as an actor.

Poitier was uncompromising as he pursued a personal and public life that would honor his upbringing and the invaluable legacy of his parents. Committed to the notion that what one does for a living articulates who one is, Poitier played only forceful and affecting characters who said something positive, useful, and lasting about the human condition.

Here, finally, is Poitier's own introspective look at what has informed his performances and his life. Poitier explores the nature of sacrifice and commitment, pride and humility, rage and forgiveness, and paying the price for artistic integrity. What emerges is a picture of a man seeking truth, passion, and balance in the face of limits--his own and the world's. A triumph of the spirit, The Measure of a Man captures the essential Poitier.

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Reviews (40)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful memoir by a great human being
In his autobiography, "Measure of a Man", Sidney Poitier talks about his failures as an actor, his struggles with life, and his encounters with nature. Poitier writes in a straight-forward style, making the book an enjoyable read. It's quite easy to get involved in Poitier's stories about his childhood skirmishes, his acting failures, and other sketches from his life, because he writes as if he were having a conversation with the reader. Poitier reflects on his past without sounding preachy. His tone has a sense of inquiry and wonder in it. A job well done by a fine human being.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book by a great actor...
I didn't know that Sidney Poitier had written a book until I saw the commercial for the "Oprah" show. I decided to tune in to see the interview, and found that Mr. Poitier was a very wise person. So, I decided to get the book, and I was not disappointed.

Poitier's prose is very much like a friend having a discussion with you over a cup of coffee -- more like a conversation with an intimate friend, rather than just a written record of his life and career. There is much wisdom here -- from his early beginnings on a small island in the Bahamas, he learned quite a bit about life and living. He has carried this knowledge throughout his life, and he now shares it with us.

It's hard to know a person just from the movies he makes. Mr. Poitier's body of work speaks volumes -- and so does this excellent book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Measure of a Man, a literary addition to Poitier's life
Sidney Poitier fans are not hard to come by and would thoroughly enjoy this book, seeing as how the tone of the book is exemplary of Poitier's signature calm and confident demeanor.

_The Measure of a Man_ is organized into eleven sections that take the reader sequentially through the main lessons of Poitier's life with insights by the author looking back. Each section contains several stories from Poitier's life, each flowing seamlessly into the next. For example, under the chapter title, 'Life in Black and White' Poitier recalls the Harlem, New York that he loved. He opens with the politics of the area, including the fact that blacks were expected to go into New York City to work, but once the day was over, they were expected to stay far away from downtown, which segways into Poitier recalling the great nightlife of Harlem which in turn leads to a story of a specific man who was able to stay in Harlem as a hot item for one week annually. The man saved his money all year to spend on himself and others in the city in seven days before returning to Poitier's home place, Cat Island. These examples, along with many others support the overall lesson of this section; that the author was faced with discrimination many times, but he did not accept it into his beliefs and was happier with himself and his lifestyle.

The highlight of the book for me was understanding how Poitier's beginnings and upbringing support the life of an actor so well. Poitier never comes out and states, "this is what happened when I was a kid and at this moment on stage I drew from it," rather it is left to the reader to make the connections which I rather enjoyed. Any aspiring actor or speaker can take note from Poitier's examples and apply them to their own situation.

Anyone faced with adversity can respect and draw strength from Poitier's firm beliefs that had to be proven over and over again. His upbringing comes in to play in this aspect because he was raised in the 1940s but was unaware of racial segregation for the majority of his childhood. Being raised on an island where everyone was black with the exception of two people was helpful for Poitier because he developed his sense of self without the concept of prejudice. When this was introduced to him in his early teens, Poitier was already developed enough to feel confident enough to reject bigotry.

I have read other reviews that found tones of "black anger" in Poitier's story and I have found none. I believe he tells his story from his point of view and it is a viewpoint of equality for all men and a view of high self-respect, containing no notable tones of "black anger."

Some less enjoyable moments of _The Measure of a Man_ are the times Poitier drops names like a novice at a networking luncheon. Anyone who writes an autobiography thinks enough of himself or his story that he expects others to be interested. Poitier, for the most part does this unpretentiously and without excessiveness. Unfortunately, that makes the few times he does preach all the more noticeable. When recalling a filming, an integral meeting, or a high stakes encounter, Poitier drops a lot of names. Reading through the lists five or six lines long full of names becomes a bit tedious.

Another aspect to be aware of is that where as this is a great book for anyone looking to know more about Poitier's career, but anyone questioning about his family or personal life will be disappointed.

Sidney Poitier's _The Measure of a Man_, published by Harper SanFransisco is the literary addition to Poitier's life, and is not to be missed by those who respect his work.

5-0 out of 5 stars review of measure
The measure of a man is a story of integrity and character,anyone who would like to know something about the true man Poitier is should read this selection, but not just who Poitier is but also anyone who's looking for questions about themselves. Questions of life discipline, integrity. I also recommend it to a person who is open to a broad band of religion and isn't set on one particular religion, but open to a broad christianity. Sidney tells us of religion, but he never tells us of a particular one or group he belongs to, instead he takes things from many religions and kind of lumps all of their values and aspects into one form of his own particular standards and beliefs, he takes us on a journey through time, the trials and tribulations of his own life. The book also tackles the very controversial issue of race and segregation, and breaking through the race barrier, through pure determination.

The book starts of with Sidney watching T.V. and not being able to find anything on the television. He's frustrated with the fact that there are 97 channels on the television, but nothing to watch on them. He says he starts to think of "...images of a time in my life when things were so much simpler, when my options for entertainment couldn't be counted on a scale from 1 to 97." From this point the rest of the book is a continual flashback, structured into main points of the authors life from growing up on Cat Island to making movies, and to dealing with international stardom, a journey through time if you will. Its written in a very conversational style of writing, making you believe that your sitting right in front of Poitier himself, watching him tell his story and interacting with him with either disbelief, joy, or laughter. The book is well written from front to back, and because of this and his conversational style of writing, the events he describes, his actions, his feelings and his thoughts, are greatly illustrated. After reading a measure, you don't just feel as if you meet a man, you feel as if you lived with a man, through his struggles and through his success.

I enjoyed the book thouroghly, he says in his introduction he didn't want to write a book about his life, instead he "wanted to write a book about life. Just life itself." I think he accomplishes this throughout his book. He doesn't make the focus on his particular life, instead he uses his life as an example to others. He doesn't make it a standard he makes it a lesson, for all to read and all to learn from. It's an intriguing tail of a man who came from nowhere and wasn't given anything or any special treatment, but fought his way to the top, all by himself. It is an inspiring tail of self determination and tells a story everyone can learn from.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mistakes are to be found in this book!
Poitier describes,in the picture section, the 1958 movie, The Defiant Ones, he made with Tony Curtis as being a 1966 film! And Guess Whose Coming To Dinner, a 1967 movie of Poitier's, is described as being a 1968 film. ... Read more


97. Cronkite Remembers
list price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743506324
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 436735
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No one is more identified with the great events of our times than the distinguished and highly honored former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite. For more than half a century, Cronkite was there celebrating America's greatest achievements, and helping the nation and world through some of the most difficult times in history.

In Walter Cronkite Remembers, Cronkite recounts the journey of his life and his extraordinary career in broadcasting He gives a vivid account of his early daysas a World War II correspondent at Normandy and Nuremberg. He retells the highlights of four decades spent behind the anchor desk at the CBS Evening News. When the United States landed on the moon, Cronkite brought us there and joined in a nation's patriotic astonishment. When Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, it was Cronkite who delivered the shocking news to the nation with compassion and empathy.

Using exceptional archival material, as well as intimate interviews at Cronkite's home, Cronkite Remembers takes us on a truly memorable odyssey through the great stories of our times. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars That's not the way it was -- there was more to it!
Don't confuse CRONKITE REMEMBERS with A REPORTER'S LIFE. The latter is a genuine memoir from TV's second greatest journalist (next to Edward R. Murrow). The former is a brief tape that breezes through events so quickly as to be wholly unsatisfying. Walter Cronkite has lived a long enough life and had a rich enough career to merit two autobiographies, but CRONKITE REMEMBERS is so superficially brief as to trivialize his career and the events he covered rather than add to our understanding of them. This isn't a terrible tape. It isn't unpleasant to listen to. I liked hearing Cronkite's voice, which I could only imagine while reading A REPORTER'S LIFE. But I was left wanting more - much, much more. That's why CRONKITE REMEMBERS merits a low rating. Skip this and get A REPORTER'S LIFE.

4-0 out of 5 stars And that's the way it is!
Walter Cronkite narrates his life, with comments from his friends and family. His life, however, is filled with special moments that make it very interesting. With humor and very personal opinions, he will take you from the day Kennedy was assassinated, to Russian bombs and Nazism, while at the same time providing insights about the American Presidents he met. In this narration, Cronkite shows a very human side, including comments about his mistakes while assessing news. I found this book very enjoyable to listen to, and if you have an interest in history, I think you will enjoy it too. Or as Cronkite would say: And that's the way it it! ... Read more


98. This Boy's Life: A Memoir
by Tobias Wolff
list price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559947632
Catlog: Book (1993-03-01)
Publisher: Harper Audio
Sales Rank: 309319
Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this unforgettable memoir of boyhood in the 1950s, we meet the young Toby Wolff, by turns tough and vulnerable, crafty and bumbling, and ultimately winning. Separated by divorce from his father and brother, Toby and his mother are constantly on the move. Between themselves they develop an almost telepathic trust that sees them through their wanderings from Florida to a small town in Washington State. Fighting for identity and self-respect against the unrelenting hostility of a new stepfather, Toby's growing up is at once poignant and comical. His various schemes--running away to Alaska, forging cheeks, and stealing cars--lead eventually to an act of outrageous self-invention that releases him into a new world of possibility.

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Reviews (108)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This Boy's Life is a memoir of a vulnerable childhood in the mid 1950's. Toby, the main character has had a life full of trouble and grief. His mother and father are divorced, leaving him with his mother, Rosemary, while his brother and father live in Connecticut. Toby and his mother are always on the go and through this Toby and his mother become very close. They are trying to become new people and escape Troy, Toby's abusive stepfather. "It was 1955 and we were driving from Florida to Utah, to get away from a man my mother was afraid of..."(Wolff 4). The book carries you through various troubles that Toby and his mother get involved with; Toby commits a few schemes of his own along with it. The book is a very good read for teenagers and adults can also take something away from this memoir too.
The majority of the book takes place in West Seattle in a low key community. "We lived in a boarding house...At Night if my mother wasn't to tired, we took walks around the neighborhood, stopping in front of different houses to consider them as candidates...the boarding house was full of old men and men who probably seemed old" (Wolff 37). Toby finds himself with a bad crowd of friends which gets him into trouble. He breaks cafeteria windows, nails some rich people's cars with eggs, and is just a thug when he is not around his mother. He is lost between his mother and the rest of the world.
I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers especially runs that have experienced some things like Toby such as abuse and always being on the go. The book draws you into many different situations that bring you to the heart of the moment. Although this book review may not be very convincing that this is a "must read", if you ever get to pick up the book you will be drawn to it in a snap of a finger.

4-0 out of 5 stars One Crazy Life
This Boy's Life
By Tobias Wolff. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989

If you ever thought your life or family was crazy, you must read "This Boy's Life," by Tobias Wolff. It is a memoir that is written in an eventful narrative format.
Jack Wolff is a boy who has one unusual life. He smokes, drinks, vandalizes, and steals. That is, however, until he is forced to move from Seattle to Chinook, with his new step-father, Dwight. Dwight turns out to be an abusive drunk, who will change Jack's life forever.
Rosemary, Jacks mom, is constantly in and out of depression. She meets Dwight and they get married less than 5 months later. Dwight has three kids of his one, two daughters and a son, who are all the complete opposite of Jack. Jack likes to go out and cause trouble, while Dwight's kids have been brought up in a very strict environment.
Jack and his mom desperately want to get away from Dwight's abusive behavior. However, once Dwight finds out they want to leave, he threatens Rosemary with her life. He says that if she ever left him he would slit her throat.
This is where the fun begins. Jack starts to think of many different ways to get away from Dwight. He comes up with some crazy but sometimes very well thought out ideas. One of his crazy ideas was to run away to Alaska with his best friend Arthur. Once they get to Alaska and set up a "camp" he plans on sending for his mom to come and live with him. Another plan is to go to a prep school in California by himself. Once he graduates from this prep school he wants to have his mom run away from Dwight and start a new life with her first husband, Jack's dad. However, these ideas are very hard to do and he never does run away to Alaska. When he tries to get into Hill he runs into many problems that seem unsolvable.
Though Jack's life is tough, he finds ways to be happy at times. However, will he ever get away from Dwight.
This book will keep you reading. Though it is not suspenseful, it is very eventful with Jack running into new things every turn of the way.

5-0 out of 5 stars ACCURATE TRUTH
<br /> (...)<br /> This is an accurately told book regarding the hard life that some children must go through. The lack of actually having a normal childhood. This is a great book, very emotional<br /> Also recommending: Nightmares Echo,Bastard Out Of Carolina,Running With Scissors<br /> <br />

5-0 out of 5 stars Tolstoy was right
For those who like the Tolstoy addage about "unhappy families," you'll want to read this stellar Tobias Wolff novel. Jack Wolff is a boy who has one unusual life. He smokes, drinks, vandalizes, and steals. That is, however, until he is forced to move from Seattle to Chinook, with his new step-father, Dwight. Dwight turns out to be an abusive drunk, who will change Jack's life forever. Full of twists and turns, this is one fascinating read and should not be overlooked. Would also recommend another great book I've come across: "The Bark of the Dogwood." Equally as entertaining

4-0 out of 5 stars Keemy's Opinon
I really enjoyed Reading this book.The reason i enjoyed this book is because of the pace and it helps my vocabulary.I imagine the characters as people I know them or are friends of mine.When I read I start to understand the problems the characters are going though and the problems their facing in life. I recomend this book to people because it is a wonderful book to read.If you read this book and you didn't like it wasn't for you.If you decide to read this book but ,you wasn't sure my review will help you understand that this is a good book.I promise to you that you will be disappointed if you read This Boy's Life. ... Read more


99. The Last Dive: A Father and Son's Fatal Descent into the Ocean's Depths
by Bernie Chowdhury, Kevin Conway
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 069452316X
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 424529
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What price would you pay for adventure and knowledge?

Chris and Chrissy Rouse, an experienced father and son suba diving team, hoped to achieve widespread recognition for their outstanding but controversial diving skills. Obsessed and ambitious, they sought to discover the secrets of a mysterious, undocumented World War II German U-boat that lay under 230 feet of water.

They paid the ultimate price in their quest for fame.

This gripping narrative recounts the Rouses' growing lust for what many consider the worlds most dangerous sport -- as well as for the cowboy culture of the deep diving community. Many friends wondered which would win out if it came down to a life or death diving situation: Chris's protective instincts, or Chrissy's desire to surpass his father's successes.

Author Bernie Chowdhury, an expert diver and a close friend of the Rouses', explores the thrill-seeking world of deep sea diving, including its legendary figures, most celebrated triumphs, and gruesome tragedies. By examining the diver's psychology through the complex father and son dynamic, Chowdhury illuminates the extreme sport diver's push toward and sometimes beyond the limits of human endurance.

Read by Kevin Conway.

... Read more

Reviews (103)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Divers and Those Interested
As a newly certified OW diver, I read this book on the recommendation of my instructor. I would say this is a must read for those with an interest in the world below the surface. Chowdhury does a good job at presenting an overview of diving from a diver's perspective, risk management, wreck and cave exploration, vignettes of the dive community, and a little bit of the story of Chris and Chrissy Rousse. The content of this non-fiction book gets 5 stars from me. The organization and writing style leave room for improvement. Good effort for authorship when one considers the fact that Chowdhury is a diver and not Dickens or Twain. For the diver, this book is an eye-opener. For the non-diver, this a volume of many entries into our world. This book is a gift I will pass onto any of my friends who are new to diving or have an interest in diving.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting yet disturbing I couldn't put it down
Bernie takes you on a trip with the Rouses. At the same time you learn some history of wreck diving and the people that (for better or worse) were involved. I was truly disturbed by the attitude of many of the wreck divers, especially one quick passage about a diver that let another die when he might have been able to save him. I also disagree with the philosophical statements, but I must admit, these were very few, two that I can think of. Overall it was an intriguing story, one that I couldn't put down. You feel as if you know some of the people when you are done and wish you could join them. If you are a diver READ THIS BOOK. Most accidents are diver error and reading of others might help you be better prepared. If you are not a diver but like adventure books you will enjoy this because you will feel like you are there.

4-0 out of 5 stars A diver's must-read
As a wreck diver and technical diver in training, I jumped at the opportunity to read The Last Diver. I could not put it down, partly because of the gripping narrative, and partly because I had done so many of the things writting about in the book. But unlike the divers in the book, I am not a cowboy and I am SAFETY all the way. The lesson of the book is that both recreational AND technical diving is still relatively safe as long as you obey the rules of the game. The divers who lost their lives in the book The Last Dive all violated the rules - big time. Do that, and sooner or later you are going to pay the price. Its a lesson that we all need to learn again, whether we are doing our first dive or our thousandth.

Dive safe,

D. Keith Lamb
Master Diver

4-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading
Essential reading for any budding deep or wreck diver. This book is not a technical diving manual, but rather an account of what not to do when you go diving. The book is well written and you will have difficulty in putting it down. Well worth the money and essential reading for any diver with intermediate experience.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hardcore divers must read - others would enjoy
Cave and wreck divers all over the world should read this book. Excellent story and well written. Even nondivers would enjoy this book. ... Read more


100. Testament of Youth (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics S.)
by Vera Brittain, Cheryl Campbell
list price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140861599
Catlog: Book (1996-05-01)
Publisher: Penguin Highbridge (Aud)
Sales Rank: 1009548
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiring, heartbreaking, unforgettable book.
Vera Brittain is not always easy to like. She's frequently disagreeable, usually opinionated, always challenging. But she also has more courage, strength and vision than most people you will ever encounter. As part of the first generation of women to achieve a university education in England, she put her studies aside to volunteer as a nurse on the front lines of World War I. This seminal event in world history profoundly altered her philosophy as she suffered the heartbreak of losing the two men she loved most in the world. Her triumph over tragedy should be inspiring to anyone who has ever lost a loved one, as she turned her grief and anger at the war into a lifelong committment to the cause of pacifism. Brittain is a beautiful writer with a sharp wit and an incisive mind. Her portrayal of the brutality of war and the tragic consequences of "God and country before all" makes for perhaps the most powerful anti-war book ever created. This is not only a testament to youth, but also to the courage and resiliancy of the human spirit.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully moving personal account life during WW1
This book by Vera Brittain is one of the most moving that I have read. Written as an account of the experiences of young men and women at the onset and during the First World War, it gives a particular insight which is different from, but equally absorbing as, those accounts, so often understated, of soldiers who fought in the trenches during the conflict. To be more accurate, while she recounts the feelings and experiences of the men who were closest to her, hers is the only woman's viewpoint which is given in any depth - and, indeed, it is her personal account, given in such depth that it draws in and involves the reader in a way unlike any simple factual account of events. While it recounts in some detail her own work as a nurse in the war theatres, it is a story with as much muted romanticism as those of the Brontes or Jane Austen, and belies to a degree the orthodoxy of Vera Brittain's feminism. This is a book to be recommended without hesitation, for anyone interested in the period, but also as a timeless account of human endeavour, endurance and love.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this GREAT Book better known here in the States?!
Reading the first few pages of this extraordinary memoir convinces me that Vera Brittain was truly one of the great writers ever! In fact, it must be among the very greatest memoirs ever. So when I mention this book to friends, they without exception , have never heard of it! Granted it's about a war from long ago, starting 90 years ago, a horror that Vera B. looks at, and condemns with all her passionate genius. And there were hundreds of classics written at the time, written about this most senseless of wars, a slaughter worse than anyone could ever have predicted. But she describes with great compassion this nightmare, and its effect on herself and her generation. When you read about how her fiance is killed, it will be difficult not to put the book down, and do some serious thinking. And her nursing efforts aboard the SS Brittanica (later sunk by a German U-Boat) make a fine story as well. The book may be a bit dense, and overly literary, but it seems that during this era quoting poetry was a normal part of conversation, unlike today!.Anyway, give this book a chance and you'll be completed entranced by this incredible author!

5-0 out of 5 stars Gift Book
I first became aware of this author when I saw the PBS series of this book. Another reviewer was right, it should be a movie, instead it was a television series. I also had this book, then someone borrowed it and they lost it. I found a new copy at a garage sale and everytime I find a copy, I buy it as I am always giving them away as gifts telling people that they must read this book.My 16 year old daughter loves it also. It is well-written. As someone who taught high school history, I know how important having an interesting book dealing with history is when trying to get most teens to think about the past.. I also recommend reading Testiment of Friendship and Testament of Experience, the continuation of this story.

5-0 out of 5 stars it never ends
it has been a while since i have read this book, & i have to replace my lost copy, but, i still remember how unsparing it is.
i got it to learn more of what my maternal grandfather went through. several years ago, i learned from listing to john mccdermot's version of eric bogle's "and the band played waltzing matilda" my mum listened to it with me. i have never been able to listen to this song without at weeping or at least tearing up. as i wiped my eyes, my mum casually informed me that her da had miraculously survived gallipolli! knowing that fact let me on trying to find out about the nice little corner of hell known as the great war. (i am not a christian any longer, but, i retain a very real idea that hell is real, not a place you goto when you arn't a christian, but, a place we put each other in) this book is more important than ever, & i would like any person who is thinking war is glorious, or willing to rush in head first, it should be reqired reading. writing this on sept 11th, & as a person of whom some of their earliest memories are of watching the veitnam war on television, & who knows all too well the damage war does: (my paternal uncle jaime died in italy five weeks before ww2 ended) in memeory of the dead of all wars, the sept 11 victims, & the ones whose bodies lived, but their souls died. sometimes, i think the first two catagories are the lucky ones, to quote long john silver via robert louis stevenson. thank you, vera brittain. i hope that you are back with your finance, your brother, & his mates, young again, & i deeply hope that all of you are at peace now. (revised slightly on date indicated, but, written on the first anniversary of 9/11) ... Read more


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