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$17.13 $7.00 list($25.95)
121. Abraham : A Journey to the Heart
$6.20 list($12.00)
122. CHARACTER ABOVE ALL VOLUME 2:
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123. HERE WE GO AGAIN MY LIFE IN TELEVISION
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124. Blindsided : Lifting a Life Above
$16.95
125. The Seven Storey Mountain
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126. The Life and Works of Beethoven
$29.67 $29.54 list($44.95)
127. Callas: The Voice, The Story
$62.95 $39.66
128. You're Only As Good As Your Next
$63.00
129. Bird Watching: On Playing &
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130. Star Trek Movie Memories
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131. The Bridge Across Forever
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132. The Raft
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133. LINCOLN
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134. GOD I LOVE UNABR AUD CAS : A Lifetime
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135. William McKinley (American Presidents
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136. Tender at the Bone (Cassette)
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137. Portrait of an Artist : A Biography
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138. Bad Boy : A Memoir
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139. Lucky
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140. Me : Stories of My Life

121. Abraham : A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths
by Bruce Feiler
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060515368
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 267005
Average Customer Review: 3.57 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this timely, provocative, and uplifting journey, the bestselling author of Walking the Bible searches for the man at the heart of the world's three monotheistic religions -- and today's deadliest conflicts.

At a moment when the world is asking, “Can the religions get along?” one figure stands out as the shared ancestor of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. One man holds the key to our deepest fears -- and our possible reconciliation. Abraham.

Bruce Feiler set out on a personal quest to better understand our common patriarch. Traveling in war zones, climbing through caves and ancient shrines, and sitting down with the world's leading religious minds, Feiler uncovers fascinating, little-known details of the man who defines faith for half the world.

Both immediate and timeless, Abraham is a powerful, universal story, the first-ever interfaith portrait of the man God chose to be his partner. Thoughtful and inspiring, it offers a rare vision of hope that will redefine what we think about our neighbors, our future, and ourselves.

... Read more

Reviews (54)

4-0 out of 5 stars Expanded my understanding of this pivotal figure
I, like many evangelical believers, have always (unknowingly) viewed Abraham through Christian-colored glasses. This book expanded my vision, opening me up to views of Abraham that go beyond the simple biblical text. The depiction of Abraham in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), for example, was modified, shaped, and re-interpreted by Christians, Muslims, and even later Jews, often depending upon the situation at the time. The pivotal event of the Abraham story is the near-sacrifice of his favored son to God. Interestingly, to Jews and Christians, the favored son was Isaac, while Muslims hold Ishmael to be the favored son. Christians, of course, regard this event as a foreshadowing of Christ's sacrifice. Interestingly, Jewish rabbis after the time of Jesus interpreted the text to say that Abraham actually did slay Isaac, who later would return from the dead.

The different interpretations of the Abraham story lead the author to conclude that there are actually a multitude of "Abrahams" to fit different historical, political, and social situations. Indeed, Fieler makes a little too much of the fact that there is no archaeological evidence that Abraham ever existed. He doesn't take a hard-line position on Abraham's existence or non-existence, so I guess one could call him an "Abraham agnostic". His ultimate goal, to find common ground and possible reconciliation among the monotheistic religions on the basis of Abraham would have a very shaky foundation indeed if it was based on a mythical character.

This book is much more than a study of Abraham. It documents a personal journey by the author to the crucible where these great religions lead a frighteningly non-peaceful co-existence: the land of Israel. After reading of his encounters with various Jewish, Christian, and Muslim clerics, one sadly sees little hope for a full reconciliation. Of course, that should come as no surprise. But this little book can go a long way in cracking open the doors of understanding.

4-0 out of 5 stars Feiler Again Gives Readers Much Food for Thought
In late 2002, The Miami Book Fair was broadcast on C-Span. One segment had a panel which included Bruce Feiler. When I heard some of the titles of the books Feiler has written, particularly his book on the circus, I found him rather interesting, but wondered what he would have to say about his scriptural subjects. Well, all a person has to do is read his either WALKING THE BIBLE or ABRAHAM and one will quickly realize that Feiler gives the reader ample ways to look at faith and scripture.

In ABRAHAM, Feiler looks at the "father in faith" of three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and explores the ways each of the three faiths uses the story of Abraham. Feiler shows how each faith tradition uses the same basic story but interprets it in different ways. Feiler not only shows the different ways in which the Abraham story is interpreted, but also how these interpretations have often led to divisions as well. In light of the present world situation, Feiler's observations could be prophetic and could lead to a better understanding of that which decides so many.

The book is written from a perspective of faith, which is probably its greatest strength. Feiler has a great appreciation of scripture and seems to make a great effort at finding authorities on Abraham that are both experts and people of faith. For this reason, the book gives the reader a great deal to ponder. Readers also see that Feiler himself is journeying in his faith: he is both rediscovering the faith of his childhood and discovering a more vibrant mature faith. His ability to bring in his own experiences while not making the book about himself is admirable and allows the reader to become engaged in the book and perhaps see their own spiritual journey.

Readers should note that while this book is carefully researched, it is not a scholarly work and there are a few small errors in the book, but the errors are small and do not detract from the overall message of the book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Oh gosh -- the voice
This is a review of the audio book, not the book itself. It's hard for me to evaluate the book itself because Bruce Feiler's reading was rendered so horribly.

Memo to Bruce: Leave the reading to the professionals. Just because we can endure your voice for a few minutes on NPR does not mean we want to hear you for six hours on the audio book. Feiler has an odd, whiney voice that is painful to listen to. I don't recommend this audio book

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I picked this book up at a local store and read it while I had some down time between homework assignments. Feiler takes an ecumenical look at three faiths, Islam, Judaism and Christianity - starting with Abraham. Of note are the interviews Feiler performed with leading Islamic, Jewish and Christian scholars and holy men. While the book does not draw any really solid conclusions it is a good place to start when looking at the religions originating out of the Torah.

I am sure Muslims will take issue with how they are portrayed by a Jewish author, and Christians may tend to do the same. But, this does not mean it is not worth reading. A good place to start when having a conversation about faith with someone outside your own tradition is to find common ground. Feiler tries to do this in his book, and does it with some success.

Joseph Dworak

1-0 out of 5 stars Unfettered political correctness
Unfortunately, the author seems intent on re-inventing Abraham as some sort of ecumenical superstar. Abraham lived about 3,800 years ago -- many years before the advent of Christianity and Islam -- leaving the Jewish Abraham to exist for many hundreds of years as the original.

Who is the original Abraham? The one whom God promised, through Isaac, that he would be the forefather of a people chosen to receive God's law and inherit the Holy Land. Today, Abraham's name is being invoked to promote ethnic and religious agendas outside the pale of Judaism.

It's rather peculiar that the people who made the song Ana Bakra Isra'il (I Hate Israel) a hit, would profess to honor the partriach of the Jews. ... Read more


122. CHARACTER ABOVE ALL VOLUME 2: DAVID MCCULLOUGH ON (Character Above All)
by Bob Wilson
list price: $12.00
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Asin: 0671569090
Catlog: Book (1996-04-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 166596
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer David McCullough lends his unmistakable voice to the Character Above All audio series with a return to the man so memorably profiled in his towering #1 bestseller Truman.Recorded live at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, McCullough's presentation continues a series of lectures delivered by a team of acclaimed historians, biographers and journalists assembled by editor Robert Wilson to provide a forum for the exploration of the Presidential character.By sharing their insight into the Presidents they have studied and written about, these men and women can focus our attention on the impact of the Presidential character on leadership and the creation of trust.A master biographer speaking on the subject he has already brought to life for millions of readers and listeners, McCullough's discussion of Truman and his presidency confirms why Character Above All is incomparable audio, crackling with the energy and excitement of a great mind at work and the intellectual urgency befitting a topic of lasting national importance. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A tasty appetizer for David McCullough master work,
Truman. An entertaining one hour speech peppered with anecdotes covering the failures & successes of Truman. There may never have been a person to succeed to the president as unprepared & in such a time of national crises. We were about to invade Japan with perhaps two miilion men & 600,000 casualties. One thing he did know. He could not be Franklin Roosevelt. Nobody could be. He had to be Harry Turman. He knew himself, grew into the job & ranks as one of our near great presidents. Apparently the most important experience of his life was World WarI which he could have avoided in several ways. He found he was brave, he could lead men in adversity & he liked it. He had known disappointments, hated farming, failed as a businessman & was largely ignored as "The Senator from Pendergast." He was honest, stubborn to a fault, loyal, humble but most of all confident in his abilities. You get a flavor of all this in a much too short tape. Read McCullough's "Truman."

5-0 out of 5 stars A stirring example of character and leadership
This cassette should be compulsory listening for ALL leaders. I have heard it dozens of times and it never fails to keep me on track. McCullough's great voice speaking about the character of a great man has produced the finest short audio tape on leadership that I have ever heard. I bought several hundred copies and gave them to managers. Put the character traits of Truman into today's business world and what an improved world it will be. BUY THIS TAPE!! Listen to it many times. It will have a HUGE effect on your life. ... Read more


123. HERE WE GO AGAIN MY LIFE IN TELEVISION
by Betty White
list price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671529250
Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
Publisher: Audioworks
Sales Rank: 837843
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

America's queen of television shares her fascinating life story!

"Here is Betty White -- a woman who has been on television forever!" is generally how Betty White is introduced. And quite accurately, too, since she first appeared in 1949 when both she and television were rank beginners.

Since then, she has had one of the most amazing careers in TV, winning five Emmy awards, creating such unforgettable characters as Sue Ann Nivens and Rose Nylund, and appearing in a host of television classics from 1952's Life with Elizabeth to The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls.

Here We Go Again gives an overview of television's golden era, packed full of wonderful anecdotes about the many famous personalities with whom Betty has worked. It also gives a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at television over five decades, from her first show, Hollywood on Television which ran live five and a half hours a day six days a week (33 hours per week!), to Betty's current television work. In addition, she talks about her personal life -- how her hectic career caused strain in her relationships and how she finally found happiness with her third husband, the late talk show host Allen Ludden.

As warm and funny as its author, Here We Go Again will thrill her many fans and delight all of those who are interested in the history of America's most popular form of entertainment. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS BLAH
This book is light, easy reading, but really boring. Betty tells the story of her remarkable career but the book is lacking. Where is the dish? Where are the juicy parts? Betty writes as if it is one big happy press release. She likes everything and everybody. Everything is hunky-dorey. She never minded getting fired from jobs, she never minded being uprooted, she never minded long, tedious work hours. Betty drops names of some of the most famous people in the world and barely comments on them. She gives her meeting with the Queen Mother one sentence in the whole book! She was married to Allen Ludden for 18 years, but until she mentions this toward the end of the book, the reader doesn't even realize that all of their experiences took place over that length of time. She was best friends with Mary Tyler Moore and her husband Grant Tinker and although she tells of many anicdotes, nothing delves very deeply. Betty was on two classic TV shows of all times, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Golden Girls", yet she glosses over these experiences and doesn't go into any details about any of it. Apparently Betty's life experience is not able to fit into one book and trying to fit it in one book makes it all seem like an outline rather than a story. Readers will look for some juicy "Mary Tyler Moore Show" stories and some backstage gossip about "The Golden Girls", but they will not find that. They will get Betty's ramblings and squeeky clean attitude about not saying anything if you dont have anything nice to say.... apparently she had nothing nice to say so she glossed over much of her life. I really would have loved to know how she truly felt about her coworkers and how they interacted on and off stage. Some funny "blooper" moments would have been great and some real life gossip would make her seem more human. I love Betty White, I just didn't get all I thought I would from this book. But Betty truly is a Golden Girl, she has done it all ... Read more


124. Blindsided : Lifting a Life Above Illness: A Reluctant Memoir
by Richard Cohen
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
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Asin: 0060724137
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 341897
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Illness came calling when Richard M. Cohen was twenty-five years old. A young television news producer with expectations of a limitless future, his foreboding that his health was not quite right turned into the harsh reality that something was very wrong when diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For thirty years Cohen has done battle with MS only to be ambushed by two bouts of colon cancer at the end of the millennium. And yet, he has written a hopeful book about celebrating life and coping with chronic illness.

"Welcome to my world," writes Cohen, "where I carry around dreams, a few diseases, and the determination to live life my way."

Autobiographical at its roots, reportorial, and expansive, Blindsided explores the effects of illness on raising three children and on his relationship with wife, Meredith Vieira (host of ABC's The View and the syndicated Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?). Cohen tackles the nature of denial and resilience, the ins and outs of the struggle for emotional health, and the redemptive effects of a loving family. And while dealing with illness is not the way he chose to live his life, it did choose him.

... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Puts everything in perspective
"Anyone battling chronic illness understands the power of family support and even the groundless fear of being left," Richard Cohen says.

Cohen, whom I had never heard of before reading this book, puts everything in perspective in this eye-opening and introspectively candid look into not only his life, but that of his spouse Meredith Vieira and their 3 children. At times shocking, revealing, humorous, instructive, as well as cathartic, Blindsided makes for an incredibly refreshing read for anyone who has suffered through a chronic illness or hospitalization(such as myself) or who simply enjoys a profoundly uplifting memoir.

Cohen will surprise you with his surprising candor and dry humor. Especially amusing was his unbridled disdain for the ostensibly helpless light in which Ladies Home Journal cast him in after interviewing Meredith. Making him out to be a pitiful invalid and Meredith as the incessantly weeping caretaker was far from the truth, Richard says. As a true testament to his unwavering resolve, he has chosen to live his life to the fullest that he possibly can -- regardless of his medical limitations.

"Personal strength, in the end, wins out. My hope never dies. And, still, I call myself an optimist. I believe that in the end, my life will be better."

5-0 out of 5 stars I Did It My Way
After listening to the author's wife, Meredith Viera, on the Barbara Walters' interview, I purchased this book by Richard M. Cohen, a survivor of multiple sclerosis and colon cancer, because he deserves to be heard. He is strong through adversity. His wife is his best friend, his loyal partner, and obviously wants to share the inspiring story of her admiration for Richard Cohen and the strength of their family.

Mr. Cohen develops his "reluctant memoir" as he refers to his book, in a realistic way. All of us will face some sort of adversity at one time or another during our short time on this earth. Read this engrossing story in order to learn this man's coping mechanisms. He continues to deal with worsening symtoms of this disease, teach his children to be understanding and compassionate towards others, work constantly on being optimistic in the face of uncertainty about his medical conditions, and give his opinions and insights on just about everything.

The effects of this progressive disease on his wife and three children are told with honesty and concern. He is a skillful writer, an independent thinker, and discourages any sympathy one might have for him.

As I read this timely book through in just two sittings, I counted my blessings and gave thanks to our God for His peace which passes all understanding. None of us are promised a "rose garden" in this life, but we are promised a "Presence" to comfort us, if we ask. There is no mention in this book of a spiritual journey. I hope he writes another book with a mention of that type of journey as well as a thanks and a mention of all those who have assisted and encouraged him these past 3 decades - for without them, I doubt he could be the "overcomer" he daily strives to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars "When sorrows come, they come . . . in battalions."
Richard Cohen knows about sorrow as well as joy. When he was twenty-five, life seemed to have endless promise. He was an up-and-coming television news producer who felt physically fit and self-confident. One day, Cohen dropped a coffee pot, and he chalked it up to a clumsy moment. On another occasion, he was standing at a curb and he lost his balance for no apparent reason. He gave these symptoms little thought until his leg began to itch and Cohen realized that the outside of the skin on his leg was completely numb. After speaking with his father, a physician, Cohen learned that he has multiple sclerosis, a devastating and potentially crippling disease.

"Blindsided" is not just a story of sickness and physical deterioration. It is also a testament to the faith, love, and determination of a very special family. Cohen married Meredith Vieira after he was diagnosed with MS. They have three children whom they adore, and they have remained unified throughout many years of suffering and sacrifice. Besides his battle with MS, which has left him legally blind, Cohen has also survived two bouts of colon cancer.

Each day, Cohen lives with the knowledge that he will most likely never recover his strength, that he cannot work at the job he adores, and that his wife and children will see him growing weaker as the years pass. Yet, he chooses to fight back by doing his utmost to remain as strong as he can, and by setting an example of courage that is an inspiration to those who know him. Although Cohen's prose is not subtle or elegant, his story is compelling, unforgettable, and unflinchingly honest. After reading this powerful book, most readers will consider every day of good health to be a tremendous blessing that should never be taken for granted.

2-0 out of 5 stars Reluctant indeed
If I could ask Richard Cohen one question, it would be "Why did you write this book?" Because he is reluctant, and even while he wants to give the impression of being personal and honest, I get a feeling he's trying to do so while not giving too much away, or that he's talking around something. Maybe he was nagged to write a book about his experience to the point that he finally just wrote it to get everyone off his back. He's very angry person who seems to think that that's fine with his family, that they had worked it out and accept his hair- trigger temper as just a loveable quirk. I don't mind that he is angry about his illness. For once, someone does not get all gooey about illness, but just presents it as pain, obstacle, a waste of life force that Cohen would rather have spent on his career or family or anything else. And why not? I appreciate his rage, rage, rage against the dying of the light (literally, in his case). Not everyone can be ennobled by illness, and I'll bet it's actually a relief to many sufferers to learn they have a kindred soul in NOT being more than average and in hating their illness and what's been stolen from them. There are better, more eloquent books about what it's like to have illness ("Time on Fire," for one) interrupt your life, steal your time, youth, freedom, independence and love and patience. This book feels like it is a narration to which I'm missing the pictures -- Richard Cohen was in TV, after all, and is used to having the pictures do most of the talking. I don't "see" this book at all, feel like I'm being lectured at, and found Cohen to be a very hostile, unpleasant person to the point where, although I believe his resentment is justified, I didn't enjoy being around him during the time spent reading his book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Multiple sclerosis affected his body, emotions and future
Illness changed author Richard M. Cohen's life when he was only 25: it came in the form of multiple sclerosis and affected his body, emotions and future. Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness: A Reluctant Memoir (his resulting autobiography) sketches his confrontation with his condition, its effects on his family and his relationship with his wife, and his determination to lead a good life still filled with dreams. ... Read more


125. The Seven Storey Mountain
by Thomas Merton
list price: $16.95
our price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0944993389
Catlog: Book (1992-03-01)
Publisher: Audio Literature
Sales Rank: 267919
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In 1941, a brilliant, good-looking young man decided to give up a promising literary career in New York to enter a monastery in Kentucky, from where he proceeded to become one of the most influential writers of this century. Talk about losing your life in order to find it. Thomas Merton's first book, The Seven Storey Mountain, describes his early doubts, his conversion to a Catholic faith of extreme certainty, and his decision to take life vows as a Trappist. Although his conversionary piety sometimes falls into sticky-sweet abstractions, Merton's autobiographical reflections are mostly wise, humble, and concrete. The best reason to read The Seven Storey Mountain, however, may be the one Merton provided in his introduction to its Japanese translation: "I seek to speak to you, in some way, as your own self. Who can tell what this may mean? I myself do not know, but if you listen, things will be said that are perhaps not written in this book. And this will be due not to me but to the One who lives and speaks in both." --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

Reviews (68)

5-0 out of 5 stars Memoir of contemplative faith
Over the years I have, for some reason, developed a interest in the idea of a life in seclusion.I don't think I could ever actually do it since I am quite attached to life in the modern world.But still, I sometimes think that getting away from it all would be worth giving everything up.

Also, events over the past few years and the blurring of boundaries between religion and politics has lead me to do some reading on Christian writers who have a progressive (liberal) worldview.

Naturally, these two interests lead me right to Thomas Merton.The Seven Story Mountain is the first book of his that I have read and it has inspired me to read much more of his writings.I am not a very religious person and sometimes have a hard time not rolling my eyes at his professions of faith and statements.However, I know that everything he writes comes straight from his heart and that gives an emotional edge that allows readers like me to absorb it instead of skimming over it.

Sometime in the next couple of years, after I have read some of Merton's other writings, I am going to reread this book and I think it will have a much more profound impact on me.

Highly Recommended

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Work
This is a timeless masterpiece from a man who always seems to speak to me in ways that mere words could not.Father Merton takes the reader on a beautiful journey of faith and seeking God, ultimately leading to his ordination as a priest and the monastic life.I have found myself going back to this book from time to time, always seeming to come away with something new.This book has stood the test of time, as its words are as relative today as they were the day they were written.Highly, highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful and timeless
Merton's book offers refuge and sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Like the monastery to which he fled as a young man, this book is an island of peace and serenity in a world that often seems geared to over-stimulate us and make us forget what's truly important in life.

"The Seven Storey Mountain" describes Merton's life from birth to the beginning of his religious vocation as a Trappist monk. Along the way, the reader watches as Merton grows and develops, travelling across Europe, dabbling in Communism, educating himself at Oxford and, later, Columbia, seeking fame and fortune as a writer, and wondering at last if he might be called to the monastery.

Merton's true gift is an ability to describe his life while also transcending it. He writes not to explain his life, but to explain what he's learned about all life, about our relationships with each other and with God, about how we strive for spiritual development and how we sometimes fall short.

One major flaw with this book is its lack of frankness when dealing with Merton's college years. The book's vagueness about his decision to leave England and come to the U.S. leaves the reader wondering if Merton is making much ado about nothing. What many readers may not know is that Merton had gotten a girl pregnant and was told by his stepfather that he should leave the country and restart his education in the U.S. Years later, when writing the book, Merton had reportedly wanted to detail this episode of his life, but was overruled by members of his religious order. Because of this, the book suffers, and the uninformed reader loses some sense of the size of the mountains Merton climbed to reach his final destination.

In the end, though, flaws and all, this is still an indispensable book. It often seems to be speaking directly to the reader, offering insights and wisdom that linger long after the final page is turned.

4-0 out of 5 stars Literature, Theology, and Autobiography
Part literary analysis, part theological speculation, and largely spiritual autobiography, this 467 page tome is a much easier read than one might initially expect. There were times when, as a non-Catholic, I got bogged down in some of the particulars of the tradition, but much of the book has a universal appeal.The Seven Storey Mountain tells of Merton's journey from agnosticism to Catholicism, from self-absorbed young man to contemplative monk.The work is well enough written to have captured the imagination of countless readers, and it has even been translated into 20 languages.The Protestant reader may be either annoyed or amused (depending on his personality) by Merton's jabs at Protestantism.He does, however, have the magnanimity to frequently compliment Protestants for having "at least that much of religion."

5-0 out of 5 stars A Thought Provoking Christian Classic!
A true classic in Christian literature.The man was truly a saint and a sinner who knew his need of forgiveness.His life was shaped by many early experiences and he shares them openly in this extremely well-crafted autobiography.Deeply encouraging and inspiring, it left me wanting to read everything he ever wrote.A passionate, sensitive, and powerful autobiography. ... Read more


126. The Life and Works of Beethoven (Classic Literature with Classical Music)
by Jeremy Siepmann
list price: $26.98
our price: $17.81
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9626342153
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.
Sales Rank: 280633
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A study in genius with its blessings and drawbacks
Naxos is doing a wonderful job with its emerging "Life and Works" series. Quite some time ago, we had a Life/Works of Mozart, more recently one of Chopin and now two more, Liszt and Beethoven. Both are even better packaged than are the earlier sets, with a thick booklet that offers us essays on the historical background, the position of the composer in his time, a look at the major works, a listening plan, recommended readings, personalities, a calendar of the artist's life, a glossary, a discography--and finally something I thought I would never see, the text of the recording's narration. This booklet is worth the price of the set alone.

The Liszt set starts with the sound of artillery, the Beethoven with the sound of a cork popping. A good way to grab your attention, surely, but also to make you think they packaged the wrong disc in the jewel case!

Written and narrated by Jeremy Siepmann, the production enlists some excellent actors to play the people in the composer's life. In the "Beethoven" set (8.558024-27), we have Bob Peck as the usually tormented voice of Beethoven, who is joined by David Timson, Neville Jason, Elaine Claxton, and Karen Archer as the voices of Beethoven's friends, critics, and loves. The musical selections are drawn from the bottomless well of Naxos recordings.

As I commented with regard to the other sets, the music is well chosen but some of it simply lasts too long for those who are eager to get on to the facts of the composer's life. On the other hand, this IS called the Life and Works series, and perhaps a balance is to be maintained between the two aspects.

Beethoven's idiosyncrasies make a good comparison with those of Chopin, the former doing everything he could to call attention to himself, the latter withdrawn--but both acting like bloody fools in so many ways. Perhaps that is the price of genius. The tale of his "Immortal Beloved" is briefly treated here, but it is fascinating to follow his amores, which are invariably with women he could never hope to attain. The most surprising element is his early popularity as a Very Witty Person, an estimate he quickly lost when deafness came upon him.

Along with the other three sets, a both fascinating and informative recording.

Question: ... ... Read more


127. Callas: The Voice, The Story
by John Ardoin
list price: $44.95
our price: $29.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565112296
Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 239221
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The best parts of this bio are the interviews with Callas: you get a feeling for her emotions about events as they unfolded in her life. This is especially true close to the end of her life where the grief from her failed relationship with Onassis is so evident in her voice. Generous samples of Callas's key performances are also woven into the bio. I had never heard Callas sing so these samples were welcome and helpful in understanding Callas. (Her antics on the stage and behind the curtain are how you get to know Callas best. Not to mention that the samples allow you to witness firsthand the fiery, brave voice that made her famous). Overall, this was a strong, unconventional bio on a tragic heroine of the stage. I enjoyed it in its entirety. ... Read more


128. You're Only As Good As Your Next One: Library Edition
by Mike Medavoy
list price: $62.95
our price: $62.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786126299
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 708989
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Few Hollywood memoirs have offered as distinctive and candid a perspective on the film industry as producer and studio executive Mike Medavoy's You're Only As Good As Your Next One. Here is a deeply personal history of four decades in American film, told by a pivotal player in the creation of more than three hundred films -- or, as Medavoy distinguishes them, "one hundred great films, one hundred good films, and one hundred for which I should be shot." Included are eight Best Picture Oscar winners. On all of them, he knows the behind-the-scenes dramas, who got credit for whose achievements, and who didn't get credit but should have.

His ties to four major studios mirror the most fascinating chapters in American filmmaking. At United Artists, he and his partners were behind the creative revolution of the hot young directors of the 1970s, and they backed such seminal films as Apocalypse Now, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Rocky. At Orion Pictures, he backed such '80s smashes as Amadeus, The Terminator, Platoon, and The Silence of the Lambs. He navigated the '90s corporate culture at TriStar Pictures, green-lighting Philadelphia and Sleepless in Seattle. Now at his own Phoenix Pictures, the producer of such acclaimed works as The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Thin Red Line controls his destiny, but never strays far from controversy. Medavoy pulls no punches in telling his story of financial and political maneuvering, great triumphs and the inevitable disasters, and working with the industry's brightest star power including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Milos Forman, Jonathan Demme, Francis Coppola, John Milius, Terrence Malick, Kevin Costner, Tom Hanks, Jane Fonda, Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas, Meg Ryan, Dustin Hoffman, and countless others.

This is also the story of how movie studio buyouts have stymied the creative process and shaped the future of film. Gone is the hands-off golden age that spawned some of the most influential and successful films of our time. An eyewitness to Hollywood history in the making, Mike Medavoy gives a powerful and poignant view of the past and future of a world he knows intimately. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

1-0 out of 5 stars Did not like this book
This book was not compelling and the story of Mike Medavoy simply not interesting.It seems like his life has always been about himself.After all, he's married a half a dozen times, continues to cheat, has kids who are a mess and he is grotesque.So if you are going to learn form somebody read about Ted Turner, Jack Warner...Medavoy shouldn't have a book deal in the first place.This was a total waste of my time.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lacking
I didn't like this book.It was bloated and uninsightful.The writing was not particularly good either.This will end up in the $1 book bin.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pompus
I did not like this book.It was bloated.The author thinks he's Bill Clinton.He's just some guy who made a little money.I mean little because in the world he so dearly loves he is nothing but a secretary.I would love to hear from Sherry Lansing or Harvey Weinstein but Mike Medavoy.A joker.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Man of Substance and Stature
This most interesting memoir of the prominent producer and studio executivewas co-written by Josh Young, a free lance writer.I own the hardback of this volume and enjoyed the photo section which shows the author with various celebrities such as Bill Cinton who allowed him to sit in his desk chair when President of the USA.Mike and his wife, Irena, were guests of the Clintons to spend the night in the White House.Wonder if they got the Lincoln Room -- did he see the ghost or feel Lincoln's spirit?

In another was Robin Williams prior to winning an award for FISHER KING, one of his better films, more than ten years before his eerie role in ONE HOUR PHOTO (see my earlier review of this).A third was of the creative team behind MISSISSIPPI BURNING, which he considered the best film released by a studio in 1989.I agree.

Mike Medavoy put his distinctive mark on more than three hundred films including eight Best Picture Oscar winners.He says that putting together the elements of a film is a succession of best guesses.

Four film companies in which he was a mainstay were explained
in detail as: United Artists' Transamerica;
Sony's Tri Star, later changed to DreamWorks;
Orion, named after the 5-star constellaion in the winter skies.
These three consumed thirty years of his prolific career.
Phoenix: (his Independent company) the image was made out of the match strike from LAWRENCE OF ARABIA combined with the gong of the old J. Arthur Rank logo -- very impressive, similar to the bronze statuary of a phoenix at Belmont College in Nashville, TN

He chose that name not because it was rising from the ashes but simply because he liked the symbol, he says.Coming late in his career of working for others, it would seem that he and his career were indeed on the rise again.

One of his favorite sayings is "a sign of desperation is the desire to huddle in groups, escape thought, and talk about others."So, what else is new?

1-0 out of 5 stars Poorly Written
Sounds like a man who desperately needs to be accepted by those around him, who have far surpassed him in every way.This is a man who with all his things, his parties, his screenings, his speeches, has created very little.A sad character.The book is self-serving for his own library.It's something to show friends.Just another piece in the plastic armor.A man who if credit must be given probably is an overachiever.But has he personally ever put himself on the line for a film like Wendy Finerman did for Forrest Gump?From this book this guy sounds like he truly cares about himself.Throwing fundraisers so people say what a great guy he is.Nobody will think that after reading this book.Not worth the time.Read "You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again" instead. ... Read more


129. Bird Watching: On Playing & Coaching the Game I Love
by Larry Bird, Jackie Macmullan, Tom Stechschulte
list price: $63.00
our price: $63.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0788740768
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Sales Rank: 2122148
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Celtics Rule
I think that this book is good for those who are fans of the Boston Celtics and that of the NBA. This book is a biography; it has a little bit of everything. With a foreword by Pat Riley (Head Coach of the Miami Heat) the book could not more complete.

This book begins in a small town in Indiana. Larry Bird was a star basketball player for his high school and the rest of the state. Larry left high school to go to Indiana University on a full basketball scholarship and play for the one and only Bobby Knight. Larry was not on the campus very long before he became overwhelmed by the great amount of students. Larry would then leave the school and transfer to Indiana State University. After college Larry entered himself in to the NBA draft and was selected 6th overall by the Boston Celtics. ... Read more


130. Star Trek Movie Memories
by William Shatner, Chris Kreski
list price: $22.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694514802
Catlog: Book (1994-12-01)
Publisher: Harper Audio
Sales Rank: 701672
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The sequel to the bestselling Star Trek Memories, documenting in deliciously lurid and candid detail all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans in the making of the six Star Trek movies, with on-the-scene reporting from the set of the seventh in which...Kirk dies!

Star Trek Movie Memories recounts all the chaos, creative turmoil, backstage politics, power plays and production nightmares that permeated every one of the six Star Trek movies, including the accumulated grudges that haven't yet mellowed with the passage of time. And the stories... Nicholas Meyer writing the script for Star Trek II in twelve days... Kirstie Alley doing her Leonard Nimoy imitation in an audition... How Kirk's love interest in Star Trek IV began as a role for Eddie Murphy, and you can imagine the rest (or maybe not).

With stories and quotes from the principles that have never before been uttered in public, this will deliver a truly unprecedented behind-the-scenes view of the Trek films that will amaze even the most avid Trekker. And on top of it all, the hardcover will be published in time for the seventh film, which will present the perfect opportunity to tie the old crew and stars including Robert Wise, Ricardo Montalban, Christopher Lloyd, Christopher Plummer, Christian Slater to Patrick Stewart and the cast of The Next Generation. The torch will be passed, and William Shatner will tell us all about how it feels as his character is killed off in the film's finale. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars "Captain Kirk" recalls his theatrical "voyages"
Forever emblazoned in popular culture as the captain of TV's original "Star Trek", William Shatner, along with co-author Chris Kreski, takes the reader on a journey where "no man has gone before": that is, the soundstages of each of the seven films in which he was featured as the stalwart captain. From the first, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", to the transitional "Star Trek: Generations", Shatner reveals the backstage drama of film production. He debunks some misconceptions about his "arrogance" and makes apologies to those that may have been offended. The author also chronicles how the "suits" in the offices of Paramount made some budget changes that, no doubt, played an integral part in the failure of the Shatner-directed "Star Trek: The Final Frontier".

All in all, the book is a decent read for the true Trek fan; it's not one, however, that bodes well with the uninitiated.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another look behind the scenes
After seeing the movies, avid fans wish to know what happened behind the scenes during the making of the movie.Questions like who yelled at who often arise.However, as in the Star Trek Memories book before it, Bill Shatner does not dish out a lot of gossip or dirt on anyone.Here, he discusses what went into getting the various projects to begin with.Although this may not sound as exciting, I found myself turning pages, amazed that the films were actually made.Roddenberry was not happy with his treatment, and the studio did not appear to want to work with anyone.

For the personal touch, Shatner begins by telling the readers what he was doing before he received the call for the first Star Trek motion picture.From there, the stories tend to cover the people involved in writing the scripts, producing and directing the films, and getting the financing and actors.For this, Shatner provides ample quotes from interviews and letters from the members involved.As with the last book, he does interview Nimoy and Takei, but where are the comments from others?

A bit more personal is the information on Shatner's directing as well as his death scene in the crossover movie.Although sentimental, he does not overdo it.

I would highly recommend this book to Star Trek fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well written, if formulaic
The use of hackneyed phrases like "flash forward" aside, this is a well written and entertaining book.Some of the stories may be familiar from some of the dozens of other books on the subject, but for those unfamiliar with any of the behind the scenes books, this is probably a good first buy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as ST Memories, but still very entertaining
Star Trek Memories was one of the most pleasant surprises of my reading career.William Shatner is a surprisingly good writer - the book was entertaining, fast flowing, fun, and occasionally very funny.

Thus, I was really looking forward to reading this book, Star Trek Movie Memories.While not as good as the original, it's still very enjoyable.Who cares if parts may be slightly exaggerated?Who cares if some cast members remember some events differently?Personal memoirs are fraught with inconsistencies, even when all the people involved really are telling the truth (as they remember it).This book relies mostly on these personal rememberances and is all the stronger for it.It's an personal and inside look at what the people involved think of Star Trek, rather than a definitive history.

The main problem is the narrow focus of the people participating.There is much less from the actors and much more from the business people.Shatner's main sources (other than his own memory) are Leonard Nimoy, Have Bennet, and Nick Meyers.All three of these people are producers/directors, not actors (except Nimoy, but most of his contributions are from the production side as well).Only George Takai of the "Other 4" cast members is interviewed, and only for the ST III chapter.Ricardo Montalban is the only "guest star" of note to be extensively quoted.Koenig and Doohan are not consulted, which is not surprising, considering their disdain for Shatner, but neither is Nichols, whose interview figured prominently in the first memoir, nor Kelley.

Within the confines of this limitation, however, it's a pretty good book.It's fascinating to hear stories about script and budgetary confrontations, ego battles between top men, and clashes between Roddenberry and the studio.Unfortunately, Roddenberry comes out short in this memoir, probably because he had passed away and could not give his side of the story.Shatner pulls no punches (how many defamation suits were considered, I wonder?), and even criticises himself at times.While it's true he defends the dreadful fifth movie (i.e. the one he directed), he admits it's not as good as the others.I think anyone interested in Star Trek will thoroughly enjoy this book, even if you're more willing to believe someone else's side of the stories presented herein.It's fun, entertaining, and very interesting.

3-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good...
I saw this book in the bargain bin at the local Borders bookstore and being a fan of the original Star Trek movies, I couldn't resist it.Would this be a huge ego-trip recounting (and inventing) all of William Shatner's triumphs at the expense of his cast-mates?Would he spend too much time talking about his own brilliance instead of the input of the writers and directors?Would I hurl the book against the wall in disgust, vowing never to read another Star Trek autobiography again?Surprisingly, the answer to all of these questions was "no".

From his reputation I never thought I would say this, but Shatner really does not talk about himself enough in this book.I'll wait a moment while you digest this fact.The bulk of the book is spent describing the relationship between the writers and the directors, the producers and the writers, the producers and the directors, the producers and the studio, the writers and the studio, and everyone and Gene Roddenberry.Since Shatner was never involved in any of these early negotiations (with the exception of Star Trek 5) quite a lot of the story is told by large quotations of the people involved.This leads to a somewhat balanced, though occasionally dry, representation of all that goes on behind the scenes of a multi-million dollar movie franchise.Fortunately the stories of the back-stabbing and double-dealing are wildly entertaining in their own right, so the book doesn't suffer much as a result of this.

There aren't a lot of amusing or entertaining anecdotes here nor is there much of anything resembling personal remembrances.At times, one has to stop and remember that this was actually written by someone who was part of the cast and not some random Trek fan doing research and interviews.There are some nice touches here and there, such as his description of trying to patch things up with James Doohan and Walter Koenig on the set of the Generations film, and discussing the patch of unemployment that he went through immediately after the cancellation of the Star Trek TV series.The book would have been far better with more of these stories; however, it is an ultimately enjoyable read as it is. ... Read more


131. The Bridge Across Forever
list price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559273046
Catlog: Book (1994-08-15)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 615655
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Bestselling author Richard Bach explores the meaning of fate and soul mates in this modern-day fairytale based on his real-life relationship with actor Leslie Parrish. "This is a story about a knight who was dying, and the princess who saved his life," Bach writes in his opening greeting. "It's a story about beauty and beasts and spells and fortresses, about death-powers that seem and life-powers that are." Yes, it is all that, and more. On the earthly plane this is about the riveting love affair between two fully human people who are willing to explore time travel and other dimensions together even as they grapple with the earthly struggles of intimacy, commitment, smothering, and whose turn it is to cook. Their love affair and happy ending inspired many enthusiastic fans. Years later, some of these fans were devastated to discover that this match made in heaven didn't manage to stick (the couple are no longer together). But in an Amazon interview, Bach explains that lovers don't have to stay married forever to be lifetime soul mates. Read this as a lesson about love's enchantments and possibilities, but don't count on this book to keep you and your mate on the bridge across forever. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Reviews (114)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bach's underlying philosophy makes you think about life
Light reading with a heavy message....brilliant book!

The underlying philosophies: the love you are "searching for" may be right next to you; in love and life value a true friend as there are so few; be yourself in life and the happiness will follow; are all life's messages worth internalizing and using in life.

I recommend it highly for those confident enough to look in the mirror at themselves, their lives and truly evaluate all facets of their lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Philosphy is found here!
It doesnt matter that one is broken or whole, this book, The Bridge Across Forever, is something that everyone can learn from in their lives. It is hard to put into words for me, but I will try- Richard Bach's books had been one reason I don't belive in God or the bible. I think that religion and the such are for some people, but R.B. really helps you reflect on your own mind, causing you to use it effectively in your everyday life! You can look inside and find who you are, and then help others do the same after reading Bach's books! This is a must have for your personal library! I also recommend "Eternal Undying Love" by Brett Keane

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing: 'Do as I say, not as I do?'
I used to love Richard Bach's books -- 'Illusions' and 'JLS' were both wonderful and had a huge impact on me as a child.I even enjoyed this book when it first came out in hardcover -- I was an idealistic teenager (and much more forgiving).But now as a 30something woman, in repurchasing the paperback again recently, I was really surprised at how terribly Richard Bach comes off as a character in his own book -- he's simply awful.Narcissistic, rude, smug, complacent, womanizing, and frankly just a ginormous jerk who's way too proud of his own 'humility' and 'growth.' I could barely get through the book this time out, I was so appalled at his behavior.

As others have commented, I was however equally reminded of what an amazing person Leslie Parrish seems to be. What's sad to me in re-reading it this past year, with all my own illusions a bit more dented by adulthood (and with the knowledge that Bach left his beautiful and intelligent 'soulmate' after twenty years of marriage because she wanted to live a grownup life and he didn't), is how obvious it is that Bach didn't learn from his own story, his own lessons -- even while congratulating himself nonstop on his 'evolution'.

While I once bought a lot more of his books (and ideas) than I do now, with their pretty words and ideas and metaphors, the fact is that Bach is writing books on how to live when he has no idea how to do it himself.This is a man who left his first wife and six children without a backward glance, and womanizes his way through the next decade or two, finally (and undeservedly) ends up with a fantastic person in Leslie Parrish -- only to leave her as well and move along to the next young cutie.

So it's kind of creepy to know this, then to read 'Bridge' -- his big epiphany, his big learning experience -- and realize that the man barely mentions his kids at all. They just don't seem to exist to him.So in this book, for YEARS, he's flying planes, bedding women, spending money, yet he seems to have no ties at all to people, friends, family, children, loved ones, etc. beyond the often anonymous sex -- and using cutesy poetic Yoda-isms and smarmy New Age language to do so ('So beautiful, you are' etc), as if that will make the situations any less skeevy or manipulative.

I know many fans are angry at Bach for his seeming betrayal of the very 'soulmate' values he preached, and frankly I don't blame them. Not because I'm personally invested in celebrity relationships (LOL), but because I really do feel that if he is putting himself out there as a character, saying, 'Learn from me, live like me,' that he should be willing to put his money where his mouth is. In other words, if as he later admitted in an interview that 'everything in [Bridge Across Forever] might be wrong,' then maybe we shouldn't buy it at all.(Note: Ironically, it's evident from Parrish's very moving and poignant early goodbye letter to Bach, mid-book, that she herself had already learned all those lessons.So skip this drivel on soulmates and save your dollars for when Leslie finally writes a book. At least it would be written by someone who did what they said, and practiced what they preached.)

Sorry to rant. But even a cursory review of this man's life reveals that Bach's love of flight begins to look a lot less like a metaphor than fact, and is nothing people should learn from:He seems to leave everything he loves eventually, even while constantly preaching treacly 'soulmate' and 'eternal love' concepts at us to get our cash. It's very sad to me. I once took this book very literally -- now I realize the one person who needed to learn from its lessons was the author himself.Sad to hear he didn't.

3-0 out of 5 stars Bargain-Basement Romanticism: A Love Story
This is the sort of novel Richard Rorty might write if he weren't so bright; for Bach adumbrates, in popular form, some of the same romantic polytheism, trendy Prometheanism, egoism, etc., that has been developing in Rorty (and in our culture) for decades.The novel is bad for divers reasons: its ideas are adolescent, the plot is visibly idealized; indeed Bach's folly in the first half of the book is a "straw man" to be knocked down all too easily in the second half.Bach's self-absorption, his selfishness: who can take them seriously?Probably too many.Withal, Bach, in the end, is a self-rightous purveyor of cultish nonsense.Astral projection, immortality.Indeed.Bach's only saving grace is that for a while he listens to the sane voice of Leslie; and we may take a modicum of comfort in this temporary--he's always GROWING, you know!--rapprochement.Very convenient, too, that children are never mentioned in all this soul-mate blather!

1-0 out of 5 stars Sacchirine, Self-absorbed and Trite
Like several other reviewers in this forum, I found this to be one of the most annoying, inspid, flakey books I've ever read.I too picked it up as it came much too highly recommended by a good friend.I loved Jonathon Livingston Seagull when I was just a kid but alas, it seems as though Richard Bach still hasn't grown up while the rest of us have.The character of Leslie Parrish nailed it with the long letter she wrote him and he would have done well to heed her words of warning.He has to be one of the most self-absorbed, confused, cloying lotharios in literature.I too found myself skimming through entire sections combing for the meat of the story, which is simply about the relationship he was constantly threatening to undermine with the much more enlightened Ms. Parrish.Underneath it all I kept thinking that while on the surface Mr. Bach was talking about silly astral projection and such, he must have been going to sleep at night thinking what a real ladies man he was.There was this sense of him feeling very sanctimonious and superior about himself and his views.Awful stuff.The story doesn't actually begin until Chapter 30 with Leslie's poignant letter to him, skip all the pseudo-spirituality and overly-long airplane tangents at the beginning of the book if you can.All along the way, Mr. Bach consistantly breaks one of the cardinal rules of writing over and over again: "show, don't tell".In any case, Richard Bach never got out of playing house and make-believe with the much more realistic, giving and pragmatic Leslie, what a loss.I've never in my life not finished a book but with three more chapters to go I finally had to pitch the book in the trash lest itsomehow jump off on me like an unwanted strain of intellectual bacteria.I want to believe that soulmates are out there but Bach's book didn't do it for me.Is it any wonder his marriage to the woman ended in divorce?This is not the kind of destiny I welcome.I hope this man will someday mature and write another book that will convince us.Eventually I found my solace in the love story of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, which was like spending time with a dear, old friend. ... Read more


132. The Raft
by Robert Trumbell
list price: $40.00
our price: $40.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786199326
Catlog: Book (2000-01-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 834625
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clearly written, gripping story
This is an account of 3 crewmembers of a ditched bomber surviving for 34 days in a very small, ill-equipped raft.The story is interesting enough to tell itself, so I felt that the straightforward writing style was quite appropriate.

Although the book was actually written by a journalist, it is written in the first person as if the pilot, Harold Dixon, were telling the tale.

The events occurred in early 1942, and the book was also published in 1942.The edition I read was the original, and did not mentionJohn M. Waters anywhere, so I don't know why his name is listed as an author in the 1992 reprint.

The fact that this book was written shortly after Pearl Harbor is borne home by the fact that there are several details (such as the location of the island where they washed up) that the author omits "for reasons of national security".Also, the jacket of the original 1942 edition says "When you have finished reading this book, don't just place it on a shelf.Our men need books as well as guns.Books build morale.Send this book today.Average book requires 6 cents postage."They give the address of the 4th Corps Area Headquarters in Atlanta.

If you enjoy this sort of tale, you'll probably also like "Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost at Sea", by Steve Callahan, a bit more philosophical account of his more recent lone ordeal in the Atlantic.

4-0 out of 5 stars I'm reliving my youth with this one.
I first read it in junior high school 35 years ago. Took me about two seatings to read it . Very engrossing for a seventh grader.
It is a straight ahead narrative about three ordinary but resourcefull sailors whose plane went down & they were marooned in a rubber raft on the vast ocean during World WarII. They fought off starvation, heat, boredom & all the dangers the ocean affords.Boys will like it even though it doesn't have the violence of most war stories. Tom Parker delivers the telling in a good tight reading style that captures the tone of the story with out adding or detracting from the natural drama. Easy to stay with on a long drive.

5-0 out of 5 stars As much fun as you can have, and still survive.
My ten year-old son and I looked forward to story time every night for three weeks until we finished this book.

The tale takes you from beginning to end, one day at a time.It traces the emotional and physical waves along with endless waves of challenges.Protection from the sun, wind, and storms, struggling for every drop of water and scrap of food, and overcoming the hopelessness of being adrift, day after day after day after day - it is sobering, but tremendously entertaining.

It was astonishing that these men were given little choice of survival gear.They had to make use of the few things they could grab from their sinking plane and the contents of their pockets.To read of the grief over their loss of a safety pin vividly punctuated the dire nature of their situation.Their ingenuity proved who is the "mother of invention" without a doubt.

The book was not stiff or sloppy, like many historical accounts of adventure (Kon Tiki comes to mind).It was also a good discussion starter for topics like teamwork, values, and God.

Fighting the earth to save your frail, floating, flesh is a timeless story line. There are no human villians, moral complexity, or social considerations outside of their bobbing 8-foot raft.It's a classic.

Check it out, or buy a copy for yourself, your kids, and generations to come.

...

3-0 out of 5 stars Amazing story about the human spirit
From a literary perspective, as tales of survival go, this one is not on top of my list.There's something missing to the story.Maybe it is the fact that the dramatic element is not there (after all, this is a transcript of conversations that the author had with one of the men).The result is that this reads more like a dry account of what happened, instead of the thriller i was expecting.

In any event, it is amazing that these poor men were able to withstand the terrible conditions of their ordeal and live to tell.I was disappointed that only the officer received the medal, while the sailors simply got commendations.Well, the officer is the one who got them lost in the first place!

This would be a good book for a teenager, because it reads extremely fast (at a good pace, maybe 2 hours), and it tells a story of extreme adversity and resourcefulness, and there's many youngsters out there that could take heed.

4-0 out of 5 stars A counterpoint to John from Monrovia
A couple of things to consider:

As a 22-plus year Navy man, I beg to differ with some points;

1. Chief Harold Dixon was a 22-year Navy veteran, and nearly 20 years older than Tony Pastula and Gene Aldrich.

In those days, he would have referred to them as "boys" in either the vernacular, or because of his age difference, or that he held a senior rank.This used to be a term of friendship.

The "boys" became fast friends -- speaking from the 1942 version, what do you know that I don't about their later association (or lack of association with Chief Dixon)?

2. Dixon's navigation errors did lead to their ditching -- This has little to do with his credit for their survival.

He displayed leadership that led to his being awarded the Navy Cross, one of our country's highest honors.This was awarded not on his word, but with considerable input from his fellow survivors.The Navy does not give out the Navy Cross lightly.

3. I don't think he comes off any better than the other 2 Sailors, in regards his actions.He had 20 more years of experience and had nearly the same amount of leadership experience, but Tony and Gene acquitted themselves well.

The story remains one of the most powerful tales of survival ever told.I also highly recommend it!

John Bayer ... Read more


133. LINCOLN
by David Herbert Donald
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671536818
Catlog: Book (1995-11-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 110009
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The year's most important biography -- of a leader who still speaks to our times

In the bestselling tradition of Truman, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Herbert Donald offers a new classic in American history and biography -- a masterly account of how one man's extraordinary political acumen steered the Union to victory in the Civil War, and of how his soaring rhetoric gave meaning to that agonizing struggle for nationhood and equality.

Culminating his half-century of study of Lincoln and his times, Donald brilliantly traces Lincoln's rise from humble origins to the pinnacle of the presidency. He reveals the development of the future President's character and shows how Lincoln's enormous capacity for growth enabled one of the least experienced men ever elected to high office to become a giant in the annals of American politics. And he depicts a man who was basically passive by nature, yet ambitious enough to take enormous risks and overcome repeated defeats.

Much more than a political biography, Lincoln seats us behind the desk of a President who, was both a master of ambiguity and expediency and a great moral leader, as he makes the decisions that preserved the Union and shaped modern America. ... Read more

Reviews (65)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb account of 16th President
Recently, I picked up David Herbert Donald's biography of Abraham Lincoln for the second time in 4 years. I now realize that I was too young then to appreciate this superb account of the our 16th President. Inspired by a meeting with President Kennedy in whick JFK criticizes historians for judging presidents who must make decisions without the 20/20 hindsight of historians, Donald undertook to write this biography from Lincoln's perspective -- analyzing him and his decisions based upon only what Lincoln knew, believed, and sought to accomplish at the time. We see the great struggles of the mid-1800s completely through his eyes; thus, while Donald doesn't delve into what (I'm sure) are fascinating related subjects, like the details of the great military campaigns or internal Confederate politics, we do gain an insightful look into the life and character of America's greatest president.

I agree with other reviewers that while there is not enough of Lincoln's personal life -- at times I had to remind myself that the man even had kids! -- Donald still skillfully paints a portrait of an amazingly complex man. Fueled by a desire to escape the fate of his uneducated, unambitious father, Lincoln felt driven all of his life to succeed ; he felt pushed forward to a great destiny by God, or the "Doctrine of Neccsity",that was completely out of his control and would lead him safely down life's path. He was an incredibly charming man who could light up a room with his energy, but he also regularly plunged into a deep and dark depression. He was utterly self-confident and knew he was the equal of any man. Intitially a moderate who opposed abolishing slavery in the states, he slowly realized that either slavery would be destroyed, or the Union surely would be.

He was also a master politician. He sensed early on in the 1840s that the nation was on the brink of a new era and that the Whig party had to adapt to the changing times, or die. After his beloved Whig party disintegrated, he helped establish the IL Republican party and, after an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1858, triumphed over well-known and powerful opponents like William Seward and Salmon Chase to win the presidential nomination and election in 1860. Throughout his political career and his tenure as President he stuck to the center and walked a tightrope between the Conservatives and Radicals in his own party and the Peace Democrats in the other party. While unailingly honest, he understood the political value of ambiguity to cloud facts that he would admit only if forced. Finally, at the dawn of his second term, he had so outmaneuvered all of his opponents in the Congress, in the North, and in the South, that he stood as the unquestioned master of American politics -- not bad for a boy who had grown up in a log cabin with less than a year of formal schooling.

Doanld shows us Lincoln, the man and not merely the statue. Like the rest of us, he was a fallible human being who wasn't always sure that what he was doing was right but sure that he owed it to his country to serve it with honor and dignity in its hour of greatest peril. Donald makes it clear that we owe our country to this man, and one can't put down this book without agreeing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just the Facts
The author is a well-respected historian with a brace of books, many of them on politics in the Civil War era. Here he has written what is essentially a political life of Abraham Lincoln, and he shows us Lincoln the politician in great detail. To be sure, Lincoln's early years are here, and his stumbling love life, but to an extraordinary degree Lincoln was an ambitious man who saw that law and politics were to be his path, and he single-mindedly applied himself to becoming a lawyer, and to political work.

There is much of interest in this book, but it lacks the warmth and the narrative felicity that make a chronicle of a life really come alive. Throughout, Donald uses "Lincoln"-never "Abe" or even "Abraham". It's a small thing, but it contributes to the book's impersonal tone. Moreover, he almost never describes Abe Lincoln's feelings, and only occasionally touches on his personal life, such as his relations with Mary, or how he reacted to the deaths of his sons. Lincoln comes to seem a man almost independent of his environment-certainly indifferent to food or comfort, or, we suspect, love-who reserves his real passions for the machinations of politics. However, the author does make credible Lincoln's moral and political greatness; he just does not quite give us a feel for the man. It sounds like Donald's more recent book, "Lincoln at Home", could be the ideal companion volume to this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Account of A Complex and Interesting Man
Overall, I found Donald's account of Honest Abe to be a good one and I humbly offer what I thought were the good and bad points of this book:

Good:

1. The first couple of chapters describing Lincoln's early life were quite interesting and informative, from the strong relationship with his stepmother to the strained relationship with his father. Reading about his other early struggles and failures further impressed me with Lincoln's persistence and incredible tenacity.
2. Deep level of detail concerning certain points of his life, notably his early law practice, political career, and relationships with cabinet members. If you like this kind of information, then this book is right down your alley!
3. Interesting descriptions of his relationship with certain generals, notably George McClellan (aka "Young Napoleon"). I developed a greater appreciation of the military pressures Lincoln endured during the Civil War.

Bad:

1. The book's length - the text was right at 600 pages and at times proved to be a dry read. While interesting anecdotes were incorporated, the text often seemed to drag on with dry policy decisions. Granted, I am more interested in military affairs as opposed to politics. However, I still believe the book spent too much on the politics and not nearly enough on the military.
2. Personalization of Lincoln - as mentioned in other reviwes, I concur that the reader still misses the essence of Lincoln (What did he experience and how did he really feel about a policy issue or military action? How about more of his relationship with his wife and children?). While the reader is often told things like the incredible number of hours Lincoln put in while in the White House, the essence of Lincoln is left out.

Overall, I do believe the book is a worthwhile read - just be ready to spend plenty of time due to the large content!

Since this is the first comprehensive biography of Lincoln I have read, I cannot honestly compare it to other Lincoln biographers. However, I can say that I have read other biographies (Lee, Grant, etc.) of other famous Americans and I feel like I have gotten to know the person better instead of just knowing ABOUT the person.

Despite this, I still recommend the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Long and Often Hard to Keep up But Worth It!
I don't have much time to read as would like to so I read this book when I had time. It is well-crafted book. It offers the best biography of one of my favorite heroes. This book will give a clear view of Lincoln and his political life. Not much is written on his domestic life. For that you need to read the other book by David Herber Donald on Lincoln.

4-0 out of 5 stars LINCOLN
This is a very good place to start with Abraham Lincoln. However, I wouldn''t make it your only resource.
There are a lot of other great novels such as "We Are Lincoln Men" and a lot more others.
However, this one book covers a lot about Lincoln. ... Read more


134. GOD I LOVE UNABR AUD CAS : A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus
by Joni Eareckson Tada
list price: $39.99
our price: $26.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0310253144
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Zondervan
Sales Rank: 624320
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Silver Medallion award-winning memoir by Joni Eareckson Tada that captures her heart and thoughts by portraying her walk with God in the events, dialogues, memories, images, and scenes of her life. Read by Joni Eareckson Tada. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars This autobiography may be Tada's best work to date
For Joni Eareckson Tada's memoir to turn out to be anything less than stellar would be difficult to imagine. A long-time bestselling author with an amazing story and a highly successful ministry, Tada outdoes her remarkable record with an autobiography that may be her best book so far.

The basics of Tada's life are well-known in Christian circles. Reared in a Christian home, Joni Eareckson was planning to enter Western Maryland College in the fall of 1967. But a trip to a Chesapeake Bay beach in July of that year permanently changed her life. A "simple" dive went wrong, and Joni ended up paralyzed from the neck down, confined to a wheelchair for life. In the following decade, Christians in America would become familiar with the once-unknown young woman who had learned to draw and paint with her mouth and was steadily producing a successful line of artwork sold in Christian stores. Her story was told in print and on film, and her voice later became a mainstay on Christian radio. In the intervening years, she has become an advocate for the disabled, not only in the United States but also around the world.

In no previous book has Joni Eareckson --- now married to Ken Tada --- been quite so transparent and open about the highs and lows of her relationship with God, particularly in the years immediately following the accident but also amid the day-to-day frustrations that come with being dependent upon others for the basic necessities of life. Through it all --- through the extraordinary accomplishments of someone who at one time had every reason to give up on life --- you get the sense that many of Tada's inner struggles are very ordinary, very human, and therefore very easy for others to relate to.

Tada writes about social issues, such as her firsthand experience with oppression in former communist countries, with as much sensitivity as she writes about highly personal issues, like her disappointment and sorrow after learning that she was infertile. She seamlessly intersperses detailed accounts of her many international trips with loving stories about her close-knit family, her circle of friends, and her marriage to Ken. Especially poignant are passages relating to the deaths of her mother and father.

Throughout, of course, the focus always returns to Tada's relationship with God and the subtle irony inherent in the subtitle, "A Lifetime of Walking with Jesus." Even from her wheelchair, Tada "walks" with God. She writes, "Ah, this is the God I love. The Center, the Peacemaker, the Passport to adventure, the Joyride, and the Answer to all our deepest longings. The answer to all our fears, Man of Sorrows and Lord of Joy, always permitting what he hates, to accomplish something he loves...There are more important things in life than walking."

Fans of Joni Eareckson Tada's previous books will not be disappointed with this one. It's a beautifully written tribute to the love of God as seen through the life of one woman who found freedom and joy in Christ in the midst of what another might consider a cruel confinement.

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST so far!!!
This is by far the best of all the books that Joni Eareckson Tada has written.Once I started it I couldn't put it down. I have a personal interest in anything Joni writes..I also had a diving accident and I'm also a quadriplegic.Joni expressed it so well in this book...living in a wheelchair does not have to be a burden but an ADVENTURE!God is GREAT and I wish everyone could come to know the love and peace He gives us.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book!
Thisis a wonderful, inspiring, honest, heartwarming, encouraging and inspirational book.I so enjoyed it, it was hard to put down.I learned so many things about Joni I hadn't heard before and plan to buy it on tape to share with others.What an encouragment to trust in our Lord no matter what!Don't miss this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Irresistible
When Joni Eareckson Tada completes a book, I buy it immediately.
Since her first book detailing her accident, I have purchased every one since and given many as gifts. I love them all but this one is the most revealing.

The God I Love, is wonderful.I relate to Joni and her horse accomplishments and her life before the accident.She is an incredible writer.Now in this book, she fills us in on her entire life up to the present.There are several surprises.Her family, her friends, her travels thruout the world, how she deals with her physical condition, and what makes her joyful, are all here, written so beautifully and so sincerely.

I recommend this book to everyone - young and old - no matter what your religious affiliation - this book is about a life well lived despite being confined to a wheelchair because this talented intelligent woman reached out to God.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Book
Wow! This is a book that I didn't want to put down once I started reading it. What a treasure this book is!I was inspired by Joni's humility, faith in the Lord, compassion, and positive attitude during all circumstances.If you've enjoyed other books by Joni, you will enjoy this book. In my eyes, Joni is a modern day hero. I am amazed by Joni's strength and perseverence as she accomplishes the work the Lord has called her to do. ... Read more


135. William McKinley (American Presidents Series (Los Angeles, Calif.).)
by Kevin Phillips, Richard Rohan
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559279427
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 753973
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A bestselling historian and political commentator reconsiders McKinley’s overshadowed legacy

By any serious measurement, bestselling historian Kevin Phillips argues, William McKinley was a major American president. It was during his administration that the United States made its diplomatic and military debut as a world power. McKinley was one of eight presidents who, either in the White House or on the battlefield, stood as principals in successful wars, and he was among the six or seven to take office in what became recognized as a major realignment of the U.S. party system.

Phillips argues that McKinley’s lackluster ratings have been sustained not by unjust biographers but by years of criticism about his personality, indirect methodologies, middle-class demeanor, and tactical inability to inspire the American public. In this powerful and persuasive biography, Phillips musters convincing evidence that McKinley’s desire to heal, renew prosperity, and reunite the country qualify him for promotion into the ranks of the best chief executives.
... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Teddy" McKinley?
The previous reviewer is correct that Phillips has written an extended argument more than he has a traditional biography. But the argument is so cleverly advanced, and covers so much of McKinley's political life and presidency, that I found the book of compelling interest -- the best of the more than half-dozen biographies I've read in this wonderful The American Presidents series so far.

The core of Phillips's argument is that much of the credit given to Theodore Roosevelt properly belongs to his predecessor McKinley. In establishing a political realignment in 1896 based on both labor and urban-dweller votes, in greatly expanding America's world role, and in beginning the reforms to tilt the balance of economic power from capital to labor, McKinley either preceded Roosevelt, setting the pace for the latter's presidency, or outdid TR altogether.

Phillips's argument holds up fairly well, although some parts are better than others. He is very convincing in describing how McKinley created a political realignment in 1896 (and solidified it in 1900), but less so when discussing the importance of McKinley's rather circuitous route to protect labor against big capital.

Some of the most interesting parts of this book are its sidebars. Phillips should be commended for including short write-ups on the importance of Ohio to late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century politics, as well as the importance of silver in that era. I even enjoyed the sections on McKinley and the tariff. This is not your typical biography, but its unusual approach is a strength, not a weakness.

2-0 out of 5 stars An argument, not a biography or history
Phillips is a political commentator, not a historian or biographer. His goal with this book isn't to sketch in McKinley's life but to argue a thesis. His thesis is that McKinley was a important president, and the thing that makes him important is that he illustrates Phillips' career-making mega-theory about realignment politics. It's a campaign strategist's view of history.

Phillips doesn't seem to have consulted any primary sources at all. We get a lot of "he must have reflected" stuff, and assertions that McKinley deliberately wore a mask of conventionality, and that his blandness was a conscious strategy, etc., with no attempt to demonstrate the historical validity of any of it.

Still, there is some good stuff about Ohio's political centrality in the post-Civil War era, and a very good summary of the gold-silver debate, which was a matter of passionate interest in the 1880s and 1890s but is so baffling to modern Americans.

2-0 out of 5 stars The author falls well short of his goal.
I have become a major fan of the short biographies presented in the American Presidents, and the Penguin Lives series. They are a means to provide both scholars and casual readers with insight into historical figures in a purposefully confined presentation.

Most of these figures come with an abundance of published biographies, and one measure of success for these short presentations is whether the reader is left wanting to read more extensive treatises. Unfortunately, this 200 page biography of William McKinley left me anxious to finish, and no desire to read more.

The author, Kevin Phillips, stated goal was to show how McKinley was more than just Teddy Roosevelt's predecessor, and deserved a ranking of much higher esteem. He contests the historical view that McKinley's importance is solely his expertise in tariffs. Oddly, the author then proceeds to include in each chapter significant discussion on tariffs. This made for very dry, and sometimes mind numbing reading. It also defeated his purpose of highlighting McKinley's other achievements.

As to these other accomplishments, what he provided were mostly anecdotal claims of superior skills, and simple conjectures of what he may have accomplished if not assassinated. As to the circumstances involving the assassination, the author seems to presume that the reader is too well acquainted with the story to bother providing any details. He also states that the president was more concerned with others while he lay dying, than of his own self. This is a heartening claim, but he failed to give any example of what he meant.

Furthermore, the author chose to not give any comparisons between how the Republican McKinley coped with national problems and with the current Republican president. This was an unfortunate choice by the author since it seemed like fertile ground, and would have gone far to make his subject more relevant to modern and future readers. I read the book thinking that the author was encumbered by his professional position as a Republican strategist. I now realize that he seems to have written this biography in conjunction with another book, published a few months later, faulting the Bush family's unprincipled influence on national politics.

It appears, therefore, that the author had much more to say, but chose to not do it with McKinley's help. Perhaps he was correct, and my suggestions may not have made a difference, but the resulting book gives us little to dispute the historical portrait of this president. McKinley does appear to have been a genuinely good person with many scruples not often visible in current politicians, but still not one who deserves much elevation in historical importance.

4-0 out of 5 stars Historically, Theodore Roosevelt is tough act to precede.
There is so much more to President McKinley than we know. Kevin Phillips presents his biography in an interesting & informative way. This is a postive work to be sure & Mr. Phillps argues that McKinley is a near great or, maybe a better term would be highly sucessful president.
He learned well from his service in the Civil War & and close associations with political allies & mentors Presidents Garfield, Hayes & Harrison.
Given TR's bombastic personality & energy McKinkey comes off in comparison as dull, boring & self effacing. He spent most of his time away from the job caring for his sickly wife.
However, it appears that much of TR's success can be traced to the McKinley administration. Although lackluster, he was well liked by both sides & worked well behind the scenes allowing others to take credit for his accomplishments. He didn't need the ego gratification of TR, Taft or Wilson who preceeded him. In temperment & integrity he was much like his predecessor, Grover Cleveland, although they were political opponents.
As the 20th century drew near America was at a crossroads. McKinely guided the U.S. through those historic times with skill & wisdom.
When he took office, The U.S. was just recovering from the worst depression in history. He protected markets & wages rose.
He redeveloped kinship with England that continues today. Then there was his "Splendid little War" with Spain. It propelled the United States into a new position of economic & military significance. The United States then entered upon it own era of overseas expansion (Imperialism). This was all a percursor to what became America's Century.

5-0 out of 5 stars A lively, bold apologia for a possibly underrated president
I have tremendously enjoyed the volumes that have appeared so far in Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s The American Presidents, but this is the first volume to have appeared so far that managed to transcend the limitations inherent in a series such as this. Most of the other volumes consist of a chronological recounting of the relevant president's life and career, with some assessment of his significance and achievements. Kevin Phillips, in a comparable number of pages, manages to present a case for a complete revision of the popular understanding of William McKinley, our 25th President. Although many of McKinley's biographers have argued some of the same things that Phillips does here, he does so in a much more vigorous fashion.

The stereotype of McKinley is that he was a somewhat dimwitted puppet under the control of Big Business, a man of little imagination, no culture, and a nonprogressive who was eclipsed by the ascendance of Teddy Roosevelt following his assassination. Phillips, on the other hand, wants to argue that he was a self-confident reformer who masked his goals under a congenial exterior, possessed a highly cultivated knack for maneuvering others to his own position, was vastly more concerned with protecting laborers and wages than the desires of business, and laid the foundations for progressive reforms that he himself would have begun had his life not ended so suddenly. Phillips shows that McKinley's obsession with tariffs had little to do with a desire to reward the rich, but with a desire to increase the wages of American workers.

Though but lightly stated, much of Phillips's book is intended as a polemic against contemporary misuses of McKinley, such as Karl Rove, George W. Bush's chief aide. Many conservatives envision turning government back to a time before the unquestionably Progressive Roosevelt, to a mythical William McKinley who is assumed to share many of the values of contemporary supporters of Bush. Phillips shows over and over, however, that McKinley in fact shared almost no basic political goals or values with contemporary conservatives. Continually throughout the book, Phillips shows that McKinley had deep ties to labor, and was concerned with the needs of business primarily to the degree that healthy business meant higher wages for workers. He was quite sympathetic to organized labor, to a degree unusual in his time, and even the right of workers to strike. On the other hand, he, like all 19th century American presidents, found the accumulation of excessive amounts of wealth to be repugnant and a little obscene, hardly a quality he holds with contemporary conservatives. Even further destroying the parallels between current conservativism and McKinley, Phillips refers to McKinley's concerns with tax fairness, which did not mean lessening the tax burden on the wealthy and business, but the demand for a progressive tax structure that required those best off paying more than those less well off. McKinley's progressivism in the book comes out also in his strong support for women being given the right to vote, for blacks to be allow to vote unimpeded, and for senators to be voted by direct vote by the people, and not by selection by state legislatures.

Phillips notes that many give McKinley more credit for achievements in foreign policy, but brings the credit he deserves into sharper focus, noting that during the crisis with Spain he essentially took on the jobs of Secretary of State (due to the unexpected rapid aging of John Sherman) and Secretary of War.

Lest one imagine that these are all creative rereadings of McKinley's career based on playing lose with the facts, Phillips shows that the essential assessment he makes was borne out by the evaluations of the illustrious individuals who served in his cabinet. He also displays the causes for the unflattering portrait of McKinley that grew up after the onset of the New Deal.

One could easily disagree with much in the book, and nonetheless celebrate it for being a significant and spirited reevaluation of a significant American president. Nearly all the writers in this series have attempted to validate the claim that their subjects were underrated presidents (except Robert Remini, who though maintaining that John Quincy Adams is one of the great American public servants, concedes that he was a pretty dismal president), but Phillips wants to do more than that. In Schlesinger terminology, he wants to argue that he is a near great president, but on top of that has been horribly misunderstood in profound and important ways. Whether one agrees with his reassessment, this book performs a great service by dismantling a persistent but untenable stereotype. Of all the books in this series (I have read all but Garry Wills book on Madison), this one is by far the most invigorating one that I have read. The other volumes have deepened my knowledge of several of our presidents, but this one has actually changed my mind. ... Read more


136. Tender at the Bone (Cassette)
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553525174
Catlog: Book (1998-02-17)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 274321
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl reads her (only very slightly abridged) memoir with the same humor, care, and intimacy that she put into its writing. The voices of the chefs, waiters, and gourmands who taught her to love food and its preparation come to life in this audiobook. Particularly compelling is her wonderful tale of "Life on Mars"--boarding school in Montreal might well have been on another planet. We listen as her halting French becomes fluent, as she shares weekend forays for forbidden smoked meat and cream puffs (the cure for all homesickness) with her new friend, Beatrice, and as her encounter with Beatrice's father, Monsieur du Croix, introduces her to a new level of joy in food. Audiobook listeners are also treated to a handy booklet of recipes included with the tapes that represent a dish from each of the main characters we meet in Ruth's life. ... Read more

Reviews (83)

4-0 out of 5 stars A delicious autobiography
In this autobiography, Ruth Reichl, the longtime food critic for the NY Times, now the editor in chief at Gourmet, explains how she came to love food. The book weaves a tapestry of stories, including some about her mother (dubbed the Queen of Mold for serving completely unpalatable dishes) and her early childhood (how an early trip to Paris and her time spent at a French-Canadian boarding school influenced her tastes) to her adulthood, working in a collaborative kitchen and becoming friends with influential foodies.

The stories are often laugh out loud funny, and some are very touching (her mother's manic behavior is explained later in the book). The book allows the reader to see Reichl's influences and her deep love of food through the stories, without Reichl ever coming out and saying "these are my influences."

Food lovers in particular will probably adore this book, but lovers of autobiographies will probably also enjoy it. The book is not about food, exactly, but about a woman's coming of age (and part of that coming of age is that she simply loves food and the art of its creation).

A delicious read--I couldn't put it down.

4-0 out of 5 stars A lovely souffle of a book
Light, yet rich and tasty. Restaurant critic Ruth Reichl's memoir is all of these. Easy to read, yet filled with insight and well-rounded characters. The author's mother suffered from manic depression, and one way it manifested itself was in bizarre - and often downright poisonous - culinary creations. The author describes herself as having been shaped by her mother's handicap, beginning at an early age to use food as a way of making sense of the world. She effectively conveys this food-sense in a series of funny and poignant tales that take us from her childhood in New York up through young adulthood in California. She lovingly introduces the significant people in her life, revealing them to us in how and what they cooked. Her stories are punctuated by recipes (I didn't cook any of them, but they look like they should work).

The author is equally effective when she moves away from the table to tell more directly of her relationships with friends and family. She describes some episodes that could be seen as time-bound clich├ęs - living in a commune, working in a collectively managed restaurant - with a perspective sometimes lacking in baby-boom memoirs. She brings similar good-humored perspective to her mother's mental illness and her own struggle with anxiety attacks, never wallowing in graphic description of symptoms. You don't have to be a "foodie" to enjoy TENDER AT THE BONE, just a lover of warm, tender memoirs.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disturbing!
I found the authors travels more interesting than her descriptions of eating or cooking. Much of her cooking tales personally turned my stomach. I suppose I'm glad that I'm not familar with her New York Times reviews. The recipes included in the book were either bizarre sounding or rather simplistic. Save for the soufflet recipe, I'm really not tempted to try any of them.

It took until page 54 for me to really get into the book. I had five abortive attempts at starting the book before I finally got to a point where I was interested enough to keep reading. It was at the point that she went to the boarding school that I wanted to continue. Again it was for the traveling and not the food.

To top things off I had the joy of reading this book while traveling for the holidays. My mother-in-law and mother both did things that reminded me of Ruth's mother. In the case of latter, it was to see if years old preserves that no longer had the consitency of preserves were still etible. For the former, it was to cook a meat dish that smelled okay but was gray in color. She also then made a strange vegetable dish that had all sorts of things mixed together that just don't seem like they should go together. Both dishes actually tasted fine but they sure looked strange! Perhaps if I hadn't been reading Tender at the Bone at the time I wouldn't have been so put off by them. In the case of the preserves, my mother in law came to her senses before actually eating any.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
A memoir about a food writers coming of age through her experiences with food. Her descriptions of food are tantalizing and the recipes sprinkled throughout tempting. I enjoyed reading about the variety of her exposures to food and found it a well written and easy to read memoir. However, the parts about her early life were much more interesting and engaging. She seems to back off on detail and engagement as she grows older and her adult wanderings and accidental entry into the world of food writers is less interesting.

5-0 out of 5 stars First of Two Scrumptious Memoirs. Highly Recommended
Ruth Reichl is one of the most influential figures in American culinary journalism today, as Editor in Chief of 'Gourmet' magazine for the last several years. Her influence may not be as great as that of Craig Claiborne, but that was probably a once and gone opportunity. The American culinary scene is too big for any one or two people to dominate it the way Claiborne and Beard did in the 1960's, 70's and 80's.

This book, 'Tender at the Bone' is the first of two memoirs by Reichl. Their charm will be eagerly anticipated by anyone who reads Reichl's monthly editor's column in 'Gourmet'. These two books are cut from the same primal stuff, with the additional spice of material too personal to warrant the pages of a national magazine.

Reichl grew up with a mother with habits which offer as compelling a motive to land in the food business as the very skillful cook / hospitality businesswoman who bore James Beard. In Reichl's case, her mother was just the opposite. She was quite capable of serving food so poorly preserved as to poison her guests. Reichl, as a little girl, had to become skillful in preparing food just to protect her own life and the lives of visitors to her family's house.

In many other regards, as one reads this tale of Ruth's life as a small girl in the early 1960s through her start in culinary journalism in San Francisco in 1977 just at the time when the zeitgeist was leading people such as Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower to create California Cuisine at Chez Panisse and other venues.

Two fascinating questions are raised in my mind by this book and its sequel 'Comfort Me with Apples'. The first is what it is about Reichl that compels her to reveal so many intimate details about her life and family. I am wondering if there is a writer's gene that propels one to lie out for all the world to see what an odd life one has lead. In spite of the wonder, I am immensely grateful that Ms. Reichl has done so, as the revelations are immensely entertaining. The second question is the wondering of how I may have turned out with the same experiences.

I encourage you to bring Ms. Reichl and her very odd family into your experience. You will be richer for the encounter. Since I regret I cannot know Ruth personally, this is the next best thing. Like many other culinary memoirs, this book includes recipes to highlight incidents in Ms. Reichl's life. As Ruth also happens to be an excellent cook, the recipes simply spice up an already very filling meal. ... Read more


137. Portrait of an Artist : A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe
by Laurie Lisle
list price: $69.95
our price: $69.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786108045
Catlog: Book (1995-07-01)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 871983
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Georgia O'Keeffe, one of the most original painters America has ever produced, left behind a remarkable legacy when she died at the age of ninety-eight. Her vivid visual vocabulary -- sensuous flowers, bleached bones against red sky and earth -- had a stunning, profound, and lasting influence on American art in this century.

O'Keeffe's personal mystique is as intriguing and enduring as her bold, brilliant canvases. Here is the first full account of her exceptional life -- from her girlhood and early days as a controversial art teacher...to her discovery by the pioneering photographer of the New York avant-garde, Alfred Stieglitz...to her seclusion in the New Mexico desert, where she lived until her death.

And here is the story of a great romance --between the extraordinary painter and her much older mentor, lover, and husband, Alfred Stieglitz.

Renowned for her fierce independence, iron determination, and unique artistic vision, Georgia O'Keeffe is a twentieth-century legend. Her dazzling career spans virtually the entire history modern art in America. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars From Wisconsin to New Mexico: An incredible life.
There are parts of New Mexico that, if you know of the woman, just scream This is Georgia O'Keeffe Country. This honest and admiring biography lays out the story of this incredible woman who lived to age 99. That's a long, long, long life. Her life found its trajectory when, in 1916, a friend sent some of her drawings to renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz. He proclaimed her to be "a woman on paper." Furious (as only O'Keeffe could be furious), she confronted him, became his lover, and eventually married him, initiating an emotional and artistic collaboration that endured until his death.
O'Keeffe became a feminist before the word was even invented. When she realized that it would be impossible to become her own person while working in his shadow, she established the pattern of spending 6 months with him in NY and 6 months on her own in New Mexico, a place she always referred to as her spiritual home. Stiegitz died in 1946, and O'Keeffe lived on for another incredible half a century.
If you have the opportunity to visit New Mexico, don't miss the O'Keeffe museum in Santa Fe - and my all means visit her home in Abiqueque. To say it's Georgia O'Keeffe country is to put it far too mildly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Georgia O'keeffe is a true American treasure
Having just seen the Georgia Okeeffe exibition at the Phillips Gallery in Washington, DC, I had to run out and buy a biography to learn more about this incredible artist.This book gives deep personal insight to MsO'keeffe's life and work.

5-0 out of 5 stars lending and losing this book should have taught me a lesson
Having read Portrait of an Artist in college I learned to appreciate the talent, determination and self reliance that success requires.It should be required reading for every young woman ... Read more


138. Bad Boy : A Memoir
by Walter Dean Myers
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0694525359
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: HarperChildrensAudio
Sales Rank: 699549
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Into a memoir that is gripping, funny, heartbreaking, and unforgettable, Walter Dean Myers richly weaves the details of his Harlem childhood in the 1940s and 1950s: a loving home life with his adopted parents, Bible school, street games, and the vitality of his neighborhood. Although Walter spent much of his time either getting into trouble or on the basketball court, secretly he was a voracious reader and an aspiring writer. But as his prospects for a successful future diminished, the values he had been taught at home, in school, and in his community seemed worthless, and he turned to the streets and his books for comfort. Here in his own words is the story of one of the strongest voices in children's and young adult literature today.

... Read more

Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Rode Not Taken By The Bad Boy
Bad Boys by Walter Dean Myers would receive 4 stars for reality, suspense, flare, and an on the edge of your seat story line.Bad Boys is about a young boy named Walter whose life really only revolves around his family, school, friends, and his secret love of literature. Walter has a big problem with getting into mischief. He is always sitting in the corner or having his mother?s request to come in. But, his biggest problem is that when he gets home his mother is never happy with him, and her being an abusive alcoholic sometimes she would get rough with Walter. Walter is an exceptionally bright student but with one problem, he has a speaking impairment. This impairment cannot be detected by Walter, but to everyone else it is a large distraction. Despite his speaking, Walter gets excepted to a higher grade and excepts the request. Through his new grade Walter learns the difference between being white and being black. Although Walter is black, he never knew that, that was looked at as a bad thing to most whites. Besides Walter being taunted about being black, he would also be taunted if everyone knew he loved literature and poetry.
At Walter?s new school, he begins to slowly grow up. He begins to skip school sporadically and begins to hang around a new friend. He slowly is persuaded by his family to change his ways.

4-0 out of 5 stars N8Dawgs Review on Bad Boy
Walter Myers is a troubled African american growing up in Harlem in the 1960's, where mos tof his life is fighting with other boys, the other half is spent reading books and writing poetry. Through he's teenage years and through school being 12 years old and entering high school he notices that he's speech is not up to standards and gets picked on for it. He runs into a litte touble for awhile with his new friend delivers a certain package. Through books and poetry Walter Myers finds out how to be a man, what he wants to be when he gets older, and how blacks play a role in harlem society in the 1960's.

The style of the book BAD BOY by Walter Dean Myers is a very slow paced book for the first couple of chapters, so for people who like to get into a novel and get to know all of the charactors and know what goes on in thier lives you can figure it out very easy. Than it dramaticlly gets very exciting with all of the fighting happens and the characters make mistakes and pay for them. It exploits the mind of the main character and gets into what he really thinks is right and wrong in society today and in the 1960's. You must have to get into these parts to further understand the novel Bad Boy. The beginning of this book is not very exciting nore moving, the book somewhat ends in a mystery which is very clever and unique, it ends and it makes you think about what could have happend to the character and where he/she is now.

I believe in my own mind that this book is very unique in the way that it doesn't give you to much information about the characters but just enough to always keep you on your guard and guessing what happens next. THe book does have some uninteresting parts that slow your reading down and bore you a little bit, but quickly something happens to a character that gets you write back into the book so you cant put it down. The plot was very good and so was the setting of the book, I like how it takes place in a rural area like Harlem. I would deffinitly recommend this novel to any one who think there are tough or anyone who likes poetry and dramatics, and you will get a roud awakinning and not be able to put the book down.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nicholas Richview Middle
The story was about a boy born in a crowd of people. The boys mom died when he was 8 . years old. The boy was adopted and lived in a little town called Harlem. The boys name was Walter Dean. He was always in a fight at school in Mr. Conroys class. This caused the boy to miss so m up to write this book school that they were going to put him in a juvinele faciliy. The boy learned to stop fighting and that is how the story ends.
I liked the book because I was like the boy in a way,I was always getting in trouble. I would get my friends to rend this book because the boy had a hard life and was adopted and poor and grew up to write this book

4-0 out of 5 stars Bad Boy, but good book
Walter Dean Myers, award winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, describes his life by saying, 'All in all it has been a great journey and not at all shabby for a bad boy'. Myers uses matter of fact descriptions, in a partisan tone, to allow the reader to 'see from the inside' his 1950's journey to becoming a popular and recognized writer for young adults. Chronologically, he tells his story of life in Harlem, where he struggles with his alcoholic mother, and depressed, illiterate father. Young Myers secretly has a great passion for reading and writing, and ashamedly uses this to escape his difficulties at home and school. Ultimately his struggles overwhelm him and he quits school and writing. At age 17 he joins the army, barely avoiding arrest by the police and abuse by gang members. After many desertions of his love of literature, he returns to it, following his English teachers advice, 'Whatever happens, never stop writing' and continues writing today. Myers innovative style is represented in this book, as he presents his life as a journey with literature, rather than a bland account of his childhood. The medium typeface and plenty of white space, make this book appropriate for readers in grades 6-12. Although Myers' literary references within the text may present some confusion for young readers, it also provides the encouragement that Myers considers his readers intelligent. This book is an excellent choice for minorities, young boys, as well as a true inspiration to all young writers.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good book for teens.
The book Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers is a memoir of the author's life. Set mostly in Harlem, the book follows Myers' troublesome childhood and the challenges he faced with his family life, his adoption, and his behavior. Though a bright child, he had a quick temper and a speech problem. This got him into many bad situations and unfortunately partly led to his "downfall" in school.
In Bad Boy, I loved how the setting of the book is in Harlem, where I have visited many times. I am familiar with many of the places he "relaxed" in and feel connected to him somehow. The book is wonderfully written and shows that in the end, even a "troubled" boy can succeed. The author was adopted by Herbert and Florence Myers and many times talks about his and biological and natural families in the book. He gets the Dean in his name from his biological father and the Myers in his name from his adoptive father. The book shows the world of poverty, something that I am not acquainted with at all. It showed me that everyone does not have the things that us "middle class" kids have. All in all, he was raised in a bad situation, but turned out good in the end. In a teenager's view, parents are wrong. Period. In reality, they are only wrong sometimes, not all the time, or, just don't understand. In the end of the book on page 205, his father says, "You wrote stories when you were a boy. You're a man, now." This shows that his father didn't understand his passion for writing, and thought that writing was not "man's work".
I believe there were many small themes in the book. Bad Boy highlighted racism, teenage hood, and poverty just to name a few. As an African American teenager, I have experienced some, but not all of the things he has. I think that the main theme of the book is misunderstanding. When he spent all his time reading and writing his mother didn't understand him. When he skipped school, no one really understood him and he was sent to a social worker. Racism is product of misunderstanding. Even now, I don't understand why he skipped school, but then again, I haven't been adopted, or live in Harlem, or have a passion for reading. I have not walked in his shoes. That is one of the reasons I read this book, so that I could see what his life was like. So that I could enter an unfortunate teenager's life and realize that I am truly blessed.
All in all, this book is one of the best books I have read. I would recommend it too anyone in the hallway at school, or passers by on the sidewalk. His writings are geared toward children and teenagers, so it is a more appealing book to that group than to adults, but adults should read this too. Maybe they can venture into the life of a teenager, or a child in poverty. Maybe they can remember their childhood and how the world was so different then.
A lot can be learned from this book, but I think that the most important thing is the acceptance of ideas and others. ... Read more


139. Lucky
list price: $35.00
our price: $24.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743529782
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 510142
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Enormously visceral, emotionally gripping, and imbued with the belief that justice is possible even after the most horrific of crimes, Alice Sebold's compelling memoir of her rape at the age of eighteen is a story that takes hold of you and won't let go.

Sebold fulfills a promise that she made to herself in the very tunnel where she was raped: someday she would write a book about her experience. With Lucky she delivers on that promise with mordant wit and an eye for life's absurdities, as she describes what she was like both as a young girl before the rape and how that rape changed but did not sink the woman she later became.

It is Alice's indomitable spirit that we come to know in these pages. The same young woman who sets her sights on becoming an Ethel Merman-style diva one day (despite her braces, bad complexion, and extra weight) encounters what is still thought of today as the crime from which no woman can ever really recover. In an account that is at once heartrending and hilarious, we see Alice's spirit prevail as she struggles to have a normal college experience in the aftermath of this harrowing, life-changing event.

No less gripping is the almost unbelievable role that coincidence plays in the unfolding of Sebold's narrative. Her case, placed in the inactive file, is miraculously opened again six months later when she sees her rapist on the street. This begins the long road to what dominates these pages: the struggle for triumph and understanding -- in the courtroom and outside in the world.

Lucky is, quite simply, a real-life thriller. In its literary style and narrative tension we never lose sight of why this life story is worth reading. At the end we are left standing in the wake of devastating violence, and, like the writer, we have come to know what it means to survive. ... Read more

Reviews (154)

5-0 out of 5 stars A TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY
Like her wonderful novel The Lovely Bones - which I've also reviewed and which you must read - Lucky is a harrowing, heart-wrenching book about the worst possible thing that can happen to a woman. Alice Sebold tells the raw story of her rape ordeal and her subsequent struggle for recovery with an honesty and warmth which is compelling. Lucky reads almost like a novel itself at times, with gripping moments of suspense, particularly during the court trial scenes.
Alice Sebold was the innocent victim of an unforgivable crime - but she doesn't ask for our sympathy or pity in these beautifully written pages. She earns our respect and admiration for the courageous way she tells how the traumatic events changed and shaped her life; how the naive college student would eventually become a hardened, determined aggressor herself in her brave fight for justice against her attacker. Sadly, this natural reaction to her personal violation came with a price - destructive behavioural damage that brought a later downward spiral into drugs. What the author didn't know at the time is that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; an anxiety syndrome that emerges following a psychologically distressing traumatic event such as rape, which she battles to overcome.
Can someone really, truly, get over something so savage and brutal as rape is the numbing thought you're left with long after you put the book aside? The past can never be forgotten, but Alice Sebold has managed to crawl from the wreckage and move on with her life to a happier future that has brought her international fame and acclaim. That says something about the human spirit - and everything about this remarkable woman.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Story of Survival - Incredible.
In this thought-provoking, chilling memoir, Alice Sebold recounts the events of her rape and the aftermath of that tragedy. While strong enough to go through with the trial and conviction of her attacker, Sebold's emotional state was deeply affected for many years after. Her memoir follows the events that occurred after her rape and the things she attempted in order to escape her pain.

Sebold captures this period in her life with great intensity and literary skill. Not only does the reader become informed of the actual events of the rape and the events following it, but we get a look into Sebold's home life and her personality before the night that would change everything.

This story isn't just about a college girl's rape and her survival story. It's a story about her life: her family, her friends, her childhood. Sebold explains how when she was younger all she wanted was to be hugged by her parents, but she would settle for something as simple as a touch because she was offered nothing more (and sometimes not even that luxury). It's about growing up in a dysfunctional family and getting through it. It's about surviving not only bad experiences in life, but surviving and coping with continuing bad situations.

A great read - highly recommended to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
A must read for clinical psychologists and students interested in the sexual abuse topic.

3-0 out of 5 stars Yet again I'm left disappointed ...
I was a bit underwhelmed with 'The Lovely Bones' - started out great, lost me entirely by the end - but I expected great things of 'Lucky'. Yet again it starts out well, the opening chapter is horrifying, moving and completely unputdownable - but as we move away from the actual rape and its immediate aftermath all Alice Sebold's faults as a writer surface again. She seems unable to select material which will be of interest to the reader and fills pages and pages with irrelevant detail of her family life and unnecessary background detail. The book comes alive again when she spots her rapist in the street but in between I found myself losing interest. We all know the argument about real-life not being as tidy as fiction - but in this case it WAS tidy - the rapist was identified by Alice, caught and punished (a much more satisfactory ending than that of 'The Lovely Bones', ironically). I wish the book had been more scrupulously edited to focus on the essential elements of her story rather than filled up with padding. I felt cheated at the end of the book - at the beginning I felt that I would be with Alice throughout her every step of her journey to find justice and recover from the trauma she suffered but somehow this connection was lost and by the middle of the book I had no idea what she - or indeed anyone else involved was thinking or feeling. What a shame as this could have been a truly great book and an inspiration to rape survivors everywhere ...

5-0 out of 5 stars A real tale, full of sound and fury
This book is so many things, but the one that comes first to mind is "brave." For Seabold to have written this is amazing--the courage it must have taken. But that aside, it is well-written. I read "Lovely Bones" first, and then this one. While the premise of "Lovely" was great, I found "Lucky" to be a better book. Don't get me wrong, I like both of them, but "Lucky" was by far the more "real" tale. Try them both and then decide for yourself.

Also recommended: McCrae's Bark of the Dogwood, A Boy Called It ... Read more


140. Me : Stories of My Life
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679402543
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: RH Audio Voices
Sales Rank: 171136
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Admired and beloved by movie audiences for over sixty years, four-time Academy Award-winner Katharine Hepburn is an American classic. Now Miss Hepburn breaks her long-kept silence about her private life in this absorbing and provocative memoir.

A NEW YORK TIMES Notable Book of the Year

A Book-of-the-Month-Club Main Selection


From the Paperback edition.
... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
This book is just like Katharine Hepburn herself. Uniquely funny, unconventional, different and beautiful. I found the last three chapters to be especially the one simply titled 'Love', about her unique relationship with Spencer Tracy. Any fan of Hepburn, or of Hollywood's golden era must read this book. It was amazing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Screwy people who don't like this book shouldn't speak....
I adored this book to no end and have read it about six times - I also own it. The reason that it seems so disconnected is because Kath is telling it just as she would speak it - it is not in true novel form, and as a writer myself, I think it holds up better this way. If you truly appreciate the grandeur of Katharine Houghton Hepburn, then you will love this book, for it sounds as if Kath was right there in the room, talking to you. So, for all of those who gave it a bad rap, I feel this was very ignorant on your part. Read this book!

1-0 out of 5 stars self-aborb
This is a egostict ramblimg, coherent only in the timeline of
relationship. Its a voyer,s delight, a canidate for National Enquirer publication. This is not edifiying reading---it promote self (as noted by the book title), is not good reading
and obcures the art of writing well. It may be a bestseller as
noted by the New York Times Book List but there are also best selling magazines next to the supermarket checkout stand.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I usually dislike non fiction, biographies and autobiographies but this book was so interesting and kept my attention like any fiction novel i usually ejoy. Wonderful woman and wonderful story.

2-0 out of 5 stars Kate remembered
Please dont write about her if you cant spell her name
-katharine ... Read more


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