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141. The Autobiography of My Mother
$22.02 $13.00 list($34.95)
142. I Thought My Father Was God :
$2.24 list($16.95)
143. The Only Way I Know
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144. Running with Scissors: A Memoir
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145. Grover Cleveland (The American
146. Rebel With a Cause
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147. Confessions of a Street Addict
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148. Gathering Blue
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149. The Family : The Real Story of
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150. Kitchen Confidential : Adventures
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151. John F. Kennedy: The JFK Wit
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152. Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible
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153. Ten Minutes from Normal
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155. King Richard III
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156. Dream Lovers : The Magnificent
157. The Housekeeper's Diary: Charles
158. Untitled Audio
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159. All Creatures Great and Small
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160. A Year in Provence (abridged)

141. The Autobiography of My Mother (Jamaica Kincaid on Audio)
by Jamaica Kincaid
list price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885608098
Catlog: Book (1996-01-01)
Publisher: Airplay Audio Publishing
Sales Rank: 788675
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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"My mother died at the moment I was born, and so for my whole lifethere was nothing standing between myself and eternity," writes Jamaica Kincaid inthis disturbing, compelling novel set on the island of Dominica. Born to a doomed Caribwoman and a Scottish African policeman of increasing swagger and wealth, narratorXuela spends a lifetime unanchored by family or love. She disdains the web of small andbig lies that link others, allowing only pungent, earthy sensuality--a mix of blood and dirtand sex--to move her. Even answering its siren call, though, Xuela never loses sight ofthe sharp loss that launched her into the world and the doors through which she will takeher leave. ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Zowie! Kincaid sucks readers in again
Autobiography of My Mother is a powerful, mesmerizing, and other-worldy tale of Xuela, a woman of Dominica, West Indies, who is a worthy subject for Kincaid's musical cadences and rapturous prose. Boy, can this woman write - and she infuses all her prose with the lilting voices of her compatriots. There's no way to read her work aloud without finding yourself lapsing into the patois, sing-songy style of speech that comes thru so clearly in her writing. This book is a painful tale, the recounting of a difficult life without much love shown to the girl as she grows from motherless infant to strong and bitter young woman who aborts her pregnancy and remains defiant the rest of her life. Raised motherless herself, she determines never to mother others. Taken on a metaphorical level, the woman's story could be the story of Dominica, torn by suffering, racism, power, and the unbreakable bonds that bind them together.
Powerful writing on so, so many levels.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings..
My feelings are very mixed about this book.There is no doubt that Kincaid has the ability to weave together beautiful and thoughtful moments.However, I had a difficult time staying interested in the book.

I understand the book to be written in the style of the characters history, experiences and misfortunes .A child raised without love, who grows into a woman without the ability to love.Life without love becomes a life filled with philosophical insight on human behavior, love and death.

Overall, the main character's inability to rise above an emotional flat line kept me disconnected, which prevents me from recommending this book with too much enthusiasm. I didn't feel that the character's description of the events matched her bleak emotional landscape.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
This is my favorite of Jamaica Kincaid's, which of course is saying a lot. It is simply amazing. More complex and involved than her usual writing, it is a "hard" read, but definitely worth it. Also, if you ever have a chance to hear her read, it is amazing, and you will never read her in the same way again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written.
Kincaid shows that she's a talented author. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MY MOTHER is beautifully written. It's not about her mother at all, but about the search for knowledge about this woman that she never met. And thereby a search into herself (well, into the character's self). It's quiet. She even describes ugliness quietly. "I long to meet the thing greater than I am, the thing to which I can submit." I was able to sink into it as I read it, but the book didn't stay with me after I was done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rich
If you understand the culture of the Caribbean, then you will certainly understand, and enjoy this book.As I read it, I remembered all the intresting characters from my childhood that resembled the characters in The Autobiography of My Mother. Jamica Kincaid's style is so richly descriptive, it takes you "home" again. Xuela is a very strong female character, and although fate has made many of her choices for her, she ultimately takes control of her own destiny.A very good read, as are all her other works. ... Read more

142. I Thought My Father Was God : And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project
by Paul Auster
list price: $34.95
our price: $22.02
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Asin: 0694526134
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 120344
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When Paul Auster was asked to join NPR's Weekend All Things Considered program to tell stories, he turned the proposition on its head: he would let the stories come to him. He invited listeners to submit brief, true-life anecdotes about events that touched their lives.

And so the National Story Project was born. just over a year old, it's one of NPR's most popular features. The response has been so overwhelming, with more than 4,000 stories submitted so far, that Auster decided to cull the top works andmake them available in a book -- and now this audio tape. His selections -- hilarious blunders, wrenching coincidences, brushes with death, miraculous encounters, improbable ironies -- come from people of all ages and walks of life.

This one-of-a-kind collection is a testament to the power of storytelling that offers a glimpse into the American soul. By turns poignant, nostalgic, funny and strange, it is an audiobook to be treasured and shared for years to come.

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Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars A constant pick-me-up (in both senses of the phrase)
This book is filled with hundreds of vignettes--some funny and some moving, but almost every one interesting (and NOT saccharine as I sort of expected them to be). I pick it up when I walk by it, read one, and feel re-connected and less numb. Give this to someone you know who's tired (it's easy reading) or sad or disconnected from daily reading or daily life. It revives the reader. Great stories. I hope NPR does another one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intimately examines the connections among us all
"I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project" is a superb and unusual book that manages two wonderful things: it confirms the universality of the human experience and it amply demonstrates that everyone, EVERYONE has a story to tell.

The experiences told in this eclectic and endlessly absorbing collection are varied and run the gamut of experiences life has to offer. There are stories of love, loss, regret, joy, sorrow, and growing up. The subjects that bring on these emotions are as varied as a pet bird, a sharp slap from a parent, a new piece of clothing, a weekend alone at the beach, a party in which the increasingly annoying guest of honor gets his face pushed into the cake, a reconnection with a former lover, a loose car tire, and a harrowing audition for a sleazy adult film.

Some of the stories are flatly told, facts laid out on the page. Others take loving care with the details. Either way, the accretion of all the stories gives the reader a most satisfying sense of membership by the end of the book--membership in the human race.

5-0 out of 5 stars When life overcomes fiction
This book is exceptional. I have read many books by Paul Auster and this one, although not technically written by Auster is true to this author's fascination with life's mysterious twists of fate. The stories assembled here are captivating, often deeply moving and sometimes hilarious.

The fact that these are all real stories makes the reader relates strongly to the people involved. These are rich with familiar characters (the grumpy neighbor who hates kids in the title story, the soft spoken grandfather who does not dare confront his wife in "Revenge", etc.) I could not put the book down.

In this day and age where so much attention is given to shallow story lines and pre-packaged entertainment, how refreshing it is to come across these incredible, yet so believable, stories that have happened to ordinary people.

The French version of the book has been published before the American version. This is how I got advanced reading of this wonderful collection of stories. Tip: Most of them make great bedtime stories as well. My 7 year old daughter really enjoys it.

I got the book from my public library but I want to buy it so I can go back to it again and again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too Many of the Same Stories...
When I first heard about this book I was very interested in reading it. After starting the book however, I realized I had read the majority of the stories in the "Chicken Soup For the Soul" series. There are a few stories that are original, but overall it wasn't worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Touch of the Editor's Hand
Like all anthologies, this one has pieces both strong and weak. Nevertheless, there were enough striking stories to carry me through the book. Auster's hand is sometimes perceptible, smoothing and refining these tales, but his presence is even more evident in the similar feel of the stories chosen. For instance, many blend irony and chance; a number emphasize shame for youthful prejudice; and over almost all hangs an indefinite non-theistic spirituality intended to strike a cord with the post-modern reader. I wonder what a similar anthology from 1900 or 1950 would have sounded like? ... Read more

143. The Only Way I Know
by Cal Ripken, Mike Bryan, Sam Fontana
list price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140864628
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 791294
Average Customer Review: 3.84 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There aren't many Americans who didn't feel a lump in their throat watching Cal Ripken, Jr. take a historic jog around the bases on the evening of September 6, 1995--the night he smashed Lou Gehrig's record number of 2,130 consecutively played games. But, as "the hardest working man in baseball" will tell you, he was just doing his job. And now he tells you just how he does it, why he does it, and how it makes him feel.With the candor and grace that have endeared him to fans everywhere, Cal Ripken, Jr. tells the story of his journey to the major leagues: of his early childhood and life with a baseball manager for a father; his stint in the minors, working his way up from the Rookie Leagues to Triple-A; and finally to the permanent call from Baltimore where he began the drive to an All-Star career. Cal talks with warmth of his mentors and teammates, and with honesty of the Orioles' roller-coaster ride from the pennant to a lamentable 0-21 start in the eighties. He reveals his innermost thoughts on the game, and leads us through his strategies at the plate and on the field. Best of all, Cal reveals what makes him tick: his commitment to the game, to his family, to his career, and to the team. In this rich and rewarding memoir, we find out why he's credited with putting the "great" back into America's greatest game: it's the only way he knows.

*The #1 Washington Post bestseller
*Author is one of the most visible--and articulate--baseball players of the century
*Available on audiocassette from Penguin Audiobooks
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Only Way I Know
"The Only Way I Know" is a great autobiography about Cal Ripken Jr. I especially liked this book because it's not boring, and instead is fast-paced throughout the whole book. This book also has great pictures from his whole life. This great autobiography also explains everything from the first time he played catch with his dad to his record setting 2,131st consecutive game and everything in between. This story explains everything down to the tiniest detail. This is a great book for any baseball player or fan. I hope anyone who reads this excellent book likes it just as much as I do.

3-0 out of 5 stars "The Only Way I Know"
The Only Way I Know is a good book. IT tells you alot about Cal Ripken Jr. It talks about him as a child, a baseball legend, and a father. I enjoyed reading this book a hole lot. I recomend this book to any Cal Ripken Jr fan. The book helped me understand what it is like being a profesional athlete

4-0 out of 5 stars Zach's Review of The Only Way I Know
If you are a fan of Cal Ripken Jr., "The Only Way I Know" is the book for you. In this autobiography Cal shares information with us on how he got to where he is today and what it is like being a profesional baseball player. He overcame a lot during his brilliant career as a Baltimore Oriole. In Ripken's illustrious 20 year career with the Baltimore Orioles he broke several records and appeared in several all-star games. This book is 326 pages and took me about three weeks to read. I am a big fan of Cal Ripken Jr. so I really enjoyed this book. Ripken is one of the most recognized profesional athletes ever, so you can only imagine how good this book really is. As you all know Ripken broke the record of consecutive games by playing 2,132 consecutive games; he is known as the iron man. There are also many pictures in the book from different points in Ripken's career. I hope you enjoy this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring
I bought this book hoping to learn about the Cal Ripken Jr. the man...But all I was able to learn from this book is that he is a baseball player. He goes very little into his own life outside of the ballpark. I would not recommend this book to anyone that is not a huge Ripken fan. D-.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for the fan but best for the young want to be athlete!
This book shows the ordinary life of this talented and driven athlete. Should inspire and confirm that everyday effort and hard work makes for success. You will find Cal's boyhood stories and read about his entire family's passion for the game. The role model his father afforded him. There are stories about his wife and children and his genuine competitive spirit. I was struck by the ordinary upbringing and the seemingly level headedness that he has maintained throughout his success. I am a fortunate season ticket holder who attends many games. And I am always amazed at the class and level of integrity that Cal seems to possess. Even as a local and available to many reports on Cal at play and with charitable events, this book still offered an interesting read. You will also find a section of color personal photographs. ... Read more

144. Running with Scissors: A Memoir
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559278668
Catlog: Book (2002-10-28)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 246441
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of being Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain.

Suddenly, at age twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian house in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rules. There was no school. The Christmas tree stayed up until summer, and Valium was eaten like Pez. And when things got dull, there was always the vintage electroshock-therapy machine under the stairs...

Running withScissors is at turns foul and harrowing, compelling and maniacally funny. But above all, it is a truly amazing chronicle of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.
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Reviews (279)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book kicks a**..! the words of the ubiquitous Cartman (South Park). Augusten Burroughs' memoir about growing up in apparently the most dysfunctional place in the Universe, is brilliant, if somewhat surreal.

Burroughs relates his childhood with his mother, who may or may not be insane, and the cast of bizarre characters that inhabit his world. Like a strange episode of "The Twilight Zone", "Running With Scissors" is at once engaging and horrifying. I had to keep reminding myself throughout that it wasn't fiction, that Burroughs had actually experienced the drama as he told it. With a wry sense of humor that's prevalent all the way through, Burroughs manages to depict the horror of his life without slipping into maudlin self-pity. An excellent read...and I hope there's a sequel!

4-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, disturbing, funny, and a lot of other things
Augusten Burroughs' memoir can make you laugh, cry, and retch in various combinations. Strange and disturbing don't adequately describe Burroughs' childhood. Being raised until pre-adolescence with an alcoholic father, a bipolar mother, and a brother with Asperger's certainly did much to shape Burroughs' life, but his teenage years spent in the house of Dr. Finch, surely one of the strangest characters ever to be described in a book, constituted the bizaare formative period that gave birth to this memoir. In the Finch house, Burroughs experienced things far removed from the realm of normal childhood including pedophilia courtesy of Dr. Finch's mentally disturbed adopted son and a disgusting ritual involving retrieving Dr. Finch's stool from the toilet to be examined for divine messages. It's hard to believe that characters that would more likely arise from some imaginative writer's mind exist in real life. Thankfully, Burroughs reminds us that at least a few can emerge enlightened and successful from such twisted childhoods.

My only criticism is that I felt the book's narrative flow was interrupted at the end when the author began jumping from story to story without going into enough depth with each one. Maybe he just ran out of interesting things to say. However, that's really my only criticism. The memoir is great. You'll most probably look back on your childhood with a more forgiving eye after reading about Burroughs'.

5-0 out of 5 stars The memoirs do have it this year
The memoirs do have it this year, and "Running With Scissors" is no exception. It details a troubled life, addictions and the turning point (the determinationa nd courage) to turn your life around when it would be so much easier to fall in to the pitts. <br /> This authors other books: "Dry" and now "Magical Thinking" are excellent books to read as well. he is a superb writer. Along those lines of good memoirs/Biographies to sink your teeth in to and learn about the real world and what goes on with in it (wether rich or poor) are books such as "Nightmares Echo", "If I Knew Then" and Sickened". All highly rated books <br />

5-0 out of 5 stars Humourous and yet....
Yes this author tells his story with humor. But, underneath the laughter lies the pain of living through a difficult childhood. Mr. Burroughs did well in telling us his story in 'DRY',and as with 'DRY', you still know the life he led that took him through the addictions he suffered. It made me understand all the more another book I read called 'NIGHTMARES ECHO'. In that book the author details that though you see the addict,prostitute and homeless person-don't just assume they want to live life that way. There may be underlying reasons. Mr. Burroughs points that out as well in showing us his side of the story and the pain along with his humor. One of the best books I have read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Awful!
Worst book I've read in a long time, or does it count if you only get halfway through before using it as kindling? I can't believe people actually compare this guy to David Sedaris. I can't believe it was on several top ten lists in 2002. I can't belive I wasted $15 on this. Not only did it not make me laugh once, but I didn't care for any of the characters whatsoever. And I wouldn't consider myself to be homophobic (Sedaris is gay and he's one of my favorite writers) but I really didn't need to hear about Burroughs' "anal excursions" as a teenager which is about the point where I stopped reading the book altogether. ... Read more

145. Grover Cleveland (The American Presidents)
by Henry F. Graff, Ira Claffey
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 155927736X
Catlog: Book (2002-07-01)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 708438
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A fresh look at the only president to serve nonconsecutive terms

Having run for President three times, gaining the popular vote majority each time—despite losing the electoral college in 1892—Cleveland was unique in the line of nineteenth-century Chief Executives. Graff revives Cleveland’s rags-to-riches story, explaining how he fought to restore stature to the office in the wake of several weak administrations. A fascinating account of the political world that created American leaders before the advent of modern media.
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A delightful work
Dr. Graff's treamtment of President Cleveland is illuminating and perfect for casual readers of history and presidential experts alike. His style is entertaining and informative and this book - and the series as a whole - is highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Competent Biography of a Mildly Admirable President
Everyone admires Grover Cleveland, and no one considers him a great president. This is probably because he was known for integrity which, while admirable, is never the leading quality of a great president.

A mildly successful lawyer with modest ambitions, he would have remained obscure except for extraordinary luck. He became mayor of Buffalo in 1881 when frustrated Republican reformers joined Democrats in seeking an honest candidate. No prominent figure wanted the low paying, slightly disreputable position, so it fell to Cleveland. A year later he became governor of New York when Republicans self-destructed by choosing an unpopular candidate, and Democratic frontrunners stalemated, forcing the party to pick a dark horse. Soon after assuming office, Cleveland won the approval of Samuel Tilden, still the dominant figure in the party. Luck continued to bless Cleveland, not only making him a presidential candidate after two years as governor but providing the slightly disreputable James G. Blaine as an opponent. A reputation for honesty made the difference in the close election of 1884.

The first Democratic president since the Civil War, Cleveland receives credit for leading his party back into the mainstream, but this is arguable because Democrat Tilden, not Rutherford B. Hayes, probably won the disputed 1876 election. Many writers complain that Cleveland's reputation suffers because he faced no great national crisis, but this is anachronism. Americans always believe they are undergoing a national crisis (aren't we undergoing one now?).

1880s America was tormented by a chronic agricultural depression, bitter labor disputes, rage against trusts and railroads, and rising fury at political corruption. Leaders of post-Civil War Democrats opposed social reform as stubbornly as Republicans but had less objection to honest government. Cleveland's first administration reinforced his reputation. He reorganized and reformed executive departments, vetoed many private and pork-barrel bills as well as any law that smacked of social reform. Certain that monetary policy and the tariff held the keys to prosperity, both parties devoted far too much energy to these issues that now seem arcane. Cleveland shared this obsession, but he was never an activist. His single major legislative effort, at tariff reform, failed because he considered it beneath him to lobby Congress. Attacks on his tariff policy contributed to the narrow defeat by Benjamin Harrison in 1888.

Then luck returned: a slump in 1890 doomed Harrison to a single term. Cleveland easily gained renomination in 1892; Democrats won in a landslide, controlling Congress for the first time in a generation. There are eerie parallels with Wilson's Democratic sweep in 1912 and FDR's in 1932, but those administrations were led by great presidents.

As Cleveland entered office again, the slump had become a depression. Growing populist, farmer, and labor movements poured out plenty of helpful suggestions which merely made Cleveland and party leaders nervous. They worried most about a weakening currency and social disorder. One legislative act, repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, enjoyed support among both parties. Cleveland demonstrated uncharacteristic energy in lobbying, but passage produced no noticeable effect. Nowadays everyone condemns Cleveland's attack on the pitiful Coxey's army of unemployed (a foretaste of Hoover and the Bonus Marchers during the next depression). We also fault him for crushing the Pullman strike, but contemporary editorials and the middle-class electorate generally approved.

In the 1896 Democratic convention, reformers easily swept to power and nominated Bryan. Cleveland considered this an irresponsible aberration and supported McKinley. It wasn't an aberration; the old conservative leadership never regained power, nor did the fractious Democrats until 1912. Cleveland was the last Democratic president who embodied nineteenth century Jeffersonian ideals (minimalist government, opposition to social legislation). Hoover was the last Republican Jeffersonian.

Great presidents demonstrate qualities such as vision, compassion, imagination, and energy in exercising power. None of these were in Cleveland's repertoire. A solid, honest, nonreforming leader, he belongs in the upper ranks of second-rate presidents.

American history buffs should collect every volume in the fine American President series, short biographies by mostly eminent writers (Robert Remini on John Quincy Adams is the best I've read so far). Like the subject, this biography is competent. Historian Graff tells the story of Cleveland's life, leaning over backward to find nice things to say without exaggerating his accomplishments. Allan Nevins' 1944 opus is probably the definitive biography, but it's long in the tooth and perhaps also too long for the nonspecialist. Readers looking for the best single volume work will find a lively and opinionated account in Horace Samuel Merrill's Bourbon Leader: Grover Cleveland (Little, Brown, 1957).

4-0 out of 5 stars Integrity and Stolidity in an American President
This short book is part of "The American Presidents" series edited by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. The series devotes a short volume to the life and accomplishments of each American President. The books in the series can be read quickly, and each gives the reader an overview of the life and accomplishments of an important American figure. It is a worthy goal to encourage people to get a working understanding of our presidents and part of an attempt to reeducate Americans about their country and government. The series, Schelsinger states in his introductory note, will "give readers some understanding of the pitfalls and potentialities of the presidency and also of the responsiblities of citizenship".

Professor Graff's short study of the life of Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) fulfills the aim of the series. The book consists of a brief biography of Cleveland and covers his youth, his public (and some of his private) life before he became president, his two presidencies, and his life in retirement. The accomplishments of each of his two terms are summarized, if briefly.

As do most writers who have studied Cleveland, Professor Graff finds his strength in his integrity and common sense. He was able to persuade his fellow Americans, both before and during his presidency of his honesty. Cleveland was a President without charisma and an uninspiring public speaker. He regretted his entire life his lack of a college education, and his career shows something of a discomfort with new ideas or new approaches. Yet, he was able to turn these traits, together with his own strengths into advantages. He proved a capable and inspiring President.

Professor Graff does not engage in hero-worship. If anything, I thought that he somewhat undervalued Cleveland and his accomplishment. He describes some aspects of Cleveland's presidencies which seem to run counter to the picture of Cleveland as a reformer and as given to complete probity and openness.(For examples, Graff discusses the abrupt dismissals of many Republican civil servants at the outset of his terms and the secret operation on Cleveland's jaw which was held on a ship offshore to conceal it from the public at the beginning of Cleveland's second term.) Yet Graff finds much to admire in Cleveland in his hard work, acknolwedgement of his illegitimate child, financial probity, and Civil Service reform. Graff praises Cleveland for his refusal to support the annexation of Hawaii when its queen was overthrown under dubious circumstances. Cleveland restored public faith in government at a time when it was sorely lacking. I think he was the first President who could be desribed as attempting to govern by principles that he believed were both "conservative" and "compassionate." In this he is an inspiration whose goals, if not all his specific decisions, could be followed and expanded upon.

This is not a complete study of Grover Cleveland but it succeeds well in giving the reader a sense of his accomplishment. The reader who wants to learn more might read Allan Nevins', "Grover Cleveland, A Study in Courage" (1944) which remains the standard biography of Cleveland.

4-0 out of 5 stars WORTH A SECOND LOOK
Widely remembered as the only president to serve two non- consecutive terms, Cleveland hasn't gotten the attention and praise he merits. Although a Democrat, it would be no surprise that most of his views would clash with those taken by Democrats today as well as Republicans.

Following the Panic of '83, the public lost confidence in the efficacy of paper money. Cleveland believed the only solution to the restoration of prosperity was to place the country on a gold standard.

Cleveland's anti-imperialist stance would dismay many who promote the U.S. as the Hall Monitor of the World, clinging to the imperishable ideal of the Declaration that all men have the right to self-government. He was outraged to hear how the rulers of Hawaii were overthrown and replaced with a rump democracy. He attempted to undo the wrong wrought by forcible intervention. For Cleveland it was "the only honourable course for our government to pursue."

His words should be carved above some door to the Pentagon, or the Department of Defense:

"The United States," he wrote, "can not allow itself to refuse to redress an injury inflicted through an abuse of power by officers clothed with its authority and wearing its uniform; and on the same ground, if a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the name and power of the United States, the United States can not fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation."

Why did Hawaii hope for the restoration of self-sovereignty? Because "she could place implicit reliance upon the justice of the United States." Someone in those scattered islands must have read the same texts the beleaguered pro-democracy students in China read when they erected a crude facsimile of the Statue of Liberty in Tianmanen Square. Too bad they were kicked in the teeth.

He opposed and vetoed bills that would have provided federal handouts for numerous groups and individuals, some deserving, most bogus. But he was not blind to a "widening gulf between employers and employed. His concern was not a squishy "kinder, gentler" budget-increasing type.

Anticipating the Encyclical Rerum Novarum of Pope Leo XI, and Laborem Exercens of Pope John Paul II, he wrote that "Communism is a hateful thing . . . but the communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity and selfishness, is not less dangerous."

He was an honorable man when honor in a public office was scorned. Democrats and Republicans take heed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely solid, but limited by the subject matter
This is the fourth installment of an exciting new series in which major presidential scholars provide brief, critical biographies of all the American presidents. Arthur Schlesinger, who among many other things is famous for his overseeing the group of presidential scholars who rank all the American presidents, edits the series. In the most recent version of Schlesinger's list, Grover Cleveland is ranked 12th out of 39 presidents, at the top of the "Above Average" category and just missing the "Near Great" presidents. As Graff, the author of this volume, puts it, "Grover Cleveland is the best Unknown President." And that is the great virtue of this series: not in providing short biographies of figures like Abraham Lincoln and FDR, but less well known figures like Cleveland, and such future subjects as Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan.

While Grover Cleveland emerges in this biography as an admirable, laudable, and highly capable president, he also strikes the reader today, as he did Americans in the late 19th century, as a terribly unexciting person. Of our better presidents, Cleveland was unquestionably the one with the least outgoing personality. Being respectful, one might describe him as "solid" rather than "dull." Although not someone possessed with a great deal of charisma, he was nonetheless impressive by his own great personal honesty and integrity, and the enormous amount of hard work he put into his job. After a series of presidents whose time in office was marred by corruption, Cleveland did a great deal to restore integrity and respect to the White House.

Graff does a fine job within the confines of this biography to detail both the highpoints of Cleveland's relatively (for a president) uneventful life and of detailing many of the issues surrounding both his elections and his terms of office. Many of these issues will be familiar to students of American history, but when I have read of these before, it has been in the context of the country as a whole, and not from the viewpoint of a particular administration.

Despite not being a terribly exciting individual, a number of aspects of Cleveland's life and presidency are of note. He is the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms. He is the only president to be married in the White House. I found the section dealing with his highly secret surgery for cancer of the mouth to be fascinating. To keep his political opponents ignorant of his condition, he was transported to New York, placed in a yacht that was anchored near Bellevue Hospital, and operated on while on the boat. Because the surgery necessitated the removal of much of his jaw, he was fitted with a prosthetic jaw. Bizarrely, the public did not learn of any of this until a decade after his death.

I can strongly recommend this slender volume to anyone who wants to know more about the life of one of our better yet least known presidents, and to get a better grasp of the political life of the United States near the end of the 19th century. ... Read more

146. Rebel With a Cause
by Franklin Graham
list price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0785276068
Catlog: Book (1995-11-01)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc
Sales Rank: 848454
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In his autobiography, Franklin Graham tells his story of how God has taken his life and turned it into His Glory.Elizabeth Dole says, "Franklin has provided a very thoughtful and provocative account of how a young man develops and matures in his faith as the son of one of the world's most respected and admired spiritual leaders." ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring as Well as Informative!
This autobiography of Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, is inspiring as well as informative. Graham gives the reader an insight into what it was like being raised in the shadow of the most famous preacher of the twentieth century. He shares honestly and from the heart.

While by today's standards Graham was not that rebellious of a child, it is still refreshing to see that even the son of Billy Graham had his struggles. Smoking, drinking, and defying authority were three of his greatest vices. He describes his journey from a rebellious son of a minister to a servant of Jesus Christ in his own right.

I admire Franklin Graham for being his own person, rather than trying to become a mere imitation of his father. While struggling for years to find his own, unique place in God's plan, as time passed he did finally discover it. He serves today as the head of "Samaritan's Purse" ministry, a ministry much different than the well-known crusade ministry of his dad.

I recommend this book highly to anyone wanting to learn more about Franklin Graham. I especially recommend it to the children of ministers, who may be struggling to find their own identity in the shadow their father. This work is also a good insight into the personal dynamics of the Graham family. Buy it, read it, and discover more about this rebel who finally found his cause!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Biography
This is a very powerful book. Franklin Graham is the son of Dr. Billy Graham and Ruth Bell Graham. This is his story of "Growing Up Graham," and all of his struggles. He pulls no punches about his life and times. To all of you out there who've lead a rebel life as I once did, you'll love this book. In short, it's a story of growing up in and around Christianity. As he ran from Jesus, he eventually ran right to Jesus and did get saved. He also tells of his life in the ministry after his conversion. So, to anyone who feels called into the ministry, this book will be a great resource for you as well.

If you know of someone who hasn't gotten saved and is fighting it, or if you know of someone that was once a renegade and eventually got saved, this book would be an excellent gift.

Thank you Franklin Graham for being so honets and sharing your story and of your public display of your Christian faith. Keep up the good work!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Autobiography
Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, had written this autobiography from his beginnings as a "rebel" to a President of Samaritan's Purse. It also leads its readers the twists and turns that Franklin had endured to where he is today. This is a very interesting and inspiring autobiography that one shouldn't miss to read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst Book Ever Written
Discussions in this book about other religions are absolutely false to say the least. Many facts are simply wrong, the least of which is the discussion about the rituals of Hinduism.

Anyone who reads any of Franklin Graham's books must not take a single word of the discussion of other religions seriously, for his books are filled from cover to cover with blatant and gratuitous religious intolerance.

Instead of this book, I recommend reading Voltaire's Treatise on Tolerance, ISBN: 0521649692

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing journey without special consideration!
The most extraordinary thing about this book is that you'll see clearly that Franklin did not get where he is because of who his father (Billy Graham) is. You will be intrigued by how his life took the twists and turns it did. His journey will fascinate you. His landing will assure you. There is only one reason possible that he ended up where he has. A great read. A great gift. ... Read more

147. Confessions of a Street Addict
by James J. Cramer
list price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743524721
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 354484
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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It's hard to think of anyone more intense or opinionated, or who wears as many hats as James Cramer. In Confessions of a Street Addict, the man who first made a name for himself on Wall Street successfully managing his hedge fund--and then became famous on Main Street with his manic appearances on CNBC--tells the improbable story of his career as journalist, Wall Street pundit, Internet entrepreneur, and television commentator. For the most part, Cramer manages to avoid the self-congratulatory hype that mars so many books of this ilk; in fact, what makes Confessions so compelling are the shots that Cramer takes at himself, be it his now infamous capitulation during the stock market panic of October 1998, when he wrote a piece for advising readers of an impending crash just as the market began to rebound, or the callous way he treated so many around him in pursuit of the next trade. Here's an informative, honest, and rollicking read for fans of CNBC,, or anyone who has ever lost sleep thinking about their portfolios. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards ... Read more

Reviews (111)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good read for outsiders that still like to trade..
Liked this book.Cramer is straightforward and, at times, very humble in his posture.It goes to show you how a small trader, like a lot of us, can struggle against the insider big-dogtide.While everyone is anylizing charts, moving averages, Bolingers, candlesticks, et al, the real insiders trading word-of-mouth info at Wall St are the ones who really make the money.

Good read and I highly recommend it if you are a amature stock junkie like myself.

4-0 out of 5 stars There's always an intelligent woman behind a man's success!
I'm not mad about Jim Cramer and I guess I'll never be.His brash, arrogant, loudmouth way of commenting on different business or even political issues on tv, whether it's on "Mad money", "Kudlow and Cramer", "Squawk box", "Good morning, America" or any other television show he's ever been on can get on my nerves sometimes. As a matter of fact, it's not so much his comments rather than his behaviour, his body language and his way of making a point that grate on me.

But he is one of the very few investors/traders that I have ever heard say "I was wrong about this stock or this company, and I don't have any problems admitting it", and I give him credit for that. The guy seems, if not honest, at least sincere to me. And I guess brashness, arrogance, sincerity, his loud mouth and the fact that he craves public attention make of Jim Cramer a highly colourful, flamboyant character. I'm always interested in what he has to say, even if I don't agree with him: sometimes, when he's on tv, the guy can be downright funny in his own way!

And so, not very enthusiastically I picked up this book and began reading it on a rainy weekend. Contrary to some of the readers who have posted reviews here at, I didn't really expect to learn any valuable trading methods or technical stuff, since the book's title is "Confessions" and not "Methods". No, as a matter of fact, when I think about it, I did learn something original. Cramer's idea of visiting department stores to find the next big thing and asking the right questions to the store clerks was very amusing to me.

This turned out to be a very honest, sincere and interesting book indeed. I wasamazed by a few things in particular though:

1-Dedication, hard work and brains do pay in life. But that's not always enough. Sometimes you have to be lucky too. And Cramer was lucky, and he still is. His luck is called Karen Backfisch, and he is honest and humble enough to admit it. I mean, how many times did she bail the guy out? Reading the "Crisis in 1998" chapter, I almost felt I personally lived every infinitesimal instant of that crazy October 8, 1998 with Mr Cramer. Where would he be now, had the trading goddess not returned to the desk just for that day? "Hey, chum, looking glum!"... Sometimes all you need is a divine intervention.

2-I would have never thought a guy so successful in making money for himself and others could be so naive and blind as a bat in his relationships with business partners or close friends. That Ravi Desai story is quite revealing in this regard. It lead to Cramer's falling out with the guy who started it all for him, Marty Perez, and that too is unbelievable. Once again, his wife seemed to understand relationships and sense betrayal and disloyalty much better than he did.

3-I simply couldn't believe how unhappy and miserable this man was. I mean the guy almost had no life, he was constantly yelling and screaming, smashing cell phones and keyboards, calling people names; he misses his sister's marriage and talks about call positions on the phone while his mother lies dead in front of him...How miserable can you be? I think Howard Kurtz resumes it very well in his book: "It's amazing that a man so wealthy and successful can still be so manic and miserable!"

4-Again, I wasn't disappointed by the lack of trading methods or technical issues in this book. One little remark though: I thought cutting your losses short and being ok with some losses from time to time were "generally accepted trading principles" in the trading/speculating/investing world. Well, oddly enough, these two don't seem to be Cramer's principles. The guy takes losses personally, small and big ones, and he seems driven by emotions almost all the time. I thought that was something every trader tries to avoid. But then again, I guess that's ok. Mr Cramer has made millions over the years, so he must have had a bunch of other golden rules.

Many people couldn't wait (and I guess they still can't) to see Jim Cramer go to jail. Good Lord, people, you only have to blame yourself if you did poorly in the market during the last years. Cramer was pumping stocks he owned on various shows? He wrote "it's time to dump everything" in his recent column? He said he loved this company and hated that other stock during his last appearance on tv? So what, quit listening to him and start thinking independently! What do you think the analysts at Goldman, Merrill, Fidelity or Schwab have been doing over the years? Their buy/hold/sell recommandations can move the market, but sometimes the stocks don't go in the direction they expected or predicted them to go. Should they go to jail too?

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
All the back and forth on this book is amazing. Jim Cramer rocks! Don't believe all the stupid negative reviews. Read this book and learn something.

5-0 out of 5 stars Astounding
Wow.I have to say that, when I picked up this book, I was not prepared for the profound impression it would make on me.I have followed Cramer for a short time now, as long as I have followed the stock market, and have been very impressed by what strikes me as his candidness and apparent sincerity.Cramer, unlike so many Wall Street bigshots (not that Cramer is a bigshot), seems to genuinely care about those he sets out to advise, and this is what drew me to his book.

First, let me say that Cramer is a remarkably good writer, and recounts his story in such an intense, exciting, yet compelling way that I don't see how anyone could not be drawn in by this book, no matter how little interest they have in Wall Street.Second, while I wouldn't call Cramer an egomaniac (as others have done), I certainly agree that the man has a lot of self-confidence (that's what makes him such a good investor), and that confidence certainly comes through in this book.

Finally, Cramer is so brutally honest in this book (I've heard him say many times on the radio that he's embarrassed of how open he was) that you cannot help but like the guy.He did some horrible things in his quest to rise to the top of the financial world, but he admits what he did and takes the blame for all of his misdeeds.This is a great book from a fascinating man, and one which paints a very clear picture of the price men often pay for success on Wall Street.

4-0 out of 5 stars wonderful
love the book esp. the beginning,
it is so funny and insightful of
wall street, some chapters are boring
but overall, great book for anyone who
wants to laugh and know a little
about the street ... Read more

148. Gathering Blue
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807261505
Catlog: Book (2000-10-24)
Publisher: Listening Library
Sales Rank: 103101
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Approx. 5 hours, 4 cassettes

In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, how people could evolve, and what will be considered valuable.Every reader will be taken by Kira's plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

... Read more

Reviews (174)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another compelling look at future societies
Gathering Blue, by Lois Lowry, is another great novel about a future society. Though it is called a companion novel to The Giver, Lowry's earlier book about a future Utopian society, Gathering Blue is by no means a sequel. It follows the life of Kira, an orphan girl with a twisted leg trying to survive in a society that shuns and discards the weak. After her mother dies, Kira faces a life or death trial in front of the Council of Guardians. She is given the important job of being the threader of the sacred Singer's Robe. There, she meets Thomas the Carver, little Jo, the future Singer, and Matt, a troublesome tyke. This novel makes you think of where our current society is heading, and what we will become if we do- a greedy, self-centered world with no diversity and much power. Gathering Blue is a wonderfully written book that is sure to make you wonder how you can prevent this society from coming into full existence.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gathering Blue
Kira is a young girl about twelve or thirteen who has just lost her mother to illness and many years ago lost her father to a hunting accident where he was taken by beast. This now orphan is faced with the difficult challange as where to live because one of the women that live near her Verona tries to take her cott to make a fenced in area for her tykes and chickens. This matter is take in front of the Council of Guardians. The Council decides to give her cott to Verona and keep Kira because of her wonderful skill in threading to restore the robe worn by singer who sings the most important song that tells of the events of the history of the people. Along the way she realizes that there are secrets that the world around her is hidding and she trys to look for them.

She gets help along the way from her friends Thomas the Carver, Matt, and Branch.

Lois Lowry is a master at creating new worlds in which the characters live in. This world in which Kira lives in is very different than the world we live in today, it mostly resembles older times where people do not yet know about showers and hunting is one of there main sources of food.

This book as a whole was excellent, but the end of the book was not very good. It left the reader with many questions in which were not answered at the end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lavender blue, dilly dilly. Lavender green.
A book that seems primed for Middle School discussions due to its open-to-interpretation ending. This tale is the second in the Lois Lowry futuristic trilogy. Beginning with "The Giver", continuing through "Gathering Blue" and finishing with "The Messenger", the tales tell the stories of utopias gone awry. Call them utopias gone dis, if you will. Though the first two books make only the most casual of allusions to one another, the third ties them all together. Each deals with how simple citizens of the world can begin to challenge authority on a basic every day level. As you might imagine, these books are banned from schools and libraries with breathtaking frequency. In "Gathering Blue" we read about a girl, her artistic talents, and her growing awareness of the world around her.

Kira was born with a misshapen foot, a serious defect in the society in which she lives. Raised by her mother to be proud and strong, Kira must deal with her mom's untimely death and a village that is hostile to her presence. When brought before the village's Council of the Guardians, the rulers of this local berg, Kira is given a chance to become not only accepted but also admired. Adept with a needle and thread, she is given the challenge of restoring and improving the robe belonging to the Singer of Songs. While living within the council building she meets and befriends a boy who is adept with wood carving and a child that sings with incredible beauty. Yet as Kira learns more and more about her living situation and the world around her, it becomes painfully clear that those who have supposedly helped her in the past may be keeping her for their own devices. Kira must decide whether to leave this uncomfortable situation for a place that would welcome her freely or to stay and try to change the way things are.

Anyone who is a fan of Lowry's books in this series won't be disappointed by this addition. Certainly it leaves the reader wanting more, but that's just the mark of a good writer. Personally, I was a little amazed to find these stories so very similar to Zilpha Keatley Snyder's "Below the Root" books. This isn't to say that Lowry stole Snyder's ideas, but rather that the plots in these books are universal and popular. Fans of "The Giver" who worried about Jonas's fate will find some comfort in the brief allusion made to him in this story. As with most of Lowry's tales, this book relies on strong characters and an airtight plot. At the same time, it accomplishes the difficult task of giving the reader some space to figure things out on his or her own. Few books do this well. "Gathering Blue" is one of the few.

Though not as airtight a tale as "The Giver", "Gathering Blue" raises some important questions about society itself. Those who blindly follow their leaders will inevitably end up in a harsh cruel world. It takes people like Kira, the artists and crazies, to call into question those who would make our decisions for us. In this day and age ESPECIALLY, this is an incredibly important lesson to remember and retain. For as long as this book remains read, it will hopefully help its readers to question authority. It's a strong message presented in a lovely little package.

4-0 out of 5 stars pretty good all round book!!
Gathering Blue is about a girl by the name of Kira who lives in a village society set in the future. Before she is born, her father is reported killed and then much later when her mother dies of a terrible illness, Kira's life becomes endangered. Luckily though, because of her skillful talent with threads, she is kept and well taken care of with two other talented children. While she is there, some mysteries start to unfold which lead up to an end with an amount of surprising twists.

Gathering Blue is written very well - full of details so you can imagine every character and setting very clearly. The ideas for the future society in this book are very imaginative and unique. The story is also quite different. (If you're thinking this book sounds a lot like one of Lowry's other books, The Giver, then you're wrong because the story and the future society in The Giver is totally different!) The second half of Gathering Blue is much more gripping than the first half but still, this is a pretty good all round book!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Read
"Gathering Blue" is part two of a three part trilogy of a post apocalyptic world. "Gathering Blue" focuses on the struggle for life in a small village after the "fall" and what makes a person important. The main character Kira, is born lame and should not have survived until the start of this story, but she has a talent as a seamstress and village elders have need of her skills. Much like "The Giver", this book focuses on a study of society and trying to come to an answer. Because this book is aimed at young adults, most of the baser behaviors are only hinted at, which actually make them more horrible because it has been left to the imagination. Much like all good reads, the giver leaves one with more questions than answers. "Gathering Blue" is an enjoyable read for both early teens as well as adults. It is a good start for young adults to start to read and question the role of society for them and in general the larger population. ... Read more

149. The Family : The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553528858
Catlog: Book (2004-09-14)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 365358
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150. Kitchen Confidential : Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553528521
Catlog: Book (2001-05-15)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 100841
Average Customer Review: 4.09 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Six cassettes, 9 hrs.
Read by the author
When Chef Anthony Bourdain wrote "Don't Eat Before You Read This" in The New Yorker, he spared no one's appetite, revealing what goes on behind the kitchen door. In KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL, he expanded the appetizer into a deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet that lays out his twenty-five years of sex, drugs, and haute cuisine.
... Read more

Reviews (390)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

151. John F. Kennedy: The JFK Wit
by John F Kennedy, Live Recordings
list price: $15.95
our price: $13.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1885959397
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: Speechworks
Sales Rank: 419055
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The very best of the famous JFK WIT is featured in this special audio collection.Highlights from 24 speeches from 1960 - 1963. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars JFK RULES !
Well, I just got the CD in the mail a few days ago. As a big Kennedy fan..I really enjoyed this CD as it had a lot of his greatest moments. As we all know, one of his most amazing talents was his carisma and all shows in this CD. I do recommend this for die hard JFK fans...but the "average joe" most likely would not like it. ... Read more

152. Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole
by Jerri Nielsen, Maryanne Vollers
list price: $35.95
our price: $23.73
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Asin: 1587880121
Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio Unabridged
Sales Rank: 687908
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jerri Nielsen was a forty-six-year-old doctor working in Ohio when she made the decision to take a year's sabbatical at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, the most remote and perilous place on Earth. The "Polies," as they are known, live in almost total darkness for six months of the year, in winter temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero--with no way in or out before the spring.

During the long winter of 1999, Dr. Nielsen, solely responsible for the mental and physical fitness of a team of researchers, construction workers, and support staff, discovered a lump in her breast. Consulting via email with doctors in the United States, she performed a biopsy on herself, and in July began chemotherapy treatments to ensure her survival until condition permitted her rescue in October. A daring rescue by the Air National Guard ensued, who landed, dropped off a replacement physician, and minutes later took off with Dr. Nielsen.

This is Dr. Nielsen's own account of her experience at the Pole, the sea change as she becomes "of the Ice," and her realization that as she would rather be on Antarctica than anywhere else on earth. It is also a thrilling adventure of researchers and scientists embattled by a hostile environment; a penetrating exploration of the dynamics of an isolated, intensely connected community faced with adversity; and, at its core, a powerfully moving drama of love and loss, of one woman's voyage of self-discovery through an extraordinary struggle for survival. ... Read more

Reviews (120)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and Life Changing
After seeing Dr. Nielsen on Primetime Live I knew I HAD to read this book which appeals to readers on so many different levels. The fascinating story and drama of individuals who winter at the south pole is an example of a lifestyle few of us would ever consider or could even image. Dr. Nielsen's fight against the cancer raging in her body as she struggles to continue her duties as the pole's only physician is awe inspriring. However the most beautiful and potentially life changing aspect of the book for me was her description of this "perfect society" where people are valued and appreciated for the true gifts they bring from their souls and not judged superficially by irrelevent things like physical appearance as our society is so apt to do. The truest message comes through Dr. Nielsen's assertions that the mechanic is just (if not MORE) important than the doctor at the pole. We could all learn from this metaphor to make society a better place in which to live. Finally as far as the controvery regarding Dr. Nielsen "leaving" her children to pursue this adventure I personally believed her story, but since only the family involved could know the whole truth it is not any readers place to judge her motives.

3-0 out of 5 stars Brave Woman, So-So Book
It's interesting that so many reviewers accuse those writing a negative review of not reading the book, but criticicizing the person. I think many of those raving about the book are doing the same thing--they admire Jerri's bravery and pluck so much that they don't notice the book's flaws. The first few chapters are truly fascinating, and although I too wonder about the other side (if there is one) of the divorce saga, Jerri comes off as likable and perceptive. However, the book is overlong, and after a while, everything becomes monotonous. The first time "Big" John and "Tool Time Tim" (everyone has a nickname on the pole) fix the generator, it's interesting. The third or fourth, it's like, been there, done that. Also, the numerous e-mails printed verbatim gets a bit tiresome. There's hardly any prose at all in the last few chapters. I guess that's understandable--Jerri probably didn't remember too much of those months. and the e-mails might be all she has to go on. I recommend this book to those with an interest in arctic adventures or breast cancer, but as a general interest story, it lags a bit towards the end.

3-0 out of 5 stars Doctor, diagnose thyself.
The book cover proclaims "A doctor's incredible battle for survival at the South Pole". Indeed, the battle for survival is incredible and heartwarming.

The life Dr. Nielsen and her companions lived and others continue to live at the South Pole is described in fascinating detail.

The book is worth your time. However, I recommend skimming through any section of the book that seems to drag or you find annoying.

In my reading, I found the author's description of her circumstances and reasoning for her need to escape traditional civilization a bit annoying. In addition, some of the reprinted email exchanges added little if anything to the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Candid Look at a true Mission Impossible
Having Breast Cancer is bad enough, Having to be a doctor and treat that breast cancer is worse, but being stuck in Antartica while all of this is happening is the worst. Jerri writes a wonderful memoir about that time on Antartica, without holding back anything. I loved this book. It showed the triumph of the human spirit in the real world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life on the Ice with Cancer
The plot of Ice Bound is very good. It was very informative about a lot of the effects of chemotherapy and cancer. Dr. Jerri Nielsen did a very good job on desribing what it was like to live on the Ice. She also did a good job on desribing cancer and other medical terminology without being too technical. That way, people who are not doctors can still follow the book. I thought it was very interesting how she and others were able to come together when she need it most. ... Read more

153. Ten Minutes from Normal
by Karen Hughes, Robert Hughes
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1593558058
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Sales Rank: 647218
Average Customer Review: 2.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Karen Hughes has worked beside President George W. Bush since, as she says, "the motorcade was only one car and he was sometimes the one driving it." As counselor to the president, she brought the working mom’s perspective to the White House, often asking of President Bush’s policies, "What does this mean for the average person?"

Yet the move from Texas to Washington was hard on her family, and in a controversial, headline-making decision that reverberated across America, she chose to place family first and quit the nation’s capital to return to Austin. There, Hughes continues to advise the president, where the kitchen wall calendar marks the State of the Union message side by side with her son’s orthodontist appointments.

In this disarmingly down-to-earth, warm, often funny, and frank book, Hughes looks at her unique career in George W. Bush’s inner circle and the universal concerns of balancing work and family. Ten Minutes from Normal—the title comes from the campaign trail––is a remarkable blend of the story of a "normal" woman who rose to great heights and an insightful look at American politics and America’s forty-third president.

This is a book for the legions of women and men everywhere who are seeking new inspiration for how to remember their priorities and achieve balance in their lives. Most important, in a post-9/11 world, Hughes redefines the very notion of what is "normal" as something special and precious, never to be taken for granted in America again. ... Read more

Reviews (107)

1-0 out of 5 stars Watch what she does ...
As you might expect from a former communications director, Karen Hughes' book "Ten minutes from Normal" is all spin. She writes with total conviction, but her observations are often at odds with the observations of other administration officials who have written books. For example, Hughes says that George Bush "asked questions that went right to the heart of the matter" and had a "laserlike ability to distill an issue to it's core." In contrast, Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neill (as told to Ron Suskind) said he was clueless and disinterested.

Hughes' choices of what to include and what to omit from the book are sometimes curious. There are only a couple of lines that obliquely hint about how her conservative mother influenced her future political leanings. She describes a pineapple dish she served at a dinner party 15 years earlier and names scores of people she's met in her career but most of us have never heard of (who cares who was in her exercise and Bible-study groups). At the same time, she mentions nothing about what most readers would consider important issues that might have been discussed by top administration officials before September 11, 2001, such as terrorism and Al-Qaeda. You'd think Condi would have mentioned it many times during her briefings at the mandatory morning Senior Staff meetings. She also doesn't say much about the 2000 election considering how unique it was in the history of the country. She mentions the process of recounting the votes (which she calls "re-creating") but says nothing about the thousands of black voters who were unfairly purged from the rolls by Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris.

There are no new revelations in the book that might be of interest to a follower of politics. Hughes says she has no knowledge of who was responsible for the smear campaign against John McCain in the South Carolina primary, or who exposed Valerie Plame, the CIA undercover agent. She does confirm that Condoleeza Rice talked to Bush after the first plane struck the twin towers but doesn't mention if the discussion involved Osama bin Laden or "My Pet Goat." She does concede that Bush needs two days to prepare for a major speech whereas Clinton would make changes right up to the minute he gave the speech.

Hughes admits she can't sing but doesn't seem to realize she also has no sense of humor. This is clear from several instances in which Hughes says people didn't "get her jokes," such as "message ADD." When she characterizes Bush's selection in the 2000 election as "a resounding 49 percent victory," you're not sure she meant it as a joke or whether she's somehow serious. Even her son Robert has this figured out in his diary inserts (the only honest and genuine parts of the book). One unintentionally amusing piece of the book is the juxtaposition of the eight and ninth pictures that show Hughes wearing the same blouse and pant suit in photos taken a year apart. Fashion aside, it's surprising how someone who is so detail oriented and careful in the selection of words didn't notice the similarities in the two pictures.

Hughes grouses because Democrats characterized Bush as inarticulate and inexperienced during the 2000 election. Then she describes how hard her staff worked to characterize Al Gore as a flip-flopper who would do anything to win the election. Later, she says the Bush administration staffs were "remarkably collegial" (obviously Rumsfeld and Powell didn't get the word). She's angry because the terrorists aren't "constrained by the facts" and because they "hate everyone who doesn't think like them." Karen, please ... look in a mirror.

This book reaffirms the old adage, "don't pay any attention to what politicians say, watch what they do." You'll get more satisfaction from reading "My Pet Goat" than "Ten Minutes from Normal."

2-0 out of 5 stars Karen Loves Herself
I read a review that said whether or not you are a Bush person would decide if you like this book or not. Well, I am a huge supporter of the president and I have to say, this book falls short. I found it hard to swallow how highly this woman thinks of herself. I do think she was a good communications advisor to the president and I guess that is why I was expecting more. For the money, you are much better off with David Frum's The Right Man. If you can pick this up at the library, it might be worth your time, but if you are spending money, I recommend looking in another direction.

4-0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes at the White House
I sat next to Karen Hughes at a breakfast during the time she was working on this book, and gave her an old Lauren Bacall autobiography I had just finished, insisting that she not trouble herself with returning it to me. She did, of course. I liked her at the time, and her book only reinforces the impression. She is a very forthright and intense person, yet in a very winningly feminine way. She is also a deeply religious person, and not shy about letting you know it from time to time, but to my mind she strikes just the right balance.

She deals with several topics of wide interest here. She began as a reporter and migrated to politics, as the communications chief for George W. Bush, so the interface between government and the press is a constant theme. The whole book is also a study in women in politics, not only because of Hughes herself but because Condoleeza Rice is her good friend and probably appears more often than anyone outside Hughes's family or Bush himself. (I am thinking of the ways in which Rice and Hughes actually influence our nation's governance throughout this story, and also the issue, for Hughes, of balancing family life with an all-consuming job-not just a women's issue of course.) The style and personality of the president is another overriding theme.

There are two other themes that are important but not so continual: the 2000 presidential campaign and the events after 9/11.

I mention all of this because I think the cover might narrow one's expectations: "Karen Hughes, Counselor to the President, Wife and Mother. The Woman who left the White House to put family first, and moved back home to Texas." Yes, the family is key, but there is so much more. I might add that her government ranking was equivalent to that of a three-star general. She is no lightweight.

Here's a nugget on the hard core side: "Ironically, the reluctance of nations such as France and Germany to join us in challenging Saddam probably emboldened him [Bush] and made war more likely, not less."

More personally, she lofts a great quote from Martin Luther King: "Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve."

This is not high literature, and doesn't pretend to be, but it's an important book for anyone who would like to understand a little bit of the background of our times and see a more personal side of the current administration.

3-0 out of 5 stars I like Karen Hughes, but this book falls short.
Karen Hughes is a role model for a lot of women trying to balance career and family. She is a genuinely good person, and this book just exudes pleasantness. I would recommend it highly for women. I think she had women in mind when writing it. She was speaking to them.

So, as a man, it was not my favorite book, but it had some very admirable points. I think it gives a great insider perspective and insight into some moments of recent importance in American history, including the 2000 campaign, the Florida recounts, and September 11, 2001.

I like Karen Hughes, but I found some of her more autobiographical passages from growing up to be somewhat boring. I could have done without those, personally. Some people will definitely enjoy them, however.

I do give her points for her candid discussion of her faith. It takes courage as a national public figure to go on record like that.

While this book didn't quite win me over, the world definitely needs more people like Karen Hughes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ten Minutes From Normal
An inspiring read that gives one an idea what it is like to be in the White House and next to power. The difference is Ms Hughes gives it a much more personal flavor with humorous stories and her personal philosophy. It should be a must read for " Bush Bashers" as at least they can get a first hand understanding of the character of the President rather than base their judgement on spin and often times data that lacks supportive facts. I closed the last page and thought that it was an unsual woman who could balance family, faith, friendship and still survive and be at the top of the players in the jungles of Washington. Additionally, some lagniappe is her faith that weaves through the book and gave me food for thought and the realization that we have some people of excellent character in the White House. It is an easy fun and informative read. ... Read more

list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671582704
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 327752
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Charles Kuralt is a national treasure, a reporter and man of the world who was to many the real and true voice of America. For more than thirty-five years, he delighted us with his On the Road reports, as an anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning, and with bestselling books that include On the Road with Charles Kuralt and Charles Kuralt's America. As Time magazine wrote, he was "the laureate of the common man."

The project that Kuralt was working on when he died was An American Moment with Charles Kuralt, a series of brief television essays about the people, places, and ideas that define the national spirit: the man who handcrafts the President's shoes; the origin of buffalo wings; Paul Bunyan's hometown of Bemidji, Minnesota; the Pony Express Museum; Pike Place Market in Seattle; Ferris wheels; and more.

A collection of enchanting and sometimes touching stories that brings back Charles Kuralt's distinctive voice, Charles Kuralt's American Moments celebrates the quintessential American character and traditions that he so loved. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Grief
The editing for 90 seconds of television was too severe for the treasured scenes to work as effectively in book form. Am I just still too sad at our loss to fill in the gaps? Though disappointed I read on and on. No doubt you will too. Kuralt was a quintessential American treasure himself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Moments of Reading
Great reading! As I read the pages of American Moments I can hear the voice of Charles Kuralt. I recommend it for all ages and it is very uplifting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful American word pictures painted by Kuralt
Kuralt is an American treasure. His essays, word pictures of America, take on a special quality when heard on tape. All of his essays are his legacy--to remind us of the amazing nature of American society and of the need for a new crop of American writers to find the hidden jewels of Americana. ... Read more

155. King Richard III
by William Shakespeare, Kenneth Branagh
list price: $19.98
our price: $13.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 962634217X
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks Ltd.
Sales Rank: 66985
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This edition presents a new look at King Richard III in accordance with the work of the Shakespeare and Schools Project, the National Curriculum for English and developments at GCSE and A level. Cambridge School Shakespeare considers the play as theatre and the text as script, enabling pupils to inhabit the imaginative world of the play in an accessible, meaningful and creative way.Cambridge School Shakespeare encourages students to participate actively in examining the plays, to work in groups as well as individually, to treat the play as a script to be re-created, and to explore the theatrical/dramatic qualities of the text. The editorial comments cater for pupils of all ages and abilities, providing clear, helpful guidelines for school study. The format of the plays is also designed to help all teachers, whether experienced or inexperienced. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic
The Naxos recording is an excellent rendition of RIII. The characterization is rich and well done. Full of passion and rage, you don't need to see the actors to "see" the play. The scene with Anne is particularly good. ... Read more

156. Dream Lovers : The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee
by Dodd Darin
list price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570420920
Catlog: Book (1994-09-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 632946
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars I've never ached so much for people I'll never know
The recent PBS documentary ("Bobby Darin-Beyond the Song") caught my attention and really grabbed me. I grew up in the 60's but had never paid much attention to music- and even hated some of the songs he sang. But even as I hated the songs I became mesmerized watching him. So I bought this little book and couldn't put it down. The authors start at the very beginning of Darin's and Dee's lives, making me feel like I was living each heart-breaking day and year with them. And watching Darin's life as it slowly unfolded made me slowly realize what a total genius he was, and made me realize how UTTERLY ORDINARY I am! How does one person become so completely talented that it is nothing short of frightening, and I exhibit not the slightest bit of creativity! So dramatic and yet too routine for a TV soap opera, it is heart-wrenching that Darin idolized but never saw the man he thought was his father, and found out very late in his too short life that his "sister" was actually his mother, his "mother" was actually his grandmother, and his "father" was not his father. He died only suspecting who his father actually was but never really knowing. But more upsetting to me is that in the United States in the 1970's no one could save this man's life when surely he could have been easily saved. He suffered physical pain that the book had me believing I was experiencing, and worst of all: he suffered alone. Everyone- including doctors who should have known better- told him there was nothing wrong with him. His physical ailments naturally made him difficult to be with and even those closest to him were driven away. This "brash," "cocky" man who gave us so much talent and enjoyment and ways to escape our troubles lived his last years terrified and feeling very much alone. What was also striking about this is that he had life-long friends who were more passionately in love with him than they were with almost anyone else- even when they were "on the outs" with him (How many of us have friends who would cry when speaking about us twenty years after our deaths?). But ultimately for various reasons, few of them were there for him. This magnificient talent who had everything- wealth, fame, the adulation of friends and strangers, genius, entourages- truly died alone and terrified- the same way we "ordinary" people fear passing.

This book left me more sad for and more concerned about strangers than I usually am for people I know, but it also left me truly heartened that the subjects' son seems to be doing so well and is so happy. His father would be as proud of him as he is of his parents, and his mother should rest assured that he will continue caring for her. He seems to be the type of son that should not only make a mother proud of him, but of herself- despite the low self-esteem she seems to have, she clearly did something very right when she raised him.

5-0 out of 5 stars For an in-depth review, THIS IS DARIN AND DEE!!
For anyone interested in the lives of America's dream couple, this is the definitive collection. From Dees troubled childhood, her early rise to fame, a practicly unknown side of Darin as well as Dee through thier marriage, to Dees collapse and hints of a comback. The only thing left out is Dees recounts of the end of the marriage other then a brief "why" it happened. Darin's life is presented here in the most concentrated, interview-laden publication. Every aspect of his career and life are exhamined with a much-due artist respect tone. The plus here is a section of "what if's" are explored. The structure of the book is a new approach with chapters vollying back and forth in chronoligical order. An interesting ending with Dodd Darin's own little life dramas being raised a Hollywood teen. For Dee fans, this shows the price of fame. For us Darin fanatics, this shows the "why" of fame.Why do they do it? A must have for 50's/60's fans, Darin/Dee fans, biography fans, music fans, or anyone who's looking to open a new door. ... Read more

157. The Housekeeper's Diary: Charles and Diana Before the Breakup
by Wendy Berry
list price: $15.95
our price: $15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559351802
Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
Publisher: Soundelux Audio Publishing
Sales Rank: 626194
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Slight, amusing and more than a little pretentious
It's a fun read, no doubt about it. Being a Midwestern girl, I'll never know what it's like to be a royal and I found this insider's view fascinating. To be fabulously wealthy, yet get all manner of freebies and presents. To have a staff there ready to wait on you, yet to never be away from their judgemental eyes. What a life! No wonder both Charles and Diana were spoiled and far from perfect. I don't see how anyone could be remotely normal given the lives they led. For this peek into Highgrove, I was grateful. However, Ms. Berry herself seems rather unlikeable. Always gossiping, making sure we know that's she's more educated that the Prince and Princess realized, saying that Diana never would have "dared" lose her famous temper with the housekeeper, it kept me shaking my head. Like other, I'm sure, I suspect if she didn't take this job in the first place just to pen a tell-all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing New
I got this book from Ebay as it was out of print. And Banned
in London. It was a good book all in all. But, I learned nothing
really new. We all know that Diana had alot of problems
I guess I would as well if I lived with the Royals. Not an
easy family to live with. She did her job and won the hearts
of many people. She is still a hero in my heart. Hey, she was
a person before she was royal.

5-0 out of 5 stars An insider's story
I bought this book several years ago and have just re-read it.

It's an interesting look at life inside the Royal Family. Well, at least one part of it. The self-centeredness of Prince Charles is not surprising. He expects every whim to be catered to without question and immediately. He comes across as very spoiled and out of touch.

Princess Diana is another matter. Her instability is so apparent. It is too bad that she did not get professional help.

The last sentence, "But where is it all going to end?" is sad when you think about what happened to Diana.

The author doesn't take sides, but has given us a good look into the private lives of a very unhappy family.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
Having read many accounts of the Royals, from the Morton Book to Kitty Kelley to Donald Spoto, I decided to give this one a try. It was an intriguing effort, being from the viewpoint of the Princess's personal staff, and not from sensationalist writers who don't actually know her. I enjoyed the book, and believe it rings of the truth for the most part, although I had to wonder about Ms. Berry's motives in working for the Royals in the first place. She had a teaching degree and had passed a couple of O levels. She said she wanted a more "stable" job than teaching, yet complained about the pay (which is notoriously lower than you would expect for those in Royal service). Why would a woman with such qualifications opt for a career in housekeeping, sponginging up the vomit of the Royal children, literally airing the dirty laundry, and overall, tolerating the temper tantrums of two overprivileged people trapped in a marriage from hell, who feel just "Royal" enough to take it out on the staff? One could almost surmise that she took the job out of curiosity, and then just cashed in at the bitter end. It does seem that there was a bit of a race to get it published: in the Introduction from the publisher, they mention that in their hurry to get the book to press, nothing was altered in Ms. Berry's original manuscript, and there it is, typos and all (not too many, though). The book comes across as an honest, simple account, with just a touch of haughty opinion on the part of the housekeeper from time to time. My favorite passage was the one where Ms. Berry says that in spite of all the screaming fits Diana got into with some of the staff, she never got into it with her. Ms. Berry says, "I think she would not dare" because the Princess knew that it would not be tolerated. I had to chuckle, because I think Diana most certainly WOULD have dared, but the housekeeper was just lucky enough to have missed out on such a tirade. All in all, a quick, entertaining read. Even though it's not currently available from the publisher, your library will surely have it (that's where I picked it up), and it's probably better that you just borrow it, rather than spending any money on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very insightful.
It is interesting to get the observations of the woman who lived in Diana's house for years. I have admired Diana for years but now feel there is so much that we don't know. She could be quite spiteful and hateful. It is important for this side of the story to get out. I still admire her, but look at her differently. She was called "the saint" by the household staff because no matter how awful she behaved in private, the public always idolized her. The media has always had a vested interest in presenting only the positive side of her. I have not been able to buy the book yet, I've listened to the tapes. Most of the revelations on the tapes are shocking and eye-opening. ... Read more

158. Untitled Audio
by Unknown
list price: $1.00
our price: $1.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074355017X
Catlog: Book (2005-10-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 857366
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159. All Creatures Great and Small
by James Herriot
list price: $39.95
our price: $27.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559273992
Catlog: Book (1996-09-15)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 76690
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

These are the stories that catapulted James Herriot to literary fame.When this book was first published, it was merely a simple volume of memoirs by an unknown Scottish veterinarian.But within a year, the book became recognizedas a masterpiece.And in the three decades that followed, Dr. Herriot became one of the most universally loved authors of our time.

In this first volume of memoirs, then-newly-qualified vet James Herriot arrives in the small Yorkshire village of Darrowby and he has no idea what to expect.How will he get on with his new boss?With the local farmers?And what will the animals think?This program is filled with hilarious and touching tales of the unpredictable Sigfriend Farnon, Sigfreid's zany brother, Tristan, and Herriot's first encounters with a beautiful girl called Helen.

Now as then, All Creatures Great and Small is full of humor, warmth, pathos, drama, and James Herriot's love of life.His journey across the Yorkshire dales, and his encounters with humans and dogs, cows, and kittens are lovingly told by Christopher Timothy with all the fascination, affection, and joy that suffuses Dr. Herriot's work.
... Read more

Reviews (75)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent....
I picked this book up one day with no clue as to what it was. After having read it I've concluded that it's the best story that I've read concerning animals (excluding animal farm). It also helped me understand life as a veternarian (at least some fifty years ago!) I've also come to the conclusion that Herriot has created a brilliant novel in his first try that have taken so many others years to complete. Synopsis: A heart-warming true tale of a veternarian named Dr. James Herriot in the late 30s in Yorkshire, England.

5-0 out of 5 stars classic works!
James Herriot's books stand out in modern writing as absolute classics, evocative of an earlier, more innocent time, and more wonderously, by the skill with which these deceptively simple, entertaining, moving stories are written. Beneath the entertaining text and characters lies absolutely beautiful, artful writing, with craft and skill that ties all these chapters and stories together in a pattern of one country vet's life in England in the 1930's and 40's. These are so much more than animal stories. I am biased; these are my favorite all-time books, read and re-read since my youth. Increasing age has not diminished their charm. History will write James Herriot's name large. If you haven't read these books yet, you owe it to yourself to start with "All Creatures Great and Small". Whether or not you care for animals, you will fall in love with a gentler time, the escapades of a trio of young men, and the laugh-out-loud as well as very tearful events this author writes about so beautifully. Absolutely timeless and a classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Listening Book Experience Ever!!
James Herriot is a wonderfully gifted writer. The way he can describe a scene with the exact perfect wording and phrase is simply uncanny.

You are THERE on the Yorkshire dales living the lowly daily life of a young vet.

Add to that Christopher Timothy's truly masterful performance and this audio book should be in the hall of fame. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

A breath of fresh air. Genuinely hilarious, heart warming, uplifting.

Give yourself the best gift ever. Listen to this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The beginning of magic
This is where it all started with James Herriott for me - a paperback tucked in with 3 or 4 other books I received for my birthday a long time ago. I couldn't tell you what the other books were, but this book, and its sequels, have become dear friends. I can tell you the stories from memory (and from my heart) and I have read the paperbacks so often I've had to replace them with hardbacks just so they'll last longer.
James Herriott was a vet practicing in Yorkshire (England) from the end of the Depression until about 20 years ago.
The stories are charming, happy, glorious, tragic and tear-jerking. It was a wonderful but brutal time to be practicing veterinary medicine. It was before many of the surgeries we have now and Herriott was there for the introduction of antibiotics and many other medicines. Think about it - how often have you had your cat or dog treated for infections - 60 years ago there was nothing to kill the bacteria that brought death to so many. How impossibly hard it must have been for him to lose so many of the animals he treated, and how wonderful when he knew he saved them either for the farmers who needed their stock or the families who loved their pets. And the people he writes about! What characters!
I have pets and love to read the stories about cats and dogs and horses. I teach medical students and use more than a few examples from these books about the PROCESS of thinking which is so essential to any practice of medicine. His stories here and in later books about diagnosing hoof and mouth disease or husk or heatstroke or nettlerash are fascinating reading about the mind of a physician as it works while the seconds of life tick away.
This book is great, the series of books is great - curl up somewhere and get to know them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book
You have to be dead not to enjoy this book. I just wanted to register my five stars. ... Read more

160. A Year in Provence (abridged)
by Peter Mayle
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559271701
Catlog: Book (1991-10-15)
Publisher: Audio Renaissance
Sales Rank: 235360
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Peter Mayle and is wife had been to Provence as tourists. They had dreamed of one day trading the long, grey winters and damp summers of England for the blue skies and sunshine of the coast of southern France. And then they made it happen.

They moved into an old farmhouse at the foot of the Luberon mountains and embarked on a wonderful, if at times bewildering, new life. Among their experiences that first year: being inundated with builders and visitors, grappling with the native accent, taking part in goat races and supervising the planting of a new vineyard.

Now, Peter Mayle personally recounts the pleasures and frustrations of Proven&ccedil;al life-- sharing in a way no one else can, the unique and endearing culture that is Provence.
... Read more

Reviews (96)

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it and see for yourself!
A French national, 4th generation "proven├žale" (from Provence), I couldn't help being both surprised and annoyed by the controversy around Peter Mayle's book. I loved his work and so did my whole family, still living in Provence. We found it refreshing to see our little world seen through a British eye, and got a real kick out of all the anecdotes. My (American) husband along with his parents read the book as well before discovering Provence and my family for the first time and enjoyed it tremendously.My advice to you, potential reader: do not pay attention to negative comments about this book. Read it and make your OWN opinion. You may love it or not.And if you end up touring in Provence, you're in for an unforgettable experience, especially if you avoid Summer months (Anyway the light in September is THE best), and if you get to know locals. This is better than any guide book. it is Provence from within... Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Like vacationing in the South of France . . .
When I was a sophomore in college, I spent a semester in Aix-en-Provence, France. While I was there I discovered that many of my fellow classmates had read "A Year in Provence" and were captivated by Mayle's account. Once I returned to the US, my parents bought it for me and I devoured it quickly. I loved this book -- and since I spent some time in Provence, I could relate to the various characters and adventures that Mr. Mayle writes about. His talent is definitely in the writing -- you certainly feel as if you are in Provence with him, searching out truffles or lamenting over his stone dining room table. I read this book (as well as its sequel, "Toujours Provence") over and over again, whenever I want to reminisce about the four months I spent abroad, or just for a few quick laughs. It truly is like taking a vacation, and taking a peek into Peter Mayle's charming quaint Provencal life. I highly recommend this book to anyone . . . and I promise that you will want to visit the South of France immediately!

5-0 out of 5 stars FUN!
Fun AND FUNNY! It was like going on vacation... with someone else's money! :-)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!!
I read this book after I had travelled to Paris and experienced a small part of French culture. After I read it I wish I would have gone to Provence.

Peter Mayle's memoir of relocating to Provence from England is laugh out loud funny. Like many of us Mr. Mayle fumbles about as he learns new things and manages to entertain his readers with his follies. So sit back with a glass of wine, cheese and a comfortable chair and enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars funny and delightful
In A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle descibes his and his wife's first year living in Provence as British expatriats. The book is divided into twelve chapters, one for each month, and takes us through the Mayles adjusting to life in France and getting their old farmhouse renovated. Mayle writes with self-deprecating wit and genuine pleasure for his new home. He is clearly bemused and captivated by his new friends. For example, before the cherry harvest (his land has 30 cherry trees), natives warn him repeatedly of the coming migrant "gypsies" who officially come to harvest the cherries but also have a habit of thievery. The stories are so overblown, that Mayle can't wait to meet these horrible gypsies; the results are hilarious. He and his wife also learn to contend with the Mistral, a harsh wind coming from Siberia, which their plumber informs them is getting stronger year by year, which can only mean that somewhere between Provence and Siberia the earth is getting flatter. In addition to all the home repairs are descriptions of excellent meals in perfect little restaurants around Provence. All is written with breezy good humor and infectious delight for both Provence and the Provenceaux. ... Read more

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