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    1. Man's Search For Meaning
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    2. Bono: In Conversation with Michka
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    1. Man's Search For Meaning
    by Viktor E. Frankl
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671023373
    Catlog: Book (1997-12-01)
    Publisher: Pocket
    Sales Rank: 518
    Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud. The book begins with a lengthy, austere, and deeply moving personal essay about Frankl's imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live. The second part of the book, called "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," describes the psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. Freud believed that sexual instincts and urges were the driving force of humanity's life; Frankl, by contrast, believes that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. Frankl's logotherapy, therefore, is much more compatible with Western religions than Freudian psychotherapy. This is a fascinating, sophisticated, and very human book. At times, Frankl's personal and professional discourses merge into a style of tremendous power. "Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is," Frankl writes. "After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips." ... Read more

    Reviews (174)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Book to Provoke, What is Your Life's Meaning?
    I wish I read this 20 years ago, it would have created a whole new perspective on my life. I won't repeat what many of the other fine reviewers have mentioned, but will add the following:

    According to Frankl, man's search for meaning is his primary motivation for life, not a secondary rationalization.

    Existential Vacuum, in today's Modern Society, we all have basic food, and shelter, we all can survive (thank goodness we don't have to endure what Frankl had to), we are all comfortable in our existence, and yet this comfort creates boredom, and therefore, our search for meaning is even more compounded. Thus is what Frankl refers to as existential vacuum, we exist today day to day, but do so in a vacuum of existence, until we know our meaning.

    Man should not ask what is the meaning of life, but rather BE asked. In response, man must answer in his responsible, to whom is he responsible to, to what, to whom?

    True meaning is discovered in the world, not within man himself. Seek out your experiences, the meaning is out there in the world, not within yourself.

    You cannot avoid untentional suffering, but you can change your attitude towards it, to give suffering a meaning to you.

    Live your life as though you were living it the second time. View life as a series of movie frames, the ending and meaning may not be apparent until the very end of the movie, and yet, each of the hundreds of individual frames has meaning within the context of the whole movie.

    View your life from your funeral, looking back at your life experiences, what have you accomplished? what would you have wanted to accomplish but didn't? what were the happy moments? what were the sad? what would you do again, and what you wouldn't?

    A must read for anyone searching for a deeper meaning in life. The book won't give you the meaning, only you can, but it will certainly help you get started.

    5-0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL AND COMPELLING!
    I look with awe and reverence at those who have survived Auschwitz and similar death camps and am amazed beyond belief at how they managed to survive not only physically, but emotionally. I do not believe any amount of psychology could fully prepare one for the horrors inflicted on the survivors of such attrocities. Both my parents fought for their country overseas during the World War II and I heard, first hand, of stories that touch, horrify and will remain with me for a lifetime.

    Dr. Frankl developed an approach to psychotherapy known as, logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's motivational force is reaching for meaning. While this book is not one that could be described as enjoyable reading, there is something about the author's experiences that will remain with us long after the book has concluded. Frankl gives meaning to life, despite life's suffering, and in a thought-provoking manner leaves a lasting impact on the reader that could well change the path of direction you choose to follow and how you continue to live your life.

    4-0 out of 5 stars All have a unique meaning to life to personally discover!
    After years of hearing others praise this book, I finally read it for myself, and found it is worth reading! Dr. Victor Frankl, an author-psychiatrist, experienced first-hand the horrible atrocities that were forced upon the Jews in Nazi Concentration Camps, and lived to tell about it. He shares the truths he learned as a prisoner, including man's search for meaning in life, and his ability to survive extreme physical and emotional hardships, despite the odds. In the process he developed a new approach to psychotherapy, known as "logotherapy." At the root of the theory is the value of helping others find their unique purpose or mission in life.

    What was the key to the survival in the Nazi death camps? It wasn't survival of the fittest in the traditional sense of those who were the most physically robust of the human species. Rather it tended to be those individuals, described below, who found inner survival strength as follows:

    (1.) Those who had a meaning in life, a sense of purpose, or intent to accomplish a goal. It was Dr. Frankl's desire to survive the death camps so that he could write and publish his experiences and truths learned through his suffering.

    (2.) Those who had a spiritual belief in God and a faith that there was a divine plan for them. They believed God would help them through their difficulties. Dr. Frankl said: "In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of the life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen."

    (3.) Those who had an intellectual life to fall back on (in their thoughts) during the monotonous, strenuous, and most painful times of endurance. He states: "Sensitive people who were used to a rich intellectual life may have suffered much pain... but the damage to their inner selves was less. They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom." This was something their oppressors were not able to take away from them.

    (4.) Those who held on to the cherished bonds of loved ones. Dr. Frankl often found strength by carrying on imagined conversations with his beloved wife who had been taken to another death camp. His ability to communicate his love for her in his thoughts, and receive back her love, gave him the incentive to hold on to life during the toughtest of times. Unfortunately his wife was not able to survive, but he didn't know this at the time. (Perhaps it was her Spirit he was communicating with afterall.)

    I was impressed with the description Dr. Frankl gave of a few of the prisoners, who despite being in a starving and sickly state, managed to go around offering aid and moral encouragement to others. Such individuals often gave of their meager piece of daily bread to keep another fellow prisoner alive. Such selfless service in the face of death, was truly admirable.

    In the second half of Dr. Frankl's book he distinguishes the difference between his theory of logotherapy and that of traditional approaches to physcho-analysis. At the core of his theory is the challenge to help individuals discover for themselves their reason for being, even a worthwhile goal. He quotes Nietzche who said: "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." Dr. Frankl says: "The meaning of life always changes, but it never ceases to be." This book can be a great resource for readers to evaluate their own purpose in life, and perhaps in the process choose a path that is worthwhile not only to them but that will benefit others as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Both touching and helpful!
    This book was touching to the point that it was painful to read at times. Yet, the overall message of this book is wonderfully exhilarating. Whatever meaning you find in your life is your life. If that meaning gives you hope, you will have hope. If that meaning gives you despair, you will find despair. This is a fantastic piece of existential work! The whole idea in this book reminds me a bit of the concept of the self-system in Toru Sato's genius book "The Ever-Transcending Spirit". Now "The Ever-Transcending Spirit" is a much newer book but it is another truly excellent book that takes these things one step further by integrating these ideas with the psychology of relationships as well as transpersonal experiences. I recommend this Frankl and Sato's book very very much! They are both outstanding!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A monumental work of human courage
    This book would be instrumental to those who wish to understand the greater purpose behind their suffering. The author describes his enduring many horrific experiences of the Holocaust while discovering a greater meaning in these experiences.

    Viktor Frankl believes there is a deeper meaning behind the suffering many continue to experience. He also feels that it's one's personal challenge to discover the purpose behind the pain they feel. While being non-judgmental about human suffering, the author sees our pain as a source of strength rather than as a sign of weakness.

    This book is ideal for those who are seeking the greater meaning in their suffering. While much of his story takes place during the Holocaust, the lessons are universal to anyone who has ever experienced great difficulty. ... Read more


    2. Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas
    by Michka Assayas
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1573223093
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-21)
    Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
    Sales Rank: 160
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    For the first time ever, Bono--the biggest rock star in the world--tells his life story.

    Bono's career is unlike any other in rock history. As the lead singer of U2, Bono has sold 130 million albums, won fourteen Grammys, and played numerous sold-out world tours, but he has also lobbied and worked with world leaders from Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to Nelson Mandela on debt relief, AIDS, and other critical global issues. He has collaborated with the same musicians for nearly three decades and has been married to his childhood sweetheart since 1982. His life, at all turns, resists the rock star clichés.

    In a series of intimate conversations with his friend Michka Assayas, a music journalist who has been with the band since the very beginning, Bono reflects on his transformation from the extrovert singer of a small Irish post-punk band into one of the most famous individuals in the world; and from an international celebrity to an influential spokesperson for the Third World. He speaks candidly about his faith, family, commitment, influences, service, and passion. Bono: A Self-Portrait in Conversationis the closest we will come, for now, to a memoir from the iconic frontman of U2.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Conversations Between Friends
    If you wanted to ask Bono a question, what would it be?

    Would it be about the music?

    Would it be about his personal life? Perhaps the deaths of his parents?

    Would you ask about the formation of the most successful band in history?

    Perhaps you'd want to know more about his work in support of AIDS and hunger releif.

    All of these questions, and many, many more are asked and answered in this book. In fact, almost the whole book is a series of questions that ramble from subject to subject with no pattern. These questions and answers are like a normal conversation flows between friends.

    Because they are friends, a true respect exists between the two men and it comes out in the book. This means that there is great insight shown into how Bono thinks. And it comes out that he thinks very well indeed.

    This is a fascinating book, not just because of the fascination with the singer, but because of the insight he brings to us about places like Africa and the Soviet Union.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Trip inside Bono's head
    U2 is the greatest band of my lifetime.How could I resist 323 pages of Bono pontificating?Obviously, I couldn't.Is Bono a little self-indulgent?You bet.Does he avoid dishing the dirt?Absolutely.But he does provide quite a bit of insight into what makes him tick.He is a remarkable human being.

    This is by no means a "tell all" book.The book briefly mentions Adam's problems with addiction, which were so bad at one point that he actually just didn't show up for a show in Sydney, a show that was being filmed for TV!But there aren't any details.There's some lip service paid to the group's (minus Adam) involvement with Shalom Christianity (a group devoted to understanding the Scriptures), but again, no real details.The details we get in this book are the little ones that make up day-to-day family life, past and present..., and ALOT about Africa.6500 Africans die each day of a preventable, treatable disease.It's hard to argue when Bono suggests that deep down we don't really believe in their equality. Bono's trip to Africa after the Live Aid concert seems to be a real turning-point in his life, and there are many pages devoted to his time there and his efforts to bring Africa's problems to the world's attention.

    But it's not all heavy seriousness.There's alot of poking fun at Bono's admittedly giant ego.Naturally, there are more than a few great quotes:"I can do the high-life; I can do the low-life; it's the in-between that gives me trouble."I'm paraphrasing.I've started using the line myself, and have kind of made it my own, as I did with, "The God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister...."Back to the heavy stuff, there's some interesting commentary on the Sandinistas and the events that inspired "Bullet the Blue Sky".Bono saw things first-hand.

    Naturally, there's some talk about other musicians.Bono clearly loves Prince.Oddly, it appears that Bono thinks The Rolling Stones (the only band I can think of with the longevity and enduring creativity of U2) as almost fluffy pop musicians.He doesn't come out and say it, but it's between the lines.

    In short, the book is a must-read for the U2 fan, and a great read for people curious about the life of a very unique individual who might very well one day win the Nobel Peace Prize.It's missing the stories of sex and drugs, but it's clear, despite what Bono might have said on God Part II, that rock and roll can really change the world.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A humbling perspective of a man in power....
    I must admit that when I saw this book, I was hesitant at first to read it.I thought it was going to be another "entertainment book" about U2 and their career.Little did I realize that this book is very in-depth about "the man behind the shades".Bono shares his joys, his struggles, and his adventure in this book.It covers anything from his family, his inadequacy as a celebrity, the workings of U2, his activism, faith, and other topics.This book is definitely a must read for anyone who loves U2's music and wants to gain a better understanding of Bono.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look into Bono's character
    A long-time fan of U2's music and impressed by Bono's activisim, I was anxious to read this new book. And I loved it! I couldn't put it down!

    Written in a coversational style, I at first thought it may be difficult to follow. Instead, I pleasantly realized that it made me feel as if I was listening to Bono talk to a group of which I was part. Because we are actually reading his words, I thinkwe really get a look into Bono's mind - or even his soul.

    Every topic I could want to hear Bono talk about is covered - his music, the band, his family, his belief in God, and his activism. It had it all.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about what makes Bono tick. It confirmed to me that he has a very big heart, a great intellect, and incredible talent.

    Enjoy! ... Read more


    3. The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun
    by Paul Hattaway
    list price: $13.99
    our price: $10.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 082546207X
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
    Publisher: Monarch
    Sales Rank: 1483
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This will challenge your socks off
    After reading this book, I'm convinced that most professing Christians in America have no clue what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. This book is about Yun who was nicknamed "The Heavenly Man". Yun was a church leader, planter and missionary in China. He faced much persecution because he refused to compromise. He could have avoided the persecution, separation from his family and imprisonment by just being quiet about his faith. But he choose to obey, and he suffered greatly. I was challenged and convicted of my fear of man. This book has been one of the most life changing books I have ever read. Buy It!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE SPIRITUAL POWER OF 'THE CRUCIFIED LIFE' .....
    I wish I could give this book six or seven stars. There
    are a few truly rare books out there that can genuinely
    change your life for the better: this is definitely one
    of those books.
    You will be amazed to read the fascinating and heartrending
    testimony of bro.Yun, a leader in the Chinese underground
    church, and how his "faith of abandonment to GOD" leads
    him into astounding testings and overcoming power to
    testify of the faithfulness and supernatural power of
    Christ in daily life: a life that seeks nothing but the
    glory of God and the salvation of others as a true servant
    in the Kingdom of Christ and His Church.
    Just to read the triumphs and tragedies of chapters 11 and
    12 alone is more than worth the price of this book. It's a
    modern-day classic that will, perhaps, challenge your faith
    and your life as no other book you may ever read.
    I know now beyond any shadow of doubt that most Christians
    in the Western and developed world are virtually spiritual
    pygmies compared to our brethren suffering under persecution
    and rising to the task of giving testimony to The Gospel with
    their very lives and their all for Christ, and Christ alone.
    ~ This is what genuine, - from the heart CHRISTianity is
    all about. The book is a rare treasure. don't miss it, OR
    the Message.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!!!
    The reviews speak for themselves! This book is a must for all believers!! It is encouraging and convicting. Brother Yun is a vessel willing to be used.. you will be encouraged to do the same!

    5-0 out of 5 stars God using people, People Used by God!!!
    Reading this book will change your life forever. If you want to strenghen you faith in God or find out about Chinese Church Persecution this is the book for you. After you read the book you won't feel God just wants you to go on with life, but that he wants to use you in ways you've never thought possible.To devote your whole life to him and want to give everything that you have to him, So that HE CAN USE YOU!!!This book will Bless you.

    God Bless

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best Christian book I have ever read
    This book is what true apostolic Christianity is like. It is a guide book for anyone who is desirous of authentic New Testament faith walked out in today's modern world. It will radically challenge your paradigm of what Christianity really is about. ... Read more


    4. Night
    by Elie Wiesel, Stella Rodway, Francois Mauriac
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553272535
    Catlog: Book (1982-04-01)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 1663
    Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's wrenching attempt to find meaning in the horror of the Holocaust is technically a novel, but it's based so closely on his own experiences in Birkenau, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald that it's generally--and not inaccurately--read as an autobiography. Like Wiesel himself, the protagonist of Night is a scholarly, pious teenager racked with guilt at having survived the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life's essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel's lifelong project to bear witness for those who died. ... Read more

    Reviews (744)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    5. Lucky Child : A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites with the Sister She Left Behind
    by Loung Ung
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060733942
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 5578
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    When Loung Ung came to America in 1980 as a ten-year-old Cambodian refugee, she had already survived years of hunger, violence, and loss at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, a story she told in her critically acclaimed bestseller, First They Killed My Father. Now, in Lucky Child, Ung writes of assimilation and, in alternating chapters, gives voice to a genocide survivor she left behind in rural Cambodia, her older sister Chou.

    Loung was the lucky child, the sibling Eldest Brother chose to take with him to America. The youngest and the scrappiest, she was the one he believed had the best chance of making it. Just two years apart, Chou and Loung had bonded deeply over the deaths of their parents and sisters. As they stood holding hands in their dusty village while the extended family gathered to say good-bye, they never imagined that fifteen years would pass before they would be reunited again.

    With candor and enormous flair, Ung describes what it is like to survive in a new culture while surmounting dogged memories of genocide and the deep scars of war. Not only must she learn about Disney characters and Christmas trees to fit in with her classmates, she must also come to understand life in a nation of peace: that the Fourth of July fireworks are not bombs and that she doesn't have to hide food in her bed every night to make sure she has enough to eat. Her spunk, intelligence, and charisma win out, but Cambodia and Chou are always in her thoughts.

    An accomplished activist and writer, Ung has now returned to Cambodia many times, and in this re-creation of Chou's life, she writes the story that so easily could have been hers. Both redemptive and searing, Lucky Child highlights the harsh realities of chance and circumstance and celebrates the indomitability of the human spirit.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging and gripping tale of immigrant experience
    Ms. Ung has once again given us a powerful rendering of what it means to survive.Her first book, First They Killed My Father" was extraordinary for its ability to translate the experience of the Cambodian genocide for a public disconnected to the realities of that war.

    Her second book is no less a tour de force, giving us an eye into the life of a young girl from a radically different culture (and history of deprevation) trying to come to terms with this American life.She does it remarkably well, with candor and grace.

    4-0 out of 5 stars One Flaw keeps me from buying this
    This story appears riveting.I want to read the book.I WILL read the book when it is available at my library.I can't give it a bad rating because I haven't actually read it.The book is written in the present tense and I dislike books written that way.I was ready to buy this book tonight, but when something happened years ago, it is just one of those things I can't handle, "What do you want?" he asks."Nothing."I say.That sort of thing. ... Read more


    6. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
    by Azar Nafisi
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $9.76
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 081297106X
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-30)
    Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 69
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    We all have dreams—things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi’s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true.

    For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. Their stories intertwined with those they were reading—Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, Daisy Miller and Lolita—their Lolita, as they imagined her in Tehran.

    Nafisi’s account flashes back to the early days of the revolution, when she first started teaching at the University of Tehran amid the swirl of protests and demonstrations. In those frenetic days, the students took control of the university, expelled faculty members and purged the curriculum. When a radical Islamist in Nafisi’s class questioned her decision to teach The Great Gatsby, which he saw as an immoral work that preached falsehoods of “the Great Satan,” she decided to let him put Gatsby on trial and stood as the sole witness for the defense.

    Azar Nafisi’s luminous tale offers a fascinating portrait of the Iran-Iraq war viewed from Tehran and gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a work of great passion and poetic beauty, written with a startlingly original voice.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (112)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A literary tour-de-force
    Azar Nafisi's memoir, Reading Lolita in Tehran, is the sort of book you should pick up if you want to assure yourself of how well-read you are, or perhaps to remind yourself that you are not well read at all. In the back of Ms. Nafisi's book is a list of recommended reading, some of which deals with Iran, but much of which is the fiction about which she writes in the book.

    Having only read some of the novels about which Ms. Nafisi writes, I don't think I can adequately discuss the literary criticism woven throughout the book. The story of the book club itself is often not the main focus, as Ms. Nafisi gives a crash course in Iranian revolutionary history and delves into her personal life as well as that of the women in her book club. The combination of the three is an intriguing and potent conceit; learning how everyday life in Iran affects these women is compelling and evocative. Intertwined with commentary and comparison of some of the great books of western literature makes it even more so.

    It would be had to say that one does not learn one thing, if not many things, from this book. Certainly it inspires you to read some of the books Ms. Nafisi writes about, if only to re-read the book and access a new level of understanding.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reading Lolita in Tehran : A Memoir in Books
    Nafisi details her experiences in Iran from 1979 to 1997, when she taught English literature in Tehran universities and hosted a private seminar on Western literature for female university students. Born and raised in Iran, the author offers readers a personal account of events in the postrevolutionary period that are often generalized by other writers. She was a witness to compulsory veiling, the "cultural revolution" that closed and purged the universities, the Iraq-Iran war (including missile attacks against Tehran), and the Ayatollah Khomeini's death. Nafisi provides readers with a view of Tehran during these tumultuous two decades and describes the ways that individuals resisted and defied the new regime's restrictive policies concerning both women's and men's behavior and dress. Readers interested in Western literature and the ways that key works could be interpreted by those living in different settings and times will find this book fascinating. Specialists on Iran, the Middle East, and Islam will also find the work unique, controversial, and informative. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Most public and academic collections and levels.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Classical Celebration
    <br /> Through turmoil, heartbreak and heartache comes the courageous and celebrated life of women. This will be one of the classics that will be handed down through the generations to come. A beautifully written and prolific book for all to read. <br /> Other reads are: Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart,A Paper Life by Tatum O'Neil <br />

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Style
    Excellent style of writing,a story that captures your attention and holds it. I am a fan of Non Fiction works, Particularly that of Memoirs-Autobiographies. This book is meaty and hard to put down. Other Non Fiction works that have caught my attention are- Running With Scissors,One Child and Nightmares Echo

    2-0 out of 5 stars didnt like it either
    I had a few probs with this book.

    1. Nafisi talks at length about the vices of the islamic republic of iran - which i wholly empathize with - however, she fails to give substantial background on the how the country reached this state ie. the radical secularism that plagued the country only a generation before, under the 'shah'. And while this seems like a mere detail, its very significant, as it provides a sociological context for the political ongoings Nafisi writes so much about.
    2. she seems a bit whiny to me and kind of passive....
    3. maybe its bc i havent read most of the books she mentions, but I found her running commentaries on the books a bit boring and tedious. I felt like i was reading a book report or something.
    4. the one thing i expected from this book was a heartwarming narrative of female bonding (think female"dead poets society" or "how to make an american quilt"). instead, i found the relationship nafisi conjurs somewhat empty and unsatisfying. i felt like she was trying to take me somewhere and we never got there.

    so i didnt really like this book basically. ... Read more


    7. Dreams from My Father : A Story of Race and Inheritance
    by Barack Obama
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $9.76
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400082773
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-10)
    Publisher: Three Rivers Press
    Sales Rank: 154
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Obama, the son of a white American mother and a black African father, writes an elegant and compelling biography that powerfully articulates America's racial battleground and tells of his search for his place in black America. 8 pages of photos. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful Book from Political Leader
    As a first-time writer, Obama does a wonderful job in relating the stories that affected his life. Obama details his personal reflections on his family, his childhood, race in America, and what it means to be biracial in a multi-ethnic society. Obama is painfully honest in discussing his life, which is not only rare for a politician but requires a tremendous amount of self-understanding and respect for the reading public. This book is a must read for those who are interested in Obama as a politician and for those who have an interest reading first-hand accounts of growing up in America as an "other".

    4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy Reading
    Obama makes little mention of his white half -- although by his own account he was lovingly brought up by his white mother and her parents, and this might have provided further answers to the questions he raises about himself and where he belongs. Obama, whom I admire as a political leader in Chicago, is young; the book is hard to read. Obama seems to say that people of mixed backgrounds must choose only one of those backgrounds in which to make a spiritual home.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Surprise Find
    I highly recommend this book to almost everyone. It should really get more attention!

    The writing is thoughtful and interesting, and the subject matter unique. The book follows Barack Obama as he grows up and defines himself and his view of the world, as he finds the community that he wants to count himself a member of. In the end that "community" is really the community of humanity, but this book takes you on Barack's journey.

    The author examines his heritage of white, midwesterners on his mother's side and later in the book explores the world of his father, a Kenya of the Luo tribe who came to the U.S. to study. Three parts of the book I found especially well done. First, the evocation of what it was like to be in Barack's head as a young black man with few black role models in his life and the difficult philosophical (internal) conversation of the African-American community defining itself in white America. Second, his work as a community organizer in Chicago really dealt well with the complex problems of declining inner cities. Third, the idealization of his absent father by both himself and his mother and the gradual discovery of the real character of his father and grandfather.

    Overall, this book was about his struggle to be true to himself and to figure out what that meant. ... Read more


    8. A Hope in the Unseen : An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League
    by RON SUSKIND
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767901266
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-04)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 7672
    Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    At Ballou Senior High, a crime-infested school in Washington, D.C., honor students have learned to keep their heads down. Like most inner-city kids, they know that any special attention in a place this dangerous can make you a target of violence. But Cedric Jennings will not swallow his pride, and with unwavering support from his mother, he studies and strives as if his life depends on it--and it does. The summer after his junior year, at a program for minorities at MIT, he gets a fleeting glimpse of life outside, a glimpse that turns into a face-on challenge one year later: acceptance into Brown University, an Ivy League school.

    At Brown, finding himself far behind most of the other freshmen, Cedric must manage a bewildering array of intellectual and social challenges. Cedric had hoped that at college he would finally find a place to fit in, but he discovers he has little in common with either the white students, many of whom come from privileged backgrounds, or the middle-class blacks. Having traveled too far to turn back, Cedric is left to rely on his faith, his intelligence, and his determination to keep alive his hope in the unseen--a future of acceptance and reward that he struggles, each day, to envision. ... Read more

    Reviews (99)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Rising to the occasion...reaching the unseen
    Cedric's trials as an intelligent black youth growing up in Washington DC and going to Ballou High School are well expressed in this book by Ron Suskind. His story and hopes to rise above his surroundings and his past are inspiring and moving. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse inside the life of someone like Cedric, being a District resident myself. However there were a few things about the book that I found to be a bit strange. I think that the book would be very differently written had a black writer taken on this story, and I also feel that more focus could have been around Cedric's home life, with more emphasis on his mother Barbara. The book does a good job of looking at his education which is really the main point and driving force behind Cedric's life, and this story. The story of a real youth struggling to succeed and not be tor apart by his peers or by anyone else who may discourage him makes a very thought provoking book. I really did like most aspects of this book and found it to be a very intriguing read. It is not a particularly fast read, but still, the book managed to keep my attention and I did enjoy this book thoroughly.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Cedric gets a 5, Suskind a 2
    Amid all the debates over affirmative action and inequity in funding for public schools, A Hope in the Unseen is the story of what these issues mean to a determined young man named Cedric Jennings as it follows him through his inadequate preparation at Ballou High School, to a summer program at MIT, to his freshman year at Brown University, with Cedric not quite fitting in anywhere. At home he's derided for his success, even for wanting to succeed, by his fellow students. At MIT, and later Brown, he finds himself inadequately prepared, academically and socially, to easily succeed. I found the story of his determination to make something of himself and his search for identity to be very powerful. I was put off, though, by the methods Suskind used to tell Cedric's story. This book reads like a novel, including the use of an omniscient narrator. I wanted to hear more from Cedric himself, in his own words, and not Cedric filtered through the lens of Suskind. I wish more of an effort to include Cedric's own perspective were included. If you liked this book, read the works of Jonathan Kozol, particularly Savage Inequalities, which further explains the inequities that exist in public schools.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    A great book! I read it cover to cover in a day, it was compelling. You feel like you're part of Cedric's story.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A story of persistence over struggles and triumph!
    When I picked up this book, I didn't know what I'd think of it. It's not the normal kind of book I read, but as this month's book club selection, I gave it a chance. And I was quite impressed.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Cedric. Coming from middle-class white suburbia, but not far from Detroit, I was familiar of the struggle for inner-city kids to strive, but not with their perceptions of it. This book opened up my eyes to some realities and feelings, I never had thought about before. For instance, how it's not only very difficult to get a good education or good grades in the inner city, but how you're ostracized by your peers for trying.

    This is a story of how Cedric ignored the taunting of fellow students, how he earned a chance at the Ivy league and then we learn the struggle doesn't stop there. For a boy who was salutatorian at his high school, his education level is still far below most of those in the Ivy leagues. The story is about his efforts to make the grade, fit in at school and become comfortable in his own skin. Just reading about his obstacles made me tired for him!

    I enjoyed the book, especially how we did get to see the world by more than just Cedric's eyes, but also by his mothers, his fathers and friends. I think this gave the story a pick-me-up when otherwise it would have gotten boring. To anyone who is interested in this topic, I'd recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beauty found in Hope in the Unseen
    While flipping channels one day on my TV, I stumbles upon a writer doing a reading of his Pulitzer Prize winning book entitled Hope in the Unseen. Moments later the main character from the book, Cedric himself, stepped to the mic and took questions about the experience, and the book itself. I was riveted! This was facinating! I ran out and got the book, and was literally swept away by the story, the strength, and the bitter sweetness of the struggle illustrated so well. This book was a profound experience for me. Not only does the author use words in the most beautiful manner, but the story is so unashamed in it's stark compassion and truth. There were so many parts of this book that brought tears to my eyes. I felt privilaged to catch a glimpse of the vulnerability of this courageous, flawed, strong, optimistic young man. This book gave me hope for all young people out in the world facing seemingly insurmountable odds. I wanted to stand up and cheer at the end, I felt like this kid was going to be better than "OK", that he was going to have a richly rewarding life because he wasn't afraid to push himself along his journey. Every teen in school should be required to read this book, and every adult should read it so that we can change the attitudes in this world one family at a time. ... Read more


    9. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    by ANNE FRANK
    list price: $5.50
    our price: $4.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553296981
    Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 2494
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. The diary's universal appeal stems from its riveting blend of the grubby particulars of life during wartime (scant, bad food; shabby, outgrown clothes that can't be replaced; constant fear of discovery) and candid discussion of emotions familiar to every adolescent (everyone criticizes me, no one sees my real nature, when will I be loved?). Yet Frank was no ordinary teen: the later entries reveal a sense of compassion and a spiritual depth remarkable in a girl barely 15. Her death epitomizes the madness of the Holocaust, but for the millions who meet Anne through her diary, it is also a very individual loss. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

    Reviews (436)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Diary of Anne Frank was a wonderful book.
    I read the book, "The Diary of Anne Frank." I thought that it was not only a wonderful book, but it was very real. It is the captivating story of a young girl, told to her diary about her life, growing up under sone of the strangest, and saddest conditions. It was written in Holland in the early 1940's, during the anti-semetic movements of the Nazi party. Is is told from the innocent eyes of a child, forced to go into hiding to escape Nazi persecution. She lives under close quarters, with seven other people. I felt, because the book was so real, that I actually knew the characters in the book. I found myself relating to ideas that Anne had and things that she said. I think that everyone should read this book because is is an insight into life, love, and hate. I believe that this is a great book and could be enjoyed by anyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl
    The book that I just finished reading is called Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl written by Anne Frank herself. It is one of the best book that I have ever read. It tells you about the life of a teenage girl who is trying to survive the awful times of the Holocaust while in hiding. Along with her, there are seven other people living in this hiding place. She learns how to cooporate with other people and how to live while all cooped up. The story takes place in Amsterdam and the hiding place is called the "Secret Annexe". There are two people who get them their food and take care of them. The end of this book is so heart-wrenching that it is unbelieveable. I would definately give this book nine stars out of ten. This book is so informative that is really makes you realize how fortunate we really are these days. It explains everything so well that you can't even believe that something this horrible could ever even happen. This book has definately made me think completely different in a good way and I hope that it will do the same for you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Franco's Fabulous Book Review
    Anne Frank, a 13 year-old, strong-willed, and courageous girl, is living in the Secret Annex during WWII to escape the Nazi regime. Anne, along with her family and close friends, are hiding from the Nazis because they are of the Jewish faith. Anne falls in love with Peter, a 15 year-old boy who is living with her in the Secret Annex. They become very close as they spend time in the attic trying to escape Peter's annoying mother. The group living in the Secret Annex has to be extremely careful. If they make too much noise, they have a chance of being caught. If they are caught, they will most likely be sent to a concentration camp. Any loud noise or movement could cost the eight tenants of the Secret Annex to die.
    "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" is an amazing book. It lets you realize how lucky we are to live in the world we live in today. The struggles that Anne and the group go through to live a "normal" life are nothing like anyone in today's world would be forced to go through. It allows people interested in WWII to gain information as to what is was like to live during the war.
    "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" is a must read. It is ver informative, yet allows the reader to learn about WWII in an interesting way. So, if you like WWII and are interested in learning what it was like to live back then, this book is for you. It is also a good piece of historical fiction. Pick it up today!

    Julie Francolino

    4-0 out of 5 stars A diary that truly depicted War...
    I earnestly almost cried after reading this book.I was 13,the same age as Anne's when she started writing her diary,whom she called "kitty".

    For those who have no idea who Anne Frank is,she is a Jewish girl and the youngest of two girls.Her father was successful businessman...and the family led a happy and wonderful life after settling down in the bustling city of Amsterdam,that was until Adolf Hitler started the Nazis.The Nazis was an anti-Jew operation,where they would capture Jewish men and tortured them.The women and young and old were not let off either,many were sent to concentration camps,where living conditions there were so bad,many died of diseases rather than the slow torturings.

    It was at this time that Mr Frank decided to go into hiding with his family.With some of his kind-hearted co-workers,they managed to perfect a secret hideout.Anne,her mother and sister Margot began moving into the hideout,which was located just behind the office.Joining them were the Van Dans (not sure if spelling is right)who had a son named Peter and a doctor.Life was very tough,for living behind the office with barely a bookshelf as a wall means not making loud noises.No one must know of their existense,so all everybody could do is to crept round their area softly,tip-toeing and even speaking in hush-whistle.

    For almost 2 years,that's the life of Anne.A growing teenager,she could not go out to the streets to watch a movie,play with her friends or even talk to boys,for that means getting caught by the Nazis.It was also round this time that Anne had one true friend where she can confide everything to:kitty,her diary.

    In her diary,she wrote of how talkative she was in class(she went to school before the hiding),how she hates her mother when the latter compared her to her sister Margot,how she detested Mrs Van Dam...and her deepest thoughts on growing up in a secret hideout.She also shared about her crush on Peter,who also liked her.

    Anne,as we could see,was a normal girl,someone who detested writing,someone who likes a boy and someone who wants to grow up being an author.Well,you could say she is one now,with her diary published after the war, which was later translated to more than 50 languages and sold millions worldwide...but the young girl,unlike her diary,did not survived through the war,for she was captured from her hideout one fine day.Mrs Frank,Margot,the doctor,the Van Dams and Anne herself,all died.All except for Mr Frank himself,who survived...

    By the way, a little unknown fact about her Anne:her real name is Annelies Marie Frank.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank:The Diary of a Young Girl
    The epic Adventure of Anne Frank, born in Germany Anne Frank spent two years of her life in Astonishing Circumstances. Anne faces adventure when the Nazis where murdering Jews. Anne, Mummy, Daddy, Mrs. Van Daan, Mr. Van Daan, and Peter. All hid in a secret passage in an old warehouse in Amsterdam. Anne and her diary explains of the fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Yet within it, a tender love story slowly unfolds-from her shy avoidances with peter to incessant glances and first kiss! Thus her diary is not a lament but a song to life, no matter the circumstances, no matter what the threats.
    Great book for all ages, and you can't beat the low price. ... Read more


    10. The Hidden Pope: The Untold Story of a Lifelong Friendship That Is Changing the Relationship Between Catholics and Jews: The Personal Journey of John Paul II and Jerzy Kluger
    by Darcy O'Brien
    list price: $25.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0875964788
    Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
    Publisher: Rodale Press
    Sales Rank: 344887
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    John Paul II has made greater strides toward understanding and atoning for Rome's complicity in anti-Semitism than any other pope in history. The Hidden Pope shows how and why this rapprochement is taking place by telling the story of John Paul's lifelong friendship with Jerzy Kluger, a Polish Jew. The text is a fascinating and detailed depiction of John Paul's personal life, butthe book's real significance lies in its frank demonstration of the way Karol Wojtyla brings his personal experience to bear on the eternal truths of Catholic theology. ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Jewish readers
    This book gives an eye opening view of the current Pope. It shows how his upbringing in Poland led him to have his feelings of friendship with the Jewish people. He is presented as a true "tzadik". The book also briefly relates on how the works of Pope John XXIII and Cardinals Willebrands, O'Connor and Spellman have brought about a better understanding of Judaism in the Church. If their messages could only filter down to the populace...

    5-0 out of 5 stars A good read!
    I found this book very informative on the Pope, who has always been a hero of mine. It was very indepth and historical. Although it was not negative about the Pope it did seem to contain some incorrect statments on the views of catholics and the teachings of the Church. I felt it was assumed that catholics are, in general, negative towards Jews. I have always been a believing catholic and have never thought of Jews as "Christ Killers" or anything like that. I have never found anything in Catholic teaching that would support those views, most of these from writings from before John Paul II. Usually I read that we are all personally guilty of the crucifiction by our own sins. Over all it was a good and worthwhile reading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
    This is a fabulous book. I am neither Catholic nor Jewish, but I was fascinated by the depth of the man we all call Pope. I had no idea of his personal journey, and the breadth of his goodness. Too many times, we don't look beyond the title and the robes. This is truly a saintly man.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another O'Brien masterpiece
    Having read many other books by this author, I am constantly amazed at not only the depth of knowledge O'Brien brings to each of his works, but also by the depth of the author himself, who obviously lives the research of each subject. Such dedication to research is highly visible in his latest, and sadly, his last offering.

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellant historic account of the pope and his boyhood
    Wonderfully written. O'Brien shows great talent in going from his account of the Hillside Strangler Case, "Two of a Kind" to a revealing historical account of the Pope. ... Read more


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    With an introduction by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

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

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

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

    ... Read more

    Reviews (117)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    Reviews (214)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

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


    15. Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?
    by CharlesBarkley, MichaelWilbon
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594200424
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-31)
    Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
    Sales Rank: 2607
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    "Racism," Charles Barkley says, "is the biggest cancer of my lifetime. And I know I can't cure the cancer, but doesn't somebody have to attack it?" Barkley's means of attack in Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?--not surprising from one of the most outspoken athletes of our time--is to break past the taboo of race by talking about it in the open. What might be surprising is that Barkley steps aside and lets other people talk, too. While in his previous bestseller, I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It, the former NBA MVP and current TNT commentator held forth on a wide variety of subjects, for his new book he sought out a baker's dozen of leading figures in entertainment, business, and government (and yes, one athlete) and sat down with each for a frank conversation about race.

    Of course race is not a simple topic, and each discussion heads in its own direction. Tiger Woods speaks both of his biracial identity and of how moving it was to see the black staff at Augusta National lined up to see him put on the green jacket as Masters champion. George Lopez talks about the pressures of creating a breakthrough Latino sitcom in an almost all-white industry. Film producer Peter Guber surprises Barkley when he says that he made The Color Purple out of economic self-interest, not idealism. Many of the discussions turn, like Guber's, not to traditional civil rights but to economics, which Rabbi Steven Leder calls the real "last taboo subject in America." It's clear that the audience Barkley most hopes to reach with this book is the young black men and women that he and many of his interview subjects are concerned about. "We're losing," activist Marian Wright Edelman tells him, "and if we don't stop this trend, we're going to be headed back to slavery." Barkley's celebrity subjects can provide some models for success for those readers, but one also hopes Barkley can continue the conversation by turning the spotlight on those struggling with the problems of race outside the sometimes protective glare of fame. --Tom Nissley

    Who's Afraid of Talking to a Large Black Man?

    Throughout his career, Charles Barkley has always been willing--quite willing--to call it as he sees it, making him one of the most quotable athletes of his era and, many have suggested, a future political candidate. He's as happy talking issues as talking hoops, and for his new book, Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man? he sat down for conversations across the country about the troublesome topic of race in America. We had our own conversation on the subject with Sir Charles: Read it to find why he wrote the book, what he tells his own biracial daughter about race, and why he thinks sports can be a model for race relations. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    1-0 out of 5 stars This is not worth your time or $
    I became interested in this book because I was watching David Letterman with Charles Barkley (CB) on it.CB said that the book was about getting kids off of the street, make them stop thinking about professional sports and rapping or acting and get them into college.

    This book is not about that at all!I was trying to use this book for a class and paper, I hope my paper won't suck b/c I have to BS my whole paper since this book is worthless.I spent too much money on a piece of crap.

    It has no point what so ever and it is all over the wall.There is no order.When CB is talking to someone...all he cares about is his opinion, not what they have to say.It is not in depth like CB proclaims it will be in the introduction.

    If you want to read it, read it at Barnes & Noble or the library.Don't buy it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A collection of interviews and random thoughts
    I have always been a bit of a fan of Charles Barkley, both as a basketball player and a TV commentator for the NBA.The primary reason for that was that Charles always had something to say.He had some of the best interviews, and made controversial statements that added some much needed variety to the standard "we played hard" quotes most NBA players slogged through.

    However, there is a big difference between "always having something to say" and "saying something". This book is a collection of interviews I presume to be on the subject of race.However, the questions and "conversations" between Charles and other celebrities like Tiger Woods, Ice Cube, Morgan Freeman and others are a bit too free flowing, and as a result if there is a greater point Charles is making with this book, after quickly reading it I have no idea what it is.

    While the subject of race is an important one, you will not find much deep introspection or tackling of issues here.For a deep look on the subject of race in America check out books by Larry Elder for example.What you will find here is some interesting dialog between Charles and others.I'm not sure if that is worth buying a book for, but it is easy to read and interesting, in a "People" magazine kind of way.Morgan Freeman comes off as the star of this book, and if you want to see the views of someone who seems to be quite grounded in reality, and a genuinely solid guy, check out his interview.As for Charles, let's just say he always has something to say, and leave it at that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A good book to just read!
    OK, I understand that some look at this as some celebrity interview book, but I see it as more. Sir Charles is always himself and his opinions are well stated. I happen to agree with a lot of what this book has to say. It has a pop culture edge but that is ok. Does everything have to be academic? It is enjoyable and has a good heart.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Teach Children About Real Life Not About Celebrity Lives!
    Don't waste your time in reading this book. There is no information in there that can help anyone that is struggling but a bunch of people talking about life as if they know what real life is all about. I have nothing against Mr. Charles Barkley, a very controversial person, but America has got to wake up and realize that `so call celebrities' often end in up in Mr. Barkley's position when their incomes seem to be disappearing. When Charles was making much more money than he is now, he had no interest in helping vulnerable children as he indicated in his interview with Tim Russett, aired on CNBC 2005. If he was so interested in writing this book for his daughter as he indicated, he would not be selling it to the public at large. In my opinion, which I am entitled to, this book is purely for profit and has nothing to do with helping poor children of America. This is a tactic used to get people to buy things that they are selling. Common sense cannot be bought nor can we learn it in school. Selling books to poor people is not going to stop poverty or segregation. Life skills will help people to make better decisions and create goals and in turn they will live different lives. Rich folks do not have the time to sit and read books about a set of people that many consider as being `nothing' or `losers'

    Many poor people have contributed in helping rich folks achieve the success and the high horse that they are on. Without poor people buying their dumb books, seeing their stupid movies, and other inadequate products and entertainment they would not be anywhere. Poor people have the buying power but yet poor people continue to let a set of people that have money say bad and evil things about people and use them when they want more money. Many poor folks work hard but have no one to help them to the next level. The working poor go to work with the hopes of doing better each day. Young people go to school and when they get out they have no where to turn because they are not paid what they are worth. Listening to all the social problems that these celebrities create; sometimes I wonder who has ghetto mentality. Rich people are no better than anyone despite our income levels or education. Many rich folks do not have formal education. If we had any common sense we would know that money cannot buy happiness. When it comes right down to real life applications, celebrities should be the last that we should run to for help. Many of them can't seem to get their lives together regardless of the money that they have.

    Let us take a look at Oprah for example: she has all the money in the world that she needs, not one kid to share it with, and a boyfriend at her age that she has supposedly broken up with her. How pathetic? Do we think that she is really happy? Honestly, no matter how many business transaction she is a part of, when it comes down to real life I truly believe that she is lonely inside.

    It is other people's money, especially poor people that is the greater part of rich people's money since poor families are in great numbers than rich ones. Yet these are also the type of people that would purchase products from celebrities to feel that they are doing their part. In truth and reality, celebrities don't want anything to do with us, they see us as wallets and suckers. In the above mentioned interview, Charles rudely degraded people from Alabama in saying that they would want to borrow money from him. He is not the richest man in the world. Perhaps a few people have asked him for money in the past but that does not mean that everyone in that neck of the woods wants his money. He is not very articulate; he speaks off the top of his head and makes very rude comments about people. Is this the Big Black Man, a role model; that you are going to listen to. Take a step backward and evaluate things that this man has said and examine his beliefs.

    Like many others, he is using celebrities to tell us what they think about life. Living a lifestyle with a lot of money is truly not authentic because just about 1% of the population is wealthy; the other 99% is the working poor. If Charles had taken the initiative to talk with real people that are struggling and get a better understand about real life then I feel that his book would be worth it.

    He talked about feeling bad about being Black. Of course he does, he is right in the ring with those that choose to marry out of their race to the weaker race that hates his own people. He should be the last to talk about racism when he prefers to choose to marry into a race that cannot come to grips with Black America or what they call minorities. It is quite okay to shack-up with beautiful Black women but when it comes right down to having a family - many Big Black Men choose to let White America dictate their lives and how they spend their money. It is sickening to hear Charles talk about this book that was probably written by a ghost writer because his object is not to help anyone but his finance.

    Charles, we have lived in this world for a long time and we know phonies when we see them. We are tired of letting `so called celebrities' try this number on us again and again. Be satisfied with the money that you make now Mr. Barkley. You cannot give a man a fish to make his life better, teach him how to fish. If anyone wants to learn more about life I suggest that they learn it from someone that has been through many different experiences, not the rich and the famous that create problems for themselves and are living off other people's money. Get your knowledge from someone who has been there and done that. Some celebrities will want you to believe that they have been through a lot (and some have) but now that they feel that they are making it they think that they are the superior race. Truthfully, if they had it rough when they were younger that was their parent's life and when you are younger you do not really know that you are poor - children don't think about their parent's situation because their brain is not developed to process that type of information. It is their parent's who indicate to them that they are poor.

    Charles talks so much about education but once he made a statement in saying that he doesn't need to get a degree because he hires people that has degrees. If he valued education as much as he wants us to believe he would not make statements like that. People need to wake up and motivate themselves and stop looking at celebrities or anyone to be their role models. Everyone says that we can be anything that we want to be but who is willing to help - no one. Instead of helping, they prefer to get our monies to help themselves. People that claim that they truly want to help has special interest in writing books, etc. - for the money. In America it is known that in God we trust but the money first. We are tired of being cheated with our permission by those that have household names. If you truly want to help yourself, log unto this website:www.lifeskillsdoctor.com and purchase these life skills literature that is worth its money in knowledge.

    Charles and many other celebrities don't have anything to offer to anyone. Interviewing a bunch of other people like himself is not going to help curtail the problems that America in general and not just Black America is experiencing. We often feel that people with household names have our backs but attempt to write to them and ask them to interview you for a job. You would never hear from them because they are always hiding from us. As Mr. Barkley said, he is afraid that people are going to ask him for money. We do not want another mockery in politics like Arnold Schwarzenegger. So I hope that when Mr. Barkley chooses to run for Governor, people will really think this true and vote for someone that can make a difference. We need real people with real life applications to get this world going in one direction. Education does not guarantee anything but with life skills including common sense we can help vulnerable children.

    Would Charles Barkley be willing to use his own money to help children as he expressed? If he wanted to do so he would have done so a long time ago. Where is his money? He is now attempting to sell books to help fund his new project of helping children because he is not about to use his own. WAKE UP AMERICA AND SHOW THESE RICH FOLKS WHO REALLY HAVE POWER.Poor people have the say in who becomes rich. Let these people find real jobs and then they will truly see what real life is all about.

    Get the information that you need at your fingertip about real life at www.lifeskillsdoctor.com.
    Be true to yourself and don't let others take your money out of your pocket with your permission. Don't let celebrities use television to cry for help and use the money for different reasons. We have seen the situation with Martha Stewart - being greedy for money when she has more than she can handle. Charles Barkley talks about television contributing negative statements about Blacks when he in turn is using television to create self-income. Is that truly positive or is the glass half-empty or half-full. DON'T DO IT, don't let these people continue to work numbers on us. Help yourself by spending your money and supporting people that can truly him you!

    Good luck America because it is not just about Black America. We once believed that a fool and his money will soon be parted but because of the way one set of people are making money it seems that the working poor are parting with their money even faster because of the way the world is with the division of the rich and the poor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Interviews: Little to do with Charles Barkley
    In this book you really do not hear from Charles Barkley so much. When he writes it is very simple and to the point, with very little humor (which is what he is known for). It is fascinating to read opinions and personal stories from Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Obama, and many other famous peronalities on their ideas about race and other issues in America. This book has very little to do with Charles Barkley, and if I were to read it blindly I would have never guessed that he wrote it. This book has a great compilation of contributors and it is worth reading just to learn more about them alone. ... Read more


    16. The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender To #45472
    by Rubin Carter
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $14.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0140149295
    Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
    Publisher: Penguin Books
    Sales Rank: 15651
    Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    On May 26, 1967, the spiraling career of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, then the top contender for the world middleweight boxing crown, came to a shuddering and tragic halt: he and a young fan were found guilty of murder of three white people in a New Jersey bar.The nightmare knew no bounds as Carter traded his superstar status for a prison number and the concrete walls of some of America's most horrific institutions.Originally published as an attempt by Carter to set the record straight and force a new trial, The Sixteenth Round is timeless.It is an eye-opening portrait of growing up black in America, a scathing indictment of the prison system Carter grew up in and out of, and a mesmerizing re-creation of his furious battles in the ring and in the courtroom set against the backdrop of the turbulent sixties.The liveliness of Carter's street language, its power and ironic humor, makes this an eloquent, soul-stirring account of a remarkable life not soon to be forgotten. ... Read more

    Reviews (43)

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a book
    I'm not an avid reader of books. I think that in my life I've read about 6 books from start to finish. This book is one of them. His life is an amazing/tragic yet inspiring one. The feeling I got after reading this book is that it teaches alot about the human sprit and what it can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

    His writing style pulls no stops, He's direct and to the point.

    The writing style he adopts gives you a real look at the Rubin Carter, in a way the Movie or other books about him can't.

    Want to Know the real Rubin Carter! - Read this book

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hurricane:A political injustice
    I heard of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter from the inspirational film "the hurricane" starring Denzel Washington. After seeing the film I became enthralled in the story of a man framed for murders he did not commit and locked away in a cell for 20 years. I decided to get the autobiography of the hurricane entitled the 16th round. The book starts by exposing the life of a child sentenced to a state home for boys from the brutality of the kids and gaurds to the racism and segregation of the prison system in America. Rubin was in prison for most of his early life filling him with hate and rage from the gaurds and other inmates. So he started boxing. His pure power and skill made him an unstoppable talent. That is until he shared his thoughts on the racist Police forces that patrolled the american ghettoes. From then on the police set out to destroy his life. Rubin was pulled over after the murder of 3 white customers of a patterson bar.After 3 witnesses claimed he wasn't the murderer he was released. Five months later He was about to take on Dick Tiger for the middle weight title.But it was not to be and he was arrested and sentenced to three times life after the admitted liars Bello and Bradley said that he was the murderer. And so Rubin entered the familiar walls of Trenton state prison once again for a crime he did not commit. This story of injustice is exellently written. It is an inspirational book that will fill you with love and compassion for the amazing fighter of battles in the ring and battles of political injustice,Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. By Owen Clark.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Touching
    Obviously no one can write his story better than Rubin himself. This story is both and inspiring story of a man who has never stopped fighting and a terrifying reality check into the American judicial system. This book is filled with an anger that is only kept in check by the author's own love and compassion.

    The reader whould of course keep in mind this is an autobiography and therefore is skewed to the writer's point of view and emotional state.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The rounds go on and on...
    I purchased this book, after viewing the much celebrated movie, "The Hurricane." The book is mediocre. I found it difficult to believe much of the writer's exaggerated boasting regarding his many talents. I had erroneously gathered from the movie, that this was a self-effacing, self-made man, not so. The reader is ever searching for the "real meat" of the story, however, the bulk of the story is about the author as a "ghetto-bad boy." The last few chapters of the book are short and quickly race you through the actual murder and trial. Overall it is not well written and disappointing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A touching story inspires child.
    This story reached out and touched the lives of many people. It also made people realize not to be racist. I know that I used to be racist and this turned my life around. The fact that rubin was in jail for a crime he didnt commit just because he wasnt white isnt at all fair. His story inspired me not to be racist and to get others not to hate the non-white. It has touched many lives and i like that. I am one of Rubin's biggest fans. ... Read more


    17. Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
    by James Bradley
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316105848
    Catlog: Book (2003-09)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 752
    Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Flyboys is the true story of young American airmen who were shot down over Chichi Jima. Eight of these young men were captured by Japanese troops and taken prisoner. Another was rescued by an American submarine and went on to become president. The reality of what happened to the eight prisoners has remained a secret for almost 60 years. After the war, the American and Japanese governments conspired to cover up the shocking truth. Not even the families of the airmen were informed what had happened to their sons. It has remained a mystery—until now. Critics called James Bradley's last book "the best book on battle ever written." Flyboys is even better: more ambitious, more powerful, and more moving. On the island of Chichi Jima those young men would face the ultimate test. Their story—a tale of courage and daring, of war and of death, of men and of hope—will make you proud, and it will break your heart. ... Read more

    Reviews (141)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Book About War.
    If you are looking for a feel good American heroes book this is not it. "Flyboys" is a very worthwhile and thought provoking book. There are times when it causes the reader to feel uncomfortable as it describes large scale and individual atrocities including cannibalism and mass murder performed by the Japanese that are very distressing to read about. Many of the previous patriotic reviewers I believe found it difficult to face the descriptions of the small and large scale violent and destructive American behavior even though it was dwarfed by the Japanese behavior.

    The author remained remarkably non judgmental in his descriptions. He tries to put in context the violent behavior, although not to excuse it, by supplying relevant cutural and historic background.

    The book invites us to examine the contrast between war time and peacetime humanity. Which is really us? Is war time meanness just kept below the surface during times of peace? It reminds us that when hundreds of thousands of lives are lost, that these are the lives of valuable individuals whether American or others. It emphasizes the remarkable heroism and perhaps the naivete of our servicemen particularly our "Flyboys." They were heroes especially because they completely understood the risks they were taking and proceeded out of choice because they were needed. George Bush Sr., as one of them , is featured as a sensitive and lucky(to be alive)hero.

    The Japanese soldiers were brutalized by their officers and were required to follow orders without question. One gets concerned about group think and herd mentality. How independent are human beliefs and actions? Do we actually choose them or are we mostly a product of the society in which we were raised? We must intuitively know that it is wrong to bayonet a restrained man with a sharpened bamboo pole with the purpose of of causing pain, prior to beheading him while still alive, The officers who ordered this behavior earn our contempt. They force soldiers to carry out their orders as if they were slaves.

    The Japanese "Spirit Warrier" believed that all orders originated with their Emperor who they believed descended from the Sun Goddess. In a way they were following their faith. Is it right to unquestioningly follow a religious leader or a religious belief ie Jihad,or perhaps to believe that followers of our culture are more worthwhile than the followers of other cultures. We must have known as Americans in the 19th century that slavery was wrong and that women should have the right to vote but it took us a long time to correct these injustices. Were we not deserving of contempt for thoughtlessly following the group think?

    This is a history of WWII in the Pacific told mainly through a small group of people involved with the battle for the island of Chichi Jima by an author who is a truth seeking patriotic American whose father was incidentally a flag raiser at Iwo Jima. It raises our awareness of the horrors of war. It ends with some optimism and descriptions of forgiveness or at least understanding by memebers of both sides. There is even some real humanity displayed as Private Iwatake, who developed a personal relationshop with a subsequently beheaded cannibalized "Flyboy" named Warren Earl Vaughn, when phoned by the author, doing his research, answers the phone with, "Hello, this is Warren." He had changed his name to honor his dead prisoner.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Has its faults, but important nevertheless...
    I read about 20 of the earlier reviews of "Flyboys" as I struggled through the book this past week. Some of the negative comments are deserved, such as referring to the late Gen. Curtis LeMay as "Curtis" in half or more of the references to him. This is bizarre and distracting. Whether a result of careless editing or author-torial stubborness, it does not work. Also, I agree that the term "Flyboys" as a collective description of pilots, gunners and radiomen is over-used. I also agree that the book perhaps tries to cover too much history and abandons its cover story for too many pages at a time. Some condensing and reorganization would have enhanced its power. That said, many of the other negative comments seem to be unfair. Yes, Mr. Bradley dwells on America's mistreatment of Indians and Filipinos at length, including prisoners of war. Yes, he gives disgusting details of how our napalm drops on Japanese cities destroyed civilians indiscriminately. But he is not making up those facts. And to emphasize how easily combat and its stresses can make soldiers willing to do horrible deeds is not exactly the same thing as excusing the acts. I have read my share of WW II books, as I near 60 years of age, and "Flyboys" is the first one which sensibly explains how the Japanese fighter rationalized not only his willingness to die in already-lost battles, but his contempt for those from other cultures who chose to be prisoners of war instead. To explain the Japanese viewpoint, again, is not to excuse the acts. Nor is it unpatriotic.

    "Flyboys" describes disgusting acts of brutality and cannibalism, and is ultimately a very sad tale. It is not a work that should be tackled by readers who are emotionally fragile. As most people reading this review will already know, Mr. Bradley's dad was one of the Iwo Jima flag-raisers, wounded physically by Japanese soldiers in that fight, and wounded in some ways psychologically by the whole of his wartime service. The fact that his son went off to study in Japan, and developed much respect for the residents there, must have been painful and puzzling for the father. But I don't think any intelligent reader of Bradley's earlier book, "Flags of Our Fathers" or of "Flyboys" can question the younger Bradley's respect for our troops or our country. One of our strengths as a representative democracy is that we can love our nation for having humane ideals even if we are imperfect in living up to them every minute. And we can learn from injustices committed in our names by our government or military agents, and change our ways.

    I stuck with "Flyboys" right to the end, flaws and all, and I'm glad I did. It gets more powerful as it goes on, and it does finish the story of the eight Chichi Jima American POW's as much as it could be completed, so long after their 1945 deaths. We live in a time when we may be facing 30 years or more of sporadic war with terrorists and the countries which fund and hide them. To read a book which makes war and its (initially) unintended horrors seem like a step to be accepted only with the greatest caution is not a bad thing right now. While Mr. Bradley is not the smoothest historian/writer on the block, he shows promise. In some ways this book is better than "Flags of Our Fathers" despite its problems of style, language and organization. For sure, it is more important than the previous book, because the Iwo Jima battle story had already been well-covered in earlier works. Former President George Bush came close to being a prisoner on Chichi Jima, and plays a small part in this book. If he cooperated, and if he thinks Jim Bradley has done a service to the country with his research into the horrors of war in the Pacific from both sides, I won't argue with him. He was there, I was not. I'm glad I read "Flyboys" but unlike "Flags of Our Fathers" which I've read three times since it was first published, I won't be reading it twice. Its medicine is too strong for a second dose.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Strays way off course
    I am very offended in the tone that book takes in regard to comparing Japan's Chinese campaign with our final offensives in Germany and Japan. With all of the well written reviews I do not have much to add except to say that Japan was dead in the water and would have fought to the last man, woman and child. I also think that the nuclear bombs definately did create a new level of war and by doing so expedited the surrender. I am tired of people trying to apologize for America, the fact remains if they did not engage us then they would not have faced our wrath. The Chinese on the other hand recieved the barbaric wrath of Japan without so much as provoking them. I suppose we are supposed to draw a parallel in our manifest destiny or turn of the century Phillipine campaigns that were both in a very different era. By taking away all of Japans budget to make war America gave them a head start on creating a modern economy unparalleled in the world.

    This book gets three stars for having some nice solid sections when it stays on task and does not get to preachy. If it wasn't for that I would have flunked it. The author has talent though and the read is pretty good being that is so severly flawed.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not sure what to make of this book
    First off, I find it surprising that this story was not told sooner, as it involved a future U.S. president (I suppose much of the information was not available until recently). I give Bradley credit for telling the story of the airmen who gave their lives in service to our country, but I'm not sure what to make of Bradley's commentary on U.S. policy before and during World War II. It's true that atrocities happen in war, and the actions of our military should not be whitewashed. It seems wrong to me, however, to try to draw moral equivalency between the aggressors, and those who fight that aggression at great cost to themselves so that others may enjoy freedom. I also reject Bradley's suggestions that all atrocities committed by the Japanese were a direct result of earlier U.S. actions, however wrong those actions may have been (Bradley's description of the Japanese corruption of the Samauri code seems to contradict his own assertions regarding this point). I rate "Flyboys" 3 stars for telling a story that should have been told earlier, but I have reservations about the revisionist history in the book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, misleading title
    A few months ago, I overheard an argument by two people over this book, so I figured I would read it myself to see what it was really like. I must say I was very disappointed. The first few chapters are not even about World War II. The title is misleading, for it is not really about "Flyboys", and the author uses it as a platform to condemn the use of airpower. Unfortunately, civilians were killed in bombing raids, but it should be remembered that it was the Germans and the Japanese who started this war. The author also sees very little, if any, difference, between the Americans and Japanese, yet he overlooks who rebuilt Japan. If Japan had defeated the US, would they have rebuilt our cities? I highly doubt. There are better books about World War II in the Pacific, and certainly better books that portray the courage of the American Fighting Man. ... Read more


    18. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
    by Frank McCourt
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 068484267X
    Catlog: Book (1999-05-25)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 5116
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

    So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy -- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling -- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

    Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors -- yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

    Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic. ... Read more

    Reviews (1623)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Depressing but Excellent
    5 Stars- Depressing but excellent

    Frank Mc Court's memoirs "Angela's Ashes" takes us back to the 1940s where he tells us of his childhood and the poverty that his family lived though. This book can be very depressing at times which brought me to tears, but this is an excellent memoirs worthy of a 5 star rating.

    The book starts out in New York, the Mc Court family lives in one of the most impoverished areas of Brooklyn and father, Malachy Mc Court has a hard time keeping a job and a drinking problem. After the death of baby Margaret, the family moves back to Ireland where times are harder and life is poorer. The family relies on help from Saint Vincent, DE Paul Society and they are forced to go on relief. The father drinks whatever money he makes and has a hard time finding or keeping a job. Frank has a dream of returning to America, where he feels that he can make life better for himself.

    I watched the movie right after reading the book and was amazed at how many part were left out. I advise everyone to read the book to get the true story of the Mc Court Family and I look forward to reading the second part, Tis.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Deserved Pulitzer
    McCourt speaks to the reader through his childhood voice in this splendid, moving, and thought-provoking autobiography. McCourt begins the story as a four-year-old living in New York City with his parents and three younger brothers. The poverty stricken Irish family is unable to make ends meet in America and so they head back to Ireland in hopes of survival.

    They settle in Limerick where McCourt's mother Angela grew up. Malachy McCourt, the father in the story, claims that he will find work and support the family. However, Malachy's love of alcohol prevents him from finding or keeping any gainful employment. When he does work, he takes his wages and goes to the bars and drinks until all the money is gone. Meanwhile, the family is hungry, the children are wearing shoes with holes, and Angela sinks into a deep depression but remains obedient to her husband because of her Catholic faith. The family moves around Limerick frequently, renting dirty rooms with flea infested bedding, living on the floors in small houses owned by relatives, and even renting a house in which the bottom floor is constantly being flooded with neighborhood sewage. The family comes face to face with illness, death, starvation, and ridicule. The low point strikes when Angela must resort to begging on the streets to help her family survive.

    All the while, McCourt has the reader grow with him through the ages of four to nineteen. He shares the Irish tales he grew up with, the feelings he had toward his dyfunctional parents, his opinion of the Catholic Church, and the good and bad lessons he learned from his harsh schoolmasters. Never does McCourt wallow in self-pity, rather he presents the facts of his life in an honest, poignant manner. Despite the despair, it seems that McCourt has no regrets about his upbringing, for he was a child and had no control of the situation. As he grew, however, he came to the realization that he could begin to change things for the better. Unlike his father, he became eager to work. He struggled to support his mother and younger siblings in his teen years with after school jobs. He educated himself through reading and observation. He set goals and priorities and didn't give up until he reached them.

    McCourt takes what is tragic and presents it in a beautiful, descriptive language that leaves the reader spellbound. His story is obviously written unselfishly and is told to show that triumph can be the end result of tragedy. Each individual has the power to rise above and make his or her life meaningful. This is the essence of McCourt's message. A message you will not forget after reading Angela's Ashes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a memoir of myself?
    This book is simply incredible and the inclusion of the patriotic and doleful poems of the Irish make it simply the best and stand out from the rest. Frank Mc Court has retold the story in a perspective of a child and I wonder how could he retell each and everything so clearly and touchingly.... so hands up for him... Mc Court is one of the greatest Irish writer ever.... This book has broken my heart, made me laugh, brought tears in my eyes and has made me obsessed with Little Frankie and his sore eyes....I never wanted to finish Angela's Ashes and wish I could continue reading it forever and ever.... If you are keen about Frankie's life then Tis' is a must read book...

    I wish I could invite Frankie during Christmas so that he didnt have to eat the pig's head....

    5-0 out of 5 stars ANGELA'S ASHES
    THIS BOOK LEFT SUCH A MEMORABLE IMPRESSION ON ME. IT HELPS ME TO UNDERSTAND HOW SOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, DURING THE DEPRESSION YEARS, MUST HAVE LIVED. THE WAY THE STORY IS WRITTEN MAKES YOU FEEL AS IF YOU ENDURED SOME OF THE UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES FELT BY THE WRITER. HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO REMEMBER THIS STORY IN TIMES WHEN THE SIMPLICITY AND BASIC JOYS IN LIFE ARE OFTEN OVERLOOKED.

    1-0 out of 5 stars P.U.!!
    Stinkaroo! Thank god I borrowed this work of maudlin stereotypical crap from the library so I didn't actually fork over any cash for it. Jeez, if I was Irish I would be completely insulted by the authors' ludicrous, stereotypical portrayal of the anguished poor Irish Catholic family. "Aw no da's drunk agin! Aw no, ma's bein' shagged! Aw, I wish ere lived in Ameriki!" Blah blah blah! These characters aren't even as well developed as the guy on the Lucky Charms box. Has McCourt ever been to Ireland?

    I couldn't even finish it. It just plodded and sobbed and whined on and on and on. In fact, before I took it back to the library I inscribed in one of the early chapters, "WARNING: MORE CRAP AHEAD". I didn't consider that defacing library property, I considered it a public service. ... Read more


    19. The Bookseller of Kabul
    by Asne Seierstad
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316159417
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-26)
    Publisher: Back Bay Books
    Sales Rank: 875
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    For more than twenty years, Sultan Khan has defied the authorities, whether communist or Taliban, to supply books to the people of Kabul. He has been arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned, and has watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. Yet he has persisted in his passion for books, shedding light in one of the world's darkest places. This is the intimate portrait of a man of principle and of his family - two wives, five children, and many relatives sharing a small four-room apartment in this war-ravaged city.As they endure the extraordinary trials and tensions of Afghanistan's upheavals, they also still try to live ordinary lives, with work, relaxation, shopping, cooking, marriages, rivalries, and shared joys. Most of all, this is an intimate portrait of family life under Islam.Even after the Taliban's collapse, the women in Khan's family must submit to arranged marriages, polygamous husbands, and crippling limitations on their ability to travel, learn, and communicate with others.Seierstad lived with Khan's family for months, experiencing first-hand Afghani life as few outsiders have seen it. Stepping back from the page, she allows the Khans to speak for themselves, giving us a genuinely gripping and moving portrait of a family, and of a country of great cultural riches and extreme contradictions. ... Read more

    Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Is this what's coming to Scandinavia?
    This well written, fast paced books relates the story of a middle class Afghan family a year after American-led forces liberated the country from the Taliban.The incidents and anecdotes are told to and witnessed by a female Norwegian journalist, Asne Seierstad, who lived with the family for three months.

    Other reviewers have described the overall book well, especially the systematic oppression of women in the pursuit of some ideal - for who? - Islamic purity.But the author's anecdotes also illustrates why most Islamic economies are immune to advancing the welfare of their own people.

    Sultan, the Kahn family patriarch who lets Seierstad observe and write about his family, is a merchant straight out of the medieval caravan era.Most of what he sells, using his uneducated sons and relatives as indentured servants to operate his bookstores, consists of Iranian and Pakistani produced merchandise exorbitantly marked up in price because he benefits from having little or no competitive market.While piously professing a desire to modernize Afghanistan he steadfastly refuses to invest anything is his country's economy or even in his own sons.Consider how unfavorably this compares with how East Asian patriarchs invest in their own economies, businesses and families.

    Sultan's eldest son Mansur, a semi-educated seventeen year old, meekly submits to being treated like a dog by his father but whenever his father is away copies his father's tyranny and abuses his aunts, sisters and even his loving mother - telling her to "go to hell" when she says something Mansur doesn't like - , every chance he gets.But the telling thing is just how lazy and irresponsible the misogynistic little wimp is when his father is not there to threaten him.When Sultan goes to Tehran on business for a month he gives Mansur several tasks to complete - cataloging inventory, picking up shipments, dealing with charges against a thief - but Mansur fritters the entire month away reveling in freedom from his father's control and fails to complete even a single task.This is typical of punishment-driven Islamic culture where most people only do what someone forces them to do and accomplish nothing without supervision so that little improvement is made without reliance on the hated infidels or other foreigners.

    The author relates the Kahn family stories and lets the events speak for themselves.But in an epilogue describing how family members became estranged after her departure Seierstad tells how frustrated and appalled she was with how Sultan, a man she initially perceived as sophisticated and "liberal", treated his family, especially the women.She relates that she bit her tongue many times to avoid comparing their behavior and customs unfavorably to the (superior in her view) way things work in her native Norway.

    Ironically Ms. Seierstad, who generously, and perhaps naively, donates the profit from this book to the Afghan education system, may be spending too much time in the Middle East to realize that Islamic culture is changing Norway and Scandinavia more than Norway and Scandinavia are changing Islam.For example, the Swedish company IKEA recently bowed to demands by Islamic Scandinavian immigrants and reissued all their product instruction manuals to avoid offending Muslims by depicting women assembling everything from cupboards to beds.The new manuals show only men or cartoon figures whose sex is unclear.And in recent years there has been a surge in rapes and gang rapes in Norway attributed to Islamic men, mostly Kurds.In their trials the Muslims invariably claim as their defense that the Norwegian women dress too provocatively.Unbelievably, some Norwegian elites, including a senior judge and a female university professor, agree and have publicly said that Norwegian women should dress more conservatively so as not to offend the cultural sensibilities of Islamic immigrants.And some of the largest, but vacant, churches in post-Christian Oslo are being converted to mosques.Sultan Kahn may yet have the last laugh on Ms. Seierstad as Europe converts itself to Eurabia in the next twenty years.

    This book is recommended as a well written bit of "new journalism" with colorful stories and harrowing descriptions about contemporary life in Afghanistan.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Shalika keeps a straight face
    This is a hard book to comment on, especially being male. I am a western male however, from Ireland. I feel that in western society men's opinions on feminist issues, such as the ones raised in this book, can carry less weight than those of a woman. It's not our place.

    That being said, I did enjoy the book but I couldn't say I found it entirely impartial. There are many points in which the author - Asne Seierstad- describes the "thoughts" of the women of the book. It doesn't seem possible that these can be something other than what she imagines to be in the minds of the women. From a western woman's standpoint, they are obviously quite plausible, but they really only serve to make the men folk appear dastardly and allow readers sympathise with the women characters.

    The story draws attention to some of the more well-documented characteristics of Afghan men which at times are just short of being caricatures. It is full of the kind of descriptions likely to cause "good grief" type responses from readers not hugely familiar with non-western society.

    The book is currently enjoying a considerable amount of success, and this is well deserved. It is clearly written, well thought-out and quite original as a concept. I can't escape the feeling, though, that would appeal mostly to people who enjoy that part of the show where Oprah consults female social expert on women's issues.

    I read in one review that the book failed to give any insight into the Afgan male character. I'm not sure that this criticism was relevant because I didn't get the impression that the authors aim was particularly concerned with dealing with the psyche of that half of the Afghan society. I noted this somewhere in the back of my mind though and as a result I was more conscious of the presentation of the men folk in the book. I waited patiently for moments where the purpose of the male character was something other than somewhere to focus the anger that would inevitably ensue due to the suffering endured by the women. Those moments came, but quite infrequently.

    Recently I read that the Sultan character in the book is seeking legal damages in real-world European courts. He is claming he has been misled to and dishonoured. International publishers don't seem overly worried and are standing by the book.

    I would recommend this book to certain friends, but only those with whose tase I'm familiar. It's not a book I'd especially like anyone to look back and remember that I was the one who recommended it.

    5 out of 10

    Tony DeFrego

    5-0 out of 5 stars Informative Journal of Distant Land & One Family
    This journalist from the outset doesn't attempt to give a broad, sweeping picture of this country in the news or of what one might describe as an "average Afghani family."

    Rather, it is a three month journal of viewing the country and city of Kabul from a bookseller's family.One quickly finds that family is everything there.It determines much in life, how one thinks, who one marries, etc.For women especially, even after freedom from Taliban, there is still residual.Eyeopening.

    While the family is atypical in their wealth, they are very typical in most else.The bookseller's obsession with his own book future determines everything in their orbit.There is more parallels here with our own career driven lifestyle for many.

    Education plays out in Kabul and this family in vital way.With it there is possibility and hope. Without it, fate is all too often determined by others.Thus, outstanding that the author provides royalties to help women and education there.

    The religion and politics highlighted from a limited perspective and few pages devoted gives just a snippet of what likely is occurring there, but nonetheless this engages us Americans with other views than likely we get over the tube.

    Enlightening and engaging read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and an eye opener!
    This book held me captive from beginning to end. I enjoyed reading about a different culture and way of live. To us westerners, the treatment of women is disheartening, but is a way of life for them, and a hard habit to break. This book has made me want to read more and this author did a great job of reporting.

    What we take for granted will never leave my mind, every time I think my house isn't as nice as the next person's, we take electricity, warm water, and the simple pleasure of being able to go where we want, have what we want and do whatever we want, WHENEVER! I don't need someone to accompany me to go to the store. A sure eye opener!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Family Life and Culture
    All of the reviews that I read of this book were highly positive and the topics (family life and culture in post-Taliban Afghanistan) are interesting to me.So I had hoped to really enjoy this book.Unfortunately that was not the case.Although the issues discussed were very thought-provoking in nature (gender, relationships, and culture) and the story was entertaining, the actual writing and treatment of issues seemed too simplistic and watered-down to me.I felt that the book merely glossed over some topics that could have been highly interesting to the reader, but my first thought in response to that was, "Maybe that was all of the information she could get."In a society that previously meted out physical and capital punishment for "crimes" that may go unpunished or may even be ignored in our society, one learns to either keep certain thoughts or feelings to themselves or does not even have them at all.
    On a positive note, I think that what we may be seeing here is a "first look" at the experience of feeling free of the Taliban.What will be even more interesting than this initial endeavor is to see what changes occur within the coming years and compare them to this first glimpse at post-Taliban society.
    ... Read more


    20. When I Was Puerto Rican
    by ESMERALDA SANTIAGO
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679756760
    Catlog: Book (1994-10-11)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 11827
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Selling over 16,000 copies in hardcover, this triumphant coming-of-age memoir is now available in paperback editions in both English and Spanish. In the tradition of Black Ice, Santiago writes lyrically of her childhood on her native island and of her bewildering years of transition in New York City. ... Read more

    Reviews (76)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Gift From Santiago
    A joyful and proud eulogy to the island of her youth. Santiago is a wonderfully talented voice that exudes passion. The title alone, When I WAS Puerto Rican, is at first intriguing. But we soon learn the profound sense of this past tense usage. I read Santiago's memories in Spanish, which, in my view presents her story in a distinctive poetic prose, rhythm and rhapsody (often characteristic in Spanish) that is absolutely captivating. However, what is most appealing about this autobiogaphy, interwoven delightfully with memorable and richly detailed anecdotes, is the moving revelation that Santiago shares with her readers who don't know what it means to be caught in the agonizing web of dual-identities/dual-allegiances that is largely the Puerto Rican Experience ... as well as other North American immigrant experiences. This writer has presented us with a lyrical gift of enormous joy. High on the list of Must-Read novels, especially those by the new cadre of Latina writers. If you haven't as yet seen the excellent movie version of the sequel to this novel, Almost A Woman, do so. Wanda de Jesus is brilliant in the lead role.

    Alan Cambeira
    Author of AZUCAR! The Story of Sugar (a novel)

    5-0 out of 5 stars When I Was Puerto Rican
    When I Was Puerto Rican is a chronicle of the events that take place in the life of author Esmeralda Santiago during her childhood in Puerto Rico and later New York city.

    Two things make this book worthwhile right off the bat. One it crosses the divdes of age, sex and race. I found it to be an effective introduction to Puerto Rican culture. However, this isn't a story for simply one group of people it was written for everyone.

    I believe that Mrs. Santiago while writing this biography tried her best to keep the events of her early life in the child-like perspective,in which she first experienced them. What I mean by this is she does not pollute her narrative with the reflections of an older wiser adult woman looking backward. She allows the story to unfold as it was at the time.

    Culturally this book is far different from any other book I've read. But the story and the empathy I felt for the characters in it has stayed with me.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Touching and Heart Felt
    I just finished "When I was Puerto Rican." I thoroughly enjoyed the book and connected with the author. Being the oldest female child in my family, I have felt the way that she did. The book takes you back through your adolescence and makes you exam life.

    Another plus to the book is how much culture it has. I enjoyed learning about the culture, the food, the dichos (sayings). I am pretty familiar with the Mexican Culture but the Puerto Rican has a completely different vibe and I enjoy it. Esmeralda's experience in New York is what so many people dream of. She makes me proud of her and I feel that I know her so intimately. That is what I love about her writing. Thank you for being so honest with your readers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars When I was Puerto Rican
    The book of "When I was Puerto Rican by; Esmeralda Santiagon was really great. It's shows the way she lived in Puerto Rico her life was easy she lived with her mother and her uncle that would always help them out, she also lived with six cousins. She got older she wanted to get married with this guy that she liked but her uncle wanted to get married with this older guy. She didn't want to but if she didn't her uncle would have to go to this counselor camp. That's when she decided to run away she wanted to go to America.
    She wanted to come America and have a better life but sometimes cominh to america is so easy. She also wanted to come and find her dad that was a soldier. Esmeralda books are really amazing because she puts you in her shoes and she takes you with her in her journeys. She shows how hard it was for her to live in the situation she did. Not knowing anything about her culture. This book is a really good book if you want to know whether she goes to America and finds her dad and gets a better life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
    This is, without question, the best autobiography I've ever read. Santiago's writing is vibrant, fluid, and concise. Her evocation of life in PR as Americanization slowly seeps in is deadeye brilliant, and her transition to life in the margins in Brooklyn is heart-rending. She never uses a hammer to make her points, choosing the subtle, the offhand, the seemingly innocuous instead.

    Edwidge Danticat should take notes. Ernesto Quinones should be embarrased. ... Read more


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