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1. My Life So Far
$17.13 $12.95 list($25.95)
2. Searching for the Sound:My Life
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3. Elvis by the Presleys
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4. Becoming Justice Blackmun : Harry
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5. One Soldier's Story : A Memoir
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6. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
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7. The Glass Castle : A Memoir
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8. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations
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9. Early Bird : A Memoir of Premature
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10. The Windsor Style
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11. A Lotus Grows in the Mud
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12. Sinatra : The Life
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13. Mountains Beyond Mountains : The
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14. Garlic and Sapphires : The Secret
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15. American Prometheus : The Triumph
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16. Running with Scissors: A Memoir
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17. A Child Called "It": One Child's
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18. Oh the Glory of It All
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19. Lion of Hollywood : The Life and
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20. Luckiest Man : The Life and Death

1. My Life So Far
by Jane Fonda
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375507108
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 294
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Amazon.com

One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently."

Exclusive Letter from Jane Fonda

Stay in Shape: The Jane Fonda Collection
New Workouts

The Complete Personal Trainer Series

The Complete Workout and Stress Reduction Program

Fun House Fitness: Fitness for the Whole Family

Jane Fonda: The Essential DVDs

Barbarella

On Golden Pond

Nine to Five

Coming Home

Klute

See more Fonda DVDs ... Read more


2. Searching for the Sound:My Life with the Grateful Dead
by Phil Lesh
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
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Asin: 0316009989
Catlog: Book (2005-04-18)
Publisher: Little, Brown
Sales Rank: 631
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Right in time for the Grateful Dead's 40th anniversary, eccentric bass player extraordinaire Phil Lesh has delivered fans a most welcome gift: his autobiography. There are many books out there about the Dead told from the perspective of roadies, journalists, third party observers, and fans.However, with the exceptions of Jerry Garcia's ramblings in Garcia: A Signpost to New Space and Conversations With the Dead, Lesh's Searching for the Sound is the first time a founding member of America's favorite band tells their own story of what it was like inside the Grateful Dead. And what a wonderful, strange tale it is.

Phil Lesh, considered the most academic of the group due to his avant-garde classical composition training, literate mind, and passion for the arts, decided to write his story himself. Written without the crutch of a ghostwriter, Searching for the Sound might be considered disjointed in places, but overall it comes across as conversational, intimate, informative, and candid (particularly regarding topics of drug use and death). If you are familiar with the band and their extended family, their history, the sixties' musical milestones and influences and all the band's famous tales (the Garcia/ Lesh "silent" confrontation, being busted on Bourbon Street, the Wall of Sound), you may be a little disgruntled there is not much new here in the way of content. However, what is "new" and totally satisfying is Phil's warm, optimistic perspective on the many events that helped shape his life. As described by Lesh, his life's journey, much like the Dead's music, is "a [series] of recurring themes, transpositions, repetitions, unexpected developments, all converging to define form that is not necessarily apparent until it's ending has come and gone." For the many fans who enjoyed the fruits of his life pursuit of sonic explorations,Searching for the Sound isa welcome addition to their Dead library. --Rob Bracco ... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars What the professor, er I mean, the bass player is thinking
I'm so full of music and nostalgia, having just finished this book. I didn't want it to end. I'm exhausted--feeling like I just danced my way through a weekend of shows--and yet, so high on the memories, I'm thrilled and honored to write this review. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Phil, for writing "Searching For The Sound." It's a wonderful book. The best I've read about the Dead. Thank you for sharing everything behind that omnipresent smile you always seemed to have on stage.

Our intimate circle of Deadhead cohorts--best friends, pals, passing and long-term acquaintances that began in Southern Illinois (particularly along with the fabulous and memorable cover group, "Uncle Jon's Band,") through our crew called "East Bay Deadheads For Peace" formed during one of many Berkeley Greek Theater shows, always called Phil "The Professor." I confess I never knew why until I read this book. Wow. Phil brings an intellectual integrity to the story of his own musical education and, of course, to the band--to the history of the music driving The Grateful Dead, and to all of us who continually flocked to see them play for us and for each other. Phil lets us in. Tells us what it was REALLY like. Even when I knew what was coming, I experienced the pains (and the joys) through a different and certainly wiser set of eyes. This book is written with true love and deep respect for all members of the band and above all, for THE MUSIC.

What amazes me most about his book is the clarity of Phil's memory. He recounts (particularly the early days) with such detail that I can't help but believe this is transcribed from personal journals. Passages like: "the whole urban symphony of Industrial Man, coming from near and far, high and low, finally weaving a shimmering web of discontinuous rhythm, and in the longest slow fade ever, subsiding over hours to a dull roar, felt rather than heard, only to rouse itself anew as the sky brightened with the light of another day." Whew! This amazing, true, brutally honest, funny, insightful memoir is full of such . . . such . . . stuff! And it's not just trippy memory-packed description that blew me away. When he describes the "dark and stormy night" that defined their Woodstock experience, he describes the faltering sound-system as an electrical edifice with "a saber-toothed crotch cricket of a hum."

To anyone who not only experienced the phenomenon that was (is) the Grateful Dead, and particularly to those who appreciate the value of music, I highly, highly recommend this read. I haven't felt this emotional over a book in a long, long time. I love you, Phil.

From the author of "I'm Living Your Dream Life," and "The Things I Wish I'd Said," McKenna Publishing Group.

4-0 out of 5 stars It's all about the MUSIC
It is so refreshing to read a book by a musician who is in it for the MUSIC.I knew some background on Mr. Lesh.I'm not a rabid Deadhead...never quit my job and followed them on tour or anything, but I have seen them at least six times.I've read the books by Hank Harrison, Blair Jackson and Rock Scully and enjoyed them all, and have many of their CDs.But Lesh's book is a well-written memoir of what it was like being on that wonderous ride through that unique time in history.If you want to hear stories about shagging endless lines of groupies, or snorting endless lines of cocaine, go elsewhere.Lesh touches on the drug element in the band, but doesn't dwell on it....except for maybe the LSD experimentation which was so crucial the the development of the band. And I've honestly never read such a "dead-on" (sorry) description of the effects of mind-altering drugs.Lesh is obviously an intelligent man, and to be honest, he loses me occasionally when talking about electronics/sound/acoustics, but I knew enough about him to expect that.

It's rare you get to read a book by a dedicated musician, and not a *ROCKSTAR*.Listening to the Grateful Dead taught me a lot about listening to music in general. After appreciating the dynamic between Garcia, Lesh and Weir, I was able to move on to Coltrane, Garrison, Jones and Tyner and many more great combinations after that.I've always admired Lesh as a musician, but now I also admire him as a writer, a husband and a father.Go in peace, Mr. Lesh! Thanks for the great read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a great book on the Dead
Searching for the Sound is a great book for any GD fan.

Written by an insider, this is the definitive work on the Dead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on the Dead
I have been on the bus since the sixties in the bay area, when liking the Dead defined yourself to your peers as an uncool nerd and a bit of a weird-o.Nice to hear Phil's journey from the inside.He comes across as warm, human, honest and of course, brilliant.This dude can write...nearly as well as he can play.My wife, who isn't a head, loved reading it, just for the literate writing and the anecdotes.

The funniest part of it for me was when I caught Phil in two or three errors of chronology or fact, especially about the business side of the Dead, mostly in the seventies.But he explains how that could have happened, especially during that dark time.

He reminds me a bit of John McCain...having been at death's door, he now has his priorities and values clearly defined and doesn't so much care what you or I (or Mickey, Bill and Bob) think.

A great read, a spiritual quest.Warm-hearted and full of hope.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love Will See You Through
Phil Lesh was the oldest member of the Grateful Dead and the member with the most college education - he studied music and classical composition at several Bay Area universities. Thus, it's not surprising that he is the first member of the band to write a book about his Grateful Dead experiences.

"Searching for the Sound" is enjoyable for Deadheads. All the band milestones you know about, both positive and negative, are included: the Acid Tests, Altamont, the New Orleans bust, the Canadian train trip, the Bozo and Bolo Buses, the Wall of Sound, Pigpen's deterioration and Jerry Garcia's drug use. But Phil also throws in a few other interesting tidbits, such as:

*Phil's first instrument was the violin, then he took up the trumpet to play jazz. He learned the bass on his own after Jerry showed him which strings corresponded to which notes.
*He moved out of 710 Ashbury in part because of Jerry's loud snoring.
*After the Lenny Hart money fiasco, Mickey Hart didn't officially quit the band; essentially, he took a long leave of absence and still socialized with band members.
*Jerry showed up for a performance of Wagner's Ring cycle wearing sweats, and fell asleep during the opera.
*Due to the high cost of constant touring, the band members never made more than a general cost-of-living wage until "In the Dark" in 1987.

The book is well-written and for the most part easy to read. (His description of his visions during an accidental onstage LSD overdose must be read to be believed. You'll see the notes, too!) Its only real flaw is that Phil includes several very technical passages describing electronic equipment set-ups that mean nothing to the amateur. But those can be skipped over. Put on a Dick's Picks (or Ives' Fourth Symphony) and enjoy this insider's look at the Dead. ... Read more


3. Elvis by the Presleys
by Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307237419
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 440
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Think of Elvis by the Presleys as the ultimate souvenir guide from your tour of Graceland. The 256 pages are packed with family photos, reminisces, and still-life photography of Elvis's possessions. The book is also a companion volume to the multimdedia event that brings the personal side of Elvis to the masses from the recollections of just six family members: wife Priscilla; daughter Lisa Marie; cousin Patsy; along with Priscilla's mom, dad, and sister. Many of the words written here were not in the TV show but one assumes what will make this a keeper are the photos. Along with candid shots, there are stills of the home movies seen on the CBS special (and subsequent--and expanded--DVD), and the still life shots by Henry Leutwyler get your mind racing. Here one can dwell on Elvis's guitar and think of all the music that came out of it. You can spy his phonograph with the record that was on it when he died, his wallet, an autographed Bible, his first contract, a hand-drawn football play, even his FBI badge along with pristine views inside Graceland. Some shots seem like filler (a boot, "with the original mud," Lisa Marie's crayons), but the overall impression is you are viewing pieces from the Museum of Cool, circa 1970. Several of Pricilla's passages and some of the images allude to Elvis's dark side: the massive reference book on pills and three guns are shown (plus the TV Elvis shot) looking like items from a murder investigation. Ultimately, do we really learn anything new about Elvis? Perhaps not, but there are several segments where Priscilla (the main voice) draws us in with her emotional recollections. The book (and program) is never better than telling the courtship in Germany when a homesick solider found an older-than-her-age 9th grader. Elvis by the Presleys does not try to be compressive; it succeeds as a warmer, more heartfelt tribute to The King. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars For The First Time, The Inside Story by Elvis's Family
Elvis's wife, daughter, and others in the immediate family tell the story of Elvis Presley from the inside looking out. It is very interesting to have this new perspective on the life of Elvis Presley. In addition, there are some wonderful photos included in the book. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars New Discoveries
Reading through this book I realized that a lot of what the media said was untrue.This book gave a different insight to the values Elvis kept close to his heart. It tells about his complex personality, but at the same time the sensitive side to Elvis that he hid from the public.The book told how generous he was and at times to perfect strangers.He loved to make people happy.He loved his family life. I recommend this book because it tells the truth about Elvis from the people who were closest to him.This book is truly a must read for an Elvis fan.

4-0 out of 5 stars great pictures
I gave this book 4 stars because it does not have a lot to read in it. but it does have some really good pictures. the few stories init were good but just wish there was more text. anyone looking for a good picture book of elvis this is the one for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Even though i'm only 14 i've been an elvis fan from a very early age and have collected numerous items, books, DVd's etc... but this seemed to give you an inside look to his personal choice. Priscilla and other Presley family members have been lucky to share their life with him and now they're letting us have an insight. Excellant!
Helen, 14, New York ... Read more


4. Becoming Justice Blackmun : Harry Blackmun's Supreme Court Journey
by Linda Greenhouse
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080507791X
Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
Publisher: Times Books
Sales Rank: 539
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent with unprecedented access to the inner workings of the U.S. Supreme Court chronicles the personal transformation of a legendary justice

From 1970 to 1994, Justice Harry A. Blackmun (1908-1999) wrote numerous landmark Supreme Court decisions, including Roe v. Wade, and participated in the most contentious debates of his era-all behind closed doors. In Becoming Justice Blackmun, Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times draws back the curtain on America's most private branch of government and reveals the backstage story of the Supreme Court through the eyes and writings of this extraordinary justice.

Greenhouse was the first print reporter to have access to Blackmun's extensive archive and his private and public papers. From this trove she has crafted a compelling narrative of Blackmun's years on the Court, showing how he never lost sight of the human beings behind the legal cases and how he was not afraid to question his own views on such controversial issues as abortion, the death penalty, and sex discrimination. Greenhouse also tells the story of how Blackmun's lifelong friendship with Chief Justice Warren E. Burger withered in the crucible of life on the nation's highest court, revealing how political differences became personal, even for the country's most respected jurists.

Becoming Justice Blackmun, written by America's preeminent Supreme Court reporter, offers a rare and wonderfully vivid portrait of the nation's highest court, including insights into many of the current justices. It is a must-read for everyone who cares about the Court and its impact on our lives.
... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Blackmun maximized the product and so has Greenhouse
Blackmun was clearly a man who maximized the product.Linda Greenhouse doesn't quite explain how this rather unprepossessing figure achieved such high office.He was bright and industrious, to be sure, but so were many others.He was not a strong personality or even particularly personable or outgoing.But in one respect at least, Blackmun seems to have been truly extraordinary--his penchant from an early age for recording the events of his life and collecting almost every note, letter or document which related to it--as if he knew and were determined to become someone of substance.Indeed, Greenhouse tells us that Blackmun's collection comprises more than one and a half million items, is contained in some 1585 boxes, and takes up more than 600 feet of shelf space in the Library of Congress.

Greenhouse makes wonderful use of this massive collection, writing a remarkably spare yet elegant narrative of what she quite rightly calls "a consequential life," one that spanned the twentieth century and left its mark not only on the law but on American society.Blackmun's bookish reticence may not make him very attractive or interesting to the general reader, but for those seeking a better understanding of the modern Supreme Court and some of its Justices, this volume is as invaluable as it is fascinating.We see Blackmun increasingly determined to do justice as much as to apply the law, with Greenhouse focusing on his opinions having to do with abortion, capital punishment, and sex discrimination.We see Blackmun grow totally estranged from Chief Justice Warren Burger, his closest childhood friend at whose wedding he served as best man.We see Blackmun relate more closely to his young law clerks, some of whom seem to have authored the most memorable lines in his opinions.

Someone else will have to research and interview more widely to write the definitive, full-length biography and survey Blackmun's entire judicial career.But we owe much to Greenhouse for this wonderful and most timely introduction.

5-0 out of 5 stars The evolution of a great justice
Linda Greenhouse has written an extraordinary book about the life and career of one of the great Supreme Court justices of our time, Harry A. Blackmun. In doing so she has given us, in "Becoming Justice Blackmun", a remarkable behind-the-scenes look at not only Blackmun but the interaction among the justices of the court. She succeeds brilliantly.

Blackmun's encounter with destiny was certainly not in the cards early on for this man from Minnesota. Greenhouse explores Blackmun's early career and most notably his longtime friendship with Warren E. Burger, with whom he would serve on the Supreme Court for sixteen years. Their friendship is a central theme in her book...a friendship that would falter and eventually dissolve. At every turn the author's narrative flows warmly and vividly as she paints a most impressive picture of the man who would become the center of controversy in Roe v. Wade. Greenhouse reflects accurately on Blackmun, a shy, soft-spoken man, whose studious manner often led to agonizing decisions. Nonetheless, those decisions were carefully crafted and always thoughtful.

This could have been a dry effort on Greenhouse's part but she spices it up with tales of humor. Like kids at school, the justices passed amusing notes back and forth among themselves and even had a betting pool for the 1992 presidential election. It has always been rumored that the court closely follows presidential elections but I had no idea that they took it this far!

What emerges finally is the author's extensive research and knowledge of not only the court but Blackmun, especially. Through detailed accounts of some of the most important court cases (effectively explained for those of us who are not accustomed to the law) she connects those cases with Blackmun's personal reflections about them and how he dealt with other justices. Blackmun was unflappable at times but willing to make changes in his own arguments when necessary. Greenhouse covers all of this with obvious admiration for her subject but with an objectivity that lends itself to an impartial overall view of Harry Blackmun.

"Becoming Justice Blackmun" is a tour de force. There are few opportunities to have such a look at the Supreme Court and its inner workings and having been granted an opportunity to write this book, Linda Greenhouse has made a significant contribution to our nation's history.

5-0 out of 5 stars A marvelously insightful synthesis
In this compact and beautifully written book, Linda Greenhouse traces the evolution and growth of Justice Blackmun through the development of several crucial lines of Supreme Court cases.Featuring seldom revealed behind the scenes events drawn from the Justice's private papers, the reader is treated to a tremendously interesting, yet easy to follow, history of the progression of various areas of constitutional law, intertwined with the fascinating disintegration of the life-long relationship between Justice Blackmun and Chief Justice Warren Burger.This book clearly merits the excellent reviews it has received.

2-0 out of 5 stars History attempted by Journalists is always disappointing
Linda Greenhouse has done careful research, and as she herself notes, her 264-page treatise on Harry Blackmun chooses certain foci and not others. She makes no claim to exhaustiveness.

This notwithstanding, with the exception of a beginning that tells us rather matter-of-factly about some of young Harry's experiences, the book reads like a chronological laundy list of Blackmun's approach to issues he faced on the 8th Circuit COurt of Appeals and then on the Supreme Court. Greenhouse tries to spice it up a little by adding her take on the genuinely compelling story of the breakup of the friendship between Blackmun and his lifelong compatriot Chief Justice Burger. Even here, though, she doesn't follow any leads, doesn't bring compelling psychological realism to the page, and maintains a monotone narrative. It is a journalist trying to report rather than a historian or biographer reporting and analyzing that gives this tome it's horribly dry flavor.

Greenhouse's book does provide useful information and is instructive, but more so to the armchair Supreme Court scholar than to any serious scholar or anyone looking for a good read. What a wonderful subject, what a compelling title, and what a mediocre disappointing little book that could have been so much better. Greenhouse should stick to reporting on the Supreme Court and stay away from longer narratives. Nina Totenberg would have done so much better!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Changed Man
This is a remarkable books in so many ways.As other reviews have indicated this is not intended to be a complete biography but rather information gleaned from a review of the archives of Justice Blackmun

LInda Greenhouse focused mainly on three topic.The first is the ending of a friendship between Justice Blackmun and Chief Justice Burger.The two men grew up together.Burger was the leader bringing Justice Blackmun with him. When Justice Blackmun arrived at the Supreme Court he slowly became his own man and the friendship falls apart.In her reliance on the Blackmun papers only we can only see one side of the fissure but even that shows when old friends go their own way it often is done by small slights that in each detail is irrelevant but together are significant.

The second theme is the change in Blackmun"sattitude toward the death penalty. In small steps the responsibilities of the Court required Blackmun to more fully understand the implications of the penalty until finally he no longer could support it.Again the change is beautifully detailed and we feel from his writing as portrayed by Ms Greenhouse the depth of the change.In this portion of the book we learn how difficult it is to predict how sitting on the Court will change people.As we see the selection process for a new justices begin we should remember that people do grow with responsibilities and not to be to quick to characterize a nominee.

The last focus and the most detailed portion of the book is the identification of Justice Blackmun with the Roe decision which he wrote. Starting from the beginning of the research at Mayo Clinic the focus of the decision was the protection of doctors.As Blackmun developed his view he became more concerned about the rights of woman.Roe became his legacy and he worked hard and even stayed on the Court longer to be sure the case was not reversed.

The book also provides a wonderful insight on how the Court operates.Justices that have different views are friendly.The letters and the notes between the justices are fascinating.

The theme is the change in Blackmum as he served.The lesson is that as we watch the Court we forget that the justices can change and that there is enormous pride in the institution.

In summary this is a wonderful book by an author who obviously respects her subject ... Read more


5. One Soldier's Story : A Memoir
by Bob Dole
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060763418
Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 420
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Download Description

"

Before he became one of America's most respected statesmen, Bob Dole was an average citizen serving heroically for his country. The bravery he showed after suffering near-fatal injuries in the final days of World War II is the stuff of legend. Now, for the first time in his own words, Dole tells the moving story of his harrowing experience on and off the battlefield, and how it changed his life.

Speaking here not as a politician but as a wounded G.I., Dole recounts his own odyssey of courage and sacrifice, and also honors the fighting spirit of the countless heroes with whom he served. Heartfelt and inspiring, One Soldier's Story is the World War II chronicle that America has been waiting for.

" ... Read more

Reviews (18)

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Here
Given the favorable press coverage this book has gotten, I was expecting something really dramatic, personal and revealing in a human sort of way. But I found there's really not much here. What there is you can get by reading the book reviews, and save yourself some money.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Soldier's Story & A memoir of a career in government.
Dole's autobiography is very revealing and more educational than any government school.

Bob Dole was born in Russell, Kansas, in 1923.He was elected as U.S. representative from Kansas in 1960 and served four terms. In 1968 he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Dole was Gerald Ford's running mate in Ford's unsuccessful presidential campaign (1976) and campaigned unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 and 1988. He has served as Senate majority leader (1985-87, 1995 to 1996) and minority leader (1987-95).In other words Dole was a career politician.

It is clear from the book that being a career politician is probably related to the fact that two weeks before the end of WWII, Dole was severely wounded and remained disabled for life.

He is not a gifted writer--his prose is often stilted, and he resorts too easily to cliches.That also sums up his political career.He gives no hints of understanding free market economics nor the need for cutting government.Dole shows why the Republican Party is a lost cause for liberty.

People sometimes mistakenly say that Dole is "conservative" but that is misleading. Dole served in the Senate for 27 years and government did nothing but grow.Dole exemplifies what is known as the "greatest spending generation."

Dole was the Republican candidate for president in 1996 against Bill Clinton.Given the choice between two big socialists, the voters went with the more charismatic Clinton. Even before Clinton, no republican president had ever cut the size and scope of government. Dole never got his chance to show that he could preside over massive socialism as president. Even so, his fellow republican-socialists are now twice as socialistic as Clinton was (in social spending alone).

The only way that Dole can be called biased is that he drones on about socialists (Democrats and Republicans) and ignores anyone who wants to cut government (Libertarians).

Bob Dole is stuck in silly left-right political analysis, as taught in government schools. He is still unaware of the Nolan chart or Diamond chart. He uses the word "liberal" unprofessionally to mean "left." His habit forgets the etymology of "liberal" for "liberty" (against government and for laissez-faire capitalism). That bad habit explains why republicans and democrats are the same: socialists.Bob Dole is an example of why government schools are unconstitutional and must end.

Dole doesn't do well addressing the massive growth in government in the USA. It seems like Dole doesn't think that government in the USA is big enough yet.

Dole is not libertarian and he uses the misnomer "public schools" to mean "government schools."No one would trust the government to tell the truth if it published books like Dole's. Why would the government tell the truth in government schools?

Dole doesn't have a problem with "patriotism" and the pledge of allegiance. Big problem: Dole don't arise each morning to gather with neighbors and robotically chant, as he only "loves" the pledge when government's schools lead children in robotic chanting every morning for twelve years of their lives upon the ring of a bell, like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state. Did I mention that Dole is an example of why government schools are unconstitutional and have destroyed a "free press" and why government schools must end?

Dole book suggests that he doesn't know that the pledge was written by a socialist (Francis Bellamy) in the USA and that the original salute was a straight-arm salute (as shown in web image searches for "original socialist salute"). Dole should know because he was born in 1923 and lived through the pledge's use of the Nazi-style salute (it changed in 1942). Dole doesn't know of the news-breaking discovery by the historian Rex Curry that the straight-arm salute of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) came from the USA's pledge of allegiance and military salute, and not from ancient Rome.Dole seems unaware that Bellamy put flags in every school to promote a government takeover of education for widespread nationalization and socialism.

Dole is an example of why some educated socialists (socialists who know the origin of the pledge) laugh at so-called "conservatives," because socialists presume that conservatives like Dole have been duped into supporting socialism and is ignorant of the pledge's socialist past.

Francis Bellamy and his cousin and cohort Edward Bellamy were national socialists who idolized the military and wanted to nationalize the entire US economy, including all schools. It was a philosophy that led to the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) where millions were murdered (62 million by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 35 million by the Peoples' Republic of China, 21 million by the National Socialist German Workers' Party) in the worst slaughter in history. That is why the Bellamys are known as America's Nazis.All Holocaust Museums could expand four-fold with Wholecaust Museums.

Bellamy believed that government schools with pledges and flags were needed to brainwash children to embrace nationalism, militarism, and socialism.

Bellamy wanted the government to takeover everything and impose the military's "efficiency," as he said. It is the origin of the modern military-socialist complex.

Bellamy wanted a flag over every school because he wanted to nationalize and militarize everything, including all schools, and eliminate all of the better alternatives. During Bellamy's time the government was taking over education.

Bellamy wanted government schools to ape the military.Government schools were intended to create an "industrial army" (another Bellamy phrase, and the word "army" was not metaphorical) and to help nationalize everything else.

Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated segregation by law and taught racism as official policy and did so even after the National Socialists were defeated, and well beyond.

Thereafter, the government's segregation legacy caused more police-state racism of forced busing that destroyed communities and neighborhoods and deepened hostilities.

Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated the Nazi-style salute by law, flags in every classroom, and daily robotic chanting of the pledge of allegiance in military formation like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state.

The bizarre practices served as an example for three decades before they were adopted by the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

When Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, his neighbors attended segregated government schools where they saluted the flag with the Nazi salute.

As under Nazism, children in the USA (including Jehovah's Witnesses and blacks and the Jewish and others) attended government schools where segregation was imposed by law, where racism was taught as official policy, and where they were required by law to perform the Nazi salute and robotically chant a pledge to a flag. If they refused, then they were persecuted and expelled from government schools and had to use the many better alternatives. There were also acts of physical violence.

The hypnotic "Sieg Heil" salute to a flag symbol mesmerized Americans long before it brainwashed Germans.

Jehovah's Witnesses were among the first people to publicly fight the government and its pledge ritual in the USA, during the same time that they fought it in Nazi Germany.They eventually achieved total victory over Nazi socialism.They achieved only partial victory over similar socialism in the USA.The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forced to perform the pledge.Laws still make teachers lead children in robotic chants of the socialist's pledge daily, on cue from the government. Jehovah's Witnesses and other children in government schools must watch the ritual performed by others.

The pledge gesture was altered and explicit school segregation by government ended. The Government's schools still exist, the federal flag brands government schools, and government's teachers must chant the pledge daily. Students are kept ignorant of the pledge's original salute and history.That is why the pledge still exists.

The USA also continued its Nazi numbering (social security from 1935) and its robotic pledge, with no stopping.

Today, the USA numbers babies, and government schools demand the numbers for enrollment, and the numbers track homes, workplaces, incomes, finances, and more, for life.School laws still tout the daily pledge, a bizarre ritual shunned by every other country.

Dole has discussed plans for "reform" of social security that would invest social security taxes in private businesses. At the height of Nazi power, the USA's government deliberately stepped onto the same path with national numbering imposed in 1935 with the social security system.The federal government was growing massively and attempting to nationalize the economy in many ways.The US Supreme Court struck down much of the new legislation as unconstitutional until the craven FDR pressured the Court into the "switch in time that socialized nine."

New social security reform ideas are so-called "privatization" plans that would nationalize all businesses, in addition to schools. It would impress the Bellamys.Dole does not have the ethics to discuss the other side of the issue (the proper side): ending government involvement in education, and ending the social security scam, its taxes and its Nazi numbering.If the antidisestablishmentarianism does not end, then the USA's police state will grow.

Dole has another bad habit: overuse of the hackneyed word "Nazi" so much that it might cause one to wonder if he knows what the abbreviation abbreviates. Many people forget that "Nazi" means "National Socialist German Workers' Party," and one reason people forget is because the word "Nazi" is overused by politicians like Dole who rarely or never say the actual name of the horrid party.A good mnemonic device is that the sick socialist swastika represented two overlapping "S" letters for "socialism" under the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

Overall, Dole's book was very revealing and educational and worth the time to review.Let's hope for a more enlightened sequel in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story of a Different Time
This book is noteworthy as it is a public figure who has written a book without bragging about himself or supporting his current positions or causes.Dole is a retired politician who in his year's of reflection decides to write about the most significant event of his life, his service in WWII, the subsequent life-threatening injury, growing up in middle-century America and the support he received to overcome this devastating injury.

This is a simple book that could have been written by thousands of WWII vets.Unfortunately, they are not famous and Bob is so in many respects Dole is writing it for them.He writes this book with no ego and no political agenda.In fact, he writes of his relationships across party lines and as he discusses his involvement with the WWII War Memorial there are great discussions on his excellent relationship with Bill Clinton.

Where this book is most fascinating is describing his struggles going to college and the mindset of Americans as Pearl Harbor is bombed.Then you see the thought process of these young men as they decide whether to enlist and what should they attempt to do in the armed services.Pre-battle training is covered extensively but mainly from the standpoint of relationships with family through the letters included.Unfortunately, Dole's time in battle was limited as he is wounded almost immediately.So whole the build-up of this battle is compelling, it ends quickly.Then the amazing tale of how he was rescued at great risk and somehow managed to survive is told in great detail.Most Americans know he was injured but how many know of the months he was laid up paralyzed?Or the life threatening infections he fought off with experimental drugs?

This book is not for everyone.If you are looking for a war book, this isn't it.Political intrigue and partisan politics?Pass on this read.But to reflect family life in a simpler America and the struggles of the heroic WWII soldiers, this is an excellent book and well worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Soldier's Story, Not the Politicians
Note the title, this is a soldier's story. Bob Dole spent most of his life as a politician, but that's another story, another book. This is the story of Bob Dole's military career and the aftermath of being wounded in combat.

This story is one of courage and the continual battle to regain what was lost on a mountain in Italy. Bob Dole is a member of what has been called the Greatest Generation. And regardless of what you might think of his politics, he is a great member of that generation.

Also surprising is his humor that comes out in his writing. His is not the dour even sullen personality that came across in the election. His is more the Bob Dole being asked for ID in the American Express commercial.

We are now engaged in a foreign war where young men are coming back horribly wounded. Here is a story of inspiration and hope for them.

5-0 out of 5 stars NotDole the politician
This is a book well worth reading.
Let me say at the outset that I have issues with Dole the politician but this is about Dole the man.
It is a very human book that tells the story of an average American, a good citizen, a soldier and a man having to deal with a crippling injury.
It is an unflinching look at how an average life can becomeremarkable life and a story of human endurance and courage.
Inspiring. ... Read more


6. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
by AnneLamott
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573222992
Catlog: Book (2005-03-03)
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Sales Rank: 106
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Few people can write about faith, parenting, and relationships as can the talented, irreverent Anne Lamott. With characteristic black humor, ("Everyone has been having a hard time with life this year; not with all of it, just the waking hours") she updates us on the ongoing mayhem of her life since Traveling Mercies, and continues to unfold her spiritual journey.

Plan B finds Lamott wrestling with mid-life hormones and weight gain while parenting Sam, now a teenager with his own set of raging hormones. Her observations cover everything from starting a Sunday school to grief over the death of her beloved dog, Sadie; lamenting the war to bitterness over her relationship with her now-departed mother.

As she tugs and pokes out the knots in a slender gold chain necklace, it becomes a metaphor for letting go and learning to forgive. "…any willingness to let go inevitably comes from pain; and the desire to change changes you, and jiggles the spirit, gets to it somehow, to the deepest, hardest, most ruined parts." It’s her willingness to show us the knotted-up, "ruined parts" of her life that make this collection of sometimes uneven essays so compelling.

"Everything feels crazy," writes Lamott, adding, "But on small patches of earth all over, I can see just as much messy mercy and grace as ever…."Lamott’s essays will serve as reminders to readers of the patches of messy mercy and grace in a chaotic world.--Cindy Crosby ... Read more

Reviews (78)

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
Honest to Pete - Lamott blows it with this book.I quit reading it when I was half way through as I wondered why I was bothering - why continue to be assaulted like this? Other books by Lamott have been invigorating and fun - this one bashes our President repeatedly (Ok for a chapter - but in almost every chapter?), flaunts the use of vulgarity (just because she's free to do so, doesn't mean she should), and champions rebellion. Lamott is a smart sassy woman - and I love her and I have enjoyed reading about her jaunty walk with Jesus.But this time around I simply wanted to yell at her " Oh, Anne, CUT IT OUT!"

5-0 out of 5 stars Laughed Until I Cried
Annie Lamott is one of the few writers today who write about faith in an honest, straight-forward, humorous way. She doesn't try to portray herself as a model goody two shoes. Her acknowledgment of her own shortcomings, whether in parenting an adolescent, struggling to act on faith, or maintain a decent diet, will keep you smiling and nodding your head in agreement. This book sparkles with honesty and wit. It is a must read!!

2-0 out of 5 stars "It's all about. . . . MEEEEE"
I think you can make fun of George Bush. And I think you can inject a little humor in your own Theological beliefs. I mean look at what we put on television and call it a 'craft,' then host a show with people who only have one name telling us how great one particular show was and how the actors never gave up their 'integrity,' and then tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor. "Friends" ran on network television for what . . . 60 years?

It's just if you have a point, make it. Don't leave the reader confused as to what you were trying to say.

I find this to be mean spirited writing. Ms. Lamott seems uncertain as to what she is going to say and I am then left with uncertainty as to what she said. Or why. Writing about Christ and his teenage years is something I would expect from George Carlin or Moore. I get the feeling that Ms. Lamott wanted to touch on everything that might pull in a few extra readers. Like a director of a poor script, action, violence, skimpy tops on the female stars, "cool" humor between the African American and Caucasian heroes, more violence, more skimpy tops, fast cars. Let's do a little of everything.

Some points Ms. Lamott makes are genuine. They are unfortunately few and far between. 2 stars. Larry Scantlebury

4-0 out of 5 stars Ranting?I think not!
After reading most of the negative reviews of this book, I just have to laugh.Most come from those "upset" with Ms. Lamott's criticism of Mr. Bush and/or her interpretation of religious dogma.

Get over yourself people.First, there is nothing wrong with one critizing your government and or president!Ever since our government was formed, people have bashed the government.Those who challenged government tenets during the 18th century, for example, were not told to cease the criticism or face jail time.Our fore fathers saw debate about issues that effect all of us as paramount to a successful democracy.(It would be nice if all those who do not understand this basic fact, read up on it and become more informed before choosing to voice their opinions on this issue).

Second, there is nothing wrong with one person's interpretation of religious dogma.I found Ms. Lamott's writing to be poignant and funny and her descriptions of Jesus as being a rebellious teenager real and refreshing.What would Jesus do?He would not chastize Ms. Lamott for her humor but probably have a good laugh along with her!

Third, Ms. Lamott is someone who has had alot of pain in her life and is working it out.She is far from perfect.I know many people who exhibit some of her qualities but with alot less reflection on their parts.She yells at her kid, she swears, she has a drinking problem, ... does that make her less of a human being?What is the old saying about judging not?

Join Ms. Lamott for one's person faith journey and leave your judgements at home.You'll be pleasantly surprised!

1-0 out of 5 stars Ugghh
A dreadful, awful, and utterly terrible book.I enjoyed Anne Lamott's previous work but this one did nothing but anger me. Yuck. Read at your own risk. ... Read more


7. The Glass Castle : A Memoir
by Jeannette Walls
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743247531
Catlog: Book (2005-03-08)
Publisher: Scribner
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8. Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From The Beaten Track: The Letters Of Richard P. Feynman
by Richard P. Feynman
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0738206369
Catlog: Book (2005-04-30)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 227711
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Book Description

An extraordinary volume of never-before-published letters written by one of America's most beloved scientists.

Richard P. Feynman, brilliant physicist and beloved teacher, is an iconic figure in the world of science. Born in 1918 in Brooklyn, Feynman received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1942. Despite his youth, he played an important part in the Manhattan Project during World War II, going on to teach at both Cornell and the California Institute of Technology, and winning the Nobel Prize in physics in 1965 for his research in quantum electrodynamics. Many remember his work on the Challenger commission, in particular his famous O-ring experiment, which required nothing more than a glass of ice water. Besides his work as a physicist, Feynman was at various times an artist, dancer, bongo player, and lock picker.

While there have been many books celebrating his myriad scientific achievements and personal eccentricities, his personal correspondence has remained largely hidden from view buried in the archive at Caltech or locked in a box in his daughter's Pasadena home. Now, for the first time, we have the privilege of reading his wonderful letters to students, long-lost relatives, former lovers, crackpots, colleagues, and die-hard fans. From his early love letters to his first wife Arline, who died at Los Alamos of tuberculosis, to his decades-long attempt to resign from the National Academy of Sciences, Feynman shares his views on feminism, fatherhood and everything in between. These letters, which span a full half-century, tell the story of a marvelous and inventive life, and reveal the pathos and wisdom of a man many felt close to but few really knew. By turns abrasive and charming, intimate and inspiring, we see the many sides of Richard Feynman, and treasure him all the more. ... Read more


9. Early Bird : A Memoir of Premature Retirement
by Rodney Rothman
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743242173
Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 213
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Everyone says they would like to retire early, but Rodney Rothman actually did it -- forty years early. Burnt out, he decides at the age of twenty-eight to get an early start on his golden years. He travels to Boca Raton, Florida, where he moves in with an elderly piano teacher at Century Village, a retirement village that is home to thousands of senior citizens.

Early Bird is an irreverent, hilarious, and ultimately warmhearted account of Rodney's journey deep into the heart of retirement. Rodney struggles for acceptance from the senior citizens he shares a swimming pool with, and battles with cranky octogenarians who want him off their turf. The day-to-day dealings begin to wear on him. Before long he observes, "I don't think Tuesdays with Morrie would have been quite so uplifting if that guy had to spend more than one day a week with Morrie."

Rodney throws himself into the spirit of retirement, fashioning a busy schedule of suntanning, shuffleboard, and gambling cruises. As the months pass, his neighbors seem to forget that he is fifty years younger than they are. He finds himself the potential romantic interest of an aging femme fatale. He joins a senior softball club and is disturbed to learn that he is the worst player on the team.For excitement he rides along with a volunteer police officer on his patrols, hunting for crime. But even the criminals in his community seem to have retired.

Early Bird is a funny, insightful, and moving look at what happens to us when we retire, viewed from a remarkably premature perspective. Any reader who plans on becoming an old person will enjoy joining Rodney on his strange journey, as he reconsiders his notions of romance, family, friendship, and ultimately, whether he's ever going back to work. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Existentialist in Florida

This is a profoundly depressing, insightful and refreshing book. Sure it's all gussied up as uproarious by the marketing drones. But its messages are all downers.Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course: I highly recommend it.

Rothman is an observant 28 year old, burned out and jobless, who escapes to Florida to get a head start on retirement.He expects older people to have 'figured it out' -- to be wise and inspiring -- kind of like the Morrie character in "Tuesdays with ... ." (Rothman's expectations, not my characterization of them.) Instead he finds ... nothing in particular.Near death, people are still searching, seeking, angst-ridden, horny, hopeless and hapless.Kinda like how one is at 28.

The book strikes you on several levels:First: it's a warning not to expect too much wisdom from elders.Go seeking advice from an elderly person and you're going to get a particular person's take on life -- a take that has been sharpened and narrowed over the years. (Obvious, buttragic.)

Second:The possible corollary to the lack of wisdom Rothman observes among retirees is that ... there is no wisdom to be had. That is, we're here, we don't know why, we can't know why, we've got the blip of consciousness, so don't go looking for some "meaning of life" experience. It's not that people aren't wise ... there is nothing particularly to be wise about.

Buy the book. It's not Camus -- but is still good stuff.

1-0 out of 5 stars seniors beware
I'm a senior and unfortunately found nothing funny about this bizarre and unpleasant contrivance. Unfortunately, because I spent good money on it, thinking that a former writer for David Letterman would at least give me a few laughs. Well, there are some, but they're all at the expense of us seniors. You know, how we've got sagging skin, love early bird specials, forget things--all the tired and offensive cliches. Har, har har. Unless you want to endure a 28-year-old sitcom writer's snarky observations about the failing minds and bodies of the elderly, avoid this one. I suggest these books as alternatives: Be An Outrageous Older Woman; 100 Things I'm Not Going To Do Now That I'm Over 50; How Not To Become A Little Old Lady. I'm sure that amazon carries them all.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Old Bird Likes "Early Bird"!
Funny, original and poignant, "Early Bird" will bring a reader lots of laughs and even atear or two.As a senior, I appreciated that the author could laugh at old folks while showing an affection for for them.If you are living in a retirement community or know someone who is, this is a fun read.

5-0 out of 5 stars As Yoko-Ono would say, "YES"
More a series of essays than a book, Rodney Rothman gently muses about aging and retirement with an edgy wit that makes his cynically nostalgic look ahead at old age remarkably sweet, bitter and entertaining.I know what you're thinking -- it's not possible to "look ahead" with cynical nostalgia -- but, my friends, this clever book proves it is not only possible, but a welcome change from the sappy nostalgia with which most novels attempt to conquer the subject of old age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ahhhh. . . . .
By the time I had read about 5 pages, I thought to myself, "Hmmmm, he's got a straight guy David Sedaris vibe to him." Well into his adventures in retirementworld, the Sedaris vibe proves to be a good thing. His take on the golden years is hilarious, honest, and not condescending. He has genuine affection for some of these folks, genuine disdain for some, and he's even envious and physically attracted to others. That's how REAL life goes -- it can be cruel, interesting, boring, hilarious, and delicious (or bland if you're at a cheap buffet eating scrod). I'm now loaning my copy of the book to all my friends. ... Read more


10. The Windsor Style
by Suzy Menkes
list price: $627.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881623210
Catlog: Book (1988-04-01)
Publisher: Salem House Pub
Sales Rank: 662131
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A View Inside A Shrine to Self
The Windsors, while they were living, epitomized style, glamour, and wit. Ultimately theirs was a wasted life, empty of meaning in the end. From the heady days of their scandalous romance, life was all downhill, a private struggle to conserve their dignity in the aftermath of the abdication. To fill this emptiness and lack of purpose in life, the Duchess obsessed on perfection; of herself, of the things she collected and of the table she set. The Windsor's sous chef spent hours sorting salad leaves into leaves of exactly the same size to be set before their guests. Their relationship was a hollow recreation of the childhood the Duke never could leave behind. Moulin de la Tuilerie, their country home outside of Paris, was the York Cottage of Edward's youth reborn. Wallis herself was Queen Mary, obsessively arranging the display of small objets and cosseting the little boy who was King. A long time servant said, "They had nothing and no-one. They were just two lonely old people." Suzy Menkes takes the reader on an interesting tour through not only of the tangible objects of this relationship, but of the relationship itself. ... Read more


11. A Lotus Grows in the Mud
by GoldieHawn
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399152857
Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Sales Rank: 173
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

An inspiring and unconventional memoir from one of the world's most beloved actresses.

Goldie Hawn's life is an ongoing tableau of stories, and she has a born knack for telling them. In this candid and insightful book, Goldie invites us to join her in a look back at the people, places, and events that have touched her. It is the spiritual journey of a heart in search of enlightenment.

With her trademark effervescent humor, Goldie tells us about the lessons she's learned and the wisdom she feels she's been given in the hope of giving something back. Not a Hollywood "tell-all," A Lotus Grows in the Mud is a very personal look at moments private and powerful: her delight in her father's spirited spontaneity; the confidence instilled in her by her mother; the unexpected gifts of comfort from strangers many miles from home; and the joy of being a daughter, a sister, a lover, and a parent. This memoir is Goldie's chance to talk about everything from anger and fear to love, compassion, integrity, and friendship, to the importance of family and the challenges of show business.

Goldie writes about her younger self-the little girl who felt like an ugly duckling-and growing up in suburbia dreaming of becoming a ballerina. She takes us on a tour of her go-go dancing years in New York in the sixties, her phenomenal success on TV's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and then on to the world of Hollywood stardom and such memorable films as the Oscar-winning Cactus Flower, Swing Shift, and Private Benjamin.

A Lotus Grows in the Mud speaks of her relationship with her family-her partner, Kurt Russell; her children, Kate Hudson, Oliver Hudson, Wyatt Russell, and her stepson, Boston Russell-her growing faith, her curiosity for that which she doesn't yet know, and her unquenchable thirst for knowledge and understanding. Most of all, it is a trip back through a life well lived by a woman well loved.
... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful person...
I was walking thru one of my favorite superstores when I came across this book - the always beautiful woman made me notice the cover but the title made me pick up this book containing steps of her journey thru life.

At first I was a little intimidated or should we say annoyed with the size of this book.Memoirs are normally not this large in size and I immediately wondered what piles of conceit can someone so young in life have to say. I expected this from maybe Oprah but not Goldie.And that was not an attack on neither person but more of an explanation of what I have seen from the work and travels of both women. I later became glad the book contained such volume, for there was no way to tell her tale in short for the tale would have been missing all the reasons life is beautiful.

I have not had the fortune of seeing all of her movies, but I will say I have had the fortune of reading this book.And her spirit is lovely.She does not force her beliefs on the reader but more of explains how she came across these beliefs.

How very unfortunate if you don't find this book enjoyable.I or the rest of the reviewers who are watching the Lotus grow from our own version of mud - will not hold it against you.

For those of you who are open, perhaps spiritual and easily touched, don't let the size of this book intimidate you. It's a good read by a good person.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant to ponder
The cover is nice.Some pages are blue or purple with very attractive motifs and graphics inside.Nice pictures too of Goldie at work, rest and play including snapshots of her children and partner Kurt Russell.

The content is only losely biographic.This is more Goldie Hawn's philosophy of life through the window of her journeys and successes in the movie industry.Co-authored with another it reads very well.

Little subchapters called "Postcards" capturing experiences.There are also poems and thoughts: "Is our smile coded for in our DNA or is it nurtured?" (paraphrased).In this sense the book has some fine quotations.

As a woman who represents openness and seems to be something of a spiritual student this book is great for exploring themes on happiness, relationships, death and being human.Designed to bring out the best in anybody.

This book and its sentiments represent a fantastic contribution to genuinely making the world a better place - not by throwing money at problems but by being well inside.

I liked reading it - ideal as a gift or to dip into though not to be read from cover to cover necessarily.Really well edited - not much gossip, thankfully.

2-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get interested
I don't remember Goldie Hawn from Laugh In.I have seen her in only two movies, The Banger Sisters and Butterflies Are Free, and not in the theater but on tv.The book is pretty on the outside and the colored pages are nice.I couldn't get interested in it so I didn't buy it.

1-0 out of 5 stars silly and oh so predictable
A waste of time for me.I borrowed a copy from my friend.Completely light weight.I guess I expected more depth.Now, who is the stupid one?Depth from Goldie Hawn?Well, I had hopes.She canNOT be as dippy as the girl from Laugh In, but I am afraid she is.At least she maintains that image in this new age-y, let-me-enlighten-you piece of froth."All I ever wanted was to be happy," she recalls from her days as a very small child.Right.I'm sure.

It's easy to pontificate about Buddhism and how material things are really meaningless when you're sitting on $200 million.Give up your money, Goldie, your penthouse in NY, your $10million house in Montana, your home in Canada for your son's convenience, your cars, your "assistants", your jewelery, etc., and move into an ashram and then I'll have a little more respect for her views on "life" as a Buddhist.

As for her childhood memories, they seem very "exact words" and although I have a memory and can recall conversations word for word, as well, I find her recollections a little hard to take, re the one on wanting to be happy:I was a very happy kid too and my childhood was wonderful, but I didn't KNOW it until I was able to understand the concept of happiness, to understand how others lived, and that certainly didn't happen to me when I was five.

I hope it was printed on recycled paper.It's a shame any tree had to die for this.

I think she probably babbled on and a ghost writer did the hard part.And if I was him or her, I'd never let ANYONE know I did THIS book.

5-0 out of 5 stars an amazing book.....

This book was hard to put down. Goldie has a wonderful warm, sincere, and open approach to life which is refreshing. She has welcomed us into her life and shared her intimate thoughts and feelings. I enjoyed every page. I am giving this as a gift to my daughter, and recommending it to my friends.

Ruth Nighswonger (Boca Raton, Fl) ... Read more


12. Sinatra : The Life
by ANTHONY SUMMERS, ROBBYN SWAN
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375414002
Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 296
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Age of Sinatra
We know Frank Sinatra - we don't know Summers and wife.

"They buried a man in California on May 14, 1998, but they didn't bury Frank Sinatra. Rock 'n' roll couldn't bury him, disco and rap couldn't. Elvis and the Beatles couldn't." What makes you feel you can, Summers?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book on Ole Blue Eyes
Frank Sinatra was a Man of many faces,but He had a Persona about Him that you would never soon forget.I've read so many books about him&this One truly captures another side of him.nothing changes my mind of Him as a Artist because I always say that you have to seperate the person from there craft they are two totally different beings.Sinatra is One of the Music Worlds Greatest Treasures period. Sinatra did His thing as He wanted to.like He sang"My Way"&He never strayed from that&You can always respect a stand up Cat.very interesting reading&Details.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Latest Sinatra Book is a Winner
This new book on Sinatra is a great read and most people reading the book will find it difficult to put the book down. It deserves to be a best seller. In short, it is a highly entertaining page turner with many photographs that show Sinatra at most stages of his life, and has an excellent free flowing writing style like a magazine article. Furthermore, the authors did a good job and it eclipses prior books - it is a substantial book about 590 pages long with 200 pages of notes.

Most people, especilally older ones, know the Frank Sinatra success story. The present book gives the rest of the story, the not so pleasant but possibly more fascinating hidden side of the Sinatra story - what was going on behind the scenes. Since many parts will be controversial, the authors have been very cautious and very conservative with the details of their story. In any case, I suspect it is probably close to 100% correct - that is my guess. Out of the total of about 590 pages, the authors have an impressive 200 pages dedicated to backing up the facts of their story including many sources, references, public information, etc. and they give much detail on where they got all their information. Fortunately for the reader, all those 200 pages of notes are neatly placed at the back of the book, and the text itself, just under 400 pages, is a free flowing and easy read with many photographs.

The story starts with the family immigration from Italy to America, and then continues with his youth and his parents living in Hoboken, NJ, right across the river from New York city. It is one of a number of New Jersey ocean port towns in the area that had strong mob ties- and Hoboken was made famous by the 1954 Marlon Brando movie On The Waterfront. The story continues through his start as a singer, his breaks in show business, the movies, his wives including first wife Nancy and their children then on to Ava Gardner and the other marriages. Ava Gardner was an obsession that lasted until her death according to the book. Then it is on to the numerous girlfriends including Bogart's wife Lauren Bacall. The authors take us through the criminal charges for assault on a reporter, assault against a 20 years old actress, the days in Las Vegas, his connections with Marilyn Monroe, his numerous contacts with politicians including the Kennedy family and more.

The reason that some will not like this book is that some of the details are not pretty, and they are linked to organized crime. This can be traced to Sinatra's father who comes from the same small town in Sicily as some of the most famous mob leaders of his time; the mob link was previously widely known and it is not new to this present book. Frank had ongoing and continuous contacts with these people as did his father. His parents ran an illegal bar during prohibition using mob supplied liquor, supplied by their Sicilian connections.

It is claimed that he got his singing start with these connections, and later in his career he got his part in the movie From Here to Eternity, in a style similar to that depicted in the Godfather movie, i.e.: serious and credible death threats aimed at the movie producers if they failed to hire Sinatra. However, once he became famous he continued a strong interaction with many mob figures including Sam Giancana in Chicago. According to the book, Sam Giancana was not an isolated incident - there were many. One or a few incidents like Giancana might have been considered an error of judgement, but the authors detail perhaps dozens of other crime figures, many with photographs and notes and other information. They even claim that Sinatra transported cash for the mob. Sinatra would deny all of this in public, even years later after many of the other people were dead, but there are too many references to come to any conclusion other than what is described in the book.

The other not so pretty part of the story involves his famous temper, impatience, and similar behaviour with women and associates, and even beating a reporter. With his fame and success came sex appeal and power. He was diverted from his first marriage to Nancy by many women including Ava Gardner and others, many being the most famous and most beautiful of the day, and sometimes many decades younger than himself such as Mia Farrow. But he was unable to maintain the relationships and marriages, due largely to his temper, his expectations, and his manner or life style.

This is a fascinating read, and I highly recommend the book. It is similar to some prior biographies on Sinatra but refined and expanded. It has a lot of back up material and an excellent collection of photographs. My opinion of him did not change from reading the book. I already new he was a fairly independent and strong headed guy who did things his own way oblivious to the social norms - as per his song "My Way". Maybe this tough guy connection percolated through to his public image and that is one reason why he was famous?

Fascinating book, this is a buy: 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on Sinatra So Far
We have had the records. We have the CDs and Videos.And finally we have THE BOOK! The most carefully researched and factually presented document on Sinatra the man. It tells the complete story, for the first time, of the twentieth century legend who thrilled us with his wonderful gift of story telling in music. It is simply the best book on Sinatra so far.

2-0 out of 5 stars Whose "Life" Is It Anyway
Frank Sinatra is generally regarded as the finest popular singer of his time so it seems logical that any book entitled "Sinatra-The Life" would have to take off from the music.

Without the music there would be no "Mob", no starlets, no movie roles,no bodyguards...none of the egocentric trivia the Sinatra biographers generally like to focus on.

Kitty Kelley in her 1986 hatchet job spent so little time on Sinatra's artistry one would be hard put to realize she was writing about a musician.

Anthony Summers and Robin Swann, authors of "Sinatra The Life" are not quite as mean spirited in their tone as Kelley was, but they spend so much time dwelling in the gutter, it's almost as if it was an inconvenience for them to touch upon the music (some of which they get wrong--there was no "recitation" on the "Watertown" album


Summers and Swan devote a huge portion of the book trying to finally cement Sinatra's connection to the Mob....

Does anyone really care at this point if the "Mob" helped get Sinatra the role of Private Maggio?....did the "Mob" give Sinatra's terrific Oscar winning performance--did the "Mob" record a body of musical work that remains unparalled in the history of American popular culture?Did the "Mob" make worldwide standards out of obscure showtunes such as "Lady Is A Tramp" and "I've Got You Under My Skin?"...Is the "Mob" responsible for the fact that millions can date the events of their lives by what Sinatra album was in release at the time.

An artist of Sinatra's stature and longevity deserves at least the same sort of 2 volume treatment that Elvis received from the excellent Peter Guralnick.


Suffice it to say that amazingly enough the definitive biography of Frank Sinatra has yet to be written...

"Sinatra-The Life" ain't it........................


... Read more


13. Mountains Beyond Mountains : The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
by TRACY KIDDER
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.46
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Asin: 0812973011
Catlog: Book (2004-08-31)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 917
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14. Garlic and Sapphires : The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
by RuthReichl
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200319
Catlog: Book (2005-04-07)
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Sales Rank: 109
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Fans of Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples know that Ruth Reichl is a wonderful memoirist--a funny, poignant, and candid storyteller whose books contain a happy mix of memories, recipes, and personal revelations.
Amazon.com Interview
We chewed the fat with Ruth.Read our interview.
What they might not fully appreciate is that Reichl is an absolute marvel when it comes to writing about food--she can describe a dish in such satisfying detail that it becomes unnecessary for readers to eat. In her third memoir, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, Reichl focuses on her life as a food critic, dishing up a feast of fabulous meals enjoyed during her tenure at The New York Times. As a critic, Reichl was determined to review the "true" nature of each restaurant she visited, so she often dined incognito--each chapter of her book highlights a new disguise, a different restaurant (including the original reviews from the Times), and a fresh culinary adventure. Garlic and Sapphires is another delicious and delightful book, sure to satisfy Reichl's foodie fans and leave admirerers looking forward to her next book, hopefully about her life with Gourmet. --Daphne Durham

More from Ruth Reichl

Tender at the Bone

Comfort Me with Apples

The Gourmet Cookbook

Remembrance of Things Paris

Endless Feasts

Gourmet magazine


Amazon.com's The Significant Seven
Ruth Reichl answers the seven questions we ask every author.


Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?
A: Kate Simon’s New York Places and Pleasures. I read it as a little girl and then went out and wandered the city. She was a wonderful writer, and she taught me not only to see New York in a whole new way, but to look, and taste, beneath the surface.

Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?
A: Ulysses by James Joyce. What better place to finally get through it?

Keith Jarrett's The Köln Concert. If you’re going to listen to one piece over and over, this is one that doesn’t get tiresome.

How to Build a Boat in Five Easy Steps. Since I’m going to be watching one movie over and over, it might as well be useful.

Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?
A: I’m such a good liar, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.
A: I can write pretty much anywhere. But I prefer small, cozy spaces, with a good view over a lake or a forest, and room for the cats to curl up.

Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?
A: "She’ll be right back."

Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
A: Elizabeth I. She fascinates me. She had a great mind, enormous appetites--and she was a survivor. The most interesting woman of an interesting time, and I have a million questions I’d like to ask her.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: You mean after creating world peace?This is a hard one. But I’ve always wanted to be able to fly.

... Read more

Reviews (16)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ruth teased me, I wanted more
It took me over half of the book to warm to Ruth's ways. I felt too many times she built up a scenario and left me hanging, wanting to know more. I was desperate to find out what happened... if there was any comeback from the charity couple, how the guy she duped on a date with her sexiest disguise reacted to finding out he had in fact been dining with the NYT critic, what the Chinese restaurant who had diligently faxed menus back & forth felt when she decided to unceremoniously dump them for some other venue, after so much effort to please her.
Its a light read and charming enough, but my appetite was whetted and I craved more gritty details.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
I thought the book was funny.It grabbed me from the first chapter and I laughed through the whole thing.This is a great read and I am up for reading any other books from this writer.Another great one is the glass castle and also Whispers of the wicked saitns.Great reads !!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected
I was extremely disappointed with this book.I expected to read more about the inner workings of NY restaurants, not recycled reviews from the New York Times.I thought it would be interesting to read about how she fooled restaurants with her various disguises.I did not expect to read page after page of where she bought the wigs, how she found the clothes, etc. etc.You can only read "the tastes exploded in my mouth like hundreds of little fireworks" (not a true quote from the book) so many times before you start skipping over the reviews.Save yourself some money and read the actual restaurant reviews from the Times' archives.I wish I had.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great third Memoir. Leaves us wanting more! Buy It.
`Garlic and Sapphires' is the third volume of memoirs by Ruth Reichl. After `Tender at the Bone' which deals with her childhood and teens and `Comfort Me with Apples' which deals with her early journalistic career in San Francisco, this latest volume deals with her five years as the lead restaurant critic for the New York Times.

This volume proves that Ms. Reichl is truly the best culinary memoirist today, and easily the best since M.F.K. Fisher. And, as one who has read more than a few of Ms. Fisher's memoirs, I would easily choose Ms. Reichl's humor and great stories of the modern scene over Ms. Fisher's slightly musty, albeit exquisitely crafted tales of cities and towns in France.

The primary point of this volume is to tell the stories behind Ms. Reichl's various disguises and personas she took on in order to dine at Daniel's and Lespanisse and Le Cirque without being identified as the restaurant critic for the Times. The book starts off with the amazing story of Reichl's flight from Los Angles to New York seated, by coincidence, along side a waitress of a major Manhattan restaurant. It turns out that posted in all restaurant kitchens in New York City was already a photograph of Ruth Reichl with a reward to any staff member who identifies Ms. Reichl in their restaurant.

In spite of all the other things on which Ruth could dwell, she stays remarkably on message. There is only the slightest of references to the great New York Times culinary writer, Craig Claiborne, who was still alive while Reichl was at the Times. And, there was only a slightly more specific reference to R. W. Appel and Amanda Hesser. The only two writing talents cited to any extent are Marion Burros, a friendly colleague who mostly worked out of the Washington bureau and adversary Bryan Miller who left the critic's post and objected to Reichl's overturning a lot of his restaurant opinions. What Miller forgot was that the power of the restaurant critic's column was not based on the writer, but on the newspaper which published the column.

The most important character in this story after Reichl may be `THE NEW YORK TIMES', commonly thought to be the best and most powerful newspaper in the world. This fact makes it almost unthinkable that Reichl would question whether or not she really wanted to work for the Times when she was literally offered the job on a silver platter. There may have been some foundation to her doubts when she saw the Times offices for the first time. In contrast to the light, airy, Los Angles Times offices, the New York offices were crowded and filled with lots of old desks and unmatched chairs. After a full day's interviews plus total willingness from her husband to relocate to New York, Reichl took the job and immediately changed the tone of the paper's reviews.

Reichl's personal philosophy was that reviews were nothing more than informed opinion and taste. This may seem utterly subjective, but actually, it is not far from what you would see in a scholarly work on the nature of aesthetic judgment. One is much better off trusting the opinion of a literary critic who has read 10,000 novels, both good and bad, than of your dentist who may have read 10, all from the same author. The thing that endeared her to her Times editors and publishers was the idea that her columns were written to sell newspapers, not to promote restaurants.

For someone who does not read reviews of major Manhattan restaurants, I was a bit surprised at the incredible difference between the quality of food and service given to a pair of `beautiful people' versus the quality of food and service given to a drab looking old woman. And, if the diner is known to be the critic from the Times, food and service quality goes off the charts. This was the reason for the many disguises. And, it is obvious that more than one was needed, as it was all too easy for an astute restaurateur to connect a person with the byline on a review which can change their gross by tens of thousands of dollars a week. The truly remarkable thing about many of the disguises is how the personality embodied by the wig and clothes became part of Reichl's persona in dealing with people who were not in on the ruse. By far the funniest was the incident when Reichl took on her mother's persona, using her mother's clothes and jewelry. The story is doubly amusing if you have read `Tender at the Bone' where Reichl describes her primary chore was to keep her mother from poisoning any guests by serving spoiled food.

It should be no surprise that Reichl's job had a serious downside. In addition to all the nasty mail from offended restaurateurs and their advocates and the political backbiting at the newspaper, there were the really unpleasant situations where Reichl offered `a dinner with the New York Times restaurant critic' as a prize to be auctioned off for charity. Ruth recounts one especially distasteful episode where the situation went so far as to turn her well-trained chameleon personality into someone who was distasteful to her husband. This job is no picnic. From this encounter comes the name of the book from a line in T. S. Eliot's `Four Quartets', `garlic and pearls in the mud' which echoed the fact that the evening had nothing to do with Reichl's love of cooks, food, or writing.

The book includes the Times reviews Reichl wrote as a result of the meals described in the book. These are fun and interesting, but are really just sidebars to the real action in the main text. My only regret is that Reichl did not find it useful to include photographs of her disguises.

Very highly recommended reading for foodies and non-foodies alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars I ran right out and bought all her other titles
As a foodie and a wine lover, as well as a person who loves New York, this book was like being in heaven at the same time as being a voyuer.I often go to the "starred" restaurants and have my own opinion not only on the food but on how I was treated as a normal everyday person.Having a food critic do the same in costume and actually rate the restaurant based on this makes me want to give her a standing ovation.Hopefully, restaurants around the world have learned something from her and her very equitable way of evaluating restaurants.Ruth writes so very well and entertainly, and you are torn from your own reality into her world of costumes and intrigue.I highly recommend her books if you like food, wine and real life New York restaurants.It may change where you decide to spend your hard earned dollars next time you go out to eat. ... Read more


15. American Prometheus : The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
by KAI BIRD, MARTIN J. SHERWIN
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375412026
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 157455
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16. Running with Scissors: A Memoir
by Augusten Burroughs
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031242227X
Catlog: Book (2003-06-01)
Publisher: Picador
Sales Rank: 317
Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

There is a passage early in Augusten Burroughs's harrowing and highly entertaining memoir, Running with Scissors, that speaks volumes about the author. While going to the garbage dump with his father, young Augusten spots a chipped, glass-top coffee table that he longs to bring home. "I knew I could hide the chip by fanning a display of magazines on the surface, like in a doctor's office," he writes, "And it certainly wouldn't be dirty after I polished it with Windex for three hours." There were certainly numerous chips in the childhood Burroughs describes: an alcoholic father, an unstable mother who gives him up for adoption to her therapist, and an adolescence spent as part of the therapist's eccentric extended family, gobbling prescription meds and fooling around with both an old electroshock machine and a pedophile who lives in a shed out back. But just as he dreamed of doing with that old table, Burroughs employs a vigorous program of decoration and fervent polishing to a life that many would have simply thrown in a landfill. Despite her abandonment, he never gives up on his increasingly unbalanced mother. And rather than despair about his lot, he glamorizes it: planning a "beauty empire" and performing an a capella version of "You Light Up My Life" at a local mental ward. Burroughs's perspective achieves a crucial balance for a memoir: emotional but not self-involved, observant but not clinical, funny but not deliberately comic. And it's ultimately a feel-good story: as he steers through a challenging childhood, there's always a sense that Burroughs's survivor mentality will guide him through and that the coffee table will be salvaged after all. --John Moe ... Read more

Reviews (279)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


17. A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive
by Dave Pelzer
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558743669
Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 1051
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

David J. Pelzer's mother, Catherine Roerva, was, he writes in this ghastly, fascinating memoir, a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturant to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school!--but mostly it was pure sadism. Inexplicably, his father didn't protect him; only an alert schoolteacher saved David. One wants to learn more about his ordeal and its aftermath, and now he's written a sequel, The Lost Boy, detailing his life in the foster-care system.

Though it's a grim story, A Child Called "It" is very much in the tradition of Chicken Soup for the Couple's Soul and the many books in that upbeat series, whose author Pelzer thanks for helping get his book going. It's all about weathering adversity to find love, and Pelzer is an expert witness. ... Read more

Reviews (1362)

5-0 out of 5 stars Touched a place deep within my heart and soul, changed me.
My ten year old daughter introduced me to this book. I felt I needed to share this with her. I think it has changed us both forever. Neither of us slept well the night we finished it. I will never again look at any child the same way. It is hard to imagine where young Dave ever found the strength to go on and on and on. My hope after reading this compelling story is that I might be able to recognize the pain of abuse and neglect in the eyes of a child, that I might be able to reach out and make a difference. When Dave recalls the few times someone hugged him, it almost broke my heart. He wanted nothing more that to hang on to that warmth forever. Now I know that a hug, a smile, a gentle touch, or a helping hand, really can make all the difference in the world. I will never forget this story and plan to read "The Lost Boy" immediately. Dave, thanks for the gut wrenching courage it must have taken to write this book. You have opened my eyes and my daughters eyes.....wide!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Child Called it
This book was probally the best book that I have ever read. In his book David Pelzer describes how horrible he was treated by his mother and how he was treated by his peers and teachers at school. His life was fine in his early years, but as he grew older he became trapped in what he described as a livng hee. He began to plot out ways to survive from not being killed by his mother. He also had to deal with an alocoholic father who although, once was a caring and loving father turned his back to whatever his wife did to David. As David grew older his punishments got more extreme. One example is that he was forced to lay completely under water in cold bath water from the period after school until late at night. He was also locked in his bathroom with a full bucket of ammonia. The main idea of this book is that no matter how hard your life is that you should never give up and always look towards the future.I felt that David's choice of a title was exellent. The title describes in one word, IT, how he was treated, like a thing, that wasn't human. David showed to be a very strong and determined individual. His mother was obviously very disturbed and frustrated. The weird thing was that she only treated David horrible, the other childre were treated just as most good parents treat their kids. Davids father made me ver angr, and it was hard for me to understand him. He was a strong man physically, bu not mentally. Even though he didn't want his wife to do thee things to David he was not strong enough to do anything about it. This book definately made me think about how great my life is and how great my parents are. I feel that his is a must read book and makes you think a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a gift
This author is a gift to us, Thank goodness he made it through the darkest hours to tell us his story. I hope this book will help others to have courage as well as show what it is like to live the life he did. Very inspirational Another inspirational book-Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart

5-0 out of 5 stars A Child Called It.
I really was shocked while reading this book because it brought back the memories of my childhood. The shock was that I thought no one else could treat their own child so bad. My older brother was treated nearly as bad as It. I witnessed this until he moved from home at the age of 17. I would read for a while and turn to my wife or my oldest daughter and tell them some of the similuar experiences that I witnessed. The public needs such revelations as A Child Called It to fuel public out cry for such neglect and abuse. The courage to report is needed. I explain to my two children that there is no excuse for abuse of a child like what was exampled in the book. My oldest daughter even went as far as conducting a book report after reading A Child Called It. Wanting to express publicly her distress over the situation of child abuse/neglect.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Poorly Written, Lurid Hoax!
Several of my co-workers were simply mesmerized by the Pelzer trilogy, so joined in on the reading fest. Even as I read the book, a LOT of things weren't ringing quite true: like being repeatedly exposed to a lethal combo of ammonia and bleach (he would've been dead the very first time) and that his teachers had known for years, were powerless to do anything and risked their careers....while this MIGHT have been true in the 50's and even EARLY 60's, it wasn't true in the late 60's early 70's.

I'm only 4 years younger than Pelzer and can VIVIDLY recall a teacher in first grade (1971, in my case) being extremely concerned about a slap mark on my face (courtesy of an older brother's rough housing)---and this was still when spanking children was regarded as a perfectly acceptable form of discipline. Additionally, child abuse had been the subject of NUMEROUS TV dramas (I recently saw an old episode of "Dragnet", among others) and was, in fact, the "hot" issue of the time. It was 1973, in fact, that the "Mondale bill" was signed into national law (and had drawn extensive attention for quite a few years prior)---so the idea that no criminal charges would have been levied against Mrs. Pelzer is even MORE absurd.

Please do NOT mistake me----I am FULLY aware that abused children daily go undetected and that in the 1970's we were barely beginning to comprehend the depths
of this horrible issue. I can certainly believe that "Catherine" Pelzer was an alcoholic, probably bi-polar and very possibly DID smack the poor kid around (which I firmly believe NO child should EVER experience)--but much of the other aspects were clearly fabricated.

((...) ... Read more


18. Oh the Glory of It All
by SeanWilsey
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200513
Catlog: Book (2005-05-19)
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Sales Rank: 76
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cover art my vary.

"In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess." With these opening lines Sean Wilsey takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families.

Sean's blond-bombshell mother (one of the thinly veiled characters in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City) is a 1980s society-page staple, regularly entertaining Black Panthers and movie stars in her marble and glass penthouse, "eight hundred feet in the air above San Francisco; an apartment at the top of a building at the top of a hill: full of light, full of voices, full of windows full of water and bridges and hills." His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade and lectures his son on proper hygiene in public restrooms, "You should wash your hands first, before you use the urinal. Not after. Your penis isn't dirty. But your hands are."

When Sean, "the kind of child who sings songs to sick flowers," turns nine years old, his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend. Sean's life blows apart. His mother first invites him to commit suicide with her, then has a "vision" of salvation that requires packing her Louis Vuitton luggage and traveling the globe, a retinue of multiracial children in tow. Her goal: peace on earth (and a Nobel Prize). Sean meets Indira Gandhi, Helmut Kohl, Menachem Begin, and the pope, hoping each one might come back to San Francisco and persuade his father to rejoin the family. Instead, Sean is pushed out of San Francisco and sent spiraling through five high schools, till he finally lands at an unorthodox reform school cum "therapeutic community," in Italy.

With its multiplicity of settings and kaleidoscopic mix of preoccupations-sex, Russia, jet helicopters, seismic upheaval, boarding schools, Middle Earth, skinheads, home improvement, suicide, skateboarding, Sovietology, public transportation, massage, Christian fundamentalism, dogs, Texas, global thermonuclear war, truth, evil, masturbation, hope, Bethlehem, CT, eventual salvation (abridged list)-Oh the Glory of It All is memoir as bildungsroman as explosion. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Probably not worth it.
I read a review of this book and ran out to buy it. It started off somewhat funny but, about halfway through, I found myself struggling with it. The characters here are just too far-fetched. No mother is as crazy as the author's. No stepmother is as wicked as his either. They are not believable. Th ebook drags as he goes from one reform school to another and I found myself caring less and less for the author. I read in the NYTimes that he is some rich kid with a fancy apartment in Soho and a trust fund. As I thouught about it, this is a story about a rich kid who has parents who divorced and a stepmother he doesn't like. Big deal. In the hundreds of pages, there is no sense that he takes ownership for his mistakes, grows, etc. It just keeps going... He needs a good shrink and a better editor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Addictive, honest & thrilling to read
I started reading the excerpt in The New Yorker and am instantly buying this book.I cannot stop reading it-- The portrait of the author and his parents is un-putdownable...
This is a big story; the themes aremythological -- the detailsdiverting and devastating.Wilsey is on a wild ride with his mother that takes him to the Vatican, the Kremlin and beyond...to a place in world class literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars YES, THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT THAN YOU AND ME !

Are the rich really different than you and me?You're darn right they are according to Sean Wilsey in the juiciest totally tell-all in many a moon.According to the author, his stepmother, Dade Wilsey, currently a doyenne of San Francisco society, needed no coat hangers to outdo Joan Crawford as the mother-in-law from you know where. Further, while his stepmother provides plenty of fuel for flame, his mother, Pat,is almost certifiable.

In the beginning it was good, we hear, "We were happy.And we were always excessive.So in the beginning we were happy to excess."For them, excess might be defined as his Dad supplying a jet helicopter to drop Wilsey of at the video arcade or his mother tossing lavish bashes in their luxurious home.

Then, when he was 9 his father divorced his mother to marry her friend, Dade, who was 15 years Pat's junior. Pat didn't take this at all well, once suggesting to Wilsey that they commit suicide together. .When that didn't happen she formed an international group of children to bring about world peace and hopped around the globe with Wilsey in tow to do meetings with Sadat and the Pope.After all, as a former Neiman-Marcus model and society columnist, she does have a flare.

As for stepmother, Dade, who brought two sons into the fold, Wilsey remembers a Christmas when she happily undid little boxes under the tree which held $200,000 brooches.She showed her appreciating by giving her husband a kiss and pinning them to her bathrobe.One could go on and on about her luxe lifestyle, but Wilsey puts it best: "If you want a sense of her values, rent the movies "Gaslight" and "Sweet Smell of Success."The scheming lead in "Gaslight" who sweet-talks a wealthy heiress into marrying him and then drives her mad with drink and double-talk, is her."

How is Dade taking all of this?We read that she's threatening to sue.Regardingthe overdoses of jewelry, well, she's quoted as sayingeveryone gave her jewelry - her husband, her exhusband, and her father.

As for Pat?You can't keep a gal from Oklahoma down.When last heard from she was planning a party to celebrate the publication of her son's book.

"Lives of the Rich and Famous" couldn't hold a candle to these folks, and Scott Brick reads their story with grace, gusto, and wry humor.Bet he had a blast doing it.

- Gail Cooke

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, good humored tale of a world that doesn't seem real
I know some folks in SF might take offense to the supposed skewering they recieve in this book, but I had a hell of a time reading it.The world described doesn't seem real, and the humor and harsh light falls fairly equally among the "characters" including Wilsey himself.It's one of those stories that is so strange it would never work as "fiction." Totally over the top. ... Read more


19. Lion of Hollywood : The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer
by Scott Eyman
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743204816
Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 755
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Lion of Hollywood is the definitive biography of Louis B. Mayer, the chief of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer -- MGM -- the biggest and most successful film studio of Hollywood's Golden Age.

An immigrant from tsarist Russia, Mayer began in the film business as an exhibitor but soon migrated to where the action and the power were -- Hollywood. Through sheer force of energy and foresight, he turned his own modest studio into MGM, where he became the most powerful man in Hollywood, bending the film business to his will. He made great films, including the fabulous MGM musicals, and he made great stars: Garbo, Gable, Garland, and dozens of others. Through the enormously successful Andy Hardy series, Mayer purveyed family values to America. At the same time, he used his influence to place a federal judge on the bench, pay off local officials, cover up his stars' indiscretions, and, on occasion, arrange marriages for gay stars. Mayer rose from his impoverished childhood to become at one time the highest-paid executive in America.

Despite his power and money, Mayer suffered some significant losses. He had two daughters: Irene, who married David O. Selznick, and Edie, who married producer William Goetz. He would eventually fall out with Edie and divorce his wife, Margaret, ending his life alienated from most of his family. His chief assistant, Irving Thalberg, was his closest business partner, but they quarreled frequently, and Thalberg's early death left Mayer without his most trusted associate. As Mayer grew older, his politics became increasingly reactionary, and he found himself politically isolated within Hollywood's small conservative community.

Lion of Hollywood is a three-dimensional biography of a figure often caricatured and vilified as the paragon of the studio system. Mayer could be arrogant and tyrannical, but under his leadership MGM made such unforgettable films as The Big Parade, Ninotchka, The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, and An American in Paris.

Film historian Scott Eyman interviewed more than 150 people and researched some previously unavailable archives to write this major new biography of a man who defined an industry and an era. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars :LB: THE MAYER OF MGM CITY WAS A GREAT MOGUL!!!!
Louis B. Mayer (1885-1957) was in this reviewer's opinion the greatest of the studio heads in the days of Hollywood's golden
age. Mayer rose from a difficult childhood.Mayer was born in
Eastern Europe, had a difficult relationship with his father;
adored his mother and was always busy in his new beloved land
of America! He grew to manhood in Canada, moved to the east coast of the USA and developed a string of successful theatres
in the east. Mayer went to HOllywood and climbed the slippery slope to the top at Metro.
Scott Eyman has written an outstanding, well balanced view of the complex producing and executive genius of LB! Mayer had a
scant education, rarely read books and wanted Metro to be the
studio of clean, wholesome entertainment. Mayer had a difficult family life with his first wife Margaret and his two difficult
daughters Irene and Evie.
In this book you will hear the gossip spoken around the water coolers in Culver City. You will meet the pantheon of MGM stars
from Garbo, Gable, McDonald, Garland, Rooney, Montgomery, Loy,
Powell, Crawford and Garson (and a cast too numerous to mention).
One caveat about fans wanting the scoop on stars should be voiced-in many Hollywood books the author usually takes several pages to explain in detail how movie deals were financed and
distributed. I personally found this of interest.
Mayer and his chief lt. the boy wonder of MGM Irving Thalberg
built MGM into the greatest studio in Hollywood. Due to changing
social mores, the advent of television and other factors the studio faltered and declined sharply under the leadership of
Dore Schary who ousted Mayor. Plots and counterplots among the Hollywood bigwigs populate these many pages!
Mayer was far from a candidate from sainthood! He had affairs,
could be cold, cruel and vindictive. He was also a man who loved the movies and his studio. Take him all in all-he was a giant of the industry.
Scott Eyman has done another fine job with this outstanding
biography.
The Lion of MGM in the incarnated form of Louis B. Mayer roars
again!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book By Scott Eyman
I was anxiously awaiting the publication of this book, and it was well worth the wait. Finally a book about the much maligned Louis B. Mayer that is balanced and objective.

While the book primarily is devoted to telling the story of how Mayer went from dealing in scrap metal to running the classiest movie studio in Hollywood (o.k., Culver City) and then describing Mayer's eventual fall from grace, a wide cast of characters fills out Mayer's story. This book relates commonly circulated stories as well as some new ones. However, Eyman meticulously has researched his subject and allows his readers to draw their own conclusions by evaluating the validity of some of these stories which would be considered questionable.

Eyman also provides his reader with an exacting description of the dynamics that came into play while Mayer was running a large movie studio as well as the dynamics within his own family.

The list of those people Eyman interviewed while writing this book is mind-boggling. Many of his interviewees have died since he began this book which makes a lot of the information provided in this book even more significant.

This book was long overdue and I am glad the author took this project on while there were still enough people alive who could provide first hand information about the subject.

I am hoping that I don't have to wait too long for Mr. Eyman's next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner from a terrific biographer
You can always rely on Scott Eyman for a readable, well-researched and even-handed bio. This is no exception: it's fascinating to see L.B. Mayer not as the monster so many have painted him, but as a well-rounded human being.

Eyman also gives his readers credit for intelligence and judgment: he repeats the questionable stories (John Gilbert hitting Mayer; Mayer cheating Marie Dressler out of money), but then cites his sources and lets us make up our minds as to how legitimate these stories are.

No doubt Mr. Eyman is taking a well-deserved breather after this book, but I al already anxiously awaiting his next project. ... Read more


20. Luckiest Man : The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig
by Jonathan Eig
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743245911
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 417
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Lou Gehrig started his professional baseball career at a time when players began to be seen as national celebrities. Though this suited charismatic men such as Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio, Gehrig avoided the spotlight and preferred to speak with his bat. Best known for playing in 2,130 consecutive games as well as his courage in battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a disease that now bears his name), the Iron Horse that emerges from this book is surprisingly naïve and insecure. He would cry in the clubhouse after disappointing performances, was painfully shy around women (much to the amusement of some of his teammates), and particularly devoted to his German-immigrant mother all his life. Even after earning the league MVP award he still feared the Yankees would let him go. Against the advice of Ruth and others, he refused to negotiate aggressively and so earned less than he deserved for many seasons. Honest, humble, and notoriously frugal, his only vices were chewing gum and the occasional cigarette. And despite becoming one of the finest first basemen of all time, Jonathan Eig shows how Gehrig never seemed to conquer his self-doubt, only to manage it better.

Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig offers a fascinating and well-rounded portrait of Gehrig, from his dugout rituals and historic games to his relationships with his mother, wife, coaches, and teammates. His complex friendship with Ruth, who was the polar opposite to Gehrig in nearly every respect, is given particularly vivid attention. Take this revealing description of how the two men began a barnstorming tour together following their 1927 World Series victory: "Ruth tipped the call girls and sent them on their way. Gehrig kissed his mother goodbye." Eig also shares some previously unknown details regarding his consecutive games streak and how he dealt with ALS during the final years of his life. Rich in anecdotes and based on hundreds of interviews and 200 pages of recently discovered letters, the book effectively shows why the Iron Horse remains an American icon to this day. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary biography of a mythic figure
Lou Gehrig has risen beyond mortality, into mythology. His life and death are part of our lore more than our common history. But Eig does a beautiful job of chronicling both in human, concrete terms, not in the poetic abstractions of baseball memory. Don't get me wrong: I love the poetic abstractions of baseball, but here we get a glimpse of the kind of flesh-and-blood hero we haven't had for a long time, engaged in a rise and fall unlike any we see in a media-saturated 21st century.

Eig's writing is full of the pain, celebration, quiet nobility and raw physical strength that made Lou Gehrig. The fact that a sports figure remains a figure worth our money, time and interest 60 years after he died is testament to his contribution to the sport and the impact of his personal courage.

Gehrig wasn't without flaws. Rather he was a perfect antithesis to teammate Babe Ruth, a significantly flawed fella who wasn't without his personal qualities. Together, they stand as icons of the golden age of the sport, and Eig's biography pointedly (and poignantly) paints Gehrig as a myth-in-the-making, utterly unaware of his deity-to-be.

And that's how it should be.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Role Model
Reading this book made me wonder, "Are there any men of this caliber of character in MLB today?"My immediate answer would be, "No."Who in today's big leagues would feel almost embarassed to get a raise?Who would play for such a quiet love of the game?

A ballplayer from the 80s, Ryne Sandberg, does come to mind.Of course, he was nowhere the player of Gehrig (who is?), but he always seemed like a gentleman who gave it his all.

God Bless Lou Gehrig and all he stood for.Read this book if you want to be inspired by a genuine American role model and hero.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rise and Fall of the Iron Horse
In his biography of Lou Gehrig, Jonathon Eig offers up a portrait of an iron willed individual, complex to a fault, who achieved the highest level of success in a sport dominated by oversize personalities such as Ruth, Cobb,and Alexander. Lou may not have had the talent of those men , but his work ethic and boy scout persona honed his skills to the extent he became the greatest offensive force in the game in the late 1920's and 30's. Not just a portrait of a superior athelete, Luckiest Manexamines Lou's struggles with the disease which would become linked with his name. A wonderful read which draws you into the golden age of sports,providing a link from Babe Ruth to Joe Dimaggio, Luckiest Man is a rare sports bio which offers adose of humanity of such a complex man .

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
Paints an informed and vivid picture of a complicated man with an inspiring and unbelievable work ethic.Great for baseball fans, but also great for anyone seeking inspiration in the face of adversity.Often when talented people are brought down in the prime of their lives, they become martyrs and their accomplishments are embellished over time.For the story of Lou Gehrig's life and death, martyrdom and embellishment are neither necessary nor appropriate, and Jonathan Eig skillfully avoids both of them.One can only wonder how long Lou Gehrig's streak would have lasted had he not been stricken at such a young age.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well researched, great read!
This is an amazing book.Eig has done a ton of research (check out the list of primary sources in the back!), and lets you see Gehrig as a man, not just through his stats as a baseball player.After reading this book, I really felt like I had some insight into Lou Gehrig's personality, his upbringing, his motivation, and especially his courage as he faced a slow death from ALS.By seeing Gehrig as a complete person, including his faults, I believe Gehrig becomes even more of a hero.

This book is very well written and could be enjoyed by baseball historians, casual fans, and those who might only know the name Lou Gehrig.I'm proud to have this book on my shelf next to great baseball writers like Lawrence Ritter, Robert Creamer, and Harold Seymour. ... Read more


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