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181. Waiting for Snow in Havana : Confessions
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182. Tender at the Bone : Growing Up
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183. The Pact: Three Young Men Make
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184. ``Why Should White Guys Have All
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181. Waiting for Snow in Havana : Confessions of a Cuban Boy
by Carlos Eire
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743246411
Catlog: Book (2004-01-13)
Publisher: Free Press
Sales Rank: 2633
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Have mercy on me, Lord, I am Cuban." In 1962, Carlos Eire was one of 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba -- exiled from his family, his country, and his own childhood by the revolution. The memories of Carlos's life in Havana, cut short when he was just eleven years old, are at the heart of this stunning, evocative, and unforgettable memoir.

Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an exorcism and an ode to a paradise lost. For the Cuba of Carlos's youth -- with its lizards and turquoise seas and sun-drenched siestas -- becomes an island of condemnation once a cigar-smoking guerrilla named Fidel Castro ousts President Batista on January 1, 1959. Suddenly the music in the streets sounds like gunfire. Christmas is made illegal, political dissent leads to imprisonment, and too many of Carlos's friends are leaving Cuba for a place as far away and unthinkable as the United States. Carlos will end up there, too, and fulfill his mother's dreams by becoming a modern American man -- even if his soul remains in the country he left behind.

Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is a eulogy for a native land and a loving testament to the collective spirit of Cubans everywhere. ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars A New Purveyor of Magical Realism
Carlos Eire arrives on the literary scene with a tasty eye for the magical, a sense of humor that is ingratiating, an ability to capture the tenor of Cuba at the time of the Revolution, an adult's sense of tragedy as perceived through the trusting eyes of a child. WAITING FOR SNOW IN HAVANA: Confessions of a Cuban Boy is wonderful rollercoaster of a ride that recalls the unimaginable beauty of Cuba before the fall, walks through the tangled streets of a city destroyed by a dictator, and finally looks back (and down) at the Cuba of today from a vantage in the United States.

Eire knows children well, so well that at times his writing is so convincingly that of a wide-eyed child that the reader needs to back up a few pages to realize this is a memoir and not a novel. In the end he has more thoroughly than any other writer given us an insider's view of Cuba in the 50's and 60's that it is possible for us to understand the mountainous changes that Fidel Castro effected on this lovely island. To say more would be to spoil an E-ride in Disneyland. Read this book for the joy of a child's perception, the insight of an expatriate's knowledge, and the philosophy of a man of heart and hope. A fine Debut Novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lurking Lizards: Good vs. Evil
On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro ousted Batista from Cuba and wrested eight-year-old Carlos Eire from his life of privileged ease. As a son of the upper class, Carlos had attended the best private schools and frolicked with his brother on clear Cuban beaches under a lemon sky. Three years later, countless public executions and social anarchy convinced his parents to send the boys to the United States. Carlos was one of the 14,000 children airlifted out of Cuba to an uncertain future in America.

Despite the poverty and loneliness that awaited him in Florida, Carlos went on to achieve success as a professor at Yale University. Waiting for Snow in Havana is his cathartic tale of Cuban life before and after its Glorious Revolution. The book's blatant honesty is sometimes painful to read, but its prosaic beauty left me breathless. There is a disjointed quality to the writing that is somehow appropriate here: a hilarious tale of neighborhood boys trying to send a lizard into outer space strapped to a bottle rocket might introduce a tirade against the author's perverted adopted brother, who tormented the young boy for years with sexual advances. He tells of his cousin's death before a firing squad and his uncle's retreat into madness after languishing in one of Fidel's many prisons, then goes on to paint exquisite pictures of tangerine sunsets and selfless love.

Lizards. They crop up again and again, personifying evil. The book is a lyric commentary on the struggle of evil against God's creation. Lush Cuba is ravaged by a cruel overlord. The same ocean that teems with heart-stoppingly beautiful parrot fish houses sharks as well. Carlos' loving father is marred by the delusion, the certainty, that he is the reincarnation of King Louis XVI. He chooses his wife because he is convinced she was once Marie Antoinette. So great is his fantasy that he brings home a street urchin, whom he recognizes as the reincarnation of the French dauphin, and adopts him, thus innocently introducing a cruel pervert into his happy family. That he became a Christian believer despite the ugliness of his life is a triumph of God's grace. But believe he does, although his writing sometimes shocks my sensibilities. (The frequent use of Christ's name as a literary device, for example, offended me.) God works in mysterious ways, and His method of reaching a Cuban Catholic must surely be unlike His wooing of a Bible-Belt Protestant. It follows, then, that Dr. Eire's portrayal of God's love would necessarily be different from mine. Who am I to say that mine is better, despite his profanity? Apparently others in the Christian community agree with me; I actually read this book at the recommendation of a writer in Christianity Today, who named it among his top ten favorites of 2003. It is now a favorite of mine.

2-0 out of 5 stars Crocodile Tears in Havana
This is a misty-eyed memoir of an egoistical man who had a very privileged childhood. Because that idealized world was sundered, he believes he has a deeper take on suffering and displacement and he asks the reader to sympathize with his plight and along the way, to blame it all on Castro. The writing is precious, almost cloyingly so--one would expect a historian to be more careful of his language. If the Cuba he remembers is a paradise lost, then he needs to move on. Cuba has survived well enough without him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and bittersweet
Having left Cuba as a young girl of 10, I lived through what he shares in the book. His story is told with sentiment and true emotion, as only one can tell it having lived through it. I hope Mr. Eire keeps on writing books such as this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A moving chronicle of a childhood lost to a revolution
Very beautiful and as lyrical as one can possible get, "Waiting for Snow in Havana" embraces with equal fervor, both the beauty and innocence of childhood with its laughter, pranks and endless fascinations with lizards and the heartbreaking tragedy and the ensuing political upheaval that would eventually destroy it all. I'll admit that Mr. Eire is occasionally prone to fits of self-indulgence, rambling endlessly about trivialities and the collaboration of a sympathetic editor didn't help matters, but this is ultimately a gorgeous and haunting memoir that should be read by anyone interested in the Diaspora, Cuban or otherwise. The humorous segments are laugh out loud funny (especially if you, like me, are Cuban and can relate to the quirkiness that is inherent to the Cuban temperament) and the sorrowful ones were enough to bring tears to my eyes. The pages are seemingly perfumed with a palpable sense of longing yet eternal optimism lends its unmistakable scent to the heady brew. To those directly affected by the Cuban revolution, Operation Pedro Pan and/or endless exile, this beautifully rendered chronicle will bring back many wonderful, if equally painful memories and to those fortunate enough to have been spared those sorrows, it is my fervent hope that it will serve as insight into the beauty and warmth of the Cuban people and our much cherished culture. ... Read more


182. Tender at the Bone : Growing Up at the Table
by RUTH REICHL
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0767903382
Catlog: Book (1999-03-02)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 4482
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told.Beginning with Reichl's mother, the notorious food-poisoner known as the Queen of Mold, Reichl introduces us to the fascinating characters who shaped her world and her tastes, from the gourmand Monsieur du Croix, who served Reichl her first soufflé, to those at her politically correct table in Berkeley who championed the organic food revolution in the 1970s.Spiced with Reichl's infectious humor and sprinkled with her favorite recipes, Tender at the Bone is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist's coming-of-age. ... Read more

Reviews (83)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


183. The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream
by Sampson, Md. Davis, George, Md. Jenkins, Rameck, Md. Hunt, Lisa Frazier Page
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 157322989X
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 22135
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

They grew up on the streets of Newark, facing city life's temptations, pitfalls, even jail. But one day these three young men made a pact. They promised each other they would all become doctors, and stick it out together through the long, difficult journey to attain that dream. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt are not only friends to this day-they are all doctors.

This is a story about the power of friendship. Of joining forces and beating the odds. A story about changing your life, and the lives of those you love most...together.
... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Friendship and Positive Competitiveness Display
"The Pact" is an incredible book! I just finished reading the remarkable journey completed by Drs. Sam Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt. It's an easy, quick read ~250 pages.

If you're not familiar with their story, they are 3 young, African-American men from Newark that establish a pact at 17-years old to become doctors. Over the years, they run into many obstacles (peer pressure, arrest, finances, and family issues) that tend to dissuade so many young people from pursuing their dream. With the "I got your back" support of each other, mentors they encountered throughout their journey, and God they become doctors despite how many people had presumed their future would turn out.

Dr. George Jenkins, probably the most focused in the group, knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a dentist. In high school, the three friends attend a college presentation offering full scholarships to minority students interested in the medical field. Knowing that neither he nor his friends could afford college THIS OFFER would be their ONLY way to attend college...the formation of the pact.

Surprisingly, after completing college and med school, Sam and Rameck were still unsure if they wanted to be doctors. Sam saw business/management as his future and Rameck wanted to be an actor (he'll settle on being a rapper). (If I didn't know the outcome, I would have been in suspense until the bitter end waiting to learn if they became doctors.) The death of an important person in each of their lives confirmed that medically helping others is what they were meant to do in life.

If you're in the education field or work closely with children in your community this is an excellent book to pick up when you...

- feel like what can I do to get through to this person
- need a testimony that success is not by luck but achieved through faith, perseverance, and support from others
- need a roadmap to better mentor a person in need

"The Pact" is an amazing story of inspiration and motivation to get (primarily) black teens to see beyond their environment, current situation, and look ahead with a plan for tomorrow. "The Pact" also displays the need for adults to begin mentoring children before they reach their teens. The book concludes with the doctors providing the "how-to's" to make a pact work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Uplifting!
There are times that I think my life was or still is hard. Well, I'm a black female who grew up in a middle-class home with two teachers as parents. College was as automatic as sleeping and eating. But, for these young men in the book "The Pact", college was as uncertain as winning the lottery. I always knew that our young black boys growing up in the inner-city had it super hard, but this book allowed me to see another side of our young brothas. They all have dreams as little kids, even though they don't see anyone in their neighborhood to emulate. Somehow, someway, Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins all found the determination to succeed and become doctors. Their positive story is proof that just one person can make a difference in a kid's life. Everyone needs someone to look up to; someone to follow.

We all have gifts we can share. Read this book and feel blessed that someone in your life took the time to mentor you and be there for you; not everyone has that in their lives. I am so proud of these young men! Not only are they smart and positive, but they are cute too! What a great combination! God has truly blessed them and their family.

What a refreshing book. Thanks to Tavis Smiley for recommending it on the Tom Joyner Show.

5-0 out of 5 stars A HAPPY ENDING
This book was very informative. I really loved this book not only because they are from my hometown Newark, New Jersey. But it was an interesting novel. They came from the ghetto and turned out to be very distinguished gentlemen. I am so happy I read a sucess story from my hometown. I recommend this book to people that feel is though there is no way out in the ghetto when there actually is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring!
I was pleased to read a book about three African-American men, from disadvantaged backgrounds, who'd beat the odds.They supported each other through thick and thin, and fulfilled their dream of becoming Doctors.They remained humble and are giving back by helping people who are at a disadvantage. They are positive, beautiful, and successful young men. God has truly gave the three Doctors a great annointing. I wish more people would read this book.I was upset when I read the last page. I did not want the book to end! The Doctors are a true inspiration. May God continue to bless them.

5-0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING BOOK ABOUT THE POWER OF A PLAN
I will definitely be giving this book to every young African American male that I know. It's such a powerful testimony of the power of the people that you surround yourself with and a plan. ... Read more


184. ``Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?'': How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire
by Reginald F. Lewis, Blair S. Walker
list price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471042277
Catlog: Book (1994-10-14)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 217577
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Voyages deep into the frenzied, complex world of LBO transactions."—BusinessWeek.

"Sheds light on an important chapter in both African-American and American business history."—Earl G. Graves, Publisher, Black Enterprise magazine.

When Reginald Lewis was six years old, his grandparents asked his opinion about employment discrimination against blacks. Reg replied simply, "Why should white guys have all the fun?" Why, indeed! Lewis grew up to become the wealthiest black man in history and one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, reigning over a commercial empire that spanned four continents. At the time of his death in 1993, his personal fortune was estimated at $400 million.

"Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?" traces Lewis's rise from a working- class neighborhood in east Baltimore to Harvard Law School and ultimately into the elite circle of Wall Street deal-makers. Expanding on Lewis's unfinished autobiography, journalist Blair Walker completes a vivid portrait of a proud, fiercely determined man with a razor-sharp tongue—and an intellect to match. He shows how Lewis's lifelong hunger for wealth and personal glory fueled his success on the playing field, in the classroom, and in the boardroom. Walker also provides a rare insider's view of Lewis, the iron-willed negotiator and brilliant business strategist in action as he finesses one phenomenal deal after another.

A moving saga of personal courage and determination as well as a virtual how-to book for those who would like to follow in Lewis's footsteps, "Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?" is every bit as memorable as the man whose story it tells. ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Changed My Life
This book gave me a new sense of understanding on how one African American man can not only change history but do it with style and passion. I never new what Reginald Lewis did during the time frame he did it back in the 80's I was a young kid growing up in the south Bronx area of New York City still trying to find a role model to look up too that looked like me. I first heard of Mr. Lewis in college but still had no idea of what he had accomplished until reading his book and then hearing about untimely death some years later. I have read this book 5 times since I bought it and I get a sense of vigor every time I finish it. Not only is it possible for me as a young black man to become the owner of a billion dollar company like him but do it in a way that will make all the white guys at my former prep school green with envy. My only regret is that I never got to meet Reginald Lewis before he died. It would have been such a great honor to meet such a driven and determined man. To sit and do lunch with him at the Harvard Club in New York and just watch all around us wonder how we got there.

5-0 out of 5 stars A insightful guide to success
Reading this book has given a whole new meaning to the term of success. The only regret is not being able to see Reginald Lewis in action today. From the onset of the book he describes what it is like to chase success down and conquer it. This book provides a blueprint for breaking the color barriers in the world of finance, mergers and acqusitions and lbo's. For any aspiring character of color who considers entering the world of movers and shakers, trust me this is the book you MUST read.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW is all I can say.
This book made me want to work so much harder in life to achieve my business goals. The key is fake it until you make it. No one knows you struggles unless you tell them and you can't make excuses for your life and why you have to work hard. I read it fast and read it again.

5-0 out of 5 stars The sub-title would have been a better title. Oh well.
I came across this book through the recommendation of an acquaintance. I was initially put off by the title, it seemed arrogant, but my philosophy of learning from everyone helped me get over it.

At the end of the day this is a great book. The format is confusing because Mr.Lewis passed away while still in the process of completing it. Mr.Walker does his best to keep Mr.Lewis's voice, but he fails in many ways.

As for the content, it is riveting. To see the humble beginnings of a man that decided that "No" was not good enough is tremendous.

The lesson that I learned from him is that "acquisition" is just as good, if not better than organic growth.

He pursued McCall Patterns with a tenacity that was both admirable and envious. Who else could see the potential? No one apparently, and is coup landed him a 70x's return on his money in under five years. Then to move into the food industry with the same energy was impressive.

It is unfortunate that he passed away so suddenly, his value investing was very much right out of Benjamin Grahams school of thinking, and Mr.Lewis definitely had the potential to become the next Mr.Buffett.

Great book, it really set the tone for how I will grow my own business.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely solid!!
This is a wonderful book that has inspired me to attend law school and to traverse a positive path to success. I recommend to men and women...boyz and girls of all races. A true inspiration! ... Read more


185. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom
by Conrad Black
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586481843
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 5623
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A brilliant and provocative biography of Franklin Roosevelt--written by a leading newspaper publisher and staunch conservative.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt stands astride American history like a colossus, having pulled the nation out of the Great Depression and led it to victory in the Second World War. Elected to four terms as president, he transformed an inward-looking country into the greatest superpower the world had ever known. Only Abraham Lincoln did more to save America from destruction. But FDR is such a large figure that historians tend to take him as part of the landscape, focusing on smaller aspects of his achievements or carping about where he ought to have done things differently. Few have tried to assess the totality of FDR's life and career.

Conrad Black rises to the challenge. In this magisterial biography, Black makes the case that FDR was the most important person of the twentieth century, transforming his nation and the world through his unparalleled skill as a domestic politician, war leader, strategist, and global visionary--all of which he accomplished despite a physical infirmity that could easily have ended his public life at age thirty-nine. Black also takes on the great critics of FDR, especially those who accuse him of betraying the West at Yalta. Black opens a new chapter in our understanding of this great man, whose example is even more inspiring as a new generation embarks on its own rendezvous with destiny. ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars FDR: Champion of Freedom: Polio Victim gets USA going!
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Dealers put America back to work; gave millions hope in desperate dustbowl days and won our greatest War against Hitler and Japan. As our greatest 20th century President he is well served by this superb biography by publisher Conrad Black. Black a Canadian and conservative has portrayed in this length 10000 page tome a brilliant portrayal of the private FDR; his complex relationship with his mother Sarah and his socially liberal wife Eleanor as well as all the politcal maneuvering needed by the great man to transform isolationist America into the mighty fortress of freedom enabling the forces of freedom to defeat Fascism and the Japanese.
Black's book is readable, countains a well of anecdotes yet also includes all the details of the great 12 years (1933-45_ our longest service chief exectuvie served our land.
This book will be essential to FDR studies for years to come. My advice is to read the book slowly absorbing all the incredible

events of the crucial days of the Great Depression and World War II.
As an admitted liberal and lifelong Democrat I am proud to belong to a party whose chief was FDR! "Happy Days are here again" when the reader and Black meet in this essential biography.

5-0 out of 5 stars Praised Book on the Champion of Freedom - FDR
In "The Time 100 - the Most Important People of the Century," Franklin Delano Roosevelt is ranked the runner-up most important person of the century - second only to Albert Einstein. Roosevelt is a giant of world history.

On the back cover of this fine book by Conrad Black are these comments about this book by CONSERVATIVE intellectuals I generally admire:

George F. Will: "Conrad Black skillfully assembles powerful arguments to support strong and sometimes surprising judgements. This spirited defense of Roosevelt as a savior of America's enterprise system, and geopolitical realist, is a delight to read."

John Lukacs: "Conrad Black's FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT is extraordinary. It is something different from the dim and flickering lamp of academic retrospect. A new - and generous - light is poured on its subject: an illumination directed by a conviction of Roosevelt's place in the history of an entire century."

William F. Buckley Jr.: "An enormous accomplishment, a learned volume on FDR by a vital critical mind, which will absorb critics and the reading public."

Henry Kissinger: "No Biography of Roosevelt is more thoughtful and readable. None is as comprehensive."

I really enjoyed Conrad Black's writing style, which adds life to the words with his own colorful descriptors. This is the best single-volume biography of FDR. He presents an accurate and living picture of Roosevelt in his presidency and not a dry summary of the events. For example, I chuckled when Black says that FDR correctly judged Hitler to be the real concern while Mussolini was, in comparison, a buffoon.

My own criticism of the book is that it skips over the human suffering of the period. The Great Depression was devestating. I suggest the book "The Grapes of Wrath" or any of the many documentaries on the Great Depression.

Read this book and you will get to know and appreciate President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. You may not agree with some things, but you will at least understand FDR in the context of the times.

The world was in depression. America was in the Great Depression and heading to what would have been, without Roosevelt's intervention, a complete collapse of America's economic system. Capitalism and democracy fell out of favor around the world. Hitler and other dictators came to power around the world, and radicals gained followers in America. This climaxed in the clash of World War II.

The world we live today in is not a world of Hitler's Third Reich and fascism. It is not a world of Stalinism. It is not a world of colonial empires. It is not a world of radical laissez-faire capitalism. It is a world of Roosevelt's pragmatic ideas for a more stable economy and international security.

Roosevelt was a great president for everyone, and his ideas today seem very pragmatic and sensible. It is refreshing that several notable conservatives have had the guts to praise this book for what it is - a very good book about a great president.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written. Makes a Strong Case for Roosevelt's Greatness
I give this book the highest recommendation for anyone with an interest in Roosevelt, American History, or World History. I have been reading about history and decided to read about Roosevelt, since he was a great president. I compared reviews and decided on this big book and am glad that I did. Black is talanted with his writing and very amusing at times, which was refreshing considering that this is a very long and thorough book. Roosevelt emerged to me as both a charming person and a shrewd president for good causes, like bringing America out of isolation to save the world from Hitler. His skills and legacies make modern politicians look like preschoolers.

Black writes that Roosevelt is not as admirable of a person as his admirers think because he was egoistic, could be difficult, and was very shrewd and dominating with his power. Roosevelt was a Machiavellian figure in some ways. Yet Black says that Roosevelt was far more admirable for what he did for America and the world than even his admirers may realize. Here Black unfolds the details (and there are many details) that show Roosevelt's greatness.

This review below that I found on the Internet stuck with me as best reflecting my own thoughts, and it carries more expertise than my humble review can offer:

"FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT Champion of Freedom. By Conrad Black. Reviewed by Alan Brinkley, New York Times. Friday, November 28, 2003.

"It will come as something of a surprise to those familiar with Conrad Black as the powerful and energetic head of a large newspaper publishing empire that he has also managed to write an ambitious biography of Franklin Roosevelt, nearly 1,300 pages long.

"It may also come as a surprise to those who know of the generally conservative politics of Lord Black (who resigned last week as chief executive of his company, Hollinger International, but not as its chairman, during a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation) that he reveres Roosevelt as the greatest American of the 20th century, perhaps of any century, and the most important international leader of modern times.

"However unexpected, this enormous book is also one of the best one-volume biographies of Roosevelt yet. It is not particularly original, has no important new revelations or interpretations and is based mostly on secondary sources (and rather old ones at that). But it tells the remarkable story of Roosevelt's life with an engaging eloquence and with largely personal and mostly interesting opinions about the people and events he is describing. Black's enormous admiration for Roosevelt is based on many things. He reveres what he calls Roosevelt's great courage and enormous skill in moving the United States away from neutrality and first toward active support of Britain and China in the early years of World War II and then toward full intervention. He admires Roosevelt's skill in managing the war effort and his deftness in handling the diplomacy that accompanied it.

"He sees Roosevelt, even more than Churchill, as the architect of a postwar world that for half a century worked significantly better than the prewar world of catastrophic conflicts and economic disasters. Roosevelt, he argues, helped legitimize democracy in the eyes of the world and created alliances and relationships that maintained a general peace through the rest of the 20th century. Churchill, once the war was essentially won, became a futile defender of the dying British empire.

"Roosevelt, in the last months before his death, was promoting a very different vision of world order based on international organizations and national self-determination (even if with great power supervision). Of the major political leaders of the age of World War II, Black writes, "Roosevelt was the only one with a strategic vision that was substantially vindicated in the 50 years following the Second World War."

"Black is also a stalwart defender of the New Deal. His defense is not simply the selective approval that many conservatives give to the way it saved capitalism and ensured the primacy of free markets. Black admires it all: Social Security, the Wagner Act, farm subsidies, securities regulation, wage and price legislation, even Roosevelt's almost incendiary oratory in 1936 welcoming hatred of the forces of power and greed.

"He expresses gingerly criticism of Roosevelt's reluctance to move aggressively to combat segregation, of his support of Japanese-American internment and his relatively modest response to the Holocaust, and of his occasional poor judgment in the people he trusted. (He is particularly contemptuous of Henry A. Wallace, but no more so than of conservative figures like Breckinridge Long, the genteel anti-Semite who obstructed the granting of American visas to European Jews in the late 1930s.)

"Despite these and other reservations, Black never departs from his overall judgment of Roosevelt, perhaps best illustrated in his use of a quotation from Churchill as a chapter title: "He Is the Greatest Man I Have Ever Known."

"While Black may not be the best chronicler of any single aspect of Roosevelt's life, and while he may offer little that scholars don't already know, he has created a powerful and often moving picture of the life as a whole. Truly great men inspire many exceptional biographies, and this is not the first or last for Roosevelt. But it is a worthy and important addition to the vast literature on the most important modern American leader."

5-0 out of 5 stars Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom
Newspaper tycoon Black praises former President Roosevelt for having the clearest strategic vision of the major world leaders during World War II and for using "political legerdemain" in using war to end the Great Depression and save democratic capitalism. FDR emerges in these pages, primarily devoted to his four terms in the White House, as the consummate skilled politician and among the U.S.'s greatest presidents. He also gives Roosevelt credit for having laid the groundwork for the Cold War and enabling his successors to "liberate Eastern Europe."

5-0 out of 5 stars A balanced and favorable account
I don't know of a better one-volume biography of FDR. Geoffrey Ward's two volumes, Before the Trumpet, and A First-Class Temperament are better written and more carefully researched, but they only take his life to 1928. This book relies on secondary sources mostly, and its footnoting is unhelpful--the footnotes just tell what secondary source the author got the information from. I have not read the multi-volume works of Frank Friedel and Kenneth Davis, but they are referred to a lot in the footnotes to this book and no doubt are more carefully researched. Yet I thought reading this worthwhile, and its overall assessment of FDR's accomplishments rings very true. George Will and Bill Buckley, Jr., and Henry Kissinger supplied blurbs for the jacket, which more hidebound Republicans, clinging to GOP attitudes during Roosevelt's Administrations would not, I presume, do. Black's assessment of FDR's performance at Teheran and Yalta ably refutes some of the old Republican canards re same, and make for good reading. All in all, I thought the time spent reading this nice big book was well spent. There are a few errors, and I mention two: on page 233 Black refers to Senator Harry Flood Byrd as a Virginia favorite son candidate at the 1932 Democratic National Conventio--but at the time Byrd was not yet a Senator; and on page 792 Black says Admiral Darlan's funeral in Algiers on Dec 26, 1942, was attended by the "Cardinal-Primate" of Africa, but there was no Cardinal in Africa in 1942, much less a Cardinal-Primate. The book does have a good 25-page bibliography. ... Read more


186. Scar Tissue
by Anthony Kiedis, Larry Sloman
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 1401301010
Catlog: Book (2004-10-06)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 309
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Book Description

As lead singer and songwriter for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Anthony Kiedis has lived life on the razor's edge. So much has been written about him, but until now, we've only had Kiedis's songs as clues to his experience from the inside. In Scar Tissue, Kiedis proves himself to be as compelling a memoirist as he is a lyricist, giving us a searingly honest account of the life from which his music has evolved.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are that rare breed of rock band. Critically lauded and popularly embraced by millions of fans, their albums consistently sell into the stratosphere -- their CD Californication sold over 13 million copies alone.

Now in Scar Tissue, Anthony Kiedis defies the rock star clichés. In his telling, we can see everything he has done has been part of a passionate journey. Kiedis is a man "in love with everything" -- the darkness, the death, the disease. Even his descent into drug addition was a part of that journey, another element that he has transformed into art. ... Read more


187. How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale
by Jenna Jameson, Neil Strauss, Neil Strauss
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060539097
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: ReganBooks
Sales Rank: 272
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Book Description

When the stewardess brought me off the plane in a wheelchair, I lowered my head. I was too scared to even look at my father. I didn't want to see the disappointment and horror on his face. All that hate I had accumulated for him over the years, all the resentment against him for not understanding what I was going through, just released with the tears.

"So, where are your parents?" the stewardess asked me after a few minutes. "I can't wait here with you much longer."

I looked up and wiped my eyes. My father was standing ten feet away. He didn't even recognize me.

In the underbelly of Las Vegas, a cesspool of warring biker gangs and seedy strip clubs transformed the gawky, brace-faced Jenna Massoli into the bombshell Jenna Jameson. Today, Jenna Jameson is the biggest star in the history of adult movies, consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful women alive. But behind the glamour and the meteoric rise to fame was a path paved with tragedy and heartbreak. As a teenager drawn into a chaotic world ruled by rape, abuse, and murder, Jenna plunged into a downward spiral of addiction, even as she became one of the most photographed women in adult magazines.

Determined to overcome this past, Jenna rebounded in the adult-film business, where she encountered sadistic directors, experienced lovers of both sexes, amorous celebrities (from Howard Stern to Marilyn Manson to Tommy Lee), bitter rival starlets, and finally, glory, as she went on to become the biggest porn star the world has ever seen. But her struggle for happiness did not end when the accolades began. For years she wrestled with her resentment at her estranged father, the loneliness of growing up from the age of two without a mother, and her enduring childhood desire to find a man who could give her the security and love she never had.

Her unforgettable memoir is many things at once: a shocking sexual history, an insider's guide to the secret workings of the billion-dollar adult-film industry, and a gripping thriller that probes deep into Jenna's dark past. An unparalleled exploration of sexual freedom, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star ventures far beyond the flesh, into the heart-shredding tragedies and adrenaline-pumping triumphs of a woman who has already lived a hundred lifetimes. Always witty and humorous even as she faces the demons of her past, Jenna offers hilarious anecdotes about one of the most controversial businesses in history, and shares outrageous advice, including her ten commandments of dating and sex, how to become a "suitcase pimp," and how to make it in the business as a female (or a male).

Add to this never-before-seen photographs from Jenna's private collection and others taken exclusively for this book, and the result is certain to be one of the most talked-about books of the year. ... Read more


188. Rebel Without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
by Robert Rodriguez
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
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Asin: 0452271878
Catlog: Book (1996-09-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 2389
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Ever Read On Filmmaking
If you want to be a filmmaker, buy this book. I've read over 30 books on filmmaking in the past few months, and none of them has been as good or as inspiring as this one. This isn't another book telling you how to make movies like everyone else does. In his 10 minute film school at the end of the book, he tells you what is essential, and what is just B.S. that film schools will tell you. Hollywood is for the taking, so get off you're butt and make a movie. This book is a diary of RRs experiences from preproduction all the way through distribution of his famous film, El Mariachi. Hollywood is for the taking, so get off you're butt and make a movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read ripper of a tale
This is a delightful, funny, amazing and inspirational book. It's the remarkable account of how one 23-year-old made a film on the cheap, and how hard he had to work (it was a labor of love, of course) to do that. This book also gives an insightful glimpse into the dazzling world of Hollywood glitz from the point-of-view of "an ordinary Joe" who suddenly finds himself catapulted into a world of limos, expense accounts, and who-you-know mentality. Included in the book are Rodriguez's famous "Ten Minute Film School" essay and the script for his film "El Mariachi" as he wrote it. (No, it's not in "proper script format", but since he wrote, directed, shot, and edited the whole film himself, it didn't matter. Rodriguez rule number one: You don't always have to follow the rules.)

Readers who aren't dying to make their own movies will still find this a tremendously good tale of how an ordinary, middle-class, almost-a-dropout can become a success. Rodriguez's formula for success is a true homily: 10% inspiration + 90% prespiration, and a little blood donated to science. Oh, and a whole lot of chutzpah.

For aspiring independent film-makers, this book is truly a must-read. For everybody else, it's a ripper of a true tale, well told and likeable.

Oh, and don't forget to pair it with the video of "El Mariachi", the film the book is all about. It shows how stylish a "cheap" film can be, and it's a lot of fun, especially when you know all the "inside jokes": cheat sheets, wheelchair dollies, why everybody always gets shot in the chest, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars fresh & inspiring
Rodriguez's philosophy on filmmaking is incredibly simple: get a camera and make movies. This book offers a glimpse into the author's own endeavors to create his first feature film El Mariachi. Just reading the introduction made me want to pick up a camera! His positive, you-can-do-it attitude is infectious and inspiring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read
This is one of the "Must Read" books about Hollywood. Anyone wanting a career in Hollywood needs to read "Rebel Without a Crew" by Robert Rodriguez, "My Fractured Life" by Rikki Lee Travolta, "You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again" by Julia Phillips, and "Digital Filmmaking 101" by Dale Newton.

5-0 out of 5 stars My Inspiration!!!
I must start off by saying that I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I love it for many reasons. It's written BY Robert Rodriguez in a journal style as he was creating his claim-to-fame, first feature film, El Mariachi... He talks about everything, is very to the point, and has a great sense of humor through all the hard times which lead to the "magic". I felt like I was right there with him through the whole Mariachi journy. And what an interesting, fun, nerve racking, and exetremely rewarding ride it turned out to be. Even though this book was written in '91/'92 and a lot of things in the industry have begun to change - the basic information and message are timeless. As a Robert Rodriguez fan, film maker, future film maker, or friend of a film maker, this is a MUST read book! He offers up the best advice through out the entire thing... advice you can not only apply to film making but to life in general as well. This HAS to be the most informal, most informational, and the BEST book on film I've read yet!!! ... Read more


189. The Hiding Place
by CORRIE TEN BOOM, JOHN SCHERRILL
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553256696
Catlog: Book (1984-11-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 3678
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Hiding Place proves that the light of God's love can penetrate even the darkest recesses of despair, places like the Nazi extermination camp at Ravensbruck. After protecting Dutch Jews in a secret room in their home, Corrie ten Boom, her sister and father were discovered, arrested, and imprisoned. Only Corrie survived, but her faith in God remained strong-so strong that, after the war, she could forgive a former camp guard in a face-to-face meeting. More than just a spellbinding adventure, The Hiding Place is a life-changing story. ... Read more

Reviews (130)

5-0 out of 5 stars A story of forgiveness
Corrie Ten Boom said it best in the beginning of the book when she points out that every person, place, and thing you encounter in your life is God preparing you for the plans He has for you. I believe God meant for millions be to touched by Corrie's life story. The over all message in this book is forgiveness, and how it is possible, under impossible circumstances. Not only does the Lord desire us to forgive, but He made it possible to do so by providing the love to do it. Corrie and her family lived sacrificial lives, but more importantly they were obedient to God, whom they knew loved them very much. Time and time again, Corrie's life was saved by her obedience and tenacious way of looking to the Lord for guidance and help. These people KNEW and lived God's love and it infected others around them. This story was just as much about Betsie, Corrie's sister, as it was Corrie. Betsie was a resilient woman who loved the Lord so much that she even thanked Him for fleas! Corrie's entire family had a respectful fear of the Lord that is lacking in today's world. This story helps us to realize how very comfortable we are in this material world of ours. Previous to reading this book, I read "Survival in Auschwitz" by Primo Levi, who was an Italian Jewish survivor of Auschwitz (hence the name). It was nice to read both books in order to get a view from both the Christian and Jewish perspective. This great evil during WWII was not just against one race, it was the enemy of the human race. While some humans were inprisoned and/or killed, others were alive yet dead inside as they gave into hate and bitterness. Corrie and her family saw this great evil and clinged to the hope that if these people were capable of so much hate, then they were equally capable of so much love. They compassionately prayed for the ones they suffered along with, as well as for the ones causing the suffering. "The Hiding Place" is a wonderful book in which we can learn to forgive those that have hurt us, and love others the way God loves us. Get it! Read it! Tell a friend!

5-0 out of 5 stars A woman of faith
I admire people who really take a stand for what they believe in, no matter what the cost, and Corrie Ten Boom is one of those amazing people. The story of her family, pre-concentration camp, is inspiring, because they really are willing to give up everything so that God's children are not harmed. This is truly one of the best books I've ever read...I copied a lot of phrases out of the book and into my personal journal so they could touch me later like they touched me then. There's a lot of love in this woman, mixed with comapssion, honesty, and happiness that made me reconsider my own standards in the midst of the peacetime life I live, and makes me ask the question: Would I truly risk my life for another's? Everyone should read this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful,moving,emotive book.
I have read a number of autobiographys,and expect to read more still.
I think i shall be hard-pressed to find another one as beautiful as Corrie's.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE best book you'll read this summer
First written in 1971, The Hiding Place has, through both critical acclaim and word of mouth of the masses, achieved both certifiable classic status and a revered place in the hearts of its readers. And, I might add, for good reason. Although written in 1st person novel form from the perspective of the selflessly valiant Cornelia ten Boom, it is, of course, the true story of one family's almost unfathomable degree of limitless giving and unwavering altruism that saved many of lives during the nihilistic hate-filled Nazi regime in Holland, where the Gestapo as well as Dutch collaborators were pervasively ubiquitous and inexorably replete with hate and ineluctably devoid of both reason and love.

While reading, I felt a veritable melange of emotions running the gamut from sadness, anger, despair, and hope. Thanks to the wonderful writing, you feel like you're reading a novel -- although one that is all too harrowing and real. As Betsie quotes the Bible and says, "Give thanks in all circumstances," she subsequently says "Thanks for the fleas" -- a moment that demonstrated that God DOES work in mysterious ways. Without giving away anything that happens, I strongly exhort you to read The Hiding Place -- a book that stays with you long after you have turned the last page.

"No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still."
- Betsie ten Boom

5-0 out of 5 stars A veritable laugh riot
I was walking my dog and reading The Hiding Place and I thought why I am being sad. I should be glad and happy because the story is happy if you think about it you know. So I started laughing at the awesome stuff that Corrie does and says when she's helping the Jews. In summation, it's better to laugh than to cry. At least, that is, to Joseph O'Brien. ... Read more


190. J.M. Barrie & the Lost Boys
by Andrew Birkin, SHARON GOODE
list price: $18.95
our price: $12.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300098227
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

J. M. Barrie, novelist, playwright, and author of Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, led a life almost as magical and interesting as his famous creation. Childless in his marriage, Barrie grew close to the five young boys of the Llewelyn Davies family, ultimately becoming their guardian and devoted surrogate father when they were orphaned. Andrew Birkin draws extensively on a vast range of material by and about Barrie, including notebooks, memoirs, and hours of recorded interviews with the Llewelyn Davies family and their circle, to describe Barrie’s life and the wonderful world he created for the boys. Originally published in 1979, this enchanting and richly illustrated account is reissued with a new preface to mark the release of Neverland, the film of Barrie’s life, and the upcoming centenary of Peter Pan. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Lost Boys Return
I read this book when it was first released and then had to go to a dealer selling used books to track down a copy to buy.
It's a beautifully written book and a haunting real life story.
The icing on the cake of the reissue of the book would be the release of the BBC miniseries on video or better yet, DVD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sad and Beautiful Story
Wonderful news ... this new edition makes available a book that's been out-of print for much too long.
Birkin completed the book when adapting the story of J M Barrie for a BBC mini-series, The Lost Boys. As well as writing Peter Pan, Barrie was in his time, regarded as a playwright the equal of George Bernard Shaw. That his work quickly fell out of favour may be due to its pathos and close relation to Barrie's own life.
I stumbled across this book over ten years ago, and its poignancy, honestly and power have been with me ever since.
It centres around the Llewelyn Davies family, which became the inspiration for Peter Pan, but went on to have an even more profound impact upon the life of the melancholic Scottish playwright.
As one of the protagonists later wrote, the masses of photographs (extensively reproduced in the book) seem to foretell the whole sad story. Indeed, Birkin's strength is allowing the story to unfold through letters, images and quotation from Barrie's surprisingly autobiographical work. What emerges is the finest of biographies. Peter Pan acquires a whole new sad significance in the light of this book, and it captures the fading Edwardian twighlight exquisitely.
Upon the death of the last of the Llewelyn Davies boys (after first publication), the majority of the material used in the book was bequeathed to Birkin, a ringing endorsement of his sensitive and perceptive retelling of the story.
I cannot recommend this book too highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sad and beautiful story
Wonderful news ... this new edition will make a classic available to new readers.
Birkin completed the book when adapting the story of J M Barrie for a BBC mini-series, The Lost Boys. As well as writing Peter Pan, Barrie was in his time, regarded as a playwright the equal of George Bernard Shaw. That his work quickly fell out of favour may be due to its pathos and close relation to Barrie's own life.
I stumbled across this book over ten years ago, and its poignancy, honestly and power have been with me ever since.
It centres around the Llewelyn Davies family, which became the inspiration for Peter Pan, but went on to have an even more profound impact upon the life of the melancholic Scottish playwright.
As one of the protagonists later wrote, the masses of photographs (extensively reproduced in the book) seem to foretell the whole sad story. Indeed, Birkin's strength is allowing the story to unfold through letters, images and quotation from Barrie's surprisingly autobiographical work. What emerges is the finest of biographies. Peter Pan acquires a whole new sad significance in the light of this book, and it captures the fading Edwardian twighlight exquisitely.
Upon the death of the last of the Llewelyn Davies boys (after first publication), the majority of the material used in the book was bequeathed to Birkin, a ringing endorsement of his sensitive and perceptive retelling of the story.
I cannot recommend this book too highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Haunting -- Stranger and More Moving than Fiction
I first read this book roughly ten years ago. It is still one of my all-time favorites. The beautiful and tragic lives of the Llewellyn-Davies family, and their beauty caught in intimate pictures, reminds one of the Romanovs. This book is a very loving, close portrait of the relationship between JM Barrie--the playwright of Peter Pan (and numerous other plays and books)and an Edwardian family composed of five charming, beautiful, intelligent boys. The boys' parents (one of whom is the daughter of George du Maurier [author of Trilby] -- the boys' cousin is Daphne du Maurier) both die young, leaving them orphans in the care of JM Barrie. The book contains astonishingly beautiful photographs, diary entries, letters, etc. The truth of the story gives it a charm and tragedy mere fiction lacks. I can't recommend it highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Lost Man-Boy
Barrie must be one of the 20th C's most under-rated and misinterpreted writers. This beautiful and haunting book helps interpret his writing, especially that maudlin classic of hopeless nostalgia Peter Pan. Look in this book beyond the fragile elegance of the Edwardian world, and the beautiful children frozen forever in time by Barrie's camera and there's tragedy. Everyone, Arthur, Michael, Jack and especially Barrie himself comes to a sticky end. It well illustrates that old morality tale: be very careful about what you wish for -it may come true. I agree it's a tragedy this book has slipped out of print. ... Read more


191. Everything About Me Is Fake . . . And I'm Perfect
by Janice Dickinson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006055469X
Catlog: Book (2004-04)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 23449
Average Customer Review: 3.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Everything About Me Is Fake…and I'm Perfect, the hilarious and candid follow-up to the national bestseller No Lifeguard on Duty, Janice Dickinson tackles our society's unattainable standards of beauty and reveals the secrets behind her own lifelong struggle to achieve perfection -- from her bra-stuffing days as a flat-chested teenager through her career as the world's first supermodel to her ultimate comeback as a bestselling author and television star on the top-rated reality television hit America's Next Top Model.

most men don't seem to care about my age either. Once you hit the supermodel level, your numerical time spent on Earth doesn't matter to men.

Even as she graced the glossy pages of Vogue and Cosmo, Janice had to struggle to keep up the image of brazen self-confidence and bravado that became her trademark. Behind every smile and pose was a sea of self-doubt and insecurities. Now, after years of experience as a supermodel -- being stitched into clothing, starving herself, and undergoing cosmetic surgery -- Janice debunks the beauty myths and breaks down what's real and what's not. Drawing on her vast knowledge of fashion, beauty care, and fitness, Janice offers no-nonsense advice and tips on how to look and feel your best on your own terms.

you see on the magazine pages starve themselves for weeks on end, smoke up a storm, and scarf down enough diuretics to blast out the Pacific Ocean.

No one tells a story like the world's first supermodel, and Janice's eagerly awaited follow-up is filled with outrageous anecdotes from her personal life, including how she stole Donald Trump's heart after jacking his limo, her steamy date with JFK Jr., and the wonders and pitfalls of going under the knife. In a fabulous fashion that only Janice can deliver, she tells all about her bumpy and unpredictable road to a healthy self-image and pulls back the curtain on the modeling industry, as well as her own life, proving why, as Janice explains: "Everything about me is fake . . . and I'm perfect."

I think it's best to treat most men like they're pets. Treat 'em mean and you'll keep 'em keen.”
... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Janice does it again!!
If you read her first book, No Lifeguard on Duty, this will be just as much of a treat. She delivers advice and details about her life in her typical blunt, ballsy, take-no-prisoners style. You'll laugh more reading this book than her last, because her first was more soul-searching through the most painful moments of her life, this book takes a more light-hearted look at how her life has been since the first one, how being a judge on America's Next Top Model has affected her, and how being a full-time mother and supermodel hasn't slowed her down one bit.
She truly speaks from the heart and from experience. Janice gives it to you straight, whether you like it or not. No apologies. Yet she lets her vulnerable side shine through, like when she talks about her children, her family, etc.
She also gives good advice to women about how the fashion industry is selling us all lies with their airbrushed and digitally enhanced images of perfection(not a shock, right?). She really helps put it all in perspective.
If you're looking for a warts-and-all look at how a supermodel's life REALLY is, this is the book. Also read her first book, once you try Janice, you've GOT to go back for more!

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm ADDICTED to PLASTIC!
I have to say that this is a great read! It's funny, has TONS of gossip about celebrities, and shockingly a BIG HEART! You may know Janice from the TOP MODEL show on UPN, or as a fashion model ... but the biggest shock is underneath her hard exterior is a woman who really cares. She tells things like they are, and she makes no apologies for some of her bad behavior! But she also lets you know that PERFECTION can be a disease, and she lets you in on how to fight that.

I love this book! It's not a literary masterpiece in conventional terms ... more like a gab session with one of your wildest friends. Definitely funny! Definitely shocking! And so much fun you don't want it to end.

I don't care if her modeling advice is suspect (as one reviewer noted), or if she's seen as just another washed up model. She's a courageous woman who deserves to be celebrated. I admire her for being who she is ... the super model with the SUPER MOUTH! :-)

2-0 out of 5 stars Janice is scary...
Janice is really a sad babe. Abused as a child, she grew up, it seems hating everything and everyone. In this book Janice gives advise to women on how to get and keep their man, shares celebrity stories, and talks about how she manages to stay looking good.
The cover of the book is creative with Janice set up to look like a Barbie doll but the content of the book is weak. Janice shares good information in the beginning of the book when she explains in depth how artificial the looks we see in magazines are. Though real women compare themselves to models in magazines, these images are false as the models have been computer enhanced and in true life are most likely staying slender in unhealthy ways. The book goes downhill from there.
She rips apart fellow models for their wrongdoings like Christie Brinkley who moved in with Janice's boyfriend soon after they broke up. But then in typical Janice double standard fashion she sees nothing wrong with sharing her bed with other men who are already taken.
Janice does her best to treat the reader like they are her best buds and baring her soul but her rough, abrasive personality, and foul language permeate the book and its just not pretty. Her egotistical, "I am so hot and beautiful" nature is immature and becomes old quickly. Her photos reflect this too.
I really feel sorry for the worlds first self- professed "supermodel" a fact she reminds you of constantly throughout the book, and I feel sad that she bases her self worth on how many men desire her. Hopefully one day she will find true inner beauty and peace.
Meantime skip the book or borrow it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Honest and Funny
I liked this book better than her first one, because she is more of herself in the writing. Although she does get carried away sometimes with the beauty tips and work out tips. Nonetheless, it is a page turner. I wonder what she is going to write for her third and last book in this trilogy, i am sure it's going to be funny. This one is a lot more lighter and her delirious personality shines through the series of her honest biographical anecdotes. I think in a way we can all relate to Janice and her insecurity. What it matters is how we deal with it and reading about her story helps.

2-0 out of 5 stars Well I liked her first book....
I have to say that I was looking forward to this book. Boy was I disappointed! Her first book was filled with her life story, gossipy tidbits, and more. This new book of hers barely skims the surface. There's a few good modeling anecdotes about her's and other's experiences in that oh-so-glamorously-drugged-up-world, but most of the book seems to be her reapeating the same phrase in different ways over and over and over again just to fill up space! She repeatedly contradicts herself, and even her wit doesn't compensate for that. It's as if she was trying to write a self-help/mini-autobiography (unfortunately, it went terribly downhill....fast!). Basically, it was like a really long and really bad diary entry. So if you were looking for a great follow up to, No Lifeguard on Duty, you will be very disappointed. Also, Janice doesn't even come across as that super confident tough girl who she claims she is...in fact she comes across as terribly insecure and pathetic (her incestent rambling about how she is so confident makes this even more evident). ... Read more


192. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly : A Memoir of Life in Death
by JEAN-DOMINIQUE BAUBY
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375701214
Catlog: Book (1998-06-23)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 18098
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor-in-chief of French Elle, the father of two young childen, a 44-year-old man known and loved for his wit, his style, and his impassioned approach to life. By the end of the year he was also the victim of a rare kind of stroke to the brainstem.After 20 days in a coma, Bauby awoke into a body which had all but stopped working: only his left eye functioned, allowing him to see and, by blinking it, to make clear that his mind was unimpaired. Almost miraculously, he was soon able to express himself in the richest detail: dictating a word at a time, blinking to select each letter as the alphabet was recited to him slowly, over and over again. In the same way, he was able eventually to compose this extraordinary book.

By turns wistful, mischievous, angry, and witty, Bauby bears witness to his determination to live as fully in his mind as he had been able to do in his body. He explains the joy, and deep sadness, of seeing his children and of hearing his aged father's voice on the phone. In magical sequences, he imagines traveling to other places and times and of lying next to the woman he loves. Fed only intravenously, he imagines preparing and tasting the full flavor of delectable dishes. Again and again he returns to an "inexhaustible reservoir of sensations," keeping in touch with himself and the life around him.

Jean-Dominique Bauby died two days after the French publication of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

This book is a lasting testament to his life. ... Read more

Reviews (78)

5-0 out of 5 stars life worth living
In December of 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, 43 year old editor in chief of Elle magazine in France, suffered a stroke which severely damaged his brain stem. After several weeks in a coma, he woke to find that he was one of the rare victims of a condition called "locked-in syndrome" or LIS, which had left his mind functioning but his body almost completely paralyzed. In a perverse sense he actually got fairly lucky because, unlike most victims, he was still able to move one eyelid. This allowed him to work out, with a speech therapist, a system of communication which entailed winking as someone slowly read through the alphabet. By using this code, he could painstakingly spell out words, sentences, paragraphs and, finally, this memoir.

The title of the book refers to the metaphors he uses to describe his situation. The physical paralysis leaves him feeling as if he was trapped within a diving bell, as if there is constant pressure pinning his body into immobility. However, at the same time, his mind remains as free as a butterfly and it's flights are as random. In fact, he calls the chapters of this book his "bedridden travel notes" and, indeed, they eloquently relate his journey through memory.

Although Bauby's situation is obviously unique, this book has universal resonance because his condition is itself an apt metaphor for the human condition. It is the essence of Man's dilemma that our infinitely perfectible minds are trapped within such weak containers of flesh and blood. For most of us, at most times, this frustrating dichotomy, between that which makes us godlike and that which makes us mortal, lurks in the background; but the author has it thrust rudely into the foreground, where it necessarily dominates his existence. This makes it all the more remarkable that Bauby is able to "write" about his life with such great humor and generosity of spirit and with so little bitterness.

Public opinion surveys reveal an interesting contrast in modern opinions on the "right to die." Contrary to the accepted wisdom, the so-called right is favored by those who are young and healthy, but opposed by those who are old and sick. The very premise which underlies such a right is the belief that the quality of life experienced by the aged and the ill is so inadequate that they would willingly choose death instead. In fact, the evidence suggests that--despite the anecdotal horror stories with which all of us are familiar--people generally cling to life even in the face of suffering which seems unendurable to the well.

Bauby's book, for all the horror that we naturally feel at his status, is wonderfully optimistic and life affirming. Sure, there are a few moments of well earned self pity, but they are almost completely drowned out by the author's enduring hopes and dreams and memories. Jean-Dominique Bauby died two days after this book was published, but in it's pages, he left behind one of the great testament's to the splendor and majesty of the human spirit. In these times when people tend to complain about the pettiest matters, he reminds us that even when life is genuinely difficult, it is still quite beautiful and invaluable and well worth living.

GRADE: A+

5-0 out of 5 stars A captivating testament to a spirit that could not be broken
At the age of 43, Jean-Dominique Bauby (former editor-in-chief of the French magazine "Elle") suffered a massive stroke that left him almost completely paralyzed. His mind, however, remained intact. A victim of "locked-in syndrome," the only part of his body that he could still move was his left eyelid. Unable to communicate in any other way, he and his therapists devised a system whereby Bauby could blink out what he wanted to say, letter by letter. In this way, he managed to compose his memoir, with his speech therapist carefully transcribing Bauby's coded blinks. The book was published just two days before Bauby's death in 1996.

I became aware of this book when I learned that Johnny Depp will star in a movie of "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" in 2006 (playing Bauby himself). Intrigued, I decided to read up beforehand. What I discovered was a poignant and inspirational expression of a man with an incredibly strong spirit. Though he expresses frustration and sadness at his condition, Bauby does not wallow in the trap of self-pity. His observations of the world are sharpened and given new perspective as he is forced to deal with paralysis. Bauby is even able to look at elements of his predicament with a wry sense of humor, as in the time a nurse woke him up to ask if he wanted a sleeping pill.

The book is not written as a linear story - in fact, we don't read about the day of Bauby's stroke until near the end - but rather it is a collection of vignettes. In some he offers insights and observations of his daily life in the hospital. In others he reflects on various memories, with both fondness and, at times, regret for missed opportunities. And in still other chapters he shares with us the dreams he has had since his stroke. He also reflects on his last day as a normally functioning person, and on some of the plans he had in his life before - plans that he never got to fulfill. Bauby has dedicated the book to his children, and it is clear that he misses being a regular father.

"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is a very easy read, and well worth the time. It is only 132 pages in length, but I can't help imagining just how tedious it must have been for Bauby to blink out even one page, let alone over one hundred. That, and the amazingly beautiful, fluent language in which the book is written has given me an overwhelming respect for this remarkable man. We have here a window into a soul that refused to die, even while trapped within a body that could no longer move. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone, as it sparks in the reader a more complete awareness of the world and a fuller appreciation for the little things in life.

3-0 out of 5 stars Suffocating!
This book was like being underwater.... with no life support. Death was a blessing.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Wonderful is Painstakingly Evident
This could be the only book of its kind. I ran across this 1998 or '99 and read it faster than I read most books. I was enthralled and engaged fully by Bauby's vivid imagination. I wound up raving about this book for years to anyone who would listen.

When all you left is imagination and you are gifted with the ability to describe your visions and dreams, you wind up 'writing' a book like this. The kinds of dreams, hopes and emotions Bauby experiences is so incredibly deep, honest and telling. The gift he leaves the reader is their ability to genuinely feel the alienation and abandonment of the world all while feeling at one with body, mind, earth, life, love and death. The thing that you walk away from, after reading this book, is nothing short of an amazing epiphany.

UPDATE: I saw that Universal announced they will make this into a movie. To top it off, Johnny Depp will be Bauby. It won't be coming out for two years or so, but it will be worth the wait.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunningly beautiful glimpse into a nightmare.
Wow. This book is beautiful and haunting. You begin the book with the knowledge of Mssr. Bauby's fate. He proceeds to share with us his eloquent and striking observations post-accident. This book is beautifully and concisely written - it's as tight as a drum - and that is a testament more to Bauby's journalistic talents than his impaired condition. An intellectual with a love for opera, music, writing, and food, he comes to life in these pages despite the brevity of the book. We get a decent sense of him prior to his stroke: a man with a full appetite for life. At times, I had to suck in my breath and set the book down to pause, it was so profoundly heartbreaking. He shares with us his deepest, raw thoughts about his daily life, his former lifestyle, his children, the blessings he misses and the pleasures he now looks forward to, as well as the torment he cannot control. A key point, I think, is that throughout the book he sprinkles his persistent sense of humor, and a feeling of hope. It's amazing considering that he is experiencing something we all agree is our worst nightmare. There is no bitterness on these pages, it's more of an honest wistfulness. Like when he says he would have cheerfully killed one of his caretakers for the neglect he suffered at his hands. I will never forget the irony of the photograph from his childhood sent to him by his father; the description of his last day of normal life; the story of Mithra-Grandchamp; the bleakness of his Sundays and how they lend perspective to his other days (and ours); and his trip to smell the French fries. The meaningfulness and importance of the small, everyday events, abilities, and choices we make are cast in a new light after reading this book. But the experience is like having someone open you up and rip out your heart, such is the sympathy we feel for Bauby. In fact, I will likely be haunted by his descriptions of life, both breathtakingly beautiful and immensely sad. What a man. What a book. ... Read more


193. 90 Minutes In Heaven: A True Story of Death & Life
by Don Piper, Cecil Murphey
list price: $12.99
our price: $9.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0800759494
Catlog: Book (2004-09-01)
Publisher: Revell
Sales Rank: 8136
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194. A Paper Life
by Tatum O'Neal
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060540974
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 749
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Book Description

At age ten, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in the film classic Paper Moon. She was hailed as a new kind of child star -- sassy and precocious -- for a hip, cynical age. As the sidekick to her father, the flamboyant star and man-about-town Ryan O'Neal, she became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties and counted celebrities ranging from Cher to Stanley Kubrick among her childhood friends.

But behind the glittering facade of Tatum's life lay heartbreak: abandonment, abuse, and neglect. Her alcoholic mother, the actress Joanna Moore, drifted in and out of her life. Her father, saddled with both Tatum and her brother Griffin, grew increasingly punishing and distant, especially after moving in with his longtime love, Farrah Fawcett. By her late teens, Tatum -- though a working actress with ten movies to her credit -- had begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.

Then, just before her twenty-first birthday, Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the explosive tennis great John McEnroe. They had three children, Kevin, Sean, and Emily, in quick succession, followed by one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the collapse of her marriage and no real family to turn to, Tatum succumbed to the demons of her past, which would nearly kill her.

Now she has emerged clean and sober, rediscovering herself as an actress, mother, and wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.

A Paper Life is a story of strength and courage: unflinchingly honest, yet poignant, often funny, and unfailingly uplifting. It is a tale of triumph steeped in Hollywood lore -- and an inspiring testament to the healing power of love.

... Read more

195. Desert Solitaire
by EDWARD ABBEY
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345326490
Catlog: Book (1985-01-12)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 2561
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

With language as colorful as a Canyonlands sunset and a perspective as pointed as a pricklypear, Cactus Ed captures the heat, mystery, and surprising bounty of desert life. Desert Solitaire isa meditation on the stark landscapes of the red-rock West, a passionate vote for wilderness, and a howlinglament for the commercialization of the American outback. ... Read more

Reviews (90)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Mr Abbey !
When he wrote this book, Cactus Ed did such a great job in describing the canyon country of southern Utah that you can recommend it to everyone who likes widerness. Not the pseudo-one we have today, no, the real one, where you can truly be in touch with the universe. I live overseas and, each time I miss the colourful landscapes of Utah, I read this book and the desert appears before my eyes. But there's not only descriptions, Abbey also try to find solutions to preserve this unique region from all the dam and road builders only looking for profit, and that's not the least interesting part ! Well, if you prefer action, read "The Monkeywrench Gang". Oh yes, Ed's sometime contradictory, but who's not ? And that's also why Desert Solitaire is so powerful : Abbey didn't try to hide the good nor the bad aspects of his life there. It's a book live from the desert !

5-0 out of 5 stars you can't see anything from a car...so start walking!
Best to read if you are visiting Arches, the Grand Canyon, or Lake Powell, or if you have been there, or even if you just wish you were there...
After reading Abbey's incredible illustration of "his" country, you might as well have been there yourself in spirit, if not in body. Desert Solitaire is part memoir, politics, opinion, beauty, myth, journal, eulogy, ravaging accusation of modern society, and general ramblings on the Southwest. There is very little structure, except that the book opens with Abbey entering Arches in the spring as a ranger, and ends with him leaving in the fall. He touches almost every subject under the desert sun. My favorite chapters were:

-"Down the River": on Glen Canyon before the dam
-"Polemic Industrial Tourism and the National Parks": scathing and sarcastic, belittleing the American automobile tourist
-"Rocks": a disturbing legend of the uranium boom in Utah
-"Episodes and Visions": general desert musings and tangents

The best way to describe the feel of this book is the blurb on the back: "rough, tough, combative [...] this book may well seem like a ride on a bucking bronco."

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but uneven...
Edward Abbey's collection of essays about his work at the then Arches National Monument(which he calls National Moneymint to mock the villains who wish to pave over everything). Abbey does have some good points, like we should stop trying to pave over things to make it more convineat to see nature. The whole Glen Canyon tragedy is told, foreshadowing the novel "Monkey Wrench Gang". I did like his wide knowledge of philosophy and the desert fauna and flora, and I relate to his love of the desert, but his prose is a bit(forgive the pun) too arid, and I had to slog through parts of the book. On the whole, I recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Desert Solitaire
This book is awsome. It is hard to believe that 30 years later some of the same problems exist for the NPS. Abbey definitely was a visionary. This book is the best account of real life in a fabulous place. It takes you back to those National Park visits when life was simple and people didn't mind getting out of their car and walking. Today everyone thinks they can "experience" a park from their car, Abbey understood this was coming and didn't mind giving his idea's on the subject. The descriptions of wildlife, flora and fauna are fantastic. You can almost smell the wild flowers. If you really want to experience the canyonlands of Utah, read this book!

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and entertaining but not much Natual History
You've got to admire a man known as the quintessential evironmentalist who writes so gleefully about trashing nearly everyplace he goes. This book is above all humorous and that alone makes this book enjoyable. Abbey is also a good story-teller.

The book chronicles a few seasons Abbey spends as a seasonal ranger in Arches National Monument (now a Park). Abbey describes the environs adequately but in no great depth. What is fascinating is how Abbey relates to the environment and how he interacts with it. Also included are a few other excursions like his float trip down Glen Canyon prior to its flooding by the dam.

My favorite parts are the dumb things Abbey does in the environment. Maybe Abbey is saying that is why we need wilderness. We need someplace to lay naked in the sun, burn down, carve initials into trees, or to get away from tourists. My favorite story is when Abbey lights a wildfire in Glen Canyon with his careless bumbling and runs and jumps on his raft just as the flames roar up to the beach. And Abbey seems to enjoy trashing the environment whenever possible doing stunts like rolling old tires into the Grand Canyon (through a mule train) and continually laying naked out in the boondocks somewhere. He also likes carving his initials in various places. His antics with the tourists who seem to bother him in spite of his job being to help them. There is also a humorous account of being a part of a search for a missing (and dead and bloated) tourist.

All in all, an amusing read more for the insight into Abbey than into the places he visited. And let me also throw in a quote from Abbey's intro. "The time passed extremely slowly, as time should pass, with the days lingering and long, spacious and free as the summers of childhood. There was time enough for once to do nothing...". Anyone who can think and write like that deserves to be read. ... Read more


196. Electroboy : A Memoir of Mania
by ANDY BEHRMAN
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812967089
Catlog: Book (2003-02-11)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 44418
Average Customer Review: 3.41 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Electroboy is an emotionally frenzied memoir that reveals with kaleidoscopic intensity the terrifying world of manic depression. For years Andy Behrman hid his raging mania behind a larger-than-life personality. He sought a high wherever he could find one and changed jobs the way some people change outfits: filmmaker, PR agent, art dealer, stripper-whatever made him feel like a cartoon character, invincible and bright. Misdiagnosed by psychiatrists and psychotherapists for years, his condition exacted a terrible price: out-of-control euphoric highs and tornadolike rages of depression that put his life in jeopardy.

Ignoring his crescendoing illness, Behrman struggled to keep up appearances, clinging to the golden-boy image he had cultivated in his youth. But when he turned to art forgery, he found himself the subject of a scandal lapped up by the New York media, then incarcerated, then under house arrest. And for the first time the golden boy didn’t have a ready escape hatch from his unraveling life. Ingesting handfuls of antidepressants and tranquilizers and feeling his mind lose traction, he opted for the last resort: electroshock therapy.

At once hilarious and harrowing, Electroboy paints a mesmerizing portrait of a man held hostage by his in-satiable desire to consume. Along the way, it shows us the New York that never sleeps: a world of strip clubs, after-hours dives, and twenty-four-hour coffee shops, whose cheap seductions offer comfort to the city’s lonely souls. This unforgettable memoir is a unique contribution to the literature of mental illness and introduces a writer whose energy may well keep you up all night.


From the Hardcover edition.
... Read more

Reviews (41)

4-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
A lot of people have criticized this book as being too sensationalistic and trashy. Others have labeled Behrman a self-promoter. These allegations may be partly correct, but one aspect of writing a good memoir is to entertain the reader a little. For example, I found the description of Behrman's art forgery interesting and consistent with manic behavior. I suppose the book is a little light on information about bipolar disorder, but perhaps describing bipolar disorder in detail wasn't really the intent- hardly anyone criticizes Kay Jamison for not providing more info about bipolar disorder in "An Unquiet Mind". In summary, Behrman has assembled a pretty good book in "Electroboy" that anyone interested in bipolar disorder, or who likes entertaining narrative nonfiction, should read. Avery Z. Conner, author of "Fevers of the Mind".

4-0 out of 5 stars FRIGHTENING RAW, HONEST AND ACCURATE
I also suffer from bipolar disorder, as does Andy Behrman, the author of "Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania." Never have I read a more brutally honest account, albeit raw, of this illness that ravages millions of Americans (including both my brother and sister). I've read accounts of mental illness by Kay Refield Jamison and Elizabeth Wurtzel, but I've just never been this moved and frightening reminded of the intricacies of my illness.

Although Behrman's account seems to highlight an extreme case of manic depression, I really felt like I was taken along for the roller coaster ride of my own life. I became caught up in the frenzy of his mania - - the shopping sprees, the promiscuity and the psychosis.

Although "Electroboy" is technically a memoir, fellow sufferers of the illness (or any other mental illness) will learn quite a bit from this account (as will mental health professionals). It's a must read - - highly informative, captivating and entertaining.

5-0 out of 5 stars Coming to terms
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its coverer, but I have to admit I've been guilty of this crime. I was originally drawn to Behrman's work by the bright yellow cover, but what I found inside was far better. The work provided an entertaining look at someone's life, from stories of travel around the world, to risky behavior revolving around sex and drugs, to life in New York City. This book did things for me other than entertainment as well. As someone that has been diagnosed with biopolar disorder it helped me realize things could be a lot worse. Despite my problems with illness the actions of Andy Behrman seem more extreme than I am capable, which gave me some peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can be enjoyed from either an insider's or outsider's view
I enjoyed this book from an outsider's point of view (I don't have BP) and I felt like it was a tremendously revealing look into the mind of a manic-depressive. Probably the life Jack Kerouac would have led, had he been young in the 1990's and been born into a well off family. The author teeters on the brink of self destruction throughout most of the book but always seems to eek it out, along the lines of Catch Me if You Can. If you have no sympathy for the burden of mental illness, then this is definitely not the book for you but if you'd like incite into this world, you'll love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars WHAT A PAGE TURNER!
I read practically every book on mental illness and a good friend of mine who is manic depressive told me that "Electroboy" was probably the most accurate account of the illness.

I literally devoured "Electroboy" in two days. It's a thrilling tale of a man who experiences such dramatic highs and lows of a devastating illness - - I just couldn't put it down.

If you're expecting Elizabeth Wurtzel or Lizzie Simon, you're not going to find that in "Electroboy." THIS IS THE REAL THING! The writer takes you into the mind of the manic depressive and takes you along for the ride. It's a must read! ... Read more


197. The Dark Child : The Autobiography of an African Boy
by Camara Laye
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080901548X
Catlog: Book (1954-01-01)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Sales Rank: 140165
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Dark Child is a distinct and graceful memoir of Camara Laye's youth in the village of Koroussa, French Guinea. Long regarded Africa's preeminent Francophone novelist, Laye (1928-80) herein marvels over his mother's supernatural powers, his father's distinction as the village goldsmith, and his own passage into manhood, which is marked by animistic beliefs and bloody rituals of primeval origin. Eventually, he must choose between this unique place and the academic success that lures him to distant cities. More than autobiography of one boy, this is the universal story of sacred traditions struggling against the encroachment of a modern world. A passionate and deeply affecting record, The Dark Child is a classic of African literature.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I read this garbage
A year ago in my freshman language arts class, I was forced to read The Dark Child. Previously having been assigned garbage such as Nectar in a Sieve and Things Fall Apart, I expected this book would be terrible as well. I was not to be disappointed.
I soon discovered that The Dark Child was a sort of childhood memoirs written by a native of rural Guinea, which is described as a primitive paradise. After choking down five pages of the poorly written (or poorly translated?) prose, I thought to myself, "Could there be a premise less compelling than a boy living an idyllic life in 1920s rural Africa?" I mulled over this thought for a while and decided that there wasn't. This book is plagued by the fundamental problem that the reader knows, doesn't want to know, or doesn't care about what's coming next. Even if you are interested in what life was like for Camara Laye's people, you will be put off by the poor writing and the utter directionlessness of this book - indeed, I constantly found myself dumbfounded by the meandering descriptions, the contrived dialogue, and the pointless vignettes.
In conclusion, I would suggest to the prospective buyer that you spend your money on something better-done and more enjoyable, such as a porn DVD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read African Child and Radience Of The King together
Fascinating. A young foreigner in Paris, a young foreigner in Camara Laye's African Kingdom. It doesen't get any better. Read these 20 years ago.

George Pope

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful
A beautifully textured, fluid and organic autobiography, Camara Laye offers readers a piece of his life in The Dark Child. As part of the Malinke community in Upper Guinea, Laye captures the layered tradition and culture of his community, deemed, perhaps by most, to be simplistic or primitive compared to today's modern standards. Yet it is exactly from Layes descriptions of the traditions of his community that we can begin to understand the psychology of the author. Each chapter is rich with imagery, and his words smack of sincerity and innocence, bringing about an effortless quality and flow to his work--it is as if we are there with Laye experiencing his many transitions, from boyhood to manhood. His descriptions of the communal lifestyle of his people is remarkable. Laye's works like other modern African authors reveal the realities of colonization, and help readers to appreciate and celebrate indigenous African traditions.

5-0 out of 5 stars It took me a long time to read this book.
I first got this book in junior high by a family friend but never bothered to read it until I entered high school. Not having anything to read, I took it upon myself to read the book. I found myself intrigued by the author's way of life during colonialism and his upbringing in a village and his graduation from high school. It was sad that one of his classmates died unexpectedly. Wanting to find out some more about this author I looked up a book of African authors. Unfortuately he passed away in 1980. He is a great writer and wished that I had read it soon as it was given to me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Memoir of an African Childhood
Camara Laye was one of the first sub-saharan writers to become well-known outside of Africa. "L'Enfant Noir" or "The Dark Child" (also titled "The African Child"?) was published in 1953 when the author was twenty-five and living in France. It is a pleasantly nostalgic memoir of a childhood spent in the town of Kouroussa (French Guinea, now Guinea) and the village of Tindican, his mother's birthplace. Chapter by chapter Camara recounts his childhood memories: his father's work as a goldsmith and his position in society, his parent's magic, village life, the rice harvest, elementary Koranic education, circumcision and young men's secret society, secondary education in Conakry, girls and courtship, and his departure to continue his studies in France. After almost half a century in print, this deserves to be called a classic. [Note: some authorities state that his family name is Camara (also spelled Kamara) and his given name is Laye; the text supports this at one point. If using search engines to look for information on this author it may be useful to try both versions of his name.] ... Read more


198. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
by Stephen Greenblatt
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.17
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Asin: 0393050572
Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 32
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Why should we read Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World? There have been innumerable biographies of William Shakespeare, but the greatest of all writers remains the great unknowable. We know about the petty business dealings, the death of his son, his career as a man of the theatre, and (of course) the seemingly contemptuous bequeath to Anne Hathaway of his "second best bed". But any biographer is left wondering for for much more than that.

What makes Greenblatt's account the most valuable in many years (literally so, since famously massive advances were paid for it) is the synthesis of incisive scholarship, immense enthusiasm for the subject, and an unparalleled ability to conjure up the Elizabethan world with color and veracity. If the author's conclusion's about the genius at the centre of his narrative are open to question, Will in the World is none the worse for that--Greenblatt enjoys provoking the reader, and the result is an energetic conjuring of a brilliant man and those around him (Christopher Marlowe and Ben Johnson are evoked with enviable skill, as are such figures as the prototype for Falstaff, Robert Green).

With something of the vigor of the Bard's writing, Greenblatt takes us through the bawdy, teeming Bankside district (centuries before it became a tourist destination), and the Machiavellian, dangerous world of the court--in fact, all the splendor and misery of the Elizabethan age--and at the centre of it all, its greatest artist. The Will we meet here may owe much to Greenblatt's very personal interpretation, but the portrait is fascinating.--Barry Forshaw ... Read more


199. Pol Pot : Anatomy of a Nightmare (John MacRae Books)
by Philip Short
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
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Asin: 0805066624
Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 107326
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Book Description

A gripping and definitive portrait of the man who headed one of the most enigmatic and terrifying regimes of modern times

In the three and a half years of Pol Pot's rule, more than a million Cambodians, a fifth of the country's population, were executed or died from hunger. An idealistic and reclusive figure, Pol Pot sought to instill in his people values of moral purity and self-abnegation through a revolution of radical egalitarianism. In the process his country descended into madness, becoming a concentration camp of the mind, a slave state in which obedience was enforced on the killing fields.

How did a utopian dream of shared prosperity mutate into one of the worst nightmares humanity has ever known? To understand this almost inconceivable mystery, Philip Short explores Pol Pot's life from his early years to his death. Short spent four years traveling throughout Cambodia interviewing the surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge movement, many of whom have never spoken before, including Pol Pot's brother-in-law and the former Khmer Rouge head of state. He also sifted through the previously closed archives of China, Russia, Vietnam, and Cambodia itself to trace the fate of one man and the nation that he led into ruin.

This powerful biography reveals that Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were not a one-off aberration but instead grew out of a darkness of the soul common to all peoples. Cambodian history and culture combined with intervention from the United States and other nations to set the stage for a disaster whose horrors echo loudly in the troubling events of our world today.
... Read more

200. Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism
by Scott Hahn, Kimberly Hahn
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0898704782
Catlog: Book (1993-08-01)
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Sales Rank: 7043
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (135)

5-0 out of 5 stars Give this book to every Protestant you know...
Many thanks to Scott and Kimberly for bringing me back to the Catholic church. This book is awesome in its simplicity and its depth. Scott and Kimberly taught me to ask some simple questions of my Protestant friends, such as:

(1) Where does the Bible teach "Sola Scriptura" (hint: nowhere!)

(2) Why does James 2:24 say, "You are justified by works and NOT BY FAITH ALONE."?

(3) Why does St. Paul call the CHURCH the "Pillar and foundation of truth"? (1 Tim 3:15)

(4) Why does St. Paul tell us to "hold fast to traditions handed down to you, whether by word of mouth or in writing" (1 Thess 2:15)

As Scott found out, none of these questions have an answer that is consistent with Protestant theology. He was bold enough, and committed enough to Christ, to act on his conclusions. His wife followed four years later. This book will have you shaking your head, wondering how many souls were lost in the Protestant reformation, and hungering to bring them back to the fullness of truth that is the Catholic church.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect presentation of Catholicism for this Evangelical
This is the most exciting narrative of how serious study of God's Word could lead an anti-Catholic to convert. Speaking personally, I'm probably six months away from making the same decision. Before reading this book, however, I would have said TEN YEARS! But the biblical arguments were far more powerful and persuasive than I have ever read before. The depth of the Hahn's relationship with Jesus Christ is so inspiring. They love Christ and believe Scripture more than they opposed the Catholic Church. They were humble enough to change their minds even though it proved to be so costly. I especially enjoyed Kimberly sharing her own deep struggles. There is no other book like this one. I have purchased three extra copies for my Catholic friends.

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderful and easy read
I think one of the main reasons this book appealed to me so much is that it was personal. You see reasons for coming home to the Catholic church, yes, but what makes this different from other things is that it's personal. You see it from the point of view of two normal people. This was not a difficult book to read. I had trouble putting down. It kept my interest. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone going through RCIA...course, I still recommend this to anyone interested in Catholicism...

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book for RCIA programs and non-catholics
Scott and Kimberly Hahn's journey was so enlightening to one is in the process of converting to Catholicism. Dr. Hahn manages to tell a great story and educate at the same time. I learned more about Catholicsm in this book than I had in 10 RCIA sessions! A great book for non-Catholics, as they will see the Church explained in simple terms.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb and inspiring read
I found this book an absolutely compelling read and finished it in one day. Once I had picked it up, I could not put it down. It has left me with a deeper appreciation and love of my Catholic faith, for which I am grateful to Scott and Kimberly. I can't wait to get my hands on some of their tapes.

I find the sort of Bible punching, blind faith, muscular Christianity from whence the Hahns started their journey deeply unattractive, as I suspect do many. It is the face of the Reformed faith which I believe has contributed much to the collapse of formal religion in the West. As the Irishman said when asked the way to Dublin, "If I was going to Dublin, I wouldn't have started from here."

However, I made a similar journey to the Hahns forty years ago, starting from agnosticism. I have not once in those forty years regretted my decision to become a Catholic. ... Read more


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