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$17.79 $13.99 list($26.95)
61. By Myself and Then Some
$16.47 $15.46 list($24.95)
62. No Mountain High Enough : Raising
$20.00 list($70.75)
63. Sweet Life: Adventures on the
$10.46 $6.75 list($13.95)
64. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
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65. The Spiral Staircase : My Climb
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66. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous
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67. Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977
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68. From Mount Vernon to Crawford
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69. Long Walk to Freedom : The Autobiography
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70. Special Agent : My Life On the
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71. Thinking In Pictures : and Other
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72. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young
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73. The Story of My Life: An Afghan
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74. Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories
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75. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!":
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76. Silent Bob Speaks : The Collected
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77. Excelsior, You Fathead!: The Art
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78. Breathing Out
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79. Augustine : A New Biography
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80. Autobiography of a Face

61. By Myself and Then Some
by Lauren Bacall
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060755350
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Sales Rank: 5181
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The epitome of grace, independence, and wit, Lauren Bacall continues to astound generations with her audacious spirit and on-screen excellence. Together with Humphrey Bogart she produced some of the most electric scenes in movie history, and their romance on and off screen made them Hollywood's most celebrated couple.

But when Bogart died of cancer in 1957, Bacall and their children had to take everything he had taught them and grow up fast. In a time of postwar communism, Hollywood blacklisting, and revolutionary politics, she mixed with the legends: Hemingway, the Oliviers, Katharine Hepburn, Bobby Kennedy, and Gregory Peck. She was engaged to Frank Sinatra and had a turbulent second marriage to Jason Robards. But Bacall never lost sight of the strength that made her a superstar, and she never lost sight of Bogie.

Now, on the silver anniversary of its original publication, Bacall brings her inspiring memoir up to date, chronicling the events of the past twenty-five years, including her recent films and Broadway runs, and her fond memories of many close lifelong friendships. As one of the greatest actresses of all time turns eighty, By Myself and Then Some reveals the legend in her own beautiful frank words -- encapsulating a story that even Hollywood would struggle to reproduce.

... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful and Engaging Book
If you have read her first book you will probably be a bit disappointed since the present book has just 80 new pages added in a second section at the end, and there is a twenty year gap in her biography, between where the old story stops in the 70s and the addition begins in the 90s. The new part is mostly from the early 1990s through to her Oscar nomination, and then on to the Sept 11, 2001 attack and beyond to the end of 2004. It covers her more recent movies and TV appearances, and plays, including those movies with Nicole Kidman. For readers like myself - and I am a Bogart fan - and I have not read her old book, I found this to be a wonderful biography and I read it cover to cover over a two day period. The book transports the reader back to 1940s Hollywood with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, and many more.

This is a fairly detailed look at the life of Bacall, but mainly about the years to 1957 and before, the year her first husband Humphrey Bogart died. My main complaint is that the book lacks structure, andinstead the 500 page book is one continuous story broken with the occasional short sentence inserted in heavy font to designate a change in the direction of the story, and that line can occur anywhere on a page. There are no chapters nor is there an index - just one break where the new 80 pages are added. The good news here is that this update book by Bacall is a a very well written, reader friendly, and an engaging book. Once you start to read it is almost impossible to put the book down, and I read the first half or over 300 pages almost non stop - to where Bogart dies.

She starts with her early childhood in New York city; she tells us her life story through high school, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, modelling, then into small parts. She was star struck with visions of Bette Davis and others frorm a young age. The book describes a meeting bewteen the two in a New York hotel, where Bette Davis advised Bacall and her friend on how to become an actress. After some struggles, and by page 80 in this 500 page book, the ambitious Bacall makes a breakthrough when she appears on Harper's Bazaar cover in March 1943. Next she leads us through seemingly hour by hour for her first days in Hollywood at Warners, her screen test, the long wait and then her first film with Bogart, their relationship, threats from the director Hawks who had been supporting her but who opposed the Bogart relationship, Bogart's love letters, etc. They had an intense romance punctuated by Bacall making a middle of the night drive down highway 101- somewhat dramatically in the rain like a Bogart film -looking for a perhaps slightly drunk Bogart - who had phoned her in the middle of the night - and who was walking on foot with a large sunflower in his lapel - while her mother sat at home and was horrified that her daughter was going out with a three times married and 25 years older man.

The book seems to slow in tempo after Bogart's death and her affair with Sinatra - around pages 320 or so - and my only negative feeling about the book is the Sinatra section - about 20 pages long - where one is certain that she is skipping much detail. The last part of the book, the last 150 pages, leads us though her second marriage to Robarts - a mostly dismal and uninteresting period in her life - followed by the death of her mother, and then the rest of her career and awards, and her friends and family. In the last few pages she spills over with opinions about living in New york city, travelling outside the US with a US passport, and a number of other topics including her relationship and admiration of the late Katherine Hepburn.

After her second marriage failed, and her mother's death, and with "Mrs. Bogart" still being part of her core identity, Bacall was able to start a new life and made a comeback on her own in TV, movies, and live theatre. To her credit, the mature Lauren Bacall seems to have had great success in live theatre and on Broadway, and done it mostly on her own. She worked around the country in smaller theatres then in New York. She got a Tony for Applause and in a moment of poetic closure, Bette Davis, the star that Bacall had schemed to see in a hotel 30 years earlier (see above), came backstage and praised her for her performance in Applause, and told her that only she could do the part.

After her comeback she has appeared in a number of films and has reached a total of 50, but never again enjoying the same level of success and popularity as her early 4 Bogart films. But she continues to work into her seventies and is still sought for parts, especially mother roles, and came close to duplicating her old successes with a recent Oscar nomination late in her career. With her success she continues to live in New York overlooking west central park, her home town where she grew up and went to school.

All in all a great biography -5 stars.


1-0 out of 5 stars Same book, with brief epilogue
BY MYSELF--excellent, heartfelt autobiography.

UPDATE--reads something like this."The next one to die was Adios Hartley.We had enjoyed many wonderful luncheons together over the years and he was my escort to the Golden Globes in 1987.I will miss him terribly."

"Then the next one to die was Beau Bye.He was a delightful person that I got to know well on the set of Uptown Downtown.Such a raconteur!"

and on, and on, and on....

Reads almost like a Roll of the Dead Christmas Letter.

3-0 out of 5 stars I was disappointed
I har already read the first book by myself.This is a wonderful book.The rest is just not worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Loved It"
BY MYSELF AND THEN SOME by Lauren Bacall is anything but boring. What a woman!

I admire Ms. Bacall for many, many reasons, a few reasons...her savvy way of doing things...her spunk... and her own unique style.I, for one, am thrilled she chose to share some of herself with us (her many fans), in this fantastic book.

No-matter what her real age today, I think she is STILL beautiful both inside and out.

Ms. Bacall, you go girl!

(Recommended Reading!)

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved By Myself.Looking Forward to Reading This One
I have not actually read this follow-up book yet, but am looking forward to in the near future.I am currently re-reading By Myself.I read one of the reviews below, and felt I really have to answer it.Lauren Bacall is in no way ripping off or cheating her readers.Instead, what she has done is a marvelous thing.By Myself was first written 25 years ago.It is a wonderful book.Since then, a whole generation of people has grown up not knowing about this book.She has simply presented it again along with an update so those of us who weren't around the first time can enjoy it, and those of us who read the first book can enjoy it again along with a nice companion update.I just love and admire Lauren Bacall.She really is class all the way. ... Read more


62. No Mountain High Enough : Raising Lance, Raising Me
by LINDA ARMSTRONG KELLY, JONI RODGERS
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076791855X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 8374
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power Behind the Throne of Victory
Linda, a "natural blonde" with a bombshell attack on life, has put together this behind-the-scenes look at life with Lance Armstrong, a miracle kid who became one of America's favorite heroes.

Linda was a single mom who had Lance when she was still in her teens. Her reckless and desperate pursuit of happiness in marriage is part of her story. Women will empathize with her attempts to make relationships work out for the sake of the child she adored. Loneliness and insecurity make the smartest of us blind to the consequences as we plunge ahead into yet another bad partnership. Throughout, the kid kept her sane and was her anchor. Without him she undoubtedly would have made worse choices.

Once Lance began his youthful pursuit of victory in triathlon events, Linda became a fan who cheered him and a supporter who wrote the checks, no matter how pinched her finances. He started getting sponsorship and that helped. Then he was offered a full college scholarship for his swimming ability. He refused, saying he believed he could make it in the big-time world of sporting events. She went along, with her usual encouragement: stay focused, and I'll be there.

Linda found her personal self-esteem in the world of business. Beginning at the most humble level, shredding paper on weekends to make extra money in her first secretarial job, she moved up quickly to a series of administrative positions in which her vibrant personality came to the fore. She needed money to keep Lance on his bike, but in the meantime she was racing to her own victories as a successful corporate somebody.

Her father was a major influence. Having given up drinking as soon as he had a grandson, he protected Linda and Lance and made their way as smooth as he knew how. It was hard for Linda, however, not to repeat the patterns she'd observed as a little girl. Though she didn't get trapped in physically abusive relationships, she was a doormat --- first for a philanderer and then for another alcoholic. It wasn't until she was older and Lance was independent that she finally found a man who could care for her without his own unwholesome agenda playing out.

So that's where life finds Linda now. Lance, as the world knows, survived Stage 4 (the worst) cancer, including brain lesions. He won the Tour de France a whopping six times and has fathered a son. His mother says, "I still love to stand there and watch him fly."

This is a believable story of the power behind the throne of victory, because Lance Armstrong undoubtedly is made of tough stuff, and it had to have come from somewhere. Linda's story will inspire moms and perhaps help some other lonely mother to let some other kid go the extra mile.

--- Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott

5-0 out of 5 stars The real victory
I'm a Lance fan. So, when I read this book, it was only out of curiosity for Lance's career. But I found myself reading about an everyday victory, and one not rewarded with multi-million dollar advertising contracts or front-page stories.

Linda could have given away the baby. Linda could have received welfare and lived off the government. She didn't have to work hard to improve her career. She could have stayed in the projects or in bad marriages. Instead, her own determination lifted her and her child's life.

Sometimes I feel down because I'm struggling to save enough to buy a house, and I'm earning far more than she did and I don't have a child to raise. This is a wonderful, motivating book by a woman who never believed it when people told her it couldn't be done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer grit
The title (can you hear the Temptations singing "Ain't no mountain high enough"?) alerts us to uncommon grit and determination inside.I might add, ego --mom's, as well as Lance's.Not surprising, for mom lifted Lance out of his unpromising roots by sheer force of her ego and drive.Same can be said of Lance's string of Tour de France triumphs.He's the boy mama raised.

The chapters of the book dealing with Lance's cancer powerfully illustrate, in a different way, the grit and determination that bonded mother and son.Others might describe his dramatic comeback as "miraculous," but Lance doesn't.He goes out of his way to tell people he does not pray and his recovery was not the result of prayer.

Glancing at the book cover -a pretty blonde on Lance's shoulder- one may mistakenly think this is Lance and his wife.Reading the sub-title, "Raising Lance, Raising Me," clarifies this is not wife or girl friend but Lance's mother.Lance was named for Lance Rentzel, dysfunctional star of the Dallas Cowboys.The Armstrong name was provided by Linda's second husband, a travelling wiener salesman who wasn't home much.

Linda, Lance's mom, had an abusive father and HER mother had an abusive father.Linda, by strength of character, broke the family pattern of abuse.Her marriages, however, were as disastrous as her mother's and grandmother's.Linda is in her fourth marriage.Lance, having fathered three children, is divorced.

Other women in Lance's life are barely mentioned.The most painful part of the book is what's unsaid.When Lance marries, Linda is not involved in plans for the wedding.She no longer seems significantly involved in his life.

Lance was the accidental offspring of two teenagers in "the projects."That seventeen-year old Linda's baby got where he did is a remarkable and inspirational story.Lance's mom deserves all the credit she claims.She's a terrific lady.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read.
This book really changed my mindset on what it means to support the interests of my kids rather than just paying lip service. The most challenging portion was her thoughts on page 112 on how easy it can be to unintentionally communicate that their interests aren't important.

As an unexpected bonus, I also got a great pep talk on the attitude to have while diving into new areas at work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Now we know where Lance got his drive.
Nothing was going to keep Linda Armstrong Kelly and her son from getting their piece of the American Dream.

Knowing Lance's story is helpful, but not essential to enjoying Linda's telling of a life of poverty, less than wise choices and being mother to a live wire named Lance. (Who was supposed to be named Erica, should he have been a girl.)

With little more than a heart full of love for her child and a huge amount of determination, Linda carved out a life for the two of them . . . truly against all odds.Armed only with a GED and a real estate license, she rose from a temporary clerk to the rank of project manager for a major telecommunications company.She raised Lance to believe in himself and it seems she didn't try to squelch his infatuation with danger . . . and speed.Her determination to succeed was quickly transferred to Lance, who's natural athletic abilities were just what the doctor (and his mother) ordered/needed to keep his boundless energy channeled in a positive manner.

My favorite part of the story revolved around Lance's early competitions, when Linda was his only "pit crew" and it was, indeed, the two of them against the world.

While being open and honest about her own unfortunate choices, Linda shows herself to be fallible, too.However, instead of having a pity party, she seems to learn from her every mistake and to take each personal relationship failure and make something positive out of it.It's good to know she's found the love of her life and is happy at last.

Never flinching from responsibility.Instilling a good work ethic.Teaching the value of a dollar.Believing in the good in her child, despite some teen-age boy pranks to the contrary.

Maybe Linda Armstrong Kelly should start her own foundation and teach parents how to raise their kids to be STRONG, responsible, caring and giving adults.

Kudos to her . . . and that kid she raised to ride like the wind!

Enjoy! ... Read more


63. Sweet Life: Adventures on the Way to Paradise
by Barry Manilow
list price: $70.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0070399042
Catlog: Book (1987-11-01)
Publisher: Mcgraw-Hill
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Life is a MUST READ for every Manilow fan
Sweet Life is a MUST READ for every Manilow fan or anyone who has ever heard him sing. His life has truly been an adventure, from growing up dirt poor in Brooklyn to stadiums full of adoring fans and a mansion in Bel Air. He relates the story of his life in a very entertaining and charming way. It made me laugh out loud and, at times, tear up. After reading the book for the first time, I had a whole new respect for the man. Run, don't walk, to find a copy of this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Life: Adventures on the Way to Paradise Barry Manilow
I have been a fan of Mr. Manilow for 22 years and have always admired his music and his entertaining concerts. "Sweet Life" is a detailed autobiography which is written with great humor, describing how a shy and young boy from Brooklyn evoloved into one of America's greatest composers and entertainers. The writing style is informal, as if Mr. Manilow was sitting down in your family room, recalling the many stories and events in the book. The most cohesive factor in the book, is Mr. Manilow's enormous sense of humor. Even when he is relating a serious or sad event he is able to shroud the event in humor. Mr. Manilow had to overcome many obstacles to become the sucessful man he is today. And the vehicle that vaulted him over these obstacles was his infinite love for music. When I had finished the book, I felt, that I too, had become a member of the Manilow family, because of the detail he used to described each member of the family. I know more about the Manilow family than I do about my own family. "Sweet Life" is a very informative and entertaining book which can be read in one evening. (Actually you will not be able to put it down until you finish it.)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a pleasure!
Mr. Manilow is a great inspiration.
I loved this book.
It's sincere, funny, interesting and sad all at the same time.
Not only does this man write beautiful music, he sure knows how to write a book too!
If your a fan I would say it's a MUST read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Barry speaks his mind and i agree with him
in this book, which i finally NOW have, i was expecting to read a dark and gloomy rise to fame but there wasn't any. Manilow's fame came by accident and the pressures of the business and the reluctance to accept the fame, in the beginning, is a refreshing story. Barry talks about his early musical career in the '60s before being pushed into the spotlight by Clive Davis. all facets of Barry's career is talked about in here. there's a chapter called "Read 'Em and Weep", which was the title of his huge AC #1 hit in 1984. The story part of the book ends during the "Paradise Café" album in 1984 but the discography in the back includes his 1985 and 1986 material. the pictures contained in this book are rare...you see Barry with black hair, combed to the side, during his days with CBS prior to hooking up with Bette Middler. there's also a picture of Barry on a beach with no shirt on...there's another one where he has a small beard! if anything, this book helps paint the picture of Barry Manilow. It allows people who really never followed his career in-depth to know how the off-stage "barry" was always at odds with the on-stage "BARRY" throughout much of his biggest years. There's also chapters that talk about the commercial aspect of music and the heart-felt aspect of music and why Manilow's songs were poignant yet had a commercial "sound" to them. This is a complex story of a man living the life of a super-star. Being a writer, Barry was also stunned whenever a song he never co-wrote would become a hit for him. "I Write the Songs" wasn't written by Barry...but neither was a few other big songs like "Mandy", "Looks Like We Made It", or "Read 'Em and Weep"...Barry said that it took years before he could accept their success. Barry has changed a lot of his personal opinions since the mid '80s. Nowadays whenever he does a CD he's performing "outside songs", as he calls them, even more than his own material, which wouldn't have happened in his past. above all else, this book shows that "Barry Manilow" is a human and has feelings, too. no artist should ever have to go through what he went through; and all he ever wanted was to spread joy and happiness through his music and even today he's still causing happiness with his style of pop music.

1-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Life
I enjoyed reading every page of Barry's Sweet Life book and all the pictures inside the book, are very good.
Until I started reading Barry's book for the very first time, I never knew about his pot smoking days(Bad Barry!). :-O
Otherwise, it's a very interesting book to read! ... Read more


64. Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight : An African Childhood
by ALEXANDRA FULLER
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375758992
Catlog: Book (2003-03-11)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 1448
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller remembers her African childhood with candor and sensitivity. Though it is a diary of an unruly life in an often inhospitable place, it is suffused with Fuller’s endearing ability to find laughter, even when there is little to celebrate. Fuller’s debut is unsentimental and unflinching but always captivating. In wry and sometimes hilarious prose, she stares down disaster and looks back with rage and love at the life of an extraordinary family in an extraordinary time. ... Read more

Reviews (106)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, funny insight into post-colonial Africa
What makes this book worth reading -- aside from a captivating style and humorous content -- is precisely what separates it from other excellent books about similar subject matter (Godwin's Mukiwa, Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions): the fact that Fuller makes no attempt to analyze, excuse, or explain the racism and insanity of her family history. Rather than rationalizing her parents' racist attitudes, Fuller chooses instead to simply describe in her wry, matter-of-fact voice precisely how the end of the colonial era was experienced by people implicated in it. She does not try to gloss her childhood experiences with politically correct hindsight, and in so doing thrusts the reader into the desperation and the joy of rural African life in the last three decades. Bobo's mother is one of the most memorable and remarkable personalities I've encountered in African literature. The book is worth reading entirely for its hysterical concluding scenes. Fuller's characters are real and human, in all their extraordinary bizarreness!

Having spent many an hour, like Bobo Fuller, poking grass into ant-lion holes in the hot dusty veld, this moving story captivated me and painted a moving portrait of people fighting the cruelty of the African landscape. Myth and reality are intertwined in a witty and beautiful story. Everyone should read this book!

3-0 out of 5 stars A different perspective
It was interesting to read a book about life in Africa, from the perspective of a white woman brought up in a family who clung fiercely to the notion of white supremacy with every last bit of their strength. I disagree with a previous reviewer, however, who seemed to excuse the racism of the Fuller parents by implying that the historic and political situation they were in "made" them that way. Racism is racism, no matter what the circumstance.

Despite the attitudes of the Fuller parents, their daughter Bobo has documented a well-written account of their life in various African countries, and provides vivid details about the smells, sights, and emotions that the continent evokes for her. Her writing really gives the reader a sense of both the incredible harshness and danger(poisonous snakes, itchy vegetation, scary militaristic governments, etc) of Africa, but also its gentleness and great beauty.

Although I think Alexandra Fuller writes very well, and I appreciate her honest writing about her parents' behavior and attitudes, I couldn't warm to the family. Despite their numerous trajedies and troubles, I found it difficult to feel sympathetic. In contrast, when I read "The Flame Trees of Thika", another memoir of an African childhood by another white woman, Elspeth Huxley, I rooted for her colonial, turn-of-the-century, white-is-right parents, Robin and Tilly, through all their successes and setbacks. They held the same attitude of racial superiority as the Fullers, yet there is something intrinsically more likeable about how they handled themselves on a continent where they were the minority race, political upheaval or no. After reading Fuller's memoir, it was a relief to pick up "Nervous Conditions" by black female Zimbabwean Tsitsi Dangarembga, and read about three-dimensional black Africans. Her book is set in 1960s Rhodesia, for those interested (A. Fuller recommends it herself in the Afterword section of her memoir). Despite my personal reaction to this book, I recommend it to anyone interested in African writing, because I think that Alexandra Fuller's perspective is just as important and valid as that of any other African writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo
A wonderful insight into the mind of a child and a precise memoir of life itself. Life isn't straightforward and simple, yet we survive, thrive and love, even in the most difficult situations. Ms. Fuller: You said it all and you said it well.

1-0 out of 5 stars Just meanders . . .
I read this book for my book club. It just seemed to meander through her childhood, no real plot or climax. Yes, this girl definitely had a different type of childhood, but what makes it that interesting or significant?????

5-0 out of 5 stars A very different childhood
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller is an extraordinary memoir of growing up white in war ravaged Africa. Alexandra, called Bobo by her family, was born in 1969 in England. Her parents moved the family to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1972. Always suffering from "bad, bad luck", which included losing three children, the family moves from farm to farm within Rhodesia and Malawi.

Fuller's writing style is rich, lyrical and many times, funny. I could picture the land, feel the heat and smell the smoking fish that embodies the Africa she describes. I found myself laughing even as I was shaking my head in disbelief at some of the choices her parents made. Bobo's mother, Nicola Fuller, is racist, resilient, strong and mad as a hatter. In other words, she's the most memorable character in the book.

Of course, to Fuller all of this stress and strife was, while not exactly normal, expected. She was a child, after all, and it's all she'd ever known. As I was reading, I couldn't help but think that American kids really have no idea how hard their life could be.

Overall a captivating read. It left me reminiscing about my childhood and reflecting on how simple and uncomplicated (read boring) it was. ... Read more


65. The Spiral Staircase : My Climb Out of Darkness (Armstrong, Karen)
by KAREN ARMSTRONG
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385721277
Catlog: Book (2005-02-22)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 2175
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Karen Armstrong speaks to the troubling years following her decision to leave the life of a Roman Catholic nun and join the secular world in 1969. What makes this memoir especially fascinating is that Armstrong already wrote about this era once---only it was a disastrous book. It was too soon for her to understand how these dark, struggling years influenced her spiritual development, and she was too immature to protect herself from being be bullied by the publishing world. As a result, she agreed to portray herself only in as "positive and lively a light as possible"---a mandate that gave her permission to deny the truth of her pain and falsify her inner experience. The inspiration for this new approach comes from T. S. Eliot's Ash Wednesday, a series of six poems that speak to the process of spiritual recovery. Eliot metaphorically climbs a spiral staircase in these poems---turning again and again to what he does not want to see as he slowly makes progress toward the light. In revisiting her spiral climb out of her dark night of the soul, Armstrong gives readers a stunningly poignant account about the nature of spiritual growth. Upon leaving the convent, Armstrong grapples with the grief of her abandoned path and the uncertainty of her place in the world. On top of this angst, Armstrong spent years suffering from undiagnosed temporal lobe epilepsy, causing her to have frequent blackout lapses in memory and disturbing hallucinations---crippling symptoms that her psychiatrist adamantly attributed to Armstrong's denial of her femininity and sexuality. The details of this narrative may be specific to Armstrong's life, but the meanin! g she makes of her spiral ascent makes this a universally relevant story. All readers can glean inspiration from her insights into the nature of surrender and the possibilities of finding solace in the absence of hope. Armstrong shows us why spiritual wisdom is often a seasoned gift---no matter how much we strive for understanding, we can't force profound insights to occur simply because our publisher is waiting for them. With her elegant, humble and brave voice, she inspires readers to willingly turn our attention toward our false identities and vigilantly defended beliefs in order to better see the truth and vulnerability of our existence. Herein lies the staircase we can climb to enlightenment. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Reviews (50)

3-0 out of 5 stars Sprial Staircase
Suberb book!Should be REQUIRED reading for every person who is seeking a more spiritual life.

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit tedious
I really enjoyed the early chapters of this book.The author's experiences as a young nun and her subsequent disillusionment with convent life make for fascinating reading.The years of struggling with an at-the-time undiagnosed illness also is of interest.Apart from the above, however, her story is one ofquite an ordinary life - perhaps even more inhibited and uneventful than most. Her story bogs down in the descriptions of her academic life and her living situations. Yes, she struggled with her faith - but who hasn't? She spends a great deal of time discovering things about life that would seem fairly obvious to others.At times her story was rather slow-moving, self-absorbed and even tedious.Did it inspire me?Only a little.Would I go on to read any other of this author's books? I doubt it. I could barely finish this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning story of a spiritual quest
Karen Armstrong is one of the best general interest writers on religion today, and this wonderful autobiography relates how she got there. Armstrong was a Catholic nun in the 60's, during a time of great upheaval in the church. After a 7 year struggle to subdue her intelligent, inquisitive spirit, described in "Through the Narrow Gate," she left the convent, and the struggle really began. Armstrong describes herself as caught in between, in a sort of no-man's land, having lost the vision of God she pursued for so long, but ill at ease in the secular world. She also suffers from deep depression, loss of memory, and hallucinations, which years of psychiatric treatment fail to cure. It is a measure of her misery during this period that a diagnosis of epilepsy is a liberating turning point for her.

Armstrong's long and tortuous path towards a life as an author includes a failed doctoral thesis, being fired from a teaching job, and a failed TV project on the Crusades. But "Through the Narrow Gate" was a surprising success, and "The History of God" established her as a popular (meaning non-scholarly, but serious) writer on Christianity, Judiasm and Islam.

As honest as Armstrong's account of her struggle is, it's not all here. She dismisses her apparently limited experience with men in a terse paragraph, viewing any such involvement as a loss of freedom. And her view of Christianity is, perhaps understandably, quite negative, her view of Islam perhaps overly positive, as she downplays the fanatical, "jihad" aspects that have marred Islam in modern times.

Armstrong's story is an important one, spanning four turbulent decades in the history of modern religion. Read "Through the Narrow Gate" first, then "Staircase." They're well-worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Happy Discovery
I came across this title in a women's magazine book review section.Something about the synopsis intrigued me, and I bought a copy.I was so impressed by Ms Armstrong's writing style, use of language, and her compelling honesty in describing her experiences that I read the book in less than a week.She has a luminous clarity of mind that drew me into the nightmarish world of the convent and on to her self-searching quest for identity and scholarship.Hers is a story of survival and transcendence.I look forward to reading her books on Islam and Buddha, among others.She also has an essay in the April 2005 issue of Utne magazine, warning that "misbegotten U.S. foreign policy is pushing Islamic fundamentalists closer and closer to the use of weapons of mass destruction."She's a brilliant woman, a gifted writer, and I highly recommend this memoir.

5-0 out of 5 stars For more about temporal lobe epilepsy and religiosity...
This fascinating autobiography describes Karen Armstrong's diagnosis with temporal lobe epilepsy, a little-known but common brain disorder often associated with intense religious feelings and prodigious creativity. To learn more about this remarkable disorder and its appearance in the painter Vincent van Gogh and the writers Fyodor Dostoevsky and Lewis Carroll, go to Eve LaPlante's 1993 book, Seized, available in paperback. ... Read more


66. Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
by Charles Seife, Matt Zimet
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140296476
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 10850
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Charles Seife traces the origins and colorful history of the number zero from Aristotle to superstring theory by way of Pythagoras, the Kabbalists, and Einstein. Weaving together ancient dramas and state-of-the-art science, Zero is a concise tour of a universe of ideas bound up in the simple notion of nothingness. ... Read more

Reviews (82)

3-0 out of 5 stars A good summary
Despite the abstract nature of it's subject matter, this book is a surprisingly breezy and informative read about the history of zero and it's value in the mathematics (and scientific) revolutions of the 1600s and still today. It's part history, part math primer, and part practical guide, with the later chapters focussing on how the zero is used in physics and astronomy.

Seiff has an engaging style and he doesn't talk down or talk above the reader. Although Seiff obviously is an expert in difficult math, he doesn't overwhelm you with equations or get too abstract. Even sections on trig and calculus are written in everyday language that you can easily follow. The book does begin to trail off at Chapter 7-8, from here much of the book seems like filler. I preferred "The Nothing That Is" (also about the zero number) a little because I was more interested in the history and that book covers it more, but Seiff still does a fine job here with history of zero, and his book is probably more useful for students trying to know how to use the zero and it's concepts for their math classes, especially figuring out the limit and other calculations.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very engaging, interesting, and enlightening read
The title of this book is "Zero: the Biography of a Dangerous Idea." Certainly, what Charles Seife wrote does not disappoint: it IS a biography of zero. It starts from its conception in early history, and progresses to outline its development in history through the branches of mathematics, physics, art, and even philosophy. A previous reader was disappointed that the book took time to focus on physics and philosophy, but keep in mind that zero is not limited only to the mathematical realm. Indeed, it is pervasive in society, and it has affected the way we view the world. So to talk about zero yet disregard its important contributions to fields other than mathematics would be a travesty.

Seife's book is a very engaging and enlightening read. Seife looks at how zero has become: the foundation for calculus (taking limits to zero), a revolutionary idea in art (3d drawings have a point of infinity to give depth perception...and infinity and zero are just different sides of the same coin), an important concept of the numberline, and many other places. Indeed, I have read this book many times, sometimes for a quick browse and sometimes for an indepth read, and it has always been a pleasure to read.

Moreover, Seife is very knowledgeable in what he writes, and he brings a sense of humor as well--if you have ever read his article about the debate on cold fusion in 'Science' or 'Scientific American' (it was one or the other, its been a while since that article was published in the early 90s I believe) you'll see his sense of humor in his concluding paragraph (cold fusion or confusion anyone?).

And in response to another review earlier, the reader said that in the appendix there was a proof where a=1 and b=1, and from the equation a^2 - b^2 = a^2 - ab it can be found that 1=0 by factoring the difference of squares and dividing by (a-b). The reader commented that this is dividing by 0, that such an operation violates a fundamental law of algebra (cannot divide by zero), and that an editor should have caught it.

The point is that Seife is showing WHY you cannot divide by 0, that the result is 1=0 and that logic and mathematics would be invalid. He is showing why zero may be a 'dangerous idea'!

In conclusion, this book is superb in its writing and content. It lives up to what it was meant to do, to show the development of zero through history. It is clear, concise, and witty. You will not be disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Zero is fundamental
Entertaining book for students of philosophy, historians, and math neophytes, but Seife's simple-minded application of the principle of the conservation of energy to the quantum electrodynamic sea of spacetimemassenergy, i.e. the "zero point field," among other things, reveals him to be among the least imaginitive of physicists. His dismissive proposition that "nothing can come from nothing," overlooks the very simple fact that the QED sea of energy is hardly "nothing," otherwise there would be no such thing as Brownian motion or the Casimir Effect, not to mention the space, time, mass, and energy of our universe. Hal Puthoff claims that a cupful of this so called "vacuum energy" could boil away the oceans of our planet. (The most intriguing concept of "zero" is that promulageted by today's heretics such as Tom Bearden.) Presumably, however, Seife's math and philosophical history of zero is accurate. Before reading this book, this reader had known very little of it, and it was this part that he found quite enjoyable.

1-0 out of 5 stars Jumbled mess of ideas
This is a mildly interesting and entertaining book about history of zero that unfortunately tries to be too cute with its style and to pull in so many unrelated ideas, it loses focus as you turn the pages. When "Zero" stays on topic it's OK. Seife has a pretty good grounding in most of the history, and it was facsinating to read about how the number was used for such simple purpose for Babylonians but became so important for abstract number systems later.

Middle section of the book deals with zero in calculus, useful for any student toughing it out thru intro calc. But Seife gets too drawn in to all the goofy philosophical wanderings you can make about zero, he goes off on way too many tangents that don't make sense. Yes, you can't divide 1 by 0 and the number has a special role in most operations, but how do these properties threaten to bring down the whole framework of math (to paraphrase)? There's all kinds of talk about how zero and infinity are just two sides of the same coin-- why? The author tries to sound like a sage but doesn't make much sense with the claims on these pages.

Whole thing comes apart in the last couple of chapters on physics, cosmology, and applied math which are slim on facts and chock-full of flowery language about how important zero is but where the author really doesn't back his claims. In fact, as the book goes on it seems to make less sense, as though it doesn't quite know what it's supposed to be saying as it moves farther afield from history and calculus. Why are these later chapters even here? They don't add anything and detract from the book's overall value.

4-0 out of 5 stars Zero is not just a number, its a way of life
A very interesting book. The Author shows how mindsets, philosophies and cultures had to change to enable the Zero to be accepted. The West overlooked then resisted the idea of zero.
When the zero idea took hold and was finally accepted it affected everything from Aristoteloism, to commerce, to Art. Even the biblical creation stories took on a different light.
Art in the West during the Renaissance gained a major improvement
as the sense of perspective was developed. This vanishing point within a painting is the equivalnt of the introduction of Zero into the art world .
I would read other books by this author, interesting history, The book moves right along, I like the Author's style, plenty of background, but always stayed the coure. I believe an audio book
is probably not the correct format for this information. I would have liked to have seen the test portraying some of the
equtions. ... Read more


67. Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977
by Cardinal Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0898707021
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Ignatius Press
Sales Rank: 731576
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars An Overview of Ratzinger's Life -- Not His Thought
Joseph Ratzinger is one of the most significant Catholic theologians of the modern era. However, from his memoirs one wouldn't fully understand why. He writes lightly about his life in pre-war Germany and harrowingly of what he and his family endured during the war itself. As he traces his development as a priest and theologian we only receive tantalizing hints as to how and why his theological thought developed as it did.

It's a nice read, and a quick one, but one would do better to read the two volumes of interviews that Peter Seewald conducted with Ratzinger to get an understanding of his mind in a less formal setting than in his published theology.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant and Instructive Book
Cardinal Ratzinger's memoirs are brief and pleasant enough to read easily in one sitting. They are full of interesting biographical background that conjures a picture of family and professional life full of simple joys and of earnest intellectual pursuit of the truth. It is a refreshing and inspiring picture given the prevalence of cynicism and nihilism in our modern Western societies. His vignettes once again demonstrate that simplicity of life is the best route to lasting joy.

But in addition to the personal, we also have insight into the theological and cultural currents in the Church from the end of the Second World War into the late seventies. Especially interesting is Ratzinger's view of the Second Vatican Council from within and how destructive forces have exploited the Council in ways unimaginable to the Council Fathers. The other related facet is the frank portrayal of the ongoing conflict within the Church-- a conflict between those who accept the revelation of the living God given in both Scripture and Tradition always necessarily together (and never apart), and those who wish to remake the Church into an essentially agnostic society whose beliefs fluctuate with the latest academic fads. This book makes a perfect introduction to Cardinal Ratzinger's theological works.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ratzinger: A Gentle Glimpse
In "Milestones" Ratzinger, the Cardinal, allows us a little glimpse at the soul of Joseph, the man. Yes, there truly is a human individual behind the persona which catches the headlines; and not always in the most favorable of lights. This brief, interesting, easily read 150+ pages shows us a man who loves and is loved by a family with encounters, some normal and others not so due to the times in which lived. We are permitted to see a man, priest, scholar making decisions based sometimes upon very ordinary and personal considerations.

"Milestones" in a quite simple way ties together some great Catholic, theological thought represented by the individuals who walked across the stage of the Cardinal's life; Rahner, Kung, de Lubac, Congar, von Balthasar, Danielou, Bouyer, et alii. Individuals some of whom I have met only in their works were his contemporaries. I find it interesting that this present papacy reflects the theology of not only John Paul II himself but of that of the likes of de Lubac, Congar, von Balthasar, etc.; theological currents with an appreciation for Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Fathers of the Church. And in its midst is a man comfortably familiar with it all, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

The book includes a selection of illustrations which give it a very warm and inviting setting. We see the Cardinal not only in his official capacities but also in some very personal moments with family and friends.

"Milestones" is a simple but important introduction to a man who, one suspects, is far more than just Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. At its end it leaves one wanting more.

Without hesitation, I give "Milestones" a five star recommendation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Meet Cardinal Ratzinger
This book was wonderful to read and have a sense of the author's personal experience from childhood, living under the Nazi's and Communists, becoming a Priest, Bishop, and Cardinal. The focus is not so much theology but that comes into focus at various times as the author describes his involvement with pre-Vatican II events , the Council itself and the aftermath. It is very insightful for anyone wishing to have a overall picture of the process of the Vatican council and the theological processes that were there at war with each other. Great way to get a picture of the mind of Cardinal Ratzinger. ... Read more


68. From Mount Vernon to Crawford : A History of the Presidents and Their Retreats
by Kenneth T. Walsh
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401301215
Catlog: Book (2005-05-11)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 6042
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, a fascinating and unique look at our presidents' retreats, hideaways, and homes.

In Air Force One, Kenneth T. Walsh looked at presidential history from the unusual and illuminating vantage point of the presidents' planes. Now he focuses on the various retreats where our commanders-in-chief have gone to escape the hustle and bustle of Washington, chronicling the important decisions that were made and the historic events that have occurred at them. Moreover, he describes what these sites reveal about the characters of the presidents and the times in which they lived.

From George Washington (Mount Vernon) to George W. Bush (Crawford ranch), from FDR (Hyde Park) to JFK (Hyannisport), almost every single president has had a beloved place where he could really be himself. Based on Walsh's interviews with four of the living presidents, as well as scores of officials and staff, From Mount Vernon to Crawford is a fascinating glimpse into this largely unexamined facet of American government. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Presidents at Play
Walsh focuses on presidents at leisure, how their retreats from the White House reflect their presidencies.He doesn't treat all presidents, just the best-known early ones, then all from FDR on.The earlier benefit from the best recent scholarship, like Pinsker's of the Soldiers' Home cottage where Lincoln spent a quarter of his presidency.Where White House correspondent Walsh really shines, however, is with the modern presidents he or his contacts covered, especially from LBJ on: great detail!The special glimpse of Camp David is especially insightful.It's as close to an inside view as you can find.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great History Without Cynicism
One of the few great teachers I had in college made history come to life with timely anectodes. Ken Walsh provides rich and fascinating lessons about American presidents with great stories that are both fun to read and amazingly revealing about the men who have been our presidents.

He presents us with an easy read that is, thankfully, devoid of the cynicism that permeates today's journalism. And he does so without fawning over any of his subjects.

His treatment, for example, of Richard Nixon's western White House in San Clemente helps us understand the crazed complexity that was Nixon. Or the way he describes Gerald Ford's skiing vacations in Vail with photographers only interested in capturing the inevitable spills in the snow, shows the impossibility of being both presidennt and 'normal.'

Or his contrast between two contemporary presidents returning to their land -- Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush -- demonstrates ultimately the values of both men.

This is a book worth reading, worth sharing, worth giving to friends and family.

5-0 out of 5 stars As Interesting As It Gets...
Considering the amount of information this book about presidential retreats contains, I was amazed at how easy and exciting it was to read. The author keeps an interesting pace, but he packs every paragraph with new information about the places our Commanders-in-chief have frequented beyond the White House gate. From George Washington to George Bush, each chapter is a fascinating and in-depth account of our major president's hideaways and getaways. Every location reveals fascinating facts and insight into the inner workings of our leaders as human beings in their most authentic and vulnerable moments.

The history and development of Camp David is a chapter worth the price of this book in itself. This isolated location, so close to the U.S. seat of power, is the one place where every modern president has been able to unbend entirely. Perhaps ironically, it has also been the site for some of the most intense and successful international detante in modern history. It was after intense meetings at Camp David that George W. Bush made the fateful decision to "put boots on the ground" in Afghanistan. Yet each weekend the president and his family can read, swim or fish in privacy and comfort, away from D.C. and the media spotlight.

Mr. Walsh has produced an excellent, intelligent book - easy to read and digest. I learned some great things and could not recommend it more.

... Read more


69. Long Walk to Freedom : The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela Tag: The International Bestseller
by Nelson Mandela
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316548189
Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 3000
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The famously taciturn South African president reveals much of himself inLong Walk to Freedom. A good deal of this autobiography was written secretlywhile Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island by South Africa's apartheid regime. Among the book's interestingrevelations is Mandela's ambivalence toward his lifetime of devotion to public works. It cost him twomarriages and kept him distant from a family life he might otherwise have cherished.Long Walk to Freedom also discloses a strong and generous spirit that refused to be broken under the most trying circumstances--a spirit inwhich just about everybody can find something to admire. ... Read more

Reviews (89)

5-0 out of 5 stars This Man Is My Hero.
I read "Long Walk to Freedom" right after I graduated from college in 1996. This is the written life of one of the absolute greatest world leaders who ever lived. I had the pleasure to visiting Robben Island, where most of its tour guides were, like Mandela, political prisoners under apartheid. Words cannot describe what it felt like to actually stand inside of the jail cell that Mandela occuppied. What is even more incredible is that, looking back, the man was not the least bit bitter or angry about what he went through (and who could blame him if he were?); in fact, he invited his former jailers to his 1994 inauguration as South Africa's first black president.

If after reading this book you do not come away with a greater sense of admiration and respect for this outstanding human being, then you are not human.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good autobiography
Long Walk to Freedom is the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, one of the greatest leaders of South Africa. It gives a detailed account of his childhood, youth, and adulthood. It takes you through his years in college and his work as a lawyer as well as all of his political struggles with apartheid including his years in jail.
The book is extremely well written and gives the detail that only someone who witnessed the events could posses. Mandela's hindsight as he reviews the events of his life shows a more personal side to him. I liked the book but anyone who is considering reading it should be reminded that it is an autobiography so it does have a bias. He wrote the book as someone who had been wronged. Long Walk To Freedom provides an interesting and detailed account of the South Africans struggle with apartheid. It details Nelson's joining of the ANC (African National Congress) his rise in the ANC, and his creation of the MK. It also gives facts about his personal life and the life of his family. It is recommended to anyone who enjoys autobiographies or to anyone who is looking to learn more about the history of apartheid and South Africa.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is well worth of my shelf space.
You should read, at least, a book or two about biographies of such noble people as Nelson Mandela, whose lives have been a blessing to the world. This was a great inspirational book and helped me to realize how simple and small things in life could bring so much joy into one's life. Far too often, I personally take simple pleasures of life for granted. The freedom is not free and the book cites how the freedom is brought at the expense of sacrifices of our fathers. The book is very well written and what impresses me is Nelson Mandela's mastery of English language.

4-0 out of 5 stars LOOOOONG Book
This book kept me in prison for a long time. It really bogs down in the middle and then hurries to wrap up. It's a much more "satifying" read in the first 1/3 of the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars THE DETERMINATION OF ONE MAN- A MUST READ!
After reading LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, I came away with a sense of awe for a man who spent 27 years in prison but never gave up the hope for his freedom and the freedom of his country.

Communicating was key to keeping the "freedom fighters" on the outside informed and encouraged. One way this was done was to write in tiny, coded script on toilet paper. The paper was so small and easily hidden that this became a popular way of smuggling out messages. When the authorities discovered a number of these communications, they took the extraordinary measure of rationing toilet paper. After awhile, only eight squares of toilet paper were given to each prisoner each day.

To live under such conditions where you can be so isolated from the world (For 27 years), that you contemplate conversing with a cockroach, is a test of the human spirit. To sacrifice the obligations of family so that a nation of people can breath in freedom is nothing short of courageous with a fiercely determined spirit. Here is what Nelson Mandela writes about in his struggle for family and nation:

I did not in the beginning choose to place my people above my family, but in attempting to serve my people, I found I was prevented from fulfilling my obligations as a son, a brother, a father, and a husband.

In that way, my commitment to my people, to the millions of South Africans I would never know or meet, was at the expense of the people I knew best and loved most. It was as simple and yet as incomprehensible as the moment a small child asks her father, "Why can you not be with us?" And the father must utter the terrible words: "There are other children like you, a great many of them....." and then one's voice trails off.

Nelson Mandela is a man that has a spirit and determination that is above and beyond most people or leaders today. READ THE BOOK!! It will open your eyes and in the end, it'll make you feel good about the human spirit. ... Read more


70. Special Agent : My Life On the Front Lines As Woman in the FBI
by Candice DeLong
list price: $23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786867078
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 117458
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Readers may well find themselves looking nervously over their shoulders after finishing this memoir by Candice DeLong, who met a lot of Hannibal Lecter's soul mates during her 20 years as an FBI agent. An early practitioner of profiling, the analysis of crime data for what it reveals about the perpetrator, DeLong handled such ugly cases that she and her partner at one point were known as "the Gruesome Twosome." Her arrests included child molesters, rapists, and serial killers; among the book's useful features are her tips on what to do if you or your child is attacked. (Yell "Fire!" rather than "Help!" she advises; it attracts more attention.) Not that human nature's darker side was a surprise to DeLong, who came to the FBI from a job as head nurse in a maximum security psychiatric ward, where a violent paranoid schizophrenic crooned at her, "You better pray I never get out of these [restraints]. I could cut your head off. Or do you want me to tear your heart out?" The frank, conversational text ably captures the forceful personality of a female pioneer. The bureau had only been accepting women for eight years when DeLong joined in 1980, and her training at Quantico included brutal harassment by instructors determined to "wash out" any female applicant. Yet she had the toughness to survive and the good sense to know when to ignore her male colleagues' barbed jokes and when to kid them right back. Ultimately, she made friends and got ahead. As well as chronicling a stream of fascinating (and often deeply disturbing) high-profile cases such as the Unabomber, DeLong's narrative portrays a changing FBI, now valuing the special perspective contributed by female and African American agents it once scorned. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Led Three Lives
This is the most inspiring book I have read about a woman's career since I became familiar with Ms. Jane Goodall's books about her pioneering work in Africa with chimpanzees.

Many people will see Ms. Candice ("don't call me Candy") De Long as a real-life Clarice Starling (the FBI agent in Hannibal). I think she is more impressive than that. This fascinating book recounts her three lives as a psychiatric nurse who worked with violent patients and did home health care for poor people, an FBI special agent (specializing in profiling of repeated, sexually violent offenders) from 1980 through 2000, and as a divorced mother raising a son alone. Each side of her life is equally impressive, and she is the kind of person we all should admire. She has always done her duty, and we are all the better for that. While many pioneering women in "men's" professions often were given "token" roles, Ms. De Long wanted and went to where the action was. During her career, she rescued a child from a pedophile abductor, captured a terrorist who had murdered three men, and caught a Class A fugitive. She was also present and part of many famous investigations. Her memoir will give you a much better idea about crime and how the FBI and DEA combat it. The book also contains many lessons for how women and children can avoid becoming crime victims.

When J. Edgar Hoover died in 1972, there were no women field agents. By 1980, around 4 percent of the agents were women. At her retirement in 2000, this had risen to 15 percent. Ms. De Long sacrificed a lot to become an agent. She had to leave her young son for 16 weeks for the initial training. She missed a lot of evenings and weekends with him to do surveillance. The training included a lot of harrassment (female and general). For example, she was made to fire a shotgun so often in one day that she developed a permanent injury that kept her from being able to use that shoulder for firing a shotgun again. Another time, she had to box a large man who knocked her out cold. Her starting salary was half what she had made as a nurse. She could accept that. "I wanted to lead a heroic life." She certainly did succeed in that objective. She took the men on at their own game, and was proud of being called one of the "b_____s with badges." Her signature was the fedora she always wore at the Bureau.

Some of the famous cases she worked on included the Tylenol tampering, being part of the surveillance team on the Unabomber leading up to the arrest of Ted Kaczynski, and the brothel closings in Chicago.

She correctly says relatively little about her personal life. But some of the anecdotes will keep you laughing for days. When she was asked to be a hot dog mother in her son's third grade class, the children noticed that she was packing. She got a lot more respect after that, and was invited back to talk about her work. Another time, she accidentally noticed a surveillance suspect while driving around and tailed her. The team had lost the suspect. Only well into the chase did she realize that her son was in the back seat. She kept him safe while her eye was peeled on the suspect.

The profiling work will intrigue you. You will learn about all of the different kinds of creeps who victimize women and children. It was amazing how well the profiles predicted who the guilty party was. Using the profiles allowed the FBI and local police to find the suspects much faster than would otherwise have occurred. Since these are repeat offenders, lives were saved and injuries were avoided as a result. Part of the worst of this was that many times the women could have been saved if someone had called the police. "If you are ever assaulted, never count on help."

The stories of the harrassment she endured from insecure males in the FBI will amaze you. She indicates that conditions improved over time. One of the most ridiculous examples was when she was sent to the home of an informant to babysit his child while the bust went down. She put up with this only because the safety of an innocent child was involved.

I was even more impressed by her work as a psychiatric nurse. Shooting tranquilizers into writhing, distrubed patients being held down by 7 orderlies was probably more dangerous than any of the arrests she did for the FBI. There she had a gun and usually lots of backup.

Her courage was most impressive. When she arrested the terrorist, she kept waiting for her partner to put the cuffs on while she had the drop on the suspect. Eventually, she looked around and realized that her partner was sheepishly waiting in the car calling for back-up. In her haste to make the bust, she didn't take time to put on her bullet-proof vest. Fortunately, the error did not lead to harm, but she took a grave risk in the process. She was astonished to find that the terrorist was more frightened of her than she was of him.

Money problems eventually caused to need to moonlight as a nurse. The moonlighting stories are very entertaining. At first, she kept bumping into agents while she was working the wards. To avoid this, she started doing home nursing in the poorest neighborhoods. This dual career eventually led to her needing to retire in the middle of administrative hearings about whether she was being unprofessional in her moonlighting. Someone should have cut her more slack.

I was impressed by her courage, her idealism, her persistence, and her commitment to doing the right thing. I hope that all young women (and their parents) who are thinking about taking on a dangerous career will read this book. You will be very inspired.

My hat's off to you, Ms. De Long! You're way more than a five star person.

Ms. De Long and Ms. Petrini have done a fine job of writing about this fascinating life, and you will enjoy what they have to say.

After you finish reading this book, I suggest that you rethink your ideas about what women and men can and cannot do. This book once again proves that anyone can do anything, if they want to badly enough.

Live up to your potential to serve others!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Woman in the FBI
From 1980-2000, Candace DeLong was a highly respected agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Now retired from the agency, DeLong no longer has to abide by confidentiality rules. Teamed up with Elisa Pedrini, DeLong chronicles her career as a woman in the FBI.

Candace joined the agency at a time when few women were considered for the job. Sexism and harassment were the accepted norm back then. Like many women in male-dominated occupations, DeLong had to work twice as hard as male rookies to earn the respect of her superiors.

In "Special Agent," DeLong describes many of the cases on which she worked including the Tylenol tampering case of Chicago. She was also on the front-line as profiling became a valid tool in crime solving. In fact, one editorial quote on Amazon compares her to Thomas Harris' popular character, Clarice Starling.

DeLong doesn't discuss much of her private life, yet she is very candid about her work experiences, both praising and criticizing those within the Bureau. I figured there would be a lot of camaraderie, but I was also surprised to read how petty and competitive the agents can be as well.

My favorite portion of "Special Agent" discusses DeLong's involvement in the Unabomber case. She was part of the surveillance team in Montana and was responsible for detaining Ted Kaczynski while other agents searched his shack. The dialogue and interaction between the two described here is completely fascinating.

The details and pacing of the book held my attention the entire time. The subject matter may be tough for some. However, these are true stories within the FBI, and can't be sugarcoated.

"Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI" is an interesting book. Readers will be fascinated by the lenient glance into the files of the FBI. DeLong is an incredibly brave woman and her story is worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Candice gives as good as she gets!
What an excellent read! The characters and relationships are very intriguing-the author's world is filled with both obvious and subtle villains, as well as obvious and subtle heroes. Candice herself is fun, likeable and strong enough to give as good as she gets. Though she is being constantly second-guessed, undermined and underestimated, she ends up turning her "weakness" into advantage time and again. The author sets up the rivalry between the FBI and the DEA and her unique role walking between the two. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible profile of dedication and compassion
Candice Delong tells it like it is. This book held me riveted and page turning. I could not put it down. Ms. Delong exemplifies a woman who is dedicated to justice and the right thing to do. At great personal expense Delong did her job. However, as a mother, she had her priorities clearly defined. Delong's son was her greatest priority. The part about the Unibomber wearing her son's coat touched me deeply. This lady is indeed a national hero. In all the turmoil that America is involved in, it is wonderful to read about a woman who has made a difference in so many lives. Courage, integrity, and ethics all apply to this amazing woman.

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC !!
Very well written. It gave me chills and I actually got out of bed to double check the locks on the doors and windows (twice) during one chapter! What an amazing life Candice Delong has lead. Any girl or woman interested in a career in law enforcement must read this! ... Read more


71. Thinking In Pictures : and Other Reports from My Life with Autism
by Temple Grandin
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679772898
Catlog: Book (1996-10-29)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 2745
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Oliver Sacks calls Temple Grandin's firstbook--and the first picture of autism from the inside--"quite extraordinary, unprecedented and, in a way, unthinkable."Sacks told part of her story in his An Anthropologist on Mars, and inThinking in Pictures Grandin returns to tell her life history with great depth, insight, and feeling. Grandin told Sacks, "I don't want my thoughts to die with me. I want to have done something ... I want to know that my life has meaning ... I'm talking about things at the very core of my existence." Grandin's clear exposition of what it is like to "think in pictures" is immensely mind-broadening and basically destroys a whole school of philosophy (the one that declares language necessary for thought). Grandin, who feels she can "see through a cow's eyes," is an influential designer of slaughterhouses and livestock restraint systems. She has great insight into human-animal relations. It would be mere justice if Thinking in Pictures transforms the study of religious feeling, too. ... Read more

Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars The life and times of Temple Graindin
... The book Thinking in Pictures involves the evaluation, from the first person perspective, of a life with autism, and delves into the complicated world of an autistic person. The book provides a clear explanation of almost all the problems that plaque a person with autism, and additionally shows the way an autistic person's mind works and
the way the world affects their thinking. The book conveys information primarily through the view of author Temple Graindin, but also makes references and comparisons to animal science and, thus provides an almost parallel theme to the
book.
While parts of the book do diverge from the subject, the book provides an excellent summary of the life of an autistic in a non autistic world. Because the book is written from the first person, there is a personal touch to the book that draws the reader in and helps them to better experience Temple's world. The comparisons to animals also prove to be effective as they further emphasize how different an autistic person's
mind works as compared to our's. It, then as a result, further shows how an autistic person's world is completely different, yet the same to our own. The book at times, however, sometimes goes too in-depth with the descriptions of animal science and
sometimes reads like a cattle-dairy science textbook. Much of the book also deviates from the main topic of autism into her own philosophies of life. Finally, much of the information about the drugs is very tedious, and while it does provide much useful information, does not contribute much to the overall theme of the book. On the whole, the book is very interesting and helps to show the pictures of the autistic world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well-Written View Of Autism From A Real Insider
Temple Grandin accomplished many things with this book. Technically, it is a very well-written book, with good flow, an extensive display of vocabulary (without sounding pretentious), a logical structure, and only a small amount of repetition (which is an accomplishment for an autistic person).

"Thinking in Pictures" explains autism from the inside-out. Oliver Sacks, in "An Anthropologist on Mars" gave an excellent description of autism (and Temple Grandin) from the outside, but this book gives the inside view from the very same subject. After reading the DSM-IV and many textbooks, I was still having trouble fully grasping what autism was. After reading Sacks' books, I was much clearer on the subject. "Thinking in Pictures" went three steps further in helping me to understand the various forms of autism. I also have a much greater understanding of what sensory integration treatment is all about, even though I had listened to two in-services on sensory integration by sensory integration therapists before reading this book.

I also learned much about the cattle and beef industry in this country, which was surprisingly interesting. I'm glad that there are people like Dr. Grandin in that business working to make it as humane as possible.

Temple Grandin is in an unusual situation and was able to give a perspective on what it means to be a "normal" human being that few people could give. Being a very bright but autistic person, she is almost the "flip-side" of "an anthropologist on Mars": it is as if she were a Martian anthropologist visiting Earth and trying to understand humanity. Her thinking, feeling, and sensory processes are so different from the average person, that she can almost view humanity from the outside.

"Thinking in Pictures" teaches the reader much about autism, the cattle industry, and humanity. What might surprise many people is that, with all that teaching going on, this book is also thoroughly enjoyable. I hope that I can someday meet Dr. Grandin, as I am sure it would be an interesting, unique, and memorable experience.

Christian McCallister, Ph.D., L.P., Clinical Psychologist

5-0 out of 5 stars Thinking in Pictures
I have no connection with autism. This book was recommended to me because I cannot think in pictures; my mind works with ideas and words. Temple Grandin has written a book about a way of thinking that is so alien to me she might as well be from a different planet. Absolutely amazing. I did not know that the world could be seen from this perspective. This book has changed the way I try to see the world. No TV program or lecture will cause you to shake your head in bewilderment like this book.

Temple Grandin is the Helen Keller of the 21st Century. Only her words can describe the world she lives in. Or maybe pictures.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer for understanding autism
I borrowed this book from a parent of an autistic child when I began working with autistic students in the public school system. It was invaluable to my understanding autism. Ms. Grandin gives an inside look at autism and not only outlines the challenges, but also gives possible benefits. If you are a parent of an autistic child, work in the public school system, or merely wish to understand autism better; I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great insights into the autistic mind
In some passages, Ms. Grandin reflects on her humanity, her mortality and directly addresses her difficulties. I cannot wait to read her other books. Just wonderful. ... Read more


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

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

Reviews (436)

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

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

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

Julie Francolino

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


73. The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky
by Farah Ahmedi, Tamim Ansary
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416906703
Catlog: Book (2005-04-22)
Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment
Sales Rank: 7105
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When ABC News's Good Morning America asked its viewers to write essays describing true-life experiences about romance, adventure, loss, and overcoming tremendous odds, the network never imagined receiving more than twenty thousand pages of inspiring, heartbreaking, and hopeful stories. But that's exactly what happened. After a panel of bestselling authors and editors chose three finalists, America was given the opportunity to vote on which aspiring author would have his or her story published.

The Story of My Life is the result of the most ambitious and all-inclusive search ever conducted to discover and publish an extraordinary life story.

"'The Story of My Life,' [is] in a certain sense, the world's most literate reality show." -- The Los Angeles Times ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A inspirational story for all ages.
Ms. Ahmedi is a very strong young lady, and she will be part of the new face of Islam as the century moves forward. Having read the story of her life and her experiences, it seems obvious she has overcome obstacles far in excess of her years, and learned a restraint and serenity in dealing with others, that many people never attain in their life, much less by age 12. Her autobiography is also revealing of the the relative isolation of women in central Asian society in general, even among more "enlightened" families like hers. Most revealing was her yearning for a new life in Germany once she experienced the lack of conflict during her time in treatment there.

There are a lot of cultural gems buried within her story, and her experiences should provide hints as to the differences in perception that Afghanis of all ethnicities will have compared to how a westerner would perceive things in general. It isn't a complete catalouge of course, but it is highly informative nonetheless.

As to the previous reviewer's statements about Ms. Ahmedi being taken advantage of in regards to book royalties. It is a simple matter to write to Simon & Schuster's public relations office, and ask if the claim is true and if so, express public condemnation. I am more than sure many news outlets would love to publicly embarass a major corporation for taking advantage of a former refugee new to the US and unaware of their rights.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Gift of Hope and Faith
I randomly picked this book up because I do not travel and love to read stories from other lands and different cultures.I took this book to work with me to read on break time.I did not put it down for two days until I was done.I thank Farah from the bottom of my heart for sharing her story with me.This story touched me on so many levels:the obvious, of course, is we Americans have no idea how lucky and blessed we are.But this book hit me on a very personal level.Farah still suffers from things that would have driven many into despair and a loss of belief in God, and yet her faith and drive to get to America, against all odds, moved me more than all the classics I have ever read.I am being treated for post traumatic stress disorder and Ms Farah Ahmedi has given me more strenth and has restored my faith in God more than therapy or other religious avenues.Allah has a great purpose for Ms Ahmedi, for her story shows us that there is good in the world and there are no excuses for any of us not to do our best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Could Not Put It Down

A generous read, one that is hard to put down. sad, honest,reflective and inspirational. The author does a superb job of telling us about her difficult life-with power and grace.

Also recommended: Nightmares Echo, fat Girl, A Child Called It, Living Lolita In Tehran

5-0 out of 5 stars Land Mines, Children, and the Horror of War
This book's moving first person story helps us to see the horror behind the reality of land mines and why we should care so deeply about doing something about clearing them and stopping their use.It gives a face to war, and a young person's innocent yet brave perspective.I think those who read it will laugh and cry and gain a wider perspective of the world and the people in it who are really all so similar to ourselves in their hopes for a peaceful and productive life. You might also try reading the co-writer, Tamim Ansary's own memoir, West of Kabul East of New York to learn even more about Afghanistan and our relationship to that part of the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Putting a face on history
A great idea and book. Ms Ahmedi's story gives a face to the events and history which are shaping all of our lives. ... Read more


74. Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal
by Rachel Naomi Remen
list price: $12.50
our price: $9.38
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573226106
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 3399
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Enthusiastically praised by everyone from Bernie Siegel to Daniel Goleman to Larry Dossey, Rachel Remen has a unique perspective on healing rooted in her background as a physician, a professor of medicine, a therapist, and a long-term survivor of chronic illness. A deeply moving and down-to-earth collection of true stories, this prominent physician shows us life in all its power and mystery and reminds us that the things we cannot measure may be the things that ultimately sustain and enrich our lives. Kitchen Table Wisdom addresses spiritual issues-suffering, meaning, love, faith, courage, and miracles-in the language and authority of our own life experience.

Foreword by Dean Ornish, M.D.

"This is a beautiful book about life, the only true teacher."-Bernie Siegel, M.D.

"Rachel Naomi Remen is nature's gift to us, a genius of that elusive and crucial capacity, the human heart. She has much to teach us about healing, loving, and living."-Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., author of Emotional Intelligence

"A great healer and a living saint."-Larry Dossey, M.D.

"Heartfelt...compassionate and courageous."-Publishers Weekly

"I recommend this book highly to everyone."-Deepak Chopra, M.D.
... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Remen is a Blessing
Several friends had told me about Kitchen Table Wisdom over the years, and I just put off purchasing it. Then while recovering in the hospital from surgery, the chaplin suggested I read it. I read it during my recovery and have not stopped reading it since. There are so many lessons in the book, and Dr. Remen's selection of stories and writing style present an education on how to be human and to develop a deeper understanding of the humanity each one of us posseses. I look at my life, and those around me in a different way since I read the book. Dr. Remen has taught me that we all have the capacity to make our life a blessing and she is truly a blessing to all that read her words.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
I like to read mostly just before bed, so for this nightowl I am usually reading pretty late after midnight. Sometimes I find a book I just can't put down, I like those kind. Since it is the beginning of a new year according to western calendar anyway, I find the book by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. Kitchen Table Wisdom - Stories that Heal very appropriate for this time of year. I must say the title was the hooker but as I get more into the book, I see it is really much, much deeper than any talk that has ever gone on around my kitchen table. The chapters are rather short & sweet with stories of humanity & love, growing experiences, healing & yes even death experiences all of which end in a message for the reader to ponder on. I don't mind writing in books I buy, you know good spots where I want to come back to later or that I want to remember, & this book is turning out to be filled with those pencil marks! When the author herself makes a personal discovery regarding her life & her soulful purpose, she states "Although I could be analytical & pragmatic, by nature I was an intuitive, even a mystic. I was my grandfather's granddaughter, I had remembered & I was going home. .." It was at this point the author moved from her traditional medical career, into the mind/body health field & we are grateful for her inspiration.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes these stories can actually heal
When I'm feeling really bad about my chronic illness or other things in my life, the stories in this book help me keep going. Dr. Remen is a wonderful story teller and an amazingly creative healer. She uses guided imagery in skillful and loving ways to help clients and readers see the meaning and strengths in their lives.

I admit to bias. Rachel Remen wrote the blurb for the back of my book, The Art of Getting Well: Maximizing Health When You Have a Chronic Illness. But I was a fan of hers before and since, too. Her other books are also excellent.

David Spero RN www.davidsperoRN.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Stories that Heal
This beautiful, touching and life- altering book is without doubt one of the best books I've read. Dr.Remen captured my mind, heart and soul from the very first page. The stories she tells about herself, her patients, her family and friends are told with amazing honesty, beauty and grace. This book is about Life with all its different facets, phases and seasons. As a physician, reading this book has made a lot of impact on how I view my role and how I communicate with my patients. I now think of myself not as a "doctor" but as a healer, and know that there is much more to my work than diagnosing diseases and prescribing medicines. I read this book many times, and every time I laugh and I cry and I am inspired and touched. This book is truly one of a kind; it is worth a million stars!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Life affirming
I first read this book when it was given to me as a gift and again more recently as I went through a difficult time in my life. Both times I was struck by the true stories, beautifuly and simply related, that demonstrate over and over our own capacity to improve our lives and the lives of those around us. Dr. Remen's medical credentials combined with her own history as a patient give her a deep understanding of healing and disease from both sides. I would recommend this book especially to anyone who is suffering from a physical or emotional illness. But even more so, I recommend it to the doctors out there who realize that your patients are more than just a compilation of symptoms and who are looking for a better way to relate to them. ... Read more


75. "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character
by Richard P. Feynman, Edward Hutchings, Ralph Leighton
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393316041
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 1502
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A series of anecdotes shouldn't by rights add up to anautobiography, but that's just one of the many pieces of receivedwisdom that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman (1918-88)cheerfully ignores in his engagingly eccentric book, a bestsellerever since its initial publication in 1985. Fiercely independent (readthe chapter entitled "Judging Books by Their Covers"), intolerant ofstupidity even when it comes packaged as high intellectualism (checkout "Is Electricity Fire?"), unafraid to offend (see "You JustAsk Them?"), Feynman informs by entertaining. It's possible toenjoy Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman simply as a bunch ofhilarious yarns with the smart-alecky author as know-it-all hero. Atsome point, however, attentive readers realize that underneath all themerriment simmers a running commentary on what constitutes authenticknowledge: learning by understanding, not by rote; refusal to give upon seemingly insoluble problems; and total disrespect for fancy ideasthat have no grounding in the real world. Feynman himself had allthese qualities in spades, and they come through with vigor and vervein his no-bull prose. No wonder his students--and readers around theworld--adored him. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Reviews (156)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Good To Be Feynman!
"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" is a very interesting book. The many amusing and captivating stories in this autobiography keep you wanting to read more. I personally had a hard time putting this book down every night. Even though I started reading this for a physics project it turned out to be a very entertaining assignment due to the many diverse topics discussed in the book. The subjects discussed range from physics to biology and even touching on hypnosis in one chapter. The book starts out by telling how he acted growing up and then went on to tell about his college life and eventually went all the way to his adult life. This book is a humorous look at the world of science through the eyes of one of the greatest physicists of all time, Richard P. Feynman. It is a must read for anyone interested in any science related field.

3-0 out of 5 stars In his own words
Although I'd heard of Feynman for years now--people I know were excited by the Feynman Lectures volumes--I didn't really know who he was. Oh, I could probably have given you the fact that he was a physicist, and maybe that he had won the Nobel prize, and just recently Jill told me about a Feynman anecdote that she had read by Stephen Jay Gould. After Surely You're Joking, I know much more about Feynman, and why he interests people. As far from the stereotype of the scientist that you can get, yet still having some geeky characteristics that he wasn't afraid to admit to, Surely You're Joking is a portrait of the man in his own words. In fact, the best way to approach this book is as if you had stumbled on to it in a dimly-lit bar, sat down next to it, exchanging turns buying drinks and talking about each other. Just like a conversation, some things are funny, some things don't make sense, and--as a one-sided conversation--they all revolve around a singe subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just plain hilarious!
I can't see why so many idiots give Feynman's books bad reviews and say "the guy is OVERRATED man!" These people are probably just jealous because Feynman was UNDOUBTEDLY the coolest smart-person who ever lived. Moreover, this is the book which provides conclusive proof of that fact. Anyone who says Feynman was overrated is blatantly wrong -- In fact, I have been interning at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, where I met a man named Don Thompson who actually met Feynman when he did his post-doctoral work at Caltech. As Don says, "Feynman was just as funny, brilliant, and vibrant as all the books and accounts say he was." So, buy this book, and don't believe all the idiots who give it bad reviews.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It really gave dimension to a man I've heard so many stories about from my father in law. My husband got a kick out of seeing me read the book too. He had read it a few years ago and after I would finish a chapter he'd want to chit-chat about what I had just read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest autobiography ever!
The book is just great. It has a great humorous and adventurous side and shows the reader what an interesting character Richard Feynman was, totally different from the awkward sterotype by which people relate to scientists. Feynman is very candid and speaks his mind, and the book is a very colorful account of his adventures and experiments with different circumstances. I'll recommend the book to everyone, not just those who are interested in science. The book really shows how much a person can do in one life. Even if one bit of Feynman's personality rubs off on you, this book would be twice worth itself.

Comparing this book to 'A beautiful mind' about John F. Nash, I can see a big difference in the fact that I didn't keep this book down for even a second, while 'a beautiful mind' (a boring description of the boring life of a generally boring person) is lying somewhere gathering dust ever since I read the first chapter. ... Read more


76. Silent Bob Speaks : The Collected Writings of Kevin Smith
by Kevin Smith
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401359736
Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 8437
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the award-winning screenwriter and director -- a collection of irreverent and hilarious rants on the absurdity of just about everything.

In 1994, Kevin Smith debuted his low-budget film Clerks at the Sundance Film Festival. It became an instant cult classic and made Smith the top dog of the indie film world. Next he was an executive producer of the smash hit Good Will Hunting and quickly earned the title "King of Gen X Cinema" from Time magazine. He appeared on Charlie Rose, Politically Incorrect, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and currently holds a regular spot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno hosting a segment entitled "Roadside Attractions." Fans of his films will instantly recognize Smith as Silent Bob -- the character with no lines. And last year Smith began writing a hilarious monthly column covering popular culture for Arena magazine.

In this side-splitting rant-fest, Kevin Smith waxes rhapsodic and obnoxious on everything from his platonic infatuation with Ben Affleck to his bloodcurdling hatred of Britney Spears, from his shocking diagnosis with morbid obesity to the fatal flaws of SpiderMan -- all done in his inimitable, raunchy style.

Silent Bob Speaks interweaves the best of the Arena columns with a new introduction by the author to produce Smith’s first collection of bawdy, over-the-top essays, guaranteed to make his legions of fans choke on their Cheerios. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, worth picking up.
Kevin is the type of guy you'd love to hang with. Intelligent, witty, has a wonderful way with the english language, colorful phrasing and all.

If you're not really into Kevin, his films, or the whole View Askew thing this isn't really the best place to start. This is however a nice collection containing previously published material from magazines and the web. Perfect for me since I'm not a magazine person and don't really read the web stuff regularly.

I am however a total "movie snob" and appreciate the anecdotes, opinions, truths and obvious biased views spewed into the ether by this dude. It is very interesting for example reading some of these essays years after movies being discussed have been released (and in some cases tanking at the box office). His interview with Cruise was a pleasure to read and made me want to take a second look at some of the projects T.C. has done recently, while he openly gushes (and of course is hard for) Affleck. Again, this ends up being a very revealing read especially after the Bennifer debacle.

While I will always disagree with Kevin about the Star Wars prequels (dude, they're self indulgent pieces of poopie), Rats was the bomb yo!

Pick up the book, 4 out of 5 from the Canadian judge!

4-0 out of 5 stars Like his movies, mostly hits and few bad jokes...
This not a serious book and Smith himself makes no bones about that.It is filled with the same kind lol jokes that his films are--some dumb--but mostly hilarious.The pieces cover much of his career the last 8 years or so.They are from various sources.With the except of his piece defending Star Wars and his final piece on ComicCon, the book is a great look at Smith.I happen to be big fan of all of his work (even liked Jersey Girl) and the man himself.He is humble, self-effacing, and just damned happy to be where he is.His take on Cruise and Affleck is rare in this media age--he loves these guys and tells us why.He is still a fan.He is also a husband and a father--some of the best stuff in here is about that.And, his essay on New Jersey and his friend Walt was just awesome.No need to nitpick over the few things don't work--the book is great for any big KS fan.Even one like me, who doesn't read comics.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't read this review - just buy the book!
It's a quick read, primarily made up of articles that Kevin wrote for Arena magazine.Definitely worth the $10 Amazon's charging for it. The bit where Kevin interviews Tom Cruise is one of my favorites. Pretty funny stuff - caught my self laughing out loud at just about every story.Oh man, when Ben is telling Kevin's daughter that he's her real father..... ... Read more


77. Excelsior, You Fathead!: The Art and Enigma of Jean Shepherd
by Eugene B. Bergmann
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557836000
Catlog: Book (2004-11-01)
Publisher: Applause Theatre and Cinema Books
Sales Rank: 1843
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jean Shepherd (1921-1999), master humorist, is best known for his creation A Christmas Story, the popular movie about the child who wants a BB gun for Christmas and nearly shoots his eye out. What else did Shepherd do? He is considered by many to be the Mark Twain and James Thurber of his day. For many thousands of fans, for decades, "Shep" talked on the radio late at night, keeping them up way past their bedtimes. He entertained without a script, improvising like a jazz musician, on any and every subject you can imagine. He invented and remains the master of talk radio. Shepherd perpetrated one of the great literary hoaxes of all time, promoting a nonexistent book and author, and then brought the book into existence. He wrote 23 short stories for Playboy, four times winning their humor of the year award, and also interviewed The Beatles for the magazine. He authored several popular books of humor and satire, created several television series and acted in several plays. He is the model for the character played by Jason Robards in the play and movie A Thousand Clowns, as well as the inspiration for the Shel Silverstein song made famous by Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue." Readers will learn the significance of innumerable Shepherd words and phrases, such as "Excelsior, you fathead," and observe his constant confrontations with the America he loved. They will get to know and understand this multitalented genius by peeking behind the wall he built for himself - a wall to hide a different and less agreeable persona. Through interviews with his friends, co-workers and creative associates, such as musician David Amram, cartoonist and playwright Jules Feiffer, publisher and broadcaster Paul Krassner, and author Norman Mailer, the book explains a complex and unique genius of our time. "Shepherd pretty much invented talk radio ... What I got of him was a wonder at the world one man could create. I am as awed now by his achievement as I was then." - Richard Corliss, Time magazine online ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful mix
What a wonderful mix of in-depth information about both Jean Shepherd's body of work (which to me seems timeless) and revealing interviews that draw Shepherd's enigmatic life and humanity into sharper focus.Bergmann does a fine job of explaining why Shep's fans are so loyal; what were Shep's best contributions to radio, TV, film, literature, and stage; and does this while making us aware of Shep's enigmatic less-than-perfect personal life.This latter subject, however, does not detract from portraying the man as an overall likeable character or significant artist.A great read for anyone, whether familiar with Jean Shepherd's work or not.Thank you Eugene Bergmann!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book EVER on Jean Shepherd and his particular genius
Imagine doing a radio show every night and not just ANY radio show but one in which you told stories that sounded like you'd made them up on the spot. That was part of the unique charm, eccentricity and genius of Jean Shepherd, a man who was a wonderful writer as well (anyone who has ever seen A Christmas story, complete with Ralphie and his coveted BB gun, has come in contact with one of Shepherd's works).

Bergmann has really done his homework in writing this bio of Shepherd and the results make for a wonderful read and a glimpse into days when radio really had an impact on people, a time when people took the time to listen to stories on the radio, something that may be making a bit of a comeback (as evidenced by Prairie Home Companion and other shows which feature short stories and other works read aloud). Shepherd was a pioneer, however, and no one has come close to his skill and genius. This book goes a long way in explaning why while it also reveals the particular demons that tormented and drove Shepherd. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Shep Lives!
"Excelsior you Fathead" left as many questions as it answered, but, then again, so did its subject - Jean Shepherd.Punctuated by Shepherd's own words, this insightful book chronicles the most innovative, and underrated, American humorist of all time. Jean Shepherd will forever be known as the creative force, and narrator, behind "A Christmas Story" - a movie that has achieved "classic" proportions.Thankfully, Mr. Bergmann does not dwell on this topic, but digs much deeper into Shepherd's less popularly known, but far more groundbreaking, pursuits - including, particularly, his nightly broadcasts on the powerful New York radio station, WOR.Bergmann weaves together Shepherd's own words with biographical highlights and first-hand accounts of those who knew him.Sprinkled in along the way are Bergmann's personal musings on the often dark, but always fascinating, enigma that characterized his subject's life.Thankfully, and to his great credit, Bergmann stops just short of making sense of it all - recognizing, wisely, as Shepherd himself did, that our world is more about contradictions and pretensions than abject certainties.

In his landmark book, "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" (from which much of "A Christmas Story" was drawn), Shepherd posed a question.He wondered whether the coming-of-age, Midwestern-value-laden innocence embodied by his childhood best friend, Flick, had managed to survive in modern America.Immediately after the book's publication, graffiti artists all over New York City answered with the spray-painted declaration, "Flick Lives" - which was read by millions, but only understood by Shepherd's clued-in fans (who he often referred to as his "gang").Now, forty years later, and six years after Shepherd's passing, Bergmann should be justifiably proud because, due his comprehensive and entertaining book, I can happily report that not only does Flick live, but so does Shep!I strongly urge you to buy a copy and join the gang of those whose lives have been forever enhanced by Jean Shepherd's genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Shepherd Fans
If you are a Jean Shepherd fan like I am, this book is essential - you may not be able to put it down.I have never seen such an in-depth analysis of Shep's radio work.The author clearly did his homework, listening to and transcribingover 500 radio shows.I already knew some of the dark side - for example, that Shepherd became extremely bitter late in his career and virtually disowned his radio work.Unfortunately, it was rather disillusioning to find out Shep was also quite possibly the World's Worst Father, abandoning his two children while they were still in the crib and denying their existence in his last will and testament. I guess everyone has their issues... As the author warns, this is not a standard biography, and there may never be one, as Shepherd was a master at obscuring the facts of his life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! A Must Read for all of Shepherd's Flock!
Open this book and you will enter a portal into the world of Jean Shepherd as you have never quite experienced him before. This book is pure bliss for any Shepherd follower! A "must read" for any and all who count themselves among his flock!As with Shep's broadcasts, you will not ever want it to end.The great thing is you can savor it at your own pace, reading and re-reading it until late into the night. Just wish Shep was around to see THIS! ... Read more


78. Breathing Out
by Peggy Lipton, Coco Dalton, David Dalton
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312324138
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 2311
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Book Description

Peggy Lipton's overnight success as Julie Barnes on television's hit The Mod Squad made her an instant fashion icon and the "it" girl everyone-from Elvis to Paul McCartney-wanted to date. She was the original and ultimate California girl of the early seventies, complete with stick-straight hair, a laid-back style, and a red convertible. But Lipton was much more: smart and determined to not be just another leggy blonde, she struggled for a way to stay connected to her childhood roots, though her coming of age had not been an easy one. And when she fell in love with Quincy Jones, that wasn't easy, either: their biracial marriage made headlines and changed her life.

Lipton's passionate and complicated seventeen-year marriage to Jones plunged her into motherhood and also into periods of confusion and difficulty. Her struggle to keep moving forward in the world while maintaining a rich inner life informed many of her decisions as an adult. When Lipton's marriage to Jones ended, she returned to television, appearing in David Lynch's Twin Peaks as well as in The Vagina Monologues and other stage productions. But her most recent triumph has been her overcoming a surprising diagnosis of colon cancer in 2003.

Breathing Out is full of fresh stories of life with the pop culture icons of our times, but is also a much more thoughtful book about life in the limelight, work, motherhood, and marriage. It's a refreshing and real look at the life of an actress who became, in many senses, a woman of her times.
... Read more

79. Augustine : A New Biography
by James J. O'Donnell
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060535377
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Ecco
Sales Rank: 1926
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Book Description

Augustine, sinner and saint, the celebrated theologian who served as bishop of ... Hippo from 396 C.E. until his death in ... 430 C.E., is widely regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in the western world. Augustine: A New Biography tells the story of Augustine from the vantage point of Hippo, where he spent almost forty years as priest and bishop. During Augustine's post-Confessions years he became prominent as a churchman, politician, and writer, and James J. O'Donnell looks back at the events in the Confessions from this period in Augustine's life.

Much of Augustine's writing consists of sermons and letters rich in vivid primary material about the events of his time. Prosperous men converting to Christianity to get ahead, priests covering up their sexual and financial peccadilloes, generals playing coldly calculated games of Roman barbarian geopolitics -- these are the figures who stand out in Augustine's world and who populate O'Donnell's intriguing portrait set against a background of the battle over the future of Christianity. This book reveals much of what Augustine didn't confess.

... Read more

80. Autobiography of a Face
by Lucy Grealy
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060569662
Catlog: Book (2003-03-18)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 4791
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I spent five years of my life being treated for cancer, but since then I've spent fifteen years being treated for nothing other than looking different from everyone else. It was the pain from that, from feeling ugly, that I always viewed as the great tragedy of my life. The fact that I had cancer seemed minor in comparison."

At age nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a potentially terminal cancer. When she returned to school with a third of her jaw removed, she faced the cruel taunts of classmates. In this strikingly candid memoir, Grealy tells her story of great suffering and remarkable strength without sentimentality and with considerable wit. Vividly portraying the pain of peer rejection and the guilty pleasures of wanting to be special, Grealy captures with unique insight what it is like as a child and young adult to be torn between two warring impulses: to feel that more than anything else we want to be loved for who we are, while wishing desperately and secretly to be perfect.

... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars DISABLED IN ACTION
Lucy has had to contend with cancer from a very early age. At 10, she undergoes surgery and follow-up treatments to remove a cancerous jaw. This unfortunately alters her appearance and Lucy has to live with the hostile stares, cruel comments and stupid remarks made by insensitive people.

Although Lucy uses the word "disabled," it is the opinion of this reviewer that Lucy was disabled in ACTION. As unfortunate as her health and appearance altering condition is, Lucy remains true to her core self. Bright, witty and extremely verbal, Lucy reminds the world at large of how character all too often is eclipsed by appearance. Lucy also inadvertently reminds all who have read this book that "able" is the core part of "disable" and that "dis" is simply a prefix. Therefore, she is more ABLE that disabled. That is a very affirming thought.

Lucy is truly an inspiration and gives a good reminder to ALL persons never to judge somebody based on physical appearance. In this book, Lucy is truly beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars I had Ewing's sarcoma & related to Lucy feeling all alone.
I read Lucy's book several years ago, all in one day. Her words, feelings, and thoughts captured my attention, as I fully understood her battle with cancer. I had Ewing's of the pelvis when I was 15, and there weren't any books that I read back then where the person lived at the end. How utterly depressing, since we are proof that you can survive cancer!

I greatly appreciated the way in which Lucy described what it felt like during chemo treatments and surgeries, because her interpretation is not glossed over. There is no real way to describe the experience except to go through it for yourself to really understand it, but Lucy's words came very close! One day, I wish to write my own novel describing my struggle with cancer as an adolescent.

I'd also love to talk with Lucy, one survivor to another, if possible.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!,
<br /> This is a great book for anyone who has struggled with their appearance in a world full of beautiful people. A must-read!!! Other remarkable books to read are: Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart and If I Knew Then by Amy Fisher

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment through beautiful proxe
I just finished Autobiography of a Face and I found it just a beautiful, touching read. Lucy writes with such incredible introspection and heartfelt feeling that one must stop from time to time to just reflect on her insight. I truly wondered where she got the strength to endure all that she did. I felt her emptiness in situations and yet her strength inspite of it. Her mother just seemed to totally not get the whole experience or at least couldn't deal with it, so Lucy was left to her own devices. The insight into the boy she meets in the hospital who is paralyzed after a diving accident just blew me away. She writes, "I did it for him. I'd close my eyes to feel the height, see the bright blue of the pool winking below me, bend my legs, and feel the pull in my calves as I jumped up and then down, falling from one world of unknowing into the next one of perpetual regret." What a gut-wrenching insight into the soul of this young man. She allowed me to view the world from a whole new perspective and I thank her wherever she may be. She was definitely an old soul who hopefully fulfilled her karma.

4-0 out of 5 stars seems odd
i found the book very well written, but very, very sad. it seemed weird to me, when searching through the reviews, that most everyone discusses her as if she's alive, unfortunately she no longer is. i feel that that part is inextricable from the rest of the story and its message. this is not a story about a woman who overcame cancer and her feelings of insecurities, it is a story of a person who, after undergoing grueling treatments may have conquered the physical illness, but never its emotional consequences.it garnered a lot of sympathy and empathy from me.i felt so sad for her and wished that she had joined support groups, seen a good therapist, and had had a better support system to start out with.shame that the world has lost her. ... Read more


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