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1. An Unquiet Mind : A Memoir of
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2. One Ranger : A Memoir (Bridwell
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3. Their Lives: The Women Targeted
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4. A Hope in the Unseen : An American
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5. Autobiography of a Face
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6. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated
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7. Special Agent : My Life On the
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8. Standing Next to History : An
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9. No Lights, No Sirens : The Corruption
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10. A Brother's Journey : Surviving
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11. Beautiful Jim Key : The Lost History
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12. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
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13. Blue Blood
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14. Spy Handler
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15. Life Without Ed: How One Woman
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16. Stitching a Revolution - The Making
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17. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account
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18. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed
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19. ``Why Should White Guys Have All
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20. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend,

1. An Unquiet Mind : A Memoir of Moods and Madness
by KAY REDFIELD JAMISON
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679763309
Catlog: Book (1997-01-14)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 1195
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In Touched with Fire, Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatrist, turned a mirror on the creativity so often associated with mental illness. In this book she turns that mirror on herself. With breathtaking honesty she tells of her own manic depression, the bitter costs of her illness, and its paradoxical benefits: "There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness and terror involved in this kind of madness.... It will never end, for madness carves its own reality." This is one of the best scientific autobiographies ever written, a combination of clarity, truth, and insight into human character. "We are all, as Byron put it, differently organized," Jamison writes. "We each move within the restraints of our temperament and live up only partially to its possibilities." Jamison's ability to live fully within her limitations is an inspiration to her fellow mortals, whatever our particular burdens may be. --Mary Ellen Curtin ... Read more

Reviews (207)

5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable
Scouring the bookshelves for something, anything regarding the topic of bipolar illness, I came across Dr. Jamison's brilliant memoir. I had recently been diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar and was unsure of how that would effect my life. I had always been moody and eccentric, how would I learn to live without those highs? How would I get used to losing the endless nights of various projects and explorations. Everything is brighter when you're manic and everything is more enjoyable. Surely I could endure the depressions just to experience the highs. However, when I read Dr. Jamison's book I saw myself reflected in the pages. Things escalate when you're bipolar, and much of the time you have no idea what you are doing or how you appear to others. Dr. Jamison describes the mania with precision. Her words are chilling to the reader who knows exactly what a manic episode is like. She is also very firm in her standing on treatment for bipolars. She advocates a combined approach of psychotherapy and medication. Her arguments are solid and helpful for the family and friends of a person living with bipolar. The novel is well written, informative, and enjoyable. I am filled with awe for Dr. Jamison because she has done so much for those of us living with bipolar disorder. She has inspired me personally because she is such a brilliant woman. This memoir belongs on everyone's shelf who is interested or involved in bipolar disorder.

3-0 out of 5 stars painless, not perceptive
Okay, now let's see. Jamison is blessed with a hyperintelligent, loving family, wonderful colleagues, supportive boyfriends, and amazing doctors. As someone with bipolar, who has none of the above, I found it hard to relate to her memoir. Most people I know with mental illness, despite their innate gifts, are not so lucky. Indeed most people I know without mental illness aren't as lucky either.

As a result of bestowing three to five complimentary adjectives upon most of the characters and glossing over the few painful interactions included, Jamison's book comes off like a Disney World version of manic depression. Indeed it is courageous of her to "come out" like this only if things really aren't as wonderful as she's presented them here.

Tracy Thompson's and Martha Manning's memoirs of depression do a much better job of portraying the pain and frustration of a mood disorder, and were a lot more honest and well-written. AUM does have some evocative descriptions, but look elsewhere for stunning insights and carefully crafted prose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Account
<br /> <br /> Having dealt most of my life with Manic-Depression, this is one of the better books to read, both from the Doctor's point of view as well as one that is living with the situation. I wish it would have touched a little more on the why it happens but thankfully there are several boos out there that explain the why's such as: <br /> Skywriting, Brilliant Madness and Nightmares Echo.

5-0 out of 5 stars A found mind.....
I am a 26 yr old woman that has only six months ago been diagnoised with bi-polor...this book was amazing. So many of the same things that Kay speaks of I feel- deeply. My therapist told me to go through and hi-lite all the things that really touch home with me...most of the book is now hi-lighted...it has allowed me another way to talk with my family and friends about all of the issues and obstacles I have faced and struggled with. I recommend this book to anyone that has a family member that has been diagnoised or a close friend. Or if you think you may have some of the symptoms of bi-polor.
It's hard to reach for help if you are bi-polor especially if your manic...it feels really good - but read and look at the reality of not getting help....

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring.
This book is wonderfully written. A great read for anybody interested in, or suffering from Bipolar. ... Read more


2. One Ranger : A Memoir (Bridwell Texas History Series)
by H. Joaquin Jackson, David Marion Wilkinson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0292702590
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Sales Rank: 11236
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When his picture appeared on the cover of Texas Monthly, Joaquin Jackson became the icon of the modern Texas Rangers. Nick Nolte modeled his character in the movie Extreme Prejudice on him. Jackson even had a speaking part of his own in The Good Old Boys with Tommy Lee Jones. But the role that Jackson has always played the best is that of the man who wears the silver badge cut from a Mexican cinco peso coin--a working Texas Ranger. Legend says that one Ranger is all it takes to put down lawlessness and restore the peace--one riot, one Ranger. In this adventure-filled memoir, Joaquin Jackson recalls what it was like to be the Ranger who responded when riots threatened, violence erupted, and criminals needed to be brought to justice across a wide swath of the Texas-Mexico border from 1966 to 1993.Jackson has dramatic stories to tell. Defying all stereotypes, he was the one Ranger who ensured a fair election--and an overwhelming win for La Raza Unida party candidates--in Zavala County in 1972. He followed legendary Ranger Captain Alfred Y. Allee Sr. into a shootout at the Carrizo Springs jail that ended a prison revolt--and left him with nightmares. He captured "The See More Kid," an elusive horse thief and burglar who left clean dishes and swept floors in the houses he robbed. He investigated the 1988 shootings in Big Bend's Colorado Canyon and tried to understand the motives of the Mexican teenagers who terrorized three river rafters and killed one. He even helped train Afghan mujahedin warriors to fight the Soviet Union.Jackson's tenure in the Texas Rangers began when older Rangers still believed that law need not get in the way of maintaining order, and concluded as younger Rangers were turning to computer technology to help solve crimes. Though he insists, "I am only one Ranger. There was only one story that belonged to me," his story is part of the larger story of the Texas Rangers becoming a modern law enforcement agency that serves all the people of the state. It's a story that's as interesting as any of the legends. And yet, Jackson's story confirms the legends, too. With just over a hundred Texas Rangers to cover a state with 267,399 square miles, any one may become the one Ranger who, like Joaquin Jackson in Zavala County in 1972, stops one riot. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Texas History Book!
This was a very interesting book about Texas Ranger Joaquin
Jackson.Along with his biography you get some good insight into
the legendary crime fighting unti known as the Texas Rangers.You
are taken through the requirements that one has to achieve to
become a Texas Ranger.You also get the story behind the Texas
Ranger badge.
Jackson takes you on a journey starting at youth and ending with his retirement.He describers being a college student at West Texas State and Texas Tech.Jackson then tells about being
hired by the Texas Department of Public Safety.You are taken on
a tour of the various town and counties where he served as a Highway Patrolman.He is next accepted into service by the Texas
Rangers.He is under the command of the legendary Captain Alfred Allee.Jackson tells of having to ensure a fair election in Zavala county during the days of La Raza Unida.You are also told of he and Captain Allee getting into a shootout with inmates at the Carrizo Springs jail and capturing the jail back.He also tells of capturing the "See More Kid" a horse theif
and burgular.You are also taken into the investigation of The
shootings in Big Bend's Colorado Canyon.He even had a role in training Afghan mujahedin warriors to fight the Soviets.
All in all this will prove to be interesting reading especially if you like Texas history.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Real Man
My wife and I know Joaquin & Shirley Jackson as NRA friends. That said, I have rarely read anyone's memoirs where the truth about a "real man" matches what is present when met in person. It happens in Joaquin Jackson's One Ranger. I'm in my 77th year and have collected Ranger books since the late 1930s. With all my reading over sixty years about Rangers, this is the first one that left me with the feeling "That's what it takes and that's what it is like."
Few are gifted to be a great Ranger and even fewer to write meaningfully about it.I can guarantee any reader you won't be able to put it down this book. You will have been entertained royally. One Ranger makes it evident what's wrong with our present system of law enforcement - it takes giants and they are in short supply.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only in Texas
One Ranger is the well-told Memoir of H. Joaquin Jackson.

Having been on the other side of the law, (I was a marijuana smuggler), I anticipated a book that would tell how the cops are the good guys and all the crooks are evil and how the Texas Rangers are far superior to any cop on the planet.

While an element of pride does creep into this work in places, it is offset by an honest and frank view of the world from Jackson's eyes. He peers into the gray areas in his life and that of others and talks of racial prejudice, greed, pride and even contempt for the law. Of the fears and doubts he felt. He addresses flawed policies on the war on drugs and border related issues with courage and conviction.

He also does a good job of painting the world from which he comes-a world he loves dearly-perhaps more than his own life. Almost to a fault. For those that love Texas and the border regions you will find interesting history and perspective woven into the stories and accurate and colorful portrayals of the land and the people that make this country what it is.

He shows us how flawed people can be good people, a lesson all of us need to learn.

He stares into what certainly is his biggest personal nightmare and takes the reader with him-a nightmare that will continue to haunt him for the rest of his life-the fact that his son, a son bearing his name, would grow up to kill another human and be sentenced to prison for murder. I couldn't help but share in the pain and doubts he lives with.

Why did this happen?

Being the eldest son of an equally dynamic and successful man, and also bearing the name of my own father (don means "sir" in Spanish), I think I understand. The only thing I have to say publicly is this: the grace of God is greater than all of this. And sometimes a man must die (figuratively or literally) to overcome the curse into which he is born.

I want Mr. Jackson to know that hope remains for his son and that sometimes God takes a person from the lowest of places and raises him up to do his will.

This is an exceptional book.

Buy it and read it. You will profit from the experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Money Well Spent
I bought this book and couldn't put it down.I spent my entire weekend reading it.I just couldn't get enough!You laugh and cry with Joaquin Jackson and end up loving life in the end.I recommend this book highly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Old-west Adventures in Modern Times!
Very exciting fast-paced book.The history is fascianting and the story-telling is engaging.A great read - I couldn't put it down. ... Read more


3. Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine
by Candice E. Jackson
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974670138
Catlog: Book (2005-05)
Publisher: World Ahead Publishing, Inc.
Sales Rank: 4607
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Book Description

The lives of eight women who crossed romantic paths with Bill Clinton are examined in this innovative look at the former president. Extensive research and firsthand interviews document the intimidation and harassment that these women suffered after falling out of Clintons favor, in the process revealing a disturbing truth about the ideology of the president and his followers. ... Read more


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

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

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

Reviews (99)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


5. 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


6. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down The Yellow Brick Road
by Meinhardt Raabe, DANIEL KINSKE
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823091937
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Backstage Books
Sales Rank: 11444
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Dear Readers,

I will never forget the morning that Meinhardt Raabe’s agent called me and insisted on stopping by my office that very same day. "I’ve got a Wizard of Oz project that you have to see to believe." From the moment I looked at Mr.Raabe’s charming memoir and his remarkable collection of Oz memorabilia, Iknew this would be a book unlike any that I have published.

Memories of A Munchkin, written by Meinhardt Raabe with Daniel Kinske, almost feels like three books in one.

Part one is a memoir by Raabe who stepped into film history at the age of 23 when he played the Munchkin coroner in THE WIZARD OF OZ. It’s a charming and inspiring story that begins on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, moves to hisappearance in a special "Midget Village" exhibit at the 1934 World's Fair and on to Hollywood. Through an agent, Raabe was cast in THE WIZARD OF OZ and much of the memoir is devoted to his account of working on the most beloved film of all time - enduring tough auditions, watching as the glorious Munchkinland set was built, putting up with long days of rehearsal, being costumed by legendary MGM designer Adrian, hob-nobbing on the set with the stars, witnessing various mishaps during filming, being visited on the set by curious Hollywood royalty such as Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable, and much more. Here, too, is Raabe's life after THE WIZARD OF OZ: His career as an accomplished pilot with the Civil Air Patrol during World War II; more than 30 years as "Little Oscar," spokesman for the Oscar Mayer ompany; his charity work and his role as advocate and kindred spirit to Little People everywhere. Mr. Raabe’s memoir is lavishly illustrated with the most incredible material such as!blueprints of the Munchkinland set, Adrian’s costume sketches, MGM’s original Oz matte paintings, and many rare, behind-the-scenes photos from director Victor Fleming’s personal scrapbook.

Part two of the book is the most complete collection of OZ movie posters and lobby cards ever published. Included are a beautiful watercolor painted by the legendary Al Hirschfeld, and the jumbo window card that was originallydisplayed in Mr. Raabe’s hometown theater of Watertown, WI!

Part three is a collection of specially commissioned Oz art from some of the world’s best-known and best-loved illustrators – people like Al Hirschfeld, Frank Frazetta, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis and Frank Kelly Freas. I especially like Ron Dias’ painting of what he imagines the interior of a Munchkin house would look like, and Philo Barnhart’s piece that combines the main characters of Oz with those of Snow White. Duck Edwing’s piece, Hearse of aDifferent Color, could not be more colorful or more charming. And you won’t believe all the detail – and clever humor – in Tom Bunk’s piece depicting the Kansas tornado at the beginning of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Put it all together and you have a treasure trove of Oz stories and memorabilia. No fan of this beloved Hollywood classic will want to be without Memories of A Munchkin.

Mark Glubke Senior Editor Back Stage Books ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Really Most Sincerly .... Wonderful!
This book is a must have for any die hard(like me) fan of the 1939 film THE WIZARD OF OZ. It is brimming with never before seen pictures of the movie set, munchkins, scene direction...not to mention other movie stars of the day & lots of Judy Garland!
Meinhardt's story is both intersting & compelling, he's a sweetheart!
Don't miss out...buy this book TODAY! ... Read more


7. 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


8. Standing Next to History : An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service
by Joseph Petro, Jeffrey Robinson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312332211
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Sales Rank: 64631
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Book Description

Joseph Petro served for 23 years as a special agent in the United States Secret Service; eleven of them with presidents and vice presidents. For four of those years he stood by the side of Ronald Reagan.

Following his career as a Navy Lieutenant, during which he patrolled the rivers and canals along the Vietnamese-Cambodian border, he worked his way up through the Secret Service to become one of the key men in charge of protecting the President. That journey through the Secret Service provides an individual look inside the most discreet law enforcement agency in the world, and a uniquely intimate account of the Reagan presidency.

Engagingly, Joseph Petro tells "first hand" stories of: riding horses with the Reagans; eluding the press and sneaking the President and Mrs. Reagan out of the White House; rehearsing assassination attempts and working, then re-working every detail of the president's trips around the world; negotiating the president's protection with the KGB; diverting a 26 car presidential motorcade in downtown Tokyo; protecting Vice-President Dan Quayle at Rajiv Gandhi's funeral where he was surrounded by Yassir Arafat's heavily armed bodyguards; taking charge of the single largest protective effort in the history of the Secret Service-Pope John Paul II's 1987 visit to the United States; and being only one of three witnesses at the private meeting between President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev that ushered in the end of the Cold War.

Joseph Petro provides an original and fascinating perspective of the Secret Service, the inner workings of the White House and a little seen view of world leaders, as a man who stood next to history.
... Read more

9. No Lights, No Sirens : The Corruption and Redemption of an Inner City Cop
by Robert Cea
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
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Asin: 0060587121
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 812
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

No lights, No sirens is the harrowing true story of an officer who, on his way to becoming one of the most highly decorated cops in NYPD history, lost his soul

Robert Cea began his career as an idealistic young man, a gifted lawman who would right wrongs and make the world a better place by putting away the bad guys. But whatever he'd learned at the academy did not prepare him for the streets, the thugs, or the depravity he'd encounter. "I'd sworn that it would never get to me," he writes, "that I'd never turn into the monsters I was chasing. I was wrong." And become a monster he did during his relentless journey into the criminal netherworld.

Brutally authentic, as gritty and graphic as the life itself, Cea's story takes readers into the cruisers and onto the streets to show how the law was -- and continues to be -- routinely bent to stay one step ahead of criminals. Cea painstakingly reveals his slow downward spiral into the depths of hell that would shatter his conscience, his marriage, and his mind. It would all lead to a final attempt at redemption that would nearly cost him his life.

Illuminating a hidden side of law enforcement that cannot be imagined, No Lights, No Sirens is as gripping as it is terrifying, a morality tale with repercussions for us all.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW - what an amazing ride!
I just finished reading this book, and I was hoping there were more titles by Robert Cea.Unfortunately there is only this one.Attn: Mr. Cea, can you hurry up and write another one?Thanks!

The author's writing style makes you feel like you are right there, with him in the car, in the run down bars and in the back alleys of New York City.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who can handle the language and violence.Beyond that what emerges is a book of complete and open honesty.You can see where every step seems to be a logical next step in policing.Let a heroin junkie go to get info on a perp with a gun.Thats a good move.A gun gets people killed, a junkie just kills himself.But a small step like that leads to him being completely intertwined with the mean streets and he ends up paying for it.

No more details than that.Its just too good :)

Buy it!You will not be able to put it down.

On a slightly different note, it shows how cops are the real backbone of our system, and they get dumped on from everyone.Defense attorneys, the media, even citizens groups - all for their own political gain.That really sucks, because a lot of good people probably get crushed by the system, who were just there doing a good job.I hate to think about that, but I am sure its true.

Enjoy !! ... Read more


10. A Brother's Journey : Surviving a Childhood of Abuse
by Richard B. Pelzer
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446533688
Catlog: Book (2005-01-05)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 751397
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11. Beautiful Jim Key : The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World
by Mim E. Rivas
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060567031
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 186054
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12. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly : A Memoir of Life in Death
by JEAN-DOMINIQUE BAUBY
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
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Asin: 0375701214
Catlog: Book (1998-06-23)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 18098
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

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

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

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

Reviews (78)

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

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

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

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

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

GRADE: A+

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


13. Blue Blood
by EdwardConlon
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594480737
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Sales Rank: 4382
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

As a Harvard graduate and regular writer for the New Yorker, Edward Conlon is a little different from most of his fellow New York City cops. And the stories he tells in his compelling memoir Blue Blood are miles away from the commonly told Hollywood-style police tales that are always action packed but rarely tethered to reality. While there is action here, there's also political hassle, the rich and often troubling history of a department not unfamiliar with corruption, and the day to day life of people charged with preserving order in America's largest city. Conlon's book is, in part, a memoir as he progresses from being a rookie cop working the beat at troubled housing projects to assignments in the narcotics division to eventually becoming a detective. But it's also the story of his family history within the enormous NYPD as well as the evolving role of the police force within the city. Conlon relates the controversies surrounding the somewhat familiar shoo! ting of Amadou Diallou and the abuse, at the hands of New York cops, of Abner Louima. But being a cop himself, Conlon lends insight and nuance to these issues that could not possibly be found in the newspapers.And as an outstanding writer, he draws the reader into that world. In the book's most remarkable passage, Conlon tells of the grim but necessary work done at the Fresh Kills landfill, sifting through the rubble and remains left in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 (a section originally published in The New Yorker). In many ways, Blue Blood comes to resemble the world of New York City law enforcement that Conlon describes: both are expansive, sprawling, multi-dimensional, and endlessly fascinating. And Conlon's writing is perfectly matched to his subject, always lively, keenly observant, and possessing a streetwise energy.--John Moe ... Read more

Reviews (80)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Captivating story
I do not regret that I bought this book. It is an interesting book. I like the author's style of writing and the police stories which I found exciting. I generally like cop stories and wasn't disappointed by this. If you ever want to know about the inner workings of New York City and the NYPD, then this and True Blue are recommended reads.Disciples of Fortune takes you into another setting and gives us an idea about the negative aspects of the police force out there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding read....
It's so hard not to say, "fantastic first novel" because this work reads like ths best of good fiction.Knowing it's an autobiography only deepens the appeal.I look forward to more from Mr. Conlon as both his careers develop......

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant writing; Fascinating story
When I heard that author Edward Conlon still serves in the NYPD, I was skeptical about whether he was really free to publish a truly candid account of life inside one of the nation's largest police departments. Yet, Detective Conlon does just that and more in a remarkably frank, funny, thoughtful and brilliantly written memoir.

Blue Blood stands out primarily because of Detective Conlon's sharp wit and humor. His vivid descriptions of the characters, customs and encounters that dominate a street cop's life had me laughing out loud. Likewise, his wry observations and amusing insights into the absurd aspects of NYPD bureaucracy (i.e., the petty bosses, the pervasive internal politics, the inane departmental regulations, etc.) made for entertaining fodder. In fact, Conlon's colorful writing and artful phrasing so impressed me that after finishing the CD/audio version of Blue Blood, I bought the paperback just so that I could re-read and highlight the exceptional prose.

Blue Blood also takes an absorbing, unvarnished look at the serious side of urban crime fighting including the tragic conditions that police routinely encounter, the ever-present dangers that confront officers in the line of duty, the devastating mistakes that can sometimes occur in high crime environments, and the flawed criminal justice procedures that too often fail to keep "perps" off the streets. What proves most interesting about this book, however, is that even in the face of such trials and frustrations, there is no sense of bitterness or defeat. Instead, Blue Blood paints an encouraging picture of policing. And in Conlon, you definitely see a good man who thoroughly believes in "the Job" and who relishes in carrying out his calling as a cop.

I absolutely loved Blue Blood. The book is lengthy (559 pages), but it is well worth the time. I highly recommend this amazing work.

2-0 out of 5 stars Blue Blood by Ed Conlon
Gets off to a roaring start: vivid, full of action, and surprisingly funny. Of course we'll never know if it was the author or his editors who made the fatal decision to pad the rest of the book with all sorts of family history and politically correct nonsense... and he never misses an opportunity to remind us how Progressive he is, a tedious quirk. And by the way, no romance whatsoever. Not a single flirtation. No sex. Nothing. Not one badge bunny throws herself at him! Maybe he wants a career in Leftist circles and refrained from saying anything too colorful. Leaves you with the impression he's a somewhat dreary character, like urban municipal buildings, pigeons, the subway, the color of cement, communism, etc.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great but Long!
A terrific memoir of Conlon's life and family history (his family history is the best part of the book).However, it could have stood to lose about 300 pages or so!A handful of stories would have more than sufficed. ... Read more


14. Spy Handler
by Victor Cherkashin, Gregory Feifer
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465009689
Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 35985
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Book Description

Victor Cherkashin's incredible career in the KGB spanned thirty-eight years, from Stalin's death in 1953 to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. In this riveting memoir, Cherkashin provides a remarkable insider's view of the KGB's prolonged conflict with the United States, from his recruitment through his rising career in counterintelligence to his prime spot as the KGB's number- two man at the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Victor Cherkashin's story will shed stark new light on the KGB's inner workings over four decades and reveal new details about its major cases. Cherkashin's story is rich in episode and drama. He took part in some of the highest-profile Cold War cases, including tracking down U.S. and British spies around the world. He was posted to stations in the U.S., Australia, India, and Lebanon and traveled the globe for operations in England, Europe, and the Middle East. But it was in 1985, known as "the Year of the Spy," that Cherkashin scored two of the biggest coups of the Cold War. In April of that year, he recruited disgruntled CIA officer Aldrich Ames, becoming his principal handler. Refuting and clarifying other published versions, Cherkashin will offer the most complete account on how and why Ames turned against his country. Cherkashin will also reveal new details about Robert Hanssen's recruitment and later exposure, as only he can. And he will address whether there is an undiscovered KGB spy-another Hanssen or Ames-still at large. Spy Handler will be a major addition to Cold War history, told by one of its key participants. ... Read more


15. Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too
by Thom Rutledge, Jenni Schaefer
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0071422986
Catlog: Book (2003-12-26)
Publisher: McGraw-Hill
Sales Rank: 19308
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A unique new approach to treating eating disorders

Eight million women in the United States suffer from anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia. For these women, the road to recovery is a rocky one. Many succumb to their eating disorders. Life Without Ed offers hope to all those who suffer from these often deadly disorders. For years, author Jennifer Schaefer lived with both anorexia and bulimia. She credits her successful recovery to the technique she learned from her psychologist, Thom Rutledge.

This groundbreaking book illustrates Rutledge's technique. As in the author's case, readers are encouraged to think of an eating disorder as if it were a distinct being with a personality of its own. Further, they are encouraged to treat the disorder as a relationship rather than as a condition. Schaefer named her eating disorder Ed; her recovery involved "breaking up" with Ed

  • Shares the points of view of both patient and therapist in this approach to treatment
  • Helps people see the disease as a relationship from which they can distance themselves
  • Techniques to defeat negative thoughts that plague eating disorder patients

Prescriptive, supportive, and inspirational, Life Without Ed shows readers how they too can overcome their eating disorders.

... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing campy here. This is the real deal.
I just looked up the word "campy," and there is nothing campy about Life without Ed. As a woman recovering from an eating disorder and as a clinician treating eating disorders, I find this book to be a refreshing change from the staus quo of tortuous memoirs and over-intellectualized material that tends to occupy this market.

The recovery work described in this book is undoubtedly the real deal. Jenni Schaefer has obviously worked hard to overcome her eating disorder and she is to be congratulated for that. And while we're at it, let's congratulate her for the willingness to share her story so candidly, and for being creative enough to bring such a delightful sense of humor to this very serious subject matter. She no doubt gets some of the humor from her therapist and co-author Thom Rutledge. His writing (the best of which is Embracing Fear) always manages to bring together serious self-help and the kind of humor that offers a perspective that is in and of itself healing.

If you have even the slightest interest in understanding the inner-workings of eating disorders, buy this book. If you are a therapist or counselor who works with eating disorders, buy this book. If you love someone with an eating disorder, buy this book. And if you have an eating disorder --- definitely buy this book.

Who says medicine has to taste bad to be good? Learn, grow and enjoy Life without Ed.

Sarah Wiley, Ph.D.

5-0 out of 5 stars A different kind of book
I have struggled with an eating disorder for years and have read book after book on eating disorder recovery. But I've always ended up going right back to the same old behaviors - bingeing, purging, and starving. Life Without Ed is different.

Learning to refer to my eating disorder as 'Ed' has really worked. I have learned that Ed is the one who thinks I'm fat. Ed is the one who doesn't want me to eat. Ed is the one who makes me binge and purge. And I have learned how to separate from Ed and have found myself.

Life Without Ed is written in a way that is easy and even fun to read. The short sections are really refreshing and can be read in any order. So I didn't become overwhelmed like I had before while reading other books. And Jenni actually makes you laugh as you take steps toward recovery. I never knew that recovery could actually be fun.

After reading Life Without Ed, I have real hope. I now know that I am headed toward an amazing life without Ed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and helpful!
Whether you are suffering or recovering this book is a fresh new way of looking at eating disorders. Also quite helpful to friends and family members of persons with ED's.
Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for all recovering perfectionists
Jenni Schaefer has accurately captured the life and feelings of a perfectionist in her book Life Without Ed. Although I have never experienced an eating disorder, I obsess about calorie intake on a daily basis and am bound by the chains of physical appearance. I found the exercises at the end of each section helpful in confronting the voices and negative criticisms that my own abusive SuperEgo (Ed) throws my way.

Jenni Schaefer does not discount the seriousness of eating disorders nor does she try to convince you that divorce from ED is easy. She provides practical ways to distinguish between what is healthy and what is ED. The awarness that I gained from this book (especially section 1) has enabled me to start the separation process from my own abusive self criticism.

This book applies to all recovering perfectionists. The exercises, personal experiences, strength, and weakness that the author shared make it a real and valuable resource on my path to recovery. I highly recommend this book to anyone enduring self criticism and abuse.

1-0 out of 5 stars far too campy
I'm sure she's a nice woman and I appreciate the strength it takes to write about such embarassing personal things BUT as someone who has been living with eating disorders for 17 years, I find little inspiration from such a sun-shinycheesey account. Unless you're the kind of person who finds yourself saying "Golly, Dr. Freud, I never thought of it that way. now I'm sure to be able to divorce ED.", this book won't help you. ... Read more


16. Stitching a Revolution - The Making of an Activist
by Cleve Jones, Jeff Dawson
list price: $26.00
our price: $26.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0062516418
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 345755
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

There can be few American stories more inspiring than that of the tremendous 43,000-panel AIDS quilt, a national memorial as powerfully symbolic as the Vietnam War Memorial--but made from a material as fragile and ephemeral as human life. The quilt is predicated on a simple concept: putting names to those who have died of AIDS humanizes the statistics and forces those who visit the quilt to look beyond the stigmatized categories of gayness and contagious disease that cling to the popular image of AIDS. Cleve Jones stitched the first panel in his backyard in February 1987 as a memorial to his best friend, Marvin. He has been speaking in public about the quilt for many years now, and his narrative in Stitching a Revolution is smooth and engaging. Perhaps his best quality as a storyteller is his generous recognition of others, shown in his memory of Rosa Parks in her Sunday hat: "When she handed me the quilts she'd made for her neighbors," Jones recalls, "she wanted to relish only their lives, not the divisions--just memorialize her friends and what they'd meant to her. You're doing a wonderful thing, young man, she'd said. There were no tears in her eyes, just a message for me to continue. Did my fatigue show? Did she see that the death threats and potshots had taken their toll? Dismiss them, she seemed to say, and grow old. A challenge. I brighten and feel combative." --Regina Marler ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Emotional, Moving Memoir
For those of us who were fortunate enough to be in Washington on that cold morning in October, 1987 and see the entire AIDS Memorial Quilt unfurled for the first time, we should thank Cleve Jones for both his idea of the quilt as a memorial to those who died of AIDS and this wonderful book he has written. The quilt has almost become a cliche for some of us now-- we have seen it so many times in so many different variations and sizes-- that I did not believe I could be so moved and relive that intensely emotional and poignant day in October. I was wrong. I was taken by Mr. Jones' sincerity and utter lack of egotism. He is remarkably candid about his own life as he takes the reader through his own experiences as a young gay activist in San Francisco, his role in the history of the quilt and his own diagnosis with HIV.

Mr. Jones reminds me of things I had forgotten or repressed: a lot about the heroism of Harvey Milk, for example, the awfulness of Anita Bryant, the indifference of the first President Bush who was too busy to see the quilt, of President Clinton, along with Mrs. Clinton and the Gores, who was not too busy to pay tribute to those who had fallen. We get to see some of our national celebrities in a new light: the gentle Rosa Parks, the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor frightened at making a speech, and finally Jane Fonda who can only be described as totally silly in her adoration of Tom Hayden.

A friend of mine who has seen the quilt in its entirety many times and is active in the Names Project in his hometown in Maine says that he can only read this book a little at a time. Yes, it's very viseral, sometimes painful, and it will make you cry.

In the Epilogue Mr. Jones writes: "My hope is that one day AIDS will be over and we will have to look upon all its different aspects: how it drew a country together from across cultural, ethnic, and religious divisions, and how it was, like the Holocaust, a crucible of definition. I think the Quilt will have a role in this discussion and a place in our history as memory is preserved and recreated imn this symbol of our natural desire for commuity."

And you, Mr. Jones, will have a place in that history. Many Americans cannot thank you enough for that.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great history lesson
Cleve Jones has done many wonderful things for the gay community.Now he adds this wonderful, heartfelt memior.This volume is more than "just" a memoir, it's a rich and rewarding history lesson, an eye witness account.Throught the past twenty-five years Jones has been a witness to murder, a victim of hate crimes, an activist for gay rights, a rioter, a mourner, a survivor and a an ambassador of hope and good will.This is the story of the AIDS Quilt, from its beginnings to its eventual recognition as an international symbol of peace, reconciliation and unity.Cleve Jones takes a refreshingly candid, warts-and-all approach to telling his story.He depicts himself as an ordianry man responding to extraordinary circumstances in the only way he knew how.Past imperfect, but always willing to do whatever was necessary to bring his message to the people, Cleve helped to put a human face on AIDS.

5-0 out of 5 stars You Can Make A Difference - Read Cleve Jones' Odyssey
The AIDS Memorial Quilt has been the most humanizing, uplifting and unifying symbol of the battle against the AIDS virus.As an activist, viewer of the Quilt, and twice a volunteer, I read Mr. Jones book greedily. People need to know what he has to say.People need to know the impacttheir actions can have on world perceptions; that they can make adifference.People need to knowthe history of the epidemic - reflectedin the experiences of a person immersed in the culture impacted first: howthe gay community, so brutally attacked, fought back and set up theprotocols now being used by all sectors of society all over theworld.

The book is a good read, very accessible, as simple as the conceptof the Quilt and as insightful.I thank Cleve Jones for giving humanitythe Quilt and this telling of how it came to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Stitching A Revolution" Must be read!
As an AIDS activist, I would implore everyone to read this account of how one man can take an idea and turn it into a world-wide reality.

Cleve Jones writes honestly and from the heart - not about sex, not about dirt,but about the true experience of growing up as a gay man, coming out, anddealing with AIDS from the beginning up until now.

His vision in makingthe Quilt a reality, and the many stories that go with it bring tears andlaughter, while pointing out the universality of both AIDS and The AIDSMemorial Quilt.

If his book tour comes to your town - run to that bookstore.His speaking skills are extrordinary as well.

If only this couldbecome required reading for our youth - the generation that most needs tohear the message and is frighteningly under-educated about a disease whichcan end their lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Transforming Journey
While the emotion of experiencing the Quilt cannot be confined to mere words, this inspiring journey to activism and openness is a fascinating read.

In 1995, while in San Francisco to say a heartbreaking goodbye tomy dearest brother, I entered the NAMES project offices and was instantlyoverwhelmed by the raw emotion--not just sadness, which is the obviousresponse, but also a healing, a unity and a strength.I have never been somoved--until I traveled to DC to witness the 1996 display.

A part of metravels with my brother's panel wherever it goes, and this book was acathartic reliving of some of my most grueling and gratifyingmoments.

'Stitching a Revolution' is a treasure, a reminder that we oftenforget the power of one voice, and the staggering, wondrous results ofbringing together disparate peoples. ... Read more


17. Into Thin Air : A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
by JON KRAKAUER
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385494785
Catlog: Book (1999-10-19)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 1356
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster

By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous!assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself. This updated trade paperback edition of Into Thin Air includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy."I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in the postscript, dated August 1999. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air's denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored, The Climb, Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer re! counts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in an avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I.In 1999, Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters-a prestigious prize intended "to honor writers of exceptional accomplishment."According to the Academy's citation, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer.His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind." ... Read more

Reviews (1256)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for the Adventurous Reader
Adventure has always intrigued me. Books, movies, and sports all have that critical element of action and suspense that makes for interesting media. Into Thin Air met, and at sometimes exceeded my expectations. Jon Krakauer does an excellent job of portreying the raw emotion of losing his comrades and friends. I really felt as though I was there on the summit, among Scott Fischer, Rob Hall, and Niel Beidleman. The sheer realism of the situations presented to me was expertly crafted. I felt triumph at reaching the summit, sadness at the loss of Doug Hansen, and I felt the true burden of leadership that was quickly and brutally placed on the shoulders of Stuart Hutchinson and Neal Beidleman. I also enjoyed the book becasue it gave some of the history of Everest. I especially enjoyed hearing of Reinhold Messner, an alpine legend. The only problem with devling into history is that Krakauer got a little too engrossed in it and strayed from the story. Learning about where Everest got its name may be interesting to some, but I prefer to stick to the climb itself. Another plus in the book that I enjoyed was Krakauer's interaction with the other climbers and how he showed the way they felt and what was going on. These extra "characters" add lots of depth to the plot and make for a more interesting read. I also was a little frustrated with the way the timeline skips around. This is very apparent in the later chapters of the book, where keeping track of time becomes increasingly difficult. Into Thin Air is a well done book, and nearly got five stars, if only Jon Krakauer stuck to the basics and stayed organized.

4-0 out of 5 stars Criticism on Into Thin Air
Criticism: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The book that I have read I called Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer. The main character in the story that sets the plot in motion is Jon Krakauer, or Rob Hall, his leader. He writes, in depth, his accounts of his mountain climbing. Next, the villain, who is against Krakauer, could either be the mountains, or Sandy Pittman. One Antagonist is the mountain. They try to challenge Jon to the best of his ability, and make it so that he doesn't succeed. Or, it could be Sandy, because she kind of makes a mockery of climbing, such as bringing an espresso along on her adventures. Some other important characters are the Sherpas, who are very dedicated, Hall, who completed expeditions in harsh conditions, too. Also Rob, who was in his group, Scott Fischer, Andy Harris, Lene Gammelgaard, Tim Madsen, Charlotte Fox, and Nel Beidleman. Scott Fischer was the leader of the Mountain Madness expedition, Andy Harris was a guide on Rob Hall's team, and Doug Hansen, who was a postal worker, and his dream was to climb. There were also some important places, which were Mt. Everest, Dhera Dun, Pakding, Lobuje, and many others One symbol is I think Mt. Everest. It symbolizes the problems we have today. At first, it hits you head on. While you are trying to overcome it, you have more problems, and hardships, that make it difficult for you to succeed. Then, when you reach the top, you are overjoyed and relieved. This is just like any problem that you will encounter in real life. Each character has a conflict with him vs. nature. They climbs, but the mountains do anything they can to stop them. As they get higher, there is less oxygen. Being very fatigued, it is hard to go on, so it takes even longer. It is very cold, too, which makes your body weaker. The weather is very icy and stormy. On top of all this, they have to climb a mass of land that is vertical. There was also a self vs. society, because sometimes on group leader had to make a decision, which would put the other group members life's' on the line. This book is ad, because thirteen people died in one season, just because they wanted to try to climb a steep mountain. When they are climbing, they are low on oxygen, and some get very ill. But, the different groups are kind of like families, since they are putting their life into someone else' hands, and trusting them with it. The reader also becomes part of their family, feeling bad for the different things that happen to the characters. It is tragic, yet adventurous at the same time. Into Thin Air is adventurous, because first he talks about how steep the mountain is, and how hard it is to climb. Next, when they are climbing it, it talks about all the hardships, such as weather, oxygen, and oxygen depletion. This is the climax of the book, since you are very intense to see what happens to the characters. Lastly, the outcome, or denouement, occurs and some are happy, since the character made it, and some are tragic. The book leaves you like there should be more. When he's talking about how he hasn't slept in a long time, under nourished, and very sick. I know I wouldn't have the energy to climb if I hadn't slept in 57 hours, only eaten soup and candy, and separated ribs with a bad cold. However, I also liked that the book left you hanging, because then you could imagine what happened, good or bad. I liked this book a lot, since it had to sides. It was very visual; you could picture the climbers climbing up the mountain. This book makes you want to look into climbing, but then when you read how hard it is, and how easily you can die, you rethink it. I recommend this book to readers of tragedies, and adventure novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't stop reading it...
This tale is Jon Krakauer's personal account of his attempt to summit Mt. Everest. Rob Hall is the leader, a guide with impeccable credentials who is also a man of caution...yet a daring individual, as anyone would have to be to climb Everest (especially time and time again). Rob leads the team up the mountain, and everything is going fairly well until that fateful day where everything seemingly went wrong. It's almost hard to read this book knowing there's a tragedy coming, but I couldn't put it down to find some heroism also involved in this story...the will to survive is amazing, and it is demonstrated clearly in this book. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting!!
I loved this book! I read it a few years ago and have recommended it, and given it as a gift, to many people. I also heard Beck Weathers speak at a sales meeting a few years ago, and he recounted his story, much as it is in the book. If you like real life adventure stories, this book is definitely for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars fascinating
An incredible account of the Everest Disaster. Krakauer is an expert at including as many details as possible without being too wordy. This book reads like a novel, and in fact the story is so incredible that at times you have to remind yourself that it is non-fiction. I appreciated the vivid pictures he painted of the important people in this book, a talent for which he is as skilled as the best contemporary fiction writers. Reading the book, you can grow so fond of some of the more likeable characters that you feel a deep sense of sadness when you read about their passing. In a sense, Krakauer has accomplished the difficult task of explaining in laymen's terms the technical aspects of high-altitude mountaineering (which is necessary in a book like this), and somehow also gave the reader a sense of the profound grief of the situation. This is something that is lost among the litany of newspaper articles, less-talented writers, and the controversy of conflicting accounts fails to do.

Oh yes, the controversy. I suppose that it is inevitable that when you're dealing with this magnitude a disaster, with equally-high magnitude of some mountaineers' egos, you're going to get arguments. Unfortunately, Krakauer has been sucked into this and actually has devoted a portion of the book to responding to someone's complaint about his account. Frankly, it reads like an internet message board flamewar, and it detracts from an amazing book. Hopefully, a year from now when I think back about this book, I'll remember not the controversy but rather people like Rob Hall, one of the people who died on the mountain. ... Read more


18. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America : A Memoir
by Elizabeth Wurtzel, Riverhead Books
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1573225126
Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Sales Rank: 7284
Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (266)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book practically saved my life.
Reading Wurtzel's book is like having a friend's shoulder to cry on. ...More therapeutic than psychotherapy, and a helluva lot cheaper. Thank you, Elizabeth Wurtzel, for so eloquently and wittily putting this oft-misunderstood pain in such sharply written focus. Depression can be unimaginably debilitating, yet Wurtzel still lets us laugh a bit, at her own expense - and that sure cuts through a lot of the loneliness and despair that permeates the life of a Depression sufferer. Just knowing that someone else is able to help you "vocalize" the agony is a comfort, and Wurtzel speaks for many of us in this brutally honest memoir. If you suffer from Depression and are having difficulty explaining its power over your life to your loved ones, make them read this book. "Here! THIS is my pain." Insightful, revealing, funny, tragic and, most of all, a godsend to folks like me. I'm gonna give Wurtzel a big hug if I ever meet her. Apparently actress Christina Ricci has optioned the film rights to this book and plans to make a movie from it. But don't wait for the movie. Buy the book for yourself or for someone who needs to learn about how deadly Depression can be.

4-0 out of 5 stars necessary read for those afflicted
Unless you are afflicted with depression or know somebody afflicted with depression, you may see Wurtzel as a whining young woman. After reading some of these reviews, that is the vibe I get. What Wurtzel does is gives you the view of a depressed individual through the eyes of a depressed individual, not through the empirical eyes of some therapist, nor a third person account. What Wurtzel writes is real, what one does under depression may not be rational, nor does it always make sense, but for whatever reason they happen. Maybe if I, or Wurtzel did not have such conditions then we would be seen as "normal" people that do not "whine," or "complain," or handle things ratitionally. After reading this book, it made me feel better to know that depression is a real thing, and that here was another young woman dealing with it too. Perhaps Wurtzel did not act lady-like enough (e.g. when she celebrates her deflowering) for those who criticize her account. If you are diagnosed with any type of depression, bipolar disorder, or are involved with anyone, or friends of anyone with such disorders, please read this book. It will give you a greater insight into what is going on through their head. Maybe you and your relationships will benefit from it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Been There; Somewhat Done That
No one, not even for a single instant, can look out at the world through the eyes of someone else's mind. Yet, Wurtzel tries to bring us into hers and show us what it's like to view the world from a mind suffering from hereditary (probably manic-)depression. And since she is trying to show us what it's like INSIDE her mind, is it any wonder that her mostly stream-of-consciousness narrative tends to be self-centered? Who of us in the privacy of our minds is NOT self-centered? After all, we are all fated to be only ourselves 24/7 for our entire lives. And constantly suffering, as Wurtzel does from severe bouts of depression, interspersed with irrational frenzies, is it any wonder that Wurtzel does NOT seem to notice the affects her behavior is having on those close to her, such as her mother? (Yet Wurtzel still dedicates her book, "For my mom, lovingly.")

The hardcover edition of this book came out in 1995. Some of us love it; some of us hate it; some of us don't know what to make of it. But at 269 reader reviews and still counting on this Web page alone, it looks like this book is going to keep disturbing us for quite some time in the future -- particularly now that it's been made into a movie.

I understand approximately ten percent of us suffer from some form of chronic depression, including me -- not to anywhere near the extent Wurtzel does, but enough to understand where she's coming from. Why doesn't she act like a "normal" person? Because she can't understand the mind of a "normal" person anymore than a "normal" person can understand hers. If she could change her mind to that of a "normal" person, don't you think she would? Indeed, isn't that her motive for taking Prozac in the first place?

And since we're dealing with a person's mind here, not a novel, I think it is precisely this inability for any of us to truly be able to occupy another person's mind that is leading to all the controversy. No, this read is not particularly fun, but then neither is being a manic-depressive. Yes, it's often repetitive and at times boring, but so is life. And she does try to give us a bit of humor mixed in with all her problems

Although I recommend this book for everyone due to the insights it can give on how some of us look out at the world, I particularly recommend it for those gnormalh people, such as Wurtzelfs mother, who find themselves either having to bring up, or married to, or have some other such close relationship to someone suffering from depression. Note that the hardest part of her entire day is simply getting out of bed. Note how her mind is stuck in overdrive and almost out of control. Note that while she is just barely functional, she wishes at times she could cross over the line into sheer insanity, be institutionalized, and be done with it. Note the sudden flashes of fear for no reason. And note the state of her mind when she tries to gescapeh from all her problems (from herself, really) by suddenly flying off to a London she has never been to -- and discovers immediately, of course, that shefs just put herself in an even worse situation. Yeah, I can understand where all this is coming from; and a gnormalh person after reading this book will at least gain a better idea.

Ironically, my only disappointment about this book is its misleading title. It is NOT about Prozac since she doesnft start taking it until the end of the main book. It IS about being gYoung and Depressed in Americah. But I had hoped to find out more about this supposed wonder drug and what it feels like to be on it. Interestingly, though, in the Epilogue written some eight years later, she writes that while the Prozac did seems to help her sudden mood swings, after several years on it, her old problems started creeping up on her again. Drugs can help people like her, but not cure them. She is stuck with being herself for the rest of her life. Just like the rest of us. For better or for worse.

2-0 out of 5 stars SO many things wrong; where should I start?
I had many problems with this book. First of all, true depression affects every aspect of your life. It isn't something that you can conveniently set aside when you have to work hard enough to get into Harvard. It's something that ruins your productivity to the point where you couldn't possibly dream of getting into Harvard. Her academic success made me very suspicious about the seriousness of her mental ailments. Second, what's with the now cliche "woke up this morning afraid I was gonna live" line? Doesn't anyone else realize how much of an exaggeration that is based solely on the fact that she continued to live anyway? If her fear of living was as overtaking as she claims it was, she would have killed herself (or at least tried). This brings me to another issue -- her supposed "suicide attempt" that was clearly nothing but a childish ploy for attention. It reminded me of the time when I swallowed 80 sleeping pills at age thirteen to try and scare my parents, er, excuse me, "kill myself," except that Wurtzel was an adult when she did it. Unlike me, she doesn't even have the "I was an idiot thirteen year old" excuse.

Repeated misuse of semicolons aside, my biggest problem with her writing itself was her overuse of metaphors. Rather than just writing "I pushed myself out of bed," she writes "I pushed myself out of bed like a tape ejecting from a player." Sure, on its own it doesn't sound very annoying, but imagine that preceded by five other equally unnecessary metaphors...on the same page. Aren't metaphors supposed to be use to help explain something that isn't easy to understand? Does Wurtzel really think we need help understanding "I pushed myself out of bed"? To me, that many useless metaphors implies that the reader is stupid. Then again, she could have just been doing it to take up space, since the repetitiveness of her writing shows that she really never had much to say and could have condensed the whole thing into 50 pages.

In her after word, Wurtzel responds to people telling her they found the book angering to read by saying "good," because forcing them to feel the frustration felt by those who deal with depressives was "what [she] set out to do." I'd buy that statement if she hadn't said shortly before it that she doesn't really know why she wrote the book. Which one is it, Lizzie? Did you start writing with a goal in mind, or did you just want to put your dramatic life on display for everyone to ooh and aah over? Methinks it's the latter, and that the former is just a way to get out of admitting that some find her book angering or annoying not because they're supposed to, but because from some people's perspective, the book and the author both just suck.

One final thing -- What's with people calling the book "funny"? I didn't laugh once throughout the entire thing. I don't think I could even find something that was MEANT to be funny. At least I borrowed this book from a friend rather than wasting money on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new favorite
I thought this book was beautiful and touching and have no doubt that I will pick it up and read it again sometime very soon. However, I am not surprised that many readers found this book to be somewhat tedious or immature, or that they had difficulty identifying with the author.

As someone who has been through depression, I related to this book on so many levels. The feelings expressed and the thought processes were so familiar that I often found myself thinking about things in my life that I had tried to desperately to forget. I am someone from the same area, someone who has been to the same hospitals, someone who has felt and done the same types of things. Now, I am about to graduate from law school and am excited about the future. My journey to this point has been long and arduous, as I am sure the author's will continue to be.

For readers who have never felt the way the author has felt, I can understand their lack of ability to relate. However, to call what she is feeling immature or whiney is a close-minded view that I think you all should be somewhat ashamed of. Yes, many of these events happened when the author was young, respectively, but I think that it takes a certain amount of age and experience to understand why you feel the way you feel and to put it into proper perspective. To the readers who did not enjoy the book: I think you need to wake up and understand the realities of the world. Not understanding this book or enjoying it shows me that you still cannot grasp the idea that someone can be depressed, for a long time, for no particlar reason. Shame on you.

This book was a very quick read, with beautiful language. The author articulates feelings that so many of us have felt but been unable to express. Prozac Nation is definitely one of my new favorite books. ... Read more


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

"Voyages deep into the frenzied, complex world of LBO transactions."&mdash;BusinessWeek.

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

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

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

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

Reviews (29)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


20. The Fabulous Sylvester : The Legend, the Music, the 70s in San Francisco
by Joshua Gamson
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805072500
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 591461
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Book Description

A journey back through the music, madness, and unparalleled freedom of an era of change-the '70s-as told through the life of ultra-fabulous superstar Sylvester

Imagine a pied piper singing in a dazzling falsetto, wearing glittering sequins, and leading the young people of the nation to San Francisco and on to liberation where nothing was straight-laced or old-fashioned. And everyone, finally, was welcome-to come as themselves. This is not a fairy tale. This was real, mighty real, and disco sensation Sylvester was the piper. Joshua Gamson-a Yale-trained pop culture expert-uses him, a boy who would be fabulous, to lead us through the story of the '70s when a new era of change liberated us from conformity and boredom. Gamson captures the exuberant life, feeling, energy, and fun of a generation's wonderful, magical waking up-from the parties to the dancing and music.

The story begins with a little black boy who started with nothing buta really big voice. We follow him from the Gospel chorus to the glory days in the Castro where a generation shook off its shame asSylvester sang and began his rise as part of a now-notorious theatrical troup called the Cockettes. Celebrity, sociology, and music history mingle and merge around this endlessly entertaining story of a singer who embodied the freedom, spirit, and flamboyance of a golden moment in American culture.
... Read more

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