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21. Worth the Fighting For (Random
$15.61 list($22.95)
22. One Magical Sunday : (But Winning
$14.96 $14.30 list($22.00)
23. The Long Goodbye (Random House
24. Leap Of Faith: Memoirs Of An Unexpected
$27.17 $25.76 list($39.95)
25. My Life
$8.96 $7.99 list($11.95)
26. Angela's Ashes (Wheeler Large
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27. My Stroke of Luck
28. The Faith of George W. Bush (Thorndike
$30.95 $29.95
29. An Enduring Love (Thorndike Press
$26.00 $5.69
30. 'Tis: A Memoir
31. Father Joe: The Man Who Saved
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32. The Journeys of David Toback:
33. Memories Are Made Of This: Dean
$18.48 $18.42 list($28.00)
34. The Pat Conroy Cookbook : Recipes
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35. American Soldier
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36. Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way
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37. Ted Williams : The Biography of
38. John Adams (Thorndike Biography)
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39. Every Second Counts (Random House
40. Evenings With Cary Grant: Recollections

21. Worth the Fighting For (Random House Large Print)
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375431810
Catlog: Book (2002-09-24)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 366885
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars A great and good American
Senator John McCain's second volume of autobiography covers his career after his return from captivity in North Vietnam through his unfortunately failed bid for the Presidency in the 2000 elections. As he talks about his life and career, he also discusses those who have inspired and taught him, from history (TR, Billy Mitchell), literature (the Robert Jordan character from "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and Brando's portrayal of Zapata in "Viva Zapata"), sports (Ted Williams - a great baseball player and a fine Marine pilot in WWII and Korea), and from his own life (late Senators Scoop Jackson, Morris Udall, and John Tower - two of them Democrats, interestingly - among others). These essays mostly stand on their own and are worth the price of admission alone.

McCain is honest, sometimes brutally so, about his own failings and errors; his description of the Keating Five affair is thorough and unsparing, as are his admissions of occasional prevarication and displays of temper. He is no less straightforward about his political experiences. While a dedicated conservative and a believer, his contempt for the near-fascist "Christian" wing of the Republican party is evident, as is his disgust with the treatment former Senator John Tower received when nominated by President George H.W. Bush for the post of Secretary of Defense, a nomination shot down more by far right wingers than by the Democrats. One thing I did miss was his honest appraisal of the current President, but from patriotic motivations McCain may be saving that for later.

McCain seems to be suggesting at the end of the book that his public life is nearly over, that his Presidential ambitions are finished. All I can say is that I sincerely hope not. I am a Democrat who would support a McCain run for the Presidency unreservedly. I do not always agree with his views, but I admire his dedication to campaign finance reform, his strength, his candor, his willingness to work with the other side and see them as the loyal opposition rather than as traitors, his courage, and his service to our country. And if McCain never runs for the Presidency, what better final service could he render his country than to lead an effort to return the GOP back to its true core values and rescue it from the clutches of the far right.

5-0 out of 5 stars Aptly titled...Powerful, Inspirational Messages
After reading his other memoir "Faith of my Fathers," I was given "Worth the Fighting For" as a gift. And what a gift it turned out to be! Senator John McCain proves that he is truly one of the great All-American heroes of our time.

This memoir is honest, entertaining, and enlightening. By including the biographies of individuals McCain admired, we gain even better insight into the way John McCain's mind works. We begin to understand his motivations, his aspirations, and above all, his values. I am almost startled by how TRUTHFUL he is in approaching the challenges and obstacles in his life (running the gamut from his first bid for congress, the Keating Five Scandal, the run for President, and his Campaign Finance Reform movement.)What a life he's led!

I could not have come up with a better title for his work ("Worth the Fighting For"). Senator McCain very clearly demonstrates what he believes are the most important values integral to being a public servant and an American. I read this memoir with a pencil, because I found myself underlining so many moving and inspirational passages in his work.

Although I don't share the same political views as McCain, I can't help but feel an awesome sense of admiration for this man and his accomplishments. His memoir moves past political debates and examining and understanding our deeper core beliefs.

My absolute favorite chapters were the ones describing his bid for the Presidency and his efforts in Campaign Finance reform. However, all his biographical sketches were informative and fascinating. Another perk of reading his work, is getting a more personal opinion of the many "famous" elected officials running our nation--it's interesting to think why he either likes/dislikes these individuals.

An excellent work. Definitely pick this one up!

5-0 out of 5 stars Candid memoir that increased my opinion of McCain
Enjoyed hearing the audio version of WORTH THE FIGHTING
FOR: A MEMOIR by John McCain with Mark Salter (his
administrative assistant) . . . McCain did the narration, and that
had a lot to do with why I liked it so much . . . it felt that he was
speaking to me directly . . . I also got to know much more about
McCain's career after his Vietnam captivity . . . he pulls no
punches, talking about his friendship with John Tower and the
subsequent babble over Tower's nomination for defense

secretary . . . similarly, he revisits the "Keating Five" affair that
nearly wrecked his career in the early 1990s . . . yet both most
amazing and refreshing was his candid admission that he lied
during his 2000 run for the presidency . . . when asked about
the Confederate flag, he first did not tell the truth about his
background . . . he then compounded this mistake by not
divulging how he really felt about the subject.

Yet that said, I think the following quote from the book provides insight into
what John McCain is all about: "A rebel without a cause is just a
punk. Whatever you're called--rebel, unorthodox, nonconformist,
radical--it's all self-indulgence without a good cause to give you

It got me thinking that I'd give serious consideration to voting for
him should he ever decide to run again. . . however, it is unlikely
that he will be given the opportunity--much to my loss but
to Arizona's continued gain.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great American hero
While there are many politicians who profess to be uncontrollable mavericks who vote strictly based upon their conscience, there are few who do so in actuality. John McCain is one of these few rare creatures that are slowly growing extinct in a political climate that readily denounces instead of encouraging political reform and true representation of one's constituency. As the noble McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform is pondered by the Supreme Court for its supposed unconstitutionality and concurrently eviscerated by machine politicians such as Mitch McConnell, John McCain continues his admirably idealistic and iconoclastic approach to political reform: It's worth the fighting for.

As the vast multitude of Senators surreptitiously sneak in pork barrel earmarks that waste taxpayers billions of dollars per year, McCain espouses a line item veto - where the President can eliminate such wasteful expenditures while still signing the bill into law. McCain is loath to the inherent corruption and undue influence that soft money has effected upon the election process under the auspices of ostensibly independent ads on the eve of elections. Corruption, pork barrel politics, dishonesty, apathy, and anti-Americanism are all anathema to the most distinguished and honorable Senator in our great country - John McCain. I highly recommend this memoir. Just as McCain does so commendably with his politics, he has put his heart into it as only he can.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the reading
John McCain's second memoir covers the aspect of his life most of us are familiar with, his political career. In addition to telling his own tales, McCain mixes in chapters on heroes, both real and fictional, that have influenced his views and character. When discussing his own life, he writes of both his successes and failures and gives the reader an understanding of some of the reasons behind his "maverick" stances.

While some parts of the book become mired in the uninteresting details of political scandal, as a whole "Worth the Fighting For" is well worth reading, no matter your political persuasion. ... Read more

22. One Magical Sunday : (But Winning Isn't Everything)
by Phil Mickelson, Donald T. Phillips
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
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Asin: 0446578630
Catlog: Book (2005-03-21)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 60818
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Every year, he became so close only to fall short. Every year, the dream grew larger, only to fade away. Yet every year, his gallery of fans grew in support of his quest. Then on April 11, 2004, for the most beloved golfer of the decade, everything changed.

In ONE MAGICAL SUNDAY, Phil Mickelson takes us on a magical journey inside a life few have seen up close, but a life whose lessons can be cherished forever.As we travel hole-by-hole through the triumphant Sunday at the Masters, Phil looks back at the influences that made him the man he is today:his mom and dad, who mentored him on the balance between family and golf; his wife, Amy, who has given him so much happiness and fulfillment; and their three children, who remain their top priority.

With personal insights from Phil's family and never been seen photos of his most treasured moments, ONE MAGICAL SUNDAY is a book not only for Phil's millions of fans, but for everyone who finds inspiration in reading about a champion on and off the course. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Magical Sunday = One Magical Book
It's rare that an athlete or to be more specific, an athlete's accomplishment can capture the attention and hearts of an entire nation. But that is exactly what happened on that April day in 2004, that One Magical Sunday when the entire country became enthralled with the left-handed "lovable loser" from San Diego.

I am not sure what it is about Phil Mickelson that earned the love and respect of nearly every golf fan, and in this book, Mickelson wonders the same thing. There is something about us as Americans that makes us root for the underdog - the Rocky Balboas, the Boston Redsoxes, and the Phil Mickelsons of the world seem to epitomize everything that is America - the belief that dreams can come true, even in the face of adversity. And as quaint as that may sound, those beliefs come to life in this book.

This book takes us on a roller coaster ride of all 18 final holes at Augusta National, but much more than that, this is a story of a man who truly feels he is more blessed to have the love and support of his family more so than a major championship.

Sprinkled between a play-by-play recap of the final round of the 2004 Master's, are little anecdotes about Phil's life - from his childhood in San Diego through his college years at ASU through the birth of his three children, we become privy to a world of Phil Mickelson that most of us never knew, and we get to meet the people who helped shape Phil's life and influence him the most - from his parents to his college golf coach to his wife and kids.

The result? You walk away liking the guy even more than you already did, which is no small feat considering how much he was admired to begin with. This is a quick read and a real gem for golf fans and anyone who loves a great story of an underdog's triumph.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loves Life and The Game
I truly enjoyed reading this book due to its unique organization, simple language and profound principals expressed by Phil.The chiefest of these is that life to him is much more than golf.The joy that comes from the game is import to him, not winning, accolades, etc.

His family is primary also, as evidenced by the decisions he has made in favor of his family over golf, e.g. Mercedes tournament absence.

There is much revealed in this chronicle of his magical Masters victory, which is the organizational center, then revolving around this is past memories which cropped up in his Green Jacket round, and then contributions by friends, competitors, relatives, caddie, etc.This makes for a great insight into the talented, competitive golfer who so often is misunderstood and misportrayed by the media.

Thus, this book helps to clear the media polluted air about this great golfer and more importantly, family man.The story of his 2003 with all its trials, but especially about the severe, life threatening birth of son episode endures this great person to me even more.The joy he takes from more simple things off camera are touching and should be inspirational to many.

A great read to all golfers and those interested in Phil.

5-0 out of 5 stars THANKS FOR RIDE PHIL
If you like Phil Mickelson or if you like a feel good story -- then I strongly recommend that you read this book.Phil not only takes the reader through his final 18 holes at Augusta but also the foundation that he was provided as a child.The book is very easy and a quick read.Surrounded by supportive family and friends, Phil makes it a point not to take any of that for granted.Unlike so many professional athletes, Phil is grounded and humble.It is impossible not to cheer for Phil Mickelson.Of course, I am terribly biased as I am a huge Phil Mickelson fan.I am a die-hard sports fan and am seldom moved by accomplishments.However, I must say I wore out my family room carpet as he played the back 9 on Sunday at Augusta.Enjoy the book golf fans because I know I did. ... Read more

23. The Long Goodbye (Random House Large Print)
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
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Asin: 0375434771
Catlog: Book (2004-11-16)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 25765
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24. Leap Of Faith: Memoirs Of An Unexpected Life
by Queen Noor
list price: $13.95
our price: $13.95
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Asin: 1594130701
Catlog: Book (2005-03-09)
Publisher: Large Print Press
Sales Rank: 632188
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Leap of Faith is the dramatic and inspiring story of an American woman's remarkable journey into the heart of a man and his nation.

Born into a distinguished Arab-American family and raised amid privilege, Lisa Halaby joined the first freshman class at Princeton to accept women, graduating in 1974 with a degree in architecture and urban planning. Two years later, while visiting her father in Jordan, she was casually introduced on the airport runway to King Hussein. Widely admired in the Arab world as a voice of moderation, and for his direct lineage to the prophet Muhammad, Hussein would soon become the world's most eligible bachelor after the tragic death of his wife. The next time they met, Hussein would fall headlong in love with the athletic, outspoken daughter of his longtime friend. After a whirlwind, secret courtship Lisa Halaby became Noor Al Hussein, Queen of Jordan.

With eloquence and candor, Queen Noor speaks of the obstacles she faced as a naive young bride in the royal court, of rebelling against the smothering embrace of security guards and palace life, and of her own successful struggle to create a working role as a humanitarian activist In a court that simply expected Noor to keep her husband happy. As she gradually took on the mantle of a queen, Noor's joys and challenges grew. After a heartbreaking miscarriage, she gave birth to four children. Meshing the demands of motherhood with the commitments of her position often proved difficult, but she tried to keep her young children by her side, even while flying the world with her husband in his relentless quest for peace. This mission would reap satisfying rewards, including greater Arab unity and a peace treaty with Israel, and suffer such terrible setbacks as the Gulf War and the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin.

Leap of Faith is a remarkable document. It is the story of a young American woman who became wife and partner to an Arab monarch. It provides a compelling portrait of the late King Hussein and his lifelong effort to bring peace to his wartorn region, and an insider's view of the growing gulf between the United States and the Arab nations. It is also the refreshingly candid story of a mother coming to terms with the demands the king's role as a world statesman placed on her family's private life. But most of all it is a love story—the intimate account of a woman who lost her heart to a king, and to his people. ... Read more

Reviews (174)

5-0 out of 5 stars A timely book on behalf of ordinary Muslim people.
I have been deeply moved by this book. Those who are expecting a fairy tale book, about a rosy love story between an American woman and an Arabian King, will be disappointed.

But those who have been wondering when a writer would enlighten the outside world, about the Middle-East, with a serious, factual and well thought out writing, have their prayers answered in this inspiring book which is for those who are open-minded enough to want to look beyond the Western clich├ęs at Jordan and the Middle-East from a Jordanian and Middle-Eastern viewpoints.

I liked its style based on factual data -NO FICTION- given not in a cold manner but with a warm and loving heart. Out of this book, flows mutual respect, understanding and love for (wo)mankind.

Queen Noor, in this book, has spoken on behalf of ordinary Muslim people, like me, who have no access to the powerful Western media. Thank you for that!

Regards to you all in Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant EYE-OPENER!!!!!!
Bravo Queen Noor! An extremely well-written memoir about a Queen and her two greatest loves (King Hussein and the Jordanians). I bought the book at an airport and couldn't put it down for hours. Fascinating, inside look at life and peacemaking in the Middle East. I found it very refreshing to hear another point of view on the Israeli -Palestinian conflict and think anyone interested in the region should read the book. It is pretty heavy on history and foreign policy, from the Jordanian perspective, and lighter on personal details. Queen Noor is an articulate, graceful woman that used her unique position to better the lives of many Jordanians, especially women, and create a greater/more accurate understanding of Arabs and their culture in the USA. Born and raised in America, she was educated in some of the countries most prestigous institutions and her passion for human rights was emblazed in her during the civil rights movement. I view Queen Noor as a visionary and a genuine peacemaker and wish more women in power would embrace her view of humanity.

As a final comment, I am not at all surprised by the negative attacks on the book by the unconditional pro-Israeli followers who cannot bear to have their story questioned. Their comments seem extremely defensive and reveal a deep unsecurity. Despite years of the U.S. media bombarding us with a one-sided, distorted view of Israeli history, Queen Noor has found a powerful platform to present the OTHER side. Hope the Queen's LEAP of FAITH opens your eyes.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Sustained Optimism
Little did I know that the autobiography of an American who married an Arab monarch would be a lesson in enduring love and ceaseless diplomacy in the Middle East. Queen Noor's Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life provided another window in which to view the internecine politics that have embroiled the region for over sixty years. I now more fully understand why King Hussein of Jordan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize after reading about his untiring and unremitting efforts to obtain peace in the region and just treatment for Palestinians. Queen Noor, his third wife with whom he shared twenty years of marriage, also has been a formidable leader in the world, principally for her cultural and humanitarian contributions globally. Born Lisa Halaby in the United States, Queen Noor assumed her position of royalty at the age of twenty-six. She developed a superb work ethic that blended her excellent educational background, her work experience as architect, and diplomacy learned as she matured as the wife of a head of state in a volatile time. Leap of Faith provides balance in our understanding of the multinational conflict which continues to rage.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good sense of history
Queen Noor's book was well received by a segment of the public. King Hussein courted her and married her in a few weeks. The book is poorly written for a Princeton student (remember, she did not graduate). While she has had a lot of experience dealing with politicians, her writing is naive and simplistic. She also portrays too much anti-semitism and her views of Israel and US are almost parroted from the typical middle east forum. Her husband was more polished.

The book is a revisionist version of political history of Jordan. The ground realities are known to a few who have visited the place. The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan has Palestinian majority but they do not have the right to vote there. You have to be a Hashemeite bedouin to vote there. Arafat was booted out in the 70s for trying to take over Jordan. All this is conveniently omitted in this book and by most middle eastern texts. The concept of democracy in middle east is fuzzy at best. Any person is "elected" for life (unless his life is taken from him like Anwar Sadat of Egypt). Even Israel gives voting rights to its Arab citizens, though it may not be a model state. While all the Arab states complain about the Palestinians, not a single one donate money for infrastructure development or healthcare of the Palestinians, that is the crying shame. While Israel should give rights to Palestinians and create a Palestinian state, why should Jordan not give rights to them. The present king of Jordan is married to a Palestinian, is that not reason enough. This book has hypocrisy written all over it. Please do not waste your money over it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Queen Noor:- a latter member of the beat generation
From the book, it is obvious that Queen Noor is a latter member of the beat generation. For instance, there was the part about how she temporarily dropped out Princeton on account of her disdain for anything to do with the establishment as a result of the war in Vietnam. It seems to me that her main reason for converting to Islam was to rebel against Western values:- a slight variation of how hippies travelled to India in the 60s in search of spiritual enlightenment.

I view with similar disdain her hypocrisy about Israel. She is constantly claiming to have an affection for the people of Israel, but uses a number of pages criticising the very existence of the country. I accept that not all people like Israel, but I feel that she should stop pretending to like it.

I have no time for hippies like Queen Noor. ... Read more

25. My Life
by Bill Clinton
list price: $39.95
our price: $27.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375435190
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 2619
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
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An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" determined to destroy him, and the "morally indefensible" acts for which he was nearly impeached. My Life is autobiography as therapy--a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons.

Clinton approaches the story of his youth with gusto, sharing tales of giant watermelons, nine-pound tumors, a charging ram, famous mobsters and jazz musicians, and a BB gun standoff. He offers an equally energetic portrait of American history, pop culture, and the evolving political landscape, covering the historical events that shaped his early years (namely the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK) and the events that shaped his presidency (Waco, Bosnia, Somalia). What makes My Life remarkable as a political memoir is how thoroughly it is infused with Clinton's unassuming, charmingly pithy voice:

I learned a lot from the stories my uncle, aunts, and grandparents told me: that no one is perfect but most people are good; that people can't be judged only by their worst or weakest moments; that harsh judgments can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only, response to pain.

However, that same voice might tire readers as Clinton applies his penchant for minute details to a distractible laundry list of events, from his youth through the years of his presidency. Not wanting to forget a single detail that might help account for his actions, Clinton overdoes it--do we really need to know the name of his childhood barber? But when Clinton sticks to the meat of his story--recollections about Mother, his abusive stepfather, Hillary, the campaign trail, and Kenneth Starr--the veracity of emotion and Kitchen Confidential-type revelations about "what it is like to be President" make My Life impossible to put down.

To Clinton, "politics is a contact sport," and while he claims that My Life is not intended to make excuses or assign blame, it does portray him as a fighter whose strategy is to "take the first hit, then counterpunch as hard as I could." While My Life is primarily a stroll through Clinton's memories, it is also a scathing rebuke--a retaliation against his detractors, including Kenneth Starr, whose "mindless search for scandal" protected the guilty while "persecuting the innocent" and distracted his Administration from pressing international matters (including strikes on al Qaeda). Counterpunch indeed.

At its core, My Life is a charming and intriguing if flawed book by an equally intriguing and flawed man who had his worst failures and humiliations made public. Ultimately, the man who left office in the shadow of scandal offers an honest and open account of his life, allowing readers to witness his struggle to "drain the most out of every moment" while maintaining the character with which he was raised. It is a remarkably intimate, persuasive look at the boy he was, the President he became, and man he is today. --Daphne Durham ... Read more

Reviews (463)

2-0 out of 5 stars Arrived with a Thud, turned into a Dud.
If you remember the 1988 convention speech where Clinton was nearly booed off the stage for taking too long or the state-of-the-union where he droned for over 90 minutes, you may recall the feeling you'll get somewhere around page 250 of this tome ... "when will it end?"

This particular work of mostly self-aggrandizing fiction suffers from being so self-absorbed and so badly edited it totally detracts from the nuggets of humanity and historical interest in the text. It's the "Heaven's Gate" of Presidential memoirs. That Liberals are dutifully reading this and watching the exposed liar Michael Moore (...) this summer says much about their fanatic religious devotion to their faith. Faith requires suffering!

The memoir still whitewashes much wrt Clinton's 'scandalabra', even while admitting to the bare minimum to keep it credible to the faithful. So we get Monica semi- mea culpa, but what about Genifer Flowers (she claimed a 13 year affair), or his pardon of Marc Rich? Or for that matter *important stuff* like how the Chinese managed to funnel illegal funds to his campaign in 96? Maybe its too much to expect an exhumation of his skeleton closet, but he manages to say so much yet reveal so little in so many pages. And he's entitled to his own opinions about other folks, but his view on Starr and the constitutional issues and process involved in the impeachment show he is trying to re-write history and doesnt understand Starr's appropriate role and actions. He doesnt get it - it was about lying under oath.

Dont read this. Read the Marinass bio and read Rich Lowry's "Legacy" and somewhere in the middle of their accounts is what really happened.

Lastly, read U.S. Grant's memoirs, the best Presidential memiors, writeen before Presidential memoirs were excercises in self-justification. They have all the economy and sparseness in style, bright narrative, and objective viewpoint that Clinton's memoirs lack. And he recount events far more important, like how the Civil War was won by the Union side, than details of Clinton's campaign events.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Easy, Pleasant Read
I approached the book as though it was written -- not by a former Democratic President -- but a man with amazing life experiences. The insight the author provided on the workings of the executive branch of our government, along with international events were just icing on the cake for me.

The writing is very easy to read; the story flows smoothly. All in all, I enjoy the voice that is projected from the author's composition.

I found it interesting that on page 811, when Clinton was introspective about his affair with Monica, his revelation is that he is vulnerable to making selfish and self-destructive personal mistakes when he is exhausted, angry, or feeling isolated. This mirrors the 12-step recovery motto of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired), which recognize our vulnerabilities to succumb to our addictions.

I must say that Clinton's description of sleeping on a couch for two months following his admission to Hillary regarding Ms. Lewinsky was hard to believe. Perhaps he was placing himself in the doghouse, making use of the couch adjacent to their bedroom, but still -- there were so many other bedrooms in the White House. Aside from that, I'm glad Clinton disclosed that he and Hillary participated in weekly couples counseling for a year.

My favorite parts of the book cover Clinton's reflections on family, friends, and associates who passed away. This is where he shared personal thoughts on the affect these people had on him, and how he mourned their deaths.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Look At The Most Controversial President
A Fascinating Look At The Most Controversial President

This book will intrigue anyone who cares about America. You get an insider's view from the divisive man himslef. You'll also learn the struggles all presidents must face, and the role the media played in helping and hurting Clinton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Willie!!
In 2001, William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton exited the White House after becoming the first two-term Democratic president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Instead of praise for surmounting numerous and incredible life obstacles, his rags-to-riches personal life story actually had the right wing seriously enraged enough to attempt a sham impeachment and conviction on anything (and EVERYTHING) they thought up. The reception discrepancy between his personal history and presidential administration is painstakingly explored in the personal autobiography---with no detail spared. I am not fortunate enough to live near a city where Clinton undertook book promotion tours, but this title's price vs. length and quality is well worth those televised all-night camp outs.

Eschewing a ghost-writer, Clinton personally poured his heart and mind about personal and potentially difficult subjects which former presidents (of all ideologies) shielded themselves from. Choosing the less-utilized "open disclosure" route is a refreshing contribution to American public policymaking. It is also one which more public officials should follow.

Rather than seeing diversity as an election strategy, Clinton genuinely appreciates social justice movements which attempt to make the world radically different from his Arkansas boyhood. In the television era's early days, then-Governor Orval Fabus tried to maintain segregation 'standing in front of the schoolhouse door' to Little Rock's Central High School (pp. 38-39) Undoubtedly this incident's horror (and fears that all southerners were presumed to agree with Faubus) helped solidify determination to pursue a radically contrasting racial public policy legacy (pp. 559-560). In turn, Clinton's early decision explains why I and many other people love him today.

Repeatedly, Clinton draws upon his witness to the 1957 Little Rock action as one motivator for public service (the other of course is meeting President Kennedy at a D.C. Boys Town Summit). Because I am also growing up in a conservative southern town, I am comforted things do change; a young Republican who openly cheered during the announcement of President Kennedy's assassination later became a Democrat, social worker, and one of Clinton's biggest political supporters (p. 65). The bigger person recognizes when it is time to mend the oft-mentioned political fences. During his Arkansas Governorship Clinton demonstrated the nation only maximum potential when all demographics are empowered to participate in the American dream.

I also enjoyed reading personal family anecdotes---including those which are probably still painful to share with audiences. In fifth grade, he learned that people who rented out motels for long periods of time did abortions (p. 29) because the procedure was illegal in the state. He also describes the incidents where stepfather Roger beat the family---until young Bill grew big enough to fight back (pp. 45-51). The vivid descriptions provide both literary action and a solemn reminder the world is better because abortion is legalized, and domestic violence is no longer a 'family affair'. As a child of divorce, I am also reassured that an American President went through several of the same experiences me and many of my friends experienced. When he talks about families, Clinton is personally aware there are many different types of families and the rightwing has never spoken for everybody (pp. 633-636)

As the first president to be in the delivery room during his child's birth (p. 273), Clinton brought unprecedented sensitivity to the Oval Office. Because the lives of American voters are more egalitarian, this empathy is a definite asset in the post-cold war era From his own personal experiences, Clinton easily understands that good and strong families come in all compositions (pp. 426-427). I was also intrigued to learn that Clinton did not personally/politically have a problem with Hillary's last name (p. 296). Finally, "women's issues" like the Equal Rights Amendment (p. 257) stand on their own merit as something which is genuinely important to HIM.

Certainly people have to take self-initiative for their private life, but Clinton's centrist Democratic theory (dating from Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign) says that government is still obligated to ensure the people trying to help themselves and their communities can actually do so (p. 122). This approach explains why he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 ---overhauling the depression-era welfare system, while also rejecting the complete dismantlement passionately championed by Republican opponents. Aware that welfare payments had varied by state and women were not getting rich anywhere, Clinton also knew the current system had intentionally built-in incentives for women to stay at home instead of work. Welfare was initially developed so low-income women would not 'deviate from 'traditional' homemaker roles and could also stay at home with their children like many other women of the time. Clinton purposefully attempted to allocate enough money and resources for childcare so low-income women would not find themselves in a horrid catch-22 situation of wanting to work but not being able to find affordable, safe, and reliable daycare for their children (pp. 720-721).

Before entering elected office, Clinton taught college classes at the University of Arkansas and the professorial enthusiasm (pp. 204-205) required for that task is especially obvious today as the lessons he taught to and learned from the students are recalled. I can easily imagine myself as a student in the class while he is racing up and down the auditorium steps exhorting us to become even more involved in the larger world (p. 203). Because they cannot realistically be confined to a classroom, such individuals were predestined to have a tremendous impact on the larger world.

By showing a less serious side of the Clintons which is not always discernable from the media, the enclosed photos reinforce this aforementioned environment. Conceding that his personal actions damaged the family (p. 800, p. 811), he avoids a holier-than-thou attitude which ruined many other political careers. Clinton succeeds at the American Dream because he already knows and easily accepts his imperfection. He is so personable that even when I disagreed with Clinton's policies, myself and others always knew that he would not attack dissenters on trumped up charges. Instead, Clinton's enduring personal patience (he appears far more patient than he has given himself credit for) and boundless optimism for the nation consistently shine throughout this book. By nature, genuine sentiment cannot be slick.

This book is a mandatory purchase for the Clinton fan---or anybody preferring a time when the United States president was respected for unflagging civility in the face of adversarial circumstances that had grounding lesser politicians from all levels of government. Unfortunately, like Hillary's autobiography (2002), the author's relative chronological youth in relation to his numerous public accomplishments means that another edition or volume will eventually be required for adequately chronicling all of the national/international contributions. Even at 957 pages, fitting all important information into one volume is impossible. I look forward to purchasing future editions of this biography.

5-0 out of 5 stars You either love him or hate him
Very intimate account of his life, with an undertone for the personal pain he his bearing. Great read for someone starting life and who wants to know how to chart the course of his or her life regardless of their family/childhood limitations. ... Read more

26. Angela's Ashes (Wheeler Large Print Press (large print paper))
by Frank McCourt, Frank Mccourt
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156895963X
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Large Print Press
Sales Rank: 212679
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

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

Perhaps it is a story that accounts for Frank's survival.Wearing shoes repaired with tires, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner, and searching the pubs for his father, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors -- yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Imbued with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion -- and movingly read in his own voice -- Angela's Ashes is a glorious audiobook that bears all the marks of a classic. ... Read more

Reviews (1623)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5-0 out of 5 stars ANGELA'S ASHES

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

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

27. My Stroke of Luck
by Kirk Douglas
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060083336
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: HarperLargePrint
Sales Rank: 444778
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Known internationally and across generations for playing the indomitable Spartacus, topping international bestseller lists, and building parks and schools in troubled communities, Kirk Douglas is a legend in his own time and serves as an inspiration to us all.

Now, in My Stroke of Luck, Kirk Douglas finally completes his story by offering a candid and heartfelt memoir of where it all went right. Writing in his own words, Douglas offers tender vignettes in tribute to the childhood that shaped him, the wife and devoted family who supported him, and the life-changing event that helped him to appreciate the gifts given to him over his eighty-three years. Touching and funny, inspiring and uplifting, Kirk Douglas traces how his greatest setback became a source of strength and renewal -- leading him to find the eighth decade of his life the most fulfilling yet.

... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational memoir
Read MY STROKE OF LUCK by Kirk Douglas, his inspirational
memoir depicting the past few years of his life . . . they have not been healthy ones for the famed actor, in that he first
was in a helicopter crash and then suffered a stroke.

But he has managed to survive both, even managing to
resume his acting career . . . you'll be moved by both his
upbeat attitude and sense of humor as he faced many life
events that have unfortunately gotten the best of many
others . . . I don't know if I would be able to maintain Douglas' grace, but I would make every attempt to do so.

This book is a "must" for anybody who has suffered a
stroke or knows anybody who has . . . in addition, movie
fans will like it for the many reminisces sprinkled throughout.

There were many memorable passages; among them:
What a hard life she [my mother] endured. I kept studying
her face. My mother's eyes opened and she stared at my face,
filled with anxiety. She smiled softly and squeezed my hand
gently. Her eyes, almost black on her white face, seemed to be
looking through me. She whispered, "Don't be afraid, it happens
to everyone." She took a deep breath and exhaled. The air came
out of her mouth like a slowly deflating balloon. She stopped

The world is filled with people who have suffered from one misfortune or another. The only thing that sets one apart from the rest is the desire and the attempt to help others. People who reach out beyond their pain, out into the world in a trusting way-they are the ones who make a difference. Nietzsche said, "He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Why? Because deep down we know that what matters in this life
is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life
is helping others win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course. We all want happiness. Life teaches us that we achieve happiness when we seek the happiness and well-being of others.

4-0 out of 5 stars MAN WITH A GREAT EGO

This is a case where a huge ego with character comes in handy. It let him help others and it helped him become one of the best actors in his time. Additionally, he wrote this book about a stroke he had in his 80s-and this is one of several books he wrote. I hope my ego is large enough to keep me going for that long. It's not big enough to even to start what he has done is one lifetime. So he couldn't talk. I know just how he felt. I couldn't either.

A brain attack is a strange experience, especially if you have aphasia. You are trying to talk to the doctor and he hears nothing but strange sounds. At least Kirk Douglas could walk which was wonderful at his age and after what he had already put his body through.

They have medicine for depression which some times does not help as Kirk found out. Thank God for an ego and a wonderful sense of humor, which he had to have. He has a very good memory and the things he did, and is still doing for his friends and strangers will always be remembered by the world.

I got a good laugh out of his thoughts of death where he appeared in front of an old man and asked him if he was in heaven. The old man roared, "THAT'S WHERE YOU CAME FROM, don't you like what I gave you on earth, this is a RECYCLING PLANT, where humans are made of dust and in the end return to dust!" For some of us it is our heaven, the Earth! That why we are in no hurry to leave.

It's wonderful that a man of Kirks age can write a book while he is recovering from a stroke. And, not just a book, but also an excellent book, which will help anyone with any kind of disability problem who reads it. For others it's just an excellent book.

Roger L. Lee

5-0 out of 5 stars A truly inspiring book
Mr. Douglas chronicles his debilitating stroke, and how it changed his life. He pays tribute to those who helped him, and also tells us of the things he learned along the way.

A must-read book, which shows the REAL Kirk Douglas--an exceptionally brave man, and a wonderful human being.

3-0 out of 5 stars Self-Praise
Will Rogers once said, "The movies are the only business where you can go out front and applaud yourself." This must be what drew Kirk Douglas to the acting profession, for this slight volume (considerably slimmer than one might expect with its small trim size and double spacing), his third memoir after The Ragman's Son and Climbing the Mountain, can barely contain his ego.

Although mostly peppered with the praise he has received over the years for his roles in over 80 films, the stated purpose of the book is detailing the aftermath of the minor stroke Douglas suffered in 1996.

In doing so, he casts many side-glances at the film industry, a profession he advised his sons not to enter because, "The chances of success are so remote; the pitfalls of failure and depression lie hidden along the trail," but, "Alas, they don't listen to me."

The reality of dealing with a stroke made Douglas sit up and take notice of fellow actors who have also had to deal with their own health challenges, among them, Christopher Reeve, Michael J. Fox and Dudley Moore, "who use their celebrity to bring light to the darkness."

In 1996, Douglas was at his home in Los Angeles when he noticed a strange pain that ran from his temple to his cheek, after which his speech was impaired. Not realizing he had suffered a stroke, his cook added insult to injury by slapping him in the face in an attempt to "revive" him. But his wife's swift action - once alerted to the situation - in seeking medical treatment for her husband probably minimized the effects of the stroke, and may have saved his life.

When it came to death, his mother had modeled acceptance, on her deathbed whispering, "Don't be afraid, it happens to everyone," but Douglas was not so sure he was ready to resign himself to such a fate. Upon his release from hospital, he retreated to a hospital bed in his room at home, his "cocoon."

He shares the fear and bewilderment that accompanied his recovery: "Strokes are for elderly people," he writes, "I was only 80...." In the process, he speaks of depression and hopelessness (at one point considering suicide): "Each day I did nothing but lie in this black hole, which only seemed to get smaller and darker."

To cope with being confined to bed, Douglas relived some of his most cherished memories in his mind. "When I found a good memory, like a dog I hid my favorite bone, to be chewed on later." Those memories included his mother telling him as a child that snow comes from "the angels sweeping the porch of heaven," and memories of getting ice cream with his father.

Here, he shares the trials and travails of his rehabilitation. When he'd had enough of self-pity, anguish and despair, he turned his thoughts to doing something to help others. Inspired by how Ronald Reagan had "the courage to write a letter to the world when he knew he had Alzheimer's disease," Douglas established the Motion Picture Relief Home's Alzheimer's Unit in 1997.

Douglas fans won't be disappointed since the book has its share of stargazing nostalgia. He recalls how he walked actor Patricia Neal home after the premiere of The Fountainhead, how he "kissed her good night, passionately, as I remember, and often. A jealous Gary Cooper was watching from across the street." Neal has had three massive strokes herself but was able to recover and resume work.

Outside the acting profession, Stephen Hawking is hailed for dealing with Lou Gehrig's disease, as are Tipper Gore and Mike Wallace for their frank admissions about suffering from depression, and the message is clear: "Sometimes God gives us obstacles in life to overcome to make us stronger."

Douglas borrowed the inspiration for the book's title from his friend Jim MacLaren, who, despite losing a leg in a motorcycle accident persevered as an actor and a triathlete. When MacLaren - unbelievably - was paralyzed by a further accident involving a truck, he later told Douglas, "I consider it a stroke of luck," adding, "it changed me. I didn't like the guy I used to be."

As for Douglas's own experience, he reports he has "developed an appreciation for language" after being left with a speech impediment as a result of the stroke. But on a happier note, he relates his son Michael says he's noticed improvement in his father's golf game since he plays less aggressively now. Of Michael, Douglas once quipped, "If I knew he was going to be that famous, I would have been nicer to him when he was young."

My Stroke of Luck also includes Douglas's advice on love and a tribute to his wife Anne, who herself had to endure breast cancer and whom he has been married to for 48 years.

Since his stroke, Douglas has spent much of his time helping other stroke survivors and their families deal with the aftermath of a stroke. Now he offers further advice.

Referring to his acting career, Douglas says, "For years, I was so busy, I had no time to think about anyone but me, me, me," and "How time flies when you're thinking only of yourself." That hasn't really changed here, given his constant references to the flattery he's received over the years, but still he is to be congratulated for his attempt at shedding light on this common affliction.

Also admirable is Douglas's drive and determination. Post-stroke he has starred in a movie and made a guest appearance in a television series, and at the time of writing - at the age of 83 - he is anxious for more parts, still waiting for the phone to ring, hoping it's his agent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Profoundly Simple and Moving
Kirk Douglas chronicles his own struggle to overcome the personal and professional demons tied to the aftermath of a devastating stroke in MY STROKE OF LUCK. The stories are full of passion, courage, and spontaneity.

The book is an incredibly swift read, as he concentrates solely on the vignettes associated to the events instead of dealing (as some books of this variety do) with the mountains and mountains of ancilliary details that, while may be eye-opening, can be as exhaustive to the reader as they are to the stroke survivor.

In my family, a relation on my wife's side endured a stroke, and we watched how the debilitating condition affected her ability to communicate, to express, and to feel. Of course, we always knew of her frustration, but we couldn't step into her shoes and begin to comprehend just how infuriating her condition could be. Mr. Douglas's book brings much of this to light, in bravely discussing openly some of his own feelings of inadequacy and anger, but, ultimately, he tells the reader how he managed to achieve a type of peace, humor, and acceptance of one of the cruelest tricks life could play on any of us.

While some of the prose is light, this is a triumph best told simply, allowing the reader to almost walk hand-in-hand with one of the world's greatest actors and hear how even the littlest experiences have all of a sudden become incredible physical and emotional obstacles. ... Read more

28. The Faith of George W. Bush (Thorndike Large Print Inspirational Series)
by Stephen Mansfield
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786263911
Catlog: Book (2004-08-02)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 117178
Average Customer Review: 3.61 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The first book to explore the religious ideals that drive the policies and politics of Bush as president and that have privately shaped Bush as a man.

More than any other president in recent years, George W. Bush's presidency is "faith based." His life demonstrates the power of faith to create change, to build a family and political career, and to shape the destiny of a nation with his leadership.

This book allows us to see how George W. Bush interjects his faith and belief in God into every detail of his life. From the President's devotional time alone each morning to his frequent incorporation of Scripture into his speeches, Bush relies upon his faith to direct his actions and goals.

In 1986, Bush responded to the Biblical conversion story of the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus by asking Jesus to be his friend, and as a result he overcame a growing dependence upon alcohol and turned to the Bible to save his marriage and his family. During his presidential campaign, he brought leading pastors to his governor's mansion to lay hands on him and pray for his future, telling them that he had been "called" to seek higher office.

From the tragedy of September 11th to the present-day conflict in Iraq, President Bush has learned to use his personal faith to help him live his life-both in office and in private. This book will inspire others to do the same.
... Read more

Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not hard-hitting, but definitely uplifting
I am tempted to say that this book is really two books rolled into one, but that's not really true. To look at the faith of President George W. Bush, author and historian Stephen Mansfield had to look at his life. He follows George W. from his initial christening in the Episcopal Church, through his dissolute and aimless youth, and on to his spiritual awakening in his middle years, finally ending up in his application of his faith to his role as President of the United States.

Now, in many ways it is fair to say that this is a sympathetic book to Bush. The author does not delve deeply into Bush's drinking problems or his relationship with his family. But, that said, he does weave a fascinating story that shows the spiritual evolution of George Bush.

Like many Christians, George Bush was born into a Christian home. And, his relationship with God was not one of a sudden and profound conversion, but was one of losing and refinding it, of stepping away from simple family-religion, and into a personal walk with God. So, if you are looking for a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred investigation of George W. Bush's faith, then this book is not for you. But, if you are interested in a straightforward and uplifting look at a man's faith, then you will enjoy this book - as I did. I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars W The President
This is an outstanding read if you want to get to know what shaped George W. Bush's life, belief sytem, and his values. It begins at George W.'s birth, and follows his journey of faith all the way up to the September 11th attacks. It's a spiritual journey of reawakening. There is one part of this book that brought my father, a Vietnam War veteran, to tears when he read it. It was about George W. Bush, the Commander-in-Chief, kneeling beside a wounded soldier and saying a prayer for him. It certainly taught me about George W., the man, and how faith guides him through every step of his life. My admiration for him has grown by leaps and bounds after having finished this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars We need a christian presadent in 2004! WWJD
I thought in the debates when Bush said that jesus was his favorit philosohy it was a moment for teh history books and I was rite, I knew i would vote for him from then on because noone ever said that before. It makes me mad when people try toput him down saying he is bad because of all the elections in texas--well you don't live here, it is bad,we need all the executions and more to stop all the crime that is going on here. They deserve what they get. It says right in the bible spare the rod and spoil the child and that is all Bush is doing, there is a bunch of other quotes I could show you to show how he is right to! And the same goes for the grate war for freedum in Iran to get rid of the evildoers and all the weapons of mast destruction that they is thretining the wold by. In the bible the isrealites fought many wars that God wanted and they WON, this one is not any different from them. Jesus said he who lives by the sword will die by the sword and that is exactly what we are giving to Saddom Husane right now, I am just glad we have a grate conservitive man to carry forword are christian ideas and from reading this book any one can see that Bush is the MAN for us. I get so sick of everyone saying he is bad or critisizing him on the news all the time, well he is not I just wish they would be quite or go back to france were they would like it better anyway. This is a good book that shuld be rwead by all patreotic americans!

1-0 out of 5 stars do people actually believe this?
trying to display bush as a man of faith seems pretty far fetched. Religion and a persons deep belief in the after life is displayed to others by good deeds, not selfish ends. The actions of our President have been destructive, ended many lifes, and caused wide spread suffering.

1-0 out of 5 stars What happened to separation of church from the damn state?!
Once again the "good ol boys," have a candidate in power (oh crap says the world) but this is no sheriff position in the deep south this is the president. Back in his run for presidency Bush used his religion to net in a few more sheep because they thought it to be daring to announce a faith (oh yes bravo dubya your so daring for annoucing a faith shared by about 99% of your party,) I personally found that incrediably distasteful but thats the way of politics..well republican politics anyway. So to finish, Re-Defeat Bush in '04 and keep christianity the hell outta politics if not the world. ... Read more

29. An Enduring Love (Thorndike Press Large Print Biography Series)
by Farah Pahlavi
list price: $30.95
our price: $30.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786267275
Catlog: Book (2004-08-02)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 581632
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A moving story of the former Empress of Iran -- now in paperback.

At the age of twenty-one, Farah Diba married the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi. A loving marriage, the raising of four children, and a devotion to social and cultural causes marked her early years as queen, although there were already signs of grave national diversions on the horizon.

Twenty years later the dream had turned into a nightmare: demonstrations and riots shook the country, and Farah and the Shah decided to leave in order to avoid bloodshed. With the hardcover publication of An Enduring Love, a New York Times bestseller (extended list) in 2004, Farah Diba, wife of the last emperor of Iran, broke her silence and told the wrenching story of her love for a man and his country. Her compelling memoir offers an intimate view of a time of upheaval, but stands above all as a powerful human document from one whose life was caught up in an epic and tragic national struggle. ... Read more

Reviews (74)

5-0 out of 5 stars A human story --
Its unfortunate that many reviewers of this book have used this site to express their own political views and, therefore, represent a skewed review of Farah Pahlavi's book.
Farah's book is a beautiful human story of a woman living her destiny and experiencing life with all its pains and glory.It is a story of a daugher, a wife, a mother, and a Queen.Having just returned from a trip to Iran and spent some time researching some of the facts mentioned in this book, I can vouch that the works and plans of the Shah, Farah, and the Shah's father for Iran are exactly those about which the current regime boasts and uses to lure tourism today.
It remains undisputed that the Pahlavi regime provided great service to Iranians and ensured security in the Middle East.For that, we will be forever thankful to the Pahlavis.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrorism
The terrorism the world faces today can be laid directly at the feet of our culpability for failing to support the Shah, our best friend in the region. The president said he had read the Koran and had sympathy for the insurgents! I remember vividly my dismay at the actions of our government. What a legacy.
At times I could almost see Iran as is pictured in the book before the fall of the Shah, the trees, desert, poverty, etc.

3-0 out of 5 stars Out of Touch with Reality
I enjoyed reading this book. Farah went from the height of power, prestige, admiration (real or imagined)to desolation, desperation, isolation and despair.

To her the Shah must have been a just ruler who became a victim. This is the man she loved, afterall, and maybe she really believes it, but to the average reader with a little knowledge of the history of Iran she may come accross as being out of touch with reality.

I wonder if she ever read any books that describe the Shah of Persia as a brutal dictator who tortured, killed and jailed the opposition. Was she totally in the dark? She doesn't aknowledge any wrong doing and seemed shocked by having to go into exile.

Her pain is very real but I find the book a bit unrealistic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Graceful, truthful and utterly powerful!
This is an amazing book, that truly sheds light on the power, grace and profound loss of a woman, not simply an Empress. She does so, with tremendous integrity and honesty. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in true love, history, the drama of life.

For thos who have chosend to diminish the Shah and his reign, I have a bit of advice. To the non Persian readers whom have called the Shah a tryannical ruler and a dictator....If he was truly such a man, he would have followed the advise of King Hussein of Jordan and commanded a tank battalion and crushed the protestors. However instead he chose to relinquish his crown so that not a single person sheds their blood. Even his harshest critics will site this mans humanity and grace. The reviews that I have read from outsiders can be best described as a novice chef imparting instructions on how to make a souffle having never made one, and then having the temerity and gall to describe the taste never having eaten one!

5-0 out of 5 stars Provocative
I loved this book.The review that it mirrors Queen Noor's book is wrong.Both were great books, but very different stories with different styles.The critics should remember that the author is telling the story from her perspective - from her loss, her triumph, and her feelings.She did admit to mistakes and I had the feeling she (and her son) learned from them.When I put the book down, I couldn't go to sleep because I was thinking about this struggle she brought to life in the pages of this book. ... Read more

30. 'Tis: A Memoir
by Frank McCourt
list price: $26.00
our price: $26.00
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Asin: 0684864495
Catlog: Book (1999-09-21)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 498988
Average Customer Review: 3.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Frank McCourt's glorious childhood memoir, Angela's Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape.

And now we have 'Tis, the story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela's Ashes comes of age. As Malcolm Jones said in his Newsweek review of Angela's Ashes, "It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he is done...and McCourt proves himself one of the very best." Frank McCourt's 'Tis is one of the most eagerly awaited books of our time, and it is a masterpiece. ... Read more

Reviews (528)

4-0 out of 5 stars Frank McCourt is a brave, brave man . . .
Writing a memoir invites accusations of myopia and self-indulgence. Writing a sequel begs comparison (with novelty often tipping the scales in favor of the first work). Along comes Frank McCourt who combines the two and manages to succeed admirably. Picking up where Angela's Ashes leaves off, 'Tis recounts young Frankie's impoverished early days in New York, his broadening stint in the Army, and his subsequent development from an unschooled laborer to a teacher of creative writing able to inspire others to make that same arduous climb.

McCourts narrative voice is a paradoxical wonder. Muscular prose and keen observation lay bare dire circumstances and woeful ignorance. Financial poverty stands in sharp contrast to an abundance of imagination and desire. Indeed, it is his driving hunger--both physical and metaphorical --that spurs him to read and write his way out of despair.

McCourt's style captivates with his underlying Irish lyricism and his overlay of poetic repetition. Young Frankie's incredulous tone reveals a touching, often frightening, lack of sophistication. It's a wonder the lad survives his youth. Ever so slowly, he trades that innocence for a college degree, a young wife, and teaching jobs that range from thankless and intimidating to purposeful and rewarding. Never stooping to sentimentality, McCourt evokes plenty of genuine emotion, a skill that serves his reading public as well as it must have served his students.

It is in the final quarter of the book that McCourt stumbles. His hard-won (and much described) sweetheart mutates quickly into a difficult wife, then fades to near obscurity. That they eventually divorce is no excuse for this disappearing act. McCourt needn't have trashed the ex-wife to expose his own grappling. His daughter, with whom he ends up on better terms, suffers similar abridgement, aging years in the space of two pages. Subtext (not to mention the character of the author) suggests a backing off due to pain and guilt but that's an inexcusable squeamishness in a memoir. This abbreviation and lack of candor give the reader a sense of having been rushed through important territory.

His relationship with his parents is drawn with a bit more detail but then it's generally easier to focus on others' failures than to examine your own. Case in point--McCourt spoke of the abysmal effects of his father's chronic alcoholism and admitted he saw himself making some of the same mistakes, yet his reactions seemed to stay on the surface. I kept hoping he'd make peace with his father's fallibilty even as he came to grips with his own but he retains his judgemental tone till the end, missing a valuable connection that might have shed some light on a man he regarded as something of a mystery.

Despite these deficiencies. McCourt's story vibrates with honest intensity and the great ache of anyone whose passion intially exceeds his eloquence. Whatever he turns his hand to next (surely this isn't the last we've heard of him), the lad with the bad eyes, the bad teeth, and the gnawing belly grew into a man with much to be proud of.

5-0 out of 5 stars A really good book for different reasons than Angelas Ashes
I really enjoyed the book and was disappointed when I read a New York Times book reviewer who panned it for being too cynical and bitter. The innocence, openness and hope that came out of Angelas Ashes reflected the child and youth of Frank McCourt during the time about which he was writing. In 'Tis, Frank confronts the reality of adulthood on his own, in the multi-cultural, and multi-spectral world of NYC - as an immigrant Irishman, Paddy-off-the-boat. His humanity shows. He describes with a lot of humor but not too much rancor, his envy, bitterness, anger, a tendency toward irresponsibility, and occassionally confusion about life's travails as they came his way. He also doesn't lose his ability to laugh at himself and see the humor and humanity in the situations and adventures he describes. It was about Frank's real life as an adult. It was written in the same lyrical,humorous and extremely perceptive style as Angela's Ashes and was just as much fun to read. I STRONGLY recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING STORY
Sequel of "Angela's ashes", I was not disappointed a second. The book starts exactly when Angela's...finished. It's written with talent. We hear about what happen to the dad & mum afterwards(You can also learn more on Malachy's first book...Read it).
By the way you'll learn of anything happened to Frank in USA, his return to Europe (after war as a soldier) and in Ireland.
A life that could have finished in an Irish lane fortunately made it in USA successfully.

5-0 out of 5 stars WE WANT MORE!
What a follow up. His life was so bad is was good and he tells it the way only Frank could. You practically fall in love with him and pray to God to send you back in time to meet up with him when he steps into America. It was a good ending to a good beginning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tis is a must read for everyone
I read Angela's Ashes at the suggestion of a very good friend, Louis it was his favorite book and I have say I could see why. When a friend at work saw me reading it she told me about the sequel "Tis a Memoir", I just had to get it and I have to say that when I did, I could not put it down! It is an excellent book, Frank McCourt has such an engaging way of keep his reader hooked! Superb! I love his sense of humor, his triumphs a wonderful and give us all hope, a must read for all ages! ... Read more

31. Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic Series)
by Tony Hendra
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786269103
Catlog: Book (2004-09-20)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 285144
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (77)

5-0 out of 5 stars It's not "Tuesdays with Joe"
"Father Joe" is an unexpected stunner; not a "Me and My Mentor" book at all. It's a brush with greatness that wouldn't brush off. A real-life parable. An atheist's prayer.

Don't be scared off by the "Father" in the title. It doesn't mean you have to know (or care) about Catholicism or any other religion to "get" the book. Its lessons are hardly church-specific. There's even a paradoxical quote from the title guy on this point: "God loves atheists as much as believers. P-p-probably more."

Also don't be scared off by the idea of "lessons." This book preaches nothing. It discovers things -- resonant truths -- and the reader can't help but discover those truths along with the author.

If you don't laugh, cry, and learn something from "Father Joe," you're already dead.

Caveat: Have Google close at hand when you read. The author's language is clear but some of his analogies are a bit arcane. (Hendra's scholarship appears to predate his Cambridge education. His 14-year-old self, as recounted in the book, knows more than most adults I can think of.) It's hard not to be embarrassed bringing a standard American education to this party, because we are generally taught so little about literature and history.

Update June 8 -- based on feedback here, I started a Yahoo discussion group for "Father Joe" at

3-0 out of 5 stars Good read... but...
Father Joe is a very entertaining and wonderful story about a man who really makes a difference in people's lives. On that level it's engaging and involving, although I agree a bit with some of the other complaints I've seen that Hendra goes out of his way to insult Thatcher and Reagan, and doesn't tie those details in too well to the rest of the story.

My chief issue, though, is that nowhere do I get the impression that Hendra ever got the real message this priest should have had to offer. I don't know if it's because Father Joe didn't tell it well or because Hendra didn't hear it well. Hendra seems to be searching for a spiritual experience for it's own sake, and on that level, it's a pretty selfish quest, which migh explain why it is so disappointing. But that's just not what Christianity is about. It's about a unique individual who is both God and man and who's still alive, even though he was killed.

At one point in the book Hendra tells Father Joe that he only senses God's presence when he's with Father Joe. He should keep looking!

5-0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Uplifting
Don't get me wrong, though it is an uplifting book in many ways, you also see or should I say 'Feel' the heartbreak along the way. This is a Powerful read. There have only been a few books that have touched me so deeply-'Father Joe' is one of them, as well as 'Nightmares Echo','Running With Scissors'and 'A Million Little Pieces'

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed
This is a sad book about a very selfish person that wasted his life while inflicting much pain on others. I would have found the read more palatable if Hendra actually experienced a metanoia, but it remains clear he continues to view himself as the center of the universe. The lessons and love unconditionally offered by Fr. Joseph were ignored at best and at worst persecuted.

A couple of other points: (a) I find it impossible to believe the "recollections" are accurate as this author is prone to extreme fabrication, and (b) I found the "name dropping" to be tedious and off the mark. Silly me, I thought the book might actually be about the title - "The Man Who Saved My Soul". This one goes in the trash bin. I wish I could get my money back.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Powerful Book I have read in a Long Time
Father Joe is the story of author Tony Hendra's faith journey. It is an inspiring, heartfelt story of the four decade relationship between the satirist and a surprisingly wise Benedictine monk named Father Joseph Warrillow.

Hendra, one of the original editors of National Lampoon, captures the beautiful essence of a truly God-inspired man. The portrait that emerges is of one a cleric who is a credit to Church, a cleric who is a credit to his Christ. Father Joe is truly a saint. Hendra, in a startling departure from his normal style, portrays Father Joe's actions as non-judgmental, caring, and engaged.

This is the most powerful book I have read in a long time. If I have one criticism, it is Hendra's prodigious talent occasionally clouds this great story. I would occasionally find myself re-reading a particularly clever or unique descriptive phrase. However, you should properly view those words as the musings of a less talented, envious and jealous writer.

Father Joe is a tribute to one of the most charismatic, selfless, spiritual mentors of our time. At times it is funny; at times it will bring tears to your eyes. Tony Hendra experienced a miracle. I am grateful he shared the story with me. Read the book. You will be grateful he shared it with you. ... Read more

32. The Journeys of David Toback: As Retold by His Granddaughter Carole Malkin (Walker Large Print Books)
by Carole Malkin
list price: $18.95
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Asin: 0802726658
Catlog: Book (1992-04-01)
Publisher: Walker & Company
Sales Rank: 1123311
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33. Memories Are Made Of This: Dean Martin Through His Daughter's Eyes (Thorndike Press Large Print Senior Lifestyles Series)
by Deana Martin, Wendy Holden
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786272562
Catlog: Book (2005-04-07)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 455311
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars That's Amore!
I loved this book! A very easy to read and well-written account of the life of the great Dean Martin.Deana not only shares the stories of her father but also shares her own life in this wonderful book.I also enjoyed the book written by her brother, Ricci.It's nice to read positive books written by family members who truly loved their father.The book is funny, warm and touching.I didn't want it to end and though it is sad to see Dean age and become ill, the book ends on an upbeat note because you realize that he will always be with us through his movies, TV show, music and this book.If you like Dean Martin, you must read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A warm and moving tribute to the King of Cool
Like so many others of my generation I grew up watching the Dean Martin Show on television during the sixties and seventies. I absolutely adored him and the character he portrayed of a lovable but always slightly inebriated singer. My parents also owned many of his record albums which were played often in our home. In this book, Dean's daughter, Deana, has written a wonderful and loving tribute to this remarkable and unforgettable entertainer.

Dean Martin was not always the perfect father and communicator but he loved his seven children deeply and for the most part they were always a very visible and important part of his life. Ms. Martin recounts a difficult and tumultuous childhood growing up with an alcoholic parent, her mother Betty, who never ever recovered emotionally from her divorce from Dean. The situation improved vastly after Deana and her sisters were removed from her mother's care and taken to live with their father and his second wife, Jeanne. There are some wonderful anecdotes included here from the family life they enjoyed at the time, ones depicting Dean as a loving father with a great sense of playfulness and fun.

Ms. Martin paints a vivid picture of the Golden Age of Hollywood and goes into great detail about the years when Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were the hottest item in Hollywood until a rift would separate them for years. There are also many terrific stories about Dean's years in Las Vegas with the Rat Pack and his close friendships with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.

This is a very enjoyable and interesting memoir and any fan of the King of Cool should find it fascinating!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book - A Must Read!!
Deana Martin's tribute to her father showed the undying love that a daughter feels for her father no matter how bad a father he was.Her words do not take away from my admiration of the entertainer, but give me deep feelings for the torment that such a talented man can bestow on his children.It's the type of book that can have you laughing one minute and wiping away the tears the next.

I really enjoyed Deana Martin's first writing venture and hope to read more works by her in the future.I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Credible and Balanced
Information presented is fair and hopefully thorough.From all the tabloid press, just makes you wonder which information was withheld?A daughter would only know so much, though.If you're a fan, or if you understand the man's impact on our culture during these decades, it is well worth the time and money.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy it -- I think you'll like it!
Dean Martin slid into my heart 35 years ago when I first saw him slide down the fire pole to open one of his Variety Shows.Until I read this book, I didn't think I could love him anymore than I already did.In "Memories are Made of This" Deana Martin has come closer than any other biographer has ever come in describing what made Dean Martin tick...and believe me, I've read every biography written on the man.We learn not only of Dean Martin the singer, the entertainer, the golf addict, but of Dean Martin the father who, like most men of his generation, was generous and loving though not hands on.We also learn of the spiritual man who prayed the Rosary and regretted decisions he'd made in his life.The book is a real page turner which my non-Dean Martin fan friends have found to be as interesting as my Dean Martin fan friends. ... Read more

34. The Pat Conroy Cookbook : Recipes From My Life (Random House Large Print)
list price: $28.00
our price: $18.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375434356
Catlog: Book (2004-11-09)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 43311
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35. American Soldier
by TOMMY FRANKS, Malcolm McConnell
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
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Asin: 0060757140
Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
Publisher: HarperLargePrint
Sales Rank: 32645
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Book Description

The Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command from July 2000 through July 2003, General Tommy Franks made history by leading American and Coalition forces to victory in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the decisive battles that

In this riveting memoir, General Franks retraces his journey from a small-town boyhood in Oklahoma and Midland, Texas, through a lifetime of military service -- including his heroic tour as an Artillery officer in Vietnam, where he was wounded three times. A reform-minded Cold War commander and a shrewd tactician during Operation Desert Storm, Franks took command of CENTCOM at the dawn of what he calls a "crease in history" -- becoming the senior American military officer in the most dangerous region on earth.

Now drawing on his own recollections and military records declassified for this book, Franks offers the first true insider’s account of the war on terrorism that has changed the world since September 11, 2001. He puts you in the Operations Center for the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom just weeks after 9/11, capturing its uncertain early days and the history victory that followed. He traces his relationship with the demanding Donald Rumsfeld, as early tensions over the pace of the campaign gave way to a strong and friendly collaboration

When President Bush focused world attention on the threat of Iraq, Franks seized the moment to implement a bold new vision of joint warfare in planning Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rejecting Desert Storm-style massive troop deployment in favor of flexibility and speed, Franks was questioned by the defense establishment -- including Secretary of State Colin Powell. Yet his vision was proven on the ground: Within three weeks, Baghdad had fallen.

American Soldier is filled with revelation. Franks describes the covert diplomacy that helped him secure international cooperation for the war, and reveals the role of foreign leaders -- and a critical double agent code-named "April Fool" -- in the most successful military deception since D-Day in 1944. He speaks frankly of intelligence shortcomings that endangered our troops, and of the credible WMD threats -- including eleventh-hour warnings from Arab leaders -- that influenced every planning decision. He offers an unvarnished portrait of the "disruptive and divisive" Washington bureaucracy, and a candid assessment of the war’s aftermath. Yet in the end, as American Soldier demonstrates, the battles in Afghanistan and Iraq remain heroic victories -- wars of liberation won by troops whose valor was "unequalled," Franks writes, "by anything in the annals of war."

Few individuals have the chance to contribute so much of themselves to the American story as General Tommy Franks. In American Soldier, he captures it all. ... Read more

36. Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way
by John Paul II
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446577987
Catlog: Book (2004-09-28)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 76577
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Book Description

Following the success of the international bestseller Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II provides the world with a glimpse into his past in RISE, LET US BE ON OUR WAY.Chronicling the years he spent as a bishop and later archbishop in Krakow,Poland through his election as the first Polish Pope in 1978, he recounts everything from communist efforts to suppress the church in Poland to his efforts to adopt a new and more open style of pastoral ministry. With recollections on his life as well as his thoughts on the issues facing the world now, Pope John Paul II offers words of wisdom in this book that will appeal to people of any faith looking to strengthen their spirituality. ... Read more

37. Ted Williams : The Biography of an American Hero (Random House Large Print)
list price: $28.95
our price: $19.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375433058
Catlog: Book (2004-04-13)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 66620
Average Customer Review: 4.21 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Life Of Ted Williams
Ted Williams is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His .406 batting average stands as of the game's greatest accomplishments and is still the benchmark average that modern players aim towards. Leigh Montvale's Ted Williams: The Biography Of An American Hero is the most extensive book about the Splendid Splinter. Despite the fanfare, the book is a disappointment. Mr. Montvale spends far too much time on Mr. Williams' life after baseball than his time within the game. To any reader of any sports biography, the most important aspect of the book should be the subject's athletic career. No one wants to read just an expanded stat sheet, but Mr. Montvale concentrates too much of the book on Mr. Williams' life outside of baseball. The 1941 season has some detail, but the 1946 is almost written as an afterthought. That season ended in Mr. Williams' only trip to the World Series in his long career. His two Triple Crown seasons of 1942 & 1947 are mentioned in passing. Mr. Montvale does do an excellent job of explained the bitter rivalry between Mr. Williams and the Boston sportswriters. But again, he spends too much time into the background of the writers (one doesn't really care about the life history of Mr. Williams' fiercest critic, Dave Egan, but we get that). Mr. Montvale does go into great detail about Mr. Williams' three marriages and his fishing life on the Florida Keys and Canada. This is interesting, to a point, but these aspects of his life should have been given the secondary nature that his career received. Mr. Montvale also conveys Mr. Williams as an impetuous, foul-mouthed crank and relays countless stories from acquaintances and loved ones who hammer this point home. Included is a word for word interview with Mr. Williams' third wife Dolores that was conducted in 1969 but never released that makes this point abundantly clear. Mr. Montvale ends the book with a sort of biography within a biography as he details the life and exploits of Mr. Williams' only son, John Henry. Again, this is interesting and shows how sad of an end that Mr. Williams' life had, but he goes overboard in his tales of John Henry's transgressions. This book is not without merit as it does provide some detailed insights into one of the 20th Century's greatest athletes, but it falls short of its potential greatness.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great biography, depressing ending
This is a fascinating and illuminating book about a talented baseball player, a military hero, and a cantankerous curmudgeon - Ted Williams. Montville does a terrific job of encapsulating the Splendid Splinter's eventful 83 years into a fascinating 500-page book, complete with nearly a hundred black-and-white photographs, many never before seen. If you're looking for a biography of Ted Williams this is probably the one to get; it covers his entire life, something that his 1969 autobiography doesn't do (obviously).

Montville doesn't shine much new light onto the Public Ted - any true baseball fan is already familiar with his battles with the media, his 406 average in 1941, his weak performance in the 1946 World Series, the two military interruptions to his baseball career, his storybook home run in his final at-bat, etc. We already knew that stuff. Where the book truly shines is in illuminating the Private Ted...

The selfish Ted, who'd drag uninterested wives along with him on fishing trips, and who'd rather be alone in a boat somewhere than be present for his children's births; his lustful enjoyment of his hobbies was more important than his family. The angry and blasphemous Ted, who'd spit at fans and frequently (and colorfully) take the Lord's name in vain with a smattering of the f-word and his favorite modifier, "syphilitic." The lonely Ted, who married three beautiful trophy wives, had teammates and friends all over the country, yet still lacked the unconditional love he desperately needed. Somehow Montville manages to paint Williams as sympathetic, lovable, and even heroic, while still telling the story of a bitter and cranky man.

Thankfully, there were at least a few caring people in Ted's life to help diffuse his negativity and give him unconditional love: Louise Kaufman, the grandmotherly woman who became Ted's longtime companion after his three failed marriages to younger women, and the male nurses who took care of him during his final decade on Earth.

Sadly, the book (like Williams's life) ends on an unavoidable down-note. Montville frightens us with the awful tale of Ted's money-grubbing son, John-Henry. Here the author fairly throws objectivity aside, painting the younger Williams in tones reminiscent of Shakespeare's Iago. John-Henry's underhanded machinations and obvious treatment of Ted as a meal ticket rather than a beloved father left me feeling sad and depressed at the story's end. Junior was more concerned with his progenitor's ability to sign and sell valuable autographs than his comfort and welfare during his declining years. The demon seed of Ted Williams kept his father's friends and loved ones from calling and visiting, and then - in an act which violated Ted's wish for cremation, as per his will - John-Henry had his father cryogenically frozen after his death. Thus began the fighting and infinite court proceedings between Ted's offspring - an embarrassing and surreal coda to a life otherwise lived with integrity and dignity.

A great book about a great man. As sports biographies go, it's surely one of the best - just like Ted.

(News update: John-Henry Williams, 35, died of leukemia in March 2004. Perhaps now the legal maneuvering will stop; perhaps Ted can at last be cremated and have his ashes spread across the waters of Florida, just as he wanted. Meanwhile, thanks to John-Henry, the decapitated head of Ted Williams remains in a frozen vat in Arizona.)

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for Williams fans...
This book is a must read for Williams fans, Red Sox fans and baseball fans in general. I felt this book was one of the most balanced books I have read aboout Williams. Not only does it pay tribute to his success on the field and in the air during WW II and Korea, but also decribes his many faults. I have always been a fan of Montville and this book, simply put, is a great one.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good, honest look at a good, honest man...
I recently read Cramer's bio of Joe DiMaggio and thought this would be a good complement. And it was. While the more one finds out about DiMaggio during and after baseball, the less one likes him; the more one reads about Williams, the more one likes HIM. He was the anti-Joe with his time and genuine concern for people, especially those less fortunate (in particular, children and the Jimmy Fund in Boston).

For baseball fans, this book is not too deep on his accomplishments on the field. But then again, his career is so well-documented that baseball fans are probably very familiar with it. Montville does shed light on his early days in the minors, the majors, the .400 season, the service years, his bad relationship with the Boston sportswriters and his refusal to tip his cap when he homered in his last career bat. All things that we are familiar with, but about which it was good to know more.

For those who are not baseball fans, the book offers more of a look at this man who had achieved so much in his profession, served his country in the middle of his career (in two separate wars) and delved into the complex relationship he had with his family yet how easy it was to be his friend...on his terms.

I think the author gives a good and balanced account of how this man went from a not-so-popular player in his own hometown and even with some of his teammates, to the much-adored icon he was in the last 10-15 years of his life. There are some truly touching passages about his innate goodness that was sometimes overshadowed by occasional and irrepressible bouts of anger. Looking around at today's ballplayers, once hopes for someone like Barry Bonds to have the same fate. To be misunderstood and unpopular while putting up one of the best careers even seen in the game and to be redeemed in the later years of his life. Might be too much to hope for in that case...

5-0 out of 5 stars What a life Teddy Ballgame had!
This book describes greatness, a quest for perfection, deep and long-term friendships between men; heroism and personal sacrifice for country; some of the inside details of baseball, a deep love for the game, betrayal and exploitation; and ultimately one of the most bizarre aftermath's to the life of a legend. There is no doubt that Ted Williams was one of the best hitters who ever lived. In fact, it can be argued, something that I often do, that he was the best hitter to ever play the game. On that note, while he was blessed with incredible skills, like so many successful athletes, he practiced as if he was a religious fanatic and that was his daily devotions. He was also a very intelligent man, some of the facets of hitting that Williams discussed had never been considered before. He studied pitchers with a precision that probably has never been duplicated.
Under the social classifications now used, Ted was a Hispanic, his father was Mexican and his mother Caucasian. Growing up in San Diego, he was worshipping baseball and making it his field of study at a very early age. Unfortunately, his skill at hitting a baseball did not translate into maturity. He became a star at an early age, and he never managed to mellow a ferocious temper, which many of his friends said was the key to his success. Like so many people who accomplished so much, he was a perfectionist. He would hit a homerun and then criticize himself for swinging at a pitch that was not in the strike zone. Montville criticizes Williams for this, but it is not totally justified. A mistake that turns out right is still a mistake, and if you are satisfied with that, then over the long haul, the mistakes will sum to a point that will overwhelm you.
It is amazing to think that he pulled two tours of duty as a Marine Corps pilot, flying combat missions in the Korean War and having a plane shot out from under him. There is no greater testament to his hitting ability than what happened after he returned from Korea at the age of 35. Having almost no time to readjust to the baseball world, he managed to hit over .400 for the remainder of the season and have a slugging percentage over .900. A close second is when he hit .388 at the age of 38, which put him within a few hits of .400. Over the course of the season, that many hits would have been generated by legs even a few years younger.
His later years were spent in and out of baseball, fishing, hunting and enjoying himself. It is here where we also see the consequences of celebrity. His relationships with women were strained, often a consequence of the fact that he could have so many. Women seemed to roll in and out of bed with him at a regular pace and there is a somewhat substantiated rumor that he caught an STD while in Korea. His relationships with his children were poor, which led to his being exploited, manipulated and mistreated in his last years. Those who knew him best and had looked after him were shut out of his life when he needed them most. After his death, his body was frozen, something that was almost certainly the consequence of a forgery that was somehow accepted as legal.
Ted Williams did many things at the highest level. He lived fast, enjoyed the good life of women, fame, adulation and monetary rewards. At the end, it seemed that his only regret was that he did not build familial relationships. Which is probably correct, because he maintained close relationships with friends for decades, old buddies to shoot piles of BS with.
Montville captures Ted Williams as a great man with great flaws. Some criticized him because they could and because it sold papers. Nevertheless, Williams often went out of his way to antagonize others, spitting at and cursing fans and sportswriters when he felt like it. As is so often the case, the very qualities that make someone great also make their flaws great. However, he was also willing to help people in need. There are many stories of his charity work and how he would stop and give a total stranger a tip on hitting. This is a book that all baseball fans should read. ... Read more

38. John Adams (Thorndike Biography)
by David G. McCullough
list price: $30.95
our price: $30.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786236523
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Sales Rank: 237672
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who thought, wrote, and spoke out for the "Great Cause" come what might, who traveled far and wide in all seasons and often at extreme risk; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was rightly celebrated for his integrity, and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.

Much about John Adam's life will come as a surprise to many. His rocky relationship with friend and eventual archrival Thomas Jefferson, his courageous voyage on the frigate Boston in the winter of 1778 and his later trek over the Pyrenees are exploits few would have dared and that few listeners will ever forget.

Like his masterful, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman, David McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale -- an audiobook about politics and war and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived. ... Read more

Reviews (536)

5-0 out of 5 stars A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS
Using many sources, but basically drawing on the extensive collection of the Adams Papers housed in the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, David McCullough has written a fascinating biography of John Adams. Unlike conventional biographies, the text covers his immediate family devoting considerable detail to his wife, Abigail, which makes for a balanced narration. This is a biography of John Adams and not a history of the Revolution and the post revolution era so that incidents, actions, etc. not closely related to John Adams are given minimum coverage making for a contiguous account that is not distracted by events (though important) in which Adams was not involved. By quoting from their numerous letters, journals and diaries, this is a highly personal account revealing Adams and Abigail's thoughts and feelings.

The narration of Adams activities in France, Great Britain, Holland and Belgium is fascinating. This is a subject that is only briefly covered in most survey courses of American history so that the casual reader of history will find the text well worth reading. The intrigues and manipulative politicians in Europe made for a serious challenge to John Adams' abilities and for the future of the new nation. In many respects, the European attitudes the text outlines in Adams era are still present today regarding America.

The text notes that Adams recognized the critical role of a navy for gaining and then maintaining independence. The author states "That he pressed doggedly for a greater part in the war by the French navy would stand as one of his own proudest efforts, and with reason given what happened at Yorktown." During his presidency he initiated a program of navy ship construction and persuaded Congress to authorize funds to equip and man three frigates constructed during Washington's administration, but never equipped for service. These became the three famous frigates CONSTITUTION, UNITED STATES and CONSTELLATION. He further recommended to President Jefferson the establishment of a Naval Academy to which Jefferson agreed. The founding of the US Navy was one of Adams greatest accomplishments.

McCullough provides an excellent account of Adams' relationship with Jefferson. Jefferson is not pictured in the typical honorable schoolboy image, but rather the text gives a balance account of Jefferson who did not always follow the highest ethical principals especially regarding political

rivals. The author notes that Adams never knew when Jefferson, his Vice President, might be working secretly to undercut or thwart him, for Jefferson's abiding flaw, Adams had concluded, was "want of sincerity". Most interesting is the text's narration of the 1791 public controversy over Jefferson's endorsement of Thomas Paine's pamphlet THE RIGHTS OF MAN. Jefferson had endorsed the pamphlet and in private correspondence ascribed to Adams "the political heresies that have spring up among us" and then blamed the pamphlet printer for his endorsement. In 1809 at the urging of his friend Benjamin Rush, Adams wrote Jefferson, their friendship was renewed and remained strong through the rest of their lives.

The text tells of Adams less than high opinion of Benjamin Franklin who Adams considered lazy. In Adams written documents, the image of Franklin as a wholly honorable statesman/scientist is brought into question. However, Adams still had high praise for Franklin stating that if he had done nothing else then invent the lightning rod he had done the world a great service.

The text also narrates many situations which were a harbinger of the American Civil War noting the strong differences between New England and the South principally with Jefferson's Virginia. The author quotes Adams who wrote " I know it is high treason to express a doubt of the perpetual duration of our vast American empire, but a struggles between the states over slavery might rend this mighty fabric in twain."

In his easy to read narration, the author describes the political world in early America. This account is most intriguing since if only the names and the dates are changed, politics and government today is the same as in Adams age. For example. McCullough writes "Colonel Smith was in Washington. Having failed at nearly everything he ever tried, he had lately been elected to Congress" and Adams is quoted as stating "I would to God there were more ambition in the country....ambition of that laudable kind, to excel." In another example, the text notes that "The more Adams thought about the future of his country, the more convinced he became that it rested on education and wrote "The education of a nation instead of being confined to a few schools and universities for the instruction of the few, must become the national care and expense for the formation of the many." Today, politicians are debating the same topic.

To be sure John Adams had his faults and the author does not try to ignore his shortcomings in this biography. His support of the Alien and Sedition Acts was most reprehensible.Perhaps his greatest fault was that he was hard headed; however, this was tempered by Adams integrity. In today's "me first" and "what's in it for me" society, it is pleasant to read the biography of a person (even a whole family) which put public service above self interest. The reader may not agree with McCullough, but will never find the book dull reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars A nice alternative to the "scholarly" bios
I have nothing against academics who write books (though they sometimes forget that an audience should *want* to keep reading), and I sometimes enjoy the details and minutiae some such authors deliver.

In the case of David McCullough's John Adams, however, I think the pathologically-serious academic/historian crowd has tellingly overreacted to the "popular" tone of the book. Oh, horrors -- McCullough wants to make history and historical figures accessible to the masses!

I greatly enjoyed the look into Adams' relationship and correspondence with Abigail, who played a much larger role in early American politics than most people realized. I also found the on-again-off-again friendship between Adams & Jefferson described in a much more compelling manner than in most other similar bios I've read. Granted, it seemed at times to be more of a pro-Adams apologetic than an objective recounting of facts, but I understood that going into the book. Part of the attraction here is that McCullough humanizes Adams (and Abigail, and other figures) for the reader; even though you know the outcome of the story, you still find yourself "rooting" for Adams during critical passages!

It's a huge book, but I tore through it because McCullough made it so easy to read. We all had to memorize names and dates in history class, but here it is presented in such a way that you will *want* to learn more. Congratulations to David McCullough for another grand-slam effort!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best biographies I have read...
This book is a very readable book. Unlike some other history books which are dry, this one reads like a novel. I loved how they showed the personal side of a public man. His loving relationship with his wife Abigail is revealed through letters he wrote her. I also loved how the author described John Adams relationship with Thomas Jefferson, down to the little details like when they shared a room in philly one wanted the window open and the other wanted it closed. This book shows that the founding fathers did not live in a vacuum, all alone, responding to each others politics; but that they were freinds with complex relationships. I like how this book lets us see our countries greatest patriots as real people. I highly reccomend this book, there is a sage like quality to it. If this was the kind of reading offered in high school or college, I might have been more interested in history.

4-0 out of 5 stars good beach read
Am 300 pages into this novel. It's very descriptive and really gives you a sense of the person, as well as the other revolutionary characters. You can very clearly picture the obstacles he faced and what type of man he was. I'm thoroughly enjoying it -- and recently heard it may be made into an HBO movie by Tom Hanks.

4-0 out of 5 stars John Adams, Abigail and Jefferson
The book on John Adams by David McCullough is very precise and gives a great overview of the second president of the United STates but also of the country itself. Having been the person defending the Constitution on the Congress floor, being the ambassador in France and The Netherlands (very interesting to read for Dutchmen like myself) to the days of his vice-presidency under George Washington and his own presidency.

Most of the sources are the letters between him and his wife Abigail, one of the foremost women in her time. It deals with politics but also with personal problems like disease in the family and the death of a son due to alcohol.

His relationship with Thomas Jefferson is fascinating; sometimes loving, sometimes hating. They could not get along when they were president and vice-president. In the end through letters they come closer again and freakingly enough they die on the same day, the 4th of July when they were there signing the Declaration of Independence. ... Read more

39. Every Second Counts (Random House Large Print)
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375432094
Catlog: Book (2003-10-07)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Sales Rank: 246278
Average Customer Review: 3.35 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (66)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Fan of This American Hero
Lance Armstrong is a true American hero- his fifth time win of the Tour de France was not well celebrated- other World Events took first page. Lance works hard, unbelievabe number of hours in each day to become the best cyclist in the world. He deserves all of the awards and praise heaped upon him. In this book, Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins assistance is able to describe and elucidate his philosophy of life. His brush with death and cancer is not over- he undergoes a series of testing every year, and he is not cancer free in his mind until his physicians tell him so. Most of the people with cancer that he meets, do not survive. He works tirelessly to raise monies for cancer awareness and research. He is quite aware that everyday on his earth is due to his good luck and faith in his physicians. Lance spends time discussing his relationship with the French people- his "doping" accusors and his time in court winning that battle. His win of he 2002 Tour De France was not his best win, but he learned from it and did not make those mistakes again. Most of us are quite interested in his marriage and there is a post script but not much mention of what went wrong, just that alot did go wrong. To maintain a high profile marriage, a high profile career, 3 young children and maintain any sense of privacy cannot be done when there is no time. Day to day life with the family is not possible when you are not there. Much has been written and supposition of romances gossiped, but none are mentioned and I would suggest that is none of our business.
This is a book of winning and losing-hard work and hard times and some of the intricacies of such are outlined in good detail.
As a fan of an American hero, Lance Armstrong, I suggest you support him and read his newest winner! prisrob

4-0 out of 5 stars Follow Up, how life is after cancer
This book is the follow up of the book, it's not about the bike which is about his career up till his second win.

In this book, all his wins (5) in the Tour de France are mentioned. It is mostly about how he felt during the last three and how cancer played a role in it.
It shows us there is more to life than just cycling. Cancer stays with a person for ever.
His relationships with other cancer patients are emotional and gripping and is also shows he was the lucky one.

This book stands out from other books about cycling, it is very personal and not just about baseball but also about life in general.
He also explains some things that had happened in the Tours, his historic ride towards Mt Ventoux with the late Marco Pantani, his fall and Jan Ulrichs' fall. For those he have followed the Tour the last couple of years, this gives a very good insight, also because it is well written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Exciting, and Insightful Follow-up to 'the Bike'.
This is a beautiful follow-up to Lance's first book (It's Not About the Bike). In this book, Lance shares what it is like for him as person who is also a "superstar bicyclist", "cancer survivor", and "cancer philanthropist". Though a young man in terms of age, Lance speaks with deep wisdom about what it means to live, how to feel alive, and dealing with life's non-life-threatening complexities. And then there are remarkable and thrilling stories about his Tour de France experiences. I loved reading this book! It is spectacular, especially in conjunction with his first book.

Review by Evan Finer, author of "Effortless WellBeing"

2-0 out of 5 stars It's not about the book...
If every second counts for you, you should probably skip this book and read something a little more worthwhile. Unlike his previous book "It's not about the Bike" this book lacks the drama and general interest for the common reader. That being said if you are a cycling fan you can probably find some behind the scenes stuff here to be interesting, but basically this is a recap of Lance's racing since the 1999 Tour De France win. Which means if you are a cycling fan you already know everything in this book and if you are not a cycling fan you wont care what's in this book.

Overall it is more less just another puff piece athletic biography that seems more interested in re-enforcing Lance's status as a sports hero than it does delving into one of the most fascinating sports figures of a generation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Holy cow, some of these reviews are pretty brutal. Don't be turned off by a few obviously bitter people. Lance puts a lot of thought and effort into this awesome book. It's an A+ on my list. ... Read more

40. Evenings With Cary Grant: Recollections in His Own Words and by Those Who Knew Him Best
by Nancy Nelson
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560543426
Catlog: Book (1992-04-01)
Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company.
Sales Rank: 279059
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book is the BEST that I have read, the entire book gave me a better perspective of Cary Grant as well as an inside to his personal life. I highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in an icon of his stature not only as a actor, but also as a person. His personal and professional lives are detailed well, and the quotes that Cary had said in the past were moving.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, heart-warming collection of vignettes about Mr. G
With that handsome face, million-dollar smile, impeccable taste in suits, and debonair yet witty demeanor, Cary Grant is one of the most famous Hollywood stars of the 20th century. This book is not exactly a biography, but a collection of stories that are part biography, part homage, and above all, an expression of heartfelt love towards the man from the people in his life.

The stories are inspired by a series of Conversations with Cary Grant that were a one-man evening show where Mr. Grant essentially held a two hour QA session for an enthralled audience. Since Mr. Grant was adamantly averse to an autobiography, the woman behind the idea for the one-man show, Nancy Nelson, decided to embark on this project to give remembrance to this remarkable man. Starting from his humble beginnings in England, all the way through his illustrious Hollywood career and to his golden years - the reader will get a wonderful insight into this fantastic actor. The stories are told by his colleagues, friends and people in his life as they remembered him. The who's who of Hollywood give their deepest respect to Mr. Grant. You will learn that he was a true gentleman in real life as well. He wanted only to be kind to his fellow man and respected for his work.

If you are a fan of Cary Grant's, this is a must-read book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Evenings with Cary Grant in his own words
This book is one of the best,differant because it is rare to really have the inside people who know and love him dearly.This is a must ,funny,touching,straight to to point.Loved it !!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Get to know the real Cary Grant....
This is a great book. It is, as the author herself explains, not really a biography, but more of a sketch of different episodes in Cary Grant's life. Not suprisingly, Grant - a poor boy from Bristol who, through his talent and intelligence, created the ultimate screen persona - was a very complex person. Sadly, many of his biographers do not do him justice and instead use useless gossip to sell more books.

This book, however, is an exception, as it uses Cary's own words, and those of his close friends to paint a picture of the true Cary Grant: a brilliant actor, a troubled and scared little boy, but all in all a wonderful and generous person! If you are a Cary Grant fan (or even if you aren't so much), read this book - you won't be disappointed at its depiction of Cary Grant. As you read it, you'll feel as though you really were spending an evening with Cary himself!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Cary Grant book ever
Out of all the Cary Grant books there are, this one is the best i have ever read. His wife and daughter agreed with this book so you know that everything in it is true. As for people talking about his sexuality....if you read this book you can tell he is definately not a homosexual. I loved Cary Grant from the movies i saw him in and after this book i love him even more because after reading this you feel you really know him. And to know him is to love him. ... Read more

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