Global Shopping Center
UK | Germany
Home - Books - Biographies & Memoirs - Memoirs Help

21-40 of 200     Back   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Next 20

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

$10.50 $7.17 list($14.00)
21. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering
$16.47 $16.29 list($24.95)
22. Quicksands: A Memoir
$16.29 list($23.95)
23. Honeymoon with My Brother : A
$8.21 $5.00 list($10.95)
24. The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's
$17.79 $13.99 list($26.95)
25. By Myself and Then Some
$10.50 $7.34 list($14.00)
26. The Spiral Staircase : My Climb
$26.37 $26.35 list($39.95)
27. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated
$14.96 $10.99 list($22.00)
28. The Story of My Life: An Afghan
$11.16 $8.66 list($13.95)
29. Silent Bob Speaks : The Collected
$10.36 $6.98 list($12.95)
30. Autobiography of a Face
$16.76 $8.98 list($23.95)
31. Truth & Beauty : A Friendship
$16.29 $12.50 list($23.95)
32. My Fathers' Houses : Memoir of
$17.13 $10.95 list($25.95)
33. Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids,
$14.93 $13.44 list($21.95)
34. Fat Girl : A True Story
$16.29 $8.85 list($23.95)
35. Kiss Me Like a Stranger : My Search
$12.24 list($26.00)
36. Alexander Hamilton
$27.69 list($41.95)
37. The Story of a Lifetime: A Keepsake
$13.57 $12.89 list($18.95)
38. Ultra Marathon Man: Memoir Of
$17.13 $16.46 list($25.95)
39. The Soul of Money: Transforming
$16.47 $11.90 list($24.95)
40. Who's Afraid of a Large Black

21. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
by DAVE EGGERS
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375725784
Catlog: Book (2001-02-13)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 791
Average Customer Review: 3.55 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

"Well, this was when Bill was sighing a lot. He had decided that after our parents died he just didn't want any more fighting between what was left of us. He was twenty-four, Beth was twenty-three, I was twenty-one, Toph was eight, and all of us were so tried already, from that winter. So when something world come up, any little thing, some bill to pay or decision to make, he would just sigh, his eyes tired, his mouth in a sorry kind of smile. But Beth and I...Jesus, we were fighting with everyone, anyone, each other, with strangers at bars, anywhere -- we were angry people wanting to exact revenge. We came to California and we wanted everything, would take what was ours, anything within reach. And I decided that little Toph and I, he with his backward hat and long hair, living together in our little house in Berkeley, would be world-destroyers. We inherited each other and, we felt, a responsibility to reinvent everything, to scoff and re-create and drive fast while singing loudly and pounding the windows. It was a hopeless sort of exhilaration, a kind of arrogance born of fatalism, I guess, of the feeling that if you could lose a couple of parents in a month, then basically anything could happen, at any time -- all bullets bear your name, all cars are there to crush you, any balcony could give way; more disaster seemed only logical. And then, as in Dorothy's dream, all these people I grew up with were there, too, some of them orphans also, most but not all of us believing that what we had been given was extraordinary, that it was time to tear or break down, ruin, remake, take and devour. This was San Francisco, you know, and everyone had some dumb idea -- I mean, wicca? -- and no one there would tell you yours was doomed. Thus the public nudity, and this ridiculous magazine, and the Real World tryout, all this need, most of it disguised by sneering, but all driven by a hyper-awareness of this window, I guess, a few years when your muscles are taut, coiled up and vibrating. But what to do with the energy? I mean, when we drive, Toph and I, and we drive past people, standing on top of all these hills, part of me wants to stop the car and turn up the radio and have us all dance in formation, and part of me wants to run them all over." ... Read more

Reviews (741)

2-0 out of 5 stars unstaggered
You've got to give Dave Eggers this, if nothing else, he knows how to market himself. First he wrote this memoir, loaded with irony to appeal to Gen-Xers, continually self-referential to appeal to postmodernists, and centered around his efforts to raise his little brother after their parents both died of cancer, a sure chick magnet. Then, having exposed most of his and his family members' lives to public view (at least in theory) he adopted a Pynchonesque/Sallingeresque reclusive pose, and feigned personal agony at having to discuss the book. All this while cashing in big time on the supposedly "tragic" events of his life. For these savvy ploys alone he deserves to be called a "staggering genius."

The book itself uses a host of postmodernist, ironical, satirical, etc., etc., etc...techniques, which are rather hackneyed and, given the ostensible topic of the book (his family tragedy), quite off-putting. A fairly representative passage comes when he's heaving his mother's ashes (or cremains) into Lake Michigan :

Oh this is so plain, disgraceful, pathetic--

Or beautiful and loving and glorious! Yes, beautiful and loving and glorious!

But even if so, even if this is right and beautiful, and she is tearing up while watching, so proud--like what she said to me when I carried her, when she had the nosebleed and I carried her and she said that she was proud of me, that she did not think I could do it, that I would be able to lift her, carry her to the car, and from the car into the hospital, those words run through my head every day, have run through every day since, she did not think I could do it but of course I did it. I knew I would do it, and I know this, I know what I am doing now, that I am doing something both beautiful but gruesome because I am destroying its beauty by knowing that it might be beautiful, know that if I know I am doing something beautiful, that it's no longer beautiful. I fear that even if it is beautiful in the abstract, that my doing it knowing that it's beautiful and worse, knowing that I will very soon be documenting it, that in my pocket is a tape recorder brought for just that purpose--that all this makes this act of potential beauty somehow gruesome. I am a monster. My poor mother. She would do this without the thinking, without the thinking about thinking--

Yeah sure, I get it, the way he's having this discussion shows that he understands what's going on, yadda, yadda, yadda... But unfortunately, the point he's making is more accurate than his style is clever. There simply is something gruesome about this kind of mannered irony and the way, throughout his life, that he seems to interpret his experiences through the filter of the book he plans to write.

At the point where every thought, emotion, and action in your life must be considered for how it will appear in print, you've become a fictional character rather than a real human being. And by creating so much distance between the character of Dave Eggers and the supposedly tragic events of his life, Eggers (the author) makes it really hard for the reader to care much. I finished the book unstaggered and heart unbroken, but grudgingly forced to admit that the literary world has a potential new genius, a writer with a genius for self promotion the likes of which we've not seen since Norman Mailer; and we all know how the Norman Mailer story has gone : badly.

GRADE : C-

3-0 out of 5 stars Bitter, Sad, Self-Obessed, Humorous....but not quite genius
Frankly, I felt this was a heartbreaking work of staggering genius that sputtered and stopped just shy of greatness.

The first half of the book was brilliant. The middle was torturous. The end (being that it followed so closely after the agonizing middle) just didn't feel as captivating anymore.

I disagree, however, with the reviewer who criticized Eggers for not caring about his mother and sister. There is tenderness and profound sadness there, you just have to perceive it underneath the facade Eggers constructs.

His brutal portrayal of the death of a loved one and the complication of family relationships afterward is, perhaps, too much for some readers. I found it to be honest (probably the most honest aspect of the book).

That said, I recommend this book to those with an open mind, an appreciation for ironic humor, and a tolerance for an unconventional approach to writing. It was mad. It was refreshing. But it was just a little too unedited to live up to the title completely.

1-0 out of 5 stars Lies, Lies, Lies, and more Lies
First off, the title is a lie.

The book is boring. The narrator does not care about the deaths of his parents nor the future death of his sister, so how is it heartbreaking?

Einstein was a genius. Shakespeare was a genius. Eggers is incapable of writing a book with a plot and characters.

Then, all the blurbs are lies, as they were all written my people on the McSweeney's payroll.

And then, all the insider tax and tuition snark-fests, held by pomo hipsters on college campuses are lies.

And then, all the creative-writing workshops which assign this book, as well as postmodern english classes which place it on the suggested reading lists are lies.

The sales numbers given by the corporate conglomerates are lies, aimed at bolstering their bottom line while Eggers aims to eradicate literature by spamming the bookstores with his crap, killing trees and displacing quality literature penned by indy presses.

Then, all the positive reviews here are lies, written by Eggers himself, as the New York Times reported.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Heartwrenching Display of Staggering Hubris
There are so many other good books out there, why waste your time with this one? The title is lofty and ambitious and creates expectations for the reader that this work fails to realize (Of course, Dave, you did ask for it). No question to me that Eggers has potential to be a decent writer, but his smug (oh, but I try to be self-deprecating, and I almost mean it, too!), cooler-than-thou, "Are you in on the joke?" style gets in the way of what could have been, if not a work of staggering genius, a well-told coming-of-age story.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Self-Indulgent Work of Staggering Verbosity
Have you ever had a friend who just couldn't stop talking about him or her self? They seem to have no other concern in life but to tell you how great, magnificent and important they are. It's as if they think they're the only ones who exist, or worse yet, matter. And after reading Dave Eggers' "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius", I couldn't help but feel that's exactly who I had been listening to.

Alright, perhaps I'm being a bit harsh. Eggers is a very talented writer, with enough quirkiness to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool to brimming. The subject matter he attempts here is very "heartbreaking", and he manages to evoke strong emotions from his readers without becoming overtly sentimental. And in dealing with the tragic loss of two parents to cancer (in the same month), this would be easy to do. Eggers deftly keeps his memoir moving by utilizing humor, anger, and a jarring, schizophrenic leaping from story thread to story thread.

Eggers shows a clever and refreshing playfulness in his writing. Where else are you greeted with directions on how to read a book? Where else do you get the story notes "before" the story actually begins? The book is also filled with various other clever devices, such as diagrams which point out optimal areas on his kitchen's hardwood floor for sock-sliding, a chart which explains all of the symbolism in his book (for his less alert readers), and a number of formatting switches, such as to movie script format or interviews written in italics. Eggers has employed nearly every trick in the book to maintain his reader's attention.

The story, however, even as Eggers states in his "reading directions", is a bit uneven. The heart of the story, that of Eggers' coping with raising his young, orphaned eight-year-old brother, Toph, is rendered with tenderness and honesty. Simple acts such as throwing frisbee and sliding down a hardwood floor in one's socks take on a philosophic poignancy, and the remarkably realistic dialogue between the brothers is captivating.

However, true to his schizophrenic nature, Eggers is not content to merely talk of Toph. The middle of the book he fills with stories of his attempts to start up a (relatively pointless) satirical magazine, Might, and his attempt to get on MTV's even-more-pointless reality show, The Real World. These threads, while somewhat entertaining, tend to wear thin, especially when Eggers continually rants about how great and important he is. The worst part is a nearly fifty page "transcription" of his interview with the producers of The Real World to sell himself onto the show. Pages and pages of where he grew up, what his favorite food was, and why he is so gosh dang vibrant and beautiful and necessary to everyone on the planet. Energy is refreshing. But in Eggers case, it gets self-indulgent at times.

Still, there is something to be read here. The first 100 pages and the last 50 are fantastic, particularly his thoughts on his mother, and Eggers exuberance, as well as his ferocious anger, are marvelous to behold. Staggering? Yes. Masturbatory? Very. Genius? Not quite. Entertaining? You betcha'. ... Read more


22. Quicksands: A Memoir
by Sybille Bedford
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582431698
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Sales Rank: 9581
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Beginning in 1956 with the publication of A Legacy, the highly acclaimed Sybille Bedford has narrated-in fiction and nonfiction-what has been by turns her sensuous, harrowing, altogether remarkable life. In this memoir, her first new book in over ten years, she provides the moving culmination to an epic personal story that takes readers from the Berlin of World War I, to the artists' set on the C™te d'Azur of the 1920s, through lovers, mentors, seducers, and friends, from genteel yet shabby poverty to settled comfort in London's West End. Whether evoking the simple sumptuousness of a home-cooked meal, or tracing the heartrending outline of an intimate betrayal, she offers both "a deliciously evoked return to worlds" (John Fowles), and spellbinding reflections on how history imprints itself on private lives. ... Read more


23. Honeymoon with My Brother : A Memoir
by Franz Wisner
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312320906
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 159772
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

This is the true story of Franz Wisner, a man who thought he had it all- a high profile career and the fiancée of his dreams- when suddenly, his life turned upside down.Just days before they were to be married, his fiancée called off the wedding.Luckily, his large support network of family and friends wouldn't let him succumb to his misery.They decided Franz should have a wedding and a honeymoon anyway- there just wouldn't be a bride at the ceremony, and Franz' travel companion would be his brother, Kurt.

During the "honeymoon," Franz reconnected with his brother and began to look at his life with newfound perspective.The brothers decided to leave their old lives behind them.They quit their jobs, sold all their possessions, and traveled around the world, visiting sixty countries for the next two years.In Honeymoon With My Brother, Franz recounts this remarkable journey, during which he turned his heartbreak into an opportunity to learn about himself, the world, and the brother he hardly knew.
... Read more

24. The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family
by Dave Pelzer
list price: $10.95
our price: $8.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558745157
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 1555
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Imagine a young boy who has never had a loving home. His only possesions are the old, torn clothes he carries in a paper bag. The only world he knows is one of isolation and fear. Although others had rescued this boy from his abusive alcoholic mother, his real hurt is just begining -- he has no place to call home.

This is Dave Pelzer's long-awaited sequel to A Child Called "It". In The Lost Boy, he answers questions and reveals new adventures through the compelling story of his life as an adolescent. Now considered an F-Child (Foster Child), Dave is moved in and out of five different homes. He suffers shame and experiences resentment from those who feel that all foster kids are trouble and unworthy of being loved just because they are not part of a "real" family.

Tears, laughter, devastation and hope create the journey of this little lost boy who searches desperately for just one thing -- the love of a family.

... Read more

Reviews (319)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
After reading A Child Called It, I of course, had to read Lost Boy. Though, I was very happy to see David got away from his mother, I was more compelled to learn that the school system got involved, finally! Being in foster care itself, can't be a easy task, i.e. living out of a paper sack with the only prized possessions he ever owned, but not knowing from moment to moment if you are going to be pulled out of that home. This book is one of those books that you just can't put down, you have to turn the page to see how David pulls through each situation. Don't pick up this book if you don't have a few hours to spend starting and finishing this book. It is a MUST read! I have purchased A Man Named Dave and have begun to read it. This series is compelling!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dave is Inspiring to All
The Lost Boy is the most beautiful book I have ever read. It tells about his life from the ages of 12 to 18 as a foster child. It is the long awaited sequal to the book A Child Called 'It.' A book so intreguing, it was literally impossible to put down. This book is Pelzer's moving sequel. It deals with child abuse and how he survived. He takes you through his five diffrent foster families during his adolesent years. Pelzer tells about his desperate dtermination to find the love of a family and a child's dream of 'fitting-in.' While reading The Lost Boy, you will experiance an uproar of emotions. It will make you cry and at the same time it will make you mad. Then when you least suspect it, you will be crying and cheering for Dave. Dave is living proof that abusive cycles can be broken. He is an inspiration to us all. It would be an honor to hear this wonderful man speak.

1-0 out of 5 stars Peddling bogus melodrama for a profit
This 'memoir' ought to be labeled trash fiction. Hasn't anyone read the New York Times article tracing Dave's childhood and examining the inconsistencies in his books? He peddles these books at 'conferences' in order to keep his name on the NYT Bestseller list - which is NOT an evaluation of the merit and literary value of any particular book, but just shows the general ignorance of today's reader.

I'm embarrassed for the readers who actually believe the pages of rubbish. It's a sad state when books like these continue to garner attention and prey on poor innocent readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I really liked the book "The Lost Boy" and read it after I finished a "Child Called It." I cried in many parts of this book and enjoyed reading it very much. If you have read "A Child Called It" (and enjoyed it) I would highly recommend you read "The Lost Boy." The book was mainly about how Dave Pelzer was moving to different foster homes, his problems fitting in, and his constant fear of his mother.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brought me to tears again
This book was just as good as "A Child Called It"

What David Pelzer went through is unspeakable. I can not even formulate it into words, but to say, no child should go through what he went through.

At the end of the book there was light at the end of the tunnel, he became an adult an enlisted in the Armed Forces. I will read "A Man Called Dave" to see how his life unfolded.

Later.... ... Read more


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

Book Description

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

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

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

... Read more

Reviews (14)

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

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

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

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

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

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

All in all a great biography -5 stars.


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

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

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

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

Reads almost like a Roll of the Dead Christmas Letter.

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

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

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

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

Ms. Bacall, you go girl!

(Recommended Reading!)

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


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

Amazon.com

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

Reviews (50)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Book Description

Dear Readers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (1)

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


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

Book Description

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

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

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

Reviews (6)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Book Description

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

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

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

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

Reviews (3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


30. Autobiography of a Face
by Lucy Grealy
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060569662
Catlog: Book (2003-03-18)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 4791
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

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

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

... Read more

Reviews (50)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


31. Truth & Beauty : A Friendship
by Ann Patchett
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060572140
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 2189
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

What happens when the person who is your family is someone you aren't bound to by blood? What happens when the person you promise to love and to honor for the rest of your life is not your lover, but your best friend? In Truth & Beauty, her frank and startlingly intimate first work of nonfiction, Ann Patchett shines a fresh, revealing light on the world of women's friendships and shows us what it means to stand together.

Ann Patchett and Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers' Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work was. In her critically acclaimed and hugely successful memoir, Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, the years of chemotherapy and radiation, and then the endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth & Beauty, the story isn't Lucy's life or Ann's life, but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long, cold winters of the Midwest, to surgical wards, to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this book shows us what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined.

This is a tender, brutal book about loving a person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A BROKEN HEART AND A BRILLIANT MIND
If you've read Lucy Grealy's book AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE, you must read Ann Patchett's book TRUTH & BEAUTY. Ann was Lucy's best friend and tells the story of their loving and literary friendship. Ann's book is filled with Lucy's letters. The book tells of how Lucy was taunted by kids and adults because of her facial cancer. Readers get to see into Lucy's heart and how because of her "ugly" face she thought no one would ever love her. yet she beds every man who says something nice to her out of a need to connect and feel "love.". this book is a fantastic look into the heart and mind of someone with a visible disability. it is about someone with a brilliant mind. and it's filled with triumph and tragedy. And if you haven't read AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE, I recommend that too. In both books you'll see the life of a driven woman hoping her genius and writing abilities will save her from what she thinks is the tragedy of her disability and make someone love her and she will live happily ever after. Sadly Lucy died of a drug overdose a few years ago. was it an accident or suicide?? she was heartbroken. she never thought she would find love. but so many of her friends loved her.

4-0 out of 5 stars Patchett's Frank and Tender First Work of Nonfiction
Female friendships are one of the most complex human relationships, regardless of age. And in TRUTH & BEAUTY, author Ann Patchett does nothing to dispel the mystery of girlfriends. If anything, she adds to it.

Although this book is nonfiction, it reads like fiction. Readers will dive into the story, greedily gathering information about the two main subjects --- Patchett and her friend, Lucy Grealy --- like characters in a novel. They were two young and ambitious women who go directly from Sarah Lawrence to the Iowa's Writers Workshop, the most coveted graduate school for writers. They develop a friendship that straddles the lines of intimacy, and they find literary fame. Along the way they form a bond that is difficult to describe. It spans continents, weathers illnesses both physical and mental, and seems to survive even death. But this is not a work of fiction, and so the eloquent writing of this well-known author packs even more of a punch. These are real people; this is Patchett's life, her beloved friend who lives, metaphorically speaking, just beyond her reach.

Patchett recreates her life with Grealy by interspersing their history with letters she received from Grealy over the years, postmarked from Scotland, New York, Providence, Connecticut, and all of the other places she traveled, taught and lived. They are letters that reveal a literary voice filled with love and admiration for a woman to whom she referred as "Pet." She was a competitive woman who was known to jump into Patchett's lap and ask repeatedly, "Am I your favorite? Do you love me the most?" And inevitably the answer was yes.

"Dearest Anvil, she would write to me six years later, dearest deposed president of some now defunct but lovingly remembered country, dearest to me, I can find no suitable words of affection for you, words that will contain the whole of your wonderfulness to me. You will have to make due with being my favorite bagel, my favorite blue awning above some great little café where the coffee is strong but milky and had real texture to it."

Narrated by Patchett, TRUTH & BEAUTY could be described as an analysis of Grealy, a woman who fights an uphill battle to recover physically from a cancer that robbed her of her outward beauty as a child, though it amplified an inner beauty. Grealy, as Patchett tells us, had a kind of animal magnetism that drew the best of people to her. She underwent at least 35 surgeries to rebuild a jaw decimated by radiation and lived her life subsisting on mashed fruits, ice cream and the occasional milkshake. Despite the staggering number of surgeries, the procedures never quite worked and much of Grealy's life was spent lamenting what she believed were her physical inadequacies. Yet TRUTH & BEAUTY is not a sad story. In fact, it features the gifts of Grealy's best features: her wit, gaiety and zest for life.

And while it focuses on Grealy and Patchett's friendship, TRUTH & BEAUTY may be better described as a study of human nature. Patchett writes about the intricacies of the human heart in THE MAGICIAN'S ASSISTANT, THE PATRON SAINT OF LIARS and BEL CANTO, and she tackles the subject once again in TRUTH & BEAUTY. The constant search for a love that seems to be right in front of a person's eyes is a recurring theme for Patchett, who weaves a beautiful if not frustrating story of a friendship that she worked diligently to maintain.

In life many people struggle to find reciprocal friendships in men and women. And, frequently, outsiders perceive even the best of friendships to be one-sided. This may also be the case here. Readers will complete TRUTH & BEAUTY with a keen appreciation for the love that exists between women, the unwavering loyalty that friends can maintain through years of turmoil and emotional trials. And while loyalty (as we see in this 257-page story) may falter occasionally, it can withstand the test of time. And perhaps even beyond.

--- Reviewed by Heather Grimshaw

4-0 out of 5 stars Not recommended for tender sensitivities
Well written, strangely powerful and often horrifying. I can't quite recommend it. It's a special sort of pathology that many of us have encountered.

4-0 out of 5 stars Painful and Questionable
I read this book directly after reading Autobiography of a Face. Lucy seemed to have a huge black hole in her soul that she constantly looked to others to fill up. Obviously she never learned to love herself, so her friends were her mirrors to her soul. She searched endlessly for love on the outside but her greatest quest was her search for the ability to love herself with all her physical flaws.
I saw Lucy's repeated surgeries simply a way to stay connected with something she knew and a place where she felt comfortable and accepted. The surgeries were physically painful but they gave her an opportunity to have everyone care for her openly and with such extraordinary allegiance, a true sign of love. Lucy could never quite embrace it and assimilate that love into her psyche.
Was it guilt that drove Ann to write this book wondering if there wasn't something she could have done to make the ending different? I felt a sense of relief when Lucy's life was finally over. What quality did she ever have in her existence? I think Ann went above and beyond the realm of friendship. One has to wonder why she hung in there through everything for a one-way friendship? Why was Ann so possessed by Lucy? It's a question we will never know but one that the book continually asks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful tribute
Patchett's book is a beautifully written tribute to an exceptionally intense friendship. The author takes you through her relationship with Lucy Grealy although side-stepping prolonged analysis of why their bond was so tight. The reader can draw his or her own conclusion; close attention should be paid to the excerpts from Grealy's letters, which reveal her intellect, her delight in words and her charisma. One thing that astonished me, despite having read Autobiography of a Face when it was first published, was how much physical discomfort Grealy constantly dealt with. Her problem was far more than just an aesthetic problem -- she had only six teeth left, couldn't chew food normally and was constantly in danger of choking because she couldn't close her lips. It amazes me that she was able to be as productive as she was despite to this condition, even before factoring in the multiple surgeries. Grealy clearly had the heart of a lion and it's no surprise that people were drawn to her inner strength, even when it was clouded by her understandable depression and feelings of isolation and want. ... Read more


32. My Fathers' Houses : Memoir of a Family
by Steven Roberts
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060739932
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 6522
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Bayonne prepared me well for a larger life and a larger world. I knew who I was and where I was from. I was connected by innumerable little cords to people and places that gave me strength and identity. On The Block I was safe, secure, loved. I even had a number, 174, the address of our house, but the number wasn't a badge of anonymity. To the contrary, it marked my place, where I belonged.

As moving as Russell Baker's Growing Up and Calvin Trillin's Messages from My Father, My Fathers' Houses is the story of a town, a time, and a boy who would grow up to become a New York Times correspondent, television and radio personality, and bestselling author.

In this remarkable memoir, Steven V. Roberts tells the story of his grandparents, his parents, and his own life, vividly bringing a period, a place, and a remarkable family into focus. The period was the forties and fifties, when the children of immigrants were striving to become American in a booming postwar world. The place was one block in Bayonne, New Jersey, and the house that Roberts's grandfather, Harry Schanbam, built with his own hands, a warm and reassuring home, just across the Hudson River from "the city," where Roberts grew up surrounded by family and tales of the Old Country.

This personal journey starts in Russia, where the family business of writing and ideas began. A great-uncle became an editor of Pravda and two great-aunts were originalmembers of the Bolshevik party. His other grandfather, Abraham Rogowsky, stole money to become a Zionist pioneer in Palestine and helped to build the second road in Tel Aviv before settling in America. Roberts returns his saga to Depression-era Bayonne, where his parents, living one block apart, penned love letters to each other before marrying in secret. His father, an author and publisher of children's books, and his uncle, a critic and short story writer, instilled in him a love for words and a determination to carry on the family legacy, a legacy he is now passing on to his own children and grandchildren.

Roberts, too, would leave home, for Harvard, where he met Cokie Boggs, the Catholic girl he would marry, and later, for the New York Times, where he would start his career -- across the river and worlds away from where he began. An emotional, compelling story of fathers and sons, My Fathers' Houses encapsulates the American experience of change and continuity, of breaking new ground using the tools and traditions of the past. ... Read more


33. Juiced : Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big
by Jose Canseco
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060746408
Catlog: Book (2005-02-14)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 4841
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

Touted as a Ball Four for the new millennium, Jose Canseco's Juiced promises to expose not only the rampant use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball (with steroids replacing the amphetamines of Bouton's day), but the painfully human flaws of its heroes as well. A steroid devotee since the age of 20, Canseco goes beyond admitting his own usage to claim that with the tacit approval of the league's powers-that-be he acted as baseball's ambassador of steroids and is therefore indirectly responsible for "saving" the game.

Chief among his claims is that he introduced Mark McGwire to steroids in 1988 and that he often injected McGwire while they were teammates. According to Canseco, steroids and human growth hormones gave McGwire and Sammy Sosa (whose own usage was "so obvious, it was a joke") the strength, stamina, regenerative ability, and confidence they needed for a record-setting home run duel often credited with restoring baseball's popularity after the 1994 strike. Although he devotes a lot of ink to McGwire, Canseco envisions himself as a kind of Johnny Steroidseed, spreading the gospel of performance enhancement, naming a number of players that he either personally introduced to steroids or is relatively certain he can identify as fellow users. Because Canseco plays fast and loose with some of the facts of his own career he provides fodder for those looking to damage his credibility, but in many ways questions of public and personal perception are what raise the book beyond mere vitriolic tell-all. Those willing to heed his request and truly listen to what he has to say will find Juiced to be an occasionally insightful meditation on the workings of public perception and a consistently interesting character study. --Shane Farmer ... Read more

Reviews (105)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most revealing baseball book since "Ball Four"
This is the book that grabbed Congress' attention and finally forced the politicians to make baseball clean up its sordid act. Canseco not only implicates himself but also exposes some of the biggest stars of the past 20 years. And not one of them has refuted his charges. While Canseco's steroid-fueled past is undeserving of an endorsement and his statistics are forever tainted, his unmasking of what really goes on inside "the grand old game" is at once shocking and essential. He's a pariah in baseball circles now, but his book is what the sport needed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Juiced
Review By Josh Dall May 18, 2005
Juiced published by Jose Canseco

Jose "The Chemist" Canseco tells all in the book Juiced, an autobiography about his experience in baseball. This book explains why he started taking steroids, and why he thinks people need to know the truth about who cheated in baseball and who didn't. Canseco admits to steroid use and was banned from baseball, but the untold truth of the players who did it come out in his words from Jason Giambi and down to Mark Mcgwire. He explains how baseball has invited in steroids, and why it's their fault people use them still today. But besides steroids he explains the high life of a baseball player and what you don't know.

There are many characters in this book, but there not the usual made up characters you may find in stories. These characters are future hall of famer's, and names that associate with baseball. In this autobiography Canseco accuses Mark Mcgwire, Sammy Sosa, Ken Caminiti, Bret Boone, and 4 teamates from when he played on the rangers, and himself of using performance enhancers. Canseco tells what he knows about political figures and managers who knew about steroids and did nothing, including such names as George W. Bush and Tony Larussa. All these accusations that Canseco makes seem believable because Canseco seems to know what he is talking about. Still, the players aren't admitting what they have done, so what Canseco has done is exploit these players who still deny using steroids.

This book is a autobiography and very well written. What makes this book so great is that Canseco tells about the onward dissucion on the steroid issue which has become part of baseball for many years. One thing that did surprise me was that Barry Bonds was hardly mentioned, and he didn't say anything on steroid suppliers who may still be selling them today as much as I thought. My favorite part in this book is where he says all the names of baseball heroes so the public will know who is a cheater and who isn't. Through and through he reveals his life in baseball and what it's like to be criticized. Through the book he openly says he introduced them to baseball and he calls himself the "godfather" of steroids, which is pretty powerful to say. The players who were accused in this book, we're obligated to attend a conference hearing on steroids. All of them attended, accept Giambi, and Mark Mcgwire was crying when questioned, saying "the past is done and the future is now". Juiced, leads us to the point, is baseball Juiced?Even though some people are saying he's just making it sound like steriods are ok to kids and trying to make money,I still recommend this book to anyone who want's to here the truth on baseball, howit stands today, and what it will be like in the future.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, some errors, and a lot of blame
I purchased this book shortly after it came out and blew through it quickly.While the inside info of who did steroids and who he helped with them was nice, Canseco takes none of the blame for his own mistakes.Whenever he was in trouble with the law, amazingly it was always someone else's fault or someone overreacted.There are some factual errors that an editor should've caught.Namely his "Game Six" at-bat in the 2000 World Series.One slight problem: It was Game Four and the Series only went five games.
One other thing that got my attention is where he was going to kill himself after finding out his estranged wife was seeing someone else, only to stop once he heard his daughter crying.Now had he killed himself, his daughter (only one at the time) likely would have starved to death since no one would've fed her.What an absolute a-hole.Enjoy your newfound pariah status, Jose.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jose is the MAN!
Who cares about the so-called name-dropping.THey all did steroids.Face it - Jose Canseco is the hottest guy in baseball and he can do no wrong by me.JOse - I'm your gal for life!

2-0 out of 5 stars revie of "Juiced"
Review of Juiced

"Wild Times, Rampant Roids, Smash hits, and how baseball got big was far from what Jose Conseco's book "Juiced" was about.This book brings me back to the third grade and how stupid I thought the "Where's Waldo?" books were.Since I am suppost to give this book an overall rating, I suppose it gets two stars and those stars are burnt out just like Conseco."Juiced" talked about the 1980 Athletics and mainly Mark Mcguire.There were other topics like locker room talk, record setting events, and everyday life stories but any baseball fan who reads this book knows that its just about low blows on teams and players such as Mark Mcguire.Conseco's thoughts are strongly discussed in his book and the thing that makes this book so unattractive to the reader is his lack of ability to support his topics.
Of the many weaknesses in this book there are a few strong points.The thing I do like about this book is that it is a quick and easy read.And by easy I mean EASY!I really do feel like I am back in the third grade reading books with big letters aboutbig animals like Clifford, the big red dog, only this time I'm reading medium letters about big steroid craving monsters.If your thinking about traveling a short distance and your in the mood to end your trip feeling like an empty headed Jessica Simpson, pick up juiced.
With the many weaknesses in this book there is one that sticks out more than any in my mind.That is when Jose Conseco talks about how he pinch hit in game six of the two thousand world series when it was only a five game series.Too me that would be something that I would not get wrong especially since its only the biggest game of the year.
My last and final good comment about this book would probably be giving Jose credit for admitting his steroid use and having the testicular fortitude to name and talk about other players in his book.Although I think this book was written manly for the money, I like how he describes Cal Ripken jr. as a blond, polish diva who demands fancier hotels than the rest of the team.Also I like how he calls "Big Mac" (Mark Mcguire) "Not the best looking guy around".I also like how he talk about his past and his self-confidence issues until he bulked up chemically.
After reading this book I will say that I do have a different view on baseball.I think that steroid use should not be allowed at all.I know that as a child I looked up to baseball players and how I always wanted to play major league baseball.If I ever had kids I don't think that I would want them to now about some of these players.With that being said this book had a tad bit of impact on me.I still love baseball and that will never change.I just think that once these players are done playing they should not always resort to writing books.

... Read more


34. Fat Girl : A True Story
by JudithMoore
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594630097
Catlog: Book (2005-03-03)
Publisher: Hudson Street Press
Sales Rank: 1127
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

A nonfiction She's Come Undone, Fat Girl is a powerfully honest and compulsively readable memoir of obsession with food, and with one's body, penned by a Guggenheim and NEA award-winning writer.

For any woman who has ever had a love/hate relationship with food and with how she looks; for anyone who has knowingly or unconsciously used food to try to fill the hole in his heart or soothe the craggy edges of his psyche, Fat Girl is a brilliantly rendered, angst-filled coming-of-age story of gain and loss. From the lush descriptions of food that call to mind the writings of M. F. K. Fisher at her finest, to the heartbreaking accounts of Moore's deep longing for a family and a sense of belonging and love, Fat Girl stuns and shocks, saddens and tickles.
... Read more

Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Most Impressive
What is most impressive about "FAT GIRL" is that it takes strong stands. The author takes risks with confidence. As with other books in the same league of impact and merit ala "YOU REMIND ME OF ME," "THE GLASS CASTLE", "NIGHTMARES ECHO," "MY FRACTURED LIFE," or "NEVER LET ME GO," "FAT GIRL" is a book that will either amaze you or offend you. The author presents a finely crafted story it is. Judged on impact and merit, this is a story that is in the same league as "MY FRACTURED LIFE", "THE LOVELY BONES", "MIDDLESEX", and "RUNNING WITH SCISSORS."

2-0 out of 5 stars Most pointless book of self-hate I've ever read
Like mosquitoes drawn to lights, I couldn't stop reading this blessedly short vilification of overweight people.208 pages could hardly contain the mounds of self-hatred Judith Moore exhibits here.I have to admit she writes well.When she describes a meal, she not only seduces the reader into craving, she makes her smell and taste it. Unfortunately, the same can be said about her depictions of fat people; I kept feeling she wanted me to shower and put on deodorant several times while reading.

I looked at the author's photo on the back flyleaf and could not figure out just why she described herself in the beginning of the book as looking so horrendous and disgusting, with rolls of abdominal fat hanging over her thighs and each bubbling buttock sluicing against the other.She looked fine to me, very normal.Moreover, she admitted to being, at most, only 40 pounds overweight, weight she continually lost and regained over the years.I have been more than 40 pounds overweight and I never looked anything like the woman she so vividly describes, nor do other people I know with even more excess poundage.Ms. Moore is evoking someone morbidly obese, someone begging for a heart attack or stroke.She described her father as repulsive at over 6 feet and more than 200 pounds.Yet, most men over 6 feet tall are at a healthy weight when near 200 pounds.Then I realized that her outrageously abusive childhood had obviously warped her perception of herself (and other overweight people).As she said "Even when I was slender, I was fat".

But I have read Ms. Moore's earlier book, Never Eat Your Heart Out, where her autobiographical sketches are of, as another reviewer wrote, a "relatively ordinary life" with little hint of the horrendous existence she portrays and blames in Fat Girl.Yes, her parents divorced when she was very young, yes, her father disappeared from her life and her grandmother and mother were vicious shrews, her school life was friendless and full of teasing.Hey, that's the story of hordes of people who have nonetheless gone on to lead fulfilling lives free of excessive vitriol focused on a past they cannot get beyond.Ms. Moore is now in her sixties and the mother of two grown daughters.She must realize that a lousy childhood and nasty relatives should not be given permission to control her perceptions and self-worth into late adulthood. My advice to Ms. Moore - get over it.Do good deeds for others less fortunate (yes, there are people with worse lives), smile, and act like the attractive and well-adjusted person you want to be; it will quickly become self-fulfilling. Or get thee to a good therapist posthaste.

For those who might read this book, save yourselves the agony and have something to eat instead.

3-0 out of 5 stars motive unclear
I'm not quite sure what to say about this book. The writer doesn't mince words or make excuses, she lays out her life, her pain, and her fat. She doesn't cut a sympathetic figure, and she isn't trying to be one. I had difficulty finding a context for the novel. Why write it? Was it for self exploration? To explain something to people she knows? To chew the fat? I couldn't figure it out, and couldn't decide if reading it was enlightening or vouyerism.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Truth Hurts
I read this book in one day, alternately weeping and laughing out loud.The author is so brave, honest and unsparing in her description of inner pain.Self-medicating with food does not work but it is easy to fall into. Her descriptions of food are seductive and sensual. I wanted to call her when I finished reading the book and just say I am sorry you suffered that way, you are a delightful human being, and I just want to put my arms around you.I will never judge an overweight person, myself included, again.We cannot know another's inner pain or early experiences.I thank Ms. Moore for sharing hers so brilliantly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Story That Had To Be Told
FAT GIRL is an abrupt and blatantly rude title. It's one that is silly in a way that is funny only to bullies. That's the point. That sense of feeling is exactly what FAT GIRL captures. It is the biography of being fat, being made fun of, being the outsider. My sister was a "fat girl" and I know first hand how she came home crying from the way she was treated. She wasn't any less intelligent than me or any less kind or less polite, yet she was treated so differently - all because of her weight. FAT GIRL is an excellent book in the same league as THE GLASS CASTLE, MY FRACTURED LIFE, SECRET LIFE OF BEES, and THE TRUE AND OUTSTANDING ADVENTURES OF THE HUNT SISTERS. ... Read more


35. Kiss Me Like a Stranger : My Search for Love and Art
by Gene Wilder
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031233706X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Sales Rank: 5965
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

In this personal book from the star of many beloved and classic film comedies -- from The Producers to Young Frankenstein, Blazing saddles to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory -- Gene Wilder writes about a side of his life the public hasn't seen on the screen.Kiss Me Like a Stranger is not an autobiography in the usual sense of the word, and it's certainly not another celebrity "tell-all." Instead, Wilder has chosen to write about resonant moments in his life, events that led him to an understanding of the art of acting, and -- more important -- to an understanding of how to give love to and receive love from a woman.

Wilder writes compellingly about the creative process on stage and screen, and divulges moments from life on the sets of some of the most iconic movies of our time.

In this book, he talks about everything from his experiences in psychoanalysis to why he got into acting and later comedy (his first goal was to be a Shakespearean actor), and how a Midwestern childhood with a sick mother changed him. Wilder explains why he became an actor and writer, and about the funny, wonderful movies he made with Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, and Harrison Ford, among many others. He candidly reveals his failures in love, and writes about the overwhelming experience of marrying comedienne Gilda Radner, as well as what finally had to happen for him to make a true and lasting commitment to another woman.

A thoughtful, revealing, and winsome book about life, love, and the creative process, Kiss Me Like A Stranger is one actor's life in his own words.
... Read more

Reviews (24)

3-0 out of 5 stars Many references to People & Places
Gene Wilder's "slightly autobiographical' book gives a little insight into his life as a boy ,his close friendship with his pyschiatist Margie, the "Demons" which burdened him as a young man via thoughts and his wife Gilda, his sister Corrine and his own bouts successful or otherwise with Cancer...In his case his joy on "I've won" when the treatments were decreased from a sceduled nine to only six, turned to gratitude when he let one of the physcians who'd treated Gilda before she "passed away", inform him of the need for more treatment...His book hints that his major stresses are due to his concerns of why he thinks the way he thinks whenever the thoughts that lead to certain behaviour don't make sense...In its own "not-heavy" reading way the book is quite thought- provoking.

3-0 out of 5 stars In defense of the book
I found it informative enough. I got a good sense of Gene Wilder's life story from the get go of my reading it. He lets quite a few pictures of himself in younger days tell his story of his life as well as words. BTW he doesn't mention Patrick McGoohan (his co-star in Silver Streak) so I guess nothing happened between the two in a mutual sense. Makes sense as McGoohan had zero chemistry with everyone in that film (Wilder included), McGoohan was just in it for the money and most likely made no friends on the set. I'd like to add that Wilder's bio is definitely largely true as well as what he says of his co-star and friend Richard Pryor is confirmed in Pryor's very own autobiography.

2-0 out of 5 stars Is he a Nice Person? Is he a Good Writer?
Judging from the previous reviews, some of the people who think very little of Wilder's "autobiography" were disappointed to find he was not the sweet, insightful and gentle man he's made his career portraying.Well, OK, me too.

But "Is he a nice person?" is a separate question from "Is this book any good?" and in my view the answer to both is "no."

Dorothy Parker once wrote about Isadora Duncan's autobiography that she wrote with frankness, but that "frankness" was no synonym for "honesty." Or insight, for that matter.

What a sloppy, silly, unintentionally revealing book! At the end we don't know why Wilder's relationship with his daughter ended, but we do know that once he was able to copulate three times in one night.

I could give more examples, but that kinda does it for me: this is a very self-absorbed man, so selfish and consuming that he just doesn't give a **** that we will find it out. In fact, he seems to think we WANT to know. He didn't HAVE to reveal these terrible things about himself.

A self-absorbed jerk can be found with no trouble; what makes Gene Wilder different is that he has been one of the funniest actors and writers ever. Naturally, if you're reading his book, you want to find out about his artistic path. But we don't find out much about how he writes, or why, how he survived auditions, what he gets from his work, do the people who knew him when he was Jerry Silberman still call him Jerry, what roles would he have __liked__ to play?

It's hard to fault him for his Gilda Radner comments; she herself knew she was difficult. His account of his relationship with Gildawas pretty much as she said in __It's Always Something__, except she apparently didn't know he started dating his current wife while Gilda was dying.Again: not a story of a nice person--but that in and of itself is not terrible.Unfortunately it was also not great writing.

I didn't mind that it wasn't funny because I wanted to know about the Person, not the Persona.All I know about him that I didn't know before is that I wouldn't want him dating into my family.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy the Book!
People who think they know this man DON'T.He's a terrific person and his book is just great.Buy it and judge for yourself.

3-0 out of 5 stars I am Waiting for the Unauthorized Bio Later This Year
I have always loved Gene Wilder's work and have followed his career over the years.His memoir is entertaining and he is surprisingly honest about certain aspects of his private life, but I got the feeling that he was being selective in what he shared with the reader.There is an unauthorized Wilder biography being published around November of this year called "Gene Wilder: Funny and Sad" that supposedly is more analytical of Wilder's films and also reveals significant details about his personal life that he chose to omit from his own book.Wilder's book is good but I am waiting to read this other book which I feel will likely be more objective. ... Read more


36. Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow
list price: $26.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143034758
Catlog: Book (2005-03-29)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 11047
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

From National Book Award winner Ron Chernow, a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades," now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

An illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, Hamilton rose with stunning speed to become George Washington's aide-de-camp, a member of the Constitutional Convention, coauthor of The Federalist Papers, leader of the Federalist party, and the country's first Treasury secretary. With masterful storytelling skills, Chernow presents the whole sweep of Hamilton's turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his illicit romances; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

For the first time, Chernow captures the personal life of this handsome, witty, and perennially controversial genius and explores his poignant relations with his wife Eliza, their eight children, and numberless friends. This engrossing narrative will dispel forever the stereotype of the Founding Fathers as wooden figures and show that, for all their greatness, they were fiery, passionate, often flawed human beings.

Alexander Hamilton was one of the seminal figures in our history. His richly dramatic saga, rendered in Chernow's vivid prose, is nothing less than a riveting account of America's founding, from the Revolutionary War to the rise of the first federal government.
... Read more

Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of American History's Shining Stars
There have NOT been enough biographies of Alexander Hamilton, and Ron Chernow has restored this often maligned founding father into his deserved spotlight. The marvelous opening passage describes the longings of Hamilton's widow, Elizabeth, for her husband who had died nearly 50 years previously. This romantic image sets the tone for this brilliant book, as it explores the heart as well as the mind of Alexander Hamilton.

For those who do not know, Hamilton was not merely a capitalist and economist who happened to die in a duel with Aaron Burr. True, he was the founder of The Bank of New York and was America's first Secretary of the Treasury. But Hamilton was also a tireless abolitionist, a brilliant lawyer and writer, General Washington's right-hand-man, a war hero, founder of the New York Post, and a swash-buckling romantic. Taken on their own, these achievements are amazing enough, but given the enormous obstacles and tragedies he had to overcome during his youth, it's just mindboggling. To take it a step further, he accomplished all this in just 49 years, which was his age at the time of his death.

A life as full, as dramatic, as IMPORTANT as Alexander Hamilton's deserves volumes. Ron Chernow's extensive biography is a long book but, even so, the amazing life he is describing requires such length. And, to Chernow's credit, the book achieves just the right balance of admiration and criticism, romanticism and realism, speculation and fact. Hamilton's life swung between often contradictory ideas and emotions, and Chernow presents them all to us, rather than sticking with one overriding image. ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Ron Chernow is perhaps the most important book written about the nascent years of our country since Ellis' FOUNDING BROTHERS, which would make an excellent companion to this book. I would also strongly recommend McCullough's JOHN ADAMS, as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Most Important American Figure Never to Become President
During the 1980s, during the period when Bank of New York launched its hostile take-over of Irving Bank, the following anecdote circulated.

As Alexander Hamilton was getting into the boat to be rowed across the Hudson River to Weehawken where he was scheduled to duel Aaron Burr, he turned to his aide and said, "Don't do anything until I return."

The story concluded, unfortunately, the aide and all of his successors took Hamilton at his word.

The anecdote, though funny at the time of the take-over, could not have a weaker historical foundation. Ron Chernow's biography relates the details of an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan who rose to become George Washington's key aide-de-camp, battlefield hero, Constitutional Convention delegate, co-author of The Federalist Papers, Federalist Party head and the country's first Treasury Secretary.

Hamilton was a rare revolutionary: fearless warrior, master administrator and blazing administrator. No other moment in American history could have better employed Hamilton's abundant talents and energy.

As Treasury Secretary, the country benefited from his abilities as a thinker, doer, skilled executive and political theorist. He was a system builder who devised and implemented interrelated policies.

As in the Revolution, Hamilton and Washington complemented each other. Washington wanted to remain above the partisan fray. He was gifted with superb judgment. When presented with options, he almost always made the correct choice. His detached style left room for assertiveness. Especially in financial matters, Hamilton stepped into the breach.
Washington was sensitive to criticism, yet learned to control his emotions. Hamilton, on the other hand, was often acted without tact and was naturally provocative.

Perhaps the main reason Hamilton accomplished so much was Washington agreed with his vision of 13 colonies welded into a single, respected nation. Chernow presents a well-written and nuanced portrait that arguably is the most important figure in American history that never attained the presidency. Though his foreign birth denied him the ultimate prize, his accomplishments produced a far more lasting impact than many who claimed it.

5-0 out of 5 stars True Founding Interests
The best all around depiction of a pivotal charecter in the founding of our country. With all of Mr Hamiltons accomplishments and pitfalls of character. Hamilton created almost single-handedly the modern capitalist society in addition to making huge implications into the manner which our government took shape that so many Americans take for granted. I would encourage anyone interested in the formation of the American experiment and a capitalist society read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Life
After Ronald Reagan died, I recall a TV commentator saying that there was a movement to replace Hamilton with Reagan on the $10 bill. Paraphrasing, "Hamilton was an easy target because he lacks a 'constituency'". Chernow's outstanding biography not only demonstrates why Hamilton is on the bill, but that his constituency should be all Americans. Of the "Founding Fathers", it is Hamilton who, if he could come back today, would be generally pleased at the United States he would find; his vision of capitalism, free markets and a central government has come to fruition.

The book details his youth growing up in the West Indies of questionable legitimacy, emigrating to the "Colonies", receiving an education, serving on Washington's staff in the Revolutionary War, his authorship of the Federalist Papers, his role in the Constitutional Convention, first Secretary of the Treasury, prolific writer, lawyer. His was a truly a phenomenal life. Chernow remarks that "No immigrant did more for the United States than Hamilton." After completing this book you can't help but "second" that statement.

The book paints vivid portraits of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams and Burr as well as the political climate. The role of his family and particularly his wife are well chronicled along with his faults. This book adds to the number of outstanding biographies that are being written about this period of our history. Back to Reagan, who quoted Hamilton on numerous occasions, I think if he had a say in who should be on the Ten, he like me would vote for Hamilton.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning
This is the best biography I have read in years. After the wonderful biographies out recently about Franklin and Adams, it was a thrill to learn about Alexander Hamilton, who has been so maligned and sidestepped by history. Buy this book. It is beautifully written, will hold your interest, and you will come away--as I did--with a new take on the founding of this country. ... Read more


37. The Story of a Lifetime: A Keepsake of Personal Memoirs
by Stephen Pavuk, Pamela Pavuk
list price: $41.95
our price: $27.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0970062680
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Triangel
Sales Rank: 13028
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Heirloom
After receiving this book from my adult daughter, I began filling in the pages. So many wonderul memories were relived with each question that I answered. I began thinking, this book would make a true heirloom if given as college graduation gifts. The graduates are at a turning point in their lives. They have lived most of their youth and they have experienced a great many trials and tribulations. What better time then now to enscribe them in this wonderful thought provoking book. Yet, they have so many good years ahead of them that they can record not only yesterday's memories, but today's and then tomorrows. In essence this is a running account of their lives.

What a fantastic gift to pass on to one's children.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best gift I've ever given (from my mother-in-law!).
I got this book for my mother-in-law and she loves it. The first day she had it, she spent almost the entire day writing. She's told all of her friends and they are now wanting the book for themselves and their parents who may still be living. What better way to tell someone you care than to let them know you want to know all about their lives and want your children to know as well, so it will never be forgotten how wonderful they are. Now the only problem is, which grandchild gets the book when she's done!

2-0 out of 5 stars I believed all the reviews here
I bought this as a gift, directly from Amazon, without having seen the book. The recipient, an avid scrapbooker and saver of poems and all things written, photographic, and sentimental (she uses large books herself, and is a devoted mom and teacher), didn't respond in the favorable way I'd anticipated based on the reviews here, combined with her personality and interests. I don't think she'll be using this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a list of what to ask.
I received this book for Christmas - my friend knows I have kept a journal since I was 12 - so it was a "just perfect" gift for me. What I like about it is that it lists all the questions you would like to ask, but have never got around to asking of anyone precious in your life. I am going to send a copy to my 89-year old godmother - because there is so much I would like for her to tell us. We're also going to use it as a tool for the video we are making of her - the questions and segments are perfect for a project like that. In a future edition, I would recommend more questions or segments for those with non-traditional lives - multiple marriages, foster families, gay relationships, etc. But this is definitely a start in the right direction and there are plenty of blank pages to fill in your own unique events, life experiences, and thoughts.

3-0 out of 5 stars Capacious, exhaustive, but badly organized
I was impressed by the thickness of this volume; I wasn't expecting anything quite this big. And each page has lots of lines on it. But each question is given a relatively small space for the answer to fit in, and there is absolutely no way to find a particular question, or a particular topic, without reading the entire book and putting post-it notes in as bookmarks. I would have loved an index at the end, or a table of contents to the sections. Also, parts of it are really excessively sentimental - not everyone who's filling out one of these reads Simple Abundance compulsively, and the authors don't seem to realize that. ... Read more


38. Ultra Marathon Man: Memoir Of An Extreme Endurance Athlete
by DEAN KARNAZES
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585422789
Catlog: Book (2005-03-17)
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher
Sales Rank: 196802
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

There are those of us whose idea of the ultimate physical challenge is the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon. And then there is Dean Karnazes. Karnazes has run 226.2 miles nonstop; he has completed the 135-mile Badwater Ultramara-thon across Death Valley National Park-considered the world's toughest footrace-in 130-degree weather; and he is the only person to complete a marathon to the South Pole in running shoes (and probably the only person to eat an entire pizza and a whole cheesecake while running).

Karnazes is an ultramarathoner: a member of a small, elite, hard-core group of extreme athletes who race 50 miles, 100 miles, and longer. They can run forty-eight hours and more without sleep, barely pausing for food or water or even to use the bathroom. They can scale mountains, in brutally hot or cold weather, pushing their bodies, minds, and spirits well past what seems humanly possible.

Ultramarathon Man is Dean Karnazes's story: the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada. Karnazes captures the euphoria and out-of-body highs of these adventures.

With an insight and candor rarely seen in sports memoirs, he also reveals how he merges the solitary, manic, self-absorbed life of hard-core ultrarunning with a full-time job, a wife, and two children, and how running has made him who he is today: a man with an überjock's body, a teenager's energy, and a champion's wisdom.
... Read more


39. The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life
by Lynne Twist
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393050971
Catlog: Book (2003-09)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 5451
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

A wise and inspiring exploration of the connection between money and leading a fulfilling life.

This compelling and fundamentally liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money—earning it, spending it, and giving it away—can offer surprising insight into our lives, our values, and the essence of prosperity.

Lynne Twist is a global activist and fund-raiser who has raised more than $150 million in individual contributions for charitable causes. Through personal stories and practical advice, she demonstrates how we can replace feelings of scarcity, guilt, and burden with experiences of sufficiency, freedom, and purpose. She shares from her own life, a journey illuminated by remarkable encounters with the richest and poorest people on earth, from the famous (Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama) to the anonymous but unforgettable heroes of everyday life. ... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful exploration of our relationship with money
In this book, Lynne Twist explores the relationship that people - rich, poor and in between - have with money. For many of us, it is a relationship fraught with anxiety and the sense of scarcity. No matter how much we have, or how many things we've bought with it, there's not enough.

But through her globe-spanning experiences, Ms. Twist has found ways to replace a sense of scarcity with a more-positive understanding of sufficiency and the freedom that awareness provides.

No matter what your personal financial situation, this book will be meaningful, helpful and perhaps even inspiring. Well-written and fascinating, beginning to end.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Soul of Lynne Twist
Rusty Schweikart was the first man to walk in space. He had been tightly scheduled with activities each moment he was floating outside the command module in the late 60's. But at one point his camera jammed, and he was able to experience just being in space and circling the earth. Many of you may have seen the video he made from this remarkable experience called "No Frames No Boundaries."

It took Rusty many years to digest and integrate this planetary experience and to realize the responsibilities he felt to mankind for the privilege he had been given. He came to call himself "a sensing element for mankind" (to know more about Rusty, his life and work  http://www.well.com/~rs/ ).

When I read "The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship to Money and Life," I found that Lynne herself is also such a sensing element for mankind.

She worked for several decades as the chief fundraiser (she's raised $150 million from individuals) for the Hunger Project, which has been a revolutionary effort far beyond what some of us may remember it for in its beginnings. In that role her travels have taken her all over the world--from Bangladesh to Ethiopia, from the Women's Conference in Bejing (where she reports some of the most poignant and heartbreaking stories you'll ever read) to South Africa and the installation of Nelson Mandela, although that story is not included.

Lynne has been with the rich and famous. One of her great stories is her returning a $50,000 check from a corporate CEO because she realized it was guilt money. Read the book to find out what happened next! And, of course, she has been with the poor and apparently downtrodden. They have been her great teachers and inspiration for this book. They taught her how money can be blessed, how when it comes from love, appreciation, and intention--from the soul--it has power, it flows and it can transform lives.

Where she has been on this planet, what she has seen, and how she has thought about it and integrated it into the soul of her being is the gift she gives back to us, her readers. Very few of us have had the opportunity to go where she has gone, to meet whom she has met, and to have contributed as much as she and her colleagues have to helping to end hunger and poverty on our fragile, blue orb, as Rusty first saw it.

Lynne offers great guidance about how we can each be and be better philanthropists (the amount doesn't matter, but the intention and commitment surely do). But the core of the book (which many of us may already know) is a transformation from a "you or me" world to a "you and me." one. Buckminster Fuller first articulated that as the necessary condition we are challenged to make on spaceship Earth (also his articulation). He was someone who profoundly influenced Lynne.

She leads us through the belief systems around scarcity (fear of not enough, push to always get more, resignation that it's just the way it is) to belief systems around sufficiency (there is always enough; turn our attention and appreciation to what we already have). Sufficiency becomes a more useful word than abundance. Creating a world of sufficiency (includes sustainability) is where we are headed together.

The most compelling parts of the book are the stories she tells from around the planet about actually ending hunger and poverty. She shows that this change of belief systems (we actually do have enough most of the time; we can focus on and appreciate what we already have to get to where we want to go) along with love, understanding, and effective facilitation can get the job done. "The Soul of Money" adds the interior dimensions as a vital and necessary component to solutions to hunger and poverty.

Lynne is herself a gifted and expert facilitator, and at the personal level the stories she shares of people who pull themselves out of poverty and lack are equally riveting. She concludes with a remarkable narrative about the last months of life of her mother, her first role model as a fundraiser and philanthropist. How Lynne assists her mother to fully complete her life is a wonderful offering to all of us with aging parents.

"The Soul of Money" is about far more than just the soul of money. Lynne reveals her own soul, the souls of the rich and the poor, and the collective soul of which we all partake that holds the promise of a sufficient, just, and more peaceful planet. Just as Rusty Scheweikart took us around the whole earth from the outside, Lynne, gives us many inside views of the beauty and commonality which we share. She provides an outstanding, authentic, and worthy ride!

--John Steiner

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book
To read The Soul of Money is to sit down and have a memorable, life-altering conversation with an extraordinary, courageous, deeply thoughtful and committed soul. Lynne speaks intimately and passionately from each page. The book does a beautiful job of untangling the mess in which almost all of us have learned about money, and then offers important opportunities and challenges to each of us about ways to enrich our lives and those of all around us.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book can help us change the soul of our nation/world
The Soul of Money is fully worth the praise it is getting and far more. Rooted in sufficiency and backed by moving stories situated throughout the world, this book will inspire you, enlighten you, give you hope, and certainly will make you cry.

If this book can help those of us who have been siting on the fence looking for the motivation to invest our souls in the transformation of this world, join those who are engaged in this effort, I believe that we truly can change the world. I believe that Lynn's message is one to help move all of us into activism, whether it is quiet or out there.

My personal commitment is to engage. Lynne asked me at her book signing during a conversation if I had invested in the Pachamama Alliance. I had been taking the newsletter but did not believe I was in a position to participate. I had to say no and I felt small knowing that I could have but did not participate. Oh I had my excuses, many of us do. I made a commitment to invest and I did. First a small donation to the Pachamama Alliance; then a visit to the adoption agency from which I was blessed with my little girl from India; next calls to NGO's working in the Telangana in India looking for ways to donate my time; and finally a commitment to bring Lynne to Yamhill County Oregon for a fundraiser, workshop and a book signing.

Yes I am moving out of my comfort zone of non-action and it is based on Lynne and her inspiring message. Please read this book, yes, but more than that, please join me in taking action to transform our nation and world.

Thank you Lynne for your great work though out the world and for funneling your experiences and insights into this great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Raise your money consciousness
Most of us think that we understand the facts of money: money is good, lack of money is bad; having more money is better than having less money; competition and scarcity are normal because it's a jungle out there; the way to cure economic depression and hunger is to throw more money at the problem; and so on. But these aren't "facts" in the sense of objective realities; rather, they stem from attitudes towards money that are so ingrained in our culture that they rarely intrude into our consciousness.

This book is an eye-opener: as a highly successful fund-raiser and representative for the Hunger Project, Lynne Twist has worked with everyone from Amazon tribal members to CEOs of multi-billion-dollar corporations. Her sensitivity and willingness to listen have given her insight into the real-life consequences of our attitudes towards money (and resources in general). The money consciousness that she propounds in this book is transformative, but it's based on a breadth of experience that makes her conclusions convincing -- for instance, she's worked in real jungles, and the "law of the jungle" is NOT the way they actually operate!

Despite the many well-chosen anecdotes, this book deals primarily in generalizations. But that's appropriate: the author's purpose is to make us aware of our attitudes towards money, and suggest how changing these attitudes can transform the way we go about solving some of the world's most vexing problems. This book deserves not only to be read, but taken to heart. ... Read more


40. Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?
by CharlesBarkley, MichaelWilbon
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594200424
Catlog: Book (2005-03-31)
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
Sales Rank: 2607
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

"Racism," Charles Barkley says, "is the biggest cancer of my lifetime. And I know I can't cure the cancer, but doesn't somebody have to attack it?" Barkley's means of attack in Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?--not surprising from one of the most outspoken athletes of our time--is to break past the taboo of race by talking about it in the open. What might be surprising is that Barkley steps aside and lets other people talk, too. While in his previous bestseller, I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It, the former NBA MVP and current TNT commentator held forth on a wide variety of subjects, for his new book he sought out a baker's dozen of leading figures in entertainment, business, and government (and yes, one athlete) and sat down with each for a frank conversation about race.

Of course race is not a simple topic, and each discussion heads in its own direction. Tiger Woods speaks both of his biracial identity and of how moving it was to see the black staff at Augusta National lined up to see him put on the green jacket as Masters champion. George Lopez talks about the pressures of creating a breakthrough Latino sitcom in an almost all-white industry. Film producer Peter Guber surprises Barkley when he says that he made The Color Purple out of economic self-interest, not idealism. Many of the discussions turn, like Guber's, not to traditional civil rights but to economics, which Rabbi Steven Leder calls the real "last taboo subject in America." It's clear that the audience Barkley most hopes to reach with this book is the young black men and women that he and many of his interview subjects are concerned about. "We're losing," activist Marian Wright Edelman tells him, "and if we don't stop this trend, we're going to be headed back to slavery." Barkley's celebrity subjects can provide some models for success for those readers, but one also hopes Barkley can continue the conversation by turning the spotlight on those struggling with the problems of race outside the sometimes protective glare of fame. --Tom Nissley

Who's Afraid of Talking to a Large Black Man?

Throughout his career, Charles Barkley has always been willing--quite willing--to call it as he sees it, making him one of the most quotable athletes of his era and, many have suggested, a future political candidate. He's as happy talking issues as talking hoops, and for his new book, Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man? he sat down for conversations across the country about the troublesome topic of race in America. We had our own conversation on the subject with Sir Charles: Read it to find why he wrote the book, what he tells his own biracial daughter about race, and why he thinks sports can be a model for race relations. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars This is not worth your time or $
I became interested in this book because I was watching David Letterman with Charles Barkley (CB) on it.CB said that the book was about getting kids off of the street, make them stop thinking about professional sports and rapping or acting and get them into college.

This book is not about that at all!I was trying to use this book for a class and paper, I hope my paper won't suck b/c I have to BS my whole paper since this book is worthless.I spent too much money on a piece of crap.

It has no point what so ever and it is all over the wall.There is no order.When CB is talking to someone...all he cares about is his opinion, not what they have to say.It is not in depth like CB proclaims it will be in the introduction.

If you want to read it, read it at Barnes & Noble or the library.Don't buy it.

3-0 out of 5 stars A collection of interviews and random thoughts
I have always been a bit of a fan of Charles Barkley, both as a basketball player and a TV commentator for the NBA.The primary reason for that was that Charles always had something to say.He had some of the best interviews, and made controversial statements that added some much needed variety to the standard "we played hard" quotes most NBA players slogged through.

However, there is a big difference between "always having something to say" and "saying something". This book is a collection of interviews I presume to be on the subject of race.However, the questions and "conversations" between Charles and other celebrities like Tiger Woods, Ice Cube, Morgan Freeman and others are a bit too free flowing, and as a result if there is a greater point Charles is making with this book, after quickly reading it I have no idea what it is.

While the subject of race is an important one, you will not find much deep introspection or tackling of issues here.For a deep look on the subject of race in America check out books by Larry Elder for example.What you will find here is some interesting dialog between Charles and others.I'm not sure if that is worth buying a book for, but it is easy to read and interesting, in a "People" magazine kind of way.Morgan Freeman comes off as the star of this book, and if you want to see the views of someone who seems to be quite grounded in reality, and a genuinely solid guy, check out his interview.As for Charles, let's just say he always has something to say, and leave it at that.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good book to just read!
OK, I understand that some look at this as some celebrity interview book, but I see it as more. Sir Charles is always himself and his opinions are well stated. I happen to agree with a lot of what this book has to say. It has a pop culture edge but that is ok. Does everything have to be academic? It is enjoyable and has a good heart.

1-0 out of 5 stars Teach Children About Real Life Not About Celebrity Lives!
Don't waste your time in reading this book. There is no information in there that can help anyone that is struggling but a bunch of people talking about life as if they know what real life is all about. I have nothing against Mr. Charles Barkley, a very controversial person, but America has got to wake up and realize that `so call celebrities' often end in up in Mr. Barkley's position when their incomes seem to be disappearing. When Charles was making much more money than he is now, he had no interest in helping vulnerable children as he indicated in his interview with Tim Russett, aired on CNBC 2005. If he was so interested in writing this book for his daughter as he indicated, he would not be selling it to the public at large. In my opinion, which I am entitled to, this book is purely for profit and has nothing to do with helping poor children of America. This is a tactic used to get people to buy things that they are selling. Common sense cannot be bought nor can we learn it in school. Selling books to poor people is not going to stop poverty or segregation. Life skills will help people to make better decisions and create goals and in turn they will live different lives. Rich folks do not have the time to sit and read books about a set of people that many consider as being `nothing' or `losers'

Many poor people have contributed in helping rich folks achieve the success and the high horse that they are on. Without poor people buying their dumb books, seeing their stupid movies, and other inadequate products and entertainment they would not be anywhere. Poor people have the buying power but yet poor people continue to let a set of people that have money say bad and evil things about people and use them when they want more money. Many poor folks work hard but have no one to help them to the next level. The working poor go to work with the hopes of doing better each day. Young people go to school and when they get out they have no where to turn because they are not paid what they are worth. Listening to all the social problems that these celebrities create; sometimes I wonder who has ghetto mentality. Rich people are no better than anyone despite our income levels or education. Many rich folks do not have formal education. If we had any common sense we would know that money cannot buy happiness. When it comes right down to real life applications, celebrities should be the last that we should run to for help. Many of them can't seem to get their lives together regardless of the money that they have.

Let us take a look at Oprah for example: she has all the money in the world that she needs, not one kid to share it with, and a boyfriend at her age that she has supposedly broken up with her. How pathetic? Do we think that she is really happy? Honestly, no matter how many business transaction she is a part of, when it comes down to real life I truly believe that she is lonely inside.

It is other people's money, especially poor people that is the greater part of rich people's money since poor families are in great numbers than rich ones. Yet these are also the type of people that would purchase products from celebrities to feel that they are doing their part. In truth and reality, celebrities don't want anything to do with us, they see us as wallets and suckers. In the above mentioned interview, Charles rudely degraded people from Alabama in saying that they would want to borrow money from him. He is not the richest man in the world. Perhaps a few people have asked him for money in the past but that does not mean that everyone in that neck of the woods wants his money. He is not very articulate; he speaks off the top of his head and makes very rude comments about people. Is this the Big Black Man, a role model; that you are going to listen to. Take a step backward and evaluate things that this man has said and examine his beliefs.

Like many others, he is using celebrities to tell us what they think about life. Living a lifestyle with a lot of money is truly not authentic because just about 1% of the population is wealthy; the other 99% is the working poor. If Charles had taken the initiative to talk with real people that are struggling and get a better understand about real life then I feel that his book would be worth it.

He talked about feeling bad about being Black. Of course he does, he is right in the ring with those that choose to marry out of their race to the weaker race that hates his own people. He should be the last to talk about racism when he prefers to choose to marry into a race that cannot come to grips with Black America or what they call minorities. It is quite okay to shack-up with beautiful Black women but when it comes right down to having a family - many Big Black Men choose to let White America dictate their lives and how they spend their money. It is sickening to hear Charles talk about this book that was probably written by a ghost writer because his object is not to help anyone but his finance.

Charles, we have lived in this world for a long time and we know phonies when we see them. We are tired of letting `so called celebrities' try this number on us again and again. Be satisfied with the money that you make now Mr. Barkley. You cannot give a man a fish to make his life better, teach him how to fish. If anyone wants to learn more about life I suggest that they learn it from someone that has been through many different experiences, not the rich and the famous that create problems for themselves and are living off other people's money. Get your knowledge from someone who has been there and done that. Some celebrities will want you to believe that they have been through a lot (and some have) but now that they feel that they are making it they think that they are the superior race. Truthfully, if they had it rough when they were younger that was their parent's life and when you are younger you do not really know that you are poor - children don't think about their parent's situation because their brain is not developed to process that type of information. It is their parent's who indicate to them that they are poor.

Charles talks so much about education but once he made a statement in saying that he doesn't need to get a degree because he hires people that has degrees. If he valued education as much as he wants us to believe he would not make statements like that. People need to wake up and motivate themselves and stop looking at celebrities or anyone to be their role models. Everyone says that we can be anything that we want to be but who is willing to help - no one. Instead of helping, they prefer to get our monies to help themselves. People that claim that they truly want to help has special interest in writing books, etc. - for the money. In America it is known that in God we trust but the money first. We are tired of being cheated with our permission by those that have household names. If you truly want to help yourself, log unto this website:www.lifeskillsdoctor.com and purchase these life skills literature that is worth its money in knowledge.

Charles and many other celebrities don't have anything to offer to anyone. Interviewing a bunch of other people like himself is not going to help curtail the problems that America in general and not just Black America is experiencing. We often feel that people with household names have our backs but attempt to write to them and ask them to interview you for a job. You would never hear from them because they are always hiding from us. As Mr. Barkley said, he is afraid that people are going to ask him for money. We do not want another mockery in politics like Arnold Schwarzenegger. So I hope that when Mr. Barkley chooses to run for Governor, people will really think this true and vote for someone that can make a difference. We need real people with real life applications to get this world going in one direction. Education does not guarantee anything but with life skills including common sense we can help vulnerable children.

Would Charles Barkley be willing to use his own money to help children as he expressed? If he wanted to do so he would have done so a long time ago. Where is his money? He is now attempting to sell books to help fund his new project of helping children because he is not about to use his own. WAKE UP AMERICA AND SHOW THESE RICH FOLKS WHO REALLY HAVE POWER.Poor people have the say in who becomes rich. Let these people find real jobs and then they will truly see what real life is all about.

Get the information that you need at your fingertip about real life at www.lifeskillsdoctor.com.
Be true to yourself and don't let others take your money out of your pocket with your permission. Don't let celebrities use television to cry for help and use the money for different reasons. We have seen the situation with Martha Stewart - being greedy for money when she has more than she can handle. Charles Barkley talks about television contributing negative statements about Blacks when he in turn is using television to create self-income. Is that truly positive or is the glass half-empty or half-full. DON'T DO IT, don't let these people continue to work numbers on us. Help yourself by spending your money and supporting people that can truly him you!

Good luck America because it is not just about Black America. We once believed that a fool and his money will soon be parted but because of the way one set of people are making money it seems that the working poor are parting with their money even faster because of the way the world is with the division of the rich and the poor.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Interviews: Little to do with Charles Barkley
In this book you really do not hear from Charles Barkley so much. When he writes it is very simple and to the point, with very little humor (which is what he is known for). It is fascinating to read opinions and personal stories from Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Obama, and many other famous peronalities on their ideas about race and other issues in America. This book has very little to do with Charles Barkley, and if I were to read it blindly I would have never guessed that he wrote it. This book has a great compilation of contributors and it is worth reading just to learn more about them alone. ... Read more


21-40 of 200     Back   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Next 20
Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

Top