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

41-60 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

$14.00 list($15.00)
41. The Sixteenth Round: From Number
$10.20 $7.21 list($15.00)
42. Riding the Bus With My Sister:
$8.96 $5.50 list($11.95)
43. Lucky : A Memoir
$14.28 $12.87 list($21.00)
44. The Rose That Grew From Concrete
$13.57 $6.55 list($19.95)
45. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man,
$14.96 $10.00 list($22.00)
46. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph
$18.16 $11.00 list($26.95)
47. Right Turns : Unconventional Lessons
$4.69 list($24.00)
48. The Aquariums of Pyongyang : Ten
$15.64 $12.98 list($23.00)
49. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
$14.93 $14.40 list($21.95)
50. The Harder They Fall : Celebrities
$10.20 $9.41 list($15.00)
51. Wild Swans : Three Daughters of
$14.93 $13.99 list($21.95)
52. If This Be Treason: Translation
$10.50 $5.45 list($14.00)
53. West With the Night
$8.25 $3.69 list($11.00)
54. A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph
$11.16 $8.74 list($13.95)
55. Stranger Than Fiction : True Stories
$21.00 $17.95 list($35.00)
56. My Life
$15.26 list($17.95)
57. Lipitor: Thief of Memory, Statin
$18.45 $6.99 list($27.95)
58. Madam Secretary: A Memoir
$16.29 $10.75 list($23.95)
59. Welfare Brat : A Memoir
$16.47 $10.95 list($24.95)
60. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse

41. The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender To #45472
by Rubin Carter
list price: $15.00
our price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140149295
Catlog: Book (1999-12-01)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Sales Rank: 15651
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

On May 26, 1967, the spiraling career of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, then the top contender for the world middleweight boxing crown, came to a shuddering and tragic halt: he and a young fan were found guilty of murder of three white people in a New Jersey bar.The nightmare knew no bounds as Carter traded his superstar status for a prison number and the concrete walls of some of America's most horrific institutions.Originally published as an attempt by Carter to set the record straight and force a new trial, The Sixteenth Round is timeless.It is an eye-opening portrait of growing up black in America, a scathing indictment of the prison system Carter grew up in and out of, and a mesmerizing re-creation of his furious battles in the ring and in the courtroom set against the backdrop of the turbulent sixties.The liveliness of Carter's street language, its power and ironic humor, makes this an eloquent, soul-stirring account of a remarkable life not soon to be forgotten. ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a book
I'm not an avid reader of books. I think that in my life I've read about 6 books from start to finish. This book is one of them. His life is an amazing/tragic yet inspiring one. The feeling I got after reading this book is that it teaches alot about the human sprit and what it can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

His writing style pulls no stops, He's direct and to the point.

The writing style he adopts gives you a real look at the Rubin Carter, in a way the Movie or other books about him can't.

Want to Know the real Rubin Carter! - Read this book

5-0 out of 5 stars Hurricane:A political injustice
I heard of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter from the inspirational film "the hurricane" starring Denzel Washington. After seeing the film I became enthralled in the story of a man framed for murders he did not commit and locked away in a cell for 20 years. I decided to get the autobiography of the hurricane entitled the 16th round. The book starts by exposing the life of a child sentenced to a state home for boys from the brutality of the kids and gaurds to the racism and segregation of the prison system in America. Rubin was in prison for most of his early life filling him with hate and rage from the gaurds and other inmates. So he started boxing. His pure power and skill made him an unstoppable talent. That is until he shared his thoughts on the racist Police forces that patrolled the american ghettoes. From then on the police set out to destroy his life. Rubin was pulled over after the murder of 3 white customers of a patterson bar.After 3 witnesses claimed he wasn't the murderer he was released. Five months later He was about to take on Dick Tiger for the middle weight title.But it was not to be and he was arrested and sentenced to three times life after the admitted liars Bello and Bradley said that he was the murderer. And so Rubin entered the familiar walls of Trenton state prison once again for a crime he did not commit. This story of injustice is exellently written. It is an inspirational book that will fill you with love and compassion for the amazing fighter of battles in the ring and battles of political injustice,Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. By Owen Clark.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Touching
Obviously no one can write his story better than Rubin himself. This story is both and inspiring story of a man who has never stopped fighting and a terrifying reality check into the American judicial system. This book is filled with an anger that is only kept in check by the author's own love and compassion.

The reader whould of course keep in mind this is an autobiography and therefore is skewed to the writer's point of view and emotional state.

2-0 out of 5 stars The rounds go on and on...
I purchased this book, after viewing the much celebrated movie, "The Hurricane." The book is mediocre. I found it difficult to believe much of the writer's exaggerated boasting regarding his many talents. I had erroneously gathered from the movie, that this was a self-effacing, self-made man, not so. The reader is ever searching for the "real meat" of the story, however, the bulk of the story is about the author as a "ghetto-bad boy." The last few chapters of the book are short and quickly race you through the actual murder and trial. Overall it is not well written and disappointing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A touching story inspires child.
This story reached out and touched the lives of many people. It also made people realize not to be racist. I know that I used to be racist and this turned my life around. The fact that rubin was in jail for a crime he didnt commit just because he wasnt white isnt at all fair. His story inspired me not to be racist and to get others not to hate the non-white. It has touched many lives and i like that. I am one of Rubin's biggest fans. ... Read more


42. Riding the Bus With My Sister: A True Life Journey
by Rachel Simon
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452284554
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 4690
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Beth is a spirited woman with mental retardation, who spends nearly every day riding the buses in Philadelphia. The drivers, a lively group, are her mentors; her fellow passengers are her community. When Beth asks her sister Rachel to accompany her on the buses for one year, they take a transcendent journey together that changes Rachel's life in incredible ways and leads her to accept her sister at long last-teaching her to slow down and enjoy the ride.

Full of life lessons from which any reader will profit, Riding the Bus with My Sister is "a heartwarming, life-affirming journey through both the present and the past...[that] might just change your life" (Boston Herald).
... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Special Journey
Many things in this book amazed me, not the least of which was the support system of bus drivers who were such an integral part of Beth Simon's life as she rode the city buses, day after da,y in an unnamed Pennsylvania city.

Rachel, spending part of the year accompanying her mildly retarded sister on her daily rounds of bus rides, intricately depicts these drivers and their(mostly) caring attitudes toward Beth. It was amazing to her that Beth actually had a better support system than she did in her so-called "normal" life.

Interspered in the monthly entries are vignettes about the past shared by these two sisters and their siblings. Their total abandonment by their mother when she decided to marry an abusive convict was heart-wrenching. But this book was never whiny- rather, it showed the resilience of this family.

I learned a lot about the social services, within a community, that are provided to disabled people like Beth. Her "team" seemed very caring and involved with her life.

I felt Rachel's frustration as she tried to convince Beth to eat better, take better medical and dental care of herself, and to get some kind of a job. Beth's stubbornmess and willfulness were also a challenge to her sister, as was her demanding attitude.

This book is perceptive, enlightening, painfully honest....and memorable. I am so glad that I read it and that Rachel Simon allowed me into her world.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book will appeal to anyone!
Do you know someone with a disability? Chances are, you do, and regardless of the disability, mental retardation, autism, blindness....there is much to learn and relate to in Rachel Simon's true life story entitled "Riding the Bus With My Sister". I have two sisters with mental retardation, similar to Rachel's sister, Beth. Reading this book gave me new insight into my relationship with my own sisters, and I see them and their lives with new understanding. In addition, the book was very informative of the systems in place to support the disabled within a community. This book has had a profound effect on me and I find Rachel Simon quite courageous and brave to share such a personal story. Anyone will enjoy reading this book, the messages of acceptance, enjoying life as it is and connecting with others are universal.

4-0 out of 5 stars Finding Myself
Rachel Simon is a woman in her late 30's to early 40's, living alone. She is unhappy with herself and lifestyle, which consists of writing and teaching all day long in Philadelphia. Beth, her sister with mental retardation, invites Rachel to attend her "Plan of Care" meeting, just after Rachel writes an article about riding the bus with sister, Beth. Just after this scheduled meeting, Beth challenges Rachel to ride the bus with her for a year, but they agree to two times a week for a year. This also meant sleeping over at Beth's apartment on sofa cushions that were set up on the floor. On these bus rides, Rachel learns little "facts of life" lessons from each of the bus drivers that Beth shares her rides with. Rachel is soon to realize and accepts just who her sister and herself truly is. She understands and learns to be content, to work at her faults to make them better, and not to be afraid of what leads her to happiness.
A few things I didn't like about this book was that it was slow at times. The book's progress in dialog could have been hindered by my lack of understanding at the beginning of the book and because it was confusing. Another possibility could be because I was confused by one of the extra books changing of tense from present to past childhood memories. I didn't like the fact that Rachel was shallow at times. Rachel also had a hard time accepting her sister for who she was and was too afraid of everyone else's thoughts.
There are much more positives, than I had dislikes about. This book ends with a happy note and Rachel changes. Rachel learns how to be happy, and camas's to find out that she wasn't the only one with siblings that have mental disabilities. Beth Also changes, she learns that she words can hurt more than she thinks they will. Beth sees how being difficult and stubborn pushes her family away. In conclusion, I liked this book a lot and would recommend it to family with a disabled person.

2-0 out of 5 stars Of a Boy
Of a Boy by Sonya Hartnett (A Penguin Book; $24.95)
ISBN 0-14-014622-9
Set in 1997 Australia after the disappearance of the Metford children (based on the true story of the Beaumont children). Adrian a boy of nine, lives with his Grandmother and depressed uncle Rory. Adrian feels lonely and disconnected, this feeling is increased as adults fail him. Adrian's life is full of fear he is scared of self-combustion, quicksand and shopping centers. His greatest fear is to become an outcast like the crazy children from the shelter at his school. Adrian is intrigued by the Metford's disappearance and imagines what may have happened to them. Adrian just longs for love and acceptance, he thinks by finding the Metford children he will achieve the attention he desires. Adrian along with his mixed matched out of control, friend, Nicole, pursue the Metford's case to receive acknowledgment. The gentleness and twisted perceptions of childhood are partly responsible for the rash decisions made.

The novel is written in a clear lucid style. It is not a light or humorous read, but a compelling one. Themes throughout the novel are dark, sad and heavy. This style in third person is suited to its purpose, expressing the thoughts inside a sad young boy's head. Towards the end of the novel the style becomes mysterious and suggestive as the disappearance of the Metford children unfolds. However, the dark themes within the mystery are still continued.

The reader of this novel was forced to like the sad, lost and confused boy Adrian. Adrian is so mixed up that the reader cannot help feeling sympathetic towards him. Nicole is portrayed as un-likable, she is misunderstood and totally out of control; her tone is rude and sharp. However, at the end of the novel the reader feels more sympathetic through the extremes she went to, to have people pay attention. Adrian's Grandmother was also portrayed as an un-likable character; the reader believes that she could have made more of an effort with Adrian. Through her thoughts you can see her reomorse and the self-confliction she expiriences. Uncle Rory tries to give help to Adrian but cannot give advice with the sate he is in himself.

The novel is slow going and the ending was disappointingly predictable, the reader just does not know how this ending would eventuate. The emotion in the novel was conveyed through to the reader successfully. Being from a childs' point of view powerlessness and loss loom larger from their perspective. The characters were all very individual allowing the reader to visualise them. The themes throughout the novel were contemporary and the issues explored relevant. This novel is suitable for young adults.

5-0 out of 5 stars not a Polyanna, not a cynic
I was sickened that someone who "knows" a real-life character in a book would come on line to publically slam her. That alone should make her review worthless in everyones' eyes. As for the educator who was in special education but changed majors - thank goodness for students with special needs! These two reviews showed the polar opposite of the kind of grace and kindness this world needs, and that this wonderful book illustrates! ... Read more


43. Lucky : A Memoir
by Alice Sebold
list price: $11.95
our price: $8.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316096199
Catlog: Book (2002-09)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 1926
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Enormously visceral, emotionally gripping, and imbued with the belief that justice is possible even after the most horrific of crimes, Alice Sebold's compelling memoir of her rape at the age of eighteen is a story that takes hold of you and won't let go.

Sebold fulfills a promise that she made to herself in the very tunnel where she was raped: someday she would write a book about her experience. With Lucky she delivers on that promise with mordant wit and an eye for life's absurdities, as she describes what she was like both as a young girl before the rape and how that rape changed but did not sink the woman she later became.

It is Alice's indomitable spirit that we come to know in these pages. The same young woman who sets her sights on becoming an Ethel Merman-style diva one day (despite her braces, bad complexion, and extra weight) encounters what is still thought of today as the crime from which no woman can ever really recover. In an account that is at once heartrending and hilarious, we see Alice's spirit prevail as she struggles to have a normal college experience in the aftermath of this harrowing, life-changing event.

No less gripping is the almost unbelievable role that coincidence plays in the unfolding of Sebold's narrative. Her case, placed in the inactive file, is miraculously opened again six months later when she sees her rapist on the street. This begins the long road to what dominates these pages: the struggle for triumph and understanding -- in the courtroom and outside in the world.

Lucky is, quite simply, a real-life thriller. In its literary style and narrative tension we never lose sight of why this life story is worth reading. At the end we are left standing in the wake of devastating violence, and, like the writer, we have come to know what it means to survive. ... Read more

Reviews (154)

5-0 out of 5 stars A TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY
Like her wonderful novel The Lovely Bones - which I've also reviewed and which you must read - Lucky is a harrowing, heart-wrenching book about the worst possible thing that can happen to a woman. Alice Sebold tells the raw story of her rape ordeal and her subsequent struggle for recovery with an honesty and warmth which is compelling. Lucky reads almost like a novel itself at times, with gripping moments of suspense, particularly during the court trial scenes.
Alice Sebold was the innocent victim of an unforgivable crime - but she doesn't ask for our sympathy or pity in these beautifully written pages. She earns our respect and admiration for the courageous way she tells how the traumatic events changed and shaped her life; how the naive college student would eventually become a hardened, determined aggressor herself in her brave fight for justice against her attacker. Sadly, this natural reaction to her personal violation came with a price - destructive behavioural damage that brought a later downward spiral into drugs. What the author didn't know at the time is that she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; an anxiety syndrome that emerges following a psychologically distressing traumatic event such as rape, which she battles to overcome.
Can someone really, truly, get over something so savage and brutal as rape is the numbing thought you're left with long after you put the book aside? The past can never be forgotten, but Alice Sebold has managed to crawl from the wreckage and move on with her life to a happier future that has brought her international fame and acclaim. That says something about the human spirit - and everything about this remarkable woman.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Story of Survival - Incredible.
In this thought-provoking, chilling memoir, Alice Sebold recounts the events of her rape and the aftermath of that tragedy. While strong enough to go through with the trial and conviction of her attacker, Sebold's emotional state was deeply affected for many years after. Her memoir follows the events that occurred after her rape and the things she attempted in order to escape her pain.

Sebold captures this period in her life with great intensity and literary skill. Not only does the reader become informed of the actual events of the rape and the events following it, but we get a look into Sebold's home life and her personality before the night that would change everything.

This story isn't just about a college girl's rape and her survival story. It's a story about her life: her family, her friends, her childhood. Sebold explains how when she was younger all she wanted was to be hugged by her parents, but she would settle for something as simple as a touch because she was offered nothing more (and sometimes not even that luxury). It's about growing up in a dysfunctional family and getting through it. It's about surviving not only bad experiences in life, but surviving and coping with continuing bad situations.

A great read - highly recommended to anyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
A must read for clinical psychologists and students interested in the sexual abuse topic.

3-0 out of 5 stars Yet again I'm left disappointed ...
I was a bit underwhelmed with 'The Lovely Bones' - started out great, lost me entirely by the end - but I expected great things of 'Lucky'. Yet again it starts out well, the opening chapter is horrifying, moving and completely unputdownable - but as we move away from the actual rape and its immediate aftermath all Alice Sebold's faults as a writer surface again. She seems unable to select material which will be of interest to the reader and fills pages and pages with irrelevant detail of her family life and unnecessary background detail. The book comes alive again when she spots her rapist in the street but in between I found myself losing interest. We all know the argument about real-life not being as tidy as fiction - but in this case it WAS tidy - the rapist was identified by Alice, caught and punished (a much more satisfactory ending than that of 'The Lovely Bones', ironically). I wish the book had been more scrupulously edited to focus on the essential elements of her story rather than filled up with padding. I felt cheated at the end of the book - at the beginning I felt that I would be with Alice throughout her every step of her journey to find justice and recover from the trauma she suffered but somehow this connection was lost and by the middle of the book I had no idea what she - or indeed anyone else involved was thinking or feeling. What a shame as this could have been a truly great book and an inspiration to rape survivors everywhere ...

5-0 out of 5 stars A real tale, full of sound and fury
This book is so many things, but the one that comes first to mind is "brave." For Seabold to have written this is amazing--the courage it must have taken. But that aside, it is well-written. I read "Lovely Bones" first, and then this one. While the premise of "Lovely" was great, I found "Lucky" to be a better book. Don't get me wrong, I like both of them, but "Lucky" was by far the more "real" tale. Try them both and then decide for yourself.

Also recommended: McCrae's Bark of the Dogwood, A Boy Called It ... Read more


44. The Rose That Grew From Concrete
by Tupac Shakur
list price: $21.00
our price: $14.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671028448
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: MTV
Sales Rank: 2483
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

His talent was unbounded, a raw force that commanded attention and respect.

His death was tragic -- a violent homage to the power of his voice.

His legacy is indomitable -- remaining vibrant and alive.

Here now, newly discovered, are Tupac's most honest and intimate thoughts conveyed through the pure art of poetry -- a mirror into his enigmatic life and its many contradictions.

Written in his own hand at the age of nineteen, they embrace his spirit, his energy...and his ultimate message of hope. ... Read more

Reviews (137)

5-0 out of 5 stars See The World Through The Eyes of a Great Man
"The Rose That Grew From Concrete" is an amazing collection of poetry by Tupac Shukur. The poems let you go deep in his mind and see a side of Tupac that most people have never seen. As you read his poems you start to realize how he truly feels and what messages he wants to get across. You also see the pain and obstacles in his life that he had to overcome. Some people listen to Tupac's music and just hear the negative and the cussing. Not understanding that you have to know the negative to see and understand the positive. Some people see Tupac's music as a bad influence, because they don't listen to all the words to get the real message. This collection of poems is a great way to understand Tupac's life and to receive his true message, to end crime and to stop the hate. This collection of poems has had a great influence on my life and the way I look at the world. I think that everyone who reads this book can relate to Tupac in some way and I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of poetry about life and of course to anyone who loves Tupac.

5-0 out of 5 stars His Legend Lives On
Tupac Shakur's collection of poetry is as dynamic as his life and songs. Tupac has touched on many subjects that cross the racial barriers in his book. He seems a young man full of hope and promise. The gangster mentality is almost nonexistent in The Rose That Grew From Concrete. His thoughts on love and relationships are wonderul and moving. Even his poem about death is insightful. Some of the poetry really touched my soul. I have been a Tupac fan for many years and when I saw the book in the store, I immediately started reading. The poems are compelling and remind me of his life. I couldn't wait to share The Rose That Grew From Concrete with my family and friends. If you love poetry and the African American culture than this is a book to add to your collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful teaching tool!!!
I am a middle school English teacher who uses this collection when teaching a poetry unit. While most of Tupac's writing is rough and unedited, it shows students that poetry is a beautiful way to express ideas and emotions. Young people are so full of passion and idealism. Someone as famous as Tupac started off similar to them... Small with bigs dreams and a hunger for growing up and changing the world. It's not so much about rap but about the art of lyrical poetry. My students find it fascinating and inspiring.

1-0 out of 5 stars sorry to say this
all the stuff from this book is from when he wasn't famous yet. he didn't have anything to say back then. he was a very profound person but i wasn't compelled with anything he said until he started looking at political issues and crimes and society in his raps. When he was in his late teens and early 20's and had to deal with the corruptions of society, that was when he had interesting, even brilliant things to say. But, not before. I'm a big Tupac fan, but this wasn't worth it. He just talks about love and it's cheesy and the rhymes aren't very well done. Get stuff from his more recent times to really understand his character.

5-0 out of 5 stars tupac shakur in the hearts of his fans
This book is full of feelings towards love and full of anger towards the government and against politics. His best poetry was written through his expressions and feelings. This book could relate to the way you feel about something during that period of time. The right words are put together to express what you feel within. Tupac was a great poet who was with respect by the society he wrote what he felt, not what people wanted to hear. ... Read more


45. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson
by MITCH ALBOM
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385484518
Catlog: Book (1997-08-18)
Publisher: Doubleday
Sales Rank: 593
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

This true story about the love between a spiritual mentor and his pupil has soared to the bestseller list for many reasons. For starters: it reminds us of the affection and gratitude that many of us still feel for the significant mentors of our past. It also plays out a fantasy many of us have entertained: what would it be like to look those people up again, tell them how much they meant to us, maybe even resume the mentorship? Plus, we meet Morrie Schwartz--a one of a kind professor, whom the author describes as looking like a cross between a biblical prophet and Christmas elf. And finally we are privy to intimate moments of Morrie's final days as he lies dying from a terminal illness. Even on his deathbed, this twinkling-eyed mensch manages to teach us all about living robustly and fully. Kudos to author and acclaimed sports columnist Mitch Albom for telling this universally touching story with such grace and humility. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Reviews (1628)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tuesday's With Morrie
This year for my seventh grade Language Arts class, we were supposed to choose a book and then critique it. I chose Tuesdays With Morrie after selecting it from a dusty bookshelf in my brother's room. Personally, I loved the book; it had a deeper meaning of life that i had never considered before. Some of my favorite quotes from the book have stuck with me like the one, "Love eachother or perish," The book is about a former college student, and his favorite professor. It all begins sixteen years after graduation when Mitch Albom finds himself watching his beloved college instructor on Nightling with Ted Koppel. Morrie has become a victum of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, leaving his body withered and sagging. Mitch visits Morrie one day and what starts as a reunion of old friends turns into the project of a lifetime. Now, I don't want to spoil anything, but the lessons that Morrie teaches to Mitch on their Tuesdays together will stay with him all of his life. I would recommend this book to anyone. If you are looking for enlightenment, deep thinking, and a true story, you've come to the right book. On a scale from one to ten, i would give Tuesdays With Morrie a nine and a half.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
Tuesdays with Morrie is definitely one of the best books that I've ever read. Once I picked it up, I couldn't stop until I found myself on the last page. Although the book is very short, nearly every page carries a message. It's purpose is to teach us a lesson; that was Morrie's final goal. He wanted to create this one last thesis with one of his favorite students, Mitch Albom, that would give people insight into how to live their lives and what it feels like to die. In this book, not only do we learn from Morrie (who died from ALS) how to live life to the fullest, but we learn from Mitch's mistakes as well. All too often we get caught up in our fast paced culture that we forget to stop and look around and actually enjoy things.

Mitch Albom uses a unique approach to get his old professor's message out. When I was reading this, I couldn't help but feel like Morrie was speaking right to me. The book could relate to anyone; it covers so many topics from love and life to death and trying to live even when death is knocking on the door.

I highly recommend reading Tuesdays with Morrie. You can't help but love Morrie by the end of the book, and like me, you might even tear up at the end a little.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
<br /> Beautiful and touching, inspirational and rich. A book that not only teaches but makes you feel. <br /> Also recommended: Nightmares Echo by Katlyn Stewart, Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs,The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

4-0 out of 5 stars Have A Tissue Ready
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom is beautifully written. It is also an easily read and understandable. The fact that it's a true story makes it even more touching. So have some tissue ready :) . Morrie was a real person. He helped so many people during his life, and now, because of Mitch, he will touch many more after death. I strongly recommend reading this book if you are afraid of death.

There is also another book here on Amazon I have found that I highly recommend on life after death, or between death that has given me a lot to think about. It is called The book of Thomas by Daniel Aber and Gabreael. In their book everything from the suicide, the different levels of heaven, reincarnation, and so on is covered also in an easily read format

1-0 out of 5 stars I'm Embarrassed I Read This
My younger brother had this on his summer reading list and I noticed it on his desk. Seeing it was pretty short I sat down and read it. I think the fact that my high school's English department recommended it should have been warning enough to avoid this book. In all seriousness, this is the worst book I have read in a LONG time.
Even calling it a book is slightly misleading, because that usually implies some sort of literary value. It's about as literary as Life's Little Instruction Book, but far less insightful. Albom writes at about a 2nd grade reading level, in a ridiciulously simple shallow way rather than a Hemingwayesque style. Even more ridiculous is his constant use of immature, sentimental little gimmicks that I guess the Oprah-watching soccer moms giving this book a good review would call "touching and heartfelt". For example:
"He waited while I absorbed it.
A Teacher to the Last.
"Good?" he said.
Yes, I said. Very good.

I would write something like that and be satisified with it when I was probably a freshman, and I really don't consider myself to be a talented writer. The whole Tuesday motif was also along those lines. Even more annoying was I lost count of the epiphanies Mitch has by about the 11th page. Highlight how many times he "suddenly realizes something about life". Don't be materialistic? Love other people? Is this really that breakthrough? I think Jesus said that about 2000 years ago, and most people agree he wasn't even that revolutionary(in moral philosophy that is.) Look at some of his other ridiculous "aphorisms":
Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do.
Learn to forgive yourself and forgive others.

If I really felt like it, I could probably spew out about four thousand of those obvious, self-righteous statements in about 5 minutes.
I also don't even see how Morrie was such a hero. In one scene, they tried to convince you that he was some hero for turning down some medicine that wouldn't have helped and, more importantly, wasn't even available. Wow. Not to mention, it's pretty easy to be so courageous about death when you have an amazing family supporting you. I wonder if he was half his age, alone with nobody to help him except some indifferent inner city hospital nurse if he would face death with such resilience and wit.
What annoys me the most is how they planned writing this book before Morrie even died. Sounds like he just wanted to pay some bills. I mean, if they are planning to write a book about all these great moments Mitch realizes, of course he's going to have them(or pretend to) because he has to write a book about it! Furthermore, it's pretty arrogant that Morrie to think that he had some great noble truths to spread.
This book has several more blatant flaws, but this review has a maxium word limit. So, I'll say if you like reading Chicken Soup for the Soul, and other empowering self-help books that like to constantly re-emphasize the obvious for $20, go ahead and buy this. If you are looking for an actual good book by someone who actually knows how to write, don't waste your time or the 40 minutes it takes to read this. ... Read more


46. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill : A Love Story . . .with Wings
by MARK BITTNER
list price: $22.00
our price: $14.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0609610554
Catlog: Book (2004-01-20)
Publisher: Harmony
Sales Rank: 7207
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is the inspiring story of how one man found his life’s work—and true love—among a gang of wild parrots roosting in one of America’s most picturesque urban settings.

Mark Bittner was down on his luck. He’d gone to San Francisco at the age of twenty-one to take a stab at a music career, but he hadn’t had much success. After many years as an odd-jobber in the area, he accepted work as a housekeeper for an elderly woman. The gig came with a rent-free studio apartment on the city’s famed Telegraph Hill, which had somehow become home to a flock of brilliantly colored wild parrots.

In this unforgettable story, Bittner recounts how he became fascinated by the birds and made up his mind to get to know them and gain their trust. He succeeds to such a degree that he becomes the local wild parrot expert and a tourist attraction. People can’t help gawking at the man who, during daily feedings, stands with parrots perched along both arms and atop his head.When a documentary filmmaker comes along to capture the phenomenon on film, the story takes a surprising turn, and Bittner’s life truly takes flight.
... Read more

Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Inadvertant Memoir
I was attracted to this book because of my long-standing curiosity about the feral parakeets of San Francisco, where I grew up and still live. And it is definitely worth reading on that score -- Mark Bittner has more information to impart on those birds than any other source I've ever found. But the book is fascinating, too, because it is the truthful autobiography of someone who is, frankly, a loser in the lottery of life. Not a big loser -- he manages, barely, to escape from homelessness, and he (pathetically) substitutes relationships with feral parrots for normal human relationships. But he is so clueless in many obvious ways. Too poor to pay for practically anything, but he buys parrot books at the local bookstore, and is amazed at his discovery of the local library, where, gasp, he can read books for FREE. And it is intriguing to read his accounts of his petty descents into the rivalries of these animals, and his adoption of their aims and hostilities, in the absence of a normal human existence. By all means, get this book if you have ever wondered about the weirdo around the corner who can only interact with dogs, cats, birds, or whatever. And get it if you're curious about feral exotic birds -- he documents their lives like nothing I've ever read of before.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wild magic in the heart of the city
For one or two weeks every two months I live in an apartment at the base of Telegraph Hill, a place of true magic. I could not believe my ears the first time I heard the parrots, or my eyes, the first time I saw them! I soon found Mark Bittner's web site, complete with wonderful photos of the parrots and the story of his connection with them. What a pleasure, then, to find in my local Massachusetts book store, a copy of this wonderful book. Mr. Bittner takes us with him as his relationship with the parrots becomes inextricably woven into his life search for meaning. His study of the parrot's lives, first undertaken by chance, becomes a life's work of real interest to anyone who has an affection for animal life in general, or these amazing birds in particular.

5-0 out of 5 stars incredible story
I'm only halfway through this book right now, but I can't wait to finish it. It's funny and charming. I only started to read it because someone simply recommended it, I had no idea what to expect, but it really is amusing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sounds very much like "Elsewhere in the land of Parrots"
"Elsewhere in the land of Parrots" by Jim Paul, which takes place on telegraph hill also. And is also about the wild parrots of San Fran. And is also an excellent read and a very charming book. I'd be interested to know whose came first.

Have not read this yet, so I can't REALLY rate it, this form insists you put a rating. I will be reading it soon though because it sounds like something I will enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A WONDERFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT
This is a must read for people who love parrots and freedom and love to study the connundrum of jobs/captive life. The author was ultimately "freed" by enslavement by the flock/project. Anybody can find natural and spiritual lessons in this wonderful book. Wild life isn't a picnic, and the quest for "freedom" can imprison the mind.

Even those who live with companion parrots often fail to establish the rapport Mark Bittner achieved with a group of wild parrots. ... Read more


47. Right Turns : Unconventional Lessons from a Controversial Life
by MICHAEL MEDVED
list price: $26.95
our price: $18.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400051878
Catlog: Book (2004-12-28)
Publisher: Crown Forum
Sales Rank: 597
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

48. The Aquariums of Pyongyang : Ten Years in a North Korean Gulag
by Kang Chol-Hwan, Pierre Rigoulot
list price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465011012
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 500023
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

The first personal documentation of life in the North Korean labor camps from a survivor and escapee of the communist regime's prisons.

North Korea is today one of the last bastions of hard-line Communism. Its leaders have kept a tight grasp on their one-party regime, quashing any nascent opposition movements and sending all suspected dissidents to its brutal concentration camps for "re-education." Kang Chol-hwan is the first survivor of one of these camps to escape and tell his story to the world, documenting the extreme conditions in these gulags and providing a personal insight into life in North Korea. Part horror story, part historical document, part memoir, part political tract, this record of one man's suffering gives eyewitness proof to an ongoing sorrowful chapter of modern history. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars excellent.
this book was everything I hoped it would be. it was a sad story, but its words were not simlply used up in emotions. as I finished up the book, it really even inspired me to take action regarding north korea. how? that I don't know, but somehow. perhaps I should contact my congressman or find out about some agencies working with north korean refugees.

the stories about the camp were horrifying at times and well-written about. the flow of the middle chapters was not perfect, but its content, not to mention the rest of the book, totally made up for it. the chapters at the very beginning and the very end were especially good, particularly his description of his "happy childhood in pyongyang" and adjusting to life in south korea. excellent book worth my time. if you have any kind of interest in east asia or north korea in particular, you should definitely read this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading
In my opinion this book is on par with Alan Patton's "Cry the Beloved Country." It powerfully conveys the plight of foreign oppression with both empathy and clarity.

Every US military officer, all federal politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats and personnel stationed in South Korea NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

The author's family willingly emigrated to North Korea. They had been quite wealthy, but felt ideologically drawn to seek North Korean citizenship. Ultimately they were imprisoned.

Their experiences as related make it clear that the government of North Korea is by no means a true Marxist state, but has devolved into a cult of personality revolving around the ruling Kim family. No imperial government in history has been more repressive, exploitative or murderous of its people. North Korea's leader is truly evil. Its brainwashed citizens are at once victims and enablers that evil. Their plight is tragic.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

5-0 out of 5 stars I agree. Required Reading
I came across this book after reading Tears of My Soul. I have to say that this book is absolutely captivating. It is a very quick read, but the impact will last forever. With so little information coming out of N.Korea unfiltered, this book and its perspective is invaluable. I recommend this book to everyone, to the point that people must think I am the publisher. Excellent book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An important testimony
This is a must-read, an important testimony of life under an absolutist regime. It is part of a steady stream of testimonials that are finally appearing about what the self-proclaimed "Communist" regimes are actually like inside. I hope that the American academics will start paying attention to these testimonials, and accept the fact that those communist regimes should not have been idealized as they were (and still are by some!). Only after an honest scrutiny of these so-called communist societies and how they ALL turned into dictatorships, can the left recover its intellectual force.

4-0 out of 5 stars Aquariums of Pyongyang
I had the chance to meet with the author, Kang Chol Hwan, this past summer in Seoul. Having spent ten years in a gulag for a crime his grandfather committed, he is among the lucky ones who survived. He took the risk and escaped because he felt it was his only option. In North Korea, political oppression is so severe that entire bloodlines, (normally two generations or more), are thrown in labor camps if one member is accused of "disloyalty" toward the regime. Kang's book is full of powerful images. The eyewitness account brings a detailed accuracy to a dark world unimaginable to those who haven't experienced it for themselves. Kang emphasized during our interview that every incident mentioned in his book was true and free of exaggeration. Kang, now a reporter for the Chosun Daily, continues to write editorial pieces about the atrocious human rights situation in the North. ... Read more


49. Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400080452
Catlog: Book (2005-01-25)
Publisher: Crown
Sales Rank: 6457
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

"I have not survived against all odds. I have not lived to tell. I have not witnessed the extraordinary. This is my story."

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, one-time Might magazine columnist and self-confessed hater of the segue has written a snappy, random, remarkable memoir--the first of its kind to give readers an honest flaws-n-all perspective of what it's like to be...ordinary. Initially inspired by the "bizarre, haphazard arrangement" of The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, Rosenthal has collected a lifetime of thoughts, observations, and decisions, and created an alphabetized personal encyclopedia, complete with cross-referenced entries and illustrations. Rosenthal reveals the minutiae of her life, from pumping gas ("Every. Single. Solitary. Time I go to get gas I have to lean out the window to see which side the tank is on"), towitnessing her son's accident ("I saw with front-row-seat clarity, just how quickly, randomly, and mercilessly your child can be taken away"), and in turns both playful and poignant, engages the reader in effortless and stimulating conversation.

Whether you are laughing aloud or nodding along, reading Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life is like being introduced to a new friend--one that you automatically connect with and feel compelled to share. Fans of Dave Eggers, David Sedaris, and shows like Arrested Development and Scrubs will appreciate Rosenthal's quirky, conversational humor and dead-on observations. Writers will see the book as a contemporary portrait of the fledgling artist, and should enjoy her aptly named, "Evolution of this Moment"--a timeline tracking her growth as a writer from her first word ("more") to publication of her fourth book.

Modesty prevents Rosenthal from acknowledging herself as anything other than ordinary--that, and the fact that she has not "survived against all odds"--but that certainly does not mean she has nothing to say, or to share. Her delightful memoir is a reminder that life is not always anadventure, but it can be full of sad, silly, and important moments that make it worth living. Witness the generosity of an author who is willing to reveal so much of herself, not just as a writer, but also as a person--share this delightfully quirky, utterly enjoyable book with family and friends with a note, "Here is someone I think you should meet." --Daphne Durham

Amazon.com Exclusive Content

The Lost and Found Project
Between January 25th and February 1st, hundreds of copies of Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life were intentionally left in random places (taxis, public bathrooms, laundromats) in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Each book was inscribed with a note from the author, and the finder was encouraged to report back to Rosenthal's website (www.encyclopediaofanordinarylife.com) when and where the book was discovered.

Watch the "Lost and Found" video directed by filmmaker Steve Delahoyde, documenting Rosenthal's test run and featuring her theme song, "This is My Story."
Listen to the theme song written by Tony Rogers.


Ordinary Life from A to Z
How do you interview a smart, creative, clever author like Amy Krouse Rosenthal? You agree to let her start with the questions, and hang on for the ride. Find out more about Amy and sneak a peek behind-the-scenes at Amazon.com with this decidedly ordinary email correspondence between Ms. Rosenthal and senior editor Daphne Durham.

Read our unusual interview with author Amy Krouse Rosenthal.



Extra Ordinary Excerpts
A

B

G

I

W

... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Engaging Catalog of an American Life lived 1965 to present
Amy Krouse Rosenthal describes her "Orientation Almanac" that begins her "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" as an attempt to provide "plain facts about American life at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the backdrop against which this book was written."Her "Alphabetized Existence" continues that theme to a large extent, but also presents personal (but at the same time universal) reflections that are engaging and delightful. Her encyclopedia of her life is more topical than a novel or linear prose, but it's :) very easy to pick up & compulsively read.
I'm about a decade younger than the author, so some, but not all, of the American pop-culture details resonate.It would be interesting to see how this catalog reads in twenty years."Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" is a self-affirming, funny, sometimes tragicomic, read that is a good way to spend the afternoon.
I really enjoyed reading about Scholastic book orders (p. 89) which I haven't thought of in probably twenty years.The instant I read the phrase, a picture of those order forms came strongly to mind.When I was in school, I used to fight with my parents to get them to order as many books as possible, so I could add to my Scholastic book stash. :)Never mind the other chances with the RIF program & book fairs.Thanks for the memories, Ms. Rosenthal-- the minutiae and detritus of your life are my nostalgia (see Red Gingham Tablecloth p. 171). Although, I disagree that one can give too many landmarks when giving directions.On most entries I've been nodding, but when it comes to giving or getting directions, too much is better than too little.Unless brief directions are given with the director's phone number.

4-0 out of 5 stars Contains Brilliant Insights, With a Few Slow Points
This highly original book succeeds brilliantly in conveying the day-to-day thoughts and actions of an "ordinary life." Amy Krouse Rosenthal has written down the small events and thoughts that often go unnoticed and are never, ever, expressed aloud.I couldn't read the table of "sounds that are loud, though quiet" without nodding with recognition at every single entry.Just look at the entry under "dishwasher," and see if you've never experienced the same disorienting feeling when someone loads a dishwasher the "wrong" way. And I shamefacedly had to admit to doing the same thing as the author whenever I come across a "stupid, slow driver."Going through the encyclopedia, I wondered what the author would do for the letter "X."The entry "XX," where Rosenthal explains why she enjoys being a girl, does not disappoint.

The book gets tiresome, however, when it becomes a little too self-reflective.I don't care about the author's "childhood memories." The "evolution of this moment" is flat-out boring.The fact that it comes right up front, however, should not deter you from looking at the rest of the book, which has insights that are remarkable.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Clever Little Book
I bought and read this book on the same day and loved it.It's clever, insightful, and fun and I found myself wanting to buy a copy for friends and family.I read it from cover to cover, but it's the type of book you can set on your coffee table and open to any page for interesting insight on any number of things.

5-0 out of 5 stars a cult favorite
A fun book to pick up and put down at any time... although I had a hard time putting it down.Indeed the format is refreshing, the thoughts and insights as simple and ordinary as the title implies.Once in a while, between reading intense mystery or history, it is nice (and even healthy!) to pick up something lighter, to discover the joy of reading a work of reality and humor.Do not expect to be knocked over by this book unless you can laugh at yourself and everyday life.It is light, fun and worth the read.If you take yourself too seriously you may think you have wasted your time; in fact you missed the point entirely.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a kindred spirit
I rarely pick up a book that ends up delighting me from cover to cover as thoroughly as this book has. I knew from the instant I encountered the back cover's description of "Book, standing in the bookstore(well, library for me) holding a" and read the exact procedure I had just gone through, that I and this book were destined for each other.
I could name off a hundred things that I admire about the Encyclopedia, from the orientation almanac to the cross-section; however, that would perhaps be over-zealous. I will say that any book that incorporates the wit and humor of the entire book into the copyright page has earned my eternal devotion, and such a "Reader's Agreement" as the author includes should be incorporated into...well, everything!
Though I identify with almost every aspect of the encyclopedia, there is one entry I would add my slight alteration to. On "Rainy Day" I would add that while the return to radiant reality may be slightly overwhelming, somehow, the smell of the sun as it caresses the newly-washed grass make it all worthwhile. At least, that's how it is for me.
I must admit that as a child I also read the encyclopedias; I cannot begin to say how much I appreciate this contribution to my library. It has brightened my day and is sure to remain a favorite on my shelf for years to come. ... Read more


50. The Harder They Fall : Celebrities Tell Their Real-Life Stories of Addiction and Recovery
by Gary Stromberg, Jane Merrill
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592851568
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Hazelden
Sales Rank: 12091
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

The heady, drug-induced decades of the sixties and seventies provide the backdrop for this all-star account of addiction and recovery. Comedians Richard Pryor and Richard Lewis, musicians Grace Slick, Dr. John, and Chuck Negron (Three Dog Night), actors Malcolm McDowell and Mariette Hartley, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright, writer Anne Lamott, and athletes Doc Ellis and Gerry Cooney are among the many celebrities interviewed for this inside look at what can happen when fame and fortune meet the recklessness and ruin of addiction. While the stories are as unique and vibrant as the individual celebrities who tell them, the irrefutable collective message is that addiction knows no boundaries. The disease strikes and topples even those who are seemingly on top of the world. Still, The Harder They Fall is a book of hope. In this modern-day version of the 1980s New York Times best-seller The Courage to Change, the famous people profiled have climbed out from the devastation of addiction to lead lives of extraordinary accomplishment. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a book!
Gary Stromberg really tells some very compelling stories of some of the biggest names in pop culture.This book offers hope, some laughs and great insights into an insidious disease that effects millions.I highly recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Wonderful!
Mr. Stromberg combines incredible insights and unparalleled celebrity access into a book that is warm, funny, touching and often surprising. This is not one of those books where you read what celebrities "supposedly" said or did...each page is full of meaningful, eye-opening, personal revelations. Mr. Stromberg lived it, and I am glad he's chosen to share his story and help others to do the same. A must-read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Picked it up last week and must have finished this book in two or three days. I loved the Dr. John piece. Great read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mind Altering Experiences
This book lays entertaining, healing tracks down in your mind!. Even if you're not a big reader, you'll have no trouble getting through it.It's a gripping collection of tales of the most fascinating, diverse celebrities you'd ever want to know, and I think their experiences are identifiable with all human turmoil. They reveal secrets and break through taboos, which is why you'll never forget what they say.

Julie Merle, New York City ... Read more


51. Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China
by Jung Chang
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743246985
Catlog: Book (2003-08-12)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 3506
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Blending the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history, Wild Swans has become a bestselling classic in thirty languages, with more than ten million copies sold. The story of three generations in twentieth-century China, it is an engrossing record of Mao's impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love.

Jung Chang describes the life of her grandmother, a warlord's concubine; her mother's struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents' experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a "barefoot doctor," a steelworker, and an electrician.As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving -- and ultimately uplifting -- detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history. ... Read more

Reviews (234)

4-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and educational account of Communist China
Wild Swans is a riveting story of the lives of three women in 20th century China. It delineates the lives of a concubine grandmother, a communist spy mother, and a student daughter. This was an extremely comprehensive book containing not only the life stories of three generations of a family, but also the stories of their relatives, relations, and of historical occurrences. It gives an extraordinary first hand account of China's history spanning from imperialist China to the rise of communism, and through the Cultural Revolution.

Jung Chang does a very good job of describing and explaining the history of China and the changes that occurred, including details down to what kinds of foods people ate during certain time periods. She gives descriptive images of shocking oppression and violence, which had been everyday occurrences in China. Although these descriptions initially prevented me from putting the book down, near the end, the violence does become somewhat repetitive and tiresome (yet you can't blame the author because constant violence was part of China's history).

Overall, I think this was a very fascinating book. The author successfully gives a detailed description of the history, recounting tales of the various things different families went through, while also telling the dramatic stories of her relatives. She does a good job of describing what people went through during the changes in Communist China and after reading this book, I have gained a very clear understanding of what happened during the time and why it happened. This was a very entertaining book which I also learned a great deal from.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Complete Yet Engaging Historical Account
I was given Wild Swans to read prior to a summer trip to Beijing. Being a high school student, I was not only daunted by the heft of the book, but by the extensive historical chronology and family tree in the introduction as well. I was also unsure as to whether the story would be a Chinese-generation plot along the lines of Amy Tan or whether it would be more of a strict historical recount of China in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Despite my apprehensions, I decided to go ahead and read it, and I have been thoroughly delighted with the results of my endeavor.
Wild Swans is what I would term a "human-interest history," meaning that the dry historical aspect of the book is tempered by the human emotion surrounding the individual events. Jung Chang uses the female leaders of each generation to provide a thoughtful outlook on the traditions and culture of China. For me, the best way to gain a true feel for the attitudes of a specific time period is to hear a personal account. This is the book's most salient quality. Chang makes the most of the little details that encompass the environment of the characters and uses the thoughts and feelings of her family to convey key concepts pertaining to Chinese morals and behaviors.
The concise language of the book also helps to promote these historical images and gives the book a quick tempo. Each anecdote is told in the same, somewhat removed manner, even Chang's own experiences. While some might find this an impersonal tactic, I felt that it allowed the tragedies of the story to shine by basing them purely on their own facets. Any extraneous writing would have clouded the sheer pain involved in a number of the events, and Chang's distance allows the reader to recreate the scene and absorb the historical depth behind it. Chang's own academic experience provides a particularly striking cultural contrast to typical Western thought processes and teachings.
Of course, there are some minor flaws in the book. Chang tends to gloss over her father's upbringing and adolescence and lingers on her grandmother's trials during her youth and during the Communist takeover, resulting in some unbalanced character depictions. Chang's privileged lifestyle prior to and then under the Communists also provides a lopsided view as to the true reign of Mao and the general state of China during the early Communist years. However, bias is to be expected whenever dealing with a personal account, and these deficiencies become lost in the greater framework of the book.
I have learned more from this book about Chinese history than I could have ever hoped to acquire from a guidebook or textbook. I highly recommend this book to anyone planning to travel to China in the near future or for anyone who is looking for an informative, yet entertaining, story of a family in China over the years.

5-0 out of 5 stars a classic
this is a beautiful book. maybe even my favorite of many classics.

it is the story of three women, strong and united with a determination that will get them through the hardships of China from the early nineteen hundrens to the present. optimism and love for each other and their family, as well as tears and sadness, get them through their lives as well as the tyrannical reign of Mao, a powerful dictator of China.

i am partly struck with wanting to share this book with you, and invite you to read it, (though it is certainly not children's fiction, but mature, adult fact) or to keep it like the treasure it is to me and i'm sure many others. if you do read it, covet it. is a bargain for what you get in return.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical account
This book does something that most people don't get around to doing when they say this or that about China: Provide historical detail. Specifically of interest:

1. The reason that the Kuomintang was not successful in China was constant corruption. Some people have suggested that Chinese people love tyrants (Jasper Becker, "The Chinese") and this is the explanation of why they rejected what would have been a democratic government for an authoritarian government. This is partially true, but the Kuomintang blew any chance that it had at legitimacy with its rampant corruption.

2. That the Communist Party became popular because they promised to not be like the corrupt and crooked Kuomintang. Her father is an example of one of the wide-eyed idealists that really believed in his cause at the beginning and was left a broken man when he saw what actually became of this grand vision. People at Western universities are always attacking the West and praising the Communist ideology/ governent allocation of resources, and they haven't a faintest idea of the actual RESULTS of the intended programs. Nor do they understand the incentive structures that led to those results.

3. Historical accounts of the great famine. I can't believe that this very afternoon, there are still people trying to talk away this historical event in China and say that it was just a statistical illusion. This is the second author that I've read that gives historical accounts of people eating their children.

4. Demonstrating how the cult of Mao was created and maintained, as well as what were his motives in the various campaigns (Cultural Revolution/ The Great Leap Forward) that swept the country during his reign. Another author (Anhua Gao) has also noted that Mao generated a lot of morass in the country because the weaker the country, the easier it was to control. But her detail is not comparable to the author of this book. She showed the self-denunciation meetings and the stages of his campaigns to keep the country divided and fighting against itself. It may be another 200 years before China shakes off the residual results of his rule (such as overpopulation and then the resulting sex imbalance that has come about because of population control), but here in this is an example of WHAT happened, and HOW it happened.

5. Showing the highly ritualized behavior of Chinese people in things such as foot binding, etc. A lot of people may come to China and wonder where people here get their ideas from and why they are prisoner of them. This author demonstrates that it's been that way for a *long* time. And it may never change.

It's hard to recommend this book enough times for someone who wants *actual results* of what happens in the context of a Communist Revolution, as opposed to the vague ramblings of something like the Communist Manifesto or state-sheltered academics in Western universities.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outsanding
(Aug 2003 release) Being interested in Chinese culture for sometime, I finally found a book that has given me something other than state sponsored history facts. I came across this book by accident. I began reading at the bookstore on Saturday evening and wasn't able to put it down until going to work on Monday morning. This book made me laugh, cry and scared the **** out of me in some places. It has definitely given me a wider perspective on the Chinese people and its culture. I'm looking forward to the release of Jung Chang's next book on Mao due out this year. ... Read more


52. If This Be Treason: Translation And Its Dyscontents-A Memoir
by Gregory Rabassa
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0811216195
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Sales Rank: 10230
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Witty, Fascinating Memoir By One Of My Literary Heroes.
Many years ago I read Gabriel Garcia Marquez' novel, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" for the first time. I was entranced by the tale of Macondo and its populace, the poetic elegance of the language, and the author's ability to turn the written page into a magic carpet. I was living in Latin America back then and just beginning to speak Spanish, so I read the novel in English. I didn't really credit the translator's work very much, sad to say. I was young. What did I know? However, the narrative was, and is, written in such an exquisite manner that I took note of the translator's name, Gregory Rabassa. A few years later, still living south of the border, my ability to speak the language had improved significantly - for which I am thankful! I reread Marquez' masterpiece, this time in Spanish, and remembering the English version I was struck at the accuracy of Mr. Rabassa's translation. Not only had he interpreted the author's text from Spanish into English with exactitude, (the words, their meaning, correct grammar, syntax, and idioms), he brilliantly communicated the culture of coastal Colombia, the author's writing style, in fact, his very voice. Most extraordinarily, however, he was able to capture the lilt, lyricism, and love of language. This ability to transcend linguistic and cultural borders, proves Gregory Rabassa is a gifted writer and poet in his own right. I'm a big fan!

I cannot think of another who has had such an impact on Latin American literature. Through him English-speakers, worldwide, have been able to appreciate the works of such notable authors as: Octavio Paz, Miguel Angel Asturias, Julio Cortázar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jorge Amado, Antönio Lobo Antunes, and, of course, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

When I discovered that Mr. Rabassa had written a memoir, "If This Be Treason: Translation And Its Dyscontents-A Memoir," I couldn't wait to read it. I have done so, and enjoyed every page. Not only does he discuss his own fascinating life, he writes about so many talented authors, whose books I have loved, and his collaboration with them. His writing style is conversational, witty, and provocative in its honesty. One feels as if seated at the table with him, over a good cup of coffee or a bottle of wine, listening to tales of the people, anecdotes and incidents which have been so important in his life.

Also included are essays on the writers he has worked with and the books he has brought into English. These memoirs make for an excellent read - especially for those who have loved the novels Gregory Rabassa has translated. Kudos to the author!!
JANA ... Read more


53. West With the Night
by Beryl Markham
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865471185
Catlog: Book (1983-05-01)
Publisher: North Point Press
Sales Rank: 3318
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham--aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty--and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and '30s.
... Read more

Reviews (79)

5-0 out of 5 stars First Aviatrix in Africa
The rule is, I found, that females can't write. I am staying away from what my own gender writes. Beryl Markham is a wonderful exception to my rule. Ernest Hemingway felt dwarfed by the authoress.
Beryl wrote in 1936, and Africa were she grew up was obviously different than now. She describes first hand encounters with lions and elephants, very interesting observations on animal behavior. She also describes the natives, and I wished she would have even gotten more into them. I love her philosophy on life and often I got the feeling she is writing right now, not 70 years ago. A great book for people curious about Africa! Put it into your collection, because you want to read it again!
Addendum April 30, 2004: After writing the above review I have learned from the biography "The Lives of Beryl Markham" by Errol Trzebinski that Beryl did not write "West with the Night", but her third husband Raoul Schumacher, a Hollywood ghostwriter.
Addendum June 15, 2004: I read "The Splendid Outcast" and in the Introduction, Mary S. Lovell, who wrote another biography on Beryl and knew her personally, does not doubt the authorship is genuine Beryl Markham.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great American Novel - Only Its A True Story From Africa
Life and love, hardship and adventure, romance and history - all beautifully woven into a delightful autobiography of an unlikely heroine. The daughter of a poor white farmer trying to eke out a living in untamed and uncharted Africa, Beryl Markham rose from very humble beginnings to become a successful horse trainer, bush pilot, and the first person to fly east-to-west across the Atlantic from England. Her fantastic life seems to be one adventure after another, coincidentally commingled with the lives of Isak Dinesen (the author and heroine of "Out of Africa") and Denys Finch Hatton (played by Robert Redford in the movie, OOA). On this level alone, that of an adventure-packed historical tale, this book is compelling. But the absolute poetry of the narrative makes it inescapable.

Ms. Markham's inimitable flair for description and metaphor are enchantingly powerful. One could truly open the book to any random page and find a treasure. No previous knowledge of plot or precedence would be vital to the enjoyment. That such extraordinary prose also reveals an incredible life provides a rich dividend. Savor the following corsage randomly plucked from the bouquet:

"Arab Ruta... is of the tribe that observes with equal respect the soft voice and the hardened hand, the fullness of a flower, the quick finality of death. His is the laughter of a free man happy at his work, a strong man with lust for living. He is not black. His skin holds the sheen and warmth of used copper. His eyes are dark and wide-spaced, his nose is full-boned and capable of arrogance.

"He is arrogant now, swinging the propeller, laying his lean hands on the curved wood, feeling an exultant kinship in the coiled resistance to his thrust.

"He swings hard. A splutter, a strangled cough from the engine like the premature stirring of a sleep-slugged labourer. In the cockpit I push gently on the throttle, easing it forward, rousing the motor, feeding it, soothing it."

My first encounter with this charming book was accidental but fortuitous. I found the paperback in an airport bookstore, and stayed engrossed and enchanted by the lyrical meanderings for the entirety of my three-hour flight. A few years later I discovered the audio version which springs to an even greater life in the voice of Julie Harris. Her reading of the horse race that proved to be a watershed moment for Ms. Markham, still has the capacity to choke me to tears, though I have listened to it many times.

A few reviewers here have given less than laudatory reviews. This book is absolutely among the top five I have ever read, and I must pity those unfortunate souls who are tone-deaf to the rhapsodic music playing among its pages. Never mind my glowing endorsement. Never mind that Ernest Hemmingway said that Beryl Markham "has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer." Just find this book and open it randomly to any page. You will quickly discover that this book is an extraordinary encounter. Don't miss it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Companion piece to Out of Africa. Should be read together
From the age of 4, Beryl Markham lived in East Africa and spent her childhood with native Maruni children as her only playmates. She was there during the same era as Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), author of Out of Africa, and reading these two books together gives a lyrical, poetic, and heart-full-of-love picture of the Africa they both knew. But it wasn't only Africa they loved; they both shared a passion for the same men: Bror Blixen (Dinesen's husband) and Denys Finch-Hatton (Dinnesen's lover), so, inevitably their paths collided at times.
Although Dinesen is more well-known and respected as a writer compared to Markham, better known as an adventurer, Markham rises to heights of poetic imagery and her writing style was praised highly by many other writers of her era, including no less than Ernest Hemingway.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Life, Well Told
I read this book when it first came out in the early 80s and have never forgotten it. I love Beryl Markham's language; and the story she has to tell is better than any fiction. She was an independent spirit, living an amazing life in an immense and beautiful land.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Special Book
I read this book on the recommendation of my husband, who had read it twice over the years, and various comments and adulations from others. I had not heard that there was controversy over the authorship of this magnificent work - but it would not have made any difference. It is a beautifully written book about a beautiful life. What more can one wish for? Whoever wrote this book had a style very little seen today. She writes with care and attention and humour, so that we can experience not only the mechanics of her exciting life, but also the self realisation she developed. The author makes me want to be alone so that I can share the silence of the soul and the environment that she describes so acutely. I have been enthusiastic with my recommendations of this work to my friends and I am sorry to read the rather sad "one star" reviews on this site. ... Read more


54. A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness
by David J. Pelzer, Dave Pelzer
list price: $11.00
our price: $8.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0452281903
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Plume Books
Sales Rank: 1812
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

The inspiring conclusion to A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy

"All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here.One day you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself."--Dave Pelzer, from A Man Named Dave

These words were Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother, and they represented the ultimate act of self-reliance. Dave's father never intervened as his mother abused him with shocking brutality, denying him food and clothing, torturing him in any way she could imagine. This was the woman who told her son she could kill him any time she wanted to-and nearly did. The more than two million readers of Pelzer's previous international bestsellers, A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy, know that he lived to tell his courageous story. A Man Named Dave is the gripping conclusion to his inspirational trilogy. With stunning generosity of spirit, Dave Pelzer invites readers on his journey to discover how he turned shame into pride and rejection into acceptance. ... Read more

Reviews (164)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most moving experience on paper
I have read all three books in the series, and I feel I have gained so much from all 3. Dave, as a boy, lived as no child should ever have to live. I am a single mom and have done everything in my power to surround my child with as much love as possible,so it almost was impossible to imagine any mother torturing her own flesh and blood as "The Mother" did with Dave.. After reading this book, not only did I feel extreme sorry for Dave and all other abused children in our world, but I also felt an extreme sense of pride for him and the amazing accomplishments he has made in his life. This is a must read. You will cry with Dave, laugh with him, and get angry at him so many times in this book. But most importantly, you will learn about surviving, willpower, trust, and how we all have to ability to make a difference. Thank you Dave Peltzer for making such a difference. I kiss and hug my child a little longer and a little harder each and every night because of what you've taught me. You're better than Superman!

5-0 out of 5 stars HEART WRENCHING STORY
A Man named Dave tells the story of one man's incredible journey through hell and how when as a child he endured the most appalling abuse by his mother. This is gut-wrenching stuff, not for the squeamish. It reveals the courage and strength Dave possessed as well as his ability to forgive his mother. Its a story of triumph and forgiveness.

I'm so pleased that Dave has the most extraordinary relationship with his son and with the love of his life Marsha. Dave, I sincerely pray that you, Marsha and Stephen live happy ever after - you deserve it. Dave also unselfishly helps other abused children and travels extensively to offer guidance and motivational talks. Dave you are truly an amazing person.

You think you had a bad childhood, read this book and you'll soon find out what bad really means. This book is so inspirational to not only abused children, but to anyone who is interested in the resilience of the human spirit.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.

4-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
It's hard to criticize a book dealing with abuse, and I certainly don't have any issues to take up with Mr. Pelzer. This is a fine book, regardless of its topic. If you enjoyed books such as "A Child Called It," "Sybil" or "The Bark of the Dogwood," you're sure to like this one. Pelzer's story is truly amazing and an inspiration to anyone whether they were abused or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent excellent excellent
i opened it up and couldn't put it down until i finished it. it's hard to believe there are people so cruel in this world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cycle Of Abuse Broken
Sally Tremble, Reviewer
In this book 'A Man Named Dave', we learn that the cycle of violence can be broken. He shares his story of how life turns around for him and how he is able to share his new found growth with that of his wife and child. The past that haunts ' A Child Called It' and 'Lost Boy' are the past memories that will stay with him forever. yet his courage and determination to thrive and survive is shown here in this book. Highly recommended.

Recommended reads are: All of the David Pelzer books,Running With Scissors,Lucky and Nightmares Echo ... Read more


55. Stranger Than Fiction : True Stories
by CHUCK PALAHNIUK
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385722222
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 2972
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank god for paperback
I think the term stranger than fiction fits this book just fine. And now, like a blessing from god the book has finally come out in paperback. The hardcover copy was sort of a hasle for me because I'm such an abid traveler.
This book, much like Palahniuks other books is delightfully disturbing, but if your a new Palahniuk fan I recommend you start out with his earlier work like Fight Club or Invisible. My personal favorite story from this book is the fist, I really think it sets the tone for this great non-fictional book. I hope all who buy this book enjoy it as much as I did. ... Read more


56. My Life
by Bill Clinton
list price: $35.00
our price: $21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375414576
Catlog: Book (2004-06)
Publisher: Knopf
Sales Rank: 35
Average Customer Review: 3.19 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com

An exhaustive, soul-searching memoir, Bill Clinton's My Life is a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Clinton painstakingly outlines the history behind his greatest successes and failures, including his dedication to educational and economic reform, his war against a "vast right-wing operation" determined to destroy him, and the "morally indefensible" acts for which he was nearly impeached. My Life is autobiography as therapy--a personal history written by a man trying to face and banish his private demons.

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (463)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


57. Lipitor: Thief of Memory, Statin Drugs and the Misguided War on Cholesterol
by Duane Graveline, M.D. DuaneGraveline
list price: $17.95
our price: $15.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0741418819
Catlog: Book (2004-01-28)
Publisher: Infinity Publishing (PA)
Sales Rank: 12857
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

Dr. Duane Graveline, former astronaut, aerospace medical research scientist, flight surgeon, and family doctor, given Lipitor(r) to lower his cholesterol, loses his short-term memory for several hours. He discontinues the drug, but a year later at his annual NASA physical is urged to resume it at half the dose. Six weeks later he loses both short and retrograde memories for half a day and is diagnosed in the ER with transient global amnesia (TGA).

Appalled by the medical community's ignorance of the cognitive side effects of the statin drugs, he begins searching for answers to his traumatic experience. Lipitor(r), Thief of Memory, Statin Drugs and the Misguided War On Cholesterol is the "scary, appealingly written" account of his findings. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Smoke & Mirrors about Drug benefits - another Example
A must read for anyone who is even remotely interested in how our sickness care, billed as health care, system works. Dr. Graveline, like many, obviously a very conscientious doctor, was suddenly faced with a number of dilemmas when he experienced transient global amnesia (memory loss) induced by Lipitor (one of the statin cholesterol lowering drugs). Interestingly the manufacturer even proclaims that there is no connection with its use to prevent heart disease or heart attacks yet the use use of this useless drug continuers through slick marketing

This short eminently readable work discusses, among other issues, what Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) is, how the statin drugs work, the myth of the Cholesterol/Modified Low Fat Diet etc. of special interest is the role of cholesterol particularly in the brain. It is shown how statins can transverse the blood brain barrier and interfere with the normal functioning of the brain. This is most important in those who have a dramatic reduction when using statins ..."abrupt, major decreases of serum cholesterol from statin drug therapy should be taken more as a warning than as an indication of success, for cognitive side effects seemed more likely to occur in these cases."...

Mention is made of a ..."recent PROSPER trial published in Lancet, that statin therapy increased the incidence of cancer deaths , completely offsetting the SLIGHT decrease in deaths from cardiovascular disease and further complicating interpretation of reported benefits from statin therapy." Not to mention other significant side effects of liver/kidney damage, muscle pain/injury, Coenzyme 10 (CQ10) depletion essential for heart health and continued deficiency of heart essential Vitamin Bs and other nutrients.

Their is a cogent discussion between correlation of good diet and disease. This alone is worth the price of the book. No one, but no one, has ever had a drug deficiency yet our medical system continues to discourage the use of nutrients in lieu of generally toxic drugs! They never even look at the underlying causes which these drugs sadly mask - much to the detriment of the patient.

Given the benefits of cholesterol lowering borders more on speculation then in fact (mostly from manipulated statics) it is surprising that there is a need to reduce cholesterol at all. Yet both Drs. Graveline and Cohen (in the forward) still seem to feel the need to do so indicates how ingrained the cholesterol lowering mantra has taken hold in the medical community.

Should your doctor suggest statins or for that matter any other cholesterol lowering drug just say "here take this (book) and call me in the morning...."

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-read for those who like eye-openers
Dr. Graveline's book is an absolute gem. The information contained in relatively few pages is astounding and will open the eyes of many readers.
In a personal account as a victim of serious side effects of Lipitor Dr. Graveline describes the frightening experience he had when first using the drug. No one believed that his symptoms (total cognitive amnesia) were anything other than some cerebral problems such as a stroke and the ordeal must have been devastating to say the least.
The good doctor, having been an upstanding physician and scientist of mainstream medicine all his professional life was cruelly and unexpectedly turned into a victim, then a rebel.
A skeptic at heart, this Astronaut and physician was left to his own devices to find answers to his dilemma, a dilemma that was threatening to finish his career, his marriage and his life.
Specialists he consulted made hasty decisions, put on their know-it-all facial expressions and expressed heartfelt sympathy to all concerned about the obvious sad situation that saw a brilliant mind being cut down in its prime.
Dr. Graveline describes many other cases of people who suffered similar side effects and he elaborates in sufficient detail on the misguided war on cholesterol. He shows that ample proof exists that cholesterol as the bogeyman behind heart and blood vessel disease is the product of a very faulty hypothesis. He points out the flaws in the original theory by Dr. Ancel Keys in the fifties and cites study after study that does not support the prevailing dogma but, in most cases, clearly shows the opposite.
He enters controversial -and possibly dangerous- territory when he explains some of the reasons why apparently sane and caring physicians keep prescribing these statin drugs when they must know that there is no proven need to lower cholesterol and that the side effects of the medication are serious.
He wonders whether it is all about money, a thought he appears to have difficulty accepting.
Dr. Graveline does not want to fly in a plane piloted by a statin taker. He knows that there is a possibility -no matter how remote- that the pilot will suddenly fall ill and have no memory whatsoever of having had flight training.
This book ought to be a must read for anyone on statins . Anyone taking any medication ought to do so only after being informed about possible side effects. Any doctor, as Dr. Graveline points out, being lax in this regard is practicing under false pretenses.

5-0 out of 5 stars YOU'RE ONLY AS YOUNG AS YOUR ARTERIES
Here we have a must read for anyone with an over active doctor who likes dispensing "Cholesterol Pills". Dr. Graveline first describes some rare and not so rare side-effects of cholesterol lowering drugs on the mind [memory loss, poor fuzzy thinking]. Then there are some of the more debilitating physical effects of these drugs from the reduction of CoQ10, the vital energy producer and "catalytic converter" of every nerve and muscle cell. Then there is more cancer in older people ..

As statins lower cholesterol, they also lower in lock-step some truly vital body chemicals [CoQ10, squalene and other important products]. Being aware of such side effects may prevent damage that can result.

Graveline then suggests that this may all be worth it IF THERE WOULD BE A BENEFIT in survival from taking statin drugs like Lipitor or Zocor, but there is no such clear benefit. In fact, all statins trials combined may NOT have extended the life of a single woman! [British Medical Journal, Oct. 18 2003:933] Three of the latest massive trials either showed no heart disease benefit [ALLHAT] or no improved survival in anybody [ASCOT, PROSPER, and again ALLHAT].

The author gives important warnings, but the book goes further in describing what really underlies the decline of artery health [and you're only as young as your arteries].

He debunks the CHOLESTEROL MYTH and presents SIMPLE PREVENTION STRATEGIES with B vitamins that lower the "natural blood toxin" homocysteine. He then proposes to leave the "low fat and cholesterol" high starch and refined junk flour products on the shelf and to eat less refined products, even if they are higher in fat and cholesterol in their natural state [high nutrient products].

Buy this book if you're on a statin [it's cheaper than a week's worth of Lipitor] and then give it to a doctor since they are the ones that either prescribe the drugs, or propose sensible alternatives.

Drugs are NOT the underlying cause of heart disease and there is little evidence they can fix arteries after they are damaged -and long-term harm to the mind, to muscle [weakness], to nerves and from cancer may well await those not paying attention to the side effects. This book may help you prevent such harm. ... Read more


58. Madam Secretary: A Memoir
by Madeleine Albright
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786868430
Catlog: Book (2003-09-16)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 2168
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

"It was a quarter to ten. I was sipping coffee, but by then my body was manufacturing its own caffeine. I still couldn't allow myself to believe. Finally, at 9:47, the call came. 'I want you to be my Secretary of State.' These are his first words. I finally believed it."

For eight years, during Bill Clinton's two presidential terms, Madeleine Albright was an active participant in the most dramatic events of recent times—from the pursuit of peacein the Middle East to NATO's humanitarian intervention in Kosovo. Now, in an outspoken memoir, the highest-ranking woman in American history shares her remarkable story and provides an insider's view of world affairs during a period of unprecedented turbulence.

The story begins with Albright's childhood as a Czechoslovak refugee, whose family first fled Hitler, then the Communists. Arriving in the United States at the age of eleven, she grew up to be a passionate advocate of civil and women's rights and followed a zigzag path to a career that ultimately placed her in the upper stratosphere of diplomacy and policy-making in her adopted country. She became the first woman to serve as America's secretary of state and one of the most admired individuals of our era.

Refreshingly candid, Madam Secretary brings to life the world leaders Albright dealt with face-to-face in her years of service and the battles she fought to prove her worth in a male-dominated arena. There are intriguing portraits of such leading figures as Vaclav Havel, Yasser Arafat, Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, King Hussein, Vladimir Putin, Slobodan Milosevic, and North Korea's mysterious Kim Jong-Il, as well as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, and Jesse Helms.

Besides her encounters with the famous and powerful, we get to know Albright the private woman: her life raising three daughters, the painful breakup of her marriage to the scion of one of America's leading newspapers families, and the discovery late in life of her Jewish ancestry and that her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps.

Madam Secretary combines warm humor with profound insights and personal testament with fascinating additions to the historical record. It is a tapestry both intimate and panoramic, a rich memoir destined to become a twenty-first century classic. ... Read more

Reviews (41)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Far-Ranging Autobiography --- Readers Will Learn Much
In winding up her far-ranging autobiography, Madeleine Albright tells us with amusement that once, after leaving office as U.S. Secretary of State, she was mistaken in public for Margaret Thatcher.

It's worth a chuckle to the reader --- but there are indeed interesting similarities between the two women, even though their political leanings are light-years apart. They both reached the highest rank ever attained by a woman in their respective democratic governments, were fiercely partisan political figures, and held very strong opinions and were never afraid to battle for them (Albright's favorite expression for this is that she never hesitated to "push back" at those who opposed her).

Albright is best known for serving as U.S. ambassador to the UN in the first Clinton term, and as Secretary of State in the second. Readers of this book will learn in detail about the early years and long political apprenticeship that led up to those two high-profile jobs. They will also learn, in perhaps more detail than they care to absorb, about the many foreign policy crises in which she was a major player under Clinton.

The other thing about Albright that most people will recall is that only after she became Secretary of State did she learn that her family ancestry was Jewish --- that three of her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps. This personal revelation is duly covered but not dwelled upon in extraordinary detail.

Her life, though unsettled due to wartime exigencies, was not a rags-to-riches tale. She was born Marie Jana Korbel in Prague into a comfortably situated family. Her father was a respected Czech diplomat and college professor. Fleeing the Nazis, the family spent time in England during World War II. They arrived in the United States when she was 11, and her father took a teaching job in Denver. She entered Wellesley College in 1955 and became an American citizen two years later. She married into a wealthy and well-connected American family in 1959. Her first political idol and mentor was Edmund Muskie, in whose doomed presidential campaign she took part. After the breakup of her marriage, her career in government and politics took off during the Carter presidency, her only personal setback being a painful divorce in 1983.

This is all dispatched in the first 100 pages or so of her lengthy book. The rest of it details her UN and State Department years with a thoroughness that seems at times compulsive. All the heroes and villains of those years pass in review --- Carter, Havel, Milosevic, Helms, Clinton, Putin, Arafat, Barak. The complexities of Rwanda, Serbia, Kosovo, the Middle East, Somalia and other trouble spots are laid out in prose that can get ponderous --- but her incisive personal portraits of these people lighten the mood.

Albright makes no pretense to real objectivity. She is a committed Democrat who admired both Carter and Clinton, and she defends them against all the charges that have been flung at them by their opponents. She defends such controversial actions as Clinton's successful ousting of Boutros Boutros-Ghali as Secretary General of the UN, and his policy of opening up trade with China and warily seeking a somewhat civil relationship with North Korea. Her two biggest regrets are the failure of the UN to stop genocide in Rwanda and Clinton's failure to forge a solid peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (in that regard, while gently critical of Israel on occasion, she holds Arafat mainly responsible for the breakdown). The two biggest villains in her cast of characters, not surprisingly, are Arafat and Milosevic.

There is naturally a strong feminist slant to her narrative. There is also a vein of sharp observation, character analysis, and even humor. The writing, when not bogged down in the minutiae of crisis management, can be bright, though we are left to wonder how much of the credit is hers and how much belongs to her collaborator, Bill Woodward.

Mercifully, Monica Lewinsky remains a bit player in Albright's narrative. Two other things, perhaps more important, are also missing: detailed assessments of the effect of the 9/11 tragedy on America's global course and the George W. Bush administration. Those would have made an already long book longer, but one wishes she had covered them anyway.

--- Reviewed by Robert Finn

5-0 out of 5 stars Exemplary
Madam Secretary is a wonderful capsule of a remarkable life and highly recommended for anyone who is as much of a current affairs geek as I am. While most will be drawn to read this book because of the insights Ms. Albright provides into the Clinton Administration's roles in the Middle East conflict, Kosovo, and North Korea - all of which are discussed in fascinating detail - some of the most compelling (and poignant) sections of the book have to do with her pain associated with the sudden dissolution of her marriage, the discovery of her Jewish ancestry, and her life in Czechoslovakia as a young girl.

Ms. Albright's narrative voice is warm and inviting and utterly without pretension. This is my vote for the best non-fiction book of 2003.

4-0 out of 5 stars An inside view...
Madeleine Albright led a remarkable life - fleeing as a child across war-torn Europe, first from the invading Germans and then from the invading Soviets, the little girl from Prague came to America before a teenager, and ended up becoming the first female Secretary of State in American history (although, interestingly, not even the first non-American-born Secretary of State in the last half century!). She reinvented herself as an American, someone who fell deeply in love with her adopted country, even to the extent that her name Madeleine, isn't the one with which she was christened (although it is the French version of her name, and thus we are reading the memoirs of Madeleine, not Marie Jana Korbel).

She weaves together her personal life and insights together with the professional experiences she has had throughout her various careers, culminating with the office of Secretary of State for several years in Bill Clinton's administration. Her father, part of the Czech government-in-exile, immigrated to America and became a professor (interestingly, one of his student was Condalezza Rice, one of the principle voices in foreign affairs in the current Bush administration). Albright thus had training from the very beginning in terms of both academic and practical aspects of governments and diplomacy.

Albright's academic credentials are impressive, and her experiences in school shaped her later career. For undergraduate work, she studied at Wellesley College in Political Science, and then went to the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She finished her formal education at Columbia, receiving a Certificate from the Russian Institute, and her Masters and Doctorate from the Department of Public Law and Government. This is also where she got involved with political and media affairs in earnest.

She was a White House staffer, including staffing the National Security Council, during Carter's presidency; during the 12-year Republican administrations in Washington, her career focused on the Center for National Policy, a non-profit liberal think-tank/research organization formed in 1981 looking at issues in domestic and foreign policy. This gave her continued presence in the field so that when the time came, Clinton tapped her to be the ambassador to the United Nations, and then later Secretary of State.

She met and married Joseph Albright, part of a wealthy media family, and recounts in some detail and emotion the difficulties with the breakup of that relationship. She also confesses an affair with a Georgetown professor, and other difficult times in her life. However, these take a back seat most of the time to her professional career.

Albright makes the claim to have not discovered her Jewish ancestry until late in life; there is reason to discount this belief, given that she is the kind of person likely to know the details of her background, and given that she visited family back in Czechoslovakia back in the 1960s. Reasons for not wanting to be identified as being of Jewish descent during her career are unclear, but in an otherwise very straightforward autobiographical account, this one point seems less than convincing.

Albright does reflect with candor on many world leaders, including her boss Bill Clinton, and his wife Hillary; few of the key names of the 90s are missed here. Ultimately, one comes across with the impression of a erudite diplomat, a skillful politicians, and a sincere worker for the best interests of the nation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smooth, captivating and thoughtful
A fascinating story of a remarkable person who has served her country well.

3-0 out of 5 stars Filling in What the Media Neglects
If your interesting in knowing the truth about one of the 1990s most important foreign policy personalities, this book won't necessarily help. While it is an easy read with lots of details about what was happening behind closed doors, Ms. Albright also spun it to her own advantages. But that is to be expected. Considering her harsh handing at the hands of the right wing, it is good to get her point of view. ... Read more


59. Welfare Brat : A Memoir
by Mary Childers
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582345864
Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Sales Rank: 17608
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

An intimate and frank look at poverty, abuse, and welfare dependence by a "welfare brat" who came of age in the blighted Bronx of the 1960s.

Mary Childers grew up in a neighborhood ravaged by poverty. Once a borough of elegant apartment buildings, parks, and universities, the Bronx had become a national symbol of urban decay. White flight, arson, rampant crime, and race riots provide the backdrop for Mary's story. The child of an absent carny father for whom she longed and a single welfare mother who schemed and struggled to house and feed her brood, Mary was the third of her mother's surviving seven children, who were fathered by four different men.

From an early age, Mary knew she was different. She loved her family fiercely but didn't want to repeat her mother's or older sisters' mistakes. The Childers family culture was infused with alcohol and drugs, and relations between the sexes were muddled by simultaneous feelings of rage and desire toward men. Fatherless children were the norm. Academic achievement and hard work were often scorned, not rewarded; five of the seven Childers children dropped out of high school. But Mary was determined to create a better life, and here she recounts her bumpy road to self-sufficiency. With this engaging and thoughtful examination of her difficult early years, Mary Childers breathes messy life into the issues of poverty and welfare dependence, childhood resilience, the American work ethic, and a popular culture that values sexuality more than self-esteem.
... Read more

60. Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse
by PhyllisDiller, Richard Buskin
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585423963
Catlog: Book (2005-02-17)
Publisher: Tarcher
Sales Rank: 12478
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Book Description

From housewife to humorist, Phyllis Diller has been making millions laugh for five decades with her groundbreaking comedy. Now the laughter continues with her uproarious autobiography.

Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse recounts the story of how, against all odds, Phyllis Diller became America's first successful and best-loved female stand-up comic. She began her professional career at age thirty-seven, in spite of the fact that she was a housewife, mother of five, and working at a radio station due to her husband's chronic unemployment.Now, fifty years later, after two traumatic marriages; extensive cosmetic surgery; numerous film, television, and stage appearances; and separate careers as an artist and piano soloist with symphony orchestras, Phyllis Diller finally tells her story.

With her trademark laugh, incredible wit, and self-deprecating humor, Phyllis Diller has etched her way into comedic history. And while her wild hair and outrageous clothes may make her look "like a lampshade in a whorehouse," her strength, self-belief, perseverance, and raucous sense of humor are what make her truly unforgettable.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Having the last laugh?
If living well is the best revenge, then it is hard to appreciate why Phyllis Diller spends a good portion of her latest autobiography settling scores with dozens of minor people whose names would have completely faded from history if not for her memoirs.

But then, for a woman who made a comedic career out of catastrophes and disappointments, perhaps this is her way of having the last laugh. Unfortunately, these bitter remembrances just aren't funny and mar an otherwise delightful book. Instead the story is jagged and a little too hard-edged and earns a solid three stars.

Penguin, however, has produced a beautiful book for Ms. Diller with a stunning bright orange cover with raised printing while the book underneath features a three-piece case binding with foil stamping. Even the ivory-colored paper inside is high-quality stuff. And I couldn't find one typo. The presentation reflects Penguin's star-quality regard for Diller giving this book an overall four-star rating.

When Diller focuses on her successes by highlighting colleagues (like Bob Hope) or good timing (like breaking in at a time when no other female comics offered serious competition) or techniques (like ending punch lines with consonants to emphasize the mock hostility), the book really entertains. But the story just isn't worth the hardcover admission price and I would recommend waiting for and buying the paperback version of Diller's story.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Terrific Bio"
"LIKE A LAMPSHADE IN A WHOREHOUSE, from the "QUEEN" of comedy is such a fun book.I both laughed and teared-up a bit (at times), while reading.

I have always admired the fun spirit of this "funny lady."It is nice to finally get to know more about her on a "real-life" level.For example...I Had No Idea She Had Six Children!That in itself is impressive.

Many years ago I met Phyllis Diller in person at the 'Beverely Hills Supper Club," in Kentucky.I found her to be both funny and charming (at the time), and after reading this book, I'm happy to learn she is a lot more than that.

I really enjoyed this book and know that any person who enjoys reading this fact-filled genre will love it to.

"LIKE A LAMPSHADE IN A WHOREHOUSE," by Phyllis Diller, is a "must read."Add it to your Amazon.com list of books to order.You will be glad you did.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
Being the funny person Phyllis Diller is, I expected something different than the tone of this book.Miss Diller comes across as bitter and resentful towards the men in her life.I understand that this was with cause, but it has been many years now and she seems to be carrying a lot of unforgiveness and resentment around.Being that she is a lover of "The Magic of Believing" by Claude Bristol, I guess I expected a more positive view. She seems to be proud of her atheism.What makes her so sure there is no deity?What force did she tap into with belief to change her life?

She also told me far more than I needed to know about her sex life with her first husband, Sherwood Diller, "banging away at her with no thought of how to ****" to second husband Warde Donovan's trysts with a chauffeur "coming home with the smell of semen on his breath."Then she writes "I had my share of one-night stands."Point is, I really didn't need to know all of that.She also spent an inordinate amount of time complaining about her first husband's mental illness.If he was truly mentally ill, it was cruel of her to write as she did. Going on and on about her in-laws got to be a bit boring too.This could have been a better book.

5-0 out of 5 stars WHATTA BOOK; WHATTA PERSON
It is so interesting to read about a multi talented person who is supremely successful where they reveal the downside parts of their life and wonder why they did what they did...but they did it.Like Phyllis Diller, I read a most wonderful book "The Magic of Believing" by Claude Bristol when I was in my early 20's that did change my life, but not to the extent that she transformed herself because of that book.Many miserable things happened to her traveling through her life journey, but she was always optimistic and overcame the adversities.This book has funny parts, however, it is really an autobiography and details the life of the author.A marvelous read and a story that should get more than 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars She's terrific
I am in my early sixties so I can remember when Phyllis Diller was appearing on all the variety shows. She was hysterical. But as this book shows she is also a hardworking, warm BRAVE woman with great spirit. She had 6 kids!!!! Who knew? She tells a great story for women and is so funny. Enjoyable. ... Read more


41-60 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