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121. Conduct Under Fire: Four American
$16.77 $15.90 list($27.95)
122. Nightingales : The Extraordinary
$16.47 $15.83 list($24.95)
123. Rocketman : Astronaut Pete Conrad's
$10.17 $8.55 list($14.95)
124. Ann Landers in Her Own Words :
$18.45 $18.41 list($27.95)
125. Tempered Steel: The Three Wars
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126. Skunk Works : A Personal Memoir
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127. The Forgotten Soldier
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128. Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous
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129. Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's
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130. Making an Exit : A Mother-Daughter
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131. Iron and Silk (Vintage Departures)
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132. Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch : Tales
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133. Makes Me Wanna Holler : A Young
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134. Battle Ready
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135. The Man Behind the Microchip:
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136. The Surgeon and the Shepherd:
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137. Reason for Hope : A Spiritual
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138. Skywriting: A Life Out of the
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139. Making the Mummies Dance : Inside
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140. Tis: A Memoir

121. Conduct Under Fire: Four American Doctors and Their Fight for Life as Prisoners of the Japanese, 1941-1945
by JohnGlusman
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0670034088
Catlog: Book (2005-05-05)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Sales Rank: 1987
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The fierce, bloody battles of Bataan and Corregidor in the Philippines are legendary inthe annals of World War II. Those who survived faced the horrors of life as prisoners ofthe Japanese.

In Conduct Under Fire, John A. Glusman chronicles these events through theeyes of his father, Murray, and three fellow navy doctors captured on Corregidor in May1942. Here are the dramatic stories of the fall of Bataan, the siege of "the Rock," and thedaily struggles to tend the sick, wounded, and dying during some of the heaviestbombardments of World War II. Here also is the desperate war doctors and corpsmenwaged against disease and starvation amid an enemy that viewed surrender as a disgrace.To survive, the POWs functioned as a family. But the ties that bind couldn’t protect themfrom a ruthless counteroffensive waged by American submarines or from the B-29 raidsthat burned Japan’s major cities to the ground. Based on extensive interviews withAmerican, British, Australian, and Japanese veterans, as well as diaries, letters, and warcrimes testimony, this is a harrowing account of a brutal clash of cultures, of a race warthat escalated into total war.

Like Flags of Our Fathers and Ghost Soldiers, Conduct UnderFire is a story of bravery on the battlefield and ingenuity behind barbed wire, onethat reveals the long shadow the war cast on the lives of those who fought it. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars POWERFUL HISTORY
This book, about a subject that many Americans are unaware, is both a personal journey and taut war history. America in the early Forties was still dealing with the depression, and how it would conduct itself, while much of the world was already at war.

This story, not about generals or admirals, is instead a tribute to dedicated, unassuming men caught in the throes of the terrible war that finally found America in 1941.

John Glusman actually writes about four different things: the allure of Asia to these young men, the defeat in the Philippines, their struggles to survive, and finally to recover their lives.

His style is easily readible and compelling.

I have read many books on this topic, and the only one that compares is John Toland's, But Not In Shame.

Please read this book!It is a magnificent work of history, and a moving personal tribute. ... Read more

122. Nightingales : The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale
list price: $27.95
our price: $16.77
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Asin: 0345451872
Catlog: Book (2004-08-31)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 1826
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123. Rocketman : Astronaut Pete Conrad's Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond
by NancyConrad, Howard A.Klausner
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0451215095
Catlog: Book (2005-05-03)
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Sales Rank: 4431
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

He was the third man to walk on the moon. And the first to dance on it.

For Pete Conrad, it was all about the ride. Nicknamed the Comeback Kid, he survived his family's financial hardships, overcame dyslexia, landed a Navy scholarship to Princeton, and became one of the country's elite test pilots. Never the squeaky clean NASA poster boy, he famously bounced himself out of the Mercury Program but came roaring back to fly two Gemini missions, walk on the moon as Commander of Apollo 12, command the first Skylab, and work to develop the first re-usable commercial rocket-logging more time in space than all the original astronauts combined. Based on interviews conducted with Conrad by his wife before his untimely death, Rocketman is the amazing-but-true, surprisingly candid insider's view of the greatest ride in history, America's glorious race to the stars, as seen through the eyes of the real Space Cowboy: Pete Conrad, the Rocketman.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Only One Book this Year? This is must be the one.
Authors Nancy Conrad and Howie Klausner accomplished the impossible in The Rocketman. Since I was so fortunate to count Pete Conrad as a friend, I was able to evaluate the degree of success that the authors achieved in the very difficult task of writing this book. How is it possible to accurately emblaze Pete's life with the upbeat fun, astronomical success, and down to earth personality that was uniquely and gloriously his? Yet they did so magnificently. What a triumphant accomplishment! Since Pete was treasured by many, there naturally exists a tendency for the book to be challenged by an unfair level of expectation or criticism. Yet the authors were impossibly able to take mere black symbols on wood pulp and make the characters come alive with rich history and inspirational imagery. They were able to accomplish something even larger than what Pete Conrad might have wistfully desired as life's final result. Even though he left his footprint on the surface of the moon and indelibly upon the hearts of many, only the authors reached beyond that by giving Pete life beyond his years and extending to millions the joy of his presence, all within the cherished pages of this book. This great book launches beyond its five star rating, leaves behind most of the techno-jargon which typically saturates aeronautical titles, and positively impacts its readers long, long after its covers are reluctantly closed. You simply cannot miss this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Take This Book For A Ride
So, you like me might first think of the Elton John song when seeing the title of this book, but start reading it and it's more like a movie than a song.Frankly, my expectations weren't too high realizing a screenwriter and Pete's wife wrote this book (Real frankly - my money is on Klausner, the screenwriter, as the real author). Open the book to ANY page and you'll be sucked in like a flock of pigeons into an F-18 jet intake. You won't want to put the book down. ... Read more

124. Ann Landers in Her Own Words : Personal Letters to Her Daughter
by Margo Howard
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
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Asin: 0446695041
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 147493
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this witty, wise, and intensely personal collection of letters to her daughter Margo, Ann Landers delivers her own unintentional memoir. The volume is both a moving portrait of a mother/daughter relationship and a keen social history of America between 1958 and 2001. Peppered with incisive information and gossip, Esther "Eppie" Lederer (Landers’s real name) offers insight on everything from marriage and divorce to growing up and growing old. Readers will delight in Landers’ s signature practical wisdom and sharp eye for the absurd. As funny and loving as they are stern and ascerbic, these letters reveal the real woman behind the Ann Landers moniker--a spectacularly original writer, wife, and mother. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars mother love
I loved this book. Given to me as a present, I had no idea what to expect and began reading it with a sense of uncertainty. But within a dozen pages I was completely held and involved. It is poignant, funny, wise and deeply engrossing, and full of practical advice on love, marriage, divorce, motherhood, and growing older. At times I got the guilty (but delicious) feeling that I was reading a good friend's private correspondence - it is that intimate and that honest. Some say that letter writing is a dead art, a form of communication that was killed off by the telephone and, more recently, the brutal abruptness of e-mail. But here it is resurrected in all its former glory. Full of good gossip and insights about famous names in show business, politics, the media and literature. there were moments when I laughed out loud and, occasionally, wanted to weep. I was honestly sad when I reached the end - so I started all over again. Happily, as one does in all good letters, I still found new things to surprise me. Margo Howard tells us that "letters were my mother's art form," and this book confirms that gloriously. Ms. Howard is no slouch at letter writing either, answering her mother's missives with equal wit, insights, and humanity. Those for whom this will be their first taste of the wit and wisdom of Ann Landers - or Margo Howard, who has followed in her mother's footsteps as an agony aunt - have a treat in store.
... Read more

125. Tempered Steel: The Three Wars Of Triple Air Force Cross Winner Jim Kasler
by Perry D. Luckett, CHARLES L. BYLER
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
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Asin: 157488834X
Catlog: Book (2005-02-18)
Publisher: Potomac Books
Sales Rank: 162140
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Perry Luckett and Charles Byler have written the first biography of Col. James Kasler, who is the only three-time recipient of the Air Force Cross, the second highest medal for wartime valor. Kasler served as an eighteen-year-old B-29 tail gunner in World War II, became a legendary jet ace in Korea, and was so famous in Vietnam that he was known by name in the White House. Major General Hoyt Vandenberg put Kasler, along with Chuck Yeager and Robbie Risner, as "head and shoulders above the rest as stick-and-rudder pilots."

Kasler planned and led the most effective bombing mission of the Vietnam War. He was shot down and had to endure six and a half years of torture in a POW camp. His courage under those brutal conditions earned him the respect of such men as John McCain and James Stockdale. This book captures the essence of a genuine American hero who fought in three wars and traces the history of the U.S. Air Force during its formative period. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Warrior for Our Age
This is not your usual run of the mill biography. This is the story of a warrior.
There are many types in the military, diplomats, politicians, sycophants, citizen soldiers, patriots, war lovers, otherwise unemmployable, etc. They are all needed, and, with good leadership, most perform well under stress. But, surprising as it may seem, the warriors are marked by their rarity, Jim Kasler is a WARRIOR.
Having been a POW with Jim and being an aviator (Navy) I can verify that this account is reliable, factual and even handed. It doesn't try to tell any one else's story but Jim's own. It is not a revisionist history. It pulls no punches. It tells it like it is (was). It makes you proud to be an American.
Thank God Jim Kasler was on our side.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Salute to a Fighter
TEMPERED STEEL is a portrait of a time, an inside look at a culture of speed and machines, but most of all it's the life of a man who endured what few ever have.That Jim Kasler survived his time of trial through fire is a testament to his courage and toughness.His biographers, Byler and Luckett, have with meticulous research recreated the life of an authentic American hero.

5-0 out of 5 stars Portrait of a True American Hero
In a word: WOW!Jim Kasler has given so much of himself to his country it is nothing short of incredible.I don't usually read or enjoy biographies, but this is one that I could not put down.While the book encompasses his entire life, a good portion of the book gives a detailed account of the 6 1/2 years he spent as a POW in North Vietnam and the infamous Hanoi Hilton.His survival during that time is nothing short of miraculous.I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about leadership, history, military, Air Force, patriotism, or just one tough guy who survived brutality. ... Read more

126. Skunk Works : A Personal Memoir of My Years of Lockheed
by Leo Janos, Ben R. Rich
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.47
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Asin: 0316743003
Catlog: Book (1996-02-01)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 12050
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (51)

4-0 out of 5 stars A rich account of aerospace industry during the Cold War
I picked this book up after having read Don DeLillo's Libra, which pictures the protagonist, Lee Harvey Oswald, at a USAF base in Atsugi, Japan during his military service. The U2 spy plane that was based there definitely adds to the aura of mystery and fatefulness that pervades the whole of DeLillo's excellent novel and aroused my curiosity. Rich's account of the Skunk Works' history entirely satisfied my interest in this mysterious airplane. The book can be read in different ways: as a thrilling account of the Cold War, a captivating portrait of the complex and brilliant designer Kelly Johnson, and as a treatise on corporate innovation, cutting edge management methods and industry-government relationships. I found the book to be exceedingly well written, with just the right dosage of technical details, humour, personal anecdotes and historical drama. The integration of 'other voices' from test pilots, high level policy makers and air force top brass complements Rich's narrative nicely and helps in modulating the sometimes breathless pace. An excellent book. I enjoyed it a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Skunk Works - Behind the Scenes of U.S. Secret Aircraft
This is a great book. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at the development of often secret aviation technology over the past 50 years. The book pulls no punches and tells the stories of failures as well as successes. Written in an easy to read style, the book contains enough technology for the most savvy reader. The book is full of technical and financial information plus humorous anecdotes about developing planes like the U2 spyplane, the F117A Stealth Fighter, the SR-71 Blackbird and others. It also covers the politics behind the sale and production of these aircraft. I could not put this book down! Highly reccommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome aerospace/military history
Skunk works is the true story behind the coolest, high tech, top secret, aerospace engineering division operated by the Lockheed Martin corporation. Forged by legendary U. Michigan alumnus Kelly Johnson, the Skunk Works has created the coolest planes of recent memory, including the SR-71 Blackbird (currently visible on the flight deck of the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier in NYC), the F117A Stealth Fighter, and the U2 spy plane. The F22 Raptor and the Joint Strike Fighter are also creations of the Skunk Works, but are not covered in this autobiography written by the successor to Kelly Johnson, Ben Rich.
This quick read is well worth your while for a couple of reasons. First, the stories behind the creation of these planes is very interesting. For example, the Skunk Works engineers found the mathematical key to the stealth design buried within an obscure physics journal originally published in Russian. Oddly, the Russians military never capitalized on the principle, despite urgings from the article's Russian author. Furthermore, when the stealth plane was first designed and kept in a secret hanger infested with some bats, the bats couldn't detect the plane with their "sonar-like" sense, and they ended up crashing into it.
The book also makes for excellent military and therefore world history. Accomplishments of the U2 spy plane and the F117-A Stealth Fighter are covered in depth and literally changed the course of world events during the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Gulf War, and other skirmishes. Many interesting, behind the scenes (formerly classified?) missions are also revealed in this book. Ben Rich also speculates on the future types of planes currently on the minds of engineers at the Skunk Works, and the implications will change how wars are fought in the future.
For readers who liked this book, NOVA recently published a video on the creation of the Joint Strike Fighter, a contract fought over between the Skunk Works and the Phantom Works of Boeing. These do all fighters are amazing, and this video is definately worth watching for those who enjoyed "Skunk Works."

5-0 out of 5 stars superb
If you want a great read on U2's Blackbirds and Stealth, then THIS is the book...

Fascinating, well written, informative and a damned fine read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Story of the Skunk Works told with style
Ben Rich started off as a bright new engineer at Lockheed Martin. He never imagined that taking a job under the famously fearsome Kelly Johnson would lead to a career that took him to the top of the aerospace defense industry. He has an interesting story to tell and does so with style. We catch a glimpse into the inner-workings of the United States defense industry. It's a spellbinding tale about legendary airplanes interlaced with amusing anecdotes. Being an engineer in the defense industry myself, I heartily recommend this book to engineers and anybody else interested in technology. ... Read more

127. The Forgotten Soldier
by Guy Sajer
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 1574882864
Catlog: Book (2001-10-15)
Publisher: Brassey's Inc
Sales Rank: 12502
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (87)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great account of an unbelievable story
I had read several other World War two books prior to reading The Forgotten Soldier, including The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Stalingrad, and The Fall of Berlin. This book was the first to be written in the first person perspective.

I found his experience to be absolutely amazing. From boot camp where he learns how tought the war is going to be till the final days, his story is magnificent. What a perfect depiction of how WWII actually was during the Russian front. He found himself involved in many of the major battles including Kharkov, and Kiev. There were many memorable moments where he really shocks the reader with what he had to go through, and how war really affects the human mind.

It really hit home to me during the book when he turned 17. At the time I read the book, I was 17 as well, and it hit me. I realized that this was very very real, and that me and my friends could have been in his situation.

Overall i would highly recommend this book who wants to understand what WWII was really like, and what can happen to the human mind in times like WWII.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Eastern Front...
This book serves as one of the most powerful accounts of the Eastern Offensive (from the eyes of a young german soldier) all the way to its eventual retreat. Guy Sajer writes in a very candid style, describing everything from the cold to the fear one feels in the midst of a firefight - a fear I hope that I will never know.

I have had a few relatives fight in the war and as a boy I always wondered why they could not tell me about it. But as I grew older, after reading important works such as this, I grew to understand.

To live in that time, it must have felt as though the world and its entire human society was dying. Guy Sajer illustrates the feelings of this madness and personifies the numbers and BW photos. He too, must of felt the world was ending.

To all those that are interested in this stirring and raw account of the war, please also check out a book by Charles Yale Harrison titled "Generals Die In Bed". This was from one Canadian's personal account during World War I. I must say I was sick with grief and horror after reading it. His story about loosing a bayonett inside a young German boy is horribly sad, to say the least.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Powerful.
This is simply one of the most memorable and important books that I've ever encountered. I first read it in 1994 and it remains as vivid in my mind today as it did on the day ten years ago that I finished it. I have heard questions regarding its historical accuracy but can only say that his account of the nature of war can be supported by other German memoirs of the Eastern Front such as "The Black March." Was the GrossDeutschland Division in all the places that he claimed? Perhaps not, but I will say that, as the Eastern Front disintegrated, it was far from unusual for scratch companies to be formed regardless of where the units derived. Either way, it's a magnificent read. His desription of the Hitler Jugend before the battle of Belgorod is absolutely priceless with their banners reading "The World Belongs to Us." In chapter four, his romance with the Berlin girl Paula happens to be one of the most engaging and believable relationships I've ever run across in print. I've read it aloud to high school students and they loved it. The book should appeal to anybody who has experienced passion.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Shocking Tribute to the Endurance of Men
How much pain can men endure? As Guy said, "which ever side a soldier was on, if they've gone through this kind of hell, they can respect and admire the men, on either side, who suffered this kind of war."

The insanity makes brothers of them all.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem
The Forgotten Soldier is to World War II what All Quiet of the Western Front is to World War I. The story traces the war time biography of a French soldier from the Alsatian region who enlists in the German army and fights on the Russian front.

The story is a gritty view of warfare and the camaraderie of soldiers undergoing shared hardships. This is not a biographical view of major battles or a digression of a commanding officer on tactics. This is a face buried in the mud, frozen toes, deathly afraid, empty stomach, survival story set in the harshness of a war that was fought in a grim manner. The focus is on the personal and emotional aspect of the soldier's story.

For additional reading on the soldier's life in World War II try Beyond Valor by Patrick O'Donnell.
P-) ... Read more

128. Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II
by DarleneDeibler Rose
list price: $9.95
our price: $8.96
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Asin: 0060670207
Catlog: Book (1990-09-14)
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Sales Rank: 15171
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is the true story of a young American missionary woman courage and triump of faith in the jungles of New Guinea and her four years in a notorious Japanese prison camp. Never to see her husband again, she was forced to sign a confession to a crime she did not commit and face the executioner's sword, only to be miraculously spared.

... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible triumph in the face of trials
This heartwarming, inspiring, challenging, well written book quickly shot to the top of the list of our family's favorites! I read it aloud to my family every evening at dinner time (FAR better than watching television!) and we were so gripped by the story that we would often sit around the table long after we were done eating, all other duties forgotten, reading page after page because no one could bear to stop listening!

Darlene Deibler Rose was an amazing young woman with a great talent for writing and a deep love for the Lord. She experienced far more trials in her lifetime than the average American, yet she never became bitter through any of them. She was such a good witness in the way she lived that even the Japanese commander of the prison noticed it. Her relationship with the Lord was living, breathing, alive, and active, not a dead "I go to church on Sundays" relationship. She held on to her faith even when she lost everything else she had. God was her refuge and her security, and sustained her through many events that could have devastated her had it not been for him.

This book is very refreshing and uplifting! It doesn't drag you down into the bleakness of prison or the mire of discouragement, although those things are very real and present in the book. It strengthens and encourages you, letting you know that no matter what trial you are facing, God will work everything for good in the end. I was moved to tears of joy at the end of the book, and now regard it as one of the very best books I have ever read. It reminds you that God never changes. Even when all else fails we can turn to Him for strength and support. I think there are many people whose lives are not right with the Lord even though everything is going well and times are prosperous. Here is a life that was wholly dedicated to God, no matter what He asked of her. She was being refined, as gold in a fire, and she came through pure and bright.

Everyone we have loaned or given this book to has enjoyed it immensely, and I know you will, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life.
I had always been pretty scared about issues such as war, torture, and prison camp. After reading Darlene's story, I know that God will be with me no matter what circumstances are! A "must" read for anyone and everyone!

5-0 out of 5 stars A testimony to one woman's faith and walk with God
"I will never leave thee" was the title to the Focus on the Family radio program narrated by Darlene Diebler Rose. In it she tells about her incredible trials and experiences while a prisoner in a Japanese concentration camp. After listening to the program, and buying the CD, I wanted to know and learn more from this tremendous woman, so I bought the book.

Darlene was a young missionary bride when she arrived in Dutch New Guinea to win untouched tribes to Christ. She and her husband had around one year in the field, winning a few converts but ended up imprisoned in separate prison camps. Darlene endured tremendous hardships yet kept her wits about her and walked by faith, always asking God for guidance. Whenever she lost faith and cried to God, He answered her by giving her His peace and assuring her that He would never leave her nor forsake her. He also gave encouragement and answers to her prayers, such as the time she was starving and dying in the dungeon in solitary confinement and she prayed for just one single tiny banana, and God brought the Japanese camp commander to visit her and gift her 92 bananas! [The story of the camp commander Mr. Yamaji is interesting in its own right, and without giving it away, I'll just say Darlene's living right with God had a great effect on him]. While in solitary confinement, Darlene spent her time walking with the Saviour, talking with Him, and playing in her mind the scripture that she had memorized as a girl. She had psalms, hymns, and even entire chapters memorized, and the right line at the right time seemed to pop into her remembrance and give her the answer she needed at that time. God's Hand could be seen protecting her, as there were several circumstances where she could have lost her life had she not followed God's prompting.

What I learned from this book is that no matter what the circumstances, no matter how dismal the situation, those who know Jesus are never alone. I also learned that a Christian's testimony and the way they walk with God is observable by even the hardest and cruelest heart and can allow the Lord to change them.

This book was very hard to put down, and I definitely will want to be rereading it in the future for all of the inspiration and hope it gives. I only wish she had a sequel telling about the rest of her life in New Guinea [yes, she actually went back after the war].

5-0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Inspiration
This was one of the most interesting, awe-inspiring books that I have ever read. Darlene Deibler Rose was such a wonderful, courageous woman. Her life was such an inspiration to me to trust God, no matter what circumstance that comes to me in life. She was candidly honest, but I appreciated that. It was not offensive but encouraging. I would recommend this book to anyone. In fact, my copy of this book is now in the hands of my mother. After she reads it, she is going to give it to my sister. The book stressed upon me also the importance of scripture memorization, and I am going to encourage my daughter to encourage her little girls while they are young to memorize scripture. I would love to sit down in person and thank Mrs. Rose for her wonderful book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem
I agree with the saying, "So many books, so little time" and rarely have re-read any book, let alone re-read a book immediately upon finishing it. THIS IS THE EXCEPTION. Upon reaching the last page I started over immediately, moved and enthralled and inspired by Mrs. Deibler Rose's story. I cannot recommend it more highly, and am already stocking up on copies to give out with Christmas gifts for friends, family and neighbors. Thank you Mrs. Rose for your faithfulness to our Savior and your candidness in writing this part of your history. Pat D. ... Read more

129. Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year
by Esme Raji Codell
list price: $10.95
our price: $8.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1565122798
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Sales Rank: 6628
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There aren't too many teachers who are written about in the New Yorker, People, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, and excerpted in Reader's Digest. But Esmé Raji Codell is no ordinary teacher. An irrepressible spirit, she wears costumes in the classroom, dances with the kids during math lessons, rollerskates down the hallways, and puts on rousing performances with at-risk students in the library.

In EDUCATING ESMÉ, the uncensored diary of her first year teaching in a Chicago public school, she opens a window into the closed world of a real-life classroom. Refusing to let anything get in the way of delivering the education her fifth-graders deserve, this dedicated teacher finds herself battling bureaucrats, gang members, inflexible administrators, angry children, and her own insecurities, while at the same time changing her students' lives forever.

Now in paperback, here is the book People called "hilarious," Booklist called "screamingly funny," Greensboro News & Record called "brilliantly conceived," and the Boston Phoenix noted "should be read by anyone who's interested in the future of public education." ... Read more

Reviews (107)

5-0 out of 5 stars VERY WORTH YOUR TIME!
I read this book all in one sitting because it was absolutely wonderful. I am one of those bright-eyed, cheery teachers-to-be who is certain she can change the world and I know I need a reality check every once in a while. Esme's spirit and uncensored voice are compelling. Her experiences will make you laugh and cry, and at times you might gasp in shock at the brutality in her truthfulness, but at no time do you lose touch with her sense of dedication. She responds to idiocracy and teaches her children the only way she knows how--by doing what she KNOWS works and what is best for her students. After all, they learned their alphabet, their division, and to love reading. Shouldn't those be the measure of a great educator?

I am a future teacher who has trouble standing up for myself. Esme does what she knows is right, never what she is told. This book showed me that I don't have to swallow the garbage that is shoveled at me. Thank you, Madam Esme, for teaching me confidence.

PS: One negative reviewer who criticized just about everything in the book REALLY wanted to use the word "kowtowing" instead of that other misspelled one. Perhaps she could have used a few minutes in Madame Esme's class herself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like being in the teacher's lounge
Of course this book is self-absorbed, it's a diary, not a how-to book. When I read it, I wasn't under the impression that it was written to tell other teachers how to teach, it was written to share her experience. I heard Esme speak in person and she said the diary was unabridged and that she herself knew she didn't come off that well, but if she changed it around it would't be a real diary anymore. She published it to serve as a battle cry to help other teachers value their own anecdotes and start a dialogue about what works and doesn't work in education. I appreciated the the honesty of the voice, she was either brave or crazy to publish it. Use this book to look inside one inner-city classroom, and into one teacher's soul. Those people who criticize this book for not being something that it never proported to be, like Harry Wong's The First Days of School, are unfair. Don't read this if you are looking for someone to tell you what to do. Even if you don't find much pretention or insight, you're bound to laugh a lot, and I mean A LOT. What teacher couldn't use a dose of that?

5-0 out of 5 stars Educating Esme
I read this book by the recommendation of my boyfriend and then it was used in two college courses for elementary education. It is fantastic!! I want to teach on the south side of Chicago and this book was an amazing insight into what one may or may not expect during their first year. Esme is amazing and talented and I already know that I will walk into my first classroom with a great deal of knowledge and a massive amount of ideas just from reading this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone heading into the teaching field or anyone how wants to read something enjoyable!

5-0 out of 5 stars Educating Esme is perfect
Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year is one of the best books I have ever read. When I came to the end, I cried because it was over. Esme Codell is a defiant, tell-it-like-it-is, awe-inspiring, creative and brilliant first year teacher in an inner-city classroom of Chicago and gives her first-hand account of the ups and downs of her fifth grade class. The book is heartwarming and heartbreaking, laugh out loud funny and bring tears to your eyes sad, and above all else - inspiring. From someone who is currently applying for her first teaching position, I loved every word Esme put into her diary. I highly recommend this book to anyone!

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not GREAT!
Educating Esmé by Esmé Raji Codell is a diary of the author's trials and tribulations during her first year teaching. She learns that sometimes everyone doesn't like "her" way of doing things in this inner city Chicago school. She never gives up though, due to her extraordinary will to succeed. Madame Esmé, as she likes to be called, talks as though she is the only teacher in the school. She writes about being the only one in her school that really cares about the students, and she is the lone one who tries to connect with them.
This book was good, but not great. I wouldn't read it again, and I would only recommend it to someone going into teaching. I believe that I wasn't too interested in it merely because I'm not into teaching. This book is full of details, but none seem to go anywhere. Nothing eventful happens in this book that makes readers want to keep going to find out what happens next; every event is predictable. Overall, I enjoyed the reading experience, but would not read this book again. ... Read more

130. Making an Exit : A Mother-Daughter Drama with Alzheimer's, Machine Tools, and Laughter
by Elinor Fuchs
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
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Asin: 080506317X
Catlog: Book (2005-03-01)
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Sales Rank: 39661
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Frank and funny, an unexpected love story of a once-resentful daughter, a self-centered mother, and a ten-year battle with Alzheimer's

At a time when such things were uncommon, Elinor Fuchs's mother, Lillian, divorced her husband, took back her maiden name, left young Elinor to be raised by grandparents, and moved, alone, to Washington, D.C. She traveled the world selling automotive equipment and paramilitary gear to foreign governments, gave fabulous parties, and "in any given room, took up all the air there was." With her stunning looks and financial drive, Lillian was a figure to admire, not a mother to love. Shunted aside, Fuchs determined early to despise her mother's values and, once in college, to keep her distance.

Making an Exit is the affecting account of what happened afterward, during the last years of Lillian's life. Following her mother's diagnosis with Alzheimer's, Fuchs finds herself in the role of caretaker. She begins to supervise her mother's life; then as the disease progresses, she becomes her mother's mother-dressing her, bathing her, feeding her. Lil changes, too-filled with new warmth, the word "love" now regularly crosses her lips. And through the fantastic poetry in the disintegration of Lillian's language, Fuchs comes to know her mother in a way she never did as a child.

In pitch-perfect prose, Making an Exit paints a picture of a parent's decline that is not the conventional narrative of aging and loss, but a story of discovery and devotion. "The last ten years," writes Fuchs, "they were our best."
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A treat and a tonic...
This is a wonderful book. It's about a downer subject-Alzheimer's---but manages to be funny, inspiring, hopeful and informative about the process of AD. Other reviewers are right---it is a page turner.
So what an achievement---an upbeat, engrossing book about a human tragedy. I've read a lot of first person accounts about the dementia of a relative and this is the best. It should become a classic. And now the author Fuchs, who teaches at the Yale School of Drama, should make a play of this.

5-0 out of 5 stars outstanding
Laughter is the key to surviving a mother with Altzheimers.This story is so full of laughter and love that it eases the pain of the adventure, maybe not while its going on, but certainly after the "exit." It's a non-stop read at any stage of the experience even if you got along with your mother just fine.

5-0 out of 5 stars surprisingly funny as well as moving
Both Lil's story and the story of her daughter Elinor (the author/narrator) are enthralling.This is a funny, fast-paced, dramatic book, which captures deep emotions (the pain of a parent's illness, the growing love between mother and daughter) yet is always entertaining.A provocative meditation on love, loss, and memory, but also a page-turner. ... Read more

131. Iron and Silk (Vintage Departures)
list price: $12.00
our price: $9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0394755111
Catlog: Book (1987-10-12)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 23146
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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In 1982, Salzman flew off to teach English in Changsha, China. He writes of bureaucrats, students and Cultural Revolution survivors, stripping none of their complexity and humanity.He's gentle with their idiocies, saving his sharpest barbs for himself (it's his pants that split from zipper to waist whilst demonstrating martial arts in Canton).Though dribs of history and drabs of classical lore seep through, this is mostly a personal tale, noted by the Los Angeles Times for "the charmingly unpretentious manner in which it penetrates a China inaccessible to other foreigners." ... Read more

Reviews (74)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heart-warming, Winning and Well Worth the Read
This is an autobiographical account of a young man's teaching English for two years in main land China. He also spent his time learning what he could of martial arts, calligraphy, and obviously the wonderfully different and often touching ways of the Chinese people. The vignettes are sketched with humanity, warmth, skill and a great sense of humor. When I told my Chinese friends some of the stories they smiled broadly, nodded knowingly, and assured me that that is the way things are. We appreciated deeply the story of how Mark tried to cash in a dead rat for five cents and ran into bureaucrats who were silly but not stupid. It has been made into a film and the video ought to be readily available. Do see it as well as reading the book. Mark and his teacher Pan play themselves and they're both worth getting to know a lot better.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Sense of Wonder
In 30 short anecdotes, Mark Salzman gives a compassionate and humorous account of teaching English and studying martial arts in Changsha, a provincial capital in central China shortly after the opening of the country in the early 1980s. Changsha has the reputation that "there is nothing to do, nothing to buy, the people have no manners, the food is terrible and their dialect sounds awful" - so the book might have become very different from what it is: insightful, very funny, and full of respect for the often strange customs of traditional Chinese culture. In the best manner of innocents abroad, Mark Salzman knows how to make fun of his blunders in a very charming way. He conveys his sense of wonder beautifully, and does not pass judgment on anything he witnesses. Unlike many other authors who write about China, he is able to appreciate traditional Chinese forms of expression and self-mastery like martial arts (wushu) and calligraphy on their own terms. In his anecdotes he catches the essence of these arts: dedication, commitment, respect. "No matter what the quality of brush or paper," explains his calligraphy teacher, "one should always treat them as if they were priceless."

What Mark Salzman wrote about China some 15 years ago is not dated in many ways. Strange ideas are still being trumpeted as truths, and bureaucrats still like to harass foreigners (although humiliating unwitting foreigners is not "something of a popular sport in China" anymore; today it may even happen that a young female police officer at a police station first lectures you for half an hour on a minor transgression, but asks you out for a date right after she is finished).

Mark Salzman has a wonderful, gentle humor, and an admirable open-mindedness. He combines both to focus not on the ignorance of the people he meets, but on the insight which even ignorance can produce. There is no doubt that one little Chinese boy has no idea about the real Hong Kong, but being asked what he knew about this city, he answers "It's a big department store, isn't it?" Finally, let me say that I have never heard or read of a more charming and polite way of telling a Westerner that he has a big nose than in Mark Salzman's gem of a book: "You have a very three-dimensional face."

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written travel story
This book is an account of the two years Mark Salzman spent as an English teacher at the Hunan Medical College. Salzman arrived in Hunan Province in 1982, fresh from Yale, where he had graduated with a degree in Chinese literature. He took with him his cello and his experience studying Chinese martial arts. Salzman was an ideal American emissary- -he brought his youthful yet serious enthusiasm to the classroom, and forged ties with the local populace through sharing his skills and interests. Once he even consented to attempt to tune a piano for his supervisor, his only qualification for the task being that he was familiar with the sound of well-tuned pianos back home. He befriended local fishermen and shared his art and music with them, but he also got to know Chinese grad students and professors through his interest in calligraphy and Chinese language.

Foremost in his interests was martial arts. Before arriving in China, Salzman had studied Chinese martial arts for 9 years. He hoped to find a teacher of martial arts, or wushu, so that he could continue his practice while in Hunan. Because of his openness to meet others and because of his language skills, he eventually met and studied with some remarkably skilled wushu teachers in Hunan, including Pan Qingfu, perhaps the most renowned living practitioner of Chinese martial arts in the world. Much of Salzman's account is a record of how he met these teachers, and how they helped him develop his skill, each in his own particular way and style.

Salzman's interest in calligraphy and martial arts opened doors for him that otherwise may never have appeared. Practicing calligraphy and wushu gave him the excuse for meeting Chinese citizens with similar interests, and for them to seek him out. But Salzman points out the ethical dark side of pursuing these interests as a foreigner. Salzman is very aware of the fact that, while he has studied martial arts for 9 years, no matter how seriously he had applied himself, he had practiced only on a hobby basis, a background to his academic and professional pursuits. On a Chinese scale, his 9 years of part-time study would barely constitute dallying with the sport. Yet because he was a foreigner who seemed to demonstrate such a serious degree of interest in the topic, he had access to the very best teachers, famous superstars that few Chinese wushu students could every dream of meeting. This is not meant to criticize Salzman, as he himself pointed out several times how distressed he was when his teachers would ignore their Chinese students so as to focus on his personal needs. Situations where an interested Westerner is given attention by experts that far exceeds that merited by their skills are unfortunately, quite common. Indeed, many Western musicians of very average talent manage to be accepted as students by famous classical Indian musicians, who may be fascinated by a Westerner who seems seriously interested in Asian music, or who may simply think that having Western students will somehow add to their prestige. I, myself, have benefited from such circumstances while studying Indian music, finding that my teachers give me extra attention or praise that is merited only by the color of my passport. What is remarkable about this book is how much Salzman is aware of this conundrum as he sees it playing out, and how he shows maturity in trying to address the situation both with humility and devotion to his art.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent and entertaining!
i was assigned this novel for a course and thought it would be another dry novel such as the ones typically assigned for university history courses. i was pleasantly surprised! salzman's sense of humor and good natured relating of the events surrounding his two years in china is only surpassed by his knowledge and understanding of the culture he lived in for those years. it is an excellent story for anyone who is learning about china or simply wants to know more about the culture. salzman's view as an american looking in is especially helpful for western readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars what a heartwarming eye-opener!
Mark Salzman writes of his experiences while teaching in China. His book reminded me a little of the Tony Hillerman and "The No. 1 Detective Agency" series in that they all give us a look at an entirely different culture that many of us know little about. He is a martial arts student and continued learning from masters in China during his stay as a teacher.

In some ways we could learn a little from their polite culture and they could learn from ours. They are a much more family oriented than I realized, children remaining with their parents until married in many cases and they are more respectful of their parents and others around them than many of us are.

Their homes did not compare in any way to what we are used to, but, you know, when you've never had it, you don't know what you are missing and as most of them were in the same circumstances, they do with what they have. This is not to say that everything was great, because it wasn't, there were many things that could have been improved upon, but the book wasn't about that. It was an account by the author of his experiences and friendships that he developed during his stay in China. We get to know about a lovely group of individuals and how they lived and worked. The politeness, and their way of showing hospitality was endearing.

I would have to say that Mark must have had a special touch also for them to react so warmly to him. His sincere interest in their martial arts and learning their calligraphy, etc. drew their support also.

If you'd like to know more about how many of the people live and their customs this is a wonderful book that will give us a good unbiased view of them. Highly recommended! Enjoy! ... Read more

132. Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch : Tales from a Bad Neighborhood
by Hollis Gillespie
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006056198X
Catlog: Book (2004-03)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 29442
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

NPR commentator Hollis Gillespie's outrageously funny -- and equally heartbreaking -- collection of autobiographical tales chronicles her journey through self-reckoning and the worst neighborhoods of Atlanta in search of a home she can call her own. The daughter of a missile scientist and an alcoholic traveling trailer salesman, Gillespie was nine before she realized not everybody's mother made bombs, and thirty before she realized it was possible to live in one place longer than a six-month lease allows. Supporting her are the social outcasts she calls her best friends: Daniel, a talented and eccentric artist; Grant, who makes his living peddling folk art by a denounced nun who paints plywood signs with twisted evangelical sayings; and Lary, who often, out of compassion, offers to shoot her like a lame horse.

Hollis's friends help her battle the mess of obstacles that stand in her way -- including her warped childhood, in which her parents moved her and her siblings around the country like carnival barkers, chasing missile-building contracts and other whimsies, such as her father's dream to patent and sell door-to-door the world's most wondrous key-chain. A past like this will make you doubt you'll ever have a future, much less roots. Miraculously, though, Gillespie manages to plant exactly that: roots, as wrested and dubious as they are.

As Gillespie says, "Life is too damn short to remain trapped in your own Alcatraz." Follow her on this wickedly funny journey as she manages to escape again and again.

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Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Bad Neighborhood," good book
"Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales From A Bad Neighborhood" is probably the best title so far this year. And, unlike with many books, the contents live up to it. Writer/NPR commentator/translator/airline attendant Hollis Gillespie shares nuggets of her life (and razor-edged wisdom) in this offbeat, zany memoir.

Gillespie draws readers into her life, past and present: Her three best pals are Lary (who offers to shoot her sometimes), Daniel (a likably weird artist) and Grant (gay bartender/seller of porno-religious signs made by an angry ex-nun). She struggles with horrible bleach jobs, jars of teeth, imperfect German ("It would please me greatly to purchase medicine for my fluid nostrils"), and Myrtle the lesbian ghost.

She suffers the world's least dignified mugging, a visit to the Amsterdam red light district (rubber fists?), and the question of whether she flashed people when she was soused. At the same time, Gillespie deals with more touching topics. As the daughter of an alcoholic trailor-salesman and a kleptomaniac bomb-making mom who wanted to be a beautician, she describes her family's trials and distances, one of the last visits to her terminally ill mother, and how her young niece was hospitalized.

"Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch" veers between wacky and touching, past and present. Gillespie's stories are less like a memoir or autobiography than like a collection of columns, loosely strung together. She also has the unique knack of being able to take little experiences, ramble about them in an engaging way, and wrap it up without losing her way.

Gillespie comes across as real and a bit twisted, like the zany pal of yours who lives down the street. Life keeps swinging at her, and she keeps dodging. Her tone is honest, endearingly self-deprecating, with a dose of sarcasm to keep her observations sharp. Backing her up are her likably eccentric pals, who serve as her partners in crime (translation: in ear-piercing and drinking).

Funny and poignant and strange, "Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch" is a unique look at a witty woman who tells us of her personal storms. Wickedly delicious and highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars The recollections of a hellish gargoyle who talks on NPR
The fact that Hollis Gillespie is a commentator on NPR is more important to know than the fact that her name translates into "Hellish Gargoyle" because it provides a big hint as to how you should read "Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch: Tales from a Bad Neighborhood." I made the mistake of reading the book pretty much straight through on connecting airplane flights, which I thought was appropriate since Gillespie worked as a flight attendant as well as a foreign-language interpreter, but that proved not to be the case. There are several dozen commentaries in this book (you cannot really upgrade them to the status of either chapters or essays), almost all of which are in the two to four page range in terms of length. Consequently, the ideal way of reading this book is to put it on the nightstand and to read a couple of entries each night before you go to sleep.

Actually the best way of thinking of this book is as a collection of conversations. This makes a big difference because Gillespie tends to repeat herself from time to time in terms of phrases, descriptions, and events. If this was a paper written by a student I would make sage comments about not arguing the same thing in two different places, but if this is a conversation you just acknowledge that you have heard this part before and let Gillespie continue to tell her story.

As with any conversation some parts are better than others. For my money the first one, where Gillespie explains that her first name means "hellish" in bad German and that her translation abilities consist of massacred phrases pronounced perfectly, is the funniest in the entire book (plus it is a more accurate title than what she has, which was just a passing insult by a guy she was trying to run down with her car). This makes for getting off of the right foot, but it also suggests a way in which it is all down hill from here. That is not really the case, because there are some gems scattered throughout the book, such as "The Long Good-bye." Her relationship with the lesbian ghost in her house is interesting, but clearly not as important as her relationship with her dying mother. There is as almost as much pathos in this book as their is humor.

Those looking for a narrative theme have picked up the wrong book. Gillespie writes about her family and her friends, as well as the various trials and travails that assail a young woman in the world today. There are some photographs, taken by the aforementioned family and friends, scattered throughout the book and one of them seems particularly insightful. It shows Hollis standing next to her siblings and the family dog, Echo. Kim, Cheryl, and Jim and all wearing solid colors and standing up straight, while little Hollis in her plaid dress is standing wit her legs at an angle. If this is not a sight of what is to come, then I do not know foreshadowing.

However, the key psychological insult comes when Gillespie confesses she collects old pictures that she finds at flea markets and thrift stores. The pictures of her own family have long been abandoned and now just clutter the empty corridors of her memory, and she has replaced them with new ones. Reading that revelation it becomes clear what key roles Daniel, Grant, and Lary play in her life. This is one of those books where you can pick up a lot in between the lines.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bleachy-Haired babe!
A friend got me this for my birthday and my only regret is that it isn't longer and she doesn't have any other books out...

When I grow up, I wanna be Hollis.

4-0 out of 5 stars Had me laughing out loud!
This book was a real page turner! This collection of randomly assorted personal accounts by the author, really allows its reader to say to oneself, "I'm not so weird after all." Her collection of strange obsessions and proclamations makes even the most insecure freak, feel right at home. The term "freak", in a GOOD way. This book also emphasizes the value of the various human connections we make throughout our lives. The assorted adventures the author described sharing with her compadres throughout her book is almost envious. A definitely, highly recommended read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bleachy-Haired Honky (...)
One of the funniest books I've read lately, along with some heart-breaking observations. I don't know why everyone's hung up on the "chapters" not going in order; they're essays, not a narrative memoir. I liked it so much I just bought one for my sister, and I'll look for more by Hollis Gillespie in the future! ... Read more

133. Makes Me Wanna Holler : A Young Black Man in America
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679740708
Catlog: Book (1995-01-31)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 18951
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this "honest and searching look at the perils of growing up a black male in urban America" (San Francisco Chronicle), Washington Post reporter Nathan McCall tells the story of his passage from the street and the prison yard to the newsroom of one of America's most prestigious papers. "A stirring tale of transformation."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., The New Yorker. ... Read more

Reviews (128)

5-0 out of 5 stars most profound book i've read
Reading the other reviews of this book, and seeing that many reviewers wondered where McCall's self-judgement or remorse came in, I don't think this book would be the same if McCall spent 400+ pages whining about what mistakes me made. He lets the errors of judgement and difficulties of life stand out glaringly clear to all of those who should choose to read them.

This was one of the most profound, important books I've ever read for several reasons. One, it helped me understand the black male psyche from one point of view (mccall's) but when paired with other "prison" writings (cleaver, malcolm x) can help a non-black person understand the difficulties that black males go through in this society. Two, I teach in a poor neighborhood in NYC and this book helped me understand a lot of the mental stress and strain young children are under. When living amongst an oppressed people, where money/status/power/priviledge/mobility are slim, the tricks and games humans will play on each other to get ahead/survive may seem crazy or illogical to those of us who don't live that life. To those that do, it is real. I was better able to understand the pressures of being black, and the different masks black men wear, by reading this book. Three, this book shows how difficult it can be to turn around from past mistakes/actions, but how one must continue. McCall's life could've turned out so differently. He kept fighting and made it so he could have a "piece of the pie" and actually provide something to his children, and show his parents all their help was not totally lost, and prove to himself that he could do it. He said, after serving three years in prison, that he believed he could do anything if he made it out alive. That belief was tested at times when he went through difficulties at various workplaces, with his women, or in the transition back into society from prison. He even went so far as to think for a second that prison was an easier place to be (monastic) because there he could focus entirely on himself, and all threats were known entities. Four, this book helped me at a time in my life where i felt (feel) the walls are closing in on me. My problems are not so deep as McCall's, but i know what it feels like to feel that there are NO options, or the few you have are all bad, and you must simply do the best you can, keep thinking, keep struggling. This is a story of a spirit unwilling to throw in the towel, determined to carry out the strength that miraculously keeps it alive, striving, growing, despite all odds.

I will never forget this book. For those who say it ought to be required reading, I agree. It is an amazingly honest memoir. I'm not disappointed in McCall for not showing "remorse" or appearing contrite about what he's done. He lets his words speak clearly to us, showing us that he has learned from his mistakes, otherwise he'd be unable to sit down and write a book as honest and powerful as this one.

2-0 out of 5 stars A well-written book about BM hypocrisy!!
I am an African American female.

I have very mixed feelings about this novel. What was GOOD -- explaining the criminal mind while engaging in a crime, high school rivalries, prison life, post-prison life.

What was SAD -- McCall's anger/hatred/violence directed at black women, the girls he gang-raped in high school, the one he planned to kill after sex in a car, his crazed criticism of his wife, his illegitimate children (again blaming their mother alone as if he himself never heard of a condom).

Also, SAD -- McCall had no problem committing crimes against black people in his own community yet he admitted that he would dare not challenge a White police officer's authority on the street! Also, this lying, raping, stealing excuse of a Black man gets caught by America's justice system and now he cries "racism" the way his female victims tried to cry "rape." Like them, no one hears McCall's cry. Next, McCall lies to get a job and is upset over getting caught! He steals and is upset over being watched by others! DUHH! -- MCCALL, YOU ARE MISSING A FEW FRIES FROM YOUR HAPPY MEAL!!

The worst part of this novel is that McCall grew up in a decent home with a father/stepfather. Yet McCall criticized everyone: his stepfather working for white people, Blacks who travelled, white people (yet he confessed having sex with a white woman was some kind of Black male rite of passage).

This is a well-written book by a very disturbed criminal who happens to be a black male. (The book's subtitle is a complete misnomer!!) The only time McCall claims "Blackness" was when he got himself in trouble and needed a way out.

3-0 out of 5 stars The author should NOW write about victim compensation.
I read this book some years ago and was more impressed then than now. Unlike most authors, Mc Call actually admits that he was a an active participant in a gang rape. To actually have such a violent and humiliating crime published in one's own autobiography, the author would have to be very honest, insane or a liar.

As hideous as some parts of this book, I still gave this book to my nieces, daughters and other young Black impressionable females who seem to mindlessly believe anything a Black man tells them. Some months after my adolescent niece read McCall's works, she confessed that she completely broke ties with a young man she had been dating because he showed a lot of Mc Call's tendencies. Some years later, this same young man has impregnated several different women, 3 of which gave birth to his children in the same week (while he was unemployed). Today, he is doing a life sentence in prison for violent crimes.

As disturbing as Mc Call's work is, I have used it for good. Every mother should know where her son is at night. Also, blaming white people for your problems is no reason for McCall commiting the same sins (color casting, rape and robbery).

Finally, if Mc Call committed all the crimes he claims, he should now publish a NEW novel covering his efforts at some form of victim restitution to the individuals, businesses and others he has violated in his past. Well, how about it, Mr McCall?

2-0 out of 5 stars Makes me wonna scream!
I read Nathan McCall's book when it came out in 1995. On the one hand, here's a guy who became a gang-banger, thug and all-around menace to society, eventually serving time in prison for armed robbery, but eventually got on the right track and is now a reporter for the Washington Post. Good story. When I first read the book I was impressed. Not anymore.

McCall describes a life growing up in a solid, lower-middle-class family. In his early teens, he joined a gang. Soon, he participated in the gang-rape of a young girl. Eventually, he graduated to burglaries, holdups and gang fights, shooting a loaded pistol at unarmed teens. His political conscience awakened by the Black Panthers, which ultimately led to his racist hatred for white people, which he uses as justification for the barbaric acts perpetrated by him and others against whites. For example, he once fired a sawed-off shotgun into the suburban home of a white family watching TV, and then ran off without knowing (or, apparently, caring) whether anyone was hit.

Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, admitting to his mistakes, and trying to warn impressionable young black men NOT to make the same mistakes that he made, McCall tries to show that it was "racism" that caused him to make the choices he made. By the end of the book, it seems he wants to reader to be impressed with his generous decision to "forgive" white people. Forgive them for what? What did "Whitey" ever to do him to make him become a gang-banging, gang-rapist thug? How did that white suburban family provoke him into firing a sawed-off shotgun into their home, possibly seriously injuring (if not killing!) someone inside?

It is obvious that McCall was an angry young man. However, instead of delving into the real sources of his anger and dealing with it in a constructive way, he uses his anger, as well as his racism (let's call a spade a spade) to justify his criminal past.

Negro, Pu-LEEEZE!

I would have had more respect for him had he just owned up to his mistakes, as opposed to trying to justify his actions via "Whitey." "Makes Me Wonna Holler" makes me wonna scream.

5-0 out of 5 stars Makes Me Wanna Holler : A Young Black Man in America
this is a geat book for anyone how wants to know the truth of how people were really treated in lif in this book nathan mccall really gives birds eye view of his life once u start reading this book u just dont want to stop ... Read more

134. Battle Ready
by Tom Clancy, Tony Zinni, Tony Koltz
list price: $28.95
our price: $19.11
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Asin: 0399151761
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Sales Rank: 2838
Average Customer Review: 3.24 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In his first three Commanders books, Tom Clancy teamed with Generals Fred Franks, Jr., Chuck Horner, and Carl Stiner to provide masterful blends of history, biography, you-are-there narrative, insight into the practice of leadership, and plain, old-fashioned storytelling. Battle Ready is all of that-and it is also something more.

Marine General Tony Zinni was known as the "Warrior Diplomat" during his nearly forty years of service. As a soldier, his credentials were impeccable, whether leading troops in Vietnam, commanding hair-raising rescue operations in Somalia, or-as Commander in Chief of CENTCOM-directing strikes against Iraq and Al Qaeda. But it was as a peacemaker that he made just as great a mark-conducting dangerous troubleshooting missions all over Africa, Asia, and Europe; and then serving as Secretary of State Colin Powell's special envoy to the Middle East, before disagreements over the 2003 Iraq War and its probable aftermath caused him to resign.

Battle Ready follows the evolution of both General Zinni and the Marine Corps, from the cauldron of Vietnam through the operational revolution of the seventies and eighties, to the new realities of the post-Cold War, post-9/11 military-a military with a radically different job and radically different tools for accomplishing it. It is an eye-opening book-a front-row seat to a man, an institution, and a way of both war and peace that together make this an instant classic of military history.
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Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tough critque from a Marine Corps legend
Tom Clancy lives up to his reputation...he has chalked up another best seller. "Battle Ready," is a stirring narrative of Anthony Zinni's legendary 40-year Marine Corps career.

Clancy's eloquent certification of Major General Zinni's military credentials provides a formidable platform for a very tough critque of the intellecutual authors of the United States invasion of Iraq. Moreover, Clancy's well-known hawkish convictions adds volume to Zinni's powerful charge that the Bush administration failed the American people.

The former United States Central Command Commander in Chief points many fingers...and backs it up with solid facts. Zinni is a classic gentleman and officer and like many other Marines I know from Philadelphia...he tells it like it is. To this end, Zinni has articulated the most powerful charges I have ever seen a retired Marine Corps officer use against an administration at war. Highly recommended.

Bert Ruiz

5-0 out of 5 stars A General Speaks Out
This is the latest installment of war thriller fiction author Tom Clancy's entry into the ranks of military biographies with his Commanders series. This is by far the most controversial entry given the subject matter and level of current debate.

Anthony Zinni hailed from Philadelphia and chose the Army as his career. Clancy covers his fascinating and highly successful career including his stint in Vietnam as well as various other outposts up until the time of his crowning Army pinnacle, commander of Central Command, the same post occupied by Norman Schwarzkopf and Tommy Franks.

Zinni's experiences at Cent Com provide the basis for the hot discussion of the book, not to mention its swift rise to the highest echelons of bestseller charts. The General's prominence along with his message regarding the rush to war in Iraq enabled him to jump start the book's celebrity status with an appearance on Sixty Minutes on CBS.

The outspoken Zinni writes that he suspected trouble at the outset where Iraqi policy was concerned. His book comments dovetail with press accounts, which had him warning his government about the dangers involved in a swift approach to combat. He lays the blame on the Defense Department, arguing that America was left unprepared for the task involved and the turbulence that resulted after the first phase of the war ended, at a time when victory was declared.

Zinni's outspoken comments are reminiscent of those of two prominent battlefield commanders at the time the Vietnam War was escalating. Generals James Gavin and Matthew Ridgway were heroes of World War Two and the Korean War respectively. They warned about the dangers of a prolonged conflict in Vietnam. They did not believe that conditions were conducive to the kind of decisive victory being foreseen at the Pentagon. Regrettably their warnings were not heeded.

Zinni has a better chance of getting through with his message, given the fact that the public response to attendant continuing difficulties has been much quicker than in the case of Vietnam. Also, many prominent figures from the military, the government, and the media have echoed sentiments Zinni expresses in the book.

General Zinni is a great patriot who loves his country. His critical warnings are meant to enhance America's best interests. He deserves an attentive audience.

3-0 out of 5 stars Thats it..?
"In the lead-up to the Iraq War and its later conduct, I saw at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence, and irresponsibility, at worse, lying, incompetence and corruption."

No description, no names, no real proof. Sure, we all know that the military has the same trappings as society, but I expected a little more in depth detail on the subject of "Iraqi Freedom" than just one general paragraph, given the face time he got in the press. This was no insiders critique, just a biography of a great man.

4-0 out of 5 stars Marine General Questions Wisdom of Bush
I voted for Bush. I am no liberal. But when I saw Marine General Tony Zinni, a conservative Republican, interviewed on "The Charlie Rose Show," I was intrigued enough to buy Zinni's book "Battle Ready." General Zinni had a 40-year career in the Marines and at the end was General Schwarzkopf's successor as Commander and Chief of CENTCOM (Central Command), and then Colin Powell's envoy to the Middle East.

In his career, Zinni faced and successfully adjusted to the new realities brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union. After his service in Vietnam, Zinni's career as a soldier and diplomat took him to many of the world's hot spots, from Somalia to Indonesia. He foresaw the threat of terrorism.

In attempting to forge a new strategy to fit a chaotic new world, Zinni earned a reputation for candor. This trait was the result of a decision he'd made in Vietnam, after a wounded marine asked him, ''Sir, why are we here?'' Zinni, then a captain, replied with ''the party line,'' though he didn't believe it himself. Realizing his answer had been less than straightforward, he vowed never to give one like it again. ''If I felt something was wrong that put the lives of our troops in needless risk,'' he writes, ''I swore I would speak out.''

Toward the end of ''Battle Ready,'' Zinni declares that in the buildup to the Iraq war and in its conduct he saw, ''at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence and corruption''. In recent times, he appeared on ''60 Minutes,'' and called for heads to roll at the Pentagon, saying that American policy in Iraq is ''headed over Niagara Falls.'' In this way, Zinni's critique is far more serious than Michael Moore or anything else that the might be written off as left-liberal. It brings into question the very wisdom of the leadership of the Bush Administration.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not what it was advertised to be
I bought this book because of my interest in the War in Iraq and what I feel is the Bush administration's mishandling of the situation. That's not what I got.

I found the first part of the book about Tony Zinni's career in the military especially the war in Viet Nam really interesting. Since I am the same age as Zinni I would probably have been in the military with Zinni but for the fact that I am female. Zini's courage and reasoning and ultimate change in philosopby about the explanation for the War in Viet Nam was intersting and highly commendable. Since I have a son in the Marines, his insights into the Marine Corp and its mentality was also interesting. But as with most books by former service persons, I got tired of descriptions of General So and So, "one of the finest officers I've ever served with." Maybe it just comes with the turf, but there was a lot of that. No one was a rotten SOB and I'm sure that he met a few.

One of the problems with the book it too many authors. Perhaps the old adage about too many cooks, also goes along with too many authors. There were too many voices. This made the message very mixed.

If you want a biography of an officer and his career, read the book. But the criticisms of the current political and military situations that Zinni voiced on TV are not in the book. His message is that the military is not prepared for the current world situation and that the military changes very slowly. But it takes a whole book about many other subjects before he gets to that. ... Read more

135. The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley
by Leslie Berlin
list price: $30.00
our price: $19.80
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Asin: 0195163435
Catlog: Book (2005-06-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 23694
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Book Description

Hailed as the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of Silicon Valley, Robert Noyce was a brilliant inventor, a leading entrepreneur, and a daring risk taker who piloted his own jets and skied mountains accessible only by helicopter.Now, in The Man Behind the Microchip, Leslie Berlin captures not only this colorful individual but also the vibrant interplay of technology, business, money, politics, and culture that defines Silicon Valley.Here is the life of a giant of the high-tech industry, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel who co-invented the integrated circuit, the electronic heart of every modern computer, automobile, cellular telephone, advanced weapon, and video game. With access to never-before-seen documents, Berlin paints a fascinating portrait of Noyce: he was an ambitious and intensely competitive multimillionaire who exuded a "just folks" sort of charm, a Midwestern preacher's son who rejected organized religion but would counsel his employees to "go off and do something wonderful," a man who never looked back and sometimes paid a price for it.In addition, this vivid narrative sheds light on Noyce's friends and associates, including some of the best-known managers, venture capitalists, and creative minds in Silicon Valley.Berlin draws upon interviews with dozens of key players in modern American business--including Andy Grove, Steve Jobs, Gordon Moore, and Warren Buffett; their recollections of Noyce give readers a privileged, first-hand look inside the dynamic world of high-tech entrepreneurship.A modern American success story, The Man Behind the Microchip illuminates the triumphs and setbacks of one of the most important inventors and entrepreneurs of our time. ... Read more

136. The Surgeon and the Shepherd: Two Resistance Heroes in Vichy France
by Meg Ostrum
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
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Asin: 0803235739
Catlog: Book (2004-03-01)
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
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137. Reason for Hope : A Spiritual Journey
by Jane Goodall, Phillip Berman
list price: $32.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446522252
Catlog: Book (1999-09-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 223064
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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As a young woman, Jane Goodall was best known for her groundbreaking fieldwork with the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa. Goodall's work has always been controversial, mostly because she broke the mold of research scientist by developing meaningful relationships with her "specimens" and honoring their lives as she would other humans.

Now at the age of 60, she continues to break the mold of scientist by revealing how her research and worldwide conservation institutes spring from her childhood callings and adult spiritual convictions. Reason for Hope is a smoothly written memoir that does not shy away from facing the realities of environmental destruction, animal abuse, and genocide. But Goodall shares her antidote to the poison of despair with specific examples of why she has not lost faith. For instance, she shares her spiritual epiphany during a visit to Auschwitz; her bravery in the face of chimpanzee imprisonment in medical laboratories; and devotes a whole chapter to individuals, corporations, and countries that are doing the right thing. But most of all Goodall provides a beautifully written plea for why everyone can and must find a reason for hope. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Reviews (33)

4-0 out of 5 stars A soul-searching book.
"So here we are, the human ape, half sinner, half saint, with two
opposing tendencies inherited from our ancient past pulling us now
toward violence, now toward compassion and love," 65-year-old
Jane Goodall writes in her soul-searching memoir (p. 143). When faced
with a world of environmental destruction, human suffering,
overpopulation, over consumption, pollution, deforestation, poverty,
famine, cruelty, hatred, greed, violence, and war (pp. 230-31), she
observes "it is these undeniable qualities of human love and
compassion and self-sacrifice that give me hope for the future"
{p. 148).

Goodall's journey through life has been an adventure.
"I have tried to write my story honestly," she says in her
book's introduction (p. xv). We meet Jane as a child dreaming
"about nature, animals, and the magic of far-off wild and remote
places" {p. 11}. Her parents divorced when she was twelve
{p. 17}, and it was on her trip to Africa at age 23 when her life was
forever changed upon meeting famed paleontologist/anthropologist, Louis
Leaky (p. 49). Jane then spent her twenties studying chimpanzees in
the solitude of Gombe before marrying National Geographic
photographer, Hugo van Lawick, in 1964 (pp. 83-84), and having a son
(affectionately nicknamed "Grub") in 1967. Reflecting upon
her divorce from van Lawick, Goodall writes, "I experienced, as
have many others, the bitterness of a close and joyful relationship
with a spouse slowly changing and souring, and the intense emotional
pain that this generates. And the sense of failure and guilt"
(p. 83). In approximately 1974, Jane married Derek Bryceson after the
two survived a plane crash, only to lose him to cancer roughly five
years later.

Although insightful, Goodall is not a great writer; but
her prose is simple and easy to follow. In addition to studying
chimpanzees in Gombe, she has been studying us "human apes,"
and her findings deserve our attention. The message, really, of her
book is "a very simple one: Each one of us matters, has a role to
play, and makes a difference. Each one of us must take responsibility
for our own lives, and above all, show respect and love for living
things around us, especially each other. Together we must reestablish
our connections with the natural world and with the Spiritual Power
that is around us" (p. 267).

G. Merritt

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most important books of the century.
Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey, by Jane Goodall with Phillip Berman, Warner Books, 1999, New York. by Marc Bekoff Reason for Hope is an amazing book by a most-amazing woman. Jane Goodall's autobiography is easy to read and will appeal to people of all ages. She writes about highly personal issues and reflects on science, religion, and spirituality. Goodall is clearly a "Jane of all trades and master of many." She wears many hats and she wears them well. Goodall is a naturalist at heart, can do multivariate statistics, write about God and spirituality, be a faithful and committed mother and wife, and find time tirelessly to share her experiences world-wide. There is so much between its covers that one can only offer a glimpse of the numerous topics that are considered in Reason for Hope. This very personal book touches on diverse issues ranging from practical matters we all face daily to more philosophical questions concerning the meaning of life and spirituality. We learn about the events in Goodall's development that led to her views of the world, the incredible importance of family and friends, her work with Louis Leakey (her incredulity when he chose her to begin studies of chimpanzees although, and perhaps because, she had no formal training and no degree), field studies of chimpanzee behavior, conservation biology, environmental ethics, evolution and its relationship to creationism, cultural evolution, the agonizing death of Goodall's husband, Derek, the ins and outs of how much science is done behind the scenes, science and politics, and how so many scientists shy away from confronting the ethical issues that are raised by "doing science." Goodall also learned that naming animals and describing their personalities (I think that "animalities" might have been more acceptable terms) was taboo in science, but because she had not been to university she did not know this. She "thought it was silly and paid no attention." In an interesting story, Goodall notes how fortunate she was when her mother, Vanne, found she had taken a whole handful of worms to bed at 10 months old she did not throw them out, but quietly told Jane they would die without earth, so she toddled with them back into the little garden outside their London apartment. In many ways Vanne is no less amazing than her daughter. In her mid-fifties, Vanne joined Jane on her initial journey into the wilds, leaving for five months a nice peaceful existence in England. Goodall also relates how her novel observations of tool-use in chimpanzees, which were responsible for redefining what is it to be human ("Man the toolmaker" no longer was tenable, tool use did not separate humans from other animals), were looked upon with skepticism by people who thought she was untrained to do the work she was doing, many of whom had never left their ivory tower or seen a wild animal. Photographs of tool use subsequently squelched their concerns. Goodall also ponders evil, warfare, love, and hope, and writes about such notions as reincarnation and the meaning of time and space. She also wonders if she should have brought a child into what many call a hopeless world. Goodall fearlessly discusses how science, intuition, religion, and spirituality merge. Few scientists ever attempt to walk in fields in which she strolls comfortably. Goodall claims, rightfully, that "Science does not have the appropriate tools for the dissection of the spirit." But perhaps changing our views of science will help us along. Goodall is also an accomplished poet and sprinkles some of her works throughout. Goodall also espouses how words, used as labels, can lessen an experience, make it too rational. She notes "Words are part of our rational selves, and to abandon them for a while is to give freer reign to our intuitive selves" What is so appealing about this book is that Goodall does not profess to be an expert in such matters of time and space or in such areas as moral philosophy and religion. Rather, she shows how questions that seem so irrelevant to many scientists are, in fact, highly relevant to the way they go about their business. And, a message that comes out loudly and clearly throughout is that after all is said and done, Goodall is a human being before all, a mortal made of flesh and blood. Just like all us, Goodall can cry, laugh uncontrollably, and most importantly, laugh at herself. So, what are Goodall's reasons for (3) the energy and enthusiasm that is found or can be kindled among young worldwide; and (4) the indomitable human spirit. Everybody can make a difference, and it is the little things we do for others that count so much. Goodall obviously loves what she does. She enters her standing-room-only lectures carrying her stuffed animal buddy Mr. H and begins by emitting a walloping pant-hoot. People laugh and then relax. Goodall then begins quietly to talk about her work and the world at large. Her audience is eerily silent. Goodall speaks softly with confidence, but carries a big stick. She also is light and sprinkles serious discourse with down-home humor. Goodall is not a quitter. Most people expected her to leave her difficult and dangerous field work after a few weeks, but she is now entering her fortieth year of research! She is unrelenting in carrying messages of hope across the planet. Just as she stills her audiences so will this book still you. There is no better model for us to follow as we head into the millennium and beyond. Reason for Hope is one of the most important books of the century. Marc Bekoff teaches in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology at CU-Boulder. He is editor of Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, for which Dr. Goodall wrote the Foreword

5-0 out of 5 stars Very uplifting, insightful, and inspirational
Jane Goodall writes openly and honestly about her awesome and inspiring life. Jane Goodall tells us about her amazing travels-- from a young ambitious girl growing up in the birches of England to a brillant woman documenting apes' behavior in the forests of Africa to bravely fighting for environmental change around the world.

In this book, Jane Goodall pours from the deep corners of her heart. By sharing her personal experiences, Jane Goodall is a witness to the true innate goodness of all human beings, the triumph of the human spirit, and the great God in which we all live, move, and have our being.

Jane Goodall ponders the greatest of human questions throughout her book. Is God real and present in our world, even with all of the modern discoveries of science? Can human beings achieve greater levels of moral, intellectual, and spiritual growth and overcome the great obstacles that they face? Jane Goodall makes sense of these questions and helps the reader to come to a better understanding of how to live in the world.

I read this book for an assurance that science only adds to the wonder and mystery of existence, and that science can help us come closer to God. My favorite part was when Jane Goodall went to the forest after the death of her second husband, and felt a connection to the "great spiritual energy of life itself." She reaffirmed her conviction by discovering how science was only a part of the human pursuit of understanding and knowledge, not the complete and final truth.

At the end of the book, Goodall asks a significant question as she reaches the autumn of her life, "And when I reach the end, it will be the beginning?" I recommend this book to all who want to remember that the journey of growth, understanding, and knowledge we are all on is always just beginning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply... remarkable. Utterly inspiring.
Jane is a remarkable woman, who's story of struggle as a young and inexperienced scientist with what were thought to be absurd ideals and methods of study, received much flack from the scientific community of her time. Still, many scientists under go the rigors of the scientific community's lateral and blinkered thinking. Reason for Hope, serves more than to encourage individuals into believing that each is capable of achieving their ideals and dreams, but that the simpler, intangible qualities like motivation, tenacity, courage and love, can triumph in the end with belief and resilience.
Jane made an amazing and commendable effort to be honest and humble with her readers, sharing her deepest and seemingly most private thoughts, which all have played a part in shaping her life and character. anyone will appreciate this book, be they from a scientific, animal welfare, spiritual or casual background. because jane's work relates to of all of us in the simplest of ways - we all have ambitions we wish to fulfill, depending on what they are we're often hard challenged and many of us have been defeated, yet we hold true to our beliefs and jane reminds us all, that that is which matters most - that is which will pull through to the end. that that, could only be, our reason for hope.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Inspiration
I got this book as a present and knew hardly anything about this incredible woman, Jane Goodall before reading her book. Thankfully, because it is her autobiography this book tells her story in her own words. Jane Goodall is a true inspiration for all. Anybody, whether they are young or old, in the science field or just the average person, could relate to the themes represented in this book. This book shows Ms. Goodalls' true good nature and humanity towards apes as well as showing the courage, determination, sensitivity and passion that she had for life. Ms. Goodall is truly a woman with class and is an inspiration to all people. ... Read more

138. Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue
by Jane Pauley
list price: $25.95
our price: $15.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 140006192X
Catlog: Book (2004-08-24)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 2555
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139. Making the Mummies Dance : Inside The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
by Thomas Hoving
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671880756
Catlog: Book (1994-02-15)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 125827
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art reveals his bold and brash life at its pinnacle: the clandestine deals which secured blockbuster exhibitions for the museum and made him a legend. Photos. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

This is a refreshing book, about the author's personal quest to transform the Metropolitan Museum of Art of N.Y., during his tenure as director of the museum (1967-1977).
When Hoving arrived as Director, he assessed the Met as a disorganized institution, a collection of collections, located in a mixture of buildings and architectures that gave "the impression of something worse than incomplete; it seemed forgotten and forlorn...." At the time Hoving was offered the post, he was commissioner of Parks, under the tenure of Mayor John Lindsay, whose mayoral campaign the author had joined with a leave of absence from... the Met, where, after receiving his Ph.D. in Art from Princeton University, he went from assistant curator to curator of the Medieval Department and the Cloisters. And indeed, it was Lindsay, when told the news about the directorship, who said: "...have you considered the boredom? Seems to me the place is dead. But, Hoving, you'll make the mummies dance." Hence the title of the book.
The story is a fascinating, at times egotistical and gossipy account of what it took to revolutionize an institution like the Met. From the seduction of the patrons and trustees, such as Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Annenberg, Brooke Astor, Robert Lehman, to the development of a network of experts, smugglers and famous collectors, Hoving takes us on a journey that reveals a lot about the inner workings of power, expertise and glamour, in the art world.
At the end, we are led to believe Hoving's final insight about his tenure:
"With the creative energy of the Trustees who had been on my side and the stuff who supported me, the most sweeping revolution in the history of art museums had taken place. The Met, once an elitist, stiff, gray, and slightly moribund entity, came alive. THE MUMMIES DID DANCE......"

5-0 out of 5 stars Dancing to the mummies' tune
This lively look at the life and work of a director of a world-class art museum not only educates and entertains, it shocks. The mummies do, indeed, dance as Thomas Hoving takes on the Park Service to expand the museum, wiggles around UNESCO and fights a host of governments for his favorite works of art, plays one collection against another, trades, deals and bluffs his way toward making the Metropolitan Museum of Art what it is today.

Hoving has a steam-roller personality, the energy of nuclear fission and no small amount of self-confidence. His educational background -- Princeton and an archeological expedition or two in Europe -- isn't as impressive as you'd expect, but he makes up any shortcomings with old-fashioned chutzpah.

After some experience in minor jobs and a city job with the Parks Department, he's told he may be selected as director of the Metropolitan so he looks the place over and makes some notes: "The museum needs reform. Sprucing up. Dynamics. Electricity. The place is moribund. Gray. It's dying. The morale of staff is low. The energy seems to have vanished. You've been missing all the fine exhibits...."

This book shows how MOMA gets from where it was then to what it is now -- the politics, infighting, backbiting, sneaking, smuggling and downright stealing it takes to make a museum one of the finest in the world. It's also a fairly realistic look at the glittering personalities and the haute monde of the New York City of a few decades ago.

This is a rousing tale that should hold the interest of any reader, art lover or no. Never mind that Hoving doesn't hesitate to toot his own horn. This is, after all, his book. Even taking the stories with a massive grain of salt, they're always riveting and vastly amusing. No one will ever say of Thomas Hoving that he has no opinion on the people and the issues of the art world or that he hesitates to express them.

I can't imagine anyone not being fascinated by this marvelous picture of the fabulous and often sham world of art museums and the people who support them and run them.

4-0 out of 5 stars A gossipy delight
This treasure was passed to me by a gallery owner who said I would love it and she was right. Hoving gives you just the right amount of background to ensnare you in Art politics and society without overdoing it and boring the reader who isn't that into art. The book is peppered with anecdotes about the glitterati of the New York and international art/high society scene that ends up having the tone of Gore Vidal but on a subject he probably would never touch.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for museum-ophiles
After spending many happy hours in the Metropolitan, I really enjoyed this book. Hoving pulls no punches and getting the "inside dirt" was fasinating and fun! I know I wouldn't care for him as a person, given the size of his ego, but he must be given credit where credit is due for putting the Metropolitan in the position it is today, no matter what the cost. After doing significant amounts of fundraising myself, I know it is often a thankless and tiring duty, and one that takes considerable talent. Hoving makes what probably was a painful process interesting and intriguing in the re-telling. And there is a generous amount of information sprinkled through the book about the challenges of curating a major museum that I haven't read anywhere else.

5-0 out of 5 stars Egotistical,but Interesting
This book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the politics that go on in a world-class museum. Hoving weaves a fascinating tale that makes for the best late night reading. The only problem is that Hoving's ego plays just as big a role in the book as does the famous "hot pot" the museum illicitly acquired from Italy. Overall, however, it is an excellent book. If you like this one, you'll also like his book on art forgery, "False Impressions". ... Read more

140. Tis: A Memoir
by Frank McCourt
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684865742
Catlog: Book (2000-08-28)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 7143
Average Customer Review: 3.77 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

And now we have 'Tis, the story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this "classless country," and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank's incomparable voice -- his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue -- that renders these experiences spellbinding.

When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should "stick to their own kind" once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blonde, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach -- and to write -- that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela's Ashes comes of age.

As Malcolm Jones said in his Newsweek review of Angela's Ashes, "It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he is done...and McCourt proves himself one of the very best." Frank McCourt's 'Tis is one of the most eagerly awaited books of our time, and it is a masterpiece. ... Read more

Reviews (528)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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