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    $10.36 $6.00 list($12.95)
    1. Into the Wild
    $9.71 $5.99 list($12.95)
    2. A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up
    $16.76 $14.00 list($23.95)
    3. Another Bullshit Night in Suck
    $18.48 $17.89 list($28.00)
    4. The Pirates Laffite : The Treacherous
    $9.71 $5.29 list($12.95)
    5. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of
    $9.71 list($12.95)
    6. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress
    $10.50 $1.99 list($14.00)
    7. All over but the Shoutin'
    $7.49 list($14.95)
    8. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood
    $10.50 $1.95 list($14.00)
    9. Tis: A Memoir
    $11.20 $8.93 list($14.00)
    10. Warriors Don't Cry : Searing Memoir
    $9.75 $4.50 list($13.00)
    11. Always Running
    $19.95 $19.63
    12. Siege in Lucasville
    $16.32 $4.25 list($24.00)
    13. Remains: Non-Viewable : A Memoir
    $7.42 list($25.00)
    14. The Legacy of Luna: The Story
    $10.50 $1.95 list($14.00)
    15. Where Rivers Change Direction
    $18.00 $5.99
    16. Lucky
    $10.50 $5.00 list($14.00)
    17. All Souls : A Family Story from
    $9.71 $8.62 list($12.95)
    18. Shadows on the Koyukuk: An Alaskan
    $11.16 $1.90 list($13.95)
    19. Lazy B : Growing up on a Cattle
    $11.56 list($17.00)
    20. Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections

    1. Into the Wild
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385486804
    Catlog: Book (1997-01-20)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 1144
    Average Customer Review: 4.03 out of 5 stars
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    "God, he was a smart kid..." So why did Christopher McCandless trade a brightfuture--a college education, material comfort, uncommon ability and charm--for death by starvation in anabandoned bus in the woods of Alaska? This is the question that Jon Krakauer's book tries to answer. While itdoesn't—cannot—answer the question with certainty, Into the Wild does shed considerable lightalong the way. Not only about McCandless's "Alaskan odyssey," but also the forces that drivepeople to drop out of society and test themselves in other ways. Krakauer quotes Wallace Stegner's writing on a youngman who similarly disappeared in the Utah desert in the 1930s: "At 18, in a dream, he saw himself ...wandering through the romantic waste places of the world. No man with any of the juices of boyhood inhim has forgotten those dreams." Into the Wild shows that McCandless, while extreme, washardly unique; the author makes the hermit into one of us, something McCandless himself could never pulloff. By book's end, McCandless isn't merely a newspaper clipping, but a sympathetic, oddly magneticpersonality. Whether he was "a courageous idealist, or a reckless idiot," you won't soon forgetChristopher McCandless. ... Read more

    Reviews (745)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Krakauer's story of Chris McCandless
    Why would a talented and gifted young man walk away from his life of promise and lead the life of a penniless wanderer? Jon Krakauer, the nature/travel journalist, takes on this question in the story of Chris McCandless, who after two years of coast-to-coast travel, was found dead in the Alaskan wildreness.

    Krakauer retraces McCandless's steps from his childhood to his days at Emory and uncovers a smart, compassionate young man who revelled in the works of Tolstoy, Jack London, and other figures who advocated a simple self-sufficient existence, turning away from money, government, etc. He interviews several people that Chris, "Alex Supertramp" as he calls himself, met in his hitch hiking travels and discusses his journal writings. I came upon this book after reading Krakauer's newest book, Under the Banner of Heaven. I appreciated Krakauer's style of being in the story as an author/journalist, but keeping the story in its purest form.
    Krakauer first encountered this story after McCandless's death in 1992. He wrote a feature story in Outside magazine, but was very interested in McCandless, so he decided to research the events more. This book is the further research. He provides some insight and answers some of the questions with his own experiences as a mountaineer and outdoor-lover.

    5-0 out of 5 stars FINDING CHRIS MCCANDLESS
    As the mother of sons and a writer for whom reading is the greatest pleasure, I found "Into the Wild" to be one of the finest and most unexpectedly beautiful books I have read in a very long time.

    It is the harrowing story of the death and short life of Chris McCandless, a bright, charming, adventurous young man whose mysterious travels and untimely death left a legacy of heartbreak and confusion to those who loved him.

    In returning to the scene of his own admittedly incomplete reportage of the story for :"Outside" magazine, Jon Krakauer reveals his own honesty and decency as a writer and a man.

    The book is as beautifully written as it is fascinating. Krakauer and his readers come to know Chris McCandless as our own youthful hopes made flesh. We also come to know this boy -- and love him -- as everyone's son, perhaps even our own.

    Late in his troubled adolescence, Chris set out into the American "wilderness" on a journey to adulthood. He did not return.

    He didn't return, that is, until Krakauer, who recognized in this story aspects of his own difficult youth, embarked on an odyssey of his own in McCandless' footsteps. .

    With almost unbearable detail he pieces together the last year of this young man's life and derives from it a compelling pilgrim's tale of anger, fear and courage. Through those who knew him during his "lost" days, we move from dissatisfaction and yearning to spiritual rebirth that arrives gratefully, but late and despite terrible twists of fate

    .Chris McCandless tunneled through Peer Gynt's mountain, punted across the Slough of Despond and into the dark and icy forest. He received boons and encountered spirit guides; listened and learned from scouts and story-tellers All of them later helped the auther piece together the real story, heretofore untold, of a boy who found himself and death in the same process and in the same place. Free at last, he quietly, and even joyously, welcomed the arrival of both with valor and uncommon grace.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
    How does a young man leave a comfortable life with an education and well to do parents and just wander into the wild? This is one of the questions that Jon Krakauer tries to answer. At first the reader is given the idea that Chris McCandless read one too many books like "On the Road" or "White Fang", but as the story develops, he becomes more complex a character. This young man was looking for adventure and decided to leave "normal" life behind. Unfortanuatly for him. it cost him his life.

    Krakauer does an amazing job of bringing McCandless back to life by trying to show what he was thinking. Krakauer used personal notes, interviews with family and friends and historical experiences to flesh out this person. When the personal notes run out and speculation starts, Krakauer gives a personal tale to explain why McCandless was not an idiot and just had some bad luck. This book is a very good read and is time well spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The dark side of idealism
    Last Christmas I gave this book to my father. I thought he might enjoy the adventures of Alex (though you know from the start his life will end badly), and thought if things went well I might use this to try to explain to him why it is that I spend all my extra money on travel and why I do illogical things in pursuit of my dreams. His reaction, though, was nothing but frustration with Alex's "idiocy."

    The difference between my response to the book - that Chris/Alex lived an extreme form of the longing I and many others feel - and my father's response is the same gulf that this story seeks to bridge. Jon Krakauer, who has also sacrificed a great deal and risked his life in pursuit of his dreams, clearly feels some sympathy for Alex's wild decisions. But the result of Alex's tramping is his own death and the heartbreak that ensues, which seems to outweigh any selfish satisfaction Alex may have received from his experiences.

    When people create great art or invent something remarkable, society celebrates their achievements in spite of any collateral damage. But Alex is an example of someone whose idealism was far greater than his accomplishments. The art he left behind in his notebooks is unremarkable, and the few friends he made in his travels have not been catalysts for improvement in the world. His one success (or failure) was that he was able to unbind himself from his expected, normal life and give himself wholly to his ideals. So many of us secretly wish that we had the courage to do something similar, and this book forces us to confront that desire. Is the pursuit of a dream a worthwhile end, in and of itself?

    There are no clear answers, in this book or in life, but the question is worth asking, no matter whether you see Alex as someone to be admired or throttled.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lonesome pines in snow
    This is an excellent read! But more than that, it is one of most moving and human stories you will ever have the pleasure of encountering by an author such as Krakauer, a splendid naturalist with a true ear for epiphany. Krakauer has a style unlike any writer this side of the twentieth century, and makes his way honestly and earnestly into the psyche of the reader, unexpectedly portraying a very real and true, almost unspeakable understanding of the young adventurer, Chris McCandless. If you are American, you absolutely must read this book! It should be cannonized. ... Read more

    2. A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland Indiana (Today Show Book Club #3)
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767915054
    Catlog: Book (2002-09)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 4306
    Average Customer Review: 4.27 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    When Haven Kimmel was born in 1965, Mooreland, Indiana, was a sleepy little hamlet of three hundred people.Nicknamed "Zippy" for the way she would bolt around the house, this small girl was possessed of big eyes and even bigger ears.In this witty and lovingly told memoir, Kimmel takes readers back to a time when small-town America was caught in the amber of the innocent postwar period–people helped their neighbors, went to church on Sunday, and kept barnyard animals in their backyards.

    Laced with fine storytelling, sharp wit, dead-on observations, and moments of sheer joy, Haven Kimmel's straight-shooting portrait of her childhood gives us a heroine who is wonderfully sweet and sly as she navigates the quirky adult world that surrounds Zippy.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (125)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
    Hearing a novel hyped to no end often makes me nervous about purchasing it. However, once the hype turned into endless praise from friends in my book clubs, I knew I had to pick this one up.

    Haven Kimmel's memoir of growing up in Indiana is a pleasant, intriguing read. Her use of lyrical description, at once sounds like a child's description, and is entirely beautiful. Ms. Kimmel's memoir evokes feelings of sheer happiness.

    While complex enough, when examined closely, it is also a truly simple and enjoyable read. It doesn't have complex tragedies, depressing overtones. It is a simple memoir of real life growing up in the Midwest.

    The characters will warm your heart, leave you ducking behind bushes, or misty-eyed, and they will all be real. It is hard to think that Ms. Kimmel wasn't jotting down notes on her thoughts, like a journalist, as her life carried on, because of the detail of every circumstance.

    This novel will not dissappoint. I recommend picking it up as soon as you get the chance. It is a heart-warming, enjoyable read and lives up to its hype.

    20 Nov 2002

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I ever read!
    This book is hard to describe accurately, but I laughed out loud so many times reading it, sometimes feeling guilty for laughing ... but laughing nonetheless. The scene with the dead baby pig is a prime example. I've unsuccessfully described this scene to two groups of friends, and they all thought it didn't sound funny. But trust me -- somehow Haven Kimmel makes it funny!

    Zippy is an adventurous, trouble-making child -- and you can't help but love her. Every character in this book is both quirky and believable.

    If you're looking for a light, funny book that's like a walk down memory lane with an old friend, get this book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fresh, funny and uplifting
    Haven Kimmel's childhood was not punctuated by alcoholism or abuse. No one died young, no one tortured the young girl, and she wasn't raised in some exotic location. On the contrary, Haven's childhood was probably like a lot of people's...without major drama but full of interesting people and little stories that make for a wholesome read. I found this book very easy to get into and finish, and exceptionally refreshing compared to the majority of memoirs these days that focus on the negative. I guarantee readers of Zippy will come away with a deep appreciation for Haven's parents for raising her in a happy, and healthy environment that produced a great writer to boot.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It tickles your funny bone!
    I read this wonderful book while on the Greek island of Kefalonia. Given my disrupted sleep from time zone changes, I was up late into the night laughing to myself from the delightfully entertaining quips of 9 year old Zippy. The book was especially touching because I grew up in a small town, Tipton, IN, during the 1960's. I'm looking forward to reading more of Haven Kimmel's books!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just about Perfect
    This book is amazing. I know I will be reading it many times. It means so much not only because I was born and raised in Indiana and can say first-hand that Haven Kimmel captures the very essence of the people and sights in small-town Midwest, but that she handles each character and setting with such grace and simple truth that I haven't seen in a book before this. This book reveals integrity and beauty without being overly sentimental. I think it's rare today to find an artist/writer/etc. with the courage to keep things simple and true. It is even more rare to do that and still be entertaining. This is one of my favorite books. Haven Kimmel is a wonderful writer. ... Read more

    3. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir
    by Nick Flynn
    list price: $23.95
    our price: $16.76
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0393051390
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    Sales Rank: 1463
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    Book Description

    "Devastating....Ranks with Frank Conroy's Stop-Time."—Michael Cunningham

    "Sometimes I'd see my father, walking past my building on his way to another nowhere. I could have given him a key, offered a piece of my floor. But if I let him inside the line between us would blur, my own slow-motion car wreck would speed up."

    Nick Flynn met his father for the third time when he was twenty-seven years old, working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter in Boston. As a teenager he'd received letters from this stranger, a self-proclaimed poet and con man doing time in federal prison for bank robbery. Nick, his own life precariously unsettled, was living alternately in a ramshackle boat and in a warehouse that was once a strip joint. In bold, dazzling prose, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (a phrase Flynn senior uses to describe his life on the streets) tells the story of two lives and the trajectory that led Nick and his father into that homeless shelter, onto those streets, and finally to each other. ... Read more

    4. The Pirates Laffite : The Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf
    by William C. Davis
    list price: $28.00
    our price: $18.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 015100403X
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
    Publisher: Harcourt
    Sales Rank: 10567
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Jean and Pierre Laffite's lives were intertwined with the most colorful period in New Orleans' history, the era from just after the Louisiana Purchase through the War of 1812. Labeled as corsairs and buccaneers for methods that bordered on piracy, the brothers ran a privateering cooperative that provided contraband goods to a hungry market and made life hell for Spanish merchants on the Gulf. Later they became important members of a syndicate in New Orleans that included lawyers, bankers, merchants, and corrupt U.S. officials. But this allegiance didn't stop them from becoming paid Spanish spies, handing over information about the syndicate's plans and selling out their own associates.

    In 1820 the Laffites disappeared into the fog of history from which they had emerged, but not before becoming folk heroes in French Louisiana and making their names synonymous with piracy and intrigue on the Gulf.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent double biography, full of adventure and intrigue!
    In "The Pirates Laffite, the Treacherous World of the Corsairs of the Gulf," author William C. Davis presents an in-depth, thoroughly researched examination of the Laffite brothers' colorful lives, including new information about them discovered in archives of the United States and France. Davis separates the truth from romantic legend to reveal the Laffites as complex men adept at turning opportunities toward their advantage while skirting the edges of the law in the polyglot world of early 1800s New Orleans and the Gulf.
    Written in an entertaining, chronological narrative style, this double biography is the most completely documented work ever written about Jean and Pierre Laffite. Most people are familiar with the legend of Jean Laffite and Galveston, or Jean Laffite and the Battle of New Orleans, but Jean's elder half-brother, Pierre, has received scant attention from previous historians and other writers. In "The Pirates Laffite," Davis aptly relates how Pierre was the mastermind of the Laffite brothers' operations, and that the brothers worked closely together for most of their lives, including the Galveston period.
    Their true story, based on archival documents, letters and contemporary newspapers, paints a compelling portrait of enigmatic men on the edge of the new frontier of the Louisiana Purchase, seeking to make their mark on the world.
    This book also sensitively tells the fascinating story of the Laffite's free black mistresses and children, carefully recorded from information in baptismal records, notarial archives, and other surviving documents. The women were involved in the then prevalent system of placage with the Laffites as their protectors.
    "The Pirates Laffite" engages the reader magnificently, and even the sometimes lengthy footnotes are absorbing to read. A large book at 720 pages (with footnotes and index), it is a brilliant work about the Laffites' lives by a highly skilled historian. Davis, Director of Programs for the Civil War Center at Virginia Tech, is most well known for his numerous books about the Civil War. This finely polished double biography shows he is equally at home with the early national period of the southern United States and its people.
    ... Read more

    5. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0767905938
    Catlog: Book (2000-08-15)
    Publisher: Broadway
    Sales Rank: 5771
    Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Now available in paperback, the entrancing story of how one woman's journey of self-discovery gave her the courage to persevere in re-creating her life.

    Life is a work in progress, as ever-changing as a sandy shoreline along the beach. During the years Joan Anderson was a loving wife and supportive mother, she had slowly and unconsciously replaced her own dreams with the needs of her family. With her sons grown, however, she realized that the family no longer centered on the home she provided, and her relationship with her husband had become stagnant. Like many women in her situation, Joan realized that she had neglected to nurture herself and, worse, to envision fulfilling goals for her future. As her husband received a wonderful job opportunity out-of-state, it seemed that the best part of her own life was finished. Shocking both of them, she refused to follow him to his new job and decided to retreat to a family cottage on Cape Cod.
    At first casting about for direction, Joan soon began to take plea-sure in her surroundings and call on resources she didn't realize she had. Over the course of a year, she gradually discovered that her life as an "unfinished woman" was full of possibilities. Out of that magical, difficult, transformative year came A Year by the Sea, a record of her experiences and a treasury of wisdom for readers.
    This year of self-discovery brought about extraordinary changes in the author's life. The steps that Joan took to revitalize herself and rediscover her potential have helped thousands of woman reveal and release untapped resources within themselves.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (84)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Thoughts of an Unfinished Man
    A female friend suggested I read a new book by Joan Anderson if I wanted to get a notion of the female psyche going through a sort of mid-life crisis. Admittedly, there may be a general con- sensus that only males, and then only some of us, experience this life phenomenon, that women some- how don't or, worse, shouldn't. They, in fact, have their own rite of passage...menopause. So, without a lot of enthusiasm, I got my hands on a copy of this autobiographical book and began reading. A Year by the Sea is another in the long line of twentienth century self-help books which present themselves with modern answers to modern dilemmas. The problem with Anderson's book, like so many of its type, is that it presupposes a problem, in fact, creates a problem so that it has something to solve. Anderson makes no sound case in describing a married life that demanded rescuing. She alludes to one or two instances of insensitivity on her husband's part, but even these are not of a magnitude to justify in most people's minds the compelling need to abandon the nest and strike out on one's own. If anything, her marriage may have become stale, or predictable, at least as she briefly describes it. It would seem then that her motivation was questionable, even if her intentions were sincere. The conclusion in the twelve month chronicle comes quickly and is more than a bit unsatisfying. Whether the newly reborn couple will live happily ever after we will never know, at least not based on the 195th page. Anderson's solution to her marital dissatisfaction is to escape to the sea...a primal drive to return to one's roots. What she fails to acknowledge, however, is that in seeking to uncover herself, she cannot bury her past.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A YEAR BY THE SEA
    This book spoke to my very being! It touched my soul and heart, and made me realize the importance of getting in touch with who I really am and always have been. Joan Anderson had the courage to find her true self, and the graciousness to share that journey with her readers. She has moments of self doubt,but carries on despite the circumstances. It appears she dug deep within her soul and unlocked resources that had been trapped within for years. There is something about the sea - its ever changing forms - its constant ebb and flow, and its ability to soothe. Ms. Anderson seems to seek answers about life while by the sea. In her writing, the inhabitants of that seaside area - both human and animal - are so well characterized and developed, the reader actually comes away with a feeling of "being there". Her well described relationship with seals,for example, presents the reader with a sense of fulfillment and spiritual awakening. I shall read the book a second time(and perhaps more). I am already sharing it with friends. Joan Anderson, through this book, has made me realize how very important it is to "get away" - take time for yourself - so you can share with others the "REAL YOU". It also confirms my belief in the healing qualities the sea holds for the human race. It soothes the soul, and truly gets us in touch with ourselves and nature.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Proud to be an "unfinished woman"
    This is the best book I've read in a long time. I was feeling a little lost the week that I happened to find this book and it totally changed my attitude. So many pages had at least one sentence if not more, that echoed exactly how I felt. I no longer feel alone in my thoughts and I am now proud to be an "unfinished woman." Thank you to the author for sharing her experiences!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
    How many of us have wished for a year of solitude with Nature in order to reflect, learn and grow. By reading this little book, we can at least share Anderson's experiences. So many of her thoughts and emotions reflect what many of us feel, especially at that age and point in life. Kids are grown and have become independent, our traditional role in life is over and we're not quite sure where we belong anymore. Excellent read!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Book For All Women to Enjoy and Relish Each Chapter!
    I loved this book. It is so "real". I wish I could go away for a year to "find myself". Swimming with sea lions, working in a fish market to earn $ to fix her hot water heater, I could only dream about this adventure!

    After reading this book - I rushed out in search of her second book - An Unfinished Marriage. I cannot wait to read all 3 of her books! I own all of them and will begin the second book as soon as I have some free time. I wish we could have a book discussion at *Bucks on these books! ... Read more

    6. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress
    by Susan Jane Gilman
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446679496
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
    Publisher: Warner Books
    Sales Rank: 603809
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    7. All over but the Shoutin'
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679774025
    Catlog: Book (1998-09-08)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 10981
    Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This haunting, harrowing, gloriously moving recollection of a life on the American margin is the story of Rick Bragg, who grew up dirt-poor in northeastern Alabama, seemingly destined for either the cotton mills or the penitentiary, and instead became a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times. It is the story of Bragg's father, a hard-drinking man with a murderous temper and the habit of running out on the people who needed him most.

    But at the center of this soaring memoir is Bragg's mother, who went eighteen years without a new dress so that her sons could have school clothes and picked other people's cotton so that her children wouldn't have to live on welfare alone. Evoking these lives--and the country that shaped and nourished them--with artistry, honesty, and compassion, Rick Bragg brings home the love and suffering that lie at the heart of every family. The result is unforgettable. ... Read more

    Reviews (253)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Midwest Book Review
    Rick Bragg understands poverty. He knows intimately the taste and smell of being dirt poor, has experienced the chill that settles deep into a person's marrow. When it comes to the haves and have nots of life, he's walked both sides of that line and knows first hand the strengths and weaknesses of both. He witnessed from an early age the deprivation that can drive both the strong and weak to violence and desperation. And he by God knows determined courage when he see's it because he grew to manhood watching true fortitude in action. In this book, courage and cowardice, violence and devotion, poverty and triumph are found in equal measure.

    Bragg's mother was a pretty southern girl who married young. When her husband went away to war in Korea, she waited loyally for his return. The young man who loved music and laughter did not return to her from Korea. In his place, she got an irresponsible alcoholic given to drunken rages and abuse who abandoned his growing family with regularity, leaving them to scrounge their way without him. To feed her three sons, the author's mother worked long hours picking cotton and ironing the clothes of those who could afford such luxury. Much of this memoir is a testament to his mother's strength, as well it should be. The people and places he decribes are also memorable, whether Bragg speaks of them with bitterness or pride. And he cuts himself very little slack in the telling.

    Whether sharing memories of Alabama, Africa, or Afghanistan, Rick Bragg sees life with his heart's eye, and documents prosaically his visions. He writes of times and places few of us have seen, and does it with compassion. All Over But the Shoutin' is a gift to those of us who love to read.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Rick Bragg
    Rick Bragg describes his journey of life through a collection of childhood memories. His writing releases his emotions that should be captured by all. This book is a wonderful novel for those who havedealt with a troubled childhood.
    "When God Blinks" is a great chapter due to his southern home style of life. He gives full detail in the house on the hill. you can close your eyes,and see exactly what he describes.
    Bragg's weakness of this novel would be the age of the audience.This novel is suited for an "older" generation or an open minded person willing to read about a southern broken family.
    I would recomend this novel to people who are eager to learn about southern living in the 1970's. People from broken homes or people raised by a single parent could grasp a hold of this novel and recollect on their memories.

    4-0 out of 5 stars just another good read
    All Over but the Shoutin' is a memoir written by Rick Bragg. He wrote it in honor of his mother who had a great presence in his life. The book starts early in his life, when he was still just a toe-headed little boy. He grew up in poverty with his mom and two other bothers in a box house just barely big enough to live decently in. He didn't remember much of his father except for how every now and then he'd get drunk and beat his mother. Rick had a blessed life in a sense. He survived a car crash that should have killed him, he came close to death in riots, became a famous journalist for the New York Times and he even won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.
    I'll admit, I first choose this book by its cover. The pictures on the front for some reason told me it was going to be a good book. Little did I know the author had won the Pulitzer Prize and was a writer for the New York Times. I thought the book was great. The author did a good job of honoring his mother for all that she had helped him achieved, even if it was in small ways. I also liked the fact that the author had a lot of respect for the way he grew up. He didn't think his childhood was horrible because he grew up poor.
    There was nothing I really didn't like about the book. I think Rick has had quite an extraordinary life, better then most people. The book was good and I would recommend it if you want a great read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A reader from Nebraska
    I checked this book out of my local library, and was gald I did.

    Rick Bragg's mother reminded me of my own. Another rviewer said Mrs. Bragg should have gotten a job. The lady already picked cotton from daylight til dark, then took in ironing which she worked at half the night. Rick Bragg's family lived in a different time, when southern poverty was far worse than it is today. Picking cotton and ironing are not jobs for the faint of heart. Bragg made it quite clear in his book how hard his mother worked at horrible jobs to make a life for her children. She was the glue that held this book together and gave it a shine. If you love your mother, love or have a certain curiosity about the south, you need to read this one.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Grossly overrated
    I do not get it. He writes an ode to his mama, who, it seems to me, could have made all their lives a lot easier if she had just gotten a job. ... Read more

    8. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood
    by Janisse Ray
    list price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1571312471
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
    Publisher: Milkweed Editions
    Sales Rank: 14999
    Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Janisse Ray grew up in a junkyard along U.S. Highway 1, hidden from Florida-bound vacationers by the hedge at the edge of the road and by hulks of old cars and stacks of blown-out tires. Ecology of a Cracker Childhood tells how a childhood spent in rural isolation and steeped in religious fundamentalism grew into a passion to save the almost vanished longleaf pine ecosystem that once covered the South. In language at once colloquial, elegiac, and informative, Ray redeems two Souths. "Suffused with the same history-haunted sense of loss that imprints so much of the South and its literature. What sets Ecology of a Cracker Childhood apart is the ambitious and arresting mission implied in its title. . . . Heartfelt and refreshing." - The New York Times Book Review. ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars astounding, evocative and transcendent memoir
    Oooooooo-eeee. I cannot tell you the number of times you will pause while reading this extraordinarily sensitive and profoundly moving life-story. Some of your pauses will feature your face wreathed in smiles, for Janisse Ray's "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" is a celebration of both place and family, and her finely-delineated family sketches and gloriously-rendered anecdotes and teeming with respect and affection for her family. Other pauses will find you, I am sure, hands on knees, weeping. For there is great pain in this book as well...the pain of a place that is gradually disappearing, the pain of understanding your place in that place, the pain of coming to grips with the flaws of your heritage.

    One reviewer, Wes Jackson, said, "Janisse Ray is a role model for countless future rural writers to come." I believe that he understates Ms. Ray's importance. To tell the truth, she is a role model, plain and simple. It is my hope that this stirring memoir will vault her into our nation's consciousness and conscience. This daughter of a Cracker junkyard owner has a significant message to tell us, and her language is simply remarkable. Her verbal imagery is astounding; her precise descriptions -- of humans, flora and fauna -- are models of elegance.

    I am willing to bet that there are more than a few readers who could only imagine the possible union of Ms. Ray and Rick Bragg ("All Over but the Shoutin'"). These two white Southerners have much to teach us about family, conscience, commitments and reverence of place.

    "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood" will emerge as one of our century's most important works. Be glad to have read it when it first came out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Into the Woods, Out of the Junkyard
    I originally read Janisse Ray's memoirs and essay collection, "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood", for a class in college. To be honest, I hated it at first and told two of my classmates that if Janisse was so conscious of the environment, then why had the trees died to print this book. I ate those words before I was half way through. Janisse Ray has an immaculate voice and breathtaking experiences to share with us about her childhood, spent living with her family in a junkyard.

    The book alternates each chapter between memoirs and essays on the natural forests of Georgia. My preference was on Ray's childhood - where she describes in rich detail about the family bonds that arise out of poverty. There is a certain mystical fantasy about her childhood playgrounds, as she talks about being in a family with money prolbems and numerous mouths to feed. Ray exposes the dark sides of her father's religious fanaticism and mental instability. These stories are honest and refrain from sentimentality. Ray tells talks about her life with simple facts and observations. We experience with her a full view of her introducing a college boyfriend to the wreckage that has been transformed into a home.

    "Ecology of a Crack Childhood" is a powerful read that everyone should have the opportunity to experience. I, myself, have spent most of my life growing up in cities, but at least now I have a taste of what the rural world has to offer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good blend of characters, critters, and trees
    With "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood," Janisse Ray has reminded me of what it was like to grow up in South Georgia. Being from south of Hazlehurst, I know our childhood homes were less than 15 miles apart. But her junkyard near Baxley was a far different experience from my life on the farm. Still, I know what it's like to fall in love with trees and want to preserve them. And all those characters she had to put up with, I know them too -- or people much like them. Readers of Amy Blackmarr, another South Georgia writer who lives closely with nature, will love reading Janisse Ray, whose greatest thrill about the forest is "how the pine trees sing...This music cannot be heard anywhere else on the earth." Indeed, it can't.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The landscape of our heritage
    Janisse Ray has written a wildly interesting tale of her upbringing in rural Georgia. But probably the more vital part of this book is its backdrop: the disappearing long-leaf pine forests of South Georgia. Does America really need another tale of its eroding ecology? Absolutely. The remnants of once-great natural wonders do not stand a chance of survival in the modern age of mass consumption unless its story is told, again and again, and we can only be so lucky if someone with the wit and wisdom of Ms. Ray tells it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Growing up in the longleaf pine forest
    Ray has written an interesting mix of memoir and nature book in Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. She shows us growing up in the 60's and 70's in the rural, poor southeast corner of Georgia, where amongst a rolling junkyard of old machines, and surrounded by a vast array of characters, she and her family eked out a simple, and relatively comfortable existence. What helps make this book unique is the positive ness of it - Ray is not telling stories looking back and showing why she left the area when she could. Nor is she breaking our hearts with stories of hardship, violence or innocence lost that so many stories of poor country upbringing. Instead, it is a collection of wry and emotional stories of her life, interspersed with stories about the beloved longleaf pine forest. Surprising this alternating flows naturally, and is not as jarring as one would expect. In fact, her passion for the forest intertwines with her passion for life, and for her family. The essential conflict of the biography does not involve her really, it involves the forest's fight to survive in the face of cutting and tree farming, and the encroachment of civilization. A fine book with a point that does not hit you over the head with this message. Rather she beautifully entwines growing up with growing up with nature. It's a shame if we let her world disappear. An excellent and enjoyable read. ... Read more

    9. 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

    10. Warriors Don't Cry : Searing Memoir of Battle to Integrate Little Rock
    by Melba Patillo Beals
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $11.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671866397
    Catlog: Book (1995-02-01)
    Publisher: Washington Square Press
    Sales Rank: 22028
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    You've gotta learn to defend yourself. Never let your enemy know what you are feeling.
    -- The soldier assigned to protect Melba

    Please, God, let me learn how to stop being a warrior. Sometimes I just need to be a girl.
    -- Melba's diary, on her sixteenth birthday

    In 1957 Melba Pattillo turned sixteen. That was also the year she became a warrior on the front lines of a civil rights firestorm. Following the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board Education, she was one of nine teenagers chosen to integrate Little Rock's Central High School. This is her remarkable story.

    You will listen to the cruel taunts of her schoolmates and their parents. You will run with her from the threat of a lynch mob's rope. You will share her terror as she dodges lighted sticks of dynamite, and her pain as she washes away the acid sprayed into her eyes. But most of all you will share Melba's dignity and courage as she refuses to back down. ... Read more

    Reviews (92)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Marvelous
    Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals is an outstanding novel. She conveys a depressing story about the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The personal experience she includes about the harsh treatment she, as well as eight other African American students, endures are heart-shattering. She greatly portrays the effects of the war of integration and her combat to survive. The well written novel was completely breathtaking. Once I started reading the book it was hard to put down. Every page was a new war she faced on the battlefield inside of Central High. The concrete details she uses made me feel as if I, myself, was a warrior in Central High who had to face the same uncontrollable mobs in order to get educated. Her continual battles to escape the hostilities thrown at her by other students were awe-inspiring. Her struggle through life will touch you deeply and provide you with a better understanding of your life. Melba Pattillo Beals is an extremely honorable person, and every person, whether young or old, should read her novel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book About Integration
    I think Warriors Don't Cry is a great book for many reasons. First of all this book has inspired me to stay strong and go for what I want to achieve. Everyday for a year Melba Patillo Beals and the other students who decided to integrate into a white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas had to face horrible people who torched them both physically and mentally. The black students would have to walk through the hallways with people shouting races comments, eggs thrown at them, people spitting on them and much more. This book has opened my eyes to how the world is not perfect and how horrible integration was like in the mid 1900's.
    Second, I thought the reading level of this book was good for eighth graders and up. The book was easy to understand yet it is very informational to one who does not know much about the days of integration. For instance I did not know much about the violence or racism during the time of integration until I read the book.
    Third, the author had also kept my attention throughout the entire book. Each incident the author told about was never dragged on too long. There was always a point to Melba's story as well. The author also used many universal techniques in the book to bring out the characters or to help describe a situation. The book kept my attention by having more than one thought about people, such as the book was not only just about the cruel southerners at the time, but it was also about how one white boy opened up to Melba and tried to help her out as much as he could.
    The last thing about the book that I liked was how the author brought everything together at the end of the book. The book was about Melbas life during her years as an adolescent. However, the book was published years after the integration had taken place. The book was well planned by having the events be in chronological order. There was also one chapter at the end of the book that did a great job at summarizing what Melba has done since the last day she had attended the high school in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Book Review
    A girl named Melba had been wanting to go to Central High, an all white public school. She was not allowed to go there because of her being colored, since the high school does not integrat. The time frame was 1957 in which segregation between colors are highly supported. Little Rock, Arkansas is the name of the place where this occurred. Even the governor of arkansas opposed the order that was given. It took a while for her and her eight other friends to get into Central High because a crowd of angry segregationist does not want to integrate.

    One of the things that I liked about the book is that it did happen and it is real. something that i disliked is that it gets boring. The author spoke of too much details and kept talking about how frustrated everyone is over and over again. The author did not complete some details that I myself cannot imagine the she is describing.

    Another reason why I disliked the story is that it skips through from one thing to another. Sometimes it even sticks on one topic and skips to somthing i don't even have a clue what it is talking about. One other thing that I disliked is that I know it is a true story, but how it is told it is like it did not even happen because it is easy not to believe because it does not converse to the prospects of some readers like me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiration and Faith
    This book is about Melba Pattillo Beals one of the nine teenagers who got choosen to integrate Little Rock's Central High School. She shares her experience as she walks though the halls of the all white school.From the taunting to the mobs to being escorted to class by the 101st Airborne she tells it all it's like your actually there. But through the struggle her family and friends was always there. This is a great reader because it explain alot about segregation and how not giving isn't the answer even if it's a struggle because "Warriors Don't Cry"

    5-0 out of 5 stars They were literally warriors on the battlefield
    Warriors Don't Cry is the moving story of the nine Black teenagers who dared
    to integrate Central High School. The story is told by one of the
    teenagers, Melba Pattillo.

    Ms. Pattillo begins the story in 1954 when the Supreme Court of the United
    States in Brown v. the Board of Education held that separate but equal
    schools were inherently unequal and ordered school districts to desegregate
    with all deliberate speed. She recalls that white people in Little Rock
    were outraged and while walking home on the date the decision was handed
    down an angry white man attempted to rape a 12 year old Melba. Such a
    chilling response to the order to integrate is an eerie prelude to the
    ordeal Melba and the eight others endured in their effort to integrate
    Central High School.

    Following Brown the Little Rock School District came up with a plan to
    integrate which limited integration to Central High School and delayed the
    process of integration until September 1957. Arkansas Governor Faubus came
    out against any type of integration and when it came time for Melba and the
    others to integrate Central in September 1957, Governor Faubus sent out the
    Arkansas National Guard and the Arkansas State Troopers to block the
    students from entering. President Eisenhower in turn sent the United States
    National Guard to Central High School to enforce the order of the Court.
    This crisis of federalism was another interesting story line in the book
    chocked full with drama.

    Once inside the school with the assistance of the federal National Guard,
    the treatment the Black students received was disgusting, unbelievable and
    heartbreaking. I literally burst out crying at on several occasions while
    reading what some people inflicted upon others just because of the color of
    their skin. The students were stabbed, pushed down stairs, slapped,
    punched, called every kind of vile name imaginable, and sprayed with urine,
    acid and ink to name just a few of the indignities, while most if not all
    administrators and teachers did nothing to halt the depraved behavior of the
    students. The students were also subject to distain from people in their
    own community for attempting to integrate because of the repercussions felt
    by all members of the Black community. Jobs were lost, and people were
    beaten and shot just because they were Black and the white people in Little
    Rock did not want integration.

    The courage of these nine students is inspiring and their faith never
    wavered. They were literally warriors on the battlefield; fighting for
    their lives and their education inside the walls of Central High School.
    This is a must read for everyone. Learning or relearning this history will
    give you a greater appreciation of the importance of education, give you a
    greater desire to seek your own education and/or encourage your children to
    take advantage of every available educational opportunity. ... Read more

    11. Always Running
    by Luis Rodriguez
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0671882317
    Catlog: Book (1994-02-09)
    Publisher: Touchstone
    Sales Rank: 9722
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    By age twelve, Luis Rodriguez was a veteran of East L.A. gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests, then watched with increasing fear as drugs, murder, suicide, and senseless acts of street crime claimed friends and family members. Before long Rodriguez saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words, and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. Achieving success as an award-winning Chicano poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more -- until his young son joined a gang. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in Always Running, a vivid memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants. At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, Always Running is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-earned lesson for the next generation. ... Read more

    Reviews (139)

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's a five star book!
    It has been said,"young people read nobles to learn about other people's life." This quote means that young peaple read in order to know how other peaple live through out the different generations and learn from it. It is indeed true, I as a young person like to read most of all to figure out how other people different from me lives and how they get along whith their issues in life and apply it to my self. I personally think this book it's one of it's kind. Always Running it's a piece of literature that basically reflects on a lot of young people, it tells the story of Luis as a gang member when he was young himself and how he feels now seeing his son on the same situation. This is something that gives a lot to think about, I mean to all of us teenagers that think that the thing we do now won't influence our future generation and that we wouldn't be affected by it. This book it's a great example on that and that's the reason why I rated it as a five star book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reality TV ain't got nothing on this!
    On the Strength: If Rodriguez's memoir Always Running sounds raw and intense, that's because it is. A lucid, in your face account of a young man's journey from the darkest depths of barrio life-to a yearning soul, striving for the light that glimmers at the end of a tunnel. Chin (Rodriguez) a young vato loco from the mean streets of Los Angeles Califas, would do just about anything for his click, even commit murder. Living foul was all he knew, castigated by society, the revolving door from the hood' to correctional institutions swirled so fast and frequent it left young Chin feeling bitter and more hateful toward authority, and rival gangs. Drugs and violence would be his refuge-but eventually education and community involvement would become his salvation. Rodriguez delivers a compelling look at gang life, and what it takes to break free from its deadly shackles. What makes this book particularly appealing is the unique poetic voice, which combines English and Spanish, and a whole-lot-of Slanglish (no comprende? Don't trip, there's a phat glossary in the back of the book for those who do not understand the Latin lingo that is spread throughout). Rodriguez also takes you for a lyrical cruise through the Boulevard, "Fancy "shorts" danced on the asphalt with only the eyes and beany caps of the drivers visible through the windshield. Music blared out of a multitude of speakers as a river of headlights streamed toward the silhouette of downtown skyscrapers and back." Reality TV ain't got nothing on this! Always Running is a must read. Very highly recommended. -Michael Perry, OLM Entertainment Watch.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WHAT AN INCREDIBLE BOOK!!!!!!! MUST BE READ!!!!!!!!
    As he was growing up, Rodriguez had a vivid lifestyle in which he had witnessed countless shootings, racism, beatings, and several other negatively hard crimes. At 12 years of age, he experienced some illusions of gangs and rascim. People would relate to this book in many different ways, as they were growing up too. I believe this book could get to your fealings, but when I started to read it, I was resenting against the people who were rioting.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ BOOK!!!
    It's about a lifestyle of a young child, growing up in the streets of Los Angeles, Luis J. Rodriguez writes about his vivid life, encountering racism, killings,cruicial beatings, and shootings. Moving around the areas of the Los Angeles he gets involve in gangs later on his life, learns that the gang life is not great. Turn his life into school. Write this book for his son so he won't make a mistake. Relates to people who are in gang activity and show that there is another way in life to succeed, Instead of living by a gun.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Nothing More Than a Glorified Ex-Gangbanger
    I read this book about ten years ago for the first time. My son was being "courted" by a gang in our area and a fellow parent recommended it. It did not help.
    Neither does it help to read that Rodriguez' son went back to prison after the publication of that book.
    In my modest opinion, but is worth something nevertheless in a world where our Latino and Black youth are being killed and killing on the streets everyday--for all the hype I have heard about Luis Rodriguez--he is no more than a glorified ex-gangbanger who found an angle for self-promotion. As a parent I must ask myself, where was he when his own child needed him? ... Read more

    12. Siege in Lucasville
    by Gary Williams
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $19.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1414021410
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
    Publisher: 1stBooks Library
    Sales Rank: 301968
    Average Customer Review: 3.25 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Book for all Practitioners!
    As a practitioner in the field of criminal justice and a Correction Supervisor at the oldest operational prison west of the Mississippi, the Missouri State Penitentiary, I found this book to be extremely beneficial and educational in understanding the dynamics in both hostage and riot situations. As correctional professionals, we are faced with this dilemma every time we pass through the gates of hell into the community environment of convicted felons.

    Both Gary and Larry did an outstanding job in illustrating the trauma and horror one sustains in a crisis situation of this nature. However, more information on the aftermath and trials would have been beneficial for future research.

    If either Gary or Larry reads this review, please email me so I can obtain further knowledge on this subject.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A disappointing and incomplete effort
    I was really looking forward to this book as nothing else has been published to date on this important event. I was very disappointed. It was poorly edited; there were a number of typos and punctuation errors.
    It was not a balanced account at all. For an event of this magnitude to have occurred there had to have been a number of complicated causal factors. The author took an overly simplistic view. I am not sympathizing with the rioters by any stretch but the cause was more complicated than the author addressed.
    I would have been interested to learn more about what actually transpired in the negotiations which led to a resolution without more bloodshed. I would also have liked to know more of what happened to the key players (hostages, staff, administration, participating inmates, non-participating inmates, etc.) afterward. There have been a number of criminal and civil court cases which should have been addressed in more detail.
    Little was done to address what can be learned from those events. That should be a key goal of books of this nature.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Siege in Lucasville
    Recommended for all correctional professional as this could happen to any one of us. I would have liked greater detail particularly in reference to what happened to Officer Demon who went over to the other side and the subsequent trials of those who were active participants in the riot.

    I liked the fact that Larry named staff and their various roles before and during the riot. Again though, no followup on what has happened to them after the riot.

    If you work in the field of corrections or the greater law enforcement field, this book is a must read and should be part of all entry level correctional programs throughout the country.

    Larry or Gary, if you read this, please email me as I would like to speak with you further as I work for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in PA. Very good book and thank you Larry for letting us learn from your personal drama!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great read
    I work in the system and found it to be factual and interesting to those not only in the profession but to anyone interested in what goes on behind the walls of a prison. ... Read more

    13. Remains: Non-Viewable : A Memoir
    by John Sacret Young
    list price: $24.00
    our price: $16.32
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0374249032
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-05)
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Sales Rank: 33832
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    Book Description

    When John Sacret Young's cousin, Doug was killed in Vietnam, Young learned that the remains of every Vietnam casualty fell into one of two official categories: Viewable or Non-Viewable. He also discovered that such categories applied to how his New England family faced its own history.

    This compelling narrative is the haunting story of a man coming to terms with himself, with his family's past, with what he knows and will never know, and with his own future.

    Remains: Non-Viewable traces the close-knit lives of four men in Young's family: his uncle George, his cousin Doug, his father, and the author himself. In lyrical yet pungent prose, it illustrates how their seemingly tranquil existence on the Massachusetts shore is affected over the years by war, alcoholism, fading friendships and shifting memories of events gone by.

    Beautifully written and profoundly moving, Remains: Non-Viewable, a powerful and persuasive examination of fathers and sons, of war and remembrance, and of family and self.
    ... Read more

    14. The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods
    by Julia Butterfly Hill, Julia Hill
    list price: $25.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0062516582
    Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
    Publisher: Harper San Francisco
    Sales Rank: 357547
    Average Customer Review: 4.03 out of 5 stars
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    A young woman named Julia Butterfly Hill climbed a 200-foot redwood in December 1997. She didn't come down for 738 days. The tree, dubbed Luna, grows in the coastal hills of Northern California, on land owned by the Maxxam Corporation. In 1985 Maxxam acquired the previous landlord, Pacific Lumber, then proceeded to "liquidate its assets" to pay off the debt--in other words, clear-cut the old-growth redwood forest. Environmentalists charged the company with harvesting timber at a nonsustainable level.Earth First! in particular devised tree sit-ins to protest the logging.When Hill arrived on the scene after traveling cross-country on a whim, loggers were preparing to clear-cut the hillside where Luna had been growing for 1,000 years. The Legacy of Luna, part diary, part treatise, and part New Age spiritual journey, is the story of Julia Butterfly Hill's two-year arboreal odyssey.

    The daughter of an itinerant preacher, Hill writes of her chance meeting with California logging protesters, the blur of events leading to her ascent of the redwood, and the daily privations of living in the tallest treehouse on earth. She weathers everything from El Niño rainstorms to shock-jock media storms. More frightening are her interactions with the loggers below, who escalate the game of chicken by cutting dangerously close to Luna (eventually succeeding at killing another activist with such tactics). "'You'd better get ready for a bad hair day!'" one logger shouts up, grimly anticipating the illegal helicopter hazing she would soon get.Celebrity environmentalists like Joan Baez and Woody Harrelson stop by, too. The notoriety has, on balance, been good to Hill and her cause.George magazine named her one of the "Ten Most Fascinating People in Politics," Good Housekeeping readers nominated her one of the "Most Admired Women" in 1998, and she was featured in People's "Most Intriguing People of the Year" issue. As a result, more Americans know about controversial forestry practices; it remains to be seen, however, whether public outrage is enough to save California's unprotected and ever-shrinking groves of redwoods. While an agreement allowed Hill to descend from her aerie and Luna to escape the saw, most of the surrounding old-growth forest in the region has been felled or will fall shortly.Still, Hill is optimistic: "Luna is only one tree. We will save her, but we will lose others. The more we stand up and demand change, though, the more things will improve." --Langdon Cook ... Read more

    Reviews (73)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Book Falls Short of Legacy
    Admittedly, the saga of Julia Butterfly Hill and the Luna Tree-sit is an incredible and inspiring tale. Anyone wanting to gain insight into the mind and motivations of Hill, and to share in her perspective of this 2 year long act of civil disobedience, will certainly want to read "The Legacy of Luna". Beyond these elements however, the book is a great disappointment and fails to live up to the monumental significance of the story it attempts to portray.

    As many other reviews attest, "Legacy" is an easy read. I personally finished the book in less than 4 hours. This readability is unfortunately a result of the book's lack of substance and disconnected ramblings. In her rushed effort to complete the book Hill has failed to capture and articulate the genuine spirit of her action, instead providing a mostly dry account of day to day life in the tree mixed with meandering philosophy. By failing to consider the widespread effects and ramifications of the tree-sit - from its context and sometimes controversial influence within the modern environmental movement to the role the action played in effecting the dynamic of government forest policy on a local and national scale - Hill leaves the reader without a definite sense of just what the legacy referred to in the book's title is.

    "The Legacy of Luna" also falls short of providing a comprehensive account of the story in its failure to address many significant events and efforts on the ground which directly related to Hill's success. The reader is instead brought along on the journey in the vacuum of isolation that was Hill's two years in Luna. Considering that the book was written while Hill remained in the tree, having no opportunity to stand back and take account of the bigger picture, Hill's perspective is understandable. Yet as a reader I was left feeling that much was left unaccounted for, including the massive community effort which supported Hill's action that is at best is given passing reference in the book. This considerable omission, along with comments contained in the book's jacket, unfortunately perpetuates the public's romantic perception that the tree-sit was the action of a lone individual.

    As the author's Media and Ground Support Coordinator for over one year (I ceased involvement with the tree-sit in April, 1999), I have first-hand knowledge that Hill is a deeply spiritual, gifted activist and a passionate and articulate speaker and writer. Complaints regarding inaccurate timelines and erroneous accounting of events aside, the greatest disappointment is the book's failure to reflect the true legacy of Hill's accomplishments. In the publication of this book Hill was given what may possibly be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a long-standing and profoundly influential work along the lines of Aldo Leopold's "Sand County Almanac" or Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire". Instead, in her hurry to complete the book while under the daily pressures of her action, Hill has produced an interesting, yet unsubstantial account of her experience.

    Readers desiring to learn more about the context in which Hill's action was conducted are encouraged to read David Harris', "The Last Stand: The War Between Wall Street and Main Street Over California's Ancient Redwoods". For another account of a personal journey within these magnificent forests Joan Dunning's, "From the Redwood Forest: Ancient Trees and the Bottom Line: A Headwaters Journey" will be of interest.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great book!
    This is a great book and I enjoyed reading every page. Very inspirational and moving. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Autobiography
    This novel is a fabulous autobiography of Julia Hill, and her experience living in a redwood tree for two whole years. At first I thought it would be dull- how could I read a story about a woman living in a tree? I was quickly hooked to this book though. What makes it really fascinating is that Julia wasn't your typical environmentalist. In fact, until she sat in the tree, she wasn't an environmentalist at all (she was a business major-gasp!). This book also points out that the traditional trees vs. jobs problem is a bit of a myth and the real culprits are the big executives who believe in killing all trees rather than practicing sustainable forestry. This novel is both inspiring and eye opening.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo!
    I remember Julia Butterfly Hill making her stand and remember being so proud of her (and impressed with her bravery). This is a good book recounting what she went through and some of her thoughts over that period. So much of her love for this planet comes through and that was what really spoke to me throughout since I feel the same. I think its hard to write that kind of passion into words - but her actions speak so much more loudly than words. Wonderful work!

    4-0 out of 5 stars The "Silent Spring" of our time
    Julia Butterfly Hill is the Rachel Carson of our time. I loved this book ... There are very few people who "walk the walk." Julia truly shows us how to make a difference with this book. ... Read more

    15. Where Rivers Change Direction
    by Mark Spragg
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1573228257
    Catlog: Book (2000-08-01)
    Publisher: Riverhead Books
    Sales Rank: 17904
    Average Customer Review: 4.96 out of 5 stars
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    Growing up in rural Wyoming, Mark Spragg learned early to read the stars. At 11 he was instructed to quit dreaming, and he went to work for his father on the land. "I was paid thirty dollars a month, had my own bed in the bunkhouse, and three large, plain meals each day." The ranch is a sprawling place where winter brings months of solitude and summer brings tourists from the real world--city types who want a taste of the outdoors and stare at the author and his family as if they were members of some exotic tribe: "Our guests were New Jersey gas station owners, New York congressmen, Iowa farmers, judges, actors, plumbers, Europeans who had read of Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull and came to experience the American West, the retired, the just beginning." By the age of 14, he and his younger brother are leading them on camping trips into deep woods. "No one ever asked why we had no televisions, no daily paper. They came for what my brother and I took for granted. They came to live the anachronism that we considered our normal lives."

    As Spragg comes to realize the strangeness of his life, he also detects flaws in his own character--a fear of suffering and mortality that first shows itself when he rides a sick horse too hard, until the animal hovers at the brink of death. He knows that if he had faced the possibility of sickness, if he had been brave, this animal would not have declined so quickly. Throughout his life, this inability to face death, this terror of losing the beauty of the world he so passionately witnesses, drives Spragg to distraction.

    Where Rivers Change Direction combines a soaring spirituality with a visceral, often stomach-churning attention to detail. It's a book that continually dares the reader to turn away from its pages in an effort to digest the power of its confused emotions and hauntingly spare images (a "moon-fried plain," a stillborn child "baked alive in my mother's body"). Like Peter Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard, Mark Spragg's memoir makes you feel you've been somewhere, you've been out in the depths, and you've come back changed. --Emily White ... Read more

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wyoming, like no place on earth
    The book was given to me as a gift, little did I know that I was about to relive my child hood, my youth, my fifty plus years on the high plains of Wyoming. The smell of horse farts in the early dawn, cold feet, till there is no longer pain. Getting a case of 22 shells for Christmas, birthday, and wearing out the gun . Mark has finnaly writen a book of "how the west is" at least the last 50 years. To see death as an almost constant player, hunting, calving, blizzards, drunk driving, fast cars, all part of Wyoming. The country school, first love, almost social retardation. 60 miles from town is a long way, few people can stand the loneness. Twenty years behind the times, still is a good place to be in 2000, May Mark Spragg share more of his life with us , in many more books to come,as his works touch a nerve few authors today can.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Spraggs book has something for everyone.
    I will reccomend the book "Where rivers change direction" to all my friends. It is easy to read and at the same time extremely powerful. If he comes to your town for a book reading, go see him. Mark Spragg stories come to life when he reads them. I can hardly wait for November to see him at Aunties in Spokane.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Men & Horses: A fun and engaging romp growing up in Wyoming
    Where Rivers Change Direction is the engaging story of Mark's journey to manhood on a working Wyoming dude ranch in the 1960's. This is a place outside the world of televisions and flashy cars. Life is his regular classroom, and a boy has to grow up quickly in order to endure and survive in the harsh realities of the wilderness. The responsibility that Mark both endures and earns for himself, gives him his character. It is easy to trust his voice and experiences, including the silent moments as he imagines himself as a horse alongside the other horses, testing his breath in the cold air. Mark's words match his imagination, giving us a taste of what it is like to be a horse in Wyoming. Rivers can change direction when dammed up by man, or they can follow the contour of the earth they cut through every day, changing themselves. The river of the title is about Mark's life, and this memoir leads just through the point where he changes direction. I wouldn't have missed a turn.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superb!
    I read Spragg's Fruit Of Stone and was disappointed with the silly plot. The writing, however, convinced me to try Where Rivers Change Direction. It is a magnificent book in all respects. Buy this book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars As Good as They Say
    I read Spragg's novel, "Fruit of Stone," first, and was left rather cold. I'm glad I ventured forth with "Where Rivers Change Direction" because it is truly brilliant.

    This is a writer who can burnish a sentence the way a saddlemaker polishes leather--the love of craft is obvious, and the end result is a quiet elegance that is breathtaking. He loves the passive do I. The stately passivity take the wildness of ranch life from the hands of "action packed" Hemingway types and snares it in amber. Posterity over posturing? Sure, I'll take that!

    He's capable of being thoughtful, brash, graphic, elegiac, and, at times, pretty funny. I adored "Wapiti School," wherein he nails Candy Dohse, his first true love, right on the forehead with a snowball during recess. He even put a pebble in the snowball first. Ah, young love!

    There's no riders in purple sage, crazy saloon whores, shootouts, chuckwagons, or wacky Western shenanigans, and the "New West, worse than the Old West" place dysphoria/post-mod malaise is absent, as well. What you have instead is Spragg's life--from youth to maturity--carved away from the bone as if by a hunter's skilled hand. Okay, that was a (poor) attempt at a Spraggy sentence. So, don't read him! ... Read more

    16. Lucky
    by Alice Sebold
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $18.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0684857820
    Catlog: Book (1999-08-04)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 70695
    Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

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

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

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

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

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

    Reviews (154)

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

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

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

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

    A great read - highly recommended to anyone.

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

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

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

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

    17. All Souls : A Family Story from Southie (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 034544177X
    Catlog: Book (2000-10-03)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 15037
    Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up in "the best place in the world"--the Old Colony projects of South Boston--where 85% of the residents collect welfare in an area with the highest concentration of impoverished whites in the U.S. In All Souls, MacDonald takes us deep into the secret heart of Southie. With radiant insight, he opens up a contradictory world, where residents are besieged by gangs and crime but refuse to admit any problems, remaining fiercely loyal to their community. MacDonald also introduces us to the unforgettable people who inhabit this proud neighborhood. We meet his mother, Ma MacDonald, an accordion-playing, spiked-heel-wearing, indomitable mother to all; Whitey Bulger, the lord of Southie, gangster and father figure, protector and punisher; and Michael's beloved siblings, nearly half of whom were lost forever to drugs, murder, or suicide. By turns explosive and touching, All Souls ultimately shares a powerful message of hope, renewal, and redemption. ... Read more

    Reviews (141)

    5-0 out of 5 stars All Souls
    My reactions relate not only to the reading "All Souls" but to other reviews of the work. I should state with clarity that I am familiar neither with the individuals in the book nor with the history of Southie. Yet MacDonald's book is vital to both the story of urban centers such as Boston but also to the untold story of white poverty in the United States. Books such as "All Souls" and more militant pieces such as "The Redneck Manifesto" (Jim Goad's brash and irreverent book) are important accounts of white poverty. MacDonald never portrayed his work as "a socio-cultural study of white poverty in an Urban Center in the Northeastern United States," but a personal account of his family's experiences. "All Souls" presents a good picture of the complexities of the real world - a family that was a picture of both dysfunction and resiliency, a community "code" that served both as its' strength and its' Achilles heal, and a person who journeyed through life trying to come to terms with these issues.

    Unaware of the accuracy of the "facts," the story of this family is an important addition to those who continually ignore the reality of the "white experience in America" - an experience, that for many, is not couched in race-based advantage. To dismiss an important piece of work such as this based on interpretation of facts or untold pieces of what is an enormously complex story misses the point. Mr. MacDonald, good job on starting an important discussion!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great read!
    I couldn't put this book down, and I jsut finished reading it for a second time. Mike MacDonald brings the reader into his childhood and won't let him escape. His story of growing up poor in Southie, amidst the drugs and violence and busing crisis, yet still being able to call it "the best place in the world" allowed me to finish the story with a smile on my face. And I challenge the person who wrote that despite the drugs and crime, etc. that he grew up with, Mike was still able to "convince himself" that it was the best place in the world. After sitting down with him last week for an interview/conversation, I believe he would maintain his point of view; he wasn't convincing himself of anything. And that's what allowed me to stay positive through the book: yes, the MacDonalds had to deal with unfathomable pain and hardships, but Southie's tight-knit community made for a home that is hard to forget about. I also challenge the person who in his review said that MacDonald's book was an "indictment" of the gangsters in Southie and that he made "brave accusations" about them; the truth is obvious, and Whitey Bulger and his crew managed to bring unbelievable amounts of drugs and crime to Southie. Despite what the newspapers or anyone else wants to say. I now work in Southie and have seen first-hand the poverty and drugs, but it is still a great community. Mike MacDonald, in his book and in our conversations, erased stereotypes of Southie that existed in my mind and that exist across the country today. He also got through to me that writing can and will allow one's wounds to heal; he is a brave man, an excellent writer, and one of the nicest guys I've met since I began working in Southie three months ago. Y'all have to read this book if you want the truth on one of the most misunderstood neighborhoods in Boston.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone from Boston should read this book
    Before the gentrification of Southie and Dot, these areas contained Boston's infamous white "underclass." This book is the story of a fascinating family that lived in Southie in the 70's and 80's, and witnessed and participated in some of the most important events to happen in Boston in the 20th century.

    The book is really divided into two parts. The first part takes place when the author was a very young child, and is primarily about his older siblings. It is the 70's, when the bussing riots are threatening to destroy Boston and the Winter Hill gang was hanging around in a certain auto body shop. The author makes it clear that a lot of what he tells about these events is second hand, primarily from his siblings and his mother. However, since they were very active in so many events, and since this book concentrates on the whole family and not just the author, this does not detract from the veracity of the book at all. The second part takes place in the 1980's, when, in the aftermath of the Charles Stewart fiasco, the police are looking for a martyr to prove that they're not rascist. They settle on the author's younger brother.

    The most fascinating thing about this book his how the author manages to chronicle how a family and a community can disintigrate while remaining as strong as ever. Not everyone in the family, or the community makes it through the book, and as Southie is quickly becoming hot real estate it is sad to think of the community that is being condo'd over.

    Anyone who is interested in knowing why Boston is the way it is now should read this book. Boston is still living with the repurcussions of the period that this book covers, and this book offers a fascinating first (and sometimes second) hand account of the events that shaped our city.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Eye-Opening, and Tragically Irish
    Ignore the attacks - All Souls is beautiful and timeless. It is at once a story of 20th century American turmoil and also a story with the Irish tone and Irish rhythm, calling to mind Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. But above all else it is, as described on the cover, a family story. A story written throughout a childhood, it tells the tale of a family torn violently apart by fate and circumstance, yet in some form still together, still beating and moving on with force. What many people, including some of my fellow Irish-American Boston residents, fail to grasp is that this story is not an analysis of a neighborhood; it is nothing historical but rather a vibrant story that drives straight into the core of what it means to be Irish and American simultaneously, and how the joy, loyalty, and fierce pride combine with hypocrisy and silence to produce a perplexing Irish-American identity. The story hits home for me, and it's truth is not necessarily in the trivial names of bars or individuals as some myopic readers contend. The truth comes in its message, in the power and emotion in Michael Patrick MacDonald's pride and disgust for the neighborhood that can be at the same time "the best place on earth" and a "hellhole." Do not fight the contradictions - it is contradictory and beautiful as a novel. It's American; it's Irish; it's human; and it's timeless. I urge anyone to read this phenomenal piece of work by MacDonald!

    2-0 out of 5 stars 'ALL SOULS' very disappointing!
    Highly anecdotal and unreferenced, the memoir: 'ALL SOULS: A Family Story from Southie' (c. 2000) by Mr. Michael Patrick MacDonald, simultaneously presented an unquestionable account of the author's tragic family life while presenting a dubious description of the neighborhood of South Boston.

    Any life-long resident of South Boston who reads ALL SOULS will recognize the many errors in this memoir and the author's reliance on hyperbole for dramatic effect; such as referring to a fist fight as a 'riot' or an orderly protest as a 'mob'. The author further uses terminology not part of South Boston vocabulary, such as: Racist, Scapegoat, riots, molotov cocktails, and 'Lace Curtain Irish' (which is straight out of the book: 'Liberty's Chosen Home' p. 30 and not a Boston figure of speech).

    ALL SOULS is further marred by the many suppositions, innuendos, and non-sequiturs used to describe residents and the neighborhood: such as the author's detailed descriptions of Whitey Bulger, a man the author admitted he never met; or the mentioning throughout ALL SOULS of the bar, the *Irish Rover*, which isn't even in South Boston but three miles away in Dorchester. In fact, the author seemed to have had most of his Southie experiences on the South Boston/Dorchester border, blurring those two distinct neighborhoods.

    While the careful reader will not question the authenticity of the author's account of his family tragedies, some of which appear self-inflicted, the MacDonald family, as presented in ALL SOULS, had serious issues way before they moved to the Old Colony projects - therefore, 'ipse dixit', those tragedies 'happened' in South Boston, they were not 'caused' by South Boston, as implied in ALL SOULS! For the vast majority of South Boston's diverse & multi-cultural 32,000 residents, except for forced busing, Southie was a good place to grow up!

    Neither autobiography nor diary, the memoir ALL SOULS is obviously valueless for serious historical research. The author mistook digressions for correlations, as Mr. Michael Patrick MacDonald presented a heart rendering account of his family's tragedies along with a dubious and mechanistic opinion of South Boston history and events. As a complement to ALL SOULS, please read: 'THAT OLD GANG OF MINE: A History of South Boston' (c. 1991) by Southie native Frank J. Loftus, which presented a less posit history of South Boston than the flawed ALL SOULS. ... Read more

    18. Shadows on the Koyukuk: An Alaskan Native's Life Along the River
    by Sidney Huntington, Jim Rearden
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 088240427X
    Catlog: Book (1993-04-01)
    Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books
    Sales Rank: 8029
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In his dramatic autobiography, Alaskan elder Sidney Huntington, half-white, half-Athabascan, recounts his adventures, tragedies, and ultimate success. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best stories you'll ever find. Period.
    I was given this book by my father, who met Sidney and said he was a heck of a guy. That alone is a glowing review. I have been born and raised in Alaska and even though I lead a more urban life, I could relate to and picture most of the accounts in this book. I think the more time you spend in the wilderness, the more you would appreciate this book. Hopefully, those of you who have not been in the wilds of Alaska will still get a lot out of this book. This book is without question one of the best books I have ever read (And I'm comparing it to classic literary works as well). I am not an emotional reader, but I had tears in my eyes more than once while reading it. One should pay special attention to the section on wolves - it is the real story - the one the animal rights activists don't want you to know. Sidney bridges the native and white cultures so well - I think both cultures would be better off if we lived to his ideals.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The real Alaska
    The experiance this man has growing up in the Koyyakuk is almost to unbelievable, but true. From losing your mom at age 7 and taking care of 2 younger siblings for days until they were discosvered, to killing a Grizzly bear by hand, this was the norm before civilization hit the region. A truly remarkable book. YOu will want to re-read again and again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Shadows on the Koyukuk are enchanting!
    Sidney Huntington grew up along the Koyukuk River in Alaska's harsh interior over 80 years ago. After his legendary mother suddenly dies, 3 year old Huntington protects & cares for his younger siblings during two weeks of isolation before rescue comes. As a teenager he plies wilderness traplines with his father, nearly freezing to death several times.

    Shadows on the Koyukuk is a plain & simple memoir with unpretentious recounting of arduous survival interwoven with memories of cheerful, wholehearted contentment of where Sidney found himself in a fabled & beautiful land.

    With names like Weaselheart & Schilikum, Monkey John & Cosmos Mountain, Sidney tells of his life on the edge & what happened when civilization arrived & bureaucracy took over. These are the memories of when Anchorage was a city of about 2,000 souls, after the great the Alaska Railroad system was built & the railroad crews had left. You will also find out what "tundra daisies" are. A pleasing memoir of a full life!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Shadows on the Koyukuk
    This is one of the best books I have ever read. I was fascinated the entire time I was reading this book, and I didn't want to put it down. I have decided to read this story to my children. I hope to find the story of James Huntington called "On the Edge of Nowhere". A compelling story and I would recommend this story to anyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The real-deal Interior Bush adventure bio!
    I arrived to work in the Bush for my first summer of '99. Immediately, this book was recommended. Simultaneously, I ended up visiting most of the villages mentioned in the book; very accurate, informative and fun! Sydney is still alive, fishing and living the Yukon River... ... Read more

    19. Lazy B : Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $11.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812966732
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-08)
    Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 39835
    Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Now, for the first time in paperback, here is the remarkable story of Sandra Day O’Connor’s family and early life, her journey to adulthood in the American Southwest that helped make her the woman she is today—the first female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and one of the most powerful women in America. In this illuminating and unusual book, Sandra Day O’Connor tells, with her brother, Alan, the story of the Day family, and of growing up on the harsh yet beautiful land of the Lazy B ranch in Arizona.

    Laced throughout these stories about three generations of the Day family, and everyday life on the Lazy B, are the lessons Sandra and Alan learned about the world, self-reliance, and survival, and how the land, people, and values of the Lazy B shaped them. This fascinating glimpse of life in the Southwest in the last century recounts an important time in American history, and provides an enduring portrait of an independent young woman on the brink of becoming one of the most prominent figures in America.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (23)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beatifully captures a bygone era of the American Southwest
    I loved reading this beautiful, gritty account of the remote Arizona cattle ranch where O'Connor and her brother grew up. The book is a portrait of the Lazy B ranch and the family and cowboys who created and sustained it for over a century. O'Connor's account is unromantized and yet touching, and it succeeds in vividly revealing a bygone way of life from the old West.

    We see the the daily rhythms and activities of ranch life, the ongoing struggles of the Day family to keep the ranch afloat, and portraits of the colorful, rugged cowboys who worked at the Lazy B for most of their lives. And we hear the perspectives and fond recollections of the young girl (O'Connor) and her brother who grew up there.

    If you are drawn to the West, you'll enjoy this book as much as I did.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Memoir
    Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her brother, H. Alan Day, tell the story of growing up in the harsh yet beautiful land of the Lazy B Ranch in Arizona. The book is organized as a series of vignettes ranging from character sketches of the cowboys who spent their lives on the ranch to rain to the BLM.

    I loved this book. I first became aware of it during a trip to southern Arizona. The authors describe a way of life -- on an isolated cattle ranch -- that is almost extinct. I knew that water was important in such a land, but I didn't know that the majority of the time of the owners and employees of the ranch was spent in maintaining the wells, windmills and pumps that provided that water.

    I also enjoyed comparing the book to Jimmy Carter's An Hour Before Daybreak, his memoir of his childhood in rural south Georgia during a similar time period.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Semi-BORING
    This book seemed politically written. The "right" word took center-stage over the substance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Only the B was Lazy
    Growing up in a city, I always wondered during car trips through ranchland how the people there lived. Was it a hard life? Lonely? Were they like us in the city?

    I knew from movies and TV that calves in pastures were grown into large steers through a gradual process of fistfighting and gunslinging, with the cowboys taking frequent breaks to drink whiskey and play poker. But that was only part of the story. What role did the women and children play? Why the windmills? Who provided basic services?

    All these questions and more have now been answered by a Supreme Court Justice, of all things. Lazy B is Sandra Day O'Connor's memoir of her girlhood on a ranch in the desert Southwest. The simple unaffected style of her writing is just right to convey the power of the story: a family living on a desolate ranch for 113 years--a happy family, a resourceful and persistent family.

    The Day ranch had already been operating for 50 years when Sandra was born in 1930, and was still going strong when she was appointed to the high court 51 years later. The Days didn't have hot running water until 1937, but when they did it was from a solar heater designed by Sandra's father--40 years ahead of the solar energy craze of the 1970s.

    That sort of self reliance and innovation is one of the main themes of the book: when they needed more water they built windmills to bring it up out of the ground. When the windmills broke, they fixed them. Before the windmills and solar heater, the limited hot water for bathing was used in sequence: first Sandra's mother, then her father, then the children, then the ranch hands, if they had any interest in the water that remained. Not a cushy life, but several of the cowboys liked it enough to stay at Lazy B for over 50 years.

    The self-reliance in the area of first aid is even more striking: Sandra's father successfully mending the uterus of a cow with a wine bottle and some stitches; one of the cowhands giving himself a root canal with red hot baling wire, or taping his broken finger to a nail so he could keep working.

    And while all of them--Mom,Dad,kids,cowhands--did whatever they had to do to keep working, O'Connor's memories are overwhelmingly happy ones of card games and wild animal pets and riding through the desert and, more than anything else, conversations. One gets the impression that no one ever had a better childhood.

    O'Connor may or may not be a great justice--I don't know much about the law--but it seems to me that she was a part of something great long before she ever got a law degree. A happy family and a solvent ranch are two things which are hard to maintain for more than a dozen years. The Days did it for a dozen plus a year and a century. Looking at the picture on page 257, I see the very bedrock of the country.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Facinating Portrail of a Time Gone...By a Facinating Woman
    Sandra Day O'Connor is simply one of the most impressive women to have lived in the 20th Century. I've only very recently reached this opinion, primarily based on listening to her read 'Lazy B'. Her childhood was remarkable, and it is indeed a testament to her character. Her voice is distinct and understated. Yet, one can tell that she is at once humble and proud. I highly recommend listening to her reading of the book, and I believe that you will come away with a strong impression of this distinguished lady. ... Read more

    20. Ghosts in the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of Self
    by Beth Kephart
    list price: $17.00
    our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1577314980
    Catlog: Book (2005-02-10)
    Publisher: New World Library
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    Book Description

    National Book Award nominee Beth Kephart's new book is an enchanting midlife meditation on aging, identity, and memory set against the backdrop of Chanticleer garden in Pennsylvania. On the morning of her forty-first birthday, Kephart, a mother, wife, and writer pressured by deadlines, finds herself at Chanticleer, one of the world's most celebrated pleasure gardens. She knows little of the language of flowers. Week after week, she returns to Chanticleer, recalling her childhood self, mulling over legacy and soul, striking up friendships with gardeners and conversations with other visitors. Succored by the seasons and the weather, she finds the grace notes in approaching middle age. There are lessons in seeds, and she finds them. There are lessons in letting go. Kephart writes about questions we all ask ourselves: How do we remember who we used to be? How do we imagine who we'll become? Have we lived our lives as we set out to do? What legacies do we wish to leave behind? The book spans a two-year cycle, and each chapter is accompanied by a gorgeous black-and-white photograph of Chanticleer by William Sulit. Ghosts in the Garden pulses with possibility and purpose, with wisdom that is ageless and transcendent. ... Read more

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