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$17.79 $10.95 list($26.95)
41. Son Of The Rough South: An Uncivil
$16.50 $15.98 list($25.00)
42. The Final Frontiersman : Heimo
$10.88 $9.75 list($16.00)
43. The Fight in the Fields: Cesar
$6.29 $4.34 list($6.99)
44. The Coalwood Way
$0.89 list($23.95)
45. A Monk Swimming
$10.17 $6.31 list($14.95)
46. Little Britches: Father and I
$20.23 $15.84
47. Madam: Inside a Nevada Brothel
$16.47 list($24.95)
48. Luncheonette : A Memoir
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49. Living Among Headstones: Life
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50. Bryson City Seasons: More Tales
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51. Population: 485 : Meeting Your
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52. Nine Years Among the Indians,
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53. An Hour Before Daylight : Memoirs
$24.95 $5.99
54. Packinghouse Daughter: A Memoir
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55. The Tender Bar : A Memoir
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56. Bob Kleberg and the King Ranch:
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57. Wild Steps of Heaven
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58. CROSS CREEK
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59. My Awakening: A Path to Racial
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60. The Guinness Book of Me : A Memoir

41. Son Of The Rough South: An Uncivil Memoir
by Karl Fleming
list price: $26.95
our price: $17.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586482963
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 8007
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Book Description

A remarkable and moving memoir of growing up poor in a tough place and covering the most brutal-though often inspiring-aspects of the civil rights revolution

Legendary civil rights reporter Karl Fleming was born in North Carolina's flattest, bleakest tobacco landscape. Raised in a Methodist orphanage during the Great Depression, he was isolated from much of the world around him until an early newspaper job introduced him to the era's brutal racial politics and a subsequent posting as Newsweek's lead civil rights reporter took him to the South's hotspots throughout the 1960s: James Meredith's enrollment at the University of Mississipi, the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, the assassination of Medgar Evers, the murders of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and more. On May 17, 1966, Fleming was beaten by black rioters on the streets of Los Angeles. Newsweek covered the incident in their next issue, and here's what they wrote:"That he was beaten by Negroes in the streets of Watts was a cruel irony. Fleming had covered the landmark battles of the Negro revolt from Albany, Ga., to Oxford, Miss., to Birmingham, Ala., and numberless way stations whose names are now all but forgotten..... No journalist was more closely tuned into the Movement; once when a Newsweek Washington correspondent asked the Justice Department to name some Dixie hot spots, the Justice man replied, 'Ask Fleming. That's what we do.'"

In Son of the Rough South, Fleming has delivered a stunning, revealing memoir of all the worlds he knew, black, white, violent, and cloistered-and a deeply moving read for anyone interested in any rough South. ... Read more


42. The Final Frontiersman : Heimo Korth and His Family, Alone in Alaska's Arctic Wilderness
by James Campbell
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
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Asin: 0743453131
Catlog: Book (2004-05-25)
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 1106
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the bestselling tradition of Into the Wild and The Last American Man, an intimate portrait of how one man and his family thrive in the most remote of American landscapes: Alaska's Arctic wilderness.

Hundreds of hardy people have tried to carve a living in the Alaskan bush, but few have succeeded as consistently as Heimo Korth. Originally from Wisconsin, Korth came to Alaska in his twenties, and he never left. Across the years, he's carved out a subsistence life like no other--a life bounded by the migrating caribou herds, by the dangers of suddenly swollen rivers, and by the very exigencies of daily survival.

Journalist James Campbell has spent two years documenting the lives of Heimo, his wife, Edna, and their teenage daughters, Rhonda and Krin, and he paints their portraits in vivid detail: evenings listening to the distant voices from the radio's Trapline Chatter show; months spent waiting for the odd small plane to bring supplies; years relying on hard-learned hunting and survival skills that are all that stand between the family and a terrible fate. But it's a complicated existence, too, of encroaching environmental pressures and the fear that this life might be disappearing forever--and how will his two teenage daughters react when one of them goes back to "civilization" for her high school years?

But always at the center there's Heimo Korth, a man who escaped a tough father and a circumscribed life, then reinvented himself in the Alaskan wilderness, only to witness the most unbearable of tragedies, a tragedy that keeps him and his family tied to this inhospitable and beautiful land forever.

By turns inspiring and downright jolting, James Campbell's extraordinary book reads like a rustic version of the American Dream--and reveals for the very first time a life undreamed of by most of us, outside of the mainstream, alone in a stunning wilderness that for now, at least, remains the final frontier. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I second the positive comments to what has been said earlier in these reviews. This man and his family were included in a National Geographic documentary titled "Braving Alaska". I originally read the review of this book featured in Outside magazine and thought the storyline sounded familiar.

5-0 out of 5 stars Little House in the Big Arctic
James Campbell reports the life of Heimo Korth and the family he has raised, the last family of trappers to remain in the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Although this book has one foot in the "wilderness adventure can you believe anyone can survive this" genre (Heimo regularly traps in -50 weather and even jogs in -20 weather), it is also a kind of domestic family saga, almost a "Little House on the Prairie" but the prairie is the Arctic.

Heimo, his wife Edna, and daughters Rhonda and Krin, face near tragedies and real tragedies lost in blizzards, or facing a broken-down snow machine miles from home, or jumping from ice flow to ice flow in desparate hope of making it back to shore, or falling through overflow ice on the river. Remarkably though, the main thing I'll remember about this book is the sense it conveys of Heimo's redemption (lost and alcoholic, he came to Alaska to trap in the 70s, but dried up and built a family there), and of the love and affection of a family who have no one but each other for months on end. This is a real testament to Campbell's skill as a journalist and author.

The adventure and drama of the Arctic keep the reader turning pages like a good mystery but the after-effect is one of love and integrity.

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome To The World Of 40 Below
What would you do if it were 40 below and your snowmobile conked out 15 miles from your cabin?

After reading this book you will understand that the answer is simple. You'd die. End of story.

This is the tale of a real world tough guy who at a young age gave himself over to the pursuit of wilderness survival and is about the only one left out there with survival skills of this level.

The author is no wimp either, spending considerable time with Mr. Korth plus doing mega-research on the history of the Alaskan wilderness, which he weaves into the story in an informing, non-boring way.

When I read Into The Wild I somehow thought that the fellow that died just had a few unlucky breaks-like the river rising which trapped him out in that old bus. Wrong. That guy never stood a chance from day one, and this book shows you why.

Like a lot of guys I have always had two fantasies - living in the backwoods of Alaska or living on a remote tropical island. I heartily thank the author for paring my fantasy list down to one - the island.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, unsentimental tale of subsistence in Alaska

Comparisons will be drawn between this book and Krakauer's excellent Into the Wild based on the common themes of living off the land and the unforgivingness of the Alaskan wilderness. Where Krakauer's book is a meditation on the romanticism and perils of self-reliance, The Final Frontiersman is an unsentimental and penetrating look at the physical, emotional and psychological challenges of making a living in this remote and and unforgiving environment.

Heimo Korth, his wife and two daughters and the life they lead is fascinating. Campbell's well-constructed narrative makes exciting and evocative reading.

If Chris McCandless, the subject of Krakauer's book, had had the chance to read this book, he might still be alive today.

5-0 out of 5 stars not girly but you'll love it
This isn't really my genre but when i started reading this story I couldn't put it down. It is incredibly inspiring and touching. It will touch your life and influence you in a positive way: a little like the book, Seabiscuit. It was educational too. It would be wonderful for children in difficult financial or familial situations to read. I can't stop talking about it and I can't put it down. ... Read more


43. The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement
by Susan Ferriss, Ricardo Sandoval, Diana Hembree
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156005980
Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Sales Rank: 137928
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars AN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY BOOK
Okay, I'm biased. I'm the author of a mystery novel in current release that features a Latino private investigator as the protagonist, and I've been teaching in a rural California high school with a student population over 98% Hispanic for over twenty years. This biography, loaded with photographs and facts, is perfect for today. It clearly proves what an exceptional man Cesar Chavez was and what exceptional accomplishments that man achieved. If you have any interest in the real America, you have to read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent history
This very personal history of the Cesar Chavez and the UFW is a comprehensive account of the farmworkers movement and the difficulties encountered in their fight for justice and fair treatment. Very well written and illustrated.

4-0 out of 5 stars HUELGA! Gracias Cesar.
Fight in the Fields - without a doubt, a story worthy of a thousand books. This book is simply a comprehensive history of the UFW. The struggle and the suffering must never be forgotten and continue today. A fantastic account of a imensely important movement.

5-0 out of 5 stars To date, this is the most complete history of the UFW.
I haven't read the softcover revision, but the hardback edition of Fight in the Fields is the most complete history of the farm workers' movement led by Cesar Chavez out there. It is factual and personal. I worked with Cesar 11 years and our friendship spanned three decades. I also recommend With These Hands (Harcourt Brace) by Daniel Rothenberg for the expanded picture of farm labor around the nation. ... Read more


44. The Coalwood Way
by Homer Hickam
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
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Asin: 0440237165
Catlog: Book (2001-09-04)
Publisher: Island Books
Sales Rank: 11635
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From the #1 bestselling author of October Sky comes this rich, unforgettable tale. With the same dazzling storytelling that distinguished his first memoir, Homer Hickam takes us deeper into the soul of his West Virginia hometown at a moment when its unique way of life is buffeted by forces of time and change.

It is fall 1959. Homer “Sonny” Hickam and his fellow Rocket Boys are in their senior year at Big Creek High, and the town of Coalwood finds itself at a painful crossroads.

The strains can be felt within the Hickam home, where Homer Sr. struggles to save the mine, and his wife, Elsie, is feeling increasingly isolated from both her family and the townspeople. Sonny, despite a blossoming relationship with a local girl, finds his own mood darkened by an unexplainable sadness.

Then, with the holidays approaching, trouble at the mine and the arrival of a beautiful young outsider bring unexpected changes in both the Hickam family and the town of Coalwood ... as this luminous memoir moves toward its poignant conclusion.
... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book ROX!!!!!!!
I absolutely love this timeless classic by Homer Hickam! I'm just 17 years old, but know an awesome story when I read one! Homer's first book Rocket Boys changed my life. His book made me realize what life has in store for you when you take risks! The Coalwood Way is an excellent 2nd book in this "series". Mr. Hickam writes in such a way that it grasps you and wont let you quit reading. His style is perfect to read out loud to students in a classsroom setting. In fact, I plan on reading these books to my class when I become the band teacher I've always wanted to be. Thanx Mr. Hickam for this truly generous and awesome look into your exciting life as a coalwood boy!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Deeply Satisfying Memoir
If you enjoyed Homer Hickam's Rocket Boys or the movie October Sky, this book is for you. Homer doesn't so much pick up where he left off at the end of Rocket Boys, but rather returns to the fullness of his senior high school year. He weaves a tapestry that provides detail in breadth and depth that keeps the pages turning. You'll suddenly discover it's well past bedtime and you are content to keep reading.

Homer discovers truths about himself and others, even as he's about to move away from home. There is always more to learn from one's parents. There are many emotional highs and lows in Coalwood, but lessons learned from both will leave you feeling hopeful for the human spirit. The people of Coalwood continue to display a dogged determination to get though the difficulties, even if they stumble along the way. Not one to cry easily, I found my eyes welling up with tears during the last chapter. It is possible to find great joy and beauty in hard times.

Homer doesn't miss on emotion. There's anger, joy, fear, excited anticipation, sorrow, laughter, and contentment. You may very well learn something about yourself while reading The Coalwood Way. I highly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars I've said it before and I'll say it again:
How many wonderful works of literature were we denied by Homer Hickam (not Hickham or Hickman) going into Industrial Engineering?

This is the type of book that makes you yearn for the simpler, more innocent times of your childhood, no matter when you grew up. Something in each of us can identify with the antics of the Rocket Boys.

I sure hope that Mr. Hickam continues to write more wonderful books such as this one and all his other works.

4-0 out of 5 stars main character is engaging, flawed, well written.
Written by the same author of October Sky, about the same period in his childhood, the COALWOOD WAY and OCTOBER SKY cover the exact same themes-a son trying to shine despite the disappointment/disapproval of his father, rocket trial and error, etc-and have the exact same arcs. Minor characters and sub plots are different, however, and are very poignant and engaging.The protagonist, Sonny is an earnest boy with enough flaws to make him interesting. He is smart yet a little too proud; a friend but sometimes too self-centered to see when his closest friends are in trouble; he's handsome yet can't get a date to the senior dance. These imperfections make him the perfect Everyman, easy to root for. Minor characters are well drawn, and some are heartbreaking to watch. Dreama's tragic arc is painful but gives the story a darkness and depth. Her ostracization by town snobs is well-depicted, and shows that the author didn't just sail through his childhood without noticing the little evils that men do. Great read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining memoir
This is not to the same level of The Rocket Boys, which is a story much better told. However, The Coalwood Way is an interesting read, especially for those who truly liked The Rocket Boys.

For one thing, i was a bit disappointed about the author's foreword. He swears that even though the events in the book passed so long ago (1959), he remembers everything in tremendous detail. If he hadn't said that, i wouldn't have even thought about it. As a person with very bad memory, i don't believe him.

Some of the characters are described to a point that they almost seem caricatures. I couldn't help think of Martin on The Simpsons when reading about Quentin. Roy Lee reminded me of Elvis Presley in one of his cheesy movies.

The memoir almost redeemed itself in page 267 (chapter 27), when Sonny finally realizes what has been bugging him all along (here's something i wish i had done: jot down the items on Sonny's list as you read along). That discovery makes the book worthwhile. However, the memoir ends with the Christmas Pageant, and that image really ruined the moment for me. ... Read more


45. A Monk Swimming
by Malachy McCourt
list price: $23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786863986
Catlog: Book (1998-06-03)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 385535
Average Customer Review: 2.65 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Slapped with a libel suit after an appearance on a talk show,Malachy McCourt crows, "If they could only see me now in the slums of Limerick, a big shot, sued for a million. Bejesus, isn't America a great and wonderful country?" His older brother Frank's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Angela's Ashes, took its somber tone from the bleak atmosphere of those slums, while Malachy's boisterous recollections are fueled by his zestful appreciation for the opportunities and oddities of his native land. He and Frank were born in Brooklyn, moved with their parents to Ireland as children, then returned to the States as adults. This book covers the decade 1952-63, when Malachy roistered across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, but spent most of his time in New York City. There his ready wit and quick tongue won him an acting job with the Irish Players, a semiregular stint on the Tonight show hosted by Jack Paar, and friendships with some well-heeled, well-born types who shared his fondness for saloon life and bankrolled him in an East Side saloon that may have been the first singles bar. He chronicles those events--and many others--with back-slapping bonhomie. Although McCourt acknowledges the personal demons that pursued him from his poverty-stricken childhood and destroyed his first marriage, this is on the whole an exuberant autobiography that pays tribute to the joys of a freewheeling life. ... Read more

Reviews (194)

4-0 out of 5 stars The demons of the McCourts
The most telling page of Monks Swimming was the last page. There we are informed that Malachy McCourt is a happily married man with a loving family. Obviously something has happened since the gold smuggling, booze drinking, bed hopping and hot winding days of the 60's. What may have kept this review from being a five star is it took so long for McCourt to deal with his father and the constant hope that he held for him. It appears that McCourt had deep scars of the proverty and desertion that were masked through the care free attitude he displayed in America. Maybe once he faced this issue is when he became the happy person that the last page refers to. Notwithstanding the reasons for his behaviour the book is quite amusting in parts. His descriptions of the confessions to non-English priests and the gold laden vests are worth the price of the book..

5-0 out of 5 stars No Monk Ever Swam So Well Before!
This is an absolutely delightful book. No, I don't approve of many of the things Malachy McCourt did, but then, neither does he. But he is honest enough to tell it the way it happened, and he has the wit to make it, for the most part, very enjoyable. Yes, there were times when I wanted to say to him "Oh, Malachy, MUST you repeat your father's mistakes?" But of course he can't go back and change what he has already done.

It seems to me that a lot of reviewers have called this a bad book because they don't approve of the author. That is a silly thing to do. Richard Wagner, so I'm told, was a really rotten sort of person, even to the end of his days, but much of his music is very beautiful. I enjoy Wagner's beautiful music and I enjoy Malachy McCourt's beautiful prose, and I would feel free to do so even if Malachy had not gotten his act together (but I'm glad he finally did, as I learned from the sequel, "Singing My Him Song.")

3-0 out of 5 stars Malachy McCourt - waste of space?
This book does not tell the story of a man's life as an adult, but merely documents the destruction of that life. His travels leave a trail of exploitation. I am only reading this story for traces of Frank McCourt. There are occasions where Malachy mentions his despair, but through the countless episodes in which he takes advantage of others, there is no witness, observation or analysis of the situations that he placed himself into. I was disappointed by the numerous mentions of encounters with the famous, unfortunately who have no impact on the story. I do not take pleasure in humour at the tragic expense of others.

5-0 out of 5 stars An exciting story..to laugh and to cry.
Malachy's got a very different writing compared to Frank, his brother. Malachy is this bloke, kind of rude...he's the MAN who lived "les 400 coups" all over the world. What a rich existence you had Mr McCourt. Your writing is so funny and so sad.
It's also so exciting and so unique.
Sometimes reality is more surreal than fiction and your life is the perfect example. A great book without a doubt. U, Irish, rule! I'll never drink Whiskey with the H, without thinking about this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining tale
This is the memoirs of the larger than life, hard-drinking Malachy McCourt. Born in America, rasied in Ireland and then back to New York as an teen. He made a name for himself in New York city as the first celebrity bartender. He was a social mixer, a writer, an actor of stage and screen. His gift for blarney made him a regular on the Tonight Show.

This book is darkly funny. And a bit raw in places, so be warned. But he does tell his story with passion, wit, irreverence and charm. This was a fun read. ... Read more


46. Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers
by Ralph Moody
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803281781
Catlog: Book (1991-09-01)
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Sales Rank: 5497
Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, Enjoyable, readable for any age level
I first read a book from this series, "the fields of home" when I was 8 or 9, on my fathers recomendation, he said it reminded him of his father and himself. after reading the story, I found that rather than seeing my father and grandfather, I saw my dad and myself. I didnt know any other books from this author existed until a couple of years ago, when I ran accross the entire box set. my whole family has enjoyed them; both as read aloud books for the younger kids but as quiet reading for the older ones as well as my wife and I. I read the entire series at least once a year, and they never fail to bring a warm feeling to my heart, as well as a close feeling of family ties and kinship to the rural way of life. If the kids of today cared half as much for the well being of the family as Ralph Moody did for his, this would be a much better world to live in

5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, humorous, quality reading for any age level
I read my first book by Ralph Moody, "The fields of home" when I was 8, on my fathers recomendation. He told me that the story reminded him of he and his father, but after reading it I saw more of my dad and myself; rather than father and grandfather. A couple of years ago a friend told me of these great books he had bought, and said that he would loan them to me, once I saw the author I had to purchace the set for myself. I read these books at least once a year, and there hasn't been a time when they dont bring a warm feeling to my heart, and bring a feeling of kinship to Ralph and his family with its rural heritage. If the kids of today cared half as much for family as Ralph does for his, today would be a much better place.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books to read aloud
I have read Little Britches and its sequel, Man of the Family to my 6th grade history students and to my 4th grade students for five years now. I have found that the story holds the attention of both girls and boys. My students have been able to make connections with other items we have read in history. The story is full of excellent values without being preachy. Basically, it is a well told first person narrative of life in the American west in the 1910's. A great book to read outloud to children or to read with children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Build Your Character House
If a classroom full of students with BEHAVIOR problems can sit through this book without incident, you can imagine how compelling this story is.

Little Britches is the first book in an autobiographical series. Ralph Moody (aka Little Britches) tells us about his family's move from the East and their struggles and triumphs as they scrape a living from a ranch in Colorado. Ralph is 9 years old, with an older sister and several younger siblings. The book is much more than a chronology of interesting and exciting events-- much more. It is rich in the values of honesty, family unity, ingenuity, and the pride of doing a task well.

There are many strong messages about building character -- earning trust, earning respect, and giving a man a good day's work. Ralph's wonderfully wise father is his primary teacher regarding the building of Ralph's "character house", but along the way Ralph meets other memorable men -- "Hi" the cowboy was our favorite. Ralph gets in several predicaments, doesn't always make the right choice, but takes to heart his father's wise counsel.

This book is a true treasure. I would recommend it for ages 5 and up as a read aloud. 10 and up to be read alone. A great read for adults too -- a "can't miss" present. Don't hesitate -- put it in your library and then share the gift of this wonderful author.

5-0 out of 5 stars Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody
We read this book as a family one summer when my children were young. Every night they couldn't wait to read more in the book. We ended up reading several more of the series. We all enjoyed this book and the ones to follow immensely. They are a wonderful series to read aloud. Fascinating and heart warming. I hope to read them to my grandsons. I think I have a copy of every book Ralph Moody wrote. I recommend this for all ages. ... Read more


47. Madam: Inside a Nevada Brothel
by Lora Shaner
list price: $20.23
our price: $20.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0759603677
Catlog: Book (2001-03-01)
Publisher: Authorhouse
Sales Rank: 250284
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A former madam of a Nevada brothel tells all--sex, customers and business--about the professional prostitution industry. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Overview of this Industry!
Shaner takes you inside to the very center of the brothel from the women who work there, to the customers to the mundane but necessary operations that keep the whole thing afloat. She even dares to tackle the subject of systematic racism in this industry, which is something I have NEVER seen done in any other book on this issue. The only reason I did not give this book 5 stars is because in the beginning, Shaner uses a lot of obvious puns and one-liners that are irritating and distracting to read. Once you get past that,however, this is a very informative book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Written-Passionate, Daring and Totally Unconventional!
A fantastic book! A book of insights and deep dark secrets, offering the reader the most sumptuous feast of a novel to ever emerge from this "other" side of life. A true roller-coaster of emotions evoking laughter and compassionate tears at the same time. I devoured each page, staying up 'til the wee hours of morning with this one-of-a-kind find. Where has this author been all my life?? Read this book and be prepared to discover stories which have never previously existed in the world of literature! They're delicious, funny, sensual, painful and some are outright unbelievable! Overall, it's an outstanding contribution to our real understanding of the deeper processes that shape all our lives, because it reveals the human side of prostitution. Like others, I thought of prostitutes as dirty, misguided and low-life's. Those who patronized them were just as despicable in my mind. But of course, I knew nothing of the real facts until I read Madam. I had never thought about the disabled, disfigured, paraplegics or the mentally retarded who may never experience the human touch, a hug or being held in a woman's arms,except when they visit bothels and the women/prostitutes who are with them emotionally as well as physically. Most women I know, myself included, would not have the level of compassion it would take to hold a severely retarded man in her arms, while he drooled and jerked all over her! The book paints both sides of the story, the good, the bad and the ugly. It's all so very fascinating and a real learning experience. I felt like I was watching the entire brothel operation through the Madam's eyes and heart. Thank you, thank you for an unforgettable experience and life-lesson! ... Read more


48. Luncheonette : A Memoir
by Steven Sorrentino
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060728922
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: Regan Books
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49. Living Among Headstones: Life in a Country Cemetery
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156025677X
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Thunder's Mouth Press
Sales Rank: 51036
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Book Description

A few years ago, Shannon Applegate was bequeathed a small cemetery in western Oregon. The neglected five acres were not only the burial site for generations of her family and friends but the designated resting ground for many in the nearby, down-on-its-luck logging town. Living Among Headstones chronicles the author’s experiences as she takes charge of this sacred land and finds herself plotting graves, consoling families, and confronting the funeral industry as she examines the universal question of why the living care so much about the earthly setting in which the dead are laid to rest.

Filled with humor, singular events, pathos, original illustrations, and unexpected smiles, this book offers historical asides and moving personal stories. For example, Shannon explores the language and customs of funerals as she agonizes over how to approach families who have covered graves with plastic flowers and inappropriate ornaments. In doing so, she contemplates the myriad ways cultures past and present approach the dead. In part, this is a book about rural cemeteries in contemporary America, but the sum is a meditation on how we long for those we love to have a continuing place in our world, focusing as much on life as death. ... Read more


50. Bryson City Seasons: More Tales Of A Doctor's Practice In The Smoky Mountains
by Walt, M.D. Larimore, Walter L. Larimore
list price: $18.99
our price: $12.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0310252873
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 28273
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Book Description

Dr. Larimore and his family are back in this hilarious, dramatic, and poignant sequel that follows this real doctor’s second year of practice in a rural mountain town. ... Read more


51. Population: 485 : Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time (Wisconsin)
by Michael Perry
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060198524
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 235380
Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Welcome to New Auburn, Wisconsin (population: 485), where the local vigilante is a farmer's wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Michael Perry loves this place. He grew up here, and now -- after a decade away -- he has returned.

Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy. Tracing his calls on a map in the little firehouse, he sees "a dense, benevolent web, spun one frantic zigzag at a time" from which the story of a tiny town emerges, building to a final chapter that is at once devastating and transcendent. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Close to Home - 2nd attempt
I recently completed Population: 485 and found that it hit very close to home. I grew up in a town smaller that New Auburn, helped with the VFD and then moved away for a while only to recently return. Reading the book reminded me of why I came back.

The characters are the type that are readily noticed in a small town because you are more likely to know everyone. The spirit of community when someone is in need is indeed true. From my own experience, the person that cusses you the louded everyday may very well be the first to offer help when needed. You may not have a lot of common most of the time, but you pull together in the darkest hours.

I would recommend this book for anyone who has ever lived in a small town, ever served in fire/EMS service or ever wanted to do do either.

The stories are compelling. The writing, while fanciful at times is well adapted to the subject. It was a quick read, partially because I couldn't put it down.

All in all a ... good book

5-0 out of 5 stars Close to Home
Population: 485 is a book that makes me want to laugh and cry, generally on the same page. I grew up in a small town, worked the VFD then moved away to return some years later. I can readily identify with what Mr. Perry has written in his book. It hits close to home.

If you have ever lived in a small town, served on a small fire department/EMS service, or ever wanted to, this is a book you should read.

The story involves characters that are unique to small towns and they will make you smile and chuckle. The coming together of people to help one another will make you beam with pride. And the tragedies involved with his work will make you cry with a hurt that is all too familiar.

Well written with enough detail to make the experience real Mike Perry has written a book that will reside forever in the dens and family rooms of small town firefighters and EMS workers. Its humanity and inside along with the characters and stories will make it an enjoyable read for anyone.

You cannot go wrong with this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love Among the Rubes
"Summer comes on like a zaftig hippie chick, jazzed on chlorophyll and flinging fistfuls of butterflies at the sun."
If you're past a certain age, that opening line should remind you of the books that you read in your impressionable years; the ones that made you a reader for life. Think Richard Brautigan. Think Thomas Pynchon. Think Ken Kesey or Hunter S. Thompson.
Michael Perry has a sensibility and a style that assimilate the best that these guys had to offer: Brautigan's sweet, sad quirkiness, Pynchon's God's-eye view of his characters' worlds, Kesey's brawny prose and close observational skills, Thompson's prickly - and very funny - clarity of vision and expression. He goes on to outdo them, however, in a book so small and unassuming - and so tender - that you forgive him for knocking your old literary gods into the hog trough.
Framed by two stories of such pathos - something lacking in our daily lives as a rule, thank God - that we don't have a premeditated response to it, are a wealth of slice-of-life stories about the little town of New Auburn, Wisconsin, (population 485) that are so lovingly and meticulously rendered that you'll recognize your own town. Your own neighbors. Your own self.
The opening piece - "Jabowski's Corner" - tells the story of a hardworking farm family with a deadly piece of road bisecting their land. Part encomium to the farmer and his wife who raised seven girls and five boys on a rockpatch farm, part euology to the girl so terribly injured on the sharp curve known as Jabowski's Corner, and finally, part tale of Perry's attempt - by joining the local volunteer fire department and EMS squad - to weave his life back into that of the community in the hometown that he left years ago, this is a harrowing tale of faith and loss and love.
About the girl, Perry tells us, "Seven years since the accident, and this is what freezes me late at night: There was a moment - a still, horrible moment - when the car came squalling to a halt, the violent kinetics spent, and the girl was pinned in silence... The meadowlark sings, the land drops away south to the hazy tamarack bowl of the Big Swamp... all around the land is rank with life... The girl is terribly, terribly alone in a beautiful, beautiful world."
Between this horrible, lovely story and the end piece - an equally lachrymose one about Perry's sister-in-law of seven weeks' death under similar circumstances - are a series of meditations and just plain wacky yarns about everything from the semiotics of lawn tchachkes to the night Tricky Jackson wiped out the laundromat. My favorite is the one about the big, boozy, bearded logger who thinks he's having a heart attack. He and his fellow Budmeisters are out in the middle of nowhere, and when the EMS team shows up, and the woodsy mirthmakers hear the words "cardiac arrest", they surround their downed friend like protective, demented musk oxen - "arrest" being the only word that penetrates their alcoholic fog.
In the final essay, Perry tells us about Sarah, the young girl who marries his thirty-something brother only to die in a car accident seven weeks later. "At the wake," he says, "it was her hands that made me cry. I would look at them and think of them touching my brother." Which pretty much says all that need be said about the unspoken love between siblings.
It takes a big, strong heart, I think, to join an EMS team or to volunteer as a firefighter - to look at people at their weakest and not turn away. It took that same kind of heart to write these stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Small Town Living Captured Perfectly
From describing interactions between feuding high school sweethearts in the middle of Main Street to Kodiak-chewing characters that make you say, "I know that guy," the picture of small town living Michael Perry creates for readers is dead on. I couldn't stop reading, laughing, sighing, shaking my head - this book has it all. Because I was raised small town Abrams, Wisconsin, I can honestly say that Perry captures the bittersweet life people live there and, he made me a little homesick. Please read this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fine tales from the Midwest
POPULATION: 485 is a patchwork of stories, history & memories written from the perspective of a native son's return to his home town as a First Responder. Michael Perry writes with an unerring eye for community, nostalgia, tragedy, comedy & self-reflection. Tears & laughter are the spices which make this as welcome a read as a hot toddy on a cold night.

Rebeccasreads highly recommends POPULATION: 485 for anyone who relishes the humor & drama of everyday life in a small American town hanging on to life by the roots of its families. ... Read more


52. Nine Years Among the Indians, 1870-1879: The Story of the Captivity and Life of a Texan Among the Indians
by Herman Lehmann, Marvin J. Hunter
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826314171
Catlog: Book (1993-05-01)
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Sales Rank: 101801
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Where The Arrowhead In Your Garden Came From
The older farmers of my childhood remembered the last Indians from a time before plows and pavement. Ours was an Indian land not long ago. This man's sharp memories, though not for the squeamish, are a window on that world before and while it was snatched from them. This is a fascinating book - a fast, enjoyable read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stunning
An absolutely mesmerizing account of the capture, survival and ultimately return to frontier Fredericksburg, Texas. An insiders look at Native American existence, its differing cultures, its taboos and its different forms of organization. It is not a pretty picture.

5-0 out of 5 stars Riveting, passionate, humorous, violent--a great read!
In events strikingly similar but less well-chronicled to those taking place on the Northern Plains, the 1870's witnessed the demise of the Southern Plains Indians--Apaches, Lipans, Commanches. Enter this young Henry Lehmann, an eleven-year old white taken from his frontier family by an Apache raiding party. Over the next ten years he matures from captive slave to fully "Indianized" warrior, only to ultimately (and reluctantly) reunite with his family. This amazing firsthand account details Indian life as it reached a violent climax with encroaching white settlement. A real page-turner and a must read for those interested in Plains Indians and Texas frontier history. ... Read more


53. An Hour Before Daylight : Memoirs of a Rural Boyhood
by Jimmy Carter
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743211995
Catlog: Book (2001-10-16)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 2968
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In An Hour Before Daylight, Jimmy Carter, bestselling author of Living Faith and Sources of Strength, re-creates his Depression-era boyhood on a Georgia farm before the civil rights movement forever changed it and the country. Carter writes about the powerful rhythms of countryside and community in a sharecropping economy, offering an unforgettable portrait of his father, a brilliant farmer and a strict segregationist who treated black workers with respect and fairness; his strong-willed and well-read mother; and the five other people who shaped his early life, three of whom were black.

Carter's clean and eloquent prose evokes a time when the cycles of life were predictable and simple and the rules were heartbreaking and complex. In his singular voice and with a novelist's gift for detail, Jimmy Carter creates a sensitive portrait of an era that shaped the nation and recounts a classic, American story of enduring importance. ... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
I was 5 years old when Jimmy Carter left office. As a child I remember hearing that he was just a peanut farmer. I didn't realize until later that going from peanut farmer to president was part of the American Dream. As an adult I have come to appreciate and admire Jimmy Carter for his character, I wanted to know more about his life, and was anxious to read An Hour Before Daylight.

An Hour Before Daylight is a charming book. What struck me most was the humility with which the autobiography was written. At times it seems the book is more about Jimmy Carters childhood friends and his family, than himself. Most of the direct references to his behavior are times he had to be punished or when he made mistakes. Really it is not a book about one man, but about a farm, its owners and workers, in the segregated South.

Aside from being about a past US president, this book provides an intimate window into life in the South. It will be warm and typical to those raised in the South. To me, being raised and schooled in the Midwest, it was a peak at a culture I never totally understood. The book is written with unusual frankness, and provides details, which others certainly would have left out, rather than embarrasses themselves or their families.

Defiantly a worthwhile read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A President Comes of Age.
Using a journalist's eye, and introspect's heart, Jimmy Carter tells a warm and compelling tale of the times, places and people who shaped his life.

Humbly examining the elements of his youth, Jimmy Carter recounts his earliest impressions of segregation, politics, and life and death.

Jimmy Carters style is natural and compelling, and his honest appraisal of his families past is both frank and welcoming.

Clearly a man of great humilty, Jimmy Carter appraises his actions in the face of racism, expressing both pride and regret, he never blames his failings on anyone, or anything, but his own lack of understanding.

In the latter chapters of this book, Jimmy Carter closes in on his incompleted relationship with his stern but loyal father - a relationship that both shaped and confounded him.

This book is a wonderfully paced read, with the selfeffacing warmth of a Jean Shepherd tale wrapped around the sepia toned history of one of America's greatest living leaders. This is a great read.

3-0 out of 5 stars My grandma loved this book
My grandma sure seemed to like this book a hell of alot. She mentions it everytime we see her. I figres it must be worth 3 stars at least.

4-0 out of 5 stars The sepia toned boyhood of Jimmy Carter
Reading this book, it's easy to understand why the ex-president insisted, "It's Jimmy. Just call me Jimmy." I wasn't much of a Carter fan during the man's presidency but have since come to appreciate him greatly, mostly for his honesty, sincerity, and humanity. An Hour Before Daylight makes it easy to understand how he became the person he still in.
Born on a Georgia farm during the Depression, Carter grew up in the days of rigid segregation, but at the same time all his friends were black children. He writes lucidly, sometimes lyrically and with strong nostalgia for an era of American history long past.
It's definitely worth a read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Needs a colorful cover
My mother gave me a copy for Christmas. We live just a stone's throw from Plains and she grew up very similarly. This reminds me of John Boy musing on the Walton's TV show or Mark Twain's colorful characters. Carter is a master farmer and gives a wealth of agriculture and outdoor information. As a librarian I put a copy in our library and think it belongs in every library! This is one of the best rural Depression era Americana. The cover is much too drab for the colorful characters inside. ... Read more


54. Packinghouse Daughter: A Memoir
by Cheri Register
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0873513916
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Sales Rank: 587698
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In 1959, meatpackers in the little Minnesota town of Albert Lea went on strike to demand better working conditions and higher rates of pay. The plant's owners brought in strikebreakers from nearby towns, violence ensued, the governor of Minnesota called in the National Guard, and for a few days news from Albert Lea filled papers around the United States.

The incident has long been forgotten, even by many local residents. Cheri Register, who was 14 years old at the time, is one who remembers it well. In this affecting memoir of working-class life, she pays homage to her father, who worked in the plant for 31 numbing years, earning 70 cents an hour when he started, a bit more than five dollars an hour when he retired. The work was dangerous and unpleasant, but still an improvement over the alternatives, for, as she writes, "My entire family failed at farming in one of the richest stretches of the corn belt, where water was so plentiful it had to be drained away and the soil so thick that geologists could find no exposed rock."

As she recounts the strike and her father's life, Register describes how the subsequent generational conflicts of the 1960s and her own aspirations divided her family. "To be successful," she writes, "which means free from grueling labor, the children of blue-collar families must be driven from home, away from the familiar and secure." Her book is both a homecoming and a welcome contribution to labor history. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tribute to the Greatest Generation's working-class
I don't much like memoirs. But Packinghouse Daughter, by Cheri Register, is not a typical memoir. It is enchanting, disturbing, and provocative. It should be read by a wide range of readers, including academics and other middle-class professionals who pride themselves on "siding with the working class." It shatters some of our illusions and our tendency to romanticize our identification with working-class people even as it encourages us to hold fast to our principles. The book should also be read by the countless working-class parents who worked hard to give their children the life they knew they could never have. Speaking for those children, this book says eloquently: we honor you, our parents, for your commitments and principles and will try to carry those into our very different worlds. As a bonus, the book's author tells her story so well, with a disarming openness about her conflicted emotions and with such humor and earthy but deep insight, that it will be accessible even to those who don't read much.

Register tells a story of growing up in the 1950s as the daughter of a longtime employee of the Wilson meatpacking plant in Albert Lea, Minnesota, not far from the more famous (and, in her account, more favored) Hormel plant in Austin. Coming-of-age memoirs now flood the market with stories that cater to our need for a revised Horatio Alger myth. In countless stories--many of them moving, important stories for our time--children grow up suffering from unspeakable poverty, abusive or otherwise dysfunctional families, or racism, but somehow survive and overcome those conditions to become not wealthy business moguls but their equivalent in our politically correct age: writers or academics who speak out against poverty, violence, and racism. Despite some similarities, this memoir is different. Register acknowledges gratefully that her parents provided an emotionally and economically secure environment for her, while educating her about her place in a world with more complicated class divisions than we see in most popular memoirs. It is, in part, her more subtle account of those divisions that makes her story so compelling.

Make no mistake about it: this is a one-sided story. Register's father is a loyal union man, and she is loyal to the union line, too, especially in telling the story of a particularly divisive labor dispute in 1959. But even when she makes it clear where she believes justice and unfairness lie, she complicates the story in ways that enrich our understanding rather than feed our prejudices.

I grew up in rural Ohio only slightly later than Register, the son of a small-town midwestern merchant in a solidly middle-class family with undoubtedly less disposable income than Register's. My father, like many of Albert Lea's merchants, resented the unions that secured better wages for the workers in the nearby General Motors plant than he thought he could afford to pay his loyal, hard-working employees--some of whom earned more than he did. That experience has always made me suspicious of class-based analyses of rural and small-town life. But Register's subtle class analysis of life in mid-century Albert Lea rings true even to my suspicious ears.

It also rings true because Register does not rely on memory alone. She consulted contemporary sources and interviewed a wide range of informants-balancing her interview with the union president by her interview and sympathetic portrayal of the plant manager, for example. Register knows what memories--hers and her informants--are good for. They convey the sentiment of the times. In that sense her account is sentimental in the best sense of that word. Her language is so vivid and her memories so fine-tuned that we feel we are walking the streets of Albert Lea with her, encountering mid-century sights and sounds that conjure up our own memories. But she knows enough not to trust memories when they become nostalgic, and she walks that fine line with a fine sense of balance.

Register also manages to succeed where many memoirists try but fail: though cast as a memoir, this book feels like it is more about the times than it is about her. Packinghouse Daughter is an eloquent and fitting tribute to the working-class lives of The Greatest Generation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Memoir
I first found out about this book in an article in the Rochester newspaper about the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Since then, I have purchased several of their books. *Packinghouse Daughter* won the American Book Award and the Minnesota Book Award for autobiography, and it deserved both prizes heartily! This book is full of interesting people, class struggle, a young woman coming of age, and old-fashioned Midwestern life. If you hate those whiney memoirs about bad childhoods then this is the perfect antidote.

I would also recommend Steven R. Hoffbeck's *The Haymakers,* which won the Minnesota Book Award for history, and Peter Razor's *While the Locust Slept,* which deserves to win every award out there--both from the Historical Society. These books, like Register's, are good stories concerned with how ordinary people get by and sometimes make an important impact on our culture. These heartfelt books should be read by Americans everywhere and should be the standard for all publishers to meet.

5-0 out of 5 stars recommended reading
Even if you are not from the midwestor know nothing about the meat packing business this book will give you much to think about. Cheri has a way of bringing you into her experiences.

5-0 out of 5 stars A gift to working-class families
This book -- personal and warm -- is an extraordinary gift to kids of working-class parents. Cheri Register says things that I felt about my own dad and about my own home town, but that I was never able to say to him. She shows how what we do for a "living" is really central to shaping who we are in the bigger world. Thank you for this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Packs a punch
This book does all the things so many memoirs fail to do. The author attempts to understand her parents, especially her father, rather than condemn them. She is critical of herself as often as anyone else. And, as Carol Bly points out in her blurb, she presents both a "public and personal memoir." Thus, the story of the 1959 meatpackers strike in Albert Lea, Minnesota, takes center stage. It becomes the flashpoint for future examination of class, gender, and the divide between union and management. By using this event as the book's anchor, Register reveals as much about the life of this small town as she does about herself. The point, it seems, is that her home town could as easily be our home town. We know these people. They happen to be packinghouse workers, but they could be Maine lobstermen fighting for fishing rights or small-plot farmer in the Southwest struggling for water rights. Best of all, Register makes you understand the human concerns of people on both sides. Where so many books would have chosen to demonize the plant managers, Register makes you see their point of view. By eschewing political agenda and dismissing easy propaganda, *Packinghouse Daughter* goes straight to the heart of the most basic American struggle. ... Read more


55. The Tender Bar : A Memoir
by J.R. Moehringer
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401300642
Catlog: Book (2005-09-14)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 362641
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56. Bob Kleberg and the King Ranch: A Worldwide Sea of Grass
by John Cypher
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0292711875
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Sales Rank: 485575
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ranching on the vast scale that Texas is famous for actually happened at King Ranch, a sea of grass that ultimately spread its pastures to countries around the globe under the fifty-year leadership of Bob Kleberg. This absorbing biography, written by Kleberg's top assistant of many years, captures both the life of the man and the spirit of the kingdom he ruled, offering a rare, insider's view of life on a fabled Texas ranch.John Cypher spent forty years (1948-1988) on King Ranch. In these pages, he melds highlights of Kleberg's life with memories of his own experiences as the "right hand" who implemented many of Kleberg's grand designs. In a lively story laced with fascinating anecdotes he both recounts his worldwide travels with Kleberg as the ranch expanded its holdings to Latin America, Cuba, Australia, the Philippines, Europe, and Africa, and describes timeless, traditional tasks such as roundup at the home ranch in Kingsville.Kleberg's accomplishments as the founder of the Santa Gertrudis cattle breed and a breeder of Thoroughbred racing horses receive full attention, as does his fabled lifestyle, which included friendships not merely with the rich and famous but also with Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who shared his love of horse racing. For everyone interested in ranching and one of its most famous practitioners, this book will be essential reading. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and insightful look at true Texas history.
This is a great book for anyone interested in the cattle business, Texas history, or the politics of big business in the middle of this century.One need not be a rancher or cattleman to enjoy this book.I would highlyrecommend this book to anyone from any background.

5-0 out of 5 stars unique insight to modern-day, multi-national ranch boss
If you have an interest in the King Ranch, you should read this book. ... Read more


57. Wild Steps of Heaven
by VICTOR VILLASENOR
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385315694
Catlog: Book (1997-02-10)
Publisher: Delta
Sales Rank: 36776
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In his critically acclaimed bestseller Rain of Gold, Victor Villase-or brought his mother's family vividly to life. In Wild Steps Of Heaven, he turns to his father's family, the Villase-ors. Against a vivid backdrop of love and war, magic and heroism, the author breathes life into his father's people--and in particular, the Villase-or women*Margarita, the indomitable matriarch who was swept away by Don Juan Jesus Villase-or on the eve of the Mexican revolution*their beautiful daughters, who find strength and endurance in their mother's faith, and searing passion amidst the turmoil of war. But it is little Juan, the youngest son, through whose eyes this tumultuous saga unfolds. Juan would learn from his brother Jose, a hero of the revolution, how to be a man; and from his beloved mother, how to live and love con gusto y amor.

A story of madness and miracles, rage and redemption, In Wild Steps Of Heaven creates a riveting portrait of an extraordinary family and the country whose earth gave them roots. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wild Steps of Heaven
Read this book before you read "Rain of Gold". "Wild Steps of Heaven" is a short read and actually the paternal part of the family story. I wish Villasenor had included the info in Wild Steps of Heaven" in "Rain of Gold". Both books are a wonderful patchwork of history,and genuine family integrity. Excellent summer read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wild steps of heaven is magic
This is a wonderful book. This book is about a family living during the Mexican Revolution.His writing just takes into this magical world and even though you know that he has made a little piece of history into this great big piece of fiction, he does it so as a matter-of -fact that you just can't believe that it's not true.

5-0 out of 5 stars Epic Tale of Family Loyalty, Love, and Making of Heroes
In times of hardship heroes are needed and none moreso than in Mexico as revolution rages. The Villasenor family patriarch, an exiled red-haired Spaniard, has married an Indian woman. The first ten years of the marriage are a time of great love and passion, and the children born first are fair and favor Don Juan Villasenor. Later children are dark like their mother. One of the dark ones, Jose, from age 12 must live in the barn because he defied his father and gentled a stallion to rescue his baby brother holding onto the leg rather than shoot the horse. In his exile and solitude a hero begins his training with Grandfather Don Pio Castro who knows Jose understands the power of love and gentleness. This will be the son who defends la familia during the revolution from the soldiers who time and again attach the village. The colonel commanding the troops more particularly desires Jose's true love Mariposa and destroys her. Ultimately, the younger brother Juan (author Villasenor's father) begins to show heroic tendencies himself and will be the one to defend his mother and the remaining family against the colonel. Villasenor moves the tale along with a powerful, songlike cadence. Notable characters are the giant cousins, Basilio and Agustin, who strip naked and race the lightning and then Halley's comet on January 17, 1910, a night of magic and love, the day before el colonel begins shooting up the home village, el paraiso de Los Altos de Jalisco. Each chapter begins with epigrams featuring "Great Father Sun" that provide a sense of power from above, as in "the heavens smile . . . as all around him the gods and serpents did battle." When the final epigram tells us "and out of these children of the earth and of the stars would now come a glorious new gente in all their wonder and fire," we realize that while we have been traveling through an exciting story with more twists and turns than fiction, we also have been participating in something approximating a creation myth. Highly recommended is Villasenor's first tale of the family Villasenor, Rain of Gold.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced, enjoyable reading
After reading Rain of Gold, an exceptional story, I couldn't wait to read this one. Wild Steps of Heaven tells more of Victor Villasenor's ancestral history, this time focusing on his grandfather's life as a young boy in Mexico. The book is very fast-paced and full of stories that are shocking in their violent imagery, yet show the importance of faith in God, love, and la familia. ... Read more


58. CROSS CREEK
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684818795
Catlog: Book (1996-03-20)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 67240
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Originally published in 1942, Cross Creek has become a classic in modern American literature. For the millions of readers raised on The Yearling, here is the story of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's experiences in the remote Florida hamlet of Cross Creek, where she lived for thirteen years. From the daily labors of managing a seventy-two-acre orange grove to bouts with runaway pigs and a succession of unruly farmhands, Rawlings describes her life at the Creek with humor and spirit. Her tireless determination to overcome the challenges of her adopted home in the Florida backcountry, her deep-rooted love of the earth, and her genius for character and description result in a most delightful and heartwarming memoir. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inside the Grove
Cross Creek is located just south of Gainesville, Florida, and in spite of the urban sprawl the community is today almost as isolated as it was in 1928, when Marjorie Kennan Rawlings and her first husband Charles Rawlings purchased a farm house and citrus grove in the area. At the time of the purchase, Rawlings was a failed novelist in a bad marriage, and both farm house and grove were neglected. A decade later she was a respected writer on the eve of her most popular novel and happily divorced, and the farm and its citrus groves were very much going concerns.

Rawlings would eventually remarry, and both her second marriage and her literary success would gradually lead her away from both her farm and the Cross Creek community--but she would never leave them entirely, always returning for the inspiration that fed her best works. The property was still in her possession and still in use as both a citrus grove and occasional residence at the time of her sudden death of cerebral hemorrhage in 1953. Rawlings left the it to the University of Florida, and in 1970 the property was turned over to the State of Florida for restoration and management. Restoration was completed in 1996, and while the large citrus grove that once surrounded the farm house has been reduced to a representative portion, visitors can now see the property as it existed in the 1930s and 1940s.

Although Rawlings won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel THE YEARLING and would publish several other novels and short story collections, today her literary reputation rests largely on the book CROSS CREEK, in which she details both her own struggle on the land the lives of the community as she knew it during the 1930s. While the book is clearly autobiographical, it is not autobiography per se; she gives little attention to her personal history, preferring to focus instead on the landscape and the individuals that surround her. The stories she offers are by turns funny, sad, thoughtful, each informed by an intensely felt observation of her environment. And while critics may accuse her of having been excessively sentimental in her fiction, no such sentimentality besets this particular work. It is brilliant from start to finish.

CROSS CREEK was published in 1942, and while it is very much of its era in its depiction of rural society and racial considerations, it also proved very much ahead of its time. It is profoundly concerned with ecology long before the term was popularized, and not only are its characters vividly alive, they move against a landscape that is as alive as they, a landscape that at once harsh and nurturing, at once giving and indifferent, and throughout the text (and most particularly in its final chapter) Rawlings repeatedly takes the point of view that we are not the owners of the earth, but its trustees; its care is in our hands.

I have read CROSS CREEK several times, and I returned to it in the wake of a visit to the Rawlings farm in 2003--and while it is not necessary to actually visit Cross Creek in order to fall in love with this book, they each inform the other. The book is somewhat obscure; the community of Cross Creek is difficult to find on the map and awkward to reach, hardly a place you would stumble upon by accident. It must be reached in deliberation. The guide at the Rawlings farm told me that in spite of this they received some forty thousand visitors from around the world each year--visitors drawn by the power of Rawlings' work and a determination to share in the environment she so loved. That is both testament and recommendation enough.

--GFT (Amazon Reviewer)--

5-0 out of 5 stars To Live the Life One Wishes to Live...
Cross Creek is one of the finest memoirs ever written, filled with the grace and beauty of fine writing from one of America's greatest writers, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Perhaps no other writer has so perfectly and honestly captured a place and time like Rawlings did in Cross Creek. It will transport you to that small acreage of backwoods Florida and cause you to wish for a life such as this.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings purchased a seventy-two acre orange grove in this remote area and fled her aristocratic life in the city to perfect her craft and get published. It is here all her beloved books would be born, including this memoir covering the years of hardships and beauty at the creek. Rawlings herself would become a part of the earth and land as she was reborn here in Cross Creek and would leave behind literary achievements such as South Moon Under, Golden Apples, When the Whipporwll, Cross Creek Cookery, and of course, her Pulitzer winner, The Yearling.

Her close relationships with her neighbors at the creek, both black and white, are told with humor and humanity. Their lives were often filled with hardships but serenity as well, for all of them had chosen to live this kind of life rather than conform to society. Especially poignant are Rawlings's observations of a young destitute (even for the creek) couple who would be portrayed so movingly in her short story, Jacob's Ladder.

Rawlings's recollections of her friendship with Moe and his daughter Mary, who was his reason for living and the only one in his family, including his wife, who cared when he came or went, are told with such beauty we feel pain ourselves when he takes his last breath at the creek. Her deep friendships over the years with Tom and Old Martha are told with humor, honesty and a gift for description few have ever had. Tinged with sadness is Rawlings's relationship both as employer and friend to 'Geechee. Rawlings would attempt to help her to no avail as this sweet personality slowly became an unemployable alcoholic, her mistreatment at the hands of a womanizer unworthy of her love at the heart of her problem. It is perhaps at the bottom of a few bitter comments from Rawlins.

But Cross Creek is about the earth and our relationship to it. When we stray from it we become less because it is a part of us. Rawlings came to believe over time that when we lose this connection to the earth, we lose a part of ourselves. The great and wondrous beauty of nature, from magnolia blossoms and rare herbs to Hayden mangos and papaya, are as much a part of this memoir as the people. Particularly hilarious are Rawlings's descriptions of a 'pet' racoon of mischievious nature and such cantankerous disposition as to almost seem human. Rawlings's world at the creek is perhaps her legacy, a gift given to the reader we can never forget.

In order to enjoy this memoir, however, one must read the entire book, taking into consideration a number of factors. Published in 1942 and covering many years prior in a backwoods area of Florida, at a time when racial equality was a distant dream, some may be offended by Rawlings's casual, though never mean spirited observations. Rawlings honestly relates actual conversations from this time and place between blacks and whites, and blacks to other blacks. Rawlings treated everyone fairly but a long string of farmhands prone to drink and violence, including the one who would destroy her friend and employee 'Geechee, prompted her to lump an entire race into one group, her friends at the creek being exceptions.

Her thoughts on the matter, which are included in one of the 23 chapters, do not really fit in with the rest of this memoir. Having first read this over twenty years ago I did not recall it, and it certainly gave me pause. It is only proof, that even someone as intelligent and literate as Rawlings, can intellectualize a misguided view until it sounds right. Taking everything into consideration I do not feel it should keep anyone from reading this most beautiful and heartwarming of memoirs. But others may feel differently, and have a right to do so.

Rawlings's graceful prose, whether describing a chorus of frogs singing at night as a Brahms waltz, the scent of hibiscus drifting through the air at dusk, or a myraid of dishes meticulously prepared and labored over for hours, is delightful and unforgettable. Cross Creek will make you hungry for succulent fruits, cornbread an hot biscuits with wild plum jelly, and most of all, life. Reading this lovingly written memoir will leave you with a wistful desire to walk away from society as Rawlings did and live the life we crave in our very being, even if it is not possible, and can only be lived in our hearts.....

"Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and the seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of seed, and beyond all, to time."
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
(1896-1953)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Classic
As a native Floridian (although transplanted now to South Carolina), I have found the works of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to be a welcomed homecoming and a delightful insight into the "frontier" Florida life of the 1930s and '40s. Rawlings' words are timeless because they animate a timeless period in Florida history--when things were still largely rural, natural, and undisturbed by capital investment and the tourism boon of the last thirty-plus years. "Cross Creek," moreover, is the perfect introduction to Rawlings for the uninitiated, a moving narrative of her life and career amid the backwoods and streams of a bygone Florida. Yet "Cross Creek" is not simply an autobiography; it is a lavish tale in itself. I highly recommend it.

I also suggest the motion picture version of "Cross Creek," starring Mary Steenburgen and Peter Coyote (1982?). It has recently been re-released, so you should be able to find a copy easily. The movie is perhaps "even better" than the book, with its stunning cinematography of the natural beauties of Florida woods, creeks, rivers, and swamps. It stays fairly true to the book, as well, and Steenburgen and Coyote are endearing as Rawlings and Norton Baskin. Rip Torn is another wonderful addition to the cast.

Pick both of these up today!

5-0 out of 5 stars Authentic old south and old Florida
It was very disconserting to me to read the reviews on this book and and see the term " racism " used so much. Ms. Rawlings revealed the old south and old Florida as it was and is and will always will be. Accept it or don't waste your time reading this marvelous book of the old south of and of old Florida. Robert G. Holloway

4-0 out of 5 stars A Book One Might Compare
In the late thirties and early forties two women writers were finding in the area of the St.John's river in northeast Florida a basis for their stories, true or imagined. These two women were Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, who had discovered north Florida, and Zora Neale Hurston, who left it for New York City. Today Hurston's reputation is very great while Rawlings, who remains widely read, is generally considered sentimental. I have often thought it would be interesting to teach a class that included both Hurston and Rawlings, particularly so that one could address straight-on issues of Race in Rawlings's Cross Creek. The stories of black and white living at Cross Creek might be illumined by Hurston's stories, their uses of dialect compared, their attachment to an environment explored. I like Cross Creek, have liked it for many years, but I have always wished I could read it in the context of what the black population actually thought. Hurston might help me to do that. The best parts of Rawlings are her sensitivity to the natural world and her open acceptance of just about everybody. She lived in a world and tried to undersand it, not reform it, but it would be interesting to see how Hurston plays against her. ... Read more


59. My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding
by David Ernest Duke
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892796007
Catlog: Book (1998-11-15)
Publisher: Free Speech Books
Sales Rank: 321529
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

David Duke's riveting autobiography. ... Read more

Reviews (142)

4-0 out of 5 stars Incredible and thought-provoking
I've got to hand it to David Duke. He has written a book that is just about impossible to put down. And, while I don't personally agree with all of his views, as an autobiography his story makes fascinating reading. He provides a LOT of very credible documentation and evidence to support his views, and it is refreshing to at last read a different viewpoint that does not reflect the politically-correct media angle on the same issues. I have to admit I would feel a lot more comfortable reading and absorbing this information if it were written by someone other David Duke, whose personal baggage as former leader of the Ku Klux Klan probably can never be effectively overcome. But he explains why he made his choices and why he moved on, and nowhere can any suggestion be found in these pages that violence is an answer to change the status quo; rather, he proposes that white Americans take pride in their race, heritage and ethnic customs, just as black, hispanic and other minority Americans are doing. He also takes the comments of some minority groups and turns them around, substituting how racist the statements would come across if they were voiced by white Americans against those groups. It made me really stop and consider that many minorities show as much (or more) intolerance in their statements than the white Americans they assail. The book is incredible and isn't just another affirmation of the politically correct. There is nothing to fear in reading these views and considering their validity. I would recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars I'm JEWISH but have to admit this is one POWERFUL book!
Its contents is presented with little "personal opinion" and Duke's presentation relies mainly on carefully compiled and verifiable statistics and quotes. My own purchase was on a purely objective level, because I wanted to understand for myself what his philosophy was all about. In doing so, I've found an absolutely riveting book that answered most of the questions I had regarding the relationships between races and the why's and wherefores of our immigration laws that allow thousands to enter upon our shores with problems attached.
Its contents were so traumatic that I now find myself concerned for the world my grandchildren will be raised in, or if it will even exist as we know it. Having read it, I will NEVER forget it. This is not an easy accomplishment when dealing with a hardened New Yorker who's seen and heard almost everything by now.
Other words to describe it: sobering, shocking, extremely informative and undeniably frightening. Most defenitely not a book for the closed mind or faint hearted. I applaud Mr. Duke for his heavily researched and deeply sincere wake-up call. I may not agree him 100% but I've certainly had an "AWAKENING" too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent ! A must read for all independent thinkers !
Let me begin by stating that I am a non-Jewish Polish immigrant. I came to the US when I was 7. I have stood inside the gates of Auschwitz and been taught that Poles and Jews alike suffered at the hands of Germany. I knew nothing of race, nor was race a factor of any sort in my young upbringing. I was introduced to it upon arrival in the USA.
So why you ask would I choose to read Mr. Duke's book and give it an excellent rating?
Because I go where the truth leads me.

My parents where born just after the war in 1946. I never heard them speak badly of Jews but I could sense that whenever they were talked about, it was always in the context that they were a people in positions of influence and power (especially when it came to money).
Unfortunately, my father did not discuss much history with me (or maybe it was my reluctance to listen) and so my understanding of history came from the public school system and the culture I was thrust into.

With my affinity for truth (surely learned from my father), it was inevitable that I would at some point discover that it wasn't enough for me just to accept the versions of history and science as painted by those that taught me. Evidence was evidence and science was my light of truth (for I even rebelled against my Christian upbringing). Truth was (and still is to me) more important then money, fame, power, or any other secular wants and desires.

Because I put truth upon a pedestal I saw the contradictions in what people actually said and how they behaved. I saw contradictions in my behavior also.
In regards to race, I could sense that the races were different in abilities, contrary to what I was being taught. I realized that no one could hide from the laws of nature and genetics. This led me to the study of psychology. In turn my study of psychology has now led me to a revised study of history.
What I have learned from my personal experience is that if the white race is to survive we must all become scientists, psychologists, historians, theologians, and seakers of truth. In essence, we must each become renaissance men and women.

Let there be no doubt: Mr. Duke is not a man of hate.
He is a man of science, a lover of truth, and a man who desires peace and prosperity for humanity.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well written and thoughtful.
When I began this book, I was skeptical.
By the time I'd finished reading, I didn't agree
with every little think Duke had to say, but he'd
made me think about things in new ways and I
appreciated the mental journey.

Even if people disagree with everything Duke has
to say, even if they disagree vehemently, he
still has a right to say it. This new stuff in
America abouw how "hate thought" and "hate
literature" must be illegalized adds even more
credence to the things he says in his book.
America should not be the land of Thought
Crimes. One of America's most pontificating
liberals once said, "My idea of a democracy
is a place where it is safe to be unpopular."
Or something alone those lines. David Duke
has every right to write this book, and
Americans have every right to read it whether
they disagree or not.

Again, this is a well-written and thoughtful
book and it deserves to be considered and
consumed. No book should ever be outlawed
in America. No thought or feeling. This idea
of censoring any book or way of thinking that
runs contrary to popularly accepted thought
is dangerous and ugly and not what America
was ever supposed to be about.

Thank you, David Duke, for writing this book.
And, welcome home.

1-0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate and Bigotted
The Talmud is a secret book???? Just go to your local library. It is in fact a series of books with commentaries and anyone who is interested in Biblical history should read it. I am Christain, but I found the discussions of the meaning of Biblical texts (and the many arguements of famous commentaries throughout history) fascinating.

Duke is a Holocaust denier and no amount of verified facts- or even eyewitness accounts- will allow him to admit the truth about the massive destruction of Jews, Poles, Gypsies, gays and dissidents. His "sources" are rubbish.

Zionism may cause us to fund Israel, but it doesn't destroy our morality. Besides our moral underpinnings come from the Old Testament which Jesus said he was not going to change a jot or an iota of. ... Read more


60. The Guinness Book of Me : A Memoir of Record
by Steven Church
list price: $22.00
our price: $15.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743266951
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 119913
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Pogo Stick Jumping. The greatest number of jumps achieved is 105,338 by Michael Barban in 18 hours on September 12, 1978, in Florissant, Missouri. Scott Spencer...of Wilmington, Delaware, covered 6 miles in 6 1�2 hours in September 1974.

-- Guinness Book of World Records, Giant 1980 Super-Edition

In this wildly imaginative memoir about an oversized midwestern boy's obsession with the Guinness Book of World Records, a tale of growing up different takes on epic proportions. "It was the Guinness books that gave me an escape," proclaims Steven Church in this darkly comic memoir, "a strange and seductive escape into the territory of the imagination." The Guinness Book of Me recalls a perilous youth strewn with the shadows of record holders, past and present, whose cameos add layers of meaning in fabulous and unexpected ways.

Have you ever wondered why someone would grow the world's longest fingernails or eat an eleven-foot tree? Steven Church has. His bizarre speculative investigations have less to do with the truth and more to do with a celebration of freaks, an exploration of memory, and an examination of identity. In fierce, muscled prose, Church explores a childhood lived between a father and younger brother who are each larger than life. Both hilarious and heartbreaking, The Guinness Book of Me will captivate and surprise you. This is more than a memoir; it's an engaging homage to pop culture, a powerful look at life's extremes, and an impressive debut from a promising young writer. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Strong story - Male perspective
I am an avid reader and a woman.I lean toward great contemporary fiction written by women these days, not sure why. . . so when someone handed me this hot off the press book, I flinched.I try to read male authors, and while I can glean good writing nods from the best of them, I don't reach for them again years later,Most male books don't become best friends.By best friends, I'm talking, Barbara Kingsolvers' books, Monk's The Secret Life of Bees, The Lady who wrote the Pilot's Wife . . . those books.You know . . THOSE BOOKS (I say this like a drug addict talks about his next hit).They're hard to find.The Guinness Book of Me will.I can't get it out of my head.It smacked with honest, strong writing and for the first time, I felt like I honestly got inside a man's head.Hurrah for Steven Church, his first novel.I'd be willing to bet this book is going to go BIG.Be one of the first to read it. Be the one at your reading club to suggest it.You can't go wrong. Male or Female.I can't wait to give it to my 15 year old son to read.There was "chick lit", right?What's this?"Bro Books?"I loved every single written word in it.And I can only say that about a handful of books I've read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read it!
I read this book in just two sittings, it would have been only one, but I have 2 small children. I pick it back up and re-read sections again and again.Steven Church is a fabulous writer.Steven Church makes me wish I could eat dinner with his in-laws and visit Kansas.I love his writing and I can't wait for more.I am buying a copy for my dad, one for my brother, and I am keeping my copy.Steven Church, write more soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars A guy book
This book is sensitive.Church has a way of approching the sadness in his life (brother's death, for one) that is simple, but not overly sensitive.But there are enough male-bonding episodes and inevitable scars to make it a guy book.Refreshing, in a sea of chick lit.*And* he gets the girl.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't miss this if you have an interest in the human heart
I read this book (indeed, I became aware of this book) because Steven Church is my husband's cousin (there, full disclosure).I've met him a few times, but I couldn't say I know him.I didn't necessarily want to love this book.But I did, and I devoured it in one sitting.

So why read a memoir of someone who is not your husband's cousin, someone who has never committed a serious crime or slept with movie stars or been present at a Big Moment in History?Someone whose physical scars all come from silly accidents, someone who grew up in Kansas, for goodness' sake?The facts of Steven Church's life would hardly qualify him for a one-page piece in People Magazine.

Read this memoir because it is a true (although maybe not always factual) story.Because it is funny, inventive, touching, real, tough and beautiful.Read it because it will make you want to know Steven Church, because it will make you feel that you do.Read it because his musings about Guinness Book record-holders are as real and intimate and fine as what he tells you about his own battered heart.Read it because it is superbly crafted--WRITTEN, not just WRITTEN DOWN (I do not have the luxury of italics here).

So READ it for all those reasons, but BUY it because someday you will be proud and glad to own a first edition of the first book by Steven Church. ... Read more


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