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21. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind
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22. Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood
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23. Take the Cannoli : Stories From
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24. How to Be Like Women of Influence
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25. One Ranger : A Memoir (Bridwell
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26. Quicksands: A Memoir
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27. Tales from the Bed : On Living,
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28. We Thought You Would Be Prettier
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29. Their Lives: The Women Targeted
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30. By Myself and Then Some
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31. A Hope in the Unseen : An American
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32. No Mountain High Enough : Raising
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33. The Spiral Staircase : My Climb
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34. Memories Of A Munchkin: An Illustrated
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35. Special Agent : My Life On the
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36. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young
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37. The Story of My Life: An Afghan
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38. Chicken Soup for the Military
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39. Bad Girls of the Bible and What
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40. Autobiography of a Face

21. Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China
by Rachel DeWoskin
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393059022
Catlog: Book (2005-05-09)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 636
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A smart, funny, insightful peek into modern China through the eyes of a "foreign babe."

Hoping to improve her Chinese and broaden her cultural horizons, Rachel DeWoskin went to work for an American PR firm in China. Before she knew it, she was not just exploring but making Chinese culture—as the sexy, aggressive, fearless Jexi, star of a wildly successful soap opera. A sort of Chinese counterpart to Sex in the City revolving around Chinese-Western culture clashes, the show was called Foreign Babes in Beijing.

Living the clashes in real life while playing out a parallel version onscreen, Rachel forms a group of friends with whom she witnesses the vast changes sweeping through China as the country pursues the new maxim that "to get rich is glorious." In only a few years, billboards, stylish bars and discos, international restaurants, fashion shows, divorce, foreign visitors, and cross-cultural love affairs transform the face of China's capital. Foreign Babes in Beijing is as astute and informative as it is witty, moving, and entertaining. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the mouths of babes ... come the truest words . . .
This is one of the most entertaining and informative books I have read in a very long time.I have been to Beijing once and I now live in thevery multicultural city of Toronto.The author deftly weaves the scripted story of the soap opera in which she acts with her real story on the streets and clubs and offices of Beijing.In a style of writing that is clear but deeply nuanced and humorous, she relates the lives of young men and women in a rapidly changing China, dealing with their own kind of culture shock, even as she deals with hers.

The chapter "Model workers" talks of the emerging, very non-Maoist profession of runway models.Brief, capsule biographies of the author's friends in China who are both typical and extraordinary, painters, actors, and fellow office workers, provided me insights that I will long carry with me.The story is told in part with quotations from her actual conversations, quotations from the show script, lyrics from popular songs, and brief quips about historical women recorded in the ancient "Lives of Eminent Women." Together these constribute to a fine tapestry that reveals many truths about our complex multicultural lives without judgement and with considerable affection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crisp, Clever, Fast-paced, and Funny
This book is both smart and fun. On the one hand it is about an American babe who stars in a Chinese TV soap with funny stories to tell; and on the other, a glimpse into China's vast cultural landscape that is shifting as we speak.The seduction by the foreign babe is a metaphor for the impact of the West on the middle kingdom. DeWoskin has a smooth as silk grasp of language that is kind to the reader. Well done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Social Commentary - Served Hot and Spicy
Rachel DeWoskin arrived in Beijing during the mid-90s, among the first wave of Westerners to see the city since the protests and reprisals at Tiananmen Square a few years earlier. During her stay, China relented from rigid socialism, opened up to foreign capital, and incorporated western business practices. On one level, "Foreign Babes" is the story of this process. DeWoskin's descriptions of these cultural convulsions are pithy and delightful. From the introduction of Coke and McDonald's (and the resulting obesity epidemic), to the latest trends in Chinese rock music and performance art, she was a witness and an insider - the perfect guide.

DeWoskin was not just an anonymous tourist, though, she was a pop-sensation. Starring as an American temptress in China's version of Beverly Hills 90210, her weekly seductions were seen by half a billion people each week. Hundreds of fans mobbed her on the streets of Beijing and followed her through stores, buying whatever random products she put in her bag.

But the heart of "Foreign Babes" is not the fascinating backdrop of Beijing in bloom, or the glamorous and sexy soap opera, but the relationships between the characters. Sparring across a huge divide of language, politics, and culture, they must shed stereotypes and find a personal space in which to understand each other - not as American or Chinese, but as individuals and friends. DeWoskin possesses an astute social sensibility, a pitch-perfect ear for conversation, and the gift of spot-lighting the most awkward - and revealing - moment in any interaction.

Just going to China after college was adventurous. Signing on for the TV-show was audacious. Most impressive, however, was DeWoskin's ability to bridge the gaps and surround herself with friends in a foreign country. Impressive, but not surprising, since the author's warmth and grace are apparent on every page.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Telling Look at Late 1990's Beijing
Having lived for much of the period from 2001 - 2004 in Suzhou, (about 50 miles west of Shanghai), I can categorically say that Rachel DeWoskin's new book, FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA, gets nearly everything right when it comes to Chinese culture and interpersonal relations. Her book is a fascinating account of a city, a country, and a culture in transition. The people around her, and she herself, suffer the contradictions of tradition versus modernity, socialism versus entrepreneurial capitalism, blind patriotism versus Westernization, and government control versus individual freedom, yet everyone zooms ahead to find their own way even as the book's timeline approaches the millennium.

Ms. DeWoskin arrives in Beijing on something of a lark, a college grad with an English degree, a little Mandarin, and a desire for something adventurous. She has taken a position with the Beijing office of an international public relations firm (we later learn that "P.R." sounds uncomfortably like the Chinese word for an unflattering body part) but quickly finds the work empty of content. She unexpectedly gets offered a spot as one of the two foreign female leads in a new Chinese soap opera entitled "Yang Niu Zai Beijing," or "Foreign Babes in Beijing." She is duped into signing a contract for far less than she's worth to the producers (there are still relatively few attractive young Western women in Beijing in 1995), and a series of acting misadventures and cast romances ensue. DeWoskin can barely separate her real-life feelings for her hunky co-star Wang Ling from their respective romantic roles in the soap opera. In the end, "Foreign Babes" is a huge success throughout China, and Ms. Dewoskin is recognized everywhere she goes as Jiexi, the "loose" Western woman who steals a married Chinese man (Wang Ling's character, Tianming) from his wife and takes him to America.

The author eventually quits her P.R. job and takes on a series of small acting and spokesperson roles, and even takes a brief turn as a runway model. Along the way, she meets and briefly profiles four young Beijingers (two female and two male, despite oddly labeling their chapters, "Biographies of Model Babes") and describes their lives, beliefs, and aspirations. Each is fiercely independent and nontraditional, seeking to find their own identity and purpose in a newly-opened society. These four people are sometimes misinformed and often obstinate, even foolishly obstreperous, but there's no doubt they are brave, going where relatively few in their country have gone before.

DeWoskin develops close relationships with each of her four Beijingers, including a live-in relationship with the actor/screenwriter Zhao Jun. The last one-third of the book details her post-Jiexi life, which seems to devolve into clubbing and bar-hopping punctuated by occasional vague hints at working. Two tragedies -- the sudden death of a close Chinese friend juxtaposed against the mistaken U.S./NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade -- bring DeWoskin's relationships and her Chinese life to an abrupt end just as the 20th Century is drawing to a close. It is time to go home, to find her place in her native country.

Ms. DeWoskin tells her story in casual prose with easy pacing. Her writing is sometimes poignant and other times humorous. The reader feels her confusion about Chinese life and language; she doesn't even learn until later that her Chinese name, Du Ruiqiu (Du for DeWoskin, Ruiqiu to sound like Rachel), actually means "Bumper Harvest." She finds huge cultural gaps and differences with everyone around her. She makes repeated cultural faux pas, but muddles through nonetheless, just like any American in her place. Interlaced with her story are bits and pieces of Chinese history and language. Ms. DeWoskin also offers a number of surprisingly on-target, passing observations about Chinese life and culture: the importance of face, women covering their mouths when laughing, lack of winter heating, foreigners' prices, women holding hands but not hugging, and a host of others. Combined, these little bits add to a greater whole, creating a "Beijing atmosphere" that effectively complements her personal story.

It is hard not to see FOREIGN BABES IN CHINA as a coming of age story, both for the naïve, young college graduate author and for the country in which she is perpetually an outsider. She uses China and the Chinese for her own adventure story as surely as they use her for her "exotic" foreignness. This book is also a story about cross-cultural personal relationships, about roles assumed and played out, about what is thought and said, and not said, between any two people, complicated a hundredfold by cultural differences and ways of thinking. In the end, Ms. DeWoskin's confused, conflicted, and ultimately lost relationship with Zhao Jun may well serve as a metaphor for the instability, and perhaps the utter hopelessness, of the larger Sino-American relationship.

3-0 out of 5 stars interesting, and impressionistic
A good read, funny at times. In a way, this book is not exactly about the "new new China," but "recent new China," for the described events happened more than 5 years ago, a generational period on the Chinese time scale. DeWoskin is charming, self-deprecating, and going out with interesting people including Cui Jian. Do not look for any substantial, observant description of the capital and its people in this chattery book. She is after all a babe, living a half-real, half-dreamy life in Beijing. Never an insider, she is but a sweet, lovely guest who is invited to watch China and be watched at the same time. ... Read more


22. Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood
by KorenZailckas
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670033766
Catlog: Book (2005-02-07)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Sales Rank: 1260
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

From earliest experimentation to habitual excess to full-blown abuse, twenty-four-year-old KorenZailckas leads us through her experience of a terrifying trend among young girls, exploring howbinge drinking becomes routine, how it becomes "the usual." With the stylistic freshness of a poetand the dramatic gifts of a novelist, Zailckas describes her first sip at fourteen, alcohol poisoningat sixteen, a blacked-out sexual experience at nineteen, total disorientation after waking up in anunfamiliar New York City apartment at twenty-two, when she realized she had to stop, and all thedepression, rage, troubled friendships, and sputtering romantic connections in between.Zailckas’s unflinching candor and exquisite analytical eye gets to the meaning beneath theseeming banality of girls’ getting drunk. She persuades us that her story is the story of thousandsof girls like her who are not alcoholics—yet—but who use booze as a short cut to courage, astand-in for good judgment, and a bludgeon for shyness, each of them failing to see how theiremotional distress, unarticulated hostility, and depression are entangled with their sociallycondoned binging.

Like the contemporary masterpieces The Liars’ Club, Autobiography of a Face, andJarhead, Smashed is destined to become a classic. A crucial book for any woman whohas succumbed to oblivion through booze, or for anyone ready to face the more subtlerepercussions of their own chronic over-drinking or of someone they love, Smashed is aneye-opening, wise, and utterly gripping achievement. ... Read more

Reviews (67)

1-0 out of 5 stars A LOT OF RAMBLING
I HAVE NEVER READ A BOOK WHERE THERE IS SO MUCH SIDE TRACKING.THE AUTHOR DOES SO MUCH RAMBLING THAT I FORGOT WHERE SHE WAS GOING WITH THE STORY.

5-0 out of 5 stars A courageous memoir and an outstanding book
This book was amazing, engrossing, and highly thought-provoking.It seems so many people, including many "reviewers" on this site, are so quick to label somebody as an "alcoholic" or whatnot.Is the author an alcoholic?Truth is, it really doesn't matter.Zailckas examines her life and her drinking from an intellectual and partly feminist point of view.Her clarity and, more importantly, her objectivity when discussing her own situation and her deep, dark secrets lead me to believe that she is as free from the grips of alcohol as a bird is from prison bars (and I, for one, loved her use of metaphors and similes).Just baring these deeply, deeply personal stories in the hopes of relating to others who have been in or are in her situation is something I find highly admirable.And it worked.As a female college student, I can relate to so much of what she talks about.I can see it in myself and in so, so many of my friends.It is an issue that, in my experience, most girls inevitably face at some time or another.And depending on certain factors, including heredity, self-image and self-esteem, personality, availability, peer pressure and so on, many girls will unfortunately spin out of control and not even realize it until weeks, months, or years of their lives have been washed over with the rank stench of alcohol.I believe she is on to something when she implies that it is indeed a women's issue, an American issue, and a cultural issue.It is all of these things and more.Unless you are in college RIGHT NOW, you have no idea what it is like.Drinking is present and highly encouraged at 95% of the social functions that most college kids attend.It is so easy to abuse it, and nearly no one sees it as dysfunctional.I had begun to ponder this incessantly over the past year and reading this book comforts me that I am not alone, or insane.

This book was intensely personal and yet, at the same time, widely cultural.Zailckas takes a deep look at her alcohol abuse and the effects that it had on her emotional and social development.Society seems to care so much about labels.Is she an alcoholic?I don't know.I am not an addiction counseler, and I doubt any of you who were so quick to label her are, either.The IMPORTANT thing is that she finally realized the detrimental effects of her drinking and had the brains and the willpower to quit.Whatever it took to get her to see that, and however long it took, is irrelevant.We all march to the beat of our own drum.And the fact that she was able to create a beautiful, if sad, piece of writing from it was amazing.The fact that it has reached out to people, in particular, girls like me who desperately needed someone to relate to, nothing short of a miracle.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and Disturbing
I read through the book in less than two days.The style is comfortable and flows logically through this troubled young woman's adolescence into adulthood.The descriptions of her relationship with alcohol are profound and, often, hard to understand.What would create such a need, in an attractive, articulate young girl who doesn't seem to have experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse as a child, to medicate so much pain?One wonders if something might have been left out, but given the frank descriptions of her drinking and sexual encounters when drunk, it doesn't seem likely that she would sugar coat the rest of her life.

I was left with a lot of questions. Here are a few: Although the author spends a signficant amount of time describing her college experience, there is hardly a mention of going to class or studying.How in the world did she graduate?It would have been interesting if she would have discussed the impact her drinking had on her learning and the quality of her work.Another thing that amazed me was her account of her parents.Here is a girl who had her stomach pumped at 16 from alcohol poisoning, who continues to have severe life, health, and safety-threatening issues with drinking through college, and yet her Mother insists on buying her a drink for her 21st birthday celebration, and her Father gives her hard liquour for a Christmas gift that year.I believe it was the same brand that she almost died from at 16.What in the world were these people thinking?Lastly, although she mentions she is Catholic, the only mention of God is when she refers to the "freedom" that comes to you when you stop believing in God.I think there is a lot more there to explore, and maybe in the context of her need to drink.

Overall, a stunning work, and well worth the time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought pricking
Not often are we provided with stories that touch a rising problem in society. Binge drinking is a problem society can no longer ignore. It is endemic in countries like the UK, Ireland, and USA, and Cameroon, parts of the world like continental Europe, North America, South East Asia, and Latin America.

Smashed is an amazing story of this problem of alcoholism that is prevalent amongst young women. It is quite a scary book that will make many readers cringe when they read about the problems alcohol caused for Zailckas. This book may be a little bit too much for parents because it certainly is frightening and shocking for them to learn that heavy drinking is common amongst the young at such a young age. But as some one who went through that phase, I can relate to the story. It is a problem that should be confronted.

I like the way Zailckas did the narration. Her voice is strong in the writing and her style is unique. Poetic and fast flowing, one gets the story without drowning in compassion for her. After all, it is a past she shrugged off. That is why I think many people will find it interesting reading about this experience of alcoholism or binge drinking from the perspective of a young woman. It has lots of lessons to be learnt. Anybody can become an alcohol addict at an early stage in life. But with courage, determination and support, anybody can bit the addiction, whether as an alcoholic or a binge boozer.THE USURPER AND OTHER STORIES,THIS IS ME AND WHERE I AM, THE UNION MOUJIK are other gripping stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Served Up on a Plate
"Smashed" is a authentic slice of life. There are definite similarities to "My Fractured Life", "Dry" and "Nightmares Echo" but with a unique slant. This is an up and down roller coaster life and the writer has the delivery to match ... Read more


23. Take the Cannoli : Stories From the New World
by Sarah Vowell
list price: $12.00
our price: $10.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743205405
Catlog: Book (2001-04-03)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 3654
Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Take the Cannoli is a moving and wickedly funny collection of personal stories stretching across the immense landscape of the American scene. Vowell tackles subjects such as identity, politics, religion, art, and history with a biting humor. She searches the streets of Hoboken for traces of the town's favorite son, Frank Sinatra. She goes under cover of heavy makeup in an investigation of goth culture, blasts cannonballs into a hillside on a father-daughter outing, and maps her family's haunted history on a road trip down the Trail of Tears. Vowell has an irresistible voice -- caustic and sympathetic, insightful and double-edged -- that has attracted a loyal following for her magazine writing and radio monologues on This American Life. ... Read more

Reviews (64)

4-0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS BOOK...
...but I will caution readers that they MIGHT find it more enjoyable to hear Consigliere Sarah Vowell read them herself. That's what I discovered. Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic book start to finish; my favorite This American Life essayist covers a wide and diverse variety of topics, from the Trail of Tears to growing up a gunsmith's daughter to going Goth for a day. Every essay in this book was a delectable morsel of Sarah Vowell's acid, accurate wit. This wonderful piece of insight made me laugh, made me think, and most of all, made me understand why I should leave the gun and take the cannoli. Thank you, Sarah Vowell, for continuing to grace the world of popular culture with your fresh, cutting perspective.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great, laugh-out-loud funny essays
This is my first experience with Sarah Vowell's work, having seen her on Letterman and Conan O'Brien, and I found it at a used book sale at the local library and decided to get it. I'm glad I did; this is one of the funniest collections of essays I've read in a while. Vowell's unique, almost Gen-X approach to life (though I hate to use the label "Gen-X", as that suggests someone much more mopey than Vowell really is). I'm perplexed by the reviews that cite this as being "boring" or "not funny", I suppose everyone's entitled to their opinion but I couldn't disagree more. Whether knock-down hilarious ("Take The Cannoli", "Shooting Dad", etc) or serious and well-thought historical and emotional ("What I See When I look at The Twenty-Dollar Bill", the Frank Sinatra-Hoboken essay), Vowell is excellent, and I look forward to reading more of her work. I highly recommend this to anyone who's looking for a good laugh, and hopefully I'll get a chance to hear her on NPR sometime. At any rate "Take the Cannoli" is a good primer for Vowell.

5-0 out of 5 stars Partly cloudy patriot
Read everything Sarah Vowell writes but possibly read radio on after partly cloudy patriot and take the cannoli.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fairly Decent
Take the Cannoli serves as a decent introduction to Sarah Vowell's writing, although it is not nearly as good as Partly Cloudy Patriot. The most appealing thing about her is the simple fact that one can disagree with her opinions without feeling argumentative. She has a way of presenting her opinions that does an excellent job of articulating why she feels the way she does without sounding like she is attacking any opposing opinion. Very civilized and enjoyable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Like a lively conversation at a bistro
...and speaking of a bistro, her take on the hidden meaning of your morning mocha is laugh-out-loud funny. This collection of essays deals with her historical, political, religious, and cultural experiences - and who could be more fun to wade through that with than a cynical, lyrical gen-X commentator?!

This book has a little something for everyone. Well, O.K., probably not everyone. If you're a big fan of the Left Behind series, you might not like her take on premillenial dispensationalism. If you have little appreciation for Frank Sinatra, you may need to skip a couple of the essays. It reads like a lively road-trip passenger, full of random opinions and witticisms. Having heard her recently in a live reading, I think we would be well served by an audio version of this book. ... Read more


24. How to Be Like Women of Influence : Life Lessons from 20 of the Greatest
by Pat Williams, Michael Mink, Ruth Williams
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0757300545
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 34029
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What do Oprah Winfrey, Sandra Day O'Connor, Margaret Thatcher, Marie Curie and Sojourner Truth have in common?Not only are they some of the world's most influential women, their life lessons are now revealed in the latest book by Pat Williams.

Williams blends the personal accounts of each influential woman with the contemporary and historical insights of others, what emerges is an intimate portrait of each great person-her motivations, her aspirations, her personal challenges and the qualities that made her so successful at her calling. An added bonus is life lessons at the end of each chapter, which provide remarkable motivation for women who are blazing a new career trail, building a strong family or struggling to "have it all".
This exceptional book highlights a diverse group of women, from activists, businesswomen and humanitarians to athletes, explorers and scientists-it will appeal to any reader regardless of age, occupation or creative pursuits.

Profiles of women of influence include: Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Mary Kay Ash, Helen Keller, Anne Frank, Amelia Earhart and others. This is not a history book-it is a perfect blueprint for creating a successful life.

... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read even if you know the stories already
The book spine is cheap and separates some from the pages (without the pages falling out) - the physical quality of the book isn't among the best in the bookstore, but what's inside was surprisingly great--much better than I could have expected from the outside. Even if you know the stories of these women already, it's still great reading!, which amazed me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Give him a PAT on the back...
I cant say enough about this book.I, being a woman, have always thought of taking on a project of this nature.However, Pat Williams beat me to the punch.It tickles me to see an idea I often thought about in such a splendid format.Any woman who feels the need to improve on their quality of life must read this book.You can be sure to gain a new perspective on living life as a women.The content of the book provides the reader with twenty life lessons that will continue to guide you throughtout your life.A great read for any female regardless of race or wealth.In addition, any of you fellas out there who are interested in females, if you have ever wanted to learn what makes us tick, read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Motivational and Inspirational
My life was in shambles.I had no direction and I was definately no women of influece.One day I stumbled upon one of Pat Williams great pieces of literature, how to be like women of influence.It changed my life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Motivational and Inspirational
My life was in shambles.I had no direction or meaning for my beautiful journel through life.I was looking for something to save me and sure enough I found it in my local bookstore.What I found was the book, how to be like women of influence and now the rest is history.

5-0 out of 5 stars How to Be Like Women of Influence
This book has been such an inspiration to me. The in-depth way that the author describes each woman featured is incredible. After every reading session, I was more and more anxious to better myself to be like these women. They really have made a huge influence on society and I think this book will also! ... Read more


25. One Ranger : A Memoir (Bridwell Texas History Series)
by H. Joaquin Jackson, David Marion Wilkinson
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0292702590
Catlog: Book (2005-02-01)
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Sales Rank: 11236
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

When his picture appeared on the cover of Texas Monthly, Joaquin Jackson became the icon of the modern Texas Rangers. Nick Nolte modeled his character in the movie Extreme Prejudice on him. Jackson even had a speaking part of his own in The Good Old Boys with Tommy Lee Jones. But the role that Jackson has always played the best is that of the man who wears the silver badge cut from a Mexican cinco peso coin--a working Texas Ranger. Legend says that one Ranger is all it takes to put down lawlessness and restore the peace--one riot, one Ranger. In this adventure-filled memoir, Joaquin Jackson recalls what it was like to be the Ranger who responded when riots threatened, violence erupted, and criminals needed to be brought to justice across a wide swath of the Texas-Mexico border from 1966 to 1993.Jackson has dramatic stories to tell. Defying all stereotypes, he was the one Ranger who ensured a fair election--and an overwhelming win for La Raza Unida party candidates--in Zavala County in 1972. He followed legendary Ranger Captain Alfred Y. Allee Sr. into a shootout at the Carrizo Springs jail that ended a prison revolt--and left him with nightmares. He captured "The See More Kid," an elusive horse thief and burglar who left clean dishes and swept floors in the houses he robbed. He investigated the 1988 shootings in Big Bend's Colorado Canyon and tried to understand the motives of the Mexican teenagers who terrorized three river rafters and killed one. He even helped train Afghan mujahedin warriors to fight the Soviet Union.Jackson's tenure in the Texas Rangers began when older Rangers still believed that law need not get in the way of maintaining order, and concluded as younger Rangers were turning to computer technology to help solve crimes. Though he insists, "I am only one Ranger. There was only one story that belonged to me," his story is part of the larger story of the Texas Rangers becoming a modern law enforcement agency that serves all the people of the state. It's a story that's as interesting as any of the legends. And yet, Jackson's story confirms the legends, too. With just over a hundred Texas Rangers to cover a state with 267,399 square miles, any one may become the one Ranger who, like Joaquin Jackson in Zavala County in 1972, stops one riot. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Texas History Book!
This was a very interesting book about Texas Ranger Joaquin
Jackson.Along with his biography you get some good insight into
the legendary crime fighting unti known as the Texas Rangers.You
are taken through the requirements that one has to achieve to
become a Texas Ranger.You also get the story behind the Texas
Ranger badge.
Jackson takes you on a journey starting at youth and ending with his retirement.He describers being a college student at West Texas State and Texas Tech.Jackson then tells about being
hired by the Texas Department of Public Safety.You are taken on
a tour of the various town and counties where he served as a Highway Patrolman.He is next accepted into service by the Texas
Rangers.He is under the command of the legendary Captain Alfred Allee.Jackson tells of having to ensure a fair election in Zavala county during the days of La Raza Unida.You are also told of he and Captain Allee getting into a shootout with inmates at the Carrizo Springs jail and capturing the jail back.He also tells of capturing the "See More Kid" a horse theif
and burgular.You are also taken into the investigation of The
shootings in Big Bend's Colorado Canyon.He even had a role in training Afghan mujahedin warriors to fight the Soviets.
All in all this will prove to be interesting reading especially if you like Texas history.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Real Man
My wife and I know Joaquin & Shirley Jackson as NRA friends. That said, I have rarely read anyone's memoirs where the truth about a "real man" matches what is present when met in person. It happens in Joaquin Jackson's One Ranger. I'm in my 77th year and have collected Ranger books since the late 1930s. With all my reading over sixty years about Rangers, this is the first one that left me with the feeling "That's what it takes and that's what it is like."
Few are gifted to be a great Ranger and even fewer to write meaningfully about it.I can guarantee any reader you won't be able to put it down this book. You will have been entertained royally. One Ranger makes it evident what's wrong with our present system of law enforcement - it takes giants and they are in short supply.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only in Texas
One Ranger is the well-told Memoir of H. Joaquin Jackson.

Having been on the other side of the law, (I was a marijuana smuggler), I anticipated a book that would tell how the cops are the good guys and all the crooks are evil and how the Texas Rangers are far superior to any cop on the planet.

While an element of pride does creep into this work in places, it is offset by an honest and frank view of the world from Jackson's eyes. He peers into the gray areas in his life and that of others and talks of racial prejudice, greed, pride and even contempt for the law. Of the fears and doubts he felt. He addresses flawed policies on the war on drugs and border related issues with courage and conviction.

He also does a good job of painting the world from which he comes-a world he loves dearly-perhaps more than his own life. Almost to a fault. For those that love Texas and the border regions you will find interesting history and perspective woven into the stories and accurate and colorful portrayals of the land and the people that make this country what it is.

He shows us how flawed people can be good people, a lesson all of us need to learn.

He stares into what certainly is his biggest personal nightmare and takes the reader with him-a nightmare that will continue to haunt him for the rest of his life-the fact that his son, a son bearing his name, would grow up to kill another human and be sentenced to prison for murder. I couldn't help but share in the pain and doubts he lives with.

Why did this happen?

Being the eldest son of an equally dynamic and successful man, and also bearing the name of my own father (don means "sir" in Spanish), I think I understand. The only thing I have to say publicly is this: the grace of God is greater than all of this. And sometimes a man must die (figuratively or literally) to overcome the curse into which he is born.

I want Mr. Jackson to know that hope remains for his son and that sometimes God takes a person from the lowest of places and raises him up to do his will.

This is an exceptional book.

Buy it and read it. You will profit from the experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Money Well Spent
I bought this book and couldn't put it down.I spent my entire weekend reading it.I just couldn't get enough!You laugh and cry with Joaquin Jackson and end up loving life in the end.I recommend this book highly!

5-0 out of 5 stars Old-west Adventures in Modern Times!
Very exciting fast-paced book.The history is fascianting and the story-telling is engaging.A great read - I couldn't put it down. ... Read more


26. Quicksands: A Memoir
by Sybille Bedford
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582431698
Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Sales Rank: 9581
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Book Description

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


27. Tales from the Bed : On Living, Dying, and Having It All
by Jenifer Estess
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743476824
Catlog: Book (2004-05-18)
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 320
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jenifer Estess is a woman on the verge: She's about to launch her own company; she's looking buff and dating vigorously; she's driving in the fast lane -- with the top down. At the age of thirty-five, Jenifer dreams of falling in love and starting a family. Then she notices muscle twitches in her legs. Walking down a city block feels exhausting. At first, doctors write off Jenifer's symptoms to stress, but she is quickly diagnosed with ALS, a fatal brain disease that is absolutely untreatable.

Max out your credit cards and see Paris, suggests one doctor. Instead of preparing to die, Jenifer gets busy. She dreams deeper, works harder, and loves endlessly. For Jenifer, being fatally ill is not about letting go. It's about holding on and reaching -- for family, friends, goals.

Jenifer's girlhood pact with her sisters Valerie and Meredith -- nothing will ever break us apart -- guides them as Jenifer faces down one of the most devastating illnesses known to humankind. That same enduring pact inspires the creation of Project A.L.S., a movement started by the sisters that changes the way science and medicine approach research for ALS and the related diseases Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and which has already raised more than $18 million. Will Project A.L.S. help scientists discover medicine in time for her?

Jenifer answers these questions and others in this beautifully written and wholly inspiring memoir that celebrates a life fuelled by memory. Tales from the Bed forces us to reconsider society's notion of "having it all," and illustrates, more than anything, the importance of endurance, hope, and, most of all, love. ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars I've found a new hero (or heroes)
I have seen the HBO documentary, "Three Sisters," with which this book is associated, and also read this book. Both were amazing and powerful, yet different. I walked away from the book, looking to do something more meaningful with my life, whereas the film was more educational as far as ALS is concerned.

The book kept me up, reading all night long, in a rush to continue with Jenifer on her journey to the end. When I read the final pages, I didn't want to close the book, in fear that the connection I established with Jenifer, Valerie and Meredith would disappear. The writing flowed like a familiar memory and the humor made me smile between the tears that dropped. I feel like I've known the Estess family for my entire life, even though I was introduced to them by mere text in the pages of the book. I recommend this book highly to everyone--not just those who have ALS or know someone with ALS. After all,like Jenifer, ALS could happen to anyone of us.

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful
This was such a great read that revealed a woman with a lot of class who even though she was dying inch by inch continued to live and fight for the hope of a cure for ALS. Through the writing you can feel her struggle, but her sense of humor comes through so just when you are about to cry over the inhumanity of the disease you crack a smile or even laugh out loud at something Jenifer said. The love she and her sisters had for one another and their determination to help Jenifer is awe inspiring. This book makes you forget about your troubles and makes you want to do something to find a cure for ALS. I'd recommend it for anyone who has a heart.

5-0 out of 5 stars A moving story of courage
I picked up this book on the way home from a trip for some airplane reading and could not put it down. I was somewhat familiar with Jenifer's story from seeing her and her sisters on the Today Show and other news programs when they started Project ALS. But her courageous story of life and love and what it means to be family really touched my heart - and gave me some much needed perspective in my life. I highly recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Indomitable spirit an encouragement to all
I deeply admire Jenifer's courage and indomitable spirit. Her sisters' commitment to love, care, and find a cure is also very admirable.

My husband has ALS and I am very glad I read this book. I am challenged to love others more and do my best to make a positive difference in spite of daunting odds.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful summer read - inspiring and filled with love!
I just read Jenifer's wonderful memoir, TALES FROM THE BED and thought it was one of the most beautiful stories I've read in years. With all that was changing in Jenifer's life, she had her sisters and still had hope, and remained funny, heartwarming, and inspiring you can feel the love that she had for life pouring through the pages. I hope that you'll give yourself the gift of reading Jenifer's wonderful story and the legacy she left behind. ... Read more


28. We Thought You Would Be Prettier : True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive
by LAURIE NOTARO
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812969014
Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
Publisher: Villard
Sales Rank: 2404
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars The funniest woman alive
I'm appalled at the reviewers who have the audacity to say Laurie's work isn't hilarious. One clearly has no sense of humor if she fails to make you laugh. Sure Laurie pokes mean spirited fun at Camaros, morons in line at Fedex and kids with stupid hairdos but she also thoroughly makes fun of herself which you've got to respect. And you're kidding yourself if you can't relate to some of her tales - we all lose patience with strangers and do idiotic things.

My respect for Laurie doubled when I met her a B&N book signing. She is a great person - as funny and sarcastic as you'd expect from her writing but also genuinely nice - the kind of person who makes a really fun friend. She clearly cares about her readers and delights in meeting the people she has touched with her stories. She also shared the chocolate Twizzlers someone brought her with everyone at the book signing. You gotta love generosity when it comes to candy! ;o)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another humorus home run from Laurie!
I was so happy to get this book, I've been a huge fan of Laurie Notaro for years. She speaks for all of us who are less than perfect but make the most of it. These books keep getting better and better. I can relate to so many of the situations, but could never find the right way to express the details. Laurie not only captures the moment, but makes a hilarious sitcom out of it - in fact I think she deserves a prime time sitcom! Now it's time to wait for the next book. Until then, I'll read this one again! Go buy this book, you'll love it!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Notaro rocks
In this latest collection of short stories, Laurie Notaro works her comedic yet magic again. From start to finish, I was cracking up with each new page. Laurie Notaro rocks!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not as good as the others
This book is funny - it is a good read but I enjoyed her previous books more. Autobiography of a Fat Bride : True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood is probably my favorite. That aside, this is still an entertaining read - it is broken up into short chapters so you can read a bit here and there. Notaro has some really witty observations on life and a sarcastic sense of humor.

2-0 out of 5 stars Alright??
I had just finished a few thoughtful books. I really wanted something light hearted and would make me laugh. This certainly was NOT the right book.

I hate to admit this but I chose this book because of the cover and its title. I thought it would remind me of my life in someway and I could easily identify with it. SO not the case.

Most of the humor is forced. She tries to get us to see what she experienced without realizing we didn't grow up with her. She had a few moments especially in her surgery story but other than that...The worst story (many would most likely disagree with me on this) was her fedex story. Although many of us have been there: stuck in line with a stupid customer in front of us, it doesn't mean that would ruin an entire day. She almost has no compassion on the woman...it seems like everyone is an idiot, a paris hilton or something to that degree...it's like a constant pity party.

What makes me sad is that I forced myself to finish this book. I hate quitting on a book so I forced myself. One should never force yourself to read a book. But I must admit, there were some decent stories hidden in this book. But the bad far out ways the good. ... Read more


29. Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine
by Candice E. Jackson
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0974670138
Catlog: Book (2005-05)
Publisher: World Ahead Publishing, Inc.
Sales Rank: 4607
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Book Description

The lives of eight women who crossed romantic paths with Bill Clinton are examined in this innovative look at the former president. Extensive research and firsthand interviews document the intimidation and harassment that these women suffered after falling out of Clintons favor, in the process revealing a disturbing truth about the ideology of the president and his followers. ... Read more


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

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

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

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

... Read more

Reviews (14)

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

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

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

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

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

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

All in all a great biography -5 stars.


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

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

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

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

Reads almost like a Roll of the Dead Christmas Letter.

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

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

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

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

Ms. Bacall, you go girl!

(Recommended Reading!)

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


31. A Hope in the Unseen : An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League
by RON SUSKIND
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767901266
Catlog: Book (1999-05-04)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 7672
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At Ballou Senior High, a crime-infested school in Washington, D.C., honor students have learned to keep their heads down. Like most inner-city kids, they know that any special attention in a place this dangerous can make you a target of violence. But Cedric Jennings will not swallow his pride, and with unwavering support from his mother, he studies and strives as if his life depends on it--and it does. The summer after his junior year, at a program for minorities at MIT, he gets a fleeting glimpse of life outside, a glimpse that turns into a face-on challenge one year later: acceptance into Brown University, an Ivy League school.

At Brown, finding himself far behind most of the other freshmen, Cedric must manage a bewildering array of intellectual and social challenges. Cedric had hoped that at college he would finally find a place to fit in, but he discovers he has little in common with either the white students, many of whom come from privileged backgrounds, or the middle-class blacks. Having traveled too far to turn back, Cedric is left to rely on his faith, his intelligence, and his determination to keep alive his hope in the unseen--a future of acceptance and reward that he struggles, each day, to envision. ... Read more

Reviews (99)

4-0 out of 5 stars Rising to the occasion...reaching the unseen
Cedric's trials as an intelligent black youth growing up in Washington DC and going to Ballou High School are well expressed in this book by Ron Suskind. His story and hopes to rise above his surroundings and his past are inspiring and moving. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse inside the life of someone like Cedric, being a District resident myself. However there were a few things about the book that I found to be a bit strange. I think that the book would be very differently written had a black writer taken on this story, and I also feel that more focus could have been around Cedric's home life, with more emphasis on his mother Barbara. The book does a good job of looking at his education which is really the main point and driving force behind Cedric's life, and this story. The story of a real youth struggling to succeed and not be tor apart by his peers or by anyone else who may discourage him makes a very thought provoking book. I really did like most aspects of this book and found it to be a very intriguing read. It is not a particularly fast read, but still, the book managed to keep my attention and I did enjoy this book thoroughly.

3-0 out of 5 stars Cedric gets a 5, Suskind a 2
Amid all the debates over affirmative action and inequity in funding for public schools, A Hope in the Unseen is the story of what these issues mean to a determined young man named Cedric Jennings as it follows him through his inadequate preparation at Ballou High School, to a summer program at MIT, to his freshman year at Brown University, with Cedric not quite fitting in anywhere. At home he's derided for his success, even for wanting to succeed, by his fellow students. At MIT, and later Brown, he finds himself inadequately prepared, academically and socially, to easily succeed. I found the story of his determination to make something of himself and his search for identity to be very powerful. I was put off, though, by the methods Suskind used to tell Cedric's story. This book reads like a novel, including the use of an omniscient narrator. I wanted to hear more from Cedric himself, in his own words, and not Cedric filtered through the lens of Suskind. I wish more of an effort to include Cedric's own perspective were included. If you liked this book, read the works of Jonathan Kozol, particularly Savage Inequalities, which further explains the inequities that exist in public schools.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A great book! I read it cover to cover in a day, it was compelling. You feel like you're part of Cedric's story.

4-0 out of 5 stars A story of persistence over struggles and triumph!
When I picked up this book, I didn't know what I'd think of it. It's not the normal kind of book I read, but as this month's book club selection, I gave it a chance. And I was quite impressed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Cedric. Coming from middle-class white suburbia, but not far from Detroit, I was familiar of the struggle for inner-city kids to strive, but not with their perceptions of it. This book opened up my eyes to some realities and feelings, I never had thought about before. For instance, how it's not only very difficult to get a good education or good grades in the inner city, but how you're ostracized by your peers for trying.

This is a story of how Cedric ignored the taunting of fellow students, how he earned a chance at the Ivy league and then we learn the struggle doesn't stop there. For a boy who was salutatorian at his high school, his education level is still far below most of those in the Ivy leagues. The story is about his efforts to make the grade, fit in at school and become comfortable in his own skin. Just reading about his obstacles made me tired for him!

I enjoyed the book, especially how we did get to see the world by more than just Cedric's eyes, but also by his mothers, his fathers and friends. I think this gave the story a pick-me-up when otherwise it would have gotten boring. To anyone who is interested in this topic, I'd recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beauty found in Hope in the Unseen
While flipping channels one day on my TV, I stumbles upon a writer doing a reading of his Pulitzer Prize winning book entitled Hope in the Unseen. Moments later the main character from the book, Cedric himself, stepped to the mic and took questions about the experience, and the book itself. I was riveted! This was facinating! I ran out and got the book, and was literally swept away by the story, the strength, and the bitter sweetness of the struggle illustrated so well. This book was a profound experience for me. Not only does the author use words in the most beautiful manner, but the story is so unashamed in it's stark compassion and truth. There were so many parts of this book that brought tears to my eyes. I felt privilaged to catch a glimpse of the vulnerability of this courageous, flawed, strong, optimistic young man. This book gave me hope for all young people out in the world facing seemingly insurmountable odds. I wanted to stand up and cheer at the end, I felt like this kid was going to be better than "OK", that he was going to have a richly rewarding life because he wasn't afraid to push himself along his journey. Every teen in school should be required to read this book, and every adult should read it so that we can change the attitudes in this world one family at a time. ... Read more


32. No Mountain High Enough : Raising Lance, Raising Me
by LINDA ARMSTRONG KELLY, JONI RODGERS
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076791855X
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: Broadway
Sales Rank: 8374
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Power Behind the Throne of Victory
Linda, a "natural blonde" with a bombshell attack on life, has put together this behind-the-scenes look at life with Lance Armstrong, a miracle kid who became one of America's favorite heroes.

Linda was a single mom who had Lance when she was still in her teens. Her reckless and desperate pursuit of happiness in marriage is part of her story. Women will empathize with her attempts to make relationships work out for the sake of the child she adored. Loneliness and insecurity make the smartest of us blind to the consequences as we plunge ahead into yet another bad partnership. Throughout, the kid kept her sane and was her anchor. Without him she undoubtedly would have made worse choices.

Once Lance began his youthful pursuit of victory in triathlon events, Linda became a fan who cheered him and a supporter who wrote the checks, no matter how pinched her finances. He started getting sponsorship and that helped. Then he was offered a full college scholarship for his swimming ability. He refused, saying he believed he could make it in the big-time world of sporting events. She went along, with her usual encouragement: stay focused, and I'll be there.

Linda found her personal self-esteem in the world of business. Beginning at the most humble level, shredding paper on weekends to make extra money in her first secretarial job, she moved up quickly to a series of administrative positions in which her vibrant personality came to the fore. She needed money to keep Lance on his bike, but in the meantime she was racing to her own victories as a successful corporate somebody.

Her father was a major influence. Having given up drinking as soon as he had a grandson, he protected Linda and Lance and made their way as smooth as he knew how. It was hard for Linda, however, not to repeat the patterns she'd observed as a little girl. Though she didn't get trapped in physically abusive relationships, she was a doormat --- first for a philanderer and then for another alcoholic. It wasn't until she was older and Lance was independent that she finally found a man who could care for her without his own unwholesome agenda playing out.

So that's where life finds Linda now. Lance, as the world knows, survived Stage 4 (the worst) cancer, including brain lesions. He won the Tour de France a whopping six times and has fathered a son. His mother says, "I still love to stand there and watch him fly."

This is a believable story of the power behind the throne of victory, because Lance Armstrong undoubtedly is made of tough stuff, and it had to have come from somewhere. Linda's story will inspire moms and perhaps help some other lonely mother to let some other kid go the extra mile.

--- Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott

5-0 out of 5 stars The real victory
I'm a Lance fan. So, when I read this book, it was only out of curiosity for Lance's career. But I found myself reading about an everyday victory, and one not rewarded with multi-million dollar advertising contracts or front-page stories.

Linda could have given away the baby. Linda could have received welfare and lived off the government. She didn't have to work hard to improve her career. She could have stayed in the projects or in bad marriages. Instead, her own determination lifted her and her child's life.

Sometimes I feel down because I'm struggling to save enough to buy a house, and I'm earning far more than she did and I don't have a child to raise. This is a wonderful, motivating book by a woman who never believed it when people told her it couldn't be done.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sheer grit
The title (can you hear the Temptations singing "Ain't no mountain high enough"?) alerts us to uncommon grit and determination inside.I might add, ego --mom's, as well as Lance's.Not surprising, for mom lifted Lance out of his unpromising roots by sheer force of her ego and drive.Same can be said of Lance's string of Tour de France triumphs.He's the boy mama raised.

The chapters of the book dealing with Lance's cancer powerfully illustrate, in a different way, the grit and determination that bonded mother and son.Others might describe his dramatic comeback as "miraculous," but Lance doesn't.He goes out of his way to tell people he does not pray and his recovery was not the result of prayer.

Glancing at the book cover -a pretty blonde on Lance's shoulder- one may mistakenly think this is Lance and his wife.Reading the sub-title, "Raising Lance, Raising Me," clarifies this is not wife or girl friend but Lance's mother.Lance was named for Lance Rentzel, dysfunctional star of the Dallas Cowboys.The Armstrong name was provided by Linda's second husband, a travelling wiener salesman who wasn't home much.

Linda, Lance's mom, had an abusive father and HER mother had an abusive father.Linda, by strength of character, broke the family pattern of abuse.Her marriages, however, were as disastrous as her mother's and grandmother's.Linda is in her fourth marriage.Lance, having fathered three children, is divorced.

Other women in Lance's life are barely mentioned.The most painful part of the book is what's unsaid.When Lance marries, Linda is not involved in plans for the wedding.She no longer seems significantly involved in his life.

Lance was the accidental offspring of two teenagers in "the projects."That seventeen-year old Linda's baby got where he did is a remarkable and inspirational story.Lance's mom deserves all the credit she claims.She's a terrific lady.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great read.
This book really changed my mindset on what it means to support the interests of my kids rather than just paying lip service. The most challenging portion was her thoughts on page 112 on how easy it can be to unintentionally communicate that their interests aren't important.

As an unexpected bonus, I also got a great pep talk on the attitude to have while diving into new areas at work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Now we know where Lance got his drive.
Nothing was going to keep Linda Armstrong Kelly and her son from getting their piece of the American Dream.

Knowing Lance's story is helpful, but not essential to enjoying Linda's telling of a life of poverty, less than wise choices and being mother to a live wire named Lance. (Who was supposed to be named Erica, should he have been a girl.)

With little more than a heart full of love for her child and a huge amount of determination, Linda carved out a life for the two of them . . . truly against all odds.Armed only with a GED and a real estate license, she rose from a temporary clerk to the rank of project manager for a major telecommunications company.She raised Lance to believe in himself and it seems she didn't try to squelch his infatuation with danger . . . and speed.Her determination to succeed was quickly transferred to Lance, who's natural athletic abilities were just what the doctor (and his mother) ordered/needed to keep his boundless energy channeled in a positive manner.

My favorite part of the story revolved around Lance's early competitions, when Linda was his only "pit crew" and it was, indeed, the two of them against the world.

While being open and honest about her own unfortunate choices, Linda shows herself to be fallible, too.However, instead of having a pity party, she seems to learn from her every mistake and to take each personal relationship failure and make something positive out of it.It's good to know she's found the love of her life and is happy at last.

Never flinching from responsibility.Instilling a good work ethic.Teaching the value of a dollar.Believing in the good in her child, despite some teen-age boy pranks to the contrary.

Maybe Linda Armstrong Kelly should start her own foundation and teach parents how to raise their kids to be STRONG, responsible, caring and giving adults.

Kudos to her . . . and that kid she raised to ride like the wind!

Enjoy! ... Read more


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

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

Reviews (50)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Dear Readers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviews (1)

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


35. Special Agent : My Life On the Front Lines As Woman in the FBI
by Candice DeLong
list price: $23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786867078
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 117458
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Readers may well find themselves looking nervously over their shoulders after finishing this memoir by Candice DeLong, who met a lot of Hannibal Lecter's soul mates during her 20 years as an FBI agent. An early practitioner of profiling, the analysis of crime data for what it reveals about the perpetrator, DeLong handled such ugly cases that she and her partner at one point were known as "the Gruesome Twosome." Her arrests included child molesters, rapists, and serial killers; among the book's useful features are her tips on what to do if you or your child is attacked. (Yell "Fire!" rather than "Help!" she advises; it attracts more attention.) Not that human nature's darker side was a surprise to DeLong, who came to the FBI from a job as head nurse in a maximum security psychiatric ward, where a violent paranoid schizophrenic crooned at her, "You better pray I never get out of these [restraints]. I could cut your head off. Or do you want me to tear your heart out?" The frank, conversational text ably captures the forceful personality of a female pioneer. The bureau had only been accepting women for eight years when DeLong joined in 1980, and her training at Quantico included brutal harassment by instructors determined to "wash out" any female applicant. Yet she had the toughness to survive and the good sense to know when to ignore her male colleagues' barbed jokes and when to kid them right back. Ultimately, she made friends and got ahead. As well as chronicling a stream of fascinating (and often deeply disturbing) high-profile cases such as the Unabomber, DeLong's narrative portrays a changing FBI, now valuing the special perspective contributed by female and African American agents it once scorned. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Led Three Lives
This is the most inspiring book I have read about a woman's career since I became familiar with Ms. Jane Goodall's books about her pioneering work in Africa with chimpanzees.

Many people will see Ms. Candice ("don't call me Candy") De Long as a real-life Clarice Starling (the FBI agent in Hannibal). I think she is more impressive than that. This fascinating book recounts her three lives as a psychiatric nurse who worked with violent patients and did home health care for poor people, an FBI special agent (specializing in profiling of repeated, sexually violent offenders) from 1980 through 2000, and as a divorced mother raising a son alone. Each side of her life is equally impressive, and she is the kind of person we all should admire. She has always done her duty, and we are all the better for that. While many pioneering women in "men's" professions often were given "token" roles, Ms. De Long wanted and went to where the action was. During her career, she rescued a child from a pedophile abductor, captured a terrorist who had murdered three men, and caught a Class A fugitive. She was also present and part of many famous investigations. Her memoir will give you a much better idea about crime and how the FBI and DEA combat it. The book also contains many lessons for how women and children can avoid becoming crime victims.

When J. Edgar Hoover died in 1972, there were no women field agents. By 1980, around 4 percent of the agents were women. At her retirement in 2000, this had risen to 15 percent. Ms. De Long sacrificed a lot to become an agent. She had to leave her young son for 16 weeks for the initial training. She missed a lot of evenings and weekends with him to do surveillance. The training included a lot of harrassment (female and general). For example, she was made to fire a shotgun so often in one day that she developed a permanent injury that kept her from being able to use that shoulder for firing a shotgun again. Another time, she had to box a large man who knocked her out cold. Her starting salary was half what she had made as a nurse. She could accept that. "I wanted to lead a heroic life." She certainly did succeed in that objective. She took the men on at their own game, and was proud of being called one of the "b_____s with badges." Her signature was the fedora she always wore at the Bureau.

Some of the famous cases she worked on included the Tylenol tampering, being part of the surveillance team on the Unabomber leading up to the arrest of Ted Kaczynski, and the brothel closings in Chicago.

She correctly says relatively little about her personal life. But some of the anecdotes will keep you laughing for days. When she was asked to be a hot dog mother in her son's third grade class, the children noticed that she was packing. She got a lot more respect after that, and was invited back to talk about her work. Another time, she accidentally noticed a surveillance suspect while driving around and tailed her. The team had lost the suspect. Only well into the chase did she realize that her son was in the back seat. She kept him safe while her eye was peeled on the suspect.

The profiling work will intrigue you. You will learn about all of the different kinds of creeps who victimize women and children. It was amazing how well the profiles predicted who the guilty party was. Using the profiles allowed the FBI and local police to find the suspects much faster than would otherwise have occurred. Since these are repeat offenders, lives were saved and injuries were avoided as a result. Part of the worst of this was that many times the women could have been saved if someone had called the police. "If you are ever assaulted, never count on help."

The stories of the harrassment she endured from insecure males in the FBI will amaze you. She indicates that conditions improved over time. One of the most ridiculous examples was when she was sent to the home of an informant to babysit his child while the bust went down. She put up with this only because the safety of an innocent child was involved.

I was even more impressed by her work as a psychiatric nurse. Shooting tranquilizers into writhing, distrubed patients being held down by 7 orderlies was probably more dangerous than any of the arrests she did for the FBI. There she had a gun and usually lots of backup.

Her courage was most impressive. When she arrested the terrorist, she kept waiting for her partner to put the cuffs on while she had the drop on the suspect. Eventually, she looked around and realized that her partner was sheepishly waiting in the car calling for back-up. In her haste to make the bust, she didn't take time to put on her bullet-proof vest. Fortunately, the error did not lead to harm, but she took a grave risk in the process. She was astonished to find that the terrorist was more frightened of her than she was of him.

Money problems eventually caused to need to moonlight as a nurse. The moonlighting stories are very entertaining. At first, she kept bumping into agents while she was working the wards. To avoid this, she started doing home nursing in the poorest neighborhoods. This dual career eventually led to her needing to retire in the middle of administrative hearings about whether she was being unprofessional in her moonlighting. Someone should have cut her more slack.

I was impressed by her courage, her idealism, her persistence, and her commitment to doing the right thing. I hope that all young women (and their parents) who are thinking about taking on a dangerous career will read this book. You will be very inspired.

My hat's off to you, Ms. De Long! You're way more than a five star person.

Ms. De Long and Ms. Petrini have done a fine job of writing about this fascinating life, and you will enjoy what they have to say.

After you finish reading this book, I suggest that you rethink your ideas about what women and men can and cannot do. This book once again proves that anyone can do anything, if they want to badly enough.

Live up to your potential to serve others!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Story of a Woman in the FBI
From 1980-2000, Candace DeLong was a highly respected agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Now retired from the agency, DeLong no longer has to abide by confidentiality rules. Teamed up with Elisa Pedrini, DeLong chronicles her career as a woman in the FBI.

Candace joined the agency at a time when few women were considered for the job. Sexism and harassment were the accepted norm back then. Like many women in male-dominated occupations, DeLong had to work twice as hard as male rookies to earn the respect of her superiors.

In "Special Agent," DeLong describes many of the cases on which she worked including the Tylenol tampering case of Chicago. She was also on the front-line as profiling became a valid tool in crime solving. In fact, one editorial quote on Amazon compares her to Thomas Harris' popular character, Clarice Starling.

DeLong doesn't discuss much of her private life, yet she is very candid about her work experiences, both praising and criticizing those within the Bureau. I figured there would be a lot of camaraderie, but I was also surprised to read how petty and competitive the agents can be as well.

My favorite portion of "Special Agent" discusses DeLong's involvement in the Unabomber case. She was part of the surveillance team in Montana and was responsible for detaining Ted Kaczynski while other agents searched his shack. The dialogue and interaction between the two described here is completely fascinating.

The details and pacing of the book held my attention the entire time. The subject matter may be tough for some. However, these are true stories within the FBI, and can't be sugarcoated.

"Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI" is an interesting book. Readers will be fascinated by the lenient glance into the files of the FBI. DeLong is an incredibly brave woman and her story is worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Candice gives as good as she gets!
What an excellent read! The characters and relationships are very intriguing-the author's world is filled with both obvious and subtle villains, as well as obvious and subtle heroes. Candice herself is fun, likeable and strong enough to give as good as she gets. Though she is being constantly second-guessed, undermined and underestimated, she ends up turning her "weakness" into advantage time and again. The author sets up the rivalry between the FBI and the DEA and her unique role walking between the two. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible profile of dedication and compassion
Candice Delong tells it like it is. This book held me riveted and page turning. I could not put it down. Ms. Delong exemplifies a woman who is dedicated to justice and the right thing to do. At great personal expense Delong did her job. However, as a mother, she had her priorities clearly defined. Delong's son was her greatest priority. The part about the Unibomber wearing her son's coat touched me deeply. This lady is indeed a national hero. In all the turmoil that America is involved in, it is wonderful to read about a woman who has made a difference in so many lives. Courage, integrity, and ethics all apply to this amazing woman.

5-0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC !!
Very well written. It gave me chills and I actually got out of bed to double check the locks on the doors and windows (twice) during one chapter! What an amazing life Candice Delong has lead. Any girl or woman interested in a career in law enforcement must read this! ... Read more


36. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
by ANNE FRANK
list price: $5.50
our price: $4.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553296981
Catlog: Book (1993-06-01)
Publisher: Bantam
Sales Rank: 2494
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A beloved classic since its initial publication in 1947, this vivid, insightful journal is a fitting memorial to the gifted Jewish teenager who died at Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in 1945. Born in 1929, Anne Frank received a blank diary on her 13th birthday, just weeks before she and her family went into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. Her marvelously detailed, engagingly personal entries chronicle 25 trying months of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and a middle-aged dentist who has little tolerance for Anne's vivacity. The diary's universal appeal stems from its riveting blend of the grubby particulars of life during wartime (scant, bad food; shabby, outgrown clothes that can't be replaced; constant fear of discovery) and candid discussion of emotions familiar to every adolescent (everyone criticizes me, no one sees my real nature, when will I be loved?). Yet Frank was no ordinary teen: the later entries reveal a sense of compassion and a spiritual depth remarkable in a girl barely 15. Her death epitomizes the madness of the Holocaust, but for the millions who meet Anne through her diary, it is also a very individual loss. --Wendy Smith ... Read more

Reviews (436)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Diary of Anne Frank was a wonderful book.
I read the book, "The Diary of Anne Frank." I thought that it was not only a wonderful book, but it was very real. It is the captivating story of a young girl, told to her diary about her life, growing up under sone of the strangest, and saddest conditions. It was written in Holland in the early 1940's, during the anti-semetic movements of the Nazi party. Is is told from the innocent eyes of a child, forced to go into hiding to escape Nazi persecution. She lives under close quarters, with seven other people. I felt, because the book was so real, that I actually knew the characters in the book. I found myself relating to ideas that Anne had and things that she said. I think that everyone should read this book because is is an insight into life, love, and hate. I believe that this is a great book and could be enjoyed by anyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl
The book that I just finished reading is called Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl written by Anne Frank herself. It is one of the best book that I have ever read. It tells you about the life of a teenage girl who is trying to survive the awful times of the Holocaust while in hiding. Along with her, there are seven other people living in this hiding place. She learns how to cooporate with other people and how to live while all cooped up. The story takes place in Amsterdam and the hiding place is called the "Secret Annexe". There are two people who get them their food and take care of them. The end of this book is so heart-wrenching that it is unbelieveable. I would definately give this book nine stars out of ten. This book is so informative that is really makes you realize how fortunate we really are these days. It explains everything so well that you can't even believe that something this horrible could ever even happen. This book has definately made me think completely different in a good way and I hope that it will do the same for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Franco's Fabulous Book Review
Anne Frank, a 13 year-old, strong-willed, and courageous girl, is living in the Secret Annex during WWII to escape the Nazi regime. Anne, along with her family and close friends, are hiding from the Nazis because they are of the Jewish faith. Anne falls in love with Peter, a 15 year-old boy who is living with her in the Secret Annex. They become very close as they spend time in the attic trying to escape Peter's annoying mother. The group living in the Secret Annex has to be extremely careful. If they make too much noise, they have a chance of being caught. If they are caught, they will most likely be sent to a concentration camp. Any loud noise or movement could cost the eight tenants of the Secret Annex to die.
"Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" is an amazing book. It lets you realize how lucky we are to live in the world we live in today. The struggles that Anne and the group go through to live a "normal" life are nothing like anyone in today's world would be forced to go through. It allows people interested in WWII to gain information as to what is was like to live during the war.
"Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl" is a must read. It is ver informative, yet allows the reader to learn about WWII in an interesting way. So, if you like WWII and are interested in learning what it was like to live back then, this book is for you. It is also a good piece of historical fiction. Pick it up today!

Julie Francolino

4-0 out of 5 stars A diary that truly depicted War...
I earnestly almost cried after reading this book.I was 13,the same age as Anne's when she started writing her diary,whom she called "kitty".

For those who have no idea who Anne Frank is,she is a Jewish girl and the youngest of two girls.Her father was successful businessman...and the family led a happy and wonderful life after settling down in the bustling city of Amsterdam,that was until Adolf Hitler started the Nazis.The Nazis was an anti-Jew operation,where they would capture Jewish men and tortured them.The women and young and old were not let off either,many were sent to concentration camps,where living conditions there were so bad,many died of diseases rather than the slow torturings.

It was at this time that Mr Frank decided to go into hiding with his family.With some of his kind-hearted co-workers,they managed to perfect a secret hideout.Anne,her mother and sister Margot began moving into the hideout,which was located just behind the office.Joining them were the Van Dans (not sure if spelling is right)who had a son named Peter and a doctor.Life was very tough,for living behind the office with barely a bookshelf as a wall means not making loud noises.No one must know of their existense,so all everybody could do is to crept round their area softly,tip-toeing and even speaking in hush-whistle.

For almost 2 years,that's the life of Anne.A growing teenager,she could not go out to the streets to watch a movie,play with her friends or even talk to boys,for that means getting caught by the Nazis.It was also round this time that Anne had one true friend where she can confide everything to:kitty,her diary.

In her diary,she wrote of how talkative she was in class(she went to school before the hiding),how she hates her mother when the latter compared her to her sister Margot,how she detested Mrs Van Dam...and her deepest thoughts on growing up in a secret hideout.She also shared about her crush on Peter,who also liked her.

Anne,as we could see,was a normal girl,someone who detested writing,someone who likes a boy and someone who wants to grow up being an author.Well,you could say she is one now,with her diary published after the war, which was later translated to more than 50 languages and sold millions worldwide...but the young girl,unlike her diary,did not survived through the war,for she was captured from her hideout one fine day.Mrs Frank,Margot,the doctor,the Van Dams and Anne herself,all died.All except for Mr Frank himself,who survived...

By the way, a little unknown fact about her Anne:her real name is Annelies Marie Frank.

5-0 out of 5 stars Anne Frank:The Diary of a Young Girl
The epic Adventure of Anne Frank, born in Germany Anne Frank spent two years of her life in Astonishing Circumstances. Anne faces adventure when the Nazis where murdering Jews. Anne, Mummy, Daddy, Mrs. Van Daan, Mr. Van Daan, and Peter. All hid in a secret passage in an old warehouse in Amsterdam. Anne and her diary explains of the fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Yet within it, a tender love story slowly unfolds-from her shy avoidances with peter to incessant glances and first kiss! Thus her diary is not a lament but a song to life, no matter the circumstances, no matter what the threats.
Great book for all ages, and you can't beat the low price. ... Read more


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

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

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

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

Reviews (6)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


38. Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul : Stories to Touch the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit (Chicken Soup for the Soul)
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Charles Preston, Cindy Pedersen
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0757302653
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: HCI
Sales Rank: 4514
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A soldier swears an oath to uphold the constitution and protect our country, while a soldier's spouse takes the unwritten oath to a life of constant moves, lengthy separations and endless anxieties. Their commitment requires a unique blend of patriotism, dedication, hard work and, most of all, flexibility.

The stories in Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul, written by soldier's wives and the courageous women who themselves serve in the military, speak directly to those who live the life, understand the jargon and thrive on the joys and challenges of military life.

These stories celebrate the spirit of women who unite with kindred spirits and strangers to raise families, maintain homes and uphold the most positive attitudes when facing the fears of losing a loved one.
This book is a tribute to all the women who daily uphold the written and unwritten oaths of service and of marriage.

Key Features

  • Unlike other books about military lifestyle that are guides to coping, this book offers comfort and support to women.
  • In these stories spouses pour out their hearts with examples of how they overcome fear and anxiety while concerned for the safety of their loved ones who are far from home, protecting our freedom.
  • Chapters include: I Miss You So, Raising Military Brats, Honey, We've Got Orders, An Officer At The Door, Holidays: Military Style, Red, White and Blue.
  • Inspiring stories celebrate the lives of military wives and spouses and the special bond that unites them while supporting each other as they share similar experiences.
... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Salute tothe wives of our military
Americans salute our military and are so very proud of those serving at home and abroad.But we often forget the wives who make homes for these heroes and tend to their children.The Chicken Soup Series has provided tributes to the women who serve too.These stories take the reader from the sad times for these families to the hilarious....a great cross-section of military life as it is lived by every service branch.It is a peek intopersonal stories written by women who have lived with and loved the heroes we all honor.You'll laugh and you'll cry with these women, but most of all, you'll find inspiration for your own life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection of Stories
I just finished Chicken Soup for the Military Wives Soul, not just for the Military Wife.I am not a military wife but I enjoyed and could relate to so many of the stories.What a great collection of stories if I wasn't crying
I was laughing.I'm ready for more.
... Read more


39. Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them
by LIZ CURTIS HIGGS
list price: $13.99
our price: $10.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578561256
Catlog: Book (1999-08-17)
Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Sales Rank: 5971
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Jezebel and Delilah have plenty to teach contemporary Christian women, according to Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them. In this self-help book, Liz Curtis Higgs tells fictionalized, contemporary stories based on the lives of biblical characters including Eve, Potiphar's Wife, and the Woman at the Well. In verse-by-verse commentary, Higgs summarizes each life's lessons and provides a list of questions for personal consideration or group discussion. The overall message of each chapter is the same: "Good Girls and Bad Girls both need a Savior. The goodness of your present life can't open the doors of heaven for you. The badness of your past life can't keep you out either." In its effort to turn readers' minds heavenward, Bad Girls draws a distinction between fun and joy. Associated with "fleshly pleasures," fun "is temporary at best; it's risky, even dangerous, at worst." Joy, on the other hand, is found in God's "gift of grace." Perhaps the book's greatest weakness is its inability to see that "fun," in many lives, is a holy and necessary means of attaining "joy." --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspired!
BAD GIRLS OF THE BIBLE is an inspired book that is sure to bless countless women for many years to come. Liz Curtis Higg's unique use of fiction combined with Scripture and modern application helped me see myself, my past and my future in a whole new light. Thank you, Liz, for pouring your heart and soul into this amazing book. -- Robin Lee Hatcher, author of THE FORGIVING HOUR and WHISPERS FROM YESTERDAY

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Christian book I've ever read!
Just by reading the title and looking at the great cover photograph of Liz Curtis Higgs peering out from behind a black veil, I knew immediately this wasn't your average "Christian book." And you know what, I was right. But in my opinion, this book is more "Christian" than most other Christian books out there today. Why? Because it teaches forgiveness and redemption, no matter WHAT your background or experiences in life. After all, wasn't that Jesus' core message?

Liz Curtis Higgs isn't your average Christian author--she freely admits her sordid past filled with promiscuity, drug use, and abusive relationships. She frequently uses her own stories to illustrate the points made in her book. She used to be a radio jockey whose show was so racy it made Howard Stern tell her to "clean up her act." But then Liz found the healing and redemptive powers of God's love, and it's this message which drives "Bad Girls of the Bible." Her non-judgmental and forgiving attitude will make any "bad girl" feel welcome. Most Christian authors today often come off as "holier-than-thou" with no clue about anything outside their own Christian sphere of influence. No matter what you've done, Liz has probably been there and done that, too.

Liz uses examples of "bad girls" from the Old and New Testaments to show how bad actions can affect our lives, and how we can be healed and forgiven by God. The stories are told with Liz's trademark wit and humor, which makes the book a rather entertaining read. She breaks down the stories verse-by-verse and makes amusing and insightful commentary on each. You don't have to be a Bible scholar to enjoy the book--Liz breaks everything down into bit-sized, easy-to-swallow pieces for your reading enjoyment!

I would recommend this book to any woman out there, whether you're a "lapsed Christian" or just need a change of pace from the usual conservative Christian fodder that's out there. Liz calls herself an "encourager", and she really is.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT
I thought this book was really great. I love how in depth she goes into each verse. It's really neat to learn how the verse is translated into different versions of the Bible.

I hope people don't take the woman who called her "too serious to be a mature christian" to heart. That is a very judgemental phrase. I hope we all can be as happy and giddy as Liz is about her devotion to the Lord.

3-0 out of 5 stars great theory.... but...
I really was excited to order this book. I thought that it would be a good book about naughty girls or a naughty book about good girls. Either way, I wanted a book that was hip and current, and while it may very well be, the sad fact is that I just couldn't read it. The stories didn't pull me in, I couldn't find the correlation to the bible stories and it was just too vague. the book is gathering dust on my shelf and I am saddened that I just couldn't find this book interesting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Truth with love... and humor
I have to admit I'm pretty cynical about Christian books anymore, so I picked up this book hesitantly, afraid to find another empty, feel-good message. NOT SO! What I found was a woman who wasn't afraid to talk honestly about the real challenges that we face as Christians and as women.

There's meat here--I recognized bits (and sometimes large portions!) of myself in every Bad Girl listed. But there's also love--Higgs' own testimony comes out over the pages, and her words ring with the compassion she feels for others who have struggled, stumbled, fallen... and been picked back up.

It's weighty at times, but with plenty of humor to keep your attention and keep the pages turning. I don't think readers will be disappointed with this one. ... Read more


40. Autobiography of a Face
by Lucy Grealy
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060569662
Catlog: Book (2003-03-18)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 4791
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

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

... Read more

Reviews (50)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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