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1. My Life So Far
$84.95 list($24.99)
2. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of
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3. I'm the One That I Want
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4. Wasted : A Memoir of Anorexia
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5. America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline
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6. Traveling Mercies
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7. Living History
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8. Founding Mothers : The Women Who
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9. An Unfinished Marriage
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10. What Falls Away
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11. At Home in the World
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12. Quiet Room
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13. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind:
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14. His Bright Light : The Story of
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15. Me : Stories of My Life
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16. The Kiss : A Memoir (Narrated
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17. The Hiding Place (Corrie Ten Boom
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18. Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible
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19. The Housekeeper's Diary: Charles
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20. Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected

1. My Life So Far
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0739319833
Catlog: Book (2005-04-05)
Publisher: RH Audio Voices
Sales Rank: 158281
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Amazon.com

One of the most recognizable women of our time, America knows Jane Fonda as actress, activist, feminist, wife, and workout guru. In her extraordinary memoir, Fonda divides her life into three acts: her childhood, early films, and first marriage make up act one; her growing career in film, marriage to Ted Turner, and involvement in the Vietnam War belong to act two; and the third act belongs to the future, in which she hopes to "begin living consciously," and inspire others who can learn from her experiences. Fonda reveals intimate details and universal truths that she hopes "can provide a lens through which others can see their lives and how they can live them a little differently."

Exclusive Letter from Jane Fonda

Stay in Shape: The Jane Fonda Collection
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Nine to Five

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See more Fonda DVDs ... Read more


2. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China (Abridged)
by Jung Chang
list price: $24.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0886463610
Catlog: Book (1993-09-01)
Publisher: DH Audio
Sales Rank: 703636
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

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

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

Reviews (234)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3. I'm the One That I Want
by Margaret Cho
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 1565114744
Catlog: Book (2001-05-01)
Publisher: Highbridge Audio
Sales Rank: 498261
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Don't come to this bitter, engrossing memoir for a quick and easy laugh. The material that Margaret Cho has turned to such riotous ends in her stand-up act has a very different flavor on the page. An unpopular child (okay, hated and reviled), Cho made friends with the drag queens who worked in her father's bookstore, soon becoming a fag hag, and finding this mutual attraction "both nurturing and powerful, sweet and sour, retail and wholesale." "Drag queens are strong because they have so much to fight against," writes Cho, "homophobia, sexism, pink eye." To support herself at the beginning of her comedy career, Cho worked at FAO Schwarz, sometimes moonlighting in phone sex. Occasionally the jobs would overlap, and she would find herself doing phone sex dressed as Raggedy Ann. There isn't much here about Cho's early success, but she does delve at length into her disastrous sitcom, and devotes many pages to her battles with her weight, with drugs, and with alcohol, and her hopeless relationships with men (none of the bisexual material from her stage act is included here). Cho's message is about self-esteem in the face of consistent opposition from her family, the network that aired a "Margaret Cho" sitcom but permitted her no creative control, and a society that rewards women for thinness, whiteness, meekness, and a shut mouth. --Regina Marler ... Read more

Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars The woman behind all the laughters.
I have been a devoted fan of Margaret Cho since seeing her concert movie: Notorious C.H.O. a few years ago, and I also saw her in concert the Spring when SARS hit Toronto. I have never really cared for standup comedy before, but her outrageously funny shows really captured me, and her autobiography allowed me to see the layers beneath the Funny Diva.

She wrote about her upbringing as a second generation Korean American in San Francisco and how she became a full-fledge cross-country standup comic in her late teens. She shares feelings on her trials and triumps, to failures of her All American Girl TV show, to overweight issues, to being a fag hag, to sex, boost, and ex-boyfriends. She also included some stints from her greatest hits that were comic relief in this sometimes moving book. She's proven to the world that she doesn't have to be thin, beautiful, and white to become a superstar for laughs.

There was one page in her book about self-loathing that really touched me;
I don't want to be weary anymore. I donnn't want to be my own worst enemy anymore. When I tell myself I am fat, that I have to work out, I've taken from myself the energy to go out to do it. I feel hurt, bled of life force, and then I must work with that deficit. I give up before Iam through because I feel defeated before I even begin............I have been a longtime perpetrator of hate crimes against myself, and I am turninng myself in. I have had enough.

Her self-esteem had always been brought down by the expectation of how she should look on the outside(her face, hair, and body).
She struggled a great deal and she's a true hero and role model for Asians, overweight people, and underdog achievers. And for that I love her!

3-0 out of 5 stars A candid look at sexism in Hollywood
Margaret Cho's "I'm the One That I Want" is the opposite of pre-packaged, phony interviews that you see everytime you turn on TV. While actresses go on TV and claim to just LOVE their co-stars,and to be "naturally" thin, Cho tells it like it is. She triumphed where many others failed -- her years as a traveling standup paid off when she got a TV deal,. Unfortuntately, misogony and racism in Hollywood turned her dream into a nightmare. Cho details the callous treatment that she, the star of her own show, received when things went wrong on the show. Her weight became the central focus to some execs, and some Asians groups turned on her when the show was received as stereotypical and backward. What should have been the pinnacle of her career turned into a time she would rather forget. Alcoholism and dead-end relationshops ensued.

This book is basically a cathardic (we presume) rant by Cho. It is an outrageous story, particularly in the same industry that routinely makes TV stars of rotund male standup comics (everyone from Kevin James to Chris Farley). The double standards are made all the worse when you consider that Cho wasn't fat. She was victimized by the Hollywood white male power structure, and women and minorities who internalize that message and turn on each other.

Although I appreciate the manifesto-style quality of this book, some of Cho's solutions seem a bit naive. It is going to take a lot more than women liking themselves to see attitudes in Hollywood change. Sexism and racism are institutionalized, and every high grossing movie starring an emaciated babe is contributing to that tradition continuing. It will take dismantling those institutions, or working from within, to see that change. Show biz is way behind the curve when it comes to gender equality, but it is also dangerously influential. Cho, and others like her, could spearhead a grassroots campaign to get big audiences for movies that show positive messages of women. Take it from the evangelicals and "Passion of the Christ"... money talks.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not very funny, sometimes tedious,but some sparks
I was not familiar with M. Cho, being an American living overseas for so long. So I thought that I would get acquainted with a different aspect of American culture and bring some laughs to my door-step. Though I found some passages funny and entertaining, her narration comes off as tedious and repetitive, infrequently humorous. Her tragic life seems dramatically sad, and Cho seems to want to bring laughter out of brashness and dismal situations. Congratulations for trying to pull herself out of so many self-defeating habits and for trying to find some humour there. I found her "new-agey" comments too superficial for interest. I good try, but the bleakness of her unhappy life is not salvaged by the humour, that seems too scarce for a notorious comedian. This is a review of her 4 CD audiobook.

5-0 out of 5 stars a great biography
Heartfelt and Hilarious! If you're looking for comedy, get her videos or CD's. This is nice, but it's more on the sentimental side, not the funny side of Margaret.

5-0 out of 5 stars the REAL margaret cho!
The real Margaret Cho is both exactly how you'd expert her to be from her stand up and nothing like that. This book is VERY similar to her stand-up act and movie by the same name and includes many of the same hilarious stories. However the book delves MUCH deeper and tells more stories that don't make it to her comedy act (cuz they're not funny). But despite that I think that Margaret's comic genious and her humorous personality are definately apparent and you are left KNOWING you just read Margaret Cho! She's an unmistakable lady! I love her and I think the book is an invaluable piece of her story and the insights she shares in her act. So put down @$$master and pick up this! ... Read more


4. Wasted : A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia
list price: $23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553525182
Catlog: Book (1998-01-05)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 792392
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Precociously intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and ambitious, Marya Hornbacher grew up in a comfortable middle-class American home. At the age of five, she returned home from ballet class one day, put on a enormous sweater, curled up on her bed, and cried--because she thought she was fat. By age nine she was secretly bulimic, throwing up at home after school, while watching Brady Bunch reruns on television and munching Fritos. She added anorexia to her repetoire a few years later and took great pride in her ability to starve.

Marya's story gathers intensity with each passing year. By the time she is in college and working for a wire news service in Washington, D.C., she is in the grip of a bout of anorexia so horrifying that it will forever put to rest the romance of wasting away. Down to fifty-two pounds and counting, Marya becomes a battlefield: her powerful death instinct at war with the will to live.

Why would a talented young girl go through the looking glass and step into a netherworld where up is down, food is greed, and death is honor? Why enter into a love affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Marya sustained both anorexia and bulimia through five lengthy hospitalizations, endless therapy, the loss of family, friends, jobs, and, ultimately, any sense of what it means to be "normal." In this vivid, emotionally wrenching memoir, she recreates the experience and illuminates the tangle of personal, family and cultural causes unlying eating disorders.

Wasted is the story of one woman's travels to the darker side of reality, and her decision to find her way back again--on her own terms. ... Read more

Reviews (306)

4-0 out of 5 stars Triggering, but honest
An eating disorder sufferer myself for 7 years, I was very wary of reading this book, fearing that it would be too triggering during my periods of recovery. However, I finally recently read it, and while it was indeed very triggering in some aspects, I also found that I could relate to Marya frighteningly well. I think that many ED sufferers will feel this way upon reading this book.

Her descriptions of treatment methods that she had experienced rang particularly true to me. Her account of hospitalization on an ED unit was amazing. It seems that we could have almost been hospitalized in the same place. The timed meals, the patient-staff interactions, the fear of facing the dinner plate...all so familiar and honestly rendered. Marya's interactions with ED specialists, therapist, and other doctors are also all too familiar...the phrase "you don't look like you have an eating disorder" that sprinkles the book will be familiar to anyone who has approached their "healthy weight" while still struggling.

I would recommend this book to other sufferers, but with caution. There are some very triggering passages, such as those describing Marya's frightening descent to her low weight of 52 lbs. But if a sufferer is doing well in recovery, this can be an interesting and insightful book on the dangers of what we do to ourselves with these horrible disorders. This book is also good for family or friends of sufferers. While Marya's disorder is obviously of a very severe nature, she exhibits many of the same thoughts and behaviors of sufferers at any weight or stage of their disorder.

5-0 out of 5 stars hm.
i don't know if it's quite fair to condemn ms. hornbacher for her way of telling her story. i can see your point, but i doubt she set out planning to gather up hordes of impressionable girls and invite them into the realm of eating disorders. i think she had to be candid and personal, or else the point would not have come across so harshly and therefore truthful. of course it was dangerous and perhaps even unwise for her to write so openly. but you've got to take into consideration that there's danger in writing any book. discussing drug abuse, self-mutilation, eating disorders..they can all be risky, triggering subjects. ms. hornbacher wrote the book because she felt she needed to get her voice out. she is not responsible and not in control of the way her book affects others, she is not in control of other people's minds. if someone is desperate enough to buy 'wasted' simply for the 'anorexic tips', then maybe it's just as well that they pick it up. hopefully, for their sake, they'll read what is placed before them and take the hint.

5-0 out of 5 stars "WASTED"
I really enjoyed this book. I have read several and this was by-far the most raw.I myself and suffering from Anorexia, and it really left me indiffernt. Many people say "it changed them" but if your at your wit's end it won't change you, rather give you somthing to relate too. I reccomend this book to anybody,maybe it would help somebody else more than I though.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's suprising how lost we can get inside our own bodies
I read this book a few years ago and although I found it interesting, I didn't identify with it nearly as much as I have recently. Eating disorders and psych issues aside, I had a breakdown of monumental proportions and began to read it again. It was only then that I felt like I truly understood (or rather, that she understood me). Marya has lived through a different world than I have but I feel after reading this book that she is someone in whom I could find comfort.

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding an Eating Disorder
When I first started reading this book, I saw a lot of things I can relate to with Marya. When I was 14, I started down the road of an eating disorder and to this day it's still not over. Reading Marya's story has helped me realized how dangerous this eating disorder can get and places where I don't want to go (The hospital). Even though I have been in the hospital several times due to other problems, I still found that hospitals isn't where I would call, "Home." While reading Marya's story, I felt, I had a friend on the other end who knew exactly what I was going through. I wish I could hug her and cry, due to the fact we understand what it is to go through something like this.

If anyone doesn't know what it's like to go through an eating disorder. This book, "Wasted" will lead you through a journey of a dangerous disorder. You'll see and understand what goes through an anorexic or bulimic mind. Once you're done, you'll have a good view on what an eating disorder is and how it effects a persons mind and body.

If you do not like bad language (there are quite a good number of them in this book), I would prefer you didn't read this book. Overall, this was a great book. ... Read more


5. America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (Nova Audio Books)
by Sarah Bradford, Sandra Burr
list price: $34.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587881446
Catlog: Book (2000-10-01)
Publisher: Nova Audio Books
Sales Rank: 1050369
Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The definitive biography of Jackie Kennedy Onassis from the bestselling author of Elizabeth

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has captivated the American public for more than five decades. From her introduction to the world as "debutante of the year"in 1947 to her untimely death in 1994, she has truly remained America's answer to royalty. In America's Queen, the acclaimed biographer of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Grace reveals the real Jackie in a sympathetic but frank portrait of an amazing woman who has dazzled us since her teenage years.

Using remarkable new sources--including in-depth interviews with Jackie's sister Lee Radziwell, lavish illustrations, and previously unseen photographs from family sources--Sarah Bradford has written a timely celebration of a life that was more private than commonly supposed. Jackie's privileged upbringing instilled rigid self-control while her expedient marriage into the overwhelming Kennedy clan consolidated her determination. Revealing new testimony from many of the couple's friends shows the profound complexities both of this apparently very public relationship and of her controversial marriage to Aristotle Onassis.Here is the private Jackie--neglected wife, vigilant mother, and working widow--whose contradictory and fascinating nature is illuminated by all that Bradford has discovered. ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars the most wonderful book
This is my ultimate favorite book. I have read it a million times just because it's so fun and exciting to read.
What a glamorous life one had! She also led the most complex and interesting life with Jack Kennedy and Onassis. Sadly she had to face too many deaths of her loved ones during her life time, but she endured it with dignity and class.
I honestly think there is no one one can compare with Jackie Kennedy concerning elegance and feminism. She truely is a symbol of intelligence, wealth, fortune. That's one reason I like her so much- not only was she beautiful but also intelligent and smart.
Sarah Bradford is one of my favorite writers. Her writing is simply elegant and honest and so detailed. It's unlike any other book I have read. I often wonder how she gathered all this information and how she managed to get these rare interviews from all these people who were very close with Jackie. Sometimes I think it's more of her writing that interests me more than Jackie's actual life.
I strongly recommend this book to everyone. It's fast paced and simply too good not to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Real Jackie Kennedy
I highly recommend this biography of Jackie. It is, by far, the best I've read. Bradford shows us a real woman, not a myth, and there are so many stunning details. The personality of Jackie's mother particularly shocked me. How did Jackie survive the terrible, manipulative environment of her childhood? This biography highlighted such salient details, such as: - her mother's prevention of her being escorted down the aisle by her father on her wedding day; - Jackie and her sister Lee taking a back seat in the Auchincloss step family; - Jackie's unique contribution to American history through her championing of the arts (redecorating the White House, securing the Egyptian exhibit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, preserving the Grand Central Station in NYC, and so much else) - Most of all, the strength of her marriage to JFK. Bradford did a better job than any other biographer, of explaining the complex and developing relationship between the two. I highly recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars A truly well-balanced account of an extraordinary person
This elegant biography of Mrs. Kennedy-Onassis may very well be the most insightful work to gain a hold on this elusive American legend for some time to come. Unlike the many other Jackie biographies out there, this one is neither worshipful nor excessively fault-finding with its subject. Yet, while exposing the more unpleasant sides of Jackie's character (in essence, bringing her down to earth with the rest of us), "America's Queen" takes a decidedly more sympathetic route, with numerous sentences that begin "To be fair to Jackie...", etc, that assures that her virtues are still underscored while her faults are not smoothed over. In other words, skip the Christopher Anderson/Edward Klein accounts if you opt for exhaustively researched information and intimate analyses rather than sensationalistic prose and shameless cashing-in on Jackie's fame.
I also think it is a tribute to the author as much to the subject that this book is so exceptional. I think Jackie, lover of literature that she was, would have appreciated the numerous literary passages preceding some of the chapters. Despite her distaste for exposure, I think she would have felt in fairly good hands had she known the diligence, sensitivity, and, most of all, sense of morality and balance that went into this work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Shares a variety of views on JKO
"America's Queen" was an interesting read. The first chapter on her family tree was complicated and hard to follow due to the introduction of so many names. However, as the book began to tell the story of how Jackie came to be was great because of the many different point of views that were presented by those who knew Jackie.

2-0 out of 5 stars Have read better regarding this remarkable woman.
I have read right many books regarding Jackie, and I just didn't like this book. It was scattered and didn't always concentrate on her story. The whole book seemed to make her out as a money hungry thoughtless woman. I didn't like how it portrayed her at all. Very disappointed. ... Read more


6. Traveling Mercies
list price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375405976
Catlog: Book (1999-01-19)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 439361
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

3 cassettes / 4 hours
Read by the Author

"Eloquent, detailed, emotionally honest . . . Lamott deserves a prize for telling it like it is." - People

From the bestselling author of Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird comes a chronicle of faith and spirituality that is at once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny.

With an exuberant mix of passion, insight, and humor, Anne Lamott takes us on a journey through her often troubled past to illuminate her devout but quirky walk of faith.In a narrative spiced with stories and scripture, with diatribes, laughter, and tears, Lamott tells how, against all odds, she came to believe in God and them, even more miraculously, in herself.She shows us the myriad ways n which this sustains and guides her, shining the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life an exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope

Whether talking about her family or her dreadlocks, sick children or old friends, the most religious women of her church of the men she's dated, Lamott reveals the hard-won wisdom gathered along her path to connectedness and liberation.

"Anne Lamott is a cause for celebration.[Her] real genius lies in capturing the ineffable, describing not perfect moments, but imperfect ones . . .perfectly. She is nothing short of miraculous." - The New Yorker
... Read more

Reviews (240)

5-0 out of 5 stars Only for those with a wry sense of humor
I can't fault this book, only praise it. For who else has written in such a unique way about a faith journey? Lamott makes it real (for someone of her age [middle-aged] and from a definitely Californian point of view.) But, her observations and the way she writes about them are universal. And funny.

If you can't laugh at yourself, your foibles, and even at God, don't read this--you'll start feeling self-righteous and will be quickly entering a "how dare she?" review. You will, of course, have totally missed the point.

Everyone can learn something about the way LIFE has a sneaky way of surfacing painful and joyous memories and feelings. These emotions are triggered by life's details, which Lamott expertly captures. She finds the most unassuming triggers to release a flood of feelings about various topics. The stories she tells are God-given, precious moments. Perhaps we don't "see" these moments and reflect on them enough in our lives. Is that why Lamott touches us? Thankfully, she remind us that they are there.

Read and savor this book, if you are open to what makes someone an imperfect person--and a Christian.

5-0 out of 5 stars Never written a review or letter to author before....
Have been an avid reader for 30 years, but never before felt compelled to write a review or letter to an author before...This book, perhaps more than any of the thousands of others I have read, struck a chord in my soul. On the recommendation of a friend I had read "Operating Instructions" about three years ago. While thumbing through a Book of the Month Club type catalog I ran across the photo of a white woman in dreadlocks and was struck with admiration for the woman who would present such a public image. I was pleasantly surprised to read that her name was Anne LaMott. I ordered the book "Traveling Mercies" and was delighted and completely engrossed by it. Ms. LaMott puts words to emotion I cannot personally express when she speaks of her "Christian-ish" life-orientation, her likening of her personal experience of coming to the Lord as to that of a stray cat trying to enter her life, and the pain and sublime joy of rearing her Sam. Like Annie,(oddly enough the name my own mother, a story in and of itself, was called as a girl) I came to a personal relationship with God through voyeurism into a congregation of Black believers, and like her, was taught life lessons I didn't know I needed through my interaction in fellowship with them. I thank God for the talent with words he has bestowed upon Anne, ask his blessings upon her and her loved ones, and recommend this book to anyone who finds him/herself surprised at the move of the Holy Spirit in his/her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooked
This is the book that got me hooked on Anne Lamott. Most poignant and precious are the insights about life as a recovering alcoholic. Raw facts about motherhood were astounding, too. Her word choice at times caused my gut to spasm, but I survived and went on to read all of the book she had previously written. To my delight and the benefit of mankind, Lamott's newest book, Blue Shoe, avoids profanity.

4-0 out of 5 stars my kind of christian
Until I read Anne Lamott I associated the word "Christian" with holier-than-thou, priggish, etc. Now I see clearly that that's just a stereotype. It IS possible for a Christian to be a liberal with a wicked sense of humor.

Lamott isn't afraid to present herself in a less than flattering light whether it's secretly hating her mom or yelling out of frustration at her young son. We all do these things, but most of us prefer to show the world the "good" side of ourselves. Lamott is wonderful when it comes to making the everyday petty irritations of life funny, so that you empathize with her rather than judging.

Lamott writes about children, her friends, relatives and church. She writes about the competitiveness that can develop among parents of young children, and she writes about the path she took to becoming sober. Unlike some reviewers, I don't think it's going to be detrimental to her later relationship with her son when she makes him go to church. There could be a lot worse things she could force him to do.

In one essay, she writes about feeling unattractive after standing with a group of teenage girls waiting for a bus back to her hotel. Then she realizes that no one in the group is probably satisfied with her body, and this is something I've started to tell myself when I find myself in that kind of situation, too.

This atheist gives this book two thumbs up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outside my experience
This book should be an eye-opener for anyone who is prone to believing in "cookie cutter christians"...

Read with an open heart. God will bless... ... Read more


7. Living History
by Hillary Clinton
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743528336
Catlog: Book (2003-06-09)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Sales Rank: 53873
Average Customer Review: 3.05 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Hillary Rodham Clinton is known to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Yet few beyond her close friends and family have ever heard her account of her extraordinary journey. She writes with candor, humor and passion about her upbringing in suburban, middle-class America in the 1950s and her transformation from Goldwater Girl to student activist to controversial First Lady. Living History is her revealing memoir of life through the White House years. It is also her chronicle of living history with Bill Clinton, a thirty-year adventure in love and politics that survives personal betrayal, relentless partisan investigations and constant public scrutiny.

Hillary Rodham Clinton came of age during a time of tumultuous social and political change in America. Like many women of her generation, she grew up with choices and opportunities unknown to her mother or grandmother. She charted her own course through unexplored terrain -- responding to the changing times and her own internal compass -- and became an emblem for some and a lightning rod for others. Wife, mother, lawyer, advocate and international icon, she has lived through America's great political wars, from Watergate to Whitewater.

The only First Lady to play a major role in shaping domestic legislation, Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled tirelessly around the country to champion health care, expand economic and educational opportunity and promote the needs of children and families, and she crisscrossed the globe on behalf of women's rights, human rights and democracy. She redefined the position of First Lady and helped save the presidency from an unconstitutional, politically motivated impeachment. Intimate, powerful and inspiring, Living History captures the essence of one of the most remarkable women of our time and the challenging process by which she came to define herself and find her own voice -- as a woman and as a formidable figure in American politics. ... Read more

Reviews (651)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good book
I just love Hillary Clinton, but this is only after I read this book. I never really cared for her, but I decided to give this book a shot. Now that I've read it, I can see what an incredible woman she really is. I admire her greatly.

As for the book itself, it wasn't the best thing I had ever read. Some of it was a little boring, but overall I thought it was worth reading. I enjoyed reading about her childhood and I loved hearing about her getting involved in politics. I now see her relationship with Bill in a new light, and I am glad she didn't dwell on the Monica Lewinsky scandal. She had a much bigger story to tell, and I am glad she did it.

The reason some people may not like this book is because it reads more like a political manifesto rather than an out-and-out memoir. The times when she went into too much detail on foreign policies were things I could have done without. Still, I am glad I gave this book a shot because it really does make you see her in a new light. She is no longer the ice woman I once thought she was. Then again my family is predominantly Republican, so it's no wonder I thought that. It's hard for me to think I once thought so little of this incredible woman.

Another reason people may not like this is because they were expecting a juicy gossip rag about the Lewinsky scandal. Like I said earlier, Ms. Clinton does not dwell on this and I love her for that. That is a time in her life she has moved on from and we should all take a page from her book.

I have a newfound respect for Hillary Clinton. She has inspired me to become more involved in politics and I think she is just an amazing woman. Thanks to her, I have come to embrace my liberal views and am not afraid to be the only Democrat in a family full of Republicans. Go out and buy this book to get a glimpse into who this woman really is. She will get my vote if she ever decides to run for the presidency of the United States.

4-0 out of 5 stars History Light
I must admit that this is the first memoir I have ever read that was by the First Lady and given this one is graded as one of the better ones, I think it may be my last. It was not that the book was badly written, it was just that the majority of what the First Lady does is not all that interesting to me. Reading about this fund raisers, good will trips or party planning are not my idea of thrilling political insider info. I am more interested in the hard fought, inside the beltway battles that make major decisions. I obviously new this book was about the First Lady, but given the Clinton Presidency, I assumed that it would cover more in depth the political battles the administration faced. Then again the book was about her.

The next compliant I would have about the book is that the author seamed to take the high road on all the areas you thought she would come out with both guns blazing on. Her comments were so bland that they almost acted to diminish or completely disregarded the very negative attacks the Clinton's faced during their terms. Sure she touched on the items of major interest, heath care reform, the full independent counsel investigation, Monica and the Senate race, but it seamed to be at such a high level that all the real nasty, dirty inside details were left out of the book. Ok I know that she has a new job now so that she did not what to lay waste the political landscape that she will be working in and one could make the argument that the First Lady needs to stay above the partisan attacks, but hey this is the edge of the seat reading I wanted.

Lastly I wanted more detail. Now given that she had lead a rather full life, Governors wife, working on the Nixon impeachment, First Lady and now Senator, to get a real detailed account of all of these areas she would have needed a much larger if not multiple volume book. I guess I would have just liked her to focus on the First Lady section of her life and have gone into more detail. Just as the book seamed to be getting into a topic, the chapter was over and on to the next installment of Hilary on the move.

Even though I have focused on the areas I disliked with the book, overall I thought it was probably better then most books dealing with the Clinton years. I did think the writing was better then average and she did have an interesting story to tell. The details she did given about the life of the First Lady and some of the inside information about the Clinton Presidency were worth the purchase price, throw in some of the personal bit and the book was not bad at all. I also have a sympathetic spot for her, so the increased my enjoyment of the book. I guess I am just a bit disappointed that the book could have been so much better. It could have been a stinging and focused rebuttal of all the overly negative and harmful to the country attacks. Then again how could one book fight back the 8 year, over the top negative campaign focused against the Clinton's. I felt the book was interesting and enjoyable.

2-0 out of 5 stars She's a good girl...
Hillary Clinton is an interesting woman, with tremendous drive and ambition, and this will often get a woman branded as the devil incarnate. The very polarized views of her are not surprising.

What was surprising was the tone and lack of depth in this book. It reads as if she had a list of items she wanted to tick off as having explained. 'I'm a good girl, really.' was the underlying theme. I can't believe she's as naive as she portrays herself. She does admit to a few mistakes, but her apologies are all for not doing a better job, like any good girl.

The healthcare chapter is a good example. She was unable to overcome hurdles around the complexity of the legislative process involved, and she makes 'apologies' for her failure along the lines of 'well, we tried really hard & it's a good cause'. But as she & Bill are both Yale lawyers, with experience in private practice (her) and as the Arkansas attorney general (him) and as they had easy access to many of the best legal minds in the country, it is hard to understand. It comes across more like professional negligence than the naivety it is painted as. I suspect ambition (the 100 day goal) was the real cause for failure, which is a shame given how important this issue is to our country and how badly we need healthcare reform. To put something this complex under a 100 day deadline is almost sophomoric - or ambition out of control.

She is also careful to mention every person and cause that might win over supporters. An extraordinary number of her enounters seemed to have resulted in 'lifelong' friendships. Many iconic figures like Jackie Kennedy and Nelson Mandela get a lot of airtime. It's a bit too good to be true. It reads almost as if she's running for something.

Maybe Sarah Bradford, who wrote that wonderful biography of Jackie Kennedy, will write the book about Hillary one day and we'll get a better picture of who she really is - from all angles. Personally, I would have found the intelligent, ambitious Hillary much more interesting and admirable than the girl scout we hear about in this book... it's a shame powerful women still feel they have to paint themselves as 'good girls' to be heard.

5-0 out of 5 stars 10 things to love about this book.
1. Candid revelations: "It was no surprise that Bill turned out to be a cheat. He used to hang out in the parking lot of Arby's to pick up Monica types, but it still hurts."

2. On the Sixties: "Bill really did inhale, as did we all."

3. On lesbianism rumors: "I am not a Lesbian, I only tried it those times to find that out."

4. On faith: "I am a deeply spiritual Church goer, I also dabble in Voodoo and my Wicken name is priestess Dominatrix."

5. On movies: "My favorite movie is that one by Tarintino, I forget the title, something Bill."

6. On her detractors: "They call me a cold angry lady. I am just aloof and have some hate issues."

7. On the vast right wing conspiricy: "They put a computer chip in Bill's head that makes him not very particular about the ladies."

8. On forgivness: "We all make mistakes, even I can recall waking up next to Monica after a night of drinking on a few occasions."

9. On Terrorists: "Let's find out why they are unhappy, maybe they need a hug."

10. On running for President: "I understand that France hates us for being powerful so I will reduce our power to an amount equal or less than that of other countries and stop all this helping people in forign lands stuff."

5-0 out of 5 stars An intelligent account of history, (not gossip filled)
If you are looking for gossip, go read another book. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's book is as the title states: It is a Living History. It is well-written and filled with facts and stories of past generations. If you have children or grandchildren this is a book you should buy for them. It is a warm and compassionate way to learn history (as opposed to our education system that tends to teach history via war dates). Buy this book. You Won't Be Sorry!

(...) ... Read more


8. Founding Mothers : The Women Who Raised Our Nation
by Cokie Roberts
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060527889
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: HarperAudio
Sales Rank: 8262
Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cokie Roberts's #1 New York Times bestseller We Are Our Mothers Daughters examined the nature of women's roles throughout history and led USA Today to praise her as a "custodian of time-honored values." Her second bestseller, From This Day Forward, written with her husband, Steve Roberts, described American marriages throughout history. Now Cokie returns with Founding Mothers, an intimate look at the passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families and country proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.

Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Eliza Pinckney, Mary Bartlett and Martha Washington -- proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might have never survived.

Social history at its best, Founding Mothers unveils the determination, creative insight and passion of the other patriots, the women who raised our nation. Cokie Roberts proves beyond doubt that like every generation of American women that has followed, the founding mothers used the unique gifts of their gender -- courage, pluck, sadness, joy, energy, grace, sensitivity and humor -- to do what women do best, put one foot in front of the other in remarkable circumstances, and carry on.

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Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars NO DOLDRUMS HERE.
One of the problems with history is that it's male orientated. There isn't much about our "founding mothers." Roberts finds most of her information in the letters and diaries of these women. At the age of sixteen, Eliza Lucas (Pinckey) ran her father's three plantations, taught her sisters and slaves lessons and wrote Wills for her neighbors. Ben Franklin's common-law wife ran his print shop and her Sundry shop while he played politics. Pamphlets were the delivery system of the colonial era and it was Mercy Otis Warren, the wife and sister of revolutionaries, who bravely published pamphlets against the British government.

_Founding Mothers_ is a fascinating read/listen. Those who consider history dull will discover this book has enough personal tidbits about our founding mothers to ward off the doldrums. Highly recommended for a personal read or for a school project.

Brenda @ MyShelf.Com

5-0 out of 5 stars It's About Time!
It's about time that a book was written about the extraordinary women who were obscured behind famous men throughout history. In this book Cokie Roberts does an excellent job in telling their much overlooked story and pointing out how important their contributions were to America. If you love history, I highly recommend it! Debbie Farmer, 'Don't Put Lipstick on the Cat'

3-0 out of 5 stars Better in the hands of Doris Goodwin or John Krakauer
The concept of this book is what interested me. I was quite inspired by the women depicted here. Unfortuantely I found the work to be poorly written. I certainly could have done without the personal commentary Cokie threaded through the book. It was as if I was being directed what to think. I "get it" I wanted to scream. The content wasn't all that bad but the book is written for the reader young reader, perhaps of high school age. I would consider it for paperback if at all.

1-0 out of 5 stars For In Style readers who've yet to graduate to People Mag
With Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation, Cokie Roberts has provided a service to remedial readers everywhere.
Writing on what appears to be a third grade reading level (which I hope reflects a choice she made and not her own reading comprehension level), Cokie's prodded her usual readers to put down their See Spot Run picture books.
Trudging through page after page of facts from other books (usually better written ones), I kept attempting to think of another writer so committed to a grace-free style.
Used to be that a writer of Cokie's ilk would put out a book (say, Joan Rivers) and no one who read it fooled themselves into thinking it was a great book or helping the nation's literacy levels. We knew it was trash and if we read it, we didn't try to justify it after the fact by praising it as anything other than a "page turner" (high praise for these type of books).
But somewhere along the way we appear to have lost our abilities for critical thought if this repetative, plodding clip-job can be seen as anything other than a hack trying to cash in with as little work as possible. (The American dream? I don't know, we used to take pride in our work.)
I made it to page 70 (and felt I lost several reading levels in the process) before I tossed this book. Couldn't even pass it on because though I do favor recycling, I couldn't in good faith risk inflicting the cellular damage this type of dull, graceless "writing" does to one's brain.
I read the reviews of this hoping to find something I'd missed in the 70 pages I had read, some level on which to appreciate it.
I didn't find any comments like that. Some argue it's "new" information. New to them, perhaps, but that's nothing they should scream from the rooftops. (Has Jay Leno's stupid American skits made people proud of their own ignorance?) I did read a review that cautioned readers not to mistake clip-jobs for books and not to mistake magpies for authors. I applaud that sentiment. It's sound, it's reasoned, it's informed, it's educated.
But clearly there's a market for this book. I've reflected on the seventy pages read for half an hour now trying to figure out whom these people are. Then it hit me, Founding Mothers is a "book" for In Style readers who've yet to graduate to People Magazine.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tough People That Weaker Sex
This book is a tremendous contribution to the historical picture. Suppose you were the wife of an upper-level Colonial Army officer who, during the annual winter pause in fighting, visits the family from November to February, then he goes back off to war and is thus not around to talk to. You, the wife, now have the management of the farm/business, with perhaps 5 children to raise, with the task of planning for the family's escape should the British invade your part of the colonies, and since women were the fighters against outbreaks of deadly infectious agents (smallpox, cholera, yellow fever, tuberculosis, measles, whooping cough, etc) you could be called into this action, and, by the way, you are 7 months pregnant. Added to this is the good chance that you could deliver the child in the heat of summer (the year being about 1780) with no electric fans, no air-conditioning, and with 1780's medical knowledge (no knowledge of viruses or bacteria, and no antibiotics). As illustrated by this book, this routinely was the situation of our Founding Mothers. And of course there is more. (By the way, window screens will not be invented for 100 years, leaving folks with the interesting choice of leaving the windows open and being eaten alive by mosquitoes, or closing the windows and sweltering.) ... Read more


9. An Unfinished Marriage
by Joan Anderson
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1575111152
Catlog: Book (2002-03-10)
Publisher: Publishing Mills
Sales Rank: 868401
Average Customer Review: 3.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With A Year by the Sea, Joan Anderson struck a chord in many tens of thousands of readers. Her brave decision to take a year for herself away from her marriage, her frank assessment of herself at midlife, and her openness in sharing her fears as well as her triumphs won her admirers and inspired women across the country to reconsider their options. In this new book, Anderson does for marriage what she did for women at midlife. Using the same very personal approach, she shows us her own rocky path to renewing a marriage gone stale, satisfying the demand from readers and reviewers to learn what comes next. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Comments about a Relationship
I loved Joan Anderson's book "A Year by the Sea" and I was very happy to see that she had written another book about her life. I wasn't disappointed with this novel and read it in one sitting. I have come to the conclusion that either you like this writing style, a memoir with a homey feel, or you don't. With that said, what this book is, is Joan's opinions about her life and her observations about her marriage. This book won't appeal to everyone. Not everyone will agree with her opinions and may find her constant observations egocentric but for me, it was a wonderful look into an intelligent woman's world of what makes her relationship work and not work. I love the way Joan writes through the seasons, expressing her transformation from the self limiting roles of wife and mother to the open ones of companion, trusted friend and soulmate. Anderson is not afraid to take a hard look at herself and analyze the reasons she falls into negative behavior and attitudes. What's more she genuinely wants to transform and allow her husband to transform in his own unique way without interfering. Not an easy thing to do. As I finshed the book, I felt as if I had just ended a conversation with a friend who had shared some secrets, fears, laughs and accomplishments with me. This was an enjoyable and enlightening memoir.

5-0 out of 5 stars middle-age crisis
I like both this book and Joan's first book, A Year by the sea. I like her written style and her honesty. When I read this book, I feel my heart beat and try to find out what is going to happen. It is a great book! As a woman, I understand her situation. I feel sorry for her. However, I just wonder how Robin (her husband) thinks of these two books. These two books unveiled their unfinished marriage, just like be naked in front of the public. I don't think I would like my husband to write and published our relationship "in public." And, I also wonder how her grown up children feel about the books? Will they feel comfortable about their parent's "problem" to be known? Will the books help their marriage? Well, I don't know. Probably I will have an answer as soon as Joan publishes her third book.

2-0 out of 5 stars An Unfinished Woman
This is a memoir about a woman so selfish, so castrating, that it is wonder that she has any marriage left to finish. I kept wondering why her husband, Robin puts up with her. She appears to have very little to offer. She shows him no love or understanding - it's all about her, her needs, her yearnings. She has no sympathy for his new premature retired state in an isolated beach community. She resents his furniture, his music, his golfing, his plans She gives him a hard time about a TV he wishes to install in the house and his plans for some home remodling. She announces to friends that she would like Robin to take a job in social services. She complains about the lack of money coming in since her husband retirement, yet balks at going to work. She left him the year before to "find herself" It appears as though she still hasn't.

1-0 out of 5 stars An Unfinished Writer
There is one voice in this book and every character uses it in exactly the same pedantic, stilted manner. (At a dinner party, with the alcohol flowing freely, the husband finally lets his real feelings rip: "Joan might wax poetic about the Cape's bucolic nature, and this place may have filled the soul of Thoreau, but I'm not sure what it's going to do for me".) Each tiny situation is analyzed to death within the narrow prism of Anderson's self-centered nature. Considering her broken ankle: "It is no coincidence that the left side of my body sustained the injury, as it is the left side that is thought to be the feminine side - the side that receives and surrenders. In the healing of my ankle, am I also meant to allow my softer energies to flow more freely"? Geez. Joan needs to get out and do some volunteer work.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Unfortunate Sequel
"A Year by the Sea," to which An Unfinished Marriage" is the sequel, is the memoir of a woman who peeled off the layers of her life and found again the person hidden under those layers. This is not unique in literature, nor in the lives of women, but Anderson's story is satisfying to women, most of whom are unable or unwilling to take Anderson's drastic and courageous approach to reshaping their lives. It was well-written and, deservedly, it sold well; a lot of us who read it learned from her experiences and appreciated her insights.

Unfortunately, "An Unfinished Marriage" is a bogus effort to take advantage of that success, with little basis. "Write a sequel, Joan. A lot of readers will buy the book, thinking that you really have something else to say."

Most of this book--and most of the so-called work on "finishing" or rescuing the marriage--takes place in Joan's head, not between Joan and Robin. Robin, newly retired, is undeveloped in the book, presented as though he has little or no role in the marriage and little or no interest in taking any steps to preserve it. He is trying to redefine himself as a retired person, a position for which Anderson has little sympathy. Having spent the preceding year re-evaluating and changing her life, she has not much interest in his attempt to do the same in the year she has apparently designated for re-evaluating and changing their marriage. This is a man who has obviously failed to get with the program.

Joan seems to feel that the future of the marriage is entirely in her hands and that somehow the marriage will move forward if she is very introspective and contrives everything possible into a series of lame metaphors that supposedly represent the marriage. A trip to the dump makes her realize that the marriage can be recycled like an aluminum can or a plastic bucket? Oh, please. Robin and Joan undertake the renovation of the beach house that has now become their year-round home and that is a metaphor for the remodeling of the marriage. Yes indeed, a recycled metaphor.(Which came first, the renovation or the metaphor?)

The dialogue in this book is stilted, way too heavy for normal conversation, fraught with meaning. In fact, everything in the book is fraught with meaning, too significant. If this reflects the their daily life during the period reported in the book, no wonder reassembling the marriage was so difficult. It seems that every action, every conversation, every event must be analyzed, reshaped and forced into significance for the sake of the book.

And therein lies the major problem with this book: It was forced into being. There is no book in this book. ... Read more


10. What Falls Away
list price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553473468
Catlog: Book (1997-02-03)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 1009938
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Biography Large Print Edition A simply elegant memoir. Newsweek * A New York Times Bestseller In an exquisitely written memoir, Mia Farrow introduces us to her extraordinary life. The painful custody battle with Woody Allen led her to reflect on the incidents that had brought her to a place so incomprehensible. The result is What Falls Away, a memoir resonant with honest and beautifully crafted prose. Told with grace, understanding and humor, it goes beneath the surface of an amazing life to expose the inner workings of a mind and spirit for whom truth, compassion and faith are essential. Readers will not easily forget this remarkable book. ... Read more

Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars An eloquent memoir of a troubled life lived selflessly
Truly memorable. I have gained much respect for this woman who I knew little of other than her role as Mrs. Woody Allen and the mother of Rosemary's Baby. Mia is truly a woman who has spent her life in the service of others, but who has had very little left to give to herself. I come away feeling that Mr. Allen's unquestioned genius is a subversion of and reaction to the unspeakable darkness that occupies his soul. There are no villains in this story so much as there are victims. Mia's children are blessed to have such a loving mother; Woody's despicable behavior in all its bizarre manifestations is the outward expression of a tormented soul that will never know peace, joy, or true happiness. He is surely suffering, as he has caused profound suffering in others. I wish Ms. Farrow and her children peace, love, and finally, contentment. But most of all, peace.

5-0 out of 5 stars Touching and beautiful. Not soon forgotten.
Mia Farrow's life has been full of challenges, children, and celebrities, yet she has come through it all as open, caring, and strong as she could possibly be. If you want to read her account of the whole Woody Allen / Soon-Yi / Dylan Farrow affair, read this book. If you have ever seen any of the movies she or either of her parents have been in, read this book. If you have children, read this book. If you find any joy in life, read this book to reaffirm that there are a few simply magnificent and good people in this world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved this!
I usually love to read a good mystery. I decided to try this one out and loved it! Mia is so honest about her life's ups and downs. I recommend this!

3-0 out of 5 stars Farrow "Falls Away"
"What Falls Away" was apparently any sense of innocence that Mia Farrow had when she broke up with Woody Allen. Farrow's autobiography has a sort of wispy appeal, with her stories about life with Frank Sinatra and Andre Previn, but it only comes to life in the last third of the book.

Farrow came from a celebrity family and started acting early. It was the cause of her deteriorated brief marriage to legendary singer Frank Sinatra, and new homebody ways didn't save her second marriage to Andre Previn -- but she did adopt many special-needs or orphaned children, alongside her own biological ones. But her sprawling adopted family was imperiled when her longtime boyfriend Woody Allen was found to be having an affair with her adopted daughter.

The first two-thirds of "What Falls Away" lacks any real punch. It's low-sugar cotton candy, with Farrow talking about the celebrity life and her time with her two husbands. And she talks about adopting children, of course -- although as the number goes up, it gets harder and harder to tell them apart.

But Farrow's biography starts showing a pulse a third of the way. Her long-term affair with Woody Allen was a bit of a freakshow, and it's only when it comes to Allen that Farrow starts to show any passion of any kind -- good, bad, or just passionate. She tries to hold back her obvious -- and justifiable -- anger, but it seeps through the ink.

Unfortunately, as "What Falls Away" starts to show signs of life, Farrow's own portrait of herself unravels. It comes across as alarming that she was merely worried by Allen's bizarre behavior toward Dylan, a young girl he sexually abused. And that after finding explicitly pornographic photographs of her adopted daughter, Farrow went back to work with Allen. Yet Farrow seems helpless to stop Allen from doing anything. She couldn't even throw him out of her apartment -- her son had to do it.

Farrow's writing is wisp-thin and sort of vaguely new-agey, especially when she writes about her transcendental trips with the Beatles back in the sixties. It's not that good, but it's pleasant enough. Virtually everyone is painted in rosy hues, save Allen (who is painted a sort of slimy sludge color) and Soon-Yi (Farrow obviously doesn't know what her daughter is thinking). In fact, it's hard to tell what Farrow herself is thinking -- she only seems to skim the top of her feelings.

Mia Farrow doesn't exactly bare her soul in "What Falls Away." What she does do is expose Woody Allen, and a life that mixes the disquieting and the impressive.

4-0 out of 5 stars ENCHANTING AND REAL
I was ready for anything with this book. I love the idea of Mia Farrow's unconventional lifestyle and her eccentricity but that does not a great writer make. However, I was really happily surprised at her lovely writing style. She is a natural talent. Her writing voice is clear and elegant and does justice to her very interesting life. I, of course, was interested in the Woody Allen scandal, but that is only a small part of what this book has to offer. Wonderful read. ... Read more


11. At Home in the World
by Joyce Maynard, JoyceMaynard
list price: $17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559352892
Catlog: Book (1998-08-01)
Publisher: Soundelux Audio Pub
Sales Rank: 333431
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In the spring of 1972, Joyce Maynard, a freshman at Yale, published a cover story in The New York Times Magazine about life in the sixties.Among the many letters of praise, offers for writing assignments, and request for interviews was a one-page letter from the famously reclusive author, J.D. Salinger.

Don't Go Away Sad is the story of a girl who loved and lived with J.D. Salinger, and the woman she became.A crucial turning point in Joyce Maynard's life occurred when her own daughter turned eighteen--the age Maynard was when Salinger first approached her.Breaking a twenty-five year silence, Joyce Maynard addresses her relationship with Salinger for the first time, as well as the complicated , troubled and yet creative nature of her youth and family.She vividly describes the details of the times and her life with the finesse of a natural storyteller.

Courageously written by a women determined to allow her life to unfold with authenticity, Don't Go Away Sad is a testament to the resiliency of the spirit and the honesty of an unwavering eye.
... Read more

Reviews (130)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book that deserves respect--as does its author
I first read this book several months ago, but feel compelled to comment now because so many members of the press have treated Joyce Maynard as though she had peed on the American flag. What she has done is to write a painfully honest story of a family journey that includes one major, attention-getting stop: her sad, brief, and ultimately devastating relationship with an American icon. When J.D. Salinger realized that the painfully young, painfully thin, unworldly girl he had invited into his New Hampshire aerie was only human, and not able to follow his abstemious, judgmental way of life no matter how hard she tried, he kicked her out. Joyce Maynard, who'd given up a scholarship to Yale at Salinger's bidding, initially may have reminded him of the perfect, pure little-girl characters he created, and that so many American readers love (such as Phoebe from "Catcher in the Rye," or Esme from "For Esme--With Love and Squalor"). But this powerful, famous man became, as Joyce Maynard writes, "the closest thing I ever had to a religion." Once this "religion" was snatched away from her, she labored to put together a life for herself. How Joyce stumbled and fell, how she picked herself up, makes fascinating reading. "At Home in the World" also speaks volumes about what is expected from women (and what women expect from themselves) as lovers, wives, mothers, and wage-earners. Perhaps Joyce Maynard's detractors see her work as a mirror that reminds them, all too uncomfortably, of themselves. Give this book a chance.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad, considering...
I heard about this book several years ago, and
did not expect to find myself reading it. I knew
of Joyce Maynard from her columns in "Parents",
which I found uninspiring and often gratuitously
patronizing. Eventually I took this book out from
the public library when I was in the mood for some
light reading, and was pleasantly suprised. The main
strenght of the book IMO is it's lyrical narrative.
The quality of the writing for the most transcends
what I consider to be Joyce's uninspiring
life story, and that includes the Big Love Affair With
Salinger. For someone as intelligent and capable as she
clearly was, Joyce's adult life reads like alot of
poorly-thought-out decisions and missed opportunities,
which she makes the best of. But for his fame and
idiosyncratic ways, the affair with Salinger does
not by my lights make Joyce unique among any other
young women of her generation that had father fixations.
The real heroine of the
story IMO is her mother, who taught Joyce discipline
and the art of writing, while reclaiming her own life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why not tell?
Does a person have a right to her own life story? Guess not. Strange as it must have seemed to the apparently unquenchable ego of the unsavory hermit who preyed on Joyce Maynard, he wasn't the only person in the story. It happened to her, too, and it's her story as much as his. Maybe more so, because it only happened to her the one time, whereas he apparently repeated the May/December affair ad nauseum. Just because he wrote well and crafted a bizarre mystique of impenetrable solitude about himself doesn't mean it needs to be honored at all costs. I enjoyed this book, as Ms. Maynard's prose rings true throughout, especially whe she writes about her relationships with her parents. You go, girl! Keep writing the truth, even though it be about false or fallen idols.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't tell anybody the secrets
As a fellow boomer, I enjoyed and related to Ms Maynard's early 70s memoir, "Looking Back." We now learn that what she wrote on those pages was, while perhaps accurate, not exactly truthful. In "At Home in the World" she seemed determined to tell the truth. The lesson we learn is that truth has a steep price. It is particularly expensive for Mr. Salinger, who appears to have had the misfortune to have been, although seriously eccentric, mostly human. His biggest mistake was that of bad judgment. He trusted Ms Maynard.

This is not to say that Ms Maynard's decision to write about her relationship with him, and the resulting consequences, was wrong. At the time of their relationship she was a journalist of sorts, so Mr. Salinger's decision to place trust in an eighteen-year-old budding writer/journalist, seems today to be foolish.

Reading "At Home in the World" is a lot like passing a horrible traffic accident on the road. You know you shouldn't look, but you do. You know it's a huge invasion of the victims' privacy, but you do it anyway.

This book is a story of coming to terms with our middle age lives. It is a book about what made us what we are . It is a book about choices, good and bad. Where we were once filled with promise, we now must come to terms with the lives we have led. Ms Maynard does this beautifully. Her book makes you think, makes you reflect. Often it is disturbing. It is a compelling story of her search to make sense out of the complicated and twisted road we call life.

I am sure that Ms Maynard's intention in disclosing extremely intimate details of her relationship with her former lover was honest. I am sure it was therapeutic for Ms Maynard to write this updated memoir. I am equally sure it will help a lot of people. She is a wonderful writer. I am sure the result will be beneficial to many struggling to make sense out of their lives.

The truth is, and this is what makes life difficult and complicated, that all these good intentions do not make what she did right. The problem is that in the process of purging her own demons, she felt it necessary to violate the sanctity of her former lover's most sacred right, the right to be secure in the secrets he unveiled to her.

In "Metal Firecracker", Lucinda Williams, in a song about a broken intimate relationship, pleads: "All I ask, don't tell anybody the secrets, don't tell anybody the secrets, I told you."

Anyone who reads "At Home in the World" will know that it is not a book about Jerry Salinger. It is not, in a strict sense, a kiss and tell book. It is however-- a shame. A shame on Ms Maynard for telling his secrets. And shame on us for wanting to know.

3-0 out of 5 stars Honest, but Ultimately Sad
During her freshman year at Yale in 1972, Joyce Maynard published a story in the Sunday New York Times Magazine called ``An Eighteen-Year-Old Looks Back on Life''. Her picture appeared on the magazine's cover. Among the hundreds of responses she received to that story was a letter that changed her life. It was from the well-known author and recluse J. D. Salinger, a man thirty-five years her senior. Maynard and Salinger soon began a daily correspondence that consumed them both. Eventually, Maynard drove to Salinger's home in New Hampshire to meet him. At the start of her sophomore year, she dropped out of college to move in with him.

The book covers much more than the relationship with Salinger, although it is centered around her time with him. Even allowing for the fact that we hear only one side of that story, the portrait of Salinger that emerges is one of a manipulative and bitter man.

It might be said that Maynard, in the writing of this book, has exploited her relationship with Salinger and betrayed his intense desire for privacy. In anticipation of those criticisms, she writes in her preface, ``While I have no doubt that some will view my choice to tell this story honestly as an invasion of others' privacy, I have tried hard to describe only those events and experiences that had a direct effect on the one story I believe I have a right to tell completely: my own.'' She goes on to recount her life and to describe the people in it with startling honesty, including none-too-flattering portraits of herself and her family. Her forthrightness builds trust, and ultimately, makes us care about Joyce and her story.

Still, despite the panoply of friends she trots out at the end of the book, I couldn't help but wonder about the title Maynard chose for her memoir --- she still strikes me as being rather uncomfortable in this world, and haunted by her past. Mostly, this book made me sad --- sad that so many people with so much intellect and talent could act so foolishly for so long. It's not a pretty picture of the human condition! ... Read more


12. Quiet Room
by Lori Schiller, Amanda Bennett
list price: $17.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1570420386
Catlog: Book (1994-06-01)
Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
Sales Rank: 642604
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars perfect insight into mental illness from every angle
when i first heard about this book several years ago, i could not wait to get my hands on it. the story attracted me as it is my own story. and i was not to be disappointed. never before had i read a book that so expressively described my own illness. since it first came out, i have read it many times. this book is honest and direct and tells our story as it needs to be heard, for lori gives the true and painful portrayal of how a psychotic brain manifests itself through behavior. i was glad that she told so forthrightly of her experiences in the hospital. it is because of such honesty that people like us can learn to tell our own stories and demystify society's understanding of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. through this telling the unfair stigma that has been placed upon us is exonerated. i also liked that the people in her life told their stories as well, for an illness such as this affects all involved. i am grateful to lori and amanda for helping me to gain insight into my own illness and understand better what my family and those closest to me have endured and still endure. i highly recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining an honest understanding of mental illness and the impact on the individual and their loved ones.

5-0 out of 5 stars An insightful glimpse into life with schizophrenia
This is a beautifully written book about a woman's battle with schizophrenia. She begins by describing her descent into the illness and the confusion she experienced. Somehow Lori Schiller manages to describe her experiences with the illness so that you can always see the person inside the mental illness. This is not an easy feat but invaluable for professionals in the field. The most moving scene, to me, was her description of being in a psychiatric hospital and hearing a baby crying. She was frantic because no one would help the baby-yet the baby wasn't real. This is what mental illness is like and why it is such a painful experience. My favorite part of the book was that she reaches a point where she is successfully living with schizophrenia. Too often we forget that people can live with this illness. Not everyone is forever doomed to a halfway house or psychiatric hospital. This is a book every mental health professional should read, especially if you are considering work with the mentally ill.

5-0 out of 5 stars A really good book
A must read for anyone with a mental illness or for anyone close to someone with a mental illness. The book really shows the reader how painful and frustrating and heartbreaking life with severe mental illness is. I like that it also gives the perspective of family and friends. It made me even more grateful for modern advances in mental health medicines.

5-0 out of 5 stars Difficult to put down and difficult to forget
Lori Schiller's story is beautifully written and difficult to forget. What makes this story of a journey through treatment for schizophrenia exceptional is that it is told by several people, not just Lori. Her father, a psychologist, deals with her illness through denial. Her mother faces it with overwhelming sadness. Her brothers are confused and embarassed. Her friends are overburdened. Lori is not the only person suffering due to her mental illness. I was amazed with her strength during her ordeal. How difficult it must have been to live with multiple voices belittling her, constantly yelling insults, telling her she would die, telling her to kill others. After years of misdiagnoses, treatment by indifferent mental health professionals, hospitalizations, halfway houses, overmedication, undermedication, self-medication through cocaine abuse and constant suicidal thoughts, Lori finally comes to terms with her illness and fights to overcome it. With the help of several caring healthcare professionals, Lori learns to live with the voices that will always be a part of her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Lori Schiller has done a magnificent job of chronicling her battle with schizophrenia. Horrible, taunting voices drove her to suicide attempts, drug abuse, numerous hospitalizations, and homelessness. Eventually she got the right treatment, the most important component of which was the antipsychotic drug Clozaril. I'd like to see more from her, because this book is Pulitzer Prize-caliber writing. ... Read more


13. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Zen Journals and Letters of Maura "Soshin" O'Halloran
by Maura O'Halloran, Mare Winningham
list price: $17.95
our price: $17.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1574530488
Catlog: Book (1996-12-01)
Publisher: Audio Literature
Sales Rank: 686630
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars zen with a heart
this book is one of my favorite books in my library . this diary of an irish american searcher of zen cuts to the heart. ive read the book and have the abridged book on tape. though the tape is a shorter version of the book mare winningham brings the words alive with an irish charm. this book gives an insiders look at the heart zen as it is practiced in a japenese zen monastery. it is not only eyeopening it is enduring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zen is eternal life!
A marvelous book from beginning to end. The utter unpretentiousness of Maura O'Halloran's rich spiritual journuey is a miracle to encounter. It's so difficult, at book's end, to take leave of this shining young person, this quiet buddha , but she strengthens us for the inevitable by teaching so pure, so real, so necessary, that the natural world of our own lives is changed forever, charged with her abiding and beholden to her example. Others here have stated well the 'content' one finds in these pages; I wish only to say thank you to Maura's wise and devoted family for making the effort to provide us with these journals and family letters. Her mother's Introduction, with its simple and moving veneration of her daughter's life, sets a loving compass for the journey ahead; her sister Elizabeth's drawings are clearly pulled from her own heart, and her brother's afterword together give us an infinitely deep understanding of the means behind the meaning of this extraordinary young woman's life's journey. This is a book of great hope, abundant humor, and sure grace for anyone who reads it. Abundant recommendation without reserve; read it and walk anew the paths of love.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Irish voice
What moves me very much is the lilting, playful, droll voice of Maura O'Halloran. You would imagine that the Irish character and the Buddhist tradition are poles apart. Maura's passion whirls them together in an instant.
This book is a good companion indeed.

5-0 out of 5 stars As simple as a....b.....c.............
This book is a lovely tale of a life well lived. It is told in simple, clear prose. These pages describe what it means to be fully alive to reality. Maura shares with us what Zen is all about as a lived experience, rather than some abstraction, which, I suppose, is the only way it can be demonstrated. The book is full of quiet, irreverent, good humor, which is one of the qualities of Zen if I understand it correctly.

Maura tells us a lot about Zen in this book. More importantly, she tells us in poetic prose what it means to be fully attentive and absorbed in the present. What I take from this book is that living a good life, after the fog has lifted, is as simple as a...b...c.......
I

1-0 out of 5 stars overstated
This is a book which reads more like a hagiography than a journal. Maura O'Hallaran's both time in training and understanding were, for want of better words; brief and comparatively small. She may well have been embarrassed by the book herself if alive today. ... Read more


14. His Bright Light : The Story of Nick Traina
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553502263
Catlog: Book (1998-09-08)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Sales Rank: 354563
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"This is the story of an extraordinary boy with a brilliant mind, a heart of gold, and a tortured soul. It is the story of an illness, a fight to live, and a race against death."

From the day he was born, Nick Traina was his mother's joy. By nineteen, he was dead. This is Danielle Steel's powerful personal story of the son she lost and the lessons she learned during his courageous battle against darkness. Sharing tender, painful memories and Nick's remarkable journals, Steel brings us a haunting duet between a singular young man and the mother who loved him--and a harrowing portrait of a masked killer called manic depression, which afflicts between two and three million Americans.

Nick rocketed through life like a shooting star. Signs of his illness were subtle, often paradoxical. He spoke in full sentences at age one. He was a brilliant, charming child who never slept. And at first, even his mother explained away his quicksilver moods. Nick always marched to a different drummer. His gift for writing was extraordinary, his musical talent promised a golden future. But by the time he entered junior high, Danielle Steel saw her beloved son hurtling toward disaster and tried desperately to get Nick the help he needed--the opening salvos of what would become a ferocious pitched battle for his life.

Even as he struggled, Nick's charisma and accomplishments remained undimmed. He bared his soul in his journal with uncanny insight, in searing prose, poetry, and song. When he was finally diagnosed and treated, it bought time, but too little. In the end, perhaps nothing could have saved him from the insidious disease that had shadowed him from his earliest years.

At once a loving legacy and an unsparing depiction of a devastating illness, Danielle Steel's tribute to her lost son is a gift of life, hope, healing, and understanding to us all. ... Read more

Reviews (165)

4-0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking ... Felt like I knew Nick ...
I am 27 years old, have bipolar, and often cried during my reading of
this book. I read most of it. At times, I felt I couldnt finish
reading it, because the pain described by Danielle Steel is so real.
God Bless her for writing it.

I felt more heartbroken about Nick
than any woman who broke my heart in the past. I think the phrase
"brilliant mind, heart of gold, and tortured soul" sums up a
lot of it. It's amazing to describe so much in those few words.

I've research bipolar very extensively since accepting it almost
two years ago. I felt this book hit me hardest in terms of emotional
response.

Danielle Steele's phrases, "Fly well my darling
boy, till we meet again" and one about this not being the book I
planned to write and dedicate for you brought tears to my eyes.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Bright Light In A Dark World
After reading Danielle Steel's book and during the time that I was reading it I found it very haunting in the sense that living with bi-polar disorder myself how unfortunate and sad it really to suffer with this. I know that as a teenage I had put my peers and family thru a great deal of heartache and stress. I found it difficult to read in some areas because it reminded me of myself and how others viewed me. It is all the more tragic that Nick could not be alive today to write a personal perspective of his life and living with this disorder. It sometimes is very difficult to try to make others understand when you explain the disorder yourself and what you feel and all of the emotions you go thru. I found the book very insightful on Danielle Steel's perspective of living with a child who had this problem. I very much recommend this book to any parent or close friend who lives with a loved one who is bi-polar.

5-0 out of 5 stars My 1st Danielle Steel Book...Ever.
I admit it. I've never read a Danielle Steel book. I've never been interested enough, although I know many people who rave about her. Her stories just aren't necessarily my "cup of tea." However, I was highly recommended this true-story book about her son's life by a friend of mine, so I decided to give it a try.

I got to experience DS's flair for writing and its conversational style. It was very easy to read and held my interest. Pages flowed into the next. I can see her widespread appeal.

Not only was the story sad yet uplifting, but "His Bright Light" helped me to understand manic depressive behavior intimately as DS learned it herself over the years. It was quite the lesson in psychology for those who don't want to get bogged down with or can't quite grasp the technical or scientific aspects of it.

I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to know more about the disease, her son's life, as well as DS's life. She provides some great autobiographical material for those interested. It's a quick read, and it'll be worth the effort, especially if you know someone with similar challenges in their own life...

5-0 out of 5 stars His Bright Light
This book is a true story written by Danielle Steel portraying the life of her son Nick Traina who was diagnosed with manic depression and committed suicide at the age of 19 yrs. Danielle Steel, a picture of beauty and strength, writes very candidly about the struggles she endured in raising him amidst a large family and a busy schedule. The book tends to be somewhat graphic, a little morbid, but might be very helpful for parents who struggle with difficult children or those suffering from mental illness in their lives. I appreciate Danielle Steel as an author even more after reading this book because of her willingness to share her true feelings and pain.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very stimulating
I read this book about five years ago and I still think about it and some of the things that happened in it. I am bipolar and do not have people that I can talk about it with and sometimes I think I am totally crazy for some of the feelings and thoughts I have. Reading this book helped me to see that I am not alone, that others with the illness have the same actions. I also feel for his entire family because I know what I have put mine through. I was around 30 when I started having bipolar episodes and I have lived with it for 10 years. I hope they find a cure some day so we can all be free. ... Read more


15. Me : Stories of My Life
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679402543
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: RH Audio Voices
Sales Rank: 171136
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Admired and beloved by movie audiences for over sixty years, four-time Academy Award-winner Katharine Hepburn is an American classic. Now Miss Hepburn breaks her long-kept silence about her private life in this absorbing and provocative memoir.

A NEW YORK TIMES Notable Book of the Year

A Book-of-the-Month-Club Main Selection


From the Paperback edition.
... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.
This book is just like Katharine Hepburn herself. Uniquely funny, unconventional, different and beautiful. I found the last three chapters to be especially the one simply titled 'Love', about her unique relationship with Spencer Tracy. Any fan of Hepburn, or of Hollywood's golden era must read this book. It was amazing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Screwy people who don't like this book shouldn't speak....
I adored this book to no end and have read it about six times - I also own it. The reason that it seems so disconnected is because Kath is telling it just as she would speak it - it is not in true novel form, and as a writer myself, I think it holds up better this way. If you truly appreciate the grandeur of Katharine Houghton Hepburn, then you will love this book, for it sounds as if Kath was right there in the room, talking to you. So, for all of those who gave it a bad rap, I feel this was very ignorant on your part. Read this book!

1-0 out of 5 stars self-aborb
This is a egostict ramblimg, coherent only in the timeline of
relationship. Its a voyer,s delight, a canidate for National Enquirer publication. This is not edifiying reading---it promote self (as noted by the book title), is not good reading
and obcures the art of writing well. It may be a bestseller as
noted by the New York Times Book List but there are also best selling magazines next to the supermarket checkout stand.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I usually dislike non fiction, biographies and autobiographies but this book was so interesting and kept my attention like any fiction novel i usually ejoy. Wonderful woman and wonderful story.

2-0 out of 5 stars Kate remembered
Please dont write about her if you cant spell her name
-katharine ... Read more


16. The Kiss : A Memoir (Narrated by Kathryn Harrison)
by Kathryn Harrison
list price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559352612
Catlog: Book (1997-05-01)
Publisher: Soundelux Audio Publishing
Sales Rank: 339961
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this extraordinary memoir, one of the best young writers in America today transforms into a work of art the darkest passage imaginable in a young woman's life: an obsessive love affair between father and daughter that began when Kathryn Harrison, twenty years old, was reunited with a parent whose absence had haunted her youth.

Exquisitely and hypnotically written, like a bold and terrifying dream, The Kiss is breathtaking in its honesty and in the power and beauty of its creation.A story both of taboo and of family complicity in breaking taboo, The Kiss is also about love -- about the most primal of love triangles, the one that ensnares a child between mother and father.
... Read more

Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars A startling story with a deep underlay of sorrow...
This 1997 memoir by Kathryn Harrison is the true story of her incestuous relationship with her father. Her parents were divorced and there had been little contact throughout her childhood, but she had always been obsessed with him. Then, after visiting her in college when she was 20, his kiss good-bye was passionate rather than fatherly. That was the beginning.

Ms. Harrison's writes in the present tense, with brief flashbacks and flash forwards, her language seemingly simple and yet poetic. Always, it is startling with a deep underlay of sorrow. The reader shares her turmoil, her guilt, her attraction to her father as well as her repulsion. She's a victim, although a willing one, anorexic, bulimic and sad.

I've read two of her other books, "Poison" and "The Binding Chair". I loved both of them. And now that I've read this memoir, I've come to know her more and understand the deep well of discomfort which is present in her writing. Now a wife and mother, and a writer of some renown, I admire the courage it took for her to write this book and come to terms with the demons of her past. A mere 207 pages of large print, this book can be easily read in one sitting. Like her other books, it's not a pleasant read but yet very worthwhile. I definitely recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive.
The subject matter of this book is incest, a difficult topic to absorb. No one wants to hear of a young child or young adult abused by one of the people they are programmed to trust the most. A story like this could be written as a tawdry tell all. It could be written in such a straighforward manner that one could be turned off before they can absorb the storyline in all it's pain and disillusionment. This book does not make any of those mistakes or any other mistake one could imagine. Harrison's story is hard to take in, not because of the incest, but really because of the pain of betrayal and loss of self that insues when incest occurs. Sex, childhood and innocence are beautiful and priceless. To lose those things is a tragedy, something difficult for most of us to take in. Harrison draws us into a story that many are too sensitive to hear. She does this with a talent few writers have. Its easy to write a romance novel, its hard to write a romance novel between a daughter and her father. And, of course, its alward hard to write so well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Caught On Sale-And Loved It
Though it is deeply desturbing, it is reality in every sense of the word. Written in truth and honesty it will grip your heart tightly and make your emotions come alive. Well worth the time to listen if you buy the audio. The story line speaks in similarity to that of Nightmares Echo (book) and a bit like Lost Boy (also in book format). All excellent courageous reads

5-0 out of 5 stars packs a whollop
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I'd heard Harrison interviewed about it, and the interview was interesting enough that I decided to read the book. Part of me was concerned it was a Rikki Lake show wanabee, some fifteen minutes of fame kinda thing. No, though; it's a well-written and shocking read.

It's a page-turner--I, not a particularly fast reader, finished it over the course of two weekdays. I reached a point in the memoir where I knew I would have to finish it in that sitting.

It's difficult to explain, but the subject matter is very carefully handled. While one might imagine her own experience might validate a graphic treatment of the topic, Harrison conveys the tale in such a way as to avoid sensationalism; I grew more squeamish in the "good parts" of Lolita than at any time in this book.

The prose is stark and beautiful. No words are squandered. Her use of the present tense is riveting; her story is a tragedy, but you get the feeling she's dealt with it, put it behind her with this book, that she is not ruined for life by the rough start she had.

One of the most meaningful things about this memoir is that truth is stranger than fiction. It's unbelievable as the "affair" develops--you simply can't imagine anyone ever being so dreadful as her father is. I'm a fairly worldly person living in San Francisco, and I sat in my house alone, turning pages with my mouth wide open, occasionally exclaiming to no one... the book is a great ride and it gives you a frank view of more than the incest taboo.

3-0 out of 5 stars French Kisses
I did enjoy this book don't misunderstand. I read it one day. She writes flowery and passionate. Huge subject matter she tackles with a deep longing and sadness. "...one Kiss. An instant, seemingly discrete and isolated in time, yet paradoxically so, for the kiss has grown. It is like a vast, glittering wall between me and everything else.." I love every character in this complex novel. I just didn't love it enough to read her other works. In all a cleansing novel for a girl a bit too apologetic for her experiences. ... Read more


17. The Hiding Place (Corrie Ten Boom Library)
by Corrie Ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill, Carole Boyd
list price: $14.99
our price: $10.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0800799003
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: Chosen Books
Sales Rank: 115708
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Hiding Place proves that the light of God's love can penetrate even the darkest recesses of despair, places like the Nazi extermination camp at Ravensbruck. After protecting Dutch Jews in a secret room in their home, Corrie ten Boom, her sister and father were discovered, arrested, and imprisoned. Only Corrie survived, but her faith in God remained strong-so strong that, after the war, she could forgive a former camp guard in a face-to-face meeting. More than just a spellbinding adventure, The Hiding Place is a life-changing story. ... Read more

Reviews (130)

5-0 out of 5 stars A story of forgiveness
Corrie Ten Boom said it best in the beginning of the book when she points out that every person, place, and thing you encounter in your life is God preparing you for the plans He has for you. I believe God meant for millions be to touched by Corrie's life story. The over all message in this book is forgiveness, and how it is possible, under impossible circumstances. Not only does the Lord desire us to forgive, but He made it possible to do so by providing the love to do it. Corrie and her family lived sacrificial lives, but more importantly they were obedient to God, whom they knew loved them very much. Time and time again, Corrie's life was saved by her obedience and tenacious way of looking to the Lord for guidance and help. These people KNEW and lived God's love and it infected others around them. This story was just as much about Betsie, Corrie's sister, as it was Corrie. Betsie was a resilient woman who loved the Lord so much that she even thanked Him for fleas! Corrie's entire family had a respectful fear of the Lord that is lacking in today's world. This story helps us to realize how very comfortable we are in this material world of ours. Previous to reading this book, I read "Survival in Auschwitz" by Primo Levi, who was an Italian Jewish survivor of Auschwitz (hence the name). It was nice to read both books in order to get a view from both the Christian and Jewish perspective. This great evil during WWII was not just against one race, it was the enemy of the human race. While some humans were inprisoned and/or killed, others were alive yet dead inside as they gave into hate and bitterness. Corrie and her family saw this great evil and clinged to the hope that if these people were capable of so much hate, then they were equally capable of so much love. They compassionately prayed for the ones they suffered along with, as well as for the ones causing the suffering. "The Hiding Place" is a wonderful book in which we can learn to forgive those that have hurt us, and love others the way God loves us. Get it! Read it! Tell a friend!

5-0 out of 5 stars A woman of faith
I admire people who really take a stand for what they believe in, no matter what the cost, and Corrie Ten Boom is one of those amazing people. The story of her family, pre-concentration camp, is inspiring, because they really are willing to give up everything so that God's children are not harmed. This is truly one of the best books I've ever read...I copied a lot of phrases out of the book and into my personal journal so they could touch me later like they touched me then. There's a lot of love in this woman, mixed with comapssion, honesty, and happiness that made me reconsider my own standards in the midst of the peacetime life I live, and makes me ask the question: Would I truly risk my life for another's? Everyone should read this.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful,moving,emotive book.
I have read a number of autobiographys,and expect to read more still.
I think i shall be hard-pressed to find another one as beautiful as Corrie's.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE best book you'll read this summer
First written in 1971, The Hiding Place has, through both critical acclaim and word of mouth of the masses, achieved both certifiable classic status and a revered place in the hearts of its readers. And, I might add, for good reason. Although written in 1st person novel form from the perspective of the selflessly valiant Cornelia ten Boom, it is, of course, the true story of one family's almost unfathomable degree of limitless giving and unwavering altruism that saved many of lives during the nihilistic hate-filled Nazi regime in Holland, where the Gestapo as well as Dutch collaborators were pervasively ubiquitous and inexorably replete with hate and ineluctably devoid of both reason and love.

While reading, I felt a veritable melange of emotions running the gamut from sadness, anger, despair, and hope. Thanks to the wonderful writing, you feel like you're reading a novel -- although one that is all too harrowing and real. As Betsie quotes the Bible and says, "Give thanks in all circumstances," she subsequently says "Thanks for the fleas" -- a moment that demonstrated that God DOES work in mysterious ways. Without giving away anything that happens, I strongly exhort you to read The Hiding Place -- a book that stays with you long after you have turned the last page.

"No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still."
- Betsie ten Boom

5-0 out of 5 stars A veritable laugh riot
I was walking my dog and reading The Hiding Place and I thought why I am being sad. I should be glad and happy because the story is happy if you think about it you know. So I started laughing at the awesome stuff that Corrie does and says when she's helping the Jews. In summation, it's better to laugh than to cry. At least, that is, to Joseph O'Brien. ... Read more


18. Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole
by Jerri Nielsen, Maryanne Vollers
list price: $35.95
our price: $23.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1587880121
Catlog: Book (2001-01-01)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio Unabridged
Sales Rank: 687908
Average Customer Review: 4.11 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jerri Nielsen was a forty-six-year-old doctor working in Ohio when she made the decision to take a year's sabbatical at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica, the most remote and perilous place on Earth. The "Polies," as they are known, live in almost total darkness for six months of the year, in winter temperatures as low as 100 degrees below zero--with no way in or out before the spring.

During the long winter of 1999, Dr. Nielsen, solely responsible for the mental and physical fitness of a team of researchers, construction workers, and support staff, discovered a lump in her breast. Consulting via email with doctors in the United States, she performed a biopsy on herself, and in July began chemotherapy treatments to ensure her survival until condition permitted her rescue in October. A daring rescue by the Air National Guard ensued, who landed, dropped off a replacement physician, and minutes later took off with Dr. Nielsen.

This is Dr. Nielsen's own account of her experience at the Pole, the sea change as she becomes "of the Ice," and her realization that as she would rather be on Antarctica than anywhere else on earth. It is also a thrilling adventure of researchers and scientists embattled by a hostile environment; a penetrating exploration of the dynamics of an isolated, intensely connected community faced with adversity; and, at its core, a powerfully moving drama of love and loss, of one woman's voyage of self-discovery through an extraordinary struggle for survival. ... Read more

Reviews (120)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and Life Changing
After seeing Dr. Nielsen on Primetime Live I knew I HAD to read this book which appeals to readers on so many different levels. The fascinating story and drama of individuals who winter at the south pole is an example of a lifestyle few of us would ever consider or could even image. Dr. Nielsen's fight against the cancer raging in her body as she struggles to continue her duties as the pole's only physician is awe inspriring. However the most beautiful and potentially life changing aspect of the book for me was her description of this "perfect society" where people are valued and appreciated for the true gifts they bring from their souls and not judged superficially by irrelevent things like physical appearance as our society is so apt to do. The truest message comes through Dr. Nielsen's assertions that the mechanic is just (if not MORE) important than the doctor at the pole. We could all learn from this metaphor to make society a better place in which to live. Finally as far as the controvery regarding Dr. Nielsen "leaving" her children to pursue this adventure I personally believed her story, but since only the family involved could know the whole truth it is not any readers place to judge her motives.

3-0 out of 5 stars Brave Woman, So-So Book
It's interesting that so many reviewers accuse those writing a negative review of not reading the book, but criticicizing the person. I think many of those raving about the book are doing the same thing--they admire Jerri's bravery and pluck so much that they don't notice the book's flaws. The first few chapters are truly fascinating, and although I too wonder about the other side (if there is one) of the divorce saga, Jerri comes off as likable and perceptive. However, the book is overlong, and after a while, everything becomes monotonous. The first time "Big" John and "Tool Time Tim" (everyone has a nickname on the pole) fix the generator, it's interesting. The third or fourth, it's like, been there, done that. Also, the numerous e-mails printed verbatim gets a bit tiresome. There's hardly any prose at all in the last few chapters. I guess that's understandable--Jerri probably didn't remember too much of those months. and the e-mails might be all she has to go on. I recommend this book to those with an interest in arctic adventures or breast cancer, but as a general interest story, it lags a bit towards the end.

3-0 out of 5 stars Doctor, diagnose thyself.
The book cover proclaims "A doctor's incredible battle for survival at the South Pole". Indeed, the battle for survival is incredible and heartwarming.

The life Dr. Nielsen and her companions lived and others continue to live at the South Pole is described in fascinating detail.

The book is worth your time. However, I recommend skimming through any section of the book that seems to drag or you find annoying.

In my reading, I found the author's description of her circumstances and reasoning for her need to escape traditional civilization a bit annoying. In addition, some of the reprinted email exchanges added little if anything to the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Candid Look at a true Mission Impossible
Having Breast Cancer is bad enough, Having to be a doctor and treat that breast cancer is worse, but being stuck in Antartica while all of this is happening is the worst. Jerri writes a wonderful memoir about that time on Antartica, without holding back anything. I loved this book. It showed the triumph of the human spirit in the real world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life on the Ice with Cancer
The plot of Ice Bound is very good. It was very informative about a lot of the effects of chemotherapy and cancer. Dr. Jerri Nielsen did a very good job on desribing what it was like to live on the Ice. She also did a good job on desribing cancer and other medical terminology without being too technical. That way, people who are not doctors can still follow the book. I thought it was very interesting how she and others were able to come together when she need it most. ... Read more


19. The Housekeeper's Diary: Charles and Diana Before the Breakup
by Wendy Berry
list price: $15.95
our price: $15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559351802
Catlog: Book (1995-10-01)
Publisher: Soundelux Audio Publishing
Sales Rank: 626194
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Slight, amusing and more than a little pretentious
It's a fun read, no doubt about it. Being a Midwestern girl, I'll never know what it's like to be a royal and I found this insider's view fascinating. To be fabulously wealthy, yet get all manner of freebies and presents. To have a staff there ready to wait on you, yet to never be away from their judgemental eyes. What a life! No wonder both Charles and Diana were spoiled and far from perfect. I don't see how anyone could be remotely normal given the lives they led. For this peek into Highgrove, I was grateful. However, Ms. Berry herself seems rather unlikeable. Always gossiping, making sure we know that's she's more educated that the Prince and Princess realized, saying that Diana never would have "dared" lose her famous temper with the housekeeper, it kept me shaking my head. Like other, I'm sure, I suspect if she didn't take this job in the first place just to pen a tell-all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing New
I got this book from Ebay as it was out of print. And Banned
in London. It was a good book all in all. But, I learned nothing
really new. We all know that Diana had alot of problems
I guess I would as well if I lived with the Royals. Not an
easy family to live with. She did her job and won the hearts
of many people. She is still a hero in my heart. Hey, she was
a person before she was royal.

5-0 out of 5 stars An insider's story
I bought this book several years ago and have just re-read it.

It's an interesting look at life inside the Royal Family. Well, at least one part of it. The self-centeredness of Prince Charles is not surprising. He expects every whim to be catered to without question and immediately. He comes across as very spoiled and out of touch.

Princess Diana is another matter. Her instability is so apparent. It is too bad that she did not get professional help.

The last sentence, "But where is it all going to end?" is sad when you think about what happened to Diana.

The author doesn't take sides, but has given us a good look into the private lives of a very unhappy family.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
Having read many accounts of the Royals, from the Morton Book to Kitty Kelley to Donald Spoto, I decided to give this one a try. It was an intriguing effort, being from the viewpoint of the Princess's personal staff, and not from sensationalist writers who don't actually know her. I enjoyed the book, and believe it rings of the truth for the most part, although I had to wonder about Ms. Berry's motives in working for the Royals in the first place. She had a teaching degree and had passed a couple of O levels. She said she wanted a more "stable" job than teaching, yet complained about the pay (which is notoriously lower than you would expect for those in Royal service). Why would a woman with such qualifications opt for a career in housekeeping, sponginging up the vomit of the Royal children, literally airing the dirty laundry, and overall, tolerating the temper tantrums of two overprivileged people trapped in a marriage from hell, who feel just "Royal" enough to take it out on the staff? One could almost surmise that she took the job out of curiosity, and then just cashed in at the bitter end. It does seem that there was a bit of a race to get it published: in the Introduction from the publisher, they mention that in their hurry to get the book to press, nothing was altered in Ms. Berry's original manuscript, and there it is, typos and all (not too many, though). The book comes across as an honest, simple account, with just a touch of haughty opinion on the part of the housekeeper from time to time. My favorite passage was the one where Ms. Berry says that in spite of all the screaming fits Diana got into with some of the staff, she never got into it with her. Ms. Berry says, "I think she would not dare" because the Princess knew that it would not be tolerated. I had to chuckle, because I think Diana most certainly WOULD have dared, but the housekeeper was just lucky enough to have missed out on such a tirade. All in all, a quick, entertaining read. Even though it's not currently available from the publisher, your library will surely have it (that's where I picked it up), and it's probably better that you just borrow it, rather than spending any money on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very insightful.
It is interesting to get the observations of the woman who lived in Diana's house for years. I have admired Diana for years but now feel there is so much that we don't know. She could be quite spiteful and hateful. It is important for this side of the story to get out. I still admire her, but look at her differently. She was called "the saint" by the household staff because no matter how awful she behaved in private, the public always idolized her. The media has always had a vested interest in presenting only the positive side of her. I have not been able to buy the book yet, I've listened to the tapes. Most of the revelations on the tapes are shocking and eye-opening. ... Read more


20. Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life (Audio Editions)
by Noor, Suzanne Toren, Queen Noor
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1572703512
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Audio Partners
Sales Rank: 484447
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Born in 1951 to a distinguished Arab-American family, Lisa Najeeb Halaby became the fourth wife of King Hussein at age 27. With her husband being not only Jordan’s monarch but the spiritual leader of all Muslims, Lisa was unsure what her role would be. This moving memoir provides a timely look at one woman's story against a backdrop of 30 turbulent years: the displacement of over 1 million Palestinians by the creation of Israel, King Hussein’s frustrated efforts for peace, and the effect of Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War on Jordan and the royal family. Queen Noor offers intimate new glimpses of King Hussein, Saddam Hussein, Queen Elizabeth, Arafat, and many other world leaders. ... Read more

Reviews (174)

5-0 out of 5 stars A timely book on behalf of ordinary Muslim people.
I have been deeply moved by this book. Those who are expecting a fairy tale book, about a rosy love story between an American woman and an Arabian King, will be disappointed.

But those who have been wondering when a writer would enlighten the outside world, about the Middle-East, with a serious, factual and well thought out writing, have their prayers answered in this inspiring book which is for those who are open-minded enough to want to look beyond the Western clich├ęs at Jordan and the Middle-East from a Jordanian and Middle-Eastern viewpoints.

I liked its style based on factual data -NO FICTION- given not in a cold manner but with a warm and loving heart. Out of this book, flows mutual respect, understanding and love for (wo)mankind.

Queen Noor, in this book, has spoken on behalf of ordinary Muslim people, like me, who have no access to the powerful Western media. Thank you for that!

Regards to you all in Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant EYE-OPENER!!!!!!
Bravo Queen Noor! An extremely well-written memoir about a Queen and her two greatest loves (King Hussein and the Jordanians). I bought the book at an airport and couldn't put it down for hours. Fascinating, inside look at life and peacemaking in the Middle East. I found it very refreshing to hear another point of view on the Israeli -Palestinian conflict and think anyone interested in the region should read the book. It is pretty heavy on history and foreign policy, from the Jordanian perspective, and lighter on personal details. Queen Noor is an articulate, graceful woman that used her unique position to better the lives of many Jordanians, especially women, and create a greater/more accurate understanding of Arabs and their culture in the USA. Born and raised in America, she was educated in some of the countries most prestigous institutions and her passion for human rights was emblazed in her during the civil rights movement. I view Queen Noor as a visionary and a genuine peacemaker and wish more women in power would embrace her view of humanity.

As a final comment, I am not at all surprised by the negative attacks on the book by the unconditional pro-Israeli followers who cannot bear to have their story questioned. Their comments seem extremely defensive and reveal a deep unsecurity. Despite years of the U.S. media bombarding us with a one-sided, distorted view of Israeli history, Queen Noor has found a powerful platform to present the OTHER side. Hope the Queen's LEAP of FAITH opens your eyes.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Sustained Optimism
Little did I know that the autobiography of an American who married an Arab monarch would be a lesson in enduring love and ceaseless diplomacy in the Middle East. Queen Noor's Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life provided another window in which to view the internecine politics that have embroiled the region for over sixty years. I now more fully understand why King Hussein of Jordan was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize after reading about his untiring and unremitting efforts to obtain peace in the region and just treatment for Palestinians. Queen Noor, his third wife with whom he shared twenty years of marriage, also has been a formidable leader in the world, principally for her cultural and humanitarian contributions globally. Born Lisa Halaby in the United States, Queen Noor assumed her position of royalty at the age of twenty-six. She developed a superb work ethic that blended her excellent educational background, her work experience as architect, and diplomacy learned as she matured as the wife of a head of state in a volatile time. Leap of Faith provides balance in our understanding of the multinational conflict which continues to rage.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good sense of history
Queen Noor's book was well received by a segment of the public. King Hussein courted her and married her in a few weeks. The book is poorly written for a Princeton student (remember, she did not graduate). While she has had a lot of experience dealing with politicians, her writing is naive and simplistic. She also portrays too much anti-semitism and her views of Israel and US are almost parroted from the typical middle east forum. Her husband was more polished.

The book is a revisionist version of political history of Jordan. The ground realities are known to a few who have visited the place. The Hashemite kingdom of Jordan has Palestinian majority but they do not have the right to vote there. You have to be a Hashemeite bedouin to vote there. Arafat was booted out in the 70s for trying to take over Jordan. All this is conveniently omitted in this book and by most middle eastern texts. The concept of democracy in middle east is fuzzy at best. Any person is "elected" for life (unless his life is taken from him like Anwar Sadat of Egypt). Even Israel gives voting rights to its Arab citizens, though it may not be a model state. While all the Arab states complain about the Palestinians, not a single one donate money for infrastructure development or healthcare of the Palestinians, that is the crying shame. While Israel should give rights to Palestinians and create a Palestinian state, why should Jordan not give rights to them. The present king of Jordan is married to a Palestinian, is that not reason enough. This book has hypocrisy written all over it. Please do not waste your money over it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Queen Noor:- a latter member of the beat generation
From the book, it is obvious that Queen Noor is a latter member of the beat generation. For instance, there was the part about how she temporarily dropped out Princeton on account of her disdain for anything to do with the establishment as a result of the war in Vietnam. It seems to me that her main reason for converting to Islam was to rebel against Western values:- a slight variation of how hippies travelled to India in the 60s in search of spiritual enlightenment.

I view with similar disdain her hypocrisy about Israel. She is constantly claiming to have an affection for the people of Israel, but uses a number of pages criticising the very existence of the country. I accept that not all people like Israel, but I feel that she should stop pretending to like it.

I have no time for hippies like Queen Noor. ... Read more


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