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1. Big Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons
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2. Skywriting: A Life Out of the
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3. C'mon, Get Happy - 8 Copy Prepack
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4. Why You Crying? : My Long, Hard
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5. Walk Across America, A
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6. Making a Miracle
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7. Homesick : A Memoir
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8. Motherhood and Hollywood : How
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19. Deforest Kelley: A Harvest of
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20. Love, Lucy

1. Big Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons of Life
by Tim Russert
list price: $22.95
our price: $13.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401352081
Catlog: Book (2004-05-10)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 378
Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Veteran newsman and Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert is known for his direct and unpretentious style and in this charming memoir he explains why. Russert's father is profiled as a plainspoken World War II veteran who worked two blue-collar jobs while raising four kids in South Buffalo but the elder Russert's lessons on how to live an honest, disciplined, and ethical life are shown to be universal. Big Russ and Me, a sort of Greatest Generation meets Tuesdays with Morrie, could easily have become a sentimental pile of mush with a son wistfully recalling the wisdom of his beloved dad. But both Russerts are far too down-to-earth to let that happen and the emotional content of the book is made more direct, accessible, and palatable because of it. The relationship between father and son, contrary to what one would think of as essential to a riveting memoir, seems completely healthy and positive as Tim, the academically gifted kid and later the esteemed TV star and political operative relies on his old man, a career sanitation worker and newspaper truck driver, for advice. Big Russ and Me also traces Russert's life from working-mjkjclass kid to one of broadcast journalism's top interviewers by introducing various influential figures who guided him along the way, including Jesuit teachers, nuns, his dad's drinking buddies, and, most notably, the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whom Russert helped get elected in 1976. Plenty of entertaining anecdotes are served up along the way from schoolyard pranks to an attempt to book Pope John Paul II on the Today Show. Though not likely to revolutionize modern thought, Big Russ and Me will provide fathers and sons a chance to reflect on lessons learned between generations. --Charlie Williams ... Read more

Reviews (53)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cats in the cradle...Harry Chapin's song comes to life!!!
The background story behind this book is learning from your elders. In this particular one, we are talking about Tim Russert and how he explains the way that his father's knowledge (something that most children never appreciate until after the fact) and experience shaped his life. We learn of Big Russ, as he refers to his father, and how he was raise in poverty, was a WWII vet with an admirable record and his ability to raise his four children and support his household while holding down two jobs for a good part of his life. That, in itself, shows the character of Big Russ.

As is the dream of every parent, Russert's life is anything but representative of the suffering his father witnessed. A wealthy lawyer, Capital Hill insider and married to a celebrity journalist, Russert is the success story his father could brag about to any and everyone.

The book provides a nostalgic walk through time as the author reflects on his own life as well as that of his country. By the time you finish the book, you can understand why Big Russ earns the biggest title that any father can ever dream of. That of being seen as a hero in his own son's eyes. No amount of money or honors can ever top such a title as that.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Gift to Big Russ
Bookstores have been gearing up for Father's Day for some time now, lining their front displays with titles dad is sure to enjoy: sports, grilling, amusing how-tos. Pretty standard stuff. But once in a while a book comes along that supersedes the silly.

BIG RUSS & ME, by Tim Russert, is one of these rare finds.

Russert, the popular host of NBC's "Meet the Press," wrote this tribute to his father, Tim Senior, a member of what has become known as "the greatest generation." A hard-working, spiritual and devoted family man who served his country during World War II, the elder Russert represents the millions of fathers (and mothers) who sacrificed to make their children's lives better.

The Russert family grew up in a blue-collar section of Buffalo, NY, where Tim Senior instilled in the author and his three sisters the qualities of discipline, respect, honesty and faith that, for whatever reason, are sometimes lacking from parents today.

In the minds of younger readers, Russert might as well have written his book a hundred years ago. Imagine having to walk to school, including "sir" or "ma'am" when addressing adults, or having to do chores. It wasn't punishment --- it was expected and not open to discussion or bargaining.

Writers of a certain age often recall a time and place in which television shows were broadcast in black and white, no one locked their doors, kids always had friends to play with and people watched out for one another. Compare that with today's omnipresent security alarms, motion detectors and play-dates.

Russert writes fondly of his Jesuit education. Its extension of discipline helped him focus on excelling in college and law school. He worked hard to put himself through school, not just because his parents could ill-afford tuition and other expenses. As Big Russ said, you appreciate it more when you earn it yourself. The era in which he grew up was difficult: the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. had profound effects on his circle, as did the social unrest of the sixties. Through it all, however, he remained close to his father while many of his contemporaries rebelled against their parents' values.

Russert is not a name-dropper. He was fortunate enough to know several people who were very influential to his maturation, and he mentions these relationships (his chapters on Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Pope John Paul II are especially warm) more in thankfulness than to inflate his own ego. His self-effacement ("I have a face for radio") seems genuine, not put-on, which makes BIG RUSS & ME even more enjoyable.

The saying goes (approximately): "When I was a teenager I thought my father didn't know anything. It's amazing how much smarter he became once I got older." This is definitely not Russert's credo. Indeed, he has always sought his dad's advice and opinions; even now, in his high-powered capacity as host of one of television's venerated staples, he is not satisfied until Big Russ gives his feedback. (Not to psychoanalyze, but one doesn't get the impression that Russert, Jr. is in dire need of Senior's approval.)

Being "men," it's not unusual that expressive feelings exchanged between fathers and sons are underplayed. This is one reason why BIG RUSS & ME is so welcome. And the love and respect between the generations continues through the author's son, Luke.

Relationships, especially for today's parents, seem much more difficult, thanks in no small part to the myriad distractions and competitions for their kids' attention that simply didn't exist fifty years ago. All vie for the child's attention and some can be very seductive, especially when the folks want him to do something that isn't cool, like get good grades or clean up his room.

Russert's apotheosis is a wonderful gift to Big Russ, an expression of love and gratitude that makes all the hard work seem worthwhile. It's even better that the old timer is still around to enjoy the accolades the book will no doubt engender.

So, what did you say you were doing for your dad this year?

--- Reviewed by Ron Kaplan

1-0 out of 5 stars Ack! Ack!
Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack!

4-0 out of 5 stars Endearing & heart-felt memoir.
Refreshing and light read written by a man with a genuine and, in many ways, a new-found love and appreciation for the most important man in his life.

In a society that seems less determined to be self reliant and accountable and more determined than ever compete over who can be the biggest victim, Big Russ is living testimony that absolutely nothing beats a strong family bond and a solid work ethic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Engaging, nostalgic, well-written
This is a great book. I can't believe how many Amazon "reviewers" are getting their facts wrong, or dragging politics, or other issues into this simple, straightforward ode to one's father.

One reviewer says Tim does a disservice to mothers everywhere by writing a book about his father. If you didn't check out the title of the book clearly before purchasing it, maybe you should go do that now: "Big Russ and Me: Father and Son--Lessons of Life." He mentions his mother reverently a few times in the text, but the book is mainly about his dad. Enough Said. I'm sure his mother knows how much he loves her. Maybe he'll write a book about her someday. But I don't see how he's disrespecting all mothers. That's ludicrous.

Secondly, a few reviewers have remarked about Big Russ blowing his paycheck on booze every week. Obviously these readers didn't read carefully. Tim was writing about another man in town who would take his paycheck to the bar every payday and drink it away. Tim contrasts this man with his father, who would enjoy a few cold ones every now and then, but knew that providing for his family was much more important. Big Russ was not a drunk. Maybe you reviewers should go back and re-read that chapter.

Another reviewer complains that Tim Russert's book is "full of errors," and backs up this claim by saying he got one word wrong when remembering a prayer from his youth. This reviewer says a half-decent editor would've caught this. I'd like to enlighten this reader by letting him know that not all prayers are taught or recited exactly the same way. It depends on the school or church, I suppose. To call it an error is wrong. It's a variation. I'm sure some people think the way you recite it is wrong. Whether it's "THROUGH thy bounty," or "FROM thy bounty," it hardly makes much difference, does it? Means the same thing.

I could go on, but for some readers there's no hope. It's a great book about a father's influence on his son's life. Read it. Pass it on. ... Read more


2. Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue
by Jane Pauley
list price: $25.95
our price: $15.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 140006192X
Catlog: Book (2004-08-24)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 2555
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3. C'mon, Get Happy - 8 Copy Prepack : Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus
by David Cassidy
list price: $13.95
our price: $13.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446395315
Catlog: Book (1994-07-01)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 137354
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (72)

4-0 out of 5 stars Blunt, Frank and Honest
Cassidy does not hold back in telling his story. Blunt, frank, and sometimes searingly honest, David tells all. Especially interesting was how he and his agent were tricked out of millions of dollars due to a misleading contract. I like the fact that Cassidy and his co-author wrote the book in his own voice. When you read it, it's like David is telling you his story, rather than having a sanitized version written in perfect prose by a ghost writer. It's a definite must-read for all Cassidy fans. My only criticism is that David wrote about his Partridge Family years in great detail, but glossed over his post-Partridge years. Hopefully he'll consider doing a fuller autobiography.

5-0 out of 5 stars C'mon, Reprint It....
Last night I should have been reading our book club's latest selection, but instead I watched a documentary on The Partridge Family. I tuned in expecting to remember, laugh and wonder at my adolescent fascination with David Cassidy, but ended up amazed at my 36-YEAR-OLD fascination with David Cassidy. I can't believe that I find this guy just as charismatic, likable, and compelling as I did when I was 12. I would love to read his book, but can't find it. Amazon, do you have any influence with the publisher? You might have quite a few copies pre-sold...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book , Brutally Honest
I LOVED this book! I was a VERY young David Cassidy fan when he was in his heyday. This guy seemed like he was on top of the world when it was actually crashing in around him. The language and events described can be a little unnerving...but hey...he told it like it was...no holds barred. I personally was not offended at all. It was actually a little erotic! Honesty is so rare in today's glossy Hollywood autobigraphies. I commend David for being so candid about his experiences, both good and bad.

5-0 out of 5 stars A total RIOT!
Gotta read this one!! I still giggle when I think about "Sam, the Hairy One"!! :-)):-))ROTFL

5-0 out of 5 stars WISH IT WERE UP TILL NOW/GREAT BOOK
AN AWESONE, HONEST LIFE STORY OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE ACTOR AND SINGER. I HOPE DAVID CASSIDY WRITES PART TWO. I READ THE BOOK IN 2 DAYS, COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. NOW, IF HE WOULD ONLY COME TOUR IN FLORIDA!! ... Read more


4. Why You Crying? : My Long, Hard Look at Life, Love, and Laughter
by George Lopez
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743259947
Catlog: Book (2004-05)
Publisher: Touchstone
Sales Rank: 13863
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this eagerly awaited autobiography, comedian and prime-time television star George Lopez tells the heartbreaking yet humorous story of his inspirational rise from dead-end kid in the Valley to giving a command performance before the president of the United States.

It is a rare story that touches us so deeply with its humor, sadness, and powerful message that it transcends the walls of race, culture, and class that divide us.

Why You Crying? is just such a story.

Abandoned by his migrant-worker father at the tender age of two months, deserted by a wild, mixed-up mother at the age of ten years, Lopez grew up angry, alone, teased, and tormented in California's San Fernando Valley, raised by grandparents who viewed love as a four-letter word.

Inspired by his idols, Freddie Prinze Sr. and Richard Pryor, Lopez sets out on a tumultuous twenty-year journey into the manic world of stand-up comedy -- trying to learn a skill nobody can teach; scoring one night and bombing the next; fighting anger, alcohol, depression, and doubt allwhile battling the barriers built to keep Chicanos from breaking through, especially on network TV.

Today, the George Lopez show is a prime-time hit on ABC and his sold-out stand-up performances attract thousands of fans of all ages, each drawn to the sidesplitting riffs mined from a life so sad it had to be funny. Why You Crying? takes an outsider from the San Fernando Valley to Warner Bros. studios to inside the Emmys to plush Pebble Beach and all the way to the halls of Harvard.

Along the way it's pure G. Lo -- raw, real, and, ultimately, uplifting. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Why you crying?
I thought this was the funniest book I have read in along time...I laughed, I cryed...and I related to sooo much. I felt so sorry for him...but he conquered in the end..just like me!!..the book is well worth the price..I cant describe how hilarious alot of this book is..he is a great comedian and story teller!!.

Mary

5-0 out of 5 stars He is STILL G-LO on the Block!
George calls himself, the other Lopez, G-LO, the one you are not tired of. George Lopez, with about 20 years scouring for his place among the great comedians, has arrived!

"Why You Crying" gives a taste of his life, from the sad pathetic upbringing, comedy bits, strong influences, the enduring struggle and of course, the successful TV show.

The title, "Why You Crying" is a phrase developed from his grandmother, a person who with a severe lack of parental knowledge, belittled and shamed him! It is almost incomprehensible that a child can go from the frying pan - unabandoned by parents, to the fire - negative grandparents who didn't know that an expression of love and devotion is critical to life.

With no father, and an extremely pathetic unstable mother, at ten he went to live with his grandparents. And it is this sad life that is the backdrop for the show, except that his TV mother is based on the mental cruelty received from his real-life grandmother.

There are some great funny moments and you don't have to be Hispanic to understand a dysfunctional crazy family. George shares some bits from the comedy show and he painfully recalls his grandmother's mentally abusive behavior.

The two comedic influences were Freddie Prinze, Sr., from the "Chico and the Man" series in the 70s and one of the greatest comedians who told us what life is really about, Richard Pryor. Lopez talks fondly about a Long Beach, CA performance, "Richard Pryor Live" and I agree that it is the funniest live show ever!!

Lopez, like other great comedians, shares the struggle to the top, the comedy clubs, the road, the bombs, the rejection, depression, etc., etc. Any great artist and comedian can tell you the struggle to success and some can just tell you the struggle.

George dutifully and proudly then toots his own horn! We get a clear understanding how the show evolved and what it takes to come into our homes. He also gives us an idea what hosting the Latin Awards is to him, his arrival and how proud he is to be a Hispanic who has succeeded and he is admirable by the respect he lends to the nationality. ....MzRizz

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful memoir
Maggie Sanchez,Communications,

I thoroughly enjoy a great memoir. 'Why You Cry' is an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable read. It has a mixture of sadness and reality like that of 'Nightmares Echo' and yet it also is comparable to 'Running With Scissors' which adds a light humorous affect in with its details of a hard life. If you like George Lopez, you will love this remarkable book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Hard-Knock Memoir
I'm a memoir junkie and a comedy junkie--normally the two don't mix, but I found Lopez's story funny, honest, shocking and hearfelt. I hardly knew Lopez's TV work, but know I'm a fan. Just finished Rodney Dangerfield's book (he's a living god), and the two make a weird bookend--most successful comedians have really terrible childhoods. Oddly, another great memoir is about being a great Dad--the opposite of Lopez's and Dangerfield's parents--in "I Sleep At Red Lights: A True Story of Life After Triplets," by Bruce Stockler, a funny and riveting look at marriage, kids and deciding if success is still important.

5-0 out of 5 stars GLO is not only funny, but inspirational as well!
I was so excited when I heard this book was coming out that I pre-ordered it and received it early. I read it in one day. I couldn't put the book down.

Before I read this book I was a fan. . .now, I'm not only a GLO fan but I also admire the guy. This book is filled with a lot of George Lopez skits that many have heard time and time again and know by memory. But you'll also find the man behind the jokes and punch lines. You'll find the insecure boy who learned to make the best of what was given to him as a child.

This book will make you laugh, cry and then laugh all over again. If you are a GLO fan, then you will love this book. ... Read more


5. Walk Across America, A
by Peter Jenkins
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006095955X
Catlog: Book (2001-09)
Publisher: Perennial
Sales Rank: 11607
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Twenty-five years ago, a disillusioned young man set out on a walk across America. This is the book he wrote about that journey -- a classic account of the reawakening of his faith in himself and his country.

"I started out searching for myself and my country," Peter Jenkins writes, "and found both." In this timeless classic, Jenkins describes how disillusionment with society in the 1970s drove him out onto the road on a walk across America. His experiences remain as sharp and telling today as they were twenty-five years ago -- from the timeless secrets of life, learned from a mountain-dwelling hermit, to the stir he caused by staying with a black family in North Carolina, to his hours of intense labor in Southern mills. Many, many miles later, he learned lessons about his country and himself that resonate to this day -- and will inspire a new generation to get out, hit the road and explore.

... Read more

Reviews (70)

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is one that brings adventure into the heart of all
In his book, Peter Jenkins discusses his discontent with his life following college. He plans to leave the country, but in a last minute decision decides to take the advice of a friend and discover America. After some training for the adventure, he sets forth on his journey with his dog Cooper, who is his closest companion.

Jenkins first heads first (on foot) to the National Geographic office in Washington DC, where he obtains a camera. His experiences and adventures will be recorded for an article in the popular magazine.

From Washington, he starts south (destination unknown at this time). As he hikes through the mountains, he begins meeting all different types of people. His American journey takes him through a variety of places and introduces him to people of all backgrounds.

Following a tradgedy on a Farm in Tennessee, Peter's adventure becomes even more insightful as he attempts to discern life in general.

His walk takes him on many adventures, le! ! ads him to a religious experience, and introduces him to the woman that he eventually marries.

The book is truly sensational, and impossible to put down once you have begun to read it! A must-read, for sure!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, full of adventure and a spiritual journey
What a great book this is. Peter Jenkins in the 1970's walked across America and not only had interesting stories to tell, but also had his own spiritual journey to undertake. I first read this many years ago and it left a lasting impression upon me. Having recently re-read it, I still feel the journey he took and wish I too could take a journey such as his.

Maybe America was a tad more safe in the 1970's than it is today, but fortunately Peter only had a few incidents, that could also be because his trusting companion Cooper, a Siberian Husky also travelled with him many, many miles. From Peter's beginning travels in New England down the Atlantic states and across to Louisiana, he tells the reader his encounters as he faced them on the trails, roads, and forests, he also talks about his own self journey and inner strugle to find his "own path". His tales about the "Mountain Man" to his "adoption" by a black family is interesting and wonderful to read. He at last finds his "soul mate" and also what he is looking for. I love this book, and hopefully one day I would like to meet Peter Jenkins and let him know that his book made an impact upon me. I recommend this to anyone who would like to make a journey across America and get to know the people and land, also those who need a "spiritual journey" would find comfort in this book as well. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Stumbled upon the book, could not put it down!
Absolutely one of the best reads that I've ever encountered. Of course, throughout this book, I continued to hopelessly imagine myself taking this journey along with Peter. Its just a down to earth, true speaking, journey across the eastern US. I wish I could have been there to experience it too. Great read!

1-0 out of 5 stars A Schlock Across America
I would say that a worse book could not be produced, but I know that there's some hot-blooded hippy out there who is ten seconds away from jumping up from his pottery wheel to shout, "Hey! I'm gonna walk across America and WRITE ABOUT IT!" (Or, rather, since he's a hippy, "Hey, MAN! I'm gonna walk across America and WRITE ABOUT IT!") Nothing against hippies; most of them know how to write well. It's the hippies that don't who really annoy me, such as Mr. Peter "My Life Partner is an Alaskan Malamute" Jenkins. He even admits it! ". . . I was not a writer. I could barely spell my name" (p. 57). So, please tell us, Peaterr Jinkyns, why'd you do it? Do you enjoy lacing together poorly-worded images and emotions into a story that's actually PAINFUL to read? The whole book seems as if it were written like a high school student writes an English essay on "The Scarlet Letter" at 4 A.M. the day it's due. (Yes, that's right, I used a similie--something Peter Jenkins should never ever do again.) He should let his dog do the writing, instead. (Which he does, in some points. He's one of those people who thinks his dog can talk.)

This book got good reviews from other people because of it's optimistic outlook on our country, but I say don't listen to the optimists. They think that George W. Bush is a good president. It's the cynics who see the truth as it really is.

Don't get me wrong, I love this country and I'm very proud of it. In fact, I even wrote my own book about it. It's called "My Feet Hurt, America". Here's an excerpt:

"Today I started walking across this great country of ours, but half a mile out, I got tired and decided to go home and eat a Super-Sized BigMac combo meal with lots of ketchup. God bless the USA from sea to shining sea and the home of the brave. THE END"

MY POINT: I think it's great that people love this country so much that they want to walk across it and write books about it. But I do think people should learn to write first. So don't read this book, unless you want a story about a hippy-turned-Republican.

5-0 out of 5 stars Termendous. Couldn't get enough.
One of the best, personal, diarys that I have ever encountered.
Peter Jennings has a way of explaining his adventures that puts you right along beside him with every step. I purchased this book because of its preview within its cover, and it was the best book that I think I have ever read. I can't wait to get the next one.." The walk west". I couldn't lay this book down. ... Read more


6. Making a Miracle
by Hunter Tylo
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671027786
Catlog: Book (2000-03-01)
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 641409
Average Customer Review: 3.78 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Twice chosen for People magazine's "The 50 Most Beautiful People in the World" feature, and widely hailed as the most captivating actress on daytime television, Hunter Tylo may seem untouchable, a star out of our orbit. Nothing, as she reveals in this candid autobiography, could be further from the truth. This is the story of a down-to-earth woman -- mother, wife, and friend -- whose grace and class in the face of extraordinary challenges are an inspiration. Meet the real Hunter Tylo and get to know a remarkable person.

As Dr. Taylor Hayes, the sexy psychiatrist of CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful -- seen by 350 million daily viewers worldwide -- Hunter brings to life a complex character whose "compassion can sometimes turn to passion, " as the actress describes her; it is this quality that exemplifies Hunter's life as well: she has emerged as a woman whose understated strength turns obstacles into triumphs.

Here at last, Hunter tells the complete story of her successful court battle against the producers of Melrose Place, who had fired her before she appeared in a single episode because she became pregnant.

But Hunter's motherhood odyssey has taken dramatic twists more heart-wrenching than any television drama. For the first time, Hunter tells the story of her infant daughter Katya's rare eye cancer -- and how her deeply rooted Christian faith has seen her through the ordeal.

With honesty and without pretension, Hunter Tylo also takes chances in Making A Miracle -- by revealing much that her millions of fans do not yet know, including a personal crisis that left her to make a choice no woman should have to make. Reading these candid revelations, you may come to see Hunter Tylo in a new light -- and perhaps understand more of who she is and what forces motivate her every day.

Beyond the glamour of stardom and celebrity, Making A Miracle is a story about motherhood; for Hunter Tylo, it is the role of a lifetime. ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan of hers, GET IT
I've seen Hunter Tylo on Days of our Lives and the Bold and the Beautful (describes her perfectly) and I can attest that she can act. I remember when this book came out and there was a lot of press about it because she really left no stone unturned. I finally got around to getting a copy last week. I haven't been able to put the thing down. I have 50 pages left. It's all in here: the domestic violence, the Spelling case, her dabbling in the Hindu religion. Through all these obstacles, Mrs. Tylo has come out the other end stronger and her family on more solid ground. God bless her for having the you know whats to write about it all because it all comes out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Facinating Read
The book starts with her leaving B&B in 1996, after she found a role with "Melrose Place". A few weeks later she learned she was pregnant, and out of courtesy told the execs at Melrose the news. Soon she found herself without a job, she was fired from Melrose because she was pregnant. She had enough issues getting the role, with her newfound Christianity she was concerned about the role she would be playing, in which they gave very few details and were evasive with their answers to her questions. We don't find out what happens as a result of her termination until later in the book, near the end.

She goes back to her childhood, to her first marriage where she was pregnant with her first son, Chris, and the tumultuous relationship she had with his father. Doing many commercials, she eventually found an acting job at "All My Children", where she met her future husband, Michael Tylo. At this point in the book we are introduced to their relationship, and it is a bumpy rollercoaster ride. She kicks him out, they fight over work, she gets him arrested, he tries to take her kids away from her, it was a constant battle. He lost his job at AMC after she did, and then she found work on "Days of Our Lives", being fired shortly after, then finding work at B&B.

She accounts her friendship with co-star at B&B, Kimberlin Brown, and the problems that happened there. Lots of history there. Then Hunter landed a role in a mini series shot in India and Canada, her marriage with Michael failing, she fell in love with a man over there who had her succumb to false religion, and she was manipulated. Her marriage at its final thread, more constant fighting, and it seemed everything in her life had gone down the toilet so to speak. Then she found her faith in religion again, and talks about how it saved her marriage. Then the Melrose fiasco.

The court case lasted an incredibly long time, and Spelling Enterprizes used every dirty tactic to make her look like a spoiled brat who was after their money. She was ashamed for a moment for considering having an abortion. I found this part of the book facinating, although disturbing that as she put it, they didn't want to admit that her child existed, not before, certainly not then either. She won the case, and during describing the trial, we learn of a shocking secret she had held within her for a long time, which I won't spoil here.

She got her job back at B&B and had two other children. Her first daughter, who she was pregnant with during the Melrose fiasco, Bella, and then she was pregnant again during the trial with Kayta. It turns out Kayta had a rare eye cancer disease, and Hunter talks candidly about her chemotherapy and the heartbreak she went through during this time, when she questioned her faith, and was left confused.

Overall a facinating read about Hunter's triumphs and tribulations in life, it's a shame she's not at B&B anymore, she really brought morality and class to that show that is now lacking on the show.

5-0 out of 5 stars God is good
I have just read Hunters book. It is honest and from her heart. Hunter shares her testimony, of how sin and life outside of God's love and ways brings only destruction to ourselves and those we love. It is a blessing to read how Jesus steps in to save and restore lives and souls. You can see God's hand upon their lives.She shares with us that there is a lot of healing and relearning to do, when we find God, for learning God's ways when you have been taught by the world is a long and sometimes painful and ongoing process. I thank Jesus for what He has done and is doing, in their lives, she has shared with us personal details and the miracles that God has done in her life. I believe that what she shared about her experiences with hinduism to be true, Hunter does not say in her book that she researched or did a thesis on Hinduism, rather she shares with us her own personal experiences, she shares that she could not find happiness in sex, money, and religion, that God showed her that salvation comes through His Son Jesus, and it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from our sin. Many false religions do still sacrifice and see the blood as important in placating their gods, bringing healings and incurring blessing, it does happen, and Hunter saw this first hand. The hindues do worship many gods, Hunter shares with us what God showed her, that He is the only true God, and He does not come under the names of the false gods. God also tells us not to bring their images into our homes, for a curse will follow if we do, and she experienced what God said would happen first hand. Her writing style, her acting, her mistakes now are not the most important part of what she has shared, it was couragous of her to share so much with us, her honesty, trials and finding the true God. What is important is that Jesus, has stepped into her life, saving her and her husband restoring their family. It is a good book. Also when a person does find God and the truth, it is hard to explain to those whom do not believe in God, about miracles etc. and it is couragous of her to be so open about her experiences with God. Her book is not about research, Hunter has shared what she has gone through, and is still learning to understand, and from my own relationship with God, there is a lot of changes and relearning to do. So I am not going to stand in judgement of Hunter and say what would she know, as I see her experiences are real. I do not find Hunters book relgious for as a christian I love God, and am not ashamed to tell people, and Hunter clearly loves God, and wants to share how His love and mercy helped her and her family. I see her book helping others, a testimony of God's reality and love, and the reality of the destruction of sin in a life without God. For it is a wonderful story that she has shared with us, to see her family and marriage restored is the best news to hear and read about.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I loved this candid account of Hunter Tylo's struggles, harsh realities and sincere honesty. This is a must read for anyone interested in a person triumphing over adversity. Walk with this incredible woman as she goes through the fire to come out on the other side. Hunter Tylo is truely a woman of integrity. God Bless her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant read- Very inspiring
I find that this autobiography had a sense of honesty and genuity to it. This book made me realize that life is hard for everyone no matter famous or not and that no one is truly in control of their destiny. I liked how Hunter wasn't simply descriptive of as she added her interpretation of them which really helps the reader understand what is going on. Maybe it's just me but I found that things jumped around here and there but then agiain this is my first autobiography that I've ever read so I'm sure I should expect a different writing style. I also liked how she added pics of herself with the book. ... Read more


7. Homesick : A Memoir
by Sela Ward
list price: $24.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060394366
Catlog: Book (2002-10)
Publisher: Regan Books
Sales Rank: 171487
Average Customer Review: 4.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This is a story about home . . .

At a time when much of America is yearning to recapture the spirit and feelings of a more innocent era, comes this exceptional new book from one of our most beloved actresses: a story of one woman's journey to reconnect with the landscape of her childhood.

Though best known today as the star of the television series Once & Again and Sisters, Sela Ward considers herself first and foremost a small-town girl. The eldest of four children, she was raised by a father who helped her believe in herself, and by a mother who taught her a sense of the importance of virtues like self-respect, grace, and sacrifice. In her hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, within a tightly-knit community of neighbors and kin, Sela learned ways that would remain with her throughout life -- humble virtues that were "forged in the hearth of a loving home."

After graduating from the University of Alabama, Sela left the South in search of the excitement of cities like New York and Los Angeles, and the creative rewards of an acting career. But as she started her own family, she found herself pining for the comforts of her small-town childhood -- and searching for a way to balance her children's West Coast upbringing with a taste of a more natural way of life. She and her husband built a second home on a farm there, where she and her family could retreat several times each year, and became involved in several projects designed to restore the vitality of the hometown she remembered so fondly. Even as Sela was reconnecting with the rhythms of home, though, her world was rocked by a crisis the family had long anticipated but never quite prepared for -- the death of her mother. As her family gathered around her mama's bedside, Sela's simple journey home became something far deeper: a turning point in her own life, as she pondered her mother's complicated legacy, and came to terms with just what it was she herself was searching for.

Filled with warmth, storytelling, and laughter, Homesick is a book to treasure: an exploration of the lessons we carry away with us from childhood, and a celebration of the bittersweet legacy of home.

... Read more

Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Homesick for one's roots!
Don't we all cling to memories of our roots? Sela Wards's sensitive, personal explanation of her longing to maintain her Southern roots while maintaining balance in her family life with a loving husband and children in Hollywood is a sign post for all us. Not the 'tell all' Hollywood insider story that will generate salacious headlines...but a deeply personal and touching remembrance of Ms. Wards upbringing and the special values that help define her role as a parent, spouse and personality. What a great read!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Told With Grace
Sela Ward, in HOMESICK, has written a memoir full of heart, grace, and love. She tells the story of her life, of her family, of her Mississippi with an all-embracing spirituality and faith. Sentimental, but not saccharine. Strongly and confidently told, without overbearingness. Cynical people or those looking for some explicit "Hollywood tell-all" will be disappointed. Sela doesn't even identify those former actor boyfriends by name. If you're looking for "dirt" all you'll find in this book is Sela's love for the rich soil of her home. Highly recommended, not only for Ms. Ward's fans, but for anyone who is searching for their own definition of just what "home" really means.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
homesick is an awsome book. her life is interesting to read about!!!buy it!!!!its the best

4-0 out of 5 stars Sela Ward Finds Her Way Back Home
Go down south with Mississippi born actress Sela Ward. Homesick is a refreshing look at the everyday life of a young girl as she moves from small town life to young adulthood in New York and then settles in Hollywood.

Sela shares the story of her family stating, "The Wards have always walked a fine line between conviction and orneriness..." She admires her father and her mother. She talks much of the way she grew up as a southern girl, the south's traditions and the legacies, girl talk sessions, cliques, church, the family restaurant, charm school and even hanging at the local Quik Stop. It's rather refreshing that the book focuses on the positives of life.

Sela speaks of her own life, though not with Hollywood spectacles on. She shares her climb to success but does not allow it to take over the entire telling of her story. Her claim to fame is only part of her. Her family, her history, her place of birth are so much more.

Homesick also touches on issues such as racism in the South, the tragedy of September 11, overindulged children and drugs. The book also details Sela's mother's death and the hardship on the family.

The book is generously sprinkled with photographs which tell a story themselves. You'll see the young Sela, the model, the actress, but mostly you'll see the real Sela Ward, the one who stood at her mother's knee and listened to the stories of her family.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Lady With Inbred Southern Charm
The memoir of a beautiful woman who went to NY City and then
Hollywood but longed to go home again.
A person can never really go home again, as another Southerner,
Thomas Wolfe wrote, but Sela Ward tried very hard to duplicate
her upbringing,when she married and had two chidren.
This is a book of a woman who developed in Meridian,Miss-
issippi;during the 1960's and 1970's.Her family isn't perfect
but they are good people.
A younger Sela neede more in her life to express her ambitions so she moved away.What she also found was she also needed
stability and family.
Unable to have a realistic family life in Hollywood-she
and her husband Howard Sherman set about building a new family home back in Meridan, Mississippi.Here they are surrounded by Sela's close relatives and their children are
able to lead a more rustic life.As often as possible they
reside in comfort and live here.
This is unlike any Hollywood story.People respect each
other and help one another.
It is refreshing to read about a Hollywood star, who is just like other ordinary folks.Her lovely Southern charm comes
through in the telling of her Family's customs. ... Read more


8. Motherhood and Hollywood : How to Get a Job Like Mine
by PATRICIA HEATON
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375508716
Catlog: Book (2002-09-17)
Publisher: Villard
Sales Rank: 211518
Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

“The really important things in life are your family and friends. And what will people say about you at your funeral—that you won an Emmy once, or that you were a good person, kind and generous? Well, as for me, I hope it's the latter. And the fact that I recently commissioned an Emmy-shaped coffin just eliminates the need for anyone to bring it up.”

Everybody knows that Patricia Heaton plays the hilarious, wise, and tempestuous married-with-kids everywoman on Everybody Loves Raymond. What they might not know is that in real life she is married, has four boys under eight years old, and is just as funny offscreen as on.

Motherhood and Hollywood is Patricia Heaton’s humorous and poignant collection of essays on life, love, marriage, child-rearing, show business, having parents, being a parent, spousal rage, surviving fame, success, and the shame of underarm flab. She is warm, witty, and refreshingly irreverent.

Heaton grew up in suburban Cleveland, one of five children of devout Roman Catholic parents. Her father was a noted sportswriter for The Plain Dealer; her mother died suddenly and unexpectedly when Heaton was twelve. Love, fast food, and an unflagging sense of humor held the clan together and propelled Patricia on a showbiz career that began with hilariously nightmarish struggles in New York, eventually leading to a triumphant move to Los Angeles.

In Motherhood and Hollywood, Patricia Heaton pours out her heart and minces no words. She’s taking all prisoners for cookies and a glass of Jack Daniel’s and diet ginger ale. Laughter ensues.
... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars She's similar to her Debra Barone character, but more fun!
This book is apparently unavailable on audio cassette, and I am unable to listen to CD's in my car (where at least 70% of my audiobook listening is done). So, I knew if I bought this Audio CD, I'd be listening to it at home. Despite the lack of flexibility that involved, I had the pleasure of doing so one afternoon this past week. With Patricia Heaton keeping me company, boy, did my afternoon of household tasks fly by!

Her candor and straightforward approach to things that some might try to hide (such as her childhood bedwetting, college- and post-college drinking, plastic surgery, etc.) made me respect her. I guess my sensibility must be a bit similar to hers because I was not put off by anything she revealed about herself or the humorous sarcasm she used at times.

Contrary to other reviewers' opinions listed here, I don't think that she was particularly negative about all of her "before-Raymond" jobs, her current success, or her husband & kids. She goes out of her way to say how GREAT her co-workers often were when the jobs were less than wonderful, and she does mention an acting co-star or two that touched her with how nice they were to an up-&-comer. She also easily acknowledges that she probably won't be so lucky with her next jobs after EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND eventually ends, and that such success is not a given. Finally, the loving way she talks about her husband and kids is touching, yet she still can talk to us the way she might to a close girlfriend who wants to "dish" about their home-lives. It's clear that she loves & treasures them, and she obviously wouldn't print anything that she didn't want any of them to read. After listening to her book, I think she'd gladly trade all of her success for her family in a minute, if she ever was forced to choose.

EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND is one of my favorite T.V. shows, and I bet the character Debra Barone might have a little of Patricia woven into her. However, after reading this book, I find Patricia to be far more fascinating of a wife/mother/person than Debra will probably ever be allowed to be (since the show is focused on Raymond & how he feels & interacts with his family).

I highly recommend that you read this book to get to know the real person behind the TV character.

3-0 out of 5 stars nice quick read
I love Patricia's character "Debra" on ELR. She's a wonderful actress who like may actors had to overcome many hurdles to make it. Let's face it.. the chances of making it in hollywood are slim. Parts of the book were funny like all the odd jobs she worked just to get by. I guess i related becuase I also made the mistake of working for my college cafeteria for one semester. When you need to survive, you would work anywhere!!

Besides random jobs, Patricia does go into many other parts of her life: Ohio, family, friends, etc. It was a nice quick read! I saw some reviews which accused her of being "whiney" and "ungrateful." Come on now! she had a hard time getting here...Why glorify the dead-end jobs? Also, why does she need to thank Ray Romano all the time???? This is a story about her, not a story of how great Ray is!

Anyways, i bought this book to learn more about Patricia Heaton; however, I think i only got a 5,000 foot view of who she is. I know she wrote an number of memoirs and put them together to produce this book, but I wish there was more! How did she get on ELR and other roles? Any roles which she was rejected from? How did it affect her? What happened in the first marriage? How was her emotional state during all this? What about her new production company?

Maybe i'm asking for toooooo much? I recently read the book by lance armstrong... which i thought was amazing. I guess I was hoping Patricia's book would be similar knowing that she struggled quite a bit.

All in all, if you're patricia heaton fan, you will love this book no matter what. She can do no wrong in many people's minds. Personally, as an avid reader, I thought the book was lite reading. Something that you would read once (maybe twice) and pass on. I still have tremendous respect for her as an actress and would love to see Patricia act in other shows/movies. If not, maybe when ELR ends, she'll have more time and write a second book that would put this one to shame.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fun and positive read!
What a wonderful book Ms. Heaton has put together. I have just re-read it and I enjoyed it even more the 2nd time. Gee- no trash, no dark passages about her life. It was fun, positive and strong. I don't have a lot of respect for Hollywood "people" but she has shown us that a normal person can make it in Hollywood. What makes it even more refreshing is that she has values and is not concerned about sharing them. It also made me yearn for those childhood days when we could just play all day and not worry about everyone being a potential weirdo. Something our kids will never get to experience. Thank you for a great book Patricia!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun, Nostalgic, and Tells It Like It Is
I loved this book! I didn't think the author was whining at all. I think she was just having fun writing about the private school demands. Since I used to teach in a private school, I knew where she was coming from. I could see how how much the parents were always being asked to contribute, whether it be in time or money. I also loved the emphasis she puts on families, with all the ups, downs, laughs and tears that any family has. I finished the book a few days ago, but I still catch myself thinking about my own childhood. Just like she did,we spent most of our time "playing" with friends, coming in only when it was time for dinner. Sitting in front of TV just wasn't done.
As far as the downside to success, I think we all see that every week standing in front of the tabloids while waiting to checkout at the grocery store. She wasn't whining--she was just being truthful. I would recommend this book to those who don't take everything so personally and seriously. Just enjoy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars What a hoot!
As a person who is familiar with Cleveland, Ohio, it was a riot to read Patricia Heaton's memoir. She's quick and witty. I couldn't put it down and found myself laughing a lot. So much so, that other people in the room had to ask me what was so funny. If you are a mother, too, this book is a perfect read for her honesty and "helpful" advice! ... Read more


9. Climbing Higher
by Montel Williams, Lawrence Grobel
list price: $25.95
our price: $17.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451211596
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: New American Library
Sales Rank: 14106
Average Customer Review: 4.08 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Television icon, New York Times bestselling author-and powerful example of the strength to overcome obstacles-Montel Williams reveals his true story of struggle and triumph in this compelling memoir that proves not only a fascinating read, but an inspiration.

In 1999, after almost twenty years of mysterious symptoms that he tried to ignore, Montel Williams, a decorated former Naval intelligence officer and Emmy(r) Award-winning talk show host, was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Like others suffering from the devastating and often disabling disease, which attacks the central nervous system, Montel was first struck with denial, fear, depression, and anger. Next came the emotional trial of informing friends and family, and finally going public with the news. What followed was a fierce determination not to be beaten down by MS, and to live the most vital and productive life possible while becoming a dedicated spokesperson and fundraiser for the disease.

Montel Williams's Climbing Higher is a penetrating and insightful look at a remarkable man, his extraordinary career, and the illuminating life that graced him with strong values, courage, and wisdom. Now he shares that wisdom in this uplifting book on the divergent roads a life can take, and recounts his own resourceful approach to the challenges he has faced. Deeply personal, Climbing Higher is as straight-forward, honest, inspiring, and motivating as its author.
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Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Example
Montel Williams is a successful talk show host in which he discusses serious topics such as devastating physical diseases, criminal behavior, and many other life problems with his guests. He recently wrote a book, Climbing Higher, in which he tells all of his readers that he has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He talks about his struggles with the disease and how he overcame them.

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease that causes demyelination in the brain. The myelin is a covering or insulation of the nerves. It helps transmit action potentials, which are the electrical impulses that the nerves use to communicate with each other. When the myelin is damaged do to MS severe pain and other unwanted symptoms can result.

In his book, Montel talks about how he has dealt with his pain. He had the option to have any pain medication he wanted, but he did not want to become addicted to drugs such as oxycontin or morphine. Instead, he chose to use medicinal marijuana. He feels that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes only. Through his treatment with marijuana he has been able to cope with the pain and continue to go to work and make a difference in peoples' lives.

This book is well written, and Montel is open and honest with the emotional roller coaster he has taken when dealing with his disease. It is an inspirational book for those who have struggled in any area of life, especially those who have Multiple Sclerosis. It is a treat to see a celebrity humble himself or herself, becoming vulnerable in the process, to his fans and peers. I recommend this book to all people, and if a person gets a percentage of the satisfaction and joy out of reading this book, then he or she will have gotten his or her money's worth.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I was recently diagnosed with MS, and have been wanting to find more information about the disease, and as Montel states, it is hard to find any type of concensus on this disease. His roundtable discussion at the end of the book was a stroke of genius, and I found it very informative.

Most of the book was great, and it made the best arguement for legalization of medical marijuana research that I have ever heard. Also, I happen to live in Utah, and I have had a great experience with my neurologist. Just wanted to let everyone know that not all Utah doctors are like the one that he had to deal with.

Overall, this is a great book. Another book I would recommend is Lance Armstrongs "It's Not About the Bike". Montel made me feel better because I could relate to his symptoms and feelings, however Lance's book is a great story of fighting for life, despite increadible odds. They are both great books that help people understand what it means to fight to overcome life threatening and/or debilitating diseases.

3-0 out of 5 stars The..
I am not a fan of Montell at all, and I don't watch his show. I don't know what made me pick this book, but I'm glad I read it. The book was not what I expected at all. I had never heard of MS prior to reading this book. It was short and to the point. He makes some compelling arguments for the legalization of marijuana and the benefits and disadvantages of some other drugs. I felt his pain as I read the book. I felt every spasm, frustration, and fatigue episode. This will be a helpful read for MS sufferers. I hope a cure is found soon. I also hope that those who do not have MS will pick up the book and understand not just the nature of the ailment, but also those who live with it daily.

3-0 out of 5 stars Research...........Accuracy.........but a fairly good read.
No one can deny the ravages of MS. My oldest daughter has MS. No one can deny Montel Williams success in life. He's earned it.

What made this book lack a bit of credibility was the lack of research and accuracy when describing weapons and military service branches. Possibly this is due to poor quality control as I'm sure Mr. Williams was a decorated veteran (many of us were).

My observations are based on a 22 year Marine Corps career and 8 years as a peace officer.

First off, I thought Montel was a Naval Intelligence Officer. How could he have a "doctor in 'the marines'"? What are 'the marines'? Does he mean the Marine Corps? There is NO such thing as a Marine Corps doctor. There ARE Navy Corpsmen who are assigned to the Marine Corps during deployments and combat operations. They are NOT doctors though they do a tremendous job and are HIGHLY under rated.

As to weapons:

What is a Sigsaur??? Does he mean a Sig Saur?
What's a 'cylinder gun'? Does he mean a Revolver?
What's a clip? Does he mean a magazine?

He states he has a 'lot of guns'. Nine is not a 'lot'.
He says the guns are 'All registered' 'All legal' In what context does he say that? Guns don't have to be 'registered' to be legal unless you live in an area where the basic Constitutional Rights are denied.

He mentions a "big semiautomatic 'handgun'". What's a 'handgun'? ALL personal firearms are handled with the 'hands'. Some are 'shoulder weapons' and some are 'sidearms' but ALL are 'handguns' if held with the hands.

Montel says that his 'big semiautomatic handgun' had so much kick that he was "afraid when I pulled the trigger it would slip from my hand and wouldn't make a big enough hole". Sorry, Montel, with the weapon so close to your body, you wouldn't have to worry about slippage OR making a 'big enough hole'. If Montel were any way at all AFRAID of his weapons, he shouldn't have them. Respect is another thing altogether. If he had RESPECT for his weapons, he wouldn't be thinking of using one in a suicide anyway, depressed or not.

Hydroshock rounds? Standard 'ball' would have done the same job and been neater.

Speed loaders?? How many 'speed loaders' does he think he would need if he used a .357 magnum? Why speed loaders in the first place? Was he in a hurry to load the weapon? He only needed ONE round to do the deed.

What WAS Montel anyway, A NAVAL Intelligence Officer OR a United States Marine. To clearify an important matter. The Marine Corps is NOT a part of the Navy. The Marine Corps and the Navy are SISTER services, both serving within the Naval Department.

Over all, when I read this book, I felt very sad. Not so much that a former professional military officer had such a lack of knowledge of weaponry. If Montel HAD been in the Marine Corps, I doubt his knowledge of weapons would have been so vague. The sadness was that a potentially good read was made less so by a lack of attention to detail and proof reading.

That's NOT to say that his strength and ability to overcome his MS isn't to be admired. My daughter has overcome her own MS (severe) and is a fighter from the word go. Congratulations to Montel on his victory.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good information!
I was diagnosed with MS 22 years ago. Thank goodness I wasn't hit hard in the beginning and was able to go on with life to achieve many of my goals. Over the last few years, the MS has gotten worse but I still get out of bed and go to work each morning. I totally understood most of what Montel said in his book, such things as muscle spasms, not wanting the public to know about the MS, etc. Although I have finished this book, I plan to go back through and highlight several sections. This book will remain close at hand for years to come. ... Read more


10. The Pythons
by Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Bob McCabe
list price: $60.00
our price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312311443
Catlog: Book (2003-10-07)
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Sales Rank: 7789
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Python fans will need to clear a large space on their bookshelf or coffee table for The Pythons--a big, vital autobiography of the comedy troupe. This is an oral history by the six members (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin) from birth to--in the case of Chapman--death. We get reminisces about childhood, university days, early successes, and rich details about the landmark Flying Circus TV series and subsequent films. The voices are fresh (with expectation of Michael Palin's insightful diary entries), not just complied from earlier publications. "Due to his insistence of being inconveniently dead," Chapham's voice is heard through his longtime partner David Sherlock, his brother and sister-in-law (and some archival materials). As a whole, the six impart a refreshing ability to deal honestly with the frustrations that arose over the years and it comes out in the text even when events are recalled differently. The book is not a light read (figuratively and literally), perhaps a smaller size would have been better for the amount of text; a cursory glance at the coffee table is tough. What does fill the book is an abundance of photos (over 1,000), most never published and many from the troupe's private collections. Along with concept sketches, Gilliam's drawings and doodles, and a few correspondences, this is a keepsake memento of the legendary group. --Doug Thomas ... Read more

Reviews (20)

3-0 out of 5 stars And Now For Something Completely Distant
From the overlong pre-Python segments (yes, we get it - some of them worked for David Frost) to the glossing over of Season Three (blink and you'll miss it) to the chronology-free pictures (look for pictures from Season Four routinely rubbing shoulders with pictures from Season One for no narrative reason)... this book is a delightful first draft. I look forward to the final version.

Following the arc of these six comedic heroes as they go from ballsy, non-conformist artists to men who argue like they are stuck in the Argument Clinic itself makes "The Pythons" a depressing read. It certainly needs a better ending than Eric Idle's terse "we'll never do anything again" - a fact that probably dawned on the rest of us after the (relatively) disjointed "Meaning of Life."

On the whole, the boys are just as you expect them to be. Terry Jones, the workaholic. Mike Palin, the nice guy. Terry Gilliam, the American. Eric Idle, the cunning linguist. John Cleese, the Tall One. Graham Chapman, the dead one. There aren't many revelations along the way, though a few interesting stories emerge from the group's earlier days. And some of the pictures - especially when they are relevant to the adjoining text - are absolutely delightful.

For those interested in the group's work and not how much Graham Chapman drank, a subject discussed more than any aspect of, say, creating an innovative televsion show, the lighter and more concise "Monty Python Speaks" is recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The last word on Python
I was excited to read this book. After enough books had been written based on excerpts from obviously longer interviews, I was ready to read the definitive word on Monty Python and I was not disappointed with The Pythons.

True, they may not describe the writing of every sketch, but that would make the book impenetrable and probably triple the length. This is an examination of the group as a whole and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I thought I knew my Python history but it was nice to finally see how things fell into context, particularly the troupe's early, pre-Python work as well as some of the fine details of the making of the records and books, which have gotten short shrift in other books.

It's not always an easy read, which almost goes without saying. Some lasting enmities come out in the interviews and they can be discomforting to read. However, it goes without saying that without that if they had been removed, the book would have been lacking.

If I have any criticisms of the book, it would be some of the layout choices. Like many similar books, the designers went a little overboard in some of their color schemes, using dark colors behind black text or complicated background that distract the eye from what you're reading, both very distracting.

But that's a relatively minor quibble for what is, essentially, the final word on most (if not all) things Python. It's well worth the wait, the weight and the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the GOOD books on Python!
At this point, there have been many, many tomes written on the now-legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python. The best of them are: George Melly's "The Life of Python" (one of the few written before member Graham Chapman's death); Kim Howard Johnson's two titles, "First 20 Years of Monty Python" and "Life Before and After Monty Python"; and David Morgan's "Monty Python Speaks." This 16 ton autobiography is quite good but, if you've read any or all of the aforementioned books, there will be far fewer suprises here. The way in which this book stands out from the rest is the increased detail of many of the oft-told tales and a handful of newer (if somewhat trivial) revelations. The larger reveals seem to take place during their individual childhoods and events which took place near the end of their partnership, with much detail given involving the writing of "Meaning of Life" and the proposed '90s reunion which never materialized. Also welcome are the comments of Chapman's brother John who provides a new perspective on the most conflicted Python. If you do not own or have never read any of the other finer titles, this could very well be considered the one stop shop for all Monty knowledge. There is NO editorializing in this book, simply anecdote after anecdote from those involved. This, and the other titles, are probably of most interest to those interested in the art of comedy writing in that they are largely accounts of the creation of the material and group dynamic. A great book!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Pythons
Santa's sled has pulled in early this year and left every naughty and nice boy and girl the definitive story of the preeminent English comedy consortium of our day, Monty Python. The surviving members of the group-John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin-collaborate with noted film critic Bob McCabe (Dark Knights and Holy Fools: The Art and Films of Terry Gilliam) to tell the Python story in this magnum opus of previously unpublished diary entries, interviews, and a sumptuous photographic buffet of more than 1000 images and illustrations. Designed much like the Beatles Anthology, the text is divided into seven sections that detail the Pythons, their biographies, life before their union, Monty Python's Flying Circus, the Python films, Graham Chapman's death, and their subsequent individual projects. Pythonophiles have been blessed with numerous celebratory texts, notably Kim Johnson's troika (now all o.p.), but this glorious offering is the bible, the last word, and, yes-the full Monty. One of this season's best offerings; a pox on every library that doesn't acquire it

5-0 out of 5 stars After a short time with this tome...
...I can already tell you it's amazing and worth every penny.

As a lifelong fan of Python, I know the skits, have read the scripts, seen the flicks, watched the specials.

But this book brings so much never-before-seen, heard, or read information that any true fan of the boys will practically cry with happiness.

However, as another reviewer said, this is NOT a "Monty Python Book" per se, full of skits or songs. It's a book about the boys: growing up, meeting each other, and being Python.

But this doesn't mean it's not highly entertaining! Just the jacket notes had me laughing out loud. There are plenty of serious moments but they are rendered with the remarkable wit of very funny people. Even the sort of bits that should be dull in a biography are worthwhile and interesting. ... Read more


11. The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey: A Portrait in Her Own Words
by Oprah Winfrey, Bill Adler
list price: $14.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559724196
Catlog: Book (1997-01-01)
Publisher: International Thomson Publishing
Sales Rank: 53322
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Words more important than packager
You can get lost in the fact that this is a collection of quotes by Oprah and not thoughts written by Oprah exclusively for this book.
Or you could be smart and glean wisdom from what she has to say.
How she grew up, what she learned from her errors, what she thinks of money and herself in relationship to it, the mental preparation to receive the abundance that she has and how she stays centered.

What I think thsi book is valuable for is insight, and perhaps personal inspiration for how to manage one's self in certain situations. The goal is not to become Oprah, it is to become the best YOU possible.

You take or you leave it, but you integrate it into the lessons and challenges of your own life. The same with John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Jenny Jones (hahhahahaha----kidding).

3-0 out of 5 stars A chronology of quotations
While this is a very interesting and well researched book on Oprah, keep in mind that it is an unauthorized biography. This book is basically a chronology of Oprah's life, and Adler does a decent job of stringing her quotes into a coherent history. A nice bonus is the section of short quotes on a wide variety of subjects. If you love Oprah, you'll probably love this book!

1-0 out of 5 stars An unauthorized book of Oprah Winfrey quotes.
Bill Adler has taken past interviews, articles, and speeches of Oprah Winfrey and complied _his list_ of her best quotations. It's an unauthorized book - meaning Oprah didn't write it nor was she involved in the production. Some quotations show the source of information with a date and some don't -- which makes it a bit disappointing not to have the history or context pertaining to the quote. If you have an extensive Oprah collection, you'll want this book just to say you have everything, otherwise there are many other good Oprah biographies available. ... Read more


12. IM ON MY WAY BUT YOUR FOOT IS ON MY HEAD: A Black Woman's Story of Getting Over Life's Hurdles
by Bertice Berry
list price: $11.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684831406
Catlog: Book (1997-07-09)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 373246
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars inspirational
This is the best book I've read this year. Dr. Berry gave a real insight to the 'black experience' . I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at a conference a couple of days ago and she is one of the most marvelous people that I have heard. Her words go far beyond that of John Grisham, or Stephen King. She is truly an inspirational person. I can't wait to read her other books ... Read more


13. The Barry Diller Story : The Life and Times of America's Greatest Entertainment Mogul
by GeorgeMair
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471299480
Catlog: Book (1998-04-24)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 482069
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The meteoric rise of "Killer Diller"

Barry Diller has been a major player in the entertainment industry for more than thirty years. Always on the cutting edge, he revolutionized television with such groundbreaking concepts as the movie-of-the-week and the miniseries. He greenlighted the megahits Raiders of the Lost Ark, 48 Hours, and Terms of Endearment. Now, industry insider George Mair takes you behind the scenes for a perceptive, penetrating, and completely captivating look at both the public persona and the private life of a legendary media mogul. Learn the truth about:

  • The critical acclaim—and the controversy—behind The Simpsons and Married . . . With Children
  • The abortive CBS-QVC merger: what went wrong and why
  • Hardball and heartbreak on The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers
  • Wheeling and dealing with Hollywood heavyhitters Rupert Murdoch, Sumner Redstone, Marvin Davis, Michael Eisner, and many, many more!

"He taught movie executives to put some passion into their jobs. The business is a better place because of Barry."—the late Dawn Steel studio head and onetime Barry Diller protégé at Paramount

"He really is the brightest of the bunch." —Julia Phillips Academy Award(r)-winning producer bestselling author of You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ok for a Business History
Ok, for a business history of mergers, deals, movies, cable channels and so forth. It does give some glimpse into Diller's Jewish background and childhood, as well as, the vulgar and occasionally violent way he assaults his employees. However, it barely mentions his co-leadership of the notorious Velvet Mafia. Biographers of David Geffen, the long-time "associate" of Diller, are more forthcoming. Stephen Singular in "The Rise and Rise of David Geffen" discusses the Velvet Mafia and its bisexual media mogul leaders including Diller and Geffen. Tom King's "The Operator" flatly states the gay preference of Barry Diller. George Mair's book is well worth reading as is his biography of Si Newhouse, "Newhouse." ... Read more


14. This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV
by Bob Schieffer
list price: $26.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399149716
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 82357
Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Bob Schieffer's own words, from the JFK assassination to the World Trade Center attacks, "I got to see most of it and came to know many of the major figures of those four decades because I am a reporter. I became a reporter because I always wanted to see things for myself and make my own judgments about them. Those events I covered have become part of our history and you already know most of them. But I want to tell you about the parts that didn't get on television or in the paper, the serious parts and the not-so-serious parts, the good times I had, and the presidents, senators, correspondents, big-time crooks, and small-time swindlers I came to know. Here are the stories I tell my friends, and they are the stories I want to share with you."

Schieffer is not only broadcast journalism's most experienced Washington reporter, but one of its best natural writers. This Just In is filled with great behind-the-scenes tales and surprising scoops based on dozens of brand-new-and sometimes startling-interviews. Smart, witty, and insightful, these are the stories you'll want to share with your friends.
... Read more

Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Personal Historical Memoir
I would not have thought to pick up this book, except that, by serendipity, I heard parts of it on Radio Reader as I was driving to work for several mornings, and by further serendipity, I heard the author talking about my late aunt, whom I never knew very well, and who, as it turns out, was a noted eccentric among the White House press corps.

So, I bought the book. And I'm very glad I did. The story begins with Bob Schieffer's baby steps in journalism, his experiences during the the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the civil rights struggles of the 60s, his changing perceptions of the war in Viet Nam, his personal experience of growth and change in the news business and in American governance, then Watergate, and finally, the events of September 11.

Although I learned nothing dramatically new (except the story of my eccentric aunt), I did enjoy seeing familiar events through the eyes of one very astute and well-informed observer. Author Bob Schieffer writes in an easy, flowing style, as though he is talking to the reader personally. He conveys a great sense of warmth and compassion as he talks about figures who are, to most of us, the great and near great. He does not hesitate to poke fun at himself or to share his foibles and failures. He comes across as a really nice person who just happens to have first-hand experience of the great events of the last forty years. The book moves along quickly, reads easily, and leaves you wanting more.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to read this book, and I highly recommend it to others. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice guy- great journalist- Imus friend
It is -25 degrees here in New Hampshire-so this is a good time to read...Bob Schieffer is a nice guy, great journalist- knows his stuff-friend of Imus, and he tells his story with the best of them. He starts out with his life in Texas, and a few stories of LBJ and then moves on to the rest of the story. He talks about his life, his profession and the people he has met. He has been in the right place at the right time. His book tour revealed all of the stories he has to tell that reflect upon his long career and his climb up the journalism ladder. He interjects personal stories, and comes across as the person he appears to be. A life well led. prisrob

3-0 out of 5 stars This Just in is a Just a Good Account of a Reporter's Life
Bob Schieffer is a native of Fort Worth Texas, the host of Face the Nation and a season veteran reporter. In over 40 years the Texan has covered racial conflict in the South, the Vietnam War, several presidential campaigns and the horror of 9-11.
Schieffer begins his fine book with the story of how he picked up Lee Harvey Oswald's mother on the way to the police station on that horrific November day in Dallas. Schieffer recounts his slow rise from a local Ft. Worth Station to a newspaper and local TV to the major leagues at CBS.
Bob's book is filled with humorous anecdotes of his many jaunts in the presidential plane, intimate glimpses behind the scenes at CBS and his views of the men who have occupied the Oval Office.
I have always been a fan of CBS News the "Tiffany Network"
and Bob Schieffer in his warm writing style is like listening to an old pro give us the inside scoops on the biggest stories of our lifetimes.
The life of a national reporter like Schieffer is no bed of roses. Constant commuting from Washington DC to New York; always on call with family needs placed on the sidelines and the in fighting of who gets the anchor and other good assignments in the studio all make for a good read.
I found this book along with Tim Russert's excellent new book two delightful tomes to while away a summer day.
This is a good book by a well respected, beloved and great
newsman. We appreciate Bob Schieffer and thank him for his book!

3-0 out of 5 stars His story, not history, is what he couldn't tell you....
The title alludes to all kinds of 'secrets' to be told, and at a time when the debate over journalism itself is as much the topic of controversy, you would expect views and opinions relating to this as well as events throughout history. He covers historical events, but only as they effect him and his career. I would say there is a fair balance of insights on the news, and insights on himself. I kept waiting for something new on events of the past, but for the most part it was the same old stuff rehashed. This is due mainly because a lot of the story is about how he had been somewhere else as big news was taking place. You can't be everywhere at once, but he was rarely 'in the thick of things', and most of the 'inside' stuff was about the history makers he knew on a 'personal' level, though you get the impression it wasn't as personal as he makes it out to be.

I stopped looking for deep secrets when he referred to Al Gore's irrelevant statement about the Internet as 'a tall tale'. Anyone that doesn't take the media for granted and actually investigates this statement in context can see he doesn't think he 'invented' the Internet. The fact that Bob would make such a statement illustrates why his career took the course it did, and puts all the excuses throughout the book in their true light.

Still, if you want to know about the man, the book is very informative.

4-0 out of 5 stars Like spending an evening listening and learning
From start to finish, Bob Schieffer, in his gentle way, sits us down and tells us what it was like over the last 40 plus years. From his early days as a Texas newspaperman finding himself in the company of Mrs. Oswald the day Kennedy was shot, to being sent to cover the war in Vietnam, then finally joining CBS TV and covering all aspects of Washingon from Watergate through the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, he was there and his reportage then and his insight now gives us a greater understanding of what has been going on in the world over these four decades. His plum assignments at CBS kept him at the center of action: covering the presidential campaigns, the White House, the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, even the war in the Falkland Islands, and now continuing his moderating chores on Face The Nation which he began in 1991. The subtitle of this book is "What I Couldn't Tell You On TV," and he keeps that promise with many anecdotes that haven't been widely reported before this book. He also describes the movers and shakers of the U.S. during this period. He got to meet and know them all and he shares his thoughts on such as Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Ford, Laird, Cronkite, Rather, the list goes on and on, even includes Agnew. His take on the changes that have infuenced political races, the Congress, and network TV, and what happened when CBS TV and everybody else blew it on election night 2000 makes for fascinating reading and gourmet food for thought. Throughout the book he gives us stories of his personal life and glimpses of his day-to-day working routines to give us a feel of what it is like to be a reporter at the center of activity. This is a fine book. On a few occasions he breaks from his chronological telling of the story, and I found that momentarily confusing. And a few more dates sprinkled in would have been helpful. But, I'm ready to sit down again and hear more of the adventures in journalism from this gentleman and scholar. ... Read more


15. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind : An Unauthorized Autobiography
by Chuck Barris
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786888083
Catlog: Book (2002-11-27)
Publisher: Miramax Books
Sales Rank: 14931
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

AN OUTRAGEOUS AUTOBIOGRAPHY PUBLISHED TO COINCIDE WITH THE MIRAMAX FILM STARRING DREW BARRYMORE, GEORGE CLOONY, AND SAM ROCKWELL, DIRECTED BY GEORGE CLOONY

Suspense, excess, danger and exuberant fun come together in Chuck Barris' unlikely autobiography -- the tale of a wildly flamboyant 1970s television producer, better known as the infamous host of The Gong Show. What most people don't know is that Barris allegedly spent close to two decades as a decorated covert assassin for the CIA.

Barris, who achieved tremendous success as the creator and producer of hit TV game shows such as The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, claims to have joined the CIA as an agent in the early 1960s, infiltrated the Civil Rights movement, met with militant Muslims in Harlem, and traveled abroad in order to kill enemies of the United States.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is now a movie directed by and starring George Clooney, with Sam Rockwell as the author, but the original story is wild and gripping, spiced with intrigue, sex, bad behavior and plenty of great one-liners. It is destined to become a classic. ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Who Cares About Whether It's All True?
We can spend a lot of time arguing about whether or not the CIA ever hired Chuck Barris to kills Soviet Spies throughout the world. We will probably never know the truth and maybe it's best we never find out.

Still, there are a few facts about this book that you can't argue. First off, Chuck Barris is a very funny person. If you don't find yourself rolling with laughter at a few passages in this book then you have no sense of humor. Even if you thought the Dating Game and the Newlywed Game were affronts to civil behavior, you will laugh at some of his recollections about those shows. The same is true for some of his memories about the Gong Show.

Another fact about this book is that Barris is very self-centered and narcisstic at times. For that reason, you might come away after the reading this book with a negative opinion about Chuck Barris the person. Still, you will do so with some fun because he can spin quite a yarn. Even if you don't believe any of his CIA stories, you will enjoy reading about them. You might think Barris is either a jerk, a liar, or similar to the people you knew in college, but you will still have fun reading this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars A fun read despite some hard to believe stories
I have a confession to make: I've never seen "The Gong Show," not even one episode. I'm aware of the basic premise and I know (being somewhat odd myself) that this odd little show would be one I would like, but I've just never seen an episode, not even on Nick at Nite. That show, of course, is Chuck Barris's claim to fame. That could change very soon, however, when George Clooney's new movie "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" hits a theater near you. It is a movie based on Barris's "unauthorized autobiography," where he relates tales of being a hit on television and being a hit (man) for the CIA. Chuck Barris, you see, is not only the creator of "The Dating Game," "The Newlywed Game," and "The Gong Show" --- he spent nearly two decades as a decorated covert assassin for the CIA. CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND is his story.

The book itself is a bit weird (much like a slew of the contestants on his game shows), but he makes it interesting with his spicy writing style, his candor and his filthy mouth because, boy, Chuck Barris can swear like a sailor! It starts innocently enough with him discussing aging as an old television superstar and then quickly moves into killing people --- bad guys like Mario Moretti and Salvador Panagra Renda. CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND makes for a somewhat intriguing read, as Barris alternates between discussing his game shows and his travels overseas to kill various criminals. It is filled with some fun and some double-crossing and some sex and some shootings (sounds like a good movie!).

"Brazioni's shoulders were hunched together. He was shooting from the hip. Soledad's right arm was fully extended, unloading his gun at point-blank range, the end of the barrel just inches away from Renda's face. All I heard were little popping sounds. Renda slumped to the back of the bench, his head flopping to the side. Someone screamed." Barris's writing is quick, succinct and to the point. As you're reading it, you can imagine Barris telling the story to you face to face in conversation, perhaps over a couple of martinis at a late night party catered with little quiches and shrimp cocktails. For that, the book makes its mark.

But, just as successful as he is in telling his life story, you can't help but think, particularly with a subtitle like "unauthorized autobiography," that it's a bunch of bunk. It would be fun to think that a game show host could also be an assassin (can you imagine the patriot Bob Barker knocking someone off with a .22-caliber automatic with silencer)? But at the same time, can we believe that a game show host COULD be an assassin? It's a stretch. Also, he writes the details of the murders, the spy games and the double-crosses in a very cool and matter-of-fact way. Wouldn't the CIA not want people to know the kind of information that he's giving freely to whoever picks up his book (or, in the coming months, to whoever goes to the movies)?

Overall it is a fun diversionary read, but after finishing it, you feel a little duped (like Dorothy felt when she realized the Wizard of Oz was just a smart guy behind a curtain) and a little put on, like perhaps someone should have gonged Chuck Barris when he started talking about his whirlwind adventures of killing enemies of the state. Can it be true?

--- Reviewed by Jonathan Shipley

4-0 out of 5 stars Hmm...well, I don't think I believe him, but who cares?
It's a good read anyway. The movie is quite good too, although both versions of the tale - both Barris's own memoirs and the film adaptation - contain some narrative flaws that more picky readers/viewers might not fall for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly entertaining and unbelievable reading
Chuck Barris - the guy responsilbe for producing tv shows such as The Gong Show, Newlywed Game, Dating Game and others tells all in this fast paced thriller. The way Barris writes is similar to some of the old hard boiled detective novels of years gone by. He writes from a first person view and takes you down the road of his strange and fascinating life. While it is odd to think of Chuck Barris as fascinating instead of just plain weird, the life he unfolds will astound you. It will also have you scratching your head about the authenticity of his story. But it is so outrageous that it has to be true. Chuck Barris - out of work bum, video producer, CIA agent, hitman. Yes, you heard correctly. Mr. Barris was once a bonefide hitman for the CIA. He tells his story with great detail, emotion and honesty. (He continually lied to a CIA recruiter to get hired) Eventhough he was at the zenith of pop television culture, Barris tells of the turmoil in his life and the strange worlds he had to step back and forth from to make a living. I really enjoyed the whole book. It not only tells of an off the wall guy who made it big in television production, but it is a good story about life and how unusual it can be. I wished that the book were longer because it was such a fun read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The literary version of the Urban Myth?
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is the unauthorized autobiography of Chuck Barris. Mr. Barris is probably best known as the creator of several popular games shows including the Dating Game, the Newlywed Game and the Gong Show. In this autobiography he also makes the claim that he was one of the CIA's most successful assassins. Although his claim is highly dubious, Mr. Barris has a knack for spinning it into one hell of a story.

In the first chapter we are introduced to the 1980 version of Chuck Barris playing the role of the reclusive and paranoid millionaire. A burnt out, former international celebrity best know for serving up some of the schlockiest television shows in the pre-reality television era.

Chuck, plagued by nightmares and consumed by his phobias, attempts to exorcise his demons by authoring the book "Confession of a Dangerous Mind" which he refers to an "act of catharsis". However, before he can finish this story and free himself he must complete the now all too cliché "final mission" for the CIA. As formulaic as this premise may sound I can guarantee that Chuck has you completely snared by the end of the first chapter.

Chuck tells the tale of himself as the proverbial young man down on his luck trying to find his place in the world. He is unable to hold a job, or maintain a stable relationship when he answers a newspaper ad that reads: "COLLEGE GRADUATE: FREE TO TRAVEL". As difficult as this is to believe, he is promptly recruited into the CIA and embarks on his new career as an international assassin. As luck would have it, he simultaneously creates several hit television shows and becomes one of the most successful producers in television for more than a decade. Through out the book the author struggles to intertwine the two disparate careers.

Ok, I know this sounds like the plot for a B movie but surprisingly the story actually works. Mr. Barris is effective because he plays upon the fantasies of our culture. Aren't we all longing for a life-changing event that sweeps us away from our mundane existence into a titillating new life? Isn't that the reason we go to the movies or read books, in order to escape the routine for a few hours? I resisted reading this book because I thought it would be too farfetched and the spy plot would be too distracting but. However I found the blend of fiction and non-fiction to be both audacious and compelling. Even if you unable reconcile the fictional aspects from the "true" anecdotes, this tale remains an insightful and entertaining glance into the mind of a creative yet disturbed man.

Chuck Barris has often been criticized for the quality of the body of work he has created, but you do have to give Chuck some credit. He knows what the masses want and he consistently delivers it and this book is no exception.

My rating: I gave it 5 stars just because I had a great time reading this book on the train into work every morning for a week, which does not happen that frequently.

By the way, I hate this "out of 5 stars" thing. It doesn't really tell me anything. So I will just rate this book a 270 out of a possible 538 Electoral College votes. My reasoning is that this book is would be good enough to elect for as Leader of the Free World for 4 years but it probably won't change the way you live your life. ... Read more


16. Gasping for Airtime : Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live
by Jay Mohr
list price: $23.95
our price: $16.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1401300065
Catlog: Book (2004-06-09)
Publisher: Hyperion
Sales Rank: 10189
Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A hilarious look at what life was really like inside Saturday Night Live.

A dishy and often surprising memoir of Saturday Night Live by former cast member Jay Mohr.

When 21-year-old Jay Mohr moved from New Jersey to New York City to pursue his dream of stand-up stardom, he never thought the first real job he'd land would be on Saturday Night Live. But, surprisingly, that's just what he did. What followed were two unbelievable, grueling, and exciting years of feverishly keeping pace with his talented cohorts, outmaneuvering the notorious vices that claimed the lives of other cast members, and struggling at all costs for the holy grail of late-night show business: airtime.

In Gasping for Airtime, Jay offers an intimate account of the inner workings of Saturday Night Live. He also dishes on the guest hosts (John Travolta, Shannen Doherty, Charles Barkley), the musical guests (Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, Eric Clapton), and of course his SNL castmates (Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and David Spade). Refreshingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny, this book will appeal both to fans of Jay Mohr and to devotees of Saturday Night Live.

In a truly inside story of this counterculture institution, you get the scoop on:

Makeup
--Jeff Daniels has part of his face ripped off when his prosthetic is superglued to his cheeks.

Working with Roseanne Barr
--Roseanne Barr refuses to stop burping during a writers' meeting.

Humoring the Hosts
--John Travolta pitches the cast a few of his ideas for sketches -- such as playing a private detective who is a Hasidic Jew.

Shootin' the Bull
--Adam Sandler tells the story of when Mr. Belvedere sat on his balls.

Panic
--Jay has a panic attack and runs 40 blocks home -- in the middle of a show.

Rock Star Vanity
--Steven Tyler carries a woman's makeup mirror in his belt to check his look after each song, while TLC arrives with an entourage of 40 people, including one person whose job is to constantly adjust the knots on the sweatshirts tied around their waists.

Food for Thought
--Rob Schneider uses a jeweler's loupe to examine his sushi for worms; Norm MacDonald relates his bout with food poisoning from a suspicious avocado; and Jay and Michael McKean projectile vomit corn chowder that doubles as fake puke. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ok! Terrific!
This is a fantastic read!

Jay Mohr, as we all know, is a comedy god and this book is if anything too short. I wish (and hope) Jay writes a follow up to this book on the rest of career so far... O&A, Action, the movies he made etc.. He must have more stories.

It's written in a very loose conversational style.. You feel like Jay is just sitting down talking to you and man you cannot put it down.

If you are at all interested in SNL, Jay Mohr or panic disorders get this book. It's VERY funny.

The thing that's so disturbing about SNL is how insane the week is before the show. They have this ridiculous self imposed BS deadlines that seem to hamper creativity and increase tension. Maybe that's the way Lorne wants it?

Jay has some GREAT stories about Chris Farley.. Al Franken's temper and the other cast members at the time (like Sandler). There is this great story about him and the whole cast, Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger that is all at once scary, tense and funny.

Jay you are the man!.. and this book leaves me wanting more.

Great read!

4-0 out of 5 stars WaldenBooks Reader
Jay Mohr - One of the funniest comics of the early 90's and today. That's right! Jay Mohr is the guy that hosts Last Comic Standing. He was on Saturday Night Live! Yes, Jay was a great talent along with those other great comics: Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Tim Medows, Ellen Cleghorn and Rob Snider just to name a few. Gasping for Air time is his journey through the halls of the prestigious 30 Rockefeller Plaza. This book is one hilarious ride through the mind of Jay Mohr during his best and worst times as a comedian in the 90's. I've been a long time fan of the show since I saw Eddie Murphy play Mr. Robinson and this book was a must read for me. Plus I loved Jay Mohr on the show. That's right I actually remember him on the show. I have never seen a better Christopher Walken (an actor who I love) or Dick Vitale (I admit I didn't know who Dick was but loved the character. Then when I actually saw him on a sports news cast - I laughed out loud and thought that Jay had him down! He was a genius). And I will never forget Rock and Roll Real Estate the answer to that bugging question - Whatever happened to those Rockers of the 80's with the big Aqua Net Hair? During the time he was on the show, I never understood why he was used so infrequently. I found out why in the book. And let's just say that it is true what they say in life - it is who you know, or who knows you. Insightful, funny, laugh out loud - this book is a must for Jay Mohr fans (he is hard not to love), SNL fans and humorist the world over. It's a book of history and a comedic look into one of the funniest men in the business.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for it's nitch
With elements of "Dry" (Augusten Burroughs) and "My Fractured Life" (Rikki Travolta), "Gasping for Airtime" is a quirky disection of a small fraction of the lesser known years of a now known entertainer. If you like this nitch type writing, it's a good one.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE LAST COMIC STANDS UP FOR HIMSELF!!!
I never knew that Jay Mohr, the host of NBC's "The Last Comic Standing" was a performer on Saturday Night Live until I read this book. I had seen him play a jerk sports agent in the movie "Jerry McGuire" and I've also heard him on the Jim Rome Show, however.

This is an interesting read (a good but not great book) about the challenges he faced as a struggling comedian and writer trying to make it on Saturday Night Live. What is most interesting are the inside stories about other performers like Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Chris Farley, Norm McDonald, Mike Myers, and Phil Hartman. There are also some funny things about some of the guest hosts like Marisa Tomei, Rosanne Barr, Eric Clapton, and Christopher Walken to name a few.

What I never would have guessed is that Jay suffers from severe panic attacks. He has always seemed to be so totally in control of things and it makes him seem like a much more real person. To see how well he's done since the Saturday Night Live gig is a true success story.

For people who enjoy "The Last Comic Standing" or are "Jungle clones" from the Jim Rome Show, I think that you'll like this book and come away with a new found respect for this brilliant and dedicated entertainer.

Great job JJ!

5-0 out of 5 stars New York Life
Captivating look at show biz through the eyes of a successful actor back when he wasn't. In many ways very similar to Travolta's My Fractured Life although much more New York flavored. An excellent choice. ... Read more


17. My War
by Andrew A. Rooney, Andy Rooney
list price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1586481592
Catlog: Book (2002-11-05)
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Sales Rank: 87735
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The New York Times, USA Today, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller, now in paperback in time for the holidays.

My War is a blunt, funny, idiosyncratic account of Andy Rooney's World War II. As a young, naïve correspondent for The Stars and Stripes, Rooney flew bomber missions, arrived in France during the D-Day invasion, crossed the Rhine with the Allied forces, traveled to Paris for the Liberation, and was one of the first reporters into Buchenwald. Like so many of his generation, Rooney's life was changed forever by the war. He saw life at the extremes of human experience, and wrote about what he observed, making it real to millions of men and women. My War is the story of an inexperienced kid learning the craft of journalism. It is by turns moving, suspenseful, and reflective. And Rooney's unmistakable voice shines through on every page. ... Read more

Reviews (34)

4-0 out of 5 stars Andy¿s Account
I have long been an Andy Rooney fan and this was an interesting look at his war time experience. As others have said, Andy had a unique perspective in the Army by being assigned to the Stars and Stripes. His primary assignments were England covering the 8th Air force then Western Europe after the invasion. I find it strange that people would disparage him because he was "only" a reporter. The fact of the matter is that the majority of veterans, past and present, were/are rarely in harms way. Andy in no way embellishes his experience and pays due respect to those who fought and died in the war. His observations of the sometimes pettiness of military life ring true even to this 80s peace time vet.

Note this book does read more like a column or a series of essays and Andy is not afraid of blatantly revealing his own opinion. Keep it up Andy!

5-0 out of 5 stars An honest account of Andy's war....
If you enjoy Andy Rooney, you'll enjoy My War. Even if you don't care for grumpy Andy on Sixty Minutes, you still should read this account for its honesty and tribute to those who fought and died in WWII. In his preface, Andy notes that when he started checking his memory with the historical record, he was surprised at how often they didn't jibe. And that when in doubt, he relied on memory! A person who takes his World War II history seriously will find an error here and there, a misinterpretation now and then. But this is not footnoted history; this is Andy's story--and, as always, he tells it well with admirable brevity of words, dabs of humor, and occasional sentamentality.

Andy has his likes and dislikes--General Patton being one of those he disliked, no despised, the most--and he also snipes a bit at a few of his fellow war correspondents and some of the officers who made life difficult for the enlisted man. But three parts of his book stand out. For nearly two years Andy covered the Eight Air Force and their bombing campaign against Germany and German-occupied France. He is sympathethic to the airmen and the horrendous losses they suffered in those early years. To his credit, Andy volunteered for a mission that turned out to be a difficult target--Wilhelmshaven--in which his plane was damaged and of his own role in reviving a crewman who had had his oxygen supply cut off. As a former WWII AAF navigator [20th AF], his feelings and reactions to air combat ring true. A second section is his account of the liberation of Paris in which Andy chose to enter the city with the French Army. Much of this is mildy amusing, but also poignant, as the liberators argued over who "first" came into the city, of the political aspects of this in dealing with the French and General Charles de Gaulle, and the vast excitement as this momentous event unfolded. No matter who came first, the Parisiens were overjoyed at being at last freed from their oppressors. Finally, Andy's account of Buchenwald and of his own mixed feelings--he had originally thought the stories of extermination camps somewhat suspect--are a tribute to his own candor. He also reminds us with his honest account of own biases of the mindsets of many Americans when WWII descended.

Anyone interested in World War II and the men who fought in it will be enlightened by Andy's account.

4-0 out of 5 stars Better than expected...
Andy Rooney has never been more to me than the nagging, faintly humorous, mildly eccentric curmudgeon that caps each 60 Minutes program. I've seen his newspaper column, but never read it. Indeed, had I not seen this book at a closeout bookseller, I wouldn't own it. But, the bargain price and my interest in WWII convinced me to give it a chance. I'm glad I did.

An enlisted reporter for The Stars and Stripes during the war, Rooney flew missions over Germany, accompanied the allies shortly after D-Day, and continued reporting until victory. In the contemporary catalog of WWII books, his vantage point as a reporter is unique, insightful, and conducive to extended durations of page turning pleasure.

As the title announces, this isn't a book about "the" war. It's about "his" war, his experiences, his opinion. And, in a departure from his 60 Minutes routine, he manages to avoid complaints about matters of trifling importance. Perhaps, this is because there is little of trifling importance associated with WWII. Nevertheless, Rooney faithfully relates the awe of having witnessed, first-hand, an epic period in human history.

In the end, I put down the book and realized, after all these years, that I like Andy Rooney. I like his honesty and I like his pragmatism, (even though I doubt this is the effect he was aiming for). I was also thankful that, like author's before him, Rooney introduced the general reader to many Americans who didn't come home.

His was a generation of sacrifice unlike anything those who came after are likely to see. Rooney believes them not special, but people involved in special circumstances. This provides hope that every generation will rise with comparable bravery and commitment whenever liberty is seriously threatened. 4 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Andy Rooney In World War II
Didya ever wonder how the US Army -- that bureaucratic bungle of millions that made recruits do things they wouldn't do in peacetime, retained some officers who were jerks, took four days of paperwork to release men from the service at the end of the war and stupidly assigned a private whose only prior journalistic experience was a few weeks work on his high school yearbook to the post of reporter at "Stars and Stripes" -- didyaever wonder how these guys won the war?

They were fighting other country's armies, that's how.

Ok, enough of my attempt to parody Andy Rooney's style above. The guy who lampoons makers of personal care products for a few minutes ever Sunday night does sometimes lend his "what kind of idiot would do this" attitude toward the US Army, WWII version. In those moments, this book sometimes grates -- the same voice that illuminates follies with instant cereal advertising and electric tooth brushes sounds somewhat tinny applied against what was a great undertaking.

Fortunately for this book, those moments are few enough that an interesting picture of the war as seen through Rooney's eyes is not subsumed with his sarcasm and general crankiness. In fact, he keeps those traits generally in check in what reads like an honest look at his service as a front line reporter during the war in Europe.

Rooney's book "My War" is a collection of anecdotes. Fortunately, his travels over German skies in American B-17's, with advancing armor and infantry in France and Germany and to newly (as in a few hours ago) liberated nazi work and concentration camps makes for fascinating anecdotes.

A sergeant in rank, Rooney was afforded the opportunity to meet with personalities and troops of all ranks as he covered the war for what I am sure was the largest circulation American daily newspaper during the early 1940's. His travel made great anecdotes and good stories.

Rooney is poignant in this book. He has a great reverence for lives lost and is very honest about himself and his changing appreciation for war as a sometimes necessary thing (he entered the war with the words "any peace is better than any war" from a college professor ringing in his ears and came to learn after reflecting upon Nazi warfare that "any peace is not better than any war"). This book is somewhat a chronicle of Rooney's maturation as well as his war stories.

The stories are for the most part entertaining and worth reading. His assignment as a reporter gave him a somewhat Zelig-like ability to be near many major events in the war. The reader benefits from these interesting first person accounts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Touching and Fascinating
Young Andy Rooney was not always the acerbic commentator that television viewers know best from SIXTY MINUTES. After reading this memoir, MY WAR, written by him, it is easy to see that he grew up in the best traditions of 19th and 20th Century America. As a result of this upbringing, the young Rooney viewed life through a prism of morality and right and wrong.

After he was inducted as a soldier in World War II, he was lucky enough to be assigned, for reasons that make little sense, to the famous Armed Forces newspaper, the STARS & STRIPES. Without a doubt, had he not ended up on the staff of this newspaper, he would not have had his subsequent civilian career as a reporter.

A consequence of this Army assignment, in his role of reporter, Rooney was a witness to some of the most significant actions of this war, including the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

Very aptly titled, this memoir is the story of World War II as observed from Rooney's unexpected bird's eye view. It is a personal history, written in his own inimitable and riveting style. The report he gives readers of "his" war is fascinating and touching.

This book should not be missed by anyone with a serious interest in this most pivotal event of the 20th Century. ... Read more


18. The Making of Dr. Phil : The Straight-Talking True Story of Everyone's Favorite Therapist
by Sophia Dembling, Lisa Gutierrez
list price: $24.95
our price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 047146726X
Catlog: Book (2003-10-17)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 83897
Average Customer Review: 2.97 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Essential Reading for Every Dr. Phil Fan…and Anyone Hoping to Learn the Secrets of His Incredible Success

The story of Dr. Phil’s rise to the top is not one of a well-thought- out and carefully executed plan, nor is it entirely a tale about the rewards of hard work–although McGraw is clearly driven by his own success. Rather, it is the story of a brilliant opportunist with powerful survival instincts and a gift for quickly analyzing and sizing up any situation.

You’ve no doubt heard the legend about the man who was blessed by Oprah’s golden touch. But the real story of the making of Dr. Phil encompasses both embarrassing failures and promising opportunities that have been brilliantly capitalized on by someone with the brains–and nerves–to do what it takes to succeed.
–From the Preface ... Read more

Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a very entertaining read on one of today's leading celebrities. It tells Dr. Phil's true life story, from his start as a poor boy in Oklahoma, to his first business ventures, on through his college years studying psychology. It then talks about how he transitioned from private practice with his father to the speaking circuit and trial consulting, before being touched by the magic of Oprah and shooting into super-stardom. I found the insights from Dr. Phil, his friends, and family to be most interesting. I had no idea he had accomplished so much and managed to rise from failure so many times. I really think everyone even remotely interested in Dr. Phil will enjoy reading this interesting book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The real inside scoop we never read about in the media!
Two reporters set out to write a fair, honest book on the phenomenon that is Dr. Phil. But how were they to react when the TV shrink's people decided she was just out for dirt? This book tells all, and what a story. So often we don't hear the real story about celebrities, not the dirt, but the real story of how mean and cruel and threatening they can be when the media tries to learn the real facts about their lives.

After an article about Dr. Phil show appeared in the Kansas City Star, a reader tipped one of the reporters off to Phil's hometown connection. She found an old yearbook containing a photo of McGraw dancing at his high school prom. She tracked and telephoned the girl in the picture.

"I knew you'd find me some day," the woman who answered the phone had said. Lisa had a scoop: A first wife whom McGraw never mentioned, even in his most confessional moments in his books or with Larry King.

This book is a very good look at how the media is manipulated by rich celebrities like Dr. Phil. But this books tells the truth. Finally. I wonder why the media did not review it when it came out? Blacklisted by the lawyers for Dr Phil? Weird. This is an important American book.

1-0 out of 5 stars What were you thinking????
Let me be among the first to say I hated your new book! It started out objective enough with facts of Dr. Phil's upbringing but soon kicked into an all-pervasive venomous tale of your slant on every wrongdoing Dr. Phil has ever done in his life. All I can think of is that he must touch on some very sensitive nerves with both of you for you to portray him in such an outrageously negative light. As you can tell, I'm a huge Dr. Phil fan who feels his show does a tremendous service to people out there who can benefit from his counsel on a daily basis. Whine, whine, whine...I'll never read another one of your "biographies" again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Human side of a TV icon
I really enjoyed this well-written, fascinating book that peels off the studio makeup and shows the real man behind the quick psych soundbites of TV. As an entrepreneur, I was very intrigued to learn about the man's stumbles as well as his successes. The anecdotes in the book make it very readable and fun but I was looking for more and found it. I can't understand the reviews here that think the book has a negative agenda. Maybe the man's diehard fans expect that so see it where it doesn't exist. Don't be put off. If you want to learn about Dr. Phil, the real man and business wunderkind, this is your book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read
This is a compelling read about how Dr. Phil went from literally nowhere to becoming a world famous shrink with his own TV show. While it does offer some of his self-help advice, it's really his life story, from boyhood to present. The authors offer a very objective look at his eventful life. They also provide a glimpse into how he talked his way into the fame and fortune he enjoys today. I'm really convinced that some of the other reviewers haven't even read the book and are just guessing it's a negative look at Dr. Phil. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it's an overall positive picture of a man who is indeed a very shrewd businessperson. The writing is clear, concise, and quite entertaining. I believe it will be of interest to readers of all types, whether you're a Dr. Phil fan or not. ... Read more


19. Deforest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories : My Life and Times With a Remarkable Gentleman Actor
by Kristine M. Smith
list price: $23.95
our price: $23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0759653089
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: Authorhouse
Sales Rank: 581638
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sharing the Harvest
This charming book is certainly a must-read for fans of the late Mr. Kelley. Not a biography, it is rather a diary of the author's interactions with the actor over several decades as circumstances allowed her relationship with him to grow from idolizing teenager to correspondent to family friend and, finally, to personal assistant and caregiver during his final long illness. Smith shares those experiences with us, recounting extensive anecdotes, conversations and exchanges reflecting everyday incidents as well as the broader influences the Kelleys had in various stages of her own life. Kelley was pretty universally acknowledged to be the nicest and most down-to-earth person involved in Star Trek; this view into his personal life reinforces that impression. The tone is undeniably adulatory, which is part of its charm - this is a fan's history, after all. Fans will also enjoy the level of detail and inclusion of ordinary conversations, though non-fans may find it to be overload.

There were a couple of fascinating aspects to the book I had not expected. The author spent considerable time as an animal-welfare activist and, as a result, acquired a three-legged serval named Deaken, who figures largely in this book, as in her life. The story of how she managed to accommodate Deaken in her move to L.A., and his part in her connection to the Kelleys was great fun to read. The other unexpected feature, on which several reviewers have commented here, is simply the story of the author's experience as caregiver during the terminal illnesses of her mother and then of Mr. Kelley. Smith has worried that fans might find the last section of the book, detailing Kelley's illness and death, too distressing, and at least one reviewer here believed the very-private Kelley would have found it intrusive. I rather doubt that, myself. Kelley was a remarkably sensible fellow; he acknowledged on several occasions that all modesty goes out the window once one is in a hospital, and he retained a good sense of humor to the end. Smith's telling, like her caregiving, is warm, cheerful and practical; I don't think Kelley would mind his fans knowing the details - which are more likely to ease their minds than distress them - once he was gone and didn't have to worry about trying to answer sympathy cards!

On the technical side, the book would have benefitted from both a table of contents and an index, and a brief chronology might have been useful. Also, upper case type is used for emphasis in place of italics, giving a rather jarring impression of shouting. The hardbound copy I purchased is nicely presented, though the photographs are poorly printed; I would recommend
purchasing the electronic version in addition to the print - the beautiful color photos in the PDF version are worth the extra few dollars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not Only For DeForest Kelley Fans
Having been a DeForest Kelley fan now for over 35 years and spending 14 of those years as the President of the Australian DeForest Kelley Fan Club - DeCoy - I feel some of the same camaraderie that Kristine M. Smith feels for the character of McCoy in Star Trek. Yet this book tells of her almost wonderous story in the arms of (sometimes literally)DeForest and Carolyn Kelley. Kristine's writing of A Harvest Of Mememories is such a marvellous account of a friend/fan's life that it needs to be recognised as an almost 'must read' for those of us who say we loved the man DeForest Kelley and/or the character Dr. 'Bones' McCoy.
However it also gives us a great insight into how to care for oneself when one is caring for a dying person. In order to help other people one needs to be able to look after 'the self' first. In this instance it is not only good for Kelley fans but for anyone trying to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.
Kristine's reminiscences of her time with De and Carolyn are sometimes funny and touching, just what a fan like me who only knew the couple by mail would want to know about them.
Kristine handles the whole experience with De and Carolyn with love and dignity. Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Unforgettable Tribute
I became a fan of DeForest Kelley by way of Dr. McCoy when I was 14, which was...well, let's just say I was a child of the 60s and leave it at that! One look in those lovely blue eyes and I was gone -- and stayed gone, following McCoy's adventures straight through ST:VI.

I knew little more about Mr. Kelley than his name until recently, I suppose because his eyes told me everything I really needed to know. Never even wrote him a letter to thank him, which has become something of a regret of mine. In any case, last October I finally broke down and bought Kristine Smith's book, 'DeForest Kelley: A Harvest of Memories'. I wasn't sure I'd like it. I couldn't have been more wrong. It's a *wonderful*, heart-telling read that just pulls you right in and makes you feel welcome. I devoured the first 100-and-something pages the day I got it, and by that evening I was alternating between laughter and tears to the extent that my husband made me put it down for fear I was suffering a breakdown!

I won't lie, the final section of the book about De's illness and death is painful to read, especially after coming to know him and his wife Carolyn so well through Kris's eyes. But even then it remains an uplifting story -- not only of her loving friendship with the Kelleys, but of their love and devotion to each other. In the end, you'll find yourself smiling through your tears to remember DeForest Kelley. And I think that's how he'd have it.

I just want to thank Kris for having the courage and clarity of heart to share her touching memories with the rest of us. I'm sure that writing this book must have been quite a bittersweet labor of love. She was blessed to know the Kelleys...and vice versa.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful insight into a wonderful actor's "real" life
If you ever wanted to meet DeForest Kelley and didn't get a chance to, reading that book will bring you very close to fulfill that dream.
Kristine Smith wrote about her friendship with the Kelleys and how it developed, in an easy going, very enjoyable style. There are a lot of happy and funny memories she shares with her readers that made me laugh out loud and of course the end had me in tears.
It's no biography, so you won't find all the details of Mr. Kelley's movie/TV career in there, but it is a wonderful portrait of a very caring, loveable, funny and "down-to-earth" person in everyday-life.
Most of all, it proofs that he's just the person you always imagined and wanted him to be and the warmth and love for all his fans comes perfectly through.
Reading this book made me feel I really got to know DeForeast Kelley and not just the celebrity but the person behind "Dr. McCoy". A must read for every fan on this planet!!! (and everywhere else,too,lol)I can assure you it's worth every cent I paid!
Sandra

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Gentleman is Revealed
As a teenager I became enthralled with the phenomenon known as "Star Trek." As an adult I have devoured all the biographies written by its main stars - in all their self-serving backbiting glory. One biography was notably absent - that of DeForest Kelly AKA Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy. I was saddened upon his passing that Mr. Kelley never took pen to paper to detail his life story. However author Kristine M. Smith has happily given us an account of her 30+ year friendship with him that gives us, his fans, an account of what we already suspected - that everything his co-stars said about him was true. He was a wonderful gentleman bereft of star ego, a devoted husband, generous to his fans, supportive of his friends and an advocate for the animals, who he loved so much. Ms. Smith's book is not Mr. Kelley's life story but an account of her friendship with De and his wife and how in his final days she became his advocate and caregiver. This is a book for all of Mr. Kelley's fans who want to learn more about who he was and what he was about. Of all the tributes I have seen in the years since his passing none have been more moving or more eloquent than Ms. Smith's book. A first-time author, she captures the man behind the icon and tells a wonderful, moving story of friendship and devotion. It is obvious that Mr. Kelley was far too modest to tell his own story but at least with this book we can glean some insight into the man who inspired thousands to enter the noble profession of medicine with the portrayal of a gruff, irascible (and loveable) country doctor who was a loyal officer and devoted friend to his shipmates. It's a must read for all "Trek" fans want to learn more about De and who are tired of, "He stole my lines," and "He got in the way of my closeup," nonsense. Highest possible recommendation! ... Read more


20. Love, Lucy
by Lucille Ball
list price: $6.99
our price: $6.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425177319
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 120879
Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The one and only New York Times bestselling autobiography by Lucille Ball...

"Filled with light and laughter." (New York Times Book Review)

"Lucy fans will find this book fascinating." (Detroit News)

"A winner." (New York Newsday)

"Intensely moving."(San Francisco Chronicle)

... Read more

Reviews (74)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lucy lives forever!
I loved this book! Ever since I saw my first episode of I Love Lucy, I've been fascinated with Lucille Ball. I just had to know more about her. I found "Love, Lucy" in a store one day and I begged my mom to buy it for me. Well, she did, and I loved every minute of reading it. It's like she's talking one-on-one with you in a way. In "Love, Lucy", Lucy talks about her marriages, her children, her family, and her work. Although alot of details are left out (mainly because she didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings), the descriptions of the events in her life are amazing. My mother couldn't pry me away from reading this book with a crowbar, and she still can't whenever I re-read it. I was also overcome with emotion at some points in reading this wonderful memoir. The way she talked about her love for Desi Arnaz was so touching. I've never heard anything like it before. I started to sob a little when Lucy described the day she filed for divorce from Desi, and I'm not a big crier. It was so sad that everything happened the way it did, and that they couldn't work things out. I'm glad that she found happiness in her second marriage, though. I was also stunned when I learned that Lucy had hidden this for over thirty years until her children found it in with some old files about four years ago. Imagine writing something like this that you know everyone in the world is dying to read and then putting it away! Well, in a way I respect Lucy's decision, because I wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of any loved ones that were still alive that I had talked about. And sometime soon I am going to get a copy of "A Book", by Desi Arnaz, because after all there are two sides to every story. Before I go, I want to thank Lucy's children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., for letting their mother's millions of fans take a peek inside of her private world. The book could have been easily just tucked back into the files and forgotten about. Taking it out and publishing it was great idea, and I know that no matter what, I'll always love Lucy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very moving.......Lucy lives on forever
WOW! I have never read such a good book. I own this book, and I read almost everyday. It is one of the most moving books I have ever read. Lucy's voice comes through loud and clear; you feel as though she were talking to you personally. It is a facinating account of a legend's restless childhood in Celeron, New York, her job modeling at Hattie Carnegie's, her move to Hollywood to make her dreams come true,her tempestuous but extremely passionate marraige to Desi Arnaz, her incredible I Love Lucy success, the crumble of her marraige and their Desilu empire, and her life after I Love Lucy and after Desi. This book is so intense, I actually cried. It was obvious that even after she and Desi divorced and she married Gary Morton, he was still her one true love and they still loved eachother very much. This is the one and only memoir Lucille Ball left for her adoring fans, so if you ever get the chance to read this book, take it! It's amazing how vividly Lucy recalls her whole life up to 1964. I am so glad this book was finally found in 1996. Here is Lucy's story, the REAL story, in her own words.

3-0 out of 5 stars Why "Love Lucy"?
While reading Love, Lucy, I began to understand where Lucille Ball had come from and what she had done. This book gives us insight into the mind of a comedy legend. Beginning in Jamestown, New York, the young Lucille Ball enjoyed her life and making people laugh. She was moved around a lot as her mother was widowed at a very young age and needed some space from the world in order to find out who she was. Young Lucille lived with grandparents or aunts and uncles in her early years and always knew that she wanted to make people happy and she wanted to be noticed. The death of her father, and of her grandmother reinforced her drive to bring joys to others and end the sadness that had engulfed her life during that time. She moved to New York City as an older teenager and gained recognition while modeling for small dress shops in the city, and was in many runway shows. It was then that she was noticed by a photographer and named "Model of the Month." Soon after, she was recognized by a producer at RKO studios and offered a role as a showgirl. At RKO studios she met her first real mentor, Lela Rogers, the mother of the famous Ginger Rogers. Lela ran a small acting class / studio and immediately saw Lucille's potential. She knew there was something special inside of her and helped young Lucille to find it herself. It was then that she began receiving larger roles in more prominent films. After a "run-in" with a perverted producer,(who wanted to leave his wife and marry her) Lucille, now in her mid-twenties, was only cast in "B" films as the wife of the producer was extremely upset. She made sure that Lucille would never cross the path of her husband again as he was the producer of "A" films. This turned out to be a good thing because she was cast as either second leading lady or the lead. She made many public appearances. One happened to be in New York City at Broadway to see a theater production of a movie she would possibly be starring in. She met Desi Arnez and they were both smitten; they eloped a year or so later. With the birth of their first child, Lucie, the couple was more sure than ever that they wanted to be co-starring in a show together. The I Love Lucy show was born and turned out to be a huge success. During the end of the first season, Lucy gave birth to another child, a son, Desi Jr. After his birth the marriage began to fall apart and the couple divorced. Custody of the children consisted of Lucille having the kids for the school year, and Desi having them during the summer. Eventually Lucille remarried and established a somewhat normal lifestyle.

Lucille Ball's relationship with her work was very unique as she wouldn't do a scene if she didn't believe it. She needed to feel the reality behind it if she wanted the audience to believe it as well. She was very passionate about her work and willing to try anything, even in her early years. "No Sir, I haven't done anything on Broadway, but I'd sure like to try." she would say to any producer who would listen. She tried to please everyone but realized that she couldn't be who everyone wanted her to be. She stayed true to herself and did what was best for her and her family.

Lucille Ball is bubbly and vivacious in this autobiography. Her liveliness seems to be contagious to everyone she meets and she brings joy to all who came in contact with her, and those who still come in contact with her work. Although I have a high opinion of Lucille herself, I felt that the book was somewhat lacking. Most parts were full of realism and passion for her work; some parts just didn't flow with the rest of the novel. She seemed to not have much to say in certain chapters as she kind of rambled on a bit about the same things over and over again such as her pay and her relationship with RKO studios.


Overall, this book was a great read and was very informative, but some things could have been edited out as they were not worth the time of the reader.

3-0 out of 5 stars A "Politically Correct" Autobiography
I read Lucille Ball's autobiography "Love, Lucy" and was impressed by the wealth of detail. It was so wonderful to get to finally see how Lucille Ball looked at life. And it was also inspiring to see the amount of work that Ball had to put in to attain super-stardom.

But, as with many autobiographies, you need to take this work with a grain of salt. Ball obviously wasn't interested in making herself (or anyone else, for that matter,) look bad. She deliberately sidesteps issues regarding husband Desi Arnaz's marital fidelty, and she also downplays her own jealous and controlling nature.

So if you want to read a very "politically correct" version of Lucy's life, I suggest you read this autobiography. But if you want to read the hard facts, I suggest you look elsewhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hear Lucille Ball in her OWN Words!!!
This book is too hard to put down! It is written by one of the greatest movie stars there is: Luciile Ball herself. With the help of Betty Hannah Hopfmen, Lucille is able to tell us, in her eyes, about her life. I have to go along with the reviewer that said it is absolutly thrilling to go along with Lucy. And it is. It is nice to have such an accurate book on her life. She goes along and not only tells you her life, but also gives you her thoughts and what she got out of her life. She also goes along with Desi; telling you a little about his life before, during their marriage and then after they separaed. She covers her life from as far back as to her birth till 1964 when she finished writting the book (Lucie Arnaz wrote the Forword and gives you information from 1964 till Lucille Ball's death in 1989). This book is great and I encourage you greatly to get this book so that YOU can have the thrill of felling like you can get to know Lucy personally. Get yours, read it, and enjoy!! ... Read more


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