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    1. Because I Said So : 33 Mothers
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    3. The Little Guide to Your Well-Read
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    4. Schaum's Quick Guide to Writing
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    6. The Bitch in the House: 26 Women
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    14. Paradise Screwed: Selected Columns
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    20. Wild Ducks Flying Backward

    1. Because I Said So : 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves
    by Kate Moses, Camille Peri
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060598786
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 1003
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a Phenomal Book!
    This is one of my top Five books of 2005. In fact, this is the best book I have read this year. If I could give it a ten, I would. I identified with each of the authors in this collection of essays ~~ even though some of their experiences I may not share, they are writing from the deep reaches of their hearts and souls. This book is not only a collection of essays of women from all ages and all walks of life ~~ it is about Everywoman. It's about you and me.

    When I started reading this book, I thought, oh, I'll have one favorite essay. Nope. I have more than one ~~ in fact, I love them all. These women have a wonderful and rare gift of expressing their thoughts and feelings on paper. They are inspirational for me to be the best mother, wife, friend, daughter that I can be. And if you're worried that this is all about women writing about children and parenting ~~ your fears are groundless. These women are writing about everything. They write about divorce, race, religion, abuse, love, tenderness, parenting, babysitting, watching their children grow up, dealing with prejudice,having nannies, being banned from the mosque and more.

    These women write of real experiences. These women are not angry writers. They are thoughtful and reflective writers, writing with prose, humor and lyrical rhyming. These women reveal their strength and grace in their essays. They don't have any male-bashing in their essays nor are they bitter or angry. They just write and their feelings and thoughts flow together in a wonderful chime of words.

    If I have any regret from reading this book, it's this one. I wish I could meet each and every single one of these essayists and sit down with them and just talk. I have learned so much from the little they've shared within this book, that I want to learn more. They are inspirational for women like me who do like to read and think. These women take in their events that changes them and in a small way, they change my perceptions and thoughts. A reader cannot walk away from this book without gleaning something from this book. It's just impossible. These writers make you stop and think about issues that you may not even be aware of. They challenge the status quo, so to speak. You cannot be comfortable with life after reading some of these essays ~~ but like I said, they're not angry writers, just perceptive and challenging writers. They force you to think, whether you like it or not.

    I highly recommend this book for every woman and men too. Men can learn a lot about women and what we think just from reading this book. If you're looking for a wonderful Mother's Day gift for the thinking and reading woman in your life, this book is it. I also recommend it for high school/young women to read ~~ it gives them an idea of what women face every day as they juggle the roles of motherhood and wifehood or single parenting or just being a woman in today's world. This is a wonderful book and a best gift for everyone to add to their booklist.

    4-12-05 ... Read more


    2. Me Talk Pretty One Day
    by David Sedaris
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $10.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316776963
    Catlog: Book (2001-06-05)
    Publisher: Back Bay Books
    Sales Rank: 183
    Average Customer Review: 4.19 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "As far as I was concerned, the French could be cold or even openly hostile. They could burn my flag or pelt me with stones, but if there were taxidermied kittens to be had then I would go and bring them back to this, the greatest country on earth."

    David Sedaris's new collection, Me Talk Pretty One Day, tells a most unconventional life story. It begins with a North Carolina childhood filled with speech-therapy classes ("There was the lisp, of course, but more troubling than that was my voice itself with its excitable tone and high, girlish pitch") and unwanted guitar lessons taught by a midget. From budding performance artist("The only crimp in my plan was that I seemed to have no talent whatsoever") to "clearly unqualified" writing teacher in Chicago, Sedaris's career leads him to New York (the sky's-the-limit field of furniture moving) and eventually, of all places, France.

    Sedaris's move to Paris poses a number of challenges, chief among them his inability to speak the language. Arriving a "spooky man-child" capable of communicating only through nouns, he undertakes language instruction that leads him ever deeper into cultural confusion. Whether describing the Easter bunny to puzzled classmates, savoring movies in translation (It Is Necessary to Save the Soldier Ryan), or watching a group of men play soccer with a cow, Sedaris brings a view and a voice like none other. "Original, acid, and wild" --said the Los Angeles Times to every unforgettable encounter." ... Read more

    Reviews (508)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Weep with laughter - it's good for your health!
    My cousin, Lisa, and I share many satisfying and hilarous experiences (college roommates being just one), and for whatever reason, we are David Sedaris soulmates. After she read my review of "Naked" [...] she has been a fan. This year for my birthday, she paid me back ten-fold with "Me Talk Pretty One Day," the best Sedaris yet. Most of Sedaris' work is what you might call "sort of" autobiographical. I say, "sort of" because it is a little hard for me to believe all of what he writes is true - embellished truths? Absolutely. From his childhood in North Carolina (filled with wise-cracking, drinking, smoking mother, psycho younger brother (The "Rooster") and odd-ball father (to whom he dedicates the book), we read these funny short pieces about his speech therapist (a speech 'nazi'), his midget guitar teacher (his father had dreams of the kids being a famous musical group), his drug abuse experiences, and finally, a number of pieces about learning French and living in France, where he finds himself having followed his partner. I ended up reading pieces of this book (while on vacation) to whichever member of my family I could capture, and the two of us were generally reduced to tears. Believe it or not, the drug use pieces were a scream - incredibly pathetic but hysterical. The best was toward the end when Sedaris describes being in a French subway (obviously looking very French) and listening to a loud American man warn his wife that she should watch her pocketbook because this shifty-looking French guy (Sedaris!) behind her was likely to snatch her purse. All in all, like much of what I've read of Sedaris, any author who can reduce me to tears is a god-send. The best physical therapy in the world is to weep with laughter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Me Laugh Hard One Day
    These hilarious essays reveal the unoticed surrealty of daily life. From the absurd eating habits of family members to the "Youth in Asia" every amusing passage can tell you a bit more about yourself and what our society considers to be "normal." David Sedaris is certainly one of the greatest literary comedians of our time.
    These quirky stories are filled with Sedaris' real family and freinds, who make the situations he writes about all the more amusing and fun to read, especially the stories about his father, Lou, the natural mechanic who proves time and time again that genetics aren't everything. His laid-back mother and rough-neck little brother, Paul (the rooster), also bring humor to this collection. But, by far, the strongest character has to be his sister, Amy (who also co-wrote Barrel Fever, Holidays on Ice, and Naked). With her imaginary boyfriends, "fatty suits," and fake bruises and scratches, Amy "shines like a diamond" in the face of normailty.

    However ridiculously funny these adventures are, only the truly open-minded and those willing to expand their horizons and read about possibly opposing lifestyles will really enjoy Sedaris' experiences.
    At times his actions may suggest him as the village idiot, but besides his occasional wacky stupidity, Sedaris won't fail to amuse.
    Sedaris captures the faults and humors in American (and even parts of European) culture. The ridiculous antics of the people in his life are displayed in fantastic detail, which will bring a smile to your face for every page you turn.
    All in all, Sedaris bases his creativity more on reality with imagined fantasy rathar than fantasy or reality alone, which makes him unique on the national bestseller list.

    4-0 out of 5 stars absolutely hilarious
    I have never read a book so consistantly funny. I wasn't laughing at every page, but there was at least one line or paragraph in each essay that honestly made me laugh out loud. I won't give any away; enough are posted here. Any more, and I'd give away half the laughs.

    I'll admit, I wondered what was going on in Sedaris' head at some points, but at others his thoughts so closely mirrored my own that it was just too funny. His one-liners and anecdotes are wonderfully witty (my favorite was the American tourists in Paris who arrogantly think no one else on the train speaks English). He accurately points out negative qualities of Americans in the second half, yet he doesn't talk down to his readers as he himself is a lazy loaf who spends most of his time in France in a movie theater. Just wonderful. You'll laugh your way through it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars No different from what you would expect from Sedaris
    if you are a fan of this writer, and i officially am, this is one novel that will not disappoint. He is brash, he is amusing, he is self-centered (not so much this time out), he is very unorthodox. Nothing he writes will set the world on fire, but he's clearly not trying to do that. All he is trying to do is have a good time, his way, the only way he really seems to know how.

    Sedaris strikes me as one of those reclusive writers, the ones who really don't want to be around too many people who know their faces, but have no problem expressing themselves through the written word, speaking to us, baring his soul, without ever having to look into our eyes. He strikes me as that kind of character, really. Just look at his photo on back. A picture of someone who is totally uncomfortable posing for the camera, insisting on a natural action shot. Never speaking to us directly.

    Sure, sure, he has his public radio work, he does his appearances, fine. But those are contributions rather than fame. Sedaris doesn't seem to adhere to the social understanding that he has "made it." and he doesn't care. he just wants someone to talk to. without actually talking to anyone.

    great scam he has though, i admit. little essays about this and that. nothing major, nothing really minor. just having a conversation. telling a story to an audience held captive by their own devices. what a fine read this book is! my favorite stories involve his times in paris trying to understand the language, a little piece about taking responsibility for a turd in a friends toilet and a rather long dissertation concerning a family dog. one story really bothered me. it was about his riding a train in france with his partner and a married american couple are badmouthing him to each other, thinking him french and not able to understand their words. he lets it all fall off his back with no redemption. I WOULD HAVE LET THEM HAVE IT! and it bothered me that he would let himself get so beaten up by these ignorant steers!

    but there it is. he had successfully drawn me into his story to the point where i not only identified with the character, but i sympathized. and that's all i ask. but when he moves me to higher levels, goes above and beyond the call of duty, showing me ingenius creativity and flare that just knocks me for a loop...he'll get 4 stars.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Get the audio
    I got this book after hearing Sedaris on 'This American Life.' I would laugh out loud at the radio. Sedaris delivers his sarcasm in such a way that reading it one might miss it. However, I still enjoyed the book, perhaps because I could hear his voice in my head.

    Sedaris shows how a simple story can be turned into a beautiful form as he explores the tiny moments many of us just ignore in search of excitement. He takes a reader from absurdly silly to poignantly melancholy.

    Dry sarcasm is his main staple. If you don't like your humor as dry as a three-day-old martini this isn't for you. ... Read more


    3. The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life
    by SteveLeveen
    list price: $17.50
    our price: $11.90
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1929154178
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-15)
    Publisher: Levenger Press
    Sales Rank: 1727
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "Perfect for all of us who can never get enough time with good books. It not only urges us to indulge deeply and often, it shows us how."-Myra Hart, professor, Harvard Business School

    "Readers and want-to-be readers will be encouraged by the advice to read more, more widely and more systematically."-Michael Keller, university librarian, Stanford University

    "An ideal gift for both sporadic and relentless readers."-James Mustich Jr., publisher of A Common Reader

    "A worthy addition to even the most well-stocked personal library."-Ross King, author of Michelangelo & The Pope's Ceiling

    Do not set out to live a well-read life but rather your well-read life. No one can be well-read using someone else's reading list. Unless a book is good for you, you won't connect with it and gain from it. Just as no one can tell you how to lead your life, no one can tell you what to read for your life.

    How do readers find more time to read? In The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life, Steve Leveen offers both inspiration and practical advice for bibliophiles on how to get more books in their life and more life from their books.

    His recommendations are disarmingly refreshing, as when he advises when not to read a book and why not to feel guilty if you missed reading all those classics in school. He helps readers reorganize their bookshelves into a Library of Candidates that they actively build and a Living Library of books read with enthusiasm, and he emphasizes the value of creating a Bookography, or annotated list of your reading life. Separate chapters are devoted to the power of audio books and the merits of reading groups.

    The author himself admits he came "late to the bookshelf," making this charming little guide all the more convincing.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must read!
    I have always been an avid book reader, however like many others, I am constantly searching for more time to read.The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life has provided me with numerous tools to reach this goal.With Mr. Leveen's suggestions, I have not only become an active reader I have also overcome the feeling that I am obligated to finish every book I start.This book is a must read for everyone!

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE Book for Readers "Who Want More...."
    I finished this concise and thoughtful reading experience and wondered, "why hasn't this approach been chronicled before?" We all complain about too little time, too much to do, not enough hours in the day to read that special book, etc., but no one has ever REALLY attacked the problem with a plan - that is, until now! Wow, and has Steve Leveen ever done it!! It's all here, and the best part is, it doesn't take you long to get through his book and figure out how much of it (if not all) you can apply.
    I only wish this book was available 30 years ago!Alas, it is never too late to learn new tricks and adopt new processes.
    Bottom line, I'll state it plainly - buy the book!Want to "create" more time to read, slide that extra book or three into your monthly reading/listening agenda, and at the same time probably uncover new interests or pursuits?Now, none of us has any excuse.It's helped me already and I only read it a month ago.To me, it's all about discipline, time management and even knowing it's OK to put a book aside if it's just not working for you (the heck with the pundits and scholars). I don't want this to sound like an infomercial - so just give it a peek.
    I look forward to listening to the audio edition of Steve's great work (read the book, you'll get the joke)!

    Cheers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Candy for a reader
    How can any reader not love a book that starts out with the quote from Gustave Flaubert, "Read in order to Live"? Steve Leveen, CEO of Levenger, has written a thought-provoking book for readers, The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life. There are ideas for finding more time in your life to read, such as listening to audio books. He suggests methods to make your reading more meaningful, such as making a List of Candidates, books you want to read. (The bibliography alone is a great starting place!) There are suggestions for building a library, and ways to share books. And, as a librarian, I appreciate a book that says, "Like our national parks, our public libraries constitute a treasure that many Americans take advantage of hardly at all."

    The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life is like candy for a reader; sweet, enticing, and it leaves you craving more.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A springboard for further reading
    In his little book on the "well-read life" author Steve Leveen (the CEO and co-founder of Levenger) offers readers advice on how to get more mileage from their reading. His book is divided into five chapters. The fifth is given over primarily to concluding remarks. The third and fourth have to do with the rewards and history of, respectively, audiobooks and reading groups. The meat of Leveen's argument lies in the fifty-odd pages that make up his first two chapters, "Uncovering the Books That Will Change Your Life" and "Seizing More from Your Reading."

    Leveen argues that readers will gain more from their reading by approaching the business of books systematically. The usual "accidental and ad hoc" means of selecting titles to read is unfortunate, he believes, because it is more likely to lead to unfulfilling reading experiences that "may dampen your enthusiasm, causing your reading to languish, sometimes for long periods." He advocates developing an extensive list of "candidates for your attention," that is, a list of books in which one is interested, either because of their subject matter or author or because they were recommended by friends or in reviews. The list is to be organized by subject headings and augmented throughout one's life. As a second step, Leveen suggests that readers acquire a great many of the books on their list. He is fully in favor of possessing a personal library that contains more books than one could possibly read so as to have a wide selection of quality books always at hand. (That sentiment may go some way toward alleviating the guilt of compulsive book buyers over their purchases.)

    In his second chapter Leveen distills the recommendations of earlier authors on the art of reading and retaining information. He discusses, for example, Mortimer Adler's advice on approaching books as if from a high altitude: one scans a book first to get an idea of its structure, then reads it superficially to pick up its main arguments before sitting down, finally, to a serious analytical reading of the book. Leveen also discusses a variety of note-taking practices.

    The reading approach Leveen advocates will not be for everyone. His suggestion that readers direct their reading by developing an organized list of book candidates will be of use almost exclusively to those who are interested in pursuing a course of private study through the reading of nonfiction. Readers with less serious goals in mind probably won't find that particular idea--which is, after all, one of the main points of the book--pertinent to their own situation. Leveen should perhaps have made more of this distinction between fiction and nonfiction reading in his text. His cursory look at the subject of engaged reading won't satisfy those who are serious about becoming more active readers themselves. But Leveen provides a great service in introducing his audience to the subject and pointing to books that will provide further information. His quick read will definitely be of interest to the readers on your shopping list.

    Debra Hamel -- book-blog.com
    Author of Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book about books!
    This book will help you fall in love with books and reading, maybe all over again.The author writes from the heart, as a person who has discovered the joys of reading and wants to pass on this experience to as many people as possible.This is an ideal gift for anyone you care about, because it will bring more gifts into their lives as a result of its sage advice.

    Steve Leveen helps us to understand how best to read if we want to make the most of the experience and get the most out of it.He shows us how to give a book a fair chance, and when to cut and run!He reintroduces us to the power of the classics, while also reminding us that it's ok not to like a particular classic, and to just stop reading it if it's not connecting with us.

    This book is full of literary romance, practical insight, great advice, cool factoids, and much more.I liked it so much, I've just bought 82 copies to give away!!!!!!!!So that probably says it all.

    Buy this book and open a new chapter in your reading life!!!!! ... Read more


    4. Schaum's Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories
    by MargaretLucke
    list price: $10.95
    our price: $8.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0070390770
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill
    Sales Rank: 123857
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This guide to writing compelling, memorable short stories gives you all the essentials without wasted words. It tells you how and where to get ideas, how to establish and sustain excitement, how to create live, colorful characters, and how to plot, develop and bring home your story. It even includes exercises to help you perfect your story-telling skills. Full of tips and techniques that work, it makes an indispensable, reliable collaborator. You'll find it ideal whether you're studying alone or supplementing a creative or fiction writing course, conference or workshop. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a gem
    Over the past few months I have collected and read many books on creative writing with a slant towards the art and technique of fiction. All the while I write and read everyday improving my writing and improving my understanding. I can certainly recommend many books that I have recently read and studied and I must say that this book has a welcome place in my library. All of the books on fiction that I have are highly geared toward the novel. I had been struggling to write just one short story with the knowledge and experience imparted from other books. Things just didn't fit. I bought this book with three others not expecting anything special. I started with the book and a page and a half of short story. By the time I finished reading the first chapter, everything was so clear that I put the book down, and, with surprising success, finished my short story. It only took a matter of hours. I am a page and a half into another story told entirely from the omniscient point of view. I would also like to say that many of the books I have include a pre-amble or first section on the struggle of writing well. I have found many of these depressing even when I am shining with hope. The first chapter of this book approaches the subject of writers struggle with interspersed anecdotes of hope and quotes about the struggle and joy of writing from famous writers. If you buy this book for only one reason, let it be the first chapter. It is truly original. The rest of the book goes on to talk about many of the common elements in general creative writing that can be found in any collection. This book freed my style and showed me that I can use un-common technique to make an engaging story of less than 5,000 words.

    If this is your first book you also want "Self-Editing For Writers of Fiction", and Sol Steins, "Stein on Writing".

    Good luck with your endeavors. ... Read more


    5. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
    by David Sedaris
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $14.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316143464
    Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 48
    Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    With Dress Your Family in Courduroy and Denim, David Sedaris returns to his deliriously twisted domain, hilarious childhood dramas infused with melancholy; the gulf of misunderstanding that exists betwen people of different nations or members of the same family; and the poignant divide between one's best hopes and most common deeds. ... Read more

    Reviews (123)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dark humor at its best
    Sedaris' new book is not his usual fiction, but a collection of memoirs from his life. Although, they're bizarre, unreal, and sometimes hilarious enough to give fiction a run for its money.

    In "Dress Your Family...", Sedaris recounts his mother and father's habit of never sleeping in their beds (always in chairs or on the sofa)or at the usual bedtimes, referring to it as being raised "by a pair of housecats". When North Carolina has been hit with an unusal amount of snow, school is closed for a week. David's mother is fed up to the back teeth with having the kids in the house all the time, so on the 5th day, she locks them out of the house, opens a bottle of red and turns on the tube. The kids (David and his legion of sisters, including Amy Sedaris, an actress known for her Comedy Central show "Strangers With Candy")all convince the youngest girl to lay in the road and wait for a car. If Tiffany is injured (or worse, dead), Mom will feel REALLY bad about locking them out of the house. The book is filled with these kinds of odd, and sometimes just plain sad, memories. Mom obviously suffers from alcoholism on some level, and Dad is a penny pinching weevil ('"Who's up for something sweet?", he'd ask, and we'd pile into the car, passing the Tastee Freeze and driving to the grocery store, where he'd buy a block if pus-colored ice milk reduced for quick sale' he writes.) People who have a hard time with Sedaris' memoirs mostly seem disturbed with his candid telling of his experiences growing up gay, having fights with his boyfriend Hugh (whom the book is dedicated to), and a parculiar incident involving a weirdo Sedaris was hired by to clean his apartment, but ended up forcing him to take a blood sugar test and displaying his gay porn collection (you're not alone- that disturbed Sedaris too).

    David's humor is in full swing, though, rolling his eyes at the love story between Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes in "The End of the Affair". Hugh loved it, he didn't: "I asked if he always cried during comedies, and he accused me of being grossly insensitive, a charge I'm trying to plea-bargain down to simply obnoxious". In the story "Us and Them", David talks about how his childhood neighbors "didn't believe" in TV, so the Tomkey's kids, in David's opinion, were severely uninformed about current topics and shows. They showed up for Trick-or-Treating the day after Halloween ("asking for candy on Halloween was called trick-or-treating, but asking for candy on November 1st was begging", he says), one of the kids in a homemade mouse costume with an extension cord for a tail. In "Monie Changes Everything", David introduces us to his Great-Aunt Monie, a rich woman whom they desperately wanted to be remembered by once she snuffed it (to this day, David's mom will not disclose the considerable sum Monie left her). All in all, Sedaris is hot-hot-hot as usual, and it's obvious that his bizarre upbringing fueled his sense of humor. For those expecting another light-hearted Sedaris novel, this book may not be your cup of tea. But I urge you to read it anyway. Hilarious and sometimes heart wrenching from start to finish.

    4-0 out of 5 stars His American Life-and Sometimes Parisian Life
    "Oh, please, please do not put my parrot in your movie,
    but if we are included will you have me played as fat?" implores Lisa to her brother, David Sedaris. Thus goes the life of David Sedaris in his new book "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim".

    David Sedaris most often known for the stories he portrays on NPR's "This American Life" is a prolific writer and story teller.
    We laugh out loud at some of his antics or those he causes. In this new book, some of the stories have been heard before on NPR or in his CD or read in the "New Yorker" Some of the stories are gross- like his younger brother's wedding night where he shows David how he gets his larger bull dog to eat the smaller dog's poop. Yuckadew!

    Most of the stories are not ones I can really relate to, but I can understand. The chapter that focuses on Holland's Christmas night with Santa and the 7 or 8 black men ( no one really knows whether it is 7 or 8 black men who accompany Santa) is hilarious and one of the funniest stories in the book. David takes us to Paris where he and his roommate are looking for a new apartment. The one they have is beautiful, but the landlord cannot sell it to them, can only lease it for 26 years until his daughters are old enough to inhabit it. Or, the time his father kicked him out of the house. David thought it was because he slept all day, smoked pot all night and listened to one record over and over. But in reality it was for another reason that David was asked to leave. David brings us to Boston to visit his sister. She is a baker and lives in a house in Somerville. She has become by way of a rickshaw a deadbeat, a hippie, a collector of "things". David's job is to clean the house although sister wants no part of that- it is David's obsessive cleaning behavior that makes him do it. One of the more outrageous stories takes place when he has a job as a house cleaner. David was mistakenly called instead of an S&M cleaning outfit.

    On and on, David portrays himself and his family as a little loony, a little too obsessive. But, this is David's perspective and his writing style pulls you in. Mom seems to me to be the one that held the family together and as strange and funny as she is, I like her a lot. She kicks the kids out of the house on a snowy winter vacation day. They end up playing in the street, and she comes to rescue them as if nothing unusual has happened. She can cry, she can yell, and we see where the family might get their interesting personalites! She always wanted grandchildren and one of the stories centers on which child will have the first baby,and by gosh it does happen!

    I left the strangest story for last because it takes place in New Hampshire. It centers on a small hotel with few amenities and David carrying coffee with a small child to........

    I love David Sedaris and his writing. I buy his books eagerly and am not disappointed. This one is a doozy and will entertain you for hours. prisrob

    5-0 out of 5 stars David Sedaris is Excellent
    Once again Author David Sedaris writes a fantastic memoir!! Done is such away as to be canny and witty. Excellent! Also recommended: Running with Scissors, Me talk Pretty One day,Nightmares Echo, She's Come Undone

    1-0 out of 5 stars Made me feel icky
    I recently bought Sedaris' Carnegie Hall CD and thought it was hilarious. I am also an enthusiastic fan of This American Life and have loved his many contributions. This book proves that NPR highlights Sedaris' best work and leaves the rest. Unfortunately this is a book mostly of "the rest".

    I had a tough time finding any redeeming value in the story of his rickshaw hauling, trash picking sister and her ability to put out cigarettes with her bare feet. I was much more repulsed by the story of his budding homosexuality and the way he was able to coerce young, naked boys to sit on his lap.

    If I were to choose one word to describe this book it would be "icky". Skip the ickiness and buy the CD. Or, better yet skip the expense and listen to This American Life. It's free and it's his best material.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Has Sedaris Lost His Touch?
    I see that there are some mixed reviews of this new book - 'Corduroy and Denim' and I come down on the critical side. I must qualify this by saying that David Sedaris' other books are the funniest that I have ever read. 'Me Talk Pretty' had me in stitches, belly-laughing the whole time. The new book is more depressing than funny. Also, it seems to me that David has gone from integrating his homosexuality (and sexuality in general) into the stories as a contextual element to using it as graphic focus that is not particularly funny. With that said, I wonder if gay readers find more humor in the more explicit style - maybe I am just not the target audience for this book...

    Anyhow, I love Sedaris and hope that his next book goes back to the laugh-out-loud style. ... Read more


    6. The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage
    by Cathi Hanauer
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060936460
    Catlog: Book (2003-09-16)
    Publisher: Perennial Currents
    Sales Rank: 1933
    Average Customer Review: 3.56 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Virginia Woolf introduced us to the “Angel in the House”, now prepare to meet... The Bitch In the House.

    Women today have more choices than at any time in history, yet many smart, ambitious, contemporary women are finding themselves angry, dissatisfied, stressed out. Why are they dissatisfied? And what do they really want? These questions form the premise of this passionate, provocative, funny, searingly honest collection of original essays in which twenty-six women writers—ranging in age from twenty-four to sixty-five, single and childless or married with children or four times divorced—invite readers into their lives, minds, and bedrooms to talk about the choices they’ve made, what’s working, and what’s not.

    With wit and humor, in prose as poetic and powerful as it is blunt and dead-on, these intriguing women offer details of their lives that they’ve never publicly revealed before, candidly sounding off on:

    • The difficult decisions and compromises of living with lovers, marrying, staying single and having children

    • The perpetual tug of war between love and work, family and career

    • The struggle to simultaneously care for ailing parents and a young family

    • The myth of co-parenting

    • Dealing with helpless mates and needy toddlers

    • The constrictions of traditional women’s roles as well as the cliches of feminism

    • Anger at laid-back live-in lovers content to live off a hardworking woman’s checkbook

    • Anger at being criticized for one’s weight

    • Anger directed at their mothers, right and wrong

    • And–well–more anger...

    “This book was born out of anger,” begins Cathi Hanauer, but the end result is an intimate sharing of experience that will move, amuse, and enlighten. The Bitch in the House is a perfect companion for your students as they plot a course through the many voices of modern feminism. This is the sound of the collective voice of successful women today-in all their anger, grace, and glory.

    From The Bitch In the House:

    “I believed myself to be a feminist, and I vowed never to fall into the same trap of domestic boredom and servitude that I saw my mother as being fully entrenched in; never to settle for a life that was, as I saw it, lacking independence, authority, and respect.” –E.S. Maduro, page 5

    “Here are a few things people have said about me at the office: ‘You’re unflappable.’ ‘Are you ever in a bad mood?’ Here are things people—okay, the members of my family—have said about me at home: ‘‘Mommy is always grumpy.’ ‘Why are you so tense?’ ‘You’re too mean to live in this house and I want you to go back to work for the rest of your life!’” –Kristin van Ogtrop, page 161

    “I didn’t want to be a bad mother I wanted to be my mother-safe, protective, rational, calm-without giving up all my anger, because my anger fueled me.” – Elissa Schappell, page 195

    ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and insightful!
    The Bitch in the House is a collection of essays written by some of today's brightest female writers. The authors of these essays are of various ages, economic and marital status. It is a book about women venting their frustrations in various aspects of their lives. The stories are brilliant and insightful -- especially the ones that focus on marriage and motherhood. I especially enjoyed reading "Getting the Milk for Free," by Veronica Chambers; "Moving In. Moving Out. Moving On," by Sarah Miller; and "Killing the Puritan Within," by Kate Christensen.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Betty needs a bit of better bitter
    I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of first-person essays in the beginning, but as I read more I found, as several other readers seem to have found, that these women's experiences were too similar to enjoy reading over and over. There is not much diversity of culture, race or age. Still, I did enjoy the humor and the sharing, and thought the writing was very good. Ultimately I did realize that I am not as angry, not as bitter, not as disappointed as these authors, though I did enjoy the writing, and would recommend it to others.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Bitch and whine
    All these essays are fairly interchangeable. All the women seem to be white professionals, all left-leaning academics/writers griping about their complicated lives. There's a sameness to all their narratives; even the one by Ellen Gilchrist, a writer I admire, is suprisingly flat. No humor, no variety, no lightness of touch anywhere--just the self-absorbed ruminations of spoiled, earnest women who've bought the line that they can,and deserve, to have it all.

    2-0 out of 5 stars no sympathy here.
    This book sounded like it would be terrific -- women talking about things women tend not to discuss. However, it wasn't at all what I expected. The contributors are mainly upper-middle-class magazine writers, which means that the pieces all tend to sound the same, and have a real feeling of entitlement. Too, there are almost no older women/women of color/etc.

    I actually preferred THE BASTARD ON THE COUCH, because the men seemed a lot more dimensional than their wives (if as shallow).

    2-0 out of 5 stars A tree gave its life?
    A tree gave its life for this book? Give me a break! As a woman, I take offense to others who cannot look at the sunny side of life! This sets women back 100 years. ... Read more


    7. The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Modern Library Classics)
    by RALPH WALDO EMERSON
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679783229
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-12)
    Publisher: Modern Library
    Sales Rank: 3479
    Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The definitive collection of Emerson's major speeches, essays, and poetry, The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson chronicles the life's work of a true "American Scholar."

    As one of the architects of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson embraced a philosophy that championed the individual, emphasized independent thought, and prized "the splendid labyrinth of one's own perceptions." More than any writer of his time, he forged a style distinct from his European predecessors and embodied and defined what it meant to be an American. Matthew Arnold called Emerson's essays "the most important work done in prose."
    ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Waters that keep me afloat
    My daughter sent me one of these e-mail questionnaires intended to reveal your personality. One of the questions on it was, "What person, living or dead, would you give $10,000 to spend an hour with?" In that moment, I typed in "Ralph Waldo Emerson". He's not the only one, but I certainly would beg, borrow or steal $10,000 for an hour with him -- not Thoreau, not Whitman, not Schiller... but Emerson I would. And Goethe I would. But my simple heart lies closer to Emerson than to Goethe.

    I have gone through 4-5 of his selected works, and this is one of my two favorite.

    30 years ago, when I entered high school, we studied the Transcendentalists in a basic lit class, and something about Emerson just glowed in my mind. The teacher told me that with time I'd get to know other authors better, and Emerson would take his place alongside a legion of others. But he was in a degree mistaken. Emerson never did diminish. I have never fallen out of love with him. And the relationship is a serious one. When the shadow of doubt creeps over me that my presence on this planet might be some kind of horrendous mistake, I still crack open a volume of Emerson. And he has never failed to recall me to myself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Altering pieces of work
    With all the books written about philosophy today, and in the past, this should be perhaps, by far, the most sought after work. Camus and Dostoevsky have contributed much to thought and philosophy of existentialism, but this seems to, in its own way, surpass any labeling of a type of philosophy.

    Self-Reliance has to be one of the most understood pieces in the collection. Mr. Emerson speaks in a tone that is easily understood and thoughts explained in plain english, no degree required to understand. And once understood, ideas are easy to apply to our own life to better understand what we have read.

    Without a doubt, this book is a must in any thinkers library. Walt Whitman says it best about this book, "I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil." A genius of a book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Life-Changing
    All I can say is Emerson changed my life. Once I read "Self-Reliance" in school, his writing sparked my interest. I read a few more of his essays, then became "addicted" to this book. Despite its length, I read all of his essays and poems in 6 months. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Emerson is a genius. Everyone should read at least one of Emerson's essays in their lifetime. They are amazing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Collection of Pure Brilliance
    After perusing the wonderful assortment of Emerson's work in this marvelous compendium, I was inspired by the sheer genius of this man. I found his work inspirational because it reminded me how insightful and profound we humans can be. As we go through the day-to-day of modern life, it has become apparent that our culture believes the more basic you speak the more real you are being---well after reading Emerson, modern "realness" can take a hike. Here's to the intellect!

    Buy this book, sit back and read what thoughts we are capable of forging, and enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Life altering
    After reading the essay, "Self Reliance," I had a new perspective on my own intellectual capacity.

    Emerson's faith in reason, truth, and the potential of the individual, are inspiring.

    These essays are a great introduction to learning to trust yourself to find your own spiritual path.

    He is religious with out being dogmatic. He wonderfully marries the intellect with wonder. mmmm.

    Highly recommended. ... Read more


    8. The David Sedaris Box Set
    by David Sedaris
    list price: $59.98
    our price: $37.79
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1586210823
    Catlog: Book (2000-11)
    Publisher: Time Warner Audiobooks
    Sales Rank: 57819
    Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Star radio storyteller David Sedaris presents his collected works in one audio box set. The longest (at five hours) is his latest, Me Talk Pretty One Day, which contains two live performances from San Francisco. Welcome to a world where dogs outrank children, guitars have breasts, and Sedaris's fellow language-class students try to convey the concept of Easter to a Moroccan Muslim in their fledgling French (translated into English): "It is a party for the little boy of God," says one. "Then he be die one day on two ... morsels of ... lumber," says another. Sedaris is hilarious, and his Billie Holiday impression is amazing.

    The three-hour, Christmas-themed Holidays on Ice is the gem of the collection. It has his greatest hit, "SantaLand Diaries," a chronicle of his stint as an elf at Macy's, covering everything from the preliminary group lectures ("You are not a dancer. If you were a real dancer you wouldn't be here. You're an elf and you're going to wear panties like an elf.") to the perils of inter-elf flirtation. Other hits feature the crazed newsletter "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" and the prostitute coworker his sister brought home one Yuletide, giving "the phrase 'ho, ho, ho' whole different meaning." Barrel Fever contains the fulminatingly funny "Glen's Homophobia Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 2" and "Parade," discussing the narrator's perhaps not fully plausible gay relationships with Bruce Springsteen, Mike Tyson, and Peter Jennings. Naked describes his adventures in a nudist colony, but his family tales are, as ever, nonpareil. ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars You MUST buy this!
    I first heard of Sedaris through This American Life (An amazing Public Radio show) and immediately bought and read his books. David's writing is beyond belief, but hearing David read them (along with his sister Amy and one story read by Ann Magnuson) brings everything to a new level. While the tapes are abridged, the stories he reads, he reads in full. There are different versions than what is read on This American Life, and he sings some different songs than on TAL (in the style of Billie Holiday). Santaland Diaries are even longer than the TAL uncut version. I did prefer Julia Sweeney's rendetion of Merry Christmas(Seasons Greetings) to Our Friends and Family over Ann Magnuson's. This set is 14 hours long (10 Tapes). At the end of most of the books, there is an additional track of David singing or talking/laughing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You Can't Kill the Rooster
    I have absolutely no idea why anyone would write a review saying that David Sedaris' reading takes away from his books. I have always had exactly the opposite experience. Though I have read all his books, I prefer to listen to them because the author's voice is so unique and his delivery so apt. As much as I love reading "You Can't Kill the Rooster", hearing the phrase out loud adds a whole other dimension of hilarity. Obviously, listening to a book is a subjective experience, but I felt compelled to weigh in after reading the previous review. Don't pay any attention to that person, or to me either except for the part where I tell you not to pay attention to the other review. Decide for yourself.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Sedaris is Great, But Definitely NOT UNABRIDGED
    Let me explain my rating. For Sedaris' work, 5 stars plus. My problem is with Amazon listing this as "Unabridged". It is not--it is significantly abridged. What is here is great, as you might expect, but some of my favorites are missing (such as "We Get Along" from Barrel Fever). Funny thing is, nowhere on the item itself does the word "unabridged" appear. Why then does Amazon list it as "unabridged"? Not good--makes me wonder about their other descriptions. Buy it if you love Sedaris, but don't expect everything to be on these recordings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mark Twain of our Time
    No one around today tells a better story or writes a better story that David Sedaris. A previous "reviewer" mentioned that David doesn't know how to read his own material, which is like saying that Don Rickles doesn't know how to deliver an insult. David Sedaris' voice and delivery IS part of his writing. I'm thinking that David's wacky sister Amy wrote the previous review just to get on David's nerves...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better on CD!
    I'm a huge David Sedaris fan. I purchased this box set for my dad (...I love buying gifts that I can borrow...), and listened to a great deal of it over Christmas Break. This is a must own for anybody who is a fan of Sedaris - his work is even better when he reads it (I'm sure anybody who has heard him on NPR, or heard his act in person, can attest to this). I previously read "Me Talk Pretty One Day," and found myself laughing at lines in the audio version (and his Billie Holiday impression is spot-on) that I missed while reading. His tone is sardonic, self-depricating, and perfect for the brand of humor he presents. ... Read more


    9. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
    by Annie Dillard
    list price: $13.00
    our price: $9.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060953020
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-28)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 12217
    Average Customer Review: 3.85 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    An exhilarating meditation on nature and its seasons-a personal narrative highlighting one year's exploration on foot in the author's own neighborhood in Tinker Creek, Virginia. In the summer, Dillard stalks muskrats in the creek and contemplates wave mechanics; in the fall she watches a monarch butterfly migration and dreams of Arctic caribou. She tries to con a coot; she collects pond water and examines it under a microscope. She unties a snake skin, witnesses a flood, and plays -King of the Meadow' with a field of grasshoppers. ... Read more

    Reviews (163)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting and fun to read
    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard is an exceptional book. It is like a modern day version of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. The deep thoughts and intricate details bring to life images that have not been experienced before. For example, when Dillard tells about the water bug sucking the frog, it brings to mind a very gruesome image that the reader just cannot get rid of. Yet, this image also sucks the reader in for more. Also, the exotocally intense descriptions make grotesque actions more beautiful, such as when the praying mantis lays its eggs. While writing about the praying mantis laying its eggs, Dillard seems almost frantic to get it all down. It is almost childlike, like a child who is to agitated by the sunlight and all of the beautiful things outside to stay inside and do their work. This technique makes the book more playful,fun, and attractive to young readers.

    Dillard's paragraphs are woven together into tightly knit chapters by the nice transitions. The full circle effect ties up all of the loose ends at the end of each chapter and then again at the end of the book. The similes that are throughout the book make the book very poetic and intriguing. Dillard's obsessiveness with nature is intriguing because the reader does not know what she is goint say or do next.

    Dillard's Actions bring the book to life. When she is describing running from tree to tree so that she would not be seen, the reader gets a sense of how full of life she is and how happy she is just doing simple things out in nature. Also, when she is less then four feet from the snake, she just sits there amazed by it like a child.

    I never thought that I would read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, but as a part of a class I had to. Now that I have read it, I am glad that I did read it because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it to everybody.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Tinkerin Around
    Upon receiving the assignment of posting a review for a piece of nature-related literature in my AP Language and Composition III class, my stomach did cartwheels while my brain collapsed in desperation. Had I not suffered enough? We had finally accomplished the miraculous feat of Thoreau's Walden: Or, Life in the Woods. The looming title, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, sent shudders down my spine. There was no way this high school junior could withstand anymore elaborate descriptions of creeks or lakes or ponds or wherever this Dillard woman chose. I dreaded the return from spring break when we would begin another punish....err, I mean assignment.

    Surprise. Annie Dillard writes with the knowledge of Thoreau, but updates and modernizes his transcendental writing skill. At times, I had to do a double take and reread about the wolf slicing his tongue open and bleeding to death, or the poor frog sipped like a kid's slurpee on a sweltering July day. From the world of Eskimos to the mating of luna moths and sleeping with tons of fish in the bed, Dillard's book comes alive with Jeopardy-worthy trivia, up close and personal descriptions, and poetic completions. She employs telegraphic sentences throughout the work, adding spunk and playfulness as well as giving way to awesome transitions. Cramming allusions into every nook 'n cranny, she often questions "the Creator," but ends in praise.

    Can I praise Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek? Although she tosses in a little more Latin and gross observations than I prefer to sink my teeth into, it is a well-written book deserving of your attention. Her spirit is contagious; now will you see the light in the trees?

    4-0 out of 5 stars She flies her sentences like a kite.
    I enjoyed it immensely, even if its sentences are overwrought often to an annoying degree. I appreciate how she looks at the world in poetry: the world is a painting, and we are the poets charged with understanding it. The thing about Dillard is that in spite of the fact that her uber-emotive imagination stands in that place in her brain where my philosopher/mathematician stands in mine, she can still ask brilliant--even terrible--questions without all of the normal dillusions about what the alternative answers really are.

    There are downsides: the overdone sentences, the fact that not every chapter drove forward toward the point--or even manifested her goal. But one reads her and agrees, at the end of it, that yes, she earned that Pulitzer after all.

    And to all of the "bright AP English" students out there, for goodness sake put the book down and leave the book reviews alone. It just isn't for you. Pick it up again once you've lived some more of life.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Read from an Interesting Author
    Overall, a very interesting read. The adjective "interesting" can be taken in more than one sense, however. For example,
    A. The subject matter found within is unique and intriguing, revealing tidbits about nature one would not discover in a normal lifetime.
    B. Writing styles and techniques change throughout the book. At times Dillard is darkly pessimistic, while turning around a few sentences later to include some light wit. There is a lot of imaginative figurative language found that augments the writing a good deal.
    C. The author herself is an ... amusing person. I never would have thought one person could be so thoroughly interested in nature, at least if I had not read Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, before.
    And since the topic of Walden comes up, a comparison of the two would be appropriate. Dillard is much more appropriate for a modern audience. Both contain many insightful thoughts about nature and its relation to life, but you have to sift through a good deal of gunk to get to those points in Walden.
    So, I would recommend this book, along with Walden, to anyone willing to take it seriously and probably get grossed out a few times. The time and mental strain will be worth it in the end.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Conent or Creation
    As a part of our AP Language and Composition Class, I was given the task of reading two books I ordinarly would have never even pulled off the shelf, much less read cover to cover. The two books were Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. I must say I was dredding reading them both, but now, five hundred and some odd pages later, I must say I am glad I was made to experience them.
    The books themselves are compared most often, many say the message is the same and both Dillard and Thoreau were on the same journey; I however found they were entirely different and unique in their own ways.
    Dillard uses all forms of rhetorical techniques to appeal to all of the reader's senses. The use of similes (on almost every page I might add) shows both a crisp sense of detail and a beautiful poetic style. The many allusions to books, including the Bible, shows Dillard is well read and knowledgeable about the many interesting subjects she discusses within each chapter. Her keen sense of detail, both beautiful and disgusting at times, allows the reader to truly connect with nature and begin to see life from her perspective. The description of the people with newly restored sight has lead me to look at my own life in a new patch of color.
    Dillard has also clearly mastered the full circle effect and the use of telegraphic sentences and transitions at the percise time. Her use of ancedotes and scientific facts show her book is definitely a well construction piece of art.
    The most enjoyable part about the book is not for me was not the content, but the way in which Dillard arranged the chapters and paragraphs so carefully that the book flowed like a river from beginning to end.
    If nature and nonfiction is you thing then I would definitely recommend the book. As for Walden, good luck. ... Read more


    10. The Myth of Sisyphus : And Other Essays (Vintage International)
    by ALBERT CAMUS
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679733736
    Catlog: Book (1991-05-07)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 6074
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (35)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and compelling work--an invitation to discomfort
    It is interesting to note that, in spite of the gorgeous way in which Camus describes the joy that is the physical, immanent world, what Camus insists of the reader is no more than a challenge to what, for many people, are core notions about sadi world and its worth (or lack thereof). This book, when read closely, clears up many misconceptions held about existentialist or "absurd" thought, namely that, from an exceedingly nihilistic standpoint, the world and, by extension, life is utterly meaningless and altogether a futile endeavor devoid of hope. What Camus argues for is, contrary to uninformed assumptions, the beauty and joy inherent in the struggle of life (particularly against the notion of some ultimate/transcendent meaning that is applicable to all, and, perhaps more so, some sort of "next life" that ultimately bestows meaning on "this" life). In spite of Camus arguments, which are beautiful and compelling, I find his conflicting points regarding the inherent joy and meaning within life and the utter, ultimate hopelessness and futility which stems from its finite nature difficult to balance. Camus would, however, argue that this is as it should be, and that this contradiction is precisely what he talks about throughout the primary essay--the "absurd" (the divergence between the true and the expected/assumed/presumed) Though much of what Camus argues for is difficult and, at times, unpleasant to digest (considering their full assault on many preconcieved notions operating within the West/Christendom), I cannot help but admit that they are true. It is this criterion, whether or not something is evidently true, which serves as the impetus for his analysis; one cannot help but admire the ruthless inquisitiveness and honesty with which he asks and answers such questions of himself and of us. Strongly recommended. Camus, in addition to his evident passion for man and for life, writes gorgeous, aphoristic prose--which, I feel, is the best (or at least most pleasant) way for a philosopher to write.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!
    In this series of essays Camus, the giant of literature, confronts the most vexing question of our times. In a world stripped away from the illusions of religion, where man must face life as it is without the obscuring veil of fantasies, is life worth living? Camus combining a poetic literary style and exceptional philosophic genius shows that in fact life has no meaning. But far from a reason for despair, this realization "restores the majesty to life". For Camus one evades life when one hides behinds religious dogma or in the midst of some untenable philosophical system, for reason can bring us no closer to the truth than blind faith. We must, for Camus, accept that we can find no truth, and live life as it is; a life without answers, without meaning, without purpose. Other books I liked were Paul Omeziri's Descent into Illusions and Heiddeger's Being and Time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A few words about reading a book like this
    Seriously folks, I have never read such horrible reviews on amazon.com ever. The people who are supposed to be "reviewing" this book have launched into diatribes about why Camus' philosophy is "wrong" or why they dont agree with it. This is simply ludicrous.
    Camus was a brilliant Nobel winning author. To know Camus, one must read this book, along with The Stranger and The Plague. I for one will be the first to admit that I do not understand all of Camus. I do not know enough to "criticize" Camus' philosophy. The reviewers here who have tried to do so have simply shown their ignorance.

    Bottom line, read this book if you would like to read Camus. O'Brien's translation is managable, if not a little choppy. Nonetheless, these are the standards of Camus that we all still read. They are the hallmarks that we use to justify Camus' brilliance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pleased
    This book was more philosophical than expected. I didn't know what to expect while going into this book, but I came out of it with a better understanding of Camus and his life at the time the book was written. Is Mr. Camus referring to himself in his writing of this book? Perhaps. That is just something that is unclear in his writing. I'm on neutral grounds on that issue, but you may come out without a doubt certain he is referring to himself or the complete opposite. A great read, but not an easy read. Nothing that can be superficially read in a night. His thoughts and perspectives need to be understood a little deeper.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening subject and an enlightened finding
    The Myth of Sisyphus gets right to the point. The problem is is suicide the answer to the absurd. If you are not familiar with Camus' definition of the absurd you will have to work a little harder to understand the problem and why the answer is no, suicide is not an answer. I am not giving away anything here as Camus gives the answer right in the preface. Read the preface. Read the book. If you are not sure, read it again. Camus presents evidence as he sees fit and writes lyrically, thus the book is dense and meandering at times. It is worth the trouble. ... Read more


    11. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again : Essays and Arguments Tag: Author of Infinite Jest
    by David Foster Wallace
    list price: $23.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316919896
    Catlog: Book (1997-02-01)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 124114
    Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    David Foster Wallace made quite a splash in 1996 with his massive novel, Infinite Jest. Now he's back with a collection of essays entitled A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again. In addition to a razor-sharp writing style, Wallace has a mercurial mind that lights on many subjects. His seven essays travel from a state fair in Illinois to a cruise ship in the Caribbean, explore how television affects literature and what makes film auteur David Lynch tick, and deconstruct deconstructionism and find the intersection between tornadoes and tennis.

    These eclectic interests are enhanced by an eye (and nose) for detail: "I have seen sucrose beaches and water a very bright blue.I have seen an all-red leisure suit with flared lapels. I have smelled what suntan lotion smells like spread over 21,000 pounds of hot flesh . . ." It's evident that Wallace revels in both the life of the mind and the peculiarities of his fellows; in A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again he celebrates both. ... Read more

    Reviews (74)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Disclaimer: I've not read Wallace's fiction...
    ...but i really loved this essay collection.

    Wallace is (IMO) a totally hilarious writer and the essays collected in this book are astute observations and analyses of a number of topics and events written wittily with a voice that is brutally critical yet somehow still compassionate. His accounts of things as varied as a day at a small county fair to his experiences going on a "luxury cruise" are filled with information, abstract analysis, biting wit, and self-examination. I laughed out loud frequently, yet it made me think about society and selfhood a lot as well. Highly recommended for fans of this sort of writing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bipolar Reading
    David Foster Wallace is a very entrancing writer. His prose is, for lack of a better word, beautiful (though he falls into bouts of "like ____ or something", more notably in Infinite Jest than here). Most of this book is his own personal narrative on events he's either experienced or sent on assignment to experience. These tend to be eye-opening, entertaining, and marvelous.

    There are also a couple of essays, doctorate-level in complexity, on entertainment and David Lynch. These are very tough to get through unless you're truly interested in the subject. The Lynch essay got more readable towards the end, where it turned into a personal narrative.

    The amusement level of this book is, overall, very high. Wallace's odd take on the world is something very unique, which you have to experience yourself. He's semi-agoraphobic, and possibly boviscopophobic (get used to big words). He's a ping-pong guru (maybe). He lost at chess to a 9 year old girl. He has a fear of chickens. He lets you into his world.

    Enjoy

    4-0 out of 5 stars DFW shows his true colors
    I find I can't look away from David Foster Wallace's writing, even though from this book onward, his work keeps playing out the same way.

    If you want to understand Wallace, you can't do better than this book of essays. It's all here, from the sharp insight to the overcaffeinated but entertaining riffs on minutiae and big themes alike, to the terrific sense of order in his arguments, ebbing and flowing, delightfully departing from the pyramid structure/straw man tricks we've all seen eight billion times before.

    And, vexingly, there's that Other Thing about DFW to be found all over these clever essays: a curious lack of feeling about the outer world and his inner life. It's kept him from making the leap throughout his career, and it's never been exposed more plainly than here.

    You can see it in stark relief in his glimpses into sport. His essay on his own tennis playing doesn't carry the emotional freight he was gunning for, and it's no accident that the other tennis essay in this book, on the struggles of an obscure professional, is easily more evocative. Focusing on someone else, DFW is free to do what he does best (analyze) and escape from what he does the worst (feel).

    You can see DFW's signature numbness undestandably coloring his looks at cruises and state fairs--activities that clearly aren't his bag. More interestingly, you can sense DFW's engine revving beneath the surface of the narrative in his homage to David Lynch. The admiration for Lynch ties back to DFW's own authorial frustrations. He can't arrange objects literally, magically, or expressionistically to conjure the responses that Lynch can; DFW doesn't have the feel for it and knows it. DFW's nonfiction wit has never translated to fiction; his imagination needs real-world facts and factoids in order to spark--weirdly and sadly, Wallace can't get going with a blank page. The dark comic bounciness of Chuck Palahniuk that should have been DFW's never happened, because Chuck knew how to navigate dark territory with voice, speed and jokes in Choke and Fight Club, whereas DFW couldn't escape his own voice, couldn't construct or pace his story when deprived of facts, and found himself trapped with himself in the creepy flatness of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

    Lastly, you can see DFW's problem laid bare in the book's best essay. It's on television, and it's worth multiple reads, not only because it's the best and clearest love-hate encapsulation of TV that you'll likely ever come across, but also because DFW, in a miracle of accidental self-revelation, performs an autopsy on his own fiction.

    It's a virtuoso look at television's retrofitting of irony and metafiction, making them vehicles to move product and (above all else) sell television consumption itself. And DFW deftly argues that TV's dazzling use of irony has a withering effect on contemporary fiction. The essay concludes darkly with DFW admitting he can't see a way out for fiction, because practically every object, every plot line, every characterization imaginable already carries with it the oppressive weight of eerily undermining pop cultural subtexts.

    It's a compelling argument, especially from DFW's point of view. Except for two things. One, fiction is like any art form with a lot of purveyors--most of what's produced in any given time isn't very good. Quality is the exception, not the rule. I'll bet that DFW is clever enough, if forced to play devil's advocate, to produce a pretty compelling essay arguing that, generally speaking, fiction from ANY era is (was) dead on arrival.

    Second, well, there has been fiction that's broken through the fortress of irony since this essay. Writers depicting non-televisual, non-mainstream worlds have genuinely resonated, from Lumpiri to Leroy. The "hysterical realism" of White Teeth infused irony with playful humor, history, and real feeling, and leapfrogged DFW's quagmire. In Underworld, Don DeLillo--a hero of Wallace's--tried to burn through tired academic word games (a DFW fave) and pop cultural irony to find feeling, and for the most part, he succeeded. Even the low pop phenomenon of Harry Potter seems to won over the most impatient, media-saturated, medicated generation in history.

    DFW, on the other hand, despite all his obvious talents, hasn't. And this book lays out why he never will.

    All of which makes for a fun read. Buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
    One of the most insightful collections of essays I've read in years, Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing explores contemporary life with fresh and vibrant language. Too many try to compare these non-fiction essays with his magnum opus, Infinite Jest; there's a directness, a desire to not beat around the bush, present in A Supposedly Fun Thing. I.J. is a massive metaphor for the issues and concerns discussed in A Supposedly Fun Thing and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (another fine Wallace book). I'd love to read Wallace's take on the post-Sept. 11th America and the Bush Administration. If you're reading this, Dave, consider this a suggestion for more exceptional essays. Thanks for the great book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Worth it
    This was a thorough and entertaining read. I laughed all the way through. ... Read more


    12. A Room of One's Own
    by Virginia Woolf
    list price: $10.00
    our price: $7.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0156787334
    Catlog: Book (1989-12-27)
    Publisher: Harvest Books
    Sales Rank: 10127
    Average Customer Review: 4.04 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Surprisingly, this long essay about society and art and sexism is one of Woolf's most accessible works. Woolf, a major modernist writer and critic, takes us on an erudite yet conversational--and completely entertaining--walk around the history of women in writing, smoothly comparing the architecture of sentences by the likes of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen, all the while lampooning the chauvinistic state of university education in the England of her day. When she concluded that to achieve their full greatness as writers women will need a solid income and a privacy, Woolf pretty much invented modern feminist criticism. ... Read more

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Witty and Intelligent Argument on Behalf of Female Writers
    Virginia Woolf is a writer of intelligence and grace. A Room of One's Own is a skinny little treasure of a book with words and wisdom that will stay with the reader long after it is read. The essay contained in the book is the result of two papers that Ms. Woolf read to the Arts Society at newnham and Odtaa at Girton (England) in October of 1928. She was asked to speak about the topic of "Women and Fiction", and after doing so, she expanded her papers and later published them as this book.

    Woolf begins the essay by writing, "I soon saw that [the subject of women and fiction] had one fatal drawback. I should never be able to come to a conclusion. I should never be able to fulfil what is, I understand, the first duty of a lecturer- to hand you after an hour's discourse a nugget of pure truth to wrap up between the pages of your notebooks and keep on the mantelpiece for ever. All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point- a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction... At any rate, when a subject is highly controversial- and any question about sex is that- one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opionion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conslusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker."

    It is in this straightforward and honest manner that Woolf writes about women and fiction. Although the speech was given and the book was published in 1929, all of its points are still important for women- and especially women writers and artists- today. In A Room of One's Own Woolf examines classic literary works of the past and wonders why most, until the 19th Century, were written by men, and why most of the works published by women in the 19th Century were fiction. She comes to the logical conclusion that women in the past had little to no time to write because of their childbearing and raising responsibilities. There is also the fact that they were not educated and were forbidden or discouraged from writing. When they did begin to write, they only had the common sitting rooms of Elizabethan homes to do so in, which did not provide much solitude or peace of mind, as it was open to any interruption and distraction that came along.

    Woolf argues passionately that true independence comes with economic well-being. This is true for countries, governments, individuals, and writers, especially female writers. Without financial security it is impossible for any writer to have the luxury of writing for writing's sake. It is also a very inspiring book for any aspiring write to read. I end this review with Virginia Woolf's own hopes for women in the future:

    "... I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream."

    (If you liked this review, please read my other book reviews under my Amazon profile...)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful but Out of Date
    When I read this book the first time I was enthralled. We really take for granted the position our mothers and grandmothers worked so hard to ensure for us. I forget how close in time we are to when women couldn't vote or attend male universities.

    Virginia Woolf was provided a room of her own to be able to create the work that has become so influential in twentieth century writing. In an ideal world everyone would be allowed to artistically express themselves without having to be in the "real world." I know that since I graduated from college and have been working 40-50 hour work weeks, I am less inclined to read or write. I don't feel like I can let that be my excuse, though, just because it would be easier to write if I could spend all my time doing it. The request that women have money and a room seems very upper-middle-class and out of touch with the way life was even in Woolf's time.

    In spite of those criticisms, I am so glad I read this book. It made me feel empowered as a woman and a writer. This is a must read for anyone trying to understand the history of feminism.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Room better left unvisited
    Although this critique might be viewed by my professors as academic suicide, I shall plunge headfirst and hope that the branches of tolerance break my fall. I do not like A Room of Ones Own. I understand the concept of stylized writing, but the content of the book does nothing to draw in the reader. Certainly, Woolf's mastery in writing should be applauded on its merit; however, I am not progressed far enough in my education to fully appreciate Woolf's subtleties. There is nothing in A Room of One's Own that remains once the book is closed, although the pages are full of wonderful ideas. The presentation of these ideas; however, are uninteresting and handled in a very preachy manner. It is my opinion that such revolutionary ideas should have been shot forth from a canon rather than whispered in a library

    4-0 out of 5 stars Virginia Woolf: an advocate and speaker for women
    A Room of One¡¦s Own is an essay, which is ¡§based upon two papers read to the Arts Society at Newnham and the Odtaa at Girton¡¨ in 1928.Virginia Woolf, an advocate and speaker for women, gives a really good and important lesson to females. She challenges the norm and tradition of the patriarchal society. By questioning the phenomenon of the society, Woolf clearly points out the insufficient opportunities for women and the deprivation of talented women in different ways, especially in education and work. For the essay, Woolf invents Shakespeare¡¦s sister, Judith, and tells us the life of Judith. She shows us that society overlooks the talent of women; thus, a lot of intelligent women are not recognized in the world. She urge people to open their eyes, take a serious look at women and praise them for their talents.
    The other important message that Woolf brings to women is about freedom and the ways to strive for it. Adequate income and a room of one¡¦s own are the two essential factors for a woman to earn freedom. These basics can free women from getting nothing but children. Women can have more choices besides staying at home and doing housework; life will be different if one has her own space. I think Woolf¡¦s Essay is indeed a timeless lecture for every woman. As a woman, I think we should use our knowledge to strike for freedom and opportunities for ourselves and our next generations, just like Virginia Woolf challenges the norm and system of the society.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Every writer must read this...and create your own room.
    This is a testament to writers everywhere. Write, write, and write is what you must do to become published, but you must have your own space to do so. Virginia Woolf's testament to that resounds just by the fact that her writing has survived various generations to still be read today. ... Read more


    13. Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena
    by JULIA REED
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0812973615
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 43645
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars So real I kept thinking I was reading about my own life
    Wow, where do I start? I read this book in one sitting and laughed and cried while I was at it. Being from Arkansas myself, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, "What would people think?" It was a mantra in my household, particularly when I was trying to do something as outrageous as leaving the house without lipstick. I turned about every other page over to show my husband later, so he would understand me better!

    I felt Ms. Reed presented both sides of the South well... the backward (and oft times embarrassing) ways, and the strong traditions and attitudes that make a real (positive) difference in a person's life. I bought it for my mom and her three sisters, as I knew they would laugh as hard as I did at how she nailed so many aspects of Southerners. I've also given this book to several young women, as I think it portrays the strength of Southern women. Ms. Reed finally gave me a way of explaining to blue-state Northerners (where I live now) why I'm so proud of being Southern.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not so funny...
    Well, having recently finished Celia Rivenbark's 'We're Just Like You Only Prettier', which was very amusing, I figured this book would be similar to that one. The reviews said it was very humorous, and entertaining. I'm sorry, but I do not agree. Julia Reed is a Vogue writer living in New York City, but she's from Mississippi. Now, I felt that at times when describing the silly ways of the southern women's traditions, it was almost like she was making fun of them. But then when she would bash the Yankees (which I happen to be, and am darn proud of it) she was all for her southern heritage.

    I love southern books, and I've always had this fascination with the south. I truly hope one day to live there when my husband retires. I have always admired southern women, their traditions, their tight family bonds, and the land itself. Ms. Reed made these women sound ditsy, and shallow, while making us Yankees sound like ignorant, clueless slobs. And she made the area (the south) sound like pure hell to live in.

    I gave this 2 stars because there were some interesting facts in it, and some of the events that go on down there were really neat to learn about, and all the food she talked about, sounds delicious! But overall I'd just like to forget this book. It has in no way changed my opinion of southern men and women, or the south itself, and I can only hope they don't look at the Yankees the same way Julia Reed does. If you're looking for a funny book on the 'ways of the south', pick up Ms. Rivenbarks book, that one won't disappoint.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect balance...
    I have been looking for a book like this for some time. If the "GRITS" series took it all a little too seriously for you, then pick up "Queen of the Turtle Derby" (this is a true 'you cant put it down' title).I was delighted to find a fellow southerner/ part-time new orleanian in love with the gulf coast, in love with the south, the food, the people, but with a sense of humor about it (doesnt being a southerner revolve around a sense of humor in the first place?). This is the book for the girl who choose NOT to be a debutante but who still holds a very special place in her heart for those who were. Its the book for those who grew up steeped in this culture, and possibly even rejected it at some point, but who realized later in life how much it is a part of who you are and now accept it with open arms, ready to laugh at any minute. Its incredibly smart, funny, and filled with unforgettable stories about friends, family, guns, booze, debs, food and pagents. Reed is an incredible writer and after enjoying her articles for years, I can only hope that there is a second book on the way. And she is welcome to parade in mobile anytime as the catfish queen!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Read!!!
    I loved this book!I picked it up on a whim.I only gave it four stars because it ended to soon!The whole book felt more like having a conversation with someone than just reading a book.Not only did it give great insight to living in the south, but also tips on cooking, parties, and recipes.Don't miss this book!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining
    I first experienced Julia Reed in the pages of the southern literary magazine, "The Oxford American" and I was hooked. She has a wonderful way with words and if you are in any way interested in the culture of the American South then this is certainly one view of it. Funny stuff and well worth your time! ... Read more


    14. Paradise Screwed: Selected Columns of Carl Hiaasen
    by Carl Hiaasen, Diane Stevenson
    list price: $25.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0399147918
    Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
    Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
    Sales Rank: 56293
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "Reminiscent of the snarky, opinionated newspaper articles of the great Mark Twain, Hiaasen's columns are finely crafted little gems." (Booklist)

    Carl Hiaasen takes you on a wide-ranging safari, observing south Florida's wildlife in its natural habitat-from fat-cat politicians to migrating mobsters, drowning dolphins to stray chads. This collection of Miami Herald columns-written with a satiric wit and biting humor-will give Hiaasen fans a glimpse of the facts that inspire his frenetic fiction.

    Harking back to the muckraking journalists of old, Hiaasen lets readers in on the comings and goings of corrupt local politicos, misguided tourist bureaus, and flailing sports franchises. He tackles such current events as the Elian Gonzalez imbroglio and the 2000 presidential election recount. All in all, more than two hundred columns chronicle the everyday circus that gives south Florida a flavor and a flair all its own.

    Since 1985, Hiaasen's twice-weekly, "baseball-bat-to-the-forehead" column has given the average citizen a voice. A staunch defender of his native state, Hiaasen isn't afraid to take anyone on, including environmental despoilers, Big Tobacco, and the NRA. But as proven in his first collection of columns, Kick Ass, his righteous rage and spirited wit resonate far beyond the Sunshine State-and show readers a world-class journalist in his element.

    Edited by Diane Stevenson.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Even Better Than His Best Novels
    I wish I could say I was a rabid Carl Hiaasen fan like a lot of people who seem to love all of his novels, because I love to read and love good writing, and Hiaasen's writing style is always excellent. I loved "Tourist Season", "Sick Puppy", and "Stormy Weather", but thought that he was pushing it a little in some of his other novels like "Lucky You" and "Native Tongue" where the plots were, at least in my opinion a little contrived. So when I got this book, which is a collection of his newspaper articles for the Miami Herald, I wasn't sure what I was going to think about it.
    It's excellent! I thought his best novels were very good but his true calling is his work as a reporter. The articles are meaningful in the way that he exposes corruption and the destruction of Florida's natural resources, but they're written with a great sarcastic wit. I know a little about South Florida politics and environmental issues, because we always vacation in Key West and you get the news on television from Miami, but you don't need to in order to enjoy this book tremendously. There are too many great articles in this collection to name them all, but the one about the "Incredible Shrinking Palm Trees" in particular is one of the funniest things I've ever read. This book is better than even his best novels, and the shame of it is that all of it is [unfortunately] true.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A crusader with a sense of humour
    I love this man's writing! I started with his fiction and having devoured all there was of that at the time I stumbled on his first book of Miami Herald columns. I bought Paradise Screwed as soon as it was out.
    The really exciting thing about Carl is that he takes on the corruption and the sleaze and the bizarre goings on in Florida and makes people aware of them through witty yet hard hitting writing. He isn't afraid to make waves and when you read this book you will begin to wonder about the greasing of the wheels in State politics.
    He is passionate about his home state and what is happening to it and as a visitor to Florida on more than one occassion, he has really made me think about the affects of inconsiderate development and tourism.
    But even if you aren't keen on any of that, the columns are clever and well written, so it's well worth the read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What Michael Moore is to the nation, Hiaasen is to Florida
    Another collection of "baseball-bat-to-the-forehead" columns in a similar writing style as Moore. Both men use biting satire and their wicked wit to tell you what they think, and are unafraid in doing so. Hiaasen is even more impressive I think because his substantive job is still journalism and yet he can find humor in real people and events as easily as in fiction.

    These columns are a selection from over the last 20 years of events in South Florida. You don't have to go back any further than 2 years to Elian Gonzalez and the 2000 presidential election to know that there's enough grist-for-the-mill here to fill much more than one book on these two topics alone. Nevertheless Hiaasen reins himself in and spreads his verbal darts around. Topics covered include "Mayor loco", the soon-to-be-gone Marlins, Chads (not a person, those bits of paper, remember?) Dolphins (both the team and the ones that frequently drown offshore), Race Riots, a con artist doctor and a pet-hating extortionist. That's the more exotic stuff. Then there's the normal South Florida fare of crooked politicians, stupid state officials, assorted mobsters and mafia, drugs, guns, and general mayhem and madness. As Hiaasen said in a recent interview "all the paths of slime and disreputability seem to lead here."

    The man is a Florida treasure and for those of us who live through what he writes about his humor is a saving grace. Very few of us can express it the way he does so he is our voice of reason saying yes, it's PARADISE SCREWED allright, but we're still alive we can laugh about it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More Greatness from the Mencken of Greater Miami
    I think that the previous customer review misses the point of this collection. Its predecessor, KICK ASS, was mostly intended to showcase Hiaasen's brilliance of style. PARADISE SCREWED is not aiming to be KICK ASS, PART TWO; it's not a gathering of columns that did not make the cut for the first volume. Instead, it expands outward to focus on issues. Its purpose is entirely different (as is evident from the title), and so is the principle of selection. The writing itself, though, is as biting and as crucial as that in the first collection. Both books are vital and essential.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good, But Not As Good As The First Hiaasen Compilation
    Carl Hiaasen's second compilation of his Miami Herald columns continues to show the biting wit which is prevalent in his usually terrific novels. But my guess is that the first book of columns "Kick" was probably designed to be the Best of Hiaasen with no plans for a sequel. Thus the columns contained in "Paradise" are the second cut and thus just not as good, although they are enjoyable to read. Not as many idiotic South Florida politicians this time around, not as many idiotic citizens. I was also disappointed in the way he handled the Florida election fiasco for the 2000 Presidential election. This was a topic just made for his humor, but he chose to use his forum as a soapbox to get a recount and to get Al Gore elected (he doesn't say it, but it was pretty obvious to me). My hope is that he plans to use this as fodder for a future novel and thus wanted to save his material.

    Hiaasen is a great columnist. I live over 1,000 miles away from South Florida, but he gets his point across pretty well. It would have been nice if each story had a little afterword as to what ultimately happened to the people in the column (i.e. did the politician give up his $15,000 desk that was paid for with taxpayer money voluntarily).

    Good for the Hiaasen completest, but the first book "Kick" is the better choice. ... Read more


    15. Small Wonder : Essays
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    list price: $13.95
    our price: $10.46
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060504080
    Catlog: Book (2003-04-01)
    Publisher: Perennial
    Sales Rank: 3751
    Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In her new essay collection, the beloved author of High Tide in Tucson brings to us, out of one of history's darker moments, an extended love song to the world we still have.

    Whether she is contemplating the Grand Canyon, her vegetable garden, motherhood, genetic engineering, or the future of a nation founded on the best of all human impulses, these essays are grounded in the author's belief that our largest problems have grown from the earth's remotest corners as well as our own backyards, and that answers may lie in both those places.

    Sometimes grave, occasionally hilarious, and ultimately persuasive, Small Wonder is a hopeful examination of the people we seem to be, and what we might yet make of ourselves.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (67)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Somewhat lackluster for such a brilliant author
    I was eager to read _Small Wonder_ after immensely enjoying Kingsolver's previous book of essays, _High Tide in Tucson_, as well as just about everything else she's written. I was disappointed to find it much less engaging. Kingsolver generally uses a very deft approach to moral ambiguities, presenting the reader with the issues and then for the most part leaving us to draw our own conclusions. In this book, however, I felt I was being beaten over the head with her ideology. Never mind that I agree with her on most points; I still didn't appreciate having her opinions stuffed down my throat. It may be that our country's current dismal outlook on the political and environmental scenes are causing her to become more angry and shrill. If so, this seems like a better way to turn readers off than on. If she weren't one of my favorite writers, I would probably have given this 2 stars rather than 3.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written Sanity
    Since the Twin Towers crumbled, very few have had the courage to stand up in the face of the Jingoistic, shallow patriotism and say, there is something terribly wrong here! Ms. Kingsolver, writing beautifully as always, manages to make hard fisted moral statements sound like poetry, but nonetheless she says some things that need to be said, and, most of all, need to be heard.Whether it is debunking the nonsense that it is wrong for other countries to attack the US, but fair and just for the US to attack them back, or telling the truth out loud about the US involvement in setting up the Taliban's power in the first place, she tells it truly from her heart, and she tells it right and well. She addresses many topics in this wonderful book of essays, from the death penalty to poetry, to dreadful television, and she manages each time to stand outside of the mainstream point of view and look objectively, and from that stance, to point out the absurdity, and to point out a saner direction. Ms. Kingsolver says peace not war, love not hate, sharing not profit, and these ideas are not new, just stated newly and beautifully at a time when they need so desparately to be heard.
    This was a wonderful book and I wish everyone would read it and let it in.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Not-So-Tasty Organic Stew
    Barbara Kingsolver is an excellent writer and I have no trouble with anyone espousing her political views. It is her right as it is anyone else's. I admire her courage of conviction and many of the practices in her life. That said, however, I did find it a little hard to swallow the not-so-subtle lectures from an environmentalist who writes books that kill trees, lives in Tucson (aren't the organic gardens she writes of so glowingly all irrigated? How is that such a resource savings?), maintains two homes, jets around the world, and lives the way she chooses, not the way she has to. But then, I have always been a big fan of ironies.

    Another irony that struck me was the unpleasant whiff of commercialism in packaging a collection of essays that seemed to capitalize on the events of 9-11 from someone who writes so eloquently about the soul-destroying aspects of rampant commercialism. While her writing is always a pleasure, her views seemed a tad simplistic at times. The 9-11 attacks were caused by global warming and multinational corporations -- nothing about US policies in the Middle East, religious fanaticism, and bad foreign policy in general. Homelessness can be solved by seeing that everyone has a home. (Having worked with several homeless people, I can testify that the solutions are just a tad more complicated than that.)

    I was genuinely confused by her views on trade. If I buy food even from other parts of the United States is that a Bad Thing or a Good Thing? She points out that much of our food travels a long way to get to us -- conveniently ignoring the fact that people have sought goods from other lands for millenia -- but justifies her coffee because it is shade grown; I guess that cancels out the distance it is transported and the middlemen who also profit. And she rightly criticizes the big corporations who profit by using others and destroying land, but has nothing to say about the poor people in other lands who are using their little bit of commerce to feed their families.

    She describes an encounter with several teachers who were nervous and afraid to come to work the day after the Columbine shootings. She is able to calm these silly gooses by pointing out that they are no more likely to die than any other day. But she herself is upset at 9-11, even though she doesn't live anywhere near the attacks, lost no one, and has no television. It just seems as though her feelings are genuine but others are shallow.

    A final, personal quibble: I'd love to read something from a Southerner who doesn't have to point out that They Have Standards. I suppose that her comment about not being able to have company without doing some tidying because she is a Southerner was meant to be a little self-deprecatory humor, but the implication from her and others who keep doing this is that Other Folks are comfortable just sitting around in their underwear and throwing more trash onto the carpet. Believe it or not, other folks tidy up and invite people to dinner, can you imagine?

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Not-So-Tasty Organic Stew
    I have no problem with Barbara Kingsolver stating her political views, although I was surprised to discover that this is basically what these essays are. I admire the courage of her convictions and am happy to learn ways in which I might think of slower, kinder, more gentle times.

    That said, however, some of this was kind of hard to swallow from a woman who maintains two homes, jets all over the world, and gardens because she chooses to, not because she has to. I have a major philosophical disconnect with an environmentalist who writes books that kill trees and who lives in Tucson, where surely they must have to irrigate to do all this local gardening, but I am a big fan of ironies. I also have a hard time accepting a series of essays that seems to capitalize on the events on 9-11 in a personal way. In one of her essays, Kingsolver describes how she calmed a number of teachers who, silly geese, were nervous at coming to work the day after the Columbine shootings. She points out how they are no more likely to die than any other day and they are comforted. Isn't it special that she was there to do that? Yet she writes several times about how *deeply* the events of 9-11 affected her, even though she doesn't live anywhere near the affected areas, lost no one, and has no television. Why are her feelings so profound while others are so shallow? A lot of her essays seem to focus on ways in which she shuts herself off from negative feelings and images (I happen to agree with her about television, and about a number of other issues), but then she chooses to inject herself into 9-11 and become one of us, so to speak. There's a nasty whiff of commercialism about this book, again ironic in a collection that speaks so eloquently about the soul-destroying aspects of rampant consumerism.

    I also found myself genuinely confused about her food and trade issues. If I buy food from other parts of the world, is that a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? If I support the multinational corporations, it's a Bad Thing, but may I still have my oatmeal from Ireland and my olive oil from Italy? Is that trade in a humane way, or just another American buying things she doesn't need? I really don't know. She points out that a lot of food travels great distances to reach us, but people have always sought goods and food from other lands. In a non-hostile manner, it strikes me as one of the ways we learn to respect each other's differences, but Kingsolver really doesn't delve into this. She does speak out against the overbearing tendencies of the big corporations, and I agree with her, but she never gets into the cottage industries in Third World countries that may be selling goods to support their families.

    Speaking of big corporations -- and I am in a spoiler mood today -- the main reason the United States was attacked, according to her, was global warming. If she mentions global warming once, she does it a dozen times. Well, global warming *is* a serious problem, but maybe our policies in the Middle East, religious fanaticism, and bad foreign policy in general just might have had a little to do with it, but what do I know?

    And a final, personal quibble: is it not possible for a Southern woman to refrain from interjecting comments about doing things certain ways because she's a Southerner? She mentions that she's from the South and therefore is just not capable of greeting visitors without doing a little tidying. I suppose that's meant to be a little self-deprecating humor, but really, it's hostile and rude. The clear implication is that *other* folks just lie there in their underwear flinging trash onto the rug. Surprise, Barbara: people who are not special enough to be Southerners actually pick up their living rooms and invite people to dinner. This is not some special Southern thing, even if that's what you were taught.

    3-0 out of 5 stars It was Good and it was Bad...
    I read an interesting essay in this book about a wild Bear that had nursed a child in a remote cave in a mountainous area in Iran.

    I find it unfortunate that Ms. Kingsolver (and also the Editors), do not understand that the language of Iran is not "Arabic"... It was humorous that Ms. Kingsolver says that inspite of her efforts, she was not able to determine the fate of the bear because she "can't read arabic".

    Furthermore there is no such thing as "Lorena" province in Iran -- likely it is "Lorestan" that is being referred to here (again, indicative of poor editing) - There have been many derivative articles that have now propagated the errors in this essay.

    While I agree with the spirit of her essay , I find it unfortunate that seemingly educated people use their ignorance to spread falsehoods and streotypes such as suggesting that the Lori's might have ultimately killed the bear. In any case, I read an article on this incident, written by The Herald, which indicated that the bear was left alone and not "killed" by the Lori's, for taking a human child as its own. The Lori's are a nature-loving people that have co-existed with their natural surroundings for centuries.

    In any case the official language of Iran is Persian (Parsi), which is of Indo-Iranian roots, unlike arabic which is Semetic. I thought this was fairly well known. I would appreciate it if this essay and its author and editors are corrected. ... Read more


    16. Major Modern Essayists (2nd Edition)
    by Gilbert H. Muller, Alan F. Crooks
    list price: $60.00
    our price: $60.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0134979834
    Catlog: Book (1994-01-07)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 443852
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    17. World As I See It
    by Albert Einstein
    list price: $10.95
    our price: $8.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 080650711X
    Catlog: Book (1993-07-01)
    Publisher: Citadel Press
    Sales Rank: 14317
    Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Einstein revealed in these writings is witty, keenly perceptive, and deeply concerned for humanity. Einstein believed in the possibility of a peaceful world and in the high mission of science to serve human well-being. As we near the end of a century in which science has come to seem more and more remote from human values, Einstein's perspective is indispensable. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The World As I See It
    It still amazes me to think that this book exists at all, and for one very good reason: no one ever mentioned to me that Albert Einstein was a quasi-philosopher-turned-political-activist. I grew up hearing about 'Einstein the Scientist' but knew nothing of the man who spoke out about global disarmament, pacifism, and even the reconstruction of Palestine in spite of persecution at home (think Germany, 1933) and abroad. It wasn't until I stumbled upon a few quotes of his that I realized his mind worked beyond even the limits of science, and it wasn't until I stumbled across an e-book titled "The World As I See It" by Albert Einstein that I realized there were publications in his name beyond his Scientific Journals. When I saw a real copy in one of my favourite used-book shops, of course I had to buy it.

    The book is really an incomplete collection of Einstein's articles and writings put together "to give a picture of a man," we are told by the editor, as "his character and opinions are being exhibited to the world in an utterly distorted form...to forestall this fate is the real object of this book." If nothing else, this collection gives a clear picture of the things that Einstein was concerned about, which speaks volumes more about his character than a biography could. Topics within the text vary greatly, though inevitably touch upon religion, personal philosophy (yes, those are two separate categories to me), and world politics.

    Of particular interest to me was those articles written in pre-WWII Germany as they absolutely reek of the political turmoil of the times, which remind me greatly of the political bantering surrounding a post-9/11 United States. Specifically, there are a series of letters exchanged between Herr Einstein and the Prussian Academy of Sciences in which Einstein is accused of "atrocity-mongering" after resigning from the Academy due to the Prussian Government's inequities against individual freedom. The Academy essentially twists Einstein's actions and words in an effort to slander his good name, and each retort quid pro quo paints the formulaic picture of an irrational "authority" attacking those who speak out against them. After re-reading the articles just now, I can't help but be reminded of the Bush Administration's attacks on the Dixie Chicks after the attacks on the World Trade Center.

    I would like to address each of the ideas presented within this book, but would rather save that for a proper essay as each deserves more merit than a few brief scribbles in a book review. I will say this though: Albert Einstein's theories on disarmament, world peace and global unification seem as attainable as they are idealistic when coming from the pen of such an honest, genuine, intelligent man. He speaks with complete understanding and acceptance of himself, others and the politics in between when touching upon subjects ranging between Good and Evil to The Meaning of Life to Peace, Fascism, Culture and Prosperity, and I found myself with little choice but to listen whole-heartedly and agree with the brilliance captured within these few pages.

    I recommend this book to everyone (and I *rarely* recommend books) and believe it should be a mandatory-study in high school for its sheer breadth of scope in understanding the globe we call Earth as it is today, and as it should be tomorrow.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A Rip-Off
    Readers should be aware that this edition of "The World As I See It" is, in fact, an abridged version of the original publication. Without bothering to mention this on the title page, it has dropped the entire fifth section on "Scientific Questions," including such classic popular expositions of Einstein's basic philosophy as "Geometry and Experience" and "Principles of Research." Editing a book of Einstein's writings which deliberately excludes all mention of science is like publishing a biography of Mozart - without any reference to music.

    It is, I think, significant of the dumbing down of American publishing that the German edition of the same book ("Mein Weltbild," published by Ullman) has continuously added new material on politics, fascism, Judaism, peace and science over the years! Readers who want to know what Einstein was really like should obtain a used copy of the original full version.

    5-0 out of 5 stars To know Einstein's thoughts, the rest are details
    To know Einstein's thoughts is to understand the nature of one of histories finest minds. Beyond all else, Albert Einstein was a man, a man of deep social & moral conscience. As I read this book, I was struck by the thought of George Santayana, "Those who do not study the past are condemned to repeat it." To be able to travel back nearly 100 years and view the world throught the mind and spirit of Einstein is a pleasure indeed. I found myself at odds with some of what Einstein thought. However, what a great experience it was to explore those thoughts and how many still appear true today. Albert Einstein once said "Imagination is more important than knowledge". The man knew what he was talking about.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Humble Mind, Greatest Scientist
    The book reveals, the thoughts of the great mind known as Albert Einstein. His social life was as enlightening, as his intellectual mind. He had god given gift of opening god's secrets, and he did it beautifully, and humbly. I have read this book many times, and feel divine about thinking about Albert Eintein.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A great book to read, especially if intrested in Einstein
    This book was a really interesting to read because I've never read any letters Albert had written, and it tells about events in his life you wouldn't ordinarily know. The only problem for me was the book didn't quite grab my attention in some parts very well. But other than that I loved the cover and the book, I would definitely recommend it. ... Read more


    18. Naked Pictures of Famous People
    by Jon Stewart
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0688171621
    Catlog: Book (1999-10-06)
    Publisher: Perennial Currents
    Sales Rank: 141
    Average Customer Review: 3.88 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In these nineteen whip-smart essays, Jon Stewart takes on politics, religion, and celebrity with a seethingly irreverent wit, a brilliantsense of timming, and a palate for the obsurd -- and these one-of-a-kind forays into his hilarious world will expose you to all its wickedly naked truths.

    He's the MTV generation's master of modern humor, a star of film, TV, and the comedy stage. This sultan of savvy serves up a whip-smart, utterly original collection of comic essays in Naked Pictures of Famous People. And as of January 11, 1999, you can enjoy the intelligence and self-deprecating charm he brings to contemporary comedy on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

    In his first book, he translates that unique talent to the page, with humorous forays into a vast array of subjects: fashion, urban life, fast cars, cocktail culture, modern Jewishness, politics, and dating.

    A seethingly irreverent wit, Stewart has a genius for language and brilliant timing that makes his up-to-the-minute collection a must-have for humor lovers in search of a Woody Allen for the 90s.He's the MTV generation's master of modern humor, a star of film, TV, and the comedy stage. This sultan of savvy serves up a whip-smart, utterly original collection of comic essays in Naked Pictures of Famous People. And as of January 11, 1999, you can enjoy the intelligence and self-deprecating charm he brings to contemporary comedy on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

    In his first book, he translates that unique talent to the page, with humorous forays into a vast array of subjects: fashion, urban life, fast cars, cocktail culture, modern Jewishness, politics, and dating.

    A seethingly irreverent wit, Stewart has a genius for language and brilliant timing that makes his up-to-the-minute collection a must-have for humor lovers in search of a Woody Allen for the 90s. ... Read more

    Reviews (78)

    4-0 out of 5 stars For those who enjoy sharp wit...
    ...this book is for you. Jon Stewart is that rarity of comic performer -- he's a smart, witty guy who doesn't rely on bathroom humor as a comic crutch. His personality and style translate very well in this writing endeavor, "Naked Pictures of Famous People". This is one book that will startle laughter out of you with its sharp observances and dry wit, especially on such topics as celebrities, religion, historical figures and commercial "pitchmen".

    The book as a whole is quite enjoyable, though my own favorite essays are "The New Judaism", "Pen Pals", "Local News' and "The Last Supper, or the Dead Waiter". Great stuff!

    I hope that Stewart continues to make literary contributions; there aren't that many comic talents who write actual comedic essays and instead rely on recording their usual stage patter.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gerald Ford would be proud.
    Being in college, I spend a good portion of my day watching TV. One highlight has always been "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." As a result, I picked up this book. This might actually be the first book that I have wanted to read since the Horton series. And this is well worth the wait.
    Stewart lets loose in this book, writing about 20 essays that start (mostly) in reality and end up somewhere around Oz. Most essays involve the twisted private lives of famous people, hence the title. These include Hitler, Bill Gates, the Hansons, The Kennedys, Jesus, President Ford and Martha Stewart, no relation. Some comment on current forms of media, such as AOL chat rooms and over-hyped award shows.
    Overall, this book is packed quirky little things that made me laugh out loud. It is very clever, very well written and very funny. For those who know Stewart through "The Daily Show," I think you'll know what to expect. For anyone who likes well-written satire that doesn't involve pigs named Napoleon, here's your book. Just a note: this probably isn't for the faint of heart or youngin's, especially Martha Stewart's essay. But it's still darn funny.
    Thank you Jon Stewart. Quite a moment of Zen.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Mom is going to Jail
    Jon this is your mother Martha. As you know, I am going to jail. While I am in jail, do not write any more books that suck as badly as this one does. Or else I'll have to go back to jail for giving you a whooping when I get out!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good book - with exceptions
    First I'll admit I love The Daily Show with John Stewart and TiVo it nightly. I enjoyed the book first and foremost for its incredibly interesting take on historical events and the unique narratives. It alternated between very funny, very weird, and kind of dumb. It is a quick read, offers unique glimpses into history, and has its funny moments. I think Stewart can and will do better, but it gets a 3/5 from me because you will be a better person for having read it and you can then sell it back to a half-priced book store.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Bad Bad Bad
    This book is so bad, it made me long for the humor of the Geena Davis Show. ... Read more


    19. The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club : True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life
    by LAURIE NOTARO
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375760911
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-02)
    Publisher: Villard
    Sales Rank: 4433
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    “I’ve changed a bit since high school. Back then I said no to using and selling drugs. I washed on a normal basis and still had good credit.”

    Introducing Laurie Notaro, the leader of the Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club. Every day she fearlessly rises from bed to defeat the evil machinations of dolts, dimwits, and creepy boyfriends—and that’s before she even puts on a bra.

    For the past ten years, Notaro has been entertaining Phoenix newspaper readers with her wildly amusing autobiographical exploits and unique life experiences. She writes about a world of hourly-wage jobs that require absolutely no skills, a mother who hands down judgments more forcefully than anyone seated on the Supreme Court, horrific high school reunions, and hangovers that leave her surprised that she woke up in the first place.

    The misadventures of Laurie and her fellow Idiot Girls (“too cool to be in the Smart Group”) unfold in a world that everyone will recognize but no one has ever described so hilariously. She delivers the goods: life as we all know it.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (119)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read it a Year Ago and Still Laugh About it
    OH MY GOD!!! This is the funniest book for the single woman. But a warning, DO NOT read this book in public due to excessive outbursts of laughter and cackling, and definately eating or drinking while reading this book could cause you to choke. I have recently re-read this book to make me feel better about my Idiot Girl life and it worked! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this book and cannot wait to get my hands on Fat Bride.
    An additional note: I sent an e-mail to Ms. Notaro telling her how much I loved the book and she sent me some wonderful stickers and a certificate making me an official member of the Idiot Girls Club. I was so excited that the stickers adorn my car windows and my certificate of membership hangs proudly next to my college diplomas in my room.
    She's a REAL people and I think that's why we loved the book so much.
    GO LAURIE!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars So funny I almost embarrassed myself!
    I haven't even finished this book yet, but I simply must let everyone know that it is one of the funniest books I've ever read! During the third chapter, which I read in my office during lunch, I began laughing so hard my stomach hurt and tears were welling up in my eyes. If someone had seen or heard me, they would have thought I was insane! Notaro's book proves that the best comedy is so funny because it's so true! There are so many stories in this book to which I can relate. Warning: you may need to tap into your inner bad girl or rebel to fully relate to some of these stories (like understanding the 12-step drunk program), but anyone can appreciate them for their humor, bad girl or not. This book is perfect for anyone with a sense of humor! Buy it for yourself, and for any of your friends who you want to send a smile (or a donky-snort of a laugh).

    5-0 out of 5 stars So funny it... bonds?
    I am not the eldest of three daughters, though I am the youngest. I am not an alcohol-loving college graduate with a microbiologist best friend, though I do tend to think like one. I do not live in Arizona, nor would I ever, but I was born in southern california, if that's close enough.

    In Laurie Notaro's first book she introduces us to her family, friends, and memorable moments from the Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club, which every reader feels like a member of at one time or another. This delightful book, a quick, but often, read is one that any girl (and perhaps boy?) can relate to at least once.

    Laurie and Jamie trying to break into the house? Why, my sisters and I have done that repeatedly- though we had the sense to use the window. (We also weren't suffering from, *ahem*, mild alcohol toxicity.)

    More than once you know you've forgotten deoderant, and you're lying if you never picked at your pimples.

    Notaro's shining moment in this novel is when she says what every female everywhere has always known.

    "Goddamnit, I've never been the Pretty Friend."

    That one line (along with the following chapter, telling- in great detail- how she manages to not only make a fool of herself with men she's intrested in, but also play "the male lesbian" with men whom her friends are not) sums up her entire meaning.

    Life is meant to be fun, if a little embarassing. And if to have that fun you need to flick a sizzling cigarette butt onto a stranger's crotch, well then, flick away.

    5-0 out of 5 stars plain and simply...
    ..this book is so funny. It is my favorite, easy to read and you can relate to what she's going through! Buy this, you won't be disappointed!

    5-0 out of 5 stars What an incredible woman!!!!
    Laurie is such an incredible writer and it shows in "The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club". She has a way with self-deprecating humor that lets the reader laugh at her while still respecting her. It's an absolutely hilarious book and you won't be able to put it down until it's finished, at which time you will be begging for more. Fortunately, there is more, in "Autobiography of a Fat Bride", and the soon-to-come third book "I Love Everybody". ... Read more


    20. Wild Ducks Flying Backward
    by Tom Robbins
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $16.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553804510
    Catlog: Book (2005-08-30)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 11652
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