It's like the cognitive and psychological version of Guillain–Barré syndrome. Very scary. This book was written in an engaging, captivating style. A l...moreIt's like the cognitive and psychological version of Guillain–Barré syndrome. Very scary. This book was written in an engaging, captivating style. A lot, from what I understand is second hand so I'm not sure I necessarily agree with the memoir genre but her purpose is to get this information out there and I think she reaches her goal. I'm amazed by the body's ability to betray and heal. I'm under and over amazed at healthcare in general, in this case. SC is lucky...fortuitous and doing well now to spread her good fortune. Nicely played.(less)
I read about 2/3 of this book and enjoyed most of it. Halfway through, it got pretty political and then BD got sort of unlikeable which turned me off....moreI read about 2/3 of this book and enjoyed most of it. Halfway through, it got pretty political and then BD got sort of unlikeable which turned me off. I didn't read enough to find out if he overcame his faults and turned back into a likable character; seems like that's where it was headed but I had too many other more interesting reads at hand that I couldn't stay interested to find out what happened. However I read too much to give it completely up so maybe someday I'll come back 'round and finish it up.(less)
I picked this book up off of the display shelves at the library, basing my decision 99% on the cover. I did read the summary a bit and that helped me...moreI picked this book up off of the display shelves at the library, basing my decision 99% on the cover. I did read the summary a bit and that helped me decide but a book named "Conjured" with pins coming out of a heart....what could go wrong?
The answer...absolutely nothing. Granted, I'll give it that for most of the book I have no idea what's going on and it reminded me sort of the Maze Runner, where you are invited along to go with the main character while they work out the confusion they are experiencing. But, I must love that particular formula because like The Maze Runner, I loved this suspense of never knowing what was coming next. Keep in mind that Conjured is not even remotely a similar telling of The Maze Runner and I only use that comparison to explain the sense of confusion we enter and sustain for a large part of the story.
I love a little magic in my books, and it was sprinkled in, a little misunderstood and volatile which evidently for me is a good combination.
My favorite part was the catharsis. The explanation of all that is going on in Eve's life defies any expectation or anything else you might have been able to imagine along the way. Even better, there were no insidious "hints" dropped that make you feel stupid once you find out the truth. It's just BAM, there...and you're totally reeling. Awesome.
I loved Durst's writing style, descriptive with nothing annoying, no insta-love, insipid flowery cliches or self-indulgent author soap-boxes. Just an amazingly creative story written out in a way that made it hard for me to set the book down.
This book is appropriate for 12+ with some killing imagery and smooching. Nothing too hard-core.
Oh and best of all! This is an actual stand-alone book! Amazingly harder and harder to find these days!(less)
This book is like some bad satire about teenage angst, snowball lying and socialite pretensions. Satires blow bad situations into the possible worst t...moreThis book is like some bad satire about teenage angst, snowball lying and socialite pretensions. Satires blow bad situations into the possible worst to exaggerate and make fun of a particular situation, behavior, etc. That is this book. Take 4 pretty, spoiled, socialites with no morals, boundaries or rules. Mix in lots of things that teenagers lie about and put it in the blender with revenge. What you get is a bunch of wacko girls who turn into nearly sociopath liars with an unwarranted lack of trust in adults (not to mention an exaggerated misunderstanding of the justice system) which ends in death...and more lying.
Much as I want to know the identity of "A", I'm becoming really bored with these girls' lives going in the toilet because they're so ridiculously scared to just tell the truth. What they don't get is that The Truth, in the whole scheme of the universe is idiotic and juvenile. They might get a slap on the hand, maybe a little misdemeanor, and they may be the topic of the rumor mill for a while. Their lack of connection with reality makes these things a big deal. Sad.
By the end of this book, at least the four have figured out (wow, did it really take this long) that Allie was a total hypocrite, backstabbing snob? What ever made them think she was a good friend (ok, they were 12 - ya 12). If my twelve year old daughters even do HALF of what these twelve year olds were doing ("I think I want to date a bad boy" wait, did she say date a bad boy? Why is she even dating at twelve?) I'd ground them for eternity! Yikes!
Guess I'm hoping this really isn't some reality somewhere. I'm scared if it is.(less)
I was pretty skeptical at first about this book. Jillian Michaels is well known for her role as a fitness guru, super tough but goal-directed and she...moreI was pretty skeptical at first about this book. Jillian Michaels is well known for her role as a fitness guru, super tough but goal-directed and she gets results, but as a self-helper? Where does she get off? But I have to say after reading the whole book, a lot of her advice made a lot of sense and I even found myself wanting to slow down my audiobook so I could take a few notes or maybe even do a re-listen later.
The thing is, at some point in Jillian's career (and quite possibly from her own experiences of weight control), she probably found that weight loss is not about just weight. It's an emotional battleground fought in our minds. And if she were to be truly successful at helping people through this battle, she'd have to have a whole different battery of "tools" than just, "get your butt on the treadmill" so to speak. She needs to get inside her clients and help them overcome their issues. So what if she doesn't have a doctorate in psychology. I'm a huge believer in on-the-job training, you-live-you-learn type stuff. And so what if she's probably not worked through all of her issues; sounds like she's got a few left but then hey, who doesn't? I believe she is well-meant and that says a ton. She's obviously successful so she's obviously helping some people through their crap.
Most of this book is definitely a regurgitation of a ton of self-help books but for someone (haha, this would not be me) who has never spent a lot of time in the self-help section, this book is definitely a great jump-in-head-first book. Literally it spans the gamut discussing everything from religion, to self-talk, to communicating with others. Pretty good stuff but probably a bit beneath hard-core self-helpers. I also felt that the actual "work-it-out" sections were a bit trite and too simplified to be of lasting help. Perhaps taking some of these principles and doing more research into them might make more sense.
Anyway, good book. I am very much interested to read her book about Metabolism and think her advice for going to the experts on issues you have is very good advice. It just makes perfect sense.(less)
I am going to suspend my knee-jerk reaction here, which in other words is my first impression and dig a little deeper.
I'm not a great foodie, nor do I...moreI am going to suspend my knee-jerk reaction here, which in other words is my first impression and dig a little deeper.
I'm not a great foodie, nor do I watch The Food Network regularly (ok, I don't watch TV regularly). My passion does not lie in the food realm unless its pure unadulterated sugar and then I suck mine through a straw. So Anthony Bourdain was relatively unknown to me...sue me. I could normally care less about current events, the Who's Who of whatever freakin' world because hey, I'm a narcissist and I'm the only one important here! So, my first encounter with Anthony Bourdain was not on a foodie show...it was with the show Parts Unknown, a relatively new television series where Bourdain travels to exclusive destinations that most people either don't regularly want to go, or don't feel otherwise safe to go anyway. While there, he photographs, narrates and generally shows us what we're missing. I really liked the show but the reason why I stopped watching it were because of Bourdain himself. At the time, I felt like he was in essence, rubbing it in the face of those mediocre couch potatoes at home, what an awesome life he has and if we ever got off our butts here in the States, we could see some awesome places too. However, after reading Medium Raw, I realize this is in truth, not what he was trying to accomplish at all. He genuinely loves his job and there is no crime in that whatsoever. He also genuinely wants to share what he has experienced, with the rest of us have-nots. He realizes he has a distinct advantage over the majority and really just wants us to see these great places from his eyes, and he works hard at that and takes pride in the process and product. For that single bit of knowledge alone, I am grateful to have read this book. I can potentially go back to watching Parts Unknown with a new appreciation for the "character" that hosts it. While reserving my "judgment" of Bourdain and his personality quirks (because let's just face it, his life is so completely polar opposite from my own that I am bound to find him confusing to say the least), I must say that after having read his latest book, I do understand what makes Bourdain tick. And...to take a step further in the cosmic group hug, in order for us to respect and withhold disdain, we must try to understand a person. I had not accomplished this goal by even 1/2 way through the book. I had to read nearly the entire thing before I found that balance. But, I did.
So, I could critique Bourdain and his style in writing this book, the stuff he wrote about and a whole lot of other random thoughts that traveled through my noodle as I read his ramblings, but I finally decided to just post what I learned.
1) Anthony Bourdain was a chef for 28 years. I did not know this. 2) Bourdain has a personality much like many chefs we have seen on TV. 3) Bourdain likes wine. A. Lot. 4) Bourdain bristles at mediocrity but also amazingly contradicts himself many times with his ideas of the future and his own personal tastes. Don't mess with his great American burger but he'll eat his in a remote out-of-the way place that the have-nots haven't reached yet. 5) The American culinary scene takes themselves very seriously. 6) Being a food critic will always get you a free meal. 7) I know who Anthony Bourdain detests in the food industry or at least who he holds in contempt. 8) Knives do not always need to be super sharp or else you will get blood on the fish. 9) Rich girls don't pay for their own hotel rooms. 10) There are many spices I have never heard of. 11) The minute you take cheese out of the wrapper I guess you should just chuck the whole thing. 12) Bourdain swears. A. Lot. 13) America's Top Chef is not rigged according to Bourdain who was a judge at one time. 14) Never say no to Grandma when she gives you some turkey. Bourdain will kill you.
and last but not least...
15) Fat kids can't be chefs. Just don't even think about it.
Ok. So a lot learned here. Thanks Bourdain for not boring me. It was a trip.(less)
I'd started this book a few times but the beginning was just so hard to slog through for me. I always have a terrible time when it comes to sequencing...moreI'd started this book a few times but the beginning was just so hard to slog through for me. I always have a terrible time when it comes to sequencing detailed events and people who have otherwise no meaning to me. Even with the audiobook, I had to go back and listen to the first 30 minutes of it after I received a little more context.
I liked and did not like the book in the same respect. I give a lot of kudos to authors who can pack this much punch into one book. The AMOUNT of stuff going on this book blew my mind! And the overall end result was so far from what I expected, especially when it came to Martin that I had a hard time keeping up. The bit going on with Millenium and Vangstrum (sp...I listened to the audiobook so haven't a clue how anything is spelled) was a little sideshow that just kept giving and giving.
I liked the characters a lot especially the main characters. I did not like the narrator in particular how he did female voices. It sort of ruined that side of it for me but then again, I could never have gotten through this book having had to read it for myself. I would have lost interest early on. The audiobook only kept my attention til the end because I could tune out when I was bored...which was sort of frequent. Course, then I'd miss something critical and have to rewind...also happened frequently.
I'm not sure I'd necessarily recommend this book to anyone in particular that I know. It's not like it had some special meaning or message. The mystery was good although I really REALLY have a hard time buying the fact that a large scale investigation manned by literally hundreds of hours AND people went nowhere in the weeks, months and years immediately following the incident but 30 years or whatever it was (losing the facts here...been a couple weeks)...a regular old journalist with um, journalistic skills only and not necessarily detective skills can uncover the truth by his humble little lonesome...from a conveniently overlooked photo. Hmmmm. Like I said...convenient...just a tad too convenient for my taste.
Well anyway a motivated mystery lover would probably love this book. I am not a huge mystery lover but kept hearing what a great book this was. So now I've "read" it. Check!(less)
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Raw, imaginative, complex and provocative. If a book inspires me to look more into the social issues examined within its...moreThoroughly enjoyed this book. Raw, imaginative, complex and provocative. If a book inspires me to look more into the social issues examined within its pages, or the events surrounding the historical fiction, then I feel that the author has captured the essence of what made those issues/events real. I did both when I was through and amazed that while so many people are being "over-nutritionalized" in the words of Michael Pollan in The Omnivore's Dilemma, people right next door can be starving and yet the power of the human soul to endure and even proper captivates me. These kids may grow up to live in the same paltry situation they were raised in, most specifically Esch who is well on her way...but Skeetah definitely has the markings of success...ingenuity, stubbornness, ambition, and cleverness. He may just have the ability to break out. Throw in a hurricane to shake up the norm and the detritus will sink, but some will rise to the top. Loved it - will definitely read other books by this author.(less)