**spoiler alert** Before I read the book, I automatically thought that it was an updated version of A Christmas Carol. But actually, it seems to be ba...more**spoiler alert** Before I read the book, I automatically thought that it was an updated version of A Christmas Carol. But actually, it seems to be based more on the Robert Burns poem "To A Louse, On Seeing One On A Lady's Bonnet At Church" .
Jim Kier has the rare gift of reading his obituary. We are all curious about what would be said about us after we are dead. We all hope nice things; however, Kier learns that he has left a trail of misery in his path. Can he repair the damage he has made?
He attempts just that. He has compiled a short list of the people he hurt the most. As he attempts to make amends, he learns the extent of how much he has destroyed people’s lives…and not all of them are scars that can be seen. During this process, he learns that his original intent was misguided. He has an epiphany that he set out to make amends so he would feel better, but when things don’t go as planned, he re-assesses his motives.
The only part that hinted on A Christmas Carol would be the epilogue, where we got to see how Kier’s life had changed, and how he had changed the lives of others.
Although this isn’t a ‘Feel Good Warm and Fuzzy’ Christmas book, it isn’t as depressing as last years offering “Grace”. This book actually has a message of hope and the power of forgiveness.
Very nice ‘fairy tale’, just like A Christmas Carol, and just like A Christmas Carol, we all are not so naive, that we would think someone so profoundly evil, would change overnight; or at all.
And though this doesn’t revolve around Christmas, the book ends on Christmas Day. It takes place during the Christmas Season, although very little mention of it is made in this book, just little references here and there.
I've been avoiding this book since it came out. I don't know why, the premise seemed so sad. But it was in the library and I thought, WHY NOT. It was...moreI've been avoiding this book since it came out. I don't know why, the premise seemed so sad. But it was in the library and I thought, WHY NOT. It was a quick read. The first two-thirds of the book was OK, it started like any other memoir, talked about childhood, marriage, life in general, dying...etc. The last third of the book grabbed my attention. He starts doling out the advice, things he's learned over the year. Things I have learned, but forgot or chose not to follow. Some of the writing is sophmoric, but the good intention was apparent.(less)
I was never a fan of Deepak Chopra, sometimes I think he talks out of his ear, but I was intrigued by the title of this book, I skimmed through it in...moreI was never a fan of Deepak Chopra, sometimes I think he talks out of his ear, but I was intrigued by the title of this book, I skimmed through it in the library and it looked interesting enough for me to at least give it a shot. At first, I had a huge chip on my shoulder, I thought "This guy is a flake", "He doesn't know Jesus from Joe". But I kept reading, because the more I read the better the book seemed. I didn't agree with some stuff he said, but some of what he wrote was enlightening. And by the end of the book, though still not of fan of Chopra's, I had to appreciate the effort that went into this book. He does admit he is not a commited Christian, which is why I initially thought this book would be full of bull, but maybe it takes someone who approaches the religion from the outside to see how it works (or doesn't). The chip is no longer on my shoulder, and I am thinking a little differently about Jesus. I cannot say this is the best inspirational book I've ever read, but it was worth the read.
Deepak talks about Jesus and religion today. How today's Christian doesn't know the real Jesus, how the church hides and misuses doctrine. He takes passages from the Bible and attempts to explain them for the average person to understand. This is where the chip on the shoulder comes in, how can someone who is not Christian explain the Bible to me? However, he does a pretty good job, I think he's explained it better than people who have been Christian all of their life.(less)
Etta James is one of those celebrities you hear about and wondered what happened to. Up until a few years ago, I thought she was deceased. You don’t h...moreEtta James is one of those celebrities you hear about and wondered what happened to. Up until a few years ago, I thought she was deceased. You don’t hear much about or from here these days, but she is alive and kicking.
Jamesetta Hawkins was the product of a 14 year old African-American mother and a white father (who is rumored to be Minnesota Fats the pool shark). This book chronicles her tumultuous childhood complete with absent mother. It goes on to talk of her rise to stardom and her demise through various types of drugs. It also goes on to talk about her failed romantic relationships, criminal activity and stints in prison and rehab.
Pretty much your standard autobiography/memoir fare, however, Etta’s writing style makes the story more accessible. Not the queen of grammar, using double negatives all over the damn book, you still can read it with ease.
But Etta doesn’t feel sorry for herself; she falls down and stands up over and over again. Each chapter there is something awful happening in her life, and you would think this would make a depressing read, but it doesn’t.
This book was published in the early 1990s, and the story stops sometime after she was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll hall of fame. The last chapter of this book, she talks about how she is still overweight and working toward being leaner and healthier. I looked her up recently, and she has succeeded.
She is now in her early 70s and looks like she weighs 120 lbs…a far cry from the 300+ lbs she weighed toward the end of her book.
This book was enlightening and I’m glad there are still some strong black women in this world. Etta James is a survivor.(less)
It took me a while to start reading this one. I bought it for my Kindle for a couple of bucks. I am a fan of Ramsay, otherwise I wouldn't have bought...moreIt took me a while to start reading this one. I bought it for my Kindle for a couple of bucks. I am a fan of Ramsay, otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. I always figure, if someone takes the time to write a memoir, they had it pretty bad or why bother, who would care?
Well Ramsay's childhood was pretty messed up, and this book shows why he is who he is. Growing up with the obstacles he did, will either make you or break you. In his case, he made it. There is coarse language in the book, but I did expect that as he doesn't hold back on TV either. Pretty well written and informative.
Now I have a softer spot for him. I understand his need for perfection comes from, I understand what drives him, I understand why he expects so much from others.(less)