I won this book through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn't heard of Kevin Breel prior to reading this book.I won this book through the GoodReads first reads program in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn't heard of Kevin Breel prior to reading this book. The blurb informed me that he had a very famous TED talk, and has worked extensively with To Write Love on Her Arms - which makes sense given the subject of this book. Boy Meets Depression is a wry examination of his own life, told with a self-deprecating honesty that at times had me laughing out loud. The humor present in the book did little to soften the blow of the darkness to come, but was a welcome reprieve from the usual tone of these sorts of memoirs. Kevin Breel ultimately handled the subject of depression, and living with it, deftly and with a soft touch. This made for an interesting memoir, and an honest look at a difficult subject that I think would benefit a lot of YA readers.
The advice given at the end of each chapter often got a grin out of me, though it also did make me reflect on the changes I've made in my own life and how much little things really can help someone going through a tough time. Boy Meets Depression was a good read, and a valuable book for anyone who's lived with depression, or knows someone going through it. I think it would help others understand what people are going through, and how to best help a friend in a difficult place. ...more
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The Eastern Coyote is a fascinating creature, and one well worth deeper study. This book, while poI wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The Eastern Coyote is a fascinating creature, and one well worth deeper study. This book, while portending to be about just that, in truth was more about the symbolic nature of the creature than anything else.
The book spent far too much time focusing on Catherine Reid and why she wanted to see a coyote, than what the actual coyotes were like. While, yes, she was an interesting person and the symbolic value of an animal is a beautiful thing... I would have much preferred a more scientific or anthropological study of the animal in question. In short, I wanted this book to be to coyotes what Barry Lopez's Of Wolves and Men was to wolves.
This book did manage a fair bit, though. Though in a less interesting way than Daily Coyote did. Catherine Reid did a good job of talking about the designation of Eastern Coyote as a species, and how wolves and coyotes have interbred to a degree in the past. She explained how they managed to carve out a niche and maintain it even in the territory of bigger better predators. I wish it had been a bigger bit of the book....more
I'm a big fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and from that knew well enough that I would be a fan of this book. It collects some oWonderful, wonderful book.
I'm a big fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and from that knew well enough that I would be a fan of this book. It collects some of the most memorable stories from the blog, and adds several new entertaining ones. While I would love to see a book that collects all of the posts, this is still a very good start.
Allie Brosh's artwork is distinctive and hilarious, her writing both poignant and clever. While the subject matter at times does get dark, this book is still one of the funniest and most truthful ones I've ever read.
Interesting book, and fascinating to see how little there is in common with the show. This is more of a sociological review than it is a prison narratInteresting book, and fascinating to see how little there is in common with the show. This is more of a sociological review than it is a prison narrative, and as such, can be a little bit dry or frustrating at times. It's still a good read and will go far to encouraging conversations about prison conditions, I think....more
I received this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
Ricky Maye's book is a concise examination of Christianity and the problems that he hasI received this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
Ricky Maye's book is a concise examination of Christianity and the problems that he has with the current incarnation of the faith. He explains how Christian's should strive to be more... well, Christian. What emerges is an understanding of the faith that incorporates the understanding, empathy, and altogether open-mindedness of the faith that existed when the religion first came into existence. I've no problem whatsoever with this message, and indeed, think it is altogether quite a good one.
The book didn't receive more stars from me because altogether this message is one that I've read/heard many times before. I didn't feel that this book brought anything to the table that other authors have not previously thought about and/or wrote about or spoke about in other mediums. Indeed, I thought some other books (such as Jesus for President) did it a bit better. This book, however, may reach a larger audience as it is readily available through more mediums and might catch someone else's eye.
It's a pretty good quick read, in other words. :)...more
Definitely worth reading for "The Green Automobile" and "Dream Record". A general knowledge of the beats will explain why. "Siesta in Xbalba" and "OnDefinitely worth reading for "The Green Automobile" and "Dream Record". A general knowledge of the beats will explain why. "Siesta in Xbalba" and "On Burroughs' Work" were also good.
"Aether" killed the collection for me, sadly, and brought the rating down. All in all not Ginsberg's best, but still worth looking at for the above mentioned poems....more
Conversations with people who are fascinated by serial killers are 70% more interesting than conversations with those who aren't. Really.
This graphicConversations with people who are fascinated by serial killers are 70% more interesting than conversations with those who aren't. Really.
This graphic novel about the early years of Dahmer's life, written by Derf Backderf who actually went to high school with the fellow, is a fascinating one. The artwork is stark and troubling, and the story is the tragedy one would expect it to be. While I don't necessarily agree with the premise that the school and Dahmer's parents are to blame for what he became, I do believe that his isolation contributed to his madness.
Who knows.Dahmer's life wasn't easy, and it wasn't going to end well either way.
All in all, this book was good and an interesting primer for people who are into this sort of thing. Well done, and a perspective that differs from the norm. ...more
I won this book through the GoodReads First-Reads giveaway.
I wasn't entirely sure what I expected to get from this book. The title, of course, intriguI won this book through the GoodReads First-Reads giveaway.
I wasn't entirely sure what I expected to get from this book. The title, of course, intrigued me as did the description. Nevertheless, I don't entirely feel that either quite does the book justice. The book is more than just a treatise on what it means to be a Christian in the modern world and it's a bit more than what it means to be involved in the world in a positive way. For me, the book seemed to be more about what it means to live a full life, according to your own values and expectations.
While the book did drag on in a few places, notably when talking about faith, the words jumped off the page in a few other places. I was surprised by the selflessness with which the authors acted, and the honesty which their children showed. Patience and perseverance were likewise in evidence, and altogether the book served as a good reminder that now and again we all could slow down a bit and perhaps compromise a bit less on what matters most to us. If we want something to happen, we need to take the first step. If someone we love wants something to happen and takes the first step, it would do to help them make it a reality, too....more
I won this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
I wanted to enjoy this book far more than I actually did. I had not read anything on BonhoefI won this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
I wanted to enjoy this book far more than I actually did. I had not read anything on Bonhoeffer prior, beyond a brief reference to him in a book on philosophy that I read years ago. Jon Walker did a decent job of explaining his most basic beliefs throughout the book, but never went in depth in regards to it without it being directly related to horrible events within the authors life.
The basis of the book is admirable - essentially explaining that the hard times we go through are meant to define us and help us fully develop our character and faith. The trouble I had with the book was that I never fully felt that any change occurred. Jon Walker went through tragedy, and says he has come to terms with it but still, the tone was altogether rather bitter. Rather than feeling as if the book had helped me or enlightened me in terms of philosophy and theology, I came away from the book downright depressed and confused.
The book would be better served by framing the stories around Bonhoeffer, rather than tragedies within the author's life. By framing it with the philosophy it would have enhanced the events; by framing it with the events, the philosophy was lost in what seemed like self pity. I understand that others thoroughly loved the book, and took a great deal from it. Unfortunately, I simply wasn't one of them....more
I won this book through the GoodReads First Reads Program.
This isn't the sort of book that one reads for pleasure, nor is it the sort of book one coulI won this book through the GoodReads First Reads Program.
This isn't the sort of book that one reads for pleasure, nor is it the sort of book one could necessarily say they enjoyed reading. That Mad Game is a collection of essays from those who grew up during wars, or within warzones. The stories related are the lives of those born in internment camps, growing up with father's who suffer PTSD, and those refugees who attempted to escape the throes of a city in revolution. Also told are those whose towns have been occupied, or controlled by drug cartels. The stories are moving, rarely funny, but for the most part surprisingly optimistic. The future, the underlying current runs, could be better.
The essays in the book do not follow any theme, other than what I've before stated. The situations each person grew up in are radically different and through these situations one learns about the differences that exist from war to war, and how people react differently under these pressures. It's a fascinating sort of case study, if you will, and definitely conveys what J.L. Powers wished it to: the fact that children are often those affected worst by wars, and that the effects continue to grow from generation to generation.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about the wars going on, or that have gone on, from one country to another and what it is like to live through them. I also would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to get involved with charity work. Some of the implications of the stories are surprising, and some money one thinks may be spent best in one place may be better spent in somewhere rather different. ...more
Going into this book I knew nothing about NMO and nothing about Victoria Jackson or Ali Guthy. LeavingI won this book through the first-reads program.
Going into this book I knew nothing about NMO and nothing about Victoria Jackson or Ali Guthy. Leaving this book, I knew a great deal more about all of the above topics.
I'm rather reluctant to give books that I received for free poor ratings, and generally all books begin as three star books for me. As I read the book, it either increases in rating or decreases in rating going along. For me, unfortunately, this book was mostly a one star book. I gave it two stars because at least I learned a decent amount about the disease and how foundations are formed.
I found the book difficult to get through, over all. The story was told through two POVs, the mother and daughter, and would switch as often as just after a few paragraphs. Both people wrote in either present tense or a very passive voice, which grated on me as I read. The very casual voice didn't help matters either, and the puns (and apologies for puns) also induced more eyerolls than chortles. I would have preferred a more honest voice, as these came off as rather put-on to me.
The final straw, for me, was how congratulatory the people were. Barely a page went by when someone wasn't talking about how amazing the other people were. Even when they were complaining about one another they were still saying "I know that ___ is a truly amazing person, a superhero even..." and that gets rather old rather fast. It's all right to be mad at someone, it's all right to hate someone for a while, everyone does. Just let it out!
Also, if you didn't get a college degree or graduate high school, you only need to point it out once. You don't need to keep reminding us of it and how it's amazing that you're digesting medical jargon. Your daughter is in trouble, we get that that is an amazing incentive....more
I received this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.
Unlike most of the reviewers on this page I knew nothing about Beth Ditto prior to pickI received this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.
Unlike most of the reviewers on this page I knew nothing about Beth Ditto prior to picking up this slim volume. As far as first introductions go, I have to say that this was a startling one! This memoir, while short and easy to read, held back no punches. Beth Ditto talked about the insular world of the south, the way that a small town can both help and hurt those who live there, and how one can overcome their beginnings without really leaving them behind.
This book was both touching and inspirational, fascinating and humble. As far as memoirs go I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a good way to pass a summer's day, and I'm sure for fans of Gossip this book will be, well, awesome. I'm happy to know that even for people who had never heard of the band it's still a great read!...more
It was just resting there, half-hidden behind more respectable books such as Siddhartha and The Great Gatsby. The booI can't believe I read this book.
It was just resting there, half-hidden behind more respectable books such as Siddhartha and The Great Gatsby. The book looked vaguely familiar to me. I had probably heard about it once or twice over the years. Shrugging, I picked it up and began leafing through it idly. This was a mistake.
The second I begin reading a book it is like a trainwreck. I can't stop. It doesn't matter how much I dislike the book, or like it - I just feel the need to finish what I begin. Such was my experience reading this. I felt obligated to finish it, including the two appendices, and thus, I did.
I agree with previous reviewers. This book was like a sociology lesson in the sort of person I never want to meet. I refuse to acknowledge they exist, more often than not, these sorts of players. By the time that Tucker Max figured out that there are women with "game" who inevitably play the players and what not... yeah. I felt he deserved it, and more.
This book wasn't soul-shattering or horrifying, it was more simply... sad, disgusting, and unfortunate. It's one thing to live your life drinking, fornicating, and writing about it - but can you at least do it in a decent style? Hunter S. Thompson had more class than Tucker Max and far better writing chops.
So basically, yeah, I smirked maybe twice and all in all just wish I could have enjoyed it more. I feel vaguely ashamed to have read it. But there you go. It happens. ...more
"Impressive" is the word that came immediately into my mind when I first finished this book. Winter JoI won this book through the first-reads program.
"Impressive" is the word that came immediately into my mind when I first finished this book. Winter Journal is just what the title says it is - a rather poetic memoir about the author (author: Paul Auster) as he enters the sixty fourth year of his life.
The scope of the memoir is large, and its writing is largely poetic in nature. He follows no particular chronology, but rather writes in a stream-of-conscious. One incident recalls another, and slowly the pieces fall into place. By the end of the book you are left with a deeper understanding of the author, or maybe more accurately, a deeper understanding of how Paul Auster has in a large way failed to understand himself, in spite of his rather thorough understanding of the people around him.
Winter Journal is based primarily on the physical memory. One scar tells one story, while the bitter cold of winter might recall another. Paul Auster seems to have grasped what Roger Waters meant when he penned the lyric "All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be" and taken it to heart.
Winter Journal is an impressive book, a beautifully written one, and the type of memoir that I generally enjoy reading. I'm torn between giving it three stars or four, but in the end, wound up with three simply because in spite of how much I did genuninely enjoy the book it never quite stirred up in me the affection for the narrator and the events of his life that I wanted it to. I still felt detached by the end, which might even be the point of the book itself. We never get as close as we want to....more
I won this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.
At first I wasn't terribly invested in this book, but the longer it went on the more interesI won this book through the GoodReads first-reads program.
At first I wasn't terribly invested in this book, but the longer it went on the more interested I became. This book is an inspiring look at how age can't be seen as too great a deterrent to following your dreams and achieving what you want. At the age of sixty Harriet Wrye traveled around the world - even to Petra and Indonesia! - climbed mountains, became ordained as a Buddhist monk, and did even more incredible things. How cool is that?
This book may be a bit too woo for some people, as she does go rather in depth into the importance of spirituality in her life, but the adventure itself is quite incredible. Also, I do have to say that I've begun thinking of AFGOs in my own life...
Once again, thank you first-reads program for sending me a book I otherwise probably never would have heard of - let alone read. I signed up for thisOnce again, thank you first-reads program for sending me a book I otherwise probably never would have heard of - let alone read. I signed up for this giveaway genuinely curious, and in the end, got much more than I bargained for.
The book contains a series of short stories, brief experiences cut from the author's time as a cop. The stories are alternately horrifying, disgusting, hilarious, and twisted. That the stories are true is never in doubt, no matter how outrageous the claims. While the writing isn't professional, it doesn't need to be. The writing style helps rather than hinders the telling - I, for one, felt as if it was 3 am at some all-night convenience store and I was listening in to the author telling me these twisted tales...and yeah, at times I wanted to stop listening.
I've had friends go into paramedics, ems services and the like. I've had friends who were volunteer firefighters, or had spent a tour in Germany during WWII or served as a sharpshooter in Vietnam. I've never known a cop personally, but judging from this book they're all cut from the same cloth.
All in all, I'd recommend this book to anyone who mistakingly thinks of it as an easy job. Want a real look at cop life? Pick up this book, and don't expect to sleep for a while....more
I am entirely too excited to have finally had a chance to read this book.
I unabashedly adore Shirley Jackson and this book has only made me love her mI am entirely too excited to have finally had a chance to read this book.
I unabashedly adore Shirley Jackson and this book has only made me love her more. The hilarity of Laurie, Jannie, and Sally (Barry coming only later in this collection) truly needs to be read to be believed. A previous short story collection had given me a chance to read "Charlie" but rereading it here was a massive delight - the other stories I'd not read before.
Shirley Jackson is a massively talented horror writer, and her talent truly shines when humor is utilized as well. She walks the line rather often in her prose, and in this case, mixes the two to create something truly outrageous and wonderful. In this book she can court those who love the scarier aspects of life with those who thrive in the mundane. Here the scares come from the furnace downstairs (will it make the house explode?) the strange fantasies of her children (why does her daughter believe she lives in a river?) and the murderous urges brought to the fore when attempting to navigate a large department store (would anyone really care if she let the escalator eat her children?).
Shirley Jackson is genius, and her home life is hilarious. Treasure any book of hers you find, and buy every one you can lay your hands on. They are brilliant!...more
Pete Townshend's autobiography didn't suffer from the lack of focus that I felt Eric Clapton's did. WhiIt took me a while to finish reading this book.
Pete Townshend's autobiography didn't suffer from the lack of focus that I felt Eric Clapton's did. While at times it did feel as if the book was written as a way to deal with his addictions and traumatizing childhood by the end of the book I didn't quite feel this was the case. This was just Pete talking about what was important to him, and what were the largest forces within his life.
This book has been criticized by the press, and I can understand why. There is not a lot of new material brought to the table in terms of a 'behind the scenes' look at The Who and the songwriting process. Many of the stories told have been told elsewhere, and at times in a more accurate fashion. Still, this is the story through Townshend's eyes and one largely gets what one would expect from the fellow.
I'm curious as to what was cut from the book, as he said more than half of what was originally written was discarded in the end. I'm wondering whether or not there were more stories there, and a more in depth look at the developmental years than what was received. Whatever the case may be, this autobiography was well written, insightful, and all in all a very well done retrospective of a showbiz life. Nevertheless Pete Townshend is Pete Townshend and is a narrator one will either love or hate.
This book is certainly not for everyone, but for those who can take what is written with a grain of salt it is the life of one of the best rock musicians and lyricist of our time....more
A beautiful coming of age story in the 1928 summer of Ray Bradbury's life. Bradbury's lyrical prose will stick with you, it'll seep into your mind likA beautiful coming of age story in the 1928 summer of Ray Bradbury's life. Bradbury's lyrical prose will stick with you, it'll seep into your mind like any fine dandelion wine. To try to assign this book to any genre, or indeed, anything other than sheer poetry would be wrong. The book is beautiful, a capsule of a time long lost. Idyllic and idealistic Bradbury captures the spirit of being 12 in a time when losing a baseball card would ruin your summer - when a new pair of tennis shoes is the most pressing problem on one's mind.
Blankets is essentially an autobiography of Craig Thompson's formative years. The bulk of the story takes place over a two week period where he was stBlankets is essentially an autobiography of Craig Thompson's formative years. The bulk of the story takes place over a two week period where he was staying over at the house of his then-crush Raina. Sibling rivalry, teenage love, and a fall from grace are the primary topics explored.
Some of the previous reviews here have described the text as being essentially mastubatory, which in a lot of ways it is, but not necessarily in as negative a way as they say. While he could have explored other topics, I think that Thompson really captured the emotions and conflict of the teenage years well. The art is lovely, and while the tone of the comic overall is a bit angsty, it never gets overwhelmingly so. All in all, I did enjoy it fairly well....more
I liked this a lot better than Persepolis 1. The previous book seemed less connected to the reader, whereas this one showed a full transformation. I fI liked this a lot better than Persepolis 1. The previous book seemed less connected to the reader, whereas this one showed a full transformation. I found the focus of identity interesting, and the way in which the revolution affected the culture even moreso. The harsh differences between public identity and private were what I was hoping to see in the first book, so I was pleased that it got addressed....more
I picked up the book largely on a whim. Persepolis is the story of a girl, growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It's an interesting read,I picked up the book largely on a whim. Persepolis is the story of a girl, growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It's an interesting read, and very well written. The artwork is primarily minimalistic, bordering on cartoony, but remains evocative in some of the more traditional images.
I didn't find this story quite as engaging as Maus, but that's primarily due to the way Maus was framed. The story of Maus was a more human story - trying to understand his father, and what was done. Persepolis is more short stories being told to you, which for me, is a bit more distancing. ...more
While the beginning of it was extremely difficult to get through (it contained a good deal of information about the sThis was a truly incredible book.
While the beginning of it was extremely difficult to get through (it contained a good deal of information about the sex trades) and the middle had a tendency towards things rather disgusting (with information about fistulas and the like) the book was fully worth the read.
The information was truthful, and not exaggerated. In several instances the authors actually apologized for the tendencies that other humanity groups have in exaggerating their claims. The author explained the various reasons for the way the book was laid out (i.e. it mainly contained individuals stories) rather than trying to exact sympathy they simply explained that it was a tactic. Acknowledging this earned my respect as a reader and made me more inclined to want to help.
Finally, the book had ways to help. The last portion of the book explains the steps that America should be taking in order to help the situation of women within the world, and actual organizations were then listed. There were steps one as an individual can take to give, and purchasing the book itself gives money to the charities.
All in all, I loved it. This is the way to make a difference as well as to incite others to join in....more
I read great swaths of it five years ago or more, enjoyed them immensely but never finished the book. It's beYou know, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I read great swaths of it five years ago or more, enjoyed them immensely but never finished the book. It's been sitting on my to-read shelf forever and I finally picked it up to finish it. Oddly enough, I read Temple Grandin's Thinking in Pictures before finishing this book. Autism isn't an especially deep interest of mine, cognitive ehtology is. It's funny how life works.
Animals in Translation will likely forever be controversial. The idea that animals and autistic people have similar cognition is going to be controversial and politically charged regardless of who you are. Nevertheless, the observations that Temple Grandin makes are compelling and ultimately, not all that insulting. She's not comparing autistic people to animals in a negative way, instead she's stating that due to changes in brain chemistry and make up both perceive the world in a way that's different from normal functioning people. She then backs her statement up with personal experiences, observations, and what at that time were recent studies. I'd be interested to hear what she thinks of her hypothesis now, though I doubt much has changed in the intervening years.
She credits animals with being far more intelligent than we believe, simply intelligent in different ways. Is a dog's ability to predict a person's seizure before it happens a sign of intelligence? They are responding to signs too subtle for us to predict. What about a magpie pretending to have a broken wing to distract a predator? What about the way ravens and wolves interact? Or the migration patterns of birds? The social structure of horses? Did we domesticate wolves, or did they domesticate us? Did we learn music from birds or vice versa? Is music, ultimately, how animals communicate?
I found the book fascinating and a good starting point for anyone interested in animal thought and behavior. While it will likely forever remain controversial, as Temple Grandin rightly points out, this field is controversial to begin with. Very few people are willing to admit just how intelligent and emotional animals can be and give further ground to them in such a way. Humans want to remain special, and bit by bit these studies are making it more evident that humans, truthfully, aren't. I don't think many people want to deal with the ramifications of that....more