apr 15: started this book on my way home from a business trip. i hadn't had much sleep and wasn't sure that i'd make any headway, but it is wonderful!...moreapr 15: started this book on my way home from a business trip. i hadn't had much sleep and wasn't sure that i'd make any headway, but it is wonderful! the story - her personal life - is fascinating and her style is light and easy to read. i also am an immigrant to this country and it is very interesting to read the experience of another and compare it to mine. i ended up not sleeping for most of the flights! will probably finish it this weekend.
apr 22: ok so I had to wait until another trip to be able to finish it, but it was good. the ending was a bit abrupt but I understand there are more books to follow. I loved her fight and determination, and I understood her inability to leave her family. It's so interesting that she met so many foreigners as potential love interests. I also liked how she admitted there was some 'daddy complex' stuff I'm her relationship with Ulvi, but she enjoyed the relationship anyway. I smiled when she described telling everybody and relating everything to Puerto Rico. I know several Trinidadians who are the same way. It was a well-written, honest book and I can see why, as she said in her remarks at the end, that some of her family had issues with her writing it. (less)
I enjoyed this book. I never paid much attention to the various struggles going on in Liberia and this provided a graphic picture. It also gave unique...moreI enjoyed this book. I never paid much attention to the various struggles going on in Liberia and this provided a graphic picture. It also gave unique insight into the creation of Liberia as an American "colony".
The book touches many issues that could generate interesting discussions:
* Why would blacks who knew first-hand the problems with slavery and class institute those same structures in their new country? * Why do people think they should go into other people's countries/lands and take them over? What gives them the right? * Why did Africans sell each other into slavery? * Why do many African "liberations" lead to worse opportunities for the local people? * What causes the crazed behavior that takes place during war? * How could people survive for 13/15 years in a war-torn environment and still maintain their dignity? * Why do people in 'privileged' situations not realize how the things they do are offensive to those of 'lower' classes?
I have an infant son and I cannot imagine anyone taking him away from me to make him into a child soldier. But I can definitely imagine fighting anyone or enduring anything to protect him.
I read reviews of this book that faulted Ms. Cooper for not focusing enough on the "issues" - I don't think her point was to address any of these issues or provide solutions. It's a memoir - she chose not to analyze or rationalize; she just told her story, honestly, and I appreciated that.(less)
2/8/2011: reading this for February book club. Definitely intersting. A three-year-old cooking hot dogs for herself over a gas flame - while her mom p...more2/8/2011: reading this for February book club. Definitely intersting. A three-year-old cooking hot dogs for herself over a gas flame - while her mom paints. There's independence and then there's independence.
2/16/2010: finished this. I struggled with the number of stars to give it and finally settled on three - simply because though it was great reading, I wouldn't read it again. However, I probably wouldn't read most memoirs twice, so that's not a knock on the book at all!
The author tells a great story about her life. You have to read it to believe it, and even while you're reading it, you'll be shaking your head. The fact that the children got out is a testament to their tenacity. The fact that they still managed to love their parents is amazing. I was ready to KILL the father after the Oz episode!!! I like that the book flowed. It had to be somewhat difficult to decide which pieces of your life story to tell, but she did a great job giving the highlights.
I'm glad that she's happy with her current life and that things are somewhat settled for her siblings. If you're looking for a book about how someone was able to overcome some pretty terrible situations and make a life for herself, while not becoming bitter - give this a try!! You'll definitely like it. (less)
I gave this four stars because the story - the experience of being one of the Little Rock Nice - is awesome. The book itself isn't a great literary wo...moreI gave this four stars because the story - the experience of being one of the Little Rock Nice - is awesome. The book itself isn't a great literary work, but that's not what it's meant to be. It's meant to try to give you a glimpse of what it was like to be one of those nine young people who integrated Little Rock Central High School - and it does that wonderfully. It is well written and keeps the flow going.
Carlotta Walls will be going to high school shortly after the Supreme Court decided Brown v Board of Education. A sign up sheet is circulated in her 8th grade class where students have to pick the high school they want to attend. Carlotta picks Little Rock Central - because it's close to home and she thinks she'll finally go to a school where she'll have all the resources she's ever dreamed about at her disposal. She gets neither - once all the legal wrangling gets finished and they can get rid of the white separatists, it's so dangerous for her and her eight classmates to get to school that they have to go to a neighbor's home every day to get driven to school. And the school experience is absolutely awful - so awful that it takes her thirty or forty years to actually deal with it. Her home was bombed - her dad was accused of planting the bomb; it's amazing the things she and her classmates endured.
This book, if you're African American, will definitely make you appreciate the choices you have as far as where you can go to school - I personally think it should be required reading for all our youth. For the wider audience, it shows that "doing nothing" doesn't help anyone. If you're not making/taking a stand, you're really useless.(less)
11/1: So I've always wondered why there were two mom's on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and didn't realize that there was drama associated with the swi...more11/1: So I've always wondered why there were two mom's on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and didn't realize that there was drama associated with the switch. Apparently Janet Hubert was railroaded out of Hollywood because of the split up. She certainly has no love lost for Will Smith. I definitely preferred the show when she was the mom, and it will be interesting to hear her take on why she was removed. I'm listening to this as an audiobook where she's the narrator and it's excellent so far. She reads it exactly as I remember her acting. I'm definitely enjoying it so far.
11/4: so I'm sorry I used one of my free audible credits on this book. It would have been better borrowed from the library. It's hard to critique someone's memoir - it's kind of like saying "I don't like your life", but the person's life is what it is. :-) But by the end of the book I was tired. She whined a lot, I felt. She was indeed "done wrong" by Smith and the studio - if you accept her version of the story - and a lot of awful things happened to her as a result of getting kicked off the show, but some of it was the result of crazy decisions she made. And she kept flip-flopping throughout the book - she hated what the cast did to her, but she's always wondering what they're doing. Really? The book is also a bit disjointed in places as she jumps back and forth between stories, but she said she wanted to tell the story "in her own words" without any editors or publishers telling her what to say.
Anyway, I'm she was able to get her life back under control, but this book didn't really do anything for me. You kind of want memoirs to inspire you or at least make you think. She confirms that Hollywood is a crazy place, but we already knew that. :-)
I think you can safely skip this one. There's also quite a bit of swearing in it, if that bothers you. (less)
I'd seen a documentary about this disaster on PBS or Discovery and enjoyed the book. It's amazing the things people can accomplish when they put their...moreI'd seen a documentary about this disaster on PBS or Discovery and enjoyed the book. It's amazing the things people can accomplish when they put their minds to it. The difficulty of climbing Everest makes you wonder why people even want to do it. It was a little confusing keeping all the Sherpas and team members straight, but that was definitely my problem, not the author's. If you're looking for a true-life story of people pushing themselves to the limit, this is one for you. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a happy ending, but that doesn't make it any less fascinating or absorbing.
It was also interesting to find out about the 'feud' between the author and Boukreev - I was disappointed by that.
P.S. I felt cold the whole way reading this book. :-)(less)
I enjoyed this book. It was an easy read. Definitely inspirational and motivating - I would recommend it to any young person. I can't wait to read the...moreI enjoyed this book. It was an easy read. Definitely inspirational and motivating - I would recommend it to any young person. I can't wait to read their follow up book. The Pact is a heart-warming story that will make those of us who didn't grow up in as difficult situations as these young men did wonder how we could have ever complained about anything.
Each of the three authors tells his story in his own words - they divide it up by chapters, so George will do a chapter, then Rameck, then Sam, and so on. I liked this format. They did a good job of deciding what to include in the book since they had to choose from their entire life history. Interspersed between the chapters (and also at the end) are inspirational pointers - things they've looked at and decided made a difference in their lives and that can make a difference in the lives of others.(less)
Leslie describes how she got into a relationship with Connor, how she stayed for three years while he abused her, and what finally got her to leave.
I'...moreLeslie describes how she got into a relationship with Connor, how she stayed for three years while he abused her, and what finally got her to leave.
I've heard from abused women before that they don't stay because they're stupid or silly, and Leslie tries to bring that point home too. Near the end of the book (I listened to this, so my sense of location may be a bit off), she talks about finally identifying the chink in her self-esteem that allowed her to love dangerous men, men who couldn't love her, and learning to deal with it.
If you've never been abused, and haven't spoken to women who have been, this book may be difficult for you to read. You may think, "Why didn't she leave him?" "Why did she stick around?". Hopefully the story will help you to be a bit more empathetic to those who are in the situation, and who can't seem to muster up the courage to leave. One thing I hope people see from this book is that there are usually always signs when a marriage is going to be abusive - things happen while the couple is dating that should trigger alarms. Many times they do, and many times, like Leslie, they are rationalized away, and then things only get worse.(less)
I wanted to give this book two and a half stars but we don't have that option. Being a 'glass half full' personality, I decided to round up. :-)
The au...moreI wanted to give this book two and a half stars but we don't have that option. Being a 'glass half full' personality, I decided to round up. :-)
The author has taken extreme liberties with the writing of the book - the good thing is that he admits it up front. He also admits up front that he had no access to Mark Zuckerburg, which you should keep in mind as you read the book - Mark generally gets a bad rap throughout.
I didn't know anything about how Facebook started, much less that there was controversy about whether the original idea was really Mark's. So from that perspective, learning the history, even if it is skewed by the author's creative license (and he takes a lot of that throughout the book!), it was interesting to me. It is not a major literary work, and the author had to do what he could to make it 'interesting', I guess, because the basic plot can definitely be summarized in a few sentences. Furthermore all of the additions the author makes (some of which he admits to making up), don't really give any more depth to the story.
It was amazing to see how a simple idea developed in a dorm room has turned into one of the most popular social inventions of all time. No matter whose side you believe, the wide reaching effects of Facebook can't be ignored. This book can give you some insight into how it all happened. But I agree with the reviewers who said you probably just want to borrow this one from the library. :-) (less)
Read this book if you get a chance. I was unfamiliar with Mario's story and it's a great one. Kudos to everyone who worked so hard on his case, though...moreRead this book if you get a chance. I was unfamiliar with Mario's story and it's a great one. Kudos to everyone who worked so hard on his case, though if you stop to think about all the other innocent people in prison who don't have a Latham funding their appeals...
As I mentioned in status updates, Graham does a good job describing life as a new lawyer at a big-time law firm. The two stories work well together. (less)
dec 17: started listening to this as an audio book today. i hadn't bothered to look to see who the narrator was, but i was pleasantly surprised to hea...moredec 17: started listening to this as an audio book today. i hadn't bothered to look to see who the narrator was, but i was pleasantly surprised to hear that it was mr. poitier himself. i found myself laughing at some of his descriptions of the things that happened to him in the bahamas.
feb. 10: boy, it took me a while to finish this! :-) It was an okay book. He does a lot of philosophizing and that bogs it down a bit, but I guess that's why it's a spiritual autobiography. I believe he has another book that goes into more detail about his career, etc. This did that to some extent, but also delved into the thoughts behind his actions, what caused him to take certain roles, etc.(less)
You totally feel for Esther in this book. You are rooting for her the whole way through and want to yell at and/or shake the people she has to interac...moreYou totally feel for Esther in this book. You are rooting for her the whole way through and want to yell at and/or shake the people she has to interact with who can't see that something is is different and she needs help. I felt a pang each time she tried to kill herself.
It's hard to dislike biographies/memoirs - how can you say you don't like someone's life. I totally admire Ms. Plath having the guts to write this book, way back when doing self-exposes wasn't in vogue. This is a haunting story that will make you appreciate the strides medicine has made in treating mental illnesses.(less)
This is a book that makes you want to give a half star. I feel bad giving it just two stars, but I really didn't like it that much. It's the story of...moreThis is a book that makes you want to give a half star. I feel bad giving it just two stars, but I really didn't like it that much. It's the story of a black girl from inner city Philadelphia who goes to a recently integrated prep school in the New England area. There were some really nice parts, and it's a good coming of age story - it just didn't make me go, "Wow - I'd read that again!"(less)
I really liked this book. I read it at the request of a friend who is a Steve Jobs fanatic - and I wasn't disappointed. Lots of good details - Isaacso...moreI really liked this book. I read it at the request of a friend who is a Steve Jobs fanatic - and I wasn't disappointed. Lots of good details - Isaacson did a good job with his research and I thought was objective in his presentation of Jobs, who, as everyone probably knows, was a really complicated guy. I developed an appreciation for the genius that Jobs was. I miss him too. :-)(less)