This book changed my way of thinking about the drug war and made me want to get involved in making a change. People seem to be focusing on the ideas pThis book changed my way of thinking about the drug war and made me want to get involved in making a change. People seem to be focusing on the ideas presented in the book about what causes addiction and that is valid--I only bought the book because I read a related article that talked primarily about that topic. But the book is so much more, and I think it does the author a disservice to focus on that alone. The author spends more time discussing how drug addicts are treated, legislatively and socially. He shows what different people around the world have been doing to end the drug war (or the effects of the drug war). He details the history of the drug war and demonstrates its policies by drawing ties to a famous drug addict. Which leads me to what I was most impressed by in this book. It was meticulously researched and referenced. It had an astonishing variety of personal stories from all over the world and all different facets of life. But what I found most impressive was the way the author presented the stories and the facts together. He did a really wonderful job of using statistics to underscore whatever was happening in the story he was telling without overwhelming the reader with numbers. Facts and personal history were woven together seamlessly, and made both more interesting than they would have been if they had been presented alone. I wrote on a review of another book a warning that Tea Partiers and Far Right Republicans should probably not read it. I do not hold that opinion of this book, in fact I think conservatives and people who support the drug war should make a point to read it. With an open mind, of course...more
I admired how she took responsibility for mistakes made (in her campaigns and her personal life) and seemed to honestly regret them. She did a great job of walking the line between being open about her personal life and telling too much--i didn't feel like she was holding back but i also didn't feel like "ooh someone's going to be mad about that chapter" It was worth 4 stars for the chapter on the filibuster alone. I remember watching the livestream and wishing I was there and she did a great job of making me feel like I was
-.5 because it could be slightly repetitive in parts (nearly every chapter had some variation of "and that's why I believe..." and "that's why it's important to me to...")
[Also, even though I feel it goes without saying, this book is not recommended for tea-partiers or far right republicans]...more
**spoiler alert** If you have kids or deal with kids, you know that their stories can be rambling and nonsensical at times. I felt like a kid trying t**spoiler alert** If you have kids or deal with kids, you know that their stories can be rambling and nonsensical at times. I felt like a kid trying to explain the plot of this book to my friend. "Well, there's this guy in Japan, and his cat goes missing, and he gets this weird sexy phone call, and he meets this girl and they talk about wigs and stuff. Then his wife goes missing and an old guy comes to his house and tells a story about being at the bottom of a well and then HE goes to the bottom of a well and the girl shuts him in the well, like, tries to kill him sort of and oh yeah there's another girl who has sex with him but like, only in his mind, I think. And he goes into a world through the well and it's like a hotel and when he comes out he has a blue mark on his face and the girl LICKS it..."
That being said, the fact that I found the book interesting enough to actually tell a friend about it says something. I hardly ever talk about what I'm reading, much less feel the need to explain the plot. This book was meandering, it was dreamlike, it was vague, not all my questions were answered (it was pretty evident from the beginning that they wouldn't be). But it was wholly unique, easy to read, thought provoking, and dreamlike (deserves mentions on both sides). Also it should be noted that while not ALL my questions were answered, a surprising number of them were.
This book was also quiet. For a book that was thousands of words describing action, violence, sex, scenery, food, smells, textures...it was so quiet. I can't really explain why, but that's one of the main words I would use to describe this book. Let me be clear that I don't mean peaceful. because I don't. I mean quiet. Hushed. Muted. Which is a sensation I have rarely had reading a book.
how badly i wish i could have discovered this book six months ago when reviews for my professors were due. it would have made my entire life worthwhilhow badly i wish i could have discovered this book six months ago when reviews for my professors were due. it would have made my entire life worthwhile to have written what Ignatius T. Reilly did to his:
“Your total ignorance of that which you profess to teach merit’s the death penalty. I doubt whether you would know that St. Cassian of Imola was stabbed to death by his students with their styli. His death, a martyr’s honorable one, made him a patron saint of teachers. Pray to him, you deluded fool, you ‘anyone for tennis?’ golf-playing, cocktail-quaffing pseudo-pedant, for you do indeed need a heavenly patron. Although your days are numbered, you will not die as a martyr-for you further no holy cause-but as the total ass which you really are. Zorro”...more
i picked this book up (for $2 at a book sale) for two reasons: 1. i am addicted to trashy celebrity biographies 2. the song "9 to 5" has made me dancei picked this book up (for $2 at a book sale) for two reasons: 1. i am addicted to trashy celebrity biographies 2. the song "9 to 5" has made me dance in the shower more times than any other song will ever hope to.
and after reading it, i am telling you, with no sense of irony whatsoever, that this book is 1. one of the best books i have ever read 2. by far the best memoir.
i don't care who you are, you will take something positive from this book. It is spiritual, simple, wise, hilarious, uplifting. It left me feeling hopeful and looking forward to the future. It made me laugh. It made my fiance laugh when I reread some of the stories to him. Unfortunately, it also made a lot of people laugh when i told them i was reading it. and that's a shame. because i know dolly parton is somewhat of a caricature. but honestly (and you will figure this out if you read the book), people see her as a caricature precisely because that's how she wants it to be. the image she presents to the public is very deliberate, but most of all very genuine. she is completely and totally true to herself; if you see her as a big boobed, big haired, makeup wearing hick, well honey, that's how it's supposed to be--because that's who she is. just make sure you don't forget about her music and her personality, because that's also who she is. and also make sure you give her credit where credit is due, because she deserves a ton of it. case in point:
“Early next morning [after high school graduation:] I boarded a Greyhound bus with my dreams, my old guitar, the songs I had written, and the rest of my belongings in a set of matching luggage---three paper bags from the same grocery store.”
there were so many other gems. you want to hear more? of course you do.
“Trying to weed out those few people with talent from all of that sea of dreamers is quite a job. It’s a lot like looking for four-leaf clovers, which would be easy to find if it weren’t for all of those three-leaf ones. The problem is, every one of those three-leaf clovers thinks he’s a four-leafer.”
“I suppose if it weren’t for naivete and fool-hearted, pigheaded stubbornness, nobody would ever see their dreams through."
“I had loved John Kennedy. Not in the way a woman loves a man but in the way one idealist recognizes another and loves him for that place within themselves that they share.”
and my personal favorite:
“There are times when I feel like saying something like, ‘Why don’t you get out of my face, you ugly woman. And take those bratty kids with you!’ But at times like that I usually get all flustered. I get confused and say stupid stuff like ‘Kiss my ass, that’s what you are. And don’t think I can’t do it!’”
when i finished this book, i gave it four stars & expected that to be the end of it. it's four days later. today i was at the pool with one of mywhen i finished this book, i gave it four stars & expected that to be the end of it. it's four days later. today i was at the pool with one of my other books, & felt a strange void/longing that i couldn't immediately identify. then i realized the least time i was at the pool i was reading this book. i missed it. suddenly, the book i was reading became painfully inadequate, almost disgusting. it was like i had gone to bed with johnny depp & woken up next to rodney dangerfield. "ech, mambo kings, just ech. get out of my face." (wait! let me correct that, lest you think i considered mambo kings to ever be on par with mr. depp. nothing can compare to mr. depp. really i was just trying to figure out a way to mention him.) moving on... i don't know why this book has stayed with me the way it has. the storyline was simple. the language was lovely but nothing i'd consider extraordinary. some of the characters were pure stereotypes (the lifelong butler, prim & easily scandalized but very loyal...the neighborhood girl, a childhood playmate all grown up & hopelessly in love with the protagonist...etc & so on & whatnot). i think it was the mystery of rachel herself. questions were not answered about her at the end, & although conjectures could be made (ps she totally did it), you're left guessing about her motives/life story/relationships...basically everything about her. but it's not a frustrating not-knowingness (like i've encountered in books a lot recently), it's actually great because it keeps you thinking. basically, it's going to be hard to find a replacement to take to the pool with me. (i will accept johnny depp if no books are available) ...more
it took a long time for this book to get going. the first 50 pages or so were very dry historical information about kanjiri in pakistan, and that wasit took a long time for this book to get going. the first 50 pages or so were very dry historical information about kanjiri in pakistan, and that was pretty tough to slog through. but once you get past that, the book is amazing. she wrote very objectively, presenting events and stories in a very straightforward way. she only delved into her personal differences with how people were behaving occasionally--and at those times it was necessary. for example, she discussed the inner conflict she felt when a 14 year old girl was sold to a much older sheik (should she interfere and compromise her journalistic objectivity or not?) overall, a fantastic book. a very eye-opening peek into a culture that most will never get to observe. ...more