I listened to most of this on audiobook on the drive from Orange County to Sacramento. Then, I read a little of the ebook. The print version gets 3 st...moreI listened to most of this on audiobook on the drive from Orange County to Sacramento. Then, I read a little of the ebook. The print version gets 3 stars but the audio gets 4. Tina Fey is much funnier than the way I read it in my head. (less)
I think this would be a good starter book for someone who doesn't know anything about the Chinese cultural revolution. It doesn't go into a ton of det...moreI think this would be a good starter book for someone who doesn't know anything about the Chinese cultural revolution. It doesn't go into a ton of detail, but I think it would be a good place to start. Also, I looked up some YouTube videos of Li's dancing, and he's really fantastic. So it was interesting seeing how hard it was for him when he started. He makes it look effortless. (less)
Everyone thinks they know the best way. The best way to raise children, the best way to raise pets, the best way to do everything. I've heard a lot of...moreEveryone thinks they know the best way. The best way to raise children, the best way to raise pets, the best way to do everything. I've heard a lot of dog owners very pompously tell me, for example, that they only give their dogs raw food because dogs don't have kibble in the wild. People also have very strong opinions on child rearing. Everything from breastfeeding to spanking to letting your child sleep in bed with you seems to be controversial, and many parents have absolutely no qualms about telling you that the way they do it is right and the way you do it is wrong. Most of the time, though, the person being told didn't ask for the opinion of the person doing the telling.
When you write a book - an autobiographical book - you are, essentially, asking for your reader's opinion. Therefore, I don't feel bad about saying that this author is a nutcase. She is doing no favors for herself or her child or for her dogs.
1. She can't leave her dog at doggie daycare, because he's too well housebroken and he won't pee. Also, he doesn't want to play with the other dogs. She can't leave him alone in her apartment all day, so she quits her job.
2. The dog goes to restaurants with her, and sits at the table, in a chair, like a person. I think this is meant to be cute, but it isn't.
3. The first dog dies when she is pregnant with her first child. She knows she shouldn't get a puppy, but she does anyway.
4. The new dog is a girl, and the author says there is "some debate" on when it is best to spay. What debate? If you're going to spay, you do it before the dog's first heat. It significantly reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, according to my vet. Where is she getting her information from? Anyway, she doesn't spay the dog soon enough and the dog, who sleeps in their bed, gets her period. They don't want to dog to bleed all over their bed, so they put her in a crate in the living room. A crate the dog has NEVER used before. Of course the dog cries all night, so she ends up DUCT TAPING A DIAPER ON THE DOG and letting it in the bed with her.
5. She decides to volunteer with a Boston Terrier rescue, but the woman who runs the rescue says she can't foster a dog because she has a toddler, and it isn't safe since they don't know how the dogs would be with children. But then there is a doggie emergency, and she gets a foster dog. The foster dog, apparently, is the devil and bites everyone (this seems to be a theme - all her dogs bite. I asked around to some people I know with Boston Terriers and they say it is not an aggressive breed. So why do all her dogs bite? Could it be they need training?). When the dog bites her daughter, she finally decides that the dog has to go.
6. Lack of training is a problem. She talks about how she brought a trainer in to work with her first dog, and the trainer brought some little training treats. But then the trainer saw a plate with all these little treats (including deli meat) sitting out. She asks the author what that is, and the reply is "his snack tray." The trainer points out that she can't train a dog using treats when he has his own buffet.
7. The separation anxiety isn't just a problem with the dogs. When she takes her child to pre-K for the first time, the child cries. So she stays in the hall outside the child's classroom for the entire day. And this happens again, and again, and again. Cut that umbilical cord already!
8. The daughter does not want the dogs around. Probably because she senses that mommy loves the dogs more than her. She and her husband agree that they shouldn't foster any more dogs, because it's too upsetting to the daughter, but that only lasts a few months and then they're back to rescuing the dogs.
Look. I love my dog. I talk to her like I expect her to talk back. I let her sleep on my bed. I stopped giving her people food when she started getting too fat because an extra 10 lbs on her is very dangerous to her health. But dogs also need discipline. They need to know that you are the leader of their pack. This woman was clearly way too indulgent with both her dogs and her child.
Also, I know this is a book about her dogs. But it would have been nice for a little information to fill in the gaps. When we first meet the author, she is single and lonely. Then, suddenly, she is married and pregnant. She's working part time, then she quits, then she's suddenly a published writer. How did these things happen?
Do you think you have been wronged? Do you think your life has been hard? Are you hanging on to anger, hurt, resentment, pain? Believe me, what you ha...moreDo you think you have been wronged? Do you think your life has been hard? Are you hanging on to anger, hurt, resentment, pain? Believe me, what you have gone through is nothing compared to what this man has endured. And yet he was able to forgive his tormentors and let go of the pain and fear his experiences caused. In WWII after his plane crashed, Olympic miler Louis Zamperini and two crewmates floated on a raft in the Pacific for 47 days, subsisting on rainwater, raw bird meat, and albatross blood before being captured by the Japanese. Held as a POW for two years and three months, Zamperini experienced every kind of degradation imaginable. He was brutally beaten and humiliated, made to scoop feces with his bare hands and do pushups over a latrine well. He suffered unbelievable cruelty at the hands of the Japanese guards, specifically Mutushiro Wantanabe, aka The Bird. After the war ended, Louis drank away his nightmares and became a person he didn't recognize. At the insistence of his wife, Louis attended a Billy Graham crusade where his life was irrevocably changed. He was instantly delivered from his alcoholism and nightmares. Forgiveness replaced hate and Louis eventually traveled to Japan and forgave his tormentors in person. This is an absolutely extraordinary story of the miracle of salvation and the release of bondage that comes from experiencing the love of Christ, but it doesn't come across as preachy or holier than thou. The story focuses mainly on the experience of war and as a POW. This is a side of war you don't read about in the history books. The religiosity is handled very matter-of-factly as just another of Zamperini's experience. This is a must-read for all, regardless of religious belief. (less)
This book is disappointing. For a Rhodes scholar, this Wes Moore is not a very good writer. He tries too hard to make it sound "good." It is also very...moreThis book is disappointing. For a Rhodes scholar, this Wes Moore is not a very good writer. He tries too hard to make it sound "good." It is also very self-congratulatory and exceedingly dull. Moore even manages to make jumping out of an airplane sound dull. Skip it. (less)
**spoiler alert** As a Christian, I have always felt a little uneasy with the idea of Christians marrying Jews (or Muslims, or Atheists, or Pagans, et...more**spoiler alert** As a Christian, I have always felt a little uneasy with the idea of Christians marrying Jews (or Muslims, or Atheists, or Pagans, etc.). Not with being friends with or even dating Jews, but with marriage in particular. I believe that Jesus Christ is the only path to salvation, and so I have never been able to reconcile the idea of sharing a life with someone who did not share that belief. To me, it is a far, far different thing than a difference in religion. It is a difference in a core, fundamental belief that shapes a person's values and has a profound effect on their eternity.
So it was with this belief that I sat down to read The Invisible Wall. And I found myself saddened by the divide on Harry's street, with the Christians on one side and the Jews on the other. And yet the extent of the divide to be not what I expected: I expected hate and antisemitism to be the main reason the Christians and Jews did not mix, but found it to be more because of the Jewish traditions and superstitions that did not allow them to mingle with the Christians. Of course there were some scenes of slurs being flung about and of the Jewish children being attacked on their way home from school. But what really stuck out to me were other things: the Christian Forshaws inviting little Harry to sit on their stoop and listen to their gramophone; the Christian "fire goys" who would go over the the Jewish homes and tend their fires on Fridays and Saturdays when it was forbidden for the Jews to do so; the interest the headmaster took in Lily's education. The "fire goys" especially stood out to me. For a Gentile to help a Jewish person in that way, in order to help the Jews maintain their religious tradition, in the 1910s was extraordinary. I also thought it interesting that the Christian Forshaws were more willing to accept Lily and her relationship with Arthur than Lily's Jewish family.
I was moved by the descriptions of the poverty surrounding the street, with such things standing out like Harry's mother cutting up her best dress to make a new suit for Harry and the depiction of Harry and his two brothers all three sharing a bed, even as they grow bigger and taller, and Harry's mother scrounging for bruised fruit and cutting out the bad parts and reselling them.
The neglect and abuse from Harry's father was another thing that touched me. My own grandfather has little to no relationship with his children. Though (to my knowledge) they suffered none of the physical or verbal abuse that Harry and his siblings endured, there were still some similarities in Harry's father and my grandfather. He showed no interest in them when they were growing up. He too stayed out of the house until after his children went to bed and he preferred gambling and drinking to staying home and getting to know his family. To this day, only one out of his six children (my mother) will have anything to do with him. It is sad to me to think that a man can be so disinterested in his own offspring. It makes me feel lucky to have such a wonderful, loving father.
And finally, I was moved to tears by the struggle of Lily and Arthur to have their love accepted by their families. I still have trouble reconciling the idea of sharing a life with someone whose beliefs so differ from your own (how would you raise your children, for example? To believe as you do? How strong can your belief be if you don't desire for your children to share it?), that was not the case with Arthur and Lily. Lily didn't put so much stock in her religion and in fact stopped attending synagogue. And my heart ached for them when Lily's family sat shivah for her after her marriage to Arthur, and I wept during her reunion with her mother.(less)
I read this on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust remembrance day). And I realized I am a coward. Had I been in Weisel's place, I could not have survived. I don't...moreI read this on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust remembrance day). And I realized I am a coward. Had I been in Weisel's place, I could not have survived. I don't know that I would have wanted to. I wouldn't want to live with the memory of the children being thrown into the crematoria. I wouldn't want to live with the daily fear and cold and hunger and illness and pain. I am a coward.(less)