Fascinating! Margot Mifflin does a profoundly good job of peeling away the fictions and stories of hangers-on to get to what can really be known about...moreFascinating! Margot Mifflin does a profoundly good job of peeling away the fictions and stories of hangers-on to get to what can really be known about the story of Olive Oatman, a 14 year old pioneer girl who's family was killed and she and her sister taken into captivity by the Yavapai and later traded to the Mohave tribe. By all researchable accounts, she was not only adopted fully by the Mohave, a tribe who's physical beauty and extraordinary happiness and good humor were remarkable traits (to the white folks, not used to such good humor) — but she became fully Mohave. All the more tragic that she was "rescued" after 5 years in another trade and brought back to a white "civilization" she had no desire to return to.
Trauma upon trauma, and she was made a media darling by a pimp of a ghostwriter who used her story with a racist agenda—rather than her real story and true experience. As a woman in a Victorian world in the Westward expansion, she cleared could not tell her true feelings and survive back in white society. But Mifflin has dug up enough interviews, writings and interviews with some remaining Mohave to piece together a more believable story. By her own accounts while the Yavapai treated she and her sister as slaves, the Mohave treated them with the utmost kindness and love. Family was formed, and torn away again 5 years later.
Olive was famous for the "Blue Tatoo" on her chin that marked her as fully Mohave. If you wonder what this looks like, besides old photos, see the character Eva in AMC's series "Hell on Wheels" — a woman obviously modeled after Olive Oatman. See this from the "Hell on Wheels Handbook" — http://blogs.amctv.com/hell-on-wheels... (less)
Couldn't put it down! First of all — it's one of a kind: a father/son memoir jointly written. Second — what lives they've lived! What stories, what st...moreCouldn't put it down! First of all — it's one of a kind: a father/son memoir jointly written. Second — what lives they've lived! What stories, what struggle, what love! Just absolutely unflinchingly (as the LA Times says) in its honesty — and as a result, incredibly inspiring and moving. It in itself should be a movie! Now I want to go back a re-watch a whole bunch of their films, knowing the backstories.
Also, it is paced alongside the making of the movie "The Way" — the most recent father/son collaboration between Martin and Emilio that takes place along the famed Camino de Santiago in Spain - a pilgrimage, a father/son story itself, and a film I loved and highly recommend.
This memoir is also the artist's way — a story of a father, an artist, who passed on ethics, courage, and a deep love for family to his son. Anyone who saw Martin Sheen's episode of "Who Do You Think You Are," where he explores his Spanish and Irish heritages, will also recognize some of the story that's expanded upon here. Because this is also, inevitably, a story of grandfathers and grandmothers too. Of how fathers teach their sons, in one way or another. It's a story of a semi-nomadic artists' life, a family who travels as much as possible with their father's work and locations, and who have incredible experiences, bonding, fighting and loving because of it. It's a story of the struggling artist doing what's necessary to survive financially and still be true to an artists calling, and keeping his family close. It's a story of rebellions within and without the family — refusing to kowtow to sycophantic Hollywood "friendships" and insisting on forging friendships of integrity and value beyond the next job.
From harrowing tales in the Philippines during the filming of Apocalypse Now, to the recent father/son collaboration along the Camino de Santiago — a tale of spiritual transformation through this centuries-old pilgrimage in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain and France, this is a spell-binding feat of story-telling. Rarely do we get such strength, loyalty and love lasting lifetimes coming out of Hollywood.
Thank you Martin & Emilio for the experience, strength and hope shared here. Many blessing wished for the Sheen/Estevez's. (less)
Just can't thank Treuer enough for this masterpiece of story, history, memoir, and journalism — a hybrid — and bringing it to bear on such a complex s...moreJust can't thank Treuer enough for this masterpiece of story, history, memoir, and journalism — a hybrid — and bringing it to bear on such a complex subject — complete with passion, tragedy, hope and beauty, all in one remarkable book. It should become standard, required reading for university American History courses.
Anyone who wants to know the story of Native American reservations, of the treaties, of what it's really like "on the rez" in unvarnished storytelling from the inside out — should read this book.
This book is overdue on the American landscape — KUDOS to David Truer, who shows he's not only a great novelist, but a masterful creative non-fiction writer as well.(less)
Brings alive all the great historical characters of Deadwood, South Dakota in the Black Hills — from Wild Bill Hickok to Sheriff Seth Bullock; Calamit...moreBrings alive all the great historical characters of Deadwood, South Dakota in the Black Hills — from Wild Bill Hickok to Sheriff Seth Bullock; Calamity Jane to Frontier Medicine.
Fast, easy read, and Ames uses the HBO series, Deadwood, as a frequent backdrop and reference point. According to Ames, HBO got its history and characterization dead on for Deadwood. A great guide book to visiting the Black Hills and to watching Deadwood!(less)
I read the Premier Edition, which is wonderfully annotated with historical references and clarifications on the interpretations and additions that are...moreI read the Premier Edition, which is wonderfully annotated with historical references and clarifications on the interpretations and additions that are Neihardt's and not in the transcripts of Black Elk's words. I have had this on my "to read" list for years — everything in its time. I read this while in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Black Elk's homeland. It seemed especially powerful to read it in the very hills where he lived and walked, had visions, dreams, and went about the work of a holy man and medicine man for his people. When the thunder storms rolled in almost daily, I heard, saw and felt the storms differently than before: with Black Elk's wisdom, I understood them as "thunder beings" — living energy, so real to the Lakota holy man because of his vision, that during the winter when there were no thunder storms, he missed and longed for his friends, the thunder beings.
In the Black Hills, with the buffalo reestablished and roaming freely, and saw and felt their power and energy in a way brought alive by Black Elk's reverence for these mighty creatures too.
The hills were brought alive by Black Elk's words, and it was the right time and place to read and absorb this spiritual classic. A terrible beauty was wrought here and captured in Black Elk's words. (less)
Well, Shirley is always entertaining! And that's the thing. She's an entertainer. Her life is amazing. I loved reading what she's "over," what she's n...moreWell, Shirley is always entertaining! And that's the thing. She's an entertainer. Her life is amazing. I loved reading what she's "over," what she's not over, and what she's semi-over. From religion to vanity, from family to exercise. From sex (she's kind of over it, but good Lord, she had enough with enough people for 50 lifetimes) to her now happy life of semi-seclusion in New Mexico with her dog.
I'd love to have dinner with Shirley. I'm sure we'd be friends. Even with the things I'm not quite over about her — like the amoral power-sexcapades. It's not just that she was married (a "very liberal arrangement") and slept with stars of stage and world politics abounding — it's that she never cared about the other people that her somewhat narcissistic behavior effected. That the Prime Minister of Sweden was married was merely a "technicality" to Shirley. "He was technically married." Technically. O.K. So was she. Technically. How marvelous. And on it went. She never carried about who might be hurt in her wake, and that is disturbing —especially for a woman spouting Karma on every other page. Karma's only for other things I guess. A blind spot? Perhaps.
I'm not over Shirley's inability to "get" why she's not given the same spiritual credibility as the Dalai Lama. Seriously. She is clearly bothered that the Dalai Lama can speak without being ridiculed, while when she speaks about reincarnation, past lives, UFOs and other New Age passions, she is the subject of snickers, hoots, and yes, at times, ridicule. Though not as much now as 20 years ago. And she's met and spent time with the Dalai Lama. (She's met everyone, that is well established.) A bit of jealousy over the chasm between her spiritual cred and the Tibetan spiritual leader's. Shirley finally attributes the difference to "wardrobe." And she is bothered enough by this to repeat it several times in the book. Perhaps if she wore a monk's robe she'd be taken more seriously. Well, there's something to that. The Dalai Lama's credibility is bolstered in part by NOT sleeping with movie stars and female heads of state galore, even though, as a powerful man, he had the charisma and no doubt opportunity to do so.
Shirley argues that everyone would be as promiscuous as those on film sets and political campaigns given the opportunity to partake. It just is the way it is. Somehow I can't see the Dalai Lama doing that on any film set, or any campaign. Or some other folks who are a bit "over" the orgy part of politics and movies. What would Buddha, Jesus, or lots of other folks do?
Shirley is fascinating, as much for her blind spots as her entertaining ways. She speaks about the development of doctrine in Christianity, for example, as if she actually knows what she's talking about, citing only one person, and one council, to blame for the exclusion of reincarnation in Christian tradition. She overlooks that it was never part of the Hebrew Tradition from whence came Christianity. And while touting the Church Father Origen for his belief in it (he called it the trans-migration of souls), she fails to understand that Origen in his own time held a fringe belief among Christians and was considered a gnostic or a heretic in his own time by many. He held a minority belief. It wasn't Theodora of Byantium alone who did away with the teachings of Origen (and others) in Constantinople in 553, three centuries after Origen's death. Even while speaking of trans-migration of souls, Origen was not teaching reincarnation as such. A bit complicated for Shirley, its seems. She's no scholar, that's certain. That's why her dogmatic statements about spirituality can be off-putting. She's not a scholar, and her self-directed studies are skewed. But darn it, even the Peruvian Shamans get the credibility (deserved) that she so craves. Must be the wardrobe.
Here's the thing: whether you believe in past lives or not, history and blame according to Shirley, are off.
So read the book for the entertaining aspects. Consider she has some wisdom and much to offer. But be discerning: take the good, leave the dross, enjoy the ride with Shirley MacLaine.
Stephen King at his best in this collection of 4 novellas.
Each story takes off from the idea that within every human there's a another person — one t...moreStephen King at his best in this collection of 4 novellas.
Each story takes off from the idea that within every human there's a another person — one that might only surface in extraordinary times. In the Afterword King says that he wanted to get inside each person and see where they'd go. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
They're scary and uncomfortable and the stories are gripping page turners — very believable. In the first story, "1922," King refers to that hidden person within the main character, Wilfred Lee James, as "Conniving Man." And within the story he refers to these inside jobs, these multiple personalities, as like Russian nesting dolls. Inside one, there's another. Inside that one, yet another. And another. Powerful psychological renderings that are completely believable.
1922 reminds me of Poe, and of course "Fair Extension," another story, is a twist on the Faustian tale. "A Good Marriage" and "Big Driver" both catapult women into the lead roles, with their inner vigilantes coming out and doing justice their way.
The book is absolutely splendid. If King was a writer, he'd be the top criminal profiler at the FBI. We'd be watching a character based on his legend as a profiler on "Criminal Minds." How wonderful we have him writing novels! I wanted more of these stories — and that's a writer at his best. Leaving you wanting more.
Absolutely fascinating. As I was reading this spy story/love story I kept thinking how much a lot of it reminded me of the movie Syriana. Of course! I...moreAbsolutely fascinating. As I was reading this spy story/love story I kept thinking how much a lot of it reminded me of the movie Syriana. Of course! I hadn't read any of Robert Baer's previous books, but as it turns out, he's the author of "See No Evil," the memoir that is the basis for the movie, Syriana.
The book is an education — inside the CIA, both the addictive foreign field work and the tedium in many assignments. Not to mention the casualties that marriages and family relationships become. To have a marriage — these two Spooks left the CIA choosing that over "The Company," and how they find life after the CIA is the other part of a great story. (less)
Some Girls: My Life in a Harem — an absolutely amazing read. Go inside a world so foreign, and yet so familiar with the female competition and power s...moreSome Girls: My Life in a Harem — an absolutely amazing read. Go inside a world so foreign, and yet so familiar with the female competition and power struggles that occupy the scores of women in a modern harem in Brunei. Women from all over the globe. Some trashy, some classy, and some seeming like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ just recognizing, "this isn't Kansas anymore . . . "
A striking thing about the existence of sex-worker mistresses of a madly outrageous, country-owning, oil-slick rich son of a Sultan is what Jillian at one point calls the "skull crushing boredom" of the day to day existence in the palace. Pretty prisoners, they are cloistered like inhabitants of a convent of high end prostitutes. Just how a middle-class teenager from New Jersey who first runs the short but immense distance to New York City to be an actor then succumbs to the allure of a Southeast Asian harem is a story it took Jillian 17 years to write. Punctuated by memories of her adopted childhood and mood-swinging abusive father, it's not so hard to see how, well, one thing leads to another. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. She copes by perfecting the art of dissociation — leaving her body and watching the goings on from outside herself.
Jillian was also a budding artist in those days, and while her acting career careened in the gold-dust, the artist emerged as a true storyteller, poetic writer, with unabashed truth — and some glorious tattoos along the way. The lyrical writing and insight combined with a one-of-a-kind story make this one the most memorable memoirs to be published in a very long time.
She's got a novel coming out later this year — can't wait to see her turn at fiction. It's called "Pretty" and it's on my watchlist.
Exquisite writing from Christ Bohjalian. I was overdue to read this one by Chris. Just joined the Monterey Public Library and this was the first book...moreExquisite writing from Christ Bohjalian. I was overdue to read this one by Chris. Just joined the Monterey Public Library and this was the first book I checked out.
What's mind-blowing is how someone sitting in the comfort of rural Vermont can write so extraordinarily vividly about the most intimately detailed horrors of World War II and the last days of the war in Germany as "Ivan" pressed into Germany and refugees flee, as do deserters, Nazi camp prisoners, POWs and various bedraggled, frightened denizens of the war.
Based on a diary, Chris brings this to life with brutal and sensitive authenticity. Amazing.
"From 1984 till 1987 he worked as a staff psychologist for Hawaii State Hospital overseeing high security unit housing male criminally insane patients. Now, to make things clear:�� these are the type of guys you donâ��t want to turn your back on. These guys committed murders, rapes, assaults and due to their degree of â��insanityâ�� were locked into psychiatric high security facility. Violence against each other and staff members were common.
Fast forward to 1987 (3 years later) wrist and ankle restraints were no longer used in this facility. Violence almost ceased to exist, only involving mostly new patients. New off-site activities were introduced to former violent patients. The spirit and order in the unit was greatly improved and eventually the whole unit was closed because there was no need. People just got improved, healed and released or moved into other non-violent wards.
This all was documented, described my multiple witnesses and personnel.
How did such miraculous change took place in the hospital?" _______________________________________________________________________________________________
In Zero Limits Joe Vitale went to the source himself, Dr. Hew Len, to find out. What happened from there is the story of these two working together to share this with the world. Zero Limits is "beyond the power of Intention," and much more.
A must read for anyone interested in healing ourselves and our planet. "(less)
Just finished. Doreen is a great discovery, and these are great tools to add to my professional practice as a Psychic Reader. I already communicate wi...moreJust finished. Doreen is a great discovery, and these are great tools to add to my professional practice as a Psychic Reader. I already communicate with angels, but what Doreen's book does is present a little workshop on healing techniques and angel readings. Nice! More of a beginner book, but still, I came away with some good learning. I recommend her audio versions of some of this as webinars over at the Hay House site. (less)
I absolutely loved this book — the whole concept is original and so well written I could not put it down. I'm into angelology, it's the topic of my ow...moreI absolutely loved this book — the whole concept is original and so well written I could not put it down. I'm into angelology, it's the topic of my own most recent book, Angels on My Stage. Her first novel, it's also the first in a trilogy and I can't wait for Part II!