I just couldn't put this down. I have always been a big fan of Johnny Cash and this biography is so compelling. This could be called a biography of JoI just couldn't put this down. I have always been a big fan of Johnny Cash and this biography is so compelling. This could be called a biography of Johnny Cash's music with the facts about his life providing the thread that holds it together, especially near the end of his life. Taken together, it is an amazing story of one man's dedication to telling the American story in song. Johnny Cash was similar to Woody Guthrie in the way that he chronicled the lives of ordinary people, especially the poor and disenfranchised. He forged his music out of deep poverty and a sense of rejection from his father that he could never get over. In Cash's own biography, he talks of his brother Jack's death and how his father let him know that the wrong son died. Whatever J.R. did, it would never replace Jack and I think that is what gave Johnny the affinity with people who started out life with two strikes against them.
The book also chronicles Johnny's addiction to pills that were fueled by the grueling pace that those early performers met as they tried to climb to the top. What faced these artists made me tired just reading about their schedule. Prescription medicines seemed to be a way to keep up, but they came with a high cost. Hilburn doesn't pass any judgment about the abuses associated with this life, and that just makes it easier to understand. Johnny Cash was a complicated man and this book goes a long way towards unraveling some of his motivations.
The strongest part of this book was the last few chapters. Johnny's health was failing and he had become obsolete in the eyes of Columbia Reconds. He had heavy debts and he was forced to perform and record albums to keep up with them. He also had a lot more to say in his songs, but he lacked direction. Rick Rubin came into his life from a different direction and he saw Johnny as a unique voice that needed to be heard. He listened to a lifetime of Cash's recordings and came to see him as one of the greatest artists of our time. Somehow he was able to build up Cash's confidence and led him back into music that was right for him. With infinite patience, he helped Cash record songs that spoke to a new generation of fans as well as the old ones.
In a fit of insomnia, I listened to this book in audio form and flipped back and forth between Youtube and the book. The musical journey was amazing, but the last songs Johnny wrote or recorded from other artists were a gift to prosperity. No one will ever be able to do what he has done. When I heard him do "Hurt" years ago, I thought it was the most powerful and compelling a song as I have ever heard. After reading what lead up to it, I found I couldn't keep the tears from coming. Even if a person isn't a fan of country music or Johnny Cash, the is a powerful story of a man and the soul of a people.
I was reading this to see if I could use it for Homeschool free reading and I still am not sure if it will work. It is the story of a brother and sistI was reading this to see if I could use it for Homeschool free reading and I still am not sure if it will work. It is the story of a brother and sister who are killed in an accident at a mall. The sister is a particularly "bad" child who loves to do rotten things. She drags along her brother who is exactly the opposite. While shopping she puts some makeup in his bag and so he is technically guilty of stealing. After they die they slide into "Heck" where the bad kids go. In the case of Milton, there has obviously been a mistake. but Bea "Elza" Bubb does not want to admit it. What follows is a kid type adventure that relies on puns and other somewhat clever things.
"Heck" is "Limbo" where bad kids go until they are 18 years old. By that time, they will have improved because of the experience and be ready to enter into the Upper Place, or will have revealed their nature. I think I will have to read another books in the series to see if it gets better. Some people have commented in the inconsistencies and I'd like to see if kids pick them up. There are some obvious flaws in the book, but that is a good teaching tool also. So, we shall see.......more
In this third book of the series, the local children are attempting to get the fairies to help them and they find a true believer in Beatrix Potter. SIn this third book of the series, the local children are attempting to get the fairies to help them and they find a true believer in Beatrix Potter. Susan Wittig Albert writes about fairies with the same mix of awe, reverence and fear that Tolkien does. The quest for the fairies help and the plight of the children is by far, the most important thread in the book. We are led into a world where fairies do get involved with the life of the “big people,” but they can never be taken for granted or controlled. They come and go as they please and are only visible to the young at heart.
In contrast, the “big people” are embroiled in their own problems and most don’t see how fairies could possible be a part of them. The local Boer war hero, has returned dreadfully wounded, but with a new bride who sets the village’s teeth on edge. What in the world could he be thinking of? She is totally inappropriate for village life and she isn’t even nice. To add to it, there is something suspicious in her relationship to a new man who appears to be a relative of the vicar’s and has come to stay, and stay, and stay.
One of the things I like about this series is that it follows the life of Beatrix Potter and weaves known attitudes and events into a beautifully crafted historical and yet fanciful--- tale. It is a wonderful series to curl up with on a rainy day and enjoy to the fullest. There is just enough mystery to keep you engaged while you enjoy life in a kinder and gentler time. ...more
This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the terrible wars in Africa. It is the story of a 12 year old boy who, along with some friends,This is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the terrible wars in Africa. It is the story of a 12 year old boy who, along with some friends, is separated from his family when the rebels attack. The first quarter of the book is about the children's attempt to keep out of the way of either of the armies and to find their families. Eventually, they are caught by the army and given guns and drugs and turned into soldiers. The book does not go into great detail about all the atrocitis the children commit, but the ones that are alluded to are horrifying. The use of drugs and the tactics that engender hatred of the enemy are terrible.
One of the strongest things about this book is the ease with which children can be turned into terrorist. Ishmael Beah is able to give us enough of a glimpse into his pre-war life to realize that he is an intelligent and kind boy who was turned into a monster despite his intention to not become a soldier.
The last part of the book is his reclaimation and I was just in awe of the people who do this incredible work. One scene stays with me. The boys are in the reclaimation center with other boys who fought on the opposite side, but finally out of danger. Despite the work of the staff, they end up in a fight and boys are killed. The terrible brain-washing that inflames their hatered is so difficult to eradicate that even when they are safe, it is hard to let go of. To all the things that happen, the staff continues to convey to the boys that it is not their fault. That is probably one of the strongest messages...the boys are not at fault. They have been turned into killing machines by adults and used for their own ends.
This book is about Sierra Leone, but it is found all around the world. Children raised on hatred to this extent are unable to use the same kind of reasoning as adults and they kill blindly. Their childhood is being stolen from them and turned into something terrible....more
The story of the brilliant John Nash is an incredibly complicated one. Did his madness contribute to his difficult, arrogant personality or was he jusThe story of the brilliant John Nash is an incredibly complicated one. Did his madness contribute to his difficult, arrogant personality or was he just one of those people who has a severe social disability? I came up with more questions than answers after reading this book. Did he have Asbergers syndrome? Was this why he was so inept at social relations, or was he so contemptuous of everyone around him because he recognized early that he was intellectually so far superior to everyone he knew? Did his brilliance allow him to triumph over schizophrenia of was it just one of those miracles that happen for no reason?
I think what I learned from this book was the fragility of the human mind and the weakness of our human vessels. How could someone this brilliant be beset by so many problems? Why is it that genius of any type, intellectual, artistic or diplomatic seems to be so closely related to deficits in other areas of development? Do all great gifts come with a cost? Is the idiot/savant just an extreme version of this paradox? Why couldn't a mind so brilliant find some way to protect himself from madness?
This book was fantastic! It read more like a novel than a medical history. It was how these two men started out from opposite points and came to the sThis book was fantastic! It read more like a novel than a medical history. It was how these two men started out from opposite points and came to the same conclusion. It is also interesting to read of a time period so different from ours. I kept wanting to tell the people to wash their hands or instruments.
The book starts out slowly with more information on cholera and London than you think you want to know, but it is necessary to understand just how little they knew about the spread of the disease. I have to think back to how we felt when AIDS burst on the scene. No one knew how it passed from person to person. A friend of mine was one of the earliest researchers of the disease and he wanted to study AIDS because so many of the early researchers were contracting it. He went on to be one of the foremost experts on the disease and, in a way, became very much like Dr. Snow.
Unlike most historical mysteries, this book wraps everything up very much like Miss Marple. The doctor is finally able to reach back to patient "0" and everything clicks into place. It is unbelievable how strong Dr. Snow was as he went against the "misama" theory of infection. Even when the smoking gun is found there were still people in the medical field who would not change their minds. ...more