Bill Bryson is really hit or miss for me. I appreciate his sense of humor, but I can't always dive right into his books. I also nearly failed my linguBill Bryson is really hit or miss for me. I appreciate his sense of humor, but I can't always dive right into his books. I also nearly failed my linguistics class, so this book didn't play to my strengths.
There are some slower chapters, but discussions of accents and swearing were pretty entertaining. It was also fun to discover just how arbitrary many grammar and spelling rules are.
As pointed out by other reviewers, the book feels quite out of date. Surveys and research studies from the '80s are quoted, and there's no mention of the impact of email and the internet.
If you like Bryson, this book is fun to read. But I think I'm more interested in his book about American English. Grammar nazis, fans of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, and word-smiths will find some interesting tidbits in here.
Although I read about the lives of women several hundred years ago, or in far away countries, I tend to forget about the struggles of American women iAlthough I read about the lives of women several hundred years ago, or in far away countries, I tend to forget about the struggles of American women in this century.
The author's take on her situation and her deep-down patriotism were inspiring. More than that, I enjoyed reading a contemporary account that really shines. There is no contrived love story, no forced tragedy, it's a low-key account of 3 months spent building "big bombers."
The quirky illustrations were fun breaks in the narrative, and the writing style comes across as very true to the author. She writes as she spoke back then, and while some of her observations seem very dated now, they are clearly sincere.
A quick read from a perspective I'd never considered, I gained more respect for the contributions of the country as a whole during WWII.
Worth reading just for the interesting perspective of a woman of the period stepping out of her "respectable" high heels, and into the slacks and boots of a lower-class she'd never considered before....more
Having just lambasted a different book full of uncomfortable and unnecessary name dropping sex stories, I'm kind of out of words for this one...
JenniHaving just lambasted a different book full of uncomfortable and unnecessary name dropping sex stories, I'm kind of out of words for this one...
Jennifer Saginor is the daughter of 'Doctor Feelgood' and spends a goodly chunk of her young life at the Playboy mansion. The first 100ish pages of the book do enjoy the juxtaposition of childish naivete with the debauchery of the Playboy Mansion in the '70s. Naked hijinks ensue! I expected more of the same from the rest of the book and is, I assume, the only reason anyone picks this off a shelf.
Alas, Saginor grows up a bit and becomes a drugged up hussy suffering from a negligent, drugged up, and abusive father. She describes nameless celebs at the Mansion and then drops other names constantly along with the labels they're wearing and the EXACT SONG on the radio in every freaking scene... (I'm willing to grant people some artistic license with memoirs, but I find it unlikely that you remember the precise outfits and music after all the nose candy you've enjoyed, hon...)
Once she makes it to her teens, there's not a moment when I don't want to smack the silly thing, and that includes her annoying self-analysis in the final chapter in her 30s. Even the title of the book is misleading since much of the book isn't even at the Mansion. Most of her time is spent at her father's 'sloppy seconds' version where foreign models prance around naked hoping to "make it" to the Mansion.
The title itself makes it pretty clear the book is going to be trash, but I didn't expect it to be such poorly written self-centered trash. Ick.
Love, love, LOVED this book. The author is funny, self-revealing, and not afraid to laugh at herself.
The writing isn't great, and the story jumps aroLove, love, LOVED this book. The author is funny, self-revealing, and not afraid to laugh at herself.
The writing isn't great, and the story jumps around a little, but it's a fun read. A neat perspective that reveals a side of the sex industry I didn't know existed. Her experiences fulfill some stereotypes and shatter others, and it's fun to be along for the ride.
Or maybe I just wish I had a name as cool as Diablo Cody......more
The preface to this was pretty infuriating, but the book improved sharply from there.
I found the story fascinating without dwelling on the hardships sThe preface to this was pretty infuriating, but the book improved sharply from there.
I found the story fascinating without dwelling on the hardships she endured in a 'woe is me' sort of fashion. I'm not sure her depiction of Islam is necessarily representative, but I can see how she developed her views whether or not I agree with all of them.
Although her early years growing up were certainly interesting from a cultural perspective, I was actually more intrigued by her years as a refugee and citizen of Holland. I don't know much about the political system there and was impressed by their approach to immigration - even considering the issues Ali raises. Also, it was amazing to read about her extremely fast rise from refugee to Parliament member. She is clearly an extremely strong, dedicated, and determined woman. At least from her account, her treatment by her government is almost embarrassingly silly.
I wasn't aware that she had an anonymous ghost writer for this book, and as always that leaves me curious about Hirsi Ali's own writing ability. It certainly left me wanting to read some of her other books - collections of published writings prior to this book, as best I can tell.
I have heard enough controversy about this book and its author to read much of it with a grain of salt, but it is fascinating and impressive even if only half of it is truth. Awesome read, I ripped through it in a matter of days....more
An extremely interesting look into polygamists, the "Mormon fundamentalists," for lack of a better term.
I felt that the author made a real effort toAn extremely interesting look into polygamists, the "Mormon fundamentalists," for lack of a better term.
I felt that the author made a real effort to distinguish between the modern-day Mormon church and the sects that have split from it. The character studies of individuals were fascinating, and put a human face on this phenomenon. ...more
The book was better written than I expected, and suprisingly less trashy than I would have thought as well. It was more about a woman growing up and eThe book was better written than I expected, and suprisingly less trashy than I would have thought as well. It was more about a woman growing up and exploring her sexuality in a crazy time than a tell-all memoir.
Des Barres and her friends are wacky, a lot of them are certifiable, and some of them are downright criminal. But she's led an interesting life and this book only details the first 25 years or so!
I wouldn't suggest that anyone go right out and buy this book, but if you have it lying around and are into the music of the 60s and 70s, it's a good quick read....more