A history of man's relationship to four important plants: the apple, tulip, marijuana and potato. Paints a rather strange picture of the fabled "JohnnA history of man's relationship to four important plants: the apple, tulip, marijuana and potato. Paints a rather strange picture of the fabled "Johnny Appleseed", John Chapman. The final section on the potato talks about the Irish famine of 1843-1849 a bit as well. There is quite a bit in that section about Monsanto and it's clear the author has a bias against GMO's and Monsanto practices, but since I thoroughly agree with the author I didn't find it distracting....more
I initially LOVED this book when I first read it, back in my early twenties. Who wouldn't? Anti-establishment actress who yearns to be on stage gets sI initially LOVED this book when I first read it, back in my early twenties. Who wouldn't? Anti-establishment actress who yearns to be on stage gets saddled instead with a glossy Hollywood career and just when she attempts to break free of such reigns, her Mother From Hell has her committed, time and time again to a Mental Institute. Oh, but not just any loony bin - Frances' hospitals were clearly torture chambers for repressed Lezbo-Nazi's and poor Frances endures years of physical, psychological, scientific and sexual torture before she finally breaks free of the loony bin, her mother, Hollyweird and everything else. She lands in the arms of the most gracious and gentle Southern Woman who takes her in to her home (but they're not gay) and makes her a part of her family (still, not gay) and the two live out Frances' final years on a beautiful ranch with like a dozen cats (I repeat: they are not gay!) before her untimely death from cancer.
If you're chuckling, there's good reason. Frances was a thoughtful, intelligent and immensely talented woman who found herself blackballed from her chosen profession for her contrariness and clearly was at odds with her family and spent many years institutionalized. But this, my friends, just isn't a fully true story in "Will There Really Be A Morning?" It's actually ghost-written by the very same loving (not-gay! really not-gay!) partner Jean referenced above, after Frances died suddenly and their advance on the book she was attempting to write had been spent.
You can tell Jean wrote it because there are no descriptions of being on stage, or on a soundstage, or of the many talented cast and crew that Frances worked with in her nearly twenty-year career in Hollywood (except for the makeup lady that Frances smacked in the face with a hairbrush). But the book is sure filled with lots of glowing praise for lovely Jean and her super-wonderful family.
Poor Frances. She really got a raw deal in life and in death. Her family shit on her, her agents couldn't really help her, she's locked up for years and then, to cap it all off, her not-gay lady friend writes the most salacious bio, EVER and she doesn't even get to reap the rewards. There was a real story here about conforming, about being a woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind - but that's not what wound up on the page.
Frankly, though, it's the most entertaining thing you'll read about Hollywood even though it has nothing to do with it. Lurid, possibly true-ish and DEFINITELY NOT GAY....more
Thorough and insightful - not just about the Spanish Influenza which took somewhere between 25 and 100 million people nearly a century ago - but reallThorough and insightful - not just about the Spanish Influenza which took somewhere between 25 and 100 million people nearly a century ago - but really about the beginnings of modern epidemiology and the understandings of viruses and how they mutate. In-depth understanding of the doctors at the heart of this crisis. So interesting to think that this cataclysmic event needed two converging factors: a swine flu emanating out of rural Kansas and World War I which would bring soldiers near that same rural area and then onwards, and outwards and upwards. There have really only been two significant pandemics in the modern age: the 1917-1919 Influenza and HIV/AIDS. We no longer need a Great War to spread virus, we just need to live in the world and go about our busy, mobile lives. Very interesting, well-written and impressively researched....more
I had previously read "Strip City" and first read "I Love a Man..." about 2 years ago. This was my 2nd read. I think I enjoyed it slightly less then 2I had previously read "Strip City" and first read "I Love a Man..." about 2 years ago. This was my 2nd read. I think I enjoyed it slightly less then 2nd time, but it's still a good read.
What happens when a former stripper/punk rock writer marries a military man? The results are not always pretty, especially when you add in post-war PTSD for the guy and clinical depression for the gal.
Lily Burana has a forthright and snappy writing style and I found her candid memoir to be refreshing. There are other military wives out there who are penning books and blogs, but likely none as colorful as Burana. No, she's not your typical Army wife. She isn't arranging potlucks, she isn't always towing the line, but I bet there are a lot more military wives and moms who feel as she does - out in left field - than would admit it.
I understand some of the previous reviewers who felt that the book seemed self-involved - it is. But that isn't a negative. Burana isn't writing a how-to guide for those about to marry into the Military. She's a writer and former memoirist who simply wrote a book about her personal experiences knowing that she fell into a depressive hole and nearly lost her marriage and writes forthrightly about that experience. And she ends the book with writing about the steps she has since taken the repair her marriage, fix her standing in her community and found her unique way of helping other military wives. Kudos to her.
Scheeres does a commendable job at helping us picture the victims of the Jonestown massacre (many of whom did not choose to die but were murdered) andScheeres does a commendable job at helping us picture the victims of the Jonestown massacre (many of whom did not choose to die but were murdered) and those who were lucky to survive, as the religious group winds its way to its terrible conclusion. These are not gullible souls but thoughtful people who deeply connected with Jim Jones and their fellow People's Temple congregants for a host of reasons. You find yourself wanting to shout at those you are reading about "Get out! Leave! There are other choices!" but the author really helps the reader feel the inertia and numbness that had set in once the congregation had arrived in Guyana. The only thing I felt was missing was a deeper understanding of both how and why Jim Jones began to unravel but perhaps other books provide that kind of psychological examination. An excellent exploration into the victims of cults and a lesson those of us looking to find connections could do well to study....more
Very helpful. Lamb offers insightful tips to help independent authors build a public profile using today's social media. She stresses that it's not abVery helpful. Lamb offers insightful tips to help independent authors build a public profile using today's social media. She stresses that it's not about promoting yourself or your books, but rather creating a personality online that is open, helpful, interested and interesting. I learned a lot of useful information in this book that I'm attempting to practice....more
Middlebrook is simply a first-rate biographer. She manages to piece together all the ragged threads of Anne Sexton's life and work: the possible sexuaMiddlebrook is simply a first-rate biographer. She manages to piece together all the ragged threads of Anne Sexton's life and work: the possible sexual abuse as a child, the postpartum depression that led to her first hospitalization, the affairs, the alcoholism, the immense talent and the galloping madness that would ultimately take the poet's life in 1974. There is so much background information here: Anne's surviving family, her doctors and her fellow poet-friends all provide much needed and valuable background. But key to fleshing out Anne are the recordings she and her doctors agreed to make, as Anne would "fugue" out after most psychiatrict sessions. These recordins allowed her to listen back and make notes and understand her experiences, but they also allow us to understand this pivotal and profoundly damaged woman and the poetry she created....more
If you saw the movie it takes anecdotes from the book and fleshes out both the action and the secondary characters to create a more fluid story line.If you saw the movie it takes anecdotes from the book and fleshes out both the action and the secondary characters to create a more fluid story line. Susanna's story however is more interesting when she explains it herself, what it felt like to consider embracing madness, or what she was told was madness once upon a time when really everyone had sort of lost their minds....more
Obviously this book (and the story behind it) has sparked a lot of curiosity and I guess reading it you have to remember Patty had much to be gained (Obviously this book (and the story behind it) has sparked a lot of curiosity and I guess reading it you have to remember Patty had much to be gained (at the time) by currying good favor. In case you don't remember (or are too young): in 1974 heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped by a radical group in San Francisco. This group had already murdered a prominent Black politician and purported itself to be for civil and equal rights, by any means necessary. Patty was kept in a closet for more than 60 days, during which time she was forced to record the groups "manifestos" which were distributed to the media. She was subjected to physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse at the hands of her captors. At the end of her captivity she was asked if she wanted to be released or if she wanted to join the group. She opted to join, took up arms and was photographed during a subsequent bank robbery. Hence being charged with involvement with the robbery and other crimes that followed. The SLA (minus Patty and 2 other members) were killed by authorities in Los Angeles. Patty, once captured by the FBI, was convicted of charges and served a nominal amount of time in jail. Her conviction was commuted by President Carter and vacated by President Clinton (one of his last-day-in-office acts which he was so widely criticized for). I suspect many people would read this book and immediately assume Patty isn't being factual, that she was just trying to get off (the book was written after her commutation, but while still a felon). But her kidnapping is a fact and what is known about the SLA isn't pretty and it's the only inside perspective of this radical moment in our history not written by an actual insider. Patty doesn't apologize for her involvement - she states that she didn't feel she had a real choice, that the SLA or FBI would have killed her had she chosen to leave - but she clearly shows contrition. She was a daughter of privilege and although now she is a film actress and relatively unblemished in the eye of the public, imagine being 19 years old and naive and suddenly you're locked in a closet for 2 months by madmen. Or your daughter. Definitely thought-provoking although perhaps with a bit of an agenda....more
This was loaned to me by a friend who is in the healing arts. It's about a psychiatrist who treated a woman who, under hypnosis, could recall past livThis was loaned to me by a friend who is in the healing arts. It's about a psychiatrist who treated a woman who, under hypnosis, could recall past lives going back many hundreds of years. It was okay as a read, although it barely touched upon some of those particular "lives" and there's always a question of authenticity in these matters. What I did think somewhat telling was the information the patient was able to relate about and from "The Masters" - a group of scholars/counselors from the Other Side who guide our course. It did confirm some of what I believe about life on the other side....more
This book actually came out just after the television after-school special aired, so you can see how it just follows the movie (if you've seen it) andThis book actually came out just after the television after-school special aired, so you can see how it just follows the movie (if you've seen it) and doesn't add anything new. Which makes it feel dramatized and simplified.
Since that movie, and this book, there have been several other attempts to present the story of what happened in Ron Jones' Palo Alto high school class in 1969. The fact that the story keeps getting re-done tells you that more than forty years later, we are still left asking questions and wondering, how and why this happened?
In a nutshell: during Mr. Jones' World History Class, upon being shown film of concentration camp victims, both those being freed by Allied soldiers as well as the mass graves found, students started asking questions. "How did people just go along with this?" and "What about the citizens who lived near the camps?"
Mr. Jones explained "Many of them claimed they had no idea this was going on."
Students: "That's impossible. How could such atrocities occur right under their noses without their awareness?"
Mr. Jones: "They claimed they were brainwashed and completely unaware."
So, after some consideration Mr. Jones decided to try a little experiment (without informing the students). On Day One, he simply began instructing his students to present themselves and their work in class more seriously. On Day Two, he coalesced them into a unified group ("The Third Wave") and gave them slogans ("Strength through Discipline", etc) to rally them. On Day Three, students from other classes began joining in and the students adopted a gesture to identify one another. On Day Four, with reports of bullying by group members against those who were different and with threats of being terminated by the school, Ron Jones tells the group that he is disbanding "The Third Wave" but that the following day he will introduce them to a national leader of a larger group that they are connected to.
On Friday, he shows them a video of Adolph Hitler, shouting to the masses.
His students are shocked, horrified and bewildered. It takes a few weeks to settle them down, to see fully how easily they, too, were led into cult-like behavior. How they didn't see the bullying and the fights that were occurring, the ostracizing that those who found "The Third Wave" suspect were experiencing. Thus, answering for themselves the questions they had after watching those horrifying film reels.
Many of those students have participated in documentaries about this event, helping us understand how even years later it continues to haunt them and impact their lives. A one week experiment into the psychology of group-think and the negative ways it can impact our lives.
Many people compare this lesson to the "Blue Eyes, Green Eyes" experiment often conducted in classes. For me, this one hits close to home. Not only because half of my ancestors were Jewish, but because I see the hatred toward those of the Islamic faith and I worry how far it might go.
The book is not great, but the true story still packs a punch. I would certainly encourage young people to learn about, either through "The Wave" or through some of the documentaries that have come out recently....more