Overall, I enjoyed this book. The author tells the story of WWII in the context of the various cultures involved, and begins in Japan's ancient historOverall, I enjoyed this book. The author tells the story of WWII in the context of the various cultures involved, and begins in Japan's ancient history to set the story up. My complaint is that the ancient history portion took up too much of the book - I actually skipped a couple chapters because it never seemed to end. I enjoy reading true history novels but the beginning of the book felt like a history textbook. Once the story focused on WWII more directly, I was much happier.
My biggest takeaway from this book is the reality that no matter which side of the coin you're on, the history which is presented to us in school and throughout life is a mere sliver of the reality of what happened, and in many cases it has been sanitized "for the good of the people." James Bradley brought out details on both sides that many would have probably preferred left alone - but it really changed my understanding of WWII and what happened (and in some cases why it happened, although there are still so many unanswered "why" questions when it comes to war)....more
It's a study aid, not something you can particularly "like" or enjoy reading. But it is well organized, has good helpful tips for studying and solvingIt's a study aid, not something you can particularly "like" or enjoy reading. But it is well organized, has good helpful tips for studying and solving the problems, lots of practice material (both on the CD and in the book), and makes me feel relatively well-prepared for the exam. ...more
An interesting look at a case which was big news in the US... But, it seems, the news we received on American television wasn't 100% of the story (geeAn interesting look at a case which was big news in the US... But, it seems, the news we received on American television wasn't 100% of the story (gee, why doesn't THAT surprise me?) ...more
**spoiler alert** This book is the story of the author's parents, Rose Mary & Rex Walls and their four children. I had already read Half Broke Hor**spoiler alert** This book is the story of the author's parents, Rose Mary & Rex Walls and their four children. I had already read Half Broke Horses, which is the story about Rose Mary's parents (the author's grandparents), Lily and Jim. They are such completely different stories, it is hard to even compare the two. But I definitely liked Half Broke Horses better than The Glass Castle. Half Broke Horses was inspiring; The Glass Castle was depressing and infuriating. But I still liked The Glass Castle, it is a great story about how the author overcame the adversity of her childhood to become a self-sufficient and successful woman. I found Jeanette to be like her grandmother in many ways.
The thing I found most interesting is the disparity between Lily & Rose Mary - how self-sufficient Lily was, and determined to improve her way of life; whereas, Rose Mary was self-destructive and determined not to make things better for herself. Rose Mary and Rex felt their plight was all because the gestapo had it out for them, and there was nothing they could, or wanted, to do about it. It bothered me that Rose Mary's way of dealing with adversity was to simply shrug it off and say something like, "There are lots of people worse off than we are," when they have no food and they're freezing in their home. Yet, she refused to go to work and wouldn't think of selling a diamond ring that was found, or utilizing the land and property she owned from Lily to put food on the table. It was infuriating. I don't really care that they wanted to live as homeless or nomads, but not providing the basic necessities of living (food, shelter, heat, and a bath once in awhile) for your children, in lieu of art supplies or a bottle of booze, just doesn't sit well with me.
And don't even get me started on Rex - he was just awful as a father. I don't care if Jeanette Walls thinks he loved her despite everything he did. He was a liar, a thief and (forgive the cliche), a scoundrel. What kind of father takes his daughter to swindle, and then "entertain," a man for money, then tell her he "knew you'd be fine, just like when I threw you into the hot springs to teach you to swim." I don't consider them to be even close to the same thing!
Even the Walls children made me mad at times - While they tried to get their parents to change, to go to work, to put food on the table, they usually caved in the end and became enablers to their parents' addictions. For instance, while Jeanette was taking care of the family while Rose Mary was out of town, she handed over the money (which was meant for groceries & bills) to her father so he could drink himself into a stupor, leaving her and her siblings with nothing to eat, but what they could find on their own from garbage cans or stealing from gardens.
In the end, I give the author and her siblings a lot of credit for taking what control they could manage for their lives and turning things around for themselves. And although the book made me mad, it made me think, it was well written (it told a story, it did not complain or whine) and I didn't want to put the book down on many occasions. To me, that makes a good story.
Disclaimer: I make lots of judgements in this review, and am fully aware that I have no point of reference for the Walls Family lifestyle, since I have never been faced with having to go without food, heat, or a shower. I have seen other reviews which question the truthfulness of the book, but I fully believe that everything happened like it is written, I just don't necessarily like it....more
A short, quick read. I have to admit I don't recall Bree in the Eclipse book, even after having finished this one... It was a decent book, and an inteA short, quick read. I have to admit I don't recall Bree in the Eclipse book, even after having finished this one... It was a decent book, and an interesting look at the world of more "normal" vampires in the Twilight Series... ...more
This book was a nice quick read, and it is definitely a cheesy love story, but if you aren't expecting this going into it, then you have clearly beenThis book was a nice quick read, and it is definitely a cheesy love story, but if you aren't expecting this going into it, then you have clearly been on some other planet for the last few years as Sparks' churns out one sappy love story after another, in book form and on the movie screen. It works for him, obviously. And while this book wasn't anything special for me, I enjoyed it. It was nice to escape to the perfect world that Sparks creates where everything works out in the end and everyone has everything they need, and true love wins out.
A little slower than the first installment of the series, but still a good book. The end is a little bit dissapointing because there isn't much of anyA little slower than the first installment of the series, but still a good book. The end is a little bit dissapointing because there isn't much of any kind of conclusion or closure. Certainly, there is more development to the story, over the course of about a day or two, shedding more light on the 7th Son Experimental Program, the facility, John Alpha's activities after the Betas were created, and some of the relationships between what is happening around the world. There are a few twists that were unseen (by me anyways) causing the story to take unexpected turns. A little more insight is given as to why John Alpha is on this rampage, but the whole picture is still a bit fuzzy. And John Alpha's apperant plan for involving the Betas seems a little lacklustre, but I expect that is just a ruse as well. We'll have to see how book #3 brings all these loose ends together....more
A very interesting re-telling of the author's experience in Nazi concentration camps. I really enjoyed the reflective, conversational tone of the bookA very interesting re-telling of the author's experience in Nazi concentration camps. I really enjoyed the reflective, conversational tone of the book - The language can be choppy at times, but that is part of the reflective tone, in my opinion. It reminds me of sitting and talking to the person one-on-one, as though a grandpa is sitting in his living room telling his memories of his past, some parts are missing or not developed well, but isn't that how memory works?
It captivated me from the beginning, how the townspeople could have been so trusting that things would work out, and although they had days of forewarning to escape before being sent to the horrors of the camps, they shunned those who had escaped and come to warn them. Its an interesting look at how the human mind works in times of distress.
What would you do if you were backed into a corner by others who hate you simply for who you are and what you believe? ...more
Like all other Sparks books, this is simply a good book to escape into - a book where the men are perfect gentlemen, the women are naive and beautifulLike all other Sparks books, this is simply a good book to escape into - a book where the men are perfect gentlemen, the women are naive and beautiful, and a romance takes place that you will only find in the movies. Its not realistic, or complex, but that's what I like....more
I enjoyed the second installment of the Meredith Gentry novels. The plot was developed much more than in the first book, and this book was not so grotI enjoyed the second installment of the Meredith Gentry novels. The plot was developed much more than in the first book, and this book was not so grotesquely full of sex like the first - a nice change, because although I enjoy a little fun in a romance novel, I had my doubts about these books having any plot whatsoever. Luckily, I have been somewhat wrong.
The story in a nutshell: Meredith still has to become pregnant to claim the Unseelie throne, but when a rogue creature kills hundreds of humans threatening to disrupt the alliance that allows Faerie to remain in America, Merry and her "studs" must come to the rescue.
Not overly complex, and a little sluggish at times. But all in all a good read - good enough to continue the series with anticipation for what happens next - Will Merry become pregnant? Will Andais actually let Merry have the throne if she does? Who will the father be? What will Prince Cel do upon his release from torture? ...more