Had a TON of great information and tips, but it's definitely targeted at a certain type of wedding photographer: one who's established enough to be ab...moreHad a TON of great information and tips, but it's definitely targeted at a certain type of wedding photographer: one who's established enough to be able to have one, if not two, assistants. Ziser's shooting method--around which all his tips and techniques in the book are based--includes having an assistant always holding the reflector or the studio strobe/speedlight on a light stand and always being where the photographer needs him/her. For someone just starting at wedding photography or who doesn't/can't have an assistant shadowing and anticipating the photographer's every move, the information in the book is less useful. It would be great if Ziser also gave tips on what to do if you're the sole shooter and/or don't have an assistant, but that type of information is mostly lacking.
One great chapter in the book is about Ziser's choices of lenses and when he uses them during the wedding events, which was very useful. The chapters on composition are also excellent.
All in all, it had a lot of good, useful information. Some of it wasn't useable advice for me simply because I don't have the resources that Ziser or other established, busy wedding photographers do. But as someone who was needing a crash-course book on what to do for the first wedding I ever photographed (for a friend, not a client), it was useful...and better, I imagine, than many other wedding photography books out there. Between Ziser's book and Scott Kelby's The Digital Photography Book, volumes 1 and 2, I got a good enough technical background and tips to feel comfortable with shooting my friends' wedding.(less)
In reality I'd give this book 1.5 stars. They're were parts that were ok, some that were actually good, but on a whole I didn't like this book much.
Th...moreIn reality I'd give this book 1.5 stars. They're were parts that were ok, some that were actually good, but on a whole I didn't like this book much.
The author tries to cover a lot of territory in this book. It seems like she tries to include anything that might remotely have something to do with feeling a sense of loss or grief. I found, however, that this book had less to do with grief than it does about finding yourself in a "club" you don't want to be in...which, of course, can involve grief, but the focus seemed to be the opposite of what the title conveys. I also found few "secrets" and mostly just a lot of description and stories--not many insights or tips to aid healing.
The back cover of the book describes it as "part memoir, part self-help book, part journalism," which is (sort of) true. And I guess it's all of these. It's schizophrenic, at least. Sometimes Beattie talks about people she knows, sometimes it's about her personal connection to the topic, or someone who simply happens to have gone through the "club" she's trying to cover. There's little cohesiveness or consistency to the book, either in content, writing style, or approach--or quality. Some chapters seem slapdash and haphazard; others are actually pretty good...or at least pretty good in some parts. It's very uneven.
I picked this book because I'm a young widow and always searching for grief books that feel accurate, that resonate with me, that tell me something new. This wasn't one of them. Also, I found it rather offensive as a widow that the author didn't even give my situation any attention. She lumped it in with other types of club--noticeably under the club of Losing Someone You Deeply Love--but the focus of the chapter was really on the death of child; losing a spouse was barely even mentioned. Losing your way afer a divorce was given more attention than losing your spouse to death. But I'm inherently biased here, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.(less)
As a memoir of one woman's experience of sudden young widowhood, this book is different from many grief books in that it details the firsthand account...moreAs a memoir of one woman's experience of sudden young widowhood, this book is different from many grief books in that it details the firsthand accounts of a young widow. It's powerfully written, honest, and unflinching. Another widow in my young widowed support group highly recommended this book to us, and I found it equally as powerful as she did. This absolutely is what it's like to be a young widow.
One thing I really liked about this memoir is that the author uses present tense throughout the book. It's a bit unusual compared to most books, but it really added powerfully to my experience of the book; you were experiencing the events right alongside the author, as she experienced them. It was a great use of a literary tactic/ploy to generate a desired effect in the reader.
Lenhart writes this book at three years after her husband's death, but 99% of it covers events only up through the first year. I would have liked more attention on what life was like for her and her family after the one-year mark. In contrast, Love You, Mean It does a better job at describing the longer-term realities of being a widow. LUMI, however, doesn't detail much of the first year of grief, so perhaps taken together both Planet Widow and LUMI can present a great, authentic, detailed depiction of what young widowhood is truly like.
I read this in high school so my rating is a reflection of what I thought of it at the time--not necessarily what I'd give it now, as an adult reading...moreI read this in high school so my rating is a reflection of what I thought of it at the time--not necessarily what I'd give it now, as an adult reading it for the first time in free will. Wasn't one of my favorites from required classics.(less)
I read this about a month after my husband died, and I remember thinking at the time how amazing it was that someone absolutely GOT so many of the cra...moreI read this about a month after my husband died, and I remember thinking at the time how amazing it was that someone absolutely GOT so many of the crazy things that were going through my head. Some of the descriptions of grief and the crazy things you think, feel, and do are absolutely spot on...but after about halfway through the book it just traipses off into la-la, fantasy land. At 2 years now after my husband died, and having met a great number of young widows in those two years, it's absolutely idiotic that the protagonist would be doing so cluelessly well within a year of her husband's death. And I found the ending offensive, especially as a widow. For trying to describe grief and all its insanity, the author does an amazing job, but it's obvious that she is NOT a widow and is simply imagining what a "happy" ending might be like. So I give it 4 stars for its description of grief, the author's voice, and the narrative flow...but I give it about a 2 out of 5 for being an inaccurate depiction of widowhood. To anyone who's experienced widowhood at an early age, it's ludicrous and offensive to suggest that grieving is over within a year or that finding another man constitutes a happy ending, and books like this only help to reinforce that misconception. But...that being said, I loved the book, up to a point.(less)
One of my favorite books of all time. I love the rich detail and color the author has, and especially that it's a Southern novel. Love it, love it, lo...moreOne of my favorite books of all time. I love the rich detail and color the author has, and especially that it's a Southern novel. Love it, love it, love it.(less)
I've read Love You, Mean It several times, which is a memoir about four 9/11 widows. One of the women's husbands is identified a year after 9/11 using...moreI've read Love You, Mean It several times, which is a memoir about four 9/11 widows. One of the women's husbands is identified a year after 9/11 using DNA, and when I saw Who They Were on a Goodreads friend's "to read" bookshelf, I was curious to fill in the gap of just how they identified the victims of the World Trade Center.
As a piece of writing, Who They Were wasn't that great. It was very dry and very overloaded with details, and I had to read it quickly (in one day) just to try to keep track of who was who, which test was what, etc. And I found it annoying how the author added such a descriptive picture of various characters in the scientific effort; I understand why he would do it, to try to distinguish one person from another and to add a more human element to it, but the format was formulaic and irritating. However, I don't know if I'd have been able to keep track of anyone if it wasn't there, either. Overall I was definitely left wanting for more of this man's personal and emotional response to what he was witnessing. He includes virtually no personal reaction, to mixed effect; yes, it keeps the narrative focused on the task at hand, but at the price of making the man seem like a robot.
As a record of the effort involved to identify the dead and missing at the WTC and all the myriad issues involved, it was fascinating...and a mind-numbing exercise to try to remember much from my introductory biology courses in college 12 years ago. If you don't know anything about DNA, you could get lost and frustrated quite quickly, although the author does a decent job of describing things to someone unfamiliar with the science behind it all.(less)
Disappointing and without the finesse of Garden Spells or interest of The Peachkeeper. Felt like it was a first draft from another author. Glad it was...moreDisappointing and without the finesse of Garden Spells or interest of The Peachkeeper. Felt like it was a first draft from another author. Glad it was free from the library.(less)
Parts of it were laugh-out-loud funny, but since I don't know much about Tina Fey or her career, I was a little out of the loop at times. But it was f...moreParts of it were laugh-out-loud funny, but since I don't know much about Tina Fey or her career, I was a little out of the loop at times. But it was funny and fun to read, even without knowing much about her. (less)