I adored this book. From the first page through until the last, I was completely taken by the words I read. I laughed out loud several times (and earn...moreI adored this book. From the first page through until the last, I was completely taken by the words I read. I laughed out loud several times (and earned strange looks from those around me) and I even cried. I couldn't put the book down, but I wanted to...only because I wanted the experience of reading it to last longer. Yep, that good.
The story is told from the perspective of a young girl growing up in a family filled with closeness, happiness and trust. It's full of anecdotes and humor, and at some point or other will remind most any reader of their own childhood. As Sarah, our trusty narrator, grows up, so too does the tone of the story. Everything changes one afternoon with a phone call--a phone call with news of a dying family member. Suddenly death becomes a prevelant part of Sarah's world...and we watch as her outlook on life changes. Through it all though, Sarah is witty and intelligent. You can't help but identify with her as she reminds you of parts of yourself that you had forgotten about.
I can't say enough good things about "Growing Up Moffett," you need to read it for yourself to see what I mean. Its one of the best coming of age memoirs I have read in...well, ever, and you'll adore it too. (less)
...I'm not even sure where to start with this review..this book is one of the most painful stories I've read in a while. Phyllis Benton takes us along...more...I'm not even sure where to start with this review..this book is one of the most painful stories I've read in a while. Phyllis Benton takes us along through the journey of her life; from a childhood spent in a motherless home as one of eight children, to foster care, to one abusive marraige followed by another. It's hard to stomach at times -- especially when you stop and consider that the story is real. This really happened. Ms. Benton truly did suffer through these events; and not only did she survive them, but she chose to share them with the world..that in itself deserves some applause..
The story is honest and raw, at times frustrating, at times horrifying. The story moves quickly from childhood up through to adulthood. It is written in a simple manner -- no sugar coating or fancy words to distort the true ugliness of the author's world. You can't help but continue reading, as you want the author to triumph over all the hardships in her world..
If you suffer from abuse, or know anyone who does, this is a book that you, or they, should read. Probably, you should read it two or three times. On a personal note, I work with teenagers who are in state custody due to abuse and/or neglect in their biological homes...and I plan to hand this book directly to them and make it available to any of them to read. It's an inspirational book in its own way and I highly recommend it to you all.
I know I've mentioned it before, but books about the drug culture and lifestyle always intrigue me. If they're an account of a true story it just make...moreI know I've mentioned it before, but books about the drug culture and lifestyle always intrigue me. If they're an account of a true story it just makes it that much more interesting; that being said, this one was no disappointment. Of all the memoirs I've read by recovered addicts, this one ranks pretty high up there on my favorites list.
"My Own Asylum," is based on the experiences of the author, as she began to use, abuse and eventually become addicted to drugs. Though meth was her drug of choice, she often abused others as well. Her experimentation began as a young teenager, playing around with ecstasy and pot, and by the time she headed off to college, she was a full blown addict.
Once at college, Lynn (the main character of the book) quickly loses control of her life. She skips her classes, blows off assignments, screws over her friends, steals, sells herself and more...all for that high. We follow Lynn through the good times and bad, and we are right there with her when she hits the proverbial rock bottom.
The remainder of the book is dedicated to telling the story of Lynn's struggle to regain control of her life by getting clean. The story is honest--it speaks to the heart of the fears she faces, the triumphs and the failures as she relapses. As you read, you can't help but come to admire her for her inner strength and determination. The story is touching, honest and emotional. I loved it. I can't say enough good things about it.
This is a book to be read, reread, and shared with others. I think we all know a person or two who could use a little push in the right direction, and attempt to get themselves clean and sober. This book may be able to help. The sincerity in which it is written keeps it from being preachy or condescending in any way, shape or form. It's a wonderful book, and I suggest you all go out and get a copy for yourselves.
Let me start by saying that I LOVED this book..when I picked it up I was really in the mood for something different, and that's definitely what I got....moreLet me start by saying that I LOVED this book..when I picked it up I was really in the mood for something different, and that's definitely what I got. The night I started it I had to force myself to put it down and go to sleep..and I finished it shortly after waking up the next morning..its a quick and easy read, but one that will stay with you long after you finish it.
The author, Wendy Stofan Halley, is contacted by the family of a young man who mysteriously slips into a coma. The doctors in charge of his treatment are pretty much at a loss as to what is going on with him, and tell his family that they aren't hopeful about his recovery. Halley is a shamanic healer, and his family contacts her in hopes that she can help. What follows is the story, told strictly from Halley's point of view, of their nine months of treatment sessions.
The full title of the book is "Slaying the Mouse; A true story of healing in the spiritual realms," and that's what the story is about. Readers learn about the ancient art of shamanic healing, and about how Wendy and the spirit helpers help Jason recover from his coma. Some people will find the book a little too "out there," for their liking, but if you have any spiritual beliefs at all, you'll adore this book the way I did.
It's written clearly and in a way that you are sucked into the journey along with Jason and Wendy. You're there as Jason struggles to come to terms with not only the spiritual aspects of it all, but with himself and his fears and limitations as well. It's a beautiful story, and I can't say enough good things about it without ruining the whole thing for potential readers..
I'll be honest..when this book arrived in my mailbox, I wasn't overly excited about reading it. You know that old saying "don't judge a book by its co...moreI'll be honest..when this book arrived in my mailbox, I wasn't overly excited about reading it. You know that old saying "don't judge a book by its cover?" Well, I didn't do that exactly, in fact I think the cover is interesting in this case. I did however, judge the book by its subtitle.
"A Personal Journey Into the Heart of Fanatical Passion in America."
I think I was supposed to read this is a sociology class in college or something..
All that said, imagine my surprise when after reading the first few pages I wasn't miserably bored. Not only was I not miserably bored, I was sincerely entertained. Mental note to self, never judge a book by its subtitle.
The author, Shari Caudron, is sharp--she's intelligent, witty and borderline sarcastic, and as a result the stories she shares in her book made me smile.
Shari felt she had no passion in her life. All around her she noticed fanatically obsessed people and wondered why she didn't have a passion of her own. She set out on a journey to discover who these people were, and what exactly it was that made them tick.
Her book details hobbies such as collecting Barbie dolls, board gaming, pigeon racers and of course the imfamous trekkers. Over the course of three years she ventures around the county to meet these people and experience their passions first hand. The result is this book which made me laugh and shake my head in amusement, for I too have witnessed these people in their elements. This book is about the quirkiness of our fellow Americans, and its an entertaining subject to read about.
My suggestion to the author though..maybe rethink that subtitle. (less)
"From Baghdad, With Love" is the story of US Marine Jay Kopelman who, while stationed in Iraq, encounters a young puppy in an abandoned building. Agai...more"From Baghdad, With Love" is the story of US Marine Jay Kopelman who, while stationed in Iraq, encounters a young puppy in an abandoned building. Against his better judgement, and completely against military rules, he takes the puppy home with him. Thus begins a relationship of unconditional love, from both involved.
Lava, as the puppy comes to be known, is a playful, busy, protective, loyal young thing, and he quickly gives the Marines something to smile about. In a country full of death, blood and violence, its nice for them to come home to a wagging tail at the end of the day. However, eventually the Marines are going to leave Iraq, and this is what Kopelman worries over. After taking Lava in and feeding him, he knows there is no way Lava would make it on his own. Forced with two options; either abandon Lava in the street (or shoot him, as is what often happens to dogs in Iraq) or find a way to get him out of the country and back to the US, Kopelman then begins to try in earnest to find a way to get Lava home.
This is both a story of the war in Iraq, and a warm fuzzy "awwww" kind of story. There are a lot of details and facts about what is going on in Iraq, all from a Marine's point of view. While these facts are grim and depressing, the tales of Lava and his antics will cheer the reader right back up again. That's how I felt through most of this book. "Awwww," followed by "holy geez..." its an emotional rollercoaster.
The long and the short of things is that this book is phenomonal. Incredible. Horrifying. Beautiful. It's written in a very straightforward manner; it...moreThe long and the short of things is that this book is phenomonal. Incredible. Horrifying. Beautiful. It's written in a very straightforward manner; its rather simple and in most places lacks any type of real depth. However, the story that those words are telling is one that I will never forget.
The story is set in Sierra Leone in the early 1990's. The author, Ishmael, is just a young boy of twelve when his village is attacked by rebel troops. Ishmael finds himself orphaned and on the run in a war torn country. It seems there are no real safe places to hide. By the age of thirteen Ishmael is picked up by the government army. Once a gentle young man, Beah finds himself becoming a killer. Hopped up on marijuana, speed and a local mixture of cocaine and gunpowder, he carries his AK-47 with pride and becomes one of the deadly killers he has spent the past year running from.
This book encompasses it all. When we meet Ishmael he is living a normal childhood; fighting with his dad, hanging out with his friends. We follow him through the jungles as he flees from town to town. We're with him when he kills for the first time, when he tries drugs, when he slowly begins to lose his humanity and become a killing machine.
Eventually Ishmael is removed from the war by UNICEF. He is placed in a rehabilitation home with other young boy soldiers like himself. We're with him as he experiences withdrawalls from the drugs, as he faces the things he has done, as he comes to terms with his guilt and sorrow, and as he finds himself on the run...yet again.
It's a brutally honest and raw story. In the more than fifty violent conflicts worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. These children are traumatized, addicted to drugs and turned into killers. In today's world, children have become the soldiers of choice. It's a sad truth, and its something that doesn't get nearly as much attention as it should. This book, is a first hand account, told by a former child soldier, and should be a mandatory read for everyone.
Ishmael Beah is now 27 years old and resides in New York City. His book is a huge contribution to the literary world. Everyone needs to read it. Be prepared to be horrified though, its not for the weak of heart.
As a young black boy growing up in Brooklyn, NY, James McBride contiunously wondered why his mother looked different. Yet each time he asked her if sh...moreAs a young black boy growing up in Brooklyn, NY, James McBride contiunously wondered why his mother looked different. Yet each time he asked her if she was white or black, she would simply answer, "I'm light-skinned." Finally, when he ventured into adulthood, she told him her story. This book is McBride's tribute to his white Jewish mother, who grew up in the south and never felt at home there. The narration eases back and forth between James' own story of growing up with his white mother, and his mother's story of survival in her own time.
This is an incredibly moving book and is very readable. It's written in a way that draws you in, keeps you interested, but doesn't overwhelm you with language or events. It's a simple story of life, but is told in such a beautiful way that I know I will never forget it. (less)
Sad to report that I can't finish this book. Well, I guess I could..but I'm not going to. I made a moral decision not to read books about the 9-11 inc...moreSad to report that I can't finish this book. Well, I guess I could..but I'm not going to. I made a moral decision not to read books about the 9-11 incident..I feel like some people were just trying to make a buck off a tradgedy, but writing politically biased crap and selling it...but I decided to read this one because it was about the fight to survive inside the towers..
It is about the fight to survive..but its also a big huge finger pointed at everyone who screwed up in anyway related to the building and maintenece of the twin towers. I read the first 150 pages and I'm bored senseless. I can't finish it. I never do this, not finish something I started..but I just can't make myself keep reading it. There are blurbs, taken from testimony from survivors, from loved ones who received phone calls from those trapped inside..but this is interspersed with boring details of how the towers were built, who did or didn't do enough evacuation drills, who did or didn't take short cuts with the alarm systems to save a buck..I get it you know, people screwed up..but pointing fingers after the fact isn't productive..
The cover told me this would be an untold story of the fight to survive inside the twin towers..it wasn't. Don't read it, unless you care what the floors were made of..
I finished reading this book earlier this evening, and have since been considering how to go about writing a review for it. Let me start by saying tha...moreI finished reading this book earlier this evening, and have since been considering how to go about writing a review for it. Let me start by saying that this book is unlike anything I've ever read before, and that the topic, finding inner peace, is something I haven't read a lot about, nor considered in any great detail. I guess it would be safe to say that the topic is outside of my comfort zone. Put simply, the book made my mind reel..and I'm not sure I can sum it up into one nice quaint coherent review.
That being said, I ate the book up. I couldn't put it down..and when I was forced to, I found my mind wandering back to what I had already read. Considering and reconsidering the messages brought forth in this book. The story is a simple one; the tale of one man's search for inner peace. I didn't say the topic was simple, just the story line so to speak. The book alternates between a first person and a third person account of the same story and is beautifully written. The language used is poetic and graceful, but not so much so that it becomes one of those fluffy or snobbish books that lose your interest. Add to the beautiful tale, some stunning photography, also done by the author and you have the makings of a wonderful book. Another thing I enjoyed was the presence of the qoutations on each page..those alone will set you off into cotemplation.
The book is marketed under Spirituality/Personal Growth, and is intended to help others understand themselves and their place on path to inner peace. It gave me a lot to think about and consider and made my mind reel at times.
In the afterword of the book the author reveals that he gave this book his all, to the extreme that he created his own publishing company to make this book a possibility. He recalls that at the time he is getting ready to send it to the printer, the rest of the world is dealing with the shock of the tsunami that hit southern Asia and eastern Africa. He writes "Millions left homeless, penniless, and mourning their lost loved ones. One of the greatest relief efforts the world has ever seen, assisted by hundreds of nations, and I'm worrying about font sizes and image quality." After this revelation, things are put back into perspective for Wirs, and he makes the following promise: "For each copy of this edition purchased through the website, FadingTowardEnlightenment.com, I will donate $5.00 to the charity of the customer's choice."
If you're considering reading this book..which everyone should, please, go to this website and order it there. It's worth the money that you'll spend..its a book you'll revisit often. Don't be put off by the themes of spirituality and enlightenment...this book is so much more than that. Give it a try, make a donation, and read something outside of YOUR comfort zone. (less)