The book didn't really give me any new information that I didn't already know. I watch the show pretty regularly and while it's fun at first, it appea...moreThe book didn't really give me any new information that I didn't already know. I watch the show pretty regularly and while it's fun at first, it appears to be more scripted every time I watch it.
This family has the marketing knowledge when it comes to making the most of their 15 minutes of fame. Congrats to them.
I think ending the show with the family all together at the dinner table is wonderful. What I'm looking for is a more in depth explanation as to why some family members are absent (Si's wife in particular.)
The author designed a very clever storyline and for that I rate this book 4 stars. Beyond that, the inaccuracies with regard to the misuse of modern l...moreThe author designed a very clever storyline and for that I rate this book 4 stars. Beyond that, the inaccuracies with regard to the misuse of modern language for the characters in the 1920's almost made me stop reading the book. With historical fiction, I usually allow some wiggle room, but the author really made a long list of unacceptable language mistakes.
I enjoyed the noir effect for the era portrayed.
I would have liked more fashion descriptions. The ones given were excellent and engaging.
I was not disappointed with the ending of the book. I thought it was brilliant. I was able to predict it to some extent.
Some aspect of this story will probably hit a nerve with just about every reader. For me the characters were very real and like many people in relatio...moreSome aspect of this story will probably hit a nerve with just about every reader. For me the characters were very real and like many people in relationships, trying very hard to understand each other, but coming up short.
I know that as you live life, situations get thrown at you and many of us are not prepared or equipped to make good decisions in the heat of the battle. The story evoked personal emotions from my own experiences that made me sad at times.
Some readers may think that the characters at times were over the top, but when you are not equipped to separate emotions from logic, behavior can be rather dramatic.
I believe this is the first Joyce Maynard book I have read, so I had no expectations. She created some very likeable and unlikeable characters to expl...moreI believe this is the first Joyce Maynard book I have read, so I had no expectations. She created some very likeable and unlikeable characters to explore in a plot that was generally good, but at times slightly repetitive.
This book reminded me of another book I read recently titled Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. Both contain father figures who didn't get my stamp of approval.
I can relate to a childhood where using your creativity and imagination was all your family could afford. And, maybe that was a good thing; living in the present day world of children who are over-stimulated and over-indulged.
PAGES 1 - 258 I give 4 stars
PAGES 259 - 304 I give 2 stars
I enjoy the fact that Joyce Maynard writes about life relationships and am anxious to read another one of her books in the near future.
I recently read and liked the book Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson. I am not a lover of the fantasy genre, but I thought I would enjoy reading Gaim...moreI recently read and liked the book Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson. I am not a lover of the fantasy genre, but I thought I would enjoy reading Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
It felt more like a young adult short story to me.
I read in one sitting and while so many have given great reviews to the book, I really was disappointed.
I think this book was extremely informative and well-written to the point that human and non-human poop has become a fascinating topic of conversation...moreI think this book was extremely informative and well-written to the point that human and non-human poop has become a fascinating topic of conversation for me. The book covers many other areas, but poop was my pleasure.
Mary Roach did an excellent job of presenting the alimentary canal to the non-medically educated reader. There were a couple of areas that could have just shut my mind off, but Roach managed to get the information across using real examples that I could relate to.
While reading, I took notes and re-read certain areas of particular interest. If you are an Elvis fan, there is a section you may want to read.
If you have the love of knowledge, then you will want to read this book.
If blood or stuff like that make you want to pass out, you may find the material disgusting.
The most important element that I learned but left me feeling very sad is that my mother, who has passed away, use to always voice her disgust with animals that ate their own fecal matter. (Monkeys in particular.) Monkeys do not have the necessary digestive system to draw out all of the nutrients from some of the foods they eat, so needing the nutrients, they manage to re-ingest their own excrement in order to draw out the nutrients they know they missed the first time around. Who knew? I miss being able to share this information with my mom.
I could go on and on about the contents of this book, but you really have to read it yourself to appreciate all of the research that was done by the author.
In my quest for more of Mary Roach, I'm reserving her book STIFF at my local library. (less)
I have read many books about mental health issues and really was not interested in reading anymore about eating disorders, but the cover of this book...moreI have read many books about mental health issues and really was not interested in reading anymore about eating disorders, but the cover of this book caught my eye. Then, I was intrigued by the author’s personal experience.
The eating disorder spectrum is one small part of our nation’s mental health issues that has not been addressed very successfully because there are no easy answers and the cost is often overwhelming and the successful treatment outcome not very encouraging.
When I write this review, I am not judging this mother because unless you have walked in her shoes, you can’t know the reality of it. What I can tell you is that if you have never had to deal with someone with an eating disorder, you now have something to be thankful for every morning that you wake up.
I have a large family and one of my siblings experienced the onset of anorexia when she was in her late 20’s. Many years later, she still deals with it and while it is at a stage where she physically appears “ok”, she is not. I believe she will always have an element of the illness to deal with. I have been impacted by her health issues just as much as she has impacted all of my other family members. One thing Harriet Brown writes about is the fact that the illness changed the nature of her family dynamics. She could not have written more accurate words.
I know some of the treatment plans followed today stress not to adapt to the patient’s manipulative demands, but as a parent trying to do everything you can, it’s very difficult to bring the “tough love” to the daily living situation.
I know that in my own observation of my sibling who suffers from this is that our society is really not “getting the long-term” impact of all mental health elements.
The brain’s thoughts about eating and food are irrational, but other thought processes remain rational. That is what is so difficult to deal with when talking about anorexia.
I do understand the “good girl” syndrome Harriet Brown described and how Kitty follows adult direction to an extreme when it suits her. Kitty’s teacher making the comment about desserts is a turning point I think to the problem taking real root. Kitty will of course not only reduce her desserts, she will go to the delusional extreme that she does. Knowing what individually or in totality can play such a mind trick is the million dollar question to those who try to cure the patients suffering from eating disorders.
One common aspect of the illness is of how many eating disorder patients make extravagant dishes for everyone else to eat, but then they eat nothing. This is one of the symptoms that the author mentions in Brave Girl Eating that is really hard for me to accept and deal with. Again, they are not fooling anybody, but in their mind, this is believable to them.
The eating disorder patient is a great manipulator. The author didn’t go into great detail about this, but did write extensively of the “demon” sitting on her daughter Kitty’s shoulder.
In the recent Jodi Aria’s trial which was aired on TV, the mental health professionals could not even agree on what mental health issues the defendant suffered from, if any. Even after testing, the jury was left on it’s own to try to understand how the young woman who loved the dead man literally shredded him like a piece of chicken. First, stabbed him. Then, slit his throat till his head almost falls off and then shoot him in the face. How disheartening to learn this is unfortunately the status of diagnosing and treating ALL mental health issues.
My biggest take away from reading this book and other’s reviews is that I don’t think some people get the fact that until someone is well-nourished they cannot be helped because they cannot make the right decisions. Think of it as a baby who does not receive the proper food when in the development stages and later had permanent health problems from lack of nutrition. The eating disorder patients are truly delusional as the author suggested. How the mind can play these tricks is so unbelievable to me.
The Browns did realize a small element working in their favor. Kitty was so young that the parents could still force the daughter to enter the hospital, etc. When you deal with an “adult” you are really going down the road to hell. They can make decisions because that’s how our social system is set up. But, as a part of the illness they are not capable of make rational decisions.
I have researched recently and read again in this book that the brain is made up largely of fat. That both the brain and the body NEED fat – not just any old calories but the right kind of calories—to begin the process of healing from starvation.
When searching for answers to this illness years ago, I ran across a woman from I believe Canada who’s program at that time had the highest success rate for treating eating disorders. She was featured on news shows and the philosophy was that you treat the patient in a facility where they are basically nurtured like a baby. Physically held or touched almost constantly, etc. This was a new concept to many people, and it was successful. I do remember that the cost and availability to this care was not covered by insurance and just not available to very many patients. I think the Family-Based Therapy written about in this book is really the cheaper version of this method of treatment.
I found Shan Guisinger’s theory behind anorexia very interesting. Shan who is a psychologist came up with the adapted-to-flee-famine hypothesis, which explains the illness in evolutionary biologic terms. The aversion to eating, the ability to function on very little food, the inability to see one’s own extreme thinness, the hyperactivity and restlessness – makes sense if you think of them as strategies for surviving famine for the nomadic. Being this way assisted them in staying optimistic and motivated to survive. In this manner, they could continue to work hard, delay gratification and ignore the suffering. This is one theory that I have not heard of ever before.
Food should be cherished and enjoyed in moderation. To not have it that way is really a lost joy in life to me.
I found this book to hold new information on a very devastating illness. I wish the Brown family new hope and energy to continue on the path of wellness for Kitty. (less)
If you have ever been cheated on by your spouse, this book is very painful to read. The storyline of Kathy the wife is heart breaking and done perfect...moreIf you have ever been cheated on by your spouse, this book is very painful to read. The storyline of Kathy the wife is heart breaking and done perfectly. My sympathy never turned to empathy or understanding at all for any of the other characters.
In the word MARRIAGE two people have to make sure they understand what the word means to the other. Then, life happens and interpretations can change and become muddled.
The chapter on secretary Maureen was beautifully written with a complete life lesson all on it's own. Every person has to interpret what they want out of it.
Can't wait to read another book by Freedman.(less)
I have never heard of the orphan trains and the subject matter of the book was extremely interesting and emotional for me.
The basic premise of the boo...moreI have never heard of the orphan trains and the subject matter of the book was extremely interesting and emotional for me.
The basic premise of the book is that the transportation and placement of over two hundred thousand orphaned children occurred between 1854 and 1929. The children were physically transported on trains from the East Coast to the Midwest. Some children may have been adopted and lived a happy life, but many of them were made to feel "less than" and lacked the parents and homes they deserved.
I am not a fan of authors who try to stitch together separate story lines, but Christina Baker Kline did an acceptable job. My preference would have been to read about the period of time from 1929 - 1943.
The character development of young Vivian was incredible. Like many of the children, Vivian is forced into the role of an indentured servant and for a very critical part of her life she is missing out on the love of parents and the basics of adequate food and shelter.
While I was so completely engaged in Vivian, I was extremely disappointed near the end of the book where the author springs a few pretty unbelievable incidents on the reader. I will not ruin the plot, but I did not buy the information and quickly lost interest.
What really stays with me days after finishing this book is that I am ashamed to not have known about this little-known part in our nation's history. The children of the orphan trains lost their cultural identities and were exposed to everything a child should not be exposed to.