Because you WILL get sick, because you WILL die (hopefully not in a hospital), because you WILL need a doctor...this book is a must-read. Dr. Perri Kl...moreBecause you WILL get sick, because you WILL die (hopefully not in a hospital), because you WILL need a doctor...this book is a must-read. Dr. Perri Klass, in a series of essays written during her 4 years as a medical student at Harvard, gives us an insiders look at the way doctors are trained in the U.S. I agree with Dr. Klass when she says "I believe that the major danger is still too much intervention-- not too little."
My bedside advice to you...don't visit your Doctor, or go to the hospital until you have read this book. (less)
Every family has it's secrets. Recently my family discovered, thanks to social media, an illigitimate cousin living in Scotland, and the century old f...moreEvery family has it's secrets. Recently my family discovered, thanks to social media, an illigitimate cousin living in Scotland, and the century old family feud that precipitated the abrupt immigration of my grandparents to America (thank God). As Steve Luxenberg states "emigrating to a strange and distant county...is a serious and relatively difficult matter, requiring a degree of courage and resourcefulness not possessed by weaklings in any class."
In this book Luxenberg retells the tale of his impoverished immigrant grandparents who failed to assimilate, and his mother, all-American Beth (Bertha) who took with her a shameful secret to her grave. Running concurrent with the immigrant tale runs the stories of the rise and fall of Detroit, the history of mental illness in America, and the once ubiquitous American institution known as the "poor house."
My late grandmother used to constantly complain I was going to send her to the "poor house." I thought she made it up. Not so, "Annies Ghosts" describes this now defunct institution of the poor house or poor farm in great detail, specifically "Eloise" in Detroit at the height of the Depression.
Despite the small print size of the book, which made it uncomfortable to read, I so much enjoyed Luxenberg's style of peeling away the layers of the family secret. I also enjoyed his loving treatment of a mother who other writers may have judged more harshly. And finally, Steve Luxenberg acknowledges the all important role librarians and archivists play in preserving history.
So put on some reading glasses and savor this well-written history/mystery, you will not be disappointed. (less)
If you are an addict of Downton Abbey, and you can't wait an entire week for your next fix, I highly recommend Rutherford Park. Not exactly Edith Whar...moreIf you are an addict of Downton Abbey, and you can't wait an entire week for your next fix, I highly recommend Rutherford Park. Not exactly Edith Wharton, but lots of good plot twists and turns that keep you turning the page until the very end. That said, the ending was a bit too happy for me. (less)
This book rocked my world-- and in a very painful and disruptive way. First, it made me disgusted by the throw-away, non-sustainable "fashion" I have...moreThis book rocked my world-- and in a very painful and disruptive way. First, it made me disgusted by the throw-away, non-sustainable "fashion" I have amassed in three obscenely bulging closets. Author Cline suggests even the Goodwill doesn't want my cast-offs, and in the end, all this junk ends up in the landfill. Secondly, we Americans dress like crap, wearing cheap, shoddy, plastic fabrications created at the expense of the people and environments of developing countries. A walk down any Main Street USA makes this fact painfully apparent. Crappy material, crappy construction, everything being a glorified tee shirt, featuring an elasticized waist. Thirdly, we are tools to the fashion industry, who has us all dressing in the very same thing, that is sold at the very same departments stores, in every city in America.
The above, is a mind shattering realization to this recovering shopaholic. However, the author's premise could be made quite properly in three chapters at the most. Unfortunately she stretches it out to almost 200 painful pages before proffering solutions to this conundrum.
The solutions she offers are a merely sketchy, but indeed beginning point for another book on this topic, which has been dubbed "The Slow Clothes" movement.
"If you currently shop cheap, you can shift your spending without paying more than you're used to paying overall by shopping less and with more intention. I don't spend more per year than I used to, and yet I own much nicer stuff that looks better on me."
"I know I will never go back to the way I dressed or shop in the stores where I used to shop. Because when I walk by an H&M or an Old Navy or a Target, I see what once looked like fashion meccas for what they realy are: unsightly jumbles of cheap clothes dressed up as good deals."
I like self-help books. That said, 99% of the content of 99 % of self-help books is composed of psycho-babble nonsense. Yet, I am able to extract a 1%...moreI like self-help books. That said, 99% of the content of 99 % of self-help books is composed of psycho-babble nonsense. Yet, I am able to extract a 1% pearl of wisdom from even the goofiest title.
"This is How" is 100% self-help goodness to this reviewer. Augusten Burroughs is one wise man, and his stratagem for mindfulness and living in the now is a veritable Rosetta Stone of getting through. Burroughs builds on the work of Viktor Frankl's logo therapy and Wayne Dyer's "Erogenous Zones," but he says it in such a modern and updated way that soothes the tormented and anguished 21st century soul.
I highlighted 99 percent of the book (lame). But below is the a quote that captures the essence of the lovely book.
“...even the most terrible loss doesn't have to make you darker; it can make you deeper.” (less)
These were the hardest 138 pages I ever had to slog through. I could read only one chapter at a time, and had to toggle over to "Mary Poppins" before...moreThese were the hardest 138 pages I ever had to slog through. I could read only one chapter at a time, and had to toggle over to "Mary Poppins" before I could recoup my mental fortitude and proceed. This book should be mandatory reading for all Americans, especially the Paula Deans of this world. The treatment of Native Americans and the institution of Slavery are blots on the soul of our nation. While much has been documented on the former, there is a paucity of films and literature on the latter--I hope to see more. To attest to this, my Public Library does not have this classic in their collection (they will today, as I'm going to donate mine). Another favorite in this genre is "The Wind Done Blown"-- I fervently desire that this text be brought to cinema.
In conclusion the author states "This is no fiction, no exaggeration. If I have failed in anything, it has been in presenting to the reader too prominently the bright side of the picture." It's time to take off the magnolia-scented, rose-colored glasses and realize the ante-bellum South was a not a land of gracious ladies and their knights, but a brutal location of debauched enslavement, punishment, and death. (less)
This is an example of "buying a book for its cover," and being disappointed. If you like "Harry Potter," which I despise, you may like this book. The...moreThis is an example of "buying a book for its cover," and being disappointed. If you like "Harry Potter," which I despise, you may like this book. The author does employ a clever foil by using vintage photos to tell the story...but in my opinion this cleverness is reduced to an overblown high school English project. In conclusion, I had to force myself to finish this book, as I paid full price for it at an airport book store. I redeemed myself by donating it to my local Public Library. (less)