This book was great. Very layered narrative, I loved the juxtaposition of past and present. Very interesting story about how events in the past hauntThis book was great. Very layered narrative, I loved the juxtaposition of past and present. Very interesting story about how events in the past haunt the present in many different ways. I felt like I learned something about the heart and soul of Australia, and was entertained as well. Once I got into the last 100 pages or so, I couldn't put it down. I stayed up pretty late to finish it! I really recommend it....more
I was hoping this book have some insight like the chapter on malls in Douglas Rushkoff's Coercion or Naomi Klein's discussion of malls as private vs pI was hoping this book have some insight like the chapter on malls in Douglas Rushkoff's Coercion or Naomi Klein's discussion of malls as private vs public space in No Logo. No such luck. The author makes some good observations about the development of malls and people's behavior in them, but doesn't seem interested in thoughtful discussion. Instead he uses his data to make sweeping generalizations based on gender, age, and income. I found his tone to be completely condescending, especially in his explanations of how and why women shop. I'm a woman, and I do shop in malls, but I don't identify with any of his explanations of how women shop. It seems he ignores any behavior that doesn't fit into the boxes of his preconceived ideas. There are many shoppers that don't fit into his ideal molds, but he is unconcerned with looking at anything other than the status quo.
The way the book was written also became annoying really fast. He has several 'conversations' with random mall shoppers, all of whom fit his stereotypes of shoppers and mall staff. All of these characters just serve to echo his own ideas back to him, and I guess are supposed to reinforce the ideas in the reader's mind as being true. It all sounded phony and forced. Just as annoying are his ideas of what malls SHOULD be like. A lot of his ideas seemed impractical and don't convey an understanding of the social and psychological function of malls as they presently exist....more
I was so looking forward to this book! The first half was amazing, telling the story of the shooting and how the Amish community reacted. The authorsI was so looking forward to this book! The first half was amazing, telling the story of the shooting and how the Amish community reacted. The authors explain why forgiveness is so important to the Amish, how they depend on and support each other in the community, and the difference between forgiveness and pardon. The only problem is, by the second half of the book they make the same points over and over again, using the same examples throughout. It got to be pretty annoying by the end. I'd say the first part of the book is definitely worth reading, but it's the kind of book you don't have to feel bad about if you don't finish....more
I found the author a little too pretentious and self involved sometimes, but overall I LOVED the book. Great descriptions of her travels and her journI found the author a little too pretentious and self involved sometimes, but overall I LOVED the book. Great descriptions of her travels and her journey to self-discovery. I found it really inspiring. I finished the book thinking that even though I haven't had the same experiences that she had, our paths are quite the same. She brings a deeper spiritual understanding to things that I've realized through therapy, without traveling the world....more
This book was recommended to me by a friend. I really enjoyed it! I found it hard to put down, especially in the second half, and had to stay up lateThis book was recommended to me by a friend. I really enjoyed it! I found it hard to put down, especially in the second half, and had to stay up late to finish it. It's not without its flaws though. I found some of the characters and dialogue a little hollow, no worse than a Michael Crichton or Robin Cook novel. I don't believe that new age spirituality and psychology are inherently evil. I believe that certain groups can use any belief system and twist it around to use it for evil. But other ways of looking at God and spirituality can be used for good too. I was also really interested in the concept of spiritual warfare. At certain points in the book I was reminded of the "God warrior!!" woman from Trading Spouses, but it was still interesting to read an illustration of what might be happening on a spiritual level, apart from what we can see as humans. Everything in the book is open to interpretation, and though the author's views don't match up 100% with my own, it was still a great absorbing read. I will definitely be reading the sequel!...more