Oh. My. Goodness! Julia writes this honest memoir of her Christian childhood. However, the Christian family is no...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
Oh. My. Goodness! Julia writes this honest memoir of her Christian childhood. However, the Christian family is nothing but a facade to impress the members of the local Calvinist church. Julia's mom is obsessed with missionaries and constantly plays Christian music. Her eyes is like those of a hawk, always watching the kids...and spying with the intercom as well.
Julia's surgeon father is worse. He's the one that beats Julia's adopted Black father with 2x4's until they're covered with welts or get broken bones. Julia feels guilty but cannot do anything. So, instead, she turns to alcohol and sex.
While I've never suffered physical abuse, I was familiar with many aspects of Christian living. Such are constant Christian music playing, Christian adages, Scripture throwing and memorizing, letter writing to missionaries, church attendance and many more. However, Julia didn't write the memoir about her perfect Christian childhood. She wrote about the dark horrors she and her brothers suffered through...in the name of Christianity.
And if that wasn't bad, things become worse when David and Julia are sent to the Dominican Republic to a Christian reform school. In an eerie way, it reminded me of a Bible college I once attended for a semester.
Gut-wrenching. Appalling. Unbelieveable. Despite the horrors of Christianity's dark secrets and hypocrisy, Julia's memoirs was an interesting read. At the end is an interview with Julia. (less)
How can you not love Torey Hayden? My aunt introduced my mother to Torey. My mother introduced me to her. I intro...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
How can you not love Torey Hayden? My aunt introduced my mother to Torey. My mother introduced me to her. I introduced my partner to her. I have all her books and have enjoyed them all. I just have one last book to read of hers, *The Very Worst Thing*.
Torey is a teacher and a specialist in elective mutism. However, this book is a little different. She is now working a unit in a hospital. Although she works as a therapist, the teacher in her emerges from time to time.
*Twilight Children* revolves around 3 stories:
Cassandra is a bright girl. However, when she was 7 years old, her divorced father lured her into the car and abducted her for 2 years. Cassandra returned to her mother, abused and distrustful of anyone.
Drake is a charismatic bright 4-year-old with a charming smile. The problem is that he doesn't talk to anyone, except to his mother. The grandfather doesn't make things easier for Torey because the grandfather expects magical results within a session.
Gerda is an exception. A nurse has asked Torey a favor to look in and assess Gerda. The thing is that Gerda is 82. Torey has no experience in geriatrics. Nonetheless, she tries to work with Gerda. Gerda has suffered a stroke and has no one around to care for her. While Torey tries to help her talk, Gerda tells her of a haunting past.
Rotating between the 3, Torey has to work with each individual and unique cases. I just love how Torey tells the story. I also love how she gives simple explanation of her assessment, theories and diagnoses. A couple of them were food for thoughts that I had to just share with other people for intellectual discussion. I love it when people are able to give you something substantial to think about.
Torey did not disappoint me with this book. She still remains to be the best. (less)
It is rare that a book would get me riled up as *Nickel and Dimed* did. I truly appreciated Ehrenreich's honesty...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
It is rare that a book would get me riled up as *Nickel and Dimed* did. I truly appreciated Ehrenreich's honesty about certain things before initiating her undercover investigation on whether people on minimum wage could survive on life (basic necessities).
Ehrenreich, well-educated, goes undercover by working various minimum wage jobs just to see if her meager salaries could carry her through life. She worked as a waitress, a maid and an "associate" at Wal-Mart, among other jobs.
Granted, her parameters or criteria did not accurately reflect those of the working class. First, she came into this research with some money, which she was able to afford uniforms, secure a temporary home and get some food. In addition, she had a laptop. Lastly, she went alone, without a family. I truly believe that her struggles/reports would be drastically different if she had no start-up money for these "luxuries".
However, the meat and potatoes of her research are the employers and their practices in employment, business and benefits/wages. I've once worked in the food & beverage industry and it's a tough place to work. However, the working conditions that she experienced as a waitress are appalling. Don't get me started with Molly Maid. I was literally this close to calling the company and giving them a piece of my mind. I certainly hoped that this book helped launched an investigation into the company. And Wal-Mart already had a bad reputation prior to my reading this book. After reading Ehrenreich's accounts, Wal-Mart is just the worst in terms of employment.
Anyways, the whole point of this research is to see if the working class are "too lazy" to "move on up to the East Side" (if you like The Jeffersons, you should have caught that phrase of the theme song). It turns out that it's not so simple. The working class are out there and pounding the road for a better life by getting a better job that can cover basic necessities, along with adequate benefits. They're also out there looking for suitable and affordable homes for their families. However, they faced obstacles by their employers' lack of provisions, shady practices (including drug testings) and hourly pays. In addition, they're not getting adequate services for housing or food assistance. They are literally forced to stay within that economic class.
I found Ehrenreich's book to be informative even if it riled me up. *Nickel and Dimed* helped raised an enhanced consciousness of those trying to live the American dream, just like everyone else. (less)
Firoozeh Dumas is hilarious in her memoir about her Iranian family growing up in America. She has an interesting...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
Firoozeh Dumas is hilarious in her memoir about her Iranian family growing up in America. She has an interesting way with words as well as an active imagination. In her book, she shares her memories about first coming to America, going to school, "Americanizing" her name, learning how to swim, Christmas holidays, camping, babysitting and other odd jobs, etc. Throughout the book, you can tell that her father is an important figure in her life. Her father is just simply hilarious.
At the same time, Firoozeh brings up serious issues. She addresses language barriers, culture clashes, stereotypes, ignorance, beauty, family values and the like. Firoozeh doesn't rub these issues in your face. Instead, she is able to point them out while telling her stories. You just simply cannot miss what she is telling you.
Overall, Firoozeh does a wonderful job retelling her childhood memories. You cannot help but fall in love with her ways with words.
Did I mention that she was recently at Gallaudet University for a lecture, which she later signed my copy of her book? I definitely cannot wait for her new book to come out, "Laughing Without an Accent" in Spring of 2008.(less)
I found Notaro hilarious in *Autobiography of a Fat Bride*. However, at times, I felt that Notaro was overly hila...moreAs posted in [http://www.amazon.com]:
I found Notaro hilarious in *Autobiography of a Fat Bride*. However, at times, I felt that Notaro was overly hilarious as if she had to be funny in every sentence.
Nonetheless, I laughed while she recalled her younger days in regards to dating and men before finding the "one". And married life was not at all what she expected. Along with married life comes with duties, pets, home, housekeeping and a whole lot more. Notaro addresses just about every single thing. Notaro has a whacked sense of humor.
I'd definitely pick up another book by Notaro. (less)