I'm glad that the book club I'm in chooses to read so many non-fiction books because I tend not to browse in that section of the library. When I read...moreI'm glad that the book club I'm in chooses to read so many non-fiction books because I tend not to browse in that section of the library. When I read books like Destiny of the Republic however, I'm tempted to read more from the genre. I found this book to be an easy read, especially considering it's about a period of U.S. history and a president with whom most of us are not familiar. It's interesting to contemplate how history would be different if Garfield's physician, Dr. Bliss, hadn't help cause his death from infection and sepsis, but it's also interesting to note how the death of this anti-slavery, former Union officer helped bring the people of the North and the South back together. I also have an anti-Alexander Graham Bell bias because of his infamous Memoir upon the formation of a deaf variety of the human race lecture supporting eugenics, so it was good to read about something positive he did in order to try to help President Garfield. (less)
Unlike most of the ladies in my book group at the library, I liked this book as a whole. Yes, Julia Reed drops names like crazy and often comes across...moreUnlike most of the ladies in my book group at the library, I liked this book as a whole. Yes, Julia Reed drops names like crazy and often comes across as a pretentious jerk, but I was still interested in her story. She was fortunate to escape most of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, which seemed to irk some of the women in my group. I just saw her story as one point of view of what happened before, during and after the hurricane. (less)
One of the interpreters at school highly recommended this book so I borrowed it from the library. I didn't find it lived up to my expectations given t...moreOne of the interpreters at school highly recommended this book so I borrowed it from the library. I didn't find it lived up to my expectations given the high praise my colleague gave it. It was just an "okay" book, there were some really touching, profound parts, but then there were also some parts that dragged on and on. I probably didn't appreciate this book as much as my colleague because I am a lot younger than both Elizabeth Edwards and my interpreting friend, and I'm not a mother. So, I can understand the grief of a mother who has lost one of her children, but I can't relate to Ms. Edwards as well as a mother can.
A couple of the more emotional passages, for me, were the parts when Ms. Edwards was speaking of the Japanese woman who taught music to her sister and her when they were living in Japan. I was also struck by the passage where Ms. Edwards mentions that she and Wade were looking at a photograph album about a year before he died. She stopped at a picture of Wade on his first day of school, years before, and said that she missed "her little boy." She goes on to say that she didn't miss the little boy Wade had been as much when he was sitting there beside her; but now that both the young Wade and the sixteen-year-old Wade were gone, she misses them both more deeply.(less)
I'll Scream Later was an interesting read, but not quite what I was expecting. Admittedly, I don't read a lot of autobiographical, Hollywood-tell-all...moreI'll Scream Later was an interesting read, but not quite what I was expecting. Admittedly, I don't read a lot of autobiographical, Hollywood-tell-all books, but I found this book to be heavy on the name-dropping and light on the editing. The writing was very choppy, even within the chapters, the subjects would change abruptly. I was also upset by Ms. Matlin's use of the word "Deaf." For people who are not familiar with the Deaf community and Deaf culture, a capital "D" signifies that a person is culturally deaf. This means that an individual with a hearing loss embraces the Deaf community and utilizes and cherishes American Sign Language. Deaf spelled with a lower case "d", as in "deaf," signifies that one has a hearing loss but is not necessarily involved with the Deaf community. While many people around the world have a hearing loss and are deaf, they are not automatically considered Deaf. I take no exception with Ms. Matlin referring to herself as Deaf, because I feel that she can identify and label herself as she sees fit. I don't know her and I cannot judge whether or not she is truly a member of the Deaf community. However, the word "deaf" never appeared in this book without being capitalized, including an instance where Ms. Matlin shares an anecdote about a woman telling her that she had a "dog who was Deaf." I'm fairly certain that canines cannot be culturally Deaf. Many times when Ms. Matlin was meant that someone (or something) had a hearing loss she used the word "Deaf," when she really should have written it as "deaf."
That being said, I'm a huge Marlee Matlin fan. When I was in college one of my interpreting buddies and I went to see her give a presentation in Cleveland and we were quite impressed with her. She seems like a person who truly cares about others and has been nothing but true to herself in a world that isn't always willing to accept people with differences.
A lot of what she wrote about when it came to her relationship with her parents struck a chord with me because I work with deaf and hard of hearing students who have struggles communicating with and relating to their parents. That language barrier is such a huge thing. I could also relate to her experiences with misconceptions and stereotypes in Hollywood when it comes to deafness and ability. The students with whom I work deal with those same misconceptions at school and in the hearing world at large.(less)
This is a very good memoir of growing up with deaf parents in 1930-1940's Brooklyn, with typical CODA themes. I enjoyed reading this book because it s...moreThis is a very good memoir of growing up with deaf parents in 1930-1940's Brooklyn, with typical CODA themes. I enjoyed reading this book because it showed the spectrum of emotions Uhlberg experienced as a child of deaf adults: sorrow, joy, injustice, embarrassment, love. I didn't find Uhlberg's memoir to be as emotionally wrenching as Lou Ann Walker's A Loss for Words, but it was a good introduction to some aspects of the deaf world. I got the sense that Uhlberg did not identify with the deaf culture of his parents as much as Walker did, but I was impressed with his story.
Thank you, Mr. Uhlberg, for sharing the memories you have of your parents and for sharing the emotions you felt growing up as an interpreter for your father and a caregiver of your brother.(less)
I am not a CODA, but I am a sign language interpreter, so I understood much of what Lou Ann Walker was trying to express in her beautiful memoir A Los...moreI am not a CODA, but I am a sign language interpreter, so I understood much of what Lou Ann Walker was trying to express in her beautiful memoir A Loss for Words. I interpret for school-age children with varying degrees of hearing loss and the stories about Ms. Walker's parents growing up deaf in hearing families so closely mirror the experiences of the children with whom I work, it was astonishing to see that not much has changed since this book was first published (1986). Most of the deaf children I know have parents who cannot communicate fluently with them, much like the author's parents could not communicate fluently with their own hearing parents.
I loved reading about Ms. Walker's experiences interpreting. In the interpreting world CODAs have an almost mystical/legendary status; they are viewed as uber-fluent in the language, having grown up immersed in the culture. Some of her feelings I couldn't relate to fully, not having grown up in the same situation she did, but much of what she related I could empathize with completely. I have seen so many instances of misunderstanding and even ignorance and audism in my time as an interpreter and I've only been interpreting for four years.
One of the passages that really struck me was when Ms. Walker talks about deaf people seeing things as either "right/wrong, yes/no, good/bad," with no creativity or sense of a "gray area." I see this everyday in the students with whom I work. I work very hard to try to expose them to different ways of seeing things, to explain that there can be more than one answer sometimes. I agree with Ms. Walker that much of this sense of rigidness in thinking comes from the inability of the deaf children to communicate fluently with their parents. Their parents are only able to communicate simple yes or no answers, not to explain the complexities of life.
Thank you, Ms. Walker, for sharing this story of your family.(less)
I have not seen the movie, but from my understanding, the movie is nothing like the book. The movie appears...moreA couple of thoughts concerning this book:
I have not seen the movie, but from my understanding, the movie is nothing like the book. The movie appears to be some chick flick, while the book is a memoir about home reconstruction in Italy, thoughts on what home really means, explorations of the region and cuisine, etc.
This book makes me want to travel to Italy, something that I'd never really wanted to do before. I've never been interested in seeing Italy, but the descriptions of the food and the Tuscan region piqued my interest.(less)
I'd been meaning to read this book for a while and I finally borrowed it from the library. I found the book to be a compelling story of a young man se...moreI'd been meaning to read this book for a while and I finally borrowed it from the library. I found the book to be a compelling story of a young man searching for happiness, a deeper meaning to life and peace. I agree with many of the reviews already on this site. McCandless should not be written off as a total crackpot, but he should not be worshipped as a hero, either (let's remember that he did survive for two years on the road with few posessions and for two months in the Alaskan wilderness, but he did ultimately fail in his desire to survive completely on his own).
I'm interested in seeing how the movie differs from the book and how McCandless is portrayed.(less)
Not a bad introduction to the challenges interpreters face with interacting with two very different cultures (American hearing and American Deaf cultu...moreNot a bad introduction to the challenges interpreters face with interacting with two very different cultures (American hearing and American Deaf cultures). I didn't really learn anything that I didn't already know from my college coursework and experiences working in the field, but this book was still an interesting read. I saw that there is a second edition out there that addresses the challenges of video relay interpreting; I'm curious to see what all of the updates entail.
I read this book and prepared an extensive PowerPoint presentation on this book as part of my work in creating professional development opportunities for my school district's interpreters.(less)
This was a quick read that provided a basic outline of Martin Luther's life and beliefs. It is a very appropriate book for middle school students (I a...moreThis was a quick read that provided a basic outline of Martin Luther's life and beliefs. It is a very appropriate book for middle school students (I actually borrowed this book from the school library). The chapters were short and to the point with some sidenotes and plenty of pictures. One downside to the pictures was that some of them were just stock pictures that seemed to be passed off as actual woodcuts of Luther, etc., when they were really just showing contemporaries. The author did a good job of presenting Christian beliefs without being overly preachy or biased.(less)
I wish I could have given this book 3.5 stars, as I liked the book, but didn't feel that it was quite up to four stars. There were some truly great mo...moreI wish I could have given this book 3.5 stars, as I liked the book, but didn't feel that it was quite up to four stars. There were some truly great moments in this memoir, but also some truly boring ones. It's obvious that Sheffield is a music freak, so much so, that I had to wade through some archaic descriptions of bands and songs that no one has ever heard of. Maybe I'm just being dense, but I also didn't quite feel that Sheffield tied in the mix tapes with the storyline well enough. Okay, music is important to him. I understand that there are songs that bring back memories, take you to another place and time (thank you Clint Black), etc., but the obscure references detract from the story.
My favorite passage is from the chapter, "Tape 635," when Sheffield is describing his experiences at church camp. I was sitting in class when the kids were doing their silent reading, reading this chapter and trying not to laugh out loud and disturb the kids. The description of the Brothers was pretty hilarious. (less)