there are some things that i get kind of angry about - that just don't seem appropriate - but then i remember who the book is...moreinteresting little book.
there are some things that i get kind of angry about - that just don't seem appropriate - but then i remember who the book is aimed for, and what seems irreverent to me is so for a very specific reason.
it's exactly what it says it is, and often times it's quite funny. i don't know exactly who i would recommend this to, or if you could ever really give it as a gift, but it is a good book. the illustrations are hilarious, the printing is inventive. (less)
i got this book in hardback the minute it came out. it's beautiful, and it makes me happy.
the psychology of happiness is becoming on one of the newes...morei got this book in hardback the minute it came out. it's beautiful, and it makes me happy.
the psychology of happiness is becoming on one of the newest fields of research, and i think that's awesome. for so long, the field has focused on the depressing things, the crazy things, no one has thought to look at positive emotions and why they happen. which is ironic, in a way, because you would think if you could increase positive events/emotions in say, a depressed person's life, it would help their depression.
it always reminds me what a young discipline psych really is.
regardless, this bookis full of happiness. you really feel it through the writing, as well, because you know she wanted to write about this, and her passion is a little contagious. it's one of the only books exploring positive emotions out there (still) but it's accessible (like all her works) and it's beautiful. (less)
probably the most widely read of her books, i was disappointed. the thesis is that what we now call bi-polar I actually contributes to the artistic te...moreprobably the most widely read of her books, i was disappointed. the thesis is that what we now call bi-polar I actually contributes to the artistic temperment and allows them to create the work that they did.
she looks at the people you would expect: woolf, plath, van gogh, etc.
the thing is, i feel very strongly that you can create beautiful works of art without being mentally ill - or while receiving treatment for your illness - so this book kind of rubbed me the wrong way. yes, i think woolf's depressive episodes would have been helped by some of the drugs we have now - but who's to say she wouldn't have been able to write to the lighthouse all the same? it might have been different, but maybe it would have been just as good.
i don't know. i hate the cult of the crazy starving artist. i admit i'm biased. it's well-researched and presented excellently, i just can't get behind it. (less)
one of the best books i have seen on suicide, i should go back and read it once i finish the books i am working on now.
her prose is very accessible -...moreone of the best books i have seen on suicide, i should go back and read it once i finish the books i am working on now.
her prose is very accessible - i can't emphasize how important and rare this is in psychological writing - in that she doesn't get caught up in jargon or theory. she knows how to personalize the subject matter, and make it relevant.
the truth is, if you haven't had a suicidal impulse, then you know someone that has. this book does an excellent job of illustrating why that urge comes about, what stops some people, and what pushes some people over the edge (so to speak). there is so much about suicidology that we don't understand, but this is a great introduction to the subject, without completely depressing the reader or anything like that.
she also refrains from being condescending, something i appreciate very much. she does not claim to know everything, but what she does know, she wants to share because she wants to reduce the number of suicides in the world - an excellent reason to write a book, i think. (less)
i was reading some reviews of the book written by people that disliked this.
i just want to say, that for a person suffering from mental illness, the...morei was reading some reviews of the book written by people that disliked this.
i just want to say, that for a person suffering from mental illness, the fact that you know jamieson's full CV and her academic struggles is important. it's more of a - look, she was wildly successful, and dealing with this illness, and she finally came to terms with it, and now she's okay - and still wildly successful.
i also want to say how brave it was for her to write this under her own name. it does a lot to irradicate the stigma against mental illness, and no doubt she met people in academia who had read her book but never met her, and formed opinions that might be less than true. she really kind of put herself on the line for this, and i have to respect that.
those things aside, this book came to me at a very important time in my life. (hence i remember the date i read it so well.) it was recommended by a psychiatrist i really respect, and. i'll admit, i was in the depths of a serious depressive episode, so perhaps it meant more to me then, but the book gave me hope. because i want a professional career, i want to be well respected in my field - and jamieson proved that it was possible. that you could recover from the depths and haul yourself out.
she doesn't paint herself as a victim either, which was my main problem with Prozac Nation. she has this illness, and she finds she can't ignore it any longer. she doesn't blame biology or bad family situations - she just realizes that if she wants her life, she's going to have to make some changes. she writes academically, but accessibly, and she doesn't take the easy way out.
i've read everything she's written, but this is perhaps my favorite. becuse it shows that you can be honest about your mental health, and still be okay. it's written beautifully, and i go back to it time and again when i'm feeling down - even though i am not bipolar - and again, i think that speaks to the strengths of this memoir. (less)
stereotypical characters, kind of trying to be a rip-off of sex and the city (though it acknowledges it), the plot is utterly predictable and any atte...morestereotypical characters, kind of trying to be a rip-off of sex and the city (though it acknowledges it), the plot is utterly predictable and any attempt at humor falls flat. the point is not a happy one (most successful men don't like successful women - especially smart ones), and a premise i don't really believe. it was a little too man-hating for me, with cheating people all over the place.
man, the more i think about it, the more i really didn't like it. huh. (less)
sequel to Riding Lessons, this is more the story of eva than annemarie, except not. eva gets a more central role, but annemarie is still the driving...moresequel to Riding Lessons, this is more the story of eva than annemarie, except not. eva gets a more central role, but annemarie is still the driving force - behind everything.
again, gruen writes about the special bond between a horse and a person, and she does it so well it makes my heart ache. this completes the story she was telling earlier, and i think it's stronger than her first go. (not just because the image of a blue roan doing one-tempi changes makes me swoon.)
this is more of a romance than the first book, but it's surprising in its turns. the mother-daughter relationship mellowed a bit between annemarie and mutti, and annemarie and eva - in a way, it reminded me of the gilmores. (hah!) but it's just really well written. i didn't want to put it down. (less)
oh, horses. i do love them. the writing stood up, which was nice to see. i love the idea of harry, of eve and flicka . . . mutti and...more*re-reading 10/12*
oh, horses. i do love them. the writing stood up, which was nice to see. i love the idea of harry, of eve and flicka . . . mutti and - i wish there was more resolution with regards to annemarie and pappa. i still didn't like how that ended. i don't feel like there was peace. i wanted her to bring him to the stall with his carrots. i liked jean-phillipe better.
of course, i went out and rode my horse after finishing this. someday he might be balanced enough to complete even a training level dressage test! ;)
first read: july 1, 2007
uh, so yeah, i kind of got side-tracked when i realized gruen had written books about horses.
this is the story of annemarie, who was an olympic caliber eventer at 18, before a horrible accident.
but more, it's kind of a coming of age story for a woman who was allowed to escape. gruen's writing is so fluid and smooth, the story just keeps moving. it's equal parts mystery, chicklit, and quality fiction, with a good dose of horse in there.
it just left me with a good feeling, and not like it was too pat or ridiculous, like so many beach blonde books. it was a happy ending, but it was somehow believable. i might be biased though, because most people reading would gloss over the description of the horse doing a piaffe and canter pirouttes, my mind could visualize it so clearly. (less)
i don't know. i can't really get into it . . . perhaps because my mind isn't willing to think about something that isn't about history or psych right...morei don't know. i can't really get into it . . . perhaps because my mind isn't willing to think about something that isn't about history or psych right now, or because i'm really disappointed the main character is male - which sounds totally obnoxious, but i loved her female characters in her other books, and i really wanted that combination of strong-fucked-up-stubborn-vulnerable-ness that gruen does so well. maybe she does, maybe jacob turns somewhat sympathetic without being pitying, but right now i'm annoyed with him, and i have too many other things to read. i will pick it up again though. i have to find out what happened to the elephant. (less)
fucking genius. that's all there really is to say about howard zinn - he is, i think, the best alternate american historian out there. he puts other p...morefucking genius. that's all there really is to say about howard zinn - he is, i think, the best alternate american historian out there. he puts other people to shame. he tells the stories people haven't told, and he fully believes that history should be an interactive experience, that historians have a responsibility.
i read this before i read Lovely Bones, in part because i wanted to see how she dealt with her own history, in part because well, i'm a sucker for me...morei read this before i read Lovely Bones, in part because i wanted to see how she dealt with her own history, in part because well, i'm a sucker for memoirs. i classify this as a crazypeoplememoir not lightly - my definition of "crazy" is a little loose.
alice sebold was raped by someone she didn't know as an undergraduate at syracuse university.
what i love about this book is that sebold doesn't fall into the normal tradition of "victim" memoirs. she doesn't blame other people - even her attacker. she accepts that this horrible thing happened to her, and then she tells her story of how she pulled herself out of the hole, how she fought against being a victim, how she fought with herself.
she is no elizabeth wurtzel, and i love her for that. she doesn't take too much blame, and she doesn't push it off on others - it's the story of someone who has adjusted, who has had something horrible happened to them and come out on top. she didn't write this for pity, she wrote this because it was her story. and i fully respect her for that. (less)
i pushed and pushed against reading this book. i didn't want to read it. i thought the premise was SO stupid. but like Bel Canto once i picked it up,...morei pushed and pushed against reading this book. i didn't want to read it. i thought the premise was SO stupid. but like Bel Canto once i picked it up, i was pleasantly surprised.
okay, admission, i actually read Lucky first, and i was impressed with the way sebold dealt with the depressing subject matter. she doesn't fall into the pattern of being a "victim" writer - uh, this is for another review.
it sounds stupid - a young girl dies and narrates everyone else's life after. but it's surprisingly hard to put down. yes. good book. (less)
you know, i find i don't know what to say about this book. obviously, it's a seminal text. obviously, it has impacted a great many lives, and it tells...moreyou know, i find i don't know what to say about this book. obviously, it's a seminal text. obviously, it has impacted a great many lives, and it tells a story that is incredible. however, what i think you take from it is this sense of optimism in the face of despair - and the truth is, it's the story of a girl in hiding who gets betrayed by an informant, and then dies in a camp. we so often gloss over the fact that she died - and say, "oh, but anne lives on through her diary" - which is true, in a way, but allowed the world to kind of gloss over the holocaust.
the holocaust didn't hit the world-consciousness in the way that we think of it today until the 70s - it was mostly (in america) due to a NBC miniseries entitled "The Holocaust" (that i think has a young meryl streep, if i remember correctly) that we fought to "remember". and even then, the story became a fight over the surivors (led by elie weisel saying that the holocaust was unique, and only belonged to the jews), and the mass public who wanted to know more. (not only the "other" 6 million who died in the camps - the political prisoners, the gypsies, the mentally and physically ill, the soviets, etc. etc.)
so. i love this story, but i have a hard time with it as a (fake) historian - i imagine hannah senesh's diary is going to fill the hole i wish this did. don't get me wrong, i love this book, and have parts of it quoted all over the place, and love tat anne spends time writing about peter and her cat and not just the horrors outside (but then again, all she really had was the inside). i would like to compare the now-classic text to the original - apparently otto frank did a lot of heavy editing (including cutting the part where anne discussing her breasts and possibly loving another girl). (less)
i don't know why i don't rate this book higher. i think because i had read so many survivor testimonies (yes, even in 8th grade) that i wasn't as . ....morei don't know why i don't rate this book higher. i think because i had read so many survivor testimonies (yes, even in 8th grade) that i wasn't as . . . shocked at the story as i could have been. for most people, aside from anne frank, this is the first book they read about auschwitz. it's their first introduction to the horrors of the concentration camp.
but weisel came late to the camp, his story was not unique. and yet - i think i have a hard time separating the book from the author. i wish - i don't know, i guess it is a good gateway book into the holocaust. but you even have to wonder at the lack of photos - if this is the one book people are going to pick up, don't you want them to see it?
it's short, and it's well written, but. i wish wiesel wasn't so pushy about the holocaust only belonging to the jews. it taints my readings of his writing. (less)
i read this in my "history of the pacific" course. it's a travelogue, of sorts, but is beautifullly, beautifully written, and touches on some civiliza...morei read this in my "history of the pacific" course. it's a travelogue, of sorts, but is beautifullly, beautifully written, and touches on some civilizations that hadn't yet been "discovered" by the west (or east, really). it's a little patronizing towards the peoples, but then again, that's emblomatic of the time, and is a really good critical point in time to realize that the history of the pacific is a varied, disparate, and debatable thing. (less)