I picked this up at the library because I was looking for something simple to brush up on my Spanish. At the time I didn't realize it was a children'sI picked this up at the library because I was looking for something simple to brush up on my Spanish. At the time I didn't realize it was a children's book. My purpose was to compare the difference in expressions between the Spanish version and the English version. It ended up being a creative little book. The illustrations were really not that good but it helps to not take away from the text. I think it's appropriate for the targeted age group....more
I'm not a very big sports fan but this was still a great read. While this was a collection of his writings for ESPN, there was still that signature HSI'm not a very big sports fan but this was still a great read. While this was a collection of his writings for ESPN, there was still that signature HST attitude to the writing. Everyone that annoyed him took hits - including the President. I appreciate the way Thompson always wrote exactly what he thought, regardless of what might be the consequences. This was my third HST book and probably my second favorite (second only to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas....more
Love is the Cure is very well written and Elton John seems to have done his research. A huge focus of this book is on the fact that HIV/AIDS has suchLove is the Cure is very well written and Elton John seems to have done his research. A huge focus of this book is on the fact that HIV/AIDS has such a huge stigma attached to it that those with the disease often don't get any treatment. Most of the people who contract the disease are on the fringes of society - meaning they are not always regarded as equal (i.e. gays, prostitutes, injection drug users). In many places because of this social standing, these people are considered to be deserving of their illness. Elton John's point of view is that if everyone stops being so hateful and instead treats everyone with the same respect, AIDS will come to an end. Everyone will get access to the same necessary treatments and preventative measures and will no longer be forced to hide in shame. He proposes that through love the pandemic can end.
I actually learned an extensive amount about the disease while reading this. He's right. HIV/AIDS is something that is basically shoved into the closet and not talked about. I honestly didn't know half of the statistics, including the fact that one of the worst city-wide epidemics in the western hemisphere is in Washington, D.C. The only sort of formal education I've received in school regarding HIV/AIDS was in the 10th grade health class at my school. We had a section on STDs and had to have parental consent to attend those weeks of class due to the fact that HIV/AIDS is primarily associated with gay men. Unfortunately, due to this kind of thinking people like Ryan White have had to (and still do) suffer through the stigma of having the illness.
I am very impressed with the amount of effort Elton John put into this book. He's obviously done his research, which is critical for gaining all of the support he has for his organization EJAF. Citations are provided for each fact to prove that he's not making anything up. Usually, in my opinion, memoirs of celebrities written by those celebrities are trivial and inconsequential. They might be fun and allow a peek inside the hidden lives of the stars but they're not usually intellectual or life changing. This is. Love is the Cure is one of the best nonfiction pieces I've read in a long time. Elton John has just blown my mind away....more
I haven't read anything about Iran in the 1980s since high school so this book was kind of a refresher for me. The artwork was kind of plain and leftI haven't read anything about Iran in the 1980s since high school so this book was kind of a refresher for me. The artwork was kind of plain and left me often confused about who was being depicted. The story was, as expected, hard on the emotions. You can see how Marji grew up from the first pages to the last. Initially she was a typical kid, wanting to act out everything she was hearing with her friends as a game. By the end she was more aware of how serious everything was. To be honest, I was often annoyed by her younger self. However, it did seem she was at least able to hold on to some semblance of a childhood while her country was at constant war, being attacked from within and without....more
I won a free copy through First Reads. Please note that all quotes and page references are in regards to the ARC and not the final, published edition.I won a free copy through First Reads. Please note that all quotes and page references are in regards to the ARC and not the final, published edition.
To be completely honest, I was not able to read every single page of this book. I read it over quite a few months and it was a struggle to get through 5 pages at a time. I think Os Guinness had a good idea when he set out to write this. I appreciated the outsiders view of my country. I did, in fact, agree with a lot of his sentiments regarding how America is losing the true idea behind our freedom. We are a very materialistic society and I agree with the author that we have twisted our freedom into the idea that we are free to buy what we want.
One of the most interesting points he has made, in my opinion, is the fact that not everyone - including the people of the countries that we are claiming to help - agrees that the US is truly providing aid and not simply lording military power over weaker nations:
"Americans must realize, however, that in the eyes of many people around the world, America's interventions in the name of universal democratic freedom are also an assertive form of positive freedom - especially when 'democratic freedom' is used to justify displays of American military power as if the cause of freedom were universally self-evident. After all, no positive freedom is self-evident except to those who believe it. Even 'humanitarian intervention' is not self-evident. It happens to be the term Hitler used to justify invading the Sudetenland and Mussolini used to justify his seizure of Ethiopia. Humanitarian intervention that is just must first be morally justified. It is never self-evident(page 64)."
The reason this passage stood out to me is that I found it interesting to hear the opinion of an outsider who is not in one of the countries receiving humanitarian intervention from the US. However, I am not really sure we can truly consider him an outsider any longer due to the fact that he resides just outside our capital.
Also interesting to me was the inclusion of Roman history. However, the implication at this point is that the United States is going to follow the Roman Empire into complete and utter destruction. While history has proven to be cyclical many times over, I'm not really sure this is such a great comparison for him to be making.
After covering the establishment of American freedom, Guinness also moved on to cover specific instances of how we are currently failing ourselves. For instance, take this passage from page 163:
"...consider the ironies of the sexual revolution. Those who set out to liberate sex from the cramping constraints of morality and tradition have emptied it of meaning and made it freer, less meaningful, and more chaotic and dangerous at the same time. The newly liberated sex is dangerous not just in the obvious sense of the risks of pregnancy and disease, but in the subtler irony of where unrestrained sex has led America socially. In America, every man is now every woman's potential assailant, and every woman is now every man's potential accuser. Far from Playboy's promised return to an Eden of easy Polynesian delights, Americans find themselves in a wilderness of broken hearts, lonely lives and an uneasy state of suspicion between the sexes."
I can wholeheartedly agree that we have taken the idea of personal freedoms too far. We are a very amoral society where people take advantage of others, commit heinous crimes, and just basically take what they want because they feel it is owed to them. It is a recipe for disaster.
To the point of why I disliked this book: Os Guinness is trying to make a statement about the current state of the US and how we are slowly destroying the ideals of freedom established by our forefathers. As I said above, I do agree with him about a lot of what he was trying to put across. However, his writing style is too stiff. There are a lot of unnecessary quotes from people like Alexis de Tocqueville and the Baron de Montesquieu. I realize they were revolutionary political thinkers in their times and were held in high regard but I often found myself wondering what the heck these quotes had to do with the author's point.
Also, a lot of times I felt that the author was pointing the finger solely at the people and not also the government. I think that the current state of affairs is not just the problem of one or the other but both.
The idea is there, the strong level of research is there... the writing style just does not do it justice. I think that readers who are more used to textbook-style political writings would be more into this volume that I was. I would recommend it to more scholarly types who don't mind stiff writing. ...more
This book is one of my all time favorites! My friend absolutely hated the movie so I watched it to see what was so bad. I ended up loving it and had tThis book is one of my all time favorites! My friend absolutely hated the movie so I watched it to see what was so bad. I ended up loving it and had to read the book that inspired it.
I have no idea how anyone could ever partake of so many different drugs, run raging around the city of Las Vegas, and not die from the experience. I can only hope that there were some extreme exaggerations added to embellish the truth. Having been born too late to experience the 1970s and never participating in this level of debauchery, I have no firsthand experience of anything that went on in this book. Still, I laughed my behind off and I can't wait to read it again!...more