This book about America's working poor is interesting but is only a small window into the lives of these people. The author, naturally, has many advantages over her co-workers and this shows through loud and clear during her experiment. She also has a somewhat elitist attitude towards those she works with and constantly reminds us of her Phd and how "over-qualified" she is for many of these jobs.
No doubt, it will surely be an eye opening book for those who've never had the experience of growing up in this sort of situation (or never getting the opportunity to get out of it). For me it was an all too painful a reminder of my teen years and the horrible job at a fast food joint where I worked double shifts, was often called a peon by management and went home smelling and feeling like I'd been dipped in the fry-o-later all for a measly pittance. Finishing school and taking a few college courses changed the course of my life but many don't have this option (or realize it too late). It's difficult to advance past an entry level job when one needs such luxuries as food and shelter and then if you throw children into the mix things are pretty glum. This book mainly made me sad but there were a few moments of light and genuine human kindness.
However, in the end this book turns out to be just one woman's very limited experiences. I completely agree with her that it is very difficult (near impossible) to get out of the entry level job once you're knee deep in debt or have children and are no longer collecting (or never have) welfare. But I do have issues with her Welfare Reform rants and it is painfully obvious that she is looking at this from an outsiders point of view. She rants at length about the evils of Welfare Reform (and I agree with some points ~ some people just can't make it on their own) but she doesn't once state that some positives can and DO come out of it.
Overall, I didn't think this was a very balanced look at the "working poor".
Not having read "The Red Tent" I had nothing to compare "Good Harbor" to (for good or bad). Overall I all enjoyed listening to this in the morning but I wasn't nearly as emotional as I'd expected it to be which is good, I guess, because I expected it to ruin my makeup. On the downside, this is a book I won't remember come next week . . .
It was a nice, gentle tale about the distance that can develop between couples that often goes unnoticed but it was also a book about the power of friendship between women and the special bond and sharing that occurs when two friend's just "click".
Both women came across as very realistic but somehow I always remained at a distance from them both. Joyce's attitude towards her "romance" novel (which paid for her summer home ~ I'd love to know who her agent was as new romance novelists are typically paid a slaves wage!) rubbed me the wrong way on more than one occasion though. Her troubles with her bratty daughter were very realistically portrayed and her loneliness well done but in the end I still sympathized much more with Kathleen's character (though, in the end, she nearly lost me as well).
This isn't a book I'd read again but I am interested in picking up "The Red Tent" after reading so many raves.
It's a good thing these "updates" are short and *free* because I don't think I could take much more than a few minutes of Ms. Rasmussen's expert advice to the aspiring "Idols".
My husband and I listened to most of this unabridged reading while painting our kitchen. He was enthralled with all of the little secrets and thought it very exciting. I, on the other hand, found it tedious and repetitive and soon felt trapped in my kitchen with no escape in sight. The characters lacked personality and the voice of the protagonists love interest (her name escapes me now) was cringe worthy and sent shudders of horror down my spine. I guess your level of enjoyment of this very popular novel will depend on your interest in the Holy Grail and secret societies, all of which interest me not in the least.
Ira, an artist, has just had his world ripped apart. Demons have invaded and are gleefully ripping humans to shreds one by one.
I listened to this as an Audible downloand and, apparently, this book is two books in one. Book 1 tells Ira's story and his battle with the Demons. This story began with a rip-roaring start but petered out somewhere mid-way when Ira, the woman he's in love with and a group of men who belong to a secret society attempt to figure out how to defeat the demons and reclaim their world. I lost interest midway as the story got bogged down in a lot of metaphysical talk and seemed to skip around too much for my liking. It also wasn't as "horrific" as I'd anticipated considering the plot. The ideas are all there (and are indeed frightening) but the telling of the story just didn't do it for me.
Unfortunately, Book 2 wasn't any better of a read for me. It takes place some nine years later and this time a group of greedy, power hungry folks foolishly thinking they're gods bring the demons back to life but not before the book goes into horrifying details about the evils these people are doing the environment. Ewww, for me it was a thoroughly unpleasant (and often boring) story. Not helping matters out any is the overblown reading by one of the male narrators who gets so worked up and gasps for breath so many times during his reading I thought he was surely going to expire from the effort.
I much preferred John Shirley's book "New Noir" over this one.
I read this in an unabridged CD format. Starhawk narrates the audiobook in a calm, clear voice starting with a brief history of Wicca and outlining its structure, belief system, holidays, the importance of the moon cycles, the God and Goddess concept, the cycles of life and nature, and then briefly describes the ritual and tools a witch uses. She then moves along to active practice leading the listener through a grounding session which incorporates slow, yogic breathing to calm the mind of busy thoughts which gently leads one into a meditative state necessary for successful ritual work. The recording ends with a step-by-step ritual.
This is a good place to start for anyone interested in learning what Wicca is all about. However there is a lot of information packed into the first section that only briefly touches on subjects that will require further reading for anyone seriously interested in practicing Wicca. That?s not really a complaint as there are so many aspects of Wicca that they could never properly be detailed in one tome (well, it may be possible but the thing would weigh several tons and be impossible to lug around!). Still, I do wish this audio were longer than a little over one hour as I very much enjoyed Starhawk's narration and her informative writing skills.
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