All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. What Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother reveals is that the Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that. Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions and providing a nurturing environment. The Chinese believe that the best way to protect your children is by preparing them for the future and arming them with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence.
While I understand that the narrator is trying to show Chinese parenting techniques and make them understandable to a western audience, I found her extremely unlikeable. It was as if she was laying out all the cruelties she inflicted on her daughter, yet wanted us to still "like" her and understand why. Perhaps my own "western" ideology played a part here--I found her behavior reprehensible and exceedingly selfish. The narrator came across as an elitist, living in a la-la-land of people who go skiing in Aspen and expect all their children to go to Harvard or Yale. Not my cup of tea.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
The critically acclaimed novelist and social critic Aldous Huxley, describes his personal experimentation with the drug mescaline and explores the nature of visionary experience. The title of this classic comes from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern."
Many people take drugs as a means to get more insight into themselves or the divine. While taking drugs must be a blast (I wouldn't know), having someone sit down and meticulously write down every single sensation they feel after taking mescaline, and then prefacing that with a long, academic discussion on the history of the drug and its uses....well, frankly, it was putting me to sleep. It's a highly cerebral book, perhaps too cerebral for me because my mind kept wandering as I listened and eventually I gave up. I'd have rather just taken mescaline myself than listen to 10 hours of someone else's slow trip.
21 of 39 people found this review helpful
At the end of her best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government....
I think Gilbert shines when she talks about her own life. The best parts of this book were the parts about her and her fiance's trials and tribulations as they struggled to marry as a means to get him a visa to the U.S. The rest of the book, however, is about "Marriage" with a capital "M"-- long investigations of marriage in other countries and cultures and throughout history. While some of it was really interesting, other parts dragged on, making me wonder when she'd get back to talking about her life again. She is a good reader, and it is definitely worth reading if you are considering getting married and want an in-depth look into the institution itself.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
James McBride recalls his confusion as a black child of a white mother, the hardships of his childhood, and his own flirtation with drugs and violence, in the struggle to make peace with his own identity. Performed by Andre Braugher and Lainie Kazan, this extraordinary and best selling memoir offers a special reflection on race and identity, a beautiful tribute to a mother from her son.
This was a good read. It is told from two perspectives (with two different narrators), that of James McBride and that of his white mother. They both had hard knock lives in different ways, and both stories are well told and interesting. I admit I found the mother's narration more vivid (she reminds me of my Jewish grandmother!), whereas the "James" narrator was more monotone and academic. However, it is a beautiful book about race, growing up poor, and the way the past shapes the person you become.
When coaches and teachers encourage people to “give it their all” and superstar athletes talk about being “in the zone”, they are really talking about the same thing. Being in a state of complete focused attention produces results, and the most successful people are those that can bring 100% of their concentration to the tasks that they wish to accomplish. These people know that with sustained and focused concentration, there is nothing you can’t do.
I use self-hypnosis mainly as a means to fall asleep when I have insomnia. This book did the job well (and in the meantime, I can try to convince myself that it is also subconsciously working on my ability to focus on things--excellent!). You go down a staircase with 20 steps, and I am usually asleep by number 5.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn’t enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.
This book kept me interested from beginning to end. Not only do you get insight into the downward spiral of anorexia, but you see the heavy toll of fame on a person's psyche. She also talks in detail about being "in the closet" and how that served to fuel her anorexia. A very sad look into mental illness, but with a heartwarming ending.
In Fort Hood housing, like all army housing, you get used to hearing through the walls. You learn too much. And you learn to move quietly through your own small domain. You also know when the men are gone. As Siobhan Fallon shows in this collection of loosely interconnected short stories, each woman deals with her husband's absence differently.
In this collection of shorts, each story has a different perspective on the aftermath of war, ranging from the heartbreak of wives and children left without husbands for years at a time, to the experience of soldiers returning to a place that no longer feels like home. The only jarring bit is the breaks between stories--there aren't any, so as I was listening I kept having to go back a bit because I'd realize that a new story had started without me being aware of it. (A bit confusing at first!) This audiobook is also short, which is nice for those times when you're not in the mood for a 19 hour monstrosity. The narrator's voice is pleasant and the stories were interesting.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Nothing comes between Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) and her bargains. Neither act of God nor budget crunch can shatter her dreams of wall-to-wall Prada. Every milestone in her well-shopped life (travel, long-lost sister, marriage, pregnancy) inspires new vistas to explore in the name of retail therapy. But now she faces her greatest little challenge yet: Becky’s two-year-old daughter, Minnie. Her favorite word is “MINE!”
I used to like the shopaholic series. Then I lost my job, and somehow listening to someone whine about not being able to buy the latest Gucci or Louis Vuitton just wasn't funny any more. The gags in this one are cringe-worthy and the narrator's voice high-pitched and annoying. The entire book is basically a repitition of all the books before--Becky does inappropriate things, embarrases herself in public, is greedy and materialistic and self-absorbed, yet always ends up getting what she wants. The worst book in the series, if you ask me.
A frank, funny, no-holds-barred memoir that reveals the
Deal or No Deal host’s ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD–and how it has shaped his life and career.
Howie Mandel is one of the most recognizable names in entertainment–respected by his peers and beloved by audiences as the host of the enormously popular prime-time game show Deal or No Deal. With a career that spans three decades and many different show-business platforms–he’s a renowned stand-up comedian who continues to perform more than 150 sold-out shows a year, he created the award-winning TV show Bobby’s World, he’s starred in feature films and the hit TV series St. Elsewhere, and he’s also hosted his own daytime talk show–he’s one of the most versatile performers anywhere. But there are aspects of his personal and professional life he’s never talked about publicly–until now.
Eleven years ago, Mandel first told the world about his “germophobia.” He’s recently started discussing his adult ADHD as well. Now, for the first time, he reveals the details of his struggle with these challenging disorders. He catalogs his numerous fears and neuroses and shares entertaining stories about how he has tried to integrate them into his act. “If I’m making myself laugh,” he writes, “then I’m distracted from all the other things going on in my head that are, at times, torturous.” And he speaks frankly and honestly about the ways his condition has affected his personal life–as a son, husband, and father of three.
Fans who’ve been dying to know “the deal” behind Mandel’s remarkable rise through the show-business ranks will be rewarded with many never-before-told anecdotes, each one generously leavened with Mandel’s trademark humor. There are tales from every phase of his colorful career–from his early days ...
Howie Mandel is one heck of a tormented soul, but it certainly makes for enjoyable reading.
After losing his wife and two young sons in an airplane crash, professor David Zimmer spends his waking hours in a blur of alcoholic grief and self-pity. Then, watching television one night, he sees a clip from a lost film by the silent comedian Hector Mann. Zimmer soon finds himself embarking on a journey around the world to study the works of this mysterious figure who vanished from sight in 1929.
This story was dark, dark, dark. At first it was a kind of engaging mystery, and I was totally enthralled for the first third or so. Then things go from bad, to worse, to Shakespearean tragedy of epic porportions. I found all of the long back story about Hector boring, and the ending was bizarre. Not my cup of tea.