One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.
I enjoyed hearing a firsthand account of South Africa. Everything I thought I knew before was gleaned from Newsweek circa 1986, so ....not much. This book is thoughtful and informative. No doubt the author has been confronted with enough ignorance abroad to have crafted clear and interesting explanations of his country's recent history.
The rest of the memoir is nice enough. I find all childhoods boring, and so was not riveted by the stories, but if you like childhood, you will probably love it. Unless you object to a callous indifference to tortured cats. My fat cat is sleeping on a pillow in a sunbeam right now, and neither of us is ready to handle the starvation and slaughter of poor-neighborhood pets. If you're with us on this, you better brace yourself.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful
The Hoarder in You provides practical advice for decluttering and organizing, including how to tame the emotional pull of acquiring additional things, make order out of chaos by getting a handle on clutter, and create an organizational system that reduces stress and anxiety. Dr. Zasio also shares some of the most serious cases of hoarding that she’s encountered, and explains how we can learn from these extreme examples - no matter where we are on the hoarding continuum.
For some reason, I'm fascinated by this hoarder thing. Although I'm not a problem hoarder, I have the niggling suspicion I'm holding on to stuff I should throw out. The "end clutter" books I've listened to were dull and uninspiring. This book, is interesting. And helpful. Especially if, like me, you can't make yourself throw away a lipstick you last wore in 1995.
Also helpful if you have to navigate between piles of stuff to get around at home.
Either way, I recommend it!
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Jeffrey Toobin has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993 and is the senior legal analyst for CNN. In 2000 he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzalez case. He is the author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, which spent more than four months on the New York Times best seller list. Before joining The New Yorker, Toobin served as an assistant United States attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He lives in Manhattan.
I almost didn't buy this book, because I thought (correctly, as it happens) I knew everything about Patty Hearst already. I read Hearst's book, I saw both movies, I saw it spoofed on Drunk History, I heard Dave Anthony tell it on the Dollop (twice- SLA episode and SWAT episode), I read Days of Rage, I mean... enough already.
But then, I thought: Hey! I knew a lot about O.J. and I still liked that book, right?
So, I bought America's Heiress, imagining I'd get the same fresh pithy insightful top-notch journalistic prose.
Instead, I got the 400 page wikipedia entry I was afraid I'd get. There is nothing at all new here, and no insight. Okay - Toobin thinks Stockholm syndrome is a joke, and that Patty made bad, armed, criminal decisions uncoerced, He is sick to death of her lame "I got kidnapped, locked in a closet, and raped" excuse. Huh, thats..... nothing. I don't care enough about it to decide if I agree with him or not because it's a non-issue at this point. Where is the relevance?
O.J. was good because Toobin nails the fancy lawyers in the story. Why shouldn't he? They are of his class and his profession. He's writing what he knows.
Not so the scruffy weirdos of the SLA. Toobin gives them all the human depth of a cage full of badgers. It's hard for me not to see a touch of class-blindness there. It also means we're in the wiki-world of here's what happened, step by step. I found it pointless.
So here's my last beef: Toobin concludes by criticizing the fact that Hearst got a commuted sentence and a pardon based on her wealth and position. Well... Does Jeffrey Toobin honestly think his personal success has nothing to do with his privileged background? Because I think having a famous network newscaster mom and news producer dad might have had something to do with the success he now enjoys. Somewhere there's a poor unconnected writer in Nowheresville not getting her 400 page historical rehash published, thanks to people like him.
Oh - PS: If you don't know anything about the story, go ahead, cause it's a good one.
24 of 36 people found this review helpful
The only book to examine the origins of Scientology's current leader, Ruthless tells the revealing story of David Miscavige's childhood and his path to the head seat of the Church of Scientology, told through the eyes of his father. Ron Miscavige's personal, heartfelt story is a riveting insider's look at life within the world of Scientology.
It's true. I may have over served myself on the Scientology peeping lately, especially since Inside Scientology, my first, is still by far my favorite. And just so we're clear, books are the extent of my relationship to Scientology. I've never been near it otherwise.
Okay so, let me start. This book is lame.
As I listened , I kept thinking, "Did I just pay money to let an old man bore me to tears? There are three geezers at the donut shop down the street who will do it for free," Why should I care about any of this? Because he has a semi famous son?
Well, there's not much about the son in this book. David set out on his own at a young age, so this is hardly an insider account. And besides, Ron Miscavige (back to the old dude at the coffee shop) only wants to talk about himself. He wants to make sure we all know about his stellar musical career and hilariously unscrupulous money-making schemes and wife-beating mishaps.He wants to namedrop and toot his own horn. He is a huge narcissist (under 5'6"), who's spun a yarn out of his everyday life and sold it! The man's still got his conman chops.
The blatant narcissism was interesting for a few chapters, but then it got annoying and then dull.
Unless absolutely anything negative about Scientology is fun for you, I can't imagine you would like this book.
4 of 9 people found this review helpful
Juan Martinez, the fiery prosecutor who convicted notorious murderess Jodi Arias for the disturbing killing of Travis Alexander, speaks for the first time about the shocking investigation and sensational trial that captivated the nation. Through two trials, America watched with bated breath as Juan Martinez fought relentlessly to convict Jodi Arias of murder one for viciously stabbing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, to death.
Arias, besides being a monster, is a bore, and Martinez is an insufferable egomaniac. If you know nothing at all about the crime, you might find it interesting... I still recommend reading one of the other books. Unless you like that self-righteous long arm of the law thing that leads to pages of self-admiration. It disturbs me to hear a prosecutor so in love with himself. Vested self-interest in the courtroom seems like a really bad idea.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
A Texas serial killer called BoneMan is on the loose, choosing young girls as his prey, His signature: myriad broken bones that torture and kill - but never puncture. In a story that is devaststing in its skill and suspense, - Ted Dekker brings to bear his ability to terrify and compel in BoneMan's Daughters.
I got this book on sale, and that's good. The rest was not so good. The characters were poorly developed and unlikeable -- self-centered and/or very poor decision-makers. Midway through, I was rooting for no one -- a situation that never improved. The plot was bizarrely disjointed, shifting from a very sketchy prisioner of war story (resolved as a two minute aside) to a domestic crime story that really never made much sense on any level. It all felt very glued and spackled. I have to recommend you keep browsing
3 of 5 people found this review helpful
Beth Lisick has had a lifelong phobia of anything slick, cheesy, or that remotely claims to provide self-empowerment. But on New Year's Day 2006, she wakes up finally able to admit that something has to change. Determined to confront her fears head-on, Beth sets out to fix her life by consulting the multimillion-dollar-earning experts. In Chicago, she gets proactive with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In Atlanta, she struggles to understand why "women are from Venus". She gamely sweats to the oldies on a weeklong Cruise to Lose with Richard Simmons on the high seas of the Caribbean.
I wanted to like this book (too) so I was disappointed that it read so much like entries in a dashed-off blog. The tone is wry but ultimately pleasant about everyone and everything. No investigation or insight, just "my day at the event". Since I have an interest in the topic, I found the unrelated personal details frustrating. And it's mostly all unrelated personal detail. Detail of the "I saw a cute boy in the bar but nothing happened" variety.
On the other hand, how long have I been waiting for Starlee Kine to finish her book on self help? Ages! And still nothing!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Paul O'Rourke is a Manhattan dentist with a thriving practice leading a quiet, routine-driven life. But behind the smiles and the nice apartment, he's a man made of contradictions, and his biggest fear is that he may never truly come to understand anybody, including himself. Then someone begins to impersonate Paul online, and he watches in horror as a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account are created in his name.
The publisher's summary had me very excited to listen to this book! Identity theft on the internet - love that idea. Sadly, the publisher's summary is very misleading. Don't be fooled - There's no twisty-turny, laugh-out-loud, fantastical story about online mischief here. The book is far more philosophical. (Why this strong desire to turn one thing into everything?) In other words, it's thinky pain from start to finish. Beautiful prose. Lovely insights. But also, (from my perspective,) a very tedius (2 out of nine hours) exploration of religion (Judaism in this case).
The dentistry, on the other hand, was fascinating. Vividly depicted and engaging.
And Campbell Scott is an amazing narrator.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful
Here is an explosive book that takes us, for the first time, deep inside a shadowy, fascinating, and surreal world of unscrupulous doctors, anything-goes team directors, and athletes so relentlessly driven to succeed that they would do anything—and take any risk, physical, mental, or moral—to gain the edge they needed to win. The Secret Race is a riveting, courageous act of witness from a man who is as determined to reveal the hard truth about his sport as he once was to win the Tour de France.
I bought this book because lies fascinate me. Liars too. Cyclists - not so much. That probably has a lot to do with my lukewarm enjoyment of this book.
My other problem was as follows: Either I'm nuts or Tyler Hamilton truly believes that his being a loving person (lots of time spent on how much he loves his folks, his wife, his teammates and the world) means he can do the exact same thing as Lance Armstrong for the very same reasons and not be guilty of the same crime. I'm mystified by this. Also annoyed.
But perhaps Tyler is just being a good domestique. For me, this book has made Lance's lack of apology look far more appealing. In that respect, well done.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
To say that Augusten Burroughs has lived an unusual life is an understatement. From having no formal education past third grade and being raised by his mother’s psychiatrist in the seventies to enjoying one of the most successful advertising careers of the eighties to experiencing a spectacular downfall and rehab stint in the nineties to having a number one bestselling writing career in the new millennium, Burroughs has faced humiliation, transformation and everything in between.
Don't judge this book by it's cover. It's not a witty, hip, comment on self help. It's a fairly plodding, uninspired attempt to be helpful.
I think it's a shame Augusten Burroghs didn't take the time to address the serious issues in the book with his demonstrated skill. The lackluster prose and preachy "we're talking about you, not me" content was a terrible departure from his usual work. Imagine Miley Cyrus singing Wagner. A perplexing, painful experience.
I love you, Augusten. "Dry"'s one of my favorite books. But you need a new editor, agent, publisher or just someone who will hold you to your talent and not just cash in on your past. Be great.
6 of 10 people found this review helpful