Heart wrenching

Book title: L'Assommoir (Penguin Classics)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
L'Assommoir (Penguin Classics) - book cover picture

This is a story of poverty. It explores the life of a family who cannot escape from wretchedness. The fault is both in themselves and society. L'Assommoir is at the apex of social novels. It describes the hardships and expectations of persons scarcely able to feed themselves. During the course of the book Zola addresses these and other social issues: domestic violence, child abuse, alcoholism, infidelity, prostitution, and selfishness. Zola also discusses the childhood of Nana. But the Book, Nana, is virtually independent of L'Assomoir.Zola shows his power to tug at the heart strings. The novel is written with tremendous depth of subject matter and is a quick read.One of the reviewers below wrote that it is a prohibitionist novel. I disagree with this perspective. The book is not against all uses of alcohol; rather, it is against the abuse of alcohol.

EAN: 9780140442311
Pages: 432
Publisher: Penguin Books
Emile Zola

This is a wonderfully written and organized text that students will hold on to and not sell after reading it!

Book title: The Last Dance : Encountering Death and Dying
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Last Dance : Encountering Death and Dying - book cover picture

I will be using The Last Dance for the third year in a course I teach on Death and Dying in Western Culture. This text does a marvelous job of addressing the socio-cultural aspects of death in America and the world. The chapter on suicide is both helpful and haunting. There are so many excellent illustrations and photographs in this book that it really comes alive for the students. It is clear that the authors are very familiar with their subject matter, and that they care very much about those who read this book. I cannot imagine a better general text on the subject of death and dying.

EAN: 9780072920963
Pages: 696
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages
Lynne Ann DeSpelder
Albert Lee Strickland

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Book title: The Mask of Motherhood: How Becoming a Mother Changes Our Lives and Why We Never Talk About It
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Mask of Motherhood: How Becoming a Mother Changes Our Lives and Why We Never Talk About It - book cover picture

I began reading the Mask of Motherhood with some trepidation, fearing it was going to be a book-long rant against motherhood, as some of the other reviewers suggest. Instead, I loved it. Motherhood for women of Gen-X and beyond is complex beyond belief. Ms. Maushart reveals the aspects of motherhood that most women will not share - starting with pregnancy and going right through the marriage relationship. She speaks with gripping honesty, backs up her claims with some research and dares women to tell the truth. She is not intent on bemoaning motherhood; rather, she wants the truth about it to be openly & honestly discussed so that women are not blindsided by it (as I was). In the end, this will make us all better mothers and better women.

EAN: 9780140291780
Pages: 288
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Susan Maushart

It may be difficult to classify but it's good

Book title: Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture - book cover picture

I enjoyed this book the way I enjoyed Richard Holmes' Footsteps and Thomas Hoving's King of the Confessors which loosely fit into a genre I call "scholars' adventures." It serves other more valuable purposes, though. It is a lucid rereading of Huckleberry Finn that leaves the joy and surprise of the work intact for the reader. It addresses the "N" word problem head-on; I appreciate Fisher Fiskin's unwavering commitment to her interpretation. It makes sense of Twain's oddysey from the child of slavery-defending parents to the adult abolitionist. It is a clear-eyed vision of the troubled history of race relations then and now. As life (and literature) affirming as FF's voice is, I remain stunned and angered by the America revealed by the bullwhip episode in contemporary Hannibal. Her observation that the controversy surrounding Huckleberry Finn is tied to how the novel is (not) taught is likewise commentary on our culture. If everyone

EAN: 9780195105315
Pages: 264
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Shelley Fisher Fishkin

Displacedhuman is a moron.

Book title: The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Library Binding
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) - book cover picture

THE PLOT: When the three Baudelaire children learn that their parents died in a fire, they are forced to live with their evil relative Count Olaf, that will do anything to get their fortune. Can the orphans stop him?

MY OPINION: Alright displacedhuman, first off Harry Potter is NOT a children's series. I mean, come on! Would you see a 4 year old reading a book with 900 pages in it? I think not! You seem to be weak at heart. And I think you're British, too! This is not for little kids either. I reccomend it for ages 10 and up.

Now that my rant is over, I can tell you that this is a great book! The story is different, the narroation from the Author is fun to read, and it is refreshingly different. Check out the other books also. I'm shocked that the average rating was only 4 stars. What are you people thinking?!

EAN: 9780060283124
Pages: 176
Publisher: HarperCollins
Lemony Snicket

reverently beautiful

Book title: Gift from the Sea : 50th Anniversary Edition
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Audio Cassette
Gift from the Sea : 50th Anniversary Edition - book cover picture

As a child, I was told to never mark in a book. That warning quickly went out the window when I picked up 'Gift From The Sea.' I grew up by the sea, and the words of this book sounded like an anthem to my soul. I have always recognized the intrinsic wisdom that swells like the tide when one hears the sea; allows its soft rush to sooth the tumult of one's heart. I felt that I read the words of a kindred spirit. Each essay was like a letter from a long lost friend. Her words were not so much teachings as gentle proddings to awaken the knowing soul within each of us. "Gift" reads like a psalm - melodic, reverent and quietly enlightening. Thank you for this prayer of a book and for bringing the smell of the sea to a city-stranded beach dweller.

EAN: 0079808556743
Publisher: Random House Audio
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sink Reflections

Book title: Sink Reflections: Overwhelmed? Disorganized? Living in Chaos? The FlyLady's Simple FLYing Lessons Will Show You How to Get Your Home and Your Life in Order--and It All Starts with Shining Your Sink!
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Sink Reflections: Overwhelmed? Disorganized? Living in Chaos? The FlyLady's Simple FLYing Lessons Will Show You How to Get Your Home and Your Life in Order--and It All Starts with Shining Your Sink! - book cover picture

For the past few years I have read many books on getting organized, decluttering, and the like. This is the ONLY book that has given me the information I needed to get my house in order. After reading this book, my house is literally 100% more organized than ever before, and I have taken all my other decluttering books and thrown them out! They were only making clutter, and clutter was what I was trying to get rid of.
A must read for anyone who wants once and for all to get the CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) out of their lives and really start to live!

EAN: 9780553382174
Pages: 256
Publisher: Bantam
Marla Cilley

Not just for the Orthodox

Book title: The Art of Prayer : An Orthodox Anthology
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Art of Prayer : An Orthodox Anthology - book cover picture

This book is surprisingly good. Brief pithy selections (1-2 pages in general) allow a busy person to dip in the book for inspiration. Anyone following a heart-centered path (Sacred Heart, Bodhisattva, Bhakti, etc.) and/or a path of continuous Interior Prayer will find much of value, clearly written and directly relevant. Complemented by something like "The Wisdom of the Desert" by Thomas Merton, it could get you ramped up to tackle the formidable Philokalia.

EAN: 9780571191659
Pages: 288
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Igumen Chariton

a GREAT book

Book title: Dancing on the Edge
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Dancing on the Edge - book cover picture

This is a great story I recommend to any young adult.It is one of the most captive and unforgetable story I ever read.It about a young girl name Miracle McCloy who was raise by her grandmother Gigi,a medium;Miracle believe in supernatural and thing nobody see.When her father "melted"(disappear)she was desperated in contacting with him and bringing him back.The more she try to bring her father back the more she loses herself.....this story is touching and unforgetable.Read it you'll love it.I guarentee it!

EAN: 9780141302034
Pages: 244
Publisher: Puffin Books
Han Nolan

An excellent alternate history and much more...

Book title: The Guns of the South
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Guns of the South - book cover picture

This is much more than an alternative version of history with the South winning the civil war. It is an insightful vision of how such a victory might have changed the thinking of the Southern leaders and people. This novel is a fine example of how science fiction can be an avenue to a more profound understanding of the human condition. The historical characters are alive here, the period rich in detail and accurate. Thougtful, moving, and very well written, this what all alternative histories should aspire to. Turtledove is often a disappointment. Guns of the South, however, is his finest book yet and perhaps the best of this gendre to be written thus far

EAN: 9780345384683
Pages: 576
Publisher: Del Rey
Harry Turtledove

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