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Shopaholic Takes Manhattan
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan
by Sophie Kinsella
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.95
679 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, entertaining fluff, March 26, 2003
This book is cute but entirely predictable. It's refreshing to see the city through the eyes of a visitor, especially a shopaholic, but Becky Bloomwood's inability to control herself gets tiresome.
She really does seem to be addicted to shopping and I suspect that she will revert back to her old ways even though she gets into trouble. There are programs available that can really help people who suffer from addiction, whether it's drugs/alcohol, gambling, or shopping addiction. She could probably benefit from something like that.
I felt like the author was painting the shopping obsession as a joke, just one of Becky's personality quirks. But really, there must be a reason she wants to shop so much, so often, and when she can't afford it. I think the book could have explored that some more, perhaps, for instance, adding some detail about Becky's insecurity about her intelligence, personality, body, finances or whatever.


Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
by Anne Lamott
Edition: Paperback
264 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining little read, March 19, 2003
It goes by quickly. Some entries are little more than a couple of sentences, some are soul-searching, ponderous essays. LaMott's writing is amusing, serious, sad, and insightful. She's lucky to have a close-knit group of supportive friends who often bring her food and watch her baby.


Go Ask Alice
Go Ask Alice
by Anonymous
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
197 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful anti-drug message, March 19, 2003
For me, anyway. I know it wasn't written or published solely for that purpose but for me it really struck home the dangers and unpredictability of drug use.
I think I was 12 or 13 when I read it and I'm glad I did. One of the parents of a kid at my school tried to get it banned, which I completely disagree with. I think everyone should read this book.
For Alice, who could be anyone at all and still exists in many people today, the downward spiral began rather quickly. Of course not every person who experiments with drugs becomes an addict or winds up dead from it, as everyone is different, but this book is an important cautionary tale.


Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy
Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy
by Frances Mayes
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.56
611 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining despite excessive blather, March 19, 2003
I'm listening to it on tape now and I'm more than halfway done. Mayes' descriptions of everyday life in Tuscany become charming and lush through the lovely language. The narrator on the tapes could be better, though. It makes me laugh every time she says "BrrrramaSOle".
I did hit a really boring patch awhile back though--for almost a whole tape the narrator babbled on and on about working on the house and the contractors [messing] everything up.
What I didn't like about the story is Mayes' snobbery about Italy. If she loves it so much, why not live there full-time? She's not even an expatriate, as she lives there only in the summer (at least at the point in the book I'm at now). Her gushing over Tuscany gets tiresome.


Williams-Sonoma Savoring Italy
Williams-Sonoma Savoring Italy
by Michele Scicolone
Edition: Hardcover
50 used & new from $0.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite cookbook!, March 19, 2003
I love this book. I got it as a Christmas gift and I use it all the time. The photographs are gorgeous and each recipe is illustrated. I like that the recipes are relatively simple and require few ingredients. I also enjoy the descriptions and definitions of terms and regions in Italy.


Procrastination: Why You Do It, What To Do About It
Procrastination: Why You Do It, What To Do About It
by Jane Burka
Edition: Paperback
92 used & new from $0.01

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't put off reading this one, March 19, 2003
I finally finished this book after putting it off several times, and I'm a terrible procrastinator. I think it is helpful to learn why we procrastinate in order to understand these behaviors and then change them. I recognized myself in so many of the sample situations desribed and the explanations behind such actions.
The second part contains a lot of helpful techniques, such as breaking a big project into more manageable chunks, or deciding to work on one chapter of a book at a time that needs to be finished.
I really have to reread the second part though (What to Do About [Procrastination]) because I unfortunately haven't changed my habits yet. (In fact, I should be working right now but I'm writing this review.) So until then I can't really say if it helps or not, but Part one was eye opening to me. I also appreciate that the book was written by two die-hard procrastinators who were able to overcome the habit.


An Eye for Winners: How I Built One of America's Greatest Direct-Mail Businesses
An Eye for Winners: How I Built One of America's Greatest Direct-Mail Businesses
by Lillian Vernon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.00
16 used & new from $9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A quick but informative read, March 19, 2003
Apparently there is a lot more to home business than meets the eye. Lillian Vernon's story illustrates the challenges and exhilarations she faced juggling her business, personal and family relationships. This book is a good overview of a personal success story, from the point of view of a woman who was only looking to earn a little extra cash and instead amassed an empire.


The Truth Is . . .: My Life in Love and Music
The Truth Is . . .: My Life in Love and Music
by Laura Morton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.36
113 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, March 19, 2003
I originally picked up this book because I wondered what had gone wrong in the Melissa Etheridge/Julie Cypher relationship. The story is interesting and captivating. I don't think any of the details about Melissa's relationships are salacious or gratuitous.
The writing style, while simple,is honest and straight-forward. The reader can feel Melissa's heartbreak and devastation at the disintegration of her relationship with Cypher, as well as Melissa's determination to care for their children and find love and happiness once again.


Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming-Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, & Their Families
Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming-Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, & Their Families
by Chastity Bono
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.99
72 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good guide, and bio but, March 19, 2003
This is a good "double" book--a coming out guide and a biography of Chastity Bono in one. Written in a straight-forward, clear manner and peppered with interviews from other out gays and lesbians, "Family Outing" is ultimately eye-opening and supportive.
However, I didn't give it five stars because it was often repetitive (i.e. a blurb about denying oneself, then a section of interviews from people who denied their true selves, then Bono's account of how she denied what she really was, and then a section reiterating why you shouldn't deny who you really are) and I would have liked to learn more about Bono's life in addition to her struggles coming out of the closet. (But I guess there's more of her life in her other book, The End of Innocence? I guess I'll have to check that one out).


Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self
by Rebecca Walker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.37
275 used & new from $0.01

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scratching the surface, March 19, 2003
I'm not sure how old Rebecca Walker is now but I think she's relatively young to have written a memoir. I picked it up because I was interested in the account of a mixed race person's childhood in America.
Since I am also of mixed ethnicity I could very much relate to some of the things she talked about. It seems to be that those of us who are mixed often identify with the side we resemble most. I know that for myself this is true, although I have tried to explore my roots on both sides, taking lessons in the languages, reading up on them, traveling to the countries of my family's origin, etc. I feel like Rebecca didn't get to explore her other half, perhaps because of her volatile relationship with her father and the tumultuous relationship between her parents.
I was also shocked at her mother's neglect, leaving a teenaged Rebecca on her own for days and sometimes weeks at a time. It's been a little while since I read this book so it isn't crystal-clear in my mind--I don't recall exactly what happened to drive Rebecca and her father apart. It seems like of like Rebecca wanted to eradicate her whiteness and isn't proud of her dual heritage and I think it's too bad. I guess I was hoping that she was able to resolve being a mixture of things and appreciating them all, but it doesn't seem to have happened.


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