Profile for Merrie > Reviews

Browse

Merrie's Profile

Customer Reviews: 5
Top Reviewer Ranking: 13,912,435
Helpful Votes: 28




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Merrie RSS Feed

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Ocean Star: A Memoir
Ocean Star: A Memoir
by Christina DiMari
Edition: Paperback
86 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Brokenness restored, December 27, 2009
This review is from: Ocean Star: A Memoir (Paperback)
To Christina Dimari, the ocean star was the parable of her life. When a starfish looses one of its limbs, it grows them back. Christina's starfish is her heart, and her memoir, Ocean Star, is her journey of recovering her heart's broken pieces.

Born into a horrifying and abusive childhood, Christina drew her strength and courage from the ocean. The ocean star reminded her that, somehow, she could put the broken pieces of her life back together. A dolphin pod was a symbol of hope, as she and her friends connected to form their own circle of protection, watching and walking with each other. Essentially abandoned by her parents and on her own after her older sisters left for college, Christina tried everything from drugs and drinking to skipping high school and nearly becoming a hippie.

When Christina met her Savior while at college, she embarked on a journey of dramatic healing. He taught her to trust Him like she'd been able to trust no other; to lean on Him for her life and her future. And then, over a span of many years, He brought her back to face her childhood scars. Through Jesus, she was able to look at her life squarely, understand how it had bruised and shaped her, and finally, forgive and forget. She tried to extend healing to her siblings, as they all coped with their past. And then, Christina reached out to share her story of hope and healing with girls everywhere.

Ocean Star reads like a gripping novel as we follow Christina's path from hurt to healing. While she neither dwells on her past nor tells it graphically, she also doesn't skip lightly over the part of her story that so shaped her. Ocean Star is a thrilling story of redemption, as God reached down, rescued and redeemed the broken pieces, then held Christina up to shine as a beacon for others.

([...])


The Namesake: A Novel
The Namesake: A Novel
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.60
1373 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars The Journey of an Immigrant, December 27, 2009
This review is from: The Namesake: A Novel (Paperback)
He does not want his name. He does not want to be the quiet, obedient boy he's always been. He does not want to be a part of the Bengali traditions and parties and arranged marriages.

He is Gogol Ganguli, child of Indian immigrants, and one who wishes to be as American as his birth certificate. He seizes control of his own life at eighteen: he changes his name to Nikhil, and attempts to reinvent himself through college. He parties, he drinks, he has a few long-term and disastrous love affairs. And yet, after all his trouble to disengage himself from the life he has grown up with, he begins to return to it after his father's death. Their shared heritage is his only link to his father, and he returns to some of the Bengali ways and customs. He wants to be near his family again, and he starts dating a Bengali girl.

The Namesake, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, is ultimately about family themes. Heritage. Rebellion. The search for an identity. Love. The Ganguli family must learn to relate to each other, to overcome challenges, to accept each other's choices.

The book provokes discussions and realizations about the difficulties faced by immigrants; it draws the reader into the heartache of living in two worlds and being a part of none of them. It showcases the struggles of a family seeking to find where they belong and trying to adapt to the new culture around them, and it also displays the trying times that are a part of any family and will resonate with any reader.

Ultimately, however, I found this to be a depressing book. Despite how hard he tries, Gogol seems to be running in the wrong direction, and by thirty he has made somewhat of a mess of his life. It's a starkly realistic book, which perhaps is not my taste anyway, but it does open the reader's eyes to cultural complexities.

([...])


No Title Available

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Caught Between Cultures, August 2, 2009
He does not want his name. He does not want to be the quiet, obedient boy he's always been. He does not want to be a part of the Bengali traditions and parties and arranged marriages.

He is Gogol Ganguli, child of Indian immigrants, and one who wishes to be as American as his birth certificate. He seizes control of his own life at eighteen: he changes his name to Nikhil, and attempts to reinvent himself through college. He parties, he drinks, he has a few long-term and disastrous love affairs. And yet, after all his trouble to disengage himself from the life he has grown up with, he begins to return to it after his father's death. Their shared heritage is his only link to his father, and he returns to some of the Bengali ways and customs. He wants to be near his family again, and he starts dating a Bengali girl.

The Namesake, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, is ultimately about family themes. Heritage. Rebellion. The search for an identity. Love. The Ganguli family must learn to relate to each other, to overcome challenges, to accept each other's choices.

The book provokes discussions and realizations about the difficulties faced by immigrants; it draws the reader into the heartache of living in two worlds and being a part of none of them. It showcases the struggles of a family seeking to find where they belong and trying to adapt to the new culture around them, and it also displays the trying times that are a part of any family and will resonate with any reader.

Ultimately, however, I found this to be a depressing book. Despite how hard he tries, Gogol seems to be running in the wrong direction, and by thirty he has made somewhat of a mess of his life. It's a starkly realistic book - which naturally is a little depressing - but it does open the reader's eyes to cultural complexities. Additionally, Lahiri's writing style is beautiful, and she keeps the reader engaged and caring about the characters, whether or not he particularly likes them.


Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life
Mama, PhD: Women Write About Motherhood and Academic Life
by Caroline M. Grant
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.64
70 used & new from $3.09

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From women who have gone before: balancing the Mama and the PhD, June 30, 2008
In today's world, a Mama, PhD, is (at best) an awkward thing to be. The glistening Ivory Tower is a place of the mind, and a place they try to make a disconnected mind. It is the realm of the intellectuals who are not busy with the physical realm. And the realm of motherhood is, firstly, a physical one. Making the two opposite spheres of "All Mind" and "All Body" mesh is an intense juggling act made worse by the academy's continued unfriendliness towards women, and in particular, mamas. If you try to balance both, the academy says, they must be in worlds as separate as the Mind and the Body. Parallel tracks that never, ever cross - and it would really be preferable if you'd just choose between one or the other.

And that's where this book comes in. As the Introduction explains, "With no easy solution for the struggles they encounter, women take a variety of different approaches as they attempt to reconcile family and academy." The essays anthologized are real women sharing their stories of bringing together both hemispheres, the Mama and the PhD; of women who have chosen to put one on hold for the sake of the other, and of women still deciding. They talk candidly of the difficulties and the sacrifices, and share how they've come to terms with their decisions regarding motherhood and the academy. There are stories of women who have not only not chosen, but have brought the two halves of themselves together into a whole. The last section of the book, "Momifesto", shares brighter hopes for change and a new future for the Mama, PhDs. And in the essay with the same title, women considering this balancing act will be encouraged by the compilation of ten things the authors wished they'd known.

In short, "Mama, PhD" is a necessary book for any woman considering, muddling through, or interested in the shaky balance between motherhood and the academy. And yet, while this is geared specifically for those in or through graduate school, many of the themes - balancing work, careers, and children - will ring true for women in the working world as well. It's a book where the authors write honestly of their struggles and consequent decisions, one that will make you better informed about the choices you may face (or have faced), and one that will spark plenty of discussion. But even more, it's one that will leave you encouraged, as you read the stories of those that have gone before.


How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel: And Other Misadventures Traveling with Kids
How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel: And Other Misadventures Traveling with Kids
by Melissa Balmain
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.36
147 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic anthology of travel-gone-wrong, June 27, 2008
Everyone has their traveling stories - the tales of hopeless airline snarls, getting lost with a little one and no time to spare on a road trip, or taking on the super-human effort of packing everyone in your family up for a vacation only to find out that the hotel never actually noted your reservation and doesn't, in fact, have a room for you. Those are the kinds of stories you'll laugh at in about five years. Or maybe ten.

With this delightful anthology, you get the laughs without the personal disasters and expense. How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel is packed with stories that will ring true for anyone who has ever negotiated unfriendly traveling conditions, or companions. Have you ever found yourself playing Toddler Jukebox, non-stop, on a four hour roadtrip? Elrena Evans has, and informs you that you can sing "ABCB Spider" exactly 488 times. Ever found yourself identifying with Holly Korbey's husband when he suggested to his toddler that the reason behind the rain on the day of the Great Airplane Trip, two days before Christmas, was because God was laughing at Mommy so hard he was crying? The excellent essays include stories of all the travel extremes, from knotty airline travls during holidays to a week's vacation with three little ones to the beach, to a mommy-pilot taking her daughter on her first plane ride (as co-pilot, no less), to traveling Europe with a cranky teenager who refuses to speak English or pull out a map when lost - a sure givaway to the tourist status.

This book will give you a light dose of humor - and perspective, if you've been lucky enough to avoid such traveling misadventures. The best stories are the ones that everyone has experienced in some form or another, and this book won't disappoint.


Page: 1