Churchill Warrior: How a Military Life. Reviews & Opinions
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This is a massive, one volume biography of one of the twentieth century's real Titans The book encompasses Churchill’s youth, education and early military career, his journalistic work, and his political leadership. As one would expect, the narrative peaks during WWII. Churchill's leadership during this dark time was superb. He was one of those historic characters who was EXACTLY the right man, in the right place, at the right time!! His imprint on globe history and Amazing Britain is indelible. The span of the man's life and his accomplishments in several diverse fields is absolutely astonishing. All of this is driven home by the author's perfect prose. The narrative is augmented by Churchill's own speeches and excerpts from his writing. The man's words leap off the page and engross the ever, I was disappointed and I fully recognize that my rating and my opinion runs counter to the vast majority of other reviews posted here. My concerns are as follows:- I thought method too much trivial detail was spent on Churchill's youth. While I understand how necessary youthful experiences are in shaping and defining later attitudes and motivations, I came away with small insight into young Churchill's soul. I was disappointed that not more effort was spent on sharpening the focus of his relationships with his parents and family. Less zone taken up with Churchill's report cards and more attention to the "inner" youth would have been, I believe, more profitable for the reader.- My major problem with the book is that it is in no method objective. Churchill's every move, every phrase, every political position, every forecast is treated as outright success or draped in positive connotations. Failures that are attached to Churchill's name are actually the fault of others or unavoidable circumstances. There was no "what if"analysis. No discussion of alternatives. Everything Churchill thought or did was presented with such certainty and free from doubt. Frankly, half method into the book I really got sick and tired of reading about the multiple unbroken successes that an larger than life portrait that the author presented.- I didn't feel that I obtain to know Churchill "The Person" His fears, doubts, motivations, feelings, themes and emotions were presented, but not fully developed. Churchill is depicted in almost mythic proportions I didn't obtain to know Churchill as a true living creature, beset by doubts and emotions. It was like looking at a coloring book....images are presented in outline, you obtain a reasonable idea of the subject, but it is still an outline, not fully developed by color and shading.I greatly have fun non-fiction that is balanced, objective with sufficient discussion to provide the reader with perspective, insight and thought provoking scenarios. After I finished this book, I learned what Churchill did, what he accomplished but not who he was.
Martin Gilbert is Churchill's authorized biographer. I learned the history behind the man. I read a lot of biographies. What I found with this book that the author offers method too much detail in telling the story of the prime minister. The book offers much praise for the prime minister while exploding Churchill's his enormous ego. For those who like to read about every detail of the man, this is the book for you. The author has presented his whole research in the book.
As influential as any figure of the 20th Century, Churchill was simply an wonderful human being. Gilbert does an perfect job of telling the story of Churchill and his key role in a lot of of the happenings that shaped the globe as we know it. A bigger than life mind and personality, Churchill was like no one else. If you'd like to learn about Churchill ... or have any interest in 20th Century history, including both globe battles and the Cold War, you will very much have fun this book.
This book is a detailed look at the life and times of one of the greatest men of the twentieth century. It defines the amazing victories and defeats that Churchill had to live through, as well as the unfair criticism that all successful politicians have to obtain through. The author provides both sides of the stories and the happenings to present the situation as well as the alternatives to support shape the decisions taken. In particular, the author brings out the foresight and perseverance in his political and military views which were unrecognized at the time to illustrate Churchill's primary philosophies. While at times dwelling a small too much on his vacations, tours and paintings - making some parts of his life seem dedicated to himself - it also presents the wonderful work ethic and vigor that defined Churchill's political and literary career. All in all, a very long, but deeply interesting and enlightening look at a amazing man.
I have never had the patience to read books. I love Military History and saw the film "American Sniper". From there, I learned about the various Seals involved in the movie. I read the book that the film was based off of and expanded from there, reading about the various soldiers involved in Seal squad 3. "A fighters faith" was written with genuine passion and respect in the honor of Mr. Job's life. I don't know much about other authors but can say that author Robert Vera wrote this book from his heart rather then his mind. Im a single father with minimal free time. I read the book after my children were in bed. Needless to say, I finished it in 2 nights/mornings. Not to sound mean, but I couldn't wait for my children to obtain to bed on the 2nd night so that I could continue reading the book, ultimately finishing it lol. What separates this book from most Military inspired books is that it isn't all "gung ho". It's about experience, heart, faith, friendship, emotion, honor, and inspiration. When you think your life isnt going the method you had pictured or if your feeling helpless regardless of what your going through, then read this book. One thing from the book that will always stick with me is, "one min Job was an elite soldier that the opponent feared then the next min Job could no longer see his wife's face and required assistance just to use the restroom". Job lived through firefights, warfare and a heavy face injury only to pass away a few years later from the hands of an incompetent medical "professional" in which he trusted, just miles from his own residence. The entire story hits the heart. I strongly suggest taking a break from playing your cell phone apps and posting on your social media websites and read this book. Ive never met Mr. Vera and am not affiliated in any aspect. This review is 100% genuine and from my heart.
This is a heart wrenching story of a SEAL assigned to squad 3 who fought alone side Chris Kyle, the sniper. A sniper shot Job in the head. He lost sight in both eyes. It is an wonderful testament of faith. He had such a positive attitude, enjoyed life, laughed, married, was expecting their first kid and was attending college. In fact he received his diploma the day he died in the hospital. He felt that all was accomplished because of his faith in God. He had created it through several operations. He died in a civilian hospital in Arizona while he was undergoing another surgery because of negligence on the part of the hospital staff. Job is often compared to Job in the Book of Job in the First Testament of the Bible. It is well written and a very amazing read. I loved it and highly recommend it.
In honor of all those who protect us from all foreign opponents , I, from the Public Safety sector, retired, wish to thank Ryan Job, Marc Lee, Chris Kyle, etc., for answering the call when my 343 FDNY brothers died while running INTO the NY Trade Center as everyone was running OUT, on 9-11. The men and women (Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighters) who came before me, worked with me, and are still in the war (mentally/physically), inspire me to not take life for granted, ever, as I remember and HONOR them in my own small ways, as I go thru my private everyday life. Because of their lives, their teachings, and sacrifices, I was fortunate enough to create it out the other end of the tunnel fairly intact. Robert Vera's special relationship with, and his refreshing portrayal of Ryan Job, is a very touching and private tribute to a man who has given everything he had to his brothers, his family and friends, and to countless others like me, retired and otherwise. I want our country would read and be renewed thru this God-inspired book. Thank you, Robert Vera, and thank you, Ryan Job, "good and faithful servant." RIP & Ke Akua Ho'omaika'i Oe (Hawaiian for "God Bless You")
This is a amazing read especially when you think things are going wrong in your life. God has plans for all of us if we will just obtain or eyes back to our Lord and Savior . We all leave a legacy in our lives, be it amazing or bad. Our life is to do as Jesus told us in the three words He told us to do( seek,save and serve), Peter took his eyes off of Jesus when he was walking on the water to him and started sinking,Ryan Job didn't same as Job in the book of Job in the Bible and in the end all came out winners We need to remember and head in the directions God wants us to go , leaving a legacy for God and all who follow us
If you were ever feeling like you were drowning in the deepest ocean and couldn't survive.. This book Is meant to be read by you.. If you are trying to figure out who you are and what your life purpose is.. Read this book.. It will more than support you.. It will INSPIRE YOU. IT WILL HELP YOU GAIN BOLDNESS AND BRAVERY, TEACH YOU WHAT LOVE, FAITH, COURAGE, AND BEING A CHAMPION AND WARRIOR IN GOD'S EYES IS LIKE NO MATTER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.. NO MATTER HOW WEAK YOU FEEL AND LIKE YOU CANT PUSH ANY FURTHER.. GOD IS ALWAYS THERE.. JUST BEING THERE FOR SOMEONE AND HELPING THEM GROW IN THEIR JOURNEY CAN BE MORE IMPACTFUL THAN ANYTHING ELSE SOMETIMES.. NEVER PUSH ASIDE AN OPPORTUNITY THAT WILL NOT ONLY BENEFIT YOU, BUT SO MANY OTHERS TOO.. IT ALL STARTS THE HEALING PROCESS AND THE POWER OF TRANSFORMATION BY SHARING OUR STORIES SO THAT OTHERS CAN SEE THAT THEYRE NOT ALONE, GROW SPURITUALLY, MENTALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY, AND HEAL IN TIME TOO.. ITS NOT A FAST PROCESS, BUT YOU WILL KNOW WHEN YOU FEEL CHANGE..you CANNOT read this book WITHOUT Laughing, Smiling, or Crying.. Countless TEARS DO NOT DO THIS BOOK JUSTICE FROM RYAN'S LIFE PERSPECTIVE.. TAKE YOUR OWN DAILY STRUGGLES AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND WALK A DAY IN HIS SHOES AND SEE HOW YOU CAN RELATE.. I 've gone through a lot of challenges and times where I didn't think I'd obtain through, but I did only by the mercy and saving grace of our strong God.. Think of Ryan and every other person who sacrificed their lives for us so that we could live the next time you're facing a difficult circumstance or struggling.. Always have FAITH. GOD will ALWAYS BE BY YOUR SIDE NO MATTER WHAT BECAUSE HE LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY..
Heartwarming and eyeopening book (memoir) about faith, combat wounded and life in the true is is from a civilian's perspective and should be read by everyone. I am the spouse of a 20 year military veteran. This battle is very true to people that are involved with the military. Books like this give civilians a peek into the military life and it gives hope to military veterans. Ryan "Biggles" Job was a amazing SEAL and a amazing American. There are a lot of veterans in your zone that are just like Ryan. ~ Please reach out to the veterans in your community, read this book and share it with others. This book will "move" you. I laughed out loud at the part where Robert and Ryan where shopping in the mall for a bonus for Ryan's wife (page 113). I also cried in a few locations (you will too). I really felt like I got to know the people in the book. The peek into their lives was truly moving. I love the entire book but I must say that the thing that I wish to stay with me forever is found on pages 189-190, "Lesson's from Ryan's Life". This book is not just for Christians or military people. It is for everyone! I highly recommend that you read or listen to this book. Maybe even donate to Camp Patriot, the charity that is mentioned in the book. God's blessing to us all, especially our military members!Addition: I do not wish to give any spoilers but I can add more details. The 14 chapters in 3 sections. Part one is TESTED, part two is TRANSFORMED and part 3 is REDEEMED. The book is 190 pages and the sources are noted well, at the end of the book. The Forward is written my veteran and singer Keni Thomas (the forward is a must read too) There is a Timeline on paged 193-195. I recommend that you look at this prior to reading the book and then refer to it as needed. The Afterword on pages 191-192 gives a small more insight and some closure. I was curious about Trey and satisfied to know how he is doing too. Therapy dogs are truly amazing.
When you purchase a book on the recommendation of a friend, you are often disappointed, but not this me, it is an simple tearful read and gives all the glory and honor to our Heavenly Father and makes itclear that there are no coincidences in our spiritual walk. Every life that you encounter brings you anopportunity to see and demonstrate the Love of Christ. Obtain the book and create it a nice bonus for someone.
I cannot express in words how this book impacted my life. The story of Ryan Job's faith is like none other, and Robert Vera does an exceptional job at telling Ryan's story. This book will create you realize how precious life is, and question your relationship with God. It will place things into perspective and create you realize that faith is everything. I did not wish the book to end. I can only give it five stars. If ten were an option I would give it ten. A must read. It shows the real hero of our brave men and women who serve this amazing land, and their willingness to do what it takes no matter what life throws at them. Our Navy Seals are an elite group of men. They are fighters on and off the battlefield. The word "No" was simply not in Ryan Job's vocabulary. You will not place this book down once you begin it. Perfect
Sometimes it seems that Ryan Job is the forgotten character of the War of Ramadi. When he was injured, most of his brother's in arms were sure that he would be the first SEAL KIA in Iraq. It is only God's grace and Ryan's tenacity that allowed him to survive his horrific wounds. I first heard of Ryan's story when I read "American Sniper" by Christ Kyle. Chris's brief mention of his mate left me wanting to know more about bert Vera's book fleshed out who Ryan was, what motivated him, and why he was willing to war and even die for his country and his fellow warriors. My favorite part of Vera's acc is all the detail about Ryan's life, from his recuperation and rehabilitation, learning to embrace a visually-impaired life, until his untimely death. This book does a amazing job of highlighting Ryan's deep faith which allowed him to not just survive his injuries but to thrive and rejoice. I highly recommend this book.
I absolutely loved this book. It was a really fast read, that I hated to see end. The story contained within these pages will touch your soul and remind you of what is amazing in this world. Strength of hero isn't something that comes along often. This story introduces you to plenty of people that exude it in their sleep. What an wonderful glimpse inside of an wonderful group of people.
This is a well-written and engaging acc of Churchill's life as a soldier and military director. There are surprising info - such as his role as an active defender in the siege of Antwerp during the first Globe War, and the fact that he was the original inspiration behind the creation of the tank (already well known...) and also of the British airforce (I didn't know that!). His failings as well as his strengths are detailed with laudable amazing balance. All-in-all an perfect addition to the Churchill canon.
haven't finished this book buit it's a amazing insight into the man himself. From his stubborn upbringing to his arrogant, ungrateful, selfish yet occassionally compassionate ways, it's interesting but not surprising at azing read.....
“Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945” is one of the most latest biographies of Sir Winston Churchill to have been written over the past three decades. It's also one of the best. Authored by distinguished military historian Carlo D’Este, and published in 2008, this fine biography focuses on Churchill as a military officer and battle leader, and locations specific emphasis on his five years as Britain’s Prime Minister during Globe Battle II.D’Este sets the scene for his story by covering much of his well-documented childhood and early career. The neglected son of aristocratic parents, Churchill was both troubled and troublesome. Always childish and petulant, he demanded his own method in everything, and usually got what he wanted by sheer force of determination. In a man less brilliant than he was, these traits might have consigned him to obscurity. But Churchill succeeded in spite of his a lot of amazing flaws (bordering on hubris), becoming, in turn,a decorated troops officer, battle correspondent, Member of Parliament, Minister of State in different government ministries, and ultimately Prime Minister.“Warlord” is a prodigious work of scholarship that clearly demonstrates D’Este’s exhaustive research and brilliant writing abilities. D’Este reveals much info about Churchill that I never knew before, even though I’ve read several other Churchill biographies. D’Este paints a portrait of Churchill that is, in equal measure, respectful and critical of its subject. Churchill is admired for his strength, stubbornness, courage, and indomitable will, and criticized for his childishness, petulance, impetuousness, and ill temper – even during his years as Prime Minister. Through it all, however, D’Este makes clear one point: without Winston Churchill, the Allies would not have been victorious in Globe Battle II.An exceptionally well-written and fascinating book, “Warlord: The Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945” gets my highest recommendation.
A retired U.S. Troops Lieutenant Colonel, Carlo D'Este has had a second career as a historian. Using his military background, he has picked a narrow topic: the U.S. Troops in the European theater of Globe Battle II and written some of the most informative and readable accounts of the battle in print. His biography of General George S. Patton, Jr. is a work that anyone thinking of taking up this art form should read as an example of how to do it right.With "Warlord," D'Este has moved into fresh territory, British military history. The readers should know that the story that unfolds on these pages is primarily European in nature. Although over half of this book is about Globe Battle II, the author is examining the British experience and that is a various subject from what he has done in the past. Pearl Harbor does not take put until page 556 (out of 700 of text) and even then, only as a dependent clause.D'Este's research is extensive and creative. He has looked at Churchill's student records at Harrow and examined the papers of Lord Moran, the Prime Minister's private physician. In between, he hits all the necessary e quality of coverage that comes from this exploration of the historical record is uneven, though, ranging from brilliant to merely adequate. The book is extremely weak on the Globe Battle I years. Serious Churchill buffs/fans/students will be disappointed. With that point made, most Americans know small of Globe Battle I and the discussion of the Amazing Battle should be more than adequate for general readers. D'Este also builds on this material. The book is much stronger when it gets to the Globe Battle II years, and the author connects much of what Churchill did in the 1940s back to the happenings of the 1910s, something that is uncommon in American writing on the Prime Minister.A trait in D'Este biographies is that key figures other the principal topic have their moment to walk across the pages and voice their opinions and criticisms. The same is real here. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, the head of the British Troops for most of the war, often clashed with Churchill. D'Este pulls no punches and avoids the mistake of a lot of biographers in siding with his subject, but he is better at narration than analysis in these moments. A number of other British generals, a lot of of whom have ended up as forgotten figures, also obtain their moments and a generally sympathetic hearing from Churchill's biographer.A clear strength is D'Este's efforts to develop Churchill's personality. He makes some keen observations, and the reader gets a amazing idea why Brooke found the man at times so infuriating and at others so ly--and this is no small thing--this book is an easy, simple read.
A most informative book. I won't test to describe the individual because much of that has been done in a lot of volumes written before Churchill's influence in the affairs of WW II. He certainly was aware of the mounting threat of a Germany. He predicted it long before the blitzkrieg took place. He warned the globe of Hitler and no one was willing to listen After the pasting that the Allies suffered during WW I, the British, Americans and France were not anxious to enter the fray. Churchill's native land endured the German bombing for a number of years. The only thing that stalled Hitler's advance into England was the separation of the two powers by France and the effects such a move might have on America's interest. Churchill spent nearly a year shuttling between London and Washington soliciting munitions and funds. Lend lease was a success, but actual American involvement was never initiatedChurchill had to referee the political imbalance when France and its tow parties were at odds. He kept an eagles' eye on Russia and he quietly maneuvered America into the fray. If anyone was all necessary in the ultimate Allies victory, Churchill was the leading figure in my estimation. He was the glue who kept it all together.
What created Churchill such a amazing leader was his military background, he was never a General or in command of a amazing army. It was the plain soldier in Churchill that created him great, the one who puts duty above self and serves the other in time of danger. That soldier in Churchill spilled over into his political life more than he thought and that created him the amazing man he became! Carlo D'Este has done a amazing job of portraying Churchill from early life to the end of WWII, he truly was the greatest figure of the 20th century.
A remarkable story of a beautiful, scintillating, spoiled. Totally selfish woman whose belated attention inspired her neglected son to greatness! Inside Churchill was always a little kid crying for his mother's love, and trying to please her!
I actually wasn't expecting much of this book, but as I spend a amazing deal of my time in bed I figured it was worth purchasing a used copy. This can hardly be called a confident bio, as the author first debunks Randolph's syphilis, then gives current medical opinion that he probably had it, then yes, then no...similarly with Jennie's purported lovers. I don't believe the author ever reconciled Jennie's undeniable mesmerizing charm with her blatant weaknesses...all too a lot of authors and "reviewers" these days seem to have lost the ability to view a historical topic in the time and milieu in which the topic lived. The whole point of the Victorian era was the large double standard of life in the highest upper class with that tolerated (or usually NOT tolerated) in the lower classes. (I'm perpetually amazed by reviews I see here in which the topic under discussion is judged based on "today's" standards...the joy of immersing oneself in history is sinking into another, alien time, trying to understand the thinking, the standards of living, the politics. It's ridiculous to read history for any other reason!) By all measures, Jennie was sui generis, and the ONE amazing point created by this author is that she could not possibly give the heavy amount of attention and help to Randolph and her kids at the same time. He would not have tolerated it, because he was jealous of his own children, and their ambitions as a couple to create their fortune via politics could never have been realized. Jennie also had to spend an enormous amount of energy, ingenuity, and time keeping Randolph's early and very evident psychological deterioration quiet for as long as she possibly could, which was in itself a terrifying tight-rope walk, for which she did not obtain the credit she deserved from him or his family. Ralph G. Martin was able, 30 years ago, to give a very balanced acc with fewer resources, of a woman who was heroic, infinitely charming, beyond gorgeous, musically endowed with amazing gifts, an wonderful horsewoman, gifted with the ability to create and hold friendships with both men and women that lasted for decades, unselfish towards others, and yet be very frank about her self-centered nature (but really, with HER gifts, who wouldn't be?!), her grasping attempts to create money, her appalling inability to figure out how to live within her means, and ALL of her negative qualities, and yet give the reader an understanding of how the mix combined to create such an unforgettable person. I was not able to figure out what exactly Ms. Sebba thought about Jennie, so fragmented was her presentation of her. If you've done a substantial amount of reading concerning the major players in the Victorian era, this book won't be of much use to you. If you haven't, this book won't be of much use to you, either. It's lacking in coherence, and Martin's two-volume book is the best I've read thus far.
I had read the 3 volume Ralph Martin Book before this bio of Winston Churchill's mother. That one was better written but both would never have been written at all had Jennie not been the mother of a amazing man. She can be forgiven for having sought some romantic consolation being married to the alcoholic horror of Randolph Churchill.But what I found most repehensible her was the total lack of any maternal feelings for her son when he was growing up. She ignored his pleas to visit him at boarding school & left him in a put at first that sounds like something out of a Charles Dickens nightmare. His nanny, Everest, was the only perosn who gave Winston the love that he craved. When Everest was dying, to Winston's credit as an adult, he came to her death bed & allow her know how much he valued her love for him during his boyhood. Jennie totally ignored her existence once she was not employed anymore. These incidents tell the hero of e only took an interest in the adult Winston because she could introduce him to necessary people socially & all his life Winston romanticized her as some "distant star" which she never was except in being distant. She was a social climber (that is why as a spoiled American heiress) married the dissolute Randolph...for his title & she got what she ston later told his son Randolph (also a pathetic arrogant alcoholic) that when having dinner with him one night..."You know, I have spoken with you more this one evening than my father spoke to me during my entire life".Now you can imagine what even some attention from his mother must have meant!Jennie was also a spendthrift with no social conscience & her so called business endeavors all led to bankruptcy.I am sure she created a amazing dinner companion & could be quite entertaining had no depth of e telling of her life is amazing for historical background of the times in the British upper classes & for Winston Churchil's life. Not much more.
I have revised my review of this book after much thought and upgraded it to 4 stars from 3. Anne Sebba has compiled an exhaustive collection of info about families of class, specifically the Jeromes in America, and the Churchills in the UK from the 1870s on. The two cultures could not be more different! In spite of losing the Revolutionary Battle less than 100 years earlier, the British upper and titled classes still regarded Americans as homogenous bohemians -- no distinction between landed gentry Virginians or Kentucky hillbillies, Manhattanites or rural farmers, or factory workers. Rich, poor, cultured or ignorant, it mattered not to the British. And we thought the French were snobs! Anyway, this is an interesting recounting of the goings on then, and really, in spite of the fact that Jennie was Winston Churchill's mother is the fact that she deftly (in my opinion) navigated the two worlds while living her married life in England ( and Ireland for a time). The morals were strangely loose, having affairs being OK if you're married, but not if single. Same goes for divorce -- I know -- go figure! It's totally backwards and frankly quite hard to imagine. These details, which no longer exist in cultures anywhere create this an interesting read -- more involving than you might imagine if you think this is just about Winston's Churchill's family lineage. No -- it's far more. I don't judge the motherhood problem with Jennie -- it was the common practice at the time. Thank goodness they had the highly competent Ms. Everest! Anyway -- bear with the tangential info that veer off a small sometimes, in the name of providing perhaps a bit too much information. The traditions of England were just amazing. Reality TV in this day and age does not approach the wild goings on back then! Probably Winston Churchill, while we all know was far from perfect, yet he was such an awesome leader -- it could be because of the nanny system and Mom being a star from a far far distance. Jennie -- she was remarkable -- hope you have fun it!
Lady Randolph Churchill, Winston's mother, was quite a woman. A product of her time, education, social standing, and wealth, Jennie's storied beauty enabled her to lead a life that was as surprising as it was incomprehensible by today's standards. She engaged in numerous liaisons and affairs, ostensibly to help, first her husband, and later her elder son, achieve their own goals in life. Somewhat scandalous even for British society of the day, Jennie moved in the best circles, hosted the finest parties, knew all of the right people, and wore the most fashionable clothes. Despite all of these advantages, Jennie was an incredibly self-involved woman who appeared shallow. Her shortcomings as a mother underscored this view. However, the obvious illness of her first husband, and the not good choices she subsequently created in marrying men her son's age, as well as her own health challenges, created her situation poignant. This author could have used a judicious editor, as the writing sometimes detracted from the story. It is awesome that one of the so-called greatest statesmen in history is the son of this woman. Winston adored his mother, which tells a amazing deal about her as well as him. .
I search this period in history very interesting. The fact that a lot of American women married into British aristocracy during this time to save their family name and homes isn't known to many. I also search this particular book interesting as Jennie was Winston Churchill's mother. I've read several books about him but didn't know much about his immediate family until now.
The life of Jennie Jerome Churchill is emblematic of the adage, "truth is stranger than fiction." No one could have created up the happenings of her life - both the tragic and momumental. As one reads, one is sturck by the wonderful selfishness of her social class within her generation. One also frequently wonders, " how did Winston Churchill survive his turbulent childhood, much less become the statesman the globe has grown to admire?" Anyone who appreciates history will search intriguing nuances and info in this book.
American Jennie by Anne Sebba is the story of the wonderful life of Lady Randolph Churchill. American Jennie Jerome fell in love with Brit Randolph Churchill in a whirlwind courtship. After overcoming parental objections on both sides of the match, the couple wed and quickly produced son Winston. But the romance faded soon, and both engaged in affairs. They pulled together to obtain Randolph into the House of Commons, but for most of the rest of their lives, they lived apart. Sebba digs through newspaper accounts, family records, diaries, and letters to produce this well place together biography of an unusual woman. Jennie was well known for her beauty and her indiscretions in a time when women were still considered a husband's property. She produced a literary magazine, helped obtain both her husband and son seats in the House, traveled extensively, and cared for her husband at the end of his life. Randolph, who suffered from syphilis, was a difficult man, capricious even before the disease attacked his mind. Sebba tries to defend and protect Jennie where possible, but even in the best of lights, Jennie was an atrocious mother who ignored her children. In the end, the picture that emerges of Jennie is of a woman determined to live life on her own terms. She produced children, but that didn't create her a mother. She was married, but was a better wife to her lovers. She lived very much in the moment, always in debt and buying Worth gowns. Sebba does her best to create Jennie likeable, and to an extent, she succeeds. Jennie would be a unbelievable addition to a dinner party, but not someone you could count on as a friend. A couple of complaints: there are not nearly enough images of Jennie. For such a popular woman, I'm sure there are a lot of more out there that would have shown her recognized beauty to better advantage. Also, Jennie and her sisters spoke French, so they peppered their letters to each other with French phrases. Sebba also throws several in her writing. I don't know French, so I often felt a bit left out. Sebba easily could have included translations in brackets, because the meaning was usually not easily gleaned from the rest of the passage.
American Jennie in the US, and Jennie Churchill in the UK - the mother of Winston Churchill - the title says it all. Anne Sebba has made a hero who had to triumph in two countries. The way is simplistic, almost from a 1950s children's comic. The goodie is Jennie nee Jerome, from an American, and therefore liberated background. The baddie is her husband, Lord Randolph Churchill, from an English, aristocratic background. His supposedly becoming infected with syphilis early on in the marriage increases his badness. It gets worse when his career as a Conservative politician develops and he spends long hours in the House of Commons. Beautiful, well-dressed, extravagant, piano-playing Jennie is justified in taking a lover and triumphs as the nnie is promoted as the engineer of Winston's success as a politician and globe leader during the Second Globe War. Yet she died in 1921, when he was still in disgrace over the failed attempt to capture Gallipoli in 1915, which plan he had masterminded. It would be another 20 years before Winston, by then in his mid-60s, would become British Wartime Prime Minister. One would have thought that his wife, Clementine nee Hozier (Clemmie), who he married in 1908, would have warranted more credit by Anne Sebba for her role in his success.And what of Winston's younger brother John (Jack) Churchill? Ignored by Winston in his writings, as though he didn't exist he died in 1947 in relative obscurity. Anne Sebba has written Jack out of her biography in a single line. He was the illegitimate son of 7th Viscount (`Star') Falmouth. In other words he wasn't really a Churchill so neither Jennie nor Winston could be expected to take any responsibility for him. Winston and Jack are as alike as two peas in a pod, both Churchillian, both grandsons of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. Jack's two other kids were John (Johnny) a well-known artist, and Clarissa, Countess of Avon, wife of the former Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden. Now in her 88th year, Clarissa has just written a very interesting book Memoir, published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson. Clarissa and her two siblings were in no doubt that their grandfather was Lord Randolph Churchill, even though Anne Sebba paints him as a angry syphilitic. What rot!I have it on amazing authority that one of the major copyright owners of the Churchill papers is so disgusted with Mrs Sebba's book that they have withdrawn permission of copyright. From the point of view of an historian, a real biography of Jennie, Lady Randolph Churchill, has still to be written. In fact, Elizabeth Kehoe's book, Fortunes Daughters, the story of the three Jerome sisters, Clara, Jennie, and Leonie, is a far better read having been more carefully researched. Also, while not perfect, look at Dark Lady, the biography of Jennie Churchill by Charles Higham, for a more balanced and historically accurate portrayal.
This is not a political book, neither democrat or republican, liberal or conservative. IT IS A LIFE-SUCCESS BOOK. Faulkner’s dedication says it best: “My deepest gratitude to my parents, Shirley and Bob. You taught me everything there is to know about courage, grace, and love.”Faulkner has an expert and private method to share those life lessons. Critics -- hers is NOT a FOX news approach; it is the approach of leading memoir writers and teachers-writers-leaders in the private achievement field. I’ve read and listened to hundreds of motivational-success books and programs in that field. This book is at the top of my admired and follow-through list. I know it will continue to inspire and change me for the better.Just look at the table of contents and the 9 RULES and see what could zero in on your needs and interests. “Deal with Your Demons…Devise Your Mission…Unleash the Power of Integrity…Think Like a General.” Best of all is Rule #9 – “When Things Fall Apart, Believe You Have the Answer.” First hand Faulkner witnessed in her father’s life of service “a whole range of feelings from disappointment, frustration, and anger to profound sadness.” I can tune into that and the stories she shares reach my heart as well as my is book promises to support me “be powerful in the broken places” and how to “learn by heart.” Faulkner shows how she dealt with racism and gender bias, being a black woman. From her sharing these lessons, I am strengthened. In fact, at times I was near tears with the courage and wisdom she shared with me. How she reacted to and dealt with the death of her mother, her dear dad’s wife, took me over the edge with her honesty and faith.Out of all her truthfully-told private experiences, Faulkner is helping me “build my emotional foundation.” With the private losses I’ve experienced in the latest few years, I really need that. It’s like Harris Faulkner is talking to me with with her heart and soul. TE: Some readers of this review, and some who haven’t read it at all, will automatically treat it negatively because of Faulkner’s tie-in with FOX NEWS. Others will do so because of their political hatreds. If that’s you, you lose. Sorry to be so direct. But think about it, will you, please? I wish you to be blessed as I was and will continue to be.
Like everything else in this globe of divisive opinions, it's either a 5 star (likely) or a 1 star rating. Kris & Meah need to hurry into their safe locations before they experience another Snowflake meltdown. Read the book, girls! It was written to support YOU.
I'm extremely excited to read this book! I'm a large fan of smart, strong, Conservative women. They are such a delight and there's never a dull moment! They're either incredibly unbelievable or they are quite evil and devious. I married a amazing one and she has saved my *ss on more than a few occasions because she runs the odds and probabilities and looks into the future whereas most people (especially Progressives) can't even see what's right in front of their own noses. My lady plays 3D chess while others do tic tac toe. It's breathtaking to behold. It's also another of very a lot of reasons why Conservatives are so amazing and Liberals are ruining the country with their utter stupidity! :) (Notice I did not say Liberals lacked intelligence. I said they're STUPID, which is absolutely true)Harris Faulkner is one of those rare people whom as far as the eye can see, is wholly admirable. She might beg to differ but that is just another positive trait in a long list. You can also just see that she is an 'operator'. There is something awesome about the method she executes and you just know that the gears are meshing perfectly, the oil is pumping and it's full power Scotty... :) I am DELIGHTED to be afforded the pleasure of a window into the software and operating principles that create up her formidable personality and soul. I'm sure it will be an eye opener and a rare opportunity for me and 'almost' anyone who reads it!Yes, yes I have not read the book yet (how could anyone? It's too soon!) and I know that I am breaking all the stupid rules. So SUE ME. I don't care. I am just that excited about the prospect of reading it that I have to express myself. I did read her first book; Breaking News: God Has A Plan. So I know that her faith, competence, courage, intelligence, stubbornness, fearlessness and delightfully sweet personality is simply something I want to expose my own spirit to once again! Harris is WONDERFUL! Enjoy!
Could relate to all of it! Wife of CDR USN Retired and 5 military brats for whom we have ordered copies so their spouses, significant others, and kids could glean the origins of their unique qualities! Thank you Harris!
As a military brat, this book is a farce. I mean it's a clever idea for a self-help book and hits all the major buzzwords and has a number in the title, but this is not what it's like to really grow up in a military family. This is some idealized self-help book, nothing else.
concept is awesome, can't wait for updates 👍👍 EDIT: of course. I just saw that progress isn't saved on my device. please fix that. And allow us choose at least some things like gender, name, etc. I understand that true life doesn't work like that, but still some people like to continue story of their own life. .... regardless of fulfillment of my wish, android game is/will be still awesome...
A fascinating look at the a lot of facets of a person's personality and actions, taken as either profoundly awesome or inept. We see the strengths of weaknesses of a person that was a major historical figure--a man who created a major impact on his beloved England when they required him most as a leader.
This is the first time I've known an author before I knew the book. I've been following Gretchen Rubin's "Happiness Project" throughout the writing, publication and now it's phenomenal success. I love her style! I have a mate who has read just about every book ever written about Winston Churchill, but I was able to surprise him with a fresh one by an author I know (and he doesn't). Score!
The home library I discovered this terrific book in has now been destroyed by the Boulder, Colorado fires just now! This is possibly the best biography I have ever read-short, balanced in praise and cricism and darned fun to read. I've passed it on to my son, and will recommend this book to a lot of as soon as he returns it!!
I thought this book was great. I loved every word of it. The only thing that bothered me was Mr Richards's lack of insight into how his drug a use impacted those around him especially, Mick Jagger. I can't imagine what it was like for Jagger to watch his mate turn into a junkie. Typical of an addict who gets better, Mr Richards expected those around jhim to fall in line when he finally decided to quit. "Here iI am, I'm better and I expect to be treated with respect!" I love Keith, but he needs to have empathy for his old friend. I don't doubt thati Mick is a handful, but he was probably s scared s***less that Keith was going to die.I have always loved the Rolling Stones and I could not place this book down. As for Keith, a small understanding those who place up with his antics would not go astray.
Biographies/Autobiographies are one of my favorites to read. I LOVED this book! It was so well written that it took me by surprise. Now don't obtain me wrong, I always knew Keef was an wonderful talent. This book, however, took me on an amazingly candid journey with a deeply smart human being. It was a fun read...full of tales of wild partying all over the world, writing songs, and also about mates and family. It's simple for us regular folks to forget that popular people are HUMAN! This book just touched me in that method and I could almost hear him narrating along. Melody has always been necessary to me and I've even seen the Rolling Stones when they toured in '94. Reading the book has me listening to more Stones songs than ever before. I'm satisfied that I finally had the time to indulge and read! Two thumbs up!
What a amazing read! I have been a Stones fan for decades, but never really knew a whole lot about the band's early history or private lives. I was familiar with Richards' reputation as a hard partying poor boy, but this book elevated him into one of my life heroes. I have read a dozens of rock n roll autobiographies and this is by far the best. Richards could have produced a fluff piece that only showed him in the best light...that is not the path he took. He didn't cast himself in the role of character in every situation. Instead he allowed the reader the opportunity to join him on his journey from awkward school boy to aging rock star, complete with poor decisions and poor yond the info of his life, Richards also provides endless info about the music. I am not a musician by any stretch if the imagination; however, even I was able to grasp the subtle info of the Stones' sound that are highlighted throughout the book. I always appreciated the melody spilling from my speakers, but now I have a better understanding of what makes the Stones sound unique. I also have an enhanced knowledge of the dedication that went into producing the songs that have meant so much to me through the years. I will never listen to a Stones album in the same way.I was also impressed by the method Richards detailed the musicians that have influenced him throughout his life. Some I was familiar with, some were fresh to me. I can say I have a much better understanding of the role the Stones played in popularizing the blues and selling it back to America. It really is a shame that the pioneers of the blues never got the recognition they so clearly deserved... due to prejudice and racism. Richards also created a point of recognizing the legions of studio musicians and touring members that have kept the melody flowing for over fifty years. It is always amazing to see credit given where it is e story of the Stones wouldn't be complete without addressing the tensions between players that have arisen throughout the band's history. The interpersonal problems with Brian Jones, Mick Taylor and Richards/Jagger are all covered, but don't appear to be sensationalized. Richards' determination to live his life on his own terms while striving for elusive perfection locations him in the fine company of Hunter S Thompson, Hemingway, and Roger Waters. All heroes in my humble opinion.
I was very surprised to search that I liked this so much -- Keith is a fabulous, hilarious storyteller, and an insightful observer as well as participant in a lot of of the heavy cultural changes that occurred in the latter half of the 20th a Stones fan I also enjoyed his behind-the-scenes accounts of the recordings of so a lot of amazing songs and albums, in addition to the usual tour stories and excesses galore.I will say that Keith remains in denial about certain happenings in his life, and doesn't seem to wish to admit that his drug/alcohol habit was responsible for much of the chaos in his ill, it's his book and he's entitled to view his life and Mick any method he wants.He managed to produce a amazing autobiography, one that sets the bar high for the a lot of copycat accounts that are sure to follow.
Amazing book. Very detailed. Mick Jagger described it accurately, "very tedious." Still a amazing book from and about a rock d the story about him being wasted on heroin, (not a amazing thing), in a studio, when the police came in searching the put while he hid under a desk.
This book is hysterically funny in parts, moving, informative, ith's "voice" is delightful. I had no idea what he was really like. The guy is deep and he gets it, life that e stories he tells like the one about driving to morocco for drugs paints such a stage for the reader as to what Keith, those around him, and the globe was like. Just reading about what his freaking vehicle was like was worth that chapter!IAnd the story of the stones being pulled over in Arkansas after being warned never to drive around southern states and how they got out of that mess is vividly described and will create you laugh in amazement about what goes on behind the scenes or at least what the 60's were 's interesting to read about Keith and mick's relationship. And then the Canadian prime minister's wife being a stones' groupie and running around their hotel rooms. e narrative is so rich and not a single page is slow.I love Keith now. I am so glad he opened up and now we obtain to know him and the history of that time period.I loved hearing about his parents, his schooling, how he met the stones and the Beatles and on and ter i read it, I got the audio book. That is a hoot, especially the part keith reads himself!You have to read this book!
One of the most entertaining and delightful books I've ever read. Something akin to sitting down and hanging out with Keith Richards for a few days. I was disappointed when it was over because it was such an awesome read. Keith has an wonderful memory and a amazing bonus for writing. You will not regret reading this book.
Since I am not a fan of Keith Richards' notorious drug and alcohol abuse I had no plan to read this book, and when it was suggested to me by a mate I refused to consider it. After hearing amazing reviews of the book, and high praise from my reading mate (who is also a blues guitarist), I decided to give it a shot.I was in for a very pleasant surprise. Mr. Richards has written a very detailed and well constructed biography that begins with his early youth and ends in about 2009. In that time period he gives a candid acc of how he developed his poor boy persona (multiple beatings at school, bullying from peers, poverty, drugs and alcohol), the early years of his own musical education and experimentation, the first meetings and jams with Mick Jagger, and then the development and growth of the current line up known as the "Rolling Stones". Interspersed with his first person acc are a lot of excerpts from other mates and musicians with whom he shared experiences over 60+ years. There are photographs, from a school boy portrait of an unhappy looking Richards of about 10 years old, to a very early black and white of the Rolling Stones wearing silly, matching, early 60's costumes (their manager at the time was trying to fit them into the Beatles mold), to concert photos, intimate family pictures, and finally the haggard appearing Richards that we are familiar with today. I came to the conclusion that I had greatly underestimated this man, his contributions to the melody world, and his defining role in making the Rolling Stones the amazing band that they are. My least favorite aspects of the book is his obvious sexism and disdain for women, and the recounting of his serious on-going alcohol abuse (which he does NOT acknowledge as a problem). To his credit, Richards does repeatedly warn the reader of the dangers of using Heroin. But the detailed musical history of his musical influences, his own work and collaborations and that of other bands and musicians of the time are well worth the read and very informative. I also enjoyed his obvious wit and entertaining writing style. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves music.
Life, in broad application, is always full of surprises. LIFE, Keith Richards' autobiography, is no less laden with the unexpected: First, that the book is even readable, and it is--eminently so; second, that the type story that has been told numerous times by countless other survivors of hedonistic excess would keep any interest at all, and it did--well past the halfway point when interest only wavered under the burden of sheer repetition. Another surprise: The glimpse into the real musicality of Richards as demonstrated by his extensive knowledge of musical structure, technique, and style, however unorthodox the learning process may have been. And another: That the creation of some of the Stones greatest hits is either glossed over or completely ignored. And yet another that's maybe not such a huge surprise: Richards' determination to set the record straight regarding "rejuvenating" blood exchanges, heroin use, and the relationship with e "civilian" facet of the book is plodding at times, just as is most civilian life, but that only adds to the legitimacy--the truth-telling theme of the memoir.James Fox, as co-writer, has done a stellar job of organizing what had to be an absolute glut of material in a method that respects and maintains Richards' voice. A must-read for Stones fans, LIFE deserves a unique put on the shelf holding the most definitive documentations of rock 'n' roll as a lifestyle.
Yiyun Li is a Chinese-American writer who moved from China to the US when she was 24 years old. Although her mother tongue is Chinese, from the very beginning she started to write in English. She has won a lot of awards for her writing. This is her r a decade, Li tried to be a excellent mother, writer and full-time worker. During those 10 years, she used to write between midnight and four in the morning --- and then one day she just could not do it anymore. She became depressed and even tried to commit suicide. As a result, she was hospitalized twice. She wrote DEAR FRIEND, FROM MY LIFE I WRITE TO YOU IN YOUR LIFE for two years, and her intention, at first, was to argue for and versus suicide at the same time. But once one starts reading this magnificent memoir, it soon becomes obvious that this is about much more than that. The reader will not search out the info of Li’s depression or suicide attempt, and she does not even write too much about her hospital stays. There is no recollection of her dark times, because this is a memoir about AR FRIEND does not have a linear plot line. Instead of providing insight into her childhood and youth in China, move to the US, depression, hospital visits and healing, Li takes the reader on an intimate journey. Yes, bits and pieces about her life in China and her hospitalization are scattered throughout the book, but what dominates are her thoughts about writing and references to the literature that she read during her healing process. In a way, this is a homage to Li’s favorite authors in whose works she found solace in her dark times. Thus she refers to such writers as Turgenev, Kierkegaard, Hardy, Gorky, Green, Chekov and Mansfield, and a whole chapter is devoted to William Trevor and their is is neither an simple nor a quick read. It is pregnant with difficult thoughts and reflections on life, death, writing, the relationship between a writer and his/her characters, and the writer and his/her readers. Li also poses a question about identity and language, because she writes solely in English, her second language.With her recollections of the books she read in her teens, Li transported me back to my own adolescent years, a time when electronic devices didn’t dominate our lives and we could surrender to reading. The book rouses a desire to read not only all the authors she mentions here, but also her own AR FRIEND is a beautifully crafted memoir in which Li masterfully combines childhood memories with the life and work of amazing authors and her own intimate thoughts on life, death and writing. Although it is divided into nine chapters, each dealing with a various issue, the book should be read as a whole. Only that method will one obtain the complete ed by Dunja Bonacci Skenderovic
This is actually not a total memoir, but rather an overall exploration of literature and criticism: “Dear Friend, from My Life I Write You In Your Life” is the first book of non-fiction by Chinese American writer and award winning novelist Yiyun Li. Throughout the book Li injected brief info from her life, writing career, showing the lingering effects and impact of her mental illness. Li resides in Oakland, California with her husband and riving in the U.S. from China, Li felt like a fresh and liberated person. Leaving her career as a scientist, she would graduate from the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop, doing most of her early writing between midnight and 4:00 AM. Li began by sharing info of her lonely childhood in the family apartment in Beijing. Family responsibilities likely included helping care for her mentally unstable mother; her father was described as “fatalistic” and “stoic”—teaching Li meditation when she was 11. Li’s sister was a med student during the Tiananmen Square Protests/Massacre (1989) and came to the aid of individuals during the hunger strikes in Beijing.Early on, literature played an necessary role in Li’s life, her book is a testament to the therapeutic effects of literary influence, direction, solace and the connection with literary figures having related situations as our own. Li traveled to midland Ireland, to study the prolific novelist John McGahern (1934-2006): he had lived in “quiet desperation” partially isolated from omas Mann was sharply critical of the double suicide of Austrian novelist/playwright Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) with his second wife Lotte Altmann. Li recalled the suicidal urge and the intense need to stop pain. Vague references were created throughout the book of Li’s mental health hospitalizations, which seemed like temporary shadowy background ssian novelist Ivan Turgenev (1818-83) had never married, instead obsessively loved a attractive opera singer and befriended her husband. A lot of of the author’s and poet’s Li profiled were lesser known single, solitary, individuals, and her inspiration from their work was easily recognized: though readers may not personally relate, agree, or identify with her topic matter or views. For example Li wrote...“A writer and reader should never be allowed to meet. They live in various time frames. When a book takes on a life for a reader it is already dead for the writer.” It was a amazing thing that Irish author William Trevor (1928-2016) didn’t share this view: he corresponded with Li, and met her for lunch in Boston in 2007. Li had his first note to her framed, and is one of her most prized though Li’s books have been translated in over 20 languages, Li realized a “private salvation” in “disowning” her native language, and felt that a lot of Chinese (from China and the west) viewed her as a “cultural traitor” for not producing more writing in Chinese. During her mental episodes of un-wellness, Li dreamt of her life in Beijing, becoming an American citizen in 2007. This book took about two years to produce and must be read (and re-read) carefully to absorb the meaning. Li’s thought process was often difficult to follow, her reflections could be bleak and depressing, and it was easier to feel sympathetic towards her. Li teaches creative writing at the University of California. Honestly not recommended for the common reader—this book would be very beneficial for literary mental health study and/or research. ~With appreciation to the Seattle Public Library.
Author Yiyun Li suffers from debilitating depression and has created attempts to end her own life. This non-fiction book is like a journal of suffering and also survival. Li explores deeply the different works of literature that sustain her when she needs the most help. As others have mentioned, the writing is powerful and attractive if a bit disjointed occasionally (befitting a journal). The literary references sometimes sent me to Google to learn more about the works Li was writing about, but that’s not a poor thing. Just be prepared to do a bit of the work here alongside Li. All in all, a worthwhile (if not easy) reading experience.
This book sounded intriguing; a memoir of a fiction writer, from China, musing about her life after several suicide attempts. Her writing forms her thing I found odd, from the start, the title of this book “Dear Friend, from my Life, I write to you in Your Life” is a phrase taken from another writer. While it might capture what she felt this book does, it was odd to use another author’s (Katherine Mansfield) phrase as her title, however later reading in the book it starts to create is book wanders from the begin all over the place. At times it was hard to follow, other times it was spot on in capturing the separation between people and what forms another’s reality and what is authentic. At times it is clear, the author is struggling with a sense of who she is and gets fixated on a concept or two (melodrama). Her mother clearly had some mental illness and I’m sure impacted the author’s sense of the globe when she was one point, the author writes about another author: “Reading her is like trudging through a frozen snowfield in the dark. Even though her words seemed to have been written out of the want to communicate, together they take on a frustrating opaqueness.” Unfortunately, this book has felt this method to me, at several points including the chapter, that contained this sentence. The author talks of reading different authors when she was young (and questioning if it was appropriate) and their similarities, but it wavers around a lot. However at the end of the chapter, her writing is very clear (discussing her difficulties in dealing with her mother). As I have said earlier, the writing ebbs and onically though this author is often concerned with giving away some of her self, from her Mom, reading her journals, to denying her fiction sometimes could be autobiographical, she has provided this book, which truly is. It is odd to me to go from so hidden, to then so transparent, especially at just a vulnerable time her in life. While my admitting to some self consciousness might seem as a universal complaint that all could understand, a lot of of this author’s concerns are very private to her, so again even more so ly I have had enough. After a chapter where the author debates different other authors (whom I don’t know and some I do) existentially on and on, I lost complete know that mate that gets obsessed about a boy who is not interested and she has to parse every conversation for every nuance. This is what reading this book is like to me. Painful and tiresome and I quit at the 2/3rds mark. I only got that far because I wanted to review the book.If you are into philosophy this book might be for you...It is clearly not for me. Gave it 2 stars as the writing is amazing in spots..but only a few.
The title gives intimation and hope of a two method conversational thread developing between friends, but that's not how this book works. It's a memoir in the traditional sense, with the twist of suggesting the author could be speaking to her younger self, when she struggled with suicidal thoughts and spent time in a mental health facility. With the benefit of hindsight, she is detached enough to befriend and view her experiences more dispassionately and appears to be written partly as an ode to writing influences, being littered with literary references to such an extent it had me checking out the original sources of several of them, and downloading a sample of their books. Such is an avid reader's response to the power of words!There's also an ongoing monologue on the art and craft of writing itself. These snippets, plus those from different writers' books, diaries and letters, which spoke to the author during her challenging journey—and reveal where this book's title originates from—were what intrigued and interested me the me books captivate from the start. This one is more of a slow burning imprint on the mind and a gradual warming to the necessarily disjointed narrative. It took me a while to fully appreciate the nuances of Yiyun Li's pared back prose and poetic phraseology. But once I did, I began to truly admire her elegant writing style and the cleverness of its execution. Rather like fine wine, this is a book to savour slowly and devour in little doses to appreciate its superb flavour and finer qualities.
Raw, lyrical and somewhat disjointed this is far from your average book. In a lot of instances it reads more like a journal albeit one made by a talented writer blessed with the bonus of poetic expression mixed with angst. This is one of those books in need of just the right time, just the right mental state, just the right mood to read...it's not entertaining, it's not all that informative, it's not even something that will resonate equally with all people. On the other hand, there is a touching openness able to transcend the distractions of every day life and share the inner suffering so often ignored, overlooked and unaccepted.
Li is an award winning fiction writer, but this is her first non-fiction work. It’s a memoir, written over two years that saw Li hospitalized for suicide attempts. While it jumps around in time a lot, it’s still obviously been smoothed out a lot because things flow e author writes about her childhood in China during a time when free thought was not encouraged, with a mother who had significant mental problems of her own as a narcissist. She speaks of her decision to change from being a scientist with an assured income and green card, to being a writer. She tells us some about her stay in a mental hospital and about her feelings that took her there. Mostly, she writes about reading and writing, and the books and authors that have been necessary to ’s a sad tale, mostly. But it engaged me and the prose is so well done that it sucked me in for hours.
This is mainly a treasury of literary allusions as a partial explanation to how we live, and can change our lives, hopefully for the better. It's the kind of book that is amazing from begin to finish, but can be read on nearly every page at any time. A small difficult, perhaps mainly for those without a powerful background in amazing writers. Amazing for English and Philosophy majors. The author described some desperate situations, and early deaths, mainly from China, and Fresh York City. A lot of amazing authors are noted, as their fictional works become almost a beacon for the author's life. The book is a self-education course for not only the author, but for those exploring the highs and lows in life, as the writers mentioned are interpreted. A bit rough at times, and you can tell the author is of the MacArthur Prize variety.
I love this book. At first, I was skeptical, but as the larger picture emerged, I was moved by how intensely the author considers her life and her relation to others, especially through literature. Her self-examination is unsparing, and her insights have a clarity of expression that comes from her struggle to write them in her fresh adopted language, English. I found myself writing out passages, something I rarely do.
Unbelievable fact-filled book you will wish to read over and over. All of the medieval life subjects written about by the Gies are excellent, by the way. This book, in particular, is fascinating because you obtain a clear picture of what life was like in a city. Not a castle, not a village, etc--an actual functioning city. Before all of the conveniences we have fun and take for will cringe at medieval mistakes and raise an eyebrow or two at medieval innovations. How was waste dealt with? Speaking of waste, what was the political dynamic in a city? How did a town function with fairs, disasters, theaters, funerals, and such going on?All kinds of interesting questions obtain their answers in this book. Perfect research and necessary black and white photographs combine with a skilled writing style to create this a superb IT. No question, it is worth much so, check out:1) Life in a Medieval Castle by the Gies2) Life in a Medieval Village by the Gies3) The Knight in History by Frances Gies4) Everyday Life in the Middle Ages by Paul B. Newman5) The Medieval Fortress by KaufmannEspecially the latest two. They are nearly perfect.
I did not keep this book for free.I paid for it...and truthfully, I didn't pay enough. I'm going to create this clear for all the skeptics...I reallydislike history books since they are boring. For that matter, I dislike documentaries for the same reason...is book is fantastic. You will search yourself compelled to hold turning the pages. There is just the right amount ofdetail to fill in all the blanks for what life was like back then, but not so much that it became tedious.If you read this book, you will search ways to bring up the content with friends, because you'll wish to talk about it.Easy reading, and very informative.
I absolutely love this book, and the other book by the Gies, Life in a Medieval Castle. Really informative, yet simple to read. A amazing sense of humor which never gets in the method spices the pages wonderfully. A true, well researched acc of life, created simple for regular people to digest and enjoy. Divided into sections such as Trades, Home Life, and such, there is an awesome amount of detail. Seriously, go obtain this even if you're not interested in medieval history; it's a amazing coffee table/ bathroom/ traveling book. You can pick it up for five minutes, learn something, smile, and go about your day. Or you can sit down and finish the whole thing in one sitting, and still wish to read it again. Just buy it
We are using this book as part of our history curriculum this year. I'd bought a copy several years ago and just never got a possibility to crack it open. I like the method the chapters are divided. It makes it really simple to portion it out to go along with the various subjects we'll be covering in our study of the Middle Ages. The wording might be a bit above the lower elementary grades but the topic matter could be easily explained because it's well-written and very simple for an older student or adult to understand.
Up front, I liked the book and enjoyed reading it in two short evenings. However, I was missing a lot of details. What were people doing in winter, summer and inbetween, any differences in lifestyle during the seasons (which is obvious for a farmer, but in the city?)? What were they doing during the numerous holidays ? What did they know about "the world" ? How huge were the families ? I could ask a lot of more questions that are not answered in the book. Also most chapters describe the life of the well-to-do , rich "burghers". Even if I understand that the documentation of the life of "upper class" is well better than that of the poor, still I would be interested in how the paupers lived and survived (they are mentioned often when they are begging at weddings/festivities/markets etc). Also there is not much info on the vast majority of the population: the people that are not rich and not not good but getting by just fine. In my opinion, the book could have been much better than it already is.
Frances and Joseph Gies are experts in this field of study. They wrote a whole series of books on the middle ages, and I would tell you that if you study the middle ages, you need this book. It does not read like a text book. The whole series was wonderfully written, and if I could give it 10 stars I would. These books are a amazing resource to go to if you need to remind yourself of those small info that if you don't obtain right, they will mess you up.
I was looking for info on exactly this town during the 12th century and this book came very close to meeting that criteria. It helped me to imagine what characters living during this time would be influenced by. I was writing a short story that took put in Troyes back in 1185. This is one of the advantages of using Amazon, I can search books on any zone of interest.
I am not steeped in studies of history, but am writing a story and need background. This book was simple to read and clear in details. I like that authors' abilities so much that I may read something else they have written. I believe that this book might have wider appeal than to historians alone - that the ordinary reader might have fun it.