From BooklistJust in time for warm-weather reading comes Doonan's breezy, in-your-face book, in which the uppercase letters spill over from the title to be liberally sprinkled throughout, along with a splatter of exclamation marks every paragraph or so. Thus Doonan's breathless style (complete, somehow, with long, elliptical, though germane, sentences) becomes a character to equal any of the wacky chicks he has interviewed. Assembled from his weekly New York Observer column, his fashion-and-style-focused romp through Wacky Chick-dom (look out, Magic Kingdom!) will vastly entertain readers open to the wacky wisdom of a flea market fashion maven; a kick-ass, lemon-haired gossip columnist; a lizard enthusiast who hand-feeds a monster over five feet long; and a bride who emerges from an egg--and to Doonan's demonstration that these women are B.R.U.N.C.H--that is, Belligerent, Resilient, Uninhibited, Naughty, Creative, and Hilarious. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars NAUGHTY, CREATIVE, AND HILARIOUS!,
May 4, 2003
This review is from: Wacky Chicks : Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women (Hardcover)Reading "Wacky Chicks" is very much like dishing with a best friend. Of course, this friend knows everything, sees everything, and tells all about the most outrageous women imaginable. If you're lucky enough to have Simon Doonan as your friend he doesn't relate information disparagingly but rather affectionately and in delicious detail.
This all too short romp through the lives of the bold, brazen and sometimes beautiful is subtitled "Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women." Rightly so.
We meet Brigid Berlin, a rather chubby Andy Warhol adoptee who through this artist discovered an excellent venue for her exhibitionism - whether it was shooting whipped cream into her mouth or shooting mind altering substances into not-mentioned-in-polite-society body parts.
Today, according to Doonan, she can be found in a Park Avenue apartment. Gray haired and well groomed, she appears to be the stereotypical well-to-do matron. Don't be fooled. There's a needlepoint pillow which is a portrait of Yasir Arafat with the words "They're Our Cousins" on it. Companion pillows are Chandra Levy and Michael Jackson.
It seems that few Wacky Chicks age gracefully; they simply age with a flare.
Pages in this sometimes ditzy, always delightful tell-all also include vignettes about Isabel Garrett, doyenne and driver of a motor home which hop scotches across the United States with pit stops at swinger conventions and biker rallies. Whether or not she drives in the all-together is not mentioned, but she is a sworn nudist.
Someone on planet Earth has produced, written, and performed macrobiotic dinner theater; she is Jessica Porter, hypnotist to numerous celebrities. Having read this far, it almost comes as no surprise that Amy Sedaris, chief of everything of the Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy, has transformed her apartment into a woodland wonderland all for the benefit of her beloved pet rabbit, Tattle-tale.
According to our erstwhile author, "Wacky chicks are a burgeoning and highly entertaining phenomenon. Wacky chicks will change the world. Wacky chicks dare to annoy. Wacky chicks empower themselves and others without acting like blokes. Wacky chicks are having more fun than most regular chicks and all men, except maybe gay men. Wacky chicks are disapproval-immune. Wacky chicks are belligerent, resilient, uninhibited, naughty, creative, and hilarious...."
So is Simon Doonan.
- Gail Cooke
The Principles of Uncertainty [Paperback]Maira Kalman
Amazon.com ReviewAmazon Best of the Month, Octhober 2007: In 2005 Maira Kalman brought a fresh vision to Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, filling the pages of the reference classic with her whimsical illustrations. And much like its multi-talented creator--who has illustrated children's books and New Yorker covers and collaborated on fashion projects with Kate Spade and Isaac Mizrahi--her new book, The Principles of Uncertainty, defies easy classification. Is it philosophy? Art? Memoir? Travel? Sociology? The answer is All of the Above (and more). This charming collection of text, paintings, and photography presents a "profusely illustrated" year in a life, with illustrated musings that range from a young Nabokov "sitting innocently and elegantly in a red chair" to two stuffed rabbits in the window at Paris's Deyrolles taxidermy to Kitty Carlisle Hart at home in her "pearly pink palace." Delightful, inspiring, and often very moving, this little charmer is a a book you might find nestled on Wes Anderson's coffee table. --Brad Thomas Parsons --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen-like meditations on the magnificent and the mundane,
October 30, 2007
This review is from: The Principles of Uncertainty (Hardcover)Kalman's illustrations accentuate her pithy prose. Her pictures seem derived from some other time, perhaps the Impressionist era in France? They have a 19th century vibe. Think Van Gogh. Imagine Monet.
Her thoughts spring from the page as she passes through her days. Each thought evokes a picture. In her observation of a life that is mostly "normal" (if there is such a thing) Kalman connects readers with the deep reservoirs of personal feeling that we frequently fail to recognize.
This is a lovely, one-of-a-kind volume that will delight as it subtly conjures up the emotions that lie just below the surface in every one of us. Bravo!
Life Is Short, Wear Your Party Pants [Paperback]Loretta LaRoche (Author)
Loretta La Roche has helped millions of people find ways to lighten up and overcome stress. Now, in Life Is Short—Wear Your Party Pants, she gives you the tools you need to not only reduce feelings of tension, but also to bring joy, passion, and gusto into your life. Her techniques are a brilliant blend of old-world common sense and the most contemporary research in brain chemistry, psychology, and mind-body studies. Loretta gives you dozens of proven techniques for recognizing the ten simple truths that will lead you to an intense, happy, successful life: resilience, living in the moment, optimism, acceptance, humor, creativity, moderation, responsibility, meaning, and connection.
Loretta’s wisdom evolved from her own life—one filled with the demands of being a single mother of three; of starting her own business when she was broke; and of the wacky invasiveness of her Italian family. She’s like all of us: real, flawed, stressed out, and on edge. Her magic comes from an ability to not take herself too seriously, and to always shift her focus away from the self-destructive and toward the truly important things in life.
In her work, Loretta has seen tens of thousands of people who live their lives as if they’re sitting in a waiting room, hoping that their turn comes up next. This book will show you that life is not something to be endured, but is something to be truly appreciated. We need to remember how to access our inner abundance, which allows us to be heart-centered, joy-filled human beings.
As Loretta says: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift—that’s why they call it the present.”
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Celebrate Your Life,
June 16, 2004
This review is from: Life Is Short, Wear Your Party Pants (Paperback)"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." ~Friedrich Nietzsche
"Life is Short" is a book about making the choice to live an extraordinary life. It is about showing appreciation, giving more hugs and being more forgiving. Loretta explores a variety of beliefs and shows how stress is a signal to change your life. She brings out some interesting points about conversation being a deep and personal form of bonding and gives practical ways you can reconnect to family and friends.
Throughout the book Loretta shares her life, explains the concept of having a higher life purpose and promotes the idea of living in the present.
The cover and inner design is highly creative. I loved the little party pants on each page and the abundance of inspiring quotes by Mother Teresa, Ashley Montagu, Arthur Rubinstein and many others.
Each chapter has a creative title and a meaningful affirmation. Chapter 10 is entitled: "Join the Party! ("An amazing life requires connection."). Loretta discusses the concepts of stress, optimism, acceptance, humor, creativity, moderation, responsibility, meaning and connection.
Unique Topics Include:
Keeping a Joy Journal
Boost Your Word Power; Boost Your Mood
Eight Reasons We Can't Lighten Up
Ten Simple Ways to Connect Today
The list of "How we create a pessimistic life" was also humorously entitled "Ten Ways to Struggle and Live on the Dark Side." Loretta LaRoche has written this book to help you step into the light of love, laughter and living. Through her writing she shows how we waste so many hours on the dark side and gives practical ways we can step towards the light.
~The Rebecca Review
The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife [Hardcover]Marianne Williamson
The need for change as we get older—an emotional pressure for one phase of our lives to transition into another—is a human phenomenon, neither male nor female. There simply comes a time in our lives—not fundamentally different from the way puberty separates childhood from adulthood—when it’s time for one part of ourselves to die and for something new to be born.
The purpose of this book by best-selling author and lecturer Marianne Williamson is to psychologically and spiritually reframe this transition so that it leads to a wonderful sense of joy and awakening.
In our ability to rethink our lives lies our greatest power to change them. What we have called “middle age” need not be seen as a turning point toward death. It can be viewed as a magical turning point toward life as we’ve never known it, if we allow ourselves the power of an independent imagination—thought-forms that don’t flow in a perfunctory manner from ancient assumptions merely handed down to us, but rather flower into new archetypal images of a humanity just getting started at 45 or 50.
What we’ve learned by that time, from both our failures as well as our successes, tends to have humbled us into purity. When we were young, we had energy but we were clueless about what to do with it. Today, we have less energy, perhaps, but we have far more understanding of what each breath of life is for. And now at last, we have a destiny to fulfill—not a destiny of a life that’s simply over, but rather a destiny of a life that is finally truly lived.
Midlife is not a crisis; it’s a time of rebirth. It’s not a time to accept your death; it’s a time to accept your life—and to finally, truly live it, as you and you alone know deep in your heart it was meant to be lived.
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118 of 124 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoughtful and Memorable Perspective on Conscious Aging,
January 14, 2008
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This review is from: The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife (Hardcover)*****
The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife describes a refreshing way to approach midlife, not viewing midlife through glasses emphasizing decline and loss, but through a framework of endless possibility, wisdom, an embracing of and creation of new meaning, a turning towards life, a realization of the limitlessness of God, a forgiving of the past, a reimagination of relationships, and being one with the world around us.
Although this book is grounded in A Course in Miracles (as are all of Marianne Williamson's books), it is spiritual rather than religious and appropriate for readers of all spiritual and religious backgrounds. The book is not about ACIM per se, but about aging; there indeed are other books that can be read to find out more about ACIM. This work consists of Marianne Williamson's thoughtful musings on how to age well from a practical and spiritual point of view.
The book is peppered throughout with beautiful short prayers written by the author. The chapters cover the author's thoughts on the losses versus the gains of aging, family of origin issues, healing from childhood wounds, coping with regret, emotional baggage and more. The book describes how to fan into flames our passions, dreams, and inner fire that may seem to be ashes and cinders but is buried under "accumulated burdens and disappointments" by the time we hit midlife---and can be revived. How do we re-enchant ourselves with a new vision at this time of our lives?
Here is a quote that sums up the theme of this book: "Midlife today is a second puberty of sorts. The experience, including its length, is being redefined. It is a period distinctly unlike youth, yet distinctly unlike old age. It doesn't feel like a cruise to the end of our lives so much as a cruise, at last, to the meaning of our lives."
If reading the above excites you and sounds intriguing, you'll love the book as I did.
THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE [Hardcover]William Warren Bartley III
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Conversations For Transformation,
September 17, 2004
This review is from: Werner Erhard The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of EST (Hardcover)You won't get transformed reading this book. The way you get transformed is by participating in Werner's programs and by speaking and listening transformation in face to face conversations with people. That is why, for the most part, Werner's work has never been widely distributed in books, films, video and audio tape, or other media. Transformation is not gotten that way. Transformation is being in conversations for transformation.
Having said that, this book is remarkable on two fronts.
In the first instance, this very human story of how Werner's life headed inexorably from birth toward that fateful moment out of time on the Golden Gate Bridge when he experienced transformation for the first time makes for riveting reading.
In the second instance, Bill Bartley has provided intersecting chapters giving the essence of the various disciplines Werner immersed himself in before he experienced transformation and then created the est training out of his own authentic experience of who he really is. Each one of these intersections alone is worth the price of the book itself. They are masterfully crafted gems, distilling the very essence of each discipline in very few words - a difficult task for most writers in this genre, yet one in which Bill Bartley succeeds brilliantly.
The book ends after the creation of the est training and does not cover subsequent iterations of Werner's work like the Landmark Forum.
The sense of transformation which pervades this book (which you will want to read again and again and again) is palpable to the point where if you have ever wondered what transformation is, in reading this book you will almost be able to taste it.
Read this book.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man and the Conversation,
October 9, 2000
This review is from: Werner Erhard The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of EST (Hardcover)"A human being is part of the whole called by us universe , a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty...We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive." -- Albert Einstein"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
Werner Erhard is, like most great spirits, greatly misunderstood. Whether you adopt what seems to be the media's position ("He can't be for real, he must be a phony"), or what seems to be the position of satisfied graduates of est and/or the Forum ("He's as real as anyone could ever get"), or somewhere in between, you have to admit that he created something very powerful in the est training.
Yes, opinions differ on the direction of that power. Since this work was published, Werner has been the object of what appears to be a Scientology-directed smear campaign, which resulted in allegations of family abuse and an IRS judgment, both of which have been overturned.
The book was authored by William Warren Bartley III, an eminent philosopher whose achievements at the time of the book's publishing included the discovery of Wittgenstein's lost work of the 1920s, and the missing second volume of Lewis Carroll's work on symbolic logic. Although Dr. Bartley was already a thoroughly proven sleuth, it should also be noted that he had become involved with The est Foundation's work.
I found the book to be fascinating. After having read all manner of slander and misrepresentation of est (and later Forum) events in the popular media, it was interesting to see the same history logged in an honest and detailed fashion, versus the 10-20 word summaries usually proferred, i.e., "Werner Erhard, whose real name is Jack Rosenberg, was a used-car salesman who got enlightened one day as he drove across the Bay Bridge." If you're interested in what happened over the twelve years represented by the above quote, read this book.
WARNING: Even the most staunch anti-Erhard critics may well find themselves inured with Werner's beyond-honest approach to life. All of us make mistakes, but very few of us clean them up as powerfully as he did. This is not strictly an entertaining read; Bartley's chronological conversation is interspersed with philosophical examinations and comparisons between all of the dominant psychologies of the millenium.
The good news is that reading the book could well improve your quality of life. I was inspired to deepen my relationship with my wife, my family, my friends and co-workers, in much the same way that est graduates are reported to do. Ironically, neither the book or the est training are available any more. Well, you might find the book in an auction or from one of Amazon's warehouse connections, but there is definitely nowhere on the planet to do the est training any more.
Suzanne Somers' Get Skinny on Fabulous Food [Paperback]
Amazon.com Review"I got skinny on fat," claims Suzanne Somers. It sounds too good to be true--a weight-loss program that lets you "eat incredible, rich foods in abundant portions while the unwanted pounds effortlessly melt away." Most nutritionists would cringe at the idea that people trying to lose weight don't need to restrict their dietary fat, but Suzanne Somers and her "Somercizers" insist it works. Fat (even saturated fat) isn't the enemy, she claims--it's "products loaded with sugar, white flour, hydrogenated oils, and chemicals and preservatives that replace real fats." Get Skinny on Fabulous Food follows Somers's Eat Great, Lose Weight with a recap of the Somersize program, which involves eliminating "funky foods" like sugar and starch and using a type of food combining. Also included are grateful letters from followers of the program, menu suggestions, and 150 new recipes. Recipes include such fat-filled dishes as Leslie's Mushroom Broccoli and Egg Cupcakes (with butter, oil, Swiss cheese, and nine large eggs), Beef Stroganoff (with butter, oil, and two cups of heavy cream), Ginger Creme Brûlée (with butter, heavy cream, nine large egg yolks, and even the enemy: sugar), Cappuccino Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake (with cream cheese, eggs, chocolate, sour cream, and--yup--sugar). No calorie counts or nutritional breakdowns are included. --Joan Price --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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137 of 138 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book,
October 6, 2000
This review is from: Suzanne Somers' Get Skinny on Fabulous Food (Hardcover)This book had a lot of the same information as Suzanne Somer's other book on Somersizing "Eat Great, Lose Weight", however, this book has some updates to the original book as well as many more wonderful recipes. I originally started the Somersizing program after hearing that it could level out hormones. Having had two diseases that related to an imbalance in hormones, the idea that this program could balance out my hormones was the big draw. I did have some weight to lose, but that was not the major incentive for starting this program. After 10 weeks on the program, I never felt better in my life. I'm menopausal, but my hot flashes and night sweats have diminished to almost non-existent. I'm eating well and plenty and have so much energy. Oh, and I've lost 19 pounds to date. Some of my friends also started the program when I told them how well I was doing. All have had good results so far. One friend, who is diabetic, is amazed that her blood levels are the same all day. There are no more drastic spikes. Food combining can be a little tough to understand in the beginning, but once you master it, it is not that difficult to maintain. The main problem is the way that we have been conditioned here in the United States to eat over the years (pizza, white pasta with meat sauce, hamburgers, meat and potatoes and chemically altered foods that sit on the shelf for years). I highly recommend this way of eating to anyone who wants to feel healthy and slim down.
127 of 131 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, incredibly delicious, easy way to lose weight.,
September 21, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Suzanne Somers' Get Skinny on Fabulous Food (Hardcover)Just started somersizing two weeks ago but already have lost 9 pounds. I purchased Suzanne's Eat Great, Lose Weight and was so impressed with it I was tempted to rush right out and buy the second book Get Skinny on Fabulous Food. However, I decided to give the food combining a try first. Well, not only do I love it but it truly works. This method defies traditional thinking and seems miraculous. The thing I dislike most about other "diets" is the work involved. Counting grams, calories, points, always having to keep track of something! But this is bliss, so easy to follow. I only developed a weight problem while going through an early menopause but have not been successful in losing and keeping the added pounds off. I'm 49 and am now 30 pounds over my desired weight. I'm hopeful this is the key.
The recipes are healthy and delicious and I LOVE the fact I do not have to restrict oils and butter, especially in salad dressings and sauces. The Blue Cheese Vinaigrette is to die for.
So a huge thank you to Suzanne for sharing her research and knowledge with the rest of us.
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