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Billy
Billy
by Pamela Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.09

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad, funny, entertaining, just what I needed!, 13 Sep 2002
This review is from: Billy (Paperback)
This is a sad story of severe abuse and neglect. It is also funny; 'not knowing how to get out of a phone box'! (is a prime example) The first part is about his childhood and the abuse and neglect he suffered and survived from a number of family members. The poverty was harsh, but maybe that was the times, I'm unsure. Yet, Billy was able to survive all of this and move on. I only have one video of Billy's and there were a number of stories in the book that expanded some of the anecdotes he makes in his shows.
It is impressive that he was willing to allow deep and personal information to be published. He has directly or indirectly given a voice to those amongst us that face abuse, and neglect on a daily basis. It has provided an unwritten important message I think of something like 'yes I have been abused and neglected but look where I am now - you can do the same, you can survive!' That to me speaks volumes, it is never actually stated but the thought is always present.
There is a lot of name dropping but then you would expect it with Billy mixing with well known people from a variety of sources, actors, musicians, actresses, comedians, and interviewers. There is a large section or it appeared large about Billy and Pamela meeting, having children and getting married. Along with her PH.d and Billy's honorary one!
I found the book easy to read with quite an easy flowing style, I read it in 1 day because it was interesting, kept me interested, and I wanted to know more. The pictures were good and there were quite a number. Billy himself writes nearly 2 pages! and in that there is a comment that I will never be able to take serious any more. Billy states 'Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares?...He's a mile away and you've got his shoes". - copied from the epilogue
It would be great if he actually decides to write a companion book himself as I am sure I will be in hysterics. Throughout this book, even the sad parts had humour, it was nerve ending raw, but worth each tear in sadness and each tear in laughter. It is certainly worth purchasing; if you are a true fan I am sure you would know most of it, but I'm sure you would still find it to your taste; for those that don't it is certainly worth it! Thank you for a good book


Ten Thousand Sorrows
Ten Thousand Sorrows
by Elizabeth Kim
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.85

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ten thousand sorrows? Sadly, I would have said more!, 13 Sep 2002
This review is from: Ten Thousand Sorrows (Paperback)
This is a harrowing tale of one child in two cultures. In Korea she had to watch her mother being murdered by family members. Being burnt then placed in an orphanage where she caught worms! To finally arrive in a new Country with a different Culture, language and beliefs.

One would have hoped that at least now she would have some joys, but that was not to be. She became a slave and constantly under psychological abuse. Which she does not address as in 'confronting' her adoptive parents and finding out why certain events happened, and what their thoughts were and are. She was called an 'animal' because she was sick all over a 'velvet' covered couch, what was worse was her adoptive mother repeating the story to everyone she could, more abuse, it certainly was not funny. A very scared and alone child who was ill because she had caught worms in an orphanage was now being ridiculed by her adoptive parents, this was to continue throughout her life.
It sure seemed like her adoptive parents could not understand what she had gone through and the impact it could and did have on a small child. There seemed to be no recognition of the fact she saw her birth mother being hanged. This was not discussed, however she was always told, 'you should be happy with your mum, because your birth mother didn't like you, she left you in a rice paddy'. This was hardly a warm story!
They did not allow her to follow her cultural beliefs - Buddhism, she had to change to theirs and read the bible, go to peoples houses and ask them to come to Church, she was then blammed if they would not come because it was now her fault if they went to hell. Furthermore even when she tried to get her best friend to come who was Jewish she was told her friend would go to hell because she hadn't tried hard enough to convince her.
They even taped her punishments as a child and years later she was given a copy as a Christmas present! Her own daughter was told the worm story. Emotional/psychological abuse at its worst.
Sadly because of all the pressure she faced she self harmed herself, all of which cried out for attention. Instead of seeing a psychotherapist she was taken to the church's counsellor, who stated she wasn't praying hard enough! That she aught to be happy she had such good parents because her birth mother didn't love her as she was left in a rice paddy. Some may excuse that as an act of jealousy but her birth mother was dead, how much of an influence could that be? She needed real help not another person saying if she didn't do something she would be punished by God and go to Hell.
The downside to this book is that some topics are just touched upon but very little detail was given, such as her parents response when she gave back the childhood punishment tape etc. I would have liked a little more linkage, even if it meant I would shed a few more tears. Her birth mother had said there were ten thousand sorrows and ten thousand joys in life. I sure hope she and her family are having the joy parts now.
Which may help her to write a follow up book. I didn't find the book bitchy or complaining, she listed events that she faced and lived through. We may like to believe one culture is better than another, at least now 'adoptive parents' are checked and people in general understand the need for cultural education etc.
Sadly (and maybe thankfully) these events happened many years ago, but they will be a fresh as if they happened yesterday for Elizabeth. And maybe no one will be experiencing the same pain and continous ordeal faced by Elizabeth. Maybe it is the signs of the time that ensure more checks happen before adoption or even fostering takes place. For adults to think a child could speak English on day one I still think was too much especially as they could not even say hello in Korean!
So Elizabeth, Leigh and family I wish you all the joys you have left, because if nothing else your book has highlighted the need to be careful when placing a child with adoptive parents. And the need for support when traumatic events have occurred. Thank you for allowing us to look at your life. - Take care, Michelle:-)


Alwyn Crawshaw's Watercolour Painting Course: A Step-by-step Guide to Success
Alwyn Crawshaw's Watercolour Painting Course: A Step-by-step Guide to Success
by Alwyn Crawshaw
Edition: Paperback

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, good pictures, good explanations, 23 Dec 2001
Having had only 1 two hour lesson whilst on holiday, water colour painting became very interesting. It is also a potentially expensive hobby/pastime and mistakes on purchasing items are very easy to make.
Alwyn clearly explains the basics and moves on from there. There are 28 lessons in total, so there is something for the starter to the experienced.
The only downside to the book are the actual paintings, I found them to be 'dull' but that could be the result of the printing process. This does not detract from the lessons, explanations, and the knowledge he provides. It is a must for a starter as it provides the guidence you may need to buy the right equipment. I would also 'guess' the lessons further on in the book would be of help to the experienced. You cannot learn too much.
Well worth the money!


Body and Soul - Relaxation: Resting the Mind Reviving the Body
Body and Soul - Relaxation: Resting the Mind Reviving the Body
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £4.29

324 of 331 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want a rested mind and body choose this CD!, 21 Dec 2001
I am actually playing this CD now as I type away! It is a great piece to have playing gently as a background piece of music, each piece though seperate does not distract from the overal experience. Each piece continues in some way from the next, each flowing well.
It is a great CD to play after a hectic workday, whilst having a bath. It is also very good to play softly as a background to fall asleep or for that romantic evening with your loved one!
It last 1hr so it is well worth the money as are most of the CD's in the 'body and soul' series. The CD claims to calm the spirit, restore the daily balance of life and promote contentment and well being. This for once is not an exaggeration, it really does what it claims, if you give it the chance.
There is only one down side moment and that is number 4, which initially reminded me so much of the M.A.S.H. theme music for the first few seconds, (this in itself is not bad as I liked M.A.S.H), after the first 20 seconds it is not M.A.S.H and is another relaxing piece.
Overall this CD does what it suggests and as a Stress Management Consultant I would recomend it as an aid to help relaxation. It is by no means a replacement for relaxation training, but played as background music it does help calm the mind, if one chooses to allow the CD to work.


Roses are Red
Roses are Red
by James Patterson
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, but lacks the punch at the end, 2 Jan 2001
This review is from: Roses are Red (Hardcover)
I like most of JP books and this was no exception. It is a good read, it is quick and the time passes quickly. However, this time around the characterisation appeared weak. The worst part however was the ending.
We finally find who the 'Mastermind' is on the last page, sadly however, I was left with the feeling 'what was the point?' If he had titled the book "roses are red part 1", then maybe the ending would have made more sense.
The way it was finished, you are left thinking 'where is the rest'?


Angel Wisdom: 365 Meditations from the Heavens
Angel Wisdom: 365 Meditations from the Heavens
by Terry Lynn Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, thought proving, above all else it makes sense!, 26 Dec 2000
I bought this book at a low ebb, on the anniversary of my 'foster' grandfather's death. I don't know why, the book seemed appropriate. I had no previous interest in 'angels' so it surprised me further when I decided to buy it!
Within the pages of the book great insight and wisdom is to be found. It triggers thought and practice, it allows you to adjust your thinking in a unique way. In a sense it provides a clearer and less biased look at your life.
If you want inspirational text, if you want a clearer life, or if you are looking for that helping hand to light the way. Then this is a book for you


Buddhist Chants & Peace Music: MUSIC FOR REFLECTION AND RELAXATION FROM THE FAR EAST
Buddhist Chants & Peace Music: MUSIC FOR REFLECTION AND RELAXATION FROM THE FAR EAST
Price: £4.88

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel your stresses vanish, 28 Oct 2000
This CD is fantastic, it immediatly takes you on a journey of peace and tranquility. You can feel the stresses of the day just vanish. It is great to listen to or, to just have it playing in the background. Either way you can feel the release. The first piece lasts 20mins and the second about 40 mins. Worth every penny.


House Doctor : " How To Add Pounds To The Value Of Your Home "
House Doctor : " How To Add Pounds To The Value Of Your Home "
by Ann Maurice
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.90

15 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No nonsense, brimming with ideas and solutions, 6 Jun 2000
This is such a good book, very well illustrated and information packed. Well worth the money, even if you aren't selling your home!
My only criticism is, I WANT MORE!


A Child Called 'It '
A Child Called 'It '
by Dave Pelzer
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, annoying, tearfull and very very thought provoking., 16 May 2000
This review is from: A Child Called 'It ' (Hardcover)
I have read many books on child abuse, but this one is more heart wrenching than most. It is a sad and lonely 'story' of a young child who is systamatically abused by his mother.It is also a story of immense bravery, survival instinct and the will to live.
I could not put the book down. It is a rather emotional book, though Dave Pelzer writes without emotion. I guess he has to, otherwise he may never have survived his life.
He has great courrage to write about his life, as it shows that one can survive the most horrible of crimes committed by man. The abuse, and total neglect of a child. Thank you, for your life, maybe it will help another individual survive theirs.


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