NonFiction Book Club Learning Joy From Dogs Without Collars by Lauralee Summer Buy book: $15.12 In a memoir of a life in which nothing is taken for granted, Summer tells a moving story of triumph over adversity. Imbued with the wisdom of a woman who has seen life as a homeless girl and as a student within Harvard University's esteemed walls, this is a stirring tale of the power of the human will.
"Learning Joy From Dogs Without Collars" is a wonderful title. It is nice to know that poor people can make it big, but poverty is relative. A hundred years ago in this country, most people had to work really hard and still didn't have anything. And what about people in other countries? There standard of living is very poor, but they are sometimes happier than those who have money in this country. Obviously, money isn't everything and neither is a higher education. I read an email today from someone who is a very learned professor and he doesn't have the slightest faith in the Bible. What good is a higher education when it fills you with doubts about something that most people should cherish? This is an interesting story and I like the way the author credits her mother's love for helping her to go so far. Look forward to reading some more.
I. too love the title! Yet another book that has caught my interest!
We too were very poor, due to my mom's mental illness. I did well in the work world, and other incident entered my life in steady streams. When I turned 64 last year, I began college. I feel like I have entered a new life. I also love the way the author writes.
As I stated in my last posting, we were very poor because of my mother's mental illness. One thing I got out of that was never feeling secure about material goods. I tend to have to have two of everything on hand. I also went through a devastating fire, which really set me back-I don't think I am as attached to things quite as much, as I have seen how quickly they can disappear. I am through with my behavioral sciences, but have never thought to analyze my mother. Maybe it is because she died when I was nineteen.
This seems like such an intelligent read offering some unique insight into the very important issue of poverty in this country. I can't wait to read the rest...and pass it on to my brother-in-law doctor who seems to believe everyone should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
I am interested in her life, but some of what she writes is too squirrely, reminds me of "One Flew Over the Coocoo's Nest", which I found hard to read. I think it is the timeline that is hard for me to stay with.
This is the first time I've written a post. Is it okay to be critical? Or is this just impolite?
Recently, friends and I were reading S. Minot's Evening, and the language there was similarly "squirrely," if you will. I found it, as well as the difficult-to-follow diatribes of the abused fellow in the movie Mystic River, to echo exactly the confused, illogical state of mind of the mind-blown. So I guess I want to protest at the word, squirrely. Because most of us don't listen to the ramblings of the schizophrenic in the street, for example...but their relatives and caretakers do have to.
I am interested in the story. But, I think despite the author's obvious intelligence and ambition, she just isn't a great writer. Her sentences try so hard, and with such a great story to retell simplicity would allow the reader to come to their own conclusions. Just my opinion.
I am also curious what her politics are, I get the feeling that she may be quite progressive...I may have to get the book just so I can find out more!
The author has peaked my curiosity. I will buy the book to see how things work out.
Regarding her writing style, I think one thing to remember is that for the majority of the story that I've read, it was the mother narrating it. Perhaps the author wanted to keep it as close as possible to the way that her mother told the story to her. Giving us insight to her mother's frame of mind.
I was just wading through Installment 5 when I found an overwhelming need to post. The author's writing is way too cloying. The best part of this week's book is when her mother is talking. There is none of the poetic, flowery, I'm-trying-so-hard-to-be-literary prose. The content is interesting, and from the week's reads, I have the utmost respect for the author as a person. A writer she is not, however. I mean really -- would a woman who has lost as much as her mother did, having just told this painful story to her daughter, be "willing the tears down her face?" I don't think so. I would guess she was trying to hold them back, to show strength the way all mothers do.
Definitely not a book for me. (Now my other two selections this week are keepers! Fiction and Business)
As a child of the baby booming 40's, I was taught that family life is mom and dad, brothers and sisters, grandma, cousins, uncles and aunts. I read Jane and Dick and Spot story books. Thusly, indoctrinated that this is the way life should be; now seems rigid. A single mom in the mid seventies suddenly became more normal, but homelessness was a new emerging lifestyle in American, although it continues to be on the rise. Our once beautiful American Dream has been trashed into something else, the poor are invisible but they continue to pay the bulk of the taxes and keep the corporate big wigs on top. I am therefore interested to learn how Ms Summers met her challenges. The book is well written and so--------interesting. I like her, she is the salt of the earth!