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am 3. Juni 2000
Alice Steinbach and I sat with each other on a train that I was taking from Washington, D.C. to Boston. It was the day before Thanksgiving, 1998. Looking rather excentric and very much in control of herself and her suroundings, she sat next to me. She immideately dropped the lap tray attached to the seat in front of her and started to grade papers. Not knowing Steinbach at all I knew right away that she was a teacher. I leaned on the window, covered from my nose to my toes, with my new black rain coat that I had purchased for this trip. The trip was for my daughters anf myself. Setting bahind Ms. Stienbach and myself, they were thlking about the Vangou show that we had gone to in D.C. and discussing what Boston would be like. We were making this an art trip. Yhe Monet show was our next stop. Steinbach stopped the car porter and demanded that he do something about the temperature. "Can't you see how cold itis in here?" Opining one eye, I looked at the man in uniform. He very nicely told her that if the airconitioner was turned down that it would be unbareable for the crouded car. She knew she was fighting a loosing battle, but with protest. This women was interesting. I liked her right away. She knew what she wanted and she went after it with a vengance. I asked her if she was a teacher and she said yes. We started talking about her son's and her work. I had no clue that she had won a pulitzer and didn't find out for a while. We discussed my husband. He is a blind lawyer and was not with us this Thanksgiving because he was training with a new leader-dog. I explained the process of families thking these dogs as pups raising them for nearly two years, then bravely turning them back in to the leader-dog school. I said they were the hero's. She disagreed with the term "hero" in this situation but, she asked if she could write this down for future referance. Maybe she would follow a family from start to finish. Before leaving the train she told me she had just dropped her manuscript in the mail for a new book. She told me that she was anxious about it. At her stop, she stood up and gathered her things. She leaned over to me and wispered the name of her new book. I wished her luck, she smiled and disappeared. What a great book. She is what she writes. If you read this Alice I hope to run into on a train again.
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am 16. April 2000
As you can tell by the 5 Stars I loved this book and was loathe to reach the end, I was so involved in the life and travels of Alice Steinbach.Reaching the last words of the first section, Paris, I was sad knowing her other places of destination could never be so interesting, I was wrong, each had their own charm. The one *reservation* I have, I don't think she succeeded in finding her way as the independent woman she was seeking. She seemed to find at each stop along the way others to validate who she is. That said it takes nothing away from the book...One comes away knowing Alice and feeling she would be a wonderful friend. In fact I must have three more copies, two for friends I know will love it and one for myself..the copy I read I marked so many passages and made so many notes in the margins I want another copy in pristine condition not only wonderfully readable this book is lovely to look at, each chapter begins with the picture of a beautiful postcard...and the messages Alice wrote and mailed to herself, a wonderful idea! Another book by Alice Steinbach I read and enjoyed Miss Dennis School of Writing and Other Lessons from A Woman's Life, I saw no mention of this on the book jacket or in the book but I think after reading Without Reservations the reader will want to seek out more by this writer.
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am 16. Mai 2000
"Have I got a book for you!" Those were the exact words Jeannine from Border's in Oak Brook, Il said to me after I told her I spent April in Paris. She immediately went to find the book and brought back a copy of Without Reservation, which is the staff choice of the month. I would have never known about it. That was yesterday, May 15. I started reading it last night and it is enchanting. I had to stop myself from reading the whole book. I want the reading journey to last longer. It is smooth reading - I love it. And I believe every word she writes because I was there. Her descriptions are vivid and alive - you see the pictures in your mind. Her thoughts about a woman's life are just as beautiful - I know just what she means. She's like a friend.
I am going to take my time reading this. I love her courage - she's doing exactly what I would love to do during my lifetime.
Without Reservation is a book I will buy as a special gift for my family and friends.
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am 14. Juli 2000
I was given this book to read and was told that Alice Steinbach was a Pulitzer Prize winner. Sure enough, in the back of this book, was that information. I was, because of this, expecting some very thought-provoking, talented writing. Instead, I found that the author wrote as though she were a high-school student. The one thing I did find interesting was that she traveled around the world. I DID like the format and pictures in the book. They were undoubtedly appealing. There just wasn't enough there to hold my attention for long. Ms. Steinbach's ideas are certainly interesting, but they have not been presented in a fluent, educated manner. I am only unhappy that there are no half-stars, becausif I could, I would give Ms. Steinbach ONE AND A HALF STARS, to give her at least a little credit for her work.
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am 25. Mai 2000
I really wanted to like this book. I am about the same age as the author, and I spent much of my 30s and 40s as a solo traveler. But I found this book full of cliches, self-justification, and name dropping. Sorry, folks....
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am 29. Juli 2000
I picked this book up in the book store because of its attractive dust cover! When I began to read it, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Not knowing anything about the author, I read with no preconceived notion of what to expect. Every page took me to the world the author was traveling in and I could put myself beside her in the restaurants and the places she described. I have traveled in the cities and countries she vists and her writing captures the magic of travel and the enjoyment that can be derived from letting yourself be absorbed in a world different from your own. I will read and reread portions of this book anytime I want to travel without leaving home.
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am 17. April 2000
This book is beautifully illustrated with postcards the author wrote and sent to herself; and it is a wonderfully written account of her travels through Europe. But it is much more than a travelogue. Ms. Steinbach weaves details of her travels along with memories of the past and her hopes for the future.
This book is an inspiration to those women who have always been defined as someone's mother or wife and long to be recognized as their own person, undefined by relationships. So whether you yearn to become an independent traveler in the literal sense or desire to travel through life on an independent journey, this book is well worth reading.
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am 7. Mai 2000
This book is excellent and very easy to read. As she travels through Europe, Alice makes many keen observations on life & the changes within herself. We all tend to get into a rut with our daily routine and jobs and forget to enjoy life and the beauty around us. This book helps to awaken your soul & reminds you that life can be fun and interesting!
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am 15. Mai 2000
Don't give in to the temptation to inhale this in one sitting...savor it and linger over each adventure,a few pages at a time. A lovely book which brings the reader right along in the emotion and insights of her experiences. It was so expressive and well-written I almost felt I had a suitcase to unpack when I turned the last page.
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am 25. Juli 2000
Perhaps Ms. Steinbach is not altogether to blame for this self-indulgent book that's so annoyingly larded with first-person pronouns. Let's point the finger at the publisher, who should have assigned a REAL editor to this project, not some marketing specialist masquerading as an editor, as is so evidently the case here.
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