Little Boxes / True Books | Book Review | Chicago Reader

Little Boxes / True Books 

Children's Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child,

by Carol Bowman (Bantam Books, $22.95).

Synopsis: A year after author Bowman "regressed" through two of her previous lives, she is surprised to discover that her children, Chase, five, and Sarah, nine, also remember their own past lives and can easily recount them upon request. Chase was a black soldier in the Civil War.

Representative quote: "He was not offering any more information, so I tried coaxing him by telling him how the article described black soldiers fighting in the Civil War alongside white soldiers, just as he had told me the day before."

Noteworthy flaw: When Chase, who is described as someone who "loved dictating stories" while attending a school "that emphasized storytelling," tells the tale of "two mischievous hamsters," Bowman fails to investigate ramifications of possible human/hamster linkage.

Winona Ryder,

by Dave Thompson (Taylor Publishing, $12.95).

Synopsis: The "long-overdue" first biography of the 25-year-old actress, who has already "established herself among the most significant actresses of her generation" through her brilliant work in such films as Lucas, Heathers, Mermaids, and Beetlejuice.

Representative quote: "She is still growing as a person, developing as an actress, and accumulating the experiences that will, when she is the veteran movie star she will undoubtedly become, expand into an astonishing autobiography."

Noteworthy flaw: Author Thompson apparently never spoke to Ryder or anyone close to her but patched the book together through magazine clippings, 29 of which he lists in the acknowledgments, noting that "although her private persona remains an unwritten book, her public life demands attention."

"Don't Put Me in a Nursing Home!"

by Claude Amarnick, D.O. (Garrett Publishing, $13.95).

Synopsis: All old people are terrified of being put into nursing homes, and with good reason. It's better to stay at home and have your relatives take care of you. Except sometimes.

Representative quote: "There is always damage when an older person enters an institution, no matter how clear the need or positive the conditions."

Noteworthy flaw: Midway through the book Amarnick has a change of heart: "A nursing home may then be the best alternative," he decides. "Some elders thrive in nursing homes."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): book covers.

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