In The Words That Shaped Me, journalist Aliza Davidovit takes the reader through the dictionary and a journey of words while also unfolding her own unusual life as an interviewer of the who’s who, as the too sexy ex-wife of a clergyman, and as a colorful character who somehow cannot have a simple encounter with anyone she meets.
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In The Words That Shaped Me, journalist Aliza Davidovit takes the reader through the dictionary while also unfolding her own unusual life as an interviewer of the who's who, as the too sexy ex-wife of a clergyman, and as a colorful character who somehow cannot have a simple encounter with anyone she meets.
Davidovit ushers the reader through life alphabetically with wisdom, insight, humor and tears, as well as with sexy and intensely private anecdotes resulting from her many interviews and experiences with famous people and interesting personalities.
From A-Z, the reader will travel through adultery, blind dates, life, politics, reincarnation, religion, sex and a whole lot more and will arrive at the end not only etymologically wiser but with a whole new appreciation of the words we live by and how they rule our lives.
Not only will readers learn new words but will never think about the ones they know the same again.
More interesting, however, is what we call, blind dates, the most dishonest words in the dictionary, for never does a man and woman see so much as on that first date. From the second he limps into the bar we begin to size him up or cut him down to size. Does he dress like a nerd? Does he check out other women? Is he cheap? Can he afford me? Does he make me laugh? Is he smart? Does he have clean fingernails? Does he have all his teeth? Are his shoes shined?
And men also go through their own very long list: Is she hot or not?
CNN's Larry King
Sometimes very very funny
sometimes extremely touching
All in All a terrific book
Amazon reviewer/ Bojan Tunguz: Words of Our Lives
When I first came across this book I really didn't know what to expect. The premise held a lot of appeal to me - growing up I had a very keen appreciation for interesting words, especially those of foreign origin. I used to be the nerdy kid who would actually read the dictionary for fun. When I started learning English, and especially when I started attending English-speaking educational institutions, I was thrust into, whether I liked it or not, a gargantuan volume of new words and phrases. Initially I felt overwhelmed by this verbal deluge, but eventually I regained my appreciation for learning new words for the intrinsic pleasure that their meaning evoked. Thus, a book that deals with interesting words and the way they shape one's life was certainly something that I was intrinsically drawn towards. Nonetheless, the question still remains: how interesting can a book about words really be? And the answer is: really interesting!
Aliza Davidovit is a writer and journalist who lives in New York. These biographical facts alone assure that in the course of her personal life and professional career she has witnessed and lived through a lot of interesting and memorable moments. However, even though when writing she heavily relies on the life of a New York socialite for material and inspiration, this is not a tell-all book that will embarrass celebrities and provide guilty pleasure for the reader. Aliza is careful never to cross the line of good taste and betray the confidence of her many friends and acquaintances. This is a book about New York's "high society," but only in part. The main focus of the book concerns those words and relationships that are common to most of us, and the way that we endow our lives with meaning using the most powerful tool at our disposal: language.
One of the main themes running through this book is that of religion, and the Jewish faith in particular. Aliza is a devout practicing Jewish woman, and many of the major life decisions she has made have been strongly colored by her faith. This has not always been easy, and all of us who have felt the tension between our religious commitments and the best way to live in the high-paced modern world, can empathize with Aliza's struggles. Many of the decisions that we make may not be easy, but it is reassuring to know that we can and should make the right ones.
The most poignant moments in the book come when Aliza talks about her family. We learn our first words in the context of our families, and the words that we grow up with have been heavily influenced by the relationships that we had with our closest family members. Aliza opens up the doors to her childhood Montreal home, and we enter the world of family joys and struggles, the world that in its broadest outlines is familiar to most of us. By reflecting on the words that are part of her family's history, we too may pause and recall those words and phrases that our own families have imbued with special colorings and meanings.
The book is an absolute joy to read. Aliza is an extremely good and witty writer - which is exactly what one has to be in order to essentially turn the dictionary into entertaining literature. At times the wit is so concentrated and rapid paced that you almost have to stop reading in order to digest all the jokes, double entendres, puns and innuendos. Nonetheless, Aliza knows how to use these high-paced moments sparingly throughout the book, and they are never in danger of becoming an end in themselves. Aliza is also very forthright in her comments, so if you are easily offended or are enamored with political correctness, this will definitely not be a book for you. Otherwise, you may find yourself enjoying a book about words more than you ought to and will never look at the dictionary the same way again. Consider yourself warned.
Comedian Jackie Mason
Aliza has the brains of Henry Kissinger and the body of Marilyn Monroe. This book is brilliant and hilarious. I'm glad to say I taught her everything she knows.
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