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TWO OLD BROADS

STUFF YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED TO KNOW

Two genial, upbeat guides for life’s later chapters.

Tips for women for growing older with panache.

Hecht, a retired orthopedic surgeon who died at the age of 93, just months before this book was published, and award-winning actor Goldberg, who is 66, share wisdom, anecdotes, and pithy one-liners on a host of topics that concern aging women. Among the many issues they cover are dealing with inevitable aches and pains, addressing hearing impairment and short-term memory loss (something Hecht experienced), choosing what to wear, caring for aging skin, dating, making new friends, remaining independent when needing outside assistance, and napping when necessary. Most of the advice comes from Dr. Hecht, with Goldberg adding her “two cents” to selected chapters. Hecht rings in on matters medical, social, psychological, and practical to help readers navigate the challenges of growing older. “Connections, continuous learning, and being socially active,” she advises, are crucial to health and happiness. She enthusiastically celebrates the pleasures and surprises of excursions. As for dating, while Goldberg prefers meeting on Zoom rather than in person, Hecht is open to dating and sharing activities, including sex. She warns against using dating services and apps, though, suggesting that it’s better to meet someone through friends or by participating in groups. Hecht brings considerable authority to her advice about navigating the medical system: finding a doctor or surgeon, making the most of visits, getting a second opinion, and dealing with one’s fear of surgery (or even fear of going to the dentist). She offers a set of exercises to do in bed that make getting up easier, and she encourages aerobic, toning, and range-of-motion activities, such as swimming, yoga, and golf, which keep the body fit. Most of all, the authors urge readers to forget assumptions that come with being 60 or 70 or 90: “You’re a guru,” the authors insist. “You are not a number.”

Two genial, upbeat guides for life’s later chapters.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7852-4164-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Harper Horizon

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2022

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GREENLIGHTS

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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