An all-inclusive and honest account of how one woman used a motorcycle journey to come to grips with painful events in her...

DON'T THINK TWICE

ADVENTURE AND HEALING AT 100 MILES PER HOUR

How a cross-country motorcycle ride helped the author combat severe depression.

“We’ve all had them—those unbelievably bad years in which one thing after another happens, and we begin to think that something greater than ourselves is trying to tell us something,” writes Schoichet. “In my case, it seemed like I was taunting disaster, because before my life went to hell, I was completely unaware I was heading for a storm.” In less than a year, she lost her job as a publicity writer at a major studio, her girlfriend of six years, and her mother. Devastated by these events, the author knew she had to do something daring in order to get on with her life. So she bought a Harley-Davidson online and decided to ride it from Buffalo to Los Angeles. She figured she’d either die on the highway or learn how to live again. Schoichet fills her memoir of her three-week adventure with sketches of the helpful, crazy, and sometimes-creepy characters she met on her journey—e.g., the group of Harley riders who surrounded her when she stopped to stretch her legs on the side of the road and the woman who took care of her after arriving at a motel in a terrible rainstorm, among many others. The author interweaves stories of her mother and her sisters into the details of her life on the road as she tries to gain perspective on everything that happened in the past, and although she didn’t necessarily find a state of Zen, the ride was definitely therapeutic. Schoichet’s account will resonate with bikers and with those who have always wondered what it feels like to go 100 miles per hour on a motorcycle, but others may find the narrative overly self-indulgent and long.

An all-inclusive and honest account of how one woman used a motorcycle journey to come to grips with painful events in her life.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-98180-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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