by Benjamin Netanyahu ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 18, 2022
Hardly a charm offensive, this is a straightforward account and defense of the author’s hard-line positions.
Long-winded memoir from the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history.
Two themes run throughout the monotonous narrative: Netanyahu’s admiration for his older brother, Yoni, who was killed during the special operations raid to free hostages taken by terrorists at Entebbe Airport in 1976, and the constant necessity of Israel to defend itself against aggressors. Born in Tel Aviv in 1949 to secular Jews with deep Zionist family ties, Bibi, as he was called, lived in various places in the U.S., including a stint as a student of architecture at MIT, but the excitement over the Six-Day War in 1967 brought Bibi swiftly home to start his military training. Yoni’s untimely death inspired his work in founding The Jonathan Institute, an organization against international terrorism, through which he would first meet many of the conservative intellectuals who supported his later political campaigns. From businessman to appointed “deputy chief of mission” in Israel’s embassy in Washington, D.C., Bibi made his mark as a public communicator of Israel’s point of view. “I tried to speak my mind, speak my heart, and above all speak plainly,” he writes in characteristically flat fashion. After a few years as a U.N. ambassador, the author ascended the ladder in the Likud Party, and he narrowly beat Shimon Peres for the position of prime minister in 1996, when he was just 46. Beginning in 2003, when he became finance minister, his “free market revolution”—privatization, cutting welfare, and crushing unions—picked up steam. Reelected as prime minister in 2009, he doubled down against Iran’s nuclear capabilities and in destroying terrorist networks, especially Hamas. He famously came to loggerheads with Barack Obama, while with Donald Trump, he was able to see several “missions accomplished”—e.g., normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and the moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Now the leader of the opposition party again, Netanyahu seems to be scheming for a return to power.Hardly a charm offensive, this is a straightforward account and defense of the author’s hard-line positions.
Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022
Page Count: 736
Publisher: Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022
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by Britney Spears ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 24, 2023
Spears’ vulnerability shines through as she describes her painful journey from vulnerable girl to empowered woman.
A heartfelt memoir from the pop superstar.
Spears grew up with an alcoholic father, an exacting mother, and a fear of disappointing them both. She also displayed a natural talent for singing and dancing and a strong work ethic. Spears is grateful for the adult professionals who helped her get her start, but the same can’t be said of her peers. When she met Justin Timberlake, also a Mouseketeer on the Disney Channel’s updated Mickey Mouse Club, the two formed an instant bond. Spears describes her teenage feelings for Timberlake as “so in love with him it was pathetic,” and she’s clearly angry about the rumors and breakup that followed. This tumultuous period haunted her for years. Out of many candidates for villains of the book, Timberlake included, perhaps the worst are the careless journalists of the late 1990s and early 2000s, who indulged Timberlake while vilifying Spears. The cycle repeated for years, taking its toll on her mental health. Spears gave birth to sons Sean Preston and Jayden James within two years, and she describes the difficulties they all faced living in the spotlight. The author writes passionately about how custody of her boys and visits with them were held over her head, and she recounts how they were used to coerce her to make decisions that weren’t always in her best interest. As many readers know, conservancy followed, and for 13 years, she toured, held a residency in Las Vegas, and performed—all while supposedly unable to take care of herself, an irony not lost on her. Overall, the book is cathartic, though readers who followed her 2021 trial won’t find many revelations, and many of the other newsworthy items have been widely covered in the run-up to the book’s release.Spears’ vulnerability shines through as she describes her painful journey from vulnerable girl to empowered woman.
Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023
Page Count: 288
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023
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by Barbra Streisand ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 7, 2023
What a talent, what a career, what a life, and what a treat to relive it all with this most down-to-earth of demigods.
A gloriously massive memoir from a sui generis star.
When Keith Richards and Bruce Springsteen published 500-page memoirs, that seemed long—but as we learned, they really did have that much to say. Streisand doubles the ante with 1,000 pages. In addition to chronicling her own life, the author offers fascinating lessons on acting, directing, film editing, sound mixing, lighting, and more, as revealed in detailed accounts of the making of each of her projects. As Stephen Sondheim commented about her, “It’s not just the gift, it’s the willingness to take infinite pains.” The pains really pay off. With every phase of her life, from childhood in Brooklyn to her 27-year-romance with current husband, James Brolin, Streisand throws everything she has—including her mother’s scrapbook and her own considerable talent as a writer—into developing the characters, settings, conversations, meals, clothes, and favorite colors and numbers of a passionately lived existence. In the process, she puts her unique stamp on coffee ice cream, egg rolls, dusty rose, pewter gray, the number 24, Donna Karan, Modigliani, and much more. Among the heroes are her father, who died when she was very young but nevertheless became an ongoing inspiration. The villains include her mother, whose coldness and jealousy were just as consistent. An armada of ex-boyfriends, colleagues, and collaborators come to life in a tone that captures the feel of Streisand’s spoken voice by way of Yiddishisms, parenthetical asides, and snappy second thoughts. The end is a little heavy on tributes, but you wouldn’t want to miss the dog cloning, the generous photo section, or this line, delivered in all seriousness: “Looking back, I feel as if I didn't fulfill my potential.”What a talent, what a career, what a life, and what a treat to relive it all with this most down-to-earth of demigods.
Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023
Page Count: 992
Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2023
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