Though averagely written, Griner delivers an important message, particularly for young adults, about embracing your...

IN MY SKIN

MY LIFE ON AND OFF THE BASKETBALL COURT

The growing pains of a gay student athlete.

With Hovey, Griner, the three-time All-American and No. 1 selection in the 2013 WNBA draft, writes a coming-of-age memoir about her struggle to live authentically. A bullied and despondent junior high school student in Houston, Texas, she wished away her height (she grew to 6 feet 8 inches tall), strength and tenacity, the traits that would soon make her a basketball phenomenon. Griner's adolescent voice is earnest, as when she writes that she didn’t tell her parents the cruelties she endured "because my mom would get sad and my dad would get mad." She excelled at basketball in high school (a video of her dunking went viral), and her growing confidence gave her a sense of purpose; however, her misery continued when her overbearing father kicked her out of the house for being gay. Though colleges across the country heavily recruited her, she hastily chose Baylor University for its strong basketball program and close proximity to her ailing mother. However, given Baylor's ethical stance against homosexuality, some readers may question how an out lesbian could fail to do her due diligence and arrive on campus unaware of this policy. Griner resented head coach Kim Mulkey's insistence that she hide her sexuality, and despite leading her team to a national championship in her junior year, she continued to feel "a growing sense that who I am…needed to be hidden away in order for me to survive my time at Baylor." This revelation will not come as a shock. Since leaving Baylor, Griner has become an advocate for LGBTQ youth, assuring them that "the rewards of being authentic far outweigh the risks." 

Though averagely written, Griner delivers an important message, particularly for young adults, about embracing your uniqueness.

Pub Date: April 8, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-230933-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: It Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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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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