An informative, if overstuffed, hiking account that’s brimming with captivating high energy.



A memoir brings readers along step by step on a man’s hiking adventures through the trails of western Canada’s National Park System.

With two months of free time between assignments—Obasohan worked in the field of protection for workers in nuclear power plants—the author decided to make use of his closet full of unused hiking and camping equipment. In his book, he describes himself as an adventurer rather than a hiker. Even after trekking by foot over 212 km (131 miles), he maintains that he is not a hiker. Nonetheless, in July 2021, Obasohan set out by car from Ontario, heading west toward Saskatchewan. His first solo backcountry trip was in Grasslands National Park, where he set up his tent in the Valley of a Thousand Devils, a name that inspired his persistently active imagination. He writes of hours spent walking in the intense heat with no shade in sight: “It was as hot as hell. I couldn’t see them, but I must have been close to a devil’s lair, several lairs possibly for every degree the temperature rose.” There were other dangers, some fanciful, others real. Bears—and, later, cougars—were constantly roaming in almost all the parks he visited. Yet he chose to remain “bear aware” rather than carry bear spray. Next up was Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, a six-hour drive from those tricky devils, continuing his journey driving and hiking, moving westward on his way to the trails in British Columbia. With a peppering of acerbic commentary—“I could see his canister of bear spray in a holster on his hip. This is the Canadian version of open carry firearms”—Obasohan maintains an articulate, conversational banter throughout the narrative. His descriptions of scenery, topography, and activities are vivid and visceral, albeit sometimes exhaustingly detailed. Readers accompany him as he jumps from stone to stone across streams, traipses through cool forests (with too many spiderwebs), sinks into swampy patches of mud, and climbs up and down hills and mountains, compulsively pushing his body to its limits. It is a reading experience that is best appreciated in intermittent bites.

An informative, if overstuffed, hiking account that’s brimming with captivating high energy.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: 287

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Oct. 4, 2022

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A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

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A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2022

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A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.


The iconic model tells the story of her eventful life.

According to the acknowledgments, this memoir started as "a fifty-page poem and then grew into hundreds of pages of…more poetry." Readers will be glad that Anderson eventually turned to writing prose, since the well-told anecdotes and memorable character sketches are what make it a page-turner. The poetry (more accurately described as italicized notes-to-self with line breaks) remains strewn liberally through the pages, often summarizing the takeaway or the emotional impact of the events described: "I was / and still am / an exceptionally / easy target. / And, / I'm proud of that." This way of expressing herself is part of who she is, formed partly by her passion for Anaïs Nin and other writers; she is a serious maven of literature and the arts. The narrative gets off to a good start with Anderson’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in coastal Vancouver, raised by very young, very wild, and not very competent parents. Here and throughout the book, the author displays a remarkable lack of anger. She has faced abuse and mistreatment of many kinds over the decades, but she touches on the most appalling passages lightly—though not so lightly you don't feel the torment of the media attention on the events leading up to her divorce from Tommy Lee. Her trip to the pages of Playboy, which involved an escape from a violent fiance and sneaking across the border, is one of many jaw-dropping stories. In one interesting passage, Julian Assange's mother counsels Anderson to desexualize her image in order to be taken more seriously as an activist. She decided that “it was too late to turn back now”—that sexy is an inalienable part of who she is. Throughout her account of this kooky, messed-up, enviable, and often thrilling life, her humility (her sons "are true miracles, considering the gene pool") never fails her.

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9780063226562

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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