A mix of autobiography, cautionary tale and football-geek analysis that will provide die-hards with some insight into one of...

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GOING DEEP

HOW WIDE RECEIVERS BECAME THE MOST COMPELLING FIGURES IN PRO SPORTS

NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Carter (co-author: Born to Believe, 2000) offers his take on the position’s growing importance to professional football and why it attracts and creates some of the game’s biggest personalities.

The evolution of the NFL has seen massive changes in the way the game is played, from old-time smash-mouth, running-based football to the modern, passing-oriented spectacle we see today. Along with these changes, cultural and financial shifts have changed the lives of players off the field as well. NFL stars, like most professional athletes these days, are often in the news, not always for their game-day accomplishments. Many of the larger-than-life football stars of this new era seem to be wide receivers, and Carter, who has become a well-known TV commentator in his post-playing days, sets out to explore why. What might seem to be a flimsy topic for a full-length book is filled out with Carter’s outspoken thoughts on his career and the careers, and controversies, of others who played, and still play, the position, including Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. Though Carter’s analysis offers nothing groundbreaking, and he occasionally has to stretch a bit to make his point, his candid style and insider knowledge will keep most readers entertained. The author does not hold back from expressing his opinions on the mistakes made by other players, but he applies the same lens to himself, speaking openly of his own problems with drugs and alcohol early in his career and offering advice to others on how to make the most of their talent.

A mix of autobiography, cautionary tale and football-geek analysis that will provide die-hards with some insight into one of the sport’s most prominent positions.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4013-2485-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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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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