A fast-paced, optimistic memoir.

AND ALL THE QUEEN'S MEN

An unabashedly honest, introspective and moving debut memoir focusing on the author’s relationships with the men in her life.

Sessa grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, dealing with her long-suffering mother and emotionally abusive father—a central influence on her later outlook on relationships. However, her family lived a life of luxury, traveling around the country and spending summers in Beverly Hills, Calif. While vacationing there as a teenager, the author met Ellis, a handsome man from a wealthy family whom, due to pressure from her father, she married while still a teenager. Although at first she was dazzled by Ellis and his lavish relations, her naïveté, youth and unhappiness soon became evident: “[B]ehind this illusion, evenings and weekends with Ellis seemed endless, like sitting in a stalled car.” After several years in an unhappy marriage, she divorced Ellis and married Myles, a doctor who was far more charming and sexually compatible. Soon, however, her second marriage felt like a prison, and she grew to despise her husband’s sexual advances and hostility. She threw herself into her career as a TV commercial producer in New York City and took several lovers as a means of escape. Twenty years later, she divorced Myles and dated a series of boyfriends, including Aaron, an attractive ad executive, and Art, a retired art dealer. Through these men, the author writes, she learned how to be in a loving relationship while balancing her own independence and aspirations. She experienced true love, heartbreak, anger, and even the death of a close friend before she married her third husband, Joe, with whom she says she’s the happiest. Sessa is a talented storyteller, and her candid, poignant and often sassy prose allows readers to relate to her young-adult immaturity, her later pain and frustration and her eventual joy. She successfully weaves together her different experiences with men into a powerful, thought-provoking message: One must turn mistakes into positives in order to grow and learn from one’s past.

A fast-paced, optimistic memoir.

Pub Date: July 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-1939447012

Page Count: 364

Publisher: Dunham Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more