Even when sarcastic, Horovitz writes with too much sincere devotion to Israel's future promise to be mistaken for a brash...

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A LITTLE TOO CLOSE TO GOD

THE THRILLS AND PANIC OF A LIFE IN ISRAEL

An entertaining memoir about life in Israel, highly politicized (of course).

David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Report, Israel's only English-language magazine, was chief editor of Shalom, Friend (1996). In that book Yitzhak Rabin is noted for his decades of imperiously dismissing Palestinian Arab demands and ignoring the nationalist Israeli camp. By this book, Rabin has been `mythologized,` Netanyahu demonized (his `racist` followers, Horovitz maintains, were accomplices of Rabin's assassination), and Barak anointed the hope of the land-for-peace camp. The author admits this is `not a comprehensive picture of Israel… it is my Israel, my Western immigrant's Israel…my prejudices.` Despite this admission, the memoir is admirable for airing contrary opinions. Much of Horowitz’s politics is personalized by fear for his sons serving in a war, yet he has the integrity to quote an Ethiopian soldier saying: `I am honored to be an Israeli soldier.` Similarly, the memoir echoes the magazine's antipathy toward Orthodox Jewry's religious coercion, although the author's Ultra-Orthodox cousin presents an articulate defense. Horovitz's Reform Judaism is largely to `inoculate` his children against the virus of fundamentalism carried by too many fanatic `pick-up artists` in his native Jerusalem. A scarier threat was provided by Saddam's Scuds, but, depicting the dangerously reckless drivers, the ubiquitous car thieves and suicide bombers, the rude clerks and inept immigrant army conscripts, Horovitz manages to convey daily life in frenetic Israel with good humor. Horovitz's breezy journalism is largely preaching to the saved, to other English-speaking left-leaning readers, and he misses the opportunity to convincingly champion the peace process with substance to support his wishes.

Even when sarcastic, Horovitz writes with too much sincere devotion to Israel's future promise to be mistaken for a brash young Western journalist temporarily slumming it in the Middle East.

Pub Date: May 2, 2000

ISBN: 0-375-40381-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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