A unique, important addition to the literature on the Navajo.

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A NAVAJO HONORS THE LONG WALK

The story of a 59-year-old Diné (Navajo) man and his 16-day, 330-mile run to honor the Long Walk of the Navajo.

Co-written by Eskeets, a runner, coach, and artist, and Kristofic, a Taos-based journalist who grew up on a Navajo reservation in Arizona, the book follows two stories: first, Eskeets’ plan to run 330 miles (“a marathon a day”) to commemorate the Long Walk, “the forced removal of most of the Diné people to a military-controlled reservation on the Pecos River in south-central New Mexico” between 1864 and 1868; second, a chronicle of the Long Walk in historical context. Eskeets, supported by friends and family throughout the run, and Kristofic, his friend, provide fascinating portraits of both the beauty and physical punishment of the journey, smoothly alternating with a history of the Diné people. The authors recount the grim historical realities that faced the Diné over the centuries: arrival of the Spanish, kidnapping and selling of Diné children into slavery, murder and betrayal, the movement of White Americans across their territory, and the continued attacks on their people. With starkly beautiful prose, the authors bring all of this to urgent life, vividly depicting the numerous outbreaks of brutal violence and clearly demonstrating the remarkable resiliency of the Diné. “Go seek out ‘The Flood’ by Robert Frost. Read that poem,” they write. “In the time required to read that poem, fifteen people are murdered outside Fort Fauntleroy….The shells explode over them and shrapnel pops through their bodies. Twenty people run no more forever.” The authors’ chronicle of Eskeets’ impressive feat highlights the otherworldly beauty of the American Southwest, from Canyon de Chelly (a “spiritual center” once described by mythologist Joseph Campbell as “the most sacred place on earth”) in Arizona to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A unique, important addition to the literature on the Navajo.

Pub Date: April 1, 2021

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Univ. of New Mexico

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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

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

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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 Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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