Traditional glimpses of aging for fans of fun, light verse.

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JOYS AND LAMENTS OF GETTING OLDER

POEMS BY EHR SCHOBER

Poet Schober’s debut collection of rhyming witticisms serves as a paean to the joy of life.

This collection presents simple, unpolished verse that’s somewhat old-fashioned at times but also somewhat infectious. The author infuses these short poems with humor as she laments the aches, pains and memory loss of aging, but she also celebrates the fun of discovering the senior discount at the movies. Schober has a tongue-in-cheek philosophy regarding hearing loss: At least she “can’t hear all the bad news anymore.” Overall, the poems temper life’s negatives with large doses of optimism, as when the author proudly embraces the wrinkles she has earned—most of which, she says, are the result of laughter. Schober also compares childhood to old age; in one poem, she describes how, as a child, she jumped off her squeaky tricycle to gaze in wonder at a little yellow wildflower, but when she grew up, she considered wildflowers to be weeds in her garden. Now older and wiser, she once again sees wildflowers as a “gift from the universe.” Readers may find some of the images and situations a bit stereotypical, as when the author describes sitting in a rocking chair, dreaming about days long gone. However, in many poems, the author resolves to live in the moment and pursue stimulating activities, such as reading every book on her dusty shelves or daring to wear vermillion. Several poems are simply short quips intended to make readers chuckle, including, “I used to skip and run. / Oh, what fun! / Now you hear me squawking / Just walking.” The individual poems are untitled, which works well with the format—pages adorned with cute black-and-white animal cartoons. The white space and larger print provides an easy reading experience. Readers shouldn’t look for serious poetry here, but there are serious themes beneath the humor. Although life has its share of sorrow and hardship, Schober admirably chooses to accentuate the positive in this collection.

Traditional glimpses of aging for fans of fun, light verse.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2012

ISBN: 978-1479336296

Page Count: 100

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

THE GUCCI MANE GUIDE TO GREATNESS

A hip-hop star who went on his first international tour wearing an ankle monitor explains how to succeed.

“The words you are about to read can help you,” writes Gucci. “That’s because there is truth in them. These are words of wisdom, like the Bible and its proverbs.” Unquestionably, Gucci likes to aim high, as many of his proverbs attest: “Stop Underestimating Yourself”; “Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger”; “Nobody Cares. Work Harder”; “When They Sleep, I’m Grinding”; “Do More, Get More.” And never forget, “Women Are Brilliant.” Gucci not only shares his recipes for success. As in a cookbook that shows pictures of the end result, the author includes dozens of dazzling photos of himself and his beautiful wife, among them a series on his surprise wedding proposal at an Atlanta Hawks game. After the success of his bestselling debut, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, Gucci has realized there is money to be made in the book business. In addition to the Bible, he has his eye on Malcolm Gladwell and his reported $5 million advances. While he is “cool with Malcolm Gladwell being more celebrated than me as an author…the difference between Malcolm Gladwell and me is that I’m going to make more money because I’m going to make so many books for my following….You can enjoy this book or not, but I’m going to make my fifty-second book, my hundred and eighth book.” Many readers will hope that one of them will be a diet book, as the 100-plus pounds Gucci has lost and kept off are a frequent topic—alas, he doesn’t reveal his weight loss secrets here. Until the next book, try to live the Gucci Mane way. “Avoid lazy and miserable people,” and “Find something to be excited about every day.”

Gucci demonstrates all the bravado and ferocious self-confidence that he counsels—and the photos are a nice bonus.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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

OPEN BOOK

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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